Greeting to the Pilgrims

1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who live as foreigners and pilgrims dispersed throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, and by the Spirit’s work of sanctification called to obedience1 and the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.

Praise to the God of All Hope

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who, in accordance with his abundant mercy, has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is incorruptible, undefiled, and that will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you who through faith are being kept by the power of God for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

In all of this you greatly rejoice, though now, for a little while, if it is necessary, some of you may be grieved by various trials, so that the genuineness2 of your faith—which is more precious than gold that perishes despite being tested by fire—may be found to result in praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and though for now you still do not see him, you believe in him, rejoicing3 with a joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory 9 as you obtain4 the goal of your faith: the salvation of your souls.

10 Concerning this salvation the prophets who prophesied about the grace that would come to you diligently searched and inquired, 11 trying to determine what person or time5 the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating when he testified beforehand about the sufferings appointed for Christ and the glories that would follow.6 12 To them it was revealed that they were ministering these things, not to themselves, but to you: things that now have been declared to you through those who proclaimed the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things that angels fervently desire to behold and inspect!

Be Holy as He is Holy

13 So then: Gird up the loins of your mind, stay sober, and fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not give way to the evil desires you formerly indulged when you lived in ignorance, 15 but, like the Holy One who called you, be holy in all your conduct; 16 for it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”7

17 And if you call him “Father” who judges impartially according to each one’s work, then conduct yourselves in reverent fear throughout the time of your sojourn on earth18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things such as silver or gold from the empty way of life handed down to you by your forefathers. 19 No,8 you were redeemed with precious blood like that of a lamb without spot or blemish, the blood of Christ himself. 20 He was chosen9 before the foundation of the world, but in these last times was manifested for you; 21 and because of him you are10 now believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

Love One Another

22 Since, then, in obedience to the truth you have purified your souls for11 a sincere love of the brotherhood, love one another fervently from the heart. 23 For you have been born again—not from corruptible seed, but from incorruptible—through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For “All flesh is like the grass, and all its glory like the flower of the grass. The grass withers and its flower falls away, 25 but the word of the Lord endures forever.”12 And this word is the good news that was proclaimed to you.

Notes

  1. Lit. God the Father, in sanctification of Spirit (or spirit) unto obedience
  2. Or proven character
  3. Lit. and you rejoice
  4. Or for you are obtaining; lit. obtaining, receiving
  5. Or what time or set of circumstances
  6. Lit. after these things
  7. Lev. 11:44-45; 19:2; 20:7
  8. Lit. but
  9. Lit. foreknown
  10. Lit. for you who, through him, are
  11. Or resulting in; leading to
  12. Is. 40:6-8

2 Therefore, laying aside all malice and all guile, as well as hypocrisies, jealousies, and all forms of slander, like newborn infants yearn for the pure spiritual milk of the word, so that by it you may grow towards final salvation,1 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.2

The Blessedness of the Israel of God

Coming to him as to a living stone—rejected by men but chosen and precious in the sight of God— you yourselves, as living stones, are also being built into a spiritual house, to be3 a holy priesthood, in order to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For this reason Scripture contains these words:4 “Behold, I will lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone; and he who believes in him will never be put to shame.”5 So then: For you who believe, this stone is precious;6 but for those who disbelieve, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone”7 and “a stone that causes stumbling, and a rock that brings offense.”8 They stumble by being disobedient to the word, as also they were destined to do.9

But you are a chosen family, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies10 of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light—10 who formerly were not a people, but now are the people of God; who formerly had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained it once and for all.11

The Pilgrim Way

11 Beloved, since you are foreigners and pilgrims in this world, I urge you to abstain from fleshly lusts that war against the soul. 12 Keep your conduct praiseworthy among the Gentiles, so that in whatever way they try to slander you as evildoers, they may, by observing your good works, glorify God on the day he visits them.12

Submission to Rulers

13 Submit yourselves to every human institution for the Lord’s sake, whether to a king as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors as those who have been sent by the king for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do what is right. 15 For such is the will of God, that by doing what is right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. 16 Live before them as free men, not using your freedom as a cloak for evil, but as bondservants of God. 17 Honor all men, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.

Submission to Masters

18 Servants, submit to your masters with all respect,13 not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are harsh and unfair. 19 For this finds favor with God, if someone bears up under various hardships, suffering injustice for the sake of a conscience attuned to him.14 20 For if you patiently endure when you’re beaten for doing wrong, how is that to your credit?15 But if, while doing what is right and suffering for it, you patiently endure, this finds favor with God. 21 For you were called to this very thing, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example so you could follow in his footsteps—22 he who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in his mouth.16 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he uttered no threats, but entrusted himself to him who judges righteously. 24 And he himself bore our sins in his own body on the tree, so that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. 25 For you were like sheep that had gone astray; but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Notes

  1. Lit. unto salvation
  2. Or kind, loving, merciful, gracious; Ps. 34:8
  3. Or house for; lit. house unto
  4. Lit. it is contained in Scripture
  5. Is. 28:16
  6. Or he is precious; lit. there is value (honor)
  7. Ps. 118:22
  8. Is. 8:14
  9. Lit. to which also they were appointed
  10. Or virtues
  11. Greek: An aorist participle, denoting decisive action
  12. Or us; lit. in the day of visitation
  13. Lit. fear
  14. Lit. a conscience (consciousness) of God
  15. Lit. what kind of credit (is yours)
  16. See Is. 53:9

Submission to Husbands

In the same way you wives must submit yourselves to your own husbands, so that even if some of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, as they observe your virtuous1 manner of life, coupled with respect.2 Your beauty3 must not be outward alone—elaborately arranging your hair, wearing gold jewelry, or dressing in worldly apparel. Rather, it must be the hidden person4 of the heart, adorned with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. For this also is how the holy women of old who hoped in God adorned themselves: by submitting to their own husbands, just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you have become her daughters when you do what is right and refuse to give way to fear.5

Likewise, you husbands must also live6 with your wife in accordance with knowledge, recognizing that she, as a woman, is the weaker vessel;7 and you must grant her honor as a fellow-heir of the grace of life so that your prayers will not be hindered.

