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Full text of "The General Epistles of St. Peter & St. Jude"

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Wit Camfcrfojje %Mt for ^cpote 

atft Colleger. 



THE GENERAL EPISTLES 



OF 



ST PETER AND ST JUDE. 



i 

L 



Zonton: C. J. CLAY and SONS, 

CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS WAREHOUSE, 

AVE MARIA LANE. 




Caartrtofle: DEIGHTON, BELL, AND CO. 
IrlipMC: F. A. CROCKHAUS. 



Cfie Camfcr%* mit for ^tjoate 

ant» €ollt&tx. 

General Editor:— J. J. S. PEROWNE, D.D., 

Dean of Peterborough. """ •—■——• 

THE GENERAL EPISTLES OF 

ST PETER & ST JUDE, 

WITH NOTES AND INTRODUCTION 



BY 



E. H. PLUMPTRE, D.D., 

DEAN OF WELLS. 



EDITED FOR THE SYNDICS OF THE UNIVERSITY PRESS. 



CDambrfoge : 

AT THE UNIVERSITY PRESS. 

1890 

[All Rights reserved,] 



\tS 
.tSL 



Cambridge 



PRINTED BY C. J. CLAY M.A. AND SONS 
AT TUB UNIVERSITY PRESS 



o 



PREFACE 
BY THE GENERAL EDITOR. 

THE General Editor of Tlu Cambridge Bible for 

Schools thinks it right to say that he does not hold 

fH himself responsible either for the interpretation of 

particular passages which the Editors of the several 

^ Books have adopted, or for any opinion on points of 

p/ doctrine that they may have expressed. In the New 

H Testament more especially questions arise of the 

deepest theological import, on which the ablest and 

most conscientious interpreters have differed and 

always will differ. His aim has been in all such 

cases to leave each Contributor to the unfettered 

exercise of his own judgment, only taking care that 

mere controversy should as far as possible be avoided. 

He has contented himself chiefly with a careful 

revision of the notes, with pointing out omissions, with 

suggesting occasionally a reconsideration of some 

question, or a fuller treatment of difficult passages, 

and the like. 

Beyond this he has not attempted to interfere, 
feeling it better that each Commentary should have 
its own individual character, and being convinced 
that freshness and variety of treatment are more 
than a compensation for any lack of uniformity in 
the Series. 

Deanery, Peterborough. 



CONTENTS. 

I. Introduction. pages 

Chapter I. The training of the Disciple 5 — 33 

Chapter II. The work of the Apostle 33 — 53 

Chapter III. The traditions of the Church 53—59 

Chapter IK The First Epistle: 

(1) The readers of the Epistle 60 — 62 

(2) The time and place of the 

Epistle 62—64 

(3) Analysis of Contents 64 — 72 

Chapter V. The Second Epistle : 

(1) Question of authorship 73 — 78 

(2) Occasion and date. 79 — 81 

(3) Analysis of Contents 81 — 83 

Chapter VI. The Life of St Jude 83—88 

Chapter VII The Epistle of St Jude 88—90 

1L Text and Notes 91—217 

III. Index 218 






The Text adopted in this Edition is that of Dr Scrivener's 
Cambridge Paragraph Bible. A few variations from the ordi- 
nary Text, chiefly in the spelling of certain words, and in the 
use of italics, will be noticed. For the principles adopted by 
Dr Scrivener as regards the printing of the Text see his Intro- 
duction to the Paragraph Bible, published by the Cambridge 
University Press. 



INTRODUCTION. 



CHAPTER I. 

THE TRAINING OF THE DISCIPLE. 

I. The early years of the Apostle whose writings are now 
before us appear to have been passed in the village of Bethsaida 
(=Fishtown, or more literally Home of Fish), on the West 
coast of the Sea of Galilee, not far from Chorazin and Caper- 
naum (John i.44). Its exact position cannot be determined with 
any certainty, but it has been identified with the modern *Ain 
et Tabigah, and must be distinguished from the town of the 
same name on the North-Eastern shore of the Lake, which, 
after it had been enlarged and rebuilt by Philip the Tetrarch, 
was known as Bethsaida Julias, the latter name having been l 
given to it in honour of the daughter of the Emperor Augustus. 

Among the fishermen from whose occupation the town derived 
its name was one who bore the name either of Jona (John i. 42 ; 
Matt. xvi. 17) or Joannes (in the best MSS. of John xxi. 15 — 17), as 
being a Grecised reproduction of the old Hebrew Jochanan, or 
Jehohanan (1 Chron. vi. 9, 10), and conveying, like its Greek 
equivalents, Theodoras or Dorotheus, the meaning of "the gift of 
God." An uncertain tradition (Coteler, Const t. A post 1 1. 63) 
gives his mother's name also as Joanna. It is probable, but not 
certain, from the priority given to his name in all lists of the 

1 The distinctness of the two places is seen in the record of the 
feeding of the Five Thousand, which took place near the Eastern Beth- 
saida (Luke ix. 10 — 17), and was followed by the passage of the disciple3 
across the lake to that on the Western shore. (Mark vi. 45.) 



INTRODUCTION. 



disciples, that the Apostle was their first-born son. The name 
which they gave him, Symeon (Acts xv. 14; 2 Pet. L 1), com- 
monly appearing, like his father's, in an abbreviated form, 
as Simon, had been made popular by the achievements of the 
captain of the Maccabean house who had borne it (1 Mace. 
v. 17), and by the virtues of Simon the Priest (Ecclus. 1. 1 — 20), 
and not to go further than the records of the New Testament, 
appears there as borne by Simon, or Symeon, the brother 
of the Lord (Matt. xiii. 55; Markvi. 3), Simon the Canaanite 
(Matt. x. 4; Mark iii. 18), known also by the Greek equiva- 
lent of that name, Zelotes (Luke vi. 15; Acts i. 13), Simon of 
Cyrene (Matt, xxvii. 32; Mark xv. 21; Luke xxiii. 26), Simon 
the leper (Matt. xxvi. 6; Mark xiv. 3; John xii. 1), Simon the 
Pharisee (Luke viL 40), Simon the Tanner (Acts x. 6—32), 
and Simon the Sorcerer of Samaria (Acts viii. 9). The fact 
that his brother, probably his younger brother, bore the Greek 
name of Andreas, is significant, like that of Philippos, borne 
by another native of Bethsaida (John i. 44), as indicating the 
prevalence of that language along the shores of the Sea of 
Galilee, and as making it probable that a certain colloquial 
familiarity with it was common both to the sons of Jona and 
the other disciples as to our Lord Himself. 

The date of the Apostle's birth cannot be fixed with certainty, 
but as we find him married and probably with children (comp. 
Matt xix. 29), about the year A.D. 27 or 28, we may fairly 
assume that his life ran parallel in its earlier years to that of 
our Lord and the Baptist. He was not sent to study the law or 
the traditions of the elders at the feet of Gamaliel or any other 
Rabbi of the Schools of Jerusalem, and when he appeared 
before the Sanhedrin was looked on as an " unlettered layman" 
(18ic6tt)s km dypdfxfiarost Acts iv. 13). This did not imply, however, 
an entire absence of education. Well-nigh every Jewish Syna- 
gogue had a school attached to it, and there, as well as in the 
Sabbath services, the young Symeon may have learnt, like 
Timotheus, to know the Holy Writings daily (2 Tim. iii. 15). 
He was destined, however, to follow what had probably been his 
father's calling. The absence of any mention of that father in 



INTRODUCTION. 



the Gospel history suggests the inference that the two brothers 
had been left orphans at a comparatively early age, and had be- 
gun their career as fishermen under the protection of Zebedaeus 
and his wife Salome (Matt, xxvii. 56 ; Mark xv. 40, xvi. 1), with 
whose sons, James and John {Joannes and yac6bus),vrz find them 
in partnership, himself also probably of Bethsaida or of some 
neighbouring village. Zebedaeus appears to have been a man 
of some wealth. He had his " hired servants" to assist his sons 
and their partners (Mark i. 20). His wife ministered to the 
Lord out of her "substance" (Luke viii. 3). One of their sons 
was known (if we adopt the commonly received identification 
of the "other disciple" of John xviii. 15) to the high-priest 
Caiaphas. We cannot think, looking back from the standpoint 
of their later history, without a deep interest, of the companion- 
ship thus brought about, the interchange of devout hopes, the 
union in fervent prayers, which bound together the sons of 
Zebedee and those of Jona in a life-long friendship. In their 
early youth they must have felt the influence of the agitation 
caused by the revolt of Judas of Galilee (a.d. 6), waking, as it 
did, Messianic expectations which it could not satisfy, and have 
been thus led to study the writings of Moses and the prophets 
for the outlines of a truer and nobler ideal (John i. 41). If the 
child is "father of the man" we cannot doubt that they were 
even then, before the preaching of the Baptist, among those 
who "looked for the consolation of Israel" and " waited" for its 
"redemption" (Luke ii. 25 — 38). John was apparently the 
youngest of the three friends, and, as will be seen in many 
instances as we proceed, the affection which bound him to 
Simon, each with elements of character that were complemen- 
tary of those possessed by the other, was of a singularly 
enduring and endearing nature. 

When the Gospel history opens Peter was living not at 
Bethsaida but at Capernaum, with his wife and his wife's 
mother (Matt. viii. 14 ; Mark i. 29 ; Luke iv. 38). That he had 
children is, perhaps, implied in the language addressed to him 
by our Lord in Matt. xix. 29, but if so, nothing is known of 
them. Of his wife too but little is known, but there are traces 
of her living with him during his work as an Apostle (1 Cor. ix. 



8 INTRODUCTION. 

5; and probably i Pet. v. 13), and an interesting and not 
incredible tradition makes her the companion of his martyrdom. 
The preaching of the Baptist drew three at least of the 
friends to take their place among the multitudes who came to 
him on the banks of the Jordan confessing their sins. Two 
of the four, Andrew and John, were present when he pointed 
to One whom they knew as Jesus, the son of the carpenter of 
Nazareth, as He returned from the Temptation in the Wilder- 
ness, with the words, " Behold the Lamb of God" (John L 36). 
Their belief in their teacher led them to follow Him who was 
thus designated, and the interview which followed, the "gracious 
words " that came from His lips (Luke iv. 22), the authority 
with which He spoke (Matt. vii. 29), induced them, prior to 
any attestation of His claim by signs and wonders, to accept 
Him as the long-expected Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed 
of the Lord. Each apparently started in quest, the one of his 
brother and the other of his friend, to whom they knew that the 
tidings would be welcome, and Andrew was the first to find 
him and to bring him to the Teacher whom they had thus owned. 
As he drew near, the Rabbi whom he was henceforth to know 
as his Lord and Master, looked on him, and, as reading the 
latent possibilities of his character and determining his future 
work, addressed him in words which gave him the name that 
was afterwards to supersede that which he had received in 
infancy, " Thou art Simon, the son of Jona : thou shalt be called 
Cephas" (John i. 40 — 42). The use of the Aramaic form seems 
to imply that the Lord spoke to him in that language, but the 
familiarity of the Galileans with Greek made the equivalent Peter 
the more familiar name, even during our Lord's ministry and still 
more afterwards 1 . It is probable that, as in the changes of name 
in the Old Testament, Abram into Abraham (Gen. xvii. 5), Jacob 

1 " Cephas, n however, appears to have retained its hold, as " Symeon" 
did, on the Church of Jerusalem, and was therefore adopted by those 
who looked to him as their leader in the parties at Corinth (1 Cor. i. 
11), and is used of him by St Paul in writing to that Church (1 Cor. ix. 
5, xv. 5). The Hebrew word, which meets us in Job xxx. 6, Jer. iv. 39, 
has the meaning of a projecting cliff or rock, and has affinities in non- 
Semitic languages, as in Sanscrit kap-ala, Greek Kf(p-a\fj } Latin caput, 
German KopfzxA Gitiftl. 



introduction: 



into Israel (Gen. xxxii. 28), both names were significant He 
had been Simeon, a hearer only (comp. Gen. xxix. 33), knowing 
God as "by the hearing of the ear" (Job xlii. 5), Bar-Jona, the 
"son of Jehovah's Grace : n now he was to be as a "rock-man," a 
" stone" in the Temple of God, built up with other living stones 
(so he came afterwards to understand the mystic meanings of 
the name) upon Him who now spoke to him as the true rock, the 
firm and sure foundation (1 Pet. ii. 4, 5). (See Watkins' Note 
on John i.'42, in Bishop Ellicott's New Testament Commentary.) 
To the company of the four friends thus united in the fellow- 
ship of a new faith were added two others, probably already 
within the circle of companionship, Philip, of the same town 
as the sons of Jona, and his friend Nathanael or Bartholomew of 
Cana 1 . With them we may believe, though he is not specially 
named, Peter was present at the marriage feast of Cana (John 
ii. 2), at the Passover feast in Jerusalem that followed shortly 
on it (John ii. 17), and in Judaea (John iii. 22), and in the 
journey through Samaria (John iv. 8). There is no trace, how- 
ever, of their presence in the next visit of the Lord Jesus to Jeru- 
salem at the unnamed feast of John v. 1, and it was probably 
during His absence from Galilee on that occasion and because 
of it, that the four partners returned to their old calling on the 
Sea of Galilee, not that their faith in Him had grown weaker, 
but that they waited till He should declare Himself. In the mean- 
time He went from Jerusalem to Nazareth (Luke iv. 14), and from 
Nazareth to Capernaum (Luke iv. 31), which was now the home 
of one of them, and possibly of all four. They had been fishing 
during the night, and without success. Their boats were drawn up 
to the shore that they might rest for the day. Two, Simeon and 
Andrew, were making a final attempt with the net, which they 
cast more cautiously into the water near the shore. The others 

1 The assumption of identity rests on the facts (1) that the name 
Nathanael does not appear in the Synoptic Gospels nor Bartholomew 
in St John; (2) that the names of Philip and Bartholomew appear in 
the list of the Twelve in Matt. x. 3, Mark iii. 18, Luke vi. 14 in close 
combination, as if there were some special bonds of intimacy uniting 
them; (3) that Bar-tholomceus is, like Bar-jona and Bar-timaeus, an 
obvious patronymic. 



io INTRODUCTION. 

were cleaning and mending their nets on the assumption that the 
day's work was over. The Teacher stepped into Peter's boat 
and taught the people, preaching, we may believe, the Gospel 
of repentance and forgiveness. Then followed the command 
to put out once again for another venture, and the draught of a 
great multitude of fishes, in which he could but see the work- 
ing of a supernatural power; and the awe-stricken disciple, 
penetrated with a deeper consciousness of his own evil than he 
had felt even under the preaching of the Baptist, threw himself 
at the feet of Jesus with the cry, " Depart from me, for I am a 
sinful man, O Lord." It was met, as all utterances of true 
repentance are met, with the assuring words, "Fear not;" with 
the announcement of a new life-work which was to take the 
place of the old, and of which that older work was to be as a 
parable full of meaning, " From henceforth thou shalt catch 
men." He and his friends were to be "fishers of men" in the 
world's stormy seas (Matt iv. 18—22; Mark i. 16 — 20; Luke v 
1 — n) 1 . From that time he forsook all and followed Christ 

It was in almost immediate sequence to the call that the 
house in which he and Andrew and his wife and her mother 
dwelt was honoured by the presence of his Lord, and he 
witnessed, in the healing of the last-named and of many others, 
the " signs and wonders * to which he appeals in Acts ii. 22 as 
an attestation that Jesus of Nazareth was "a man approved of 

* 

God." He and they learnt also what was the secret of that 
power to heal, how the life of daily ministration was sustained 
by the night of secret communing with God (Mark i. 35 — 39). 
The work to which he had been called went on. As con- 
templating a wider extension which should, symbolically at 
least, include all the families of Israel, the Twelve were chosen, 
after another night spent by the Lord Jesus on the mountain 
height in solitary prayer (Mark iii. 13 ; Luke vi. 12) ; and, if we 
may take the unvarying order of the names in all the four lists 

2 I have written on the assumption that the three Evangelists report 
the same incident. If the variations in St Luke's record lead to the 
conclusion that he speaks of a different call, we must infer that the 
disciples again returned to their employment after that narrated by the 
other Evangelists. 




INTRODUCTION. u 



given in the New Testament as indicating an actual priority, the 
son of Jona found himself chosen as the Coryphaeus of the 
chosen band who were, though not as yet sent forth, chosen for 
the office of Envoys or Apostles of the King of Israel (Mark iii. 
7 — 19). Confining our attention to the facts in which his name 
appears associated with some characteristic word or act, we 
note his presence with the two sons of Zebedee in the death- 
chamber of the daughter of Jairus (Mark v. 37 ; Luke viii. 51) ; 
the mission to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, not as yet 
to the Gentiles or the Samaritans (Matt. x. 5), in which, as the 
Apostles were sent two and two together (Mark vi. 7), it is 
natural to infer from their earlier and later companionship 
(John xx. 3, xxi. 7, 20; Acts iii. 1, viii. 14) that he was associated 
with the beloved disciple ; the intensity of faith which led him, 
after the feeding of the Five Thousand, when he saw his Lord's 
form drawing near the boat, walking in the darkness of the 
stormy night on the water of the sea of Galilee, to trust him- 
self, at his Lord's bidding, to the 'tempestuous waves; the weak- 
ness of that faith which shewed itself when he began to sink 
and called forth the cry "Lord, save me" (Matt xiv. 28 — 33). 
The memory of that deliverance was, we may believe, still fresh 
in his mind when, after the hard sayings in the synagogue 
at Capernaum which had repelled many of the disciples, he 
met his Lord's appeal, "Will ye also go away?" with the ques- 
tion, "Lord, to whom shall we go?", with the confession "Thou 
hast the words of eternal life; and we have believed and 
have known that Thou art the Holy One of God 1M (John vi. 
66 — 71). The signs and wonders that followed, the healing 
of the Syro- Phoenician maiden (Matt xv. 21 — 28; Mark vii. 
24 — 30), of the blind man in the Apostle's own city of Bethsaida 
(Mark viii. 22—26), the feeding of the four thousand (Matt xv. 
32 — 38 ; Mark viii. 1—9), deepened the faith which had been 
thus uttered. The disciples had been led beyond the limits of 
the chosen land, and of their usual work as preachers, through 
the regions of Tyre and Sidon, through the latter city itself 

1 I follow the reading of the better MSS. rather than that of the 
Received Text 



12 INTRODUCTION. 



(Mark vii. 31 in the best MSS.), and were returning by the slopes 
of Hermon to the district round Caesarea Philippi. The question 
was put to them by their Lord, as if to test what they thought of 
the floating rumours that had met their ears in every town and 
village, "Whom do men say that I the Son of Man am?" They 
reproduced those rumours. Some said that He was John the 
Baptist, and some that He was Elias, and some that He was 
Jeremiah, and some, more vaguely, that one of the old Prophets 
was risen from the dead. It was given to Peter to make, in 
answer to the question that followed, " But whom say ye that 
I am?", a fuller confession of his faith than had yet been 
uttered, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God" 
(Matt. xvi. 13—19). 

The words that followed on that confession have been the 
battlefield of endless controversies between Romish and Pro- 
testant theologians. To discuss these lies outside our scope, 
but the promise thus made to him is too closely connected with 
the development of the Apostle's spiritual life, and, it may be 
added, with that spiritual life as seen in the teaching of the 
Epistle, to be altogether passed over. " Blessed art thou, Simon 
Bar-jona : for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, 
but my Father which is in Heaven." The words reminded him 
of the manner in which he had been received on his first call 
to the discipleship. Now, as then, it was not through any., 
merely human influence ("flesh and blood"), the testimony of 
the Baptist, or his brother, or his friends, that he had been led 
to this confession. The "Father in Heaven," to whom his 
Master had taught him to pray (Matt vi. 9), had brought 
that direct immediate conviction to his souL One who had the 
"words of eternal life" could not be other than the Christ in all 
the fulness of the significance which that title had acquired. 

And now he was to see the meaning of the new name Cephas, 
or Petros, that had been then given him. He was a stone % one 
with that rock with which he was now joined by an indis- 
soluble union. As with the like utterance in John ii., "Destroy 
this temple," the words were either left to interpret themselves 
to the minds that thought over them, or were emphasized by 



INTRODUCTION. 13 



tone or gesture. On that rock the new Society, the Ecclesia, 
the congregation of the faithful was to be built. As the rock- 
built castle of the Tetrarch Philip, which was then in view, 
might seem able to defy the legions of an earthly army, so of 
that Ecclesia it should be true that the gates of Hell, the forces 
of the unseen powers of Hades and of Death, should not prevail 
against it. And now, too, he was told that he was qualified for 
his admission to the office of a Scribe, instructed to the kingdom 
of Heaven (Matt. xiii. 52). The keys of that kingdom were to be 
given to him, as the keys of the treasures of the house of the 
Interpreter were given to the Jewish Scribe when he was ad- 
mitted as a teacher of the Law. His power to bind and to 
loose, to declare this or that to be lawful or unlawful, obligatory 
or optional, was to be not less, but more authoritative than that 
of Hillel, or Shammai, or Gamaliel ; for while their interpreta- 
tions rested on conflicting, uncertain, and often ambiguous 
traditions, his would come from the insight given to him by 
the Father of lights, and so whatsoever he should bind on earth 
should be bound in Heaven, and whatsoever he should loose on 
earth should be loosed in Heaven (Matt. xvi. 19). 

I have given what seems the most natural explanation of 
the memorable promise. There is not the shadow of a doubt 
that the distinction between irerpos and ntrpa is such as has 
been indicated above 1 . If we turn to the Apostle's own language 
we find that he reproduced the leading thought of the words in 
his First Epistle. The disciples of Christ are as "living stones" 
built upon the chief corner-stone, and that corner-stone, in its 
unity, is identified with the "rock" on which the Church is 
built, though it is a rock of offence to those who stumble on it 
in their disobedience (1 Pet. ii. 4 — 8). And if he interpreted 
one part of the promise in his written teaching, he no less 
clearly interpreted the other by his spoken words in the case 
of Cornelius. It had been held unlawful by the Jewish Scribes 
for a Jew to feed with a man uncircumcised, or even to enter 
into his house. God had taught him, — again we note the reve- 
lation that came not by " flesh and blood," but from his Father 

1 See Liddell and Scott, s. v. rh-pos. 



14 INTRODUCTION. 



in Heaven, — not to call any man common or unclean. Hillel 
and Shammai had "bound." It was given to him to "loose, 1 * 
and to declare that the restriction on which they laid stress had 
passed away for ever. The interpretation which has assumed 
(i) that the promise made the Apostle himself the "rock" on which 
the Church was built, (2) that it conveyed to him a permanent 
supremacy and infallible authority, (3) that the supremacy and 
infallibility were both transmitted by him to his successors, 
(4) that those successors are to be found in the Bishops of 
Rome and in them only, hardly deserves a notice, except as 
an instance of a fantastic development worthy of the foremost 
place in any exhibition of the monstrosities of exegesis. 

How little the promise conveyed a personal freedom from 
error was seen but a few hours, or days, after it had been given. 
His Lord, as if recognising that he had reached a stage of 
spiritual education in which the mystery of victory won by 
suffering, and life rising out of death, might be made known 
to him and his fellow-disciples, had spoken to them of His 
coming sufferings. The eager, impetuous love of the disciple 
repelled the very thought with an indignant horror, and seems 
to have looked on the words as the utterance of a morbid de- 
pression, " God be gracious to thee, Lord. This shall not be to 
thee." It would not do for the other disciples and for the people 
to hear such disheartening words. The over-bold remonstrance 
drew from his Lord's lips a rebuke which has no parallel to its 
severity in the whole course of our Lord's ministry. He heard 
the very words which he then knew, or afterwards learnt, had 
been addressed to the Tempter, when he too suggested that 
the crown of the King was to be obtained without the cross, 
not by obedience to the Father's will, but by doing homage to 
the Power of evil He had made himself as the rock of offence, 
a stumbling-block in the King's path. His mind was set, 
not on the things of God, but on the things of men ; " Flesh 
and blood" were regaining their power over him (Matt xvi. 
22, 23). He needed to be taught that the condition of disciple- 
ship was that he must be prepared to deny himself and take up 
the cross and follow Christ (Matt xvi. 24.) 



INTRODUCTION. 15 



v 



It would seem as if the next stage in the spiritual education 
of the Apostle came to strengthen the faith which had shewn 
itself so unstable and lacking in discernment. On the high 
mountain, which could scarcely be other than one of the peaks 
of Hermon, he and the two brother Apostles who with him were 
the chosen of the chosen ones, saw the vision of the excellent 
glory, and heard the forms in which they recognised the Law- 
giver and the Tishbite speak of the " decease " which their Lord 
should accomplish in Jerusalem, and the voice which came from 
Heaven confirming the confession of his faith, "This is my 
beloved Son, hear him." The moment was one of ecstasy and 
rapture, and partly, therefore, one of a dream-like want of calm 
and reflective thought. He was heavy with sleep, and when he 
looked up and saw the bright forms in the act of departing, he 
sought to perpetuate that which was in its very nature but a 
transient manifestation. It was " good " for them to be there and 
thuj. Would it not be well that Moses and Elijah should re- 
main as witnesses to the Christ, and in their own persons take 
part in the establishment of His Kingdom; to set up three 
tabernacles, to which men might go, as the Israelites had gone 
of old to that in which Moses had communed with the Lord of 
Israel? He knew not what he said, and the Voice from the 
clouds, with its emphatic "Hear him," taught him that the 
work of Moses and Elijah belonged to the past, and not to the 
present or the future (Matt. xvii. 1^-13; Mark ix. 2 — 13; Luke 
ix. 28 — 36). Assuming the genuineness of the Second Epistle 
which bears his name, it bears testimony to the indelible im- 
pression which that vision left upon his mind. It taught him, 
as he looked back on it, that he had not followed "cunningly- 
devised fables." He looked on it as an initiation into the 
higher mysteries of the Kingdom, as a pledge and earnest of 
the glory to be revealed hereafter* He learnt to think of his 
own death as being, like his Lord's, but a " decease " or " de- 
parture," not a destruction, or suspension, of the energies of 
life ; of his own body as being, also like his Lord's, a "tabernacle" 
sanctified by the indwelling presence of the Eternal Spirit (see 
.notes on 2 Pet. i. 16—21). 

Peter & Jude 2 



16 INTRODUCTION. 

The next incident in which St Peter's name is brought before 
us presents a strange contrast to that which we have just been 
dwelling on. We are no longer on the " holy mount," but in the 
house at Capernaum. The question which presents itself is 
not as to the glory of the Kingdom, but the payment of the 
didrachma or Temple-rate (the half- shekel of Exod. xxx. 13) to 
its official collector. In answer to their question whether his 
Master would pay that rate, the disciple had given an un- 
thinking answer in the affirmative. As the sequel shews, he 
was not wrong in so speaking, but he had not reflected on the 
nature of the payment, or on his Master's relation to the claim. 
He had not learnt the lesson that the children are free from the 
tribute which is taken as from strangers, that a compulsory 
payment to the Temple was at variance with the freedom of 
the new Kingdom, that the Lord of the Temple was of all those 
children the last from whom it could be claimed. That truth 
was one, which conveyed for the present in parables and dark 
sayings, was to sink into his heart as a new germ of thought. In 
the meantime, as the payment came under the head of " things 
indifferent" enforced by a legitimate authority, it was right to 
avoid the " offence " which would have been caused by a pre- 
mature assertion either of the general principle, or of the 
special ground on which the Son of Man might have claimed 
exemption (Matt. xvii. 24 — 27). Taking this as the true reading 
of the teaching thus impressed on his mind, it is not too bold to 
trace its after influence in the disciple's own precepts to all 
who were placed in a like conflict between their own sense of 
the liberty wherewith Christ had made them free, and their 
duty to earthly rulers, " Submit yourselves to every ordinance 

of man for the Lord's sake As free, yet not using your 

freedom for a cloke of baseness, but as the servants of God " 
(see notes on 1 Pet. ii. 13 — 16). 

He had been taught to think of himself as connected with 
the Ecclesia, the Church, the Congregation, which Christ 
came to build on Himself as the one foundation. He was now 
to be taught what were the laws that were to govern that 
Society. Offences must need come. How were they to be 



INTRODUCTION. 17 



dealt with? First, he was told, by personal, secret, loving 
remonstrance, then by a reference to two or three impartial 
and disinterested friends as arbitrators, then, if this failed, by 
the action of the Society as such, "If he neglect to hear them, 
tell it to the Church, and if he neglect to hear the Church, let 
him be unto thee as the heathen man and the publican " (Matt. 
xviiL 17). Its decision on what was right or wrong in such 
cases (it was assumed, of course, that the decision was not 
at variance with the Divine law), was to be a new example of 
the power to bind and loose of which he had heard before, 
exercised in this case collectively, as before individually. The 
power, whatever might be its nature or limits, was not his 
alone, but was extended to the whole society, of which he was 
but an individual member. The whole line of thought was 
clearly new to the disciple's mind. He mused on the responsi- 
bilities of which it spoke, and wanted further guidance. What 
was the limit of the forgiveness of personal wrongs ? When was 
this to cease, and the judicial discipline of the Ecclesia to 
come into operation? He was disposed, after the manner of 
Jewish casuists, perhaps with the recollection of the " seven 
times" of Prov. xxiv. 16, of the "three" and the "four trans- 
gressions" of Amos i. 3, floating in his thoughts, to fix a 
quantitative, numerical standard, " How often shall my brother 
sin against me, and I forgive him: until seven times?" Again 
he was led onward, first by the direct answer, " I say not unto 
thee until seven times, but until seventy times seven," and then 
by the memorable parable of the Two Debtors, to see that no such 
quantitative measurement was applicable to the conditions of 
the case, that there is no fixed limit to the forgiveness of personal 
wrong, that that forgiveness must be in the heart of the members 
or representatives of the Ecclesia, even when they inflict their 
punishment, or exclude the offender from their fellowship. Their 
aim in all such discipline is to be that of u gaining " the brother 
whom they are compelled to condemn (Matt, xviii. 15). They 
are not even, in that case, to despair of his restoration. Though 
he may be to them as a heathen and a publican, they are to 
deal with him, not as the Scribes and Pharisees dealt with those 

2 — 2 



18 INTRODUCTION. 



who were so named, but after the pattern of Christ's dealing. Is 
it too much to think that we may trace the reflex of the lesson 
so learnt in the mingling of sternness and pity in the words 
spoken to the Sorcerer of Samaria, " Repent therefore, if haply 

the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee Thou art 

in the gall of bitterness and the bond of iniquity" (Acts 
viii. 22, 23), in the counsel which he gives to the Christians 
to whom he writes to cherish in themselves that "fervent 
love" which "shall cover the multitude of sins" (1 Pet. iv. 8)? 
Mav we not venture to surmise even that he must have been 
reminded of the method of procedure thus set forth, when he 
himself came under its operation, when private remonstrance 
failed, and his brother Apostle had to tell his fault to the 
Church and become the mouth-piece of its judgment (Gal. ii. 
11 — 14)? If this were so, it offers an adequate explanation of 
his frank acceptance of the rebuke, and how it was that St 
Paul also " gained his brother" by his righteous boldness. 

Confining ourselves, as before, to incidents in which St Peter's 
name is mentioned, but not forgetting that he probably bore a 
leading part also in the words and acts with which the disciples 
were collectively connected, we note, as next in order, the ques- 
tion which he put after he had witnessed the failure of a bright 
promise in the young ruler who had great possessions, and had 
heard his Lord's warnings against the hindrances which wealth 
presented to any true entrance into the kingdom of God. He 
and his brother disciples look back on the day when they 
had abandoned their little stock-in-trade of boats and nets, their 
home and its settled life, and they seem to themselves entitled 
to some special reward. They state their claim and ask their 
question : " Lo, we have left all and followed Thee ; what shall 
we have therefore?" (Matt. xix. 16 — 27.) The answer comes to 
them in words spoken as with a sad, serious irony, as being all 
that they were then able to receive, and waiting for the inter- 
pretation of experience, that their true meaning might be read 
clearly. Those who had "left house or wife (here we trace, 
probably, a special reference to the questioner), or brethren, or 
parents (here a special reference to the sons of Zebedee), or chil- 



INTRODUCTION. 19 



dren," should "receive a hundredfold more in this present time." 
With this, indicating, as by one master-touch, that the picture 
drawn was not to be taken as implying a time of earthly pros- 
perity and success, we find added in the report, which we may 
legitimately connect more closely than the other with St Peter's 
recollections, the significant words "with persecutions" (Mark x. 
30). New homes there might be, but they were to be homes for 
the hunted exile ; new kindred and friends in the fellowship of 
Christ, but they were to be given to those who had found 
that a man's foes were those of his own household. To this, 
in St Matthew's report (xix. 28) there was added the promise, 
mysterious and symbolical in its language, that the questioner 
and his fellow disciples " in the regeneration, when the Son 
of Man should sit on the throne of His glory," should share 
that glory with Him, and themselves "also sit on twelve 
thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." Here also we trace 
the impression left by the words in the later utterances of the 
disciple. That " regeneration," not of the individual soul only, 
but of the whole order of the universe, what was it but the 
" restitution of all things " which appears in St Peter's speech in 
Acts iii. 21, the "salvation ready to be revealed in the last time" 
of 1 Pet. i. 5, the "new heavens and new earth" of 2 Pet. iii. 13? 
That promise of a kingly throne, do we not find its echoes in 
the " crown of glory which fadeth not away " of 1 Pet. v. 4, in 
the belief that he too would be " a sharer in the glory that was 
about to be revealed" (1 Pet. i. 5) ? 

The next stage in the special education of the disciple meets 
us when the two sons of Jona and of Zebedee were with their 
Lord on the Mount of Olives. They had heard the words which 
must have dashed to the ground many of the hopes they had 
cherished when they thought that the kingdom of God should 
immediately appear, and told them as they looked with admi- 
ration on the stately buildings of the Temple that "not one 
stone should remain upon another which should not be broken 
down" (Mark xiii. 2; Matt. xxiv. 2; Luke xxi. 6). They came 
with their questions privately, as if half shrinking from the 
disclosure to others of what they yet longed to know themselves. 



20 INTRODUCTION. 



" Tell us what shall these things be ? and what shall be the sign 
when all these things shall be fulfilled ?" They heard the great 
prophetic discourse which prepared them for a time of war and 
pestilence and earthquakes and tribulations, which told them that 
the Gospel must first be proclaimed to all the Heathen as well 
as to Israel (Matt. xxiv. 14), which gave them mysterious hints 
(these also to be interpreted by experience) as to the signs 
that were to precede the destruction of the holy city, which left 
them with no clearly marked note of time as to the interval 
which was to elapse between that destruction and the glorious 
Advent. Of that teaching we find traces alike in the certain 
expectation in 1 Pet. i. 13, of the "revelation of Jesus Christ ; w 
in the prominence given in 1 Pet. iii. 20; 2 Pet. ii. 5, iii. 6, 7, 
to the " days of Noah," of which he had then heard as ana- 
logous to the days of the Son of Man (Matt. xxiv. 37); in the 
belief that the day of the Lord would come " as a thief in the 
night " (2 Pet. iii. 10) ; that " the heavens themselves" should 
pass away (2 Pet. iii. 10) ; and in the patient faith which saw in 
the delay of that Coming only a proof of the long-suffering of 
God, with whom "one day is as a thousand years, and a 
thousand years as one day " (2 Pet. iii. 8). 

It is not without significance, as indicating the apparent 
purpose to bring the two friends into closest companionship at 
a time when one was soon to stand in need of the comfort and 
sympathy of the other, that Peter and John were sent together to 
prepare the room in which the disciples were to eat their last 
Passover with their Lord before He suffered (Luke xxii. 8). We 
can picture to ourselves how they would commune together of 
all that they had seen and heard during the excitement of the 
previous days, with what vague expectations of suffering and of 
glory they would be looking forward to that Paschal meal. 
Peter's acts and words at that Last Supper were eminently 
characteristic. There had been a dispute among the disciples 
which of them should be accounted greatest, in which we can 
scarcely doubt that his claims were questioned, and, perhaps, 
also asserted. Again they heard the warning which told them 
that all such disputes were unseemly and out of harmony for 



INTRODUCTION. 21 



those who were all alike called to eat at their Master's table and 
sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Luke 
xxii. 30). Words were followed by acts. The disciple saw his 
Master take on Himself the garb and the office of a menial slave. 
Girded with the towel of such a slave, holding the basin which 
was provided for the customary ablutions of the feast, He went 
from one disciple to another and washed the feet which had been 
soiled in the dusty roads and streets that led from Olivet to that 
upper chamber in Jerusalem. He came, apparently, to Peter last, 
and was met by words which recall to our memory the confession 
of his sinfulness in Luke v. 8. The Apostle shrank from allow- 
ing Him whom he had confessed as the Son of God to perform 
for him that humiliating office. Others might accept it, but not 
he. Not even the warning words, " What I do thou knowest 
not now, but thou shalt know hereafter," restrained him from 
following up his first question of surprise, " Lord, dost thou 
wash my feet?" with the peremptory refusal, "Thou shalt not 
wash my feet while the world lasts." The symbolical, we may 
almost say the sacramental, character of the Act was suggested 
in words the meaning of which he was to learn by the light of 
what followed, "If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with 
me." And then, in the characteristic vehemence of one who 
sought above all things to avoid contact with any thing 
" common or unclean " (Acts x. 14), he went beyond the offered 
act, and, here again "not knowing what he said," asked that 
hands and head might share in that washing on which so much 
depended, and was met by the assurance that as having been 
plunged in the cleansing waters of Baptism (afterwards he might 
come to see the cleansing in the blood of Christ), he needed 
only that washing of the feet which represented the daily 
renewal of the soul from its daily stains, and would then be 
"clean every whit" (John xiii. 1 — 16). I do not think it is 
fanciful to see something like an allusive reference even to 
the outward incidents of this history in the remarkable word 
(iyKOfifiaxraadf) which St Peter uses when he exhorts those to 
whom he writes to be " clothed with humility," to gird them* 
selves with that lowliness as his Lord had girded Himself with 



22 INTRODUCTION. 

the towel on that night of sorrow (i Pet. v. 5) ; or to its inner 
meaning in his declaration at the Council of Jerusalem, that 
the true purity is that which comes by faith (Acts xv. 9)5 or 
his teaching in 1 Pet. iii. 21, that the true idea of baptism (the 
" washing" of him who has bathed in the laver of regeneration, 
Tit. iii. 5) is more than the putting away of the filth of the 
flesh, and involves the answer (better, perhaps, the question and 
answer) of a good conscience towards God. The question put 
by Peter when he heard the words which struck terror into the 
hearts of the disciples, "Verily I say unto you, that one of you 
shall betray me," and beckoning to the disciple whom Jesus 
loved, whispered to him that he should ask of whom He spake, 
is from our present point of view chiefly interesting as a token 
of the confidential intimacy between the two friends. What 
followed brought out at once the characteristic impulsiveness 
and weakness of the chief of the Apostles. He heard words 
hardly less appalling than those which had struck him with 
dismay, " All ye shall be offended because of me this night," and 
he rejected with indignant haste the thought that those words 
could ever be true of him, " Though all men should be offended 
in thee, yet will I never be offended. " Startled by the mys- 
terious words, "Whither I go ye cannot come;" he asked the 
question, "Lord, whither goest thou?' 7 And the answer is as 
mysterious as before, " Whither I go ye cannot follow me now, 
but thou shalt follow me afterwards." It seems to him that this 
implies a renewed doubt as to his steadfastness, and he asks yet 
again " Why cannot I follow thee now ? I will lay down my life 
for thy sake.'' He was met (it is not easy to determine the 
exact sequence of the words recorded by the several Evangelists) 
by a whispered warning which told him that an hour of trial was 
near at hand, "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to 
have you, that he may sift you" (the whole company of the dis- 
ciples) "as wheat :" followed by the tender loving assurance, "but 
I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not : and when thou art 
converted, strengthen thy brethren." It did but lead to re- 
iterated protestations, " Lord, I am ready to go with thee, to 
prison and to death." And then, as if to fix the sense of his 



introduction; 23 



infirmity indelibly on his mind by predicting the very form it 
would take, he heard his own words repeated as with a sad 
irony, " Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake ? Verily, verily, 
I say unto thee, the cock shall not crow before thou shalt thrice 
deny me." The confident assurance, however, was not yet gone, 
and the warning voice did but call out a fresh burst of loud- 
spoken zeal, "Though I should die with thee, yet will I not 
deny thee." Looking to the fact that he must, in all probability, 
as he afterwards used his weapon, have been one of the disciples 
who displayed the two swords they had brought with them in 
answer to the Lord's prophetic intimation that a time was 
coming when, from their earthly stand-point, the sword would 
at once be needed and be useless, it seems likely that he was 
eager to shew his prowess in defending his Master against the 
anticipated attack. (Matt. xxvi. 31—35; Mark xiv. 2 — 31; 
Luke xxii. 31 — 38 ; John xiii. 36 — 38.) 

Here again we trace the effect of that crisis of his life in the 
teaching of his epistle. He had been taught by that terrible 
experience that the " adversary, the devil, goeth about like a 
roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour," that it was neces- 
sary therefore to u be sober and to watch, so as to resist him, 
steadfast in the faith" (1 Pet. v. 8, 9). 

