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Bible Commentaries
1 Peter 1

Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal and HomileticalLange's Commentary

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Verses 1-2

1 Peter 1:1-2

Analysis:—Title and salutation of comfort

1Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers1 scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. 2Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit,2 unto obedience and sprinkling of3 the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.


1 Peter 1:1.—On the meaning of Peter, see notes on Matthew 16:18.

Apostle, a messenger of Jesus Christ, speaking and acting in his Master’s name. The qualifications necessary to the apostolic vocation may be learned from the speech of Peter at the election of an apostle. Acts 1:21-22. They had to be the constant attendants of Christ during the whole of His ministerial career, as He said to the twelve: “Ye have been with me from the beginning,” John 15:27; cf. Luke 24:18, in particular, witnesses of His resurrection and ascension, Acts 2:33; Acts 3:15; Acts 5:32; Acts 10:41. They had to testify of the great facts of salvation and to found Churches, to teach and to preach, to exhort and warn, to threaten and rebuke, to intercede and to oversee, and to carry the message of the cross to Jews and Gentiles, Acts 10:39; Act 4:19; 2 Corinthians 5:20; Philippians 1:7; Philippians 1:17; Colossians 2:8. To this end they had been especially called and chosen, separated and sent forth by the Lord Himself and endowed with extraordinary gifts by the Spirit, Acts 13:10-11; Acts 5:5; Acts 5:11; Acts 2:4; Mark 16:17-18; 1 Corinthians 5:5; John 20:22.

Elect, in Peter’s sense of the word, are such as are incorporated in the chosen generation (1 Peter 2:9) and belong to the purified people of God, to the children of Abraham who have become believers in Jesus. The final cause of this election is free grace, its end salvation, and its condition penitent faith. Acts 3:19; Acts 2:38; Acts 2:21; 1Pe 1:4; 1 Peter 5:10. The word is used in a different sense in Matthew 22:14; Ephesians 1:4; Acts 9:15.

Strangers, παρεπιδήμοι denotes persons, residing with others for a short time in a strange place, not citizens, but denizens, cf. Genesis 47:9; Leviticus 25:23; Hebrews 11:13. Weiss would take it figuratively of the pilgrim-state of Christians on account of the next word, cf. 1 Peter 1:17; 1 Peter 2:11; but the explanation “to the elect denizens of the dispersion” is more simple. Such a compression of literal and figurative definitions so nearly related in Sound, would hardly be intelligible with out some further definition. Jdt 5:20; 2Ma 1:27.

Dispersion (διασπορά) was the current phrase used to designate Jews living in Gentile lands, i. e. residing out of Palestine. cf. John 7:35; James 1:1. This shows plainly who were the readers of the epistle: they were believing Jews, here and there joined by a few Gentile converts. This was the field confided to the care of Peter, Galatians 2:7, while the sphere of Paul’s labours lay among the Gentiles. Origen, Jerome and Epiphanius, testify that Peter was mainly engaged in preaching the Gospel to the Jews in the countries here specified. Such is the opinion of many among the more ancient commentators, e. g. Eusebius, Didymus, Œcumenius, who are followed by Grotius, Calvin and others: (vide Introduction).

Pontus, the extreme north-eastern province of Asia Minor, so called from the Black Sea, on which it borders towards the North; it was there that Aquila, a companion of Paul probably founded a Christian Church. Acts 18:2.

Galatia, westward of Pontus, derives its name from the Gauls, a Celtic tribe, which had left its seat on the left bank of the Rhine for Thrace and Greece and had afterwards gone as far as Asia Minor. Paul planted Christianity there. Acts 16:6.

Cappadocia lies South of Pontus; Jews of Cappadocia were present at the first Christian Pentecost and heard the declaration of the great works of God.

Asia describes the province, which under the Romans comprised the maritime districts of Mysia, Lydia and Caria with the interior Phrygia.

Bythinia is the extreme north-western district of Asia Minor.

1 Peter 1:2According to the foreknowledge of God, should be connected with elect: it denotes not mere prescience and precognition, the object of which is indeed not mentioned, but both real distinction and foredecreeing. So 1 Peter 1:20; Acts 2:23. God knew such as are His from before the foundation of the world and ordained them unto salvation, cf. John 10:14; Acts 4:28; Romans 8:29; [“πρόγνωσις hic non præscientiam, sed antecedens decretum significat ut et Acts 2:23 : idem sensus qui, Ephesians 1:4.”—Grotius.—M.]

In sanctification of the Spirit.—This relates, as well as the other parts of this verse, to election. The order, by which alone the Divine decree can effect its end in us, is this, that we are sanctified by the Spirit of God. So Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:13 : “God hath chosen you to salvation through [ἐν ἁγιασμῷ πνεύματος.—M.] sanctification of the Spirit.” This expression comprises all the gracious influences of the Holy Ghost, from His first gentle knockings to the sealing of grace. The reference of the work of our salvation to the Holy Trinity, which is unmistakably implied in this verse, excludes the application of πνεῦμα to the spirit of man.

[In Sanctification—Jesus Christ.—“Il vous a séparés effectivement d’avec eux, non pas en vous sanctifiant comme il fit le peuple d’ Israël au désert, d’une sanctification externe et corporelle seulement, lorsqu ‘il le fit arroser du sang de la victime, qui ratefia par sa mort l’alliance de la loy; mais en vous consacrant d’une sanctification intérieure et spirituelle lorsque par la vertu de sa vocation il vous a amenés a l’obéisance de son Evangile et a recevoir l’aspersion du sang de Jesus Christ épandu pour l’établissement de l’alliance de grace en rémission des pêchés.”—Amyraut.—M.]

Obedience, in the sense of Peter, includes the two ideas, to believe revealed truth and to perform the duties which it imposes on us. Obedience of the Divine commandments presupposes faith in their obligatoriness and the justice of God; faith claims obedience as its fruit, just as itself (i. e. faith), according to its inmost nature, is an act of obedience. Peter, according to his Old Testament stand-point, views both conjointly. cf. 1 Peter 2:7-8; 1Pe 1:14; 1 Peter 1:22; 1Pe 3:1; 1 Peter 4:17; Acts 3:22-23; Acts 5:32; with Paul the fundamental claims of faith and obedience become separate, Romans 10:5-9, without any misconception of the ethical element of faith, Romans 10:16; Romans 10:21; Romans 11:30; Romans 1:5; Romans 2:8 2 Thessalonians 1:8; 2 Corinthians 10:5.

Unto sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ,—ῥαντισμός corresponding to the Hebrew verbs זָרַק and נָזָה occurs only twice in the N. T., here and Hebrews 12:24. The altar of burnt offering, the altar of incense, the vail of the Most Holy place and the ark of the covenant (Leviticus 1:5; Leviticus 5:9; Leviticus 4:6-7; Leviticus 4:17-18; Leviticus 16:14-19) were sprinkled with blood in token that the holy vessels, which became, as it were, also infected with the poison of sin—(by the uncleanness of those who surrounded them)—stood in need of purification. At the sacrifice of the covenant a two-fold sprinkling took place, viz.: that of the altar with one-half of the blood and that of the people with the other. Exodus 24:6-8; cf. Hebrews 9:18-20. This implied not only that both needed purifying, but also that the altar and the people belonged together, and that the remission of sins might fall to the latter. But the sprinkling of the people did not take place until they had declared themselves ready to comply with all the demands of the Divine Law without any exception whatsoever. Exodus 24:3; Exodus 24:7; nor must the circumstance be overlooked that the sanctification of the unclean people unto communion with the Holy God must have gone before, Exodus 19:10. As in the Old Testament the sprinkling of blood followed upon the sanctified people engaging themselves to implicit obedience, so this passage maintains that the members of the covenant-people of the New Testament are elect unto obedience and unto sprinkling of the blood of Jesus. It is only by the obedience of faith and our firm purpose to subject ourselves to the claims of the Divine Law, that we are made partakers of the atoning virtue of the blood of Jesus. If we stand in God’s covenant of grace with the honest endeavour of doing His will, God is pleased to make us ever anew partakers of the virtue of the blood of Jesus, and to cover therewith all the failings and infirmities which still cleave to our obedience as well as to forgive us the sins which are still mingled with it, provided we repent of them and seek for peace. We do not attempt to determine whether the words of our Lord at the institution of the Holy Supper had an essentially determining influence on the view of Peter, (as Weiss, p. 273, assumes as certain) but its reference to the conclusion of the covenant in the Old Testament is undeniable. [The three persons of the Holy Trinity cöoperate, according to the Apostle, in the work of our salvation.—M.]

Grace is here not a Divine attribute, but a gift, as is apparent from its connection with peace, cf. 1 Peter 4:10; 1Pe 5:10; 1 Peter 3:7; 1Pe 1:10; 1 Peter 1:13. It is the gift of justification and sanctification, from which flows peace in, and with God and forthwith also peace among men, cf. Rom 1:7; 2 John 1:3; Judges 2:0. In the last passage as at 2 Peter 1:2, occurs also πληνθυνθείη. The epistle of Nebuchadnezzar written after his deliverance, Dan. 3:31, has in the Greek translation of the LXX. an almost identical introduction. The multiplying relates both to its virtue and to the feeling and taste thereof, cf. Romans 5:5.

[Wordsworth remarks: “This salutation of the Apostle from Babylon recalls to the mind the greeting sent forth from the same city to all its provinces, by the two Kings of two successive dynasties,—the Assyrian and the Medo-Persian—under the influence of the prophet Daniel, and other faithful men of the first dispersion. They proclaimed in their royal Epistles the supremacy of the One True God, the God of Israel. ‘Nebuchadnezzar, the King, to all the people, to you peace be multiplied.‘ (εἰρήνη ὑμῖν πληθυνθείη, Daniel 4:1). Darius the King wrote to all people, “To you peace be multiplied,” (Daniel 6:25).

Daniel and the three children turned the hearts of Nebuchadnezzar and Darius, and moved them to declare the glory of the true God in letters written ‘to all people.’ The apostle St. Peter now carries on the work of the ancient prophets, and writes an epistle from Babylon, by which he builds up the Christian Sion in all ages of the world (of. 2 Peter 1:1-2. and 1 Peter 1:13), and proclaims to all, ‘Peace be multiplied unto you.’—M.]


1. Peter refers to his apostleship, not with a view to making it a ground of superiority to other teachers, but in order to remind his readers of the great responsibility attaching to, and consequent upon, the disregard of his exhortations and consolations. Because he is the ambassador of Christ, we should hear him as we would Christ Himself, cf. Luke 10:16; 1 Thessalonians 4:8. He calls himself an elder among elders, 1 Peter 5:1.—Wherever no positive proof can be given of an immediate election and calling to and qualification for the apostolate as emanating from our Lord Himself, its claim is unwarranted and untenable.—This is also true where secular authority is allied to the spiritual office (cf. Matthew 20:25-28) and where it is attempted to control the faith and conscience of men (cf. 2 Corinthians 1:24; 1 Corinthians 4:1).—[The claims of Rome are illustrative of the second and third points, those of the Irvingites of the first.—M.]

2. The Apostles were not vicegerents and representatives of Christ, much less the Pope of Rome.
3. The glorious title and state of real Christians, to be called ‘elect’. It is an unspeakable mercy to be selected from the mass of so many thousands of the lost, from the communion of their guilt and punishment, from the power of unbelief, sin and seduction. Distinguish between “elect” and “called.” Calling reveals the decree of election. The end of election in the New Testament differs from that in the Old.

4. The Christian’s real home is heaven; here below we are guests and strangers, as David confesses: “I am both, thy pilgrim, (here below) and thy citizen (above)”, Psalms 39:13. [This is Luther’s version, but it is doubtful whether the antithesis of pilgrim and citizen is warranted by the original Hebrew, תּוֹשָּׁב is rather a denizen than a citizen; the Jews of the dispersion were denizens, not citizens.—M.]. The time of his sorrowful pilgrimage is brief, as contrasted with the eternal glory of his imperishable home. 1Pe 1:4; 1 Peter 5:10; 1 Peter 2:11. cf. Hebrews 11:13.

5. The call of Divine grace has its proper seasons and hours in nations as well as in individuals. According to Acts 16:6-7, the Spirit forbade Paul and Timothy to preach in proconsular Asia and Bithynia, but soon after the hour of grace struck also for those provinces passed over at the first. On his return from Europe, Paul declared the word of the Lord Jesus to the Jews and Greeks in Asia by the space of two years, Acts 19:10. He or other servants of Christ must have planted a Church in Bithynia.

6. The state of salvation of believers is not the result of some sudden manifestation of the loving will of God, sprung up in the course of time, but the effect of His eternal decree and fore-determination. It is a work participated in by the three persons of the Holy Trinity and redounding to their glory. God the Father elects unto salvation in Christ and prepares salvation; God the Son gives reality to election by His life, suffering and death; God the Holy Ghost appropriates and applies to the souls of penitent sinners the salvation procured by Jesus Christ.—He that places himself under the discipline of the Holy Ghost and suffers himself to form the resolution, “All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient,” as Israel said of old, Exodus 24:7, is mysteriously sprinkled with the blood of Christ, his sins are covered, he is regarded as pure and holy in Christ, and enabled to render priestly service to God and to be found without spot before Him, 1 John 1:7. In the New Testament, spirit and blood appear to be intimately related to each other, John 6:53, etc., Romans 3:24-25; Romans 8:1; 1 John 5:6.

