Epistle of 1st Peter

1st Peter was written somewhere around 64 AD. Unlike the epistle of 2nd Peter, there is general acceptance that Peter wrote this epistle (though some question it), but there is little actual proof, other than tradition, that Peter ever went to Rome, from which this epistle is said to have been written. That presumption is based in part on the notion that Peter is using “Babylon” as a euphemism for Rome in chapter 5:13, though that can’t that be known with certainty. Some believe that he was writing from the province of Babylon and not the city, which by then had ceased to exist. However, we note that the subjects of this epistle are all located in the regions of Turkey and the Balkans, which militates against that theory since there is no mention of any cities of the Middle East. The author clearly meant to address Western churches much closer to Rome than Babylon.


This epistle contains some of the hardest commands in the New Testament, urging Christians to patiently serve even despotic leaders, and to hold their peace even when unfairly treated.




1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers.1 scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

2 Elect according to the foreknowledge2 of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith3 unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:4

7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

9 Receiving the end of your faith,5 even the salvation of your souls.

10 Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:

11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ6 which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.7

13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:

15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;8

16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:

18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation8 received by tradition from your fathers;

19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:9

23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God,10 which liveth and abideth for ever.

24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:

25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever.11 And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the Gentile “Strangers among us,” scattered throughout Pontus [northeast Turkey], Galatia [north central Turkey], Cappadocia [central Turkey], Asia [western Turkey], and Bithynia [northwest Turkey],

2 Who were chosen through the foreknowledge of God the Father to be sanctified by the Holy Spirit, that they may be obedient and sprinkled with the blood of Jesus Christ. May ever-increasing grace and peace be with you.

3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who, in his abundant mercy, has given a second birth to us, that we may have a living hope--because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead--of receiving an incorruptible and undefiled inheritance that will never fade away. This inheritance is reserved in heaven for you who are kept by the power of God through your faith until the salvation that will be revealed at the end of time.

6 You greatly rejoice in this knowledge even though, if it’s necessary, for a time you are downtrodden because of many persecutions.

7 Know that the testing of your faith--something more precious than gold which perishes--even though it is tested in the fire (of affliction), will ultimately be to your praise, honor, and glory when the earth sees the return of Jesus Christ,

8 Who, though never having seen, you love--and in whom you believe, though you don’t see him yet--and in whom you rejoice with unspeakable joy that is full of glory,

9 Until you obtain the final goal of your faith: the salvation of your souls.

10-11 This salvation the prophets, who diligently searched out and foretold the grace that would be manifested and come to you, greatly desired to know more of. For they sought to learn both what their prophecies meant, and when they would come to pass, when the Spirit of Christ within them testified beforehand about the sufferings of the Messiah and the glory that would follow those sufferings.

12 They understood that these prophecies they were giving were not for them, in their time--but for us, in our time. And these things, which even the angels desire to know more about, have been passed on to you by those who have preached the Gospel in the Holy Spirit, who was sent down from heaven.

13 Therefore, discipline your thought life and be sober-minded, remaining confident to the end because of the grace that will be extended to you at the revealing of Jesus Christ (to the world at his return).

14 Be like obedient children, not letting your character and actions be molded by the former lifestyle and urges you knew when you were ignorant of God.

15 Instead, conform your lifestyles into an image of holiness, for He who called you is holy.

16 As it is written: Be ye holy; for I am holy.

17 And if you are among those who call upon the Father, who--without respect of persons--impartially judges every person’s deeds, live out your life here on earth with sober fear.

18 For keep in mind that you were not ransomed out of the futility of the godless lifestyles you inherited from your ancestors with corruptible things like silver and gold.

19 You were redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, who was like a (sacrificial) lamb without blemish or spot.

20-21 He truly was appointed to this task from before the world came into being, but only in these last days was made manifest for you who through him believe in God, who raised him up from the dead and gave him glory, so that you might have the same faith and hope in God as well.

