1 Peter 1
The Passion Translation
Our Living Hope
1 From Peter, an apostle of Jesus the Anointed One, to the chosen ones[a] who have been scattered like “seed” into the nations living as refugees[b] in Pontus,[c] Galatia, Cappadocia,[d] and throughout the Roman provinces of Asia and Bithynia.[e] 2 You are not forgotten, for you have been chosen and destined by Father God. The Holy Spirit has set you apart to be God’s holy ones, obedient followers of Jesus Christ who have been gloriously sprinkled with his blood. May God’s delightful grace and peace cascade over you many times over![f]
3 Celebrate with praises the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has shown us his extravagant mercy. For his fountain of mercy has given us a new life—we are reborn[g] to experience a living, energetic hope[h] through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.[i] 4 We are reborn into a perfect inheritance[j] that can never perish, never be defiled, and never diminish. It is promised and preserved forever in the heavenly realm for you![k]
5 Through our faith, the mighty power of God constantly guards[l] us until our full salvation[m] is ready to be revealed[n] in the last time. 6 May the thought of this cause you to jump for joy,[o] even though lately you’ve had to put up with the grief of many trials.[p] 7 But these only reveal the sterling core[q] of your faith, which is far more valuable than gold that perishes, for even gold is refined by fire. Your authentic faith will result in even more praise, glory, and honor when Jesus the Anointed One is revealed.[r]
8 You love him passionately although you have not seen him, but through believing in him you are saturated with an ecstatic joy, indescribably sublime and immersed in glory.[s] 9 For you are reaping the harvest of your faith—the full salvation promised you—your souls’ victory![t]
10 This salvation was the focus of the prophets who prophesied of this outpouring of grace that was destined for you. They made a careful search and investigation of the meaning of their God-given prophecies 11 as they probed into the mysteries of who would fulfill them and the time period when it would all take place. The Spirit of the Anointed One was in them[u] and was pointing prophetically to the sufferings that Christ was destined to suffer and the glories that would be released afterward. 12 God revealed to the prophets that their ministry was not for their own benefit[v] but for yours. And now, you have heard these things from the evangelists[w] who preached the gospel to you through the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—the gospel containing wonderful mysteries that even the angels long to get a glimpse of.[x]
A Call to Holiness
13 So then, prepare your hearts and minds for action![y] Stay alert and fix your hope firmly on the marvelous grace that is coming to you. For when Jesus Christ is unveiled,[z] a greater measure of grace will be released to you. 14 As God’s obedient children, never again shape your lives by the desires that you followed when you didn’t know better. 15 Instead, shape your lives to become like the Holy One who called you. 16 For Scripture says:
“You are to be holy, because I am holy.”[aa]
17 Since you call on him as your heavenly Father, the impartial Judge who judges according to each one’s works,[ab] live each day with holy awe and reverence throughout your time on earth.[ac] 18 For you know that your lives were ransomed once and for all from the empty and futile way of life handed down from generation to generation. It was not a ransom payment of silver and gold, which eventually perishes, 19 but the precious blood of Christ—who like a spotless, unblemished lamb was sacrificed for us.[ad]
20 This was part of God’s plan, for he was chosen and destined for this before the foundation of the earth was laid,[ae] but he has been made manifest in these last days for you. 21 It is through him that you now believe in God,[af] who raised him from the dead and glorified him,[ag] so that you would fasten your faith and hope in God alone.
Love and Purity
22 Now, because of your obedience to the truth,[ah] you have purified your very souls, and this empowers you to be full of love for your fellow believers. So express this sincere love toward one another passionately and with a pure heart.[ai] 23 For through the eternal and living Word of God[aj] you have been born again. And this “seed” that he planted within you can never be destroyed but will live and grow inside of you forever. For:
24 Human beings[ak] are frail and temporary, like grass,
and the glory of man fleeting
like blossoms of the field.[al]
The grass dries and withers and the flowers fall off,
25 but the Word of the Lord endures forever![am]
And this is the Word[an] that was announced to you!
- 1:1 Or “elect” (believers). As God’s chosen people, this would also refer to the faithful within unfaithful Israel.
- 1:1 First Peter, Hebrews, and Jacob were all written to believers who had been scattered like “seed” among the nations due to persecution. Exile is the way the original audience would have described the situation in their day. “Refugees” is a modern equivalent in ours.
- 1:1 Pontus is the region of the Turkish coast of the Black Sea.
- 1:1 Galatia and Cappadocia are regions of central Turkey.
- 1:1 The provinces of Asia (Minor) and Bithynia are modern-day western Turkey.
- 1:2 Or “be multiplied to you.” Notice all three members of the Trinity are mentioned in this verse: Father God, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ. We are chosen by the Father, set apart (or sanctified) by the Holy Spirit, and submitted to Christ.
- 1:3 This is the only place in the New Testament where the Greek verb anagennaō is found (a hapax legomenon). This shows that God himself is the one who gives us new birth as newborn believers filled with the life of Christ. God is truly our Father, who gives us new life through his living mercy.
- 1:3 Some Greek manuscripts and the Aramaic read “the hope of life.”
