2 PETER (#2)
Scripture: a word more certain....
By Bob Young

We have a Word more certain.
2 Peter says a remarkable amount about the word of God, about the Scriptures, inspiration, revelation. Peter was probably referring to the Old Testament, but he also knew the writings of Paul. It would not be overstatement to say that 2 Peter emphasizes the importance of scripture. This theme is related to our previous study of knowledge. I love the book of 2 Peter-I find it especially helpful for this kind of word study, thinking of Peter's message in terms of primary themes. In our contemporary society, with little appreciation for knowledge or truth and limited Bible knowledge, 2 Peter has a message in the emphasis it puts on the Bible as the Word of God.

The need for a revelation from God
Our society has generally forgotten the nature of knowledge and truth. Francis Schaeffer, in Escape from Reason (1968), spoke of this epistemological gap when he made reference to a "theory of knowledge and the limits and validity of knowledge." When truth is viewed differently, God's word is viewed differently. When the rules for determining the validity of knowledge are changed, the underpinnings of God's word are altered.
There is a need for a revelation from God because knowing God is not automatic. God can be seen and known in natural revelation, in the created world, but that revelation is partial. One can know that there is a God but one cannot know the nature of that God.
Our society's failure to see God is based in a failure to accept and know God's self-revelation. There are two problems with the changing views of knowledge in our society and culture.
First, recent generations have been taught that truth is relative. Not in the absolute sciences, although some have even questioned cognitive certainty, but especially in the areas of philosophy and religion. Two conflicting views can be right according to the views of many today.
Add that the current society tends to be non-confrontational (tolerant). Many accept anyone's view, everyone's view, despite the contradiction. This is not just the affirmation of the right to have a view, this is the acceptance of the correctness of everyone's view regardless of apparent conflicts. How can Jesus be the Son of God and not be God? Many say it is because we interpret the Bible differently. Such views make 2 Peter as current as today's newspaper (1:19-21).
Second, many today believe that experience is the primary test of truth. If it feels good, if I feel good about my beliefs, if it works for you, it must be true. "You light up my life...it can't be wrong when it feels so right..." Such is classic baby boomer epistemology. But it is wrong, even it if feels good and sounds right.

The nature of the revelation from God
Bible truth is absolute, one statement excludes all competing and contrary statements, as in Acts 4:12. When we reject absolute truth, we reject the Bible and turn our back on logic as well. The principle of contradiction is the major basis for rational thought. Something cannot be true and false at the same time.
Given two contradictory thoughts, both cannot be rational, although both can be irrational. Consider morality: if God intended sexual relations for marriage only, adultery must be wrong. Consider theology and faith: Jesus is either God or he is not.
In a world that largely rejects rational thinking, the message of 2 Peter will help avoid moral anarchy. Knowledge, Scripture. Here are two important themes in 2 Peter. These themes provide the basis for an accurate understanding of 2 Peter 2.
Alan Bloom, Closing of American Mind, relativism does not open the mind to new truths, but only closes it to old traditional ones. The greatest fear today is not error but intolerance. And he wrote that in 1968.

What we believe about the Bible is based in what we believe about God
The nature of the Bible is based in the nature of God.

These truths must be applied in our study of Bible interpretation (hermeneutics), how we interpret and understand the Bible. We use rational logic, grammar, knowledge of culture and history, with basic laws of writing and logic. I say again that 2 Peter speaks to where many in our world live today.

I. The sufficiency of Scripture, 1:3-4

II. The Source of Scripture, 1:16-21

III. Singleness or Solidarity (unity) of Scripture, 3:1ff
Speaking of the singleness or solidarity of Scripture says that the message of Scripture is one message. It is solid. Solidarity means identifying with us, but also solid, dependable, reliable. Scripture has a two-fold nature.

IV. The scope of Scripture, 3:14-15 (which is in reality an outline of 3:3ff)

V. The Subversion of Scripture, 3:16-18

There is a truth that is absolute, it is truth whether recognized or unrecognized
Truth is knowable, ascertainable
Truth in Scripture is above feelings
God gave us truth in his word, the Bible.
The Bible is sufficient...from God...through man...dealing with all of life and time
Yet many seek to deny it or change it

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Last updated April 19, 2020