7. Peace is a glorious fruit of grace where it is received into the heart, cf. Romans 1:7. The salutation of peace contains the sum-total of the gospel. Luther says: “Peace is the favour of God which now begins in us but must work more and more and multiply unto death. If a man knows and believes in a gracious God, he has Him; his heart finds peace, and he fears neither the world nor the devil, for he knows that God, who controls all things, is his friend, and will deliver him from death, hell and all calamity; therefore his conscience is full of peace and joy. This is what Peter desires for believers; it is a right Christian salutation, with which all Christians should greet one another.”


The servants of Christ find consolation and protection in the fact that they are sent of the Lord.—The motto of Israelites indeed: “I am a guest on earth.”—The sublime consolation to belong to God’s elect people;—[to be a member of the Church, ἐκκλησία.—M.]. The reason of our election resides not in man but in the free grace of God.—The unmistakable tokens of election.—Sprinkling with the blood of Christ, the precious treasure of the elect.—The work of grace carried on by the Holy Trinity in the saint’s heart.—The blessed end for which we are called.

Starke:—Peter was an Apostle of Jesus Christ, but not the visible vicegerent of Christ on earth.—A true pastor cannot forget those whom he has begotten in Jesus Christ; if he is unable to comfort them orally, he does it by letter.—He who is a stranger in a country needs not on that account be sad; it is enough that he has secured a fair heritage in Christ. The more he perceives this, the less will he be attached to the world and the more will he long for his heavenly fatherland.—In the election of grace the decree of God is not absolute, but it takes place because persevering faith in Jesus Christ is foreseen.—Grace and peace belong together, and must not be confounded with nature and assurance; grace brings peace and peace testifies of grace. None can desire any thing more precious than grace and peace; he that hath them is happy for time and for eternity.


[1] 1 Peter 1:1. [The German Version, in stricter conformity to the Greek, “To the elect strangers in the dispersion in.”—M.]

Cod. Sin., omits Ἀσίας.—M.]

1 Peter 1:2; 1 Peter 1:2. [German, “in sanctification through the Spirit.” Greek, “in sanctification of the Spirit.”—M.]

1 Peter 1:2; 1 Peter 1:2. [German “with.”—M.]

Verses 3-12

1 Peter 1:3-12

Analysis:—God is praised for the grace of regeneration and for the hope of the heavenly inheritance, founded thereon. Sufferings should augment and intensify the Christian’s joy, for they serve to prove his faith. The Spirit of Christ had directed the inquiries of the prophets to this end of hope, yea, even the angels were desirous of looking into this salvation

3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath4begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,5 4To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,6 5Who are kept7by the power of God through faith8unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.96Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through7 manifold temptations: That the10trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be11tried with fire, might be found12unto praise and honour and glory at the13appearing of Jesus Christ: 8Whom having not14seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:15169Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. 10Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently,11 who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what,17or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 12Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us18 they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.


1 Peter 1:3. The praise of the Divine grace in the glorious hope of Christians flows like a deep and wide stream from the full heart of the Apostle 1 Peter 1:3-12. Paul praises in similar language with one long breath of joy the salvation given unto us, Ephesians 1:3-14. We have first the source and cause of our hope, 1 Peter 1:3, then its end and glory, 1 Peter 1:4, then the way we must take which ought not to make us hesitate 1 Peter 1:5-8, and lastly the means designed to encourage and strengthen us, 1 Peter 1:8-12.

Blessed be the God—Christ.—God is here blessed, as is frequently the case in the Epistles of Paul, not only as the Father but also as the God of Jesus Christ, 2Co 1:3; 2 Corinthians 11:31; Romans 15:6; Ephesians 1:3; Ephesians 1:17; Colossians 1:3; cf. John 20:17. An important suggestion concerning the relation of the Logos to the Father. Only in Christ and through him do all find and possess God. The Paternity points to the eternal generation out of the Being of God, Psalms 2:3; and to the intimate relation to the Incarnate Son. Weiss derives this doxological formula from, what may be called, the liturgical usage of the primitive Church, cf. James 1:27; James 3:9. He thinks that said expression is insufficient as proof of the Essential Divinity and Preëxistence of Christ. Cf. on the other hand, Matthew 16:16; John 6:68.

Mercy, ἔλεος (חֶסֶד) the compassionating love of God, which condescends to the low estate of the helpless, the weak, the impotent, the wretched and the sinful. It is a manifold mercy, a wonderful riches thereof (Romans 2:4) which appears from the multitude of its gifts of grace, from the depth of our misery, from the extent and diversity of its efforts of deliverance.

Begotten again, ἀναγεννήσας etc. cf. John 3:3; Titus 3:5; James 1:18; Colossians 3:1; Ephesians 2:10. He has kindled in us a new spiritual life by Holy Baptism and the influences of the Holy Spirit connected therewith, cf. Ephesians 1:19-20. He has laid the foundation of recreating us into His image. “He has made us other men in a far more essential sense than it was once said to Saul: ‘Thou shalt be turned into another man’ 1 Samuel 10:6.” What is the principal fruit and end of this new generation? A living hope. Its object is not only our future resurrection (Grotius, Bengel, de Wette), but the whole plenitude of the salvation still to be revealed by Jesus Christ, even until the new heavens and the new earth shall appear, 2 Peter 3:13-14; Revelation 21:1. Birth implies life; so it is with the hope of believers, which is the very opposite of the vain, lost and powerless hope of the worldly-minded. It is powerful, and quickens the heart by comforting, strengthening, and encouraging it, by making it joyous and cheerful in God. Its quickening influence enters even into our physical life. ‘Hope is not only the fulfilment of the new life, created in regeneration, but also the innermost kernel of the same.’ Weiss.

By the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.—δἰ�, Calvin, Gerhard, Knapp, and Weiss join it to ἀναγενν.; it seems more natural to connect it with the immediately preceding ζῶσαν; so Œcumenius, Bengel, Steiger, Lachmann and de Wette. The life of this hope flows from the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. “If Christ had not risen from the dead, we should be without consolation and hope, and all the work and sufferings of Christ would be in vain.” Luther. As surely as He has conquered death and entered upon a heavenly life of joy, so surely will those who are members of the Body, whereof He is Head, follow Him, even as we sing: Does the head forget its members, And not draw them after it?

1 Peter 1:4. To an inheritance, incorruptible and undefiled and that fadeth not away.—Believers are strangers here on earth, but citizens in heaven; they have therefore in heaven a possession and an inheritance which infinitely excels the inheritance of God’s ancient people in the land of Canaan. The heavenly inheritance (cf. Matthew 6:20; Luke 12:33; Luke 10:25; Luke 18:18; Mark 10:17) is (a) incorruptible. It is free alike from the germs of corruption and death, like all things earthly, even those which are seemingly most firm and indestructible, e. g. the precious metals, 1Pe 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23; cf. 1 John 2:17. “Rust does not corrupt it, decay does not consume it, death does not destroy it.” Besser. It comprehends union to Him, who only has immortality and is called ‘the Eternal’ 1 Timothy 1:17. How could it then be destroyed by any external power? It is (b) undefiled or unblemishable. The earth and the land of Canaan in particular were polluted by fearful bloodshedding and many other horrors. Leviticus 18:27-28; Numbers 35:33-34; Ezekiel 36:17; Jeremiah 2:7. Injustice, selfishness, hatred, envy and cunning cleave to temporal possessions. If gathered by avarice, they are compared to loathsome and thick mire, Habakkuk 2:6. Every human body and every human soul is stained with hateful desires and mostly, also, with outward sin. All earthly joy is mingled with displeasure and sorrow. But the possessions of the life above are pure, clean and unstained, and nothing impure can attach itself to them, (c) ‘It fadeth not away.Here the beauty of earthly nature is rapidly passing away, there reigns perpetual spring; here a hot wind may change the most blooming gardens into a wilderness, cf. 1 Peter 1:24; Isaiah 40:6; there no such alternation of blossoming and fading is found, but every thing remains in the beauty of imperishable bloom and verdure. Weiss sees in the three predicates a striking climax. He says that the first denotes the freedom of the heavenly possession from the germs of destructibility and transitoriness, which are inherent in all earthly things, that the second denies its ability to be polluted by outward sin, and the third even the alternation, which makes the beauty of earthly nature pass away at least temporarily. [Ἄφθαρτος æternum durens;—Ἀμίαντος purum—cui nihil mali, nihil vitii est admixtum—ut purum gaudium—gaudium cui nihil tristitiæ admiscetur. ‘Ἀμάραντος non marcescens. Morus.—M.]

Reserved in heaven, τετηρημένην. While here below in the strange country of our pilgrimage all possessions are insecure, the inheritance above is in the surest custody, for it is in the Almighty hand of God. As it has been designed and prepared for believers from everlasting, so it is perpetually kept; and believers, on the other hand, are kept for it, 1 Peter 1:5, so that they can in no wise lose it, cf. Col 1:5; 2 Timothy 4:8; Matthew 25:34; John 10:28. τετηρ. implies both the certainty and present concealment of the heavenly inheritance. The figure is taken from parents who securely guard something for their children, and then surprise them with it.

1 Peter 1:5. Who are kept by the power of God, φρουρεῖν, a military term used of a guard for the protection of a place, or of a strongly garrisoned fortress. Fear not the enemies of your salvation, for you are surrounded by a strong, protecting body-guard, by the power of God and His holy angels, cf. 2 Corinthians 11:32; Philippians 4:7; Song of Solomon 3:7-8; Zechariah 2:5; 2 Kings 6:16-17. Nothing short of Divine power is needed to protect us from so many strong and subtle enemies, as Peter made experience in his own case. Weiss with Steiger and de Wette explain it of the Holy Ghost. δύναμις Θεοῦ is certainly used in that sense, Luke 1:35, but πνεῦμα ἅγιον goes before. The other passages adduced by them are inconclusive. It seems therefore arbitrary to abandon the relation of the expression to the Omnipotence of God. On what condition do we enjoy that guard? Faith, whose object is not mentioned here in particular, and should be supplied from 1 Peter 1:8. It is the same means by which salvation is first procured, then constantly kept up, viz.: acknowledging Jesus as the Messiah and confidently surrendering to Him, which is not identical with obedience, but the source of it, cf. Acts 3:16; Acts 10:43; Matthew 9:22; Mark 5:34; Luke 7:50.

Salvation ready, σωτηρία, יְשׁוּעָה negatively, deliverance from eternal destruction, and positively, introduction to the salvation prepared by Jesus, translation from the power of Satan, sin and death into the perfect life of liberty, righteousness and truth, Acts 2:40; Acts 4:12; Acts 5:31; Act 15:11; 1 Peter 1:9; Matthew 16:25; Luke 9:56. The former point is predominant as the latter lies rather in κληρονομία. With Peter σωτηρία appears in most intimate connection with the completion of salvation, 1 Peter 1:9; 1 Peter 4:17-18; Acts 2:21; 1 Peter 2:2. How much he has it at heart is evident from his using the word three times in this section. He thinks of it not as far distant, but as close at hand, as he says in 1 Peter 4:5, “Who shall give account to Him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead,“ cf. 1 Peter 4:7. Sharing the opinion of the other apostles concerning the nearness of Christ’s Advent to judgment, he describes σωτηρία as ready to be revealed (James 5:7-8; Revelation 1:3; Revelation 22:10; Revelation 22:20; Hebrews 10:25; Hebrews 10:37; Judges 18:0; 1 John 2:18; Romans 13:11-12; 1Co 15:51; 2 Corinthians 5:2-3; Philippians 4:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:17). “The inheritance to which you are ordained, has been acquired long since and prepared from the beginning of the world, but lies as yet concealed, covered and sealed; but in a short time, it will be opened in a moment and disclosed, so that we may see it.” Luther.

To be revealed, ἀποκαλυφθῆναι, denotes salvation fully disclosed, cf. 1 Peter 1:7; 1 Peter 4:13; 1 Peter 5:1. At 1 Peter 1:13 it refers to the announcement of the first advent of Christ, cf. Romans 16:25; and to inward revelation at 1 Corinthians 2:10; Galatians 1:16; Galatians 3:23. In the last time, ἐν καιρῷ ἐσκάτῳ, in the completing period of salvation beginning with the return of Christ, this is elsewhere called συντέλεια τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου, Matthew 13:39-40; Matthew 24:3; Matthew 28:20; or ἡ ἐσχάτη ἡμέρα John 11:24; John 12:24; John 12:48. In Hebrew אַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים Gen. 69:1; Numbers 24:14; Deuteronomy 4:39; Isaiah 2:2; Micah 4:1; Ezekiel 38:16; Daniel 10:14, where regard is had sometimes more to the beginning, sometimes more to the development of that period The last times of the present system of the world, of the αἰὼν οὖτος are also called ἔσχαται ἡμέραι, 2 Timothy 3:1; Judges 18; 1 Peter 1:20; 2 Peter 3:3, or ἐσχάτη ὣρα, 1 John 2:18; they border upon those συντέλεια, but do not coincide with them. Somewhat different appears the usus loquendi of the Ep. to the Hebrews (Hebrews 9:26). But ἐπὶ συντέλειᾳ may be rendered, near to the period of completion, which the author thought immediately impending.

