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Bible Commentaries

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament
1 Peter 1

 

 

Verse 1

Peter (ΠετροςPetros). Greek form for the Aramaic (Chaldaic) ΧηπαςCēphās the nickname given Simon by Jesus when he first saw him (John 1:42) and reaffirmed in the Greek form on his great confession (Matthew 16:18), with an allusion to πετραpetra another form for a rock, ledge, or cliff. In 2 Peter 1:1 we have both ΣιμωνSimōn and ΠετροςPetros Paul in his Epistles always terms himself Paul, not Saul. So Peter uses this name, not Cephas or Simon, because he is writing to Christians scattered over Asia Minor. The nominative absolute occurs here as in James 1:1, but without χαιρεινchairein as there, the usual form of greeting in letters (Acts 23:26) so common in the papyri.

An apostle of Jesus Christ (αποστολος Ιησου Χριστουapostolos Iēsou Christou). This is his official title, but in 2 Peter 1:1 δουλοςdoulos is added, which occurs alone in James 1:1. In 2 John and 3 John we have only ο πρεσβυτεροςho presbuteros (the elder), as Peter terms himself συνπρεσβυτεροςsunpresbuteros in 1 Peter 5:1. Paul‘s usage varies greatly: only the names in 1 Thessalonians and 2 Thessalonians, the title αποστολοςapostolos added and defended in Galatians and Romans as also in 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians and Colossians and Ephesians and 2 Timothy with “by the will of God” added, and in 1 Timothy with the addition of “according to the command of God.” In Philippians Paul has only “δουλοςdoulos (slave) Χριστου ΙησουChristou Iēsou like James and Jude. In Romans and Titus Paul has both δουλοςdoulos and αποστολοςapostolos like 2 Peter, while in Philemon he uses only δεσμιοςdesmios (prisoner) Ιησου ΧριστουIēsou Christou the elect (εκλεκτοιςeklektois). Without article (with the article in Matthew 24:22, Matthew 24:24, Matthew 24:31) and dative case, “to elect persons” (viewed as a group). Bigg takes εκλεκτοιςeklektois (old, but rare verbal adjective from εκλεγωeklegō to pick out, to select) as an adjective describing the next word, “to elect sojourners.” That is possible and is like γενος εκλεκτονgenos eklekton in 1 Peter 2:9. See the distinction between κλητοιklētoi (called) and εκλεκτοιeklektoi (chosen) in Matthew 22:14.

Who are sojourners (παρεπιδημοιςparepidēmois). Late double compound adjective (παρα επιδημουντεςparaδιασποραςepidēmountes Acts 2:10, to sojourn by the side of natives), strangers sojourning for a while in a particular place. So in Polybius, papyri, in lxx only twice (Genesis 23:4 or Psalm 38:13), in N.T. only here, 1 Peter 2:11; Hebrews 11:13. The picture in the metaphor here is that heaven is our native country and we are only temporary sojourners here on earth.

Of the Dispersion (διασπειρωdiasporās). See John 7:35 for literal sense of the word for scattered (from diaspeirō to scatter abroad, Acts 8:1) Jews outside of Palestine, and James 1:1 for the sense here to Jewish Christians, including Gentile Christians (only N T. examples). Note absence of the article, though a definite conception (of the Dispersion). The Christian is a pilgrim on his way to the homeland. These five Roman provinces include what we call Asia Minor north and west of the Taurus mountain range (Hort). Hort suggests that the order here suggests that Silvanus (bearer of the Epistle) was to land in Pontus from the Euxine Sea, proceed through Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, to Bithynia, where he would re-embark for Rome. This, he holds, explains the separation of Pontus and Bithynia, though the same province. Only Galatia and Asia are mentioned elsewhere in the N.T. as having Christian converts, but the N.T. by no means gives a full account of the spread of the Gospel, as can be judged from Colossians 1:6, Colossians 1:23.


Verse 2

According to (καταkata). Probably to be connected with εκλεκτοιςeklektois rather than with αποστολοςapostolos in spite of a rather loose arrangement of words and the absence of articles in 1 Peter 1:1, 1 Peter 1:2.

The foreknowledge (προγνωσινprognōsin). Late substantive (Plutarch, Lucian, papyri) from προγινωσκωproginōskō (1 Peter 1:20), to know beforehand, only twice in N.T. (here and Acts 2:23 in Peter‘s sermon). In this Epistle Peter often uses substantives rather than verbs (cf. Romans 8:29).

Of God the Father (τεου πατροςtheou patros). Anarthous again and genitive case. See πατηρpatēr applied to God also in 1 Peter 1:3, 1 Peter 1:17 as often by Paul (Romans 1:7, etc.). Peter here presents the Trinity (God the Father, the Spirit, Jesus Christ).

In sanctification of the Spirit (εν αγιασμωι πνευματοςen hagiasmōi pneumatos). Clearly the Holy Spirit, though anarthrous like τεου πατροςtheou patros Late word from αγιαζωhagiazō to render holy (αγιοςhagios), to consecrate, as in 1 Thessalonians 4:7. The subjective genitive here, sanctification wrought by the Spirit as in 2 Thessalonians 2:13 (where the Trinity mentioned as here).

