The first epistle of st. Peter 1: 1-2: 17


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kai; dovxan aujtw'/ dovnta, and gave him glory] The nearest parallel to this striking phrase as regards dovxa, G1518, is in St Peter’s speech at Solomon’s Porch, Acts 3:13 “The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, ejdovxasen to;n pai'da aujtou' jIhsou'n,” where pai'da, as several times in Acts, is certainly a reference to the Servant of Jehovah who holds so large a place in the Messianic prophecies of II Isaiah, with probably a special allusion to oJ pai'" mou...doxasqhvsetai sfovdra in the LXX. of Isa. 52:13 just before ch. 53. (see above, p. 55). The healing of the lame man is represented as a glorifying of Christ by the God of Israel, but doubtless also as a manifestation from heaven of the primary glory involved in the Ascension and Session at God’s right hand. The same idea, but without the word “glory,” occurs in connexion with the Resurrection in Acts 2:33-36 (St Peter); 5:31 (St Peter); the leading word in each case being “exalt” (th'/ dexia'/ tou' qeou' uJywqeiv", u{ywsen th'/ dexia'/ aujtou'), where the juxtaposition of language about sitting at God’s right hand (taken from Ps. 110:1) is no sufficient reason for questioning either the natural interpretation of the dative “exalted by His right hand” (O.T. language, e.g. Ps. 59:7 (60:7); 107:7 (108:7); Isa. 41:10; and for dexiav cf. Ps. 117:15, 16 (118:15, 16) where the LXX. has dexia; Kurivou u{ywsevn me (an important Psalm here)), or the fidelity of the Greek rendering of the original Aramaic words (Weiss, Petr. Lehrbegr., p. 205); cf. Eph. 1:19, th;n ejnevrgeian tou' kravtou" th'" ijscuvo" aujtou' k.t.l. And again, in accordance with this language of St Peter in the Acts is St Paul in Phil. 2:9, dio; kai; oJ qeo;" aujto;n uJperuvywsen, where the next clause has the nearest parallel to dovnta here, viz. kai; ejcarivsato aujtw'/ to; o[noma to; uJpe;r pa'n o[noma, the name being the expression of the glory (cf. Eph. 1:21). This glorification of the Incarnate Son, as (so to speak) the crowning event of the events beginning with the circumstances of His birth, was at the same time, as we learn from His own words in John 17:5, a return to the antecedent glory of His eternal Sonship.

The words must doubtless be taken in their strictest sense, in reference to Him of whom they are directly spoken: but their special form was very possibly chosen by St Peter with a view to the gift of glory to men which he associated with resurrection.

w{ste th;n pivstin uJmw'n kai; ejlpivda ei\nai eij" qeovn, so that your faith and hope is on God] This clause may be taken in two ways; either (1) as expressing purpose, intention, and so depending on the immediately preceding ejgeivranta...dovnta, “who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, to the end that your faith and hope might be on God”; or (2) in the commoner sense of simple result, depending on the main statement of the verse, fanerwqevnto" de;...dij uJma'" tou;" dij aujtou' pistouv", “so that your on God.” The first sense is quite consistent with the context, being implicitly contained in fanerwqevnto" dij uJma'", Divine manifestation being the appointed foundation of human faith and hope. But (1) St Peter would probably in that case have made his meaning clear by using i{na, G2671, a favourite particle with him (see especially 1 Pet. 1:7; 2:21, 24; 3:9, 18; 4:6); (2) he would in this context have probably preferred genevsqai to ei\nai; and (3) the whole sentence and paragraph gain much, and lose nothing, by concluding in a broad statement of fact, answering to the present indicatives of 1 Pet. 1:6 and 8. Cf. 1 Cor. 1:7.

Mr Evans’s attempt (Expositor (Series 2), iii. pp. 3ff.) to shew that w{ste, G6063, with the infinitive expresses not actual fact, but only the idea of fact, is a complete failure. No such limitation holds good in classical Greek, much less in the N.T., in which the use of w{ste, G6063, with the indicative (except of course where it means “wherefore” in the beginning of a sentence) is limited to two passages (John 3:16 with ou{tw", G4048; Gal. 2:13 without ou{tw", G4048), and virtually w{ste, G6063, with the infinitive does duty for all the cases which in classical Greek would fall under both constructions.

