Bible Query from
Q: In 1 Pet 1:2, does Spirit sanctify us, or does Godís truth as Jn 17:17 says?
A: Is a fire started by a person lighting a match or by the match itself? Both are true. Likewise the Spirit is the one who sanctifies us, and He does it by means of Godís truth. See When Critics Ask p.531 and Haleyís Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible p.168-169 for more info.
Q: In 1 Pet 1:1, where is Asia?
A: Asia does not mean the continent of Asia. Rather, it is the Roman province called Asia, which was in the western third of modern-day Turkey. It was a Greek term used by Herodotus in 440 B.C. for all of the Anatolian peninsula. The origin was likely from the Hittite province Assuwa.
Q: In 1 Pet 1:1, why did Peter mention these provinces in this order?
A: While Scripture does not specifically say, the order of these provinces form a clockwise loop, which may have been how the letter was to be distributed. "Bithynia and Pontus" was one Roman province. Historically, mentioning both Galatia and Cappadocia dates this letter as before 72 A.D., because it was then that the Roman Emperor Vespasian combined reunited these two provinces as one, where they remained united until Emperor Hadrian separated them again in 136 A.D.
The list starts and ends with Bithynia-Pontus, which was a more primitive region, to Asia, a very cultured region. In earlier Greek times sailors who were shipwrecked on the shores of Pontus were sacrificed to gods by the locals. In Greek mythology Prometheus was chained in Pontus, and Hercules went to the underworld from there. On the other side, about half of the major cities in Asia Minor were in the province of Asia. Ephesus was a huge city, though not as large as Rome.
Q: In 1 Peter 1:1,17 and 1 Peter 2:11 should we feel like strangers and aliens?
A: If you are a believer and you have never felt like a stranger or an alien here, then something is wrong. We are strangers in this world. We are citizens of heaven and we really belong there. However, temporarily we are still on the earth. However, Christians sometimes forget this.
Q: In 1 Pet 1:2a, how do being chosen by the Father, sanctified by the Spirit, for obedience to Christ relate to each other?
A: This allusion to the Trinity shows something about how they operate. Whenever foreknowledge or predestination are mentioned, they relate to the Father. It is the Holy Spirit who sanctifies, i.e. sets us apart to make us holy. We are saved to obey our Lord Jesus, who is the Word of God. This is a complementary way of looking at things vs. Paul in Ephesians. In Ephesians 2:8-10 we are saved by grace through faith, in order to do good works. In 1 Peter, we are saved by the foreknowledge of the Father through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Christ. They are different ways of looking at salvation, but both are true.
Q: In 1 Pet 1:2b, since we are believers already have grace and peace, what is the difference between that and having it in abundance?
A: We have already be justified, or declared righteous, and we have already been granted Godís grace and peace reconciling us through Christ. We will see the ultimate fulfillment of those in heaven, but not before. However, we are to grow in abundance of Godís grace and peace now. We may not remain on earth for a long time, compared to heaven, but while we are here, God has a lot of work to do in us. However, absent from 1 Peter is the idea that once we get saved, we lay back passively waiting for God to do everything. We participate in working out our salvation by our abiding in Christ and obeying Him.
Q: In 1 Pet 1:3 and Eph 1:17, how is the Father the God or Jesus Christ even now?
A: While on earth Jesus submitted to the Father, learned obedience, and did not know the hour of His return. Hebrews 13:8 says that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever, so Jesus did not "merge back" with God the Father. But even now Jesus is still submissive as the Son, and the Father is still the Father. When everything in Creation is put under the feet of Christ in 1 Corinthians 15:27-28, Christ will still be subject to God the Father.
Q: In 1 Pet 1:4 what is the difference between something that perishes, vs. spoils, vs. fades? What are examples of these things and how do they differ from our salvation?
A: Something that perishes might be gone, or like a burned-down house still exists, but in a completely ruined state. Something that spoils is not as good as it once was like clothes, or becomes rotten and then even more rotten, like old food. Scents and colors fade, and our sense of smell and sight can fade as people get older. If you had a million radioactive atoms, and a half-life of five years, than after five years, there are only 500,000 radioactive atoms left. After ten years, there are only 250,000 radioactive atoms left. The radioactive atoms never disappear completely, but they fade away as an exponential curve. But praise God that our salvation is not at all like any of these things. Imagine God telling someone they could be in heaven for 500 years (simplistically assuming that time in heaven is like earth). They would be constantly looking over their shoulder, wondering when their time was up, and heaven would not be so good if it was not imperishable. Our time in heaven will never spoil, and when we have been in heaven for a million years, it will be as fresh and exciting as when we first arrived.
Q: In 1 Pet 1:4,7,23-25, perishing vs. the imperishable is important, as well as unfading in 1 Pet 3:4; 5:5b. How can we see what is imperishable and unfading?
A: Sometimes it is hard for people, because most of what we see is perishable. Some people, teens in particular, might idolize a particular music or movie star. But ten years later, they might almost have forgotten about them. An interesting song, in 2005, was called "1985". It was about a guyís mother who was permanently stuck in the music, personalities, and American culture in 1985, and how strange and odd she looked and acted. Three things the Bible says are eternal are God, the Word of God and human souls. So focus on these, and remember that your achievements, other learning, and goals are all going to pass away.
Q: In 1 Pet 1:4,23, since we are born of incorruptible seed and kept by the power of God according to 1 Pet 1:15, can a Christian lose their salvation?
A: Genuine Christians disagree on this. Christians such as John Wesley believe that while God "keeps" Christians, Christians themselves can choose to be removed from that "keeping". Others, such as myself, believe that those who genuinely made a commitment to Christ will never fall away.
All should be able to agree that a) those who appear to be Christians can fall away forever (2 Peter 2:20-22), b) God preserves Christians who are the elect (Ephesians 1:13), c) God knows who the elect are, d) we can have confidence in our salvation (1 John 5:13,19), e) people can deceive themselves and have a counterfeit conversion (Matthew 7:22-23), and f) we are commanded to examine ourselves continually to see that we are in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5).
Q: In 1 Pet 1:5a, how are we shielded by Godís power through faith?
A: We are not only saved through the Holy Spirit, our salvation is preserved by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a seal guaranteeing our salvation in Ephesians 1:13-14.
Q: In 1 Pet 1:5b, how is our salvation ready to be revealed, if we already have it, or are now receiving it in 1 Pet 1:9? In what sense is it an inheritance in 1 Pet 1:4?
A: Our salvation was promised in Godís foreknowledge before the beginning of the world. We received our salvation when we believed. But our complete salvation, where we are living in sinless glory in heaven with Jesus, will not be accomplished until after we die or are raptured.
Q: In 1 Pet 1:6,11 how do our suffering and following glories mirror of Christís?
A: Very patiently, and without complaining Christ suffered unjustly for the glory of God, for our salvation. Very, patiently, and without complaining we likewise should be willing to suffer unjustly for the glory of God, and as a witness to others. Also, difficulties are important for our growth. George Muller said, "Difficulties are the food for faith to feed on." The Believerís Bible Commentary p.2195.
Q: In 1 Pet 1:7, when is Jesus Christ revealed here?
A: This refers to Christís second coming in glory in the clouds of heaven, in Revelation 1:7; 19:11-17; Matthew 24:27-28; and Luke 21:27-28.
Q: In 1 Pet 1:8, what are three sources of inexpressible and glorious joy?
A: We can rejoice because God saved us when we first trusted our lives to Him. We can also rejoice because The Spirit of Christ dwells in us day to day. Finally we can rejoice because of the future fulfillment of our salvation in Heaven.
Q: In 1 Pet 1:9, do we have salvation yet?
A: Note that this answer is a duplicate of the discussion on Ephesians 1:13.
The Bible implies that God is timeless. For a timeless God, the answer is all three: past, present, and future.
Chuck Swindoll has written an excellent Bible Study Booklet on salvation discussing these aspects.
Past foreknowledge and predestination aspects: Before time began, God, knew the end from the beginning and all our days (Psalm 139:16; Isaiah 44:7; Ephesians 1:4; Titus 1:2).
Present event aspects: When we heard the word of truth, and called upon the Lord (Romans 10:9-10), we have become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). Hebrews 4:2 and Acts 10:44 also show the present aspects.
Present continuing aspects: As we work out in our lives the salvation that is in us, God is in the process of transforming our lives (Philippians 2:12-13; 1 Peter 2:2; Hebrews 3:14; 4:11; 6:11).
Future hope aspects: We long for the completion of our salvation (Hebrews 9:15,28; Romans 8:23-25; 1 Peter 1:4-5,9,13; 1 Corinthians 15:50-53; 2 Corinthians 5:5).
Q: In 1 Pet 1:12a, how did the prophets preach the gospel to them by the Holy Spirit?
A: When prophets spoke of the future, they were not only ministering to the people listening to them at that time, but future generations also. In Daniel 12:8-10 for example, Daniel said he did not understand, and God told him the words were not for him, but to be sealed up (made non-understandable) until the time of the end.
Q: In 1 Pet 1:12b, how do angels long to look into "these things"? What things are these? Hebrews 2:9,16 might provide some clues.
A: This refers to the salvation of believers. Jesus provided salvation for people, not for angels, so angels will not experience what we experience on salvation. Angels are spirits that minister to us though. This salvation through Christ was abundantly hinted at in the Old Testament but not fully revealed until Christ and the time of the church, according to Ephesians 3:9-11.
Q: In 1 Pet 1:13, how do we set our hope "fully" on the grace to be revealed?
A: Sometimes Christians can be despairing and not have enough hope in our future home in heaven; but that is not what it meant here. More often, Christians have too much hope, - too much hope in extra things that are not worth hoping in. Hoping in our wealth, our career, our health, our family and relationships here on earth can all go away, and at any time. It is pitiable when a person hopes in those things, and their hopes get dashed. But we are to hope in the imperishable things, of our salvation and going to our eternal home.
Q: Why do 1 Pet 1:13 and other passages all tell us to be self-controlled? Are there any passages in the Bible that tell us to be Christ-controlled, since Jesus is our Lord?
A: There are none telling us to be Christ-controlled; only passages commanding us (but not forcing us) to submit to Jesus as our Lord. Unlike demon possession, where the demon possessed person loses what little freedom they had not to sin, in Christ is perfect freedom. The good news is that a person who is under the Lordship of Jesus is actually more free than a person who is not saved, and in bondage to sin. The bad news is that no Christian on earth ever reaches the state where they no longer have to worry about being tempted or displeasing the Lord.
There are things about being obedient to Christ, and being self-controlled, but unlike demons and sin, there is freedom in Christ. God commands, but on earth He (usually) does not choose to force.
Q: In 1 Pet 1:13, what are different aspects of being self-controlled? What are different reasons Christians fail to have self-control in certain areas?
A: Sometimes a person can have a lot of self-controlled in one area, but not in another. But God wants us to have self-control in all areas. For sinful things, we should have self-control and not want to do them at all. But even for non-sinful things, such as food and (lack of) exercise, we are also to have self-control. Sometimes we attempt to excuse our lack of self-control in one area, but pointing to our self-control in another area. Some Christians, very involved in ministry, can sometimes think that can excuse lack of self-control in another area. But Peter does not refer to "some self-control or "partial self-control", but we are to have self-control in all areas, that we can present ourselves, in control to Christ.
Q: In 1 Pet 1:14 how do some Christians, perhaps unwittingly, conform to the evil desires of the world?
