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The apostle seeks to encourage and reassure Christian churches in Asia Minor as stormy seasons of persecution begin. The letter does not reflect a situation of official and general oppression. Instead, it is a time of local harassment and sporadic persecution, a time in which Christians are warned to prepare for greater suffering for Christ's sake in the future. The date AD63, after Paul's departure from Rome following the release from his first imprisonment, and before Nero's persecution, seems likely. The geographical areas in which the recipients of the letter lived include coastal regions, mountain ranges, plateaux, lakes and river systems. They had mixed origins, ethnic roots, languages, customs, religions, and political histories. Galatia was so named after Gauls who had settled there; Gallic was still spoken there in the fourth century. The people of Lystra spoke Lycaonia (Ac 14:11). Many Jews lived in Asia Minor and Jews from Cappadocia, Pontus, and Asia were present in Jerusalem at Pentecost (Ac 2:9). Converts returning to those provinces may well have planted the gospel there in urban centres where Jewish believers and Gentile God-fearers formed the nucleus of many house churches and congregations. Much of the population was rural, however; the interior was dotted with tribal villages where Roman culture had made little impact. The power of the gospel among tribal peoples may first have become evident in Asia Minor (cf. Ac 14:8-18). Although Peter's readers included alien Jewish residents, it seems that Peter thinks of the churches to which he writes as predominantly Gentile (cf. 1:18; 4:3).
, an apostle
Messenger. One who had personally seen the Lord Jesus. An office comparable to OT prophets.
of Jesus Christ, to the chosen ones
who are living as foreigners
Exiles or aliens. Parepidēmeō is found in a decree by the king of Egypt proscribing visitors from 'sojourning' more than twenty days in Alexandria since they were abandoning their agricultural labour for the luxuries of the city (Epistle of Aristeas, 110).
in the Dispersion
Pontus and Bithynia, on the shore of the Black Sea, are named separately although they had been joined into one Roman province. It has been suggested that Peter begins with Pontus and ends with Bithynia because he is thinking of the route that Silas or another messenger might take in delivering the letter.
, and Bithynia
according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification
of the Spirit, that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with his blood: Grace
to you and peace be multiplied. 3
be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy became our father again
Gennaō often refers to a father's role in the birth of a child, literally in Mt 1:2-20 or figuratively, of spiritual birth (1 Cor 4:15).
to a living hope through the resurrection
of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4
to an incorruptible
A believer's future reward. Used in the OT of Israel's coming into the Promised Land.
that doesn't fade away
, reserved in Heaven for you, 5
who by the power of God are guarded
Kept safe. Carefully watched. Often used in military contexts (Philo, Moses 1.235; Judith 3:6; 1 Esdras 4:56; Wisdom 17:16). Can also mean kept from escaping (2 Cor 11:32) and protected from attack (Gal 3:23; Phil 4:7, where used figuratively).
for a salvation ready to be revealed
in the last time
Wherein you greatly rejoice
This verb is not used by secular Greek writers, and always in the NT signifies a deep spiritual joy, a rejoicing in what God or what he has done (e.g., Lk 1:46-47; Ac 16:34).
, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been put to grief
Always refers to the emotion of grief, not to the suffering which produces grief (note Mt 14:9; 17:23; 18:31; 1 Thes 4:13).
in various trials
that the proof
Meaning 'genuine' or 'proven' outside NT usage. A papyrus scrap mentions gold buckles of dokimion gold.
of your faith
, which is more precious than gold that perishes
even though it is tested
by fire, may be found to result in praise, glory, and honour at the revelation
of Jesus Christ--8
whom not having known you love
; in whom, though now you don't see him, yet believing
, you rejoice greatly with joy unspeakable
Only NT occurrence describing a joy so profound as to be beyond the power of words to express.
and full of glory
A term that would naturally remind Peter's readers of the frequent OT mention of the glory of God, that bright shining radiance which surrounded the presence of God himself.
of your faith
, the salvation
of your souls
Concerning this salvation, the prophets sought
Implies diligent searching, often in a religious sense.
and searched diligently
Only occurs here in the NT but found 32 times in LXX, Josephus, and Philo. Often refers to searching through something like a house, tent, city, or country for someone or something. Can refer to scouring the scriptures.
, who prophesied of the grace
that would come to you, 11
who or what kind of time the Spirit of Christ, which was in them, pointed to, when he predicted the sufferings of Christ, and the glories that would follow them. 12
To them it was revealed
, that not to themselves, but to you, they ministered
these things, which now have been announced to you through those who preached the Good News
to you by the Holy Spirit sent out
from heaven; which things angels desire to look into
Surreptitiously peeking in from the outside as in Ge 26:8; 1 Ch 15:29; 1 Enoch 9:1 of angels peering from heaven.
