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The Apostle Peter on Civil Obedience: An Exegesis of 1 Peter 2:13-17

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The Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the present study is very modest. It seeks to present an interpretation of Peter's injunctions to the churches mentioned in 1 Peter 1:1 concerning their relation to the state and then to make a comparison with Paul's commands concerning the state in 1 Peter 2:13-17. The question that the study seeks to answer concerns the relation of the two passages, one to the other. Does Peter demonstrate literary dependence upon Paul? Or, are they drawing from a common stock of Christian paraenetic material? If so, what is the origin of this material?

An Overview of the Study

The paper is composed of several parts. First, we will consider the historical background to 1 Peter. Three areas will be surveyed in an attempt to explicate the historical background: 1) the question of the authorship will be examined in terms of internal and external evidence; 2) the nature of the readership and 3) a statement as to the most likely historical situation. Second, we will look at the literary setting of the passage and its relation to the argument of the book. Third, an outline of the book as well as a grammatical layout and translation of the passage will be offered taking into consideration any textual problems that might arise. Fourth, the paper will present a detailed exegesis of the passage. Fifth, and final, 1 Peter 2:13-17 will be compared with Romans 13:1-7 in an attempt to determine the relation of the two passages, one to the other.

An Exegesis of 1 Peter 2:13-17

Preliminary Matters

    The Historical Setting of the Passage

Since this paper forms part of a larger work which will include a comparison of Paul and Peter, it is necessary to spend some time discussing the issue of the authorship of 1 Peter. There is reasonable evidence for the view that Peter wrote it (cf. 1 Peter 5:12) and it is not likely that existing evidence will ever seriously rule out such a conclusion. We turn now to the discussion in some detail.

"The authorship of 1 Peter has been a matter of dispute since the beginning of critical scholarship."1 Several scholars for various reasons have concluded that 1 Peter is a pseudonymous writing.2 First we will examine evidence for Petrine authorship and second, we will examine and respond to criticisms raised against the traditional view.

        Arguments for Petrine authorship


The only explicit statement in 1 Peter that claims Petrine authorship is in 1:1. The text says, Pevtro" ajpovstolo" =Ihsou' Cristou'. This was the common way the NT writers introduced their letters (cf. Paul, James, John, except Hebrews). From this introduction alone (and the fact that the reading is solid) one must conclude, as Grudem says, that "from the earliest times [that] the letter circulated in the church, it was known and accepted as a letter written by Peter."3

Selwyn has argued that 1 Peter 5:1 contributes further evidence for Petrine authorship.4 The text reads Presbutevrou" ou ejn uJmi'n parakalw' oJ sumpresbuvtero" kaiV mavrtu" tw'n tou' Cristou' paqhmavtwn, oJ kaiV th'" mellouvsh" ajpokaluvptesqai dovxh" koinwno.v. The argument Selwyn advances is that the term marvtu" means "eye-witness," a qualification that lies at the essence of the Apostolic office and function. Selwyn recognizes the problem of the lack of reference to the resurrection, but says that the hardship of the readers and the focus on future glory are enough to balance the earthly sufferings.5 There are several problems with this view, which in the end, tends to rule the verse out in terms of explicit support for Petrine authorship. Two of which are as follows: 1) the reference to Peter as a fellow elder and witness of the sufferings seems to suggests that the sun prefix should be carried semantically over to the idea of marvtu", thus the author is not alone in his witness of those sufferings6 and 2) the paratactic connection (dev) with the next clause which discusses sharing in the future glory, suggests that the idea of "sharing in" is inherent in the noun mavrtu".7 These two facts would rule out Selwyn's idea of an eye-witness. What Peter seems to be saying is that he is a fellow elder, and just like they, he testifies to the sufferings of Christ which he has shared in. As Feine, Behm and Kümmel say,

[the] "witness of the sufferings of Christ" hardly designates an eyewitness of Christ's own sufferings, but a Christian, who, like the Christians addressed, has experienced "the sufferings of Christ" and can witness to them, or who, like them, is a "witness for the sufferings of Christ."8

The reference to "Babylon" in 5:13 does seem to provide indirect support for Petrine authorship, once the identification has been pinned down. There have been three suggestions as to the identification of "Babylon." First, it has been argued that Babylon in 1 Peter 5:13 refers to a city in Egypt near Old Cairo. Both Strabo (Geographia 17:1, 30) and Josephus (Ant 2. 315) mention a Roman garrison near Old Cairo and tradition associates John Mark with the founding of the Egyptian church (Eccl. Hist. 2.16, 24). But, tradition does not connect Peter with the church there.9 There is a second suggestion, namely, it refers to "Babylon" on the Euphrates in Mesopotamia. But again, there is apparently no tradition (Syrian or otherwise) to connect Peter with this metropolis either.10 There is a third suggestion, most widely accepted and for which there is the most historical support: Peter is referring in cryptic fashion to Rome. John referred to Rome as Babylon several times in his Apocalypse (14:8; 16:19; 17:5; 18:2, 10, 21) and such a designation is common in Jewish materials as well (2 Baruch 11:1a; 67:7; 2 Esdras 3:1, 28). In referring to Nero fleeing from Rome, Sib. Or. 5:143, 159 says,

He will flee from Babylon, a terrible and shameless prince whom all mortals and noble men despise . . . a great star will come from heaven to the wondrous sea and will burn the deep sea and Babylon itself and the land of Italy, because of which many holy faithful Hebrews and a true people perished.11

If this third suggestion be accepted it would tend to corroborate Peter as the author since he was known to have been in Rome at the end of his life.12 He could then have written the letter from there.


Beyond the internal evidence, tradition associates Peter with Rome and his writing of the letter from there (Eccl. His. 2.15.2). There is also the possibility that the epistle was used by Clement in his Epistle to the Corinthians and that borrowing can be seen in Ignatius, Barnabas, The Shepherd of Hermas and Polycarp.13 But, many scholars reject these parallels. There is also the question of why Peter's letters do not appear in the Muratorian Fragment. Some have concluded that the letters were not considered canonical, but it is likely, according to Guthrie, that there is a chasm in the text.14 In summary, though the external evidence is inconclusive, it would seem to allow for a date in the lifetime of Peter during his stay in Rome before his execution.15 This conclusion would corroborate Peter's claim to authorship as found in 1:1.16

        Arguments against Petrine authorship

        Linguistic and stylistic.

F. W. Beare, while giving several reasons for unequivocally denying Petrine authorship, asserts that the rhetorical style and extensive, and even learned vocabulary of 1 Peter, is the most decisive argument against Petrine authorship. According to Beare, this is a "feat plainly far beyond the powers of the Galilean fisherman, who at the time of the crucifixion could neither read nor write even his own native tongue (Aramaic)."17 To this Beare adds the description of Peter as one who was ajgravmmato" (Acts 4:13); meaning he was illiterate.

In response to Beare it must be said at the outset that his particularly pejorative understanding of ajgravmmato" is neither necessary, nor likely. It may simply mean "uneducated"18 and in Acts 4:13, the verse Beare cites, it is in relation to the learning of the High Priest, elders and teachers of the law (4:5, 6) and their theological disputations that Peter is considered to be uneducated (i. e. he did not have their formal training). But Josephus (Against Apion 2.178) and Philo (Legatio ad Gaium 210; cf. also M Pirke Aboth 5:21) point out quite clearly that literacy and a sound knowledge of the Law was the possession of the first century people of the land (i.e. Jam ha'ares).19

Another assumption in Beare's argument is that Peter's Greek was no better after over 30 years of further use in the context of Palestine and abroad. As Guthrie points out, he lived in a bilingual area and would have used Greek of a colloquial kind in his ministry and in conversations with Hellenistic Jews in Jerusalem and Antioch.20 It is simply impossible to argue from what we know about Peter that he is not the author of 1 Peter on the basis of the Greek employed. There is no historical evidence for such certain judgment.21 The fact that Papias says Mark was Peter's interpreter should not be pushed too far so as to infer that Mark translated Peter's Aramaic into Greek. The term hermeneutes can simply mean "to expound" and this is probably what Papias had in mind.22

Beare also argues that the author's knowledge of the LXX is both thorough and of a literary nature. For this reason he says, Peter, a man who only used the LXX later in life, cannot be the author.23 A. F. Walls responded to this argument by indicating that Peter most likely experienced an early acquaintance with the LXX. This is true he asserts on the grounds that 1) Hellenism had invaded into the religious sphere of highly orthodox Jews; 2) Greek speaking Hellenistic Jews formed their own synagogues in Palestine; 3) there were Hellenistic Jews in the Jerusalem church in Acts 6; 4) James used the LXX (Acts 15:14-18); 5) Justin Martyr, a native of Samaria in the second century, used in the LXX in all his writings and 6) the LXX was the primary version of the OT among Christians of the first century.24 Therefore we may conclude that it is reasonable to believe that Peter was well versed in the LXX.


There are also several historical objections to Petrine authorship, two of which are as follows. First, there is the problem of the persecutions mentioned in the letter (1:6; 3:13-17; 4:12-19; 5:9). It is argued that these cannot be during Nero's reign as there is no evidence that such persecutions ever entered the regions to which Peter was writing.25 It is alleged that they correspond better with a time period in Trajan's reign (ca. A. D. 112).26 But, as Best has said,

In view of the difficulty of associating references to persecution in 1 Peter with any known periods of persecution it would appear more satisfactory to abandon the attempt at identification. Persecution of Christians in the ancient world was endemic and might thus well be described as worldwide; this would be all the more likely if it was believed that the end was coming and persecution was one of its signs.27

There is another historical objection to Petrine authorship which concerns itself with Peter's relationship to the churches (i.e. in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bythnia) he addresses in his letter. These were churches that would most naturally come under the ministry of the apostle Paul. Such is not a grave concern, however, for if Paul were dead,28 it would not be unthinkable for Peter to send a message of encouragement to his churches. Besides, as Beare points out, there is no degree of certainty that these were indeed churches founded by the apostle Paul.29


There are several objections that can be listed under the heading of doctrinal. First, in 1 Peter there appears to be a significant number of words and ideas in common with Paul's writings. From this it has been suggested that Peter, who was at odds with Paul and the Gentile mission (Gal 2:11-14 is often cited as proof of a rift between them) could not have written the book.30 In fact Bultmann referred to it as a letter belonging to a Pauline school.31 Goppelt lists about 12 citations from Romans that appear similar to texts in 1 Peter, but concludes in the end that none of the citations, except those from the OT, are verbatim. This leaves him with the conclusion that there is no literary dependence on Romans, but only dependence on common apostolic tradition (containing other early Christian teaching; James, Polycarp and Synoptic traditions) which was influenced by Paul.32 That there is a similarity should not be surprising anyway. Peter was in Rome at the same time as Paul, near the end of their lives, and Silvanus who worked with Peter (1 Peter 5:12) was probably the same individual who traveled and assisted Paul (cf. Acts 15:22; 1 Thes 1:1; 2 Thes 1:1).33

Second, Best cites what amounts to him as another problem: "If the author of 1 Peter heard Jesus teach on as many occasions as Peter did we should expect to find strong reminiscences of Jesus' words in the letter."34 He goes on to demonstrate that the parallels are few and most likely the result of tradition; not due to having been with Jesus. If this were true, and it is far from being certain,35 it still amounts to no real argument against Petrine authorship. This is only what one might expect to find. It is not determinative for authorship. There is no need to cite the Lord as an authority if Peter's authority as one who speaks for the Lord is well known.36 In all likelihood his readers knew the traditions about Jesus and Peter simply reminded them of teaching with which they were accustomed.

The arguments against Petrine authorship are not substantial enough to outweigh the combined testimony of the letter (1 Peter 1:1) and that of the early church. However, in the light of the aforementioned problems, many scholars have suggested one of two basic solutions, apart from direct Petrine authorship.

