Today we are only going to look at 1 Peter 2:8. As has already been said…no translations are 100% accurate. Many times, translators add their own biases or beliefs to the verse that they are translating. Even in our day we are seeing translations being tweaked in order to “suit” the culture. For example, the NIV has gone gender neutral – Where Ps 1 says “Blessed is the man…” they now translate it as “Blessed is the one…”. There are many examples of this kind of “tweaking” (deviation) throughout the Bible. This seems to be one such verse.
All of the translations in Biblehub seem to have a bias on this verse that leans toward G-d having appointed or chosen people for destruction, destined them to disobey His Word etc. This contradicts what we already know about the character of G-d. We have many verses pointing to the fact that He doesn’t want anyone to perish, but all to repent (Ezekiel 33:11, 2 Peter 3:9). Why would He tell us, in Josh 24:14, to choose who we will serve if we have no choice? A google search on this verse explained the following:
“What is interesting is that virtually no one in antiquity seemed to have understood the verse in the sense that most modern translations propose. Bede, for example, although commenting in Latin was also thoroughly familiar with the Greek text, writes:
They, whom from the very fact that it behooves them to hear the word of G-d, stumble at the word. They stumble in their mind by being unwilling to believe what they hear. He has exaggerated their foolishness, and added that they do not believe in that to which they also were appointed, because they have been appointed to this, that is, being made human beings by nature, they may believe G-d and obey His will … In which they also were appointed is to be understood according to what Paul says in speaking about G-d: For in Him we live, and move, and exist [Acts 17:28]
The Greek Oecumenius also seems to read the passage this way, emphasizing man’s free will in his commentary on the passage:
G-d is not to be held responsible for this, for no cause of damnation can come from him who wants everyone to be saved. It is they who have made themselves into vessels of wrath, and unbelief has followed naturally from that. Therefore they have been established in the order for which they have prepared themselves. For if a human being is made with free will, that free will cannot be forced, nor can anyone accuse him who has decreed their fate of having done anything to them which they did not fully deserve as a result of their own actions.
So if the intent of the author of 1 Peter was to indicate some sort of predestination to disobey or stumble, then we must assume that this meaning was either lost on readers from the very beginning or became lost sometime during the early part of the first millennium and was only later “recovered” sometime after the Reformation.”
Verse 8: “And: ‘A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense’. They stumble against the Word being disobedient to which also they have been appointed (Set alongside).”
A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense: The first part of this verse is straight forward. Peter quotes from Isaiah 8:14.
They stumble…being disobedient: That living stone (Yeshua) has one objective – to bring a righteous (Kingdom) change into our lives. Many do not want this change and they reject it by their disobedience. We need to realise that G-d is not the author of disobedience.
Appointed (Set alongside): G-d did not destine for some people to be set against the stone (His Messiah) and some to accept it. G-d desired for people to be set alongside Messiah – not against Him.
Note: Whenever we see the term ‘predestination’ in the Bible we need to notice that it is a term that is ONLY relevant to those who are IN Messiah. G-d has predestined those who are IN Messiah to be like Messiah.
A picture that could help us to understand this concept of foreknowledge and predestination is this: When we take out a pattern, and we choose the material, we have a picture (foreknowledge) in our mind’s eye of what the dress is going to look like when it is completed – even though not a bit of cutting out or sewing has taken place. G-d knew (foreknowledge) from before the foundation of the world what those who were IN Messiah (who our lives are patterned on – those who are in Him are predestined to be like Him.) were going to turn out like. Hope that helps.
I will leave you to chew on that.