Unto obedience (εις υπακοηνeis hupakoēn). Obedience (from υπακουωhupakouō to hear under, to hearken) to the Lord Jesus as in 1 Peter 1:22 “to the truth,” result of “the sanctification.”

And sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ (ραντισμον αιματος Ιησου Χριστουrantismon haimatos Iēsou Christou). Late substantive from ραντιζωrantizō to sprinkle (Hebrews 9:13), a word used in the lxx of the sacrifices (Num 19:9, 13, 20, etc.), but not in any non-biblical source so far as known, in N.T. only here and Hebrews 12:24 (of the sprinkling of blood). Reference to the death of Christ on the Cross and to the ratification of the New Covenant by the blood of Christ as given in Hebrews 9:19.; Hebrews 12:24 with allusion to Exodus 24:3-8. Paul does not mention this ritual use of the blood of Christ, but Jesus does (Matthew 26:28; Mark 14:24). Hence it is not surprising to find the use of it by Peter and the author of Hebrews. Hort suggests that Peter may also have an ulterior reference to the blood of the martyrs as in Revelation 7:14.; Revelation 12:11, but only as illustration of what Jesus did for us, not as having any value. The whole Epistle is a commentary upon προγνωσις τεου αγιασμος πνευματοσ αιμα Χριστουprognōsis theouπλητυντειηhagiasmos pneumatosπλητυνωhaima Christou (Bigg). Peter is not ashamed of the blood of Christ.

Be multiplied (πλητυςplēthuntheiē). First aorist passive optative (volitive) of χαρις και ειρηνηplēthunō old verb (from ελεοςplēthus fulness), in a wish. So in 2 Peter 1:2; Judges 1:2, but nowhere else in N.T. salutations. Grace and peace (ελεοςcharis kai eirēnē) occur together in 2 Peter 1:2, in 2 John 1:2 (with eleos), and in all Paul‘s Epistles (with eleos added in 1 Timothy and 2 Timothy).


Verse 3

Blessed be (ευλογητοςeulogētos). No copula in the Greek (εστωestō let be, or εστινestin is, or ειηeiē may be). The verbal adjective (from ευλογεωeulogeō) occurs in the N.T. only of God, as in the lxx (Luke 1:68). See also 2 Corinthians 1:3; Ephesians 1:3.

The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (ο τεος και πατηρ του κυριου ημων Ιησου Χριστουho theos kai patēr tou kuriou hēmōn Iēsou Christou). This precise language in 2 Corinthians 1:3; Ephesians 1:3; and part of it in 2 Corinthians 11:31; Romans 15:6. See John 20:17 for similar language by Jesus.

Great (πολυpolu). Much.

Begat us again (αναγεννησας ημαςanagennēsas hēmās). First aorist active articular (οho who) participle of αναγενναωanagennaō late, and rare word to beget again, in Aleph for Sirach (Prol. 20), in Philo, in Hermetic writings, in N.T. only here and 1 Peter 1:23. “It was probably borrowed by the New Paganism from Christianity” (Bigg). The Stoics used αναγεννησιςanagennēsis for παλινγενεσιαpalingenesia (Titus 3:5). If ανωτενanōthen in John 3:3 be taken to mean “again,” the same idea of regeneration is there, and if “from above” it is the new birth, anyhow.

Unto a living hope (εις ελπιδα ζωσανeis elpida zōsan). Peter is fond of the word “living” (present active participle of ζαωzaō) as in 1 Peter 1:23; 1 Peter 2:4, 1 Peter 2:5, 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Peter 4:5, 1 Peter 4:6. The Pharisees cherished the hope of the resurrection (Acts 23:6), but the resurrection of Jesus gave it proof and permanence (1 Corinthians 15:14, 1 Corinthians 15:17). It is no longer a dead hope like dead faith (James 2:17, James 2:26). This revival of hope was wrought “by the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (δια αναστασεωςdia anastaseōs). Hope rose up with Christ from the dead, though the disciples (Peter included) were slow at first to believe it.


Verse 4

Unto an inheritance (εις κληρονομιανeis klēronomian). Old word (from κληρονομοςklēronomos heir) for the property received by the heir (Matthew 21:38), here a picture of the blessedness in store for us pilgrims (Galatians 3:18).

Incorruptible (απταρτονaphtharton). Old compound adjective (alpha privative and πτειρωphtheirō to corrupt), imperishable. So many inheritances vanish away before they are obtained.

Undefiled (αμιαντονamianton). Old verbal adjective (note alliteration) from alpha privative and μιαινωmiainō to defile, without defect or flaw in the title, in N.T. only here, James 1:27; Hebrews 13:4.

That fadeth not away (αμαραντονamaranton). Alliterative and verbal adjective again from alpha privative and μαραινωmarainō (to dry up, to wither, as in James 1:11), late and rare word in several inscriptions on tombs, here only in N.T. These inscriptions will fade away, but not this inheritance in Christ. It will not be like a faded rose.

