Mark & Beth Brownson
Sunday, October 01, 2023
To know Christ and to make Him known

How To Study the Bible: Part F

2 Peter 1:16–21 (NLT)

16 For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes 17 when he received honor and glory from God the Father. The voice from the majestic glory of God said to him, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” 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.

Is the Bible the Word of God, fact or fiction, or does it matter? In recent years, there has been a resurgence in Hollywood with mythology, comic books and even fairy tales. Originally, many of these stories were written as either part of pagan traditions or as moralistic stories to train children how to live their lives. There is actually a great deal which we can learn from such literature or even some of these that have been reworked by Hollywood. Many of them teach important life's lessons. Is this how the Bible operates as well? 2 Peter 1:16 says that the stories about Jesus were not clever stories invented by the apostles, but were things they actually saw and heard. The exact event that is spoken about in this passage is probably the Transfiguration of Jesus, which is recorded in the Gospels. But Peter claims it is historic fact and takes this event and broadens it to encompass the entire life of Jesus. In Verse 19, he says that his experience while with Jesus made him more certain of the message received in the Old Testament through the prophets. Peter is claiming that the Bible is history and is an accurate portrayal of real life events. Of course, having said this, the Bible includes many genres of literature, apart from historic narrative, such as poetry and parables, but a large chunk of the Bible is a record of God's direct intervention in human affairs. It is not based on how clever the human author is, but on what God actually did. Why is this important? This is important because it gives us real hope, not imagined. If the resurrection of Jesus is not real, then we have no hope of a real resurrection either. If we have no hope of a real resurrection, then we have no hope of life after death. If no hope of life after death, then we have no hope in this life. We are left, as the apostle Paul says, the most pathetic of human beings. We should eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow, we die. The reality that God intervened in human affairs and seeks to have a relationship with us is essential to our understanding of the Scriptures. The Scriptures address real life needs and probl How To Study the Bible: Part F