A: In almost every time and culture, there are explicitly sinful things are culturally acceptable. Whether they be weekly getting drunk, duels in the 16th and 17th centuries, exploiting slaves in the 17th through 19th centuries, prejudice against various peoples, or heterosexual immorality and homosexuality in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Q: In 1 Pet 1:15 God has always been perfectly holy. We are not, and cannot ever be perfectly holy in this life. So how are we called to be holy, just as God is holy? (1 Peter 1:13 quotes from Leviticus 11:44; 11:45; 19:2. There is a similar thought in Leviticus 20:7.)
A: There are two aspects here.
Aim for the stars: While a person who aims for the stars will not reach them, he may still go a lot farther than a person who aims at the ground. While we will never achieve perfect holiness in this life, we are to attempt for perfect holiness now.
Relative perfection/maturity: Right after Paul says even he has not yet been made perfect in Philippians 3:12, he says he was perfect in the sense of being mature in Philippians 3:15. So while we are in this body today, we can expect to achieve maturity and be victorious over besetting sins and addictions.
Q: In 1 Pet 1:14-16, since we cannot be sinlessly perfect and as holy as God, is God asking the impossible of us here?
A: No, but there are three points.
Positionally, it is possible for us to be declared holy in Godís sight.
Experientially, we are not and will never be sinlessly perfect in this life on earth.
In Heaven, we will have reached our goal, and our experience will match our position
Believers may not be perfect, but no believer would want ultimately not to be perfect.
Q: In 1 Pet 1:17, how are we as Christians supposed to live our lives here in fear? In Greek this is the generic word for fear, phobos/phobu, Various Bible translations have "fear" (NKJV, KJV, Greenís literal translation), "reverent fear" (NIV), "reverence" (NET), or "wholesome, serious caution" (Wuest)?
A: We are to stand in reverential awe of our Creator and Redeemer. God is the most loving being in the universe, but He is also the most wrathful. Paul did not fear losing his salvation, but he did fear loss of reward if he turned away. We can also be afraid of Hell for our loved ones who do not know the Lord.
Q: In 1 Pet 1:18, we were redeemed with something more previous than silver or gold, Christís blood. In 1 Pet 1:7 our faith is our greater worth than gold. Do you really believe that your salvation and your faith, are of greater worth than gold? How might a Christian who is serious about believing this live and react in this world, versus who Christian who is not?
A: A Christian should be more concerned about their relationship with Christ and the salvation of others than monetary security or success. Both a Christianís checkbook and calendar should reflect more of an interest in the Kingdom of God than in just making money.
Q: In 1 Pet 1:18 and Mt 15:9, is tradition always bad?
A: No. Tradition of itself can be good or bad, depending on whether it goes against Godís Word or not. However, even godly traditions, if they become more important to a person than God, become an evil idol for that person.
Q: In 1 Pet 1:19, is salvation based on Jesusí blood on the cross, or on Jesus spending three days in Hell as Kenneth Copeland said?
A: According to When Cultists Ask p.292, Copeland said "Jesus went into hell to free mankind from the penalty of Adamís high treason ... when His blood poured out it did not atone....". This was in a personal letter cited in D.R. McConnellís A Different Gospel Hendrickson Publishers, 1988.
Here are five of many reasons why this view is wrong.
Ephesians 1:7 says we have redemption through His blood.
Revelation 1:5 also says "by his blood".
In John 19:30, Jesus said tetelestai, which is a Greek accounting term meaning "paid in full".
testify to the truth Jn 18:37; atoning sacrifice 1 Jn 3:8;4:10
Hebrews 10:14-20 says there was only one sacrifice. Hebrews 10:19-20 says this was by the blood of Jesus, through the curtain that is His body.
In Acts 20:28, Jesus bought the church with His own blood.
In summary, a bloodless Christianity is not true to Godís Word in the Bible.
Q: In 1 Pet 1:20, Eph 1:4; Acts 2:23; and Titus 1:2, was Christ chosen to die for our sins and redeem us by His blood after Adam and Eve sinned or before? Why?
A: Christ was chosen as a lamb before the foundation of the world. In Godís foreknowledge, He knew Adam and Eve would sin, and that we would need a Savior, long before Adam and Eve existed. However, Godís knowledge did not result in coercion, the fault and responsibility for Adam and Eveís sins, and ours is the fault of Adam and Eve and us, not God.
Q: What does 1 Pet 1:20-21 say is important about the divinity of Christ?
A: Our salvation is totally a work of God, and not in total or in part a work of one who is not God. If Jesus was merely a man, then our faith and hope would be in a man who is not God. Since Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, the way, the truth, and the life, would be merely a man, and not God. Salvation is a work of God, because Jesus is God. Jesus is also fully human, but if He were not God, our salvation would not be of God.
Q: 1 Pet 2:1 says "slander of every kind". What are the different kinds of slander? See Jms 4:11-12.
A: Slander is saying negative, untrue things about someone or something, while flattery is saying positive untrue things about someone of something. There is explicit slander, simply saying false, bad things about someone, but there is also subtle slander, where you say something that sounds good one the surface, but underneath undermines a personís credibility. One type is called "left-handed compliments", such as "he really appears to be doing a good job, for someone that is so inexperienced and ignorant of what is going on." Slander can be public, but sometimes the worst slander is said behind a personsí back. Slander is often done to build yourself up over someone else, or just to discredit their reputation. It can also be used to discredit their judgment, morality, or attack their credibility in speaking or leading. Which kinds of slander are Christians commanded to avoid? Ė every kind.
Sometimes there is a proper time and place to say negative things that are true. That is not slander if it is true. However, even if something is true, it is not necessarily always true that God wants us to tell everyone. When we say negative things, we should make sure they are true, helpful, needful, and what God wants you to say.
Q: In 1 Pet 2:2 how much does a baby like their milk? What is Godís spiritual milk? Do we like Godís spiritual milk as much?
A: Milk is everything to an infant, because an infant knows of no other food. Babies recognize milk as the only thing that can satisfy their hunger. Likewise we should recognize that drawing close to God, and reading His Word is the only way we can satisfy our spiritual hunger.
Q: In 1 Pet 2:2, are we do desire the milk of the word, or meat instead of milk as Heb 5:12-14 teaches?
A: Like physical food, all are to desire milk, especially newborn Christians. However, milk is not sufficient for older children to grow into adults, and we should not remain satisfied with just milk but have meat also.
Q: In Pet 2:3 does everyone who tastes that the Lord is good go to heaven? See Heb 6:4-6.
A: No. Just as some people can taste but not swallow, people can have an experience and still be doomed to Hell. We are saved by grace through faith. If the gospel someone hears is not combined with faith, then they are not saved and it is of no value to them, as Hebrews 4:2 says. Other verses to show that even churchgoers can fall away permanently are Hebrews 6:4-6; 10:26-31; and 2 Peter 2:20-22.
Q: 1 Pet 2:5 says that Godís house is not a building, but us, His church. How might Christians in the U.S. be neglecting to build Godís house? Guess what percent, on average, churches give to foreign missions.
A: We might be more concerned about our own finances and time than Godís glory. Numbers I have read some years ago are that on average evangelical churches give about 10 to 13 percent to foreign missions. Liberal churches only give a few percent.
Q: In 1 Pet 2:5-8 what are all of the "stones" upon which the church is built? See Ephesians 2:19-22 and Revelation 21:12-14.
A: Jesus is the cornerstone, the most important rock upon which the church is built. After that is the foundation stones of the apostles and the prophets.
Q: In 1 Pet 2:5-8, different size oblong stones can all be used in a wall. Mortar can fill in small gaps. But if a stone has a long, narrow protrusion, or a hole in the middle, it cannot be. How does God delay with holes and long protrusions in our lives?
A: Sins that we donít want to get rid of in our lives can be like, long, ill-fitting spikes that stick out. If we do not want to remove, them, God can remove them, and sometimes discipline can be painful. Likewise if we have a basic, unchristian character flaw, that is analogous to a big hole in the center of the stone, that would prevent the stone from serving the purpose of keeping rain out, or cool air in. The Holy Spirit needs to remold us, and plug the holes and filing down our spikes.
Q: In 1 Peter 2:6-8, how is Jesus both the cornerstone and the capstone?
A: The cornerstone is the single point of reference for all other parts of the building. The cornerstone is Jesus Christ and no one else. At the same time, Jesus is also the capstone, which is the top stone in an archway. If the capstone is removed, then the arch can fall.
Q: In 1 Pet 2:8, why did a loving God appoint some to stumble?
A: Scripture never once says God coerced anyone to sin. In fact James 1:13 says God does not tempt anyone. However, for those whom God knows will choose to completely reject Him, God appointed them to stumble in multiple ways.
Q: In 1 Pet 2:9 (KJV), how are Christians a "peculiar people"?
A: Wisecracks aside, the Greek word does not mean peculiar, strange, or odd. It means a "people of possession", of a people belonging to God. New Age Bible Versions Refuted p.11 mentions that the same Greek word is used in Ephesians 1:14, where the KJV translates it as "possession".
NET Bible "a people of his own"
NIV: "a people belonging to God"
NKJV: this "His own special people" ("His" ought to be italicized for consistency)
NASB: "a people for Godís own possession".
Williams Translation: "the people to be His very own"
Greenís literal translation is the closest, saying: "a nation holy, a people for possession"
The KJV translates 1 Peter 2:9 as "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people ... who hath called you", so it is still accurate, but it could be more precise.
Q: In 1 Pet 2:9, what is the difference between a holy nation and a royal priesthood?
A: While a prophet represented God to the people, a priest represented the people before God. A king led the people. While Christians are all priests, we do not need another to represent us before God, because our Mediator is both God and man: Jesus Christ. Uzziah tried to combine being a king and a high priest, but God punished him with leprosy for the rest of his life for offering the most holy sacrifice, when he was not authorized to do so. The Israelites were a holy nation, Christians, of all ethnic groups in every country, are a holy nation today.
Q: In 1 Pet 2:10, what in the Old Testament mentions not being a people of God and now being a people?
A: Peter is likely alluding to Hosea 1:9-10 where Hosea called his son Lo-Ammi, meaning not my people in verse 9. But in verse 10 Hosea says that those who were called "not my people" will now be called "sons of the living God"..
Q: In 1 Pet 2:10, does God not show mercy to all, since God is merciful to all He has made in Ps 145:8,18?
A: God shows some common mercy to all He has made. He gives them life, air, and sustenance. However, God has the prerogative to show special mercy on whomever He wishes. God showed special mercy to the Israelites, even after they disobeyed Him countless times. God showed special mercy to Saul of Tarsus and many people today. However, do not take Godís mercy for granted. God is just to all, but He showed special mercy to Jacob and his descendants that He did not show to Esau and his descendants, as Romans 9:11-15 shows.
Q: In 1 Pet 2:11, in what ways are we aliens and strangers in this world? In what ways are we not? See John 17:9,11,13-19, Philippians 3:18-20 and Colossians 3:1-4; 2 Corinthians 5:16; and Romans 12:2.
A: This is not our home, and we are not citizens of here. We long to reach our home, in heaven. We donít belong here forever, we are only passing through.
A missionary to Africa for 40 years, Henry C. Morrison became sick and had to sail back to America. When the ocean liner landed there was a big parade. Former president Theodore Roosevelt as also on the ship and the big band was for him after his safari. The missionary was glumly thinking that Roosevelt got this big celebration and all he did was shoot elephants, and while he saved souls, why was there was no celebration to meet him? God spoke to him, saying, ĎBut you are not home yet.í Our home is not here, so donít get too comfortable. Our home and our citizenship is in heaven. We are to be "not of this world". On the other hand, we are currently to be "in the world" and interact with all kinds of people here, versus being an isolationist. We are in enemy territory, because Satan is the one in control of this world, though God can overrule him.