Reserved (τετηρημενηνtetērēmenēn). Perfect passive participle of τηρεωtēreō old verb, to take care of, to guard. No burglars or bandits can break through where this inheritance is kept (Matthew 6:19.; John 17:11.). Cf. Colossians 1:5, where laid away” (αποκειμενηνapokeimenēn) occurs.

For you (εις υμαςeis humas). More graphic than the mere dative.


Verse 5

By the power of God (εν δυναμει τεουen dunamei theou). No other δυναμιςdunamis (power) like this (Colossians 1:3).

Are guarded (προυρουμενουςphrouroumenous). Present (continuous process) passive articular (τουςtous) participle of προυρεωphroureō to garrison, old verb (from προυροςphrouros sentinel), a military term (Acts 9:24; 2 Corinthians 11:32), used of God‘s love (Philemon 4:7) as here. “The inheritance is kept; the heirs are guarded” (Bengel).

Through faith (δια πιστεωςdia pisteōs). Intermediate agency (διαdia), the immediate being (ενen in, by) God‘s power.

Unto a salvation (εις σωτηριανeis sōtērian). Deliverance is the goal (ειςeis) of the process and final salvation here, consummation as in 1 Thessalonians 5:8, from σωτηρsōtēr (Saviour, from σωζωsōzō to save).

Ready (ετοιμηνhetoimēn). Prepared awaiting God‘s will (Galatians 3:23; Romans 8:18).

To be revealed (αποκαλυπτηναιapokaluphthēnai). First aorist passive infinitive of αποκαλυπτωapokaluptō to unveil. Cf. Colossians 3:4 for πανεροωphaneroō (to manifest) in this sense.

In the last time (εν καιρωι εσχατωιen kairōi eschatōi). This precise phrase nowhere else, but similar ones in John 6:39; Acts 2:17; James 5:3; 2 Timothy 3:1; 2 Peter 3:3; Hebrews 1:2; Judges 1:18; 1 John 2:18. Hort translates it here “in a season of extremity,” but it is usually taken to refer to the Day of Judgment. That day no one knows, Jesus said.


Verse 6

Wherein (εν ωιen hōi). This translation refers the relative ωιhōi to καιρωιkairōi but it is possible to see a reference to ΧριστουChristou (1 Peter 1:3) or to τεουtheou (1 Peter 1:5) or even to the entire content of 1 Peter 1:3-5. Either makes sense, though possibly καιρωιkairōi is correct.

Ye greatly rejoice (αγαλλιαστεagalliāsthe). Present middle indicative (rather than imperative) of αγαλλιαομαιagalliaomai late verb from αγαλλομαιagallomai to rejoice, only in lxx, N.T., and ecclesiastical literature as in Matthew 5:12.

Now for a little while (ολιγον αρτιoligon arti). Accusative case of time (ολιγονoligon) probably as in Mark 6:31, though it can be used of space (to a small extent) as in Luke 5:3.

If need be (ει δεονei deon). Present active neuter singular participle of δειdei (it is necessary). Some MSS. have εστινestin after δεονdeon (periphrastic construction). Condition of first class.

Though ye have been put to grief (λυπητεντεςlupēthentes). First aorist passive participle (concessive circumstantial use) of λυπεωlupeō to make sorrowful (from λυπηlupē sorrow), old and common verb. See 2 Corinthians 6:10.

In manifold temptations (εν ποικιλοις πειρασμοιςen poikilois peirasmois). Just the phrase in James 1:2, which see note on. “Trials” clearly right here as there. Seven N.T. writers use ποικιλοςpoikilos (varied).


Verse 7

The proof of your faith (το δοκιμιον υμων της πιστεωςto dokimion humōn tēs pisteōs). The identical phrase in James 1:3 and probably derived from there by Peter. See note on James 1:3 for discussion of το δοκιμιονto dokimion (the test or touchstone of faith).

Being more precious (πολυτιμοτερονpolutimoteron). No word for “being” (ονon) in the Greek. The secondary uncials have πολυ τιμιωτερονpolu timiōteron The text is the comparative of πολυτιμοςpolutimos late adjective (Plutarch) from πολυpolu and τιμηtimē (of great price) as in Matthew 13:46.

Than gold (χρυσιουchrusiou). Ablative case after the comparative adjective.

That perisheth (του απολλυμενουtou apollumenou). Present middle articular participle of απολλυμιapollumi to destroy. Even gold perishes (wears away).

Though it is proved by fire (δια πυρος δε δοκιμαζομενουdia puros de dokimazomenou). Present passive articular participle (in the ablative like χρυσιουchrusiou) of δοκιμαζωdokimazō (common verb for testing metals) with δεde which gives a concessive sense to the participle. Faith stands the test of fire better than gold, but even gold is refined by fire.

That might be found (ινα ευρετηιhina heurethēi). Purpose clause with ιναhina and the first aorist passive subjunctive of ευρισκωheuriskō common verb, to find. As in 2 Peter 3:14, this is the result of the probation by God as the Refiner of hearts.