22 Since you have purified your inner man, obeying the truth through the Spirit and sincerely loving your brethren, see to it that you perfect that love by fervently loving each other with a pure heart,

23 Being born again, not through corruptible human sperm, but through incorruptible, that being the decree of God, which lives and abides forever.

24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth,

and the flower thereof falleth away:

25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this decree is the Message that has been preached to you in the Gospel.

1. “Strangers” is the Hebrew term referring to Gentiles who have joined themselves to the commonwealth of Israel.

2. A reaffirmation that the Gentiles were not merely allowed to come to God as an afterthought, but that God, from the beginning, had in mind all of humanity being His people.

3. Some skeptics like to claim there is a disagreement between Paul and the other apostles regarding what Christianity actually is. Jewish skeptics in particular like to point to Jesus’ affirmation of keeping the Torah, and Paul’s de-emphasis of that, inventing a non-existent disagreement. We see here Peter also understood that salvation was both gained--and “kept”--through faith, and not, as some traditional beliefs hold, through the Sacraments.

4. “Temptations” should be understood as “persecutions.” It is at the time this epistle was written that Nero turned against the Christians and began a horrid persecution of them after the burning of Rome. This persecution extended beyond the borders of Rome, but true empire-wide persecution of Christians did not occur until Decius and Diocletian in the 3rd century.

5. “The end of your faith” is better understood as: “The goal of your faith.” This is a verse used by Catholics to promote the idea of progressive justification since it can be inferred that Peter is claiming salvation is a future event. However, when weighed against the totality of Scripture, that view does not hold up in the sense of confirming that one’s eternal destiny remains in question until he dies and then finds out whether or not he died in a state of grace.

6. “Spirit of Christ” could certainly refer to the Holy Spirit. However, the context seems to suggest that “spirit” should be understood as “revelation,” which is acceptable in Eastern speech--especially since Peter, in the next verse, otherwise inexplicably shifts from the term “Spirit of Christ” to the “Holy Ghost.”

7. Jewish tradition has a lot of weird stories about the relationship between God and His angels. In some cases, they cause God frustration and almost relate to Him as if near-equals. Just how much of this Jewish notion of the angels’ relationship to God is coloring Peter’s comments we don’t know. At minimum, his words reveal that the angels are curious about what God is doing, and don’t understand it--much like us.

8. “Conversation” means “lifestyle.”

9. As noted by Jesus in the Gospels, one of the key indicators on whether one is or is not a member of the Body of Christ is his love for his fellow brethren.




1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,

2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word1, that ye may grow thereby:

3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,

5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient2, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,

8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

10 Which in time past were not a people,3 but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man4 for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;

14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.

15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:

16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.

17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.5

18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.

19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.

20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.

21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:

23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:6

24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

1 And so, laying aside all malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and backbiting,

2-4 Desire the sincere milk of the Gospel message as (innocent) newborn babes, that you may be nourished by it and grow up to maturity--if you have indeed tasted and found that the Lord is gracious, to whom you come, as if to a living foundation stone rejected by men but chosen by God, and considered precious to Him.

5 You also, as living building bricks, are being built up into a spiritual temple and holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

6 For the Scripture also says: Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

7 To you who believe, he is indeed precious. But to those who refuse to believe, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,

8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence. Yes, this is the fate of those who stumble at the Message, refusing to believe, which was a fate appointed them.

9 But you are a chosen race, a confraternity of priest-kings, a holy nation, and a precious people--so that you may declare praise to Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

10 In time past, you were not His people and had not obtained mercy, but now you are His people and have obtained mercy!

11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you, as strangers and pilgrims, to abstain from fleshly desires that war against your soul.

12 Have an upright lifestyle among the pagans, so that--even though they may talk about you as evildoers--they may, by seeing your good deeds, (come to the faith and) glorify God on the day of visitation.

