The First Epistle of Peter

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The First Epistle of Peter

  • Author: the Apostle Peter
  • Place Written: Babylon
  • When Written: c. 62–64 C.E.



A Living Hope; the Source of Our Salvation

1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

To the temporary residents scattered about in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, to those chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, to obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:

May grace and peace be multiplied to you.

A New Birth to a Living Hope

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an incorruptible and undefiled and unfading inheritance, reserved[1] in heaven for you, who by the power of God are protected through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved[2] by various trials, so that the genuineness[3] of your faith, being more valuable than gold, which perishes though tested[4] by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; though you have not seen him, you love him; though you do not see him now, you believe in him, and you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining the goal of your faith,[5] the salvation of your souls.

10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets sought and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come to you, 11 searching for what time or what particular time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did point to as it testified beforehand about the sufferings of Christ and the glories after these things. 12 To whom it was revealed that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels desire to look.

Be Holy as Obedient Children

13 Therefore, gird the loins of your mind,[6] and being sober-minded,[7] set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As children of obedience,[8] do not be conformed according to the desires you formerly had in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, you also be holy in all your conduct; 16 because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

The Cost of Our Salvation

17 And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves with fear during the time of your temporary residence; 18 knowing that it was not with perishable things like silver or gold that you were redeemed[9] from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but it was with precious blood, as of an unblemished and spotless lamb, that of Christ. 20 Who was foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world but was manifested at the end of times for you 21 who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

The New Birth

22 Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth, with an unhypocritical love of the brothers, intensely love one another from a pure heart,[10] 23 having been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For,

“All flesh is[11] like grass,
And all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
And the flower falls off,
25 But the word of the Lord endures forever.”[12]

And this is the word which was preached to you as good news.


Form a Longing for the Word

2 Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn infants, long for the spiritual unadulterated[13] milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted[14] the kindness of the Lord.

Living Stones Built Into a Spiritual House

And coming to him, a living stone rejected by men but chosen, precious to God, you yourselves as living stones are being built up into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, in order to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture:

“Look, I am laying in Zion a stone,

    a cornerstone chosen and precious,

and whoever believes in it[15] will not be put to shame.”[16]

It is to you, therefore, that he is precious, because you are believers; but to those not believing,

“The stone that the builders rejected

    has become the cornerstone,”[17]


“A stone of stumbling,

    and a rock of offense;”[18]

for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this very end they were also appointed.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for special possession,[19] so that you may proclaim the excellencies[20] of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light; 10 for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Living as Foreigners In the World

11 Beloved, I urge you as foreigners and temporary residents to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. 12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good works and glorify God on the day of visitation.[21]

Proper Subjection

13 Subject yourselves to every human authority for the sake of the Lord, whether to a king as having supreme authority, 14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to praise those who do good. 15 For so the will of God is, that by doing good you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. 16 Live as free men, yet without using your freedom as a cover for evil, but live as slaves of God. 17 Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

Submission of Slaves to Masters

18 Let servants be in subjection to their masters with all due fear, not only to the good and reasonable but also to those hard to please.[22] 19 For this is an agreeable thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is there if you are beaten for sinning and you endure it? But if you endure suffering because of doing good, this is an agreeable thing to God.

Christ Is Our Example

21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his footsteps, 22 who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in his mouth; 23 when he was being reviled, he did not revile in return; while suffering, he uttered no threats, but kept entrusting himself to the one who judges righteously; 24 and he himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin[23] and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the shepherd and overseer of your souls.


Wives and Husbands

3 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. Do not let your adornment be external, the braiding of hair and the wearing of gold ornaments or fine clothing, but let it be the secret[24] person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. For in the same way formerly the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being subject to their own husbands; just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any terror.

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

Show Fellow Feeling; Seek Peace

Finally, all of you, be of one mind, fellow feeling,[25] brotherly love, tender-hearted, and humble minded; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. 10 For

“Whoever desires to love life

    and see good days,

let him keep his tongue from evil

    and his lips from speaking deceit
11 let him turn away from evil and do good.

    let him seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
    and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”[26]

Suffering for Righteousness’ Sake

13 Who is the one who will harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being prepared to make a defense[27] to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.

Be Ready to Stand Firm for the faith

16 Have a good conscience so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer because you are doing good, if the will of God wishes it, than because you are doing evil. 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit; 19 in which also he went and made proclamation to the spirits in prison, 20 who had formerly been disobedient when the patience of God was waiting[28] in the days of Noah, while the ark was being constructed, in which a few people, that is, eight souls, were carried safely through the water. 

Baptism and a Good Conscience

21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the flesh but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to him.


Live for God’s Will, as Christ Did

4 Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same way of thinking, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For the time that has passed by is sufficient for doing the will of the Gentiles, living in sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. With respect to this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For the gospel has for this purpose been preached even to those who are dead, that though they are judged in the flesh as men, they may live in the spirit according to the will of God.