Therefore, prepare your minds for action
As in gathering up long robes and wrapping them around the waist before strenuous activity. See 1 Ki 18:46; 2 Ki 4:29; 9:1; Ex 12:11; Jb 38:3; 40:7; Je 1:17; Lk 12:35.
, be sober
and set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought
That is being carried to you.
to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ--14
as children of obedience, not conforming yourselves according to your former lusts as in your ignorance
but just as he who called
you is holy, you yourselves also be holy in all of your behaviour
because it is written, "You shall be holy; for I am holy." 17
If you call
Call on for help, appeal to.
on him as Father, who without respect of persons judges
according to each man's work, pass the time of your living
here in reverent fear
knowing that you were redeemed
Purchase someone's freedom by paying a ransom. As in the manumission of a slave or someone held hostage by an enemy.
, not with corruptible things
, with silver or gold, from the useless way of life
handed down from your fathers, 19
but with precious
blood, as of a faultless and pure lamb, the blood of Christ;
who was foreknown
indeed before the foundation of the world, but was revealed
at the end of times
[eschatou tōn chronōn]
for your sake, 21
who through him are believers
in God, who raised him from the dead, and gave him glory; so that your faith
and hope might be in God. 22
Seeing you have purified
Inward spiritual nature. Psychē can refer to the whole person (3:20; 2 Pet 2:14) but Peter could have used heatous for yourselves if he did not mean inward nature.
in your obedience to the truth through the Spirit in sincere brotherly affection
one another from the heart
having been born again
, not of corruptible seed
, but of incorruptible
, through the word
of God, which lives
and remains forever. 24
For, "All flesh
is like grass, and all of man's glory like the flower in the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls; 25
but the Lord's
[kyriou; Heb. Adonai]
endures forever." This is the word
of Good News which was preached
Put away, give up, get rid of. Used of taking off clothing in Ac 7:58 and elsewhere of putting off wrong practices.
therefore all wickedness
, all deceit
, envies, and all evil speaking
as newborn babies, long for the pure
milk of the Word
Lit. 'As newborn babes, the logikon ('mental', 'reasonable') genuine milk long after'.
, that you may grow
if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious
Used in LXX of drawing near to God, either to hear him speak (Lev 9:5; Dt 4:11; 5:27) or to come into his presence in the tabernacle to offer sacrifices (Ex 12:48; 16:9; Lev 9:7-8; 10:4-5).
to him, a living stone, rejected
indeed by men, but chosen
by God, precious. 5
You also, as living stones, are built up as a spiritual house
, to be a holy
, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable
to God through Jesus Christ. 6
Because it is contained in Scripture
[graphē Heb. Tanakh]
, I lay
in Zion a chief cornerstone, chosen
, and precious: He who believes
in him will not be disappointed
For you who believe
therefore is the honour, but for those who are disobedient
, "The stone which the builders rejected, has become the chief cornerstone
'Head of the corner', where head can stand for 'end point, furthest extremity' and 'top'.
and, "a stone of stumbling
Can mean literally tripping over something and falling (Jn 11:9-10), but here it has a more figurative sense, 'take offence at and reject' (cf. Ro 9:32; 14:21; and the related noun in Ro 14:13; 1 Co 8:9).
, and a rock of offense
." For they stumble at the word
, being disobedient
Has the sense of being in rebellion against.
, to which also they were appointed
Used of appointing or predestining a particular event or situation long before it happens (Ac 1:7; Ro 4:17; 1 Thes 5:9; Heb 1:2) or of God's establishing someone in a certain situation not long beforehand but at a certain point in time (cf. Mt 22:44; 20:28; Ro 9:33; 1 Cor 12:18,28). Used in contrast here to its use in v6 above.
But you are a chosen
race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation
, a people for God's own possession
[laos eis peripoiēsin]
, that you may proclaim the excellence
of him who called
you out of darkness into his marvelous light: 10
who in time past were no people, but now are God's people, who had not obtained mercy
, but now have obtained mercy
, I beg
you as foreigners
, to abstain from fleshly
lusts, which war against
'To serve as a soldier' (see 1 Cor 9:7; 2 Tim 2:4; Jas 4:1).
having good behaviour
among the nations
, so in that of which they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they see
'Look upon, watch' - only occurs in the NT here and in 3:2.
, glorify God in the day of visitation
Only occurrence of such a phrase in the Bible so may not be a code name for judgement but simply 'on a day when God visits'.
