How did God reveal Himself to man?
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God (the prophets and apostles) spake as they were moved (carried along) by the Holy Ghost. II Peter 1:21
Prophecy came not in old time by the will of man:
Propheteia (prophecy) – the speaking forth of the mind and counsel of God. Though much of the OT prophecy was purely predictive,…prophecy is not necessarily, nor even primarily, foretelling. It (prophecy) is the declaration of that which cannot be known by natural means,…., it is the forth-telling of the will of God, whether with reference to the past, the present, or the future.
Will – thelema – Not by the will (or desire) of man….not of human origin, not by human desire or design, not the product of human effort.
….the human author’s wills did not direct or carry the Scripture….man’s will, including his will to make mistakes, did not bring the Scripture…they (the human authors) wrote under the operation of the Spirit; therefore, those things they wrote were His, directed by His will, not theirs. The human wills of the authors were not the originators…..of God’s message….the (Holy) Spirit was the source and the guiding force; the author’s wills were not. God did not permit the will of sinful man to divert, misdirect, or erroneously record His message.
No part of God’s revelation was unveiled or revealed from a human source or out of the prophets unaided understanding.
…but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
“Moved” – phero – to bear, to carry, being moved, signifying that they were borne along or impelled by the Holy Spirit’s power, not acting according to their own wills, or simply expressing their own thoughts, but expressing the mind of God in words provided and ministered by Him. Phero is translated “bear” in the sense of carrying and/or supporting (Luke 23:26/John 2:8, 15:2). Phero is also translated “driven”, of being borne as in a storm tossed sea (Acts 27:15&17).
The Holy Spirit bore men along. Perhaps we can best understand “bearing” by referring to the use of the same word in Acts 27:15&17. Just before the ship that was taking Paul to Rome was wrecked on the island of Malta, it ran into a terrible storm. The experienced sailors could not guide the ship because the wind was so strong. They finally had to let the wind take the ship wherever it blew. The ship’s being driven, directed, carried about by the wind, is described in these verses by the same word used in 2 Peter 1:21 that describes the Spirit’s driving, directing, and/or carrying the human authors of the Bible as He wished. The word is a strong one, indicating complete superintending by the Spirit of all that the human authors wrote. Nevertheless, just as the sailors were active on the ship, so the human authors were active in writing as the Spirit directed. The Spirit carried the Word and in His perfection gave us the truth that is the Scripture. The human authors wrote under the operation of the Spirit; therefore, the things they wrote were His.
The human authors were not passive and robot like as held by the mechanical dictation position. God chose to use the vocabulary, experience, background and writing style of each human author to express His will and to reveal Himself to mankind through the Old and New Testament Scriptures.
…let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…
W.E. Vines Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words –pg 492, Copyright 1984, 1996, Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, TN.
W.E. Vines Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words – pg 162, Copyright 1984, 1996, Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, TN.
What You Should Know About Inerrancy – Charles C. Ryrie, pgs 46&47, Copyright 1981 – Moody Bible Institute of Chicago.
NKJV MacArthur Study Bible Notes on 2 Peter 1:21
Definitions by W.E. Vines Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words – Copyright 1984, 1996, Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, TN.
What You Should Know About Inerrancy – Charles C. Ryrie, pgs 45&46, Copyright 1981 – Moody Bible Institute of Chicago.