First, there are those who argue for 1 Peter as a pseudonymous letter.37 In fact, Beare says rather confidently that "there can be no possible doubt that 'Peter' is a pseudonym."38 The problems of the sophisticated Greek, dependence on Paul and use of the OT, lead Beare in this direction. The only support he can give for the practice of pseudepigraphical writings is the rather vague reference that there was "frequent resort to pseudonyms in both Jewish and Christian literature of the period."39 But, such a thesis is difficult to sustain for there are no concrete examples upon which to base it and the problem of motive (i.e. authority, deception, etc.) in the production of pseudepigraphical writings still remains to be solved.40

There is a second theory for those who find in the details facts that make it difficult to accept direct Petrine authorship. In 5:12 the text reads DiaV Silouanou' uJmi'n tou' pistou' ajdelfou', wJ" logivzomai, di= ojlivgwn e[graya. From this it has been argued that Peter and Silvanus both were involved in the production of the letter—the exact roles played by both remaining uncertain. Feine, Behm, Kümmel claim that such an hypothesis is unfounded as no one has of yet demonstrated that gravfw diaV tino" can mean to have a piece of writing composed by another.41 Grudem rejects it for similar reasons with the added note that the focus on Silvanus as a "faithful brother" steers one in the direction of understanding him as the bearer of the letter. He cites 1 Cor 16:10, 11; Eph 6:21, 22; Col 4:7-9 and Titus 3:12, 13 as support.42 Many scholars, however, do not see these as insurmountable problems with regard to Silvanus as an amanuensis. Reike says that the Greek of the letter is too sophisticated for Peter to have written, but a Roman citizen (Acts 16:37) like Silas, and a trusted companion of the apostle Paul (Acts 15:39; 1 Thes 1:1; 2 Thes 1:1) could have done it. The fact that it has much in common with Pauline tradition, that it shows a thorough knowledge of the LXX and that there are no striking Semitisms argues for Silvanus, since he is the only other person historically who is connected to the letter's production (excluding Mark).43

In order to defend the notion that Peter was not connected directly to the letter, one would have to overturn the testimony of the early church on the one hand and demonstrate the practice of pseudonymous letter writing on the other. The contents do not reflect a worldwide persecution, such that the date would be beyond Peter's lifetime—therefore pseudonymity is not necessary. In the end, we simply do not have enough information to conclude that Peter did not write the letter. We do not know enough about Peter's years from A. D. 35 to the early 60's when this letter was written to definitively conclude that he could not have written the letter. Given these data it is more reasonable to conclude that Peter did indeed write the letter. This is the explicit testimony of the letter itself (1:1). Beyond this, as to Silvanus's contribution, and it appears that he did contribute, only God knows.


The readers of the letter are located in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia (1:1); all designations for Roman provinces, the order of which probably represents the route Silvanus may have taken in his delivery of the letter.44 It would appear that the churches were composed of a diverse group of people, the Hellenistic city being the center of that diversity. There was great economic diversity as well as religious diversity. In terms of the religious pluralism, Schutter says, "The religious diversity of these cities was immense, including the more traditional divinities of the hearth and classical types, as well as indigenous types, syncretistic formulations, some Mysteries, the Emperor cult, and Judaism."45 Concerning the economic diversity and social status, the interpretation of parepidhvmoi" (1:1) and paroivkou" are important. Without entering into the debate at length, however, it is probably better to regard these designations in a primarily spiritual sense, rather than socially. There may be an indication in the terms that the recipients had severely restricted civil rights, but this is not at all clear.46 Not much weight should be placed upon them for an understanding of the social condition of the readers. Perhaps the reference to servants (oijkevtai) in 2:18 indicates a lower class of society, but the reference to the duties of citizenship (2:11-17) may refer to free men. The conclusion that best accounts for the data appears to be a socially diverse group of people.47 The references to "former lusts" (1:14); "futile way of life" (1:18); "once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God" (2:10) and "having carried out the desires of the Gentiles in times past" (4:3); all these point to a primarily Gentile audience, that Peter addresses as if they were Jews.48

    The Literary Setting of the Passage and Its Relation to the Argument of the Book
      The Argument of the Book

The Christians of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia (1:1) are to stand fast in the grace of God (5:12) which resulted in their salvation (1:3-12) by 1) living holy and loving lives among the saints (1:13-2:10); 2) living submissive lives before the authorities (2:11-17) and within the family (2:18-3:12); 3) living honorably in the face of suffering (3:13-4:19) and 4) maintaining and developing quality leadership in the church (5:1-11). Our passage, then, contributes to the theme of standing fast in God's grace, by showing that such a command reaches outward in relationships to encompass submission to human authority, including governmental authority.

      The Immediate Literary Setting of the 2:13-17

Peter has outlined the nature of the salvation God has wrought for his readers and has summarily called them to a certain standard of living (1:3-2:10). This exhortation has primarily to do with relationships in the church. A new section begins in 2:11-3:12 where Peter wants to direct his audience's concern to certain ethical injunctions concerning the state, family, and relationships in general. In this regard 2:11, 12 forms a general statement from which applications to the state, family, and others will be drawn. Therefore, we may say that 2:13-17 is a concrete example of how Peter envisioned his readers living good lives among the pagans and bringing glory to God—thus standing fast in the grace of God.49 Further we may say that the use of uJpotavghte in 2:13 reverberates through the other codes in the use of the participle uJpotassovmenoi in 2:18 (slaves) and uJpotassovmenai in 3:1, 7 (implied in verse 7) referring to wives and their relationship to their husbands. Thus uJpotavghte in 2:13 stands not only as the main thought in the Christian's relation to the governing authorities, but also as the underpinning of all other relationships Peter mentions. The apostle Paul maintained a similar idea (Eph. 5:21).50

      The Historical Setting of 2:13-17

The situation presupposed by 2:11, 12; 2:13-17 and indeed 3:8-4:19 appears to be the general slander of non-Christians against Christians. The fact that Peter says that the non-Christians (cf. e[qnesin [2:12]; ajgnwsivan [2:15]) slander the Christians' good behavior, and that they are surprised (xenivzontai) that the Christians do not run with them any longer into their abominable lifestyles (4:4), demonstrates that what we have for background to 2:13-17 is not Christians rebelling against the authorities per se, but non-Christians inciting the authorities to action against the Christians on charges of being a threat to society. In 4:15 Peter refers to a list of crimes for which the Christians were probably accused, including murder, theft, doing evil (kakopoiov") and meddling in other's affairs. Those who commit such acts would be considered kakopoiw'n. Beare argues that Christians were also accused at this time of such things as cannibalism and incest,51 but, as Biggs points out, this is particularly a second century phenomena, not to be drawn out of the words of Peter.52 To be sure they were katalalei`n . . . wJ" kakopoiw`n but this seems to be a reference to the fact that they posed a threat to their own society by living in ways contrary to it. They were accused of such things as disloyalty to Caesar (John 19:12), disturbing those who made their living from certain trades which were connected to false religion (Acts 16:16; 19:23) as well as "hatred toward mankind" (Tacitus, Annales, 15.44; Col. 2:16) and following a "new and mischievous superstition" (Suetonius, Nero, 16).53 As Kelly says,

The language (cf. esp. vilify as wrongdoers) is strong, and shows up in an arresting way the perilous situation in which 1st cent. Christians were liable to find themselves. While their faith as such may not have been legally a crime, they were the object of blind suspicion and detestation, and so exposed to all sorts of victimization, possibly even police charges arising out of public disorders.54

This then is the situation in which Peter's readers would have found themselves and as such forms the background to his injunctions in 2:13-17.

An Outline of 1 Peter55


    A. The Author: Peter, an apostle (1:1a)

    B. The Recipients (1:b, 2a)

      1. God's elect

      2. Strangers

      3. Scattered throughout

        a. Pontus

        b. Galatia

        c. Cappadocia

        d. Asia

        e. Bithynia

      4. Chosen

        a. Through the Sanctifying Work of the Spirit

        b. For Obedience

    C. The Salutation Proper (1:2b)


    A. The Security of Salvation (3-9)

      1. It is Founded on the Resurrection (3-5)

      2. It is Developed through Trials (6-9)

    B. The Antecedents of Salvation (10-12)

      1. The Questions of the Prophets (10, 11)

      2. The Service of the Prophets (12)


    A. A General Call to Holiness (13-16)

    B. A General Call to Fear (17-21)

    C. A General Call to Love (22-25)

    D. A Call to Community (2:1-10)


    A. A General Principle (2:11, 12)

    B. Submission to Authorities (2:13-17)

    C. Submission of Slaves to Masters (2:18-25)

    D. Submission of Wives to Husbands (3:1-6)

    E. Respect of Husbands for Wives (3:7)

    F. Summary Statement (3:8-12)


    A. Results in a Proper Response to Suffering (3:13-22)

      1. The Context: "Doing Good" and Setting Aside Fear (3:13,14)

      2. Sharing Christ with Respect (3:14-21a)

      3. Maintaining Confidence Before God (3:21b, 22)

    B. Results in Praise to God (4:1-11)

      1. By Living Holy Lives Among the Pagans (4:1-6)

      2. By Praying (4:7)

      3. By Living Loving Lives Among the Brethern (4:8-11)

    C. Results in Joy (4:12-19)

      1. Because Christians Share in Christ's Sufferings (4:12, 13)

      2. Because God's Spirit Rests on Those Who Suffer (4:14, 15)

      3. Because A Christian Bears Christ's Name (4:16)

      4. Because God is Refining His Church (4:17-19)


    A. The Character of Elders (5:1-4)

    B. The Character of Young Men (5:5-11)

VI. CONCLUSION (5:12-14)

    A. Exhortation to Stand Fast in The True Grace of God (5:12)

    B. Greetings from Babylon (5:13, 14a)

    C. Peace (5:14b)

A Grammatical Layout,
Outline and Translation of the Passage

Textual Problems

NA26 lists in total 9 textual problems. None of these problems are of any consequence;56 with the result that Metzger does not bother to list any of them in his Textual Commentary.57 This, notwithstanding, J. P. Wilson suggests a textual emendation in 2:17: pavnta poihvsate for the NA26 reading pavnta" timhvsate.58 Wilson points out that poihvsate is found with pavnta in the New Testament; that 2:17 as it stands is not quoted by any of the apostolic fathers who knew our epistle and that a likely emendation can easily be reconstructed. The problem, however, with such an approach is that it is totally lacking in manuscript evidence. For this reason it is to be rejected in favor of the strongly attested reading pavnta" timhvsate.

A Grammatical/Clausal Layout

13 JUpotavghte pavsh/ ajnqrwpivnh/ ktivsei diaV toVn kuvrion:

    ei[te basilei' wJ" uJperevconti,

      14ei[te hJgemovsin wJ" di= aujtou' pempomevnoi" eij" ejkdivkhsin kakopoiw'n

        e[painon deV ajgaqopoiw'n:

    15 o{ti ou{tw" ejstiVn toV qevlhma tou' qeou',

      ajgaqopoiou'nta" fimou'n thVn tw'n ajfrovnwn ajnqrwvpwn ajgnwsivan:

    16 wJ" ejleuvqeroi, kai . . . . mhV wJ" ejpikavlumma e[conte" th'" kakiva" thVn ejleuqerivan,.

      . . . . ajll= wJ" qeou' dou'loi.

      17 pavn```ta".


      thVn ajdelfovthta


      toVn qeoVn.


      toVn basileva.


Exegetical Outline

Subject/Complement: The way in which Peter's readers can silence the foolish (talk) of ignorant men is by submitting to the governing authorities as freemen; a submission which is an application of the broader principle of rendering to each person, including God, the proper response.

I. The way in which Peter's readers can silence the foolish (slander) of ignorant men is by submitting to the governing authorities (13-16).

    A. Christians are to submit to the king as sovereign (13)

    B. Christians are to submit to governors as ones sent by the king because they will punish those who do not and praise those who do (14)

      1. Christians are to submit to governors as ones sent by the king (14a)

      2. Governors have the power to punish evil-doers and praise those who do good (14b).

    C. Parenthesis: The will of God is to silence foolish slander by doing good deeds (15)

    D. Christians are to submit to the state as freemen, not using their freedom as a cover for evil, but as servants of God (16).

      1. Christians are to submit to the state as freemen (16a)

      2. Christians are not to use their freedom to cover over evil (16b)

      3. Christians are to use their freedom as servants of God (16c)

II. The way in which Peter's readers can silence the foolish (talk) of ignorant men is by rendering to each person, including God, the proper honor (17).

    A. Christians are to honor all men (17a)

    B. Christians are to love the brotherhood (17b)

    C. Christians are to fear God (17c)

    D. Christians are to honor the king (17d)

A Translation

2:13 Submit (yourselves) for the Lord's sake to every man, whether to the King as sovereign,

2:14 or to governors sent by him for the purpose of punishing those who do evil and praising those who do good.

2:15 For in this way the will of God is carried out, namely, that by doing good deeds the ignorance of foolish men is silenced.

2:16 (Submit) as freemen, but do not use your freedom as a cover for evil, but as servants of God.

2:17 Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.

The Exegesis Proper

2:13 JUpotavghte pavsh/ ajnqrwpivnh/ ktivsei diaV toVn kuvrion: ei[te basilei' wJ" uJperevconti "Submit (yourselves) for the Lord's sake to every man, whether to the King as sovereign,"

This section begins rather abruptly as an example of the kind of "good deeds" to which Peter referred in 2:12.59 Peter's readers are not to give in to the sarkikw'n ejpiqumiw'n (2:11) despite the fact that such desires strateuvontai kataV th'" yuch'". They are not to return evil for evil; insult for insult (3:9). Instead, they are to thVn ajnastrofhVn uJmw'n ejn toi'" e[qnesin e[conte" kalhvn so that the Gentiles might glorify God at his coming.60 This includes: submission of servants to their masters, wives to their husbands (2:18-3:7); zeal for good deeds (3:13); suffering justly (3:17; 4:15) and here in our passage, submission to authorities (2:13-17).