1 Peter 1:6. Wherein ye greatly rejoice.—Ἐν ᾦ connect not with καιρός, but with the whole preceding sentence, 1 Peter 1:4-5. The thought of the great possessions reserved for you, justly fills you with exceeding joy. In this do not let yourselves be disconcerted by quickly passing sufferings of probation, which for your proof are necessary to the happiness of all Christians.

If need be.—Εἰ δέον supposes that the afflictions will not be of uninterrupted continuance and that their duration and measure have been decreed by the wisdom of God, and that they will not be continued one minute longer than is needful for us. Believers also need them in exact adjustment to the degree to which their nature remains as yet uncleansed of the poison of sin.

In heaviness through manifold temptations.—Sufferings cause to the outer man pain and grief, Hebrews 12:11, while the inner man can rejoice in them.

ποικίλοις πειρασμοῖς; πειρασμ. relates to afflictions differing in kind, sent or permitted by God as trials or tests of the reality of the Christian’s religious principles, as exercising his patience and developing his desire after heavenly things. Among the peculiar temptations to which believers who had left Judaism were exposed, we may mention the contempt and abuse they met at the hands of their former coreligionists, the temporal losses to which they had to submit and the efforts of false teachers to induce them to deny the truth and to effect a mixture of Judaism and Christianity. Cf. Hebrews 10:32; James 1:2; Acts 8:1; Acts 15:1; Acts 14:22; 1 Thessalonians 3:2 etc.; 2 Corinthians 11:23.

1 Peter 1:7. That the trial of your faith.End of the temptations 1 Peter 1:7 : The splendour and preciousness of faith is to shine with a brilliancy inversely proportioned to their darkness [i. e. of the temptations, M.] Faith must be tested by temptations which are consequently unable to mar the joy of our hope in Christ.

Τὸ δοκίμιον τῆς πίστεως. δοκίμιον signifies proof-stone, proof, tried integrity. Here it can only be taken in the last sense. The proof of faith=faith abiding the proof or test, or faith verified by trial, cf. James 1:3. In the Old Testament, the proof or trial of faith is frequently compared to the trial of gold by the process of smelting or refining by fire, Job 23:10; Psalms 46:10; Jeremiah 9:7; Zechariah 13:9; Malachi 3:2. Gold is the most precious metal, but faith is even more precious; as gold is tried, proved and refined by fire, so faith must be proved and refined by the fire of temptations. As the heat of fire separates dross from gold, so all alloy must be separated from faith, all self-reliance on our own wisdom or strength, all dependence on the help of the creature,—ἀπολλυμ. Think of consumitur annulus usu. [Ignatius, a successor of Peter at Antioch, calls his chains “spiritual pearls.” Cyprian, speaking of the dress of virgins, says, that when Christian women suffer martyrdom with faith and courage, then their sufferings are like pretiosa monilia, costly bracelets. See Wordsworth in loco, who notices the following passage from Hermas, Pastor i. 4, p. 440, ed. Dressel: “Aurea pars vos estis; sicut enim per ignem aurum probatur, et utile fit, sic et vos probamini; qui igitur permanserint et probati fuerint, ab eis purgabuntur; et sicut aurum emendatur et remittit sordem suam, sic et vos abjicietis omnem tristitiam (ὀλίγον λυπηθέντες) et emendabimini instructuram turris.—M.”] εὑρεθῇ already now, since often the enemies of truth are constrained to acknowledge such fidelity of faith, innocence and patience, but more in the last days and in the great day of Christ. Mat 25:23; 2 Timothy 4:8; Hebrews 12:11; James 1:12; Revelation 2:8-10.

Unto praise and honour—Jesus Christ.—Εἰς ἕπαινον κ. τ. λ. The reward of grace which the elect shall receive at the return of Christ consists of (a) the praise of their fidelity of faith, cf. Matthew 25:21; 1 Corinthians 4:5; Romans 2:7; Romans 2:10; 2 Thessalonians 1:5; (b) the honour which Christ promises to His faithful servants and shows to them, in fact, by the honourable position to which He promotes them, John 12:26; cf. 1 Samuel 2:30; Revelation 22:4; Revelation 3:21; (c) of the glory, which the father has given to Christ, 1Pe 1:11; 1 Peter 1:21; Acts 3:13; and which He will communicate to all that are His, 1 Peter 4:13; 1Pe 5:1; 1 Peter 4:14. τιμή and δόξα occur often conjointly in Paul’s writings, 1 Timothy 1:17; Romans 2:7; Romans 2:10; Hebrews 2:7; Hebrews 2:9. The future glory affecting alike the soul and the body (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:43-49; Philippians 3:21,) appears as the end of the whole work of redemption, (Romans 9:23; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Corinthians 2:7), and therefore as the main object of Christian hope, Romans 5:2; Colossians 1:27. The effulgency of God will hereafter shine out of all believers, because they hold the most intimate communion with the glorified Jesus. The completion of the elect shall also redound to the praise, honour and glory of God Himself, cf. Revelation 4:11; Revelation 5:12-13. The object is probably not mentioned designedly.—Ἐν�. vide 1 Peter 1:5.

1 Peter 1:8. Whom having not seen—full of glory.—For the confirmation of their hope the Apostle after having mentioned the name of Jesus, continues in allusion to John 20:29 : whom although you have not known by face, yet you love. The relation you sustain to Him is that of the heart. The simplest construction of εἰς ὅν is to connect it with ἀγαλλ., in expectation of whom, and because of whom you greatly rejoice. The present and the future are intertwined. χαρᾷ δεδοξασμένῃ in contrast with the idle and vain joy of the world, denotes a joy from which are separated all impure and obscuring elements, which according to the explanation of Steinmeyer and Weiss, contains glory in the germ, by which the future glory irradiates already the earthly life of Christians, and which anticipates, as it were, the future glory. Roos: “Joy clothed in glory.”

1 Peter 1:9. Receiving the end of your faith, κομιζόμενοι. Living hope regards the future as the present. The word is used of competitors in the games, who, upon proving victorious, carry off presents or prizes.—τὸ τέλος, the end to which competitors in the Christian race aspire, cf. 1 Corinthians 9:24 etc.; 2 Timothy 4:7-8; Hebrews 12:1.—The salvation of the soul is the end of faith and the reward of grace, given to the Christian at the completion of the contest, cf. Acts 15:11; 1 Peter 1:5.

1 Peter 1:10. Of which Salvation—grace that should come unto you.—Connection: This salvation increases in importance and precious-ness, if we consider that the prophets did with the utmost eagerness inquire into the means and time of salvation, and that even the happy angels desired to have an insight of this mystery. How happy are we to whom is revealed, what was concealed from them! ἐκζητεῖν, to make most diligent and zealous inquiry into a thing and to regard it from every point of view. ἐξερευνᾷν=כָּרָה,חָקַר, used of miners engaged in digging for precious metals in the bowels of the earth. They have searched with a diligence like that displayed in the mining of gold and silver, cf. Job 28:15-19; Proverbs 3:14-18. περὶ τῆς εἰς ὑμᾶς χάριτος. They did prophesy of the saving grace, which by the life, the sufferings and the death of Christ has risen upon a sinful world (the whole world of sinners). This grace is no longer represented to you by various types, but has become real. Cf. John 1:17.

1 Peter 1:11. What, or what manner of time—glory that should follow.—Εἰς τίνα ἢ ποῖον καιρόν. Their inquiries were not only of a general character, how many years would have to elapse to the advent of the Messiah, but had also particular reference to the peculiar condition and characteristics of that time and to the relations of the Jewish people to foreign powers. τὸ ἐν αὐτο͂ς πν. Χριστοῦ. The explanation, ‘the spirit testifying of Christ,’ which is even found in Bengel, is inadmissible on grammatical grounds. Perhaps it may be conceived as follows: The same Spirit of God, the Messianic Spirit, who in the course of time operated in the person of Christ, revealed himself in the prophets; sic Schmid II., de Wette, Weiss. But more simple and natural appears the ancient interpretation, that it was the spirit belonging to the preëxisting Messiah from eternity, and which He was consequently able to impart to the prophets. Thus the preëxisting Messiah is mentioned at 1 Corinthians 10:4; 1 Corinthians 10:9. Weiss quotes Barnabas (Ephesians 5:0 Hefele patres apost. Opp. ed. 3, 1847,): prophetæ ab ipso habentes donum prophetarunt, and Calvin: veteres prophetias a Christo ipso dictatas, cf. 5:20; John 12:41; Colossians 1:17.—τὰ εἰς Χριστὸν παθήμ. Sufferings in store for, waiting for Christ.—τὰς μετὰ ταῦτα δόξας, sufferings and glory are thus connected, Luke 24:26; cf. Matthew 16:21. It is a treasure of glories, of which Christ has taken possession and which will be fully revealed at the marriage of the Lamb, Revelation 19:7.

1 Peter 1:12. Unto whom—look into. Ἀποκαλ. relates to the communication of things new, and previously unknown, cf. Matthew 10:26; Rom 1:18; 1 Corinthians 3:13. ὁτι—αὐτὰ. sc. παθημ. κ. δοξ. should be treated as a parenthesis in answer to the question, Why were those things revealed to them, seeing they were not permitted to realize their fulfilment? It was not done for their sake, but for ours; they were thereby to minister unto us.—εὐαγγελισαμένων ὑμᾶς, who have evangelized you, brought you the glad tidings. From this it may be inferred that others besides Peter had first preached the Gospel to those Christians, at all events that he was not their only teacher.—ἀποσταλέντι�̓ οὐραν. cf. Luke 24:49; Acts 2:2, etc.; Galatians 4:6; John 15:26. While in the Old Testament we frequently meet with the expression that the Spirit fell on the prophets, Ezekiel 8:1; Ezekiel 11:5; denoting the suddenness, the passing and overpowering nature of His influence, He is in the New Testament said to be sent.—παρακύψαι properly to stand by and stoop down, in order to examine something very closely, to look at something with the countenance bent down. The salvation, revealed by Jesus Christ, contains a wealth of thoughts and ideas that is unfathomable even to the angels, cf. James 1:25; Ephesians 3:10. Their looking into has already begun and is still continuing. This is indicated by the Aorist. [Wordsworth: This high and holy mystery which represents the angels themselves bending over the Word of God enshrined in the Ark of the Church, was symbolized by the figures of the Cherubimof Glory spreading their wings, and bending their faces, and shadowing the Mercy-seat, in the Holy of Holies, upon the Ark, in which were kept the Tables of the Law written by God (Exodus 25:18-22; Hebrews 9:4-5); and by the side of which was the Pentateuch. Deuteronomy 31:24-26.—M.]


(1). The circumstance that the first person in the Godhead is described as the God and Father of Jesus Christ, points indisputably to a certain dependence of the Being of Christ on the Father, not only with respect to the humanity of our Lord, but, also, with respect to His Divine nature. Thus Christ called the Father His God, even after His resurrection, John 20:17; Revelation 3:12; Revelation 2:7. With this agree the expressions of the Apostles, Ephesians 1:17; Rom 15:6; 2 Corinthians 11:31; Colossians 1:3. Where the three supreme names are mentioned together, the Father only is called God by emphasis, 1 Peter 1:1-2; 2Co 13:13; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 1 Corinthians 3:23; 1 Corinthians 11:3; Revelation 1:4-6. Nevertheless, the Scriptures teach us firmly to maintain the true Divinity of Christ, although, the quo modo Of such simultaneous equality and dependence of Being transcends our powers of comprehension. The filial relation among men affords, however, an analogy. [Cf. the following section of the Athanasian Creed:—“Sed necessarium est ad æternam Salutem, ut Incarnationem quoque Domini nostri Jesu Christi fideliter credat. Est ergo Fides recta, ut credamus et confiteamur, quia Dominus noster Jesus Christus, Dei Filius, Deus pariter et Homo est. Deus est ex Substantia Patris ante sæcula genitus: Homo ex Substantia Matris in sæcula natus. Perfectus Deus, perfectus Homo ex anima rationali et humana carne subsistens. Æqualis Patri secundum Divinitatem: Minor Patre secundum Humanitatem. Qui licet Deus sit et Homo, non duo tamen, sed unus est Christus. Unus autem, non conversione Divinitatis in Carnem, sed adsumtione Humanitatis in Deum. Unus omnino, non confusione Substantiæ, sed unitate Personæ. Nam sicut Anima rationalis et Caro unus est Homo; ita Deus et Homo unus est Christus.” Fides Catholica 1:27–35.—M.]

(2). As corporeal life presupposes birth, so does spiritual life, John 3:3, and just as man is unable to beget and bring forth himself into physical and earthly life, so his spiritual generation and new-birth are equally independent of himself.

(3). As there are two men in every true Christian, a new man and an old one, so heaviness in manifold temptation and rejoicing may readily co-exist, 1 Peter 1:6.

(4). Our Lord’s return has been one of the fundamental articles of the faith of universal Christendom in every age of the Church’s history. To hide this important doctrine under a bushel, is at once a defect of teaching and in opposition to the mind of Christ and His apostles, 1 Peter 1:7. It is to be noticed that the return of Christ shall be preceded, not only by several ages, but also, by several ends of ages, with typical final judgments, as St. Paul speaks of τέλη τῶν αἰώνων. The flood, the dispersion of the ten tribes, the judgment on Judah, but especially the destruction of Jerusalem and the conquest of Palestine, were in a certain sense such final judgments, cf. 1 Corinthians 10:11.

