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1 Peter 1:18-25

Context
1:18 You know that from your empty way of life inherited from your ancestors you were ransomed – not by perishable things like silver or gold, 1:19 but by precious blood like that of an unblemished and spotless lamb, namely Christ. 1:20 He was foreknown 1  before the foundation of the world but 2  was manifested in these last times 3  for your sake. 1:21 Through him you now trust 4  in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

1:22 You have purified 5  your souls by obeying the truth 6  in order to show sincere mutual love. 7  So 8  love one another earnestly from a pure heart. 9  1:23 You have been born anew, not from perishable but from imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God. 1:24 For

all flesh 10  is like grass

and all its glory like the flower of the grass; 11 

the grass withers and the flower falls off,

1:25 but the word of the Lord 12  endures forever. 13 

And this is the word that was proclaimed to you.

1 tn Grk “who was foreknown,” describing Christ in v. 19. Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

2 tn Greek emphasizes the contrast between these two clauses more than can be easily expressed in English.

3 tn Grk “at the last of the times.”

4 tc Although there may be only a slight difference in translation, the term translated as “trust” is the adjective πιστούς (pistous). This is neither as common nor as clear as the verb πιστεύω (pisteuw, “believe, trust”). Consequently, most mss have the present participle πιστεύοντας (pisteuonta"; Ì72 א C P Ψ 1739 Ï), or the aorist participle πιστεύσαντες (pisteusante"; 33 pc), while A B pc vg have the adjective. Thus, πιστούς is to be preferred. In the NT the adjective is routinely taken passively in the sense of “faithful” (BDAG 820 s.v. πιστός 1). That may be part of the force here as well: “you are now faithful to God,” although the primary force in this context seems to be that of trusting. Nevertheless, it is difficult to separate faith from faithfulness in NT descriptions of Christians’ dependence on God.

tn Grk “who through him [are] trusting,” describing the “you” of v. 20. Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

5 tn Grk “having purified,” as the preparation for the love described in the second half of the verse.

6 tc Most later mss (P Ï) have διὰ πνεύματος (dia pneumato", “through the spirit”) after ἀληθείας (ajlhqeia", “truth”), while the words are lacking in a broad spectrum of early and important witnesses (Ì72 א A B C Ψ 33 81 323 945 1241 1739 al vg sy co). On external grounds, the shorter reading cannot be easily explained if it were not original. The longer reading is clearly secondary, added to show more strongly God’s part in man’s obedience to the truth. But the addition ignores the force that the author gives to “purified” and ruins the balance between v. 22 and v. 23 (for in v. 23 the emphasis is on God’s part; here, on man’s part).

7 tn Grk “for sincere brotherly love.”

8 tn Verses 22-23 are a single sentence in the Greek text. To improve clarity (and because contemporary English tends to use shorter sentences) these verses have been divided into three sentences in the translation. In addition, “So” has been supplied at the beginning of the second English sentence (v. 22b) to indicate the relationship with the preceding statement.

9 tc A few mss (A B 1852 pc) lack καθαρᾶς (kaqaras, “pure”) and read simply καρδίας (kardias, “from the heart”), but there is excellent ms support (Ì72 א* C P Ψ 33 1739 Ï co) for the word. The omission may have been accidental. In the uncial script (kaqaras kardias) an accidental omission could have happened via homoioteleuton or homoioarcton. καθαρᾶς should be considered original.

10 sn Here all flesh is a metaphor for humanity – human beings as both frail and temporary.

11 tn Or “a wildflower.”

12 sn The word of the Lord is a technical expression in OT literature, often referring to a divine prophetic utterance (e.g., Gen 15:1, Isa 1:10, Jonah 1:1). In the NT it occurs 15 times: 3 times as ῥῆμα τοῦ κυρίου (rJhma tou kuriou; here and in Luke 22:61, Acts 11:16) and 12 times as λόγος τοῦ κυρίου (logo" tou kuriou; Acts 8:25; 13:44, 48, 49; 15:35, 36; 16:32; 19:10, 20; 1 Thess 1:8, 4:15; 2 Thess 3:1). As in the OT, this phrase focuses on the prophetic nature and divine origin of what has been said.

13 sn A quotation from Isa 40:6, 8.



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