13 Obey every governmental institution for the sake of the Lord, whether it is to the Emperor as supreme,

14 Or various lesser governors that are sent out by him to punish evildoers, and to praise those who do well.

15 For this is the will of God, that by your doing good, you may silence the tongues of ignorant, foolish men.

16 Do this as men who, though they are free, do not use their freedom as a justification for wrongdoing, but instead use their freedom to serve God.

17 Respect all men. Love the brothers in the Messianic community. Fear God. Honor the Emperor.

18 Slaves, be obedient to your masters with all fear--not only if your master is good and gentle, but even if he is a hard taskmaster.

19 For it is praiseworthy if a man, for the sake of his conscience toward God, endures hardship, suffering undeservedly.

20 For what credit is there if someone strikes you for something wrong that you do, and you take it patiently? But if you suffer for doing what is right, and endure that with patience--well, this is pleasing to God.

21 For you have been called to act in such a manner because Christ also suffered patiently for us, leaving for us an example that we should follow in his footsteps.

22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.

23 And when he was reviled, he did not speak back in return; and when he suffered, he did not make threats to his abusers--but instead, he committed himself to God who judges righteously.

24 It was he who, in his own body, bore our sins on the “tree,” so we, being dead to sin, should be made alive to righteousness; and it was by his stripes that you all were healed.

25 For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.

1. In English, this looks as if Peter is telling the people to go read their Bibles so that they can grow spiritually. He is actually exhorting them to listen to sound foundational teaching from their leaders, and to put those teachings into practice in their everyday lives.

2. “Disobedient” is the wrong translation. The word refers to those who are “unbelieving,” and the passage should not be understood as referring to disobedient sinners, but those who refuse to believe the Gospel--especially the unbelieving Jews. Peter goes on to point out that just as Christ was an offense to the unbelieving Jewish leaders, so too the Christians are a thorn in their side and subject to persecution from them.

3. A clear reference to Gentile believers who formerly were not part of the commonwealth of Israel.

4. Though “every ordinance of man” sounds like it means the various civil laws each country enacts, it is referring to civil institutions and authorities.

5. These exhortations to honor the king and obey civil authority have been very controversial, for absolute obedience to them would call into question things like the American Revolution or any civil revolt against despotic leadership.

6. In other words, Peter has been exhorting Christians to keep their mouths shut when they’re unfairly treated, and to leave it to God to vindicate them.




1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;1

2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.

3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;2

4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:

6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord3: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement4.

7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.5

8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful6, be courteous:

9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.

10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:

11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.

12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?

14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;

15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.

18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;7

20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us8 (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

1-4 Likewise, wives, be in subjection to your husbands, so that if any (husbands) do not obey the Gospel, they may--independent of the Gospel--be won over by their wives as they behold their pure and reverential lifestyle reflecting the fact that their adornment and identity come not by outward things like hair styles, expensive jewelry, and designer clothes, but in the hidden treasure of the heart, which is an adornment that is incorruptible: Ameek and quiet spirit, something that in God’s eyes is of great value.

5 For this is how the holy women of olden times who trusted in God adorned themselves, treating their own husbands with absolute respect and honor--

6 Just as Sarah, for instance, obeyed Abraham, calling him “Lord.” You are daughters of hers so long as you do well, and do not let fear overcome you.

7 In the same way, husbands, take care of your wives in an understanding manner, honoring her as a weaker vessel but still an equal heir of the grace of (eternal) life (in Christ), so that God can respect and answer your prayers.

8 Finally, you all should have the same mindset of compassion for one another. Love each other as brothers, and be quick to show compassion and courtesy,

9 Not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult--but instead blessing, knowing this is what you have been called to do so that you, yourself, can inherit a blessing.

10 For: He that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:

11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.

12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

13 And who would harm you if you pursue doing good things?

14 But if it so be that you suffer for doing the right thing--be happy! Be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled.

15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready, in meekness and respect, to give a good answer to every man who asks you why you have such confidence,

16 Having a clear conscience (when you reply), so that, whereas they may speak of you as if you are an evildoer, these same people who falsely accuse you may be ashamed by your Christlike lifestyle.

