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The International Critical Commentary 













First Edition . 
Second Edition 


Reprinted 19 10 
Reprinted 1946 
Reprinted 1955 

MAY 161964 

The Rights of Translation and Reproduction are Reserved 


I SEND this laborious volume to the press with a clear sense 
of its limitations. But on this subject no more need be said ; 
the shortcomings of the work will be at least as evident to 
others as to myself. 

The books that I have used most for the purpose of the 
commentary are those of Alford, Kuhl, and von Soden, that 
of Dr. Hort for part of the First Epistle of St. Peter, that of 
Spitta for 2 Peter and Jude.^ Of Introductions I know at 
first hand only those of Salmon, B. Weiss, Westcott, Julicher, 
and Zahn, the excellent articles of Dr. Chase in Hastings' 
Dictionary of the Bible, and Harnack's Chronologie. No one 
can write of the early Church without feeling how greatly he 
has been helped in an infinity of directions by the eminent 
scholar last named. 

But the apparatus of a commentator on the New Testa- 
ment ought to be much wider than it usually is. The Anti- 
nomians with whom we meet in 2 Peter and Jude cannot be 
understood from the New Testament alone. To see what 
they were we must turn not merel>' to Corinthians, Thessa- 
lonians, or the Apocalypse, but to the lives of Luther and 
Wesley, to the times of Eckhart, Tauler and Ruysbroek, or 
to such books as Barclay's Inner Life of the Religious Societies 
of the Commonwealth. Every great religious upheaval repro- 

^ Valuable summaries of the Literature are found — for i and 2 Peter^ 
Hastings' D. of the B., vol. iii. pp. 817, 818 ; for Jude, vol. ii. pp. 805, 806, 
and Smith's D. of the B., vol. i. p. 1839, ed. 1893. 


duces the same phenomena. There can be no doubt that 
they existed also in apostolic times. The Gnostics again, 
with whom these Antinomians have been confounded, cannot 
be understood without some acquaintance with the magic 
and devil-worship which reigned throughout the Greco- 
Roman world. For this we must go to Plutarch, Apuleius, 
Lucian, the Neo-Platonists, or the papyri. Deissmann, in 
his Bibelstudien, gives some specimens of magical formulae, 
and the Pistis Sophia will show how the sacred names of the 
Bible and of the heathen mythology were mixed up together. 

At this moment in Hayti there are Gnostics who blend 
Vaudoux, or snake-worship, with Roman Catholicism, and 
it is probable that the same kind of " syncretism " is known 
to missionaries in other quarters. The Gnosticism of the 
Greeks and Orientals was probably not quite so sinister as 
that of the Haytian negroes, but it belonged to the same 

A point which gives the commentator much trouble is 
the nature of the Greek with which he has to deal. It is 
Vulgar Greek, but this is a most indefinite term. There is 
(i) the Greek that was written by men of education, by 
Epictetus, Plutarch, Dio Chrysostom, Lucian, Clement of 
Alexandria. In this there are many new words and expres- 
sions, and the niceties of Attic grammar are relaxed ; at the 
same time the old classics exercise a strong influence over 
the writer's mind. (2) Again there is colloquial Greek, 
which, as it was spoken in Egypt, we see fresh from the 
source in the Oxyrhynchus Papyri^ published by Grenfell and 
Hunt. (3) There is, again, the colloquial Greek as written 
by Jews, whose grammar and phraseology were more or less 
influenced by the Septuagint and the genius of the Hebrew 
tongue. (4) Again we have to take into account the force 
of Christian usage, which coined many new terms of its own. 
(5) Finally, there are perceptible differences in the linguistic 
habits of the New Testament writers themselves. Con- 
stantly we have to ask whether any inference can be drawn 


from the presence or absence of the article, what sense is to 
be attached to a f/.n or an sv, whether such a phrase as xpkic, 
^XaffpTifiiag is Hebrew or Greek, whether ev XpiarCj is PauHne 
or Hturgical. Much has been done in later years to simplify 
these questions. The admirable Concordance of Hatch and 
Redpath is often the best of commentaries. Field has done 
much good service, and books like Deissmann's Bibelstudien 
(of which an English translation has recently been published 
by Messrs. T. & T. Clark) are of great use. Finally, Dr. 
Blass has earned the gratitude of all commentators by his 
Grammar, It is the work of one who with a profound 
knowledge of classical Greek combines a large and accurate 
acquaintance with the language of the New Testament, and 
no book shows so clearly, what we want especially to know, 
the difference between the two. 

Some of my readers may be startled, or even shocked, by 
the view taken in this volume of the relation between the 
two great apostles, St. Peter and St. Paul. It has not been 
adopted hastily, nor is it, I trust, irreverent. But it will not 
be accepted by anyone who regards the Didache as belong- 
ing to the first or even to the second century. My own 
conviction is that it belongs to the fourth. According as 
the reader accepts one view or the other, his conception of 
the early history of the Church will be fundamentally 

As regards the relation between St. Peter and St. Paul 
again, there is need of a wider historical sense than is usually 
brought to bear upon the question. The difference between 
the two apostles was, as I believe, practically that which 
divided Hooker from Cartwright. I say practically, as 
meaning that a strictly Pauline Church would, in the details 
of worship and discipline, approximate very closely to the 
ideal of the Puritans. It would be built upon the theory of 
direct and personal inspiration, not upon that of indirect 
and corporate inspiration. These two theories produce 
very different results in the way of organisation, as, in fact, 


everybody knows. I have called St. Paul a Mystic and St, 
Peter a Disciplinarian, not because the latter was not truly 
inspired, but because his inspiration was of a different type, 
of that type which is on amicable terms with reason, edu- 
cation, and law. 

People often tell one that the more Mysticism is explained 
the more obscure it becomes. It is a natural difficulty, be- 
cause up to a certain point all Christians are Mystics, as 
indeed are many who are not Christians at all. I may refer 
all those who wish for light upon this perplexing question to 
the excellent Bampton Lectures of my friend Mr. Inge. Or 
they may consider the difference between Law's Serious Call 
and his Spirit of Prayer. Or they may read the Sermons 
of Tauler, or that most instructive book the Journal of 
George Fox. Or they may ask themselves that question, on 
the answer to which everything turns, what they mean by 
the right of private judgment, on what it rests, and how far 
it extends. 

No man may presume to ask whether St. Peter or St. 
Paul was the greater saint. Nor can we ask whether the 
Pauline or the Petrine spirit is the more profitable for our 
times, for this, too, God alone knows. But, as we read the 
second chapter of Galatians, we cannot fail to be struck by 
the remarkable fact that St. Peter made no reply, nor can we 
well avoid the attempt to see what he might have said for 
himself, if he had thought it wise to take up the glove. 
Further, every Christian ought to ask which of these great 
apostles speaks more directly to his own soul. If it be Paul, 
let us be sure that we know what Freedom means, where it 
meets and where it parts from Law. If it be Peter, let us be 
sure that we know where Discipline begins and where it 
ends, lest for others, and indeed for ourselves, it become a 
yoke too heavy to be borne. 

Like all brethren of the guild of students, I owe more 
than I can tell, to more people than I can name. It has 
been my desire to acknowledge all debts. But the great 


libraries are not easy of access to a dweller in the country, 
and often, from lack of intercourse with fellow-labourers, one 
does not even hear of good books. In this way, not only is 
much valuable information missed, but it becomes impossible 
to render the due tribute of respect and appreciation to 
those who have tilled the same ground beforehand. If there 
is any scholar who may think that I have been vending his 
wares without his trade-mark, I trust he will accept this 
imperfect apology. But I must tender special thanks to the 
Rev. Dr. Plummer, Master of University College, Durham, 
who has revised all the proofs with laborious care, and whose 
learning and judgment have been exceedingly helpful at 
many points ; and to those eminent and most courteous 
scholars, the Rev. Dr. Sanday and the Rev. Dr. Driver, who 
have been most kind in answering questions as to which I 
was very much in the dark. 

With these words of explanation and gratitude the book 
must go forth to face the world. Whatever be its fate, it is 
a sincere and humble endeavour to promote the interests of 
scholarship, edification, and peace. 

Fenny Compton,/««< 29, 1901. 


As the Publishers inform me that a new issue of this volume 
is called for, I trust that it has been found useful. 

The modern custom of stereotyping does not allow a 
writer much freedom in revision. I have corrected a great 
number of small errors, pointed out to me not by crabbed 
reviewers, but by accurate and most benevolent readers, 
whose wounds are the faithful wounds of a friend, and to 
whom I tender my grateful thanks. 

Also, I have added on the pages immediately following a 
handful of addenda et corrigenda^ which could not be inserted 
in the body of the book. 


Christ Church, Oxford, 
November 4, 1902. 


To the Testi?nonia for First Peter may be added — 

Barn. xi. II, ko.i riix{i<i fxev KarafSaCvoixev €is to vScop yc/xovTCS 
dfxapTLihv Kol pvTTov, cf. I Pet. iii. 21. 

£p. ad Diognetum, xii., kX^ooi avvayovrai, cf. i Pet. v. 3. 

Sarapion of Antioch, in Eus. H. E. v. 19. 2, Traoa irdtrr^ ry iv 
Koa-jxia aSeXffiOTrjTL, cf. I Pet. V. 9. 

Page 56, line 3. — Add Julian, £j>. 63, to the other references to 
the Decree of Jerusalem. 

Page 100. — A remark should be added to the note upon rir-qprq- 
fiivrjv £19 v/itts (i. 4). With the addition of In Kai, and in connexion 
with verbs distinctly expressive of survival, eh v/xas might mean 
" until your time," cf. Herod, i. 92, en /cat es e'/xe yv TrcptcoVro, and, 
for a late instance, Julian, ad S.F.Q.R. Athen. 269 D (ed. Span- 
heim), crw^crai Se k^ Ik^Ivov koX eis t^yU-as ert r^Js tcoj/ Trpoydi/wv ctpcri}? 
wcTTTcp ifjurvpevfid tl cr/xt/cpoV. But these phrases are not parallel 
In Acts XXV. 21; 2 Pet. ii. 4, 9, iii. 7; Jude 6, Tqpdv eh means 
*' to reserve for," not " to preserve until." 

Page III, note on vvv avqyyiXrj. — Yet compare Dionysius of 
Alexandria, in Eus. H. E. vii. 5. 2, ots vvv iTreo-TeiXare, " to whom 
you wrote the other day." Dr. Hort insists "that the aorist must 
here keep its proper sense. 

Page 124, line 40. — My friend Mr. Plummer of C. C. C. observes 
that Gospel is not good spell, but tiews about God ; but it is not 
possible to rearrange the text of the passage where this error occurs. 

Page 134, note on ras dpcra?. — In ecclesiastical Latin uirtutes 
constantly means "miracles." See Tertullian, Apolog. 21, de 
praesc. haer. 30, 44 ; Silvia, Peregr. 20 (ed. Geyer, p. 66), ut et 
uirtutes faciant multas ; Paul. Nol. carm. xix. 291, uirtutes ut eas 
idem celebraret humatus; Sid. Ap. Ep. vii. 16, sed confessorem 
uirtutum signa sequuntur. 


Page 140, line 2. — Mr. Plummer notes that, in the East, the 
title /Sao-tXcu? came to be so exclusively confined to the Emperor, 
that, when the Byzantine historians speak of any other prince, they 
call him p-q^ {rex). See the Glossary to Georgius Cedrenus in the 
Corp. Script. Hist. Byzantinae, Bonn, 1839. 

Page 150, line 8. — It should be observed that Clement does 
not quote the words of Isaiah as they are rendered by the LXX., 

Swcro) Tov'i a.pyovTa.<i crov iv ilpr'ivr} /cat tov<; CTrtcTKOTrous crov iv hiKatoavvrj. 

See Lightfoot's note upon the passage in Clement, and Swete, Int?o- 
duction to the O.T. in Greek, p. 469. 

Page 165, note on pv-no'i. — St. Peter's use of the word may 
be illustrated from Marcus Antoninus, vii. 47, aTroKaOaipova-L yap 
at TOVTWV (pavracTLaL tov pvirov yap.aX /Stov. 

Page 165, line 31. — "tVcpajrai/ is not used of prayer to God." 

'ETrepcoTCtv TOV ©edv, iv rw Oecp, iv Kupiw, Sta tov ©eoi), 8ta tov 

KvpLov are common phrases in the LXX., but signify not " to 
pray to God," but "to ask God a question," "to ask Him for an 
oracle." See Isa. xxx. 2, Ixv. i (quoted by St. Paul in Rom. x. 20) ; 
Jer. xxi. 2 ; Ez. xx. i. 'ETrcpwrav a-o^iav in Pro v. xvii. 28 is 
probably " to consult or question wisdom," not " to pray for wisdom." 
'EpoDTtti/ is used in the New Testament of prayer by St. John, 
xiv. 16, xvi. 26, xvii. 9, 15, 20; i John v. 16 (see Bishop West- 
cott's note on this last passage). But it means strictly not " pray," 
but " ask." 

Page 168, line 23. — The verb olvo(f>\vy€iv is found in Deut. xxi. 
20, not the noun olvo^Xvyia. 

Page 184, line 30. — For "high priest's family" read "high- 
priestly families." There seem to have been about four families 
from which the high-priest was selected. 

Page 189, line i. — The reader's attention should here have been 
drawn to the just remark of Professor Ramsay {C. R. E., p. 367), 
that corporate or collegiate responsibility did not exist in the ancient 
polity. "Each individual possessed the full powers of the whole 
body. The act of one was authoritative as the act of all ; each 
could thwart the power of his colleagues ; no idea of acting by vote 
of the majority existed." Dr. Hatch's view introduces a strictly 
modern conception into a quite alien state of things. 

To the Testimonia for Second Peter may perhaps be added — 
Dionysius of Alexandria, in Eus. H. E. vii. 7. 2, avixcjivpea-Oai 
T^ Trj<s irovqpia<i avTojv j3opj36p(a. 


Novatian, De Regula Fidei, 8, siue quoniam ad igneum diem 
iudicii mundus iste festinat, where Jackson discerns an allusion to 
2 Pet. iil 

Page 264, line 3 2. — Mvt7/xi7v TrouXo-Oai, "to remember," is com- 
monly used in the sense of " to mention," see for instance Herod. 

i, 15, "ApSvo'S Se Tov Tvyeo) fxera Tvyr]v (Saa-LX-evcravTO^ fxvrj/xrjv irOLrj- 

a-ofjiai. With the addition of the article it means "to call to 
remembrance," see Thuc. ii. 54, -n-posa eiracrxov W/v p.vqp.rjv cttoiowto, 
" they called (the oracular verse) to their remembrance in the shape 
that agreed with their sufferings"; they maintained that Aot/xos was 
the right reading. Mj-t^/xt; is not found elsewhere in the New 
Testament. Apparently it had been almost pushed out of colloquial 
use by p-vda, see Bekker's Anecdoia, 107. 25. Thus we find Trai/rcs 
(TOV SiaTrarros jw-vetav ttolov^^voi, in a papyrus of 172 B.C. (Deissmann, 
Bibelsiudien, p. 210); cf Philemon 4; i Thess. i. 2; Rom. i. 9; 
Eph. i. 16. In all these passages it would be difficult to say 
whether the precise meaning is " mention by name," or " call to 
remembrance." The phrase "to remember in prayer" includes 
both senses. It may be noticed that P and some cursives have 
fjiveiav here. 

Page 277, note on Te<^po)cra?. — In the fourth century Silvia was 
shown the ruins of the Five Cities. See Feregr. 12 (ed. Geyer, 
p. 54), quae tamen Segor sola de illis quinque in hodie constat. 
Nam et memoriale ibi est, de ceteris autem illis ciuitatibus nichil 
aliud apparet nisi subuersio ruinarum, quemadmodum in cinerem 
conuersae sunt. 

Page 283, line 15. — For d/caraTraTJorrov?, Lachmann and W H 
read aKaraTracrrov";, following the Strong combination of A B. See 
W H, Introduction, p. 170. 'AKaraTraorTovs might, without great 
difficulty, be regarded as a vulgar form of d/caraTraijcrrous, since the 
verb Trauo) in later Greek shows a tendency to drop the v \ thus we 
find eVar/v, Tra-qo-o/Jiai, avaTrdeaOe (reading of D in Mark xiv. 41), 
(LSc dvairdeTai in a Roman epitaph (C /. G. 6595), and di/a-Tra/xo? for 
dvctTravo-ts. But W H prefer to regard the word as meaning " in- 
satiable," and as derived from the poetic verb Trareo/i-ai. " After 
pointing out that in Homer this verb means no more than to taste, 
Athenaeus adds in contrast (i. 43. p. 24A), 01 Se vewrepoi /cat i-rrl tov 
Tr\7]p(o6rjvaL Tt^eacrt to Trao-ao-^at." That is to say, in later Greek, 
Trda-ao-Oat meant " to eat heartily," or " to repletion," not merely " to 
taste." "ATracrros means " fasting," or, not having tasted^ but it is 
just possible that d/caraTracrTo?, if the word could be shown to exist, 
might mean "hungry" or "greedy." The word might more easily 
be derived from KaTairdora-io. Thus it might be used of diseased eyes 
"not anointed" with collyrium (Epict. ii. 21. 20, iii. 21. 21), or with 


clay (John xix. 6). I cannot find that KaraTrao-crco is employed in this 
medical sense, but in Tobit xi. 1 1 we read, kuX TrpocreTracre rrjv xo^rjv 

cVt Tovs 6(f>0a\fxov^ Tov Trarpos avrov. In this way dKaraTrao-ro? might 
mean "purblind." But it is safer to stand by the reading of the 
Sinaitic MS., o4>6a\fji.ov<; exovres /jLecrTOVs />ioi;(aXias kul aKaTairavcTTovs 
a/xapTiats SeA-ea^ovres i//-uxa9 ao-TrjpiKTOvs. The erroneous form 
fxotxaXLa^ may easily be explained (see p. 212). 'A/xaprtats will go 
with SeAca^ovrcs, which can hardly stand without a dative to express 
the nature of the bait employed, and aKaTa-Travo-Tov; is an apt epithet 
for roving licentious eyes. Translate " Having eyes full of adultery 
and restless, catching unstable souls with the bait of sin." 

Page 310. — Add to the list of aira^ Xeyo/xeva, in Jude, iKTropveveLv^ 
and inrexuvK 

Page 336. — The word iieixxpifxoipo'; occurs in Epictetus, iii. 2. 14. 
Other references are given in Liddell and Scott. 

Page 344, note on /aovw ©cw. — It should be observed that, in 
using the phrase, " the only God," of the Father, Jude is in agree- 
ment with St. John (xvii. 3), St. Paul (Eph. iv. 6), all the early 
Fathers (Hermas, Mand. i; Irenaeus (Stieren), i. 9. 2, 3, i. 10. i, 
and passim ; TertuUian, ad. Prax. 2, de praescr. haer. 36, de uirg. 
uel. I ; Novatian, de Reg. Fidei^ 9 ; Justin, Dial. 126 ; Clem. Alex. 
Protrep. x. 103; Cyprian, quod idola dii non sint, 8-1 1 ; Origen, 
in Joann. i. 2 2 and passim\ and the Nicene Creed itself, which, 
in accordance with earlier creeds and theology, begins with the 
words TTLCTTf.vofjLiv CIS cvtt ©eov Trarepa TravTOKparopa. The Father 
was held to be the one ultimate author of all that exists in heaven 
or on earth. This view was not thought to be inconsistent with 
belief in the true divinity of the Son, though it led to the use of 
guarded expressions (Ignatius, 6 ©eos rjfjLoJv ; Cyprian, Deus noster ; 
Justin, ©cos, not 6 0€os). 





PETER 1-87 

§ I. The Catholic Epistles I 

§ 2. Vocabulary and Style 2 

§ 3. Testimonia Veterum 7 

§ 4. The Relation of i Peter to the rest of the New 

Testament 15 

§ 5. The Allusions to Persecution in i Peter ... 24 

§ 6. Doctrine, Discipline and Organisation in i Peter . 33 

Note on Post-Apostolic Prophecy .... 50 

§ 7. St. Peter and St. Paul in the New Testament . . 52 

§ 8. The Diaspora, Babylon, and the Elect Lady . . 67 

§ 9. Mark, Silvanus, and Date of the Epistle ... 80 



ST. PETER 199-247 

§ I. Testimonia Veterum 199 

§ 2. Observations on the Testimonia 210 

§ 3. The Relation of 2 Peter to Jude 216 

§ 4. Vocabulary, Grammar, and Style of 2 Peter . . 224 

§ 5. Organisation and Doctrine in 2 Peter .... 232 

§ 6. To whom and against whom was 2 Peter written ? . 237 

§ 7. Date, Authenticity, and Occasion of 2 Peter . . 242 



§ I. Testimonia Veterum 305 

§ 2. Vocabulary and Style 310 

§ 3. Indications of Date in Jude 312 

§ 4. Authorship of the Epistle. Where, and to whom was 

it written? 317 


INDEX 345 





The group of Epistles in which i Peter occupies a place is variously 
known as Catholic^ Canonic^ or Apostolic. 

The title Catholic is used by the Council of Laodicea, Chry- 
sostom, Johannes Damascenus, Ebed Jesu, Cyril of Jerusalem, 
Epiphanius, the Alexandrine Codex, Athanasius, Gregory Nazianzen, 
Amphilochius, Leontius, Nicephorus. 

Canonic is used by Junilius, Gelasius (according to two MSS.), 
John of Salisbury, Hugo of St. Victor, and by the Liber Pontificalis 
(see Duchesne). 

Apostolic is used by Gelasius (according to the reading pre- 
ferred by Bishop Westcott), and perhaps also by Ebed Jesu. 

The title Catholic appears to be understood by Ebed Jesu as 
signifying the universal acceptance of the Epistles. His words are : 

" Tres etiam Epistolae quae inscribuntur 
Apostolis in omni codice et lingua, 
Jacobo scilicet et Petro et Joanni ; 
Et Catholicae nuncupantur." 

But Leontius explains it differently : KaOoXiKoi Se iKX-qOrja-av cttciS^ 

ov Trpos tv l6vo<i €ypd(f)r}(Tav, (us ai tov HavXov, dXXa KaOoXov Trpos 
irdvTa. This, however, can hardly be the true explanation, for 
James, i and 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, all have a limited address, 
and there can be little doubt that i John and Jude are also intended 
for a definite circle of readers. 

Canonic is understood by Junilius to mean "containing the rule 


of faith " : Qui libri ad simplicem doctrinam pertinent ? Canonici 
septemdecim. . . . Quae sunt perfectae auctoritatis ? Quae canonica 
in singulis speciebus absolute numeravimus. 

The references for this section will be found in Westcott, 
On the Canon of the New Testament, Appendix D. 

Canonic appears to be the Western title, Catholic the Eastern. 
The two words probably mean the same thing, " included in the 
Canon," "universally received," "orthodox." 

The order of the books in the New Testament varies greatly in 
different authorities. 

In the Greek MSS. it is usually Gospels, Acts, Catholic Epistles, 
Pauline Epistles, Apocalypse. 

In the Sinaitic MS. and Peshito Version it is Gospels, Pauline 
Epistles, Acts, Catholic Epistles, Apocalypse. 

In the Canones Apoitolici, the Memphitic and Sahidic Versions, 
it is Gospels, Pauline Epistles, Catholic Epistles, Acts, Apocalypse. 

In the Muratorian I'Vagment the order is apparently (see third 
section) Gospels, Acts, Pauline Epistles, Catholic Epistles, Apoca- 
lypse. This is the prevalent usage in the West. There are 
numerous variations of minor importance. (See Gregory and 
Abbot, p. 132 sqq.) 

Since the fourth century the generally received order of the 
Catholic Epistles has been James, Peter, John, Jude, but there are 
many ancient variations which will be found in Gregory and Abbot, 
pp. 138, 139- 


The vocabulary of the Epistle is remarkable as containing a 
large number of words which are not used by any other of the New 
Testament writers. The list of them is as follows : 

dya^oTTOita, dya^OTrotos^, dScA-^oxT^s^, dStKws-^, dSoA-os, aicr;(poK€p8o)9, 
dAAoTpiocTTtcTKOTro?, d/>ta/3dvTtros, afxdpavTO^^, avayevvav^, avayKacrTii)<;, 
ava^wwcrOaL^, dj/dp^vcrt?, di/CKXaA-r/ros, avTLXoLOope.LV, aTroyiveaOaL^, 
aTTOvi/JLUv^, d7rpocra)7roA.>^7rra)s, dpcrat^, dpTLyivvr]TO<s, dp)(L7roL/x7]v^, jSiovy^, 
yvvaLK€L0<i^, iyKo/x/SovcrdaL (cy/coA-Trouo-^at), c/xttAokt^, evSuo-ts^, i^ayyeX- 
Xcti/^, i^epivvdv^, CTrepcorry/Aa^, €7rt/caA.u/x/>ia^, eTrt'AoiTros^, eTTLixaprvpeLv^, 
CTTOTTTeveij/^, tcpdrev/xa^, KX€o<i^, KXrjpoL, Kparaios^, KTL(rTr]<;^, fxwXonf/^j 
OLVOcf}XvyLa, bpAcfypuiV, OTrXt^ecr^at^, TrarpoTrapaSoros, 7repi^ecrt9^, ttotos^, 
Trpo^u/xoDS^, irpofJiapTvpecrOaL, Trroi^crts^, puTros^, crOevovv, criropa}, crvpnra- 
6r]<;^, crvp.Trpe.(T^vTepo<i, crweKXe/cros, (twolkclv^, Ta7r€Lv6(f>poiv^, reXetcos^, 
VTToypa/xfxo^;^, VTroXt/XTrdreiv, ^iXaScX^os^, (fnXocfipoiv {v.l. in iii. 8), 

They number in all sixty-two. Words marked Q) are found in 


the Septuagint. Words marked {^) are found in one of the other 
Greek versions of the Old Testament. 

'AvayevvTjOet^ occurs only as a doubtful variant for irapayevrjOcLs 
in the preface to Sirach. Some MSS. appear to have read this word 
in John iii. 3, 5, but here it is possibly borrowed from St. Peter. 

What observations are necessary on these words will be found 
in the Notes. Here we may remark that the language and the 
thoughts of the author are deeply tinged by the influence of the 
Greek Old Testament. He appears to have had a special predilec- 
tion for Maccabees, with which he has many words in common 
(KaTaj3o\T], Stao'TTopa, d/xtavTo<;, So^ai, avao-rpocfiyj, TrapoLKia, uparevfxay 
7repUx(^, a/aerai, VTroypafxixos, TrroTyo-t?, airovifx^iv, <Tvpjra6rj<;, ^cvt^etv, 
KTia-Trj^ dScXc^oTT^?), and for Wisdom {acf)6apTO<s, a/xtavros, ap.a.pavTO<i). 

His vocabulary is marked by a certain dignity and elevation. It 
shows no trace of the Atticist affectation which was common in the 
second century, but is such as might have been employed by a well- 
read Jew of good social standing in the first. 

The Hebraisms which occur are neither many nor harsh. We 
find eATTi^civ eTTi (i. 13); re/cva viraKoxj^ (i. 14); ras ocr^ms r>Js 
Siavotias (i. 13) j d7r/3ocrt07roA.7y7rTC()9 (i. 17)^ pr)p.a K.vpLOv (i. 25); Aaos 
€ts TTipiTToirjcnv (ii. 9) ; a-Kivo<; (iii. 7) ; iropeveaOaL iv (iv. 3), and so on ; 
but there is nothing to suggest that the writer habitually spoke or 
thought in Hebrew, or that he was translating from a Hebrew original. 
There are no Latinisms. 

What may be called the new Christian vocabulary appears, of 

course. We find Xpto-navo?, ^dTn-Lcrfxa, dyaTrav, tticttis, cvayyeAt^ttv, 
aX-qOcLa, ckA.€KTOS, ^vAov, Trpoyvwo-t?, dyta(7/>tos, Treipacr/xos, Trvevfia, 

TTp^ar/SvTepo's, raTrctvos, KXrjpoL, and Other words might be added. 
But we do not meet with vofxos, CTrto-KOTros, StciKovo?, iKKX-qaia, 
There is no mention of the Christian Prophet, or of Widows or 
Orphans. Nor do we find any of those words which belong especi- 
ally to the circle of St. Paul's ideas (SiKatow and its family : aKpo- 

/SvcTTia, TTipLTOfxrj : iWoyeiv : avaKefjiaXaiovcrdai : vloOecrla : TrXrjpdijxa : 
fivcTTripiov : appa^uiv '. TrapaTrroj/xa, TrapdySacrts, Trapa/3dTr]<s : Trpo^ecrts, 
7rpoopL^€LV : KavxacrSaL : Karapyelv : crravpo^, crravpovv : fiopcfiT] : tvfjii] : 
ypoLfipxi, and so forth). 

What grammarians note as vulgarisms or colloquialisms of later 
Greek are present, but not in any striking degree There are a few 
words of late coinage, like Ka6o)<s, vTroXipLirdvuv. The terminations 
•p.<i and -/Aos are confused ; thus we have vTroypafx/jio^ for viro- 
ypa/x/xa, and some words, e.g. irpoixaprvpca-Oai, SoKtfjLiov, seem to 
be incorrectly used. But, generally speaking, the orthography 
and grammar are not bad. In some points, indeed, there is 
remarkable correctness in the writer's use. 

Thus the particle fiev occurs six times, and is always followed 
by 8e. But two of these instances (ii. 14, iv. 14) are dubious. 


The article is employed in more classical style than by any other 
writer of the New Testament. Take, for instance, the quite 
Thucydidean clause in iii. 3, 6 eioiOev c/xttAok^? Tpi-^^v koX irepLOeo-eco^ 
Xpva-LOiv T) ivSva-eo)^ l/xaTLmv Koa/jioq, and eight times he uses the nice 
arrangement exemplified in the phrase t6v Trj<; irapoLKia^ v/xoiv xpovov 
(i. 17, iii. I, 3, 20, iv. 14, V. i /fis, 4). In iv. 3 he has to /SovXrjfxa 
Twv i$vo)v, the collocation which in the rest of the New Testament is 
almost universal. 

Still more striking is the refined accuracy of his use of o)? in 
i. 1 9, 0)9 a/MVOv aixoifxav /cat ctcTTrtAoi; Xpio-rov : ii. 1 6, fxr] ws iTriKdXvfxfjtxi 
€)(OVT€s Ttjs KttKias Trjv kXe.v6e.pLav : iii. 7, a)S dcr^evecnrepa) (TKcuet to) yvvat- 
/c€i<x). In the first passage Xpto-roi) a)s aixvov ajjLw/jLov koL acririXov would 
be Greek, but the masters of style prefer the arrangement followed 
by Peter ; for instance, Plato, Laws, 905 B, ws kv Karoirrpoi's avTo>v 
rats irpdieo-Lv, compare Dwgnefus, vi. 6, KaTi)(pvrai o)S iv <f>povpa tw 
Koa/xoi : Joseph us, Anf. xviii. 9. 5, ws inrb Kpeirrovos KaKOv Trj<i 
€7rt^v/iias vLKojjxivov. This subtlety was a stumbling-block in later 
Greek (see Cobet, Variae Lectiones, pp. 163, 532). I find no other 
instance of this nicety in the New Testament except in Hebrews, 
xii. 7, a)s vl6l<5 vjxiv TrpoacfyepeTaL 6 ©eos. Peter himself follows the 
other, to us more natural, order in ii. 12, KaraXaXovaiv v/xajv ws 


On the other hand, Peter constantly omits the article altogether, 
especially in the case of a noun used with another noun in the 
attributive genitive, — iv dyiaa-fxQ Ilvei^/xaro?, CIS pavTLCTfjibv aLixaTo<s, 
i. 2 ] Bl dvacTTaorew? 'Jr]crov Xptcrrov, i. 3 ; ev ajrOKaXvipeL *lrj(TOv XptcrTOV, 
i. 7 ; (ToyrrjpLav i//v;)(a)v, i. 9 ; iv rjjMepa iTncTKOTrrj^, ii. I 2, — but also with 
single nouns, 7rv€vp,a dycov, i. 12; ©cos, passim ; iv Kaipw iaxdrw, 
i. 5 ; ypa(f>r}, ii. 6 ; ywaiKts, iii. I ; dyycXoi, i. 12; vc/cptov, i. 3 ; 
^tui/TttS Kttt veKpov'5, iv. 5; 7roLKLXr]<s )(dpLTO<;, iv. 10; A.oyia, iv. II ; 

7rpecr/?irrepov9, V. I. Some of these may be instances of that dropping 
of the article before familiar words or in current phrases which is 
common in all Greek writers ; in some again there may be a doubt 
whether the absence of the article does not give the noun a qualita- 
tive force, whether, for instance, dyycXoi, in i. 1 2, means " the 
angels," or "even angels," "such wonderful beings as angels." 
But there are cases where no reason can be found, and where the 
attempt to find one only leads to mistranslation. 

As elsewhere in the New Testament, p,?; is used with the 
participle where classic usage would exact oi ; see i. 8, iv. 4 ; but 
we have ovk iSdvrcs, i. 8. 

It is doubtful whether any distinction is made between the 
present and the aorist imperative in ii. 1 7. 

"Iva is followed once by the fut. ind. (iii. i) ; elsewhere invariably 
by the subjunctive, whatever the tense of the principal verb. 

Very few connecting particles are employed. "Apa, ye, iirei, 


cTTeiSry, re, 877, ttov, ttods, do not occur. Nor is av to be found in the 
Epistle. This fact alone is sufficient to show that the writer was 
not a Greek. 

The writer of the Epistle was probably unable to produce such 
work as we see in the highly finished preface to St. Luke's Gospel. 
Nevertheless he was quite awake to the difference between good 
Greek and bad, and used the language with freedom and a not 
inconsiderable degree of correctness. It follows almost necessarily 
that St. Peter cannot have written the Epistle himself. The 
apostle could not speak even his own native tongue with refined 
precision, but was easily recognised by dialect or accent as a 
Galilaean (Matt. xxvi. 73; Mark xiv. 70; Luke xxii. 59). He 
struck his own countrymen as an unlearned and ignorant man 
(Acts iv. 13), and it is not probable that he ever acquired an easy 
mastery of Greek, for primitive tradition represents him as making 
use of Mark as interpreter (Papias in Eus. H. E. iii. 39. 15; 
Irenaeus, iii. i. i ; 10. 6). Basilides the Gnostic pretended to have 
learned some part of his doctrine from Glaucias, " the interpreter of 
Peter" (Clem. Al. Strom, vii. 17. 106) ; and though this is fiction, it 
testifies to the prevalent belief of the early Church that St. Peter 
shrank from the effort of literary composition in Greek. On the 
other hand, the Epistle shows no trace of translation, and we may 
dismiss with confidence Jerome's view {Epist. ad Hedib. 150) that 
it was originally written in Aramaic. 

It is highly probable that the Epistle as it stands is the work of 
an " interpreter," and this was the general view held by scholars of 
the last generation (Semler, Eichhorn, Ewald, W. Grimm, Renan, 
Weisse; in recent times Kiihl). Opinions differ as to who the 
interpreter was. Many have fixed upon St. Mark, guided by the 
old tradition which makes him the epfX7]v€v<s of Peter. But the 
evangelist was probably not the only friend who helped the apostle 
in literary composition, and the style of the Epistle is very unlike 
that of the second Gospel. It is more probable tha; the interpreter 
was Silvanus; indeed this may very well be the meaning of the 
words Slol 'ZtXovavov vixLv eypaif/a (v. 12). Kiihl insists that 8ia can 
only denote the bearer, not the draughtsman of the Epistle. But 
he is certainly mistaken in thus limiting the sense of the pre- 
position. Dionysius of Corinth (in Eus. H. E. iv. 23. 11) speaks of 
the Epistle of Clement as y]ixxv 8ia KAr^/^evros ypa^cio-av, meaning 
clearly that Clement was the mouthpiece or interpreter of the 
Church of Rome. It is quite possible that St. Peter's phrase is to 
be understood in the same way. At the same time, Silvanus might 
be, and probably was, the bearer as well as the draughtsman of the 

Neither is it certain what was the precise function of the 
" interpreter." He would be more than an amanuensis (vTroypa^tv?, 


Taxvyp(x<t>o<s), such as was employed by St. Paul, Origen, and indeed 
most ancient writers ; but how much more we cannot say. We 
might suppose that the apostle dictated in Aramaic, and that 
Silvanus expressed the substance in his own Greek. In this sense 
King Oswald served Aidan as interpres uerbi caelestis (Bede, H. E. 
iii. 3 ; see Mr. Plummer's note). Or the apostle may have dictated 
in Greek — St. Peter must have been able to speak the language in 
some degree — and the interpreter may have altered and corrected 
his expressions more or less, as was necessary. Thus Josephus 
{contra Apio?i. i. 9) availed himself of the assistance of Greek 
scholars to polish and correct the style of his writings. There is 
yet a third possibility, that the interpreter received only general 
histructions, and was allowed a free hand as to the manner in 
which they should be carried out, subject to the revision and 
approval of the author. This seems to have been the position of 
Clement of Rome. But Clement, though the servant of the Church, 
was yet its leading member, and we can hardly suppose that the 
liberty allowed to St. Peter's assistant would be so wide as this. 

If an interpreter, in any of these senses, was employed, it 
follows that the actual words of the Epistle are not altogether those 
of the apostle himself; and this consequence must be borne in 
mind when we come, as we shall come later on, to discuss the 
relation of i Peter to other documents in the New Testament. 
But there is nothing to prevent us from supposing that the points 
handled, the manner in which they are developed, the general tone 
of thought, are those of St. Peter himself. There are certain 
striking characteristics which undoubtedly are the property of the 
author : the constant allusions to the Old Testament ; the strong 
sense of an unbroken continuity between the Law, the Prophets, 
and the Gospel ; the absence of anything that can be called specula- 
tion ; the fatherly pastoral temper, and constant preference of the 
concrete to the abstract ; the imagination which, though never lofty 
or soaring, is yet tender and picturesque ; and, lastly, the connexion 
of ideas, which is conversational, like that of a good old man 
talking to his children. There is no definite plan or logical 
evolution of a train of thought. One idea haunts the whole 
Epistle ; to the author, as to the patriarch Jacob, life is a pilgrim- 
age: it is essentially an old man's view. Out of this central 
sentiment (which differs from that of the Epistle to the Hebrews, 
inasmuch as there the pilgrimage is that of the world, here that of 
the individual soul) spring the sister thoughts of suffering, patience, 
humility. These constantly return, each time with some new 
application ; the apostle travels round and round his beloved spot, 
and at each recurring halt some fresh feature in the view presents 
itself. Even the words repeat themselves, always in a different 
connexion ; the repeated word appears to suggest the thought 


which follows (see a list of instances in the Prolegomena to 2 Peter, 
§ 4). This habit of verbal iteration deserves more notice than may 
at first sight appear, because it meets us again in 2 Peter, and is a 
point of some importance in the discussion of the authenticity of 
the later Epistle. 


Eusebius {H. E. iii. 25. 2) places the First Epistle of Peter 
among the 'O/xoAoyov/xcva, or books which were accepted by the 
whole Church without any feeling of doubt. There is no book in 
th? New Testament which has earlier, better, or stronger attestation, 
though Irenaeus is the first to quote it by name. 

The Second Epistle of St. Peter. 

" The earliest attestation to Peter's First Epistle is that given in 
the Second (iii. i); for those who deny this Second Epistle to be 
the work of Peter acknowledge that it is a very early document " 
(Salmon, Introd. pp. 457, 458). This reference in 2 Peter would 
prove not only that i Peter existed, but that it bore the name of 
Peter. But it should be observed that Spitta, Zahn, and others 
consider that 2 Pet. iii. i refers not to i Peter, but to a lost Epistle, 
and that 2 Peter is the older of the two. 

The Epistle of St. James, 
This also may be cited as an attesting witness ; see next section. 


The date of the Epistle of Barnabas is 70-79, Lightfoot; 
80-130, probably towards the end of this period, Harnack, Chrono- 
logie, p. 427. 

Barn. i. 5, C^^^? cATrts, o-py^] koI Tk\o<i TrCo-Ted)^, cf. I Pet. i. 9, 


Barn. iv. 12, 6 Kvpto? dTrpoa-WTroA-ry/XTrrtos Kpivet rov Koo-fiov* 
cKaoTTO^ KaOw<s iTrotrjaev KO/ztetTai, cf. I Pet. i. 17, kol el Trarepa 
iiTLKaXe'iaOe tov ciTrpocrwTroXT^TrTws Kpivovra Kara to eKacTTOV epyov. 

Barn. v. I, iva rrj d<^eo-et Toiv a/jLapTiwv ayviaOoifxev, o icmv iv t^ 
atfJiaTL TOV pavTLCTfJiaToq avrov, cf. I Pet. i. 2, iv dytacrjU,a5 IIvev/xaTO?, 
CIS VTraKorjv kol pavTio-fiov ai/xaros 'It^ctov XptarTOV (but see also Heb. 

xii. 24, where alfxaTi pavncr/xov occurs, though without mention of 

Barn. v. 6, 01 Trpo^^rai, 0,77* avTov tyovTe<5 T-qv x^-P'-^i ^^^ avrov 
i7rpo<f)T^T€vaav, cf. I Pet. i. II, Trpo^rjTai . . . ipavvwvTe^ €19 Tiva rj 


TTOiov Kaipov iSrjXov to cv avrots Uvevfxa Xpicrrov irpofxapTvpofievov to 
CIS ^pLCTTOv Tradrj/xaTa. 

Barn. xvi. lo, Trv^cv/AariKos vaos, cf. i Pet. ii. 5, oTkos ttvcv- 


Clement of Rome. 

About 95, Lightfoot ; 93-95, hardly so late as 96 or 97, 
Harnack, Chronologic^ p. 255. 

Bishop Lightfoot gives a list of twelve parallelisms between 
I Peter and Clement; Harnack in his edition numbers twenty. 
The following points may be selected : 

Clement has a considerable number of words from the vocabu- 
lary of I Peter : — dya^OTroietv^, dya^OTroiia, 6hi.\^6Tri<i^ ap.isip.0%^^ avri- 
Tvirov^, d7r/30crco7roA.7^/x7rTO)s, dpK^To^^, dcnnXo^^, irapoiKLa}^ VTToypa/x/xds. 
These words, with the exception of those marked (^), and even these 
are rare, are not found in the New Testament except in i Peter. 

The salutation of Clement's Epistle appears to be suggested by 

that of I Peter : X^-P'-^ Vfiiv koI elp-qvy} diro 7ravTOKpdTopo<5 ®€0v Bta 
'Irjo-ov XpLOTTov TrXrjOvvOeLr]. This resemblance is peculiarly important 
in view of Harnack's suggestion that the Address of i Peter is a 
later addition. 

Clem. vii. 4, drcvLO-tofjiev 6ts TO alfjia tov XpioTOV kol yviojxev o)<; 
ecTTiv TijXLOv T^ Tlarpt avTOv, cf. I Pet. i. 1 9. 

Clem. ix. 4, Ntoc Trtcrros €vp€0€l<; Sid t'JJs Xetrovpyias airrov TraXty- 
yevccTiav koct/xo) (.Krjpv^ev, koI BUo-oxrev 8l avTOv 6 SecrTTOXTys Ta eiar^XOovTa 
ev 6/xovota {wa ets ttjv klISwtov^ which is apparently a reminiscence of 
I Pet. iii. 20. 

Clem, xxxvi. 2, cts to Oavjxaa-Tov airrov <^cos (the words OavfiacrTov 
avTov are omitted by Clement of Alexandria in quoting this passage) : 
lix. 2, 'It^o-ov XpicTTOVf Sl ov iKoXeaev rj/jid^ diro ctkotovs ciS ^tos, cf. 
I Pet. ii. 9. 

Clement has also in common with i Peter two quotations. 

Clem. XXX. 2, ©eos ydp, tfyrjaLV, vTr€pr]<fidvot? avTiTacra-crat, raTrcivors 
Be BlBwo-l x'^P^^y cf. i Pet. v. 5 ; Jas. iv. 6. Both have ®€os, while 
the LXX. (Prov. iii. 34) has Kvpws. 

Clem. xlix. 5, dydir-q KokvirTti ttX^^os d/xapTLtov, SO I Pet. iv. 8 : 
here the LXX. (Prov. x. 1 2) has Travras Bk tov<s fxrj (fnXoveLKovvTas 
KoAvTrrci (fnXia. 

Testamenta XII. Patriarcharum. 

Mr. Sinker thinks that the date of this book is to be placed in 
a period ranging from late in the first century to the revolt of Bar 
Cochba. Professor Harnack {Chronologic^ p. 569 sqq.) distinguishes 
between a Hebrew original and a Christian edition ; the latter, he 
thinks, was known to Origen, and possibly but doubtfully to Irenaeus. 

The book ofters certain similarities to i Peter which are deserv- 


ing of notice, the words ayaOoTroua, Jo. 1 8 ; aya^oTroieii/, Benj. 5 ; 
fiLaa-fios, Benj. 8 : and certain phrases, Nepht. 4, Kara to ttoXv avrov 
eX€o<s, cf. I Pet. i. s;/o. 19, a/xvos a/xco/tos, cf. I Pet i. 19; Gad 6, 
dyaTrare ovv dAXiyXovs dirb KapSias, cf. i Pet. i. 22; Benj. 8, dj/a- 
Traverat €v avrw to Ttv€v\x.a. tov 0eov, cf. I Pet. iv. 14; ^J"^^* 4, ov diXu 
rjfiipav ayaOrjv tSetv (from Ps. xxxiii. 13?), cf. i Pet. iii. lo; and in 
Levi 4 there is mention of the Harrowing of Hell, tov aSov (tkv- 
Xivofiivov CTTi T<Z irdOei tov v\1/l(xtov. 


The Pastor was probably published about 140, and written at 
various times between no and that date; Harnack, Chronologie, 
pp. 266, 267. 

Vis. iii. 5, the account of the stones in the Tower may have 
been suggested by the XCOoi ^tovres of i Pet. ii. 5. 

Vis. iv. 3. 4, wo-TTC/D yap to -^vo-lov SoKi/id^erat Sia tov Trvpos, 
of. I Pet. i. 7. 

Sim. ix. 28. 5, v/xets Se ol TrdaxovTes eveKcv tov 6v6fxaTO<s So^a^civ 
o^etAcTC TOV ©€oV, cf. I Pet. iv. 14. 

Mand. viii. 10, in the list of Christian virtues, several Petrine 
words occur close together : ^iXd^cvos, rja-vxio^iy dS€Xcli6Trj<s, dyaOo- 
TroLTjo-L'; ( = dyaOoTTOua). 

Sim. ix. 16. 5. ovTot ol aTTOcTToXoL Koi OL SiSdaKaXoL oi Kr)pv^avT€S 
TO ovo/xa TOV vlov TOV 0eov, KOifXTjOevre^ iv Bwd/xei kol TriVrct tov vlov tov 
®€ov iKrjpv^av kol Tot9 TrpoKCKOLnrjiJiivoLS, koI avTol eScDKav avTOts Trjv 
a-cf^paylBa tov KrjpvyfxaTos : these words are probably an expansion 
and explanation of i Pet. iv. 6 ; just before them comes the Petrine 
word ^(uoTToietv. 

He died a martyr in 155. Eus. H. E. iv. 14. 9, 6 yc toi IIoXv- 

Kap7ro<s iv Ty ^y]X(a6u(rrj irpo'S ^cXLTnrrjaLov^ avTOv ypa(fifj cfiepofxevy el<s 
Scvpo, KexprjTai tlctl jxapTvpiaL<i diro r^s TliTpov Trporepas eTrtcTToA^s. 

In Polycarp we find not merely similarities, but actual quotations 
— i. 3 = I Pet. i. 8 ; ii. 1 = 1 Pet. i. 13, 2 1 ; ii. 2 = i Pet. iii. 9 ; v. 3 = 
I Pet. ii. II ; vii. 2 = 1 Pet. iv. 7 ; viii. i = i Pet. ii. 24, 22 ; x. 2 = 
I Pet. ii. 1 2. Polycarp does not name St. Peter ; hence Professor 
Harnack thinks that though he knew the Epistle, he did not know 
it as Peter's. St. Paul is mentioned four times, and twice quoted 
by name, xi. 2, 3 ; but there is a special reason for this, because St. 
Paul also had written to the Philippians, and Polycarp writes to 
remind them of the fact. Otherwise, though his epistle abounds in 
quotations, it is not his habit to name his authority. On this point 
see Dr. Chase's article on Feter, First Epistle^ in Hastings' Dictionary 
of the Bible., vol. iii. pp. 780, 781. 



He wrote between 130-140 or even later; Lightfoot. 
Eus. H.E. iii. 39. 17, KkyjiiyraL 8' auros /w.a/3Tu/3tats cltto t^s Icoai'vov 
irpork^oM l-m(jro\ri% kol airo T7J<i HiTpov 6fjiOL(i)<i. 

Justin Martyr. 

His death has been placed as late as 163-165, but Dr. Hort 
{Journal of Philology^ iii. 155, On the Date of Justin Martyr) sets it 
as early as 148. The later date is more probable. 

Apol. i. 61 we find the word dmycvmv : Trypho^ no, ao-TrtXos, is 
used as an epithet of Christ ; it is so used in the New Testament only 
in T Pet. i. 19 ; Trypho, 35, a/xto/Aos, of Christ (i Pet. i. 19 or Heb. ix. 
14); Trypho, 114, toO d/cpoyojviatou X.tOov, of Christ (i Pet. ii. 6 or 
Isa. xxviii. 16); Trypho^ 116, r^s Trvpcocrcoj?, ^v ttv/oovo-iv T7/xas o tc 
StctySoAos Kttt 01 auToO VTrrjperat 7rdvT€<s. The WOrd Tru/awcrts in this 

sense is peculiar to i Pet. iv. 12. /did., apxteparLKov to aXrjOivbv 
yevos io-jjilv tj/xe'ts, cf. I Pet. ii. 9 ; Tryp/io, 119, ly/xet? 8k ov fiovov 
Xaos, dAXa kol Aao9 dyios icr/xev, cf. I Pet. ii. ID (but Justin is here 
referring to Isa. Ixii. 12); Tryp/io, 138, the story of Noah is com- 
mented upon in a manner that seems to imply a knowledge of i Pet. 
iii. 18-21. Noah is a type of Baptism, the eight persons are 
dwelt upon, and we find close together avayewav, Bua-iaOrj, St' 

Justin speaks also of the descent of our Lord into Hell, to preach 
the gospel to the dead (Tryp/io, 72); but he appeals to an apocryphal 
quotation which he ascribes to Jeremiah. The same quotation is 
used by Irenaeus. 

It is probable, but not certain, that Justin knew i Peter. 

Melito of Sardis. 

His Apology, the latest of his writings, is assigned by ancient 
authorities to the year 169 or 170. 

Apology (Otto, vol. ix. p. 432), "haec cum didiceris, Antonine 
Caesar, et filii quoque tui tecum, trades iis haereditatem aeternam 
quae non perit " ; cf. i Pet. i. 4. The authenticity of this Apology, 
which exists only in Syriac, has been impugned. Bishop Westcott 
{Canon, p. 222) thinks that "though, if it be entire, it is not the Apology 
with which Eusebius was acquainted, the general character of the 
writing leads to the belief that it is a genuine book of Melito of 
Sardis." But Professor Harnack {Chronologic, p. 522 sqq.) main- 
tains that the piece is of Syrian origin, and belongs to the beginning 
of the third century. 


Theophilus of Antioch. 

He died probably 183-185 ; Lightfoot. 

Ad Autol. ii. 34, 7ret^o/>i€vot Soy/^acrtv /xaratots 8ta TrXaviys irarfjor 
TopaSoTOV yvw/j.rj'i acrvverov, cf. I Pet. i. 18. 

Ih'd., aTre^ecrdaL oltto t^s aOefJiiTOv etSojXoXarpctas, cf. I Pet. iv. 3. 

LeUer of the Churches of Vienna and Lugdunum. 

The date is 177. 

Eus. H. E. \. 2. ^, iraTreLvovv eavrovs vtto rrjv Kparaiav X"P°^> 
cf. I Pet. V. 6. 

/did. V. I. 32, we find the Petrine word dSeXc^oriys. 

Ilfid. V. 2. 6, iva aTroTTVLxOiU 6 6-qp, ovs Trporepov (^ero KaraTreTrco- 
KcVat, ^tovras iicp^iay, cf. I Pet. V. 8. 

Acts of the Scillitan Martyrs. 

The date is 180. See Texts and Studies, vol. i. No. 2, ed. J. A. 
Robinson, p. 114, "Donata dixit: Honorem Caesari quasi Caesari ; 
timorem autem Deo"; cf. i Pet. ii. 17, tov ©eov <^o^CivBe tov 
^acTikia Ti/xare. 


Harvey thinks that he was born in 130. This Father is the 
first to quote i Peter by name ; see iv. 9. 2 ; 16. 5 ; v. 7. 2. 

Earlier than Irenaeus himself is the Presbyter " qui audierat ab 
his qui apostolos uiderant." From him come the words, iv. 27. 2, 
" et propter hoc Dominum in ea quae sunt sub terra descendisse, 
euangelizantem et illis aduentum suum ; remissione peccatorum 
exsistente his qui credunt in eum." Irenaeus appeals to the same 
apocryphal quotation as Justin, ascribing it in one place (iii. 20. 4) 
to Isaiah, in another (iv. 22. i) to Jeremiah. It may be suspected 
that this apocryphon is itself shaped on the words of 1 Pet. iv. 6, 
V€Kpots evrjyyeXta-Or]. 


Bom, 150-160; died, 220-240. 

Scorpiace, xii., " Petrus quidem ad Ponticos, Quanta enim, inquit, 
gloria est," etc. ; cf. i Pet. ii. 20 sqq. 

Ibid., " et rursus ; Dilecti ne epauescatis ustionem," etc. ; cf. 
I Pet. iv. 12 sqq. 

Adu. Judaeos, x., " Christus, qui dolum de ore sue locutus non 
est"; cf. I Pet. ii. 22. 


Adu. Marcionem^ iv. 13, "sed et cur Petrum? ... An quia el 
petra et lapis Christus? Siquidem et legimus positum eum in 
lapidem offendiculi et in petram scandali"; cf. i Pet. ii. 8. This 
reference Bishop Westcott considers very doubtful. The same 
phrase is found also Rom. ix. 33, but it is used by Tertullian to 
explain the name Peter, and is therefore probably taken from the 
Petrine Epistle. 

De Oratione, xv., " de modestia quidem cultus et ornatus aperta 
praescriptio est etiam Petri, cohibentis eodem ore, quia eodem et 
spiritu quo Paulus, et uestium gloriam et auri superbiam et crinium 
lenoniam operositatem ; cf. r Pet. iii. 3 ; i Tim. ii. 9. 

Bishop Westcott {Canon, p. 263, note 3) thinks that both the 
Scorpiace and the aduersus Judaeos are "more or less open to sus- 
picion." But Jerome mentions the Scorpiacum iad Vigil, viii.) as a 
work of Tertullian's, and quotes the Ad. Judaeos {Com. in Dan. ix. 
24; V. 691, ValL). See Geschichte der altchristlichen Litter atur^ 
p. 681. 

Epistula ad Diognetum. 

Harnack thinks that for the present the Epistle must be assigned 
to the end of the second or beginning of the third century ( Chrono- 
logic, p. 515). 

Ad Diogn. ix., rov SUaLov hrep rwv dSiKcov, cf. I Pet. iii. 18. 

/l>id., Ttts d/xaprtas KaXvij/at, cf. i Pet. iv. 8 (?). 

Clement of Alexandria. 

Died about 2 1 3, probably. 
^ Clement quotes very freely from every chapter of the Epistle ; 
it is needless to set out the references. He commented on i Peter 
in his Hypotyposes, and a Latin version or abstract of the Com- 
mentary is extant. See the text in Zahn's Forschungen, iii. p. 79 sqq., 
and Zahn's remarks, p. 133 sqq. 

The First Epistle of Peter was known to several of the Gnostic 


2^hn {Kanongesch. \. p. 763) dates his commentary on the Gospels 
120-125 ; Professor Harnack, soon after 133 {Chronologic, p. 291); 
Basilides professed to be a pupil of Glaucias, "the interpreter of 
Peter" (Clem. Alex. Strom, vii. 17. 106). 

Clem. Strom, iv. 12. 81, Iva. /xr) KardSiKOL ctti Ka/coi? 6/^oXoyou/Aei/ois 
7rd6(D(ri, fJurjSe. XoLSopov/jLCvoL a)s 6 /txot;(os rj 6 <f>ovev<i, dAX' OTt XpiaTiavoi 
TTtc^VKorts, cf. I Pet. iv. 15, t6. 


The Valentinians. 

Clem. Excerpta ex Theod, 12, et? a i-mdv/jiova-LV 01 ayyeXoL irapa- 
KVKJ/ai, 6 Uerpo's <}>r]aCv (the same passage is quoted again in 86), 
cf. I Pet. i. 12. 

/h'd. 1 2, Kara top airocrToXov rifiiw Kal afnafna kol acnrLXw aifxari 
€\vTpco9rjfJL€V, cf. I Pet. i. 18, 19. 

I^id. 41, SioTi irpo KaTaj3o\r}<s Kocrfiov ei/coro)? Xeycrai ^ iKKXrja-ia 
eVXcAcx^ai, cf. i Pet i. 20 (?). 

The Marcosians. 

Irenaeus, i. 18. 3, koI ttjv Trj<s kl^imtov Se oiKovofxiav iv TO) Kara- 
KXva-fxw, ev y OKTOi avOpioirot hua-uidrjcrav (^avepcorara ^acrt T7]v cruiTrjpiov 
oySoaSa fi-qvvcLv. Bishop Westcott thinks that these words have a 
marked similarity to i Pet. iii. 20. The correspondence becomes 
more striking if we compare Justin, Trypho^ 138 (referred to above), 
and if we add 


Theod. Haer. Fab. i. 24 (cf. Irenaeus, i. 27. 3), ovro^s toy filv 
Kdiv KOL Tov^ '^oBofx.LTa's Kol Tov? SvacTifSiLS a7ravTa<s (TitiTrjpLa<i tt^-qaev 
aiToXeXavKivaL TrpoaeX-qXvOora'i iv rw aBy t<3 craiTrjpL XptOTw kol €15 ttjv 
^aa-iXiiav avaX7](f>6yvai. Marcion goes on to say that Abel, Enoch, 
JVoah, the Patriarchs, prophets, and just were not saved, because 
they refused to come to Christ. Marcion did not accept, and is 
here giving one of the reasons why he did not accept, i Peter. Just 
Noah was not saved, because our Lord said, " I came not to call 
the just." 

The First Epistle of Peter is found in the Syriac Peshito, and in 
the Egyptian, Aethiopic, Armenian, and Arabic versions. See West- 
cott and Hort, Introduction, p. 84 sqq. ; Gregory, Prolegomena, 
pp. 814-929. 

There is, however, an ancient Syriac tradition represented by the 
Doctrine of Addai and the Homilies of Aphraates, which ignores the 
Catholic Epistles altogether; see Dr. Sanday's article in Studia 
Biblica, vol. iii. p. 245 sqq. 

It existed also in the Vetus Latina, though only fragments are 
now extant, i Pet i. 1-12 in s (Gregory, p. 966); i Pet i. 8-19, 
ii. 20-iii. 7, iv. 10 to end in q (Gref;ory, pp. 967, 968). But Westcott 
and Hort (p. 83) consider that g exhibits " a later (? Italian) text," 
and that " the palimpsest fragments of i Peter accompanying s of 
the Acts are apparently Vulgate only." 

The First Epistle of Peter is found in all the catalogues of the 


New Testament given by Bishop Westcott in Appendix D of his 
Canon, and also in the Cheltenham List (see Dr. Sanday, Studia 
Biblica, vol. iii. p. 217). No one of these catalogues is older in its 
present shape than the fourth century. 

On the other hand, it is not to be found in the Muratorianum, 
which probably belongs to the end of the second century (see Light- 
foot, Clement of Rome, ii. p. 405 sqq. ; Westcott, Canon, p. 521; 
Geschichte der altch. Litteratur, p. 646). 

The Muratorianum is mutilated both at the beginning (where 
the notice of Matthew and Mark has perished) and at the end. It 
treats in succession of the Gospels of Luke and John, the Johannine 
Epistles, Acts, Pauline Epistles, Gnostic forgeries, Jude, two 
Epistles of John, Wisdom, the Apocalypse of John, the Apocalypse of 
Peter, Hermas, other Gnostic and Montanist vd^a. In the existing 
text there is no mention of Hebrews, i and 2 Peter, James, 3 John. 
There is at least one lacuna in the text. The notice of Acts 
ends with the words sicute et semote passione petri euidenter dedarat. 
sed profectione pauli ab urbes ad spanid proficescentis. " The passion 
of Peter" may refer to John xxi. 18, 19, or to 2 Pet. i. 14; the 
journey of Paul to Spain is mentioned only in Rom. xv. 24. It is 
clear that some words, we cannot guess how many, have dropped 
out here. 

Again, the three Catholic Epistles are introduced in a very 
peculiar way, in the midst of a list of voBa and dvT/Acyd/Acva. After 
speaking of Marcionite documents, which are to be rejected, be- 
cause "gall must not be mingled with honey," the text proceeds: 
epistola sane iude et superscrictio iohannis duas in catholica habentur. 
The apologetic sane, " it is true that," seems to imply, what we 
gather from the general run of the passage, that the three Epistles 
named here had all been challenged. The Epistles of John had 
already been mentioned immediately after the Gospel, but it is not 
stated there how many they were. Now, if for the corrupt super- 
scrictio we take Dr. Westcott's emendation superscripti, " of the 
before-named John," it may very well be the case that the Mura- 
torianum is here defending 2 and 3 John and Jude. It is possible, 
however, though less probable, that the right reading is superscriptae ; 
and if so, only two Johannine Epistles are recognised. 

It seems highly improbable that i Peter should have been passed 
over in silence by one who accepted the Apocalypse of Peter. Two 
explanations may be hazarded — (i) the Petrine Epistle, or indeed 
Epistles, may have been noticed after the Gospel of St. Mark, as 
those of St. John are after the Gospel of St. John ; or (2) the 
Catholic Epistles may have been placed after Acts; this is a 
position which they frequently occupy. The words sicute et semote, 
etc., " as also (Scripture ?) expressly mentions in separate places, in 
passages which do not come quite where we should expect them, 


the passion of Peter and Paul's journey to Spain," seem to imply 
that other information about the apostles not to be found in Acts 
has just been given. Such might very well be the connexion of 
James with the Diaspora and of Peter with Asia Minor. The 
author of the Fragment, whoever he was, may have regarded James, 
I and possibly 2 Peter, i John as undisputed, and have recurred to 
Jude, 2 and 3 John in his list of spurious or doubtful works, 
because he knew that some authorities viewed them with suspicion. 

But conjecture more or less plausible is all that we can attain to 
on this point. 

Some of the Testimonia adduced in this section may be 
challenged, but the chain as a whole is strong, and the evidence of 
Clement of Rome is very remarkable. 


The facts collected in the foregoing section prove that the First 
Epistle of Peter was regarded as canonical from the time when 
" canonical " first began to have a meaning. They may be held to 
show that the Epistle is older than that of Clement of Rome, 
probably older than that of Barnabas. We now proceed to inquire 
to what books of the New Testament i Peter bears any resem- 
blance, and what is the extent and nature of the resemblance; 
whether, in so far as it exists, it is such as may be accounted for by 
the general similarity of all Christian writers, or whether it goes 
beyond this, and can only be explained by actual documentary 
use. We must bear in mind that the actual words of i Peter 
may very probably be the creation not of the apostle, but of his 

There can be little doubt that St. Peter had read several of 
St. Paul's Epistles. In the Second Epistle (iii. 1 6) he tells us so ; 
and even if the Second Epistle is regarded as a forgery, it lies in 
the nature of things that each apostle would desire to know what 
the other was doing, and would take pains to keep himself informed. 
But what we want to ascertain is whether there is anything like 
positive proof that St. Peter had any of the Pauline writings, or 
indeed any book of the New Testament, in his mind as he wrote or 
dictated; whether his words, ideas, beliefs were in any degree 
shaped or given to him by anybody else. 

It should hardly be necessary to guard the reader against the 
presupposition that St. Paul invented either the doctrines or the 
terminology of the Church. In certain directions he modified both. 
But there is no reason why we should not here apply the common- 
sense rule, that what is peculiar to a writer belongs to himself, and 
what is not is the property of the society of which he is a member. 


Only, if we are to use this rule with profit, we must look more 
narrowly into differences between the sacred writers than theologians 
are generally willing to do. 

With what books, then, in the New Testament does St. Peter 
display an acquaintance in his First Epistle? The extraordinary 
variety of the answers to this question shows the uncertainty of the 
ground. Early in the century Daniel Schulze maintained that the 
Petrine Epistle was little more than a cento of reminiscences of the 
Epistles of St. Paul ; and in recent times Holtzmann and Jiilicher 
think it can be proved that our author was acquainted with nearly 
the whole of the New Testament. On the other hand, Rauch, 
Jachmann, B. Bruckner regard Peter as wholly independent. Be- 
tween these extreme views lie others of a more moderate character. 
Von Soden finds a definite literary connexion between i Peter, 
Romans, Galatians, i Timothy, and Titus. Bishop Lightfoot 
{Clement^ ii. p. 499) judged that "with two Epistles of St. Paul 
more especially the writer shows a familiar acquaintance — the 
Epistle to the Romans and the Epistle to the Ephesians." Dr. 
Hort entertained the same view. Sieffert even maintained the 
amazing proposition that Ephesians and i Peter were written by 
the same hand. The elder and younger Weiss, with Kiihl, admit a 
connexion between i Peter, Romans, and Ephesians, but assign 
the priority to 1 Peter. 

We will take the Pauline Epistles first and begin with Ephesians. 
The parallelisms most commonly cited are the following : 

Eph. i. 1-3 = I Pet. i. 1-3. There is no special similarity in the 
Address. In both there follows a benediction of Hebrew type. 
This appears to have been a common form in the letters of devout 
Jews. See the letter of Suron (Hiram), king of Tyre, given by the 
historian Eupolemus of Alexandria (in Eus. Praep. Euang. ix. 34), 
Sov/DCDV "XoKoyMtvi ySacriXci yu,eyaA.a) ya.ipf.iv. EvXoyTyros 6 ©tos, 09 tov 

ovpavov Kal ttjv yrjv Iktictcv. On the form of the Petrine Address, 
see note. 

Eph. i. 4 = I Pet. i. 20, rrpb KaTa(SoXrj<; Kocrfj-ov. The phrase is 
quite common ; found in the Synoptists, Hebrews, and the Assump- 
tion of Moses. 

Eph. i. 14, CIS aTToXvTpwo-Lv tt}^ TrcptTTOir^cTCWs = I Pet. ii. 9, Aaos 
CIS TrepLiroLTjo-LV (from Mai. iii. 17). 

Eph. i. 14, CIS eiraivov r»}s 80^779 avTOv= I Pet. i. 7, €ts eTratvov kol 

Eph. i. 21, KOi KaOiaa^ iv Se^ta avrov iv rots iTrovpavLOiq virepdviji 
iraa-rj'i apxyj'S kol i^ovaLa<i Kal Swa/Acws Kal Kvpi6TrjTo<i = I Pet. iii. 2 2, 
'Ir/croS Xptcrrov, os ecrnv iv Se^ia rov ©eou, TTopevOeLs cts ovpavov, vtto- 
rayivTwv avTO) ayyiXwv Kal l^ovorLUiV kol Bwdfieoiv. Here we have a 
remarkable similarity, yet it may be based upon a common formula 
attached to the common doctrine of the Session at the Right Hand. 


The names of angels are found elsewhere; see note, and add 
Test. XII. Patr., Zm, 3, Opovoiy k^ovaiai. 

Eph. ii. 21, 22 = 1 Pet. ii. 5, the brotherhood form a spiritual 
temple ; the same thought is expressed in quite different terms. 

Eph. V. 22-24=1 Pet. iii. 1-6. Instructions to Wives. One 
phrase, ai ywatKCS Tots tStots av^p6.(TLv a)s to> Kvpiia = ywatKCS vTroraaa-o- 
fievai TOL<s tStois avBpda-Lv, is nearly identical, but the treatment of the 
subject is altogether different. Paul is mystical ; the husband is 
the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church ; Peter is 
very simple and practical. 

Eph. V. 25-33 = I Pet. iii. 7. Instructions to Husbands. Here, 
again, the treatment is wholly different. In Ephesians marriage is 
a type of the union between Christ and the Church. Peter bids 
the husband honour the wife as the weaker vessel, because she is 
fellow-heir of the grace of life. 

Eph. vi. 1-4. Instructions to Children. Not in Peter. 

Eph. vi. 5-9. Instructions to Slaves and Masters = i Pet ii. 
18-25. Instructions to Slaves alone. Quite different in detail. 

Similar addresses to the members of families may very well 
have been a commonplace. 

The Epistle to the Ephesians abounds in strong words and 
striking thoughts of which there is no trace in i Peter — e.g. vloOea-ia, 
d(f>€(n<s, fxva-Ti^pLOVj dva/c€<^aAat(oo-a<7^ai, dppa/Swv, OLKOvofiia, irXyjptofia, 
TrpocfirJTaL (of Christian prophets), Trpoo-^opa, rcKva <jiV(r€L 6pyrj<5, reKva 
<^wTos, TravoTrAia. Some of these must have been found in i Peter, 
if the writer was familiar with Ephesians. Not one of the re- 
semblances cited above turns upon a phrase of any significance, 
except the Benediction of God ; if this is struck off the list, very 
little remains. 

Dr. Hort says that "the connexion (between i Peter and 
Ephesians) though very close does not lie on the surface. It is 
shown more by identities of thought, and similarity in the structure 
of the two Epistles as wholes, than by identities of phrase." But 
others will fail to detect these subtle affinities. Indeed the two 
Epistles may seem to illustrate two wholly different types of mind, 
that of the mystic and that of the simple pastor. 

The majority of critics regard the two Epistles as connected, 
and many believe that Ephesians is the later of the two. Von 
Soden decides that it is possible, but not certain, that the one author 
had seen the work of the other. But a doubt may be expressed 
whether the evidence carries us even so far as this. 

As regards Romans, the passages generally cited are as follows ; 

Rom. iv. 24, 81 17/xas, oh /xeAAei Xoyi^iaOai, rots ttlo-tcvovo-iv ctti 
rbv iydpavTa ^Irjcrovv rov Kvptov rjjxuiv Ik v€Kpo)v= i Pet. i. 21, 8l v/xas 
TOv<s Sl avTov TTLOTOv^ €ts ©€ov Tov ijiipavTa avTov CK v€Kpu>v. Here the 
specially Pauline word Xoyi^eo-Oat is not in Peter; the phrase 


TTicrrovs eis 0€ov in the latter is unique (see note) ; the other words 
are probably common property. 

Rom. vi. 7, 6 yap aTroOavuiv BeSiKaioiTaL airo rrjs d/zapTias = I Pet. 
iv. I, 6 7raO(i}v a-apKL Triiravrai a/xaprtas. Neither language nor 
meaning is the same. 

Rom. vi. II, ovTio /cat v/>tet? Xoyi^etr^e eavrous vt/cpovs fxkv etvat t't) 
dixapTL<^ t,(i)VTa<: Sc to) ©eoJ iv Xpio-Tw *Ir](rov = I Pet. ii. 24, tva rats 
d/tapTiats aTToycvo/xcvot t^ SiKaiocrw?; ^rjcrmfx^v. In Peter aTroyevo/ACVoi 
does not mean " having died"; Peter again uses SiKaiocrvvr] in a sense 
which is not that of St. Paul, and afxaprria has in the one passage a 
meaning which it does not possess in the other. 

Rom. viii. 18, 7rp6s ttjv /xiWovo-av So^av airoKaXvcfiOrjvaL ets i7/Aaj = 
I Pet. v. I, 6 Kai TTJ'i fieXXova-r}^ aTroKaXvTTTeaOai So^rjs /cotvwvos. 

Rom. viii. 34, Xpto-ros 'Ir^trovs . . . os icmv iv Se^ta tov ®eov = 
I Pet. iii. 22, 'Ir)(rov Xpt(rroC, os ecrxiv iv Se^ta tov 0cov. Probably a 
common form. 

Rom. xii. I, Trapaa-Trja-ai ra a-w/xara vfxtav Ov(Tiav ^Cio-av, dyCav, 
evdpecTTOVT^ 0€(3= I Pet. ii. 5» €15 updrcvjxa aytov, dvcvey/cai Tn/c-u/xart/cas 
6v(Tia<s €v7rpocrSiKTov<s ©ew. This is one of the most original passages 
in Peter. 

Rom. xii. 2 = 1 Pet. i. 14. Both have (rvtrxry/AaTt^co-^at, which is 
not found elsewhere in the New Testament. 

Rom. xii. 3-8 = 1 Pet. iv. 10, 11. Both inculcate the duty of 
diligence in the use of the diverse gifts of grace. The mode in 
which the subject is treated is similar, but there is little resemblance 
in phrase. St. Paul dwells upon the figure of the One Body, and 
mentions prophecy ; both these points are missing in Peter. 

Rom. xii. 9, 10, 17 aydirr} dvvTroKpiro^. dTrocrrvyovi/res ro TrovrjpoVy 
KoWw/JLCvot TO) dyaOio, rrj <f>LXaS€X(f>La €is dA.A.->^A.ov? <^iX.6(TTopyoi = 
I Pet. i. 2 2, Tois xjrvxo.^ vfJiS)v rjyviKOTe^ iv rfj viraKofj r^s dXr]0€La<; eU 
t^iXaBeXcfjCav dwiroKpiTOv €K /capSta? dXXrjXovi dyair-qa-aTe eKTCvcos. 

There is little resemblance except in the word awTroKptro?, which 
is found also in Jas. iii. 1 7. Little importance can be attached to 


Rom. xii. 14—19, euAoyctre tovs 8io5/covras v/xas* cvAoyeire kol /jltj 
Karapda-Qc ... to avrb cis dXXryAovs <f)povovvT€<s . . . fxrjSevl KaKOv 
d(/Tt KttKov dTToStSdvTCS . . . €LprjvevovTC<; = I Fet. iii. 8-12, 6fx6(f>pov€<s 
. . . fX7] dTToSiSdv'Tes KttKov dvTL KaKOv, ^ XoiSoptav dvrl AotSopt'as, 
TOVvavTLOv 8c €vXoyovvT€<i . , . ^rjTrjcrdTO} elpi^vrjv koI Stw^ctTO) a.vTrjV, 
In Petet " seek peace, and ensue it," is quoted from a Psalm ; but 
there is a strong resemblance between the two passages. 

Rom. xiii. 1-4=1 Pet. ii. 13-15. Duty of Obedience to 
Magistrates. Here there is a considerable similarity, not so much in 
expression as in the general idea. Like the sections on the Family 
Duties in Ephesians, the passage may be a recognised commonplace. 

There remains for consideration the remarkable similarity 


between Rom. ix. 33 and i Pet. ii. 6, 7. Here we find a peculiar 
combination of quotations from the Old Testament which can hardly 
have been made independently by two different writers. For the sake 
of clearness the text may be broken up into its component clauses. 

Rom. ix. $$, KaOoiS yeypaTrrai. 

(i.) iSov TiB-qfjLL fv 2iwv, Isa. xxviii. 16a. 

(ii.) \l6ov 7rpo(rK6fXfiaTO<5 kol irirpav (TKavSaXov, Isa. viii. 14. 

(iii.) KaX 6 TTtcTTeucov ctt avTw ov KaTaL<T)^vv$'rj(X€TaL, Isa. xxviii. 16^. 

I Pet. ii. 6, 7, SioTt 7repte;(ct iv ypa^y, 

(i. iii.) tSov rWrjfXL iv ^lwv Xidov oLKpoyuiviaiOV, IkXcktov, fVTtfxov' 
KOL 6 TTioTcvcov ctt' avT(o OV fjLT) KaTaL(TxvvOfj, Isa. xxvill. i6a b. 

vjMV ovv 7) TifXT] Tots TrujT^.vovcnv aincrrovcri he 

(iv.) Xi^os ov aTreSoKLfiacrav ol OLKoBofiovvre^f ovros iyev^drj cis 
K€c}ia\7]v y<inna<s, Ps. cxvii. (cxviii.) 2 2. 

(ii.) KOi XlOos Trpocr/co/x/xaros /cat Trcrpa a-KavSaXov, Isa. viii. 14. 

In (i.) there is a remarkable departure from the original. The 
LXX. has iBoi} iyoi i/x^dXXoi €is ra OefxeXia '^lwv, which is a fair trans- 
lation of the Hebrew (Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation, R.V.). 
In both writers this has been altered, in Peter we might suppose 
because the At^os d/cpoyajviatos is regarded as the "head of the 
corner," in Romans because the stone is immediately spoken of as 
Xl6o9 Trpoa-KOfjifjiaToSf a loose stone which could not be a foundation. 

In (ii.), again, both writers abandon the text of the LXX., which 
has Kol ovx W5 XWov Trpoa-KOfXfxaTi crvvavTrjo-ecrOe, ovhl wg irerpa's 
TTTw/xari. " The LXX. translators shrank from the plain sense, and 
boldly substituted a loose paraphrase containing a negative which 
inverts Isaiah's drift" (Hort). Theodotion and Symmachus have 
€ts XlOov irpoa-KOfjLixaTO^ kol €is TreTpav Trrco/xaros : Aquila, cis XlOov 
TTpoa-KOfifiaTO's KOL £ts (TTepebv (TKavSdXov (Field, Hexapld), Both 
St. Peter and St. Paul here represent the Hebrew original, but it is 
not necessary to suppose that either invented the phrase Ai^os Trpoo-- 
Ko/x/xaros kox Trirpa aKavSdXov. Von Soden thinks it probable that 
both writers used a Greek Bible, the text of which differed from 
that of the LXX (see Swete, Introd. to O.T. in Greek, pp. 47, 


But how are we to explain the peculiar combination of passages 
which, as most critics have felt, can hardly be independent ? Kiihl 
argues positively that St. Paul has borrowed from St. Peter, because 
(i) the words Trto-TcvW k.t.X. belong to the "chief corner stone elect 
precious " with which they are rightly connected in i Peter, while 
their connexion with XlBo<; Trpoo-KOfi/xaTo^ in Romans is so harsh 
that St. Paul could hardly have written as he does unless he had 
somewhere seen the two passages of Isaiah brought into juxta- 
position ; (2) the whole run of the passage in 1 Peter is easier 
and more natural. Peter begins (ii. 4) by an allusion to Ps. cxviii. 
and Isa. xxviii., and proceeds in his habitual fashion to develop 


the allusion by quoting the two passages, and adding to them 
Isa. viii. One word suggests another — XWo<; evrt^o?, Tnareviov, 
TLfiT^, a-TTLaTOVUTe^, OLTreSoKLfxacrav, XtOo<; 7rpocrK6fj.fjLaTO<s. St. Peter, it 

may be added, elsewhere (Acts iv. ii) makes use of Ps. cxviii., but 
St. Paul nowhere does so. There is some force in this argument 
of Klihl's, though Dr. Hort dismisses it as a paradox. Yet the 
facts admit of a different explanation. Volkmar (dte alttestamentl. 
Citate bet Paulus, p. 41) thinks that the early Christians may have 
possessed anthologies of Messianic prophecies, and it is noticeable 
that in Lk. xx. 17 the quotation from Ps. cxviii. is followed by 
words (ttSs 6 Treo-cuv hr iKetvov tov XlBov) which may be, or may 
have been thought to be, an allusion to Isa. viii. 14. It is possible, 
therefore, that St. Peter and St. Paul may both have drawn from a 
common source (see Swete, pp. 394, 397). 

In the case of Romans as in that of Ephesians the resemblances 
to I Peter are quite superficial, attaching only to current common- 
places. As Ephesians is the most mystic, so Romans is the most 
scholastic of the Pauline Epistles ; but not one of its salient features 
in words, in imagery, in argument reappears in i Peter. If the author 
of the latter Epistle was really familiar with the great Apologia of St. 
Paul, it is most singular that he should never draw any distinction 
between Grace and Works, Spirit and Letter, Law and Promise ; that 
he should omit the figure of the One Body in passages which were, 
as some think, actually before his eyes ; that he should never touch 
upon the rejection of Israel, or that he should speak of pre- 
destination as he does (ii. 8) without a hint that any difficulty on 
that subject had ever been suggested to him. In truth, the two 
Episdes are as different as they can be, except that they have a few 
not very remarkable phrases, and a couple of obvious practical 
topics in common. It may be argued with some force that this 
peculiar combination of agreement in the commonplace, and dis- 
agreement in the remarkable, tends to prove the originality of St. 
Peter. St. Paul might very easily have borrowed any of the phrases 
quoted above. But if St. Peter was the borrower, it is surely a very 
curious fact that he should carefully have avoided every one of that 
large family of words, images, and ideas that St. Paul delights in. 
We can, however, sufficiently explain the phenomena of the case 
by supposing that the draughtsman of i Peter was one who had 
often heard St. Paul preach. Or, again, all the resemblances may 
very well be covered by what we may call the pulpit formulae of 
the time. 

As regards Galatians, Von Soden rests his judgment on Gal. 
iii. 23, iv. 7 = 1 Pet. i. 4 sqq. ; Gal. v. 13 = 1 Pet. ii. 16; Gal. iv. 
24=1 Pet. iii. 16. None of these points seems serious. But, 
if a writer calling himself Peter had read Galatians, it is hard to 
believe that he would not have made some distinct allusion to the 


second chapter of that Epistle. The fact that no such allusion is 
to be found in i Peter may be regarded as a strong indirect 
argument in favour of its authenticity. If the author wrote before 
the publication of Galatians, his silence is natural ; but, if he wrote 
after that date, he must have possessed great strength of mind or 
great dignity of position. 

The Epistles to Timothy present little that is germane to our 
present purpose, but the relation between Titus and i Peter 
deserves closer consideration. 

In the Address we find the word "elect" (Tit. i. i = i Pet. i. i). 
The readers are "a peculiar people" (Aaos irepiov(Tio<i, Tit. ii. 14 = 
Xaos eis TrepiTroLrjaiv, I Pet. ii. 9), who are saved by the washing of 
regeneration (Xovrphv TraAtyyeveo-ta?, Tit. iii. 5 = dvayevvav, i Pet. i. 3 ; 
croiC^L /SoLTmcrfxa, I Pet. iii. 21). They are heirs according to hope 
of eternal life (Tit. iii. 7 = 1 Pet. iii. 7, i. 3, 4), and throughout 
this Pastoral Epistle hope is brought to the front as in i Peter and 
Hebrews (i. 2, ii. 13). The readers are redeemed (XvTpovaOat, 
Tit. ii, 14, here only is the verb used by St. Paul, = i Pet. i. 18). 
They are to deny worldly lusts (Tit. ii. 12 = 1 Pet. ii. 11), and 
emphasis is laid on the necessity of good works (Tit. i. 16, 
iii. I, 8, 14) and sound doctrine (Tit. i. 9, ii. i). Titus is "mine 
own child," yv^cnov reKvov (Tit. i. 4), as Mark is Peter's vlos. The 
authority of the Elder is rated very high, and Elder is here an 
official title, though Bishop may be used as an alternative designa- 
tion (Tit. i. 5, 7). St. Paul still maintains his own doctrinal 
position (Tit. iii. 5), and is still vexed by those of the circumcision 
(Tit. i. 10). 

In Titus we also find another edition of the family duties (old 
men and women, wives, young men, servants), and the special 
phrases VTroracrcrd/xevai rots iStots avSpdaLv — dpxais, k^ov(Jiai<i vTroTacr- 

o-co-6'ai: but these commonplaces occur also in Romans and 

Upon the whole, the resemblance between Titus and i Peter 
lies not in mere words, as is the case in regard to the other Pauline 
Epistles, but in ideas; and these ideas seem to imply a certain 
change in St. Paul's mental attitude towards discipline and ordi- 
nances. But in this St. Paul was drawing perceptibly nearer to a 
type of Church life older and stronger than that depicted in his 
Epistles of the first and second groups — in other words, he was 
approximating to the Petrine view, and the inference that i Peter is 
older than the Pastoral Epistles has much to recommend it. 

The affinity between i Peter and Hebrews is of a more intimate 
kind. Let us take the facts as they are given by Von Soden with 
some slight modification. The two documents employ in common a 
considerable number of words and phrases not found elsewhere in 
the New Testament, or not in the same sense and connexion, e.g. 


di/TiruTTOS, TrapeTTtSry/xo?, yevecrOai, oTko<5 (of the Church), Xoyos ^(uVj 
cuA-oytav Kk-qpovofjulv, ttoi/xt^v (of Christ ; but so also in John x.), 
dva^epctv (of sacrifice ; so also Jas. ii. 21). Other resemblances of 
diction are to be found : e.g. the Doxology (i Pet. iv. 11 = Heb. xiii. 
21); the final prayer (i Pet. v. io = Heb. xiii. 21); dp-qv-qv htwKiiv 
(i Pet. iii. ii = Heb. xii. 14); the reproach of Christ (i Pet. iv. 
i4 = Heb. xi. 26, xiii. 13); ctt' Io-^oltov rtov rj/xepiov or rwv ;)(povcov 
(i Pet. i. 2o = Heb. i. 2). There is an affinity between the terms 
used of the work of Redemption, d/iw/Aos of Christ (i Pet. i, 19 = 
Heb. ix, 14); aira^ (i Pet. iii. i8 = Heb. ix. 28); the phrases 
dvaipepeLV a.ixapTia<s (l Pet. ii. 24 = Heb. ix. 28) and pavrtcr/xos (i Pet. 
i. 2 = Heb. xii. 24). Faith is nearly identified with IXiri^, and 
the object of Faith is the invisible (i Pet. i. 8 = Heb. xi. i). It 
is the habit of both writers to clothe their admonitions in Old 
Testament words, to use Old Testament personages as examples, 
and transfer Old Testament predicates to the Christian Church. 
Patience under suffering is enforced by the example of our Lord 
(i Pet. ii. 21-23, iii- i7> 18 = Heb. xii. 1-3). Both Epistles describe 
themselves as short exhortations (i Pet. v. 12 = Heb. xiii. 22) ; both 
authors are bracing their readers to endure persecution which is 
impending, and is a sign of the end (i Pet. iv. 7, 17-19 = Heb. x. 


Von Soden himself considers that these resemblances are 

sufficiently accounted for by the supposition that the authors 

were contemporaries, and breathed the same spiritual atmosphere. 

The affinities, however, are very close, and the two Epistles may 

be said to belong to the same school of thought, which is neither 

Johannine nor Pauline; on the great question of the relation of 

the Law to the Gospel they seem to be in complete accord. Their 

resemblances should be borne in mind when we come to compare 

the Petrine and Pauline theologies. 

The points of contact between i Peter and the Apocalypse are 

that Christians are called SovA.ot ®€ov (i Pet. ii. i6 = Apoc. i. i), and 

priests (i Pet. ii. 9 = Apoc. i. 6, v. 10); that Christ is Shepherd 

(i Pet. ii. 25, V. 4 = Apoc. vii. 17), and Lamb (i Pet. i. 19, d/xvos = 

Apoc. V. 6, apviov). There is a doxology to Christ ( i Pet. iv. 11 = 

Apoc. i. 6); Rome is called Babylon (i Pet. v. 13 = Apoc. xiv. 8 

and five other passages). There is a certain similarity between 

o-re^aj/os r^s Sd^Tys ( I Pet. V. 4) and o-TC<^avos t^s ^w^s ( Apoc. ii. I o), 

and the metaphor of gold tried in the fire is employed in both (i Pet. 

i. 7 = Apoc. iii. 18). For our purpose the most important of these 

points is the use of Babylon for Rome. There is a certain affinity 

between the minds of the two authors ; the imagination of both is 

concrete not abstract, and it was not without some fitness that an 

Apocalypse was composed in the name of Peter. But there is nothing 

to show that the one book was known to the author of the other. 


But there can be little doubt that a positive literary connexion 
exists between James and i Peter. The student may compare 
especially i Pet. i. i = Jas. i. i (the Diaspora) ; i Pet. i. 6, 7 = 
Jas. i. 2, 3 (SoKtfjiLov) ; i Pet. i. 23-ii. 2= Jas. i. 10, 11, 18-22; 
I Pet. V. 5-9 = Jas. iv. 6, 7, 10. The general opinion is that the 
one writer was acquainted with the work of the other ; and Von 
Soden agrees with Grimm, Holtzmann, Bruckner, Weiss, Usteri, 
that St. James was the borrower. Intrinsic probability is in favour 
of this view. We can sometimes explain St. Peter's phrases by 
showing how he came to form them (see notes on Bokl/jllov and on 
ayoLTrr] KaXvirreL TrXrjOo's dfjLapTtCjv : this last instance seems very 
strong), while the corresponding phrase in the Epistle of St. James 
seems to have been picked up ready made. Dr. Hort, however, 
is of opinion that the Epistle of St. James was used by St. Peter ; 
and the same view is held by Dr. Mayor (article on Epistle of James 
in Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible). 

Von Soden thinks that in i Peter we cannot fail to observe a 
large number of allusions to the Gospels in some pre-canonical 
shape. This is a point of great importance, for it may be main- 
tained that St. Peter stands appreciably nearer to the Synoptical 
Gospels than any other apostolical writer. 

The use of the leading facts in our Lord's history is much the 
same as we find elsewhere. Here we have Father, Son, and Spirit ; 
the Passion, Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension ; the Second 
Advent; the sacrament of Baptism. A peculiar feature of the 
Epistle is the Preaching of Christ in Hades, to which we have an 
allusion in Matt, xxvii. 51-53. But besides these, there are a 
number of phrases which may well be regarded as reminiscences 
of the Gospel story. We may take as the general standard of 
reference the Gospel of St. Luke, to which i Peter shows upon 
the whole the nearest resemblance — i Pet. i. 10 = Luke x. 24, 25; 
I Pet. i. II, 21 = Luke xxiv. 26 ; i Pet. i. 13 = Luke xii. 35 ; i Pet. 
i. 17 = Luke xi. 2; i Pet. i. 23 = Luke viii. 12; i Pet. ii. 7 = Luke 
XX. 17, 18 ; I Pet. iii. 9 = Luke vi. 28; i Pet. iv. 10 = Luke xii. 42 ; 
I Pet. ii. 12 = Matt. v. 16; i Pet. iii. 14 = Matt. v. 10. We may 
add certain points of resemblance between i Peter and the Gospel 
of St. John — I Pet. i. 3 = John iii. 3; i Pet. i. 23 = John i. 13; 
I Pet. i. 19 = John i. 29; i Pet. ii. 25 = John x. 11; i Pet. v. 2 = 
John xxi. 16. Any single one of these allusions may be disputed, 
but much will remain. Von Soden remarks that we do not find in 
I Peter certain ideas or phrases which are familiar in the Synoptical 
Gospels, especially Kingdom of God and Son of Man. We have 
an allusion to the kingdom in the /Sao-tAetov teparcv/xa of ii. 9, and 
our Lord never appears to have been called Son of Man except by 
St. Stephen. 

Our Epistle has certain words in common with Acts — Tra/ootKio, 


irpoyvaxri?, e/crcvT;?, cktcvw?, Ka/covv, ^€vi^€iv (tO astonish), Xpicrnavos, 
dyaXXtav (in Gospels and Apoc), ayvoia (in Eph.), adefitro^ d/xv6<i 
(in John's Gospel), dTrciAcii/, Stao-oi^civ (in Matt, and Luke), Tjy^iJLOiv 
(in Gospels), Kara/cvpicvetv (in Matt, and Mark), (of the 
contents of a document), a-vvrpix^iv (in Mark), <^ovcvs (in Matt, and 

A few other parallelisms may be noted ; we may divide them 
into phrases connected in Acts — (i.) with St. Peter, (ii.) with St. Paul. 

(i.) Petrine. God is no respecter of persons, i Pet. i. 17 = 
Acts X. 34; the soul is purified through faith, i Pet. i. 22 = Acts 
XV. 9 ; Ps. cxviii. quoted, i Pet. ii. 4 = Acts iv. 11; the Christian 
rejoices in shame, i Pet. iv. 13, 16 = Acts v. 41; the qualification 
of an apostle is that he is a "witness," i Pet. v. i = Acts i. 8, 22, 
V. 32, X. 39. (ii.) Pauline. Heathenism is ignorance, i Pet. i. 14 
= Acts xvii. 30 ; God has called the Christian out of darkness into 
light, 1 Pet. ii. 9 = Acts xxvi. 18; feed the flock, i Pet. v. 2 = 
Acts XX. 28 (or John xxi. 15). 

The evidence of style, vocabulary, phraseology does not appear 
to afford any conclusive evidence of either the absolute or relative 
date of I Peter. It has been dated after Ephesians, or after 62 ; 
between Ephesians and Romans, between 62 and 58 ; or before 
Romans. For each of these opinions plausible grounds may be 
alleged. Such uncertainty attaches from the nature of things to all 
arguments drawn from language or ideas, unless the marks of 
derivation are strong and clear. In the present case, if it be 
granted that there is a connexion, direct or indirect, between 
Romans and i Peter, we cannot cut the knot by the round asser- 
tion that St. Paul could not have borrowed from St. Peter. On 
the contrary, the supposition in itself is probable enough. We 
must therefore look round and consider what other means we have 
at our disposal for fixing the relative dates of the documents in 


The date of our Epistle will depend in part on the exact signi- 
ficance of those allusions to the sufferings of Christians in which 
it abounds. It will therefore be necessary to survey the history of 
persecution during the period in question ; and we cannot well stop 
short of the Rescript of Trajan, for it has been held that the 
language of the Epistle is such as could not have been employed 
till after the issue of the famous directions to Pliny. We may 
take in order the state of things depicted in Acts, in the Epistles, 
in the Apocalypse, and in profane history. After this review, it 
will be possible, perhaps, to attach a definite value to the phrase- 
ology of St. Peter. 


In the Book of Acts the treatment of the rising Church within 
the limits of Judaea proper depends mainly on the attitude of the 
Sanhedrin, though the reign of Herod Agrippa i. comes in as an 
interlude. Even under Roman rule the Sanhedrin, the Court of 
the Seventy-one, enjoyed very considerable power. Theoretically, 
its authority did not exist outside of the eleven toparchies which 
made up Judaea proper ; Galilee and Samaria were exempt from its 
jurisdiction ; but wherever a synagogue of Jews was to be found, 
its orders were executed so far as the secular authorities would 
sanction or connive. Within Judaea the Sanhedrin could order 
arrests (Matt. xxvi. 47; Mark xiv. 43; Acts iv. 3, v. 17, 18), and 
could finally dispose of any case which did not involve the death 
penalty (Acts iv. 5-23, v. 21-40). It could even pronounce sen- 
tence of death, though all judgments of this nature were invalid 
until ratified by the procurator (John xviii. 31). The procurator 
was not compelled to guide himself by the Jewish law, but he was 
at liberty to take this course, and often did so. Indeed, in cr,e 
most remarkable case, the Roman governor appears to have! no 
option. If any one, who was not a Jew, intruded into th" ;i.ner 
court of the temple, he was put to death, and even the privilege 
of Roman citizenship did not save the offender from his doom 
(see Schiirer, The Jewish People in the Time of Christy English 
trans. 11. i. 184 sqq.). 

Thus in the Book of Acts we find the Sanhedrin arresting, 
imprisoning, flogging, and menacing the apostles. Shortly after- 
wards the rapid increase in the number of the brethren led to the 
stoning of St. Stephen. It is most likely that this bloody deed was 
in excess of jurisdiction ; still it was the act of the Sanhedrin ; its 
method was in strict accordance with Jewish law ; and it shows at 
least what extravagances might be and were tolerated by the Roman 
government. The death of St. Stephen was followed by a short 
reign of terror. Pushed on probably by the fiery energy of Saul, 
the Sanhedrin ordered domiciliary visitation. Many were cast 
into prison, and many fled from Jerusalem. At the same time 
it seems to have been possible for Peter and John to remain 
unharmed in the sacred city. But Saul even went so far as to 
set out for Damascus, armed with a warrant, which he had per- 
suaded the high priest to grant, empowering him to arrest 
Christians, man or woman, and bring them away in chains to 
Jerusalem for trial. Such a warrant would, of course, need endorse- 
ment, but Saul does not appear to have felt the slightest doubt 
that he would obtain the exequatur of the civil authority. Who 
this was is not quite certain ; but Aretas, who within three years 
was so anxious to apprehend Saul himself on the same charge of 
Christianity, was possibly already master of the city. 

That Saul was the prime mover and instigator of this violent 


measure appears from the fact that from the moment of his con- 
version the persecution ceased. Not only in Samaria and Galilee 
but in Judaea, the legitimate sphere of the Sanhedrin's power, the 
Churches had rest and were edified. From this time the anger of 
the Jewish powers seems to have concentrated itself with undying 
animosity on the head of him whom they regarded as the great 
renegade and traitor, and the chief enemy of the sacred law. 
When Saul revisited Jerusalem for the first time after his conversion, 
we read that the Jews "went about to slay him." Some years 
later, Herod Agrippa, perhaps taking occasion of discontent excited 
by the famine in the reign of Claudius, vexed certain of the Church, 
beheaded St. James, and imprisoned St. Peter. Peter was released 
by an angel, and " went into another place," — fled for refuge, prob- 
ably, to some spot outside Herod's jurisdiction. But the king died 
shortly afterwards, the persecution did not outlive him, and as 
far as we can gather from Acts, the Christians in Judaea lived a 
quiet life till Paul, no longer Saul, reappeared upon the scene, after 
the end of his third mission journey. On this occasion, again, the 
fury of the Jews seems to have bent itself entirely against the 
Apostle of the Gentiles, whom they would undoubtedly have killed, 
if they had not been prevented by the Roman government. 

St. Luke, however, tells us little of the condition of the Church 
in Jerusalem from the time when St. Paul began his mission labours. 
There are some words in the First Epistle to the Thessalonians 
which may point to troubles of which we do not read in the Book 
of Acts — " For ye, brethren, became followers of the Churches of 
God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus : for ye also have suffered 
like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the 
Jews " (I ii. 14). There was probably many a scourging and many 
an imprisonment of which we have no record. Even without these 
penalties a people like the Jews, in which the Church is identical 
with the nation, has the power of inflicting, by excommunication 
and social outlawry, sufferings of a very poignant kind. No doubt 
this power was used then, as it is now in India. 

In the countries which St. Paul traversed as a missionary he was 
far away from the domains of the Sanhedrin, yet even here his 
enemies were able to reach him. They drove him out of Antioch 
and Iconium, and stoned him at Lystra. Even in Europe, at 
Thessalonica, Beroea, and Corinth, they were strong enough to 
occasion dangerous tumults. But in Greece the Jewish law was 
held in scanty reverence. Any disturbance came immediately 
before a Gentile magistrate, whose sole care was for the maintenance 
of order. A high official, like Gallio, would not at this time dream 
of going into points of theology ; the only question he would ask 
would be, who began the brawl, and the answer might be anything 
but satisfactory to the ruler of the synagogue. But at Philippi, and 


again at Ephesus, we catch sight of one result of the new faith 
which led instantly to serious trouble, and was fraught with evil 
consequences in the future. Nearly every way in which a man 
gained his living in the Greco-Roman world was connected with 
idolatry, but the law insisted that every man should be allowed to 
gain his living without interference. At Philippi, Paul and Silas 
were flogged and imprisoned for stopping the trade of some men 
who kept a slave-girl to tell fortunes, and it is curious to notice that 
these rogues were the first to formulate the real crime of the Christian 
missiorary. They charged the apostles not with disloyalty to Caesar, 
but with " teaching customs which it is not lawful for us to receive, 
neither to observe, being Romans." They had seen at a glance, 
with the keen eye of a disappointed tradesman, that heathenism 
and Christianity were two incompatible lives. Later on the same 
cause brought the apostle into collision with the silversmiths of 
Ephesus, who drove a profitable trade in silver images of Artemis. 
These men also found their receipts falling off, and at once appealed 
to mob-law. We read no more of these incidents, but it is evident 
that we have here a cause of hostility which would be immediately 
and universally operative. In every town and village where Chris- 
tianity struck root the local tradesman would find his custom 
diminished, and his shop placed under what we have learned to 
call a boycott. He would protest against this, and the magistrate 
would be quite ready to help him with a strong hand. 

The references to persecution in the Epistles of St. Paul are in 
the same key as those in the Pauline chapters of the Book of Acts. 
In Thessalonians we read of afflictions, persecutions, and tribulations 
(I i. 6, ii. 2, 14, iii. 3 ; II i. 4). The apostle is afraid that his novices 
may be " moved " by these trials ; but the phrases he employs 
and the tone in which he speaks are such as might be employed of 
the sufferings, for instance, of a Hindu convert in British India. 
In Galatians we find only the words "did ye suffer so much in 
vain?" In Romans we read how Priscilla and Aquila had laid 
down their own necks for the apostle's life; in order to save 
St. Paul they had brought themselves into some real danger of 
death either at Corinth (Acts xviii. 12) or at Ephesus (Acts xix. 23), 
and there is a passing allusion to the sword (Rom. viii. 35), which 
is perhaps not to be interpreted literally. In Corinthians, St. Paul 
appeals repeatedly to his own sufferings as the seal of his commission 
(I iv. 9, XV. 32 ; II iv. 9, vi. 5, xi. 23). Some of these passages 
show that the narrative of St. Luke gives a very inadequate idea 
of the apostle's persecutions. It may well be that the Jews were 
fiercer against St. Paul than against the other apostles, and that 
he had really more to bear; certainly he claims this distinction 
(II xi. 23) ; and again his words may be used to show how much 
pain was endured by the early believers in silence. But the 


apostle does not speak as if the Corinthians themselves had much 
to fear. 

In the Epistles of the Captivity and the Pastoral Epistles we 
perceive the same tone. The apostle speaks naturally of his own 
chain and his own fears. He exhorts the Philippians (i. 28-30) 
not only to believe on Christ, but also to suffer for His sake ; but 
the exhortation is not specially pressing or urgent. Even in his 
second captivity he speaks of his own death as imminent (2 Tim. 
iv. 6), but gives no indication of any special peril hanging over the 
heads of the brethren. They dared not stand by him at his first 
answer (/^/^. 16); but the apostle would hardly have blamed their 
timidity, if Nero's fury against the Church had already declared 

So far it would seem as if the ordinary Christian, though he had 
much to bear, was not confronted by any perils, except such as a 
sincere and resolute believer might be expected to overcome. In 
the Epistle to the Hebrews we come upon an entirely different state 
of things. The Epistle comes from a Church where many were in 
bonds, and many were bearing great sufferings {KaKovxovixevot), and 
its language is marked by that stem solemnity which betokens the 
imminence of the supreme moment. The Hebrews are warned 
against apostasy, as a quite possible and yet absolutely unforgivable 
offence, worse than any death (vi. 6, x. 26-39). So far they had 
done well ; they had taken joyfully the spoiling of their goods. But a 
worse and more fearful trial was at hand. And at last we come to 
the decisive words : " Ye have not yet resisted unto blood." 

Here we have a new language. The time has arrived when 
Christians saw their property confiscated by process of law, and 
when not apostles only, but everybody must make up his mind 
whether he was or was not ready to shed his blood for the Name's 
sake. The State has drawn the sword. What is the particular 
persecution referred to we cannot say, but it was clearly widely 
spread. It was in full action in the Church from which the letter 
came, and it had begun in the Church to which the letter is 
addressed. It may very well have been the persecution of Nero. 

The Apocalypse was, no doubt, written later. Many had been 
slain for the word of God (vi. 9), one of them, Antipas, at Pergamos, 
(ii. 13). Rome was drunken with the blood of the saints, and with 
the blood of the martyrs of Jesus (xvii. 6, xviii. 24). We need not 
ask whether this language refers to the time of Nero or of Domitian. 
The point is that it is quite different from the language of Acts or of 
the Pauline Epistles. Christian blood had been shed deliberately, 
not by Jews, but by the pagan government. The fact caused an 
indescribable shock of horror, alarm, and execration. After this no 
Christian could speak of tribulation or persecution in the same tone 
as before. 


What kind of language, then, is used on this subject in the First 
Epistle of St. Peter? 

Christians were spoken against as evil-doers (ii. 12). So they 
were in the time of Nero (Tac. Ann. xv. 44), and so they had been 
by the masters of the Philippian slave-girl. They suffered reproach 
for the name of Christ (iv. 14). So also did the apostles in the 
very first days of the Church (Acts v. 41). They were to be ready 
to give an answer to every man that asked a reason of their hope 
(iii. 15), and even to suffer for righteousness' sake (iii. 14; compare 
Matt. V. 10-12). Suffering in St. Peter's mind does not by any 
means necessarily extend to death, even when it is spoken of in 
immediate connexion with the death of Christ. Thus we read : 
" Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm 
yourselves likewise with the same mind : for he that hath suffered 
in the flesh hath ceased from sin ; that he no longer should live the 
rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of 
God " (iv. T, 2). There is but one passage that seems to go beyond 
these : " Let none of you suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or an evil- 
doer, or as a meddler in strange matters (dAAorpioeTrio-KOTros ; see 
note on the passage) ; but if as a Christian, let him not be ashamed ; 
but let him glorify God in this name." It is urged that murderers 
were put to death by process of law, and that, therefore, the Chris- 
tian who is coupled with them must have been in the same danger. 
But thieves were not put to death, not to speak of " busybodies " 
(or whatever the word so translated may mean). And suffering, as 
has already been pointed out, need not by any means imply loss of 
life. The passage is, beyond a doubt, ambiguous, to say the least, 
and St. Peter could not have spoken ambiguously, if both himself 
and those whom he addresses were in imminent peril of the death 
sentence. If we recall the language of the Epistle to the Hebrews 
and of the Apocalypse, it seems quite clear that Christian blood 
had not been shed in any formal systematic way by the Roman 
g>)vernment at the time when St. Peter wrote. 

Professor Ramsay, in his Church in the Roman Empire^ maintains 
that not only is State persecution referred to in the Epistle, but that 
this persecution had already entered on a later and more formidable 
stage. He holds that " Nero introduced the principle of punishing 
the Christians " on the ground that " certain acts which all Christians 
were regularly guilty of were worthy of death" (p. 244); in other 
words, that at first Christians were executed for what Pliny calls the 
flagitia cohaerentia nomint, the crimes and moral offences which 
were popularly believed to be practised in secret by all members of 
the Church. But between 75 and 80 a.d., under the reign of the 
Flavian emperors, a new form of process was adopted. Henceforth 
the Christian was condemned propter nomen ipsu7n. No charge of 
crime or immorality was brought against him ; he was simply asked, 


" Are you a Christian ? " Further, the Christian was placed in the 
same class as the sacrilegi, latrones, plagiarii, fares, who were to be 
hunted out by the Roman governors in pursuance of their standing 
instructions {Digest, i. i8. 13); and in whose case no definite accuser 
was needed. Trajan by his famous Rescript adopted in the main 
the Flavian policy, but ameliorated the position of the Church in 
so far as he forbade the governors to seek out Christians, and 
required proceedings against them to be set on foot by an informer 
who should give his name and take responsibility for his action. 
Thus the Rescript "marks the end of the old system of uncom- 
promising hostility." In conclusion, Mr. Ramsay thinks that the 
First Epistle of St. Peter was written "soon after Vespasian's 
resumption of the Neronian policy in a more precise and definite 
form," probably about 80 a.d. (see Church in Roman Empire^ 
p. i96sqq.). 

But this elaborate argument is really baseless. There is no 
evidence whatever that a new form of procedure against Christianity 
was adopted by the Flavians. Mr. Ramsay builds his view almost 
entirely on the words of St. Peter, " If ye be reproached for the 
name of Christ" (iv. 14), which he regards as substantially identical 
with the phrase of Pliny, propter ipsum nome?t, " for the name alone," 
and takes as meaning that Christians at this time were punished as 
such, and not as evil-doers. But St. Peter tells us that Christians 
were regarded as evil-doers (ii. 12), and he says, "for the name," not 
"for the name alone." It is surely obvious that, whatever the 
pagan might say, the Christian would from the first regard the 
sufferings entailed by his profession as borne " for the name " and 
for no other cause, however the true issue might be disguised by 
the malice or prejudice of his adversaries. Nor, again, can Mr. 
Ramsay be right in maintaining that Pliny followed a mode of pro- 
cedure marked out for him by the Flavian cognitiones. Pliny 
expressly says that he did not know anything about the method 
which had been pursued in these cases. He invented a method for 
himself, and the object of his despatch is to obtain from Trajan 
a sanction for what he had done, and a clear direction for his future 
guidance in a matter which had proved much more serious than he 
anticipated. Certain persons had been definitely informed against 
as Christians {deferebantiir). These he simply asked, three times 
over, whether they were Christians, warning them at the same time 
of the consequences of their reply. Those who persisted in their 
faith he ordered for immediate execution {duci iussi), except some 
who were Roman citizens ; these he directed to be sent to Rome 
for trial there. Here we have an instance of the regular three 
summonses, disobedience to which constituted the offence of con- 
tumacia {Digest, xlii. i. 53). Pliny possessed the undefined and 
formidable power of coerciiio. He simply ordered these unfortunate 


people to give up their faith, and, on their refusal, dealt with them as 
rebels. Later on, an anonymous accuser posted up or sent to Pliny 
a list of many names of persons who were liable to the same charge. 
These Pliny examined ; clearly he had taken alarm at the magnitude 
of the task before him. Some denied that they were or ever had 
been Christians ; these he ordered to worship the gods and Caesar, 
and especially to "curse Christ," and, on their compliance, dis- 
missed. Others asserted that, though they had been Christians, 
they had ceased to be so. When these also had justified themselves 
by the same tests, Pliny proceeded to find out from them, what one 
would think he might have tried to learn at an earlier stage of the 
proceedings, what Christianity really was. They told him that it 
was not a conspiracy but a religion, that it consisted in the worship 
of Christ as God, that there were no flagitia at all, and that the 
reason why they had left the Church was, that the religious practices 
of Christians conflicted with the law against clubs or guilds 
{hetaeriae). Pliny obtained corroboration of this statement by 
putting to the torture two slave-women, who were possibly deacon- 
esses {quae mints trae dicebantur). Upon the whole, he came to the 
conclusion that Christianity was nothing worse than a debased 
and extravagant superstition. And so he turns to the emperor and 
asks whether he had done right ; whether he is to punish Christianity 
as such {nomen ipsuni), or only wicked and criminal Christians 
{fiagitia cohaerentia nomini) ; whether Christianity is a crime like 
murder, for which repentance is no atonement, or a merely religious 
offence, which change of mind wipes out ; and, lastly, whether it 
admits of degrees and distinctions, or whether all offenders, man 
and woman, young and old, are to be treated with the same 

Trajan replies that Pliny has acted rightly, and proceeds to state 
certain rules for his future guidance. Christianity is not a crime 
like others, and no definite formula can be laid down. Christians 
are not to be hunted out, like notorious malefactors, by the police. 
The contumacious are to be put to death ; those who recant may be 
discharged. But anonymous accusations are on no account to be 
received. They are bad in themselves, and the spirit of the age 
condemns them. 

In these last words the emperor administers a severe and well- 
merited rebuke to Pliny. But Pliny's despatch throughout is as 
silly and helpless a production as was ever penned. First he puts 
men to death without inquiry, then he inquires, and then he does 
not know what to do. We can gather little from him for our 
present purpose beyond the fact that cognitiones had been held 
upon Christians in Rome, probably not long before and not 

The precise effect of Trajan's Rescript has been much debated 


Some have held that it altered the position of the Christian for the 
better, some for the worse. It may be maintained that it made no 
difference at all. " So far as I can see," says Professor Harnack, 
"Tertullian is the only independent witness for the Rescript in 
ecclesiastical literature." It is not mentioned in the Rescript of 
Hadrian. In the Vienna persecution the proconsul acted without 
any reference to it ; " sought out " Christians ; listened to charges of 
" Thyestean banquets and Oedipodean incest " ; tortured Blandina, 
Sanctus, Biblias, Pothinus, to ascertain the truth of these horrid 
stories, just as Pliny had done ; finally, wrote to Rome for instruc- 
tions, and received much the same answer as Pliny (Eus. H. E.w. i. 
14, 19, 20, 25, 29, 44, 47, 52). It is not clear what was the force 
of a Rescript in the time of Trajan. Gaius, writing under Marcus 
Aurelius, says that it has never been doubted that a Rescript has 
the force of law ; yet again he tells us that a letter from the emperor 
had not always a general application (Gaius, i. 2, 5, 73, in Huschke, 
lurisprudentiae anteiustinianae quae super sunt ^ pp. 171, 189 — the text 
in the last passage is uncertain). Before the time of Hadrian there 
are very few traces of general rescripts (see the Index Fontium at the 
end of Huschke), and they seem to be unknown to Tacitus. The 
Emperor Macrinus, who was an accomplished lawyer (see his Life in 
Hist. Aug. chap. 13), at one time thought of repealing all the 
rescripts of his predecessors, " saying it was monstrous that the will 
of Commodus and Caracallus and other ignorant men should be 
counted law, when Trajan never answered petitions {cum Traianus 
numquam libellis responderit)." Macrinus was thinking, perhaps, 
rather of favours or exemptions granted by rescript ; but he could 
hardly have said what he did if Trajan's rescripts laid down general 
rules, modified accepted methods of procedure, and formed a new 
law to be followed in all similar cases. 

At any rate it seems clear that Trajan's Rescript was not pub- 
lished, or was not included in the directions given to provincial 
governors. It was not known at Vienna ; just as another rescript 
referred to by Tertullian {ad Scapulam, 4), by which Christians were 
ordered to be beheaded, not burnt alive, was not known, or not 
obeyed, in his province. 

Yet Trajan's words clearly dictate a sterner line of conduct than 
Pliny would probably have followed if left to himself What the 
emperor approves is Pliny's treatment of his first batch of prisoners. 
Pliny had inquired into ihQflagttia. But Trajan tells him that this 
is mere waste of time ; the offence is the nomen ipsum. Gradually, 
as the issues of the struggle between paganism and the Church 
became clearer, this rule prevailed. The Christian was not allowed 
to plead his loyalty or his moral innocence. His mouth was shut, 
and his trial resolved itself into a plain yes or no. Hence the bitter 
complaints of the Apologists that the Christian, unlike all other 


offenders, was punished for a mere name (Justin, Apol. i. 4 ; 
Athenagoras, Suppl. 2 j Tatian, Oratio ad Graecos, 2 7 ; Theo- 
philus Antioch. i. i j Tertullian, ApoL i). The best illustration of 
the justice of these complaints may be found in the Acts of the 
SciUita?i Martyrs (the date is a.d. 180; see the text in Texts and 
Studies^ edit. J. A. Robinson, p. 112 sqq., Cambridge, 189 1). 

We have been wandering rather far afield in the latter part of 
this discussion. But the reader who will consider the Rescript 
of Trajan, the way in which Tacitus speaks of the Neronian per- 
secution {Annals, xv. 44), the language of the Apocalypse and even 
of the Epistle to the Hebrews, will feel that the First Epistle of 
St. Peter must come in point of date before them all. At the time 
when it was written Babylon had not yet unmasked all its terrors, 
and the ordinary Christian was not in immediate danger of the 
tunica ardens^ or the red-hot iron chair, or the wild beasts, or the 



It has been argued in preceding sections that i Peter was 
probably not composed by the hand of the apostle himself — that, 
though the ideas of the Epistle are those of St. Peter, the words, to 
a degree which cannot be precisely ascertained, belong to his 
draughtsman — that the resemblances of expression between i Peter 
and the Pauline Epistles turn upon phrases and topics of a 
commonplace kind, do not include any of the favourite words, 
ideas, or metaphors of St. Paul, and generally are not such as to 
prove a literary use of any of the Pauline Epistles by the author 
or composer of i Peter, and that the language of i Peter on the 
subject of Christian suffering is such as to lead to the conclusion 
that our Epistle was written before the outbreak of the Neronian 
persecution. We may now turn to another topic, the realisation of 
the Christian idea as it is presented to us in i Peter. The question 
is of some interest as regards the date, but may be called vital as 
regards the authenticity of the Epistle. Does i Peter represent, as 
has been said, " a step in the process by which Pauline ideas passed 
into the consciousness of the Church " ? If so, the author may have 
been a very good man, but he was certainly not St. Peter, though 
he decked himself with the apostle's name. This opinion is, how- 
ever, widely entertained by scholars of great authority. Professor 
Harnack (Chronologie, p. 452) holds that "the author of i Peter is 
thoroughly imbued with the spirit of Pauline Christianity," and 
many other scholars use terms implying that he was a docile but 
not very intelligent disciple of the one great apostle. Indeed, many 
go further still, and regard St. Paul as having given such a stamp, 


such a direction and impulse to Christianity, that he might without 
impropriety be called its founder. It must be of importance to get 
clear ideas upon this point. 

Let us endeavour, then, to see what is the agreement, and what is 
the disagreement, between St. Paul and St. Peter. It will be argued 
in the following pages that in what we may call dogma the two 
apostles are substantially in accord ; that in the practical sphere St. 
Peter differs widely from St. Paul, not as one who misufiderstands a 
teacher, but as one who looks at things from a different point of 
view. It will be argued also, and this is a point that is usually 
passed over, that, where the two differ, St. Peter stands perceptibly 
nearer to the evangelists and to the Book of Acts. We may 
venture to assume here that Acts is a genuine history, written by 
St. Luke, an educated, intelligent, sincere man, who had personal 
knowledge of much that he relates, and took pains to inform 
himself about the rest. 

It is of the highest importance that we should study the 
differences between the sacred writers. As yet this task has hardly 
been attempted except by Baur and Ritschl with their respective 
followers. Baur was a Hegelian, and the Hegelian theory of 
history, with its perpetual thesis and antithesis, led him to imagine 
that there were great differences in dogma between the Twelve and 
St. Paul. Yet Hegelianism has the great merit of giving to Art, 
Knowledge, and Discipline their true value as means of education. 
Ritschl was a Kantian, and Kantism may be called the philosophy 
of Lutheranism. From the Kantian point of view Art, Knowledge, 
and Discipline have no religious worth, and the one thing necessary 
is Faith. Hence the disciplinary system of i Peter is to be 
regarded as a degradation or misapprehension of the Pauline view 
of freedom. On the other hand, theologians as a rule have refused 
to see any differences at all. One school has interpreted the whole 
of the New Testament in terms of St. Peter, another in terms of 
St, Paul. Since the time of Mr. Maurice there has been a strong 
tendency in England to make St. John the norm. But the duty of 
the critic is neither to separate things which are the same, nor to 
confuse things which are different. Harmonising, as it is wrongly 
called, is the more pressing danger of the two. Out of it flow all 
our mutual excommunications, and by it we impoverish the rich 
variety of the Christian life. 

There are, as is well known, grave practical differences between 
eminent and sincere Christians. Is it absurd to maintain that these 
differences have always existed, that they are to be found in the 
Gospels, that they correspond to the ancient and inevitable distinc- 
tion between the Realist and the Nominalist, that they caused as 
much heat in primitive times as in our own, that they brought even 
apostles into sharp antagonisms, that in effect St. Peter was the first 


great High Churchman, and St. Paul the first great Low Church- 
man ? At any rate we may look at matters from this point of view, 
and endeavour to ascertain how far it is in agreement with facts. 

That the dogmatic teaching of the two apostles was identical we 
know on indisputable authority, that of St. Paul himself. In the 
Conference at Jerusalem the apostles " added nothing to him," in 
other words they approved his creed, there was no dispute about 
the essential points of the truth of the gospel (Gal. ii. 6). And at 
a moment when St. Paul's feelings were warmly excited, and he was 
the less likely to minimise differences, he based his rebuke of St. 
Peter on the very fact that in theology they occupied common 
ground: "We, who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the 
Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the 
law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ" (Gal. ii. 15, 16). Such words 
could not possibly have been uttered and written down, after time 
for reflexion had intervened, if St. Paul had been divided from St. 
Peter by such a gulf as Baur imagined. 

Let us endeavour to see how the matter stands. It will be well 
to begin by considering how far the theology of the Epistle agrees 
with the doctrine of St. Peter, as he is depicted by St. Luke in the 
Book of Acts. The following points call for notice. In Acts (ii. 
22) St Peter calls the Saviour 'Irjaovv rov Na^wpatov. In the 
Epistle the name Jesus is not used by itself, and the nickname 
" Nazoraean " has given way to the other nickname " Christian " 
(see note on i Pet. iv. 16). In the Epistle we do not find the 
phrase Trai? ©eoO (Acts iii. 13) ; but the passage of Isaiah, from which 
the phrase is taken, is constantly before the writer's eyes. Much 
significance has been found in two expressions that are used by St. 
Peter in Acts — avBpa dTroScSccy/icvov airb Tov ®€ov (ii. 22), and KvpLov 
avTov Koi XpLo-rov 6 0e6s iTroCrjdi (ii. 36) — which have been thought to 
involve what was afterwards known as the Adoptianist view. But 
they do not necessarily involve it, and language of precisely the 
same character is found in the Epistle to the Hebrews, the author 
of which was certainly not an Adoptianist (i. 2, ov eOrjKc KX-qpovo/xov 
TrdvTOiVf Bl ov kol cTTOiT^cre rovs ataij/as : 4, KpeLTToyv yevofievos twv 
ayyiXwv : iii. 2, *lr]crovv ttlcttov ovra r(3 iroi-qcravTi avrov). The 
relation between the divine and human natures of our Lord is not 
expressed in the New Testament with the precision insisted upon 
by later theology. Even St. John writes that " the Word became 
flesh " (i. 1 4), and in the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs we 
find phrases that might seem to involve psilanthropism side by side 
with others that might be interpreted as Sabellianism (see Sinker's 
Introduction^ p. 91 sqq.). But the broad similarity between the 
Peter of the Acts and the Peter of the Epistle is so strong that it far 
outweighs these verbal differences. In Acts, as in the Epistle, Jesus 
was crucified by the foreknowledge of God (Acts ii. 23) ; God hath 


raised Him up, and now He is exalted at the right hand of God (ii. 
32, 33), to return once more at the restitution of all things and 
judge both quick and dead (x. 42). Even the most striking pecu- 
liarity of the Epistle, the Descent into Hell, is implicitly contained 
in the quotation from Ps. xvi. (Acts ii. 25 sqq.), which is not applied 
to our Lord elsewhere in the New Testament. To Christ, again, all 
the prophets give witness (x. 43) ; He is Lord of all (x. 36), and for 
His Name the disciples suffer shame (v. 41). 

The last two passages are of the greatest importance. In the 
Epistle " the word of the living God " is " the word of the Lord " 
(i. 23, 25), and also the word of the spirit of Christ which spoke in 
the prophets (i. 11). Again, the Lord of the Psalmist is Christ 
(ii. 3). Thus the Name of Christ for which the Christian suffers 
reproach (iv. 14), is that same Name of the Lord on which whoso- 
ever calleth shall be saved, the only Name given under heaven 
among men whereby they can be saved (Acts ii. 21, iv. 12). It is 
St. Paul's "Name that is above every name" (Eph. i. 21; Phil. 
ii. 9), and it is identified in many places with the Divine Name in 
the Old Testament. 

There is, in fact, no theological difference of any moment 
between the Peter of the Episde and the Peter of Acts, nor, on the 
other hand, between St. Peter and St. Paul. Our Epistle opens with 
the Three Names of the Trinity, and assigns to each a distinct 
part in the redemption of mankind. God is the God and Father of 
our Lord Jesus Christ, as in Eph. i. 3 and in the Gospel of St. 
John XX. 17. He is also our Father (i. 17), as Creator (iv. 19), and 
Regenerator (i. 3). To Him belong foreknowledge and election 
(i. 2), judgment (i. 17), great mercy (i. 3), our calling (v. 10) and 
stablishing because He is the giver of all grace. The Son is Lord 
(i. 3), in such a sense that passages used in the Old Testament of 
Jehovah may without fear be applied to Him (ii. 3). To Him a 
doxology is addressed (iv. 11). He it was that inspired the 
prophets (i. 11). He was the spotless Lamb by whose blood we 
are redeemed (i. 19). He suffered for us, the just for the unjust 
(iii. 18). He was our sin-offering and expiation (ii. 24, iii. 18), and 
is our Pattern (ii. 21), Shepherd (ii. 25), and Overseer. He de- 
scended into Hades to preach to the dead (iii. 19, iv. 6), ascended 
into heaven, is on the right hand of God (iii. 22), and shall come 
again in the Revelation of Glory to bestow the amaranthine crown 
(v. 4). The Spirit is one of the Three (i. 2), and a Person, for 
TTvevfjia in our Epistle means a personality (see below), who was 
" sent" from heaven to forward the preaching of the gospel (i. 12). 
He sanctifies (i. 2), and rests upon the Christian (iv. 14), as the 
Spirit of glory and of God. 

Two points only are peculiar to St. Peter — the preaching in 
Hades, which is probably alluded to in Matt, xxvii. 51, 52, and 


possibly in Eph. iv. 9 ; and the inspiration of prophecy by Christ, 
which may be found without great difficulty in 2 Cor. iii. 7 sqq. 
We can therefore easily understand the appeal made by St. Paul to 
St. Peter at Antioch on the ground of their common belief. The 
creed was the same, though the manner in which it expressed itself 
in conduct might be very different. 

