Instructions to Wives (vv.1-6)

Submission to a Negative Spouse (v.1)

VERSE 1 In the same way (~Omoi,wj [adv., likewise]), you wives (Îai`Ð gunai/kej [voc.f.p., gune, woman, wife]), be submissive to your own husbands (u`potasso,menai [ {imper.} u`pota,ssw, hupotasso, obey, submit to] toi/j ivdi,oij [adj.dat.m.p., idios, oneís own] avndra,sin [dat.m.p., aner, husband]) so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word (i[na [conj./result] kai. ei; [conj./ascensive + part./conditional] tinej [pro./indef., "any"] avpeiqou/sin [pres.act.ind.3.p., avpeiqe,w, apeitheo, disobey; with the particle is a first class clause] tw/| lo,gw| [, logos]), they may be won (kerdhqh,sontai [fut.pass.ind.3.p., kerdai,nw, kerdaino, win over, gain, make a profit]) without a word (a;neu lo,gou [prep.w/gen.m.s., logos; prep., occurs 3X: Mt.10:29; 1Pet.4:9; it means "apart from"]) by the behavior of their wives (dia. th/j avnastrofh/j [prep.w/, anastrophe, behavior; cp. 1:15,18; 2:12; 3:2,16; 2Pet.2:7; 3:11] tw/n gunaikw/n [, gune]),


  1. This section (vv.1-7) concludes the establishment code that began in 2:13.
  2. It focuses on wives and husbands (cf. Col.3:18,19; Eph.5:22,23; 1Tim.2:9-15; Ti.2:3-5).
  3. It is the only section of the code that includes the mutual obligations of both parties.
  4. The unevenness of the six verses devoted to wives, and only one verse to husbands, indicates Peterís interest in the potentially oppressed partner in the relationship.
  5. The discussion accents believing wives married to unbelieving husbands (v.1b).
  6. The instructions to wives, like the preceding advice to domestic slaves, can be divided into three parts:
  1. An exhortation to "defer", or "be subject" to, the one in authority (vv.1,2; cp. 2:18).
  2. A statement of what is pleasing to God (vv.3,4; cp. 2:19,20).
  3. A specific precedent for the kind of attitude that rises to the divine standard (vv.5,6; cp. 2:21-25).
  1. Peterís presentation fits the Asian situation in which a significant percentage of the Christian women had unbelieving husbands.
  2. As with slaves, the authorís attitude is conservative, and he gives no hint that he regards the relative status of husbands and wives as radically altered by Christianity.
  3. The opening words are not intended to draw a carbon copy of the submissiveness due from wives with that expected from slaves.
  4. Rather, as in v.7, the Greek adverb "In the same way", or "Likewise", looks back to 2:13, suggesting that the principle of the subordination of the wife to her husband is not a matter of human convention but the order which the Creator has established (cf. 1Cor.11:3; cp. Gen.3:16).
  5. This order explains why women are not authorized to teach men within the local church (1Tim.2:12,13).
  6. The use of the participle "be submissive" as an imperative follows the precedent of 2:18 (and the participles in vv.6b,7,9).
  7. The adjective "your own" is used because the nouns "wives" and "husbands" can mean either "women" and "men" or "wives" and "husbands".
  8. So the adjective (cp. v.5b; Eph.5:22; Ti.2:5) signifies that the "wives" and "husbands" are in view here.
  9. A particular motive for submissiveness that Peter draws wivesí attention to is that it will help to commend the faith to pagan husbands.
  10. In these congregations there were evidently frequent cases of men who were "disobedient to the word."
  11. "The word" (to logos) refers to the gospel (cf. 2:8).
  12. This section applies equally to husbands who are believers but who are negative to BD.
  13. The first class conditional clause represented by the words "even if any are disobedient" indicates the fact that there were frequent situations where the wife was a convert and the husband remained in unbelief.
  14. The situation in which positive believing wives are married to negative husbands is quite common.
  15. So Peter proceeds to give guidance in how the positive woman is to conduct herself in the presence of a negative, if not antagonistic, husband.
  16. The social background of Peterís day expected a wife to accept the customs and religious practices of her husband.
  17. So in societyís eyes these women were already highly insubordinate by virtue of their Christian commitment, and Peter is concerned that they not aggravate the problem by abrasive behavior towards their husbands.
  18. Peterís instruction to wives that they "be in subjection to" their husbands is designed to blunt the slander that the Christian faith encouraged insubordination.
  19. Clearly, the Christian faith teaches that commitment to God takes precedence over spouse, family, job, and country.
  20. The words "they may be won" refers to their potential conversion.
  21. This verb, translated as a subjunctive, is actually a fut.pass.ind. of kerdai,nw (kerdaino).
  22. It is used of making a profit/gain (cf. Mt.16:26; 25:16; Jam.4:13).
  23. It is used elsewhere as a missionary term equivalent to "save" (1Cor.9:19-22).
  24. Here, as in 2:12, the prospect is that via the witness of the life under duress, some may "be won".
  25. The specific tack that wives are to take with respect to their husbands is seen in the phrase "without a word" (a;neu lo,gou).
  26. "Without a word" represents an intended play on words with "disobedient to the word" in the previous clause.
  27. This does not mean that a wife cannot present doctrine to her husband when he inquires about her beliefs.
  28. The witness of the life, rather than the witness of the lips, is the method of evangelization that wives are to implement.
  29. The notion of testimony by conduct is common enough in the N.T. (especially prominent in First Peter).
  30. Here is the only instance where words are specifically excluded.
  31. Again, Peterís point is not to forbid verbal testimony by wives but to suggest that such testimony is not obligatory, and sometimes not helpful.
  32. The tendency with women is to manipulate men by nagging.
  33. The Biblical method for positive wives is to win over their husbands by silent "behavior" instead of taking opportunity to use every chance to point out the superiority of the faith to his bankrupt religious beliefs and practices.
  34. She will have many occasions in which she will have to bite her tongue.
  35. Her responsibility is to conduct herself in such a manner that her husband cannot but notice the changes BD has made in her life.
  36. This strategy, far more than words, will commend the Christian religion to uncommitted husbands, considering the special nature of the divine institution (male pride resents female correction).
  37. This counsel helps take a lot of pressure off the woman.
  38. Silence, except when solicited, is the watchword for married women.
  39. The relative absence of verbal persuasion is in harmony with the "gentle and quiet spirit" of v.4 (cp. 1Tim.2:11,12).
Silent Witness (v.2)

VERSE 2 as they observe (evpopteu,santej [, evpopteu,w, epopteuo, observe; cp.2:12]) your chaste and respectful behavior (u`mw/n [pro.gen.p.; "your"] a`gnh.n [adj.acc.f.s., agnen, pure, innocent; 8X: 2Cor.7:11; 11:2; Phil.4:8; 1Tim.5:22; Ti.2:5; Jam.3:17; 1Pet.3:2; 1Jn.3:3] evn fo,bw| [prep.w/loc.m.s., phobos, fear, reverence, respect] th.n avnastrofh.n [, anastrophe, behavior; cp. v.1]).


  1. In this verse Peter explains what he means by "the behavior of wives".
  2. What kind of conduct can influence the positive volition of their husbands?
  3. Peterís explanation is in the same vein as what we saw in 2:12.
  4. The aorist participle of "observe" parallels the present participle of 2:12 (evpopteu,w, epopteuo, observe, scrutinize).
  5. The object of the verb in 2:12 is "good deeds".
  6. Here the action of the verb is viewed as having occurred with the result of husbands becoming converts.
  7. The wife, over an indefinite period of time, conducts herself in such a manner as to favorably influence her husband to embrace the truth.
  8. A proposed translation is: "once they have noticed".
  9. Here and in 2:12 those who were once hostile to the Christian faith are influenced by the conduct of Christians who were the objects of slander.
  10. The thing that will turn husbands to doctrine is the "chaste and reverent behavior" of their wives.
  11. Of course, only those individuals who are positive will be led to the truth.
  12. Christ lived a perfect life before men, yet many Jews remained in unbelief.
  13. The object of the verb "observe" is the accusative of the adjective a`gno,j (agnos, pure, innocent) with the definite article modifying "behavior" (avnastrofh,, anastrophe, manner of life; cp. 1:15,18; 2:12; 3:1,2,16; 2Pet.2:7; 3:11).
  14. The adjective is translated "chaste", which limits behavior to marital fidelity.
  15. It is used in a broader sense of moral purity in the N.T. (cf. 2Cor.7:11; 11:2; Phil.4:8; 1Tim.5:22; Ti.2:5 of wives; Jam.3:17; 1Jn.3:3).
  16. Certainly, sexual purity would be included in this word, but other things apply as well.
  17. The word "respectful" (phobos, fear) occurs in the Greek in a prepositional phrase sandwiched between the definite article and its object, "chaste".
  18. This prepositional phrase ("in fear" or "with fear") qualifies "chaste" or "pure behavior".
  19. What is meant is that wives are to exhibit "Godly fear" (cf. 1:17) as the hallmark of their lives before their husbands.
  20. As their husbands observe their irreproachable conduct, they will come to acknowledge the source (Christianity) which inspires it.
  21. This in turn will result in some of these men becoming converts.
  22. Wives who conform to the Sarahís daughter code help their husbands to overcome their hostility and suspicion with regards to her faith.
  23. Both "reverence" and "purity" are qualities clearly visible even to "disobedient" husbands.
  24. A pagan married to a Christian woman can see that his wifeís conduct is acceptable even by the best Roman standards even though she cannot join him in the worship of his gods.
  25. These virtues, while directed toward God, are nevertheless for her husbandís benefit.
The Wrong Emphasis (v.3)

VERSE 3 Your adornment (w-n [pro./rel.gen.f.p., hos, who or "whose", translated "Your", is the first word in the Greek sentence, + ko,smoj, n.m.s., kosmos, world; adornment; the last word in the Greek sentence]) must not be merely external (e;stw ouvc [pres.act.imper.3.s., eimi; "must", + neg., ouk] e;xwqen [adv., outside; outward, overt; "external"]) -- braiding the hair (evmplokh/j tricw/n [gen.f.s., evmplokh,, emploke, elaborate braiding, + gen.f.p., tricw/n, trichon, hair]), and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses (kai. periqe,sewj [conj. + gen.f.s., peri,qesij, perithesis, wearing {of jewelry}; hapax, + crusi,wn, gen.nt.p., chrusion, gold; gold coin; jewelry] h' evndu,sewj i`mati,wn [conj., or, + gen.f.s., e;ndusij, endusis, wearing, putting on, + gen.nt.p., i`ma,tion, himation, apparel, clothing; used of outer garments]);

Inner Beauty (v.4)

VERSE 4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart (avllV [conj./advers., Alla, but, + o` krupto.j, a;nqrwpoj,, kruptos, hidden, + n.m.s., anthropos, person] th/j kardi,aj [, kardia, heart]), with the imperishable quality (evn tw/| avfqa,rtw| [prep.w/, a;fqartoj, aphthartos, imperishable; cp. 1:4,23]) of a gentle and quiet spirit (tou/ prae,wj kai. h`suci,ou pneu,matoj [, prau<j, praus, gentle, + conj. + adj.gen.nt.s., h`su,cioj, hsuchios, quiet; 2X: 1Tim.2:2]) which is precious in the sight of God (o[ evstin [pro./rel.n.nt.s., hos, which, + pres.act.ind.3.m.s., eimi, "is"] polutele,j [adj.n.nt.s., polutelh,j, poluteles, expensive, costly, great value] evnw,pion tou/ qeou/ [prep., enopion, in the presence of; in the judgment/viewpoint of, w/, theos, God]).


