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1. All (pasan - panta). Lit., every, or all manner of.
Evil-speaking (katalaliav). Lit., speakings against. A rare word. Only here and 2 Cor. xii. 20.
2. New-born (artigennhta). Peculiar to Peter, and only in this passage. Lit., born but just now (arti).
The sincere milk of the word (to logikon adolon gala). The A.V. has rendered logikon, of the word; but wrongly. It describes the quality of the milk as spiritual or rational, as opposed to liberal and ceremonial. In the only other place where it occurs (Rom. xii. 1) it is rendered reasonable; which Rev. gives here in margin.
Sincere (adolon) is another epithet of the milk. Lit., without guile, unadulterated. Compare guile in ver. 1. Laying aside guile, desire the guileless milk, etc. Hence Rev., renders the whole passage, Long for the spiritual milk which is without guile.
That ye may grow thereby. The best texts add, unto salvation.
4. Coming (prosercomenoi). Indicating a close (prov) and an habitual (present participle) approach and an intimate association.
A living stone (liqon zwnta). Omit as unto. So Rev. The words are in apposition with whom (Christ). Compare Peter's use of the same word, stone, in Acts iv. 11, and Matt. xxi. 42. It is not the word which Christ uses as a personal name for Peter (Petrov); so that it is not necessary to infer that Peter was thinking of his own new name.
Disallowed (apodedokimasmenon). Rev., rejected. See on the simple verb, ch. i. 7. The word indicates rejection after trial.
Of God (para Qew). Of in the A.V. is equivalent to by; but para has a stronger sense, implying the absolute power of decisive choice which is with God. Render, as Rev., with God; i.e., God being judge; and compare Matt. xix. 26; Rom. ii. 11.
Precious (entimon). At ch. i. 19 (precious blood) another word is used (timiov), denoting essential preciousness. The word here indicates the preciousness as recognized or held in honor.
5. Living stones - built up - a spiritual house. It seems as though Peter must have had in mind the conception embodied in Christ's commission to him, of a building erected upon a rock. The metaphor of a house built of living stones is violent, and sufficiently characteristic of Peter; yet it pictures, in a very striking way, the union of stability, growth, and activity in the ideal church. Note the transition from babes growing (ver. 2) to stones built up. But, as Salmond remarks, "In Paul we have even bolder instances of apparent confusion of metaphors, as when, in one breath, he represents believers as at once walking, rooted, and built up in Christ (Col. ii. 6, 7).
To offer up (anenegkai). The usual Old-Testament (Septuagint) term for offering of sacrifice. Lit., to bring up to the altar. Compare Heb. xiii. 15. The force of ajna, up, appears in the fact of the altar being raised. The word is often used of carrying from a lower to a higher place. Thus Matt. xvii. 1; Luke xxiv. 51. In this sense ver. 24 of this chapter is suggestive, where it is said that Christ bare (anhnegken) our sins: carried them up to the cross. See note there.
6. It is contained (periecei). From peri, round about, and ecw, to hold. Hence, to contain or comprehend. So Luke v. 9, he was astonished (qambov auton periescev); lit., astonishment held him encompassed. Also, Acts xxiii. 25, "He wrote a letter after this manner (periecousan ton tupon touton); lit., containing this form. The verb here is impersonal. The kindred word perioch occurs only in Acts viii. 32, rendered place; i.e., the passage of scripture: either the contents of the passage or the section of the book circumscribed or marked off.
In the scripture (en grafh). The best texts reject the article. Grafh means a passage of scripture. See on Mark xii. 10. Hence Rev., in scripture; margin, in a scripture.
Behold I lay, etc. See Rom. ix. 33.
Precious. See on ver. 4.
7. He is precious (h timh). Wrong. Render, as Rev., For you therefore which believe is the preciousness (honor, in margin).
Is made the head of the corner (egenhqh eiv kefalhn gwniav). Rev., correctly, "was made." The preposition eijv, unto, carrying the idea of coming unto the place of honor, is not rendered in A.V. or Rev. Lit., it would be, was made or became unto the head, etc.
