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Bible Commentaries
1 Peter 3

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New TestamentRobertson's Word Pictures

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Verse 1

In like manner (ομοιως). Adverb closely connected with υποτασσομενο, for which see 1 Peter 2:18.

Ye wives (γυναικες). Without article. About wives see also Colossians 3:18; Ephesians 5:22; Titus 2:4.

To your own husbands (τοις ιδιοις ανδρασιν). Ιδιοις occurs also in Ephesians and Titus, but not in Colossians. It strengthens the idea of possession in the article τοις. Wives are not enjoined to be in subjection to the husbands of other women, as some think it fine to be (affinities!)

Even if any obey not the word (κα ε τινες απειθουσιν τω λογω). Condition of first class and dative case of λογος (1 Peter 1:23; 1 Peter 1:25; 1 Peter 2:8), that is, remain heathen.

That they be gained (ινα κερδηθησοντα). Purpose clause with ινα and first future passive indicative of κερδαινω, old verb, to gain (from κερδος, gain, interest) as in Matthew 18:15. See the future with ινα also in Luke 20:10; Revelation 3:9.

Without the word (ανευ λογου). Probably here "word from their wives" (Hart), the other sense of λογος (talk, not technical "word of God").

By the behaviour of their wives (δια της των γυναικων αναστροφης). Won by pious living, not by nagging. Many a wife has had this blessed victory of grace.

Verse 2

Beholding (εποπτευσαντες). First aorist active participle of εποπτευω, for which see 1 Peter 2:12. See 1 Peter 2:12 also for αναστροφην manner of life).

Chaste (αγνην). Pure because "in fear" (εν φοβω), no word in the Greek for "coupled," fear of God, though in Ephesians 5:33 fear (reverence for) of the husband is urged.

Verse 3

Whose adorning (ων κοσμος). Genitive plural of the relative referring to γυναικων (wives). Κοσμος has here its old meaning of ornament (cf. our cosmetics), not the common one of world (John 17:5) considered as an orderly whole. Mundus in Latin is used in this double sense (ornament, world).

Let it be (εστω). Imperative third singular of ειμ. Not the outward adorning of plaiting the hair (ουχ ο εξωθεν εμπλοκης τριχων). The use of ουχ here rather than μη (usual negative with the imperative) because of the sharp contrast in verse 1 Peter 3:4 (αλλ'). The old adverb εξωθεν (from without) is in the attributive position like an adjective. Εμπλοκη is a late word (from εμπλεκω, to inweave, 2 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 2:20) in Strabo, but often in the papyri for struggle as well as plaiting, here only in N.T.

Of wearing (περιθεσεως). Late and rare word (Galen, Arrian) from περιτιθημ (Matthew 27:28), to put around, a placing around. Ornaments of gold were worn round the hair as nets and round the finger, arm, or ankle.

Or of putting on (ενδυσεως). Old word from ενδυω (to put on), here only in N.T. Peter is not forbidding the wearing of clothes and ornaments by women, but the display of finery by contrast. Cf. 1 Timothy 2:9-13; Isaiah 3:16.

Verse 4

But the hidden man of the heart (αλλ' ο κρυπτος της καρδιας ανθρωπος). Here ανθρωπος is in contrast with κοσμος just before. See Paul's use of ανθρωπος for the outer and old, the inner and new man (2 Corinthians 4:16; Romans 7:22; Colossians 3:9; Ephesians 3:16; Ephesians 4:22; Ephesians 4:24). See also the Jew εν κρυπτω (Romans 2:29) and what Jesus said about God seeing "in secret" (Matthew 6:4; Matthew 6:6).

In the incorruptible apparel of a meek and quiet spirit (εν τω αφθαρτω του ησυχιου κα πραεως πνευματος). No word in the Greek for "apparel" (κοσμω). For αφθαρτος see 1 Peter 1:4; 1 Peter 1:23. For πραυς see Matthew 5:5; Matthew 11:29. Πνευμα (spirit) is here disposition or temper (Bigg), unlike any other use in the N.T. In 1 Peter 3:18; 1 Peter 3:19; 1 Peter 4:6 it means the whole inner man as opposed to σαρξ or σωμα, very much as ψυχη is used as opposed to σωμα.