Q: In 1 Pet 2:12 (KJV), is this referring to "conversation" or "behavior?
A: This refers to behavior. The King James Version word "conversation", also meant behavior 400 years ago.
Q: In 1 Pet 2:12 what are five ways pagans accused Christians of doing wrong back then? What are at least five ways non-Christians accuse Christians of doing wrong today?
A: Here are five ways.
1. It sounds strange today, but Roman pagans accused Christians of being "atheists". They were called atheists because they did not believe the Roman gods.
2. Christians spoke of the Lordís Supper, and pagans accused them of cannibalism.
3. Christians said that they loved each other and pagans accused them of promiscuity and incest.
4. When natural calamities and wars occurred, Christians were blamed, because it was said their lack of reverence towards the Greco-Roman gods caused the gods to be angry. Of course, as one early Christian pointed out, calamities and wars occurred before Christ came to earth too.
5. Christians would not worship or sacrifice to the Roman Emperor, so they were considered unpatriotic and disloyal to the Empire.
Q: In 1 Pet 2:13,17, how could Christians back then submit to an evil emperor such as Nero? Do you think it was harder to submit and honor the rulers back then or today?
A: Greek-speaking early Christians used a pun to distinguish between "legal laws" which did not conflict with Godís commands, and "illegal laws" which did. The scrupulous obeyed the legal laws, but quietly disobeyed the illegal ones, such as sacrificing to the emperor.
Q: In 1 Pet 2:13,17, if a democratic country has a ruler and members of parliament or congress that act hostile towards Christian values, how are we to still respect them? How are we to oppose them?
A: We are to respect the office, and not be belittling or insulting for them. But we can also work to protect those persecuted by them, and work and donate time and money to keep them from getting elected again.
Q: In 1 Pet 2:17, are we really to honor all in authority, even leaders of false religions, criminal gangs, and repressive governments?
A: 1 Peter 2:17 says to show proper respect to everyone, and we are to apply this command in at least four ways.
1. Specifically honor rulers in authority. Not because the person is necessarily worthy of this honor (they sometimes are not), but we are to honor their position of government. For example, in a democratic society, if we do not think highly of the Prime Minister or President, we can work hard against his or her re-election, and encourage others not to vote for him. Nevertheless, we have to realize that the person presently is our government leader. We should not speak to cheapen the authority of his or her position.
2. Show the proper respect to everyone. God created everyone, everyone bears the image of God (though in fallen form), and Christ died as a ransom for all men (1 Timothy 2:6). Even someone as wicked as Saul of Tarsus can come to Christ.
3. Our honor to all should be without regard to wealth (James 2:1-7), race or sex (Galatians 3:28-29), or youth (1 Timothy 4:12), except that we are to give special respect to the aged (Leviticus 19:32).
4. We should also honor our brothers and sisters in Christ, as part of our eternal family.
For some specific examples of how to honor people, consult 1 Timothy 5:1-8.
Q: In 1 Pet 2:18, why should a slave submit to their master, especially a harsh master? What reward is promised?
A: Slaves in Roman society, as well as slaves in other times and in east Africa today, have little recourse against a harsh master. Submitting to them was probably the most prudent course of action in many cases. Bearing up under unjust suffering was one way they could be a witness and glorify God. Finally, as a practical matter, the majority of the inhabitants of the Roman Empire were slaves, and freed slaves did not have many places they could go.
Q: In 1 Pet 2:21-26 what are at least two connections between Christís sufferings and our sufferings?
A: Jesusí sufferings are an example to us. As Christ suffered unjustly, we too should be willing to suffer unjustly. Though Christís dying on the cross for our sins was a singular event, our suffering can serve to bring the gospel to others, testifying to the truth of the gospel in our own lives.
Q: In 1 Pet 3:1, how can a wife win her husband to Christ without saying a word?
A: Peter is not saying wives should not say a word; rather, he is affirming that the witness of their lives should be such that the husbands could be won to Christ without even hearing the Gospel from them.
Q: In 1 Pet 3:1-7 why is it false to say this teaches we should only preach without words?
A: Once when I had a summer job at a technology company, there was a large cafeteria where people ate. I was talking with a man, and we talked about that I hoped to be a missionary, and the men said, "I knew it, I thought you were a Mormon!" While I quickly explained that I was a Christian, and not a Mormon, if speak of spiritual things but donít show you are a Christian, then who exactly are you a witness for?
I heard of a middle-age man who became a Christian and told his co-workers in his office. A Christian working there congratulated him, and the new Christian looked at him kind of funny. He said, do you know you were the reason that I put off becoming a Christian for many years? The older Christian was shocked and asked why. The younger Christian said that before he came to Christ, he knew his life was a mess. But when he looked at the older Christian, who seemed to have peace, contentment, and his life was together, he did not know he was a Christian, and he thought that if the older Christian could have his life together and not be a Christian, then he did not have to either.
Certainly a husband would certainly know that his wife was a Christian (and vice versa). But the husband, and other people too, can be so far from Christ that they refuse to hear anything about Christ. But if they know that you are a Christian, then your life can be a witness to them, even if they wonít listen to your words. It is better to have words also, but even without words your life can be a witness.
Q: In 1 Pet 3:1-7, how are unbelieving husbands, or other people for that matter, won over without words?
A: If a person knows that you are a Christian, but wontí accept our words, they can still see your light shine by your life. Things were pretty dark in Roman times. When husbands were away, it would be common for them to be immoral. In fact, even when they were home, if a female slave refused her masterís advances, she would be punished by having her nose cut off. But when husbands were away, wives might commit adultery with male slaves. The situation of Joseph and Potipharís wife was not at all unusual in Roman times. The Roman empire had an estimated population of 70 million, of which 40 to 50 million were slaves.
Q: In 1 Pet 3:3, should women pleat their hair, wear gold or wear fancy clothes?
A: That should not be where your beauty comes from, because indeed, real and lasting beauty cannot come from that. If you think you "need" to do this to look nice, or you want to look very nice compared to other women, you should think again. Your beauty should come from your character, not from Sears or Macyís.
All nice clothes and jewelry are not bad, however. The Lord allegorically clothed Jerusalem in fine clothes and jewelry in Ezekiel 16:10-13.
Q: In 1 Pet 3:3-4, what do you think are the limits of how women should decorate themselves in our culture? Ė how about men?
A: Back then women would wear costly gold earrings and bracelets to show their social status. 1 Peter 3:3-4 applies today, to both men and women, in at least three ways.
Ostentation: Men can buy watches, costing $2,000 (or $1,500 for a cheaper one) just to show potential clients how rich they are. I heard of one engineering consultant who bought a number of fake Rolex watches, costing only a few dollars each, from another country. On a cruise with a client, he tapped his wrist, complained that these Rolexes donít tell time well, and took it off and threw it overboard in the ocean. Of course, the client did not know it was a fake. Sometimes wealthy people spend a lot of money on jewelry, clothes, cars, and homes, to show their status. On the other hand, Isaacís servant gave Isaacís future wife Rebecca two gold bracelets and a nose ring. Since wearing a gold nose ring in that culture was OK for Godís people, wearing a gold earring is OK today. But the point is not to spend large amounts of money on jewelry.
Being sexy: Women often buy revealing and immodest clothes to make them more attractive. Of course, they are not likely thinking about how faithful a man will be who is attracted to them just because of their clothes. Likewise I heard of a boy who had a fancy car in high school, and his girlfriend loved to go for rides in his nice car. But when he wrecked his car, his girlfriend broke up with him. Some men lift weights, not just for health, or to do well in sports, but to look more attractive to women. Taking time to be healthy is fine, but building up a lot of muscle, when it is not maintained, turns to fat later. Others take steroids, which are very effective at helping build muscle mass, but can lead to health problems, including heart attacks.
Insecure about looks: People are often preoccupied with how they look. Some years ago my Tamil Indian boss (and friend) took me to lunch, and among other topics of conversation, said how Indians have creams they used before they get married to make their skin look lighter. He wanted to ask me why white Americans go to tanning salons to make their skin look darker. I was at a loss for how to answer him. UV radiation ages your skin, and can give skin cancer, and this effect is strongest for light skinned people. In fact, if a light-skinned person gets a bad sunburn more than twice in the same place, they are at increased risk of getting skin cancer there. I suppose the answer is that people naturally are not satisfied with what they have, but tend to think that what someone else has is better. I have been told that a fad is for guys to complain their jaws are not prominent or "square" enough and to want jaw surgery to try to change that. Short people wish they were taller, tall people, especially some girls, wish they were shorter. The proper Christian view is not to go to the opposite extreme, be so concerned about your looks that you want to be as ugly as possible, but rather to not be so concerned about yourself. If you are missing teeth and want them replaced, or you have an accident and want reconstructive surgery, that is fine, but a person does not need to go to extremes.
Q: In 1 Pet 3:6 (NIV), should the word be "master" or "lord"?
A: The Greek word is kyrios, which means "lord". In Hard Sayings of the Bible p.710-712, Peter H. Davids says, "...the Greek translation of the Old Testament in using kyrios, or Ďlord,í which may mean simply the respectful Ďsirí or could imply superior status such as Ďmy lordí would imply in traditional British usage. The Spanish term Senor has a similar range of meaning as the Greek kyrious."
However Peter refers to the master of a slave here, however, he uses another term, despotes (1 Peter 2:18), which shows Peter was thinking about "master", not just "sir".
Q: 1 Pet 3:6 tells wives not to give way to fear. It says all of us should not fear what others fear in 1 Peter 3:14b. Given the time and context of the letter, what kind of fear do you think Peter was primarily talking about?
A: The immediate fear was the persecution under Nero and later Emperors. Nero would not just kill Christians, he would have wild animals kill them in public spectacles, burn them to death, and impose other tortures. A person would not only have to be brave themselves, but brave in knowing their loved ones would be tortured too.
Q: In 1 Pet 3:6 and Gen 18:12, should a wife call her husband "lord"?
A: Peter is mentioning Sarahís word as a commendation, not as a command. However, Peter is using Sarahís words to illustrate the command in 1 Peter 3:5 for wives to be submissive to their husbands as the head of the family. Read Ephesians 5:22-23 for more teaching on this. See Hard Sayings of the Bible p.710-712 for more info.
Q: In 1 Pet 3:7, are women really weaker vessels?
A: Wives are generally (but not always) physically weaker than their husbands. (Some might say a fine porcelain glass is weaker than a tin cup.) However, scripture affirms that men and women are all equally valuable in Godís eyes in Galatians 3:28-29. Interestingly, Galatians 3:28-29 is apparently the oldest known ancient text saying men and women are equal. See Hard Sayings of the Bible p.712-714 for a different answer.
Q: In 1 Pet 3:7, how can being inconsiderate of our wives hinder our prayers?
A: This could be both a general observation and a specific promise (in a negative way).
General observation: Jesus said in Matthew 5:23-24, if you are offering a gift and remember that your brother has something against you, donít offer your gift. Leave the gift at the altar, reconcile with your brother, and then go offer your gift. Certainly this would apply if your sister had something against you as well.