For all those terms that we use in theology may be employed in 
two senses, the Mystic and the Disciplinarian. These two words 
denote not a difference in the thing believed, but a difference in the 
way of believing it. Let us try to make this clear without going too 
far into metaphysics. 

A Disciplinarian is one who hears God speaking to him ; a 
Mystic is one who feels the presence of God within. The former 
says, "Christ is my Saviour, Shepherd, Friend, my Judge, my 
Rewarder " ; the latter says, " Not I live, but Christ liveth in me." 
The former sedulously distinguishes the human personality from the 
divine ; the latter desires to sink his own personality in the divine. 
Hence the leading Disciplinarian ideas are Grace considered as a 
gift. Law, Learning, Continuity, Godly Fear — in all these human 
responsibility is kept steadily in view. But the leading Mystic ideas 
are Grace as an indwelling power. Freedom, the Inner Light, 
Discontinuity (Law and Gospel, Flesh and Spirit, World and God), 
and Love. Nothing is more difficult than to define these two 
tendencies in the abstract, because they run into one another in 
shapes of manifold diversity. Yet it is easy in practice to see the 
difference between, for instance, William Laud and George Fox. 
A great part of the difficulty of discrimination arises from the fact 
that many people use mystic language, though they are really and 
truly disciplinarians. 

Now this is just the difference of which we are sensible in 
reading the Pauline and the Petrine Epistles. Let us compare 
the two theologies from this point of view. 

In I Peter, God though full of mercy (i. 3), and the giver of all 
grace (v. 10), is above all holy (i. 15), and mighty (v. 6); our 
chastening Father, who sends suffering for our good (iv. 19, v. 
5 sqq.) ; the just Judge (i. 1 7) ; and on all these accounts He is to 
be feared with godly fear (i. 17, ii. 17). St. Peter does not speak 
of loving God, though Christians love Christ with joy unspeakable 
(i. 8). Throughout the Epistle the attitude is one of profound 
awe and reverence. Bishop Butler was a true disciple of St. 

On the other hand, St. Paul's thought tends rather to the love 
of God, to joy in God (Rom. v. 8, viii. 39) ; and God is not merely 
Judge, Rewarder, Father, but that infinite and eternal Spirit who 
shall one day fill all things, and in whom all things shall find 
perfect rest (i Cor. xv. 28). St. Peter teaches that after this life 


we shall meet God, and that this must be an awful thought even 
to the righteous (iv. i8). St. Paul rejoices in the expectation of 
knowing even as we are known, and seeing face to face ( i Cor. xiii. 
12, 13). It is sufficient briefly to refer to those many passages 
where St. Paul dwells on the unity of the believer with God in 
Christ (i Cor. vi. 17). 

Both these views of the spiritual life have been taken by great 
saints, and both are to be found in the Gospels. What we are to 
observe is that St. Paul's view is the more mystical, and that St. 
Peter's view is the more disciplinarian. It will be remembered 
with what sympathy St. Paul quoted upon the Areopagus the words 
of the Greek mystic — "For in Him we live, and move, and have 
our being ; as certain also of your own poets have said. For we are 
also His offspring." 

This general difference of intention makes itself felt at every 
point. We may select by way of illustration a few striking instances. 

Take ttlo-tls. St. Paul uses this word in more than one shade 
of meaning, and nowhere exactly defines it. Yet we may say that 
to him it signifies much more than loving trust. It is the comfort- 
able sense of the Lord's presence in the heart, whereby the believer 
is able to say, " Yet I live ; and yet no longer I, but Christ liveth 
in me : and that life which now I live in the flesh I live in faith, 
the faith which is in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave 
Himself up for me " (Gal. ii. 20). It is because of this mystic sense 
of faith as producing a real unifying contact between the soul and 
Christ, that St. Paul is able to speak of the believer as justified by 
faith and not by works of law. He is so justified because he has 
within him the Source of life and righteousness, because by faith 
he is one with the Risen Lord. 

Now, compare the language of St. Paul with that of St. James, 
" By works a man is justified, and not by faith only." St. James 
has been harmonised with St. Paul, but only by force. It is palpable 
that the two use "faith" and "justify" in different senses. St. 
Peter says that good conduct is thankworthy (ii. 19), that the 
righteous man is hardly saved (iv. 18); and these phrases imply a 
similar conception to that of St. James. Conduct is something ; 
it springs from the motive, and receives its value from the motive ; 
yet at the same time it reacts upon the motive. In the view of 
St. Paul, action is merely the sign of the inspiration within, and has 
no other value ; in that of St. Peter and St. James it is not merely 
the sign of faith, but the necessary condition of a higher and stronger 
faith. Neither St. Peter nor St. James would have denied that the 
Christian is saved by faith, though probably they would not have 
said that he is justified by faith (cf. i Pet. i. 5, 9 with Gal. ii. 16). 
But to them faith is not so much the presence of God in the heart, 
as the steadfast will to follow God through all the trials of life. The 


practical difference between these two conceptions of the same 
thing is very great indeed, as we know from history, 

St. Peter does not define Faith, but he uses the word in the 
same sense as the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews. " Faith 
is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not 
seen ... he that cometh unto God must believe that He is, and 
that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him " (Heb. 
xi. I, 6). It is not merely belief, which may be non-moral or 
even immoral (Jas. ii. 19), but strong conviction, carrying with it 
trustful obedience in the midst of trials which we do not under- 
stand, godly fear, and the love of Christ. It is not salvation, but 
it is the way to salvation (i Pet. i. 9); it destroys sin, but only 
through patience under suffering (i Pet. iv. i). Strong conviction 
is its beginning, but the blessing of God rests upon the disposition 
which it produces, on the conduct in which it finds expression. St. 
Peter's conception of faith we may say is simpler, more Hebrew, 
more evangelical, than that of St. Paul. His Faith is that which 
we find expressed in Ps. cxix. 

Or take again the word x^pt?. From the mystical Pauline point 
of view Faith and Grace are really the same thing ; they differ only 
in so far as the divine immanence, the unity between God and man, 
must have an earthward as well as a heavenward side. Faith is 
Grace, the inner life, the divine life manifesting itself in man ; and 
the gifts of Grace (xapia-fxaTa) are those spiritual supernatural 
infusions which testify to the immediate presence of the Holy 
Ghost (Rom. i. 11, vi. 23; i Cor. xii. ; even in Rom. xii. 6 the 
idea is the same). In St. Peter, Grace is not the life, but anything 
that conduces to the life, any gift of the personal God to the 
personal man, any good thing whatever that comes down to us 
from the merciful Father — the gospel (i. 10), the promised joy of 
heaven (i. 13), or life (iii. 7), or money and the power of dispensing 
hospitality (iv. 9, 10). Grace is the bounty, or mercy, or favour 
of God. Here again St. Peter is more evangelical, more Jewish. 
God is the good Father who bestows ; the Christian is the good 
child, the faithful servant, who receives, and receives more in pro- 
portion to the faithfulness of his service. God's gifts are free, of 
course, but this thought does not trouble St. Peter. He does not 
speculate about it, nor go out of his way to ask why some men 
receive and some do not. God is free, but He is good, and not 
arbitrary, and this suffices for the apostle's simple creed. 

One striking consequence of this theological attitude is, that 
in the mind of St. Peter the future outweighs the present to a much 
greater degree than in that of St. Paul, St. John, or the mystics 
generally. Faith has, indeed, a present assurance in the Spirit of 
glory and of God which "rests upon" the Christian, as the 
Shechinah rested on the tabernacle (iv. 14), and causes joy un- 


speakable and full of glory (i. 8) ; but it is closely allied, indeed 
it is almost the same thing with Hope, as it is also in the Epistle 
to the Hebrews. Here, again, Peter is more evangelical ; and his 
sober patience is just what we should expect in a personal companion 
of Christ's after the day of Ascension. His frame of mind is that 
which is suggested by the later parables in St. Matthew's Gospel. 
The kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country. 
Soon He will return bringing His reward with Him. Meanwhile 
His servants dwell as strangers, as pilgrims, in a world of trouble. 
They are kept through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed 
(i. 5) ; they are to hope perfectly for the grace that is to be brought 
(i. 13); they are to look for the return of the Chief Shepherd with 
the amaranthine crown (v. 4). The Christian has joy, peace, good 
days (iii. 10), but his lot here is one of temptation; and tempta- 
tion is not the bitter strife against evil within, but the crushing 
load of sorrow from without (i. 6, 7). What we mean by temptation 
in our modern phraseology is called by St. Paul d/xaprta, by St. 
Peter iTnOvixCa. The same sense of the inadequacy of the present 
life is to be found, of course, in St. Paul (i Cor. xv. 19); but St. 
Paul had felt a deeper mental anguish, and risen to a more 
triumphant sense of victory than St. Peter. Hence, though he 
prizes hope, he is less oppressed by the deferring of the hope. 

A few words may be added here on the psychological and 
ethical terminology of St. Peter, which is entirely unlike that of 
St. Paul. Hvivixa, as applied to man, denotes his soul as a whole, 
considered as immaterial and immortal. It is used of disembodied 
spirits (iii. 19), and is opposed to aap^ as mind to body. In one 
place (iii. 4, ■f}(TV)(Lov Trvcv/Aaros) it signifies merely disposition or 
temper. But St. Peter never employs it, as St. Paul frequently 
does, to denote inspiration, or the faculty through which man is 
capable of inspiration. He does not distinguish it from xl/vxq (cf. 
I Thess. v. 23 ; I Cor. xv. 45, 46) or from vous (cf. i Cor. xiv. 
14, 15). Two very important points are here involved. One has 
already been noticed, that, as applied to the Holy Spirit, 7rvev/Aa must 
certainly in i Peter mean Ghost or Personality. The other is that 
St. Peter could not say, as St. Paul does, " the spiritual man judgeth 
all things." Both the phrase and the idea are foreign to him. He 
points no antithesis between Trvevjxa and ypa/A/xa, nor, in an ethical 
sense, between Trvivjxa and o-ap^. Indeed, in the First Epistle o-ap^ 
has no moral significance at all ; it means simply the body (cf., how- 
ever, 2 Pet. ii. 10, 18), though the desires belong to the flesh (ii. 11). 
Kocr/xos also is simply the world (i. 20, v. 9), not the evil world, 
^vx^, again, denotes the whole inner nature of man, the principle 
of life, the personality (see i. 9, 22, ii. 25, iii. 20, iv. 19). It does 
not bear the sense of the lower life of sense or carnal understand- 
ing, opposed to the higher life of reason or intelligence ; hence such 



phrases as i/'v^tKos avOpioiro's (i Cor. ii. 14), a-w/xa xf/vxt'Kov {ibid. 
XV. 44), do not, and indeed could not, occur. *i;x^ is, in fact, the 
very word which St. Peter uses throughout of the soul in relation 
to the religious life. Besides these words, we have Siaroia (i. 13), 
ei/vota (iv. i), eTnOvixiai (i. 14, ii. II, iv. 2, 3), and the Hebraistic 
KapSia (i. 2 2, iii. 4, 15). It is a simple, slender, rather archaic list 
of words, just sufficient for the author's purpose, taken from common 
usage, and clearly untinged by speculation. 

It has been pointed out in the foregoing paragraphs that the 
Petrine theology regards God as the object of Christian thought, 
aspiration, worship, rather than of experience, possession, inner 
realisation ; that it dwells on the transcendental nature and majesty 
of God, rather than on the mystic union between God and the 
beUever. St. Peter does not, indeed, fail to do justice to the 
experimental side of the religious life ; his people have " tasted 
that the Lord is good" (ii. 3). Still, his view is predominantly 
objective ; and this is at all times the attitude of the disciplinarian. 
He gives very few details of the religious Hfe as it existed among 
his readers ; this was not his object. But there are in the Epistle 
a certain number of ideas and words belonging to the sphere of 
practical theology; and these all point in the same direction. 
Everything is simple, easy, stamped by plain, pastoral common 
sense ; everything again is conservative ; the Church has advanced 
from its old Hebrew resting-place, but no further than is necessary. 

The first great point that we notice is, that the corruption of man 
is still regarded in the same light as in the Old Testament and the 
Gospels. There is, at any rate, no trace of the Paulhie doctrine of 
inherited sin, and dfiaprLa always means the concrete act, " a sin," 
as in the Synoptic Gospels, not " sinfulness," as in the mystics St. 
Paul and St. John. Even when he is speaking of the saving power 
of Baptism, St. Peter calls moral evil " the filth of the flesh," and 
appears to mean simply that sin is the yielding to those desires 
which have their root in the body. We cannot absolutely infer 
from his silence that he did not know, or did not approve, the 
doctrine of St. Paul, but he certainly is silent. To another very 
important Pauline doctrine, that of Imputation, he makes not the 
slightest allusion, and we may gather with confidence that he would 
not have admitted it without reservation, for he speaks of "the 
righteous man" in exactly the same way as the Psalmist or the 
Book of Proverbs (iv. 18). 

Equally important is the absence of the word Law. There is no 
sign of any difficulty or dispute, nor is any difference whatever made, 
between Jew and Gentile. Both appear to be living in peace, side 
by side under the same authoritative supervision. We may account 
for this remarkable fact in different ways. We may suppose that 
the whole Church was violently agitated by the circumcision dispute, 


and did not settle down in quiet for some years ; and this is the 
view which has been derived from too exclusive a use of the 
Epistles of St. Paul. Or we may suppose that the heat was 
generated by a handful of fanatics, that it was a mere crackling of 
thorns, which never received any support from the Twelve, and died 
away at once ; and this is the view which we should gather from the 
Book of Acts. What St. Paul wrote about the Law, except in 
Galatians, is not directly polemical — it is simply the free expression 
of his mystic belief that all external authority disappeared with the 
advent of the Spirit. That St. Peter did not share this belief is 
abundantly evident ; but why should we expect him to write against 
it ? Or if he was writing against it, how could he do so more properly 
than by such an Epistle as the present ? 

The truth appears to be that, in the mind of St. Peter, Chris- 
tianity itself is a Law, the will of God (ii. 15), the Law fulfilled, 
transfigured, re-established on a surer foundation by Jesus Christ, 
yet still in its eternal elements, in its essential nature as Law, lying 
at the root of all moral life. Hence in St. Peter we find that same 
sense of the continuity of history which is so nobly expressed in 
Hebrews. There has been no rejection of the Jew ; he has simply 
been called like everybody else to move on to a higher plane. There 
is no antithesis between Law and Promise. The titles of the chosen 
people are transferred without hesitation to the Christian community. 
The Christians are priests, kings, a holy nation, the people that God 
always had in view ; they are the Diaspora, pilgrims like Abraham ; 
and all good women are daughters of Sarah. There is no trace of 
bitterness against the Jews. In a word, history flows on from the 
far past to the present in a widening but continuous stream. 

Closely allied to the continuity of the faith is its authority. In 
the view of St. Paul there is no authority except that of the inner 
light ; the spiritual man judgeth all things, and is judged of none. 
Freedom is emancipation from all external control ; it is based on 
that conscious union with God which lifts a man above all precepts 
and ordinances. 

But there is another view that Grace (as John Wesley said) is 
not necessarily Light, and that, at the outset of the spiritual life, 
men must do, not because they understand and love, but in order 
that they may understand and love. 

Here, again, we may test the difference between the apostles at 
many significant points. In the eyes of St. Peter all Christians are 
" babes " (ii. 2) ; it is their natural estate in this life, and to the end 
of their earthly probation they need to be fed with the " milk " of 
God's word. The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, influenced, 
perhaps, by some writer of the same school as Philo, speaks of the 
Catechism as " milk " for babes, and contrasts it with the " strong 
meat," the deeper and wider belief of the grown-up Christian. Still 


he seems to mean that the lower belief of obedience is a natural 
preparation for the higher belief of intelligence, that as a regular 
thing men do rise through the state of Law to the state of Freedom. 
This attitude we may call that of discipHnary mysticism (Heb. v. 1 2, 
13). But to the mind of St. Paul the evil of this lower stage is 
more obvious than its good. " Milk " is the food of the carnal, of 
the weak brother who sets great store by externals, and is always 
ready to quarrel about them. To him the "babe" is not the 
Christian, as to St. Peter, nor the novice, as to the author of 
Hebrews, but the formalist, the disciplinarian (i Cor. iii. i). Ob- 
viously St. Peter would restrict within reasonable limits that right 
of private judgment which St. Paul bestows without reserve on 
all Christians. Notice again the use of the word Troifxaivetv and 
TTOLfxrjv in St. Peter (ii. 25, v. 2, 4). St. Paul hardly uses this 
appropriate metaphor of the Christian pastor (Acts xx. 28; Eph. 
iv. 11), and never applies it to Christ. Another important word is 
ayto9, which in St. Paul is often a noun — all Christians are saints ; 
but in St. Peter is only an adjective — all Christians ought to become 
saints. Or observe how St. Peter directs his people to speak like 
the oracles of God (iv. 11). Scripture is the external norm or 
pattern for all our words. Or, again, how St. Paul relaxes the gospel 
rule of marriage, to this extent at least, that in the case of mixed 
marriages, if the heathen partner desires a separation, the Christian 
partner is not under bondage (i Cor. vii. 15). "For," the apostle 
adds, "what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy 
husband ? or what knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save 
thy wife ? " But St. Peter appears to know of no such liberty, and 
exhorts all wives to be in subjection to their own husbands, " that 
if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won 
by the conversation of the wives " (iii. i ). 

But more important than all is the entire absence in i Peter of 
any allusion to Christian prophecy. The point is of such conse- 
quence that it may be permissible to deal with it at some little 

In the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Luke (not in St. Mark or 
St. John) our Lord speaks of sending prophets to the Church 
(Matt. x. 41; Luke xi. 49). They are distinguished from "wise 
men and scribes " (Matt, xxiii. 34). Prophecy is a miraculous gift, 
analogous to the power of casting out devils, and might be bestowed 
on or assumed by people whose conduct was not good (Matt, 
vii. 22). These are false prophets (Matt. vii. 15); and we gather 
that the false prophet specially concerned himself with that topic 
on which Christians are forbidden to speculate (Matt. xxiv. 36), 
the day and hour of the Second Advent (Matt. xxiv. 11, 23, 24). 

At the beginning of the Book of Acts we read of the outpouring 
of the spirit of prophecy on the day of Pentecost, and on several 


occasions we find the same gift bestowed on the newly baptized 
We may suppose this form of prophecy to have been an ecstatic 
outburst of thanksgiving and adoration ; but this particular form of 
the grace does not appear to have been universal or permanent, 
nor did it make its recipient a prophet in the regular acceptation 
of the word. 

But we meet also with persons who were recognised as prophets 
and of the same family as the prophets of old, because in their case 
inspiration was not, indeed, habitual, — this it never was, — but at 
any rate frequently recurrent. We find them at Jerusalem (xi. 27), 
at Antioch (xiii. i), at Tyre (xxi. 4), at Caesarea (xxi. 9), but not 
elsewhere. Some of them were men, some were " virgins." They 
read the secrets of men's hearts (v. 3), or predicted future events 
(xi. 28, xxi. 11), or delivered special mandates from the Holy Spirit 
to the Church (xiii. 2). Some of them were also teachers (xiii. i); 
and two, Judas and Silas, exhorted the brethren at Antioch with 
many words (xv. 32), explaining to them the circumcision dispute, 
and pressing upon them the acceptance of the Jerusalem Decree. 

One passage in the Book of Acts relating to prophecy is so 
important that it calls for special comment. Originally there were 
at Antioch two Churches, one of Jews and one of Greeks, and even 
at the time described in the thirteenth chapter it is not clear to 
what extent the two had been amalgamated. The Gentile Church 
was founded by men of Cyrene, and Lucius of Gyrene was one of 
the prophets and teachers by whom Barnabas and Saul were set 
apart for their mission (xi. 19, 20, xiii. i). The selection or 
ordination of the two evangelists may possibly have been the act 
of the Greek Church alone. Nor is it certain what it was that the 
prophets and teachers actually did. We may, however, suppose 
with great probability that the plan of a missionary campaign had 
already been discussed and approved, and that the whole Church 
was gathered together, fasting and praying for some definite word 
from the Holy Ghost, telling them whither to go and whom to 
send. All eyes and hearts would be fixed upon the five prophets 
through whom the heavenly voice had so often made itself heard 
before. At last the mandate comes and the mouthpiece speaks : 
" Separate me Barnabas and Saul." A very similar account of the 
method of prophecy is given by Hermas, who knew it well. " When 
the man who hath the divine spirit cometh into a congregation of 
righteous men who have the faith of the divine spirit, and inter- 
cession of the congregation of those men is made to God, then the 
angel of the prophetic spirit, who is attached to him, fills the man, 
and the man being filled with the Holy Ghost speaketh to the 
assembly as the Lord willeth " {Mand. xi. 9). What we find 
described here is not the ordinary meeting for public worship, but 
a special assembly of intercession for a definite object. 


Elsewhere also (i Tim. i. 18, iv. 14) we find the prophet playing 
the same part in the selection of God's ministers. Timothy, how- 
ever, though marked out by the prophets, was commissioned and, 
as we should say, ordained by the laying on of the hands of the 
presbytery. St. Luke does not expressly say that the presbyters laid 
hands on Barnabas and Saul, but this is probably what he means. 

Generally speaking, from the Book of Acts we should infer 
that the gift of prophecy, in the proper sense of the word, was not 
commonly bestowed, that its form was that of direct inspiration, 
that its expression was occasional and limited. In i Peter, James, 
Jude, Hebrews, we read of no prophets at all. In 2 Peter (ii. i) 
mention is made of false prophets. John knows both of false 
prophets and of true (i John iv. i ; Apoc. xi. 18, xix. 20). If 
we take the Pauline Epistles, we find Httle or no trace of the 
existence of prophets at Ephesus (see, however, Eph. iv. 11), or 
Philippi, or Colossae, or in Galatia, or at Rome. Prophecy is, 
indeed, mentioned in the Epistle to the Romans (xii. 6) ; but when 
the apostle tells us that he longed to impart unto that Church some 
spiritual gift (i. 11), we are probably to understand that he hoped 
to stir up a grace which as yet had not been bestowed upon it. 
But in two Churches, at Thessalonica and at Corinth, we find a 
very different state of things. Both were new Churches, composed 
probably in the main of Gentiles, who but a few months before had 
been idolaters. Yet in both these communities prophets were very 
numerous, and the apostle gave them great encouragement ( i Thess. 
V. 19 ; I Cor. xiv. 39). 

At Thessalonica the prophets were busily doing exactly what 
our Lord forbade, they were proclaiming that the day of Christ 
was imminent {ivia-TrjKev, ii. 2) ; and for this error they were rebuked 
by St. Paul. Even in this town, prophetism appears to have been 
very active and, on the whole, mischievous. There were those who 
regarded it with disfavour, and wished to suppress it altogether, or, 
at any rate, to bring it under control by the imposition of restraints 
which St. Paul thought too rigorous. " Quench not the Spirit," he 
says; "despise not prophesyings " (i Thess. v. 19, 20). At the 
same time he adds a needful word of warning : " Prove all things ; 
hold fast that which is good." 

But at Corinth the state of affairs was really extraordinary. 
The number of those who laid claim to the spiritual gifts of speak- 
ing with tongues and of prophecy must have been very large. But 
these miraculous endowments, instead of leading to meekness and 
unity, caused much angry rivalry, which turned even the public 
worship of the Church into a scene of disorder. These were not 
good fruits ; indeed, to speak quite plainly, they are the contra- 
diction of anything that we can reasonably attribute to the Spirit of 
God. St. Paul treats these extravagances with great wisdom. He 


asserts his own authority, both as apostle and as prophet, with 
explicit resolution. But he deals only with the symptoms, with the 
disorders. He does not name the offenders, nor does he charge 
them with self-deceit, nor does he expressly point out in what way 
their notion of "prophecy," of "liberty," was connected with those 
moral and doctrinal extravagances which he condemns. But he 
lays down firmly the rule of decency and order, the great principles 
of Charity and Unity, and points out clearly the besetting danger of 
what in the eighteenth century was called Enthusiasm. " Know- 
ledge puffeth up." Knowledge, the knowledge of mysteries, is 
very closely related to prophecy. A close parallel to the conduct 
of St. Paul is to be found in that of George Fox towards the 
Bristol fanatics. Fox was in the same position as the apostle. 
He, too, had fostered and encouraged prophecy, and, when the 
behaviour of Naylor opened his eyes to the gulf at his feet, he acted 
in the same way as St. Paul, not denying his own principles, but 
building the necessary fence along the edge of the precipice with 
authority, discretion, and reserve. 

From Fox's own account we could hardly guess the nature and 
the peril of the Bristol crisis, and we can do little more than guess 
at the inner history of the Corinthian Church. But in the time of 
Fox, and afterwards of Wesley, Bristol, a seaport and a great seat 
of the slave trade, was not unlike Corinth in some pertinent features. 
Corinth had never borne a good reputation, nor had Greeks ever 
been patient of discipline in any shape. It is in such places that 
the leaven of Christianity produces the most violent fermentation. 
Sudden conversions are common ; and the sudden conversion of an 
undisciplined character is always strongly mystical. It is not sur- 
prising, therefore, to find many prophets in the town, nor is it difficult 
to conjecture what would be the results. 

At Corinth, as elsewhere, prophecy bore its usual and proper 
form of "revelation" (i Cor. xiv. 26), that is to say, of immediate 
communication from the Holy Spirit. Revelation always implies 
Ecstasy (Acts x. 10, xi. 5, xxii. 17), that state which is also called 
"being in the Spirit" (Apoc. 1. 10), and is described by St. Paul 
himself (2 Cor. xii. 2) as a condition in which the man knew not 
whether he were in the body or out of it. It was, in fact, a trance, 
in which sense was suspended, but intelligence, though not active, 
was quickened into a condition of high receptivity. The prophet 
understood what he saw or heard, and when he spoke, spoke intelli- 
gible words. Hence he might be said to edify, comfort, console 
(i Cor. xiv. 3). He read the secrets of men's hearts (I'h'd. 24, 25), 
and the hearers might learn from his prophecies (I'h'd. 31). Both 
the prophet and the speaker with tongues were allowed to " give 
thanks" after Communion (I'di'd. 16). But the Prophet is expressly 
distinguished from the Teacher (i Cor. xii. 28). The distinction 


rests not so much on the matter of prophecy as on its form. 
Prophecy was ecstatic (those later writers who denied this only 
meant that Christian ecstasy differed from Pagan) ; it was a direct 
communication from the Spirit, a revelation, not, like Teaching, an 
exposition of other men's revelations. For this reason the Prophet 
took rank before the Teacher, indeed before every member of the 
Church except the apostles. Yet, of course, the same man might 
be at once Apostle, Prophet, and Teacher. The Prophet was an 
ornament, but not an officer of the Church ; and the manifestation 
of his gift was so occasional that he cannot have been intrusted, at 
any rate in his capacity of Prophet, with any regular ministrations. 
Indeed this is self-evident from the fact that there were women who 
prophesied as well as men. 

When we come to ask what were the precise subjects of Corin- 
thian prophecy, we find ourselves on uncertain ground. Yet, when 
we consider the topics dwelt upon by the apostle, and compare them 
with what we know to have been the themes of prophecy elsewhere, 
we can arrive at a tenable conclusion. 

At Thessalonica, the favourite subject was the Second Advent, 
a question which involved that of the condition of the faithful dead 
(i Thess. iv. 14 sqq.). Beyond a doubt this would be the pre- 
dominant burden of speculation at Corinth also, as it always has 
been everywhere. Hence St. Paul addresses to that Church the 
noblest of all his prophecies on this very point (i Cor. xv.). There 
were many ways in which the prophet might speak of Eschatology 
without infringing our Lord's prohibition. He might have a vision 
of the angelic hierarchy, like Ignatius, or of the state of the soul 
after death, like Perpetua, or of heaven and hell, like the author 
of the Apocalypse of Peter ^ or of the signs that precede the Second 
Advent, like the author of the Didache. Even this alluring theme 
was full of peril. It was forbidden to fix a date for the Second 
Advent, and this command was often forgotten. But there were 
some at Corinth who denied the resurrection of the dead. If 
St. Paul means that they denied the resurrection of the body, there 
were Gnostic prophets who did the same thing. 

Again, there were those who defended the act of the man who 
had married his father's wife (i Cor. v. i, 2). St. Paul tells them 
that they are " puffed up." But it is knowledge which " puffeth up " 
(viii. i), and knowledge is practically identical with prophecy (xiii. 2). 
Sexual irregularity has, in fact, often been justified by pretenders to 
the inner light, and cannot be justified in any other way. 

Another subject which exercised the minds of the prophets was 
that of Church discipline. Ignatius gives us the text of one of his 
own prophecies, in which occur the words, " Do nothing without 
the bishop " {Phil. vii. ). Hermas also touches on the relation of 
the prophet to the presbyter {Vis, iii. i. 8, 9), and Montanism was 


largely concerned with this point. If there were prophecies on the 
one side, there would be prophecies also on the other, and certainly 
the Corinthian prophets, numerous and self-assertive, and claiming 
some authority in the regulation of public worship, would not 
tamely submit to the direction of officials. Indeed, in the Corin- 
thian Church we cannot affirm with confidence that there were any 
officials at all. 

To some extent the Corinthians must have been self-deluded. 
The genuine spirit of prophecy has never been given to masses of 
men ; nor can it often have been bestowed upon those who, but the 
other day, were worshipping stocks and stones, and contaminated 
by the vices of such a city as Corinth. But St. Paul could not 
absolutely forbid this outbreak of fanaticism. He was himself the 
most remarkable of Christian prophets, full of the Holy Ghost, and 
longing unspeakably to see others like himself. He would believe 
the best. After all, among the tares would be blades of wheat, and 
he would not dare to run the risk of plucking up these. But the 
consequences are very clearly to be discerned. The Church of 
Corinth was full of the most shocking disorders, both in faith (i Cor. 
XV. 12) and in morals. If there was any control there, we cannot 
see where it resided, or what was its good. It is not too much to 
say, that if this form of prophetism had not disappeared, the Church 
could not possibly have endured. 

Prophetism sums up in one word the difference between St. Paul 
the mystic and St. Peter the disciplinarian. Where a body of 
prophets has assumed the direction of affairs, discipline is impos- 
sible. But it is evident that the confusion which reigned at Corinth, 
and possibly in a lower degree at Thessalonica, was abnormal. The 
vast majority of the Churches were, as they had been from the first, 
carefully instructed and diligently supervised ; and what is true of a 
couple of Greek communities in Europe is by no means true of 
Asiatic Christianity. How things were ordered in the Eastern 
Churches we can gather with confidence from the notices in the 
Book of Acts, from i Peter, from Hebrews, and from the Letters 
to the Seven Churches in the Apocalypse. Indeed, the Pastoral 
Epistles of St. Paul tell the same tale. 

The communities addressed in i Peter were clearly under strict 
and sober government ; but their organisation, as far as we are able 
to descry it, was of a very simple, primitive kind. In the first place, 
the writer does not use the word " Church," a peculiarity which he 
shares with Hebrews, for in that Epistle also, "Church," though 
it twice occurs (ii. 12, in quotation from O.T., xii. 23), does not 
bear its familiar technical sense. He calls himself "an apostle 
of Jesus Christ" (i. i), or, what is the same thing, "a witness of the 
sufferings of Christ " (v. i) ; but he writes with the greatest modesty 
in a tone of exhortation, not of command, exhorting, not rebuking, 


calling himself a brother of the presbyters. Nothing in the Epistle 
is more authoritative than the brief emphatic phrase in which he 
commends the faithfulness of so eminent a man as Silvanus. 
Clearly he expected to be heard with deference ; but the tone is just 
what we should have expected in St. Peter, and just what we should 
not have expected in anyone masquerading under his name. He 
addresses his readers as the Dispersion, the brethren or brotherhood 
(" the brethren " is a familiar phrase in Acts), and uses the word 
"Christian." If there were any widows or orphans receiving 
regular assistance from the common fund, at any rate they are not 
mentioned. The Deacon possibly did not exist, certainly is not 
named. There was no Bishop; the noun cVicr/coTros is used of 
Christ (ii. 25), and the verb iTnorKOTrelv of the Presbyters (v. 2), in a 
manner which shows us how the title came into being as a synonym 
for Shepherd ; but it has not as yet definitely assumed an official 
sense. On the other hand, the Presbyter who, as we know from 
Acts, was the original rector and pastor of the Church, wields great 
authority, which he is strongly admonished to exert with willingness, 
uprightness, and sobriety. Of the Sacraments, Baptism is spoken of 
as having a saving power (iii. 21) ; the Eucharist is not mentioned. 

Thus the organisation also appears to be marked by the same 
primitive simplicity that we have noticed as characteristic of the 
Epistle in other points. If we attach any historical value to Acts 
— and how can we help doing this? — the polity of the Petrine 
Churches is more conservative than that depicted in or suggested by 
any of the Pauline Epistles. 

But, now, if the relation between the Petrine and Pauline 
Epistles is as it has here been described, if in dogma they agree 
and in practice they differ, and if, when they differ, the Petrine 
Epistle is more primitive, as it proved to be more enduring, how 
are we to explain these singular facts ? 

We may say that the sub-apostolic Church, with all its reverence 
for St. Paul, failed to understand his idea of Freedom, that his pure 
and noble mysticism was too hard for them (BvavorjTov, 2 Pet. iii. 1 6), 
that the time for it was not yet come, and that God sent His people 
back again into the wilderness after a first ghmpse of the Promised 

But, then, how are we to account for the fact that where the 
Petrine writer falls away from St. Paul he is falling back upon 
the Synoptic Gospels ? If his Christianity had been derived from 
that of St. Paul he could not have taken this line. Those who 
started from a misunderstanding of the mysticism of St. Paul became 
Antinomians ; this is what actually happened to many of the Gnostics, 
and to many sects in later times. If the Petrine writer fell back, he 
must have had something to fall back upon. There must have 
been some other stamp of Christianity, some other method of 


working out in detail the truth of the Resurrection, than that 
described in the Pauline Epistles. That there actually was one— 
indeed that there were several — we learn not only from the Gospels 
and the rest of the New Testament, but from St. Paul's own 

But if this is the case, why should the Petrine writer be thought 
to have fallen back at all? Why should not his Epistle be just 
what it professes to be, the work of St. Peter himself? 

Note on Post-Apostolic Prophecy. 

Ignatius describes one subject of his prophetic visions in Trail. 
v., Svvafjiai voelv to. CTroupavia koI tols totto^co" tas ras dyycAtKas kol ras 
orvcTTao-eis ras ap^ovrLKo.^, opard t€ kol aopara. 

In another very remarkable passage, Ph'l. vii., he gives the actual 
text of one of his prophecies, to Se Hvivfxa eK-^pvo-o-ev \iyov raSc- 
^(opis Tov imaKOirov /xt^Scv TroteiTC* rr]v crap/ca vfxoiv <x)s vabv 0€oO 
T7]pelT€- Ty]v cvwcrtv dyaTrare* tous pLepia-fJiov^ ^cvyere* fiifxrjTai yCvecrOe 
'Irjcroi Xptcrrou, cbs kol avros tov Ilarpos avrov. 

Here it is to be observed that the subject-mattei '<« the same as 
that of the Teacher, but that the form is entirely different from that 
of Teaching. The admonitions are given as a direct communica- 
tion from the Holy Spirit , Hence in style they are ejaculatory and 
dogmatic, not discursive. 

Ignatius exhorted Polycarp to pray for the same gift. 

Poly carp ^ i., aXrov (xvv^aiv vrAetova iys €;(€19. 

Ibtd. ii., TO. 8e aopaTa atret iva croi <f>av€pu)9yj iva fxrjSevo^ Xetirr} 
KOL TravTOS )(apLafx.aTO<i Trepta-crevrj's. 

Polycarp acknowledges that he himself did not possess the gift 
of prophecy. 

Ad Phil, xii., " confido enim uos bene exercitatos esse in sacris 
lit'iris, et nihil uos latet ; mihi autem non est concessum." It was 
enough for him to follow humbly in the footsteps of St. Paul, 
ibid. iii. 

Here we see that a great and recognised and most authoritative 
Teacher might yet not be a prophet. But before Polycarp's death 
this grace was vouchsafed to him. Martyrium Polyc. v.. Set /u,e 
IJiiVTo. KaTaKarjvai. With him as with all prophets the gift took the 
form of a vision or voice. 

The prophecies of Montanus, Prisca, Maximilla, and others of 
the same sect, will be found collected in Bonwetsch, Montanismus, 
p. 197 sqq. 

Tertullian says of them, de exhort, cast. 10, " uisiones uident et 
ponentes faciem deorsum etiam uoces audiunt manifestas tam 
salutares quam occultas." 

Salutares means moral or disciplinary, as in the second passage 


from Ignatius. Occultas means pertaining to heavenly mysteries, 
as in the first. Oehler does not explain the words ponentes faciem 
deorsum ; apparently the prophet bent his head downwards in the 
attitude of listening to a voice from above. 

Of Ecstasy, Tertullian says, adu. Marc, iv. 22, "gratiae extasis 
amentia. In spiritu enim homo constitutus, praesertim cum gloriam 
Dei conspicit, uel cum per eum Deus loquitur, necesse est excidat 
sensu, obumbratus scilicet uirtute diuina." This agrees very well 
with the language of St. Paul. 

Alcibiades (or Miltiades), Eus. H. E. v. 17. i, wrote a treatise 
against the Montanists entitled ir^pl rov /xr] Setv iv iKo-Taa-ei XaXdv : 
but he was certainly using the word f.K(Traa-i<; in a peculiar sense, 
for it is used of true Christian prophecy, Acts x. 10, xi. 5, xxii. 17, 
and " to speak in ecstasy " means neither more nor less than " to 
speak in the Spirit." And the author to whom we owe our know- 
ledge of this treatise of Alcibiades (or Miltiades) goes on to say that 
the mark of the false prophet is not ecstasy but parecstasy — that is 
to say, debased ecstasy. 6 il/evSo7rpo(firJTr}<s iv irapeKarToio-eL, <L CTTCTat 
aSeta koI ct^o^ta, ap^ofxevos filv i$ kKovaiov d/xa^i'as, KaracrTpeffxav St 
CIS ct/covcrtov fxaviav i/t^x^^- "^^^ ^^^^e prophet was culpably ignorant 
— that is to say, he was one so far deficient in morals, or instruction, 
or both, that the brethren could not regard him as a likely organ 
for the prophetic spirit, and his trance was " a madness." Madness 
will mean frenzied utterance or gesticulation and " possession." 
The last, in particular, was a most serious point. Simon Magus 
" gave out that he himself was some great one " (Acts viii. 9) ; and 
Montanus said, "I am the Lord God Almighty coming down in 
man " (Epiph. Ifaer. xi. p. 437), — a phrase which is strictly analogous 
to that of the demoniac, " My name is Legion " (Mark v. 9). The 
idea that the spirit, good or bad, takes possession of the man, 
replaces his personality, and speaks with his own voice, is wholly 
alien to Biblical prophecy, and belongs to demonology or heathen 
vaticination. But ignorance was quite serious enough. It would 
be shown by demanding payment or expecting reward as a prophet 
(Eus. H. E.y. 18; Hernias, Mand. xi.) ; by doctrinal unsoundness 
(i John iv. I, 2); and in the eyes of a loyal Churchman by inter- 
ference with the wholesome and apostolic discipline of the Church. 

Professor Harnack {Lehre der zwolf Apostel, p. 126) is inclined 
to regard all these tests as invented by the later Church for the 
purpose of condemning the Montanists. But they are obvious 
deductions from eternal common sense. Except non-fulfilment of 
predictions, for which the existing brotherhood might have to wait 
in vain, the one and only test of genuine prophecy is that of con- 
formity to the teaching and practice of undoubted prophets, of 
Christ and His apostles ; and this test all Christians were bound to 
apply at all times under very serious penalties. 


A careful review of the facts seems to show two things very 
distinctly : (i) that the condition of the Corinthian Church is not to 
be regarded as the normal state of a Christian community in the 
time of the apostles ; (2) that the Prophet is not, and cannot be, the 
same thing as the Teacher. The two functions might, no doubt, be 
combined, but in themselves they are radically different. 


We may proceed to compare, in the next place, the characters 
and histories of St. Paul and St. Peter. To some extent, at any- 
rate, the investigation will throw further light upon the conclusions 
arrived at in the preceding chapter. 

When St. Stephen was stoned to death the witnesses laid down 
their clothes at the feet of a young man whose name was Saul 
(Acts vii. 58). He was of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of 
Hebrews, and a Pharisee (Phil. iii. 5), born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but 
brought up in Jerusalem, where he sat at the feet of the famous 
Gamaliel (Acts xxii. 3). He was a Roman citizen, and son of a 
Roman citizen (Acts xxii. 28), spoke and wrote Greek, used the 
Greek Bible, and had some acquaintance with Greek literature 
(Acts xvii. 28; I Cor. xv. 33 ; Tit. i. 12). 

We are not told at what age he left Tarsus, but he was probably 
verging on man's estate at the time, for he had already been intro- 
duced to the study of the Greek poets, and he continued to regard 
the city as his home and natural place of shelter (Acts ix. 30). He 
was no cosmopolitan, and though he passed his early years under 
the shadow of a Greek university, remained a strict Jew. Yet 
Tarsus was a Stoic stronghold, and St. Paul had read and admired 
at least one Stoic poet. He was aware then that there was current 
among educated heathen a view of God as the great indwelling 
Spirit which is antagonistic to any shape of formalism. But doubt- 
less he had imbibed this belief from Scripture, and from the 
struggles of his own spiritual experience — if we may regard Rom. 
vii. 9 sqq. as referring to a time preceding that of his conversion. 
We may suppose that he was a Pharisaic Mystic of the same type 
as St. James. But we first see him at Jerusalem, approving of 
Stephen's death, leading and goading on the party of persecution. 

So far he appears to us as well-born, probably wealthy, well- 
educated, still young, full of fiery conviction and prompt resolution, 
a natural leader of men in times of great excitement. He was 
unmarried and childless, and seems to have owed his power 
entirely to the vigour of his character, for he does not appear to 
have been a member of the Sanhedrin. 

Not content with oppressing the disciples in Jerusalem, he 
extorted from the high priest a despatch authorising the extermina- 


tion of the heretics at Damascus, and was on his way to that city, 
" breathing threatenings and slaughter," when he was struck down 
to the earth by that Jesus whom he was persecuting. Thus in one 
moment he became a Christian. 

All attempts to account for his conversion by natural agencies 
are vain. No doubt the way for this astounding change had been 
prepared. St. Paul was familiar with many thoughts of many 
minds ; he must have been familiar also with that lurking sense of 
disappointment which always besets those who set their hopes on 
anything lower than the highest, and he had seen St. Stephen die. 
But the final blow was struck from above with overwhelming force 
and instantaneous effect. 

His change was not from immorality to morality, but from one 
principle of action to another, from moralism to mysticism. It was 
analogous, not to the conversion of St. Augustine, but to that of 
Luther, or Wesley, or Law. But the point is, that these sudden 
changes always leave a mark. A swift uplifting, because it is so 
immediately divine, gives great nobility of mind. It carries the 
man up at once into a sphere from which all forms, props, 
mechanisms, seem very little things, and it imparts great peace, 
confidence, and joy. At the same time it makes a breach between 
the present and the past. The converted man looks back upon his 
old struggles with fear, pain, and horror. For him the hopeful 
promise of discipline and obedience ended only in cruel defeat. 
Of what value, then, can they be to others ? 

The Vision on the road to Damascus is enough to stamp St. 
Paul as a prophet ; but throughout his life he continued to receive 
immediate manifestations of God's presence and care. His revela- 
tions, conveyed sometimes in trance, sometimes in dream ; bringing 
sometimes directions, sometimes prohibitions ; sometimes unfolding 
mysteries, sometimes displaying the formless glory of things un 
speakable — were very numerous (Acts xvi. 6, 9, xviii. 9, 10, xix. 21 
XX. 23, 29, xxii. 17, xxvii. 23, 24; Gal. ii. 2 ; 2 Cor. xii. 1-7) 
The sense of direct inspiration seems never to have failed him 
except perhaps when discipline was in question (i Cor. vii. 12) 
Much of his knowledge in the faith was imparted to him through 
the same channel (Eph. iii. 3; Gal. i. 12 sqq., ii. 6 ; i Cor. xv. 3). 
But here we are perhaps justified in making a distinction. Even 
though he never saw Christ in the flesh, he would know, from 
hearsay or from reading, the general facts of the Gospel history, and 
he must surely have learned from ordinary sources the saying of our 
Lord's which he quoted in his speech at Miletus (Acts xx. 35). 
What he means is probably, that the one fact of the Resurrection 
and the inner meaning of all the facts, his whole theology, came to 
him direct by way of revelation. We find unmistakable fruits of 
his prophetic gift in Thessalonians and in i Cor. xv. 


Such were the salient features in the character and history of St. 
Paul. St. Peter on every point forms a strong contrast. He was a 
poor Galilean fisherman, a labouring man, uneducated, rough in 
speech and manner (Matt. xxvi. 73 ; Luke xxii. 59; Acts iv. 13), a 
husband, and, according to ancient tradition, a father, and he had 
lived in close intimacy with the Saviour upon earth. He was a 
simple pious Jew, if not actually a disciple of John the Baptist at 
any rate the brother of one who was (John i. 40), — that is to say, he 
wag open-minded and docile, a son of Abraham who did not pre- 
sume upon that privilege (Luke iii. 8), but was well aware of the 
need of repentance, and was looking for the kingdom of heaven 
and the advent of Messiah. 

He was a married, uneducated labourer. Such men always bear 
the stamp of their class. In England, and presumably elsewhere, 
they are tender-hearted, but slow. They have seen too much of the 
hard realities of life to be greatly elated or greatly depressed. But 
they make fine soldiers, who will follow their captain to the last, 
and fall where he has placed them. 

St. Peter is often spoken of as ardent and impulsive, but our 
Lord called him Cephas, " Rock," and the fiery apostles were James 
and John. He was often the first to speak, because he was the 
leader and mouthpiece of the Twelve. The quietest of men, when 
driven past endurance, are often fiercest ; and as Moses, the meek, 
once smote an Egyptian, so Peter struck a hasty blow in the Garden 
of Gethsemane. In an hour of utter despair and extreme alarm, he 
denied his Lord. The Gospels paint him as a man of slow under- 
standing, but strong conviction, of tender, but not demonstrative 
feeling, with an exquisitely delicate conscience, and a deep sense of 
the majesty of God. It was he who made the great confession, 
"Thou art the Christ," and yet would have saved Christ from 
suffering and the Cross (Matt. xvi. 16, 22), just as the disciples 
besought St. Paul not to go up to Jerusalem where he was to be 
delivered to the Gentiles (Acts xxi. 12); it was he who at the Last 
Supper beckoned to St. John to ask the question which he dared 
not ask himself (John xiii. 24) ; it was he, again, who said, " Depart 
from me ; for I am a sinful man, O Lord " (Luke v. 8) ; who went 
out and wept bitterly when the Saviour turned and looked upon 
him (Luke xxii. 62), and whose repentance and forgiveness are 
described with magical power in the last chapter of St. John's 
Gospel. The Lord loved John better, but He trusted Peter more 
(Luke xxii. 31, 32). 

We may imagine Peter as a shy, timid, embarrassed man, apt 
on a sudden emergency to say and do the wrong thing, not because 
he was hasty, but because he was not quick. He was one of those 
who become leaders because they have been called and appointed, 
not because nature seems to have marked them out for command 


His defect had been want of readiness and decision. When this 
was cured, he was all the better fitted to be a guide and pastor by 
reason of the weakness which the Holy Spirit redressed. " Be ye 
ready," he says in his Epistle (i Pet. iii. 15), "always to give an 
answer to every man that asketh for a reason of the hope that is in 
you, with meekness and fear." He was meek and fearful, and he 
knew well the danger of unreadiness. 

St. Peter had been instructed, trained, disciplined by our Lord 
Himself, and led on in smooth and unbroken progress from the 
law to the gospel. He was a prophet, but hardly a visionary. He 
had witnessed the Transfiguration, he had seen the risen Saviour, 
he had received admonition in his trance at Joppa, and an angel 
had been sent to deliver him from prison. The Holy Ghost had 
come down upon him at Pentecost. But we do not read that he 
enjoyed the same kind, or the same frequency, of communion with 
the unseen world which was given to St. Paul or St. John. There 
is the same shade of difference that we observe in the Old Testa- 
ment between Moses and Jacob. Further, it is evident that to St. 
Peter the past would not wear the same colour as to St. Paul. 
He would look back with affection and regret to days spent in 
company with our Lord on earth, and he would look forward with 
intense longing to the time when the Chief Shepherd should reappear. 
The interval would appear to him as a period of loss, of hope 
deferred ; and this is exactly what we find in the Epistle. St. Paul's 
past was one of shame; there was no brightness in it; and his 
heart swells with a rapture of gratitude when he thinks of his 
deliverance from the city of confusion and house of bondage. 

We need not here dwell minutely on the history of St. Peter 
as it is given in the first twelve chapters of the Book of Acts. There 
he appears for some ten or twelve years as spokesman, judge, leader 
of the disciples at Jerusalem. As occasion served, and the frontier 
of the Church was pushed forward, he made excursions to other 
places. We see him at Samaria, passing through all quarters to 
Lydda and Joppa, and again at Caesarea. After this we read of 
the visit of Barnabas and Saul to Jerusalem, of Herod's persecution, 
of Peter's imprisonment, deliverance, and departure "to another 
place." From this point St. Luke's thoughts are occupied almost 
exclusively with the history of St. Paul. But on three occasions 
we find the two great apostles in actual personal contact. Here, 
then, it becomes necessary to compare the narrative given in the 
Book of Acts with that of the Epistle to the Galatians (Gal, i. 
15-24, ii. i-io, II sqq.). But let us first grasp firmly the key 
to all the difficulties which may arise. St. Luke is writing as a 
historian ; his object is summa sequi fastigia rerum ; his interest lies 
in the permanent, and specially in the Decree of the Council of 
Jerusalem, which was the first monument of Canon Law, and was 


unquestionably accepted and obeyed by the Church (Acts xxi. 25 ; 
Apoc. ii. 14, 20; Eus. H. E. \. J. 26) Tert. de Idol. x. ; Apol, ix. ; 
Clem. Alex. Faed. ii. i. 8 ; Didache vi. — I quote this as a fourth 
century authority. The Decree was falling into desuetude in the 
West in St. Augustine's time, contra Faust, xxxii. 13). St. Paul's 
intention, on the other hand, is polemical, autobiographical, and 
apologetic. He wrote in the midst of a very heated dispute which 
touched him particularly. His first object is to show that the 
Gentile Christian ought not to accept circumcision ; and, in order 
to establish this first point, he goes on to maintain a second, that 
his own authority is equal, and even superior, to that of St. Peter. 

In St. Paul's account of his first meeting with St. Peter there is 
very little difficulty (Gal. i. 15-24 compared with Acts ix. 19-30). 
St. Luke says that immediately after his conversion St. Paul 
preached Christ in the synagogues at Damascus, and does not 
mention his retirement into Arabia. But we do not know how 
long that retirement lasted, and it was certainly devoid of external 
incident. It was of deep significance in the eyes of the apostle 
himself. When he says "immediately I conferred not with flesh 
and blood" (Gal. i. 16), what he means is that he did confer with 
the Holy Spirit, and did not apply for instruction to the Twelve. 
He looks back upon that time, as St. Augustine remembered 
the days that immediately followed his own conversion, as a period 
of rapid growth and great joy; but he uses it in the Epistle as 
the proof of his independence. It is natural enough that it 
should be passed over in Acts ; nor is there any stumbling-block 
in St. Luke's statement that St. Paul "immediately" preached 
Christ. The very day after his baptism the apostle may have 
given " in the synagogues " some explanation of his sudden change ; 
he was a fearless man, and would not shrink from the ordeal of 
publicly resigning his commission from the high priest. We may 
suppose that he did this, and then withdrew for a brief space of 
recollection, before he felt able definitely to advocate his new faith. 
But, in any case, if the retirement to Arabia lasted but a few weeks, 
the word "immediately" may very well pass. A proof of the 
general accuracy of St. Luke's information is to be found in his 
notice of the manner of St. Paul's escape from Damascus, when he 
was let down from the wall in a basket, St. Paul does not mention 
the fact in Galatians, but in another Epistle he incidentally confirms 
what St. Luke tells us (2 Cor. xi. 32). 

After " many days," the narrative in Acts proceeds (and by the 
vague Hebrew phrase a period of three years is here covered), St. 
Paul went up to Jerusalem, and endeavoured to join himself to the 
disciples. The phrase is a little singular, and seems to imply that 
he did not address himself to the recognised leaders of the Church. 
His advances were met with great and not unnatural suspicion ; but 


the good Barnabas, who was always merciful and charitable, took 
him by the hand, brought him to the apostles, and acted as his 
sponsor, defending Paul against those whom he had persecuted, as 
he afterwards defended Mark and Peter against Paul himself. We 
learn from Galatians that the particular apostles in question were 
Peter and James the Lord's brother. In Acts we read that St. 
Paul spent some time in Jerusalem, disputing against the Hellenists. 
St. Paul himself says simply that he abode with Peter fifteen days. 
We are to understand, either that he spent a fortnight in Peter's 
house, or that at the end of this fortnight Peter was called away from 
Jerusalem; for Paul's object here is simply to show that his 
personal contact with Peter had been very slender. For the same 
reason he omits to mention the attempt upon his life and his flight 
from Jerusalem (Acts ix. 29, 30), simply informing us that he went 
away to Syria and Cilicia. St. Luke says that he went home to 
Tarsus. The difference in the form of expression may possibly 
imply that Paul used Tarsus as a centre for single-handed missionary 
excursions in the neighbouring regions. It is difficult to suppose 
that he would be idle, and he would hardly have been invited to 
Antioch unless he had continued to display both zeal and capacity. 
From the time of his flight from Jerusalem, St. Paul tells us he 
remained unknown by face {'^fj'-yjv ayvoovfX€.vo<5 tw Trpoa-toTrto, Gal. i. 
22) unto the Churches of Judaea which were in Christ. In other 
words, he saw them no more till his next visit eleven years later ; for 
we give the more natural meaning to his " fourteen years," if we 
suppose that here also he is dating from his spiritual birthday. 

So far all is pretty clear. St. Paul had seen but little of St. 
Peter, but what intercourse there had been was not unfriendly, at 
any rate after the first approach. As regards the second meeting 
(Gal. ii. 1-6 compared with Acts xv.) there is much perplexity, 
which we can only resolve by making large allowance for the 
difference of intention which underlies the two narratives. 

The visit to Jerusalem, which St. Paul describes in the second 
chapter of Galatians, has been identified with that incidentally 
mentioned in Acts (xi. 30) ; but there are many objections to this. 
In the first place, we should be compelled to leave a blank space 
of ten years at least in the apostle's working life. But it does not 
seem at all probable that Barnabas, having once taken St. Paul by 
the hand, would leave him unemployed for so long a time. Again, 
there was at the time no trace of the circumcision dispute; and, 
moreover, we still read of " Barnabas and Saul " at that date. Saul 
was as yet known only as a preacher who was doing good work at 
Antioch, and had by no means that standing which is implied in 
the narrative of Galatians. It is far easier to suppose that St. Paul 
does not mention his second visit to Jerusalem ; and an adequate 
reason for his silence is to be found in the words of St. Luke, who 


tells us that Barnabas and Saul visited the elders, but does not 
mention the apostles. It was "about that time" (Acts xii. i) that 
Herod's persecution was in progress, and we can readily imagine 
that the two Antiochene envoys did not on this occasion meet 
any of the Twelve. But, if so, this visit was perfectly immaterial to 
the argument of Galatians, for the object of St. Paul there is to 
reckon up the number of occasions on which he had seen and 
discoursed with St. Peter. 

We shall be on safe ground if we follow Bishop Lightfoot rather 
than Professor Ramsay, and conclude that what we find in the 
second chapter of Galatians is that occasion on which " Paul and 
Barnabas " (no longer " Barnabas and Saul ") were sent up by the 
Church of Antioch to attend the Council at Jerusalem. With them 
went certain others ; and their journey was a triumphal progress 
through Phenice and Samaria (Acts xv. 3). The question to be 
decided was that of the continued obligation of circumcision, which 
had been causing great trouble. The question had been pushed 
forward not by any of the apostles, but by "certain men which 
came down from Judaea " to Antioch, " certain of the sect of the 
Pharisees which believed" (Acts xv. i, 5), by the Hotspurs among 
the Jewish Christians. These extreme ritualists probably looked 
to James as their leader (Gal. ii. 12). They would be, as often 
happens in such cases, a sore trouble to their nominal chief, whose 
opinions they exaggerated and caricatured. At the same time, 
James would be extremely anxious to retain his hold upon them, 
and not to see them driven into open revolt. Such a position of 
things is always fruitful of grave misunderstandings between the 
leaders themselves. They want to keep together men who are 
pulling in different directions, and they lay themselves open to the 
charges of tergiversation and of disloyalty to first principles. 

According to St. Luke, the two envoys went up to Jerusalem 
by commission from the Church of Antioch ; St. Paul tells us that 
he was directed or permitted to go by "revelation," by an imme- 
diate communication from the Holy Spirit. The two modes of 
expression are easily reconcilable. A commission from the Church 
of Antioch implied a revelation (Acts xiii. i); but we may observe 
that here again St. Paul is striking the note of independence. He 
was received with all the respect due to his character, services, and 
position. And yet the tone of his narrative seems to say that there 
was something wanting, something which he does not quite know how 
to express. The main point had been established, yet not quite 
by himself. He had been met by agreement where perhaps he did 
not quite expect it, and he had been obliged to make concessions of 
which he did not quite approve; hence he manifests a certain 
uneasiness lest his authority should have suffered disparagement 
in the opinion of his more immediate followers. For there were 


jealous eyes and bitter spirits on the watch to magnify and distort 
every point that could be made against him. 

What had really happened we may gather with tolerable clear- 
ness by piecing together the accounts given in Galatians and in 
Acts. There can be little doubt that the main business of the 
Council of Jerusalem, like that of all other councils, was transacted 
in committee. St. Paul tells us of the committee ; St. Luke, of the 
general assembly in which formal speeches were delivered and the 
decree was solemnly adopted. 

It seems evident that in this committee St. Paul had been in 
some sense put upon his trial before the twelve apostles. " I com- 
municated unto them," he says, " that gospel which I preach among 
the Gentiles ; but privately to them which were of reputation, lest 
by any means I should run or had run in vain." He had been 
called upon to state his position before the supreme tribunal of 
the Church, and had received their sanction and approval. 

This seems to be the fact which St. Paul expresses by the 
singular phrase "they added nothing to me," that is to say, "they 
had nothing to teach me." There is an embarrassment, there is even 
a touch of anger in St. Paul's language here (Gal. ii. 6), which seems 
to spring from a mortifying sense that after all he cannot make 
his position quite clear. He had gone to Jerusalem to dictate 
terms, and those from whom he expected opposition had offered 
none. He had gone as the equal of the apostles, and his enemies 
might say that the apostles had tried and acquitted him. There 
had been agreement as to the burning question of circumcision, 
and yet he had been made to feel that between himself and the 
Twelve there existed that difference of principle which, though it 
can hardly be defined, often divides men like a river. 

One of the most dif^cult sentences in St. Paul's narrative is that 
in which he describes the result of the conference: "James, 
Cephas, and John, who were reputed to be pillars " (here again the 
note of irony is heard), " gave to me and Barnabas the right hand 
of fellowship ; that we should go unto the Gentiles, and they unto 
the circumcision." There was a compact, St. Paul says. The field 
of labour was divided. Each party was to take its own way, but 
within its own sphere. 

But how is this to be understood ? St. Paul himself constantly 
preached to Jews after this date, and, in fact, never ceased to do so. 
At Corinth he turned away in despair from blaspheming Jews (Acts 
xviii. 6) ; yet at Ephesus, again, he preached in the synagogue (Acts 
xix. 8), and almost his first act on arriving in Rome was to call 
together the chief of the Jews (Acts xxviii. 17). St. Peter, on the 
other hand, visited Antioch ; and though St. Paul blamed the 
conduct, he made no complaint of the presence of his brother 
apostle. St. Peter again, if he had not actually preached in Corinth, 


which is far from unlikely, had friends there, and a party known 
by his name ; yet here, again, St. Paul does not assert that any 
compact had been broken. The brethren of the Lord again were 
known at Corinth ; and St. John, perhaps in St. Paul's lifetime, 
exercised authority over the Seven Churches of Asia. Other 
apostles again are connected by strong tradition with Gentile 
Churches. Nor, in the case of Peter and John, can we see any 
reason for such a positive delimitation of the sphere of work as 
seems to be here indicated. Neither of them taught the universal 
necessity of circumcision ; both allowed the rite in the case of 
Jewish Christians ; St. John (in the Apocalypse), and probably St. 
Peter, admitted a certain precedence of Jew Christian over Gentile 
Christian, and this was in all respects the position of St. Paul 
himself (Acts xi. 2 sqq., xv. 21; Apoc. vii. 4, 9 ; i Cor. vii. 18; 
Rom. iii. i). It was the position of St. James also. But within 
this general agreement in principle there might be, and no doubt 
were, considerable differences in practice. St. Paul obeyed the 
ceremonial Law on occasion (i Cor. ix. 20; Acts xxi. 26), but on 
occasion also held himself perfectly at Hberty to disregard it. St. 
James, on the other hand, maintained that the Law was always and 
everywhere binding upon a born Jew (Acts xxi. 20, xv. 21). It 
followed that, in the opinion of St. James, when Jew and Gentile 
met, they could not eat at the same table. St. Paul held very 
strongly that in such cases the Jew ought to give way. St. Peter 
held that in such cases the Jew might very well give way, but was 
not compelled to do so. This appears to have been the whole 
extent of the difference among the apostles themselves. 

The dispute about the Law was local, transient, and insignifi- 
cant. The feeling out of which it sprang hardly existed except at 
Jerusalem ; and even there the body of the Church was contented 
with the tolerant Judaism of St. James. They were "zealous of 
the Law," and regarded St. Paul with suspicion, not on account 
of his treatment of Gentile converts, but because they had been 
informed that he taught Jews to forsake Moses (Acts xxi. 20, 21). 
There was, however, a party at Jerusalem who insisted that every 
Christian ought to become a Jew. It existed still in the days of 
Justin Martyr {Trypho, 47), and for a short time maintained an 
active propaganda at Antioch and in Galatia ; but their efforts were 
discountenanced by the authorities of the Church, and must have 
quickly died away. Nevertheless Jerusalem was clearly a place 
which required special treatment. The community there was 
almost entirely Jewish, the slightest indiscretion might have caused 
a rupture, and St. Paul was regarded there with jealousy or positive 
dislike. Under these circumstances the most politic course would 
be to make some sort of compact by which Paul and Barnabas 
bound themselves not to preach in Judaea, while James agreed not 


to preach elsewhere. To this Cephas and John would be assenting 
parties, though the terms did not limit their own personal activity, 
nor, indeed, that of the other apostles. This appears to be the only 
tenable interpretation of the words "that we should go unto the 
heathen, and they unto the circumcision." A necessary article in 
such a treaty would be that Paul and Barnabas should " remember 
the poor." The Jew Christians at Jerusalem would lose all share 
in the distribution of the temple funds, and, if they were not to 
send out collectors of their own, it was imperative that Paul and 
Barnabas should undertake to make good the deficiency. They 
agreed to do so, and subsequent references to the great collection in 
the Pauline Epistles show that their promise was loyally carried out. 
Here St. Paul's narrative breaks off, and to the actual session 
of the Council he makes no allusion. We should know the reason 
of his silence if we knew exactly what had been said against him 
in Galatia. Clearly he is defending himself, not striking at random, 
but replying to particular accusations, or, we should rather say, to 
particular scoffs and insinuations. In regard to the Council itself, 
his enemies had found nothing that they could turn against him, 
and therefore he passes it over. It is not necessary to suppose 
that at this time he felt any difficulty in speaking about the Decree. 
Yet this may have been a further reason for his silence. That 
St. Paul never can have approved of the Decree, that he could 
not on principle regard this, or any other ecclesiastical canon, as 
binding upon the conscience, is certain. At first he appears from 
Acts to have accepted it ; though St. Luke nowhere tells us that he 
personally recommended it. But he ate the meal set before him by 
the jailer at Philippi (Acts xvi. 34) without question, and at Corinth 
he treated the eating of things offered unto idols as a matter which 
the individual must decide entirely for himself (i Cor. viii.). St. 
Paul's language on this subject cannot have been regarded with 
favour either by the Twelve or by those who in the Gentile com- 
munities still looked upon the Twelve as the princes of the Church. 
It is highly probable that it created a new and formidable stumbling- 
block in St. Paul's path. The Petrine party at Corinth would 
certainly ask how St. Paul, who was not in the strict sense of the 
word an apostle at all, could thus treat an apostolic decree as a 
mere matter of opinion. That they did so seems probable from 
St. Paul's own words (i Cor. ix. 1-4), "Am I not free? am I not 
an apostle ? . . . have we not authority to eat and drink ? " where 
the meaning is, "Because I am an apostle I too can legislate." 
But we can understand how men's minds would be perplexed by 
these conflicting views of duty. We may take as a strictly analogous 
case the rule of fasting communion which makes much trouble in 
our own times. Some regard it as an ecclesiastical rule ; some as 
merely an ecclesiastical rule. St. Peter would probably have taken 


the former view, St. Paul the latter. The distinction is one of those 
that are small to great minds and great to small minds, and will 
serve to show the difference between St. Peter and St. Paul on the 
one hand, and their followers on the other. 

A third meeting between St. Peter and St. Paul is recorded 
in Galatians (ii. 1 1 sqq.). We may assume with certainty that it 
happened after that which we have just been considering, though 
this has been questioned. It is true that in one place the order 
of St. Paul's narrative is not the order of time (2 Cor. xi. 23-33), 
but there is no reason for doubting that in Galatians events are 
described in their proper sequence. 

Not long probably after the Council, St. Peter visited Antioch, 
stayed there some time, and was present on more than one occasion 
at the Agape. The Church there was still divided, and separate 
tables were laid, possibly in separate buildings, for Gentiles and 
Jews. At first Peter took his seat among the Gentiles. This was 
what he had done in the house of Cornelius ; and it is not easy to 
see how his conduct involved any breach of the recent Decree. 
Shortly afterwards, certain emissaries of St. James came down to 
Antioch, and learning what had occurred, remonstrated with St. 
Peter on his conduct. Their point probably was that the Decree 
was intended only for Gentile Christians, that under it unclean 
meat, for instance swine's flesh, might be set upon the table, and 
that therefore no Jew could be present at the Gentile Agape 
without violating the spirit, if not the letter, of the Decree. Upon 
this St. Peter "withdrew himself" and took his place at the table 
of the Jews, Barnabas and the other Jews following his example. 
This led to a stormy scene. St. Paul reprimanded St. Peter in 
public and in very strong language, charging him with an attempt 
"to compel the Gentiles to live as do the Jews," and with 
" hypocrisy," by which we are to understand not merely vacillation, 
but dereliction of the principles of the gospel. 

Unfortunately we have no other account of this incident, and we 
are left to construct St. Peter's apology as best we can from the 
Book of Acts. But it is evident that there is much more to be said 
in his defence than is allowed even by Bishop Lightfoot {Galatians^ 
" St. Paul and the Three "). In the first place, St. Peter was not 
compelling the Gentiles to live as do the Jews; the question at 
issue was whether Jews ought to be compelled to live as do the 
Gentiles. St. Peter did not endeavour to force one law upon every- 
body ; on the contrary, he allowed a difference of ritual. He 
shaped his own conduct first by the one ritual and then by the 
other, and this tolerance may be regarded as criminal inconsist- 
ency by zealots on either side. Nor is St. Paul himself less incon- 
sistent. He circumcised Timothy not because he was obliged on 
Drinciple to do so, but for the sake of expedience (Acts xvi. 3) ; be 


tells the Galatians (v. 1-3) that circumcision carries with it the 
obligation to fulfil the whole law ; yet he certainly did not regard 
Timothy as bound to observe the law of clean and unclean meats 
(i Tim. iv. 4). Nor can it reasonably be doubted that St. Peter 
held the doctrine of the Atonement in the same sense as St. Paul 
(Acts xi. 17 ; Gal. ii. 16), or that he regarded his conduct at Antioch 
as not involving any disloyalty to the gospel. Nor, again, can we 
imagine that Barnabas felt that he had done wrong in following the 
example of St. Peter. On the contrary, we may connect this sharp 
altercation at Antioch with another which occurred probably im- 
mediately afterwards at the same place, and led to a temporary 
estrangement between Paul and Barnabas (Acts xv. 37-39). If we 
suppose that Mark had openly espoused the cause of his cousin 
in the matter of the Agape, we find at once very serious reason for 
this division. 

It would seem that St. Paul in the heat of the moment did not 
make the necessary distinction between St. Peter and St. James, or 
between these two apostles and that extreme party whom they were 
anxious to conciHate, and against whom he himself had so much 
reason for legitimate indignation. Even at Antioch his position was 
not secure; there was a Jew as well as a Gentile party. The 
question of the hour was not really one of principle but of com- 
promise, of policy, of comprehension. The Council of Jerusalem 
had decided that there should be a compromise, with the usual 
result that neither party was satisfied. It is true that beneath this 
question of the hour there lay a question of principle, of mysticism 
or disciplinarianism, of the kind and degree of respect due to 
ecclesiastical regulations. We have not settled this question yet, 
and it was not even formulated by the primitive Church. All we 
can say is, that St. Paul was pulling in the one direction and St. 
Peter in the other ; that St. Peter was silent and St. Paul protested ; 
that St. Paul was right in one sense and St. Peter in another ; that 
compromise is necessary to unity, and that, whenever the terms of a 
compromise are called in question, heats and misunderstandings are 
certain to arise. 

St. Paul does not record any other meeting between himself and 
St. Peter. Yet, directly or indirectly, the two apostles came into 
collision at Corinth also. Whether St. Peter had actually visited 
that city we cannot say with certainty. Yet, not Peter only, but his 
wife also were well known there, and there is ground for thinking 
that both had received pecuniary assistance from the common fund 
of the Church (i Cor. ix. 5). By the time when he wrote to the 
Corinthians, St. Paul had quite made up his mind about the Jeru- 
salem Decree, and laid down clearly his two great principles, that 
" the spiritual man judgeth all things," and that " meat commendeth 
us not to God." Those who observed precepts and insisted upon 


rules appeared to him as cherishing needless scruples, as the weaker 
brethren, as the carnal agents of strife and division. Whatever may 
have been the party of Christ (it was most probably composed of the 
advocates of antinomian freedom), we may suppose that that called 
by the name of Apollos, the Alexandrine, was allegorical, and held 
opinions in which mysticism and discipline were combined as they 
are in the Epistle to the Hebrews. The Petrine party we may well 
suppose to have observed the Decree of Jerusalem, and to have 
doubted St. Paul's claim to the title of apostle. Certainly there 
were at Corinth Christians of whom these statements may be made 
with confidence. 

Here we can hardly avoid the question, when St. Paul was first 
recognised as an apostle. We need not ask when he first became 
an apostle. The answer to the question in this shape is given in 
the history of his conversion (Acts ix. 15), and his selection by the 
Church of Antioch was only a confirmation of his original divine 
commission. But by what steps did he come to be regarded by the 
Church as an apostle and as equal to the Twelve ? Obviously he 
won his way by degrees. Saul does not fill the same place in the eyes 
of men as Paul. Obviously, also, there were for many years those 
who denied his right to be called an apostle ; and it is not necessary 
to suppose that these were in all cases bitter and fanatical opponents. 
" Apostle " is one of a large class of words which, having origin- 
ally been no more than temporary appellatives or descriptions, 
begin in time to denote a fixed rank and authority. All titles 
belong to the same class — duke, count, minister, elder, bishop. 
What is true of one is true of all. They have come to be titles, 
and there are cases in which it is hard to decide whether they have 
as yet become definitely titles or not. 

The way in which the title apostle first came into being is given 
by Matthew (x. 5), Mark (vi. 30), and Luke (ix. 10). Jesus sent forth 
His twelve disciples, and thus they became His envoys, emis- 
saries, or missionaries. Matthew and Mark do not use the word 
apostle except on this occasion. John, in his Gospel, exhibits it 
only once, and then in the loose popular sense (xiii. 16). But in 
Luke's Gospel it occurs several times, and in Acts it is the regular 
oflficial designation of the Twelve. It was even thought necessary 
to maintain the exact number of the college by the election of 
Matthias. In fact, after the Resurrection, Envoy has become a 
definite title ; it denotes no longer a temporary occupation, but a 
special ofifice. The Twelve are no longer envoys, but The Envoys ; 
and there are neither more nor less than twelve, corresponding to 
the number of the tribes of Israel (Apoc. xxi. 14). We have here 
what we may call the official view. At the same time, the looser use 
of the word continued. There were those who " said that they were 
apostles " in the titular sense, though they were apostles only in the 


occasional sense, and the author of the Apocalypse severely blames 
this misuse of language (ii. 2). 

In the First Epistle to the Thessalonians, the earliest of his 
Epistles, written during his second journey, soon after his arrival in 
Corinth, St. Paul speaks of himself, Silvanus, and Timotheus, not 
in the address, but in the body of the Epistle (ii. 6), as " apostles of 
Christ." Here, apparently, the word is still used in its general 
sense; we might substitute "ambassadors" for "apostles" without 
altering the meaning. Neither Silvanus nor Timothy is elsewhere 
called an apostle; and there are passages in which it is pretty 
clearly implied that Timothy was not one (2 Cor. i. i ; Col. i. i ; 
2 Tim. iv. 5). In all his later Epistles, except Philippians and 
Philemon, St. Paul distinctly claims the style and title of apostle 
for himself in the address. He applies the title also to the Twelve, 
and probably, not quite certainly, to James the Lord's brother 
(Gal. i. 19). Some think that he speaks of Andronicus and Junias 
(Rom. xvi. 7) as apostles, but the second name is more probably 
Junia, and the sense is uncertain. In Acts (xiv. 4, 14), Paul and 
Barnabas are called apostles after their commission by the Church of 
AntT v:h. At an earlier date, St. Luke distinguishes Barnabas (ix. 27), 
and, at a later date, in the account of the Council, both Barnabas and 
Paul from the apostles (Acts xv.). Nor does St. Paul himself ever 
expressly call Barnabas an apostle (not even in i Cor. ix. 6). Upon 
the whole, it may be said that the title apostle, in the full official sense, 
is not given in the New Testament to anyone except the Twelve. 

But in Galatians and Corinthians, St. Paul unmistakably claims 
the title, maintaining his right in the face of all opposition with 
great resolution and not a little warmth. In Galatians he uses 
of the Twelve language which, however measured, is certainly lan- 
guage of disparagement. The Twelve are " those who seemed to 
be somewhat," " those who seemed to be pillars " (ii. 6, 9) ; and in 
Corinthians there are even stronger expressions (01 virepXtav airocr- 
ToXoi, if/evSaTTooTToXoL, 2 Cor. xi. 5, 13), which, if they are not directly 
aimed at the Twelve, certainly glance very near them. In the later 
Epistles, though the old lion is still vexed by opposition (Phil. 
i. 15), the warmth has passed away; his position is adequate to 
his purpose, and there is no more need of self-assertion. 

It seems clear that the period at which Galatians and Corin- 
thians were written marks a great change in the attitude of St. Paul. 
Then, for the first time, as he looked round on the success with 
which God had blessed his ministry, he felt the need of openly 
asserting his authority and thus consolidating his work. If we 
could pretend to fix more precisely the date at which he first openly 
asserted his equality with the Twelve, we might place it at that 
moment when he ceased to baptize with his own hands (i Cor. 
i. 14-16). St. Peter does not appear to have baptized anybody 


(Acts X. 48), following in this the precedent set by our Lord Him- 
self (John iv. 2), It may be that one of the marks by which 
an apostle was distinguished from, for instance, the deacon (Acts 
▼iii. 38) was that the former did not personally administer the rite of 
baptism, and that by ceasing to do so St. Paul intended to declare 
his assumption of the apostolic dignity. 

We, who look back upon the history of St. Paul in the light of 
its glorious completion, and whose knowledge of the primitive 
Church is so largely derived from his writings, can hardly grasp the 
fact that, great as he was, there were other figures which in the eyes 
of the first Christians seemed even greater. They were not prolific 
writers ; probably they were not eloquent speakers ; very likely they 
were not what we should call profound thinkers or ready debaters. 
When St. Peter met Simon Magus, he did not argue with him, 
because he had neither the learning nor the logic for such an 
attempt. All he could find to say was, "Thy heart is not right 
in the sight of God" (Acts viii. 21). The Twelve, with the excep- 
tion of St. John, were not intellectual, and even St. John was not 
cultivated ; they found and wished for no biographer ; their names 
are written on the foundations of the New Jerusalem, but their 
portion has been oblivion, or, at best, a vague and impersonal 
respect among men. Yet the Lord meant them to be, and no 
doubt they were, the great builders of the Church. 

If we had lived in Corinth, if we had been taught to obey the 
Decree of the Council of Jerusalem, and to regard St. Peter with 
the greatest reverence, — and if then we had looked round upon that 
wild sea of spiritual anarchy — for this is not too strong a phrase for 
the condition of that unhappy Church, — what should we have 
thought? No good Christian could be blind to the nobleness of 
St. Paul's character, or would seek to extenuate his magnificent 
services. But might we not have asked in much perplexity what 
precisely were the nature and the reach of his commission ? He had 
" seen the Lord " ; yet not in the same sense as the Twelve. And five 
hundred brethren at once had also seen the Lord without on that 
account claiming to be apostles. His visions, which are now 
recorded in Scripture, lay at that time between himself and God ; 
yet he was manifestly not working in perfect harmony with the 
Twelve, and he was not upon the Church roll. St. Paul's conduct 
in this last respect was nobly disinterested ; yet it might be inter- 
preted as implying an unwillingness to come under control, and 
range himself frankly on the side of authority. We cannot Imagine 
that all those Corinthians who called themselves followers of Peter 
or of Apollos, were simply dogging the footsteps of St. Paul with the 
malignant intention of making mischief 

Even to fair-minded men the only positive credential that St. 
Paul could produce was the rich harvest that had followed his 


labours. Upon this he himself falls back — "The seal of mine 
apostleship are ye in the Lord" (i Cor. ix. 2). But this proof 
would have very different cogency at different times ; it would be 
one thing at Tarsus, another at Antioch, another at Jerusalem, 
and another at Rome. It is certain that St. Paul's claim to rank 
on an equality with the Twelve met at first with much opposition, 
down, at any rate, to the date of Corinthians ; it is probable that 
even the Twelve at the time of the Council regarded him with a 
certain uneasiness and coolness. Time alone could heal these feel- 
ings. It is possible that St. Paul was not generally regarded as an 
apostle, in the eminent sense of the word, till his imprisonment marked 
him out as the most conspicuous sufferer for the Name. Finally, 
his martyr death placed him once for all on his deserved pinnacle. 

Some conclusions of importance may be drawn from this review. 
We have seen that in the earlier chapters of Acts, St. Peter is repre- 
sented as constantly on the move. He certainly spent some time 
in Antioch, most likely not very long after the Council. It is 
possible, even probable, that he had been in Corinth, and in Galatia 
he was well known, at any rate by repute. St. Paul had treated 
him with great rigour at Antioch, and was not on easy terms with 
him even at the date of Corinthians. There is no evidence that St. 
Peter ever retaliated. In i Peter St. Paul is not alluded to, and 
the personal relations of the two apostles do not assist us in fixing a 
date. In 2 Peter he is mentioned with affection and great respect, 
yet with a certain reserve. 

It is clear that there was a difference between St. Peter and St. 
Paul, which we may call little or great according to the point of 
view. It was little, because it turned not on dogma but on 
conduct ; it was great, because it was a party question. An attempt 
has been made in the foregoing pages to ascertain as exactly as 
possible what was its real nature, and the result appears to confirm 
in substance the conclusions arrived at in the last chapter from a 
comparison of the Petrine and Pauline Epistles. 


The First Epistle of St. Peter is directed to the elect, that is to 
say C'hristian, sojourners of the Diaspora, or Dispersion, in Pontus, 
Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. Are we to take these 
district names in their official or in their popular sense ? Four of 
them are names of Roman provinces, but Pontus is not ; and all of 
them except Cappadocia mean one thing in the usage of the 
Roman government, another in the mouths of the people, who 
still remembered the old kingdoms out of which the provinces had 
been carved. Let us see what the difference was. 


Pontus was the ancient kingdom of Mithridates. The sea- 
coast of Paphlagonia, as far as a point a little east of the bay of 
Amisos, belonged in the first century a.d. to the province of 
Bithynia, which, according to Professor Ramsay {Church in the 
Roman Empire^ p. 15), was officially known as Bithynia Pontus. 
The rest of Paphlagonia was given to the province of Galatia, and 
the other regions of Pontus (Pontus Galaticus, Polemoniacus) as they 
fell into Roman possession were assigned in a.d. 63 to Galatia, in 
A.D. 99 to Cappadocia. 

Galatia, another ancient kingdom, was formed into a province in 
B.C. 25. In the first century after Christ the province included a 
great part of Phrygia, Pisidia, Lycaonia, and Isauria; in a.d. 63 
it was enlarged by the addition of the Pontine districts already 
mentioned ; and from the time of Galba to that of Vespasian it 
embraced also Lycia and Pamphylia. The province of Galatia, 
therefore, was very much wider than the country of the Galatae or 
Gallograeci from which it took its name. 

Cappadocia became a province in a.d. 17, and in the first 
century there appears to be no noteworthy difference between the 
name of the province and that of the old kingdom, though in a.d. 78 
the province was united to that of Galatia, continuing nevertheless 
to retain a separate administrative existence (Ramsay, C. R. E. p. 15). 

Asia was bequeathed to the Romans by its last sovereign, 
Attalus III., in B.C. 133. The province included western Asia 
Minor as far as Bithynia on the north and Lycia on the south. 
Eastwards it included a large part of Phrygia, as far as the frontiers 
of the province of Galatia. The name Asia had also a popular use 
in which it embraced the coast lands of the Aegean, but not any 
part of Phrygia (Ramsay, C. R. E. p. 150). The reader may 
consult with advantage the maps which he will find in Mr. 
Ramsay's book, or in Mommsen, die Frovinzen, vol. v. of his 
Roman History. See also Dr. Hort's Excursus on The Provinces of 
Asia Minor included in St. Peter's Address ; and Zahn, Einleitung. 

The question arises, then, whether the geographical names are 
to be taken in their stricter official or in their looser popular sense. 
On the first hypothesis, which is maintained by Professor Hort and 
Professor Ramsay, we are confronted by the fact that Pontus was 
never by itself a distinct province, and that the Pontine districts 
already referred to were not included in the province of Galatia till 
A.D. 63. On the second, Phrygia, the great central district of Asia 
Minor, might seem to be excluded ; and this can hardly be intended, 
for the bearer of the Epistle could not pass from Cappadocia to 
Asia without traversing Phrygia, where, as we know, there were 
many Christians (Acts xviii. 23). But the point is, for our present 
purpose, hardly worth debating, though it may be observed that 
Galatia, coming as it does between Pontus and Cappadocia, must 


certainly include N.-W. Galatia. Whether St. Peter is thinking of 
the Roman provinces or of the ancient kingdoms, his list of names 
embraces the whole of Asia Minor except the south coast. Lycia, 
Pamphylia, the kingdom of Antiochus and Cilicia seem clearly to 
be omitted; though, as has been observed, Lycia and Pamphylia 
belonged for a time and in a sense to the province of Galatia. 

We have here distinct evidence of a bold and extensive mission, 
larger in scale than any of the journeys of St. Paul. It was not a 
voyage of discovery or conquest, but belonged rather to the 
secondary stage of missionary enterprise. There were Christian 
communities scattered all over Asia Minor — we do not know how 
many, or at what intervals, or how large. Silvanus is to visit them 
all, in person or by deputy, and to send copies of the Epistle every- 
where. The object was to establish and confirm the Churches, to 
bring them into touch, consolidate, comfort them, and so pave the 
way for a further advance. For such a purpose no better Epistle 
could have been written, and it would be largely supplemented by 
word of mouth. 

Another question that has been much discussed is that arising 
from the order in which the countries are named. The hst begins 
in a surprising way at Pontus, takes a circular sweep from left to 
right through Asia Minor, and ends where it began. Dr. Hort 
describes, with every appearance of probability, the route intended. 
It would run from some Pontic seaport, through Galatia proper to 
Ancyra, thence to Cappadocian Caesarea. Here the traveller would 
strike the great highroad leading westward through Phrygia by way 
of Apamea and Laodicea to Ephesus in Asia. Hence another 
great route would take him northward past Smyrna and Pergamos 
to Cyzicus in Mysia on the shore of the Propontis, and from this 
town a short voyage would carry him to some Bithynian harbour. 
Or from Pergamos he might strike off to the east up the valley of 
the Caicus, and so reach Bithynia by land. The only difficulty 
lies in the fact that Pontus is selected as the point of departure. 
If St. Peter was writing from Babylon proper, it seems incredible 
that Pontus should have been the first region in Asia Minor to 
occur to his mind ; and even if he was writing from Rome, which is 
by far the more probable supposition, it is not easy to see why he 
did not direct his envoy to start from Ephesus. There must have 
been some good grounds for this peculiar arrangement. Dr. Hort 
thought that Silvanus may have found it more convenient to carry 
the Epistle from Rome by sea, and that circumstances unknown to 
us, the opportunity of a good ship or some other reason, may have 
induced him to go first to Sinope, on the Euxine coast. Another 
likely port would be Amisos, from which the merchandise of Central 
Asia was carried to Rome (Rarnsay, C. R. E. p. 10). But the 
personal convenience of the envoy would hardly determine the 


choice of route. There must have been some further reason, 
though we can only guess what it was. But, if a great mission was 
in contemplation, the movement must have originated in some 
particular Church. The first mission of St. Paul was planned by the 
Church of Antioch, and it is permissible to think that the Holy 
Spirit may have put a similar purpose in the heart of the Pontic 
Christians. If so, they might very naturally apply to St. Peter for 
his sanction and guidance ; and, as the scheme was their own, the 
envoy would certainly go first to them. 

The Epistle clearly implies that there were Christian com- 
munities dotted all over Asia Minor. What would be their nature 
and composition? They are regarded as belonging to the Dia- 
spora, a word which in its proper sense denotes those Jews who for 
one reason or another were domiciled in foreign countries. They 
abounded in Asia Minor from an early date. Even in the fourth 
century before Christ, Aristotle had met there a Jew who was 
" Hellenic, not in language only, but in soul." Antiochus the Great 
settled two thousand Jewish families from Mesopotamia and Baby- 
lonia in Phrygia and Lydia (Jos. Ant. xii. 3. 4). In B.C. 138 the 
Roman Senate wrote on behalf of the Jews to the kings of Per- 
gamos and Cappadocia (i Mace. xv. 16-24). Agrippa in his lett':r 
to Caligula (Philo, Legatio ad Caium, 36, Mangey, ii. 587) asserts 
that there were numerous Jewish settlements in Pamphylia, Cilicia, 
and the greater part of Asia as far as Bithynia and the recesses of 
Pontus. Petronius {ibid. 33, Mangey, ii. 582) says that Jews 
abound in every city of Asia and Syria (see Schiirer, Jewish People 
in the Time of Jesus Christy Eng. trans, ii. 2. 221 sqq.). 

It is possible that around these Asiatic Jewish communities the 
same state of things may have existed as in the Crimea. We have 
a number of inscriptions from Tanais (belonging probably to the 
second or third century a.d.), emanating from Greek religious 
societies, who worshipped exclusively the Most High God (®cos 
vt/^to-Tos). The authors describe themselves as "adopted brethren 
worshipping the Most High God" {elo-TroirjTol dSeX^ot a-e^o/xevoL 
©eoj/ vipia-Tov), — they must have been some kind of proselytes, — and 
as having given in their names to a presbyter {ivypd{j/avT€<s eavrwv 
Ta ovofxara Trepl Trpe(r/3vT€pov) — obviously for the purpose of instruc- 
tion. Professor Schiirer thinks that they were not exactly Jewish 
proselytes, because the communities are distinctly Greek, and 
identify the Highest God with Zeus. It may be that we have 
in these inscriptions merely one of many symptoms of that inclina- 
tion to a kind of monotheism which we know to have existed among 
the heathen in imperial times ; but as Judaism was strong in 
Panticapaeum and Gorgippia, and had been so for a long time 
before, Schiirer considers that they are very possibly an indirect 
fruit of Jewish propaganda (Latyschev, Inscriptiones antiquae orae 


septentrionalis Ponti Euxini graecae et latinae ; vol. ii., inscrip Hones 
reg?ii Bosporani, Petropoli, 1890; Schurer in Theologische Litera- 
turzeitung^ No. 9, i Mai, 1897). 

If we may transfer these ideas from the Crimea to Asia, and 
suppose them to have been current in the first century, we may 
imagine the Jews of the Diaspora and their proselytes to have 
been surrounded by a number of hybrid societies, who watched 
their ways and copied their belief and practice without definitely 
breaking loose from heathenism. Indeed, we know that "prose- 
lyte " was a term of very loose application. The formal distinction 
between the proselyte of righteousness and the proselyte of the gate 
is later than apostolic times. But even in the first century the 
Jewish propaganda was active and widely spread. It desired to 
make of every convert a strict observer of the Law ; but it con- 
tented itself with accepting from every man as much as he was 
willing to give. There were proselytes who were circumcised and 
obeyed the whole Law. Others kept the Sabbath, fasted on the 
appointed days, burned the Sabbath lights, and observed the 
precepts respecting clean and unclean meats (Josephus, Apion. ii. 
39). Others, again, were united to the synagogue by a still looser 
tie. In Antioch the Jews persuaded a large number of Greeks to 
attend their religious services, and treated them as, in a certain 
sense, a part of themselves (Josephus, de Bell. Jud. vii. 3. 3). 
In this the synagogue resembled the church ; the doors stood 
open, and heathen were not only permitted but encouraged to 
attend certain portions of the public worship. Thus every Jewish 
community became the nucleus of a large group of adherents, of 
whom some were converts in the strict sense of the word ; others, in 
various shades and degrees, were partial conformists, allies, interested 
spectators, well-wishers (see Schurer, ii. 2. 305 sqq.). 

Some synagogues probably went over to Christianity in a body ; 
in other cases a part would secede, and this part would exhibit a 
vertical section of the parent group from top to bottom. It would 
include proper Jews, half Jews, and a number of persons who, 
though attracted by Judaism, had never definitely adopted its 
tenets or its practices, but hovered on its outskirts. There would 
be no difficulty about the Law. Anyone who chose still to observe 
it in its integrity could no doubt do so, just as anyone was at 
liberty to lead an ascetic life, provided that he did not interfere 
with the liberty of others. But even the proper Jews of the 
Diaspora were thought lax by the Pharisees of Jerusalem, and 
many of their converts and adherents never had professed to keep 
the whole body of the Mosaic ordinances. Baptism would readily 
take the place of that bath which was common in the case of 
proselytes ; the Eucharist represented the Passover ; the " blood 
which was sprinkled" for the proselyte was no longer necessary, 


because all Christians have been sprinkled once for all with the 
blood of Christ (i Pet. i. 2), and the strict law of meats was 
replaced by the Jerusalem Decree (see Schiirer, ii. 2. 319 sqq.). 
Hence (as has been already observed in § vi.) the Church 
appears to St. Peter as a continuous entity ; God's purpose seems 
to have grown and widened without any breach of sequence, and 
all the titles, which in old times He bestowed upon the chosen 
people, have passed on in the natural course of things to the 
Christian brotherhood, just as in the history of our own race the 
name Englishman survived the absorption of Danes and Normans 
into the great national family. 

It hardly seems probable that many of the primitive Churches 
were exclusively Gentile, composed, that is to say, wholly of 
brethren who, up to the time of their conversion, had no know- 
ledge, direct or indirect, of the Old Testament. On the other 
hand, scarcely any can have been exclusively Jewish, excepting, 
perhaps, that of Jerusalem. In some large towns where Jews 
were numerous, there may have been for a time a double Church, 
as at Antioch. But it is not at all likely that this often happened, 
or that it long endured when it did happen. Generally speaking, 
we must ask not whether a Church was Jewish or Gentile, but what 
proportion the Jews, with their proselytes and allies, bore to the 
rest of the congregation, or, in other words, who set the tone of the 
new religious life at the outset. Even in this shape we cannot 
answer the question with any great degree of precision. 

At what date may we suppose Christianity to have first gained 
a footing in the regions addressed by St. Peter? It is not easy to 
say. We know from Pliny's despatch to Trajan that there were 
many Christians at Amisos, in the extreme north of Asia Minor, 
on the coast of the Black Sea, about a.d. 87. But long before this, 
on the day of Pentecost, we read that among St. Peter's audience 
were people from Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, and Pam- 
phylia (Acts ii. 9, 10). St. Luke can hardly have given this list 
of countries without an ulterior reason; it is probable that he knew 
the work of evangelisation to have begun immediately afterwards in 
all of them. At any rate, among the three thousand souls who 
received baptism at the time of that great outpouring of the Spirit, 
there must have been many who went home and preached their 
new faith. Very much good work must have been done by obscure 
missionaries of whom we have no record at all. By unknown hands 
Christianity had been planted in Rome before a.d. 58, and no 
reason can be given why it should not have taken root in Pontus 
quite as early. Even in N,-W. Galatia, though the region may very 
possibly not have been visited by St. Paul himself, there would be 
no lack of voices to spread the good tidings. Pilgrims, chapmen, 
and traders of all kinds, soldiers, subordinate officials, played a pari 


in the dissemination of the gospel, and there was probably no 
corner of the empire where Christianity had not been heard of 
within a very few years. 

It has been thought surprising that St. Peter should address his 
Epistle to Churches connected, in part at any rate, with the name 
of St. Paul. But we must consider in the first place how small a 
portion of Asia Minor was visited by St. Paul. In Lycia, Caria, 
Mysia, Bithynia, Pontus, and Cappadocia he never set foot. Of 
Galatia and Phrygia, if Mr. Ramsay is right, he touched but the 
southern fringe ; and, if Mr. Ramsay is wrong, we do not know at 
all what was the extent of his voyagings. In Asia, of the Seven 
Churches mentioned in the Apocalypse, Ephesus alone is known to 
have enjoyed his presence, though he wrote to Laodicea. We do 
not hear of his working at Miletus, and at Troas he stayed but 
seven days. There are, indeed, large gaps in our information about 
St. Paul. We do not know by what road he travelled from Syria 
to Ephesus at the end of his second journey (Acts xviii. 18, 19), 
or how much is covered by such expressions as " the upper coasts," 
or "all they which dwelt in Asia" (Acts xix. i, 10). Yet much 
must have been left for other hands to do ; and there is no reason 
for supposing that it was undertaken exclusively by personal 
adherents of St. Paul, or that the communities were of a specially 
Pauline type. Indeed, even Ephesus was governed, as we know, 
by presbyters ; but we could not affirm this fact with confidence of 
Thessalonica or of Corinth. 

And here may be expressed a suspicion that there is more in a 
conjecture of Weiss than has generally been allowed. Why was 
St. Paul forbidden by the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia 
and Bithynia on his second expedition ? (Acts xvi. 6, 7). The Holy 
Ghost is Wisdom, and there must have been some reason for this 
prohibition. It may have been merely that the providence of God 
was calling St. Paul onwards, to carry the war straight into the 
enemy's country, and advance boldly upon his western strongholds. 
But it may also have been, as Weiss thinks, that other preachers 
were already at work in the forbidden regions, and that it was 
neither necessary nor desirable that St. Paul should direct his 
energies thitherwards. The apostle passed by Mysia, where not 
long afterwards, if the earlier date of the Apocalypse is correct, we 
find the Church of Pergamos. It may have been in process of 
formation at this very time. Nay, if conjecture be permissible, we 
might venture a step further. Even on his first journey, St. Paul 
hurried through Pamphylia without stopping, and did not preach 
in the country, except once at Perga, on his return (Acts xiv. 25), 
though Pamphylians had been present in Jerusalem on the day of 
Pentecost, and the ground was therefore to some extent prepared 
for the seed. Again, it was immediately after entering Pamphylia 


that Mark parted from St. Paul. The two facts, the hasty advance 
and the return of St. Mark, may possibly be connected, and, if they 
are, we must ask what explanation will fit them both. Considera- 
tions of health might conceivably, as Mr. Ramsay urges, determine 
the apostle to press on and leave Pamphylia unworked ; but this 
reason, which might have been expressed in two words, is not given 
by St. Luke, and still we are left to wonder why Mark went back, 
why Paul resented his conduct, and why Barnabas excused it. It 
is possible to suppose that evangelists were already at work in 
Pamphylia ; that Mark did not think it desirable to interfere with 
them ; that, being a young man, he pressed his opinion in a manner 
that might give offence ; that Barnabas agreed with Mark in sub- 
stance though not in expression, and that Paul yielded and moved 
on to Antioch without delay. 

Upon the whole, it seems tolerably certain, not only that 
Christianity advanced with great rapidity in Asia Minor, but that 
there were many Churches which were not founded by the direct 
personal initiative of St. Paul. It is clear also that the apostle's 
hold upon Asiatic Christianity was neither deep nor lasting. At the 
time when he wrote the Second Epistle to Timothy (i. 15), all the 
Churches of Asia — the province of Asia — had turned away from 
him, though he had still a footing in Ephesus, where Onesiphorus 
remained true. There may have been signs of defection in Galatia 
also, whither Crescens is despatched (iv. 10). Yet this cannot have 
been the precise date of i Peter, because Mark was in Asia, not in 
Rome, and was in close personal relations with St. Paul (iv. 11). 
What conclusions are we to draw? We can but grope our way 
through the dim light. There were probably at a very early date 
Churches dotted all over Asia Minor. Some of them were Pauline, 
some were of another type, which we may loosely call Petrine. 
There was agitation among them, and some passed from the one 
side to the other. To our modern eyes the difference between the 
Mystic and the Disciplinarian seems very great, because it has been 
embittered by the fierce controversies of the last five centuries. 
To St. Paul also it seemed very great. Law, in his eyes, was 
incompatible with mystic freedom, and he united in a very high 
degree speculative keenness and masterful enthusiasm. But did 
it seem equally great to the other apostles, or even to St. Paul's 
own attached followers? The difference as yet existed only in 
germ ; its consequences had not developed themselves. Can we 
not imagine that Mark or Silvanus may have been equally ready 
to take their orders either from St. Peter or from St. Paul. 

Is there any real reason why, if the Pontic Christians had 
planned a great mission or visitation of the Churches, St. Peter 
should not have been asked to write a circular letter which should 
give an authoritative basis to the enterprise? or why Silvanus, if 


he was not at the time in actual personal attendance upon St. Paul, 
should not have been the envoy? or why St. Mark, if he was at 
the time with St. Peter, should not have been mentioned affec- 
tionately in the Epistle? 

Whence was St. Peter writing, and what is the exact place which 
he calls Babylon ? Three answers have been given to this question ; 
for we may leave Joppa and Jerusalem on one side, though both 
towns have found advocates. Down to the Reformation, Babylon 
was generally understood as here signifying Rome. Since that date 
many commentators, following the lead of Erasmus and Calvin, 
have argued that the name must be taken in its natural sense, and 
that the Assyrian Babylon is intended. Others again, notably 
Bishop Pearson, have advocated the claims of the Egyptian 
Babylon or Old Cairo. We may consider these three views in 
the reverse order, 

Strabo the geographer, who was writing as late as a.d. 18, tells 
us (xvii. p. 807) that the Egyptian Babylon is a strong fortress, 
founded with the permission of the Pharaoh of the time by certain 
refugees from the Assyrian Babylon. " At present," he adds, " it is 
the camp of one of the three corps which form the garrison of 
Egypt." Near it, or round it, grew up a town which is of consider- 
able interest in the history of the Coptic Church, of the Arab 
invasion, and of the Crusades. But in the first century it appears 
to have been merely a great military station, the last place where 
we should expect to find St. Peter and his friends (see A. J. Butler, 
The Ancient Coptic Churches of Egypt ; Evetts, The Churches and 
Monasteries of Egypt-, Am^lineau, La Geographie de PEgypte). 

According to the letter of Agrippa to the Emperor Caius (in 
Philo, Legatio ad Caium, 36, Mangey, ii. 588), there were at that 
date many Jews in Babylon of Assyria. Persons from this region 
had been present in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, and it is 
possible that evangelists were at work there not long afterwards. 
But towards the end of the reign of Caius great disasters fell upon 
the Babylonian Jews. Many were massacred ; many fled to 
Seleucia and thence to Ctesiphon (Josephus, Ant. xviii. 9). If St. 
Peter ever went to the East, it is rather in the last-named city than 
in Babylon that we should expect to find him. Again, tradition 
associates with Parthia the name, not of Peter, but of Thomas, and 
considerable weight may be attached to this fact. Besides, the 
regions beyond Euphrates lay in another world. It is hardly 
credible that one and the same person should have taken an active 
part in evangelising the far Orient, and yet have kept up a close 
connexion with Greek-speaking communities in Asia Minor. The 
earliest Syriac tradition connects St. Peter with Rome, and does not 
mention Babylon (Dr. Chase, article on Peter, in Hastings' Dictionary 
of the Bible). Nor have we the least reason for supposing that 


Mark and Silvanus ever visited Assyria ; indeed, all the probabili- 
ties are heavily against it. 

There remains only the third explanation, that by Babylon St. 
Peter means Rome. Down to the time of the Reformation this 
view was universal. It was rejected by the Reformed divines, partly, 
perhaps, because it appeared to favour the Papal claims. But 
among modern commentators it is still the predominant opinion. 

That Rome was commonly spoken of as Babylon by Jewish 
writers of an apocalyptic tinge is beyond question. No one doubts 
what is meant by Babylon in the Book of the Apocalypse. There 
is, indeed, some difficulty in ascertaining the precise date at which 
this metaphor came into vogue. 

Bishop Lightfoot {St. Clement of Rome ^ vol. ii. p. 492) refers to a 
passage in the Sibylline Oracles (v. 158): koI (ftXeiet ttovtov /SaOvv 
avrrjv re. Ba/3uAtL)va 'IraXias yaiav 6' rj<; €iveKa ttoAXoi oXovto 'E^paitoi/ 
ayioi iricTTol kol va6<s aX.rjOi^<s. But these particular lines in which there 
is a reference to the destruction of the temple must have been written 
after the time of Vespasian. The same observation will apply to 
a passage in the Apocalypse of Baruch (xi. i, ed. R. H. Charles, 
1896), " Moreover, I, Baruch, say this against thee, Babylon : If thou 
hadst prospered and Zion had dwelt in her glory, it would have been 
a great grief to us that thou shouldest be equal to Zion. But now, 
lo, the grief is infinite, and the lamentation measureless, for, lo, thou 
art prospered and Zion desolate." This passage also Mr. Charles, 
the learned editor, assigns to a date after a.d. 70 and before a.d. 90. 
It is obvious that the sack of Jerusalem would bring the name 
of Vespasian into close proximity to that of Nebuchadnezzar, and 
suggest at once the parallel between Rome and Babylon, But 
there is no reason why this comparison should not have been 
vividly present to the minds both of Jews and Christians long 
before the final catastrophe. In the Apocalypse, which was most 
probably written before the fall of Jerusalem, Rome is Babylon, 
not because she has destroyed the Holy City, but because she is 
the mother of harlots and abominations, drunken with the blood of 
the saints (xvii. 5, 6). Such metaphors, or applications of prophecy, 
seem to have been not uncommon among the first Christians ; and 
even Jerusalem, "the great city where our Lord was crucified," was 
spoken of " spiritually" as Sodom or Egypt (Apoc. xi. 8). St. Paul 
had called the Holy City "Sinai" (Gal. iv. 25). Such turns of 
speech are very natural, and present little or no difficulty. The 
moment a pious Jew set his foot in the Transtiberine Ghetto, and 
saw with his own eyes the splendour and the vices of the capital, or 
heard of the influence of the " Chaldaean " astrologers, or of the 
blasphemous follies of Caligula, he might very well bethink him of 
Isaiah, and say to himself, " Surely this is Babylon, not Rome." 

It has been urged that to use such a metaphor in the actual 


dating of an official letter might cause uncertainty and confusion, 
But there is little force in this objection. The letter did not drop 
from the sky, nor even go through the post. It was carried by 
Silvanus, who had come from the place, whatever it was, where the 
author was residing. It is quite possible that there is another 
metaphor in the same verse (i Pet. v. 13). For, although the 
Sinaitic MS. and other ancient authorities insert the word iKKXrja-La 
before a-vveKXcKT-rj, we may maintain with confidence that the right 
translation of what St. Peter wrote is not " the fellow-elect Church," 
but "the fellow-elect Lady in Babylon greeteth you." But this, 
again, may be a metaphor, for many hold with Bishop Lightfoot 
that we must see in the phrase a personification of the Church in 
which the apostle was resident at the time. Bishop Lightfoot 
compares the (probably not parallel) use of Kvpia, 2 John i. 5 ; see 
Clement of Rome , ii. 491 ; we may add the Lady of Hermas. 

But it is not necessary to treat the lady also as a figure of 
speech. The sister-wife whom St. Peter led about with him must 
have been a well-known and well-loved personage in many places. 
Clement of Alexandria had heard that she died a martyr death 
before her husband {Strom, vii. 11. 63). There is no reason for 
doubting his story ; and, if it is true, it implies that she had been 
not only the companion, but the active assistant of her husband. 
She was one of the heroines of the primitive Church, and would 
hold a far higher position in the eyes of men than Phoebe, or 
Priscilla, or Euodia, or Syntyche, or those other good women who 
laboured with St. Paul. She may very well have desired to add a 
brief message of Christian affection to her great husband's Epistle. 
Peter, again, was not only a husband but a father (Clem. Alex. 
Strom, iii. 6. 52; Eus. H. E. iii. 30. i); he never mentions 
divorce; he does not appear to have attached any merit to 
celibacy; he seems to have been a typical Hebrew, who looked 
upon married life as the best, happiest, and most blessed condition ; 
the Lord Jesus had deigned to visit his wife, and had been good to 
his wife's mother. He would speak of his wife, as Synesius in a 
later age spoke of his, with affection that was not ashamed, and 
knew no reason why it should be ashamed, of expressing itself. 

If we take the word "lady" in a metaphorical sense, we are 
probably sacrificing to mere prudery a noble and distinctive feature 
of St. Peter's character, and losing a touch of nature which speaks 
strongly in favour of the genuineness of the Epistle. " My wife and 
my son Marcus, two persons who are very near and dear to me, 
join in my greeting to you " — this is surely what St. Peter means. 
We must add that the word " lady " is not found in the Greek text. 
Kvpca may, indeed, be used in a figure of the Church, but what 
St. Peter actually says is "she who is fellow-elect." We may 
supply yvvrj, if we please, and even more easily than KvpCa. Thus, 


even if Kvpia in 2 John meant a Church, the case would not be 
parallel. Twrj could hardly be used in a metaphorical sense. 

Nothing has been said in the foregoing paragraphs as to the 
authenticity of the address and concluding verses of the Epistle 
which has lately been impugned by Professor Harnack {Chronologic^ 
p. 451 sqq.). A few words on the subject will not be inappropriate 

Dr. Harnack thinks that the Epistle does not profess to be the 
work of a personal disciple of Jesus, /xaprvs in v. i meaning, not 
an apostle, but merely one who has suffered after the pattern of 
Christ; that it is so saturated with Pauline ideas that it might 
conceivably have been written by St. Paul himself ; that it displays 
no personal acquaintance with the life of Jesus, and hardly a trace 
of any knowledge of the gospel ; that it describes the state of the 
Church and its afflictions in such a manner that the date may be 
fixed between 83 and 93, but possibly as early as 73 or 63 a.d. ; 
that it is the production of some distinguished teacher and con- 
fessor ; that it was known to Clement of Rome, Polycarp, Papias, 
and the author of the so-called Second Epistle of Clement^ but 
not under the name of Peter ; that Babylon means possibly Rome, 
but more probably Jerusalem ; that it floated about in an anony- 
mous condition, till between a.d. 150 and 170 it was seized upon 
by the writer who forged the Second Epistle of Peter and furnished 
with a head- and tail-piece. 

Dr. Harnack admits that the general state of things described 
in the Epistle is such that the date might be fixed without absurdity 
as early as a.d. 63, before the outbreak of the Neronian persecution, 
and within the lifetime of St. Peter. But he maintains that it 
cannot be the work of St. Peter himself, because of its Paulinism, 
of its impersonality, and of the vagueness of its references to the 
Gospels. Hence it becomes necessary ci priori to regard the 
address and subscription as forged ; but Dr. Harnack also finds 
these passages full of difficulty. 

As to the general character of the Epistle, much has already 
been said in the course of this Introduction, and more will be 
added in the Notes. Paulinism is not to be found in the Epistle, 
except in that sense in which Paulinism is identical with Chris- 
tianity ; the Gospel allusions are more numerous than Dr. Harnack 
is disposed to admit ; in a circular letter, written at a very early 
date, there was neither room nor occasion for precise quotation or 
detailed information ; and for the note of personality, we should 
look naturally to the beginning and end, which the hypothesis 
requires us to regard as spurious. There are difficulties and 
obscurities, no doubt, but the worst conceivable method of hand- 
ling them is to regard them as traces of interpolation or forgery. 
The forger's object is to make things as clear and natural as 


possible; why, then, should anyone, writing as late as a.d. 160, with 
the Pauline Epistles, if not the Book of Acts, before him, have 
pitched upon Silvanus and Mark, of all people in the world, as 
likely to be in attendance upon St. Peter ? The mention of these 
two names causes great perplexity in modern times, and certainly 
could not have caused less in ancient. Further, it is not easy, 
though it is not impossible, to suppose that some unscrupulous 
person first concocted an epistle in the name of Peter, and then 
seized upon a well-known but anonymous ancient document, and 
affixed to it the name of Peter, in order to give some sort of support 
to his own fabrication. If 2 Peter is to be regarded as a forgery, it 
is much more likely that what happened was just the reverse ; that 
the forger found i Peter in existence as we have it, and used it, 
address, subscription and all, as a pattern for his own concoction. 
But, indeed, forgery is even a more dangerous word than interpola- 
tion. It is our bounden moral duty to require cogent evidence 
before we charge one who is presumably an honest and sensible 
man with deliberate falsification. For that harmless masquerading 
which we find later on in the Judicium Petri, the Clementine 
Homilies, the Constitutions of the Apostles, or Dionysius the Areopa- 
gite, is in the present instance quite out of the question. 

In style, the address and subscription are indistinguishable from 
the body of the Epistle. The language of the address (Siao-Tropd, 
TrapcTTiST^/xoi, dytacr/xos, VTraKO-^, pavTLo-jxos) paves the way with great 
propriety for the admonitions which follow, and contains a sort of 
abstract or premonition of all that was in the writer's mind. St. 
Clement of Rome, writing about a.d. 95, not only makes use of 
the body of the Epistle, but moulds his own address very closely 
on the address of the Epistle (x^P^? vfjuv koI dprjvr} drro TTavroKpa.Topo's 
©eov 8ta ^lr](Tov Xpt(rTov TrXrjOvvOeir] : see Lightfoot's note). Dr. Har- 
nack's view involves the extremely improbable supposition that this 
form of address was the invention of Clement ; that at a somewhat 
later date it was loosely imitated by Jude ; that half a century after- 
wards the forger of 2 Peter, writing with both Clement and Jude 
before him, copied more accurately the Clementine address, and 
prefixed it not only to his own concoction, but to an ancient Epistle 
which he found floating about without a name. It is true that St. 
Clement does not quote St. Peter by name, but it is equally true 
that though, according to Dr. Harnack's Index Locorum, he quotes 
or alludes to twenty-two of the New Testament documents, he no- 
where gives the name of his authority. Yet, though he quotes St. 
Paul without naming him, he knew quite well that St. Paul was the 
author of the Ej'isiles from which he quotes (xlvii. i, di/aXa/^ere t7)v 
k-Ki(TTokriv Tov ixaKapLov UavXov tov olttocttoXov), and we may con- 
fidently infer that he had the same knowledge in the case of St. Peter. 

There is therefore some internal and strong external evidence in 


favour of the authenticity of the address. But if the address is 
genuine, no one will care to dispute the genuineness of the subscrip- 
tion. The difficulties involved in the latter passage are not of a 
kind that can be regarded as insuperable. 

For the later evidence on the subject of St. Peter's sojourn in 
Rome, the reader may consult the article by Dr. Chase, who has 
marshalled all the statements with great care and lucidity. There 
also will be found references to the Uterature of the question. The 
only addition which I can make to Dr. Chase's quotations is one 
from Clement of Alexandria, taken from a note in the Codex 
Marcianus (text in Zahn, Forschungen^ iii. 70) : " Petrus et Paulus 
Romae sepulti sunt . . . Clemens in quinto libro hypotyposeon id 
est informationum." Zahn expresses a doubt whether this state- 
ment is really derived from Clement, but gives no reason. It may 
very well be genuine. The fifth book of the Hypotyposes certainly 
contained information about the apostles, as we know from Eus. 
H E. i. 12. 


When St. Peter despatched his Epistle, Mark and Silvanus were 
in his company. 

Mark is called by St. Paul (Col. iv. 10) the cousin of Barnabas. 
We may therefore with confidence identify him with the John Mark 
of whom we read in Acts (xii. 12). It can hardly be doubted that 
this is the same Mark who was with St. Peter. 

Mark was the son of a woman named Mary, who lived in 
Jerusalem, and whose house was a meeting-place for the brethren. 
Like his cousin Barnabas, he was probably a Levite. St. Peter was 
well acquainted with Mark's mother, for it was to her house that he 
turned his steps on his deliverance from prison. He knew Mark, 
therefore, before St. Paul did ; and when he calls him his son, he 
may mean that he induced Mark to accept baptism, or at any rate 
was instrumental in bringing him to Christ. But the term may 
denote nothing more than close and affectionate familiarity. 

Barnabas and Saul took John Mark with them on what is 
known as the First Mission Journey (Acts xii. 25), as their 
" minister " (v7rrjpiTr)<;, Acts xiii. 5. E has here eis BiuKoviav, 
evidently wishing to get rid of an ambiguous word). It is not 
quite clear what we are to understand by the word "minister." 
Sometimes, but rarely, it means " a minister of the word " (so Luke 
i. 2 ; I Cor. iv. i ; Acts xxvi. 16 : in this last passage it is applied 
by Jesus to St. Paul), but more commonly it is used in the New 
Testament of menials or subordinate officers of an inferior class. 
Possibly Mark went as personal attendant on the apostles, as their 
courier or dragoman ; but for this purpose they would naturally 


select a fellow-believer who had a gift of exposition, and could help 
in other ways, besides ministering to their comfort, arranging routes, 
and managing business generally. With Barnabas and Saul, Mark 
traversed Cyprus — a country which may have been known to him, 
for it was the native land of Barnabas. But at Perga in Pamphylia 
"John departing from them returned to Jerusalem" (Acts xiii. 13). 
Paul resented his conduct, and when Barnabas proposed to take 
John Mark with them on their second journey (Acts xv. 37), 
objected so strongly that there was a sharp contention between him 
and Barnabas. Finally, the two great friends departed asunder, 
Paul taking for his companion the prophet Silas, while Barnabas 
went with Mark to Cyprus. 

Two questions suggest themselves here. The first is. What was 
the age of Mark at this time? A worthless tradition, which is 
directly contradicted by the Elder of Papias (Eus. H. E. iii. 39. 15), 
represents him as having been one of the Seventy. Some com- 
mentators in recent times have identified him with the young man 
mentioned in his Gospel (Mark xiv. 51). This, again, is somewhat 
unsubstantial conjecture. But the word "minister" seems to imply 
that he was a novice to mission work, and that he was a young man. 
Though he was cousin, not "sister's son," of Barnabas, he may 
have been many years younger than that apostolic man. 

Again, why did he leave the apostles so abruptly ? St. Luke 
makes no comment, and we are thrown back on hypothesis. Yet 
it is clear that the breach was not between Mark and Barnabas, but 
between Mark and Paul. Barnabas defended him with great 
warmth. The reason for Mark's departure, therefore, can hardly 
have been that his courage failed, or that his health broke down, or 
that he proved incompetent for his office. But if these causes are 
inadequate, what can we suppose but that there was some difference 
of opinion between Paul and Mark which Paul regarded as un- 
fitting him for the purpose in hand, while Barnabas, who inclined 
to the party of Peter (Gal. ii. 13), did not. It is not easy to suppose 
that Barnabas, however strong his family affection may have been, 
would have selected again for his helpmate one who could not be 
trusted on an emergency. Nor would Mark himself have been 
willing to renew an adventure of which he knew that he was 
incapable. He ended by going with Barnabas to Cyprus, where 
possibly the dangers were less ; but he appears to have been quite 
willing to plunge into Asia Minor, though he must have heard all 
about the sufferings of the previous expedition. Nor is it easy 
to suppose that St. Paul would have still been embittered by a 
failure of courage of which Mark had so evidently repented. It 
seems far more likely that Mark had taken alarm at St. Paul's 
views ; that during the interval, probably under the persuasion of 
Barnabas, he had come to regard the difference as unimportant ; 


and that St. Paul felt rightly, though with some sense of personal 
vexation, that, however slight the grounds of disagreement might 
look to others, they would prevent him from working successfully 
with one who was disposed to criticise and disapprove. Some 
slight confirmation of this view may be found in the fact that the 
companion chosen by St. Paul was Silas, a prophet, and in the 
previous connexion between Mark and St. Peter. Mark is not 
again mentioned in the Book of Acts. 

At a later date, when the apostle's own views were much milder 
and more tolerant than they had been, we find Mark with St. Paul 
in Rome (Col. iv. lo), and contemplating a journey to Colossae. 
Possibly he was not personally known to the Colossians, for the 
apostle adds, " if he come unto you, receive him." It may be that 
St. Paul is here giving Mark an introduction, but we should hardly 
be justified in pressing this sense upon the words. At a later 
date (2 Tim. iv. 11) Mark was somewhere in Asia Minor, and 
Timothy is desired to bring him to Rome ; for, says the apostle, 
"he is useful to me for ministry" (evxpr^o-ros d<s StaKoi/tW). And in 
the Epistle to Philemon (24) we find him in Rome with Epaphras, 
Aristarchus, Demas, and Lucas, the fellow-labourers of St. Paul. 
But we do not know when or how St. Mark first set foot in the 

Ancient tradition connected St. Mark very closely with St. Peter. 
Papias stated, on the authority of the Elder (Eus. H. E. iii. 39. 15), 
that Mark had never been a follower of the Lord Himself, but had 
served Peter as interpreter, and that his Gospel represents the 
occasional discourses of St. Peter, which Mark reproduced accurately 
from memory. The Elder, as reported by Papias, does not actually 
mention Rome, and does not say expressly that the Gospel was 
composed after Peter's death, though this is probably implied in 
his statement that Mark wrote from memory. 

Irenaeus, after telling us (iii. i. i) that Matthew wrote while 
Peter and Paul were preaching the gospel in Rome and founding 
the Church, proceeds, " After their death (e^oSov) Mark also, the 
disciple and interpreter of Peter, delivered to us in writing the 
substance of Peter's preaching." Clement of Alexandria (in Eus. 
H. E. \\. 15) affirms that Mark wrote his Gospel to satisfy the 
importunities of the brethren, and without the apostle's knowledge, 
before the death of Peter, and submitted it when complete to the 
apostle's judgment. Origen (Lomm. vol. iii. p. i ; Eus. H. E. vi. 
25. 5) says that Mark wrote as Peter dictated to him (ws neVpos 
v4>r}-y^(TaTo avr(5). These four accounts, while they differ in details 
and may be independent, agree in bringing Mark into close per- 
sonal relations with Peter. Not one of them says in so many 
words that his Gospel was written in Rome, but the language of 
Trenaeus seems clearly to imply this, and it was probably the belief 


of the other three also. Clement certainly thought that the First 
Epistle of Peter was written from Rome. 

Tradition also taught that, after publishing his Gospel, Mark 
went to Egypt, there preached the faith, and became first Bishop 
of Alexandria (Eus. H. E. ii. 16, i ; Epiph. Haer. li. 6; Jerome, 
de Vir. III. 8). Here in later days his tomb was shown in the 
great church of Baucalis, which stood near the harbour. There 
was, however, an ancient opinion, which has been preserved in the 
heterodox Clementine Homilies (i. 8), that the Church of Egypt 
owed its origin to Barnabas, not to Mark. 

The Silvanus of Peter has been generally identified with the 
Silas of Acts, the Silvanus of the Pauline Epistles. Like St. Paul, 
he was a Roman citizen (Acts xvi. 37, 38). A foreign burgess 
would have a Roman name borrowed from the personage from 
whom he or his ancestor had received the franchise. Silvanus is 
a well-known cognomen borne by many distinguished families, the 
Ceionii, Granii, Pomponii, and others. See Hoole, The Classical 
Element in the N.T.^ i^. (i\. 

In Orelli there is a long inscription (No. 750) in honour of Ti. 
Plautius Silvanus Aelianus, who was consul suffect in a.d. 45. He 
was a meritorious officer, who stood high in the favour of Ves- 
pasian, and had been proconsul of Asia, as Wilmanns thinks, just 
before or just after Silanus, who held the same office in a.d. 54. 
M. Plautius Silvanus (Orelli, No. 622) was consul in b.c. 2, and re- 
ceived the triumphal ornaments for service in Illyricum. L. Flavins 
Silvanus (Wilmanns, InscriJ>tiones Latinae, No. 285) was consul in 

A.D. 81. 

The name Silvanus was also borne by persons of lower station, 
freedmen or dependants of the great houses. Thus (Orelli, No. 695) 
we find a funeral inscription to Silvania Maria, which is dated 
duobus Geminis ; this, according to Tertullian, was the year of our 
Lord's crucifixion. Another epitaph {C. I. L. vol. vi. No. 4073) in 
the columbarium of the servants of Livia Augusta runs thus : 

M. Livivs. SiLVANvs. Decvr. Thymele. Silvani. 

This Silvanus was decurion, or head, of one of the numerous 
bodies of officials or servants in the Imperial household. Thy- 
mele was probably his wife. Again {ibid. No. 4316) we read: 


The name Silvanus or Silvanius was not uncommonly borne by 
persons of the same class to which we may suppose the companion 
of the apostles to have belonged ; and from the name Maria, which 
in one instance we find associated with it, we many infer that some 
of them were of Jewish parentage. It is particularly interesting to 
find a Silvanus actually employed in the family of the Caesars. 
Here we may possibly discern one of the little links by which 


Christianity attached itself from the very first to the Imperial court. 
Our Silvanus had certainly namesakes, possibly relatives, among 
that vast body of servants, clerks, readers, physicians, librarians, 
civil and domestic officials, who surrounded the emperor and 
served him in all sorts of capacities, from that of cook to some- 
thing very like what we should call a Secretary of State. And it is 
in no way surprising to find him in Rome. 

There can be little doubt that the Silas of Acts is the Silvanus 
of the Pauline and Petrine Epistles, but the relation between his 
two names is not quite clear. The vulgar abbreviation of Silvanus 
would naturally be 2tA/?as or %tXova^. Hence it has been main- 
tained that the real name of this apostolic man was the Aramaic 
Sili, which by the addition of a common Greek termination be- 
comes Silas ; and that Silvanus is not a lengthened form of Silas, but 
a Gentile by-name adopted merely because it was similar in sound 
to the original (compare Joshua, Jason. See Zahn, Einleitung^ i. 
p. 23; Deissmann, Bibelstudien^ p. 184). If this view is correct, 
the name of Silvanus ceases to have any particular meaning. But 
Zahn does not quite solve the problem. If Silvanus is equivalent 
to Silvas, not to Silas, why, we may ask, did Silas call himself 
Silvanus and not rather Silanus? The same difficulty recurs in 
either case. Again, though Silvas is actually used for Silvanus 
(Zahn cites a ^\a.ovio% ^StA^as from Josephus, Bell. Jud. vii. 8. i), 
it is not safe to assert that the same rule was always observed. In 
these vulgar abbreviations the final -as represents a large variety of 
terminations ; thus we have Hermas for Hermogenes, Epaphras for 
Epaphroditus, Nymphas for Nymphodorus, and so on. Popular 
usage follows very loose rules, as we know from the analogy of 
English pet names. Finally, there is the probability that Silas and 
Silvanus only accidentally resemble one another, that the first was 
the name given to the man by his Hebrew parents, the second his 
name as a Roman burgess and client of a noble Roman house. 
We are left to make the same choice of alternatives in the case of 
a more famous pair of names, Saul and Paul. 