Which (ο). Spirit just mentioned.

Of great price (πολυτελες). Old word (from πολυ and τελος, cost), in N.T. only here, Mark 14:3; 1 Timothy 2:9.

Verse 5

Adorned themselves (εκοσμουν εαυτας). Imperfect active of customary action, "used to adorn themselves." Κοσμεω is old verb from κοσμος in the sense in verse 1 Peter 3:3. See Hebrews 11:11; Hebrews 11:35 for like tribute to holy women of the O.T. The participle υποτασσομενα repeats verse 1 Peter 3:1.

Verse 6

As Sarah (ως Σαρρα).

Obeyed Abraham (υπηκουεν τω Αβρααμ). Imperfect active of υπακουω, "used to obey" (with dative).

Calling him lord (κυριον αυτον καλουσα). Present active participle of καλεω. See Genesis 18:12.

Whose children ye now are (ης εγενηθητε τεκνα). First aorist passive indicative of γινομα, "whose children ye became."

If ye do well (αγαθοποιουσα). Present active feminine plural participle of αγαθοποιεω (1 Peter 2:15), "doing good."

And are not put in fear by any terror (κα μη φοβουμενα μηδεμιαν πτοησιν). Free quotation from Proverbs 3:25, "and not fearing any terror" (cognate accusative of πτοησις, after φοβουμενα, present middle participle, late and rare word from πτοεω, to terrify, as in Luke 21:9, here only in N.T.). Perhaps Peter regards Sarah's falsehood as the yielding to a sudden terror (Hart). Hannah could also be named along with Sarah. The women somehow do not organize "daughters of Sarah" societies.

Verse 7

Ye husbands likewise (ο ανδρες ομοιως). Probably "likewise" here refers to honouring all men (1 Peter 2:17), not "likewise" of 1 Peter 3:1.

Dwell with (συνοικουντες). Present active participle of συνοικεω, old verb for domestic association, here only in N.T. Used as imperative here like the participle in 1 Peter 2:18; 1 Peter 3:1.

According to knowledge (κατα γνωσιν). "With an intelligent recognition of the nature of the marriage relation" (Vincent).

Giving honour unto the woman as unto the weaker vessel (ως ασθενεστερω σκευε τω γυναικειω απονεμοντες τιμην). Present active participle of απονεμω, old verb, to assign, to portion out (or off), here only in N.T. Σκευος is an old and common word for vessel, furniture, utensil (Matthew 12:29; 2 Timothy 2:20). Here both husband and wife are termed vessels or "parts of the furniture of God's house" (Bigg). See Paul's use of σκευος for ministers (2 Corinthians 4:7). Γυναικειω here is an adjective (female, feminine) from γυνη (woman, wife). She is termed "the weaker" (τω ασθενεστερω), not for intellectual or moral weakness, but purely for physical reasons, which the husband must recognize with due consideration for marital happiness.

Joint-heirs of the grace of life (συνκληρονομο χαριτος ζωης). Late double compound found in an Ephesian inscription and the papyri, in N.T. only here, Romans 8:17; Ephesians 3:6; Hebrews 11:9. God's gift of life eternal belongs to woman as well as to man. In the eyes of God the wife may be superior to the husband, not merely equal.

To the end that your prayers be not hindered (εις το μη εγκοπτεσθα τας προσευχας υμων). Purpose clause with εις το and the present passive infinitive (with negative μη) of εγκοπτω, to cut in, to interrupt, late verb (Polybius), as in Romans 15:22, etc. Very vivid to us now with our telephones and radios when people cut in on us. Προσευχας (prayers) is the accusative of general reference. Husbands surely have here cause to consider why their prayers are not answered.

