Puritan Board Sophomore
Agreed. My point was that we must judge new discoveries against what we already have using the principle of 2 Peter that I believe you have correctly explained (Calvin is very good on this verse, too). That does not mean a church's courts cannot be involved in deciding in cases of controversy, including the text of Scripture. There is both freedom of conscience and church authority. You may privately interpret Scripture to allow Arianism, for example, but you cannot go about trying to preach or teach it without consequence. The Church has the authority to declare something a heresy. Like Luther and Calvin, you can challenge it until they kick you out if you believe they are in error.In recent years I have seen some assert that "private interpretation" in 2 Pet. 1:20 means an interpretation that differs from that of the Church, and that one has no right to differ from the decisions of synods, from the confessions of the Church, etc.
However, the phrasing of v. 21, "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost," makes clear that a "private interpretation" is an interpretation that differs from the divine intent of the Holy Spirit, who is the original author.
Peter does not say "no Scripture is of private interpretation, for the Church interprets it," but "no Scripture is of private interpretation... but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."
The idea that private interpretations are those which differ from the accepted doctrine of the Church is a Roman Catholic doctrine, which would lead to the conclusion that men like Martin Luther and other Reformers had no right to stand up to the false teachings of their day.