Specific promise: God said he would not hear our prayers if we cherish sin in our hearts (Psalm 66:18-19), turn a deaf ear to the poor (Proverbs 21:13), or are wicked (Proverbs 15:29; Isaiah 59:1-3). God does not hear us if we choose not to hear God (Zechariah 7:11-14). Likewise if we act wrongly towards our wives, and choose not to hear them, God might not hear us until we repent of our sins.
Q: In 1 Pet 3:8, are we always to be courteous? Jesus, John the Baptist, Paul, and Peter were not always as polite as possible.
A: This verse says to be courteous, not always courteous. Jesus, John the Baptist, and Paul were often courteous. Yet, Jesus and John the Baptist called the Pharisees a brood of vipers in Matthew 23:33; Mark 3:7. Paul was not particularly courteous in Acts 13:11 to Elymas. Peter Himself was not too polite to Simon Magus in Acts 8:20,22. Rather than take 1 Peter 3:8 in isolation, we are to understand each verse with the rest of the Bible and be courteous in general, but rebuke and be insistent when that is best, too.
Q: In 1 Pet 3:8, what does it mean to live in harmony with one another?
A: There are three aspects.
Negative: Find what you doing that annoys other people and stop it. Whatever annoys you in someone else, either learn to live with it, or nicely point it out to them that they might stop. It means getting along with others without friction.
Positive: But harmony does not stop there. Do other people enjoy being around you? Do you enjoy being around others. Different people have different "love languages" to express to them that they are loved, valued, and accepted. For some it might be small gifts; for others being hugged, for others, spending time with them doing an activity. If I were to call your spouse on the telephone, would your spouse tell me they really enjoyed being around you or not? Do your kids enjoy being around you, and you them? Do your family in the Lord (other Christians) enjoy being around you? If not, what can you do to improve?
Basis: There will be more harmony, both removing the negative aspects, and strengthening the positive aspects, if you and they read and follow Godís word. If your wills are aligned with God, then they are aligned with each other.
Q: In 1 Pet 3:9-11, how is it common in the world to repay evil for evil and insult with insult? Why should we not?
A: The world thinks in terms of "law", of getting people back, of punishing people who do you wrong. Christians should bless those who persecute and insult them, as Jesus commands in Luke 6:26-36.
Q: In 1 Pet 3:11 (KJV), what does "eschew evil" mean?
A: This King James Version expression means to turn away from evil or avoid doing evil.
Q: Does 1 Pet 3:13 mean that people who "follow the good" will never be harmed?
A: While believers will never suffer significant harm from an eternal perspective, that probably is not what the verse is referring to here.
People who are doing good will never rightfully suffer harm for doing good, and Godís people should never punish others for doing good. However, the next verse, 1 Peter 3:14, recognizes that people often suffer unjustly in this life, for doing good.
Q: In 1 Pet 3:15, why should Christians reason about their faith, or do Jn 3:16 and Acts 16:31 imply we are simply to believe?
A: As 1 Peter 3:15 shows, we have both reason and hope. A famous adage says true faith "goes beyond reason but not against it." We cannot prove anything with absolute certainty, not even if the sun will come up tomorrow. We are to explain to others reasons why Christianity is rational and seek to persuade others to become Christians, as 2 Corinthians 5:11 says.
Yet we must realize that we cannot convert a single person to Christ. It is the Holy Spirit that converts people, and without the work of the Holy Spirit, there would be no hope of anyone coming to Christ. See When Critics Ask p.531-532 and When Cultists Ask p.293 for more extensive answers.
Q: In 1 Pet 3:15, how always to have an answer, but with gentleness and respect?
A: We should have an answer for any genuine question or objection a non-believer has. But it is OK to answer "I donít know, but I will get back with you." And then find the answer and get back to them. It is somewhat likely the question they ask is among the 8,200+ questions answered on www.BibleQuery.org. Three more points to consider in the answer.
How not to do it: One non-Christian website, in discussing New Age, said, "[New Age] people use crystals to make contact with higher intelligences. People who pay that kind of money for rocks obviously need contact with higher intelligences." The problem if a Christian were to say this is not that it criticizes the New Age movement, but that it demeans the people who are deceived by this movement.
How to do it: Inwardly, our attitude should be one of unselfish love toward the other person. We should want them to come to Christ and live in joy with God, and us, forever. Rather, than trying to be very careful with our words to try to keep a bad attitude from coming out, it is better not to have bad attitudes toward others in the first place, and simply say what is on our heart.
Specifically, you could answer a question such a way that disrespects them, and they do not want to think about Christianity again. Your main point in answering their genuine objection is not "they are to be blamed because they are wrong" but "this is incorrect for these reasons, and the truth is such-and-such for these reasons."
When not to do it: How do you tell if their objection is genuine or not? One way is to ask them, if their question was answered for you, would that bring you closer to accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior? If their answer is "yes", then find the answer. But if their answer is no, then it is not a sincere objection, and you should ask them, then what would bring you closer to accepting Jesus and your Lord and Savior, and focus your time on that instead.
Respect the people, but do not encourage respect for false religion: 1 Corinthians 10:20 says that the sacrifices of pagans are made to demons. Elijah was certainly less than respectful to Baal in 1 Kings 18:27. Jesus did not respect the Sadducees doctrine in Matthew 22:29-32. Jesusí attitude toward the Phariseeís and their teaching was not any more hospitable in Matthew 23:13-33, calling them whitewashed tombs and a brood of vipers. On the other hand, Jesus was gracious to Nicodemus, a Pharisee, in John 3:3-10.
Q: Should 1 Pet 3:15 be translated as "demands" (NRSV), "calls you to account" (RSV), or "asks" (NIV, KJV [asketh], NKJV, NASB, Updated NASB, NET Bible, Williams, Wuest, Green)?
A: The Greek word here, aiteo, means "to ask (in gen.): - ask, beg, call for, crave, desire, require." According to Strongís Concordance. So "asking" is the better translation. Many people nicely ask us for an answer to our faith; we should not refuse to answer!
Q: In 1 Pet 3:16-17, how do our sufferings for doing good have anything to do with Christís sufferings?
A: On one hand, our lives and sufferings can do nothing to add to or subtract from the suffering Christ did for us when He did on the cross for our sins. But on the other hand, our sufferings can open the way for the gospel message to be spread, demonstrate to unbelievers the reality of Christís peace and strength in our lives, and glorify God as we follow in Christís footsteps. All of our sufferings are small and of short duration compared to the great joy we will have in heaven eternally.
Q: In 1 Pet 3:18b, since Jesus was raised in Spirit, does that mean He was not physically resurrected, too? (JWís and Rev. Moonís Unification Church deny Jesusí physical resurrection)
A: No. This verse says Jesus was made alive by the Holy Spirit. Neither this verse nor any other uses the word "merely" to say Jesus was merely raised in spirit. Jesusí dead corpse was raised to life according to Acts 2:30-32; 13:35-37; 10:39-41; Acts 1:3; 1 Corinthians 15:1-7. See The Complete Book of Bible Answers p.133-136, When Critics Ask p.512-513, 532-533, and When Cultists Ask p.293-294 for more info.
Sometimes people get different answers when they ask different questions. If the question is "can I make this verse mean what I want it to mean" they can get one answer. But if you ask "what did Peter really mean" then you will get a different answer. Some would try to argue that since Christ was made alive by the Spirit, Jesus was not alive in the body too. But Christ was made alive by the Spirit in both body and Spirit. Peter spoke of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead in 1 Peter 1:3. While Jews believed in an afterlife, the Sadducees denied a physical resurrection from the dead, and the Pharisees affirmed that. When Peter used the term resurrection, His Jewish readers would know what he meant. There is no evidence of anyone in ancient history saying, "no the Sadducees are wrong in denying a resurrection, but it is only a spiritual resurrection." 1 Peter 1:21 speaks of "God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God."
Q: In 1 Pet 3:18b-20, briefly, how do you think Christ preached to the spirits in prison?
A: Christians disagree on this. This includes people who lived in Noahís time and died in the flood. Some think that after His death and prior to His resurrection Christ declared His message (with no possibility for repentance) to those who died. A second view, which goes back to the early church with Irenaeus of Lyons, Clement of Alexandria and Hippolytus, all before 235 A.D., is that Christ preached to those who never had a opportunity to hear the gospel, not to give anyone a second chance, but to give people a "first chance".
Q: In 1 Pet 3:19-20, exactly where did Jesus go when He died?
A: First the short answer, and then a long answer.
Short answer: Jesus went with dead believers in Paradise. It is neither proven nor disproven that Jesus may have also been with dead unbelievers and demons.
Long answer: If we were in the dark without any scripture to help us on this subject, here is what all the possibilities would be
b) Heaven with the Father, Spirit, and all the angels
c) the place of the dead saints,
d) the place of the dead unbelievers,
e) the place of the demons,
f) the place of all dead people,
g) the dead saints were already in Heaven,
h) the place of demons and dead unbelievers together,
i) the place of all dead people and demons. (One place can have different compartments)
Here are the verses, which will prune the possibilities
Luke 23:43, To the thief on the cross, Jesus said, "Today you will be with me in Paradise" Today would be prior to the resurrection. This eliminates all the possibilities except b) c), f), g), and i). (Notice that Jesus did not say "Heaven", but "Paradise"
Acts 2:27, quoting Psalm 16:10 says Jesus went to a place called Hades (Greek) and Sheol (Hebrew). This word is translated as "grave" in modern translations, and "Hell" in the King James Version. However, dead believers were there in Sheol, and unbelievers were in Sheol, too. Thus, Jesus did not go straight from the cross to Heaven. Of the five remaining possibilities, this eliminates all but c), f), and i). Jesus was with either dead saints, all dead people, and possibly demons.
Many say 1 Peter 3:19-20 and 1 Peter 4:6 also relate. See also the next question and the discussion on 1 Peter 4:6.
Q: In 1 Pet 3:19-20, who did Christ preach to here after He died?
A: First see the previous question. Genuine Christians disagree on the answer to this question.
1) Some say Christ preached to people who died before Christís crucifixion.
1a) Some say Christ preached to those who never had an opportunity to make a decision about the Gospel, so that they could make the same choice they would have made if they were alive.
One teacher of this view was Clement of Alexandria in Stromata (193-202 A.D.) book 6 ch.6 p.490-492. Clement said those who were righteous according to Godís Law, only faith was wanting. For those who did not have the Law, but were righteous according to their philosophy, they needed both faith and repentance of idolatry. "Straightaway, on the revelation of the truth, they also repented of the previous [idolatrous] conduct." Ante-Nicene Fathers 2 p.490.
Irenaeus (182-188 A.D.) wrote, "It was for this reason, too, that the Lord descended into the regions beneath the earth, preaching His advent there also and [declaring] the remission of sins received by those who believe in Him. Now all those believed in Him who had hope towards Him, that is, those who proclaimed His advent, and submitted to his dispensations, the righteous men, the prophets, and the patriarchs, to whom He remitted sins in the same way as He did to us,... For Ďall men come short of the glory of the God,í and are not justified of themselves, but by the advent of the Lord," Irenaeus Against Heresies book 4 ch.27.1 ANF vol.1 p.499
He also wrote, "And on this account all things have been [by general consent] placed under the sway of Him who is styled the Most High, and the Almighty. By calling upon Him, even before the coming of our Lord, men were saved both from most wicked spirits, and from all kinds of demons, and from every sort of apostate power." Irenaeus Against Heresies book 2 ch.6.2 p.365
Hippolytus (222-235/6 A.D.) "He [Jesus] who is become the preacher of the Gospel to the dead, the redeemer of souls, and the resurrection of the buried;" Fragment from Commentary on Psalm 19 or 20 p.170. Also ch.7.14 p.189
Origen (225-254 A.D.) also said similar in Origen Against Celsus book 2 ch.43 p.448 (225-254 A.D.).