- 1:3 Peter states that the first result of our new birth is that we are brought into a living hope in the power of God, based on the resurrection of Christ. The God of resurrection gives us a powerful hope to excel in life.
- 1:4 The second result that comes from our new birth is an eternal inheritance, which is available now by faith, and will also be reserved in heaven for us when we pass from death to life. Paul describes it as “every spiritual blessing” that has already been given to us by God (Eph. 1:3).
- 1:4 This would no doubt encourage those believers who had scattered from their homelands and been deprived of what they once possessed. Their blessings (and ours) are not only material, but spiritual, from a transcendent reality.
- 1:5 The Greek word for “guards us” is phrouroumenous, which comes from a military term (phrouria) meaning “a fort” or “an army garrison stationed to defend a city.” You are continually being watched over and protected by God’s mighty power.
- 1:5 The third result of our new birth that Peter mentions is our full salvation (or deliverance) that will come when Christ is unveiled. It is ready to be revealed and waits for our discovery.
- 1:5 The Greek verb apokalyptō means “to unveil and disclose.” Peter is saying that there is a more complete salvation awaiting us when Christ is unveiled in the last days. The nominalized form of apokalyptō is the title of the last book of the Bible, Revelation: The Unveiling of Jesus Christ. In just a few verses Peter will tell us that a “grace” will also be unveiled to us in the last days (1:13).
- 1:6 Or “exult in joy.” The Aramaic can be translated “rejoice for eternity.”
- 1:6 Peter speaks of believers suffering difficulties and persecutions four times in his first letter (1:6–7; 3:13–17; 4:12–19; 5:9).
- 1:7 Or “proven character.”
- 1:7 Or “comes out of his concealment.”
- 1:8 The Aramaic can be translated “a glorification that cannot be described.”
- 1:9 Or “the salvation of your souls.”
- 1:11 The Spirit of Christ was in the prophets of the Old Testament. This means that Enoch, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and all the prophets who prophesied did so by the Holy Spirit living in them. Today every believer has the Holy Spirit within him or her and everyone may prophesy. See Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 12; 14.
- 1:12 That is, the prophets understood that their prophecies were not only for their generation but for generations to come.
- 1:12 The Aramaic can be translated “extenders of hope.”
- 1:12 Heavenly angels are fascinated with God’s mercy shown toward us. His wise plan of making former rebels into lovers has mystified the angelic realm. The church is the University of Angels and every believer a professor. Angels long to peer into the mysteries of God’s grace, which have been lavished upon us. How much more should we be fascinated explorers of the mercy of God, for we have received it and are now redeemed. See also Eph. 3:10.
- 1:13 We would say today, “Roll up your sleeves,” or, “Fasten your seat belt!”
- 1:13 Or “to come out of concealment, appear, be made manifest, revealed.” Peter uses the Greek word apokàlypsis, which is the title of the last book in the Bible, Revelation: The Unveiling of Jesus Christ. The Aramaic can be translated “Stay alert and share the news about the joy that came to you with the revelation of Jesus the Messiah.”
- 1:16 See Lev. 11:44; 19:2. Everything about God is holy. True holiness includes justice, mercy, truth, and righteousness. To be holy is to be absolutely devoted to God in all that we do, demonstrating who he is to the world. Holiness surrounds God’s throne and we are seated with him in heavenly places (Eph. 2:6). The Hebraic concept of holiness is “set apart”; that is, we are a people set apart for God, even as God is “set apart” from all gods. Grace has imbedded holiness into our lives, yet we are to make right choices and to yield to Christ and God’s Word as the Holy Spirit lives in us. Holiness is not merely actions we perform, but what we absorb and manifest as we live our lives in God’s presence. Christ is our holiness (1 Cor. 1:30).
- 1:17 The Aramaic can be translated “no one will put on a face mask before him.” Believers in Jesus will not be judged for their sins, since that happened once and for all when Jesus was crucified to redeem us. We will be judged, however, for our works in order to determine the reward (or lack of reward) that God gives to those who believe in Christ. See Isa. 53:4–5; Rom. 14:10–12; 1 Cor. 3:12–15; 1 Peter 2:24.
- 1:17 Or “throughout the time of your exile.”
- 1:19 See Ex. 12; Lev. 22:20–25; Isa. 53:7; John 1:29; Heb. 4:15; 7:26–27.
- 1:20 Or “before the fall of the world.” The Greek word kataboles can possibly mean “lay a foundation,” or “a fall,” or “casting down.” See also Eph. 1:4.
- 1:21 Or “You believe in him.”
- 1:21 As translated from the Aramaic. The Greek is “and gave him glory.”
- 1:22 Most later manuscripts have “through the Spirit.” It is generally recognized by scholars today that this was likely an addition to the text.
- 1:22 This verse is packed with the virtues that should be seen in the lives of believers: obedience, truth, purification of our souls, authentic (sincere) love, fervent (passionate) expressions of love, and heart purity.
- 1:23 Or “the Word of the living and enduring God.”
- 1:24 Or “All flesh.”
- 1:24 As translated from the Aramaic.
- 1:25 See Isa. 40:6–8.
- 1:25 As translated from the Aramaic. This reveals that Jesus is the Word proclaimed to the world. See John 1:1. The Greek is “This is the good news announced to you.”