Tonight at 7:30pm EST we hold the eleventh lecture on the Biblical basis for the theology we call the Providential Preservation of Scripture. Lecture 11 considers one of the key passages on the Doctrine of Inspiration found in 2 Peter 1:19-21.
Succinctly drawing this material together in a message preached at Cambridge, Nathaniel Ingelo articulates the main-stream, orthodox rendering of this passage, writing,
“There is a place of Scripture which the Papists do impertinently allege for the obscurity, (i.e.) the dishonor of God’s word, which as it is nothing to their purpose, so it doth most excellently serve to prove what we have in hand. ὑμῶν τοῦτο πρῶτον γινώσκοντες ὅτι πᾶσα προφητεία γραφῆς ἰδίας ἐπιλύσεως οὐ γίνεται. Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation. The design of the Apostle was the same with mine, to exhort Christians to give heed to Scriptures, as such Oracles which could not deceive them. He affirms the prophetic word surer than a private revelation, which he, James and John had in the Mount, and commends the diligent heed they gave to it, till the daystar should arise, peradventure till the truth of the prophecies of Christ shined forth in their accomplishment. But the stress of all this hope in the Scriptures, lies upon this, that none of them were ἰδίας ἐπιλύσεως, private impulse; meaning, as Saint Paul says in other words, πᾶσα γραφὴ θεόπνευστος. All Scripture is divinely inspired. And this appears by the verse that follows. For prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. So that ἰδίας ἐπιλύσεως οὐ γίνεται signifies they are not of men’s private will, but from the divine spirit. The Prophets did not go on their own head, as we say, but on God’s errand. When God reproved those that went without his biding, he says thus, I sent them not, and yet they ran. (Jer. 23:21). So that the fence will be, those holy men who delivered the Scriptures, upon which you rely, wrote not what came into their minds as from themselves, but they set down God’s will.”
7 Nathaniel Ingelo, The Perfection, Authority, and Credibility of the Holy Scriptures. Discoursed in a sermon before the University of Cambridge at the Commencement, July 4, 1658 (London: Printed by E.T. for Luke Fawn at the sign of the Parrot in Pauls Church-yard, 1659), 35-38.
2 Timothy 3:15-17 and 2 Peter 1:19-21 are the primary passages on the locus of Scripture’s inspiration describing its Divine source. Focusing on God as the author of inspired Scripture, the 1647 Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 1, Section 8 speaks of inspiration being “immediately inspired”: “The Old Testament in Hebrews (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which at the time of the writing of it was generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, and, by his singular care and providence, kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical.” That is, God is the primary author of Holy Scripture, the writers, the penmen of the immediately inspired text.
Don’t miss this vital study of the ramification and significance of the preserved word in 2 Peter 1:19-21 tonight at 7:30 EST.