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The New Oxford Annotated Bible New Revised Standard Study Bible that provides essential scholarship and guidance for Bible readers.

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Commentary On The First Letter Of Peter

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Commentary spanning earlier chapters

1.13–5.11 : Body of the letter,

a united whole though incorporating elements of earlier Christian tradition.

1.13–2.10 :

The new identity as the elect and holy people of God. On the basis of the preceding indicative statements of God's mighty acts, imperatives are given for the Christian life.

13 :

The first imperative (in Greek) in the letter is the command to live in the hope of Christ's triumphal appearance.

15 :

The second imperative to be holy means to live a life set apart for God's service, though in the midst of the world.

16 :

Quoting Lev 11.44–45; 19.2; 20.7 .

17 :

The third imperative is to live in reverent fear of God rather than the oppressive culture (cf. 2.17; 3.14 ).

19 :

Lamb without … blemish, see Lev 23.12; Num 6.14; etc.

21 :

Christian faith is theocentric, in God who has acted definitively in Christ.

22 :

The fourth imperative is the command of love, unselfish caring for others (see Mt 22.34–40; Rom 13.8–10; 1 Cor 13 ).

24–25 :

Isa 40.6–8 .

2.1–10 :

The fifth imperative is to long for the means of spiritual nourishment so that they may grow ( 2.2 ). After the new birth comes nurture that leads to maturity.

3 :

Ps 34.8 .

4 :

Ps 118.22; Isa 28.16; Mt 21.42 .

5–8 :

The imagery modulates from birth and growth to the construction of a spiritual house (temple) and then to a holy priesthood. The images of the Christian life are communal rather than individualistic.

6 :

Isa 28.16 .

7 :

Ps 118.22 .

8 :

Isa 8.14–15 .

9–10 :

Hos 2.23; Ex 19.6 . Language used for Israel in the Hebrew Bible is applied to the readers, who were formerly Gentiles ( 1.18 ).

2.11–3.12 :

Christian existence and conduct in society. Cf. Col 3.18–4.1; Eph 5.22–6.9; Titus 2.1–10; 1 Tim 2–3; 5.1–3 . The Roman Empire, the institution of slavery, and the patriarchal family are accepted as the present order of things that is soon to pass away (see 1.17; 2.11; 4.7 ).

11–12 :

Christian conduct within social structures is a testimony to others.

13–17 :

Instructions to all on attitude to God, the state, and each other.

14 :

Governors, of provinces of the Roman Empire.

17 :

Cf. Rom 13.7 .

18–25 :

Instructions to slaves, leading into a more general comment addressed to a wider audience (see note on 3.8–12 ). Though resembling the typical household codes of Hellenistic moralists, the author's instruction is based on the example of Christ who suffered unjustly, in words that reflect the suffering servant of Isa 53.5–12 .

22 :

Isa 53.9 .

3.1–7 :

Instructions to wives and husbands.

1 :

Unbelieving husbands may be converted without preaching or argument by the Christian example of their wives; cf. 1 Cor 7.12–16 .

6 :

See Gen 18.12 (where NRSV translates the word “lord” as “husband”).

8–12 :

Concluding instructions to all. The more vulnerable members of the church, slaves and wives, are examples of the conduct required of the whole church, which is in a vulnerable position in a hostile society.

10–12 :

Ps 34.12–16 .

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