  1. In these two verses Peter insists that believing women should be more concerned about their inner beauty rather than their outward appearance.
  2. Moralists in every age have spoken out against the preoccupation of superficial women with dress, make-up, coiffure, jewelry, etc. (cf. Isa.3:18-24).
  3. The Neopythagorean Phintys argued that a good woman will "avoid excessive ornament, luxury, and superfluous clothes" and "not decorate herself with gold and emeralds".
  4. Rather, she will "adorn her person through modesty" (Concerning the Temperance of a Woman, 153.19-22).
  5. Perictione, another Neopythagorean, gave instructions about "clothes, bathing, anointing, dressing the hair, andÖdecoration from gold and jewels. For whatever of a sumptuous nature is employed by women in eating and drinking, in garments and trinkets, renders them disposed to be guilty of every crime, and to be unjust both to their husbandís bed and to every other person" (On the Harmony of a Woman, 143.10-14), and concluded as well that "the beauty which is produced by prudence and not by particulars, pleases women that are well born" (143.26-28).
  6. In reference to a statement that "adornment is that which adorns", Plutarch comments: "that adorns or decorates a woman which makes her more decorous. It is not gold or precious stones or scarlet that makes her such, but whatever invests her with that something which betokens dignity, good behavior and modesty" (Mor. 141E; LCL 2.317-19).
  7. Among the Romans, Juvenal associated extravagant dress and makeup with unfaithfulness, denouncing the woman who "encircles her neck with green emeralds and fastens huge pearls to her elongated ears; there is nothing more intolerable than a wealthy woman. Meanwhile, she ridiculously puffs out and disfigures her face with lumps of dough; she reeks of rich Poppaean unguents which stick to the lips of her unfortunate husband. Her lover she will meet with a clean-washed skin; but when does she ever care to look so nice at home?" (Satire 6:457-65; LCL, 121-23).
  8. Kindred sentiments (not always so colorfully expressed!) were common both in Judaism and in the Greco-Roman world.
  9. The excess in hairstyles, make-up, dress, and jewelry in the first and second centuries is eloquently attested to in the literature and art of the period.
  10. In v.3 we have a specialized use of the noun kosmos, translated "adornment".
  11. The noun is based on the verb kosmew, which means to "put in order/decorate/adorn".
  12. The nounís usage here should not be confused with its common meaning of "world".
  13. Peter is not capitalizing on the use of "world", as suggested by some, that jewelry or braided hair is "worldly", or evil, simply by his choice of vocabulary!
  14. Later Christian writers (Clement, Tertullian, Cyprian) take this passage as a wholesale ban on feminine finery, but the true object of the apostolic writers was a constructive one Ė to inculcate a proper sense of values.
  15. There are hints in the gospels (Mt.6:17ff; Mk.14:6; Lk.15:22) that our Lordís attitude was not legalistic or rigorist.
  16. The appeal to women in the matter of adornment is symmetrically arranged.
  17. The "not" (ouk) of v.3 anticipates the "but" (alla) which begins v.4.
  18. The "adornment" in externals anticipates a contrast with a different kosmos of the heart (see v.5).
  19. The negative side of Peterís appeal (i.e., the present tense) is built around three similarly constructed pairs:
  1. "Braiding (of) the hair".
  2. "Wearing (of) gold jewelry".
  3. "Putting on (of) dresses".
  1. Each pair consists of a genitive singular linked to a genitive plural, and describes certain aspects of a womanís adornment.
  2. Pairs "a" and "b" are connected by kai (and), while "b" and "c" are connected by e (or).
  3. Braiding of hair and donning of jewelry can be viewed as an extravagance in a way in which simple "wearing of clothes" obviously cannot.
  4. The incorporation of all three into his appeal suggests that Peterís interest is not so much in denouncing certain modes of dress, as in making the more general point that outward adornment- of any kind- is not what counts in the sight of God.
  5. Peterís polemic against these things is vague and almost perfunctory compared to both pagan philosophers and later Christian fathers (see, e.g., Tertullian, On the Apparel of Women, ANF, 4:14-25).
  6. His negative appeal in v.3 is important primarily as a way of accenting the positive appeal that follows in v.4.
  7. There is no evidence that Peter is mounting a polemic against flamboyant dress that characterized women who participated in the Eastern cults of Artemis and Isis.
  8. Scripture does not denounce attractive attire for women as long as it is modest and not excessively flamboyant.
  9. In v.4 Peter directs their attention to the beauty program that matters.
  10. The whole construction is manifestly clumsy, but he is plainly struggling to contrast inner character with overt appearance.
  11. Where pagan writers referred to "modesty" or "prudence" or "dignity" or "good behavior", Peter (like 1Tim.2:9,10) goes into more detail.
  12. "But" (alla) introduces a contrast between the overt (o` e;xwqen) and the internal (o` krupto.j a;nqrwpoj, "the hidden person"), and between "hair," "gold," and "clothes" and the "heart" of a woman.
  13. The contrast is between the values of human society and what God values.
  14. By "hidden person of the heart", he means the unseen you, or the "real you".
  15. Paulís "inner man" is a synonym (2Cor.4:16).
  16. While the cosmic woman concentrates on the overt and perishable, the positive Christian womanís secret to lasting beauty is that with which she clothes "the hidden person of the heart" (the clothing of the soul is the implication of the preposition (evn), translated "with").
  17. Clothing is a frequent metaphor in Scripture for acceptable decorum in the sight of God (Ps.132:16; Isa.61:10; Rom.13:12; Gal.3:27; Eph.4:24; 6:11,13; Col.3:10,12; 1Thess.5:8; 1Pet.5:5; Rev.3:18;
  18. God is said to be clothed (Pss.93:1; 104:1).
  19. Negative volition will be clothed with shame (Ps.35:26;
  20. Peter describes her clothing as "imperishable" (a;fqartoj, imperishable, immortal), a term already featured in this letter (cf. 1:4,18,23), to contrast our spiritual heritage with the things of temporal existence.
  21. The overt perishes, but inner beauty lasts forever.
  22. The neuter "the imperishable" is more precisely defined by the words that follow.
  23. It is defined for aspiring "Sarahís daughters" (cf. v.6) as "a gentle and quiet spirit".
  24. The "spirit" (gen.nt.sing.w/ refers to the human spirit given at salvation and the receptacle of resident BD.
  25. When a believer is in fellowship, the human spirit clothes the soul, and the individual reflects what is inculcated under GAP.
  26. Where there is knowledge and a willingness to apply, the human spirit projects its agenda upon the "heart (Ďreal youí)".
  27. The heart can draw upon two sources: the human spirit or the ISTA.
  28. Peter instructs Christian wives to clothe themselves with the attire of "a gentle and quiet spirit".
  29. The construction has no verb, but an imperative is implied by the italics "let it be".
  30. The aspiring "Sarahís daughter" is to exhibit before her husband, as well as others, these qualities that are prominent features of her inner beauty.
  31. "Gentleness", or "meekness" (prau<j), is a Christ-like quality (Mt.11:29; 21:5) and occupies a prominent place among N.T. virtues (Mt.5:5; Gal.5:23; Eph.4:2; Col.3:12; Ti.3:2, etc.).
  32. The basic idea behind this adjective is "mild mannered".
  33. It was not a virtue prized among the Greeks or Romans.
  34. Its opposite is someone who is abrasive or overbearing or pushy.
  35. A horsy woman is not a gentle woman.
  36. "Quietness" (h`su,cioj) is in contrast to the loud, contentious, boisterous female.
  37. This adjective occurs here (cp. 1Tim.2:11,12) and in 1Tim.2:2 (here, of our civic demeanor; cp. 1Thess.4:11; 2Thess.3:12).
  38. Proverbs depicts the out-of-control woman as someone who is loud-mouthed and disagreeable (7:11; 21:9; 27:15).
  39. "Quietness" and "gentleness" are foundational to a womanís spiritual wardrobe.
  40. Apart from which she is unattractive in the sight of God.
  41. External beauty, a charming personality, and an intellect do not cut it with God in the absence of these virtues.
  42. "Which" (pro.n.nt.s., hos) refers to the "imperishable quality" characterized by "gentleness" and "quietness".
  43. The adjective "precious" (polutelh,j poluteles) denotes that which is expensive and of great value.
  44. It is a superlative of precious, hence very precious (cp. Mk.14:3; 1Tim.2:9, "costly garments").
  45. A wife/woman who consistently exhibits this inner, hidden adornment is someone who impresses God as beautiful and worthy of divine distinction both now and forever.
  46. This reminds us of 1Sam.16:6,7.
  47. These verses should not be taken as a brief to neglect the beautification of the outer person.
  48. There is no ban on women talking, laughing, or expressing themselves, but rather a woman should strive to avoid the excesses that are so often seen in the female of the species.
The O.T. Precedent (v.5)

VERSE 5 For in this way (ou[twj ga,r [adv., in the same manner, + conj./subord., for]) in former times the holy women also (pote kai. ai` a[giai gunai/kej [adv., pote, formerly, at one time, + conj./adjunct., also +, hagios + n.f.p., gune]), who hoped in God (ai` evlpi,zousaieivj qeo.n [, evlpi,zw, elpizo, hope, trust, + prep.w/acc.m.s., theos]), used to adorn themselves (evko,smoun e`auta,j [imperf.act.ind.3.p, kosme,w, kosmeo, adorn, decorate, + pro./reflex.acc.f.p., heautou, themselves]), being submissive to their own husbands (u`potasso,menai toi/j ivdi,oij avndra,sin [, hupotasso, be subject, +, idios, oneís own, + dat.m.p., aner, man, husband]);

Sarahís Example (v.6)

VERSE 6 just as Sarah obeyed Abraham (w`j Sa,rra u`ph,kousen tw/| VAbraa,m [conj./compar. + n.m.s., Sarah, + aor.act.ind.3.s., u`pakou,w, hupakouo, obey, + w/dat.m.s., Abraham]), calling him lord (kalou/saauvto.n ku,rion [, kaleo, call, + pro.acc.m.s., autos, him, + acc.m.s., kurios, lord, master]), and you have become her children (h`j evgenh,qhte te,kna [pro./rel.gen.f.s., who or whose, + aor.pass.ind.2.p., ginomai, "become", + n.nt.p., teknon, child]) if you do what is right (avgaqopoiou/sai [, avgaqopoie,w, agathopieo, do what is right; cp., 2:15,20; 3:17]) without being frightened by any fear (kai. mh. fobou,menai mhdemi,an pto,hsin [conj., and; not translated, + neg., me, + pres.midd. or, phobeo, fear, + adj.acc.f.s., mhdei,j medeis, no; "any", + acc.f.s., pto,hsij, ptoesis, terror, intimidation; hapax]).


  1. Peter appeals to O.T. support for his advice to wives (cp. the gar ["For"] in 4:6).
  2. ou[twj (adv., houtos, "in this way") refers to vv.1-4 and to the command to "be submissive" (v.1), as seen in the repetition of the verb in v.5.
  3. The "gentle and quiet spirit" draws together the twin themes of wifely submission and wifely adornment, and in effect makes them one and the same by defining the latter (adornment) by the former (submission).
  4. The appeal to unspecific examples "in former times" reinforces the apostolic teaching.
  5. The adverb pote, (pote, then) introduces a parallel with the past (as in 3:20), not a contrast.
  6. A group out of the Biblical past is introduced here by the words "the holy women who hoped in God".
  7. For similar expressions referencing a specific category, compare: "the holy prophets" (2Pet.3:2), "the holy apostles and prophets" (Eph.3:5), or "the holy angels" (Mk.8:38).
  8. The "holy women" Peter appeals to are believing adjusted women of O.T. times.
  9. They "hoped/trusted in God" as their positive counterparts in the present age do.
  10. They lived their lives in such a manner as to insure their Ph3 vindication.
  11. They walked by faith and had confidence that God would reward their Ph2 modus operandi.
  12. They knew what God expected of them as wives from the function of GAP.
  13. Those who "hoped in God" were those who placed their confidence in the Judge of all humanity.
  14. These women, known to God, "alsoÖused to adorn themselves" with the inner qualities that signify beauty in the sight of God.
  15. The verb "adorn" is the imperfect active indicative of kosme,w (kosmeo; compare the noun, kosmos, translated "adornment" in v.3).
  16. This verb occurs 10X in the N.T.:
  1. Mt.12:44 ("put in order").
  2. Mt.23:29 ("adorn the monuments of the righteous").
  3. Mt.25:7 ("trimmed their lamps").
  4. Lk.11:25 ("put in order").
  5. Lk.21:5 ("it [temple] was adorned with beautiful stones and donations").
  6. 1Tim.2:9 ("adorn themselves with proper clothing").
  7. Ti.2:10 ("adorn the doctrine of God").
  8. 1Pet.3:5; Rev.21:2 ("a bride adorned for her husband").
  9. Rev.21:19 ("city wall were adorned with every kind of precious stones").
  1. The imperfect tense in the Greek takes a motion picture, portraying the action as it unfolds (the aorist tense takes a snapshot of the action).
  2. The action of the imperfect is almost always past (note that the imperfect only occurs in the indicative mood [1,682 times in the N.T.]).
  3. The imperfect tense is linear action in past time.
  4. The particular imperfect is the customary imperfect (they "used to adorn themselves").
  5. Here, the action sees all the positive believing women of previous history who adorned themselves in the common garment of submissiveness.
  6. This piece of clothing is not optional, it is mandatory for all women who aspire to being beautiful in Godís eyes (the cosmos is passing away).
  7. This garment is described as "being submissive" (v.5) and as the "gentle and quiet spirit (v.4).
  8. The circumstantial participle "being submissive" (, hupotasso) is also used as an imperatival participle (also a pres.pass.) in v.1.
  9. In vv.4,5 Peter defines the "adornment" of "holy women" that gains approbation in the sight of God Ė not hair styling, jewelry, clothes, and the like, but quiet deference to their husbands.
  10. Fashion is a metaphor for conduct and resultant inner beauty that brings honor, glory, and praise to a "Sarahís daughter" that transcends the perishable.
Sarahís Example (v.6)

VERSE 6 just as Sarah obeyed Abraham (w`j Sa,rra [conj./compar. + pr.n.] u`ph,kousen [aor.act.ind.3.p.s., u`pakou,w, hupakouo, obey] VAbraa,m [pr.n.]), calling him lord (kalou/sa [, kaleo, call] auvto.n [pro.acc.m.s., autos, him] ku,rion [acc.m.s., kurios, lord]), and you have become her children (h`j [pro./rel.gen.f.s., hos, "whose"] te,kna [n.nt.p., teknon, child; here, "daughters"] evgenh,qhte [aor.pass.ind.dep.2.p.p., ginomai, become; literally, "whose daughters you have become"]) if you do what is right (avgaqopoiou/sai [, avgaqopoie,w, agathopoieo, do good/right; 9X: Lk.6:9,33,35; 1Pet.2:15,20; 3:6,17; 1Jn.1:11]) without being frightened by any fear (kai. mh. fobou,menai [conj., kai, and, + neg., me, + pres.mid. or pass.dep.n.p., fobe,omai, phobeomai, fear, be afraid] mhdemi,an pto,hsin [adj./card.acc.f.s., from mhdei,j, medeis, nothing; "any", + acc.f.s., pto,hsij, ptoesis, something that causes terror; 1X; verb, ptoe,w, ptoeo, be terrified, startled, occurs 2X: Lk.21:9; 24:37]).


  1. Peter concludes this section on admonition to wives with the example of Sarah.
  2. "Thus", or "as", is the comparative adverb introducing an example (i.e., "Sarah, for exampleÖ").
  3. The reference is to Gen.18, specifically vv.6,12.
  4. Genesis 18:6 corresponds to the words "Sarah obeyed Abraham", and v.12 corresponds to the words "calling him lord".
  5. Sarah willingly did her part in preparing bread for the three unexpected guests who visited Abraham with wonderful news of the supernatural birth of Isaac (cf. vv.10,14).
  6. Sarahís overt compliance with her husbandís detailed directive was complimented with the inner adornment signified by her silent recognition of Abraham as "lord".
  7. Peter does not mention the fact that Sarah suffered a lapse of faith when she referred to her husband as "lord".
  8. Her silent acknowledgement of her husband as her "lord" was after her overt obedience when she was in a state of amused skepticism at the extravagant promise she had just heard.
  9. Sarah was actually out of fellowship when she called him lord, for as Scripture says, "whatever is not from faith is sin" (Rom.14:23).
  10. Sarahís obedience complimented Abrahamís application of hospitality towards Yahweh (Gen.18:1) and the two angels (Gen.19:1) on that hot summer day.
  11. She responded to her husbandís authority without hesitation because she was adorned with the garment of a quiet and gentle spirit.
  12. As a positive and adjusted woman, she gained the distinction that is hers forever before God.
  13. Even though she lacked the faith of her husband at this point in their history, she was "precious in the sight of God".
  14. This incident in which she was exposed for lack of faith and lying was probably the turning point from a wavering faith to a strong faith with respect to the promise of sexual prosperity in old age.
  15. While Abraham was not negative or in any way hostile to his wifeís faith (unlike the husbands mentioned in vv.1,2), the principle of submissiveness applies regardless of the spiritual state of the man in the marital union.
  16. All wives are to be submissive to their husbands, and all wives are to exhibit the quiet and gentle spirit of submissiveness.
  17. The context for wives married to negative husbands affords an equally dramatic context to exhibit the Sarahís daughters adornment.
  18. The wives who were the immediate concern of the apostle Peter are wives who faced persecution from their husbands and who were called upon to apply in the face of extreme circumstances.
  19. To be a Sarahís daughter a positive wife must be submissive to her lord and master even when she is confronted with hostility to her faith.
  20. The participle "do what is right" refers to obedience to the authority of the male under all conditions.
  21. He may be reasonable or unreasonable, he may be fair or unfair, he may be sensitive or insensitive to the weaker vessel principle; no matter, the wife is to do his bidding as long as it does not put her at odds with her ultimate authority, God.
  22. Furthermore, the wives are to "do what is right" apart from the sin of fear brought on by the threats and actions of their husbands.
  23. They must cast their cares on the Lord, who is greater than all and who is more than capable of preserving their Ph2 interests.
  24. These ladies must be willing to go through fiery testing associated with a hostile spouse and not react with STA-sponsored insubordination or panic.
  25. Whatever act of reprisal the hostile spouse brings against a woman should not be a cause for alarm.
  26. The noun "fear" occurs only here, and the verb occurs in Lk.21:9 and 24:37.
  27. It is a strong word for that which produces extreme anxiety, as in our word "terrify".
  28. Wives in this situation are told to "let nothing frighten them".
  29. They must recognize that God will be there for them and that He will deliver them by the means He chooses.
  30. This is true for all Christians under the pressure of persecution.
  31. The wifeís security and safety is in Godís hands.
  32. All of us who aspire to the prize must be willing to count the cost.
  33. In the extreme she could lose her husband and her children, but God will reward her faith in time and Ph3.
  34. "Doing what is right" does not include abandoning BD for the alien beliefs of her husband.
VERSE 7 You husbands likewise (Oi` a;ndrej o`moi,wj [, aner, man, husband, + adv., homoios, in the same manner]), live with your wives in an understanding way (sunoikou/ntej kata. gnw/sin [{imper.}n.m.p., sunoike,w sunoikeo, live with, + prep.w/acc.f.s., gnw/sij, gnosis, knowledge; "understanding way"]), as with a weaker vessel (w`javsqeneste,rw| skeu,ei [adv./compar. + adj./compar.dat.nt.s., avsqenh,j, asthenes, weak, delicate, etc., + n.nt.s, skeu/oj, skeuos, vessel, instrument; oneís body or wife]), since she is a woman (tw/| gunaikei,w| [, gunaikei/oj, gunaikeios, female {1X}]); and grant her honor (avpone,montej [{imper.}n.m.p., avpone,mw, aponemo, show; "grant" {1X}, + timh,n, acc.f.s., time, honor]) as a fellow heir (w`j kai. sugklhrono,moij [adv./compar. + conj./adjunct. + adj.dat.n.p., sugklhrono,moj, sugkleronomos, fellow heir {4X: Rom.8:17; Eph.3:6; Heb.11:9; 1Pet.3:7}]) of the grace of life (ca,ritoj zwh/j [gen.f.s., charis, grace, + gen.f.s., zoe, life]), so that your prayers may not be hindered (eivj to. mh. evgko,ptesqai ta.j proseuca.j u`mw/n [prep./result + + neg. + pres.pass.infin., evgko,ptw, egkopto, hinder, detain {4X: Acts.24:4; Rom.15:22; Gal.5:7; 1Thess.2:18; 1Pet.3:7} +, proseuch,, proseuche, prayer, + pro.gen.p., su, you]).


