2 Peter 1:19-20

2 Peter 1:19‑20  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 12
Prophecy is a lamp in a dark place, this world, and refers to events happening in this world and the judgments of God. It is therefore well to take heed to it. When the day is come, it will be Christ revealed in judgment on the world, and resulting blessing (compare Mal. 4). But there is a better hope for those who watch, and in contrast with judgment: the dawn, and the morning star, not seen by these who are only blessed when the sun is risen, but by such as look for Christ in peace and longing desire before He appears, who are therefore not merely warned and detached from earth, but associated with Christ in heaven.
The sense has been sought to be helped by two suggestions. First, one well known proposed to read part of verse 19 as a parenthesis, thus—" We have also the prophetic word more confirmed [i.e., by the transfiguration], whereunto ye do well that ye take heed (as unto a light that shineth in a dark place until the day dawn and the daystar arise) in your hearts," thus connecting " in your hearts " with " take heed." A similar parenthesis, it was argued, is found in 1 Peter 3:2121The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: (1 Peter 3:21). But one has only to read the latter text to see that no such parenthesis is found
there, nor, as far as I am aware, anywhere else in St. Peter's Epistles. But if it were the fact elsewhere, it is inadmissible here, where it simply destroys the true thread of truth, and connects what stands really in contrast. For the prophetic word, confirmed by the transfiguration, is but as a lamp in this dark scene, to which the saints do well to attend, until daylight (such as the gospel sheds in Christ, heavenly light) dawn and the daystar (Christ, the morning star of Christian hope) arise in their hearts.
Though believers, it did not follow that these brethren of "the circumcision," used to Old Testament prophecy, had got real hold of the heavenly hope, and Christ the center of it. The apostle taught them to heed the prophetic word as a useful lamp, till they got that better light from above in their hearts. For it is a question, both here and in 1 Peter 3: 21, of the affections now, and not of the actual accomplishment in power at the coming of the Lord.
No doubt this lamentable mistake was acted on in Bagster's reprint of what professed to be Scholz's text, in the English Hexapla, and the Critical Greek and English New Testament. But this was the unauthorized, and, I think, rather improper doing of the suggester.
Another conjecture was offered by the late Mr. H. Craik, which equally severs "your hearts" from that which precedes; but it connects the words with what follows, " in your hearts knowing this first," etc. Now not only does this take away " in your hearts " from the words bound up with the phrase most appropriately and to spiritual profit, but it gives a connection which is unmeaning and unsuitable; and not in harmony with 2 Peter 3:3, where a similar formula stands without any such addition, as it should be here, and is in the authorized version, and in all correct translations ancient and modern. The error of both suggestions is that they would make prophecy not merely a lamp for the path but a matter for the heart, whereas this is due only to the heavenly hope and Christ Himself. And the and logy of Peter's style in 1 Peter 3 and in 2 Peter 3, fairly considered, refutes each respectively.