(5). 1 Peter 1:10-12, afford us an insight into the mode of prophetic inspiration, and into the relation of the Divine influence and the free mental activity of the prophets. They met, as it were, the Spirit of God with their earnest longings for salvation; the Spirit communicated to them the main burden of prophecy; while the time and details of the beginning of salvation were left to their researches and inquiries. They made a free appropriation of what the Spirit had disclosed to them, and sought to apply it to time and circumstances.

[The Scripture facts on the subject of inspiration are as follows: the subjects of inspiration were permitted to make diligent and faithful research (Luke 1:1-4), to clothe the same thought in different language (cf. Matthew 26:26-27; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Corinthians 11:24-25; also Matthew 3:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22), give distinctive colouring to their accounts; according to the circumstances that grouped round their individuality (compare the character and early associations of the four Evangelists, as well as the scope of each Gospel, compare, also, the style of Ezekiel and Isaiah, of John and Paul), to cite other inspired authorities (Psalms 108:0 and Psalms 57:7-11; Psalms 60:5-12, etc.), to use uninspired documents (Joshua 10:13; Numbers 21:14; Jude 1:9.14, Jude 1:15), they sometimes were uncertain of the precise meaning and application of their message (1 Peter 1:10-12; Daniel 12:8, etc.) and their message was delivered in language approved by the Divine Spirit (1 Peter 1:10-11; Daniel 12:8; 2 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 1:1; 1 Corinthians 2:12-13), see Angus’s Bible Handbook, §§ 146–150, for a brief account of Inspiration. “Inspiration is such an immediate and complete discovery by the Holy Spirit, to the minds of the sacred writers, of those things which could not have otherwise been known, and such an effectual superintendence as to those matters which they might have been informed of by other means—as entirely preserved them from error in every particular, which could in the least affect any of the doctrines or precepts contained in their books.” Scott’s Essays.—M.]

(6). Since, according to 1 Peter 1:11, the Spirit of Christ wrought in the prophets, the prophetical writings must possess an authority not inferior to the testimony of Christ in the New Testament. Both Testaments contain one and the same principle of revelation, one kernel and centre; but while the Old Testament is only the threshold and fore-testimony of the New Testament, the New Testament is the end and fulfilment of the Old.


Christianity is essentially a life of hope—it is founded on living hope. The eye of faith looks out for the glorious revelation of Jesus Christ from heaven, for the first resurrection, for the heavenly city of peace (Jerusalem), for the precious inheritance, for the new heaven and the new earth.—He that has become conscious of his sinfulness and manifold bondage and has fixed his eye on the heavenly treasure, must needs celebrate the praises of God.—Without regeneration there is no partaking ‘of the heavenly inheritance.—Nothing short of Divine power is sufficient to keep us unto salvation.—The hope of faith is the root out of which grows the fruit of a spiritual joy, serene and triumphant over pain.—When the Christian contemplates the glorious fruit and its consequences, he can rejoice at what most deeply pains the children of this world.
The mystery of afflictions and temptations in believers.—The solution of the riddle lies in their scope—proof, separation from dross, exercise and purification.—The world’s joy never comes up to the terms in which its praises are published in speech or in song, while the opposite holds good of Christian joy.—What must be the character of such as desire to be partakers of the kingdom of Christ?—Disparity and similarity in the disposition and situation of believers of the Old and New Testaments.—The sweet harmony of the prophets in their predictions of Christ.—The Holy Ghost the best Teacher.
The words of Jesus and the Apostles a precious key to the right understanding of prophecy.—If the angels greatly desire to look into the mysteries of the plan of salvation, who are represented by the Cherubim on the mercy-seat, how much more highly ought we to prize the knowledge of salvation in Christ!

Starke:—Would you give the consolation of 1 Peter 1:3-9 for an empire? If the hope be living, the inheritance is sure, viz., the crown that never fades, the treasure that none can steal. Abide the heat. How short is suffering—how long the glittering eternity! Heavenly life God will give above, evermore my heart shall praise Him.

Hedinger:—Regeneration is solely the work of God all-merciful, who helps the wretched from a spiritual death to spiritual life.—Children and friends inherit our goods; those therefore who desire to receive the heavenly inheritance must be the children and friends of God, Romans 8:16-17.—If you find this present time sorrowful and anxious, have patience; in the world you shall have tribulation: look joyfully forward to the last time that shall put an end to all grief, and bring you eternal glory.—God knows best what medicine He has to use for and what burdens He has to lay on each, in order to kill the old Adam.—As gold is the most precious metal, so faith is the most noble of the manifold gifts in the kingdom of grace, and as much passes for faith without being it, so the cross decides its genuineness.—The sum-total of the doctrine of Christ treats of His humiliation and exaltation. For Christ had to drink of the brook and therefore shall He lift up His head, Psalms 110:7; suffer and enter into glory.—If any be bowed down with grief, let him take comfort from the example of Christ and the words of the Apostle: suffering first, glory after. The reverse takes place among the children of this world, with them joy comes first, and then grief, 2 Timothy 2:12; Luke 6:25.—Kapff:—What is genuine faith? 1. A birth out of (emanating from) God; 2. an assurance of what is unseen; 3. an inheritance of eternal life.—Lisco:—Christian hope; (a) its foundation; (b) its object; (c) its power; (d) its glorious reward.—Eternal salvation: (a) it was the object of the longing of the holy prophets; (b) it is made to depend on a certain order; (c) it is announced to all as existing.—The blessedness of Christian hope; (a) it flows from mercy; (b) it is the most precious of all possessions; (c) nothing can pluck it from us. What is the glorious goal which the children of the kingdom go forth to meet? (a) This goal is the heavenly inheritance; (b) it is founded on the mercy of God; (c) the way to it, persevering faith, is not without manifold tribulation; (d) it was the object of the longing of all the saints of old.—The living hope to which we Christians are born again, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead; 1. its preciousness in respect of its cause, object and influence; 2. its certainty; (a) the love and faith of the members of Christ; (b) from the declarations of the prophets and evangelists. The Christian’s gladness in sadness; 1. because of the life of regeneration; 2. because of his inheritance; 3. because of Divine protection; 4. because of suffering; 5. because of future joy.—Staudt.

[1 Peter 1:3-4, 1 Peter 1:1. The Christian’s title to the heavenly inheritance—begotten again; 2. his assurance of it—a lively hope; 3. the immediate cause of both—Jesus Christ. 4. The sourcethe abundant mercy of God.—A living hope; the world’s highest motto is ‘dum spiro spero,’ the Christian may add ‘dum expiro spero!’—Abundant mercy. Great sins and great miseries need great mercy, and many sins and many miseries need many mercies. (Bernard).—Love will stammer rather than be dumb.

1 Peter 5:5. “Salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks;” what more safe than to be walled with salvation itself? cf. Proverbs 18:10.—1 Peter 5:6. The battle tries the soldier, the storm the pilot.—Christian militant—dignum Deo spectaculum.

1 Peter 5:7. An unskillful beholder may think it strange to see gold thrown into the fire and left there for a time; but he that puts it there, would be loath to lose it; his purpose is to make some costly piece of work of it; every believer gives himself to Christ, and He undertakes to present him blameless unto the Father; not one of them shall be lost, nor one drachm of faith; they shall be found, and their faith shall be found, when He appears. That faith that is here in the furnace, shall be then made up into a crown of pure gold, it shall be found unto praise and honour and glory.

1 Peter 5:8. The sun seems less than the wheel of a chariot; but reason teaches the philosopher that it is much larger than the whole earth; and the cause why it seems so little is its great distance. The naturally wise man is as far deceived by this carnal reason in his estimate of Jesus Christ, the Sun of righteousness, and the cause is the same, his great distance from Him, cf. Psalms 10:5.—“If I have any possessions, health, credit, learning, this is all the contentment I have of them, that I have somewhat I may despise for Christ, who is totus desiderabilis et totum desiderabile.” Greg Nazian. Orat. 1.—There is an inseparable intermixture of love with belief. If you ask, how shall I do to love, I answer, believe. If you ask, how shall I believe? I answer, love.Joy unspeakable.—It were a poor thing if he that hath it, could tell it all out. (Pauperis est numerare pecus). And when the soul has most of it, then it remains most within itself, and is so inwardly taken up with it that it can then least of all express it. It is with joys, as they say of cares and griefs, leves loquuntur, ingentes stupent. The deepest waters run stillest. True joy is a solid, grave thing (Res severa est verum gaudium. Sen.), dwells more in the heart than in the face; whereas base and false joys are but superficial, skin-deep (as we say); they are all in the face.—Lauda mellis dulcedinem quantum potes, qui non gustaverit, non intelliget.—Aug.—1 Peter 1:12. The true preachers of the gospel, though their ministerial gifts are for the use of others, yet that salvation they preach, they lay hold on and partake of themselves, as your boxes wherein perfumes are kept for garments and other uses, are themselves perfumed by keeping them! From Leighton by M.]


1 Peter 1:3; 1 Peter 1:3. [Regeneravit nos.—Vulg.—M.]

[5] 1 Peter 1:3. [German:—“Who, according to His manifold mercy, hath begotten us again by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, unto a living hope.”—M.]

[Translate:……begat us again unto……through the resurrection, etc.—M.]

[Cod. Sin.—διὰ for δι’.—M.]

[6] 1 Peter 1:4. [Text. Rec. ἡμᾶς. A. B. C. K. L., ὑμᾶς; so also most of the Versions.—M.]

[Cod. Sin.—ἀμάρ. κ. ἀμίαντ·—ἐν οὐράνῳ—M.]

1 Peter 1:5; 1 Peter 1:5. [Guarded.—Galatians 3:23.—M.]

[8] 1 Peter 1:5. [εἰς, till.—Acts 4:3; Philippians 1:10; Galatians 3:13; Galatians 3:24; 1 Thessalonians 4:15; cf. also 2 Peter 2:4.—M.]

[Calvin:—Quid juvat, salutem nobis in cœlo esse repositam, quum nos in mundo tanquam in turbulento mari jactemur? quid juvat, salutem nostram statui in tranquillo portu, quum inter mille naufragia fluctuemur? Praevenit Apostolus ejusmodi objectiones, etc.—M.]

[Bengel: “Hæreditas servata est; hæredes custodiuntur; neque illa his, neque hi deerunt illi. Corroboratio insignis.”—M.]

[Aretius:—“Militare est vocabulum φρουρά: præsidium. Pii igitur dum sunt inpericulis, sciant totidem eis divinitus parata esse præsidia: millia millium custodeunt eos.”—M.]

[Cod. Sin.—ἑτοίμως.—M.]

[German:—“Which is already prepared.”—M.]

[9] 1 Peter 1:6. [ἐνᾦ, “in the which tyme.”—Tyndale.—M.]

[Cod. Sin.—*δέον without ἐστιν.—*λυπηθέντες.—M.]

[German:—“Whereat ye rejoice; who now, if it must be so, are for a little time (or a little) afflicted in manifold temptations.”—M.]
[Translate:—“In which (time) ye rejoice, for a little time at present (Alford), if it must be so, having been afflicted, in—“M.]

1 Peter 1:7; 1 Peter 1:7. [δοκίμιον probably = δοκιμασία, proof James 1:3. Proof comes nearer the German than trial.—M.]

[11] 1 Peter 1:7. [δοκιμάζειν probare, whence the German pruefen, erprobt, and the English prove.—M.]

[German:—“That your faith in its proof may be found much more precious than perishable gold, which is also proved by fire, unto praise and honour and glory in the revelation,” etc.—M.]
[Cod. Sin.—πολυτιμότερον.—δοκ. κ. τιμ.—M.]

1 Peter 1:7; 1 Peter 1:7. [εἰς, resulting in. See Robinson s. v. εἰς 3. a.—M.]

1 Peter 1:7; 1 Peter 1:7. [ ἀποκαλύψεͅι = in revelation. Vulg. Wicl.—M.]

[14] 1 Peter 1:8. [ Lachmann and Tischend. ἰδόντες, but εἰδότες is also strongly supported.—M.]

[Cod. Sin., agrees with the former.—M.]

1 Peter 1:8; 1 Peter 1:8. [ Laetitia glorificata—Vulg., Germ., Wicl., Geneva, Alford. Triumphant joy.—Brown.—M.]

[16] 1 Peter 1:9. [ Receiving the end of your faith; rather, “carrying off the end of your faith”.—M.]

[This is the sense of κομιζω in middle; see Liddell and Scott s. v. ii. 2.—Reportantes, Vulg.—M.]

1 Peter 1:10. [Cod. Sin.—ἐξηραύν. with A. B΄.—M.]

1 Peter 1:11. [Cod. Sin.—ἐραυν. with B΄.—M.]

1 Peter 1:11; 1 Peter 1:11. [ Quo et quali tempore.—Jaspis. “In relation to whom and what time.”—Purver.—M.]

[18] 1 Peter 1:12. [ ὑμῖν is the more authentic reading.—M.]

[ἡμῖν Rec. K. Syr. Copt, ὑμῖν A. B. C. L., Cod. Sin.—M.]

Verses 13-21

1 Peter 1:13-21

Analysis:—Exhortations to firmness and sobriety, to holiness in mind and conversation, to filial reverence of God,—all founded on love and gratitude for the precious redemption by the blood of Christ.

