Eyewitnesses

EYEWITNESSES (αὐτόπτης, G898, [Luke 1:2], eyewitness). A specific term in classical Gr., used by the evangelist to insure the authenticity and historicity of his narrative. Another term with a similar meaning is ἐπόπτης, G2228, (2 Pet 1:16). It is also of classical origin and was used often by both Christian and pagan writers in the Hel. and Rom. age to describe the deity as one who “oversees,” the emphasis being not so much on the profundity and intensity of the gaze but in its all-inclusiveness. In 2 Peter it is used in a context nearly identical to the Lucan narrative. That Peter mentions “myths” is enlightening, as this term often was used to describe the initiated members of the Hel. mysteries. The author is thus saying, “we did not follow craftily devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”