New European Commentary


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Deeper Commentary



1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those that have obtained the same precious faith with us in the righteousness of our God, and the Saviour Jesus Christ- Peter progresses in his humility from calling himself "an apostle of Jesus" (1 Pet. 1:1) to adding "a servant and an apostle". Growing humility should characterize all spiritual growth. He saw faith as what was "obtained"; even faith is the gift of God in that some are called and others are not (Eph. 2:8; 2 Thess. 3:2). The Greek for "obtained" is the same word used for receiving a lot cast, when many other words could have been used. We sense in Peter at the end of his life a deep awareness that all is of grace, and we respond to that grace in faith, but thereby even faith is a gift, charis, grace of God. That faith is in the reality of righteousness imputed to us in Christ, on which basis we can be humbly confident of future salvation. If we do really believe it, we cannot be idle in this knowledge of Christ; it will elicit in us a response (:8 RV).

1:2 Grace to you and peace be multiplied in the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord- This was no mere standard greeting; Peter believed that his prayerful wish for his readership would be fulfilled in them appreciating the grace hinted at in :1, and having an ever multiplying peace with God. This assurance of grace and peace is from knowing the Father and Son in the Hebrew sense of 'knowing' a person, i.e. having a relationship with them, rather than growing in incremental knowledge of theology.

1:3 Seeing that His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the precise and correct knowledge of Him that called us by His own glory and virtue-  The grace explained on :1 is God's power to us; the Spirit is both the power of God and also His work within us, empowering us to have "all things" required for the spiritual life. The precise knowledge of Him doesn't mean that the more theory we acquire, the more power we have. For Peter's audience would have included many illiterate folk, whose access to the Old Testament scrolls was limited, and who only heard the earliest New Testament documents read to them. The knowledge in view is therefore that of relationship, as noted on :2. Indeed the Greek is better rendered "acknowledgment"; it is the recognition of God's power at work in us, and an openness to receive all the empowerment He gives, which is so critical. God's Spirit power works through His calling us; as noted on :1, we "obtained... faith" because we were called to it. And the end result of God's system of calling some by grace is to His glory by us in marvel and thankfulness.

1:4 Whereby He has granted to us His precious and exceedingly great promises, that through these you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in that world by lust- Just as "faith" is "obtained" or granted (:1), so too the promises which form the basis of the new covenant are likewise "granted" by the power of the Spirit (:3). The preciousness of the faith we have been given (:1; 1 Pet. 1:7) connects with the preciousness of the promises in which we have faith. The precious "faith" given is therefore specifically faith / belief in the precious promises. Whilst on one hand God will not force people to believe, on the other hand, our faith is so weak that without God's involvement in it we shall never believe enough.

The very fact we have received the promises should mean that therefore we separate ourselves "from the corruption that is in the world". We will be happy to have a light hold on possession of property, knowing that this earth is ours, it's just that for now, we are just passing through it, surveying it, after the pattern of Abraham. Yet the corruption of lust has overtones of immorality, which we noted on 1 Peter were a problem for the Jewish converts.

The past tense "having escaped" suggests that partaking in the Divine nature is something we now experience. Peter will soon use the same word, again in the past tense, to speak of how we "have escaped" from the world (2:18,20). Those who have escaped are "partakers". The same word is used by Peter in describing himself as a "partaker of the glory" (1 Pet. 5:1). Insofar as we escape the corrupting lusts of the world, we partake right now in the "Divine nature". This is hard to define if we isolate the phrase, but it could be summarized as the essence of God, what by nature He stands for, His Name. And :5-7 go on to define what the characteristics of God's essential nature really are- the various aspects of the Spirit which we can now have in our own spirit. And we partake in those things as we disassociate or end our partaking / fellowshipping with the world of lust and corruption; we partake in His Spirit as we stop our partaking in the flesh. "The Divine nature" is put as the opposite of "the corruption... through lust". The idea is as in Heb. 12:10, of being right now "partakers in His holiness". The phrase broadly parallels Paul's idea of receiving God's holy Spirit into our hearts.

Partaking of Divine nature is therefore ongoing now. It is not correct to think that we live now as any other secular person does, but with our baptism guaranteeing some huge change to Divine nature for us at the Lord's return. We are on a process and path of partaking of that nature now, although it will be physically and materially expressed in the change of nature required for us to become immortal.