The night went on. The disciples listened, we may believe, 
with but little understanding, to the manifold promise of the 
other Comforter or Advocate, who was to take their Lord's place 
when He should have departed from them, to the great prayer of 
intercession which, as the true High Priest, He offered for His 
people (John xiv.— xvii.). They crossed the brook Kidron, they 
followed Him to the Mount of Olives ; they entered the garden 
of Gethsemane, weary, exhausted, stunned with the agitation 
and sorrow of the night. Once again the three, Peter, James 
and John were chosen from the rest as for a special nearness 
of companionship. Eight remained with their Lord's warning 
words, " Pray ye that ye enter not into temptation," falling on 
their ears, but heard as in a weary dream. They, the three, were 
taken with Him a few steps further, and saw and heard something, 
even in their drowsy exhaustion, of the mysterious hour of agony, 



24 - INTRODUCTION. 



the prostrate form, the cry "Abba, Father/' the prayer "Let this 
cup pass away from me." The very intensity of their sorrow 
added to their weariness and they fell asleep. It is not without 
significance that when the Christ came to them, and spoke in 
tones half of sorrow and half of wonder, He addressed Himself 
primarily to Peter, "Simon, sleepest thou? Could'st thou not 
watch with me one hour?" Yet with the reproach were mingled 
words of gentlest sympathy* The Master recognised at once 
the strength and weakness of the disciple's character, " The spirit 
indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Eager, zealous, noble 
impulses were there, but they were lacking in stability. The 
lower nature could rot sustain them. It gave way under the 
pressure, and brought them down with it in its fall. Sleep came 
on again, even after these stirring words, and it was broken only 
by the tread of the crowd and the glare of torches and lamps 
and the clashing of weapons A strange impetuous impulse 
came upon the ardent disciple as he shook off his slumbers, 
perhaps, not unconnected with the words which he had just 
heard The time had come when he could shew that though the 
spirit was eager, the flesh was not weak. Might he not now 
draw one of those two swords of which his Lord had said that 
they were "enough "5 He did draw it The one drop of blood 
shed in a conflict with earthly weapons on behalf of Christ was 
shed by Peter, and for this he gained not the praise and 
glowing thanks on which he had counted, but words of rebuke 
and caution " Put up thy sword into its place, for all they that 
take the sword shall perish with the sword " He was taught 
the lesson, which his self-styled successors have but too often 
forgotten that it was not by such weapons that the cause of 
Christ and His kingdom was to be defended. (Matt xxvi. 36 — 
46 ; Mark xiv 32 —42 ; Luke xxii. 40—46. 

We need not follow in detail all the incidents of that 
terrible night and the early dawn that followed. Not one of all 
the Eleven had the courage to go with their Lord to prison and 
to death Two of them, however, were drawn partly, we may 
believe, by the love which, in spite of their lack of courage, 
was not extinct, partly by an eager anxious curiosity "to see 



INTRODUCTION. 25 



the end," to follow the procession as it wound its way down the 
slopes of the Mount of Olives, across the Kidron, within the 
city gates, into the court of the High Priest's palace. And 
these two were they whom we have seen as all along associated 
by ties of closest friendship, Simon the son of Jona, and John 
the son of Zebedee. The latter had, in this instance, advantages 
which the former lacked. Possibly a slightly higher social 
status and culture, possibly some distant relationship, possibly 
again some casual contact in previous visits to Jerusalem had 
made him personally acquainted with Caiaphas or Annas. He 
entered the courtyard himself; he gained the right of entry for 
his friend, and the Galilean fisherman, after a hasty denial, as he 
entered, that he had been a disciple of Jesus, found himself in 
the crowd of soldiers and of servants, male and female, who were 
gathering round the charcoal fire. Questions were naturally 
asked as to who the stranger was. His provincial intonation 
betrayed that he was a Galilean. The light of the fire shewed to 
the soldiers the same features that they had seen by moonlight 
in the momentary scuffle, in which the High Priest's servant 
had lost his ear. The disciple, wearied and stunned with sorrow, 
could not bear the torrent of interrogation that fell upon him. 
The hasty words of denial escaped his lips, and he shifted his 
position, leaving the blazing fire for the comparative darkness 
of the porch. But there also he was pursued. Once and again, 
now with the aggravation of an oath rashly uttered, he 
asserted that he was not a disciple of Jesus of Nazareth, that 
he was altogether a stranger to him. On three several 
occasions, therefore, but with manifold variations and reitera- 
tions of denial in each, he had fulfilled his Lord's warning 
prediction. And then the cock crew, and that prediction smote 
upon his memory. Had it been left to do its work alone, it 
might well have driven him to a despair like that of Judas. As it 
was, the moment coincided with that in which Jesus was led from 
the room in which Annas had held his preliminary enquiry to the- 
court in which the Sanhedrin was sitting, and " the Lord turned 
and looked on Peter" with a glance, we may well believe, of 
ineffable sadness and compassion. The heart of the disciple 



25 INTRODUCTION. 



was stirred to its inmost depths, and he threw himself on the 
ground (I follow the most natural interpretation of Mark xiv. 
72) and burst into a flood of bitter and repentant tears. (Matt. 
xxvi. 69—75 ; Mark xiv. 66 — 72 ; Luke xxii. 54 — 62 ; John xviii. 
15—27.) 

We cannot read his Epistles without seeing that what the 
Apostle then witnessed left on him an ineffaceable impression. 
He had been an " eye-witness " of the sufferings of the Christ 
(1 Pet. v. 1). He knew of those "bufferings" in the High 
Priest's palace which the sinless One had borne with such 
silent patience (1 Pet. ii. 19 — 23). He had found healing for 
his own soul in those livid marks which the scourge had then 
inflicted. He had felt that he too was a sheep that had gone 
astray, and that he had been brought back to the fold by Him 
who was the true Shepherd and Protector of his soul (1 Pet. ii. 
24, 25). He had been taught by the terrible experience of his 
own weakness in "denying the Lord who had bought him" 
(2 Pet. ii. 1), the intensity of that sin when it was not the 
momentary failure of faith and courage, but the persistent 
apostasy of a life. He had learnt too that a "haughty spirit 
goeth before a fall," that " God resisteth the proud and giveth 
grace to the humble" (1 Pet. v. 5). 

The records of the Evangelists leave the hours that followed, 
as far as Peter is concerned, under the veil of silence. We 
may infer from the fact that St John stood by the cross, and 
that he did not, that he had not the heart to look on the suffer- 
ings of the Master he had so deeply wronged, and that the day 
which followed was spent by him in the silent agony of contri- 
tion, in the birth- throes of a new life rising out of death. It is 
significant, however, that when he next appears, it is in 
company with the beloved disciple. It is no strained inference 
from that fact that he had sought him out as one to whom he 
could pour the grief and penitence of his soul without fear of 
being reproached or repelled. As if they had kept a vigil of 
sorrow and prayer together on the night that followed the 
Sabbath, they left their lodging in Jerusalem early on the next 
day's dawn, and went outside the gates of the city to the garden 



INTRODUCTION. 27 



or orchard where, as St John knew, the body of their Lord had 
been entombed in the rock-hewn sepulchre (John xx. 3). It is 
clear that they went in the expectation of finding the body 
there, with the purpose, perhaps, of taking part in the funereal 
honours which they must have known that the two Maries and 
Salome (the mother of the beloved disciple), were about to 
pay to it, in completion of the hasty embalmment which had 
followed on the Crucifixion (Luke xiv. 1). Their eagerness 
was shewn by the swiftness with which they ran. John was the 
first to reach the sepulchre and to see that it was empty, and 
that the winding-sheet and bandages were lying apart in the 
recess. Peter followed and looked in. The body was not 
there, and then a new faith and hope sprang up in their hearts. 
Words to which they had given little heed at the time came back 
to their memory (Matt. xvii. 9, xx. 19; Mark ix. 9, x. 34; Luke 
xviii. 33), and they now believed in their fulfilment. That faith 
was confirmed by sight in a manifestation which is not fully 
recorded in the Gospels but was received in the general traditions 
of the Church. The risen Lord "had appeared to Simon," 
"was seen by Cephas" (Luke xxiv. 34; 1 Cor. xv. 5). The 
absence of any further record suggests the inference that it 
was but as the vision of a moment, with few words or none, 
but, we may believe, with a look as full of pardoning pity as 
that which had fallen on him as he sat in the gate-way of 
the High Priest's palace. It follows from this that we must 
separate the two Apostles from the rest of the disciples, who 
could not bring themselves to receive the report of the Re- 
surrection brought back by the two Maries and Salome. 
On the evening of that day, Peter shared with the others in 
the joy of hearing the familiar words of blessing " Peace be 
unto you," in the breath that must have thrilled through 
every nerve of their spiritual life, in the words which gave 
them the new mysterious power, not only as before, " to bind 
and to loose," to distinguish, i.e. what was or was not bind- 
ing in the precepts of the Law, but to deal with those who 
had transgressed the great commandments by "forgiving" or 
w retaining" sins according as the prophetic insight which they 



28 INTRODUCTION. 



would receive by the gift of the Spirit, enabled them to discern 
penitence from impenitence in the heart of the offender (John 
xx, 22, 23). Of the deliberate exercise of that power by Peter 
we have examples in the cases of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 
v. 1 — 10), of Simon the Sorcerer (Acts viii. 20, 21), in his con- 
demnation of the false teachers of 2 Pet. ii. 12. Less direct 
traces of it are found in his proclamation of the forgiveness of 
sins as following on repentance and faith and baptism, in Acts ii. 
38, iii. 19, in the stress which he lays on the truth that Love is 
the great absolver, covering the multitude of sins (1 Pet. iv. 8). 

The week that followed was spent, we may believe, as other 
devout Jews spent it, in the solemnities of the seven days of the 
great Paschal feast, probably in the services of the Temple, in 
recalling their Lord's words, in prayer and meditation, in 
searching the Scriptures with the new light thrown on them by 
the fact that their Lord had risen from the dead. The disciples, 
however, felt that they were now marked men in the midst of 
an unfriendly crowd. At the end of the week, as at the begin- 
ning, they were still meeting, most probably in the upper chamber 
belonging to one who was in secret a disciple, which had 
received them when they ate their last Passover, and were 
taught from henceforth to break bread and to drink wine as a 
memorial of their Lord. And " the doors were shut for fear 
of the Jews " (John xx. 19, 26). We can scarcely doubt that they 
were obeying that command, when for one brief moment they 
saw the beloved Form once more, and heard the words which 
rebuked the incredulity of Thomas, " Blessed are they who have 
not seen and yet believed." Of those we have an echo not to be 
mistaken in the words of 1 Pet. i. 8, "Whom having not seen 
ye love ; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye 
rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory." 

The Feast was over, and the disciples, having no call to 
any immediate work at Jerusalem, returned with the other 
pilgrims to Galilee. Their Lord had indeed bidden them so 
to return, and had, in a message sent specially, held out the 
hope to Peter that He would meet them there (Mark xvi. 7 ; 
Matt, xxviii. 7). There seemed no reason why they should not 



INTRODUCTION. 29 

fill up the interval of expectation by honest labour, and they 
returned to the work of their earlier calling on the Sea of 
Tiberias. Peter and Thomas and Nathanael and James and 
John and two other unnamed disciples were together, we may 
believe, in Capernaum or Bethsaida. An impulse came to 
Peter, not unconnected, it may be, with the many memories of 
the scene and the act, which led him to propose, as the sun was 
setting, that they should go out together in the boat and fish. 
Was he expecting once again to see that form of the Son of Man 
walking on the waters ? Did he hope to shew that his faith and 
love were stronger than they had been of old ? The night passed, 
the dawn was breaking. The morning mists were hanging over 
the shore. They saw the dim outline of a man's figure on the 
beach. They heard a voice, as of a passing traveller, hailing 
them in the familiar phrase which was used in speaking to those 
of their class, " Ho, lads, have you any food with you ? n A 
command, given in reply to their negative answer, that they 
should cast the net to the right of the boat, did not suggest any 
other thought than that they were listening to the counsel of 
one more conversant than themselves with that region of the 
lake, who knew better where the fishes used to swarm in shoals. 
But when the nets were filled, so that they found it hard to draw 
them up, the disciple whom Jesus loved, recalling how once 
before they had taken such a draught of fishes after a night of 
fruitless toil, whispered to his friends that the stranger was none 
other than the Lord. The more impetuous Peter, as soon as he 
heard the words, girding his fisher's tunic round his loins, flung 
himself into the water, swam the two hundred cubits that lay 
between him and the shore, and reached his Master's feet. He 
and the other disciples drew the net to shore, counted the fish 
they had taken, and at His command prepared their simple 
meal with the wood fire which He had kindled on the beach. 
Few words passed between them, but once again, as before, 
when the Five Thousand and the Four had been fed by Him, it 
was He who gave them the bread and the fish which formed 
their repast The meal was over, and then he heard the 
question, addressed to him as like words had been addressed 



30 INTRODUCTION. 

before (John i. 42 ; Matt. xvi. 17), by his earlier and earthly 
name, "Simon, son of Joannes (I give the reading of the best 
MSS.), lovest thou me more than these love me?" The ques- 
tion sounded to him almost like a reproach. It recalled the 
hour when he had boasted that he did love Him more, that 
though all others might deny Him, he would not deny, but 
was ready to go with Him to prison and to death. He made 
answer as in the fulness of the heart, changing the word 
which had been used, " Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love 
thee," as friend loves friend, as the scholar should love the 
Master 1 , and he was told how he was to shew that affection 
by the words " Feed my lambs." The question was put again, 
and answered as before, followed by the command pointing to 
a higher and a wider work, " Be the shepherd of my sheep." 
Yet a third time came the question, Peter's own word being now 
taken up by his Lord, as though his previous declaration had still 
left some lingering doubt, and, pained by the distrust which the 
words seemed to imply, there was something of impatient protest 
in his third answer, " Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest 
that I love thee." And still there came the same command, 
varied in its form, " Feed my sheep :" lambs and sheep alike 
(jrpojSarm in its diminutive force seems chosen to include both) 
were to be committed to his care. And then, as if to comfort 
him for the pain of the previous moment, he heard the prophetic 
words which shewed him that the Master, who "knew all 
things," had, in very deed, read the secrets of his soul, and now 
saw there the love which would endure through many long years 
of labour, and would make him faithful unto death, " Verily, 
verily, I say to thee, when thou wast younger thou wast wont to 
gird thyself, and didst walk whither thou wouldest, but when 
thou shalt be old, another shall gird thee and carry thee whither 
thou wouldest not." The beloved disciple, who survived his 
friend many years, lived to record how these words had been 
fulfilled by the death by which Peter had glorified God. But 

1 I have endeavoured to express by a paraphrase the undoubted 
distinction between etyairw and 0tXw, between /36<r#c« and votpalvv* 



INTRODUCTION. 31 



for Peter himself, the first thought on hearing of his own future, 
was the strocg desire to know his friend's also. Should they, 
whose friendship hitherto had been " lovely and pleasant " in its 
purity, be divided or united in their death ? " Lord, and what 
shall this man do?" His desire was not to be gratified. He 
"was to use the present and to leave the future in the Father's 
hands, "If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to 
thee?" (John xxi.) 

Here, again, the feelings to which the words gave rise have 
left manifold traces in the Apostle's writings. As age was 
creeping on him, he remembered that the Lord Jesus Christ had 
shewed him that the putting off of the tabernacle of his flesh 
would not be by the slow decline of old age, but be quick and 
sudden in its character (see note on 2 Pet. i. 14). His charge to 
his fellow-workers in the ministry of the Gospel is that they too 
should be " shepherds of the flock,'' eager and ready as he him- 
self had been in the service of Him who was the chief shepherd 
and guardian of their souls (1 Pet. v. 2, ii. 25). 

The incident thus recalled is the last in which the name of 
Peter meets us in the Gospel records. We can only recall to 
mind that he was probably among the five hundred brethren 
who, drawn together, we may believe, by his witness to the Resur- 
rection, from Capernaum and Bethsaida and Cana and Ghorazin 
(the nucleus of the Galilean Churches which appear in Acts ix. 
31), were permitted, as the Eleven had been, to see for a few 
moments the visible presence of their risen Lord ; that he was a 
sharer in the mission which sent them to teach, not Israel only, 
but all the nations of the heathen world, and to baptize them in 
the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; that to 
him also was given the promise of signs that should attest his 
mission, casting out devils, speaking with new tongues, taking 
up serpents (Matt xxviii. 16 — 20; Mark xvi. 17, 18). Four 
weeks passed away, and then they went up to Jerusalem, and 
met together as before. Once more they saw Him, and now the 
meeting was a longer one. Resuming His old character and 
work as a Teacher, a Rabbi instructing His scholars in the 
house of the Interpreter, He led them through Law and Prophecy 

Peter & Jude 3 



32 INTRODUCTION. 

and Psaipi, and taught them to understand the meanings which 
had before been hidden, when they witnessed of Himself (Luke 
xxiv. 44, 45). They learnt from Him what was to be the outline 
of their future teaching, how they were to preach " repentance 
and remission of sins to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem," 
how He would send to them the promise of His Father, how 
they were to remain in the city, filled though it was with their 
foes, until that promise was fulfilled, and they should be endued, 
before not many days had passed, "with power from on high." 

And then they took the self-same path, probably about the 
self-same hour, as that which they had trodden on the unfor- 
gotten night of sorrow, down to the valley of the Kidron, and up 
the slopes of Olivet, and past Gethsemane, till they came to 
Bethany. They had one more question to ask. He had one 
last word to speak. They wished, as before, to know whether 
the kingdom of God should immediately appear (Luke xix. n), 
whether at that time He would restore again the Kingdom to 
Israel. They heard words, the last they were ever to hear from 
those divine lips, that it was not given to them to know the 
times and the seasons which the Father had fixed by His own 
supreme authority. In due course that restitution, not of Israel 
only but of the universe 1 , should come. Their task in the mean- 
time was clear, " Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye be 
endued with power from on high, and ye shall be my witnesses 
in Jerusalem and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the 
uttermost parts of the earth." And then all was over. " He was 
parted from them, and was taken up, and a cloud received Him 
out of their sight." Two forms like those which the Maries had 
seen in the sepulchre stood by them, and bade them stand 
no longer gazing up into Heaven. As surely as they had seen 
Him go into Heaven, so surely should they see Him come 
again. Sorrowfully and silently, yet full of an exceeding joy, 
the Eleven retraced their steps to the upper chamber in Jerusa- 
lem. For Peter, as for the others, it was true that the training 

1 The thoughtful student of the Acts cannot fail to recognise the 
connexion of thought between the dicoKaOiaravtis of L 6, and the 
d7T(McaTaoTa<rij t&vtwv of iii. 21. 



INTRODUCTION. 33 



of the disciple was over, that the work of the Apostle was to 
begin (Acts i. 1 — 12). 



CHAPTER II. 

LIFE OF ST PETER. THE WORK OF THE APOSTLE. 

No thoughtful reader can pass from the study of the Gospels 
to that of the Acts, without being struck with the different type 
of character presented to us in connexion with the name of 
Simon Peter. The impulsive, wayward, unsteadfast disciple, 
uttering only a few hasty questions and passionate ejaculations, 
has become the ruler of a community, able to address the 
multitude and the Sanhedrin in well-ordered and elaborate 
harangues. The change is all the more noticeable from the 
fact that we cannot account for it by the hypothesis of a mere 
difference of authorship. For the writer of the Acts was also 
the writer of a Gospel, and the difference is not less striking 
when we compare the one history with the other, than it is 
when we take St Matthew's or St Mark's Gospel as a standard 
of comparison with the Acts. * Something, doubtless, is due to 
the writer's aim and the standpoint from which he wrote; 
something also to the difference between the writer's informants 
in the two cases. It was in part, at least, his purpose to present 
St Peter to his Italian friend Theophilus as the head of a large 
and influential section of the Church, representing that section 
not in the spirit of party, but in that of a wise and dignified 
moderation, aiming at unity and peace. In collecting materials 
for his two histories he would be dependent for the first on 
reports which came, directly or indirectly, from Galilean 
disciples, who had known Simon Bar-jona in the days of our 
Lord's ministry, whose memory was stored with what we should 
call the anecdotes of that period of his life. In gathering in- 
formation for the second, his facts would come mainly from 
the members of the Church at Jerusalem to whom Peter had 
been a familiar name as one held in honour and esteem, almost 
indeed in awe (Acts v. 13 — 15). The impression thus formed 

3—3 



34 INTRODUCTION. 



would tend, in the nature of things, to give a shade of colour 
to the writer's representations. What he heard now from one 
hearer and now from another of the Apostle's speeches would 
have to be set in order and reproduced with something of the 
writer's own skill and in his own phraseology. 

There is, however, a deeper ground of difference, and this is 
found in the real change that had passed over St Peter's 
character. That night of cowardice and denial, that terrible 
experience of his own weakness, that look which drew forth the 
bitter tears of repentance, was, as his Lord's words had indi- 
cated (Luke xxii. 32), as truly the hour of his conversion as the 
vision on the road to Damascus was the conversion of St Paul. 
The new man was then born in him to a conscious life. It 
was strengthened, almost as soon as it was born, by the special 
powers of the Pentecostal gift. Assuming, even on merely 
human grounds, that St Luke aimed at reproducing faithfully 
what he had heard of the two periods of St Peter's life, the 
difference between them cannot be regarded otherwise than as 
at once a proof and a measure of the transforming power of the 
grace of God. Simon Bar-jona is become more fully than he 
had ever been till now, the Cephas, the Peter, of his Lord's 
prophetic designation. It is significant that, except in the 
history of Cornelius (Acts x. 5, 32) and in the speech of James 
the Lord's brother (Acts xv. 14) the name Simon drops entirely 
into the back-ground, and he is known as Peter only. 

It was, we may believe, due in part to the influence of the 
"beloved disciple, in part to that of the words spoken by the Christ 
in John xx. 21 — 23 xxi. 15—23, that the authority of the Apostle 
suffered no diminution in consequence of his grievous fall, that 
no one ever reproached him with having denied his Lord. That 
that denial found, a place in every Gospel record, may be accepted 
as a proof that he in his turn had no wish to hush it up or veil 
it in obscurity. It was for him, we may well believe, what a 
different yet analogous experience was to St Paul, a standing 
proof of the mercy of God and the power of His grace, that he 
had risen after so great a fall. 

There is a significant calmness in the first act that followed 



INTRODUCTION. 35 



on the Ascension. The disciples, male and female, who formed 
the nucleus of the future Church, one hundred and twenty in 
number, were met together. They were addressed for the first 
time as a community by one to whom they looked as their 
natural leader. The place left vacant by the death of Judas 
had to be filled up in order that the Apostles might once again 
meet Israel as the representatives of the twelve-tribed people. 
The treachery of the Apostle had to be placed in such a light, 
that men might see that while it was from one point of view the 
frustration of a Divine calling, it was, from another, the working 
out of a Divine purpose. He shewed that he had not studied 
in vain in his Master's school of prophetic interpretation. The 
Scriptures that spoke of the righteous sufferer as the victim of 
a base treachery (Ps. lxix. 25, cix. 8) required to be fulfilled in 
the case of the ideal sufferer. The disciple who was to be 
chosen to fill the vacant place must be qualified to be, as the 
Eleven were, a witness of the Resurrection. In the prayer that 
precedes the final choice referred to Christ as "knowing the 
hearts of all men" (Acts i. 24) we have a point of contact, with 
almost the last words of the disciple recorded in the Gospels 
"Lord, thou knowest all things" (John xxi. 17), with the sub- 
sequent speech of the Apostle when he appealed, at the council 
in Jerusalem, to "God which knoweth the hearts of all men" 
(Acts xv. 8). 

The company were gathered together as before, presumably 
the hundred and twenty, (but possibly, as some have thought, 
the Twelve only), who had been mentioned in Acts i. 15. They 
were in an attitude of intense spiritual expectation, waiting till 
they should be "endued with power from on high." Day by day 
the streets of the city were more thickly thronged with pilgrims 
from all parts of the world to keep the coming Feast of Pente- 
cost, the Feast of Weeks, of Ingathering, of Lev. xxiii. 15; 
Deut. xvi. 9. It was a day connected in Jewish tradition with 
one great revelation, with the utterance of the great Ten 
Words, or Laws, on Sinai. The night before the Pentecost 
was specially appropriated in Jewish usage, for a solemn 
thanksgiving for that revelation of the Divine Will (Schottgen, 



36 INTRODUCTION. 

Hor. Hebr. on Acts ii. i). At such a moment prayer would 
naturally be more earnest and intense than ever. Their Lord's 
words "How much more shall your heavenly Father give his 
Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?" (Luke xi. 13) would be 
ringing, as it were, in the ears of Peter and his brother Apostles. 
And so the promise was fulfilled. They looked and saw, as 
it were, a shower of tongues of fire hovering over them, so 
distributed (this and not " cloven " is the meaning of the Greek 
word) that none was left without his portion of the lambent 
flame. They heard the sound, not now of the whispered, 
hushed breath, which had before been the outward symbol of the 
Spirit's silent working (John xx. 22), but the sound of a rushing 
mighty wind sweeping round and over them. And this outward 
wonder was but the token of a sudden startling change in their 
spiritual consciousness. They burst into an ecstasy of adoration 
such as they had never known before. Blessings, praises, 
doxologies, such as they may have listened to before as they 
stood in the courts of the Temple, and heard the devotions of 
the pilgrims from many lands, but had never till then attempted 
to join in, now burst from their lips with a marvellous fluency. 
They were conscious of new sympathies with those worshippers 
from afar. They called on them to join in their hymns of 
praise as they told of the great deeds that God had wrought 
for them. The "utterance" would seem to have been different 
in character from that of ordinary speech, and was not used as 
an instrument of teaching. The analogies to which St Paul refers 
in 1 Cor. xiii. 1, xiv. 7, 8, suggest the thought that the words of 
ecstatic adoration were uttered in the tones of praise, and that 
what the multitude heard was of the nature of a jubilant chant 1 . 
Some, as they listened, asked seriously what was the meaning 
of this unlooked-for rapture. Some, looking at the outward 
manifestations of a mood so different from the cold level of 
ordinary worshippers, rushed to the cynical conclusion that the 

1 It would be out of place here to enter at any length into a dis- 
cussion as to the nature of the Gift of Tongues, and I content myself 
with referring to the Article on that subject in Smith's Dictionary of the 
Bible, 



INTRODUCTION. 37 



men who thus spoke were "full of new wine," and knew not 
what they did 1 . (Acts ii. I— 13.) 

When the sign and wonder had done its work of drawing 
together a crowd of eager listeners, answering in this respect 
to the account which St Paul gives of the end for which the 
gift of Tongues had been bestowed (1 Cor. xiv. 22, 23), St Peter 
rose, as the acknowledged leader of the company, and speak- 
ing, either in the Aramaic which was the common speech of 
Jerusalem, or, as seems more probable, in the Greek with 
which, as a Galilean, he was probably familiar, and which 
was the natural medium of communication with the Hellen- 
istic Jews of the dispersion, appeared in his new character. 
The "prophetic word" was now in him, and he had been 
taught to understand that word as it had been uttered by the 
older prophets. (Comp. 2 Pet. i. 19 — 21.) With a courage which 
presented an almost miraculous contrast to his recent cowardice 
he pressed home upon the consciences of rulers and of people 
the sin of which they had been guilty in condemning and cru- 
cifying Him who was indeed their Lord. He bore his witness 
that that Lord had been raised from the dead, because it was 
not possible that He should be holden by the bands of death, or 
that the Holy One should see corruption and be left in Hades. 
He called them to repentance and baptism. He proclaimed to 
them the remission of sins and promised that they too should 
receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. We may trace the lessons 
taught by that day's experience in the words in which he speaks, 
at the close of his life, of the Spirit's work. For him the "pro- 
phetic word," as a living and abiding power, was more even 
than the "excellent" glory which he had seen on the Mount of 
Transfiguration (2 Pet i. 19). He had learnt that prophecy did 
not come at any time by the will of man, but that holy men of 
God spoke, as he himself had spoken, their human conscious- 
ness co-operating but not originating, as they were "borne on" 
(the very word used of the "rushing mighty wind") by the 

1 It may be noted as an interesting coincidence, that St Paul con- 
trasts what we may venture to call the two forms of stimulation. "Be 
not drunk with wine, ...but be filled with the Spirit" (Eph. v. 18). 



38 INTRODUCTION'. 



Holy Ghost (2 Pet. i. 21). The large increase in the number of 
the disciples that followed, the necessity for organising and 
guiding the life of a large community, must have called for 
and developed other spiritual gifts, such as those of the "helps" 
and "governments" of 1 Cor. xii. 28, of a more permanent 
character. The Galilean fisherman became, in one sense, the 
originator of the polity and ritual of the Church, "binding" and 
"loosing" according to the wisdom given to him. There was, 
however, no abrupt break in the outward continuity of his life. 
The old habit of devotion Still continued, and the accustomed 
Services of the Temple in which his Master had delighted, and 
which He had twice striven to restore to their ancient purity 
(John ii. 14 — 16, Matt. xxi. 12) still saw him among the crowd of 
worshippers. Nor was the old friendship with the son of Zebe- 
dee to whom he had turned in the bitterness of his repentant 
sorrow, less intimate than before. "Peter and John went up to- 
gether to the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour" 
(Acts iii. 1). The healing of the cripple at the gate of the Temple 
that is called Beautiful, shewed that the power which his Lord 
had given him to cure diseases was not diminished. He had 
learnt that it was not by "silver or gold" that the wants of men, 
whether bodily or spiritual, were to be removed, but by the 
name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, who had healed the cripple 
at Bethesda (John v. 2, 14) and who was present to heal now, just 
as he afterwards taught that it was not "by silver and gold" 
that men were ransomed from the power of an evil life, but by 
"the precious blood of Christ" (1 Pet. i. 18, 19). In speaking of 
that work of healing he disclaimed its being due to any power 
or piety of his own. It was the work of "the God of Abraham, 
of Isaac and of Jacob" (we note the disciple's use of the self- 
same name as that with which his Master had rebuked the un- 
belief of the Sadducean priesthood (Matt. xxii. 32)), who had thus 
"glorified His Son Jesus," as He had before glorified Him in the 
days of His ministry (John v. 20, xii. 28) by like works of heal- 
ing. Once again he pressed home upon the people who had 
been drawn together by the report of the miracle thus wrought 
their guilt in denying the Holy One and the Just (comp. 1 Pet. 



INTRODUCTION. 39 



iii. 18, for a like use of the same epithet), and preferring to him 
such an one as Barabbas, and he spoke to them, in the power 
of his new "prophetic word" of the "times of refreshing" which 
were at hand for those who sought them and might be hastened 
by repentance, of the "restitution of all things" which lay in a 
distant future which he would not venture to define. St Luke's 
report of his words is, it will be noted, in exact agreement with 
his own later teaching when he urges the believers in Christ to 
"look for and hasten the coming of the day of God," and de- 
clares that he and they are looking for a new heaven and a 
new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness (2 Pet. iii. 12, 13). 
In both passages we find an echo of the words which had been 
heard only by Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, "Elias truly 
shall come first and shall restore all things" (Matt. xvii. 1 1). In 
this expectation he saw himself in harmony with the long line 
of prophets who had spoken of these things (Comp. 2 Pet 
111. 2). 

The faithful witness thus borne led to its natural results. 
The two disciples were brought before the Sadducean priests 
who could not endure the* testimony thus given to the Resurrec- 
tion of the Christ, and now the courage of Peter did not fail 
him, and he was ready to go even to prison, and, it might be, 
to death for his Lord's sake (Luke xxii. 33). When he was 
brought on the following day before the Court that had tried 
and condemned his Lord, he was strengthened by a new con- 
sciousness that the Spirit which he had received was speaking 
through him. Now he understood what it was not to "take, 
anxious thought" or to "premeditate" when brought face to 
face even with the rulers of his people (Matt. x. 19), And with 
a boldness which may well have startled them he reproduces 
the very words which, when they came from our Lord's lips, had 
roused the very frenzy of hatred. The chief priests and Pharisees 
heard once more that "the stone which the builders rejected 
had become the head of the corner" and that they were the 
builders on whom lay the guilt of that rejection. (Acts iv. 1 1. 
Matt. xxi. 42.) That imagery, so closely connected with his 
own name, was fixed on his memory to the end (1 Pet. ii. 7) 



40 INTRODUCTION. 



That they heard such a rebuke frdm these peasants of 
Galilee, "unlearned and ignorant men" who filled no office and 
had never sat at the feet of any Rabbi in Jerusalem, amazed 
them. Who were these speakers? They looked and recognised 
the features of the only two disciples who had entered the High 
Priest's palace on the morning of the crucifixion (John xviii. 15) 
and whom they may then probably have seen there. In their 
amazement they took what seemed to them a middle course. 
They could not deny the miracle ; they would not punish the 
Apostles. It would be enough to threaten them, and command 
silence for the future as far as the hated name of Jesus was con- 
cerned. They find what must have seemed to them a resolute 
defiance. Those disciples had a duty imposed on them and from 
that duty they could not shrink. It was not right to hearken 
unto men more than unto God (Acts iv. 19, 20). They left the 
Judgment Hall with the full assertion of their freedom, and when 
they rejoined the company of the disciples, and told what had 
happened to them, they burst out into what St Luke records as 
the Church's first hymn of praise, an echo, as it were, of the 
Pentecostal chant, a "spiritual song" (Eph. v. 19; Col.iii. 16) in 
the sense of being the unpremeditated utterance of the Spirit 
that gave them the new "tongues" which were the instruments 
of a new power of exulting joy and praise. In the hymn itself 
we note some interesting coincidences. The "Lord" with which 
it opens, is not the ordinary Kyrios, but the Despotes which we 
find in 2 Pet. ii. 1. The "child Jesus" is none other than the 
"servant of the Lord" of the later prophecies of Isaiah (xlii. 1, 
lii. 13), whom the Apostle had now learrit to identify both in his 
sufferings and his glory with the Lord whom he served. His 
view of the relations between man's freedom and God's fore- 
ordaining purpose is the same as that expressed in his earlier 
speeches in the Acts (i. 16, ii. 23, iv. 28) and in his latest utterance 
in his Epistles (1 Pet. ii. 8). 

^ The history of Ananias and Sapphira need not be further 
dwelt on than as indicating the power to forgive or retain sins 
which Peter exercised in the full consciousness of its realitv, 
when the pardon or condemnation expressed the insight into 



INTRODUCTION. 41 



character which he had received through the illumination of the 
Spirit (John xx. 23). The punishment which he was the agent in 
inflicting was necessary to preserve the infant community from 
that greed of gain which had led Judas to his destruction. How 
far that punishment extended, it was not for him, nor is it 
for us to say. It is enough to note that the dominant idea 
of all such punishments as exercised by the Apostles was that 
the offender was "delivered to Satan for the destruction of 
the flesh that the Spirit might be saved in the day of the 
the Lord Jesus " (1 Cor. v. 5), that he himself, in dwelling on 
the marvellous mercies of the Father of all spirits, speaks of 
those who "are judged according to men in the flesh " and yet 
"live to God in the Spirit " (1 Pet. iv. 6). The natural result of the 
punishment thus inflicted was seen in a new awe and reverence 
of which the Apostle was the object. The Eastern portico of 
the Temple, known as Solomon's, as containing, it was believed, 
part of the original structure of the first Temple, in which he 
had of old walked with his Master as He taught (John x. 23), 
was now, for a time, almost, as it were, appropriated to him 
and his brother Apostles, by a common consent, which the 
priests and Levites did not dare to resist, as a place where they 
might meet and teach the people (Acts v. 12). The very 
"shadow of Peter" became, as the hem of Christ's garment had 
been, a means of healing to those who brought with them the 
intensity of faith which, in its turn, brought them within the 
range of the divine power to heal. 

This expansion of influence brought on the next stage of 
persecution. Threats, it seemed, were not enough, and more 
stringent measures had to be taken. Once again the Apostles 
(now, it would seem, the whole company of the Twelve) were 
called before the tribunal of the Sadducean priesthood, and were 
committed to the dungeon of the public prison. Released by an 
angel of the Lord, they appeared in the Temple carrying on the 
work of teaching. Summoned once more before the Council, 
Peter, as the spokesman of the rest, proclaimed his steadfast 
adherence to the rule that it was right to obey God rather 
than man, and so to bear their witness that Jesus had risen 



42 INTRODUCTION. 



from the dead. The prudent advice of Gamaliel, as repre- 
senting the more moderate section of the Pharisees, prevailed 
for the time, but though acquitted of the charge of blasphemy, 
they were dealt with as disturbers of the Temple, and suffered 
the Jewish penalty of being beaten with rods (Acts v. 17 — 42). 

Peter's wisdom and moderation were as conspicuous in the 
next stage of the Church's growth as his courage and prophetic 
power had been hitherto. The distribution of alms to the dis- 
tressed widows of the community was the occasion of serious 
difficulties. He and the rest of the Twelve were Galileans, but 
the Hellenistic or Greek-speaking Jews had now become an im- 
portant section, and they thought themselves passed over in 
favour of the Hebrews, with whom the Galilean Apostles were 
supposed to have greater sympathy. The difficulty was met by 
no assertion of supremacy, but by a wise and generous conces- 
sion. The multitude of the disciples were to elect seven officers 
for this special purpose ; the Apostles would confine themselves 
to the higher work of teaching and of prayer. The Greek names 
of the seven who were elected make it probable that they were 
chosen as representing the several sections of the Hellenistic 
Jews of the dispersion (Acts vi. 1 — 7). 

With the character and work of Stephen, and with the 
persecution of which he was the object we are not now con- 
cerned, except so far as the latter indicates that his teaching 
presented features that roused a hostility which had not been 
caused by the preaching of St Peter, and that the hostility 
came from a different quarter. The persecutors of the Apostle 
had been the Sadducees, who hated him for the witness which he 
bore to the resurrection of Jesus. He had been protected by the 
temporizing policy of the more moderate section of the Phari- 
sees represented by Gamaliel. In the case of Stephen we have 
a coalition between the more violent section of those Pharisees 
headed by Gamaliel's pupil and the Sadducean priesthood. 
And the charges against him, interpreted by the tenor of his 
own apologia, shew why this was so. He had dwelt more than 
the Twelve had done, on the wider thoughts which in the 
teaching of our Lord had been presented as in their germinal 



INTRODUCTION. 43 



state and had been developed by the. teaching of the Spirit. 
That the Temple was to pass away, that its sacrifices had 
ceased to have any value for the deliverance of man's soul 
from the power or penalty of evil, that the customs which 
Moses had delivered, the whole body of outward ceremonial 
ordinances, were about to pass away before the coming of a 
better order, this Stephen saw more clearly and proclaimed more 
earnestly than Peter had as yet done (Acts vi. 13, 14). And 
therefore it was that while the storm of persecution fell on him 
and the whole body of believers, specially, it is obvious, on his 
six colleagues and those who followed his teaching, the Twelve 
were able to remain at Jerusalem and carried on their work 
without further molestation. They were not again exposed 
to the fiery trial of persecution till they had taken one or 
two decisive steps in the path in which Stephen had led the 
way. 

The first of those steps was brought about by a fellow- worker 
of Stephen's, like in character and feeling. Though the Twelve 
had been told that they were to be witnesses for their Lord in 
Samaria as well as in Jerusalem and Judaea (Acts i. 8), they 
had as yet acted as if the rule given on their first mission 
were still binding, and had not entered into " any city of the 
Samaritans" (Matt. x. 5). Philip, forced to leave Jerusalem 
by the hostility of both the ruling parties, found a refuge in 
the unnamed city of Samaria,. probably, i.e. in Sychar. The 
way had been prepared for him, and for his teaching, partly 
by the announcement of the Christ to the woman of Samaria, 
and through her, to her people, that the Mountain of Gerizim 
and the Temple at Jerusalem were alike among the things 
that were decaying and waxing old, and were ready to vanish 
away (John iv. 21 — 24), partly by the counterfeit of Divine Truth 
preached by the teacher who, as Simon the Sorcerer, became in 
the next century the hero of the romance of heresy. The Apo- 
stles in Jerusalem welcomed the tidings that the Samaritans had 
received the Gospel, and the two friends Peter and John were 
sent to confirm their faith by imparting to them, through 
the laying on of hands, the gift of the Holy Spirit. They had 



44 INTRODUCTION. 

not been in that region since one of them had desired to call 
down fire from heaven on those who would not receive his 
Master (Luke ix. 54). Now he had learnt what manner of 
Spirit claimed him as its own, and came to give them that 
Spirit whose mighty presence was as a baptism of fire. Then 
for the first time, though, if we follow the traditions of the 
second century, by no means for the last, the two Simons 
stood face to face in all the contrast of their characters, the 
one true, faithful, impetuous ; the other greedy of gain and 
trading on the credulity of his followers (Acts viii. 9 — 24). In 
him, accompanied as he was, by his mistress Helena, it is 
not difficult to believe, he saw the typical representative of the 
false teachers whom he paints in such dark colours in his 
second Epistle as " having eyes full of an adulteress and that 
cannot cease from sin, beguiling unstable souls, having a heart 
exercised with covetous practices" (see Notes on 2 Pet. ii. 
12 — 14). In the boast of Simon that he was " the great power 
of God" (Acts viii. 9, 10) we recognise the "great swelling words 
of vanity" of 2 Pet. ii. 18; in the sentence passed on the 
sorcerer, " Thy money go with thee to destruction " (Acts viii. 
20), we have the foreshadowing of the final doom of those " who 
shall utterly perish in their own corruption " (2 Pet. ii. 12). 
The very word which describes the state of those who had 
forsaken the right way (2 Pet ii. 15) is that which he had used 
of Simon, " Thy heart is not right in the sight of God " (Acts 
viii. 21). It had been better for him, as for them, "not to 
have known the way of righteousness," and his latter end, like 
theirs, was worse than the beginning (2 Pet. ii. 20) 

The two Apostles continued their mission work in Samaria 
and returned to Jerusalem, When they reached it they found 
that the storm of persecution had ceased. It may be that they 
heard that a strange change had come over him, the zealot of 
Tarsus, who had been so prominent as its leader. Soon the 
minds of their countrymen were agitated by a danger from 
another quarter. The Emperor Caius (more commonly known 
by his nickname of Caligula) was bent on anticipating, while 
yet alive, the apotheosis which had been decreed by the ob- 



INTRODUCTION. 4$ 



sequious Senate to his predecessors on their death, and had 
given orders that his statue, in colossal proportions, should be 
set up in the Temple at Jerusalem. He was deterred from the 
insane project by the remonstrances of his friend Agrippa 
(grandson of Herod the Great and brother of the Herodias 
of the Gospel history), whom he had made King of Judaea, and 
of Petronius, the Governor of Syria, but while the alarm 
lasted, it absorbed the attention of the people, and so far was 
favourable to the silent growth of the Churches of Judaea and 
Galilee and Samaria "in the fear of the Lord and the comfort 
of the Holy Ghost" (Acts ix. 31, Joseph. Ant. xvm. 8). 

