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Speaking Against What They Know Nothing About

Updated on January 22, 2020

Studying the bible is always good. For years, I have been studying the bible and I found it wonderful


Nothing could be more disturbing than hearing people (or reading articles written by people) who have no knowledge about something (or a topic) talk (write) on the topic.

Can we pause for a moment to think about how horrible the directives or the teaching would be for a person who does not know Mathematics to be teaching or talking about the subject? All Mathematicians know that the person would lead his subjects into errors.

In the same wise is it, if some people who are not sound in English language make attempt at instructing people in English language. Many people from my tribe have troubles adapting to grammar because they will want to translate our language to English language and while doing this they would err because English language has no direct word for respecting elders like my language, (Yoruba) and when those people are trying to translate the respect language into English it gives it another meaning entirely to the listeners or readers.

Now for those who have adept knowledge in my language, they may not see anything wrong in the translations and or the usage of the word and may not consider it important to correct the person who is speaking along that line. This happens because the person has not been established in the language.

This person though has little knowledge of the language, but the knowledge has would not be of benefit to a learner, and on many occasions would be misconstrued by people who are grafted in the language when interacting with them.

Considering the two illustrations about someone who knows little of the subject and someone who does not know at all, we shall see that a person who has little knowledge of the language may pass an information across after several trials, but for someone who does not know anything about the language or course such a one would essentially pass across wrong messages, and may result in disaster if care is not taken.

Having this picture at the back of our minds we can see what Apostle Peter means when he was talking about some false prophets and teachers who have crept into the midst of the brethren for speaking against what they know nothing about, it essentially means those people are heretic, they are leading people astray by whatsoever it is they are saying.

But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; (2 Pet 2:12)

Speaking on what one does not know anything about is disturbing, but it becomes disgusting when the person is talking against that thing casting aspersions at the thing.

I will want to talk on this topic as drawn out from the second epistle of Peter to the saints chapter two verse twelve under these sub-headings: not an assumption, what can cause that, what he equates those doing that to, effect of those doing that on listeners and the end of those doing that.

1. Not Assumption

1. Not Assumption

We shall see from the word of Apostle Peter here that he was not guessing neither is his saying suggestive of what would happen in the nearest future. He says, they, speak evil of the things that they understand not (2 Pet 2:12) By this word it means such people were around them and have been doing that.

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. (2 Pe 2:1)

If there are people like that during the days of Apostle Peter and other disciples, we should expect that such people will be around us today too and thus we need to be careful in our dealings with them.

2. What Can Cause People to Speak Against What They Know Nothing About

All bible students shall discover that speaking against what one knows nothing about started during the time of our fore parents in the garden of Eden. I said this because the serpent who approached the woman does not know the real word God has spoken to the duo, but he used cunny way to extract it from them.

Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? (Gen 3:1)

Please, pause for a second to examine the word the serpent spoken to Eve here, and you will discover that he does not know what the Lord really said to them, but he extracted the fact, the truth out of the woman because she was not careful.

In dealing with everyone in life, most especially those with cunny moves, God expects us to be careful, that is why Jesus said, behold, : be ye therefore wise as serpents, ... (Mat 10:16b). here are some of the reasons why people could say something against what they know nothing about.

(a) When They Are Being Moved by the Devil

When people are moved by the devil, they will say something against what they do not know anything about as it is in the case of serpent and Eve in the garden of Eden. The devil because he is a father of lies would move people to tell lies, as they speak against that thing, they know nothing about.

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (Joh 8:44)

When they are speaking like this, if the person is not wise-up he will fall into their traps as Eve did and may not be able to make progress again or better still may start working against God.

As the case of the false prophets and teachers being presented by Apostle Peter in this book, we shall know that those false teachers are acting under the influences of the devil that is why they could speak against what they know nothing about.

Parrots showing off behavior
Parrots showing off behavior

(b) To Show Off

People talk about what they know nothing about when they want to show off. Job’s friends speak of what they know nothing about because they want to show Job that they were more righteous than him and it was for his unrighteousness that invoke God’s wrath, punishment and destructions on him and everything he possessed. Their utterances pissed off God and he would have punished them assuming he did not have a reconsideration on their plight. He thence asked that for them to escape being punished they must go to Job and ask him to pray for them.

And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, my wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.

Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job.

So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went, and did according as the LORD commanded them: the LORD also accepted Job.

And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. (Job 42:7-10)

When you are saying what is not right because you want to show off be it known unto you that God sees, and he is watching and if you do not repent he may via that bring troubles on you and all yours.

(c) Want to Attract Attention

When people want to attract attention to themselves, they will speak on what they know nothing about. There was an Amalekite who perhaps wanted to win the favor of David as he told him what he knew nothing about, about the death of King Saul and his sons. He indeed received the attention of David but negatively because he was killed for attracting undue attention to himself by saying what was wrong, and his blood was on his head.

