1 From Peter,tn Grk “Peter.” The word “from” is not in the Greek text, but has been supplied to indicate the sender of the letter. an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those temporarily residingtn Or “to those living as resident aliens,” “to the exiles.” This term is used metaphorically of Christians who live in this world as foreigners, since their homeland is heaven. abroadtn Grk “in the Diaspora.” The Greek term διασπορά (diaspora, “dispersion”) refers to Jews not living in Palestine but “dispersed” or scattered among the Gentiles. But here it is probably metaphorical, used of Gentile Christians spread out as God’s people in the midst of a godless world. (in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, the province of Asia,tn Grk “Asia”; in the NT this always refers to the Roman province of Asia, made up of about one-third of the west and southwest end of modern Asia Minor. Asia lay to the west of the region of Phrygia and Galatia. The words “the province of” are supplied to indicate to the modern reader that this does not refer to the continent of Asia. and Bithynia) who are chosentn Or “to the chosen sojourners…” On this reading the phrases in v. 2 describe their entire existence as sojourners, etc., not just their election.
2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father by being set apart by the Spirit for obedience and for sprinklingsn For obedience and for sprinkling indicates the purpose of their choice or election by God. with Jesus Christ’s blood. May grace and peace be yours in full measure!tn Grk “be multiplied to you.”
New Birth to Joy and Holiness
3 Blessed betn There is no verb in the Greek text; either the optative (“be”) or the indicative (“is”) can be supplied. The meaning of the term εὐλογητός (euloghtos) and the author’s intention at this point in the epistle must both come into play to determine which is the preferred nuance. εὐλογητός as an adjective can mean either that one is praised or that one is blessed, that is, in a place of favor and benefit. Two factors of the author’s style come into play. At this point the author is describing the reality of believers’ salvation and will soon explain believers’ necessary response; this is in emulation of Pauline style which generally follows the same logical order (although the author here discusses the reality in a much more compressed fashion). On the other hand, when imitating the Pauline greeting, which is normally verbless, the author inserts the optative (see v. 2 above). When considered as a whole, although a decision is difficult, the fact that the author in the immediate context has used the optative when imitating a Pauline stylized statement would argue for the optative here. The translation uses the term “blessed” in the sense “worthy of praise” as this is in keeping with the traditional translation of berakah psalms. Cf. also 2 Cor 1:3; Eph 1:3. the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he gave us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 that is,tn The phrase “that is” is supplied in the translation to indicate that the imperishable inheritance is in apposition to the living hope of v. 3. intotn Grk “into,” continuing the description of v. 3 without an “and.” an inheritance imperishable, undefiled, and unfading. It is reserved in heaven for you,
5 who by God’s power are protected through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 This brings you great joy,tn Grk “in which you exult.” although you may have to suffertc ‡ The oldest and best witnesses lack the verb (א* B, along with 1505 pc), but most mss (Ì72 א2 A C P Ψ 048 33 1739 Ï) have ἐστίν here (estin, “[if] it is [necessary]”). The verb looks to be an explanatory gloss. But if no verb is present, this opens up the time frame in the author’s mind even more, since the conditional particle for both the first class condition and the fourth class condition is εἰ (ei). That may well be what was on the author’s mind, as evidenced by some of his other allusions to suffering in this little letter (3:14, 17). NA27 has the verb in brackets, indicating doubts as to its authenticity.tn Grk “Though now, for a little while if necessary, you may have to suffer.” for a short time in various trials.
7 Such trials show the proven character of your faith,tn Or “genuineness,” the result of testing. On the other hand it may denote the process of testing: “that the proving of your faith…may bring praise.”sn The author is not asserting that the quality of the readers’ faith is in doubt and will be proven by future trials. He declares their faith to be a present reality in v. 5 and 9, so in context v. 8 affirms that their faith is indeed genuine. which is much more valuable than gold – gold that is tested by fire, even though it is passing awaytn Grk “which is passing away but is tested by fire,” describing gold in a lesser-to-greater comparison with faith’s proven character. – and will bring praisetn Grk “that the testing of your faith…may be found unto praise,” showing the result of the trials mentioned in v. 6. and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.tn Grk “at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (cf. v. 13).
8 Youtn Grk “whom not having seen, you love.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation. have not seen him, but you love him. Youtn Grk “in whom not now seeing…” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation. do not see him now but you believe in him, and so you rejoicetn Grk “in whom not now seeing but believing, you exult.” The participles have been translated as finite verbs due to requirements of contemporary English style. with an indescribable and glorioustn Grk “glorified.” joy,
9 because you are attaining the goal of your faith – the salvation of your souls.
10 Concerning this salvation,tn Grk “about which salvation.” the prophetssn Prophets refers to the OT prophets. who predicted the grace that would come to youtn Grk “who prophesied about the grace that is to/for you.” searched and investigated carefully.
11 They probedtn Grk “probing.” The participle continues the sentence from v. 10 but has been translated as an indicative for English style. into what person or timetn Or “time or circumstances,” focusing not on the person but on the timing and circumstances of the fulfillment.sn The OT prophets wondered about the person and the surrounding circumstances (time) through which God would fulfill his promised salvation. the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating when he testified beforehand about the sufferings appointed for Christtn Grk “the sufferings unto Christ,” i.e., sufferings directed toward him, what he was destined to suffer. and his subsequent glory.tn Grk “the glories after these things.”