Nation (eqnov). People (laov). The distinction between these three words cannot be closely pressed. Race emphasizes the idea of descent; nation, of community. Laov, people, occurring very often in the Septuagint, is used there mostly of the Israelites, the chosen people. The same use is also frequent in the New Testament; but it is employed in a more general sense, as by Luke ii. 10. It would seem that this idea, however, in its metaphorical and Christian application, the chosen Israel of God, directed Peter's choice of the word, since he adds, a people for God's own possession.
Peculiar (eiv peripoihsin). Lit., a people for acquisition. Rev., a people for God's own possession. Wyc., a people of purchasing. Cranmer, a people which are won. The word occurs 1 Thess. v. 9, rendered obtaining (Rev.); Eph. i. 14, God's own possession (Rev.). See Isaiah xliii. 21 (Sept.), where the kindred verb occurs: "This people have I formed for myself (periepoihsamhn).
Shew forth (exaggeilhte). Only here in New Testament. Proclaim, tell abroad.
The praises (tav aretav). Lit., the virtues. So Rev., excellencies. The word occurs Isa. xliii. 21 (Sept., see above), and is rendered praise. See, also, Isa. xliii. 12 (Sept.), "Declare his praise (aretav) in the islands."
11. Beloved (agaphtoi). A favorite term with Peter, occurring eight times in the epistles. See the phrase, our beloved Barnabas and Paul, Acts xv. 25, in the letter sent by the council at Jerusalem to the Gentile Christians, the account of which, doubtless, came from Peter. Compare our beloved brother Paul, 2 Pet. iii. 15.
Strangers (paroikouv). Rev., sojourners. Compare ch. i. 17, "the time of your sojourning (paroikiav)."
Which (aitinev). The compound pronoun denotes a class, of that kind which, classifying all fleshly desires in one category.
12. Conversation. Rev., behavior. See on ch. i. 15.
Whereas (en w). Rev., correctly, wherein; in the matter in which. They speak against (katalalousin). Compare evil-speakings, ver. 1, and Acts xxviii. 22.
Which they shall behold (epopteuontev). Rev., beholding. Used by Peter only, here and ch. iii. 2. The kindred noun ejpopthv, an eye-witness, occurs only at 2 Pet. i. 16. It is a technical word, meaning one who was admitted to the highest degree of initiation in the Elensinian mysteries. Here it conveys the idea of personal witness; behold with their own eyes. Evil-doers (kakopoiwn). The word occurs four times in Peter, and nowhere else in the New Testament except John xviii. 30, where it is applied by the priests to Christ himself.
Visitation (episkophv). The radical idea of the word is that of observing or inspecting. Hence ejpiskopov, an overseer or bishop. Visiting grows naturally out of this, as visitare from visere, to look at attentively. See Introduction, on Peter's emphasis upon sight; and compare behold, in this verse. The "day of visitation" is the day of looking upon: "When God shall look upon these wanderers, as a pastor over his flock, and shall become the overlooker or bishop of their souls" (ver. 25, Lumby).
13. Submit yourselves (upotaghte). Rev., be subject. See Rom. xiii. 1 sq.
Ordinance of man (anqrwpinh ktisei). Lit., to every human creation or institution. Rev., creation, in margin.
King. The emperor, styled king by Greek writers.
By him. The king; not the Lord.
Them that do well (agaqopoiwn). Only here in New Testament.
15. Put to silence (fimoun). A very graphic word, meaning to muzzle or gag. Compare 1 Cor. ix. 9; 1 Tim. v. 18. See on Matt. xxii. 12. Ignorance (agnwsian). In classical Greek it is an ignorance arising from not coming into contact with the person or thing to be known. It occurs only once again in the New Testament, 1 Cor. xv. 34. Here is signifies not want of acquaintance, but of understanding; a state of ignorance.
16. Using (econtev). Lit., having or holding.
Cloke (epikalumma). Only here in New Testament. Lit., a veil. The idea is that of using Christian freedom as a mask for ungodly license. Paul uses the kindred verb (Rom. iv. 7) of the covering of sins. On the sentiment, compare Gal. v. 13.