It is probable then that Silvanus or one of his ancestors had 
been manumitted by one or other of the Roman Silvani. He 
appears first as one of the leading men among the brethren at 
Jerusalem, and was one of the delegates appointed to carry to 
Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia the Decree of the Council. He must, 
therefore, have been heartily in accord with the substance of the 
Decree. He was a prophet, meeting St. Paul on this side, and at 
Antioch he exhorted the brethren, probably the Gentile brethren, 
with many words and confirmed them. From Antioch he appears 
to have returned to Jerusalem (Acts xv. 34 is to be omitted), but 
shortly afterwards he was chosen by St. Paul to accompany him on 
his Second Mission Journey. We hear of him for the last time in 


the Book of Acts at Corinth (Acts xviii. 5 ; compare 2 Cor. i. 19), 
where again, as at Antioch, he appears as a preacher. Silvanus 
also, Hke Mark, dwelt at first in Jerusalem, and must have been 
well known to St. Peter before he became acquainted with St. Paul. 

This account of Mark and Silvanus enables us to fix with cer- 
tainty a prior limit of date for the First Epistle of St. Peter. Mark 
was probably a novice when first we read of him, and attended 
St. Paul on the First Journey. Silvanus went with the apostle on 
the Second. Hence i Peter cannot possibly have been written 
before the end of the Second Journey. The date of the apostle's 
fourth visit to Jerusalem, with which this journey terminated (Acts 
xviii. 22), is very variously computed from a.d. 49 (Bengel) or a.d. 
51 (Schrader) or a.d. 52 (Turner) to a.d. 56 (Eichhorn and Ideler). 
The date most in favour is a.d. 54. (See the table in Farrar's Life oj 
St. Paul^ vol. ii. p. 624.) But all calculations of time for the Book 
of Acts are inferential, and this is probably some few years too late. 

As to the posterior limit of date, there is not the same certainty. 
Reasons have been assigned in a previous section for believing that 
the Epistle was written before the outbreak of the Neronian per- 
secution in a.d. 64, but many eminent authorities dispute this 

Are there any other considerations that will enable us to come 
to a more definite result ? 

It has been thought that Mark and Silvanus could not possibly 
have been in Rome, and in attendance on St. Peter, till after the 
death of St. Paul. But, in the first place, there is no reason for 
supposing that St. Peter outlived St. Paul by any considerable 
length of time. Dionysius of Corinth, our earliest authority (Jerome, 
de Vir. III. 27, places him under M. Aurelius and Commodus), 
says that the apostles perished "about the same time" {Kararbv 
avTov Kaipov, Eus. H. E. ii. 25. 8; Routh, vol. i. p. 180); and the 
natural inference from these words is, that though the apostles may 
not have ended their lives on the same day, their deaths were not 
far separated. But it is surely incredible that, if the Neronian per- 
secution were actually raging at the time, and St. Paul himself had 
been slain with the sword not long before, the language of St. Peter's 
Epistle should be what it is. 

Nor can it reasonably be supposed that Mark and Silvanus were 
adherents of St. Paul in such a sense that they could not at any 
time have written and carried a letter for St. Peter, and joined him 
in sending a greeting to the Asiatic Churches. On the contrary, the 
difficulty is to understand how either Mark or Silvanus can ever 
have been thoroughgoing advocates of the distinctively Pauline 
teaching. Let it be remembered that Mark parted from St. Paul 
imder painful circumstances at the very outset of the First Journey, 
and that Silas was the chosen advocate of the Jerusalem Decree. 


The natural inference from such facts as we have is that, till the 
dispute about the law which St. Paul presses so vehemently in 
Galatians and Romans had died down, neither Mark nor Silvanus 
can have been in quite unclouded relations with the outspoken 
champion of Faith against Works. 

There are long blank spaces to be filled up in the history of 
both men. What was Mark doing after he went with Barnabas to 
Cyprus, during St. Paul's Second and Third Journeys, or during the 
imprisonment at Caesarea? Even after this date we catch but a 
few flying glimpses of him; and of Silvanus we know absolutely 
nothing from the time of his arrival in Corinth. 

Thus we are driven back upon the question of the literary inter- 
dependence of the Pauline and Petrine Epistles. According to most 
scholars, the Petrine Epistle is later than Romans (a.d. 58) or 
Ephesians (a.d. 63). In the view of others it is later than any of 
the Pauline Epistles ; indeed it has been supposed to borrow from 
almost every book in the New Testament. 

The evidence, both linguistic and doctrinal, has been considered 
in previous sections, and it does not appear to point to any definite 

Mark and Silvanus may very well have been together in Rome 
at any time after the Second Mission Journey. But at what 
date can we suppose St. Peter to have been in the city with 
them ? 

This is a question which cannot be answered with certainty. 
Lipsius maintained that St. Peter never visited Rome at all. Of 
late it has been generally allowed that the evidence on the other 
side is too strong to be rejected. But the tendency is to place St. 
Peter's arrival in the capital as late as possible, towards the end of 
St. Paul's first imprisonment, at the end of a.d. 63 (Dr. Chase) or 
in the beginning of a.d. 64 (Bishop Lightfoot). 

Both these dates rest upon the assumption that, if St. Peter had 
visited Rome at any earlier time, the fact must have been mentioned 
in the Book of Acts or in the Pauline Epistles. But it can hardly 
be said that the silence of either of these authorities amounts to 
negative proof. In Acts, St. Peter disappears from the scene alto- 
gether after the Council of Jerusalem. St. Luke must have known 
much about the apostle's later movements, but for some reason or 
another he did not see fit to say a single word upon the subject. 
The silence of St. Paul affords an extremely difficult problem. St. 
Peter had certainly visited Antioch, but St. Paul only mentions the 
fact incidentally, and with a polemical object. Dr. Harnack thinks 
it highly probable {Chronologic^ p. 244, note) that he had also been 
in Corinth ; but we cannot gather this with certainty from the words 
of St. Paul. He may have preached in Galatia also ; but this again 
we can only suspect. As to the origin of the Church in Rome we 


are left to grope in the dark ; but questions arise to which we must 
not too readily assume an answer. 

A Church had been founded there many years before (Rom. xv. 
22), not by St. Paul, and had attained some considerable dimen- 
sions. Whom would these behevers be so anxious to see as Peter, 
whose name must have been familiar to them from the day of their 
conversion ? Who was that " other man " upon whose foundation 
the Roman Church was built? (Rom. xv. 20). Why, again, <ioes St. 
Paul, writing to a Church that he had never seen, enter so fully and 
controversially into questions which had probably never been heard 
of in Rome ? for the Jews of Rome, when he came there as a prisoner 
five or six years later, knew "no harm " about him (Acts xxviii. 21) ; 
and, though these Jews were not Christians, they could hardly have 
spoken thus, if the Pauline view of Law had been debated among 
their compatriots in the city. Or what was that spiritual gift which 
St. Paul desired to impart at Rome (Rom. i. 11), if not prophecy, 
the essential mark of difference between Pauline and Petrine Chris- 
tianity ? The Epistle to the Romans is, in fact, an Apologia, and 
seems to imply the pre-existence of that form of doctrine which we 
find in the First Epistle of St. Peter. And this mode of opinion 
continued to be actively taught in Rome during St. Paul's first 
imprisonment, as we may gather from Philippians (i, 15-18). Pro- 
fessor Harnack thinks it not impossible that St. Peter may have 
paid a visit to Rome even under the reign of Claudius, that is to 
say, before a.d. 54 {Chronologic^ p. 244, note); and certainly this 
opinion is not untenable. 

In any case, if we place the end of Acts and of the first im- 
prisonment of St. Paul in a.d. 58, — the opinion of Eusebius, which 
has of late received the powerful support of Blass and Harnack, — 
there is a space of some six years before the outbreak of the Neronian 
persecution, in a.d. 64, during which we know nothing of Mark and 
Silvanus, and very little of St. Paul. There is no reason against our 
assigning the First Epistle of St. Peter to this interval of time. If 
the Epistle does after all, as many think, display an acquaintance 
with Romans and Ephesians, the fact would be thus accounted for. 
If Mark made his first acquaintance with Asia Minor immediately 
after the date of Colossians, we should be able to explain how he 
comes to be mentioned. Time would be allowed for the growth of 
the numerous Christian communities implied in the address of the 
Epistle, and also for the wakening of hostility among the Gentiles, 
who, though not yet quite prepared for measures of bloody repres- 
sion, were evidently fast moving in that direction. 

On the whole, therefore, it seems the most likely supposition 
that the First Epistle of St. Peter was written between a.d. 58 and 
A.D. 64. 


The Title. In the oldest MSS. the Epistle is headed neVpov d- (B), 
or nerpoD l-mcnokr] d (j< A C). In Greek cursives we find neVpov 


neVpov iTTLo-ToXrj a : L has lina-ToXr] KaBoXiK-q d tov aylov /cat 

iravevcfji^ixov aTrocTToXov Uirpov. The Codex Amiatinus gives epistula 
Petri prima; the Codex Fuldensis, Petri epistula ad gentes, so 
Junilius and Cassiodorus (in Westcott, Canon^ Appendix D); 
Tertullian, Scorpiace 1 2, quotes the Epistle as Petri ad Ponticos. 

I. 1, 2. The Addi-ess. The ordinary type of the address of 
a Greek letter is that found in Acts xxiii. 26, KAavSios Avo-ias 
TO) KpaTLcTTto rjye/xovL ^^Xlkl ;(atpav : cf. I Macc. X. 18, 25, xi. 30, 
xii. 6. Xaip€iv was felt to be objectionable by some of the religious 
heathen ; thus the author of the third Platonic Epistle prefers ev 
TTpoLTTiLVj OH thc ground that joy or pleasure befits neither man nor 
God. But the old heathen formula was at first used even in 
apostolic letters. We have an instance in the address of the letter 
which enclosed the Decree of the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 
XV. 23), and another in that of the Epistle of St. James. 

To the name of the writer is naturally added his title. In 2 and 
3 John we find simply 6 Trpeo-ySwcpo? : in James, 'Id/cwySos ©eov koI 
KvpLov *l7]a-ov Xpiarov 8ovXo<i : in i Peter, Hirpos dirocTToXos *l7](rov 
XpioToO : in 2 Peter, "^l/jhov IIcTpos SoOAos koI d7r6(TToXo<s 'Irja-ov 
J^pia-Tov : in Jude, 'Jrjaov XpLcrrov SovAos dScAc^os Sc *laKM(3ov. The 
usage of St. Paul varies. In i and 2 Thessalonians the names only 
are given ; in the polemical Epistles, Romans and Galatians, he 
defends and explains his right to the title of apostle; in i and 
2 Corinthians, Ephesians, Colossians, 2 Timothy the words 8ta<i ©eoG are added with the same purpose; in i Tim. we 
have KttT* iTTLTayrjv ®eov added ; in Philippians he calls himself BovXo^ 
XpicTTov 'Irjaov (like James, J ude) ; in Titus, Romans, both SorAos 
and ciTroo-ToAos (like 2 Peter) ; in the pathetic Epistle to Philemon 
the phrase he selects is SeV/Atos Xpia-Tov 'It^ctov. 

The name of the addressees is sometimes given quite simply, as 
by James, by St. Paul in Philemon, Galatians ; but generally a few 
words descriptive of their Christian character are added, and these 


CHAP. I. VERS. I, 2 89 

are often very significant of the leading thoughts in the writer's 
mind (TrapeTriSTy/^ot in I Pet. ; kXtjtoI ayioL in Rom., i Cor. ; ayiot 
Kttt TTLOTOL {u Col. ', dyaTTO), ctXT^^cttt, 2 and 3 John). 

The heathen x'^^P^^^ becomes the Christian xapiq. To this is 
naturally added the Jewish Peace (i and 2 Pet, 2 John, all the 
Pauline Epistles), and often Mercy (2 John, i and 2 Tim., Tit.), or 
Love (Jude has mercy, peace, and love). 

We are not to suppose that St. Paul set the pattern for all these 
addresses; this is extremely improbable. No one man creates 
epistolary forms. 

Ignatius still uses the old heathen x^'P^'^j except in Philad. \ 
and Barnabas begins his Epistle with ;>(at/3eT€. 

n expos. The apostle's name was Simon (properly Simeon). 
Our Lord gave him the surname of Cephas (John i. 42), which 
signifies a rock or a stone. What our Lord meant was no doubt 
"rock "not stone, firmness not mere hardness (Matt. xvi. 18); but 
the Greek noun Trerpa is feminine, and when used as the name for 
a man necessarily takes the shape of XleVpos. Our Lord always 
addresses the apostle as Simon except Luke xxii. 34, where Peter 
seems to be used with reference to the meaning of the name (in 
ver. 31 we find "Simon, Simon"; in Matt. xvi. 18, again, Peter is 
an appellative, not the mere name). The apostle is called Simon 
(Symeon) also by his brother apostle St. James, Acts xv. 14, and 
by Mark and Luke before the Mission of the Twelve. John calls 
him indifferently Simon Peter or Peter. Simon Peter is found 
also Matt. xvi. 16; Luke v. 8; 2 Pet. i. i ; "Simon who is called 
Peter" occurs in Matt. iv. 18, x. 2, and four times in Acts (x. 5, 
18, 32, xi. 13); all these last occur in the story of Cornelius; 
possibly in his Hebrew original St. Luke found the name Simon 
and added the other words. Even in the Gospels, Peter is the 
name generally used, and in Acts it is employed throughout with 
the few exceptions that have been noted. St. Paul generally speaks 
of "Cephas," i Cor. i. 12, iii. 22, ix. 5, xv. 5 ; Gal. i. 18, ii. 9, 11, 14 
(though he uses Peter in ii. 7, 8), and we may infer that this title 
was current in the Church of Jerusalem where St. Paul first met the 
apostle. Some have supposed that St. Paul uses Cephas with a 
polemical intention, to remind his readers of the compact referred 
to Gal. ii. 9; but probably it was his habit. The older Syriac 
versions of the New Testament, the Curetonian (with the recently 
discovered Sinaitic of the Gospels) and the Peshito, render Peter 
sometimes Kepha, sometimes Simon Kepha, and sometimes Simon. 
Peter is found Acts i. 13 ; i Pet. i. i. Evidently Simon and Kepha 
were the common usage in the second century in the Aramaic 
countries. Elsewhere Simon went rapidly out of use, and Cephas 
was preserved only by the same archaeological interest which clung 
to Talitha cumi, as the exact words used by our Lord, See Hort ; 


Zahn, Einleifung, i. 21, ii. 60; Chase on "Peter" in Hastings' 
Dictionary of the Bible, vol. iii. p. 756 ; Plummer on Luke vi. 14. 

eKXcKTois irapeiri8i]fiois SiacTTropas. " To the elect sojourners of 
the Dispersion " : the omission of the article appears here to have no 
significance. See Introduction, § 2. There is no verb to govern the 
dative, cf. Rom. i. 7 ; 2 John 1-3. It is better to take UXiKToh as 
an adjective, though the R.V. appears to render it as a substantive. 
Those to whom the apostle writes are chosen by God, elect (yeVos 
cArXeKTov, ii. 9, from Isa. xliii. 20). St. Peter does not use the 
Pauline Kkrp-oL, nor does he expressly distinguish KaXelv from 
iKXiyeaOau Election does not carry with it the final salvation of 
the individual (iv. 15-19). God must guard them (i. 5); but, if 
they resist the devil and remain solid in the faith. He will make 
them perfect and establish them (v. 9 sqq.). There has been no 
change in the counsels of God. Israel has not been rejected. The 
Church is still the Church of old ; but the vision of the prophets has 
been realised, and whosoever will may enter in. 

Elect, in fact, means simply Christian. What the apostle is 
thinking of is corporate citizenship among the elect people; the 
individual elements of the new life are faith and obedience. 

In St. Matthew (xxii.) all are " called," but many do not accept 
the invitation ; some accept, but have no wedding garment ; many 
are called, but few are elect (cf. Matt. xxiv. 22, 24, 31 ; Mark xiii. 
20, 22, 27 ; Luke xviii. 7). John does not use Kok^iv in this sense, 
nor K\r)T6<s, nor ckXcktos in his Gospel, but in the Apoc. xvii. 14 we 
have KXrjTol koL ckA-cktoi /cat ttkttol as different names for the same 
thing. In the Synoptical Gospels, the Pauline Epistles, and the 
Apoc. elect denotes personal, not corporate election. It is true, as 
Dr. Hort remarks, that " the preliminary election to membership of 
an elect race does not exclude individual election," and we cannot 
reconstruct St. Peter's theology with precision from two short 
Epistles. Nevertheless, so far as he has explained himself, he 
appears to mean that the individual is called into the elect society. 
Certainly he attaches more value to the corporate life, as regards 
both growth in knowledge or faith and the efficiency of sacraments 
(crioCeL fSoLTTTLo-fjia, iii. 21), than St. Paul does. 

The word 7rape7riSrjfjio<s occurs twice in the LXX. Gen. xxiii. 4, 
7rdpoLKo<s KOL 7rap€7riSr]ixo<5 eyw et/xi fxeO' v/jlwv : Ps. xxxviii. (xxxix.) 13, 
OTt 7rdpoLKO<5 cyto elfjn iv t^ yfj koL TrapeTrt'ST^/xos Ka^cbs Travres 01 
Trarlpeq fxov. These two passages were before St. Peter's mind both 
here and i. 17, ii. 11. In the former, Abraham speaks of himself to 
the sons of Heth as a stranger and sojourner among them ; in the 
latter, the same figure is used of man who has on earth no abiding 
city, like the patriarch who sojourned in the land of jjromise as in 
a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles (Heb. xi. 9). He is an 
exile from heaven, his true home. We must not take the word 

CHAP. I. VERS. I, 2 91 

here in its secular political sense, though this would be very applica- 
able to the Jews of the Diaspora, who were exiles from Jerusalem, 
dwellers in a foreign land. For an instance of this use see Justin, 
ApoL 67 (Otto, p. 188), Tots 7rap£'m8-)]fjLOi<s ovo-l ^ei^ot?, of Strangers 
who are stopping in a town but do not possess a permanent 
domicile there, and examples from the papyri are given by Deiss- 
mann, Bibelstudien^ p. 146, Eng. trans, p. 149. 

The Christian is chosen and called by God (the choosing pre- 
cedes the calling) to leave his earthly father's home. The call 
makes him a pilgrim; henceforth he journeys by slow stages, 
through many dangers, towards the far-off promised rest. The 
pilgrim is sustained by faith in the unseen, by hope, godly fear, and 
the love of Christ; he is always a babe (ii. 2); he tastes of joy, 
but only as the wanderer drinks of the brook by the way. It is 
the same conception of the Christian life that we find in Hebrews. 

In this tone of hope deferred we may find a characteristic note. 
St. Peter had walked with the Lord on earth in close personal 
union, and must have felt the Ascension as a bereavement. St. 
Paul had never known the Lord in the flesh, but after the Ascension 
had been delivered by a vision from bitter spiritual struggles. To 
him naturally the sense of joy and freedom, of being here and now 
actually in the Kingdom, was far more than to St. Peter. 

On the Diaspora and the local names, see Introduction, § 8. In 
the address of the Epistle of St. James the Diaspora seems to 
include Christian Jews only. Here it embraces alike Gentiles or 
Jews. There is no difference at all ; all titles and prerogatives pass 
on from the Church of the fathers to the Church of Christ. There 
has been evolution, but no breach of continuity. 

Kara irpoyi'wcni' . . . 'It]o-ou Xpiaxou. The three clauses are strictly 
co-ordinate in the construction, but the order of the whole sentence 
is loose, and the precise connexion of these words has been 

The general and preferable arrangement is to take them with 
e/cXexTots — " Elect according to foreknowledge," etc. ; this gives 
perfectly good sense; the only difficulty is that we should have 
expected eKXcKrots to be placed after Bi^wia?. The Greek com- 
mentators Cyril, Theophylact, and Oecumenius take them with 
(XTroo-ToXos. This increases the difficulty arising out of the order of 
the words, and is open to a further objection, that, whereas St. 
Paul feels it necessary to justify his claim to the title of apostle, no 
such necessity would be felt by St. Peter. Hence we should not 
suffer ourselves to be influenced by the supposed analogy of the 
Pauline addresses. 

The three clauses give the three Names and three functions of 
the Trinity (the arrangement of the Names is not significant). Kara 
n-poy vcocrii/ : the Father (Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, i. 3 ; 


our Father, i. 17) has the attribute of foreknowledge; on this 
election depends. Foreknowledge includes foreordaining (i. 20, 
ii. 8), but St. Peter does not use the words TrpoopL^uv or irpoOeaLs. 
He speaks quite simply as a devout Jew, and the metaphysical 
difficulty does not affect him at all. The problem of predestination 
is suggested in St. John's Gospel and discussed by St. Paul; in 
both cases it arises out of the rejection of the gospel by the mass 
of the Jews. It may be that St. Peter had had good success among 
his countrymen, or that he wrote before it became evident that as a 
nation they would prove refractory. See note on ii. 8. 

iv dyiaafjiw nt'eufiaTos. "In (or by) sanctification of the Spirit." 
Compare 2 Thess. ii. 13, 6tl ctAero vfxa<s 6 ©eos dir* ap^^-^s ei? crorrrjpLav 
iv ay Laa-jxio IIvcv/xaTOS koX ttiVtci aX.7]0eLa<;. It has been supposed, 
without reason, that St. Paul means " sanctification of your spirit." 
In any case the collocation of the three Names, Father, Spirit, 
Jesus Christ, shows that this cannot be the meaning here. Further, 
St. Peter does not use Trvevfjtxx in the sense of the spiritual faculty of 
man, as distinct from his reason or emotions. See Introduction, 
p. 40, and note on iii. 4. 

Foreknowledge is the condition, Sanctification is the atmo- 
sphere, or perhaps rather the instrument, of the elect life. We may 
translate cv either " in " or " by means of" ; the latter, Hebraistic, 
use of the preposition is very common in the New Testament. See 
Blass, p. 130. Holiness is the attribute of God in whom is no 
stain of evil, either in thought or in deed : the Spirit, by the act of 
sanctification or hallowing, imparts this divine attribute to the 
Christian society, consecrating it, setting it apart, calling it out of 
the world, devoting it to God, and furnishing it with divine gifts 
and powers. 

Sanctification leads to, results in (cis) obedience, and sprinkling 
with the blood of Jesus Christ. 

Obedience is obedience to the law of God, faithful service, 
righteousness, by virtue of which men are just. In the address 
of Romans (i. 5), St. Paul speaks of vrraKotj Trto-Tto)?, but in quite a 
different sense. What is meant there is "obedience to faith," 
acceptance of the gospel of Free Grace (cf. Rom. xvi. 26). 

pan-io'fjLoi'. " Sprinkling " is a sacrificial word, and, as the result 
of Sanctification and Obedience, can here mean nothing but the 
means by which we are brought into real spiritual conformity to 
the Death of Christ ; it conveys to the believer those divine gifts 
which are the fruit of that Death. What this conformity and these 
gifts were in the mind of St. Peter we shall gather from later 

pavTL^cw occurs Heb. ix. 13, 19, 21, x. 22 ; pavrLaix6<s, Heb. 
xii. 24. It is by "sprinkling" that the merits of Christ's Death 
are transferred to the " brother." The idea is foreign to St. Paul, 

CHAP. I. VERS. I, 2 93 

but recurs in Barnabas viii., ol pavri^ovrcs iralBes ol ivayyeXiad/xevot 
rjfuv TTjV acfteoTLv riJJv dfjiapTLOiV kol tov ayvtcrixov rJys KapSias — the 
TratSes, it is added, are the twelve apostles. 

St. Peter is here alluding to some passage or passages of the Old 
Testament, but to which ? 

Dr. Hort insists that the reference must be to a passage in 
which the sprinkling of persons with blood is combined with the 
distinct mention of obedience. The only passage which fulfils 
these conditions is "the sprinkling which formed the ratification of 
the covenant between Jehovah and His people through the media- 
tor Moses, as described in Ex. xxiv. 3-8." This, however, is too 
logical. A reference to the passages in Hebrews will show that 
many different sprinklings were in the mind of the writer of that 
Epistle, and the same is no doubt the case with St. Peter. If we 
consider the use which our author makes of Isa. liii. we may even 
find here an allusion also to Isa. lii. 15, where Aquila and Theodo- 
tion have "sprinkle many nations" (pavrut). See Cheyne's note 
on this passage. 

The obedient are " sprinkled with the Blood of Jesus Christ." 
If we are to lay stress upon the order of words, " sprinkling " cannot 
here mean Forgiveness or Reconciliation, which is the effect of the 
Blood in Rom. v. 8-10. Here the " sprinkling," following obedi- 
ence, seems to impart the spirit of readiness, not so much to do 
God's will as to suffer for Christ's sake. This is the highest stage 
in the progress of the Christian life on earth. 

Throughout this Epistle the writer dwells so constantly upon the 
sacrifice of the Cross that the Blood of Christ can mean nothing 
else than His Death and Passion. Bishop Westcott will not allow 
this {The Gospel of Creation : Additional notes on i John i. 7 and 
on Heb. ix. 12). "The Blood {Hebrews, p. 294) represents the 
energy of the physical earthly life as it is. . . . The Blood poured 
out is the energy of present human life made available for others." 
Death (p. 298) "was the condition under the actual circumstances 
of fallen man, whereby alone the life of the Son of Man could be 
made available for the race . . . Thus Blood and Death correspond 
generally with the two sides of Christ's work, the fulfilment of the 
destiny of man as created, and the fulfilment of this destiny though 
man has fallen. The first would have been necessary even though 
sin had not interrupted the due course of man's progress and 
relation to God." 

The question whether the Incarnation was contingent or neces- 
sary was first expressly raised in the twelfth century by Ruprecht of 
Deutz (see R. L. Ottley, Incarnation, ii. p. 202 ; Dorner, ii. i. 322, 
366), but it does not arise here. Nor will any Christian deny that 
Christ gives Life, or that the Life is intimately connected with His 
human and divine personality. The points which arise from the 


text of I Peter are: (i) what is the meaning of the words "the 
Blood of Jesus Christ"; and (2) whether the apostle finds any 
distinct value in the Passion, considered as Death and not as Life. 

(i) Much importance has of late been attached to Gen. ix. 4, 5, 
Deut. xii. 23, where the blood is regarded as the seat or ground of 
animal life in man or in the brutes, and on that account might not 
be drunk. The reason of this prohibition may have been that the 
nature of the brute was supposed to pass into him who drank its 
blood, or rather that blood was the favourite beverage of demons 
and false gods (Ps. xvi. 4, see Dr. Cheyne's note ; the " hard gods " 
of the Greeks were blood-drinkers, Aesch. Choeph. 577, 'Epivt*? 
. . . oLKpaTov alfxa rrUrai). Demons and ghosts were supposed to 
derive physical vigour from the blood which they lapped (Horn. Od, 
xi. 36, 95» 152, 232). 

Whether in ancient Hebrew belief the blood-soul possessed 
moral and intellectual as well as merely physical faculties, it would 
be hard to say. The prohibition of the drinking of blood seems to 
imply a purely physical conception. But it comes from a time 
when the immortality of the soul was not clearly believed, and 
psychology did not exist. Dr. Liddon remarks {Epistle to the 
Romans, p. 76) that in Scripture, though blood and soul are com- 
bined, blood and spirit never are. Indeed, the blood-soul is hardly 
compatible with the image and likeness of God (Gen. i. 26), or with 
the breath of God which makes the soul live (Gen. ii. 7). In early 
Greek psychology Empedocles invested the Homeric blood-soul 

with the power of thought (at/xa yap dvOpMirots TreptKCtpStoi/ icrzL 

vorj/jia, in Stob. £cl. Fhys. i. 1026 ; see Ritter and Preller, § 177) ; 
but this fancy, though it was not forgotten (Arist. de Anima, 2 ; 
Bekker, p. 405^^ ; Cic. Tusc. Quaest. i. 9. 19 ; Virg. Georg. ii. 484), did 
not find favour with philosophers or with religious men. Strangely 
enough it was adopted by the materialist Tertullian {de Anima, 15 ; 
see Oehler's note). But it was not seriously taken by the heathen 
world, nor is it of any moment except for the archaeology of the 
Bible. By the Rabbis the blood-soul, the Nephesh, was dis- 
tinguished from Ruach and Neshamah as o-ap^, xl/vxq, Trvev/JM 
are distinguished by Philo (see Gfrorer, Jahrhundert des Heils, ii. 
58 sqq. ; and Siegfried, Philo, p. 240). 

The Blood then appears to signify the Life only, or mainly, in a 
peculiar and limited sense. But the common phrase the blood of 
Abel, of Naboth, of the saints, unquestionably denotes the death of 
the persons indicated. 

In the New Testament, if we take Apoc. v. 9, €(r^dyr)<; Kal 

rj-yopacras Tw ©ew iv tw at/xart crov : Acts XX. 28, rrjv iKKXrjaiav rov 
KvpLOv {®eov) Tjv TrepieTTOLrjaaTO 8ta rov aifJiaro<s rov iSiov: Col. i. 20, 
€Lpr)vo7roLr]crai 8ta rov at/xarcrs tov aravpov avTOv : or Rom. V. 8— lO, 
where Xptcrro? diriOavcv answers to SLKaLcoOyjvat iy T(p at/xaTL avTov, or 

CHAP. I. VERS. I, 2 95 

KaraWayrjvai Sia rov OavaTov avrov, while rj ^cdt) avrov corresponds to 
a-oiOrfvai arro Trj<; 6pyrj<s, it seems evident that where Ransom, Pur- 
chase, or Reconcihation are in question, the Blood of Christ means 
His Passion. In other connexions than that of the Atonement 
there can be no doubt that at/xa means death and not life. See 
Matt, xxvii. 24, 25; Acts v. 28 (where the Blood of Christ is 
spoken of by Pilate or the Jews); Matt, xxiii. 35 ; Luke xi. 51 ; 
Acts xviii. 6, xx. 26 ; Apoc. vi. 10. 

As regards the Eucharist, Christ's Blood is called the Blood of 
the New Covenant, Luke xxii. 20 ; i Cor. xi. 25, 26 ; and here 
again the phrase is explained of the Death by St. Paul and in 
Heb. ix. 16, 17. 

One aspect of the Eucharist is that of a feast upon a Sacrifice 
(John vi., probably; i Cor. v. 7, x. 20^ 21; Heb. xiii. 10). Here 
Christ becomes our Food, filling us with new life, and for this 
purpose commands us to do what the old worshippers were forbidden 
to do. Here not the Blood alone, but the Body and the Blood, are 
a symbol of life, in so far as they are a symbol of the Incarnation. 
Yet the two are separate as in Death ; the remembrance of a Death, 
and of a particular kind of violent Death, is forced upon us as of 
primary significance. The Death is more than an accident of 
Christ's Humanity ; it makes the Christian life, let us not say 
available, but possible. 

(2) The material cause of Atonement under the law was the 
blood-soul : Lev. xvii. 1 1, " For the life of the soul is in the blood ; 
and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for 
your soul ; for it is the blood that maketh atonement by reason of 
the soul." The blood-soul of the victim was destroyed in sacrifice. 
What made atonement for the worshipper was not the abiding life, 
but the innocent death and unmerited suffering of the victim. That 
the Blood of Christ was united to a perfect human and divine con- 
sciousness seems to make no difference as regards this particular 
point, though the fact vastly enhances the efficacy of the Cross in 
other respects. We can hardly understand i Peter without attri- 
buting to the author the belief that suffering is distinct from 
obedience, and that innocent, cheerful suffering has in itself a 
power for good, for ourselves and for others. In other words, that 
it is an expiation, and moves the mind both of God and of man. 
But this will appear more clearly as we come to the passages in 

These three clauses are expanded m the following verses 
(Trpdyvojcrts, 3-12; dytacr/xos, 13-17; and the al/jca Xpio-rov, inter- 
woven with dyiao-/xos and viraKo-^, 1 8-2 5). Indeed, the whole 
Epistle is a commentary upon them. It is exceedingly difficult to 
see any foundation for Dr. Harnack's suspicion that the Address is 
a later addition to the Epistle. 


X<ipis. See i. lo, 13, ii. 19, iii. 7, iv. 10, and Introduction, p. 39. 

elpYivt]. For the use of this word in the address of a letter, see 
2 Esdr. iv. 17, koI dTreo-rctXev o ^acrtXcus Trpos 'Feov/x . . . elp-qvrjv. 
In the addresses of the letter of Nebuchadnezzar and Darius, Dan. 
iii. 31, vi. 25, we have elp-qvr} vjjIv rrXrjOwOu-q. The same verb is 
added in 2 Peter and Jude ; in Clem. Rom. i. ; Polycarp, i ; Mart. 
Polyc. I ; Const. Apost. i. i. The expression is borrowed from 
Daniel, but i Peter is probably the original of all the other uses. 

3. euXoyTjTos. The blessing of God immediately after the 
address appears to have been a regular formula in Jewish letters ; 
see Introduction, p. 16. There is therefore no sufficient reason for 
supposing that St. Peter is here imitating 2 Cor. or Eph. Dr. 
Hort notices that "thanksgiving (evxapta-Tw, in 2 Tim. x"-P'-^ ^X^) 
stands for blessing in the corresponding place of St. Paul's other 
Epistles, except Gal, i Tim., Titus." Similar blessings are found 
in the Old Testament, especially in the Psalms (Gen. ix. 26; Dan. 
iii. 28 ; Ps. Ixvii. (Ixviii.) 20 ; cf. Luke i. 68). They are of essen- 
tially Hebraistic type ; instances of their use in the temple worship 
are given in Lightfoot's Horae Hebraicae on Matt. vi. 13, and they 
are very common in Jewish prayer-books (see F. H. Chase, The 
Lord's Prayer in the Early Church). The form is rare in the 
liturgical portions of early Christian literature ; but see the Liturgies 
of Clement, St. James, and St. Chrysostom (Brightman, Liturgies 
Eastern and Western, pp. 19, 32, 341). Dr. Hort observes that 
in the LXX. evXoyqro'; is nearly always used of God, ivXoyrjixivo^ 
nearly always of men, adding that the distinction exists only in 
the Greek Version, the same Hebrew word being found in all 
cases. EuXoyT^Tos means rather " worthy of blessing " than blessed, 
benedicendus rather than benedictus ; but the distinction is late and 
artificial, and has not been preserved in Latin or in any modern 
Western language. Indeed, what the Septuagint translators wanted 
to bring out, the difference between the natural excellence of God 
and the derived excellence of man, is hardly capable of expression 
in a single word. God is always blessed, because He is perfect, 
and all creation praises Him ; if man were dumb, the stones would 
cry out. Man is only conditionally blessed, by God or by his 
fellow-men. But, as blessing is an act and as such contingent, we 
may raise the question whether blessedness is an attribute or an 
accident of the divine perfection, and upon this depends the 
further question whether we are here to supply ecmV or ctr;. 

6 Oeos Ktti ira-nip. " The God and Father of our Lord Jesus 
Christ." See 2 Cor. i. 3, xi. 31 ; Eph. i. 3 ; Rom. xv. 6. For the 
phrase God of Jesus, cf. Matt, xxvii. 46 ; John xx. 17; Eph. i. 1 7 ; 
Heb. i. 9; Apoc. i. 6, iii. 2, 12. It will be observed that the 
phrase is found in the same Gospel in which we read " the Word 
was God." It may be explained by reference to "the days of His 

CttAP. I. VER. 3 97 

flesh," Heb. v. 7 (where the writer is thinking of our Lord's prayer to 
the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane ; see Westcott's note there), 
but St. Peter does not feel it necessary to give any explanation. 

ToG Kupiou riiiS)v is a translation of the Aramaic Maran (i Cor. 
xvi. 22) or Marana, The title is one of great interest and import- 
ance, but its history involves much difficulty. The Kvpie by which 
the disciples addressed Christ in His lifetime appears generally to 
stand for Rabbi or Rabboni (the Ribbon of the Targums) ; these 
words actually occur in Matt, xxiii. 8, xxvi. 25, 49; Mark x. 51 ; 
John XX. 16. Rabbi ( = my great one) does not mean teacher, 
though, as an expression of extraordinary respect, it was given to 
teachers of great eminence ; but the evangelists use StSao-KaAos as 
its equivalent (Luke six times renders it by cTrto-Tarr;?, Matthew 
once by KaOrjyrj-n^s, xxiii. 10). By what title the disciples generally 
spoke of Christ to other people, or to one another, is less clear ; but 
if we compare Matt. xxi. 3, 6 Kvptos avrwv xp^tav e^ei, with Matt, 
xxvi. 18, 6 SiSao-AcaAo? A.€y€t, this also may have been Rabbi. 
Dalman, however, thinks that Maran was used in these cases. Of 
the evangelists, Matthew never calls Jesus 6 Kvpios ; Mark never, 
except in the disputed last verses, xvi. 19, 20; Luke eleven times 
(see Plummer, p. xxxi, and on v. 17); John five times, iv. i, vi. 23, 
xi. 2, XX. 20, xxi. 12. 

Maran could hardly have come into general use after the Resur- 
rection, unless it had been employed on occasion before that date ; 
and in the Gospels we can distinguish several groups of instances 
where it is more likely to be the word represented by Kvpios than 
Rabbi. The first is to be found in what we may call the Hymns 
of the Nativity in St. Luke's Gospel, i. 43, 17 fjt-rjrrjp tov Kvpiov /xov : 
ii. II, (ToiTrjp OS etrrt Xpto-ros Kvpios. The second is connected with 
the mission of John the Baptist: Matt xi. 10; Mark i. 2; Luke 

vii. 27, we read 'iSou, cyo) aTroareXXo} TOV ayycXov fiov Trpo Trpoaioirov 

(TOV (Mai. iii. i has -n-po rrpoawTrov fiov). The Lord, therefore, before 
whose face John the Baptist was sent, is identified with Christ, cf. 
Luke i. 76 ; and probably the words of Isaiah, "Prepare ye the 
way of the Lord," Matt. iii. 3 ; Mark i. 3 ; Luke iii. 4 ; John i. 23, 
are understood by the evangelists in the same sense. A third meets 
us in the accounts of the miracles in St. Matthew, Kvpie, vlk AayStS, 
XV. 22, XX. 30; or in Luke v. 12, Kvptc, iav OeX-Qq, Bvvaaai //,€ 
Kadapi(Tai : v. 8, e^eXOe air ifjiov, on avr]p ap.apT(ji\6<; eiyu-t, K-vpif. 
(this passage in which "Lord" is contrasted with "sinner" is 
particularly noticeable) ; again, in Mark vii. 28, where it may be 
observed that the vocative Kvpie does not occur elsewhere in Mark's 
Gospel, except as a variant in ix. 24, in the account of another 
miracle. A fourth is found in the parables of Judgment, Matt, 
xxiv. 42, XXV. II, 37; in the last passage He who is addressed as 
Kvptc, had just been described as /?ao-tX€i;s. A fifth, again, after the 


Resurrection, Matt, xxviii. 6, tSere rov tottov ottov eKCLTo 6 Kvptos 
(words of the angels) : Luke xxiv. 3, to crwixa tov Kvptov 'Irjo-ov : 34, 
ovrcos r]y€p6r) 6 Kvptos : John XX. 28, 6 Kvpto's fiov kol 6 0eos fiov : 
xxi. 7, 12. 

Mari (my Lord) or Maran (our Lord) is a title of high dignity. 
It is applied in Daniel to Nebuchadnezzar and to God. In the 
Syriac versions of the Old Testament it represents the Hebrew 
Adon or Adonai, and is used of Abraham, of the king, or of God. 
In the Syriac of the New Testament it is used of Pontius Pilate, 
Matt, xxvii. 63, and of Christ wherever Kvpios occurs in the Greek. 
Immediately after the Resurrection it appears to have been in 
general use among those Christians who spoke Aramaic ; and there 
is little doubt that the title was addressed to, and accepted by, 
Christ in His lifetime. Dalman says that after the Resurrection 
Christ declined the Rabboni of Mary and approved the 6 Kvpto<s 
Kal 6 ©C05 of Thomas ; and this was probably the sentiment of the 
Church. Maran has a considerable range of meaning. If we 
suppose it to have been the word actually employed in the third 
and fourth groups, it is connected with deep moral awe, super- 
natural power, and the quality of Judge ; the last meaning attaches 
to it also in i Cor. xvi. 22. That it was so employed is rendered 
probable by the fact that in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. vii. 
21, 22) Christ not only accepts the title K^'plos, but connects it 
with the power of the Name, in particular with prophecy and with 
the casting out of evil spirits. Compare Matt. x. 24 sqq. ; John 
xiii. 13, where also He accepts the title, and distinguishes it from 
StSaoTKoXos or Rabbi. In the first and second groups it comes very 
near to Jehovah. The Hymns of the Nativity appear to be taken 
from a Hebrew document which is probably the oldest source of 
St. Luke's Gospel. St. Luke regarded them as contemporaneous 
and authentic. Professor Blass {Philology oj the Gospels, p. 57) 
thinks that the Gospel was written before the spring of 59 ; and it 
may be surmised that these Hymns were in existence before the 
Crucifixion, for they still speak of Messiah as a conquering Prince 
(Luke i. 71, 74). At any rate, the identification of Christ with the 
Lord before whose face John Baptist was sent, appears to have been 
made by Jews, and, probably, by Jews of Jerusalem. 

From the Gospels we may infer that Maran was often used even 
before the Resurrection, that it was sanctioned by Christ Himself, 
that it carried with it certain superhuman associations, and that it 
was connected with the power of "the Name." It would bear 
different senses to different persons at different times, and its full 
force is not reached before John xx. 28. In Acts "the name of 
the Lord," "the name of Jesus," "Lord," "the Lord," are hardly 
distinguishable ; and here we are still among Hebrew Jews, so that 
heathen usages can have had little or no influence. The same thing 

CHAP. I. VER. 3 99 

is true of the Epistles of the Hebrew St. Paul, who goes so far as 
to say that there is "one Lord" (i Cor. viii. 6; Eph. iv. 5). We 
are not to suppose that the apostles identified Christ with Jehovah ; 
there were passages which made this impossible, for instance, Ps. 
ex. I ; Mai. iii. i, and, in later writers, Gen. xix. 24. It was God 
who gave Jesus "the Name which is above every name" (Phil. 
ii. 9), who "made" (not "hath made," as R.V.) Jesus Lord (Acts 
ii. 36). In both places the human appellation "Jesus" is used of 
Him who was thus exalted. But passages which belong to Jehovah 
are frequently interpreted of Christ. "The Father" always and 
" God " generally retain a distinct meaning, but " Lord " has practi- 
cally ceased to do so. The early Church, in fact, interpreted strictly 
the words of Christ. The Son reveals the Father, and to Him 
belongs all Revelation, whether of the New Testament or of the 
Old. It is easy to see how Sabellianism arose out of the New 
Testament, though the present passage, among many others, forbids 
that mode of interpretation. See for this subject Dalman's Die 
Worte Jesu. 

eXeos. The God and Father, in accordance with His abounding 
mercy, begat us anew, regenerated us, became for a second time our 
God and Father. In St. Paul's eyes also the admission of the 
Gentiles (Rom. xi. 30-32, xv. 9), and of Jews and Gentiles alike 
(Eph. ii. 4, 5), into the Church is due to the rich mercy of God. 
But there is a difference to be observed. In the Pauline passages 
God has mercy upon the infirmity of the human will, which cannot 
satisfy the law of works. Hence He provides a better way, the 
gospel of free grace. St. Peter's meaning is that God has compas- 
sion on our misery. Hence He gives us a gospel, which tells us 
that suffering is the road to glory. The mercy is the simple human 
sympathy of Christ, who would not send the multitude away fasting, 
because He had compassion on them (Matt. xv. 32). 

dmY€^'^'Tla■as. The verb occurs as a doubtful variant in Sirach, 
prol. 20, drayevvr^^ets Ka.T AtyvTrTOV (A B have Trapay^vrjOeU €19). 
'Avayiwr](n<s is found in Philo, de incorr. mundi, 3 (ii. 490), of the 
rebirth of the physical world. Later the term rcnatus is used o( 
those who have received the baptism of blood in the Taurobolium 
(Hort refers to Orelli-Henzen, 2352, 6041), or have been initiated 
in the mysteries of Isis, Apuleius, Metam. xi. 26. It was probably 
borrowed by the New Paganism from Christianity. In John iii. 3 
many ancient authorities take avwOev to mean "again," and Dr. 
VVestcott thinks this the correct translation. Irenaeus, referring to 
John iii. 5, uses dvayew-qOrj for yewrjOrj (Stieren, i. p. 846), possibly 
only by a slip of memory ; but the Old Latin and Vulgate have 
renatus fuerit. See Tischendorf's note. There is no good reason for 
thinking that avayivvqOfj was found in any Greek MSS. of John. 
In later times dvayewav is commonly used of baptism (Justin, Aj>o/ 


i. 51 ; Clem. Horn. xi. 26 ; see Suicer, s.v. ^kvayivv-qcrii), and we need 
not doubt that the word is taken from i Peter. But it was suggested 
to St. Peter by the saying of our Lord recorded by St. John, and 
goes to show that avmdiv really does mean " again," and not " from 

CIS cXiriSa ^wcrai/. The first result of the new birth and the first 
characteristic of the new pilgrim life is Hope (the anchor of the soul, 
Heb. vi. 19). Hope is living (cf. i. 23, ii. 4, 5), not merely because 
it is active {t,oiv yap 6 A.oyos tov ®€ov koI ivepy-q's, Heb. iv. 12), nor 
merely because it is a hope of life, but because it is divine and 
eternal, given through the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead, and 
bound up with His eternal life. Cf. John iv. 10, vi. 51 ; Acts vii. 
38; Apoc. vii. 17, and the fine lines of Sophocles, Anf. 456 sq., ov 
yap TL vvv ye KaxOi^, aXX* act ttotc t.rj ravra KOvSeU oTSev ii otov *^dvr]. 

4. CIS KXtjpoi'ofxiai'. The pilgrim's hope is further defined by its 
object, the inheritance, or rather the paternal estate, the patri- 
mom'umj not the hereditas. Dr. Hort notes that the Hebrew words 
chiefly represented by KXrjpovofua in the Old Testament denote, not 
hereditary succession, but " sanctioned and settled possession," and 
is inclined to doubt whether any idea of futurity is implied in St. 
Peter's phrase. Even in Greek Kkr^povofxia means a property already 
received as well as one that is expected. But in the present passage 
the Kk-qpovopLta is kept for the believer, not on earth, but in heaven, 
and is another name for that salvation which is ready to be revealed. 

The patrimony, the kingdom, may be spoken of in different 
ways. In part it is already present, in fulness it is yet to come. 
To some the present joy seems far more than to others, as to St. 
Paul (Col. i. 13; 2 Cor. iii. 18), or to St, John (iii. 36) ; but even 
the most enthusiastic spirits feel at times as a heavy burden the 
imperfection of the present, and in St. Peter this is the dominant 
key. We must therefore hold firmly to the future sense here. The 
pilgrim, stranger, sojourner, sees in hope the Promised Land, but 
sees it afar off, and his prayer is "Thy Kingdom come." 

The patrimony is a<^^a/0TO9, ap,tavTO<s, ap,apavro<;. "AcjiOapro^ 
means incorruptible, immaterial, spiritual, eternal. 'A/^tai/ros (in 
Hebrews, James, Wisdom, 2 Mace), incapable of pollution. Cf. 
Apoc. xxi. 27 for the sense; for the word. Lev. xviii. 27, ip-LavOrj rj 
yrj — the land was defiled by the abominations of the Canaanites. 
^ ApidpavTo<s (in Wisd. vi. 12; here only in New Testament), of a 
flower that never fades. Dr. Hort thinks that d^dapTos means 
" never ravaged by a foe," but gives no instance of this use of the 

T€TT)pT]|x^nf]i'. "Which hath been (and is) kept in heaven for 

you" (cts v/xas = vplv : cf. Luke XV. 22, vTroSrjp^ara eis tov<s Tro'Sa?). 

Those who regard the Kk-qpovop.Ca as present in fruition (as Dr. Hort 
and von Soden) must translate "until you" — kept until your 

CHAP. I. VER. 5 lOI 

appearance but now bestowed. But this sense appears to be 
foreign to our passage, and " until you," for " until your days," is 
a very singular, if not impossible use of the preposition. Ovpavoi<s, 
" In heaven " : the plural has no more significance here than in the 
Lord's Prayer, Matt. vi. 9. There may be a reminiscence here of 
the Book of Enoch xlviii. 7, "And the wisdom of the Lord of 
spirits hath revealed him to the holy and righteous, for he pre- 
serveth the lot of the righteous" : Iviii. 5, "And after that it will be 
said to the holy that they should seek in heaven the secrets of right- 
eousness, the heritage of faith " (see notes in Mr. Charles' edition). 

5. Tous ev Sut^ajLiei 0eou <j)poupoufjieVous 8ia maTcws. " Who in (or 
by) the power of God are guarded by faith." ^ijovpelv means " to 
keep a city safe with a garrison." Here faith is the garrison which 
keeps the soul (or the Church) safe till its Lord comes and raises 
the siege. Cf. Phil. iv. 7, where the heart is guarded or garrisoned 
by " the peace of God." 

On St. Peter's conception of faith, and its difference from that of 
St. Paul, see Introduction, § 6. There is no word as to which it is 
more important not to read the thought of the one apostle into the 
language of the other. Faith here, as in Heb. xi., is the power by 
which we grasp the unseen realities, the conviction that God is, 
that He is a Rewarder, and that His reward far exceeds the troubles 
of this life. It is " firm trust in God in spite of suffering : the 
salvation of his soul the Christian will receive only as reXos rijs 
TTto-retos" (Kiihl, von Soden). It produces "endurance to the 
end," unshaken by offences, false prophets, or lawlessness. Matt, 
xxiv. 10-13; by it we resist the devil, and the TraOrjfxaTa which he 
brings against us (i Pet. v. 9). There are several points of import- 
ance. In St. Peter's mind faith is not the faith of Abraham only, 
but of Moses ; it does not justify or save, but is the condition of 
righteousness and salvation (see especially iv. 17-19); it is not so 
intimately connected, as by St. Paul, with love and knowledge, 
carrying with it only the germ of both, and hence it lends itself 
more easily to the notions of authority and discipline. Its object 
is God, but God is seen without rather than felt within. This has 
been called an attenuation {Entleerung) of faith ; and certainly it 
differs widely from the Pauline idea, leading to a different practical 
shaping of the Christian society, as was seen, though not quite 
distinctly, by Clement of Alexandria and Origen. But when it is 
called an attenuation, it is implied that it is not an evangelical view 
of faith ; and this is highly questionable. It will be observed that 
much of the element of futurity attaches to faith itself; it is largely 
faith in the distant and as yet unknown; hence it is intimately 
related, as in Hebrews, to hope. , 

acjTT]piaj'. Salvation or rather Deliverance, another aspec*- of 
that patrimony which is the object of Hope; in Heb. i. 14 we read 


Tov? jxeXXovras KXrjpovofjietv aroiTrjplav. Salvation itself is here re- 
garded as future, and this is the general sense {(xuiTrjpia is not used 
by St. John except iv. 22 and in Apoc). In the Gospels a-wt^^Lv means 
to deliver {a) from danger, Matt. viii. 25; John xii. 27 ; {b) from 
disease. Matt. ix. 21; John xi. 12; {c) from the condemnation of 
God, Matt. X. 22, xxiv. 13; {d) from the disease or danger of sin, 
Matt. i. 2 1 ; and one or other of these senses attaches to the verb 
wherever it recurs. In the present passage it is used of the great 
final deliverance, not from the wrath of God (Rom. v. 9 ; cf. also 
I Pet. iv. 18), but from the siege of Satan, from persecution and 

The Deliverance is ready to be revealed in the day when Jesus 
Christ Himself will be revealed (i. 7, 13). The epithet "ready" 
introduces a consoling thought, reminding them how short a time 
these sufferings will endure (the End is not far off, iv. 7), and that 
the Deliverer stands waiting for them. 

iv Kaipo) ccTxctTO). " In the last time." The exact phrase Kaipo9 
eo-xaros is not elsewhere found. In St. John's Gospel we find Iv rrj 
€(rxa-rr] v/J^^pa. (vi. 39, and in five other places) : in Acts, iv rats Ty/Acpats 
ecrxarats (ii. 17, from Joel iii. i): in Jas. v. 3 and 2 Tim. iii. i, kv-qixipai-i 
eo-xarais (from Joel, or, as Dr. Hort thinks, from Prov. xxix. 44) : in 
Heb. i. 2, €7r' ecrxctTOu ruiv rj/xepoyv : in 2 Pet. iii. 3, irr ia-)(a-Tiov Tiov rjixepiov : 
in Jude 18, i-rr icrxo-Tov xp^vov: in i John ii. 18, icrxo-Tr] wpa. The 
Last Day is the Day of Judgment ; the Last Days, Time, Hour are 
either the age of the Christian dispensation or that portion of it 
which lies nearest to the End, when the signs of the Parousia are 
beginning to show themselves. Either the first or the last of these 
meanings must be that of St. Peter. He may mean " in the last 
time," that is to say, in the Day of the Parousia. Katpos means 
not " time " but " t/ie time," the fit or appointed time or season for 
some particular thing, whether it be a period or a moment. It 
might be used quite correctly of the Day of Judgment, and this is 
not an impossible explanation here. Many commentators, however, 
regard the phrase as meaning "in the last days," in the time of 
darkness and suffering. The Parousia puts an end to the suffering, 
but, coming suddenly, may be said to come in the midst of it all. 
Upon the whole this appears to be the best explanation. Dr. Hort 
translates " in a season of extremity," 6 eo-xaros /caipds being used 
in Polybius and Plutarch for "the direst peril." But in all the 
analogous New Testament phrases to-xaros means simply " last in 
order of time," and the absence of the article cannot be pressed. 

6. iv u dyaWiaaOe . . . irctpao-jxois. " In which ye exult, though 
just now for a little while ye were grieved, if need were, by manifold 
trials." 'Ev must here be temporal, as in iv. 13 below; cf. Ps. cxvii. 
(cxviii.) 24. 'AyaAAiao-^ai ev in the sense of to exult af or over is 
not found in the New Testament (in John v. 35, ayaXkiaadrjvai iv 

CHAP. I. VER. 7 103 

r<3 cfioyri, the preposition has its local sense " in the light," and the 
same observation applies to the reading of D in Luke x. 2 1 and to 
iv. 13 below), though it must be admitted that xatpeti/ iv is some- 
times used for "to rejoice at," Luke x. 20; Phil. i. 18 ; Col. i. 24 ; 
see Blass, p. 118. The antecedent is best found in Kaipw ia-xa-Tio. 
" In the last days " the brethren exult because their sufferings are 
so nearly at an end, and deliverance and glory are so near. Com- 
pare Luke xxi. 28, ap^ofxivoiv 8e TovToiv yiv^a-Qai (when the troubles 
that precede the end show themselves) avaKvipaT^ koX cTrapare ras 

K€(f)aka<; v/xajV Ston iyyi^u 17 aTroAurpcoo-ts vfJiOiv: Matt. V. 1 1, I 2, fxaKapioi 
i(TT€, orav ovetStcrojcrti/ v/xas koL Stco^wcriv . , . xaipe.Te Ka\ dyaAAtacr^e* 
on 6 fjucrOo's v/xijjv 7ro\v<5 iv rots ovpavoZ<5. These latter words may 
have been in St. Peter's mind, if we consider how immediately the 
phrase TeTrjprj/jievrjv iv ovpavoU has preceded, and look also at iii. 13, 
€1 Koi TrdcrxoiT€ 8ta Si-KaLocrvvqv fxaKapiou There is no real contradic- 
tion between this verse and iv. 13, xatpeTc, tva koX h rfj airoKaXvif/a 
T-i}? Soirj'i avTov x^-PW^ dyaAAtco/xcvot. 'AyaAAiWis belongs to the 
Revelation of glory, but living hope makes it present even in the 
midst of suffering. The aorist Xv-n-rjOivTes is to be taken, not of the 
pain, but of the mental distress caused by persecution. The pain 
still endures, but the grief, the perplexity, the sense of abandonment 
are gone for those who understand what these TraO-qfiara mean. 
Kiihl and von Soden take iv w as neuter, and find the antecedent in 
the contents of the preceding clause, " in which assurance ye do 
rejoice." Dr. Hort makes the relative masculine, and refers it to 
©COS or 'l7)crov<s Xptcrros. In either case we must give iv a sense 
which it can hardly bear. 

€1 hioy. " If need was " ; if it was God's will. This is probably 
the right reading (so x B, c% Clem. Alex. Strom, iv. 20. 129): 
€t Seov eVri has good authority (A C K L P, Origen), but is very 
difficult grammatically; we should certainly have expected ci SeW 

CCTTt \viTOVp.^VOl. 

Iv TToiKiXois Tr€ipacr)uiors. " In manifold trials," in different kinds 
of trial. This sense of ttoikiAos is found in the New Testament, in 
Maccabees, and in Aelian {V. H. 98), but is almost unknown in 
classical Greek (Hort). IIei/3ao-/>tos here means not the inner 
wrestling with evil incHnation, but undeserved suffering from with- 
out. This is the general sense of the word in the Old Testament 
and even in the New. See Hatch, Essays in Biblical Greeks p. 
71 sqq. What we mean by "temptation," as distinct from "trial," 
is in the language of St. Paul expressed by d/>iapTia or €7rt^v/xta, 
in that of St. Peter by the latter word alone. 

7. iva introduces the divine purpose of Xvirr)6evT€<s. 

TO SoKifxioi/. The substantive SoKifxiov or BoKifxcLov means " a 
test," that is to say, a thing used for testing ; and in Jas. i. 3 
manifold trials are perhaps called the test or touchstone of faith ; 


but the meaning may be " the testing " of your faith worketh 
patience. In Prov. xxvii. 21, hoKifxiov dpyvpLio koI xp^<^<? -n-upcocrts, 
the word seems to mean " testing " rather than " test," for Trvpdia-Ki 
denotes a method, not a thing. But in Ps. xi. (xii.) 6, ra Xoyta 

Kvpiov Xoyia ayvd, apyvpiov Tr^Trvpoifxivov, Sokljxiov rfj yfj, KeKa6apL<rp.ivov 

eTTTairXaa-Ldx;, the word is evidently an adjective. St. Peter was 
probably thinking of one or the other or both of these passages 
(see TTupwcrts below, iv. 12). "Test" is here a quite impossible 
rendering ; the means by which faith is tested is suffering, and 
suffering cannot be called more precious than gold, nor is it 
"found" in the Last Day. "The testing of your faith," for the 
same reasons, is hardly, if at all, less impossible. We are driven, 
therefore, to take Soki/aioi/ here as adjectival, and to translate 
" the tested residue of your faith," that faith which remains when 
all impure alloy has been burnt away. There is a variant BoKip-ov 
found in a few cursives, which Dr. Hort is inclined to accept as the 
right reading. Otherwise, the passage above quoted from Psalms 
may justify us in regarding SoKt/^to? as a vulgar by-form of SoVi/xos. 

If St. Peter's expression here was suggested by a passage, or by 
a combination of two passages from the Old Testament, it becomes 
probable that the phrase of St. James is borrowed from that found 
in our Epistle. 

Xpuaiou. "Than gold that perisheth, yet is always tested, 
refined, by fire." What we might have expected is xP^criov Sta 
7rv/3os BeSoKLfxaap-ivov : but the writer has complicated his expression 
by the sudden introduction of dTroXXvfiivov, implying a reason for 
TToXvTLpiOTepov, OX B. contrast to the following cvpeOy. Faith is 
eternal, gold is perishable and temporal. Faith is far more 
precious than gold, yet even gold must be refined by fire ; much 
more your faith. 

eupe0T]. " May be found," may endure when other things pass 
away, and appear when they disappear. Compare the use of the 
word in Phil. iii. 9 ; Heb. xi. 5, from Gen. v. 24, and possibly 
2 Pet. iii. 10. It means much more than "may prove to be," or 
" may result in " ; it is not man, but God who "finds." 

€is liraii'oj'. The praise is, " Well done, thou good and faithful 
servant," Matt. xxv. 21. Praise is spoken of as bestowed by God 
upon man, 4 Mace. xiii. 3; Rom. ii. 29; i Cor. iv. 5. The 
phrase is quite as simple and natural in the mouth of St. Peter, 
who speaks of good conduct as x^P'-^ Trapa ©col (below, iv 20), as it 
is in the Gospel. 

So^ai' Kal Tiii.r\y. Heb. i. 3 ; Ps. viii. 6, Bo^rj koi Tipfj Icrre- 
(fidvioa-as avrov. Glory and honour belong to God (Job xl. 5 ; 
I Tim. i. 17), but He bestows them on man (Rom. ii. 7, 10). 

iv dTTOKaXuij/ti 'irjaoC Xpiaroo. Cf. i. 13, iv. 13; the phrase is 
suggested by Luke xvii. 30, y rnxipci 6 vios tov dvOpwirov d-n-OKaAvTr- 

CHAP. I. VER. 8 105 

T€Tai, and is used also by St. Paul, i Cor. i. 7 ; 2 Thess. i. 7. In all 
these passages it denotes the revelation of Christ in His majesty 
as Judge and Rewarder. Here it appears to repeat and define the 
idea involved in the words ets o-wTrypiav irot/xrjv d7roKakv<f>0y}vaL ev 

8. Of ouK i86p'T€s . . . SeSo^ao-fxeVif]. "Whom, though ye never 
saw Him, ye love ; in whom believing, though now ye see Him 
not, ye rejoice with joy unutterable and glorified." A K L P, Clem. 
Alex, and some other Fathers with the Coptic version have ovk 
ei8oT€?, " though ye never knew Him " ; for this use of olSa cf. Matt. 
XXV. 12, Luke xxii. 57. Ets 6v belongs in construction to TTLcrrev- 
ovTcs only, so that opajj/rcs is left without an object. A similar 
irregularity is found in ii. 12; see note there. M77 is used with 
opcovres, though, according to classical usage, oi would be required. 
Attempts have been made to distinguish the negatives in this 
passage. In modern Greek o^t ( = ovxO with participle is adversa- 
tive, while fiT^ is causal (Geldart, Guide to Modern Greeks p. 73). 
Hence Mr. W. H. Simcox would translate here "though ye have 
not seen," " because ye do not see " {Language of the New Testa- 
ment, p. 187). But the participles here are both adversative. The 
nice classical rules for the use of ou and /xt; were not understood 
even by Lucian, and in the vulgar Greek of the New Testament the 
use of ov with the participle has almost disappeared. There are but 
about thirteen instances of it altogether, and if we take the Gospel 
of St. Matthew, /x/y with the participle occurs sixteen times, ov once 
(xxii. 11) j in St. Luke, ov once. See Blass, p. 253. For the contrast 
of faith and sight, cf. John xx. 29 ; 2 Cor. v. 7 ; Heb. xi. i. 

The whole passage (6-9) has caused much trouble, because from 
the whole tone of the Epistle it seems strange that St. Peter should 
tell his readers that they actually do "exult" in the midst of all 
their sufferings. Such language appears to contradict the very 
object with which he wrote. That this difficulty is not merely 
fanciful, is shown by the number and character of the commentators 
who have felt it. Yet others have not felt it ; for instance, Leighton, 
who says, " Even in the midst of heaviness itself, such is this joy 
that it can maintain itself in the midst of sorrow ; this oil of glad- 
ness still swims above, and cannot be drowned by all the floods of 
affliction, yea, it is often most sweet in the greatest distress." We 
can understand a pastor exhorting his flock to stand fast in trouble, 
and at the same time reminding them that they have a wellspring 
of joy and even of exultation in their living hope. The alternative 
to the explanation given above seems to be to take ev KatpoJ eo-xaro) 
of the Last Day and make the first ayaXXtaa-O^ imperative. But 
the second ayakXtaa-Oe must be indicative (for dyaTrare certainly is 
so), and thus we should only stave off the difficulty for a moment. 
Theophylact, (^ecumenius, Erasmus, Luther, and others, including 


Alford, take dyaXXtao-^e as present indicative, but regard it as bear- 
ing a future sense in both places ; but this is harsh, even if possible, 
and again dyavrttTe stands in the way. The text of the passage is not 
free from doubt. In ver. 6 there is some evidence for ayaXkidcreaOe, 
XvirrjOrjvaL (see Tischendorf), and in ver. 8 dyaAAidre has good 
authority. Poly carp, P/it7. i, quotes ver. 8 in an abbreviated form, 
ets ov ovK looj/res TrtcTTCUCTe X^-P?- dve/cXaA-T^ra) koL SeSo^aor/Jbivr) 
Irenaeus, iv. 9. 2, v. 7. 2, has (^uem quum non uideriiis diligitis ; in 
quern nunc quoque non uidentes creditis^ credentes autem exsultabitis 
gaudio inenarrabili (ov ovk iSovtcs dyaTrare, ets ov apn fxr] 6p(i)VTe<; 
TTicTTeucTc, TTttTTevovres Se dyaXXido-ecr^e). The same reading is found 
in the old Latin version of Polycarp. Augustine, J^ecc. Mer. i, has 
quern ignorabatis ; in quern modo non uidentes creditis ; quern cum 
uideritis exsultabitis (ov ovk f.\Z6T^%^ ets ov dprt /a-^ 6p(i)VTe<s TricrreveTe' 
ov ISovres ayaXXidcrecrOe). Origen, the Vulgate, Peshito, and the 
Armenian appear to have read dyaWLdaea-Oe, and it would certainly 
remove a difficulty if the future could be established. 

diveK\a\r]Tia. " Unutterable." The word is found here only in 
the Bible, but recurs in Ignatius, Ej>L xix. 2, and in Polycarp in 
his quotation of this passage. 'A\dXrjTo<i is used by St. Paul, Rom. 
viii. 26. The Christian joy is unutterable because it is spiritual, 
heavenly, passing all human speech and understanding, like the 
peace of God (Phil. iv. 7); but also because it is so paradoxical : 
it is a joy in the midst of sorrow. 

8e8o|aCTfjieVT]. "Glorified." Glory in its fulness is bestowed when 
suffering is over {to. TraOrjiiaTa koI raq fxera ravra So'^a?) ; but even 
here and now, in the midst of trials, the joy of the Christian sufferer 
is irradiated by that glory which will be given in the Revelation. 
The Spirit who rests upon him is the Spirit of glory (iv. 14) ; hence 
he can glorify God by meek endurance (iv. 16), and teach others 
also to glorify Him (ii. 12). 

9. KOjxi^ofi.ei'oi. " Receiving the end of your faith, the deliver- 
ance of your souls." The absence of the articles with ortorr^ptai/ 
i/o^x^v appears to have no significance. The participle " receiving " 
is to be taken as meaning " because ye receive." Deliverance is 
the ground ot the joy, as in Apoc. v. 9 and elsewhere. Dr. Hort, 
however, makes the participle co-ordinate with the verb — ^"ye 
rejoice and also receive " — on the ground that " exultation in Jesus 
Christ cannot be a mere joy about the saving of their own souls." 
But this thought would hardly have occurred to St. Peter. The 
deliverance delivers from all pain and sorrow, and is open to all. 
Kiihl points out that KOfiLC^aOaL is used in the New Testament of 
receiving that which has been promised, that which men have 
earned by their conduct (see references in Bruder). Deliverance 
is the end of your faith (or of faith, or perhaps of tAe faith ; B and 
many Fathers omit v/xiov). It is the great promise involved in the 

CHAP. I. VERS. lO, II 107 

name of Jesus, the object of belief, the end of the life of pilgrimage, 
the entry into the Promised Land. It is described as future (i. 5, 
13, V. 4); but even in this life of trial there are "good days" 
(iii. 10). Besides, the gospel is deliverance. Hence we are said 
to receive now, in a foretaste, the reward which will be fully be- 
stowed in the Revelation, "^vxq in St. Peter's usage denotes the 
whole inner nature of man, as in Greek philosophy, in common 
Greek parlance, in the Gospels and Acts, and is never opposed, as 
it is by St. Paul, to Trvevfia or vovs. See Introduction, p. 40. 

10. TTcpi TJs awTT]pias. St. Peter lingers upon the word crwrrjpLa, 
at each repetition finding something new to say about it. Here the 
word is practically an equivalent for the gospel, which was revealed 
to the prophets by the Spirit of Christ, and of which the main 
substance is the sufferings of Christ and the glory for Himself and 
others (So^at, plural), in which those sufferings result. 

€^e^y)TT]o-ai' Kal iir]pa\jyr](Tav. The phrase is perhaps a reminis- 
cence of I Mace. ix. 26. In the New Testament the form ipawdui 
is to be preferred to the classic epcwaco. See Blass, p. 21. 

Trpo4)TiTai. Again the omission of the article appears to be 
insignificant ; the word is adequately defined by the following clause, 
and it is quite needless to translate (with Kuhl and Hort) " even 
prophets," so as to get the sense *' even men so highly favoured as 
prophets saw these great things dimly and afar off" (see note on 
ver. I 7 below). 

irepl TTis CIS ufJ-as x^P^tos. " About the grace intended for you, 
which should be given unto you," cf. eh vfxa<i above, ver. 4. Xapis 
here is not "grace," but "a grace," a favour or gift of grace, and in 
I Peter the word usually bears this meaning. 

11. ipavvCivres . . . So^as. " Searching for what time or for what 
manner of time the Spirit of Christ, which was in them, did de(^lare 
and testify beforehand the sufferings appointed for Christ, and the 
glories that should follow them." The best construction for iS-tjXov 
is found by taking it as governing ra iraOiqixaTa in conjunction with 
irpofxapTvpoiJL^vov (so most of the German commentators and Hort). 
A77A.0W eh Kaipovy " to point to a season," appears to be quite unex- 
ampled; but this is the translation of the A.V., Alford, and many 
others. Nevertheless, ek Kaipov has a certain connexion with 
khxjXov : the Spirit pointed out the sufferings for a particular time. 
Kiihl and others regard eSi^A-ov as standing without any object ; but 
it is difficult to see how the word is to be rendered here at all on 
this supposition. Tlpoixaprvpopievov (the word is not attested else- 
where till after St. Peter's time) ought to mean " calling to witness 
beforehand" (see Dr. Hort's note). If this sense is to be kept 
here, we must translate "the Spirit of Christ pointed out the 
sufferings that should come upon Christ, calling God for a witness 
of the truth." But though fiaprvponaL may be used without an 


object ( = I protest, I appeal ; see references in Liddell and Scott), 
there is always something in the context to show that an appeal 
is made, and to whom it is made. And this is not the case 
here. In Acts xx. 23, 24, SiaixapTvpea-OaL means "to bear clear 
witness" (cf. Luke xvi. 28; Acts ii. 40, viii. 25, x. 42, xviii. 5 ; Heb. 
ii. 6) ; indeed, this word constantly has the meaning of " to affirm 
solemnly," "attest," though it is used with an indistinct reminis- 
cence of its proper sense in i Tim. v. 21 ; 2 Tim. ii. 14, iv. i. 
The Greek of the New Testament is not correct, even as correctness 
was understood by Epictetus or Plutarch ; we have observed already 
that it does not clearly retain the distinction between ov and /xt;, 
and it is not surprising that it should confuse ixafrrvpecrOai with 
fxapTvpeiv. See note on Soki/jllov above. 

The prophets knew what they prophesied ; they knew not, and 
sought to understand, at what appointed date, or in what stage of 
the world's history, in what kind of time (ttoiov Kaipov), the prophecy 
would be fulfilled. Alford quotes Justiniani : " non modo ^uod . . . 
sed etiam ^ua/e . . . pacisne an belli tempore, seruitutis an liber- 
tatis, quo denique reipublicae statu . . . Et quidem Dauid Orietur^ 
ait, in diebus eius iustitia et abundantia pads (Ps. Ixxi. 7, Vulgate) : 
et in eandem sententiam Esaias conflabunt gladios suos in uomeres " 
(ii. 4). Some not unnatural difficulty has been found in the words 

e^e^7yT7/o-av, i^rjpavvqa-av, epawcovres, which all express Study and 
reflexion, and seem to be inconsistent with the notion of inspira- 
tion. Yet the difficulty is only apparent. The great revelation of 
suffering and glory awakes an eager desire to know when and how 
these things shall be, and this is answered by a further revelation 
[oU dir€Ka\.v(fiOr)). " Knock, and it shall be opened unto you," 
was in some sense true, even of the prophets. So St. Paul prayed 
for the removal of his aKoXoKJ/, and at last an answer came ; not the 
answer that he hoped for (2 Cor. xii. 7-9). The revelation described 
in Acts xiii. 2 was also probably a reply to much anxious thought. 
Both in the Old Testament and in the New, God often answers 
questions. The connexion between study and inspiration, search 
and discovery, is a great mystery, and revelation may be much 
more common than we suppose. How does one investigator 
discover what others do not? Philo thought {de migr. Abr. 7, 
i. 441) that philosophic truth was given by inspiration — "I was 
suddenly filled with thoughts showered upon me from above like 
snowflakes or seed" — and this may apply to all truth; for it is 
certainly not attained by the mere use of logical machinery. Nor 
does this thought detract from the dignity of spiritual revelation, 
which, though the noblest in kind, may yet have its analogies. 

The words to kv avrols TrveO/xa Xpitrrot! must be accepted quite 
frankly. Christ was in the prophets, and from Him came their 
inspiration. Barnabas (v.) understood St. Peter in this sense, oi 

CHAP. I. VER. II 109 

7i-po(f)r]TaLj dir avrov Ip^ovrcs ttjv )(apiVy ets avTov lirpot^rqTevcrav : on 
which Harnack notes, " Christum Veteris Testamenti prophetas 
inspirasse et ab iis uisum esse ad unum omnes priscae ecclesiae 
scriptores confitentur " ; cf. 2 Clem. xvii. 4 ; Ignatius, Mag. viii. 2 ; 
Justin, Apol. i. 31-33; Dial. Ivi. sq. ; Iren. iv. 20. 4; Frag. Mur. 
44 sq., "Romanis autem ordine (ordinem?) scripturarum, sed et 
principium earum Christum esse intimans " (Westcott, Canon, p. 536). 
These passages are sufficient to show the belief of the later Church. 
Note also the use of p^/xa KvpCov, i Pet. i. 25, comparing Acts xi. 16, 
where words of Christ are called by St. Peter prjfxa Kvpiov. In 
Matt. vii. 22 we read, KvpLCj Kvpie, ov tw o-o) ovopLaTi Trpoccfi'q- 
T€v<TafjLCV : xxiii. 34, iBov eyo) dTroo-reA-Ao) tt/dos v/xas irpoc^T^Tas. Some 
difficulty attaches to the latter citation, because St. Luke, in the 
parallel passage (xi. 49), has 8ta tovto koI 17 o-o^ia tov ©eoC ciTrei/" 
'AttootcXw €ts auTovs Trpoc^Tyrag, and the words have been supposed to 
be a reference to 2 Chron. xxiv. 18-22. But in the Sermon on the 
Mount false Christian prophets claim to be inspired by Christ; 
and in the other passage of Matthew our Lord sends (inspires) 
true Christian prophets. No distinction of kind can be drawn 
between Jewish and Christian prophecy, and thus we have in the 
first Gospel a clear foundation for St. Peter's words. We must take 
into consideration also those passages of the Gospels where Christ 
is described as the Revealer, Matt. xi. 27; John i. 18, xvi. 14, 15. 
In Acts again (ii. 33), in the speech of St. Peter, Christ sheds forth 
the spirit of prophecy. It can hardly be thought but that St. Paul 
held the same view as to the source of Christian prophecy (i Cor. 
xii. 3), as also does the Apocalypse (xix. 10), whether we translate 
r] fULpTvpLa 'IrjoroVf " the testimony given by Jesus," or " the testimony 
borne to Jesus " ; compare also i John iv. 2, 3. As to the Hebrew 
prophets, St. Paul does not explicitly declare his opinion, but in 
2 Cor. iii. 1 2 sqq. the glory on the face of Moses which he covered 
with a veil, is the glory of Christ, who is the Lord, the Spirit. 

Hveuiia Xpiaxou probably means that Spirit which is Christ 
(2 Cor. iii. 17, 18, 6 Sk Kvpio<s to Hvevfxd kcrrLV . . . aTro Y^vpiov 
IIi/eu/xaTos) ; but it may conceivably signify the Holy Spirit of Christ, 
sent by Christ. Often prophecy is attributed to the Holy Ghost 
(Acts i. 16; 2 Pet. i. 21, and elsewhere), and the sending of the 
Spirit is the work of Christ (Acts ii. 33). 

Certainly the repeated "Christ" in this verse must be taken 
each time in exactly the same sense, of the really existing Christ 
who was manifested in history. Kiihl, in an exceedingly com- 
plicated note, takes the first of the ideal Christ, who existed only 
in the foreknowledge of God, and the second of the historical 
Christ, and makes Trviv/xa Xpiarov mean "a Christlike spirit," 
because he thinks that St. Peter is not so much affected by theo- 
logical reflexions as the ral)binically educated St. Paul, and there- 


fore cannot have personified the ideal. But the distinction between 
person and idea is itself philosophical. Dr. Hort appears to hold 
the same view ; the Spirit of Christ is that Spirit of the Lord which 
afterwards came upon Christ, a Spirit of divine anointing, or Christ- 
hood, or prophethood. Here, again, we may repeat, that in i Peter 
Spirit means not an influence, but a personality. There is no need 
to speak of Rabbinism or Jewish Platonism at all. St. Peter's 
view rests upon a perfectly unscholastic interpretation of Scripture. 
The Lord spoke to the Prophets ; Christ is the Lord ; therefore 
Christ spoke to the Prophets. 

There is no difference upon this point between St. Peter and 
St. Paul. Both held the same belief, though they express it in 
different language. 

In ra ets Xpio-Tov TraO-q/JiaTa kol tol^ /xcto. ravra So^as it is quite 

possible that we have a reference to the words recorded by St. Luke 

xxiv. 26, 27, ov)(l ravra eSet iraO^iv tov X/atcrroV, /cat etcreX^etv ci? rrjv 
Sd^aj/ avTov ; kol ap^d/x€vo<5 airo Mojcreo)? kol arro ttolvtcov t(ov irpocfirjTchv 
Siep/JiT^vevaev avrots iv Tracrats rals ypa^ai? ra irepl eavTOv. Ad^at, not 
commonly used in the plural (but see 2 Mace. iv. 15), may refer 
to the successive manifestations of Christ's glory — Resurrection, 
Ascension, Pentecost, Miracles (Acts iii. 13), Judgment — or to the 
glory of Christ, and the glory that shall be bestowed on His faithful. 
To St. Peter, the essence of the gospel seems to lie in suffering and 
glory ; to St. Paul, in free grace and deliverance from law. Hence 
the former sees a just and permanent picture of the Christian life 
in Isa. liii., while the latter looks back, not to the prophets (except 
Hab. ii. 4), but to Abraham. Hence, to St. Peter, the admission 
of the Gentiles is no great mystery ; the Church is continuous. 
Further, in St. Peter's view (as in the Gospels), the great obstacle 
to Christianity is the suffering of Christ ; and so, in fact, it always 
has been to Jew (Justin's Tryphd) and Greek (the True Word of 
Celsus), and in modern times, because His suffering involves our 
acceptance of the law of suffering. But, in the view of St. Paul, 
the great obstacle is the tendency of men to rely upon their own 
merits, which is a common and serious defect, but applies, as regards 
Christianity and Judaism, rather to the professor than to the faith ; it 
could not fairly be charged against the best Jews of old, and modern 
Jews would not plead guilty to it. See Mr. Montefiore's Hibbert 
Lectures for 1892, especially chap, ix., "the Law and its Influence." 
12. ols dTr€Ka\u4>0T). It was revealed to them that the realisa- 
tion of their prophetic vision was not for their own time. The 
reference may be to distinct passages, such as Num. xxiv. 1 7 ; Deut. 
xviii. 15, or rather to the general indeterminate futurity of all pro- 
phecy. The prophets saw Messiah, and St. Peter evidently means 
that they saw Him with great clearness and accuracy in the broad 
outlines \ but when they strove to know when these things should 


be, an answer came, " Not yet. The promise is for others, not for 
you. Inquire no further." vfuv Be is the reading of the great bulk 
of MSS., though r]fXLv Si has the support of K and some versions. 
" For you Christians " (we need not here press the fact that they 
were Asiatics), or "for us Christians"; either way there is no 
substantial difference in the sense. 

auTct. The substance of their vision, to. Trad^fxara koI tol? /xcra 
ravra Soiaq. Nw dvrjyyekr] : avq-yyekTai would be more Strictly 
correct, but the aorist is used for the perfect, as in ii. 25 below. 
See Blass, p. 199. 

8ia Tojv euayyeXiaafjieVwi/ ufxas. The phrase in itself neither 
includes nor excludes the apostle himself. 

Iv nj^eufiaxi 'Ayiw. Dr. Hort omits kv on the authority of A B, 
a few cursives, the Vulgate, and some Fathers; see Tischendorf's 
note. " In (or by) the Holy Spirit sent from heaven." The omission 
of the article with Xlvevyua "Ayiov is very common (John xx. 22 and 
many other passages), and is of no significance (cf. Acts viii. 15, r8). 
Here the Holy Ghost who was " sent from heaven " on the day of 
Pentecost, and inspired the preachers of the gospel, is introduced as 
a guarantee that the gospel cannot contradict the message of the 
prophets who were inspired by the livevixa XpLarov. Von Soden 
and Dr. Hort translate "by a holy spirit"; but there can hardly be 
any doubt that the same Spirit is meant here as in ver. 2 above, 
where also there is no article. 'E^aTroa-reAAo) is used of the sending 
of the Spirit in Luke xxiv. 49; in John xiv. 26, xv. 26, xvi. 7, the 

verb is Tre/XTrw. 

€iS a itriQufiovaiv ayycXoi irapaKuvj/ai. *' Upon which even angels 
desire to look"; here the omission of the article must certainly have 
its proper force. IlapaKvVreiv properly means " to take a shy sidelong 
glance," as when one peeps out of a window or door at a person 
passing in the street, and is perhaps so used in Luke xxiv. 12 ; John 
XX. 5, II. Even in Jas. i. 25 the meaning may be "he who has 
once cast a glance upon the perfect law of liberty " ; the slightest 
look upon the law is sufficient to show the folly of those who hear 
and do not. On the other hand, James may mean " He who has 
gazed steadily upon the law." If we give irapaKvirruv its classical 
sense here, a not inconsiderable difficulty arises. The angels are 
"all ministering spirits, sent forth to do service for the sake of them 
that shall inherit salvation" (Heb. i. 14), and they must long for 
much more than a casual glance upon the Church and its gospel of 
suffering and glory. 'EyKuVreti/ eh means " to pore over," " study 
intently " (Clem. Rom. xl. i and elsewhere ; see Harnack's note) ; 
and it may be thought that rrapaKvirTeiv el<s is used, not quite cor- 
rectly, by St. Peter and St. James, in the same sense. The use of 
TrapaKv-n-Tecv may have been suggested here by Enoch ix. i, koI 
aKOvaavT€<; 01<i fieydXoL ap)(dyye\oL Mt;^ar;A. Koi 0vpL7]X Kai 

'Pacfiar]X kol Ta/3pL7]\ 7rap€KV\]/av ctti Trjv yrjv Ik tcov ayCtov tov ovpavov 

(quoted by Hort). Above, on ver. 4, was noticed another possible 
reference to Enoch, and others may be detected. They should be 
borne in mind, because, when we come to consider the relation of 
Jude to 2 Peter, it will appear that while in i and 2 Peter there are 
allusions to apocryphal books, these allusions are developed by Jude 
into actual quotations. 

13. 8i<5. " Wherefore " ; the reference is to the general contents 
of vers. 3-12, which were suggested by the third Name of ver. 2. 
From this point to ii. 10 the author develops the meaning of 

dmScDadjjLCKoi. " Having girded up the loins of your mind " ; the 
verb is used of gathering or tucking up long skirts by means of a 
belt so as to be ready for energetic action. Cf. Prov. xxix. 35, 
ava^oicrafjiivr} lcr)(ypit)<s ttjv 6a-cf>vv avrr}^, of the brave woman. Here, 
where vrj<jiovT€<i immediately follows, St. Peter is probably thinking 
of our Lord's words, Luke xii. 35, 46. The word used by Luke is 
TTcptc^cocr/xeVai (taken probably from the account of the Passover, 
Ex. xii. 11). 'Ava^wvvvcrdai is not common in classical Greek, 
though it was used by Didymus the grammarian {Athen. 139^), 
but succingi is well known in Latin. The word recalls the v-n-aKo-^ 
of ver. 2. Those who have girded up their loins are ready for 
instant obedience. 

Siai/otas. For this word cf. Matt. xxii. 37, ayaTn/crets Kvpiov tov 
®e6v (TOV . . . €V oXrj rrj Stavoca aov (from Deut. vi. 5). St, Paul 
uses the word in his later Epistles (Eph. ii. 3, iv. 18; Col. i. 21), 
but always in a bad sense, of the mere logical faculty which sets 
Itself against the truth. But what precisely is meant by "girding 
up the mind"? Girding brings the mind into what Carlyle calls 
" a compact frame," cutting off vague loosely flowing thoughts and 
speculations that lead nowhither, and only hamper obedience. 
Hence it is followed immediately by vr/^ovres. Sobriety guards 
men against the "intoxication" of false prophets, against false 
views of iXevOepta, against moral and doctrinal caprices such as are 
denounced in 2 Peter. The Girdle is Law or Truth (Eph. vi. 14). 

TeXeiws is best taken with vT^^ovre?, "being perfectly sober" 
(most modern commentators take this view). Down to Dean 
Alford's time it was generally connected with eXiria-are. In this 
case we must translate "hope with a perfect hope," not "hope unto 
the end." The idea of final perseverance is involved, but not ex- 
pressed in the perfection of hope. 

eXTriaare cm . . . x'^P''*'* " Hope for the grace that is being 
brought unto you in the revelation of Jesus Christ." 'EATri^etv eVt 
followed by the accusative is found only here and i Tim. v. 5 ; 
but the construction (it is a Hebraism) is common in the LXX. 
A question has been raised whether Ittl introduces the ground or 

CHAP. I. VER. 14 113 

the object of the hope ; Dr. Hort takes the former, Kiihl the latter 
view (see their notes on this passage). The points are that there 
is no Hebrew verb which exactly answers to eXTri^eiv ; that the five 
Hebrew verbs represented in the LXX. by eATri^cti/ mean some 
"to trust upon," some "to wait for"; that in Ps. li. (Hi.) 10, 
cXtti^civ €7rt TO cXeos tov ©eov, the Hebrew original means to "trust 
upon the mercy of God," while in Ps. xxxii. (xxxiii.) 18 the same 
Greek words represent what in the Hebrew signifies to "wait for 
the mercy." Upon the whole it seems better to regard eATrt^etv eVi 
here as equivalent to ikmCcLv eis (John v. 45 ; 2 Cor. i. 10; i Pet. 
iii. 5), and to take the following accusative as denoting the object 
towards which the hope is directed. It is a subtle question, and 
has no direct bearing upon the sense. 

■n]v <|)epofAeVT)i' ufjitK x'^^P''''* Xctpti/ is the gracious gift of deliver- 
ance, which is being brought, and ere long will surely be given, 
in the Revelation (see vers. 5, 7 above). Many commentators 
(Erasmus, Luther, Calovius, Bengel, Steiger, Hort) take "grace" in 
the Pauline sense, and regard "the revelation" as meaning the 
continuing and progressive unveiling of Christ in the Christian's 
soul (cf. Rom. i. 17) ; but there can be little doubt what St. Peter 
means here by the Revelation. 

The editions generally place a full stop after Xpia-Tov, as also 
after i. 21, ii. 17. In all these places a colon might be used so as 
to allow the preceding imperative to run on; but after ii. 25, iii. 6, 
iii. 7 the full stop is clearly right. The style is loose and conversa- 
tional, not so strictly bound by grammatical fetters as that of 
practised writers. 

14. a»s riKva uiraKOTJs. "Children of" is a Hebraism; rcKva 
aTTcoAetas, Isa. Ivii. 4 ; vlos Oavdrov, 2 Sam. xii. 5. In the New Testa- 
ment we have rcKva opy^?, Eph. ii. 3 ; rcKva cfxDTos, Eph. v. 8 ; rcKva 
/carapas, 2 Pet. ii. 14 ; viol r^s aTret^etas, Eph. ii. 2, V. 6 ; Col. iii. 6 ; 
viol (fxoTos /cat riiJi€pa<s, I Thess. V. 5 ; vi6<s eip-qvqs, Luke x. 6 ; 6 vlb^ 
Trj<s aTTcoXeta?, 2 Thess. ii. 3 ; John xvii. 1 2. There is no more 
reason for supposing that reKva vTraKorj<s was suggested by viol t^s 
dTTct^cia? than there is for supposing that St. John borrowed reKva 
0eoS from St. Paul ; indeed there is not so much. On the contrary, 
the phrase recurs quite naturally to the v-rraKor) of ver. 2. Children 
of obedience are those whose mother is obedience, in whom is the 
spirit of obedience, who are obedient, not " obedient children." 

|XT) <7UCrX'lf}f«.<XTl^6|JL€»'Ol TttlS TTpOTCpOl' iv T^ dyi'oia UJXCJl/ eTTiOujjiiais. 

" Not conforming yourselves to the lusts which formerly ruled you 
in your ignorance." The not uncommon verb a-varxrjfJi'aTL^eaOai (see 
Liddell and Scott) is found also Rom. xii. 2, jxtj o-vo-x^y/Aari^eo-^e tw 
atcovi TovTO). In respect to Rom. xii. there is somewhat better 
reason for suspecting a direct or indirect connexion between St. 
Peter and St. Paul than elsewhere, but we cannot safely build any 


inference on this particular word. See pp. i8, 20. "Ayvoia is 
perhaps more applicable to those of St. Peter's readers who had 
been Gentiles than to those who had been Jews. St. Paul speaks 
of Gentile ignorance, Acts xvii. 30; Eph. iv. 18; see Abbott's 
note ; but St. Peter attributes the crucifixion to the ayvoLa of the 
Jews, Acts iii. 17. It is not easy to say whether St. Peter here is 
thinking of ignorance of God and His Law, or more particularly of 
ignorance of Christ. If the latter, his words will apply equally to 
Jews and Gentiles. All alike had sat in darkness. Matt. iv. 16 ; 
Luke i. 79 ; John i. 5, 10, 11. 'ETrt^u/xiat again seems to point rathe, 
to Gentiles, whose lives were generally more licentious than those 
of Jews. But there were many wicked Jews, Rom. ii. 17 sqq.; Eph. 
ii. 3 ; and our Lord was speaking to Jews when He insisted upon 
the sinfulness of lust, Matt. v. 28. But the readers of the Epistle 
were neither all Gentiles nor all Jews. See Introduction, p. 71. 

15. dXXa Kard rbv KaXeaavTa ufxcis ayioK. " But after the pattern 
of that Holy One who called you." It is best to take ayLov as 
substantival ; it is hardly possible to make it an adjectival pre- 
dicate and translate with von Soden, " after the pattern of Him who 
called you, who is holy." This use of Kara (which is quite classical 
and common ; see instances in Liddell and Scott) is found Gal. iv. 
28, Kara 'Icraa/c, like Isaac. KaActi/ is a word that belongs to the 
vocabulary of Christendom, and St. Peter uses it several times, — 
God called us out of darkness unto liajht, ii. 9 ; called us unto His 
eternal glory in Christ, v. 10; the call makes the pilgrim, above, 
ver. I ; — but he uses it in a simpler and less technical manner than 
St. Paul ; he does not speculate on its difference from other verbs 
(cf Rom. viii. 28 sqq.); nor does he appear to distinguish KXrp-os 
from iKXeKT6<; in the same way as St. Paul (ver. i above). St. Peter 
does not use kA-t/tos, nor KXrj(rL<;, except in the Second Epistle, i. 
10, where A has 7rapdK\7]cn<s, and kKkoyrj is added apparently as 
identical, or at any rate as giving another aspect of the same thing. 
In the Gospels koX^Iv has many senses, of which the chief are illus- 
trated by Matt. ii. 15, "out of Egypt did I call My Son"; v. 9, 
"they shall be called sons of God" (from Hos. ii. i); ix. 13, "to 
call sinners " unto repentance ; xxii. 9, " call to the wedding " ; xx. 8, 
" call the labourers " into my vineyard. It has, in fact, four chief 
meanings — {a) of calling out of a lower state, Egypt or sin ; (b) of 
inviting to a feast ; {c) of summoning to a duty ; {d) of giving a 
name corresponding to a character. It seldom seems to imply 
selection ; all are called alike. In Hebrews it is used of the call 
of Abraham (xi. 8, as in a) ; of the new name, " in Isaac shall thy 
seed be called" (xi. iS, from Gen. xxi. 12 ; cf ii. 11, as in ^ ; of 
those who are invited into the Covenant (ix. 15, as in b) ; of the call 
of Aaron to the priesthood (v. 4, as in c, but with the notion of 
personal selection). In Peter the typical call appears to be that of 

CHAP. I. VER. 15 115 

Abraham, though the Patriarch is not named in this connexion ; 
the Christian is a homeless wanderer, called out of the darkness of 
the past into the light of the gospel, travelling towards glory or an 
inheritance or a crown, called especially to suffer with Christ (ii. 21). 
The new name (Christian, iv. 16) is a name of suffering. St. Paul 
alludes to the new calling or name, quoting Gen. xxi. 12 (Rom. 
IX. 7) and Hos. ii. i (Rom. ix. 26). He does not connect the Call with 
my Old Testament type. The Call is from the Covenant of Works 
to the Covenant of Grace, and Abraham exemplifies not obedience 
to a summons or command, but belief in a promise; two things 
which, though closely combined, yet represent different sides of the 
same action, and are in theory very distinct. If we throw the 
whole stress upon belief, three difficulties at once arise : why do 
some believe while others do not ? what is the value of partial belief? 
how can belief which causes action be itself in any degree the 
effect of action? All these perplexities were acutely felt by St. 
Paul. St. John also felt the difficulty, but found an answer in his 
conception of Love which grows by familiarity and obedience. The 
Synoptic evangelists, St. Peter, the sub-apostolic Fathers, hardly 
touch the problem. Many modern scholars regard Peter as a later 
writer, who was perfectly familiar with the Pauline Epistles, but 
failed to grasp their meaning. But the fact to be explained is 
that, instead of misapprehending or perverting the distinctive 
Pauline thoughts, he leaves them altogether on one side. 

fiyioi'. St. Peter's idea of Holiness must be considered in 
relation to the terms in which he speaks of God. Christ is the 
object of Love (ver. 8). God, though Father, of fear ; the justice, 
might, majesty of God are predominant thoughts in this Epistle. 
In the present passage we are referred to Lev. xi. 44, xix. 2, xx. 7. 
In all these passages the Israelites are commanded to keep them- 
selves from uncleanness, because God is holy. The Hebrew 
Qadesh comes from a root which means to divide. God is holy, 
because He is separate from all uncleanness. No defilement can 
approach Him under penalty of being consumed (Heb. xii. 29) ; 
He is ciTretpao-TOS KaKwv, Jas. i. 13 ; <f>oi'S OLKOJV aTrpocTLTOV, I Tim. vi. 
16. Justice is the positive idea most usually connected in the New 
Testament with holiness, John xvii. 11, 25 ; Luke i. 75 ; Rom. vii. 
12 (the law is holy and just and good). In the present passage the 
holy God is also the just Judge. Justice is more nearly connected 
with holiness than is goodness. The epithet is applied to Christ, 
Luke i. 35, iv. 34 ; John vi. 69 ; rov ayiov koI SiKaiov, Acts iii. 14 ; 
iv. 27, 30 ; Apoc. iii. 7, possibly also vi. 10, always with reference to 
His purity or majesty. St. Paul uses the epithet only of the Holy 
Ghost, holy things, or holy men. 

There is an important point involved, because Albrecht Ritschl 
maintained that " the conception of the holiness of God is for the 


religion of the New Testament abolished {aufgehoben\ at any rate is 
in no respect essential" {Rechtf. und Vers. ii. 12, 13 ; see Mielke, 
das System Albrecht RitschPs, p. 23), on the ground that aloofness 
and transcendent majesty involve mystery in doctrine, and fear as 
in some degree an allowable motive for Christians. Ritschl's view 
is an application of Kant's theory; nothing can be known except 
relations ; nothing can have any religious value except God's relation 
to us ; this has been perfectly revealed in Christ as a relation of love. 
It is interesting chiefly as showing the impossibility of squaring any 
philosophical theory with the Bible, or with any book in the Bible. 
Mystery and Fear cannot possibly be eliminated from Religion. 

Kttl auTol . . . Yeni0T]T€. " Do ye also become holy in every 
manner of conversation." The aorist of the imperative is con- 
stantly used in this Epistle, when, according to the ordinary rule, 
we should have expected the present: see i. 13, 17, 22, ii. 2, 13, 
17, iii. 10, II, 14, 15, iv. 7, V. 2, 5, 6, 8, 9. Blass (p. 194 sqq.) 
hardly seems to recognise adequately the looseness of New Testa- 
ment grammar on this point. Closely parallel in sense are the words 
quoted by St. Paul from Isa. Hi. 11, i^iXOere ck fieo-ov avrtDv koI 
dcfioptcrOrjTe, A.eyet Kvpio9, Koi aKaOdprov jjlt] OLTTTecrOe' Kayu> eicrSe^ofxaL 
v/AttS, /cai ecro/Attt VfXLV eis Trarepa, /cat vfxcLS ta^crOi jxoi cis vlov^ /cat 
Ovyaripa's, Xiyct Kvptos iravTOKparoDp, 2 Cor. vi. 17. It should be 
noticed that St. Peter does not address those to whom he writes as 
aytot, saints, though they belong to the e^vos aytov, ii. 9, or what 
Clem. Rom. calls the dyiov ixepL<5, xxx. i. ^Ava(TTpo(f>'rj (a favourite 
word of St. Peter's), which in Aeschylus and Aristotle means " a 
repair," " haunt," or " abode," in Polybius is used of " a manner of 
life," literally " a turning to and fro," " a walking up and down." 
The exact Latin equivalent is conuersatio (see Liddell and Scott, and 
Facciolati). It is greatly to be regretted that the fine word " con- 
versation " has been rejected by the Revised Version to the 
impoverishment of the English language. " Different kinds of 
dvaa-Tpocfii^ are to be spoken of further on in the Epistle : here at 
the outset St. Peter lays down what is true for them all " (Hort). 

16. "Ayioi e(T6a0€. Lev. xi. 44, xix. 2, xx. 7 ; the future is here 
equivalent to an imperative ; cf. Matt. v. 48. 

17. Kal el TTttTcpa liriKaXeio-Ge . . . dj'a(rTp(£<|)T)T6. " And if ye call 
on him as Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according 
to each man's work, pass the time of your sojourning in fear" (R.V.). 
This is the common and, according to classic usage, the better 
translation. But that of the A.V., " if ye call on the Father who," 
etc., may be defended. HaTrjp is one of those words which easily 
dispense with the article (cf. ver. 2 above), and the article is 
omitted, where a defining clause follows, without any perceptible 
alteration of the sense ; cf. 7rpo(f>rJTaL ol 7rpocf>r)T€vcravTe<;, ver. i o above ; 

CIS vofiov Tekeiov tov Trj<s cAev^epias, Jas. i. 25 ; TratStots Tol<s iv dyopa. 

CHAP. I. VER. 17 117 

KaO-rjixivoL^, Luke vii. 32 ; vyiaCvova-L Aoyois rots rov Kvptov, i Tim. 
vi. 3. In any case the stress falls here upon the definition, " If the 
Father, to whom you pray, is also the righteous Judge, see that ye 
fear Him." The Father "giveth good things to them that ask 
Him " (Matt. vii. 1 1) ; but He is not merely, as the heathen thought, 
a So)T7]p idoiV' He chastises His children (Heb. xii. 5, 6), and He 
judges. He is Uar^p ayio?, StKttios (John xvii. 11, 25). Kiihl 
remarks that in Peter's view the Old Testament motive (Holiness, 
Fear) is not abolished, but rather strengthened by the new relation 
of sonship. The point became of importance in the controversy 
with the Gnostics, who maintained that God was Love simply and 
solely. Fear, of course, means such fear as may be felt towards a 
good father, not slavish, superstitious dread. It is a lower motive 
than love, yet is not to be regarded as merely negative ; it is the 
safeguard of holiness, and it prompts obedience in things which we 
do not as yet understand, — and there are always things which we do 
not understand. Even St. Paul uses occasionally the same language 
as St. Peter, see 2 Cor. v. 10, 11. St. John (I iv. 18) writes that 
"perfect love casteth out fear" ; but his words do not apply to those 
whose love is not yet perfect. Our Lord says at one time, " Thou 
shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart " (Matt. xxii. 37), at 
another, " Yea, I say unto you. Fear Him " (Luke xii. 5). 

In the words Haripa eTriKaXeta-^e there is a possible allusion to 
the Lord's Prayer (so Weiss, Huther, Kiihl, Hort), but it is not 
certain; the words may be suggested by Ps. Ixxxviii. (Ixxxix.) 27. 

dirpoo-wTToXYiijnrTCJs. Neither the adverb nor the adjective from 
which it is formed occurs elsewhere in the New Testament, but 
we have the phrases Xa/JL/Sdvetv, pXiiruv et?, Oavfjidt^eiv Trpoa-oiirov. 
They all denote the righteous Judge, who makes no distinction 
between high and low, rich or poor, Jew or Gentile, in the eye of 
whose holy law all men are equal. It is interesting to compare the 
words of St. Peter (Acts x. 34), ctt* aXrjBuaq KaraXafilSdvoixaL OTL ovK 
ea-TL Trpoao)7roX')]7rrrj<5 6 ©eos* dAA' iv iravrl eOvei 6 ^ofBovfJLCvo^ avTOV kol 
ipyat,6fjievo<i SiKaiocrvvrjv SeKTO^ avrio icrri. Cf. also Rom. ii. lo, ii. 
Dr. Hort thinks that these passages are based on Deut. x. 1 7, but 
the thought and expression must have been not uncommon among 
pious Jews ; thus we find in the Book o//udt7ees (ed. Charles, p. 73), 
" quia Deus uiuens est et sanctus et fidelis et iustus ex omnibus ; et 
non est apud eum accipere personam, ut accipiat munera, quoniam 
Deus iustus est et iudicium exercens in omnibus qui transgrediuntur 
sermones eius et qui contemn unt testimonium eius." Cf. Ep. 
Barn. iv. 12. 

Toj' TTjs irapoiKias vfiCiv xpo^'o*'- The collocation is common in 
Peter but rare elsewhere in the New Testament ; cf. i Cor. xv. 40 ; 
2 Cor. viii. 8, and see Introduction, p. 4. IlapoiKia. See note on 
TrapeTTt'Sry/jtos above. napotKciv is found Luke xxiv. 18; Heb xi. 9; 


TrapoLKosy Acts vii. 6, 29 ; irapoLKLa, Acts xiii. 17. St. Paul will not 
use TrapoiKos of Christians ; they are already a-vpLrroXlrai rajv dytW, 
Eph. ii. 1 9. The word irapoiKia has a very interesting history ; the 
" pilgrims " or "sojourners " in a district or town formed the diocese 
or " parish." See Suicer, s.v. irapoiKLa, Diet, of Christian Antiqui- 
ties, s.v. Parish; Bede, ed. Plummer, vol. ii. p. 212 sq. 

18. eiSoTcs oTi. The Holiness and Justice of God are the 
ground of Fear, which is strengthened by another thought, that of the 
high cost of Redemption. The same cast of thought finds expression 
in Heb. vi. 5 sqq., and Clem. Rom. xxi., rov 'Kvpiov rjjjiwy 'Irjcrovv 

XpiCTTOV, ov TO al/xa VTrep rjfiiov eBoOrj, evrpaTrw/xcv. Further On Clement 
speaks of the fear of God as KaXb<s koI /xeyas kol crw^wv Travras Tov<i 
iv avTio 6arL0)<s avacrTp€(f>ofX€vov<s iv Kadapa Stavoia. This fine passage 
affords an admirable illustration of what we may call " Petrinism," 
the mingled severity and tenderness of the Christian disciplinarian. 

ou <})0apTois . . . iraTpoTrapaSoTou. " That not with corruptible 
things, silver or gold, were ye redeemed from your vain conversa- 
tion handed down from your fathers." Silver and gold (which are 
d7roA.A.u/A€va, ver. 7, or <j)OapTd) are dross compared with the price 
that was paid for you. Avrpov is the ransom paid for slaves, Matt. 
XX. 28 ; Mark x. 45 ; i Tim. ii. 6 we have avTiXvTpov ; XvrpovaOai 
is used Luke xxiv. 21; Tit. ii. 14; Xvtp(o(tl<;, Luke i. 68, ii. 38; 
Heb. ix. 12; XvTpoiTrj<s, Acts vii. 35 of Moses. The Ransom is 
here the Blood of Christ; in Matt. xx. 28 the ^vxy of Christ. We 
are redeemed from our enemies and from the hand of all that hate 
us, Luke i. 68 sqq. ; from dvo/Ata, Tit. ii. 14; here from vain con- 
versation : the historical type suggested in all these passages is that 
of the great deliverance from the house of bondage in Egypt (cf. 
Ex. vi. 6). The Bible does not attempt to say to whom the 
Ransom is paid, a question on which, in later times, there was much 
unfortunate speculation. The question ought never to have been 
asked, because it does not admit of an answer, except in some sense 
which is hardly compatible with the metaphor of Ransom. A 
money ransom is paid to him who holds the slave, but this is not 
true of a spiritual ransom. To take an analogous case, the Algerian 
slaves were redeemed by the blood and suffering of English sailors, 
but to whom was this ransom paid ? 

Closely connected, though not identical, with the idea of Ransom 
is that of Buying. By one and the same act God redeemed us 
from captivity and bought us for His own slaves. Acts xx. 28 
(TrepuTTOLTja-aTo) ; in I Cor. vi. 20, vii. 23 ; 2 Pet. ii. i ; Apoc. v. 9, 
xiv. 3, 4, the verb used is ayopdt,€iv, and in all these passages the 
price expressed or intended is the Blood of Christ. 

St. Luke uses the word dTroAvrpwo-ts of final deliverance at the 
Last Day, xxi. 28 ; and St. Paul, who does not use the simple 
XvTpu)(Ti,<;, has the compound in the same future sense, Rom. viii. 23 ; 

CHAP. I. VER. 19 119 

Eph. i. 14, iv. 30 ; such is probably the meaning also in Rom. iii. 
24 ; Eph. i. 7 ; Col. i. 14 ; in Heb. xi. 35 aTroAvVpcocrts is equivalent 
to A-urpwcris ; so also in ix. 1 5. See Abbott on Eph. i. 7. 

iraTpoTrapaSoTou. This phrase again might seem to be aimed 
rather at Gentiles than at Jews. From the Apologists we may see 
how reluctant the Gentiles were to cast off the " manner of life " of 
their ancestors, and by so doing to pronounce condemnation upon 
their parents, philosophers, statesmen. See Clem. Alex. Protr. x. ; 
Min. Felix, Oct. vi. The strength of this sentiment is powerfully 
exemplified in Mr. Dill's Roman Society in the Last Century of the 
Roman Empire, Races like the English, whose past history was less 
glorious, did not feel the difference so keenly ; see Bede, H. E. ii. 13. 
"Vain" again is constantly used of idolatry (Acts xiv. 15). Yet 
Jews also had a TrapaSoo-i?, Matt. xv. 2 sqq., which came from their 
fathers. Gal. i. 14, and was in some points against the law of God 
and vain. 

19. dXXcl Tifxio) aifxart . . . XpiffToO. " But with precious blood of 
Christ as of a lamb unblemished and spotless." On the collocation 
of the words, see Introduction, p. 4. On the Blood of Christ see 
note on ver. 2 above. Here, no doubt, the absence of the article 
before rt/xtw oliKan is not without meaning. " Ye were redeemed 
not with corruptible gold, but with precious blood " ; both the 
adjectives and the substantives are in strong contrast. *A/xw/ao9, 
which in classic Greek means blameless, is used by the LXX. of 
victims which have no physical blemish. Hence the name of the 
p,wp,oorK07ro9, an officlal whose business it was to ascertain this fact, 
Philo, ^^ Agric. 29 (i. 320); Clem. Alex. Strom, iv. 18. 117. "The 
translators having to express the Hebrew mum^ a blemish, apparently 
caught at the sound of the Greek iJiwixo<s, and employed it for their 
purpose " (Hort). It should, however, be observed that in the Old 
Testament the ceremonial and the moral are not easily kept apart, 
and that a^w/xos is used of moral integrity, Ps. xiv. (xv.) 2, and else- 
where. "AcTTriAo?, " spotless," is metaphorical, but is rather moral 
than ceremonial ; it is found in the version of Symmachus, Job xv. 
15, but not in the LXX. "A/aco/xos is used of Christ in a passage very 
similar to this, Heb. ix. 14. The physical perfection of the victim 
is regarded as typical of the sinlessness of Christ, which makes His 

Blood TLfJiLOV. 

Christ is called d/^vos by the Baptist, John i. 29, 36 ; in 
Apoc. v. 6 and elsewhere the word used is dpvtov. The Paschal 
Lamb or Kid is called irpo^arov riXetov, Ex. xii. 5 ; in Isa. liii. 7 we 
read, (I>s Trpo/Sarov eTTt (T(f>ayr)y y}X^li '^^^ ^'^ dfji,vb<i ivavTiov rov Keipovros 
d^oDi/os ovT(o<; ovK dvotyei to (TTo/xa. Here the sheep is slain, the 
lamb is only shorn, and it has been questioned whether the 
prophet in this particular verse is thinking of the Paschal Lamb 
or, indeed, of anv sacrifice at all (see Dr. Cheyne's note). The 


chapter, however, is full of sacrificial imagery, and the Suffering 
Servant is depicted both as an Atoner (ra? d/xaprias rjfxwv cfyepei), 
and as a Redeemer (tw ixwXoiin avrov rj/xels IdOrjfjiev) ; indeed the 
ideas of Atonement and of Redemption are blended through- 
out. The Isaianic passage was very early applied to our Lord, 
Acts viii. 32. 

There can be little doubt that Isa. liii. was in the mind of St. 
Peter here. Just before we have had an allusion to Isa. Hi. 3, ov 
fiera dpyvpiov XvTpoiOrja^a-B^, and references to Isaiah, and to chap 
liii. in particular, abound in the Epistle. But the "blood of the 
Lamb " does not come from this source. It is found most easily 
in Ex. xii. : the difference of the words irpo/Sarov and dfxv6<s is a 
merely superficial difficulty, and rekeiov is equivalent to a/xw/Aov koI 
da-TTiXov. We really do not know what words St. Peter himself 
used. But in the case of such allusions there is danger in the 
attempt to bind an author down to fixed passages. St. Peter may 
have meant quite generally the lamb of sacrifice. See note on 
pavTLafx6<s, ver. 2 above. 

The question has been raised whether the blood of the Paschal 
Lamb was really a ransom, but it is difficult to understand the 
point of view from which the question is framed. In one sense, of 
course, it was not, as the Epistle to the Hebrews teaches us. But 
in another, as a shadow, it was both an Atonement and a Ransom ; 
it covered the houses of the Israelites from the destroying Angel, it 
redeemed the firstborn, and was a condition of the deliverance of 
the whole people from the house of bondage. 

Dr. Hort quotes the Midrash on Ex. xii. 22, "With two bloods 
were the Israelites delivered from Egypt, with the blood of the 
paschal lamb and with the blood of circumcision." 

20. irpoeyvwo-juieVou. The foreknowledge of God does not neces- 
sarily imply the pre-existence of the thing or person foreknown 
(see ver. 2 above ; Acts xv. 18 ; Rom. xi. 2), but does not exclude it. 

irpo KaTapoXTJs Koo-fjiou. Matt. xiii. 35 (here, perhaps, Koo-fxov 
should be omitted), xxv. 34 ; the phrase is used also by Luke, 
John, Paul, and in Hebrews : Apoc. xiii. 8, the Lamb was slain 
from the foundation of the worid. It is found also in the Assump- 
tion of Moses, and is quoted therefrom in the Acta Syn. Nic. 

(Gelasius Cyzic. ii. 18, p. 28), koX Trpoededo-aro fji€ 6 ©€os TTpo Kara- 
fioXrj<; Koa-fiov, 6ivat fxe t^s ZiaOrjK-qq avrov /xeo-Lrrjv (Moses is Speaking 

to Joshua). This passage of the Assumption was possibly alluded 
to by St. Paul, Gal. iii. 19, and may have suggested the language of 
St. Peter here. The word Kara^oXri is used 2 Mace. ii. 29 of the 
foundation or ground-plan of a house. Dr. Hort quotes also 
Plut. Moralia, ii. 956 A, to i$ apx^^ '^°-'' ^f^^ '^V T/Jwrr; KorajSoXfj Tuiv 


<^av€p<odivTo<5. Cf. John i. 31 ; i Tim. iii. 16; i John iii. 5, 8. 

CHAP. I. VER. 21 121 

*' Taken by itself the word suggests a previous hidden existence, 
and it was not likely to be chosen except in this implied sense " 

eir' eo-xdrou rStv xpoi'wv. " In the last of the times," in the last 
epoch of the world's history ; or " at the end of the times " (ia-xa-rov 
being taken as neuter and substantival, as in the phrase eV ia-xarov 
tQ>v rjfJi€pa)Vj Heb. i. 2). 

81' ufjLas. The purport of this verse is still further to deepen the 
reader's sense of the need of holiness and godly fear. Not only is 
the blood precious, but the sacrifice of Christ was purposed by God 
before creation, and all for you. 

21. Tous 81' auToG TTiaTOus CIS Qeov. IlLcrTevovTas is supported by 
the authority of &< C K L P, a number of other MSS., and the Syriac 
Versions ; but the great textual critics prefer Trto-rovs, the reading of 
A B, a good cursive, and the Vulgate, on the ground that Trio-reu- 
oj/ras is an obvious correction designed to get rid of the otherwise 
unexampled phrase ttio-tovs ets ©eoV. IIio-tos in the active sense 
( = believing) is rare even in the New Testament, and except in 
this passage is always used absolutely. See Dr. Hort's elaborate 
note. Nevertheless els is used after irwrrcvo), and there is no 
obvious reason why ttlo-tos in the active sense should not be 
followed by the same preposition. We must translate "who 
through Him do believe in God." No other meaning will suit the 
context, and el<s after ttlo-tos in its passive meaning ( = trusted, 
trustworthy) appears to be not only unexampled, but impossible. 
For St' avTov cf. Acts iii. 16, 17 ttiotis 17 Bl avrov (the words of St. 
Peter). Above, ver. 8, Christ is Himself the immediate object of 
Faith; here by Him, by the historical Christ, 8l dmo-Tcia-ecos efc 
v€Kpoiv (ver. 3), by the TraOiq^MTa and Sd^at (ver. 11), in a word, by 
the gospel, we come to believe in God, who raised Him from the 
dead and gave Him glory. It is to be observed that here the 
brethren believe in God, not because the Son has revealed the 
Father (Matt. xi. 27), but because the Father has revealed the Son. 
The two propositions are reciprocal and interchangeable ; hence it 
is clear that we believe in God through Christ not in the same 
sense as that in which we believe through ApoUos or Paul, who 
were BiaKovoi (i Cor. iii. 5). Here, again, it is impossible to say 
whether St. Peter is addressing himself to Jews or to Gentiles ; the 
peculiar attribute ascribed to God was equally new to both. 

Toi' eyeipain-a . . . Sd^ai'. The Resurrection and Exaltation are 
appealed to just as in St. Peter's speech on Pentecost, and indeed 
in the Book of Acts throughout. Here the Resurrection is a 
revelation of God and His abounding mercy ; it is also the means 
(or one means) of the avayivv-qcns (ver. 3), and gives efficacy to 
Baptism (iii. 21). But there is no trace in our Epistle of the 
favourite Pauline thought that the Christian is risen with Christ or 


has died with Christ. The substance of St. Peter's teaching is the 
same, but the expression is not. 

God gave Jesus Christ glory in the eyes of unbelievers (Acts 
ill. 13) and of the Church, bestowing upon Him of grace ^'- the 
Name which is above every name " (Phil. ii. 9 ; see Lightfoot's 
note). Cf. Apoc. i. 17, 18. Thus we can understand John xvii. 5. 

ware t(\v ttio-tii' ufxwi' Kal eXiriSa €\.vo.\. cts 0€oV. " So that your 
faith and hope is towards God." Faith in Christ (ver. 8) is also 
faith in God, who gave Christ glory, whose mercy is the ultimate 
source of the resurrection, the regeneration, and the gospel gener- 
ally. Kiihl, with a number of German commentators, translates 
"so that your faith is also hope towards God." In this way we 
should get the sense " so that your faith is transformed into hope," 
and thus escape the apparent tautology between ttio-tov's cts ©eoV, 
TTLCTTLv CIS ©eoV. Thcrc is no other substantial argument in favour 
of this artificial rendering (it is rightly rejected by Dr. Hort). 
Tautology is a characteristic of St. Peter's style ; see Introduction, 
p. 6. Further, faith and hope are so closely connected in St. 
Peter's mind that they are merely two aspects of the same thing ; 
the one involves the other so completely that it is difficult to see 
how he could say that the one becomes the other. 

At this point ends what we may call the doctrinal section of the 
Epistle. St. Peter has been explaining the three Names, their 
three attributes, and their several relations. Here he passes to the 
practical Christian life, catching up and expounding the words 
dytao-/Ao<?, dvayevvav. The word suggests the thought, doctrine 
and exhortation are blended in easy natural flow, and there are 
constant recurrences and developments of ideas already expressed. 

22,23. 'Hyi/iKOTes carries us back to vers. 2, 15; viraKorj to 
vers. 2, 14 ; the following dvayeyewTy/xeVoi to ver. 3 ; but something 
new is added to each word. The order of conception seems to be 
truth, regeneration, obedience, purity, love of the brethren. Truth 
is explained by the words 8td Xoyov tfi>vTo<s ©eot) /cat [x€vovto<s. It is 
the word uttered by the Spirit of Christ through the prophets 
(vers. 10-12); through this truth comes the New Birth. The 
Truth must be obeyed, carried out in action as a law even before 
we understand it, in order that we may understand it (as in John 
vii. 17); see note on ver. 2. Obedience leads to purity of soul. 
Ayj/os in classical Greek is mainly a moral word {sanctus not sacer ; 
but these, like ayto?, dyvo9, are connected in etymology) ; it is used 
especially of virginity ; but the verb is generally used of ceremonial 
purification. In the New Testament dyi'o? always has the moral 
sense; dyvi^etv is used of ceremonial cleansing in John xi. 55 and 
Acts xxi. 24, 26, xxiv. 18, but in Jas. iv. 8, i John iii. 3, as 
here, of spiritual cleansing. We may compare the phrase dytd^eiv 
iv aX7)6€ta, John xvii. 17, 19. Purity from evil inclinations, especi- 

CHAP. I. VER. 24 123 

ally from rancour and malice, leads to love of the brethren (not 
" brotherly love "). The word cf>LXa8cXcf)La in secular Greek and in 
4 Mace. xiii. 21, 23, 26, xiv. i, means the mutual love of brothers 
by birth ; but in 2 Mace. xv. 14 Jeremiah is called 6 ^lAaSeX^os 
ovTos because of his love for all Jews (Hort). In the New Testa- 
ment it is used (Rom. xii. 10; i Thess. iv. 9; Heb. xiii. i ; 2 Pet. 
i. 7) in what is really a new sense, of love for those who are 
brethren by virtue of the dvayeVj/T^o-ts. Love of the Christian 
brotherhood must be (i) dvvTrd/cpiro? (Rom. xii. 9; 2 Cor. vi. 6), 
not affected, Pharisaic, formal, mechanical, but sincere and from 
the heart. (2) €KTe^7;?, "fervent"; the word seems to convey the 
idea of straining intensity, but some regard it as meaning " steady," 
" unintermittent." The adverb iKrevw's occurs only in later Greek, 
and was regarded as a vulgarism ; see Lobeck's Phrynichus^ p. 311; 
Dr. Rutherford, New Fhrynichus, p. 365, thinks that even the 
adjective is not Attic. 

o-iropd is fixed to the sense of "seed" {semen not satio) by the 
epithets. Many modern German commentators and Alford under- 
stand the meaning to be " born again not of a human father " (cf. 
John i. 13, iii. 4); but a better explanation is found in the parable 
of the Sower ; cf. Luke viii. 11,6 o-Tro/aos larlv 6 X6yo<s tov @eov. 

In 8id Xoyou £wkTos 0eoO Kal ficVorros the article is again omitted. 
The epithets are best taken with Xoyov. As Xoyou is antithetical to 
CTTTopas, so are ^<ovtos /cat fiivovTO's to ov (}>0apTrjs dAAa d(f)ddf)Tov ; again 
we have Xoyos t,(ov in Heb. iv. 12, and iXirU ^waa in ver. 3 above ; 
and finally Xoyou fxcvovroq is caught up and illustrated by the words 
TO 8e prjjxa KvpLov /xeVct in the following quotation. This is the con- 
struction adopted by A.V., R.V. (text), Alford, Kiihl, von Soden, 
and most modern commentators. Dr. Hort follows the Vulgate 
and many, especially of the older scholars, in coupling the epithet 
with ®eov (cf. Dan. vi. 26, auros yap ianv ©eos fiivwv koL ^tov €t? 
yeveas yevecov eoos Tou aiwi/os). Aoyos is identified by St. Peter 
himself with prj/xa, and this again with the gospel which his readers 
had heard (to evayyeXicrOev cis vfxd<s : cf. Sid tCjv evayyeXLcrafiivwv 

v/x«S ver. 1 2 above), virtually with the Trad-^fjLara koI Soiai. 

24. 810T1 is used by St. Peter to introduce quotations from the 
Old Testament, i. 16, ii. 6, and here. In iii. 10 ydp is used 

irao-a adp§. From Isa. xl. 6-8. St. Peter departs from the LXX. 
in inserting ws before x^pTo?, and in substituting avrrjs for dvOpuiirov 
and Kuptou for rov ©eou rjixwv, but follows it in omitting two clauses 
of the Hebrew ("because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it; 
surely the people is grass ") after e^eVeo-ci/. Dr. Hort observes that 
St. Peter possibly found all these changes already made in the text 
of the LXX. which he used. 

c^T]pdi'0T) and cIcTrecre are gnomic aorists which may be rendered 


in English by the present. Dr. Hort illustrates the av6o<; xop'^o^ by 
reference to Sinat and Palestine, p, 139, where Dean Stanley de- 
scribes the blazing scarlet of anemones, tulips, and poppies among 
the thin, shortlived grass of spring in the Levant, and points out 
the fine comparison of this Zoia. of nature to the "conversation" 
inherited by the Greeks from their fathers, which, " vain " as it was, 
was also so brilliant and attractive. But the main point of the 
quotation is the contrast between the shortness of earthly beauty 
and the eternity of the word of God. St. James manifestly alludes 
to this passage of Isaiah (i. 10, 11) in a different context; he is 
disparaging wealth, and omits all reference to the word of God. If 
there is any literary connexion here between the two Epistles, the 
right of priority seems to belong to St. Peter, who introduces the 
quotation with far greater ease, appropriateness, and power. See 
note on SoKifiLov, ver. 7 above. 

25. KupLou stands, as already observed, for the rov ©cov ■^/xSv of 
the LXX. and Hebrew. Dr. Hort observes that " Kvptov without 
the article must be taken, as in most cases, for Jehovah, the God of 
Israel, our God." But the noticeable point is that in a matter of 
such grave import there should be any exceptions at all : and the 
fact seems to be that if we exclude direct quotations from the Old 
Testament, and such phrases as ayycAos, tfioivrj, x^^P^ Trvev/xa Kvptov, 
which are taken from the Old Testament and stereotyped by usage, 
it is hardly possible in the New Testament to make any distinction 
between Kvptos and 6 Kvpto?. Even in the Old Testament 6 Kvptos 
stands not infrequently for Jehovah (passages quoted Matt. xxii. 44 ; 
Luke ii. 23 ; Acts ii. 25) ; and in the New Testament Kvpio?, without 
the article, is constantly used of Christ (Luke ii. 11 ; Acts x. 36 ; 
in Rom. xiv. 5-9 Kvpttu and to) Kvptw are used quite indifferently ; 
xvi. 2 sqq., iv Kvpto), this is a common phrase; i Cor. vii. 17-39, 
X. 21, 22, xvi. 11; 2 Cor. iii. 16-18; Phil. iii. 20; 2 Thess. i. 
I, 2, 12). We have seen that in St. Peter's view the Spirit of Christ 
was in the prophets, and it is not possible to say that in the present 
passage he intends to draw any absolute distinction between Kvptov 
and XptcrroO. 

€is u/xas. " Unto you," is equivalent to v/juv, as in ver. 4 above. 
Dr. Hort would give the preposition its sense of motion, " which 
was preached (reaching even) to you." The R.V. translates, "And 
this is the word of good tidings which was preached unto you " ; and 
it should not be forgotten that in the times of the apostle evayyiXiov 
still preserved distinctly the meaning of "good spell" or tidings, 
which we are so apt to forget when we use the abbreviated 
" gospel." 