The imperative uJpotavghte implies that the readers have to make a choice about whether they will respond to pavsh/ ajnqrwpivnh/ ktivsei in a way that Peter desires.61 Though the term functions semantically as a comprehensive aorist, with undefined action, the command indicates a posture that is to permanently remain among the Christians insofar as their relations to the civil authorities (and the rest of society as well) are concerned. This is born out by two facts: 1) as long as there are civil authorities there is the need to submit to them and 2) the presence of ajgaqopoiou'nta" (v. 15) indicates an ongoing relationship. Peter frequently uses the aorist in places where the present would carry the same meaning.62 The presence of the aorist therefore does not address a particular problem at that time, i.e. the Christians were rebelling en masse against governmental authorities, but only indicates a global view of the attitude Peter wants his readers to have.63

But what is the force of the term uJpotavghte? Does it mean uncritical submission at all points? Does it refer to some other, less stringent, idea? For answers to these questions we turn our attention to the use of the word in the NT, Jewish materials, and the LXX. The term is used 6 times in 1 Peter (2:13, 18; 3:1, 5, 22; 5:5),64 18 times in Paul and 14 other times in the New Testament. Peter uses it in conjunction with submission to the state (2:13), among family members (2:18; 3:1, 5), the subjection of angelic powers to Christ (3:22) and youth and elder relationships in the church (5:5).

In the book of Romans, Paul uses the term in conjunction with savrx and its inability to submit to the law of God (8:7), and the subjection of the creation to futility by God (8:20)65 as well as Israel's failure to submit to God's righteousness, instead of creating their own. It also occurs twice in Romans 13:1, 5 in the context of submission to civil authorities. Paul also uses the term to refer to submission of all things to Christ in the process of redemption (1 Cor 15:27, 28; Eph 1:22; Phil. 3:21; Heb 2:5, 8; cf. 1 Peter 3:22) and in relationships in the church. Prophets are to be in submission, one to another, so that peace and order may be maintained (1 Cor 14:32). This is also true of women's roles in the church (14:34) and husband/wife relations as well. The wife is to submit to her husband as to the Lord (Eph 5:24; Col. 3:18; Titus 2:5; Ps. Callisth., I, 22, 4; cf. 1 Peter 3:1, 5).66 Slaves are to be subject to their masters (Titus 2:9; cf. 1 Peter 2:18), men and women to their spiritual leaders ( 1 Cor 16:16; cf. 1 Peter 5:5) and of course submission to God himself is enjoined (Heb 12:9; James 4:7) in the New Testament. The idea of submission to political authorities is seen in Titus 3:1.

Finally, as far as NT usage is concerned, Luke uses it to refer to Jesus' submission to his parents after the Temple incident (Luke 2:51) and the fact that the demons had to submit to the disciples Jesus had sent out on a mission (10:17, 20). Its use in the New Testament, then, as far as human relationships in the redeemed community are concerned yields the idea of humble, informed submission to another in the light of God's will and redemptive work. That kind of submission is to happen in all relationships in life.

The term is found in literature outside the New Testament as well. Josephus uses it in relation to the submission of Israel to foreign powers, i.e. Rome (War, 2.433; 4.175). It is also seen as a commendable attitude in The Letter of Aristeas, 257 where the text refers to a person who has an attitude of willingness to submit to others. The king asks the question, "How can one find welcome abroad among strangers?" The answer given includes the idea of "appearing inferior rather than superior to those among whom one is a stranger." Here again we see that humility is at the core of the idea inherent in uJpotavssw.

The term is employed in the LXX about 90 times. Two instances of the verb in the middle voice are of note: 2 Maccabees 9:12 and 13:23. In 9:12 the writer relays the story of how Antiochus IV eventually submitted to God after God had smitten him with a wasting disease. In 13:23 the text says, "he [Antiochus] was dismayed, called in the Jews, yielded and swore to observe all their rights." From these two examples we can see that humility is involved in a process of submitting oneself to a higher authority—ultimately a voluntary submission in the light of the power of the higher authority.

From this evidence it is clear that the term has the idea of curbing one's will to the will of another; in this respect, a higher authority. In only one instance in the New Testament does it explicitly carry the idea of "forced submission," i.e. compulsion (Luke 10:17, 20). But there are other observations that can be made as well. The term as used in the New Testament has the constant reminder that there is a divine "order" at work, wherein God values order and is seeking in the context of redemption to bring such a result out of the chaos of sin in human relations. Thus even Jesus had to submit to his earthly parents and his work on earth was carried out according to God's design and order (Luke 2:51). He will someday, according to God's order, turn over the kingdom to the Father and he himself will be subject to God (1 Cor 15:28). Insofar as this order and submission is inherent in the Trinity and its inner relations, so it must occur in the redeemed community—in worship, in family relations and in all other relations—as ones who have received the mercies and Spirit of the Trinity (1 Peter 1:2, 3-9). If the Son submits, we must all submit to whatever authority God the Father has appointed (cf. 1 Cor 11:12 in context).

The choice of the term uJpotavssw is interesting in the light of other terms Peter could have chosen—stronger terms which are rendered "obedience." They include peiqarcei`n, peivqesqai and uJpakouein.67 This probably indicates that Peter does not have in mind slavish, uncritical obedience to the state, but that there are various points at which his readers could not, and indeed must not, submit to the authorities.68 This particular aspect of the issue is not taken up, however, as it was his purpose to stress submission.69

What Peter wants then, according to 1 Peter 2:13 is willing, intelligent submission to the authorities, out of humility, because one is conscience that this is God's will in the matter (2:15).70 But there is another side to the matter if we are to answer the question as to the extent of the submission Peter enjoins on his readers. When a government fulfills its functions of maintaining justice and therefore, peace (2:14), and generally protects the welfare of its people, both against those from within and without who would threaten, then it is carrying out the end to which it was appointed (Romans 13:1b). It must be obeyed even if some things are tough—e. g. paying high taxes. But, when it crosses these boundaries and becomes an instrument for evil, violating the explicit will of God as outlined in Scripture, then it must not be followed (i.e. obeyed) at that point.71 When the explicit will of God conflicted with certain authorities, Peter said we must obey God, not men (Acts 5:29). Paul accused the governing authorities of carrying out sentence without proper jurisprudence and he demanded certain actions be taken to remedy the situation (Acts 16:37).72 If the spreading of the gospel is unwelcome by one's own state, then the Christian must suffer the consequences, but nevertheless continue to obey God.73

Having seen the nature of the submission to which Peter calls his readers, we need further in this verse to examine the meaning of the phrase pavsh/ ajnqrwpivnh/ ktivsei. The noun ktivsei occurs 26 times in the New Testament and always refers to God's creation, either to the physical universe (including the world) or a creature within it (e.g. Mk 10:6; Rom 1:20; 2 Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15; Col 1:15).74 The problem arises from the adjective ajnqrwpivnh/ and its modification of the noun (ktivsei). Does ktivsei then refer to God's creation among men? Or man's creation? Hort argued that the phrase should be translated as "every (divine) institution among men." While he acknowledged the wide use of ktivsei to refer to "men" in Classical Greek, he rejected the idea that such was the case here. There is no example in Classical Greek he says that provides an analogy to rulers or their offices being the creation of men. Also, according to Hort, it is not likely that Peter would enjoin submission to customs whose complete existence is owed to human ingenuity. With this in mind, as well as the fact that ktivsei is always used to refer to God's creation in the New Testament, Hort argued for ktivsei" which are limited to those which are characteristically human.75 Bigg, based upon Classical usage, took ktivsei to refer to an "institution among men." This is problematic though for the term simply does not refer to human creations or institutions in the New Testament or the LXX.76 Beare, who adopts a similar reading as Bigg, goes so far as to say, "An ajnqrwpivnh ktivsi" can mean nothing else than a governmental institution in human society.77 There is nothing in the words to suggest or imply a divine origin for human institutions" (italics mine).78 This is surely an acute case of petitio principii. There is no example where ktivsi" ever refers to a human institution of some kind. Beare rests his confident assertion on the idea that Peter is here using an expression for which we have no example and there is no useful parallel in Biblical Greek. Therefore the context demands the meaning of governmental authority.79 But Beare takes no account of the Biblical use of the term which refers consistently to God's creation as a whole or some aspect of it.80 This is not to say that Peter has a divine origin in mind for certain authorities, necessarily, but it is certainly going to far to say that the words do not even imply that such could be the case. In any event his interpretation suffers from a misreading of ktivsi". Perhaps the best understanding here is that given by Goppelt. He argues that ajnqrwpivnh ktivsei refers to human creatures.81 This has the support of giving ajnqrwpivnh its full force as an adjective modifying ktivsei which itself can be given its normal meaning as that which is created, thus delimiting ktivsi" as a reference to a human being. Several commentators adopt this reading as preferable.82 It is further strengthened, as Cranfield points out, by the qualifying pavsh/ within which are included governing individuals, wives and husbands, slaves and indeed all men (3:8).83 It might also be noted that Peter's reference to men as ajnqrwpivnh ktivsei serves to avoid the ambiguity inherent in sole use of ktivsei84 and also helps to remind his readers that no man (e.g. basilei`; hJgemovsin) possesses inherent or intrinsic authority, but stands in a similar relation to the Creator as one who was created.

Peter says, then, that his readers are to submit to every person diaV toVn kuvrion. To what does kuvrion refer? Christ or God? Kelly argues in his commentary that God is meant because it is "God who created the world and men; it is therefore out of regard for him as Creator that we ought to behave humbly towards our fellow-creatures."85 The strength of this view is that it recognizes the force of ktivsei. The problem, however, as both Goppelt and Michaels point out, is that in the tradition of the station codes, kuvrio" is consistently employed as a reference to Jesus (cf. Eph 6:7, 8, 9; Col 3:20, 22, 23, 24; 4:1).86 We should expect the same here. Indeed ethical injunctions in the early church are enjoined in the historical context of Christ as Redeemer, not primarily in the light of God as Creator.87 Also, it appears that Peter does not use kuvrio" in his letter (1:3, 25; 2:3, 13; 3:6, 12 [2x], 15) to refer to God. A possible exception may be 3:12 where he quotes from Psalm 34:15, 16, but the use of the term in 1:3 wherein he distinguishes between God as Father and Christ as Lord seems to be programmatic for the entire letter such that when he uses the term Lord, even from an OT quotation, he is thinking of Christ.88

Having identified toVn kuvrion as Jesus, what does the phrase, "for the Lord's sake" mean? It is difficult to say for certain the precise significance of this basis for submission. Perhaps it anticipates the obedience of Jesus referred to later in 2:21-23. In this case it means that one should submit on account of the fact that their Lord submitted to the authorities, Roman and Jewish.89 There is also the probability that what we have in these words is an encouragement to submit so as not to bring dishonor to Christ; the one whom they are supposed to preach (3:15) and the One who will judge all mankind (4:5).90 Both seem to be equally reasonable suggestions.

There are several inferences that can be drawn from the passage regarding obedience to the state. First, submission is on account of Christ and not some intrinsic authority residing in the Emperor (who was known as kuvrio" as well)91 or his magistrates. To be sure, they have power, as Peter says to punish evil doers and praise those who do good (2:14), but this does not appear to be the driving motivation for Christians. They should obey because in so doing they are rendering service to their Lord and Savior (cf. 2 Peter 3:18). They are carrying out the will of God (2:15). In this sense, Peter comes very close to Paul's rationale (Rom 13:1, 2).

Second, as Selwyn points out, such an appeal to Christ as the basis for submission implies an inward motivation not just an outward submission.92 There is the recognition of the regenerate heart that order in society (cf. Romans 13:2 and diatagh/`) is that which the Father desires and they are his bond-slaves to humbly recognize it (2:16).

Third, obedience is limited to that which God would approve of and does not violate his expressed will. Thus, the state is not at liberty to crush its citizens on the basis of such a passage, for Peter clearly implies a state that knows the difference between what is evil and what is good. In fact it is only on that basis that the state could punish the one and praise the other (2:14).

