Inspiration Not Private Interpretation
George H. Morrison
2 Peter 1:20
There are some texts with the words of which we have been familiar since our childhood, and yet we may never have seriously asked ourselves what is their true meaning. Their cadence lingers with us through the years, enriched with recollections of the sanctuary, associated in sweet and tender ways with the worship at the family altar, and yet it may be that all the time we have been misinterpreting the Word of God, or reading into it a sense that was not there. Now this text which I have chosen is one, I think, that is often so misread. The words have a most familiar sound, but have we ever really thought what they imply? It is on that that I should like to dwell tonight, for the subject is one of very deep importance, and rightly understood ought to assist us greatly in our conception of what inspiration is. Observe that prophecy is a very large term. You must not confuse it with the word prediction. As the priest was one who spoke to God, so was the prophet one who spoke for God. And so the word prophecy, in such a place as this, is practically equivalent to our Scripture, which is the revelation of God through man to us.
Well then, our text is sometimes held to mean that you and I must not interpret Scripture privately: that is, we must not take the Word of God and wrest it to our peculiar circumstances. That that is a common mishandling of Scripture every one of us this evening knows. When men are in doubt about some action, they often seize on a text to quiet their conscience. And it is this taking of the large Word of God, and using it for our own private interest, that Peter is supposed to be here speaking of. Now that is a warning which is always timely, and never antiquated nor out of place. It is possible now, as nineteen hundred years ago, to wrest the Scripture to our own destruction. Yet the whole tenor of the passage shows us that it was not that which was in the mind of Pe ...
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