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1 Peter 2:11-25

Context

2:11 Dear friends, I urge you as foreigners and exiles to keep away from fleshly desires that do battle against the soul, 2:12 and maintain good conduct 1  among the non-Christians, 2  so that though 3  they now malign you as wrongdoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God when he appears. 4 

Submission to Authorities

2:13 Be subject to every human institution 5  for the Lord’s sake, whether to a king as supreme 2:14 or to governors as those he commissions 6  to punish wrongdoers and praise 7  those who do good. 2:15 For God wants you 8  to silence the ignorance of foolish people by doing good. 2:16 Live 9  as free people, not using your freedom as a pretext for evil, but as God’s slaves. 10  2:17 Honor all people, love the family of believers, 11  fear God, honor the king.

2:18 Slaves, 12  be subject 13  to your masters with all reverence, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are perverse. 2:19 For this finds God’s favor, 14  if because of conscience toward God 15  someone endures hardships in suffering unjustly. 2:20 For what credit is it if you sin and are mistreated and endure it? But if you do good and suffer and so endure, this finds favor with God. 16  2:21 For to this you were called, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving an example for you to follow in his steps. 2:22 He 17  committed no sin nor was deceit found in his mouth. 18  2:23 When he was maligned, he 19  did not answer back; when he suffered, he threatened 20  no retaliation, 21  but committed himself to God 22  who judges justly. 2:24 He 23  himself bore our sins 24  in his body on the tree, that we may cease from sinning 25  and live for righteousness. By his 26  wounds 27  you were healed. 28  2:25 For you were going astray like sheep 29  but now you have turned back to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.

1 tn Grk “keeping your conduct good.”

2 tn Grk “the Gentiles,” used here of those who are not God’s people.

3 tn Grk “in order that in what they malign you.”

4 tn Or “when he visits.” Grk “in the day of visitation,” denoting a time when God intervenes directly in human affairs, either for blessing (Luke 1:68, 78; 7:16; 19:44) or for judgment (Isa 10:3; Jer 6:15). This phrase may be a quotation from Isa 10:3, in which case judgment is in view here. But blessing seems to be the point, since part of the motive for good behavior is winning the non-Christian over to the faith (as in 3:1; also apparently in 3:15; cf. Matt 5:16).

5 tn Or “every human being”; Grk “every human creation,” denoting either everything created for mankind (NRSV mg: “every institution ordained for human beings”) or every creature who is human. The meaning of the verb “be subject” and the following context supports the rendering adopted in the text.

6 tn Grk “those sent by him.”

7 tn Grk “for the punishment…and the praise.”

8 tn Grk “because thus it is God’s will.”

9 tn There is no main verb in this verse, but it continues the sense of command from v. 13, “be subject…, as free people…not using…but as slaves of God.”

10 tn Traditionally, “servants” or “bondservants.” Though δοῦλος (doulos) is normally translated “servant,” the word does not bear the connotation of a free individual serving another. BDAG notes that “‘servant’ for ‘slave’ is largely confined to Biblical transl. and early American times…in normal usage at the present time the two words are carefully distinguished” (BDAG 260 s.v.). The most accurate translation is “bondservant” (sometimes found in the ASV for δοῦλος), in that it often indicates one who sells himself into slavery to another. But as this is archaic, few today understand its force.

sn Undoubtedly the background for the concept of being the Lord’s slave or servant is to be found in the Old Testament scriptures. For a Jew this concept did not connote drudgery, but honor and privilege. It was used of national Israel at times (Isa 43:10), but was especially associated with famous OT personalities, including such great men as Moses (Josh 14:7), David (Ps 89:3; cf. 2 Sam 7:5, 8) and Elijah (2 Kgs 10:10); all these men were “servants (or slaves) of the Lord.”

11 tn Grk “love the brotherhood.” The Greek term “brotherhood” is used in a broad sense to connote familial relationships within the family of God. BDAG 19 s.v. ἀδελφότης 1 suggests “a fellowship,” but in the present context “love the fellowship of believers” could be taken to mean “love to participate in fellowship with believers,” whereas the present verse suggests the Christian community as a whole, in familial terms, is in view. This same word occurs in 5:9; there it has been translated “brothers and sisters.”

12 tn The Greek term here is οἰκέτης (oiketh"), often used of a servant in a household (who would have been a slave).

13 tn Grk “being subject,” but continuing the sense of command from vs. 13.

14 tn Grk “For this [is] favor/grace,” used as a metonymy of that which pleases him, which he looks on with favor (cf. BDAG 1079 s.v. χάρις 2). Cf. 1 Pet 2:20.

15 tc The expression “consciousness/conscience of God” (συνείδησιν θεοῦ; suneidhsin qeou) is unusual, occurring only here in the NT. Because θεοῦ was liable to misinterpretation, several witnesses altered the text, either replacing it with ἀγαθήν (agaqhn; C Ψ 323 614 630 945 1241 1505 1739 al sy) or expanding the expression by adding ἀγαθήν before θεοῦ (Ì72 [A* 33] 81). Replacing θεοῦ with ἀγαθήν conforms to other NT phrases, notably in this same letter (Acts 23:1; 1 Tim 1:5, 19; 1 Pet 3:16, 21), suggesting that such a reading is motivated. The reading θεοῦ, however, has superior support (א Ac B P 049 Ï lat co), and best explains the rise of the other readings.

tn Grk “conscious(ness) of God,” an awareness of God and allegiance to him.

16 tn Grk “For this [is] favor/grace with God,” used as a metonymy as in vs. 19 of that which pleases him, which he looks on with favor (cf. BDAG 1079 s.v. χάρις 2).

17 tn Grk “who,” referring to Christ and applying the quotations from Isa 53 to him. Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

18 sn A quotation from Isa 53:9.

19 tn Grk “who being maligned,” continuing the reference to Christ. Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

20 tn Grk “he did not threaten, but.”

21 sn An allusion to Isa 53:7.

22 tn Grk “to the one”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

23 tn Grk “who.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

24 sn A quotation from Isa 53:4, 12.

25 tn The verb ἀπογίνομαι (apoginomai) occurs only here in the NT. It can have a literal meaning (“to die”; L&N 74.27) and a figurative meaning (“to cease”; L&N 68.40). Because it is opposite the verb ζάω (zaw, “to live”), many argue that the meaning of the verb here must be “die” (so BDAG 108 s.v.), but even so literal death would not be in view. “In place of ἀποθνῃσκιεν, the common verb for ‘die,’ ἀπογινεθαι serves Peter as a euphemism, with the meaning ‘to be away’ or ‘to depart’” (J. R. Michaels, 1 Peter [WBC 49], 148). It is a metaphorical way to refer to the decisive separation from sin Jesus accomplished for believers through his death; the result is that believers “may cease from sinning.”

26 tn Grk “whose.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

27 tn Grk the singular: “wound”; “injury.”

28 sn A quotation from Isa 53:5.

29 sn A quotation from Isa 53:6.



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