1b) Some think Christ preached only to the Old Testament (predominantly Jewish) believers.
2) Others say Christ preached to fallen angels and/or reprobate dead people, informing them of the Gospel without evangelizing them. See also 1 Peter 4:6. Many Lutherans believe this view.
3) A third view is that Christ preached "through Noah" to those who are "now" dead. See Christians Theology by Millard Erickson (Baker) p.773-776 and NIV the Making of a Contemporary Translation p.59-60 for more on this view. 1 Peter 1:11 says the "Spirit of Christ" spoke through the Old Testament prophets.
However, none of the above views mean people get a second chance after death.
As a side note, the phrase "descended into Hell" was not in the original Apostleís Creed, but it was inserted in the Aquileian form of the Apostleís Creed around 390 A.D..
Q: Does 1 Pet 3:19 support non-believers getting a second chance after death?
A: No. See the previous question and 1 Peter 4:6. Even though this probably refers to dead people, there is no indication that people are getting a second chance. Scripture is filled with an urgency for all who have heard to make a decision in this life before they die. Hebrews 3:13-15 emphasizes calling on the Lord today, while it is still called "today". See The Complete Book of Bible Answers p.184-186, When Cultists Ask p.294-295, 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.447, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.423-424 and When Critics Ask p.533-534 for more info.
Q: In 1 Pet 3:21, in what sense does water baptism save us?
A: The water around the ark is a metaphor of our baptism. The water did not save Noah, but Noah and the seven other people were saved by God through the water. The physical washing of water does not save us, but our pledge of a good conscience towards God by baptism shows we are saved by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
It is obvious that Peter was not using the second half of 1 Peter 3:21 to contradict the first half of 1 Peter 3:21. It is Jesus who saves us, not the water. Since water cannot take the place of Jesus rising for us, what did Peter mean? 1 Peter 3:21 itself gives us our answer in two parts.
A. From our perspective, water baptism has no value as a ceremonial washing. Instead, water baptism is of great value as "the pledge of a good conscience toward God."
B. From Godís perspective, water baptism has no saving value. Rather, water baptism is of great value as your identification that "saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ." (See also Colossians 3:12).
Just as Noah was saved "through the water", not "by the water", we too are saved "through the water." In addition, here are four other key doctrines about water baptism.
1. All believers, without exception, are commanded to be baptized (Acts 2:38).
2. The command to be baptized was never taken away. (See Matthew 28:19-20).
3. If a true believer dies before being baptized, God can still send them to be with Jesus. After all, all who have the Holy Spirit are sons of God (Romans 8:10-11).
4. God can save people and give them the Holy Spirit prior to them being baptized (Acts 10:44-48).
Baptism is a type of circumcision, and as Romans 4:10-11, shows, Abrahamís faith was counted as righteousness before he was circumcised, and that baptism was a seal of righteousness.
In summary, baptism is not the cause of a new life in Christ. It is a believerís pledge to God of a new life in Christ.
See also Hard Sayings of the Bible p.716-718 When Cultists Ask p.221-222 for more info on water baptism not being a condition of salvation.
Q: In 1 Pet 3:22, how can Jesus be at Godís right hand, since Jesus is God?
A: The Father is God, Jesus is God, and the Spirit is God; and there is only One God. The Three are distinct but inseparable. Now in heaven Jesus is at the right hand of God the Father. Other passages showing Jesus at the right hand of God [the Father] are: Matthew 22:44; 26:64; Mark 13:26; 14:62; 16:19; Luke 20:42; 22:69; Acts 2:34; 7:56; Romans 8:34; Ephesians 1:20; and Hebrews 1:3; 10:12.
The word "God" has four meanings in referring to the Trinity. Sometimes God means:
Father: 1 Peter 1:2,3; Ephesians 1:3,17; 3:14; 5:20; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 3:11; 2 Thessalonians 1:1-22; 2:16; Titus 1:4
Jesus: John 1:3; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 1:6-9; John 9:38; 2 Corinthians 11:3; John 20:28-29; Revelation 5:8-9; Revelation 22:20
Spirit: Romans 8:9-16; Luke 1:35; 1 John 4:12-16; 1 Corinthians 3:16 vs. 1 Corinthians 6:19; Acts 5:4
The God in Trinity is implied in Matthew 3:16-17; 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Peter 1:2; Ephesians 2:18; 3:14-17; 1 Thessalonians 1:3-5; Revelation 4:8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; Romans 15:16; Hebrews 9:14; Jude 20,21; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; John 15:26.
The two occurrences of the word "God" in Hebrews 1:6 clearly mean Jesus in the first place and the Father in the second place. In 1 Peter 3:22, "God" here means the Father. See also the discussion on Ephesians 1:3,17 for more info.
Q: In 1 Pet 4:1-2, are those who have suffered for Christ now sinless?
A: Those who have died for Christ are sinless, but that is not the main point of these verses. For those who have suffered for Christ, the temptations of sin often appear more distant and less appealing. See Hard Sayings of the Bible p.718-719 for more info.
Q: In 1 Pet 4:1-2, how does suffering make us done with sin?
A: 1 Peter 4:2 indicates that when a person has endured suffering for Christ, they were not cherishing the pleasures of sin. Suffering can focus a person, and remind them of the long-term, eternal perspective.
Q: In 1 Pet 4:3 (KJV), why are "banquetings" bad?
A: This verse uses generic words that can mean parties, carousing, etc. Banqueting Roman style could be excessive, with prostitutes and deliberate vomiting up of food in order to enjoy more. One Roman banquet was so excessive that they used gold plates and silverware, and told the guests to just throw them out the window when they were done. Unknown to the guests however, there were nets under the windows.
While the Bible condemns gluttony, all banquets and dinner parties, properly conducted, are not bad. Jesus attended many of them, including one held in his honor in John 12:2.
Q: In 1 Pet 4:3, would you feel comfortable being next to a Christian who did these things before they repented and came to Christ? How about someone who killed other Christians, - like Paul? What attitude should we have towards Christians like that?
A: We should feel comfortable because there, in Godís eyes we have no more merit than them. When a perfect, Holy God truly forgives someone for their sins, our forgiveness should not be harder to obtain than Godís.
Q: In 1 Pet 4:3-4, what are ways sinful society today sends the message that you are not normal if you do not continue to do these sins?
A: Sometimes people are pressured to drink alcohol and get drunk. They are not considered manly, sophisticated, or cool if they do not. Sometimes there is peer pressure to hurt your body in other ways, such as smoking or drugs. Sometimes a girl has sex with their boyfriend, even though she did not want to, but because of fear her boyfriend will drop her otherwise. Stay pure, both for God and for your future husband.
Q: In 1 Pet 4:6, how was the Gospel preached to the dead?
A: As discussed in 1 Peter 3:19b-20, Christians disagree on this. One view is reflected in the NIV translation, which has the word "now", meaning Christ was preached to those people while they were still alive. This must refer to people, not fallen angels, because fallen angels are not considered "dead". There are four possible interpretations.
1. These people are now dead, but they were alive on earth when the Gospel was preached to them. See When Cultists Ask p.296 for more on this view.
2. These people heard the Gospel after they died, and they finally had an opportunity to make the same decision for Christ they would have made if they were alive.
3. These Old Testament believers heard the Gospel after they died, and all of these were saved.
4. They Old Testament period unbelievers were informed of the Gospel they would have rejected anyway. While Difficulties in the Bible p.183-189 incorrectly thinks 1 Peter 4:6 refers to fallen angels, it does correctly point out that there are two words for "preach" in Greek. One word means "preach the Gospel", the second word means "proclaim something", and it is the second word that is used here.
However, the last part of verse 6 says, "judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit." This indicates that interpretations 1 and 4 are incorrect.
The early church taught that the gospel was preached to some after they died.
Shepherd of Hermas (c.160 A.D.) book 3 similitude 9 ch.16 p.49 (partial) refers to those who died before Christ and before being baptized. It says apostles and teachers [no mention of Christ] preached it to those already asleep.
Irenaeus Against Heresies (182-188 A.D.) book 4 ch.27.1 p.499 "It was for this reason, too, that the Lord descended into the regions beneath the earth, preaching His advent there also and [declaring] the remission of sins received by those who believe in Him. Now all those believed in Him who had hope towards Him, that is, those who proclaimed His advent, and submitted to his dispensations, the righteous men, the prophets, and the patriarchs,... For Ďall men come short of the glory of the God,í and are not justified of themselves, but by the advent of the Lord,"
Irenaeus Against Heresies (182-188 A.D.) book 2 ch.6.2 p.365 "And on this account all things have been [by general consent] placed under the sway of Him who is styled the Most High, and the Almighty. By calling upon Him, even before the coming of our Lord, men were saved both from most wicked spirits, and from all kinds of demons, and from every sort of apostate power." Irenaeus Against Heresies book 2 ch.6.2 p.365
Clement of Alexandria (193-202 A.D.) said that Christ preached to those who departed this life before his advent. Stromata book 6 ch.6 p.492.
Tertullian (198-220 A.D.) mentions that Christ went to Hades "that He might there make the patriarchs and prophets partakers of Himself." (This only partially supports the point, because it does not say whether or not Jesus preached to them though.) A Treatise on the Soul ch.55 p.231.
Hippolytus (222-235/6 A.D.) "He [Jesus] who is become the preacher of the Gospel to the dead, the redeemer of souls, and the resurrection of the buried;" Fragment from Commentary on Psalm 19 or 20 p.170. Also ch.7.14 p.189
Origen (225-254 A.D.) "but also, then when He became a soul, without the covering of the body, He dwelt among those souls which were without bodily covering, converting such of them as were willing to Himself, or those who He saw, for reasons known to Him alone, to be better adapted to such a course." Origen Against Celsus book 2 ch.43 p.448.
See The Complete Book of Bible Answers p.184-186 and When Critics Ask p.534-535 for a different answer. See also the discussion on 1 Peter 3:19-20.
Q: In 1 Pet 4:7; 1:13; 5:8 Peter seems to emphasize self-control. How does being self-controlled help you to pray? How does being clear-minded help you to pray?
A: Being self-controlled helps in at least three different ways. It gives you discipline to set aside intentional time to pray. It helps you focus in your prayers, both individually and with others when they pray. Finally, God says He does not hear our prayers if we cherish sin in our hearts (Psalm 66:18-19), turn a deaf ear to the poor (Proverbs 21:13), are wicked (Proverbs 15:29; Isaiah 59:1-3), or we choose not to hear God (Zechariah 7:11-14).
Q: In 1 Pet 4:7, in what sense was the end of all things "near"?
A: Four points to consider in the answer.
1. The Greek here is "of all things but the end has drawn near", so all things simply means "all things."
2. The term "draw near" is the same used in James 5:8 in speaking of Jesusí Second Coming.
3. In the presence of Peter, Jesus in Matthew 24:36, said that no man knows the hour or day of Jesusí return.
4. "Near" does not mean that Peter is predicting the day when Jesus is coming again. Rather, Peter is saying that any day now Jesus could come again. This should be motivation to "be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray."
See also the discussion on Philippians 4:5, 1 Thessalonians 4:15, and Revelation 22:6-20 for more info.
