by E.W. Bullinger

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The Interpretation of Prophecy (2 of 11)
The Second Advent, Part 2 of 11
E.W. Bullinger
2 Peter 1:20-21

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time [mg at any time] by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost (2 Peter 1:20-21).

The words of the twentieth verse are confessedly difficult of translation, and have given rise to many and various interpretations. The Revisers, after we may suppose the fullest consideration, have adhered to the KJV, merely omitting the word any, and then giving verse 21, thus: "For no prophecy came (mg was brought) by the will of man: but men spake from God being moved by the Holy Ghost."

The difficulty arises partly from the fact that the word translated "interpretation" occurs nowhere else in the whole Bible (and only once or twice in secular writings). We have therefore to seek its meaning chiefly from the context. Even the verb from which this noun is formed occurs only twice in the New Testament (Mark 4:34 and Acts 19:39), and in the Old Testament only once (Gen. 41:12). Literally, it means a "loosening upon, unloosing," then, of what is before unknown, "an unfolding." Hence the rendering "interpretation."

Then, the word "private" is the translation of a Greek word that occurs 112 times and is never translated "private" except in this verse! Seventy-two times it is rendered "his own," for example, his own sheep, his own city, his own brother, his own place, his own body, and so forth.

But no translation of this verse can be correct that does not allow the verb its full and proper force. The verb here translated "is," is no part of the ordinary verb to be; it is another verb altogether, and means "to begin to be, to come into existence, to originate, to produce, to become."

Now, putting these facts together and remembering that the next verse begins with for ("for the prophecy," etc.), thus dep ...

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