1:5 Yes and for this very cause you on your part should show all diligence- We are now partaking in Divine "nature" (:4). The essential idea of the Greek word for "nature" is that of growth; for God is His Spirit, He is dynamic. We are therefore, "for this very cause", to experience ongoing growth, with the various aspects of spirituality reinforcing each other as we grow. The spiritual characteristics now listed are the things of the "Divine nature" (:4) which we now partake in. "Diligence" in Greek carries the idea of speed, haste and urgency. This would fit with the reasoning we will encounter in chapter 3- that the sooner we develop spiritually, the sooner the Lord will come.

To your faith add virtue, and to virtue, knowledge- This cannot mean that we consciously plan our own growth by adding characteristics to those developed earlier. Life doesn't work like that, nor does development of character and personality. If the idea was that we progressively add things to our own personality then a different Greek word would surely have been used; the word is usually translated 'to minister to'. The idea is that someone ministers or adds to another. Peter uses a form of the word in 1 Pet. 4:11 to describe how God "gives" or "adds" in order for us to have the ability to serve Him. Vine comments: "The verb originally means to bear the expense of a chorus, which was done by a person selected by the state, who was obliged to defray all the expenses of training and maintenance. In the New Testament the word has lost this technical sense, and is used in the general sense of supplying or providing". It is used nearly always about the ministering or supply of the Spirit to us (2 Cor. 9:10; Gal. 3:5; Col. 2:19). Our partaking in these things of the Divine nature is of course our choice, and yet the Spirit is operative in leading us on this path of development. The Spirit of God is His mind, His way of thinking, what He is by nature; so partaking in His nature will be through the gift and operation of His Spirit. And a synthesis develops whereby one spiritual characteristic leads to another.

The "virtue" we are to have is a reflection of God's "virtue" in calling us (:3); and that calling was by grace, energy expended in order to intervene in our lives by grace and seek to lead us to salvation. It is that "virtue" we are asked to have.

There is a great emphasis by Peter on the need for "knowledge" to overcome the coming tribulation: 1 Pet.3:7; 2 Pet.1:2-6,8,16; 2:20; 3:18; an impressive list. By all means compare this with Dan. 12:10, which prophecies a sudden jump forward in understanding God's word by the faithful of the last days. But 'knowledge' in its Hebraic sense refers to relationship; and it would have been difficult for an illiterate readership to amass technical knowledge. Peter himself was likely illiterate; Peter’s confidence in preaching to the wise of this world in his a-grammatos way (see on Acts 4:13) is continued in the way his letters stress that the only true knowledge is that of Christ (2 Pet. 1:5,6; 3:18). He was writing in response to the Gnostic heresy that gnosis, knowledge, enlivens the eternal spark within man until a man’s knowledge becomes his ‘immortal soul’. Peter didn’t leave this for the more erudite to combat. Like an illiterate peasant farmer unashamedly challenging atheistic evolution, Peter powerfully made his point.

1:6 And to your knowledge self-control, and to your self-control patience, and to your patience, reverence toward God- As noted on :5, this process is not consciously controlled by the believer, but is the path of operation taken by God's Spirit for those who are open to it. There is no chronological sense here- otherwise it would be a case of having self-control and patience before having any reverence toward God. The sense rather is of a symbiotic growth towards spiritual maturity.

1:7 And to your reverence toward God, brotherly kindness, and to your brotherly kindness, love- Relationship with God is reflected in relationship with others, especially our brethren, as John's writings often make clear. We are not able to claim a relationship with God whilst ignoring our brethren. The fruit [singular] of the Spirit is love, love manifested in all the various ways we have listed in the descriptions of the "fruit of the Spirit". And here likewise, we are not reading of sequential, chronological development, in which "love" is not supplied into the mix until the end of the process; rather, the entire symbiotic relationship which comprises our spirituality is summarized in love.

Our experience of tribulation leads to the development of patience, then real hope of salvation, and above all, as the final stage of maturity, "the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Rom. 5:5). It is the work of the Spirit within us which matures us towards the final maturity of love. Here, 2 Pet. 1:5-7 describes a similar upward spiral of chronological development, again culminating in brotherly kindness and then, love. And again it is the work of the Spirit which effects this work.

1:8- see on 3 Jn. 11.