Therefore subject yourselves to every ordinance
'Human institution' - usually means (every) creature or thing created but the word is used in extra-biblical literature to refer to acts of building a government or founding a city; things which require a hierarchy of authority. Josephus uses 'ktisis' to refer to 'settlements' which the Jews established after leaving Babylon (Ant. 18.373).
of man for the Lord's sake: whether to the king
, as supreme; 14
or to governors
Used of Pilate and Felix.
, as sent by him for vengeance
Has the connotation of taking vengeance, making a wrongdoer pay a penalty for the wrong done. See Rom 12:19; 2 Thes 1:8; Heb 10:30.
on evildoers and for praise
to those who do well. 15
For this is the will of God, that by well-doing you should put to silence
as free, and not using your freedom for a cloak of wickedness, but as bondservants
of God. 17
Honor all men
God. Honor the king
A less common word for servant than doulos and suggests a nuance of service within a household. First-century slaves were generally well treated and were not only unskilled laboureres but often managers, overseers, and trained medical workers, teachers, musicians and artisans. Laws governed how slaves could be treated. They were paid for their services and could buy their own freedom. Their service was involuntary, having ended up as slaves through war or kidnapping from foreign lands, or later, by simply being born into slave households. They occupied a low social class. The slave-master relationship was the most common work relationship in the ancient world.
, be in subjection
to your masters
with all fear
Perhaps not fear of punishment or harm but a healthy desire to avoid displeasure.
; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the wicked
Literally, crooked, see Lk 3:5. Metaphorically means 'dishonest, morally evil,' as in Ac 2:40; Phil 2:15.
For it is commendable if someone endures pain
Mental pain, sorrow or grief, but not once used of physical pain in the NT.
, suffering unjustly
, because of conscience toward God. 20
For what glory is it if, when you sin, you patiently endure beating? But if, when you do well, you patiently endure suffering, this is commendable
Then you have God's approval or 'favour'.
with God. 21
For to this you were called
, because Christ also suffered
for us, leaving you an example, that you should follow his steps, 22
who did not sin, "neither was deceit found in his mouth." 23
Who, when he was cursed, didn't curse back. When he suffered, didn't threaten, but committed
Handed over, delivered, committed.
himself to him who judges righteously
who his own self bore
Can mean 'carried up' but also 'bear, carry, endure'. Polybius (2nd century BC) 1.36.3 refers to bearing slander and false accusation for a time; 4.45.9: to bear or endure the burden of war and Thucydides (C5th BC 3.38.3: the city itself bears, endures dangers.
our sins in his body on the tree
Or cross since xylon means 'wood or object made of wood': clubs in Mt 26:47, 55; stocks in Ac 16:24; tree in Rev 22:2. Xylon rather than stauros for cross may be an attempt to recall the curse imagery of Dt 21:23.
, that we, having died to sins, might live to righteousness
; by whose stripes you were healed
For you were going astray like sheep; but now have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer
of your souls
In like manner, wives, be in subjection
This term is applied elsewhere in the NT to relationships between government and citizens, masters and servants, disciples and demons. Outside the NT it is used to describe the submission and obedience of soldiers in an army to those of superior rank (cf. Josephus, War 2.566, 578; 5.309).
to your own husbands; so that, even if any don't obey
, they may be won by the behaviour
of their wives without a word
your pure behaviour
Let your beauty be not just the outward adorning of braiding the hair, and of wearing jewels of gold, or of putting on fine clothing
The Greek contains no adjective modifying clothing. Lit. 'not the outward of braiding of hair, and putting around of gold, or putting on of garments adorning'.
but in the hidden person of the heart, in the incorruptible
adornment of a gentle
This adjective occurs three other times in the NT (Mt 5:5; 11:29; 21:5) but the related noun translated 'gentleness' or 'meekness' is more frequent.
spirit, which is in the sight of God very precious. 5
For this is how the holy women before, who hoped in God also adorned themselves, being in subjection
to their own husbands: 6
as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord
, whose children you now are, if you do well, and are not put in fear by any terror
You husbands, in like manner, live with your wives according to knowledge, giving honour to the woman
'The female' or 'feminine one'.
, as to the weaker vessel
Often means 'vessel, jar, container' but used elsewhere to refer to human beings created by God and intended for his use. The fact that the woman is called a vessel implies that the man is also viewed as a vessel.
