2 Peter 1:20
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation of things.

New Living Translation
Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet's own understanding,

English Standard Version
knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation.

New American Standard Bible
But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation,

King James Bible
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
First of all, you should know this: No prophecy of Scripture comes from one's own interpretation,

International Standard Version
First of all, you must understand this: No prophecy in Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation,

NET Bible
Above all, you do well if you recognize this: No prophecy of scripture ever comes about by the prophet's own imagination,

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
While you first know this: No prophecy is its own exposition of the Scriptures.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
First, you must understand this: No prophecy in Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation.

Jubilee Bible 2000
understanding this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

King James 2000 Bible
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of one's own interpretation.

American King James Version
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

American Standard Version
knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture is of private interpretation.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Understanding this first, that no prophecy of scripture is made by private interpretation.

Darby Bible Translation
knowing this first, that [the scope of] no prophecy of scripture is had from its own particular interpretation,

English Revised Version
knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture is of private interpretation.

Webster's Bible Translation
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

Weymouth New Testament
But, above all, remember that no prophecy in Scripture will be found to have come from the prophet's own prompting;

World English Bible
knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of private interpretation.

Young's Literal Translation
this first knowing, that no prophecy of the Writing doth come of private exposition,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

1:16-21 The gospel is no weak thing, but comes in power, Ro 1:16. The law sets before us our wretched state by sin, but there it leaves us. It discovers our disease, but does not make known the cure. It is the sight of Jesus crucified, in the gospel, that heals the soul. Try to dissuade the covetous worlding from his greediness, one ounce of gold weighs down all reasons. Offer to stay a furious man from anger by arguments, he has not patience to hear them. Try to detain the licentious, one smile is stronger with him than all reason. But come with the gospel, and urge them with the precious blood of Jesus Christ, shed to save their souls from hell, and to satisfy for their sins, and this is that powerful pleading which makes good men confess that their hearts burn within them, and bad men, even an Agrippa, to say they are almost persuaded to be Christians, Ac 26:28. God is well pleased with Christ, and with us in him. This is the Messiah who was promised, through whom all who believe in him shall be accepted and saved. The truth and reality of the gospel also are foretold by the prophets and penmenof the Old Testament, who spake and wrote under influence, and according to the direction of the Spirit of God. How firm and sure should our faith be, who have such a firm and sure word to rest upon! When the light of the Scripture is darted into the blind mind and dark understanding, by the Holy Spirit of God, it is like the day-break that advances, and diffuses itself through the whole soul, till it makes perfect day. As the Scripture is the revelation of the mind and will of God, every man ought to search it, to understand the sense and meaning. The Christian knows that book to be the word of God, in which he tastes a sweetness, and feels a power, and sees a glory, truly divine. And the prophecies already fulfilled in the person and salvation of Christ, and in the great concerns of the church and the world, form an unanswerable proof of the truth of Christianity. The Holy Ghost inspired holy men to speak and write. He so assisted and directed them in delivering what they had received from him, that they clearly expressed what they made known. So that the Scriptures are to be accounted the words of the Holy Ghost, and all the plainness and simplicity, all the power and all the propriety of the words and expressions, come from God. Mix faith with what you find in the Scriptures, and esteem and reverence the Bible as a book written by holy men, taught by the Holy Ghost.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 20. - Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation. By "knowing this first" (γινώσκοντες) is meant that we must recognize this truth as of primary importance, or, before we commence the study of prophecy; the phrase occurs again in chapter 2 Peter 3:3. The literal translation of the following clause is, "that all prophecy of Scripture [there is no article] is not; all... not" (πᾶσα... οὐ) being a common Hebraism for none, οὑδεμία; but the verb is not ἔστι, "is," but γίνεται, "becomes, arises, comes into being." The word for "private" is ἰδίας, "special," or commonly, "one's own" (see 1 Peter 3:1, 5; chapter 2 Peter 2:16, 22; 3:3, 16, 17). The word rendered "interpretation" is ἐπιλύσεως, which is found nowhere else in the New Testament; the corresponding verb occurs in Mark 4:34, "He expounded all things;" and Acts 19:39, "It shall be determined or settled." These considerations, strengthened by the context, seem to guide us to the following explanation: No prophecy of Scripture arises from the prophet's own interpretation of the vision presented to his mind; for it was from God that the prophecy was brought, and men spoke as they were borne on by the Holy Spirit. This view of the passage is also supported by the remarkable parallel in the First Epistle (1 Peter 1:10-12). The prophets searched diligently into the meaning of the revelation vouchsafed to them; they did not always comprehend it in all its details; they could not interpret it to themselves; the written prophecy arose out of the interpretation of the revelation supplied by the same Spirit from whom the revelation itself proceeded. Therefore the prophetic books of Holy Scripture are sacred and precious, and we do well in giving heed to them; though the day-star of the Lord's own presence, shining in the illuminated heart, is holier still. Other views of this difficult passage are: Prophecy is not its own interpreter; the guidance of the Spirit is necessary. Or, prophecy is not a matter for the private interpretation of the readers; only the Holy Spirit can explain it. But the explanation adopted seems most accordant with the Greek words and with the general sense of the context (compare St. Paul's teaching in 1 Corinthians 12:10). The gifts of the Spirit are divided as he will; to one man are given "divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues." Not every one, it seems, who had the first gift, had also the latter. Tongues and the interpretation of tongues were two distinct gifts. It may be so with prophecy and the interpretation of prophecy.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Knowing this first,.... Especially, and in the first place, this is to be known, observed, and considered;