Now that Peter has commanded voluntary submission to every person for the sake of the Lord he begins in verse 13b to spell out some of the people he has in mind.93 He says that his readers should submit to the basilei' wJ" uJperevconti. The designation basilei~ belonged to client princes whom Rome had installed in various imperial provinces, including Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Pergamum, etc.94 It was also applied to world monarchs such as Alexander the Great (cf. Daniel 11:3 [LXX]) and Stephen applied the title to Pharoah (Acts 7:10, cf. also verse 18). Here, though, similar to what we find in John 19:15, Acts 17:7, Revelation 17:9 and 1 Clement 37:3, Peter refers to the emperor as the King. Josephus also refers to Roman emperors as kings: "for the Roman emperors (basileu") did ever both honor and adorn this temple" (Wars 5. 563). That this is the case in 1 Peter is evidenced by the fact that the only one who was king to Peter and to those who were regarded as parepidhvmoi" diaspora'", that is, scattered throughout 5 Asian provinces, was the emperor.95 While Peter is being more concrete than Paul who simply refers to the state as ejxousivai" uJperecouvsai", th'/ ejxousiva/, a[rconte" and diavkono" (Rom 13:1, 3, 4), he does not come right out and mention Nero.96 But the reference is clear and indicates that while there does not yet appear to be tyranny, submission to the state is not dependent on the goodness of the ruler, but on the office—as it is there to keep harmony in society, i.e. punish the wrong and praise the good.97

A second fact which indicates that indeed the emperor is in view is the expression wJ" uJperevconti. The particle wJ" is functioning causally98 and the term uJperevconti carries the idea of "superior" or "highest." It is used in a literal sense to refer to the fact that the water during the Flood was 15 cubits higher than the earth (Josephus, Ant. 1, 89). But it is also used figuratively to refer to those in higher positions of authority, i.e. rulers. In Wisdom of Solomon 6:5 the text reads "because severe judgment falls on those in high places" where kings and rulers (cf. 6:1, 2) are clearly the referent for those in high places. Consider also 2 Maccabees 3:11 and the relation of wealth to positions of power and Philo, De Agricultura, 121, for its use to refer to a superior athlete (a qualitative use). There is no question here, though, that the reference is to the emperor as the highest in the state and ruler over the Roman empire (cf. also its use in Romans 13:1).99

2:14 ei[te hJgemovsin wJ" di= aujtou' pempomevnoi" eij" ejkdivkhsin kakopoiw'n e[painon deV ajgaqopoiw'n: "or to governors sent by him for the purpose of punishing those who do evil and praising those who do good."

Peter has just commanded submission to the emperor. But, many of his readers would not have come in contact with the emperor, so Peter insists on obedience to the hJgemovsin; a term which refers to provincial governors and was used especially of the procurators and prefects in Judea. The Synoptic writers use the term this way in Jesus' apocalyptic discourse in Mark 13:9 and parallels. Luke refers to Felix (Acts 23:24) and Festus (Acts 26:30) as hJgemonwvn. Josephus refers to Pilate as a hJgemwvn (Ant. 18. 55).100 These governors could be referred to as "proconsuls" if they resided in a senatorial province, legates, if they acted as military commanders in imperial provinces or procurators who administered taxation and judged important cases.101 Rome distinguished between governors appointed by the emperor and those appointed by the Senate. For example the proconsuls were appointed by the Senate not the emperor.102 Peter does not seem to distinguish between these, but that does not necessarily entail the fact that he did not recognize the distinctions as Best claims.103

The participial phrase di= aujtou' pempomevnoi" has been understood to refer to God as the one doing the sending of the hJgemovsin. Best says that "if we accept the RSVmg in verse 13a then this is probably a reference to God as the ultimate source of the power which comes to governors through the emperor."104 Hort suggests the same reading of the passage. He says, "diav of course has its proper meaning, expressing the instrument or agent. The king appears here not as the source of the governor's authority, but as the channel by which Divine authority is conveyed to him. The divine source is not mentioned here, any more than with ktivsei, but it is distinctly indicated by diav."105 The problem with the examples that Hort cites (Matt 11:2; Rev 1:1 and Rom 13:1, 2, 4, 6), is that while diav is used to indicate Christ or God as the ultimate personal agent, there is no other subject in the context to whom it could refer. Here, in 1 Peter 2:14 the nearest and most logical antecedent to the pronoun ajutw/` is clearly bavsileu". As was mentioned above, not all governors were sent by the emperor, but this causes no real problem for it is really Peter's intent to talk about submission to governing authorities, not necessarily what branch of the government appointed them.106 As Michaels says, Peter would have agreed with Paul that there is no authority except God and those he appoints, but he does not seem to explicate such an idea here.107

Now that Peter has mentioned that submission begins first with the ultimate political power, namely, the emperor, and those whom he sends out to administer the provinces (i.e. the governors), he begins to explicate the general responsibility of the state toward its constituents. The governors are sent by the emperor eij" ejkdivkhsin kakopoiw'n e[painon deV ajgaqopoiw'n.

The term ejkdivkhsin is used 82 times in the LXX. The putting to death of the first born of Egypt is considered by Moses to be a divine ejkdivkhsin (punishment) because of Pharoah's stubborn heart (Ex 12:12). Israel was also to take vengeance on the Midianites, putting them to death as divine justice (Num 31:3). God is said to be the avenger of his enemies in Sirach 18:24 and on several occasions the vengeance of man is spoken of (Sirach 25:14; 27:28), though God says he will avenge those who take revenge, i.e. without his approval (Sirach 28:1). Usually the vengeance spoken of results in death (cf. 1 Macc 9:42) and the term is used with poievw (Ex 12:12; Num 33:4; Judges 11:36; 15:7; 1 Macc 3:15, 7:9, 24, 38); ejkdikavzw (Num 31:2; Judges 16:28; Sirach 5:3; 1 Macc 9:42); divdwmi (2 Sam 4:8; 22:48; 1 Macc 2:67) and ajpodivdwmi (Num 31:3). On numerous occasions it is used with the preposition eij" (Judith 8:35; 9:2; Wis Sol 11:15). It carries the same meaning in Philo (Leg All 3. 106) and Testament of Solomon 22:4.

In the New Testament the term occurs 11 times and carries the meaning of vengeance or punishment. During the days of the tribulation the judgment on Jerusalem will be so great that Jesus could characterize those days as "days of revenge" (Luke 21:22).108 The term is also used of human revenge and punishment as well (Acts 7:24), although God requires that Christians leave that matter to him for resolution at a later time (Rom 12:19). Thus there is inherent in the term the idea of justice and correct punishment for a crime committed. This, of course, is the heart of the meaning here in 1 Peter 2:14. The state is in place to punish kakopoiw'n (i.e. evildoers); those who commit crimes against the society which it protects and governs.109

The expression e[painon deV ajgaqopoiw'n runs antithetical to ejkdivkhsin kakopoiw'n. On the one hand the state will punish those who do evil, but on the other hand it will praise those who do good. The nominal term ajgaqopoiw'n occurs once in the LXX in Sirach 42:14 and once in the NT, i.e. here in 1 Peter 2:14. The verbal form occurs 5 times in LXX110 and 9 times in the NT (4 in Luke, 4 in 1 Peter once in 3 John). Jesus referred to doing good on the Sabbath (Luke 6:9) and to those who persecute you (Luke 6:33, 35). John says that one who does good is of God (3 John 11). It might be that Peter is drawing in part on traditions from Jesus when he encourages his readers to do good in order to silence the false accusations of ignorant men (2:15; cf. Matt 5:16) and to persist in doing good in spite of the fact that they may suffer (2:20; 3:6, 17).111 Such exhortations might also find their antecedents in Psalm 33:14, 15 in the LXX. The text reads:

3314 pau'son th;n glw'ssavn sou ajpoV kakou' kaiV ceivlh sou tou' mhV lalh'sai dovlon. 15 e[kklinon ajpoV kakou' kaiV poivhson ajgaqovn, zhvthson eijrhvnhn kaiV divwxon aujthvn.112

But his statement in verse 14, on the relation of the state to its constituents, seems to be particularly Greek in nature. It is similar to Paul's expression in Romans 13:3 where he says to; ajgaqo;n poivei kaiV e{xei" e[painon ejx aujth'" (aujth'"= the state). With the use of e[painon it suggests that this is probably the case. According to W.C. van Unnik, the idea of "praise" is most assuredly from a Greek perspective on state-citizen relations, since Josephus has expressly stated that such an attitude was not found among the Jews and their law (Josephus, Against Apion 2. 218). He finds support for the Greek origin of praising public benefactors in Diodorus Siculus, Universal History 15.1.1. Van Unnik does not argue for literary dependence by Peter, but simply that this kind of thinking was current in Greek culture at the time and Peter adopted it.113 And, the presence of e[painon suggests that Peter has in mind more than just keeping within the limits of the law. He intends, with the use of e[painon, to define ajgaqopoiw'n in reference to actual acts of public benefaction and civic virtue.114 This is not to say that the Christians, as they did good, actually expected to be recognized on some laudatory inscription or with a crown, statue, citizenship, etc., but that this was common for the governing authorities to recognize those who were exemplary people in Roman society.115

Thus, in verse 14, Peter has simply outlined the role of the state in respect to two different kinds of people. He seems to have in mind current Greek thinking on this issue and wants his readers to become ajgaqopoiw'n which is included in the process of God's will (v. 15) and may result in public recognition.

2:15 o{ti ou{tw" ejstiVn toV qevlhma tou' qeou'. ajgaqopoiou'nta" fimou'n thVn tw'n ajfrovnwn ajnqrwvpwn ajgnwsivan: "For in this way the will of God is carried out, namely, that by doing good deeds the ignorance of foolish men is silenced."

Peter says that he wants his readers to become ajgaqopoiw'n because this is the will of God so that by doing good they might silence the false accusations (cf. 2:12) that have arisen from among those who are ignorant of God and Christianity.

Michaels argues that the adverb ou{tw" looks forward to the participle ajgaqopoiou'nta" and indicates the means by which the will of God is carried out (i.e." doing good") and not necessarily on what the will of God is (i.e. silencing the critics).116 In this case the whole clause is parenthetical to what preceded in verse 14, especially to e[painon ajgaqopoiw'n, with the o{ti functioning causally.117 Kelly argues that ou{tw" looks backward to uJpotavghte (2:13) and affirms that submission to the state is the will of God. It is true that ou{tw" does generally look backward (cf. 3:15),118 but this leaves both the participial phrase ajgaqopoiou'nta". . . and the infinitive fimou`n too detached from toV qevlhma tou' qeou'.119 For this reason, and Hort's120 contention that it constantly looks backward in the NT, it seems best to understand it in both ways. It looks back to uJpotavghte and forward to the participle.121 In this case it is God's will that they should submit and that by doing good deeds they should silence the talk of foolish men.

The expression toV qevlhma tou' qeou' occurs in 1 Peter in three other places: 3:17; 4:2, 19. It may lead to suffering (3:17; 4:19), but it always entails doing good and not being consumed with the lusts of men (4:2; cf. also Rom 12:2; Gal 1:4; Eph 5:18ff; 6:6; 1 Thes 4:3; 5:18).122

The infinitival phrase (coupled with the adverbial participle ajgaqopoiou'nta") fimou'n thVn tw'n ajfrovnwn ajnqrwvpwn ajgnwsivan stands in epexegetical relation to qevlhma thus indicating that God's will is "to silence the ignorance of the foolish." The participle is related to the infinitive and indicates the means by which the action of the infinitive is to be fulfilled, i.e. by doing all kinds of good deeds.

The verb fimou'n occurs 7 times in the New Testament.123 Jesus, by profoundly answering the question of the Sadducees concerning the resurrection, effectively silenced them (Matt 22:34). As a demonstration of his authority over demons, Jesus silenced them by a command (Mark 1:25; Luke 4:35). He also silenced the storm as a demonstration of his power over nature (Mark 4:39; a figurative use of the term). The term is also used in 1 Timothy 5:18 in a quotation from Deuteronomy 25:4: "Do not muzzle the ox while he is treading out the grain." Thus we can say that Peter's idea is to muzzle the mouths of those who slander; effectively silencing them by doing good deeds. And their slander arises from the fact that they are ajgnwsivan. According to Peter such was the condition of his readers before they had come to faith (1:14).

The term ajgnwsivan occurs in 3 Macc 5:27, Job 35:6 and Wisdom of Solomon 13:1 in the LXX. In each case it refers to someone who is ignorant of God and displays that ignorance in either possessing no knowledge of his ways in general, or being oblivious to something specific he has just done. So its use in the only other New Testament passage, 1 Cor 15:34. Paul is rebuking the Corinthians for sinning in the midst of people who are ignorant about God, i.e. do not know about Christ and his resurrection.124 Thus it is a religious ignorance that these people lack in 1 Peter and as a result they slander the Christian's good behavior and testimony about Christ (2:12; 3:16).125

This ignorance proceeds from tw'n ajfrovnwn ajnqrwvpwn. Peter's use of ajfrovnwn to refer to those who slander is fairly pejorative. The term occurs 133 times in the LXX with 75 of them in Proverbs, and the bulk of the remainder coming in Ecclesiastes, Job, Wisdom of Solomon and Sirach. It conveys the idea of someone who is an arrogant person (Prov 1:22), a fool lacking knowledge of God and demonstrating such a condition by either a morally bankrupt lifestyle (6:12) or indeed by directly denying God.126

In the New Testament the term occurs 13 times, two of which are as follows: 1) In Luke 11:40 Jesus calls the Pharisees "fools" for their commitment to external religion to the denial of any inward reality and 2) in Luke 12:20 he rebukes a greedy man for being a fool in thinking that his life consisted in his possessions. Therefore, the term carries the same basic, negative connotations as in the LXX. Thus Peter does not mince words concerning these non-Christian antagonists. To him they are religiously ignorant which springs from their foolishness.127 As Michaels says, "this is about as close as Peter gets to trading insults with his readers' enemies (something he expressly forbids in 3:9)."128

2:16 wJ" ejleuvqeroi, kaiV mhV wJ" ejpikavlumma e[conte" th'" kakiva" thVn ejleuqerivan, ajll= wJ" qeou' dou'loi. "(Submit) as freemen, but do not use your freedom as a cover for evil, but as servants of God."