Q: In 1 Pet 4:8, Jms 5:20, and Prov 10:12, how does love cover a multitude of sins or wrongs?
First two things that are not the answer, and then the answer.
Not the answer
Jesus covered our sins in one way by bringing forgiveness for all our sins against God, and thus, Godís love covers over a multitude of sins. While Christís love for us on the cross not only covered, but atoned for our sins, that is not primarily what is intended here.
Second, our love and witness can encourage people, even non-Christians, not to sin. However, this verse does not refer to preventing sin, but rather covering over sins that were committed.
James speaks in the context of turning someone back to the truth, and 1 Peter speaks in the context of prayer and loving others deeply. Our love "covers" sins in at least four different ways.
For ourselves: Loving God and others makes us less tempted to do things that dishonor God or are not helpful to other people. As we serve others, we are often less self-centered and interested in satisfying sinful desires.
For non-Believers: For both regular non-believers and heretics, helping them come to a true faith in Christ saves their soul from death and their sins are covered over.
Forgiveness: Our willingness to forgive othersí sins against us and to restore a person who is fallen covers over their sin, and can make it easier to come to the Lord in repentance.
For others: Our praying that others withstand temptation and turning others back to the truth, repenting of previous sins, and not continuing in sin. Our humility (i.e. having a true picture of ourselves) that we were all dirty and sinful before God, and except for Godís grace, we would do even worse, can make it more attractive for a person to leave their sin, and come or come back to Christ. By expressing a deep love for others, we can be an encouragement to them to "carry on" and continue in their pursuit of godliness and love for others.
See Hard Sayings of the Bible p.706-708 and Now Thatís a Good Question p.161-162 for complementary answers.
Q: In 1 Pet 4:9, why is it important to offer hospitality to one another, - without grumbling? See Heb 13:2 and Jms 2:25.
A: Regardless of any other reason, it is important just because Scripture commands it. It is practical express our love to others, both Christians and non-Christians. Hebrews 13:2 says that, like Abraham, some who offer hospitality are entertaining angels, though they are not aware that they are doing so.
Hospitality is not just giving someone a place to spend the night, or inviting someone to visit your home. It also includes being generous in letting someone borrow your possessions or your car, giving someone a ride, or giving some of your time for somebody else.
A secondary part of hospitality is having your home, or car, be presentable that you can invite people over or offer them a ride.
Q: In 1 Pet 4:10 why do you think Peter emphasizes us to use the gifts we have received?
A: God gives every believer some sort of talents and gifts. But God did not give any believer a gift to be squandered, ignored, or used for selfish or ungodly ends. To whom much is given, much is required. God will hold us accountable, not for not using gifts He never intended us to have, but for the gifts He has given us. The question to ask yourself is not just, "are you using Godís gifts", but "are your using Godís gifts for His purposes?"
Q: 1 Pet 4:10 mentions Godís grace is "various" forms. It uses the same Greek word (poikilos), for trials, temptations, or evil desires in 1 Peter 1:6, James 1:2, 2 Timothy 3:6; and Titus 3:3. What do you think is the significance of the same Greek word, which can mean multi-colored, for both?
A: One meaning is that temptations and trials hit the church in various "multi-colored" ways, but God expresses His grace to us in various multi-colored ways also. For every temptation that strikes an individual, God promises to provide a way out, according to 1 Corinthians 10:13. Whenever a trial strikes a body of believers, God can provide a way out for them too.
Q: In 1 Pet 4:11, how should our speech be as though God were speaking?
A: We can see what this means by observing the similar phrases around this verse. Whatever gift we have we should use as faithfully administering Godís grace. Just as anyone who serves should serve with the strength God provides, anyone who speaks should speak with the words God provides. It is OK to share our own opinions as our opinions, but:
1. Donít add - Never go beyond what is written and teach our own opinions as Godís word (Proverbs 30:5-6; 1 Corinthians 4:6).
2. Donít lose focus - Be centered on Godís word instead of human opinion (1 Corinthians 2:1-2; 1 Timothy 1:3-4,6; Colossians 2:3,8).
3. Donít take away from Godís word. Donít either deny or silently choose not to speak on some truth.
4. Donít disrespect Godís word, by speaking lightly of it to others.
A Christian can attempt to "help God out" by speaking whatever they think best, to defend God. But Peter is not telling us to do that, but rather to speak the very words of God. We are to defend the faith, but we are to defend the faith Godís way, not just our way. Nobody comes to Christ anyway without God moving in their life, so doesnít it make more sense for us to do things Godís way? See also Proverbs 30:6 and 1 Corinthians 4:6.
Q: In 1 Pet 4:11b, what is the difference between a Christian serving God and serving with the strength God provides?
A: When you serve God in our own strength, it might not be sufficient enough for the moment, and it might give out later. But when you serve God with Godís strength, you can always receive more strength from God.
Q: In 1 Pet 4:12, what fiery trial was about to occur?
A: The Christians were about to undergo intense persecution by the Roman government, including frequent burning to death. It was written that Nero sometimes covered Christians with wax, and set them on fire as sort of "living candles." However, even dying in that kind of fire is better than perishing forever in the Lake of Fire.
The early church was no stranger to fiery trials. In discussing the trail and subsequent execution of Polycarp, disciple of the apostle John, Evarestus writes "But again the proconsul said to him, ĎI will cause thee to be consumed by fire, seeing thou despisest the wild beasts, if thou wilt not repent.í But Polycarp said, ĎThou threatenest me with fire which burneth for an hour, and after a little is extinguished, but art ignorant of the fire of the coming judgment and of eternal punishment, reserved for the ungodly. But why tarriest thou? Bring forth what thou wilt.í" Martyrdom of Polycarp (c.169 A.D.) ch.11 p.41
Q: In 1 Pet 4:13, how do we share in the sufferings of Christ? Why should we rejoice in that?
A: While Christ alone died to pay the entire penalty for our sins, His great suffering is an example for us to endure the smaller sufferings that we have. Our suffering can serve to glorify God, even if no one on earth is aware of them. Sometimes God uses our sufferings to bring the gospel to people who would otherwise be unable or unwilling to hear. See also Colossians 1:24.
Q: In 1 Pet 4:14, is the Spirit of glory the same as the Holy Spirit?
A: Yes. The Spirit of glory is a description of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God. See Hard Sayings of the Bible p.719-720 for more info.
Q: In 1 Pet 4:16 in the Greek, does it say, "that you bear that name" (NIV, NASB, Wuest, Aland), or "in this respect/matter" (NKJV, KJV, Green)?
A: Even the second way is in respect to the name of Christ, so the meaning is the same. However, as to which is correct, there are two manuscript variations. Williams Translation has "bearing this name" and the NET Bible has "that you bear such a name."
Q: In 1 Pet 4:16, some follower of Jesus have said the word "Christian" only occurs twice in the Bible, here in the context of suffering and in what King Agrippa calls Paul in Acts 26:28. So they say that we do not need to bear the name "Christian" today. How would you respond to that?
A: There are three complementary answers.
Once is enough in 1 Peter 4:16 to show that we are to suffer for bearing the name Christian, rather than try to get out of suffering by denying that we are a Christian.
The followers of the apostles and the early church dared to call themselves Christians, and would not deny it even in the face of death. In fact, prior to Nicea we have document 41 Christian writers who called believers Christians. See www.Biblequery.org/History/ChurchHistory.WhatEarlyChristiansTaught.html for who they were.
Some of those who donít want to be known as Christians do not want to identify with Christís bride, the church.
Q: In 1 Pet 4:17, how does judgment begin with the family of God?
A: In two different ways: now and later.
In this life, God watches us, tests us, and disciplines us (Hebrews 12:5-13). Christians can be judged in this life, and receive more blessings, or discipline as an example for themselves and others, including an early death.
In Heaven, all believers stand before what is called the "bema-seat judgment" so that they can be given rewards in Heaven for their deeds. Paul describes the judgment of Christians as to rewards or loss of them in 1 Corinthians 3:11-15.
See Hard Sayings of the Bible p.721-722 for a different answer.
Q: In 1 Pet 5:1-4 what are the four positive commands and two negative commands Peter gives to elders?
A: Here are the six commands.
Be shepherds of Godís flock
Because you are willing
(negative) Not greedy for money
Eager to server
(negative) Not lording over the flock
Peter here focuses more on how they serve, than that they are serving. If you are not being a shepherd the way God wants you to be here, then maybe God does not want you to be a shepherd at all. Hebrews 13:17 says that shepherds have to give an account of their leadership before God. On the other hand, if you are a good shepherd, you will receive a reward in heaven for your faithful service according to 1 Peter 5:4.
Q: What does 1 Pet 5:1-4 say about the Catholic doctrine of papal succession?
A: Nothing at all. Papal succession claims that Peter was the first pope, and the head of the entire church after Jesus. However, Peter himself says in 1 Peter 5:1-4 that he himself is just a fellow elder. See 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.346 for more info.
Q: In 1 Pet 5:3, Php 3:17, 1 Thess 1:7 (KJV), what is an "ensample"?
A: This King James Version expression means "example". Williams Translation has "model".
Q: In 1 Pet 5:4 we receive an unfading crown/wreath, while the Isthmian games awarded victors a wreath of withered parsley according to The Expositorís Bible Commentary vol.12 p.50-251. What is the difference between a fading and unfading crown? What are some fading crowns people have today?
A: Both kinds of crowns look good at first. But the fading crown looks worse over time, and is eventually cast off and discarded. Our unfading crowns in heaven will still be as good and glorious 10,000 years later as when we first receive them.
On earth there are many fading crowns: wealth, prestige, honor, social status, but they all are temporary. Work hard for an unfading crown that will never grow dim.
Q: In 1 Pet 5:5a what does "in the same way" mean, since they are not said to be over anyone?
A: Just as the previously mentioned elders were to be eager to serve, not lording over others but being examples, young men are to be that way too. Of course some young men, as they grow more mature, become elders later.
Q: In 1 Pet 5:5, what is the exact meaning of "clothe yourselves"?
A: The Greek word here, egkombosasthe, is a rare word that refers to a slave putting on an apron before serving a master. This is like what Jesus did in John 13:4-17. Besides Peter seeing Jesus Himself setting the example, this refers to being clothed to serve, not being clothed to impress, or draw attention to yourself.
See The Expositorís Bible Commentary vol.12 p.251 and The Bible Knowledge Commentary : New Testament p.856 for more info.
Q: In 1 Pet 5:5b and Jms 4:6; Mt 23:12 and Prov 3:34 why do you think God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble?
A: It might be for a couple of reasons.
It offends God, when He sees this sin.
It is bad for the person when they put their own honor or reputation above knowing Him.
It is not good for others, if they see a believer who is proud.
Q: In 1 Pet 5:5b-6 is there any way of being humble, that if God asked you to do, you would have a hard time obeying? Why?
A: Some people can be humble in certain ways but not other ways. It is not only wrong, but also foolish to look down on people of a different caste, economic status, race, or ethnic group. Some people are not proud in this way, but they are proud in being reluctant to admit making a mistake, or reluctant to admit when they have sinned.
Q: In 1 Pet 5:7 How is being anxious a sin of faithlessness?
A: We can and should cast our cares upon God, because we have faith that He can take care of all of our problems. If we choose not to do so, thinking that we are better off holding on to our anxieties ourselves, then we are not putting our faith in God for this point. Faith in God is not merely believing the right things, but also trusting over our lives to His care.