An interesting question of construction remains. Much favour has of late been shown to the view that th;n pivstin is the subject, ejlpivda the predicate, in the sense “so that your faith is also hope in God.” The chief argument for this construction is that it avoids the apparent tautology of pistou;" eij" qeo;n...w{ste th;n pivstin uJmw'n... ei\nai eij" qeovn. It is also urged that so only can ejlpivda obtain its full force as the characteristic Petrine word: but this is to exaggerate the stress laid by St Peter on hope as compared with faith. It is also urged that the intermediate position of uJmw'n is unfavourable to the coupling of pivstin and ejlpivda together: but this position is the correct one if St Peter was intending, not to make the two substantives completely coordinate, but to make pivstin primary and then add on ejlpivda, “your faith and moreover your hope,” or “your faith and therewith your hope.” On the other hand (1) there is a suspicious modernness about the expression “your faith is also hope in God”; a more apostolic phrase would have been that “in their faith they had hope,” or that “their faith wrought hope”: and (2) the idea conveyed by the expression gives a factitious separateness to hope which is not borne out by any other language of St Peter. The apparent tautology of the older and more common view disappears if we take this last clause as referring back not simply to tou;" dij aujtou' pistouv" k.t.l., but to the whole verse from fanerwqevnto" dev, and even to the whole of the four verses beginning with eijdovte" in vs. 18. Through all these verses St Peter never loses sight of the principal exhortation in 1 Pet. 1:17. He bids their converse with the world around be in fear, because they knew with what inestimably precious blood they had been bought out of the base slavery of a heathen life, and knew also that that blood was the blood of Messiah Himself, designated by God before the world began, raised up and glorified by God after His death for their sakes. Thus the whole circle of their Christian knowledge conducted them to God Himself as the object of their faith and hope, and of this faith and hope the reverent fear of which he spoke was a natural fruit. Thus, while in the first clause of the verse, dij aujtou' are the emphatic words, and eij" qeovn with what follows comes in for purposes of explanation only, in the last clause eij" qeovn is the whole predicate, carrying the readers emphatically back to Him who had been spoken of in vv. 15-17. A faith and hope resting on God had the firmest possible assurance, and at the same time implicitly confessed the highest obligations of reverence and holiness. The absence of an article before qeovn is probably due to a desire of laying stress on all that the word carries with it, “firm faith and hope is on God, God and nothing less.”

The addition of ejlpivda to pivstin doubtless arises from St Peter’s steady contemplation of the future, of the glory which, as he says in 1 Pet. 5:1, “should hereafter be revealed”; there is an impersonal hope of the future which almost supersedes faith in the present and living God. Not such was the apostolic hope, which was in strictness but a part of the apostolic faith. But on the other hand a faith without hope, without a glad outlook into the future, would not be such a faith as the Gospel inspired.

22. The abruptness with which this verse begins has naturally led to various futile attempts to connect it with one or other of the preceding verses. [Of these the most plausible is Ewald’s (Sieben Sendschr. des N. B. pp. 9, 26f.), who, reading ajnastrefovmenoi for ajnastravfhte in 1 Pet. 1:17, makes vv. 18-21 parenthetic in form as well as matter, and vs. 17 the protasis and vs. 22 b the apodosis of a long sentence; but he thereby weakens the necessary cohesion of vv. 17 ff. with vv. 15 f., and creates a disproportionately weighty as well as bulky statement of the motive for the mutual love of vs. 22.] In vv. 18-21 St Peter, without forgetting his main purpose, has diverged from it for the sake of a piece of fundamental teaching bearing closely upon it, and he now resumes the thread of his exhortation, gathering up in nine partly new words the substance of vv. 14-17, so far as it was needed for carrying him on to the next step.