II. 1. Here begins a new passage of exhortation suggested by 
the word avayeyewrj/xeyoL. It extends to the end of ver. 10. 

diroO^fjiei'oi ouv. " Therefore," since ye are born again, since ye 

CHAP. II. VER. 2 125 

have become babes, lay aside all kinds of wickedness, and desire 
the milk which Christ will give you. Milk causes growth ; the 
growth will fit them for their place in the spiritual house, the royal 
priesthood. Here again the Christian is addressed as member of a 
corporation. ^A-rroOecrOaL is to be taken rather in the sense of cleans- 
ing defilements (iii. 21, ov o-ap/cos dTro^ecrts pvirov) than in that of 
putting off clothing (as in Rom. xiii. 12; Eph. iv. 22; Col. iii. 
5 sqq.). The sins named are such as are specially destructive of 
^tXaSeA-c^ia. KaKt'a in the classics means either vice generally, as 
opposed to aperrj, or specially cowardice. Suicer distinguishes three 
ecclesiastical uses of the word : (i) Evil, misery, trouble ; Matt. vi. 
34, dpK€Tov rfj rjfiepa r/ /ca/cta avTrj<i. (2) Vice ; the word is com- 
monly so used by the Fathers, and Theophylact gives it this sense 
in Rom. i. 29 {ad Rom. chap, iii.) ; but it is very doubtful whether 
he is right. (3) Malice ; i Cor. xiv. 20, T77 KaKia v-q-TrLa^eTe, where 
Theophylact notes vrjind^ei rrj KaKia 6 /xrjSeva KaKoiroiwv aX)C waTrep 
vrjiriov aKaKos. Cf. Col. iii. 8 ; Tit. iii, 3. Dr. Hort maintains 
that in the Pauline Epistles KaKca always bears this sense. In the 
present passage the A.V. has "malice," the R.V. "wickedness." 
The addition of Trao-av, " every kind or form of," suits " wickedness " 
better than the more determinate " malice," and the same remark 
applies to a-vv Trdarj KaKia, Eph. iv. 31. In ii. 16 below KaKia 
seems clearly to mean "wickedness." Upon the whole it seems 
best to regard Ka/ciia as the general term which is defined by the 

following special vices. In Jas. i. 21, 810 dTroOi/xevoL irdo-av pvirapiav 

KOL TTc/aio-o-etW KttKtas, the general sense " wickedness " seems to suit 
better. It may be observed that James appears to combine i Pet. 
ii. I, iii. 21, so that here, too, he is more naturally regarded as the 

uTTOKpiaei?. So X A C K L P, the Vulgate, Philoxenian Syriac, and 
Armenian ; B, the Peshito, Coptic, and Aethiopic have viroKpiaiv. 
For the sense see dvvTro/cptros above. St. Peter is probably thinking 
of our Lord's denunciations of the Pharisaic hypocrisy, which was 
strict in outward observances but cold at heart, setting its rules and 
forms above charity. The plural may mean kinds of hypocrisy or 
acls of hypocrisy ; as dpcrai in classical Greek means " virtues " or 
" virtuous deeds." 

KaraXaXids. " All backbitings." The verb KaraXaXuv is used 
by Aristophanes, Ranae, 752, of a slave who " blabs " his master's 
secrets; it is quoted also from the lost Piypas, Bekker, Anecd. i. 102. 
In later Greek it bears the sense of talking or railing against. The 
adjective KaraXaXos (Rom. i. 30) and substantive KaraXoAtd (2 Cor. 
xii. 20) are found only in the New Testament. 

2. us dpTiycVi'TjTa Ppe4>T). " As newborn babes." " 'ApTiyei/viyros 
is a late and rare word, replacing yeoyvos. This is the only place 
where ^pi4'V is used figuratively, vt^ttlol being commonly so used " 


(Hort). The simile, which is very appropriate for those who are 
avay€y€vv7]ix€voi, recalls Matt, xviii. 3. In St. Peter's view Christians 
are always babes, and therefore also always recently born. This is 
in substance the explanation of Dr. Hort and von Soden. Kiihl 
insists that apTLyew-qra must mean that the readers had been quite 
recently converted, and finds in the word a confirmation of his view 
that the readers of the Episde did not belong to Churches founded 
by St. Paul, and that the Epistle was written before Romans. But 
this is too large a conclusion from so slender a premiss. Even if 
the readers had been converted by St. Paul, their Christianity was 
still young. But in respect of Eternity, as von Soden well says, the 
beginning of the new life must always seem a thing of yesterday. 

eTrnro0r)o-aT€ . . . o-wTTjpiai'. "Desire the sincere milk of the 
word that ye may grow thereby " (A.V.). " Long for the spiritual 
milk, which is without guile, that ye may grow thereby unto salva- 
tion" (R.V.). The words ets o-oiTTjpcav are undoubtedly genuine ; 
see Tischendorf s note. AoyiKov ydka is understood by the great 
majority of commentators, as by the A.V., to mean " milk of the 
word," on the grounds that St. Peter is recalling the Xoyos of i. 23 
(just as in aSoXov he recalls the SoXov of the preceding verse), and 
that A.dyo9 in the New Testament always means " word." Of those 
who thus translate the phrase, some regard " milk of the word " as 
meaning "the milk which is the word" {'Wac uerdi est periphrasis 
r/erh' I'psms," Bengel) ; others, " the milk which is contained in the 
word," that is to say, specially Christ (so Kiihl, Weiss, Keil, von 
Soden). This latter point seems unimportant, if we consider what 
St. Peter has said touching the relation of Christ to Scripture. 

Dr. Hort insists that Aoyt/cds in the Stoic writers (even in Aris- 
totle ; see Bonitz, Index), in later Greek, and commonly in Philo, 
.Tieans rational, and can mean nothing else ; further, that in Rom. 
xii. I (the only other passage in the Greek Bible where the word is 
found) it bears this sense, and that Eusebius uses the word with the 
same meaning. It may be observed, however, that St. Paul does 
not use the phrase XoyiKov ydXa, and that his koyiKr] Xarpeia corre- 
sponds to St. Peter's 7rv€VfMaTLKd<; Ovaia^ ; that the usage of St. Paul can 
never be compared with that of St. Peter without great caution and 
reserve ; that Adyos, in the sense of the word of God, or scripture, is 
unknown to secular Greek ; and that Aoyt/cds, " belonging to the 
word," is at any rate strictly analogous to AoyiKo?, " belonging to the 
human reason." Finally, as it is certainly the habit of St. Peter to 
pick up and repeat his words, it would seem that the balance of 
argument is in favour of the translation of the A.V. "ABoXos does 
not mean "unadulterated," nor exactly "veracious," as in Aesch. 
A?- 95>XP^W'^osayvoi} fxaXaKots aSoXoiaL TraprjyopLaL^, but "guileless," 

as^ the pattern of sincerity, and as forbidding all BoXo^, cf. ii. 22. 
FaAa is probably a reminiscence of Isa. Iv. t : if so, there is an 

CHAP. II. VER. 3 127 

additional reason for taking XoyiKov as above. In any case the 
word is suggested to St. Peter quite simply by avay^yevvrjfxevoL and 
f^pecjir). The passage marks better than any other the difference 
between St. Peter, the Epistle to the Hebrews, and St. Paul. In 
St. Peter's eyes the Christian is always a babe, always in need of 
mother's milk, always growing, not to perfection, but to deliverance. 
In Heb. v. 1 2, vi. 2, milk is the catechism, the rudiments of the 
fiiith, including repentance, faith, baptisms, laying on of hands, 
resurrection, judgment, and is contrasted with " the solid meat " of 
the perfect, who have a formed character (8ta r^v Utv), can judge for 
themselves, and do not need a guide. This is an adaptation of the 
teaching of Philo {de migr. Abr. 9 (i. 443), ercpos v-qiriuiv kox hepos 
TiXeiwv x^^P^^ icTTiv : 6 (i. 440), iv ravTrj rrj X'^P^ '^°-'- y^^o'i ccrrt croi to 
avToixadi^, to avTohi^aKTOv, to VT/Trtas koI yaXa/crtoSov? Tpocf)T]<s afJieToxov : 
but Philo probably borrowed it from the Stoics ; cf. Epictetus, ii. 

16. 39, ov 6eXeL<; ^St;, a)S to. TratSta, aTroyaXaKTicrOrjvaL kol aTTTeaOat 
Tpo(prj<5 o-Tcpecorepas ; It takes up the old philosophic distinction 
between the y5to? Trpa/criKo? and OeojprjTLKos, and regards the Christian 
as moving up naturally and properly through instruction, obedi- 
ence, law, discipline, into knowledge and freedom. This was the 
view adopted by Clement of Alexandria and Origen, and indeed by 
the whole of the later Church. It represents a via media between 
St. Peter and St. Paul. The latter draws the same distinction as 
Hebrews between yaXa and ^pwfxa (i Cor. iii. i, 2), but regards the 
" babes in Christ " as ov TrvevfxaTLKOLj o-apKtvot, or crapKiKoL Here also 
the distinction is probably based, if not on Philo, on some cognate 
Rabbinical teaching. St. Paul is vexed with "the babe," who is in 
fact the weaker brother, the formalist, and needs not to be carried 
further along the same line, but to be put upon a different line. 
Neither to St. Paul nor to Hebrews is " milk " the biblical milk of 
Isaiah, nor is " the babe " the little child of the Gospels. St. Peter 
not only differs from them both, but he differs as being more 
scriptural and evangelical. This point, which is in many ways of 
the gravest importance, has not received the attention it deserves. 

3. ei eyeuo-aafie on xP'n°'''"os 6 Ku'pios. " If ye have tasted that 
the Lord is good." " Milk " suggests a quotation from Ps. xxxiii. 
(xxxiv.) 9, y^vaaaOe kol tSere on XPV^'''^'^ ^ Kvpio^. The words Koi 
iSere are omitted as not quite suiting the milk. A.V., R.V. translate 
"that the Lord is gracious," but we need an adjective that will suit 
the figure of speech. "In the Psalm 6 KvpLo<i stands for Jehovah, 
as it very often does, the LXX. inserting and omitting the article 
with Kwpto? on no apparent principle. On the other hand, the next 
verse shows St. Peter to have used 6 Kvpto? in its commonest, though 
not universal, N.T. sense of Christ. It would be rash, however, to 
conclude that he meant to identity Jehovah with Christ. No such 
identification can be clearly made out in the N.T." (Hort). But 


the point, as already observed, is that the writers of the New 
Testament take no trouble to guard their readers against misappre- 
hension on a subject of such consequence. See p. 124, above. 

4. TTpos ou TTpoCTepxofiei'oi. " Coming unto whom." The phrase is 
suggested, as Dr. Hort thinks, by ver. 6 of the Psalm just quoted, 
Trpoa-iXOare Trpo? avrov kol (fxaTLcrO-qTe, Indeed the whole Psalm was 
present to St. Peter's mind throughout the Epistle; cf. ver. 10, 
(jio(3^6r]Te rbv Kvpiov Travres ol ay lol avrov, with i. 15-17] ver. 5, 
CK Tracrcov tojv TrapoiKiiav fxov ippvcraTo /ac, with i. i 7 ] vers. 13—17 S-^e 
quoted below, iii. 10-12 ; in ver. 23 we have the word XvrpoxjeraL, 

and ver. 20, TroAXat at 6XLip€L<; rdv SiKaLiov, Kal €K iracruiv avrihv 
pva-erai avTov<; 6 Kvpto?, gives in little the main theme of the Epistle. 
The present participle is used because stones keep coming one after 
another ; but it may, as Kiihl thinks, denote the perpetual lifelong 
drawing nigh of the soul to its Redeemer. The idea of stones 
"coming" is not very natural, and it is therefore all the more 
probable that Hermas was influenced by St. Peter when he speaks 
of stones " coming up " (dvaySatVctv) to be built into the tower 
(Sim. ix. 3. 4). 

\iQov i^wrra. " A living stone." Cf. eXTrtSa ^wcrav, i. 3 ; Xoyo? (Qiv, 
i. 23 ; the phrase means much more than "an animated stone": 
that " lives " in St. Peter's sense which is spiritual, divine, eternal. 
The apostle here brings in a new metaphor, the stones, the house, 
in order to reiterate with fresh force the necessity of holiness ; the 
keyword is the ajLov of ver. 5. But he has already in view the 
quotations which he is about to introduce in ver. 6 sqq. The 
word XlOo?, once used, draws him on to say more about it. This 
artless conversational method uj highly original; and it will be 
observed that the hints or suggestions which guide the thought are 
usually words or phrases of Scripture. This is a consideration 
which ought to be allowed weight in discussing the relation between 
vers. 6-8 and the parallel passage in Romans. 

5. Ktti auToi . . . TTi'eufjiaTiKos. " Be ye also as living stones built 
up a spiritual house." 

It seems best to take olKohomZa-Be as imperative, the last link of 
the chain of imperatives extenclmg from i. 13 onwards. Dr. Hort 
regards it as indicative, and translates "ye are being builded." 
Here again St. Peter keeps distinctly in view the corporate idea of 
the Christian life ; the house or temple is the community as in 
Eph. ii. 21, 22, not the individual soul as in i Cor. iii. t6, vi. 19. 
The word oTkos is used here probably because it means both 
"house" and "household," and thus suits both the preceding 
otKoSo/xetcr^e and the following UpaTev/xa. IIveu^taTtKos, "spiritual," 
"immaterial," or perhaps "reasonable." Philo has the adjective 
TTvevfiaTLKos {de mundi opificio 22, i. 15). In his psychology 
TTi/cu/jia, the breath of life, which makes the animal soul " live " 

CHAP. II. VER. I, 129 

(Gen. ii. 7), is synonymous with the Greek vov<5 {quod detur potion 
insid. 22, i. 207. See Siegfried, p. 240, and Hatch, Essays in 
Biblical Greeks p. 126), 

CIS UpdTeu|jia o.>{\.ov. "To be a holy priesthood." The A.V. 
follows K LP, the Vulgate, and Peshito in omitting et?. Here again 
St. Peter is looking forward to a passage of Scripture which he 
means to quote more precisely ; in Ex. xix. 6, aytov is the epithet 
of e(9i/os not of UpaTevfia. The living stones, when they are built 
into the house, become also the body of priests who minister in the 
house, and the priests must be holy. The word ayios is repeated 
here with emphasis from i. 15, and resumes all that has been said 
from that point. 

6.y€viyKai . . . XpiCTTou. " To offer up spiritual sacrifices accept- 
able to God through Jesus Christ." 'Ava</)cpeiv is thus used, not in 
classical Greek, nor by St. Paul, but commonly in the LXX. (e.g. Gen. 
xxii. 2, 13, of the sacrifice of Isaac), by James (ii. 21), and in Heb. 
(vii. 27, xiii. 15). St. Peter does not define the sacrifices further 
than by saying that they are spiritual, as befits the spiritual house 
and the holy priesthood. The epithet Trvev/AartKas distinguishes 
them from the offerings of the Law; they are not shadows and 
symbols, but realities, such as spirit offers to spirit, and a holy priest- 
hood to a holy God. It would, however, be pressing the word too 
far to regard it as excluding all connexion with material objects ; for 
a gift of money is spoken of as a Ovata (Phil. iv. 18 ; cf. Acts x. 4; 
Heb. xiii. 16). Purely spiritual acts of self-dedication, praise, faith, 
are also spoken of as sacrifices (Rom. xii. i ; Phil. ii. 17; Eph. v. 
I, 2) ; and no doubt no sacrifice is TrvevixaTtKi^ without the act of self- 
surrender. Here, where the sacrifices are those of the community, 
it seems impossible so to restrict them as to make them merely 
another name for <^tXa8eA.^ia, or for the putting away of all malice 
or wickedness. The praise and prayers of the assembly of brethren 
are no doubt meant, but their gifts are not excluded. 

euirpocrSeKTous ©ew 8id '\r]crou Xpi<rToG. " Acceptable to God 
through Jesus Christ," " EvTrpoVSeKTos is not used in the LXX. or 
Apocrypha (the simple Sckto's being preferred in this sense), but 
it was known to Greek religion (Schol. on Arist. J^ax, 1054), 
and also to ordinary Greek language (Plutarch, Praec. Ger. Reip. 
801 O" (Hort). Commentators appear to be very evenly divided 
on the question whether Sta is to be taken with dvej/eyKai or with 
ctiTTpoo-ScKTou?. Hcb. xfiL 1 5 favours the former construction \ the 
order of words, the latter. There is a difference in the sense. In 
the former case we offer through Jesus spiritual sacrifices which 
are acceptable because spiritual ; in the second, we offer spiritual 
sacrifices, which are acce[)table because offered through Him, 
deriving all their worth from Him who presents them to God, and 
with whose one sacrifice they are bound up. 


6. 8i(5ti irepi^x^i iv YP'**t>fi« "Because it contains in Scripture.'* 
Vpa(}>rj drops the article here just as " Scripture " does in English. 
TLepUx^Lv is absolute and impersonal, as in Josephus, Anf. xi. 4. 7, 
(3ovXoixaL yivea-dai Travra KaOo)^ iv avrrj irepiex^i. The same use of the 
word is found in Origen and in Adamantius (see Hort). In other 
passages, though the verb has ceased to be transitive, it is followed 
by an adverb or adverbial phrase ; thus we find tVto-ToXat Trcpte^ovo-i 
rov TpoTTov TOVTOv, Joscphus, Anf. xii. 4. 11 ; cTrio-roXas 7rcpte;>(Oi;o-a9 
OVT0J5, 2 Mace. ix. 18, xi. 22. Hepioxyj is used for a table of 
contents or summary of a book (see Facciolati, Periochd)^ or for a 
paragraph or passage, Cic. ad Att. xiii. 25. 3; Acts viii. 32. 

In the passage which follows we have a cento of quotations 
from the Old Testament. 'iSov riOruLi . . . KaTatarxwOrj is from Isa. 
xxviii. 16; X.lOo9 . . . ywvias from Ps. cxvii. (cxviii.) 22; XlOos . . . 
aKavBaXov from Isa. viii. 14; yei/os eKXeKTov from Isa. xliii. 20; 
^aa-ckeLov UpdrevfJia, eOvo^ ayiov from Ex. xix. 6 ; Xaos et? irepnroirjo-iv 
. . . c^ayyetAT/rc from Isa. xliii. 21 {Xaov fxov ov TrepLeTroirja-dfirjv ras 
apcTCts /MOV Sirjyeio-OaL). Ot ttotI ov Xao'i . . , iX-erjOevTCS is a clause 
made up of phrases taken from Hos. i. ii. 

The relation between i Pet. ii. 6-8 and Rom. ix. 33 is discussed 
in the Introduction, p. 18 sqq. St. Peter is catching up, reiterating, 
justifying from Scripture, words which he has used immediately 
before, in vers. 4 and 5 ; but some of them have been present in 
his thoughts from the first ; thus iKX^KTos, i. i ; rLfx-rj, ti/aio?, i. 7, 
19; ayio9, i. 15 ; Xoyo9, i. 23, ii. 2 ; and we may add ov Aaos com- 
pared with avay^yewrjfjiivoi, i. 23. The passage which occurred to 
him first was Ps. cxvii. (cxviii.) 22, from which comes the 
dTToSeSofci/xacr/xeVov of ver. 4; this word Started the train of asso- 
ciation which suggested the other quotations. This particular 
quotation is used elsewhere by St. Peter, Acts iv. 11, and in the 
Gospels (Luke xx. 17 with parallels), but nowhere else. These 
features seem to be strongly in favour of St. Peter's originality here ; 
but Dr. Hort and many other high authorities think it morally 
certain that St. Peter borrowed tie common part of his quotation 
from St. Paul. 

180U, TiGrifxi . . . KaTOLKT^iivQ^. "Behold, I lay in Sion a chief 
corner stone, elect, honoured; and he that believeth on him 
shall not be put to shame." The LXX. version of Isa. xxviii. 16 is 
tSou eyo) ifxfSdWo) eiq to. ^e/xeXia Sicbv XlOov TroXvTcXrj eKXcKTOv 
oLKpoyoiviaiov evTLfjiov, ct? to. OcfxiXia avTrj<; /cat 6 7rL(XT€vo)V ov fjcrj 
KaTaLo-xvvOf]. St. Peter omits TroXvreXy], "precious"; evn/jiov might 
bear the same meaning, but he clearly takes it to mean "held in 
honour," which is the more usual sense of the word. 

cV avTw after TritrrevW is found in most MSS. of the LXX., and 
was inserted, as Dr. Hort thinks, before the Christian era. The 
Hebrew text as translated by the R.V. is " Behold, I lay in Zion for 

CHAP. II. VER. 7 131 

a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone of 
sure foundation : he that believeth shall not make haste." The 
Stone is Jehovah Himself (Cheyne), or the Messianic King (Hort). 
"Shall not make haste," shall not flee in terror, is not in itself 
badly represented by ov fir] KarataxwOf} : but these words are here 
understood, " shall not be ashamed, but shall come to honour." 
'AKpoywvioLov makes of the stone not a foundation, but the " head 
of the corner " ; and this mistranslation probably accounts for the 
substitution of tlOyjixl Iv for ifx^aXXui eU ra OefxiXia. In Rom. ix. 
33, iBov, TiGriixi iv 2ta)v XtOov irpoaKo/xfiaTo^, a different but equally 
cogent reason can be assigned for the same substitution ; it was not 
possible for St. Paul to speak of " the stone of stumbling," a loose 
stone lying in the road, as a foundation. Both apostles there- 
fore may have made the same change independently, but it is 
quite i)Ossible that they found it already made in some common 

ritaTeucti' here has quite the same sense as in Isaiah. St. Paul 
finds in it a proof of the difference between the righteousness of 
faith and that of works. 

7. ufiii' ouv r\ TijjLY) Tois moTcuouo-ii'. "For you therefore which be- 
lieve is the honour." The words are an explanation of 6 ttio-tci'cov 
cV avTW ov jxrj KaraLaxwOy and of the preceding evTLjjLOV. Cf. i. 7, 
€ts e-Tratvov /cat So^av kol rt/x-qv. In the following sentence the con- 
trasted dishonour is explained by Trpoa-KOTTTovai, the honour itself by 
the lofty titles which are given to those who are built upon the 
stone. The translation of the A.V. " unto you therefore which 
believe he is precious " (it comes from Erasmus, Luther, Calvin, and 
Bengel, and found its way into the English Bible through Tyndale), 
is objectionable grammatically, for r) Tipurj is subject not predicate. 
The R.V. has, " For you therefore which believe is the precious- 
ness." " It is you that are concerned in the preciousness of which 
Isaiah speaks ; for you that stone is before God of great price ; the 
benefit of its high prerogatives accrues to you " (Hort). But this ex- 
planation is based upon the omitted iroXvTeXrj, assigns no meaning 
to 6 TncTTevoiv iir avTio ov fxr} KaraLo-xwOy, and gives to tijult] a sense 
which it cannot bear. Tl/jltj means "a price" (Matt, xxvii. 6), or 
"honour," but is hardly used of intrinsic worth, and never of that 
value in affection which we call " preciousness." 

dmo-Touat hi. "But to such as disbelieve," "to anybody who 
disbelieves." The article is occasionally omitted before the 
participle when the persons denoted are left quite indeterminate. 

So Plato, J^eJ>. X. 595 C, TroA-Xa tol o^vrepov /3Xe7r6vTO)v afi/3XvTepov 

opwi/Tes TTpoTcpov et8or, " short-sighted men often catch sight of 
things before men of keener vision.'' 

XiGos . . . >f(sivl(x.'i. From Ps, cxvii. (cxviii.) 22 quite literally 
except that the LXX. has XiOov (attracted to the case of 6v). The 


verse is quoted by our Saviour (Matt. xxi. 42 ; Mark xii. 10 ; Luke 
XX. 17), and by St. Peter (Acts iv. ii), but not elsewhere. 

8. XiOos irpoaKofAfxaTos Kai Trcrpa aKai'SdXou is from Isa. viii. 14. 
The Hebrew text is translated in the R.V. "for a stone of stumbling 
and for a rock of offence." "The LXX. translators apparently 
shrank from the plain sense, and boldly substituted a loose para- 
phrase containing a negative which inverts Isaiah's drift, /cat ovx ws 
\iOov TrpocTKOixfjiaTi a-wavrqcrecrde. (avTw) ovSe ws Trerpas Trrw/xaTi " 
(Hort). Theodotion and Symmachus have eis Xi6ov 7rpocrK6iJLjxaTo<i 
Kol €ts Trirpav 7rT(ji)fxaT0^. Aquila, €ts XtOov 7rpocrK6/xfjiaTO<s /cat el<s 
arrepebv crKavSakov (Field's Hexaploi). St. Paul (Rom. ix. 33), XiQov 
Trpoo-KOfx/jLaTos /cat irirpav (XKavSdXov. It would seem that the LXX. 
translation was known to be faulty, and that it had been corrected 
into a shape very similar to that given by St. Peter and St. Paul. 
Indeed there is reason for supposing that the exact shape was 
in use. At^os 7rpocrKo/>tyu,aTo? is given by Aquila, and irirpa o-KavSdXov 
seems to underlie the words of our Saviour (Matt. xvi. 23), 6 Bk 
o"Tpa<^ets ctTTC t(3 IIcTpa)" "Yiraye ottlcto) [xov, Sarava* arKcivSaXov et i/xov. 
At any rate this speech would very readily suggest to Christian 
minds the slight final correction that was needed. It should be 
noticed, moreover, that these three prophecies were naturally much 
used by Christians, and that they recur in combination. In the 
Gospels, Ps. cxvii. (cxviii.) 22 is followed by words (Tras 6 Trea-oiv Itt 
kKilvov Tov XiOov o-vvOXaa-Otjo-eTai, Luke xx. 18) which appear to be 
suggested by Isa. viii. 14. In Rom. ix. 33 and here in Peter we 
have all three; and in Barnabas vi., cttci ws XlOo<; to-xvpo? ireOr) 
€ts avvTpifirjV' TSou i/ji/^aXCi) et5 ra OcfxiXia StwJ^, a quotation of Isa. 
xxviii. 16 is preceded by words {ireOrj eis a-wTpifS-qv) which seem to 
be a reminiscence of TtOrjfjit iv liwv and of XlOo? Trpoo-KOjU/xaro?. It 
is therefore quite unnecessary to suppose that St. Peter's version of 
Isaiah is derived from that of Sr, Paul. 

01 TrpoaKOTTTOuo-i Tw Xoyw dTrei0ou»/T€s. " Who Stumble on the 
word through disobedience." The proper meaning of d-n-etOe'Lv is 
" disobey," and of aTrci^-*;? " disobedient." " Disobey " is not the 
same thing as "disbelieve," but the two are closely connected and 
here practically equivalent, because disobedience is the outward 
expression of disbelief. Tw Xoyio is better taken both with -n-poa-KOTr- 
TovcTt and with aTret^owre?, but the German commentators generally 
incline to take it with dTrei^owres alone : " who stumble through 
disobeying the word." The chief reason given by Kiihl for this 
construction is that t<5 Xoyio could not without some explanation 
be put for tw XWio, because such a substitution involves a nearer 
approach to the Johannine use of "word" than we can find in 
Peter. This, however, is needless refinement. The unbelievers 
stumble on the word of prophecy, the word which makes Christ the 
chief corner stone. The participle appears to have its usual adverbial 

CHAP. II. VER. 8 133 

force, they stumble " because they disobey," so that disobedience, 
rebellion, causes the stumbling. We cannot take a7retOovvT€<s as 
co-ordinate with irpoa-KOTTTovo-L, " they stumble and disobey," because 
of the paralleHsm with aTTLcrTovcn iyev^Or] Xi6o<i TrpocTKOfjLfxaros. 

els o Kttl iridiqaav. "Whereunto also they were appointed" 
by the ordinance of God ; cf. ct? o Irid-qv iyoi Krjpv^, i Tim. ii. 7 ; 
2 Tim. i. II ; John xv. 16; Acts xiii. 47. The antecedent to eis o 
is the main verb irpoa-KOTrrovcn : this follows as a necessary conse- 
quence from the subordination of the participle. Hence those who 
(like Calvin and Beza) make the relative refer to air^tO ovvTe<i, and 
those who find the antecedent in both irpocrKOTrrovo-i and dTrei^owre?, 
are no doubt mistaken. The sense, therefore, is " they disobey, and 
for that reason stumble" ; "because they disobey, God ordains that 
they shall stumble." Their disobedience is not ordained, the 
penalty of their disobedience is. An illustration may be found 
in the Book of Exodus (v. 2): "And Pharaoh said, Who is the 
Lord, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I know not 
the Lord, neither will I let Israel go." Therefore "the Lord 
hardened Pharaoh's heart" (vii. 3), and brought him to ruin. The 
words may be taken as meaning that disbelief, disobedience, come 
first and entail "hardening," judicial blindness, wilful rebellion, and 
destruction as their consequence ; and this, which may be supported 
from other passages of Scripture, and is, indeed, the teaching of 
experience, appears to be the view of St. Peter. We may, if we 
please, add the further question. Whence comes disbelief? Does 
not this imply a preHminary hardening ? This question is raised by 
St. Paul (Rom. ix. 17, 18) in the anguish of his desire to find some 
hope for Israel as a people, and to vindicate what he still regarded 
as a universal promise of God. But the question ought never to be 
asked, because it can never receive an answer. The only logical 
answers are Universalism and Reprobation, of which the former 
contradicts both Scripture and experience, while the latter is irre- 
concilable with the idea of God. The Platonic school held, the 
Bible generally and St. Peter here imply, that man has, by virtue 
of his divine creation, a certain knowledge of God, a certain love of 
goodness ; that, if he holds fast and obeys this rudimentary faith, 
he is carried forward towards fuller light; that, if he will not 
follow, he becomes " hard," ignorant, impenitent, and openly 
rebellious. The New Testament teaches that the remedy for 
hardness is not instruction, which the hard man despises, nor 
chastisement, against which he rebels, but the vicarious suffering 
of Christ above all, and of good and innocent men in their several 
places and functions, the priest for his people, the mother for her 
child, the teacher for his pupils, and so on. This is the law which 
we see at work in all the world, both physical and moral; why it 
should be the law we are not to inquire. 


9. ufxeis 8e . . . 'ir6pnroiT](ni'. " But ye are an elect race, a royal 
priesthood, a holy nation, a people for a peculiar possession." In 
these words is explained the rt/x^ of ver. 7. All the titles are 
corporate, and all are transferred from Israel to the brotherhood. 
Israel has been purged, not rejected. Tei/os ckXcktoV is from 
Isa. xliii. 20 ; the word yeVos denoting blood-relation is applied to 
the Christians as members of one family through the new birth ; 
cf. i. 23. From its use here possibly comes the expression rptrov 
yevos, applied to Christians (see Aristides, Apol. ii., rpia yei/77 cio-ty 
av6pi07ru)V : XV., ot Xptcmavot yeveaXoyovvrai oltto tov Kuptov Irjcrov 

XpLdTov). The phrase was also used derisively by the heathen, as if 
this "third race" was not wanted and ought not to exist, Tert. 
ad Nat. i. 8. 20. Bao-tXetov UpaTev/xa, edvo<s ayiov are from Ex. 
xix. 6. The same passage is referred to in Apoc. i. 6, liroi-qa-cv 
rj/xas /?acnA.etav, lepets rcS ©ew koL Trarpl avrov : v. ID, CTrotT/cras avTOv<; 
Tcp ©eo) Tjfxwv fSaaiXecav koI lepet?, koI PaaiXevo-ovcnv irrl ttjs yrj'S : here 
there is a closer approximation to the Hebrew, which has " a kingdom 
of priests," or possibly " a kingdom, priests " (see Dr. Hort's note). 
It is barely possible that in the LXX. (Saa-LXetov is a substantive 
( = kingdom), but in Peter it is certainly an adjective. 'Updrevfjia is 
explained in ver. 5 ; the Christians are a body of lepeis, because 
they offer spiritual sacrifices ; the Updrevfjia is royal because it 
belongs to the King, who has chosen it as His own possession, 
and because, therefore, it shares in His glory; not because the 
lepets are themselves kings, and shall reign upon earth (as in the 
Apoc). The title is applied in Exodus to the people of Israel, who, 
in a sense, were all lepets, yet possessed a specially consecrated 
body of iepet9. Here also, therefore, it affords no presumption 
against the existence in the Christian community of a class of 
spiritual officials. But the spiritual official is Trpea-^vrepos, not Up€v<s. 
"EOvo'i is generally a secular word, but it is used of God's " nation " 
(l Esdr. i. 4, depairevere to edvos avrov 'Icrpa^A. : Ps. CV. (cvi.) 5). The 
nation is dyiov because separated from other nations and consecrated 
to the service of God {sacrum not sanctum). The consecration 
implies an obligation to personal inward holiness, but does not 
exclude the necessity of such an exhortation as we find in i. 15. 
The following title is taken from Isa. xhii. 21, Xaov fxov, ov TrepuTroir}' 
a-dfjirjv Ttts dperas jxov StT/yetcr^ai, but the phrase ets irepnroLiqa-vv is 
suggested by Mai. iii. 17. In Ex. xix. 5; Deut. vii. 6, xiv. 2, 
xxvi. 18, we find Xa.h's irepLova-Los. The figure was familiar to St. 
Paul also (Acts xx. 28; Eph. i. 14). 

oirws Tcis aperds . . . <j>ws. "That ye may proclaim the excel- 
lences of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous 
light." 'ApcTT/ in the Bible never signifies moral virtue, except in 
Phil. iv. 8 (see Vincent's note) ; 2 Pet. i. 3, 5, and the Apocrypha. 
Here it is used in its proper Greek sense of any shining or eminent 

CHAP. II. VERS. 10, II 135 

quality, such as makes a man noble in himself and glorious in the 
eyes of others. The Hebrew word represented in Isaiah by ra? dperas 
means " my praise." Here the sense is very nearly that of /xeyaXcta 
Tov ®eov (Acts ii. II, the Vulgate has magnalia Dei). The Christian 
is to show forth in word and life, not merely the goodness of God, 
but His glory, His greatness, all His noble attributes, wisdom, 
justice, strength. In the current Greek of St. Peter's time the 
miracles wrought by a god were called his dperac : see Deissmann, 
Bibehtudien^ p. 91, Eng. trans, p. 95; but this special limitation of 
the word must not be attributed to Isaiah, St. Peter, or their readers. 

10. ot iroT€ ou Xaos . . . eXei^SeVTes. Hos. ii. 23. St. Peter 
appears to follow the reading of A, koX eAei^crco tt)v ovk rjXerjfx^vrjv Kal 

ipw T(3 ov Xaw fiov Aaos fiov et av. St. Paul, Rom. ix. 25, combines 
Hos. ii. 23 with the second half of i. 10 and follows the text of B, 
KaAecrco tov ov kaov /xou Xaov fxav kol rrjv ovk r^yairrjjxivrjv rjyaTrrjfxivrjv. 
/cat ecrrat iv to) totto) ov kpprjdrj avrots' Ov Aaos /^ov v/xei?, ckci kXtjOt^o-ov- 

rat mot @eov ^coi/ros. St. Paul applies the words to the admission 
of the Gentiles. Hosea was speaking of the conversion of the Jews 
themselves, and St. Peter uses his phrases here in such a way that 
they are equally applicable to all readers of the Epistle, whether 
Jews or Gentiles. It is quite needless to suppose that he was here 
following a lead given by Romans. 

11. dyainQToi . . . ^I/uxtjs. Here we might say begins a fresh 
exhortation, the former extending to this point from i. 22. But it 
is extremely difficult to divide the Epistle into sections, or, if we 
make a new section here, to say precisely where it ends. If we 
regard the subject as being the duty of Christians in their several 
positions and vocations, we may make the next break after iii. 7 ; 
but the same subject recurs iv. 7-1 1, and the duty of Presbyters 
is treated later on, v. i sqq. It is better not to be too systematic. 

"Beloved, I beseech you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from 
the desires of the flesh, which war against the soul." fc{ B K and the 
Vulgate read airix'^crOai : A C L P, the Syriac, Coptic, and Aethiopic, 
aTrix^orOe. The balance of authority rather inclines in favour of the 
imperative, and is turned definitely in this direction by the absence 
of viJia<5 and by the following €xovt€<s. Dr. Hort, upon the whole, 
prefers the infinitive, on the ground that St. Peter shows a very 
strong preference for the aorist in imperatives ; but just below we 
have three presents imperative. 

The words "strangers and pilgrims" carry us back to i. 1-17 ; 
there is still more instruction to be gathered from these words. 
Here they suggest, not heaven from which the Christian is an exile, 
but the lawless heathen among whom he dwells for a time. Yet, 
because he dwells among them, he has a duty towards them ; they 
are not kindly, yet they may become even as he, 

aiTLves = ^utpjte quae, introduces a reason, "abstain, for they 


war." 'ATrex^a-Oai i-iOv/jiioyv is a classical phrase. Dr. Hort quotes 
Plato, Pkaedo, 83 C, ot o/o^cos cfuXoo-ocjiovvTes aTri-^ovTai tCjv Kara to 
crwfia i7n6vfjiiC)v ctTrao-oiv. The ethical use of adp^ in the Epistles 
may have come from Epicurus (see Ritter and Preller, p. 424) and 
the Stoics — Epictetus, ii. 23. 20, Tra/oeA^oOcra r/fuv A-eyeVo), KpanarTOv 
elvai Twv ovTOiv ttjv crdpKa : Marcus Anton, ii. 2, twv fxev a-apKiaiv 
KaTa(f)p6v7](rov : Plutarch, Consolatio ad Apoll. 13 {Moralia^ 107 F), 
TO yap d^ovXinTov rfj (xapKL kol tol<5 Tavrrj<i Tra^eai Stayeiv, lk/)' uiv Kara- 
o-TTfo/Aevos 6 vov<; t7]<s 6vr]Trj<s dvaTrlfiTrXaTai cj)XvapLa<i, evSaifxov ri Kal 

fiaKOLpLov. But the question is complex. A large number of New 
Testament words are found in Epictetus, Soy/xa, Kavwv, o-to^co-^ai, 
oLTToWvaOaL, OLfxapTaveLv, Kr)pv(TcreLv ( = tO preach, iv. 6. 23), tois ivroXas 
Tov ®eov (iv. 7. 17), KaXelv (of God, ii. I. 39), aTncrTLa (ii. 14. 8), 
fjidpTV^ (ii. 24. 113), ayycAos (iii. 22. 23), Kvpie 6 ©eos (ii. 16. 13), 
Kvpie iXerjcrov (ii. 7. 12). The Stoics were closely connected with 
the East ; one of their strongholds was Tarsus, and their vocabulary 
may well have been modified by Jewish influence. It is possible 
even to think that Epictetus had some acquaintance with Christian 
terminology. New words and ideas spread quite as rapidly under 
the Empire as they do now. But some Christian words come from 
Stoicism, such as TrpoKoir-q, Phil. i. 25 ; KaTopOoifxa, which some 
MSS. have in Acts xxiv. 2 ; c^is, Heb. v. 14 (though the Stoics 
distinguished this word from Sia^eo-t?) ; Sidvoia, i Pet. i. 13; ^vVt? 
Oeia, 2 Pet. i. 4. No doubt there was a certain amount of give and 
take. In the present passage the seat of desire is the ardp$, which 
St. Paul opposes to vov<; (Rom. vii. 23) in the same way as Plutarch, 
though he generally finds the antithesis in Trvevfia. Here St. Peter 
contrasts crdp^ with ij/vxv, the soul, the whole immaterial nature of 
man; we may compare the phrase quoted by Antoninus from 
Epictetus, {[/v^dpLov d (iaa-rdlov veKpov. "'^vx'q here, in opposition 
to o-dp^, is the higher spiritual part of man, in which the higher 
spiritual religious Hfe develops itself, to which the final Deliverance 
belongs (i. 9)," Kiihl. In iii. 18, St. Peter contrasts a-dpi with 
TTvev/xa as flesh with spirit or ghost. See note there. 

12. rr]u dj'ao-Tpo<}>T]i' ujjiwj' iv toTs eSj'eaii' ^xovreq KaXi^j'. " Hav- 
ing your conversation honest among the Gentiles" (A.V.). KaX-^t 
(which is marked as predicate by the position of the article) 
is the Latin honestus^ gracious, dignified, commanding admiration. 
Unfortunately the English honest has almost lost its original sense, 
but we ought by all means to rescue it from further degradation. 

iKa Iv u KaTaXaXoCaij/ u|X(oi' ws KaKoiroiaii'. " In order that 
in that very matter in which they speak against you as evil- 
doers." *Ei/ <p, which must be taken with both /caTaXaAoLo-iv 
and Bo^dcrtocn, cannot here be temporal, because So^ao^coo-t is 
future in sense, and must therefore be regarded as equivalent 
to iv TO) a.vacrrpi4>^a-6ai. Now they vilify your conduct (vilify 

CHAP. II. VER. 12 137 

you in your conduct); one day they will glorify God for it 
(in it). KaKOTTotds just below, ii. 14, and again in iv. 15, means 
not merely an evil-doer in the general sense of a wicked man, but 
one who does evil in such a way that he is liable to punishment 
from the magistrate. Cf. John xviii. 30, ei /x-^ rjv ovto<5 KaKOTroi6% 
ovK av crot TrapeSwKafxev avrov. The word, therefore, naturally 
reminded the Tubingen critics of Suetonius, Nero, 16, "afflicti sup- 
pliciis Christiani genus hominum superstitionis nouae ac maleficae " ; 
Tac. Ann. xv. 44, " quos per flagitia inuisos uulgus Christianos appel- 
labat " ; Pliny, Ep. x. 96, " flagitia cohaerentia nomini." We must 
observe, however, that St. Peter does not hint at the existence of 
those accusations of cannibalism and incest which were levelled 
against the Christians in the second century, Eus. H. E. v. i. 14, 26 ; 
and that the molestation of the brotherhood by their pagan neigh- 
bours does not appear to have advanced substantially beyond 
calumny (KaraA.aA.oCcrii'). The state of things is that described in 
Acts, and all that is said would apply very well to the persecution in 
England of the early Quakers or Methodists. Then also there were 
calumnies, tumults, and the law was invoked, not directly for the 
punishment and suppression of religious opinion, but indirectly and 
occasionally for the punishment of actions arising out of the opinion. 
Calumnies of a very formidable kind would arise immediately in 
that pagan society, which, with all its cultivation, was exceedingly 
savage. Charges of " boycotting " or interference with trade (Acts 
xvi. 16, xix. 23), of setting slaves against masters (Philemon), 
children against parents, and wives against husbands, would be 
made instantly ; that of disloyalty to Caesar in some vague and 
general way was also immediate (John xix. 12) and inevitable. 
Beyond this kind of calumny the language of St. Peter does not go. 
Yet we cannot doubt that the viler accusations would instantly 
occur to any pagan who heard of the new religion. Jews were 
regarded as haters of the human race (Mayor's Notes on Juvenal, 
xiv. 96 sqq.), and the Christians were a kind of Jews, only worse 
(Celsus, True Word). Cicero charges Vatinius quite incidentally 
and in the coolest way with sacrificing boys {in Vat. vi., " cum 
puerorum extis Deos Manes mactare soleas "), and Horace {Epodes, 
V.) makes the same charge against Canidia. What was a jest to the 
light-hearted poet would be deadly earnest to the vulgar. Public 
prostitution again was connected with many Eastern rites, even with 
those of Cybele (Juvenal, ix. 22 sqq.), and accusations of this kind 
would lie near at hand. It should not be forgotten that, in spite 
of the fine language of the philosophers, the really popular religions 
in Greece and Rome were forms of devil-worship, intimately blended 
with magic in all its grades. Hence it is evident what the baser 
sort of men might think and say about Christianity from the very 
first. From the way in which Cicero and Horace talk it is also 


evident that they might say the most abominable things without any 
intention of putting Christians to death on this account. Yet we 
can also understand that, where men are savage enough to entertain 
such suspicions, they will sooner or later act upon them ; the mob 
will cry out, and there will be a Nero. 

6K Toil' Kokdv cpywi' . . . iiria-Koiryj's. " From your honest actions, 
as they behold them, they may glorify God in the day of visitation " : 
€K TU)v KaXiov epywv liroTrTevovTe<s (avTo). The grammar is slightly 
embarrassed by the introduction of a participle which requires a 
construction different from that of the main verb. Cf. i. 8, €ts 
ov apTL fir] 6pC}VTe<s {avrov) TrL(XT€vovT€<s Si, and in the classics, Horn. 
//. vii. 303, SwKe ^t^os dpyvporjXov iiiv KoXcio re (fyepwv : Soph. O. C. 
475, ol6<s vewpovs veoTTOKO) fiaXXio Xa/Scav : jE/. 47, dyyeXXe 8' opKio 
Trpo<xTL6ei<5 : Arist. Aues. 56, At'^co k6iJ/ov Xa/3a)v : Thuc. vi. 34, ci roj 
TaxuvavTOvvTL KovcfiLaravTe<s 7rpo(r/3dXoi€Lv : iii. 59, </)et'o-ao-^at . . . olkto) 
a-dicfipovi Xa,66vTas : in all these places the object of the participle 
must be supplied from an adverbial phrase (dative or preposition 
with noun) attached to the main verb. 'EiroTrTevovTi^ (cf. iii. 2) 
merely means beholding. The verb is used by Symmachus in his 
version of Ps. ix. 35 (x. 14), xxxii. (xxxiii.) 13, but does not occur 
in the LXX. In the vocabulary of the Greek mysteries the Epopt 
was one who had reached the highest grade of initiation, and was 
admitted to gaze upon the sacred things ; and Clement of Alexandria, 
who is fond of mystic Neoplatonic terms, employs the phrase eTroTrrev- 
€Lv Tov ©coV {Strom, iv. 23. 152); but we must not attempt to apply 
this non-biblical usage here. Von Soden, Kiihl, Weiss, Usteri, 
Hort, observe with justice that in the words of St. Peter there is an 
unmistakable echo of Matt, v 16, ottws iScocrtv v/x,cov ra KaXh. tpya, koX 
8o|ao-<oo-t TOV iraripci v/xchv tov iv toIs ovpavots. 'Ev rjfxipa kirio-KOTrrj^, 

a current biblical phrase, from Isa. x. 3, dispenses with' the articles. 
God "visits" sometimes with comfort or deliverance (Ex. iii. 16; 
I Sam. ii. 21 ; Job x. 12), sometimes to punish (Ex. xxxii. 34; Ps. 
Iviii. (lix.) 6 ; Job xxix. 4), sometimes for the purpose of judicial 
investigation (Ps. xvi. (xvii.) 3). In Luke xix. 44, ovk eyi/co? tov 
Katpov tt}? i7no-K07rrj<s crov, the sense appears to be this last ; Jerusa- 
lem had not made herself ready for the coming, the " visitation," of 
her judge. Indeed, this is the general idea which seems to underlie 
all the passages referred to. God " visits " as judge, and rewards or 
punishes as He finds occasion. The question here is whether St 
Peter is speaking of the supreme and final visitation, in other words, 
of the Day of Judgment, or of an intermediate visitation, when the 
truth of the gospel is brought home to the heart, so that we might 
express it in paraphrase " in the day of their conversion." Kiihl 
and most modern commentators take the latter view, von Soden 
and Schott the former, thus making ^/xipa eincrKOTrr]<s refer to that 
aTroKoXvif/L'i which occupies so large a place in St. Peter's thoughts 

CHAP. II. VERS. 13, 14 139 

This seems to be the better explanation. The sense is Httle dif- 
ferent in either case ; the heathen could not be said to glorify God 
in the Revelation, unless they had already been converted. 

13. With the following sections compare Rom. xiii. 1-6 ; Eph. 
V. 2i-vi. 9 ; Tit. ii. ; Col. iii. i8-iv. i. We need not suppose 
that there was any direct borrowing on either side ; a few expres- 
sions are very similar, but there are also considerable differences. 
The topic is a missionary's commonplace, as we see from its repeti- 
tion in the Pauline Epistles. There was great and obvious danger 
of incurring the suspicion of disloyalty or of interference with the 
family bond, especially in the case of slaves. All Christian 
preachers must have received definite instructions as to the attitude 
they were to maintain, and the language they were to employ on 
these highly delicate questions. 

13. -irdCTT] avQpfjitrivr] KTtaei. " To every human institution." 
Kxicrts in Rom. i. 20 means " the act of creation " ; z'h'd. viii. 19-21, 
the whole assemblage of created things, " creation " in the concrete 
sense ; idi'd. viii. 39, " a creature." In secular Greek the word 
usually signifies " the foundation of a city," but ktCIhv is used in the 
sense of founding or instituting {kopT-qv or /3aj/xov in Pindar), or 
creating, inventing (xaXtvoV, Soph. O. C. 715). It is by this secular 
use that we must explain St. Peter's phrase ; iraa-a avOpniirivri ktl(tl<s 
is " every foundation," or " institution of man." If we attempt to 
give KTio-t5 the sense of "divine ordinance," we being the substantive 
into direct contradiction with its epithet, av6po)irivr}, which can only 
mean " human." The idea involved is that, while order is a divine 
command, all special forms of civil government by consuls or kings, 
republican or monarchical, are mere means of carrying out God's 
design for the welfare of society, depend upon the will of man, and 
are in themselves indifferent. Both in expression and in point of 
view St. Peter differs very widely here from St. Paul, who speaks of 
Caesar as holding his authority from God, not from the people 
(Rom. xiii. i). A doctrine of divine right could be built upon the 
words of St. Paul, but not upon those of St. Peter. In the early 
days of the Empire it was still seriously debated whether the 
government was a Republic or a Monarchy (see Dion Cassius, 
liii. 17). St. Peter takes the former view, St. Paul the latter. 

8ict Toi' Ku'ptoi'. " For the Lord's sake." Not because the Lord 
ordained Caesar, but because the Lord's life was one of obedi- 
ence, because He Himself showed respect to Pilate, and because 
He commanded His people to obey, Matt. xxii. 21. Many com- 
mentators (Hofmann, Keil, Usteri, von Soden) understand the 
words to mean "so as not to bring dishonour on the name of 
Christ " by unruly behaviour. 

14. eiT€ pao-tXei &s u-irepe'xoiTi. " Whether to the King as above 
all." Bao-iXeus was the regular title for Caesar in the Greek-speaking 


parts of the Empire (cf. Apoc. xvii. 10-12), though the Roman? 
always refused to call him rex. 

€iT€ T^yejxoorik' a»s 81' auTou Tre|xiTO|jiev'ot,s. " Or to governours ais 
sent by him." " 'Hy€/;t(jov was specially applied about this time tc 
governours of provinces, whether legati Augusti, or proconsuls, 01 
anything else " (Hort). Ile/xTro/^ieVots is present, because they are 
sent one by one, from time to time (cf. irpoaepxofjievoi, ii. 4). They 
are commissioned by Caesar, not by God. Ata (generally, not 
always ; see Blass, p. 132) expresses the intermediate agent, and Dr 
Hort regards the preposition as indicating that Caesar is the channel 
through which divine authority is conveyed to the governour. But 
if Caesar himself was an avOpwiTLvrj ktiVis, so assuredly was the pro- 
consul. Order, the State, is divine, and the Emperor's authority is 
derived from the State, not immediately from God. St. Paul calls 
the magistrate StdtKoi/os ©eoS : St. Peter does not go so far as this. 
What he says is that the magistrate is to be obeyed because Caesar 
sends him ; and that Caesar, though a human institution, is to be 
obeyed, because order is God's will. The passage is full of interest, 
and its meaning ought not to be missed. St. Peter throughout his 
Epistle maintains that v6ixo<i iravTOiv /SaatXevs: God is King, but 
rules through Law. His frame of mind is constitutional. St. Paul, 
the Roman citizen, is Imperialist both in politics and in theology ; 
the grace of God is as supreme in the one department as the grace 
of Caesar in the other. 

eis eK8iKT)crii/ KaKoiroiwj' eiran'oi' Se dyaOoTroicji'. " For punish- 
ment of evil-doers and praise of well-doers." In these words St. 
Peter comes very close to St. Paul (Rom. xiii. 3, ^e'Aet? Be fxr) 
cfiofSeLcrOai rrjv i^ovcriav ; to ayaOov iroUt, kol I^ei5 cTraivov i^ avTr}<s : 4, 
©eov yap Slolkovo^ iariv, ckSikos ets Spyrjv rw to Ka/cov TrpdcrcrovTi), and it 
is not impossible that there may be a connexion between the two 
passages, though it is not necessary to suppose that it was direct or 
documentary. 'E/cSt/ceiv, e/<8tK7yo-is are common late words for aveng- 
ing or punishing. It may be noticed that though the individual 
Christian is forbidden to take the law into his own hands and avenge 
his own injuries (Matt. v. 39), yet it is the duty of the civil power to 
avenge them for him ; and unless this duty is firmly discharged the 
State cannot exist. KaKoiroiCJv. See note above. But it should 
be added that Roman law made no sharp distinction between 
" immoral " and " criminal." The governour was father as well as 
magistrate, and his power extended to every action that was contra 
bonos mores. Thus he was specially directed to take care that 
children obeyed their parents and freedmen their patrons. Digest 
i. 16. 9, " De piano autem proconsul potest expedire haec : ut obse- 
quium parentibus et patronis liberisque patronorum exhiberi iubeat ; 
comminari etiam et terrere filium a patre oblatum, qui non ut 
oportet conuersari dicatur, poterit de piano : similiter et libertum 

CHAP. 11. VERS. 15-17 141 

non obsequentem emendare aut uerbis aut fustium castigatione." 
A Christian son, or freedman, might very well be thought non ut 
oportet conuersari, his avao-rpocji'^ would be far from KaX-^ in the 
sight of a heathen father, or patron, or patron's family. Owing to 
this paternal jurisdiction cTraivos was much more directly and fre- 
quently the function of the ancient magistrate than of his modern 
counterpart. Yet we still speak of the sovereign as " the fountain of 
honour," and of late years the scriptural belief that it is the duty of 
the State not only to repress evil but to encourage good, has taken 
practical shape, 

16. oTi ouTcos . . . &yvb)(Tiav. " For this is the will of God, 
that by well-doing we should muzzle the ignorance of foolish men." 
^Lfxovv (K reads (^tixolv^ and Westcott and Hort retain this vulgar 
form; Introduction, § 410, Appendix, p. 166) is used because 
the ignorance expressed itself in speech (/caraA-aA-oCo-tv), which can 
be muzzled. The general sense of the verse is clear, but the con- 
struction is open to doubt. We may regard on ovtws as referring 
back to vTroTdyr)Te — " Be subject, for this is the will of God," — in 
this case the following words, ayaOoTroLovvra^ . . . ayvwa-iav, must 
be regarded as a loose explanatory afterthought. Or we may take 
the whole verse as a parenthesis referring to the words 'iiraivov 
ayaOoTToidv, If we adopt this view owtws anticipates the infinitive 
— "For this is the will of God, namely, that we should muzzle." 
'Ayvwo-tW : " ignorationem de Christianorum probitate. Hoc uerbo 
continetur ratio cur Christiani debeant miserationem ethnicis," 

16. Kttl JXT) (US liriKdXufji,)uia Ixorres tt]s KttKias -rr\v eXeuGepia^. 
"And not as men who hold liberty a cloak for vice." The nega- 
tive [xy] and the nominative I^ovt^.^ are both determined by the 
imperative vTrordyrjTc. Here again in the position of ws we have 
the same refinement as in i. 19; see Introduction, p. 4. The 
Christian iXevdepia might easily be interpreted to mean emancipa- 
tion from moral restraint, and repeated warnings were necessary ; 
cf. Gal. V. 13 ; 2 Pet. ii. 19. It is just possible that ^-mKakvix^a Trj<s 
KaKias is a reminiscence of Menander, Boeotia, ttAotJto? 8e ttoXXwv 
eTTtKctXt'/A/x' eo-Ttv KaKwv (Stobaeus, jF/or. xci. 1 9 ; Meineke, iv. p. 94 ; 
Kock, iii. 2. 28, No. 90). Greek poets are quoted by St. Paul, 
Acts xvii. 28 : I Cor. xv. ^^ ; Tit. i. 12 : and Apoc. v. 8, ^taAas 

Xpvaa^ ye/JLOvaaq dvfXLafxdToyv, reminds US of Soph. O. T. 4, TroXts 8' 
hiiov pXv Ovfitaixdroiv yijxci. 

SouXot Geou. Cf. Matt. vi. 24; i Thess. i. 9; Tit. i. i. But St. 
Paul prefers the phrase hovXo<i Xpiarov, Rom. i. i, xiv. 18, xvi. 18, 
and elsewhere. 

17. TTcii'Tas Tifjir)o-aT€. All men are to be honoured, but not 
with the same honour. " Alieniores ciuiliter tractandi : patres 
familiariter," Bengel. The wise Christian will know what degree or 


kind of observance is due to Caesar, to a master, a husband, or a 
wife. We might have expected TLfxare^ as the command is not 
special but general. But the aorist is repeatedly used in the same 
way, i. 13-22, and it seems clear that St. Peter does not dis- 
criminate the tenses. See note on i. 15. Tov ®€6v (fiofSeiaOi. 
The slaves of God must fear God; cf. i. 17, v. 6. Kiihl rightly 
notes that St. Peter still speaks the language of the Old Testament, 
and regards Fear as the natural and proper attitude (die Grund- 
bestimmung) of the Christian soul towards God. It is probable 
that the apostle is here alluding to Prov. xxiv. 21, <^o^ov rbv ©eov, 
VIC, Ktti /SacriXia. 

18. ot oiK^Ttti uiroTao-o-ofjiei/ot. "Ye domestics being subject." 
This and the three following paragraphs (iii. i, 7, 8) begin with 
participles, which the writer probably connected in his own mind 
with one of the preceding imperatives. We may compare this 
paragraph with Eph. vi. 5-7; Col. iii. 22-25; i Tim. vi. i, 2; 
Tit. ii. 9, 10. St. Peter's treatment of the subject seems to be 
quite independent. Oikctt/s means any member of a household, 
and includes wife and children. Here, as usually, it is restricted to 
the slaves : yet denotes them not as slaves, but as belonging to the 
familia or oiKo^i^ like the Latin famuli^ or our domestic. Some of 
their masters would be good and eTrtctKeis, equitable, reasonable. 
The latter word is defined by Aristotle, Ethica Nic. v. 14, kcu l^nv 
avrt] rj <fivcrLS tov 67rtctKovs, eTravopOoy/xa vofiov y iXXeiTreL Sia to 
KaOoXov. Law is the hard and fast rule which equity modifies 
according to circumstances. St. Paul speaks of the "reasonable- 
ness of Christ," 2 Cor. x. i ; the bishop should be lirutKr)<;, i Tim. 
iii. 3, and in Jas. iii. 17 the wisdom which cometh from above is 

Trp^TOV fxkv ayvri, hreira elp-qviKr], cTrtetK'/^s, (.vTr€iBrj<;, fxeo-rr] iXiovi kol 
Kap-TTijiV dyaO(iiv, dSta/cptros, avvTroKptros : this is a String of golden 
words. Some, again, would be crooked, perverse {o-koXlol). All 
alike are to be obeyed iv iravrl 4>o(3(jo. The fear is not fear of man 
(as in Eph. vi. 5), but fear of God; this is evident from the follow- 
ing 8ia avveLSrjCTLv ©eoO. Three dangers would beset the Christian 
slave. If his master were a Christian, he might fancy that because 
all men are equal in the Church they are therefore equal in all 
things: this point is touched by St. Paul (i Tim. vi. 2). Or he 
might rebel against the injustice of his servile condition and set 
his heart on emancipation (i Cor. vii. 21). Lastly, if the master 
were a harsh man, the newly learned doctrines of justice and mercy 
might make the slave more inclined to resist. This is the danger 
that occurs to St. Peter ; he meets it by reminding the slave that 
innocent suffering is the lot of all Christians. It is instructive to 
notice how completely both apostles abstain from casuistry. 
Neither makes any allusion to the scruples of conscience that 
would suggest themselves so easily to the Christian slave of a 

CHAP. II. VER. 19 143 

heathen master. At every turn he must have been called upon to 
bow his head in the house of Rimmon, to fetch the incense for his 
master to burn, to dress the door with branches on pagan festivals, 
to wear clothing embroidered with idolatrous emblems. A very 
liberal measure of outward compliance must have been tolerated at 
this time. 

19. TOUTO Y^p X'^P^S €1 8icL (Tui/6i8irj(rii' ©eoC viro^ipei ti? Xuiras irdaxwi' 
dSiKws. " For this is thankworthy, if for consciousness of God one 
endures griefs, suffering unjustly." R. V. has in text " this is accept- 
able," in margin " this is grace." Both A. V. and R. V. have " for 
conscience towards God." "Acceptable" is evTrpda-SeKrov, and if 
we render x'^P'-'^ by this word we disguise, and indeed pervert, a 
remarkable saying in order to force the teaching of St. Peter into 
harmony with that of St. Paul. It is singular that the Revisers 
should here have departed from their general rule of translating, as 
far as possible, the same Greek word by the same English word. In 
rovTo x^pts, TTOLov kXcos ; tovto x^P'-'^ it is very probable that St. Peter 
has in his mind the saying of our Lord recorded in Luke vi. 32-34, 
where the repeated -n-ota vfuv x^^P's ecrrt ; is rightly translated by the 
Revisers " what thank have ye ? " Indeed, no other translation is 
possible. In the parallel passage. Matt. v. 46, the phrase used is 
rCva fxiaOoy tx<^re. Matthew and Mark do not use the word x^P^^ ^^ 
all. Luke has it in vi. $2-^4 and again xvii. 9, firj x'^P^^ ^X^'- ''"4^ 
SovAo), in the common Greek sense of a favour done by one person 
to another, or of the gratitude called forth by a favour. In Luke 
i. 30, ii. 40, 52, where the evangelist is using Hebrew documents, 
the word has its Old Testament sense, "favour," "goodwill," felt 
by God to man, or by men to one another. But this Hebrew sense 
is familiar in Greek also ; the " goodwill " has a reason in the char- 
acter and conduct of the person towards whom it is entertained, as 
Sophocles says, Aj'ax, 522, x^P^^ x^-P'-^ y°-P ^(^ti-^ v tlktovct act. 
"Words of grace," Luke iv. 22, may mean "words of beauty," 
which would again be a Greek sense, or " words inspired by the 
divine favour." In John i. 14, 17, x^P^s is apparently defined by 
aX-qOeia: it is the special gift of truth: in i. 16, x^pi? o-vti x^P^'^os 
may mean "one gift or blessing after another," or more easily, 
"God's goodwill towards us in return for our goodwill towards 
God." In the Gospel of St. John the word is only found in the 
first chapter; in the Johannine Epistles and the Apocalypse it 
occurs only in the benedictions, 2 John 3; Apoc. i. 4, xxii. 21. 
In Acts x^P^"^ becomes suddenly much more common. It is used 
(i) in the secular Greek sense, xxiv. 27, xxv. 3, 9; (2) of favour 
or goodwill in the eyes of man or God, ii. 47, vii. 46 ; (3) of the 
favour, in the special sense of the protection, of God, xiv. 26, 
XV. 40; (4) of special divine gifts, x^P'-'^ '^'^^ o-o^ia, vii. 10; x«P'5 
Koi Swap,i9, vi. 8 ; (5) of the word of grace, i.e. the gospel, xiv. 3, 


XX. 24, 32 ; cf. xiii. 43, Trpoa-jxivciv rrj y;apiTL rov 0eo{i, to Stand fast 
by the gospel; XV. 11, 8ta r^? -^apiro's ^l-qa-ov X/Dicrrou TncrT^vofxev 
cro)6rjvaL : xviii. 27, ol TreTrio-revKorcs 8ta tt}? ;(apiTOs : (6) of a large 
outpouring of divine love on the disciples at Jerusalem, iv. 33 ; at 
Antioch, xi. 23. We may say that x"-P'-'^ is hardly an evangelical 
word at all. Only on two occasions is it put in our Saviour's 
mouth, and then only in its Greek sense. Even in Acts the 
metaphysical difficulty arising from the freedom of God's gifts is 
no more to be found than in the Old Testament. To some limited 
extent the antithesis between the divine favour and the merits of 
man may be found in those passages where " the grace " means the 
gospel, but it is as yet latent. This applies also to the use of x^-P'-'^ 
in Hebrews and in James. In the present passage St. Peter speaks 
of good conduct without the slightest embarrassment as thank- 
worthy, a glory, a favour in the eyes of God. Those who are 
willing to suffer innocently do what God desires and " find favour." 
Ata (xvveiSrja-iv ©eo9, " For consciousness of God " ; ^^ propter Dei 
conscie7itiam^^ Vulg. C reads here 8ta (rvveiSyjcnv ayaOi^v : A has 
a conflate text, 8ta a-vveiSrjcrLv ®€ov ayaOriv. The reading of C is 
not without support (see Tischendorf), but is probably a mere 
correction designed to bring the passage into harmony with others 
where " a good conscience " is spoken of (Acts xxiii. i ; i Tim. 
i. 5, 19, I Pet. iii. 16), and to get rid of a difficult expression. 
2wet87yo-i5 ©eoS is without parallel ; in i Cor. viii. 7 there is a variant 
r>5 (jvv(.iZy](T^i rov ctSwA-ov, but the best MSS. have t^ <Jvvr\Be.ia.. 
'^vvdhr\(xi<i is a word of late and vulgar formation meaning " con- 
sciousness," or, specially, " conscience." Its coinage was facilitated 
by the common use of o-wotSa in such phrases as o-wotSa ifxavriZ 
ayi/otav. Probably the Greek word was invented to represent the 
Latin consdenfia, which has the same two meanings, consciousness 
and "conscience"; for the latter, see Cicero, pro Mi/one, 23, 
" magna uis est conscientiae in utramque partem." In the New 
Testament cruj/e 6 8770-15 occurs frequently, and, except in Heb. 
X. 2, means "conscience," moral and self-judging consciousness. 
The A.V. and R.V. render "for conscience towards God," keeping 
the general sense of crumSTycrt?, but giving the genitive tov @eov a 
sense which it cannot bear. We must translate "for consciousness 
of God." Consciousness of God is, as Alford says, the realisa- 
tion in a man's inner being of God's presence and relation to 
himself. "Conscientia Dei, dum quis non hominum sed Dei 
respectu officio suo fungitur " (Calvin). " The consciousness that 
it is God's will, and that God helps, gives strength to bear " (von 

dStKus. The Christian writer does not hesitate to say that a 
master may be "unjust" to his slave. Aristotle teaches that 
justice, in the proper sense of the word, does not exist between a 

CHAP. II. VERS. 20, 21 145 

man and his chattels, his children or slaves, Eth. Nic. v. 10. 8, oi 
yap icTTiv dStKia Trpos ra avTov aTrAois, to Se KTrjfxa Kal to t€kvov, cods 
ai' ij tttjXlkov kol /jlt] '^lapLaOrj, wcnrep /tepos avrov, avTOv S' ovOcls 
TrpoaipeLTaL /SXairT^LV Blo ovk Icttiv dSiKta Trpos avrov'. 

20. TToloy yap kXcos, €i dfjiapTdi'orres Kal Ko\a<})i^o|xevoi uTTOfxeueiTC ; 
" For what glory is it, if, when ye sin and are buffeted for it, ye shall 
endure it patiently ? " KAeos, which in the classics is mainly a 
poetical word, is found in Job xxviii. 22, xxx. 8. There may be a 
question whether d/Aaprdvovrcs should be translated " when ye do 
wrong," "for your faults," as by A.V., or "when ye sin," as by 
R.V. In favour of the first view it may be argued that the master 
would strike the slave, not for sin against God, but for neglect of 
duty towards himself. On the other hand, the kAcos comes from 
God, in whose eyes the neglect of earthly duty is sin. Further, 
afxapTOLvovTes is balanced against ayaOoiroLovvTi^ in the following 
clause. Hence it should retain its usual sense here. 

dW €1 dyaGoiroioun-es Kal irdaxo^'Tes. "But if, when ye do well, 
and suffer for it." The words repeat Trdtrxwv dStxcos, and are anti- 
thetical to d//,apTdl/0)/T€S KOL KoXacfiL^6fJi€VOl. 

21. els TouTo ydp eKXiQ0T)T€. " For unto this were ye called : 
because Christ also suffered for you." Ets tovto = ets to ayaOo- 
TTOLOvvTas Kal Trdo-xovras vTro/xivuv. For inrep A has Tripi. 'Yirip is 
constantly thus used of Christ's death ; see for a good instance 
John xi. 50-52. Ilept is employed in the same connexion, i Cor. 
i. 13, ia-TavpiaOr) Trept v/xcov : cf. Matt. xxvi. 28. The difference 
appears to be that while v-n-ip means "on behalf of," Trept conveys 
an allusion to the sin-offering, the Trcpi dp,apTtas, and thus acquires a 
significance which does not attach to this rather colourless preposi- 
tion in itself. The MSS. often vary between the two, Mark xiv. 24 ; 

1 Cor. i. 13 ; Gal. i. 4 ; Heb. v. 3 ; i Pet. iii. 18. When the apostle 
says that Christ also suffered on behalf of you, he means that the 
believer profits morally and spiritually by the pains of Christ in 
some way which he does not here define. In ver. 1 2 above we are 
taught that unbelievers also profit by the sight of the patient 
endurance of the brethren under undeserved suffering ; the disciple's 
cross " draws " as does that of his Master ; the sacrifice is the same 
in its degree, and so are the results. In the present passage St. 
Peter begins with the simple object of inculcating patience ; hence 
in the opening words he speaks of Christ as the great Example. 
But he proceeds quite naturally to enlarge and deepen the thought, 
and hi the following verses Christ is set before us also as Sacrifice, 
as the Giver of the New Life, and as Shepherd. 

uTToXijxTrdj'Cj is a late form for viroXdiroi. 'ATroXt/xTrdvw, Kara- 
XtjjLTrdvui are also found in secular authors. 'Y7roypap,/x,os is used, 

2 Mace. ii. 28, of the " outlines" of a sketch which the artist fills in 
with details. But in Clem. Alex. Strom, v. 8. 49 the word means 



" a copyhead " in a child's exercise book, a perfect piece of writ- 
ing which the child is to imitate as exactly as it can. So here 
Christ is spoken of as the Pattern which we are to reproduce in 
every stroke of every letter, till our writing is a facsimile of the 

22. OS d|xapTtai' ouk eiroLTjcrci', ou8e cupeGr) SoXos iv tw o-TOfiari auTOu. 
From Isa. liii. 9, otl avofxiav ovk iiroirjo-cv, ovSe SoXov Iv tw arojaari 
avTOV. St. Peter has dju-apnav for avofjiiav, but his ovSc SoXos evpiOri 
appears to be nearer the Hebrew than the ovSk 86\ov of the LXX. 
The R. V. has, " Although he had done no violence, neither was any 
deceit in his mouth." The first clause Professor Cheyne translates, 
" although he had done no injustice." The verse is a good illustra- 
tion of St. Peter's method of composition, or manner of talking. 
Constantly there are reminiscences of Scripture, which at first are 
obscure, but are picked up again and made explicit. The sinless- 
ness of Christ we have had in the afjivov afjL<x>ixov koI acnrlXov of i. 19. 
^6Xo<i, a8oA.o5, in ii. i, 2, point forward to Isaiah, and also to the 
quotation from the Psalms given in iii. 10. 

23. 8s Xoi8opou)j.€»'os OUK di/TeXoiSopei. 'Aj/TtXoi8opetv is not found 
elsewhere in the Greek Bible. It is a natural and correct formative, 
but is quoted in the lexicon only from late writers. The language 
is a loose adaptation of Isa. liii. 7, ws a.ixvo<5 evavrtov rov K€ipovro<i 
acfxavo^, ovT(a<; ovk avotycL to crrofjia. This verse has already been 
alluded to in the d/Avos of i. 19. From Acts viii. 32 we see that it 
was a favourite passage with the first Christians. The imperfect 
tenses, expressing habit, bring out the lesson of vTro/tovr/. 

irdaxi^v ouk ^irciXet may be illustrated by a passage in the 
Passio S. Perpetuae {Texts and Studies^ ed. J. A. Robinson, 1891, 
p. 89). Some of the martyrs found it difficult to abstain from 
menacing words. As they left the court " Perpetua sang psalms, bul 
Reuocatus, Saturnilus, and Saturus addressed the crowd of by- 
standers, and, as they passed before Hilarianus, pointed their 
finger at him and said. Thou judgest us, but God will judge 

irapeStSou. "Committed Himself." The verb is commonly 
used of handing persons over to a judge (see Liddell and Scott), but 
requires an accusative. The omission of the object has occasioned 
some difficulty. Generally speaking, TrapttStSovat nvh. rep hiKaar-qpua 
means " to deliver up a malefactor for punishment," and St. Peter's 
words have been understood to mean that Christ handed over His 
persecutors to the judgment of God. But the whole drift of the 
passage forbids this interpretation, and there is nothing in the word 
TrapaSiSovat itself to imply that the person handed over is guilty. 
It is better therefore to render " committed Himself." A.V., R.V. 
have in the margin " committed His cause," but in judicial phrases 
the object of the verb seems to be always personal. 

CHAP. II. VER. 24 147 

Tw KpiJ'onri SiKaiug. Compare rov aTrpocroiTroXyJTrToys Kpivovra, 

24. OS Tois dfjiapTtas . . . cm to ^v\ov. " Who Himself carried 
up our sins in His own body on to the tree." From Isa. liii. 
12, Kol avTos dfxapTLas TroXXoiv avT^veyKc, combined with Deut. xxi. 
23, OTt K€KaT7jpaix€vo<; VTTO ®eov Tras Kpe/xafjievos ctti ivXov. The 
verse of Deuteronomy is quoted by St. Paul (Gal. iii. 13), and 
alluded to in those passages of Acts where St. Peter (v. 30, x. 39) 
and St. Paul (xiii. 29) speak of the Cross as to ^vXov. 'Ava<^epetv 
is commonly used in the LXX. of bringing a sacrifice and laying it 
upon the altar, and the phrase dva^epeiv ctti to ^Xov bears an 
unquestionable similarity to the common dva<^epeiv cirt rb dvcnacr- 
TTJpLoVf Jas. ii. 21; Lev. xiv. 20; 2 Chron. xxxv. 16 ; Bar. i. 10; 
I Mace. iv. 53. Here St. Peter puts the Cross in the place of the 
altar. The addition of iirl rb $vXov was, no doubt, suggested by the 
use of avrjvcyKe in Isa. liii. 12. But the use of the verb in this 
verse appears to be due to the LXX. translators ; in ver. 4 we have 
Tas a/xapTias rjfxwv (}>epu, and the Hebrew word is the same in both 
places. Isaiah is alluding in both verses to the sin-offering. Pro- 
fessor Cheyne notes on ver. 4, " The meaning is first of all that the 
consequences of the sins of his people fell upon him the innocent ; 
but next and chiefly that he bore his undeserved sufferings as a 
sacrifice on behalf of his people," and adds that " this is the first of 
twelve distinct assertions in this one chapter of the vicarious 
character of the sufferings of the Servant." But the turn which St. 
Peter has given to the words represents Christ as not only the sin- 
offering, who bore the consequences of the sins of His people on 
the Cross of shame (•^vcyKcv ctti ro9 ^vXov), but as the priest who took 
the sins, or the sin-offering (^7 ap-apTia. — to. Trepl t^s ap^aprCa^, Lev. 
vi. 26), and laid the sacrifice on the altar of the Cross (dviyVcyKev 
kin TO tvXov). Thus Alford appears to be right in giving ava(f>epeLv 
here a double meaning; but the two meanings "bear " and "carry" 
both belong to the one Greek word, and St. Peter has done his 
best to cure the ambiguity by expanding Isaiah's avTos into the 
highly emphatic auTos iv tw o-co/xaTi avrov, which, reinforced as they 
are by the following p^wXtairi, clearly mean " He Himself, by His own 
personal suffering, carried the sins up " ; in other words, the Priest 
was also the Victim. 

Kiihl will not allow the analogy between ava<fiipuv cVi rb ^Xov 
and avacfiipeLv iirl to 6va-iaaTqpiov, nor will he admit any reference to 
sacrifice on the grounds (i) that the cross is never regarded as an 
altar (he should have said not elsewhere, and even this is doubtful, 
if we remember Heb. xiii. 10) ; (2) that nowhere are sins spoken of 
as the actual sacrifice (but see Lev. vi. 26 referred to above) ; (3) 
that in the Old Testament the body of the victim is never burnt 
upon the altar (this seems quite beside the point : the sin-offering is 


certainly said ava<f>ip(.cr6at^ and Isaac was actually laid upon the 
altar kiravoi rdv ^vXuiv^ Gen. xxii. 9) ; (4) that, above all, we con- 
tradict the Old Testament idea of sacrifice, if we think of sin as 
laid upon the victim and brought with the victim to the altar, for 
nothing but what is pure can come to the altar before the sight of 
God (but the essence of sacrifice lies in the idea that the innocent 
victim is not polluted by the load of guilt which it carries). To 
^vXov he takes to mean simply " die bei Sklaven iibliche Todes- 
strafe." But in the apostle's time to ^vXov is not " a gibbet " but 
"the stocks," Acts xvi. 24. Finally, he translates, " He carried our 
sins up on to the tree and thereby took them from us," adding by way 
of explanation, " because He bore our sins, in their consequences, in 
form of sufferings, as evils, in His body, so that, with the life of His 
body, our sins and their consequences were destroyed." But the 
real difficulty of the passage lies in the number of allusions which 
St. Peter has crowded into one short phrase, and Kiihl's explanation 
leaves it untouched. 

Xva. Tais d|j,apTiais diroyei'ojuiev'ot rfj SiKaioaui'T) ^i^crtofxei'. "That 
having been loosed unto (from) sins we might live unto righteous- 
ness." 'Airoyiyveo-OaL occurs only here in the New Testament, and 
is not found in the LXX. ; but Theodotion has it in Dan. ii. i, in the 
sense of "to depart from." In Herodotus and Thucydides it is 
put where dTroOavelv might have been employed, perhaps by way of 
euphemism ; but this use does not appear to attach to the verb 
elsewhere. Schwartz notices three instances of its use in imperial 
times, Tatian, ad Graecos, vi., ovx d)S 01 2rcot/<oi Soy/xaTL^ova-L Kara. 
Tivas kvkXwv TreptoSous, yivofxivoiv dei /cai aTroyivofxivoiv : Galen, Hist. 
Phil. xxii. p. 612, 15, ry]v Se cfiOopav orav e^ 6vto)V tt^os to /jlt] €Lvai 
KaOio-TTJraL KaOdirep €7ri twv diroyLyvo/jiiviov ^ojcov : Plut. Consol. ad 
ApolL XV. {Moralia, p. 109 F), dAA' out o-u Statfiopav eTvat fxr] 
yevea-Oat, ^ ye.v6[xevov oLTroyevccrdaL ; All these passages are philoso- 
phical, and balance yiyveo-Oai against d-Troyiyvco-^ai, " coming ta 
be " against " ceasing to be." It seems highly doubtful whethei 
oLTroycyvea-Oat could ever have been used as a direct antithesis to 
c,Yjv, and almost certain that it could not in St. Peter's time. Hence 
it is better to translate not "having died unto sins," but "having 
fallen away " or " having been loosed unto sins." Grotius renders 
longefacti a peccatis ; von Soden, los von den Silnden. Beck takes 
the same view, and apparently Bengel, though his language is not 
quite clear. There remains the difficulty of the dative ; but this is 
no greater than in Rom. vi. 20, iXevO^poi rjre ttj StKatoo-wr;. Here, 
as there, the case is determined by the antithesis. Thus St. Peter 
speaks here of the death of Christ as having for a distinct purpose 
that the believer should be set free from sin and brought into the 
new life of righteousness ; but the Pauline images of death or burial 
with Christ do not cross his mind. In this particular clause he is 

CHAP. II. VER. 25 149 

speaking only of that aspect of our Lord's death which is technically 
called Redemption, chap. i. 18 above. 

ou Tw |ui,(oX&)iri id0Y)Te. From Isa. liii. 5, to5 /iwAwTrt avrov 17/xets 
idOrjixev. Here i< L P and many cursives have ov t<3 fxcoXoiin 
avTov, the avTov of the LXX. having been reinserted by a careless 
scribe. MwXoji/^ (" u/dex, frequens in corpore seruili," Bengel) is not 
found elsewhere in the New Testament. The weals are those left 
by the scourging, John xix. i ; Matt, xxvii. 26 ; Mark xv. 15. "Ye 
were healed by His scars " is a strong expression of that belief in 
the value of vicarious suffering which recurs in an even stronger 
form in iii. 18. 

25. ^T€ ycip ws irp6|3aTa TrXavojjj.ej'oi. " For ye were as sheep 
going astray." C K L P have TrAai/w/xcj/a, " as sheep that go astray," 
a needless attempt to simplify the grammar. The words are taken 
from Isa. liii. 6, Trarre? ws 7rp6(Sara i-n-XavrjOrj/xcv. 

6.\\' eireaTpd<|>T]Te vuv eirl rbv iroifxeVa Kai eiricTKOTroj' rCiy \J/u)(cj»' 
ujjLwi'. "But are now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of 
your souls." The aorist eTreo-rpa^T^re is here clearly equivalent to 
the perfect. Cf. i. 12. 'ETrto-rpe^etv means properly only " to turn 
towards," but is used by Lucian and Plutarch of " turning back 
from error." It is a favourite word with Plotinus to express what 
we call "conversion." When a man forgets God he " turns away " ; 
when he remembers his Father he " turns back " (eVta-Tpe^erat). 
See Enn. v. i. i. The word is used in the same sense in the New 
Testament ; hence we may translate it " returns," not simply " turns." 

Hoifx^v, Shepherd, and here Shepherd of souls (for i/z^x^v cf. i. 9 
above), is a word that includes all that Christ does for our souls, 
loving care, feeding, instruction, guidance, government. It brings 
out the general ignorance and helplessness of man, who, without aid 
from above, can only go astray like sheep without a shepherd. In 
the Old Testament we have this figure in Ps. xxiii. ; Zech. xiii. 7 ; Isa. 
xl. II ; Ezek. xxxiv. 23, xxxvii. 24. In the Gospels we read of the 
sheep, Matt. x. 6, xxv. 33 ; Mark vi. 34 ; Luke xv. 4. Christ is 
Shepherd, Matt. ix. 36 ; Mark vi. 34 ; John x. ; Heb. xiii. 20. 
lioLfjiaLveLv is used of Christ, Matt. ii. 6; Apoc. ii. 27, vii. 17, xii. 
5, xix. 15 in the sense of "govern"; and of Christian ministers, 
John xxi. 16 ; Acts xx. 28 ; i Pet. v. 2. Uoi/xvr) is used of the 
Christian flock. Matt. xxvi. 31 ; John x. 16 ; iroifjiviov, Luke xii. 32 ; 
Acts XX. 28 ; I Pet. v. 2, 3. It is curious that St. Paul never uses 
the metaphor, except of the Christian minister, and that but twice 
(Acts XX. 28; Eph. iv. 11). On the other hand, iroLfirjv is never 
used of the Christian minister, except in this last passage from 
Ephesians. John x. shows clearly that it is an error to restrict 
shepherding to government, though this idea is, no doubt, always 
included ; and St. Peter's phrase. Shepherd of souls (" souls " 
mcluding in his usage the whole of man's spiritual nature), implies 


that the Lord gives us all that is needful for intelligence, emotions, 
or will. 

'ETTto-KOTTos is hcie a description, not a title. It is nearly equiva- 
lent to iroifi-qv '. cf. Ezek. xxxiv. II, ihov eyu) €Kt,r)T-q(roi to. irpo^ara 
fiov, Kol e7rto-K€i/ro/i,at aura : though it is more general. Philo, de 
Som. i. 15 (i. 634), calls God 6 tcov oXwv I-kLctko-ko^. The ecclesiasti- 
cal use of the word comes from Ps. cviii. (cix.) 8, quoted in Acts i. 

20 ; in part also from Isa. Ix. 17, Karao-TT^o-o) rov^ i-maKOTrov; avToJv iv 
BiKaioarvvy, kol tovs StaKovovs avTiov iv ttiVtci, as quoted by Clement of 
Rome, xlii. 5. In Acts xx. 28 (" the flock wherein the Holy Ghost 
made you overseers ") cTrto-KOTros is used by St. Paul very much as 
St. Peter uses the word here, as a description, and in much the 
same sense as Troiixrjv. In the later Pauline Epistles (Phil. i. i ; 
I Tim. iii. 2 ; Tit. i. 7), but not elsewhere in the New Testament, 
we find an official entitled 'Ettio-kottos, who in the two Pastoral 
Epistles appears to be also entitled Presbyter. 

It would seem that the ecclesiastical cTricr/coTros was taken from 
the Old Testament and carried with it its Jewish associations. The 
word was in common use among the Greeks, as Overseer is among 
ourselves, to denote kinds of supervision that were purely secular (see 
Hatch, Bampton Lectures^ ed. 1882, p. 36 sqq.); but the ecclesiasti- 
cal use can be explained quite easily from the Old Testament, and 
there is no reason for attempting to derive it from other sources. 
Why St. Paul altered the recognised title of the Christian official we 
can only guess, but he may have been influenced by the words of 
Isaiah, in which the mention of hiKaiocrvv-r] and Trto-rts as the divinely 
given qualifications of overseers and ministers fits in so aptly with 
his own views. See note in Addenda, 

*^TricrK07ro<; contains an idea of eminence and authority which 
Trpeo-^vVepos in itself does not, and it had also, as we have seen, 
a loose connexion with the Apostolate. Hence, we may suppose, 
as one Elder came to be invested with special functions, he came 
also to be distinguished as 'Ettio-kottos, which word then became a 
title. Bishop, no longer Overseer. 

III. 1. The Duty of Wives is inculcated also, Eph. v. 22 ; Col. 
iii. 18; Tit. ii. 4. 

ofioius may be taken closely with vTrorao-a-ofxevaL : slaves are to 
be subject, so likewise wives. But it is best taken as referring to ii. 
1 7. Slaves are to show honour to masters, likewise wives to husbands. 
For the construction of vTroTacrao/xcvaL, see note on ii. 18. The same 
phrase, vrroTao-o-ofjievaL rois tSt'ot? avSpdcnv, is found in Ephesians and 
Titus, and with the omission of iStois in Colossians also. See Intro- 
duction, p. 1 7. 'iSiots strengthens the article toi?, which by itself is 
possessive and means " your." It gives the same sense that we find 
in the English, " your own husbands " ; you belong to them in a 
special way, and your duty to them is very near and clear. Further, 

CHAP. III. VERS. 2, 3. 151 

it softens the rule of subjection. It is not obedience to a stranger 
that is required. 

im . . . K€p8T)0iio-orrai. " That if any obey not the word, they 
may without the word be won by the conversation of their wives." 
The use of the future indicative after the final tva belongs to late 
and vulgar Greek (Cobet, Variae Lecttones, p. 508 ; Blass, p. 208) ; 
instances occur in Mark xv. 20; Luke xx. 10; i Cor. xiii. 3 ; Gal. 
ii. 4 ; Apoc. iii. 9, and elsewhere. 

2. eiroTrreucraj'Tes. See note on ii. 12 above. In avcv Xoyov the 
absence of the article is probably immaterial, and we may translate 
" without the word," without any direct appeal to the teaching of 
Christ, which, in the eyes of an unbelieving husband, would have no 
authority. Otherwise the meaning will be " without a word " ; the 
wife need not argue at all, the mere sight of her conduct will suffice. 
For the sense of /cepSatVetv, cf. Matt, xviii. 15 ; i Cor. ix. 19-21. It is a 
fine Christian expression, on which Leighton dwells with unction: "A 
soul converted is gained to itself, gained to the pastor, or friend, or 
wife, or husband who sought it, and gained to Jesus Christ ; added 
to His treasury, who thought not His own precious blood too dear 
to lay out for this gain." A striking instance of the " gaining" of 
the heathen husband by the Christian wife will be found in the 
account of Monnica in Augustine's Confessions. But, though 
Monnica did not, to use a common expression, " preach " to her 
husband, she owed her influence over him largely to wise words. 
The patient well-doing of the wife has power for the salvation of 
others ; cf. ii. 1 2 above. St. Peter, it will be observed, admits no 
questioning about the indissolubility of marriage in cases of religious 
disparity. At Corinth the question had been raised, and St. Paul 
expresses his personal opinion (I, not the Lord, i Cor. vii. 12) to 
the effect that the Christian partner should not seek divorce or 
separation, but that, if the heathen husband or wife choose to dis- 
solve the tie, it may be done. He adds, " For what knowest thou, 
O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband ? " 

T(]v Iv 4)6p(j) dyi^i' di/aaTpo({>iii'. "Your conversation chaste in 
fear." "Your chaste conversation coupled with fear" (A.V., R.V.) 
hardly brings out with sufficient force the close collocation of cV 
<j!)o/3(t) ayvriv. The conversation is chaste, because it moves in the 
fear of God (cf. ii. 18 above). Here again St. Peter does not mean 
" fear of your husband," though in Eph. v. 33 we read rj h\ yvvr) 
Tva (f)o/3rJTaL tov avSpa. 

3. &v eoTw oux 6 efcoOei/ . . . KcJcrfios. On the use of the article 
in this passage, see Introduction, p. 4. The translation of A.V., 
"whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning," is not 
strictly accurate, as 6 k:oo-)u,os is not repeated. What St. Peter says is 
" whose must be, not the outward adornment of plaiting hair and 
putting round of jewels or putting on of robes, but the hidden man 


of the heart." KoV/aos is in antithesis to av6p(airo<i, visible ornaments 
to the invisible soul. It is possible that there is a play on the two 
meanings of koV/xos, " ornaments," and the " world," or " multitude 
of men " ; at any rate this supposition would help to explain the 
antithesis. As Koa-fjios is used in classical Greek, so mundus is used 
in classical Latin for all kinds of embellishments. Livy, xxxiv. 7, 
" munditia et ornatus et cultus, haec feminarum insignia sunt : hunc 
mundum muliebrem appellarunt maiores nostri." Tertullian {de 
habitu mul. 4) makes a distinction between cultus^ jewellery and dress, 
and ornatus^ the personal beautification of the toilet, and confines 
mundus to the former. " Cultum dicimus, quem mundum muliebrem 
uocant ; ornatum, quem immundum muliebrem conuenit dici. 
Ille in auro et argento et gemmis et uestibus deputatur ; iste in cura 
capilli et cutis et earum partium corporis quae oculos trahunt." 

efxirXoKTis. Cf. I Tim. ii. 9-13. The two passages are very 
similar, but our Marriage Service rightly prefers that of St. Peter. 
On plaiting of hair, see Ovid, de arte am. iii. 136 sqq. It was an art 
highly cultivated by Greek and Roman ladies. 

irepiOeo-ews. Ornaments of gold were worn round the hair (in 
the shape of golden nets), round the finger, arm, or ankle. 

4. 6 KpuTTTos TT]s KapSitt? at/OpwiTos. " The hidden person of the 
heart, clothed in the incorruptible of the meek and quiet spirit, 
which is in the sight of God of great price." 'Ev is used as in Jas. 

ii. 2, avrip -)(fi\)(yohaKTv\LO'i iv laOrjTi XajXTrpa. With to d(f>0apTOV con- 
trast xP^crtoi' T^ airoXXvixevov of i. 7. The neuter adjective forms a 
substantive, and no substantive is to be supplied ; but the sense is as 
given by the R.V., "the incorruptible apparel." The incorruptible 
or heavenly raiment and jewellery of the hidden person is the meek 
and quiet spirit which befits Christians ; whether the exact ante- 
cedent to o is TO a(f>$apTov or Tri/eu/xa, it is impossible to decide, but 
the question does not affect the sense. Uvevfxa is here spirit, dis- 
position, temper, a sense which is not borne by the word elsewhere in 
the New Testament. In this Epistle Trvevfxa, as applied to man, 
does not denote a distinct faculty, but is nearly equivalent to if/vx^. 
In iii. 18, 19, iv. 6 it means the whole of the inner nature of man 
as opposed to a-dpi, the body. Man is made up of body and if/vxv, 
or body and Trvev/xa. Hvev/xa denotes the inner nature as immaterial, 
invisible, impalpable, but this nature in its relation to God is ^vxrj. 
Hence in i. 2 it is impossible to translate iv dyiacr/xo) JIv€VfiaTos, " in 
sanctification of your spirit " ; if this had been St. Peter's meaning 
he would have said iv dytacr/xo) 4^v)(rj<; : cf. i. 22, ras if/v)(a<s vfxuiv 
rjyi'LKOTi's. Hence again, as applied to the Holy Spirit, Trvei'/xa means 
" the Immaterial Being," not a special influence or gift of God. It 
will help to make the matter clear if we observe that, in phrases 
which approach the one under consideration, St. Paul always defines 
7rv€Vfxa by a substantival genitive ; thus we find Trvevfjia SovXctas, 

CHAP. III. VERS. 5, 6 153 

SaXiag, (TO<fiiaq, irpaoT-qro^ (i Cor. iv. 21 ; Gal. vi. i). All these are 
modelled upon the Hebrew irvev/jia Karaw'^ecos (Rom. xi. 8 from Isa. 
xxix. 10), and imply that the frame of mind spoken of is breathed 
into the man by God, as the irv^v^a tov k6<t[xov (i Cor. ii. 12) is 
inspired into him by the spirit of evil. 

St. Paul uses " man " in much the same way as St. Peter, dis- 
tinguishing 6 e^o) from 6 eo-o) dvOpwTTo^ (Rom. vii. 22 ; 2 Cor. iv. 16 ; 
Eph. iii. 16), and the "old" from the "new" man (Eph. iv. 22, 24; 
Col. iii. 9). The commentators throw no light on this peculiar 
use of av6puiTro<i for personality ; it seems to be Hebrew, and there 
are many phrases in the Old Testament that might suggest it, 
man of God, man whom the Lord doth choose, man of earth, and 
so on. 

5. ouTO) Y(£p TroT€. " For in this manner in days of old the holy 
women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves." For 
eU ©eoV N reads eVt tov ®eoV. In its Biblical meaning ("I have 
hope ") iXTTL^o) is followed by eis (2 Cor. i. 10) : eVt with dative 
(t Tim. iv. 10): eVt with accusative (i Pet. i. 13; i Tim. v. 5). 
'Ev XpiaT(2, KvpLio, eA-TTt^o) occur i Cor. xv. 19; Phil. ii. 19; but 
this is not to be counted among the constructions of eATrt^co, because 
iv Xpio-Tw may be added to any verb, and does not belong to one 
more than to another. Tlore, " in the days of old." The saintly 
women of the Old Testament are cited as a model for Christian 
matrons. Here we find another instance of St. Peter's strong sense 
of the continuity of the religious life. There may be a hidden 
reference to Isaiah's denunciation of women's trinkery (iii. 16 sqq.) ; 
but St. Peter speaks not of what good women of old did not wear, 
but of what they did wear. They adorned themselves with a meek 
spirit by subjection, or because they were subject. 

6. Ku'pioi' auToi' KaXoucra. Gen. xviii. 12. Here again Monnica 
illustrates the language of St. Peter. When other matrons came 
to her and complained of their husbands, she would " blame their 
tongues, telling them that when once they had heard the marriage 
lines read over to them, they ought to have looked upon them as 
indentures by which they were made handmaids ; they ought there- 
fore to remember their condition, and not rebel against their lords 
and masters" (Conf. ix. 9. 2). 

r]<s e'Yev'i^OTjTe T^Km. " Whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do 
well," A.V. "Whose children ye now are, if ye do well," R.V. 
These translations are substantially identical, and both give the aorist 
iy^vrjBrjTi the sense of the perfect yeyovare. There is no strong 
objection to this; cf. avrjyyiXy], i. 12: eTreaTpdfjirjTe, ii. 25. There 
is, however, no sufficient reason why we should not keep the proper 
meaning of the aorist, and render "whose children ye became by 
doing good." It is true that in this case a certain difficulty arises 
out of the participles. 'AyaOorroLovo-aL Koi fit] ^o/Sou/u-evat seems to be 


clearly an exhortation ; and the force of the exhortation may be 
thought to be somewhat blunted, if the apostle is taken to say that 
they have been doing good ever since they became children of 
Sarah, and even before that time. Yet this difficulty is rather 
artificial ; the meaning may very well be " Ye became children of 
Sarah by doing good; continue so to do, or ye will cease to be 
her children." Bengel regards the words is ^dppa . . . rUva as 
forming a parenthesis. On this view, {iTrorao-o-d/Aevai ayaOoTroiova-ai 
cfto/Sovfxevai all belong to eKocrfiovv. Bengel's expedient is allowed 
a place in the margin of the R.V., but it is unnecessary and awk- 

TCKva rrjg "^dppa is a phrase of much the same meaning as reVva 
vTraKorj? (i. 1 4). Those who exhibit the same character as Sarah 
may be called in a figure her children. The words are as applic- 
able to matrons of Jewish as of heathen origin. 

Kal jjLY) <t>oPoufX€cai fj,ir]B€|xiai' ttt^tjo-ii'. From Prov. iii. 25, koX ov 
(fiO^rjOi^a-r] irTorjo-iv iTreXOovaav ovBe op/xa^ aa-e/Swv €7rep)(o/Ji€vas. This 
again is one of St. Peter's favourite chapters; it is quoted again 
v. 5 below. Urorjarit (quite a classical word) means fluttering, 
excitement, perturbation of spirit, caused by any passion, but more 
especially by fear. If the word retains its proper sense here, we 
must take it as a cognate accusative, and translate " are not afraid 
■wifh any alarm." But in Proverbs the epithet iTre\6ova-av and the 
parallelism with 6pfxd<s give it a concrete meaning, and it is better 
to render "are not afraid of any alarm." St. Peter may be thinking, 
in the first place, of alarms caused by the ill-temper of a bad 
husband (it is probable that da-e/Siov opfidq was in his mind). Yet 
his words have a wider scope. Alarms about children, about 
servants, about the fortunes of the family, about the growing ill- 
will of heathen neighbours — the Christian matron who hopes on 
God will face them all unperturbed. 

7. ojxoiws. Here, where there is no duty of subjection to be 
enforced, the " likewise " seems clearly to refer to ii. 1 7. Honour 
is due to all ; honour therefore your wives. For the construction 

Oi (rVV0LK0VVT€<5y SQQ u. 1 8, ill. I. 

KaTci yvStaiv. " According to knowledge," like wise and sensible 
men who understand the due gradations of honour. The Pauline 
sense of yvuxn^, in which it signifies the understanding of spiritual 
mysteries, is quite foreign to St. Peter. In the following words we 
observe the same elegant classicism as in i. 19. The sense is 
precisely the same as if the author had written t(3 ywaLKeiw a-Kevn 
a)s da-Oevea-Tepio. The husband is to pay honour to the wife as to the 
weaker vessel ; such honour as is due to the weaker, that is to say, 
consideration, wise guidance, marital helpfulness. 'Os here has its 
common limiting force, and gives, not the reason for the honour, but 
a qualification of the command. SkcOos means — (i) a chattel, or 

CHAP. III. VER. 7 155 

piece of furniture, Matt. xii. 29; Mark iii. 27; Luke viii. 16; a-Kevri 
in the same house differ in value and purpose, Rom. ix. 21-23; 
(2) an implement or instrument adapted to a particular end ; thus 
we have o-k^vos e/cXoyi}?, an elect instrument, Acts ix. 15 ; (3) a 
vessel which contains things, John xix. 29 ; (4) in i Thess. iv. 4 
0-/CCVOS may mean "wife," a peculiar sense which the word bears 
sometimes in Rabbinical Hebrew ; see Alford's note. Here, how- 
ever, this meaning is excluded by the comparative aa-Oevearripio, which 
clearly implies that husband and wife are both vessels. As there 
is here no reference to purpose or contents, we must take o-kcvos to 
mean simply "chattel." Husband and wife are both parts of the 
furniture of God's house, though one is weaker and the other 
stronger. In the passage quoted from i Thess. some commentators 
give o-K€vo<s the sense of " body." But it is doubtful whether the 
word ever has this sense. In 2 Cor. iv. 7, exo/xey tov Orjaavpov tovtov 
iv oa-TpaKLvoLs ctkcvco-iv, the apostle does not mean in " earthy bodies," 
but uses a metaphor from money stored, as it often was, "in 
earthen jars." In the present passage we can hardly suppose St. 
Peter to be thinking only of the bodily weakness of the wife. Many 
modern commentators, it should be noticed, connect the dative not 
with aTTove/Movres, but with awoLKovvTes. This leaves the honour 
without any restriction or limitation, which can hardly have been 
the apostle's intention. 

ws Kttl (TvyK\r]pov6[i.oi xdpnos ^wrjs. "As being (not only 
husbands, but) also fellow-heirs of the grace of life." B, the 
Vulgate, Armenian, and some cursives have (TvyKXr]pov6/jioi<s. The 
first a)s gives the limitation of the honour, the second its reason. 
The wife must not forget the duty of subjection ; the husband must 
remember that she, whom nature and the law make his inferior, is 
his equal, and may be his superior, in the eyes of God. Xapts 
^<jirj<s (the article again is dropped before a familiar phrase) is rightly 
understood by Alford to mean God's gracious gift of life eternal ; 
for KX-qpovofxia compare i. 4; for x^-P^^y ^' ^3- Desire to make St. 
Peter speak the same language as St. Paul led Erasmus and Grotius 
to paraphrase the words by x^-P'-'^ t^cra or liaoiroLova-a. nA, and 
some other authorities, including Jerome, read TroLKik-q^ x^P'-'^^'^ ^^V'^ ' 
but the epithet has been inserted from iv. 10, where it is natural 
and appropriate. 

cYKoirreo-Gai. " Hindered " ; K L and other authorities have 
iKKOTrreo-Oat, "cut off," a Stronger expression. Hofmann seems 
to be right in taking vfjcMv as referring to the husbands alone ; the 
sighs of the injured wife come between the husband's prayer and 
God's hearing : so St. James speaks of the complaints of the 
oppressed as frustrating prayer (v. 4). Others regard vfiiov as 
including both husbands and wives. The two cannot join in 
prayer, as they ought to do, for a blessing on their married life, 


if there is injustice between them. Such prayers are " hindered," 
because the two are not agreed, and the one voice protests against 
the other. 

8. The imperatives still run on, and the section begins with 
adjectives and participles. T6 8e tcAos, "finally," is adverbial. 
TeAos Se is more usual in the classics, but to Be TiXo<s is found in 
Plato, Zaws, 740 E. With the word " finally " St. Peter turns from 
special to general admonitions. "'Oix6cf>pove<s mente, o-i;/x7ra^«cs 
afifectu, in rebus secundis et adversis," Bengel. 'O/to^ptov (not 
found elsewhere in the New Testament) is used by the Greek 
poets, as Homer, //. xxii. 263, 6fji6(f>pova Ovfibv €xovt€<;. The word 
expresses rather likeness of sentiment or disposition than of opinion, 
but includes community of faith and hope. Cf. Rom. xii. 16, 
XV. 5 ; Phil. iii. 16. Su/xTra^T^s (another a-n-a^ Xeyo/juvov) is found in 
Aristotle, and denotes community of irdOrj, in the broad Greek sense, 
of all feelings whether of pleasure or of pain. For ^tXdScA^oi, see 
note on ^lAaSeX^ta, i. 22, E{io-7rAay;(via in Eur. Rhesus, 192, means 
courage. But in Hebraistic Greek (nrXa.yyya are the seat of mercy, 
hence €i;cr7rAay;i(vo5 here, and Eph. iv. 32, means tender-hearted, 
pitiful. For raTretj/o^povc?, " humble-minded," K P have <^tXd<56poi/e?, 
"courteous." L, the Vulgate, and some other authorities exhibit 
both adjectives. TaTreti/o^pwv is found in Pro v. xxix. 23, and forms 
one of St. Peter's many allusions to that book. 

9. fAT) dTro8i86i/T€s KaKoi' drrl KaKoG. In Prov. xvii. 13 we read 
OS aTToStScocrt KaKO, avTi ayaOCJVj ov Kiv7]6r](T(.TaL /caKo. Ik tov oIkov 
avTov. St. Paul, Rom. xii. 1 7, has the same phrase as St. Peter, 
lirjhivX Ktt/cov ovtI KaKov d7roSt8ovT€s : cf. also I Thess. V. 15. The 
words XoiSopiav avrl AotSoptas look back to ii. 23. Eis rovro may 
refer to the preceding words (cf. ii. 2 1 above), or to those which 
follow. It is just possible to render, "Contrariwise blessing (for 
hereunto were ye called) in order that ye may inherit blessing"; 
but the parenthesis is awkward, and the construction appears to be 
the same as in iv. 6, eis tovto . . . tva KpiOoxTL. It is better then 
to translate with R.V. " contrariwise blessing : for hereunto were ye 
called that ye should inherit blessing " or " a blessing." The 
Christian hope is also the Christian rule. " Bless, and ye shall be 
blessed," is strictly parallel to " Forgive, and ye shall be forgiven." 

10. ydp. The "for" introduces a reason for the whole admoni- 
tion contained in vers. 8, 9, not merely for evXoyovvTe<s. The 
passage which St. Peter proceeds to cite treats not only of the 
tongue and its government, but of righteous conduct generally. 
The words which follow are quoted verbatim from Ps. xxxiii. (xxxiv.) 
13-17, except that in the first verse the LXX. has rts k(niv a.v6piDTro<s 
b OeXoiv t^iqv, ayair^v 7]ixipa<; iScti/ dya^ct? ; The Hebrew is translated 
in the R.V. " What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many 
days, that he may see good ? " St. Peter has, " He that willeth to 

CHAP. III. VERS. 12-14 157 

love life and see good days." Possibly his interpreter, who wrote 
better Greek than the LXX. as a rule, may have been influenced by 
the feeling that 6 Oikcov C^J^rjv could carry no meaning to Greek ears. 
'AyaTToiv tSetv again is not Greek : ctyaTrai/ ^wt^v, though unusual, 
may be defended by 2 Tim. iv. 10, dyaTrr^cras t6v vvv alwva. Else- 
where the object of the verb is nearly always personal. 

loir) means this present earthly life (though de Wette and some 
few others have taken it of life eternal). " He that willeth " can in 
spite of all sorrow and unjust usage make his life lovely and his 
days good. The words may be taken in connexion with i. 6-19, 
but the tenor is different. There the Christian has a joy arising out 
of persecution itself, the joy of the soldier who looks forward to 
victory; here life in itself may be made sweet and delectable by 
righteousness. The passage illustrates the essentially Hebrew 
character of St. Peter's mind ; it serves as a relief to his profound 
sense of the insufficiency of this life ; it shows that persecution was 
as yet no more than a not intolerable vexation, while to such of his 
readers as were Gentiles it would convey in a very persuasive 
manner what is meant by " good days." 

12. em SiKatous. The eyes of the Lord are upon righteous men 
for their good, and His ears are turned towards their prayer. 
AtKaios is quoted from the Old Testament, in the sense which there 
it bears; cf. 2 Pet. ii. 7, SUaiov Awr. But the face of the Lord is 
upon men who do evil, not for their good. For the omission of the 
article with Troiovvra?, cf. ii. 7. 

13. Kal Tis 6 KaKcSawj/ ufjiag ; " Who is he that can harm you ? " 
Who is able to do you any real hurt ? The words are taken from 
Isa. 1. 9, iSov Kvptos (Sor]Oij(T€t fjLOL, Tts KaKOicrei fxe ; The R.V. has 
" Who is he that will harm you ? " that is to say, Who will wish to do 
you any hurt ? This rendering might be defended by the words of 
the Didache, i. 3, v/^ets Sc dyaTrarc rov'i fiicrovvTas ^/xa? kol ovx^ e^erc 
ix^pov, where possibly we have a reminiscence and attempted 
explanation of St. Peter's words. But the apostle clearly thought 
that suffering is the lot of Christians, and there could be no Trdo-x^tv 
dSiKcos without dSiKowres. Z-qXoiTai, " zealous ardent lovers " : the 
word, which is quite classical, is similarly used in i Cor. xiv. 1 2 ; 
Tit. ii. 14. 

14. dXV €1 Kal iTOLcrxoire. " But if ye should even suffer." Ei 
Ktti generally introduces a supposition which is more or less improb- 
able. The optative is rarely used in hypothetical sentences in the 
New Testament ; indeed the mood was becoming obsolete in vulgar 
Greek. See Blass, pp. 37, 220. St. Peter here seems to have had 
in his mind the words of our Lord, Matt. v. 10, /xaKapLOL ol 
SeSitoy/vteVot IveKci/ StKatoo-wT^g. It will be observed that he uses 
Bi,KaL0(Tvv7} in the old Hebrew sense, as did our Lord Himself (cf. 
BLKauwi above), and that he gives fiaKapLo^ that full sense in 


which it is used in the Gospels, in Jas. i. 12, 25, and in the Apoc. 
xiv. 13 (and six other passages). St. Paul uses it in the same wa> 
three times in quotations, Acts xx. 35 (in a saying of our Lord's), 
Rom. iv. 7, 8 (from the Old Testament) ; in i Tim. i. 11, vi. 15 he 
applies it to God ; in Tit. ii. 13 to blessed hope; but, when he uses 
it of man, gives the word a lower sense ( = happy), Acts xxvi. 2 ; 
I Cor. vii. 40 ; perhaps even in Rom. xiv. 22. 

Tov Sc <})6poi' auTuv fjiT) <j)opT)0T]T6. " Bc ttot afraid of their terror." 
Do not fear their threats. ^oySos has here a concrete sense, like 
TTTOT/o-ts in iii. 6. The words are from Isa. viii. 12, 13, rov Se cfio/Sov 
avTov ov fJLT] (fio^rjOrJTe ovSe /xr) TapaxOrjre' Kvpiov avrbv aycdcraTe. The 
passage runs, " Say ye not, a conspiracy, concerning all whereof this 
people shall say a conspiracy ; neither fear ye their fear, nor be in 
dread tkereof." In the LXX. the meaning is " do not be afraid as 
they are," and <^o/?oj/ is a cognate accusative. To this extent St. 
Peter has changed the sense of the original. For the meaning here 
can hardly be, " Do not be afraid, as your heathen neighbours are, 
of mere earthly misfortunes." 

15. Kupioc Be rbv Xpioroi' Ayidaari. "But sanctify the Lord, 
that is to say, the Christ." The words rbv Xpia-rov are substituted 
for avTov in the text of Isaiah to make the meaning clear. Some of 
the early readers of the Epistle were alarmed by this change ; hence 
in K L P and some other authorities we find a variant rbv ®eoV for 
Tbv Xpia-Tov. The R.V. has, " But sanctify in your hearts Christ as 
Lord," taking Kvpiov as predicate by reason of the absence of the 
article. This translation might stand, if we took the words by them- 
selves and out of connexion with the Isaianic text, but not other- 
wise. The absence of the article before Kvpios has no significance. 
In any case the Christological import of the passage is not affected. 
'Ayiao-arc is sufficiently explained by the words which follow in 
Isaiah, " Let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread." 

Iroifxoi del irpos diroXoyiai'. "Always ready for an answer to 
every man that asketh you a reason concerning the hope that is in 
you." We might have expected irepl rrjs ev vplv Trto-rcoj?, but in St. 
Peter's mind the two words are very nearly identical. "kiroXoyia 
(followed by a dative, as in i Cor. ix. 3) means any kind of answer 
or self-justification, whether formal before a judge, or informal. 
Here iravTi fixes the word to the latter sense. Aoyov oIt^lv is a 
classical phrase. Every cultivated sensible man was expected by 
the Greeks to be prepared \6yov St8oi/at re koX he^aa-Oai, to discuss 
questions of opinion or conduct intelligently and temperately, to 
give and receive a reason. The phrase Xoyov dTroStSovat, below, iv. 
5, is quite different. ^6(Sov (cf. ii. 18, iii. 2) is fear of God, not of 
man. It is surely not fanciful to see here an allusion to St. Peter's 
own experience. When the critical moment came upon him, he 
was not ready with his answer, and so denied his Lord. Further, it 

CHAP. III. VERS. 1 6-1 8 159 

was through want of meekness and fear that he denied ; of meek 
ness, because he had fancied that he loved the Lord " more than 
these "; and of fear, because though he feared man, the Lord at the 
moment was not his dread. 

16. (rvveihii](Tiv cxomtcs dyaOrji' . , . di'a(TTpo(|)T^i'. " Having a good 
conscience ; in order that, wherein ye are spoken against, those who 
revile your conversation, which is good in Christ, may be ashamed." 
For avviLSrjoriVj see ii. 19. 'Ev <S KaraXaXeLo-de, the very thing 
wherein ye are spoken against, is the avao-rpo^rj : of. ii. 12, 
ava(TTpo<^y]v e)(OVT€s KaXijUy Iva, iv o) KaraXaXovcnv. Constantly the 
apostle repeats his phrases with new significance and in a new light. 
In the former passage he speaks of the righteousness of the 
Christian as likely to promote the conversion of the heathen, here 
simply as stopping the mouths of his defamers. Trjv ayaOrjv iv 
XptcrTO) are to be taken together ; of. rrjv iv <^6(Bia dyv^v avaarrpocfyrjv, 
iii. 2. Three times (here and v. 10, 14) St. Peter uses the phrase 
iv XptoTTO), which in the Pauline Epistles is very common (there are 
thirteen instances in Romans). Elsewhere it is not found ; but the 
idea that all is in Christ constantly recurs in John's Gospel, i. 4, vi. 
56, xiv. 20, XV. 1-5, xvi. 33, xvii. 21. The phrase iv Xpta-rw is 
mystical, and this is why St. Paul loves it. But it is not necessary 
to suppose that he invented it. 'ETTT^pea^ovrcs is generally regarded 
as governing dvao-rpoc^^v, which is a possible construction (see Luke 
vi. 28). But in good Greek the verb is not transitive, and is 
followed by a dative or preposition. Here it would be quite 
possible to take dvacrTpo(^>yv with /caraio-xw^wo-tv, "that those who 
revile you may be abashed by your good conversation " ; nor is the 
position of vfxS)v a conclusive argument against this rendering. 

17. KpeiTTor ydp. A further reason for patient endurance. Not 
only will it silence calumny, but it is Christlike, and it has a value 
for others. Here again recurs the thought involved in ii. 1 2, and in 
the virep v/xC)v of ii. 21. There is a parallelism between the suffer- 
ings of Christ and those of the Christian, but it is not quite clear 
how far it is meant to be carried. Et OeXoL to OiXrjfxa, " if the will 
of God should will," is a rugged emphatic pleonasm, similar in sense 
to the €1 Seov of i. 6. For the optative, see note on ver. 14 above. 

18. OTi Kttl XpidTOS aira^ Trepl dp.apTiui' dTreOai/c. It is better 
" because Christ also once for all died for sins." ^kiriOavev, ^? A C, 
and all the Versions ; B K L P have hraO^. "A.ira^, as in Heb. ix. 28, 
distinguishes the one sacrifice of Christ from the repeated deaths of 
victims under the Law. Ilepi d/xaprias is the regular phrase for the 
sin-offering. Lev. v. 7, vi. 30 ; Ps. xxxix. (xl) 7 ; Ezek. xliii. 21. 'YTrep 
afxapTia? occurs in Ezek. xliii. 25, xliv. 29, xlv. 17, xlvi. 20. The sin- 
offering was propitiatory. Lev. v. 6, koI i^iXda-^Tai TrepX avrov 6 Upevs 
TTcpl rrj<; apxxprLa<i avrov ^s ^fxaprCj kol dcfteOi^aeTaL avrw rj afxapria, and 
is called lAao-yxos, Ezek. xliv. 27. Christ suffered not for particular 


offences, but for all sins of all men ; hence in the New Testament 
we frequently find Trept or virep afxapTiojv, Heb. v. i, 3, x. 26; 
I John ii. 2 ; i Cor. xv. 3 ; Gal. i. 4. He died as the one true sin- 
offering, Sc/caios virep aSUoiv, just on behalf of unjust. In i. 19 we 
read that the sinlessness of Christ gave His Blood its value. What 
we see in the world is that the unjust man is saved, or made 
better, by the sufferings of the just, who not only sets an attractive 
example, but actually bears the punishment of the unjust. The 
consecjuence of moral evil is moral insensibility ; the pain of wrong- 
doing is felt, at any rate in the first instance, by the innocent person 
who desires to amend the offender ; take, for example, the anguish 
of a mother over a theft committed by her child. In the police 
courts a different rule prevails ; there t'udex damnatur cum nocens 
absoluitur. Owing to a confusion between these two forms of 
justice, the human and the divine, St. Peter's words, StKaios virXp 
dScKoji/, have often given great offence. Plotinus, one of the best and 
ablest of men, says, probably with reference to Christianity, KaKous 
Se yei'o/ieVous ai,iovv aAAovs aurtov (roiTrjpa^ elvaL eavTov<s Trpoefxivov'S ov 
Oe/jiiTov €vxr}v Trotov/AeVcov, "for men who have become evil to demand 
that others should be their saviours by sacrifice of themselves is not 
lawful even in prayer," £nn. iii. 2. 9. The Neoplatonist admitted 
that my suffering makes me better, but thought it absurd to suppose 
that the suffering of another could do so. The same difficulty lay 
at the root of Socinianism (see Ritschl, Christian Doctrine of Justifi- 
cation and Reconciliation, Eng. trans, p. 299 sqq.). 

Ivo. i^jxas TrpoaaYayTj tw 0ew. " That He might bring us to God." 
As to the mood of Trpoa-aydyrj, it may be noticed that the optative is 
never found in the New Testament in final clauses ; see Blass, pp. 
211, 220. The meaning of irpoa-dycLv has been much debated. It 
is used of the priests, Aaron and his sons, whom Moses " brings 
before God," and who may be regarded as sacrificial gifts. Thus in 
Ex. xxix. 4, Kol 'Aapu>u KOL Tous viov<s avTov Trpocra^ets ctti tois Ovpa<s Trj<; 
(TKr)vy]<; rov fxaprvpiov : cf. ver. TO of the same chapter, kol 7rpoad^ei<i 
Tov jx6(T)(pv eVt ras 6vpa<s tyj<; (TKrjvrj^ rov fiapTvpLOV. Hence Kiihl 
understands the meaning to be " that He might make us priests to 
God." But there does not appear to be any reference here to the 
priesthood of the Christian; and in the passages quoted, as von 
Soden points out, Trpoa-dyetv merely means "to bring near." Others 
have supposed the phrase to signify " that He might make us a 
sacrifice to God " ; TrpoadyeLv being frequently used of the victim. 
Lev. iii. 12, iv. 4, viii. 14. But this sense is inapplicable here; for, 
in the words immediately preceding, Christ is spoken of as being 
Himself the Victim. If, therefore, Trpoo-dyetv possesses here any 
sacrificial sense at all, it is merely in a distant and indirect way. 
We shall find the best explanation in Eph. ii. 18, iii. 12; Heb. 
iv. 16, vii. 25, X. 22, xii. 22, where, as von Soden says, the free 

CHAP. III. VERS. 19, 20 161 

access of Christians to the Father corresponds to the priestly 
TTpocrdyav of Christ. The sin-offering opens the door and leads us 
through it. 

6amTu0€ts, IwoTToiTjGeis. " Being put to death in flesh, but 
quickened in spirit." The participles are not antecedent in point 
of time to d7re$ave, but there is no difficulty in this; they are 
eq livalent to os kdavaroidy], ilwoiroLrjdr). The datives a-apKi, TTvevfxaTL 
are antithetical ; Christ died in body, and was quickened in soul or 
spirit. St. Peter does not mean that the spirit had died. The 
divine spirit of Christ which was in the prophets (i. 11) cannot have 
been subject to dissolution ; and we can hardly suppose the 
meaning to be that His human spirit was first destroyed and then 
re-created, for there is no trace of such an idea elsewhere in the 
Bible, and the next verse shows that in St. Peter's view the spirits 
of the antediluvians were alive. We may explain ^coo7rot7;6'ets 
perhaps by the x'^P'-'^ ^^V'^ of i"- 7- The life of heaven is not 
unnaturally distinguished from that of earth as a new life, a second 
dvayivvr](n<i, a fresh grace of God, though the two are continuous 
and not disparate. Or we may compare John x. 18, "I have 
power to lay down My life, and I have power to take it again," 
where the Hfe is spoken of as ending and beginning again, yet the 
" I " continues through the change. All phrases which apply to the 
point of transition from the old life to the new are necessarily vague, 
and the speculations which may be built upon them are endless. 

How far are we to suppose the parallelism between the Passion 
of Christ and that of the Christian to extend ? If we read dirWav^v 
for liraOev one point of similarity is greatly attenuated, for nowhere 
in the Epistle does St. Peter regard the sufferings of the brethren as 
likely to culminate in a violent death. A great number of modern 
commentators have found a parallel in aTraf. "He suffered once ; 
His sufferings are summed up and passed away ; He shall suffer no 
more. And we are suffering a-n-a^ ; it shall soon be so thought of 
and looked back upon " (Alford). But this interpretation also 
would vanish with liraOev, and is in any case rather artificial. 
Nothing, then, seems to remain except irepl d/xaprtaiv, SiKaio?, Iva 
Trpoa-aydyrj, and aapKi. He died as the innocent sin-offering, and 
our innocent sufferings have in their degree a similar value ; He 
brought us near to God, and we may bring others. But these 
lessons are only allusively conveyed, and do not lie on the surface. 
The apostle makes clear his chief point in iv. i sqq. : Christ 
suffered in the flesh, and in the flesh we also must suffer. 

19, 20. €v <p . . . 81' uSaros. " In which also He went and 
preached unto the spirits in prison ; which aforetime were disobe- 
dient, when the longsuffering of God was waiting in the days of 
Noah, while the ark was a preparing, whereunto few, that is, eight 
souls escaped through water." 


19. This and the following verse seem to be primarily intended 
as a proof of ^(ooTrotry^ei?. After our Lord's Death He still lived and 
ministered. The order of time is airedave, TropevOeU iKijpviev, 6s 
icTTLv iv Sc^ta rov @eov iropevOeh ets ovpavov. There can be no doubt 
that the event referred to is placed between the Crucifixion and the 
Ascension. We must therefore dismiss the explanation of Augus- 
tine, Bede, Aquinas, and others, that Christ was in Noah when 
Noah preached repentance to the people of his time. On this view 
ore oLire^eBixeTO is taken with CKifpu^ev, not with aTreidtja-acn, and toi? 
iv <l>v\aKfj is understood to mean "those who were then in the 
prison of sin," or " those who are now in the prison of Hades, but 
were then alive." 

What St. Peter says is that Christ not only ministered to men 
upon earth, but also (Kat) went as a spirit to preach to spirits in 
prison. Of these spirits we are told that they had been disobedient 
in the days of Noah. 

But who were the spirits? The context seems to imply that 
they were those of the men who refused to listen to Noah. 
Uvevfiara may be used of men after death (Heb. xii. 23), and the 
v€Kpot9 of iv. 6 fixes this as the right sense. 

The evrjyycXia-Or}, again, of iv. 6 must be taken to prove that in 
St. Peter's view our Lord preached the gospel to these spirits, and 
offered them a place of repentance. Under the influence of later 
theological ideas many commentators have been unwilling to admit 
this, maintaining (i) that Christ must have preached to them not 
hope, but condemnation ; or (2) that He preached only to those 
that were righteous ; or (3) only to those who, though disobedient, 
repented in the hour of death ; or (4) that He preached the gospel 
to those who had been just, and condemnation to those who had 
disobeyed. But all these afterthoughts are excluded by the text. 
St. Peter clearly means that all the men of the time except eight 
souls were disobedient. 

Again, these explanations are all needless. The thought which 
underlies St. Peter's words is that there can be no salvation without 
repentance, and that there is no fair chance of repentance without 
the hearing of the gospel. Those who lived before the Advent of 
our Lord could not hear, and therefore God's mercy would not 
condemn them finally till they had listened to this last appeal. So 
Clement of Alexandria says (S^rom. vi. 6. 48) that it would have 
been 7rA.€ove^tas ov ttJs Tvxov(Tr)<; tpyov, " extremely unfair," to con- 
demn men for not knowing what they could not know. Clement is 
referring to this very passage, though he does not actually quote it. 
Thus St. Peter does not here contemplate the case of those who 
have actually heard the gospel and refused it (on this point 
see ii. 6-8). 

It is probable that St. Peter is here expressing in a modified form 

CHAP. III. VER. 20 163 

a belief which was current in the Jewish schools. In the Book of 
Enoch (ed. Charles, chaps. Ix. 5, 25, Ixiv., Ixix. 26) will be found 
obscure and mutilated passages which may be taken to mean that 
the antediluvian sinners, the giants, and the men whom they 
deluded, have a time of repentance allowed them between the first 
judgment (the Deluge) and the final judgment at the end of the 
world. In the last passage referred to we read that there was great 
joy among them " because the name of the Son of Man was 
revealed unto them." Weber (quoted by Kiihl) cites two passages 
from the Bereschit Rabba, "But when they that are bound, they that 
are in Gehinnom, saw the light of the Messiah, they rejoiced to 
receive Him " ; and again, " This is that which stands written : We 
shall rejoice and exult in Thee. When ? When the captives climb 
up out of hell and the Shechinah at their head." See also Gfrorer, 
Jahrhundert des Heils, ii. p. 77 sqq. St. Peter limits this Jewish 
doctrine to the special case of those who have not heard the gospel 
on earth. It will be observed also that he alludes to Jewish tradi- 
tion without expressly quoting it. 