By the way, in 1 Peter 5:7 "cast" or "throw upon" the Greek word epiripsantes is an aorist which means it is an active thing we choose to do on our part. See The Expositorís Bible Commentary vol.12 p.251 for more info.
Q: In 1 Pet 5:8, while Satan is often subtle, that is not at all the picture Peter is giving here. Why do you think Peter might compare Satan to a roaring lion?
A: Like a hungry lion, Satan is relentless and ruthless. Sometimes a young, fast lion might silently stalk the pray, knowing it can win by speed. An older lion roar, both to startle the prey into a panic, and challenge the younger lions to back off. Peter comparing Satan to a roaring lion is also apropos because Nero threw Christians to lions in the Coliseum.
Q: In 1 Pet 5:9 the Greek word for "resist" (antistete) is the same word in James 4:7; Ephesians 6:11-13; and 1 Peter 5:8. What or who exactly are we supposed to resist?
A: We are to resist the devil, and he will flee from us. Our enemy is not unbelievers, who themselves are trapped in sin, but Satan and the demons themselves.
Q: In 1 Pet 5:10 the Greek de can be translated as "but" or "and". Which do you think it should be, and why?
A: While the Greek word can be translated either way, the many see "but as the closest translation, because the previous verse about Satan prowling like a lion and Christians undergoing suffering is a contrast to the God of all grace and eternal glory.
On the other hand, some would see the best choice as "and", because the previous verse mentions sufferings, and this verse talks about after you have suffered for a little while.
Perhaps the very best way is to understand this word, in this verse, as the Greek is: both "but" and "and". Since God works all things together for good for those who love Him (Romans 8:28), the worldís "buts" become Godís "ands".
Q: In 1 Pet 5:13, where is the Babylon Peter mentions?
A: Babylon was a code-word among the early Christians for Rome. It is highly unlikely Peter was in the ruins of Babylon at the time. It is also highly unlikely Peter was referring to a small military outpost in Egypt called Babylon.
Q: In 1 Pet 5:13 and Rev 14:8; 16:19; 17:5; 18:2-21, who else referred to Babylon as Rome outside of Christians and the Bible?
A: While 1 Peter 5:13 does not specify that Babylon was Rome, it is almost universally understood by both early and modern Christians to refer to Rome. Almost all early Christians and many modern Christians also say the Babylon in Revelation refers to Rome. (A second view is that it is literal Babylon.) However, many people are not aware that Peter was not the first to consider Babylon as a code word for Rome. The apocryphal book 4 Ezra 3:1,28,31 refers to Babylon as Rome. The Jewish pseudepigraphal book Apocalypse of Baruch 10:1-3; 11:1; 67:7 does too, as does the Sybilline Oracles 5.153-168; 5:434.
As a side note, Babylon was in Peterís time a desert with only very few people living there according to Diodorus of Sicily (56-36 B.C.) in his work 2.9.9 and Strabo (who died 19 A.D.) in Geography 16.1.5.
Early Christian writers who said that Babylon referred to Rome, either in 1 Peter 5:13 or in Revelation are:
Tertullian (198-220 A.D.) An Answer to the Jews ch.9 p.162 and Five Books Against Marcion book 3 ch.13 p.332 (both in ANF vol.3)
Hippolytus (225-235/6 A.D.) (Implied) Treatise on Christ and Antichrist ch.49 ANF vol.5 p.214.
Instructions of Commodianus (c.240 A.D.) ch.41 p.210-211
Victorinus bishop of Petau in Austria (martyred 304 A.D.) Commentary on the Apocalypse from the seventh chapter verse 8 p.352, the twenty-first chapter verse 17 p.357-358, and from the Twelfth chapter verse 3 p.355.
After 325 A.D.
Augustine of Hippo (388-410 A.D.) "But since Grecian affairs are much better known to us than Assyrian, and those who have diligently investigated the antiquity of the Roman nationís origin have followed the order of time through the Greeks to the Latins, and from them to the Romans, who themselves are Latins, we ought on this account, where it is needful, to mention the Assyrian kings, that it may appear how Babylon, like a first Rome, ran its course along with the city of God, which is a stranger in this world. But the things proper for insertion in this work in comparing the two cities, that is, the earthly and heavenly, ought to be taken mostly from the Greek and Latin kingdoms, where Rome herself is like a second Babylon. " City of God book 18 ch.2 p.362
X Augustine of Hippo (388-410 A.D.) City of God book 18 ch.41 (NPNF1 vol.2 p.385). ... (partial not) in discussing Athens says, "Even if some true things were said in it, yet falsehoods were uttered with the same license; so that such a city has not amiss received the title of the mystic Babylon. For Babylon means confusion, as we remember we have already explained."
Later Catholic writers who also taught that Babylon relates to Rome include the following:
Cardinal Cajetan, an opponent of Martin Luther, believed Babylon would be the Catholic Church in the future.
Cardinal Gibbons Faith of our Fathers in the 1917 edition on page 106 (http://www.666man.net/BabylonSymbolForRome.html nov 2007
and The Catholic Encyclopedia http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11744a.htm (Nov 2007)
See http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/1peter.html for more info on Babylon as Rome and 1 Peter.
Q: In 1 Pet 5:13 those who are in Babylon (i.e. Rome) send greetings. It does not say whether Christians are in "Babylon" by force, because they choose to be, or some each way. When should we choose to be in a spiritually dark place as a light for God, and when should we "flee Babylon" for spiritually more friendly places?
A: Many Christians are in spiritually dark places in the world today, and they have no opportunity to leave. God calls them to be a light in a dark place, and bloom where they are planted.
But when Christians have a choice, about remaining in a dark church, dark land, or working for a company in a spiritually dark place, here are some things to consider.
Are you being an effective witness where you are? Do people know you are a believer, and are people being drawn closer to Christ and/or coming to Christ? As time goes on, are people getting warmer to the gospel?
Or, as time goes on, are you growing colder towards the gospel? Do you start to think of yourself as pretty good, because you can compare yourself to them?
If you are living in a place with your spouse and family, are they being lights where they are? Or are they growing colder?
Are you a "lone ranger" Christian where you are, or do you have other believers you can fellowship with and minister with? If you are alone, consider "regrouping" to move to a place where there are other co-laborers.
Q: When was 1 Pet written?
A: Most Christians agree shortly after 63-64 A.D, as The Bible Knowledge Commentary - New Testament and the New Bible Dictionary show. Similarly, The NIV Study Bible and the New Geneva Study Bible say between 60-68 A.D.
For a non-Christian viewpoint, Asimov in Asimovís Guide to the Bible p.1164 believes it was written after 90 A.D., which would be after Peterís death, since he claims that the persecution of Domitian (81-96 A.D.) was "the first time the Christians of Asia Minor first felt organized repression from the central government."
The New Bible Dictionary (p.974-976) gives reasons why a later date is incorrect.
For the Name: In New Testament church times, but not later, the Name of Jesus was greatly emphasized. Christians suffered "for the name" (Acts 5:41; 9:16). The very name of Jesus was important in Mark 9:37,41 13:13; Luke 21:12; Acts 2:21,38; 3:6,16; 4:12,17,30; 5:28). Peter likewise said we "are reproached for the name of Christ" (1 Peter 4:14 NKJV).
No slander: In the time of Pliny the Younger (112 A.D.), Christians were slandered with gross crimes of immorality and cannibalism, but 1 Peter does not say anything about Christians being slandered. Most tellingly, 1 Peter 4:15 mentions that, at most, Christians were criticized for being "meddlers", hardly the same level of offense. 1 Peter 3:16 talks of the ungodly speaking slander against Christianís good behavior. Thus 1 Peter was written prior to Pliny the Youngerís time.
Not necessarily legislative persecution: Since the language of 1 Peter does not refer to "legislative action", 1 Peter is talking of persecution in general, not specific laws under Domitian. This indicates it was written prior to Domitian in 97/98 A.D.
See also the discussion on when 2 Peter was written.
Q: In 1 Pet, how do we know if what we have today is a reliable preservation of what was originally written?
A: There are at least three reasons.
1. God promised to preserve His word in Isaiah 55:10-11; Isaiah 59:21; Isaiah 40:6-8; 1 Peter 1:24-25; and Matthew 24:35.
2. Evidence of the early church. Here are some of the writers who referred to verses in 1 Peter.
Clement of Rome 97/98 A.D., possibly quotes from 1 Peter in three place. In Clementís frequent references to scripture, quotes the last half of 1 Peter 4:8, which is also one-fourth of James 5:20: "Love covers a multitude of sins" in 1 Clement ch.49 vol.1 p.18.
Clement of Rome (97/98 A.D.) quotes 1 Peter 5:5b (same as James 4:6; Proverbs 3:34) 1 Clement ch.30 vol.1 p.13
Clement of Rome (97/98 A.D.) quotes 1 Peter 3:20, which is also Genesis 7 and 2 Peter 2:5 in 1 Clement ch.7 vol.1 p.7.
Ignatius (100-107/116 A.D.) alludes to 1 Peter 2:5 "which were sown by them, as being stones of the temple of the Father, prepared for the building of God the Father" Letter to the Ephesians ch.9 p.53
Ignatius (100-107/116 A.D.) quotes a small part of 1 Peter 5:5, which is also one-fourth of James 4:6 and Proverbs 3:34. "For it is written, ĎGod resists the proud.í" Letter to the Ephesians ch.5 p.51
To Diognetus (c.130 A.D.) ch.6 p.27 alludes to 1 Peter 2:11
To Diognetus (c.130 A.D.) ch.6 p.27 alludes to 1 Peter 2:11
To Diognetus (c.130 A.D.) ch.8 p.28 alludes to 1 Peter 3:15 (4 out of 30 words)
Epistle of Barnabas? (100-150 A.D.) The Expositors Bible Commentary vol.12 p.215 mentions many early writers who referenced 1 Peter, including the Epistle of Barnabas, but I have not found any reference in the Epistle of Barnabas.
Polycarp (110-155 A.D.) quotes all of 1 Peter 2:22 in Letter to the Philippians ch.8 p.35.
Polycarp (110-155 A.D.) quotes the first half of 1 Peter 3:9. Letter to the Philippians ch.2 p.33. He also quotes the last fourth of 1 Peter 1:11 in ch.5 p.34. He quotes the first half of 1 Peter 2:23 ch.8 p.35. Polycarp quotes the first half of 1 Peter 2:24 in ch.9 p.35. He alludes to 1 Peter 1:8 in ch.1 p.33, 1 Peter 1:13 in ch.3 p.33, and 1 Peter 4:7 in ch.7 p.34
Didache (=Teaching of the Twelve Apostles) (c.125 A.D.) vol.7 ch.1 p.377 quotes one-fourth of 1 Peter 2:11.
Didache (=Teaching of the Twelve Apostles) (c.125 A.D.) vol.7 ch.16 p.382 alludes to 1 Peter 4:12, "the fire of trial"
Papias (130-150 A.D.) refers by name to the books of Mark, Matthew, First Epistle of John and the Epistle of Peter. Fragment 6 from Eusebiusí Ecclesiastical History book 3 ch.39 p.173. Eusebius is writing, and he questioned 2 Peter, so Epistle of Peter would refer to 1 Peter.
2 Clement (c.150 A.D.) ch.16 p.255 quotes 1 Peter 4:8b.
2 Clement (c.150 A.D.) ch.14 p.255 alludes to 1 Peter 1:20.
Shepherd of Hermas (c.160 A.D.) quotes half of 1 Peter 5:17 in book 1 ch.10 p.16-17.
