A More Sure Word

“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.”

II Peter 1:19

In the beginning of the apostle Peter’s second catholic epistle he declares that in his lifetime the bride of Christ has a more sure word of prophecy, of proclamation. Here we take this to be the Apostolic Message. The message given from Christ to the apostles as sent ones of Christ. The operative question is, “More sure than what?” Using the analogy of faith, the context gives us all we need to answer that question. Note that the immediately preceding material speaks of Peter’s experience on the Mount of Transfiguration.

“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.”

II Peter 1:16-18

Peter here recounts two most excellent experiences: being eyewitness of the transfiguration of Christ and hearing the very voice of God from Heaven. It is these two experiences to which Peter compares this more sure word of prophecy. We should think that seeing the transfigured Christ is a sure “word” of Christ’s divinity and lordship. To compound that optical encounter, Peter also heard the very voice of God the Father from Heaven approving the person and therefore work of Christ on earth.

And yet after such a grand display of divine revelation Peter by immediate inspiration declares that we have a “more sure” word of prophecy. More sure than what? It seems quite clear that Peter is teaching that the Apostolic Message is more sure than being an eye and ear witness to the transfigured Christ. And what is the Scripture if not the Apostolic Message in written propositions? How sure can we be of Christ’s divinity and lordship if we were there with Him in the holy mount? Whatever your answer, the Scripture is more sure than that.

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