1913Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;2014As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:2115But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner 16of conversation;22Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.23 17And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:2418Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers25; 19But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot:2620Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world,27but was manifest in these last times for you, 21Who by him do believe in God,28 that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory;29that your faith and hope might be in God.


1 Peter 1:13. Wherefore, Διό refers to all the preceding account of the possession (by grace) of the elect. The New Testament state of grace is mainly designed to beget a perfect hope in the future consummation and perfecting of salvation. This hope essentially facilitates the full use of salvation with a view to holiness, to which exhortation is made in 1 Peter 1:14, etc. In 1 Peter 1:13, hope should be regarded as the central and leading idea, the other exhortations being added as participles. The object of that hope is the grace, which manifests itself in σωτηρία, in perfect salvation. The preposition ἐπί does not indicate the ground and strength of hope as Steiger and Weiss maintain, for it is not contrary to the New Testament usus loquendi to connect ἐπί with the object, cf. 1 Timothy 5:5; Acts 9:42; Acts 11:17; Acts 22:19; Winer, 5th edition, p. 241; 1 John 3:3; 2 Corinthians 1:10; Acts 24:15.—Join τελείως not with νήφοντες but with ἐλπίσατε. The hope existing in its first beginnings shall become so firm, that no suffering shall be able to shake it, and that it shall embrace whatever it contains in itself, and that it shall ever continue to the end. [ita, ut nihil disideretur.—Wahl.—M.]

For the grace—brought to you.—Ἐπὶ τὴν φερομένην ὑμῖν χάριν. The proper meaning of this expression depends on the interpretation of ἐν�. The verb ἀποκαλύπτειν occurs indeed in a wider sense, to denote the revelation of the truth to the mind, or that of Jesus Christ, Matthew 11:25; Matthew 16:17; Luke 10:21; Galatians 1:16; Gal 3:23; 1 Corinthians 2:10. Hence ἀποκαλύψις μυστηρίου Romans 16:25; and several times ἀποκαλύψις Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ. It is applied to inward revelation as contrasted with human instruction, Galatians 1:12; Revelation 1:1; cf. Ephesians 1:17; Eph 3:3; 2 Corinthians 12:1. But ἡ� without the article, and without further specification, is the constant expression denoting the visible return of Christ. It is never used of His first advent in the flesh, cf. 1Pe 1:7; 1 Peter 4:13; 1Pe 5:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:7; Romans 8:18-19; 1 Corinthians 1:7. Particularly decisive are 1 Peter 1:5 and 1 Peter 1:7, where the reference is evidently to the second advent of Christ in the flesh. So Œcum. Theophylact, Grotius, Carpzov, Starke and others. It is difficult to combine both ideas, viz.: an inward and an outward revelation (Calvin, Beza, Bengel), and a clear sense possible only on the consideration that the revelation or advent of Christ to judgment is necessarily both inward and outward. The Apostle sees the advent of Christ as nearly impending, indeed as already present, 1Pe 4:7; 1 Peter 1:20, and consequently speaks of grace, not as to be brought unto them hereafter, but as already brought to them [even now bearing down upon them.—M.]. In this sense φέρειν is used in the LXX. at Genesis 33:11. Hence it is unnecessary to assume a confusion of the present and future tenses.—χάρις in the usual sense, not=χάρισμα, as Grotius maintains. The objection of Weiss that the general biblical representation makes the second advent of Christ not a second revelation of grace, but a revelation of righteous judgment, 1 Peter 4:5; Romans 2:5, is met by clear passages, e. g. Luke 21:28. To the ungodly it will be a day of terror, but to believers a day of honour and glory. Then, at the appearing of Christ, it will become manifest, what is meant by being in favour (by standing in grace) with God, Malachi 4:2. It has already been announced to you by the prophets (1 Peter 1:12) but by Christ it is laid at your door, yea, laid in your bosom.

Gird up—sober.— Ἀναζωσάμενοι—νήφοντες. The perfect hoping is more clearly defined and confirmed by two participial additions. The first exhorts to girding up the loins. Peter thinks doubtless of the words of Jesus, “Let your loins be girded about,” Luke 12:25 and with a view to avoiding all misunderstanding, adds, “the loins of your mind.” Perhaps he alludes also to the significant commandment, “With your loins girded” Exodus 12:11; and in that case the explanation of the addition is more simple and evident, cf. Jeremiah 1:17; Ephesians 6:14.—The loins were girded by gathering the long folds of the wide undergarment in a girdle in order to supply the body with a firm stay and to remove all hinderances, when the object was to work, to set out on a jourdey, to run, to carry a burden, to wrestle or to go to war. So the Christian should gird the διάνοια, gather up all distractedness and fickleness, and be astir and ready, that is, his thoughts and his will should be alive and concentrated when there is a call for work, for fight and for suffering. Beware of distractedness and idleness, but also of irritation, morbid excitement and exaggeration and eccentricity. Sobriety is to be the preventive of the latter. Both the girding and the sobriety are to be taken figuratively, although sobriety of the body is taken for granted. Compare the exhortation at Luke 21:34, and Romans 13:14. Elsewhere sobriety is joined with vigilance that shall ward off all sleepiness and indolence, 1 Thessalonians 5:6; 1 Peter 5:8; sometimes it occurs, as here, alone, 1Th 5:8; 2 Timothy 4:5; 1 Peter 4:7. [Mentis sobrietas et vigilantia requiritur, sicque metaphora in lumborum cinctura prius reposita ἐξηγετικῶς explicatur. Gerhard. ‘Non temperantiam solum in cibu et potu commendat, sed spiritualem potius sobrietatem, quum sensus omnes nostros continemus, ne se hujus mundi illecebris inebrient.’—Calvin.—M.] The hope of Christians might become mixed up with foolish and fanatical fancies of the glories of a temporal Messianic kingdom and premature expectations of the same as in the case of the Thessalonians (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:8; 2 Thessalonians 2:2, etc.) against which the Apostle wishes to warn them. The present tense denotes necessary endurance in sobriety, while the Aorists ἐλπίσατε and ἀναζωσάμενοι concentrate the lasting action, as it were into one moment and denote them to depend upon one principal act.

1 Peter 1:14. As children of obedience.—Who sets his hopes in grace alone acquires the impulse and ability to fulfil the commandment of holiness. The exhortation proper is contained in 1 Peter 1:15. The contrary of children of obedience, are children of disobedience, in whom the devil is working, Ephesians 2:2; Ephesians 5:6; Colossians 3:6; who are consequently called children of wrath, Eph 2:3; 2 Peter 2:14. Obedience comprises here, as in 1 Peter 1:2. both the willing reception of the word of God and subjection to its precepts. Children of light, Ephesians 5:8, are such as are born out of light and into light, with the property and calling to shine as lights; so children of faith are such as are born out of faith and into the life of faith and obedience. Our heavenly Father is their begetter, 1 Peter 1:3; 1 Peter 1:17, and assurance of faith coupled with obedience their mother, while on the other hand the devil is the father of unbelievers John 8:44; and evil concupiscence their mother. Ὡς denotes the reason, because you are children of obedience, cf. John 5:19; 1 Peter 2:13; 1 Peter 4:16. [τέκνα ὑπακοῆς. “This phraseology,” says Winer, Gram., 6th ed. p. 252, “is to be attributed to the vivid imagination of Orientals, which represents mental and moral derivation or dependence under the form of son or child. Sir 4:11. Children of disobedience are those who are related to ἀπείθεια as a child to a mother, those in whom disobedience has become predominant and a second nature.”—M.]

Not fashioning—ignorance.—The exhortation to holiness is now more clearly defined by reference to their ante-Christian state. As Christians, you dare not pursue a course that is in unison with your former walk in sinful lusts. συσχηματίζεσθαι (from σχῆμα, the form of a thing, the fashion and mode of life, the manner in which one appears) to form or fashion one’s self after something, to conform to it, Romans 12:12; to make oneself like to, cf. Rom 8:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:22. Lusts are not sensual impulses and wants only, but desires of what is different from what God allows, desires of evil comprehensively described by John (1 John 2:16) as the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life; cf. Galatians 5:19 etc. They include, also, the proud aims of ambition, of the lust of power and of the desire of knowledge. The lusts are more clearly defined by ‘in your ignorance.’ Sin darkens the understanding by the cloud of prejudices and false notions, cf. Romans 1:21; Ephesians 4:18; and ignorance on the other hand, is the mother of many sins. A hint might be found in the circumstance that the Epistle is addressed to former heathens, who were devoid of all clear moral consciousness, of all definite discrimination between good and evil, between right and wrong; but the Jews also are charged with ignorance as the reason of their rejecting Christ, Acts 3:17, etc., and the degree to which their moral consciousness had been confused and clouded by the tenets of the Sanhedrim, is well known. This passage therefore is not decisive. In the case of believers, lusts belong to the past, inasmuch as their power is virtually broken and the spirit has the supremacy, although it must ever contend with the law in their members.

1 Peter 1:15. But according to the pattern of that Holy One who hath called you.—What is in the heart must appear in the life. Conform not to your former lusts but aspire after conformity to the Holy God; συσχηματιζόμενοι may be understood; so Œcumenius and Theophylact. Calling is closely connected with election, being the realization and assurance of it. It takes place sometimes mediately sometimes immediately; its end is the light and salvation of God out from the darkness, 1 Peter 2:21. If God calls, it is man’s duty to hear and to follow, cf. 1 Samuel 3:10. Thus he becomes, by constant yielding, a child of obedience. Weiss sees in the reference to the Holy God a hint of the Old Testament character of the Epistle, but this is not conclusive per se. The Aorist Imperative donotes an action that is to take place immediately, cf. Winer, Gram. 6th ed. p. 329.

All manner of conversation, in all your behaviour toward God and your neighbour. [Nulla sit pars vitæ quæ, non hunc bonum sanctitatis odorem redoleat. Calv.—M.]

1 Peter 1:16. Because it is written.—διότι gives the reason why holiness is necessary. For γένεσθε, Lachmann and Tischendorf read ἔσεσθε. The end and aim of believers is the same in the New Testament and in the Old Testament, although the ways are different. Man’s holiness is effected by his participating in the holiness of God in Christ, Hebrews 12:10; Leviticus 20:8.

And if ye call upon as Father Him. If, does not denote doubt, but the necessary consequence of the one from the other. [Si non dubitantis est, sed supponentis rem notam. Est enim omnium renatorum communis oratio, Pater noster qui es in cœlis. Estius.—M.] You ought not to regard God as your Father nor call upon Him as such in the Lord’s Prayer, if you will not walk before Him in holy fear. The exhortation to a holy conversation is parallel to a conversation in the fear of God; both are founded on the filial relation. ἐπικαλεῖσθε may mean simply to call or to call upon or pray to. Gerhard recognized already a reference to the Lord’s Prayer. If you confess before the world in your prayer that God is at once your Father and Judge, then …; cf. 1Pe 1:14; 1 Peter 2:2; Matthew 5:45; Matthew 5:48; Luke 6:35. In the Old Testament God is called the Father of Israel on account of the peculiar covenant-relation, into which He had entered with Israel, Malachi 2:10; Malachi 1:6; Deuteronomy 32:6; cf. 2 Samuel 7:14. The Apostle doubtless thinks here of Malachi 1:6 etc. where a similar condition is found, where God’s relation of Father and Master is made the reason of an exhortation to reverence, where at Malachi 1:8-9 the question is twice asked, “Will He regard your persons?” and where Malachi 2:2, the judicial revelation of God is mentioned, cf. Malachi 2:9; Malachi 3:5; Malachi 3:18; [S. Barnabas, Ephesians 4:0; “Meditemur timorem Dei, Dominus non accepta personâ judicat mundum; unusquisque secundum quod facit accipiet.—M.]

Who without respect of persons—work. πρόσωπον λαμβάνειν—נָשָׂא פָנִים, Luke 20:21 is to regard the person, to take cognizance of outward relations, to make injurious distinction between rich and poor, the talented and the untalented, high and low, citizens and strangers, James 2:4. God judges very differently; He looks at the heart and the character of men and at their exhibition in deeds. Justification at the last judgment depends upon the inward state and the outward works of believers and unbelievers. So taught our Lord Himself, Matthew 16:27; Matthew 7:19; Matthew 25:31 etc.; and with this agree John, Revelation 22:12; Revelation 3:11; John John 8:51; cf. John 13:15; James, 1 Peter 2:13 etc.; Peter, 1 Peter 2:12 and Paul, Romans 2:6 etc.; Romans 8:13; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Ephesians 6:8; Colossians 3:24-25; Galatians 6:7-9. The Scriptures uniformly teach that forgiving grace is not conditioned by any work; it is absolutely free and unmerited and presupposes nothing beyond a penitent mind and an appropriating of the righteousness of Christ; but it insists upon a life corresponding with the will of God, and even supplies the needed strength to lead it. Faith must work by love, Galatians 5:6. It is the living root of all good works, while unbelief is the father of every sin. God looks upon the life of a man as one connected work. Hence we have here the singular ἔργον as at Matthew 16:27 πρᾶξις; for God looks at the one source of all our work, on our relation to the truth revealed in our conscience and in His word. But since all rational creatures ought to know the perfect justice of His decision, He judges them according to their works and here all mankind fall into only two classes. There is no inconsistency between this passage and John 5:22, where it is said that the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son [for, as Didymus says, the Father is the fons judicii, judicante filio Pater est qui judicat.—M.], just as the creation of the world is ascribed to the Father, although mediated by the Son, John 1:1 etc.; cf. 1 Peter 3:12; 1 Peter 3:22; 1 Peter 4:5; 1 Peter 5:4; 2 Peter 2:9. [John 5:22 clearly implies that He who has delegated the judgment to the Son is the Judge.—M.]