Christians are to submit to those in authority as freemen, not using their freedom as a covering in some way for evil, but as servants of God. This verse begins with the adverb wJ" which does not go with verse 15 since that would not make much sense; i.e. "to silence ignorant men as free men and not as holding a cover over evil." It is better to see it connected to the imperatives in the passage, either uJpotavghte in verse 13 or those in verse 17. Goppelt, Selwyn, et al. understand the phrase to form the predicate to the implied subject of uJpotavghte.129 Kelly argues that the nominative adjective ejleuvqeroi stands on its own and is a complement to the preceding injunction. He inserts the imperative "live."130 Goppelt is probably correct in his assessment of the grammar. The switch to the nominative, when the accusative is expected (due to ajgaqopoiou'nta" and fimou'n) takes us back to uJpotavghte. In this way the parenthetical character of verse 15 is seen for what it is. Michaels suggests, however, that once we understand that the imperatives of verse 17 resume and expand on what is enjoined in uJpotavghte, it becomes clear that the clause belongs with verse 17.131

Though it appears to be fairly certain that the wJ" clause goes not with verse 15, but with an imperative, it still remains difficult to decide which one. At this point I am content to relate it to uJpotavghte in verse 13 because unlike Michaels, I do not see a necessary problem in translation with such a choice: "Submit for the Lord's sake. . .as freemen . . . ." In this way, it allows verse 17 to stand more clearly as a summary of what has come before.

Verse 13 rules out the possibility that the term ejleuvqeroi refers to religious, political or social license of some kind. Concerning this freedom Davids says,

Christians are called to freedom, but it is not the political freedom of the Palestinian Zealots who "recognized God alone as their Lord and King" . . . nor that of the Stoics who struggled for sovereign detachment from the pains and pleasures of life, nor the freedom of the antinomian who flouts social and moral rules to gratify his or her own impulses.132

The freedom about which Peter speaks harks back to his comment in 1:18 where he says that God has redeemed Christians from the empty way of life of their forefathers. This life was characterized by lust and ignorance of God (1:14), lack of spiritual community (2:10); a life of continual straying from God (2:25) and all manner of immorality (4:3).133 This, Peter says, is that from which God has freed them. Since, then. they are no longer bound by sinful lives, should they submit to those who are sinners, e.g. the king, governors, etc.? The answer is yes. They are not to use their freedom wJ"134 ejpikavlumma e[conte" th'" kakiva".

The term ejpikavlumma occurs only 4 times in the LXX and once in the New Testament.135 Perhaps the most comparable usage is in Menander, Fragment, 90, which says plou`to" deV pollw`n ejpikavllum ejstiV kakw`n: "The wealth of many is a cover for [their] evil."136 Peter is using it figuratively in reference to freedom; when such freedom is used to hide a real evil behind. The articular noun th'" kakiva" is an objective genitive and refers to all kinds of evil in thought and deed against God and our fellow man.137 It seems that when Peter uses such broad references as the lusts which were in their former lives (1:14), we are to understand his reference here to kakiva" in an equally broad sense—including any evil done under the guise of being free. They are not to use their freedom as a cover for evil, ajll= wJ" qeou' dou'loi.

Peter's readers' freedom is not toward autonomy, but a freedom from slavery to lusts (cf. 1:14) to slavery to God (1 Cor 7:22; Rom 6:22). As Selwyn says, "Christian freedom rests not on an escape from service, but on a change of masters." The Christians to whom Peter was writing were free to submit to the state now as servants of God, for this formed part of their new master's will (cf. v. 15). Peter's designation of his readers as qeou' dou'loi seems to draw upon OT imagery (cf. Isaiah 42:19; 49:2; Luke 2:29; Titus 1:1; Rev. 1:1) wherein God takes people into his service and blesses them.138

2:17 pavn```ta" timhvsate, thVn ajdelfovthta ajgapa'te, toVn qeoVn fobei'sqe, toVn basileva tima'te. "Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king."

This verse sums up the essence of what Peter has been saying and also expands on the general idea of right relations to others. He wants his readers to give proper respect to all men, to love other Christians, to fear God and show respect for the king. That it is summary in nature is clear, but as to its exact structure, this is difficult to discern.

There has been great discussion over the structure of this verse. How do the four imperatives relate to each other? The first verb timhvsate is in the aorist tense, but the remaining three are in the present tense. The New English Bible translates the phrase as if the first imperative were a general command under which the following three imperatives come. But Beare appears to be correct in stating that the difference cannot be bound up with the aorist giving a global view under which the following imperatives reside. This is ruled out, it would seem, from toVn qeoVn fobei'sqe which is definitely above all.139 Selwyn suggests the possibility that the aorist is due to euphony.140 Hort argues that the change in tense to the present after the aorist, suggests that Peter was attempting to emphasize the first command according to his special purpose in the paragraph. The aorist tense was not used in the last clause, toVn basileva tima'te, because this would have given undue stress to it. Bammel suggests another, perhaps better, analysis of the structure. Basically, he argues that the last two clauses are based on Proverbs 24:21 in the LXX: fobou' to;n qeovn, uiJev, kai; basileva.141 But, Peter has changed the verbs: it is now toVn qeoVn fobei'sqe and toVn basileva tima'te. This change, in the last two clauses, suggests that there is a similar distinction between the first two clauses. This distinction is borne out by panta" and ajdelfovthta. But, he says, the presence of timavw in the first and fourth clauses argues for a relationship between them as well as one between the second and third. "If this is so, the sentence has the form a/b/b/a, an entity in which the latter rather than the former half is emphasized, and in which the imperative aorist is used as a synecdoche to stress the effectiveness of the expected acts."142

The fourfold injunction follows immediately after qeou` douloiv (v. 16). Peter wants his readers, as servants of God, to honor all men. That is, they are to say and do things concomitant with the respect all men are to be shown.143 The verb timavw is used 21 times in the NT and is commonly associated in the Synoptics with the proper attitude a child is to demonstrate to their parents (e.g. Matt 15:4; cf. also Eph 6:2). It is also applied to God in John's gospel (John 5:23; 8:49) as well as the honoring of Paul (Acts 28:10) and widows (1 Tim 5:3). It is also used to refer to money (Matt 27:9). Though Peter does not explicate the idea here, this honor and respect for all men is most likely grounded in the fact that they are creations of God (cf. ktivsei in verse 13).144 And, the fact that pavnta" stands first in the clause emphasizes all men without exception. Peter's readers are not to go about choosing whom they will respect and honor. Such an attitude is forbidden by this verse. They are to honor all men.

The second imperatival phrase thVn ajdelfovthta ajgapa'te presents a contrast to pavn```ta" timhvsate. This is not to say that Peter stands in opposition to Jesus' commands to love one's enemies (Matt 5:44), but only that, just as Paul revealed (Gal 6:9,10), there is a priority in a Christian's relationships. The ajdelfovthta is to be loved as of first importance. Peter has also enjoined a sincere love of the brethern upon his readers (1:22) and an attitude of brotherly kindness in general (3:8). The term ajdelfovthta occurs 2 times in 1 Macc and 5 times in 4 Macc. It refers to strong, deep, family ties in the Maccabees, even in the midst of deadly persecution. Peter also uses it in the context of demonic attack and human persecution in 5:9. It is possible that Peter has the seven brothers in mind from the Maccabean stories who defy Antiochus IV. There does not appear to be any parallel between Antiochus and Nero, but only that the seven were righteous sufferers and those to whom Peter was writing were suffering unrighteous persecution.145 In any case, Peter is commanding the Christians to deeply love one another as a family.146

Turning to the second set of imperatives, Peter says toVn qeoVn fobei'sqe, toVn basileva tima'te. The mention of God leads to the mention of the emperor in the same breadth, so to speak. The order is the opposite of Mark 12:17, but the juxtaposition of the two may have arisen from this Synoptic tradition.147 As was mentioned above, the idea of fearing God is probably derived from Proverbs 24:21. The fear about which Peter speaks is the not the fear that arises from an enemy or due to the possibility of punishment per se. This kind of fear (better: "dread") would be inconsistent for those who had received toV poluV aujtou' e[leo" (1:3), who touV" ejn dunavmei qeou' frouroumevnou" (1:5) and who were expecting grace at the parousia (1:13). Indeed they are the people of God (2:10) and he is the guardian of their souls (2:25). The kind of fear that Peter seems to have in mind can be described as a healthy appreciation for God's impartial judgments and the greatness of the salvation he has wrought for believers (1:17-19). It is the wholesome dread of displeasing him, the God of all grace, who has called them into his eternal glory (5:10).148 The Christians of Asia are to fear and reverence God as the one who has ultimate power and authority (5:11), not the emperor.149

Having said this though, Peter wants his readers to know that the emperor must be honored, that is, paid the respect due to the one who is sovereign in the political realm. The way the Christians can honor him is by submitting to him.

Selected Bibliography


Arichea, Daniel C. and Eugene A. Nida. A Translators Handbook on The First Letter from Peter. New York: United Bible Societies, 1980.

Barbieri, Louis A. First and Second Peter. Chicago: Moody Press, 1977.

Barrett, C. K. New Testament Essays. London: SPCK, 1972.

Beare, Francis Wright. The First Epistle of Peter. 3rd edition. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1970.

Best, Ernst. 1 Peter. New Century Bible Commentary. Edited by Matthew Black. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1971.

Bigg, Charles. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistles of St. Peter and St. Jude. The International Critical Commentary. Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1902.

Blass, F. and A. Debrunner. A Greek Grammar of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. Translated and Edited by Robert W. Funk. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961.

Brown, Raymond E. and John P. Meier. Antioch and Rome: New Testament Cradles of Catholic Christianity. New York: Paulist Press, 1983.

Bruce, F. F. New Testament History. New York: Doubleday, 1969.

Carr, Wesley. Angels and Principalities: The Background, Meaning and Development of the Pauline Phrase hai archai kai hai exousiai. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981.

Charlesworth, James H., ed. The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha: Apocalyptic Literature and Testaments. Volumes I & II. New York: Doubleday, 1983, 85.

Cranfield, C. E. B. 1 & II Peter and Jude. Torch Bible Commentaries. Edited by John Marsh and Alan Richardson. London: SCM Press, 1960.

Cullmann, Oscar. The State in the New Testament. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1956.

________. Peter: Disciple, Apostle, Martyr—A Historical and Theological Study. Translated by Floyd V. Filson. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1953.

Davids, Peter H. The First Epistle of Peter. The New International Commentary on the New Testament. Edited by F. F. Bruce. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1990.

Ellis, E. Earle. The Gospel of Luke. The New Century Bible Commentary, Rev. ed. Edited by Matthew Black. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing House, 1976.

Feine, Paul and Johannes Behm. Introduction to the New Testament. Rev. ed. Edited by Werner Georg Kümmel. Translated by A. J. Mattill. New York: Abingdon Press, 1966.

Freed, Edwin D. The New Testament: A Critical Introduction. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1986.

Goppelt, Leonhard. A Commentary on 1 Peter. Edited by Ferdinand Hahn. Translated by John E. Alsup. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1993.

Grudem, Wayne A. The First Epistle of Peter. The Tyndale New Testament Commentaries. Edited by Leon Morris. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1988.

Guthrie, Donald. New Testament Introduction. Rev ed. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 1990.

Harris, Horton. The Tübingen School: A Historical and Theological Investigation of the School of F. C. Baur. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1990.

Harrison, Everett F. Introduction to the New Testament. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1964.

Hart, H. ST J. "The Coin of 'Render Unto Caesar . . .'." In Jesus and the Politics of His Day. Edited by Ernst Bammell and C. F. D. Moule, 241-48. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984.

Hart, J. H. A. "The First Epistle General of Peter." In The Expositor's Greek Testament. Edited by W. Robertson Nicoll. Vol. 5. Reprint. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1988.

Hillyer, Norman. 1 and 2 Peter, Jude. New International Biblical Commentary. Vol. 16. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1992.

Hort, F. J. A. The First Epistle of St Peter I. I—II. 17. New York: MacMillan & Company, 1898.

Ksemann, Ernst. New Testament Questions of Today. London: SCM Press, 1969.

Kelly, J. N. D. A Commentary on the Epistles of Peter and of Jude. Harper's New Testament Commentaries. Edited by Henry Chadwick. New York: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1969.

