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English Standard Version

1 Peter

1 Peter

Introduction

The readers of the apostle Peter’s letter were confused and discouraged by the persecution they were encountering because of their faith. Peter exhorted them to stand strong, repeatedly reminding them of Christ’s example, the riches of their inheritance in him, and the hope of his returning again to take them to heaven. Peter explained how Christians should respond when they suffer because of their beliefs. Called the “apostle of hope,” Peter’s primary message is to trust the Lord, live obediently no matter what your circumstances, and keep your hope fixed on God’s ultimate promise of deliverance. Suffering is to be expected, but it is temporary and yields great blessings for those who remain steadfast. Peter probably wrote this letter in the mid-60s a.d.

Greeting

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who are elect exiles of athe Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to bthe foreknowledge of God the Father, cin the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and dfor sprinkling with his blood:

May egrace and fpeace be multiplied to you.

Born Again to a Living Hope

gBlessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! hAccording to his great mercy, ihe has caused us to be born again to a living hope jthrough the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to kan inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and lunfading, mkept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded nthrough faith for a salvation oready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by pvarious trials, so that qthe tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes rthough it is tested by sfire—may be found to result in tpraise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. uThough you have not seen him, you love him. vThough you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining wthe outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

10 Concerning this salvation, xthe prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring ywhat person or time1 zthe Spirit of Christ in them was indicating awhen he predicted bthe sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12 cIt was revealed to them that dthey were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you eby the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, fthings into which angels long to look.

Called to Be Holy

13 Therefore, gpreparing your minds for action,2 and hbeing sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, ido not be conformed to the passions jof your former ignorance, 15 but kas he who called you is holy, you also be holy lin all your conduct, 16 since it is written, m“You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17 And if you ncall on him as Father who ojudges pimpartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves qwith fear throughout the time of your exile, 18 knowing that you rwere ransomed from sthe futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but twith the precious blood of Christ, like that of ua lamb vwithout blemish or spot. 20 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but wwas made manifest xin the last times for the sake of you 21 ywho through him are believers in God, zwho raised him from the dead and agave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for ba sincere brotherly love, clove one another earnestly from a pure heart, 23 dsince you have been born again, enot of perishable seed but of imperishable, through fthe living and abiding word of God; 24 for

g“All flesh is like grass

and all its glory like the flower of grass.

The grass withers,

and the flower falls,

25  hbut the word of the Lord remains forever.”

And this word iis the good news that was preached to you.

A Living Stone and a Holy People

jSo put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. kLike newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual lmilk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have mtasted that the Lord is good.

As you come to him, a living stone nrejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, oyou yourselves like living stones are being built up as pa spiritual house, to be qa holy priesthood, rto offer spiritual sacrifices sacceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture:

t“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone,

a cornerstone chosen and precious,

uand whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

So the honor is for you who vbelieve, but for those who vdo not believe,

w“The stone that the builders rejected

has become the cornerstone,”1

and

x“A stone of stumbling,

and a rock of offense.”

They stumble because they disobey the word, yas they were destined to do.

But you are za chosen race, aa royal bpriesthood, ca holy nation, da people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you eout of darkness into fhis marvelous light. 10 gOnce you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

11 Beloved, I urge you has sojourners and exiles ito abstain from the passions of the flesh, jwhich wage war against your soul. 12 kKeep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, lthey may see your good deeds and glorify God on mthe day of visitation.

Submission to Authority

13 nBe subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution,2 whether it be to the emperor3 as supreme, 14 or to governors as sent by him oto punish those who do evil and pto praise those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, qthat by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. 16 rLive as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but sliving as servants4 of God. 17 tHonor everyone. uLove the brotherhood. vFear God. Honor the emperor.

18 wServants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. 19 For this is a gracious thing, when, xmindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But yif when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. 21 For zto this you have been called, ybecause Christ also suffered for you, aleaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22 bHe committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 cWhen he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, dbut continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 eHe himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we fmight die to sin and glive to righteousness. hBy his wounds you have been healed. 25 For iyou were straying like sheep, but have now returned to jthe Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Wives and Husbands

Likewise, wives, kbe subject to your own husbands, so that leven if some do not obey the word, mthey may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your nrespectful and pure conduct. oDo not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be pthe hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, qcalling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and rdo not fear anything that is frightening.

Likewise, shusbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker tvessel, since they are heirs with you1 of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

Suffering for Righteousness’ Sake

Finally, all of you, uhave unity of mind, sympathy, vbrotherly love, wa tender heart, and xa humble mind. yDo not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, zbless, for ato this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. 10 For

b“Whoever desires to love life

and see good days,

let him keep his tongue from evil

and his lips from speaking deceit;

11  let him turn away from evil and do good;

let him seek peace and pursue it.

12  For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,

and his ears are open to their prayer.

But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

13 Now cwho is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14 dBut even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. eHave no fear of them, fnor be troubled, 15 but gin your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, halways being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and irespect, 16 jhaving a good conscience, so that, kwhen you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For lit is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.

18 For Christ also msuffered2 nonce for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, othat he might bring us to God, being put to death pin the flesh but made alive qin the spirit, 19 in which3 he went and qproclaimed4 to the spirits in prison, 20 because5 they formerly did not obey, rwhen God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, swhile the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, teight persons, were brought safely through water. 21 

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Greek girding up the loins of your mind

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Greek the head of the corner

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Or every institution ordained for people

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Or king; also verse 17

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For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos see Preface

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Some manuscripts since you are joint heirs

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