Unto praise and glory and honour (εις επαινον και δοχαν και τιμηνeis epainon kai doxan kai timēn). Here probably both to God and man in the result. Cf. Matthew 5:11.; Romans 2:7, Romans 2:10; 1 Timothy 1:17.

At the revelation of Jesus Christ (εν αποκαλυπσει Ιησου Χριστουen apokalupsei Iēsou Christou). So also in 1 Peter 1:13; 1 Peter 4:13; 2 Thessalonians 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:7; Luke 17:30 of the second coming of Christ as the Judge and Rewarder (Bigg).


Verse 8

Whom (ονhon). Relative referring to Christ just before and accusative case, object of both ιδοντεςidontes and αγαπατεagapate (ye love).

Not having seen (ουκ ιδοντεςouk idontes). Second aorist active participle of οραωhoraō to see, with ουκouk rather than μηmē because it negatives an actual experience in contrast with μη ορωντεςmē horōntes (though not seeing, hypothetical case). On whom (εις ονeis hon) with πιστευοντεςpisteuontes common construction for “believing on” (πιστευω ειςpisteuō eis). It is possible that Peter here has in mind the words of Jesus to Thomas as recorded in John 20:29 (“Happy are those not seeing and yet believing”). Peter was present and heard the words of Jesus to Thomas, and so he could use them before John wrote his Gospel.

Ye rejoice greatly (αγαλλιατεagalliāte). Same form as in 1 Peter 1:6, only active here instead of middle.

With joy (χαραιcharāi). Instrumental case (manner).

Unspeakable (ανεκλαλητωιaneklalētōi). Late and rare double compound verbal (alpha privative and εκλαλεωeklaleō), here only in N.T., in Dioscorides and Heliodorus, “unutterable,” like Paul‘s “indescribable” (ανεκδιηγητοςanekdiēgētos) gift (2 Corinthians 9:15, here alone in N.T.).

Full of glory (δεδοχασμενηιdedoxasmenēi). Perfect passive participle of δοχαζωdoxazō to glorify, “glorified joy,” like the glorified face of Moses (Exodus 34:29.; 2 Corinthians 3:10.


Verse 9

Receiving (κομιζομενοιkomizomenoi). Present middle participle of κομιζωkomizō old verb, to receive back, to get what is promised (1 Peter 5:4; Hebrews 10:36).

The end of your faith (το τελος της πιστεωςto telos tēs pisteōs). The conclusion, the culmination of faith (2 Corinthians 3:13; Romans 2:21.; Romans 10:4). See Hebrews 12:2 of Jesus as “Pioneer and Perfecter of Faith.”

Even the salvation of your souls (σωτηριαν πσυχωνsōtērian psuchōn). No “even” in the text, just the accusative of apposition with τελοςtelos viz., final salvation.


Verse 10

Concerning which salvation (περι ης σωτηριαςperi hēs sōtērias). Another relative clause (taking up σωτηριαsōtēria from 1 Peter 1:9 and incorporating it) in this long sentence (1 Peter 1:3-12, inclusive, all connected by relatives). Peter lingers over the word σωτηριαsōtēria (salvation) with something new to say each time (Bigg). Here it is the general sense of the gospel of grace.

Sought (εχεζητησανexezētēsan). First aorist active indicative of εκζητεωekzēteō to seek out (Acts 15:17), late and rare compound, only in lxx and N.T. save once in Aristides.

Searched diligently (εχηραυνησανexēraunēsan). First aorist active indicative of εχεραυναωexeraunaō old and common compound (εχερευναωexereunaō), to search out diligently, here only in N.T. Both of these words occur together in 1 Macc. 9:26.

Of the grace that should come unto you (περι της εις υμας χαριτοςperi tēs eis humas charitos). “Concerning the for you grace” (meant for you).


Verse 11

Searching (εραυνωντεςeraunōntes). Present active participle of εραυναωeraunaō late form for older ερευναωereunaō (both in the papyri), uncompounded verb (John 7:52), the compound occurring in 1 Peter 1:10 above.

What time or what manner of time (εις τινα η ποιον καιρονeis tina ē poion kairon). Proper sense of ποιοςpoios (qualitative interrogative) kept here as in 1 Corinthians 15:35, Romans 3:27, though it is losing its distinctive sense from τιςtis (Acts 23:34). The prophets knew what they prophesied, but not at what time the Messianic prophecies would be fulfilled.

The Spirit of Christ which was in them (το εν αυτοις πνευμα Χριστουto en autois pneuma Christou). Peter definitely asserts here that the Spirit of Jesus Christ (the Messiah) was in the Old Testament prophets, the Holy Spirit called the Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of God (Romans 8:9), who spoke to the prophets as he would speak to the apostles (John 16:14).

Did point unto (εδηλουedēlou). Imperfect active of δηλοωdēloō to make plain, “did keep on pointing to,” though they did not clearly perceive the time.