End of All Things Has Drawn Close

The end of all things has drawn near; therefore, be sound in mind[29] and be sober minded[30] in prayers. Above all things, have intense love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaining. 10 Just as each one has received a gift, use it for serving one another, as good stewards of the varied grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, let it be as one who speaks sayings[31] of God; if anyone ministers, let him do so as depending on the strength that God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. The glory and the might are his forever and ever. Amen.

Share the Sufferings of Christ

12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; 13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of his glory you may rejoice and be overjoyed. 14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

Patience in Suffering

15 However, let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a busybody in other people’s matters;[32] 16 but if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And

“If the righteous is scarcely saved,

    what will become of the godless man and the sinner?”[33] 

19 Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.


Shepherd the Flock of God Willingly

5 Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but willingly, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but becoming examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. In the same way, you younger men, be in subjection to the elders; and all of you clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God opposes the proud, but he gives grace to the humble ones.

Be Humble and Watchful

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded;[34] be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him and be firm in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are being experienced by your brothers in the world. 10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Silvanus Assists Peter, Concluding Words

12 By Silvanus, our faithful brother (as I regard him), I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it! 13 She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings, and so does Mark, my son. 14 Greet one another with the kiss of love.

Peace be to you all who are in Christ.

[1] Lit having been kept

[2] Or distressed

[3] Or proof

[4] That is, refined

[5] Lit carrying off for selves the end of the faith

[6] Thought(s), Intention, Purpose: (διάνοια dianoia) This refers to the mind, the place of reason, understanding thinking (Eph. 4:18), a mental disposition, a way of thinking, a manner of thought (Col. 1:21). It also can refer to the thought(s), that is, the content of what one is thinking. (Lu 1:51) It can also refer to preparing one’s mind for action (mental perception). – 1 Peter 1:13.

[7] Sober Minded: (νήφω nēphō) This denotes being sound in mind, to be in control of one’s thought processes and thus not be in danger of irrational thinking, ‘to be sober-minded, to be well composed in mind.’ – 1 Thessalonians 5:6, 8; 2 Timothy 4:5; 1 Peter 1:13; 4:7; 5:8

[8] That is, obedient children

[9] Or ransomed

[10] The original wording was “a pure heart,” supported by P72 א* C P Ψ 33 1739 Maj syrh cop. There are two additional variants: (1) “from the heart” supported by A B, and (2) “from a true heart” supported by א2.

[11] Or all humans are

[12] Lit for the age; quotation from Isa. 40:6, 8

[13] Or pure

[14] Or experienced

[15] That is, him; that is Jesus Christ

[16] Or disappointed; quotation from Isa. 28:16

[17] Lit the head of the corner; Quotation from Ps 118:22

[18] Quotation from Isa. 8:14

[19] That is, a people that has become (God’s own) possession –BDAG

[20] Lit the virtues; that is, his praiseworthy qualities and deeds

[21] That is Christ’s second coming to judge

[22] Or dishonest

[23] Or be finished with sin

[24] Or hidden

[25] Or co-suffering

[26] Verses 10–12 are a quotation from Ps 34:12–16

[27] Or argument; or explanation

[28] That is, when God was patiently waiting

[29] Sound in Mind: (σωφρονέω sōphroneō) This means to be of sound mind or in one’s right mind, i.e., to have understanding about practical matters and thus be able to act sensibly, ‘to have sound judgment, to be sensible, to use good sense, sound judgment.’ – Acts 26:25; Romans 12:3; 2 Timothy 1:7; Titus 2:6; 1 Peter 4:7

[30] Sober Minded: (νήφω nēphō) This denotes being sound in mind, to be in control of one’s thought processes and thus not be in danger of irrational thinking, ‘to be sober-minded, to be well composed in mind.’ – 1 Thessalonians 5:6, 8; 2 Timothy 4:5; 1 Peter 1:13; 4:7; 5:8

[31] Sayings: (Gr. logia, on [only in the plural]) A saying or message, usually short, especially divine, gathered into a collection.–Acts 7:38; Romans 3:2; Hebrews 5:12; 1 Peter 4:11.

[32] Lit an overseer of what is another’s

[33] Sinner: (ἁμαρτωλός hamartōlos) In the Scriptures “sinners” is generally used in a more specific way, that is, referring to those willfully living in sin, practicing sin, or have a reputation of sinning. – Matt. 9:10; Mark 2:15; Luke 5:30; 7:37-39; John 9:16; Rom. 3:7; Gal. 2:15; 1 Tim. 1:15; Heb. 7:26; Jam. 4:8; 1 Pet 4:18; Jude 1:15.

[34] Sober Minded: (νήφω nēphō) This denotes being sound in mind, to be in control of one’s thought processes and thus not be in danger of irrational thinking, ‘to be sober-minded, to be well composed in mind.’ – 1 Thessalonians 5:6, 8; 2 Timothy 4:5; 1 Peter 1:13; 4:7; 5:8.

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