In the second century we find references to a passage which is 
quoted as from the Old Testament (Irenaeus, iii. 20. 4, ascribes it to 
Isaiah, iv. 22. i to Jeremiah ; Justin, Trypho, 72, ascribes it to Jere- 
miah, but adds that the Jews had recently cut it out of the Bible), 
ijxv^crOr] Se Kvpios 6 ©eos aytos ^laparjX rcov v€Kpo>v avrov, ruiv KeKoi/xr)- 
fji€vo)V €ts yrjv x^/>t.aTOS, kol KarefSr] Trpb<s avrov'g cvaY^eXia-aaOaL avroXs 
TO a-wTijpLov avTov. The source of this passage is unknown, but it 
probably comes from some Jewish apocalypse. 

It will be observed that what St. Peter affirms here is not simply 
the Descensus ad Inferos, which is already contained in his Pente- 
costal sermon. Acts ii. 27, in Luke xxiii. 43, possibly in Eph. iv 9, 
but a special form of the Descensus, the Harrowing of Hell. Pos- 
sibly this belief underlies Matt, xxvii. 52, 53; it is connected with 
this passage of the Gospel in the Testamenta XIL Patriarcharum, 
Levi, 4, (TKvXevoiiivov rov aSov iirl ro) ttolOu tov vif/ta-TOv. See also 
Hermas, Sim. ix. 16. 5-7 ; Iren. iv. 33. i, 12, v. 31. i ; the Presbyter 
in Irenaeus, iv. 27. 2 ; Marcion in Irenaeus, i. 27. 2 ; the Fragment of 
the Gospel of Peter, 41 ; Tert. de Anima, 55 ; Origen, CelsuSy ii. 43 ; 
in Lucam, Hom. iv. (Lomm. v. 99) ; in Joan. ii. 30 (Lomm. i. 158) ; 
Acta Thaddaei'm Eus. IT. E. i. 13. 20; Ignatius, Magn. ix. 3. 

20. oXiyoi may imply a reminiscence of the question — Are there 
few that be saved? Luke xiii. 23. 

oKTw v|/uxau Gen. vii. 7, viii. 18. ^i^xat', of living men. Acts 
ii. 41, xxvii. 37 ; Rom. xiii. i ; Apoc. xvi. 3, and elsewhere. 

Si€cr(o0T]o-ai'. Cf. Thuc. i. iio, Kttt oAcyoi (itto ttoAAiov rropevo- 
ficvoi Sia Trj<; Ai^ur;? es KvpT]vy]v iawOrja-av : iv. 1 13, Siatrw^ovTai €s ttjv 
ArjKvOov. ^uawOrjcrav Sid must mean " escaped through " ; the water 
already surrounded them when they fled into the ark. 


Many commentators here give Bia its instrumental force, " were 
saved by water." This not only gives the preposition a sense 
different from that which it bears in the compound verb, and neces- 
sitates our translating cts ^v " in which," but produces an impossible 
sense. The very object of the ark was to save Noah from the 

The difficulty which suggested this false translation arises from 
arguing back, on a mistaken analogy, from the antitype to the type, 
St. Peter has been thought to mean that in Baptism we are saved 
by water, and that therefore Noah was saved in the same way. But 
St. Peter, on the contrary, says here, in this particular figure, that 
we pass through the water of Baptism into safety, as Noah passed 
through the Flood into the ark. Similar language is used elsewhere 
of Baptism. " Our fathers all passed through the sea, and were all 
baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea," i Cor. x. i, 2. 
Here also the figure is substantially the same, that of escape through 
water. In Rom. vi. 3, again, the water represents the Death of 
Christ, through which we pass to the Resurrection. In all these 
figures the stress is laid, not on the water, but on the going into or 
under the water, and the rising from it and leaving it. The water 
expresses, not the instrument through which we receive the grace, 
but rather the evil life which we leave behind. Of course the water, 
being tied to the sacrament by divine command, is a condition of 
the grace ; but this particular point is not directly involved in the 
figure of the ark. To bring out this point other figures are needed, 
such as that of washing, to which an allusion immediately follows. 

21. " Which, in an antitype. Baptism, not the putting away of 
filth of flesh, but a question of a good conscience, brings you also 
safe to God." K, the Coptic, and Aethiopic omit o : Erasmus, follow- 
ing some cursives, read w, a mere device to make the construction 
easier. The antecedent to o is either v8(j)p or rb Siao-oiOrjvaL St* 
vBaros : but St. Peter suddenly changes his figure, introducing two 
new metaphors ; hence arises the embarrassment of the grammar. 
The mention of Noah had led him to speak of Baptism, which at 
first strikes him as analogous to the Flood, inasmuch as it is a 
deliverance from drowning in the waters of sin. But here he is 
struck by the thought that this is not an adequate account of Bap- 
tism, or that there are other aspects of the sacrament which are 
equally valuable. It has an outward and an inward part ; it is a 
washing, a question which brings you safe to God. No trace of the 
parallel which he set out to draw remains except in els ©cov = cts rrjv 
KL^oiTOv, and St' avaorrao-cco? = St' vSaro?. The word avTLTVTTOV is used 
also Heb. ix. 24 (see Bishop Westcott's note there). Properly 
speaking, the type is the seal of which the antitype is the impres- 
sion, or the original document (to avOevriKov) of which the antitype 
is the copy. In Hebrews the earthly temple is antitype of the 

CHAP. III. VER. 21 165 

eternal. This is the general use ; cf. 2 Clem. xiv. (see Bishop 
Lightfoot's note) Const. App. v. 14. 4, vi. 30. i, where the Flesh of 
Christ is the antitype of His Spirit, or the bread and wine of His 
Body and Blood. But St. Peter uses avrlrvTrov of the nobler 
member of the pair of relatives, of that to which the rvTro'i points 
and in which it finds its fulfilment, of the seal not of the 

awl^ei pdiTTiaixa is a strong phrase. Cf. Markxvi. 16, oTricrrcvoras 
icai ^aTTTLcrOiU (TOiOrjoriTaL : Tit. iii. 5, Icrcoo-ev r]^a<s 8ia Xovrpov 
TraAtyyevecrias /cat dj/aKaivoocrcws IIvev/AaTos 'Ayiov. But St. Peter's 
phrase goes beyond either of these. For aTroOea-Ls see airoOifxevoL, 
ii. I ; both this word and pvVos are aira^ Xcyo/Acva. For (rvvei8r]aL<s 
ayadi] cf. ii. 19, iii. 16. Baptism is not merely an outward and 
visible form, but an inward and spiritual grace ; not merely a 
cleansing of the body, but a cleansing of the soul. But instead of 
writing ov (TapK6<s aTroOecnq pvTrov ctAAd ^vxfj's, St. Peter substitutes for 
^vxqs the difficult words (rwctSiycretos ayadrj<s iTr€p(OTrjfx.a. 'ETrcpwrav 
means to ask a question, or, in later Greek, to ask for a thing. 
'EzrepwrTy/xa accordingly means either "a question" or "a demand." 

Commentators almost universally couple els ®edv with arvvet- 
87^0-6(0? ayaOr]<s cTrepwrry/xa, and understand the meaning to be prayer 
to God of (proceeding from) a good conscience, or prayer to God 
for a good conscience, or inquiry of a good conscience after God. 
The last version (Alford's) is based upon 2 Kings xi. 7, koI iTrrjpu)- 
■nycrev AavlB cts dprjvqv 'Ia)dj8 : " David asked about the peace, or 
health, of Joab." But it requires eTrepcoTTycris : and though this 
is perhaps not an insuperable difficulty, yet " inquiry after God " 
applies to one who is just turning towards the light, not to one who 
has made up his mind and is actually being baptized. To the other 
two renderings it is a fatal objection that cVepcDrav signifies to ask 
men for favours, Ps. cxxxvi. (cxxxvii.) 3 ; Matt. xvi. i, but is not 
used of prayer to God. Lastly, none of these explanations gives 
the sense required. What we want is a version which will not only 
express the inner reality of baptism, but express it in a shape which 
forms an antithesis to (rapKo<i aTroOcats pvirov. 

The best way seems to be to take eh ®e6v with a-ut^et, so as to 
form an antithesis to BLecrwOyjcrav els r^v /ctyScordv, and to understand 
eirepuiT-qp^a of the Baptismal " question " or " demand." Faith and 
repentance are the antecedent conditions of baptism ; they may be 
said to make "a good conscience," and to be the real "putting 
off of the filth of the soul." The candidate must always have been 
asked, in the form of words familiar in later times, or in some other, 
whether he possessed these qualifications. We may translate 
"question of" or "concerning," or "demand for, a good con- 
science," the question, "Dost thou believe?" the demand, "Wilt 
thou renounce ? " " Wilt thou obey ? " 


8t* dmo-rdcreus 'It)o-ou Xpiarou. "Through the resurrection of 
Jesus Christ." The words are formally parallel to 8l vSaros. They 
are connected grammatically with o-to^et : and baptism saves us 
through, in the sense of by the virtue of the Resurrection. Here 
again, then, the mixture of metaphors causes a slight difficulty ; but 
this is met by using the word " through," which, like the Greek 8ta, 
means both "passing through" and "by means of." 

Regeneration is connected with the Resurrection above, i. 3. 

22. OS €<TTik Iv 8e|ta. Christ is spoken of here as "being" at 
the right hand of God, cf. Rom. viii. 34. The phrase " sitting " 
comes from Ps. ex. (Matt. xxii. 44), but was used by our Lord 
Himself, Matt. xxvi. 64 ; Mark xiv. 62 ; Luke xxii. 69 ; cf. Eph. 
i. 20; Heb. i. 13, x. 12, xii. 2; Mark xvi. 19; Acts ii. 34 (where 
Ps. ex. is quoted by St. Peter). St. Stephen (Acts vii. 55, 56) saw 
the Son of Man " standing " at the right hand of God, as if He had 
risen from the throne to succour His dying servant; with this 
compare the story of Carpus in Ep. 8 of Dionysius the Areopagite. 
See also Dr. Milligan, The Ascension of our Lord, p. 58. 

TTopeuOels €15 oupav^i/. The Resurrection is distinguished from 
the Ascension, though the interval of time is not stated. 

UTTOTay^iTWi' auTw dyy^wi' Kal k%OMQ\.uiv Kai %\iv6.^^{iiv. "Angels 
and authorities and powers having been made subject unto Him." 

Cf. Rom. viii. 38, ovt€ ayycAot, ovre. apyo.iy ovt€ iviCTTioTa, out€ 
/xeWovra, ovre 8vvdfJLw;, ovre vij/cDfxa, ovre fSddos, ovre tis KTLcrL<s krepa : 
Eph. i. 21, VTrepdvo) 7rdcr7]<s apx^S kol i$ovcrLa<s koI Swa/xetos kol Kvpio- 
r7]TO<s . . . Kol iravra VTrera^ev ktX. : Col. ii. lO, K€cf>a\7] Traorr;? o.p^y'i 
Kol €$ovcrca<;. For the verb vTrordacrcLv cf. also i Cor. xv. 27; 
Heb. ii. 8 : its use was suggested by Ps. viii. 7, Trdvra vTreVa^as 
vTTo/caro) roiv ttoBwv avrov. See the Book of Enoch (ed. Charles, 
Ixi. 10; the passage comes just before one of the Noachic frag- 
ments which St. Peter may possibly have had in view in the 
preceding verses), " And He will call on all the host of the heavens, 
and all the holy ones above, and the host of God, the Cherubim, 
Seraphim, and Ophanim, and all the angels of power, and all the 
angels of principalities." This part of Enoch, Mr. Charles thinks, 
was written between b.c. 94-79, or more precisely between B.C. 
70-64. From some such source are derived the angelic divisions 
as they are given both by St. Peter and St. Paul. Enoch's phrase 
opens a question whether we ought not, in the present passage, to 
translate "angels both of authorities and of powers." The 
"authorities and powers" probably mean the departments of 
nature over which the several angelic orders bear sway. In the 
Book of Jubilees (ed. Charles, p. 5), the highest angels are those 
that stand before the Face, next come the angels of Glory, then 
angels of Winds, of Clouds and Darkness, of Snow, Hail, Frost, 
and so on. 

CHAP. IV. VERS. 1-3 167 

IV. 1. XpiaroO ovv iraOov'Tos . . , d)j,apTias. Here also K has 
airoOavovTOS virlp v/icov : A K L P add virlp rj/xiov after 7ra66vTO<s : 
BC have Tra^wros only. For dixapTLa<s B has d/^tapriais, and this 
appears to be the reading of the Aethiopic, Vulgate, and Peshito. 

ovv introduces the main lesson to be drawn from iii. 18-22. 
'OirXL^eorOai (one of St. Peter's a-n-a^ Xey6/x€va) is used here in its 
classical poetical sense ; cf. Soph. £/. 995, oTrAt^co-^at 6pdo-o<5. 
"Evvoia (Heb. iv. 12) is an idea, design, or resolve, that of suffering 
with patience. Here, again, Christus Fattens is our's. 
He suffered in the flesh and so must we ; of course, dya^oTrotoOvres 
or 8ta SiKaLoavvrjv is implied. But St. Peter goes on to add a very 
remarkable statement about this bodily suffering. It is not only 
xdpis irapa ©ew (ii. 20), or KpelrTov (iii. 17), but it also makes the man 
better. " For he who hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from 
sin." "On gives the reason for oTrXiaaa-Oe, HiiravraL is middle, not 
passive ; the meaning is, " he hath ceased to do evil," not " he hath 
been delivered from the power or guilt of sin." 'AfiapTia in i Peter 
always means " a sinful act." He that in meekness and fear hath 
endured persecution rather than join in the wicked ways of the 
heathen, can be trusted to do right; temptation has manifestly 
no power over him. St. Peter does not say that our guilt is taken 
away by our sufferings, or that Christ did not suffer for us all, or 
that our sufferings can do us any good, except in so far as they are 
borne for the love of Christ. These points do not here arise. The 
passage is not to be compared with Rom. vi. 7, 6 yap airoOaviiiv 
ScSiKatWat ttTTO T7J<s dfiaprtas. 

2. €is TO fjLT]K^Ti . . . xpoi'oi'- " So that he lives the rest of his 
time in the flesh no longer by the lusts of men, but by the will of 
God." Eis TO gives the result of TrcVavrai d/xaprtas, cf. Rom. i. 20, 
iv. 18, and other passages. If we take d<s to as "in order that" (cf. 
iii. 7 above), we must couple it with oirXLa-aa-de, and translate as 
R. V. " Arm yourselves with the same mind, that ye no longer should 
live." The article is used with the same easy correctness as in 
iii. 3. Btojo-at (used in LXX., not elsewhere in N.T.) is a classical 
verb, but the first aorist (familiar in the proverb XdOe ySiwo-as) is 
late; the Attic form is ySiwvai, see Cobet, JVbuae Zeaiones, p. 576. 
The datives eVt^u/Atat?, OeXrjfxaTL express the rule by which the man 
shapes his life. From this verse it is evident that iraB^iv o-apKt, as 
applied to the Christian, rather excludes than suggests the idea 
of death. The prospect of martyrdom is clearly not immediately 
present to the writer's mind. 

3. dpKETos Y'^'P • • • KaTcipydaOai. "For the time past may 
suffice to have wrought the wish of the Gentiles." After ydp 
C K L P have yipXv : N, the Coptic, and Aethiopic, r/ttv. For the 
construction of dpK^To^ cf. Antkol. Graeca, ix. 749, apKCTov otvif 
alOio-dai KpaSirjv' fX7] irvpl irvp lirayc. But a Greek would probably 


have written apK€To<i 6 irape\r]\v6(b<s XPOJ'o?, ev w . . . Kareipyaade : 
cf, Isocrates, Paneg. 75 D, iKavos yap 6 TrapcA-iyXu^cbs (;(povos), Iv <5 ri 
Tmv Sctvojv ov yeyovev ; BovX-qfxa is used, Rom. ix. 19, of the will of 
God ; here, in contrast to that will, it means the wish of heathen 
neighbours who would gladly see the Christians living the same 
kind of life as themselves. To ^ovXrjfxa rdv iOvdv is one of the 
phrases relied upon to show that the readers of the Epistle were 
themselves of Gentile birth, but this is not a necessary inference 
from the words. Lax Jews might, and very frequently did, adopt 
the evil ways of the heathen. Possibly St. Peter is thinking of 
passages such as 4 Kings xvii. 8, koI Irrop^vOrja-av tois 8tKai(o/xacrt toji/ 
kdv^v. St. Paul uses language which implies that the general 
morality of the Jews was little higher than that of the Gentiles, 
Rom. ii. 21-24, iii. 9-18; Eph. ii. 1-3; and ready to hand lie the 
instances of the Herods, Bernice, Drusilla, and the sons of Sceva, 
a chief priest (Acts xix. 14). There is a possibility again that yjplv 
really belongs to the text ; and if it does, the writer is certainly not 
addressing Gentile Christians only. 

ireiropeujjLeVous Iv is a Hebraism. The tense of the participle is 
adapted to that of KarcipydcrOaL, cf. ^avarw^ei?, ^woiroLrjOeLS in iii. 18. 
'Ao-cAycta in classical Greek means brutality, but is used by later 
writers specially of lasciviousness. The plural means either kinds 
or acts of lasciviousness. Olvo(f>\vyia is found in the LXX. Deut. 
xxi. 20, but not elsewhere in the New Testament. Kto/xoi (Rom. 
xiii. 13; Gal. v. 21) were revels, carousals, merry-makings, some- 
times private, sometimes public and religious. Plato regarded them 
with disapproval, as tending to foster the tyrannical licentious 
character, Pejf. 573 D, To pLera raCra eoprai ytyvovrat Trap* aurots 
Koi Kco/xoi Kot Odkeiat Kai kralpai koI to. TOiavra TrdvTa, uiv av "Epcos 
Tvpavvo<i evSov olkCjv SiaKv/Sepva ra Trj<» t/^X^^ diravTa : Theaet. 1 7 3 D, 
SetTTra Kttt (Tvv avXrjTpLCTL KoifxoL. At such revels the talk seems to 
have turned largely upon " Love," which is the theme of conversa- 
tion in the Syfnposium. By philosophers and poets such a subject 
might be handled as it is by Socrates and his friends; in other 
cases " Love " would signify 7rdvSr]p.o<s 'A^poSixTy. Even the excel- 
lent Plutarch thought that it was absurd to be squeamish over wine, 
and that it was not only excusable, but a religious duty, to let 
tongues go ; the gods required this compliment to their mythological 
characters. Qiiaest. Conuiu. vii. 7, Ei yap oAXore p-dXta-Ta S-^ ttov 
Trapa ttotov irpoa-rraia-Tiov eo-ri tovtol'; koX Soreov eh ravra tw ®€(3 
Tr]v if/vx^v- Among the Romans comissari, comissator^ comissatio 
are words which imply debauchery, and carry with them a strong 
moral disapproval (see references in Facciolati). Except in so far 
as they were corrupted by Greek ideas, and this in Imperial times 
is a large exception, the Romans did not regard lust and drunken- 
ness as acts of religious observance. 

CHAP. IV. VER. 4 169 

d0€fAiTois ctSuXoXarpeiais. "Unlawful idolatries." In Acts x. 
28, the only other place where d^e/Atros occurs in the New Testament, 
it is used by St. Peter of that which is forbidden by the law of 
Moses ; and this is probably the meaning here. In classical Greek 
it means " forbidden by ^c/tis," by the natural law of reason and 
conscience. This is the sense adopted by R.V., which translates 
" abominable idolatries." The question is of importance, because, 
if the meaning is " unlawful," St. Peter would seem to be addressing 
Jews, if " abominable," then Gentiles. Many Jews fell into idolatry, 
like Alexander, the nephew of Philo; and many more would be 
contaminated by conniving at it. See, for a striking example of 
this fact, the magical formula given by Deissmann, Bibelstudien, 
p. 26 sqq., Eng. trans, p. 274, which must have been composed by a 
Jew. Nor need St. Peter be taken to mean that all his readers had 
joined in idol worship. The phrase forms the chief argument of 
those who maintain that the Epistle was directed to Gentile readers. 
But, upon the whole, the most natural supposition is that among the 
Asiatic Christians were both Gentiles and Jews, and that St. Peter 
uses words that touch sometimes one, sometimes the other, some- 
times all alike. 

4. kv (S i^vitovTai . . . pXaor<|)T]fjiout'T€s. "Wherein they are 
amazed that ye run not with them into the same pool of reckless- 
ness, blaspheming." 'Ev w, " in which thing," " in which manner 
of life" (iv acreXyeiaLS ktX.), should be taken with crvvTp€x6vT(i>v. 
The reason of the amazement is given by the genitive absolute, and 
ievC^eaOai iv rivi is hardly a possible construction. Just below, 
iv. 12, the verb is followed by the simple dative. Hevi^eir, which 
properly means "to entertain a guest," is used in later Greek in the 
sense of "to astonish"; cf. Acts xvii. 20. This "amazement" was 
a fruitful source of persecution. The Christians were compelled to 
stand aloof from all the social pleasures of the world, and the 
Gentiles bitterly resented their puritanism, regarding them as the 
enemies of all joy, and therefore of the human race. An instructive 
passage will be found in Minucius Felix, xii. 

lurrpe'xeii' expresses the blind haste of the wicked man who rushes 
headlong on his pleasure; cf. Rom. iii. 15, "their feet are swift to 
shed blood." 'Ao-corta (Eph. v. 18 ; Tit. i. 6) in Aristotle {Eth. Nic. 
iv. I. 3) is opposed to ^etSw, and signifies the utter recklessness in 
expenditure of the d/coAao-ros, who has lost all self-control. A good 
instance is to be found in the Prodigal Son. 'Avaxuons (not found 
elsewhere in the Greek Bible) means "a pouring out, " "effusion"; 
hence any broadening of water, such as an estuary or a marsh, caused 
by the overflow of a river. In Virg. Aen. vi. 107, "tenebrosa palus 
Acheronte refuse," Heyne explains refuso by a.v(V)(yQkvTo^. Kiihl 
refers to Aelian, de an. xvi. 15, and Script, graec. apud Luper. in 
Harpocr. Suidas, however, gives /SXaKeca, l/cXvo-i? as synonyms, as 


if the word had taken a physical meaning, of the pouring out or 
loosening of fibre, hence of "dissoluteness." 

^kacr^y)fjLovvT(.s, " blasphemers that they are," comes with great 
force at the end of the clause, so as to form a strong basis for the 
following words. BXao-^Ty/actv in classical Greek has a weaker and 
a stronger use, of calumniating man or God ; the difference Ues, not 
in the verb itself, but in the object. In Tit. iii. 2 it means merely 
"to calumniate," but it is always a stronger word than KaraXaXetv 
or AoiSopetj/, and brings out the wickedness of calumny (cf. Rom. 
iii. 8; i Cor. iv. 13, x. 30; i Tim. i. 20). It is used of the Jews 
who reviled our Lord (Matt, xxvii. 39), and in many passages means 
what we call "blasphemy," contumely against God (Matt. ix. 3, 
xxvi. 65). In the present passage the run of the sense shows that 
it bears this stronger meaning. The charges made by the heathen 
were not only false, but turned the Christian faith into impiety, the 
Christian virtue into vice, and involved a different and blasphemous 
idea of God. 

6. ot diroScoo-oucTt \6yov. " But they shall give account to Him 
that is ready to judge quick and dead." For the sudden vehement 
use of 01, compare Rom. iii. 8, wv to Kptfia evSiKov ecrru 'ATroStSovac 
\6yov, "to render an account to a master or judge," "to stand 
trial," generally with the implication that defence is not easy (Matt, 
xii. 36; Luke xvi. 2; Acts xix. 40; Heb. xiii. 17), is to be dis- 
tinguished from Xoyov aireiv or BiBovai (iii. 15 above). 'Erotficos: 
the Judge is ready ; cf. aoiTrjpLav hoLjxrjv aTroKa\v<t>67]vai, i. 5, and 
^yytKe just below. The Judge is not here named. Above, i. 17, 
He is the Father; but St. Peter connects the judgment with the 
Revelation of Jesus Christ, i. 13, and with the appearance of the 
Chief Shepherd, v. 4. 

6. €is TouTo yo^P 'fO'^i I'CKpois €UT)YYeXia0T). "For this is the 
reason why the gospel was preached (not only to living, but) also 
to dead, that, after they had been judged like men in flesh, they 
should live Hke God in spirit." Tap introduces an explanation of 
the words immediately preceding. He is ready to judge quick and 
dead ; for soon the living will have heard, and the dead have already 
heard the gospel. " Paratus est Judex ; nam euangelio praedicato 
nil nisi finis restat," Bengel. NcKpots must be taken in the obvious 
sense of the word ; they were dead at the time when the announce- 
ment was made. Further, it must have the same sense as in ^oii/Tas 
/cat vcKpovs, that is to say, it must include all the dead, not merely 
those who perished in the Flood. 'EtvrjyyiXia-Orj is impersonal ; but, 
if St. Peter had meant that the agent was any other than Christ, 
he must have said so expressly. The difference of tense in Kpi^wat, 
^oio-t, makes the former verb antecedent in time to the latter, and 
the sense is the same as if St. Peter had written Iva KpiOivn^ ^(oo-l. 
Judgment in the flesh is death (cf. the passage from Enoch, quoted 

CHAP. IV. VER. 6 171 

on iii. 19 above, where the Deluge is spoken of as a first judgment 
to be followed by a second, " when the name of the Son of Man 
will be revealed unto them"). Death is that penalty which all 
men alike must pay. Kara has the same force as in i. 15. Thus 
we get a complete antithesis, /cpt^aio-t answering to t,S)(n, Kara 
dvOpiOTTov^ to Kara ©cov, crapKL to TrvevfxaTL, Life like God in spirit 
is blessed life ; the object of the preaching was the salvation of the 
dead ; but St. Peter does not say, and probably does not mean, that 
the object was in all cases attained. The idea seems to be that 
God will not judge any man finally till the whole truth has been 
revealed to him. If this interpretation is right, the "preaching" 
is the same that was spoken of in iii. 1 9, but the audience here 
includes all those who had died before the Descent into Hell, 
whether saints or sinners; for, if those who rjirdO-qaav before the 
Deluge heard the Word, those who were disobedient afterwards 
cannot have been shut out. 

The meaning of the passage has been much debated. Augustine, 
Cyril, Bede, Erasmus, Luther, and others took veKpol to mean 
" those who were dead in trespasses and sins," the spiritually dead, 
or more especially the Gentiles (Matt. viii. 22; Eph. ii. i; Col. 
ii. 13) ; but it is impossible to suppose that St. Peter used the same 
word twice, almost in the same breath, in two different senses. 
Bengel explained v^Kpoi of those first Christians who were dead in 
St. Peter's time, giving the word the sense of " those who are' now 
dead." This explanation was suggested by his belief that it was im- 
possible for Christ to have preached to the dead. " Quum corpus in 
morte exuitur, anima uel in malam uel in bonam partem plane figitur. 
Euangelium nulli post mortem praedicatur." But the same sense 
has been given to vc/cpot by a number of modern commentators. 
Von Soden thinks that ver. 6 is intended as a comfort, and that 
St. Peter is replying to a difficulty indirectly suggested by his words 
in the preceding sentence. God will soon judge both quick and 
dead. " Yes," the Christian reader might say, " the blasphemer will 
have his recompense. But how will this avail our friends who have 
died in the midst of suffering ? " Even for them, the apostle answers, 
the thought of the judgment is full of consolation ; for this is the 
very reason why the gospel was preached to our departed brethren, 
that after death they might have eternal life. This explanation 
makes our passage nearly parallel in sense to i Thess. iv. 13-18, 
but a glance at St. Paul's words in that place will show how differ- 
ently St. Peter must have expressed himself, if this had been his 
meaning. Further, on this hypothesis he would surely have written 
Tots reOvrjKocTL or rots KeKOLfxirjixevoL^, not vcKpots. Hofmann gives 
vcKpoLs the same signification, but regards the verse as a word of 

menace, making ydp refer to ftkacr<f>r]fxovvTe<; ot aTroBwaovo-i. Xoyov. 

In this case the sense will be, " Let not the blasphemer think that, 


if he escapes punishment in this life, he has escaped altogether, 
For this is why the gospel was preached to those who are now dead 
in order that (if they listened) they might have eternal life (but if 
they refused to listen, might heap up to themselves further con- 
demnation)." But here we have to make a large and arbitrary 
parenthesis to get the sense which Hofmann desires, and the 
objections to this meaning of ve/cpois remain. 

In very early times the ev7]yy eXiardrj of iv. 6 was distinguished 
from the iKrjpv^ev of iii. 19 and ascribed not to Christ, but to the 
apostles; see Hermas, Sim. ix. 16. 5-7; Clem. Alex. Strom, vi. 6. 
45, 46. This view was only rendered possible by the impersonality 
of ev-r^yyeXla-Oy], and is quite fanciful. Further, Hermas, Clement, 
Irenaeus (iv. 22. i, 2), and Ignatius {Magn. ix. 3) restrict the 
preaching to the just, guided probably by the mention of the 
"saints" in Matt, xxvii. 52. But, as noticed above, the use of 
cLTreLOrjo-acnv in iii. 20 seems clearly to imply that in St. Peter's 
belief the offer was made to all, though some might reject the 
light in Hades, as many do reject it in this world. 

7. irdi'TOJi/ 8e to t^Xos r^YyiKei/. " But the end of all things has 
drawn near." The "but" introduces a new train of thought 
suggested by the mention of the judgment. It has drawn near, 
and there is increased need for watchfulness and prayer. The day 
is near {eTot/xrjv, i. 5 ; oXiyov dpri, i. 6 ; tw iTOLjxo)<s €)(ovtl, iv. 5 ; cf. 
Jas. V. 8; Phil. iv. 5; Apoc. xxii. 12). It is nearer than it was 
(Rom. xiii. 11), but it is not imminent (ovk kvicrrrjKiv, 2 Thess. ii. 2) ; 
it will not come without warning; men are not to neglect their 
duties, or fall into panic terror. There is a close similarity here 
between St. Peter, Mark xiv. 38 (ypTyyopeirc koX Trpoaevx^aOe), and 
Luke xxi. 36 (dypvTrvetre Sk iv Travrl Kaip(a Scofxevoi). For vqif/are cf. 
i. 13, V. 8; I Thess. v. 6; Luke xxi. 34. It may be noticed that 
St. Peter says nothing about the signs of the end. Even in 2 Peter, 
where the Parousia is so immediately in question, this subject is not 
touched except in so far as the Mockers (2 Pet. iii. 3) belong to the 
Last Days. Neither the apostle nor his readers can have felt any 
interest in these speculations. They were rife at Thessalonica. 
From the second century onwards, there were repeated attempts to 
fix a date for the end of the world; see Alexandre, Oracula Sibyllina^ 
ii. p. 485 sqq. 

8. Tf\v eis cauTous o.->^6.Tr(\v eKxei^ exoin-€s. "Cherishing love 
which is fervent towards one another." 'Ektcv^ is marked as predi- 
cate by the position of the article. " Amor iam praesupponitur, ut 
sit uehemens praecipitur," Bengel; cf. i. 22, aXkriKov<i dyaTTTyo-are 
€KTcj/(o?. Both there and here Kiihl would give iKTev-^'s the sense of 
" persistent." The easy rapid connexion of the following sentences 
with the imperative by participle and adjective €x^vTe<5, <^tXo^ei/oi, 
8iaKovovvT€<i is found also ii. i8-iii. 8 above. 'AyaTnj cis iavrov^ (to 

CHAP. IV. VERS. 9, lO 173 

yourselves = to one another ; for this use of the reflexive, which is 
not unclassical, see Blass, p. 169) is the ^lAa^eA^ta of i. 22. 

&ydiTr\ KaXuirrci ttXtjOos djxapTiwi'. "Charity covers," or "atones 
for a multitude of sins." In Prov. x. 12 the LXX. has fuaos iyelp^L 
vcLKOSf TrdvTas 8c tovs /jlt) cf>L\ov€tKovvTas KaXvTTTeL cfuXia. The sense 
of the Hebrew is, " Hatred stirreth up strifes, but love covereth all 
transgressions." St. Peter's version is nearer to the Hebrew than 
that of the LXX. The meaning of the Hebrew is that, while hatred 
stirs up strife by dragging the faults of others to light, charity covers 
them up and hides them. This, however, can hardly be the sense 
here, and certainly cannot be in Jas. v. 20, 6 eTrto-rpci/^as 
e/c TrXdvf]^ 68ov avrov crwcrei if/v^rp/ ck Oavdrov, kol KaXv\}/eL TrX.rj6o<s 
dfxafynoyv. In this latter passage " cover " must signify " cover from 
the sight of God," " make atonement for," — a sense suggested by 
Ps. xxxi. (xxxii.) I, fiaKdpioi wv d<f>eO'q(rav al dvofudt kol wv €7reKaA.v- 
<f>67](Tav at dfxapTiaif and Other passages where the verb Kipper is used 
(see Cheyne, Isaiah^ ii. p. 210, «.) ; and this appears to be the meaning 
of St. Peter also. The love of Christ covers sins (Luke vii. 47) ; 
and love of the brethren, flowing as it does from the love of Christ, 
may be regarded as a kind of secondary atonement. Brother 
becomes a Christ to brother, and, in so far as he renews the great 
Sacrifice, becomes a partaker in its effects and a channel through 
which the effects are made operative for others. If there is any 
connexion here between St. James and St. Peter, it is clear that the 
former is the borrower, for the connexion of his phrase with the 
verse of Proverbs can only be made clear by taking the phrase of 
the latter as a help. If St. Peter had not first written dyd-Kf] koXvtvt^i 
TrXrjOo^ dfmpTLuyv, St. James never could have said that he who con- 
verteth a sinner KaXvif/ei TrXrjOo's dfxapTLuiv. 

9. <|)iX6|€Koi. By hospitality is not meant the giving of feasts, 
but the reception, entertainment, and relief of travellers. Inns 
were rare and little used, though we read of them in two passages 
of St. Luke's Gospel, ii. 7, x. 34. The entertainment of strangers 
was specially enjoined by our Lord (Matt. xxv. 35). It was to be 
practised without asking questions, for thus angels might be enter- 
tained unawares (Heb. xiii. 2) ; but became a stringent obligation 
in the case of brethren, especially if they were travelling on the 
affairs of the Church (Acts x. 6, xxi. 16), and injunctions to hospi- 
tality are frequent (Rom. xii. 13; i Tim. iii. 2, v. 10; Tit. i. 8; 
3 John 5). Indeed, without a liberal practice of this virtue, the 
missions of the Church would have been impossible. 

10. cKacTTos KaOojs eXa^e xcipto-M-a- "As each hath received a 
gift ministering it to one another." St. Peter does not speak of 
miraculous xapia-fxaja, of healings, or miracles, or prophecy, or 
discerning of spirits, or tongues, or interpretations (i Cor. xii. 9, 10). 
Throughout the Epistle he lets fall no word to show that these 


extraordinary gifts of the Spirit existed among the Diaspora, or that 
he himself attached any importance to them. Here, where the 
injunction to hospitality so closely precedes, it would seem that 
money, the means of hospitality, is regarded as a xapto-z-tct. 

oiKovofjioi. St. Paul uses "steward" of himself (i Cor. iv. i), 
and of the Bishop (Tit. i. 7). Here every Christian is a steward. 
There may be a reference to Matt. xxiv. 45, where, as here, the 
mention of the good steward follows immediately on that of the 
Second Coming. For Trot/ctA-T^s see note on i. 6. Xa/ois is here 
the bounty of God, of which the xc^ptV/jtara are the component 

11. €1 Tis XaXei, ws Xoyia OeoC. " If any man speak, speaking as 
the oracles of God." The article is omitted, as with ypacfiYj, ii. 6 ; 
but, if it be thought necessary to mark the omission, we may 
translate " as oracles of God speak," that is to say, " as Scripture 
speaks," with sincerity and gravity. The Christian's talk is to be 
modelled on the Bible. The verb A-aXctv might be used of speaking 
with tongues or of prophecy (i Cor. xiv. 2, 4), but not without a 
defining addition. Words reveal the character, and should always 
be "words of grace," whether addressed to the heathen (the airoXoyia 
of iii. 15) or to the brethren. We may compare Jas. iii. ; Matt. 
xii. 37. Aoyia means Scripture. The word originally signifies 
" oracles," and was borrowed from Greek heathenism by Jews and 
Christians. To, Xoyta sometimes means specially the Ten Com- 
mandments (Aristeas in Eus. Praep. Eu. viii. 9. 27 ; Acts vii. 38 ; 
Philo in Eus. H. E. ii. 18. 5 ; Basil, de S. S. xiii. 30). Philo, how- 
ever, uses Xoyta or xPV^f^^^ of all the writings of Moses, the only 
portion of Scripture of which he expressly treats. Ovk ayvod fxev 
ovv, (1)9 iravra eicrt -^rjo-ixot, ocra iv rats lepat? (3l^X.ol<s yiyparrraL, 
)^r](r6ivr€<; Be avrov — immediately after this he employs the word 
Xoyta, Vifa Mosi's, iii. 23 (ii. 163). In the De Praemiis et Foents, i 
(ii. 408), he says that there were three species of " the Xo'yta given 
by the prophet Moses," the cosmogonical, the historical, and the 
legislative. When he speaks of " the Xoyta given by the prophet 
Moses," he implies that there were other Xoyta given by other 
prophets, and as he expressly applies the word " oracles " to the 
narrative portions of Scripture, it would seem that the Xoyta in his 
view include the whole Hebrew Bible. Though he deals at large 
only with the Mosaic books, he quotes freely from the historical 
books, from Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, Jonah, 
Zechariah. In Rom. iii. 2 ; Heb. v. 12, ra Xo'yta means the Hebrew 
Bible. As Christian writings gained currency and authority the 
same title was extended to them ; see Clem. Rom. xiii., xix., liii., 
Ixii., and 2 Clem. xiii. When Polycarp speaks of ra Xoyta tov KvpCov 
as including the history of the Resurrection (Phil, vii.), he means 
the Gospels, and embraces under the term not only the words of 

CHAP. IV. VER. II 175 

our Lord, but the narrative ; and there can be little doubt that 
Xoyia KvpLaKo. was used in the same sense by Papias (Eus. H. E. iii. 
39. I, 16). Ephrem Syrus, according to Photius, divided the New 
Testament into Kvpia/ca Aoyta and dTroo-roXiKa KrjpvyixaTa, and it is 
probable that all the earlier writers restricted Aoyta to the Gospels. 
Eusebius, however, uses ro \6yiov of a historical passage in Acts 
{H. E. ii. 10. i), and in his time the word denotes all Holy Scripture, 
Jewish or Christian. Socrates {H. E. iii. 20) calls the prophecy 
that not one stone of the temple should be left upon another to 
Tov '%ii>Trjpo<: Aoytov, the " oracle," or " prediction " of Christ. This 
is an unusual but quite proper use of the word. The meaning of 
Xoyta has been much disputed : the reader may consult Heinichen's 
note on Eus. H. E. iii. 19. 15; Lightfoot, Essays on Supernatural 
Religion, p. 1 7 2 sqq. ; Salmon, Introduction to the New Testament, 
p. 98 sqq. ; Weiss, Lehrbuch der Einleitung, pp. 486 sqq., 492 sqq., 
and the Introductions generally. 

The R. V. translates our passage, " If any man speak, speaking 
as it were oracles of God," taking Aoyia as accusative ; and many 
commentators follow Bengel in this mode of explaining the words. 
There are, however, serious objections to this rendering. In the 
first place, we must give different senses to ws after StaKovovj/T€s and 
after AaAct: in the former case it will represent ut, in the latter 
quasi or tanquam. But, further, what tolerable sense can be 
gathered from the words "as it were oracles of God"? Dean 
Alford, who follows the same construction as R.V., thinks that the 
admonition is addressed to the prophet, and that what St. Peter 
means is that the prophet "is to speak what he does speak as 
God's sayings (oracles), not as his own." But AaXetv alone cannot 
signify AoAetv Iv TrvevfULrij and who would exhort a prophet to speak 
as if his utterances were not his own, when this is the very essence 
of all prophecy ? Or, if it be supposed that the teacher is meant, 
how could he be recommended to speak quasi-oracles ? It is the 
very thing that a teacher ought to avoid. 

€1 Tis StttKoi'ei. All Christians are "ministers," as was the Son 
of Man (Matt. xx. 28, xxiii. 11). They are to render their services 
not by way of patronage, with any show or feeling of superiority, 
but "as of strength which God supplies," with humble acknow- 
ledgment that all their power of doing good is given by God. ■^s is 
in Attic attraction ; other instances will be found in Bruder. 

IVa iv Traori So^d^TiTai 6 0e6s Sid 'lYjaou Xpioroo. On the apostolic 
doxologies (Gal. i. 5; Rom. xi. 36, xvi. 27; Phil. iv. 20; Eph. iii. 
21; I Tim, i. 17, vi. 16; 2 Tim. iv. 18; Heb. xiii. 21; i Pet. iv. 
II, V. II : 2 Pet. iii. 18; Jude 25 ; Apoc. i. 6, v. 13, vii. 12) see 
Westcott, Hebrews, p. 464 ; Bingham, xiv. 2. i ; Hooker, EccL Pol 
V. 42. 7. Glory is given to God " through Christ " in three (Rom. 
xvi. 27 ; I Pet. iv. 11 ; Jude 25 ; so also in Clem. Rom. Iviii.). In 


later times this became an Arian watchword ; see Basil, de S. 6". i. 3 ; 
Socrates, i. 21 ; Theodoret, ii. 23. 

uiia-r\.v ^ 8(J^a. The collocation of the words is rightly considered 
by Hofmann and von Soden to show that the doxology is addressed 
to Christ, as are those in 2 Tim. iv. 18 ; 2 Pet. iii. 18 ; Apoc. i. 6. 
It is hardly to be supposed that any serious writer would lay himself 
open to misunderstanding on so grave a point, when by merely 
throwing back the words 8ta 'Ir^crov Xpia-ToC he could have prevented 
all possibility of mistake. The same remark will apply to Heb. xiii. 
20, 21. The Christian doxologies, except that in 2 Pet. iii. 18 (for 
the Jewish form see i. 3), end with Amen. Our Lord used this 
word, in a manner peculiar to Himself, to afifirm His own utterances, 
not those of another person ; and this usage was adopted by the 
Church. See Dalman, Worte Jesu, p. 185. Dr. Chase says that 
the addition of Amen marks the formula as liturgical, The Lord^s 
Prayer in the Early Churchy p. 170. 

12. jXT) ^€i/i^e(766 . . . ws %ivQ\} ufJLiK o'UfJi|3ait'oi'Tos. " Be not 
amazed by the fiery trial in your midst, since it is sent to prove 
you, as though some amazing thing were happening to you." 
IIvpcDo-ts is used Apoc. xviii. 9, 18, of the conflagration which 
devours Babylon. Here, however, the allusion is to the fire by 
which gold is tested, and the word is probably taken from Prov. 
xxvii. 21, SoKLfXLOv apyvpLca kol XP^^^ Trupcoo-ts : cf. Ps. xvi. (xvii.) 3, 
cTrupcoo-as. See i. 7 above. What St. Peter desires to bring out is 
not so much the fierceness of the heat and the pain, as the refining 
power of fire. " Trial by fire " would perhaps be a better transla- 
tion than "fiery trial." On ievL^eaOaL see iv. 4. The participle 
yLvoixivrj without article is adverbial. 

13. xalp^re. Even now the Christian may rejoice in the thought 
that he is a partaker in the sufferings of his Master ; but dyaXXtao-ts, 
exultation, rapture, is reserved for the Revelation. Compare i. 6-9. 
" Partake in suffering " is a phrase which seems to imply that the 
Christian not only suffers like Christ, but that his sufferings produce 
in their degree the same result as Christ's. The same thought, as 
von Soden points out, is involved in the section iii. 1 7-iv. 6. 

14. €1 6»'6i8il^€(T0€ ei' oi'ofxaTt Xpio-Tov jxttKcipioi. " If ye are re- 
proached in (in the matter of, for, or, possibly, by) the Name of 
Christ, blessed are ye." There is a striking resemblance here to 
Matt. v. II, 12, [xaKapioi ecrre orav ovciStVwcrt vfxag /cat Sico^cocrt, Kai 
€t7ro)(T irav irovrjpov /ca^' vfxwv if/evSo/JievoL eve/ccv i/mov. Xaipere kol 

ayaXkiaa-Oe. For fxaKapioi see note on iii. 14. This is the only 
passage in the New Testament where ovo/xa Xpio-rov occurs. Else- 
where we find ovo/Jia }Lvpiov, ^l-qcrov, ^Irjcrov J^piarov, rov K.vpLOv Irjcrov 
Xptrrrou, rov Kvptov ^Irjaov, rov Kvpiov rjfjLU)v Irjcrov 'KpiCTTOv, St. Peter 

constantly uses "Christ" alone; but there is a special reason for 
his doing so here, where he is leading up to " Christian." Suffering 

CHAP. IV. VER. 15 177 

foi the Name is a common phrase, cf. Matt xix. 29; Acts v. 41, 
ix. 16, xxi. 13. The most serious and pressing form of suffering as 
yet is reproach, not imprisonment or death, cf. ii. 12. 

oTi TO TTJs 8o^T)s . . . dmiraueTai. " Because the Spirit of glory 
and of God resteth upon you." The phrase is from Is. xi. 2, koL 
di/aTraverat eV avTov Trvevixa tov ©eov. The article is repeated with 
great emphasis, "the Spirit of glory, yes, the Spirit of God." He 
is the Spirit who enables us to glorify God through suffering. He 
rests upon the Christian as the Shechinah rested on the tabernacle, 
and brings a foretaste (cf. x^^P^ SeSo^aajxivr], i. 8) of that glory which 
is fully given at the Revelation. The Spirit of glory is a spirit of 
power ; through this power the conduct of the Christian puts his 
adversaries to shame (iii. 16), and his words are unanswerable. 
Ao^a is here selected as the attribute of the Spirit, because of the 
preceding oveLBt^eo-Oe : the Spirit turns reproach into glory. St. 
Peter cannot mean " the temper of glory and of God " ; see note on 
iii. 4. Here, as elsewhere, by Spirit he means spiritual being or ghost. 
How he would, if challenged on the point, have distinguished the 
Ghost (i. 2), the Ghost of Christ (i. 11), the Ghost of God, is not 
easy to say, but we must allow the chain of later belief its due 

15. wg <|>ov€us, ^ K\€irnf)S, r\ KaKOTTOios, r\ a>s dWoTpioeirtaKOTros. 
"As a murderer, or a thief, or an evil-doer, or as meddling with 
things forbidden." Ilao-xetv is simply "to suffer"; the verb does 
not define the nature of the suffering, nor the manner, whether by 
legal process or otherwise, in which it is inflicted. $oj/€ug, a 
murderer, in the ordinary sense of the word. We are not to dis- 
cern here an allusion to the charges of child- slaying and canni- 
bahsm brought against Christians at a later date. A Christian 
might quite well be guilty of murder. The times were wild, and 
conversions must often have been imperfect. According to 
Apollonius, one Alexander, a Montanist, was condemned for 
brigandage (Eus. If. E. v. 18. 9). Clement of Alexandria tells of 
a favourite disciple of St. John who became captain of a band of 

robbers ; Xyarrapxo^ -^v /JtaioTaro?, ixiaL(^ov<jiTaTO<i, xaXeTrbiTaTO<;, 

Q. D. S. 42. There were men in the Apostolic Church who had 
been KXiirTai, and were still in danger of falling back into evil ways, 
see I Cor. vi. 10 ; Eph. iv. 28. For KaKoiroios see note on ii. 12. 

aXXoTpLoeTTLo-Koiros is a word not found elsewhere, and probably 
coined by St. Peter. How easily it could be formed is shown by 
the passage quoted by Zahn from Epictetus, iii. 22. 97, ov yap ra 

aXXorpia TToXvrrpayixovei (6 kvvlk6<;), orav ra avOpoiTTLva eTTLO-KOTrrj. The 
exact meaning is not certain, but, as the compound must signify 
" one who busies himself about ra aXXorpLa," we can classify and 
compare the different senses which are possible. 

I. dAAoTptos may mean "that which belongs to another," and 


has been supposed to refer (a) to other people's money, — hence 
the Vulgate has alienorum appetitor ; Calvin and Beza, alieni cupidus. 
But eTTto-KOTTos can hardly mean " one who covets," — ib) to other 
people's affairs generally. Thus in Tertullian, Scorpiace^ 12, the 
old Latin version has aliefii speculator; A.V. "a busybody"; R.V. 
" a meddler in other men's matters." In this way we get a tenable 
sense for cTrtV/coTro?, but meddlesomeness seems a trivial offence to 
be ranked in such a list as that given here. Yet TroXv-n-payiJioo-vvr] 
was regarded as a high social misdemeanour, and a Christian might 
give great offence by ill-timed protests against common social 
customs, such as the use of garlands, or of " meat offered to idols " 
at dinner parties. The word might even be so understood as to 
convey a reproof of all needless defiance of paganism, such as that 
of the Christian who would strike with his stick the statue of a god 
in the open market-place; see Origen, contra Celsum, vii. 36, 62, 
viii. 35, 38, 39, 41; Minucius Felix, 8; Tert. de Idol. 11 ; ad 
uxorem^ ii. 5 ; Prudentius, Trcpt ore^. iii. 130. The Church always 
discouraged these extravagances of zeal. 

2. dA-Aorpios may also mean that which is " foreign to a man's 
character," and from this point of view, again, two different explana- 
tions are possible, {a) The Christian may here be warned against 
conduct which " does not befit him as a citizen." *AXXoTpio7rpaydv 
(see Liddell and Scott) was used like TroXvirpayixoveLv in a political 
sense ( = nouas res moliri). It is just possible that St. Peter is here 
admonishing his readers against sedition, and repeating in another 
form the advice given above, ii. 13. 

Under this head will fall the explanation given by Professor 
Ramsay {Church in the Roman Empire, pp. 293 note, 348 note), 
who thinks " that the word refers to the charge of tampering with 
family relationships, causing disunion and discord, rousing discon- 
tent and disobedience, and so on." 

{b) But it seems best to understand dXA-orpios as referring to 
things "which do not befit a Christian." The word is constantly 
used in the LXX. for " outlandish," " unlawful," " heathen," thus 
we have ©eoi dAAorpiot frequently ; irvp oXkorpiov, Lev. x. i ; Num. 
iii. 4; ihia-fiara aXXoTpia, Sir. xl. 29; of. Justin, Trypho, 30, d co-tiv 
oAAorpta ttJs ^€oo-€^€ias rov ©eoO. There were many trades which 
the heathen themselves regarded as disgraceful, those of the lanista, 
the leno, the histrio, and so on. Almost all trades were intimately 
allied with heathenism ; every object might be adorned with images 
of gods (Tert. de Idol. 3). A Christian might even be a mathe- 
maticus (Tert. de Idol. 9) : indeed there were innumerable ways in 
which he might be drawn into the gravest inconsistencies, and 
many so-called Christians lived half-heathen lives, as we learn 
from Hermas and Tertullian. Such conformity to heathen customs 
would bring upon the Christian the charge of hypocrisy or cowardice, 

CHAP. IV. VER. 1 6 179 

and this charge carries with it penalties which the pagans would 
take delight in making as severe as possible. 

It will be observed that the meanings given under (2) are not 
mutually exclusive and may possibly all be right. The repetition 
of (1)5 before dAAorptoeTrio-KOTros seems to show that St. Peter is not 
adding another offence, but summing up all possible offences in a 
comprehensive et cetera. " Neither as murderer, nor thief, nor evil- 
doer generally, nor, in a word, as a bad Christian." The movement 
of thought is from particular to general, from special crimes to all 
lawlessness and immorality, and from this again to all actions for- 
bidden by the still wider rule of the faith. 

16. €1 8e ws Xpicrriai'os. " But if he suffers as a Christian, let 
him not be ashamed." fc< has xp>?crTtctvos, B xp^to-rtavos. Possibly 
we might translate " as a Chrtstite" or " as a Chresiian" for it may 
be that St. Peter uses the word here as a nickname given to the 
"brethren" by Gentile scorn. If it had been in common use 
among the members of the Church, St. Paul could hardly have 
avoided some reference to the fact in i Cor. i. 13. The name 
Christian was first given to the brethren at Antioch (Acts xi. 26), 
probably at the time when St. Luke notices its emergence, during 
the year which St. Paul spent in that city (about a.d. 43). A 
Gentile Church had been formed there by Barnabas and Paul; this 
new development would excite attention, and the word was coined 
probably by the Gentile Antiochenes who were notorious for their 
factions, biting tongues, and ingenuity in framing party epithets. 
The Jewish nickname for the disciples of Christ was Na^topatot 
(Acts xxiv. 5). The word Christian is of Latin formation; it is 
made upon the analogy of many party names which appeared 
during the civil wars, Sullani, Mariani, Caesariani, Pompeiani, and 
so on. But this Roman fashion had been caught up by the 
Greeks ; thus in the Gospels we find 'HpooStaj/ot. St. Luke's words, 
" the disciples were first called Christians at Antioch," imply that 
the name rapidly became current, and it was used by Agrippa 
(Acts xxvi. 28). By a.d. 64 it was in the mouth of the populace in 
Rome (Tac. Ann. xv. 44; Suet., iV^/-^, 16), and possibly it is to be 
found among some mutilated and obscure words scribbled on a 
wall in Pompeii before a.d. 79 (a facsimile of them will be found 
in Aub^, Histoire de VAglise^ i. p. 417). By the time of Ignatius 
it had been completely accepted by the Church (Eph. xi. 2 ; 
Rom. iii. ; Polycarp, vii.). Either it had lost its original reproach, 
as has been the case with many other nicknames, such as Whig 
and Tory, or it was embraced for the very reason that it had not 
lost it. 

The true original form of the nickname is doubtful. Professor 
Blass, following the authority of the Sinaitic MS. (which gives the 
same spelling in both passages of Acts and here), thinks that it 


was Chrestianus. Chrestus (Good) was a proper name familiar to 
Gentile ears (it is found thirteen times in the Corpus Inscriptionum 
Atticarum, and in Suetonius, Claudius^ 25, we find "impulsore 
Chresto "), while Christus was an unknown word. Chrestianus was 
certainly in common use among the Gentiles (Justin, Apol. i. 55; 
Tert Apol. 3), but TertuUian implies that this form was not 
universal. Lactantius (/. D. i. 4) ascribes it to ignorance, but this 
does not touch the point. It is very possible that Professor Blass is 
right ; at the same time it should be observed that the difference of 
sound between Xptcmai/os, XpTyo-rtavos, and Xpeto-navos (the reading 
of B) would be imperceptible, and that the two latter spellings may 
be merely instances of Etacism. Theories have been built upon 
this interesting word affecting both the date of i Peter and the 
historical character of Acts. It has been found possible to main- 
tain that the term " Christian " originated in Rome not before the 
time of Trajan. The reader will find the literature on the subject 
given in the article on Christian in Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible, 

(i^ aioxuv^crQw- If St. Peter had been preparing his readers for 
martyrdom he must have used much stronger language ; of. Heb. 
X- 38, 39, xi. 35-37, xii. 4. The sufferings which a Christian 
may have to undergo do not, as a rule, extend beyond reproach 
and insult (ovctSi^co-^ai), or cause any worse trial than false shame 
and moral cowardice, which, though grave sins, do not need to be 
dwelt upon, 

So^a^cTW Se Toi' Qthv iv tw 6c(5fjiaTi toutw. ** But let him glorify 
God in this name (the name of Christian)." K L P, other later MSS., 
and Theophylact have iv tw fiipa rovrto (cf. 2 Cor. iii. 10, ix. 3). 
Hence A.V. and some commentators translate "on this behalf." 
But the true reading is no doubt ovo/wxTt, and ovofxa can only be 
rendered "name." In Mark ix. 41 the R.V. translates iv ovofxaTi 
OTL XpLo-Tov ia-Tc, " because ye are Christ's," but the A.V. correctly 
has " in my name because ye belong to Christ." There is no other 
passage in the New Testament where ovo/xa can mean " reason " or 
"account," nor does the word appear to possess this sense in 
Greek. In Latin hoc nomine (a phrase derived from the names or 
headings in a ledger) sometimes means " on this account " ; but we 
must not confuse the idioms of the two languages without authority. 

So^a^eVo) is in strong antithesis to oXixyyvicTOtii as So^a to ov'eiSos 
just above. It is for this purpose that the Spirit of glory rests upon 
the Christian. For the union of glory and suffering cf. i. 1 1. 

17. oTi 6 Kaipos. " For it is the time appointed for the judg- 
ment to begin with the household of God." It is best to supply 
simply €o-Tt : after the neuter verb the article may be used with a 
definite predicate, cf. Matt. xxvi. 63, €i crv cT 6 Xpto-ro?, 6 vto? tov 
©€ov, and Mark xiii. 33, ov/c otSare yap TToVe o /caipo's eo-rtv. 'Kpi/xa 
is used here in the sense of KptVis, cf. Acts xxiv. 25 ; Heb. vi. 2 ; 

CHAP. IV. VERS. 1 8, 19 181 

Apoc. XX. 4. Verbals in -/xa and -o-ts not infrequently interchange 
meanings, for instance oi/^is and opa/jLa. The oTkos 0€ov is not quite 
the same as the ot/co9 in/cv/xaTiKo? of ii. 5. What St. Peler means 
here is the household or family, Christians considered not as living 
stones, but as stewards, ministers, servants. But why does he say 
that judgment begins with or from the household of God? 
Perhaps he is thinking of the parable of the Pounds (Luke xix.), 
where, after the good and bad servants have been dealt with, 
sentence is pronounced upon "the enemies." There is no 
apparent reference to a First and Second Resurrection (i Thess. 
iv. 17; I Cor. XV. 23; Apoc. xx. 4, 5). Alford finds a reference 
to Jer. XXV. 15 sqq. ; Zeph. i. ii., and other passages where the 
prophet sees the day of the Lord coming first to Jerusalem, and 
then passing on in a widening circle to the whole earth. But none 
of these passages expresses distinctly the idea that the chosen people 
will be judged first and the heathen afterwards. The meaning 
appears to be that the sufferings of the Christians are the actual 
beginning of the final judgment ; so Bengel says, " Unum idemque 
est iudicium a tempore euangelii per apostolos praedicati usque ad 
iudicium extremum." Thus the on with which the verse begins 
seems to introduce a second reason for steadfastness. The first lies 
in So^aCeVd) ; the second is that this irvpwa-Ls is the immediate pre- 
liminary to salvation or deliverance. Hence they may commit 
their souls to God in unshaken confidence. Thus the words of 
menace are parenthetical and secondary. Kiihl thinks that the 
aireidovvTes, here and in ii. 8, are the Jews whom the apostle judges 
more severely than the heathen, supposing that ii. 11, 12, iii. 
14-16 refer especially to the latter. But we have a similar flash 
of denunciation in ot dTroSwcrovo-i \6yovj iv. 5, which certainly is 
pointed at the heathen. 

18. ei 6 SiKaios. See iii. 12, 14. To St. Peter as to Clement 
of Alexandria, Strom, vi. 6. 47, Si'/catos SiKaiov KaOb 8t/caids ianv ov 
StacfiepeL. Christian righteousness "exceeds" that of Jews (Matt. 
v. 20), but is essentially of the same character. The righteous is 
" hardly saved " because he "comes out of much tribulation," Apoc. 
vii. 14. If they have been safely led through this ordeal the final 
judgment brings not dread but dyoAAtWis (iv. 13). The words are 
from the LXX. version of Pro v. xi. 31. The Hebrew original is, 
" Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth : how 
much more the wicked and the sinner." 

19. ware Kai. The words pick up the thread ot consolation, 
which has been tangled for a moment by the sudden thought of the 
sinners and their doom. There is some question whether the Kat 
should be taken with ot Trao-xovres or with TraparLdeaOioaav, but the 
latter course seems the better. Translate, " Wherefore also let them 
that suffer commit." The imperative introduces a new injunction. 


Let them not only glorify, but also trust God. For Kara rb OiXrjjxa 
Tov ©eov, cf. iii. 1 7. nio-TO) KTio-TT}, " to 3. falthful Creator," may be a 
reminiscence of the prayer of Jonathan in 2 Mace. i. 24, which 
begins, Kvptc, Kvpie 6 ©cos, o iravrcov KTL(rTr)<s. The epithet Trto-ros is 
selected, because of the trust implied in Trapari^eo-^cocrav, the title 
Creator, because it involves power which is able, and love which is 
willing to guard His creatures. That St. Peter, speaking to 
Christians, should have here given this name to God, instead of 
Father or Saviour, shows in a striking way how deeply the Old 
Testament affected his thoughts. The word Kxt'o-nys does not occur 
elsewhere in the New Testament, but is used of God, not only by 
Philo, de Somn. i. 16 (i. 634), but by Clement of Rome, xix. 2 ; 
Aris tides. Apology^ xv., xvii. ; and Clement of Alexandria, Dindorf, 
vol iii. p. 507. The love of God displayed in creation is used by 
St. Paul as an argument in addresses to heathen, Acts xiv. 15, 
xvii. 25 ; cf. also Rom. i. 20 ; but the nearest parallel to St. Peter's 
phrase will be found in the Sermon on the Mount, Matt vi. 26 sqq. 
TrapaTiO^o-OwaaK. "Let them commit their souls," or rather 
" deposit them in safe keeping." Cf. Ps. xxx. (xxxi.) 5, ets x^pas crov 
TrapaOi^a-Ofiai to TrvevfJid fwv : Luke xxiii. 46. UaparCO^a-dai is used in 
the classics of giving one's money into the safe keeping of a friend. 
In days when there were no banks this was constantly done by 
people going on a long journey, and such a deposit {Trapa.drjK-q^ 
irapaKaTaOriK-rj) was regarded as entailing a peculiarly sacred obliga- 
tion, which none could violate or think of violating without the 
deepest guilt. See the story of Glaucus, son of Epicydes, Herod, 
vi. 86. The use of the verb is illustrated by Acts xiv. 23, irapiOevTo 
avTovs TO) Kvpm €19 ov TreTrurTevKeLo-av : XX. 32, TrapaTLOepuai v/xa? tu 
0£(3 : I Tim. i. 1 8, ravr-qv ttjv TrapayyeXtav Trapaxi^c/tat croL : 2 Tim. 
ii. 2, ravra irapadov irLaroLs avOpwiroL? : in the last passage the de- 
positaries are to be ttlo-tol, " trusty," and probably in the first eh 
ov TreTTio-reuKcto-av is " on whom they had trusted." The noun 
TrapaOrjK-q is found I Tim. vi. 20; 2 Tim. i. 12, 14; in all these 
places TrapaKaTaO^KTj occurs as a variant 

iv dYaOoiroiia. Well-doing, diligent obedience in the midst of 
suffering is the sign of trust St Peter does not seem to be 
thinking of Quietism, but his words form a barrier against that form 
of error. 

V. 1. Trpeo-^uT^pous ovv iv ujxti' irapaKaXo). "The presbyters 
therefore among you I exhort." The reading here given is that of 
A B, which is followed by the great textual critics ; K L P and 
other authorities omit ovv : N has Trpeo-^vTipovs ovv rov<s ev vfuv : 
K L P, the bulk of the later MSS., the Vulgate, Coptic, and Syriac, 
and some Fathers have Trpeo-ySurcpovs rovs ev vfjuv. It seems highly 
doubtful whether we should read ovv, or tov<;, or ovv tovs. Ovv 
introduces some special applications of the general exhortation just 

CHAP. V. VER. I 183 

given. The omission of the article appears to have no significance. 
If it is to be insisted upon, the translation will be "I exhort 
presbyters," " such as are presbyters." It has been so pressed as to 
give the meaning " presbyters, if there are any " ; and so to imply a 
doubt in St. Peter's mind whether these officials existed in all the 
Churches addressed; but this, as von Soden points out, is im- 
possible in view of iii. i, where ywat/ce? cannot mean "wives, if 
there are any." It seems evident from the words which follow that 
these personages possessed considerable authority, and were in the 
proper sense of the word officials. Age is still a general qualifica- 
tion for the office ; the original sense of elder is not quite extinct. 
But 7rpeo-/8vTe/Dos is distinctly used not only as an official designation, 
but as a personal title (here and in 2 and 3 John), and it is better to 
mark this fact by translating it presbyter or priest, just as it is 
better to render iirLo-Koiros by bishop in Philippians or the Pastoral 
Epistles, but by overseer in Acts and i Peter. 

We read of presbyters at Jerusalem, Acts xi. 30 ; they were 
ordained xar* eKKXrja-Cav by Paul and Barnabas on the First Mission 
Journey, Acts xiv. 23; and they existed at Ephesus, Acts xx. 17, 
Presbyters receive the money brought from Antioch to Jerusalem 
by Barnabas and Saul, Acts xi. 30; apostles, presbyters, and 
brethren form the Council of Jerusalem, Acts xv. 23 ; the 
presbyters form so important a part of the Council that the Decree 
was attributed to apostles and presbyters alone, Acts xvi. 4. 
Presbyters of Ephesus were summoned to Miletus by St. Paul as 
representatives of their Church, Acts xx. 17; they knew the 
apostle's doctrine, ih'd. 21 ; were his natural defenders, t'h'd. 26, 
34 ; had been made " overseers " over the flock by the Holy Ghost 
to " shepherd " the Church, t'h'd. 28 ; with a special view to keeping 
out erroneous doctrines; the "shepherd" is to resist the "wolf," 
t'h'd. 29. 

In these passages the presbyter appears as treasurer, member of 
the Church parliament, ambassador, shepherd ; as teacher, as exer- 
cising some kind of authority in faith and discipline, as deriving 
his power from the Holy Ghost, as ordained (xcporovetv) by the 
apostles; and we gather also that there were as a rule many 
presbyters in each Church. 

On the other hand, in the Gentile Church of Antioch, about the 
year 45 a.d., prophets and teachers (it has been supposed on the 
insufficient ground of the repeated re that Barnabas, Symeon, and 
Lucius belong to the former class, Manaen and Saul to the latter) 
minister (XctToupyovo-t) to the Lord, and receive a special mandate 
from the Holy Ghost to set apart (a<J3opi^€iv) Barnabas and Saul for 
mission work. Acts xiii. 1-3. But neither this passage (see Intro- 
duction, p. 44) nor Acts xv. 32 forms an exception to the statement 
that in Acts the prophet is one who sees visions, utters predictions. 


or delivers to the Church special revealed and occasional mandates, 
and whose province is entirely distinct from that of the presbyter. 

In James, i Peter, the Johannine Epistles, and the Apocalypse 
the presbyter appears to hold the same position as in Acts. In 
James he is called in by the sick that he may pray over them and 
anoint them, v. 14; in the Apocalypse four and twenty presbyters 
sit round the throne, as in later times we find them sitting in a 
semicircle round the altar. In the Pauline Epistles the presbyter 
is not mentioned except in i Timothy and Titus, when he is 
identified with the bishop, and teaching is one of his functions, 
I Tim. iii. 2 ; Tit. i. 9. The bishop appears also with the deacon 
in the address of Philippians, but the presbyter is not mentioned in 
that Epistle. 

Ilp€(Tl3vT€po<s is a familiar official designation among the Jews, 
and denotes a member of the local ftovX-ij or crvviBpLov which ad- 
ministered the local affairs of towns or villages, and acted in 
particular as a judicial body (Deut. xix. 12 ; Judg. viii. 14; Matt 
X. 17). Such local courts existed throughout the country of the 
Jews, and consisted usually of at least seven elders with two 
Levites to act as officers. Some of the seven were priests (Schiirer, 
Jewish People in Time of Jesus Christy Eng. trans, ii. i, p. 150 sqq.). 
Smaller a-weSpia were subordinate to larger, and after the Greek 
period (it is doubtful to what extent before) all were subject to the 
great Sanhedrin of Jerusalem, which consisted of seventy-one 
members, elected by co-optation, and admitted to office by the 
laying on of hands. The designation elder belonged in a general 
way to every member (i Mace. vii. 33) as one of the yepovcria 
(2 Mace. i. 10), but a distinction is made between d/Dx^fpct?* 
y/aa/x/xaret?, and TrpecrfBvTepoi (Gospels and Acts passim). Those who 
were neither members of the high priest's family nor professional 
lawyers were simply elders, under which name both priests and 
laymen might be included (Schiirer, ii. i. 165 sqq.). 

The Elders of the local Sanhedrin were also elders of the 
synagogue (Schiirer, ii. 2. 58). As such they had exclusive direction 
of all religious matters, and possessed the power of excommunica- 
tion. But they did not in their official capacity take any part in 
public worship. In the synagogue no special officer was appointed 
to preach, pray, or read the Scriptures. The lessons were fixed, and 
the prayers were written, but any member of the congregation might 
officiate with the permission of the dp;(tcrvvaya)yos, who as a rule 
was an elder. 

Schiirer notices (ii. 2. 249) that in inscriptions belonging to the 
Diaspora, though we find yepova-Ldpx'r]'^ and apx^v used as personal 
titles, TTpea-jSvTcpo^ is never so employed. For pagan usage, see 
Deissmann, s.v. 

The designation elder or presbyter, which, unless Acts is a 

CHAP. V. VER. I 185 

romance, is certainly many years older than bishop, is generally 
supposed with sufficient reason to have passed over from the 
synagogue to the Church. It does not follow that the offices were 
identical in the Church and in the synagogue. Indeed the passages 
cited above show that the Christian presbyter was not only an 
administrative, but also a spiritual officer. The circumstances of 
the Church would make this change inevitable. The new congrega- 
tions would require to be instructed not only in the gospel, but in 
the whole Bible, and this duty would need to be assigned to ttio-toI 
avdpwirot. Further, instruction was the preliminary to baptism, 
that is to say, to admission into the community ; here there was a 
most important difference between synagogue and church, and 
none but a highly trusted person could be allowed to confer the 
Christian franchise. We are not directly informed whether the 
presbyter actually officiated in public worship. Since the publica- 
tion of the Doctrine of the Twelve Apostles in 1883, there has been 
a tendency to suppose that this was the function of the prophet. 
But, on the other hand, it may be urged {a) that this cannot be 
gathered from the New Testament itself ; {b) that the term prophet 
is limited to one "who has a revelation " (i Cor. xiv. 30) ; {c) that 
the condition of the Church of Corinth was quite abnormal ; \d) that 
prophetesses, who were common, could not have led the service 
even in a Pauline church ; {e) that even in the Doctrine the function 
of the prophet is confined to prophecy and to extemporary inspired 
outbursts of thanksgiving at the Eucharist ; (/) that the Doctrine 
is probably not older than the fourth century, and that its character 
is exceedingly doubtful ; {g) that in the majority of churches it is 
dubious whether there were any prophets at all. In the Apocalypse 
(v. 8, 9) the presbyters offer to the Lamb the prayers of saints and 
sing the new song. This passage is strongly in favour of the tradi- 
tional view, and i Peter may be held to make in the same direction. 
Nevertheless it must be admitted that the Pauline Epistles (exclud- 
ing the Pastorals) are extraordinarily silent about the presbyter. 
Not only is the name not used, but there is hardly a trace of the 
existence of the authority under this or any other title ; and from 
this fact and from the use of bishop in Philippians it might be 
inferred that the Churches of Macedonia and Achaia had, at any 
rate at first, an organisation unlike that of other communities. 
From the Pastoral Epistles, Clement of Rome, and Polycarp, 
bishop and presbyter appear to have been used for a time as 
alternative names for the same personage. We might suppose 
that, towards the end of his ministry, St. Paul brought his special 
adherents into line with the rest of the Church, and that the fusion 
of the two titles was a consequence of this reunion. It is worth 
notice that the peculiar Isaianic nomenclature of the Epistle to the 
Philippians had a long life. There were, in the time of Constantine, 


Novatians and Montanists who had bishops and deacons, but 
apparently no presbyters (Sozomen, vii. 19). The same usage was 
to be found in Arabia and Cyprus, and existed also in the Churches 
for which the Doctrine was compiled. It would be vain, in the 
absence of definite information, to ask whether these communities 
were survivors of a distinct Pauline Church, whether they had 
attempted at a later date to revive the Pauline organisation, or 
whether, owing to the smallness of their settlements and from reasons 
of convenience, they had simply allowed the presbyterate to drop. 

There has been much discussion on these topics, and many 
different opinions are held. The reader may consult Lightfoot's 
Excursus in his edition of Philippians ; Hatch, Bampton Lectures \ 
Gore, Christian Ministry ; the editions of the Didache, especially 
that of Harnack; the articles of Dr. Sanday, Dr. Harnack, and 
others in vols. v. and vi. of the third series of the Expositor ; Pro- 
fessor Gwatkin's articles on Bishop and Church Government in 
YiSiSimgs^ Dictionary of the Bible; Hort, Christian Ecclesia. 

6 aujXTTpeo-puTcpos. Not a fellow-presbyter, but the fellow- 
presbyter whom you know so well. For the word arvfjurpecr^vTipo^ 
(not found elsewhere in the New Testament) see Eus. If. E. v. 
16. 5, vii. 5. 6, II. 3. 20; Chrys. Hofu. i. in Ep. Phil, i (xi. 194 B), 
oQfV KoX vvv TToXA-ol " (TVfj,Trp€crl3vT€p(o " CTTtcr/coTTOt ypdcfiovcrL Koi 
" (TuvSiaKovo)." The first title which St. Peter gives himself involves 
a claim to their affection ; the second, to their reverence. 

jjidpTus. The term is best taken here of "an eye-witness," as 
in Acts i. 8, 22, ii. 32, iii. 15, v. 32, x. 39, 41. In this sense fxaprvs 
is practically equivalent to dTroo-roA-o?. St. Paul claims the title for 
himself as given by revelation. Acts xxii. 15, ea-y ixaprvs avro) Trpos 
Trdvras av6poiTrov<i (Sv eoopaxas koI ^Korcra?. His vision had made 
him an eye-witness. When he says in i Cor. xv. 15, lixaprvprjaa^ev 
Kara tov ®eov ort ■^yeipcv rbv Xpicrrdv, he does not mean merely 
that he had preached the Resurrection, but that he had testified to 
it as a fact of which he was assured by the evidence of his own 
senses. Kiihl and others understand " witness " here to mean no 
more than " preacher," on the ground that, as St. Peter by the use 
of the word o-v/ATrpecr/^vrcpos has just put himself on a level with the 
other presbyters, he cannot intend in his next words to exalt him- 
self above them, but there is no force in this objection ; the climax 
is quite natural, and the author calls himself aTroaroXog in the 
address. Further, if he meant only "fellow-preacher," the word 
a-v/xfjidpTV's lay ready to his hand. If Kiihl is right, the three epithets 
are all brotherly : " fellow-presbyter, fellow-preacher, fellow-heir of 
glory." Professor Harnack (Chronologie, p. 452) takes the meaning 
to be that the author is a witness of the sufferings of Christ by 
reason of the sufferings which he had himself endured for the 
Name. Luther and Calvin held this view. But a witness witnesses 

CHAP. V. VER. 2 187 

to truth or fact. A witness of the sufferings of Christ is one who is 
in a position to certify that the sufferings actually occurred. There 
are special and appropriate phrases for those who imitate the 
patience of their Master ; they are said to partake in the sufferings 
of Christ (i Pet. iv. 13), to be conformed to Christ's death (Phil, 
iii. 10), and so on. In the Apocalypse (ii. 13) fidprv^ is used in its 
familiar later sense of one who suffers even unto death for the truth ; 
but it would be extremely difficult to introduce this meaning into 
the phrase fidprvs twv Tra^iy/xarwv. Jiilicher {Einleitung in das 
Neue Testament^ p. 134) remarks on the word fidprvq, that no one 
who had really known Jesus in the flesh could have written an 
Epistle which tells so little about the life of our Lord. The remark 
applies equally to Acts and to the Epistles of James and John. It 
was not the object of any of these writings to add to the knowledge 
given in the Gospels, or to supplement the regular teaching of the 
disciples. Attention has been drawn in preceding notes to the fact 
that our Epistle contains a remarkably large number of allusions to 
the Gospels, which are all the more striking because they are not 
quotations. What looks like one of them is found in the next verse. 
Each such allusion may be disputed, but it is hardly possible that 
all are fallacious. Yet it is a singular fact that the early Christians 
seem to have felt very little curiosity about the details of our Lord's 
earthly life — His features, tones, gestures, daily habits, and so on. 
The thirst for anecdote and minutiae begins with Papias and the 
Gnostics, who pretended to possess portraits of Jesus drawn by 
Pilate (Iren. i. 25. 6). 6 koI rrjs jJueWova-rj's diroKaXv-n-Tea-dai, Bo^rjs : 
" The partaker also of the glory that shall be revealed." The o kui 
seems to mark this as the apostle's third and highest claim, and as 
something peculiar to himself. Hence it is probably right to see 
here an allusion to a definite promise made to the apostle by our 
Lord; we may find it either in John xiii. 36, or better in Matt. 
xix. 28, orav KaOLcry 6 vl6<s tov dvdpwTrov ctti dpovov S6$r]<s avrovy 
KaOta-ecrSe kol v/x.€ts cttI SwSe/ca 6p6vov<5. In this case the meaning is 
that he is to share with Christ in His glory. Otherwise we must 
understand " your partner in the glory." But if this had been St. 
Peter's meaning he would probably have written avyKOLvoivo^. 
With TTJs fJL€XXov<rrj<s airoKaXv-TrTea-OaL 86$r}<5, cf. iv. 13, iv rrj diroKa- 
\v\f/€i TTJs So^s avTov, and i. 5, 13. St. Peter's phrase is found 
also Rom. viii. 18; in Gal. iii. 23 we have ttjv fxiWova-av ttlo-tlv 
aTTOKaXvcfiOrjvaL. These resemblances are not so striking as might 
at first appear; in the New Testament fiiXXw is often a mere 
auxiliary (see Blass, p. 204). 

2. Troijj.di'aTe to iv ufxti' iroifjii/ioi' toO 0eou. " Tend the flock of 
God which is among you." For the metaphor of the Shepherd 
and the sheep, see note on ii. 25. Von Soden remarks that, used 
as it is in i Peter, both of the presbyter and of Christ, the idea 


conveyed is that of pastoral, spiritual, not administrative, duty. 
There is very probably a reference to John xxi. i6; of. also Acts 
XX. 28. Calvin translated to iv v/xiv "as far as in you lies," but the 
run of the words is decidedly against this; Bengel and Luther, 
" which depends upon you," " is entrusted to you " ; but this gives iv 
a sense which it caniiot bear without the addition of Kelfxevov. The 
preposition must be local. " The flock which is among you " may 
be taken to mean " the flock in your town or village." The flock 
is God's, therefore they are to tend it, not because they must, 
(di/ayKao-Toi?), but with a willing mind (cKouo-to)?) ; not like hireHngs 
for the sake of pay (aio-xpoKcpSajs), but gladly and eagerly (7rpo6vfji.o)<s). 
'ETrtcTKOTTowTes (the word is omitted by N B) is equivalent to TroifxaC- 
vovT€s, see note on ii. 25. 'AvayKaa-rw^ gives the idea of a definite 
burden of duty, which men may be inclined to rebel against as 
excessive. After e/covo-tojs K A P add Kara ©eoV : Westcott and 
Hort omit the words, Tischendorf inserts them. If we keep them 
and translate in the most natural way "willingly like God," we 
make God the Shepherd. God is the owner of the flock, but there 
can hardly be a doubt that by the Chief Shepherd of ver. 4 Christ 
is meant. Thus we should be brought very near to the inference 
that St. Peter uses ©cos and Xpio-ros interchangeably; nor need 
i. 3 be taken to forbid this conclusion ; see note there. Possibly 
Rom. viii. 27; 2 Cor. vii. 10 might justify us in giving Kara a 
looser sense, " according to God's will," " in godly fashion." Alcrxpo- 
KcpSojs implies that the presbyter was in receipt of a stipend ; other- 
wise it would have been impossible for him to take the hireling's 

3. fXTjS' ws KaxaKupicuon-es rS>v K\-f]p(i)v. " Neither as lording it 
over the lots." KXrjpoL (plural), except in the sense of " dice," is 
not found elsewhere in the Greek Bible. KA.'^pos in Matt, xxvii. 35 
is a die; in Acts i. 17, 25 (?), an allotment or office allotted by the 
dice; in Acts viii. 21, a share or portion; so also in Acts xxvi. 18 ; 
in Col. i. 12, €ts Tr)v [xepiSa Tov KX-^pov t(i}V dytW iv ^cori, it is used 
of the lot, inheritance, or estate of the saints {KX-qpovopLia). In 
secular Greek KXrjpo<; constantly means an estate. In Deut. ix. 29 
the people of Israel is called the KXrjpo<s of God, His portion or 
estate, distinguished from the portions of other gods. Possibly 
this verse may have been in St. Peter's mind, for it contains the 
phrase iv ry x^'-P^ *'"°^ "Hi xparaLa, which is employed just below. 

KXrjpoL then must have one of two meanings, "offices" or 
"estates," and of these the first will not suit the context. The 
presbyters are not to lord it over their lots or estates, the estates 
are the people committed to them, and the people (to this extent 
we may bring in the passage of Deuteronomy) belong to the estate 
of God. Tu)v KXripoiv is most naturally taken to imply that each of 
these presbyters had a separate cure. Dr. Hatch thought {Bampton 

CHAP. V. VER. 4 189 

Lectures, p. 77) that the office of the presbyter was "essentially 
collegiate," and that only at a later time was a presbyter thought 
competent to act alone. But from the first there may have been 
small isolated congregations in which there was but one presbyter. 
In cities particular presbyters may have had charge of a particular 
house church, while for certain purposes all the presbyters met in 
council. In KaraKvptcvovres the preposition gives the notion of 
hostility or oppression, but Kvpi^vm by itself denotes behaviour 
forbidden to a Christian pastor, Luke xxii. 25, 26. Here again 
there may be a reminiscence of the gospel. Discipline in those 
days might be exercised in very rough fashion, especially towards 
converted slaves ; hence St. Paul warns the bishop that he is to be 
"no striker" (i Tim. iii. 3, cf. Tit. i. 7). Or again, the precise 
sense in which domineering was not unlikely may be found in 
alaxpoKep8(i}<s. But the word is wide enough to include every de- 
scription of arrogance or tyranny. Domineering is a personal 
fault, and this again seems more applicable to individuals than to 

Tu'irot yifofiei/oi. " Becoming, making yourselves, examples." Yet 
it is doubtful whether yiv6/x€vot means much more than oj/res, cf 
Matt. X. 16 ; Luke xx. 33 ; John i. 6 ; Acts v. 24. 

4. <j)aj'epa)0^vTos is used of the First Advent of Christ, i Pet. 
i. 20; I Tim. iii. 16; of the Second, Col. iii. 4; i John ii. 28. 
*Apxi-TroLfiy)v is not found elsewhere in the New Testament; cf. 
6 TTOLfxrjv 6 /Acya?, Heb. xiii. 20, and ii. 25 above. 

Toj' 6,ii,apdtrnvov ttjs So^tjs o'T€<|>ai'OK. *A/xapavrtvos (here only in 
New Testament) is a derivative not from the adjective (i. 4), but 
from the substantive d/Actpavrog, and means, not " that fadeth 
not away" (A.V., R.V.), but "made of amaranth," "amaranthine," 
not "immortal," but "made of immortelles." For the "crown" 
cf. I Cor. ix. 25, acfiOapTOV (rri^avov: 2 Tim. iv. 8, 6 t^<s hiKaiocrvvq^ 
(Txe^avos : Jas. i. 1 2, Tov aT€(fiavov Trj<s ^w^s, ov cTnyyyetAaro rots 
dyaTToJcriv avTOV : Apoc. ii. ID, tov crrec^avov rrjs ^(i)rj<; : iii. 11, tov 
cTTecfiavov (TOv : iv. 4, (rreffidvov's xP^cro^?. Cf. the word j3pa^e1ov, 
I Cor. ix. 24; Phil. iii. 14. "Amaranthine" is most applicable to 
a crown of leaves and flowers. The question has been raised 
whether St. Peter means us to think of a crown of victory, or of a 
festive crown, such as was not uncommonly used by Gentiles, and 
is said to have been used by Jews also, on occasions of rejoicing ; 
but the idea of victory is certainly that which is attached to the 
crown in St. Paul, St. James, and the Apocalypse ; and St. Peter 
can hardly have any other meaning. The word " crown " is used 
in the Gospels only of the Crown of Thorns (but Heb. ii. 9 Jesus 
is Bo^y Kol rijxfj icTTicfiavdifxivov). But some of the phrases referred 
to above, " the crown," " the crown which He promised," are very 
definite, and may come from some unrecorded saying of our Lord's. 


6. ofjLoicjg, vetarepoif uiroTdynTC irpe{rj3uTepots. "Likewise, ye 
younger, submit yourselves to the elder. 'O/x-oto)? (as in iii. i, 7) 
denotes that there is a similarity in principle, though the details are 
different. The same rule of unselfishness applies both to shepherd 
and to sheep. Iip€(r/3vT€po^ has two senses, the official, in which it 
has been employed in the preceding verses, and the non-official or 
natural. St. Paul passes from one of these senses to the other in 
I Tim. V. I, 17, "Rebuke not an elder, but exhort him as a father^ 
the younger men as brethren ; the elder women as mothers ; the 
younger as sisters. . . . Let the elders that rule well be counted 
worthy of double honour." But here we have an absolute antithesis 
between Trpeo-ySvrepoi and vewrc/ooi : and what is inculcated must be 
respect not to office, but to age (so Huther, Keil, Hofmann, Usteri). 
Alford, Kiihl, von Soden give Trpeo-^vrepoL the same sense as in ver. i, 
on the ground that the elder by office was also elder in years. This, 
however, was not universally the case, as we see from the instance 
of Timothy (i Tim. iv. 12) ; and, though a certain age was no doubt a 
requisite in the bishop or presbyter, there is no reason to suppose 
that it was such as would distinguish him from the bulk of the 
congregation as older than all of them, or even as older than the 
average. The elder was a man of staid and sober age, but not 
necessarily advanced in years or grey-headed. Indeed, the title 
was taken by the Church from the synagogue, and among the Jews 
it did not imply actual superiority in age. It is, therefore, hardly 
possible to take vewrepot as meaning all Christians who are not 
presbyters (as Alford following Bede). Others (Kiihl, Weiss, 
Schott, Bruckner) create an antithesis to Trpeo-^uVcpot by taking 
vewTcpoi to denote some kind of inferior official, in whom is to be 
detected the germ of the later deacon, and find the same sense in 
the v€(i)T€poL or veavLCTKOL of Acts V. 6, 10. But in this passage of 
Acts the " young men " are simply those members of the congrega- 
tion who, being best fitted for the purpose by their physical strength, 
would naturally volunteer to carry out the corpses of Ananias and 

TTOLVTeq 8e dXXi^Xois t^v Tair6H'o<j)po(7ui'T)i' eyKOimPuaaaOe. " And 
all of you towards one another apparel yourselves with humility." 
After dAXryXots K L P and many other MSS. insert viroTacra-ofxevoi. 
So A.V. Beza, Lachmann, Buttmann, Hofmann, Huther place the 
full stop after dAA>^Aois, so as to bring the dative into connexion 
with vTTOTdyrjTc: and no strong reason can be alleged against this 
punctuation, to which R.V. gives a place in the margin. But 
the dative may, without difficulty, be taken with lyKopLpwaaaOe. 
For this rare verb some few authorities have lyKokTrCo-aaOe or kjKoX- 
TTuya-acrOc, which the Vulgate renders insinuate, "take into your 
bosoms." 'EyKo/x/Jovcr^at is derived from ko/x/Bo^, which, according 
to the glossaries, means "a knot," or "anything tied on with a 

CHAP. V. VER. 5 191 

knot." Hence iyKofi^wfia is used of a garment tied on over others. 
Pollux, Onomasticon^ iv. 18, describes one form of it as IfxarcSLov n 
XevKov rfj Toiv SovXoiv e^w/AtSi Trpoa-KcifxcvoVy 2l little white garment, 
which slaves wore over their l^oiixCq : and from Longus, Pastoralia^ 
ii. 60, we learn that it was of such a nature that a shepherd, who 
wanted to run his fastest, would cast it off. The e|(u/xt? was a 
sleeveless tunic, and from the definition which Suidas gives of 
KOyH^os — o KOfi/^o^ ToJv Svo ^eiptSiwv, OTav Tis Bi^crrj eTTt Tov lSlov 
Tpdxq\.ov — we may infer that this form of cyKo/x/5(o/xa was a pair 
of sleeves, which were fastened and held in place by a knot behind 
the neck. But KoixfBo^ might also mean the knot of a girdle ; hence 
KoiJi/3oX.vT7]?, according to Hesychius, is synonymous with ^aXavrto- 
T6fxo<s, " a cutpurse," purses being carried on the girdle. In another 
place, s.v. Koa-a-v/x^rj, Hesychius uses iyKOfjL^iafxa as equivalent to 
7re/3i^co/i,a AtyuTrrtov, a kind of apron such as that used by black- 
smiths. It would seem that any article of dress, that was attached 
by laces, might be called eyKo/t^Sw/ta. The verb was used by 
Epicharmus (Fragment 4 in Ahrens, de dialecto Dorica^ p. 435). 
The words of the fragment are €i yc ixXv on KeKOfi/SwraL KaA.a>s : but 
Ahrens notes on the authority of Photius, £p'sf, 156, that the right 
reading is iyKeKo/x^oirai. The meaning is, " If, indeed, because she 
is bravely apparelled." Hesychius makes Ko/x/Swa-acrOai equivalent 
to a-ToXloracrOai, and lyKiKOfijBoiTaL to ivdXrp-ai., as if they were used 
of putting on garments of a certain amplitude and dignity. This is 
probably St. Peter's meaning. Humility, like " a meek and quiet 
spirit," is an ornament of price, a beautiful robe. The R.V. has 
"gird yourselves with humility," as if the metaphor were derived 
from tying an apron round the waist, so as to be ready for service 
(cf. John xiii. 4). But, upon the whole, the facts given above 
appear to make against this rendering. See Suicer, s.v. ''EyKOfx/Soo/xai. 
oTi 6 0e<5s . • • X'^^P''*'* Prov. iii. 34, Kvpios viT€prj(fidvoL<; avri- 
TacracTat, raTreivois 8e StSwo-i x^piv. The same quotation is found 
also in Jas. iv. 6, with the same substitution of 6 ©cos for KvpLos. 
See iv. 8 above. The passage in the Epistle of St. James offers 
other resemblances to this part of i Peter, vTrordyrjTe tw ©ew, olvtl- 
a-TTjTe Tw Bta^oXio, vi/^cocret t^/xa?. There is probably a connexion 
between the two passages, and there are some apparent reasons 
why we should assign the priority to St. Peter: (i) in James the 
mention of humility is sudden and unexpected; (2) though he gives 
the quotation from Prov. iii. 34 in the same shape as St. Peter, he 
writes, in ver. 10, ra7reLV(i)6rjTe iv(i)7nov tov KvpLov, as if he were 
aware that 6 ©eos was not quite correct : we may infer perhaps that 
he had somewhere seen the quotation in its altered shape ; (3) the 
mention of the devil in i Peter is not only more natural but 
more original ; (4) in ver. 8, St. James has dyvto-are KapSia<s, which 
may be suggested by ras i/oj^as vfiS>v rjyvLK6Te<s of i Pet. i. 22 : 


if this is so, St. James is combining different parts of the Petrine 

6. uTTo TT|i''* Kparaidv x^'^P''^' B K L P read \a.pav. On this 
vulgar form see Westcott and Hort, Introduction, p. 157 ; Blass, 
p. 26. "The mighty hand of God" is generally connected in the 
Old Testament with the deliverance from Egypt, Ex. iii. 1 9 ; Deut. 
iii. 24, iv. 34, ix. 29 ; Dan. ix. 15 ; or deliverance generally, 2 Chron. 
vi. 32, but in Ezek. xx. 34 the phrase is used, as here, to denote 
the dread power of the great Judge. 

61/ Kaipw. " In the due or appointed time." A P, many curs- 
ives, and some versions add iTno-KOTrrj^ (from ii. 12). Compare 
Matt. xxiv. 45, Tov StSovat avrois Tr]v rpotjirjv iv Kaipio : and, for the 
exaltation of the humble, Luke xiv. 11. 

7. eirippi»j/ai/T€S. Ps. Uv. (Iv.) 23, eTTLppuf/ov i-rrl Kvpiov rrjv 
[xipifxvdv aov, koL avros ere StaOpixj/u. The /zepi/xva is here the alarm 
of the persecuted Christian. God will care for him; see Luke xxi. 18. 

8. »'r)vJ/aTe, yp^IY^P^"'^'''^' "^^^ Christian may cast the whole 
burden of his anxiety upon God, yet is not thereby absolved from 
the duty of vigilance; cf. iv. 19 above. For vijif/are see i. 13, iv. 7. 
He is to be sober and wakeful, because his enemy is always at 
hand : a train of thought which brings us very close to Matt. xxiv. 
42, 43, 49. Much the same combination of words is found 
I Thess. V. 6, but in a different connexion ; there the Christian is 
enjoined to watch and be sober, because he is a child of the day. 

6 d^TiSiKOS . . . Tii'd KaTairieit'. A has rtVa /caraTrtr;, " seeking 
whom he may devour": B has KaraTrtetv without rtva, "seeking to 
devour " ; N K L P tlvo. KaTairidv, " seeking some one to devour " (L P 
wrongly accentuate rim). 'AvrtStKos is an adversary in a lawsuit. 
Ata^oAos (almost a personal name, and therefore without article), 
" the slanderer," is a Greek rendering of the Hebrew Satan, 'fipu- 
o/xevos is probably taken from Ps. xxi. (xxii.) 14, ws Xecov 6 apirdtoiv 
<aX dypvofievo^ : TreptTraTct, probably from Job i. 7, TrepLeXOoiv rrjv yrjv 
Kttt e/XTreptTraT^oras T^v vtt ovpavbv Trdpeifxi. The imagery of the 

sentence is mixed, derived partly from the prowling lion of the 
Psalm, partly from the Accuser of Job, who walks up and down 
the earth to spy out the weakness of God's servants. Satan's 
" slander " is that Job " doth not fear God for nought," and God 
allows him to test the truth of this charge by trying Job, first with 
loss of property and children, afterwards with personal suffering. 
So here the Devil is the author of persecution. Compare the 
Epistle from the Churches of Vienna and Lugdunum, Eus. H. E. 
V. I. 5, ive(TKr]\f/€v 6 dvrLKafxevo<s. In the same epistle, v. 2. 6, those 
who denied the faith are said to have been swallowed by the Beast, 

iva a7ro7rvt;(^€is 6 O^p, ov<s Trporepov tjoero KaTaireTTOiKevaL, ^covras 

e^efxecrri. It seems clear that the writers had this passage of i Peter 
in view. Throughout his Epistle, St Peter seems by "suffering" 

CHAP. V. VER. 9 193 

to mean the adventitious pain of deliberate persecution. This was 
Kara to OeXrjixa rov ©eov (iv. 19), but possibly in the same sense as 
Job's trials, as permitted but not exactly purposed by God. The 
natural tendency of righteousness is to produce "good days" 
(iii. I o) ; any other result seems to be regarded as surprising and 
occasional. It will be observed that St. Peter does not use koV/aos 
as the name of a hostile, irreligious power. Here, again, we may 
perhaps detect the Hebraistic cast of the apostle's mind. 

9. arcpeol ttj iriorei. In its proper physical sense aTepe6<s means 
hard or solid. The word occurs 2 Tim. ii. 19, a-T€peb<s ^e/>teA,to9, a 
solid foundation; Heb. v. 12, 14, crTcpea rpocfiT], solid food, opposed 
to liquid milk : the verb arepeovv in Acts iii. 7, 16, is to make solid 
or strong; the substantive is found in Col. ii. 5, to o-repeWa r^? 
€ts XpLo-Tov TTtcTTews v/xwv, thc strong wall or foundation of your faith 
in Christ. When transferred to a moral quality in the classics, 
crrepcos inclines to a bad sense, hard, harsh, brutal. In the present 
passage its meaning appears to be solid, strong, impenetrable, like 
a wall, rather than steadfast or brave. The adjective will affect the 
translation of tt} Trto-rct. 'H Trtorrtg is sometimes " faith " : the article 
before the abstract noun being constantly used in Greek as in 
French, where the English idiom rejects it, to mark off the virtue 
in question from other kindred virtues, for instance, rj dyaTTT/ in 

1 Cor. xiii. ; sometimes " the faith," that is to say, the Christian 
belief as distinguished from other beliefs. Thus we have in 2 Cor. 
i. 24, Ty yap Tria-Tu earTr/KaTe, for it is by faith that ye stand ; and, 
on the other hand, in Acts vi. 7, ttoXv^ ox^os twv Upioiv virrjKovov 
Tjj TTLo-TeL, " a great multitude of the priests became obedient to the 
faith " — in other words, changed their convictions and became Chris- 
tians. " The faith " is a phrase that does not appear in Romans or 

Corinthians, but Gal. i. 23 we find etiayycAt^erai rrjv ttlo-tlv Tjv TTOTC 
liropOci: Eph. iv. 5, /xta Trto-Tts, one faith distinguished from all 
others; Phil. i. 27, paa if/vxy o-vvaOXovvTe<s t-^ irio-T(.i tov ivayyeXiov, 
the faith in which all agree, which is defined in the gospel ; Col. 
i. 23, Trj TTta-ret TedeixeXnnixivoi, the faith is that definite hope of the 
gospel from which the Church is not to be moved; i Tim, i. 19, 
irepX TTjv TTLO-TLV ivavdyrjo-av, some have Suffered shipwreck as regards 
the faith, by falling into erroneous doctrines : iii. 9, ro ixva-TrjpLov 
■nys TTicrreoo^ : iv. i, airoaT-qa-ovTaL rtves t'j}? Tn'o-rews : v. 8, vi. 10, 21 ; 

2 Tim. iv. 7 ; Tit. i. 13, ii. 2. The notion of" the faith " as a body of 
sound doctrine naturally became more important in St. Paul's eyes 
from the time of his imprisonment, as contact with one error or 
another awakened him to the fact that there might be semi-Christian 
types of opinion of a misleading nature. In Heb. xi. i faith is 
not merely loving trust in God, but strong conviction, which admits 
of definition by its subject-matter, by the particular things hoped 
for and not seen. In the present passage the use of the word 



(TTepeoL inclines the balance in favour of "the faith." Solidity 
applies rather to convictions, which are well-grounded, firmly con- 
nected, and therefore impenetrable, than to trust, which is ardent 
or confident, but not solid. 

€i8oTes . . . €-irtT€\€i<T0at. " Knowing that the same sufi'erings 
are being accomplished in your brotherhood which is in the world," 
is the translation generally given. If this is correct, the words must 
be regarded as a consolation. You are not alone in your suffer- 
ings ; all Christians have the same burden to bear. But almost 
every word of this rendering is open to serious objection. EtSws 
followed by an infinitive means " knowing how " to do a thing, cf. 
Luke xii. 56; Phil. iv. 12; Kriiger's Greek Grammar, Ivi. 7, 9; 
Blass, p. 227 ; " knowing that " is ciScbs on. Ta avra twv iradrjfxaTwv, 
if it means " the same sufferings," is quite unparalleled ; the passages 
quoted by Alford, to afxcTdOerov rrjs ^ovA^s, Heb. vi. 17; to xnrepixov 
TTJ's yv(oo-€a)s, Phil. iii. 8 ; to ttlcttov t^s TroXircta?, Thuc. i. 68, in 
which the neuter adjective or participle represents an abstract 
substantive, do not help in the least. It is impossible to see why 
St. Peter did not write to. avTa TraOijfxaTa, if these words would 
convey his meaning. He was not a scholar, but there are some 
errors of expression which no man could make. T^ dScA^oTT/rt 
v/xcov, again, is a singular phrase ; we should have expected rrj aBeX- 
(fiOTTjTL alone or rots dSeA<^ots v/j-wv. The dative is more naturally 
construed with to. avrd than with iTnTcXeia-Oai, with which it can 
only be taken loosely as a dativus incommodi. Finally, the meaning 
of eVtrcActv is uncertain ; it may be " to accomplish," " bring to an 
end," or possibly " bring towards an end," or, again, " to pay in full." 
Liddell and Scott are mistaken in giving the verb the sense of " to 
lay a penalty upon a person." In the passage referred to, Plato, 
Laws, X. p. 910 D, Tyjv TTJ'S dcrcyGfeias hUr^v toutoi? eTrtTcXowrtov, the 
meaning is " let them carry to a finish the prosecution for impiety 
against these men." The only commentator who has really grappled 
with the text is Hofmann, who translates " knowing how to pay the 
same tax of suffering as your brethren in the world." Compare Xen. 
Mem. iv. 8. 8, to. tov yi^po}<s iTnTeXeLcrOai, " to pay the tax of old age," 
in loss of sight, hearing, memory, and so on. This version meets 
most of the difficulties ; but to. avTa tCjv TraOrjfidTwv for " the same 
tax of suff'ering," is, to say the least, an unusual phrase, and 17 dSeA- 
ffiOTTj^s vfiwy remains a stumbling-block. Yet neither phrase falls 
outside the limit of toleration. 

10. 6 ©COS Tr(£air)s x^^pi-Tos. " The God of every grace." From 
Him comes every good and perfect gift (Jas. i. 17). See note on 
ttolklXt] x^-P'-^} iv. 10. Many commentators couple tv Xpto-ro) with 
/caAeVa?, and we might understand this in a variety of ways, (i) 
God was in Christ who called you; or (2) God called you by 
Christ as His instrument (cf. Gal. i. 6, 15, tov KoAco-arros vfias cv 

CHAP. V. VERS. II, 12 195 

xdpiTi — Sia ttJs x^P^'^05) ; or (3) iv Xpio-TO) may be used in that 
vague sense in which everything is said to be in the Lord (cf. i Cor. 
vii. 22, 6 iv KvpL(a KXrjOils 8ovXo<s), Christ being, as it were, the 
atmosphere of all Christian life. But Hofmann may be right in 
joining 86$av ev Xpiarw. The glory which is here attributed to God 
is closely related to Christ in i. 7, 21, iv. 11, 13, v. i, 4. For 
oXCyov iraOovTaq, " after ye have suffered a little," or " for a little 
while," compare i. 6. KarapTiW, "shall correct" or "amend." 
So Mark i. 19, /caraprt'^eiv to. SUrva: Gal. vi. i, KaraprL^ere rbv 
ToiovTov (where Lightfoot notes that Karaprt^etv is used as a surgical 
term of setting a broken bone) : i Thess. iii. 10, Karaprt^eiv to. 
va-riprjfxara : l Cor. i. 10, ^re 8e KaTrjpTicrfjiivoi (the apostle is speaking 
of the healing of schisms). God will amend them through suffer- 
ing, which is the cure of sin ; compare iv. i, 6 rraOwv <rapKl TreTravrai 
a/MapTia'i. '^Trjpi^^iy "shall stabHsh," so that you shall not be 
shaken by alarms; compare iv. 12, fxi] ^evt^eaOe. S^evwo-ct is one of 
St. Peter's a-n-ai Xeyofxeva, N K L P, all later MSB., the Syriac, 
Coptic, and Armenian versions, Theophylact and Oecumenius have 
OefieXiwo-eL after aOevwa-ei : the word is omitted by A B, the Vulgate, 
and Aethiopic. Many of the later MSS. exhibit the optative, 
KarapTLo-ai, k.t.X., for the future indicative. 

11. auTw TO KpdiTog. " His (God's) is (or, be) the might." God 
has power to do all if you humble yourselves under His "mighty 
hand." St. Peter dwells, and wishes his readers to dwell, on the 
majesty and power of God, which to the Jew was always a most 
comfortable thought, and is not less so to the Christian. It is 
perhaps worth observing that Kparos occurs in only one of the eight 
Pauline doxologies, that of i Tim. vi. 16. 

12. The words which follow were possibly added by the hand 
of St. Peter himself (this is the opinion of Blass, Grammar, p. 123), 
just as St. Paul concludes 2 Thess. and Galatians with a few lines 
of autograph. Aia may denote either the bearer or the draughts- 
man of the Epistle, or both ; on this point and on Silvanus see 
Introduction. Tov ttio-tov dSeA^ov, " the (well-known) trusty brother." 
Similar forms of commendation occur i Cor. iv. 17; Eph. vi. 21; 
Col. i. 7. 'Og Aoyi'^o/xat, "as I reckon," in the sense of "as I 
think," cf. I Cor. iv. i ; Rom. viii. 18. There is no eyw, and the 
" I " is therefore not emphatic. St. Peter does not mean " I think 
him trusty, though others do not." The Epistle is short (Si' oA-iywv, 
cf. Heb. xiii. 22), not so much in itself, as in comparison with all 
that was in the apostle's heart, and all that he would have liked to 
say. Silvanus would supplement it largely by word of mouth, and 
it is natural that St. Peter should here speak of him as " trusty," one 
who knew the apostle's mind and could expound it faithfully. But 
Silvanus was an eminent man, and only one who was still more 
eminent could venture to praise him for so simple a virtue 


"Eypai/ro, "I write," is the epistolary aorist; instances occur in 
Philem. 19, 21; Rom. xv. 15; i Cor. v. 11, ix. 15; Gal. vi. 11; 
I Mace. XV. 19; 2 Mace. ii. 16; Plato, Epist. vii. ad Jincm^ avayKolov 
ISo^e fiot p-qdrjvax, 

TrapaKaXbii' Kal eiri/iapTupoiv TauTr\v eii'ai dXif)0TJ x^P*-*' """O" ©eoO. 
" Exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God." The 
article is omitted before aXrjBrj xaptv. 'ETri/xaprupeti/ is to "bear 
witness to " a fact, not to " bear new, or fresh, testimony." " This " 
refers to the whole of the contents of the Epistle, whether doctrine 
or exhortation. The apostle's words here have a strongly emo- 
tional tinge, but not more so than we expect from a pastor who is 
deeply interested in the spiritual welfare of his flock in a time 
which was no doubt one of stress. We need not suppose that 
there was any great danger of apostasy. Still less need we suppose 
that by laying emphasis on the " truth " of his Epistle the apostle is 
here reflecting upon other teachers. The gospel is constantly 
spoken of as " the truth," in opposition to the imperfect light of 
Judaism, or the errors of heathenism, John i. 17, 17 x^P^^ koX yj 
aXrjOcia : Col. i. 6, eTrcyvcorc r-qv X^P'-^ ''"°^ ©eoC ev aXrjOda : I Pet. 
i. 22, iv T'^ vTraKorj Trj<: dXrjdeLas, means "by obedience to the 
gospel." But Gal. ii. 5, 17 aX-qdiLa tov evayyeXiov, is " the right 
conception of the gospel," as of grace not of works, truth, that is 
to say, as opposed to the errors of other Christian teachers. So 
again 2 Pet. ii. i, "the way of truth" is set against the delusions of 
\l/€v8o7rpo<f>rJTaL and ^ivSoBtSda-KaXoi, who were, no doubt, professedly 
Christian. It has been supposed that here also aXr]67]<s is used of 
orthodox belief. 

Kiihl thinks that the communities addressed had not been 
evangelised by any apostle, and that St. Peter is here giving the 
official seal to the instruction which they had received. The 
Tiibingen school, on the other hand, holding that the author (not 
St. Peter) is writing to Pauline Churches, consider that he is ex- 
pressing his approval of the doctrine of St. Paul. But all that he 
means is, " What I have made Silvanus write, this gospel of bearing 
the cross with patience, is God's truth. See that ye stand fast 
in it" 

Usteri, pressing the absence of the article before aXrjOrj x'^P'-^t 
would translate "this (this persecution) is a real grace of God. 
Stand ye fast to meet it." But there is nothing in the text to 
justify such a narrowing of the sense of " this," and persecution, in 
itself, is regarded as the work of the Devil. 

els V fTTiTc. "Wherein stand fast." NAB and many cursives 
have the imperative ; K L P and the mass of inferior MSS. read 
co-TT^/caTc. Eis is probably used as in 6 eh tov dypov, Mark xiii. 1 6, 
as a mere equivalent for iv; see Blass, p. 122. Von Soden, how- 
ever, quoting i. 13, ttjv (ftepofjLfvrjv v/xlv x«P*»'> thinks that here also 

CHAP. V. VERS. 13, 14 197 

the x^pis is regarded as future, and would translate "whereunto 
stand fast." 

13. r\ iv BapuXui'i (TuveKkeKrfi. "The fellow-elect woman in 
Babylon." N after Ba/3vXQ)vi adds iKKX-qa-ia : the Vulgate has 
" ecclesia quae est in Babylone," and the same addition is found in 
the Peshito, in the Armenian, in Theophylact, and Oecumenius. 
A catena explains that by Babylon is meant Rome ; Syncellus says 
that some took it to mean Rome, others Joppa. St. Peter's words 
have been the subject of much speculation from an early date. We 
are not to supply iKKXrjcria, nor any other word. 'H Iv Ba^vXwvL is 
a complete phrase, and means " the woman in Babylon." This 
may be understood either literally or metaphorically. Bengel, 
Mayerhoff, Jachmann, Alford, and some few others take the words 
literally, and understand the apostle to mean his own wife. On the 
other hand, the great majority of commentators take them meta- 
phorically of the Church in Babylon, but are divided on the question 
whether Babylon itself is metaphorical or not. The latter point 
may be treated independently of the former. Both phrases may be 
literal, one may be figurative, or both. 

Against the literal interpretation of 17 may be urged (i) that St. 
Peter would have spoken of his wife in plain terms and by name ; 
(2) that 17 iv Ba(3vXC)VL is a singular phrase for an ordinary woman 
residing or sojourning in Babylon. Both these objections are con- 
siderably weakened, if St. Peter's wife was a very well-known person- 
age ; and there can be no doubt that she was. St. Paul tells us 
that she accompanied her husband (i Cor. ix. 5), and tradition 
could not have regarded her as a martyr (Clem. Alex. Strom, vii. 1 1. 
63), unless she had done something to earn martyrdom — unless, 
that is to say, she had taken an active part in her husband's labours. 

Against the metaphorical interpretation it may be argued that 
r] iv Baf3vXo)VL is an unprecedented and perhaps impossible phrase for 
" the Church in Babylon." In the Old Testament we have " the 
daughter of Zion" (Isa. xxxvii. 22); in the New Testament it is 
possible that St. John speaks of a Church as Kvpta, and of another 
Church as her aSeXcfi'q (2 John i. 5, 13) ; the meaning of the Woman 
in the Apocalypse is open to doubt. In Hermas ( Vis. i. i. 4, 5) 
the Church appears to the prophet as ywrj, and is addressed by 
him as Kvpta. But in all these cases the metaphor is far more 
obvious than it is in the present passage. Again, what is easy and 
natural to imaginative writers like Isaiah, John, or Hermas, is not 
so to St. Peter. Lastly, " the Church and Marcus my son " strikes 
one as a somewhat more difficult combination than " my wife and 
Marcus my son " (see Introduction, § 8). On Marcus and Babylon, 
see Introduction, § 9. 

14. iv <}>i\T))jiaTi dydinQs. Compare Rom. xvi. t6 ; i Cor. xvi. 20; 
2 Cor. xiii. 12 ; i Thess. v. 26. St. Paul's phrase is <f>LXr]fUL ayiov. 


The kiss is one of the most ancient of ritual usages. Justin, ApoL 
i. 65, aXkri\ov% ^tX^/xari dcnra^ofjieOa Travcra/Acvoi tojv ivxP^v, the kiss 
came after certain c^xat and before the tv^ai of communion ; Tert. 
de Orat, 14, "quae oratio cum diuortio sancti osculi integra?" In 
Cyril of Jerusalem, Cat. Myst. v. 3, the kiss is placed before the 
Sursum Corda ; he adds, crrjixeiov tolvvv ccrrt to ^Ckrjixa rov avaKpa- 
Oijvat Tois ij/vxoL? Kot Traaav i$optt,€LV fivrjo-LKaKiav. See also Const 
App. ii. 57, viii. 11; Brightman, Liturgies Eastern and Western \ 
Palmer, Or. Litt. ii. 102; Suicer, s.v. <^ik(]\xo.\ Ducange, s.v. 
Osculum ; Bingham ; Probst, Liturgie ; Duchesne, Origines du culte 

ctpilvT). In this final benediction St. Peter uses the Hebrew and 
evangelical " Peace" (cf. Luke xxiv. 36 ; John xx. 19, 21, 26) instead 
of the later "grace," which we find in the corresponding passages 
of the Pauline Epistles, Hebrews, and the Apocalypse. " Peace " 
carries us back to the Address ; the Epistle begins and ends with 
peace. The phrase tois Iv Xpia-r^ " can hardly signify the mystical 
life-communion {die mystische Lebensgemeinschaft) of Paul, of which 
there is no trace in the Epistle, but is merely another name 
for Christians, and conveys the last warning not to forsake this 
community of Christians " (von Soden), 



It will be most convenient to begin the Introduction to 2 Peter by 
a discussion of the external attestation of the Epistle. 


Bom about 346 ; died, 420. 

In the Epistle to Faulinus, prefixed to editions of the Vulgate, 
Jerome accepts all the seven Catholic Epistles without reserve : 

"Jacobus, Petrus, Joannes, Judas Apostoli, septem epistolas 
ediderunt tam mysticas quam succinctas, et breues pariter ac 
longas : breues in uerbis, longas in sententiis ; ut rarus sit, qui non 
in earum lectione caecutiat" Here the word caecutiat seems to be 
taken from 2 Pet. i. 9. 

In the extracts from the Catalogus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum^ 
which also are printed in editions of the Vulgate, he notices that 
there was some considerable doubt as to the authenticity of 
2 Peter, and tells us that the doubt rested on the style of the 
Epistle : 

" Scripsit duas Epistolas, quae Catholicae nominantur : quarum 
secunda a plerisque eius esse negatur, propter stili cum priore 

In the Epistle to Hedibia, 120, Quaes t. xi., he suggests that this 
difference of style might be accounted for by the supposition that 
St. Peter employed two different interpreters : 

" Habebat ergo (Paulus) Titum interpretem, sicut et beatus 
Petrus Marcum, cuius euangelium Petro narrante et eo scribente 
compositum est. Denique et duae epistolae quae feruntur Petri 
stilo inter se et charactere discrepant structuraque uerborum. Ex 
quo intelligimus pro necessitate rerum diuersis eum usum inter- 

Jerome thus records, explains, and perpetuates the doubt, yet 
his great authority practically laid it to sleep in the Greek and Latin 


Churches. But in or about the time of Jerome there were several 
eminent Fathers who either rejected 2 Peter or regarded it with 
grave suspicion. "Among the innumerable quotations from and 
allusions to Scripture found in the writings of Chrysostom, Theo- 
dore, and Theodoret, there does not appear to be one reference to 
2 Peter" (Dr. Chase in Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible, iii. p. 805 ; 
as regards Chrysostom this statement is to some extent modified by 
the note). Amphilochius of Iconium (Westcott, Canon, p. 557) 
says that some accepted seven Catholic Epistles, some only threa 
Didymus of Alexandria accepted 2 Peter as authentic, and wrote a 
commentary upon it ; yet at the close of this work the reader is 
startled by the words (only preserved in a Latin translation), " non 
est igitur ignorandum praesentem epistolam esse falsatam, quae, licet 
publicetur, non tamen in canone est." Mr. Warfield {Southern 
Presbyterian Review, Jan. 1882) suggests that Didymus here ex- 
presses a view which he afterwards rejected. At a later date 
Junilius of Africa (about 550 a.d. ; Westcott, Canon, p. 545) places 
2 Peter among the books which he calls mediae, those which, 
though not absolutely undoubted, are yet accepted by very many 
(quam plurimi). Junilius, though African by birth, lived in Con- 
stantinople, and derived his Syrian theology directly or indirectly 
from Theodore of Mopsuestia (see Dr. Salmon's article in the 
Dictionary of Christian Biography). The doubt as to the authen- 
ticity of 2 Peter appears to have been most strongly felt in the 
Antiochene Church, and rested largely on the absence of the Epistle 
from the Peshito, which recognised only three of the Catholic 
Epistles, James, i Peter, i John ; indeed there is some doubt 
whether the Syriac version originally included even these ; see 
Introduction to i Peter, p. 13. 


The date of his History is about 324. 

II. E. iii. 3. I, 4, nerpoi; /xcv ovv kirKXToky] fiia rj Xeyofxa^r] avrov 
Trporepa dvcofJioXoyrjTai.' ravrr) Se /cat ol TraAat 7rp€a/3vT€poi dos avafi(f>i- 
A.eKT(u iv Tot? (T<^oiv avTwv KaTaKe)(prjVTaL arvyypdixfiacn. rrjv 8k 
cf>€pofji,€vr]v SiVTcpav ovk ivSidOrjKOv pxv etrat TrapeiX.'qcjiaixev, o/xajs Sc 
TToAAois XPV^'-H'^'^ (fiavetcra fJHTo. tCjv dWwv ecTrovSdcrOrj ypa(f>Siv . . . 
dWa ra fxkv ovo/xa^d/xeva Iler/Dov, cav fitav yvrjaLav eyvtov iTncTToXrjV 
Koi irapa tol^ TraXat Trpecr/SvTepois oijxoXoyTqjxivqv rocraCra. 

II. E. iii. 25. 3, Toiv 8' dvTi\.eyop,iv(jiv, yvwptjxtov 8' ovv o/xws 
To1<i TToAAoig, 7] XeyofjiivT] 'laKw/Sov <f>€p€TaL koL rj 'louSa, rj re Herpov 
Sevripa eTrurToXyj. He then goes on to speak about the v66a. 

We gather that 01 ttoXXol, the majority of the Church, accepted 
2 Peter as authentic ; that Eusebius himself doubted, but did not 
absolutely deny, its authenticity; that his doubt rested on two 


grounds, namely, that writers, whose opinion he respected, regarded 
2 Peter as uncanonical (irapeLXi^cfiafjbev) ; and that, so far as he knew, 
the Epistle was not quoted by "the ancient presbyters" — by those 
older writers, that is to say, whose works were to be found in the 
library of Jerusalem (If. E. v. 20. i), and he probably means "not 
quoted by name." It is to be regretted that Eusebius does not 
state from whom he had received his opinion, or who were included 
among the 01 iroXkoi The seven Catholic Epistles existed in the 
library of Caesarea, and there is some reason for thinking that they 
were all accepted as genuine by Pamphilus (Westcott, Canon, 
P- 393 sq.). 


Martyred in the Diocletian persecution. 

In a fragment of his treatise, de Resurredione (Pitra, Anal, Sacra, 
iii. p. 611, quoted by Dr. Chase), we find an express citation of 
2 Pet. iii. 8, xCkia. Sc trt] rrys (Saa-iXeias wvofxacrev rov airepavrov 
al(j)va Sta ttjs ^ikidhos StjXwv, yiypacfiev yap 6 aTrocrroAos Herpos otl 
fiLa rjfJLepa irapa KvpLio a)S ;(tAia erry Koi ^^iXia err] ws rjixipa fxia. 

We may notice also in the same treatise (ed. Jahn, p. 78) the 
words iKTrvpoiOrja-erai fx-kv yap Trpos KadapcTLv Kal avaKaivio-jJibv Kara- 
j3acrt(o Tras KaraKXy^Ofxevos 6 Kocrfios irvpi, ov jxrjv el<s aTrwXctav 
4Xev(reraL TravrcXrj koi cf)Oopdv . . , Bcb avdyKr} 8^ /cat Tr]v yrjv av6L<s 
Kal Tov ovpavbv fiera ttjv iK(f>\6yo)cnv tcreaOai Tvdvruiv KaX rov /?pacr/xov. 
Here the irvp KaTa/Sdcnov is taken from Wisdom x. 6 ; but the run 
of the passage reminds the reader strongly of 2 Pet. iii. 9-13, and 
Methodius, as the first quotation shows, was acquainted with the 


Died, 253. 

In Joann. Comm. v. 3 (Lomm. i. 165); see also Ens. JI. E. vi. 
25. 8, IleT/oos §€, €^' (S oiKoSo/xetrat 17 XptcTToi} iKKhqaia, 17? irvkai hlt>ov 
ov KarL(r)(ycrovcrL, fxCav iirLCTToXrjv o/xoXoyovfievrjv KaraXeXonreu, ecrro) 8e 
Kal Bevrepav dfXcf>i/3dXXeTai, ydp. 

Origen does not express himself so positively as Eusebius ; he 
records the doubt, yet is not unwilling to accept the Epistle. He 
does not tell us on what arguments the doubt rested, nor by whom 
It was entertained. In particular, he says nothing about the style of 
2 Peter, though he was a keen critic, as may be seen from his 
remarks on the Epistle to the Hebrews (Eus. H. E. vi. 25. 11). In 
the works of Origen are found six quotations from, and two clear 
allusions to 2 Peter. Dr. Chase, however, notices that they all 
occur in those treatises which exist only in the Latin version of 
Rufinus, and it must be admitted that this fact renders it somewhat 
doubtful whether they can be ascribed to Origen himself. 


Clement of Alexandria. 

Died about 213. 

Eus. H. E. vi. 14. I, €V Sc rais 'Y7rOTi;7roj(Tecrt, ^vveXovra ciTreii/, 
Trdo-rj-i T^S IvhiaOy'iKOv ypacjirj's iTTLTiTjxrjixeva^ TreTroCrjTaL Si7/y>^cr€is, /at/Sc 
ras di/TiAeyo/xeVas irapeXdoiVy rrjv 'lovSa Aeyo) /cat ras AotTras Ka^oAt/cas 
cTTio-ToXas, Ti^v T€ BapvdfSa kol rrjv Hirpov \eyofx4vrjv diroKakviJ/iv. 

Nothing can be clearer than this statement, which is con- 
firmed by Photius {Biblioth. 109). It is in no degree invalidated 
by the confused utterances of Cassiodorus, who, writing arter an 
interval of more than three hundred years, says, first, that Clement 
expounded the whole of the Bible ; then that he had commented 
upon I Peter, i and 2 John, and James, but not on the other three 
canonic Epistles ; and, finally, made a loose and untrustworthy trans- 
lation (for the Adumbrationes is supposed to be his version of this 
part of the Hypotyposes) of Clement's notes upon i Peter, i and 2 
John, and Jude, not James. 

Dr. Chase does not allow that Clement ever quotes 2 Peter. But 
in Protrep. x. 106 we have the phrase ri\v hZov rrjs dXrjOeta^, which 
is found in 2 Pet. ii. 2 and not elsewhere in the New Testament. 
'XapKO's aTToOecTLs, Strom. i. 19. 94, may be drawn from 2 Pet. i. 14 
(ctTro^ecrts is peculiar to i and 2 Peter). In Ed. Proph. 20, i Pet. 
i. 19 is combined with 2 Pet. ii. i (see note). See again note on 
ii. 13 for another possible reference. In Paed. iii. 8. 43, ro 
^oSoixLTU)v ttolOo's KpicTL^ fx€v dSiKT^cracTt, TraiSaywyta Se aKOvo-acrL, is 
taken not from Jude, as Dindorf thinks, but from 2 Peter, who 
mentions Lot, while Jude does not (see also Paed. iii. 8. 44, where 
the same remark holds good, though Clement immediately goes on 
to quote Jude 5, 6 by name). From the same verse, 2 Pet. ii. 8, 
comes a phrase which is found in Strom, ii. 12. 55, /Jacravi^wj/ Se l^ 
ots rj/xapre ttjv iavrov ypv)(7]v dyaOoepycx. Again, in Straw, vii. 14. 88, 
Clement speaks of the moral law as rj ivroXi^j in the singular. 
Cf. 2 Pet. ii. 21. Probably many other borrowings might be 
detected by anyone who would carefully read Clement through 
with an eye to this point. It is true that Clement does not quote 
2 Peter by name, and some of the phrases here noticed may not be 
conscious quotations at all. " The way of truth " is found also in 
Clement of Rome, " the putting off of the flesh " may have been a 
common expression among Christians. But if they are ultimately 
derived from 2 Peter, as is probably the case, the fact that these 
phrases had become a regular part of the parlance of the Church 
seems greatly to increase the strength of the evidence in favour of 
the authenticity of the Epistle. 

It should be remembered that Clement was the successor and 
pupil of another learned man, Pantaenus, who was head of the 
catechetical school perhaps as early as 180. In that year those 


who advocate the late date of 2 Peter suppose that the Epistle had 
not existed more than five, or at the outside more than twenty or 
thirty years. Pantaenus could hardly have been imposed upon by a 
forgery so recently perpetrated, as Harnack and Dr. Chase suppose, 
in Alexandria. And, if Pantaenus did not know the Epistle, or 
rejected it, how came Clement, the heir of his erudition, to 
accept it? 


Died, 257. 

This Father displays no acquaintance with 2 Peter, yet this fact 
serves only to show the precariousness of the argument from 
silence. For a clear allusion to the Epistle is found in a letter 
addressed to Cyprian by 


Bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia (Cyprian, Epp. Ixxv. 6), "Ste- 
phanus . . . adhuc etiam infamans Petrum et Paulum beatos 
apostolos, . . . qui in epistolis suis haereticos exsecrati sunt et 
ut eos euitemus monuerunt." Cyprian must have known to what 
Epistle of St. Peter Firmilian was appealing. 