  1. "You husbands" is a reference to believers within the churches who, like the believing wives, were "likewise" responsible before God to apply Biblical principles to their marriages.
  2. "Likewise" has the meaning here of "in turn" or "for your part", indicating that the relationship is reciprocal.
  3. The two imperatival participles, "live with" and "grant", bind husbands to the directive will of God.
  4. Husbands have a higher duty than just to bring home a paycheck and issue directives.
  5. The command "to live with your wives in an understanding way" is not simply that they maintain a sexual relationship with their wives.
  6. The noun "live with" is much like the English term "cohabit".
  7. However, the central aspect of the imperative is seen in the adverbial phrase kata. gnw/sin (kata gnosin) which translated is, literally, "according to knowledge".
  8. Peter is telling husbands in the Royal Family not simply to maintain a sexual relationship with their wives, but to do so with knowledge or understanding.
  9. The statement implies that living with a woman is not a mere physical function but something a man must know how to do.
  10. Such "knowledge" is specifically that application of doctrinal principles toward "the weaker vessel".
  11. The generalizing tone of the first half of the verse gives way to a specific command with respect to the kind of knowledge a husband must implement if he hopes to have a happy and stable marriage (one that God is free to bless).
  12. The imperatival phrase "giving honor to the wife" is preceded in the Greek with the words "as with a weaker vessel".
  13. The phrase "grant honor to the wife" is literally, according to the Greek word order, "to the female displaying honor".
  14. This second imperative quantifies the first imperative, "live according to knowledge".
  15. Only when a husband understands what his love obligations fully mean can he attain to the equivalent of what a believing wife is called to in the preceding section.
  16. A husband who is derelict in the understanding and application of his duty code towards his wife is in jeopardy, as is the wife who is contentious and insubordinate!
  17. The fact that women are weaker than men is behind Peterís designation "weaker vessel".
  18. "Weaker" is a comparative adjective describing the womanís physical condition as compared to that of the man ("the weaker sex").
  19. The designation is not intellectual, moral, or spiritual, but purely physical.
  20. "Vessel" (skeuos) is used of a material object, often of a piece of pottery, and metaphorically of the human body (Rom.9:21-23; 1Thess.4:4; 2Cor.4:7; 2Tim.2:20,21; Rev.2:27).
  21. The notion that women are "weaker" than men was commonplace in the ancient world (e.g., Plato, Republic 5.455D, epi pasi de asqenesteron gunh androj, "yet for all a woman is weaker than a man").
  22. This reality has not been proven invalid for all the modern propaganda.
  23. This fact has influenced many men to depreciate the woman.
  24. This is evident by the way women are treated in many cultures.
  25. Peter uses the designation not to foster abuse but "respect/honor" (timh,).
  26. The next phrase in the Greek is "to the female grant honor".
  27. The hapax "woman" emphasizes her gender and is virtually equivalent to "the female sex".
  28. The imperatival participle (second in this verse) "grant" (avpone,mw) also occurs 1X in the N.T.
  29. It is an Attic Greek verb meaning to assign or portion out.
  30. This imperative quantifies the preceding participial imperative "live with your wives according to knowledge".
  31. To "grant her honor" is to fulfill her needs as a responder.
  32. One of the most fundamental needs of a woman is affection.
  33. It is important that the man show his wife affection.
  34. It is something she cannot live without and feel secure and important.
  35. Men need to understand how much women need the overt affirmations of affection.
  36. Affection symbolizes security, protection, and approval.
  37. From a womanís point of view, affection is the essential cement of her relationship with her husband.
  38. Acts of affection (hugs, holding hands, phone calls, flowers, invitations to dinner, etc.) send the message that, "Iíll care for you and protect you. You are important to me. Iím concerned about your problems. I think you do a great job, and Iím proud of you".
  39. It is essential to this command that the man let his wife know in various ways that what she contributes to the relationship is highly valued to him (this should be done regularly).
  40. In addressing wives, Peterís attention is on those married to unbelievers; while in addressing husbands, his attention is centered on those married to believers, as the next phrase shows.
  41. Peter now supplies an additional reason for showing honor when the wife is a positive believer.
  42. The "and as" (w`j kai.) is ascensive, as in "even as".
  43. The adjective "fellow heir" is actually a plural.
  44. The Christian husband and wife are "fellow heirs of the grace of life".
  45. Phase 2 blessing is in view in the phrase "the grace of life".
  46. Together they share in Godís blessings, as they are a believing, positive unit.
  47. They are not two, but one; therefore, they should live in harmony, love, and mutual respect, acclimating to their separate roles within the institution of marriage.
  48. Christian marriages (where the union is not spiritually divided) have a distinct advantage over other marriages where God and His Word are honored.
  49. Marital discord and dysfunction undermine the blessings of "the grace of life".
  50. Hence, the significance of Peterís final observation.
  51. When the husband fulfills his part (as specified in v.7) and the wife responds with love and obedience, his prayers will be that much more efficacious to an all-seeing God.
  52. "Your prayers" refers to the prayers of the "husbands", to whom this verse is addressed (rather than the prayers of husbands and wives).
  53. Obviously God will answer the prayers of an adjusted husband in the absence of an adjusted wife and vice versa.
  54. When the essentials of vv.1-7 are missing, their common prayers will be "hindered".
  55. The infinitive "may not be hindered" (pres.pass.infin., evgko,ptw, egkopto) represents a negative result clause (the husbandís lack of sensitivity to the needs of his wife results in his prayers not getting past the ceiling).
  56. The translation would be: "in order that your prayers not be hindered".
  57. If a husband neglects his wife emotionally, using her only to gratify his sexual and physical needs, then his prayer petitions, which may be otherwise valid, will be put on hold.
Practical Advice (vv.8-12)

Community Spirit (v.8)

VERSE 8 To sum up (To. de. te,loj [conj./coord., de, then, now,, telos; "to sum up"; the clause is adverbial]), all of you be harmonious (pa,ntej o`mo,fronej [adj.voc.m.p., pas, all; "all of you", + adj.n.m.p., o`mo,frwn, homophron, of one mind; 1X]), sympathetic (sumpaqei/j [adj.n.m.p., sumpaqh,j, sumpathes, sympathetic, sharing the same feeling; 1X]), brotherly (fila,delfoi [adj.n.m.p., fila,delfoj, philadelphos, loving oneís brother; 1X]), kindhearted(eu;splagcnoi [adj.n.m.p., eu;splagcnoj, eusplagchos, tenderhearted, kind; 2X: Eph.4:32]), and humble in spirit (tapeino,fronej [adj.n.m.p., tapeino,frwn, tapeinophron, humble-minded; 1X);


  1. Having dealt with specific groups within the community of faith, the selective section breaks off (it will be resumed at 4:7-11 and 5:1-5) with some general admonition for the community at large in regards to (a) its internal life and (b) the response of believers to pagan antagonism.
  2. The parallelism with Christís recorded sayings (esp. Mt.5:5-7,43-48; Lk.6:27ff) and the close correspondences with the hortatory passages in Paulís letters (Rom.12:9-19; Eph.4:1-3; 31ff; Col.3:12-15; 1Thess.5:13-22) suggest that this section was developed upon traditional teaching material within the early church.
  3. So far as (a) is concerned, the proper attitude of Christians towards one another is sketched in five adjectives (imperatival).
  4. Peterís expression to... te,loj ("To sum up") is similar to Paulís to. loipo,n (e.g., Phil.3:1; 4:8; 2Thess.3:1), but with a stronger note of finality.
  5. Peter is obviously not concluding the epistle, but a specific set of exhortations.
  6. The five adjectives are imperatival in the same way that participles have functioned as imperatives in 2:18-3:7 (note the return to participles in v.9).
  7. First, they are to be "all (pas) of one mind" (the NAS translation "be harmonious" is not definitive enough).
  8. Here is an example where the KJV and NKJ are superior, translating the hapax o`mo,frwn (homophron) "all of you be of one mind".
  9. That divisions of outlook and opinion are natural enough in a heterogeneous group of converts is natural enough; they should be kept to a minimum.
  10. Paul uses almost identical language when exhorting his readers to "be like-minded" (Rom.15:5; Phil.2:2).
  11. Harmony in belief ("unity of the faith", Eph.4:13; cp. 4:3) and practice is essential to the health of the local church.
  12. Diversity produces division and violates the unity and harmony of Scripture.
  13. The Godhead is unified; so should His people be in doctrine and practice.
  14. Like-mindedness/unity/harmony was characteristic of the primitive church (Acts.4:32).
  15. Unity is essential to the success of any organization or enterprise.
  16. Effective leadership is a key to unity.
  17. Also, there must be a strong majority who will follow the leader(s).
  18. Each individual must fall in line with the doctrine taught.
  19. The Corinthian church was beset with division and dissension, having rejected in part the leadership of Paul (1Cor.11:18).
  20. Paul called them to unity (1Cor.1:10).
  21. Unity in truth is prized by God (Ps.133:1).
  22. Jesus prayed for unity among His future followers (Jn.17:23).
  23. Paul urged believers to "preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Eph.4:3).
  24. Unity results where believers are properly taught over time (Eph.4:12,13).
  25. The opposite is where believers are subject to a plethora of viewpoints (cf. Eph.4:14).
  26. The Christian virtues (brought about by true adjustment to the indwelling HS) of love and peace are indispensable adjuncts to sound teaching (Eph.4:3; Col.3:14).
  27. Apart from the truth there is no unity, certainly not unity that is in sponsored by God (Eph.4:15).
  28. Unity is especially beneficial in a hostile environment.
  29. The common spiritual bond is the accurate teaching of the WOG and the response of +vol. (cf. 2Jn.1ff and 3Jn.).
  30. Those who walk away from the teaching "were not of us" (1Jn.2:19).
  31. Next, they are to be "sympathetic" (sumpaqh,j, sumpathes; again, the only N.T. occurrence).
  32. This denotes compassion for the distressed (cf. the cognate verb sumpaqe,w, sumpatheo, to feel sympathy with; Heb.4:15; 10:34).
  33. The second adjectival imperative is summed up in Paulís admonition in 1Cor.12:26: "And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it".
  34. The adjective refers to the sharing of the whole range of emotions and sentiments when a fellow member of the Royal Family is suffering for the truth.
  35. The third adjective occurs nowhere else in the N.T., but the noun filadelfi,a (philadelphia, brotherly love) occurs 6X (in 1:22 and Rom.12:10; 1Thess.4:9; Heb.13:1; 2Pet.1:7; cp. 2:17, "love the brotherhood").
  36. The word group ordinarily referred to affection among natural siblings.
  37. Among Christians it came to be used of love for fellow believers.
  38. First Thessalonians 4:9 in particular indicates that this ideal (based on Jesusí remembered commands to "love one another") was from the beginning a conspicuous part of Christian ethical instruction to new converts.
  39. Paul had "no need to write" to the Thessalonians about philadelphia because they were already "taught of God" to practice it.
  40. This love is the product of the FHS and as such is a mental attitude expressing itself in any number of ways.
  41. This love knits believers together in a common cause (Col.2:2).
  42. The fourth adjective, "kindhearted" (eu;splagcnoj, eusplagchnos), occurs here and in Eph.4:32, where it refers to an attitude of believers toward one another.
  43. The adjective is derived from splagchna, which originally denoted the internal organs (kidney, liver, intestines, etc.; cf. Acts.1:18).
  44. In later Greek these organs were seen as the seat of emotions (feelings and affections).
  45. And it (splagchna) was so used in the LXX and the N.T. (Lk.1:78; 2Cor.6:12; 7:15; Phil.1:8; 2:1; Col.3:12; Phm.1:7,12,20; 1Jn.3:17).
  46. The verb splagchnizomai is frequently used in the synoptic gospels of being deeply moved or touched by someoneís plight (Mt.9:36; 14:14; 15:32; 18:27; 20:34; Mk.1:41; 6:34; 8:2; 9:22; Lk.7:13; 10:33; 15:20).
  47. The intestines were considered in ancient literature (like the heart is today) as the seat of the emotions.
  48. The translation "tenderhearted" closely approaches the meaning of this word.
  49. The fifth and final adjective "humble in spirit" (tapeino,frwn, tapeinophron, humble-minded) occurs only here in the N.T.
  50. This word denoted a vice in Greek literature ("mean-spirited" or "base"), but in Biblical literature has become a virtue (cp. Prov.29:23 of LXX)!
  51. The cognate adjective tapeino,j (tapeinos, lowly; poor; downcast) occurs 10X (Mt.11:29; Lk.1:52; Rom.12:16; 2Cor.7:6; 10:1; Jam.1:9; 4:6; 1Pet.5:5).
  52. The verb tapeino,w (tapeinoo, to be humble; humiliate; level; live in humble circumstances) occurs 14X (Mt.18:4; 23:12; Lk.3:5; 14:11; 18:14; 2Cor.11:7; 12:21; Phil.2:8; 4:12; Jam.4:10; 1Pet.5:8).
  53. And the noun tapeinofrosu,nh (tapeinophrosune, humility) occurs 7X (Acts.20:19; Eph.4:2; Phil.2:3; Col.2:18; 2:23; 3:12; 1Pet.5:5).
  54. In the present context it has to do with our willingness to associate with one another after the spirit of Rom.12:16.
  55. In other words, we do not hold ourselves aloof from those who are brought low by circumstances.
Treatment of Enemies (vv.9-12)

VERSE 9 not returning evil for evil(mh. avpodido,ntej kako.n avnti. kakou/ [neg. +, avpodi,dwmi, apodidomi, repay + adj.acc.nt.s., kakos, evil, + prep.w/adj.gen.nt.s., kakos]), or insult for insult (h' loidori,an avnti. loidori,aj [conj., or, + acc.f.s., loidori,a, loidoria, insult, curse, slander, + prep.w/gen.f.s., loidoria]), but giving a blessing instead (touvnanti,on de. euvlogou/ntej [conj., de, + {imper.} n.m.p., euvloge,w, eulogeo, bless, + compound of + adj.acc.nt.s., tounantion, on the contrary]); for you were called for the very purpose (o[ti eivj tou/to evklh,qhte [conj./subord., for, + prep./result + adj./demon.acc.nt.s., houtos, "this very purpose", + aor.pass.ind.2.p., kaleo, call]) that you might inherit a blessing (i[na euvlogi,an klhronomh,shte [conj./result + acc.f.s., eulogia, blessing, + aor.act.subj.2.p., klhronome,w, kleronomeo, inherit]).