Ta;" yuca;" uJmw'n hJgnikovte", Having purified your souls] Ta;" yuca;" uJmw'n is put in the front in strong antithesis to ajllhvlou": the personal, individual hallowing towards God must be followed up by a corresponding love towards men: the first precedes the second, but is also unreal in the absence of the second. The “souls” here spoken of are what we should call the very “selves,” as in swthrivan yucw'n 1 Pet. 1:9: cf. 4:19; and also 1 John 3:3, pa'" oJ e[cwn th;n ejlpivda tauvthn ejpj aujtw'/ aJgnivzei eJauto;n kaqw;" k.t.l.; 1 Tim. 5:22, mhde; koinwvnei aJmartivai" ajllotrivai": seauto;n aJgno;n thvrei. JAgnov", whence hJgnikovte", is doubtless in etymology akin to a{gio", G41, and combines the senses of a{gio", G41, and kaqarov", G2754, clean from the point of view of holiness, that is, pure. As applied to men, it denotes first free from ceremonial defilement, whether because the man has not suffered defilement or because he has purged it away, as by fire, water, or sacrifice. Then it comes to mean free from moral defilement. In the LXX. (Ps., Prov.) it is used a few times, without distinctive force, in the moral sense. The verb aJgnivzw, G49, on the other hand, to make aJgnov", G54, is common in the LXX. and almost always has the ceremonial sense. In the N.T. it four times has the same sense (John, Acts), but denotes moral purification once in each of the three principal Catholic Epistles (here; James 4:8; 1 John 3:3); while in the N.T. aJgnov", G54, (with aJgneiva, aJgnovth") is exclusively moral, viz. a few times in St Paul and again once in each of these three Epistles (1 Pet. 3:2; James 3:17; 1 John 3:3). It is possible that St Peter had in mind James 4:8; possible also that his ta;" yucav" was suggested by Jer. 6:16, where the LXX. has euJrhvsete aJgnismo;n [for “rest”] tai'" yucai'" uJmw'n: but at all events he is repeating in another form the kai; aujtoi; a{gioi ejn pavsh/ ajnastrofh'/ genhvqhte of 1 Pet. 1:15. Cf. 2 Cor. 7:1 in connexion with 6:16-18. Nor is it unlikely that his ejn fovbw/ in 1 Pet. 1:17 brought to his mind Ps. 18:10 (19:10) LXX. oJ fovbo" Kurivou aJgnov".

The perfect hJgnikovte" (not aJgnivsante") should be noted. It excludes the possibility of the participle sharing the imperative of the finite verb ajgaphvsate, “purify your souls and love”; and fixes St Peter’s meaning as “Having purified, i.e. Now that ye have purified.” That is, he refers back to the initial act of consecration, of which their acceptance of baptism was the outward sign. The working out of this initial consecration and purification remained, just as did the working out of the initial hearkening and obedience to the truth which preceded their baptism. This strictly perfect sense agrees not only with ajnagegennhmevnoi in 1 Pet. 1:23, but with the present indicatives of vv. 6 and 8.

ejn th'/ uJpakoh'/ th'" ajlhqeiva", in your obedience of the truth] JUpakoh'/ again repeats wJ" tevkna uJpakoh'" of 1 Pet. 1:14. The purification contemplated is not merely an inward emotional state. It comes to pass in active well-doing; and the well-doing consists in obedience, in doing the will of the Father and Lord. jEn, as before, includes instrumentality, but also something more: it is “in virtue of” obedience, “in the power of” obedience, rather than simply “by means of” obedience.

But a new idea is introduced with th'" ajlhqeiva", yet one not altogether new. St Peter has in a manner already hinted at it, partly by his describing the heathen condition as an a[gnoia, G53, in vs. 14, partly by his use of dianoiva" in vs. 13, implying the need of a discipline of mind no less than of character, if indeed we can speak of character exclusive of mind; the word dianoiva" being there apparently suggested by Eph. 4:18, where so much is said of the heathen as walking in vanity of their nou'", G3808, darkened in their diavnoia, G1379, “alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them.” And now th'" ajlhqeiva" comes from the sequel of the same passage, where the Christian life is opposed to that heathen life, and is summed up as “the new man which was created after God (i.e. in His likeness) in righteousness and holiness of the truth (ejn dikaiosuvnh/ kai; oJsiovthti th'" ajlhqeiva")”; and St Paul immediately proceeds, “Wherefore putting off the falsehood (to; yeu'do": so also John 8:44; Rom. 1:25; 2 Thess. 2:11), the whole untrue way of looking at and dealing with things, speak ye truth.” The same idea occurs in various parts of Ephesians, and again, though less distinctly, in other Epistles of St Paul.

