THE FIRST EPISTLE
I. PETER, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the sojourners oi the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bi- thynia, whom God the Father, according to his predetermina-
2 tion hath chosen, that by a sanctification of spirit they may obey, and be sprinkled with the blood of Jesus Christ; favour be to you, and may peace be multiplied.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, according to his abundant mercy, hath regenerated us
4 to a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead—for an inheritance incorruptible, incapable of defilement or decay, reserved in heaven for us who are, during belief, kept safely by the power of God, for a deliverance prepared to be
5 revealed in the last time ; in whom you exult with joy though
6 you are now for a little while, if it be necessary, distressed with divers trials ; in order that your faith, which hath stood
7 the test and is much more precious than gold which is of a perishable nature though tried by fire, may be found praise worthy, and honourable, and glorious, at the manifestation of Jesus Christ, whom without knowing him personally you
8 love; in whom though you do not now see him, yet you believe, and rejoice with an inexpressible and glorified joy,
9 receiving as the completion of your faith the salvation of
10 your souls: about which salvation the prophets, who prophesied concerning this favour for you, made diligent inquiry
11 and search, trying to find to what time, and what manner of time, the spirit of Christ within them pointed, when it testified before hand the sufferings which were for Christ, and
2 the glories which should succeed them : to whom it was revealed that it was not for themselves, but for us, that they dispensed those things which have now been announced to you by them who proclaimed to you the glad tidings with a holy spirit sent from heaven; into which things angels have an earnest desire to look narrowly.
3 Wherefore having girded up the loins of your understanding, being perfectly sober, keep your hope fixed on the favour
4 to be conferred on you at the manifestation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves in conformity to your former desires during your ignorance; but as he who
5 hath called you is holy, be ye also holy in the whole course\ 16 of your life; for it is written, " Be ye holy, because I am L7 holy.*" And since you invoke, as father, him who without
respect of persons judgeth every one according to his work, 18 pass the time of your sojourning in fear; knowing that from that vain course of life, handed down to you from your fathers, you have been redeemed not with perishable things such L9 as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot, fore-ordained in-
20 deed before the foundation of the world, and manifested iu
21 these last times,'for the sake of you who by him believe in God, who hath raised him from the dead, and hath given him glory, so that you may have faith and hope in God.
22 Having, in obedience to the truth, purified your souls by the spirit for an unfeigned brotherly affection, love one ano-
23 ther fervently with a pure heart, as you have been born again not of corruptible but of incorruptible seed, by the word of God, which liveth and endureth forever.
24 " Because all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as
25 a flower of grass—the grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth, but the decree of the Lord endureth forever,f" and this is the decree which hath been proclaimed as glad tidings
for you ; therefore laying aside all malice, and all deceit, 2 and every kind of hypocrisy, envy and slander, like new-born babes desire the pure milk of the word that by it you maj thrive.
* Lev. 11. 44: 19. 2. f Es. 40. 6. VOL. IV. 3 G
3 Since you have tasted that the Lord is gracious, to whom
4 you are come as to a living stone, by men indeed rejected,
5 but with God chosen and precious, and you yourselves as living stones are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood
6 to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus - Christ; on which account also there is in the scripture this
passage, " Behold 1 lay in Sion a chosen, precious, chief cor- ner stone, and he who confideth in it, shall not be ashamed,*'
7 this honour then being for you who believe : but to ux disbelieving, " the 'stone, which the builders rejected—thai
8 which was for the head of the corner,!" is indeed a stone ol stumbling and a rock of offence. They disbelieving the wore
9 stumble at the thing for which they were laid: but you beinj a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people pe culiarly set apart that you may publish the praises of him. whc
10 called you out of darkness into his marvellous light—you wh( formerly were not a people but are now the people of God-^ who were uncompassionated, but are now compassionated
11 beloved; I beseech you as strangers and sojourners to abstaii
12 from carnal lusts, which war against the soul: let your beha viour among the nations be virtuous, that when they spea] against you as evil doers, they who have been eye-witness es may from your good works glorify God in the day of vi sitation.
13 Be subject therefore to every human establishment for U>
14 Lord's sake, whether to a king as supreme, or to governor as persons sent by him for the punishment of evil doers, an;
15 for the praise of them who do well. For it is the will of Gd that you should by such good behaviour curb the ignorant
16 offoolibh men. As freemen, but not like those who use thei
17 freedom as a cover for wickedness, but as servants of Go honour all men, love the brotherhood; fear God; honour tl king.
18 You who are servants, be subject to your masters with
19 reverence, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the ml
* Es. 28. 16. |Ps. 118. 22.
rose. For this is pleasing, if from a conscientious regard to God one endureth grief suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if when you commit a fault and are beaten, you suffer patiently? But if when acting well you meet with ill usage, and bear it, this is well-pleasing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ himself suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps, who committed no sin, nor was guile found in his mouth—who when he was reviled, did not revile again, when he suffered, did not threaten; but committed himself to him who judgeth righteously; who himself offered up our sins in his own body on the cross, that we, being freed from those sins, might live for righteousness; "by whose stripes you have been healed.*" For you were like sheep going astray, but are now brought back to the shepherd and overseer of your souls.
. In like manner ye wives, be subject to your own husbands, that if any of them disbelieve the word they may by the deportment of their wives, without a word, be won over, when they see your reverential, chaste behaviour. And let your adorning be, not that which is external by plaiting the hair with appendages of gold, nor finery of dress; but the hidden man of the heart, with the incorruptible ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is highly precious in the sight of God. For thus, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God adorned themselves, submitting to their husbands, (as Sarah, whose daughters you are, obeyed Abraham, calling him lord) doing what was right, and alarmed by no terror.