When it testified beforehand (προμαρτυρομενονpromarturomenon). Present middle participle of προμαρτυρομαιpromarturomai a late compound unknown elsewhere save in a writer of the fourteenth century (Theodorus Mech.) and now in a papyrus of the eighth. It is neuter here because πνευμαpneuma is neuter, but this grammatical gender should not be retained as “it” in English, but should be rendered “he” (and so as to Acts 8:15). Here we have predictive prophecy concerning the Messiah, though some modern critics fail to find predictions of the Messiah in the Old Testament.

The sufferings of Christ (τα εις Χριστον πατηματαta eis Christon pathēmata). “The sufferings for (destined for) Christ” like the use of ειςeis in 1 Peter 1:10 (εις υμαςeis humas for you).

The glories that should follow them (τας μετα ταυτα δοχαςtas meta tauta doxas). “The after these things (sufferings) glories.” The plural of δοχαdoxa is rare, but occurs in Exodus 15:11; Hosea 9:11. The glories of Christ followed the sufferings as in 1 Peter 4:13; 1 Peter 5:1, 1 Peter 5:6.


Verse 12

To whom (οιςhois). Dative plural of the relative pronoun. To the prophets who were seeking to understand. Bigg observes that “the connexion between study and inspiration is a great mystery.” Surely, but that is no argument for ignorance or obscurantism. We do the best that we can and only skirt the shore of knowledge, as Newton said.

It was revealed (απεκαλυπτηapekaluphthē). First aorist passive indicative of αποκαλυπτωapokaluptō old verb, to reveal, to unveil. Here is revelation about the revelation already received, revelation after research.

Did they minister (διηκονουνdiēkonoun). Imperfect active of διακονεωdiakoneō old verb, to minister, “were they ministering.”

Have been announced (ανηγγεληanēggelē). Second aorist passive indicative of δια τωνanaggellō̄ ̄to report, to bring back tidings (John 4:25).

Through them (διαdia tōn). Intermediate agent (των ευαγγελισαμενωνdia), “the gospelizers” (ευαγγελιζωtōn euaggelisamenōn articular first aorist middle participle of πνευματι αγιωιeuaggelizō to preach the gospel).

By the Holy Ghost (αποσταλεντιpneumati hagiōi). Instrumental case of the personal agent, “by the Holy Spirit” (without article).

Sent forth from heaven (αποστελλωapostalenti). Second aorist passive participle of πνευματι αγιωιapostellō in instrumental case agreeing with επιτυμουσινpneumati hagiōi (the Spirit of Christ of 1 Peter 1:11).

Desire (επιτυμεωepithumousin). Eagerly desire (present active indicative of παρακυπσαιepithumeō to long for).

To look into (παρακυπτωparakupsai). First aorist active infinitive of parakuptō old compound to peer into as in Luke 24:12; John 20:5, John 20:11; James 1:25, which see. For the interest of angels in the Incarnation see Luke 2:13.


Verse 13

Wherefore (διοdio). “Because of which thing,” the glorious free grace opened for Gentiles and Jews in Christ (1 Peter 1:3-12).

Girding up (αναζωσαμενοιanazōsamenoi). First aorist middle participle of αναζωννυμιanazōnnumi late and rare verb (Judges 18:16; Proverbs 31:17), here only in N.T., vivid metaphor for habit of the Orientals, who quickly gathered up their loose robes with a girdle when in a hurry or starting on a journey.

The loins (τας οσπυαςtas osphuas). Old word for the part of the body where the girdle (ζωνηzōnē) was worn. Metaphor here as in Luke 12:35; Ephesians 6:14.

Mind (διανοιαςdianoias). Old word for the faculty of understanding, of seeing through a thing (δια νοεωdiaνηποντεςnoeō) as in Matthew 22:37.

Be sober (νηπωnēphontes). “Being sober” (present active participle of τελειωςnēphō old verb, but in N.T. always as metaphor (1 Thessalonians 5:6, 1 Thessalonians 5:8, etc., and so in 1 Peter 4:7).

Perfectly (τελειοςteleiōs). Adverb, old word (here alone in N.T.), from adjective ελπισατεteleios (perfect), connected with ελπιζωelpisate (set your hope, first aorist active imperative of νηποντεςelpizō) in the Revised Version, but Bigg, Hort, and most modern commentators take it according to Peter‘s usual custom with the preceding verb, την περομενηνnēphontes (“being perfectly sober,” not “hope perfectly”).

That is to be brought (περωtēn pheromenēn). Present passive articular participle of αποκαλυπσειpherō picturing the process, “that is being brought.” For “revelation” (apokalupsei) see end of 1 Peter 1:7.


Verse 14

As children of obedience (ως τεκνα υπακοηςhōs tekna hupakoēs). A common Hebraism (descriptive genitive frequent in lxx and N.T., like υιοι της απειτειαςhuioi tēs apeitheias children of disobedience, in Ephesians 2:2) suggested by υπακοηνhupakoēn in 1 Peter 1:2, “children marked by obedience.”

