2 Peter 1:20

20 Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding,

2 Peter 1:20 Meaning and Commentary

2 Peter 1:20

Knowing this first
Especially, and in the first place, this is to be known, observed, and considered;

that no prophecy of the Scripture,
that is contained in Scripture, be it what it will,

is of any private interpretation:
not that this is levelled against the right of private judgment of Scripture; or to be understood as if a private believer had not a right of reading, searching, examining, and judging, and interpreting the Scriptures himself, by virtue of the unction which teacheth all things; and who, as a spiritual man, judgeth all things; otherwise, why are such commended as doing well, by taking heed to prophecy, in the preceding verse, and this given as a reason to encourage them to it? the words may be rendered, "of one's own interpretation"; that is, such as a natural man forms of himself, by the mere force of natural parts and wisdom, without the assistance of the Spirit of God; and which is done without comparing spiritual things with spiritual; and which is not agreeably to the Scripture, to the analogy of faith, and mind of Christ; though rather this phrase should be rendered, "no prophecy of the Scripture is of a man's own impulse", invention, or composition; is not human, but purely divine: and this sense carries in it a reason why the sure word of prophecy, concerning the second coming of Christ, should be taken heed to, and made use of as a light, till he does come; because as no Scripture prophecy, so not that, is a contrivance of man's, his own project and device, and what his own spirit prompts and impels him to, but what is made by the dictates and impulse of the Spirit of God; for whatever may be said of human predictions, or the false prophecies of lying men, who deliver them out how and when they please, nothing of this kind can be said of any Scripture prophecy, nor of this concerning the second coming of Christ; and this sense the following words require.

2 Peter 1:20 In-Context

18 We ourselves heard that voice from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain.
19 Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts.
20 Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding,
21 or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or is a matter of one’s own interpretation.