Died about the end of the first quarter of the third century. 

Refut. Omn. Haer. ix. 6, /act' ov irokv Se IttX tov avrbv /36pl3opov 
&v€kv\lovto, cf. 2 Pet. ii. 2 2. Thc expression is, as Dr. Chase 
says, of the nature of a proverb, but it is not a common proverb. 
See note on the passage. 

Ih'd. X. 33, TO. Be iravra 8ioi/cet 6 Xoyos 6 ®eou, o Trpwroyovo? irarpos 
irats, rj irpb eixxrcjiopov <fiO)a-<f>6po^ ^wvr;, cf. 2 Pet. i. 19, and see note 
on the passage. 

Il>id. x. 34, iK(f)€v^€(rO€ iTnpxofxivrjv ttu/dos KpLcr€(o<s aTrciX^v kol 
Taprdpov ^o^epov o/x/^a difxloTLaTOv, cf. 2 Pet. ii. 4, 17, iii. 7. 

In Dan. iii. 22, <5 yap d.v tis viroTayy tovt(o /cat ScSovAcorat, cf. 
2 Pet. ii. 19. 

Ih'd. iv. 10, ct yap KOL vvv ^paSvvet irpb KaipoVj jxt] Oektov ttjv 
KpCcnv Tw KocriKa cTrcveyKctv, cf. 2 Pet. n. 5j lil» 9* 

Ibid, xxiii. 24, rip.ipa 8e Kvptov x^Xia h-q. 

The Clementine Literature, 

Passages bearing a more or less close resemblance to 2 Peter 
have been detected in the Recognitions^ the Homilies^ the Actus 
Petri cum Simone. On this point the reader may consult the 
observations of Dr. Chase, arid of Dr. Salmon, Introduction 
(p. 520, ed. il 


Theophilus of Antioch. 

Died, 183-185. 

ii. 13, o Xoyos avrov, ^aivwv Sxnrep Xv)(yo<s ev oiKrjfxaTi <nn'e;(0/x€va), 
icfitoTLcrev T7]v VTT ovpavov, cf. 2 Pet. i. 19. In 4 Esdr. xii. 42 we 
read, " Tu enim nobis superes solus ex omnibus populis . . . sicut 
lucerna in loco obscuro " ; and the word of God is a Av'^vos in Ps. 
cxix. 105. Yet it seems most likely that Theophilus had St. Peter 
in mind. 

ii. 9, ot Be Tov ©eoO avOpwiroi Trv€VfiaTO(f>6poi irvevfiaro's ayiov koX 
TrpotjirjTaL yevo/xevoi, cf. 2 Pet. i. 21. Dr. Chase points out that 
the word Trvev/xaroffiopos is found in Hog. ix. 7 ; Zeph. iii. 4. It 
can hardly be maintained that either of these passages is conclusive, 
but they deserve some weight. 


Date of Orafi'o, 150-170. 

Or. ad Graecos, 15 (Otto, vi. p. 70) toiovtov Sc fxr) ovtos tov 
oTK-qvcifjiaTos. This sense of the word o-KTyvw/xa (body) is borrowed 
from 2 Pet. i. 13. Immediately before, in the single word vad?, we 
have an allusion to i Cor. iii. 16. ^K^voifxa is so used by Eus. 
H. E. ii. 25. 6, who possibly found it in Gaius. 

The Muratorianum, 

P. 106, line 6 (in Westcott's Canon) "Sicute et semote passione 
petri euidenter declarat." These words must refer either to the 
Gospel of St. John or to 2 Peter. They can hardly refer to the 
Gospel, which had been fully noticed. See on this point Introduc- 
tion to I Peter, p. 14. 


His Apology was presented to Hadrian in 129-130, or, as Mr. 
Rendel Harris thinks, to Antoninus Pius, in the early years of his 

Apol. xvi., r\ 6S0S r^s aXy]Qeia<!; ^tis tovs 68ct;ovTas avrrjv cts ttjv 
al(ovLov ;(€ipay(uyer ySaatAci'av, cf. 2 Pet. i. II, ii. 2. This seems 
a clear case. Canon Armitage Robinson considers that the Greek 
text of the Apology "as a rule gives us the actual words of 

Martyred in 155. 

Phtl. iii., r^ aro(f>La tov fxaKapiov /cat ivSo^ov TlavXov, os , , , Vfuv 
€ypa\j/€v CTriOToAa?, cf. 2 Pet. iii. 15. 


Martyrium Polycarpi. 

XX. 2, €is rrfv alutviov avrov ySacriXetav. So Harnack. Lightfoot 
has kirovpdviov, but atwviov is the reading of two MSS. out of three. 

Justin Martyr, 

Harnack puts the date of the Dialogue^ 155-160. 

Dial. 51} Kol iv Tw fjieTa^v T7J<s Trapovcrtias avTov )(p6v(o, ws Trpoiffirjv, 
y€v^<reaOat atpecrets koi if/evSo7rpo(fir}Ta<s ctti tw ovofxari avrov irpo- 
efi-qware. Otto refers to Matt. vii. 15, xxiv. 5; i Cor. xi. 19. But 
there would seem to be here a reminiscence of 2 Pet. ii. i, where 
ij/evSoTrpocl>rJTaL and aipeVeis are mentioned in conjunction. In 
Dial. 82, again, Justin uses the word il/evBoSiSdo-KaXoi, which though, 
as Dr. Chase remarks, a word of easy formation, is pecuHar to 
2 Peter. 

Dial. 81, a-vvi^Kafxev koI to elprjixevov on 'Hfxipa Kvptov ws p(tXia 
err]. Otto notes, " Sic Tanchuma, fol. 335 A, Dies dei est milk 
annorum." Here, again, doubt is legitimate. But we have seen 
above that Methodius quoted this phrase by name from 2 Pet. iii. 8. 

Apol. i. 28, /cat yap r] e-mixovr] tov fiyjSiiroi rovro -rrpa^at rov @ibv 
Blo. to avOpwTnvov yevos yeyevrjTaL' Trpoyivwo'/cci yap Tivas €/c /x,€Tavotas 
awdi^a-earOaLf of. 2 Pet. iii. 9. 


He flourished in the third quarter of the second century. 

Apology (in Otto, vol. ix. p. 432), "Etenim aliquando fuit 
diluuium uenti, et selecti (ad id) homines occisi sunt aquilone 
uehementi, et relicti sunt iusti ad demonstrationem ueritatis. 
Rursus alio tempore fuit diluuium aquarum, et perierunt omnes 
homines et bestiae in multitudine aquarum, et seruati sunt iusti in 
area lignea iussu dei. Atque ita ultimo tempore erit diluuium 
ignis, et ardebit terra cum montibus suis, et ardebunt homines 
cum simulacris quae fecerunt et cum operibus sculptilibus quae 
adorauerunt, et ardebit mare cum insulis suis, et seruabuntur 
iusti ab ira, sicut socii eorum seruati sunt in area ab aquis diluuii." 

On the date of this Syriac version of Melito's Apology, see 
Introduction to i Peter, p. 10. Dr. Chase takes the deluge of 
wind to refer to the destruction of the Tower of Babel, which is 
mentioned in the Sibylline Oracles iii. 97 sqq., in connexion with 
the destruction of the world by fire, and is inclined to think 
that Melito is following the Sibyl rather than 2 Peter. There is, 
however, a different explanation of the Flood of Wind ; see Otto's 
note on the passage, vol. ix. p. 476. But it will be necessary to con- 
sider the origin of the belief in the approaching destruction of the 
world by fire more fully in a later section. 



Died, 202 or 203. 

This Father introduces a quotation from i Peter with the words 
Petrus ait in epistola sua (iv. 9. 2) ; but this phrase does not neces- 
sarily imply that he knew only one Petrine letter. Irenaeus 
certainly knew 2 John, which he quotes explicitly and by name 
(i. 16. 3, iii. 16. 8) ; yet, says Mr. Warfield, he quotes i John (iii. 16. 
5, 8) just as he quotes i Peter, with the words in sua epistola^ iv ry 
iTTio-ToX-rj, Two passages call for notice. 

iii. I. I, fxera 8e ttjv tovto)v e^oSov MdpKO<» 6 fxadrjTr}^ /cat ipixrj- 
vevTr]<s Hirpov kol avros ra vtto nirpov Krjpvcra-ofJieva iyypdcfxa^ rifxxv 

There can be little doubt that c^oSos here means " death." It 
is so used Wisd. iii. 2, vii. 6 ; Luke ix. 31 ; 2 Pet. i. 15. In 
secular writers it never, so far as I know, bears this sense by itself, 
though it is commonly used in later Greek in combination with a 
genitive, c^oSos tov fSiov et sinim. There is some slight presump- 
tion, therefore, that here the word may be a reminiscence of the 
Petrine passage. But, further, there were two traditions as to the 
date at which Mark composed his Gospel. According to the one 
he wrote before, according to the other after, the death of Peter. 
It is a most natural and probable supposition that the latter view 
was connected with 2 Pet. i. 15. Irenaeus does not tell us whence 
he derived this account of St. Mark's Gospel, but he no doubt 
borrowed it from some earlier writer, most probably Papias. Thus 
it may be argued with some confidence that 2 Peter was known to 
and accepted by men who lived before Irenaeus, and whose 
opinions Irenaeus followed. It might, of course, be replied that 
the writer of 2 Peter was himself following the author or authors 
of this tradition, but this would hardly be reasonable. 

V. 23. 2, "Dies domini sicut mille anni"; v. 28. 3, y) yap rjixipa 

Kuptou a)S ;)(tXia tr-q. 

Irenaeus does not tell us where he found these words which so 
strongly resemble those of 2 Pet. iii. 8. In both places he con- 
nects them with Chiliasm ; the world was created in six days, and 
will last six thousand years. It has been supposed that he borrowed 
this adaptation of Ps. xc 4 from Justin, or from Barnabas, or from 
the Rabbis. But this point also will require to be further con- 
sidered in a later section. 

Epistle of the Churches of Lyons and Vienne. 

Eus. H. E. v. I. 36, 55 ; 2. 3, l^o'8o<i is used absolutely of " death." 
Ibid. V. I. 45, 6 6e hia. /xia-ov /caipos ovk dpyos avTOL<s ovBe dKapiroi 

lyCviTo, cf. 2 Pet L 8, 


The Epistle, then, was known, if not to Irenaeus, to those with 
whom he was very closely connected. 

Let us notice another phrase in this letter — v. i. 48, Sea T-fjq 
avacrTpo(f>rj<s avruiv ^Xacrcfi7]ixovvT€? T7]v oSov, tovtccttlv oi viol rijq 
d7ra)A.6tas. Here we seem to find a combination of vers. 2 and 22 
of the Fragment of the Apocalypse of Peter^ which is therefore 
older than the Viennese letter. 

Apocalypse of Peter, 

1 10-160, or more nearly 120-140; Harnack. The use of the 
work by the Viennese Church warns us that the date can hardly be 
placed after 140. 

I, TToAA-Ot e^ avTvjv ecrovrai ^ivSoirpocfirJTaL /cat oSovs /cat Boyfiara 
TTOLKiXa Trj<; aTrtuXeias SlBol^ovo-lv, cf. 2 Pet. ii. I. 

I, Taf; ifnj)(as iavTiov SoKi/xa^ovra?, cf. 2 Pet. ii. 8. 

21, TOTTOv avxfJi-rjpov, cf. 2 Pet. i. 19. 

2 2, 28, l3Xa(T<jir)iM0vvTe^ rrjv oBbv Trj<i SiKatocrwT^S, cf. 2 Pet. ii. 2, 21. 

30, 17 evToXi^, cf. 2 Pet. ii. 21, iii. 2. 

In his edition of the Fragment, Professor Harnack {Bruchstilcke, 
p. 71) says that the Apocalypse and 2 Peter are blutsverwandt, 
but does not pronounce upon the question of priority. In the 
Chronologie, p. 471, he decides that the author of 2 Peter borrows 
from the Apocalypse. But I find it quite impossible to accept this 
view. Before the Apocalypse was written there had been violent 
persecution {61 Stw^avres rotfs St/catous /cat TrapaSovres avTov<;, 27 ; the 
verb Tr)yavi(6fjL€voL, 34, belongs to the times of persecution; the 
word is used in the Viennese letter, Eus. If. E. v. i. 38), of which 
there is no indication whatever in 2 Peter. Again, the description 
of hell, suggested as it is by Plato, Aristophanes, Homer, and 
especially Virgil, certainly points to a later date than the Epistle. 
Jiilicher thinks it not improbable that 2 Peter made use of the 
Apocalypse ; and Kiihl goes so far as to suppose that 2 Pet. ii. may 
have been written by the same author as the Apocalypse. The 
three reasons given by Dr. Chase in the Dictionary of the Bible for 
thinking it impossible that the author of the Apocalypse should 
have borrowed from 2 Peter, appear to be wholly unsubstantial. 
I have suggested in the notes that the whole of the later Petrine 
literature owes its origin to 2 Pet. i. 1 5 ; these words gave the busy 
army of inventors the suggestion and the name for their works of 
imagination. If this view is tenable, we have here again a remark- 
able proof of the authority of our Epistle in very early times. 

It has been said above that the Apocalypse of Peter bears 
traces of the influence of Virgil and Homer. The general idea which 
underlies the vision, that our pleasant vices are made the whips to 
scourge us, may be found in Wisd. xi. 1 6, 8t' ^v rts a/Aa/araj/ei Sta rovnav 


KoXd^erai, but in its concrete, pictorial development belongs to the 
Greek and Roman mythology. But even in details the Apocalypse 
closely resembles the Aeneid. Cf. the following passages : — 

Apoc. 3, TO, ixXv yap a-wfiara avriov rjv XcvKOTepa Trd(rr)<; ;(iovo5 kol 
ipvOpoTCpa TravTOS poSov, avveKiKparo 8e to ipvOpov avTOiV to) AevKw, koX 
dirXi)i<i ov Svvafxai e$7]yrj(racrdaL to KCtA-Xos avTo)v' rj T€ yap Kop^iq avTiov 
ovXrj ^v Koi dvOrjpa kol iTrnrpiTTOvcra avTotv tco t€ TrpocTUiirio kol tois 
wfioa, wcTTTcpei crrec^avos €K vapSoo-Tdxvo<s TreTrAey/xeVos kol ttoikiAcuv 
av6(i)V, 7] wo-n-ep tpis eV depLj TOiavTi] -^v avroiv 17 evTrpiir€La. 

Virg. Aen. i. 402 : 

** Dixit, et auertens rosea ceruice refulsit, 
Ambrosiaeque comae diuinum uertice odorem 

For the contrast of white and rose in the complexion of beauty, 
see the description of Euryalus, Aen. ix. 431-437, or of Aeneas, 
Aen. i. 588-593. OvXrj KopLrj kol dvOrjpd is a reminiscence also of 
Hom. Od. vi. 230, KaS Se KdprjTos OilAas t^kc Ko/xas vaKivBivta dvdei 

Apoc. 5, fxiyia-TOV ^w/jov e/cros tovtov tov Koa-fMOV viripXafXTrpov tw 
<f}0)TL, KOL TOV de/ott TOV cKct aKTlcTiv rjXLOv KaraXa/xTTO/xevov, Kai t^j/ yrjv 
avTr]v dvOovo'av dfiapdvT0L9 dvOecru 

Virg. Aen. vi. 638 : 

*' Deuenere locos laetos, et amoena uireta 
Fortunatonim nemorum, sedesque beatas. 
Largior hie campos aether et lumine uestit 
Purpureo, solemque suum, sua sidera norunt." 

We may remember also the d(r<^o8cXos Xeifxiav of Hom. Od. xi. 539. 

Apoc. 6, the phrase toVos avxMpo?, of the place of punishment, 
is taken from 2 Peter, but, used as it is in the Apocalypse^ it calls to 
mind the words of Virgil, 

Aen. vi. 534: 

" Ut jtristis sine sole domos, loca turbida, adires." 

Apoc. 8, 9, 16, the region of torment is full of boiling mud. 
Cf. Aen. vi. 296, "Turbidus hie coeno uastaque uoragine gurges 
Aestuat " ; 416, " Informi Hmo " ; the boiling mud is that of Phlege- 

Apoc. 6, 01 KoXdtpvTei dyycXot CTKOTf-ivov fX)(pv avTojv to evBvfxa 
Kara tov depa tov tottov. 

Virg. Aen. vi. 555 : 

"Tisiphone . . . palla succincta cruenta." 

Apoc. 10, Tovs <f)OV€L<s e/SXcTTOv . . . /3e^Xr]ixevov<s ev rivi TOirta 
TiOXipL/xcvio KOL 7r€7rXy]p(i)fiev(o IpirerStv TrovrjpwVy kol TrA-i^co-o/xevovs vtto 

TOJV 6r]pLU)V €KetV(UV. 


Virg. Aen. vi. 570 : 

"Continuo sontes ultrix accincta flagello 
Tisiphone quatit insultans, toruosque sinistra 
Intentans angues uocat agmina saeua sororum." 

ApOC. II, TToXXot TratSes oirtvcs aoypoL Itlktovto (text of Canon 
Armitage Robinson) Kadrjiicvoi l/cAatov. 
Virg. Aen. vi. 427 : 

'* Infantumque animae flentes in limine primo." » 

It may be strongly suspected that the author of the Apocalypse 
was a Western, who had read Virgil. The book first comes before 
our notice at Vienna, and in the Roman Muratorianum ; and these 
facts point in the same direction. Further, the Clementina mani- 
fest so strong an interest in Rome that we may look for their origin, 
at any rate for that of their Grundschrift, in the same locality. Prob- 
ably a good deal of the pseudo-Petrine literature came from Rome, 
But ihat the whole tone and conception of the Apocalypse is later 
than 2 Peter seems to me to be beyond a doubt. 

The so-called Second Epistle of Clement. 
T 30-1 70. 

xvi., ytvcjo-KCTC §€ on tpy^ro-i TjSrj rj rjfiipa rfj<; Kpla-fto'i ws AcA-t'/^avos 
xatdyuevos koX TaKT^aovrai at SvvafjieL<s twv ovpavoiv koX Tracra rj yrj wq 
/ji6XL/38o<s cTTt TTvpl TTjKOfxevos Kol t6t€ <}>avrj(T€TaL TO, Kpv<f>La Kol fftavcpa 
epya tcov av6p(i)Tr(j)v. 

The author here quotes Mai. iv. i ; Isa. xxxiv. 4, but his view of 
the world-fire is that of St. Peter. Dr. Salmon (Introduction, p. 521) 
suggests that <f>avrj(r€TaL is an attempt to make sense out of the 
corrupt fvpSrjcriTaL of 2 Pet. iii. 10. Add that rjfiipa KjotVeo)? in the 
New Testament is only found in Matthew's Gospel, in i John, and 
in 2 Peter. 



£p/i., Preface, *Ir](rov Xpiarov rov ®eoO rjfiuiv: see Lightfoot's 
note ; the same phrase recurs £pk. xviii. ; JRom. iii. ; I'olyc. viii., 
cf. 2 Pet. i. I. 

£p/i. xii., IlavXov , . . os ev Trdcrrj cTricTToA,^, cf. 2 Pet iii. 
15, 16. 

Trail, xiii. 3, Iv w evpeOetrj/jiev afioifioij cf. 2 Pet. iii. 14. 

Magn. ix., 17 ^w^ y]pA£iv dvcTttAcv, cf. 2 Pet. i. 19. 

No one of these phrases can be regarded as conclusive; yet 
they are worth noticing as probably echoes of 2 Peter. 



70-79, Lightfoot; 130 or 131, Harnack. 

XV. 4, Trpoarix^Te, tckvu, tl A.€y€i to 2vv€TeA.€(r€v ev 1^ ri/X€paL<s' 
fOVTO Xiyei otl iv eiaKtaxiXtoi^ Itco-iv (rvvrcA-co-ct Kupios to. (rv/w,7ravTa. 
TH yap rjfxipa Trap avrw ;(iA,ta cri;* avTOS 8e /xot fxapTvpei Xiyiov' 'l8ou 
a-yfjLepov rj/xipa ecrrai d)S ;(iAta ctt;. 

See remarks on Irenaeus above ; but here the Trap' avrio comes 
very close to Peter's Trapa Kvptcu. Hilgenfeld here quotes Lepto- 
genesis^ 4, "Und (Adam) lebte 70 Jahre weniger als 1000 Jahre, 
derin 1000 Jahre sind wie Ein Tag nach dem himmlischen Zeug- 
niss. Desswegen ist geschrieben iiber den Baum des Erkenntnisses : 
An dem Tage da ihr davon esset, werdet ihr sterben. Darum hat 
er die Jahre dieses Tages nicht vollendet, sondern er starb an 


1 1 0-140, Harnack. 

In the Pastor there are a few words and phrases which may 
conceivably have been suggested by 2 Peter; Vis. iii. 7. i, r^v 68ov 
Tr\v aXrjOLvqv : Sim. v. 7. 2, fxiacrfios : Sim. vi. 2. 5, fSXifxfjia, but in a 
different sense: Sim. ix. 14. 4, BvayorjTos: Sim. ix. 22. i, false 
teachers are av^aSet?. 

Clement of Rome. 

93-95, hardly as late as 97, Harnack. 

Here again we find several phrases which in the New Testament 
are pecular to 2 Peter ; such are 6 Trpo^y/rt/cos A.dyos, xi. 2 : eVoTrrr/s 
(but it is here used of God), lix. 3 : /aw/xo?, Ixiii. i : /AeyaXoTrpeTrr/?, 
i. 2. In vii. 6 we read Na>e eKypv^ev fX€TdvoLav, which not unnaturally 
suggests 2 Pet. ii. 5, Nwc St/catoo-vvTys Ki^pvKa. Bishop Lightfoot in- 
geniously suggested that Clement may have borrowed his phrase 
from a lost passage of the pre-Christian third Sibylline book. See 
his note. 


The Epistle of St. Jude may, I believe, be confidently regarded 
as the earliest attestation of 2 Peter. But the point must be dis- 
cussed at length in a separate section. 


The Second Epistle of St. Peter is very short ; its subject, the 
disorders of a particular section of the Church, is of limited in- 


terest, and is treated in a vague and general way, very unlike that 
in which the same topic is handled in the First Epistle to the 
Corinthians, and conveying little information about the persons 
and circumstances in view; and it contains very few quotable 
phrases. It is probably very seldom quoted even in the present 
day. Yet its attestation is strong; if we accept the evidence of 
the Apocalypse of Peter^ very strong ; and if we accept that of 
Jude, overwhelming. 

Its authenticity was doubted by many in Jerome's time, because 
its style was supposed to differ from that of the First Epistle. 
Eusebius believed that it was not the work of St. Peter, chiefly 
because he could find no clear instance of its use by the " ancient 
presbyters." Origen knew that it was regarded with doubt, but 
gives no reason for the doubt, and was himself rather inclined to 
accept the Epistle. Of Clement we are expressly informed that 
he gave it a place in his Bible. Before the time of Clement, if we 
put aside the Apocalypse and Jude, we can only detect scattered 
phrases and words, which are found in 2 Peter, and of which several 
are not found elsewhere in the New Testament. 

Even scattered words and phrases, such as oSos t^? oX-r^Qda^^ 

ovK dpyos ovBe aKapTro?, aiojvto? ySacriAeia, o 7rpo^?^Ti/cos Aoyos, Svcr- 

v67}To<s, have a certain weight. Phrases have histories. Even in 
our own time how many turns of expression are in vogue which, 
though apparently quite casual, have yet a definite origin, and mark 
the date of the document in which they occur. Not to speak of 
really great coinages, such as " evolution " or " survival of the fittest," 
let us take such trivial instances as " within a measurable distance of 
practical politics," " grand old man," " lost leader," " honest doubt," 
"sweetness and light." Every one of these current insignificant 
phrases belongs to a definite period. But they have become current, 
that is to say, they are constantly used by people who have not the 
slightest idea where they come from. The same fate may have 
befallen 2 Peter; the Church of Vienna, for example, may have 
quoted one of its phrases, and yet never have read the Epistle 
itself. Indeed, there is reason for thinking that the Epistle did 
not enjoy a wide circulation. Otherwise it would be difficult to 
account for the extremely bad state of the text. 

To this point attention has been drawn in the notes ; but it will 
be of service to collect here those passages in which the best attested 
readings of the MSS. are either certainly or very probably wrong, 
or in which variants existed at an extremely early date. 

i. 2, TOV ®€OV Kol ^lr]<TOV TOV K.VpLOV rjfJLWV. 

The right reading here is very probably tov Kvpiov r^fitov. See 

ii. 4, a-ipol^s. 

This is probably the right reading. But K L P have o-eipatg, and 


this seems to have been what Jude found in his copy of the Epistle, 
and paraphrased by S€criJLOL<s dtSiois. 

ii. 13, aSiKOVfJievoL fiiaOov dSiKtias. 

This is the reading of t? B P, the Bodleian Syriac, and the 
Armenian; it is adopted by Westcott and Hort; Tregelles gives 
it a place in the margin ; and Tischendorf, though he reads kojxiov- 
fievoi, remarks in his note, " ahiKoviJiivoi si aptum sensum praebere 
iudicabitur omnino praeferendum erit." 

A C K L, all other MSS., the Vulgate, m^^, Jerome, the Sahidic, 
Coptic, Aethiopic, Ephraem, Theophylact, Oecumenius have or 
translate KOfxiov^fvoi. 

Syr^ has a word which Tischendorf translates ententes. 

It is surely vain to try to get sense out of dSiKovyaevot. Perhaps 
it is worth while to notice that in the Sinaitic MS. atiKov^jL^voi comes 
at the end of a line, while the next line ends with dSiKta?. It is just 
possible that a hasty scribe may have taken the dSiK- from the latter 

Ko/x,toTj/x€vot will make sense, but not good sense. A few verses 
below fjito-Obs dStKtas means the temporal gain of unrighteousness, 
and the phrase can hardly have any other sense in the former place. 
What we appear to want is a participle which should give the sense 
of " seeking after." Ementes might suggest (uvov/x,ef ot. Ko/Atov/Acvoi 
has the look of a mere conjectural emendation. 

ii. 13, aTrdrais. 

dyciTrats is the right reading, though it is supported only by B, 
the Versions, and Jude. 

ii. 14, /x,ot;(aXtSos. 

SoBCKLP: t<A and three cursives have /Aotxa^tas. 

Moi;j(aAis means "adulterous" (Matt. xii. 39, xvi. 4), or "an 
adulteress " (Rom. vii. 3 ; Jas. iv. 4). " Eyes full of an adulteress " 
is certainly nonsense. is not a classical word, but occurs 
in later Greek; see Lobeck's Phrynichus^ p. 452, note. MoixaXta 
apparently does not exist, and is indeed an impossible formation, 
as there is no verb ftoixaXcvw, nor noun y.oi^aXo'i, It may be 
observed that in ii. 1 8 the Sinaitic has ixa0r]Tai6TYjTo<; for /xaratdrTyros. 
The scribe had the word fxad-qTrj^ in his head, and did not perceive 
his error till he had written the first two syllables. So here some 
still earlier scribe may have meant to write /Aotxtds, but ixolxolXl's 
occurred to him, and he inserted a wrong syllable. Hence came 
the unmeaning fioLxa.\La<;, which some well-intentioned copyist cor- 
rected into /xotxaAiSos. This error is older than any of the existing 

ii. 15, Tov Boo-op. 

So A C K L p. B has tov Bcwp fxia-Oov dSiKias rjyairrja-av. N has 
TOV Bcuiopcrop /jLLcrOov dSi/cias rjydTn](r€v. Probably in the original of 
the Sinaitic the words tov Bcwp os were illegible, and the scribe did 


the best he could with them. The name Bosor does not exist. It 
will be observed that no single MS. has the right reading tov 
Beoip OS. 

ii. 16, 7rapa<f)povLav. 

This, again, is a vox nihili^ but it is the reading of all the great 
MSS. Six cursives have irapa(f)poavvr]v, three TrapavofxLav : the 
latter is the better conjecture, as it is Peter's habit to repeat words, 
and 7rapavofXLa<s occurs immediately before. 

iii. 3, ifjiTratyiJiovy. 

So fc^ A B C P and many cursives. But this word also did not 
exist, and therefore cannot have been used by St. Peter. 

iii. 10, KaraKarjcreTai. 

So A L and some of the Versions ; C has af^avLa-Orja-ovrai : N B K P 
and some Versions evp^OyjaeraL : the Sahidic and Bodleian Syriac 
translate non inuenientur \ am fu harl omit the clause. Kara 
Ka-qa-erai, acftavLad'^crovTai, seem to be mere corrections ; the right 
reading is probably ovx cvpeOrja^TaL. But here again we find an 
error which is older than any of the MSS. 

A document which exhibits so many serious textual corruptions 
can hardly have been very generally read, or very carefully guarded 
during the first stages of its existence. Yet there is some reason 
for thinking that 2 Peter exerted a considerable and widespread 
influence in very early times. Four points call for notice. 

One is the tradition preserved by Irenaeus, that the Gospel of 
St. Mark was written after the death of St. Peter. It may, of course, 
be said that St. Peter does not allude to St. Mark's Gospel in i. 15. 
But it may also be thought that he does ; and certainly his words 
may have been so understood. It is a fair conclusion that the 
statement given by Irenaeus was built by earlier writers on the 
Petrine passage. 

The idea that a day of the Lord was a thousand years, existed 
among the Rabbis. But it was by no means the only idea. Some 
held that the "day" was 365 years; some that it was 600. There 
was also great variety among the opinions held as to the duration of 
Messiah's reign ; the Rabbis leave us to choose between 40, 60, 90, 
365, 400, 1000, 2000, and 7000 years. Elieser and some others 
fixed upon 1000 years, and defended this number by combining 
Isa. Ixiii. 4 with Ps. xc. 4 (see Gfrorer, Jahrhundert des Heils^ ii. 
p. 252 sqq.). This is the opinion which underlies Apoc. xx. 4. 
In the Christian writers quoted above this peculiar explanation of 
the " day " is always connected with the millenary reign of Christ. 
It cannot be maintained that they all based their Chiliasm on our 
Epistle ; yet Methodius expressly quotes 2 Peter, and the words of 
Barnabas bear a very close resemblance to the Petrine passage. 

It may be asked how the Fathers came to adopt one particular 
Rabbinic view as to the duration of a day of the Lord, and one 


particular verse of the Old Testament as a proof of this view, unless 
they were guided by a Christian document to which they attached 
high authority. 

But the most remarkable fact is that St. Peter does not give his 
adaptation of Ps. xc. 4 any chiliastic turn at all. He employs 
it simply to prove the long-suffering of God, and to account for the 
delay of the Parousia. This is surely a sign of great antiquity. 
From the time of the Apocalypse and Barnabas to that of the 
Alexandrines, Chiliasm was practically the universal belief of the 
Church (see Justin, Trypho^ 80-82), and it is extremely difficult to 
suppose that the author of 2 Peter, dealing as he is with the very 
verse out of which Chiliasm arose, could have refrained from some 
allusion to that opinion, if he had been writing at any date in the 
second century, or even late in the first. It may be observed here 
that he says not one word about the signs of the End. Clearly he 
felt strongly bound by the Lord's command not to speculate on 
the day or hour of the Parousia. This command was soon for- 
gotten, and its observance ought to count largely in favour of our 

Another interesting point is the belief in the destruction of the 
world by fire. This also became the predominant opinion. 

Writing about the middle of the second century, Celsus says 
that Christians generally believed in a world-conflagration (Origen, 
contra Celsum, iv. 11, 79), and treats the belief as arising from a 
misunderstanding of the teaching of Greek philosophers, that Ik- 
TTvpwcrwi and cTriKAvo-cts alternate in the history of the world. Origen, 
in answer, refers to Josephus, Ant. i. 2. 3 ; to Deut. iv. 24 ; Dan. 
vii. 10; Mai. iii. 2; i Cor. iii. 12, but not to 2 Peter, and insists 
that the office of the fire, as described in Scripture, is to purify and 
not to destroy. It may be suspected that here we have a glimpse 
of one of Origen's reasons for his doubts about 2 Peter. 

In Clement, Strom, v. 14. 121, 122, we find an iambic passage, 
which is quoted also in the de monarchia (Otto, vol. iii. p. 136), and 
there attributed to Sophocles. The verses speak, not only of the 
world-fire, but of the Two Ways, and may be later than Barnabas. 
But the words a.-Kavra T(X7rty€ta kox fierdpaLa (f)\i$€L fxavucr come very 
close to 2 Pet. iii. 10. 

Justin, Apol. i. 20, appeals to the Sibyl and Hystaspes as 
authorities for the belief in the world-fire. The first reference is to 
Orac. Sib. iv. 172-177; this book is supposed to have been com- 
posed in the time of Titus or Domitian. The prophecies of 
Hystaspes were Christian; as to their age, Clement {Strom, vi. 
5. 43) appears to say that they were quoted in the neVpov 
KT^pvyfxOy the date of which is not later than a.d. 140-150 (Ckron- 
o/ogi'e, p. 472). It may be suspected that both Hystaspes and the 
fourth book of the Oracles belong to the same family as the pseudo- 


Petrine literature. Justin's words explain the opening lines of the 
famous hymn : 

*' Dies irae, dies ilia 
Soluet saeclum in fauilla, 
Teste Dauid cum Sibylla " ; 

where the testimony of the Sibyl is coupled with that of the Psalms 
(probably Ps. xcvii. 3). 

But whence did the Sibyl and Hystaspes derive their opinion 
that the world would be destroyed by fire? It was held by 
the Valentinians, who may have borrowed it from the Stoics ; but 
it was opposed by Irenaeus (i. 7. i), whose own belief was that the 
world would be transformed by fire, but not destroyed (v. 36. i). 
It is not to be found precisely in the Old Testament, though 
there are passages such as Ps. xcvii. 3, "A fire goeth before 
Him, and burneth up His adversaries round about" (cf. Isa. 
xxxiv. 4, li. 6, Ixvi. 15, 16, 22; Mai. iv. i, quoted by 2 Clement 
xvL), where the fire of the Lord's presence, the refiner's fire, is 
described as burning up all evil, and so making a new heaven 
and earth. The general language of the New Testament does 
not go beyond this (Heb. xii. 29; i Cor. iii. 13, vii. 31 ; 2 Thess. 
i. 8; Apoc. xxi. i). Origen referred to Josephus, Ant. i. 2. 3, Trpo- 
€LpYjKiv 'ABa/x d<^avi(7/xov rSiv oAwv eaeaOai, rbv fxev /car' i<Txvv Trupos, 
Tov erepov 8e Kara /Stav kol ttXtjOvv vSaro? : but this Adamic prophecy 
puts the world-fire before the Deluge, and this order is not merely 
accidental, as appears from the account of Seth and his two pillars, 
which immediately follows. We should infer from the words of 
Josephus that Adam foretold a catastrophe either by fire or by 
water; or again, if Josephus is quoting loosely, and we are not to 
insist upon the sequence of events, we may suppose that he spoke 
of the Deluge, and of the overthrow of Sodom. It is certain that 
the destruction of the world by fire was not an article of faith 
among the Jews, for Philo argues strongly against it {de inc. Mundi). 

Here again we may ask how a doctrine which was regarded 
with much suspicion, as belonging to Stoicism and as preached by 
heretics, came, nevertheless, to be widely held, unless it was sup- 
ported by some apostolic document. 

The Second Epistle of St Peter must have been written before 
the persecution of Nero, and therefore must be older than the 
fourth book of the Sibylline Oracles. It is, then, quite a tenable 
opinion that the belief in the world-fire arose ultimately out of 
this Epistle. 

Lastly, it is not improbable that the whole prolific family of 
pseudo-Petrine literature springs from the hint given in 2 Pet. i. 15. 
The apostle had promised something more, and the temptation to 
supply it was irresistible. 



Of these two writers one borrowed from the other ; this is quite 

The priority of 2 Peter was affirmed with confidence by Luther. 
No one, he says, can deny it. But since the time of Eichhorn the 
opposite view has gained ground, and is maintained with confidence 
quite as great. Holtzmann writes, "It is not necessary again to 
refute this hypothesis (of the priority of 2 Peter), which at the 
present day is practically abandoned." Weiss says that "there 
can be no question " as to the priority of Jude. Professor Harnack, 
Reuss, Jiilicher, von Soden, Dr. Salmon, are of the same opinion. 

Yet Luther's judgment has not been left without supporters. It 
has been defended in recent times by Dr. Lumby (in the Speaker's 
Commentary)^ Mansel, Plummer (in Ellicott's Commentary)^ Spitta, 
and Zahn. 

An intermediate position is held by Kiihl, who thinks that 2 Pet 
ii. i-iii. 2 is an interpolation ; that the original Epistle was used by 
Jude ; that the interpolation was taken from Jude. This peculiar 
view appears to rest mainly on two supports--(i) that Jude 17, 18 
is a quotation from 2 Pet. iii. 3; (2) that the Libertines of the 
second chapter have nothing to do with the Mockers of the third. 
The weakness of the latter argument is palpable. The theory of 
interpolation is always a last and desperate expedient. We shall 
see as we go on that the style of the Epistle is uniform, and that 
the second chapter has natural links of connexion with the first 
and with the third. Nor is there any mark of dislocation at the 
beginning or end of the passage which Kiihl supposes to have 
been thrust into the original text. 

When two writers, whose date cannot be precisely ascertained, 
are clearly in the position of borrower and lender, the question of 
priority must turn to a great degree on points of style, and these 
will always strike different minds in different ways. If the arrange- 
ment of the one writer is more logical, and his expression clearer, 
than those of the other, it may be thought either that the first has 
improved upon the second, or that the second has spoiled the first. 
The criterion is of necessity highly subjective, and no very positive 
result will be attained unless we can show that the one has mis- 
understood the other, that the one uses words which are not only 
not used by the other, but belong to a different school of thought, 
or that the one has definitely quoted the other. There are passages 
in our Epistles which furnish us with these means of decision. 

{a) 2 Pet. ii. 4, (reLpol<s ^otfiov raprapioo-as : Jude 6, Sec/xot? diStois. 

jude's words are most probably to be explained as a paraphrase 
of the ancient variant o-cipais. It is just possible to find both the 


"pits " and the " chains " in Enoch (see notes), but it is not easy to 
think that the two writers are here drawing independently from the 
same well. 

2 Pet. ii. II, ov (fiipovarL kot avroiv Trapa Kvpiio ^Xda-(jir]iJL0V 
KpCcriv : Jude 9, ovK iroXfirjo-e Kpia-LV cTrcvcy/cctv l3X.a(T(f)r]ixLa<s. St. 
Peter says that the angels do not bring against So^ai (the Fallen 
Angels) " a railing accusation in the presence of the Lord " (see 
note on the passage). This gives a perfectly good sense; the 
Angels are not like the False Teachers who do bring railing, 
scandalous, passionate charges against 8o|ai, the leaders of the 
Church, and commit this sin in the presence and hearing of the 
Lord. But here Jude inserts his reference to the Assumption of 
Moses. The devil claimed the body of Moses on the ground that he 
was a murderer (because Moses had slain the Egyptian). Michael 
does not "charge the devil with blasphemy," as he might have 
done, but contents himself with saying, "The Lord rebuke thee." 
(See the Assumption of Moses in Hilgenfeld, Nouum Testamentum 
extra Canonem receptum ; the passage in question does not exist in 
the large fragment which survives in a Latin translation, but is 
sufficiently attested.) The correct sense of Kpia-tv cTreveyKetv (3Xacr- 
<f>r)fjiia^ is given by Origen, jEp. ad Alexandrinos, Lomm. xvii. p. 8, 
where, after referring to the words of Jude, he proceeds, " quidam 
eorum qui libenter contentiones reperiunt, adscribunt nobis et 
nostrae doctrinae blasphemiam," "they impute blasphemy to me 
and my doctrine." The passage exists only in a Latin translation, but 
the meaning is quite clear. Jude has, of course, omitted Trapa ^vptia, 
because the dispute between Michael and Satan did not occur in 
the presence of the Lord. But he has altered and spoiled St. Peter's 
point, and quite destroyed the parallel. The False Teachers did 
bring railing accusations, but did not bring accusations of blasphemy. 

{b) Jude has certain words, which may be called Pauline, and are 
certainly not Petrine. KAt^tos, i ; aytos (in the sense of "Christians "), 
3 ; TTvev/xa, in the sense of "indwelling spirit," and ij/vxi-ko^, 19. Per- 
haps we cannot lay great stress on the first of these words, but the 
second most probably, and the third and fourth certainly, are alien 
from the Petrine vocabulary. To St. Peter ^vxv means the soul, the 
seat of the religious life, and he could not possibly use i[/vx(-k6<; in the 
sense of carnal. Now it is surely far more natural to suppose that 
Jude was in the habit of using Pauline language, and slipped these 
words in without any sense of incongruity, than that 2 Peter, while 
following Jude slavishly elsewhere, cut out these words on doctrinal 
grounds. Anyhow, Jude mixes up the psychology of St. Peter with 
that of St. Paul, and this fact seems to tell heavily against him. 

(c) 2 Pet. iii. 3, 4, rovTO irpoiTov ytvcocTKOi^Tes on kXevcrovTai hr 
€(rxoiTO)v Ttov -^fiepiov iv ifXTraiyixovy c/XTratKrai Kara ras iStias i7ri6vfXLa<s 
avTOiv 7rop€v6fi€voif Koi Xcyovres, Hov ccrtv ^ iirayyeXta t^s Trapovcrias 


avTOv; Jude 17, 18, vfieis 8e ayaTrrjroi, fivT^a-OrjTe twv prjfjLdroiv rwv 
TrpoeLp-qfievuiV vtto rSiv aTrocTToXiov tov Kvpiov yjixuyv ^l-qaov Xpcarov, on 
cAeyov vfjuv, 'Ett* ia^^drov xpoi'ov ccrovrai c/xTratKrai Kara ra<s eavrojv 
iinOvfjLLa'; iropevofjcevoi ruiv daefSeiiov. St. Peter gives the warning as 
his own, introducing it just as he does the other warning about the 
interpretation of prophecy, with the words, rovro Trpcorov yu'coo-Kovres 
(i. 20), and the Hebraism, iv ipLiraiyixovfj ifxiroLKTai, is quite in his 
style (see note on ii. 12). Jude gives the words as a quotation, but as 
an apostolic commonplace. We cannot lay stress on the verb lAcyov 
when we remember the familiar phrase rj ypacf>7] Aeyct. But prob- 
ably Jude means that he could find the substance of the warning 
in the teaching of more than one of the apostles. No doubt he 
could have done so; we may refer to Acts xx. 29, or to the Chris- 
tian prophecy recorded by St. Paul, i Tim. iv. i. Jude may very 
well be thinking of St. Paul as well as of St. Peter. But the point 
is, that this particular form of the prophecy is found only in 2 Peter. 
There is certainly strong reason for thinking that Jude is here 
quoting 2 Peter. The reader may consult the remarks of Kiihl, 
Spitta, Zahn {Einleitung, § 43, part ii. p. 81 of the second edition) 
on the one side, and of Jiilicher {Einleitung^ p. 187) on the other. 
See also the notes on the passages in 2 Peter and Jude. 

It may be thought that the passages and words that have been 
adduced are such in kind and gravity as to form a presumption, 
perhaps it may be said a strong presumption, in favour of 2 Peter. 
But if so, this presumption ought not to be set aside unless it can 
be rebutted by weightier evidence on the other part. No such 
evidence can be adduced. The rest of the argument depends upon 
points of arrangement and style, which can establish nothing beyond 
a more or less vague opinion. Yet it will be worth while to run 
through the two Epistles, and note how far the conclusion already 
suggested is strengthened or weakened by considerations of a more 
general order. 

The Salutation of 2 Peter ends with the words xdpm vpxv koX 
clp-qvr) TrXrjdvvOeLr]. The formula agrees verbally with that of the First 
Epistle. It is a salutation of simple archaic type, combining the 
Christian equivalent for the current heathen xo-^P^i-^ with the ordinary 
Hebrew Peace. Jude has eAco? vfuv koI ilprjvrj koI dydm] irXrjOw- 
OeLrj. The verb is the same as in i Peter; the nouns remind us 
of St. Paul's x^-P'-^ cAcos dprjvT}, I Tim. i. 2 ; 2 Tim. i. 2 ; Tit. i. 4 ; 
see also 2 John 3. It should be observed that immediately before 
these words we find the Pauline kAi^tois. St. Jude's formula is 
conflate and later. Some critics believe that 2 Peter is earlier than 
I Peter. But if it is later, and if the author was a forger, it is 
remarkable that he should have quoted the First Epistle here and 
here only. On the other hand, if the author was St. Peter himself, 
it is most natural that he should use his ordinary form of address, 


and not surprising that every other part of the Second Epistle 
should differ from the First. 

The rest of the first chapter of 2 Peter forms an exordium. The 
author does not dash into his subject, but circles round it, dwelling 
upon thoughts of which we do not quite see the application till they 
are finally brought to a point. This method is characteristic also 
of the First Epistle, in which the special lesson of patient endur- 
ance under persecution is slowly and gradually approached. In the 
Second Epistle the object is to guard the readers against the seduc- 
tions of the False Teachers and Mockers. With this view the 
writer dwells first upon the fulness and completeness of the apos- 
tolic teaching (ver. 3) ; next, upon its unique power ; in this way 
alone we become partakers of the divine nature (ver. 4) ; next, upon 
the consequent necessity of moral and spiritual growth (vers. 5-10), 
which is the condition of entrance into the kingdom (ver. 11). From 
this he proceeds to the authority of the apostolic teaching. It 
rests, not on ingenious speculation, but on the witness of facts, 
especially of the Transfiguration (vers. 16-18), and is confirmed by 
Prophecy (ver. 19) ; but Prophecy must be rightly understood. 

This exordium is quite appropriate, and contains nothing to 
arouse suspicion, unless we are convinced that the Transfiguration 
is itself a myth. It abounds in thoughts and phrases which anti- 
cipate not only the second, but the third chapter {aperrj, evai^eia, 
VTTOjxovrj, cjiOopd, Swa/xts /cat Trapova-ta, eTrdyyeXfJia). 

Some of the phrases employed have been thought to belong 
to the second century ; but without any reason. Deissmann {Bibel- 
studien, p. 277, Eng. trans, p. 360) prints a portion of an inscription 
from Stratonicea in Caria. It contains the preface to a decree of the 
town council, and is supposed to belong to the year a.d. 22 or there- 
abouts. It uses not only the phrase iraarav a-n-ovB^v da-^ip^crOai (2 Pet. 
i. 5), but also 6 eta Swa/xt? (2 Pet. i. 3). This latter expression was 
familiar to town authorities and citizens. It may be observed that 
iVoTt/x-os (2 Pet. i. t) is also a political word. It is quite possible 
that St. Peter's amanuensis was a Roman citizen, whether Silvanus 
or another, who had often seen inscriptions like that of Stratonicea, 
and was familiar with the language current among the officials by 
whom they were composed. ®eias Koivcovot ^vo-ews (2 Pet. i. 4) 
belongs rather to philosophy, but would be quite intelligible to 
any fairly educated man in St. Peter's time. 

St. Jude's opening consists of an address in two verses, and 
an introduction in one. He tells his people that he had been 
intending to write to them "about our common salvation," an 
ordinary pastoral letter, but " found it necessary to write and exhort 
you to do battle for the faith once for all delivered to the saints." 
Spitta thinks that his words, 177 dira^ TrapaBoScLcrr) rots dytots 
TTtcTTet, were suggested by ttJs TrapaSoOeLO-rjS avrots dyia<> ivroXrjs 


(2 Pet. ii. 21). This may be the case; and, if so, it is a strong 
point in favour of the priority of 2 Peter. But, in any case, St. 
Jude here again uses a PauHne expression, rots ayiois. Clearly, 
also, he was writing in a hurry. He had meant to do one thing 
and found himself obliged to do another. It is not difficult to 
suppose either that St. Peter's letter had reached him and opened 
his eyes to the mischief that was going on, or that sudden informa- 
tion had been brought to him that Antinomian teachers were at 
work in his district, that time pressed, and that he copied out, with 
no very great alteration, as much of St. Peter's letter as he thought 
necessary. There would be nothing at all extraordinary in this. 
St. Jude's people were not the same as St. Peter's. 

We may notice here another phrase of St. Jude's, which comes 
a little lower down (ver. 5), "I wish to remind you, though once for 
all ye know all things," of the instances of God's judgment in similar 
cases. It is a hasty phrase. What Christians knew once for all, is 
the faith once for all delivered. The term does not apply very 
easily even to particular facts recorded in Old Testament history, 
still less does it apply to the doom of the fallen angels, or to the 
dispute between Michael and Satan. The words of Jude bear a 
close resemblance to those of St. Peter (i. 12), "Wherefore I will 
always remind you of these things (the promises, the need of 
growth in virtue), though ye know them." It can hardly be 
denied that the two passages are connected, or that St. Peter's 
phrase is much more natural and intelligible than St. Jude's. 

The second chapter of the Petrine Epistle follows easily and 
without any kind of dislocation from the first. Prophecy witnesses 
to the truth of the apostles' doctrine, but it must be rightly under- 
stood. There were, as we know, those who did not interpret 
prophecy in the same sense as St. Peter. Further, even in Israel 
there were false prophets. "So among you there will be false 
teachers." There is some difficulty here about the future tense. 
St. Peter speaks of these false teachers partly in the future, partly 
in the present, and it is not quite certain whether he means that 
they are already at work in other districts and will soon invade the 
Churches to which he is writing, or whether we are to regard the 
future as meaning " there must be," " there are and always will be." 
St. Peter does not say expressly that the false teachers claimed to be 
prophets, but there can be little doubt that they did so, for they 
could hardly justify their doctrine except by an appeal to revelation. 
At any rate the analogy between false teacher and false prophet 
is so close that what is true of the one is in the main true of the 
other also. The point is, that it does not follow that every one 
who claims to be prophet or teacher is really what he professes 
to be. There must be a test. These teachers are false, because 
they introduce "heresies" (see note on this word), because they 


deny the Lord who bought them, because they are immoral. They 
deceive men with lying words ; they will gain much success, and 
bring reproach on the way of truth, but their doom is destruction. 

With this passage (2 Pet. ii. 1-3) the reader must compare 
Jude 4. St. Jude does not call his antagonists either teachers or 
prophets, though the word eVuTrvta^o/tevot, in ver. 8, may imply 
that they claimed prophetic inspiration. "Certain men," he says, 
"have slipped in." They are already at work. If we may take 
St. Peter's future, "there will be false teachers," as practically a 
present, St. Jude's letter may have been written very shortly after- 
wards. On the other hand, St. Jude's language has been taken to 
imply a not inconsiderable interval of time. He goes on to say 

of these men that they are ol iraXai Trpoyeypaix/xivot cis tovto to 

KpLfxa. Spitta finds here a reference to 2 Peter ; but it is much 
easier to take TraAat to mean " in the ancient Scriptures," " in the 
Old Testament." But what is the meaning of tovto to Kptfia ? No 
judgment has been mentioned. For an explanation we must go to 
2 Pet. ii. 3, where, after the description of the false teachers, we 
find the words ots to Kptfxa cKTraAat ovk apyeZ St. Jude goes on to 
say of these men that they are impious, that they change the grace 
of "our God" into licentiousness, and that they deny our only 
Master and Lord Jesus Christ. " Our God " is from 2 Pet. i. i : 
the concluding phrase is surely an exaggeration of St. Peter's tov 
ayopdaavTa avrovs Sea-jroTrjv apvovp-evoi. Nay, St. Jude not only 
exaggerates, but rather spoils the phrase. St. Peter had more than 
one good reason for inserting ayopdaavTa before 8ecr7roT7;v. 

Here follow in both writers the instances of God's judgments on 
the impious. It will be convenient to arrange the two lists side by 
side — 

2 Peter. Jude. 

I. Israel in the Wilderness. 

2. The Fallen Angels. The Fallen Angels. 

3. The Flood (Noah). 

4. The Cities of the Plain (Lot). The Cities of the Plain (Lot 

is not mentioned). 


6. Balaam. Balaam. 



It will be observed that St. Peter's instances are arranged in strictly 
chronological order, while Jude's are not. This fact has been 
counted by some in St. Peter's favour ; by others, against him. St. 
Peter again twice couples an instance of mercy with an instance of 
judgment ; this fact again has been reckoned both on the one side 
and on the other. We may notice that St. Peter, with his mind 
fixed on false teachers, naturally begins with the fallen angels, who, 


according to Jewish tradition, taught men all kinds of wickedness. 
There is no particular point in St. Jude's first instance, but it may, of 
course, be said that St. Peter saw this, and accordingly left it out. 
The Flood St. Peter mentioned probably because Noah was a 
preacher of righteousness, a " dignity " who was blasphemed by man 
but approved by God. But the instance has a further value for 
him, because he is going to argue in the third chapter that as the 
world was once destroyed by water, so it will again be destroyed by 
fire. Here it may be said that St. Peter had a definite reason for 
adding. Nor is it conclusive, if we say that St. Peter is of a more 
merciful and pastoral spirit than St. Jude, and that his mention ol 
Noah and Lot points towards the beautiful saying (iii. 9) that God's 
will is that all men should come to repentance. It is true that 
there is a certain exaggeration and passion, and a fiery zeal for 
orthodoxy about St. Jude. He describes the sin of the Cities of 
the Plain (aTreXOovcrai, OTrCcrui crap/cos exepa?) in such a way that it 
ceases to be parallel to that of the false teachers, and his view of the 
proper treatment of penitents (vers. 22, 23) is couched in language 
of great severity. Again, Cain, the murderer, is rather a fierce 
parallel. Some have indeed supposed that we have here Philo's 
whimsical allegorism, in which Cain is the type of the sceptic ; but 
this is not at all in St. Jude's manner. The same fierce note sounds 
in the instance of Korah, who rebelled against the priests. St. Jude 
was evidently a zealot, and it may, of course, be said that the author 
of 2 Peter did not quite like this fire and fury, and did what he 
could to soften it down. But it seems more probable that the case 
was the reverse of this, that St. Jude did not think 2 Peter quite 
strong enough. 

Much has been written in Germany about what is called the 
Apokryphenscheu of 2 Peter. St. Jude makes free use of apocryphal 
authorities : he specifies the sin of the fallen angels, mentions the 
dispute between Michael and Satan, and quotes Enoch by name. 
The comparative reticence of 2 Peter is supposed to point to a date 
late in the second century, about a.d. 170, when the idea of a canon 
of Scripture was taking shape, and men were beginning to look with 
suspicion on all books that were not included in the authorised 
lists. Hence, it is said, we must infer that 2 Peter abbreviated 
and expurgated Jude. But there is nothing in this argument. 
Enoch was not absolutely rejected before the fourth century (see 
the introduction in Mr. Charles' edition), and the use made of 
Jewish tradition in 2 Peter is very similar to that which we find in 
I Peter, or in Paul, who probably refers to the Assumption of Moses 
in Gal. iii. 19, and certainly adopts a Rabbinical fancy in i Cor. 
X. 4. Further, what I venture to think a conclusive reason for 
regarding the passage about Michael as an addition made by Jude 
has been given above, p. 217. 


It may be asserted that Peter's mind is clearer and more intelli- 
gent than that of Jude. In addition to the two instances cited {Kanrep 
etSoTtt?, and the choice and arrangement of the historical examples), 
the reader should take note of the extraordinary haste and con- 
fusion of Jude's censure on the people of the Cities of the Plain. 
He not only brings out that feature of their wickedness which is 
not applicable, but goes on to charge them in particular with " blas- 
pheming dignities " (ver. 8). St. Peter does not fall into this error. 
What he says (ii. 10, 1 1) is that the false teachers blaspheme dignities, 
while the angels do not. Certainly St. Peter is the more intelligent 
of the two. On the other hand, he drops at times into awkward and 
confused expressions, and here Jude corrects him. One instance 
of this is to be found in 2 Pet. ii. 13, a badly constructed sentence 
which Jude (ver. 10) has straightened out, dropping the vulgar 
Hebraism (kv rrj <f)Oopa. (f>9ap-qcrovTai), and making things much 
smoother. Another occurs in 2 Pet. ii. 17, where the metaphors 
are mixed up in the style of a Hebrew prophet ; fountains and mists 
are punished with darkness. Here, again, Jude has laid his finger 
on the artistic defect. Fountains cannot be sent into darkness, he 
said to himself; no, but do-repcs TrAai/^rat can (ver. 12). To some 
this will seem an obvious emendation in the style of Bentley ; to 
others, again, the prettiness will appear to be a mark of originality. 

Of the concluding section of 2 Peter, of the Parousia section, 
there is only one distinct trace in Jude. Peter introduces it with 
the warning that " in the last days there shall come mockers, say- 
ing. Where is the promise of His coming ? " Jude quoted the first 
clause as apostolic (see above), but omitted the second clause, in 
which the nature of the mock is defined. Now, if Peter, on the 
word "mockers," shut up his copy of Jude and plunged into 
original composition, it must be admitted that he has disguised 
the seam with phenomenal skill. On the other hand, if we read 
over Jude 16-19, it will be seen that vers. 17, 18 can be cut out with- 
out damage either to the grammar or to the sense. Further, Jude 
has inserted the genitive royv dae/SeLiov, which is not wanted, and 
appears to be suggested by the quotation from Enoch, which he 
had inserted just before. It is possible that aixMfxovs, Jude 24, 
may have been suggested by dju-cD/x-^rovs, 2 Pet. iii. 14, and Trpoa-- 
8e;(0/A€vot, Jude 21, by Trpoo-So/ccoj/rcs, 2 Pet. iii. 14. 

If we are to ask why St. Jude omitted St. Peter's argument 
about the Parousia and the final section of 2 Peter generally, many 
answers may be suggested. It may be that he could not quite 
adopt St. Peter's reasoning. It may be that he thought that his 
quotation from Enoch was a sufficient proof of the Second Advent. 
It may be that among his flock Antinomianism was a burning ques- 
tion, while the Parousia was not. It may be, again, that he did 
not quite like the way in which St. Peter speaks of St. Paul, for 


Jude uses Pauline language, and clearly did not think that there 
was anything Sva-vorjTov in the epithet \{/vxt-K6s. Or it may be simply 
that he felt that he had said quite enough, and had no time to spare. 
Sometimes there is a reason for an omission ; thus Marcion intention- 
ally left out parts of St. Luke's Gospel : sometimes there is none; thus 
in the Apostolical Church Ordinance the Way of Death is not given. 
Nothing has been said in this section about the argument from 
the vocabulary of the two Epistles. This point has been worked 
out with great elaboration by Spitta. It is difficult to see how the 
question can be posed in such a manner as to admit of a definite 
answer. Yet there are two points on which it is possible to lay 
some weight. Jude undoubtedly borrows from a vocabulary which 
is not St. Peter's; and it is noticeable that these peculiar words 
occur before and after the description of the Antinomian teachers, 
in those introductory and concluding verses which are, in the main, 
St. Jude's own property. Again, the style of 2 Peter is uniform 
throughout, and its most distinctive feature, the habit of repeating 
words, marks all three chapters alike. But we must deal with this 
subject, which is of great importance, in the following section. 


The following words are found in 2 Peter, but not elsewhere in 
the New Testament : 

''A^ea-/xos^, a.Ka.ra.TTo.vcrTO% {v.l. aKaTairaaToi), aXwcrts^, afjia6i^<s, 
a7rocf)evy£Lv^, dpyctv^, d(rT7;ptKT0?, avxi^r)p6<i, /SXifxfiaj /36p/3opos}, /3pa- 
BvT7]<;, Btavyd^€Lv, SvaT6r)T0<s, eyKaroiKCtv, tKiraXat, cAey^is^, ip-TraLyixovy, 
evTpv(f)OLV^, i^aKoXovOeiv^, i^tpafia, eTrdyyeX/jia, iTroTrrrjs;^, la-OTifxo'i^ Kara- 
kA-v^civ^, KavcrovaOaL, KvXicrpia, XxjOrj^j jxeyaXoTrpeirv^^, fxiyLcrTO<s^, yu,tacr/xa\ 
fiiaa-fjios;^, fxvqfxrj^^ /xvcoTrd^ctv, fxdjxoq^, oAtyws {v.l. orrcDs), ofJiCxXr}^, irapa- 
cfipovLa (v.l. TrapavofJiia), irapcto-ctyctv, irapeLcr^epuv, TrAao-ro^, poit,r]B6v, 
crctpds (v./. crcipa), <TTT]piyp.6'i, o-Totp^eiov^, (in sense of physical elements), 
(TTpefiXovv^, raprapovVy Ta;(tvos^, recfypovv, n^Kecr^ai-^, ToiocrSe^, ToXjxrjTi^'if 
vs^, (f>w(r<f)6po<s, i/^cvSoStSao-KoAos, cTrtAvcrts^, 

Words marked (^) are found in the Greek versions of the Old 
Testament. See Hatch and Redpath. 

*E/>i7ratyp.ov77, irapaffipovLa are probably due to corruption of 
the text. See above, p. 213. On fSXipuxa, Kava-ovadai, see note. 
*E7ro7mys is used in the Old Testament only of God, Esth. v. i ; 
2 Mace. iii. 39 ; 3 Mace. ii. 21. 

Leusden counts one thousand six hundred and eighty-six dira^ 
Acyo/xcva in the New Testament. As there are twenty-seven docu- 
ments, this would give them about sixty-two apiece. In 2 Peter 
there are fifty-five, which, considering the brevity of the Epistle, 
is a very high number. 


The vocabulary of i Peter is dignified ; that of 2 Peter inclines to 
the grandiose {i^ipa/xa, cttotttt/s, poi^-qhov, raprapovv, Te(j>povv). 

By the help of Bruder we may make a list of about three hundred 
and sixty-one words which are found in i Peter but not in 2 Peter. 
Among words which, in spite of the great difference of subject, we 
might have expected to find in the latter Epistle, are the following : 

'Ayta^ctv, dyiatr/A09, ctyj/t^ctv, dyvos, dvaycvvav, aTroKaXvif/i^, So$dt,€Lv, 
iXecLV, eXeo<s, cXTrt^etv, iXiris, iTTLKaXvfjifjLa, cvayyeAi^civ, /ca^apos, KXrjpo- 
vofieLV, KXrjpovojxta, fjt.aK(ipLo<5, vrjcfieLv, OLVO(f>XvyLa (with kcojjloi, ttotoi), 
ovo/xa, TrapoiKi'a, TrdpoLKos, Trot/xatVeiv, iroifxi^Vj Trot/xviov, Trp€a^vT€po<s, 
(TKavBaXov, (r/coAto9, (rvveL8r)(ri<;, VTcaKori, viroKpicns. 

In 2 Peter there are about two hundred and thirty-one words which 
are not found in i Peter, and some of these, again, are remarkable : 

"AKapiro'S, dvofjios, dpyos, /JacrtXcta, ivToXi^, CTrayyeAta, lirayyiX- 
XeaOaij cTrdyycA/Aa, cTrtyivwcr/cctv, eTriyvworts, €uo-€y8iJs, cuo-ej^eia, ^€tos, 
a-iorrjp, viro^Lfxvi^fTKio, vTroixvrjcrLS, VTroixovrj. 

On the other hand, there are certain points of similarity. Zahn 
{Einleitung^ part ii. p. 108) gives the following list : 

"Avaarpo^y], dvacTTpicfiCcrOai, a.7r60ecrL<s (this WOrd is peculiar tO 

I and 2 Peter), dperrj of God (but probably in a different sense), 
hroirrai (cf. iTTOTTTevcLv, I ii. 12, iii. 2), darTripLKTO's and (rTr]pLy/i69 
(cf. a-Trjpt^eiv, I V. 10), (tttlXol koI fiQ>fxoL and do-TrtAos kol dfiwixTfTO's 
(cf. dcTTTiAos Kttt dfji(iifjiO<i, I i. 1 9), dKaraTravcTTOVs dfjLapTLa<; (cf. TrcTravrat 
dfxapTLa<;, I iv. i), do-cAyeta, j/^rxi? (in sense of "soul"). B. Weiss 
{.Einleitung^ p. 445) considerably extends this list ; the most notice- 
able fact that he adds to it is the fondness of both i and 2 Peter 
for the plural of abstract nouns. 

In 2 Peter there are even fewer particles than in i Peter. The 
author never uses /acV. He employs very few Hebraisms ; there are 

a couple of reduplications ev <f)dopa ^daprjo-ovrai, ii. 12; Iv i/XTraty- 
fxovfj i/XTTOLKTaL, Hi. 3 j in 11. lO WC have tous 07ri<ra> aapKos Tropevo- 
fX€vov<s: in ii. I, at/jeVcts dTrwActas: in ii. 14, Kardpas re/cva. The 
article he uses much in the same way as i Peter; sometimes 
omitting it, as with dp^diov Koa-fxov, ii. 5 ; sometimes again employ- 
ing it with unexpected freedom and elegance, for instance i. 4, rrj's 
iv T(3 k6(t/x(o iv iinBvixLfj. <f>6opas : iii. 17, rfj twv dOicr/xoiv TrXdvy : 
cf. i. 8, 16, ii. 7, 10, 22, iii. 5, 12. The expression in the first 
chapter is easy and clear ; in the later chapters it becomes at times 
laboured, turgid, involved, and obscure, especially in two passages, 
ii. 12-14, iii- 5-7- Some allowance must be made here for passion, 
for the writer was clearly deeply moved by his subject. It should 
be noticed also that the writer of i Peter is extremely embarrassed 
at times; see iii. 20, 21, iv. 3-6. 

Two features of the style call for special notice. One is the 
habit of repeating words. The following instances may be given : 

i. 5, II, iiTLxoprr/elv : i. 10, 19, ^e^atos : i. 12, 13, 15, iii, i, 


xnrofjLifxvT^crKeLVy iv v-rroixv^creL, fxvqfirjv iroulaOat : i. 17, 18, cve^^^carr/s 
€i/£x^"<^0'^ • i- 10, 15, iii. 14, (TTrovSa^ctv: i. 4, ii. 18, 20, d7ro<^eiryeiv: 
i. 20, 21, TTpoffirjTeLa: i. 20, iii. 3, TOVTO irpiOTOv yivwo-zcofTCs : ii. I. 3, 
iii. 7, 16, aTTwAcia : ii. 4, 5, icfyeLo-aro: ii. 4, 9, 17, iii. 7, Trjpeiv : 
ii. 10, II, 12, j3Xd(T(fir]ixo<s, (3X.aa-(f>r]fji€Lv : ii, 2, 15, 21, oSos : ii. 14, 18, 
ScXea^etv: ii. 16, 18, <f>OiyyeaOaL: i. 16, ii. 2, 15, ela/coXou^eti/ : 
ii. 13, 15, fjLLcrOb'i dSiKta? : ii. 21, iii. 2, evToA.r; : ii. 4, 17, ^6(f)o^: 
ii. 9, iii. 7, rj/xepa KpLO-eiDs: iii. 12, 13, 14, Tr/aocrSoKav : iii. 10, 12, 
(TTOLX'^ta Kavaovpieva : i. 3, 20, ii. 16, 22, iii. 3, 16, 17, i8to<; : i. 16, 
iii. 4, 1 2, irapova-La. This list might be considerably extended. 
Three reflexions may be made upon this peculiarity : 
(i) The repetitions extend throughout the Epistle, and form a 
strong guarantee of its unity against Kiihl's theory of interpolation. 

(2) Some of the repetitions disappear in the parallel passages of 
Jude, who has, for instance, only the single ixiaOov (ver. 11) for the 
duplicated ixio-Bo'i dSiKtas of Peter, and corrects the Hebraisms iv 
<f>Oopa (fiOeLpea-OaL, iv i/jLTraiy [xovrj ijxTraLKTaL. Jude avoids repetitions ; 
thus in the verse just quoted we have 686s tov KatV, TrXavrj rov 
BaXadjx, avTiXoyia. rov Kopi, and three different verbs are em- 
ployed. He has a certain skill in devising synonyms. If we 
take his opening and concluding passages, where he is most 
independent, we find the phrase Kara ras iavrSjv cTri^v/xtas Tropevo- 
fxevoi used twice, 16, 18; ttlcttls occurs twice, 3, 20; dirai twice, 
3, 5; cAcos twice, 2, 21; iXeetv twice in 22 and 23 (though this 
is doubtful ; see note). But he has more style than Peter, and 
is not given to the needless iteration of insignificant words. It is 
therefore important to observe that in the parallel passage he does 
repeat several of the words which are repeated in 2 Peter, rr/petv, 
6 (^/V), 13, 21; ^o<^o9, 6, 13; /cptcrts, 6, 9, 15; ^Xa(r(fir]ix€LV, (SXaa- 
(jirjiMia, 8, 9, 10. Now, on these facts it seems far more natural to 
suppose that Jude pruned down, but could not wholly eradicate, 
the repetitions of Peter, than that Peter copied and exaggerated a 
not very marked feature of Jude's style. Indeed, we should have 
to suppose that Peter was so captivated by Jude's tautology that 
he introduced the same trick freely into his own first and third 
chapters, where he was writing his own thoughts in his own way. 

(3) It is to be observed that the same habit of repeating words 
is noticeable also in i Peter. The following instances may be given : 
i. 7, 8, So^av, Se8o^acrfji€.vr} : i. 3, iii. 21, 8t' di/acrrdcrtojs ^Irjaov XptcrTou : 
i. 7, 13, iv. 13, V. I, drroKaXvif/t^ : i. 9, 10, (rojTTjpca: i. 15, 16, dytos 
(^quater): i. 15, 17, 18, ii. 12, iii. i, 2, 16, dvaa-Tpiffao-dai, dvaa- 
Tpo(f)T]: i. 2, 14, 22, viraKorj : i. 3, 23, dvayevvdv : 1. 25, prjjxa [bis): 
ii. 4, 5, Xi6o<i lu)Vf TTvevjjiaTLKO'i : ii. 4, 6, ckAcktoi/, evrt/xov : ii. 5, 9, 
UpdreVfia: ii. 9, 10, A.aos {ter): i. i, ii. 11, 7rape7ri8y//AOs : i. 17, 
ii. II, irapoLKca, TrdpotKos : ii. 12, 14, iii. 16, iv. 15, /caKOTrotos : ii. 
14, 15, 20, iii. 6, iv. 19, dyaOoTTOLos, -TToulv, -iroua: ii. 19, 20, 23, 


and nine other places 7racrx"v: ii. 13 and six other places vTroraor- 
<x€cr6aL: iii. 16, 21, crweiSi^cris : iii. 18, 19, Trvevfxa: iv. i, 7ra6?a)v 
a-apKL (bis): i. 13, iv. 7 : v, 8, vT^^etv : v. 5, 6, Ta7retj/os, TaTrctvovv. 
This list also might be extended. 

The habit of verbal repetition is therefore quite as strongly 
marked in the First Epistle as in the Second. This is a matter of 
very high importance. It forms a striking link between the two 
Epistles ; and, further, if we suppose St. Peter to have employed an 
amanuensis, and to have allowed him considerable freedom, it is 
yet just in such a point as this that we should expect the mental 
habit of the real author to be visible through the disguise. 

Another curious feature of the style of 2 Peter is its tendency 
to fall into iambic rhythm. Many sentences can be turned into 
tragic senarii with very little alteration ; thus : 

ii. I, Tov dyopdcravTa Seo-Trorr/v dpvovfjievoi,, 

ii. 3, TrXacTTOLcnv v/xa^ ifiTropevcrovTaL Aoyoi?. 

ii. 4, ©cos ovK l^ucraT aXXd (reipoicri t,6^ov 
iraprdpiocrev €ts Slktjv rrjpovixevovs. 

In i. 19 the cadence and the colour of the words are the same, and 
in the third chapter again there is a perceptible approach to the 
movement of blank verse in the sonorous futures passive, and in the 
character and metrical value of the language, as, for instance, in 
(TTOi^^cta Be Kavarov/iieva XvOrjcrerai or ovpavol irvpovpLevoi XvOrjcrovTaL. 

The Attic tragedians w^ere diligently studied and imitated by 
Jewish poetasters in Alexandria ; for instance by Ezekiel, of whom 
some fragments have been preserved by Eusebius {Frep. Euang. 
ix. 28 sqq.). Our knowledge of this interesting man is derived 
through Eusebius and Clement of Alexandria from Alexander 
Polyhistor, a contemporary of Sulla. Ezekiel, probably with the 
special view of introducing the Bible to the knowledge of cultivated 
Greeks, dramatised Exodus in iambic trimeters, and possessed a 
tolerable, though not immaculate, command of the metre. In his 
Exodus he described a wonderful bird which appears to be the 
phoenix, and this may be the source of the reference to the phoenix 
in the epistle of Clement of Rome. 

There were many of these Jewish iambic writers. Some of them 
seem to have palmed off their compositions under the names of the 
famous classic dramatists ; thus in the Stromata of Clement (v. 14. 
113 sqq.) we find passages ascribed to Sophocles, Menander, 
Diphilus, which are certainly of Jewish manufacture. Such extracts 
were collected in anthologies, and were probably widely known 
among educated Christians at a very early date. Some of the first 
Christians had even read the classic dramatists ; thus St. Paul 
quotes (i Cor. xv. 33) a verse of Menander, and even in the Apoc- 
alypse is found a phrase ye/xovcras OvfjLLafidTwv (v. 8), which may 
possibly be derived from Sophocles, O. T. 4. A possible reminis- 


cence of Menander has been pointed out in the note on i Pet. il 
1 6. The habit of iambic composition passed over into the Church, 
and Irenaeus (i. 15. 6) gives some verses of this kind written by 
6 delos 7rp€crl3vT7]<s koI Krjpv^ r^? oArjOeia^ on the heretic Marcus. 

In Clem. Alex. Protrept. vi. 68 ; Strom, v. 11. 75, will be found 
some lines attributed to Euripides. One of these passages, which 
runs thus : 

TToios 5' h.v oTkos t€kt6v(ji3v Tr\a<r$€ls fJiro 
5i/ rb deiop irepL^dXoi toIx^iv tttvxcus, 

is clearly taken from i Kings viii. 27. Here the author is treating 
of Solomon, at any rate he is representing the words of Solomon, 
and it is possible that Proverbs had been wholly or in part versified 
by one or another of these Jewish paraphrasts. It may be per- 
missible to suspect that the irapoifxia given by 2 Pet. ii. 22 comes 
in its actual shape from such a source as this. Certainly it falls 
very readily into iambics : 

iir^ tdiov i^ipafi iin<TTpi(f>€i. kijcov, 
5s T is KiXia/xa ^op^bpov XeXovfiivrj. 

We should thus be able to account, not only for the combina- 
tion of the biblical proverb about the dog with the non-biblical 
proverb about the sow, but for the use of the remarkable words 
i^epafjLa and KvXi(Tp.a. (See note on this passage ; and for further 
information on the subject of Jewish Alexandrine poetry, refer to the 
Fragments of Alexander Polyhistor in Miiller, Fragmenta Histor- 
icorum Graecorum ; Schiirer, y^zr/^/^ People in the time of Christ.) 

If the iambic writers really did exercise a certain influence on 
the style of 2 Peter, two questions arise. Is the fact consistent 
with an early date ? and again. Is it possible to suppose, in view 
of this peculiarity of style, that the two Epistles of Peter were 
written by the same hand ? 

To the first question it may be answered, that the marked 
features of literary style in the second century are Homerism in 
vocabulary and Platonism in thought. Of the former there are 
possibly some faint traces in 2 Peter (see notes on ii. 14, 17), 
though not more than we can well account for in a contemporary 
of Philo's ; of the latter there are none. 

To the second question, again, there is an answer. Many writers 
who compose, as a rule, in pure prose, fall at times, corsc-Qusly or 
unconsciously, into metre. We have a familiar instance of this peculi- 
arity ready to hand in the case of Charles Dickens. Take the follow- 
ing passage, which has often been quoted, from Martin Chuzzlewit : 

*' If there be fluids, as we know there are, 
Which conscious of a coming wind, or rain, 
Or frost, will shrink and strive to hide themselves 
In their glass arteries ; 


May not that subtle liquor of the blood 
Perceive by properties within itself, 
That hands are raised to waste and spill it ; 
And in the veins of men run cold and dull 
As his did in that hour ! " 

Dickens was familiar with the grave cadences of the stage, and 
here the solemnity of his theme, the mysterious sense of impending 
disaster, shapes his imagination so that his thoughts naturally fall 
into the appropriate vehicle of tragic metre. It is by no means diffi- 
cult to suppose that the author of 2 Peter was uplifted in the same 
way. He sees men bringing blasphemy on the way of Truth, and 
defying the terrors of God's judgment. Possibly he knew some- 
thing of the Greek tragedians, certainly the swelling and sometimes 
turbid imagery of Wisdom and of the Hebrew prophets would 
recur to his mind. His imagination rises above the region in 
which it habitually dwells; but it rises heavily, and with effort. 
He is no Isaiah, nor even Malachi ; yet for once he is treading 
the same heights, and endeavouring to speak as they would have 
spoken. There is a certain dignity in the style of 1 Peter, which, 
under stress of excitement, might easily become grandiose, and 
even a little incoherent. Both these traits may be discerned in 
2 Peter, though they have been absurdly exaggerated. 

Jerome noticed a diversity of style between the two Epistles, 
but it does not appear that Eusebius, Origen, or Clement, who, on 
such a point, were much better authorities, had raised this objec- 
tion. Even greater differences of style were observed by ancient 
critics in the works of Aristotle and Plotinus. They may be 
detected in the undoubtedly genuine works of Thomas Carlyle, 
or in those of Wordsworth, or of Burns. It is a common remark 
that artists have an earlier and a later manner, or that their inspira- 
tion and gift of expression vary with their theme. Unless we can 
say of two writings that they exhibit a different personality and 
tone of mind, a different way of regarding the same objects, it is 
extremely difficult to say at what point formal unlikeness amounts 
to incompatibility. 

Another distinction which has been pointed out between the 
manners of i and 2 Peter is the comparative paucity in the latter 
of allusions to the Old Testament or to the gospel. 

I Peter sometimes refers to the Old Testament, as when he 
speaks of Noah and Sarah, repeatedly quotes it, and constantly 
uses words and phrases which easily remind the reader of their 
biblical origin. On the other hand, though 2 Peter often refers 
to the Old Testament, appealing to it for the instances of judgment 
and the method of creation, he can hardly be said to quote it, and 
his allusions are not so numerous. The passages specially marked 
by the use of large type in Westcott and Hort's text are five : 


ii. 2 = Isa. Hi. 5; ii. 22 = Pro v. xxvi. 11; iii. 8 = Ps. xc. (Ixxxix.) 4; 
iii. i2 = Isa. xxxiv. 4; iii. i3 = Isa. Ixv. 17; Ixvi. 22. We may add 
clp-^vrj ttX-yjOvvO €17], Dan. iii. 31 ; aiwvios ^ao-tXet'a, iii. 33 ; Kara- 
kAvct/xov i-n-dyeLV, Gen. vi. 17 ; €7r* iaxo-TiDV rcoj/ rj/xepiDV, Josh. xxiv. 
27; eV Tw dyto) opei, Ps. ii. 6 ; rjfxepav i^ •17/xepas, Gen. xxxix. 1 o ; 
Esth. iii. 7 ; Isa. Iviii. 2 ; 68ds, evOeLa 686<s are biblical phrases ; 
k^aKoXovOdv oSo) is found in Isa. Ivi. 1 1 and elsewhere ; oTSc Ku'ptos 
cvcre/?et§ ck TTiLpaapiov pveaOaL is a reminiscence of Ezek. xiii. 2 1 or 
some similar passage ; Tropiveo-Oat o-n-Lcroi (only here and once in 
Luke) is found in Deut. viii. ig ; jxt] /SovXo/xevo? nvas d-n-oXeaOaL aXXd 
7rdvTa<s €15 fjL€TdvoLav x^PW"-'- is a paraphrase of Ezek. xxxiii. 11. 
Further, we must take account of a number of detached words — 

KaOapLo-fJiOS, Karaa-Tpoffiy], KaTairovelcrOai, (TKiqvwfxa, vva-rd^eiv, fxCjfxos : 

Others are noticed in the catalogue of aTra^ Xcyo/xem given at the 
beginning of this section. Objection may be taken to some of the 
instances here cited (see Dr. Chase, Dictionary of the Bible, p. 807) ; 
but, however carefully the Hst is sifted, enough will remain to show 
that the author of 2 Peter knew his Greek Bible well, and applied 
its thoughts and speech with facility. 

It must be allowed that 2 Peter is not so saturated with the 
Old Testament as i Peter. But on this point great allowance must 
be made for the difference of subject. If a clergyman were to write 
two sermons, one on patience in affliction, another on a peculiar 
form of Antinomian agnosticism, he would find fifty texts applicable 
to the former subject for one that lent itself to the latter. And if 
2 Peter's use of Hebrew scripture differs from that of i Peter to 
some extent in degree, it yet agrees with it in one remarkable point, 
the manner in which scripture is blended with tradition. In this 
respect the two Epistles are very similar, and both differ from Jude. 

In I Peter, again, there are numerous allusions to words or 
facts which are to be found in the Gospels. In 2 Peter only 
three unquestionable instances have been pointed out. We find 
the phrase yiyovev avrois to, eo";(aTa ^eipova Ttov Trpcoroiv, ii. 20, cf. 
Matt. xii. 45 ; Luke xi. 26 ; a reference to a prophecy made by 
Christ of the "speedy " or " sudden" death of the author, i. 14, cf. 
John xxi. 18, and an account of the Transfiguration. To these 
we may add t6v dyopda-avra auTOv? Bea-TroTTjv dpvovfxevoL, ii. I, cf. 
Matt. X. 33 ; a possible reminiscence of Luke xiii. 7, 8 in ovk 

dpyov'5 ovSe ctKctpTrov?, i. 8 ; and 17 i-TrayyeXia tt}? Trapovorias avrov, iii. 4, 

cf. Matt. xxiv. It has been objected that we should have ex}:)ected 
to find much more than this. But there is nothing in the Gospels 
so directly applicable to the particular subject of Christian anti- 
nomianism as the words of our Lord in Matt. xii. 45 ; the quotation 
is, at any rate, extremely apt. Again, St. Paul deals with the same 
error, the misinterpretation of Christian freedom, in the same way 
as St Peter, relying upon general Christian principles, but never 


even once quoting the words of Christ. Yet, again, the objection is 
like the Delphic knife ; it cuts with two edges. If it is difficult to 
understand why St. Peter does not quote the words of our Lord, 
it is far more difficult to explain why a forger, late in the second 
century, does not. The apostles, as all their letters show, did not 
feel bound to be constantly quoting. This habit begins with St. 
Clement of Rome. 

Spitta finds another reference to the gospel history in the words 
Tov KaAeoravTos rjfjia<s (i. 3). Christ in person called the apostles. 
The interpretation of the pronouns in the first chapter is much dis- 
puted, but Spitta is very possibly right. On this point the reader 
may consult the notes. 

That the reference in i. 14 is to the prophecy of our Lord, 
recorded in the last chapter of St. John's Gospel, may be regarded 
as certain, in spite of Spitta's objections (see the answer of Dr. 
Chase in the Dictionary of the Bible) ; and that the incident described 
in i. 16 sqq. is the Transfiguration, has been doubted only by Hof- 
mann. The details of these two passages will be found in the 
notes ; here two points only need be considered. 

It has been asked why St. Peter, when he is undertaking to 
prove the truth of the Second Advent, should select for his purpose 
the Transfiguration rather than the Ascension. It may seem a 
curious choice, when we remember the words of the angels in Acts 
i. II. Yet reasons may be found. It is possible, indeed most 
probable, that those who denied the Parousia denied also the 
Resurrection ; and, if this was so, it was useless for St. Peter to meet 
them by blankly affirming the fact of the Ascension. Nor could he 
well quote the promise of our Lord Himself (Matt. xxiv. 30), for 
this also they denied. But if all the rest of the gospel history was 
accepted by his opponents, the story of the Transfiguration was 
common ground. It may be noticed that St. Peter does not use 
the Transfiguration to prove the Parousia, but to prove the credibility 
of the apostles who had preached the Parousia. For this purpose 
the incident was admirably suited. The apostles had on that 
occasion not only beheld the majesty of the Lord, but had heard a 
voice from heaven ; they had come into direct communication with 
God, and this fact was a strong guarantee of the general truth of 
their teaching. May we not also think that the Transfiguration 
may have been directly suggested to St. Peter's mind by the pre- 
ceding fjL€Ta Trjv €/xr]v e^oSov ? The word e^oSos occurs in St. Luke's 
account of the Transfiguration (ix. 31); but this is not the point. 
St. Peter has just been saying that he will take care that even after 
his own death his readers shall be reminded of the truth of his 
doctrine. In Matt. xvii. 9 we read, " Tell the vision to no man 
till the Son of Man have risen from the dead," that is to say, " till 
after My death." It is just possible that the similarity of phrase 


may have led St. Peter to think of the Transfiguration. This would 
be quite in the manner of i Peter, where the following thought is 
often dictated by the preceding word. 

But it has also been thought that the Transfiguration was selected 
because St. Peter was one of the three who were present on that 
occasion, and that this shows too keen an anxiety on the writer's 
part to identify himself with St. Peter. The same difficulty has been 
raised with regard to the preceding allusion to the prophecy recorded 
in John xxi. The argument is one of those over which men may 
dispute without end. The reader must put himself, as best he can, 
in the writer's place, and ask himself how an apostle might have 
been expected to speak in the circumstances, how a forger would 
probably have expressed himself. If a writer declares his identity 
in the Address only of an Epistle, as is the case in i Peter, the 
Address is treated as a forged addition. If he hints in an unmis- 
takable way who he is, as is the case in the Gospel of St. John, his 
words are regarded as so suspicious, and even indecent, that he 
must be a forger. If he does both, as is the case in 2 Peter, the 
evidence against him is often treated as irrefutable. Obviously this 
method of procedure leads to no conclusion. As regards what an 
author says about himself, we can ask only whether, having regard 
to his known character and position, it is possible or impossible. 
Now no man can affirm that what St. Peter tells us about himself, 
in the Second Epistle, is inappropriate ; the objection, indeed, is thai 
it is much too appropriate. But no document was ever condemned 
as a forgery upon this ground 

The facts which seem to emerge from this review are partly 
favourable, partly unfavourable, to the view that 2 Peter was written 
by the same hand as i Peter. Chief among the former are (i) the 
habit of verbal repetition, (2) the use of Apocrypha. Among the 
latter we have observed (i) that the style of the two Epistles is 
different, but not openly incompatible, in expression, and in formal 
use of Scripture; (2) that the favourite phrases of the one Epistle 
are not those of the other : this point is more than verbal, and calls 
for further elucidation. 

It has been also pointed out that the vocabulary and style con- 
tain no elements which were not in existence in the apostolic age. 

So far we may agree with Weiss, that no document in the New 
Testament is so like i Peter as 2 Peter. 


Exceedingly little information on the subject of Church organisa- 
tion is to be gathered from the Epistle. Even the presbyter, who 
in I Pe<^er occupies a conspicuous position, is not mentioned. On 


the other hand, great stress is laid in the first chapter on the 
authority of the apostles ; and in the final paragraph St. Paul, though 
he is not expressly called an apostle, is spoken of as one whose 
words carry great weight ; whose Epistles, if not actually scripture, 
may at least be named in the same breath with scripture ; and whose 
doctrine, though capable of perversion, is in substantial accord with 
that of the Twelve. It has been supposed that in iii. 2 the phrase 
" your apostles " involves a wider use of the title apostles, similar 
to that found in i Thess. ii. 6, where St. Paul calls Silvanus and 
Timotheus apostles. If this point could be established, it would 
afford a strong argument for placing the Epistle at an extremely 
early date. But enough has been said in the Introduction to i Peter 
on the use of the title apostle. There is no sufficient reason for 
thinking that in 2 Peter it is applied to any but the Twelve. 

Some importance may be attached to the absence of all allusion 
to Church officials in 2 Peter. It has been maintained that the 
Epistle was written in the second century, and directed against some 
form of Gnosticism. Now the Gnostic controversy greatly strength- 
ened the position of the hierarchy, and it is hard to believe that, if 
this debate had actually been raging at the time, the Epistle could 
have failed to contain some reference to bishops and presbyters. 
It may be replied that the forger was too clever to betray himself 
by such an anachronism. But a forger of the second century would 
not have known that it was an anachronism. In the Apostolical 
Church Ordinance^ which is quoted by Clement of Alexandria, we 
find St. Peter presiding over a highly developed hierarchy. The 
pseudonymous writers of the early Church, from the nature of 
things, were never either intelligent or critical. They did not 
attempt to qualify themselves for their task by an accurate study of 
the past ; indeed, it would not have been possible for them to do 
so. There is hardly a single instance of a really good pseudo- 
antique except the Platonic Letters^ the work of an otiose scholar, 
who had thoroughly studied his exemplar, and could reproduce his 
style and circumstances to a nicety. But what was difficult for an 
Athenian professor with a library at his command was quite beyond 
the capabilities of an uneducated Christian. Such a man does not 
comprehend even the simplest rules of the forger's art. We may 
apply to him the words of Persius, " Digitum exsere, peccas." 

The doctrine of the Epistle will be most conveniently considered 
under the two headings of practical and speculative. 

As regards practical doctrine, the Second Epistle agrees very 
closely with the first. It is disciplinarian, not mystic. Pauline 
terminology and ideas are absent, and not only absent, but foreign 
to the writer's point of view. This is seen at once from the crucial 
words SUaios (ii. 7, 8) and ^vxn (ii' 8, 14). 'ETrayyeAia (iii. 4, 9) 
is not the promise of salvation by faith, but that of new heavens 


and earth, llvevfia does not occur except of the Holy Spirit (i. 21), 
Christian prophecy is not mentioned, but the False Teachers (ii. i) 
probably claimed authority as prophets. The prophecies of the 
Old Testament were inspired by the Holy Ghost (i. 21), but they 
need an interpreter. This is the view expressed in i Pet. i. 10-12 ; 
it was held both in the primitive Church (Acts viii. 31) and in later 
times. Christ has "bought" or ransomed the believer (ii. i), bind- 
ing him thereby to a life of moral purity. In baptism men are 
cleansed from their old sins ; and he who lives like a barren tree 
has forgotten this cleansing (i. 9; cf. i Pet. i. 18, 19, iii. 21). 
Faith is given by God (i. i), but is developed by human action, 
through virtue and knowledge into love (i. 5-8). Thus "calling" 
and "election" are made sure (i. 10); and this growth in practical 
Christian excellences forms the passport, the right of "entrance" 
into the eternal kingdom of Christ, which will be given by God 
(i. 11). Life is progress conditioned by obedience, and the ful- 
ness of the reward is future. And for this progress the Christian 
needs constant admonition and instruction from those who know 
better than he does himself (i. 12-18). It is easy to see why the 
author speaks of moral obligation as "a command" {iyToXyj, ii. 21), 
as the Way of Truth, the Straight Way, the Way of Righteousness 
(ii. 2, 15, 21). Throughout the Epistle great stress is laid upon 
Fear, and the thought of the Day of Judgment. Sin (d/Aaprta) is 
not an inner malign power, but the wicked act proceeding from 
"desire" (i. 4). It is corruption (cfiOopd, i. 4, ii. 19), the pollution 
of the world (ii. 20) ; but, as in i Peter, there is no indication of a 
belief in the hereditary transmission of evil. In this connexion the 
use of the secular word ap^riq (i. 3, 5) deserves a passing notice. 
Wherever " virtue " is a familiar term, the disciplinary view prevails. 

In ii. 13 there is a reference to the Agape in the word crvvevw- 
xov/xevot ; but we may go further, and take dydiraLs to be the right 
reading. No special information is given about the Agape, unless 
we may infer from the text that it was celebrated in the daytime. 
But here again, in this very tempting place, there is no trace of 
anachronism. Here again, if the author was a forger, he has dis- 
played remarkable skill, and carefully avoided words and ideas 
which were familiar in the second century. 

So far everything is in precise accordance with the teaching of 
I Peter. Our author was well acquainted with the doctrines of St. 
Paul, but he does not agree with them, and, if he had so chosen, 
could have given reasons for his dissent (iii. 16). Certainly in these 
important practical points, in the general view of the Christian life, 
Weiss is right in saying that no book in the New Testament is so 
like I Peter as 2 Peter. Yet there is something to be said on the 
other side. It has been noticed that the favourite phrases of the 
one Epistle are not those of the other. For instance, the word 


cA-TTis is not found in 2 Peter. Nor does he speak of the Christian 
as a pilgrim (TrdpoiKo?, 7rape7rtS?//xos), nor of his reward as a patrimony 
(KXrjpovo/xLa). The End of all things again is not " the Revelation " 
of Jesus Christ, but the Day of Judgment. Again, a favourite word 
in 2 Peter is eTrtyvcoo-is (i. 2, 3, 8, ii. 20 ; it is not a specially Pauline 
word, though often used by St. Paul). All these differences may 
admit of explanation from the difference of subject. The theme of 
I Peter is that Hope of the promised land which sustains the 
pilgrim's heart in his toilsome march through the desert. And to 
the eye of Hope the Last Day appears as a manifestation of the 
Lord's glory. On the other hand, the object of 2 Peter is to fortify 
his readers against the seductions of false freedom and speculative 
error. For him, therefore, leading thoughts are the knowledge of 
the Lord and the terrors of the Day of Judgment. Further, while 
the tone of the First Epistle is fatherly and pastoral, that of the 
Second is, though with marked exceptions, authoritative and 
denunciatory. It can hardly be said that the differences just noted 
are greater than can be accounted for by these considerations. 

Let us pass on to the speculative theology of 2 Peter. 

As in the First Epistle the Three Names are used. 

God is Father of Christ (i. 17). That He is not actually called 
Father of the Christian is probably a mere accident ; yet it must be 
noticed that this idea is not prominent in i Peter. But a striking 
feature of the Epistle is the use of reverential periphrases — rj 

/AcyaXoTrp €77-^5 So^a, i. 17; •17 Oeia SvvafXL<s, i. 3 ; ^eta (fivcri^, i. 4. Here 

we shall observe a remarkable similarity of devotional attitude (in 
both Epistles the predominant feeling towards God is one of 
intense awe) combined with an equally remarkable dissimilarity of 

The Holy Ghost is only mentioned as the inspirer of the 
Hebrew prophets (i. 21). 

The Christology of the Epistle is its most distinctive point. 
Christ is "our God" (i. i). If Spitta is right, as he probably is, in 
preferring the shorter reading in the next verse, it is to Christ in 
particular that the words deHa 8wa/xi? and Oeca (fiV(rL<s belong. He is 
our Bio-TTOTrjs (ii. i), and it is His IvtoXt] that we are to obey (iii. 2). 
His is the alwvLos (iaaikua (i. 11; cf. Luke i. 33; Apoc. xi. 15). 
There is the usual difficulty in iii. 8, 9, 10, to decide whether Kvpio?, 
6 Kv/otos, mean specially Christ or God ; but it is here evident that 
the question is immaterial. Finally, Christ is the giver of grace 
and knowledge (iii. 18), as He is the object of cTrtyvwons (i. 8), and 
to Him alone the concluding doxology is addressed. Yet He is 
distinct from, and in some sense subordinate to His Father, from 
whom He received honour and glory (i. 17). 

The subject of the Epistle is, no doubt, the cause of the pro- 
minence assigned to our Lord. What the Mockers denied was His 


Parousia ; what the False Teachers broke was His command. They 
did not probably deny the divine origin of the Decalogue; what 
they asserted was that Christ had abrogated it ; and St. Peter insists 
that Christ had not only preached, but authoritatively enacted the 
moral law of the Church, that in His " I say unto you " the Way of 
Righteousness received divine sanction. But what we are to ask is, 
whether the Christology of 2 Peter differs from that of i Peter ? 
The answer is, that if we attenuate i Peter on the points in question 
— the pre-existence of Christ, the use of " Lord," the " Name," the 
doxology — and at the same time interpret strictly or slightly harden 
the language of 2 Peter, it is possible to make a distinction 
between the two Epistles. But if we apply the same rule to both, 
there is really no difference at all. 

Yet here again in expression, though not in idea, there is a 
difference between the two. The author of the Second Epistle is 
fond of the word " Saviour," which he applies to Christ five times, 
not singly by itself, but in solemn formulas (i. i, tov ©eou ^/xwv koL 
(TcoTTypos I. X. : i. II, TOV KvpLov rjixwv KOL atarrjpos 'I. X. : cf. ii. 20, 
iii. 2, iii. 18). Elsewhere in the New Testament, though not so 
commonly as we might have expected, o-wr^/o is used to describe 
the work of Christ, as a predicate (Luke ii. 11 ; John iv. 42 ; Acts 
V. 31, xiii. 23; Phil. iii. 20). Even in the Pastorals, where the 
word is more frequent, it seems still to retain a distinctly predicative 
force ; see 2 Tim. i. 10 ; Tit. i. 4, where we may translate " Christ 
Jesus who is our Saviour"; so also Tit. ii. 13, iii. 6. Nowhere in 
the New Testament is " the Saviour " used as a synonym for Jesus 
Christ. But in 2 Peter, especially in iii. 2, " our Lord and Saviour," 
a-oiTTjp appears as a title and almost a name. In i Peter a-oyr-^p does 
not occur. 

We can hardly say with confidence that this mode of expression 
is later in date. Quite conceivably also the same man might use it 
in one Epistle and not in another. But again we cannot see why 
the difference in the subject of the two Epistles should cause this 
particular variation of language. Further, devotional phrases like 
this have often a personal character. Origen, for instance, con- 
stantly speaks of "My Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ," while 
Clement of Alexandria never does so. Here again the thought is 
precisely the same as that of i Peter, where redemption is dwelt 
upon with great iteration, but the form of expression is not the same. 

Other points falling under the head of doctrine, the author's 
belief as to the fall of the angels, or the creation and destruction of 
the world, are explained in the notes ; the subject of the world-fire 
has been discussed also in a previous section. It is sufficient to 
say here that they afford no indication of date, and that, in so far 
as they presume a certain use of Apocrypha, they are quite in 
keeping with i Peter. 



The words which we find in iii. i, " this second Epistle I write 
unto you," have generally been taken to mean that 2 Peter was 
addressed to the same Churches as the first. Some critics, notably 
Spitta and Zahn, deny this, chiefly on the ground that the former 
letter here referred to does not appear to have dealt with the same 
topics as I Peter. But this is not a conclusive reason. Jude (3, 4) 
may be taken to show that the disorders complained of had broken 
out suddenly and unexpectedly ; and, even if we are to explain the 
future tenses of 2 Peter with grammatical rigour, we get the same 
idea — a new and unlooked for danger had suddenly become 
imminent. It follows that a previous letter addressed to the same 
Churches could not have resembled the later letter either in subject 
or in tone. The former letter, if mentioned at all, could only be 
described in general terms as making against Antinomianism and 
the denial of the Parousia quite as conclusively though not so 
explicitly as the later (see notes on the passage). 

The point has some bearing on the question of authenticity. If 
2 Peter was written late in the second century, why did the forger 
refer in this ambiguous way to a former letter ? and why did he say 
nothing about the Diaspora in the Address ? People say that he 
was transparently anxious to identify himself with St. Peter. Why 
then did he not do so in those places where it was so obvious and 
so easy ? Certainly the obscurity is rather in favour of the authen- 
ticity of the Epistle. A genuine author, who is quite sure of 
himself, may be excused a little carelessness. Shall we say that the 
forger was so clever, that he was afraid to show his hand too openly ? 
But this is just what he is charged with doing ; and yet again he is 
supposed to be so stupid, that, having called himself an apostle in 
the Address, he tells us plainly that he was not an apostle in iii. 2. 
He is a very shadowy and inconsistent personage. 

There is no reason why the apostle, having written to the 
Diaspora such an Epistle as i Peter, should not within a very short 
time have written to the same people one just like 2 Peter. We 
often do send very dissimilar letters to the same person within a 
week. We write to a friend at a distance under the impression that 
he is quite prosperous ; in a few days we are sending fresh messages 
full of alarm, or warning, or indignation. We have received dis- 
quieting news in the interval. Probably, if St. Paul had written to 
the Galatians three days before he did, he would have selected very 
different topics. And yet we might say, " I have always told you 
the same thing. Look back at what I wrote in the past, and you 
will see that you were forewarned." 

There is nothing in the body ot the Epistle to show that the 


recipients of 2 Peter were not the same as those of i Peter. The 
pronoun rj/xLv in i. i has been taken to mean that the writer belonged 
to a Jewish Church and that he was addressing Gentiles ; and the fact 
that St. Paul had written to them has been interpreted in the same 
way ; but neither of these reasons is good for much. On the other 
hand, it has been maintained that the Epistle is directed to Jewish 
Christians. The phrase a7ro(j)vy6vTe<s to, fiida-fJiaTa tov Koa-fxov is as 
applicable to one as to the other. What is true of i Peter is true 
also of 2 Peter ; the author makes no distinction at all between Jew 
and Gentile converts ; in his eyes both are Christians, all Christians 
are alike, and the life of the patriarchs exhibits the same faith and 
obedience that are required of all Christians. In this important 
point he is Petrine and not Pauline. He does not say expressly 
that he had himself preached the gospel to his readers ; we cannot 
so press the iyvtapiaafxev of i. 16; nor is it necessary to suppose 
that any of the Twelve had ministered among them (see note on 
iii. 2). The language of the Episde only means that the people 
addressed knew quite well the doctrine of the apostles, and that it 
was diametrically opposed to that of the false teachers. How long 
these Churches had existed we cannot say ; neither i. 1 2 nor iii. 4 
justifies the inference that they were of old standing. 

If 2 Peter was not directed to the Churches of Asia Minor, we 
do not know what was its destination ; though we may feel quite 
certain that, like all other Epistles, it was addressed to the Christian 
community of some particular district and not to the Church at 
large. Beyond a doubt this is the impression which the author 
wishes to convey. These people had received a particular letter 
from St. Paul, a particular letter from St. Peter, and were exposed 
at the time to a particular danger. In this district there had been, 
or seemed likely in the near future to be, an attempt to propagate 
Antinomian doctrines, and to discredit the belief in the Second 
Advent. Who were these false teachers and mockers ? And first, 
were they in part or in whole the same people or not? 

In Germany there has been a strong tendency to distinguish 
them, and Kiihl goes so far as to say that it is wholly uncritical to 
ignore the difference. But this view rests solely upon the belief 
in the priority of Jude, and is not confirmed by anything in the 
text of 2 Peter. Indeed, if we look at the matter in the light of 
common sense, it is quite certain that an Antinomian could not 
accept the doctrine of the Second Advent as it was held by the 
Apostolic Church. It is possible to reject the belief in judgment 
after death without impugning the moral law, but it is certain that 
among the adherents of this view there will be many who regard it 
as emancipating them from all restraint. There is therefore no 
difficulty in identifying the false teachers with the mockers. There 
may have been shades of difference between them ; some, perhaps, 


had a philosophy and some had not ; but in the eyes of a Christian 
preacher, judging the party as a whole by its practical results, they 
would all seem to wear the same livery. 

At what date may we suppose these sceptical Antinomians to 
have appeared? Schenkel, Mangold, Volter, and Holtzmann (see 
Spitta, p. 503) think that they were the Carpocratians ; but this 
view is historically impossible. The second chapter of 2 Peter is 
either older than Jude or copied from Jude, and Jude is older than 
Carpocrates (see on this point the Introduction to Jude). Professor 
Harnack thinks that 2 Peter appeared between 150 (or more prob- 
ably 160) and 175, in the midst of the Gnostic controversy; that 
Jude was written between 100 and 130 ; and that the author of Jude 
was aiming, not at the Carpocratians, but at the older forms of 
Gnosticism, " Archontics, Phibionites, Kainites, Severians, Nicolai- 
tans " {Chronologie^ p. 466). But all these sects, so far as we are 
acquainted with them (of the Archontics our knowledge is slender 
and late ; of the Nicolaitans we know nothing except what we read 
in the New Testament ; and the Severians did not misinterpret Paul, 
but rejected his Epistles altogether, Eus. H. E. iv. 29. 5), exhibit 
the fundamental Gnostic trait of dualism, to which there is not the 
slightest allusion in Jude or in 2 Peter. Yet the latter Epistle must 
surely have said something on the point when dealing with the 
subject of creation. Again, the Gnostic principle of the evil nature 
of matter led equally to immorality and to extreme asceticism ; but 
to this latter feature again we find no allusion in Jude or 2 Peter. 
Nor do we meet with any reference to the " genealogies," or to the 
general Gnostic view of the Old Testament as the work of the 
Demiurge. In some shape or another Gnosticism existed in the 
East at a very early time ; one of its sources is Zoroastrianism, and 
serpent worship is exceedingly ancient. But it cannot be denied 
that Colossians and the Pastoral Epistles are much more anti- 
Gnostic than 2 Peter or Jude. 

Every feature in the description of the false teachers and 
mockers is to be found in the apostolic age. If they had "eyes 
full of adultery," there were those at Corinth who defended incest. 
If they " blasphemed dignities," there were those who spoke evil of 
St. Paul. They profaned the Agape, so did the Corinthians. They 
mocked at the Parousia, and some of the Corinthians denied that 
there was any resurrection. They used -rrXacrroi Xoyoi, and some of 
the Corinthians relied upon "a knowledge which puffeth up." 
Every point is common, except the charge of pecuniary extortion, 
which is repeatedly made in 2 Peter. But it is a necessity of the 
case that a false teacher should live by the contributions of his 
credulous adherents, and in the eyes of an apostle this would be 
extortion. It has been thought that the doubt about the Parousia 
could not be felt in the primitive Church; but it certainly was. 


Some denied the Resurrection (i Cor. xv. 12), and were warned by 
St. Paul tiiat they might as well say, " Let us eat and drink ; for 
to-morrow we die." What they denied was clearly the future life, 
not merely the Resurrection of the flesh ; for belief in a purely 
spiritual after-life does not involve moral indifference. Whether 
their scepticism came from Sadduceeism or from philosophy, we 
cannot say. Others again, at Thessalonica (i Thess. iv. 13-18), 
were sadly perplexed by difficulties of another kind. Those who 
were alive at Christ's coming would enter into His kingdom, but 
what would be the fate of those who had died beforehand ? This 
doubt would arise over the grave of the first Christian ; we have an 
interesting and most pathetical case in point in the anguish of 
Irving over the loss of his son, who was taken away before the dawn 
of that millennium which the father thought to be so near. Others 
again, at Corinth, appear to have urged the familiar arguments 
against the resurrection of the flesh. We do not gather from 
2 Peter the exact nature of the denial of the Parousia which is 
there denounced. But it appears to have been supported by a 
novel argument, derived from the unchanging order of the world. 
In this is probably involved a belief in the eternity of creation, 
which was widely held in the apostolic age (see Philo, de Inc. 
Mundi; and Ocellus Lucanus is probably pre-Christian). 

It is evident that these false teachers were acquainted with the 
writings of St. Paul, and found in them expressions which, with a 
little manipulation, would serve their purpose. Here two questions 
arise. At what date may the Pauline Epistles have been used as a 
basis for Antinomianism ? At what date may they have been 
spoken of in the terms used by 2 Peter ? 

To the first we may answer, that the words, if not the writings of 
the apostle, were already misinterpreted in this way at Corinth, and 
probably at Thessalonica. The second question is more difficult ; 
it forms, indeed, the one argument in favour of the later date which 
has been assigned to 2 Peter. 

Yet this argument is not convincing. St. Paul's letters were 
read in church from the very first, side by side with Moses and the 
Prophets. There can be no higher testimony to the veneration in 
which they were held than the fact that even in the apostle's life- 
time men forged Pauline Epistles (2 Thess. ii. 2), careful as the 
apostle was to guard against fraud by an autograph subscription 
(i Cor. xvi. 21 ', Gal. vi. 11; 2 Thess. iii. 17). Letters directed to 
one Church were sent on to another (Col. iv. 16), and there read 
publicly. Clearly the apostolic missives were treated with very 
high respect and scrutinised with great care. There is no difficulty 
in believing that they were also collected. Cicero's letters were 
kept together ; why not those of Paul ? What sort of conception 
are we to form of the early Church, if we are to imagine that St 


Peter had not read Galatians, in which he was personally attacked, 
or Corinthians, in which such an extraordinary state of things is 
described ? It is not necessary to think of St. Peter as settled in 
Rome, holding in his hands all the strings of a great organisation, 
and receiving constant reports from his lieutenants. But is it 
possible to believe that one apostle knew nothing about another, 
or that he did not care what his brethren were doing or saying ? 
There was nothing to prevent his getting every epistle that circulated 
in the Church within a month or two of its publication. If he 
agreed with his brother apostle, he would desire to be comforted 
and edified by some token of his activity and success ; if he did not 
quite agree with him, as was the case between St. Peter and St. Paul, 
he would be all the more anxious to know what the difference was, 
and how it showed itself in practical results. 

It is quite possible that the author of 2 Peter regarded the 
Pauline Epistles as scripture ; but even this is not conclusive proof 
that he lived in the second century. The Jews did not place all 
scripture on the same footing. St. Paul claims to be directly in- 
spired by the Holy Spirit, the author of all scripture, and cannot 
have made any distinction of kind between Hebrew and Christian 
prophecy. St. Peter could hardly treat St. Paul as a false prophet ; 
but, if he was a prophet, his Epistles are prophecies, and what is 
prophecy but scripture ? 

Certainly Clement of Rome had a collection of Pauline Epistles 
(Harnack in the Index of his edition gives references to eleven), and 
so had Ignatius (iv iracrrj €7n(XTo\r}j Eph. xii.), while Barnabas 
(iv. 14) quotes St. Matthew's Gospel as scripture. " Sed caueas," 
Professor Harnack adds in his note on the passage, " ne temere e 
yeypaTTxat illo conicias Barnabam nostrum scripta euangelica tanti 
aestimasse quanti Veteris Testamenti libros." The caution may 
perhaps be admitted, but it does not affect the point as regards 
2 Peter. He, too, may have treated the Pauline Epistles as 
scripture without setting them on an equality with the books of 
Moses. See Plummer on 2 Pet. iii. 15, 16 in Ellicott's Commentary. 

Thus we have no need to go down to the time of the Scillitan 
Martyrs to find some kind of parallel for the language of 2 Peter. 
Even this much disputed passage, then, does not really prove 
anything against the authenticity of 2 Peter. Indeed it may be 
thought that a forger writing late in the second century, when St. 
Paul had been canonised, would not, unless he was amazingly 
clever, have spoken of that great apostle as " our beloved brother," 
nor would he have adopted a discreetly critical attitude towards 
him, and gently objected to his Svo-i/or^ra. The last stroke in 
particular, if not simple nature, is the acme of art. It is easier to 
regard it as nature. 




The preceding review seems to show (i) that 2 Peter is oldei 
than Jude ; (2) that it belongs to the same school of ecclesiastical 
thought as I Peter ; (3) that it contains no word, idea, or fact which 
does not belong to the apostolic age ; (4) that traces of the second 
century are absent at those points where they might have been 
confidently expected to occur ; (5) that the style differs from that of 
I Peter in some respects, but in others, notably in verbal iteration 
and in the discreet use of Apocrypha, resembles it. 

These facts are best explained by the theory that the Epistle is 
really the work of St Peter, but that a different amanuensis was 

On the other hand, those who hold (i) that 2 Peter borrows 
from the Apocalypse of Peter; (2) that there is no clear trace of its 
existence before Clement of Alexandria; (3) that it is later than 
Jude ; (4) that it is directed against Gnosticism ; (5) that it implies 
the existence of a Canon of the New Testament, will follow the 
opinion upheld by Dr. Chase and many other eminent scholars, and 
assign to the Epistle a date between 150 and 175. 

In this case the Epistle is neither more nor less than a forgery. 
A good history of ancient forgeries would form a most useful book. 
Pseudonymous composition seems to have begun in the centuries 
immediately preceding the Christian era. Its earliest productions, 
letters of Plato, Aristotle, Phalaris, and so forth, were mere jeux 
(Tesprity like Landor's Imaginary Conversations ; but the flood of 
Orphic and Pythagorean fictions enumerated by Zeller had a serious 
object, that of recommending peculiar doctrines under shelter of 
an ancient and venerable name. Alexandrian Jews, as has been 
noticed above, practised the same dishonest art, in order to persuade 
cultivated Greeks that the doctrines of the Bible were " stolen " by 
the classic poets, or that " Plato was an Attic Moses." The early 
Sibylline Oracles belong to the same class. In the Church we find 
the manufacture of Pauline Epistles carried on in the lifetime of the 
apostle. In the second century Gnostics are accused of tampering 
with the text of scripture. They retorted that scripture, as read by 
the Catholics, was spurious or interpolated. From this time 
onward we find a great mass of pseudonymous writings. Some of 
them are forgeries in the worst sense of the word, teaching non- 
Christian or unecclesiastical doctrines in the name of our Lord and 
His apostles, and unquestionably intended to deceive. Such are 
the Gnostic Gospels and Acts, and perhaps we may add the 
Clementine Homilies. Others, like the Acts of Paul and Thecla^ are 
merely edifying romances of the same family as the modern religious 
novel Others again, such as the Apostolical Constitutions or the 


Apostolical Church Ordinance^ describe the Church as it existed in 
the author's place and time, within a slender imaginative framework, 
in which the apostles are introduced as still alive. Books of this 
kind were probably not meant to delude, though they were certain 
to create delusion. Yet another class sprang from the insatiable 
craving to know more about the great personages of the early 
Church than we are told in the genuine books of the New 
Testament. Hence came a large crop of false Gospels and Acts. 

It is difficult to see under which of these classes we can place 
2 Peter. The Epistle is not unorthodox, it is not a romance, it 
contains no anachronism, at any rate none that is indisputable, and it 
tells us nothing new about St. Peter himself. The Gospel of Peter 
is heterodox, and altered the cry from the Cross, Eli^ Eli, lama 
sabachthani, in such a way as to prove that the Divinity of Jesus left 
Him before He died (17 Swa/xis /aov, 17 8vva/Ats KareXcti/^as /xe : where 
Swa/Ais represents d7/A.t, found in L: of. Clem. Alex. Excerpta ex 
Theod. i. 61). The Apocalypse of Peter professes to add to our know- 
ledge of the future life, and draws its imagery from the heathen poets. 
The Praedicatio Petri tells us that Christ commanded His apostles 
not to leave Jerusalem for twelve years after the Ascension, prob- 
ably quotes the Gospel of the Hebrews, opposes Docetism {rion 
sum daemonium incorporeum), teaches communism (fiifx-^a-ao-Oe 
IcroTrjTa ©eov, Koi ovS^U corat Trivrj^), is familiar with the later form of 
the polemic against Greeks and Jews, and generally exhibited such 
a character that Origen says, " It was written neither by Peter nor 
by anyone else who was inspired by the Spirit of God " (see the 
Fragments in Geschichte der altchristlichen Litteratur). In the IlcpioSot 
ILirpov mention was made of Peter's wife and daughter, and a piece 
of information was given about the apostle's personal appearance ; 
he was said to have been bald {GAL, p. 134). Similarly, the 
Acts of Paul and Thecla give a portrait of St. Paul (see Conybeare, 
Monuments of Early Christianity, p. 62), and some Gnostics had a 
portrait of Christ said to have been drawn by Pilate (Iren. i. 25. 6). 
Some of these Petrine pseudepigrapha were more or less orthodox, 
some, like the Clementina, are quite the reverse ; but they were all 
peculiar, and all, as far as we have the means of judging, extremely 
unlike 2 Peter. We have to consider, then, the possibility of a 
forgery without any object, without any of the ordinary marks, 
without any resemblance to undoubted forgeries bearing the name 
of the same apostle. (See on this point some good remarks of 
Zahn, Einleitung, ii. 95,) 

As to the place from which the Epistle was written we have no 
information. Professor Harnack, who holds that it is a forgery, 
thinks that it emanated from Egypt {Chronologic, p. 469). Dr. 
Chase holds the same opinion, on the grounds that the Apocalypse of 
Peter was probably written in Egypt, that 2 Peter makes use of the 


Apocalypse^ and, further, that the Epistle has some resemblance in 
phrase and thought to Philo and Clement. But the Apocalypse 
was read in Gaul (see above, pp. 207-209), in Rome (see the Mura- 
tortanum\ and probably in many other places, at an early date ; if 
it was copied, it might have been copied anywhere ; there is no 
trace of Philonism in 2 Peter, and Clement was only accidentally 
and for a time connected with Alexandria. Jiilicher {Einleitung, 
p. 187) suggests Egypt or Palestine as the birthplace of the Epistle. 
The reason for selecting Palestine is that if the false teachers are to 
be called Gnostics, they must be referred to one of those earlier and 
less known sects which had their domicile in that district or in the 
neighbouring regions of Syria. The truth appears to be that, 
unless the Epistle is what it professes to be, it is entirely in the air ; 
we can say nothing, except that the forgery must have been old 
enough to impose upon Clement of Alexandria, and probably upon 
Pantaenus also. 

There are difficulties on either hand. But, if we pay due 
attention to the number and gravity of these disturbing phenomena, 
if we put steadily aside all prepossessions and compare the book 
impartially with the rest of the New Testament, it seems far easier 
to place 2 Peter in the first century than in the second. If we 
consider, again, the absence of any allusion to persecution, or to the 
fall of Jerusalem, it is far easier to place it early in the first century 
than late. But is not this the same thing as saying that it is 
authentic ? If it was written in St. Peter's name and lifetime, we 
may well think that it was written by his direction and under his 

We may feel certain that 2 Peter is later than i Corinthians. 
The more probable inference from iii. i is that it is also later than 
I Peter. The interval of time may have been very short. There 
were in Corinth false teachers, probably claiming to be prophets, 
to whom the description of the false teachers in 2 Peter would 
apply in every feature (see Zahn, ii. p. loi). These men would be 
well known to St. Peter, who had adherents in Corinth, if he had 
not visited the town himself. There are, then, two possibilities. If 
we think that the former Epistle referred to in iii. i is non-existent, 
it is within the bounds of credibility that 2 Peter was written before 
I Peter, and directed to the party of Cephas in Corinth itself. We 
might then discover in the rather obscure phrase, ol aiToo-roXoi vfiwv 
(iii, 2), an answer to St. Paul's ol v-rrepXiav a-n-oaToXoL (2 Cor. xi. 5, 
xii. 11). "Your apostles" may very well mean the Twelve. 
Again, the Epistles of St. Paul to the Corinthians were probably at 
least three in number (see i Cor. v. 9), and thus we should get a 
good explanation of the words iv Tracrais cTrio-ToXats, which have 
caused so much trouble. Further, if we are to suppose that the 
Epistle was from the first regarded with suspicion by a certain party 


in the Church, the fact would thus be easily accounted for. St. Paul 
himself would consider the Epistle as an intrusion, and his friends 
would endeavour to prevent its circulation. Yet upon the whole 
this tempting view is not the more probable. It is easier to suppose 
that not all the Corinthian prophets were reduced to order by St. 
Paul, that some of them were making their way towards Asia Minor, 
or had already begun work in one of the towns in that country. 
Nicolaitans, who were men of the same stamp, existed in the seven 
Churches at the date of the Apocalypse, and our Epistle may have 
been called forth by the first outbreak of that heresy. If we adopt 
this view we can retain the current explanation of 2 Pet. iii. i, and 
at the same time account for the intermingling of the future and 
present tenses in the description of the false teachers. They were 
already preaching in some places, and might shortly be expected in 
others also. See Mansel, Gnostic Heresies ^ pp. 6g, 70. 

In this case again, though the Epistle would not cause so much 
offence as if it had been actually directed to a party at Corinth, it 
might still excite the suspicions of the editors of the Peshito. In 
the second century there were in the East many sects, the Severians 
(these have been noticed above), the Ebionites (Eus. H. E. iii. 27. 4 ; 
Iren. i. 26. 2), the Elkesaites (Origen in Eus. H. E. vi. 38), who 
rejected St. Paul, and spoke against him in very violent terms. 
Every book which seemed to incline in this direction would be 
regarded with unfriendly eyes by the orthodox party. It is notice- 
able that three of the books which were omitted from the Peshito 
are open more or less to this objection, the Epistle of St. James, 
the Second Epistle of St. Peter, and the Apocalypse. Spitta 
observes with perfect truth that the reasons for which documents 
were accepted or rejected by the early Church were not what we 
understand by the word "critical." Men guided their judgment 
largely by what we may call the pedigree of the document in 
question, but still more by its relation to the orthodoxy of the time. 
The Epistolariu7n of the New Testament was almost wholly 
Pauline, and Paulinism shaped the norm of apostolicity. It is true 
that the men of the second century were not Pauline, but they 
thought they were, and hence arose the curious inconsistency that 
those very men who agreed at bottom with St. Peter and St. James 
could not bear to think that these two apostles had ever uttered a 
word in their own defence against the sharp sayings of St. Paul. 
They explained the differences away, or they left out of their canon 
pieces which struck them as anti-Pauline, They admitted Galatians 
and doubted 2 Peter. Fortunately there were some who took a 
different view. Otherwise we should hardly have known that in the 
primitive Church there existed, not only the radicalism of St, Paul 
and the stubborn conservatism of the Judaising section, but also 
the great central party represented by the Twelve Apostles. The 


cardinal error of Baur and his followers, an error which vitiated 
their many great services to Christian scholarship, was that they 
arranged these Church divisions in chronological order, as if we 
could suppose that in England or any other country the Tories 
produced the Whigs, and, finally, that the fusion of these two gave 
birth to the men of moderation and common sense. What history 
teaches us is that, both in secular and religious affairs, the broad 
catholic party, the party which has no name, always exists and is 
always powerful. It is Reason, flanked on both wings by Emotion, 
on the left by eagerness for the Future, on the right by strong 
affection for the Past. Both Emotions belong to Reason, and 
Reason knows how to use them in time and in measure. It shapes 
that view of Christianity which we find in the Synoptic Gospels, 
in the Book of Acts, and in the Epistles of Peter. It is a disciplin- 
ary and logical view ; it regards the Bible as a continuous revelation, 
and it Umits the right of private judgment The " Judaisers " never 
found a place in the Canon, though James sheltered them as far as 
he could. On the other wing, the author of Hebrews leans towards 
St. John, the Catholic Mystic, and, finally, in St. Paul we find the 
Protestant Mystic. 

Thus we gain an intelligible view of the early Church, and thus 
we see the value of 2 Peter. Value is not the same as authenticity. 
Yet, if it has been shown that the Epistle fills a definite place, 
represents a definite party, and expresses views that were really held 
by St. Peter, something not inconsiderable has been effected towards 
the removal of hostile preoccupations. 

The conclusion at which Dr. Zahn arrives, after an elaborate 
discussion of all the points involved, is that 2 Peter was written 
before i Peter by the apostle's own hand, not as the former Epistle 
by an amanuensis or representative (thus the difference of style is 
accounted for); that it was sent probably from Antioch shortly 
before the time when St. Peter went to Rome (60-63), ^o Jewish 
Churches in Palestine ; and that it was called forth by the Corinthian 
disorders, which, as the apostle feared, might shortly attack his own 
special flock. 

Zahn's views rest on so strong a support of learning and good 
sense that they must be treated with great respect. The weak point 
in his final verdict appears to me, if I may venture to say so, to be 
the characterisation of the recipients of the Epistle as Jews. The 
conclusion involved, that St. Paul had written an Epistle to a Jewish 
Church, is not impossible, for it is extremely difficult to see what 
precisely is meant by Gal. ii. 9 ; still it is not probable. On the 
other side, Zahn himself allows that i Peter was written, if not by the 
hand, yet by the direction of St. Peter to Gentile communities ; and 
there can be little doubt that St. Peter had close relations with 
Gentile Christians in Corinth, Galatia, and Rome. St. Peter again 


makes no distinction between Jewish and Gentile Christians, and 
there is nothing in 2 Peter to differentiate its first readers from those 
of I Peter. 

If Dr. Zahn is right in thinking that the former Epistle referred 
to in iii. i is lost, the easiest inference is that 2 Peter was directed 
to Corinth not long after the date of the Pauline Epistles, from 
whatever place happened to be St. Peter's residence at the time. 
The difference of style may be explained as by Dr. Zahn ; but here 
again it is more natural to suppose that, if St. Peter availed himself 
of the services of a draughtsman or secretary for one Epistle, this 
was his rule. That he would be assisted at one time by one brother 
at another time by another, is not only possible, but certain, from 
the nature of things. 


The Title. NAB have Ilerpov ^ : C, ITerpov iirLo-ToXr} ^ : K and 
many cursives, Herpov eTncrroA.-^ Sevrepa : other cursives, Hirpov 
iTTLOTToXrj KaOokiKT] Sevripa : L, eTricrroA?/ KaOoXiKT] Sevripa rov dyiov 
aTTocTToXov Herpov : the Codex Amiatinus, incipit epistula petri 
^postoltf ii. : the Codex Fuldensis, incipit epistula sci. petri secunda. 

1. 1. " Symeon (Simon) Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus 
Christ, to those who have obtained a faith of equal honour with 
us in the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ." 

« A K L P, other inferior MS. authorities, and Theophylact 
have %vp.(.isiv : and this reading was known also to Oecumenius. So 
Tischendorf. B, many cursives, and the Versions have 2t/xa)v. So 
WH (giving !Sv/xewv in the margin). 

For the names of the apostle see note on i Pet. i. i. 

