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1 Peter 2:13--3:7

Context
Submission to Authorities

2:13 Be subject to every human institution 1  for the Lord’s sake, whether to a king as supreme 2:14 or to governors as those he commissions 2  to punish wrongdoers and praise 3  those who do good. 2:15 For God wants you 4  to silence the ignorance of foolish people by doing good. 2:16 Live 5  as free people, not using your freedom as a pretext for evil, but as God’s slaves. 6  2:17 Honor all people, love the family of believers, 7  fear God, honor the king.

2:18 Slaves, 8  be subject 9  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, 10  if because of conscience toward God 11  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. 12  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 13  committed no sin nor was deceit found in his mouth. 14  2:23 When he was maligned, he 15  did not answer back; when he suffered, he threatened 16  no retaliation, 17  but committed himself to God 18  who judges justly. 2:24 He 19  himself bore our sins 20  in his body on the tree, that we may cease from sinning 21  and live for righteousness. By his 22  wounds 23  you were healed. 24  2:25 For you were going astray like sheep 25  but now you have turned back to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.

Wives and Husbands

3:1 In the same way, wives, be subject to your own husbands. Then, 26  even if some are disobedient to the word, they will be won over without a word by the way you live, 27  3:2 when they see your pure and reverent conduct. 28  3:3 Let your 29  beauty 30  not be external – the braiding of hair and wearing of gold jewelry 31  or fine clothes – 3:4 but the inner person 32  of the heart, the lasting beauty of a gentle and tranquil spirit, which is precious in God’s sight. 3:5 For in the same way the holy women who hoped in God long ago adorned themselves by being subject to their husbands, 3:6 like Sarah who obeyed 33  Abraham, calling him lord. You become her children 34  when you do what is good and have no fear in doing so. 35  3:7 Husbands, in the same way, treat your wives with consideration as the weaker partners 36  and show them honor as fellow heirs of the grace of life. In this way nothing will hinder your prayers. 37 

1 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.

2 tn Grk “those sent by him.”

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

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

5 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.”

6 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.”

7 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.”

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

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

10 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.

11 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.

12 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).

13 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.

14 sn A quotation from Isa 53:9.

15 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.

16 tn Grk “he did not threaten, but.”

17 sn An allusion to Isa 53:7.

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

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

20 sn A quotation from Isa 53:4, 12.

21 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.”

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

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

24 sn A quotation from Isa 53:5.

25 sn A quotation from Isa 53:6.

26 tn Grk “that…they may be won over,” showing the purpose of “being subject” (vs. 1b). Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

27 tn Grk “by the wives’ behavior.”

28 tn Grk “behavior,” the same word translated “the way you live” in vs. 1.

29 tn Grk “whose,” referring to the wives.

30 tn Or “adornment.”

31 tn The word “jewelry” is not in the Greek text, but has been supplied to indicate that gold ornaments or jewelry is intended; otherwise the reader might assume wearing gold-colored clothing was forbidden.

32 tn Grk “the hidden man.” KJV’s “the hidden man of the heart,” referring to a wife, could be seriously misunderstood by the modern English reader.

33 tn Grk “as Sarah obeyed.”

34 tn Grk “whose children you become.”

35 tn Grk “doing good and not fearing any intimidation.”

36 tn Grk “living together according to knowledge, as to the weaker, female vessel.” The primary verbs of vs. 7 are participles (“living together…showing honor”) but they continue the sense of command from the previous paragraphs.

37 tn Grk “so that your prayers may not be hindered.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek, this clause was translated as a separate sentence.



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