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1 Peter 2:21

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 Peter 2:23

2:23 When he was maligned, he 1  did not answer back; when he suffered, he threatened 2  no retaliation, 3  but committed himself to God 4  who judges justly.

1 Peter 3:18


3:18 5 Because Christ also suffered 6  once for sins,

the just for the unjust, 7 

to bring you to God,

by being put to death in the flesh

but 8  by being made alive in the spirit. 9 

1 Peter 4:1


4:1 So, since Christ suffered 10  in the flesh, you also arm yourselves with the same attitude, because the one who has suffered in the flesh has finished with sin, 11 

1 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.

2 tn Grk “he did not threaten, but.”

3 sn An allusion to Isa 53:7.

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

5 sn This passage has been typeset as poetry because many scholars regard this passage as poetic or hymnic. These terms are used broadly to refer to the genre of writing, not to the content. There are two broad criteria for determining if a passage is poetic or hymnic: “(a) stylistic: a certain rhythmical lilt when the passages are read aloud, the presence of parallelismus membrorum (i.e., an arrangement into couplets), the semblance of some metre, and the presence of rhetorical devices such as alliteration, chiasmus, and antithesis; and (b) linguistic: an unusual vocabulary, particularly the presence of theological terms, which is different from the surrounding context” (P. T. O’Brien, Philippians [NIGTC], 188-89). Classifying a passage as hymnic or poetic is important because understanding this genre can provide keys to interpretation. However, not all scholars agree that the above criteria are present in this passage, so the decision to typeset it as poetry should be viewed as a tentative decision about its genre.

6 tc The variants here are legion (B. M. Metzger produces eight variants in a nice layout of the evidence [TCGNT 622]). Most of these variants involve pronouns, prepositions, or word order changes, but the major problem involves whether Christ “suffered” (ἔπαθεν, epaqen) or “died” (ἀπέθανεν, apeqanen). The witnesses that read ἀπέθανεν are Ì72 א A Cvid Ψ 0285 33 614 630 945 1241 1505 1739; the witnesses that read ἔπαθεν are B L P 81 Ï. Although the external evidence slightly favors ἀπέθανεν, such may be a secondary reading. Intrinsically, ἔπαθεν both fits the context better, especially the verbal link between v. 17 and v. 18 (note in particular the introductory causal ὅτι [{oti, “because”] and the emphatic καί [kai, “also”]), and fits the author’s style (1 Peter never uses ἀποθνῄσκω [apoqnhskw], but uses πάσχω [pascw] 11 other times, more than any other NT book). However, scribes would most likely realize this, and might conform the verb in v. 18 to the author’s typical usage. It may be argued, however, that scribes tended to alter the text in light of more common NT idioms, and did not have as much sensitivity to the literary features in the immediate context. In this instance, it may not be insignificant that the NT collocates ἀποθνῄσκω with ἁμαρτία (Jamartia, “sin”) seven other times, though only once (1 Cor 15:3) with a meaning similar to what would be demanded here, but collocates πάσχω with ἁμαρτία in only one other place, 1 Pet 4:1, where the meaning also detours from what is seen here. All in all, a decision is difficult, but ἔπαθεν is to be preferred slightly.

7 sn The reference to the just suffering for the unjust is an allusion to Isa 53:11-12.

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

9 sn Put to death in the flesh…made alive in the spirit. The contrast of flesh and spirit is not between two parts of Christ’s person (material versus immaterial) but between two broader modes of existence: the realm of unregenerate earthly life versus eternal heavenly life. The reference may not be to the Holy Spirit directly, but indirectly, since the Spirit permeates and characterizes the spiritual mode of existence. However, ExSyn 343 (n. 76) states “It is often objected that the Holy Spirit cannot be in view because the two datives of v 18 (σαρκί, πνεύματι [sarki, pneumati]) would then have a different syntactical force (sphere, means). But if 1 Pet 3:18 is a hymnic or liturgical fragment, this can be no objection because of ‘poetic license’: poetry is replete with examples of grammatical and lexical license, not the least of which is the use of the same morpho-syntactic categories, in parallel lines, with entirely different senses (note, e.g., the dat. expressions in 1 Tim 3:16).”

10 tc Most mss (א2 A P Ï) add ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν (Juper Jhmwn, “for us”); others (א* 69 1505 pc) add ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν (Juper Jumwn, “for you”), the first hand of א also has ἀποθανόντος (apoqanonto", “since he died”) instead of παθόντος (paqonto", “since he suffered”). But the reading without ὑπὲρ ἡ/ὑμῶν best explains the rise of the other readings, for not only is there confusion as to which pronoun belongs here, but the longer readings, being clarifications, are evidently motivated readings. The shortest reading is found in important and early Alexandrian and Western witnesses (Ì72 B C Ψ 0285 323 1739) and is strongly preferred.

11 sn Has finished with sin. The last sentence in v. 1 may refer to Christ as the one who suffered in the flesh (cf. 2:21, 23; 3:18; 4:1a) and the latter part would then mean, “he has finished dealing with sin.” But it is more likely that it refers to the Christian who suffers unjustly (cf. 2:19-20; 3:14, 17). This shows that he has made a break with sin as vs. 2 describes.

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