2 Peter 1:16-21

2 Peter 1:16-21
Transfiguration of the Lord A


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.

19 So we haveDD the propheticEE messageFF more fully confirmed.GG

Notes on verse 19a

DD “have” = echo. This is have, hold, possess.
EE “prophetic” = prophetikos. Related to “voice” in v17. 2x in NT. From prophetes (prophet or poet; one who speaks with inspiration from God); {from pro (before, in front of, earlier than) + phemi (see note R above); {from phao (see note R above) or phaino (see note R above)}}. This is said by a prophet or related to prophets/prophecy.
FF “message” = logos. From lego (to speak, tell, mention). This is word, statement, speech, analogy. It is a word that carries an idea or expresses a thought, a saying. It could refer to a person with a message or reasoning laid out in words. By implication, this could be a topic, line of reasoning, or a motive. It can be used for a divine utterance or as Word – Christ.
GG “more fully confirmed” = bebaios. 9x in NT. From the same as basis (a step; hence, a foot, pace, or base); from baino (to walk or go). Properly, this is ground that is solid enough to walk over. So, this is firm, unshakable. Figuratively, it is guaranteed, valid, sure, steadfast, enduring. Literally and figuratively “solid footing.”

You will doHH wellII to be attentiveJJ to this as to a lampKK

Notes on verse 19b

HH “do” = poieo. This is to make, do, act, construct, abide, or cause.
II “well” = kalos. From kalos (good, noble, beautiful, correct, or worthy; external signs of goodness like beauty, demonstrations of honorable character, showing moral virtues; a different word, agathos, speaks of intrinsic good). This is nobly, rightly, well-perceived, seen as appealing, morally pleasing, honorably.
JJ “be attentive” = prosecho. Related to “have” in v19. From pros (at, toward) + echo (see note DD above). This is have towards, which is to say to give something your complete attention, beware, be cautious, hold to, turn to.
KK “lamp” = luchnos. 14x in NT. Perhaps from the base of leukos (bright, white, brilliant); from luke (light). This is a lamp that is portable and fueled by oil. It can mean light in a literal or figurative sense.

shiningLL in a darkMM place,NN until the dayOO dawnsPP

Notes on verse 19c

LL “shining” = phaino. Related to “voice” in v17 & “prophetic” in v19. See note R above.
MM “dark” = auchmeros. 1x in NT. From auchmos (dust); probably related to aer (air that we breathe); from aemi (to breathe or blow). This is dry and withered, dingy, dusky, gloomy, squalid, dirty, obscure.
NN “place” = topos. This is a place or region. It is a smaller space that can only hold a limited number of people whereas chora is a larger place. Figuratively it could be an opportunity.
OO “day” = hemera. Perhaps from hemai (to sit). This is day, time, or daybreak.
PP “dawns” = diaugazo. 2x in NT. From dia (through, across, because of, thoroughly) + augazo (to shine, look bright, discern); {from auge (brightness, daybreak, radiance)} This is dawn, light that pierces the darkness.

and the morning starQQ risesRR in your hearts.SS 

Notes on verse 19d

QQ “morning star” = phosphoros. Perhaps related to “voice” in v17 & “shining” in v19 & “conveyed” in v17 & “prophetic” in v19. 1x in NT. From phos (light, a source of light, fire, or radiance; light with specific reference to what it reveals; luminousness whether natural or artificial, abstract or concrete, literal or figurative); {from phao (see note R above) or phaino (see note R above)} + phero (see note S above).  This is something that brings light, like a morning star. It is also where the word “phosphorous” comes from.
RR “rises” = anatello. 9x in NT. From ana (up, again, back, anew) + tello (to cause to arise); {from telos (an end, aim, purpose, completion, end goal, consummation, tax)}. This is rise, shine, or dawn. It is most often used of the sun. Figuratively, it can mean achieving a goal or reaching consummation after completing the needed steps.
SS “hearts” = kardia. Literally the heart, but figuratively mind, character, inner self, will, intention, thoughts, feelings. Also, the center of something. The word heart is only used figuratively in the Old and New Testaments. This is where “cardiac” comes from.

20 FirstTT of all you must understandUU this, that noVV prophecyWW

Notes on verse 20a

TT “first” = proton. From protos (what is first, which could be the most important, the first in order, the main one, the chief); from pro (before, first, in front of, earlier). This is firstly, before, in the beginning, formerly.
UU “understand” = ginosko. Related to “made known” in v16. See note D above.
VV {untranslated} = pas. This is all or every.
WW “prophecy” = propheteia. Related to “voice” in v17 & “prophetic” in v19 & “shining” in v19 & “conveyed” in v17 & “morning star” in v19. 19x in NT. From prophetes (see note EE above). This is prophecy or prediction. It is when a prophet reveals the truth that they received.

of scriptureXX isYY a matter of one’s ownZZ interpretation,AAA 

Notes on verse 20b

XX “scripture” = graphe. From grapho (to write). This is literally writing, a document. In the New Testament, this is always used for scripture.
YY “is” = ginomai. Same as “been” in v16. See note J above.
ZZ “one’s own” = idios. This is something that belongs to you or that is personal, private, apart. It indicates a stronger sense of possession than a simple possessive pronoun. This is where “idiot” comes from (denoting someone who hasn’t had formal training or education and so they rely on their own understanding).
AAA “interpretation” = epilusis. 1x in NT. From epiluo (to loose, solve, explain, decide, interpret); {from epi (on, upon, what is fitting) + luo (to loose, release, untie; figuratively, to break, destroy, or annul; releasing what had been withheld)}. This is something that has been rightly unloosed, i.e. release, solution, explanation.

21 because no prophecy ever cameBBB by humanCCC will,DDD but men and womenEEE movedFFF by the Holy SpiritGGG spoke from God.

Notes on verse 21

BBB “came” = phero. Same as “conveyed” in v17. See note S above.
CCC “human” = anthropos. Related to “eyewitnesses” in v16. Probably from aner (man, male, husband) + ops (eye, face); {from optanomai (to appear, be seen); perhaps from horao (see note K above)}. This is human, humankind. Used for all genders.
DDD “will” = thelema. From thelo (to desire, wise, will, intend). This is the act of will, choice, purpose, or decree.
EEE “men and women” = anthropos. Same as “human” in v21. See note CCC above.
FFF “moved” = phero. Same as “conveyed” in v17. See note S above.
GGG “Spirit” = pneuma. From pneo (to blow, breathe, breathe hard). This is wind, breath, or ghost. A breeze or a blast or air, a breath. Figuratively used for a spirit, the human soul or part of us that is rational. It is also used supernaturally for angels, demons, God, and the Holy Spirit. This is where pneumonia comes from.

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

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