In the meantime, some three years after the death of Stephen, 
the Apostle met for the first time the teacher whose name was 
in after ages and in many ways to be closely associated with 
his own. Saul of Tarsus came from Damascus to Jerusalem 
with the express purpose of conferring with Peter (GaL i. 18), 
and communicating to him the new phase of truth which had 
been revealed to him, as Peter's had been of old, not by flesh 
and blood, but by his Father in Heaven (GaLi. 11, 12), as to the 
unity of mankind in Christ, and the breaking down of the 
wall of partition that divided Jew from Gentile. The visit was, 
however, but a short and hurried one. Peter and James the 
brother of the Lord were the only two representatives of the 
Church of Jerusalem whom the new preacher saw (Gal. i. 19). 
They shrank at first from receiving him as remembering his 
old hostility, and when they yielded to • the witness which 
Barnabas, probably as having been his friend in past years, 
bore to his sincerity, it was as yet, it may be, without the full 
unreserved confidence which is the condition of a free inter- 
change of thoughts (Acts ix. 21). Enough, however, had been 
done, to sow the seeds of new thoughts, to wake questions 
which were in due course to receive a solution, to quicken 
the expectations of the Apostle as to the time and manner 
when the Gentiles should be admitted to the Kingdom. 

The mission work of Peter led him from Jerusalem towards 
the West. At Lydda, and in the region known as the Saron 
(=the woodland, or, as we might say, the Weald), Churches 



46 INTRODUCTION. 



were founded or were strengthened. At Joppa, even prior to 
his arrival, there was a Christian Church, with its organised 
charity, its widows and its sisterhood of workers. Dorcas, or 
Tabitha (the double form of the name indicates the union of 
Hellenistic and Hebrew believers there) had probably points of 
contact with the Jews of the Western dispersion *. The town, 
as the chief centre of trade for the south of Palestine, must have 
been as full of motley groups of sailors and traders as Tyre or 
Sidon. As he looked out from the harbour on the waters of 
the Great Sea, the question must have been in his mind, when 
and how the Isles of the Gentiles, the Isles of Chittim, should 
acknowledge Christ as their Lord. In taking up his abode with 
"one Simon a tanner," whom we can scarcely think of as other 
than a fellow-disciple, there was at least one step towards break- 
ing down the traditions of the elders, for from the stand-point 
of those traditions, the trade was one which brought with it 
an immediate and inevitable uncleanness (Acts ix. 32 — 43). 

Solitude, prayer, fasting, the natural resource of a spirit under 
the pressure of such thoughts became for him the channel of a 
new revelation. The hunger of the body became a parable of 
the hunger of the soul. The "all manner of four-footed beasts 
of the earth, and wild beasts and creeping things" were symbols 
of the Gentile nations, whom he had hitherto looked on as 
common and unclean. He might afterwards learn to see that in 
their coming down from Heaven and being taken up to it again, 
there was shadowed forth the truth that Humanity had been 
redeemed in the mysteries of the Incarnation and the Ascension. 
The command, "Arise, Peter, kill and eat," was soon interpreted 
by events (Acts x. 1— 18). He was not to let any previous 
scruples as to what was common or unclean hinder him from 
seeing in the Gentiles those who might satisfy, even as they 
were, his yearning for the extension of his Master's kingdom. 
He was taught where to find the other sheep which were not 

1 It is not without interest to note that the name Dorcas appears in 
the Columbarium of Livia at Rome as belonging to an Ornairix 
(= lady's maid, or, perhaps, needle-woman) of the Empress's house* 
hold. 



INTRODUCTION. 47 



of the fold of Israel, whom also it was his to feed (John x. 16, 
xxi. 15 — 17). Incidentally we may note as characteristic of the 
man, the impetuous "Not so, Lord," reminding us of his 
"Thou shalt never wash my feet" (John xiii. 8), the threefold 
repetition of the whole vision reminding us at once of the 
threefold denial, and the threefold question and command of 
John xxi. 15 — 17. He was not slow to understand and act 
on the meaning of the symbolic vision as it was interpreted 
by the sequence of events. He too had learnt to "honour all 
men" (1 Pet. ii. 17) and to see that in the Kingdom of God 
a "respect of persons" based on distinctions of race was 
as contrary to the mind of Christ as that based on dis- 
tinctions of wealth or rank (James ii. 1 — 4), and so had to 
supply, as it were, another minor premiss to St James's general 
principle. He had been taught that "in every nation he that 
feareth God and worketh righteousness is accepted with Him" 
(Acts x. 34, 35). He had been led almost to the very platform 
of St Paul, that "circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is 
nothing," but that "faith working by love" is all in all (Gal. v. 6). 
When the gift of the Spirit, the new exulting and enthusiastic 
joy fell upon the friends of Cornelius, anticipating in this case the 
outward baptism which usually preceded it, he was ready with 
the question to which there could be but one answer, " Can any 
man forbid water that these should not be baptised, which have 
received the Holy Ghost as well as we?" (Acts x. 44 — 48.) 
Traces of the teaching of those eventful days meet us at every 
stage in his Epistles. "The Gospel," he tells his readers, "had 
been preached to them with the witness of the Holy Ghost sent 
down from Heaven" (1 Pet. i. 12). He reminds them that 
"the Father without respect of persons judgeth according to 
every man's work" (1 Pet. i. 17}, that purification of the soul 
comes by "obeying the truth through the Spirit" (1 Pet. 1. 22). 
During the remainder of that visit to Caesar ea, he lived as freely 
as St Paul afterwards did, in the house of an uncircumcised 
Gentile. 

On his return to Jerusalem he was confronted by the hos- 
tility of those who were now recognised as the party of the 

Peter & Jude 4 



4 S INTRODUCTION. 



Circumcision, insisting on its indispensable necessity. The 
mere statement of the fact that he had gone in to men uncircum- 
cised and had eaten with them seemed to them at first enough. 
Their deference for his personal authority and for the vision 
that had come to him from God, made them withdraw their 
objection for the time, and the great bulk of the party, re* 
presented, we may believe, by James the brother of the Lord, 
glorified God for thus giving to the Gentiles repentance unto 
life (Acts xi. I — 18). Afterwards, it would seem, the ultra-zealots 
of the section came to persuade themselves that the case of 
Cornelius was altogether exceptional and was an exception that 
proved the rule. 

It seems probable, though not absolutely certain, that Peter 
shared in the joy of the Church of Jerusalem when tidings 
came that Gentiles had been admitted to baptism at Antioch 
as they had been at Caesarea, and in the action which gave 
Barnabas a special mission to guide and organise the commu- 
nity that had thus been formed (Acts xi. 22). If he remained at 
Jerusalem after Agabus had predicted the famine which in the 
early years of Claudius (a.d. 41 — 3) pressed on the Church there, 
he must have rejoiced in the proof given of the love and pity of 
the Gentiles in the contribution sent for their relief from the 
Christians of Antioch by the hand of Barnabas and Saul (Acts xi. 
27 — 30) The stress laid on the fact that this was sent to the 
"elders," and the absence of any reference to this visit in St 
Paul's review of his conferences with St Peter (Gal. i. 18) are, 
however, all but decisive in favour of the inference that he 
was at the time engaged in some unrecorded mission work 
away from Jerusalem. 

The arrival of the new king Agrippa, and the rigorous mea- 
sures which he took, in order to court the favour of priests and 
people, against the Church at Jerusalem, drew the Apostle back 
to the post of danger. James the son of Zebedee, the companion 
of his early years, was put to death, the protomartyr of the 
Apostolic company. He himself was thrown into prison as 
sentenced to a like doom when the Passover, then impending, 
should be over. From that doom he was rescued, as before, by 



INTRODUCTION, 49 



the intervention of an angel of the Lord, and he, for whom the 
Church was praying in the house of Mary, the kinswoman of 
Barnabas, and mother of John su married Mark (both probably 
converted by his preaching, 1 Pet. v. 13), suddenly appeared in 
the midst of them. It was, however, necessary for his safety 
to leave Jerusalem, and leaving the Church in the charge of 
James the brother of the' Lord, he went as St Luke records to 
"another place" (Acts xii. 1 — 17). Where this was we have 
no data for determining, probably Lydda or Joppa, or some 
other town in Judaea where he would be welcomed and pro- 
tected. The assumption that the "other place" was Rome and 
that this was the beginning of his twenty-five years Episcopate, 
though adopted by many Roman Catholic writers, scarcely 
calls for a serious refutation. 

From this time forth, however, the Acts of the Apostles be- 
come more and more exclusively the Acts of St Paul alone, and 
five or six years pass over during which we have no record of 
St Peter's work. James, the brother of the Lord, assumed 
more and more the position of the Bishop of the Church at Je- 
rusalem. Peter, and probably John also, may have been em- 
ployed in exercising their Apostolic office in the other Churches 
of Judaea. The revival of the question as to the conditions on 
which Gentile converts were to be admitted into the Church, 
which arose first at Antioch, and was referred for settlement 
to the Apostles and elders at Jerusalem, at all events drew him 
back to that city. The part he took in the discussion which 
took place in the Synod or Conference that was thus held was 
consistent at once with the lessons impressed on him by the 
history of Cornelius, and with the later teaching of his Epistles 
(Acts xv. 1 — 11). His position, however, was distinctly that 
of a debater, not of a judge. Though his position gives him 
a natural authority, there is no assumption of primacy, still 
less of an unerring power to judge. He reasons from past 
experience as the witness of a divine purpose. He dwells on 
the fact that true purity belonged to the heart, and not to the 
flesh, and was wrought not by circumcision and the law of 
ordinances, but by faith* As if reminding them of the words 

4—2 



50 INTRODUCTION. 



of the Master whom they all owned as Lord, he tells them 
that they are putting an intolerable yoke, a yoke which even 
they and their fathers had found intolerable, on the neck of 
the Gentile converts (Acts xv. 10, Matt xxiii. 4) instead of 
His easy yoke (Matt. xi. 30). In words which have in them 
the very tones and accents of St Paul's teaching he declares 
that his hopes of salvation rest on " the grace of the Lord Jesus 
Christ" and on that alone (Acts xv. 7 — 11). St PauPs report of 
what passed, as it were, behind the scenes, in connexion with 
this debate throws light on its course and on its result 1 . On 
arriving at Jerusalem he sought for a private conference with 
the acknowledged leaders, those who were known as the "pil- 
lars" of the Church at Jerusalem. To them he set forth in 
its fulness the Gospel which he preached among the Gentiles, 
and they, as indeed the Epistles of St Peter and St John 
shew beyond the shadow of a doubt, accepted that Gospel 
without reserve. On that point he would not leave room for 
the shadow of an uncertainty. It was agreed either that the 
Apostles of Circumcision should support St Paul in his firm 
resolve to resist the Pharisee section of the Church in their 
efforts to compel him to circumcise Titus, whom he had brought 
to Jerusalem apparently as a representative instance of what 
a Gentile convert could be in purity and holiness, or else that 
Titus should accept the sign of the covenant of Israel as a 
voluntary act for the sake of peace, and not as yielding to com- 
pulsion, or regarding it as the indispensable condition of his 
admission into fellowship "with the Church of Christ 8 . In that 
conference, however, St Paul asserted his independence as a 
teacher. He had nothing to learn from Peter and James and 
John. They had, perhaps, something to learn from him, and they 
learnt it willingly. They were content to give to him and to 

1 I assume, with the great majority of commentators, that St Paul 
refers in Gal. ii. 1 to the visit of Acts xv., and not, as some few have 
thought, to that of Acts xviii. 22. 

* I state the two alternative views which have been taken of the 
somewhat ambiguous language of Gal. ii. 3 ("not even Titus... war com- 
peUid to be circumcised ), but the former seems to me every way the 
most probable. 



INTRODUCTION. 51 

Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, and to accept a partition 
treaty of the wide field of mission labour, they confining them- 
selves to the Circumcision while he and his fellow-worker went 
as before to the Gentiles. It was further settled as a means of 
uniting the two sections of the Church that he should continue 
his work of collecting alms for the suffering disciples at Jerusa- 
lem (Gal. ii. 1 — 10). The whole programme of the public con- 
ference was thus, apparently, arranged beforehand, and when 
James proposed that the so-called precepts of Noah, abstinence 
from "things sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from 
things strangled, and from fornication," which had hitherto been 
considered sufficient for the " proselytes of the gate n in their 
status of incomplete union with Israel, should now be accepted 
as enough for the complete union of Gentile converts who were 
baptized, with the true Israel of God, St Paul accepted the 
proposal readily and without reserve (Acts xv. 13 — 30). It was 
for him, however, distinctly of the nature of a temporary con- 
cordat. He never appealed to its restrictive authority, though 
he published and rested on its concessions. He preferred, as 
in the long discussion of the question in 1 Cor. viii. — x., to 
argue the lawfulness of eating, or not eating, things that had 
been sacrificed to idols on entirely independent grounds. 

As far as the writer of the Acts is concerned, we entirely 
lose sight of St Peter after the Council of Jerusalem, and the 
New Testament gives us but the scantiest information as to 
the fourteen or fifteen years that followed before his death. The 
one distinct fact of which we get a glimpse is a somewhat pain- 
ful one. He went down to Antioch at some uncertain interval 
after the Council in Jerusalem, and for a time acted in the full 
spirit of the words he had then spoken, and as he had acted in 
the case of Cornelius, eating and drinking with the Gentiles, 
both in their common meals, and in their Agapae and the more 
sacred "breaking of bread." Some of the circumcision party, 
however, came down from Jerusalem, and claiming (probably, 
as before, without ground) to speak in the name of James, pro- 
tested against his action. This, they seem to have said, was 
going beyond the terms of the Concordat. They were willing 



52 INTRODUCTION. 



to leave the Gentiles in the undisturbed exercise of their free- 
dom, but they did not care to see their own Apostle of the Cir- 
cumcision renounce the traditions of the elders, and no longer 
walk after the customs. The old weakness of nature which had 
shewed itself in the high-priest's palace displayed itself yet once 
more. He yielded to the pressure from without and took up a 
position of invidious separation from the Gentiles. In doing so 
he both shut them out from free and complete communion, 
and he tacitly condemned St Paul, who continued to do the 
very thing from which he had thus withdrawn. What made the 
matter worse was that Barnabas also was persuaded to follow 
his example. The current of public feeling, at least among the 
Gentile Christians, was strongly roused against him, and of that 
feeling the Apostle of the Gentiles made himself the mouthpiece 
and rebuked the chief of the Apostles sternly for his vacillating 
inconsistency (Gal. ii. 1 1 — 14). The abrupt and fragmentary ac- 
count of the matter which St Paul gives hinders us from know- 
ing how St Peter received the rebuke there given. We may 
well believe, however, that he accepted it with all the frankness 
of a noble and generous nature. His name might be used by 
embittered partisans and set up in rivalry against St Paul, but 
Cephas himself was never a member of the Cephas party at 
Corinth or elsewhere. Not a trace of bitterness is found in his 
Epistles, and to a large extent, as the notes will shew, they 
reproduce St Paul's teaching as freely as they do that of St 
James or St John. Writing to those who owed their knowledge 
of the Gospel mainly to St Paul and his companions, he testifies 
that they are standing "in the true grace of God" (1 Pet v. 12), 
that they already know the things of which he puts them in re- 
membrance and are "established in the present truth" (2 Pet. 
i. 12). Paul is with him his "beloved brother," and he recog- 
nises the wisdom that had been given him (2 Pet. iii. 15). He 
becomes a diligent student of the Epistles that contain that 
wisdom, and places them on the same level of authority as the 
other Scriptures, though he finds in them some things hard to 
be understood and open to misconstruction (2 Pet. iii. 16). 
After the scene at Antioch the Epistles that bear his name 



INTRODUCTION. 53 



are our only source of information as to the later years of St 
Peter. It may be inferred from tbem that his work as an 
Apostle took him eastward to the city on the Euphrates, which 
was near the site and had inherited the name of the ancient 
Babylon ; that Mark, his early convert, had joined him after 
working with Barnabas and visiting St Paul at Rome (1 Pet. v. 
13, Col. iv. 10), that Silvanus, also the friend and' fellow- worker 
of both Apostles, had come to him from the Asiatic Churches, 
and had reported the sufferings to which they were exposed. 
With less certainty we may infer that now, as before (1 Cor. ix. 
5), his wife shared his journeys and his labours. (See note on 
1 Pet. v. 13.) When he wrote his second Epistle it was with 
the foreboding that the sudden and violent death of which his 
Lord had told him was not far off and that it was necessary 
to make provision for it by taking steps for perpetuating the 
teaching which hitherto had been chiefly oral (2 Pet. i. 15). 

Here, as far as the New Testament is concerned, our know- 
ledge of St Peter ends. It remains for us to examine the mass 
of traditions and legends which have gathered round the close 
of his life and to ascertain, as far as we can, what fragments of 
definite historical fact can be disengaged from them. The 
silence of Scripture is, however, not without its significance as 
bearing on the claims which have been asserted by the Roman 
Church as resting on the name of Peter. Was it likely, we 
may ask, if her theory were true, if the whole well-being of 
the Church were identified with its submission to the Bishop of 
Rome and his successors, as inheriting his primacy, supremacy, 
infallibility, that not one word in the Canonical Books of Scrip- 
ture should even suggest the thought that he had ever been at 
Rome? 

CHAPTER III. 

UFE OF ST PETER. THE TRADITIONS AND LEGENDS OF THE 

CHURCH. 

It will be convenient, I think, to give in the first place 
the u Legend of St Peter" in the form in which it has been 



54 INTRODUCTION. 



received at Rome for some thousand years or more 1 , and then 
to enquire how far it contains any elements that may fairly be 
treated as historical. It may be premised that its chronology 
is based on the assumption that the Crucifixion took place 
A. D. 29. 

In A.D. 33 St Peter, it is said, left Jerusalem for Antioch 
and founded the Church there, and after staying for seven years, 
appointed Euodius, or, according to another version, Ignatius, as 
his successor. During this period, however, he travelled on his 
Apostolic work, and so chanced to be at Jerusalem when St Paul 
came there from Damascus in A.D. 37 (Gal. i. 18). His wife 
travelled with him, but they lived together as bound by a vow 
of perpetual continence, and his daily diet was limited to a 
small quantity of lupines or other vegetables. During this 
period also he preached the Gospel to the Churches to whom 
his first Epistle is addressed, i. e. he reached the Northern and 
Western shores of the Black Sea. In A.D. 40 after the death of 
James the soh of Zebedee (according to one form of the legend, 
after that of the Mother of the Lord, for which they had waited), 
the Twelve Apostles separated. Each contributed an Article of 
the Creed, St Peter giving the first, as their future bond of union, 
and as they divided the provinces of the Empire between them, 
he chose Rome, and accordingly made his way there, and be- 
came the founder and first Bishop of its Church. He reached 
the imperial city in A.D. 40, and returned to Jerusalem in time to 
share in the persecution under Herod Agrippa. On his miracu- 
lous deliverance from prison he returned to Rome, and this 
accordingly was the "other place" of Acts xii. 17. The decree of 
Claudius, however, drove him and the other Jews from Rome 
in A. D. 49, and so, returning to Jerusalem, he was present at 
the Council held there in A. D. 51. During his stay at Rome 
he became acquainted with Philo, the Jew of Alexandria, and 
converted him to the faith in Christ. On leaving Jerusalem 
after the Council he revisited Antioch, and there encountered 

1 I take Alban Butler's Lives of the Saints as representing the 
Roman tradition in a fairly authoritative form, quoting other authorities 
as occasion may require. 



INTRODUCTION. 55 



St Paul's rebuke, either (as Augustine thought) accepting it 
meekly, or (as Jerome held) arranging the whole scene before- 
hand with his brother Apostle so that the lesson might be 
more vividly and dramatically impressed on the minds of the 
spectators. His Epistles, before he left or after his return 
to Rome, were written about this time (a.d. 45 — 55), and the 
Babylon from which he wrote was not the city on the Euphrates 
but the capital of the Empire under its mystical, symbolic name. 
On his return his work took a wider range. He had before 
lived among his own people in the Transtiberine quarter of the 
city appropriated to the Jews. Now he was received into the 
house of the Senator Pudens on the Viminal Hill, and baptized 
him and his two daughters Praxedis and Pudentiana. Two 
churches in that quarter dedicated to them as S. Prassede 
and S. Pudenziana preserve the memory of this tradition, and 
the substructures of the latter are identified with the house 
in which the Apostle lived for many years. At Rome, how- 
ever, he encountered once more his old foe and rival, Simon 
the sorcerer of Samaria. According to the Clementine Ho- 
milies and Recognitions (apocryphal Ebionite books of the 
second century) they had met and disputed in the mean- 
time at Caesarea, at Tyre, at Sidon and at Berytus. Simon, 
worsted in all these conflicts, found his way to Rome and 
gained by his magic arts the favour of the Emperor Nero. 
The years passed on, and Peter was still at Rome when tidings 
reached him that his brother Apostle, whom he had not met 
since their dispute at Antioch, had landed at Puteoli. The 
Roman Christians who met St Paul at Appii Forum and the 
Three Taverns were sent by Peter. They worked together as 
friends and brothers. He preached the Gospel over all Italy and 
other provinces of the West. Together or separately they be- 
came the founders of the British Church. They were together 
when Simon the Sorcerer, as if counterfeiting an Ascension 
like* that of Christ, declared to the Emperor that he would 
fly up towards Heaven, and by their united prayers they 
defeated the demons who were helping the impostor, and so 
he fell to the ground and came to a shameful end. It was 



56 INTRODUCTION. 



partly in consequence of this, as well as to turn aside the 
suspicion of being implicated in the great fire of Rome, that 
Nero began his persecution of the Christians. The disciples 
urged Peter to flee, and he left the city by the Appian Way. 
A little way beyond the Porta Capena (now the Porta S. »S>- 
bastiano\ the modern Church known as "Domine quo vadis?" 
records the vision that turned him back. He saw his Master's 
form and he asked, "Lord, whither goest Thou?" and from 
Kis lips there came the words "I go to Rome to be crucified 
yet again." The Apostle felt the rebuke, turned his steps back, 
and was soon afterwards taken and thrown into the Tullianum, 
or Mamertine prison. There, in what is now the crypt-Eke 
chapel of S. Pietro in Career^ he converted his gaolers, and 
a spring of fresh water burst out of the ground that he might 
baptize them. The day of execution came and the two Apostles 
were led out of the city on the Ostian Way. A small Oratory 
marks the place where they bade each other their last farewell. 
St Paul was led on to the spot now known as the Tre Fontane 
and beheaded. St Peter, whose wife had suffered martyrdom 
before him, and had been strengthened by his exhortations, was 
taken to the height of the Janiculum or Transtiberine region, 
and on the spot. now marked by a small circular chapel in the 
churchyard of S. Pietro in Montorio, suffered the punishment 
which the Romans inflicted on slaves and outlaws and bar- 
barians, and was nailed to the cross. He desired, in the in- 
tensity of his humility, something that would make his death 
more ignominious and shameful than his Master's, and at his 
own request he was crucified head downwards. So at last he 
gained the Martyr's crown, and ended the twenty-five years of 
his Episcopate, those * years of St Peter" which by a singular 
chance have never been equalled by any of his successors, till 
the fisherman's ring was worn and the chair of Peter filled 
by a Pontiff (Pius IX.) who arrogated to himself more dog- 
matically than any who preceded him had done, the full in- 
heritance of the Apostle's supremacy and infallibility. When 
all was over, the body was interred in the Catacombs outside 
the city on the Appian Way, probably in those known as the 



INTRODUCTION. 57 



Catacombs of S. Callistus. After they had remained there for 
a year and a half, they were removed, probably by Jewish 
converts who inhabited the Transtiberine region to which the 
ground belonged, to the Ager Vaticanus. In the crypt of the 
"Confession" of the stately Temple which bears his name, and 
in which we find the remains of the older Basilica erected in 
his honour by Constantine, the tomb of the Apostle still attracts 
the reverence of the faithful, and they pass from it to the 
marble chair in which he is reported to have sat. 

We ask as we read this elaborate narrative on what evidence 
does it rest. The silence of Scripture, though it cannot, of course, 
prove that it is baseless, is at least a presumption that it is so ; 
and requires to be balanced by proportionately weighty proof. 
It is not in the nature of things probable that neither St Luke, 
in a history which ends in Rome, nor St Paul, in the Epistles 
which he writes both to and from that city, should have given 
the slightest hint as to such events as these, had they really 
come within their knowledge, and that they should have occurred 
and not come within their knowledge is, it may be said, simply 
incredible. The conjecture that the * other place" of Acts xii 
17 was Rome, is against all the probabilities of the case, and 
the assumption that the Apostle anticipates the mystic and 
apocalyptic application of the name of Babylon cannot be said 
to rest on any adequate grounds, though it is not absolutely 
incredible (see notes on 1 Pet v. 13). 

Turning to evidence outside the books of the New Testa- 
ment it is unsatisfactory, to say the least, that the statements 
become fuller and more definite in proportion as we recede 
from the time when the events are said to have occurred. 
Clement of Rome (1. 5) speaks of Peter as having "borne his 
witness and gone to the place of glory that was due to him," 
but though he speaks of Paul's labours as having carried him 
to the "furthest bounds of the West," and of his " having borne 
his witness before the prefects (or rulers)," is silent as to the 
extent of Peter's labours or the scene of his death. It may be 
conceded, however, that this would not be an unnatural way of 
referring to the event if he assumed it to be as well known to 



58 INTRODUCTION. 



his readers as it was to himself. Ignatius writing to the Romans 
(c. 4) says incidentally "I do not command you, as Peter and 
Paul might do," but it is a precarious inference from this that 
he names them because they had suffered martyrdom at Rome. 
Papias (circ. a.d. 150) is referred to but not quoted, by Eusebius 
(//. E. II. 15) as stating that Peter's teaching was the basis of 
St Mark's Gospel, and that it was written for the disciples at 
Rome. Clement of Alexandria (to whom Eusebius also refers 
as an authority for the same statement) names Peter's parting 
counsel to his wife but says nothing as to the time or place of 
their martyrdom (Strom. VII. 11). The earliest statement with 
any approach to definiteness is that of Dionysius, Bishop of 
Corinth (quoted by Eusebius (H. E. II. .25), in his letter to the 
Roman Church in which he speaks of it as having, as the 
Corinthians had, a common interest in the teaching both of 
Peter and of Paul. "Both came to our Corinth and planted us 
as a Church there, both taught in Italy, and bore their witness 
at the same time." Irenaeus, in like manner (ill. 1. 3), speaks 
of the Church at Rome as having been founded by both Apo- 
stles and of both taking part in the appointment of Linus. Caius 
a presbyter of Rome (circ. a.d. 210) is quoted by Eusebius as 
speaking of the monuments (rpoTrata) of the Apostles as being 
one in the Vatican and the other on the Ostian Way, which 
agrees with the popular tradition. Tertullian (circ. A.D. 210, de 
Praescr. c. 36) assumes as a known fact that Peter and Paul had 
both suffered at Rome. He also assumes that St John had been 
there and had escaped unhurt from a caldron of boiling oil. 
In a passage not found in his extant writings but quoted by 
Eusebius (H. E. II. 25) he, like Caius, appeals to the inscription 
on their tombs (foetneterid) as shewing the manner of their 
deaths. Origen and Cyprian are silent on the matter. The 
"Domine quo vadis?" story appears first in Ambrose (Serm. 
68, but it is doubtful whether it is really by Ambrose and is not 
included in the Benedictine edition of his works). 

The most that can be said of this evidence is that it leaves 
it fairly probable that St Peter ended his life at Rome. Of the 
twenty-five years of his Episcopate and of his having thus been 



INTRODUCTION. 59 



the first of the long line of Pontiffs there is not the shadow of 
any evidence till we come to Eusebius himself, who states (H. E. 
11. 14) that Peter followed Simon Magus to Rome in the reign of 
Claudius (a.d. 41) and there defeated him. He does not give 
the details of the defeat but wraps them in a vague rhetoric. 
The true sources of the Petrine legend are accordingly not to be 
found in the early Fathers of the Church, nor in any local tradi- 
tion of an earlier date than the latter part of the second century. 
We find their starting-point, however, elsewhere, in the elabo- 
rate Apocrypha of the Ebionite heretics, the successors of the 
Judaising, Cephas-party of the Apostolic age. There, in the 
Clementine Homilies, we find him journeying to Caesarea and 
Tyre and Sidon and Byblus and Tripolis and Laodicea 
and Antioch, and at well-nigh every place entering into elabo- 
rate discussions with Simon the Sorcerer. There, in the ro- 
mance known as the Recognitions (practically a replica of the 
Homilies) y we have Simon's journey to Rome (ill. 74, 75) and 
Peter's intention to follow on his track and defeat him. In the 
still later Acts of Peter and Paul, the narrative opens with 
Peter's residence at Rome, tells how he sent messengers to 
meet Paul, and gives in full the legend of Simon's flight and 
fall, of Peter's downward crucifixion, of the Domine quo vadis 
vision, of the burial in the Vatican, near the spot where naval 
combats used to be exhibited. It is, of course, difficult to say 
how far the last-named book embodied and embellished a 
pre-existent tradition, how far it was the basis of a new tradk 
tion, but it is not without significance that the claims of the 
Bishops of Rome as heirs of the supremacy of Peter, and the 
legends on which those claims rest, are an inheritance not from 
the authentic teaching of the Apostles or the Apostolic Church, 
but from the Ebionite heretics whom she condemned. 



60 INTRODUCTION. 



CHAPTER IV. 

THE FIRST EPISTLE OF ST PETER. 

A glance at the map of Asia Minor will shew that the pro- 
vinces which are named in the first verse of the Epistle 
occupied the greater part of the region popularly so described, 
leaving out only the Southern provinces of Cilicia, Pamphylia, 
Pisidia and Lycia. Pontus had not come within the recorded 
work of St Paul or any of the Apostles, but there are indications 
that it had attracted a considerable Jewish population. Jews 
of Pontus were present at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost 
(Acts ii. 9). Aquila the tent-maker came. from that country 
(Acts xviii. 2). So also did the Aquila (probably identical with 
Onkelos) the translator of the Hebrew Bible into Greek. Po- 
lemon, its titular king, married the Berenice of Acts xxv. 23, 
the sister of Herod Agrippa II., and became a proselyte to 
Judaism by accepting the badge of circumcision (Jos. Ant. xx. 
7). How the Gospel had been preached there we can only 
conjecture. It may have been carried by the unknown pil- 
grims from Jerusalem. Aquila or Paul may have embraced it 
in their mission work during the two years in which the latter 
made Ephesus the centre of his activity, or Luke, whom we 
find at Troas doing the work of an Evangelist in Acts xvi. 8 — 
10, may have included it in the sphere of his labours. The 
fact that Marcion, the heretic of the second century, confined 
his recognition of the Gospel history to a mutilated text of 
St Luke (Tertull. adv. Marcion. iv. 2), gives a certain confirma- 
tion to the last conjecture which is wanting for the other. Of 
Galatia we know, of course, much more. Most students of the 
New Testament are now familiar with the story of the settle- 
ment of the Gauls in that region in the 2nd century B.C., of their 
adoption of the orgiastic cultus of Cybele, the earth-goddess, 
with her eunuch priests, of the illness which led St Paul to 
prolong his stay among them (Gal. iv. 13), of their loving and 



INTRODUCTION. 6i 



loyal devotion to him, of the impetuosity and fickleness which 
they inherited from -their Keltic forefathers (Gal. i. 6), of the 
success of the Judaizing teachers in bewitching and perverting 
them (Gal. iii. l), of St Paul's indignant, sorrowful, tenderly 
passionate Epistle to them. We have, however, to remember 
that it was not to these, the Galatians properly so called, that 
St Peter wrote, but to those of the Dispersion who were sojourn- 
ing among them (i Pet. i. i). They also, however, probably 
received the Gospel from St Paul, and as being Jews were less 
likely to be the object of the proselytising intrigues of the Ju- 
daizers. Of Cappadocia we again note that it had sent pilgrims 
to the Pentecostal feast of Acts ii. 9. The Jewish settlers whom 
they represented had probably been brought into the region after 
the removal by Antiochus the Great of two thousand families 
from Mesopotamia and Babylon to Phrygia. The Western re- 
gion of the province bordered so closely on Lycaonia that Lystra 
and Derbe were sometimes reckoned as belonging to it, and 
the Gospel may have penetrated to it from those cities. Little 
as it is prominent in the New Testament records, it numbered 
among its cities many that were afterwards famous in the 
history of the Church, Tyana the birthplace of the impostor 
Apollonius, and Nyssa the see of Gregory, and Cassarea, that 
of his brother Basil, and Nazianzus, of the other Gregory. 

The name of Asia, the proconsular province of that name, 
of which Ephesus was the capital, recalls to our memory the 
history of St Paul's three years work there (Acts xx. 31). The 
Churches there must have been planted by him and his com- 
panions Aquila and Priscilla, and Apollos also had been active 
as a preacher (Acts xviii. 24). The Temple of Artemis made 
it one of the head-quarters of heathen worship. The Jews of 
Ephesus were among St Paul's bitterest enemies. Among the 
believers in that city, however, among the elders who were his 
fellow-workers he had found those on whom his thoughts dwelt 
with the most entire thankfulness and satisfaction. He had 
not shrunk from declaring to them the whole counsel of God 
(Acts xx. 27). They were able to understand his knowledge 
in the mystery of God (Eph. iii. 4). 



62 INTRODUCTION. 



We have no record of any work of St Paul's in Bithynia, 
but we know that when he was on his second mission journey 
his thoughts had turned to it as a promising field for his labours 
(Acts xvi. 7), and that but for the overpowering intimations in 
which he recognised the guidance of the Spirit of God, he would 
have turned his footsteps thither. What has been said above as 
to the probability of St Luke having extended his labours as a 
preacher of the Gospel from Troas to Pontus holds good also of 
this nearer region. The report made by Pliny in his official 
letter, as Proconsul of Bithynia, to the Emperor Trajan (circ. 
A.D. 1 10) shews that it must have manifested a singular recep- 
tivity for the Truth. He describes {Epp. X. 96) multitudes, both 
men and women, of every age and rank, as embracing the new 
religion, the temples almost deserted, and the market for sacri- 
fices finding scarcely a single purchaser. 

We are able without much risk of error to determine both 
the occasion and the date of the First Epistle which St Peter 
addressed to the Jewish Christians of these Churches. Silvanus 
had come to him bringing tidings that they were exposed to a 
fiery trial of persecution (1 Pet iv..i2). They were accused of 
being evil-doers, preaching revolutionary doctrines (1 Pet. ii. 
1$, 16) The very name of Christian then, as afterwards under 
Pliny's rdgime, exposed them to odium and outrage (1 Pet iv. 
16). The teachers to whom they owed so much, Paul and 
Aquila and Luke, were no longer with them. The state of 
things described in the First, and yet more in the Second 
Epistle, exactly answers to that which we find in St Pauls 
Epistles to Timothy, and we can scarcely be wrong in as- 
signing them to the same period. When a wave of fanatic 
hatred directed against the name of Christian was flowing 
well-nigh over the length and breadth of the Empire, rulers 
in the provinces were but too likely to follow the example 
which Nero had set them in the capital The Apostle felt 
that he could not withhold his words of comfort and counsel 
from those who were thus suffering, and though, in scrupulous 
conformity with the partition treaty to which St Paul refers in 
Gal ii. 9, he addresses himself primarily, if not exclusively, to 



INTRODUCTION. 63 



those who looked to him as the Apostle of the Circumcision, we 
may well believe that he did not shut out the Gentiles from his 
thoughts and prayers. The absence of any messages sent by 
name to those to whom he writes favours, though it does not 
prove, the conclusion that he had not known them personally. 
In the stress laid on their being in "the true grace of God" (1 
Pet. v. 12), in the admission that they had known all that he had 
to teach them (2 Pet. i. 12), in the tribute borne to the wisdom 
of his beloved brother Paul (2 Pet. iii. 15, 16), yet more in the re- 
production, which can hardly have been other than deliberate, of 
St Paul's most characteristic thoughts and phrases, we trace an 
almost anxious desire to shew that he and the Apostle of the 
Gentiles were still of one mind and heart in the fellowship of 
the Truth. As far as the First Epistle is concerned it does not 
appear that he was cognisant of any controversies or heresies 
that called for special warnings and reproofs. Possibly the 
storm of persecution had driven the false teachers who shrank 
from martyrdom into holes and corners. Possibly Silvanus 
had dwelt, naturally enough, on the more immediate and 
threatening dangers and had left the others untold. 

As a preparation for the study of the Epistle, it will be well 
to give a brief analysis of its contents, tracing the sequence of 
its thoughts. The reader who has followed that analysis will be 
prepared for two or three other lines of enquiry, the results of 
which will, it is believed, be in many ways interesting and sug- 
gestive. We have seen that the influences which were chiefly at 
work in fashioning St Peter's character were (1) the teaching of 
our Lord as recorded in the Gospels, (2) his association with St 
James, the brother of the Lord, in the superintendence of the 
Church of the Circumcision, (3) his friendship with St John, (4) 
his knowledge of St Paul's teaching as communicated orally or 
embodied in his Epistles. It is believed that a careful study of 
the two Epistles now before us will shew that they present 
many traces, sometimes in their thoughts, sometimes in their 
words and phrases, of each of these influences. For a fuller ex- 
amination of the parallelisms that thus present themselves, the 
reader is referred to the foregoing life of the Apostle and to the 

Peter &Jude 5 



64 INTRODUCTION. 



notes. It will be enough in this place to present the results in : 
a tabulated form so that he may follow up the line of enquiry fcr 
himself* 



A. ANALYSIS OF THE FIRST EPISTLE OF ST PETER. 

Chap. I. The Apostle salutes the sojourners of the "dispersion" of 
the Asiatic Churches (i, 2) and blesses God for His mercies to them 
(3, 4). The joy and salvation which spring from these more than balance 
their afflictions (5 — 9). Of that salvation prophets and angels sought to. 
know, yet knew not fully (10 — 12). Looking to it, men should learn to 
be patient and holy (13—17), leading the life of those who have been 
redeemed by the blood of Christ (18— *ai), but from their faith and hope 
should spring the love which belongs to the life of those who are re- 
generated by the indwelling Word of God {22 — 25). 

Chap. II. As thus begotten again, they should lead the lives of new- 
born babes in their simplicity and innocence (1 — 3), coming to the Lord as 
the living stone on which they who believe are built up (4 — 6), while it 
is a stone of stumbling to those who believe not (7 — 9). They are a 
royal priesthood and the people of God, and their lives as subjects 
under rulers, slaves under masters, should be such as to refute all 
slanders {9 — 18). In all their sufferings they should follow in the 
footsteps of the patience and meekness of Christ, the shepherd of 
their souls (19 — 25). 

Chap. III. The duty of submission involved in the relations of 
society extends to wives as well as subjects and slaves. Christian wives 
must seek to win their heathen or Jewish husbands, not by argument, 
but by their life (x — 6). Husbands in their turn must remember that 
authority implies the duty of protection (7). For all alike there are the 
broad rules of holy living, such as Christ had taught (8 — 11). Those 
who so live may trust in God's protection, and their highest blessedness 
will come through suffering wrongfully (12 — 14). They will know 
how to defend themselves, but their best defence will be the silent wit- 
ness of their lives (15, 16). The suffering of Christ might teach them 
that death might be but the entrance to a wider sphere of activity. He 
had preached to those who had perished in the Flood (18 — 20). In that 
flood, the washing of the world from its pollutions, they might see the' 
type of the baptism which was to them, when united with the faith of a 



INTRODUCTION. 6$ 



good conscience, the means of salvation (21). They also, though they 
might suffer, would share in his Resurrection and Ascension (22). 

Chap. IV. But Christ suffered that we, suffering with Him, might 
cease from sin and live to God (i f a). The evil past must be left behind, 
even though men wonder at us and accuse us (3, 4). We and they 
shall stand hereafter before the Judge whose righteousness and mercy 
were shewn in a Gospel preached to the dead as well as to the living, 
in judgments that led to life (5, 6). Looking to that judgment as not 
far off, men should love one another, and use all gifts they have re- 
ceived from God as faithful stewards (7 — 11). If in the meantime 
there comes a fiery trial, that should be cause of joy. To suffer as 
a Christian was a thing to thank God for (12 — 16). Not even the 
righteous could be saved easily, but what then would be the end of the 
unrighteous? In that thought, the sufferers might commend their souls 
to God (17 — 19). 

Chap. V. From the body of believers at large the Apostle turns to 
men who like himself are office-bearers, elders or bishops, and exhorts 
them to feed the flock, and so to do their work that they may receive a 
crown of glory from the Chief Shepherd (i-*-4). The younger in age or 
office are, in like manner, to be subject to the elder, mutual subjection 
being the very law of the Church's life. Not the haughty, but the 
lowly, are exalted by the hand of God. All anxious care about work 
or position may be left in His hands (5 — 7). Yet the absence of care is 
not to lead to carelessness. Christians need to watch, for the great 
Enemy is watching for them (8, 9). In view of their conflict with him 
or his agents, the Apostle ends with a prayer for their preservation and 
perfectness (10), and ends with commending Silvanus to them, and send- 
ing salutations from Marcus and a female disciple at Babylon. 



B. COMPARISON OF THE FIRST EPISTLE OF ST 
PETER WITH OUR LORD'S TEACHING. 

1 Pet. 

i. 2 "the elect" Mark xiii. a 1,12; John xiii. 

