3:20 after they were disobedient long ago 1 when God patiently waited 2 in the days of Noah as an ark was being constructed. In the ark 3 a few, that is eight souls, were delivered through water. 3:21 And this prefigured baptism, which now saves you 4 – not the washing off of physical dirt 5 but the pledge 6 of a good conscience to God – through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
1 tn This reflects a Greek participle, literally “having been disobedient formerly,” that refers to the “spirits” in v. 19. Many translations take this as adjectival describing the spirits (“who had once been disobedient”; cf. NASB, NIV, NKJV, NLT, NRSV, TEV), but the grammatical construction strongly favors an adverbial interpretation describing the time of the preaching, as reflected above.
2 tn Grk “the patience of God waited.”
3 tn Grk “in which,” referring to the ark; the referent (the ark) has been specified in the translation for clarity. Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
4 tn Grk “which also, [as] an antitype, now saves you, [that is] baptism.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
5 tn Grk “the removal of the dirt of the flesh,” where flesh refers to the physical make-up of the body with no moral connotations.
6 tn Or “response”; “answer.”