 For if these things are yours and abound, they make you to be neither idle nor unfruitful in the precise and correct knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ- "In the... knowledge" is better "unto the... knowledge". By living in the Spirit, and developing every aspect of the characteristics which comprise "the Divine nature", we come to 'know Christ' in the sense of relationship with Him. And that point of mature relationship is "love"; and it is not a relationship for the sake of it, but like any good relationship, ours with Jesus has fruit, it motivates and inspires to action and activity, rather than being idle in our knowledge / relationship with the Lord Jesus. And there is an upward spiral in it all; if the fruits of the Spirit abound in us, then they in turn make us fruitful in our knowledge / relationship with our Lord Jesus. This is the secret to spiritual growth; and this is a window onto quite how the human Lord Jesus could be as morally perfect as God.

1:9- see on Lk. 17:12.

For he that lacks these things is blind, seeing only what is near, having forgotten the cleansing from his old sins- If we lack spiritual fruit, we have forgotten our cleansing from sin. The implication is that an awareness of our cleansing urges us in gratitude toward spiritual growth. To not 'see' the forgiveness of past sins is to be short sighted, to live seeing only what is immediately before our vision. And that is the sad state of the majority of people. The Jewish converts to whom Peter was writing had forgotten that they were serious sinners, forgiven by grace, and could not 'see' the significance of their baptism for the forgiveness of sins. Peter in preaching to them in Acts 2 had laboured the need for forgiveness; and now he is writing to those same converts many years later, sad that they had lost sight of that urgency for cleansing which they had initially had. The moment of cleansing from sin was on the cross (Heb. 1:3 s.w.). The Lord's cross failed to speak to them as it once had.

1:10 Wherefore brothers, give the more diligence to make your calling and election sure- We were called and chosen from the beginning, by pure grace. But this is not to say that one man is zapped for salvation whilst another is not, and there is no further say in the matter. We must "make sure" that calling by living appropriately to the fact we have been saved by grace. The way to do that was to focus on the development of spirituality as just mentioned in :5-7.

For if you do these things, you shall never stumble- The "things" in view are the "things" of :8, the spiritual attributed of :5-7. If we live in the spirit of those things, in the upward spiral of spirituality which we discussed on :5, then we will not have the opportunity to stumble in our walk. This again is a window onto how the Lord did not stumble in His path. He gave Himself over fully to the path of spirituality, whereby one aspect reinforces and elicits others; and so the opportunity to stumble arose with far less force than it does in the life of the immature person who tries to fight each temptation with steel will and knuckles white with the tension of attempting self-control in our own strength.

1:11 For thus shall be richly supplied to you the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ- Entering the Kingdom is a phrase commonly on the Lord's lips in the Gospels. Jn. 3:5 teaches that we can only enter the Kingdom if we are born of the Spirit, and it is that work of the spirit which has been in view throughout 2 Peter 1 so far. But we must play our part, doing the things (:10) which the Spirit leads us to.

Perhaps the richness or abundance of entry implies that there will be different degrees of reward in the Kingdom. Are these not a reflection of the different levels which men have served God on in this life? One star will shine brighter than another; one will rule over five cities, another over two. There is entry into the Kingdom, and an ‘abundant’ entry (AV). Or the idea may simply be that the final moment of entry into the Kingdom will be the highest exemplification of the Lord's abundant or rich grace toward us.

1:12 Wherefore I shall be ready always to put you in remembrance of these things, though you know them and are established in the truth which is with you- One of the themes in Peter’s second letter, written as it was at the very end of his life (2 Pet. 1:14), was that of the need to “remember” the words of the Lord Jesus (2 Pet. 1:12,13,15; 2:3; 3:1). This was with evident allusion (the same word is used) to the way that on his shameful night, Peter had remembered the word of Christ, and wept those bitter tears of ineffable regret (Lk. 22:61). Peter knew some of his sheep were weary with the way, and needed a like repentance and subsequent energizing which he had known. He was wishing all his readers (and that includes us) a path of growth that followed his. He had always known the words of Christ; indeed, he had loved them. He shows himself an enthusiast for Bible study and reflection on the Lord’s words. But he didn’t remember them in that they weren’t living as a compelling force within his conscience. After his first denial and the cock crowing, surely he ‘remembered’ the Lord’s words: that before the cock crowed twice, he would deny Him thrice. He must have shrugged off that first cock crowing as coincidence, sure he wouldn’t deny again. And then the second denial- well, there was no cock crow, so, don’t worry… But he wasn’t aware enough of his own liability to failure to have the Lord’s warning words in the forefront of his mind. He didn’t pause to reflect that the cock would soon crow again, and therefore he would be sorely tempted to make the third denial. He knew the word of the Lord, but failed to remember it. And this he now realized. And he urges his readers to learn more quickly and less painfully what he had to be forced to learn.  