  1. So much for the spirit that should pervade the community of positive volition.
  2. The next instructions, though not necessarily in their context, define the reaction Peter desires of his audience in the face of hostile treatment from the outside.
  3. Peter again employs the participial imperative, as seen in the verbs "not returning" and "giving a blessing".
  4. The whole expression "not returning evil for evil" agrees word for word with Rom.12:17, except mh, in the place of mhdeni, (cp. Rom.12:14; 1Cor.4:12,13; 1Thess.5:15).
  5. Though Peter (like Paul) may still have in mind relationships among believers and incidents that could occur among them, he now concentrates more (again, like Paul) on encounters with outsiders.
  6. With Peter the concern shifts to conflicts with those that slander and persecute believers (cf. 2:12,15).
  7. Both Peter and Paul are presenting ideal conduct for persecuted Christians which drew its inspiration from the teachings of Christ (e.g., Mt.5:38-48; Lk.6:27ff).
  8. The core of Jesusí teaching on non-retaliation is reflected in these rather terse phrases.
  9. The O.T. fully recognizes (e.g., Deut.32:35a) that vengeance belongs to God, and discourages the practice of getting even (e.g., Lev.19:18; Prov.20:22; 24:29).
  10. The current expression "donít get mad, get even" is at total odds with Scripture.
  11. The phrase "or insult for insult" gives a specific and common example of the general statement "evil for evil".
  12. A large percentage of the direct flack that these Christians took was in the form of hateful and derogatory invective.
  13. The noun "insult" (loidori,a) occurs only here (2X) and in 1Tim.5:14.
  14. The verb loidore,w (loidoreo, insult) is used in a context of nonretaliation, both by Paul (referring to himself) in 1Cor.4:12 and by Peter (referring to Jesus) in 1Pet.2:23 (cf. Jn.9:28; Acts.23:4).
  15. Peter displays an apparent fondness for a diverse vocabulary in describing the sins of the tongue (e.g., katalale,w, katalaleo, "accuse" in 2:12 and 3:16; cf. 2:1; evphrea,zw, epereazo, "denounce" in 3:16; blasfhme,w, blasphemeo, "blaspheme" in 4:4,14b; ovneidi,zw, oneidizo, "ridicule" in 4:14).
  16. The correspondence in vocabulary between this verse and 2:23 strongly reinforces the example of Christ under attack in 2:21-25.
  17. The rehearsal of Christís behavior in 2:23,24 was implicitly an appeal to the recipients of this letter to conduct themselves in much the same manner.
  18. Now the appeal is made explicit.
  19. Nonretaliation becomes the centerpiece of social duty as well as the centerpiece of the ethical teaching of the entire epistle (the theme, if you will).
  20. The positive side of the appeal ("but giving a blessing instead") is not to Christís behavior, for He was silent in the face of insults, but to His teaching (e.g., Lk.6:28a).
  21. Christians should not necessarily remain silent in all circumstances in which they are accused or slandered, but should instead "bless" their enemies with words of kindness (cf. Rom.12:14; 1Cor.4:12).
  22. Christís silence is perhaps an appropriate model for Christian wives in specific domestic situations, but as a rule believers should be ready to speak at the prompting of God the HS.
  23. "Blessing" is what describes the character of their speech.
  24. To "bless" in Greek literature is, first of all, to "speak well" of someone.
  25. The distinctly religious use of the term comes in the LXX and the N.T.
  26. Either meaning could fit the context here, but the following words, "so that you might inherit a blessing", favor the latter (pt. 25 versus pt. 24).
  27. To "bless" someone is to extend to that person the prospect of salvation, or the favor of God.
  28. It corresponds to praying for someone (cf. Lk.6:28b; Mt.5:44), except that the words are directed to the person or persons who are engaged in verbal abuse rather than to God.
  29. The implied hope of the Christian under attack is that those who now insult us will "glorify God in the day of visitation" (2:12).
  30. "Blessing" is simply part of the priestly duties whereby Christians "proclaim the excellencies of Him who called youÖ" (2:9b).
  31. The phrase "for this very purpose you were called" looks backward (as in 2:21, where slaves were to "do goodí even in the face of undeserved suffering).
  32. In other words, a part of our calling is that we function as ambassadors for Christ, meaning that we should do everything we can to positively influence our fellow man to come to faith.
  33. This includes the avoidance of speech designed to alienate our detractors (however true our retaliatory retorts may be).
  34. The basis for our goodwill towards men, even when they treat us badly, is the mercy we ourselves have received.
  35. Christians are called to holy conduct (1Pet.1:15), which includes the avoidance of all forms of revenge tactics.
  36. Our motivation is reconciliation, not alienation.
  37. Our speech can be true but still fall within the category of an "insult", and therefore constitutes "evil for evil".
  38. Our enemies should go away from the encounter with the clear impression that we care for them in spite of their hatred for us, no matter what they do with it.
  39. God will bring vengeance upon all who remain unrepentant.
  40. This is what it means to "bless" the object of your abuse.
  41. In the final clause (result) Peter holds out the prospect of Ph3 reward for those who act in accordance with this modus operandi.
  42. To paraphrase, "Bless your insulters (for you were called to bless them) so that you might secure a blessing".
  43. This follows the pattern of other formulas like: "Öforgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you in return"; similarly here, the thought is, "Bless, and you will be blessed".
  44. The inevitable outcome of this application under duress is eternal reward, as seen in the words "inherit a blessing."
  45. It is, of course, a reference to SG3.
  46. Jesus taught us that all forms of persecution are potential opportunities to accumulate SG3 (cf. Mt.5:11,12; cp. 5:46; Lk.6:22,23; cp. 6:35).
  47. For "inherit a blessing", compare Heb.12:17, where the expression has its original sense of an heir appropriating his fatherís blessing.
  48. In that instance Esau lacked faith, and as a result was excluded from the family (and eternal) inheritance.
  49. But we are of "those who through faithÖare inheriting the promises" (Heb.6:12).
Scriptural Appeal (vv.10-12)

VERSE 10 For, "LET HIM WHO MEANS TO LOVE LIFE (o` ga.r qe,lwn zwh.n avgapa/n [conj. +, thelo, desire, wish; "means", + pres.act.infin., agapao, love, + acc.f.s., zoe, life]) AND SEE GOOD DAYS (kai. ivdei/n h`me,raj avgaqa.j [conj. + aor.act.infin., o`ra,w, see; experience, + adj.acc.f.p., agathos, good, + acc.f.p., hemera, day]) REFRAIN HIS TONGUE FROM EVIL (pausa,tw th.n glw/ssan avpo. kakou/ [aor.act.imper.3.p.s., pau,w, pauo, stop, keep from, +, glossa, tongue, + prep.w/adj.gen.nt.s., kakos, evil) AND HIS LIPS FROM SPEAKING GUILE (kai. cei,lh tou/ mh. lalh/sai do,lon [conj. + acc.nt.p., cei/loj, cheilos, lip; shore {of the sea} + neg. + aor.act.infin., laleo, speak + acc.m.s., dolos, deceit]).

VERSE 11 "AND LET HIM TURN AWAY FROM EVIL AND DO GOOD (evkklina,tw de. avpo. kakou/ kai. poihsa,tw avgaqo,n [conj. de, and, + aor.act.imper.3.p.s., evkkli,nw, ekklino, turn away, + prep.w/adj.nt.s., kakos, evil, + conj., kai, + aor.act.imper.3p.s, poieo, do, + adj.acc.nt.s., agathos, good]); LET HIM SEEK PEACE AND PURSUE IT (zhthsa,tw eivrh,nhn kai. diwxa,tw auvth,n [aor.act.imper.3p.s, zeteo, seek, + acc.f.s., eirene, peace, + conj. + aor.act.imper.3p.s., diw,kw, dioko, pursue; persecute, + pro.acc.f.s., autos]).

VERSE 12 FOR THE EYES OF THE LORD ARE UPON THE RIGHTEOUS (o[ti ovfqalmoi. kuri,ou evpi. dikai,ouj [conj./subord. + n.m.p., ophthalmos, eye, + gen.m.s., kurios, + prep.w/acc.m.p., dikaios, righteous]), AND HIS EARS ATTEND TO THEIR PRAYER (kai. w=ta auvtou/ eivjde,hsin auvtw/n [conj. + n.nt.p., otos, ear, + pro.gen.m.s., autos + prep. {"attend"} w/acc.f.s., de,hsij, deesis, petition, + pro.gen.m.p., autos]), BUT THE FACE OF THE LORD IS AGAINST THOSE WHO DO EVIL (pro,swpon de. kuri,ou evpi. poiou/ntaj kaka, [conj. + n.nt.s., prosopon, face, + gen.m.s., kurios, lord, + prep. {"against"} w/, poieo, do, + adj.acc.nt.p., kakos, evil])."


  1. To clinch Peterís appeal for nonretaliation, he inserts these verses from the O.T.
  2. The citation from Ps.34:12-16 (the LXX of 33:13-17) is woven into the argument without formal introduction, linked only to what precedes by "for" (ga.r).
  3. Peter abandons the LXXís rhetorical question, "Who is the man who desires life" (Ps.34:12 [Ps.33:13]), possibly because he will use a rhetorical question of his own in v.13 to introduce his further application of the citation.
  4. The result of this change is that the five imperatives (aor.imper.2.p.s.) of vv.13,14 (vv.14,15) of the psalm are changed in the N.T. to the third person singular (aorist imperatives of "refrain", "turn away", "do", "seek", and "pursue").
  5. Psalm 34 arose out of Davidís experience when he was delivered from Abimelech, king of the Philistines, as the psalmís title indicates.
  6. In this celebration of Yahwehís goodness (cf. v.8) he calls upon mankind ("children" in v.11) to turn to his God and see ("taste" and "see" of v.8) if Yahweh isnít all that the psalmist exalts Him to be.
  7. David makes a universal appeal as a timeless teacher of eternal truths that will bring the truly "good life" to any person who will listen to his wisdom (cf. v.11).
  8. He describes his instruction as "the fear of the LORD", which is used as a synonym for BD.
  9. In v.12 of Ps.34 David holds out the prospect of the guaranteed "good life" to each and every person who will implement his teaching.
  10. The words "the one who means (literally, Ďdesiresí) to love life" refers to temporal life.
  11. And the phrase "and see good days" refers to the balance of anyoneís life on earth.
  12. Most people love life and want to see good days, but the fly in the ointment is their ISTA.
  13. The misery that plagues mankind is the result of negative volition and involvement with the STA.
  14. David holds forth an absolutely ironclad formula for the good life and the experience of seeing good days.
  15. What he is holding forth is Ph2 blessing under the grace of God.
  16. For the Asian Christians the key to Ph2 blessing in the midst of enemies is strict adherence to BD.
  17. The first imperative ("refrain") directs our attention to avoidance of the sins of the tongue.
  18. Evil speech covers a broad gamut of expression, which is sponsored by the mental attitude (OSN).
  19. The tongue/mouth/lips express what is in the soul.
  20. Evil speech takes many forms.
  21. Evil is all that is outside the directive will of God or the +R of God.
  22. It includes the articulation of ideological evil (false doctrine; hence, blasphemy) as well as moral depravity (lying, maligning, cursing, boasting, flattery, etc.).
  23. The heart is the sewer (Mk.7:21-23), and the mouth is the open sewer.
  24. Evil men are characterized by evil communication (Prov.6:12; 8:13; 10:6,14,31,32; 11:9,11; 12:6; 15:2,14,28; 18:6,7; 19:28; 22:14; 24:7; 26:7,28).
  25. The quote moves from the general to the specific in the mention of "guile", or "deceit".
  26. Deceitful speech is used to cover evil plans (Prov.12:20; 10:6).
  27. Deceit hides the true motivations of the heart (Prov.26:24).
  28. The person who guards his mouth from evil communication avoids much misery (Prov.21:23).
  29. If you are involved in deceitful activity, stop it now (Prov.30:32)!
  30. In the face of persecution the readers are to resist the temptation to engage in verbal retaliation and deceit (based on fear and desire for self-preservation) to make their situation easier.
  31. In His ordeal Jesus Christ avoided all manner of sins of the tongue (cf. 1Pet.2:22,23).
  32. The tongue of man articulates all manner of evil and is arguably the most destructive force for evil on the planet (Jam.3:6).
  33. Mature believers are characterized by the relative absence of sins of the tongue (Jam.3:2).
  34. The disciple Nathanael was praised by Jesus for his honesty (Jn.1:47).
  35. Adjusted teachers of BD are characterized by the absence of this sin in their content (1Thess.2:3).
  36. We are to lay this sin aside (RB; cf. 1Pet.2:1).
  37. The imperative "refrain" means to "stop" (bridle, in James) the various STA verbal expressions that undermine "the good life".
  38. The second imperative ("turn away") deals with overt involvement with "evil".
  39. "Evil" refers to all moral and ideological evil.
  40. It is not good enough to be morally upright; one must come to an understanding of the spiritual verities that enable one to make the adjustments to God.
  41. Spiritual evil is sponsored by Satan (Jn.8:44), and truth is from the mouth of God (Prov.8:7,8).
  42. Hence, among his titles is the designation "the evil one".
  43. There is hope and forgiveness for anyone who "turns away from evil".
  44. We call this repentance.
  45. Speech and actions are inseparable and that is why the two are mentioned in this order.
  46. The third imperative ("do good") is the implementation of the divine imperatives that stand in opposition to the practice of evil.
  47. These Christians had to focus special emphasis on the directive will of God in the face of slander and persecution (cf. 1Pet.2:12; 3:13).
  48. The fourth and fifth imperatives ("seek peace and pursue it") are essential to the well-being of the local churches, as well as providing an effective witness to the outside.
  49. "Peace" with everyone (Rom.12:18; Heb.12:14), and with fellow believers in particular (1Thess.5:13b; 2Cor.13:11) is a major directive of N.T. (as well as O.T.) ethics (cf. Mt.5:9; Mk.9:50b).
  50. This means that they were to render good for evil.
  51. The major thrust of this letter is to instruct Christians on how to deal with undeserved suffering from the source of people.
  52. This challenge is always before us.
  53. Verse 12 exactly reproduces the text of Ps.34 (Ps.33 of the LXX).
  54. It sets forth the antithesis between those who do good and those who do evil.
  55. "The eyes of the Lord" is an anthropomorphism for Omniscience.
  56. "His ears" likewise refer to divine Omniscience.
  57. This second line provides comfort and reassurance.
  58. Godís "ears" are constantly attentive to the "prayers" of "the righteous" when they are the objects of cosmic hatred.
  59. The noun "prayers" (de,hsij, deesis, 18X: Lk.1:13; 2:37; 5:33; Rom.10:1; 2Cor.1:11; 9:14; Eph.6:18; Phil.1:4,19; 4:6; 1Tim.2:1; 5:5; 2Tim.1:3; Heb.5:7; Jam.5:16; 1Pet.3:12) has the connotation of "to beg".
  60. It is an intensive word and therefore is suited to prayer when under duress.
  61. The third line, as applied to the recipients, constitutes a warning.
  62. If they engage in evil as a reaction to their difficulties (either retaliation or compromise), then God will turn His "face against" them.
  63. The affirmation, as recorded in Ps.34, has application to all "who do evil".
  64. "The face of the LORD" refers to the totality of His essence.
  65. Eventually His displeasure will express itself in judgment (temporal and eternal).
  66. While they can be assured that their enemies will be held accountable, so they must take this as a warning against any evil they may engage in.
  67. The final line of the O.T. citation, "to cut off the memory of them from the earth", is omitted here; it would be out of place, as this is applied to potential Christian intemperate reaction to persecution.
  68. It goes well with the evil practiced by unbelievers, but not believers, so it is omitted here.
Dealing with Undeserved Suffering (vv.13-17)

Our Vital Interests are Sacrocant (v.13)

VERSE 13 And who is there to harm you (Kai. ti,j o` kakw,swn u`ma/j [conj. + pro./indef. +, kako,w, kakoo, treat badly, harm; be cruel, + pro.acc.m.p., su]) if you prove zealous for what is good (eva.n ge,nhsqe zhlwtai. tou/ avgaqou/ [part./condit. {third class} + aor.mid./dep.subj.2.p., ginomai; "prove", + n.m.p., zhlwth,j, zelotes, one who is zealous; cp. Acts.21:20; 22:3; 1Cor.14:12; Gal.1:14; Ti.2:14, +, agathos, good])?

