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17 Yes, Father God lavished upon him radiant glory and honor when his distinct voice spoke out of the realm of majestic glory,[a] endorsing him with these words: This is my cherished Son, marked by my love. All my delight is found in him![b] 18 And we ourselves heard that voice resound from the heavens while we were with him on the holy mountain.


19 And so we have been given the prophetic word—the written[c] message of the prophets, made more reliable and fully validated by the confirming voice of God on the Mount of Transfiguration.[d] And you will continue to do well if you stay focused on it. For this prophetic message is like a piercing light[e] shining in a gloomy place[f] until the dawning of a new day,[g] when the Morning Star[h] rises in your hearts.[i]

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  1. 2 Peter 1:17 A possible periphrastic reference to God, “the transcendent glory.”
  2. 2 Peter 1:17 Or “On him my favor rests.” The Aramaic can be translated “in whom I am fulfilled.”
  3. 2 Peter 1:19 The phrase prophetic word, or “word of prophecy,” when found in Christian writing through the second century is used only for Old Testament Scriptures. See Peter Davids, The Letters of 2 Peter and Jude (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2006), 207; Gene Green, Jude and 2 Peter (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2008), 227; David Walls and Max Anders, The Holman New Testament Commentary: 1 and 2 Peter; 1, 2 and 3 John and Jude (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing, 1999), 113. See also Isa. 8:20; Luke 24:25; John 6:45.
  4. 2 Peter 1:19 The comparative adjective bebaioteron (more reliable) serves as a predicate adjective. “And we have the prophetic word as more certain,” meaning that the transfiguration confirmed (made more certain) the witness of the Old Testament Scriptures to Jesus as Messiah, the Son of God, who brought his eternal kingdom on earth (2 Peter 1:11). The witness of God’s Spirit through the transfiguration complements the witness of the Old Testament Scriptures in 2 Peter 1:19—both confirm that Jesus is the Messiah, God’s Son, who will return to rule on earth. See Peter Davids, The Letters of 2 Peter and Jude (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2006), 207. What is said to be made more certain or reliable is “the written message of the prophets.” This has bothered some commentators in that it places experience ahead of the prophetic word, so they argue that the prophetic word makes the transfiguration more certain, citing later Jewish opinion that even a voice (bat qol) from heaven could not overrule a Scripture. That, however, is not what the grammar of the text indicates. Instead, we see that “the written message of the prophets” is what is made more certain/reliable. See also M. Zerwick and M. Grosvenor, A Grammatical Analysis of the Greek New Testament, 3rd rev. edition (Rome: Editrice Pontificio Istituto Biblico, 1988), 719; Lewis R. Donelson, 1 and 2 Peter and Jude (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2010), 234: “This means that the account of the transfiguration makes OT prophecy more reliable. . . . The giving of honor and glory to Jesus at the transfiguration reinforces the credibility of OT prophecies about the messiah”; D. P. Senior and D. J. Harrington, 1 Peter, Jude and 2 Peter (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2008), 257: “The idea seems to be that the transfiguration and all that pertains to Jesus fulfills and thus confirms what the prophets said and so makes them even ‘all the more reliable’”; the same view was also held by the well-known Greek scholar of the early twentieth century; A. T. Robertson, Word Pictures of the New Testament, vol. 6 (Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1931), p. 157.
  5. 2 Peter 1:19 Or “lamp.” See Ps. 119:105.
  6. 2 Peter 1:19 This dismal or dark/murky place can be both the world in which we live and the human heart bathed in the light of truth, displacing gloom and darkness. See Isa. 9:1.
  7. 2 Peter 1:19 See Luke 1:78.
  8. 2 Peter 1:19 Or “Light Bearer.” The Aramaic can be translated “until the sun rises in your hearts.” See Rev. 22:16.
  9. 2 Peter 1:19 This is not simply a far-off future event of Christ’s coming but the internal promise of his light and power subduing our hearts, as Christ rises within us like the dawning of the new day and like the morning star. The dawn conquers the night, and the morning star promises the new day appearing.

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