Mark & Beth Brownson
Monday, February 17, 2020
To know Christ and to make Him known

How to Study the Bible: Part H

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.

This month, I would like to talk about the dual authorship of the Bible. As we read through the Bible, it is important to know that not only are there many different genres, and that the Bible was written in multiple languages, but also that literary styles vary from human author to human author. Even within some of the books that claim to have the same authors, such as Paul's epistles or Peter's epistles, literary styles can vary. Liberal scholars have often seized upon this to tear down the validity of the Bible, particularly in the New Testament. Some of this can be explained by the use of amanuenses by Peter and Paul. It was common practice for people to offer dictation to a scribe who would write down their thoughts. These amanuenses would take liberties with the grammar and wording while taking dictation and the writers of these books did not always have the same amanuenses available. The liberties taken fell into the realm of style and grammar, but I hold that they did not touch on the substance of the message. Our 2 Peter passage says in Verse 20 that “no prophecy in Scripture came from the prophet's own understanding”. In other words, it came from God. Verse 21 says or “human initiative”. It is the Holy Spirit who moved them and spoke through them and they spoke from God. It is God who spoke through these human instruments, their human frailties and their literary styles. The Bible is not a collection of mythology and wise sayings How to Study the Bible: Part H