Obedience and Blessing

Finally, you all must be likeminded, sympathetic, brotherly, compassionate, and humble. Never return evil for evil or insult for insult, but on the contrary, respond by blessing;8 for you were called to this very thing so that you yourselves might inherit a blessing. 10 For,

“He who would love life and see good days
must keep his tongue from evil
and his lips from speaking guile.
11 He must turn away from evil and do good;
he must seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are open to their prayers;
but the face of the Lord is against all9 who do evil.”

Coping With Persecution

13 And who is there to harm you if you show yourself zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you do suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats or let yourselves be shaken,”10 15 but instead sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to give a thoughtful reply11 to anyone who asks for an explanation of the hope within you.12 But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that in whatever way13 those who slander your good conduct in Christ may accuse you, they will be put to shame. 17 For if God so wills it, it is better that you suffer for doing what is right than for doing what is wrong.

18 For Christ also suffered14 once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, so that he could bring us15 to God. He was16 put to death in the flesh, but restored to life by the Spirit, 19 through whom also he went and preached to the spirits now in prison, 20 who in former times were disobedient when, in the days of Noah, the longsuffering of God waited patiently while the ark was being prepared, in which a few—that is, eight souls—were saved through water. 21 The antitype of this is baptism, which now saves you as well: not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but a response18 to God from a good conscience19 through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who is now at the right hand of God, and who entered20 heaven after angels, authorities, and powers had been placed in subjection to him.

Notes

  1. Lit. pure, chaste, morally faultless
  2. Lit. with fear
  3. Or adornment
  4. Lit. man
  5. Lit. and are not frightened by any terror
  6. Or must live
  7. Lit. as with a weaker vessel, with the woman
  8. Lit. you must bless
  9. Lit. those; Ps. 34:12-16
  10. Is. 8:12
  11. Or well-reasoned defense
  12. Or that exists among you
  13. Or matter
  14. Some mss died
  15. Many mss you
  16. Lit. having been
  17. Or pledge, promise
  18. Or promise, pledge
  19. Or possibly an appeal to God for a good conscience
  20. Lit. having gone (journeyed) into

Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, you too must arm yourselves with the same frame of mind, for anyone who has suffered in the flesh has broken with sin: He no longer spends his remaining time in the body indulging the desires of man, but doing the will of God. For the time now passed was sufficient for you to have carried out the will of the Gentiles, walking through life in debaucheries, unbridled lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and illicit idolatries. Finding it strange that you refuse to run with them into the same flood of dissipation, they revile you;but they will give an account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. And this is why the good news was also preached to those who are now dead: so that though they were judged in the flesh by the standards of men, they could live in the spirit by the standards of God.

The Life and Service of the Saints

But the consummation of all things is at hand. For this reason you must be clear-headed and sober-minded, intent on your prayers. Above all, be sure to maintain fervent love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaint. 10 Since each of you has received a spiritual gift, use your gifts1 to serve one another, conducting yourselves as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, let his words be like oracles from God.2 If anyone serves, let him do so in3 the strength that God supplies, so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Trust in the Midst of Hardship

12 Beloved, don’t be surprised at the fiery trial that comes upon you for your testing, as if some strange thing were happening to you; 13 but to the extent that you share in the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that at the revelation of his glory you may rejoice still more4 with a joy that knows no bounds. 14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.5 15 Therefore, let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or a meddler. 16 But if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but as a bearer of that name let him give praise to God.6 17 For it is time for judgment to begin, starting with the household of God; and if it starts with us first, what will be the outcome for those7 who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 “And if the righteous are barely saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?”8 19 So then: Let those who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful creator, even as they keep on doing10 what is right. 

Notes

  1. Lit. it
  2. Or utterances of God
  3. Lit. as from
  4. Lit. you may also rejoice
  5. Or possibly gives you rest
  6. Lit. let him glorify God in that name
  7. Or the end of those
  8. Prov. 11:31
  9. Or by doing

Elders Exhorted

For this reason I urge the elders among you—I who am a fellow elder, a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and someone who also will share in the glory that is soon to be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God among you, not exercising your oversight under compulsion, but voluntarily, as God directs;1 not out of greed for material gain, but eagerly; and not as lording it over those allotted to your care,2 but by becoming3 examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.4

Likewise, you who are younger, submit yourselves to the elders. And clothe yourselves—all of you—with humility towards one another, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”5 So humble yourselves beneath the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your cares on him, for he cares for you.

Be sober, be watchful: Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your6 faith, knowing that your brothers and sisters7 all over the world are experiencing the same kinds of suffering as you10 But after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory in Christ will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever.8 Amen.

Greetings and Final Blessing

12 I have written to you briefly through Silvanus, a trustworthy brother (for so I regard him), exhorting you all, 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 her greetings; and so does Mark, my son. 14 Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.9

Notes

  1. Lit. according to God
  2. Lit. over the allotments
  3. Or being
  4. Lit. of the glory
  5. Prov. 3:34
  6. Lit. the
  7. Lit. brotherhood
  8. Or to him belongs the power forever
  9. Many mss who are in Christ Jesus. Amen.