In fear.—This does by no means militate, as Weiss maintains, against the Petrine and Johannean fundamental conceptions of the Christian life, as expressed Romans 8:15; 2Ti 1:7; 1 John 4:18. These passages speak of a slavish fear which in believers makes room to filial love; filial fear and dread remains also in the children of God, while they continue in a state of imperfection; it flows from the contrast between themselves and God, from their dependence on Him and their remembrance of His holiness and justice, from the possibility of a relapse, cf. Philippians 2:12, and mostly exhibits itself as a holy fear to grieve his love, to displease Him and to provoke His disfavour. Calvin: “Fear is here opposed to security,” cf. Romans 11:20; 2Co 7:1; 2 Peter 3:17; Psalms 34:10; Psalms 19:10.—A reason of fear is also contained in the additional clause: “the time of your sojourning,” while you tarry here below among strangers. You are not yet at home, but only on the way; like seafaring men you may possibly be cast on a strange coast. At all events you must fight your way through the world’s hatred. John 15:19.

[Wordsworth: Here is a connected series of arguments and motives to holiness, derived from a consideration,
1. Of the holy nature of Him whom we invoke as Father, whose children we are, whom therefore we are bound to imitate and to obey.

2. Of His office as Judge, rewarding every man according to his work, whom therefore we ought to fear.

3. Of Christ’s office as Redeemer, and of His nature as an all-holy Redeemer, paying the costly price of His own blood to ransom us from a state of unholiness, and purchasing us to Himself, with His blood. Therefore we are not our own, but His; and being His, bought by His blood, we owe Him, who is the Holy One, the service of love and holiness. Cf. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Ephesians 1:7; Ephesians 1:14; and Clem. Romans 1:7. ἀτενίσωμεν εἰς τὸ αἶμα τοῦ Χριστοῦ, καὶ ἴδωμεν ὡς ἕστι. τίμιον τῷ Θεῷ πατρὶ αὐτοῦ ὅτι διὰ τὴν ἡμετέραν σωτηρίαν ἐκχυθέν. cf. S. Aug. Serm. 36.

4. Of our transitory condition in this life. On the special allusion in παροικία, sojourning see 1 Peter 2:11.

5. Of the gift of the spirit of holiness.
6. Of our new birth by the living Word of God.—M.]

1 Peter 1:18. Forasmuch as ye know.—The consideration of the inestimable benefit of salvation supplies a new argument for aspiration to holiness of mind and conversation, v. 1 Peter 1:18-19. Bede gives the right connection. “In proportion to the price at which you have been redeemed from the corruption of carnal life should be your fear not to grieve your Saviour’s heart by a relapse, for the punishments will correspond to the worth of the ransom.” This knowledge is the knowledge of faith, flowing from the fundamental consciousness of Christians, cf. 1 Peter 3:9; 1 Peter 5:9; James 1:3.

Redeemed.—λυτροῦν denotes not any release or deliverance, but to release by payment of a corresponding ransom. It corresponds to the Hebrew גָּאַל and פָּדָה, Exodus 6:6; Psalms 74:2; Psalms 77:16; Psalms 106:10; Deuteronomy 7:8; Deuteronomy 9:26; Jeremiah 15:21; Jeremiah 31:11. So Christ says that He was giving His life as a ransom for many, Matthew 20:28 : cf. Mark 10:45; 1 Timothy 2:6; Titus 2:14. The comparison of the blood of Christ with gold and silver proves that the word must be taken in its original sense. ἐξαγοράζειν is used in the same sense at Gal 3:13; 1 Corinthians 6:20; 1 Corinthians 7:23; Revelation 5:9. The manner in which the redemption has been effected, is therefore the production and payment of an equivalent, viz.: the satisfaction, the substitution, cf. Ephesians 5:2; Ephesians 1:7; Romans 3:24; Hebrews 9:15.—Who received the ransom? Not the devil as maintained by some, but the Supreme Lawgiver and Judge. The justice of God, outraged by sin, was satisfied—the satisfaction itself, however, being appointed by the love of God Himself; allusions to which are even found in the sacrifices of the Old Testament, Leviticus 17:11. Because this last passage states that the soul of the flesh is in the blood and that it is the blood which maketh atonement by the soul, cf. 1 Peter 1:14; blood is designated as the means of atonement both here and Romans 3:24-25; Romans 5:8-9; while elsewhere the soul, the life of Christ is said to have been given. Blood has atoning virtue, for “without shedding of blood is no remission,” Hebrews 9:22. Redemption relates therefore primarily to the curse and guilt of sin and secondarily to its enslaving power. The two ideas are not very sharply separated in Holy Writ, cf. 1 Peter 2:24; Isaiah 53:7. It is most dear, most precious blood because it is undefiled by sin and passion and because it is the blood of the God-man and more valuable by far than the blood of many thousand valiant warriors. The addition 1 Peter 1:19, ὡς�, etc., confirms our explanation. ὡς indicates a well-known reason and refers to Isaiah 53:0. While in Isaiah the figure of the Lamb denotes immediately only the patient, silent suffering of the Messiah in His atoning death, the predicates used by the Apostle, clearly relate to sacrificial lambs, and particularly to the Paschal Lamb, cf. John 1:29; John 1:36. Every sacrificial lamb had to be without blemish, Leviticus 4:32; Leviticus 3:6; Leviticus 22:20 etc.; Leviticus 1:10; Leviticus 12:6; Leviticus 14:10; Numbers 28:3; Numbers 28:11; Exodus 12:5. Christ as the Spiritual Sacrificial Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7; John 19:36) was perfectly pure within and unstained by sin without, as Bengel rightly explains. “In se non habet labem, neque extrinsecus maculam contraxit.” Cf. 1 John 3:5; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 7:26; Ephesians 5:27. From what are the children of God redeemed?

From your vain conversation, inherited from your fathers. [So the German.—M.] This describes the being of this world as untrue, as having its root in appearances, and as devoid of all foundation, strength and vitality, cf. Romans 1:21; Eph 4:17; 1 Corinthians 3:20; 2 Peter 2:18; Romans 8:20. Its main stay and support lies in the force of habits, ideas, views, principles and maxims transmitted from father to child through successive generations. Men justify their ways, saying, ‘Such was the practice of our fathers and our forefathers,’ and continue in the bonds of error and sinful lusts. Calov. explains πατροπαραδότου of original sin and of imitating paternal examples. The deep-rootedness of this vain conversation notwithstanding, deliverance and redemption from it is found in the death and blood of Jesus Christ. The Apostle does not specify how the atonement of Christ effects redemption from the power of sin; we may doubtless supply this solution (cf. 1 Peter 2:24) thus: having been redeemed from the curse of the law by the blood of Jesus, we are enabled to be cleansed from sin, to be united to God and to approach Him with joy and courage. The Holy Spirit’s power is present to deliver us from the dominion of sin.—Χριστοῦ, an explanatory addition serving as a transition to what follows.

1 Peter 1:20. The personality and work of Christ were neither the natural result of the world’s development nor the suddenly formed decree of God in time [as distinguished from eternity, M.], as if after the lapse of four thousand years He had suddenly thought of contriving this way of salvation, but Christ was destined and ordained from before the foundation of the world to redeem us by His blood; hence the prophets did foretell His life and sufferings, His death and glorious exaltation, 1 Peter 1:11-12. The antithesis φανερωθέντος does not warrant the positive conclusion that the Apostle thinks of the real (opposed to ideal) preëxistence of Christ. The sense might be as follows: The Messiah having ideally existed in the Spirit of God, in the fulness of time became also really manifest. But reverting to 1 Peter 1:11, where mention is made of the Spirit of Christ in the prophets, and considering that correctly speaking the φανεροῦν, is the manifestation of a previously hidden existence, and that while believers are said to have been fore-ordained it is never affirmed that they were manifested, we feel inclined to agree with Lutz and Schumann that the real preëxistence of Christ is probably presupposed here; φανεροῦν, however, relates also to the continuing manifestation of Christ by the preaching of the Gospel.

Before the foundation of the World.—καταβολή, the act of καταβάλλεσθαι denotes laying something down, laying the foundation; applied to the foundations of the earth (Job 38:6; Proverbs 8:29)=founding, creation, cf. John 17:24; Eph 1:4; 1 Corinthians 2:7; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:2-3; Colossians 1:26. The remark of Oettinger that the creation of the world is called καταβολή because the Visible originated from the Invisible by a fall, is ingenious, but far-fetched and untenable. He maintains that the word signifies casting off. Ἐπ̓ ἐσχάτων τῶν χρόνων; Tischendorff and Lachmann read ἐσχάτου. Χρόνοι periods of time shorter than aeons. The καιροί are definite portions of those periods. They are called, Act 2:17; 2 Timothy 3:1, the last days. They form, since they have a similar character, a unit, and are called on that account the last hour, 1 John 2:18, or the last time, Judges 18:0. It would seem to signify therefore the period from the glorification of Christ to His first visible advent [vulgo, his second advent, M.] cf. 1 Peter 1:5; but ἐπί may also mean, “near at hand,” a sense in which it may be shown to be used at least with local reference.—Ἐσχάτων to be taken as neuter on account of the succeeding Article.

For you who.—Believers are the end and aim in the manifestation of the Redeemer: you may therefore view it, as if Christ had come for you only, cf. 1 Corinthians 2:7. The design of His manifestation was to make you also believers. You owe it to Him that you are able to believe (δἰ αὑτοῦ). Weiss gives the following connection: The manifestation of Christ effected by means of the preaching of the Gospel (1 Peter 1:12) and culminating in His resurrection and exaltation to glory, begets believing trust in God, who did work this miracle of miracles. He that has done such great things is also able (humanly speaking) to accomplish the greatest and highest expectations we can cherish. Thus faith becomes hope in God, who has done this miracle. Hope appears here as a new feature superadded to faith, cf. Romans 5:2; Ephesians 1:18. [Your faith rests on Christ’s resurrection—it was God who raised him; your hope on Christ’s glorification; it is God who has given him that glory. Alford.—M.] Εἰς Θέον signifies resting in, entering into God. Petr. Lomb. Credendo in Deum ire.—ὡστε denotes sequence not purpose. The exhortation here reverts once more to 1 Peter 1:12, with this difference, that what there is urged, is here supposed to exist.


1. The disciple of Jesus must intimately combine with confident repose in the grace of atonement, the desire after the pattern of God to become holy and to walk in holiness before Him, 1 Peter 1:13-15.

2. The state of Christians is marked by the singular characteristic that they must become what they are: born into lively hope, they have to learn daily to hope anew. They stand in faith and love, 1 Peter 1:5; 1 Peter 1:8, yet must ever suffer themselves to be anew excited thereto, 1 Peter 1:13. They are dead with Christ, Colossians 3:3, yet must daily mortify anew their sinful members, Colossians 3:5, etc. The riddle is solved by distinguishing between what we are in the eternal view of God and what in empirical reality, or between what we are in the new principle of life and what in its gradual development. That which is implanted in the idea and in the germ must be followed by a voluntary and all-sided development. [This sentence may have a misty air to some, but I found it difficult to give the sense of the original without a long circumlocution. Light is shed upon it by the consideration that idea is not used in the popular, but in the philosophical sense. It appears to come nearer to ideal than to idea proper.—M.] By the side of the new man there continues, until we die, the old man who must be crucified day by day.

3. All exhortation to holiness of mind and conversation will prove ineffectual and unsuccessful, unless the firm foundation of it lies in confidence in the grace of God that meets us half-way in Christ, 1 Peter 1:13. The hope to which that confidence gives rise, namely, the hope of the glorious possession of heaven, supplies the power of victory in view of the temptations and enjoyments of this earthly world.

4. The agreement of the Old and New Testaments is evident from the circumstance that holiness after the pattern of God is in both the chief requirement and end of our vocation. Compare the Sermon on the Mount. The only difference being that the idea of holiness in the New Testament is more profound and spiritual than in the Old.

5. Justification at the last judgment will depend on our works; our works, whether flowing from faith or unbelief, will determine our respective destiny, 1 Peter 1:17; cf. Romans 2:13; Romans 2:6-7; Matthew 25:34; Rev 20:12; 2 Corinthians 9:6.

6. The blood of Jesus Christ is not the same as His death. Elsewhere also it is specially emphasized as the means of redemption, the ransom, Romans 3:25; Rom 5:9; 1 John 5:6; Hebrews 10:29; Hebrews 9:22; Hebrews 13:20; Acts 20:28; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:20; 1 John 1:7; Revelation 1:5; Revelation 5:9; Revelation 7:14; Revelation 12:11. God’s law for the government of the world having been broken by sin, the blood of the holy God-Man is needed as an atonement, 1 Peter 1:19.

7. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the seal set to the atoning virtue of His blood and at the same time the pledge of the perfecting of those, who as members of His body are united to Him, the head.