18, xv. 16 

3 "hath begotten us again" John iii. 5 

8 " ye see him not, yet believing" John xx. 29 

13 "gird up the loins of your mind" Luke xii. 35 

16 "be ye holy; for I am holy" Matt ▼. 48 



5— * 



66 



INTRODUCTION.' 



i Pet. 
i. 17 

18 



'9 

20 

22 
11. 4 

5 
12 

15 
16 

'9 



21 



" without respect of persons" 
"redeemed ...with the precious 

blood of Christ" 
"received by tradition of your 

fathers" 
" blood of Christ as of a lamb"* 
"before the foundation of the 

world" 
"love one another" 

"a stone disallowed..." 

"built up a spiritual house" 

"speak against you as evil doers" 

" the day of visitation" 

"put to silence" (ipipovv) 

"as free" 

" this is thankworthy" (x*/> 4 

" suffering wrongfully" 

" that ye should follow his steps" 





23 


<« 




n 


n 




*5 


a 




— 


<t 


• • • 

111. 


1 


tt 




9 


tt 




14 


tt 




16 


ti 




20 


a 




*_ 


a 


iv. 


5 


tt 




7 


a 




8 


tt 




10 


tt 




11 


tt 



13 



tt 



when he was reviled..." 

by whose stripes" 

as sheep going astray" 

the Shepherd of your souls" 

may be won" (KtpSrjd^inayTai) 

not rendering evil for evil" 

if ye suffer for righteousness' sake " 

they who falsely accuse" 

(iTijpcdforres) 
waited in the days of Noe" 
wherein few. ..were saved" 

 

who shall give account" 

the end of all things is at hand" 

charity shall cover the multitude 

of sins" 
as good stewards" 
that God in all things may be 

glorified" 
but rejoice" 



Matt xxii. 16 

Matt. xx. 28 ; Mark x. 45 

Matt. xv. 3 — 6 ; Mark vii, 

3—13 
John i. 29 

Matt. xxv. 34 ; Luke xi. *q 

John xv. 12 

Matt. xxi. 42 — 44 

Matt. xvi. 18 

John xviii. 30 

Luke xix. 44 

Mark i. 25, iv. 39 

John viii. 32 

Luke vi. 32 

Matt. v. 39 

Matt. x. 38, xvi. 24 ; Luke 

xiv. 27 
Matt. xxvi. 63, xxvii. 14 
Matt, xxvii. 26 ; Mark xv. 15 
Matt. ix. 36, xviii. 12, 13 
John x. 1 6 

Matt, xviii. 15 

Matt. v. 39 

Matt. v. 10 

Matt. v. 44 ; Luke vi. 28 

Matt. xxiv. 37, 38 
Luke xiiL 23 

Luke xvi. 2 
Matt. xxiv. 6 — 14 
Luke vii. 47 

Luke xil 42, xvi. 1 — 12 
Matt. v. 16 

Matt. v. 12 



INTRODUCTION. 67 



1 Pet. 

iv. 14 "if ye be reproached happy Matt v. 10 

are ye" 

18 "if the righteous scarcely be saved" Matt. xxiv. 22 

19 " commit the keeping of their souls " Luke xxiii. 46 

v. 2 "feed the flock of God" John xxi. 16 

3 "neither as being lords over Matt. xx. 25; Mark x. 42 

God's heritage" 

5 "likewise, ye younger" Luke xxii. 26, 

7 "casting all your care upon him" Matt. vi. 25, 28 

8 "your adversary (dirtdtjcos) the Matt. v. 25 

devil" 

10 "settle you" (0e/xeX(6u) Matt. vii. 25; Luke vi. 48 



C. COMPARISON OF THE FIRST EPISTLE OF ST 
PETER WITH THE EPISTLE OF ST JAMES. 

1 Pet. 

i. 1 "the strangers scattered through- James i. 1 
out..." 
3 "hath begotten us again" ) 

23 " born again.. .by the word of God" j ** 

6 "through manifold temptations" — i. 2 

7 " the trial of your faith" — i. 3 
12 "the angels desire to look into" — i. 25 

(rapaK&Mrreiy) 

17 " without respect of persons" — ii. 1 — 4 

22 " ye have purified your souls" — iv. 8 

24 " the grass withereth" — L 10, 11 

ii. 1 "laying aside all malice" — 1.21 

iv. 8 " charity shall cover the multitude — v. 20 
of sins" 

v. 5 "God resisteth the proud" — iv. 6 

6 "humble yourselves therefore..." — iv. 10 
9 " whom resist stedfast in (he faith" — iv. 7 



€5 INTRODUCTION. 



D. COMPARISON OF THE FIRST EPISTLE OF ST 
PETER WITH THE EPISTLES AND REVELATION 
OF ST JOHN. 

i Pet. 

i. 2, 19 "the blood of Jesus Christ" 1 John i. 7 

22 "ye have purified your souls" — iii. 3 

— "see that ye love one another" — iv. n, 12 

ii. 9 "a royal priesthood" Rev. i. 6, v. 10 



E. COMPARISON OF THE FIRST EPISTLE OF ST 
PETER WITH THE EPISTLES OF ST PAUL AND 
THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 

1 Pet. 

i. 2 , " elect according to the foreknow- Col. iii. 12 ; Rom. viii. 29 
ledge of God" 

— "through sanctification" Rom. vi. 19, 22 

— "sprinkling of the blood of Jesus'* Rom. iii. 25; Heb. ix. 13 

— "grace unto you, and peace" Rom. i. 7; 1 Cor. L 3 and 

other Epistles 

3 " blessed be the God and Father" 2 Cor. i. 3 ; Eph. i. 3 

— "hath begotten us again" Tit. iii. 5 

4 "an inheritance incorruptible " Acts xx. 32; CoL iii. 24; 

1 Cor. ix. 25 

5 " kept by the power of God" Phil. iv. 7 

— " salvation ready to be revealed" Rom. xiii. 1 1 ; 1 Thess. v. 8 

7 "gold... tried with fire" - t Cor. iii. 13 

— " honour and glory" & Rom. ii. 7, 10; 1 Tim. i. 17 

8 "joy unspeakable" Rom. viii. 26 ; 2 Cor. xii. 4 
11 "what, or what manner of time" 1 Thess. v. 1 

13 "gird up the loins of your mind" Eph. vL 14 

— V be sober" 1 Thess. v. 6, 8 

14 "obedient children (literally, chil- Eph. v. 6 

dren of obedience)" 

— "not fashioning yourselves" Rom. xii. a 



INTRODUCTION. 69 



1 Pet. 

i. 18 "your vain conversation" Gal. i. 13; Eph. iv. 22 

— "received by tradition from your Gal. i. 14 

fathers" 

10 "before the foundation of the Eph. i. 4 

world" 

23 "unfeigned love" 1 Tim. u 5 

ii. 2 "the sincere milk of the word" 1 Cor. x» 3; Heb. v. ri 

" sincere (literally, itnadultei-ated)" 4 Cor. ii. 17, iv. 2 

5 "spiritual sacrifices" Rom. xii. 1 

— ' ' acceptable to God " Rom. xv. 16, 3 1 ; 2 Cor. vi. 2 

6 "a chief corner stone" Eph. ii. 20 

8 " a stone of stumbling " Rom. ix. 33 

9 "a peculiar people" Eph. i. 4; 1 Thess. v. 9; 

2 Thess. ii. 14 

— "called you out of darkness into Acts xxvi. 18; Rom. xiii. 

his marvellous light" 12 

10 " in time past were not a people" Rom. ix. 25 

11 "lusts, which war against the soul" Rom. vii. 23 
13 "submit yourselves to every ordi- Rom. xiii. 1 



nance" 



13 "the king as supreme" Rom. xiii. 1 

16* "as free" Rom. vi. 16; 1 Cor. vii. 

22 
18 "servants, be subject" Eph. vi. 5* 8; Col. iii. 22; 

1 Tim, vi. 1, 2 
24 "being dead to sins" Rom. vi. 2, 11 ; Gal. ii. 19 

iii. 1 "likewise, ye wives..." Eph. v. 22, 24 J Col. iii. 18 

- — "be won by" (KepdrjdfawvTat) 1 Cor. ix. 19, 20 

3 " plaiting the hair" 1 Tim. ii. 9 

4 " the hidden man" Rom. vii. 22 ; 2 Cor. iv. 16; 

Eph. iii. 16 

6 "whose daughters ye are" Rom. i v. 11, 12 

7 " the weaker vessel" I Thess. iv. 4 

8 "pitiful" {etifirXayxvot) Eph. iv. 32 

9 "not rendering evil for evil " Rom. xii. 1 7 ; 1 Thess. v. 1 6* 
13 " who is he that will harm you" Rom. viii. 33 

— "followers (/M/Aijra2) of that which- 1 Cor. iv. 16; Eph. v. 1 
is good" 



70 INTRODUCTION. 



i Pet. 

iii. 16 " having a good conscience" Acts xxiii. r, xxiv. 16; 

i Tim. i. 19 

18 "the just for the unjust" Rom. v. 6 

— " in the flesh...by the Spirit" Rom. i. 3, 4; 1 Tim. iii. 16 

21 "baptism... by the resurrection of Rom. vi. 4, 5 

Jesus Christ" 

22 "who is gone into heaven" 1 Tim. iii. 16; Eph. ii. 6 

— " angels and authorities and pow- Eph. i. 2 1 ; Col. i. 16, ii. 15 ; 

ers being made subject unto Phil. ii. 10 
him" 



iv. 1 "he that hath suffered in the flesh Rom. vi. 7 — 11 
hath ceased from sin" 

2 " the will of God" 1 Thess. iv. 3 

3 "the time past of our life may Rom. xiii. 11, 12 

suffice" 

4 "the same excess of riot" (dtrurla) Eph. v. 18; Tit. i. 6 

5 "who shall give account" 1 Cor. iv. 5 

6 "judged according to men in the 1 Cor. v. 5, xi. 32 

flesh... live according to God" 

7 " the end of all things is at hand" 1 Tim. iv. 1 ; Rom. xiii. 12 

1 Cor. xv. 5 1 ; 1 Thess. iv. 1 7 

9 "use hospitality" Rom. xii. 13; 1 Tim. iii. 2 

10 "as every man hath received the Rom. xii. 6; iCor. xii. 4,28 

gift" 

11 "as the oracles of God" Rom. iii. 2 

— "which God giveth" ix°PTf € ^) * Cor. ix. 10 

— "that God in all things may be 1 Cor. x. 31 

glorified" 

13 ^"partakers of Christ's sufferings" Col. i. 24 

v. 1 "elders {wpeap&rcpot)... taking the Acts xx. 17, 28; Tit. i. 5, 

2 oversight (iTruncoirourrcs)" 7 

3 "ensamples (ruxot) to the. flock" 2 Thess. iii. 9; Phil. iii. 17 

8 "be sober, be vigilant" 1 Thess. v. 6 

10 "make you perfect" 1 Cor. i. 10 

— "stablish" 2 Thess. ii 17 






INTRODUCTION. 71 



?. COMPARISON OF THE FIRST EPISTLE OF ST 
PETER . WITH HIS TEACHING AS RECORDED IN 
THE ACTS. 

i Pet. 

i. 17 "without respect of persons" Acts x. 34 

20 " foreordained " — ii. 23, iii. I £ 
— "manifested in these last times" — ii. 17 

21 "God, that raised him up from the — ii. 32 — 36, iii. 15, iv. 

dead" 10 

it 4 "a living stone, disallowed" — iv. 11 

8 "whereunto also they were ap- — i. 16 

pointed" 
17 "honour all men" — x. 28 

iii. 18 "Christ... the just" — iii. 14 

The above parallelisms are, it will be seen, sometimes in 
thought, sometimes (and here the Greek, for the most part, 
makes the coincidence clearer) in the use of unusual or charac- 
teristic words. It does not follow, of course, that the agreement 
implies derivation in each single instance. What does follow 
may, it is believed, be thus briefly stated. 

(1) They shew, and this is my main object in bringing them 
together in this tabulated form, that the Epistle ascribed to 
St Peter indicates the presence of elements of thought cor- 
responding to the influences which we know to have been 
working on him in the several stages of his life. 

(2) They shew that by far the most dominant of these 
influences had been the personal teaching of our Lord, and the 
personal or written teaching of St Paul. The mind of St Peter 
is, as it were, saturated with thoughts and phrases derived from 
the two sources, and thus over and above the direct references 
to each, they furnish an indirect proof of the genuineness of the 
documents in which we now find them, sc. the Gospels and the 
Epistles of St Paul. 



72 INTRODUCTION. 



(3) They prove, in regard to the last-named writings, that 
the idea of an antagonism between St Peter and St Paul, in 
Which some historical critics have found the secret of the 
development of the Apostolic Church, is singularly at variance 
with facts, if we admit the genuineness of the First Epistle that 
bears the name of the former. The wretched caricature of 
an Apostle, a thing of shreds and patches, which struts and 
fumes through the Ebionite romances known as the Clementine 
Homilies and Recognitions, would not have been likely to write 
with thoughts and phrases essentially Pauline flowing from his 
pen at every turn. 

External Evidence. It remains in conclusion to state 
briefly the external evidence for the reception of the First 
Epistle of St Peter into the New Testament Canon. The in- 
ternal has, it is believed, been already stated with adequate 
fulness. 

(i) The Second Epistle, even were we to assume its 
spuriousness, bears witness to the existence of a Letter already 
extant and of so much authority as to tempt a pseudonymous 
writer to mask himself as following it up by a second. 

(2) Polycarp quotes the Epistle frequently, though he does 
not name it {Phil. c. II. v. VI. vm.), and Eusebius {H.E. ill. 39) 
says that Papias did the same. Irenaeus (iv. 9. 2 ; 16. 5) both 
quotes and names, as also does Clement of Alexandria {Strom. 
in. p. 544, 584, 585). Origen (Euseb. H. E. VI. 25) quotes it 
frequently and speaks of both Epistles, acknowledging, however, 
that they stand on a different footing as regards authority, 
and that the second was much questioned. Tertullian (Scorp. 
c. 12, 13) quotes and names it It is found, though the second 
is not found, in the Peschito or early Syriac version. The only 
fact of any weight on the other side is that it is not named 
in the Muratorian Fragment From the time of Tertullian 
the authority of the Epistle, it need hardly be said, has 
remained unquestioned, till within the last century, when it 
has been attacked by some German critics, De Wette, Baur. 
Schwegler, on purely subjective and, it is believed, quite in* 
adequate grounds. 



INTRODUCTION. 73 



CHAPTER V. 

THE SECOND EPISTLE OF ST PETER. 

The Second Epistle ascribed to St Peter comes before us, as 
far as external evidence is concerned, somewhat heavily weighted. 
Origen (circ A.D. 230) is the earliest writer who names it, and 
in doing so, he admits that its authority was questioned. 
"Peter, on whom the Church of Christ is built, against which the 
gates of hell shall not prevail, has left us one Epistle generally 
accepted (opdXoyovfievTjv), and if you will, a Second, for this 
is questioned." (Euseb. H. E. VI. 25.) In addition to this he 
often quotes the First Epistle as "the Catholic Epistle." It had 
not made its way to greater acceptance when the Peschito 
Syriac Version of the New Testament was made, nor when the 
Muratorian Canon was drawn up, and finds no place in either 
of them. The latter, however, it should be noted, does not take 
in even the First Epistle, and so far leaves the two standing as 
on the same footing. In Ensebius we find traces of a transi- 
tion stage, but the old doubts still continued, and obviously, 
as far as his own mind was concerned, preponderated. "We w 
he says "have not received that which is current as the Second 
Epistle as having a place in the Canon, but as it seemed to 
many to be edifying, it was studied with the other Scrip- 
tures/' Afterwards he speaks of knowing only one genuine 
Epistle among the so-called writings of Peter (H. E. III. 3), 
and again classes the so-called Second Epistle with the 
Epistles of St James and Jude, as "questioned (apriAryo/icpa) 
but yet acknowledged by most people" (//. E. in. 25). Jerome 
{Script. Eccl. I.) reproduces the same balanced state of feeling. 
The Second Epistle was "rejected by very many on account of 
its difference in style." He, however, included it in his Latin 
Version, known as the Vulgate, and this probably helped to 
determine its acceptance by the Western Church. Doubts 
lingered in Asia Minor and Syria, and were expressed by 



74 INTRODUCTION. 

Gregory of Nazianzus and Theodore of Mopsuestia. These, 
however, gradually gave way, and the Epistle appeared in the 
Philoxenian or later Syriac version, and was received into the 
Canon by the Councils of Laodicea (a.d. 372) and Carthage 
(A. D. 397). 

On the other side we have what may possibly be allusive 
references to the Epistle, or even quotations from it, though 
it is not named. Barnabas, or the Epistle that bears his 
name (c. xv.), brings in the thought that "one day is with 
the Lord as a thousand years 9 (2 Pet. iii. 8), but then this was 
but a reproduction of the Jewish thought of a Millennial Sab- 
bath of a thousand years, and does not prove that he derived it 
from our Epistle. Justin {Dial. c. Tryph. c. 89) quotes the same 
words, but it is, of course, uncertain from what source he drew 
them, and the same holds good of their citation by Irenaeus 
(v. 23, 28). Theophilus of Antioch in speaking of "men of God 
as borne on by the Spirit and so becoming prophets * (adAutol. 11. 
2), of the Word or Logos of God as a "lamp shining in a narrow 
dwelling "(II. 1), reminds us so closely of 2 Pet i. 18 — 21, that it 
is difficult to believe that he was not acquainted with the 
Epistle. Origen (in works, however, of which we have only 
Rufinus's Latin translation) once and again quotes the Epistle 
as Peter's: "Peter speaks through the two trumpets of his 
Epistles" {Horn. iv. in Josh,) ; "Peter says, Ye have been made 
partakers of the Divine Nature" (Horn. IV. in Levit.). 

As far as evidence from without goes then the case does 
not go beyond a fair measure of proof that the Epistle was 
known and read in the second century, but that in spite of 
its manifest claim to be by the Apostle, it was not generally 
accepted. 

We turn to the internal evidence, and here again there is, 
at first sight, an impression unfavourable to its genuineness. 
The opening description which the writer gives of himself is 
different from that of the First Epistle. So also is the general 
style of language and tenor of thought. It dwells less on the 
Pauline thoughts of redemption, election, grace, salvation, less 
on the trials of persecution, and the necessity of patience, and 



INTRODUCTION. 75 



not without a certain tone of agitation, and a fulness of rhetorical 
amplification, speaks at length of the dangers of false teachers 
(c. ii.) and the mocking taunts of scoffers at the delay of the 
Lord's coming (c. iii.). There is, it has been said, an osten- 
tation in the reference to the Transfiguration (i. 16), in the 
patronising tone in which the writer speaks of St Paul (iii. 1 5, 16), 
which is not in harmony with the naturalness and simplicity of 
the First Epistle. 

It remains to be seen, however, how far a more thorough 
examination of the Epistle confirms or balances these con- 
clusions. And here we have to deal with a large number of 
circumstantial details, each of them, it may be, comparatively 
inconclusive in itself, and yet tending, in their accumulated 
weight, to turn the scale of evidence. 

(1) It is not probable that a pseudonymous writer would 
have begun his work by the use of the name "Symeon," which 
at once presented a startling variation from the opening of the 
First Epistle. 

(2) In spite of the admitted difference of style, there are 
not a few instances in which words comparatively unfamiliar in 
other books are common to the two Epistles. 



2 Pet. 






i. 1 


' ' precious " {rtfiios) 1 


Pet. i. 7, 19 


2 


"grace and peace be multiplied" 


— i. 2 


3 


praises (d/>erds) — virtue (dperij) 


— -ii. 9 


5 


' ' add " {irnxopriyfyraTe) 


— iv. I T 


7 


"love of the brethren" (<f>i\aW\<f>La) 


— 1. 22, 111. 8 


10 


" calling and election" 


— i. 2, ii. 21 


16 


"eyewitnesses" (Mutcu) 


— ii. r2 


19,20 


Stress laid on Prophecy. 


— i. io— 12 


• • 

11. 1 


"the Lord that bought them" (ayo- 
pdffarra) 


— i. 18 


2 


"lasciviousness" (da(\ycia) 


— iv. 3 


5 


Reference to history of Noah. 


— iii. 20 


14 


"cursed children" (literally, "chil- 






dren of a curse ") 


— i. 14 



76 



introduction: 



2 Pet. 

iii. 5 History of Deluge again. i Pet. iii. *o 

14 •* without gpot or blemish* 9 — • L 19 

15 St Paul'3 teaching recognised. — v, 12 

(3) On comparing the Second Epistle with the same New 
Testament writings with which the First Epistle has been com- 
pared, it will be seen that here also we have like points of 
contact and resemblance. These we give, as before > in a tabu- 
lated form* 



A. COMPARISON OF THE SECOND EPISTLE OF 
ST PETER WITH ST PAUL'S EPISTLES. 



2 Pet. 






i. 2 * 


* knowledge" (Myvwis) 


Rom. i. 28, iii. 20 et al. 


3 ' 


" godliness" («fcr#«a) 


i Tun. u. ?, ui. 16 


6 ' 


" temperance" (tyicpdreia) 


Gal. v. 23 


11 ' 


"an entrance" {efoodos) 


1 Thess. i. 9, ii. 1 


13 


"tabernacle" (cr/c^w/ta) 


2 Cor. v. 1 — 3 


16 


"fables" ifivOot) 


1 Tim. i. 4, ii. 7 


'7 ' 


" honour and glory" (rifiii kqX &£a) 


Rom. ii. 7 


21 ' 


"men of God" 


1 Tim. vi. 1 1 


ii. 1 ' 


• privily shall bring in" (wapeurdr 
^ovatp) 


GaL ii. 4 


— ' 


" heresies" 


1 Cor. xi. 19 


3 ' 


"covetousness" (n-Xeoye^a) as cha- 
racterising the false teachers. 


1 Tim. vi. 5 ; Tit. i. 1 1 


1% ' 


11 perish in their own corruption" 


1 Cor. iii, 17 


13 ' 


'riot in the daytime" 


Rom. xiii. 13 


19 * 


" promise them liberty" 


1 Cor. x. 29; Gal. v. 13 


— * 


1 ' servants of corruption " 


Rom. vi. 16, viii. 21 


• •• 4 

111. 1 


"your pure (etkucptveU) minds" 


Phil. i. 10 


a * 


"prophets" and "apostles" 


Eph. ii> 20, iii. 5 


4 ' 


4 since the fathers fell asleep" 


1 Cor. xi. 30 ; 1 Thess. iv. 1 


7 ' 


"reserved (TeOijcavpifffifroi) unto 
fire" 


Rom. ii. 5 


9 ' 


"doth hot will that any should 
perish" 


I Tim. ii. 4 


»5 ' 


" the long-suffering of God" 


Rom. ii. 4, ix. 22 



INTRODUCTION. 77 



B. COMPARISON OF THE SECOND EPISTLE OF 

ST PETER WITH THE GOSPELS. 
2 Pet. 

i. 13 "tabernacle" Matt. xvii. 4 

14 "as our Lord Jesus Christ bath Johnxxi. 18 

shewed me" 

15 "decease" (Ifofios) Luke ix. 31 
17 The "voice from heaven" Matt. xvii. 5 
19 "a light shining" (Xtfxroj QaLvw} John v. 35 

ii. 5 Reference to Deluge and the Cities Matt. xxiv. 37 ; Luke xvii. 

of the Plain. 26 — 30 

9 "under punishment" (icokapofihovs) Matt. xxv. 46 

17 "clouds that are carried with a Mark iv. 37 
tempest" (\al\af) 

19 "servants of corruption" John viii. 34 

20 "the latter end [rd ?<r%ara) is worse Matt. xii. 45 

with them than the beginning 
(tCow Tptbrwr)" 

22 Juxtaposition of swine and dogs. Matt. vii. 6" 

iii. 10 "the day of the Lord will come Matt. xxiv. 43 
as a thief in the night" 

C. COMPARISON OF THE SECOND EPISTLE OF ST 

PETER WITH THE EPISTLE OF ST JAMES. 

2 Pet. 

i. 9 "is blind. ..hath forgotten" (Xijflip James i. 23, 24 
Xa/ftbO 

ii. 14 "beguiling" (deXerfform) — 1.14 

D. COMPARISON OF THE SECOND EPISTLE OF ST 
PETER WITH THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES. 

2 Pet. 

i. 7 "godliness" (e$<r4p«ia) Acts iii. 12 

1 7 " when there- came {fapojUnp ) 

such a voice" ti „ 

% — 11. 2 

21 "as they were moved (<ficp6/ie- 

*<h) by the Holy Ghost" 



78 INTRODUCTION. 



2 Pet. 

ii. l "denying the Lord (fterrlrp) Acts iv. 44 
that bought them" 
13 "to riot in the day time" — ii. 15 

I give these of course, in each case, with a valeat quantum y 
and do not say that, even taken collectively, they amount to a 
proof of identity of authorship. It will, however, I think, be ad- 
mitted that they at least shew that the Second Epistle that bears 
St Peter's name comes from one who lived at the same time and 
in the same atmosphere of thought as the First, that he was 
familiar with the same writings and used the same words and 
phrases. I am unwilling to lay stress on the bare fact that the 
writer affirms that he was a witness of the Transfiguration and 
heard the voice from heaven (2 Pet. i. 16, 17); for that, on the 
assumption of personated authorship, would be part of the 
personation. But it is, I think, a matter for consideration that 
here also, in this dwelling on personal reminiscences of the 
Gospel history, the writer of the Second Epistle stands on the 
same footing as the writer of the First. For he too speaks 
of his position as "a witness of the sufferings of Christ"- 
(1 Pet v. 1), and paints the scene of those sufferings (1 Pet. 
ii. 21 — 24) no less vividly than the writer of the Second 
Epistle paints that of the glory of the Transfiguration. And 
there is, it may be added, a kind of naturalness^ almost if not 
altogether beyond the reach of art, in the way in which, by a 
subtle yet perfectly intelligible association of ideas, the recollec- 
tion of that scene leads to thoughts and words like the 
" tabernacle " and "decease," which had actually been associated 
with it. There is, if I mistake not, a like naturalness in the 
reference to our Lord's prediction of the manner of the Apostle's 
death (John xxi. 18) (not recorded, it will be remembered, in 
any of the first three Gospels), in 2 Pet. i. 14, as compared with 
the exhortation in 1 Pet. v. 2, which reproduces the command 
to "feed the flock of God," which must have been associated 
inseparably with that prediction in the Apostle's memory (John 
xxi. 15— -17). 



INTRODUCTION. 79 



It remains to enquire whether the admitted difference in 
thought and style can be adequately explained on the hypothesis 
of identity of authorship. I venture to think that that explanation 
is found in the singular parallelism between the second chapter ot 
this Epistle and the Epistle of St Jude. That parallelism is so 
striking that it is impossible to resist the conclusion that one 
writer used the materials furnished him by the other, or that 
both derived them from some common source. Reserving the 
discussion of these alternatives for the Introduction to the Epistle 
of St Jude, I will assume here that the latter Epistle was the 
earlier of the two. What the facts before us suggest is then as 
follows. The First Epistle had been written and sent off by 
Silvanus. When he wrote it the Apostle was thinking chiefly of 
the persecutions which were pressing on the Asiatic Churches, 
and he dwells naturally on the truths which were the ground of 
hope and comfort for the sufferers, on the conduct which would 
be the best apologia when they stood before the tribunal of the 
magistrate or in the forum domesticum of the family, face to face 
with their accusers. Soon afterwards, other tidings come, which 
are more alarming and speak of other dangers. He hears of 
teachers like those described in the Pastoral Epistles, "depart- 
ing from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines 
of devils, having their conscience seared as with a redhot iron" 
(1 Tim.iv. 1,2), destitute of the truth, looking on the profession of 
godliness as a means of making money (1 Tim. vi. 5), covetous, 
boasters, proud, without natural a flection,... "lovers of pleasure 
more than lovers of God" (2 Tim. iii. 1 — 7), boasting of "a science 
{gnosis) falsely so called" (1 Tim. vi. 20). In addition to these 
there are mockers both within and without the Church, who, 
holding that the Resurrection is past already (2 Tim. ii. 18), 
held also as a natural consequence that there was to be no 
Second Advent of the Lord to judge the quick and the dead 
(2 Pet iii. 1 — 4), and scoffed at the promise of His coming. The 
Epistle of St Jude is placed in his hands as giving a description 
of these teachers. It is not an improbable supposition that it 
may have been sent to him by James, the brother of the Lord, 
with whom, as his brother Apostle of the Circumcision, he would 

Peter & Jude 6 



go INTRODUCTION. 



naturally be in communication, or even that J ude himself may have 
been the bearer of his own letter. He is, if one may venture so to 
speak, startled and horror-stricken at the picture thus brought 
before him. He must write once more to the Asiatic Churches, 
warning them against this new form of evil, and throwing all the 
weight of his authority into the scale of those who were contend- 
ing for the faith, for purity, for holiness, for the hope of the 
Resurrection to eternal life. It would not be enough merely to 
pass on the letter of St Jude. His own name was better known, 
and would carry greater weight with it It is a small point, but 
one which, as far as it goes, falls in with the view thus suggested, 
that the form of the Apostle's name in the Second Epistle 
(Symeon) is that which appears in the record in Acts xv. 14, as 
used by St James and current in the Church of Jerusalem. If 
the disciple who brought the letter of St Jude came from that 
Church, and was employed by St Peter as an amanuensis, what 
was more natural than that he should employ that form? 

The manner in which the writer of the Second Epistle deals 
with that of St Jude is in exact agreement with this hypothesis, 
and the hypothesis explains phenomena that would otherwise 
present considerable difficulty. He adapts it, as it were, to the 
use not only of the Hellenistic Jews, but of the proselytes from 
Heathenism, and even the uncircumcised converts, whom he 
was anxious to reach. He will not put a stumbling-block in 
their way, by referring to the tradition of the nature of the fall of 
the angels as being like in kind to the sin of the Cities of the 
Plain, which was found in the apocryphal Book of Enoch, and 
was not found (except in a passage very variously interpreted, 
Gen. vi. 4) in any Canonical Scripture. For a like reason, he 
turns from the tradition or legend of the dispute of Michael and 
Satan about the body of Moses (Jude, verse 9), and so general- 
ises the statement that it more naturally refers to the history of 
Joshua the son of Jozedek, in Zech. iii. 1—5, and does not re- 
produce the quotation from the Book of Enoch (Jude, verse 14), 
which might have seemed so well suited to his purpose. With 
the characteristic tendency, shewn in the First Epistle, to dwell 
on the history of Noah, he adds that to the list of St Jude's 



INTRODUCTION. Si 



warning examples (2 Pet. ii. 5). He expands the few words in 
which St Jude speaks of the "mockers" of the last days (Jude, 
verse 1 8),, so as to bring before his readers the special form of 
mockery of which he had heard as current among them (2 Pet. 
iii. 1 — 10). 

On these grounds then, (1) of an adequate amount of agree- 
ment as to thought and language between the two Epistles, and 
(2) of an adequate explanation of the differences that must be 
admitted to present themselves on a comparison, I am dis- 
posed to think that there is enough to turn the scale in favour of 
the later acceptance of the Second Epistle by the Church at 
large, as against the earlier doubts. It may be added finally, 
that these doubts themselves, and the consequent delay in the 
acceptance, were what might have been expected under the 
circumstances of the case. A time of persecution necessarily 
interrupted the free communication of one Church with another. 
It was not easy for an encyclical letter to be read publicly in the 
meetings of the Churches to which it was addressed, when those 
meetings could not be held without the danger of violence and 
outrage. Nor must we forget that the false teachers who were 
condemned by the Epistle had an interest in suppressing it as 
far as that suppression lay within their power. They would dis- 
claim its authority. It would not be strange that they should 
throw doubts on its authorship, and that those doubts should 
gain a certain degree of currency and be reproduced even by 
those who had not the same motive for suggesting them. 

It remains that we should give a short outline of the contents 
of the Epistle. 



ANALYSIS OF THE SECOND EPISTLE OF ST PETER. 

Chap. L The Apostle addresses those in the Asiatic Churches who 
were sharers with him in the same precious faith (1, «). On the 
strength of God's gracious gifts to them, he calls on them to go on, in 
the might of God's promises and their fellowship in the Divine Nature, 
from one grace of character to another (3 — 7). Such progress is the 
condition of knowledge. Without it there is mental blindness and short- 

6—a 



82 INTRODUCTION. 



sightedness (8, 9), and they cannot make their calling and election sure 
(10, 1 1). The sense of this dependence of knowledge on practice makes 
the writer anxious to remind them of what they already knew. Life 
w&? passing away, and the end would come quickly; and therefore he 
would not delay to provide for his departure (12 — 15). He could speak 
with full confidence, for he had seen the excellent glory and heard the 
voice from Heaven on the Holy Mount (16 — 18). But even a surer 
attestation than that was to be found in the abiding presence of the 
Prophetic Word, the same now as it was of old, making the words of 
the .men of God not their own words, but those of the Holy Ghost 
(19—21). 

Chap. II. As there had been false prophets before, so are there 
false teachers now, denying the Lord that bought them, making prose- 
lytes as a means of gain (1 — 3). The history of the past shews that 
God's judgment is against such men. They shall perish as the angels 
that sinned did; as did the world of the ungodly in the Flood; as did 
the cities of the Plain (4 — 8). Yet in each of these cases those that 
remained faithful were saved, and so shall it be now (9). The vices 
that most characterised these false teachers were their impurity, their self- 
assertion, their railing, their wanton and luxurious living, their covetous* 
ness (10 — 14), reproducing in all these points the character of Balaam 
(15, 16). Waterless wells and tempest-driven clouds, these were the fit 
symbols of these boasters of liberty who were slaves of corruption 
(17 — 19). Whatever knowledge they had once had of Christ did but 
aggravate their guilt, and their last days were worse than the first. It 
had been better for them never to have known the truth than to have 
known it and then returned, like the unclean beasts of the proverb, to 
their uncleanness (20—11). 

Chap. III. The Apostle, reminding his readers of his previous 
letter, bids them keep in remembrance what they had heard from the 
Apostles and prophets of the Church as to the Coming of the Lord 
(r 2) They would meet scoffers who taunted them with the delay of 
tha' Coming (3, 4). They would do well to remember that the world 
had perished once before by water (5, 6), and therefore that it was not 
impossible that it might be destroyed hereafter by fire (5 — 7). What- 
ever delay there might be was but the proof of the long-suffering of God, 
with whom a thousand years were as one day, giving men more time for 
repentance (8, 9). Sooner or later the end will come, but it will not be 
one of mere destruction, but will usher in the new heaven and the new 



INTRODUCTION. 83 



earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness (id — 13). With this in view, 
men should seek for fitness for that new world. Their own teacher, Paul, 
whom the writer owns as a beloved brother, would tell them that the 
long-suffering of God was leading them to repentance (14, 15). If they 
found some things hard to be understood in his Epistles, they must re- 
member this was the case also with the other Scriptures, which, like his 
writings, were liable to perversion (16). Lastly, the writer ends, as he 
began, by calling on his readers to grow in grace and knowledge. 



CHAPTER VI. 
INTRODUCTION TO THE EPISTLE OF ST JUDfi. 

L The Writer. The writer of the Epistle describes him- 
self in a manner altogether exceptional in the Epistles of the 
New Testament He is " the servant of the Lord Jesus Christ 
and the brother of James J* The use of the former term would 
be, as we find from St Paul's description of himself in Phil. i. 1 
and St Peter's in 2 Pet. i. 1, compatible with his holding the 
position of an Apostle, but there is, to say the least, a primd 
facie improbability in the thought *that one who could claim 
attention on the higher ground of "being an Apostle of Christ 
should claim it on the lower ground of being the "brother 
of James," whoever that James might be. 

This antecedent probability may perhaps seem, at first, to be 
balanced by the fact that in our English version, a "Judas the 
brother of James" appears in the lists of the Twelve Apostles 
in Luke vi. 16 and Acts i. 13. It has, however, to be noted 
that the word "brother" is, as the italics shew, interpolated 
by the translators, and that the Greek combination would, 
according to the rule followed in all other cases, be naturally 
rendered as "Judas, the son of James" {lov&as 'la*a>0ov), the 
relationship of brotherhood being elsewhere indicated by the use 
of the proper word (dfcXQos). It may safely be said that this 
would have been the rendering here, had not the translators 
been led by the impression made on them by the opening words 



84 INTRODUCTION. 

of this Epistle, and the desire to bring St Luke's list of the 
Twelve into harmony with them 1 . So far therefore the descrip- 
tion "Judas the brother of James" is adverse to the view that 
we have before us the writing of an Apostle. There were, how- 
ever, two bearing the names of Judas and James, or Jacobus, 
of whose relationship as brothers there is not the shadow of 
a doubt. "James and Joses and Judas and Simon" are named 
in Mark vi. 3 as the brethren of our Lord. The first-named, and 
therefore probably the eldest of the four, came into prominence 
in the history of the Apostolic Church, as in Gal. i. 19, and an 
almost uniform tradition identifies him with the James who 
presides in the council of Jerusalem in Acts xv. and who receives 
St Paul with much kindness in Acts xxi. 1 8 —25. Assuming him 
to be in some sense the Lord's brother, it follows that Judas shared 
that distinction, and it has been shewn, it is believed, beyond 
the shadow of a doubt, that there is no adequate ground for 
identifying them with James the -son of Alphaeus, and Judas, 
the son (or brother ?) of James in the company of the Twelve. 

It would scarcely be suitable, here, to re-open the discussion 
which the reader will find in the Introduction to the Commentary 
on the Epistle of St James in this series, as to the precise 
relationship of "the brethren of the Lord." It will be enough to 
state that of the three alternative hypotheses, (1) that the brethren 
were the children of Joseph and Mary, (2) that they were the 
children of the sister of the Virgin and of Clopas (assumed by 
some to be identical with Alphaeus), and (3) that they were the 
children of Joseph by a former marriage, possibly of the levirate 
character, the last seems to commend itself as most probable in 
itself, best fitting in with all the data of the case, and best 
supported also by external testimony. On this view, Judas 

1 It maybe well to note the fact, as this suggestion may seem to some 
readers a somewhat startling proposal, that it has the sanction of two, 
at least, of the earlier English versions. Tyndale (1534) and Cranmer 
(*53£) both give "Judas, James* sonne." Wyclif and the Rhemish 
version simply reproduce the Greek, "Judas of James." The Geneva 

fives "Judas, James' brother." Luther, too, gives ," Judas, Jakobi 
ohn," and is followed by Bengel and Meyer. 



INTRODUCTION. 85 



must have been born some few years before B. c 4, and, if we 
are right in assigning his Epistle to nearly the same date as 
those of St Peter, he must have been not far from seventy at 
the time of writing it. There is, perhaps, no writer in the New 
Testament of whose life and character we know so little. We 
can but picture to ourselves, as in the case of his brother James, 
the life of the home at Nazareth, the incredulous wonder with 
which they saw Him whom they had known for so many years 
in the daily intercourse of home-life, appear. first in the character 
of a teacher, and then of a prophet, and then of the long- 
expected Christ. So it was that they sought to stay His work 
(Matt. xii. 46, Mark iii. 31 — 35, Luke viii. 19—21), and were yet in 
the position of those who believed not when they went up to the 
Feast of Tabernacles six months before the close of our Lord's 
Ministry (John vii. 5). " They were, however, converted to a full 
acceptance of His claims between the Ciucifixion and the As- 
cension; probably, we may believe, by His appearance to James 
after the Resurrection (1 Cor. xv. 7), or by their sharing in the 
manifestation which was made to five hundred brethren at once 
(1 Cor. xv. 6). 

Beyond this we know absolutely nothing. Tradition is ab- 
solutely silent, and his name does not appear even in the legends of 
the Apocryphal Gospels. One conjecture may, however, be men- 
tioned, as having at least some show of probability. The names 
of Joses and Judas appear in the history of the Apostolic Church 
on two memorable occasions. In the first, "Joses (or Joseph), 
who is called Barsabas " and distinguished by the further name 
of Justus, was put forward by the hundred and twenty brethren 
who were assembled after the Ascension as a candidate for the 
vacant Apostleship (Acts i. 23), and it seems not improbable, 
looking to, the position subsequently occupied by James the 
brother of the Lord, that he also may have been one of the 
brethren, who was able to bear his witness of the fact of the 
Resurrection. If the name Barsabas were simply a patronymic, 
it would, of course, be fatal to this hypothesis. The analogy 
of Barnabas however (Acts iv. 36) makes it not unlikely that it 
may be an epithet descriptive of character. Of five possible 



86 INTRODUCTION. 



meanings, "son of conversion," "son of quiet," "son of an oath," 
"son of an old man," "son of wisdom," the elder Lightfoot (on 
Acts i. 23) gives the preference to the last Accepting this, we 
have two noticeable points of agreement with James the brother 
of the Lord. Both are characterised by their love of wisdom, 
both are known as being conspicuously "just," or righteous. That 
St Luke should give the Latin and not the Greek form of that 
epithet suggests the inference that this character was recognised 
by Latin-speaking disciples, the "strangers of Rome, Jews and 
proselytes," at Jerusalem (Acts ii. 10). 

In the second instance, we have "Judas surnamed Barsabas" 
mentioned as a prophet, who was sent with Silas to Antioch 
as the bearer of the encyclical letter which conveyed the decree 
of the Apostles and Elders at Jerusalem (Acts xv. 22, 32). He 
and his companion are described as "chief men" (av&pcs 
yyovfifvot) 1 among the brethren. After his visit to Antioch, 
where he and Silas exhorted the brethren with "many words," 
he returned to Jerusalem : we hear no more of him. 

