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For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

1:16 cunningly devised fables. Peter thus labels all pantheistic cosmogonies and soteriologies as nothing but clever myths (so also did Paul in II Timothy 4:4; the Greek word in both cases is muthos, from which we get the word “myth”). He may also have been thinking of similar Jewish fables. All such myths and fables are based on a pantheistic form of evolutionism and denial of true creation. In the modern context, we could well take this as a warning against “cunningly devised evolutionary myths,” whether they are promoted by Darwinian atheists or New Age pantheists.


1:16 coming. The “coming” of Christ is the parousia, referring to the “personal presence” of the Lord at His imminent second coming.


1:17 excellent glory. On the “holy mount” of Transfiguration (II Peter 1:18), the three disciples (Peter, James and John) actually saw Christ glorified, as He will be when He comes again in “power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30) and heard God the Father acknowledge His beloved Son from heaven (Matthew 17:5), just as He had done at His baptism (Matthew 3:17). Peter had also seen the resurrected Christ several times and had watched him ascend into heaven with the promise that He would return (Acts 1:11). Thus, Peter himself could have no doubt that He was the only true “God and Savior;” all else was myth and fable.


1:19 more sure word. As sure as Peter was of what he had seen and heard, this was only his own experience, and could only be given as a personal testimony to others. Thus, he stressed that God’s written Word, available to all in the holy Scriptures, was more sure than any personal experience he or others might have. It is not in Peter or Paul as men, no matter how sincere or holy they may be, that we must trust, but in Christ as revealed (not in our experience either!) in God’s written Word.


1:19 day star. At His return, Christ will be recognized as the true “bright and morning star” (Revelation 2:28; 22:16).


1:20 first. This should read, “first of all” or “as of primary importance.”


1:20 prophecy. “Prophecy” refers not just to predictions of the future, but to any divinely inspired utterance—therefore to all the Holy Scriptures.


1:21 spake. Note also Hebrews 1:1.


1:21 moved. Compare Genesis 1:2. “The Spirit of God moved” in the presence of the primeval waters of the newly created cosmos, and it became vibrant with pulsating energy and activity. In somewhat analogous fashion, the Spirit of God moved the hearts, minds and pens of the holy (that is, called and set apart) men of God, and the Scriptures were formed, proceeding from the eternal mind of God to be revealed to His creatures.


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