12 They were showntn Grk “to whom [pl.] it was revealed.” that they were serving not themselves but you, in regard to the things now announced to you through those who proclaimed the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven – things angels long to catch a glimpse of.
13 Therefore, get your minds ready for actiontn Grk “binding up the loins of your mind,” a figure of speech drawn from the Middle Eastern practice of gathering up long robes around the waist to prepare for work or action. by being fully sober, and set your hopetn Grk “having bound up…, being sober, set your hope…” completely on the grace that will be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed.tn Grk “at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (cf. v. 7).
14 Like obedient children, do not comply withtn Or “do not be conformed to”; Grk “not being conformed to.” the evil urges you used to follow in your ignorance,tn Grk “the former lusts in your ignorance.”
15 but, like the Holy One who called you, become holy yourselves in all of your conduct,
16 for it is written, “You shall be holy, because I am holy.”sn A quotation from Lev 19:2.
17 And if you address as Father the one who impartially judges according to each one’s work, live out the time of your temporary residence heretn Grk “the time of your sojourn,” picturing the Christian’s life in this world as a temporary stay in a foreign country (cf. 1:1). in reverence.
18 You know that from your empty way of life inherited from your ancestors you were ransomed – not by perishable things like silver or gold,
19 but by precious blood like that of an unblemished and spotless lamb, namely Christ.
20 He was foreknowntn Grk “who was foreknown,” describing Christ in v. 19. Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation. before the foundation of the world buttn Greek emphasizes the contrast between these two clauses more than can be easily expressed in English. was manifested in these last timestn Grk “at the last of the times.” for your sake.
21 Through him you now trusttc Although there may be only a slight difference in translation, the term translated as “trust” is the adjective πιστούς (pistous). This is neither as common nor as clear as the verb πιστεύω (pisteuw, “believe, trust”). Consequently, most mss have the present participle πιστεύοντας (pisteuonta"; Ì72 א C P Ψ 1739 Ï), or the aorist participle πιστεύσαντες (pisteusante"; 33 pc), while A B pc vg have the adjective. Thus, πιστούς is to be preferred. In the NT the adjective is routinely taken passively in the sense of “faithful” (BDAG 820 s.v. πιστός 1). That may be part of the force here as well: “you are now faithful to God,” although the primary force in this context seems to be that of trusting. Nevertheless, it is difficult to separate faith from faithfulness in NT descriptions of Christians’ dependence on God.tn Grk “who through him [are] trusting,” describing the “you” of v. 20. Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation. in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
22 You have purifiedtn Grk “having purified,” as the preparation for the love described in the second half of the verse. your souls by obeying the truthtc Most later mss (P Ï) have διὰ πνεύματος (dia pneumato", “through the spirit”) after ἀληθείας (ajlhqeia", “truth”), while the words are lacking in a broad spectrum of early and important witnesses (Ì72 א A B C Ψ 33 81 323 945 1241 1739 al vg sy co). On external grounds, the shorter reading cannot be easily explained if it were not original. The longer reading is clearly secondary, added to show more strongly God’s part in man’s obedience to the truth. But the addition ignores the force that the author gives to “purified” and ruins the balance between v. 22 and v. 23 (for in v. 23 the emphasis is on God’s part; here, on man’s part). in order to show sincere mutual love.tn Grk “for sincere brotherly love.” Sotn Verses 22-23 are a single sentence in the Greek text. To improve clarity (and because contemporary English tends to use shorter sentences) these verses have been divided into three sentences in the translation. In addition, “So” has been supplied at the beginning of the second English sentence (v. 22b) to indicate the relationship with the preceding statement. love one another earnestly from a pure heart.tc A few mss (A B 1852 pc) lack καθαρᾶς (kaqaras, “pure”) and read simply καρδίας (kardias, “from the heart”), but there is excellent ms support (Ì72 א* C P Ψ 33 1739 Ï co) for the word. The omission may have been accidental. In the uncial script (kaqaras kardias) an accidental omission could have happened via homoioteleuton or homoioarcton. καθαρᾶς should be considered original.
23 You have been born anew, not from perishable but from imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God.
24 For
all fleshsn Here all flesh is a metaphor for humanity – human beings as both frail and temporary. is like grass
and all its glory like the flower of the grass;tn Or “a wildflower.”
the grass withers and the flower falls off,
25 but the word of the Lordsn The word of the Lord is a technical expression in OT literature, often referring to a divine prophetic utterance (e.g., Gen 15:1, Isa 1:10, Jonah 1:1). In the NT it occurs 15 times: 3 times as ῥῆμα τοῦ κυρίου (rJhma tou kuriou; here and in Luke 22:61, Acts 11:16) and 12 times as λόγος τοῦ κυρίου (logo" tou kuriou; Acts 8:25; 13:44, 48, 49; 15:35, 36; 16:32; 19:10, 20; 1 Thess 1:8, 4:15; 2 Thess 3:1). As in the OT, this phrase focuses on the prophetic nature and divine origin of what has been said. endures forever.sn A quotation from Isa 40:6, 8.
And this is the word that was proclaimed to you.