The hypothesis with which we are now dealing has at all 
events the merit of fitting in with these facts, and throwing 
light both on them and on the character of the Epistle. It ex- 
plains the prominence of this Judas in the Church at Jerusalem, 
and the tone of authority in which he writes, and his selection by 
his brother James to be the bearer of the letter to the Church 
of Antioch. It gives a more definite application to St Peter's 
reference to the commandment of the prophets and Apostles 
(2 Pet. hi. 2) and explains his own reference to Apostles only 
and not to prophets (Jude, verse 17). If we were to assume 
that he was with St Peter at the time when the Second Epistle 
was written, it would explain the use of the exceptional form of 
Symeon as in the speech of James in Acts xv. 14. 



1 The description is, I think, fatal to the view, which the elder 
Lightfoot and some others have adopted, that Joses and Judas Barsabas 
were sons of Alphseus, and that the latter was therefore an Apostle. 
The assumption of one writer that Sabas was a contracted form of 
Zebedfeus, and that they were therefore brothers of the Apostles James 
and John, scarcely calls for more than a passing mention. 



INTRODUCTION. 87 



The silence which rests over the name of Judas, the writer 
of the Epistle, is, however, in itself significant. It indicates a 
life passed in comparative quiescence, like that of his brother, 
the Bishop of Jerusalem. The story told by Hegesippus (Euseb. 
//. E. ill. 18) that the grandchildren of Judas who "after the flesh 
was called the brother of the Lord" were sought out by the 
dclatores or informers, under Domitian, and brought before the 
Emperor, who was disturbed by fear of the "coming" of the 
Christ, and were dismissed by him when they shewed him their 
hands hardened with labour and told him the tale of their in- 
heritance of poverty, indicates a humble, but not an ascetic life, 
and agrees with the statement of St Paul that the brethren of 
the Lord were married (1 Cor. ix. 5). Reading between the lines 
of the Epistle, we can trace something of the character of the 
man. We miss the serene calmness which distinguishes the 
teaching of his brother, but its absence is adequately explained 
by the later date of the Epistle, by the presence of new dangers, 
by the burning indignation roused by the sensual impurities of 
the false teachers with whom he had to do. What strikes us 
most, in some sense, as an unexpected difficulty, is the reference 
to narratives and prophecies which we find nowhere in the 
Canonical Scriptures of the Old Testament and which are found 
in spurious and unauthentic Apocrypha. Had he read, we ask, 
the Book of Enochs and the Assumption of Moses, or some 
similar book? (See notes on Jude verses 9 and 14.) It can 
scarcely be doubted that, but for antecedent prepossessions in 
favour of an arbitrary & priori theory of inspiration, we should 
answer this question in the affirmative. We can scarcely think 
it probable that he and his fellow-workers read no books but 
those included in the Hebrew Canon of the Old Testament. 
The Epistle of St James shews, beyond the shadow of a doubt, 
that he was familiar with the Wisdom of Solomon, and the 
Ecclesiasticus of the Son of Sirach. (See Introduction to St 
James, p. 33.) St Paul, in mentioning Jannes and Jambres (2 
Tim. iii. 8), clearly refers to some other history of Moses than 
that which we find in the Pentateuch. And if we once admit 
the possibility of an acquaintance with the then current literature 



88 INTRODUCTION. 

of Palestine, we know that such books as those referred to may 
well have been within his reach, and, if so, it was hot strange that 
he should use them, without critically examining their historical 
trustworthiness, as furnishing illustrations that gave point and 
force to his counsels. The false teachers against whom he wrote 
were, we know, characterised largely by their fondness for 
*' Jewish fables" (Tit. i. 14), and the allusive references to books 
with which they were familiar were therefore of the nature of an 
argumentum ad hominem* He fought them, as it were, with 
their own weapons. 

II. Relation of the Epistle of St Jude to the Second Epistle 

of St Peter. 

The parallelism between 2 Pet ii. and the Epistle of St 
Jude lies on the surface. There is sufficient resemblance to 
make it certain that one writer knew the work of the other, 
sufficient difference to shew that he exercised a certain measure 
of independence in dealing with the materials thus placed 
within his reach. The following considerations lead, it is be- 
lieved, to the inference that St Jude's Epistle was the earlier of 
the two. 

(1) It was more likely that St Peter should incorporate the 
contents of a short Epistle like that of St Jude, in the longer 
one which he was writing, than that St Jude, with the whole 
of St Peter's Second Epistle before him, should have confined 
himself to one section of it only. 

(2) It was more probable that St Peter, in reproducing 
St Jude, should, as stated above, have thought it expedient to 
omit this or that passage which might seem to him likely to 
take their place among things "hard to be understood" or 
prove stumbling-blocks to the weak, than that Jude should have 
added these elements to what he found written by St Peter. 

What has been suggested above (p. 80) seems the probable 
explanation of the likeness between the two Epistles. That of 
] ude was brought to St Peter, was, perhaps, placed in his hands 
by the writer himself. It brought before him a new form of 



INTRODUCTION. *) 

evil; and he did not hesitate, using possibly St Jude's help as 
an amanuensis, to write to those of the dispersion whom Jude 
also had addressed. It seems, on the whole, probable from the 
absence of any mention of individual Churches, that the Epistle 
of the latter was addressed, like that of his brother, to the whole 
body of "the twelve tribes that were scattered abroad" (James 
i. i). 

i 
III. History of the Epistle of St Jude. 

What has been said of the Second Epistle of St Peter holds 
good, with one remarkable exception, of the Epistle of St Jude. 
It is not mentioned or quoted by any of the Apostolic Fathers, 
Clement, Ignatius, Polycarp, nor in the Epistle of Barnabas nor 
the "Shepherd" of Hermas, nor in Irenaeus, nor the fragments 
of Papias. Clement of Alexandria is the first Father who quotes 
and names it (Paedag. in. 8, Strom, in. 2). He is followed by 
Origen, who in his Commentary on Mattxiii. 55, 56, speaks of Jude 
as having written an Epistle "of but few verses yet full of mighty 
words of heavenly wisdom," and quotes it elsewhere, though 
in one passage with a doubt as to its reception (Comm. on Matt. 
xxii. 23). Tertullian (circ. A.D. 210) quotes it (de Hob. Mul. 1. 3) 
as the work of an Apostle. It is wanting in the Peschito, or Syriac 
Version (a sufficient indication, as has been remarked 1 , of its not 
being by the Apostle Judas, who, under the name of Thaddeus, 
was the traditional Evangelist of Edessa) ; and when we come 
to the fourth century, Eusebius (//. E. in. 25) places it among 
the Antilegomena or disputed books, and Jerome mentions 
{Cat. Script. Ecctes.) that although then received, it had been, 
rejected by many on account of its quoting the Apocryphal 
Book of Enoch. 

The singular exception above referred to is that of the 
Muratorian Fragment (circ. A.D. 170), which, though omitting all 
mention of the Epistles of St James and St Peter, distinctly 
recognises that of St Jude. No satisfactory explanation has as 

1 Canon Venables in Smith's Dictionary of the Bible, Art. Jnde % 
Epistle of 



& INTRODUCTION, 



yet been given of the omission of the former, but the very 
absence of any mention of them renders the fact of the latter 
being named a more decisive proof that the Epistle now before 
us was recognised as Canonical in the middle of the second 
century, 

ANALYSIS OF THE EPISTLE OF ST JUDE. 

The writer addresses himself at large to all who were consecrated and 
called as God's people (i, 2). He states that he had been moved to write 
to them, urging them to contend for the faith, by the dangers of the time 
(3)* Ungodly men are turning the grace of God into lasciviousness (4). 
Believers should therefore remember that no privileges, however great, 
exempt them from the danger of falling, as the Israelites fell after leaving 
Egypt, as the angels and the cities of the Plain had fallen (5 — 7). The 
sins of the false teachers were like theirs and worse, as sins against 
nature, sins after the pattern of those of Cain, and Balaam, and Korah 
(8 — 11). They mingled in the Agapae with impure purposes: all 
images of natural disorder, rainless clouds, withering trees, wandering' 
stars, were realised in their lives (12, 13). Truly had Enoch prophesied 
that the Lord would come to judge such as these, murmurers, self- 
willed, and covetous (14, 15). From that picture of evil the writer 
turns to warn his readers against another hardly less threatening danger 
from the mockers of the last days, sensual and schismatic (17 — 19). In 
contrast with both these classes, they were to build themselves up in 
faith and prayer and love (20 — 22). They must not shrink from re- 
buking those that needed rebuke, but they must deal with each case on 
its own merits, with greater or less severity (22, 23). The writer ends 
with an ascription of praise to God as their protector and preserver 
from all the dangers that threatened them. 



THE FIRST EPISTLE GENERAL OF 

PETER. 



Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scat- 1 
tered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, 

Title. — The title given in most of the Uncial MSS. is simply like the 
short English form, i Peter. Some of the Cursive, or later, MSS., give 
the variations, " The first Catholic (or general) Epistle of Peter," and 
" The Catholic Epistle of the Holy and Venerable {pan-ettphemos) Apostle 
Peter." 

1. Peter] We note that the new name which his Lord had given 
him has replaced, in his own mind as in thai of others, that of Simon 
Bar-jona (Matt. xvi. 17), by which he had once been known. So, in 
like manner, Paul takes the name of Saul, in the letters of that 
Apostle. Like him also, he describes himself as the " Apostle," the 
envoy or representative, of Christ. 

to the strangers scattered...] Literally, taking the words in their Greek 
order, to the elect sojourners of the dispersion. The last word 
occurs in the New Testament in John vii. 35 and las. i. 1, and in the 
Apocrypha in 1 Mace. i. 27. It was used as a collective term for the 
whole aggregate of Jews who, since the Assyrian and Babylonian captivi- 
ties, had been scattered in Asia and elsewhere. It follows from this that 
the Apostle, true to his character, as sent to the circumcision (Gal. ii. 7), 
addresses himself mainly, if not exclusively, to the Jewish Christians of 
the regions which he names, but the term would naturally include also 
the proselytes to Judaism, and so accounts for some of the phrases in 
the Epistle which seem to imply that some of its readers had had 
a Gentile origin. The term "sojourners" is translated "pilgrims" in 
chap. ii. 11 and Heb. xi. 13. Its exact meaning is that of "dwellers in 
a strange land." 

Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia] The order of 
the names is, on the whole, that which would present itself to the mind 
of a man writing, as St Peter does, from the East (chap. v. 13). The 
existence of Christian communities in the five provinces witnesses to the 
extent of unrecorded mission-work in the Apostolic age. The foundation 
of the Churches in Galatia and Asia is, of course, traceable to St Paul 
(Acts xvi. 6, xix. 10) ; those in Pontus may possibly have been due to 
the labours of Aquila, who was a native of that region (Acts xviii. *). 
$ithynia had once been contemplated by St Paul as a field for his 



92 I. ST PETER, I. [v. 2. 

a and Bithynia, elect according to the foreknowledge of God 
the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedi- 

labours (Acts xvi. 7), but we do not read of his actually working either 
there or in Cappadocia. Set .Introduction as to the history of the 
Churches thus named. 

2. elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father] The word 
" elect " or chosen belongs, as already stated, to verse 1, but the English 
sufficiently represents the* meaning of the Greek. The word and the 
thought that the disciples of Christ are what they are by the election or 
choice of God, characterises the whole teaching of the New Testament. 
Here there is the personal interest of noting that the word is prominent 
in the Gospel of St Mark, which we have seen reason to connect closely 
with St Peter's influence, and in that portion of our Lord's discourses re- 
corded in it (Mark xiii. 20, 22, 27), to which the wars and tumults of 
Palestine must at this time have been drawing attention. Comp. also 
the prominence of the thought and of the verbs for "choosing" in John 
xiii. 18, xv. 16, 19. The "elect" had, like the "saints" (Acts ix. 13), 
become almost a synonyme for Christians (2 Tim. ii. 10; Tit. i. 1). 
And this choice is referred to the "foreknowledge" of God. The 
word hovers between the meaning of a mere prevision of the future, 
and the higher sense in which "knowing" means "loving" and "ap- 
proving," as in 1 Cor. viii. 3, Gal. iv. 9, and probably Rom. viii. 
29, xi. 2. The noun occurs in the New Testament only here and 
in St Peter's speech in Acts ii. 23, and is so far evidence of continuity 
of character and thought. In what way the thought of man's freedom 
to will was reconcileable with that of God's electing purpose the writers 
of the New Testament did not care to discuss. They felt, we may 
believe, instinctively, half unconsciously, that the problem was insoluble, 
and were content to accept the two beliefs, which cannot logically be 
reconciled. In the words " the foreknowledge of God the Father* we 
find, perhaps, the secret of their acceptance of this aspect of the Divine 
Government The choice and the knowledge were not those of an 
arbitrary sovereign will, capricious as are the sovereigns of earth, in its 
favours and antipathies, seeking only to manifest its power, but of 
a Father whose tender mercies were over all His works, and who 
sought to manifest His love to all His children. From that stand-point 
the "choice" of some to special blessings was compatible with perfect 
equity to all. It should be noticed that in Rom. viii. 20 we have 
"foreknowledge" as a step in the Divine order prior to predestination, 
but it may well be questioned whether either Apostle had present to 
his thoughts the logical solution presented by the Arminian theory, that 
God, foreseeing the characters of men as they would have been, if not 
predestined, then predestined them accordingly. On that theory the 
question may well be asked, What made them such as God thus fore- 
knew? The difficulty is but thrown further back, and it is wiser to 
accept the conclusion that the problem is insoluble, and that the 
language of Scripture issues in the antinomy of apparently contradictory 
propositions. 



v. 3-] I. ST PETER, I. 93 

ence and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ : Graee 
unto you, and peace, be multiplied. 
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, $ 

through sanctification of the Spirit] The word for "sanctification,!* 
for which, perhaps, consecration would be a better equivalent, is used 
eight times by St Paul, once in the Epistle to the Hebrews (xii. 14), 
here, and not elsewhere in the New Testament. Grammatically the 
words admit of the interpretation which sees in them the sanctification 
of the human spirit (genitive of the object), but the juxtaposition of the 
word Spirit with that of the Father and with Christ, is decisive in 
favour of the explanation which sees in the construction the genitive of 
the subject, or of the agent, and finds in the sanctincatlon wrought 
by the Spirit the region in which the foreknowledge of God finds its 
completion. 

unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ] The 
clause is coordinate with that which precedes it, pointing to the end of 
the election as that points to the sphere in which it worked and the 
means by which it was to be accomplished. In " obedience " we have 
the active human side of the result, in the "sprinkling " the Divine side 
of pardon and acceptance. The word for "sprinkling" is found else- 
where only in Heb. xii. 24, where, as in this place, it refers definitely to 
the narrative of Exod. xxiv. 8. Moses had sprinkled Israel according to 
the flesh with the blood of oxen, as being " the blood of the covenant," 
that by contact with which they were brought within the covenant of 
which he was the mediator (Gal. iii. 19). In like manner, in St Peter's 
words, believers in Christ are brought within the new covenant by the 
mystical, spiritual sprinkling on their souls and spirits of the blood of 
Jesus, and for that sprinkling God had chosen them with a purpose 
supremely wise to which no time-limits could be assigned. The same 
thought, it may be noted, is expressed in St John's words, that " the 
blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin (1 John i. 7). 

Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied] The combination of 
"grace" and "peace" may be noted as a probable instance of St 
Peter's adopting the very phraseology of St Paul, as he found it in the 
letters with which 2 Pet. iii. 16 (assuming the genuineness of that 
Epistle) shews him to have been acquainted. In " peace " we have 
the old Hebrew formula of salutation (Matt. x, is, 13): in "grace" 
(*<£/>«) probably the substitution of the more definite Christian thought 
for the "joy" or "greeting" (xalptw) which, as in Acts xv. 23, James i. 1, 
was the customary opening formula of Greek epistles. The addition of 
" be multiplied " is peculiar to the two Epistles of St Peter (a Pet. i. a), 
and to the Epistle of St Jude (verse 2), which presents so many points 
of contact with the second of those two. 

3. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ] Here 
again we note the close correspondence with the opening words of two 
of St Paul's Epistles (2 Cor. i. 3, Eph. L 3). It is, of course, possible 
that both have adopted what was a common inheritance from Jewish 
devout feeling, modified by the new faith in Christ; but looking to the. 



94 I- ST PETER, I. [v. 4. 

which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us 
again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ 
4 from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and unde- 
nted, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 

reproduction of Pauline phrases in other instances, the idea of deriva» 
tion seems on the whole the most probable. 

which according to his abundant mercy] Literally, as in the margin, 
"his much or great mercy." The thought, though here not the 
phraseology, is identical with St Paul's "being rich in mercy" (Eph. 
ii. 4). In the prominence thus given to the "mercy" of God, as shewn 
in His redeeming and sanctifying work, we recognise the conviction that 
those who were the objects of His favour were at once wretched, and 
unworthy of it through their guilt, and that His pity for that wretchedness 
was the source of the "grace " or "favour" which He had thus shewn to 
them. 

hath begotten us again unto a lively hope] Better perhaps " a living 
hope," a hope not destined, as human hopes proverbially were, to be 
frail and perishable, but having in it the elements of a perennial life. 
And this was brought about by God's regenerating work on and in the 
6oul. The word which St Peter uses is peculiar to him among the 
writers of the New Testament, and meets us again in verse 33. The 
thought, however, is common to him with St James ("of His own will 
begat He us," L 18), with St Paul ("the washing of regeneration," 
Tit. iii. 5), and with our Lord's teaching (" except a man be born again") 
as recorded by St John (John iii. 5). It is noticeable that St Peter, who 
elsewhere (chap. iii. 21) lays so much stress on baptism, does not here 
refer to it as the instrument of the new birth, but goes iarther back to 
the Resurrection of Christ as that without which baptism and faith 
would have been alike ineffectual In this also his teaching is sub* 
stantially at one with St Paul's, who sees in baptism that in which we 
are at once "buried with Christ," and raised by and with Him to "new- 
ness of life " (Rom. vi. 3, 4). 

4. to an inheritance incorruptible] The clause is co-ordinate with 
the preceding and depends upon the word "begotten." The idea of 
the "inheritance" is again essentially Pauline (Acts xx. 3?, Gal. iii. 18, 
Eph. i. 14, 18 and elsewhere). The epithets attached to the word 
distinguish it from any earthly inheritance, such as had been given to 
Israel (Acts vii. 5), and agree with the "everlasting inheritance" of 
Heb. ix. 15. Here it answers to the completed "salvation" of the 
next verse, of which we get glimpses and foretastes here, hut which is 
reserved in its fulness in and for the region of the eternal In that 
inheritance there is nothing that mars, nothing that defiles (Rev. xxi. 27), 
nothing that fades away, as the flower of the field fadeth (James i. 10, 
1 1). The two latter adjectives {amiantos, amarantos) have in the Greek 
an impressive assonance which cannot be reproduced in English. 

for you] Some MSS. give •• for us," but this was probably a correc- 
tion due to the use of the first person in the preceding verse, and the 
present text, which rests on the authority of the best MSS., is like St 



vv- 5— 7« J I- ST PETER, I. 95 

who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salva- 5 
tion ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye s 
greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are 
in heaviness through manifold temptations : that the trial 7 

Paul's changes from the first person to the second (as in Rom. vii. 4, 5, 
Eph. ii. 13, 14), the natural expression of the feeling of the Apostle 
that what he hopes and believes for himself, he hopes and believes also 
for those to whom he writes. 

5. who are kept by the power of God through faith] In the word 
for "kept," we have, as in 2 Cor. xi. 32 in its literal, and Phil. iv. 7 in 
its figurative sense, the idea of being "guarded" as men are guarded in 
a camp or citadel. Of that guarding we have (1) the objective aspect, 
the "power of God" being as the force that encompasses and protects 
us, and (2) the subjective faith, as that through which, as in the vision 
of Elisha's servant (2 Kings vi. 16), we feel that we are guarded, and see 
that " those that are with us are more than they that be against us." 

unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time] It is clear that the 
word "salvation" is used here, with its highest possible connotation, as 
including not only present pardon and peace, but also, as in Rom. 
xiii. ir, 1 Thess. v. 8, the full consummation of blessedness. In this 
sense it is identical with the "manifestation of the sons of God" of 
Rom. viii. 19, the "glory which shall be revealed." 

6. Wherein ye greatly rejoice] The English verb and adverb 
answer to the single Greek word which expresses, as in Matt. v. 12, 
Luke i. 47, x. 21, the act of an exulting joy. The verb occurs three 
times in this Epistle, not at all in St Paul's, and may fairly be regarded 
as an echo from our Lord's use of it as recorded above in the Sermon 
on the Mount. 

f hough noivfor a sea son , if need be] Literally, for a little, but as the 
words almost certainly refer to the duration, not to the degree, of the 
sufferings spoken of, the English version (or for a little while) may 
be accepted as correct. In the " if need be" we have an implied belief 
that the sufferings were not fortuitous, nor sent without a purpose. 
They had their necessary place in the process by which God was 
working out the sanctification of His children. 

. ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations] The sense of the 
Greek participle would, perhaps, be better expressed by ye were grieved, 
or, made sorry. He writes of what he had heard as to their sufferings. 
He does not actually know that they are still continuing. In the 
"manifold temptations" we note the use of the same phrase as in James 
i. 2, with which St Peter could hardly fail to have been acquainted. 
Here, as there and in Acts xx. 19, the " temptations" are chiefly those 
which come to men from without, persecutions, troubles, what we call 
the "trials" of life. 

7. that the trial of your faith] The use of the self-same phrase as 
in James i. 3 strengthens the conclusion suggested in the previous note 
as to St Peter's knowledge of this Epistle. Test, perhaps even proof 
or probation, would better express the force of the Greek word. Faith 
is not known to be what it is until it is tested by suffering. 

Peter & Jude 7 



95 I. ST PETER, I. (vv. 8, 9. 

of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that 
perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto 
praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus 

8 Christ : whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though 
now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy 

9 unspeakable and full of glory : receiving the end of your 

being much more precious than of gold that perisheth] The words 
suggest at once a natural similitude and point out its incompleteness. 
That "gold is tried and purified by fire" was a familiar analogy, as in 
Prov. xvii. 3, xxvii. 21, Ecclus. ii. 5, 1 Cor. iii. 13, but the gold so 
purified belongs still to the category of perishable things, while the 
faith which is purified by suffering takes its place among those that are 
imperishable. 

might be found unto praise and honour and glory] The words stand 
somewhat vaguely in the Greek as in the English, and might possibly 
express that what men suffer is for God's glory. The context, however, 
and the parallelism of Rom. ii. 7, make it certain that they refer to the 
"praise [found here only in conjunction with the familiar combination 
(Rom. ii. 7, 10, i Tim. i. 17) of ".honour and glory"] which men shall 
receive (comp. 1 Cor. iv. 5), when sufferings rightly borne have done 
their work, in and at the revelation of Jesus Christ in His Second 
Coming as the Judge of all men. 

8. whom having not seen, ye love] Some of the better MSS. give 
whom not knowing ye love, but the reading adopted in the English 
version rests on sufficient authority and gives a better meaning. The 
Apostle, in writing the words, could hardly intend to contrast, however 
real the contrast might be, his own condition as one who had seen with 
that of these distant disciples. Did there float in his mind the recollec- 
tion of the words " Blessed are they that have not seen and yet have 
believed" (John xx. 99) ? In any case he emphasizes the fact that their 
love for Christ does not depend, as human love almost invariably does, 
upon outward personal acquaintance. He too, like St Paul, has learnt 
to know Christ no more after the flesh (1 Cor. v. 16). The next clause, 
which seems at first almost a tame repetition of the same thought, really 
points to a new characteristic paradox in the spiritual life. The exulting 
joy of human affection manifests itself when the lover looks on the face of 
his beloved (Song of Sol. ii. 14). Here that joy is represented as found 
in its fulness where the Presence is visible not to the eye of the body, but 
only to that of faith. Like all deeper emotions it is too deep for words — 
"unspeakable," as were the words which St Paul heard in his vision 
of Paradise (2 Cor. xii. 4), as were the groanings of the Spirit making 
intercession for and with our spirits (Rom. viii. 26), and it was "full of 
glory " (literally, glorified) already, in its foretaste of the future, trans- 
figured beyond the brightness of any earthly bliss. 

9. receiving the end of your faith] The question has been raised 
whether these words refer to the present or the future. It has been 
urged on the one hand that the word for "receiving" applied in a Cor. 



v. io.] I. ST PETER, I. 97 

faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation xo 
the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who 

v. io, and perhaps in Heb. x. 36, Eph. vi. 8, to the ultimate issue of 
God's judgment, excludes the former. On the other hand, it may be 
replied that it is arbitrary to limit the last two passages to the final 
judgment, and that the tense both of "rejoice" and " receiving" is defi- 
nitely present. On the whole therefore there is no adequate reason 
against taking the words in their natural and obvious meaning. Those 
to whom the Apostle wrote were thought of as already receiving, very 
really, though not, it might be, in its ultimate fulness, that which was 
the "end" or "goal" of their faith, and that goal was found in the 
"salvation" of their "souls" — the deliverance of their moral being (in 
this instance the word includes "spirit," though elsewhere it is distin- 
guished from it) from the burden of guilt, the sense of condemnation, 
the misery and discord of alienation from God. 

10. Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched 
diligently] The words require a slight correction before we proceed 
to explain them. The noun "prophets" is without the article and 
the verbs are in the aorist and not the perfect. We translate accord- 
ingly, of which salvation prophets enquired and searched diligently, 
who prophesied. The words have commonly been taken as referring 
exclusively to the Old Testament prophets, and it is at least right to set 
before the reader the interpretation of the passage in detail based upon 
that assumption. Those prophets, it is said, saw the future sufferings 
of Christ and the after glory but not the time of their accomplishment. 
The Spirit which taught them was, though they knew it not, the Spirit 
of Christ, one with that which proceeds from Him and which He be- 
stows on His people. The sufferings appointed for Christ (this, rather 
than "sufferings of Christ," is the true rendering) were such as those 
indicated prophetically in Isaiah liii., typically in Fs. xxii. The glories 
were those of His Eternal Kingdom. It was revealed to the prophets 
that they were ministering these things (the verb is in the tense 
that implies continuous action) not for themselves (comp. the parallel 
language of Heb. xi. 13, 39) but for "you" (some MSS. giving "us"), 
i. e. for the whole body of future believers in Christ. And these things, 
the sufferings of Christ and the glories of the future kingdom, were now, 
St Peter adds, "reported" by the preachers of the Gospel, those preach- 
ers being themselves also inspired bf the Holy Ghost sent down, as on 
the day of Pentecost, to fit them for their work ; the Gospel which was 
so preached including, on the one hand, the sufferings of Christ, as they 
are recorded in the written Gospels, and embodying all that had been 
revealed to the writers, of the future glory. And these things, he adds, 
"angels (the word is again without the article, as emphasizing? the 
contrast between them as a class and prophets as a class) 'desire to 
look into,' yet do not see them with the clearness with which the true 
believer in Christ contemplates them." 

Having thus stated with, it is believed, adequate fulness what may 
be called the received interpretation of the words, it remains to give 

7—2 



98 L ST PETER, I. [v. 1 1. 

ix prophesied of the grace JJiat should came unto you : search- 
ing what, or what manner^oFtime the Spirit of Christ which 
was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the 

that which seems, on the whole, to be truer to the meaning of the 
words, and which presents a solution of phenomena which the other 
leaves unsolved. The basis of this other explanation lies in the belief 
that St Peter is speaking mainly, though perhaps not exclusively, of 
the prophets of the Apostolic Church. The position of those prophets 
was, we must remember, as prominent as that of the Apostles (Eph. li. 20, 
iii. 5, iv. 11 ; 2 Pet. iii. 2). Among those with whom St Peter had 
been brought into personal contact were Barnabas, the "son of conso- 
lation," or, as the Hebrew might be interpreted, the "son of prophecy " 
(Acts iv. 36), Agabus (Acts xi. 28, xxi. 10), Judas, and Silas or Silvanus 
(Acts xv. 32). In 2 Pet. L. 10 we have sufficient proof of the import- 
ance attached to the " prophetic word " as a light giving guidance 
amidst the darkness and perplexities of the time. In 2 Pet. iii. 1 — 13 
we see that they spoke of the glories of the new heaven and the new 
earth after a time of darkness and distress In 1 Cor. ii. 9, 10 we read 
how the. things which "eye had not seen nor ear heard" had been re- 
vealed to prophets by the Spirit, and in Rom. xvi. 25, 26, in like manner, 
that " the mystery which had been kept secret since the world began was 
now made manifest in prophetic writings," just as in Eph. iii. 5 St Paul 
speaks of the same mystery as now " revealed unto the Apostles and 
Prophets by the Spirit. " All this is enough, it is believed, to warrant, 
if only at first, tentatively, the assumption that the prophets of the New 
Testament are those of whom St Peter speaks. It will be seen how 
far the detailed examination of what follows falls in with the hypothesis 

1L searching what, or what manner of time] The two words have 
each a distinct force, the first indicating the wish of men to fix the 
date of the coming of the Lord absolutely, the second to determine the 
note or character of the season of its approach. Of that craving 
we find examples in the question "wilt thou at this time restore the 
kingdom to Israel?" which was met by our Lord with the answer " It 
is not for you to know the times and the seasons " (Acts i. 6, 7), in the 
over-heated expectations which St Paul checks in 2 Thess. ii. 1 — 12, in 
the hopes that were met by the mocking scorn which St Peter himself 
rebukes in 2 Pet. iii. 3 — 8. 

the Spirit of Christ which was in them] It will hardly be questioned 
that the name thus given to the Spirit, as compared with Rom. viii. 9 
and Gal iv. 6, primarily suggests the thought of prophets who were 
living and working in the Christian Church rather than of those of the 
older Church of Israel. 

when it testified beforehand the sufferings] To the English readers 
these words naturally seem decisive in favour of the current interpretation, 
and against that which is here suggested. But they seem so only 
because they are a mistranslation of the original. When St Peter 
wishes to speak of the "sufferings of Christ," he uses a different 
construction (chap. iv. 13, v. 1), as St Paul does (2 Cor. L 5). Here 



v.'i2.] ; L' Si? 'PESTES, I. 99 

sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto ia 
whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto 
us they did minister the things, which are now reported 
unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you 
with the Holy Ghost sent dmvn from heaven; which things 
the angels desire to look into. 

the phrase, as has been noticed above, is different. St Peter speaks 
of the sufferings (which pass on) unto Christ. The thought is iden- 
tical with that of St Paul's, expressed in terms so analogous that it 
is a marvel that their bearing on this passage should have escaped the 
notice of commentators. ' ' As the sufferings of Christ abound toward us, " 
St Paul says (2 Cor. i.' 5), "so also does our consolation." He thinks 
of the communion between Christ and His people as involving their 
participation in His sufferings.- Is it not obvious that St Peter presents 
in almost identical phraseology the converse of that thought, and that 
the " sufferings " spoken of are those which the disciples were enduring 
for Christ, and which he thinks of as shared by Him, flowing over to 
Him? That predictions of such sufferings, sometimes general, some- 
times personal, entered largely into the teaching of the prophets of the 
New Testament we see from Acts xi. 28, xx. 23, xxi. 11 ; 2 Tim. ii. 
3, 12. That they dwelt also upon the "glories" that should come 
after the sufferings lies almost in the very nature of the case. Visions 
of Paradise and the third heaven, as in 2 Cor. xii. 1 — 5, of the throne 
and the rainbow and the sea of glass, and the heavenly Jerusalem, like 
those of St John, were, we may well believe, as indeed 1 Cor. ii. 9, 10 
sufficiently indicates, almost the common heritage of the prophets of 
the Apostolic Church. 

12. Unto whom it was revealed \ that not unto themselves, but unto us] 
The better MSS. give "you" instead of "us," obviously with a better 
sense and in closer agreement with the "you " of the following clause. 
What is meant, still keeping to the line of interpretation here adopted, 
is that the prophets who had these previsions, at once of the coming suf- 
ferings and coming glories of the Church, had not carried on their 
ministering work for themselves, bounded, i.e., as by local and personal 
interests, but with a view to those even of the most distant members of 
the great family of God. The vision of the heavenly Jerusalem was for 
the dwellers in Pontus and Asia, in Rome or Corinth, as much as for 
those who lived within the walls of the earthly city. 

which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel] 
The Greek verbs are in the aorist, and therefore point to something in 
the past, but English idiom hardly allows us to combine present and past 
by saying "which now were reported." Here, it is believed, St Peter 
speaks of St Luke, St Paul, and the other labourers by whom the 
provinces of Asia Minor had been evangelised. They too, he recog- 
nises, were as fully inspired as the prophets of whom he had just 
spoken. 

which things the angels desire to look into] Better, angels, without 






iod I. ST V PETOR, 1/ [vv. 13, 14. 

13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, 
and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto 

14 you at the revelation of Jesus Christ ; as obedient children, 
not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in 

the article. See note on verse 10. The word for " Ioqjc" is the same 
as that used by St James (i. 25), and implies, as in Luke xxiv. 12, 
John xx. 5, 1 r, the earnest gaze of one who bends over a given object 
and scrutinizes it thoroughly. The words fit in, perhaps, with either of 
the two interpretations, but considering the part assigned to angels in the 
records of the Gospels, in connexion alike with the Nativity (Matt, 
ii. 13, 19; Luke i. 11, 26, ii. 9 — 15), the Passion (Luke xxii. 43), 
the Resurrection (Matt, xxviii. 2; Mark xvi. 5; Luke xxiv. 4; John 
xx. 12) and the Ascension (Acts i. 10, 11), it is more natural to refer 
them to sufferings and glories that were stiU future than to those of 
which they had already been spectators. 

13. Wherefore gird up t/ie loins of your mind] The words were in 
any case a natural figure for prompt readiness for activity, but, coming 
from one who had been a personal disciple of the Lord Jesus, we can- 
not fail to trace in them an echo of His words as recorded in Luke xii. 
35, possibly also, looking to the many instances of parallelism with 
St Paul's Epistles, of those which we find in Eph. vi. 14. The se- 
quence of thought is that the prospect of the coming glories should be 
a motive to unflagging activity during men's sojourn upon earth. 

be sober, and hope to the end] The verb for '* be sober " expresses a 
sobriety of the Nazarite type. It meets us in 1 Thess. v. 6, 8, and 
in this Epistle, chaps, iv. 7, v. 8. The marginal reading perfectly, 
as though he said "hope with a hope that lacks nothing of complete- 
ness, M answers better to the meaning of the adverb than the phrase in 
the English Version. 

the grace that is to be brought unto you] Literally, as the Greek 
participle is in the present tense and has no gerundial force, the grace 
which is being Drought unto. you. The communication is thought of as 
continuous, and finding its sphere of action in every successive reve- 
lation of Jesus Christ from that of the soul's first consciousness of His 
presence, as in Gal. i. 16, through those which accompany the stages of 
spiritual growth, as in 2 Cor. xii. 1, to that of the final Advent. The 
use of the phrase in verse 7 gives, perhaps, a somewhat emphatic 
prominence to the last thought 

14. as obedient children] Literally, children of obedlanoo. The 
phrase is more or less a Hebraism, like "children of wrath," 
Eph. ii. 3, or the more closely parallel "children of disobedience " 
in Eph. v. 6. The "cursed children," literally, children of a cone, 
of 2 Pet. ii. 14, furnishes another example of the Hebrew feeling 
which looks on the relation of sonship as a parable symbolizing the 
inheritance of character or status. 

not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts] The word 
is the same as that used by St Paul in Rom. xii. 2, where the English 
Version gives "conformed." The words "in your ignorance" are 



w. 15—17.] I. ST PETER, I. 101 

— — - - - - -- — . _ _- . _ , _ 

your ignorance : but as he which hath called you is holy, 15 
so be ye holy in all manner of conversation ; because it r6 
is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. And if ye call 17 
on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth ac- 
ta the Greek more closely connected with "lusts/ 1 the former lusts 
that were in your ignorance. We trace an echo of the feeling ex- 
pressed by St Peter in Acts iii. 17, and again by St Paul in Acts xvii. 
30, that the whole life of men, whether Jews or Gentiles, before the 
revelation of Christ, was a time of ignorance, to be judged as such. 
The former was at least likely to remember, as he wrote, his Master's 
words as to "the servant who knew not his lord's will" (Luke xii. 
48), and who was therefore to be "beaten with few stripes." It does 
not follow, as some have thought, that he is thinking here, chiefly or 
exclusively, of those who had been heathens. The words were in 
their breadth and fulness as true of Jew and Gentile alike as were 
St Paul's in Rom. xi. 31. 

15. be ye holy in all manner of conversation] Better, in every 
form of conduct. The word "conversation," once used in its true 
meaning {conversari— living, moving to and fro, with others), has 
during the last hundred and fifty years settled down almost irre- 
coverably into a synonym for "talking." Swift is, I believe, the first 
writer in whom the later meaning takes the place of the earlier. In 
Cowper's poem "Conversation" it is used without even a reminiscence 
of the fuller significance of the word. For its use in the Authorized 
Version, see Pss. xxxvji. 14, 1. 23; 1 Cor. i. 12; Gal. i. 13, and many 
other passages. In the reference to the holiness of God as calling us to 
reproduce, in our measure, that holiness in our own lives, we have an 
echo of the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. v. 48). The 
Greek of the previous clause has a force which the English but im- 
perfectly represents. More literally we might say after the pattern 
of the Holy One who called you. 

16. because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy] Literally, 
ye shall be holy, the future, as in the Ten Commandments, having the 
force of the imperative. The words, which occur frequently in the 
Levitical code (Lev. xi. 44, xix. 2, xx. 26), were applied sometimes to the 
priests as such, sometimes to the whole nation as a kingdom of priests. 
We see from ch. ii. 5, that the Apostle's thought is that all members 
of the Church of Christ have succeeded to that character, and are 
sharers in the priestly function, offering spiritual sacrifices. 

17. And if ye call on the Father..] Better, as the Greek noun has 
no article, if ye call upon a Father, i.e. if you worship not an 
arbitrary Judge, but one of whom Fatherhood is the essential cha- 
racter. The sequel shews that this attribute of Fatherhood is not 
thought of as excluding the idea of judgment, but gives assurance 
that the judgment will be one of perfect equity. 

who without respect of persons] We note the prominence of this 
thought, derived originally from the impression by our Lord's words 
and acts (Matt. xxii. 16), as presenting a coincidence (1) with the 



102 I. ST PETER, I. [vv. 18, 19. 

cording to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourn- 

x8 ing here in fear : forasmuch as ye know that ye were not 

redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from 

your vain conversation received by tradition from your fa- 

19 thers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb 



Apostle's own words in Acts x. 34 ; and (2) as in other instances, with 
the teaching of St James (ii. 1 — 4). 

pass the time of your sojourning here infear\ The verb for "pass" 
is that from which is derived the noun for "conversation" or "con- 
duct." The connexion of thought may be indicated, in the English 
as in the Greek, by rendering conduct yourselves during the time of 
your sojourning. The latter word connects itself with the " strangers " 
of verse 1, and yet more with the "strangers and sojourners" of ch. 
ii. 11. The "fear" which is urged upon them, is not the terror of 
slaves, but the reverential awe of sons, even the true fear of the Lord 
which is " the beginning of wisdom." (Ps. cxi. io; Prov. i. 7.) Comp. 
also Luke xii. 4, 5. 

18. as ye know that ye were not redeemed...] The idea of a ransom 
as a price paid for liberation from captivity or death, suggests the 
contrast between the silver and gold which were paid commonly for 
human ransoms, and the price which Christ had paid. In the word 
itself we have an echo of our Lord's teaching in Matt. xx. 28, Mark 
x. 45. In this instance, it will be noted, stress is laid on the fact that 
the liberation effected by the ransom is not from the penalty of an evil 
life, but from the evil life itself. 

from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers] 
Better, as before, vain conduct. It has been somewhat rashly inferred 
from these words that the Apostle is speaking mainly, if not exclusively, 
of the converts from heathenism who were to be found in the Asiatic 
Churches. His own words, however, in Acts xv. 10, yet more the 
condemnation passed by our Lord on the traditions of the elders (Matt, 
xv. 1 — 6, Mark vii. 3 — 13), and St Paul's reference to his living after 
the traditions of the fathers (Gal; i. 14), are surely enough to warrant 
the conclusion that he is speaking here of the degenerate Judaism 
of those whom he addresses, rather than turning to a different class 
of readers, or, at the least, that his words include the former. 

19. but with the precious blood of Christ] The order of the 
Greek, and the absence of the article before "blood," somewhat 
modify the meaning. Better, with precious blood, as of a lamb 
without blemish and without spot, [even that] of Christ. That 
blood, the life which it represented, poured out upon the cross, took 
its place among the things that were not corruptible, and is contrasted 
accordingly with the "silver" and the "gold." With the exception 
of the substitution of the "blood which is the life" for the life 
itself, the thought is identical with that of the two passages (Matt. 
xx. 28, Mark x. 45) already referred to. The minds of the disciples 
had been directed to the "blood " thus understood, as connected with 



w. 20, 21.] I. ST PETER, I. 103 

without blemish and without spot : who verily was fore- so 
ordained before the foundation of the world, but was mani- 
fest in these last times for you, who by him do believe in 21 
God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him 

remission of sins, in what we know as the words of institution at the 
Last Supper (Matt. xxvi. 28, Mark xiv. 24, Luke xxiL 20). In the 
blood being that of a "lamb," we trace the impression made on 
the mind of the Apostle by the words which the Baptist had spoken 
in the hearing of St John (John i. 29), and which are reproduced with 
so much vividness in the Apocalypse (Rev. v. 6, 12). The question 
meets us, and is not easy to answer, To what special sacrifice ordained 
in the law of Moses do they refer? The epithet "without blemish " 
seems to point to the Paschal lamb (Exod. xii. 5), but neither of the 
adjectives which St Peter uses is found in the LXX. version in 
connexion with the Passover. As connected with the deliverance of 
Israel both from the angel of death and from their bondage in Egypt, 
the blood so shed might well come to be thought of as the instrument 
of redemption. Had a lamb been sacrificed on the day of Atonement, 
that would have seemed the natural type of the death of Christ, but 
there the victim was a goat (Lev. xvi. 7) ; the daily morning and evening 
sacrifice of a lamb (Exod. xxix. 38) fails as being unconnected with any 
special act of redeeming love. On the whole, perhaps, it is best to think of 
the comparison, suggested originally by the Baptist's words, as pointing 
to the fact that whatever typical significance had attached to the lamb 
in any part of the complex ritual of the law had now been realised in 
Christ 

20. who verily was foreordained] Literally, foreknown, but 
the foreknowledge of God implies the foreordaining. Here also we 
note the coincidence with St Peter's language in Acts ii. 23, iii. 18. 
The Greek for "these last times" is literally the end of the times. 
The Apostle's language was determined probably in part by the 
prophecy of Joel which he cites in Acts ii. 17, in part by his belief 
that with the manifestation of Christ in the flesh, the last period of 
God's dealings with mankind, the duration of which it was not given 
to him to measure, had actually begun. In the thought that the 
foreknowledge of God was "before the foundation of the world," 
we have the very phrase which St Peter had heard from our Lord's 
lips in Matt. xxv. 34, Luke xi. 50, John xvii. 24, and which he may 
have read with the same force as in this passage in Eph. i. 4. 