And David said unto the young man that told him, how knowest thou that Saul and Jonathan his son be dead?

And the young man that told him said, As I happened by chance upon mount Gilboa, behold, Saul leaned upon his spear; and, lo, the chariots and horsemen followed hard after him.

And when he looked behind him, he saw me, and called unto me. And I answered, Here am I.

And he said unto me, Who art thou? And I answered him, I am an Amalekite.

He said unto me again, Stand, I pray thee, upon me, and slay me: for anguish is come upon me, because my life is yet whole in me.

So I stood upon him, and slew him, because I was sure that he could not live after that he was fallen: and I took the crown that was upon his head, and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them hither unto my lord.

And David called one of the young men, and said, go near, and fall upon him. And he smote him that he died.

And David said unto him, thy blood be upon thy head; for thy mouth hath testified against thee, saying, I have slain the LORD'S anointed. (2 Sa 1:5-10 & 15-16)

When we also wish to gain attention by saying what is not right, we may instead of attracting goodness to ourselves attract evil things to ourselves.

(d) When They Want to Hide Their Identity

In the case of people who do not want people to know that they are not learned, they will speak on what they do not know anything about. Some people who have not gotten close to local airport they would be talking about travelling out that they have gotten to those westernized countries because of what they have read or watched in the movies. They want to hide their identities.

I have heard about a person who is not learned but who wants to marry someone who is learned and because of this he started lying talking about when he was in university to the lady he was proposing to, he was hiding his identity because he wants to be romantically involved with the lady at all cost.

Was this not true of Simon in Acts of the Apostles chapter eight? This man hides his identity that he has been converted until when the Apostles arrived and he started coveting what God freely gives, the Holy Ghost.

But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:

To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, this man is the great power of God.

And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.

But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.

Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. (Act 8:9-13)

After professing his faith in Jesus, he started fellowshipping with the brethren and would have been talking to people about his new-found faith. He was talking about what he has no experience of, he was hiding his identity until it becomes revealed when the Apostles arrived to pray with the brethren to receive Holy Ghost.

And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,

Saying, give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.

But Peter said unto him, thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.

Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. (Act 8:18-21)

If you are also talking about what you know nothing about to hide your identity be it known to you that one day your secrets will be revealed.

(e) After Being Paid

Some speak on what they do not have iota of knowledge on when they are being paid to talk. Consider the resurrection of Jesus Christ, when the Jews discovered that Jesus had risen, in a bid to keep the people to themselves, they paid the soldiers to lie about Jesus resurrection so that people would still be loyal to them.

And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers,(Mat 28:12)

These soldiers were paid to be silent on the issue and if Jesus resurrection and they started fabricating lies because of the money that has reached them.

We noticed that in some quarters today, especially in the court, people are being paid to tell lie to defend some people. Some would even tell lie after injuring their junior ones in the offices and because they are not ready to say sorry to such person, they would pay people to support their motion against the person.

Derogatory words
Derogatory words

3. What Kinds of Words do They Utter? Evil Words

After seeing some points which make some people to speak on what they do not have a knowledge about, shall we see from this verse, the kind of word that Apostle Peter was saying that the people uttered?

But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; (2 Pet 2:12)

In this verse we shall see that Apostle Peter says they speak evil words, they speak evil of what they do not have knowledge of.

Speak evil of in Greek is “βλασφημέω”, Romanized form is blasphēmeō (phonetic spelling is blas-fay-meh'-o) which means to vilify, speak impiously, defame, blaspheme.

The kind of words those people speak is blasphemous in nature, they defame those things that they have no knowledge about.

Barnes’ in his notes on the bible says of this people that, they speak evil of the things that they comprehend not - of stuffs whose worth and value they cannot appreciate. This is frequent thing among people, especially in regard to the works and ways of God. While Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges says of this place that they speak evil and or blaspheme the things in which they have no knowledge neither understanding. Their words is railing and defamatory in nature, this is described by Apostle Paul in his epistles to the Colossians that intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind (Col 2:18b)

these people act irreverently, from the standpoint of an equally gross ignorance, and speaking of the mystery of spiritual evil, not with solemn awe, but with imprudent talking and joking.

While Precept Austin says, they make a hell of sound about things they know nothing about! Someone says of them that their self assurance or conjecture is matched only by their ignorance.

4. What Apostle Peter Equates Those Who Speak Like That to

Apostle Peter after close observation of those people and animals he discovers that they act like animals because it is animals who act sub-cortically, it is animals who act without thinking, for that is the behavior of such people they act without thinking, speak without thinking and blasphemously ranting.