, as being also joint heirs of the grace of life
; that your prayers may not be hindered
Finally, be all like-minded
, loving as brothers
not rendering evil for evil, or insult for insult; but instead blessing
; knowing that to this were you called
, that you may inherit a blessing
For, "He who would love life
, and see good
days, let him keep his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit
Let him turn away
, and do good
. Let him seek peace, and pursue
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears open to their prayer; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil
Now who is he who will harm you, if you become imitators of that which is good? 14
But even if you should suffer for righteousness'
sake, you are blessed
. "Don't fear
what they fear
, neither be troubled
'Be shaken up, disturbed, frightened', often implying emotional turmoil.
Normally means 'sanctify, make holy', but here seems to have the sense, 'treat holy, regard reverently' (cf. Mt 6:9; Is 8:13).
the Lord God in your hearts; and always be ready to give an answer
Reply to an accusation, sometimes in formal legal proceedings, though not necessarily meant here; 'always… whenever'.
to everyone who asks you a reason
concerning the hope that is in you, with humility and fear: 16
having a good
; that, while you are spoken against as evildoers
, they may be disappointed who curse
your good manner of life
in Christ. 17
For it is better, if it is God's will, that you suffer for doing well than for doing evil. 18
Because Christ also suffered
for sins once, the righteous
for the unrighteous
, that he might bring you to God; being put to death in the flesh
, but made alive
in the spirit
in which he also went and preached
to the spirits
in prison, 20
who before were disobedient, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, while the ship was being built. In it, few, that is, eight souls
, were saved through
This is a symbol of baptism, which now saves
you--not the putting away of the filth of the flesh
, but the answer
Usually means 'question' and has not elsewhere been found with the meaning 'appeal'. It came to have the sense 'pledge' in the 2nd century AD (after the time of the NT). There are no known examples of the noun meaning 'appeal' but the related verb is used with the sense to 'make a request, ask for something' (Mt 16:1). So Peter's audience may have understood something in the sense 'request'.
of a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection
of Jesus Christ, 22
who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, angels and authorities and powers being made subject
Forasmuch then as Christ suffered for us in the flesh
, arm yourselves also with the same mind
Means not so much an attitude of mind but the insight which one has gained into the nature of God's dealings with people; 'thought'.
; for he who has suffered in the flesh
has ceased from sin; 2
that you no longer should live
the rest of your time in the flesh
for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. 3
For we have spent enough of our past time doing the desire of the Gentiles
, and having walked in lewdness
Lacking moral restraint in morality or violence; used in 2 Pet 2:7 of Sodom.
Passions or sinful human desires which pull people away from God; only used in a negative sense by Peter but used positively in Lk 22:15; Phil 1:23; 1 Thes 2:17.
, drunken binges, orgies
Revels; banquets or feasts given to wild immorality.
Drinking parties or bouts.
, and abominable idolatries
Plural: lawless acts of idol worship meaning those against the civil laws, evil kinds of immorality even forbidden by the laws of human governments.
They think it is strange that you don't run
Literally 'run with them'.
with them into the same excess of riot
Uncontrolled indulgence in the seeking of pleasure; used in Eph 5:18 and the related adverb describes the loose living of the prodigal (Lk 15:13).
who will give account
to him who is ready to judge
the living and the dead. 6
For to this end the Good News was preached
even to the dead, that they might be judged
indeed as men in the flesh
, but live
as to God in the spirit
[de kata theon pneumati]
But the end
of all things is near. Therefore be of sound mind
'Sane', 'having a sound mind, thinking about and evaluating situations maturely and correctly'; cf. Lk 8:35; Ro 12:3; 2 Tim 1:7; Tit 1:8.
, self-controlled, and sober in prayer. 8
And above all things be earnest
Earnestly or fervently; used of strong, deeply felt emotions or desires; see Joel 1:14; Jon 3:8; Ac 12:5; 26:7.
in your love
among yourselves, for love
covers a multitude of sins. 9
to one another without grumbling. 10
As each has received a gift
, employ it in serving
one another, as good managers
of the grace
of God in its various
Many faceted, having many different aspects or differing kinds; cf. Mt 4:24; 1 Pe 1:6.
If anyone speaks, let it be as it were the very words
of God. If anyone serves
, let it be as of the strength which God supplies
, that in all things God may be glorified
through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen
, don't be astonished
at the fiery
Fire, burning as in Rev 18:9, 18 but also refining fire as in Prov 27:21; period or process of testing.