Persecution Equals Blessing (v.14)

VERSE 14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness (avllV eiv kai. pa,scoite dia. dikaiosu,nhn [conj./advers. + part./condit., if, + pres.act.opt.2.p., pa,scw, pascho, suffer = a fourth class condition; it is used to indicate a possible condition in the future, usually a remote possibility, such as, if perhaps this should occur, + prep.w/acc.f.s., dikaiosu,nh, diakaiosune, righteousness]), you are blessed (maka,rioi [adj.n.m.p., maka,rioj, makarios, blessed, fortunate, happy; 49X; cp. 4:14]). AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED [de. mh. fobhqh/te to.n fo,bon auvtw/n mhde. taracqh/te [conj. + neg. + aor.pass.subj.{hortatory}2.p., phobeo, fear, +, phobos, fear; "intimidation", + pro.gen.m.p., autos, "their", + part./neg., and not, + aor.pass.subj. {hortatory}2.p., tara,ssw, tarasso, trouble; be troubled/agitated; stir up {of water};19X: Jn.14:1,27; Acts.17:8,13; Gal.1:7; 5:10]),


  1. Peter now brings the Scripture quotation of vv.10-12 directly to bear on the situation of the readers.
  2. At this point we move into the main section of the letter, which continues right up to the farewell greetings.
  3. The trials and dangers of the Asian churches move into center stage.
  4. To encourage these believers the writer develops a series of interwoven strands of thought: the idea that the righteous person can face suffering with confidence; the basis for this confidence is Christís victory and the privilege of sharing in His glory.
  5. The section opens with a rhetorical question.
  6. The thrust of the question is this: "If God is on the side of the adjusted and against those who practice evil, what harm can possibly come to those who do good?".
  7. The "harm" (, kakoo) picks up on the cognate noun "evil" (kakos) in the verse above.
  8. The opening kai (not translated in the NAS) is best rendered "then/now/besides".
  9. The gist of the transition between the quotation of vv.10-12 and v.13 is: "in light of what has just been said", or "under the circumstances".
  10. The phrase "zealous for what is good" (literally, "zealous of good") is to be compared with Ti.2:14 ("zealous for good deeds"); Acts.21:20 ("zealous for the Law"); 22:3; and Gal.1:14.
  11. The sentiment expressed here can be found across a wide spectrum of Biblical literature (Pss.56:4; 91:7-10; 118:6; Isa.50:9; Mt.10:28-31; Lk.12:4-7; 21:18; Rom.8:31).
  12. A pagan parallel is Socratesí remark to his judges (Plato, Apol. 41d): "No harm can befall a good man, either when he is alive or when he is dead, and the gods do not neglect his cause".
  13. Peter is, of course, using "harm" in a specialized sense.
  14. He is not deluding his readers with the idea that if their conduct is in line with Scripture, they will escape abuse, maltreatment, physical injury, or the like.
  15. His point is that whatever disasters strike the adjusted cannot overturn their vital interests.
  16. This includes, principally, their eternal salvation (Rom.8:35-39) or their SG3 account (Mt.6:19,20; 1Pet.1:4-6).
  17. To come to this happy state, believers must "prove zealous for what is good".
  18. The verb "prove" is an aorist subjunctive indicating that this is a potential, and therefore up to the self-discipline of the individual.
  19. "The good" (tou agathou) refers to the conduct Peter calls these believers to under the general heading of "do not render evil for evil".
  20. In v.14 Peter reinforces that assurance.
  21. The question "Who then is going to harm you?" implies as its answer, "No one".
  22. Building on this answer, the alla ("But even") of v.14 introduces a beatitude: "What is more (even if you should sufferÖ) you are blessed".
  23. The safety from harm mentioned in v.13 corresponds to the blessedness of v.14, and therefore by no means rules out the possibility of "suffering for the sake of righteousness".
  24. The translation "No, even if you should have to suffer for the cause of righteousness, you are blessed" probably represents an adaptation of the eighth beatitude of Mt.5:10.
  25. "You are blessed" appears in the apodosis of a fourth class conditional clause (conditional particle ei, followed by an aorist optative).
  26. The verb "should suffer" (pascho) is an aorist optative that has generated speculation with respect to the recipientsí situation visa vi suffering.
  27. It is clear from Peterís statement in 4:12 that they were really suffering persecution, rather than suffering being a remote possibility.
  28. That such trials were more than a remote possibility can be seen in this letter, as in what has gone before (1:6,7; 2:18-20) as well as in what follows (4:12-19; 5:8-10).
  29. The optative mood denotes remote possibility and is rare in the N.T. Greek (less than 70).
  30. About 1/4 of the optatives occur in a set formula (me genoito)
  31. In the N.T. the optative is becoming absorbed by the subjunctive in the Koine period (versus the Attic period).
  32. Here and in v.17 we have a conditional optative.
  33. It is used of a remote possibility in the future.
  34. Acts 20:16 provides us another example ("for he was hurrying to be in Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of Pentecost."; cp. Acts.17:27; 24:19; 27:12,39; 1Cor.14:10; 15:37).
  35. Other classifications of the optative include: the potential optative (it appears with the particle an in the apodosis of an incomplete fourth class condition), as seen in Acts.17:18 "Some (of the philosophers) were saying, ĎWhat would this babbler sayí" (the implicit protasis is, "If he could say anything meaningful!"); the oblique optative (it is used in an indirect question), as seen in Lk.1:29 "She was pondering what sort of greeting this might be (the direct question would have been, "What sort of greeting is this?"); the voluntative optative (used to express an obtainable wish) of 1Thess.3:11 "Now may our God and Father Himself, direct our path to you".
  36. How are we to regard the conditional optative?
  37. These believers were not continuously and universally undergoing persecution.
  38. They lived in an environment charged with suspicion.
  39. Hostility had erupted in the lives of some, and was liable to erupt at any time, in painful incidents.
  40. This risk, always imminent, but for the most part a threat rather than an actuality, is itself sufficient to explain the optative.
  41. But a further reason for the presence of the optative may be detected in the logic of Peterís line of thinking.
  42. This verse is closely tied to the preceding one, where he has in effect declared "No one can possibly hurt where it matters, if you are devoted to doing good".
  43. Now, reinforcing his statement, he says "Nevertheless, if your devotion to righteousness should land you in trouble, you should count it a privilege".
  44. The phrase "suffer for the sake of righteousness" refers to undeserved suffering from the source of people brought on by adherence to BD.
  45. To be "blessed" is to gain divine approbation and to qualify for Ph3 rewards.
  46. Still further, to brace his readersí morale, he inserts apropos words from Isa.8:12ff.
  47. In the context of Isa.8 (Heb. text) the prophet and his followers are not to share the fear of the populace ("fear not their fear" [i.e., the king of Assyria]), or count holy what they count holy, but rather regard the Lord of hosts as holy and fear Him alone.
  48. The LXX of Isa.8:12c has the genitive singular (autou) "his fear", referring to the king of Assyria, where Peter substitutes "their fear" (auton), referring to their persecutors.
  49. The "their" of 1Peter (like the autou of the LXX) refers to the enemy.
  50. Peterís use of the cognate accusative ("to fear a fear") indicates that the Isaiah text is his primary point of departure.
  51. Peter follows the LXX rather than the Hebrew text.
  52. The final phrase is, literally, "neither be terrified", or "troubled".
  53. These words recall Jn.14:1 or 14:27b.
  54. But they owe their form to Isa.8:12c.
  55. Fear induces us to compromise and thus deny Christ.
  56. We must resist the urge to be afraid in the face of threats so that we can achieve the righteousness of God and the reward associated with endurance.
  57. Remember, when we suffer persecution, the enemy cannot overturn our vital interests, and we earn the approbation of God, who is with us through it all.
Dealing with Confrontation (v.15)

VERSE 15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts (de. a`gia,sate to.n Cristo.n ku,rion evn tai/j kardi,aiju`mw/n [conj. + aor.act.imper.2.p., a`gia,zw, hagiazo, sanctify, set apart, regard as sacred, +, christos, + acc.m.s., kurios, + prep.w/loc.f.p., kardia, heart, + gen.p., su]), always being ready to make a defense (avei.e[toimoi pro.j avpologi,an [adv., aei, always, + adj.n.m.p., hetoimos, ready, prepared, + prep.w/acc.f.s., apologia, defense {verbal}; 8X: Acts.22:1; 25:16; 1Cor.9:3; 2Cor.7:11; Phil.1:7,16; 2Tim.4:16; 1Pet.3:15]) to everyone who asks you (panti. tw/| aivtou/nti u`ma/j [adj.dat.m.s., pas, all; everyone, +, aivte,w, aiteo, ask, + pro.acc.p., su]) to give an account for the hope that is in you (lo,gon peri. th/j evn u`mi/n evlpi,doj [acc.m.s., logos, word; statement; account, + prep.w/, elpis, hope, + prep.w/pro.dat.p.]), yet with gentleness and reverence (avlla. meta. prau<thtoj kai. fo,bou [conj./advers. + prep.w/gen.f.s., prau<thj, prautes, gentleness, meekness, mildness; 11X: 1Cor.4:21; 2Cor.10:1; Gal.5:23; 6:1; Eph.4:2; Col.3:12; 2Tim.2:25; Ti.3:2; Jam.1:21; 3:13; 1Pet.3:16; cp. prau<j, praus, humble, gentle, meek; 4X: Mt.5:5; 11:29; 21:5; 1Pet.3:4] + gen.m.s., phobos, fear; respect]);

The Good Conscience Vindicated (v.16)

VERSE 16 and keep a good conscience (e;contej avgaqh,n sunei,dhsin [ {imper.}n.m.s., echo, have; no conj., + adj.acc.f.s., agathos, good, + acc.f.s., sunei,dhsij, suneidesis, conscience]) so that in the thing in which you are slandered (i[na evn w-| katalalei/sqe [conj./result + prep.w/pro./rel.dat.nt.s., hos; "the thing", + pres.pass.ind.2.p., katalale,w, katalaleo, slander; 3X: Jam.4:11; 1Pet.2:12; 3:16]), those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame (oi` evphrea,zontej u`mw/nth.n avgaqh.n avnastrofh,n evn Cristw/ kataiscunqw/sin [, evphrea,zw, epereazo, insult, ridicule, revile; 2X: Lk.6:28, + pro.gen.p., su, + adj.acc.f.s., agathos, good, + acc.f.s., anastrophe, behavior; 13X and 8X in 1 Peter and 2 Peter; cp. 1:15,18; 2:12; 3:1,2,16 + aor.pass.subj.3.p., kataiscu,nw, kataischuno, put to shame; cp. 2:6]).


  1. Instead of being intimidated by human beings, the recipients are admonished to "sanctify Christ as Lord" in their "hearts".
  2. Peter substitutes "the Christ" (to.n Cristo.n) for the auton of the LXX of Isa.8:13 ("the LORD himself you must revere").
  3. The words "sanctify Christ as Lord" signify that Christ is the ultimate sovereign to whom we should serve over the interests of men.
  4. Christís lordship is over all things in heaven and on earth.
  5. Believers are to recognize His lordship when confronting mortal man.
  6. By "sanctify" he does not, of course, mean "make holy", but "acknowledge as holy", as in the first petition of the model (Lordís) prayer.
  7. Christís holiness is made known by Christians who confess all that He represents.
  8. This aorist imperative is realized when believers determine that the fear of God supercedes the fear of man.
  9. We have far more to gain by standing firm in our convictions than to accommodate men to sidestep difficulties.
  10. The heart (Real You) is the sphere in which we hold Christ as our celebrity.
  11. The words "in your hearts" does not occur in Isa.8:13, but is paralleled verbally in Lk.21:14 in a context describing how Jesusí disciples will be able to "answer" (avpologe,omai) the religious and secular authorities before whom they will be brought to trial.
  12. Our allegiance is toward Christ and all He stands for.
  13. We should acknowledge His power and sovereignty over all creation.
  14. The courage, which springs from deep-seated reverence for the celebrityship of Christ, demonstrates itself in a readiness to testify when one is under interrogation.
  15. The situation envisaged is informal inquiry, as seen in the terms "always" and "everyone who asks".
  16. It had not reached the point where these Christians were facing interrogation before the courts.
  17. The community of positive volition was to "always be ready to give a defense" to those who might question their Ph3 "hope".
  18. The adjective "ready" is seen in 1:5 and 4:5.
  19. The only way to stay sharp is to be consistent in the intake of BD, prayerful, and alert.
  20. What we are asked to do is "give a defense".
  21. This term is used of formal defense in court against specific charges (as, e.g., Paul in Acts.22:1; 25:16; 2Tim.4:17; cf. apologeomai in Acts.24:10; 25:8; 26:1,2,24).
  22. In a more general sense, apologia refers to an argument made in oneís own behalf in the face of misunderstanding or criticism (1Cor.9:23; 2Cor.7:11).
  23. In Phil.1:7,16 Paul views his own formal "defense" at his impending trial as an occasion for the "defense of the gospel" on a wider front.
  24. Here in 1 Peter, the language of the courtroom is being applied to informal exchanges that can occur between the informed believer and his uniformed counterpart at any time (adv. avei., always) and under varied circumstances (e.g., wife to husband).
  25. The phrase "who asks you to give an account" (panti. tw/| aivtou/nti u`ma/j lo,gon), simply means to demand an accounting or explanation of something.
  26. Taken together, apologia and logon suggest that Peter sees believers as being "on trial" every day as they live in a pagan society.
  27. "Hope" is what distinguishes Christians from non-Christians.
  28. Ephesians 2:12 describes the latter as "having no hope and without God in the world" (cf. 1Thess.4:13).
  29. These believers had been set free from their ancestral pagan ways, and had put their faith and hope in God (1:21).
  30. Through Christís resurrection we have been born again "to a living hope" (1:3).
  31. It is the hope of eternal life and resurrection from the dead that separates them from their pagan neighbors and invites confrontation.
  32. This "hope" is said to be "in you", which refers to the specifics of BD.
  33. Today, and in this country in particular, we operate in a different environment with the same challenge.
  34. We witness to believer and unbeliever alike with respect to our hope and the importance of BD.
  35. We are called upon to witness to a variety of issues which divide Christians.
  36. The final phrase "yet with gentleness and respect" describes the manner in which we are to explain and defend our beliefs.
  37. The first noun ("gentleness") defines the attitude we are to exhibit as we witness to our critics.
  38. There should be no evidence of truculence (harshness/fierceness) or pride.
  39. The second noun ("fear") reminds us of our responsibility before God as we deal with critics.
  40. The Greek word phobos means "fear", and as in 1:17, 2:17, and 3:2 connotes not fear of men, but reverence for God.
  41. These qualities are more likely to commend doctrine to the wary-minded.
  42. Verse 16 tells us that in order to maintain an effective witness, we should be in possession of "a good conscience".
  43. The noun was borrowed from popular Greek thought, and stands basically for manís inner awareness of the moral character of his actions (cf. Rom.2:15; 9:1; 2Cor.1:12).
  44. The expression "good (or clear/clean) conscience" is also found in 3:21; Acts.23:1; 1Tim.1:5,19; 3:9; 2Tim.1:3; and Heb.13:18, and seems to be stereotyped (like "good fight" or "sound doctrine").
  45. Primarily it signifies the consciousness of freedom from guilt and having nothing to hide.
  46. For the believer it denotes personal integrity before God and man based on compliance with the directive will of God (cf. Acts.24:16).
  47. The good conscience is the product of the intake and application of sound doctrine (1Tim.1:5).
  48. Reversionists suffer loss of the good conscience (1Tim.1:19).
  49. Again, following Peterís argument, it is essential that we have our personal act together to have an effective witness.
  50. If the enemy can point to moral inconsistencies in our life style, they will make the most of it, impugning our religion.
  51. This is the high ground from which we are to make our "defense" of the Christian faith.
  52. We need to be in command of our subject, we need to exhibit the prescribed demeanor ("gentleness and fear"), and we must be morally irreprehensible.
  53. Pagan society was engaged in trumped-up slander, as there was nothing in point of fact to charge Christians with.
  54. The substance of the slander is seen in the expression "in the thing" (evn w-, prep.w/ and refers to unspecified charges brought against innocent people.
  55. In reality their enemies were engaged in attacking their "good behavior", which was based on the "good conscience".
  56. Christians were being accused of all sorts of things such as atheism, subversion, blood rituals, hatred of mankind, etc.
  57. The verb "revile" (oi` evphrea,zontej,, epereazo) connotes spiteful actions and speech (here).
  58. Here its object is the "behavior" of believers.
  59. The malicious things being said were invented by unprincipled people.
  60. The formula "in Christ" references the doctrine of positional sanctification.
  61. Union with Christ is the result of the baptism of the HS taking place at the moment of saving faith.
  62. The expression is distinctly Paulís, occurring 164X in his letters.
  63. By virtue of saving faith all believers are spiritually united with Christ and are one in Him (cp. Rom.12:5).
  64. For these beleaguered Christians their position matched their experience (as with us, when we are in fellowship, experiencing undeserved suffering).
  65. Instead of turning to God (as in 2:12), many accusers persisted in their negative volition and abuse.
  66. As a result, instead of "glorifying God on the day of visitation", they will be "put to shame".
  67. In both scenarios (2:12; cp. 3:16) there awaits an eschatological revelation.
  68. The first envisages repentance and faith on the part of persecutors who had second thoughts when confronted with the Christian behavior under duress.
  69. The second considers the fate of those who remain stubbornly antagonistic.
  70. At the Great White Throne Judgment unbelievers who persecuted Godís people will be "put to shame".
  71. This will also happen to negative believers at the Bema Seat who bad-mouthed true positive volition.
  72. In the psalms there is a frequent promise that those who trust in God will not be put to shame and that their enemies will (e.g., Pss.6:10; 22:5; 25:2,3; 31:1,17; 35:4; 40:14; 44:7; 70:2; 127:5, etc.).
  73. These references relate to time and Ph3, depending on the context.
  74. Like the psalmists before him, Peter looks forward to a turning of the tables and eschatological reversal of circumstances.
  75. Those who demand an account from believers, and repudiate it, will themselves have to give an account to the Judge of all (4:5).