Not fashioning yourselves (μη συνσχηματιζομενοιmē sunschēmatizomenoi). Usual negative μηmē with the participle (present direct middle of συνσχηματιζωsunschēmatizō a rare (Aristotle, Plutarch) compound (συν σχηματιζωsunσχημαschēmatizō from εχωschēma from μεταμορποωechō), in N.T. only here and Romans 12:2 (the outward pattern in contrast with the inward change σχημαmetamorphoō). See Philemon 2:6. for contrast between μορπηschēma (pattern) and ταις προτερον επιτυμιαιςmorphē (form).

According to your former lusts (συνσχηματιζομενοιtais proteron epithumiais). Associative instrumental case after επιτυμιαsunschēmatizomenoi and the bad sense of εν τηι αγνοιαι υμωνepithumia as in 1 Peter 4:2; 2 Peter 1:4; James 1:14.

In the time of your ignorance (Αγνοιαen tēi agnoiāi humōn). “In your ignorance,” but in attributive position before “lusts.” αγνοεωAgnoia (from agnoeō to be ignorant) is old word, in N.T. only here, Acts 3:17; Acts 17:30; Ephesians 4:18.


Verse 15

But like as he which called you is holy (αλλα κατα τον καλεσαντα υμας αγιονalla kata ton kalesanta humas hagion). This use of καταkata is a regular Greek idiom (here in contrast with συνσχηματιζομενοιsunschēmatizomenoi). “But according to the holy one calling you or who called you” (first aorist articular participle of καλεωkaleō to call). God is our standard or pattern (καταkata), not our lusts.

Be ye yourselves also holy (και αυτοι αγιοι γενητητεkai autoi hagioi genēthēte). First aorist (ingressive) passive imperative of γινομαιginomai to become with allusion (καιkai also) to καταkata (God as our example), “Do ye also become holy.” For αναστροπηanastrophē (manner of life) see 1 Peter 1:18; 1 Peter 2:12; 3:1-16; James 3:13; 2 Peter 2:7. Peter uses αναστροπηanastrophē eight times. The original meaning (turning up and down, back and forth) suited the Latin word conversatio (converto), but not our modern “conversation” (talk, not walk).


Verse 16

Because it is written (διοτι γεγραπταιdioti gegraptai). “Because (διοτιdioti stronger than οτιhoti below) it stands written” (regular formula for O.T. quotation, perfect passive indicative of γραπωgraphō). The quotation is from Leviticus 11:44; Leviticus 19:2; Leviticus 20:7. Reenforced by Jesus in Matthew 5:48. The future εσεστεesesthe here is volitive like an imperative.


Verse 17

If ye call (ει επικαλειστεei epikaleisthe). Condition of first class and present middle indicative of επικαλεωepikaleō to call a name on, to name (Acts 10:18).

As Father (πατεραpatera). Predicate accusative in apposition with τονκρινονταton- απροσωπολημπτωςkrinonta respect of persons (προσωπολημπτηςaprosōpolēmptōs). Found nowhere else except in the later Ep. of Clem. of Rome and Ep. of Barn., from alpha privative and προσωπολημπτεωprosōpolēmptēs (Acts 10:34. See James 2:9 for προσωπολημπσιαprosōpolēmpteō and 1 Peter 1:1 for προσωπον λαμβανωprosōpolēmpsia) from κατα το εκαστου εργονprosōpon lambanō (in imitation of the Hebrew).

According to each man‘s work (κρινονταkata to hekastou ergon). “According to the deed of each one” God judges (αναστραπητεkrinonta) just as Christ judges also (2 Corinthians 5:10).

Pass (αναστρεπωanastraphēte). Second aorist passive imperative of τον χρονονanastrephō metaphorical sense as in 2 Corinthians 1:12; 2 Peter 2:18.

The time (της παροικιας υμωνton chronon). Accusative case of extent of time.

Of your sojourning (παροικεωtēs paroikias humōn). A late word, found in lxx (Psalm 119:5) and in N.T. only here and Acts 13:17 and in ecclesiastical writers (one late Christian inscription). It comes from παροικοςparoikeō old verb, to dwell beside (in one‘s neighbourhood), and so of pilgrims or strangers (εν ποβωιparoikos Acts 7:6) as of Jews away from Palestine or of Christians here on earth, then of a local region (our “parish”). Peter here recurs to 1 Peter 1:1 (“sojourners of the Dispersion”).

In fear (αναστραπητεen phobōi). Emphatic position at beginning of the clause with anastraphēte at the end.


Verse 18

Knowing (ειδοτεςeidotes). Second perfect active participle of οιδαoida causal participle. The appeal is to an elementary Christian belief (Hort), the holiness and justice of God with the added thought of the high cost of redemption (Bigg).

Ye were redeemed (ελυτρωτητεelutrōthēte). First aorist passive indicative of λυτροωlutroō old verb from λυτρονlutron (ransom for life as of a slave, Matthew 20:28), to set free by payment of ransom, abundant examples in the papyri, in N.T. only here, Luke 24:21; Titus 2:14. The ransom is the blood of Christ. Peter here amplifies the language in Isaiah 52:3.