The tightened girdle of faith is a main essential to the pilgrim passing through the world to heaven.—The loins serve the purposes of walking, warring and carrying; the powers of the soul corresponding to these purposes have need to be strengthened.—“The Christian in the heavenly race, Must firmly set and keep his face, Fixed on Jerusalem.”—Tersteegen. The blissful end of Christian hope, 1 Peter 1:13.—The grace offered by Christ is the solid foundation for the soul’s anchor to rest upon.—True faith is not an idle dream nor hollow talk.—The features of the regenerate exhibit the impress of their heavenly Father’s image.—Spiritual blindness both the consequence and cause of the dominion of sinful lusts. 1 Peter 1:14.—Fear of self-deception, relapse and new offences against God is the sure guardian of our hope.—How do we recognize the time of our visitation?—What glorious hopes flow from the glory which Christ has obtained from His Father? Starke. Would you be God’s child, you must imitate Him, Ephesians 5:1-17. What a great alliance! a bought slave, preferred to the distinction of an adopted child, it is to be hoped, will not complain of having to render to his Redeemer a reasonable and joyful service, after his former experience of the rudder and the whip.—If you meet with some adversity, think yourself for a night in uncomfortable quarters, you will have better accommodation when you get home.—You are greatly in error, and abuse the Gospel, if you consider all manner of vain conversation to belong to Christian liberty. In the work of salvation, redemption as the cause of salvation cannot be dissociated from the condition annexed to it, which is the renunciation of every evil work—the two, redemption and renunciation should go hand-in-hand, Luke 1:74-75.—We are bound to honour, love and obey our parents and ancestors, but not to follow them in the vanity of conversation and sinful habits, Ephesians 6:1-2; Matthew 10:37. Beware to form too low an opinion of any man, and still more to injure his soul’s welfare, for every one has been redeemed by the inestimable price of the blood of Jesus.—If the atoning blood of Jesus is to benefit us, we must also carry the innocence, gentleness and patience of the Lamb of God, Colossians 1:22.—Who, after the Apostle’s doctrine preaches another Gospel is not of God, but of the devil, and he is by no means to be heard, Galatians 1:8.

Lisco:—Motives to zeal for holiness: (a) the grace offered to Christians; (b) the blessedness of their filial relation to God; (c) the redemption effected by Jesus Christ.—The real character of Christ’s redeemed people: (a) they are full of faith in God and Jesus Christ; (b) earnestly struggling with sin they strive after holiness; (c) they walk in righteousness and obedience to the commandments of God; (d) they abound in zeal to do good and are rich in faithful love of the brethren.—How the preciousness and assurance of our hope founded on the resurrection of Christ should influence our whole behaviour. The value of the blood of Christ: (1) what makes it invaluable: (a) the holiness of Him who shed it; (b) the glory of the work accomplished by it; (2) what is the evidence of our appreciation of the value of it.

Besser, in illustration of 1 Peter 1:19, supplies the following narrative: A wealthy and kind Englishman once bought in the slave-market a poor negro for twenty pieces of gold. His benefactor presented him moreover with a certain sum of money, that he might buy therewith a piece of land and furnish himself with a home. Am I really free? May I go whither I will? cried the negro in the joy of his heart; well, let me be your slave, Massa: you have redeemed me, and I owe all to you. This touched the gentleman to the quick: he took the negro into his service, and he never had a more faithful servant. But, said that Englishman, I ought to learn a lesson from my grateful servant, which until then, alas, had little engaged my attention, namely, what is meant by the words: “Ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold—but with the precious blood of Christ.”

[1 Peter 1:13. Grace is bearing down upon, coming to meet the Christian who with girded loins sets out on his pilgrimage. The prodigal son was met by his Father.—M.] Faith establishes the heart on Jesus Christ, and hope lifts it up, being on that rock, over the head of all intervening dangers, crosses and temptations, and sees the glory and happiness that follow after them.—Gather up your affections, that they hang not down to hinder you in your race and so in your hopes of obtaining; and do not only gather them up, but tie them up, that they fall not down again, or if they do, be sure to gird them straiter than before.—We walk through a world where there is much mire of sinful pollutions and therefore cannot but defile them; and the crowd we are among will be ready to tread on them, yea our own feet may be entangled in them and so make us stumble and possibly fall.


1 Peter 1:14. The soul of man unconverted is no other but a den of impure lusts, wherein dwell pride, uncleanness, avarice, malice, etc. Just as Babylon is described Revelation 18:2; or as Isaiah 13:21. Were a man’s eyes opened he would as much abhor to remain with himself in that condition, “as to dwell in a house full of snakes and serpents,” as St. Austin says. As the offices of certain persons are known by the garb or livery they wear, so transgressors: where we see the world’s livery we see the world’s servants; they fashion or habit themselves according to their lusts; and we may guess that they have a worldly mind by their conformity to worldly fashions.

Clarke:—Obedience to God is as much the mark of right knowledge, as a sinful life is the sure sign of ignorance of God.

1 Peter 1:15. Summa religionis est imitari quem colis (In Leighton).—Clarke:—Heathenism scarcely produced a god whose example was not the most abominable; their greatest gods, especially, were paragons of impurity; none of their philosophers could propose the objects of their adoration, as objects of imitation.


1 Peter 1:17. This fear is not cowardice, it doth not debase, but elevate the mind, for it drowns all lower fears, and begets true fortitude and courage to encounter all danger for the sake of a good conscience and the obeying of God. The righteous is as bold as a lion, Proverbs 28:1. He dares do any thing but offend God: and to dare to do that is the greatest folly, and weakness, and baseness in the world. From this fear have sprung all the generous resolutions and patient sufferings of the saints and martyrs of God; because they durst not sin against Him, therefore they durst be imprisoned, and impoverished and tortured, and die for Him. Thus the prophet sets carnal and godly fear as opposite, and the one as expelling the other, Isaiah 8:12-13. And our Saviour, Luke 12:4, “Fear not them which kill the body, but fear him which after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you fear Him.” Fear not, but fear, and therefore fear, that you may not fear.—He made all the persons and he makes all those differences Himself, as it pleaseth Him; therefore He doth not admire them as we do; no, nor at all regard them: we find very great odds betwixt stately palaces and poor cottages, betwixt a prince’s robes and a beggar’s cloak; but to God they are all one, all these petty grievances vanish in comparison of His own greatness; men are great and small compared one with another; but they all amount to just nothing in respect of Him; we find high mountains and low valleys on this earth, but compared with the vast compass of the heavens, it is all but as a point, and hath no sensible greatness at all.

[Our sojourn on earth is a state of probation, from which the fear of God is inseparable.—M.]

[1 Peter 1:18. The doctors of the synagogue had delivered traditions to the Jews which made the worship of God vain, Matthew 15:9; and the Gentiles sought to justify their vain idolatry on the plea of tradition, saying (on the authority of Plato, Tim. p. 1053 E. and Cicero, de Nat. Deor. 3, n. 3, 6.) That they “were not to be moved, by any persuasions, from the religion which they had received from their forefathers.”—M.]

[1 Peter 1:19. “All glory be to Thee, almighty God, our heavenly Father, for that Thou, of Thy tender mercy, didst give Thine only Son Jesus Christ to suffer death upon the cross for our redemption; who made there (by His one oblation of Himself once offered) a full, perfect and sufficient sacrifice, oblation and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world.” Book of Common Prayer, Communion Office.—M.]

[1 Peter 1:20. The Jews say, that “When God created the world, He held forth His hand under the throne of glory, and created the soul of the Messiah and His company, and said to Him, Wilt thou heal and redeem my sons, after six thousand years? He answered, Yes. God said to Him, If so, wilt thou bear chastisements, to expiate their iniquity, according to what is written, (Isaiah 53:4) ‘Surely, He bore our griefs?’ He answered, I will endure them with joy.” And to this representation of this covenant made with the Messiah “before the creation of the world” it may be the Apostle here refers. In the style of Philo, he is ἀΐδιος Λόγος, “the Eternal Word, the first born and the most ancient Son of the Father, by whom all the species were framed.” This therefore is according to the received opinion of the Jews. Whitby citing Cartw. Mellif. I. p. 2974, 75, and De Plaut. Noe, p. 169, D.—M.]


1 Peter 1:21. When you look through a red glass, the whole heavens seem bloody; but through pure unclouded glass, you receive the clear light, that is so refreshing and comfortable to behold. When sin unpardoned is betwixt, and we look on God through that, we can perceive nothing but anger and enmity, in His countenance; but make Christ once the medium, our pure Redeemer, and through Him, as clear transparent glass, the beams of God’s favourable countenance shine in upon the soul; the Father cannot look upon his well beloved Son, but graciously and pleasingly.

[Redemption flows from the precious blood of Christ, faith and hope from His glorious resurrection.—M.]


[19] 1 Peter 1:13. [ German:—Wherefore with the loins of the mind girded and with soberness of spirit, fix all your hope on the grace which is being brought to you in the revelation of Jesus Christ.—M.]

[Translate:—Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, being sober, and hope perfectly for the grace which is being.—M.]

1 Peter 1:14; 1 Peter 1:14. [ Children of obedience, so Greek. German.—M.]

1 Peter 1:15; 1 Peter 1:15. [ But after the pattern of that Holy One.—de Wette, Alford.—M.]

[22] 1 Peter 1:15. [ Conversation—behaviour.—M.]

1 Peter 1:16. [Cod. Sin. §10.—ἔσεσθαι διότι for γένεσθε ὅτι of Text. Rec.,—omits εἰμί.—M.]

[23] 1 Peter 1:17. [ And if ye call upon as Father, Him, etc., so German after the Greek.—M.]

[Cod. Sin. *ἀναστρεφόμενοι.—M.]

1 Peter 1:18; 1 Peter 1:18. [ Knowing that.—M.]

1 Peter 1:18; 1 Peter 1:18. [ Out of your vain conversation, delivered to you from your fathers (Alford), inherited from the fathers, German.—M.]

1 Peter 1:20; 1 Peter 1:20. [ Who indeed, instead of, Who verily.—M.]

[27] 1 Peter 1:20. [ But was manifested.—M.]

[Cod. Sin. *ἀνεγνώσω—ἔσχατοι τοῦ χρόνου.—(**τῶν χρόνων)—M.]

1 Peter 1:21; 1 Peter 1:21. [ Who through Him believe on God.—M.]

[29] 1 Peter 1:21. [ So that your faith and hope are on God.—M.]

[German:—So that your faith may also become hope in God.—M.]
[Cod. Sin. *ἐγείροντ.—M.]

Verses 22-25

1 Peter 1:22-25

Analysis:—Exhortation to pure and fervent brotherly love, as characteristic of those who have been born to love by the life-seed of the eternal word.

22Seeing ye have purified30 your souls in obeying31 the truth through the Spirit32 unto un-feigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with33 a pure heart fervently:34 23Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.35 24For all flesh36 is as grass, and all the glory of man37 as the flower of grass.38 The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 25But the word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.


1 Peter 1:22. Connection. The exhortation (1 Peter 1:13) “Hope perfectly for the grace,” fully corresponds to the second leading exhortation, “Love one another fervently.” The former was founded (in a participial sentence) on the concentration of thoughts and constant sobriety; the latter is founded (also in a participial sentence) on purifying the soul in obedience of the truth. Brotherly love must be the exponent of the nature, strength and fruit of regeneration.

Purified.—Ἁγνίζειν denotes the laying aside of evil, the putting off lust, hatred, envy and hypocrisy; ἁγίαζειν, on the other hand, the positive putting on the opposite good and growing therein, cf. 1 Peter 2:1. The Perfect shows that the purifying does not belong exclusively to the past but is affected by the imperative form ἀγαπᾶτε. [The German reads so (instead of ἀγαπήσατε) on the authority of the Codex Colbertinus Cent. XI.—M.], and indicates that such pure love cannot exist without the antecedent purifying of the soul. The Apostle means a constantly needed purifying, not one merely begun in regeneration. Augustine: “Chastity of the soul consists in sincerity of faith and purifying the heart from unchaste flames.”

In obedience of the truth.—By absolute subjection to the truth given in the word of God, by keeping it and causing it to work in the heart. Obedience to the faith and moral obedience are again comprised in one. Truth has a purifying and separating power, removing all obstacles to the exercise of brotherly love, such as selfishness, obstinacy, self-sufficiency, men-pleasing, ambition, flattery, in fact, all manifestations of egotism. Because true believers are the children of God, 1 Peter 1:3; 1 Peter 1:14; 1 Peter 1:17, they should act as brethren one to another. This is one of the principal commandments of Christ Himself, and consequently one of the main ends of holiness, Matthew 22:40; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:28; Joh 13:34-35; cf. 1 Peter 2:17; 1 Peter 5:9. But because selfishness, deceit, hypocrisy and flattery are frequently hidden under the cloak of love, the word ἀνυπόκριτος is added.

By the spirit, is wanting in several MSS. If, as is probable, authentic, it should be joined to ἡγνικότες not to ὑπακοή. It denotes the Holy Spirit, by whom alone the soul can be purified, Acts 15:8-9; Romans 8:13; 1 Corinthians 12:3; Ephesians 5:9. πνεύματος is also without the article in 1 Peter 1:2.

