The Unity of Scripture
Mighty God, I thank You for Your Word. May I speak its truth in love and embody its truth with integrity.
Read 2 Peter 1:12-21
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
What holds the Bible together? What makes it a unified book, not merely a collection of writings produced over a thousand-years?
It’s fascinating to have Peter’s own reflection on the mountaintop experience that we read about on Wednesday. He doesn’t mention the tents, but clearly the experience had a huge impact on him, for it is the first thing that springs to mind when he thinks of the things he really wants people to remember when he is no longer around to remind them! Two things clearly stand out for Peter. First, it is solid history: a clear, vivid, historical demonstration of the glory of the Lord, anticipating his second coming (and thus making that solid and certain, too). We are not in the realm of fancy religious ideas here (“cleverly devised stories,” v. 16), but of eye-witnessed truth, which included hearing the voice of God.
Second, it shows how prophecy works. The connection of thought in vs. 18-21 is a little unclear to me, but it’s probably this: the experience on the mountain makes the word of the prophets “completely reliable” (19)–referring especially, of course, to Moses and Elijah–because “no prophecy in Scripture contains its own interpretation” (20, my translation). We saw this illustrated by the point about the Exodus on Wednesday: the Old Testament theme of “exodus,” starting with the event itself and then running through the prophets, reaches its very unexpected climax in the death and resurrection of Jesus. Who would ever have imagined that the exodus of God’s people would finally be accomplished by the incarnation, death and resurrection of the Son of God? Is this a clue to the unity of the Bible?
Peter is thrilled by the way in which the old prophetic word has been fulfilled in Christ. In what ways does Jesus fulfill the Old Testament unexpectedly?
Father, Your Word is truly amazing. I stand in awe of its inspiration. As I engage with the Word, may it bring spiritual formation in my life through the Spirit.