2 Peter 1:20 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

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

2 Peter 1:20, ESV: knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation.

2 Peter 1:20, KJV: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

2 Peter 1:20, NASB: But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture becomes a matter of someone’s own interpretation,

2 Peter 1:20, NLT: Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet's own understanding,

2 Peter 1:20, CSB: Above all, you know this: No prophecy of Scripture comes from the prophet's own interpretation,

What does 2 Peter 1:20 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In verses 16 through 18, Peter referred to his witness of the "transfiguration" of Jesus (Matthew 17:1–13). This was Peter's most powerful personal confirmation of the prophecies in Scripture about the Messiah. Seeing this event proved, in no uncertain terms, that what Peter had heard from Jesus was absolutely true. The confirmation of those prophecies, and the reality of God, also confirms the prophecies yet to be fulfilled. This includes those about Jesus' return as judge and king.

Peter has been speaking of invented stories and myths, specifically saying his claims are neither of these. Here, Peter emphasizes the fact that the power of prophecy does not come from some human interpretation of events. In other words, the prophecies of Scripture were not "cleverly devised" stories (2 Peter 1:16) or the best guesses of insightful men. These are claims which, if shown to be true, can only be the product of inspiration by God. This is the theme Peter explores in verse 21.