The combination of th'" ajlhqeiva" with th'/ uJpakoh'/ is remarkable and instructive. In Rom. 1:5; 16:26 indeed eij" uJpakoh;n pivstew" probably means “unto obedience” not “to faith” but “inspired by faith” (cf. dia; dikaiosuvnh" pivstew" Rom. 4:13). Clem. Al. (Eclogae 61, p. 995) has distinctly dou'lo" qeou' dij uJpakoh;n ejntolh'" keklhmevno", which must mean obedience to a commandment; and so, with probable reference to St Paul’s phrase to be mentioned below, he has (Str. vii.14, p. 886) zw'nta" hJma'" kata; th;n tou' eujaggelivou uJpakohvn. This “obedience of the truth” stands in complete contrast to the momentary fashioning after accidental individual desires in ignorance of the realities of life spoken of in 1 Pet. 1:14. This is not the only place in which it is implied that Christian obedience is something much higher than obedience to a mere law or code of commands. In Rom. 10:16 St Paul says, ajllj ouj pavnte" uJphvkousan tw'/ eujaggelivw/ (so also 2 Thess. 1:8), and again, with a closer resemblance, Rom. 2:8, ajpeiqou'si th'/ ajlhqeiva/ peiqomevnoi" de; th'/ ajdikiva/ (cf. 2 Thess. 2:12, oiJ mh; pisteuvsante" th'/ ajlhqeiva/ ajlla; eujdokhvsante" th'/ ajdikiva/). A similar and still less obvious use of uJpakouvw, G5634, occurs in Clem. Rom. 58, uJpakouvswmen ou\n tw'/ panagivw/ kai; ejndovxw/ ojnovmati aujtou' (cf. 9, Dio; uJpakouvswmen th'/ megaloprepei' kai; ejndovxw/ boulhvsei aujtou'). In Acts 6:7 the meaning seems to be “obeyed the call of the faith,” not, that is, embraced the faith, but acted on the demand made on them by the faith which had now become theirs, that they should avow it and take the consequences. Such a uJpakohv, G5633, would be like Abraham’s; see Heb. 11:8 (ejxelqei'n). “Obedience to the Gospel” is the fittest of language, because the message brought to mankind in Christ commands by means of what it reveals: it brings light into the dark places of life, making disobedience to the Divine will to be not sin only but folly, acquiescence in unreality. The climax of this N.T. teaching is our Lord’s own proclamation of Himself as the Truth (John 14:6); and it is remarkable that His last great prayer (17:17-19) contains language about “hallowing in the truth” (aJgivason aujtou;" ejn th'/ ajlhqeiva/...i{na w\sin kai; aujtoi; hJgiasmevnoi ejn ajlhqeiva/) which comes near St Peter’s language about purifying in the obedience of the truth.

St Peter here does not appear to mean “obedience to the truth.” 2 Cor. 10:5 (eij" th;n uJpakoh;n tou' cristou') must be interpreted by 10:1 (dia; th'" prau?thto" kai; ejpieikeiva" tou' cristou'); cf. Heb. 5:8. Thus the only Biblical authority for uJpakohv, G5633, with a genitive meaning “obedience to” falls away. St Peter rather means the dependence of Christian obedience on the possession of the truth. This interpretation is confirmed (1) by the use of th'" ajlhqeiva" after dikaiosuvnh/ kai; oJsiovthti in the fundamental passage of Eph. (Eph. 4:24), where this genitive of derivation or foundation is alone possible, and (2) by the probability that St Peter would have distinctly used some such language as ejn tw'/ uJpakouvein th'/ ajlhqeiva/, if that would have expressed the whole of his meaning.

After ajlhqeiva" the Syrian text, with two or three Latin authorities, inserts dia; pneuvmato".

eij" filadelfivan ajnupovkriton, unto unfeigned love of the brethren] These words must go with what precedes, and thus set forth that love of the brethren was from the first included in the purification of souls and obedience of the truth as their true and necessary result. It was no accessory or afterthought. The duties of Christian brotherhood were implied in all true morality and true religion. The sequence ejn th'/ uJpakoh'/...eij" filadelfivan exactly answers to ejn aJgiasmw'/...eij" uJpakohvn in 1 Pet. 1:2.

