2 Peter 1:16-18

2 Peter 1:16-18
Trinity Sunday – A Women’s Lectionary


16 For we did not followA cleverly devisedB mythsC when we made knownD to you

Notes on verse 16a

A “follow” = exakoloutheo. 3x in NT – all in 2 Peter. From ek (from, from out of) + akoloutheo (to accompany or follow someone, especially the way a disciple does); {from a (with, union) + keleuthos (road, way)}. This is to completely follow, imitate, obey.
B “cleverly devised” = sophizo. 2x in NT. From sophos (wise, clever, skilled, learned, cultivated); related to saphes (clear). This is to teach, give wisdom, devise in a clever way.
C “myths” = muthos. 5x in NT. Perhaps from the same as mueo (to initiate someone into the secrets or mysteries of an order; to instruct learn, be disciples; properly, shutting your mouth and eyes to experience mystery); from muo (shutting eyes or mouth). This is a story, idle tale, or myth. It could be a word or a saying. It could be a true narrative or an invented tale or even a falsehood. This is where the word “myth” comes from.
D “made known” = gnorizo. From ginosko (to know, recognize, realize, perceive, learn; gaining knowledge through personal experience). This is to declare, know, discover, make known.

the powerE and comingF of our LordG

Notes on verse 16b

E “power” = dunamis. From dunamai (to be able, have power or ability). This is might, strength, physical power, efficacy, energy, and miraculous power. It is force literally or figuratively – the power of a miracle or the miracle itself.
F “coming” = parousia. From pareimi (to be present, have come) {from para (from beside, by, in the presence of) + eimi (to be, exist)}. This is presence, coming, arrival, advent. Properly, it was the term for an official visit of a king or someone else with formal authority. It is used specifically in the New Testament to refer to Jesus’s second coming.
G “Lord” = Kurios. From kuros (authority, supremacy). This is a respectful address meaning master or sir. It refers to one who has control or power greater than one’s own. So, it was also applied to God and Jesus as Master or Lord.

JesusH Christ,I but we had beenJ eyewitnessesK of his majesty.L 

Notes on verse 16c

H “Jesus” = Iesous. From Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua, the Lord is salvation); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; the self-existent and eternal one); {from havah (to become) or from hayah (to come to pass, become, be)} + yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. So, in a causative sense, this is to free someone)}. This is Jesus or Joshua in Greek – the Lord saves or the Lord is salvation.
I “Christ” = Christos. From chrio (consecrate by anointing with oil; often done for prophets, priests, or kings). Literally, the anointed one, Christ. The Greek word for Messiah.
J “been” = ginomai. This is to come into being, to happen, become, be born. It can be to emerge from one state or condition to another or is coming into being with the sense of movement or growth.
K “eyewitnesses” = epoptes. 1x in NT. From epi (on, upon, against, what is fitting) + horao (to see, attend to, stare at). This is an on-looker or an eyewitness.
L “majesty” = megaleiotes. 3x in NT. From megaleios (splendid, grand, perefction); from megas (big in a literal or figurative sense – great, large, exceeding, abundant, high, mighty, perfect, strong, etc.). This is magnificence, glory, splendor.

17 For he receivedM honorN and gloryO

Notes on verse 17a

M “received” = lambano. It does not refer to passive receiving of something, but active acceptance or taking of something whether it is offered or simply nearby. It focuses on individual decision and action.
N “honor” = time. From tino (to pay, be punished, pay a penalty or fine because of a crime); from tio (to pay respect, value). This has to do with worth or something’s perceived value. Literally, it means price, but figuratively, it means the honor or value one sees in someone or something else. It can be esteem or dignity. It can also mean precious or valuables.
O “glory” = doxa. From dokeo (to have an opinion, seem, appear, suppose; a personal judgment; to think); from dokos (opinion). This is literally something that evokes a good opinion – something that connects to our understanding of intrinsic worth. The ultimate expression of this is, of course, God and God’s manifestation. So, this is opinion, honor, and dignity, but also praise, glory, renown, and worship.

from GodP the FatherQ when that voiceR was conveyedS to him by the MajesticT Glory,

Notes on verse 17b

P “God” = Theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
Q “Father” = pater. This is father in a literal or figurative sense. Could be elder, senior, ancestor, originator, or patriarch.
R “voice” = phone. Probably from phemi (to declare, say, use contrasts in speaking to shed light on one point of view); {from phao (to shine) or phaino (to bring light, cause to appear, shine, become visible or clear). This is a voice, sound, tone or noise. It can also be a language or dialect.
S “conveyed” = phero. This is to bear, bring, lead, or make known publicly. It is to carry in a literal or figurative sense.
T “Majestic” = megaloprepes. Related to “majesty” in v16. 1x in NT. From megas (see note L above) + prepo (to be proper, right, be conspicuous). This is magnificent, transcendent, sublime. It is that which is appropriate for someone who is great.

saying, “This isU my Son,V my Beloved,W with whom I am well pleased.”X 

Notes on verse 17c

U “is” = eimi. Related to “coming” in v16. See note F above.
V “Son” = huios. This is son, descendant – a son whether natural born or adopted. It can be used figuratively for other forms of kinship.
W “Beloved” = agapetos. From agape (love, goodwill, benevolence; God’s divine love); from agapao (to love, take pleasure in, esteem; to prefer). This is Beloved or very dear one. It is a title for the Messiah, but also for Christians. Properly, this is one who personally experiences God’s love.
X “am well pleased” = eudokeo. Related to “glory” in v17. From eu (good, well done) + dokeo (see note O above). This is to think well of, to be pleased or resolved. Properly, this is what someone finds good or acceptable – approving of some action or generally thinking well of.

18 We ourselves heardY this voice comeZ from heaven,AA while we were with him on the holyBB mountain.CC

Notes on verse 18

Y “heard” = akouo. This is hear or listen, but it also means to understand by hearing. This is where the word “acoustics” comes from.
Z “come” = phero. Same as “conveyed” in v17. See note S above.
AA “heaven” = ouranos. May be related to oros (mountain, hill); probably related to airo (raise, take up, lift, remove). This is the air, the sky, the atmosphere, and heaven. It is the sky that is visible and the spiritual heaven where God dwells. Heaven implies happiness, power, and eternity.
BB “holy” = hagios. From hagnos (holy, sacred, pure ethically, ritually, or ceremonially; prepared for worship, chaste, unadulterated, pure to the core; undefiled by sin; figurative for innocent, modest, perfect). God is totally different from humanity and thus set apart. That which is consecrated to worship God (elements of worship) or to serve God (as the saints) are holy because they are now set apart for God’s purposes. Holy because important to God. This is sacred physically, pure. It can be morally blameless or ceremonially consecrated.
CC “mountain” = oros. Perhaps related to “heaven” in v18. See note AA above.

Image credit: “Silhouette, Avignon” by Peter, 2007.

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