21* who by him do believe in God...'] Literally, who through 
him are faithful (or believing) towards God ; the adjective expressing 
a permanent attribute oi character rather than the mere act which 
would be expressed by the participle in Greek, and the present in- 
dicative in English. 

that raised him up from the dead...] The prominence given to the 
Resurrection as the ground of Faith and Hope is eminently character- 
istic of St Peter (Acts ii. 32 — 36, iii. 15, iv. 10). The redemptive act 
was completed in the shedding of the "precious blood/' but the Kesur- 



io4 L ST PETER, I. [vv. 22—24. 

23 glory ; that your faith and hope might be in God. Seeing 
ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the 
Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love 

«3 one another with a pure heart fervently : being born again, 
not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of 

«4 God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is 

rection and the "glory" of the Ascension were the foundation of man's 
confidence, that the work had been completed. The "in God " ex- 
presses the Credo in Deum rather than Credo Deo\ faith and hope were 
to find their object in God, be directed towards Him. 

32. Seeing ye have purified your souls] It may l>e noted that the 
use of the Greek verb " purify, in this spiritual sense, is peculiar to St 
Peter, and to his friends St James (iv. 8) and St John (1 Joh. iii. 3). In 
Joh. xi. 55, Acts xxi. 24, 26, xxiv. 18, it is found in its ceremonial sig- 
nificance. In Acts xv. 9 and Tit. ii. 14, the Greek verb is different. 
The purity implied is prominently, as commonly with the cognate ad- 
jective, freedom from sensual lust, but includes within its range freedom 
from all forms of selfishness. The instrument by which, or the region 
in which, this work of purification is to be accomplished, is found in 
"obedience to the truth;" the Truth standing here for the sum and 
substance of the revelation of God in Christ. 

unto unfeigned love of the brethren] The Greek noun which answers to 
the last four words is, in its wide range of meaning, almost, if not alto- 
gether, a coinage of Christian thought. The names of Ptolemy Phila- 
delphus (= the lover of his brother) and of the city of Philadelphia (Rev. 
iii. 7) had probably given a wide currency to the adjective. St Paul 
uses it in Rom. xii. 10, 1 Thess. iv. 9, St Peter here and in 1 Pet. i. 7. 
The general bearing of the passage runs parallel to St Paul's " the end 
of the commandment is charity (better, love) out of a pure heart and* 
faith unfeigned" (1 Tim. i. 5). 

love one another with a pure heart fervently] The better MSS. omit 
"pure" which may have been inserted from a reminiscence of 1 Tim. 
i. 5. The adverb is strictly "intensely" rather than "fervently." 
It is noticeable that the only other passage in which it meets us in the 
New Testament is in Acts xii. 5, where it, or the cognate adjective, is 
used of the prayer offered by the Church for St Peter. 

23. being born again] Better, having been begotten again, the 
verb being the same as that in verse 3. The " corruptible seed" is that 
which is the cause of man's natural birth, and the preposition which 
St Peter uses exactly expresses this thought of an originating cause. 
In the second clause, on the other hand, he uses the preposition which 
distinctly expresses instrumentality. The "word of God" is that 
through which God, the author of the new life, calls that life into 
being. 

by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever] The Greek 
order of the words leaves it doubtful whether the two predicates belong 
to "the word," or to "God," but the sequence of thought is decisive 



v. 25.] I. ST PETER, I. 105 

as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of 
grass. The grass withereth, and the flower there- 
of falleth away: but the word of the Lord en- 25 
dureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel 
is preached unto you. 



in favour of connecting them with the former. They are used to shew 
that the word of God, which is the seed of the new birth, is, as has been 
said, incorruptible. They prepare the way for the emphatic reiteration 
in verse 25, that the "word of the Lord" endureth for ever, the 
same word being used in the Greek as for the " abideth " of this verse. 

It is obvious that the word of God is more here than any written 
book, more than any oral teaching of the Gospel, however mighty that 
teaching might be in its effects. If we cannot say that St Peter uses 
the term LOGOS with precisely the same significance as St John (John 
i. 1, 14), it is yet clear that he thinks of it as a divine, eternal, creative 
power, working in and on the soul of man. It was **the word of the 
Lord 1 ' which had thus come to the prophets of old, of which the Psalmist 
had spoken as "a lamp unto his feet, and "a light unto his path" (Ps. 
cxix. 105). St Peter's use of the term stands on the same level as that 
of the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews, who speaks of ** the word 
of God" as "quick and powerful... a discerner of the thoughts and 
intents of the heart " (Heb. iv. 12, 13). It is, i.e., nothing less than God 
manifested as speaking to the soul of man, a manifestation of which 
either the preached or the written word may be the instrument, but 
which may work independently of both, and is not to be identified with 
either. 

24. For all flesh is as grass"] The words have a two-fold interest : 
(1) as a quotation from the portion of Isaiah's prophecy (xl. 6 — 8) with 
which the Apostle must have been familiar in connexion with the 
ministry of the Baptist, and (2) as presenting another coincidence with 
the thoughts and language of the Epistle of St James (i. 10, 11), itself, 
in all probability, an echo of that prophecy. The passage is quoted 
almost verbally from the LXX. translation, the words "of man" 
taking the place of the "thereof" of the Hebrew. In "the word 
{rhema) of the Lord" we have a different term from the Logos of 
verse 23. It has, perhaps, a slightly more concrete significance and 
may thus be thought of as pointing more specifically to the spoken 
message of the Gospel. It is doubtful, however, looking to the use of 
the word in Heb. i. 3, vi. 5, xi. 3; Eph. vi. 17, whether any such 
distinction was intended, and it is more probable that St Peter thought 
of the two terms as equivalents, using the word rkhna here, because he 
found it in the LXX. This " word of God," abiding for ever, was the 
subject of the Gospel message, but is not necessarily identified with it. 
It was proclaimed to men by the heralds of glad tidings even as Christ 
had proclaimed it. 



io6 I. ST PETER, II. [w. i, 2. 

2 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and 

s hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, as newborn 

babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow 

CHAPTER II. 

1. Wlierefore laying aside] The sequence of thought goes on, as is 
seen in the " new-born babes" of the next verse, from the thought of 
the "regeneration" of believers expressed in chap. i. 3, 23. As entering 
on a new and purer life they are to " lay aside " (compare the use of the 
kindred noun in connexion with baptism in chap. iii. 2 1 ) the evil that 
belongs to the old. As far as the list of evils is concerned, they point, 
especially in the "hypocrisies and evil speakings," to the besetting sins 
of the Jewish rather than the Gentile character, as condemned by our 
Lord (Matt, xxiii. et al.) and St James (iii- iv.), and so confirm the 
view which has been here taken, that the Epistle was throughout 
addressed mainly to Jewish converts. 

2. as newborn babes] The Greek noun, like the English, implies 
the earliest stage of infancy. See Luke i. 41, 44, ii. 12, 16. 

the sincere milk of the word] The English version tries to express 
the force of the original but has had recourse to a somewhat inadequate 
paraphrase. Literally, the words may be rendered as the rational (or 
Intellectual) milk, the adjective having very nearly the force of 
"spiritual " in such passages as 1 Cor. x. 3, 4. The "milk" of which 
he speaks is that which nourishes the reason or mind, and not the body, 
and is found in the simpler form of the Truth as it is in Jesus which 
was presented by the Apostolic Church to the minds of its disciples. 
Looking to the other instances of parallelism between St Peters 
language and those of the Epistles of St Paul, we can scarcely be 
wrong in thinking that here also he more or less reproduces what 
he had read in them. The word for "rational" meets us in Rom. 
xii. 1 (" reasonable" in the English version), in the same sense 
as here, and is not found elsewhere in the New Testament. The 
thought that those who are as yet in spiritual childhood, must be fed 
with the spiritual milk adapted to their state, is found in 1 Cor. iii. 1. 
Comp. also Heb. v. ii, 13. There is almost as striking a coincidence in 
the adjective sincere (better, pure or unadulterated), which expresses 
precisely the same thought as that of St Paul's words in 2 Cor. ii. 17 
( " we are not, as the many, adulterators of the word of God") and 2 Cor. 
iv. 2 ("not dealing with the word of God deceitful ly"). The thought 
implied in the word is that, however simple may be the truths which men 
teach, according to the capacities of their hearers, they should at all 
events be free from any admixture of conscious falsehood. The words 
fix the sentence of condemnation on the " pious frauds," on the popuhts 
vult decipi et decipiatur, on which even Christian teachers and Churches 
have too often acted. In the word "desire," or long after (the word 
expressing an almost passionate yearning), we have a sad reminder that 
the spiritual appetite is not as spontaneous as the natural Infants do 
not need to be told to seek the mother's breast. 

that ye may grow thereby] The better MSS. add the words unto sal- 



vv. 3, 4.] I. ST PETER, II. 107 

thereby: if so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gra-3 
cious. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, dis- 4 
allowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, 

vatlon. Though not essential to the sense, they give a worthy com- 
pleteness to it, and it is not easy to understand how they came to be 
omitted in the later MSS. 

3. if so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious] Better, If ye 
tasted, as referring more definitely to the experiences of the first period 
of their life as Christians. The word " tasted" as applied to those 
experiences follows naturally, as in Heb. vi. 4, on the imagery of the 
milk. The Greek word for "gracious" itself carries on the metaphor 
of the tasting, being applied in Luke v. 39 to express the mellowness of 
wine ripened by age. The words are a quotation from Ps. xxxiv. 8 as 
it stands in the LXX. version. We can scarcely doubt that the Apostle 
saw in the Master he had owned in Christ the "Lord" of whom the 
Psalmist spoke. It is possible that he may have been led to choose the 
quotation from the close resemblance in sound between the two Greek 
words for "Christ" {Christos) and "gracious" {Chrestos). The accep- 
tance of the name of Christian as carrying with it this significance, 
and being, as it were, no wen et omen, was common in the second 
century (Tertullian Apol. c. 3), and it would have been quite in accord- 
ance with Jewish habits of thought for St Peter to have anticipated that 
application. 

4. To whom coming, as unto a living stone] The whole imagery 
changes, like a dissolving view, and in the place of the growth of babes 
nourished with spiritual milk, we have that of a building in which each 
disciple of Christ is as a "living stone" spontaneously taking its right 
place in the building that rests on Christ as the chief corner-stone. 
The new imagery is connected in St Peter's mind with its use in Ps. 
cxviii. 22 and Isai. xxviii. 16, but it is not without significance to note 
that we have the same sequence of the two metaphors in 1 Cor. Hi. 1, 
1 and 10, 11. It may be noted also that the Greek is bolder in its 
use of the image than the English, and has no particle of comparison, 
to whom coming, even to a living stone. The term " living" is used 
in its fullest sense, presenting the paradox of connecting the noun with 
the adjective which seems most remote from it. The lower sense of 
the word in which Latin writers applied the term saxum vivum to rocks 
in their natural form as distinct from those that had been hewn and 
shaped, is hardly admissible here. 

disallowed indeed of men] The verb is the same as the " rejected " of 
Matt. xxi. 42. We cannot forget that the thoughts on which St Peter 
now enters had their starting-point in the citation of the Psalm by our 
Lord on that occasion. In the substitution of the wide term "men" 
for the "builders" of the Psalm, we may trace the feeling that it was 
not the rulers of the Jews only, nor even the Jews only as a nation, but 
mankind at large, by whom the " head of the corner " had been re- 
jected. Here again we see in the Epistle the reproduction of the 
Apostle's earlier teaching (Acts iv. 11). . 

but chosen of God, and precious] More accurately, but With God 



108 I. ST PETER, IL [vv. 5, 6. 

5 ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, a 
holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable 

6 to God by Jesus Christ Wherefore also it is contained in 

(i.e. in God's sight) chosen, precious (or, held In honour). The two 
words emphasize the contrast between man's rejection and God's ac- 
ceptance. Both are taken from the LXX. of Isai. xxviii. 16. 

5. ye also, as lively stones] Better, as living stones, there being 
no reason for a variation in the English, to which there is nothing cor- 
responding in the Greek. The repetition of the same participle gives 
prominence to the thought that believers are sharers in the life of Christ, 
and that, in the building up of the spiritual temple, each of these " living 
stones " takes its voluntary, though not self-originated, part. It is an 
open question, as far as the Greek is concerned, whether the verb is 
in the passive or the middle voice, in the indicative or the imperative 
mood, but the sense is, perhaps, best given by the rendering, build 
yourselves np. 

a spiritual house] The words come as a secondary predicate of the 
previous clause. "This," St Peter says, "is what you will become by 
coming to Christ and building yourselves on Him." The "house, 
like the corner-stone, carries our thoughts back to the Temple as 
"the house of God" (1 Kings viii. 10), which finds its antitype in that 
Ecclesia to which St Paul attaches the same glorious title (1 Tim. iii. 
15). We can hardly think that St Peter could write these words 
without remembering the words which had told him of the rock on 
which Christ would build His Church, and into the full meaning of 
which he was now, at last, entering (Matt. xvi. 18). 

a holy priesthood] The thought of the Temple is followed naturally 
by that of its ritual and of those who are the chief agents in it. Here also 
there is a priesthood, but it is not attached, as in the Jewish Temple, 
to any sacerdotal caste, like that of the sons of Aaron, but is co-exten- 
sive with the whole company of worshippers. As in the patriarchal 
Church, as in the original ideal of Israel (Exod. xix. 5), from which the 
appointment of the Levitical priesthood was a distinctly retrograde step 
consequent on the unfitness of the nation for its high calling as a king- 
dom of priests, as in the vision of the future that floated before the eyes 
of Isaiah (lxi. 6), so now in the Church of Christ, there was to be no 
separate priesthood, in the old sense of the word, and with the old 
functions. All were to offer " spiritual sacrifices " (we note the identity 
of thought with Rom. xii. 1) as contrasted with the burnt-offerings or 
meat-offerings of Jewish ritual. And, by what to a Jew must nave 
seemed at first the strangest of all paradoxes, and afterwards the develop- 
ment of a truth of which germinal hints had been given to his fathers, 
in this new order of things the Temple and the Priesthood were not, 
as in the old, distinguished and divided from each other, but were 
absolutely identical. The Priests who sacrificed in the true Temple, 
were themselves the stones of which that Temple was built. 

acceptable to God] St Peter uses the stronger and more emphatic 
form of the adjective which was familiar on St Paul's lips (Rom. xv. 



w. 7—9.] I. ST PETER, II. 109 

the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner 
stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on 
him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore; 
which believe he is precious : but unto them which be dis- 
obedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, 
the same is made the head of the corner, and as 
stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to 
them which stumble at the word, being disobedient : where- 
unto also they were appointed. But ye are a chosen gene- 9 

16, 31 ; 7 Cor. vi. ?, viii. 12). In the addition of the words " through 
Jesus Christ," we have at once the sanction for the Church's use of that 
form of words in connexion with all her acts of prayer and praise, and 
the implied truth that it is only through their union with Christ as the 
great High Priest and with His sacrifice that His people are able to 
share His priesthood and to offer their own spiritual sacrifices. 

6. Wherefore also it is contained in t/te scripture'] As the words 
are not quoted in exact accordance either with the LXX. or with the 
Hebrew, it is natural to see in them a citation from Isaiah xxviii. 16, 
freely made from memory. 

a chief corner stone] The words, as in Ps. cxviii. 22, Eph. ii. 20, p^int 
to the stone at the corner where two walls met, and resting on which 
they were bonded together and made firm. 

elect, precious] Better, to maintain the identity of phrase, chosen, 
precious (or, held in honour). 

he that believeth on him shall not be confounded] The meaning of the 
Hebrew is fairly expressed by the English version, " He that believeth 
shall not make haste," i. e. shall go on his way calmly and trustfully, 
shall not be put to a hurried or hasty flight. Here St Peter follows 
the LXX. which expresses substantially the same thought. 

7. Unto you therefore which believe lie is precious] M ore accurately, Unto 
you therefore that believe there is the honour. The last words stand 
in direct connexion with the "shall not be ashamed" of the previous 
verse, and are not a predicate asserting what Christ is, but declare that 
honour, not shame, is the portion of those who believe on Him. 

but unto them which be disobedient] The Greek word, like the 
English, expresses something more than the mere absence of belief and 
implies a deliberate resistance. To such as these, St Peter says, com- 
bining Isai. viii. 14, 15 with the other passages in which the symbolism 
of the stone was prominent, much in the same way as St Paul com- 
bines them in Rom. ix. 33, the very corner-stone itself became "a 
stone of stumbling and a rock of offence." Here again his language is 
an echo of our Lord's (Matt. xxi. 44). 

8. which stumble at the word] The "word," as before, is the sum 
and substance of the Gospel. Men opposing themselves to that word, 
looking on it as an obstacle to be got rid of, were as those who rush 
upon a Arm-fixed stone, and who falling over it are sorely bruised. 

whereunto also they were appointed] Attempts have been made to 



no I. ST PETER, II. [v. 10. 

ration, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people ; 

that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath 

xo called you out of darkness into his marvellous light : which 

soften the apparent fatalism of the words by carrying the antecedent of 
the "whereunto" as far back as verse 5, and seeing in the words the 
statement that even those who stumbled were appointed, as far as God's 
purpose was concerned, to be built up on Christ. It is, however, all 
but obvious that this puts a forced and artificial meaning on the 
Apostle's words. What he really affirms is that it is part of God's 
appointed order that the disobedient should stumble and be put to 
shame. And it may be noted that this way of looking on things is 
eminently characteristic of him. In the treachery of Judas he read the 
lesson that "the Scripture must needs have been fulfilled" (Acts i. 16). 
Stumbling, however, was not necessarily identical with falling irre- 
trievably (Rom. xi. 1 1). 

9. Bttt ye are a chosen generation] The glories that attach to the 
company of believers in Christ are brought before us in a mosaic of Old 
Testament phraseology. The "chosen generation" comes from Isai. 
xliii. 20, the "royal priesthood" from the LXX. of Exod. xix. 6, where 
the English version has more accurately "a kingdom of priests." We 
note the recurrence of the thought in Rev. i. 6, v, 10. The same pas- 
sage supplies the "holy nation." 

a peculiar people] This somewhat singular word calls for a special 
note. The English translators appear to have used the term in its 
strictly etymological and almost forensic sense. The people of Christ, 
like Israel of old, were thought of as the special peculhuu> the posses- 
sion, or property, of God. The adjective, however, has acquired in 
common usage so different a meaning that it would be better to trans- 
late the words, a people for a special possession. The noun or the 
cognate verb is found in the LXX. of the "special people" of Deut. 
vii. 6, in the "jewels" of Mai. iii. 17. The context shews however 
that Isai. xliii. 21 was most prominently in the Apostle's thoughts, 
" This people have I formed for myself (or, gained as a possession for 
myself); they shall shew forth my praise." In Eph. i. 14 the noun is 
rendered by "purchased possession," in 1 Thess. v. 9, 2 Thess. ii. 14, 
by "obtaining, in Heb. x. 39 by " saving." The primary idea of the 
Greek verb is that of acquiring for oneself by purchase or otherwise, 
and the noun accordingly denotes either the act of acquiring or that 
which is so acquired. Cranmer's Bible gives "a people which are 
won :*' the Rhemish Version "a people of purchase. 

that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called yote] The 
word for "praises" is that commonly used by Greek ethical writers for 
" virtue," and is so rendered in Phil. iv. 8 and 2 Pet. i. 3, 5. St Peter's 
choice of the term was determined apparently, as intimated in the pre- 
ceding note, by its use in the LXX. of Isai. xliii. 21* Here, since the 
associations of the word in English hardly allow us to speak of the 
"virtues" of God, "excellences" would perhaps be a more adequate 
rendering: the Greek word, though connected both by Greek ethical 



v. ii.] I. ST PETER, II. irr 

in time past were not a people, but are now the people 
of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have 
obtained mercy. 

Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, tx 

writers (Aristot Eth. Nicom. III. i) and by St Paul (Phil. iv. 8) with 
the thought of praise, cannot well itself have that meaning. The almost 
uniform reference, throughout the New Testament, of the act of calling 
to the Father, justifies the conclusion that St Peter so thinks of it here. 
Darkness is, of course, the natural symbol for man's ignorance of God 
(comp.John viii. ii, Actsxxvi. 18, Eph. v. 8 — 13, Rom. xiii. 12), as light 
is for the true knowledge of Him. The epithet "marvellous," or 
wonderful, as applied to that light is peculiar to St Peter. Looking 
to the stress laid on the glory of the Transfiguration in 1 Pet. i. 
16 — 18, we may, perhaps, see in this passage the impression which had 
been made upon him by what he had then seen of the "marvellous 
light" of the Eternal. Into that light, of which what he had seen was 
but the outward symbol, not he only but all who believed in Christ had 
now been called. 

10. Which in time past were not a people] The reference is to the 
children of Gomer, with their strange ill-omened names, Lo-Ammi and 
Lo-Ruhamah (Hos. i. ii.): but it may be a question whether the cita- 
tion is made directly from the prophet, or is traceable to St Paul's use 
of it in Rom. ix. 1$, In favour of the former view is the fact that 
St Peter quotes it (1) in a different form from St Paul's, giving "had not 
obtained mercy'' for "not beloved," following in this the text of the 
Alexandrian. MS. of the LXX., and (2) in a different application, St 
Paul referring it to the calling of the Gentiles, while he applies it to that 
of Israel. Some interpreters, indeed, have seen in this passage also 
a proof that St Peter was writing to Gentile converts or thinking of 
them chiefly, but it may well be urged against this view that if the his- 
tory of the prophet's adulterous wife had been to him a parable of the 
sin and repentance of Israel, it might well be so to the Apostle also. 
Had not his Master spoken of the people as " an evil and adulterous 
generation" (Matt. xii. 39)? Had not his friend St James addressed 
them as " adulterers and adulteresses" (James iv. 4)? 

11. Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims] This is 
manifestly the beginning of a fresh section of the Epistle. Somewhat- 
after the manner of St Paul, the Apostle, after having allowed his 
thoughts to travel through the mysteries of redemption, reaches, as it 
were, the highest region of the truth, and then pauses in the act of 
writing or dictating, and takes a fresh start. In doing so, however, he 
goes back to the opening words of the Epistle (see note on chap. i. 1). 
Those to whom he wrote were " strangers and pilgrims " (the English 
reader must remember that " pilgrim" is but another form of feregrinus\ 
not only as belonging to the Jews of the dispersion, but as being, like, the 
patriarchs of old (Heb. xi. 13), men who, in whatever country they might 
be, felt that their true home was elsewhere. In the LXX. version of Ps. 
xxxix. 11 we find both the words and the thoughts to which St Peter 

Peter & Jude g 



112 I. ST PETER, II. [v. 12. 

i2 abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; having 
your conversation honest among the Gentiles : that, whereas 
they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good 

now gives utterance. It is obvious that the special local position of the 
disciples, though not, it may be, altogether excluded, is now thrown 
quite into the background. 

abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul] The negative 
aspect of the Christian life is put forward first, as being prior, both in order 
of thought, and often in that of time, to its more positive development. 
The entreaty rests upon the character implied in the previous words. 
Travellers in a strange land, yet more in the land of enemies, do not 
care commonly to adopt all its customs. They retain their nationality. 
The exiles who hung their harps by the waters of Babylon did not forget 
Jerusalem, and would not profane its hymns by singing them at idol- 
feasts (Psalm cxxxvii. i — 3). The citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem 
were in like manner to keep themselves from all that would render 
them unfit for their true home. The words "fleshly lusts" have, per- 
haps, a somewhat wider range than the English term suggests, and take 
in all desires that originate in man's corrupt nature, as well as those 
directly connected with the appetites of the body : comp. St Paul's list 
of the "works of the flesh" in Gal. v. 19 — 21. In the description of 
these as " warring against the soul," we have another striking coincidence 
of language with St James (iv. 1) and St Paul (Rom. vii. 23). "Soul" 
stands here, as in chap. i. 9, for the higher element of man's nature 
which, in the more elaborate threefold division of man's nature, adopted 
by St Paul in 1 Thess. v. 23 and elsewhere, includes both "soul and 
spirit. 

12. having your conversation honest among the Gentiles'] On "con- 
versation," see note on chap. i. 15. There is perhaps no better equiva- 
lent for the Greek word than "honest;" but it carries with it the 
thought of a nobler, more honourable, form of goodness than the English 
adjective. The special stress laid on the conduct of the disciples " among 
the Gentiles" confirms the view taken throughout these notes that the 
Epistle is addressed mainly to those of the Asiatic Churches who were 
by birth or adoption of "the Circumcision." 

that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers] It is not without 
significance that St Peter uses the same word as had been used by the 
chief priests of our Lord (John xviii. 30). This Epistle (here, and ver. 
14, iii. 16, iv. 15) is the only book in the New Testament, with the 
exception of the passage just referred to, in which the word occurs. 
The words indicate the growth of a widespread feeling of dislike shew- 
ing itself in calumny. So in Acts xxviii. 22 the disciples of Christ are 
described as "a sect everywhere spoken against." The chief charge 
at this time was probably that of "turning the world upside down" 
(Acts xviL 6), i. e. of revolutionary tendencies, and this view is con- 
firmed by the stress laid on obedience to all constituted authority in 
the next verse. With this were probably connected, as the sequel 
shews (verse 18, chap. iii. 1), the accusations of introducing discord into 



v. 13.] I. ST PETER, II. 113 

works, which they, shall behold, glorify God in the day of 
visitation. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man 13 

A 

families, setting slaves against their masters, wives against their hus- 
bands. The more monstrous calumnies of worshipping an ass's head, 
of Thyesteian banquets of human flesh, and orgies of foulest license, 
were probably of later date. 

they may by your good worhs, which they shall behold] The verb 
which St Peter uses is an unusual one, occurring in the New Testament 
only here and in chap. iii. 2, The use of the cognate noun in the 
"eye-witnesses" of 2 Pet. i. 16" may be noted as a coincidence pointing 
to identity of authorship. The history of the word as applied originally 
to those who were initiated in the third or highest order of the Eleu- 
sinian mysteries is not without interest If we can suppose the Apostle 
to have become acquainted with that use of it, or even with the meaning 
derived from the use, we can imagine him choosing the word rather 
than the simple verb for " seeing " to express the thought that the 
disciples were as a "spectacle" (1 Cor. iv. 9; Heb. x. 33) to the world 
around them, and that those who belonged to that world were looking 
on with a searching and unfriendly gaze. 

glorify God in the day of visitation] The usage of the Old Testa- 
ment leaves it open whether the day in which God visits men is one of 
outward blessings as in Job x. 12, Luke i. 43, or of chastisement 
as in Isai. x. 3. The sense in which the term is used by St Peter 
was probably determined by our Lord's use of " the time of thy visita- 
tion" in Luke xix. 44. There it is manifestly applied to the "ac- 
cepted time," the season in which God was visiting His people, it 
might be by chastisements, as well as by the call to repentance and the 
offer of forgiveness. And this, we can scarcely doubt, is its meaning 
here also. There is a singular width of charity in St Peter's language. 
He anticipates "a day of visitation," a time of calamities, earthquakes, 
pestilences, famines, wars and rumours of wars, such as his Lord had 
foretold (Matt xxiv. 6, 7), but his hope is not that the slanderers may 
then be put to shame and perish, but that they may then " glorify God" 
by seeing how in the midst of all chaos and disorder, the disciples of 
Christ were distinguished by works that were nobly good, by calmness, 
obedience, charity. 

13. Submit yourselves to every ordhianee of man] The precept, 
like those of Rom. xiii. 1 — 7, points to this as the line of action 
which the circumstances of the time made most important, in order 
that the character of Christ's disciples might be vindicated against 
the widely-spread suspicion that they were elements of disorder. The 
word for "ordinance," usually translated "creature," may possibly 
have that sense here. So taken, the counsel would stand parallel 
to the "honour all men" of ver. 17, to the "be ye subject one to 
another " of ch. v. 5, and would express the thought that the Christian 
was to act and speak as a " scrvits servonitu" submitting himself, 
as far as God's law would allow, even to the meanest. Against this 
view, however, it may be urged that "every human creature" woul4 

8-2 



174 I- ST PETER, II. [w. 14, 15. 

for the Lord's sake : whether it be to the king, as supreme; 
14 or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for 

the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them 
x 5 that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well 

be a somewhat awkward periphrasis for "all men," and that the 
subdivision that follows points to something more specific. On the 
whole, therefore, there seems sufficient reason for accepting the English 
Version, and taking the word in the sense which it will well bear 
of "ordinance," or better, perhaps, Institution. The obedience which 
is thus enjoined is to be rendered not through fear of punishment but 
"for the Lord's sake," partly as remembering His example (vv. 21, 
22), partly in zeal for the honour of His name, lest that also be " blas- 
phemed among the Gentiles " (Rom. ii. 24). 

•whether it be to the king, as supreme] The adjective is the same 
as in the " higher powers " of Rom.^xiii. 1. The "king", is of course 
the Emperor Nero, the Greek language not supplying a word with 
the full significance of the Roman- Imperator. So we have prayers 
for 4t kings," obviously including the Emperor, in 1 Tim. ii. 2. The 
"Governors" include the Pro-consuls or Pro-praetors of Roman pro- 
vinces, and all officials such as the town-clerk of Ephesus, the Asiarchs, 
and other municipal authorities. (Acts xix. 31, 35, 38.) 

14. as unto them that are sent by him] The tense of the Greek par- 
ticiple indicates that obedience was to be paid to those who, from time 
to time, were the local representatives of the central supreme authority. 
The identity of thought with Rom. xiii. 3, 4, will be noticed as another 
interesting coincidence in the teaching of the two Apostles. Both alike 
recognise that even an imperfect and corrupt. government works, on 
the whole, for a greater good than lawless anarchy. Both therefore 
are against revolutionary attempts to destroy ah established order. It 
has, of course, to be remembered that the Christian citizens of a Christian 
country now stand in a different position, in relation to the state, from 
that occupied by the disciples of the Apostolic Church, and have there- 
fore different duties and responsibilities; among others, that of defend- 
ing the "ordinance" or " institution" under which they live, whether 
that institution be monarchical or republican in its form, against open 
or insidious aggression. 

15. For so is the will of God] Better, for thus it Is the will of 
God. This was to be the chief, if not the only, apologia of Christians 
to the charges brought against them. , They were accused of being 
evil-doers. They were to be conspicuous for well-doing. In the Greek 
for " put to silence " we have the word used in Matt. xxiL 12, 34, Mark 
i. 25, iv. 39, the primary meaning of which was " to enforce silence 
by a gag or muzzle." The word "ignorance," used elsewhere in the 
New Testament only in 1 Cor. xv. 34, implies something more than 
a mere ignorance of facts. One might almost describe it as a settled 
incapacity for knowing and judging rightly. The "foolish. men" are 
the accusers and slanderers of ver. 12 rather than the official authorities 
of w. 13, 14. 



w. 16, 17.] I. ST PETER, II. 115 

doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men : 
as free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of malicious- 16 
ness, but as the servants of God. Honour all men. Love 17 



16. as free, and not using your liberty for a eloke] The English text 
gives the impression that the word "free " is closely connected with the 
preceding verse. In the Greek, however, the adjective is in the nomi- 
native and cannot be in apposition with the preceding participle for 
"well-doing" which is in the accusative case. We are led therefore 
to connect it with what follows. "As being free... honour all men..." 
The fact that men had been made free with the freedom which Christ 
had given (comp. John viii. 32, 36, Gal. v. 1) brought with it an obli- 
gation to use the freedom rightly. If under the pretence that they were 
asserting their Christian freedom, they were rude, over-bearing, insolent, 
regardless of the conventional courtesies of life, what was this but to 
make their liberty a cloke (the word is the same as that used in the 
LXX. of Exod. xxvi. 14 for the "covering" of the Tabernacle) for 
baseness? The word just given answers better to the comprehensive 
meaning of the Greek word than the more specific "maliciousness." 
In GaL v. 13, 2 Pet. ii. 19 we find indications that the warning was 
but too much needed. 

"License they mean when they cry liberty" 

was as true in the Apostolic age as it has been in later times. 

as the servants of God] St Peter, like St Paul, brings together 
the two contrasts as expressing one of the paradoxes of the spiritual 
life. There is a service even in slavery, which is not only compatible 
with freedom, but is absolutely its condition. Comp. Rom. vi. 16—18, 
1 Cor. vii. *2 $ 23. 

17. Honour all men] The universality of the precept is not to be 
narrowed by any arbitrary restriction of its range to those to whom 
honour was due. St Peter had been taught of God "not to call 
any man common or unclean" (Acts x. 28). The fact that there 
were in every man traces of the image of God after which he had 
been created, and infinite undeveloped capacities which might issue 
in the restoration of that image to its original brightness, was in itself 
a reason for treating all, even the vilest and most degraded, with 
some measure of respect. It is obvious that the command is perfectly 
consistent with shewing degrees of honour according to the variations 
in men's character and position. It would almost seem as if the 
Apostle chose the most terse and epigrammatic form for these great 
laws of conduct that their very brevity might impress them indelibly 
on the minds of his readers. 

Love the brotherhood] In the Greek, as in the English, the abstract 
noun is used to express the collective unity made up of many indi- 
viduals. Within the Christian society in which all were brothers, as 
being children of the same Father, there might well be a warmer feeling 
of affection than that which was felt for those who were outside it. 
If St Peter's rule seems at first somewhat narrower than that of 



n6 I. ST PETER, II. [v. 18. 

is the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. Servants, 
be subject to your masters with all fear; not >only to the 

Matt. v. 44 ("Love your enemies"), it may be remembered that 
the special love of the brethren does not shut out other forms and 
degrees of love, and that our Lord's words are therefore left in all 
their full force of obligation. 

Fear God, Honour the king] The king, as before, is the Emperor. 
The two verbs seem deliberately chosen to express the feelings of 
man's conduct in regard to divine and human authority. They are 
to fear God with the holy reverential awe of sons, with that fear which 
is " the beginning of wisdom" (Ps. cxi. 10, Prov. i. 7). They are not 
to fear man more than God, however great may be the authority with 
which he is invested. St Paul's conduct before the high-priest, Felix, 
Festus and Agrippa (Acts xxiii. — xxvi.) may be noted as a practical 
illustration of St Peter's precept. We may, perhaps, trace in the jux- 
taposition of the two precepts a reproduction of the teaching of Prov 
xxiv. 21. 

18. Servants^ be subject to your masters] The counsels thus opening 
are carried on to the close of the chapter. The fulness with which 
slaves are thus addressed, here and in Eph. vi. 5 — 8, Col. iii. 22, 
1 Tim. vi. i, 2, indicates the large proportion of converts that belonged 
to that class. Nearly all the names in Rom. xvi. and many of those 
of other members of the Church are found in the Columbaria or 
Catacombs of Rome as belonging to slaves or freedmen. The term for 
"servants," here and in Luke xvi. 13, Acts x. 7, Rom. xiv. 4, differs 
from the more common word as pointing specially to household 
servants, the "domestics" of a family. It may have been chosen by 
St Peter as including the wide class of libertini or freedmen and 
freedwomen who, though no longer in the status of slavery, were still 
largely employed in the households of the upper classes, as scribes, 
musicians, teachers, physicians, needle-women and the like. It is 
obvious that the new thoughts of converts to the faith of Christ must 
have brought with them some peculiar dangers. They had learnt 
that all men were equal in the sight of God. Might they not be 
tempted to assert that equality in word or act? They felt them- 
selves raised to a higher life than their heathen masters. Could they 
endure to serve loyally and humbly those whom they looked on as 
doomed to an inevitable perdition? Was it not their chief duty to 
escape by flight or purchase from the degradation and dangers of their 
position ? The teaching of St Paul in 1 Cor. viL 21 — 23, as well as in 
the passages above referred to, shews how strongly he felt the urgency 
of this danger. Cardinal Wiseman's Fabiola may be mentioned as 
giving, with special vividness and insight, a picture of this aspect of the 
social life of the early Church. 

with all /ear] So St Paul urges obedience "with fear and trembling " 
(Eph. vi. 5). There was, looking to the then existing relations of society, 
a comparative nobleness in a service into which the fear of offending 
their master, as distinct from the mere dread of the scourge or other pun- 



vv. 19— 2i.] I. ST PETER, II. 117 

good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thank- 19 
worthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, 
suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye 20 
be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but 
if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, 
this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye 21 

ishment, entered as a motive into the obedience of slaves. And this 
was not to depend on the character of the master. He might be 
good and easy-going, or perverse and irritable. Their duty was in 
either case to submit, with thankfulness in the one case, with a cheerful 
patience in the other. 

19. For this is thankworthy] The word charts, commonly translated 
"grace," is here used in the sense, which attaches also to the Latin 
gratia, as in ago tibi gratias, and the French milU graces, of thanks or 
cause for thanks. So in Luke vi. 32 the same word is used in "what 
thank have ye," where the context shews that it is equivalent to a 
"reward, 1 ' and in that case, as in this, a reward from God. It is not 
unreasonable to suppose that St Peter's choice of the term was deter- 
mined by the use of it which St Luke records in his report of the 
Sermon on the Plain. 

for conscience toward God] Literally, consciousness of God, i.e. of 
His presence as seeing, judging, helping, rewarding, His suffering 
servants. The phrase is analogous to the " conscience of the idol " 
in 1 Cor. viii. 7. 

suffering wrongfully] Natural impulse, one might almost say natural 
ethics, sanctions the burning indignation and desire to retaliate which is 
caused by the sense of wrong. Here, as in the Sermon on the Mount 
(Matt. v. 39), which this teaching distinctly reproduces, that is made the 
crucial instance in which the Christian is to shew that the law of Christ 
is his rule of life. It is obvious that in this case the allowance of any 
exception to the rule would make it altogether inoperative. Each 
party in a dispute or quarrel thinks himself at the moment in the right, 
and it is only by acting on the principle that the more he believes, him- 
self to be in the right the more it is his duty to submit patiently, that 
a man can free himself from an endless entanglement of recriminations 
and retaliations. 

'20. if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently'] 
Literally, If when ye are buffeted, being In fault, ye shall endure It. 
The common practice of Roman life, as of all countries in which slavery 
has prevailed, made the blow with the hand, the strict meaning of 
"buffeting" (Mark xiv. 65), or the stroke of the scourge, a thing of 
almost daily usage. 

this is acceptable with God] The Greek word is the same as that 
rendered "thankworthy" in the previous verse. It would obviously 
have been better, though " acceptable" expresses the sense fairly enough, 
to have retained that word here also. 

21. For even hereunto were ye called] The thoughts of the Apostle 



n8 I. ST PETER, II. [vv. 22, 23. 

called : because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an 

22 example, that ye should follow his steps :who did no sin, 

23 neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when 
he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he 

travel from the teaching of Christ which he had heard to the life which 
he had witnessed. The very calling to be a disciple involved the taking 
up the cross and following Him (Matt. x. 38, xvi. 24; Luke xiv. 27). 
It was the very law of the Christian life that men "must through much 
tribulation enter into the kingdom of God" (Acts xiv. 22). And if this 
was true of all believers it was true in a yet higher sense of those who, 
when they were called to know Christ, were called as slaves, and as 
such were to abide in that calling and find in it a discipline of sanctifica- 
tion (comp. 1 Cor. vii. 22). And the Apostle had seen what that taking 
up the cross involved. It is not without significance that in almost 
every instance in which the example of Christ is referred to, it is in 
special connexion with His patience under sufferings. Stress is laid 
on his suffering for us, as making the analogy of the pattern sufferer 
more complete. He, too, was " buffeted " for no fault of His (Matt, 
xxvi. 67). 

leaving us an example] The Greek noun, not found elsewhere in 
the New Testament, seems to have been a technical word for the 
drawing which was set before young students of art for them to copy. 
Such a picture of patience under suffering St Peter now paints, as with 
a few vivid touches, and sets it before those who were novices in the 
school of the Christ-like life that they may become artists worthy of 
their Master. 

22. Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth] It is 
suggestive as indicating the line of prophetic interpretation in which 
the Apostle had been led on, that as soon as he begins to speak of the 
sufferings of Christ, he falls, as it were, naturally into the language of 
Isaiah liii. 9, as he found it (with the one exception that he gives " sin " 
for " iniquity ") in the LXX. version. The two clauses assert for the 
righteous sufferer a perfect sinlessness both in act and word. 