Filadelfiva is not “brotherly love” in the common vague sense of the term, i.e. a love like that of brothers shewn to those who are not brothers, but the actual love of brothers for each other. In ordinary classical use it is the mutual love of those who are literally brothers, as of Castor and Polydeuces (e.g. Luc., Deor. Dial., xxvi.2; Plut., De frat. am. (peri; filadelfiva"), 1. p. 478 A; Phil., Leg. ad Cai. 12). It is said to have been used by Plato’s contemporary Alexis (Meineke, Com. Fr. iii.526). Filavdelfo" was previously used in Soph., Ant. 527: Xen., Mem. ii.3.17; later in Diod. Sic. iii.57; xvii.34. There is no sign that it had any but this literal sense. In classical writers it apparently had never any other sense: it is not used at all by Epictetus or Marcus Aurelius, the most likely representatives of Stoicism to exhibit it in the wider sense, had such existed; any more than by Plato Aristotle or Theophrastus. The same limitation continues in the Jewish books 4 Macc. (4 Macc. 13:21, 23, 26; 14:1) and Joseph., Ant. xii.4.6. The first extension of usage is in a curious passage of 2 Macc. (2 Macc. 15:14), where Jeremiah, as seen in a vision praying for the people and the holy city, is called oJ filavdelfo" ou|to": that is, he is thought of as still one of the Jewish brotherhood (cf. the use of ajdelfoiv in 1 Pet. 1:1); and even here the brotherhood is probably regarded as due to common descent rather than common faith. From this we pass to the specially Christian sense of the mutual love of those who are brethren, sons of the

invisible Father in a special sense (so oiJ ajdelfoiv John 21:23; Acts 9:30; 10:23, c St Paul often; St John Epp.; and hJ ajdelfovth" 1 Pet. 2:17; 5:9). It occurs in St Paul’s earliest extant Epistle as a duty or principle not needing to be expounded to the Thessalonians (1 Thess. 4:9), associated as here with to; ajgapa'/n ajllhvlou"; and again in Rom. 12:10, joined with eij" ajllhvlou" filovstorgoi; and likewise in Heb. 13:1 (hJ filadelfiva menevtw, again as a recognised principle); and 2 Pet. 1:7; besides the adjective in 1 Pet. 3:8.

After filadelfivan St Peter adds ajnupovkriton, a word occurring first in Wisdom (Wisd. 5:18; 18:16) and rarely in later classical writers (e.g. M. Aur. viii.5), a word however chiefly Christian, as might be expected partly from our Lord’s warnings against uJpovkrisi", G5694, and uJpokritaiv, partly from the high standard of veracity set up by the Apostles. It is used by St James (James 3:17) with sofiva, G5053, by St Paul writing to Timothy (1 Tim. 1:5; 2 Tim. 1:5) with pivsti", G4411, and again by St Paul nearly as here with ajgavph, G27, (Rom. 12:9; 2 Cor. 6:6), the sphere of friendship or affection evidently being peculiarly liable to be invaded by unreal pretence (uJpokritai; filiva", Plut. ii.13 B). Even in very early Christian communities the outward forms of brotherhood might cover a secret growth of hatreds, jealousies, and selfishnesses (cf. 1 Pet. 2:1); more especially at the time when St Peter wrote, and the early fervour had begun to cool.

ejk kardiva", from the heart] An early, probably Alexandrian, interpolation, kaqara'" before kardiva", was apparently suggested by the association of ejk kaqara'" kardiva" with ajgavph, G27, in 1 Tim. 1:5 (cf. 2 Tim. 2:22); it is omitted by AB Virtually it would be only a repetition of ajnupovkriton. The phrase ejk kardiva" with uJphkouvsate occurs in Rom. 6:17 (cf. Eph. 6:7, ejk yuch'" metj eujnoiva" douleuvonte"—for this is the right construction). In Test. Gad 6 we have jAgapa'te ou\n ajllhvlou" ajpo; kardiva": but this may be derived from 1 Peter, which appears to be used elsewhere in the Testaments. The usual classical phrase is ajpo; kardiva". Perhaps we should hardly be justified in assuming an intentional contrast to the ejx o{lh" ªth'"º kardiva" sou required for the supreme love of God in the Gospels (Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27 (Deut. 6:5)). But at all events the point dwelt on here is not completeness, but inwardness, the impulse of love proceeding from the inner self, as distinguished from the mere regulation of demeanour and conduct, unreal even when not hypocritical. The phrase then requires the love spoken of not so much to be of a certain quality or a certain warmth as to be genuine.