that no prophecy of the Scripture, that is contained in Scripture, be it what it will,

is of any private interpretation: not that this is levelled against the right of private judgment of Scripture; or to be understood as if a private believer had not a right of reading, searching, examining, and judging, and interpreting the Scriptures himself, by virtue of the unction which teacheth all things; and who, as a spiritual man, judgeth all things; otherwise, why are such commended as doing well, by taking heed to prophecy, in the preceding verse, and this given as a reason to encourage them to it? the words may be rendered, "of one's own interpretation"; that is, such as a natural man forms of himself, by the mere force of natural parts and wisdom, without the assistance of the Spirit of God; and which is done without comparing spiritual things with spiritual; and which is not agreeably to the Scripture, to the analogy of faith, and mind of Christ; though rather this phrase should be rendered, "no prophecy of the Scripture is of a man's own impulse", invention, or composition; is not human, but purely divine: and this sense carries in it a reason why the sure word of prophecy, concerning the second coming of Christ, should be taken heed to, and made use of as a light, till he does come; because as no Scripture prophecy, so not that, is a contrivance of man's, his own project and device, and what his own spirit prompts and impels him to, but what is made by the dictates and impulse of the Spirit of God; for whatever may be said of human predictions, or the false prophecies of lying men, who deliver them out how and when they please, nothing of this kind can be said of any Scripture prophecy, nor of this concerning the second coming of Christ; and this sense the following words require.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

20. "Forasmuch as ye know this" (1Pe 1:18).

first—the foremost consideration in studying the word of prophecy. Laying it down as a first principle never to be lost sight of.

is—Greek, not the simple verb, to be, but to begin to be, "proves to be," "becometh." No prophecy is found to be the result of "private (the mere individual writer's uninspired) interpretation" (solution), and so origination. The Greek noun epilusis, does not mean in itself origination; but that which the sacred writer could not always fully interpret, though being the speaker or writer (as 1Pe 1:10-12 implies), was plainly not of his own, but of God's disclosure, origination, and inspiration, as Peter proceeds to add, "But holy men … spake (and afterwards wrote) … moved by the Holy Ghost": a reason why ye should "give" all "heed" to it. The parallelism to 2Pe 1:16 shows that "private interpretation," contrasted with "moved by the Holy Ghost," here answers to "fables devised by (human) wisdom," contrasted with "we were eye-witnesses of His majesty," as attested by the "voice from God." The words of the prophetical (and so of all) Scripture writers were not mere words of the individuals, and therefore to be interpreted by them, but of "the Holy Ghost" by whom they were "moved." "Private" is explained, 2Pe 1:21, "by the will of man" (namely, the individual writer). In a secondary sense the text teaches also, as the word is the Holy Spirit's, it cannot be interpreted by its readers (any more than by its writers) by their mere private human powers, but by the teaching of the Holy Ghost (Joh 16:14). "He who is the author of Scripture is its supreme interpreter" [Gerhard]. Alford translates, "springs not out of human interpretation," that is, is not a prognostication made by a man knowing what he means when he utters it, but," &c. (Joh 11:49-52). Rightly: except that the verb is rather, doth become, or prove to be. It not being of private interpretation, you must "give heed" to it, looking for the Spirit's illumination "in your hearts" (compare Note, see on [2628]2Pe 1:19).

2 Peter 1:20 Additional Commentaries
Context
We were Eyewitnesses
19So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. 20But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, 21for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
Cross References
Romans 12:6
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;

2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

2 Peter 3:3
Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.
Treasury of Scripture

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

Knowing.

2 Peter 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, …

Romans 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body …

Romans 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out …

1 Timothy 1:9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for …

James 1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience.

that.

Romans 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given …

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