Not with corruptible things (ου πταρτοιςou phthartois). Instrumental case neuter plural of the late verbal adjective from πτειρωphtheirō to destroy or to corrupt, and so perishable, in N.T. here, 1 Peter 1:23; 1 Corinthians 9:25; 1 Corinthians 15:53.; Romans 1:23. Αργυριωι η χρυσιωιArguriōi ē chrusiōi (silver or gold) are in explanatory apposition with πταρτοιςphthartois and so in the same case. Slaves were set free by silver and gold.

From your vain manner of life (εκ της ματαιας υμων αναστροπηςek tēs mataias humōn anastrophēs). “Out of” (εκek), and so away from, the pre-Christian αναστροπηanastrophē of 1 Peter 1:15, which was “vain” (ματαιαςmataias Cf. Ephesians 4:17-24).

Handed down from your fathers (πατροπαραδοτουpatroparadotou). This adjective, though predicate in position, is really attributive in idea, like χειροποιητουcheiropoiētou in Ephesians 2:11 (Robertson, Grammar, p. 777), like the French idiom. This double compound verbal adjective (πατερ παρα διδωμιpaterparadidōmi), though here alone in N.T., occurs in Diodorus, Dion. Halic, and in several inscriptions (Moulton and Milligan‘s Vocabulary; Deissmann, Bible Studies, pp. 266f.). The Jews made a wrong use of tradition (Matthew 15:2.), but the reference here seems mainly to Gentiles (1 Peter 2:12).


Verse 19

But with precious blood (αλλα τιμιωι αιματιalla timiōi haimati). Instrumental case of αιμαhaima after ελυτρωτητεelutrōthēte (repeated from 1 Peter 1:18). Peter here applies the old adjective τιμιοςtimios (from τιμηtimē of Christ in 1 Peter 2:7) to Christ as in 1 Peter 1:7 πολυτιμοτερονpolutimoteron to testing of faith. The blood of anyone is “precious” (costly), far above gold or silver, but that of Jesus immeasurably more so.

As of a lamb (ως αμνουhōs amnou). This word occurs in Leviticus 12:8; Numbers 15:11; Deuteronomy 14:4 of the lamb prescribed for the passover sacrifice (Exodus 12:5). John the Baptist applies it to Jesus (John 1:29, John 1:36). It occurs also in Acts 8:32 quoted from Isaiah 53:7. Undoubtedly both the Baptist and Peter have this passage in mind. Elsewhere in the N.T. αρνιονarnion is used of Christ (Revelation 5:6, Revelation 5:12). Jesus is the Paschal Lamb. Peter sees clearly that it was by the blood of Christ that we are redeemed from sin.

Without blemish (αμωμουamōmou). Without (alpha privative) spot (μωμοςmōmos) as the paschal lamb had to be (Leviticus 22:21). So Hebrews 9:14.

Without spot (ασπιλουaspilou). Without (alpha privative) stain (σπιλοςspilos spot) as in James 1:27; 2 Peter 3:14; 1 Timothy 6:14

Even the blood of Christ (ΧριστουChristou). Genitive case with αιματιhaimati but in unusual position for emphasis and clearness with the participles following.


Verse 20

Who was foreknown indeed (προεγνωσμενου μενproegnōsmenou men). Perfect passive participle (in genitive singular agreeing with ΧριστουChristou) of προγινωσκωproginōskō old verb, to know beforehand (Romans 8:29; 2 Peter 3:17). See προγνωσιν τεουprognōsin theou in 1 Peter 1:2.

Before the foundation of the world (προ καταβολης κοσμουpro katabolēs kosmou). This precise curious phrase occurs in John 17:24 in the Saviour‘s mouth of his preincarnate state with the Father as here and in Ephesians 1:4. We have απο καταβολης κοσμουapo katabolēs kosmou in Matthew 25:34 (κοσμουkosmou omitted in Matthew 13:35); Luke 11:50; Hebrews 4:3; Hebrews 9:26; Revelation 13:8; Revelation 17:8. ΚαταβοληKatabolē (from καταβαλλωkataballō) was originally laying the foundation of a house (Hebrews 6:1). The preincarnate Messiah appears in the counsels of God also in 1 Corinthians 2:7; Colossians 1:26.; Ephesians 1:9.; Ephesians 3:9-11; Romans 16:25; 1 Timothy 1:9.

But was manifested (πανερωτεντος δεphanerōthentos de). First aorist (ingressive) passive participle of πανεροωphaneroō referring to the Incarnation in contrast with the preexistence of Christ (cf. John 1:31; 1 John 3:5, 1 John 3:8).

At the end of the times (επ εσχατου των χρονωνep' eschatou tōn chronōn). Like επ εσχατου των ημερωνep' eschatou tōn hēmerōn (Hebrews 1:2). The plural χρονοιchronoi doubtless referring to successive periods in human history until the fullness of the time came (Galatians 4:4).