Verse 8

Finally (το τελος). Adverbial accusative. Conclusion, not of the Epistle, but only of the addresses to various classes. No verb (εστε imperative, be) here.

Likeminded (ομοφρονες). Old compound (ομοσ, φρην), here only in N.T.

Compassionate (συμπαθεις). Old adjective (συν, πασχω), in N.T. only here and Romans 12:15. Our "sympathetic" in original sense.

Loving as brethren (φιλαδελφο). Old compound (φιλοσ, αδελφος), here only in N.T.

Tender-hearted (ευσπλαγχνο). Late and rare compound (ευ and σπλαγχνον), in Hippocrates, Apocrypha, in N.T. only here and Ephesians 4:32.

Humble minded (ταπεινοφρονες). Late compound (ταπεινοσ, φρην), in Plutarch, Proverbs 29:23, here only in N.T.

Verse 9

Not rendering evil for evil (μη αποδιδοντες κακον αντ κακου). Μη and the present active participle of αποδιδωμ, to give back. The same phrase in Romans 12:17 and the same idea in 1 Thessalonians 5:15. Peter may have obtained it from Paul or both from Proverbs 17:13; Proverbs 20:22, "an approximation to Christ's repeal of the λεξ ταλιονις (Matthew 5:38) which Plato first opposed among the Greeks" (Hart). Common use of αντ for exchange.

Reviling for reviling (λοιδοριαν αντ λοιδοριας). Allusion to 1 Peter 2:23 (Christ's own example).

But contrariwise blessing (τουναντιον δε ευλογουντες). Adverbial accusative and crasis (το εναντιον) of the neuter article and the adjective εναντιος (εν, αντιος, opposite, Matthew 14:24), "on the contrary." For ευλογουντες (present active participle of ευλογεω) see Luke 6:28; Romans 12:14 (imperative ευλογειτε).

For hereunto were ye called (οτ εις τουτο εκληθητε). See 1 Peter 2:21 for this verb and use of εις τουτο (pointing to the preceding argument).

That ye should inherit a blessing (ινα ευλογιαν κληρονομησητε). Purpose clause with ινα and the first aorist active subjunctive of κληρονομεω, a plain reference to Esau, who wanted "to inherit the blessing" (Hebrews 12:17) after he had sold his birthright. Christians are the new Israel (both Gentiles and Jews) and are the spiritual descendants of Isaac (Galatians 4:22).

Verse 10

For (γαρ). Reason for the entire exhortation in verses 1 Peter 3:8; 1 Peter 3:9 and introducing in verses 1 Peter 3:10-12 a quotation from Psalms 34:13-17 with some slight changes.

Would love life (θελων ζωην αγαπαιν). "Wishing to love life." This present life. The LXX expressions are obscure Hebraisms. The LXX has αγαπων (participle present active of αγαπαω, not the infinitive αγαπαιν.

Let him refrain (παυσατω). Third person singular first aorist active imperative of παυω to make stop, whereas the LXX has παυσον (second person singular).

His tongue (την γλωσσαν). See James 3:1-12.

That they speak no guile (του μη λαλησα δολον). Purpose clause with genitive article του (negative μη) and the first aorist active infinitive of λαλεω. But it can also be explained as the ablative case with the redundant negative μη after a verb of hindering (παυσατω) like Luke 4:42. See Robertson, Grammar, p. 1061. "Let him refrain his lips from speaking guile."

Verse 11

Let him turn away (εκκλινατω). First aorist active imperative third person singular of εκκλινω, where the LXX has εκκλινον (second person singular). Old verb, in N.T. only here, Romans 3:12; Romans 16:17. Peter adapted the passage all through to his own construction and use. So as to ποιησατω (let him do) for ποιησον (do thou), ζητησατω (let him seek) for ζητησον (do thou seek), διωξατω (let him pursue) for διωξον (do thou pursue), all first aorist active imperatives (of ποιεω, ζητεω, διωκω). See Hebrews 12:14 for "pursuing peace." If men only did!