Now Peter was converted, he was strengthening his brethren (Lk. 22:32). This theme of strengthening was evident in Peter’s letters (s.w. 1 Pet. 5:10; 2 Pet. 1:12; 3:17). Some of his last written words were that “You... are established in the present truth” (2 Pet. 1:12 AV); he uses the same Greek word which the Lord used when He asked Peter so strengthen his brethren (Lk. 22:32). Peter at the very end knew that he had made it. His awareness of his own failures was at the root of his appreciation of his Lord’s grace, and this was the motive power behind all his pastoral work. But "truth" often refers to the sure reality that we shall be saved; the hope, the confidence, that if we die now or the Lord returns, we shall definitely be in the Kingdom. This is as the AV puts it "the present truth". This doesn't mean that truth varies and is true only at any given moment for that time. The idea is not of 'truth' as in intellectual purity, but "truth" as in assurance of the highest and most ultimate truth- that at this present moment, I shall be saved. That is the basis for a sure hope, and of all joy and peace through believing. We may fall away tomorrow; but we can rejoice in the "present truth", what is true at this present moment.

1:13 And I think it right, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance- Peter saw his death as a taking down of a tent (2 Pet. 1:13), using the same word for the tabernacle he had wanted to build for his Lord at the transfiguration (Mt. 17:4). Then, he had wanted the tent to be set up so that the time of the Lord’s departure wouldn’t come; so that the Lord would stay with them there, with Moses and Elijah, in what must have seemed like the Kingdom of God. Again, Peter didn’t want the cross, either for his Lord or for himself. But now he had learnt his lesson; he saw that his tent must be taken down, the vision of the glory of the Lord Jesus, the words of His coming death and future Kingdom, these were quite enough. There had been no need of the tent on the mountain, and now he saw there was no need for the tent of his body either. We are all the same. Our death will literally be a death with the Lord, in that our resurrection will be after the pattern of His (Rom. 6:5).

Yet Peter goes on to talk about the transfiguration in :17,18. He had that in mind, and so perhaps unconsciously uses the same word for "tent" or "tabernacle" as was used for the tent he had wanted to build then. There may be no direct semantic connection with the later reference to the transfiguration, but we have here a wonderful evidence that this letter really came from Peter, albeit under Divine inspiration; for the process of thought and use of language is just as we would expect from a man who really was at the transfiguration and is now writing a letter some years later. For "remembrance", see on :12.

1:14 Knowing that the putting off of my tabernacle comes swiftly, even as our Lord Jesus Christ indicated to me- For "tabernacle", see on :13. Peter sensed that the end of his mortality was soon. It could be that like Paul, he reasoned and felt as if the second coming was imminent. Or perhaps he knew within himself due to illness or being imprisoned under a death sentence that his end was near. And he of course recalled the Lord's words to him in Jn. 21:18, that he was to die in a way that glorified Him, perhaps also by crucifixion, in the manner that the Lord Jesus "hath shewed me" (AV) by His own example. This connection with the Lord's words suggests to me that Peter, unlike Paul, expected to die before the second coming. The way he now writes of them remembering his message after his death (:15) is clear enough in this regard. This difference in perspective shows how two sincere believers can have different understandings whilst believing the same Gospel. 

1:15 Yes, I will give diligence that at every time you may be able after my death to call these things to remembrance- "My death" is Gk. eksodos. As he faced up to his own imminent time of dying, he saw that his death would be a death with the Lord (Paul also spoke of his death in this way). He spoke of his death as “my eksodos” (2 Pet. 1:15), using the very same and specific word which he had heard at the transfiguration, when Moses and Elijah comforted the Lord regarding His eksodos (Lk. 9:31). The Lord's death was his death; he would die as the Lord Jesus had shown him by example (see on :14). The Lord's death is our death; the symbolism of baptism is to be remembered by us particularly at our death, and in our understanding of the death of our brethren. His death was a crescendo, the end point of a process, very intense at the end. This adds huge meaning and significance to old age and terminal illness; we are not to be seen as no longer significant, a burden merely to be carried by others, by medical staff and our families. We are being led to final identity with His death, that we might live eternally with Him in the power of His resurrection.