Ladd, George Eldon. A Theology of the New Testament. Rev. ed. Edited by Donald A. Hagner. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1993.

Lake, Kirsopp and Silva Lake. An Introduction to the New Testament. London: Christophers, 1938.

Lampe, G. W. H., ed. A Patristic Greek Lexicon. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1961.

Leaney, A. R. C. The Letters of Peter and Jude. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1967.

Lightfoot, J. B. and J. R. Harmer, translators. The Apostolic Fathers. 2nd edition. Edited and Revised by Michael W. Holmes. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1989.

Marshall, I. Howard. The Acts of the Apostles, The Tyndale New Testament Commentaries. Edited by R. V. G. Tasker, vol. 5. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1980.

________. The Gospel of Luke. The New International Greek Testament Commentary. Exeter: The Paternoster Press, 1978.

________. 1 Peter. The IVP New Testament Commentary Series. Edited by Grant R. Osborne. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 1991.

Martin, R. A. and John H. Elliott. James, I-II Peter/Jude. Augsburg Commentary on the New Testament. Edited by Roy A. Harrisville, Jack Dean Kingsbury and Gerhard A. Krodel. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House, 1982.

Martin, Troy W. Metaphor and Composition in 1 Peter. Society of Biblical Literature Dissertation Series. Vol. 131. Edited by David L. Peterson and Pheme Perkins. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1992.

McNeile, A. H. An Introduction to the New Testament. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1927.

Metzger, Bruce. A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament. Stuttgart: United Bible Societies, 1971.

________. The Canon of the New Testament: Its Origin, Development, and Significance. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987.

Michaels, J. Ramsay. 1 Peter. Word Biblical Commentary. Edited by Ralph P. Martin. Vol. 49. Waco, TX: Word Books, Publisher, 1988.

Miller, Donald G. On This Rock: A Commentary on First Peter. Allison Park, PA: Pickwick Publications, 1993.

Morrison, C. D. The Powers That Be. Earthly Rulers and Demonic Powers in Romans 13:1-7. Studies in Biblical Theology. Vol. 29. London: SCM Press, 1960.

Moulton, James Hope and Wilbert Francis Howard. A Grammar of New Testament Greek. Volume II: Syntax. Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1929.

Munro, Winsome. Authority in Paul and Peter: The Identification of a Pastoral Stratum in the Pauline Corpus and in 1 Peter. Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series. Edited by R. McL. Wilson and Margaret E. Thrall. Vol. 45. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983.

Perrin, Norman and Dennis C. Duling. The New Testament: An Introduction. 2nd ed. Edited by Robert Ferm. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1982.

Reicke, Bo. The Epistles of James, Peter and Jude. The Anchor Bible. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1964.

Robert, A. and A. Feuillet. An Introduction to the New Testament. Translated by Patrick W. Skehan, Edward P. Arbez, Kathryn Sullivan, Lawrence J. Dannemiller, Edward F. Siegman, John P. McCormick and Martin R. P. McGuire. New York: Desclee Company, 1965.

Schutter, William L. Hermeneutic and Composition in 1 Peter. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum neuen Testament 2. Reihe 30. Tübingen: J.C.B. Mohr, 1989.

Selby, Donald J. Introduction to the New Testament: The Word Became Flesh. New York: The MacMillan Company, 1971.

Selwyn, Edward Gordon. The First Epistle of St. Peter. London: MacMillan & Company, 1947.

Sherwin-White, A. S. Roman Law and Roman Society in the New Testament. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1963.

Stibbs, Alan M. The First Epistle General of Peter. The Tyndale New Testament Commentaries. Edited by R.V.G. Tasker. Grand Rapids: The Tyndale Press, 1959.

Theissen, Henry Clarence. Introduction to the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1955.

Thurn, Lauri. Argument and Rhetorical Strategy in 1 Peter: The Origins of Christian Paraenesis. Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement Series. Vol. 114. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1995.

________. The Rhetorical Strategy of 1 Peter: With Special Regard to Ambiguous Questions. bo Akademis Frlag: bo Academy Press, 1990.

Weiss, Bernhard. A Manual of Introduction to the New Testament. Translated by A. J. K. Davidson. Vol. 1. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1887.

Whiston, William, translator. The Works of Josephus. Revised edition. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1987.

Yonge, C. D., translator. The Works of Philo. Revised edition. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1993.

Zahn, Theodore. Introduction to the New Testament. Translated by John Moore Trout, William Arnot Mather, Louis Hodous, Edward Strong Worcester, William Hoyt Worrell and Rowland Backus Dodge. Vols. 1-3. Grand Rapids: Kregal Publications, 1953.


Bammel, Ernst. "Romans 13." In Jesus and the Politics of His Day. Edited by Ernst Bammel and C. F. D. Moule. 365-83. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984.

Blum, Edwin A. "1 Peter." In The Expositor's Bible Commentary, vol. 12. 207-54. Edited by Frank E. Gaebelein. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1981.

Bruce, F. F. "Render to Caesar." In Jesus and the Politics of His Day. Edited by Ernst Bammel and C. F. D. Moule, 249-63. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984.

Elliott, John H. "The Rehabilitation of an Exegetical Step-Child: 1 Peter in Recent Research." In the NABPR Special Study Series, vol. 9. Edited by Charles H. Talbert. 3-16. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1986.

________. "1 Peter, Its Situation and Strategy: A Discussion with David Balch." In the NABPR Special Study Series, vol. 9. Edited by Charles H. Talbert. 61-78. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1986.

Fanning, Buist M. "A Theology of Peter and Jude." In A Biblical Theology of the New Testament. Edited by Darrell L. Bock and Roy B. Zuck. 437-71. Chicago: Moody Press, 1994.

Lohse, Eduard. "Parenesis and Kerygma in 1 Peter." In the NABPR Special Study Series, vol. 9. Edited by Charles H. Talbert. 37-59. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1986.

Longenecker, Richard N. "The Acts of the Apostles." In The Expositor's Bible Commentary, vol. 9. 205-573. Edited by Frank E. Gaebelein, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1981.

________. "New Testament Social Ethics for Today." In Understanding Pauline Ethics. Edited by Brian S. Rosner, 337-50. Carlisle: The Paternoster Press, 1995.

Mott, S. C. "Civil Authority." In Dictionary of Paul and His Letters. Edited by Gerald F. Hawthorne, Ralph P. Martin and Daniel G. Reid, 141-43. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 1993.

Reasoner, M. "Citizenship, Roman and Heavenly." In Dictionary of Paul and His Letters. Edited by Gerald F. Hawthorne, Ralph P. Martin and Daniel G. Reid, 139-41. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 1993.

Sylva, Dennis. "The Critical Exploration of 1 Peter." In the NABPR Special Study Series, vol. 9. Edited by Charles H. Talbert. 17-36. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1986.

Talbert, Charles H. "Once Again: The Plan of 1 Peter." In the NABPR Special Study Series, vol. 9. Edited by Charles H. Talbert. 141-151. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1986.


Austad, Torleiv. "Attitudes towards the State in Western Theological Thinking." Themelios 16 (Oct/Nov 1990): 18-22.

Balch, D. L. "Early Christian Criticism of Patriarchal Authority: I Peter 2:11-3:12." Union Seminary Quarterly Review 39 (July 1984): 161-73.

Bammel, E. "The Commands in I Peter II. 17." New Testament Studies 11 (July 1965): 279-81.

Brooks, Oscar S. "1 Peter 3:21—The Clue to the Literary Structure of the Epistle." Novum Testamentum 16 (October 1974): 290-305.

Bruce, F. F. "Paul and the 'Powers That Be'." Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 66 (Spring 1984): 78-96.

Cranfield, C. E. B. "The Christian's Political Responsibility According to the New Testament." Scottish Journal of Theology 15 (1962): 176-92.

Culpepper, Alan. "God's Righteousness in the Life of His People." Restoration Quarterly 73 (Fall 1976): 451-63.

Dijkman, J. H. L. "1 Peter: A Later Pastoral Stratum?" New Testament Studies 33 (1987): 265-71.

Emslie, B. L. "The Methodology of Proceeding From Exegesis to an Ethical Decision." Neotestamentica 19 (1985): 87-91.

France R. T. "Liberation in the New Testament." Evangelical Quarterly 58 (January 1986): 3-23.

Goldstein, H. "Die politischen Parnesen in 1 Peter 2 und Rm 13." Bibel Leben 14 (1973): 88-104.

Grant, W. J. "Citizenship and Civil Obedience." The Expository Times 54 (September 1943): 180, 81.

Hemer, C. J. "The Address of 1 Peter." The Expository Times 89 (May 1978): 239-43.

James, Stephen A. "Divine Justice and the Retributive Duty of Civil Government." Trinity Journal 6 (Autumn 1985): 199-210.

Kennard, Douglas W. "Petrine Redemption: Its Meaning and Extent." Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 30 (December 1987): 399-405.

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Winter, Bruce W. "The Public Honouring of Christian Benefactors. Romans 13.3-4 and 1 Peter 2. 14-15." Journal for the Study of the New Testament 34 (1988): 87-103.

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1 Peter H. Davids, The First Epistle of Peter, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1990), 3.

2 Some of those commentators include, Francis W. Beare, The First Epistle of Peter, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Basel Blackwell, 1958), 44; Ernst Best, New Century Bible Commentary, ed. Matthew Black (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1971), 49-62; Leonhard Goppelt, A Commentary on 1 Peter, ed. Ferdinand Hahn and trans. John E. Alsup (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1993), 51, 52 who argues for pseudonymity but not for the simple fact of authority, but rather that the traditions recorded in 1 Peter really do reflect Peter's and Sylvanus' theology. Cf. also William L. Schutter, Hermeneutic and Composition in 1 Peter, Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum neuen Testament, vol. 30 (Tübingen: J. C. B. Mohr, 1989), 7, who decides against authenticity, but only as a working hypothesis in light of the "dominant scholarly opinion."

3 Wayne A. Grudem, The First Epistle of Peter, The Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, ed. Leon Morris (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1988), 21.

4 Edward Gordon Selwyn, The First Epistle of St. Peter (London: MacMillan & Company, 1947), 228. Cf. also Grudem, 1 Peter, 21.

5 In other words, the focus on future glory produces the hope that otherwise the mention of the resurrection would have accomplished. Cf. also Charles Bigg, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistles of St. Peter and St. Jude, The International Critical Commentary, 2nd ed. (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1902), 186, 87, who argues that the term mavrtu" should be translated "eye-witness" and is practically equivalent to ajpovstolo". According to Bigg, "if he meant only fellow-preacher, the word summavrtu" lay ready to his hand." I believe that such a nuance is conveyed by the parallel structure of the two clauses. J. Ramsay Michaels, 1Peter, Word Biblical Commentary, ed. Ralph P. Martin, vol. 49 (Waco: Word Books, Publisher, 1988), 280, suggests that since mavrtu" is governed by the same article as sumpresbuvtero", this makes the former "virtually equivalent to the rare suvmmartu", "fellow witness."

6 Thus, Peter's readers were also witnesses of Christ's sufferings which means that the idea of "eye-witness" is ruled out since his readers were probably not there when Christ suffered.

7 Cf. I. Howard Marshall, 1 Peter, ed. Grant R. Osborne, The IVP New Testament Commentary Series (Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 1991), 161.

8 Paul Feine and Johannes Behm, Introduction to the New Testament, ed. Werner Georg Kümmel, trans. A. J. Mattill, Jr., 14th Rev. ed. (New York: Abingdon Press, 1966), 296.

9 Davids, 1 Peter, 202; Goppelt, 1 Peter, 374, f. n. 29 (2).

10 Best, 1 Peter, 178, 79; Schutter, Hermeneutic, 7.

11 For the dating of this material see, James H. Charlesworth, ed., The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha: Apocalyptic Literature and Testaments, vol. 1 (New York: Doubleday, 1983), 322, 390, 617. Both the Syb. Or. 5 and 2 Baruch are probably from the late and early second centuries A. D. respectively. This means they are slightly later than 1 Peter, but it appears that all these writers are drawing on OT imagery which goes back as far as Daniel (cf. Ps. 137; Is. 13; 43:14; Jeremiah 50, 51; Dan 5:17-31).

12 See Goppelt, 1 Peter, 9-14, for a discussion of the Patristic evidence and the evidence provided by Eusebius concerning the tradition that Peter was martyred in Rome.

13 See Bigg, 1 Peter, 8. He cites general vocabulary, the salutation, 7:4; 9:4; 36:2 and two quotations in 30:2 (1 Pet 5:5) and 49:5 (1 Pet 4:8) as indications of Clement borrowing from 1 Peter. Bruce M. Metzger, The Canon of the New Testament: Its Origin, Development, and Significance (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987), 62, does not agree with the conclusion of borrowing.