18. Servants (oiketai). Household servants. So Rev., in margin. Not a common term in the New Testament, occurring only in three other passages: Luke xvi. 13; Acts x. 7; Rom. xiv. 4. Some suppose that Peter intended to cover by it freedmen and other dependents in the household, or that he uses it with a conciliatory purpose, as presenting the slave in closer relation with the family.
Gentle (ejpieikesin). A common derivation of this word is from eikw, to yield. Hence the meaning, mild, yielding, indulgent. But the true derivation if from eijkov, reasonable; and the word implies rather the not being unduly rigorous: "Wherein not strictness of legal right, but consideration for one another, is the rule of practice" (Alford). Compare Philip. iv. 5, where, for moderation (to epieikev), Rev. gives forbearance, with gentleness in margin. According to Aristotle, the word stands in contrast with ajkribodikaiov, one who is exactingly just, as one who is satisfied with less than his due.
Froward (skolioiv). Lit., crooked. See Luke iii. 5. Peter uses the word in Acts ii. 40 (untoward); and Paul, in Philip. ii. 15 (crooked). The word froward is Anglo-Saxon fream-ward or from-ward, the opposite of to-ward. (See untoward, above.) Thus Ben Jonson:
"Those that are froward to an appetite;" i.e., averse. Compare the phrases to-God-ward (2 Cor. iii. 4); to-us-ward.
19. Conscience toward God (suneidhsin Qeou). Rev., in margin, conscious of God. The idea is not conscientiousness in the ordinary sense, but the conscious sense of one's relation to God; his consciousness of God. Thus one suffers patiently, not from a conscientious sense of dury, but from an inner consciousness of his relation to God as a son, and to Christ as a joint-heir, which involves his suffering with him no less than his being glorified with him.
20. What glory (poion kleov). Lit., what kind of glory. This word for glory occurs nowhere else in the New Testament.
Buffeted (kolafizomenoi). See Matt. xxvi. 67: struck with the fist. This whole passage, vv. 19-24, bears the mark of Peter's memories of the scene of Christ's last sufferings (see Introduction) - the blows of the servants, the scorn of the highpriest, the silent submission of Jesus, the cross, the stripes.
21. Leaving (upolimpanwn). Only here in the New Testament.
An example (upogrammon). Only here in the New Testament. A graphic word, meaning a copy set by writing-masters for their pupils. Some explain it as a copy of characters over which the student is to trace the lines.
22. Found (eureqh). Stronger than the simple was, and indicating a guilelessness which had stood the test of scrutiny. Compare Matthew xxvi. 60; John xviii. 38; xix. 4, 6. Christ's sinlessness had also stood the test of Peter's intimacy.
23. Reviled - again (anteloidorei). Only here in the New Testament. Committed himself (paredidou). But his gives a reflexive force to the verb which has no parallel. Commentators are divided, some supplying his cause, as Rev., in margin; others, his judgment; other, his revilers. Better, the subject of the contest - his insults and injuries. Salmond renders, but left it to him, etc.
Judgeth righteously. Compare without respect of persons, ch. i. 17.
24. Bare (anhnegken). See on ver. 5. Bare up to the cross, as to an altar, and offered himself thereon.
Being dead (apogenomenoi). Rev., more strictly, having died. Used here only in the New Testament. The rendering of the verb can be given only in a clumsy way, having become off unto sins; not becoming separate from sins, but having ceased to exist as regards them. Compare Rom. vi. 18. Stripes (mwlwpi). Lit., bruise. So Rev., in margin. Only here in New Testament; meaning a bloody wale which arises under a blow. "Such a sight we feel sure, as we read this descriptive passage, St. Peter's eyes beheld on the body of his Master, and the flesh so dreadfully mangled made the disfigured form appear in his eyes like one single bruise" (Lumby).
25. For ye were as sheep going astray (hte gar wv probata planwmenoi); i.e., as commonly understood, ye were like straying sheep. But the ye were should be construed with the participle going astray, the verb and the participle together denoting habitual action or condition. Render, as Rev., ye were going astray like sheep. See on Mark xii. 24. Bishop. See on ver. 12.