Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Interpreting prophecy

Just before writing some of the most Old Testament-like warnings in the New Testament, in his second letter the Apostle Peter wrote about the nature of prophecy.

He specifically draws a contrast between • something that's made up (“cleverly told fables” 1:16; “a product of human initiative” 1:21) and • something that has the backing of the Holy Spirit (1:21).

He clearly comes down on the side of the supernatural origin in writing, “no prophecy found in Scripture is a matter of the prophet's own interpretation … but it comes when men are moved to speak on behalf of God by the Holy Spirit” (1:21-22).

In other words, the meaning is not up to the man giving it because he is not the origin of it.

Limited man would not come up with God-sized ideas or actions, but he can communicate them.

The King James translation of v. 20 is “no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.”

The Roman Catholic Church has taken this to mean that no one is allowed to privately interpret prophecy or Scripture, in general. They claim interpretation is the domain of Church authority and is laid out in the Magisterium.

That's not what Peter wrote. He was writing about the origin of the prophecy and its meaning before it was written, not the interpretation of it after it was written.

To the institutional Catholic Church, everything comes down to authority for which they hold up their priestly system.

In the Word of God, Jesus has broken down the middle wall of separation and opened up the priesthood to all believers through Himself. He is the authoritative high priest. He is the means by which people can directly be reconciled to God.

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