CLAIM: Some authoritarian churches use this as a proof text for how individual Christians cannot interpret the Bible on their own (“…no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation…”). Therefore, the average Christian needs someone (e.g. a spiritual leader/clergy/other sacred writing/authoritative translation) to teach them.
RESPONSE: We disagree with this erroneous (and dangerous!) view for a number of reasons.
First, the term “interpretation” (epiluseōs) occurs only here in the NT. The verbal form is used to refer to “explaining” the parables (Mk. 4:34) or a court case being “settled” (Acts 19:39). In both cases, it means “to unravel a problem.” This comes from the root words “upon” (epi) and “loosing or explaining a difficulty” (lusis). Thus, the word “pictures an act of unloosing or of explaining a problem.” The term doesn’t explicitly refer to how to interpret Scripture. It can also be rendered “imagination” (NET) or “understanding” (NLT). It would be unwise to take the Bible out of the average Christian’s hands based on one obscure word in Scripture.
Second, the earlier context (v.19) refers to how Scripture is more sure than the voice from heaven at the Transfiguration. Thus, Green writes, “Peter is not talking about interpretation but authentication… We can rely on the apostolic account of the transfiguration because God spoke.” By contrast, the false prophets “speak a vision of their own imagination, not from the mouth of the LORD” (Jer. 23:16).
Third, the later context (v.21) refers to the prophets writing Scripture—not believers reading or interpreting Scripture. The connecting word “for…” (v.21) makes this connection clear. The reason Scripture is not our interpretation is because Scripture was not a human invention.
Fourth, in the rest of his letter, Peter goes on to cite the OT Scriptures to refute the false teachers. It’s quite likely that these licentious and libertine heretics were denying the inspiration of the OT.
 Michael Green, 2 Peter and Jude: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 18, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1987), 111.
 D. Edmond Hiebert, “The Prophetic Foundation for the Christian Life: An Exposition of 2 Peter 1:19-21,” Bibliotheca Sacra (April-June 1984), p.164.
 Emphasis his. Michael Green, 2 Peter and Jude: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 18, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1987), 112.