17 For it is better to suffer for doing good than it is to suffer for doing evil, if indeed God wills for you to suffer.

18-20 For Christ also suffered one time for man’s sins--the just, suffering for the unjust--that he might bring us to God by dying in the flesh but arising to life in his spirit, through which he went and proclaimed things to those spirits in Hades who, in time past, refused to believe when long ago the patience of God was being extended to them in the days Noah was building the ark, in which only a few, eight souls, to be exact (who did have faith), were saved through the water.

21 This symbolizes the sort of baptism that now saves us--not simply putting away the dirt of the flesh, but instead asking God for a good (and clear) conscience by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

22 Who has gone into heaven, and is now on the right hand of God, with angels, various (earthly and spiritual) authorities and powers being made subject to him.

1. Peter is saying that if a wife shows herself to be an exemplary homemaker, who doesn’t talk back to her spouse, the husband may be so shocked by what he sees that he may show interest in the Gospel and eventually come to believe in Christ.

2. This is not a command to wear a skirt down to the floor, or to throw away the lipstick--but it is an exhortation for the women to set their priorities on spiritual things.

3. “Master” is an even better translation.

4. In old English, it means “terror” or “fear,” not “a sense of wonderment” as it does today. Peter is telling the wives not to be worried and stressed over natural things.

5. “According to knowledge” is a confusing phrase, and the following paraphrase may help to convey the meaning of the text a bit better: “In the same way, husbands, take care of your wives in an understanding manner, honoring her as a weaker vessel but still an equal heir in Christ, so that God can respect and answer your prayers.

6. “Pitiful” means willing to show compassion and pity toward others.

7. “Preached” doesn’t mean Jesus went into Sheol and spoke the Gospel to the unsaved who died in early times as a second chance of repentance. It means that Jesus went and proclaimed victory to the righteous dead in “Abraham’s Bosom,” while announcing defeat to the unrighteous. What we’re not told is why Jesus seems to single out the dead of Noah’s time for this message. Some theologians suggest the passage should be understood as saying that Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, preached to the antediluvian world through Noah in his time, but the text does not really lend itself well to that notion.

8. This is one of the worst of the badly-translated verses in the New Testament, which helps muddy an already difficult-to-understand verse about whether or not baptism saves the soul. It also dilutes the evil of those being spoken of, making it seem as if they weren’t all that bad, which gives birth to the false teaching that Jesus went to Hades/Sheol and preached a second chance for salvation to ‘sometimes disobedient’ people. Actually, “sometime were disobedient” can, and should be translated as: “In time past, refused to believe.” When we translate it correctly, we see the text is strengthened in promoting the overall concept of the New Testament teaching that salvation comes only through faith.

Yet another issue that arises with the false doctrine of Noah’s generation having the Gospel “preached” to them in Hades, is that of any “good” people who died after the Flood, but before Christ: Peter’s words would exclude them from this benefit, and we must ask why the wholly wicked generation of Noah would hear the Gospel, while hosts after them, who were not as wicked, did not receive the same benefit. The answer, of course, is that the wicked dead did not get the Gospel “preached” to them at all, but merely had their ultimate defeat proclaimed to them, while the righteous were told of Christ’s ultimate victory over Satan and death.

9. A verse often misunderstood and misused from ancient times to today. The wording makes it sound as if Peter might be suggesting that undergoing baptism is a salvific experience, or that baptism accomplishes some sort of forgiveness of sin. This is why the Catholic Church believes that baptism washes away the stain of Original Sin (handed down to their descendants by Adam and Eve), and why some denominations believe a person is not saved until they undergo baptism.

But this is the same Peter who, in Acts 10:43, said: “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

Peter, like Paul, understood that salvation was through faith, and forgiveness of sin was on the basis of faith in Messiah’s atonement, and not through some mixture of faith + receiving baptism.

