2 Peter 1:16-21

2 Peter 1:16-21
Transfiguration A13


16 For we did not followA cleverly devisedB mythsC when we made known to you the powerD and comingE of our LordF JesusG Christ,H but we had been eyewitnessesI of his majesty.J

Notes on verse 16

A “follow” = exakoloutheo. 3x in NT. From ek (from, from out of) + akoloutheo (follow, accompany on the path with; to follow, particularly as disciple) {from a (with) + keleuthos (road or way)}. This is to follow, imitate, obey, of yield to. It includes following a leader’s example and/or authority.
B “cleverly devised” = sophizo. 2x in NT. From sophos (wise, clever, skilled, learned, cultivated); related to saphes (clear). This is to instruct or give wisdom. Here, it is forming sophisms, which means going forward with errors that seem reasonable on the surface.
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 “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.
E “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.  
F “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.
G “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.
H “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.
I “eyewitnesses” = epoptes. 1x in NT. From epi (on, upon, at, what is fitting) + horao (to see, experience, perceive, to stare at or discern). This is an on-looker, spectator, or eyewitness.
J “majesty” = megaleiotes. 3x in NT. From megaleios (magnificent, splendid, grand, perfection); from megas (great or large in a literal or figurative sense). This is splendor, magnificence, being superb, majesty, greatness, or glory.

17 For he received honorK and gloryL from GodM the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the MajesticN Glory, saying, “This is my Son, my Beloved,O with whom I am well pleased.”P 18 We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven,Q while we were with him on the holyR mountain.

Notes on verses 17-18

K “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.
L “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.
M “God” = theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
N “Majestic” = megaloprepes. Related to “majesty” in v16. 1x in NT. From megas (see note J above) + prepo (what is fitting or proper, suitable). This is literally “that which is fitting of one who is great.” So, it can be magnificent, superb, sublime, excellent, transcendent, etc.
O “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.
P “am well pleased” = eudokeo. Related to “glory” in v17. From eu (good, well, well done) + dokeo (see note L). 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.
Q “heaven” = ouranos. May be related to oros (mountain, hill) with the notion of height. 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.
R “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.

19 So we have the propheticS messageT more fully confirmed.U You will do wellV to be attentive to this as to a lampW shiningX in a darkY place, until the day dawnsZ and the morning starAA risesBB in your hearts.CC

Notes on verse 19

S “prophetic” = prophetikos. 2x in NT. From prophetes (prophet, poet; one who speaks with inspiration from God); {from pro (before, in front of, earlier than) + phemi (to declare, say, use contrasts in speaking to shed light on one point of view). Phemi is from phao (to shine) or phaino (to bring light, cause to appear, shine, become visible or clear)}. This is prophetic whether referring to prophecy itself or of a prophet.
T “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.
U “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.”
V “well” = kalos. This is good, noble, beautiful, or worthy. This is external signs of goodness like beauty, demonstrations of honorable character, showing moral virtues. A different word, agathos, speaks of intrinsic good.
W “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.
X “shining” = phaino. Related to “prophetic” in v19. See note S above.
Y “dark” = auchmeros. 1x in NT. From auchmos (dust dried by the wind); perhaps from aer (air – the air we breathe); from aemi (to breathe or blow; breathing without thinking about it). This is literally dry and parched due to intense heat. Figuratively, this is dark, murky, dingy, dusky, obscured by filth.
Z “dawns” = diaugazo. 2x in NT. From dia (through, because of, thoroughly) + augazo (to shine, flash, gleam, see, discern) {from auge (brightness; particularly used of daylight or dawn)}. This is shining through like the dawn. The dawn is light that breaks through the shadows of darkness – it glimmers through to make the day.
AA “morning star” = phosphoros. Perhaps related to “voice” in v17. Related to “shining” in v19 and “conveyed” in v17. 1x in NT. From phos (light, a source of light, fire, or radiance. This is light with specific reference to what it reveals. It is luminousness whether natural or artificial, abstract or concrete, literal or figurative.) {from phao (to shine or make visible, especially with rays of light); from the same as phaino (to bring light, cause to appear, shine, become visible or clear)} + phero (to bear, carry, conduct, lead). This is literally light-bearing or light-bringing, radiant. So, specially, the morning star. This is also where the word “phosphorous” comes from.
BB “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.
CC “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 First of all you must understand this, that no prophecyDD of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation,EE 21 because no prophecy ever came by humanFF will,GG but men and women moved by the Holy SpiritHH spoke from God.

Notes on verses 20-21

DD “prophecy” = propheteia. 19x in NT. Related to “prophetic” in v19. From prophetes (see note S above). This is prophecy or prediction. This is communicating and acting in accordance with what was revealed from God.
EE “interpretation” = epilusis. 1x in NT. From epi (on, upon, what is fitting) + luo (to loose, release, untie; figuratively, to break, destroy, or annul; releasing what had been withheld). Literally, this is release, unloosing, or unpacking. Figuratively, it is explanation, interpretation, application, or solution.
FF “human” = anthropos. Probably from aner (man, male, husband) + ops (eye, face). This is human, humankind. Used for all genders.
GG “will” = thelema. From thelo (to desire, wise, will, intend). This is the act of will, choice, purpose, or decree.
HH “Spirit” = pneuma. From pneo (to blow, breath, 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: West Window depicting the Transfiguration of Jesus, from St. Mary's Cathedral, Tuam, Co. Galway, Ireland.

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