These verses read: “knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” Many use this passage in an effort to make room for all the different beliefs and interpretations of men. People often say, “Oh, that’s just your interpretation, and the Bible says it is not to be understood by anyone’s own private interpretation.” This concept is NOT what is under consideration in this passage at all!
What is under consideration here is HOW scripture came into existence, not how scripture is to be interpreted or understood. How did the writers of both the Old and New Testaments speak and write? Did they write and speak their own private interpretation or opinion? Did Holy Scripture originate in the minds of men? No, a thousand times NO! They did not speak their own ideas or understanding. They did not explain or expound upon what they thought God’s word meant.
The point of the passage is that no prophecy (scripture) ever came about or into existence by means of the prophet’s own private interpretation. The reference is concerning inspired men who faithfully delivered what they received from God by divine revelation. The passage speaks of those who wrote scripture, not those who read it. As verse 21 says, “…men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (ESV) or “holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” (NKJV). Therefore, they penned the scriptures by revelation, not interpretation.
Many other passages speak of inspiration. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17) To the apostles Jesus said, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” (John 16:13). “… he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 14:37) “. . .when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.” (1 Thessalonians 2:13).