14 Donald Guthrie, New Testament Introduction, rev. ed. (Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 1990), 760-62. He cites Bruce M. Metzger, Canon, 200, who says that "in view of the rather extensive use made of 1 Peter by several early writers, both Western and Eastern, it may be, as Zahn and others have supposed, that the list originally mentioned 1 Peter, but through scribal carelessness reference to it was accidentally omitted." A. F. Walls has said the same things in the introduction to Alan M. Stibbs, The First Epistle General of Peter, The Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, ed. R. V. G. Tasker (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1959), 17. He admits that there is less evidence of the use of 1 Peter by Latin churches than by Greek.

15 Cf. Guthrie, Introduction, 762, who speaks much more confidently of the external evidence. He says, "the very great weight of patristic evidence in favour of Petrine authorship and the absence of any dissentient voices raises so strong a presupposition in favour of the correctness of the claims of the epistle to be Peter's own work that it is surprising that this has been questioned." Concerning the present discussion of the Petrine authorship of 1 Peter, Michaels, 1 Peter, lxii, says "as in the case of most NT books other than the letters of Paul, the discussion of the authorship of 1 Peter is a futile discussion if the purpose is anything approaching absolute certainty." On Peter's martyrdom in Rome, see Oscar Cullmann, Peter: Disciple, Apostle, Martyr, trans. Floyd V. Filson (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1958), 114: "It [the testimony of 1 Clement 5 and Ignatius, Romans 4:3] is sufficient to let us include the martyrdom of Peter in Rome in our final historical picture of the early church, as a fact which is relatively though not absolutely assured."

16 The idea of Babylon carries with it all sorts of connotations, but these are of little interest to us here. The referent is clearly Rome, though the sense is multi-orbed. See Goppelt, 1 Peter, 374, 75; Michaels, 1 Peter, 311.

17 F. W. Beare, The First Epistle of Peter, 3rd ed. (Oxford: Blackwell, 1970), 47. See also Feine, Behm, Kümmel, Introduction, 297.

18 BAGD, 12.

19 Cf. Richard N. Longenecker, "Acts" in The Expositor's Bible Commentary, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein, vol. 9 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1981), 306 and 307, f. n. 13. Cf. also I. Howard Marshall, The Acts of the Apostles, The Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, ed. R.V.G. Tasker, vol. 5 (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1980), 101, who agrees with C. H. Dodd, The interpretation of the Fourth Gospel (Cambridge, 1954), 82, who says that the two Greek words together, i.e. ajgravmmatoi eijsin kaiV ijdiw`tai, translate a Hebrew phrase which refers to people ignorant of the Jewish Law or Torah. Perhaps this is the case, but in first century Palestine, it is an ignorance that is only relative to the religious leaders. Peter was well acquainted with the OT as Luke's summary of his sermons in Acts reveal (for example, cf. Acts 2:14-36).

20 Guthrie, Introduction, 767.

21 I realize that this creates problems for the authorship of 2 Peter whose Greek is substantially poorer than 1 Peter. However, this is not addressed here as it is only my intention to show the weakness of Beare's argument that Peter could not have written such good Greek.

22 Eccl. Hist. 3. 39. 15. Cf. BAGD, 310 (1); Grudem, 1 Peter, 26, 27. The statement of Papias and its terminology is greatly debated. William L. Lane, The Gospel of Mark, The New International Commentary on the New Testament, ed. F. F. Bruce (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1974), 8, understands Papias' comments to be an attempt to give the character and authority of Mark's gospel. Further, Hugh Anderson, The Gospel of Mark, The New Century Bible Commentary, ed. Matthew Black (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans publishing Company, 1976), 9, says that Papias' statement scarcely secures the existence of an Aramaic 'original gospel'."

23 Beare, 1 Peter, 45, 46.

24 Stibbs, 1 Peter, 25.

25 Cf. Best, 1 Peter, 39-42, 50, 51.

26 Beare, 1 Peter, 28-43.

27 Best, 1 Peter, 39-42, 50, 51. J. N. D. Kelly, The Epistles of Peter and Jude, Harper's New Testament Commentaries, ed. Henry Chadwick (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1969), 10, argues that the persecutions underlying 1:1-4:11 are the same as those underlying 4:12ff; they are private and local. This contends for the unity of the book and the need to date it according to some other means. On the unity of the letter concerning the persecutions, see also Goppelt, 1 Peter, 21. Further, C. J. Hemer, "The Address of 1 Peter," The Expository Times 89 (May 1978), 241, who cautions the development of unfounded theories as to questions of background for the letter: "Much happened in the first century of which we have no record."

28 But cf. J. A. T. Robinson, Redating the New Testament (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1976.)

29 Beare, 1 Peter, 49.

30 Cf. Best, 1 Peter, 50.

31 Rudolph Bultmann, Theology of the New Testament, trans. Kendrick Grobel, vol. II (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1955), 142.

32 Goppelt, 1 Peter, 28-35.

33 Guthrie, Introduction, 774, 75, points out that while there is much in common with Paul, there is nonetheless an absence of such Pauline ideas as justification, law, the new Adam, and the flesh. Peter also adds his own particular doctrines of Christ's descent into Hades.

34 Best, 1 Peter, 52, 53; Goppelt, 1 Peter, 49.

35 Cf. Robert H. Gundry, "'Verba Christi' in 1 Peter: Their Implications Concerning the Authorship of 1 Peter and the Authenticity of the Gospel Tradition," NTS 13 (1966, 67), 336-50. Gundry argues that many of the Verba Christi come from contexts in which Peter was involved. Best, 1 Peter, 53, cites Gundry, but reduces the number of possible instances of the words of Christ to one, namely, 2:4. This, he says, is not enough upon which to build a theory. On the Gospel traditions in the letter see also Goppelt, 1 Peter, 33-35.

36 Goppelt, 1 Peter, 9.

37 Ibid., 52, who thinks that the letter may have been written in the second century, but the traditions reflected in the epistle were probably known to have been shaped by Peter and Silvanus. Therein lies the authority of the letter.

38 Beare, 1 Peter, 44.

39 Ibid. Cf. also Goppelt, 1 Peter, 48-53, who finds the arguments against Petrine authorship and Silvanus' authorship to be persuasive enough for him to leave the question open. It is enough for him that the traditions reflect accurate traditions about Jesus and the letter as a whole was undoubtedly accepted on that basis. This is not pure pseudonymity for Goppelt. For him it is likely that the traditions in 1 Peter were forged by Peter and Silvanus and the letter, insofar as it represented those traditions, was passed on in their names.

40 Guthrie, 1011-28. This is an enormous discussion and too detailed for further comment here. Given the problems raised by Guthrie, appealing to pseudonymity does not appear to be a satisfactory approach to account for authorship in the epistles. There is also the suggestion that the letter is anonymous and later attributed to Peter. There is no manuscript evidence for such an interpolation and the theory seems to emerge in large measure due to the perceived problems with pseudonymity.

41 Feine, Behm, Kümmel, Introduction, 298.

42 Grudem, 1Peter, 24.

43 Reike, 1 Peter, 69-71. See also C. E. B. Cranfield, I & II Peter and Jude, Torch Bible Commentaries, ed. John Marsh and Alan Richardson (London: SCM Press, 1960), 13-16; Davids, 1 Peter, 6; Selwyn, 1 Peter, 9-17; Stibbs, 1 Peter, 25-30.

44 The list of geographical areas has caused some problem for interpreters. Some claim that they refer to ethnic regions (Guthrie, Introduction, 783) and others claim they refer to Roman provinces. It would appear that most commentators (Best, 1 Peter, 15; Davids, 1 Peter, 47; Goppelt, 1 Peter, 3; Norman Hillyer, 1 and 2 Peter, Jude, New International Biblical Commentary (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1992), 26; Kelly, 1 Peter, 3; Reicke, 1 Peter, 72, etc.) have settled the issue in favor of Roman provinces; provinces that encompass an area north of the Taurus mountains. For the various views on the ordering of the provinces see, Guthrie, Introduction, 783, 84. The consensus appears to be that the order reflects the route taken by the deliverer of the letter.

45 Schutter, Hermeneutic, 8, 9.

46 Ibid., 11.

47 Guthrie, Introduction, 784.

48 Michaels, 1 Peter, xlv, xlvi. Further questions as to whether the recipients were proselytes, priests, "God-fearers," or Noachians are not relevant for our discussion and answers to which may lie beyond the data at hand. Since the development of these churches would have in all likelihood proceeded by way of the Synagogue in the various cities of the provinces, it is likely that many recipients of 1 Peter were Jewish Christians. According to the information gleaned from 1 Peter, however, the audience appears to be mostly Gentile, not Jewish Christian. See Best, 1 Peter, 19, 20.

49 Cf. Kelly, 1 Peter, 107, who says, "to give practical illustrations of the good actions (ii. 12) required by the gospel, the writer inserts a lengthy passage (ii. 13-iii.12) which consists in the main of a series of short codes of duties, each adopted to a particular class or grouping of persons." See also Beare, 1 Peter, 139; Best, 1 Peter, 112, 13; Davids, 1 Peter, 94-98; Goppelt, 1 Peter, 153.

50 The filling of the Spirit in 5:18 manifests itself in the attitudes and actions outlined in the 5 resultative participles in 5:19-21; the last of these is uJpotassovmenoi. It must be noted that Paul uses uJpokouvw in relation to children and their parents and slaves and their masters. Peter does not talk about children and their parents, but does mention slaves (oijkevtai)and their masters. In this relationship he uses ujpotavssw.

51 Beare, 1 Peter, 137, 38.

52 Biggs, 1 Peter, 137.

53 Edwin A. Blum, "1 Peter," in The Expositor's Bible Commentary, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein, vol. 12 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1981), 232.

54 Kelly, 1 Peter, 105.

55 For the emphasis on 1 Peter 5:12 as holding, in some way, the key to the outline, see Charles H. Talbert, "Once Again: The Plan of 1 Peter," in Perspectives on 1 Peter, NABPR Special Studies Series, ed. Charles H. Talbert (Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1986), 143. There is of course the problem of the unity of the epistle, a unity which is presupposed in my outline. There is not space enough here to enter into that discussion, but the reader is referred to the Introductions by Guthrie and Kümmel. Cf. also C. F. D. Moule, "The Nature and Purpose of 1 Peter," NTS 3 (1956, 57), 1-11. He rejects the idea of an actual baptismal liturgy for 1:3-4:11, but sees the letter as a compilation of two letters sent to two different groups in Asia; one group not yet under duress (1:1-4:11 and 5:12-14), while the other group was suffering persecution (1:1-2:10 and 4:12-5:14).

56 Most of them, like the addition of oujn and fusei ajnqrw. in verse 13; the mevn of verse 14; the uJma" of verse 15, etc. may simply be regarded as scribal attempts to smooth out the text or remove ambiguities. See Michaels, 1 Peter, 121.

57 Cf. Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (Stuttgart: United Bible Societies, 1971), 689, 70.

58 J. P. Wilson, "In the Text of 1 Peter ii. 17 is pavnta" timhvsate a Primitive Error for panvta poihvsate? The Expository Times 54 (May 1943), 193, 94.

59 There is no logical connector (e.g. oujn, w{ste) to that which precedes, but the discussion of obedience to civil authorities and demonstrating honor for all men certainly falls under Peter's admonition in 2:11, 12. Thus there is a logical connection between 2:11, 12 and 2:13-17, though it is implicit. We see that such is the case with Paul's segment on the authorities in Romans 13:1-7. There is no logical connector to that which precedes; indeed the switch is so abrupt so as to cause a number of scholars to postulate an interpolation; for example, cf. James Kallas, "Romans xiii. 1-7: An Interpolation," NTS 11 (1965), 365-74.

60 This may refer to his coming for salvation or judgment. Depending on the audience in mind, both are possible. It would seem, based on the fact that the slanders will glorify God, that Peter is here referring to the final judgment.

61 Cf. Michaels, 1 Peter, 124, who says that "Peter regards the subjection of which he speaks as a matter of choice, not of nature or necessity." It is true that it is a choice, but it is also a necessity; a necessity which is not reduced by the fact that the Christians are ejleuvqeroi (v. 16).

62 Cf. ejlpivsate (1:13); ajgaphvsate (1:22); ejpipoqhvsate (2:2); timhvsate (2:17). Paul uses the term uJpotassevsqw; a present imperative in Romans 13:1.

63 Peter's language in 3:8, 9, 17; 4:15 does not indicate that his readers were guilty of such retaliation, but is only a warning not to do it.

64 This includes 4 participles at 2:18; 3:1, 5, 22. The other two uses are aorist finite imperative verbs.

65 The "one doing the subjection" is not mentioned here. Some have postulated sinful Adam, others Satan, etc. It seems however, that most would agree that God is in view here. See Cranfield, Romans: Shorter Commentary, 196, 97; Dunn, Romans, 471; Fitzmyer, Romans, 508; Harrison, Romans, 93-95; Hendricksen, Romans, 266-68.