Peter may actually have understood baptism somewhat metaphysically as Paul did; and to place Peter’s words here in correct context, we need to reference 1 Cor. 10:1-2, to see how Paul touches on the symbolism of baptism:

Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;

And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;

Paul is outlining the metaphysical notion that the Israelites were “baptized unto Moses” in the sense of coming under the spiritual covering and covenant of Moses (the Law), symbolized by the “baptism” of passing through the Red Sea and the cloud that covered the camp. (However, the point must be made that there was no righteousness or efficacious effect by this “baptism.” )

We note also that Peter, in verse 20, just likened Christ to the ark prepared by Noah to save the human race, and this is the vehicle by which Peter understands that salvation and the forgiveness of sin have occurred. (“By water” in the verse can, and should be, translated “through water,” as virtually all modern Bibles other than the KJV render it.) The baptism subsequent to that is a sign that the people have now been baptized into Christ, again coming under a spiritual covering and covenant.

Peter thus is not saying that water baptism Saves (in the sense of salvation from sin) any more than he is saying the waters of the flood “saved” Noah. His point is that the ark (see Heb. 11:7) saved the people through God’s judgment of the flood just as Christ now Saves us from the future wrath of fire that will come upon the earth (2 Peter 3:7)! In fact, this very verse, in which some mistakenly believe Peter is teaching that water baptism Saves, actually denies that very thing when it says, “not the putting away of the filth of the flesh,* but the answer of a good conscience toward God.”


* The verse shows a distinction between what water does when the body is immersed in it, and what is accomplished on a spiritual level through faith in Christ.




1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;

2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.1

3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:

4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:

5 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.

6 For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.2

7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.3

9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.

10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.4

11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.5

12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you:

on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters.

16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?6

19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.7

1 So as Christ has suffered for us (and our sins) in his body, arm yourselves with the same willing attitude--for a person who has suffered in his body has broken with sin,

2 So that he should no longer live out his earthly days following the ungodly urges of humanity, but instead following the will of God.

3 For (you) spent enough time in your past, acting like pagans when you participated in lasciviousness, lusts, drunkenness, partying, carousing, and unrestrained idolatry.

4 Your old friends think it strange that you no longer run to fellowship with them in these outrageous things, and thus they speak badly about you.

5 But these shall one day give an account to (Christ), who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

6 This is why the Gospel was preached to some who have passed on, that they (through their testimony) might be judged by earthly rulers (and be slain in the flesh) only to live through God in the spirit.

7 But the end of all things is at hand. So be sober-minded and vigilant in your prayers.

8 And above all things, have a fervent love amongst you, for love covers a multitude of sins.

9 Show hospitality to the homeless in the Messianic community without being resentful for the intrusion.

10 And in proportion as anyone has received a gift from the Spirit, so you should minister your gifts between each other as good stewards of the manifold grace God has given you.

11 If any man has a message to proclaim, let it reflect the words and wisdom of God. If any man serves, let him do it as God has given him the ability to, that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

12 Beloved, don’t think it strange--as if something unnatural has come upon you--regarding the fiery trial that you may be undergoing.

13 But rejoice (in such trials), for you are sharers of the sufferings of Christ in order that, when his glory is revealed (at the Second Coming), you may also be glad with exceeding joy.

14 If you are mocked and persecuted for being a Christian, happy are you--for the Spirit of glory and (power) rests upon you. On the part of those condemning you, Christ is spoken evil of, but on your part he is glorified.

15 But let none of you suffer for being a murderer, thief, evildoer, or for being a busybody in other people’s business.

16 But if any man suffers for being a Christian, let him not be ashamed. Instead, let him glorify God for being associated with Christ and his name.

17 For the time has come that judgment must begin at the house of God--and if it begins first with us, what will the fate be of those who refuse to (believe and) obey the Gospel of God?!

18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

19 Therefore, let those who suffer because God wills for it to happen, commit their souls into His keeping by continuing to do well, for He is a faithful Creator.

1. As Paul makes clear elsewhere, there are times that to do what is right and resist what is wrong is a frustrating struggle.