The original Hebrew form, Symeon, is found elsewhere only in 
Acts XV. 14, where it is used by the Apostle St. James. Theophylact 
says, rov IvfjLeoiv rb ^Lfxoiv v-nroKopLcrfxos ia-riv, regarding the latter as 
a home-grown Hebrew diminutive of the former. In i Mace. ii. 
3, 65, Simon and Symeon are used indifferently of the same son 
of Mattathias. It is, however, possible that the shorter form was 
shaped by Gentile influence, Simon or Simo (from simus) being 
familiar to Latins and Greeks, as we see from Plautus and Terence. 
See Zahn, Einleitung, i. p. 21. 

Hofmann, Huther, Schott, Kiihl, Zahn, Spitta, accept Symeon 
as the correct reading. Some think that this form of the name is 
here used to emphasise the Hebrew character of the writer, and 
consequently that also of the recipients of the letter ; but it is diffi- 
cult to build such an inference on so slender a basis. The First 
Epistle makes no distinction between Jew and Gentile, nor does 
the Second. But, if the reading is correct, it is an argument for the 
early date of the Epistle, as the form Symeon was not in use in the 
second century. Simon is found in The Gospel according to the 
Hebrews^ in the Gospel of Feter, in the fragments of the Ebionite 
Gospel (in Hilgenfeld), in the Apostolic Church Order (Duae Viae^ 
in Hilgenfeld), in the letters of Peter and Clement to James, pre- 
fixed to the Homilies^ and regularly in the Homilies themselves 


CHAP. I. VER. I 249 

No instance of Symeon is quoted. If the use of the Hebrew form 
here is an archaism, it is very dexterous. For the collocation, Simon 
Peter, see note already referred to. 

80GX0S Kttt diroo-ToXos '\r](TOu XpiaToO. Cf. Rom. i. I, na£)A.os 
SovXos 'Irjarov XpicrroG kX7]t6<s aTrocTToAo? : Phil. i. I, XlavAos /cat 
Tt/A0^€05 SovXoi X.pLcrTOv ^lr](rov : Tit. i. i, IlavAo? SovAos ®eov airoa-- 
Toko<s 8e 'It^ctoO Xptcrrov : Jas. i. I, 'laKiojSos 0eo9 kol Kvpiov ^I-qcrov 
Xpio-Tov SoyXo-i : Jude l, 'Iov8a<s *Ir}crov Xpiarov Bov\o<; : Apoc. i. I, 
Tw 8ovk(D avTov (Xpiarov or ©eo9) ^Iwdwy. AoGXos is used of Chris- 
tians in general, Acts ii. 18 ; 1 Cor. vii. 22 ; Eph. vi. 6 ; Col. iv. 12 ; 
2 Tim. ii. 24, and frequently in the Apocalypse. In i Pet. ii. 16 
we have SovXot @eov, but the usual phrase is SovXoi Xpio-Tov. They 
are slaves of Christ as Lord; the correlative of SoCAos being fre- 
quently KvpLos (Matt. xxiv. 50). But a more familiar correlative of 
hovXo<s is Seo-TTOTTy?, and possibly this is the word that was in St. 
Peter's mind (see below, ii. i). The question has been raised 
whether " slave of Christ " does not here mean the same as apostle. 
The phrase is by no means exclusively used of apostles, as will be 
seen from the passages quoted. As in i Pet. v. i, so here the 
writer uses first an expression which puts him on a level with those 
to whom he is speaking before he claims a hearing by right of his 

loroTijuLOj' (the word is not found elsewhere in the New Testa- 
ment) has often been taken to mean "of equal value." So R.V. 
" a like (in margin ' equally ') precious faith " ; but the precise sense 
is rather "equal in honour," or "privileges." Mr. Field, in his 
JVofes on the Translation of the New Testament^ points out that rt/x^ 
has the two meanings of value and of honour, and that while iroXv- 
Tifio<s generally follows the first, bix6TLp,o<i and la-orifios always follow 
the second, lo-ort/xos is specially used of civic equality; thus 
Josephus, Ant. xii. 3. i, ev avrrj rrj fi-qTpoiroXu 'Avrtop^eio, TroXtreias 
avTov<; Tj^Lwcre kol rot? kvoiKicrB^ia-iv i(roTtixov? airiSeL^e MaKeBoai /cat 
'KXXrjaL : Lucian, Hermot. 24, avrUa fidXa TroXir-qv ovra toCtov, 
ooTis av rj, kol iq-oti/aov airao-L (other references in Liddell and 
Scott). Probably St. Peter has this civic sense of the word in his 
mind. Faith makes those to whom he is writing burgesses in the 
city of God equally with the apostles. 

Yiiiiv is equivalent to rrj -fjixiov. There is much difference of 
opinion as to the meaning of this "we." (i) A large number of 
commentators take it of Jewish Christians as opposed to Gentile, 
quoting Peter's words in Acts xi. 17, ttjv lo-tjv Scopeai/ eSojKev avrot? 6 
©609 o)? Kttt rjfuv. But the Epistle nowhere refers to this dis- 
tinction, which, indeed, has nothing to do with the points handled. 
(2) "We" might be taken to denote the Church from which the 
apostle was writing, and with which he identified himself. This 
interpretation, however, is barred by ver. 4, from which it is clear 


that " you " stand in the relation of disciples to " us." (3) " We," 
according to an ordinary Greek usage, might mean St. Peter alone ; 
but there is no reason for thus restricting the pronoun here, and 
it will be noticed that when the writer speaks of himself alone he 
uses the first person singular (i. 12-15). (4) Bengel, followed by 
others, including in recent times Keil, Spitta, von Soden, take the 
pronoun to refer to the apostles generally. This gives much the 
best sense. Throughout this chapter St. Peter is thinking of the 
contrast between the doctrine of the apostles and that of the False 
Teachers. "Your faith," he seems to say, "is as honourable as 
ours, though you received yours from us and we received ours from 

XaxoGo-i. ^^Sorfitis; non sibi ipsi pararunt," Bengel. Their 
faith was given to them by the mercy of God. 

iv SiKatocruVif]. As in i Peter (ii. 24, iii. 12, 14, 18, iv. 18), so in 
2 Peter (ii. 5, 7, 8, 21, iii. 13), StKaios and hiKaioa-vvq bear the same 
meaning as in the Old Testament. It is therefore quite impossible 
to find here any reference to the Pauline doctrine of justification. 
'Ej/ hiKaioa-vvrj can hardly be taken with ttlo-tlv. Even if, in Rom. 
iii. 25, TTto-ns iv tw alfxari avrov meant "faith in His Blood," which 
is exceedingly doubtful, " faith in the justice of God " would be a 
remarkable expression. Nor can we take as parallels Eph. i. 15; 
Col. i. 4; I Tim. iii. 13; 2 Tim. iii. 15, where faith is said to be 
in Christ Jesus, for these are merely expressions of the habitual 
Pauline thought that the whole life of the beHever is in his Lord. 
We cannot translate " faith issuing in a righteousness of God " ; for 
the preposition will not bear this meaning. Nor, again, can we 
translate " faith standing in, or built upon, the (or a) righteousness 
of God " ; for if we are to give righteousness here its Pauline sense 
of forensic or imputed righteousness, this follows faith, and does 
not precede it ; while, if we are to give the word its proper Petrine 
sense, faith rests, not on the divine justice, but on the divine goodness. 
For this last reason it seems impossible to connect iv SiKaLocrvvy 
with Xaxova-L. The verb Xayxo-vetv implies a gift of favour, and 
favours are not received, strictly speaking, from justice. It remains, 
therefore, to find the determining word in to-on/xov. God is Just, 
and gives to all Christians equal privileges in His City. 

Tou 0eoO Y\ixCiv Kttl aa)TT]pos 'Itjo-oO Xpiarou. It has been much 
disputed whether Two Persons are here spoken of, or only One. 
Among recent commentators, Alford, Wiesinger, Bruckner, Steinfass, 
Huther take the former view; Spitta and von Soden, the latter; 
Kiihl answers the question with a non liquet. The argument has 
two branches, the grammatical and the historical. As regards the 
grammar, it may be urged : 

I. That the combination of the two substantives under one 
article is a very strong reason for regarding the two substantives 

CHAP. I. VER. I 251 

as names of the same person. It is hardly open for anyone to 
translate in i Pet. i. 3 6 0eos /cat Trarryp by "the God and Father," 
and yet here to decline to translate 6 ©eos Kal o-wrqp by " the God 
and Saviour." This point is rather strengthened than weakened 
by the addition of r}ixCiv to ©eoV It must be admitted that if the 
author intended to distinguish two persons, he has expressed him- 
self with singular inaccuracy. 

2. If the author had intended to distinguish two persons, it 
is exceedingly doubtful whether he could have omitted the article 
before o-wr^/oo?. Swrjyp is used in the New Testament of God 
or of Christ twenty-three times. Of these instances, two are in 
St. Luke's Gospel; one in the Gospel, one in the Epistles of 
St. John; two in Acts; one in Philippians, ten in the Pastoral 
Epistles of St. Paul; five in 2 Peter; one in Jude. It is used 
eight times of God, fourteen times of Christ; one passage. Tit. 
ii. 13, is doubted. As used of God, o-wtt^/o has the article five 
times, and dispenses with it three times (i Tim. i. i, iv. 10; 
Jude 25). As used of Christ it is anarthrous in Luke ii. 11 ; 
Acts V. 31, xiii. 23; I John iv. 14, but in no one of these 
passages would the article be in place. In Phil. iii. 20, also, 
it is anarthrous, and here possibly the article might have been 
used. Yet in this, the only passage where St. Paul uses a-tarrjp 
outside of the Pastoral Epistles, the meaning may very well be 
"we expect," not the Saviour, but "a Saviour." 

3. But what we have specially to regard is the usage not of 
other writers, but of 2 Peter. Five times the author uses a-oiT-^p, 
and always in very similar phrases. Here we have tov ®€ov rj/xCyv koL 
a-(iiT7]pos *Irj(rov XpiaTov: below, i. 11, ii. 20, iii. 18, tov Kvplov -^fxoiv 
Koi crwr^pos *lT](rov "Kpicnov : iii. 2, rov Kvpi'ov koX crwrrjpos. Though 
(TOiTrjp is one of his favourite words he never uses it alone, but 
always couples it under the same article with another name. There 
is strong reason for thinking that the two names always belong to 
the same person ; undoubtedly they do so in four cases out of the 

Spitta and von Soden, two very keen critics, regard these argu- 
ments as decisive. Alford says, "Undoubtedly, as in Tit. ii. 13, 
in strict grammatical propriety, both ©eov and crcoriypo? would be 
predicates of *Ir](Tov Xpio-rov. But here, as there, considerations 
interpose, which seem to remove the strict grammatical rendering 
out of the range of probable meaning." Yet the first and sovereign 
duty of the commentator is to ascertain, and to guide himself by 
the grammatical sense. 

The historical difficulty may be posed in the words of Kiihl. 
" The immediate transfer of ©eos to Christ might find a parallel in 
Heb. i. 8, and in the doxologies addressed to Christ in Rom. ix. 5 ; 
Heb. xiii. 2 1 ; on the other hand, the immediate attributive con- 


nexion of ©eo? with 'Iryo-oSs Xpicrros is without analogy." But there 
is really nothing startling in the phrase of 2 Peter, if we think of 
John i. I, XX. 28 ; or the three, possibly five, doxologies addressed 
indifferently to Christ or Jesus Christ (Westcott, Hebrews^ p. 464), 
one of which forms the conclusion of this Epistle ; or the meaning 
of " Lord " in i Peter ; or the language of the Apocalypse, ^wrryp 
itself is a divine title, transferred without hesitation from Jehovah 
to Jesus Christ. But after all, the question is not what other 
authors say, but what 2 Peter says. 

It may be argued that because 2 Peter is here speaking of one 
person, he belongs to the post-apostolic age — to that of Ignatius, 
who speaks of Jesus Christ as 6 ©eos ly/Aoiv, Eph.^ Preface (see 
Lightfoot's note) ; but there is no sufficient reason for relegating 
this phrase to the second century. 

A final strong argument for supposing that St. Peter is here 
speaking of One Person only, is that those who consider him to 
be speaking of Two have great difficulty in explaining the word 
hiKaio(Tvvr], Granting for the moment that Two Persons are here 
intended, is their righteousness the same, or different ? Are we to 
say with Wiesinger that God is righteous in so far as He ordained 
the Atonement, Jesus Christ in so far as He accomplished it ? or 
must we not think with Spitta, that the Atonement is not here in 
question at all ; because it can hardly be meant that, on the ground 
of the Atonement, a faith has been given to the readers of the 
Epistle which is lo-ort/Aog to that of the writer ? The righteousness 
intended is not that which makes atonement, but that which gives 
equally. But, if the righteousness is one and the same, it becomes 
exceedingly difficult to keep God and Jesus Christ apart. 

2. x^P'^s "H-^" ^^^ eipi^fT] TrXTjOui/GctT]. Cf. i Pet. i. 2, where 
precisely the same phrase is found. Jude, in his Address (lAcos 
viCiv KoX €iprjvr) kol dydirr) TrXrjdvvdetr]), follows the same model, but 

ToG 0eoG Kttl 'It)ctoO toG Kupiou r\ixG>v. So B C K, Theophylact, 
Oecumenius, Lachm., Treg., Tisch., WH : N A L, rov ©coO Kal 'Irjaov 
Xpca-Tov Tov KvpLov rjfxCiv : j^"" tov Kvptov kol ©eoO -^fxcj^v : P am fu 
demid harl corb^ rov Kvptov : a'" c'" m^' m'* Syriac, tov Kvptov 
rjfjiwv 'Irja-ov Xptarov : the Sahidic omits the whole verse. There is 
great variety of readings here, and all MSS. of 2 Peter are bad (see 
Introduction). Spitta, following Bengal, regards rov Kvptov rjfxwv 
as the original out of which all these variants arose, on the grounds 
that (i) the phrase is much more Hkely to have been expanded 
than curtailed; (2) that the object of yvoio-is or tTrtyvwo-ts, in i. 8, 
ii. 20, iii. 18, is Christ alone; (3) that the diplomatic evidence of 
the shorter reading is by no means inconsiderable, P, which for 
2 Peter has great value, being supported by the Itala, the best MSS. 
of the Vulgate, and the Syriac. It should, however, be observed, 

CHAP. I. VER. 3 253 

that in regard to 2 Peter, the Syriac is a late and inferior authority. 
Further, it is to be observed (4) that from the following words, Trjq 
^eias 8uva/x€(os avrov, it may be inferred, with great probability, that 
only one Divine Person was here mentioned. Upon the whole, it 
may be said that internal probability is strongly, if not conclusively, 
in favour of the shorter reading. External evidence must be left 
to the textual critics, but it is certain that there are passages in 
2 Peter where no MS. can be relied upon. Zahn, Einleitung^ ii. 61, 
takes the same view as Spitta. 

Iv emyj'waei. If we compare vers. 5, 6, 8, there appears to be 
a difference intended between yvoicrt? and eTrtyi/ooo-is. The former, 
as in I Pet. iii. 7, appears to denote good sense, understanding, 
practical wisdom ; the latter is used of the knowledge of Christ. 
'ETTtyvcocris is used by Plutarch of scientific knowledge, for instance, 
of music ; and St. Peter may mean that the knowledge of Christ is 
the master-science, the dp;(tT€KToviACTj. But, generally speaking, in 
the New Testament it is not easy to keep yvwo-ts and eTrtyvcocrts 

3. ws, followed by the genitive absolute, may be rendered 
"seeing that." May grace and peace be multiplied unto you in 
the knowledge of Christ (and I pray this with confidence), seeing 
that He has granted unto us (His apostles) all things that conduce 
to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that called us, 
by His own glory and virtue. 

TTJs Geias 8um|j,6(i)s auroO. Christ has Qua 8vva/jLL<s because He is 
6 0€os rjixwv. The phrase is found in an inscription belonging to 
Stratonicea in Caria, the date of which is about a.d. 22. It is 
published in CIG, ii.. No. 2715a l>; and in part in Deissmann, 
Bibelstudien^ p. 277, Eng. trans, p. 361. The expression Oda Svvafjusy 
therefore, was current in St. Peter's lifetime. The author of our Epistle 
has a tendency to use reverent periphrases for the name of God, as 
in ver. 17 below. See Introduction, p. 235. Awa/xis is one of the 
leading words of the Epistle; note the emphasis with which it 
recurs in ver. 16, Swa/xts koI irapovo-la. The SvvafiLs, power and 
majesty, of Christ is the sword which St. Peter holds over the head 
of the False Teachers. Christ's divine power has given us apostles 
irdvTa Ttt Trpos ^uyrju kol evcre^eLav through the knowledge of Him 
that called us. When He called us. He gave us the knowledge of 
Himself and, through that knowledge as the means, all that fosters 
life and Christian conduct. 

Tou KaXcaarros r\[i.o.s. He that called the apostles was Christ. 
Compare Matt. ix. 13, where Christ speaks of Himself as calling 
sinners. It was He also that called St. Paul, Acts ix. 5. That this 
is the right explanation seems clear from ver. 1 1 below. We are 
called by Christ into the kingdom of Christ. Again, €7rtyi/wo-ts is 
of Christ, vers, 2, 8. Generally speaking, in the New Testament it 


is God, not Christ, that calls, but in Rom. i. 6 we have K\r}To\ 
'Ir/crov XpLCTTOV. 

i8ia 86^T] Kal dperf]. So i? A C P, the Versions, Tisch., Lachm., 
Treg. ;' B K L, the bulk of later MSS., WH, read 8m So^r)'; Kal 
apeT?]<;. " By His own glory and virtue," or " by glory and virtue." 
The divergence of reading is interesting mainly as showing the 
uncertainty of the text. Christ's glory might be called His own, 
though He received it from the Father (ver. 1 7) ; for what we have 
received is our own (i Pet. iii. i), and the glory belongs to Him, ets 
■fjfjiepav atwvos (iii. 18). Von Soden thinks that S6^a and aper^ 
correspond to C(oi^ and euo-e^cta : and if this view is taken, they may 
be regarded as synonymous with deca ^vo-t?, and opposed to (p6opd 
in the following verse. Glory and virtue are the divine nature. 
But, as throughout this introduction St. Peter is paving the way for 
chaps, ii. and iii., and as it is his habit to introduce words which 
he means to explain later on (to-oTi/xo9, kTriyvwcri^, BvvajxK;), it is 
very probable that Spitta is right in regarding So^a as an anticipa- 
tion of the reference to the Transfiguration in vers. 16-18. ^Aper-q 
means the moral goodness of the 'Ayavo? dfj.(oixo<i koI ao-7ri\os : this 
is the idea which the apostle immediately proceeds to develop. 

It is remarkable that this familiar Greek word is not used in 
its familiar sense of human ethical virtue in the New Testament, 
except in Phil. iv. 8, here, and in ver. 5 below. " Virtue " is a 
secular and disciplinary term which, owing to the influence of St. 
Paul, has never made itself quite at home in theology. Readers of 
Butler's Analogy will know how it links itself on to the doctrine of 
habit and the idea of moral desert. 

In the present passage the word forms a keynote. Christ has 
virtue. His disciples must add virtue to faith, but the False Teachers 
reject virtue altogether. 

All commentators appear to couple iSta So^r; koX dperrj with 
Tov KaXiaavTo^, yet this construction seems extremely difficult. The 
moving cause of the call is not glory, but mercy. In i Pet. ii. 9, 
the issue, not the ground, of our calling is that we should tell 
forth the dperat of God. It is much easier to take the datives with 
8e8(t)pr)ixevrj^ : His divine power has given us all things by His glory 
and virtue, because the attributes are, in fact, the power which 
enables Him to bestow the gift. That this is the right construction 
seems clear from the following words, St' wv (practically equivalent 
to ah) SeSwprjTai. 

If but One Person is spoken of in ver. i, and if the shorter 
reading is adopted in ver. 2, there can be no doubt that avrov and 
TOV KaAeVai/ros both refer to Christ. But if Two Persons are men- 
tioned in either place, difficulties arise, which are not very easy of 
solution. Thus avrov is understood of God by Bengel, de Wette, 
Briickner, Wiesinger, Keil, and others. But the order of the word? 

CHAP. I. VER. 4 255 

is against this ; and though it is quite natural for the writer, after 
calling Jesus Christ " our God," to speak of His " divine power," 
it does not seem quite natural to speak of " the divine power of 
God " ; the phrase in this case becomes a mere tautology. Again, 
if Soijj Kal aperyj belong here to God, we must give up Spitta's 
explanation of So^a, which has so much to recommend it, and 
deprive apeTi] of all direct bearing upon the subject of the Epistle. 
As applied to God, apcTT? or dpcrat means " excellence " (see note 
on I Pet. ii. 9), and is practically equivalent to B6$a (Hah. iii. 3 ; 
Isa. xlii. 8, xliii. 21). 

4. 81* wv . . . 8e8o5pT)Tai. Here, again, the text is in a very un- 
satisfactory condition. There is some evidence for 81' 6v or 81' ■^9, 
and throughout the verse the chief MSS. differ in minute points, 
especially as to the order of the words ; see Tischendorf. We may 
translate, " Whereby He hath granted unto us those precious and 
very great promises." AeSaSpT^rat is again middle (Dietlein makes it 
passive) ; the subject is better found in rj Beta Syva/xt? avrov than in 
6 KaXeVa?. The antecedent to 8l u>v is So^a koI apenfj. For the use 
of the superlative /Aeytora, see Blass, Grammar, p. 33. The kiray- 
yiXfiaTa (the word is peculiar to 2 Peter) are explained in iii. 13 
to mean the promise of a new heaven and a new earth, wherein 
righteousness dwells. Here, again, we have an instance of St. 
Peter's habit of anticipation, and a link between the introduction and 
the third chapter. Already the author is thinking of the doubts 
about the Parousia. 

Hofmann finds the antecedent to 81' wv in iravTa : but it is not 
easy to see how these necessary aids to life and godliness can be 
spoken of as the means by which the promises are given. Rather 
they are the means by which the promises are held fast. 

ii/a Sid TouTUi' yiv-qcrQe Geias KOii'wi'ol <|>uo-ews. " In order that 
through these (the promises) ye may become partakers of the 
divine nature." Christ has given us the apostles, as first recipients, 
custodians, witnesses, these promises, to the intent that you, whose 
faith is lo-oTt/xo? with ours, may escape the corruption of lust, and be 
made like God. But the " you " is not so emphatic as to require 
the insertion of t'/xets. 

Calvin, de Wette, Briickner, Hofmann, Spitta refer tovto)v to 
TO, TTpos Coir]v Kol eva-e^eiav: Bengel found the antecedent in B6$a 
KOL aper-^: but ravra can hardly signify anything else than cVay- 
yeX/xara, which comes so immediately before it. 

The word ^eto?, which is here used for the second time, occurs 
elsewhere in the New Testament only in Acts xvii. 29, where St. 
Paul, speaking to Athenians, aptly speaks of to Oclov, the Deity, 
using a phrase familiar to cultivated Greeks. Here 6'eta ^uVts has 
a similar ring ; it belongs rather to Hellenism than to the Bible. 
We may compare the Stoic phrase, cvtos etvai t^s ^vcrcws Tr}<s 6€La<s. 


Stob. Eel. p. 122 : or Philo, de Somn. i. 28 (i. 647), XoyLKrj<s kckoi- 
vo)vi^Ka(TL (f>v(Te(i)^ : or Joseph, contr. Ap. i. 26, deias Bokovvtl fx-ereo-x'^KevaL 
cfivcreoi'i. ^ucrecos avdpoiTriviq'i KOLvtavilv is quoted from an inscription 
belonging to the first century before Christ, Deissmann, Bibelstudien^ 
p. 284, Eng. trans, p. 368. But it should be noticed that St. Peter's 
phrase is neither Stoic nor Platonist. What he says Is that the 
Christian becomes by grace partaker of the Divine nature. What 
the heathen philosopher taught was that all men are so by nature. 
Professor Harnack {Chronologie^ p. 469) regards the phrase ^et'as 
KoiviDvol (f)V(r€(o<s as one of the proofs that 2 Peter was not written 
before the latter half of the second century. The question has been 
discussed in the Introduction. Here it may be said that the author 
of 2 Peter uses some half-dozen words that were current among 
educated men ; that such words as he uses were familiar in the first 
century ; that he shows less acquaintance with Hellenism than St. 
Luke or St. Paul ; that he is in no sense a philosopher, though this 
term might be applied to the author of Hebrews ; that he shows no 
acquaintance with the Gnostic controversy in chap. ii. ; and, when 
he is speaking of the destruction of the world by fire in chap, iii., 
makes no reference either to Stoicism or to Platonism. 

©etas KOLvoyvol <f>vcr€(vs means very much the same as St. Paul's 
KOLvoivia HvevjjiaTO's, 2 Cor. xiii. 14; Phil. ii. i. But St. Peter, who 
attaches a very different sense to ILvcvfrn (see notes on First Epistle), 
could hardly use the Pauline phrase. 

diro<|>uY6rr€s. They will become partakers of the divine nature, 
not by escaping, but after escaping the corruption which is in the 
world and resides in desire. 'A7ro</)ei;yeiv, which is not used by any 
other writer in the New Testament, properly takes the accusative, 
as in ii. 20, below, i Peter uses only the plural eVt^u/Atat. Here and 
in ii. 20 KoV/xos may have an ethical sense which it hardly exhibits 
in I Peter. We may notice the classical use of the article, as in 
I Pet. iii. 3. 

5. Kttl auTo TouTo 8^. "Yes, and (Kat ... 8c) for this very 
reason," because when we have escaped from corruption the pro- 
mises, if we hold them fast and follow them, will make us partakers 
of the divine nature. Cf. Xen. Anab. i. 9. 21, Kat yap avro tovto 
ovTrep avTOS €veKa (piXoiV <a€TO Beicrdai, a)s crwepyovs ex'^'j '^^' avrbs 
iTreipoTO (Tvvepybs rots <^iAots Kpa.TL(TTO<i ctvai, " For, for the very 
same reason for which he himself thought that he needed friends 
— that he might have helpers — he on his part endeavoured to be 
the best of helpers to his friends." So in Plato, avra ravra vvv 
rjKOfxiv, "That is the very reason why we have come." This ad- 
verbial usage of avro rovro, which is strictly analogous to that of 
TL, is quite classical ; see Kriiger, Griech, Gram. jdvL 4 ; Blass, p. 

Trapeia<|)ep6ii' is " to bring in " or " supply besides." The classical 

CHAP. I. VERS. 5-7 257 

phrase is ctttovS^v Trotao-^ai, but (TTrovSyjv elarcj^epuv IS quoted from 
Josephus, An^. xx, 9. 2, vaa-av aTrovSrjv la-cfiepea-OaL, from the 
Stratonicean inscription (Deissmann, Bibelstudien^ p. 278, Eng. 
trans, p. 361). 

einxopTlY^*'''' ^^ Athens the State found the chorus, the 
Choregus provided all that was necessary for its equipment. 
Hence xopy]yCiv came to mean generally "to furnish with," "to 
supply." The verb is commonly used by the moral philosophers. 
Thus Arist. Eth. Nic. i. 10. 15, rots cktos aya^ots t/cavtos KC^opyj- 
yrjfxevo^, the natural gifts of man require to be equipped with, 
supplemented by external gifts of fortune. Cf. also Diog. Laert. 
vii. 128, 6 fxevTOt IlavaiTios kol IloorctSoivtos ovk avrdpKTj Xiyovai Trjv 
dper-^Vj akka )(p€Lav cxvai (ftacri kol vytcias koL ^opr)yia<s koI icr)(yo^. It 

is possible that the word is here used as an ethical term, but it was 
commonly employed without any reference to this scholastic applica- 
tion, thus Polybius, iii. 68. 8, xoprjy^lv to a-TparoTreSov rots iirLTrjSeLOL?, 
and it is found in this general sense in 2 Cor. ix. 10; i Pet. iv. 11 ; 
Gal. iii. 5 ; Col. ii. 19. In the compound cTrt^opr/ycti/ the preposi- 
tion brings out the idea that the equipment is an addition to the 
original stock, but is not really wanted. Later Greek is much 
addicted to the needless emphasis of compound verbs. We should 
not omit to notice the Petrine and evangelical contrast between 
what God gives and what man adds to the gift. " Confer omnino 
parabolam de decern uirginibus, Matth. xxv. Flammula est id 
quod nobis absque nostro labore a Deo et ex Deo impertitur : sed 
oleum est id quod homo suo studio et fidelitate affundere debet, ut 
flammula nutriatur et augeatur. Sic extra parabolam res pro- 
ponitur in hoc loco Petrino " (Bengel). 

5-7. In the list of excellences which follows we have some- 
thing analogous to the Stoic TTpoKOTrq, and it is quite possible that 
the writer may have heard of the Stoic doctrine ; the word TrpoKoirTeiv 
was current, and is used by St. Paul in its Stoic sense in Gal. i. 14. 
The moral and spiritual life is regarded as a germ which is expanded 
by effort, one step leads on to another, and each step is made by 
the co-operation of the human will with the divine. The list begins 
with TTto-Tis, practically another name for the divine gift of eVtyj/ojo-ts, 
and ends with aydir-q. In Hermas, Vis. iii. 8. 1-7, a similar list is 
IIicrTis, Ey/cpctreta, 'AttXottj?, 'ETrtcrT'^//,'^, 'AKaKia, %eixv6ry^<5 : these are 
daughters one of another. In Sim. ix. 15, Hermas gives a list of 
twelve virtues or virgins which begins and ends in the same way. 
Harnack refers to Acta Pauli et Theclae, where we find the sequence 
TTto-Tts, cf36l3o<;j yvwo-ts, dyaTrrj. In later times Clement of Alex- 
andria built his theory of the Two Lives on these passages. 

St. Peter is thinking throughout of the False Teachers, whom he 
is about to attack. 

Faith is to be supplemented by Virtue. See note on ver. 3. 


Virtue is right conduct under discipline, by which faith, the prin- 
ciple or apxri, is developed, good habits are established, and the 
mists of passionate desire (i-mOvfiLa) are dissipated. 

Thus Virtue leads to Knowledge, not of spiritual mysteries as in 
I Cor. viii. i, xiii. 2 ; Col. ii. 2, but of the goodness and reasonable- 
ness of the will of God. It is that knowledge which makes the 
friend as distinct from the servant, John xv. 15. 

Knowledge has been taken to mean practical skill in the details 
of Christian duty, "die Fiirsichtigkeit, die in alien Dingen das 
rechte Mass innezuhalten versteht " (Luther). " Virtus facit alacres," 
says Bengel, "uigilantes, circumspectos, discretes, ut reputemus 
quid aliorum causa sit faciendum uel fugiendum, et quomodo, ubi, 

Knowledge begets Continence, self-mastery, or self-restraint; 
the direct opposite of the irAcove^ia of the False Teachers. 

Continence issues in Patience, which understands that with 
God a thousand years are as one day (here St. Peter is looking 
forward to chap, iii.) — this in Godliness, a large word (see ver. 3) 
summing up the whole of the practical side of the Christian life — 
this again in Love of the Brethren (i Pet. i. 22) — and this again in 
'Aydirr), the love of Christ (i Pet. i. 8), and in Christ of all mankind. 
Faith is here conceived of as in Heb. xi. i, 3, as strong con- 
viction, belief which determines action ; this is the heavenly germ, 
which, if diligently fostered by obedience, issues in love, the per- 
fection of the spiritual life. This is the view of i Peter and of the 
sub-apostolic Church. 

Aristotle, E^k. Nic. i. 9, starts three questions with regard to 
what he calls "happiness": (i) whether it is fxaOrjTov ^ iOio-rov. 
(2) whether it comes Kara rwa OeCav fxoipav : or (3) whether it is 
8ia Tvxrjv. The third is the naturalistic view; the second on the 
whole is that of St. Paul ; the first on the whole that of St. Peter, 
who would say that, given Faith, which comes from God (Kara nva 
Oetav fioLpav), much depends on the " thankworthy " obedience of 
man. This is the view of Aristotle himself, as it is also that of 
Bishop Butler. It is a view which makes ethical philosophy 
possible, because it leaves wide room for human reason and will. 
But there is no cause for supposing that St. Peter derived it from 
any other source than that of his own Christian experience. 

8. TauTtt yap. " For, if these things belong to you and increase, 
they make you not idle nor unfruitful with respect to the knowledge 
of our Lord Jesus Christ." UXeovd^w may mean either " to abound " 
or " to increase," but Spitta seems to be right in thinking that the 
latter sense is preferable here. Otherwise there is little difference 
between vTrdpxovra and irA-coi/a^oi/ra. There has been much dis- 
cussion as to the precise meaning of cis in this passage ; the point 
being whether eVtyvcoo-is is to be regarded as the end of the Christian 

CHAP. I. VER. 9 259 

progress or as its beginning. On the side of the former view is the 
R.V., which translates "unto the knowledge"; so de Wette, 
Briickner, Huther, Fronmiiller, Steinfass, Kiihl ; on the side of the 
second, the A.V. (" in the knowledge "), Bengel, Ewald, Hofmann, 
Schott, Weiss, Wiesinger, von Soden, and, substantially, Spitta. The 
dispute turns upon the question whether cis is to be taken with the 
adjectives or with the verb. Ka^to-Tami cts means "to bring a 
person to a place," and we might conceivably translate " these 
things bring you, not being idle nor fruitless, unto the knowledge." 
But KaOto-TOLvaL TLva apyov means " to make a person idle " ; and if 
we adopt this construction, ets with its case will denote that in 
respect of which he is idle. The two constructions and the two 
translations must not be blended or confused, as they are in the 
R.V. KaOta-T-qa-tv must either mean " bring " or " make." But 
now a glance at vers. 2 and 3 will show that the Christian progress 
begins with eTriyvoJcrts (Sta t^s eTriyvaicrews) and is in iTrtyvoxTis:. 
'ETTtyi/toorts is the germ which makes progress possible, and is de- 
veloped by the progress, but is not represented here as the goal 
to which the progress tends. Here, as often, commentators have 
been biassed by the desire to bring the language of St. Peter into 
exact accordance with that of St. Paul, in Col. i. 10, iv Travrl epyw 

KapTro(fiopovvT€S KOL av^avofxevoL eis Trjv eTriyvwcriv tov ®eov. The two 

apostles do not disagree here ; for this knowledge, which grows 
with our growth, might very well be said to be the issue of all our 
strivings. But it is also their root, and this is the point which St. 
Peter wishes to bring out. 

This verse is quoted in the Epistle of the Churches of Lyons 
and Vienne, Eus. H. E. v. i. 45, 6 8c 8ta fieo-ov Kaipbs ovk dpyos 
avTOi<s ov8e aKapiros lytv^ro. 

9. u yap fiT) ircipecrTi Taura. The words are equivalent in sense 
to (5 yap fx-q virdpx^i' ravra /cat TrXcova^ei, as TV(f>X6<:, /tAUODTra^cov, X-qQ-qv 
Xa^wv to dpyos /cat aKapiros. But the group of epithets in this verse 
gives the cause of the barrenness, and forms a second indictment 
against the False Teachers. They are not only barren trees (Luke 
xiii. 6), but they are blind leaders of the blind (Matt. xv. 14). 

Tu<j)\6s. He is blind because he has lost the light of the 
eTTtyj/wo-ts of Christ which was given to him (ver. 3), and thus has 
never attained to yvwo-ts. 

fiuwird^uj'. The correct form of this verb appears to be either 
fxv(j)TrLd^€Lv (cf. vTTCDTTtd^etv), or fivoiTTCiv (cf. o|vco7r€tj/). Suidas has in 
one place /xvooTrd^ctv, in another p.vo)7rtd{civ. Commentators, follow- 
ing Beza and Budaeus, refer to Arist. Problem, xxxi. 16. 25; but 
though Aristotle there describes the jLtvaji/^, he does not use 
/u,-ua)7rd^€tv, nor does the verb appear in the Index of Bonitz. 

Mucoi// means "short-sighted"; /xvcoTrd^ctv, "to be short-sighted." 
The characteristics of a short-sighted man are that he sees things 


dimly, or that he sees what is close at hand more distinctly than 
what is far off. The first gives tolerable sense, but many commen- 
tators prefer the second ; the purblind see earth far more clearly 
than heaven (Beza, Grotius, Estius, de Wette, Huther), or sees 
that he is a member of the Church, and does not see clearly how 
and on what conditions he became one (Hofmann). 

Wolf, Bochart, Spitta, and von Soden take fxvwij/ to mean " one 
who shuts his eyes " and will not see. But fivtoxf/ never has this 
sense, though it is derived from fxviD, and means properly " blinking." 
This explanation is dictated by the wish to find a climax in tv^Xos, 
IMvo)Trdt,(i}v : but it is not necessary to suppose that St. Peter was a 
skilled rhetorician. 

The Vulgate translates manu fenfans, like a blind man, feeling 
his way with outstretched hand. It is difficult to see how this 
explanation, which represents the Greek if/rjXac}iu)v, arose. 

P reads /xvoTra^wr, which seems to imply a false derivation from 
/Avs and oTTTj (/AvcoTTia for "a mouse-hole" is found). Hence Oecu- 
menius says, fxyoyn-d^cLv Sc to TV<f)\(i}TTUv €Lpr)TaL, dirb rwv vtto ttjv yrjv 
jxvoiv rv(fi\it)v eis dirav BiaTcXovvToiv. In this way Erasmus explained 
the translation of the Vulgate, " manu uiam tentans, deducta a 
muribus metaphora, qui parietem, aut tabulam, aut si quid aliud 
obuium fuerit, sequi solent, donee cauum nacti fuerint" See 
Suicer, /xvtoTrd^oi. 

Xi^6t)i' Xapcji'. "Because he has forgotten"; of. Josephus, Anf. 
ii. 9. I, Slcl xpovov fjLTJKo^ Xi^Orjv Xa/36vT€^: Athen. xii. 24, p. 523 A, 
01 fXiTa TOVTOvs XrjOrjv XaySovres t'^S }^pr)Tu)v Trepl tov /3lov evKOcr/xias. 
Thucydides, ii. 49. 5, has Toy's Be koI XrjOrj iXafx^ave, " forgetfulness 
came upon " the sufferers from the plague. Bengel and von Soden 
would translate " having chosen to forget," but the notion of wilful- 
ness does not seem to lie in the phrase. 

ToG Ka6api(7)xou t&v irdXai aurou djjiapTiaii^. " The cleansing from 
his old sins" in Baptism. Cf. i Pet. iii. 21, crai^ci /SdirTLo-fm, ov 
crapKos aTTO^co-ts pvirov aXXa crvv€iBi^cr€0}<s dya6rj<s iTrepihrrjfia ets ©iov. 
The reference to Baptism is made certain by the word TraXai : all 
previous sins were cleansed at that time. Here as in i Peter " sin " 
is concrete, and there is no necessary implication of birth-sin. The 
cleansing is based upon the sacrificial Death of Christ (i Pet. i. 18, 
ii. 24, iii. 18), and is conditioned by kX^o-is koI UXoyrj, and by 
the faith and repentance of the cleansed ((rvvciSr^o-ews dya^^s 
iTrepdynj/xa), but is conveyed by a definite act. 

But what is it precisely that the False Teacher has forgotten ? 
First, no doubt, the fear which attaches to the remembrance of the 
price of Redemption (i Pet. i. 17-19). But does St. Peter mean also 
that the special cleansing of Baptism cannot be repeated ? This 
sense may be found in Heb. x. 26 and in 2 Pet. ii. 20-22. There 
are passages in i Peter which seem to mean that the cleansing of 

CHAP. I. VERS. lO, II 261 

ordinary sins, such as no Christian can avoid, is to be found in 
suffering (i Pet. ii. 21, iii. 14, iv. i, 16). We might say that in 
Hebrews, i and 2 Peter, Christlike suffering for righteousness' sake 
is the condition of post-baptismal cleansing. Out of these 
passages arose the Novatian schism, the question agitated by 
Hermas, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, whether fierdvoLa was 
admissible after Baptism, and, if so, how often, and the whole system 
of Penance. These consequences could hardly be drawn from the 
Pauline Epistles. 

10. 8t6 fjcaXXoK. " Wherefore the more." STrovSao-are repeats the 

exhortation crirovSrjv iraa-av '7rap€Lcr€veyKavTe<s, but tWO additional 

reasons for diligence have been given in vers. 8 and 9 ; hence the 

aTTouSao-are. Here as above (cVt^opr/y^o-aTc, ver. 5) and again 
in iii. 14 the aorist imperative, which properly refers to a single 
definite action, as in Bore fioi tovto, is wrongly used for the present. 
The same grammatical inaccuracy is very common in i Peter 
(ii. 13, iv. 1-7, V. 8). 

TToieiaGai. The middle voice signifies " to make for yourselves." 
Here again the necessity for the co-operation of the human will is 
very strongly expressed. Christ has called and elected the 
brethren ; it rests with them to hold fast the gift. 

For eKXoyTi see note on i Pet. i. i. Here as there probably 
the corporate sense predominates ; it denotes selection for a place 
in the yeVos iKXeKTov. Ideally selection precedes the call or invita- 
tion, which must always be addressed to individuals. Men are 
called out of darkness into light (i Pet. ii. 9), out of the Flood into 
the Ark, or, like Abraham, out of an earthly home to the pilgrim 
life. All Christians have iDeen called and selected, otherwise they 
would not be Christians, but they must " work out their own salva- 
tion " (Phil. ii. 12). St. Paul adds ©eos yap ia-Tiv 6 ivepywv iv vfuv 
Kol TO OiXeiv Kttt TO ivepyeiv virep Trj<s cvSoKta?. St. Peter does not 

add this qualification, though he goes on to remind his hearers that 
the reward is a divine gift 

ou fXT) TrTaiaT]Te' iroTc. " Ye shall never stumble." The apostle 
does not mean "ye shall never sin" — for in this sense we all 
stumble (Jas. iii. 2). He is thinking of the onward march along the 
King's highway, and the final entry into the kingdom. Ye shall 
come safe to the journey's end. " Ut quouis tempore, inoffenso 
pede, non tanquam ex naufragio uel incendio, sed quasi cum 
triumpho intrare possitis " (Bengel). 

11. ernxopKiyii^iio-eTai. The repetition of the verb from ver. 5 
brings out with great emphasis the response of God's grace to man's 

Dietlein, Spitta, von Soden, Kiihl find in the verb an allusion 
to the rich ornaments with which the chorus was provided by the 


choregus for its entry upon the stage ; but it is hardly probable that 
the ancient significance of ^op^yyctv was present to St. Peter's mind. 
TIA-ovo-icDs finds its adequate explanation in the manifold graces of 
God (l Pet. iv. lo), the rifjua koI fxiyLara lirayyiXjxaTa of ver. 4. 
As man supplements the gift of God by ceaseless endeavour, so 
God supplements man's faithful efforts by a rich and final gift. 
Thus (Matt. XXV.) the man travelling into a far country delivers the 
talents to his servants, returns to take account, and calls those who 
have made due profit into the joy of their Lord. As in i Peter, the 
thought is purely evangelical; there is no trace of metaphysical 

The eternal kingdom is that of our Lord and Saviour Jesus 
Christ — this the writer says without reserve or qualification. The 
expression justifies the view taken above of 6 ©eos r^jxwv, of O^ia 
Swa/xi?, and of 6 /caXco-as. Christ calls us into the kingdom, because 
it is His own. We are reminded especially of Luke i. 33, Kai 
/BacriXevcreL eirl rbv oTkov 'la/cw^ cts rovs atoivas, koI Trj<; jSacrtAetas 
avTov ovK co-rat reXos. The kingdom of God or of heaven is also 
called the kingdom of Christ in Matt. xiii. 41, xvi. 28, xx. 21 ; Luke 
xxiii. 42 ; John xviii. 36. In Luke xxii. 30 the kingdom is given to 
the Son by the Father. Cf. Heb. i. 8 ; Apoc. xix. 16. To none of 
these writers does the phrase suggest any difficulty; but on this 
point, as on so many others, St. Paul speculates, i Cor. xv. 24. 

The end of Christian pilgrimage is the crossing of Jordan and 
entrance into the Promised Land, the patrimony, the salvation 
ready to be revealed (i Pet. i. 4, 5), the kingdom of Christ. There 
is in 2 Peter the same attitude of expectancy as in i Peter. 

Obviously the kingdom of Christ does not here mean the Church 
upon earth. But the word iKKXrjaca is not found in either the First 
or the Second Epistle. See Hort, Tke Christian Ecclesia, p. 221. 

Even in the Gospels the kingdom is frequently spoken of as 
future. Outside of the Gospels it is seldom regarded as realised 
upon earth, though we find such passages as Col. i. 1 3 ; Apoc. i. 6 ; 
I Pet. ii. 9. In post-apostolic writers the future sense seems to be 
universal ; see Clem. Rom. xlii. 3 ; 2 Clem. v. 5, ix. 6, xi. 7, xii. i ; 
Barn. iv. 13, vii. 11 ; Herm., Sim. ix. 12. 3 ; Ignatius, Eph. xvi. i ; 
Poly carp, v. 3 ; Mart Foly carpi, xxii. i. 

The phrase aiwvios (Saa-LXeta does not recur in the New Testa- 
ment. It is one of the few salient phrases in this Epistle, and is 
quoted in the Mart. Polycarpi^ xx. 2. The word alwvio^ might be 
included in the list of St. Peter's philosophical terms, for the 
distinction between alwv and XP^^^^ ^s an important commonplace 
in later Platonism. Yet ala>vLo<i is a common word in the New 
Testament, and it would be absurd to cite it as an indication of 
Hellenism, except in so far as Hellenism may mean any degree of 
education whether large or small. 

CHAP. I. VERS. 12-14 263 

12. 8i<5. Here St. Peter passes to a fresh point which completes 
his introduction. The faith of his readers is to-oxt/xos with that of 
the apostles, because it embraces all that conduces to life and 
godliness ; it must be developed by effort which leads to virtue, not 
to licence; without effort none shall enter into the kingdom of 

From this point to the end of the chapter he insists upon the 
truth of this faith. It rests upon the evidence of eye-witnesses, of 
whom he himself was one ; and upon that of the Hebrew prophets, 
but the prophets must not be misunderstood. 

" Wherefore I shall always put you in remembrance." MeAXco 
with the infinitive in the New Testament is frequently merely used 
for the future indicative ; the grammar is breaking up, and there is 
a tendency to form tenses by the use of auxiliaries as in low Latin. 
The future ixeW-qa-w is found also in Matt. xxiv. 6, where ixeXXi^a-eTe 
oLKoveiv is neither more nor less than dKovacaOe. Suidas, however, 
explains fieXXi^aoi by cnrovBda-d), ^/aovrto-o), and the R.V. translates 
"I shall be ready always to put you in remembrance." The 
rendering of the A.V., "I will not be negligent," represents ovk 
oLfieX-qaw, a variant supported by K L, the bulk of the later MSS., 
and the Syriac. 

The words iv rrj Trapovayj aXr}6dq. are explained by ciSoVas, the 
things which they know are the truth which is present to them. 
*E(TT7]pLyixevov<s iv is a much stronger phrase than tiSoras : " ye not 
only know them, but are established in them," ye know them and 
do them. Truth here embraces not only moral truth, — the necessity 
of growth from ttiotis to dyaTny, — but historical or doctrinal truth 

opposed to (T€(rO(fil(TIX€VOL fXvOoU 

13. SiKaioi' TQYoufxai. "I deem it right"; it is my bounden 
duty as an apostle. 'E<^* oo-ov, "so long as"; cf. Matt. ix. 15; the 
00-ov is neuter. SK^vw/xa, "a tent"; this metaphor for the body 
suits well with the general conception of life as a pilgrimage, 
I Pet. i. T, ii. II. St. Paul uses o-ktJvos in the same sense 2 Cor. v. i. 
The apostles derived the metaphor from the history of the Patriarchs, 
but according to Clement of Alexandria, Strom, v. 14. 94, Plato 
also called the body y-^ivov a-Krjvos. 

SicYeipcii/ ev uirojxi/Tiaet. " To Stir you by a reminder " is a phrase 
that recurs iii. i. The iv is probably instrumental (a Hebraistic, 
not a Greek use). 

14. €i8a>s OTt Taxiing iariv ^ diroBeons tou aKrifwixaTOS fiou. 
*' Knowing that the putting off of my tent cometh swiftly." It has 
been disputed whether " swiftly " here means " suddenly " or " soon." 
Either explanation is possible, and either yields good sense. If the 
apostle means that he is to die soon, there was great reason why he 
should be earnest in admonition. If he means that he is to die 
suddenly {i.e. by violence), the necessity for insistence is still the 


same. "Qui diu aegrotant," says Bengel, "possunt alios adhuc 
pascere. Crux id Petro non erat permissura." In John xxi. i8 our 
Lord foretold that Peter should die a violent death orav yrjpdar]^. 
If the apostle was yepoiv when he wrote this Epistle, he would feel 
that this prophecy must soon be accomplished. The point must 
be left to the reader's judgment. 'ATrd^eo-ts, "putting off," is a 
word that suits a garment rather than a tent. The two images are 
blended in much the same way by St. Paul, 2 Cor. v. 2-5. 

KttOws . . . eSTJXwo-^ jjLoi. The most natural explanation of these 
words is to be found in John xxi. 18, 19. An argument has been 
raised against the authenticity of 2 Peter on the ground that the 
author here quotes the most suspected chapter of a very late gospel, 
but all that he does is to refer to a prophecy of our Lord's, which is 
probably that recorded by St. John. Spitta insists that the passage 
in the Johannine Gospel is not here in question at all, on the 
ground that there our Lord foretold that St. Peter should die in a 
particular way, by crucifixion, while in the prophecy here referred to 
the apostle had been warned that his death should happen soo/i. 
Hence Spitta thinks that St. Peter is alluding to some saying of our 
Lord's which has not been preserved elsewhere. 

15. o-TTouSdo-w . . . iivr]iii]v iroteio-Oai. "And I will take pains 
also that as occasion requires ye may be able after my death to call 
these things to remembrance." ^TrovSdo-oi is late Greek for (nrovBd- 
crofiai, and '^x^tv should be ottoj? €$€T€: see Blass, p. 225. 'E/cdo-Tore, 
"at each time," "whenever the need arises," as often as similar 
errors are propagated. "E^oSos, "death," as in Luke ix. 31 (in the 
account of the Transfiguration), and in the Letter of the Churches 
of Vienne and Lyons, Eus. II. E. v. i. 36, 55. The word means 
properly "end" or "close," so Xen. Hell. v. 4. 4, cV t^dSo) 1-^5 
dpx>}5- Hence it is used by later writers of the end or close of life, 
but only with the defining genitive, Josephus, Ant. iv. 8. 2, kir 
e^dSo) Tov ipiv. 

Is this promise fulfilled by the writing of this present Epistle, to 
which the readers would be able to turn, whenever need arose, after 
the writer was dead and gone ? This is the explanation of Bengel, 
Wiesinger, Dietlein, Schott, von Soden, Kiihl ; but it is excluded by 
the future o-TrovSdo-o). The sense seems clearly to be " I will myself 
remind you, so long as I live (as I am doing by this Episde) ; and 
further, I will take care that after my decease you shall constantly 
be able to refresh your memory as to my teaching." What he 
promises is something that will show that his teaching did not rest 
upon a-€(To<fiL(rfM€voL fjivOoL, but on historical fact, and this promise 
cannot be thought to be wholly redeemed by the brief reference here 
made to the Transfiguration. 

Huther thought the meaning to be that St. Peter would establish 
a succession of teachers, who after his death would keep alive the 

CHAP. I. VER. 1 6 265 

knowledge of the truth. But it seems clear that what is promised 
is a document, to which his disciples would be able to turn and 
confirm their belief. 

In very early times it seems to have been thought that the 
words pointed to the Gospel of St. Mark. Irenaeus, iii. i. i, /xera 
Se TTjv TovTwv eioSov MapK09, 6 fjut6y]Trj<s Koi kpfx-qv^vr-q^ 11 erpov, koX 
avTos ra vtto Herpov Krjpvo-croixeva iyypd(fn}i<s irapaSeSuiKC. Here Grabe 
cannot possibly be right in taking e^oSov to mean the departure of 
the apostles from Rome. That the statement of Irenaeus rests 
upon the present passage appears partly from the use of the word 
eioSo^, and partly from the way in which St. Peter's words are 
misunderstood. The apostle does not say that the document of 
which he is speaking should be written after his death, but that it 
should be written so as to be of use after his death. It is possible 
that Irenaeus added from 2 Peter the words /xera rrjv tovtwv I^oSov 
to information which he gathered from Papias, Eus. If. E. ii. 15. 2, 
iii- 39- 15 ; but probably he found them in Papias. 

Certainly no document would redeem the apostle's promise so 
well as a gospel ; and if a gospel is meant, the reference can hardly 
be to any other than that of St. Mark. 

It seems highly probable that the composition of the later 
pseudonymous Petrine literature, the Apocalypse^ Gospel of Peter ^ 
Preaching of Peter^ and other books, was suggested by these words. 
If so, the fact goes to prove that 2 Peter was well known, and 
regarded as authentic in very early times. It seems hardly likely 
that such extensive liberties would have been taken with the name 
of Peter, unless there were a phrase, in a writing generally recognised 
as his, which gave plausibility to the forgery. Hence we may see 
in the present passage a reason for dating 2 Peter at any rate before 
any of the extra-canonical Petrine books. 

16. ou yap o-€CTO<j)ia(xei'ois fxuOois e^aKoXouGi^o-ai/Tcg . . , irapoucriai'. 
" For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made 
known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." 
Mv^os by itself might mean merely " fables," such as the legendary 
history of the heathen gods, " false tales," " fictions " ; and this may 
be the meaning of the word where it occurs in the Pastorals, i Tim. 
i. 4, iv. 7; 2 Tim. iv. 4; Tit. i. 14. Yet even there it may, and 
here the addition of cT^<To^i(rp.kvo\. shows that it must, bear the later 
sense of "a fiction which embodies a truth," "an allegorism." The 
False Teachers, or some of them, must have maintained that the 
Gospel miracles were to be understood in a spiritual sense, and not 
regarded as facts. But they differ from the False Teachers alluded 
to in the Pastorals, inasmuch as they do not appear to have intro- 
duced any " myths " of their own. They were therefore not 
Gnostics, as Dietlein and Baur supposed ; their TrAaarot Aoyot were 
simply allegorical explanations of the gospel ; they denied the literal 


sense, but professed to hold fast the spiritual. It is obvious how 
this mode of exegesis might be applied to the Second Advent. 

cYJ/wpto-afjiei'. "We made known." St. Peter does not say 
that he himself had taught the readers of the Epistle, nor does his 
phrase necessarily imply that any of the Twelve had done so 
personally. All that he means is that the teaching which these 
people had received had come to them mediately or immediately 
from apostles. 

SuVafjiii/ Kttl irapouo-iai' are keywords to the second and third 
chapters respectively. For 8wa/xt5 compare ver. 3 above ; and for 
the connexion between Swa/xis and irapova-ia, see Matt. xxiv. 30. 

dXX* eTroirrai yevr]Ql\rres r»]S eKilvou p-eyaXeioTTiTOS. " But we had 
been eye-witnesses of His majesty," and that is why we taught you 
what we did. 'ETroTrrr^s is equivalent to avroTrrTy?, Luke i. 2 ; 
compare the use of iTroTrrevo), i Pet. ii. 1 2, iii. 2. It was unneces- 
sary for St. Peter to state that three only of the apostles had 
actually been present. McyaActoTT;? (Luke ix. 43; Acts xix. 27; 
jueyoActa, Luke i. 49; Acts ii. 11) is the majesty of Christ which 
directly involves His 8wa/>tis. For the future Parousia no ocular 
testimony could be adduced, but as the Second Coming is the 
dTroKdkv\l/i<i rrj'i So^? X/diotou, I Pet. iv. 1 3, no apter confirmation 
could be found than the revelation of glory at the Transfiguration. 
It is to be observed that St. Peter uses the Transfiguration to prove, 
not the irapovcTLa, but the credibility of the apostles who had preached 
the Trapova-ia. If we may suppose, what is by no means improbable, 
that the False Teachers, while explaining away the Resurrection, 
admitted the historical truth of the rest of the Gospel, we can see 
a strong reason for St. Peter's choice of this particular incident. 

17. XajSwi' ydp. "For having received from God the Father 
honour and glory, such a voice having been borne to Him by the 
magnificent glory. This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well 
pleased." The sentence is anacoluthic, ka^(x>v having no finite 
verb. ^(Dvrj <f>€p€TaL tivl vtto is a singular phrase. MtyaXoTrptTn^s 
is found Deut. xxxiii. 26; 2 Mace. viii. 15, xv. 13; 3 Mace. ii. 9. 
'H /AeyaXoTrpcTT^s So^a is a reverential paraphrase for God; Beta 
BvvafjiL<s, ver. 3, ^eta (f>vo-L<s, ver. 4, belong to the same class of 
expressions of which there are many instances in Jewish apocrypha. 
Spitta quotes Test. Zem\ 3, iv t(3 dvoiripo) (ovpavio) 7rdvT<x)v KaraXvei 
■fjfxeydXr] So^a : Ascensio lesaiae^ xi. 32, "et uidi quod sedit a dextera 
illius magnae gloriae" : Enoch xiv. 18, 20, "And I looked and saw 
therein a lofty throne . . . and the Great Glory sat thereon " ; so 
also cii. 3, " And will seek to hide themselves from the presence of 
the Great Glory." Clement of Rome, ix. 2, also has the phrase, 
possibly borrowed from 2 Peter, drevicroD/xcv eis tovs reXcttos Xeirovpyri- 
travras rrj fxcyaXoTrpcTrcL So^rj avTov : but he may have taken it direct 
from Enoch; see Lightfoot's note. The expression again throws 

CHAP. I. VERS. 1 8, 19 267 

light upon o ©eo9 rjfxiov ; the Great Glory is God, whom no man hath 
seen ; Christ is our God, God who hath condescended to become 

Wiesinger and Spitta are probably right in identifying fxeyaXo- 
TT/oeTT^? S6$a with the vecftiXr} (juaruvrj (the Shechinah) of Matt. xvii. 5. 

The sentence is anacoluthic. St. Peter has not added the verb 
which he intended, and it is not possible to say what it was. The 
Heavenly Voice arrests his attention and becomes the main object 
of his thought, because it leads him on to speak of the other voice, 
that of prophecy. This has led some commentators to accuse him 
of having begun by promising ocular evidence, and ended by giving 
aural. The actual vision is described by the words Xa/Soiv Ttjjirjv koI 
So^av, which represent eka/juf/ev to tt/doo-cdttov avrov ws 6 ^A.to5, to. Se 
IfjbaTLa avTov cyeVero Xev/ca (os to ^ws. Some, again, have created a 
discrepancy with the evangelical narrative by making eVex^eto^s 
come before Xa^u)v in point of time ; thus St. Peter is made to say 
that the voice preceded the Transfiguration, whereas in the Gospels 
it follows. This, however, is quite arbitrary ; the temporal relation 
of the participles is not to one another, but to the main verb. See, 
for instance, Thuc. iv. 133, 6 vcws Trj<s "Upas iv "Apyei KaT€Kavdrj, 
Xpvo-LSo<s Trj<s Upetas Xvxvov tlvo. 6eiay}<5 rjixfjiivov Trpos tcl a-TCfjLfuiTa Koi 
i7rLKaTaBapOovoy}<;. Chrysis did not fall asleep before she set the 
lamp near the garlands. Here there is no /cat between Xaf^wv and 
iv€xO€La7)<;, but this makes no difference; the order of the events 
denoted by the participle is fixed, not by their tense, but by their 

The first clause of the Voice is not quite certain. B has 6 vios 
fjiov 6 ayaTTTjTos fJiov ovT6<i ea-Tiv (so WH, Tisch. vii.) : P, ovtos Icttlv 
6 vlo<s jjiov 6 ayaTrrjTos ouros ecrriv : t< A C K L, ovros ecrrtv o vl6<s 

fjiov 6 dyaTT-j^To?. This last reading, though the best attested, may 
be due to copyists who remembered the words as given by Matt, 
xvii. 5 and Mark ix. 7. Peter omits aKovere avrov, which is 
found in all three Synoptists. He omits also the vision of Moses 
and Elias. His account appears to be quite independent of the 
Gospel text. 

18. Kttl xauTT)!' . . . dyiw. " And this voice we heard borne from 
heaven, being with Him in the holy mount." The mountain was 
made holy by the theophany. 

19. Kttl exofjiei' Pepaiorepoi' . . . KapSiaig ujxwi'. "And even surer 
is the word of prophecy which we have, whereunto ye do well to 
take heed, as unto a lamp giving light in a squalid place, till the 
day break and the day star arise in your hearts." The testimony 
of the prophets is one, because it all testifies of Christ, His suffer- 
ing, and His glory, i Pet. i. 10. For KaXw? Troictre, followed by the 
participle, cf. Acts xv. 29. *Ev avxp-rjpw tottc?) : the light shows up 
the filth, and makes cleansing possible. The Vulgate renders in loco 


caltginoso, in a dark place ; but avxfj-rjpos does not appear to beai 
this sense, though Aristotle uses it of dark or dirty-looking colour 
(-Trept -^(jiixaruiv, iii. p. 793. ii). Be/^atorepov is predicative. 

It seems at first sight strange that St. Peter should speak of the 
voice of prophecy as even more certain than the voice of God. It 
was, however, the same voice, and, for the apostle's present pur- 
pose, it was even more certain and conclusive. The voice at the 
Transfiguration was not Xvxyo<i ^aiviav iv avxMpio totto) : it conveyed 
no moral lesson. What St. Peter desires, in addition, is a word 
that strikes directly and conclusively at Libertinism, and this he 
finds in Hebrew prophecy. 

Augustine took the meaning to be "surer to you." You were 
not on the Mount as we were, and you may not unreasonably 
think the word of the old prophets more trusty than ours; in 
Johann, Tract, xxxv. 8; Serm. xxvii., de uerb. Apost. vol. v. p. 
149 C. But, if this were the meaning, we should have expected 
€X€T6, as Alford says. 

Modern commentators almost universally take the view ex- 
pressed in the translation of the R.V. "And we have the word 
of prophecy made more sure," that is to say, the testimony of the 
prophets is confirmed by the voice from heaven. But it is very 
doubtful whether the Greek will bear this meaning, which could 
have been expressed quite easily by /cat ovros fte/SatovTai. The verb 
^efSacovv, or the substantive /Se^atwo-is, bear the sense of " confirm," 
"confirmation"; but (Se^aios in classical Greek always means 
"firm," "steady," "sure." This is its meaning also in the New 
Testament; see 2 Cor. i. 7; Heb. ii. 2, iii. 6, 14, vi. 19; 2 Pet. 
i. 10. Even in Rom. iv. 16, ^e^ata lirayycXia, and Heb. ix. 17, 
)8e^ata hiaOrjK'r], the meaning is "valid," not "ratified." The same 
is true of the passages quoted by Mr. Field in his Notes on the 
Translation of the New Testament, Charit. Aphrod. iii. 9, /cdyo) 
/Se^aiorepov eaxov to OappfiVy my courage was firmer; Chaeremon 
in Stobaeus, Flor. Ixxix. 31, fSe/SaioTepav e^c rrjv tjaXCav Trpbs tov<; 
yovets, let your love be stronger ; Isocrates, ad Demon, p. 1 o A, 
cocrrc o"ot crv/x^T^crerat Trapd re t(3 ttXtjO^i jxaXXov evSoKL/jieiv kol ttjv Trap* 
iK€LV(i)v evvotav yScySaiorepav ^x^iv. But in the present passage St. 
Peter is not comparing different degrees of certainty in the prophetic 
word, but the word of prophecy with the word of the Transfigura- 
tion. Again, the apostle could hardly make a point of the con- 
firmation of prophecy ; it needed no confirmation ; it was fulfilled 
by the gospel, but not proved ; on the contrary, it was regarded as 
a proof of the gospel. The most natural view is that he is here 
appealing to a second witness, which, for the purpose of the second 
chapter, is even stronger than his first. See Dr. Plummer's note. 

It may seem remarkable that St Peter does not appeal to the 
prophecies of our Lord Himself, though Matt. xxiv. would have 

CHAP. I. VER. 20 269 

suited his purpose. But to the apostle the Old Testament is as 
much the voice of Christ as the New ; and having glanced at the 
latter, he turns quite naturally to the former, where a rich store of 
instances lay ready to his hand. Further, if the False Teachers 
denied the Parousia, they must also have denied that our Lord 
foretold it. 

Siauyd^eii' occurs in Aquila's version of Job xxv. 5. St. Peter 
is probably thinking of the Song of Songs ii. 17, iv. 6, Iws ov 
StaTTvevcrr] rj rjfjuepa kol KwqOuicnv ai (TKiat. The beautiful word ^tocr- 
^opo^ is probably suggested by Ps. cix. (ex.) 3, ck yao-rpos Trpo 
k(3iar(ji6pov iyevvrjcrd ere. The words irpo iiocrcfiopov caused a dis- 
tinction to be made between ewcrc^o/oo? and ^coo-^opo?, which in 
Greek poetry are identical. Hence, Hippolytus, J^ef. Omn. Haer. 
X. 33 (ed. Duncker, p. 540), calls our Lord 17 irpo €(i)(r(f)6pov <^coa-- 
<^opos ^oiv-q, evidently explaining 2 Peter. Compare also Luke i. 78, 
avaroXr] ii vij/ovs. Dr. Plummer refers also to Apoc. xxii, 16. 

Why is the Christian to give heed to prophecy till the day star 
arise in his heart ? St. Peter cannot mean " till you are converted," 
for he is addressing Christians. Some commentators, taking vers. 
5-8 as the key, think that the apostle is speaking of the day when 
faith is made perfect in love. But it is more probable that the day 
of the Parousia is meant. The voice of prophecy, which is the 
voice of Christ, will guide men to the end. The expression " arise 
in your hearts " need not be regarded as an objection to this ; it 
may be taken to denote the dyaXA-iao-t? which the day will bring. 

20. TouTo TTpCiTov Y'-^'^cTKoin-cs is bcst regarded as a grammatical 
irregularity; see below, iii. 3, where the phrase recurs without a 
finite verb. Here it might, with litde difficulty, be connected with 
KoAws TTOteiTC 7rpocre;(ovTCS. 

irao-a 7rpo<()TiT€ia Ypa<|)T)s is to be taken of the Old Testament 
prophecies alone. For cttiAvo-is, " interpretation," compare iTnXveiv, 
Mark iv. 34. Both the noun and verb are common in the Clemen- 
tine Homilies (see the Index published by the Lightfoot Trustees) ; 
Clem. Alex. Strom, vi. i. i, €7riA.i;T£ov rd irpoaTropovfjieva : pseudo- 
Justin, Expos. Rect. Fidei, Ta<s lirairoprjo-e.i's iinXviTO). The words 
are indeed familiar in later Greek ; a classic would use the simple 
Xv€Lv, Xvcn<;. PiVcrat cannot possibly be translated, as by Alford, 
"comes from," "springs out of." The word in the New Testa- 
ment constantly means no more than " is " ; if here we are to 
keep its proper sense, we must render, " does not fall to," " does not 
come under," private interpretation. 

You do well to study the prophets, but first you are to observe 
that you must not interpret them just as you like. There is a right 
way and a wrong. Jews denied the Christian applications of pro- 
phecy, and the False Teachers wrested the Epistles of St. Paul and 
"the rest of scripture" (iiL 16) to their own destruction. St. Peter 


warns his people that they may read the Bible amiss, and that 
therefore they need a guide. That scripture required to be 
"opened" was the universal belief of the primitive Church. They 
were opened by Christ (Luke xxiv. 45 ; Apoc. v.) or His ministers 
— as by Peter, Acts ii., or by Philip, Acts viii. 30, or by Apollos, 
Acts xviii. 28. 

Who were the rightful interpreters of scripture St. Peter does 
not say. If he had been asked the question, he might have answered 
in the words of William of St. Theoderic (used by a Kempis, De 
I?mt. i. 5), "Quo enim Spiritu scripturae factae sunt, eo Spiritu legi 

Other explanations of St. Peter's phrase — that (i) the prophets 
themselves could not interpret their own prophecies, or that (2) they 
did not, in fact, interpret them — may be set aside without hesitation. 

21. ou y6.p . . . ai/Opcoiroi. It is not of private interpretation. 
For, as prophecy was not given by the will of man, so neither can 
it be explained by the will of man. God gives both the vision and 
the interpretation thereof (Gen. xl. 8, xli. 16). 

TTOTe. "In the old days," as A.V. ; cf. John ix. 13 ; Rom. vii. 9, 
xi. 30. St. Peter is thinking solely of the Hebrew prophets. R.V. 
and many commentators take ttotc with ov, was never at any time 
given ; but this is against the order of the words. 

^v-e'xOT). " Was borne" (as in ver. 18), came from heaven to man. 

(^epofxei'oi. " Carried along by the Holy Ghost," as a ship by 
the wind (Acts xxvii. 15, 17). Here the Spirit is the wind (Acts 
ii. 2 ; John iii. 8). Similar metaphors are used of inspiration by 
the heathen writers ; thus Plutarch, de def. Orac. 40, to 8e ^avriKov 
pevfxa Kol TTvev/xa OecoraTov 1(ttl kol oo-icorarov. But the word 
which Plutarch applies to the inspired prophet is Ktvou/xej/os. Philo 
commonly speaks of the prophet as Oeo^jiopTjTos : see Qm's rerum div. 
heres, 52 (i. 510). 

€\d\T)aai' oLtto 0€oO arOpwTroi. " Men spoke from God " ; as mouth- 
pieces of God, not by their own will. The reading here is uncertain. 
B P, Syriac, Armenian, Coptic, Tisch., WH have d7r6 ©coO avOpoi-n-oi : 
C, airo ©€ou ayiot avOpwTrot : N K L, Treg. aytot ©eov avSpwiroL : A, 
aytoi rov ©€oO avOpojiroi. Many cursives and Oecumenius insert 01 
after iXakrjcrav. The variants are most easily accounted for by 
taking the text of B P as the point of departure ; the insertion of 
aytot by C is easily explained, holy being a common epithet of the 
prophets (Luke i. 70; Acts iii. 21; 2 Pet. iii. 2). AIIO and 
AriOI might easily be confused, the ductus litter arum being very 
similar ; but the probability lies on the side of aTrd, the less tempting 
word. Still, aytot has authority, and Tregelles, Spitta, and von 
Soden prefer this word. 

There is no difference in the sense in any case. If ctTro is 
omitted and aytot read, the emphasis falls on fjiepofxevou "holy men 

CHAP. II. VER. I 271 

of God spoke (not by their own will), but as they were moved." 
On the other hand, the text of B P reiterates very forcibly the 
apostle's point — " men spoke as they were moved, and spoke from 

II. 1, cyeVokTo 8e Kai \{f£u8o-irpo({>T]Tai. There is another caution 
to be borne in mind. Not only does all prophecy need interpreta- 
tion, but even in Israel there were false prophets also as well as 
true. St. Peter is thinking of Balaam, though he did not prophesy, 
strictly speaking, in Israel, and of such passages as Jer. vi. 13 ; Ezek. 
xiii. 9. The run of the sentence seems to imply that the False 
Teachers, or some of them, claimed to be prophets. All prophets 
were teachers ; differing from ordinary teachers in this essential 
point, that the teaching of the prophet was imparted to him by 
direct inspiration, not by study of scripture, or by any process of 
reasoning ; see Introduction to i Peter, p. 46. The false teaching 
which the apostle proceeds to denounce was certainly doctrinal as 
well as moral. All ethical teaching rests upon doctrine, and varies 
with its speculative basis. But the only doctrinal error which the 
apostle expressly attributes to them, or some of them, is the denial 
of the Parousia. How naturally this might be connected with lax 
morality is evident. 

The False Teachers are spoken of at first in the future ; after- 
wards in the past or present (e-TrXajry^^r/o-av, ver. 15: ovtol dai, ver. 
17: SeXcct^ovtriv, ver. 18). Cf. 2 Tim. iii. 1-6, perilous times s/ia// 
come, for men s^a/l be ... of this sort are they ; and i Tim. iv. 
I sqq. St. Peter may mean that he knows these men to be already 
at work elsewhere, and that he foresees their speedy appearance in 
the Churches to which he is writing. Or the future may be taken 
in a more general way. There will, from time to time, as the End 
approaches, be false prophets, as our Lord foretold (Matt. xxiv. 11), 
and you may see them already busy among you. Here a second 
test, besides that of scripture rightly explained, becomes applicable. 
These men are False Teachers because they (otrLvcs) will privily 
bring in heresies of destruction. 

irapeiCTdYcii/ may mean simply to introduce, to bring in (eis), and 
set before {irapa) a person. It may, however, signify to bring in 
privily, -rrapa. giving the idea of creeping along under some sort of 
cover ; see Liddell and Scott on TrapetaSvVw and other verbs of the 
same formation. Cf. Trapeio-ctKTovg, Gal. ii. 4. 

The classic meaning of aip^cn<; is a "school" or "sect" of 
philosophy, and the word implies, primarily, difference of opinion ; 
Cicero Epp. xv. 16. It is so used in Acts of the "schools of 
thought" of the Sadducees, Pharisees, and Nazoraeans (v. 17, xv. 5, 
xxiv. 5). So Acts xxiv. 14, Kara T-^v bhov, rjv Xeyovaiv aipeaLV, 
" according to the Way (the true Christian Way), which they call a 
school." Here the Way is distinguished from all the "denomina- 


tions" or alpeaet^ of the Jews. In its first use aipeo-ts does not 
imply falsehood or separation. You might call either Platonism or 
Pharisaism " a heresy," without meaning that it was wrong, or that 
it was an offence against unity. But so soon as men begin to speak 
of the Way (the one Truth), atpeo-ts involves both opinion and 
conduct, both error and division. Hence a-x^o-jxa and aipeo-c? 
appear to mean the same thing in i Cor. xi. i8, 19 (where possibly 
St Paul is quoting a prophecy of our Lord's ; cf. Justin, Trypho, 35, 
p. 253 B, tcrovrai o"p(to-yMaTa koL alpecret^). Cf. Gal. V. 20, IpiO^tai 
St^ocTTao-iat atpecrcts, where also the words are not technically dis- 
tinguished, and atpeo-€t5 refers to Judaisers who were schismatics 
but not heretics. In Tit. iii. 10 the reference to false opinion is 
distinct ; new doctrines, of a kind incompatible with the faith of the 
Church, have crept in, and afpeo-ts is changing its meaning with the 
change of circumstances. From the time of Ignatius {Trail, vi. i ; 
Eph. vi. 2) the word hardens into its later sense, that of denial of 
the fundamental articles of the Christian creed. 

The use of the word in 2 Peter affords no indication of the 
date of the Epistle. It condemns certain errors of belief and 
conduct, but the errors are as old as the First Epistle to the 

atpecreis dirwXcias is a Hebraism, the genitive of the substantive 
taking the place of the Greek adjective, as in Luke xvi. 8, rov 
oiKovojxov TTj's ctSiKtas. Scc Blass, p. 98. Note the repetition thrice 
over of ctTrwXeta. Similar repetitions are characteristic both of 
2 Peter and of i Peter throughout. 

Kttl Tov dyopdo-ai/Ta , . . dTrojXeiai'. " Even denying the Lord 
who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction." 
Dr. Plummer observes that a forger would hardly have made St. 
Peter speak thus of denying his Lord. For the " denial," cf. Matt. 
X. 33. They were bought by Christ, i Cor. vii, 23 ; Apoc. v. 9, and 
thereby became His hovXoi. Hence He is here called Seo-TroxT^?, a 
word which elsewhere in the New Testament is used of Him only 
by Jude 4 (borrowing from this passage) and in Apoc. vi. 10. See 
Clem. Alex. Ed. Proph. 20, dyopd^eL rj/xas 6 Kvpto^ tljxl(o a^fiaTL, 
K.T.X. Hence the words Tt/xto) at/Aan are from i Peter ; but ayopdt,ei 
and KvpLo<s, for which lower down Becnrory-i is substituted, point to 
the present passage. For the omission of the conjunction between 
apvovfieyoL and iTrdyovTes compare X.afS<i)V, h€x6u(Tr]<s in i. 17, and 
the string of unconnected participles in ver. 13 sqq. below. 

Because the Lord bought them they are bound to purity of life, 
I Pet. i. 18 sqq., ii. 24. But by impurity men practically reject their 
Lord's authority and deny His Swa/xts. For raxivrj see note on 
i. 14 ; here the sense of "sudden" is more appropriate; for the 
thought cf. Prov. i. 27. 

Much needless difficulty has been made over these clauses. 

CHAP. II. VERS. 2, 3 273 

"Even" is a perfectly familiar sense of Kat, and the asyndetic 
participles are quite in the manner of 2 Peter. Some commen- 
tators, however, take Kat as conjunction. Alford and von Soden 
regard it as connecting j/r€i;So8tSacr/(aA.ot with dpvovfxevoij "shall be 
false teachers and deniers"; Huther, as connecting irapeLo-d^ova-Lv 
with cTrayovre?, which he considers to be loosely used for the finite 
verb. Both views are untenable. 

Spitta would treat ws xat . . . aTrioXua<i as a parenthesis, and 
take Kat Tov dyopao-avra . . . airdikeiav with iyivovro Be kol ij/cvSoTrpo- 
^Tjrai tv Tw Aaw, partly on the ground of the extraordinary difficulties 
that have been manufactured out of the last two clauses of the 
verse, partly because he thinks, with Ullmann, that St. Peter was 
bound to say something definite about the False Prophets of Israel. 
But he only creates fresh and greater difficulties ; the run of the 
sentence is against him, and rov^ ayopda-avra Sea-Trorrjv dpvovfJi€VOL can 
hardly apply to any but Christians. It was quite sufficient for St. 
Peter here to state the fact that there were of old false prophets 
(though, as Ullmann says, " we knew it already ") ; for he desires 
to make two points, that true prophecy may be misinterpreted, and 
that there is such a thing as false prophecy. Hence he is content 
to say that the False Prophets played the same part as (ws KaC) the 
False Teachers. 

2. daeXyetais. Compare I Pet. iv. 3 ; the plural may denote 
either different forms, or repeated habitual acts of lasciviousness. 
St. Peter charges these men definitely with disorder at the Agape, 
adultery, perversion of the Christian idea of freedom, and gener- 
ally with falling back into the fjuda-fiaTa of the world. Clearly they 
permitted and defended immorality in a very broad sense. 

81* ous refers to ttoXXoL Owing to the licentious ways of their 
numerous disciples, the Way of Truth shall be evil spoken of by the 
Gentiles, cf. Rom. ii. 24. In Acts we have y oSos, ix. 2, xxii. 4, 
xxiv. 14; 6So<s (TioTrjpLa^, xvi. ij ; r} oSb<; tov Kvptov, xviii. 25. '086s 
dX-TjOetas is found Gen. xxiv. 48 (but in the sense of " the right 
road"); Ps. cxviii. (cxix.) 30; also Pind. jy^A. iii. 184. The Way 
is one of 2 Peter's favourite phrases ; see ii. 15, 21, and Knowling 
on Acts ix. 2. In Hermas, Vis. iii. 7. i, we find t^v 686v t^v 
dXr]9ivrjv : and in Aristides, Apol. xvi., 17 680s t^s dXrjdeLas, ^rt? 
Tous 68evovTas ets Tr]v alioviov ;(eipayajyet fiacnXuav, we have a direct 
quotation, in which the present verse is combined with i. 11. 

3. iv irXeoi'e^ia. Cf. ver. 15 ; the false teachers extracted money 
from their disciples. 'E/jLTropevecrOai is to traffic in a thing; cf, 
Diog. Laert. vii. I. 2, iropf^vpav ifX7r€7ropevixevo<s diro r>}s ^olvlktjs : 
Athen. 569 F, 'Kcnraa-ta tj awKparLKr) evcTropevcro TrXrjOr} KaXtov 
ywaiKoiv : Philo, in Flacc. 16 (ii. 536 ad fin.\ eveTropevero rrjv XrjOrjv 
tS)v 8iKaaTU)v. From this verb was formed in the fourth century the 
word xP^<""^/^'ropo5' The charge of avarice was brought against 



Gnostic teachers, Iren. i. 13. 3, and against the Montanists, Eus 
H. E. V. 18. 2, but the evil existed long before, Tit. i. 11. The 
charge might mean merely that the false teacher, not being on the 
church roll, accepted direct gifts from his adherents. This would 
be thought wrong in any case, but shocking if he demanded or 
received money as a prophet. That Antinomian false teachers 
should not only demand remuneration but be extortionate in their 
demands, is probable enough. Comp. Didache xi. 5, 9, 12, xii. 5; 
Hermas, Mandat. xi. 

irXaoTOLS Xoyois. Herod. i. 68, e/c Aoyov ttAuo-tou : Soph. Ai. 148, 
A.oyovs i{/iOvpov<s ir\da(r(ov. The "forged words," by which these 
men endeavoured to persuade their hearers, must have contained 
some kind of reasoning, but the only sample is that given in iii. 4. 
See note on i. 16. 

ols TO Kpifia cKiraXai . . . vucndl^i. " Whose sentence from of 
old is not idle, and their destruction slumbereth not." Kpt/xa is the 
verdict, sentence, doom. It was pronounced of old in the case of 
many similar sinners; it is no dead letter, and will speedily be 
executed on these men also. "EKTroXat, though not a classical 
word, is not uncommon in later Greek ; see Lobeck's Phrytiichus^ 
p. 45 sqq. ; Blass, p. 65 sq. 

4. The First Instance. The Fallen Angels. 

€1 Y<ip • • • TT)pou|jieVous. " For if God spared not angels when 
they had sinned, but plunged them in hell, and delivered them to 
pits of darkness to be kept unto trial." The apodosis to d may 
be found in oTSe Kvpios, ver. 9, if it be thought necessary to make 
the sentence strictly grammatical. The absence of the article 
before d-yyeXcoi/ gives the sense of "even angels." It may be 
implied that some of the False Teachers were men of considerable 
eminence. Scipos or o-i/oos meant originally a kind of large jar used 
for storing grain; Etym. M. p. 714, 21, o-ipoi: ro eirLT-^Seiov dyyelov 
€ts d-Tro^ccriv Trvpcov Kal rcov aWiov oairpiniv. The note goeS On tO say 
that the first syllable was commonly pronounced long, but that 
Euripides in his Phrixus made it short. It is short also in an 
epigram of Eratosthenes, Anth. P., Appendix, 25. 4. By the time 
of Varro the word was commonly used in the provinces for under- 
ground pits which served as granaries ; see references in Facciolati, 
s.v. sirus. In Provencal the word became silo, and in this shape it 
passed into our own language not many years ago. 

fc< A B C and the Latin Fathers have o-ipots or creipol^ : K L P, 
the great majority of later MSS., the Greek Fathers, and the Ver- 
sions o-etpats. Jude has Secr/xots diSiots. He may have found 
o-etpat"; in his copy of 2 Peter and paraphrased it, or aeipoU and 
misunderstood it. The textual critics (Lachmann, Tischendorf, 
Tregelles, Westcott, and Hort) are unanimous in favour of aeipoh : 
and if they are right we have here a strong argument for the priority 

CHAP. II. VER. 4 275 

of 2 Peter. If o-cipats is correct, probability still inclines on the 
same side ; for o-cipa is a rare word, not found in the Greek Bible 
except in Prov. v. 22; Judg, xvi. 13; and "chains of darkness" 
is a harsh expression which a paraphrast would be tempted to soften 
and improve. See above, pp. 211, 216. 

There is, however, another possibility, if we go back to the 
Apocrypha, which both writers have in view. Enoch x. 4 (ed. 
Charles), " Bind Azazel hand and foot, and place him in the dark- 
ness ; make an opening in the desert, which is in Dudael, and place 
him therein " ; x. 12, 13 (here we must give the Greek text), koX orav 
KaTacr<f>ayu)(rLV ol viol avriov, koI tSwcrt rrjv aTTwActav rcov ayaTrrjTiov 
avT0)Vf Srjcrov avTovs €7ri e^So/xi^KOVTa yeveas cts rets vaTras r)}s y^?, 
fJiixpi' rjfxipas /cpt'crecos avTW, fJ-^XP'- VH'^P"-^ TeAetajcrcojs reXiafxov, Ico? 
(rvvTeXea-drj Kpifia tov atwvos tcov alcavoiv. We may think that this 
latter passage was actually in St. Peter's mind, for here we find in 
close proximity a-n-wXeia, the distinction between KpiVis and Kpifia, 
and the original of his phrase eU Kptcriv T-qp^a-Bai. Here also we 
have the " pits " and " binding." But we find also Enoch liv. 4, 5, 
" And I asked the angel of peace who was with me, saying, These 
chain instruments, for whom are they prepared ? And he said 
unto me. These are prepared for the hosts of Azazel." Baruch (ed. 
Charles) Ivi. 12, 13, "And some of them descended, and mingled 
with women. And then those who did so were tormented in chains." 
It is therefore just within the bounds of possibility that Jude derived 
his Bea-fjiol ollBlol from an independent recollection of the Apocrypha. 

TapTttpou, " to cast into hell " is correctly formed on the analogy 
of the classical KaraTrovToo). It is not found elsewhere in the Greek 
Bible, but occurs in a scholiast upon Homer. 

It is most probable that St. Peter is here following the Book of 
Enoch ; but he does so allusively and with discretion, in the manner 
of the First Epistle (see notes there on iii. 19, iv, 6). St. Jude 
expands and adds to the allusions, not always correctly (see notes 
on the parallel passages). St. Peter's comparative reserve in the 
use of Apocrypha may be interpreted in two ways. If we allow 
that the same feature is found in the First Epistle, it becomes an 
argument for the priority and authenticity of the Second. But 
many commentators regard the discretion {Apokryphenscheu) of our 
author as a sign that he wrote at a later period when the Apocrypha 
were viewed with growing disfavour. See Introduction, p. 222. 

St. Peter does not specify the sin of the angels. There were 
two traditions on the subject among the Jews, one built on Gen. vi., 
the other on Gen. iii. and Deut. xxxii. 8 (see note on Jude 6). 
St Peter is most probably following the former. According to 
Enoch vi., the first sin of " the sons of God," " the watchers," was 
lust ; the second, that they taught their wives and children the use 
of magic, of weapons of war, and of articles of luxury. Their 


punishment we have seen in the passages quoted above. This 
part of Enoch Mr. Charles considers to have been written before 
B.C. 170. See Salmond's note in SchafPs Commentary. 

6. The Second Instance. The Deluge. 

Kttl dpxaiou . . . eird^as. " And spared not the ancient world, 
but kept safe Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, 
when he had brought the deluge on the world of ungodly men." 

It is better, but not necessary, to carry on the d with e^eto-aro, 
KareKpivev, Ippvcraro. "OySoov avTov would be more classic, but the 
avTos is sometimes omitted; Alford quotes Plato, Laws, iii. 695 C, 
Xa/Soiv rrjv dpxrpf c^Sojmo?. Cf. okto) i/'vxai, I Pet. iii. 20. This is 
the generally received explanation ; but an old scholiast understood 
the words to mean "the eighth preacher of righteousness," tTrra 
■yap TT/ao avTOv, *Evcus, Katvaj/, MaXeXerjX, 'lapeS, 'EvcoXj Ma^ouo-aXa, 
Aa/xcx. The origin of this statement is unknown, and the series of 
names (which omits Adam and Seth) is arbitrary. But according 
to Gen. iv. Noah was the eighth from Adam. Jude, following 
Gen. v., or more immediately the Book of Enoch, makes Enoch 
seventh from Adam. But even so, if Methuselah and Lamech, who 
were alive in the time of Enoch, and were not apparently regarded 
as prophets {Enochs chap, vi.) are omitted, Noah may have been tradi- 
tionally considered as the eighth preacher. Again, Basil, Ep. 260. 5, 
counts seven generations from Cain to the Deluge. Thus, again, 
Noah may have been regarded as the eighth preacher who preached 
to the eighth generation. The absence of the article before K-qpvKo. 
may be significant ; " a preacher," " because he was a preacher." 

AiKaioa-vvr], StKaios are used, as in i Peter, in the Old Testament 
sense. In the aimOria-aa-L of i Pet iii. 20 it is implied that Noah 
preached to the men of his time. This is not stated in Enoch, but 
may have been found in the Apocalypse of Noah (see Charles, p. 25). 
The belief was current in Jewish tradition ; see Josephus, Ant. i. 3. i ; 
Bereschith Rabba, xxx. 6, " Krjpv^ generationis diluuii, id est Noachus " 
(quoted by Alford from Wetstein) ; so also Or. Sib. i. 128 sq., Nwe, 
Se/Atts Odpavvov kov, Xaolai re Tracnv Krjpv^ov fXirdvoLav. The insertion 
of this instance of mercy among the instances of wrath is quite natural. 
St. Peter wishes to mingle comfort with denunciation. He never 
forgets his pastoral office, and the mention of Noah here is in the 
same vein as the words which we shall find in iii. 9, 17. Further, 
it is to be noticed that St. Peter is probably thinking of Wisd. x., 
where judgment and mercy are balanced against one another in the 
same manner. 

6. Third Instance. The Destruction of the Cities of the Plain. 

Here again St. Peter in his rapid narrative does not specify the 
sin of the cities, and mentions only Sodom and Gomorrha. St. 
Jude's expands and elaborates. 

Te4)p(6aas. " Having reduced the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha 

CHAP. II. VERS. 7, 8 277 

to ashes, sentenced them to utter destruction." Ttt^povv is not found 
elsewhere in the Greek Bible, but it was known to the lexico- 
graphers (Suidas, T£<^p(oo-as- i/jLirpi^cras, o-TToScoo-as : Bekker, Anecdofa, 
65. 5, T€(f>p(i}0€V TTvp' avrl Tov KarafjiapavBiv). KariKpLvev Karaa-Tpo^fj, 
"condemned to destruction"; cf. Matt. xx. 18, KaraKpLvovcnv avTov 
Oavdrio (the construction is not classical). The aorist participle 
marks the burning as antecedent to the sentence of overthrow. 
Hence Spitta takes KaTaaTpo<f>rj to denote the sinking of the earth 
by which the Dead Sea was formed. But it appears to be highly 
doubtful whether there ever was any tradition that the cities were 
submerged by the Lake. Josephus (de Bell. Jud. iv. 8. 4) speaks 
of the traces of the Five Cities as still visible on land. All 
references in the Old Testament imply the same belief (Deut. 
xxix. 22 ; Isa. xiii. 19 ; Jer. xlix. 18, 1. 40 ; Ps. cvii. 34 ; Amos iv. 1 1 ; 
Zeph. ii. 9 ; Wisd. x. 7 ; 2 Esdr. ii. 9). See article on Sodom in 
Smith's Dictionary of the Bible. Nothing more need be understood 
from St. Peter's expression than that God destroyed the cities by 
fire, and sentenced them never to be rebuilt. By this contrast 
between the destruction of the Noachic world by water and that of 
the cities by fire, he is leading up to chap. iii. 7. 

uTToSeiYfi-a is a late word for the classic irapaSeLyfia. See Lobeck, 
Phrynichus^ p. 12. Probably it means "a pattern," as in Jas. v. 10; 
Heb. iv. II, not "a warning" or "example," though it may bear 
this sense. 

fjieXXoi'Taji' daepcii' IS equivalent to dcref^rjo-ovTOiv (cf. i. 12); for 
the omission of the article see note on dTrio-rovcri, i Pet. ii. 7. 

7. SiKaiov as in vers. 5, 8. The mention of "just Lot "here 
is suggested by Wisd. X. 6, avTT] ^Uaiov k^aTroWvp-ivoiv dtrcyStoi/ 
ippvaaro <f>vy6vTa irvp KaTafSdcriov nevraTroAccDS. See note on Noah, 
ver. 5. KaraTTovov/xevov (Acts vii. 24), " worn down," " oppressed." 
"Adea-ixoL (cf. dOiiiLTo^, I Pet. iv. 3), of rebels against the law not of 
Moses, but of nature and conscience. 'Avacrrpo^i/ is a favourite 
word in i Peter ; and in this phrase we see again the correctness 
and ease with which the article is at times employed in this Epistle 
as in I Peter. 

8. pXe'fxjxaTi y&p . . . ePao-di/i^ef. " God delivered righteous Lot, 
and why ? Because {yap) by sight and hearing that righteous man, 
as he dwelt among them, day by day put his righteous soul to the 
touch by lawless deeds." The sight of the evil round about him 
was to Lot a trial or test ; he emerged victorious from the ordeal, and 
therefore God delivered him. For oXh^ Kvpios cicrc/SeU Ik TreLpao-jnov 
pvio-Oat. These words give the application. The godly to whom 
St. Peter is writing were tempted as Lot had been. Ilcipacr/xos is 
here another name for ySacravicr/Aos. See note on i Pet. i. 7. 

It must be allowed that elsewhere in the New Testament 
jSao-ai/t^w bears its derivative sense, "to put to the question," 


" rack," " torment." Hence the commentators and R.V. " he vexed " 
or "tormented his righteous souL" But it may be argued (i) that 
^aa-aviCo) in this sense is far too strong a word to express mental 
distress caused by the sight of evil ; (2) that, though we could 
perhaps understand " his soul was racked," " he racked his soul " is 
a strange expression ; (3) that as i Peter, 7r€Lpaafx6<; means not 
inward anguish, but outward suffering. The Lord delivered Lot not 
from the fascination of evil or from the anguish of pity for sinners, 
but from the constant annoyance of insult and ill-usage. By this 
he had been sufficiently tested, and the time had come for his rescue. 

The Vulgate has " aspectu enim et auditu iustus erat : habitans 
apud eos, qui de die in diem animam iustam iniquis operibus 
cruciabant." This appears to imply the text SiKatos ^v Karoi/cajv iv 
avTols 01 . . . i/3a(TdvL^ov : but Tischendorf gives no trace of any 
such reading, except that B omits 6 before SUaLos. See Wordsworth 
and White on Mark ix. 5; Luke ix. 44, xxii. 55; John v. 45, 
vi. 12, vii. 25, ix. 38, x. 16. These are cases in which Jerome's 
version represents an unknown text. 

The use of /5Ae/>i/>ta here has been objected to as a solecism 
(Chase, I'efer, Second Epistle^ in Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible, 
iii. 807 ; Field, Notes on Translation of the New Testament, p. 241). 
In the classics ^Xi/xfxa means not "seeing," but "the expression of 
the eye." The word occurs in this sense in Hermas, Sim. vi. 2. 5, 
TO /BXe/xfia cT^e TrcptTrt/cpov : Test. Ruben, 5, Sta tov ySAe/A/Aaros rov 
Ibv iva-TTCLpova-u The verb /SXcTrcii/ in classical Greek is used for 
opav only by poets ; but in the New Testament " to see " is far more 
frequently expressed by /SXcVciv than by opav. See Blass, Grammar 
of New Testament Greek, pp. 3, 56. Field thought that St. Peter 
should have written opda-cL. But in the New Testament opao-is 
means either "a vision" or "outward appearance" (Apoc. iv. 3). 
"Oj/'ts again means "appearance" (John vii. 24; Apoc. i. 16), or 
" face " (John xi. 44). It is rash to assert that St. Peter's expression 
is not in accordance with the vulgar use of his time. 

9. otSe Kupios. The words sum up the lesson of the two double- 
sided instances, the Flood and the Cities of the Plain. God can de- 
liver His servants out of vexation (temptation), and will deliver you. 

i^fi^pa Kpio-ews recurs in iii. 7 in connexion with r-qpdv, and 
forms one of the many little links of connexion between the two 
chapters. Jude does not use the phrase. For the " day of judg- 
ment" see Matt. x. 15, xi. 22, 24; i John iv. 17; Test. Leui, 3; 
and Mr. Charles' note on Enoch xlv. 2. The phrase is used in 
different senses in Enoch ; here it means the final judgment at the 
Parousia. Even in the interval the wicked dead are in a state of 
suffering (/coA.a^o/Aevot), as the fallen angels are in Tartarus till the 
jcpto-t?. Compare the parable of Lazarus and Dives. 

10. iidXiara %i . . . irop6uo|i^i'ous. " But especially them that 

CHAP. II. VER. 10 279 

walk after the flesh in lust of pollution." With the word /xdXiara 
St. Peter turns directly to those libertine heretics who are the 
immediate object of his denunciation. 'Ottictw crapKoq iropevecrOai is 
a Hebraism. 'EirtdvixLa /xiaa-fjiov may be another (lust of pollution, 
meaning " polluting lust," as atpeVcts dTrwAeias means " destructive 
heresies"), or fiLaa-fiov may be taken as the ordinary objective 
genitive — "lust for pollution." 

Kai KupioTTjTos KaTa4>poi/oGi'Tas. **And despise lordship." 
KijpioTiys is used by St. Paul as the name of a particular class in 
the angelic hierarchy, Eph. i. 21 ; Col. i. 16; by Hermas, Sim. v. 
6. I, of the lordship of the Son of God; so also in the Apostolical 
Church Order ^ 12 (whence it is copied in Didache iv.), o^ev yap r] 
KvpLOTTjs A-aXetrat e/cet Kvptos i(TTLv. The first sense cannot be 
adopted here, as it is not possible to suppose that the False 
Teachers treated any particular class of Angels with contempt. 
We must therefore fall back upon the second. The False Teachers 
despised the power and majesty of the Lord. How they did so we 
must gather from the following words. The Angels, standing before 
the Lord (Trapa Kvpto)), never forget the awful restraint of that dread 
presence. Yet these men, though they too speak Trapa Kvpto), in the 
sight and hearing of God, give loose rein to their railing tongues. 

ToXjjLTjxai . . . p\acr<|>T))xoG»n-€s. " Self-willed reckless ones, they 
fear not to rail at dignities." ToXfirjTat is a substantive, aw^aSeis an 
adjective. The plural So^at occurs Hos. ix. 11; Wisd. xviii. 24 ; 
2 Mace. iv. 15; I Pet. i. 11 in the abstract sense. In Ex. xv. 11, 
Ti's op,oios (TOL €V ©cois, Kupic, Tis op,oto9 oroi, SeSo^acT/xei/os iv ayioi9, 
OavfjLao-To? iv 86$aL<s, it may have been taken to mean, " the glorious 
ones." Here, as in Jude 8, it is certainly concrete, and must mean 
personages invested with the So^a of high estate, whether human or 
superhuman. With reference to the False Teachers it seems to 
denote the rulers of the Church. Jude so understood it ; hence he is 
led to speak of Korah (ver. 11) who blasphemed Moses and Aaron. 

Every possible diversity is found in the explanation given of 
KvpLOTTj's and 86$aL. The first is taken to mean God or Christ by 
Ritschl, von Soden, Wiesinger, Weiss, Kiihl ; the second, to denote 
good angels by Ritschl and von Soden, good and bad angels by 
Kiihl, Spitta, Hofmann. Briickner explains both words of good 
angels ; Schott both of bad angels. Hofmann makes KvpL6Tr]<; 
signify lordship or authority in general. 

It is difficult to see how the False Teachers can have blas- 
phemed angels of any kind. There were those at Colossae who 
exaggerated the respect due to these heavenly beings, but we read 
of none who spoke evil of them. Kiihl thinks that the False 
Teachers blasphemed angels, because when they were told that 
they were servants of the Devil they laughed and denied his power; 
Ritschl, that they blasphemed them indirectly because they looked 


on immorality as a right of those who are in the kingdom of God, 
and thought that the angels claimed and exercised the same right 
The latter explanation is the more tenable of the two. A " self- 
willed reckless " reader of Gen. vi. (alluded to in ver. 4) might con- 
ceivably argue that either all angels are evil, or that lust is angelic. 
The same inference might be drawn by impure minds from the 
practice of women wearing their veils 8ia tov<s dyycAovs (i Cor. 
xi. 10), for fear of tempting the angels (cf. Tert. df Virg. Vel. 7 ; de 
Orat. 22). But the explanation is far-fetched ; there is no evidence 
that this reasoning was employed. Von Soden thinks that the 
words refer to the insults offered to the angels by the Sodomites ; 
but St. Peter says nothing about the angels in his allusion to the 
fall of Sodom. If we take the explanation given above, there is no 
difficulty. The rulers of the Church would naturally rebuke the False 
Teachers, and these would naturally reply in unmeasured language. 

11. oTTou ayyeXot . . . |3\do-<|)if]}jLoi/ Kpiorii'. "Whereas angels, though 
greater (than the So^at) in might and power, bring not against them 
in presence of the Lord a railing judgment." The argument is d, 
fortiori. Angels, also, complain of 8o|at (in this case the So^at are 
other and evil angels) ; but though they are greater than those of 
whom they complain, they dare not, in God's presence, use terms 
of condemnation or insult. They are like Christ, of whom it is 
said, I Pet. ii. 23, TrapeStSov tw Kplvovn SiKatw?. Whereas these men, 
though they are inferior to their rulers, abstain from no affront St 
Peter is probably referring to Enoch ix. Men complained of the 
evil wrought by the fallen angels and their children. The four 
great Archangels — Michael, Uriel, Raphael, and Gabriel — lay their 
complaint before the Lord the King, saying, "Thou knowest all 
things before they come to pass, and Thou knowest this thing and 
everything affecting them, and yet Thou didst not speak to us. 
What are we to do in regard to this ? " The sentence of God is, 
" Bind Azazel hand and foot " (quoted above on ver. 4). Here we 
have the Archangels who are " greater in might and power," a hota^ 
Azazel, and the careful avoidance of a railing judgment " in the 
presence of the Lord." 

At this point Jude has wrongly inserted the dispute between 
Michael and Satan, which did not occur trapa KvpL(o. (See note on 
the passage.) Hence he omits the words irapa Kupt'o), and hence 
again they are omitted here by A, many cursives, and versions. 
The reading Trapa Kvptov has very slight support, and, though it 
finds favour with Spitta, makes no tolerable sense. 

12. ouToi 8e . . . <|)0apTi(ro»'Tat. " But these (the False Teachers 
and their victims), as animals without reason born of mere nature 
to be taken and destroyed, railing in matters whereof they are 
ignorant, shall in their destruction surely be destroyed." ^vo-ikol is 
practically equivalent to aXoya : they have physical, but not Intel- 

CHAP. II. VER. 13 281 

lectual life; they are no better than the brutes that perish. *Ev 
ots = iv Tovroi<s a. Kat here adds an emphatic asseveration, a not 
uncommon use of the word; there is a weak variant, KaTa<f>6aprj- 
a-ovrai for koli <f>Oap-i^(rovTat. It is barely possible to take the second 
(fiOopd of moral corruption, but the comparison to the cfiOopd of 
beasts, and the combination with <f>6apr]a-ovraL make it almost cer- 
tain that destruction is meant. Jude has rewritten this rugged 
sentence, and made it much more correct and much less forcible. 
We may observe, as indicating the priority of St. Peter — (i) that 
<f>Oopd is one of his favourite words (it occurs also in i. 4, ii. 1 9, and, 
of the nine places where it is found in the New Testament, four are in 
2 Peter) ; (2) that the repetition of the word is one of his mannerisms ; 
(3) that the Hebraism iv cfiOopa <fi6aprj(rovTat again is characteristic ; 
cf. iv ifjiTratyfjiovrj ifjiTroLKTat, iii. 3. All these points disappear in Jude. 

13. KO|xioufjLej'oi iiiaQov dSiKias. " And shall receive the reward of 
unrighteousness." On the text see Introduction, p. 212. If we 
accept this reading, fitaOos dSiKia? means that destruction which is the 
final reward of injustice; cf. Rom. vi. 23. But immediately below 
(ver. 15) the phrase is used of the temporal profit of injustice, and it 
is difficult to see how it can bear two different senses almost in the 
same breath. What we should have expected here is " they shall 
be destroyed because they run, or ran, after unrighteous gain." As 
regards the participle, the better attested reading dSt/cov/xevoi makes 
no tolerable sense. If we translate with the R.V., " suffering wrong, 
as the hire of wrong-doing," the difficulty about /jllctOos dBiKta<s 
remains ; and, further, it is impossible to think that St. Peter would 
have spoken, even rhetorically, of sinners as "wronged" by God. 
If we translate with Tischendorf, "being deceived as to the wages 
of unrighteousness," we get the right sense for ixl<t66^ dSiKiag, but 
go to wreck over dSiKovficvoi. It is probable that neither reading 
is correct, and that in the MS. from which all our texts are derived 
the letters before -ovfxevoi were illegible. All the following participles 
are in the present, and we may suspect that a present participle was 
used here also. The Syriac has a word which Tischendorf renders 
by ementes. If this represents wvovp^^voi^ it is a possible reading, 
and gives a barely tolerable sense, " they pay a high price for the 
gain of unrighteousness." But perhaps we ought to omit the parti- 
ciple altogether, and read cfiOapi^crovTai, /Jua-Obv dStKtas rjSovrjv rjyov- 
fxevof T7]v iv Tjixipa rpvcjirjv, (tttlXoi koX jhw/jlol, ivTpv(fi(i)VT€<5, "they 
shall be destroyed because they think pleasure the reward of 
unrighteousness ; because, spots and blemishes that they are, they 
pursue their daylight revelry," etc. 

tqSoi'tji' T^youfjiei'oi ttji' iv "fiii-^pa Tpv^-f\v. There are many difficulties 
here. 'UBov-q in the LXX. and in the New Testament means 
always sensual gratification, never high or true or spiritual enjoyment. 
Tpv<f>T], on the other hand, may be used in a good sense of spiritual 


joy or delight; so in o irapaSeiaos r^s Tpvc})rj<s, Gen. ii. 15, iii. 23, 24 ; 
Ezek. xxviii. 13, xxxi. 9, 16, 18; cf. also Ps. xxxv. (xxxvi.) 8; Prov. 
iv. 9. The word is used of sensual indulgence or luxury in Luke 
vii. 25. The verb ivTpvcfiav generally denotes wantonness. 'Ev 
^fi€pa cannot mean " daily " (as Oecumenius), but may mean " by 
day," or "in daylight" (so 3 Mace. v. 11, iv wktI koI rjfiipa), 
though this use is rare and incorrect. Generally Iv yjp.ipq. means 
on, or in, a particular day. Revelling and drunkenness in the 
daytime were naturally thought worse than similar excess by night ; 
see Facciolati, s.v. tempestiuus, and cf. i Thess. v. 7 : Assumptio 
Mosis vii., " omni hora diei amantes conuiuia." On the other hand, 
iempestiua conuiuia was used also of banquets which began and 
ended in good time, that is to say in daylight, not in the night. 
Thus the same phrase was used of a drunken orgy, or of a sober 
feast, such as Cicero delighted in. See again Facciolati. 

We cannot translate " counting their daylight revelry pleasure " ; 
for it was pleasure, and they were right in so counting it. Nor 
again, " counting daylight revelry true pleasure " ; for y^ov-i] never 
has this sense. There seems nothing left then but to understand 
St. Peter to mean " counting our sober daylight joy (the Agape) 
mere vulgar pleasure." The Agape was dismissed before dark; 
Canones Hippolyti^ 167 (ed. Achelis, p. 106), "missos autem 
faciat eos, antequam tenebrae oboriantur." This explanation may 
be strengthened by the remark that St. Peter is here possibly 
thinking of the Song of So?igS vii. 6, rt -^SvvOr)^, aya-jr-q, iv rats 
rpu^ats a-ov, words which, though not directly applicable, may have 
suggested the language which he here employs of those who turned 
the Tpvffi-^ of the Agape into 17801/7^. Clement of Alexandria speaks 
of 17 iv A-oyo) TpvffiT] of the Agape, Paed. ii. 12, and distinguishes 
it very carefully from the ySovi^ of mere eating and drinking. 

On this view the only difficulty is that rpvcfirj bears a good 
sense, while ivTpv<jiu)VT€^, which immediately follows, must be 
taken in a bad sense. This, however, is only an apparent objec- 
tion. There is very much the same relation in English between 
"joy" and "enjoy." 

onriXoi Kai fxwfxoi. Cf. afioifio^ kol ao-7rtAos, I Pet. i. 19. ^SttiAos 
(for the accent see Liddell and Scott; Blass, p. 15), a disfiguring 
spot, is found also in Eph. v. 27, fx(ofxo<s, a blemish; this meaning 
is given to the word by the LXX. (Lev. xxi. 1 7 sqq.). See Dr. Hort's 
note on i Pet. i. 19. These men were spots and blemishes on 
the Agape, which they profaned by their licentious conduct. On 
the reading ayaTrats see Introduction, p. 212; it must certainly be 
retained here in spite of the MSS. 'AydTrrj is not used in the New 
Testament, in this sense of the Love Feast or Eucharist, except 
here and in Jude 12. On the history of the word see Lightfoot'a 
note on Ignatius, Smyrn. viii. 

CHAP. II. VERS. 14, IS 283 

avvevtaxouikcvoi upi/, "while they feast with you." Eu^xta is 
applied to the Agape by Clement of Alexandria, Faed. ii. i. 6. 
It would appear that the False Teachers and their followers had 
not separated from the Church. The abuses here referred to are 
the same as those which existed in the Church of Corinth. 

14. fjioixaXiSos. Here, again, the MSS. are certainly wrong; 
see Introduction, p. 212; the sense absolutely requires ixoLx^tas. 
The phrase may have been suggested by Job xxiv. 15, kol 6(f>6a\- 
fi6<s /JLotxov e^vXa^c o-k6to<s. 

SeXed'^on-es (cf Jas. i. 14 ; the word is repeated in the Petrine 
way in ver. 1 8 below), " catching with a bait," is commonly used 
in secular Greek in this metaphorical sense: cf. Plato, Timaeus, 
69 D, rj8ov7] KaKov SeXcap. Philo is fond of the verb; see, for 
instance, de congr. erud. grat. i. 14 (i. 530), tois <^tXTpois rwv 
depairatvihoiv ScXeatr^ej/res. 

KapStai' >f€.y\}^va.(T^ivf\v irXeoj/g^ias exoi/Tcs. " Having a heart exer- 
cised in, familiar with covetousness." The construction is found 
in Philostratus, Heroic, iii. 30, p. 688, ^aXaxT^s oi;7ro> yeyvyu-vacr/AeVoi : 
iv. 1, p. 696, '^icTTopa TroXXwv ttoXc/xcov yeyvjxvaafievos : xi. i, p. 708, 
o-o^tas ■^87] yeyvixvao-fiivov. It is semi-poetic, and probably borrowed 
from the rhetoricians of the day. In Homer the genitive is fre- 
quently so used after participles denoting familiarity with anything, 

such as €t8a)9, StSacTKO/tevog. 

Kardpas xeVm. " Children of curse," " accursed " (not " accursed 
children"). For this Hebraism cf. re/cva v-rraKorj^, i Pet. i. 14: 
T€Kva 6py7]<5, Eph. ii. 3 : rcKva (^(urds, Eph, V. 8. Yids is used in the 
same way 2 Thess. ii. 3, 6 vi6<s tiJs aTrwXeta?: Matt, xxiii. 15, vlov 
y€evv7]<s : Luke x. 6, vios tlp-^vrj's : Eph. v. 6, vlov^ t^s aTrct^etas. 

15. €u0eiaj/ 6861/. Cf. I Kings xii. 23; 2 Esdr. viii. 21; Ps. 
xxvi. (xxvii.) II, cvi. (cvii.) 7; Acts xiii. 10, and elsewhere. The 
ways of the wicked are o-KoXiat, Pro v. ii. 15. Both oSds (see ii. 2) 
and e^aKoXovOiLv (i. 16, ii. 2, not elsewhere in the New Testament) 
are among the favourite words of 2 Peter. The False Teachers 
followed the way of Balaam, because, like him, they loved the 
wages of unrighteousness — filthy lucre — the gifts of Balak; and 
because, again, they taught uncleanness. Cf. Apoc. ii. 14, ttjv 
BiBaxrjV BaXaa/A, 09 cStSacr/cc t(3 BaXa/c (SaXuv crKavSaXov ivdiinov tiov 
vlwv 'IcT/oar^X, ^ayeiv elBoiXoBvra kol iropvevcrai. Botrdp for Becop, 
the name of Balaam's father, is probably a mere blunder, though 
it has the support of all the MSS. except B and partially N. See 
Introduction, p. 212. Vitringa, however, endeavoured to explain 
it either as a Galilaean form of Beor (so also Zahn, Einleitung^ ii. 
p. no), or as a paronomasia from "1^3 "flesh." Thus, son of 
Bosor he thought might mean " son of flesh " (Observ. Sacrae, 
i. p. 936 sqq., quoted by Alford). Such plays upon the names 
of people, who for one reason or another were hated by them, are 


known to have been not uncommon among the Rabbis. But there 
appears to be no trace of this particular scorn-name, Bosor. Other- 
wise we might possibly have found here another reference to Jewish 
tradition in 2 Peter. 

16. eXeyiiv, The word occurs in Job xxi. 4, xxiii. 2 for the 
classical lAeyxo?- ''iStos is a mere possessive. In i Pet. iii. i ; 
2 Pet. ii. 22 we may render it by "own"; here it is devoid of 
emphasis; see Blass, p. 169. 

uTTo^uyioj' in later vulgar Greek means specially " an ass." It is 
so used by the LXX., Theodotion, and Symmachus, in Matt. xxi. 5, 
in papyri, and here; see Deissmann, Bibelstudien^ p. 158, Eng. tr. 
p. 160; Hatch, Essays in Biblical Greek. 

<|>0eY^(£fiei'o»'. The verb is especially used of a portentous 
prophetic utterance; so Philo, de conf. ling. 14 (i. 414), introduces 
a quotation from Zachariah with the words -^Kovo-a ^kvroi koL twv 
Mojuorecos iraLpiov tivo$ aTrot^dey^afxivov toiovSc \6yov. Plutarch 
employs it of prophetic or ominous sounds uttered by animals, de 
Pythiae oraculis, 22 {Moralia^ 4^5 )» ^^ rj/Mel^ epojSiots olofx^Oa koL 
Tpo;(tAots Ktti Kopa^L )(prj(rOaL ^Oeyyo/xivots (rrjfjixiLvovTa tov ©eov. Cf. 
Herod, ii. 57, eSd/ccov Bi o-^i 6iM0L(D<i opvia-i <f>6€yy€cr6aL, where, how- 
ever, it means simply "to make a sound." Tov irpocfirJTov : the 
instance is peculiarly apt, if the False Teachers claimed to be 

Trapa(|>po»'ia is a vox nihili. The derivative from irapa^povew is 
7rapa(f)p6vr](ri^ (Zech. xii. 4), from Trapdffiptav is formed irapaf^pocrvvq^ 
which is found in a few cursives. A few other cursives have 
TrapavofjiLa, which is probably the right reading ; the repetition of the 
word being in its favour. Here again the great MSS. in a body are 
almost certainly wrong. See above, p. 213. 

17. TrTiyal ai'uSpoi. A Teacher without knowledge is as a well 
without water. There is considerable gnomic power in our author ; 
a quality which is often dissociated from clearness and finish of style. 

ofiixXai uiro XaiXairos e\au>/(5p,emt. " Mists driven by a squall." 
The words are poetical, and perhaps exhibit a trace of that 
Homerism which is found in the early Sibylline Oracles and in 
Philo (see Siegfried, p. 37), and became a marked feature in the 
style of the second century ; see note on ver. 14. The special 
quality of a mist is that it baffles the sight. The mist is not borne 
(^epo/xeV?/, i. 21) by the gentle breath of the Spirit, but driven by 
the fierce gusts of ignorance and self-will, as by a demon (eAaweo-^ai, 
Luke viii. 29). 

ols 6 lfi\o% ToG cTKOTous TeTrjpTjTai. " For whom the gloom of 
darkness is reserved." The phrase is extremely rugged ; darkness is 
hardly an appropriate word to express the punishment of wells or 
mists. Jude here introduces the dorepcs TrAan^Tat, a great improve- 
ment in point of style. Would the writer of 2 Peter have rejected 

CHAP. II. VER. 1 8 285 

this suitable image? The masculine ots refers, of course, to the 
persons ; the relative comes here with great force, d. 1 Pet. iv. 5. 

18. i-rr^poyKa yap fjLaraiorqTOs <|>0€yy6jjl€»'oi. " For crying en- 
ormous words of vanity." For (fiOeyyofxevoL see note on ver. 16 
above, and observe the characteristic repetition of this word and of 
SeXid^uv. 'YiripoyKO's (in Deut. xxx. ii) is a classical word, express- 
ing that which is overgrown or swollen beyond its natural size ; cf. 
Plutarch, Luc. xxi., </>povr;/xa rpayiKov koI virepoyKovj of a temper 
which is inclined to bombast and histrionic ostentation. In the 
description of the libertines in the Assumption of Moses, already 
referred to in the note on ver. 13, we read et os eorum loquetur 
ingentia, which is quoted verbatim by Jude 16; see note there. 
2 Peter uses quite naturally words which he found in his Bible, and 
the verbal repetitions guarantee the originality of his expression. 
Jude was clearly familiar with the Assumption, and has worked 
quotations in. The yap here does not give the reason of the 
preceding sentence, but adds a new touch to the description. 

oXiyws diro<j)euyorras. The reading is very uncertain. A B, the 
bulk of the cursives and versions have oXtyws dTro^euyovras : N C, 
ovrm^i OLTTOcfievyovTas : K L P, ovrcos aTro^ryovTas : Ephraem (see 
Tisch.), Tovs Aoyovs aTTO^evyovTas tovs ivOeis koI tov<s iv TrXdvrj 
a7rocrTpe(f)o/x€vov<s : apparently he found neither 6vt(o<s nor oAtyws, but 
Xoyovs: here again there seems to have been an illegible word 
in the parent MS. OAIPfiS and ONTQS are all but identical in 
Greek capitals. The present aTrocfavyovTaq is clearly better attested 
than the aorist aTrocf>vy6vTas, yet the aorist is strongly supported by 
the d7ro<^vyoi/T€5, ver. 20. We must make our choice between 
dA.ty(jDS ctTro^evyovras and ovtcds ctTro^iryovTas (cf Aristoph. Vesp. 997). 

*OXty(Ds, a rare word, is found in Aquila's version of Isa. x. 7. 
Tovs iv irXdvy avaaTpccfyoiJiivovs (governed by d7rocf>evyovTas:) may 
denote either the False Teachers or the heathen. The latter is the 
better way, because, as Hofmann says, it is a little awkward to take 
this accusative as referring to the subject of the sentence, and 
because again the words seem to be explained by d7rocfivy6vT€<s to, 
fxtda-fxaTa rov KocrfMov. The former reading then may be translated, 
" those who were just escaping from them that walk in error," from 
Gentile vices, but as yet were not established in Christian virtue 
(the if/vxa-l d(TTrjpiKToi of ver. 14). 

The second reading must be turned, " those who had actually 
escaped from them that walk in error." In this case the last phrase 
must mean the Gentiles, not the False Teachers. 

There is great passion in the words. Grandiose sophistry is the 
hook, filthy lust is the bait, with which these men catch those 
whom the Lord had delivered or was delivering. 

The asyndeton eVi^v/xiais do-cXyctats is a feature of 2 Peter's 
style ; cf. i. 9, 1 7. With iv TrXdvrj dv. cf. Cicero's in errore versari. 


19. 'EXeu9epia>' . . . <{)0opas. "Promising them freedom while 
they themselves are slaves of corruption " ; a strong epigram. For 
iXevOepia, cf. I Cor. x. 29; 2 Cor. iii. 17; Gal. ii. 4, v. i, 13. In 
Rom. viii. 21 St. Paul contrasts freedom with the slavery of corrup- 
tion as St. Peter does here ; in Gal. v. 1 3 he warns the Galatians 
that freedom is not to be abused ct? a^op^rjv rfj a-apKi, because 
through love we are still slaves to one another. So in i Pet. ii. 16 
freedom is not to be regarded as €7rtKaA,vyx/>ia Trj<s KaKcws. St. James 
regards freedom itself as a law (i. 25, ii. 12). 'EX€v6epo<s is found 
Matt. xvii. 26; John viii. 32-36; but neither this word nor its 
cognates occur in Acts, Hebrews, the Pastorals, or Apocalypse 
(though in this book eXevOepos is used in its literal sense). 

Freedom may mean two distinct things — (i) freedom of tlie spirit 
from the flesh, of the intelligence from the desires ; this is the sense 
which the word bears in philosophy, in Peter, James, and occasion- 
ally in the Pauline Epistles (Rom. vi. 15-22) ; in this sense freedom 
implies Law (cf. Ps. cxix. 32, 45) : (2) freedom from Law; Law is 
an external obligation, and in all its forms is superseded and 
abolished for Christians by the inner voice of the Spirit. This is 
the general idea of St. Paul. On this last view the Christian con- 
science is absolutely supreme, and its aberrations cannot be corrected 
by any external standard. Where the Spirit truly is, there will be 
no aberrations, and the two theories will in practice coincide. But 
the Pauline theory leaves no weapon available against a man who 
claims to be a prophet ; and it is evident from many passages in the 
New Testament that it might be, and was, grossly abused from the 
very first. History has often repeated itself on this point. See the 
accounts of the Ranters in Fox's Journal^ or Tyerman's Life of 
Wesley i i. 519. 

Tt\% <})0opas. " Of corruption " ; here of moral corruption, cf. i. 4, 
Tijs kv TO) Koo-fxio Iv iTTLOv/MLa cf)6opa^. The two senses of corruption 
and of destruction are not easy to keep apart ; in ii. 1 2 the word 
bears probably the latter meaning. 

w ydp Tig ^TTTjTtti TouTO) Kttl ScSouXwrai. I say slaves of corrup- 
tion, " for by what a man is worsted, by the same is he enslaved." 
In classic Greek rjTTacrOai is followed by the genitive or vtto. For 
the use of the dative, cf. Josephus, Anf. i. 13. 15, rjTTaTo 8c /xovw 
T(3 Trpos TTjv firjTepa /cat rovs dSeXi^ovs olkt(o : Tesf. Ruben, 5, aX 
yovctXKVi rjTTwvraL tS Trvevfj^arL Trj<s iropvuaq. For the idea cf. Rom. 
vi. 16, viii. 21 ; John viii. 34. It is quite familiar also to heathen 
writers, epecially to the Stoics; cf. Cic. Verr. iii. 22, "cupiditatum 
seruos"; Seneca, Nat. Quaest. iii. pref. 17, "sibi seruire grauissima 
est seruitus " ; Persius, v. 73 sqq. ; Epictetus commonly uses avhpa- 
TToSov of the vicious man, ii. 20. 3, 22. 31. 

20. €1 ydp. Here again ydp is loosely used to introduce a new 
feature. For /xiW/oa see Lev. vii. 8; Jrd. ix. 2, xiii. 16; Ezek, 

CHAP. II. VERS. 21, 22 287 

xxxlii. 31 ; I Mace. xiii. 50. It is a classical poetical word. These 
deluded victims had escaped the pollutions of the world (hence 
oi/Tw? aTro4>vy6vTa^ is probably the better reading in ver. 18) by 
means of the knowledge of Christ ; see i. 2, 8. The 8e after rovrots 
may be understood as referring to a /xiv which might have been 
inserted after dTro^uyovres : the dative tovtols belongs to rjTTiovTai. 
'E/xTrA-aKevTcs, "noosed" or "fettered": Soph. O. T. 1264, irAcKrats 
€u)pat<s ifXTreTrXeyfxivT} : Arist. Thesm. 1 03 2, Iv Sccr/AOtcrtv ifjbTmrXeyfxivr}. 
In TCI lo-xara there is an allusion to the words of our Lord recorded 
in Matt. xii. 45. The whole passage is very similar in sense to 
Heb. X. 26, e/covcrtiws yap afxapTavovTOiv rjfxiov, fxera to Xa^elv rrjv 
iTriyvoiCTLV rijs d\r}6€ia<5j ovk€tl rrept dfxapTLOiv dTroActTrcrat Ovcria. See 
note on i. 9 above. 

21. KpeiTToi' yctp tji'. "For it were better for them never to 
have known the way of righteousness (which is also the way of 
truth, ii. 2, and the straight way, ii. 15), than having known it to 
turn back from the holy commandment delivered unto them." 
Better have remained heathen than thus fall into apostasy. For the 
omission of dv with the imperfect indicative, see Goodwin, Gree^ 
Moods and Tenses, 49. 2, note 2 ; Blass, p. 206; cf. Matt. xxvi. 24, koKov 
yjv avTw : Rom. ix. 3, rjvxoixrjv. For the singular IvToXrj, cf. Deut. 
xxvi. 13 ; Ps. xviii. (xix.) 8, cxviii. (cxix.) 96, 98 ; Prov. ii. i, vi. 23, 
xiii. 13, xix. 16 ; Eccles. viii. 5. In the New Testament the singular 
appears elsewhere to mean a particular precept; in Rom. vii. 12, 17 
ivToXr] dyia is the tenth commandment; possibly i Tim. vi. 14 may 
be an exception. Here "the holy commandment" is the moral 
law which is still regarded as binding upon Christians, and was only 
reiterated and deepened in the Sermon on the Mount and in the 
teaching of the apostles. Spitta is probably right in thinking that 
Jude's 17 a7ra| TrapaSoOeiara rots dyLOL<i Trtcrrts is Suggested by this 

phrase of 2 Peter : if this is the case, the change of ivroXi^ into ttlo-ti^ 
and the insertion of the Pauline dyiots are significant. 