23. Whoy when he was reviled^ reviled not again] Here again, 
though we have no direct quotation, it is impossible to overlook the 
allusive reference to the silence of the sufferer as portrayed in Isai. 
liii. 7. Personal recollection was, however, the main source of the vivid 
picture which the Apostle draws, dwelling mainly on those features which 
the life of the slaves best enabled them to reproduce. They were tempted 
to return "railing for railing" (chap. iii. 9). Christ had met taunts 
and revilings with a silent patience. They in their passionate indig- 
nation too often threatened revenge in some near or distant future. He, 
though he might have asked His Father for twelve legions of angels, 
had uttered no threats of judgment, but had committed Himself (as in 
the words on the Cross, " Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit," 
Luke xxiii. 46) to the righteous Judge. So should the slaves who suffered 
wrongfully commit their cause to God in the full assurance that they 
will one day have righteous judgment. The strange rendering in the 



v. 24.] I. ST PETER, II. 119 

threatened not ; but committed himself to him that judgeth 
righteously: who his own self bare our sins in his 21 
own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should 
live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were 

Vulgate, "tradebat judicanti se in juste" as though the words referred 
not to God, but to Pilate, for which there is no Greek MS. authority, 
must be regarded as an arbitrary alteration made on the assumption that 
this was the crowning act of submissive patience. 

24. who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree'] Here 
again we have an unmistakeable reference to the language of Isai. 
liii: 12. The Apostle, though he has begun with pointing to the suffer- 
ings of Christ as an example, cannot rest satisfied with speaking of 
them only under that aspect. He remembers that his Lord had spoken 
of Himself as giving His life a ransom for many (Matt. xx. 98), of His 
blood as that of a new covenant (Matt. xxvi. *8). He must speak 
accordingly, even to the slaves whom he calls upon to follow in the 
footsteps of their Master, of the atoning, mediatorial, sacrificial aspects 
of His death. Each word is full of a profound significance. The 
Greek verb for "bare" (anapherein) is always used with a liturgical 
sacrificial meaning, sometimes, in a directly transitive sense, of him who 
offers a sacrifice, as James ii 21 (" Abraham... when he had offered 
Isaac"), Heb. vii. 27, xiii. 15, and in this very chapter (verse 5); some- 
times of the victim offered, as bearing the sins of those who have trans- 
gressed, and for whom a sacrifice is required, as in Heb. ix. ?8 and the 
LXX. of Isaiah liii. 12. Here, Christ being at once the Priest and the 
Victim, one meaning seems to melt into the other. He offers Himself : 
He bears the sins of many. But if there was a priest and a sacrifice, 
where was the altar ? The Apostle finds that altar in the cross, just 
as many of the best commentators, including even Roman theologians 
like Estius and Aquinas, recognise a reference to the cross in the "we 
have an altar" of Heb. xiii. 10. In the word for "tree," used instead 
of that for " cross," we have the same term as that in Gal. iii. 13, where 
St Paul's choice of it was obviously determined by its use in the LXX. 
of Deut. xxi. 23. The word was somewhat more generic than "cross," 
and included a whole class of punishments to which slaves were subject, 
impaling, the stocks (Acts xvi. 24), and the like. It is possible that St 
Peter, in writing to slaves, may have chosen it as bringing home to 
their thoughts the parallelism between Christ's sufferings and their own 
(comp. the "non pasces in cruce corvos" of Horace Epp. I. 16, 1. 48) ; 
but its occurrence in St Luke's reports of his speeches in Acts v. 30, 
x. 39 makes it more probable that it was simply a* familiar term with 
him. 

that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness] The Greek 
word for " being dead " is a somewhat unusual one, and is not found 
elsewhere, in the New Testament. As a word it has to a certain extent 
an euphemistic character, like "departing," " being away," and is so 
far analogous to the exodos or " decease " of 2 Pet i. 1 5. The context 
leaves no doubt that the English rendering of the word fairly expiresse* 



120 I. ST PETER, II. [v. 25. 

* 5 healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but 
are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your 
souls. 

its true meaning. "Having died " would perhaps give more accurately 
the force of the aorist participle. The thought presents another instance 
of parallelism between St Peter and St Paul (Rom. vi. 2, 11; Gal. 
ii. 19) so close that it at least suggests the idea of derivation. In both 
cases the tense used implies a single act at a definite point of time, and as 
interpreted by St Paul's teaching, and, we may add, by that of St Peter 
himself (chap. iii. 21), that point of time can hardly be referred to any 
other occasion than that of the Baptism of those to whom he writes. 
In that rite they were mystically sharers in the death and entombment of 
Christ, and they were made so in order that they might live to Him in 
the righteousness of a new life. 

by whose stripes ye were healed] The word for "stripes " means 
strictly the livid mark or wheal left on the flesh by the scourge. Comp. 
Ecclus. xxviii. 1 7. We may well believe that the specific term was 
chosen rather than any more general word like " sufferings " or " pas- 
sion," as bringing before the minds of the slave readers of the Epistle 
the feature of greatest ignominy in their Lord's sufferings (Matt, xxvii. 
26 ; Mark xv. 15), that in which they might find the closest parallelism 
with their own. When the scourge so freely used in Roman house- 
holds left the quivering flesh red and raw, they were to remember that 
Christ also had so suffered, and that the stripes inflicted on Him were 
part of the process by which He was enabled to be the Healer of man- 
kind. The words are cited from the LXX. of Isai. liii. 5. 

25. For ye were as sheep going astray] The sequence of thought is 
suggested by the "all we like sheep have gone astray" of Isai. liii. 6, 
but the imagery could scarcely fail to recall to the mind of the Apostle 
the state of Israel "as sheep that had no shepherd" (Matt. ix. 36), and the 
parable of the lost sheep (Matt, xviii. 12, 13; Luke xv. 4). The image 
had been a familiar one almost from the earliest times to describe the 
state of a people plunged into anarchy and confusion by the loss of their 
true leader (Num. xxvii. 17 ; 1 Kings xxii. 17). 

but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls] 
We can scarcely fail to connect the words with those which St Peter 
had once heard as to the "other sheep" who were not of the "fold" 
of Galilee and Jerusalem (John x. 16). In the "strangers of the dis- 
persion" he might well recognise some, at least, of those other sheep. 
In the thought of Christ as the "Shepherd" we have primarily the 
echo of the teaching of our Lord just referred to, but the name at 
least suggests a possible reference to the older utterances of prophecy 
and devotion in Ps. xxiii. 1, Isai. xl. 11, Ezek. xxxiv. 23, xxxvii. 24. 
In the word for " Bishop" (Episcopos) (better perhaps, looking to the 
later associations that have gathered round the English term) guardian 
or protector, we may, possibly, find a reference to the use of the cognate 
verb in the LXX. of Ezek. xxxiv. 11. It deserves to be noted, however, 
that the Greek noun is often used in the New Testament in special 



v. I.] I. ST PETER, III. 121 

Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own hus- 3 
bands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may with- 
out the word be won by the conversation of the wives; 

association with the thought of the Shepherd's work. Comp. Acts xx. 
28, 1 Pet v. 4. So in like manner, "Pastors" or "Shepherds" find 
their place in the classification of Christian Ministers in Eph. iv. 11. 
There is, perhaps, a special stress laid on Christ being the Shepherd 
of their souls. Their bodies might be subject to the power and caprices 
of their masters, but their higher nature, that which was their true self, 
was subject only to the loving care of the Great Shepherd. 

CHAPTER III. 

1. Likewise, ye wives] The sequence of thought is every way sug- 
gestive. The Apostle passes from the all but universal relation of the 
master and the slave as one element of social life, to the other, yet more 
universal, and involving from the Roman point of view almost as great a 
subordination, of husband and wife. Here also it was his object to im- 
press on men and women, especially on the latter, the thought that the 
doctrine of Christ was no element of disorder. The stress which he lays 
on their duties may be fairly taken as indicating the prominence of 
women among the converts to the new faith. Of that prominence we 
have sufficient evidence in the narrative of the Acts (xvi. 13, xvii. 4, 12). 
In what follows we have again a reproduction of the teaching of St Paul 
(Eph. v. a* — 24; Col. iii. 16; 1 Tim. ii. 9). It is not without interest 
to recall the fact that Aristotle makes the two relations of which St 
Peter speaks, that of husband and wife, that of master and slave, the . 
germ-cells, as it were, out of which all political society has been deve- 
loped (Arist Pol, 1. 2). 

be in subjection to your own husbands] The use of the Greek adjec- 
tive for "own" is not intended, as some interpreters have thought, to 
emphasize a contrast between obedience rendered to their own hus- 
bands and that which they might be tempted to give to others, but 
rather to lay stress on the fact that their husbands, because they were 
such, had a right to expect the due measure of obedience in all things 
lawful. The words that follow indicate the frequency of the cases in 
which the wife only was a convert. The Greek text runs "that even 
if any obey not the word," as though, in some cases at least, it might 
be expected that husband and wife would both have been converted 
together. In "the word" we have the familiar collective expression 
for the whole doctrine of the Gospel. The Greek verb for " obey not*' 
implies, as in chap. ii. 7, Acts xiv. 2, Heb. iii. 18, xi. 31, a positive 
antagonism rather than the mere absence of belief and obedience. 

may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives'] The 
Greek for "word" has no article, and the probable meaning is not 
"without the open preaching of the word of Christ," but rather, with- 
out speech, without a word [being uttered]. On " conversation," see 
note on chap. i. 15. Here, where "conversation" is used as the direct 
antithesis to speech, the contrast between the new and the old mean- 



122 I. ST PETER, III. [w. 2, 3. 

8 while they behold your chaste conversation coupled with 

3 fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning 

of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on 



ings of the word is seen with a singular vividness. The silent -preaching 
of conduct is what the Apostle relied on as a more effective instrument 
of conversion than any argument or debate. In the verb "be won," 
literally, be gained over, we have the same word as that used by St 
Paul in 1 Cor. ix. 19, 20, and by our Lord, in teaching which must have 
made a special impression on St Peter's mind, in Matt, xviii.- 15. 

2. while they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear\ On 
the verb "behold'* see note on chap. ii. 12. The word "coupled" is 
not in the Greek, and the true meaning of the word is that the " chaste 
conduct" of the women who are addressed must have its ground and 
sphere of action in the reverential awe which is the right feeling of a 
wife towards her husband. 

3. that outward adorning of plaiting the hair] So St Paul lays 
stress in 1 Tim. ii. 9 on the "braided hair and gold and pearls" which 
were at the time conspicuous in the toilet of Greek and Roman women. 
The sculptures of the Empire at this period shew to what extent this 
"braiding" and "plaiting" was carried, sometimes rising to a height 
of some inches above the head, sometimes intertwined with twisted 
chains of gold or strings of pearls. The fineness and fashion of the 
garments of women had at this time reached an almost unparalleled 
extravagance. The filmy half-transparent tissue of the Coan loom, 
the dyed garments of Miletus and Sardis, were especially in demand. 
Christian women, St Peter teaches, were not to seek their adornment 
in such things as these, but in " a meek and quiet spirit." The question 
may be asked, Are the Apostle's words prohibitive as well as hortatory? 
Is it wrong for Christian women now to plait their hair, or to wear gold 
ornaments or pearls ? The answer to that question must be left mainly 
to the individual conscience. " Let every one be fully persuaded in her 
own mind." As some help to a decision, however, it may be noted (1) 
that the language is not that of formal prohibition, but of a comparative 
estimate of the value of the two kinds of adornment ; (2) that in regard to 
the third form of ornamentation, seeing that some clothes must be worn, 
the words cannot have a merely prohibitive force ; and (3) that in the 
possible, if not common, case of the husband giving such ornaments and 
wishing his wife to wear them, the " meek and quiet spirit" which the 
Apostle recommends would naturally shew itself in complying with his 
requests rather than in an obstinate and froward refusal. On the whole 
then, as a rule bearing upon daily life, we may say that while the words 
do not condemn the use of jewellery, or attention to the colour and 
the form of dress, within the limits of simplicity and economy, they 
tend to minimise that form of personal adornment, and bid women trust 
not to them, but to moral qualities, as elements of attraction. It would 
be, perhaps, a safe rule that no woman should spend money for herself 
on such ornaments. 



w.4,5] I- ST PETER, III". 123 

of apparel ; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in 4 
that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek 
and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 
For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, 5 
who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjec- 

4. the hidden man of the heart] The phrase is identical in meaning 
with the "inward man" of Rom. vii. 22, 2 Cor. iv. 16, Ephes. iii. 16. 
The word for "man" is one which takes within its range women as 
well as men. The "hidden humanity of the heart" would be some- 
what too abstract in its form, and " the hidden human" though the 
word has the sanction of one or two poets of mark, would sound too 
grotesque, but either would express the meaning of the word ade- 
quately. The " hidden man of the heart" — (the genitive expresses the 
fact that the life of the " hidden man" manifests itself in the sphere of 
the feelings and affections) — is the "new creature" (2 Cor. v. 17, Gal. 
vi. 15), the "Christ formed in us" (Gal. iv. 19), on which St Paul loves 
to dwell. Men do not see it with the outward eye, but they can be 
made to recognise its presence. 

in that which is not corruptible] The contrast rests on the same 
sense of the perishableness even of the gold and silver and gems which 
men looked on as most durable, that we have seen in chap. i. 18. 
These pass away, but the true ornament of the hidden man has its 
being in the region of the imperishable. 

of a meek and quiet spirit] The New Testament usage of the second 
adjective is confined to this passage and to 1 Tim. ii. 2. So far as wc 
can distinguish, where it is almost impossible to separate, "meekness," 
the absence of self-assertion, of any morbid self-consciousness, may be 
thought of as the cause, and "quietness," the calm tranquillity which is 
not only not an element of disturbance, but checks the action of such 
elements in others, as the effect. In their union the Apostle, speaking, 
we may hope, from his own experience, rightly finds a charm, a hosmos, 
compared with which gold and jewels are as nothing. 

of great price] The Greek word is the same as that used of the " very 
precious ointment" in Mark xiv. 3 and the "costly array" of 1 Tim. ii. 9. 
The connexion of St Peter with St Mark's Gospel (see Introduction) 
gives a special interest to the first of these references. He had learnt 
the lesson that God's estimate of value differs altogether from man's, 
and is not to be measured by the standard which the world commonly 
applies. 

5. For after this manner in the old time] It is obvious from the 
special instance given in the next verse that the Apostle has in his 
mind exclusively the saintly wives and mothers of the Old Testa- 
ment. The names of Penelope, Andromache, Alccstis, which are fami- 
liar to us as patterns of wifely excellence, were not likely to have come 
within the horizon of his knowledge. 

who trusted in God] More accurately, who hoped In God. It 
may be noted that the same inadequate rendering is found in the 
Authorized Version of Rom. xv. 12, and Philem. v. 22. The idea of 



124 I. ST PETER, III. [vv. 6, 7. 

e tion unto their own husbands : even as Sara obeyed Abra- 
ham, calling him lord : whose daughters ye are, as long as 
7 ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. Like- 

" trust" is, of course, not far removed from that of "hope," but the 
variation of rendering was a needless one, and ought therefore to have 
been avoided. 

being in subjection unto their own husbands] The repetition of the 
same verb as that used in ver. 1 and ch. ii. 13, should, be noticed 
as reproducing what might almost be called the key-note of the 
Epistle. It occurs again in ch. iii. 22, v. 5. 

6. even as Sara obeyed Abraham] The tense which St Peter uses 
would seem to imply a reference to some special instance of obedience, 
but, as the history of Genesis supplies no such instance in act, we are 
left to infer that he saw in her use of "my lord," in speaking of her 
husband (Gen. xviii. 12), a representative utterance that implied a 
sense of habitual subordination. It seems strange to refer to literature 
like that of the sixth satire of Juvenal in illustration of an Epistle 
of St Peter, but there can be no clearer evidence that the general 
corruption of the Empire had extended itself to the life of home, and 
that over and above the prevalence of adultery and divorce, the wives 
of Rome, and we may believe also, of the cities that followed in the 
wake of Rome, had well-nigh thrown aside all sense of the reverence 
which the Apostle looked on as essential to the holiness, and therefore 
the happiness, of married life. 

whose daughters ye are] whose daughters ye became. If the words 
were addressed to women who were converts from heathenism, we 
might see in the words a suggestive parallel to those of St Paul, that 
Abraham was the father of "all them that believe though they be not 
circumcised " (Rom. iv. 1 1), that " they which are of faith, the same 
are the children of Abraham " (Gal. iii. 7). Taking this view there 
would be a special interest in the fact that St Peter, the married 
Apostle, told the female converts from among the Gentiles that they 
were as truly daughters of Sarah as their husbands, if believing, were 
sons of Abraham. On the assumption which has been adopted 
throughout these notes, as on the whole the most probable, that the 
Epistle was really addressed, as it purports to be, to the Jews of 
the dispersion, the words have another significance. The daughters 
of Sarah according to the flesh are told that they only became truly 
her children when they reproduced her character. The words, on 
this view, present a striking parallelism to those in which St Paul 
speaks of Abraham as being "the father not of the circumcision 
only, as such, but of those who walk in the steps of Abraham's 
faith" (Rom. iv. 12). 

as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement] The 
construction of the Greek sentence is not quite clear, and admits of 
being taken either (1) as in the English version, or (2) treating the words 

"as Sara obeyed whose daughters ye became" as a parenthesis, 

we may refer the words "doing well " to the " holy women " of ver. 5. 



v.70 I. ST PETER, III. 125 

wise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge; 
giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and 

On the whole (1) seems preferable. It may be questioned whether 
the words " so long as " rightly represent the force of the participle. 
If we adopt the rendering given above ("ye became") that meaning 
is clearly inadmissible, and we have to see in the two participles the 
process by which Christian women became daughters by doing good 
and not being afraid. The word for " amazement " does not occur 
elsewhere in the New Testament, but the cognate verb is found in 
Luke xxi. 9, xxiv. 37. The noun itself meets us in the LXX. of 
Prov. iii. 25. It implies the crouching, shuddering fear of one who 
is overwhelmed with terror. In warning the women to whom he 
writes against such a fear, St Peter seems to be guarding them against 
the unwisdom of rushing from one extreme to the other. The Christian 
wives of unbelieving husbands, whether Jews or heathens, might often 
have much' to bear from them, but if they were always shewing their 
terror, cowering as if they expected the curse or the blow, that very 
demeanour was certain to make matters worse. It was a tacit re- 
proach, and therefore would but irritate and annoy. Wisely therefore 
does the Apostle urge on them a different line of action. " Be certain," 
he seems to say, " that you are doing what is right and good, and then 
go about the daily tasks of your household life with a cheerful in- 
trepidity." Two interpretations may be noticed only to be rejected, 
(1) that which takes the second clause as meaning "be not afraid 
of anything that causes terror," and (2) that which renders it "doing 
good, even though you are not afraid," as though stress were laid on 
their good conduct being spontaneous and not originating in fear. 

7. dwell with them according to knowledge] It is significant that 
while the Apostle dwells emphatically on the case of Christian women 
who have unbelieving husbands, his exhortations to men seem to 
take for granted that their wives were of one mind with them. In the 
then existing state of society this was, of course, natural enough. The 
wife might be converted without the husband, but hardly the husband 
without the wife. The word for "dwell together" (not found else- 
where) is clearly intended to cover all the relations of married life. 
In those relations men were to act "according to knowledge," i.e. 
with a clear perception of all that marriage involved, and of the right 
relation in which each of the two parties to the contract stood to the 
other. The wife was not to be treated as a slave or a concubine, nor 
again as the ruler and mistress of the house, but as a helpmeet in 
the daily work of life, a sharer in its higher hopes and duties, the 
mother of children to be brought up "in the nurture and admonition 
of the Lord." 

giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel] The word 
for "giving," not found elsewhere in the New Testament, implies 
an equitable apportionment, that for "wife" is strictly an adjective 
agreeing with " vessel," and would therefore be rightly rendered by 
female. In the term "vessel," which finds a parallel in 1 Thess. 
iv. 4, we have the thought that all, men and women alike, are " instru- 



126 I. ST PETER, III. [w. 8, 9. 

as being heirs together of the grace of life ; that your prayers 
be not hindered. 

8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of 

9 another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: not ren- 

ments" which God has made for His service (comp. 2 Tim. ii. 20, 21). 
The husband is bound to think of himself in that light. He must re- 
cognise himself as the stronger vessel of the two, and therefore, because 
noblesse oblige, he must render due honour to the weaker, seeking to 
strengthen and purify and elevate it. 

as being heirs together of the grace of life] The MSS. present various 
readings, some making the word " heirs " refer to the husbands and 
some to the wives. As, in either case, stress is laid on their being 
joint heirs, there is practically no difference. The "life" in which 
both are thus called to be sharers is, of course, none other than the 
eternal life which consists in knowing God. (John xvii. 3.) 

that your prayers be not hindered] Some MSS. give a stronger 
form of the verb, "that your, prayers be not cut off (or, stopped)." 
The more natural interpretation is that which refers the pronoun 
to both the husband and the wife. Where there was no reciprocated 
respect, each recognising the high vocation of the other, there could 
be no union of heart and soul in prayer. Where the husband thought 
of the wife only as ministering to his comfort or his pleasures, as one 
whom he might, as both Jewish and Roman law permitted, repudiate 
at will, there could be no recognition of the fact that she shared 
his highest hopes. The words clearly include, though they do not 
dweU on them, the special hindrances to prayer referred to in 1 Cor. 

vii. 3—5- 

8. Finally, be ye all of one mind] From the two special relations* 
which were the groundwork of social life, the Apostle passes to Wider 
and more general precepts. The adjective for "of one mind" (not 
found elsewhere in the New Testament) implies, like the corresponding 
verb in Rom. xii. 16, xv. 5, and elsewhere, unity of aim and purpose. 
That for " having compassion one of another " (this also used only 
by St Peter in the New Testament) exactly answers, as describing the 
temper that rejoices with those that rejoice and weeps with them that 
weep, to our word sympathizing. 

love as brethren] Here also we have an adjective peculiar to St 
Peter. The corresponding substantive has met us in ch. i. 22. It 
may mean either what the English version gives, or "lovers of the 
brethren." On the whole the latter meaning seems preferable. 

pitiful] The history of the word, literally meaning "good-hearted," 
affords an interesting illustration of the influence of Christian thought. 
It was used by Greek writers, especially Greek medical writers, such 
as Hippocrates (p. 89 c), to describe what we should call the sanguine 
or courageous temperament By St Peter and St Paul (Eph. iv. 32), 
it is used, as the context in each case shews, for the emotional temper 
which shews itself in pity and affection. 

be courteous] The MSS. present two readings, one of which, "cour- 



vv. lo, ii.] I. ST PETER, III. 127 

dering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise 
blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye 
should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, to 
and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from 
evil, and his lips that they speak no guile : let him n 
eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and 



teous" or better, perhaps, friendly, is a fair rendering, and the other 
a word not found elsewhere, but meaning "lowly" or "humble," and 
corresponding to the noun "humility" in Acts xx. 19; Phil. ii. 3; 
1 Pet. v. 5. 

9. not rendering evil far evil] We may probably see in the words 
a verbal reproduction of the precept of Rom. xii. 17, 1 Thess. v. 15, 
an echo of the spirit of the teaching of Matt. v. 39. As this clause 
forbids retaliation in act, so that which follows forbids retaliation in 
words. 

that ye are thereunto called] Better, were called, as referring defi- 
nitely to the fact and time of their conversion. 

that ye should inherit a blessing] It is not without significance that' 
this is given as the reason for not retaliating. God blesses, therefore 
we should bless. He forgives us, and therefore we should forgive 
others. Vindictiveness, in any form, whether in word or Set, is at 
variance with the conditions on which that inheritance is offered and 
involves therefore its certain forfeiture. 

10 — 12. For he that will love life] The three verses are from the 
LXX. version of Ps. xxxiv. 12—16. It is characteristic of St Peter 
that he thus quotes from the Old Testament without any formula of 
citation. (See 1 Pet. ii. 22.) In this case, however, the quotation 
does not agree with the extant text of the LXX. which gives "What 
man is he that would fain have life, loving good days?" The English 
version of the first clause hardly expresses the force of the Greek, which 
gives literally, he that willeth to love life. The combination may 
have been chosen to express the strength of the yearning for life in its 
lower or higher forms which the words imply, or more probably that 
the object wished for is not mere life, as such, but a life that a man ca:i 
love, instead of hating with the hatred that is engendered, on the one 
hand, by the satiety of the pleasure seeker, and on the other, by bitter- 
ness and wrath. It need hardly be said that the Apostle uses the words 
of the Psalmist in a higher meaning. "Life" with him is "life eter- 
nal," and the "good days" are not those of outward prosperity, but of 
the peace that passeth understanding. 

let him refrain his tongue from evil] The last words were probably 
those which determined the choice of the quotation. In itself it is, of 
course, inclusive of the "guile," which follows in the second clause, but 
here it follows the laws of antithetical parallelism which prevail in 
Hebrew Poetry, and must be understood of open evil, such as the 
" railing" which the Apostle had just condemned. 

Peter & Jude q 



128 I. ST PETER, III. [vv. 12—14. 



w ensue it For the eyes of the Lord are over the 
righteous, and his ears are open unto their pray- 
ers: but the face of the Lord is against them that 
t3 do evil. And who is he that will harm you, if ye be fol- 
14 lowers of thai which is good ? But and if ye suffer for 
righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of 



11. let him seek peaee, and ensue it] Better, perhaps pnrstw or 
follow after, as in 1 Tim. vi. ix. The verb "ensue" has ceased 
almost, if not altogether, to be used transitively. It implies, both in 
itself, and by its position in the verse as a climax, the strongest form of 
seeding. 

12. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous] It may be noted 
that the "for" is added by the Apostle to. emphasize the sequence of 
thought There is no conjunction either in the Hebrew or the LXX. 
The disciples of Christ were to find peace and calmness in the 
thought of the Omniscience of God. He knew all, and would requke 
all. Vengeance — so far as men dared desire vengeance — was to be left 
to. Him (£om. xii. 19). The two prepositions ii over the righteous" 
ajid "against them that do evil" express, perhaps, the thought of the 
original but as. the Greek preposition is, the same in both' cases, they 
are open to the charge of being an interpolated refinement. The eyes 
of God are upon both the good and the evil. It lies, in the nature of 
the case that the result is protective or punitive according to the cha- 
racter of each. 

13. And who is he that will harm you\ The quotation ceases, and 
the Apostle adds, the question, the answer to which seems to him a 
necessary inference from it. The form of the question reminds us of 
that of Rom. viii. 33—35, still m«£ perhaps, of Isai. 1. 9, where the 
LXX. version gives for " condemn^the very- word which is here ren- 
dered "harm.' It is not without interest to- note that the same word is 
usa& o( Herod*s vexing the Church in, Acts xii. x. St Peter had learnt, 
in his. endurance of the sufferings that then fell on him, that the perse- 
cutor has. no real power to harm. 

if ye be followers of that, which is good] The better MSS. give the 
\vor4 (seldtai) which is commonly rendered "zealous for," as in Acts 
xxi. 10, xxii. 3. As a word in frequent use among devout Jews, (as e..g. 
in the name of the Apostle Simon Zelotes,) it has a special force as ad- 
dressed to the Church of the Circumcision. " Be zealous/' he seems to 
say to them, "not as Pharisees and Scribes are zealous, as you yourselves 
were wont to be, for the Law as a moral and ceremonial Code, but for 
that which is absolutely good." The received reading* "followers," or 
better, imitators, probably originated in the Greek word for "good" 
being taken as masculine, and, as so taken, referred to Christ. In that 
case, "followers" suggested itself as a fitter word (as in 1 Cor. iv. 16; 
Eph. v. r ; 1 Thess. 1. 6) than " zealots*" 

14. But and if ye suffer for righteousness* sake, happy are ye] Better* 



W. 15—18] I. ST PETER, III. 129 

their terror, neither be troubled; but sanctify the 15 
Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an 
answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope 
that is in you with meekness and fear : having a good con- x6 
science ; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evil- 
doers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good 
conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God 17 
be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. For 18 

"But even if ye suffer, Messed are ye," as reproducing more closely the 
beatitude of Matt. v. 10. 

be not afraid of their terror]. The words are taken (as before, with- 
out afny formula of citation) from the LXX. of Isai. viii. 12, 13. " Ter- ^ 
ror* is here probably objective in its sense (as m Ps. xci. 5), and "their 
terror" = the terror which they, your enemies and persecutors, cause. 

15. but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts] The better MSS. 
give the Lord Christ. The original text was probably altered by tran- 
scribers to bring it into conformity with the LXX. text of Isaiah. To 
44 sanctify Christ" or "God" was to count His Name as holy above all 
other names, His fear, as the only fear which men ought to cherish, and 
therefore as the safeguard against all undue fear of men. The words 
44 in your hearts" are added by the Apostle to the text of Isaiah as shew- 
ing that the "hallowing" of which he speaks should' work in the root 
and centre of their spiritual being. 

be ready always to give an answer] The words imply that the disci- 
ples Of Christ were not to take refuge in the silence to;which fear might 
prompt. They were to be ready with a defence, a vindication, an apo- 
logi&t for their faith and hope. And this answer was to be given not in 
a tone of threatening defiance, but "in meekness" as regards the inter- 
rogator, whether the questions were put officially or in private, and 44 in 
fear," partly lest the truth should suffer through any infirmities in its 
defenders, partly because the spirit of reverential awe towards God was 
the best safeguard against such infirmities. 

16. having a good conscience] We note once more the reproduction 
by St Peter of one of St Paul's favourite phrases (Act's xxiii. r, xxiv. 
16; 1 Tim. i. 5, 19). Stress is laid on this condition as warning men 
that no skill of speech would do the work of the apologist rightly, if 
his life were inconsistent with his profession. Only when the two were 
in harmony with each other, could he give his answer at once with be- 
coming boldness and with due reverence,. 

they may be ashamed that falsely accuse. ..] The latter verb, translated 
"despitemlly use you," in Matt. v. 44, Luke vi. 38, indicates clamorous 
reviling rather than a formal accusation. On the general character of 
such revilings, see note on chap. ii. 12, arid on 44 conversation," note on 
chap. i. 15. The "conversation" or "conduct" is here defined not 
only by the adjective, "good," but as being "in Christ," i.e. in union 
with Him, and therefore after His likeness. 

IT. For it is better^ if the will of God be so\ Literally, the Greek 

9—2 



130 I. ST PETER, III. [v. 19. 

Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the 

unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death 

19 in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit : by which also he 

presenting a kind of emphatic pleonasm, If the will of God should so 
will. The Apostle falls back upon the thought of chap. ii. 20. Men 
feel most aggrieved when they suffer wrongfully. They are told that it 
is precisely in such sufferings that they should find ground for re- 
joicing. These, at any rate, cannot fail to work out for them some 
greater good. 

18. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins] As in the previous- 
chapter (ii. 21 — 25), so here, the Apostle cannot think of any righteous 
sufferer needing comfort without thinking also of the righteous Sufferer 
whom he had known. And here also, as there, though he begins with 
thinking of Him as an example, he cannot rest in that thought, but 
passes almost immediately to the higher aspects of that work as sacri- 
ficial and atoning. Every word that follows is full of significance— 
"Christ suffered (better than "hath suffered,*' as representing the 
sufferings as belonging entirely to the fast), once and once for all. The 
closeness of the parallelism with Heb. ix. 26 — 28 might almost suggest 
the inference that St Peter was acquainted with that Epistle, but it 
admits also of the more probable explanation that both writers repre- 
sent the current teaching of the Apostolic Church. The precise Greek 
phrase "for sins" (literally, "concerning, or on account of, sins") is 
used in Heb. x. 6, 8, 18, 26, and in the LXX. of Ps. xl. 6, and was 
almost the technical phrase of the Levitical Code (Lev. iv. 33). 

the just /or the unjust] The preposition in this case means "on 
1>ehalf of," and is that used of the efficacy of Christ's sufferings in 
Mark xiv. 24, John vi. 51, 1 Cor. v. 7, 1 Tim. ii. 6. It is used also 
of our sufferings for Christ (Phil. i. 29), or for our brother men 
(Eph. iii. 1, 13), and therefore does not by itself express the vicarious 
character of the death of Christ, though it naturally runs up into 
it. In the emphatic description of Christ as "the Just," we have 
an echo of St Peter's own words in Acts iii. 14 ; in the stress laid 
on the fact that He, the just, died for the unjust, a like echo of the 
teaching of St Paul in Rom. v. 6. 

that he might bring us to God] This, then, from St Peter's point 
of view, and not a mere exemption from an infinite penalty, was 
the end contemplated in the death of Christ. "Access to God," 
the right to come boldly to the throne of grace (Heb. iv. 16), was 
with him as with St Paul (Rom. v. 2; Eph. ii. 18, iii. 12), the final 
cause of the redemptive work. The verb, it may be noted, is not 
used elsewhere in this connexion in the New Testament. 

being put to death in the jlesh 9 but quickened by the Spirit] The 
change of the preposition and the mode of printing "Spirit" both 
shew that the translators took the second clause as referring to the 
Holy Spirit, as quickening the human body of Christ in His resur- 
rection from the dead. The carefully balanced contrast between the 
two clauses shews, however, that this cannot be the meaning, and that 



v. 2o.] T. ST PETER, III. 131 

went and preached unto the spirits in prison ; which some- 20 

we have here an antithesis, like that of Rom. i. 3, 4, between the 
"flesh" and the human "spirit" of the man Christ Jesus, like that 
between the "manifest in the flesh" and "justified in the spirit " of 
1 Tim. iii. 16. By the " flesh " He was subject to the law of death, 
but in the very act of dying, His "spirit" was quickened, even prior 
to the resurrection of His body, into a fresh energy and activity. 
What was the sphere and what the result of that activity, the next verse 
informs us. 

19. by which also he went and preached unto the spirits in priso/i] 
We enter here on a passage of which widely different interpretations 
have been given. It seems best in dealing with it to give in the first 
place what seems to be the true sequence of thought, and afterwards 
to examine the other views which appear to the present writer less 
satisfactory. It is obvious that every word will require a careful study 
in its relation to the context, (r) For " by which" we ought to read 
44 in which." It was not by the instrumentality of the Holy Spirit, but 
in His human spirit as distinct from the flesh, that He who had preached 
to men living in the flesh on earth now went and preached to the 
spirits that had an existence separate from the flesh. (2) The word 
44 went " is, in like manner, full of significance. It comes from the 
Apostle who was the first to proclaim that the "spirit" or "soul" of 
Christ had passed into Hades, but had not been left there (Acts ii. 31). 
It agrees with the language of St Paul in the Epistle to which we 
have found so many references in this Epistle, that He had "descended 
first into the lower parts of the earth, i. e. into the region which the 
current belief of the time recognised as the habitation of the disem- 
bodied spirits of the dead (Eph. iv. 9). It harmonises with the 
language of the Apostle who was St Peter's dearest friend when he 
records the language in which the risen Lord had spoken of Himself 
as having " the keys of Hades and of death," as having been dead, 
but now "alive for evermore" (Rev. i. 18). Taking all these facts 
together, we cannot see in the words anything but an attestation of 
the truth which the Church Catholic has received in the Apostles* 
Creed, that Christ " died and was buried and descended into Hell." 
And if we accept the record of St Peter's speeches in the Acts as a 
true record, and compare the assured freedom and clearness of his 
teaching there with his imperfect insight into the character of our 
Lord's work during the whole period of His ministry prior to the 
Resurrection, we can scarcely fail to see in his interpretation of the 
words "thou shalt not leave my soul in hell," the first-fruits of the 
method of prophetic interpretation which he had learnt from our 
Lord Himself when He expounded to His disciples the things that 
were written concerning Himself in the Law, and the Prophets, and 
the Psalms (Luke xxiv. 44), when He spoke to them of "the things 
pertaining to the kingdom of God" (Acts i. 3). In the special truth 
on which the Apostle now lays stress, we must see, unless we think of 
him as taking up a legendary tradition, as writing either what had 
been revealed to him, "not by flesh and blood, but by his Father in 



1 32 I. ST PETER, III. [v. 20. 

time were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God 

heaven" (Matt. xyi. 17), or as reporting what he had himself heard from 
the lips of the risen Lord. Of the two views the latter seems every 
way the more probable, and accepting it, we have to remember also 
that it was a record in which he was guided by the teaching of the 
Spirit. 

And he "went and preached." The latter word is used throughout 
the Gospels of the work of Christ as proclaiming " the Gospel of the 
kingdom" (Matt. iv. 23), preaching "repentance" (Matt. iv. 17), 
ana the glad tidings of remission of sins as following upon repentance. 
It would do violence to all true methods of interpretation to assume 
that the Apostle, who had been converted by that preaching and had 
afterwards been a fellow-worker in it, would use the word in any 
other meaning now. We cannot think of the work to which the 
Spirit of Christ went as that of proclaiming an irrevocable sentence 
of condemnation. This interpretation, resting adequately on its own 
grounds, is, it need hardly be said, confirmed almost beyond the shadow 
of a doubt by the words of ch. iv. 6, that " the Gospel was preached 
also to the dead." Those to whom He thus preached were "spirits." 
The context determines the sense of this word as denoting that element 
of man's personality which survives when the body perishes. So, in 
Heb. xii. 33, we read of "the spirits of just men made perfect;" 
and the same sense attaches to the words in Luke xxiv. 37, 39, Acts 
xxiii. 8, 9, and in the "spirits and souls of the righteous" in the 
Bencdicit* Omnia Opera, And these spirits are in "prison." The 
Greek word, as applied to a place, can hardly have any other meaning 
than that here given (see Matt xiv. 3, 10, Mark vi. 17, 97, Luke 
xxi. 1?), and in Rev. xx. 7 it is distinctly used of the prison-house of 
Satan. The "spirits in prison" cannot well mean anything but disem- 
bodied souls, under a greater or less degree of condemnation! waiting 
for their final sentence, and undergoing meanwhile a punishment retri- 
butive or corrective (see note on 9 Pet. ii. 9). Had the Apostle 
stopped there we might have thought of the preaching of which he 
speaks as having been addressed to all who were in such a prison. 
The prison itselt may be thought of as part of Hades contrasted with 
the Paradise of God, which was opened, as in Luke xxiii. 43, Rev. 
ii. 7, to the penitent and the faithful. 

to. which sometime were disobedient] The words that follow* howt 
ever, appear to limit the range of the preaching within comparatively 
narrow boundaries. The "spirits" of whom St Peter speaks were those 
who had "once been disobedient:" the "once" being further denned 
as the time when "the long-suffering of God was waiting in the 
days of Noah." We naturally ask as we read the words, (1) why 
the preaching was confined to these, or (2) if the preaching itself 
was not so confined, why this was the only aspect of it on which the 
Apostle thought fit to dwell ? The answer to the first question cannot 
be given with any confidence. It is behind the veil which we cannot 
lift. All that we can say is that the fact thus revealed gives us at 
least some ground for seeing in it a part of God's dealings with the 



v. 20.T I. ST PETER, I IT. 133 

waited in the days of Noah, while the ark Was a preparing, 

human race, and that it is not unreasonable to infer an analogous 
treatment of those Who were in an analogous condition. The answer 
to the second question is, perhaps, to be found in the prominence 
given to the history of Noah in our Lord's eschatological teaching, 
as in Matt. xxlv. 37, 38, Lake xvii. 16* 37, and in the manifest im- 
pression which that history had made on St Peter's mind, as seen in 
his reference to it both here and 2 Pet. ii. 5, iii. 6. It is a conjecture, but 
not, I think, an improbable or irreverent one, that the disciple's mind 
may have been turned by our Lord's words to anxious enquiries as to 
the destiny of those Who had been planting and building, buying and 
selling, when "the flood came and took them all away," and that what 
he now states had been the answer to such enquiries. What was the 
result of the preaching We -are -not here told, the Apostle's -thoughts 
trtvelHne on rapidly to the symbolic or typical aspect presented by the 
record of the Flood, but the notes on ch. iv. 6 will shew that his mind 
still dwelt on it, and that he takes it up again as a dropped thread 
in the argument of the Epistle. It will l>e noted, whatever view 
we may take of the interpretation of the passage as a whole, that it 
is the disobedience, and not any after-repentance at the moment of 
death, of those who lived in the days of Noah that is here dwelt on. 

Such is, it is believed, the natural and true interpretation of St Peter's 
words. It finds a confirmation in the teaching of some of the earliest 
fathers of the Church, in Clement of Alexandria (Strom, vi. 6), and 
Origen, and Athanasius (cent, Apollin. 1. 13), and Cyril of Alexandria 
(in Joann. xvi» i6)« Even Augustine, at one time, held that the effect 
of Christ's descent into Hades had been to set free some who were 
condemned to the torments of Hell [Epist. ad EUodium, clxiv.), and 
Jerome (on Matt. xii. ao, Eph. iv. 10) adopted it without any hesitation. 
Its acceptance at an early date is attested by the apocryphal Gospel of 
Nicodemus, nearly the whole of Which is given to a narrative of the 
triumph of Christ over Hades and Death, Who are personified as the 
Potentates of darkness. It tells how He delivered Adam from the 
penalty of his sin, and brought the patriarchs from a lower to a higher 
blessedness, and emptied the prison-house, and set the captives free, 
and erected the cross in the midst of Hades, that there also it might 
preach salvation- Legendary and fantastic as the details may be, 
they testify to the prevalence of a wide-spread tradition, and that 
tradition is more naturally referred to the teaching of St Peter in 
this passage as the germ out of which it was developed than to any 
other source. As a matter of history, the article " He descended into 
Hell," i. e. into Hades, first appeared in the Apostles' Creed at a time 
when the tradition was almost universally accepted, and when the 
words of the Creed could not fail to be associated in men's minds 
with the hope which it embodied. 