For your sake (δι υμαςdi' humās). Proof of God‘s love, not of their desert or worth (Acts 17:30.; Hebrews 11:39.).


Verse 21

Who through him are believers in God (τους δι αυτου πιστους εις τεονtous di' autou pistous eis theon). Accusative case in apposition with υμαςhumās (you), “the through him (that is Christ as in 1 Peter 1:8; Acts 3:16) believers (πιστουςpistous correct text of A B) in God.”

Which raised (τον εγειρανταton egeiranta). Accusative singular articular (agreeing with τεονtheon) first aorist active participle of εγειρωegeirō (cf. δι αναστασεως Ιησουdi' anastaseōs Iēsou in 1 Peter 1:3).

Gave glory to him (δοχαν αυτωι δονταdoxan autōi donta). Second aorist active participle of διδωμιdidōmi agreeing also with τεονtheon See Peter‘s speech in Acts 3:13 about God glorifying (εδοχασενedoxasen) Jesus and also the same idea by Peter in Acts 2:33-36; Acts 5:31.

So that your faith and hope might be in God (ωστε την πιστιν υμων και ελπιδα εις τεονhōste tēn pistin humōn kai elpida eis theon). ωστεHōste with the infinitive (ειναιeinai) and the accusative of general reference (πιστιν και ελπιδαpistin kai elpida) is used in the N.T. as in the Koiné for either purpose (Matthew 10:1) or usually result (Mark 4:37). Hence here result (so that is) is more probable than design.


Verse 22

Seeing ye have purified (ηγνικοτεςhēgnikotes). Perfect active participle of αγνιζωhagnizō old verb from αγνοςhagnos (pure), here with πσυχαςpsuchas (souls), with καρδιαςkardias (hearts) in James 4:8 as in 1 John 3:3 of moral cleansing also. See the ceremonial sense of the word as in lxx in John 11:55; Acts 21:24, Acts 21:26; Acts 24:18.

In your obedience (εν τηι υπακοηιen tēi hupakoēi). With repetition of the idea in 1 Peter 1:2, 1 Peter 1:14 (children of obedience).

To the truth (της αλετειαςtēs aletheias). Objective genitive with which compare John 17:17, John 17:19 about sanctification in the truth and 2 Thessalonians 2:12 about believing the truth. There is cleansing power in the truth of God in Christ.

Unfeigned (ανυποκριτονanupokriton). Late and rare double compound, here alone in Peter, but see James 3:17; 2 Corinthians 6:6, etc. No other kind of πιλαδελπιαphiladelphia (brotherly love) is worth having (1 Thessalonians 4:9; Hebrews 13:1; 2 Peter 1:7).

From the heart fervently (εκ καρδιας εκτενωςek kardias ektenōs). Late adverb (in inscriptions, Polybius, lxx). The adjective εκτενηςektenēs is more common (1 Peter 4:8).


Verse 23

Having been begotten again (αναγεγεννημενοιanagegennēmenoi). Perfect passive participle of αναγενναωanagennaō which see in 1 Peter 1:2.

Not of corruptible seed (ουκ εκ σπορας πταρτηςouk ek sporās phthartēs). Ablative with εκek as the source, for πταρτοςphthartos see 1 Peter 1:18, and σποραςsporās (from σπειρωspeirō to sow), old word (sowing, seed) here only in N.T., though σποροςsporos in Mark 4:26., etc. For “incorruptible” (απταρτουaphthartou) see 1 Peter 1:4; 1 Peter 3:4.

Through the word of God (δια λογου τεουdia logou theou). See James 1:18 for “by the word of truth,” 1 Peter 1:25 here, and Peter‘s use of λογοςlogos in Acts 10:36. It is the gospel message.

Which liveth and abideth (ζωντος και μενοντοςzōntos kai menontos). These present active participles (from ζαωzaō and μενωmenō) can be taken with τεουtheou (God) or with λογουlogou (word). In 1 Peter 1:25 μενειmenei is used with ρημαrēma (word). Still in Daniel 6:26 both μενωνmenōn and ζωνzōn are used with τεοςtheos Either construction makes sense here.


Verse 24

Quotation from Isaiah 40:6-8 (partly like the lxx, partly like the Hebrew).

For (διοτιdioti). As in 1 Peter 1:16 (διαdia and οτιhoti), “for that.” So in 1 Peter 2:6. See a free use of this imagery about the life of man as grass and a flower in James 1:11. The best MSS. here read αυτηςautēs (thereof) after δοχαdoxa (glory) rather than αντρωπουanthrōpou (of man).

Withereth (εχηραντηexēranthē). First aorist (gnomic, timeless) passive indicative of χηραινωxērainō (see James 1:11).

Falleth (εχεπεσενexepesen). Second aorist (gnomic, timeless) active indicative of εκπιπτωekpiptō (see James 1:11).

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Verse 25

In 1 Peter 1:25 note eis humās (unto you) like eis humās in 1 Peter 1:4 (= humin dative).

 


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 1 Peter 1:4". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/1-peter-1.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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