Verse 12

Upon (επ). In the case of righteous (δικαιους, in the O.T. sense like δικαιον Λοτ in 2 Peter 2:7) for their good, but in the case of men "that do evil" (επ ποιουντας κακα, "upon men doing evil things") "the face of the Lord" (προσωπον κυριου) is not for their good, επ here approaching "against" in idea.

Verse 13

That will harm you (ο κακωσων υμας). Future active articular participle of κακοω, old verb (from κακος, bad) as in Acts 7:6; Acts 7:19. Any real hurt, either that wishes to harm you or that can harm. See the words in Isaiah 50:9.

If ye be (εαν γενησθε). Rather, "if ye become" (condition of third class with εαν and second aorist middle subjunctive of γινομα).

Zealous of that which is good (του αγαθου ζηλωτα). "Zealots for the good" (objective genitive after ζηλωτα (zealots, not zealous), old word from ζηλοω (1 Corinthians 12:12).

Verse 14

But and if ye should suffer (αλλ' ε κα πασχοιτε). "But if ye should also (or even) suffer." Condition of the fourth class with ε and the optative (undetermined with less likelihood), a rare condition in the vernacular Koine, since the optative was a dying mode. If matters, in spite of the prophetic note of victory in verse 1 Peter 3:13, should come to actual suffering "for righteousness' sake" (δια δικαιοσυνην) as in Matthew 5:10 (ενεκεν, not δια), then "blessed" (μακαριο, the very word of Jesus there which see, a word meaning "happy," not ευλογητο) "are ye" (not in the Greek). If the conclusion were expressed regularly, it would be ειητε αν (ye would be), not εστε (ye are). It is interesting to note the third-class condition in verse 1 Peter 3:13 just before the fourth-class one in verse 1 Peter 3:14.

Fear not their fear (τον φοβον αυτων μη φοβηθητε). Prohibition with μη and the first aorist (ingressive) passive subjunctive of φοβεομα, to fear, and the cognate accusative φοβον (fear, terror). "Do not fear their threats" (Bigg). Quotation from Isaiah 8:12.

Neither be troubled (μηδε ταραξθητε). Prohibition with μηδε and the first aorist (ingressive) subjunctive of ταρασσω, to disturb (Matthew 2:6; John 12:27). Part of the same quotation. Cf. 1 Peter 3:6.

Verse 15

Sanctify (αγιασατε). First aorist active imperative of αγιαζω. This instead of being afraid.

Christ as Lord (κυριον τον Χριστον). Τον Χριστον, direct object with article and κυριον predicate accusative (without article). This is the correct text, not τον θεον of the Textus Receptus. An adaptation to Christ of Isaiah 8:13.

Being ready always (ετοιμο αε). No participle in the Greek, old adjective (Titus 3:1).

To give answer (προς απολογιαν). "For an apology," the old sense of απολογια, an answer back, a defence (not excuse), as in Acts 22:1, from απολογεομα to defend (not to apologize).

A reason concerning the hope that is in you (λογον περ της εν υμιν ελπιδος). Original sense of λογον (accusative of the thing with αιτουντ with υμας, accusative of the person) "concerning the in you hope." Ready with a spoken defence of the inward hope. This attitude calls for an intelligent grasp of the hope and skill in presenting it. In Athens every citizen was expected to be able to join in the discussion of state affairs.

Yet with meekness and fear (αλλα μετα πραυτητος κα φοβου). Of God (1 Peter 2:18; 1 Peter 3:2; 1 Peter 3:4), not of man.

Verse 16

Having a good conscience (συνειδησιν εχοντες αγαθην). Present active participle of εχω. See 1 Peter 2:18 for συνειδησιν and 1 Peter 3:21 for συνειδησις αγαθη again ("a quasi-personification," Hart).