66 Gerhard Delling, TDNT, VIII, 40.

67 Cf. Porter, "Romans 13:1-7," 120, 21. He suggests these as other terms Paul could have chosen as well.

68 Cf. George L. Carey, "Biblical-Theological Perspectives on War and Peace," The Evangelical Quarterly 57 (April 1985), 169, who says concerning unconditional obedience to the state: "Paul would have been horrified by such an inference." I think the same could be said of Peter who deliberately disobeyed the authorities (Acts 5:29) when their restrictions interfered with God's revealed will.

69 This, of course, is in keeping with Paul's emphasis as well.

70 Paul's rationale was in line with this, but more specific. He urges obedience to the state, because the state is appointed by God. Both writers indicate that it is the state's job to punish evildoers and praise those who do right. Cf. Leon Morris, The Epistle to the Romans (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1988), 461.

71 Some commentators, due to the strong use of subjection language in the passage seem to imply an obedience to the state which is rendered without question. See Morrison, The Powers that Be, 113. This fails to recognize the import of Mark 12:13-17 (Caesar and God) and the underlying premise in Romans 13, namely, that the state is permitting one to be and live as a Christian.

72 The magistrates (Perhaps these rulers make up part of the eJxousiva Paul is talking about in Romans 13) treated Paul and Silas unlawfully. They violated their own laws by beating a Roman citizen. Paul may have made such an issue out of it in order to protect the Christians in Philippi from any further unnecessary harassment from the authorities, but at the bottom of it lies the just protest of one who was unjustly handled by the state. On Paul's rights as a Roman citizen see Cf. I. Howard Marshall, The Acts of the Apostles, The Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, ed R. V. G. Tasker (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1980), 274, 75; Richard N. Longenecker, "Acts," in The Expositor's Bible Commentary, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein, vol. 9 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1981), 466, 67.

73 For further comment on the whole issue of the extent of the Christian's responsibility to submit to the state, cf. C. E. B. Cranfield, "The Christian's Political Responsibility according to the New Testament," Scottish Journal of Theology 15 (1962), 181.

74 Cf. Werner Foerster, TDNT III, 1028-35. The same use of the term occurs in the LXX (excluding 1 Esdras 4:53: "and that all who came from Babylon to build (ktivsai) the city should have their freedom."

75 F. J. A. Hort, The First Epistle of St Peter: I.1-II.17 (London: MacMillan and Co., 1898), 139, 40.

76 Bigg, 1 Peter, 139. The interpretation of this phrase, as difficult as it is, is slender ground upon which to argue that Peter "differs widely here from St. Paul" as Bigg tries to do.

77 Beare has confused meaning and referent. While governing authorities might be included in such a phrase, they are not it's meaning.

78 Beare, 1 Peter, 141.

79 Though Beare does not say this explicitly, it is certainly the thrust of his argument.

80 Selwyn, 1 Peter, 172, argues in a similar vein as does Beare, relying almost completely on Classical usage, but does not rule out the divine structuring in all these "fundamental social institutions."

81 Goppelt, 1Peter, 182, 83.

82 Blum, 1 Peter, 233; Cranfield, 1 Peter, 73, 74; Davids, 1 Peter, 98, 99; Donald G. Miller, On This Rock: A Commentary on 1 Peter (Allison Park, PA: Pickwick Publications, 1993) 207; Kelly, 1 Peter, 108; Michaels, 1 Peter, 124.

83 Cranfield, 1 Peter, 73, 74.

84 It would appear from its use in the NT and the LXX that when a Jew thought about ktivsi" he thought about the physical creation apart from man as well. The use of ajnqrwpivnh certainly narrows the focus to just man. See Davids, 1 Peter, 99.

85 Kelly, 1 Peter, 109.

86 Goppelt, 1 Peter, 183, f. n. 19; Michaels, 1 Peter, 124.

87 Though Paul bases submission of women and men on creation theology (e.g. 1 Cor 11:8), such exhortation is attainable now in the light of God's salvific work in Christ (1 Cor 1:4-9, 18; 2:12,6:11). It is the design of creation and more brought back into focus through redemption.

88 Best, 1 Peter, 114, says that "generally in the NT it [i.e. kuvrio"] denotes Christ and only means God in quotations from the OT or in thought dependent on the OT."

89 Cf. Selwyn, 1 Peter, 172.

90 Miller, 1 Peter, 208.

91 Cf. Goppelt, 1 Peter, 183.

92 Selwyn, 1 Peter, 172.

93 Kelly, 1 Peter, 109.

94 Cf. Karl Ludwig Schmidt, TDNT, I, 574-79; Kelly, 1 Peter, 109; Davids, 1 Peter, 100; Goppelt, 1 Peter, 185, f. n. 31. On Herod as a client king, see F. F. Bruce, New Testament History (New York: Doubleday, 1969), 20ff.

95 Cf. Michaels, 1 Peter, 125.

96 This of course is based on a date before A. D. 64.

97 Cranfield, 1 Peter, 75.

98 BAGD, 898, III, 1, b.

99 BAGD, 840, 41, 2, a.

100 BAGD, 343, 2.

101 Goppelt, 1 Peter, 185, f. n. 31.

102 Cf. M. Reasoner, "Political Systems," in Dictionary of Paul and His Letters, ed. Gerald F. Hawthorne, Ralph P. Martin and Daniel G. Reid (Downers Grove, IL; Intervarsity Press, 1993), 720. The term for proconsul in the New Testament is ajnqupavto" (cf. Acts 13:7) and for procurator is hJgemw`n.

103 Best, 1 Peter, 114: Peter was not "aware of this distinction and assumes that all are sent by the emperor." This is hardly believable for a person who traveled through the empire. It is not Peter's point to delineate in detail Roman political structures. He is simply referring to governors as examples of those who ultimately come from the emperor and are to be obeyed. There is no real grounds in the Peter's generalization for an attempt at a later date for the book; a date in the Flavian period, for example. Cf. Beare, 1 Peter, 142.

104 Best, 1 Peter, 114.

105 Hort, 1 Peter, 141.

106 Cf. Beare, 1 Peter, 142; Bigg, 1 Peter, 140; Goppelt, 1 Peter, 185.

107 Michaels, 1 Peter, 126.

108 It is clear that Luke has in mind divine revenge, but it will come through those nation's armies that attack Jerusalem. See I. Howard Marshall, The Gospel of Luke, The New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1978), 772, 73. See also Romans 12:19; 2 Thessalonians 1:8 and Hebrews 10:30 for more on God's ejkdivkhsi".

109 BAGD, 397, says the term can refer to an evil-doer, criminal or sorcerer. It is found twice in the LXX (Proverbs 12:4; 24:19). In these two instances it refers to men who commit various kinds of crimes and evils against other people. It is interesting that immediately after Prov 24:19, 21 where the evildoer is referred to, the next verse enjoins fear of God and the King. The term occurs in the NT only in 1 Peter 2:12, 14 and 4:15. It seems that Peter has general evil in mind; evil that is punishable by the state. Bu this is not to suppose that the term is restricted to criminal, subversive activity as Reicke, 1 Peter, 95, seems to suggest. C. Freeman Sleeper, "Political Responsibility according to 1 Peter," Novum Testamentum (October 1968), 282, has demonstrated a broader range of meaning in Peter's use of the term.

110 The verb occurs 5 times in the LXX: Num 10:32; Judges 17:13; Tobit 12:13; 2 Macc 1:2 and Zeph 1:12.

111 The praise spoken of in verse 14 could be seen as the praise of God in the light of the Christian's good deeds in the civic arena (cf. Matt 5:16), but this does not appear to be Peter's intention. It is the government who will praise the Christian as a model citizen.

112 Other similar conceptions of the state and its role in punishing evil doers and upholding those who do good occurs in Philo (Quod Est De Legatione Ad Gaium, 7): "for Law is made up of two things, the honour of the good and the chastisement of the wicked." Cf. also The Letter of Aristeas 291, 92: "'What is the most important feature in a kingdom?' To this he [i.e. the king] replied, 'To establish the subjects continually at peace, and guarantee that they obtain justice quickly in verdicts. The sovereign brings about these aims when he hates evil and loves good and holds in high esteem the saving of human life'" (italics mine).

113 W. C. van Unnik, "A Classical Parallel to 1 Peter ii. 14 and 20," New Testament Studies 2 (1955, 56), 200, 201.

114 Cf. Michaels, 1 Peter, 12; Best , 1 Peter, 114.

115 Cf. Beare, I Peter, 143. See also Bruce W. Winter's excellent article, "The Public Honouring of Christian Benefactors: Romans 13.3-4 and 1 Peter 2.14-15," JSNT 34 (October 1988), 87-103. He argues that it was common for the state to recognize benefactors as evidence from the inscriptions demonstrate.

116 Michaels, 1 Peter, 127.

117 BDF, *456, 1; Goppelt, 1Peter, 186; Hort, 1 Peter,142.

118 But see Matthew 18:14: ou{tw" oujk e[stin qevlhma e[mprosqen tou' patroV" uJmw'n tou' ejn oujranoi'" i{na ajpovlhtai e}n tw'n mikrw'n touvtwn. Here, in a very similar expression, i.e. ou{tw" oujk e[stin qevlhma, the adverb looks ahead in the clause. Hort, 1 Peter, 143, seems certain that it is retrospective here. But the following clause seems to indicate exactly the will of God.

119 Cf. Bigg, 1 Peter, 141.

120 Hort, 1 Peter, 143.

121 Beare, 1 Peter, 143; Best, I Peter,115. But see Goppelt, 1 Peter, 186, who argues according to usage in Matt 18:14, John 6:40 and 1 Thes 4:3 that the adverb does not look back, but forward.

122 For a very helpful survey of the idea of qelhvma tou` qeou` in the New Testament, see Gottlob Schrenk, TDNT, III, 55-59 where he discusses Christ as the doer of the divine will, the will of God as the basis for salvation and the new life of believers and the divine will.

123 It also occurs 3 times in the LXX (Deut 25:4; 4 Macc 1:35 and Sus 60). See also 1 Clement 59:2.

124 Cf. W. Harold Mare, "1 Corinthians, " in The Expositor's Bible Commentary, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein, vol. 10 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1976), 288.

125 We may say then that in 1 Peter the reference to thVn ajgnwsivan can be filled out to mean ignorant accusations or slander. This is what Peter wants silenced. See Davids, 1 Peter, 101, f. n. 7.

126 Cf. Georg Bertram, TDNT, IX, 225.

127 Notice also that he refers to them as ajnqrwvpwn which has a consistently negative nuance in 1 Peter. Men are the ones who rejected the corner stone (2:4); are characterized by sinful lusts (4:2) and are judged accordingly (4:6). The only possibly positive reference is in 3:4, but this does not refer to actual men per se, but to personhood. Cf. Michaels, 1 Peter, 160.

128 Michaels, 1 Peter, 128.

129 Goppelt, 1 Peter, 188, f. n. 46; Selwyn, 1 Peter, 173; Hort, 1 Peter, 145.

130 Kelly, 1 Peter, 111.

131 Michaels, 1 Peter, 128.

132 Davids, 1 Peter, 102.

133 See also Douglas W. Kennard, "Petrine Redemption: Its Meaning and Extent," JETS (December 1987), 399, 40.

134 The wJ" (and the participial phrase) is functioning by way of contrast here.

135 Ex 26:14; 39:20; 2 Sam 17:19; Job 19:29; 1 Pet 2:16.

136 Cf. BAGD, 294.

137 BAGD, 398, 99.

138 Goppelt, 1 Peter, 188.

139 Beare, 1 Peter, 144. This is built on the premise that pavnta" does not include God.

140 Selwyn, 1Peter, 174.

141 See also Goppelt, 1 Peter, 190.

142 E. Bammel, "The Commands of 1 Peter 2:17," NTS 11 (July 1965), 279-81. See also Kelly, 1 Peter, 112, who says that the second imperative has a richer content than the first and the third than the fourth. Beare, 1 Peter, 144, also comments on the aorist saying that it probably refers to definite action, not merely an attitude of respect, but also of concomitant words and deeds.

143 Cf. Johannes Schneider, TDNT, VIII, 178-80.

144 Cf. Goppelt, 1 Peter, 189.

145 Beare, 1 Peter, 145, says the sense in 1 and 4 Maccabees is not collective as it is here in 1 Peter. Therefore, there is the possibility that Peter took it from this source and applied it in a new way to Christians.

146 Goppelt, 1 Peter, 189, f. n. 53. See also John H. Elliott, "1 Peter, Its Situation and Strategy: A Discussion with David Balch," in the NABPR Special Study Series, vol. 9, ed. Charles H. Talbert. (Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1986), 61-78 for a discussion of the social situation of Peter's readers and the resulting purpose for Peter's admonitions.

147 Cf. Michaels, 1 Peter, 131.

148 Cf. Horst Balz, TDNT, IX, 214, 15.

149 Cf. Davids, 1 Peter, 104.

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