How could Peter try his best to ensure that after his death, they would remember his message? Perhaps he means that he would try to ensure that his message was written down and preserved; and that "diligence" was achieved, for we to this day hold his inspired letters in our hands. "That you may be able" is literally 'that you may have it'; which makes sense if Peter had in view a written record of his words.

The emphasis on remembering the words is to be understood in the light of the transfiguration experience. His brethren were to take heed to the word, just as he had to be almost rebuked: “This is My beloved Son: hear him”. Peter loved the word, but so often didn’t hear it, and at the crucial moment didn’t remember his Lord’s word. He had said “at thy word” I will let down the net; but when he saw the huge catch, he was amazed; he realized that he hadn’t really believed his Lord’s word. And he knew he was simply “a sinful man”, worthy of condemnation for his lack of faith (“depart from me”). He had to be taught that his own natural abilities were nothing at all. He was taught this in relation to fishing, to his faithfulness, commitment to laying down his life for Christ. He was made to learn that he knew nothing as he ought to know. And he implicitly admits this to his readers, when he asks us to take heed of the word which we may think we well know, just as he had to. Peter learnt the lesson of the transfiguration when he told the Jewish authorities that he had to hear God’s word rather than theirs (Acts 4:19).  

1:16 For we did not follow cunningly devised fables, when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty- As witnessed elsewhere in the New Testament, the brotherhood [especially the Jews amongst them] were under the influence of the various Jewish fables (Tit. 1:14), the midrash of the rabbis which twisted the sense of God's actual word. The transfiguration was understood by Peter to be a foretaste of the Lord's power and second coming. What he witnessed on the mount was evidence that this same Jesus should likewise come in power to mount Zion at the last day. And he was not repeating Jewish fables; he was an eyewitness of that majesty. And he had "made known" to his readership this fact; the gospel records are transcripts of the preaching of men like Peter who were eyewitnesses. The Gospel is therefore to be found in the gospel records; and elsewhere I have suggested the gospel of Mark is Peter's gospel record. Peter would have been one of the eyewitnesses who gave material to Luke for the compilation of his gospel (Lk. 1:2).

1:17- see on Jn. 13:32.

For he received from God the Father honour and glory, delivered to him by such a voice from the Majestic Glory: This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased- Perhaps Peter means to say that when this voice of Divine approbation came, there was a visible manifestation of glory around the person of the human Lord Jesus on the mountain top. But This is My beloved Son" is a quotation from the voice heard at the Lord's baptism. All the Synoptics record it there. Peter says that the voice came "from the Majestic glory", using the same word as he has just used in :16 when he says that he was an eyewitness of the Lord's "majesty". This eyewitness experience was at the Lord's baptism. But he says that he heard the same voice again on the mount of transfiguration (:18). He could well be saying that the voice at baptism sounded the same as the voice at the transfiguration- it was God's voice. Here we have a profound evidence of the personality of God- He has a voice, and that voice sounded the same on the two occasions Peter heard it.

1:18 And this voice we heard, delivered out of heaven, when we were with him on the holy mount- Peter is struggling in words to explain how the voice heard was from Heaven, not from earth, and was the actual voice of God, written down by him in words. That same sense of wonder is to be found in fact in every word of the Bible- it is all in some sense God's word. Hence the Greek suggests "There came such a voice to (Christ) from the excellent glory... and this voice which came from heaven we heard... we have also a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well that ye take heed" (2 Pet. 1:18,19). Notice the progression in his reasoning here. Peter considered it such an honour that he could hear the words which God primarily intended for Christ. And even more wondrous, the word of prophecy which we have all heard is an even more wondrous revelation of God's glory than the word of God which came at the transfiguration. Yet do we even begin to reach that sense of wonder which Peter had on the mount? That sense of rapture, of real spiritual transport, of reaching out of earthly things into Heavenly, that desire for the experience never to end, even though we realize that we only understand a fraction of the infinity which is revealed by God's word?  