    Preferred Sufferings (v.17)

    VERSE 17 For it is better (ga.r krei/tton [conj. + adj./compar.n.nt.s., kreiton, better]), if God should will it so (eiv tou/qeou/ qe,loito. qe,lhma [part./condit., ei {w/opt.= the fourth class condition} +, theos, God, + pres.act.opt.3.s., thelo, will; wish, + w/gen.nt.s., thelema, will; translation: "if the will of God will"]), that you suffer for doing what is right (pa,scein avgaqopoiou/ntaj [pres.act.infin., pascho, suffer, +, avgaqopoie,w, agathopoieo, do what is right; cp. 1Pet.2:15,20; 3:6,17]) rather than for doing what is wrong (h' kakopoiou/ntaj [conj./subor., or; rather, +, kakopoie,w, kakopoieo, do wrong; 4X: Mk.3:4; Lk.6:9; 1Pet.3:17; 3Jn.11]).


  77. A near consensus of opinion on this verse regards it as simply an extension to all Christians of the advice given to slaves in 2:20.
  78. The parallel rests on the occurrence of the verbs "do what is right" and "suffer" in both verses, and perhaps also by the fact both are followed by appeals to the example of Christ that immediately follow in each context.
  79. If this view is correct, Peter is setting before his readers the alternative of suffering for doing good or for doing evil in the society in which they live.
  80. "Doing good", then, refers to social or civic righteousness and the performance of good deeds in conformity with the establishment chain of command, while "doing evil" refers to anti-authoritarian behavior punishable by authority (cf. 2:14,15; 4:15).
  81. There are several difficulties with this interpretation.
  82. First, it reduces v.17 to a mere truism; second, it does not take sufficient account of the form of the statement; third, it does not take sufficient account of the immediate context.
  83. If 3:17 is merely a generalized repetition of 2:20, it appears almost tautological (redundant) in a way which 2:20 does not.
  84. The statement that suffering for doing good is "better" than suffering for doing evil is all too easily reduced to saying merely that good is better than evil!
  85. In fact, something essential to the meaning of 2:20 has been lost, i.e., the emphasis on "endurance", and the distinction between endurance that has merit (when one suffers unjustly) and endurance that has no merit (when one suffers for actual wrongdoing).
  86. Thus 2:20 has a point, but 3:17 appears to have none.
  87. The "better" proverb, familiar in O.T. wisdom literature, exists as well in the N.T., whether with kreiton (1Cor.7:9; 1Pet.3:17; 2Pet.2:21), kalon (e.g., Mk.9:43,45,47; Mt.18:8,9), or even sumferei (e.g., Mt.5:29,30; 18:6).
  88. The most complete form of the "better" proverb in the N.T. includes three elements: a word for "good" or "better", two infinitives expressing the actions or experiences being weighed against each other, and a word of comparison (h or mallon).
  89. In the synoptic tradition the "better" proverb is characteristically used to set forth eschatological alternatives.
  90. It is "better" to enter the kingdom of God minus an eye or a limb than to escape mutilation and go into eternal fire.
  91. It is "better" to drown in the sea than cause an innocent believer to fall into sin.
  92. It is "better" never to have been born than to betray the Son of Man.
  93. If 1Pet.3:17 is read as a "better" proverb of this kind, it yields a coherent meaning: it is "better" to suffer in this life at the hands of persecutors for doing good, than at Godís hands at the final judgment for doing evil.
  94. This interpretation finds support in the context.
  95. The end of the quotation from Ps.34 in vv.10-12 divides people into two groups: the "righteous" and the "evildoers".
  96. God looks with favor on the one, but sets His face in judgment against the other.
  97. The readers of the psalm are invited to pursue the good and to claim the promises of the psalm for their own.
  98. The "evildoers" are anonymous at first (e.g., the autwn of v.14b), but assume definite shape in the "those who revile" of v.16.
  99. Seen in this light, the distinction of the avgaqopoiou/ntaj ("doing what is right") and kakopoiou/ntaj ("doing evil") of v.17 is not (as in 2:13-20) between good and bad citizenship in Roman society as two options for the Christian, but is rather a distinction between two groups that comprise the whole human race: "doers of good", who may have to suffer in this age, and "doers of evil", who surely will suffer in the next.
  100. It is "better" (i.e., more advantageous) to belong to the first than to the second.
  101. Verse 7 is thus to be taken not as a word of admonition (i.e., make sure when you suffer that it is for doing good and not for doing evil), but as a word of assurance (i.e., remember, when you suffer, that you are infinitely better off than evildoers who oppress you).
  102. That is why it follows so naturally on vv.13-14a and helps to frame the admonitions of vv.14b-16.
  103. The verb in the phrase "if God should will it so" is optative (cf. v.14) and has led some to conclude that suffering was merely a hypothetical possibility for the readers.
  104. The solemn-sounding Greek expansion "if the will of God will" was, as in English, a devout cliché in Greek in which the conditional element might be minimal.
  105. As phrased, the statement is a general proposition in which the use of the optative is appropriate.
The Basis for Confidence under Persecution (vv.18-22)

His Death and Resurrection (v.18)

VERSE 18 For Christ also died for sins once for all (o[ti Cristo.j kai. e;paqen peri. a`martiw/n a[pax [conj./subord. + n.m.s., christos, + conj./adjunctive; "also", + aor.act.ind.3.s., pascw, pascho, suffer, + prep.w/gen.f.p., amartia, hamartia, sin, + adv., once]), the just for the unjust (di,kaioj u`pe.r avdi,kwn [adj.n.m.s., dikaios, righteous, just, + prep.w/gen.m.p., adikoj, adikos, unjust]), in order that He might bring us to God (i[na prosaga,gh| u`ma/j tw/| qew/ [conj./result + aor.act.subj.3.s., prosagw, prosago, bring to; 4X: Lk.9:41; Acts.16:20; 27:27 + pro.acc.m.p., su, "us", +, theos, God]), having been put to death in the flesh (qanatwqei.j me.n sarki. [, qanatow, thanatoo, put to death, + part./contrast + dat.f.s., sarx, sarx, flesh]), but made alive in the spirit (zw|opoihqei.j de. pneu,mati [conj., on the other hand, +, zwopoiew, zoopoieo, make alive; 11X: Jn.5:21; 6:63; Rom.4:17; 8:11; 1Cor.15:22,36; 2Cor.3:6; Gal.3:21; 1Pet.3:18 + instr.nt.s., pneuma, spirit; here of the HS]);


  1. The opening words "For Christ also" (o[ti kai. Cristo.j) occur in 2:21 as well.
  2. In 2:21 and here Christ is presented as the supreme example of suffering or, specifically, suffering undeservedly.
  3. In 2:21-25 Jesus Christ is set forth as the supreme example of the kind of behavior Christians are to emulate and as the One who, through His obedience, has gained immeasurable benefit to those who are His (cf. vv.24,25).
  4. In these verses Peter largely ignores the example aspect of Christís sufferings and concentrates on the vindication that came to Christ as a consequence of His obedience.
  5. The only word that connects Christian suffering with the sufferings of Christ is "also".
  6. The present passage expands upon 2:21-25.
  7. The thought of 2:21-25 proceeded from Jesusí behavior during His passion (2:21-23), to His redemptive death on a cross (2:24), to the present experience of Gentile Christians now reconciled to "the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls" (2:24b-25).
  8. The resurrection of Christ and His exaltation to the divine glory of heaven were missing links in that illustration, implied perhaps, but never made explicit.
  9. Here, on the contrary, Jesusí behavior during His passion goes unmentioned and His example- in the usual ethical sense of the word- is only a minor note.
  10. The emphasis here falls on the "missing links" in the previous illustration.
  11. In this passage Jesusí example focuses on His vindication after the fact.
  12. The application to Christians is that they, too, will share in commensurate glory if they endure in Ph2.
  13. The "also" does not suggest that the analogy between Christís suffering and that of believers is exact, for Christ suffered in ways and with results that were unique to His person and mission on earth.
  14. Peter stresses the uniqueness of Christís suffering, as seen in the adverb "once".
  15. "Once" is used in contrast to "again and again", as in Heb.9:26,28 (cp. Rom.6:10; Heb.7:27; 9:12; 10:10).
  16. Although the specific contrast in Hebrews between the sufficiency of Christís sacrifice "once for all" and the inadequacy of the repeated animal sacrifices of the O.T. priestly system is lacking in 1Peter, the hapax does connote sufficiency and completeness.
  17. Christís suffering is over, its purpose fully accomplished.
  18. Peter reflects on what that purpose was.
  19. The expression "died for sins", seen in various English translations (e.g., NAS), is based on textual variants.
  20. The reading "suffered for sins" (versus "died for sins") is adopted here because the verb pascho is a favorite of Peterís, occurring eleven times in 1Peter, whereas apothnesko occurs nowhere else in this letter.
  21. In view of the presence of the expression "died for sins", scribes would have been more likely to substitute apothnesko ("died") for pascho ("suffered"), rather than vice versa.
  22. The expression occurs nowhere else in the N.T.
  23. The words "suffered for you" in 2:21 are a close parallel.
  24. During the three hours of darkness, Christ "suffered" for the "sins" of all humanity (Doctrine of Unlimited Atonement).
  25. That Christís sufferings were substitutionary is seen in the words "the just (sing.) for the unjust (pl.)", or "the righteous for the unrighteous".
  26. This phrase connotes both the substitutionary character of Christís work as well as the sinlessness of the Savior.
  27. A good commentary on the paradox of the innocent dying for the guilty is provided by Rom.5:6-10.
  28. The phrase "that He might bring us to God" deals with the long-term benefit conferred upon those who believe in Christ.
  29. The potential element seen in the verb "might bring" is that eternal relationship with God is contingent upon personal faith.
  30. The verb has the connotation of being brought near or having access.
  31. "He" refers to Christ, and "God" refers to God the Father.
  32. The ultimate goal of Christís sufferings is stated in terms of our ultimate destination- Ph3.
  33. The front end is the salvation adjustment, with all the steps in between, ending in the glorification of the body.
  34. The cognate noun prosagwgh, (prosagoge, access) occurs in Rom.5:2 and Eph.2:18 and 3:12 of our special relationship to God based on the adjustments to God.
  35. Here the emphasis is upon a new relationship based on the salvation adjustment.
  36. This will be realized in the prayer petition of Jn.17:24 (cp. 12:26).
  37. The simple verb agw (ago, bring) is used with the same doctrinal nuance in Heb.2:10.
  38. So here the prospect is ultimate sanctification rather than positional sanctification.
  39. It looks at the ultimate benefit conferred upon those who appropriate the unique sufferings of Christ with respect to sin.
  40. The words "that He might bring us to God" refer to our glorification and presence with God forever.
  41. The journey of Christ continues in the words "having been put to death in the flesh".
  42. This refers to the physical death of Christ.
  43. The passive voice of the verb was realized when the deity of God the Son checked out His humanity when He prayed: "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit" (Lk.23:46).
  44. The mechanics of Jesusí physical death was in accord with His own statement to that effect in Jn.10:18.
  45. Luke 23:46 goes on to record, "Having said this, He breathed His last".
  46. The deity of Christ is not subject to death, but His humanity was.
  47. He died physically for the following reasons: because His work was finished; so that prophecy could be fulfilled; and to prepare the way for His resurrection.
  48. The connection between Peterís statement about Jesusí death and resurrection is served by the menÖdeconstruct, which literally reads: "on the one hand, but on the other".
  49. The final phrase of v.18 reads, literally, "but having been made alive by the Spirit".
  50. Both "being put to death" and "made alive" are aorist passive participles.
  51. The NAS version should have capitalized "Spirit".
  52. Actually, all three members of the Godhead had a hand in the resurrection of Jesusí body (God the Son in Jn.10:18; God the Father in Jn.17:1; and God the HS in this verse).
  53. The journey of Christ thus far, as reported in this verse, includes His suffering for sins; His physical death; and His physical resurrection.
  54. The journey continues in v.19 clearly, as will be shone, in His post-resurrection state.
The Victorious Post-Resurrection Proclamation (v.19)

VERSE 19 in which also (evn w-| kai. [prep.w/pro./rel.instr.nt.s., hos {HS}, + conj./ascensive; "also"]) He went and made proclamation (poreuqei.j [, poreuomai, poreuomai, proceed, go, travel, + aor.act.ind.3.s., khrussw, kerusso, proclaim, preach]) to the spirits now in prison (toi/j pneu,masin evn fulakh/ [, pneuma, spirit, + prep.w/loc.f.s., fulakh, phulake, prison]),

His Audience (v.20)

VERSE 20 who once were disobedient(avpeiqh,sasi,n pote [, apeiqew, apeitheo, disobey, + part./enclitic, once, formerly, at one time]), when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah (o[te h` makroqumi,a tou/ qeou/ avpexede,ceto evn h`me,raij Nw/e [adv., hote, when, +, makrothumia, patience, +, theos, God, + imperf.mid. or pass.ind.3.s., apekdecomai, apekdechomai, wait expectantly, + prep.w/loc.f.p., hemera, hemera, day, + gen.m.s., Noe, Noah]), during the construction of the ark (kataskeuazome,nhj kibwtou/ [, kataskeuazw, kataskeuazo, build, equip, + gen.f.s., kibwtoj, kibotos, ark, box]), in which a few, that is, eight persons (eivj h]n ovli,goi(tou/tV e;stin ovktw. yucai, [prep.w/pro./rel.acc.f.s., hos {ark}, + adj.n.m.p., oligoj, few, + pro./demon.n.nt.s., outos, this; that, + pres.act.ind.3.s., eimi; "that is", + adj.n.f.p., oktw, okto, eight, + n.f.p., puch, psuche, soul; "persons"]), were brought safely through the water (diesw,qhsan diV u[datoj [aor.pass.ind.3.p., diaswzw, diasozo, bring safely through; cure; escape, + prep.w/gen.nt.s., udwr, hudor, water]).