Unfeigned love of the brethren.—Brotherly love being thus rendered possible, its free and actual exhibition ought to follow. There being two kinds of love, pure and impure, heavenly and earthly, the Apostle expressly adds, “out of a pure heart.” Lachman strikes καθαρᾶς out of the text. Purity of heart is equally demanded in other passages, Matthew 5:8; 1Ti 1:5; 2 Timothy 2:22. Bengel nicely remarks that purifying qualities, as antecedents to brotherly love, are also insisted upon at 2 Peter 1:5-6.

ἐκτενῶς is a very pregnant addition. It denotes stretching out, straining, putting forth strenuous effort, hence (a) by straining and extending every energy, by untiring elasticity, (b) by sustained perseverance, (c) by extending it to such brethren as appear less worthy of love. Weiss: “With lasting, persevering energy, that cannot be tired out by the cumulating guilt of our neighbour,” 1 Peter 4:8. The possibility of such a mode of conduct belongs to the state of regeneration, 1 Peter 1:23; cf. Matthew 18:21-22; see above on 1 Peter 1:3. Steiger. “As natural relationship produces natural affection, so spiritual relationship produces spiritual affection.” It is lasting, because emanating from an eternal source of life.

1 Peter 1:23. Of (out of) incorruptible sowing. σπορά denotes begetting, sowing, not seed, as many translate, cf. John 1:13. Regeneration is not the effect of a transient act of begetting, but of the power of the Holy Ghost. The means He uses is the word of God, James 1:18; 1 Corinthians 4:15. Paul laying claim in the latter passage to the new birth or new-begetting of the Corinthians means nothing beyond his having been an instrument of the Holy Ghost. [The full idea is brought out by noticing the force of the prepositions ἐξ and διὰ. The Apostle says, “Being born again, not of”—ἐξ, that is, out of—“corruptible seed” (like semen humanum), but out of “incorruptible begetting”—διὰ—“by means of the word of God.” ‘The ἐξ of origination rests in God himself, the Father, who begat us, of His own will: the διὰ of instrumentality moves on and abides forever.’ Alford.—M.]

By means of the word of God living and abiding forever.—Ζῶντος καὶ μέν́οντος belong to λόγου, as is evident from the sequel, 1 Peter 1:25. The Apostle does not speak of the Being of God, but of the nature of the word of God. It is living, cf. Hebrews 4:12, because it has life in itself, is indued with eternal, with divine power and therefore begets life in its turn, cf. Acts 7:38. Luther: “If I put the cup, containing the wine, to my lips, I drink the wine without swallowing the cup. Such also is the word, which brings the voice; it sinks into the heart and becomes alive, while the voice remains without and passes away. It is therefore a Divine power, yea, it is God himself, cf. Exodus 4:11.” It is able to kill, Romans 7:10, and to make alive.—Μένοντος εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα. (The last three words are wanting in important MSS. and therefore omitted by Griesbach and others). It remains forever in its nature, power and effects. [Dean Jackson on the Creed, book 7, 1Peter 28, vol. 7, p. 1Peter 270: “If Christ’s flesh and blood be the seed of Immortality, how are we said to be born again by the word of God which liveth and abideth forever? Is this Word, by which we are born, the same with that immortal seed, of which we are born? It is the same, not in nature, but in person. May we not, in that speech of St. Peter, by the Word, understand the word preached unto us by the Ministers who are God’s seedsmen? In a secondary sense we may, for we are begotten and born again by preaching, as by the instrument or means. Yet born again we are by the Eternal Word (that is, by Christ Himself), as by the proper and efficient cause of our new birth … And Christ Himself, who was put to death for our sins, and raised again for our justification, is the Word which we all do or ought to preach. The Son of God manifested in the flesh, was that Word which, in St. Peter’s language, is preached by the Gospel, and if we do not preach this Word unto our hearers, if all our sermons do not tend to one of these two ends, either to instruct our auditors in the articles of their creed concerning Christ, or to prepare their ears and hearts that they may be fit auditors of such instructions, we do not preach the Gospel unto them, we take upon us the name of God’s ambassadors, or of the ministers of the Gospel, in vain.”—M.]

[A Lapide: “This sense is a genuine and sublime one, because in our Regeneration, Christ Himself is personally communicated to us, so that the Deity thenceforth dwells in us as in a Temple, and we are made partakers of the Divine Nature, 2 Peter 1:4.” See James 1:18-21.—M.]

1 Peter 1:24. διότι introduces the proof of the difference between corruptible begetting and incorruptible. The begetting is like the instrument of begetting. The words quoted by Peter are found Isaiah 40:7, etc.; his citation is free, not literal. Flesh signifies here the whole living world, inasmuch as it is under the power of transitoriness and surrounded by weakness. Bengel: “The old man, man of the old birth, especially self-righteousness, on which man is wont to found his confidence.” Calvin: “Whatever is highly esteemed in things human, beauty, bodily strength, learning, riches, posts of honour.” It includes also the life of the natural mind, as long as it remains unoccupied and without the animation of the Spirit of God. Hence the Scripture speaks of fleshly-mindedness, Romans 8:5-7, and reckons also hatred, anger and pride among the works of the flesh, 1 Corinthians 3:3; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 2:3; Colossians 2:18. The flesh as well as the spirit, has its glory and flower. It appears robed in the forms of beauty, wisdom, nobleness, patriotism and even of holiness. It develops itself in forms of government, in art and science, in philosophical systems and theories of religion, so far as they are not penetrated by the Spirit of God. Hence they vanish as fast as they grow, yea faster—like the flower of grass (Griesbach and others read αὐτῆς after δόξα. See Appar. Crit. above), whose leaves fall asunder, cf. Psalms 103:15; Psalms 37:2; James 1:10; Isaiah 40:6-7. Peter refers to the last passage as given by the LXX., where the past tense is used, which describes with graphic effect the rapidity of the change.

1 Peter 1:25. But the word of the Lord endureth forever, ever green and in vigour of life; it is continually valid and efficient, enduring to eternity, and so is whatever emanates from or originates in it, cf. Psalms 119:89; Luke 21:33. Luther: “You need not open your eyes wide how you may get to the word of God; it is before your eyes, it is the word which we preach.” Deuteronomy 30:11; Romans 10:6, etc. The word of the Gospel preached to Christians is essentially one with the kernel of the word of the Old Testament, cf. Romans 16:26; Ephesians 2:20; Ephesians 3:5.—Εἰς ὑμᾶς, it has been brought unto you and implanted in you. The circumstance of Peter taking for granted that his readers are familiar with the word of the Old Testament, furnishes a hint that he writes to Jewish Christians. [Wordsworth: The transition from the Incarnate Word to the spoken and written word, and vice versâ, is, as might be anticipated, of not unfrequent occurrence in Holy Writ: see Hebrews 4:12;. James 1:18-23.—Observe, also, that St. Peter here returns to the principal person, Christ, and speaks of Him, who is the Living Word, as being also the Living Stone, ii. 4.—M.]


1 The necessity of purifying the soul was recognized even in the systems of the philosophers, e. g., in the Platonic and Neoplatonic schools; but the only means of accomplishing it was unknown to them: subjection to revealed truth, appropriating and practising it.

2. Purification must begin and without interruption continue in the soul, the stronghold and seat of sin.

3. Essential unity of the message of salvation in the Old and New Testaments, 1 Peter 1:25.

4. Regeneration or new-birth, the first implanting into the new, spiritual life, must be distinguished from quickening and conversion. The Scripture clearly teaches that regeneration takes place through Baptism by means of the word and through the Spirit who animates it, John 3:5; Titus 3:5; Romans 6:3; Galatians 3:26-27; Ephesians 5:25-27; 1 Peter 3:21. Compare the lucid exposition of Kurz in Christ. Religion (Christliche Religionslehre) p. 196, 197, 5th ed.


Incorruptible sowing or generation yields incorruptible fruit, a new man. As is the origin of life, so are the effects that flow from it.—While the non-christian loves in Adam, the believer loves in Christ. The former passes off carnal inclination for true love.—Regeneration is not the completion but the beginning of Christianity. The word of God, which is intrinsically spirit and life must also become alive in us. It is a fire, but it cannot prove its power, as long as it touches us only superficially.

Starke:—Hearty brotherly love comprises also brotherly correction, which should take place in a loving and gentle spirit, Galatians 6:1.—The analogy between the word of God and seed in the field exhibits the following particulars: 1. The seed has in itself the power of growth, and does not receive it from the field. The word of God has power within itself and manifests itself as a spiritual growth. 2. The seed requires a well-prepared field; the word of God a soul ready to be qualified for receiving it and bearing fruit. 3. The seed needs a sower to scatter it in due season and in the right manner; the word of God needs the office of teachers, or spiritual husbandmen. 4. The scattered seed must be harrowed in, in order to be thoroughly mixed up with the soil and in order to grow above to strike root below; so the word of God, which is therefore called the implanted word, James 1:21; James 1:5. The seed bears no fruit unless it be quickened by warm sunshine and fertile showers from above: so also the word of God, which although it has living power in itself, requires the supply of grace by the Holy Ghost. 6. The seed of one kind, scattered on differing soil, good, bad and indifferent, owing to the inequality of the soil, does not yield the same fruit: so it is with the word of God.—Christianity insists not so much on a mere externally blameless conversation as on regeneration, Galatians 6:15; Philippians 2:5.—We know no other word of God than that which was preached by Christ and the Apostles throughout the whole world, is put on imperishable record and still continues before, our eyes.

Lisco:—Of what passes away and of what remains.

[1 Peter 1:22. The properties of brotherly love. 1. It is unfeigned, more of the heart and the hand than of the lip. 2. It is pure, beginning and ending in God. 3. It is fervent with all the energies of the soul on the stretch. The sympathy of the whole body with any injured or diseased member a Scriptural illustration.—M.]

[Leighton:—The true reason why there is so little truth of this Christian mutual love amongst those that are called Christians, is, because there is so little of this purifying obedience to the truth, whence it flows; faith unfeigned would beget this love unfeigned: men may exhort to them both, but they require the hand of God to work them in the heart.

1 Peter 1:24. The philosopher said of his countrymen … “that they eat as if they meant to die to-morrow and yet build as if they were never to die.”—Archimedes was killed in the midst of his demonstration. Cf. Psalms 146:4.—We in our thoughts shut up death into a very narrow compass, namely, in the moment of our expiring; but the truth is, as the moralist observes, it goes through all our life; for we are still losing and spending it as we enjoy it, yea, our very enjoying it, is the spending it; yesterday’s life is dead today and so shall this day’s life be to-morrow.—M.]

[What is the great defect in all human greatness and beauty—in earth-born riches and pleasures?—Transitoriness.—M.]

1 Peter 1:25. This is a quotation from Isaiah 40:6-8, where the preaching of the gospel is foretold and recommended from the consideration that every thing which is merely human, and among the rest, the noblest races of mankind, with all their glory and grandeur, their honour, riches, beauty, strength and eloquence; as also the arts which men have invented and the works they have executed, shall decay as the flowers of the field. But the gospel, called by the prophet the word of the Lord, shall be preached while the world standeth.—M.]

[Leighton:—As the word of God itself cannot be abolished, but surpasses the endurance of heaven and earth, as our Saviour teaches, and all attempts of men against the Divine truth of that word to undo it, are as vain as if they should consent to pluck the sun out of the firmament, so likewise is the heart of a Christian, it is immortal and incorruptible.—M.]


1 Peter 1:22; 1 Peter 1:22. [ ἡγνικότες, having purified; castificantes, Vulg., making chaste, Wiclif.—M.]

1 Peter 1:22; 1 Peter 1:22. [ ὑπακοῇ = in obedience of, Germ.—M.]

[32] 1 Peter 1:22. [ διὰ πνεύματος omitted in A B C. Cod. Sin., inserted in Rec. K. L.—M.]

[διὰ = by, nor through, see 1:33.—M.]

[33] 1 Peter 1:22. [ ἐκ καθαρᾷς. ἐκ, out of, from, Germ.; omitted in A B, inserted in Rec. C. K. L.—M.]

[Cod. Sin. **καρδ. ἀληθινής.—M.]

1 Peter 1:22; 1 Peter 1:22. [ ἐκτενῶς = intente.—M.]

[35] 1 Peter 1:23. [ ζῶντος Θεοῦ καὶ μένοντος = by the word of God living and enduring.—M.]

[Cod. Sin. omits εἰς τὸ* αἰῶνα.—M.]

1 Peter 1:24; 1 Peter 1:24. [ διότι = because.—M.]

1 Peter 1:24; 1 Peter 1:24. [ ἀνθρώπου in Rec. for αὐτῆς. If the latter reading is preferred, we must render “and all the glory of it,” i. e. of flesh. So Wiclif and Reims.—M.]

[38] 1 Peter 1:24. [ ἐξηράνθη, ἐξέπεσεν, aorists, statement as in a narrative; viz.: the grass hath withered and the flower thereof is fallen away; Wiclif and Reims: Exaruit fœnum et flos ejus decidit. Vulgate. German.—M.]

[Cod. Sin. ὡσι (**improb.).—ἡ δόξ. αὐτοῦ.—**δόξ. αὐτῆς. ἀνθ.—Without αὐτοῦ.—M.]

Bibliographical Information
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on 1 Peter 1". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/lcc/1-peter-1.html. 1857-84.
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