1:19 And we have the word of prophecy made yet more sure- The Greek is awkward here. I think the sense is that Peter is sparing a thought for those of us who did not hear the Divine voice at the Lord's baptism and transfiguration. He is saying that in any case for "we" who heard the voice in reality, the prophetic word is even more "sure" as a witness. Because events can be forgotten, no matter how momentous at the time; memory fades and also distorts. But the fulfilment of the prophetic word of God is more sure for Peter than even his personal experience of hearing God's actual voice. And it is to that recorded voice which his readers needed to pay attention to.

"Prophecy" in Hebrew refers to speaking forth God's word, more than prediction of future events. There were New Testament prophets, speaking forth God's word under inspiration. Peter has earlier appealed for his readers to give due attention to his own inspired words. He is reasoning that although they did not hear the Divine voice as he had done, the letter he was writing, along with that of the other prophets, was even more sure than his account to them of having heard God's actual voice. The written inspired word is no less the actual voice of God to men.

To which you do well that you take heed, as a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the day-star arises in your hearts- The command "hear Him!" was given to Peter and those who heard it; but the witness of God's prophetic word is even "more sure", and all of us must likewise "take heed" to that; and Peter's readership were to take heed to Peter's own inspired words just as much. This even more sure word of prophecy is shining as a light (candle) in the dark ("squalid", place of our mortal mind, or of the dingy apartments the Jewish refugee converts in Asia were living in, "until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts". When the day of Christ's coming arrives, we will then have the fullness of the light of God's revelation. The present word of prophecy is but a lamp struggling against the darkness of our natural mind, in this life. But at the Lord's return, our very innermost beings will be filled with the light of God's revelation in Christ. Somehow our knowledge of God will be of such a different magnitude, that we will no longer relate to the word of prophecy in the same way as we do now. We must take heed to the word in our hearts- this is the idea, rather than any suggestion of a mystical coming of Christ in our hearts.

1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture is of private interpretation- To appreciate the force of Peter's argument in the previous verses, it must be understood most importantly ("first") that prophetic Divinely inspired scripture is just that- it is not the personal interpretation of men, unlike the Jewish fables referenced in :16. "Private interpretation" is parallel with a word coming "by the will of man" (:21). We would better read the phrase as meaning that no prophetic, inspired word "is private interpretation", the kind of personal interpretation or take on things which the Jewish fables were.

1:21 For no prophecy ever came by the will of man, but men spoke from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit- According to our understanding of the inspiration process, so we will respect God's prophetic word. Men did not think up what they were going to say, or will themselves to prophecy. They were moved, carried or driven along, by the Spirit, so that the words they spoke were of God, of His will rather than theirs. This explains why so many of the inspired writers in the Old Testament were of themselves unwilling; they spoke according to God's will and not their own.

But we need to clear up the misconception that the prophets were merely fax machines, dispassionately forwarding God’s message to men. Their words were indeed the words of God, they were inspired, but they also had emotional involvement. All Scripture is indeed God-breathed, but this involved the prophets in breathing in of that Spirit and exhaling it, as it were (2 Tim. 3:16). The passage in 2 Pet. 1:19-21 has been somewhat misunderstood. Holy men of God indeed spoke as they were “moved” by the Holy Spirit; but, contrary to what is repeated parrot fashion by so many, the Greek for “moved” doesn’t necessarily mean ‘irresistibly carried along’, as if the prophets had no personal input into what they said and were just treated as machines. The Greek word phero appears several times in 2 Peter:

- “The grace that is to be brought unto you” (2 Pet. 1:13)
- “There came such a voice to [Christ] from the excellent glory” (2 Pet. 1:17)
- “This voice which came from heaven” (2 Pet. 1:18)
- “The prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake phero [‘as they were…’ is not in the original- it’s in italics in the AV] the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet. 1:21)
Clearly enough, phero in 2 Pet. 1 doesn’t mean ‘irresistibly carried along by’. The context of 2 Pet. 1:21 is a warning that as there were false prophets in Old Testament times amongst the people of God, so there will be in the new Israel (2:1). Peter’s stress is that the Old Testament prophets were holy, they spoke according to the will of God and not the will of man; their words came from the Holy Spirit, and not the spirit of the flesh- in distinction to the false prophets who spoke of the flesh.