In the last issue we saw that Scripture is the “more sure word” (II Peter 1:16-19). The Word is sure because its origin is not in man but in God: “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” (21).
“Prophecy” (19, 20, 21) not only includes the Old Testament (OT) writing prophets, such as Hosea, but it also refers to the whole of the OT from the perspective of its predictions. From the mother promise of Genesis 3:15, we see that all of the OT points ahead to Christ and His universal church. For example, the law predicts Christ as the great king (Num. 24:17) and the Psalms prophesy His rule over the nations (22:27-31) and return to judge the world (50:1ff). Thus Peter is telling us that the whole of the OT (from the perspective of its predictions)” came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (II Peter 1:21).
Let us be clear about it: man is not the originator of Scripture (OT or NT). Man did not determine what was said, nor how it was said, nor with what words it was said, “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man” (21). Do you believe this? You must, for this is a first principle in understanding the Scriptures: “Knowing this first, that…the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man” (21). Without this as the key you will never truly grasp the Bible or know the Savior revealed in its pages.
Higher critics rejected this first principle for understanding the Bible. They hold that the origin of the Bible is in man (though God maybe helped a bit). They challenge the date of the OT books especially the prophetic books which they date after the event prophesied. They deny predictive prophecy because of their prior commitment to naturalism. Whereas Peter writes, “the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man” (21), they say, “The Hebrew books came by the will of man often a lot later than they purport.” They hold that the Bible consists of “cunningly devised fables” (16).
Since the Bible did not originate in man’s will, it is different from every other writing. It is different from newspapers and magazines, from school textbooks and novels. It is different even from books written by Christians. All man’s books are written according to God’s providence but the Bible alone is written by divine inspiration. Buddhism’s Dhammapada, Hinduism’s Bhagavad-Gita and Confucius’ Annalects (which do not claim to come by divine inspiration) and Islam’s Koran (which does) all come from the will of man. Thus the Bible alone is God’s hammer.
- Volume: 8
- Issue: 14
Rev. Angust Stewart (Wife: Mary)
Ordained - 2001
Pastorates: Covenant Protestant Reformed Church of Ballymena, Northern Ireland - 2001Website: www.cprf.co.uk/
Address7 Lislunnan Road
State or ProvinceCo.Antrim
Zip CodeBT42 3NR
Telephone(01144) 28 25 891851