  1. Jesusí post-resurrection journey continues with the words "by which (or "whom") also He went".
  2. "By which", or "by whom", is grammatically linked to "by the Spirit" of v.18.
  3. "By whom" and "by the Spirit" are both dative/instrument neuter singulars (pneuma/spirit is a neuter noun).
  4. The Holy Spirit raised Jesus from the dead and transported His glorified humanity into Sheol Paradise.
  5. This interpretation is further supported by the adjunctive use of the conjunction kai, i.e., "also" (meaning that in addition to the Spiritís involvement in the resurrection event, He "also" was instrumental in Jesusí post-resurrection journey to the underworld).
  6. Another view takes the preposition with the relative pronoun (evn w-) as a dative of reference.
  7. This view does not make "the Spirit" the antecedent, but rather has the sense of "in that state" (resurrection body).
  8. Either way the effect is the same, namely that Jesus was transported to the center of the earth immediately following His resurrection early Sunday morning.
  9. The verb "He went" is an aorist passive participle, and "who also having been transported" could better translate the phrase.
  10. The passive voice supports the view that the HS transported Him to the underworld.
  11. The verb "and made proclamation" is the aorist active indicative of kerusso, meaning to publicly proclaim or herald.
  12. There is no "and" before "made proclamation".
  13. The verse to this point could be rendered: "by whom (or Ďin which stateí) also, having been transported, He made proclamationÖ".
  14. In support of the view that God the HS transported the body of Christ to the center of the earth, we should compare the work of the HS during the incarnation.
  15. He was conceived by the HS (Mt.1:18,20); the HS came upon Him at His baptism (Mt.3:16; cp. 12:18); He was led of the HS into the wilderness where He was tempted (Mt.4:1); He cast out demons by the HS (Mt.12:28).
  16. This verse and the preceding one would then provide a reference to the work of God the HS in Jesusí resurrection and in His victorious proclamation "to the spirits in prison".
  17. Another provocative parallel is the Holy Spiritís airborne transport of Philip after his evangelization of the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts.8:39,40; from around Gaza to Ashdod some twenty miles to the north).
  18. The placement of the phrase "to the spirits in prison" immediately after the kai ("also") suggests that the simple conjunction may do double duty: Christ went and made proclamation "even" to certain "spirits".
  19. Christ went to the most remote and unlikely audience imaginable.
  20. Who are "the spirits"?
  21. Verse 20 clearly locates them "in the days of Noah", just before the Flood.
  22. These "spirits" were understood in Jewish and early Christian tradition as angels whose sexual involvement with "the daughters of men" in Genesis 6 contributed significantly to the lawlessness prior to the Flood of Noahís day.
  23. In Gen.6:2 they are called the "sons of God".
  24. The designation "sons of God" is according to Job.1:6, 2:1, and 38:7, and is clearly a reference to angels.
  25. This expression occurs 5X in the O.T. in Genesis and Job (Gen.6:2,4; Job.1:6; 2:1; 38:7).
  26. It is never used of humans, only of angels.
  27. These "sons of God" were angels (i.e., "demons") who materialized themselves and fathered a super race ("demigods") who were genetically half-angelic and half-human (cf. Gen.6:4).
  28. Satanís strategy was to corrupt the human race genetically into a bastardized hybrid.
  29. Had his scheme succeeded, God could not have incarnated Himself into a man who was truly human (Christ would have been part angel and part man).
  30. The last Adam would not have been the genetic counterpart of the first Adam.
  31. This squares nicely with the post-Flood myths in which the gods (and goddesses) cohabited with humans, producing offspring ("demigods").
  32. Their offspring are the Nephilim of Gen.6:4.
  33. These legends and myths contain a kernel of truth.
  34. The demons involved in this enterprise are also mentioned in Jude 6 as the "angels who did not keep their own domain", and in 2Pet.2:4 as "angels" who "sinned".
  35. These two texts also indicate that the angels involved in this conspiracy were imprisoned in the "gloom of Tartarus" (zo,fou tartarw,saj).
  36. Peter describes here the abode of the fallen angels of the Gen.6 episode as "prison".
  37. In 2Pet.2:4 he specifies that the place is Tartarus.
  38. The hapax "Tartarus" refers to an area within Hades in which they have been imprisoned since the Flood.
  39. These are the only angels that have been, and are, in hell.
  40. Satan and the free angels freely move about between heaven and earth.
  41. These demons to whom Christ made His victorious proclamation will be released from their prison for five months in the Tribulation and torment mankind (Rev.9:1-9).
  42. In Rev.9 the place of their confinement is call "the Bottomless Pit".
  43. When Jesus was about to cast out the demons from the maniac of Gadara, they begged Him not to cast them into the deep of abusson (Lk.8:31), which is the same Greek word of Rev.9:1.
  44. Tartarus is part of a larger area called Sheol-Hades, where the souls of all deceased unbelievers reside.
  45. In the Book of Enoch (22:2), Gehenna is said to be the place of unbelieving Jews, and Tartarus of fallen angels.
  46. The Book of Enoch also agrees with Jude.6,7, where it makes mention of the arche-the Watchers who have abandoned the high heaven and the holy eternal place and have defiled themselves with women (12:4).
  47. Jude.7 equates the sin of these angels with the unnatural fornication (homosexuality) of the men of Sodom.
  48. These angels "did not keep their own domain" (NAS) of being a celibate race when they invaded the realm of another (homo sapien) by going after "strange" or "alien flesh" (cf. Jude.7)
  49. Note the phrase in Jude.7, which is: "in a similar manner to these".
  50. These angels violated the divine order of things when they forsook angelic celibacy, just like the men of Sodom (cf. Rom.1:27).
  51. Both groups of sexual deviants sought after that which was unnatural.
  52. Justin Martyr speaks of the angels who violated the taxin (order) of women by having intercourse with them.
  53. It was a comingling of two different orders of beings.
  54. The Greek poet Homer uses the term "Hades" as the place for the dead, and "Tartarus" as a murky abyss beneath Hades for fallen immortals.
  55. Peter (in 2Pet.) uses the term in agreement with the Book of Enoch and with Greek mythology, because he is speaking of fallen angels and not men.
  56. Here is a rare instance where Jewish, pagan, and Biblical understanding of a matter agrees!
  57. Christ, in His resurrection body, appeared before these "spirits" and delivered a proclamation to the effect that the scheme to pollute the human race, and thus overturn the promise of Gen.3:15 (primitive gospel), was unsuccessful.
  58. And that furthermore, nothing had happened to overturn the coming and glorification of the Son of God, since the scheme of Gen.6 had been thwarted.
  59. That scheme involved the corruption of the human race so that Messiah could not be strictly Homo Sapien.
  60. Jesus Christ spoke to them in the same fashion as when Abraham and the rich man conversed, as told in Lk.16.
  61. There, in Tartarus, these once proud and idolized creatures cowered before the eternal and victorious Son of God.
  62. Clearly, the audience that heard Jesusí victorious proclamation was much larger.
  63. It included the O.T. saints, as well as all unbelievers to date.
  64. First Peter 4:6 indicates as much.
  65. Following Christís victorious proclamation, He ascended from the center of the earth directly into the third heaven, taking with Him the souls of all O.T. saints (cf. Eph.4:8-10).
  66. He then, for the very first time in His humanity, appeared before His Father where, by divine decree, He was declared the Son and future Ruler of the earth (Ps.2:7-9).
  67. Again, all this occurred in the early morning hours on Sunday, April 5th, 33AD.
  68. He immediately returned to the planet and began His forty days of post-resurrection appearances.
  69. Jesus Christís appearance in this remote realm demonstrates the theme of His lordship which concludes this Christological section (cf. v.22; cp. v.15).
  70. The phrase "who were once disobedient" is parallel to the "angels when they sinned" of 2Pet.2:4, and the "angels who left their own domain" of Jude.6.
  71. It refers, of course, to their sinful liaison with the prettiest women of the time.
  72. These men were the envy and admiration of negative volition.
  73. As were their offspring, the nephalim.
  74. The human race consisted of three groupings.
  75. First, there were the gods who appeared as benefactors and civilizers, showing mankind a better way (good cop/bad cop).
  76. Then there were their impressive offspring, who exhibited physical abilities that were superhuman (they were noted for their exploits that were the talk of the people; Gen.6:4).
  77. Finally, there were the regular humans, who looked up to the first two categories.
  78. The legend of the lost city/continent of Atlantis comes from this period.
  79. With cultural and scientific advancement came a corresponding descent into violence and depravity.
  80. Human thinking, not to mention behavior, was preoccupied with evil (Gen.6:5; cp. vv.11,12).
  81. The human race at large followed the lead of their gods and demigods, and there was an almost universal repudiation of their Creator.
  82. The evil eventually became so pervasive that the Justice of God called for total extermination of the race (Gen.6:5-7).
  83. God gave mankind a 120-year probation period to repent and stave off judgment (Gen.6:3).
  84. God commissioned Noah, an adjusted believer, to call men to repentance or face unprecedented judgment (Gen.6:8,9; 7:1).
  85. This grace period in Gen.6:3 is referred to with the words "when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah".
  86. It is further specified 120 years "during the construction of the ark".
  87. During this time Noah and his sons built the ark and Noah warned the human race of the impending calamity (2Pet.2:5; Heb.11:7).
  88. His message was universally ignored, and mankind continued in their everyday pursuits as beasts for the slaughter (Mt.24:38).
  89. The phrase "patience of God" refers to that part of His nature, which does not desire to see men come under judgment.
  90. Grace always precedes judgment.
  91. Eventually, the patience of God runs out and the justice of His essence kicks in.
  92. Hard core negative volition spurns His goodness and mercy (cf. Rom.2:4).
  93. Evil reached a saturation point in the first 1,536 years of the antediluvian era (the 1,656 year period is based on computation from Gen.5).
  94. The last 120 years were devoted to "the construction of the ark", which served as a growing sign of impending doom.
  95. During this time, Noah faced total rejection from the cosmos.
  96. The text draws our attention to a precious "few" who heeded the message and acted upon it.
  97. Only eight individuals had the requisite positive volition to enter the only place of absolute safety on the earth for land-breathing creatures.
  98. This serves to highlight the fact that God will honor even the very few who hold fast to the truth and walk by faith.
  99. It serves to show that numbers are not an issue with God.
  100. Furthermore, God will oppose the whole human race if need be.
  101. Numbers do not determine the rightness of a matter.
  102. Another good example of the vindication of the few over the many is that of the Exodus Generation, in which only two out of hundreds of thousands were allowed access to the Promised Land.
  103. The "eight souls" consisted of Noah, his wife, his three sons, and their wives (Gen.7:13).
  104. They entered the ark upon Godís directive and God shut the door behind them (Gen.7:16).
  105. The only safe place on the earth was inside the ark.
  106. The people inside were at no risk, as God was overshadowing their 53-week "float trip" (371 days; Gen.8:14 cp. 7:11).
  107. Peter simply reports the wonderful and dramatic outcome: "eight persons were brought safely through water".
  108. The barge-like ship was very seaworthy and was carried along by the massive tidal waves that lifted it up and drowned all who lived on earthís single continent.
  109. The water vapor canopy of Gen.1:7 condensed out (40 days and nights of intense rainfall), and gravitational forces induced by earthís astral visitor caused the water in the ocean to sweep over the face of terra firma.
  110. The lesson to the recipients and to us is that God is not impressed with numbers and all who pursue evil will come into judgment, while the righteous are vindicated.
  111. Just hang in there with the ridicule and abuse. God will, in His own way and time, intervene and demonstrate who was in the right.
The Baptism that Saves (v.21)

VERSE 21 And corresponding to that, baptism now saves you-- (kai. avnti,tupono] ba,ptisma nu/n sw,|zei u`ma/j [conj., kai, + n.nt.s., antitupos; copy, counterpart; 2X: Heb.9:24; "corresponding to", + pro./rel.n.nt.s., hos; "that", + n.nts., bapptismabaptisma, baptism + adv., nun, now + pres.act.ind.3.s., swzw, sozo, save, + pro.acc.p., su, you]) not the removal of dirt from the flesh (ouv avpo,qesijr`u,pou sarko.j [neg. + n.f.s., apoqesij, apothesis, removal, + gen.f.s., rupoj, hrupos, dirt, + gen.f.s., sarx, flesh]), but an appeal to God for a good conscience-- (avlla. evperw,thma eivj qeo,n avgaqh/j suneidh,sewj [conj., alla, but, + n.nt.s., eperwthma, eperotema, answer, response, appeal, 1X + prep.w/acc.m.s., theos, God, + adj.gen.f.s, agathos, good, + gen.f.s, suneidhsij, suneidesis, conscience]) through the resurrection of Jesus Christ (diV avnasta,sewj VIhsou/ Cristou/ [prep.w/gen.f.s., anastasij, anastasis, resurrection, + gen.m.s., Iesous Christos]),