Used in 1:6 in its positive sense of a trial expected to have a positive outcome.
which has come upon you, to test you, as though a strange
thing happened to you. 13
But because you are partakers
of Christ's sufferings, rejoice
; that at the revelation
of his glory
you also may rejoice with exceeding joy
If you are insulted
for the name of Christ, you are blessed; because the Spirit of glory
[doxēs; Heb. Sh'khinah]
and of God rests
on you. On their part he is blasphemed, but on your part he is glorified
For let none of you suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or an evil doer, or a meddler in other men's matters. 16
But if one of you suffers for being a Christian
Found only in the NT here and at Ac 11:26; 26:28. Formed like the work 'Herodian', (Mk 3:6; 12:13) which means 'follower or supporter of Herod'.
, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify
God in this matter. 17
For the time has come for judgment
Not necessarily 'condemnation' (katakrima) but judgement which results in good and bad evaluations, approval as well as discipline and condemnation.
to begin with
Never refers to God's family in the LXX but always to the Temple, the 'house of God'.
of God. If it begins first with us, what will happen
to those who don't obey
the Good News
of God? 18
"If it is hard for the righteous
to be saved
, what will happen to the ungodly and the sinner?" 19
Therefore let them also who suffer
according to the will of God in doing good entrust
'To give to someone for safekeeping, to turn over to someone to care for'; see Lk 23:46.
to him, as to a faithful
among you, as a fellow elder
, and a witness
of the sufferings of Christ, and who will also share
in the glory that will be revealed
Serve as shepherd, serve as pastor. Note word play with poimnion, 'flock'.
of God which is among you, exercising the oversight
, not under compulsion, but voluntarily, not for dishonest gain
, but willingly
neither as lording it over
Forcefully ruling over, subduing, with the connotation of a harsh or excessive use of authority (used in Mt 20:25; Mk 10:42; Act 19:16; and in the context of military conquests, Nu 21:24; 32: 22, 29; Ps 110:2, etc). The word involves bringing something into subjection by the use of force, whether physical, military, or political.
those entrusted to you, but making yourselves examples
to the flock. 4
When the chief Shepherd
Where the flocks were numerous and a number of shepherds were required, one was placed in overall charge (cf. Ge 47:6; 1 Sam 21:7).
, you will receive
Used of a victor's crown or 'wreath' in athletic conquests (1 Cor 9:25), or a golden crown given by a Roman general to soldiers most valiant in battle (Josephus, 'War', 7:14), or a crown worn by a king. In every case it is a sign of special honour, given not to all but only to those worthy of particular public recognition, commonly as a reward for some kind of unusually meritorious activity.
of glory that doesn't fade away
Likewise, you younger ones, be subject
Be subject, implying submission to an authority, not just deference or respect.
to the elder
Can either mean 'older people' or 'those who have the office of elder'.
. Yes, all of you gird yourselves with humility, to subject yourselves to one another; for "God resists
, but gives grace
to the humble
therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time; 7
casting all your worries
on him, because he cares
for you. 8
Be sober and self-controlled
. Be watchful
Indicates spiritual alertness, with perhaps more of an emphasis on one's focus of attention (watching for sin, for attacks of evil).
. Your adversary the devil
Slanderer, false accuser. The term is applied to Haman in the LXX (Esther 8:1).
, walks around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour
Swallow up, as in the case of the big fish with Jonah.
Implies active, determined opposition, often through confrontation (used of the Egyptian magicians who opposed Moses in 2 Tim 3:8).
in your faith
, knowing that your brothers
who are in the world
are undergoing the same sufferings. 10
But may the God of all grace
, who called
his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little while, perfect
, and settle
To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen
Silvanus is closely connected with Paul's ministry (2 Cor 1:19; 1 Thes 1:1; 2 Thes 1:1) and is the same person whom Luke calls 'Silas' in Acts (Acts 15:22-18:5). He has been thought of either as a messenger who carried the letter or as a secretary (amanuensis) who recorded the letter as Peter spoke. Silas was Paul's fellow-missionary in Asia Minor and in Greece, and is associated with Paul in the address of the letters to the Thessalonians. He was also a representative of the apostles and elders in Jerusalem, and is named as a prophet (Ac 15:32). Peter's phrase describing the service of Silas is used of the bearer of a letter, who was regarded as a representative of the sender. Silas was more than a letter-carrier. He had a voice in the Jerusalem Council that prepared the letter he carried for that body. So, too, he may have conferred with Peter in the preparation of the letter, or may have drafted it under Peter's direction.
, our faithful brother
, as I consider
him, I have written to you briefly, exhorting
, and testifying
that this is the true grace
of God in which you stand
She who is in Babylon
Babylon was the great city of world empire for the OT prophets; it was also the city of exile, where Israel lived as resident aliens.
, chosen together
with you, greets you; and so does Mark
, my son. 14
Greet one another with a kiss of love
. Peace be to you all who are in Christ Jesus. Amen