2. This verse causes some problems,in that some try to tie it into the last chapter, deriving the notion that Peter taught the dead in Sheol had a second chance for repentance after the Crucifixion. Because of other verses in the Bible that make clear that it is appointed to men to die one time and then face judgment, we know this cannot be true.

So to what is Peter referring?

Well, we see from the same verse that the “dead” of whom he speaks were “judged according to men in the flesh.” This means that they were mocked and rejected--just as the Christians he was writing to were mocked and rejected--by unbelievers. Certainly, this cannot be the case for dead spirits eager to avoid hell. Thus, he must be speaking either of the righteous in Old Testament times, or possibly of the Christians in his own era who were being martyred for their faith, especially as we see him begin to deal with this as he goes on in the chapter. In either event, those referred to seem to have known and embraced the Gospel before death.


3. Peter is no more suggesting that through charity (shown by good deeds and alms) a man can receive true forgiveness of his sins, any more than he can through baptism. But he is indicating that God is less likely to hold our temporal sins against us when we our attitude is otherwise right.

4. “The gift” is a misleading translation. The verse might be better understood as: “In proportion as anyone has received a gift from the Spirit.” Otherwise, it is referring to real-world talents that can benefit the church.

5. The gist of this verse is to exhort people to minister under the anointing and submission to the Spirit, rather than carnal talent.

6. A sobering verse that calls to mind the fact that even the most righteous of us is an abomination to God apart from Christ. It must also be noted that “saved” is not talking about salvation from sin, but salvation from the upcoming Great Tribulation. This is discussed briefly in Appendix 5.

7. Another verse showing--to our displeasure--that it can indeed be God's will for us to suffer. Despite that, our attitude is to trust God to the end. It's this fact that causes many to fall away, because the devil is quick to bring doubt to someone who undergoes what seems to be an unfair persecution or trial. Yet this is an absolute fact of the Christian life: There will be times and seasons when a believer will go through something unfair that God simply will not lift, leaving the person to go through it to the end, whether it takes weeks, months, years, decades, or an entire lifetime.




1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:

2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.1

4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.2

6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

12 By Silvanus3, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand.

13 The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.4

14 Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

1-2 I, who am an elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, along with being one who will share the glory that will be revealed, exhort my fellow elders among you to feed the flock of God, overseeing that flock not out of obligation, but willingly; and not for ill-gotten gain, but instead because they want to do it!

3 Also, do not lord it over God’s heritage, but be good examples to the flock.

4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive a glorious crown that will not fade away.

5 Likewise, you young people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you should learn how to serve one another and be clothed in humility, for: God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

6-7 So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, casting all your cares upon Him--because He cares about you--so that He may exalt you in due time.

8 Be sober-minded, and vigilant, for your adversary, the devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whomever he can gulp down.

9 Resist him steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same trials are also happening to your brethren elsewhere in the world.

10 But may the God of all grace, who has called us to his eternal glory by Christ Jesus--after you have suffered for a while--perfect, ground, strengthen, and settle you.

11 To Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

12 Through Silas, whom I know to be a faithful brother to you, I have written this short letter, proclaiming, and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand.

13 The church at “Babylon,” elect with yourselves, sends greetings, as does Mark, my son.

14 Greet each other with a kiss of love. Peace be with you all who are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

1. An excellent exhortation to ministers never to lord it over the congregation, for their charge is to serve, not to be served!

2. The point of all this talk of submission is not necessarily to command everyone to blindly obey orders, but to function as a harmonious body which places the good of others above self. In such a milieu, submission comes naturally, as a point of serving, rather than artificially through carnal obedience to orders because one “has” to.

3. Otherwise known as Silas in the book of Acts.

4. “Church” isn’t in the text, but rather “she” is, and this is taken to mean the church. As to what “Babylon” refers to, most presume it is a euphemism for Rome. Also, Marcus is another name for the Gospel-writer Mark.