That they may be put to shame (ινα καταισχυνθωσιν). Purpose clause with ινα and the first aorist passive subjunctive of καταισχυνω, old verb, to put to shame (Luke 13:17; 1 Peter 2:6).

Wherein ye are spoken against (εν ω καταλαλεισθε). Present passive indicative of καταλαλεω, for which see 1 Peter 2:12 with εν ω also. Peter may be recalling (Hart) his own experience at Pentecost when the Jews first scoffed and others were cut to the heart (Acts 2:13; Acts 2:37).

Who revile (ο επηρεαζοντες). Articular present active participle of επηρεαζω, old verb (from επηρεια, spiteful abuse), to insult, in N.T. only here and Luke 6:28.

In Christ (εν Χριστω). Paul's common mystical phrase that Peter has three times (here, 1 Peter 5:10; 1 Peter 5:14), not in John, though the idea is constantly in John. Peter here gives a new turn (cf. 1 Peter 2:12) to αναστροφη (manner of life). "Constantly the apostle repeats his phrases with new significance and in a new light" (Bigg).

Verse 17

Better (κρειττον). Comparative of κρατυς as in 2 Peter 2:21; Hebrews 1:4. Patient endurance not only silences calumny (verse 1 Peter 3:16), is Christlike (verse 1 Peter 3:18), but it has a value of its own (verse 1 Peter 3:17).

If the will of God should so will (ε θελο το θελημα του θεου). Condition of the fourth class again (ει--θελο) with ε and the optative. For a like pleonasm see John 7:17.

For well-doing than for evil-doing (αγαθοποιουντας η κακοποιουντας). Accusative plural agreeing with υμας understood (accusative of general reference with the infinitive πασχειν (to suffer) of the participles from αγαθοποιεω (see 1 Peter 2:15) and κακοποιεω (Mark 3:4, and see 1 Peter 2:14 for κακοποιος).

Verse 18

Because Christ also died (οτ κα Χριστος απεθανεν). So the best MSS.; later ones επαθεν (suffered). The example of Christ should stir us to patient endurance.

For sins (περ αμαρτιων). "Concerning sins" (not his, but ours, 1 Peter 1:18). Περ (around, concerning) with αμαρτιας in the regular phrase for the sin offering (Leviticus 5:7; Leviticus 6:30), though υπερ αμαρτιας does occur (Ezekiel 43:25). So in the N.T. we find both περ αμαρτιων (Hebrews 5:3) and υπερ αμαρτιων (Hebrews 5:1).

Once (απαξ). Once for all (Hebrews 9:28), not once upon a time (ποτε).

The righteous for the unrighteous (δικαιος υπερ αδικων). Literally, "just for unjust" (no articles). See 1 Peter 2:19 for the sinlessness of Christ as the one perfect offering for sin. This is what gives Christ's blood value. He has no sin himself. Some men today fail to perceive this point.

That he might bring us to God (ινα ημας προσαγαγη τω θεω). Purpose clause with ινα, with second aorist active subjunctive of προσαγω and the dative case τω θεω. The MSS. vary between ημας (us) and υμας (you). The verb προσαγω means to lead or bring to (Matthew 18:24), to approach God (cf. προσαγωγην in Ephesians 2:18), to present us to God on the basis of his atoning death for us, which has opened the way (Romans 3:25; Hebrews 10:19.)

Being put to death in the flesh (θανατωθεις μεν σαρκ). First aorist passive participle of θανατοω, old verb (from θανατος death), to put to death. Σαρκ is locative case of σαρξ.

But quickened in the spirit (ζωοποιηθεις δε πνευματ). First aorist passive participle of ζωοποιεω rare (Aristotle) verb (from ζωοποιος making alive), to make alive. The participles are not antecedent to απεθανεν, but simultaneous with it. There is no such construction as the participle of subsequent action. The spirit of Christ did not die when his flesh did, but "was endued with new and greater powers of life" (Thayer). See 1 Corinthians 15:22 for the use of the verb for the resurrection of the body. But the use of the word πνευματ (locative case) in contrast with σαρκ starts Peter's mind off in a long comparison by way of illustration that runs from verses 1 Peter 3:19-22. The following verses have caused more controversy than anything in the Epistle.