But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; (2 Pet 2:12)

Expositor’s Greek Testament says, their principal distinctive feature is that they are “alive,” and have no sense of the moral issues of life. Like animals, they exist… Spiritually they are incapable. They know not what they do, in consequently clouding moral issues. Barnes’ in his notes on the bible says of this people that, these people, resemble irrational animals which are designed to be taken and destroyed. He compares them in this fashion in the sense that they are like fierce and savage beasts with no control over their appetites and they are designed to be taken and destroyed.

5. Effect of What They do

We shall see some of the effects of those false teachers and prophets, on the people and the brethren. Their effects do not cause the kingdom of God to grow but rather aimed at pulling down the Kingdom of God like Satan their father.

(i) Win Gullible People

People and brethren who are naïve in faith are most of the times won over by these people. They could win them over because people love darkness more than the light as Jesus said.

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (Joh 3:19)

(ii) Those Not Standing Drifted Away (Off)

People who are not standing firm in faith could be drifted off the terrain by these people.

Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. (Act 20:30)

I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: (Gal 1:6)

Apostle Paul attested to this in his epistles as well as other apostles that people should beware of them for they are people with sugar-coated mouths and could pull people who are not well established in faith away, along their paths of the foolishness.

Thus, it is not enough to say you are born again, that you have given your life to Jesus Christ, but you must ensure that you grow in him, ensure that you know what you are doping for a Mathematician or Physicist who does not know the calculation he is doing very well someone who has no knowledge up to him could even make him miss the very thing he is doing. Thus, ensure that you know what you are doing in faith, be grounded in the word of Jesus.

(iii) Those With Itching Ears Would be Told What They Want to Hear

There are some who do not want to hear the truth, but they would of course desire to hear something anyhow and since they do not wish to hear the truth, those kind of preachers and teachers would be telling them what they wanted to hear, and by this their messages to them would be turned to fables alone but not genuine word of God.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Ti 4:3-4)

Itching in Greek is “κνήθω”, Romanized form is knēthō (pronounced as knay'-tho) which means to scrape, scratch, tickle.

Those people know that their ears tickles to listen to something and they would be telling them what their ears wanted to hear, they would be scratching their ears with words that stimulates the senses but not sinking into the inner man.

(iv) Instability

Some people would become unstable (spiritually and physically) because of the words of these people they will moving here and there by their doctrines. To those people Apostle Paul counseled strongly that they shouldn’t be tossed about again, they should learn to rest in the Lord.

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (Eph 4:14)

King Ahab (1 Kings 16-22)
King Ahab (1 Kings 16-22)

(v) Cause Death of Some People

The Northern nation of Israel under King Ahab wanted to go to the battle with other country in the time past, and the gathered prophets started telling him all would be well, but because they were not directed by God to say that, the King went to the battle and died there. (2 Kings 22)

I heard a story of a man who died because he was following some prophecies of a prophet, it was while carrying out those prophecies that he died. Thus, those people could bring about the death of some people who believed in them.

(vi) Pollute Minds of People

By their words they corrupt and pollute the minds of some people after telling them what they desire to hear. These people like Corah and his teams by their words pollute the assemblies and the minds of the people.

But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.

Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.

These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; (Jud 1:10-12)

They are centered on their bellies, it is what they would gain alone that they work for. (Rom 16:17-18)

A lion killed after attacking a man
A lion killed after attacking a man

6. Their End

They have corrupt mind, and the corruption that is their hearts could be deciphered by people who are naïve and open to the grace of God, those who do not profess to know it all. Because of their foolishness saying they know when they do not know, acting spiritually subcortically, they will die in their folly, in their corruption like Pashur the son of Immer the priest (Jer 20:1) during Jeremiah’s days he died in his folly.

But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; (2 Pet 2:12)

Barnes’ in his notes on the bible says of this people that, they are designed to be taken and destroyed. They are destructive and useless to the society, and people couldn’t have other thought except taken them and destroying them.

The Greek word for perish is “καταφθείρω”, Romanized form is kataphtheirō (pronounced as kat-af-thi'-ro) which means to spoil entirely, to destroy.

Barnes’ says their opinions will be the source of their destruction; and they are rendered for this like the fierce passions of animals result in their uttermost destruction.

Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges says of this place that the English rendering, fails to give the weight of the word as found in the Greek form which shows the repeat of the same root words both in the noun and the verb. The clause therefore shows play of words which says that they shall be corrupted in and by their own corruption, Apostle Paul echoed it in another way that “for he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption” (Gal 6:8a)

In conclusion,

Those who speak against what they know nothing about like false teachers and prophets are like animals who will die in their foolishness and corruption, because they promote what ought not to be promoted, what they promote would also bounce back on them hitting them hard resulting in their death.



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