The Letter of Peter 1

1:1Peter, an Ambassador of Jesus the Anointed,

To the chosen exiles scattered in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia1:2who, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, are being made spiritually holy through obedience and the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus the Anointed:

Abundant favor and peace to you all!

1:3Blessings to the God and Father of our Master Jesus the Anointed, who regenerated us according to his vast mercy into a living hope. This comes through the resurrection of Jesus the Anointed from the dead,1:4into an inheritance that is incorruptible, untainted, and unfading, having been kept in the heavens for you all.1:5You are those being garrisoned in the power of God through faith into a salvation ready to be revealed in the last age.

1:6Briefly at the present time you are being exulted, and sorrowed by various trials if necessary,1:7so that your faith will be tested and proved much more valuable than gold, though the refining fire melts it down. Your faith was made evident through being tested, for praise and honor and worth in the revelation of Jesus the Anointed.1:8Though you did not know the One you cannot see now, you believe anyway and celebrate with unspeakable joy.1:9And having been honored, you are responding with the completion of your faith, the salvation of souls.

1:10The prophets searched intently concerning the salvation they were proclaiming, this favor toward you.1:11They were trying to discover the general time the Spirit of the Anointed in them was predicting for his sufferings and later honors.1:12It was revealed to them that in all this they were attending not to themselves but to you, by means of the ones who brought you the Gospel; they were commissioned by the Holy Spirit from heaven. The Messengers strain to look into this.

1:13So then, be strong and prepared in your understanding. Be clear-thinking and mature as you rely on the favor delivered to you in the revealing of Jesus the Anointed.1:14With a compliant attitude, do not conform to your old ways in your ignorant desires,1:15but become holy yourselves, just as the one calling you is holy.1:16For it is written, “You will be holy, because I am holy.”1:17And if you call on the Father, the one who impartially judges each one’s work, then may you behave respectfully for the time of your journey.1:18You have seen that you were ransomed from the pointless behavior handed down by tradition. Yet you weren’t ransomed by means of decaying things like silver or gold,1:19but by the priceless blood of the Anointed, the flawless and unblemished Lamb.

1:20Indeed, this was known ahead of time, before the foundation of the world, yet in the last of the times is being revealed on account of you.1:21Through him you were brought to faith in God, who awakened him from the dead and gave him honor, so that your faith and hope are put in God.1:22Since he purified your souls with compliance to the truth, earnestly and honestly love each other from a clean heart.

1:23You have not been regenerated from mortal seed but from immortal, through the living and enduring Word of God.1:24Since all flesh is like grass, all its honor is like wilted flowers.1:25But the declaration of the Master, the Gospel brought to you, remains forever.2:1So then, put off all malice, treachery, pretense, envy, and trash talk.2:2As newborns, crave the rational, pure milk through which you may grow into salvation—2:3if you have sampled the Master’s kindness.

2:4Come toward the Living Stone, which people have rejected but God has chosen to hold up as a trophy.2:5Likewise, as living stones you are being constructed into a spiritual house, a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices that are pleasing to God through Jesus the Anointed.2:6It is for this reason we read in the Writings, “Attention! In Zion I am laying a select cornerstone,1 and whoever believes will in no way be shamed by it.”2:7So the honor is to you who believe, but to the unbelievers it is “a stone rejected by the builders that became the cornerstone,”2:8and a stumbling stone, a rocky trap set for those who oppose the Word.2:9But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, an acquired people, so you should proclaim the brave virtues of the one who calls you out of darkness into his marvelous light.2:10Once you were no-name people but now you are people of God; once you were not pitied but now you are.

2:11Loved ones, I implore you as aliens and exiles to abstain from carnal lusts that make war against the soul.2:12Exhibit good behavior among the non-Judeans, so that when they speak against you as evildoers they will honor God when he visits us, because they saw your good deeds.2:13Be supportive of every human institution by means of the Master, whether to the king as superior,2:14or to governors sent by him to bring justice against evildoers but honor those who do good.2:15Thus it is God’s will that the ones doing good should silence the ignorance of clueless people.2:16Do not use your freedom as a front for evil. Instead, as slaves of God,2:17value everyone; love the believers; fear God; respect civic authority.

2:18Servants, support your employers in fear, and not only the nice ones but also the crooked ones.2:19You will be honored if you endure unjust suffering because you stand by your convictions about God.2:20After all, what credit is it if you suffer punishment because you failed? But if you do good and have to endure suffering, that earns you the favor of God.2:21For you were called into this, seeing that the Anointed also suffered for your sakes, leaving an example for you to follow in his footsteps.2:22He did not fail, nor was any treachery found in him.2:23Though he was mocked he did not mock in return; though he suffered, he did not threaten, leaving it to the one who judges rightly.2:24He carried our failures in his body upon the wood, so that we should live away from those and toward justice, and so that we may be healed by his wound.2:25For you were like straying sheep but now you have turned back toward the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.

3:1Wives, likewise, support your own husbands, so that if they are hostile to the Word they may be won over without words by means of their wives’ behavior;3:2they will realize in fear that your behavior is pure and godly.3:3Don’t let them only see the outward adornment of hair and jewelry and wardrobe,3:4but the inner person, the undying perfection of a meek and quiet spirit that is priceless in the sight of God.3:5For this is how holy women rely on God, outfitting themselves with support for their own husbands.3:6Be like Sarah, who called Abraham “master”; you become like her in doing good and not fearing nor being distressed.3:7Husbands, likewise, build a home together with them, in keeping with the realization that they have the less stable income. Honor these feminine ones as the joint heirs of favor and life that they are, or your prayers will be impeded!