22. CTUfxPe'pTjKei' auTois TO tt)s d\T)0oGs irapotjuitas. "The word of 
the true proverb has happened unto them," has been verified in 
them. Alford quotes Lucian, dial. mart. viii. i, rovro Ik€ivo to t^s 
irapoi/xtas, 6 ve^pbs tov XiovTa. The first of the two proverbs may 
be found in Prov. xxvi. 11, wcrTrep kvcov OTav liriXOrj CTTi Tov kavrov 
Ijx^Tov. The second is not biblical, and can hardly be derived 
from a Hebrew source. Aova-afxivr) means " having bathed itself in 
mud"; cf. Aristotle, Trept to. ^wa la-Top. viii. 6 (Bekker, 595a, 31), 
TOLS 8* vs Kol TO XoveaOaL ev TrrjXio (TrtatVei). The Sense is, not that 
the creature has washed itself clean in water (so apparently the 
R.V.), still less that it has been washed clean (as A.V.), and then 
returns to the mud ; but that having once bathed in filth it never 
ceases to delight in it. This habit of swine was used as a moral 
emblem both in Greek — Wetstein quotes Michael Apostolius, 1910, 


o/xoLOV TO) KpdTYjTO<;- v<s iv l3op(36pio Ikva-Trarai : Epictetus, iv. II. 29, 
aTr€\6e, Koi X^^P^ SiaXeyov, Iv €V (3opf36pio firj KvXirjraL — and in Latin, 
Cicero, Verr. iv. 24, "in Verre quern in luto uolutatum totius 
corporis uestigiis inuenimus." Horace has both the dog and the 
sow in one line, jEj>p. i. 2. 26, "Vixisset canis immundus uel arnica 
luto sus." It has been noticed in the Introduction, p. 228, that the 
proverbs as given by St. Peter run very easily into iambics ; in the 
first l^epajxa is substituted for efxero^i, and the introductory phrase {to 
TTJ's aXrjOovs Trapoi/xtas) seems to show that he does not quote either 
of them as scripture. Probably he took them both from some 
collection of proverbs. But, as the first is certainly scriptural, we 
may guess that this collection was the work of a Jew, most likely an 
Alexandrine Jew, who to the Solomonic proverbs added others 
derived from Gentile sources. 

€|ep(£a) is used in the sense of " to vomit " by the comic poets 
(see Liddell and Scott), and by Aquila in his version of Lev. 
xviii. 28. KvXto-fjia is found in Symmachus' version of Ezek. x. 13 ; 
it ought to mean "something rolled round," "a cylinder," but is 
here used for KvAiVrpo, " a rolling place," or for /cvXi(r/>ios, " rolling " ; 
B C and some cursives have KvXta-fxov, 

III. 1. ravTi(\v r\hr] . . . Sidi'oiaj'. "This is now, beloved, the 
second letter that I write unto you; in each of which I stir up 
your pure mind by putting you in remembrance." "ESyj is to be 
taken closely with the numeral, as in Soph. Pkt'l. 312, €to<s toB' ^Sr) 
Sc/carov. For huyeCp€iv Iv virofxvT^crei see i. 13. For Sidvoia see 
I Pet. i. 13. ElXtKptv^<s, €lXtKpLV€ia occur i Cor. v. 8 ; 2 Cor. 
i. 12, ii. 17 ; Phil. i. 10. EtAiKpti/7)s Siaj/oia is used by Plato, Phaed. 
66 A, of " pure reason," such as that which the geometer employs ; 
Phaed. 81 C, ctAi/cptv^s 'A^X^ ^^ opposed to ^vyy] p.^] /cat 
a.Ka.Qapro%. Here in 2 Peter a " pure reason " is one which is not 
stained or warped by sensuality, that is to say, ciAtKpivi^s bears the 
sense which it has in Plato as an epithet of i/'i'x^, but not that 
which it has as an epithet of lidvoia. St. Peter has used philosophic 
words caught up in conversation and not quite accurately under- 

Commentators generally hold that the former letter here re- 
ferred to is our I Peter. Spitta, however, maintains that it is not, on 
the grounds that (i) 2 Peter is addressed to Jewish Christians, 
I Peter to Gentiles ; (2) Peter himself and others of the Twelve 
had preached to the recipients of 2 Peter, but apparently not to 
those of I Peter (cf. i Pet. i. 12 ; 2 Pet. i. 16); (3) the contents of 
I Peter are not accurately here described. 

The first and second reasons have little force, if we take 
the view that i Peter was addressed to a mixed community. 
Nor is there anything, not even in ii. 18, to lead us to suppose 
that the readers of 2 Peter were all Jew Christians. Nor 

CHAP. III. VER. 2 289 

need we force the repeated first person plural of the first 
chapter to imply that the apostles had laboured personally in 
these Churches. Nothing more need be meant than that the 
recipients knew perfectly well what the teaching of the apostles 

The third objection is more serious. The language used in 
i. 12-21 may mean that the object of the apostle in writing to 
these Churches had always been the same, that of meeting error 
by insisting on the historical truth of the gospel ; and here he says 
that in the former letter as in this (cv ah), he had appealed to the 
testimony of the prophets and of the apostles. Now i Peter is not 
directly pointed against false teaching, nor are proofs alleged in 
the same way as in 2 Peter. It is highly probable that St. Peter 
wrote many Epistles, and quite possible that his first letter to these 
particular Churches may have been lost. And in the Address 
the word hiaxnropa. is not used, nor are the names of the provinces 

We cannot feel absolutely certain that i Peter is here referred 
to, any more than we say with confidence what particular Epistle 
of St. Paul is meant in iii. 15. Yet i Peter will satisfy the condi- 
tions fairly well. The prophets and evangelists are appealed to 
(i. 10-12), the Passion and Ascension of our Lord are laid down 
as the historical basis of the gospel, and the Parousia, in particular, 
is pointed to repeatedly. The last point is here of great weight. 
Upon the whole it may be held that Spitta's doubts are groundless, 
though they are enforced also by Zahn. 

2. )i.v(\crQ9\va.i . . . crwTTJpos. "That ye should remember the 
words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and the com- 
mandment of the Lord and Saviour through your apostles" (R.V.). 
There appears to be no doubt as to the MS. text ; t7/z(ov for vix^v 
has very slight attestation. The infinitive fivrjaOTJvat must be taken 
to denote purpose, but it is ungrammatical (Alford refers to a 
similar breach of rules in Luke i. 72), and is particularly awkward 
after the words Stcyetpo) iv vTrofxv^crci. The author here reverts to 
the end of chap, i., and repeats the appeal to his two witnesses, the 
prophets and the apostles. Both testified to the Swa/^t? Kal Trapova-ia 
of Christ. Having exhausted what he had to say about the former 
point against those who denied the power of the Lord who bought 
them, St. Peter now turns to the second. The two divisions of his 
subject are marked by two repeated phrases, Stcyetpetv iv vTrofivrja-eL 

and TOVTO irpCjTOV yiVWa-KOVT€<i. The clause r-iys TUiV dTTOCTToAcDV V[XliiV 

kvTo\ri<i rov KvpLov koI crwT7]po<5 has caused great trouble ; the com- 
plication of genitives is very harsh. The A.V. reading rjpwv and 
making rov Kvptov depend upon dTroo-roAajv, translates " the com- 
mandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour " ; but this 
construction is difficult in any case, and becomes quite impossible, 


if vfx(hv is read. On the other hand, the rendering of the R.V., 
which differentiates the genitives, taking tov Kvptov to mean "<?/ 
the Lord," and twv dTroo-roAcov '■^through the apostles," seems even 
more objectionable. To some extent, indeed, we might meet the 
difficulty by supposing that the words tov Kvpiov Kal o-wr^pos are 
added as an afterthought, and translating, "the command of your 
apostles, or rather, I should say, of the Lord " ; but it may be sus- 
pected that the text is unsound. A good reason may be found 
for the use of the possessive, v/xCiv. " Your apostles " are the men 
whom you ought to trust; do not listen to these false teachers, 
with whom you have neither part nor lot. It has been supposed 
that the forger of the Epistle here allows his mask to sHp, and 
confesses that he himself was not an apostle; but this is quite a 
needless inference. The apostles are the Twelve. Some have 
thought that Paul, Silas, and Barnabas are intended, but it is 
highly doubtful whether the author would have called Silas and 
Barnabas, or even St. Paul, apostles. For ivroX-q, see ii. 21. 
*EvTeX\ofiaL is frequently used of our Lord in the Gospels, Matt. 
xvii. 9, xxviii. 20 ; John xv. 14, 17 ; cf. Acts i. 2, xiii. 47 ; it belongs 
to the conception of our Lord as 8eo-7roTT79, 2 Pet. ii. i. For ayimv 
7rpoc}ir]To)Vj cf. Luke i. 70, and note on i. 21 above. 

3. TouTo irpdrov yiviocKovres. The phrase is used above, i. 20. 
The repetition is quite in the Petrine manner, but in the present 
place it is by no means free from difficulty. There can be no 
doubt that the accusative is required, and there is no reason why 
our author should not have used this case. Probably yti^ojcrKoj/ras 
ought to be read in spite of all the MSS. The words iXevo-ovrai, 
K.T.X., form a prophecy of St. Peter's own, and what he says is, 
Remember the words of the prophets and the command of the 
apostles, "knowing this first" — taking with you this preliminary 
caution from me — that mockers shall come (for the future see 
note on ii. i). 

eir' e(Txdro}v tQ)v iQfiepwi'. "In the last days," in the time of 
distress which precedes the end. Cf. Heb. i. 2, eV iaxo-Tov twv 

Yjfxcpljiv TOVTdiV '. Jude 18, ktr l(T)(aTOV TOV ■)(p6vov'. Jas. V. 3, cv 
€0-;(aTais rjfJiipaLS. See note On iir Io-xo-tov twv xpovuyv, I Pet. i. 20. 
'Ev ifiTraL-yiMOvr} e/x,7rat/CTai is a Strong Hebraism, cf. ev Ty fj>9opa avTchv 
/cat (f)6ap-r](rovTai, above, ii. 12 : iTnOv/xia irreOv/JL-qa-a, Luke xxii. 1 5 : 
KiOapajSchv KtOapilfiVTOiv Iv tols KiOapai<i avrwv, Apoc. xiv. 2. *EjU,7rat^a), 
" to mock," is classical ; e/ATrai/crrys is found in the LXX. (in Isa. iii. 4), 
so also are IpiTraiyixa and lpLTraLyfx6<i (also in Heb. xi. 36). *E/x7raty- 
fjLovri is not found elsewhere, and is an impossible formation (if 
c/ATraty/xcov existed, ifjiiraLyjxocrvvr] wouid be the correct derivative ; cf. 
TToXvTrpa.yp.uiv iroXvTrpayfxocrvvr}, <^pa8/>t(jov (ftpaSfMoavvrj, ISfiwv lhp.o(Tvvir}). 
It is omitted by K L, by many other of the later MSS., and by some 
Fathers, because it was seen to be a vox nihili^ or because it is 

CHAP. III. VER. 4 291 

omitted by Jude. The true reading is probably e/x7raty/xw. See 
note on Trapai^povia, ii. 16. For Kara ras iSias avrwv iTnbvixCa<s 
Jude (vers. 16, 18) has Kara ras avrcov or iavTwv €7n6'u/iias, avoiding 
the vulgar use of iStas, for which cf. ii. 16, 22. 

With these words St. Peter begins his attack upon the denial of 
the Parousia, the doctrinal error which underlay the moral ex- 
travagances of the false teachers. He has had the subject in view 
from the outset of the Epistle. The iirayyiXfxaTa of i. 4 are the 
e7rayyeA,/i,a of iii. 13; Other connecting links are to be found in 
Tj aiwvtos (Bao-iXda, i. 11; Trapovcria, i. 16, and the references to 
Kpi(TL<s and Yjfjiipa KpLcreoi<s in the second chapter. 

4. TToG ecrriv r\ iirayyekia Tr\s irapouaias auToC. "Where is the 
promise of His Coming ? " Uapovo-ia means the Second Advent, 
the coming of our Lord to judge, as in Matt. xxiv. 3. Notice 
the Hebraistic manner in which denial is expressed by a question, 
as in Mai. ii. 17 ; Ps. xlii. 3, Ixxix. 10; Jer. xvii. 15 ; Luke viii. 25. 
" Where is it ? It has come to naught ; it is vain." Von Soden 
and Kiihl would restrict the promise to that made by the prophets 
of the Old Testament, but we cannot exclude a reference to the 
prophecy of our Lord Himself, Matt. xxiv. 34. It is probable, 
as Spitta points out, that the denial of the Parousia arose out of 
these very words. As the men of " this generation " began to die 
away, doubt would immediately arise. 

d<(>' ^9. "Since." The expression occurs also i Mace. i. 11; 
Acts xxiv. II ; Luke vii. 45. From the last passage we see that it 
has become a pure adverb. So, indeed, it is here, as the singular 
rjfx€pa<i would not suit the context. " Since the fathers fell asleep 
all things remain thus," as we see them, and as they have been 
" from the beginning of creation." Some understand " the fathers " 
of the fathers and founders of the Christian Church, and find in 
the phrase a sign that the Epistle was not written till more than 
one generation of believers had passed away. But no forger would 
have fallen into so obvious and fatal a blunder. The phrase is to 
be explained in the same way as ol Trarepes in Heb. i. i ; Rom. ix. 5, 
or ot Trarepes rjixwv in Acts iii. 13. The Church is one, as in i Peter, 
and " the fathers " belong to all Christians. 

There must have been a strong Hebraistic colouring in the 
minds of the deniers as well as in that of St. Peter. Church and 
Scripture are so completely one that the Old Testament can be 
used to strengthen doubts as to the Christian shape of the doctrine 
of the day of judgment. St. Peter's answer rests mainly on the 
Old Testament, with a brief allusion to the gospel and a passing 
appeal to the authority of St. Paul, 

Notice, again, the subtle, almost modern, character of the 
doubt At Thessalonica men doubted only whether those Chris- 
tians who had died before the Parousia would be permitted to live 


with Jesus in His kingdom (i Thess. iv. 13 sqq. See also Intro- 
duction, p. 239). In the Churches addressed by St. Peter the 
doubt rests upon reflexion of a scientific type, the long vista of the 
past, the apparent immutability of the world, — thoughts which in 
our time have become still more oppressive. 

The doubt may have been suggested simply by the broad 
stretch of Old Testament history, but it was very possibly con- 
nected with the doctrine of the eternity of the world, which had 
been adopted from Aristotle by the Platonists and by the Jewish 
mystics of the time. This tenet is defended by Philo against the 
Stoic belief in the e/cTrvpwcrts : see de incorr. mundi, 18 sqq. (ii. 505), 
and de mundo, 2 (ii. 604), where he rests his position in part on the 
everlasting law of the eternal God. Philo in these passages makes 
little use of the Old Testament, though he says that Moses taught 
that the world was yevrjrov koL a(f>6aprov, de mundo, 8. The doc- 
trine of the eternity of matter was found by the Rabbis, and possibly 
by the LXX. translators, in Gen. i. i ; see Gfrorer, Jahrhundert des 
Heils, ii. 9. It is probable that the false teachers were Jews by 
birth and Christians by name, who knew more or less about these 
scholastic debates. The arguments which they would employ — 
they may be gathered from Philo — would sound to St. Peter very 
like " mockery." 

6. XafStii/ei yap auTous touto GeXoinras. "For this they wilfully 
fail to see." "Wilfully," because they are av^aSets, ii. 10. The 
antecedent to yap is to be found in the assertion irdvra ovtw 
8ia/xei/€i — this is untrue, " for scripture tells us that once already the 
world has been destroyed by water." 

oTt oupai^ot . . . aui/eo-Twaa. "That from of old was heaven, 
and an earth subsisting out of water and by means of water." For 
€K7raXaL see ii. 3. Jewish mystics distinguished seven heavens 
(Gfrorer, Jahrhundert des HeilSy ii. 37) ; cf. 2 Cor. xii. 2 ; Eph. 
iv. 10. OvpavoL is used in the New Testament frequently by St. 
Matthew (as in the Lord's Prayer, vi. 9), not uncommonly by St. 
Mark, rarely by St. Luke, never by St John (except in Apoc. 
xii. 12). In Acts it occurs twice (ii. 34, vii. 56). St. Paul uses the 
plural about as often as the singular. St Peter in the First 
Epistle has the singular twice (i. 12, iii. 22), the plural once (i. 4); 
in the Second, the singular once (i. 18), where he is speaking of 
heaven as the abode of God, the plural five times, all in this 
passage (iii. 5-13), where he is treating of cosmogony. Generally, 
the plural seems to be a mere Hebraism, the Hebrew word being 
plural in form, and we need not suppose an allusion to the 
Rabbinical theory unless the context requires it. Hence here we 
ought probably to translate " heaven," not " heavens." Some 
commentators, however, prefer to keep the plural, and think that 
the seven heavens were in St Peter's mind. 

CHAP. III. VER. 6 293 

Heaven is placed here before earth, as in Gen. i. i. The order 
of creation was variously explained in the Rabbinical Schools. 
Shammai, relying on Gen. i. i, distinguished o-Tepiwfxa from 
ovpav6<5, and taught that first heaven and then earth were created 
on the first day. Hillel, relying on Gen. i. 4, ii. 4, identified 
cTTepeoiixa with ovpav6<s, and taught that earth was created on the 
first day, heaven on the second. Spitta thinks that St. Peter is 
here declaring his adhesion to the opinion of Shammai. This, 
however, can hardly be inferred from the text. St. Peter says 
nothing that a simple Jew could not have gathered from his own 
reading of Genesis. 

There should be no comma after l/c7raXat: the words rjarav 
€KTra\ai apply to earth as well as heaven. Of earth it is said that it 

€^ uSaros Kal 81* uSaros. *E^ may be taken to denote the 
emerging of the earth from the waters (Gen. i. 9) in which it had 
lain buried, and the majority of commentators appear to adopt this 
explanation. But, combined as it is here with avveo-rwcra, the 
preposition seems rather to express the material out of which the 
earth was made (so Oecumenius, Hofmann, Kiihl, Alford, Salmond). 
There appears to be no trace of a Jewish belief that water was the 
prime element of which earth was made, except in the later Clemen- 
tine Homilies, xi. 24 (quoted by Dr. Plummer) ; yet it is a possible 
explanation of Gen. i. 2, where water exists at a time when earth is 
d/caTao-Kcvao-Tos. At' rSaros again is very difficult. It can hardly 
mean " in the midst of water," as an island surrounded by the sea, 
for the preposition never bears this sense, though it is used of a 
mental state, in which we are, or rather through which we are 
passing (8t* y]<Tv^a^ cTi/at et simm ; cf. 81' vtto/xov^s rpex^Lv, Heb. xii. i). 
We must render " by means of water." Water is at once the material 
and the instrumental cause of the subsistence of the earth. It is 
made out of the sea below, and its life depends on the rain from 
above, ^vvearrdvai means both to have been put together or made, 
and to subsist or endure; for the latter sense compare Col. i. 17. 

Tw ToG 06OU Xoyw. By the fiat of God ; cf. Heb. xi. 3, prjfxari. 
©eov. Here again there is no trace of speculation, though the 
Rabbis had much to say about the creative word. One type of 
theory is to be found in Philo, another refined upon the Ten 
Creative Words discovered in Gen. i. (see Gfrorer, Jahrhundert des 
Heils^ ii. 20). 

6. 81' ^v. The antecedent may be found in the two waters of 
which we have just read; the fountains of the deep spouted up 
from below and the rain streamed down from above (Gen. viii. 2), 
the matter of the earth was resolved into its original form and 
washed away. We may, however, suppose 81* wv to refer to vSwp 
and Xoyos, the two agents of creation co-operating in destruction ; 


and this view finds support in the following words, in which Xoyos 
and TTvp appear as the causes of the second catastrophe. 

6 t6t€ K^oTfios. Koo-/A09 Hiay be taken, as by Spitta, to mean the 
universe. It is possible that in the view of St. Peter the first 
heaven and earth were absolutely destroyed and succeeded by the 
present (ot vvv ovpavol /cat 17 yrj), as these again will be replaced by a 
new heaven and earth (ver. 13 below). The same views may be 
found in the Book of Enoch, Ixxxiii, 3-5, where Enoch is describing 
his dream of the Flood. "I saw in a vision how the heaven 
collapsed and was borne off and fell to the earth . . . and I Hfted 
up my voice to cry aloud and said, The earth is destroyed." (See 
the passage in Mr. Charles' translation.) Cf also Clem. Rom. ix., 
N(oe . . . iraXtyyevecTLav Kocrfxw iKrjpv^cv^ and Lightfoot's note there. 
Yet, on the other hand, this view, that the whole universe was 
resolved into water by the Flood, does not represent the obvious 
sense of Scripture, does not square very well with the language of 
ii. 5, where k6(tixo<; acre/3u)v seems to mean simply the impious 
denizens of earth, and is hardly consistent with the preceding verse. 
For, if earth alone subsisted of water and by water, so earth alone, 
we might think, could be destroyed by water. Hence Oecu- 
menius, Bengel, Hofmann take koct/xos here to mean the human 
race, or all living things. 

We must make allowance for rhetorical colour. The author 
presses as far as he can the analogy between two cases which were 
not absolutely parallel. 

7. ot 8e vuu oupai'ot . . . irupt. " But the heavens that now are 
and the earth are treasured up by the same word for fire." ToJ avrw 
is the reading of A B P, some cursives, the Sahidic, Coptic, Armenian, 
and Vulgate ; N C K L, many cursives, the Syriac, and Aethiopian 
have TO) avTov. There is little or no difference in sense. There are 
many " words of God " in the Old Testament in which fire is spoken 
of as attending the final judgment, such as Ps. xcvii. 3 ; Isa. Ixvi. 
15, 16 ; Dan. vii. 9, 10; some of them might well be taken to signify 
an actual destruction of the world by fire, especially Isa. xxxiv. 4 ; 
Mic. i. 4. Hence the belief that, as the world had once perished 
by water, so it would again perish by fire, was possibly held, though 
it was certainly not universal, among the Jews in St. Peter's time. 
It may perhaps be found in a book of prophecies attributed to 
Adam ; see Josephus, Anf. i. 2. 3, irpoup-qKoro^ a<^avt(r)u,oi/ 'ASd/xov 
Ttoc oXcov €(T€(r6ai, rov fikv Kar Icrxvv irvp6<;, rbv trepov Be Kara /Stav Koi 
ttXtjOvv vSaTo<i. But on this subject see Introduction, p. 214. 

Uvpt, " for fire," is the dativus commodi. The R.V. in the 
margin gives " stored with fire " as an alternative rendering for 
TeOyjo-avpuTfievoL irvpC. But 67](xavpit,iLv means " to lay up a treasure," 
and no instance is given of its use with the dative in the sense 
required. What St. Peter has to tell us here is, not where the fire 

CHAP. III. VER. 8 295 

IS, but what it will do. Irenaeus, i. 7. i, attributes to the Valen- 
tinians the doctrine that at the End " the fire which lurks in the 
tvorld, shining and kindling and destroying all matter, will be burnt 
out with the matter and go into nothingness." The earth is 
"stored with fire," which will one day burst forth and consume 
everything. This, however, is purely Stoic doctrine, based upon the 
theory of Heraclitus that fire was the prime element. St. Peter 
cannot have meant that the post-diluvian world was made of fire, as 
the antediluvian world was made of water; no "word of God" 
could have led him to think thus. Yet it is possible that the 
Valentinians found a scriptural handle for their tenet in this passage 
of 2 Peter. 

TT]poujji€i'oi CIS r\ixipav Kpicrecos. Note again this favourite phrase; 
of. ii. 4, 9, and i Pet. i. 4. 'ATrwAeta is another word which 2 Peter 
repeats, see ii. i, 3. 

8. ey he toGto [xtj XavQavlroi ujxas. " But do not you fail to see 
this one thing." The i^/xas forms an emphatic antithesis to avrovs 
in ver. 5. 

oTi fAia TQfx^pa. "That in the Lord's sight one day is as a 
thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." The phrase is 
suggested by Ps. Ixxxix. (xc.) 4, 6tl ^tAia err] ev 6({>0aXiJiols crov m rj 
■qfjiepa 7} ex^es ^rts SLrjXOe. St. Peter is not quoting, but drawing an 
inference from, the Psalm. The desire of the Psalmist is to 
contrast the eternity of God with the short span of human life. 
What St. Peter wishes is to contrast the eternity of God with the 
impatience of human expectations. As Augustine says, God is 
patiens quia aeternus. The day of judgment is at hand (i Pet. iv. 7). 
It may come to-morrow ; but what is to-morrow ? What does God 
mean by a day ? It may be a thousand years. 

This verse of 2 Peter (like i. 15) has a history, which is no 
longer easy to trace. From this peculiar adaptation of the words of 
the Psalm sprang Chiliasm. On this subject see Introduction, p. 213. 

Observe that St. Peter says nothing about signs that should 
precede our Lord's Coming. Cf. the present passage with 
2 Thess. ii. St. Paul appeals to his own prophecies on the subject. 
Certain events are to happen before the Parousia, and these must 
take a considerable time. 

We may find here a sign of authenticity, if we remember John 
xxi. 18, 19. St. Peter had been warned that he should not live to 
see the Parousia (cf. i. 14). He could not therefore feel the 
difficulty which troubled the Thessalonians as to what would be the 
lot of those who died before the Lord's return ; nor could he speak, 
like St. Paul, of "us which are alive and remain"; nor would he 
have any personal interest in the Signs of the End. It may be 
doubted whether a forger would have been so reticent. 

Again, though this passage is the base, or one of the bases, of 


Chiliasm, St. Peter makes no allusion to that doctrine. Here again 
we may discern a sign of great antiquity. 

9. ou j3pa8ui/€i 6 Kupios ttjs eirayYe^ias. "The Lord is not slow 
concerning His promise." The genitive is perhaps analogous to 
that used commonly after verbs of failing, or missing, such as 
d/xapTavo), a-0aAAo/>tai, vo-Tepto. Or, possibly, we may compare Soph. 
£1. 317, TOv Kacnyv-qTOV tl ff>ri<i ; Phil. 439, dva^tov /xcv <f><jiyTO<; iiep-q- 
a-ofxaL, where the genitive alone has the sense of the case accom- 
panied by irepi: see Blass, p. 105. Bengel quotes Sirach xxxii. 
(xxxv.) 22, Kot KpLvet StKai'cos koI Trofqaei KpLcriv koI 6 Kijptos ov fjJq 
^pahvvrj ovh\ fir] fxaKpoOv/x-^criL iir avTo2<s. The Lord is certainly 
Christ ; see ver. 1 5 below. 

<3s rives PpaSuTTiTa iqyo"'^**'* "^^ some (the mockers) count 
slowness " ; as if delay sprang from impotence or unwillingness to 

fit) |3ouXo|x€i'os. "Not because He wishes that some should 
perish, but that all should come to repentance." Some will perish 
(ver. 7 above), but this is not the purpose of God. 

10. T)^€t receives emphasis from its position. "It will come, 
that day of the Lord." For rj/xipa Kvpiov (from Joel iii. 4) see Acts 
ii. 20 ; I Cor. v. 5 ; i Thess. v. 2 ; 2 Thess. ii. 2. In Phil. ii. 16 
we have rjfxipa Xpio-rov, cf. Luke xvii. 26, 31. Above, ii. 9, iii. 7, 
rjfiipa KpLa-€<x)'i : below, ver. 1 2, rj/xipa ©eoO. The day of the Lord, 
of God, of Christ, of the Son of Man, are not distinguished. 

d)S KXeivTTjs. Cf. Matt. xxiv. 43 ; C K L add ev vwrt, from 
I Thess. V. 2. Whenever it comes, soon or late, the day of the 
Lord will be sudden and unexpected, like the attack of a thief. 
There will be no time for repentance then. This is the essential 
point on which the wise teacher will dwell. 

poi^T]86i'. 'Pot^o?, polled), and cognates, are used of shrill 
rushing sounds, the hissing of a snake, the whirr of a bird's wings, 
the hurtling of an arrow. Here probably the roaring of flame is 
meant. The adverb is probably formed from poi^eoy, but it may 
come directly from pottos. Lucian, Tt'mon, 3, uses three similar 
words, Ko<TKtvYjS6v, aoyprjSov, TrcTprjSov, all formed from nouns. 

crroixeia. ^Srotxos means " a row " ; hence a-TOLxeta., " things 
arranged in a row," the letters of the alphabet, or the elements of 
Nature. In Heb. v. 12, to. crroLxeia t^s a.px^l'i twv Xoyuuiv rov 
®€ov, are the Christian alphabet, the first rudimentary lessons of the 
creed. In Gal. iv. 3, 9, to. OTOixeta tov Kocrfxov, ra dcrOevrj /cat TrTcaxa 
a-TOLx^'ia, are again rudimentary lessons ; but these, in St. Paul's 
view, are laws, precepts, rites and ceremonies, distinguished from 
gospel freedom. So again, Col. ii. 8, 20, the word is used of 
precepts based upon philosophy, vain deceit, and the traditions of 
men ; school lessons which are no longer good for enlightened men. 

St. Peter is clearly speaking of physical elements. He may 

CHAP. III. VER. lO 297 

mean — (i) The four elements, earth, air, water, fire (so Bede). 
This sense is common in Greek philosophy. The objection that 
fire cannot destroy fire is not serious, for earthly sensible fire 
might very well be thought of as destroyed by heavenly ideal fire. 
But this explanation is too scientific for St. Peter. 

(2) The great parts of which the world is composed, sun, moon, 
stars, earth, sea. In this sense our passage seems to have been 
understood by the author of the second book of the Sibylline Oracles 
(ii. 206) : 

Kal rbre X7?pei5cret aroLxeia irpbiravTa t4 Kdafiov, 
'A-Zip, yala, da\a<xaa, ^6.os, irbXos, ijfiaTa, vijkt€s. 

(3) The heavenly bodies, sun, moon, and stars. In this sense 
o-Totxeia is used by Justin, Apo/. ii. 5 ; Trypho, 23 ; Theoph. A7tt. 
i. 4, 5, 6, ii. 15, 35 ; Athenag. Suppl. 16, and many Greek Fathers. 
In the Letter of Polycrates, Eus. H. E. iii. 31. 2, (noix^ia means 
" stars of the Church " ; see note of Valesius in Heinichen. Hence 
the Latin Fathers not uncommonly called the stars elementa. Isa. 
xxxiv. 4 was quoted by the Rabbis to show that the stars will perish 
at the end of the world; see GkoxQX, Jahrhundert des Heils, ii. 274. 
This is the most probable sense here (Bengel, Alford, Plumptre). 
The run of the sentence distinguishes the heavens and the elements 
(stars) from the earth and the works that are therein. 

In Test. Levi, 4, there is a passage which Spitta (adopting a con- 
jectural emendation of Schrapp's) quotes thus — tot) Trvpo<s KaTairrqcr- 
crovT09 Koi Trdcrr)<s ktictcws KavaovfxevTj^ kul tcov dopdnov Trvevfianov 
T7]Koixev(j)v. Hence Spitta (followed by Kiihl and von Soden) main- 
tains that St. Peter means by o-rotxcia not the stars, but the spirits, 
which were regarded as inhabiting and animating them. The same 
explanation of crToix^Ta in Gal. iv. 3, 9 ; Col. ii. 8, is given by Ritschl, 
Everling, Diels (jElemenfum, Teubner, 1899; reviewed by A. Deiss- 
mann in T/ieol. Literaturzeitung, Jan. 5, 1901). There was such 
a belief (see Enoch Ix. 12, Ixix. 22) among both Jews and Gentiles. 
But Mr. Sinker's text of the Testamenta has KXovovfxiv7]<s not Kavaov- 
fxivq^, and that careful scholar notices no variant. Nor, if we put 
on one side the disputed passages in the Pauline Epistles, is any 
instance of this peculiar use of o-rotxctoi/ quoted. It is not possible 
to find the star-spirits in the words of 2 Peter, though they may 
very well be meant by the dopara Trrev/Aara of Zem. Possibly the 
words of Levi may be a reminiscence of the present passage. 

Kauaou)ji€m. Kavcroq means a peculiar kind of fever, and Kav 
trova-Oat is used by medical writers of those who suffer from that 
special complaint. It is obvious that this sense will not suit the 
present passage, but Kava-ovaOai does not appear to be used in any 
other. It seems highly probable that Kava-ov/jieva does not belong 
to Kav<Tov(r6aL at all, but is merely a vulgarism for Kava-ofieva. In 

later Greek the middle future constantly assumes the Doric form ; 

thus we find vevaovfxai, TTvevcrovfjiaLj 7rAeucrov/xai, Tnov/JLai, irevcrov^L. 
In 2 Clem. vii. 5 we have TraOovfuii. ^ev^ovjxai is commonly used 
even by the classics. See Lobeck, Phrynichus, p. 30 ; Rutherford, 
JVew Phrynichus, p. 91 ; Moeris, Triojaai : Cobet, Nouae Lectiones, 
p. 617; Veitch, KtttV 

KaTaKayjaeTau Here again the text is corrupt. See Introduc- 
tion, p. 213. 

epya are opera naturae et artis (Bengel). 

11. Xuo/xeVup' is used loosely for X.v6r](roixivo}v. See Blass, p. 189, 
and compare TT^/cerat just below. 

iroTairou's. "What sort of men." Both sense and spelling 
belong to later Greek ; the classic word is TroSaTrd?, which means 
"of what country." See Loheck, Phrynichus, p. 56; Rutherford, 
JVew Phrynichus, p. 128. 

iv dyiais dmaTpo<})ais Kal cuo-epeiais. " In holy behaviours and 
pieties " (Alford). Neither word is used in the plural elsewhere in 
the New Testament, but in i Pet. i. 1 5 we have iv Trda-r] avaa-rpotfifj, 
" in every behaviour," which is practically a plural, i Pet. ii. i we 
find vTTO/cptcreis (fiOovovi : ii. 9, dp^TaC : iv. 3, dcreA,yet'ais otvo<^Xvytats 
etSojAoAarpeiat? : 2 Pet. ii. 2, do-eXyetats : ii. 14, TrAeovc^iais (z'./.). In 
both Epistles there is the same tendency to use the abstract noun 
in the plural. 

12. aireuSoin-as. Not "hastening towards the coming"; this 
version would require a preposition, and yields no satisfactory sense. 
We may translate — (i) "Giving diligence about," "zealously guard- 
ing, the Coming." So Plato, Protag. 361 A, speaks of a man as 
o-7rev8wi/ a{iT(3 kvavria, " fighting for propositions that confute him." 
(2) "Hastening the Coming." The Church maybe said to bring 
the day nearer when it prays "Thy Kingdom come." And not 
prayer only, but the " holy behaviours and pieties " of God's children, 
which promote the repentance of the ungodly (i Pet. ii. 12), are 
a condition of the coming of the Kingdom, and prepare the Lord's 
way. It is possible that St. Peter may be referring to the Jewish 
belief that the sins of men prevented Messiah from appearing. In 
the Talmud it is said, "Si Judaei poenitentiam facerent una die 
statim ueniret Messias, filius Dauid " ; see Gfrorer, Jahrhundert des 
Pleils, ii. p. 224. If we follow this interpretation, we have here 
again a view different from St. Paul's; see 2 Thess. ii. 6, 7, ro 
Kark^ov : 6 KOLrk^iiW. 

TTJKCTai. The present is used for the future. But C P, many 
cursives, the Vulgate, Armenian, and Syriac read raKT^o-erat or raK-q- 
crovTat. For the verb, cf. Isa. xxxiv. 4, koI ra/crya-oj/Tat TrdcraL ai 
Swa/xeis Tcov ovpavuiv : Mic. i. 4, /cat at KOiAaScs TaK-^o-ovrat o)<; K7)pb<; 
ttTTo Trpoo-coTTov TTvpos. The reader will observe the characteristic 
repetition of words and phrases in this passage 

CHAP. III. VERS. 13-15 299 

13. Kaiwus Se oupai'ous Kal y^v Kain^i'. Cf. Isa. Ixv. 1 7, eo-rat 
yap 6 ovpavb^ Kaivos /cat rj yrj Kaivrj : Enoch xci. 16, "And the 
first heaven will depart and pass away, and a new heaven will 
appear"; Apoc. xxi. i. 

cV ois SiKaioaui'T) KaroiKei. "Has its home" (Acts vii. 48; Epb. 
iii. 17; Col. ii. 9). This beautiful phrase is probably St, Peter's 
own, but we may compare Enoch xlvi. 3, "the Son of Man, who 
hath righteousness, with whom dwelleth righteousness." 

14. irpoa8oKwi/Tes is repeated from ver. 12; (nrovZa.a-a.'r^ from 
i. 5, 10, 15 ; acTTTtAot Kttt a/xwfjLrjTOL reminds us of i Pet. i. 19, afji(x)fxo<s 
Kol acnrLXo<5 : 2 Pet. ii. 13, (nrCXoL kol fjLwfxoi,. The dative avrta may 
be taken with the adjectives, " spotless and blameless in His sight," 
or with ivpeOrjvaLy "to be found by Him," as in Isa. Ixv. i (quoted 
in Rom. x. 20). 

15. Kttl TTji' Tou Kupiou TQjuiwi' |m,aKpo9u)Jiiav CT(OTT)piai' riyelaQe. "And 
count the long-suffering of our Lord salvation." " Our Lord " must 
undoubtedly signify Christ, to whom alone the doxology in ver. 18 
is addressed. His patience (cf. ver. 9) is not slowness, but salva- 
tion; the Lord delays in order that all men may have time to 
repent and be saved. SwTT/pta is used here in an unusual sense, 
of that which conduces to salvation. We might be tempted to 
regard it as the feminine of the adjective, if it could be shown 
that cro)T-t]pLos ever possessed more than two genders. 

KaGdis Kal . . . eypa^ev ujaii/. "Even as also our beloved 
brother Paul, according to the wisdom given unto him, wrote unto 
you." St. Paul never calls St. Peter " our beloved brother Cephas." 
He is apparently represented as alive (XaXwv not XaXrjaas in ver. 16 ; 
but this is not conclusive, because the participle is contemporaneous 
with eypaij/ev). St. Peter speaks of him with affection and respect, 
yet maintains the right to criticise. His words are not perceptibly 
stronger than those which he uses of Silvanus, i Pet. v. 1 2. Kara 
Tr]v BoOeicrav avT(S crof^iav may be understood as a commendation 
or as a caution. 'Y/^ii/ (see iii. i) means probably the Asiatic 
Christians to whom i Peter was addressed, possibly some other 
Church or group of Churches. Whoever they were, they had 
received a letter (or possibly letters) from St. Paul. The substance 
of what St. Paul had written to them is more or less exactly indi- 
cated by the words of vers. 14 and 15. 

We may suppose St. Peter to lay the main stress on acnnXoi, 
aix(ofX7)roL, iv dpi^vr), and to be chiefly anxious for the correction of 
the moral disorders described in the second chapter. In this case 
any of the Pauline Epistles may be meant. Bengel selected 
Hebrews (he held the Pauline authorship of this Epistle) ; others 
have fixed upon Romans (Oecumenius, Grotius, Dietlein ; see 
esp. Rom. ix. 22); Jachmann decides for i Corinthians; Augusti, 
for Galatians ; Benson, for Galatians, Ephesians, and Colossians 


(see Col. i. ii sqq. These three Epistles have the advantage of 
being addressed to Asiatics). Von Soden thinks that Ephesians 
may be meant (see Eph. i. 4-14, vi. 10-18). Clearly, if St. Peter 
only means "St. Paul, who has himself written to you, condemns 
licence and disorder as emphatically as I do myself," it makes little 
difference which Epistle we choose. Indeed, St. Peter goes on to 
say that all St. Paul's Epistles teach the same lesson. 

If, on the other hand, the stress falls on the words rrjv tov 
Kvptov TjfjiciJv fiaKpoOv/xLav aoiTrjptav y)yeL(r9e, and if we Suppose the 
reference to be to an Epistle in which moral disorder was connected 
with difficulties about the Parousia, none of the existing Pauline 
Epistles can be in question except i Corinthians (in this Church 
there were very similar extravagances, and the Resurrection was by 
some denied) and Thessalonians. Alford elects for i Thess., 
thinking that St. Peter actually refers to this Epistle in ver. 10 
above (but see note there). 

The reader must make his choice between more or less uncertain 
possibilities. If 2 Peter was not written to Asiatic Christians, 
Corinthians (see Introduction, p. 244) or Thessalonians may very 
well be meant. If, on the other hand, it was, — and this seems 
more probable, — then Galatians, Ephesians, or Colossians may con- 
ceivably be referred to. But if we judge both that the recipients 
of 2 Peter were Asiatics, and that the Pauline letter in question 
dealt explicitly with disorders arising out of doubts about the 
Parousia, we are forced to conclude that St. Peter is speaking of 
a Pauline Epistle which, like that to the Laodiceans, or that to 
the Corinthians (i Cor. v. 9), no longer exists. This is the opinion 
maintained on various grounds by Pott, Spitta, Kiihl, and Zahn. 

16. ws Kal iy irdaais eTrioroXats. This is the reading of A B C ; 
N K L P have Tracrais Ttti?. " As also (he writes), in each and every 
letter (or in all his letters), speaking about these things." It is by 
no means necessary to see in these words, as some have done, a 
reference to a definite canonical body of Pauline Epistles. St. 
Peter tells us that he was acquainted with several letters of St. 
Paul's, but does not say how many, nor whether they were earlier 
or later in date than the letter or letters referred to in eypaif/ev vfxlv. 
Nor, again, does he expressly say that these other letters were 
known to his readers, though this is probably implied in the 
following words of caution. In all these letters St. Paul speaks 
about "these things," the coming of our Lord to judge, and the 
need of being found spotless and blameless in peace. The doc- 
trine of the two great teachers is for all purposes of the present 
Epistle the same. 

There is nothing surprising in these words. Under the Empire 
epistolary communication was as easy as it is now, though the 
speed of conveyance was not quite so great. It is not only possible. 

CHAP. III. VER. 1 6 301 

but probable, that St. Peter received every one of St. Paul's Epistles 
within a month or two of its publication. We cannot imagine that 
one apostle should have remained in ignorance of what other 
apostles were doing, and it is quite inconceivable that St. Peter 
should not have read Galatians and i Corinthians. See Intro- 
duction, p. 241. 

eV ats. C K L P have eV oh. 

8u(7i/oT)Ta. In the Pauline Epistles there were passages which 
St. Peter regarded as hard to understand, difficult, obscure, capable 
of a right interpretation, but capable also of being wrested to a 
man's destruction. Alford reads eV oh ("in which matters"), and 
follows De Wette in thinking that the reference is specially to St. 
Paul's teaching about the Parousia, in particular to 2 Thess. ii. 
I sqq. But what St. Paul says there as to the signs of the End, 
though SvoTOTjTov, could not be so distorted as to endanger the 
reader's salvation. Clearly St. Peter has in view "utterances 
which could be so twisted that they might serve to justify moral 
laxity" (Spitta; so also von Soden, Kiihl, Weiss, Wiesinger). 
Such are Rom. iii. 20, 28, iv. 15, v. 20, vii. 7; i Cor. xv. 56; 
Gal. iii. 10, from which "the ignorant and unsteadfast" could (Rom. 
vi. i), and in fact did, draw the false inference that morality is 
indifferent, and that the Christian is "free" from the Ten Com- 
mandments. Hofmann, however, is very possibly right in think- 
ing that among the Bvororjra are to be reckoned also those passages 
where St. Paul speaks of the spiritual resurrection of baptism (Eph. 
ii. 5; Col. ii. 12, iii. i), which Hymenaeus and Philetus (2 Tim. 
ii. 17) may have "twisted" into the sense that there is no other 
resurrection. St. Peter expresses himself with wisdom and modera- 
tion. St. James is more directly polemical, and comes very near to 
making St. Paul responsible for the erroneous interpretation which 
some had fixed upon his view of Faith and Freedom. 

01 d)xa9€is Kttl do-rqpiKTOi. For aa-TiqpiKTOi cf. i. 12, ii. 14; I Pet. 
v. 10. *Afia6i^<; (not used elsewhere in the New Testament), bring- 
ing out, as it does, the moral value of teaching, of trained habits 
of reflexion, of disciplined good sense, is highly characteristic of 
St. Peter. By teaching the Christian is established in the way of 
truth (ii. 2), and of justice (ii. 21), the straight way (ii. 15), the way 
which is substantially one and the same in the Old Testament and 
in the New. 

(OS Kal Ttts Xoiircts Ypa(|)ds. " As they also wrest the other scrip- 
tures." We might translate "the scriptures as well," or "the 
scriptures on the other hand"; cf. Hom. Od. i. 132, IktoO^v 
aXXiiiv fivr]orTrjp(Dv (see Mr. Merry's note), where Odysseus is dis- 
tinguished from the others, the suitors ; Luke xxiii. 32, erepoc Svo 
KaKovpyoi: I Thess. iv. 13, where ol Xolttol means not "other 
Christians," but " other people who are not Christians " : Deut. 


viii. 20, KaOa /cat to. Xolttol tOvrj : here again "the other nations" 
are contrasted with Israel (this is a common phrase). In this case 
the Pauline Epistles are not here included in, but distinguished 
from, "the other scriptures." Yet it is possible that St. Peter 
speaks of the writings of his brother apostle as "scripture" in 
the full sense of the word. Scripture is the voice of the Spirit 
of Christ speaking through man (i Pet. i. 11), that Spirit which 
St. Paul claims as his teacher (i Cor. ii. 12, 13), and by which 
his oro(^ia was given. There can be little doubt that the apostles 
were regarded, and regarded themselves, as vtto IIj/eu/xaTos ayiov 
(f)ep6fjLevot. Writing inspired by the Holy Spirit was "holy writing," 
and was afterwards canonised, because it had from the first been 
so considered. The Pauline Epistles were read in church, and 
even in churches to which they were not addressed (Col. iv. 16; 
I Thess. V. 27), just as scripture was. See Introduction, p. 240. 

St. Peter has already warned his readers (i. 20) that all pro- 
phecy may be distorted by "private interpretations." Here he 
adds that the Epistles of St. Paul may be garbled in the same 

Spitta rejects both the explanations given above, the second, 
on the ground that Peter cannot possibly have placed the Pauline 
Epistles on a level with the Old Testament; the first, mainly 
because the perversion of the Xolttol ypa^ai is mentioned incident- 
ally, and, as it were, by-the-way, after that of the Pauline Epistles, 
as if it were a matter of less consequence. Hence he concludes 
that these " other writings " were Epistles written by the companions 
of St. Paul. But this objection is not serious. St. Peter had 
already said that prophecy might be misinterpreted, and he would 
hardly have said this unless he meant that the Libertines did 
actually misinterpret it. Hence, in the present passage, it is 
quite sufficient for him to throw in a passing reminder. " These 
men gloze St. Paul, as I have told you that they gloze the scrip- 
tures." Besides, the meaning of ypacfiaL, used in this way without 
the name of an author, is so fixed that it cannot here mean any- 
thing but scripture. 

The most important question arising out of the present passage 
is whether, if St. Paul's Epistles are here spoken of as ypafftii], this 
fact implies the existence of a settled Canon of the New Testament. 
If so, the date of 2 Peter might be held to fall somewhat late in the 
second century ; and many commentators do so place it accordingly. 
The point must be taken in connexion with the other indications 
of date which are discussed in the Introduction. Here it is suffi- 
cient to say that there is nothing in the language of 2 Peter which 
implies the existence of a fixed and definite corpus of Pauline 
Epistles, — we should infer, rather, that St. Paul was still alive, and 
writing, — and that the use of the later technical terms " canon " 

CHAP. III. VERS. 17, 1 8 303 

and "canonical" only confuse matters. What we are to ask is 
not whether the Pauline Epistles are here treated as " canonical," 
but whether they are regarded as possessing those qualities which 
a later generation made the standard of canonicity; whether, in 
other words, they are treated as apostolical and inspired. If we 
put the question in this shape, there is no reason why St. Peter 
should not have believed St. Paul's utterances to be the word 
of the Lord; and it is certain that St. Paul himself held them 
so to be. It does not necessarily follow that St. Peter placed 
his fellow - apostles on the same level with Moses and the old 
prophets; but he may very well have placed them even higher. 
St. Paul sets apostles before prophets (Eph. iv. 11); and, though 
he is speaking here primarily of Christian prophets, there is no 
essential difference between one prophet and another. And it 
follows from i Pet. i. 12 that the Christian evangeUst was superior 
to the old prophets, as Christ Himself was greater than Moses. 

17. ufieis ouk. "Ye therefore, beloved, since ye know before- 
hand, be on your guard ; lest, being carried away with the error of 
the lawless, ye fall from your own steadfastness (or foundation)." 
IlpoyLVMo-KovT€<s is equivalent to ravra Trpojrov yivioa-Koyre^, i. 20, 
iii. 3; aOeo-fioiv is repeated from ii. 7, TrXdv-r] from ii. 18. For 
(Twa7ra;)(^e'Tes cf. Gal. ii. 13. '^Tr}piyjx6<s (antithesis to aa-TrjpiKroi) 
is not used elsewhere in the New Testament. Commentators 
generally render the word here by "steadfastness," but it more 
probably means " a strong foundation." Thus Longinus, de Subl. 
chap. 40, (rTr]pLyfJiOv<s re e)(eLV Trpos dXXrjXa rd ovofxara /cat i^ep^La/jxiTa 
rojv xpoVwv, the words, in a passage of the Antiope of Euripides, 
do not rush on too fast, but have stays, or supports, or something 
that makes a pause in their connexion with one another. The 
sense of " a foundation " belongs, it is true, rather to o-rT/piy/Aa, but 
verbals in -/>ta and -/xos are confused in later Greek ; see KvXta-fjia, 
2 Pet. ii. 22, and dpirayp.o';, Phil. ii. 6. The foundation is defined 
as x°^P^5 KoX yvu)(Tt<s, which are at once the solid base on which 
the Christian is established, and the root in or from which he is 
to grow. 'iSiov is perhaps more than a mere possessive; you 
have your own foundation, which is not that of the Libertines, 
who, indeed, have none. 

18. aiidvere. The active voice is here employed where classical 
usage would require the middle, as is frequently the case in later 
Greek. With the whole phrase cf. i. 2, x^P^5 vfjuv . . . TrX-qOvvOu-q 
iv cTTtyvcocrei. The construction is not certain. We may translate^ 
" in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord " ; in this case rov 
KvpLov belongs as objective genitive to yvwcrei alone; or, "in the 
grace and knowledge of our Lord," our Lord being regarded as 
the giver of both gifts. If we take the first view, yvaxris will be 
another name for the cTriyvwo-ts, cf. i. 2, 8. If the second, yvwo-ts 


is to be explained as in i. 5, 6. The latter course is preferable, 
because the words appear to mean different things, cTrtyvwo-ts 
meaning that personal acquaintance with the Saviour which is 
the beginning and end of the spiritual life, while yvwo-is is rather 
" understanding," " Christian instruction," and here forms an anti- 
thesis to d/m^ei?. FvaJCT-is is the articulation of eTriyvcuo-t?. 

auT<3 1^ 86|a. The doxology is addressed to Christ (see notes 
on I Pet. iv. 11, v. 11), as indeed is natural considering the high 
Christology of this Epistle. Ets yixepav atoivo?, "unto the day of 
eternity," is found only here in the New Testament; but see 
Sir. xviii. 9, 10, dpt^/aos Ty/xcpcuv avOpoJTrov ttoXXo. err) cKarov <i)S 
crraycbv vSaros a-Tro 6aX.da-(rrj^ kol x}/rj<}iO<s afx/xoVj ovt(o<s oXiya err] iv 
rjixepq, at(ovo5, " the number of man's days at the most are a 
hundred years. As a drop of water from the sea, and as a pebble 
from the sand ; so are a few years in the day of eternity." In 
Sirach " day of eternity " clearly means " eternity," in which years 
are lost as a drop in the ocean. So here, also, eU rj/xipav aicovos 
is equivalent to eis rovq al(ova<s twv altavfov. Mr. Chase, in his 
Lord^s Prayer in the Early Churchy does not comment on this 
remarkable phrase. But cis tovs aiojvas becomes so immediately 
the ruling phrase that this Petrine doxology cannot have been 
written after liturgical expressions had become in any degree stereo- 
typed. Contrast the doxology of Jude, which offers a strong 
resemblance to later forms, and is followed by the " Amen," which 
is not genuine here. 





De uir. ill. iv., " Judas frater Jacobi paruam quae de septem 
catholicis est epistolam reliquit. Et quia de libro Enoch, qui 
apocryphus est, in ea assumit testimonia a plerisque reiicitur : 
tamen auctoritatem uetustate iam et usu meruit et inter sanctas 



H. E. ii. 23. 25, 'lo-Teov 8e on voOeverat fiev (he is speaking of 
the Epistle of James), ov ttoXXoI yovv twv TraXaiCjv avTr}<i ifjLVTjfjiovevo-av, 
(1)5 ovSk T^<s Xcyo/x-cvT^s 'lovSa, /xias kol avrrjs ovo-qs rdv ctttci keyofxivtov 
KaOoXiKiov, o/xws 8' to-fxcv Kol ravras /actoL rdv Xoiircav iv TrAcwrrats 
SeSrjfxoo-iiVfieva^ €KKXr)o-Lat<5. 

Here Eusebius gives it as his own opinion that Jude was vo^os, 
on the ground that few of the ancients mentioned it, that is to say, 
quoted it by name. But he admits that some of the ancients had 
done so, and that it was regarded as genuine by very many Churches. 

H. E. iii. 25. 3. Here Eusebius ranks Jude in the number of 
Tojv avTiXeyofxivwv yvwpLfxuiv 8' ovv o/iws rots ttoAA-ois, and expressly 
distinguishes writings of this class from the v66a. 

H. E. vi. 13. 6, 14. I. Clement quoted Jude and commented 
upon it in the Hypotyposes. 

Didymus of Alexandria, 

Died, 394 or 399. 

Comments on Jude, and defends it against those who questioned 
the authority of the Epistle on the ground of the use therein made 
of apocryphal books. Migne, xxxix. 1811-1818; Zahn, Forschungen^ 
iii. 97. 


Synod of Antioch, 

264, or perhaps the second synod held a few years later. 

Eus. H. E. vii. 30. 4. The bishops speak of Paul of Samosata 
as rov Kttt Tov ®€ov rov kavjov dpvovfiivovy kol rrjv TrLomv, ^v /cat avros 
irpoTcpov ct^c, fir] cfivXdiavTo<s. Some MSS. insert /cat Kvptov before 
apvovfjbivov : and if this reading could be guaranteed (it is rejected 
by Heinichen), we might find here a reference to Jude 4 where 
K L P have tov fiovov Sco-ttott/i/ ®ebv koX Kvptov rjfxiiiv 'IiycroOi/ XpLcrrov 
dpvovfjL€vou But this reading again is doubtful. 


In Matth. tom. xvli. 30 (Lomm. iv. 149), after the words ei Se Kai 
ry]v 'lovSa Trpocrotrd rts hTi(TTokr\v, proceeds to quote Jude 6. 

Ibid. X. 17 (Lomm. iii. 46), Kat 'lovSas eypaxj/ev iina-ToXrjVy oAiyo- 
(TTi)(ov /xeV, TreTrXrjpoijxivTjv Bk rdv Trj<s ovpaviov ^dpiTO<s eppco/xeVwi' 
Xoyuiv, ocTTis iv rw irpooL/xLio etprjKev 'louSas 'Irjcrov X.pi(rTov Bov\o<;, 
dS£Xcfib<5 Be 'laK(i)(3ov. 

AgSi'm in Ma^fk. tom. xv. 27 (Lomm. iii. 386); in Joan. tom. 
xiii. 37 (Lomm. ii. 70), he quotes Jude 6 without naming the Epistle. 

In the Latin version of Origen, Jude 6 is quoted in ad Rom. iii. 6 
(Lomm. vi. 192), v. i (Lomm, vi. 338, "quod apostolus ludas in sua 
epistola dicit"); in Ezech. Hom. iv. i (Lomm. xiv. 58), and Jude 8 
and 9 in Epist. ad Alex. (Lomm. xvii. 7, 8) ; de princ. iii. 2. i 
(Lomm. xxi. 303, " de quo in adscensione Mosis, cuius libelli 
meminit in epistola sua apostolus Judas "). 

Origen treats Jude much as he treats 2 Peter. He acknow- 
ledges that there were doubts, but does not appear to have felt 
them himself. He was attracted to the Epistle by that very 
feature which repelled others, its angelology. The title apostle is 
given to Jude only in the Latin version of Origen. 

Clement of Alexandria. 

Commented on Jude in his Hypotyposes. The substance of his 
commentary is still extant in the Latin Adu?nbrationes^ which may 
be found in the edition of Dindorf or in Zahn's Forschungen. Dr. 
Westcott with justice regards the latter part of this Adumbration, 
from immaculatos autem, as an interpolation due to Cassiodorus, and 
in the former part the words " sic etiam peccato Adae subiacemus 
secundum peccati similitudinem '' can hardly be genuine, but the 
rest is not open to suspicion. 

In Faed. iii. 8. 44, Clement quotes Jude 5, 6 by name : in the 
next section, 45, Jude 1 1 is quoted, not by name. 

In Strom, iii. 2. 11 he quotes by name Jude 8-16, giving, as he 
often does, the first and last words of the section. 



De cultu fern. i. 3, "Enoch apud Judam apostolum testimonium 
possidet." " His words seem to imply that the Epistle was known 
to his readers, and therefore current in a Latin translation." " It 
should be added that it has no place among the books contained 
in the Latin antiqua translatio referred to by Cassiodorus, de inst. 
diu. lift xiv." (Dr. Chase, article on Jude in Hastings' Dictionary 
of the Bible). The Epistle is omitted in the Canon MommsenianuSy 
an African catalogue of about 350 a.d. ; see Introduction to 
I Peter above, p. 14, but is included in the list of canonical 
Scriptures set forth by the third Council of Carthage in 397 ; see 
Westcott, Canon^ p. 542. 

The Muratorianum. 

Accepts Jude, but mentions it in a manner which implies that 
it was doubted by some; see Introduction to i Peter above, p. 14. 

Theophilus of Antioch. 

Died, 183-185.^ 

ii. 15 ad fin. y ot 8' av /AerajSatVovrcs koX <f>€vyovT€s tottov Ik tottov, 
01 KOL irXdvTjTeg KaXov/xevoL, Kal avTol tvtto's Tvyxo-vovariv tojv a.(jn<rTaijxevtov 
avOpo)ir(j}v airo tov ©cov. Only in Jude (not in Enoch) are the 
planets a type of fallen man. 

About 177 A.D. 

Suppl. xxiv. (Otto, pp. 129, 130). The good angels ly.€ivav l<^ 
ots avTovs €TroLr)(T€v Kol SUra^ev 6 ©eos, but Others Ttov rrepl to irpuiTov 
o-Tcpe'co/xa (these are the planets whose place is the first heaven 
below the d7rAaj/^s a-cjiaipa) fell through lust. They are the angels 
toil/ So^ai ov fxLKpaty XXV. (Otto, p. 1 36). Here there is a clear refer- 
ence to Jude. 


Phil, address. "EXcos v^jIv koX elpi^vr] TrXyjOvvOeir}, cf. Jude 2. 

Phil. iii. 2, olKoBofielaOaL cts t^v So^cio-at/ vfjuv TrtcrTtv, cf. Jude 
3, 20 ; only here do we find the figure of building on or into the 

Phil. X., " mansuetudinem Domini alterutri praestolantes." The 
Greek text may have been to IAcos tov Kvpiov dXX-jXoL^ Trpoa-Se^ofjievoL, 
thus we should get the right word for praestolantes, cf. Jude 2 1 ; see, 
however, the notes of Lightfoot and Zahn. 

Phil. xi. 4, " sed sicut passibilia membra et errantia eos reuocate, 


ut omnium uestrum corpus saluetis. Hoc enim agentes uos ipsos 
aedificatis." The same two thoughts are found in juxtaposition in 
Jude 20, 23. 

Martyrium Polycarpu 

xxi., in doxology, So^a, TiyJi^ fxiyaXwa-vvrjj ci. Jude 25. 

Second Epistle of Clement. 
xvi. 2, fieTaXrjij/o/xeOa tov iXiovi ^Irja-ov^ cf. Jude 21. 

Sim. V. 7. 2, fitaLveLV rrjv o-ap/ca, cf. Jude 8. 

Clement of Rome. 

XX. 12, (J) 17 So^a KoX y] fiiyaXoiorvvy], 

Ixv. 2, 8o^a, TL^rj, Kparos, fieyaXoicrvvyj. 

Both these phrases occur in doxologies and may be liturgical. 
Sir. xviii. 5 has /cparo? fX€yaX(D(TVV7j<s avrov tl<s e^a/Ji^/xi^o-erai, but it 
is still possible that the form is suggested by Jude 25. 


ii. 10, i-KpifSev^a-Qai ovv 0(^eA.O)u,ev, dScX^ot' irepi rxj^ o-a)T7;pta5 ^/awv, 
iva /A'^ 6 TTOvrjpo^ irapuahvcnv TrAan^s TTOiT^cras ev i^/xiv iKarcfiCvSov^crn 
rjfjLa<s OLTTO T7J<s ^(nrjs rjfiuyVj cf. Jude 3, 4. IlapetorSucns does not OCCur 
in the Greek Bible ; vapuaBwoi is found only in Jude. It is just 
possible that Barnabas was thinking of Jude. 

There can be little doubt that Athenagoras knew Jude, and the 
references to Polycarp will bear some weight Above that time it 
must be allowed that the evidence is scanty and shadowy. There 
is less to produce than in the case of 2 Peter, but Jude is less 
interesting and much shorter. The testimony of Athenagoras is 
sufficient to carry back the date of Jude as high as the early years 
of the second century ; if we accept the witness of Polycarp we 
must proceed still further, and there is nothing to prevent us from 
ascribing the Epistle even to the first century. 

The most serious points in the case against Jude are the omis- 
sion of the Epistle by the editors of the Peshito, and the fact that 
its authenticity was doubted in the time of Origen. It is possible 
that the omission and the doubt are connected, and that both may 
be accounted for by the same reason, namely, the use made in the 
Epistle of apocryphal writings. Certainly this was one reason for 
its rejection, as we learn from Jerome and Didymus, and it may 


very well have been the only one. We may consider this point in 
some little detail. 

It has been maintained by Hofmann, Weisse, Volkmar, and 
others that Enoch did not exist, at any rate in its complete form, 
before the beginning of the second century a.d., and this contention 
has formed one of the main grounds for ascribing a still later date to 
the Epistle of Jude. Mr. Charles, however, in his admirable edition, 
explains and justifies the conclusion that of the six elements which may 
be distinguished in Enochs not one is later than the Christian era. 

Enoch was used by the author of the Assumption of Moses, 
writing about the time of the Christian era, in the Book of Jubilees 
(before 70 a.d.), in the Apocalypse of Baruch (not long after 70 a.d.), 
in 4 Ezra (between 81 and 96 a.d.), and in the Testaments of the 
Twelve Patriarchs. It was known also to many of the writers of 
the New Testament. Mr. Charles gives a list of passages which 
attest this fact. They abound in the Apocalypse, but they are to be 
discovered also in the Pauline Epistles, i and 2 Peter, Hebrews, 
Acts, and even the Gospels. 

Barnabas cites Enoch three times, twice as scripture ; and the 
book was used also by Justin Martyr, Athenagoras, Tertullian, and 
Clement. Irenaeus also knew Enoch, but it is to be noticed that 
on the crucial point he refuses to follow its teaching. The reason 
why the angels sinned, he tells us, must be left to God (ii. 28. 7). 
They sinned before they fell to earth (iv. 16. 2) ; hence lust was the 
consequence and punishment, not the cause of their fall. Origen 
doubted the inspiration of the book, but does not absolutely reject 
it; he was attracted towards it by its promise of mysteries, but 
he believed that the angels fell through pride. Somewhat later 
Anatolius of Laodicea (bishop in 269 ; Eus. H. E. vii. 32. 19) refers 
to Enoch for an astronomical point. From this time the book fell 
into disrepute. Chrysostom treated the account therein given of 
the fall of the angels as blasphemy {Horn, in Gen. vi. i). Jerome 
called Enoch apocryphal. Augustine pronounced strongly against it 
on the ground of its angelology (de Ciu. dei, xv. 23. 4), and Photius 
blames Clement of Alexandria in very severe terms for adopting its 
account of the angelic sin (Cod. cix.). 

In short, at the time when Barnabas wrote, Enoch was held 
to be an inspired book ; it retained this reputation more or less 
throughout the second century, and from that date onwards was 
more or less emphatically condemned. And the ground of con- 
demnation was its attribution of carnal lust to heavenly beings. 

More than one inference may be drawn from these facts. It is 
certain that the authors of 2 Peter and of Jude would hold much 
the same opinion of Enoch ; both would regard the book with high 
respect. Hence it is impossible to fix the relative dates of the two 
Epistles by that Apokrypkenscheu, or comparative reserve in the use 


of Apocrypha, which some German scholars detect in 2 Peter 
Indeed, if it could be admitted that the later of the two was likely 
to be more discreet in his use of E7ioch^ the fact would tell in 
favour of the priority of 2 Peter, who may be thought to adopt the 
objectionable interpretation of Gen. vi., while Jude rather avoids it 
(see notes on the respective passages). 

Again, the offence of Jude was not so much that he made use of 
Enochs as that he actually quoted the book by name. Some, like 
Tertullian, would regard this fact as canonising Enoch ; others, 
again, would regard it as condemning Jude. There must have been 
many men of authority even in the second century who took the 
latter view. For the Enochian account of the fall of the angels was 
not only repulsive to devout minds, but lent itself with great facility 
to more than one of the Gnostic systems. 

Here we may find a very probable reason for the rejection of 
Jude by the editors of the Peshito. It is precisely in Syria, where 
the extravagances of Jewish angelology were most familiar, that we 
should expect to find the strongest reaction against them. (On the 
subject of Enoch see especially Mr. Charles' edition, and Schiirer, 
History of the Jewish People in the Time of Christy Eng. trans., 
references in Index). 

Jude's use of the Assumption of Moses also gave great offence, 
as we see from Didymus, not because of the source of what he says 
about the archangel, but because of its nature. 

Finally, it may be said that the use of Jewish apocalypses forms 
a bond of relationship between i and 2 Peter and Jude. All three 
employ them in much the same way, a way that is different from 
that in which they are employed in other books of the New Testa- 
ment, in order to give concrete details of our Lord's ministrations in 
the world of spirits, or of the history of the angels. If we compare 
their utterances with what we know from other sources of Jewish 
speculations on topics of this nature, we shall see that all three 
exercise great reserve. Jude goes slightly further than the other 
two, but there is no considerable difference. This feature may be 
taken as an indication that all three documents belong to nearly 
the same date, that the authors of all three were Jews who still bore 
legible traits of their Jewish education, yet at the same time ex- 
hibited that delicacy of spiritual perception which distinguishes the 
Church from the sectarians. 


The words peculiar to Jude are dTroStopt^etj/, a7rra«rros\ yoyyvo-- 
TT/s^, Seiy/ta, e^eAey_)(eii/ {v.l. in ver. 15)^ iTraytovL^ecrOai, e7ra^pit,uVy 
^cfxxj/Lfioipo^, TrapeiaBveiv, rrAavyny?, <, KJiBLVoirwpivo^, (fyva-LKto^, 


The words marked (^) are found in one or other of the Greek 
versions of the Old Testament. "AirTaurros occurs only once in 
the LXX., 3 Mace. vi. 39. Toyyvan^^, in Sym. Pro v. xxvi. 22; 
Isa. xxix. 24 ; Theod. Prov. xxvi. 20, but not in the LXX., though 
yoyyvt^etv, yoyyvafxos, y6yyv(Ti<s are there found. IIAavTyTTys is found 
Hos. ix. 17 in the sense of "wanderers," but is not used in the 
Greek Bible of " wandering stars." 

The use of the Old Testament in Jude is very similar to that in 
2 Peter. Biblical words are used, and the facts of the ancient 
history are known, but there is no direct quotation. Dr. Chase 
goes too far when he says that the writer is steeped in the language 
of the LXX. Of the phrases which he cites, ifXTraiKr-qs is borrowed 
from 2 Peter, Oavfxd^CLv irpoo-wn-a and XaXelv virepoyKa are probably 
taken from the Assumption of MoseSy and iwirvLa^ecrdai is used 
without the accusative ivvrrvLov. 

Many of Jude's phrases have a poetic ring about them, cVac^pi- 
^eiv, o-TTtAa?, cfiOLVOTrwpLvos, Kv/jLara aypta, TrpoKelcrOai Sety/xa, BUrjv 
vTrix'^iv. In this also he bears resemblance to 2 Peter. 

He is, however, more correct. Thus he has otttouS^v TroLcta-Oat, 
ver. 3, for the vulgar (nrovBrjv Trapeio-^epeii/, 2 Pet. i. 5. The intro- 
ductory vers. 3, 4 are well written; this is true also of vers. 11 
and 13, and of the concluding passage vers. 20-25, which is finely 
expressed. He corrects and simplifies 2 Peter in vers. 10 and 17, 
drops his awkward Hebraisms in vers. 10 and 18, and does not 
needlessly repeat words ; the only striking instances of repetition 
are those of Kara ras iTnOv/xLas avrmv Tropevofievoi, vers. 16, 18, and 
of cto-e^T;?, vers. 15, 18. Ver. 11 is sufficient to show how greatly 
superior he is to 2 Peter in command of language. 

The ippoifiivoL Xoyot which Origen admired are to be looked for 
mainly in the denunciatory passage, where the style is affected by 
the model of 2 Peter. But Jude's own writing is strong, dignified, 
and sonorous. 

The style and tone of the Epistle set before us a stem and 
unbending nature. There is no pathos in Jude, and he inclines 
always to a harsh view. See Introduction to 2 Peter, p. 221 sq. 
There is severity approaching to rigour in vers. 3, 22, 23. In this 
point 2 Peter bears a close resemblance to i Peter, but is very 
different from Jude. 

Lastly, attention must again be drawn to the use of Pauline 
phraseology. In Jude's vocabulary ayios means "a Christian," and, 
whether accidentally or not, the word does not carry this significance 
in either i or 2 Peter. KXt^tos belongs to the same family, and the 
phrase used in ver. 19, if/vxi-Kot, irvevfia fxrj €xovTe<s, is strongly Pauline. 
Peter could hardly have used irvevp-a tx^iv in this sense, of men who 
are guided by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and i}/vxlk6?, carnal, 
is wholly incompatible with the Petrine use of ifrvx^. Jude does not 


employ the other crucial words St'/catos or SiKatotruvr;, and we are 
therefore unable to say what signification he attached to them. 
But if Sts dirodavovra, ver. 12, means " dead first in trespasses and sins, 
and afterwards in apostasy," we have here another Pauline thought. 
We must suppose either that a Petrine Epistle was recast by a 
friend of St. Paul's, or that a Pauline Epistle was adapted by a 
disciple of St. Peter's. The former seems much the easier of the 
two alternatives. 


Till recently it was held by many scholars that the Book of 
Enoch did not exist before the time of Barcochba. This opinion 
has now been generally abandoned, and with it disappears one 
strong argument for the late date of the Epistle. 

Pfleiderer and others maintained that the false teachers de- 
nounced in Jude were the Carpocratians. If this were true, we 
should be obliged to place the Epistle somewhere about the middle 
of the second century. But it is not really a tenable view. 

As to the date of Carpocratianism we only know that the sect 
was in existence before the time of Hegesippus (Eus. If. E. iv. 22. 5) 
and of Irenaeus (i. 25, ii. 31-34). Carpocrates is said to have in- 
sisted on the unity of God, but to have taught that the world was 
made by evil angels. According to this statement of Irenaeus he 
was therefore a dualist, like all the Gnostics. It is possible, how- 
ever, that Irenaeus did not rightly apprehend the precise form of 
his teaching on this point. At any rate the doctrine of his son, 
Epiphanes, was quite different. Epiphanes based his moral system 
on the state of nature, which is divine, yet neither chaste nor 
honest " God," he said, " made the vines in common for all men ; 
they reject neither the sparrow nor the thief." The same rule 
applies to difference of sex. In all things the divine justice is 
Koivcoviia /X6T io-ot7;tos. Human law violates this natural equality of 
right, makes the thief, and makes the adulterer. Nature is divine, 
but law is devilish. In the fragments from the work of Epiphanes 
on Justice^ preserved by Clement of Alexandria {Strom, iii. 2), we 
are not told expressly who was supposed to be the author of law, 
but it was probably the adversary, the Devil. Our Lord taught us 
that we are to "free ourselves from the adversary" (Luke xii. 58). 
This is to be done by breaking all his rules, and completing the 
cycle of experience which he forbids. Those who have not attained 
in this way to perfect emancipation must return again to life in 
other bodies till they have found freedom (Iren. i. 25. 4). 

It is not difficult to reconcile Epiphanes and Carpocrates, and it 
may probably be true that the Carpocratian dualism opposed not 


God and Nature, but Nature and Law. But Irenaeus tells us that 
according to Carpocrates the world itself was created by evil beings ; 
and, though this may be a misconception, it is the view current 
among the Christian writers against Gnosticism, and would be that 
of Jude himself, if he lived at the time when this heresy was at 

Some of the Gnostics did not desire to separate wholly from the 
Church, but this can hardly have been the case with the Carpo- 

Whatever view we take of this extravagant sect, it is impossible 
to suppose that Jude had actually seen or heard of them. Carpo- 
cratianism was built on Stoicism (C^v Kara <f>v(nv) and on the 
Republic of Plato, but Jude says not one word about philosophy. 
The sect practised magic to show that they were masters over the 
evil spirits, believed in the transmigration of souls, possessed 
pictures or statues of Christ and the philosophers, which they 
crowned, or, in other words, worshipped, with equal honour. Some 
of them marked themselves with a brand on the right ear. They 
have nothing whatever in common with the men denounced by 
Jude except Antinomianism, and to find this error at work we 
have no need to look beyond the apostolic times. 

Jiilicher, however, is still unwilling to admit this. The oppo- 
nents denounced by Jude, he says {Einleitung^ i. 180), "are not 
simply vicious and characterless Christians, who had perhaps fallen 
away in the persecution (Jude 4, 16), or even Jewish revolutionaries, 
but Antinomian Gnostics." They are Gnostics because they call the 
catholics " psychic " (ver. 19), regard the God of the Old Testament 
and His angels either as evil or as far inferior to the true God 
(vers. 8, 10), treat the violation of the Decalogue as a duty, and even 
practise unnatural vices (vers. 8, 23). Hence we must regard them 
as Carpocratians, or as Archontics, or as "a school of Gnostics 
which afterwards disappeared." 

Every word of this reasoning is disputable in the highest degree. 
But there is a sense in which we may accept the last of Jiilicher's 
alternative conclusions. These people may be called Gnostics, at 
the cost of a slight anachronism, in so far as they set reason (or the 
inner light) against Scripture, and " they afterwards disappeared " in 
this sense, that these early Antinomian movements, which had in 
themselves no principle except a gross misconception of Pauline 
freedom, were finally lost in the developed Gnosticism of the second 

Jiilicher maintains, further, that the author of Jude is shown to be 
a man of late date by his stiff orthodoxy (vers. 3, 20), by his allusion to 
the time of the apostles as quite past (ver. 17), by his quotation of a 
Christian saying as written long ago (ver. 4), by his use of apocrypha, 
which is not in the apostolic manner. The general conclusion at 


which he arrives is that Jude must have been written before i8c 
(on the ground of the external attestation), that we cannot fix the 
exact date between loo and i8o, but that it must have been rather 
early than late between these two limits, because the author evi- 
dently regards this outbreak of Gnostic godlessness as a new thing. 
Here again every point is highly disputable. Jude's use of 
apocrypha is certainly not later than that of Barnabas, and one of 
the reasons for which Harnack and others place 2 Peter after Jude 
is that the latter employs apocrypha more courageously, that is to 
say, more in the primitive manner, than the former. Again, ver. 17 
need not be understood to imply that the apostolic age was quite 
past. Jude tells us that he himself was not an apostle ; and this 
counts in his favour, for Tertullian gives him the title, and a second 
century forger would probably have done the same. The writer of 
this Epistle knew that the brother of James was not one of the 
Twelve. For the rest he bids his disciples " remember the words 
spoken before by the apostles " (ver. 17). In 2 Peter the apostles 
appear as still active. From the words of Jude we may infer one 
of two things, either that they (or some of them) were dead, or that 
they were dispersed in such a way that their voice could not at the 
time be heard by those to whom the Epistle was directed. The 
latter supposition, as Dr. Chase thinks, will quite satisfy the require- 
ments of the expression. Indeed it is hard to believe that a writer, 
who claimed to be the brother of James, yet was clever enough not 
to pretend to be an apostle, would betray himself by any very gross 
anachronism. Again, there is no reason for thinking that the words 

01 irdXai irpoyeypafx/xlvoi^ in ver. 4, refer to a Christian document ; if 
there were, there would be strong grounds for holding, with Spitta 
and Zahn, that 2 Peter is the document in question. This Jiilicher 
would not allow, and his Christian document is a mere fiction of 
the imagination. As to Jude's orthodoxy, the same objective con- 
ception of " the faith " is found elsewhere in the New Testament, 
even in the Pauline Epistles (Gal. i. 23, vi. 10; Rom. x. 8); and, 
though Jude's language is stern, his belief in the exclusiveness of 
the Christian creed is readily illustrated (Acts iv. 12; John iii. 1 8 ; 
Matt. iii. 12 ; Apoc xxi. 8; Rom. x. 9 ; i Cor. xvi. 22 ; Eph. ii. 3 ; 
Heb. X. 29). 

Dr. Zahn {Einleitung^ ii. 83) infers from ver. 5 that Jerusalem 
had been destroyed at the time when Jude wrote ; but this meaning 
can hardly be extracted from the passage. There is no allusion to 
persecution ; at the time when the Epistle was written it is probable 
that none had occurred. Very little can be gathered as to the 
organisation of the Church. The writer clearly regards himself as 
responsible for the oversight of a group of communities ; and as in 

2 Peter, the So^at are probably the presbyters who have KvptorT/?: 
the same officials seem to be alluded to in the phrase TroiyaatVorrcs 


eavTotk. This is the same state of things that we find in the Petrine 
Epistles, and it may be said with great confidence that, if Jude had 
been writing in the midst of the Gnostic controversy, he would 
certainly have said more about the position of the clergy. The 
adversaries whom he denounces are the same who appear in 
2 Peter, and enough has been said about them in the Introduction 
to that Epistle. 

Some help towards fixing the date would be gained, if we could 
settle the precise relationship of Jude to our Lord. Clement of 
Alexandria, following the very ancient tradition embodied in the 
Protevangelium of James, regarded him as the son of Joseph by a 
previous marriage {Adumb. in Ep. Judae ad initium). If we accept 
this view Jude was older than Christ, though possibly not by many 
years, as he is named last or last but one of the brethren. And 
this view is commended not only by the peculiar form of Jude's 
address, — he seems to shrink from calling himself the Lord's brother, 
— but by the fact that the brethren on more than one occasion 
appear to have claimed a certain right to interfere with our Lord's 
freedom of action (Matt. xii. 46 ; John vii. 3 ; indeed all the 
passages where the Lord's brethren are mentioned in the Gospels 
are most readily understood in the same way). But if this is so, 
and if Jude was born some six or seven years at least before the 
Christian era, we could not safely date the Epistle after 65 a.d. or 
thereabouts. Those who, while accepting the Epistle as authentic, 
would yet place it about 80 or 90 a.d., must face this as well as 
other difficulties. 

Dismissing the theory that the Epistle is the work of a forger, 
we find the posterior limit of time in the probable duration of 
Jude's active powers. The anterior limit is given by 2 Peter. But 
there still remains a question as to the interval of time that may be 
supposed to have elapsed between the two Epistles. 

It is not at all likely that this interval was considerable. In the 
first place, the circumstances which called forth the two Epistles 
are in all substantial features identical. But Antinomianism, or 
anarchism, is perpetually changing its shape. Even in its em- 
bryonic stage it is never the same for two moments together. We 
need only turn to the life of Luther, and read again the well-known 
history of his dealings with Carlstadt and Miinzer for an illustration. 
Before very long this void and formless anarchy takes shape, 
enunciates definite propositions, forms a school or conventicle. 
But neither St. Peter nor St. Jude mentions any distinct persons, or 
facts, or doctrines. They do not give so many details about the 
errors which they denounce as Colossians, or the Pastoral Epistles, 
or the Apocalypse. It is quite certam that they would have done 
so, if it had been in their power. If they are vague, it is for the 
obvious reason that they are obliged to be vague. They deal with 


this new heresy just as i Peter deals with persecution. There is 
as yet nothing very definite to lay hold of; the peril is inchoate, 
and their warning is like an alarm in the night ; it is only known 
that there is an enemy. In five or ten years' time this state of 
things must have undergone a material change. Again, it is 
exceedingly difficult to believe that these moral disorders endured 
after the outbreak of the Neronian persecution : 

"Hi motus animorum atque haec certamina tanta 
Sangtdnis exigui iactu compressa quiescunt." 

Nor, again, is it easy to understand how St. Jude came to make so 
free and yet unacknowledged a use of 2 Peter after a lapse of time. 
Can we think that the previous Epistle had been forgotten, that by 
some miracle precisely the same state of things had recurred, that 
Jude happened to possess a copy of 2 Peter, and adapted it to his 
purpose without saying what he had done ? This is not a plausible 

The same difficulty recurs whichever Epistle we put first, and 
it is greatly aggravated if we regard both as forgeries. Between 
such forgeries we could hardly allow a smaller interval than thirty 
years. But if we are to date Jude about 125-130 and 2 Peter 
about 155-160, how did the latter succeed in imposing upon the 
learned Clement ? 

By far the easiest and most probable explanation of the facts 
is that which has already been propounded, that the errors denounced 
in both Epistles took their origin from Corinth, that the disorder 
was spreading, that St. Peter took alarm and wrote his Second 
Epistle, sending a copy to St. Jude with a warning of the urgency 
of the danger, and that St. Jude at once issued a similar letter 
to the Churches in which he was personally interested. In fact, 
both Epistles may be samples of a circular that was addressed to 
many groups of Churches at the same time. In this way we get 
a perfectly natural explanation of Jude 3, a most significant verse. 
The writer had evidently received a sudden alarm, which had 
obliged him to write one thing when he was purposing to write 
quite another. The avdyio] arose from the arrival of 2 Peter. 

Thus also we find an intelligible explanation of the resemblance 
and of the difference between the two Epistles. In the second 
century a number of bishops sent round a circular against Mon- 
tanism (Eus. ZT. £. v. 19), signed with their names. So the 
apostles in the early years of the Church sent round a circular 
in the matter of the circumcision dispute. Why should not the 
Corinthian disorders have called forth a similar manifesto ? There 
may have been an apostolic meeting on the subject, or, if for any 
reason a meeting was not possible, a model epistle might be cir- 
culated, which each apostle or apostolic man would be at liberty 


to modify, within reasonable limits, according to his personal 
inclination. This is certainly what would be done now, and 
common sense would dictate a very similar course at all times. 

Thus we may conclude that Jude is practically contempor- 
aneous with 2 Peter. Nor can the difference of tense between 
the irapeLO-iSvcrav of the one and the ecrovrat j/^evSoSiSao-KaAoi of 
the other be taken as a serious objection to this view. It is the 
nature of Jude to put things more forcibly. But the two Epistles 
were addressed to different Churches, and the danger which was 
imminent in one place may have been present in another. 


In the Address the author styles himself "Jude, the slave of 
Jesus Christ, but brother of James." "Slave of Jesus Christ" 
means "faithful Christian," or "labourer in the Lord's vineyard" 
(see note) ; the second qualification marks him out as brother of 
that James who appears in Acts xv. xxi. as president of the Church 
at Jerusalem, who is called ^'the Lord's brother" by St. Paul, Gal. 
i. 19, and is commonly regarded as the author of the Epistle of 

We may identify him with that Jude or Judas of whom we read 
in the Gospels as one of the Lord's Brethren. The list, as given 
by Matt xiii. 55, is James, and Joseph {vJ. Joses), and Simon, 
and Judas ; as given by Mark vi. 3, James, and Joses, and Judas, 
and Simon. Both evangelists tell us that there were also sisters, 
and place Judas last, or last but one ; and as the order which they 
follow is not an order of honour, for Joseph or Joses is unknown, 
we may probably infer that Jude was third or fourth of the sons in 
respect of age. What was the position of the daughters in the 
family sequence we cannot ascertain. 

Jude is first expressly called " brother of the Lord " by Hege- 
sippus, and it is probable that neither he nor James used this title 
themselves. But it was freely given to them by the Church, as we 
see from i Cor. ix. 5. From this passage we gather also two 
important facts, that the brethren were well known in Corinth, a 
Gentile city, and that more than one of them were married. 
Hegesippus tells us that two grandsons of Jude were brought 
before Domitian, the authorities having taken alarm at their claim 
of descent from David, and of relationship to Christ; but that 
when they had showed their horny hands, described the little 
farm which they held in common, and explained that the kingdom 
which they looked for was not of this world, they were scornfully 
dismissed (Eus. If. E. iii. 20). Hegesippus further related that 


both these descendants of Jude lived on into the reign of Trajan, 
and seems clearly to imply that they were old men when they died 
(Eus, H. E. iii. 32. 5). Beyond this we have no knowledge of Jude, 
except what we can gather from the Epistle itself. 

It is perhaps possible to draw an important inference from this 
narrative. If these grandsons of Jude were middle-aged men in 
the time of Domitian, and old men in the time of Trajan, when 
was Jude himself born? Suppose that the grandson died in 
105 A.D., about the middle of Trajan's reign, at the age of 70. He 
would have been born in 35 a.d. ; his father could hardly have 
been born after 13 a.d., or his grandfather after 9 B.C. On the other 
hand, if we suppose Jude to have been one of the younger children 
of Joseph and Mary, he can hardly have been born before i a.d. ; 
his son hardly before 24 a.d., or his grandson before 47 a.d. In 
this case the elder grandson would only have been 70 in the year 
of Trajan's death, and there would have been nothing surprising, 
if he or his younger brother had lived on well into the reign of 
Hadrian. If, then, we may regard the narrative of Hegesippus as 
based on fact, the natural conclusion seems to be that Jude was older 
than our Lord, — in other words, that he was the son of Joseph by 
an earlier marriage. Further, Hegesippus clearly believed that 
Jude himself was no longer alive in the reign of Domitian, who 
assumed the purple in 81 a.d. When Jude died we do not know, 
but, if he was born nine or ten years before the Christian era, we 
can hardly suppose that he retained the full enjoyment of his 
faculties much after 65 a.d. For further information on the com- 
plicated problems involved in the term "Brethren of the Lord," 
the reader must be referred to Bishop Lightfoot's well-known 
Excursus, or to the article m Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 

It is probable, as has been already said, that Jude did not call 
himself " Brother of the Lord." But, then, why does he call himself 
" Brother of James " ? James was the special patron of the Jewish 
Christians. Now, the Epistle of Jude is not Jewish in any special 
sense, either in language or in thought, nor is there any reason for 
imagining that the Churches to which it was addressed were com- 
posed, to any marked extent, of Jewish converts. The writer, 
therefore, can hardly have intended to conciliate his readers by 
putting himself, as it v/ere, under the wing of his great brother. 
Those to whom the letter was sent must have known perfectly well 
who he was, and what was his authority. The true explanation 
is probably that suggested long ago by Clement of Alexandria. 
Though Jude was not in the habit of calling himself "Brother 
of the Lord," he knew that others were, and he deprecates this 
usage. " I am Jude," he says, in effect, " whom you call brother 
of Christ. Call me slave of Christ, but brother of James." 
" Brother of the Lord " was not an official designation, and, if 


used by Jude himself, might seem to imply a claim to an authority 
above that of an apostle. There is no affectation of humility in 
its avoidance. 

Most of the commentators, whether they regard the Epistle as 
genuine or not, would accept the foregoing explanation of the 
Address. There have, however, been other opinions. 

Keil and others thought that the writer might be Jude the 
Apostle. 'Iov8a<; *IaKa)(3ov, Luke vi. 16; Acts i. 13, may possibly 
mean "Judas the brother of James" (Blass, p. 95); and it is 
conceivable that if "James, the son of Alphaeus," was the same 
person as "James, the Lord's brother," his younger and less 
distinguished brother might be known as " James' Jude." But this 
identification is extremely doubtful ; and if in St. Luke's list of the 
apostles we must translate 'la/cw^oj/ 'AX<patov, "James, son of 
Alphaeus," it is almost or quite certain that 'lovSas 'la/cwjSov must 
mean "Jude, son of James." Further, it cannot be shown that 
any of the Lord's brethren, even James, was reckoned among the 
Twelve. Again, the author of our Epistle does not call himself an 
apostle in the Address, and appears clearly to imply in ver. 1 7 that 
he was not one. Tertullian, indeed, calls him so (see above, p. 307), 
and he is so called also in the Latin translation of Origen's works, 
but not in Origen's Greek text, and not by Clement. 

Grotius conjectured that 2 Peter was written by Symeon the 
second, and Jude by that Judas who, according to Eusebius, was 
fifteenth and last of the Jewish fine of bishops of Jerusalem. 
Before anyone can adopt this view he must persuade himself 
either that the words d8€A<^os Se 'IaKw/3ou are an interpolation, or 
that they form a standing title borne by all the successors of James 
in his episcopal chair ; and no reason can be given in support of 
either alternative. It may be noticed, however, in passing, that this 
Judas, the fifteenth bishop of Jerusalem, is probably a real person- 
age. It is true that the list of bishops given by Eusebius (ZT. E. 
iv. 5. 3) seems to have been unknown to Hegesippus, who says that 
Symeon, son of Clopas, the second bishop, lived to a great age, 
and suffered martyrdom in the reign of Trajan (Eus. H. E. iii. 1 1, 
32. i). But in the Codex Marcianus there is a note which professes 
to be derived from the fifth book of the Hypotyposes of Clement, 
and gives the places of sepulture of certain apostles and apostolic 
men (the text will be found in Zahn, Forschungen, iii. 70). Here 
we read " Simon Cleophas, qui et Judas, post Jacobum episcopus, 
cxx annorum crucifixus est in Jerusalem Traiano mandante." It 
seems clear that Clement had combined the statement of Hegesippus 
with another that made Judas bishop in Trajan's time. Hence we 
may infer that the ^yypacfia from which Eusebius drew his fist of 
bishops were older than 200 a.d. 

The conjecture of Grotius has been recently revived ^vith some 


modification by Jiilicher (quoted by Hamack, Chronologt'e, p. 467), 
who thought at one time that Judas was probably the real name of 
the author of the Epistle, and that "brother of James" meant 
nothing more than bishop. But in his Einleitung (1901, i. p. 182) 
Jiilicher has abandoned this view, and now thinks it most probable 
"that the author belonged by birth to that circle in which the 
memory of James was held in special honour; that he did not 
venture to foist his well-meant work on James himself, but con- 
tented himself with a member of his family. Perhaps Judas lived 
on after his brother, down to a time at which none of the apostles 
of the Lord survived in Palestine, and therefore could most easily 
be selected out of the men of the first generation as the announcer 
of the appearance of the prophesied abominations." But there is, as 
we have seen, some reason for thinking that Jude did not long 
outlive James. 

Dr. Harnack thinks {Chronologie, p. 468) that the author was 
possibly named Judas, and that the words aSei^os Sc 'la/ccoySov were 
inserted in the Address at some date between 150 and 180 a.d. "in 
order to set this unknown Judas back into the apostolic time, and 
to secure respect for his piece, which, in days when Gnosticism 
flourished, must have appeared especially valuable." He was not 
the Bishop of Jerusalem, "for it is difficult, if not impossible, to 
suppose that such Jewish-Christian bishops gave anything to the 
Church at large." A bishop, though circumcised, may have been 
an eminent man, but the Epistle is certainly not what we should 
expect to have been written by s.n author of pronouncedly Jewish 
tendencies. Harnack's theory, however, would require us to believe 
that the Address was falsified in a rery glaring way within the life- 
time of Clement of Alexandria. 

All these theories rest upon the presupposition that Jude must 
have been written in the second century, because it is directed 
against Gnosticism, and have no value for those who hold the 
opposite belief. The sum of the matter is that, if Jude belongs to 
Gnostic times, we know nothing whatever about the author, except 
that he was not what he calls himself. 

The place of composition is unknown. Egypt or specially 
Alexandria, Palestine or specially Jerusalem, have been suggested. 
There is no reason whatever for selecting Alexandria, beyond the 
fact that the Epistle was known to Clement and Origen, who 
collected books from every quarter. Of any specially Egyptian or 
Alexandrine ideas it exhibits not the faintest trace. The other 
locality seems equally improbable. The death of James occurred 
probably in 62 a.d., and Jude, if he took any active part in the 
affairs of the Church, can hardly have lived in Jerusalem before this 
date. Even after his great brother's martyrdom he was not Bishop 
of Jerusalem, and can scarcely have had a fixed abode in th*^ sacred 


city. Nor should we be inclined to look for him in one of the 
smaller towns of Palestine. The brethren of the Lord were known 
to the Galatians and to the Corinthians. Who can say where they 
were not known, what places they had visited, or where they were 
usually to be found? We need not suppose that they stuck like 
limpets to the rock of Zion. Such little information as we possess 
gives quite a different idea. 

Again, as to the Churches to which the Epistle was directed, we 
are left absolutely to conjecture. The only points which give us 
any kind of hold are the similarity of Jude to 2 Peter, and the 
similarity of the evils denounced to those of the Corinthian Church. 
But what conclusion can be built upon this slender basis ? Corinth 
was a seaport town within a short sail of many places. In a limited 
number of hours an Antinomian missionary would find himself at 
any harbour in the Eastern half of the Mediterranean, at Thessa- 
lonica, or on the Asiatic shore, or at Alexandria. People were 
constantly going to and fro. 

Dr. Chase thinks it probable that the Epistle was sent to the 
Syrian Antioch, and possibly to other Churches in that district. 
The reader will find his argument in Hastings' Bible Dictionary. Dr. 
Chase relies chiefly upon three points : that the Christians addressed 
were mainly Gentiles, that they were men among whom St. Paul 
had worked, and that they had received oral instruction from the 
apostles generally, and, therefore, probably lived at no great distance 
from Jerusalem. We may say that no better conjecture can be 
proposed ; but even this is far from certain. It seems most probable 
that the Churches addressed were mainly Gentile, though this is dis- 
puted ; that they were acquainted with St. Paul's form of teaching is 
most likely, but St. Paul had laboured in many places ; they knew 
the apostles also, but how many of them or in what way is doubtful. 
For it is not necessary to understand lAcyov, in ver. r8, of oral 
instruction alone, and in any case we need not imagine that more 
than one or two of the Twelve had visited the district in question. 
But there is really no clear light. We might be tempted to infer 
from the resemblance between the two Epistles that the Churches 
addressed in 2 Peter and in Jude lay in proximity to one another ; 
but even this is perilous. Jude may have been addressed to almost 
any community in which Greek was spoken. The two Epistles 
must have been written at nearly the same time, but they may have 
been sent in very different directions. 

As to the personal characteristics of Jude something has already 
been said, and what little remains will be found in the notes. 
Compared with 2 Peter he exhibits a certain hastiness and tendency 
to take things at their worst, compared with either i or 2 Peter a 
certain hardness. No document in the New Testament is so 
exquisitely tender and pastoral as the First Epistle of St. Peter, and 


even in the Second EpistlCj in the midst of the anger and indigna- 
tion so naturally excited by the cruel wickedness of the false 
teachers, there are still beautiful phrases, steeped in sympathy and 
fatherly affection. Jude is undoubtedly stern and unbending. On 
the other hand, Jude is in closer intellectual sympathy with St. Paul. 
St. Peter commends the Apostle of the Gentiles in high terms, yet 
with qualifications. St. Jude speaks Pauline language, and inclines 
towards the Pauline mysticism, though to what extent it is impos- 
sible to say. The notable word i/^vxiko? is used also by his brother 
James in the same sense, and, though it belongs to the Pauline 
psychology, in which i{ruxq was sharply distinguished from Trvev/xa or 
vovg, does not necessarily involve the Pauline conceptions of law or 
of justification. St. James was probably as mystical as St. Paul, 
yet he was a strong legalist. Like St. Paul, he held that whoever 
breaks one article of the law breaks the law as a whole (Jas. ii. lo ; 
Gal. iii. lo). This view (it was held also by the Stoics) is highly 
metaphysical or mystical, but it led the two apostles to very different 
conclusions, the one to the necessity of perfect obedience, the other 
to the idea of a righteousness which was not of law at all. It is 
possible that Jude also belonged to the same type of Pharisaic 
mysticism as his brother. But in any case his ideas and language 
differ noticeably from those of St. Peter. 

But here we touch upon a question which is unhappily among 
the obscurest of all the problems that surround the history of the 
early Church. Who can enumerate the countless modes in which 
the relation of law and gospel presented itself to the first believers ? 
Many writers content themselves with the rough and unintelligent 
distinction between Jewish and Gentile Christians, but this rests 
upon the mere accident of birth. The most Gentile of all teachers, 
St. Paul himself, was a Jew, and on either side there are endless 
shades and gradations. On the one extreme there are certain sects 
which we may call exclusively Jewish, or rather Oriental, but a 
Gentile Christian might be anything. Certainly there can be no 
greater error than that of using " Pauline " and " Gentile " as if 
these words were coextensive. 


1. On the general form of Jude's Address see notes on i Pet. i. i ; 
2 Pet. i. I, and Introductions to i and 2 Pet., pp. 79, 219. Jude has, 
in common with 2 Peter, 'Irjaov Xpia-Tov BovXo<Sf a similarly general 
description of those to whom the Epistle is directed, the verb 
TrXrjdvvOeLr), and the word elp-qvr], which, however, is here combined 
with eXeo^ and dyaTny. If we Suppose that 2 Peter is here copying 
Jude, we must also suppose either that he went back to i Peter for 
part of his formula, or that (as Professor Harnack thinks) he forged 
both addresses, but adopted a simpler and more archaic form than 
that of Jude. But the easier inference is that Jude followed Peter ; 
indeed, this is a necessary conclusion, if it is allowed that Jude here 
uses Pauline phrases. 

Five personages of the name of Jude occur in apostolic or 
sub-apostolic times, (i) Judas Iscariot. (2) The Apostle 'lov8a<; 
'laKtajSov, Luke vi. 16; Acts i. 13; John xiv. 22; this "son of 
James" is commonly identified with Lebbaeus or Thaddaeus. (3) 
Judas, the Lord's brother, brother also of James, Matt. xiii. 55; 
Mark vi. 3, where he is named last or last but one. (4) Judas 
Barsabbas, Acts xv. 22-33. (s) Judas, the last Jewish bishop of 
Jerusalem in the time of Hadrian, Eus. If. E. iv. 5. 3. 

The author of our Epistle gives two descriptions of himself — 
(i) *\f](xov X-picTTov 8ovXo<s '. (2) dScA-^os Se 'laKwfSov. The first does 
not mean that he was an apostle (see note on 2 Pet. i. i), and 
ver. 17 is generally understood to mean that he did not so regard 
himself. His brother James also was not an apostle. The second 
identifies our Jude with the brother of the Lord. 

But why does he not call himself the brother of the Lord? 
Clement of Alexandria in his commentary, which still exists in a 
Latin version, answered the question thus — " Judas, qui catholicam 
scripsit epistolam, frater filiorum Joseph exstans ualde religiosus et 
cum sciret propinquitatem domini, non tamen dicit se ipsum 
fratrem eius esse, sed quid dixit? Judas seruus Jesu Christie utpote 
domini, frater autem Jacobi." Zahn {Einleitung^ ii. p. 84) adopts 
this explanation, which is probably correct. The sense is, "Jude, 
the slave, I dare not say the brother, of Jesus Christ, but certainly 
the brother of James." 


The description, " brother of James," cannot have been needed 
as an introduction or recommendation, for the brethren of the Lord 
were all held in high esteem (Acts i. 14). Certainly Jude must 
have been well known to the people whom he is addressing. Nor 
can the description be taken to show that he is writing to Churches 
of Palestine or to Jewish Christians, by whom St. James was held 
in special honour. For, apart from the fact that St. James would 
not need his help, the brethren of the Lord were known to the 
Gentile Churches, for instance, to the Corinthians (i Cor. ix. 5), 
and may quite possibly have visited and preached in Corinth. 

Tots iy 06W iraTpt . . . kXtjtoTs. " To the Called, which in 
God the Father are beloved and kept unto Jesus Christ." The 
Father is our Father. KXt/tois is a substantive, as in Rom. i. 6 ; 
I Cor. i. 24. The word is not used by Peter in either of his 
Epistles, and belongs to the Pauline vocabulary ; the same thing is 
true of ayioi, ver. 3 ; if/vxiKot and Tn/ei^/Aa, ver. 1 9. *Ev can hardly 
mean " by," for the preposition appears to be never used to denote 
the agent. Nor is it possible to translate " who in God are beloved 
by me and kept unto Jesus Christ," because both participles must 
be referred to the same agent. Yet again, there is no instance of 
6v 0ea) being used in that general sense which belongs to iv Kvptw 
or iv Xpto-Tw in the Pauline Epistles (unless i Thess. i. i ; 2 Thess. 
i. I are in point), and, even if there were, the sense required, " who 
in God are beloved by God," is not obtained without difficulty. 
But this seems to be the meaning. In ver. 2 1 St. Jude has iavrovs 
61/ dyctTny ©cou rrjpT^craTe. St. Peter does not speak of the love of 
God, and here again we may possibly detect the same affinity 
between St. Paul and St. Jude that has already appeared in the 
word kXtjtol?. 

The variants rots IBvta-iv rots Iv ©ew and rots cv ©ew Tarpt 
rjyLa(Tix€voL<s have very little support. The latter was probably sug- 
gested by the embarrassment of the text ; the former shows that at 
an early date the recipients of the Epistle were thought to have been 

The Epistle cannot have been meant for the Church at large. 
It is directed to some group of Churches in which St. Jude was 
personally interested, and called forth by definite and peculiar cir- 

3. dytt-iTTjToi . . . iriaT€i. "Beloved, while I was giving all 
diligence to write to you about our common salvation, I found it 
necessary to write to you exhorting you to do battle for the faith 
which was once for all delivered to the saints." With -n-aa-av a-rrovSyjv 
TTotov/xevos compare the language of 2 Pet. i. 5, 10, 15, iii. 14. These 
repeated phrases have caught St. Jude's ear. 

ciraywfii^eaOai is not used elsewhere in the New Testament ; the 
preposition merely strengthens the verb, but the simple aywvi^fo-Oai 

VER. 4 325 

is as strong a word as could be found. For -n-apaSoOeiar] cf. Acts 
xvi. 4; I Cor. xi. 2, xv. 3; 2 Pet, ii. 21 ; Spitta thinks that the use 
of the word here is suggested by this last passage. 

ayioi. " The saints " is here another name for Christians, as in 
Acts ix. 13, 32, 41 ; Rom. xii. 13; Heb. vi. 10; Apoc. v. 8, but 
the word is not used as a substantive by Mark, Luke, John (in 
Gospel or Epistles), James, or Peter. See Hort, Christian Ecclesia, 
pp. 56, 57. 'H TTio-Tis, in defence of which men are to contend, is 
not trust or the inner light, but a body of doctrine, dogmatic and 
practical, which is given to them by authority, is fixed and unalter- 
able, and well known to all Christians. It is " your most holy 
faith," ver. 20, a foundation on which the readers are to build 
themselves up. It combined intellectual and moral truth. See 
Sanday and Headlam on Rom. i. 17. It had been attacked by men 
who turned the grace of our God into lasciviousness, that is to say, 
by Antinomians ; but these men were mockers, ver. 18, and, from 
the emphasis with which Jude introduces his quotation from Enoch, 
ver. 14, we may presume that they mocked at the Parousia. 

Jude's language about the Faith is highly dogmatic, highly 
orthodox, highly zealous. His tone is that of a bishop of the 
fourth century. The character may be differently estimated, but 
its appearance at this early date, before Montanism and before 
Gnosticism, is of great historical significance. Men who used such 
phrases believed passionately in a creed. 

Lachmann, and some of the older school of commentators, 
placed a comma after lu/xti/, and took ir^pi tt}^ Koivrj^ rj/xCjv amTqpia^ 
with ypdij/aL : but recent scholars generally reject this unnatural 

St. Jude says that he had been busy with, or intent upon, 
writing to his people irepl r^g Koivrj<s (TtaTrjpLa^^ an ordinary pastoral 
Epistle dealing with general topics of instruction and exhortation, 
but found it necessary to change his plan and utter this stirring cry 
to arms. Evidently he is referring to some definite and unexpected 
circumstance. News had been brought to him of the appearance 
of the false teachers ; possibly he had just received 2 Peter ; if so, 
we can understand the use which he makes of that Epistle. 

De Wette, Briickner, Spitta, Zahn think that the writing referred 
to by the ypd.4x.1v was not an ordinary Epistle, but a treatise of some 
considerable length ; but the age was hardly one of treatises, and 
there is nothing in the text to support the idea. 

4. Trap€i(re5uaa>' ydp. " For certain men have crept in privily, 
who of old were appointed in scripture unto this doom." Tap 
introduces the reason of dvdyKrjv ecrxov. For Trapua-ihyo-av B has 
TrapcLo-eSvrjo-av, a vulgar form ; see Blass, p. 43. The aorist is here 
not distinguishable in sense from the perfect; as to the meaning 
of the compound verb, refer to note on Trapeiadyeiv, 2 Pet. ii. i. 


HaA-ai is most naturally taken to mean in the Old Testament, in 
the many denunciations of false prophets. The word, however, 
does not always denote a long interval of time ; hence Zahn and 
Spitta would render, "who were some time ago appointed in a 
writing for this doom," and find here a direct reference to 2 Pet. 
ii. 3. But though the Greeks (more especially the poets ; see 
references in Liddell and Scott) sometimes use irdXai, in a loose 
colloquial way, just as we use " long ago " of things that happened 
quite recently, we must not give the word this sense without good 
reason. Jude could hardly have spoken of 2 Peter as written TraAai, 
unless he were looking back over a space of twenty or thirty years. 
Unless we are to suppose that the two Epistles were separated by 
such an interval as this, the explanation of Zahn and Spitta can 
hardly be adopted. 

Nevertheless we have here a reference to 2 Pet. ii. 3. As used 
by Jude, Kpifxa has no meaning, for he has entirely omitted to say 
what the doom is. The best explanation of this curious difficulty is 
that he was writing in haste, with 2 Peter fresh in his mind, and 
that his words are suggested by oh to Kpifxa cKTraXat ovk dpyct in the 
Petrine passage. If this be so, we have here one of the strongest 
proofs of the posteriority of Jude. 

Some support for this view may be found in the weakness of the 
various explanations which have been found for Kpi/xa. Wiesinger, 
Hofmann, Schott find the key in Trapcto-cSuo-av, they have wickedly 
crept in, and this is their judgment. But, we must answer, the 
creeping in is their sin, not their punishment. Zahn also {£m- 
leitung, ii. 80) goes back for his solution to the main verb ; they 
have crept in, and their appearance is a judgment, not on them, but 
on the Church, inasmuch as it will lead to a sifting out of bad 
Christians from among the good. Cf. John ix. 39, eis Kptiia eyw 
€ts rov KOCTfJLOV "^XOov, ivtt ol jxrj ^Xi7rovT€<s ^XeTTUicn, /cat ot /SXeTrovTC^ 
TVffiXol ya/wvrat : the reader may refer to Westcott's note upon this 
passage. But it seems evident that here the Kpi/xa is one which 
hangs over the intruders themselves. Huther found the explanation 
of KpLfjca in the dTrwXco-ei/ of ver. 5 ; but this verb stands much too 
far off, and does not directly apply to the evildoers in question ; 
further, if this had been the writer's meaning, we should have 
expected ydp, not 8e, after vTrofivyaai, Spitta finds it in the words 
do-c^eis . . . dpvov/xevoi: their judgment is that they are impious 
and deny the Lord. But here again impiety and denial are sins, not 
sentences. It may be replied that sin may be regarded as its own 
punishment, but this idea certainly does not belong to Jude. Not 
one of these views is satisfactory. Each commentator destroys the 
opinion of others without establishing his own, and we are really 
driven to suppose that St. Jude, in his hurry, picked out St. Peter's 
word without observing that it required an explanation. 

VER. 5 327 

xdpna. The grace is the TrtVng, or the gospel (i Pet. i. 10) ; it pro- 
mises a freedom which these impious men turn into lasciviousness. 

t6i/ |j,6i/oi' SeaiTOTT)!/ Ktti Kupiov TQixcji/ '\r](TOuv Xpiarbv dpi'oufjiei'oi. 
Cf. 2 Pet. ii. I, Tov dyopdcravTa avrovs ^ea-TroTrjv apvovjx^voi. St. 
Petei's phrase is certainly the finer, and is probably the original; 
it is marked by his favourite iambic rhythm ; the ayopdcravTa ex- 
plains and limits BeonroTrjv, and here, as in other passages to be 
noticed as we proceed, Jude has a tendency to exaggerate and 
harden the thought of St. Peter. Tov ixovov Sea-woTrjv is so strong a 
phrase that it has been regarded as impossible. Hence K L P and 
several other authorities, followed by the fexfus receptus^ insert ©cov 
after SecrTroT-^j/ : and many commentators, who do not accept this read- 
ing, yet translate in the same sense, " the only Master and our Lord 
Jesus Christ." But this misrendering is needless. If Christ may be 
called Sea-7roT?7s, He may also be called /aovos Seo-TrorTys in distinction 
not from the Father, but from all false masters. Cf. note on ver. 25, 

6. uTTOjun/rio-ai. Cf. 2 Pet. i. 12, VTro/xt/AVTycr/ceiv : i, 1 5, jxvrniiqv 
iroLUcr !ai : i. 13, iii. I, Steyctpeii/ cv v7rofJLVij(r€L. See note on 
o-TTovSrjVj ver. 3. Either Peter has caught up and reiterated certain 
unimportant words from Jude, or Jude had read the first chapter 
of the Petrine Epistle and adopts from it words which, from their 
iteration there, were likely to catch the ear. The latter is the more 
probable view. Jude exhibits manifest tokens of haste, abbrevia- 
tion, and confusion. A glance back at the preceding Epistle will 
show that St. Peter uses " remind " quite naturally, where he is 
recalling to the memory of his readers lessons that they had cer- 
tainly often been taught. Jude "reminds" his people of the 
instances of judgment, none of which belonged to the catechism, 
and some of which, at least the story of Michael, may have been 
quite new to them. The Si also is difficult. Probably we must 
find the antithesis in do-e/^eis and apvov/xevoL : they are impious and 
deny the Lord, "but" God punishes such men. Certainly the 
sense is more clearly unfolded in 2 Peter ; and this is a remarkable 
fact, because Jude is the more skilful writer of the two. 

ciSoras airag irdrra. " Though once for all ye know all things." 
But the things which Christians know once for all are those which 
are included in " the faith once for all delivered to the saints," not 
historical instances of God's wrath. Here again we have a confused 
reminiscence of KaiTrep etSora?, 2 Pet. i. 12, where the words are 
quite intelligible. 

For the comparison between the instances of Judgment as they 
are given in the two Epistles, see Introduction to 2 Peter, p. 221. 
The first instance, that of the destruction of the sinful Israelites in 
the desert, is peculiar to Jude. It reminds us of Heb. iii. i8-iv. 2 ; 
I Cor. x. 5-1 1. Its introduction here disturbs the strictly chrono- 
logical order of the instances given in 2 Peter. 


oTt 6 Ku'pios. "That the Lord, when He had brought the 
people safe out of the land of Egypt, afterwards destroyed them 
which believed not." By " the Lord " is no doubt meant Christ, 
cf. I Cor. X. 4, 9. With rb Sevrepov cf. Bevrepov, I Cor. xii. 28 ; 
cK Sevrepov, Heb. ix. 28. Here it marks a strong contrast, and 
sharpens the point of the warning. " It is true that the Lord saved 
Israel from Egypt; yet notwithstanding He afterwards slew the 
faithless. So he has saved you, but so also He may slay you." 

The text of the verse is uncertain. t< K L insert a second v/xas 
after ctSoVas. x, many Fathers, and versions place aira^ after Kvptos 
(0eos). For TTOLVTa K L and others read tovto. K L and many 
others have 6 Kvpio5 : t? C Kvptos : A B and many versions with 
Didymus and Jerome *Ir]crov<;, and there is some inferior authority 
for 6 ©COS. The second v[xa<s is probably a mere slip ; the trans- 
position of ttTTtt^ may be due to a desire to provide an antecedent 
for TO Bevrepov, though, if so, it involves a grammatical error, as 
a-rra^ cannot mean " firstly." Tovto for Traj/ra is again a slip, or an 
attempt at emendation. The variants ©eos and 'lrjo-ov<; for Kvptos 
are also emendations ; the copyists did not feel quite certain what 
Jude meant. 

6. ayyikovs. The Second Instance ; the Fallen Angels. 

"And the angels who kept not their own principality, but for- 
sook their proper habitation. He hath kept in everlasting bonds 
under darkness unto the judgment of the great day." Jude prob- 
ably found o-eipais in his copy of 2 Peter (see note on the corre- 
sponding passage), but it is just possible that he remembered to 
have read of "bonds" in Enoch. 'AtSios (it is an Aristotelian 
word, while atwvios is Platonist) occurs also in Rom. i. 20. The 
absence of the article with dyycAovs is of no consequence, the par- 
ticular angels being defined by the following article and participles, 
cf. I Pet. i. TO. 

The principality of the angels is the special government or 
province intrusted to them by God. The passage which lay at the 
foundation of Jewish belief on this point is Deut. xxxii. 8, ore 
Sie/zepi^ej/ 6 vi/^tOTOS Wvr\^ cos Steo-Treipev utous 'ASa/x, ea-Trjaev opia i6vu)V 
Kara apiOfxov dyyeA.a)i/ ©eou, /cat cyevrjOy] ix€.p\<i KvpLOV Aaos avTOv 'laKiojS 
— where Kara apcOfxbv ayyiXwv ®eov represent Hebrew words which 
in A.V. and R.V. are rendered "according to the number of the 
children of Israel." The passage was taken to mean that God 
assigned the government of the several nations to guardian angels. 
Probably this view was older than the Septuagint, for there are 
many indications in the Old Testament that the gods of the nations 
were regarded as wicked angels. There was also • another tradition 
that the seven planets were ruled by the seven chiefs of the angels 
of service. The planets, wandering stars (see below, ver. 13), were 
wicked stars, because they had broken loose from their appointed 

VER. 7 329 

Station. Hence their angels were punished. Enoch xviii. 13 sqq., 
" And what I saw there was horrible — seven stars like great burning 
mountains, and like spirits, which besought me. The Angel said, 
This is the place where heaven and earth terminate ; it serves as a 
prison for the stars of heaven and the host of heaven. And the 
stars which roll over the fire are they which have transgressed 
the commandment of God before their rising, because they did not 
come forth at the appointed time. And He was wroth with them, 
and bound them till the time when their guilt should be consum- 
mated in the year of the mystery." Cf. E7ioch xxi. 2 sqq. Jude 
says that they are bound "till the judgment of the great day." 
This phrase also is suggested by Enoch, where we find ccos t^s 
Kf>LO-€0i<s Trj<; fjbeydXrjs, fJi€Xpi<i Vfiepas KpLcrew<5 rrj's /xeyaA.779 (ed. Charles, 
pp. 85, 86. See also Gfrorer, Jahrhundert des Heils, i. 394 ; 
Harnack's note on Hermas, Sim. viii. 3. 3). According to these 
traditions the sin of the fallen angels was pride 01 disobedience. 
This is the view adopted by Origen, in Ezech. Hom. ix. 2 (Lomm. 
i. 121), "Inflatio, superbia, arrogantia, peccatum diaboli est; et ob 
haec delicta ad terras migrauit de coelo." 

By the side of these ran another stream of tradition based on 
Gen. vi., according to which the sin of the fallen angels was lust. 
Justin, Apol. ii. 5, combines both, 01 B* ayyeAot, Trapafidvres T7]v8e tyjv 
rd^tv, yvvaiKOiV fJCL^ecriv rjTTr^Orjcrav. 

St. Peter does not specify the sin of the fallen angels, but he is 
evidently referring to their da-e'Ayaai. St. Jude is not content with 
a passing allusion ; he develops and confuses it. When he says 
that the angels forsook their proper habitation (came down from 
heaven to earth), he is thinking of Gen. vi. ; when he says that 
they kept not their own principality, of Deut. xxxii. 8. Yet after all 
he has not made his point clear. For how could either the false 
teachers or their victims be said firj r-qprjcrai rrjv iavTiov dpxrjv ? 

7. The Third Instance ; the Cities of the Plain. 

Jude omits the Deluge, and here does not mention Lot. 

(US loSojjia Kttl fofjioppa Kal at irepl auras iroXeis. The other 
cities were Admah and Zeboim, Deut. xxix. 23 ; Hos. xi. 8. There 
were five cities of the plain, but Zoar was spared. T6v ofxoiov rpoTrov 
TovTOL<5, " like these fallen angels " ; here at last the da-iXyua is 
brought out. The compound iKTropveveiv is not found elsewhere in 
the New Testament, but is used by the LXX. in Gen. xxxviii. 24 
and elsewhere. The eV may, as Hofmann thinks, add the notion 
of going outside the moral law. In aTreXOovaaL ottlo-w aapK6<s crepas 
we have another illustration of the manner in which Jude used 
2 Peter. The latter has (ii. 10) tous ottlo-u} o-apKo? iv iTnOvjxia 
[xiaoTfjiov 7rop€vofx€vov<s. Jude has caught up this phrase, but by 
adding crepas has made it refer to the sin connected with the name 
of Sodom, — a sin which, though horribly common in heathen Greece 


and Rome, was never alleged against teachers who could in any 
sense be called Christians. The language of 2 Pet. ii. 6, 10 is 
greatly exaggerated here. Further, St. Peter does not fall into the 
error of saying that the sin of Sodom was like that of the angels, 
for the fallen angels could not be said aTreXdetv oTrto-co o-ap/cos erepas. 
Sety/ia (here only in the New Testament) properly means " a 
sample " or " specimen " ; it is here used in the sense of the 
classical irapaZuyixa or the later ii7roSety/xa (2 Pet. ii. 6), "a pattern," 
or "example," or "warning." IIvpos atwi/iov is best taken with 
^LK-qv : " they are set forth as a warnmg, suffering the punishment of 
eternal fire." Jude omits all mention of Lot, fixing his mind only 
on the divine vengeance, and here again sharpens and hardens the 
words of St. Peter, VTroSctyfxa jxeXXovroiV aae/SeLV T€OeLK(i)<;. 

8. ouToi, the false teachers of ver. 4. *EvvTrvidt,€(rOai, " to dream." 
Their dreams may be those of prophecy; these false teachers 
being also false prophets (2 Pet. ii. i), who support their evil 
doctrines by pretended revelations; cf. Deut. xiii. i, 3, 5. This 
explanation is favoured by von Soden and Spitta, and is much the 
best. Or possibly, as some hold, " dream " may be used in the 
sense of "vain imagination." The difficulty is that, though the 
Latin somnium is used in this sense, the Greek ivxhrviov is not. 
Nevertheless this is the interpretation of Clement of Alexandria, 
Strom, iii. 2. 11, eKU7rj/ia^o/>iei/ot (o yap vitap tjj oX-qOua lTn(iaXkovcnv). 
'ETn/3d\Xov<TLv most probably means " attack," and o should be 
corrected to ov. So also Adumb. in Ep.Judae^ "hi somniantes, hoc 
est, qui somniant imaginatione sua libidines et reprobas cupidi- 
tates." The meaning involved in the " filthy dreamers " of the AV 
may be confidently rejected, because, as Alford points out, the 
participle belongs not only to o-ap/ca fitauvovcTL, but equally to 
KvptoTTjTa dOerovai and 86$a<5 (3Xacr<f>7]ixov(ri. 

adpKtt jxiati'ouori. Here jude is adapting 2 Pet. ii. 10, and the 
passages should be carefully compared. Peter says, "the Lord 
knows how to deliver the godly out of trial, and keep the unjust 
under punishment till the day of judgment, but especially those 
who walk after the flesh . . . and despise lordship. Self-willed 
daring ones, they fear not to blaspheme dignities." He has passed 
away from Sodom, and is speaking of the False Teachers ; it is they 
who despise lordship and rail at dignities. Jude says that the 
false teachers are like the people of the cities of the plain in that 
they despise lordship and blaspheme dignities. But it is only by a 
great effort of exegesis that we can fasten these two charges on the 
people of Sodom. Jude has abbreviated and confused his text 
For KvpioT-q^ and So^a see notes on 2 Peter. 

9. 6 8e MixatiX. " But Michael the archangel, when contend- 
ing with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not 
bring against him a sentence of blasphemy, but said. May the Lord 

VERS. lO, II 331 

rebuke thee." That is to say, " may the Lord rebuke thee for thy 
blasphemy." Peter says that the angels will not bring against 
dignities " a railing accusation " {ft\do-<f>7]iJiov KpLo-iv), which is quite 
a different thing. See Introduction to 2 Peter, p. 2 1 7. AiaKptveaOai 
is used here in its proper sense, "to get a dispute decided," 
" contend with an adversary in a court of law." The dative Sta^oXio 
is governed by SteAeyero. For KptVts see 2 Pet. ii. 11. 'ETrirt/AiJo-at 
is, of course, optative. 

The incident is taken by St. Jude from the Assumption of Moses^ 
as we are informed by Clement of Alexandria {Adumb. in Ep. 
fudae), Origen {de Frinc. iii. 2. i), and Didymus. The passage as 
given, perhaps loosely, by a Scholiast on Jude (text in Hilgenfeld, 
Nouum Testamentum extra Canonem receptum^ i. p. 128) runs 
thus : TeAevT')^crai/TOS Iv rw opct McovcrecDS 6 dp^^ayyeXo? Mi;(a-^X 
d7rocrTeXA.€Tat fxeTaOrjaoiV to (ra>/i,a. 6 /xev ovv hLd^o\o<; avreix^ OeXaiv 
airaTTJaaiy Xiyu)v on ifjiol to crtofia ws Trj<; vAt^s SecT'^-o^ovTi, ^tol Blo. to 
rrara^at tov AlyvTTTLOv ^Xa(rcj>7jixovvTo<s Kara tov dyiov Koi (fiovea 
a.vayop€V(ravTO<S' fir] iveyKiov ttjv Kara tov dyCov ySAacrt^-^/xtav 6 ayycAos 
*'EiinTLjxrio-ai croi 6 ©^o^^ irpo<i tov Std/SoXov ecfir}. Here we see from 
aTTocTTeAAeTat that the dispute did not occur in the presence of the 
Lord ; hence Jude omits St. Peter's Trapa Kvpio) : again the meaning 
of /3\a<j(f>7]fjiLa<s KpLo-L<s comes out very clearly. Satan blasphemed 
Moses, claiming his body as that of a murderer. Michael would 
not tolerate his sin of blasphemy against the saint, yet abstains from 
openly charging him with blasphemy. The date of the Assumption 
is variously given ; but as it was probably used by St. Paul in Gal. 
iii. 19, where Moses is called the /Aca-triys of the law (the phrase in 
the Assumption as quoted by Gelasius Cyz. Acta Syn. Nicaen. 
ii. 18, p. 28, is T^s SiaOi^KTj's fiea-LTrjv: in the existing Latin version 
arbiter testa?}ienti), it is also probably considerably older than that 
Epistle. Hilgenfeld thinks that it was written after 44 a.d. ; others 
place it as early as 2 b.c. It is possible that Jude refers to the 
Assumption again in ver. 16. 

10. oiJToi %i . . . <f>0€ipo»'Tai. "But these rail at whatsoever 
things they know not ; and what they understand naturally, like the 
creatures without reason, in these things are they destroyed {or 
corrupted)," R.V. The things that they know not are Kvpi6Tr)<;, 
Soia, and generally the world of spirit to which these conceptions 
belong; the things which they understand are fleshly delight. 
Jude has made the rough-hewn sentence of 2 Pet. ii. 12 much 
smoother and clearer ; see also vers. 13 and 17. In particular he has 
corrected the awkward iteration of ^6op^ <f>6opdv, ^OapovTai, which 
is so characteristic of 2 Peter. 

11. oual auTois. Outside of the Gospels this phrase is used only 
in I Cor. ix. 16 and in the Apocalypse. It is rare in later writers, 
but occurs in a Fragment of Clement of Alexandria (Dindorf, 


vol. iii. p. 492), oval 8e rots e)(ovcrL #cai cv VTroKpta-et Xafi^dvovcn^ which 
is quoted in the Didache. 

Jude's fourth instance is Cain, who is not introduced by Peter, 
and whose mention here has caused difficulty. De Wette and 
Arnaud thought that Cain here was a type of all wicked men. 
Schneckenburger, Spitta, von Soden, and Kiihl (the last with some 
hesitation) appeal to the Jerusalem Targum on Gen. iv