  1. This verse (and its syntax) is notoriously difficult to interpret.
  2. Before we begin, we will take a look back at v.20.
  3. Peterís point in mentioning the "eight persons" (literally, "souls") is to remind his readers that "few" were saved back then, just as "few" are responsive to BD now (cf. Jesusí sayings in Mt.7:14; 22:14).
  4. "Few" is a relative term as related to a much larger "many".
  5. In Noahís day "few" was a dramatic "few", as compared to the "many" who died in the flood waters.
  6. When this letter was written, the worldwide Christian community was like an island in a sea of paganism.
  7. Today, the many Christians (Biblical sense) in our world are dwarfed by the masses of nonbelievers.
  8. The next question we must resolve is the phrase translated "were brought safely through water" in the NAS.
  9. The phrase consists of the aorist passive indicative ( of the verb diaswzw (diasozo, rescue; cure; escape).
  10. It occurs 8X in the N.T.:
  1. Mt.14:36 ("were cured").
  2. Lk.7:3 ("save the life of his slave").
  3. Acts.23:24 ("bring him safely").
  4. Acts.27:43,44 ("wanting to bring Paul safely through", and "they were all brought safely to land").
  5. Acts.28:1,4 ("when they had been brought safely through", and "though he has been saved from the sea").
  1. Now the question is, how are we to take the preposition dia - as local or instrumental?
  2. The meaning of the verb, if taken locally, would be "brought safely through the water" (in which the water is the threat); but if taken instrumentally, it would read "saved through water" (in which the water is the means of deliverance/salvation).
  3. Taken by themselves in the natural situation of a life-threatening crisis, these words are more plausibly understood in the first of these senses.
  4. But v.21a seems to settle the matter in favor of the second: water (i.e., baptism) is that which saves.
  5. The instrumental interpretation of diesw,qhsan di,a (diesothesan dia) is supported by 1Clem.9:4 where God is said to have saved "through him (i.e., Noah: dieswsen div auvtou/) the animals that entered the ark".
  6. If it is objected that they escaped only because Noah built an ark that would float, the appropriate answer is that Peter is interested in "water" in his account, not in "wood", because there is something that he wants to say about Christian baptism.
  7. If the question were asked, "From what were Noah and his family saved?", the answer would be that they were saved from death, not merely from a hostile environment.
  8. As they were "saved through water" from physical death, baptism saves from eternal death.
  9. The paradox is that the very water that destroyed mankind was used by God to safely bear the ark along to its resting-place 371 days later.
  10. The water posed no threat to the eight souls within its sturdy confines.
  11. Peter is taking his readers into the waters of Biblical typology.
  12. Typology is the study of counterparts, or put another way, the study of shadows and their corresponding realities.
  13. A type can denote a person (Moses = Christ), thing (bronze altar = the Cross), practice (circumcision = isolation of the ISTA), or an event (the Red Sea Crossing = positional sanctification).
  14. The many types found in the O.T. imperfectly foreshadow the perfect realities to come.
  15. All ritual practiced under the Law had typological significance.
  16. The author of Hebrews says that the Tabernacle and its service was "a copy (u`po,deigma, hupodeigma, copy) and shadow (skia,, skia, shadow) of the heavenly things (realities)".
  17. In fact, the entire Law is typologically significant (Heb.10:1).
  18. The Greek noun tu,poj (tupos, pattern, model, example; type, figure) and the adjective avnti,tupoj (copy, counterpart) are synonyms.
  19. Antitupos occurs 2X in the N.T. (Heb.9:24; 1Pet.3:21) in connection with typology.
  20. This noun is simply an intensive form of tupos (the anti prefix is substitutionary).
  21. Tupos occurs 15X, of which two references are in connection with Biblical typology (Acts.7:44; Heb.8:5).
  22. Ten references have to do with being an example of something (cf. 1Pet.5:3).
  23. The other two references are in connection with the nail imprints in Jesusí hands (Jn.20:25).
  24. Antitupos is translated "corresponding to" in the NAS.
  25. The opening words of v.21 could better be translated: "Which (i.e., water) is also a type/figure of (the) baptism that now saves usÖ", or "There is also a type which now saves us - baptismÖ".
  26. Following Peterís line of reasoning from v.20, not only was the ark instrumental in delivering the "eight souls", but the "water" was their ally, as well.
  27. The floodwaters were a deadly force directed against negative volition, while at the same time a force for good on behalf of the passengers of the ark.
  28. Water (lots of it!) was a friend or an enemy, depending upon relationship to the ark.
  29. By the way, the ark is a type of Christ or union with Christ.
  30. Those inside (Christ) are safe from eternal judgment.
  31. The relative pronoun "that" (hos), the adjective "corresponding to" (antitupos), and the noun "baptism" (baptisma) are all in the nominative neuter form, as is "water" (hydor) from the preceding verse.
  32. The "typological baptism" is a reference to water baptism, not Spirit baptism.
  33. Water baptism "saves" us typologically, not actually.
  34. Water baptism is a ritual.
  35. It depicts union with Christ for Church Age believers.
  36. Johnís baptism depicted identification with the kingdom of God based on faith in the Messiah.
  37. It was carried over into the CA via the authority and instruction of our Lord and made one of the rituals for this age (Mt.28:16ff).
  38. This is the only reference to water baptism in 1Peter.
  39. The verb "saves" is a present active indicative.
  40. It keeps on saving us typologically, or figuratively.
  41. The adverb "now" (nun) strengthens the verb form.
  42. When a believer is baptized, that person is saved, figuratively speaking.
  43. Water baptism is a figure of the reality already present.
  44. Those who teach baptismal regeneration use this verse for support of their doctrine.
  45. But Peter discounts this notion when he adds the parenthetical words "not the removal of dirt from the flesh".
  46. "Flesh" is used in connection with the STA, and "dirt" (hapax) is used of personal sins.
  47. The closest N.T. parallel to this phrase is Jam.1:21: "Therefore putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness" (reference to RB).
  48. Peter is saying that water baptism cannot remove sins.
  49. He is certainly not saying something so banal as baptism is not to wash dirt off the body.
  50. Peter, like James, has moral defilement in view.
  51. The "removal of the filth of the flesh" is not physical, but spiritual, cleansing, and Peterís point is not that such cleansing is an unnecessary or unimportant thing, only that water baptism is not it.
  52. When a person believes in Christ all of their past sins are forgiven (Acts.10:43).
  53. There is an internal cleansing, or washing, that takes place at the point of saving faith (Ti.3:5).
  54. A bath pictures the salvation adjustment (Jn.13:9,10).
  55. The words in the parenthesis "not the removal of the dirt/filth of the flesh" are a disclaimer.
  56. The words are a corrective to a potential (if not actual) misunderstanding.
  57. Water baptism is not a means to gain pardon for sins committed, but as an affirmation that the soul has been forgiven and saved.
  58. This is the gist of the contrasting phrase which follows in the parenthesis: "but an appeal to God for a good conscience" (end parenthesis).
  59. It is worth noting that the contrast (ouv avlla.,, ouÖalla, "notÖbut") is absolute.
  60. In other words, "not this, but that".
  61. Peter is insisting that the inward moral cleansing to which he refers is presupposed by the act of water baptism.
  62. This interpretation is confirmed by the positive definition of baptism with which the argument now continues.
  63. Having stated what water baptism does not accomplish - "the removal of the dirt of the flesh" - Peter describes what should accompany it.
  64. The words "a good conscience" (suneidh,sewj avgaqh/j) come first in the Greek (emphatic position) after the adversative "but".
  65. The genitive ("of a good conscience") is subjective.
  66. Baptism is not a means of acquiring "a good conscience"; rather, it is "out of a good conscience" that a person submits to baptism.
  67. Hebrews 10:22 provides a parallel: "let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water".
  68. The author of Hebrews refers to approaching God in service and worship, not baptism.
  69. At various points thus far in the letter, Peter has emphasized inward cleansing among his readers (1:2,22; 2:1).
  70. The "good conscience" here refers to the candidateís understanding of the way of salvation based on obedience to the gospel.
  71. The adjusted candidate understands that he/she has been saved by grace through saving faith not as a result of good deeds.
  72. The "good conscience", as in 3:16, refers to the satisfied norms and standards arising from GAP with which the individual relates himself to God.
  73. The noun translated "appeal" (evperw,thma, eperotema, answer; hapax) means "answer".
  74. The final phrase in the parenthesis could be better translated: "but the answer of a good conscience toward God".
  75. The "good conscience" is the product of the understanding that comes with the salvation adjustment, including the fact that the candidate is aware that he/she is fulfilling a commandment of God.
  76. Then, there is the symbolism inherent in the ritual.
  77. The candidate should understand that he/she is depicting the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
  78. It is a public testimony of the reality that is within.
  79. Typically, new converts are baptized, not seasoned converts (Acts.2:37-42; 8:12,13,16,36,38; 9:18; 10:47,48; 16:15,33; 18:8; 19:3-5).
  80. After the "end-parenthesis" come the words "through the resurrection of Jesus Christ".
  81. The verse, minus the parenthesis: "Which (flood waters) is also a baptism (water) that now saves (figuratively)Öthrough the resurrection of Jesus Christ".
  82. "The resurrection of Jesus Christ" is what makes the answer "out of a good conscience" efficacious and guarantees eternal life to the believer in Jesus Christ.
  83. The same thought is expressed in 1Pet.1:3: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead".
  84. "The resurrection of Jesus Christ" is the guarantee that the new birth is efficacious.
  85. And water baptism is the ritual signifying our union with Christ whereby we share in His death(s), burial, and resurrection.
  86. It is the inner change associated with the "Real You" (i.e., "the removal of the dirt of the flesh" and the resultant "good conscience") that logically precedes the rite of baptism.
  87. When a person believes in Christ (having heard the good news), and "follows the Lord in baptism", that individual makes an appeal, or pledge, to God "out of a good conscience".
  88. That water baptism is in view in v.21, note the following by way of review:
  1. The verb "brought safely through" suggests that the flood waters, along with the ark, acted in their favor
  2. The relative pronoun that begins v.21 (Gk. sentence) is a nominative neuter, as is the noun "water", while "ark" is a feminine noun.
  3. The disclaimer, "not the removal of the filth of the flesh".
  1. This is a most unusual and difficult verse.
  2. In v.22 the journey of vindication continues with the ascension and session of Christ.
  3. Peter is careful to inform his readers that he is not teaching baptismal regeneration, as noted by the disclaimer.
  4. Water baptism does not remove "the filth of the flesh", either in a literal sense (as in a bath for the body) nor in a cleansing of the soul.
  5. Ritual does not change the inner person, only intake and application of the WOG does that.
  6. The salvation adjustment occurring in the presence of sound doctrinal instruction brings about "the good conscience".
  7. "The good conscience" is validated "through the resurrection of Jesus Christ".
  8. Expanded translation: "Which (water) as a counterpart now saves you, (namely, water) baptism; not the removal of the filth of the flesh (OSN), but the answer/witness of a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ".
His Ascension and Session (v.22)

VERSE 22 who has gone into heaven (o[j poreuqei.j eivj ouvrano,n [pro./rel.n.m.s., hos, who, +, poreuomai, poreuomai, go, proceed, + prep.w/acc.m.s., ouranos, heaven]) and is at the right hand of God (evstin evn dexia/| Îtou/Ð qeou/ [pres.act.ind.3.s., eimi, + prep.w/dat.f.s., dexioj, dexios, right hand, +, theos, God]), angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him (avgge,lwn kai. evxousiw/n kai. duna,mewn u`potage,ntwn auvtw/ [gen.m.p., angelos, angel, + conj. + gen.f.p., exousia, exousia, authority; ruling entity, + conj. + gen.f.p., dunamij, dunamis, power, +, uvpota,ssw, hupotasso, be subject to, put in subjection to, + pro.dat.m.s., autos, him]).


  1. The saga of Christís vindication resumes from v.19.
  2. The journey of vindication thus far includes:
  3. His suffering for sins and His physical death (12 to 3 p.m., Friday, April 3, 33AD).
  4. His resurrection (early in the morning of Sunday, April 5).
  5. His post-resurrection appearance in the center of the earth where He made a victorious proclamation to the "spirits in prison" (this occurred shortly after 6 p.m. on the evening of His resurrection, probably just after He suddenly left the Emmaus Road disciples; cp. Lk.24:29-31).

  6. Parenthetical Digression (pts. 6-17)

  7. By the way, His return visit (His was there previously for three days and two nights between His death and resurrection) on Sunday evening fulfilled and satisfied the "three days and three nights" prophecy of Mt.12:40.
  8. When speaking of His resurrection, Jesus was careful to speak only of "the third day" (cf. Mt.16:21; 17:23; 20:19; 27:64; Mk.8:31; 9:31; 10:34; 14:58; Lk.9:22; cp. Jn.2:19; Mk.15:29; Lk.13:32; 18:32; 24:7,21,46).
  9. Had the visit to Sheol occurred before the third evening or had it not occurred after His resurrection, then the prophecy of Mt.12:40 would have gone unfulfilled.
  10. In Mt.12:40 the mention of "three days and three nights" is related to Jesusí time "in the heart of the earth" and not to the time between His death and His resurrection!
  11. Jonah was continuously in the stomach of the great fish "three days and three nights", while Jesus was not there continuously, as there was a break between His resurrection and His return on Sunday evening.
  12. The three days and three nights are accounted for as follows:
  13. Day 1 was Friday after His death between 3 and 6 p.m. (remember a part of a day counts as a whole day).
  14. Night 1 was Friday (all night).
  15. Day 2 was Saturday (all day).
  16. Night 2 was Saturday (all night).
  17. Day 3 was Sunday (He arose in the early dawn).
  18. Night 3 was Sunday after 6 p.m. when He returned to the "heart of the earth" to make His victorious proclamation.

  19. End Digression

  20. He then made His first ascension from the center of the earth taking with Him the souls/spirits of all O.T. saints (Eph.4:9; cp. Jn.20:17).
  21. He immediately returned to the earth, where He appeared to His disciples over the next 40 days.
  22. After appearing to His disciples and giving them instructions to tarry in Jerusalem, He made His second and final ascent into the third heaven (Acts.1:2-11).
  23. Since then, He has conducted His session at the right hand of God.
  24. His session is referred to here by the words "who is at the right hand of God".
  25. "Who is" is a present active indicative of eimi, indicating linear action.
  26. The phrase "having gone into heaven" is an aorist deponent participle of poreuomai from the verb meaning "to travel, journey, go, or proceed".
  27. The action of the aorist participle here precedes the action of the main verb, "is".
  28. Peter was an eyewitness of Jesusí second and final ascent into the third heaven from the Mount of Olives.
  29. By the way, Christ will physically descend to the very same place He ascended from (Zech.14:4; cp. Acts.1:12).
  30. In Hebrews, Christ is said to have "passed through the heavens" (4:14), entered as a forerunner into the heavenly sanctuary (6:20), and consequently is now "higher than the heavens" (7:26), while in Ephesians, God has seated Christ "at His right hand in the heavenly places" (1:20; cf. 2:6).
  31. Although the expression of Jesusí exaltation is diverse, it is not hard to see how the phrase "at the right hand of God" afforded Peter the opportunity to weave into His argument the key phrase "having gone into heaven", which he only hinted at before.
  32. Jesus Christís lordship and preeminence is further accentuated in the second aorist participle (pass.), translated "had been subjected".
  33. It should be translated "having been made subject".
  34. If Ps.110:1 underlies most, if not all, of the N.T. references to Christ being "at the right hand of God", the same is also true of Ps.8:6b, "You have put all things under his feet".
  35. Psalm 8:6b is actually quoted in 1Cor.15:27, where it builds on a quotation from Ps.110:1 in 15:25 ("until He puts all enemies under His feet").
  36. Psalm 8:4-6, moreover, is quoted and interpreted in Heb.2:5-9, while Ps.8:6b is quoted but not interpreted in Eph.1:22.
  37. Each time Ps.8:6b is interpreted, attention centers on the word pa,nta (panta), "all things".
  38. Paul makes the qualification that, of course, "all things" does not include God, who did the subjecting in the first place, and that finally Christ Himself will come under the subjection of God (1Cor.15:27,28).
  39. The author of Hebrews notices pa,nta as well, with the observation that although the word is indeed all-inclusive, "still we do not now see all things in subjection" (Heb.2:8).
  40. More important to the interpretation of 1 Peter, however, is Eph.1:22, where the citation of Ps.8:6b comes shortly after the reference to Christ being seated at Godís right hand in heavenly places (1:20).
  41. No explicit attempt is made to interpret pa,nta, yet the intervening words, "far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come" (1:21), in effect define the pa,nta of the psalm quotation as eloquently as it can ever be defined.
  42. Our passage in 1 Peter, in contrast to 1Cor.15, Heb.2, and Eph.1, does not quote Ps.8:6b at all.
  43. Yet the phrase "after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him" effectively makes the point that "all things" are now in subjection to the risen Christ in heaven.
  44. Peter does not venture to identify or distinguish his three orders of angelic beings.
  45. They are at the upper echelons of the "all things", every power, whether good or evil, in the universe (cf. again Eph.1:21b "every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come"; also Phil.2:10 "in heaven and on earth and under the earth").
  46. Even "the spirits in prison" were put on notice, who exist at what might be considered the outer reaches of the universality of Christís dominion.
  47. Their further humiliation when Christ in His glorified humanity appeared before them serves to underscore that no other spirit, authority, or power stands outside His dominion.
  48. Other phrases like our "angels and authorities and powers" include 1Cor.15:24 "all rule and all authority and power"; Eph.1:21 "all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named"; Col.2:10 "all rule and authority"; Eph.3:10 "to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places"; Eph.6:12 "the rulers, against powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places"; Col.1:16 "visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities"; Col.2:15 "when He had disarmed the rulers and authorities"; Rom.8:28 "nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers".
  49. The hostile angelic order "was made subject" to the glorified God-Man when He arose and ascended to the right hand of God.
  50. Jesus was seated in the place of preeminence.
  51. The action of the participle "after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him" is to be viewed in light of His glorification.
  52. Resurrection, ascension, and session make up the glorification of the God-Man to date.
  53. "Operation Footstool" is to follow.
  54. This refers to the Second Advent, in which the forces of evil will be tactically defeated.
  55. They were strategically defeated at the Cross (Col.2:15) and subsequent glorification.
END: 1 Peter Chapter Three

Jack M. Ballinger

June, 1999

© Copyright 1999, Maranatha Church, Inc.