3:8The goal of all this is for all of you to be in agreement, to be sympathetic, caring, fond of other believers, and humble,3:9without taking revenge or matching inflamed rhetoric. Respond instead with blessing; this is what you were called to do so that you inherit blessing.3:10For whoever wants to enjoy a long life must stop their tongue from speaking evil and their lips from speaking treachery.3:11They must do good, not evil, and they must seek and chase after peace.3:12The Master has his eyes and ears on the righteous ones and their case, but he stands in opposition against all who do evil.

3:13Will you be treated poorly if you always strive to do good?3:14But if you do suffer for the sake of righteousness, be happy. Yet do not fear them or let them upset you,3:15but instead honor Master Anointed as holy, from the heart. Always be ready with a defense of your hope to anyone who demands it, but do so with deference and respect.3:16Then your conscience will be clear, so that if anyone talks trash about you they will be utterly silenced by your good behavior.3:17It’s better to suffer for doing good, if God wills it, than for doing evil.3:18Notice also that the Anointed suffered for failures, the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous, that he may lead you to God.

When he was put to death in the flesh but alive in the spirit,3:19he also went to the spirits in prison and made announcement3:20to the ones who were hostile to the faith from the time of Noah. God patiently awaited the construction of the ark, inside of which only a mere eight souls were brought safely out of the water.3:21This is representative of the immersion that now saves you, yet it is not the washing of dirt from your flesh but a matter of a good conscience in God by means of the resurrection of Jesus the Anointed.3:22He is at God’s right hand, having gone into heaven, with Messengers and rulers and powers supporting him.4:1So since the Anointed suffered physically, you also must arm yourselves with the same attitude, because the one who has suffered physically has stopped failing.4:2That one will by no means still live in human desires but spend the rest of their life doing the will of God.

4:3Enough time has passed to have determined the intention of the non-Judeans, who have persisted in vice, lust, excessive drinking, wild parties, drinking contests, and illicit religious practices.4:4They think it strange that you do not race with them into the same reckless gusher, so they slander you.4:5But they will be required to give an account to the One who is poised to judge the living and the dead.4:6So the Gospel was also brought to the dead so they could be judged. Indeed, according to people they should live for the flesh, but according to God they should live for the spirit.

4:7Yet the end is near! So be wise and mature in your prayers for all,4:8having sincere love within you, since love covers over a multitude of failures.4:9Be hospitable among yourselves, without complaining.4:10Dispense your gifts among yourselves as each of you has received them, as exemplary administrators of the multifaceted favor of God.4:11If you speak, may it be as the voice of God; if you dispense service, do so from the power God supplies, so that in everything God may be exalted through Jesus the Anointed— to whom belongs honor and mighty rule for ages and ages, absolutely!

4:12Loved ones, do not think it strange, this fire raging among you; do not think that this trial which descended upon you is something unexpected.4:13Instead, be happy that what you are doing is participating in the sufferings of the Anointed, and also that you may celebrate in revealing his favor.4:14If you are being reprimanded in the name of the Anointed, be happy that the spirit and honor of God has come to rest on you.4:15Now, let none of you be suffering because you are a murderer, or a thief, or an evildoer, or a meddler!4:16But if it’s because of being a Christian,2 then of course you should not be ashamed. Instead, let them honor the name of God.4:17This is the time for the judgment to begin from the house of God. And if it starts from us, then what will be the end of those who are hostile toward the Gospel of God?4:18And if the righteous one is barely saved, what will happen to the unrighteous and failing one?4:19Because of that, let those who suffer according to God’s will commit their souls to the faithful Creator.

5:1So then, as a co-elder and witness of the Anointed’s sufferings, and a partner in the majesty about to be revealed,5:2I implore you to properly shepherd the flock of sheep you are guarding. Don’t do this out of compulsion but voluntarily. According to God, neither must you do this out of greed to make a profit but rather eagerly.5:3Do not act as masters over that which has been allotted to you, but be role models for the flock of sheep.5:4And when the Chief Shepherd is revealed, you will be rewarded with the victor’s crown of unfading honor.

5:5Likewise, let the newer believers support the more mature ones. Yet at the same time, let everyone humbly take on the role of a servant, because God sets up for battle against the proud but is gracious to the lowly.5:6Be humble, then, under the powerful hand of God so you can be lifted up in due time.5:7Load upon him the entire weight of your worries, because he cares about you.

5:8Be alert and keep watch! Your prosecutor, the Slanderer, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to gulp down.5:9Stand against him! Be solid in the faith, because you know that your brothers and sisters out in the world are fulfilling the same sufferings as you.

5:10Now to the God of every favor, the one who calls you into his eternal majesty in Anointed Jesus (who will equip, establish, set firm, and ground those who are briefly suffering),5:11be eternal power, absolutely!

5:12I wrote what I consider a brief letter to you through Silvanus the faithful brother, imploring and giving evidence that this is the true favor of God into which you were made to stand.5:13She in Babylon who was chosen along with you greets you, along with my son Mark.5:14Greet each other in affectionate love; peace to all of you who are united with the Anointed.

  1. 1“head of the corner” and “cornerstone” are interchangeable. Some interpret “head of the corner” as a capstone (finishing stone) or keystone (the uppermost stone that holds an arch in place). But the word “corner” contradicts this, and no one would trip over an upper or finishing stone.
  2. 2It is likely that “Christian”, which literally means “Messiah follower”, was a pejorative term given by its opponents, but happily adopted by the believers as sharing the disgrace of Jesus. It is only used in Acts 11:26, 26:28, and 1 Peter 16. More common terms for the believers were Disciples and Holy Ones (trad. Saints).