ajllhvlou" ajgaphvsate, love one another] This is the new commandment given by our Lord to the disciples with special solemnity on the night of His Betrayal after the departure of Judas (John 13:34 f., and again 15:12, 17), repeated by St Paul (1 Thess. 3:12; 4:9; 2 Thess. 1:3; Rom. 12:10; 13:8), and finally enforced at the end of the apostolic age by St John’s written words (1 John 2:7; 3:11, 23; 4:7-12; 2 John 5), and also, according to tradition (Hier. in Gal. vi.10), with his living voice when he had lost strength to say more. It is of the mutual love of Christians, believers in the same Lord, that we hear in this and similar passages. This is the inner circle within which that love is cherished and educated which is meant to go forth, like the Lord’s own love, to those who are without the circle, to all mankind.

ejktenw'", G1757, earnestly] An interesting word, found again (-hv") in the same connexion 1 Pet. 4:8, th;n eij" eJautou;" ajgavphn ejktenh' e[conte". In Luke 22:44; Acts 12:5 it is associated with prayer, in Acts 26:7 with latreuvw, G3302. In the N.T. the Latin renderings express two different ideas, warmth or energy (vehemens, instans (?), attentus) and steady perseverance (prolixus, perpetuus, continuus, perseveranter, ex tenacitate, incessanter, sine intermissione). In the LXX. (twice) and in Judith it is used only in connexion with prayer. In the earlier Greek literature the adverb is unknown, though the adjective is found in Aesch. Suppl. 983 tou;" ejktenei'" fivlou" (affectionate steady friends). Then in the 3rd century B.C. it is found in Magna Moralia 2.11 § 31 as to active friendship (o{tan oJ me;n ejktenw'" poih'/ oJ dj ejlleivph/), and Machon ap. Athen. xiii.579 E (ejktenw'" ajgapwvmeno"), but apparently it is wanting in all true Attic literature and even in Aristotle. In the later literature (including 2 and 3 Macc.) this word and its cognates (substan., adj.) occasionally turn up, chiefly with reference to friendship, personal or national, with reference sometimes to steadiness and fidelity of friendship (or even patient nursing), sometimes to displays of special cordiality in a single act. Ultimately they acquired the sense of munificence (e.g. M. Aur. i.4, and various inscriptions), and even (as in Herodian vii.2.8 xuvlwn ou[sh" ejkteneiva", viii.2.15) of mere abundance. The fundamental idea is that of earnestness, zealousness (doing a thing not lightly and perfunctorily, but, as it were, with straining). Cf. Clem. Rom. 33, speuvswmen meta; ejkteneiva" kai; proqumiva" pa'n e[rgon ajgaqo;n ejpitelei'n; 37, strateuswvmeqa meta; pavsh" ejkteneiva" ejn t. ajmwvmoi" prostavgmasin aujtou'; 58, oJ poihvsa" ejn tapeinofrosuvnh/ metj ejktenou'" ejpieikeiva" ajmetamelhvtw" ta; uJpo; t. qeou' dedomevna dikaiwvmata kai; prostavgmata; 62, meta; ejktenou'" ejpieikeiva". So here it is not so much warmth or intensity of love that ejktenw'", G1757, expresses, as strenuousness and steady earnestness in it as opposed to fitfulness and caprice. Love of the brethren was not to be such as would shew itself in casual bursts of emotion, but in a deliberate principle of life. This sense is further confirmed by the tenour of vs. 23, and especially ajfqavrtou and mevnonto" (comp. Weiss, Petr. Lehrbegr., p. 336). The force of ejktenw'", G1757, at the end of the clause is exactly like that of teleivw", G5458, after nhvfonte" in vs. 13.

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