What evidence would convince you that the Bible was inspired by God?
For Peter, two strong pieces of evidence convicted him of God’s intersection with humanity: first was the Hebrew Prophetic Scriptures, and second was his experience with Jesus. These verses tie these two “proof” together.
2 Peter 1:16-18 – Opponents may have suggested Peter was just making up stories about Jesus, much the way some people today make up stories of 9-11. But Peter argues from personal testimony. He was there on the mountain when Jesus was transfigured, He heard the voice from heaven, saw Jesus’ visitors, and the transformation and power of the Kingdom of God.
Why would Peter use the transfiguration to argue for the reality of the “power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ”? What made that event so transformational for Peter?
The Prophetic Word
2 Peter 1:19-21 – In verse 19, Peter says that there is an even “more sure” word of prophecy, and he seems to be alluding to the Old Testament Scriptures. These, according to 1st Peter, contain messages about salvation in Christ. But with the coming of Jesus, these texts take on whole new meaning. He says they are like a lamp or light shining in a dark place, reminiscent of Psalm 119:105.
If you throw out the Old Testament, what do you lose with respect to Jesus?
Peter helps us understand the “inspiration” process in verses 20-21. The word for “interpretation” means “an explanation” of something. Prophecy then isn’t man’s own explanation, but God’s. However, it is important to note that it isn’t God speaking. Instead, the Holy Spirit moves the person, but the prophets speak with their own voices, write in their own words, and retain their person-hood. The idea of verbal dictation of prophecy isn’t tenable.
How does Peter’s view of inspiration help us see the combination of human and divine in Scripture?
For Peter, the life of Jesus informs his reading of the Old Testament in new and exciting ways. I encourage you to read the Old Testament again with “Jesus centered” eyes.