Greeting.* 1Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the chosen sojourners of the dispersion* in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,a 2in the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification by the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling with the blood of Jesus Christ: may grace and peace be yours in abundance.b
II. The Gift and Call of God in Baptism
Blessing. 3* Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,c 4to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for youd 5who by the power of God are safeguarded through faith, to a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the final time. 6* In this you rejoice, although now for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials,e 7so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire, may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.f 8Although you have not seen him you love him; even though you do not see him now yet believe in him, you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy,g 9as you attain the goal of [your] faith, the salvation of your souls.
10* Concerning this salvation, prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and investigated it, 11investigating the time and circumstances that the Spirit of Christ within them indicated when it testified in advance to the sufferings destined for Christ and the glories to follow them.h 12It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you with regard to the things that have now been announced to you by those who preached the good news to you [through] the holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels longed to look.
Obedience. 13* Therefore, gird up the loins of your mind,* live soberly, and set your hopes completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14Like obedient children, do not act in compliance with the desires of your former ignorance* 15but, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in every aspect of your conduct,i 16for it is written, “Be holy because I [am] holy.”j
Reverence. 17Now if you invoke as Father him who judges impartially according to each one’s works, conduct yourselves with reverence during the time of your sojourning,k 18realizing that you were ransomed from your futile conduct, handed on by your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or goldl 19but with the precious blood of Christm as of a spotless unblemished lamb.* 20He was known before the foundation of the world but revealed in the final time for you, 21who through him believe in God who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
Mutual Love.* 22Since you have purified yourselves by obedience to the truth for sincere mutual love, love one another intensely from a [pure] heart.n 23You have been born anew,o not from perishable but from imperishable seed, through the living and abiding word of God,* 24for:
“All flesh is like grass,
and all its glory like the flower of the field;
the grass withers,
and the flower wilts;p
25but the word of the Lord remains forever.”
This is the word that has been proclaimed to you.
* [1:1–2] The introductory formula names Peter as the writer (but see Introduction). In his comments to the presbyters (1 Pt 5:1), the author calls himself a “fellow presbyter.” He addresses himself to the Gentile converts of Asia Minor. Their privileged status as a chosen and sanctified people makes them worthy of God’s grace and peace. In contrast is their actual existence as aliens and sojourners, scattered among pagans, far from their true country.
* [1:1] Dispersion: literally, diaspora; see Jas 1:1 and Introduction to that letter. Pontus…Bithynia: five provinces in Asia Minor, listed in clockwise order from the north, perhaps in the sequence in which a messenger might deliver the letter.
* [1:3–5] A prayer of praise and thanksgiving to God who bestows the gift of new life and hope in baptism (new birth, 1 Pt 1:3) through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The new birth is a sign of an imperishable inheritance (1 Pt 1:4), of salvation that is still in the future (to be revealed in the final time, 1 Pt 1:5).
* [1:6–9] As the glory of Christ’s resurrection was preceded by his sufferings and death, the new life of faith that it bestows is to be subjected to many trials (1 Pt 1:6) while achieving its goal: the glory of the fullness of salvation (1 Pt 1:9) at the coming of Christ (1 Pt 1:7).
* [1:10–12] The Spirit of Christ (1 Pt 1:11) is here shown to have been present in the prophets, moving them to search, investigate, and prophesy about the grace of salvation that was to come (1 Pt 1:10), and in the apostles impelling them to preach the fulfillment of salvation in the message of Christ’s sufferings and glory (1 Pt 1:12).
* [1:13–25] These verses are concerned with the call of God’s people to holiness and to mutual love by reason of their redemption through the blood of Christ (1 Pt 1:18–21).
* [1:13] Gird up the loins of your mind: a figure reminiscent of the rite of Passover when the Israelites were in flight from their oppressors (Ex 12:11), and also suggesting the vigilance of the Christian people in expectation of the parousia of Christ (Lk 12:35).
* [1:14–16] The ignorance here referred to (1 Pt 1:14) was their former lack of knowledge of God, leading inevitably to godless conduct. Holiness (1 Pt 1:15–16), on the contrary, is the result of their call to the knowledge and love of God.
* [1:19] Christians have received the redemption prophesied by Isaiah (Is 52:3), through the blood (Jewish symbol of life) of the spotless lamb (Is 53:7, 10; Jn 1:29; Rom 3:24–25; cf. 1 Cor 6:20).
* [1:22–25] The new birth of Christians (1 Pt 1:23) derives from Christ, the imperishable seed or sowing that produces a new and lasting existence in those who accept the gospel (1 Pt 1:24–25), with the consequent duty of loving one another (1 Pt 1:22).
* [1:23] The living and abiding word of God: or, “the word of the living and abiding God.”
f. [1:7] 1 Cor 3:13.
h. [1:11] Is 52:13–53:12; Dn 9:24.
l. [1:18] Is 52:3; 1 Cor 6:20.
m. [1:19] Ex 12:5; Jn 1:29; Heb 9:14.