Advice to Presbyters.* 1So I exhort the presbyters* among you, as a fellow presbyter and witness to the sufferings of Christ and one who has a share in the glory to be revealed. 2Tend the flock of God in your midst, [overseeing] not by constraint but willingly, as God would have it, not for shameful profit but eagerly.a 3Do not lord it over those assigned to you, but be examples to the flock. 4b And when the chief Shepherd is revealed, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.*
Advice to the Community.* 5Likewise, you younger members,* be subject to the presbyters. And all of you, clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for:
“God opposes the proud
but bestows favor on the humble.”c
6So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.d 7Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you.e
8Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for [someone] to devour.f 9Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that your fellow believers throughout the world undergo the same sufferings. 10The God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory through Christ [Jesus] will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you after you have suffered a little.g 11To him be dominion forever. Amen.
12I write you this briefly through Silvanus,* whom I consider a faithful brother, exhorting you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Remain firm in it. 13The chosen one* at Babylon sends you greeting, as does Mark, my son. 14Greet one another with a loving kiss. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.h
* [5:1–4] In imitation of Christ, the chief shepherd, those entrusted with a pastoral office are to tend the flock by their care and example.
* [5:1] Presbyters: the officially appointed leaders and teachers of the Christian community (cf. 1 Tm 5:17–18; Ti 1:5–8; Jas 5:14).
* [5:4] See note on 1 Pt 2:25.
* [5:5–11] The community is to be subject to the presbyters and to show humility toward one another and trust in God’s love and care (1 Pt 5:5–7). With sobriety, alertness, and steadfast faith they must resist the evil one; their sufferings are shared with Christians everywhere (1 Pt 5:8–9). They will be strengthened and called to eternal glory (1 Pt 5:10–11).
* [5:5] Younger members: this may be a designation for office-holders of lesser rank.
* [5:12] Silvanus: the companion of Paul (see 2 Cor 1:19; 1 Thes 1:1; 2 Thes 1:1). Jews and Jewish Christians, like Paul, often had a Hebrew name (Saoul, Silas) and a Greek or Latin name (Paul, Silvanus). On Silvanus’s possible role as amanuensis, see Introduction.
* [5:13] The chosen one: feminine, referring to the Christian community (ekklēsia) at Babylon, the code name for Rome in Rev 14:8; 17:5; 18:2. Mark, my son: traditionally a prominent disciple of Peter and co-worker at the church in Rome, perhaps the John Mark referred to in Acts 12:12, 25; 13:5, 13; and in Acts 15:37–39, a companion of Barnabas. Perhaps this is the same Mark mentioned as Barnabas’s cousin in Col 4:10, a co-worker with Paul in Phlm 24 (see also 2 Tm 4:11).
a. [5:2] Acts 20:28; Ti 1:7.
b. [5:4] Wis 5:15–16; 1 Cor 9:25; 2 Tm 4:8; Jas 1:12.
e. [5:7] Ps 55:23; Mt 6:25–33; Lk 12:22–31; Phil 4:6.
f. [5:8] 1 Thes 5:6.
g. [5:10] Rom 8:18; 2 Cor 4:17.
h. [5:14] Rom 16:16; 1 Cor 16:20; 2 Cor 13:12.