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1 Peter 5:12-14

Final Greetings

5:12 Through Silvanus, 1  whom I know to be a faithful brother, 2  I have written to you briefly, in order to encourage you and testify 3  that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it. 4  5:13 The church 5  in Babylon, 6  chosen together with you, 7  greets you, and so does Mark, my son. 5:14 Greet one another with a loving kiss. 8  Peace to all of you who are in Christ. 9 

1 sn The phrase Through Silvanus means either that Silvanus was the secretary (amanuensis) who assisted Peter in writing or composing the letter (cf. Rom 16:22) or that he carried the letter to the churches. The latter sense is more likely since this is the meaning of the Greek wording when it is used elsewhere (cf. Acts 15:23; Ignatius, Letter to the Romans 10:1; Letter to the Philadelphians 11:2; Letter to the Smyrnaeans 12:1; Polycarp, Letter to the Philippians 14), though it is perhaps possible that both ideas could be incorporated by this expression. For a detailed argument regarding this issue, see E. R. Richards, “Silvanus Was Not Peter’s Secretary: Theological Bias in Interpreting διὰ Σιλουανοῦἔγραψα,” JETS 43 (September 2000): 417-32.

2 tn Grk “the faithful brother, as I think.”

3 tn These are participles (“encouraging and testifying”) showing purpose. The pronoun object “you” is omitted in Greek but implied by the context.

4 tn Grk “in which stand fast.” For emphasis, and due to constraints of contemporary English, this was made a separate sentence in the translation.

5 tn Grk “the one in Babylon,” which could refer to some individual woman (“she who is in Babylon”) since the Greek article (here “the one”) is feminine. But it is much more likely to be a veiled reference to a church (the Greek word “church” is also feminine in gender).

6 sn Most scholars understand Babylon here to be a figurative reference to Rome. Although in the OT the city of Babylon in Mesopotamia was the seat of tremendous power (2 Kgs 24-25; Isa 39; Jer 25), by the time of the NT what was left was an insignificant town, and there is no tradition in Christian history that Peter ever visited there. On the other hand, Christian tradition connects Peter with the church in Rome, and many interpreters think other references to Babylon in the NT refer to Rome as well (Rev 14:8; 16:19; 17:5; 18:2, 10, 21). Thus it is likely Peter was referring to Rome here.

7 tn Grk “chosen together,” implying the connection “with you” in context.

8 tn Grk “a kiss of love.”

9 tc Most mss (א P 1739c Ï) have ἀμήν (amen, “amen”) at the end of 1 Peter. Such a conclusion is routinely added by scribes to NT books because a few of these books originally had such an ending (cf. Rom 16:27; Gal 6:18; Jude 25). A majority of Greek witnesses have the concluding ἀμήν in every NT book except Acts, James, and 3 John (and even in these books, ἀμήν is found in some witnesses). It is thus a predictable variant. Further, the absence of such a conclusion to the epistle in such witnesses as A B Ψ 81 323 945 1241 1739* co seems inexplicable unless the word here is not authentic.

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