Verse 19

In which also (εν ω κα). That is, in spirit (relative referring to πνευματ). But, a number of modern scholars have followed Griesbach's conjecture that the original text was either Νωε κα (Noah also), or Ενωχ κα (Enoch also), or εν ω κα Ενωχ (in which Enoch also) which an early scribe misunderstood or omitted Ενωχ κα in copying (ομοιοτελευτον). It is allowed in Stier and Theile's Polyglott. It is advocated by J. Cramer in 1891, by J. Rendel Harris in The Expositor (1901), and Sidelights on N.T. Research (p. 208), by Nestle in 1902, by Moffatt's New Translation of the New Testament. Windisch rejects it as inconsistent with the context. There is no manuscript for the conjecture, though it would relieve the difficulty greatly. Luther admits that he does not know what Peter means. Bigg has no doubt that the event recorded took place between Christ's death and his resurrection and holds that Peter is alluding to Christ's Descensus ad Inferos in Acts 2:27 (with which he compares Matthew 27:52; Luke 23:34; Ephesians 4:9). With this Windisch agrees. But Wohlenberg holds that Peter means that Christ in his preexistent state preached to those who rejected the preaching of Noah who are now in prison. Augustine held that Christ was in Noah when he preached. Bigg argues strongly that Christ during the time between his death and resurrection preached to those who once heard Noah (but are now in prison) and offered them another chance and not mere condemnation. If so, why did Jesus confine his preaching to this one group? So the theories run on about this passage. One can only say that it is a slim hope for those who neglect or reject Christ in this life to gamble with a possible second chance after death which rests on very precarious exegesis of a most difficult passage in Peter's Epistle. Accepting the text as we have, what can we make of it?

He went and preached (πορευθεις εκηρυξεν). First aorist passive (deponent) participle of πορευομα and first aorist active indicative of κηρυσσω, the verb commonly used of the preaching of Jesus. Naturally the words mean personal action by Christ "in spirit" as illustration of his "quickening" (verse 1 Peter 3:18) whether done before his death or afterwards. It is interesting to observe that, just as the relative εν ω here tells something suggested by the word πνευματ (in spirit) just before, so in verse 1 Peter 3:21 the relative ο (which) tells another illustration of the words δι' υδατος (by water) just before. Peter jumps from the flood in Noah's time to baptism in Peter's time, just as he jumped backwards from Christ's time to Noah's time. He easily goes off at a word. What does he mean here by the story that illustrates Christ's quickening in spirit?

Unto the spirits in prison (τοις εν φυλακη πνευμασιν). The language is plain enough except that it does not make it clear whether Jesus did the preaching to spirits in prison at the time or to people whose spirits are now in prison, the point of doubt already discussed. The metaphorical use of εν φυλακη can be illustrated by 2 Peter 2:4; Judges 1:6; Revelation 20:7 (the final abode of the lost). See Hebrews 12:23 for the use of πνευματα for disembodied spirits.

Verse 20

Which aforetime were disobedient (απειθησασιν ποτε). First aorist active participle of απειθεω (for which verb see 1 Peter 3:20) in the dative plural agreeing with πνευμασιν. These spirits now in prison once upon a time (ποτε) were disobedient (typical rebels, Hart calls them).

Waited (απεξεδεχετο). Imperfect middle of the double compound απεκδεχομα, late verb, probably first by Paul (1 Corinthians 1:7), though in the apocryphal Acta Pauli (iii) and other late writings cited by Nageli (p. 43). Perfective use of the two prepositions (απο, εκ) to wait out to the end, as for Christ's Second Coming (Philippians 3:20). A hundred years apparently after the warning (Genesis 5:32; Genesis 6:3; Genesis 7:6) Noah was preparing the ark and Noah as a preacher of righteousness (2 Peter 2:5) forewarned the people, who disregarded it.

