Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
2 Peter 1:20-21 NIV
The Bible is a collection of writings, written by a variety of human authors over roughly a thousand years. But how did these writings come about?
Peter answers that question, at least in part, in this passage. He is referring specifically to the message of the Old Testament prophets. But, I believe, what he says applies to all of the Scripture.
Peter described the message of the prophets as being completely reliable and worth paying attention to (2 Pet. 1:19). They were trustworthy and relevant. Not just ancient writings of little interest to a modern audience.
And he makes it clear that the authors were not writing in response to current events and how they understood them. Nor were they acting as prophets because they wanted to. In fact, the prophets often seemed reluctant to be prophets. It was not an easy life.
An Inspired Message
The prophets were human. And their humanity was expressed in the words they used to convey the message. But the message they delivered to the people, which we have recorded in the Scripture, was from God, given to them through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
It is an inspired message with a consistent thread running throughout. A thread that traces the history of God’s redemptive activity, pointing to and culminating in the work of Jesus. A message we still do well to pay attention to.