'Likewise ye husbands cohabit with your wives, paying respect to them as the weaker sex, and moreover as co-heirs with you of the grant of life, that there may be no impediment to your prayers.
Finally, be all of one mind, sympathising with one another, full of brotherly love, compassionate, courteous, not rendering evil for evil, revile for revile; but on the contrary, blessing ; knowing that you have been called for this, that you may inherit a blessing.
*Es. 53. 5.
10 For "whoever desireth life; and loveth to see good days; Let him keep his tongue from evil,
And his lips from speaking guile;
11 Let him depart from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it.
12 Because the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, And his ears are open to their prayers:
But the face of the Lord is against them who do evil.*"
13 Who then will hurt you if you be imitators of him who h
14 good? But if you should even suffer on the account of righteousness, you are happy. Be not terrified with the fear of them,
15 nor dismayed; but sanctify the Lord in your heartsf" and be always prepared, in answer to every one who demandcth oi you a reason for the hope which is in you, to make a defence
16 with meekness and fear, having a good conscience, that when they speak against you as evU doers, they who calumniate
17 your good conversation in Christ may be put to shame. For if it be the will of God that you should suffer, it is better that you should suffer as well doers than as evil doers.
18 Because Christ himself suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God: being indeed put to death in flesh, but brought to life by that spirit with
19 which he went, and to the spirits which are [now] in prison
20 made proclamation at the time they were disobedient—when the long suffering of God was waiting once for all in the dap of Noe, while the ark was a building, in which a few, that b
21 eight souls, made their escape during the flood; an antitype to which, namely baptism, (not a removal of the filth of the flesh, but an earnest conscientious application^ to God) doth now save us also, by means of the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
22 who, having gone to heaven, is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers being made subject to him.
IV. Christ therefore having suffered in flesh for us, arm ye
2 yourselves with this reflection, that he who hath suffered in
flesh hath been stopped from sin, to the end that he may nu longer live the rest of his time in flesh for the lusts of men;
* Ps. 34. 11, &c. J Esaias 8. 12.
Literally, a request or application of a good conscience.
3 but for the will of God. For the past time of this life sufficeth* to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, walking in lascivi-
4 ousness, inordinate desires, excess of wine, revels, carouses, and abominable idolatries; at this they are surprized; and when you do not run with them into the same sink of de-
5 bauchery, they rail. They shall give an account to him who & is prepared to judge living and dead. For to this end also the
gospel was proclaimed to the dead, that judged as they might be according to men in flesh, they might live according to God in spirit.
7 Now the end of all things is at hand, therefore be sober,
8 and watch unto prayer, and above all things have fervent love
9 for one another: for this love will cover a multitude of sins.
10 Be hospitable to one another without grudging. According as every one hath received a free gift continue dispensing it to each other as good stewards of the manifold grace of God
11 —if any one speaketh, as speaking the oracles of God; if any one dispenseth, as dispensing out of a stock which God sup- plieth; that in all things God may be gloried through Jesus Christ, to whom belongeth the glory and the power, for the ages of the ages. Amen.
12 Beloved, be not surprized at the fiery trial among you,
13 which is come upon you to try you, as if some strange thing had befallen you: but inasmuch as you partake of the sufferings of the Christ, rejoice; that at the manifestation of his glory
14 you may indeed rejoice with exceeding great joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ you are happy; because the spirit of the glory, even the spirit of God resteth on you. On
15 their part indeed it is reviled, but on your part it is glorified.
16 For let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or a malefactor, or as a usurper of authority; and if as a Christian,
17 let him not be ashamed, but glorify God in this respect. For the time is come when judgment is to begin at the house of God. And if*it begin first with us, what must be the end of
18 them who disregard the glad tidings of God? "If the right-
Some copies have r«, and some 7/cw, and some neither.
eous scarcely escapeth, where shall the ungodly and sinner np.
19 pear?"* Let them therefore who suffer according to the will of God, commit their souls to him in well doing, as-to a faithful creator.
V. With regard to the elders among you, being myself a fellow elder, and a witness of the sufferings of the Christ, and a partaker of the glory about to be revealed, I give them this
2 exhortation—Tend the flock of God which is among you, watching over it, not by constraint, but willingly; not with a
3 view to sordid gain, but with a ready mind; not as exercising
4 dominion over the lots, but as being examples to the flock. And when the chief shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive an unfading crown of glory.
5 Likewise ye who are young, submit to those more advanced in years. And being all submissive to one another; adorn yourselves with humility; because "God resisteth the
6 proud and granteth favour to the humble;"f therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may in
7 due time exalt you. Having cast all your care upon him, for
8 hecareth for you, be sober, be watchful: because your adversary the devil is walking about, like a roaring lion, seek-
9 ing whom lie may devour, him you should resist, standing firm in the faith, knowing that the same kind of sufferings are undergone by your brotherhood in the world.
10 Now may the God of all favour, who hath invited us to his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, when we have suffered a little—may he himself fit, support, strengthen and establish
11 you! To him be the glory and the power, for the ages of the ages. Amen.
12 By Sylvanus the faithful brother I have, as I reckon, written briefly to you, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true favour of God for which you stand up.
13 . The congregation at Babylon salute you. So doth Marcus my son. Salute one another with a holy kiss.
14 Peace be with )'ou all who are in Christ Jekus. Amen.
* Prov. 11. 31. f Prov. 3. 34.