While the ark was a preparing (κατασκευαζομενης κιβωτου). Genitive absolute with present passive participle of κατασκευαζω, old compound (Matthew 11:10), for κιβωτος (ark) see on Matthew 24:38.

Wherein (εις ην). "Into which" (the ark).

That is (τουτ' εστιν). Explanatory expression like our English idiom (Romans 10:6, etc.).

Souls (ψυχα). Persons of both sexes (living men) as in Acts 2:41; Acts 27:37, etc.

Were saved (διεσωθησαν). First aorist passive indicative of διασωζω, old compound, to bring safe through as in Acts 27:44.

Through water (δι' υδατος). "By means of water" as the intermediate agent, an apparent change in the use of δια in composition just before (local use) to the instrumental use here. They came through the water in the ark and so were saved by the water in spite of the flood around them. Peter lays stress (Hart) on the water rather than on the ark (Hebrews 11:7) for the sake of the following illustration.

Verse 21

Which also (ο κα). Water just mentioned.

After a true likeness (αντιτυπον). Water in baptism now as an anti-type of Noah's deliverance by water. For βαπτισμα see on Matthew 3:7. For αντιτυπον see on Hebrews 9:24 (only other N.T. example) where the word is used of the earthly tabernacle corresponding (αντιτυπα) to the heavenly, which is the pattern (τυπον Hebrews 8:5) for the earthly. So here baptism is presented as corresponding to (prefigured by) the deliverance of Noah's family by water. It is only a vague parallel, but not over-fanciful.

Doth now save you (υμας νυν σωζε). Simplex verb (σωζω, not the compound διασωζω). The saving by baptism which Peter here mentions is only symbolic (a metaphor or picture as in Romans 6:2-6), not actual as Peter hastens to explain.

Not the putting away of the filth of the flesh (ου σαρκος αποθεσις ρυπου). Αποθεσις is old word from αποτιθημ (1 Peter 2:1), in N.T. only here and 2 Peter 1:14. Ρυπου (genitive of ρυπος) is old word (cf. ρυπαρος, filthy, in James 2:2; Revelation 22:11), here only in N.T. (cf. Isaiah 3:3; Isaiah 4:4). Baptism, Peter explains, does not wash away the filth of the flesh either in a literal sense, as a bath for the body, or in a metaphorical sense of the filth of the soul. No ceremonies really affect the conscience (Hebrews 9:13). Peter here expressly denies baptismal remission of sin.

But the interrogation of a good conscience toward God (αλλα συνειδησεως αγαθης επερωτημα εις θεον). Old word from επερωταω (to question as in Mark 9:32; Matthew 16:1), here only in N.T. In ancient Greek it never means answer, but only inquiry. The inscriptions of the age of the Antonines use it of the Senate's approval after inquiry. That may be the sense here, that is, avowal of consecration to God after inquiry, having repented and turned to God and now making this public proclamation of that fact by means of baptism (the symbol of the previous inward change of heart). Thus taken, it matters little whether εις θεον (toward God) be taken with επερωτημα or συνειδησεως.

Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ (δι' αναστασεως Ιησου Χριστου). For baptism is a symbolic picture of the resurrection of Christ as well as of our own spiritual renewal (Romans 6:2-6). See 1 Peter 1:3 for regeneration made possible by the resurrection of Jesus.

Verse 22

Having gone (πορευθεις). First aorist (deponent) participle (not periphrastic) of πορευομα.

Being made subject (υποταγεντων). Second aorist passive participle of υποτασσω (see 1 Peter 2:18; 1 Peter 3:1) in the genitive absolute construction.

Unto him (αυτω). Christ. See 1 Corinthians 15:28.

Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 1 Peter 3". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/rwp/1-peter-3.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.
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