2:18 Slaves, 1 be subject 2 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, 3 if because of conscience toward God 4 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. 5 2:21 For to this you were called, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving an example for you to follow in his steps.
1 tn The Greek term here is οἰκέτης (oiketh"), often used of a servant in a household (who would have been a slave).
2 tn Grk “being subject,” but continuing the sense of command from vs. 13.
4 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.
5 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).