Shepherd of Hermas (c.160 A.D.) book 1 ch.3 p.14 possibly alludes to 1 Peter 3:20; Ephesians 5:26) in "kept together by the invisible power of the Lord."
Shepherd of Hermas does not have any other references to 1 Peter.
Irenaeus (182-188 A.D.) quotes all of 1 Peter 1:8 as "Peter says in his Epistle" Irenaeus Against Heresies book 4 ch.9.2 p.472
Irenaeus (182-188 A.D.) quotes 1 Peter 2:16 as "Peter says". Irenaeus Against Heresies book 4 ch.16.5 p.482
Irenaeus (182-188 A.D.) refers to 5 Ĺ verses in 1 Peter. They are: 1 Peter 1:8; 2:16,23. He quotes half of 1 Peter 1:12 and alludes to 1 Peter 3:19,20
Clement of Alexandria (193-202 A.D.) quotes 1 Peter 1:21,22 as by Peter in his Epistle. Stromata book 3 ch.18 p.402
Clement of Alexandria (193-217/220 A.D.) quotes 1 Peter 4:3 as by Peter. The Instructor book 3 ch.12 p.291
Clement of Alexandria (187-202 A.D.) quotes 1 Peter 1:6-9 as by Peter in his epistle. "that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than that of gold which perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise, and honour, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ;" Stromata book 4 ch.20 p.433
Clement of Alexandria (193-217/220 A.D.) quotes 1 Peter 2:1-3 as by Peter. The Instructor book 1 ch.6 p.220
Clement of Alexandria (193-217/220 A.D.) quotes 1 Peter 2:9-10a in Exhortation to the Heathen ch.4 p.189.
Clement of Alexandria (193-217/220 A.D.) alludes to the 1 Peter 1:12f in Whom Is the Rich Man That Shall Be Saved? p.598
Clement of Alexandria (193-202 A.D.) quotes 1 Peter 1:21-22 as "Peter in his epistle" Stromata book 3 ch.18 p.402
Clement of Alexandria (193-202 A.D.) alludes to 1 Peter 1:14-16 in Stromata book 3 ch.18 p.402
Clement of Alexandria in total has about 28 references to 1 Peter. He refers to the following verses of 1 Peter: 1:6-9,12f,14-19,21-22; 2:1-3,5,11-12,15-18,24; 3:1-4,8,13,19-20; 4:3,8,12-14; 5:5
Tertullian (198-220 A.D.) quotes 1 Peter 2:20 saying "Addressing the Christians of Pontus, Peter, at all events, says," in Scorpiace ch.12 p.645. He quotes 1 Peter 4:12 in the same chapter on p.645 also.
Hippolytus (222-235/236 A.D.) quotes 1 Peter 1:24,25. The Refutation of All Heresies book 6 ch.5 p.76
Hippolytus (222-235/236 A.D.) alludes to 1 Peter 3:19 "He was also reckoned among the dead, preaching the Gospel to the souls of the saints," Treatise on Christ and Antichrist ch.26 p.209
Origen (225-254 A.D.) quotes part of 1 Peter 3:18-20 as "Peter in his Catholic Epistle". Origenís Commentary on John book 6 ch.18 p.368
Origen (225-254 A.D.) alludes to 1 Peter 2:5 as by Peter. Origenís Commentary on John ch.23 vol.9 p.404
Cyprian of Carthage (c.246-258 A.D.) quotes from "the epistle of Peter to Pontus" in Treatise 12 the third book 36,37,39. Cyprian is the only writer who adds "to Pontus" when describing this letter. (Pontus was in north-central Asia Minor.)
Cyprian of Carthage (c.246-258 A.D.) "Peter also, His apostle, ... For he wrote in his epistle, and said" and quotes 1 Peter 4:12-14. Epistles of Cyprian Letter 55 ch.2 p.347-348
Firmilian of Caesarea in his letter to Cyprian (256 A.D.) refers to 1 Peter "Even as also the Apostle Peter laid down, saying, ĎThus also shall baptism in like manner make you safe;" (1 Peter 3:21) Letter 74 ch.15 p.394
Peter of Alexandria (306,285-311 A.D.) refers to 1 Peter 3:18b according to The Greek New Testament both 3rd edition and 4th revised edition by Aland et al. However, I have not been able to confirm this in the writings of Peter of Alexandria that I have.
Victorinus of Pettau (martyred 304 A.D.) quotes part of 1 Peter 2:9 as by the apostle Peter Commentary on the Apocalypse of the Blessed John p.344
Methodius (270-311/312 A.D.) alludes to 1 Peter 2:10 in The Banquet of the Ten Virgins Discourse 4 ch.4 p.324
Athanasius (318 A.D.) quotes 1 Peter 2:22 in Incarnation of the Word ch.17 p.45
As a side note, the Muratorian Canon (c.170 A.D.) did not include James, Hebrews, 1 and 2 Peter, or the third letter of John.
Eusebiusí Ecclesiastical History (323-326 A.D.) book 3 ch.3 p.133-135 discusses the books of the New Testament. He says 1 Peter is genuine, but that 2 Peter is disputed.
Ammonas (fourth century)
Eusebius of Emesa (c.359 A.D.)
Athanasius (367 A.D.) lists the books of the New Testament in Festal Letter 39 p.552
Athanasius (c.341 A.D.) alludes to 1 Peter 1:12 in his work On Luke 10:22 ch.6 p.90.
Hilary of Poitiers (355-367/368 A.D.) quotes 1/4 of 1 Peter 4:19 as by Peter. On the Trinity ch.12.4 p.219
Synopsis Scripturae Sacrae (350-370 A.D. or 5th century) mentions two books of Peter as part of the New Testament. It quotes all of 1 Peter 1:1-2.
Marcellus of Ancrya (about 374 A.D.)
Ambrosiaster (after 384 A.D.)
Cyril of Jerusalem (c.349-386 A.D.) quotes 1 Peter 3:22 as by Peter in Lecture 14:29 p.102
Cyril of Jerusalem (c.349-386 A.D.) mentions James in the "Seven Catholic Epistles of James, Peter, John, and Jude" in Lecture 4.36 p.28
Cyril of Jerusalem (c.349-386 A.D.) quotes 1 Peter 1:17. Catechetical Lectures Lecture 7 ch.14 p.47.
Cyril of Jerusalem (c.349-386 A.D.) quotes the first half of 1 Peter 1:11. Catechetical Lectures Lecture 17 ch.4 p.125.
Ambrose of Milan (370-390 A.D.) quotes half of 1 Peter 3:4 as by Saint Peter. Duties of the Clergy Book1 ch.70 p.13.
Gregory Nanzianzus (c.330-391 A.D.) quotes 1 Peter 5:8b. Second Theological Oration ch.28.2 p.289
Gregory of Nyssa (c.356-397 A.D.) quotes 1 Peter 2:22 as "it says" Against Eunomius book 6 ch.3 p.186
Gregory of Nyssa (c.356-397 A.D.) quotes 1 Peter 1:24 which is also Isaiah 40:8. Funeral Oration on Meletius p.514.
Didymus the Blind (398 A.D.)
Epiphanius of Salamis (360-403 A.D.)
Rufinus (374-406 A.D.) quotes 1 Peter 3:10-20 as by Peter. A Commentary on the Apostlesí Creed ch.30 p.554
John Chrysostom (died 407 A.D.) quotes the first three-fourths of 1 Peter 1:24. Commentary on St John Homily 42 vol.14 p.154.
John Chrysostom (-407 A.D.) quotes from 1 Peter 2:12 in Homilies on Hebrews Homily 28.4 p.493
Niceta of Remesianus (after 414 A.D.)
Jerome (373-420 A.D.) discusses the books of the New Testament. He specifically each of the four gospels, Paul writings to the seven churches, Hebrews, Paul wirting to Timothy , Titus, and Philemon. Jerome then discusses the Acts of the Apostles. Then he discusses the seven epistles of James, Peter, John, and Jude. Finally he discusses the Apocalypse of John. Letter 53 ch.9 p.101-102.
Augustine of Hippo (388-430 A.D.)
Nilus (c.430 A.D.) refers to 1 Peter 5:8
Marcus of Eremita (after 430 A.D.)
Acacius of Melitene (c.438 A.D.)
Cyril of Alexandria (444 A.D.)
Speculum (fifth century)
Council of Chalcedon vs. Monophysites (451 A.D.)
Quodvultdeus (c.453 A.D.)
Theodoret of Cyrus (bishop and historian) (423-458 A.D.)
Lucifer of Cagliari (461 A.D.)
Varimadum (445/480 A.D.)
Vigilius (484 A.D.)
John of Damascus (706-749 A.D.) "...seven Catholic epistles, viz. one of James, two of Peter, three of John, one of Jude..." Exposition of the Orthodox Faith book 4 ch.17 p.90
3. Evidence of heretics and other writers
X Marcion (c.160 A.D.) does not include 1, 2 Peter, 1, 2, 3, John, or Jude.
The Gnostic Gospel of Truth (140-150/180 A.D.)
The heretic Priscillian (385 A.D.) refers to 1 Peter 1:22; 5:8.
The heretic Pelagius (416-418 A.D.) refers to 1 Peter 3:8
The Pelagian heretic Julian of Eclanum (c.454 A.D.)
4. Earliest manuscripts we have of 1 Peter show there are small manuscript variations, but no theologically significant errors.
p72 Bodmer 7 & 8 Papyrii 1 Peter 1:1-5:14, 2 Peter 1:1-3:18 and Jude 1-25. c.300 A.D. A photograph of part of this manuscript (showing 2 Peter 1:16-2:2) is in The Eerdmansí Bible Dictionary p.820 and The Complete Text of the Earliest New Testament Manuscripts p.468. The second source says the handwriting is written "in a documentary hand."
p74 (=Bodmer 17) Acts 1:2-5,7-11,13-15,18-19,22-25; 2:2-4; 2:6-3:26; 4:2-6,8-27; 4:29-27:25; 27:27-28:31; James 1:1-6,8-19,21-23,25,27; 2:1-3,5-15; 18-22, 25-26; 3:1,5-6,10-12,14,17-18; 4:8,11-14; 5:1-3,7-9,12-14,19-20; 1 Peter 1:1-2,7-8,13,19-20,25; 2:6-7,11-12,18,24; 3:4-5; 2 Peter 2:21; 3:4,11,16; 1 John 1:1,6; 2:1-2,7,13-14,18-19,25-26; 3:1-2,8,14,19-20; 4:1,6-7,12,16-17;5:3-4,9-10,17; 2 John 1,6-7,13; 3 John 6,12; Jude 3,7,12,18,24 (7th century)
7th century - 1968 - The Text of the New Testament has James 2:4 and 1 Peter 1:12
7th century - 1975 - Aland et al. third edition
6th century - 1998 - Aland et al. fourth revised edition
p81 1 Peter 2:20-3:1; 3:4-12 (4th century)
Vaticanus [B] (325-350 A.D.), Sinaiticus [Si] (340-350 A.D.), and Alexandrinus [A] (c.450 A.D) have all of 1 Peter.
Bohairic Coptic [Boh] 3rd/4th century
Sahidic Coptic [Sah] 3rd/4rth century
Peshitta Syriac [Syr P] 375-400 A.D.
Ephraemi Rescriptus 5th century
Armenian [Arm] from 5th century
Georgian [Geo] from 5th century
See www.BibleQuery.org/1petMss.html for more on early manuscripts of 1 Peter.
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