It must be admitted, however, that the Weight of many great names 
may be urged on behalf of other interpretations, and that some of 
them display, to say the least, considerable ingenuity. The common 
element in all of (hem is the desire to evade what seems the natural 



134 T. ST PETER, III. [v. 20. 

inference from the words, that they point to a wider hope of repentance 
and conversion as possible after death than the interpreters were willing 
. to admit. They divide themselves into two classes: (1) those who 
accept the words as referring to a descent into Hades, and (2) those 
who give them &n entirely different interpretation. Under (1) we 
have (a) the view already noticed that the "preaching" was one 
of condemnation, anticipating the final judgment. It has been shewn 
to be untenable, and has so few names of weight on its side that 
it does not deserve more than a passing notice, (b) The view that 
Christ descended into Hades to deliver the souls of the righteous, of 
Seth, and Abel, and Abraham, and the other saints of the Old Testa- 
ment, can claim a somewhat higher authority. It entered, as has been 
seen, into the Gospel of Nicodemus. It was adopted by Irenseus, Tertul- 
lian, Hippolytus. It was popular alike in the theology of many of the 
Schoolmen, and in mediaeval art. It was accepted by Zwingli and 
Calvin among the Reformers, and receives a partial sanction from the 
teaching of our own Church as seen in the original form of Art. in. as 
drawn up in 1552 ; and in the metrical paraphrase of the Apostles' Creed 
which was at one time attached with a quasi-authority to the Prayer- 
Book, and in which we find the statement that Christ descended into 
Hell that He might be 

*' To those who long in darkness were 
The true joy of their hearts." 

It is obvious, however, that whatever probability may attach to 
this speculation as such, it has scarcely any real point of contact with 
St Peter's words. He speaks of ** the days of Noah :" it takes in 
the whole patriarchal age, if not the whole history of Israel. He 
speaks of those who had been "disobedient." It assumes penitence 
and faith, and at least a partial holiness. The touch of poetry in 
Calvin's view that the word for " prison " should be taken as meaning 
the "watch-tower" upon which the spirits of the righteous were stand- 
ing, as in the attitude of eager expectation, looking out for the coming 
of the King whom they had seen, as afar off, in the days of their pil- 
grimage, cannot rescue it from its inherent untenableness. (c) A modi- 
fication of the previous view has found favour with some writers, among 
whom the most notable are Estius, Bellarmine, Luther, Bengel. They 
avoid the difficulty which, we have seen to be fatal to that view, 
and limit the application of St Peter's words to those who had lived 
in the time of the Deluge, and they make the preaching one of pardon 
or deliverance, but, under the influence of the dogma that " tnere is 
no repentance in the grave," they assume that the message of the 
Gospel came to those only who turned to God before they sank 
finally in the mighty waters. It need hardly be said that this was 
to strain Scripture to make it fit in with their own theories, and to 
read into the words something that is not found there. St Peter, as 
has been urged above, would have said, " to those who were sometime 
disobedient and afterwards repented" if this had been what he meant 
to say. 
(2) The other interpretation avoids all these minor difficulties 



v. 2r.] I. ST PETER, III. 135 

wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The ai 

by going altogether on a different track. It has the authority of some 
great representative theologians, Augustine among the Fathers (ut supra), 
Aquinas among the Schoolmen (Summ. Theolog, III. Qu. LII. Art. 
3), Bishop Pearson among Anglican divines. It starts with denying 
that there is any reference at all to the descent into Hades. Christ, 
it says, went in Spirit, not in the flesh, i. e. before His Incarnation, 
and preached to the spirits who are now in prison under condemnation, 
or were then in the prison-house of selfishness and unbelief, or simply 
in that of the body. He preached in Noah's preaching, and that 
preaching was without effect except for the souls of Noah and his 
household. There is something, perhaps, attractive in the avoidance 
of what have been regarded as dangerous inferences from the natural 
meaning of St Peter's words, something also in the bold ingenuity 
which rejects at once that natural meaning and the Catholic tradition 
which grew out of it : but, over and above the grave preliminary 
objection that it never would have suggested itself but for dogmatic 
prepossessions, it is not too much to say that it breaks down at every 
point. It disconnects the work of preaching from the death of Christ 
with which St Peter connects it. It empties the words •• he went " 
of all significance and reduces them to an empty pleonasm. It sub- 
stitutes a personal identification of the preaching of Christ with that 
•of Noah tor the more scriptural language, as in ch. i. 11, that the 
Spirit which prompted the latter was one with the Spirit which Christ 
gave to His disciples. The whole line of exegesis comes under the 
condemnation of being " a fond thing vainly invented " for a dogmatic 
purpose. A collection of most of the passages from the Fathers bearing 
on the subject will be found in the Notes to "Pearson on the Creed- 
on the Article "He descended into Hell," and in the Article Escha- 
tology by the present writer in Smith's Dictionary of Christian Biography, 
wherein feiv t that w, eight souls were saved by water] The last words 
admit of being taken either locally " they were saved, i.e. were brought 
safely, through the water," "were delivered from the destruction which 
it brought to others," or instrumentally, " they were saved by means 
of the water." The latter interpretation presents, at first, the difficulty 
that it represents the waters of the deluge, as well as the ark, as a 
means of deliverance. The parallelism between the type and the 
antitype in the next verse, leaves, however, no doubt that this was 
the thought which. St Peter had in his mind. He saw in the very 
judgment which swept away so many that which brought deliverance 
to others. In the stress laid upon the " few " that were thus saved, we 
may legitimately recognise the impression made by our Lord's answer 
to the question, Are there few that be saved? (Luke xiii. 13). The 
Apostle looked round him and saw that those who were in the way 
of salvation were few in number. He looked back upon the earliest 
records of the work of a preaching of repentance and found that then 
also few only were delivered. In the reference to the " long-suffering " 
of God as waiting and leading to repentance, we find a striking parallel 
to the language of i Pet. iii. 9, and in both we cannot doubt that 



136 I. ST PETER, III. [v. 2T. 

like figure whereunto tven baptism doth also now save us 
(not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the 

the thought present to the writer's mind was that " God was not 
willing that any should perish." 

21. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us\ 
.The MSS. present two readings; one that of the Text us Receptus> 
answering to the English Version as giving the relative pronoun in the 
dative, the other, supported by the better MSS., giving the pronoun in 
the nominative, "which also (sc. the element of water) "the antitype 
. [of the deluge J doth even now save us," and then he adds, as explaining 
what was the antitype, the word "baptism" in apposition with the sub- 
ject of the sentence. At first it seems hard to see the parallelism 
between the flood which destroyed and the baptism which saves, but 
reflection will shew that the Apostle may well have thought of the 
deluge as burying the old evils of the world and giving the human face, 
as it were, a fresh start, under new and better rnnditwm, * world, in 
some sense, regenerated or brought into m new covenant with God, and 
therefore new relations to Htm. Does not the teaching of the previous 
verse Aiifl g cat the inference that he thought of the flood as having been 
cren for those who perished in it, not merely an instrument of destruc- 
tion, but as placing even the souls of the disobedient in a region in 
which they were not shut out from the pitying love of the Father who 
there also did not "will that any should perish'? 

not the putting away of the filth of the fiesh] The Greek word for 
''putting away may be noted as one of those common to the two 
Epistles (see note on a Pet. i. 14). The implied protest against the 
notion that this was all that was meant by Christian baptism, though it 
might be necessary both for Jewish and heathen converts, gains im- 
mensely in its significance if we think of the Epistle as addressed 
mainly to the former class. They were in danger of looking upon bap- 
tism, not as the sacrament of a new birth, but as standing on the same 
level as the "washing" or "baptism" (die same word is used) of the 
older rituaL So, even during the ministry of the Baptist, there was a 
dispute between some of his disciples and the Jews " about purification " 
(John iii. 95), obviously rising out of that confusion of thought. So it 
formed part of the elementary instruction of Christian catechumens that 
they should learn the " doctrine of baptisms" (Heb. vi. a), i.e. the dis- 
tinction between the Jewish and the Christian rites that went almost or 
altogether 1 by the same name. St Peter warns men against the peril- 
ous thought that they washed away their sins by the mere outward act. 
So far as he may have contemplated heathen converts at all we may 
remember that they too thought of guilt as washed away by a purely 
ceremonial institution. So Ovid, Fast, IL 45, 

" Full easy souls who dream the crystal flood 
Can wash away the deep-dyed stain of blood." 

* The tendency to desynonymize led to the term laptisma in the neuter being used 
of the Christian rite, while the masculine baftismot was used in a more generic sense. 



v. 21.] I. ST PETER, III. 137 

answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrec- 

[Ah, nimium faciles qui tristia crimina caedis 
Fluminea tolli posse putetis aqua.] 

Comp. also Juven..Siitf. VI. 533, Persius, Sat. it. 15, Horace, Sat. II. 3. 290. 
History records but too many instances of the revival of a like supersti- 
tion. The tendency to postpone baptism in order to cancel the sins 
that were in the meantime accumulating, and avoid the danger of post- 
baptismal sin, of which we see conspicuous instances in the lives of 
Constantine and Augustine, the mediaeval dogma still lingering in 
popular belief, that unbaptized infants are excluded from salvation; 
these are examples of ways of looking at baptism more or less analo- 
gous to that which St Peter condemns. With him the saving power of 
baptism varies with the activity and purity of the moral consciousness 
of the baptized. 

but the ansiver of a good conscience toward God] The words 
admit of very different interpretations. (1) The Greek word translated 
"answer" means primarily "question," "enquiry." If this sense be 
admitted here, there would then rise the question whether the words 
"of a good conscience" were in the genitive of the subject or the 
object. If the former, the condition on which St Peter lays stress would 
be equivalent to [a) the enquiry of a good conscience, the seeking of 
the soul after God ; if the latter, that condition would be (b) the prayer 
addressed to God for a good conscience. Neither of these interpreta- 
tions, however, is satisfactory. It is against (a) that it is the idea of 
baptism that men are no longer seeking God but have found Him. It 
is against {b) that it is also the idea of baptism that it is more than the 
asking for a gift A true solution is found partly in the forensic use of 
the Greek word for question, as including, like our word "examina- 
tion," both question and answer, and so applied to the whole process 
of a covenant, the conditions of which were determined by mutual 
interrogatories and affirmative or negative replies, and partly in the fact 
that at a date so early that it is reasonable to infer an Apostolic origin, 
the liturgical administration of baptism involved interrogatories and 
answers, in substance identical with those that have been in use in the 
Church at large and are in use still. "Dost thou renounce Satan?" 
"I do renounce him." " Dost thou believe in Christ?" '* I do believe 
in Him," the second question sometimes taking the form "Dost thou 
take thy stand with Christ?" and the answer, "I do take my stand." 
In this practice of interrogation then we find that which explains 
St Peter s meaning. That which is of the essence of the saving power 
of baptism is the confession and the profession which precedes it. If 
that comes from a conscience (see notes on chaps, ii. 19, iii. 16) that 
really renounces sin and believes on Christ, then baptism, as the channel 
through which the grace of the new birth is conveyed and the convert 
admitted into the Church of Christ, " saves us," but not otherwise. The 
practice of Infant Baptism, though the scales of argument both as 

Xrds Scripture and antiquity turn in its favour, presents, it must be 
itted, an apparent inversion of the right order, though the idea is 
still retained in the questions put to the sponsors who answer in the 



i 3 S I. ST PETER, III. IV. [w. 22; 1. 

S3 tion of Jesus Christ : who is gone into heaven, and is on 
the right hand of God ; angels and authorities and powers 
being made subject unto him. - 

4 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the 

infant's name, as his representatives. If the question is asked, What 
then is the effect of Infant Baptism? the answer must be found, that it is, 
in the language of Scripture, as a new birth, the admission into new 
conditions of life, into, as it were, the citizenship of a new country. 
It gives the promise and potency of life, but its power to save the man 
that grows out of the infant varies with the fulfilment of the conditions 
when consciousness is developed. Now, as when St Peter wrote, it is 
not the "putting away the filth of the flesh" that saves, but "the answer 
of a good conscience towards God." 

by the resurrection of Jesus Christ] So far the words have brought 
before us the human side of baptism. But the rite has also a divine 
side and this the last words of the verse bring before us. Baptism 
derives its power to save from the Resurrection of Christ. It brings us 
into union with the life of Him who "was dead and is alive for evermore H 
(Rev. i. 18). We are buried with Him in baptism, planted together 
with Him in the likeness of His death, that we may be also in the like- 
ness of His resurrection (Rom. vi. 4. 5). 

22. who is gone into heaven] The parallelism between the sub- 
stance of this verse and that of 1 Tim. iii. 16, and of both with the 
closing clauses of the second section of the Apostles' Creed, leaves 
scarcely any room for doubt that we have here a precious fragment of 
the baptismal profession of faith of the Apostolic Church. The train 
of thought of the previous verse naturally led on to this. This was 
what the answer of a good conscience towards God involved. In the 
union of confession with the mouth and belief in the resurrection of 
Jesus Christ, in Rom. x. 9, we may probably trace a reference to a like 
formulary. The word for "he is gone" is the same participle as that 
in verse 19 and is important as determining its meaning. If there was a 
real Ascension into Heaven, there was also a real descent into Hades. 
St Peter seems to echo the words of St Paul, "Now that he ascended, 
what is it but that He also descended first into the lower parts of the 
earth?" (Eph. iv. 9.) 

angels and authorities and powers] Here again the phraseology 
reminds us of that of the twin Epistles of St Paul (Eph. i. 2 1, Col. 
i. 16). " Authorities" and " powers" are used as comprehensive terms, 
including the whole hierarchy of heaven, Cherubim, Seraphim and the 
like 5 probably also, looking to Col. ii. 1 5, Phil. ii. 10, and the mani- 
fest sequence of thought from verse 19, the powers of evil who had 
been subdued by the conquering Christ in His descent into Hades. 

CHAPTER IV. 

1. Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered... in the flesh] The 
thoughts of the Apostle go back, somewhat after the manner of St Paul 



w. 2, 3.1 I. ST PETER, IV. 139 

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. For the time past of 3 
our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gen- 
after a dogmatic digression, to the point from which he had started. 
Christ had suffered in the flesh. If those who had been baptized in His 
name were called so to suffer, they, looking to the glory that had followed 
on His sufferings, were to follow His example. They were, it might be, 
engaged in a tremendous conflict, but they needed no other armour than 
''the mind of Christ," the temper of patient submission and unwavering 
trust in the wisdom and love of the Father. 

for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin] If this had 
been the close of the sentence we might have looked on the "suffering" 
of which the Apostle speaks, as including death, as it had included it in 
the case of Christ. So taken, the words might seem to express the 
familiar thought that "Death only can from sin release," as in the Rab- 
binic maxim "He that is dead is freed from sin" (Rom. vi. 7), that men 
were to welcome the sufferings that brought death near to them, as work- 
ing out their complete emancipation. The words that follow, however, 
make this interpretation impossible, and the "ceasing from sin" must 
therefore be understood of that "deadness to sin," "sin no longer having 
dominion over us," of which St Paul speaks in Rom. vi. 7 — 11. That 
Apostle, it may be noted, though he quotes the Rabbinic proverb, 
transfers its application from literal to spiritual death, and St Peter, 
following a like train of thought, affirms as a general law of the spiritual 
life that the very act of suffering in the mind of Christ and for Him so 
strengthens the powers of will and faith that the sufferer is ipso facto de- 
livered from the life in which sin is dominant. It is hard to think of a 
martyr in the hour of death, or of a confessor patiently bearing his cross, 
as malignant or fraudulent or impure. 

2. that he no longer should live the rest of his time"] The Greek 
form of the sentence points rather to the result than to the purpose of 
sufferings so borne, but the result in this case was one which implied a 
divine purpose. The "lusts" or "desires" of men are pointedly con- 
trasted witn "the will of God," the wild restless cravings with the calm 
and fixed purpose. It is not without significance to remember that 
St Paul, in an Epistle which St Peter had clearly seen, had written "This 
is the will of God, even our sanctification" (1 Thess. iv. 3), and that 
St Peter himself teaches "He is not willing that any should perish" 
(7 Pet. iii. 9). 

3. For the time past of our life may suffice] The language is that of 
grave irony. Enough time, and more than enough, had been already 
given to tne world. Was it not well to give some time now to God? 
The general line of thought runs parallel to that of Rom. xiii. 1 1, 12. 

to have wrought the tuill of the Gentiles] The question meets us 
whether these words imply that the writer was, here at least, contem- 
plating converts from heathenism, or still thinking only of the Jews of 



i<jo I. ST PETER, IV. [v. 4. 

tiles, when we walked in kscivioasness, lusts, excess of 

wine, revelling** banqtietings, and abominable idolatries: 

4 wherein they think it strange that you ran not with them to 

the dispersion. On the one hand, it may be said that it was more 
natural for a Jew writing to Jews to speak of "the heathen" or "the 
Gentiles* '* If the reading "may suffice us" be the right one, the fact 
that the Apostle joins himself with those to whom he writes strengthens 
that conclusion. The better MSS., however, omit the pronoun. The 
"abominable idolatries/' on the other hand, may seem decisive in favour 
of the supposition that this part of the Epistle was intended lor Gentile 
readers : but here also the word of warning would be as applicable to 
lax and licentious Jews, or to those who had been proselytes to Judaism, 
and who had not given up their attendance at idol-feasts or eating things 
sacrificed to idols (comp. 1 Cor. viii. 10, Rev. ii. 14, 20). 

lasennousness] The Greek word is in the plural as expressing the mani- 
fold forms or acts of impurity. The word is always applied to the 
darker forms of evil (Mark vii. 22 ; Rom. xiii. 13 ; 2 Pet. ii. 2, 7, 18). 

excess of wine] The Greek word is found in the LXX. of Deut. xxi. 2c*, 
Isai. lvi. 12, but not elsewhere in the New Testament. 

banquetings\ Literally, drinking-parties. The word went naturally 
as in other Greek writers with "revellings." 

abominable idolatries] The Greek adjective means, as in Acts x. 28, 
simply "unlawful:" but as in the Latin nefas, nefandd, ne/arius, the 
idea of that which is at variance not merely with human but with natural 
law tends to pass into that of a guilt which makes men shudder. It has 
been suggested above that even here the Apostle may have present to his 
thoughts the lives of licentious Jews felling into heathen ways rather 
than of Gentiles pure and simple. The Books of Maccabees (1 Mace, 
i. 13, 14; 2 Mace. iv. 13, 14) shew that there had been a strong drift to 
apostasy of this kind under the Syrian Monarchy. The Temples, 
Gymnasia and Theatres built by the Herods had recently shewed a 
like tendency. At the very time when- St Peter wrote there were 
Jews hanging, about the court of Nero and Poppsea, taking part as 
actors in the imperial orgies (Joseph. Life, c. 3). It has been sug- 
gested that St Peter may have meant to refer to the old worship of 
Baal and Moloch and Ashtoreth and the groves and the calves which 
had prevailed in the history of Israel and Judah, so that the words "the 
time past may suffice" call on them to turn over a new leaf in their 
national existence, but the explanation of the words just given seems 
more natural and adequate. 

4. wherein they think it strange] It may be worth noting that the 
same word is used to express (1) coming as a stranger (Acts x. 6, 18, 
xxi. 16)' and (2) as here, in verse 12 and Actsxvii. 20, counting a person 
or thing strange. The "wherein" points to the change of life implied 
in the previous verse. "In which matter, in regard to which." The* 
words imply a change like that of 1 Cor. vi. 9 — 11. The heathen found 
that his old companions, even his Jewish companions, had acquired, 
when they became Christians, a new way of looking at things. Con- 



vv. 5, 6.] T. ST PETER, IV. 141 

the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: who shall s 
give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and 
the dead. For for this cause was the gospel preached also 6 

science was more sensitive. The standard of honesty, purity, and tem- 
perance was higher than before. It is not hard, even from our own ex- 
perience, to picture to ourselves the surprise of the heathen when he 
found his friend refusing an invitation to a banquet, shrinking from con- 
tact with the prostitutes of Greek cities, or when there, passing the 
wine-cup untasted. 

to the same excess of riof\ The Greek words are singularly forcible. 
That for "excess," not found elsewhere in the New Testament, means 
primarily the "confluence" of waters — then the cistern, sink, or cesspool 
into which waters have flowed. The underlying metaphor implied in 
the words reminds us of Juvenal's {Sat. ill. (h) 

"Jam pridem Syrus in Tiberim defluxit Orontes" 
(Syria's Orontes into Tiber flows), 

when he wishes to paint Rome as the meeting-point of the world's vices. 
That for "riot'* is used, in the adverbial form, of the life of the prodigal 
in Luke xv. 13, and as a noun here and in Eph. v. 18; Tit i. 6. Com- 
pounded as it is of the negative particle and of the root of the verb "to 
save," it may mean either (1) the state in which a man no longer thinks 
of saving anything, health,, money, character, in the indulgence of his 
passions, or (2) one in which there is no longer any hope of hi3 being 
saved himself from utter ruin. The former is probably the dominant 
meaning of the word. In either case it indicates, the basest form of 
profligacy. 

speaking evil of you] More accurately, revHtng. The word is that 
which is more commonly translated "blaspheming" in direct reference 
to God. Even here, and in Acts xiii. 45, xviii. 6, where it is used in 
reference to men, the other or darker sense can scarcely be thought of 
as altogether absent. Men blasphemed God when they reviled His 
servants. 

5. who shall give accotint] The phrase is one of the many echoes in 
this Epistle of our Lord's teaching (Luke xvi. 7). The thought of the 
Final Judgment from which there will be no appeal is made here, as in 
1 Cor. iv. 5, a motive for patience and courage under the false accusations 
and unjust judgments of men. They who now demand an account 
(chap. Hi. 15) will one day have to render it. Christ holds Himself in 
readiness to judge both the living and the dead. There is nothing in the 
context to lead us to any other than a literal interpretation of the familiar 
phraseology. Commentators who have taken the words of those who are 
spiritually living and spiritually dead have been led, for the most part, 
by their unwillingness to accept the natural meaning of the words that 
follow. 

6. For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are 
dead] The thought that Christ was ready to judge the great company 
of the dead-, as well as those who were living when the Gospel was 



142 I. ST PETER, IV. [v. 7. 

to M«w ///#/ ar* dead, that they might be judged according 
to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. 
But the end of all things is at hand : be ye therefore 

preached by His messengers, leads the Apostle back to the truth which 
had been partially uttered when he had spoken of the work of Christ in 
preaching to "the spirits in prison." The question might be asked, 
How were the dead to be judged by their acceptance or rejection of the 
Gospel when they had passed away without any opportunity of hear- 
ing it? He finds the answer in the fact that to them also the Gospel- 
message had been brought. Those who were disobedient in the days 
of Noah are now seen by him as representatives of mankind at large. 
Of some of these his Lord Himself had taught him that if they had 
seen the wonderful works which attested His ministry and mission, 
" they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes " (Matt. 
xi. 21). Was it not a natural inference from those words, confirmed by 
what had been revealed to him as to the descent into Hades, that that 
opportunity had been given ? 

that they might be judged according to men in the JlesK\ The contrast 
between "flesh" and "spirit" stands parallel to that in chap. iii. 18. 
The "dead" had the Gospel preached to them that they might be 
judged by a judgment, which was remedial as well as penal, in that 
lower sensuous nature in which they had sinned. They were judged 
"according to men," or better, after the manner of men, by the laws 
by which all men are judged according to their works, but the purpose 
of that judgment, like that of the judgments that come upon men in 
this life, was to rescue them from a final condemnation. The whole 
passage presents a striking parallelism to St Paul's "delivering men to 
Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in 
the day of the Lord Jesus" (1 Cor. v. 5), to his words "when we are 
judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be con- 
demned with the world" (1 Cor. xi. 32). Following what we have 
learnt to call the ideas of analogy and continuity, the Apostle teaches 
that death does not change altogether the nature and the purpose of the 
Divine Judgments, and that purpose is that they "according to God," 
in a manner determined by His will and wisdom, should live, in the 
highest sense of life (John xvii. 3), in that element of their nature which 
was capable of knowing God and therefore of eternal life. Such seems 
the simple natural interpretation of the words. It is not to be won- 
dered at, perhaps, that the same dogmatic prepossessions which led 
men to explain away the true meaning of Christ's preaching to "the 
spirits in prison," should have biassed them here also, and that the 
same school of interpreters should have taken the "dead" as mean- 
ing "dead in trespasses and sins," and referred the "preaching of 
the Gospel" to the work of the Apostles, and the "judgment ac- 
cording to men" to their sufferings on earth. 

7. But the end of all things is at hand] The words are spoken, as 
are nearly all the eschatological utterances of the New Testament, 
within the horizon of the Apostle's knowledge, and it had not been 



v. 8.] I. ST PETER, IV. 143 

sober, and watch unto prayer. And above all things have * 

given to him to know the "times and the seasons" (Acts i. 7). 
His language was the natural inference from our Lord's words, "then 
shall the end be " (Matt. xxiv. 6 — 14). The times in which the dis- 
ciples lived were to them the "last times" (1 Tim. iv. 1; 1 John 
ii. 18). They looked for the coming of the Lord as not far off (Rom. 
xiii. 12; James v. 8). They expected to be among those who should 
be living when He came (1 Cor. xv. 51), who should be caught up to 
meet Him in the air (1 Thess. iv. 17). A few years — we might almost 
say, looking to 2 Pet iii. 8, a few months — sufficed to shew that 
the divine plan extended over a wider range than their thoughts and 
expectations. And yet, in one very real sense, they were not altogether 
mistaken. The end of all that they had known and lived in, the end 
of one great aeon, or dispensation, was indeed nigh at hand. The 
old order was changing and giving place to the new. There was to 
be a great removal of the things that were shaken, that had decayed 
and waxed old, that the things mat could not be shaken might remain 
(Hebr. xii. 27). 

be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer] The first of the two 
verbs is defined by Greek ethical writers (Aristotle, Eth. Nicom. 11. 
2) as implying the harmony of affections and desires with reason. 
Of the two English words "sober" or temperate, by which it is 
commonly rendered, the latter, as expressing the due control of pas- 
sions, is the more adequate. The Vulgate gives "Estote prttdentes" 
but that adjective belongs to another Greek ethical term. Mark v. 15, 
Rom. xii. 3, 2 Cor. v. 13, may be noticed as among the other passages 
in which the same verb occurs. Strictly speaking, indeed, the word 
"sober" is wanted instead of "wateli" for the second verb, which 
implies in the strictest sense "abstinence from wine and strong 
drink." The word commonly translated "watch" (Matt. xxiv. 42, 
43, xx vi. 38 — 41) is altogether different. It may be noticed that the 
tense of the two verbs in the original implies not a general precept, 
but a call to an immediate act. The words of St Peter .present a 
singular contrast to the effect that has commonly been produced in 
later ages by the belief that the end of the world was near. Terror 
and alarm, the abandonment of earthly callings and social duties ac- 
companied that belief in the tenth century, when kings left their 
thrones and sought the seclusion of the monastery, " appropinquante 
fine saeculi" and a like agitation has accompanied it since. To the 
Apostle's mind the approach of the end of all things is a motive for 
calmness and self-control. He seems almost to reproduce the thought 
of a poet of whom he had probably never heard, 

[Si fractus illabatur orbis 
Impavidum ferient ruinae.] 
"Should the world's ruins round him break 
His confidence it will not shake; 

Unmoved he bears it all." 

(Hor. Od. HI. 3. 7.) 

Peter &Jude 10 



144 *• ST PETER, IV. [v. 9. 

fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall 
9 cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to 

The "calmness" of the Apostle differs, however, from that of the 
philosopher. It is not merely the self-command of one who has con- 
quered. Men are to be sober with a view to prayer. Desires of all 
kinds, above all, those of man's lower nature, are fatal to the energy 
and therefore to the efficacy of prayer. 

. 8. And above all things have fervent charity] It is to be regretted 
that the unintelligent desire for variation which the translators of 16 ri 
took almost as their guiding principle, and in this instance, perhaps, 
their fondness for current theological terms, should have led them to 
obscure the unity of Apostolic teaching by using the word "charity" 
instead of "love." The use of the same word in 1 Cor. xiii. helps us 
indeed to perceive the agreement of St Peter and St Paul, but we lose 
sight of the harmony between their teaching and that of St John. On 
the general precept and on the word "fervent" see note on chapter 
i. 2 2. 

for charity shall cover the multitude of sins] The words are probably 
a quotation from Prov. x. 12, where our English version, following the 
Hebrew, gives " Hatred stirreth up strife, but love covereth all sins." 
It may be noted, however, that the LXX. version gives here an entirely 
differen* rendering, "Friendship covers all those who are not lovers 
of contention," and that St Peter, though he commonly uses the LXX., 
must, in this instance, either have translated from the Hebrew, or, as 
seems more probable, have quoted the maxim as a current proverb 
The use of the same phrase in James v. 20, "He that converteth the 

sinner shall hide a multitude of sins," shews that the thought 

and. the language were common to the two teachers. There remains 
the question, What is the meaning of the proverb? Whose are the sins 
that fervent love or charity will cover? (t) As the words meet us in 
Prov. x. 12, the context determines its meaning, "Love covers (i.e. 
forgives, and does not expose) the sins of others," and so it is contrasted 
with the " hatred which stirs up strife." (2) This may be the meaning 
here, "Love one another, for so only can you forgive freely as you are 
taught to do." If we adopt this view, or so far as we adopt it, we can 
scarcely fail to connect it with the lesson which St Peter had once 
needed, as to the limit, or rather the non-limitation, of forgiveness 
His "multitude of sins" is the equivalent of the "seventy times 
seven :> of our Lord's teaching (Matt, xviii. 22). (3) It lies in the 
nature of the case, however, that a maxim such as this should pre- 
sent different aspects. In James v. 20, e.g., the words "hide a multi- 
tude of sins" are equivalent not to forgiving sins ourselves, but to 
winning God's forgiveness for them. And looking to the connexion 
between loving and being forgiven in Luke vii. 47, we shall not be far 
wrong if we include that thought also as within the scope of the 
Apostle's words, " Love above all things, for that will enable you to for- 
give others, and. in so doing ye will fulfil the condition of being for- 
given yourselves." So taken, the proverb reminds us in its width of the 
familiar, 



v. ioj I. ST PETER, IV. 145 

another without grudging. As every man hath received the 10 
gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stew^ 



"The quality of mercy... is twice blest; 
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes." - 

9. Use hospitality one to another without grudging] Literally, Be 
hospitable. The stress laid on this virtue in the New Testament, as in 
1 Tim. iii. 2; Rom. xii. 13; Heb. xiii. 2, brings before us some of the 
more striking features of the social life of the Christians of the first three 
centuries. The Christian traveller coming to a strange city was in a 
position of no little difficulty. The houses of heathen friends, if he had 
any, were likely to bring trials of one kind or another. He might be 
taunted and persecuted for his faith or tempted to "run to the same 
excess of riot with them." Inns presented too often scenes of drunken- 
ness and impurity, foul words and fouler acts. It was therefore an un- 
speakable gain for such an one to know that he could find shelter in a 
Christian home. The fact that he was a Christian, that he brought 
with him some "letter of commendation" (2 Cor. iii. 1) as a safeguard 
against imposture, was to be enough to secure a welcome. It lay in the 
nature of things that sometimes strangers might thus present themselves 
with inconvenient frequency.or under inconvenient conditions, and there- 
fore St Peter adds "be hospitable... without murmurings." Men were not 
to look on it as a trouble or a nuisance, or think themselves hardly 
treated. They might be entertaining angels unawares (Heb. xiii. 2). 
Here also God loved a cheerful giver (2 Cor. ix. 7). 

10. As every man hath received the gift] The two verses remind us 
of the like precepts in Rom. xii. 6; 1 Cor. xii. 4, 28. The tense of 
the Greek verb ("as every man received the gift") implies the thought 
that the gift came at a definite moment, probably at that of the laying 
on of hands. Comp. Acts xix. 6; 1 Tim. iv. 14. The words "As 
every man received" may be equivalent to "Let every man use his gift 
according to its nature or purpose," which agrees best with Rom. xii. 6, 
or they may, more probably, be an echo of the "freely ye received, 
freely give" of Matt. x. 8. 

even so minister the same one to another] The Greek verb means 
something more than "use" or "administer." It implies that men were 
to see in the gifts they possessed no ground for boasting, but only a call 
to more lowly service. They were to be, as in the next clause, "stewards" 
of those gifts. The thought that men are stewards, not possessors, of 
what God has given them in their outward or their inward life was, of 
course, a natural one (1 Cor. iv. 1 ; Tit. i. 7), but here we can scarcely 
fail to recognise an echo of our Lord's teaching. Peter had heard the 
parable of the steward who "wasted his lord's goods" (Luke xvi. 1 — 12) 
and his Lord's question, Who then is. the faithful and wise steward? 
(Luke xii. 42). In the "manifold," or better, perhaps, varied grace of 
God, we have implied a much greater diversity of gifts, such as we 
find in 1 Cor. xii. 8 — 10, Eph. iv. 11, than those which the Apostle 
specifies. He confines himself, indeed, to the one broad division 

IO — 2 



146 I. ST PETER, IV. [v. u. 

iz ards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let 
him speak as the oracles of God ; if any man minister, let 
him do it as of the ability which God giveth : that God in 
all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be 
praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 



between the gifts that shewed themselves in speech and those that 
shewed themselves in act. 

11. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of Goo*] The words 
cover the gifts of tongues, prophecy, teaching, knowledge, counsel, 
in St Pauls fuller classification (Rom. xii. 6—8; i Cor. xii. — xiv.). 
These gifts, St Peter teaches, were only used rightly when the speaker's 
utterances were in harmony with what were already recognised as 
"oracles of God." The word is used of Old Testament revelations in 
Acts vii. 38; Rom. iii. 2, but we may think of it as including also those 
made through the prophets and teachers of the Christian Church. The 
fact that Papias, Bishop of Hierapolis, who came within the circle of 
Apostolical teaching, wrote a book on the Oracles of the Lord Jesus 
(Euseb. Hist. Eccl., III. 39), makes it probable that St Peter included 
our Lord's teaching, possibly also the Epistles of St Paul, which he 
speaks of as "Scripture" (2 Pet. iii. 16), under this title. The essential 
unity of Apostolic teaching was not to be disturbed by private eccentri- 
cities of interpretation or theoretical speculation. 

if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth] The 
ministering here spoken of (diakonein) can hardly be limited to the 
special work of those "who bore the name of "minister" or "deacon" 
as a title of office, but takes in all works of ministration in act as distinct 
from teaching, visiting the sick and needy, teaching children, helping 
those that were in trouble. Men were to set about that work also as 
stewards of a gift. The strength to work for others was not their own 
but was supplied by God. The word for "giveth," used by St Paul in 
1 Cor. ix. 10, and again in a compound form by St Peter in 1 Pet. i. 5, 
had, as its primary meaning in Classical Greek, that of defraying the 
expense of a chorus in the performance of a drama. As this took its 
place among the more munificent acts of a citizen's social life, the verb 
came to be connected with the general idea of large or liberal giving, 
and was used in that sense long after the original association had died 
out of it. 

that God in all things may be glorified] This is pointed out as the end 
to be aimed at in the use of all gifts whether of speech or action. In so 
teaching, St Peter was but reproducing what he had heard from his 
Lord's lips, "that men may see your good works and glorify your Father 
which is in Heaven" (Matt. v. 16), perhaps also what he had read in 
St Paul's Epistles, that men should "do all to the glory of God" 
(1 Cor. x. 31). 

to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen] It was but 
natural with St Peter, as with St Paul, that the thought of "glorifying" 
should be followed up by the utterance of a doxology. For "praise it 



w. 12, 13.] I. ST PETER, IV. 147 

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial ia 
which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened 
unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of 13 
Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, 

Would be better to read glory as expressing the sequence of thought 
more clearly, and instead of "for ever and ever," for ages of ages. It 
may be noted, as probable evidence that the Apostle is using a liturgical 
formula, that precisely the same combination is used by St John in Rev. 
i. 6, and is found also, in a fuller form, in Rev. v. 13. The use of the 
Amen (from the Hebrew for "fixed, settled, true," and so meaning 
" verily,") as commonly in the Gospels, — confirms this view. It was as 
in Rom. i. 25, ix. 5, 1 Cor. xiv. 16, the natural close of a liturgical ut- 
terance of belief or adoration. 

12. Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to 
try you] More literally, be not amazed (see, for the word, notes on 
verse 4) at the burning fire among yon that comes to yon as a test. 
The "burning fire" (the word is used literally in Rev. xviii. 9, 18) is, of 
course, the symbol, as in chap. i. 7, of afflictions and persecutions. The 
mind of the Apostle once more goes back to these afflictions, as before 
in chap. i. 6, 7, ii. 19 — 21, iii. 15 — 17. He meets the terror which they 
were likely to cause by the thought that all this was to be expected. 
Men were to enter into the kingdom of God "through much tribulation" 
(Acts xiv. 22). All "they that would live godly in Christ Jesus must 
suffer persecution " (2 Tim. iii. 12). The strange thing would be if it were 
otherwise. And so the Apostle repeats his "think it not strange," be 
not amazed, as the secret of calm endurance. It was for him and those 
to whom he wrote what the Nil admirari was for the Epicurean poet 
(Hor. Epp. 1. 6). As before, he dwells on the leading character of suffer- - 
ing. It tries faith, and the faith which endures is stronger and purer for 
the process. 

13. but rejoice] The words of the beatitude of Matt. v. 12 come 
back upon the Apostle's mind, and are reproduced as from his own 
personal experience. When he had first heard them, he may well have 
counted them a strange thing. Now he has tried and proved their truth. 

inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ s sufferings] The Greek con- 
junction expresses more than the ground of the joy. Men are to rejoice 
in proportion as they are sharers in the sufferings of Christ. On the 
thought of this intercommunion in suffering between Christ and His 
people, see note on chap. i. 11. Here "the sufferings of Christ" are 
those which He endured while on earth, those also which He endures 
now as the Head of His body, the Church, in His infinite sympathy 
with each individual member. Each faithful sufferer, accordingly, in 
proportion to the measure of his sufferings, becomes ipso facto a sharer 
in those of Christ. He fills up, in St Paul's bold language, "what was 
lacking in the sufferings of Christ" (Col. i. 24). 

thaty when his glory shall be revealed] The thought is again 
closely parallel to that of chap. L 11. Literally the words run, in the 
revelation of His glory. As thought of by the Apostles, the " re vela- 



1 4 8 L ST PETER, IV: ' [v. 14. 

* 4 ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be re- 
proached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the 
Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon y&u : on 
their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glo- 

tion of Christ" is identical with His coming to judge the quick and 
dead (Luke xvii. 30). The precise phrase " the revelation of His glory " 
is not found elsewhere, but it has an analogue in "the throne of His 
glory" in Matt, xxv, 31. 

14. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ] Literally, In the 
name of CUri8t. As in chap. iii. 14, "If ye suffer for righteousness* 
sake," we found an echo of one beatitude (Matt. v. 10), so in this we 
have the counterpart of the more personal "for my sake" of Matt. v. 11. 
It would be better, as indicating the reference to the beatitudes, to 
render the adjective by blessed rather than nappy. 

the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you] The English version 
is tenable, but the construction of the sentence is peculiar and admits of 
a different rendering, "the principle or elsment of glory, and the spirit 
of God, resteth on you." In either case what is emphasized is the fact that 
the outward reviling to which the disciples were exposed brought glory 
and not dishonour. The Spirit of Glory was there — who has glory as 
His essential attribute — and that Spirit was none other than the very 
Spirit of God. Looking to the connexion between the " glory" of the 
Shechinah-cloud which was the witness of the Divine Presence,- and that 
Avhich dwelt in Christ as the only-begotten of the Father (John i. 14), it 
is possible that the words "the Spirit of Glory" may be equivalent to the 
" Spirit of Christ. " The use of the word for " rest" throws us back upon 
the occurrence of the same verb in the LXX. version of Num. xi. 25, 
1 Kings ii. 15. The thought of the Apostle, in this respect true to his 
citation from Joel ii. in Acts ii. 16 — 18, is that the humblest sufferers 
for the name of Christ are as truly sharers in the gift of the Eternal 
Spirit as were the greatest prophets. It " rests" on them — not coming 
and going, in fitful movements, or extraordinary manifestations, but 
dwelling with them continually. 

• on their part he is evil spoken of] It is remarkable that the whole of 
this clause is omitted in many of the best MSS. and versions, including 
the Sinai tic. On the assumption to which this fact has led most recent 
Editors, that it was not part of the original text, we must think of it 
either as a marginal note that has found its way into the text, or, -as an 
addition made in a second transcript of the Epistle by the writer him- 
self. Here the word for "is evil spoken of" would rightly be rendered 
as blasphemed, and "Christ" or "the Spirit of God" must be taken as 
the subject of the sentence. In this case, that of suffering for the truth, 
the very blasphemies which men utter in their rage, are a witness to . 
the effective work which has been done through the power of the Spirit, 
and in respect of those who suffer, are working for His glory. Appal- 
ling as is the contrast between the blasphemy of the persecutors and the 
doxologies of the sufferer, the one is almost the necessary complement 
of the other* 



vv. 15, 16.] I. ST PETER, IV, 149 

rifled. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as 15 
a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's 
matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not 16 

15. But let none of you suffer as a murderer] Literally, For let none 
of you suffer. The implied sequence of thought would seem to be this: 
•' I bid you suffer for the name of Christ and remind you of the blessing 
which attaches to such suffering, for the last thing I should wish is that 
you should think that it is the suffering, not the cause, that makes the 
martyr." He represses the tendency, more or less prevalent in all times 
of persecution, whether of Christians by heathens, or of one body of 
Christians by another, which leads men to pose in the attitude of martyrs 
and confessors when they ought rather to be classed with ordinary 
criminals suffering the just punishment of their crimes. 

Of the four forms of evils named, the first and second require no 
explanation. The third includes all other forms of evil which came 
under the cognizance of law, as in the *' malefactor" of John xviii. 30. 
Comp. 1 Pet ii. 12 — 14. The fourth is a word which is not found 
elsewhere and may possibly have been coined by St Peter. Literally, 
the word (allotrio-episcopos) describes one who claims an authority 
like that of a bishop or superintendent in a region in which he has no 
right to exercise it. As such it might, of course, be applied to the 
schismatic self-appointed teacher, and "a bishop in another man's 
diocese," though too modern in its associations, would be a fair equi- 
valent for it. Such an one, however, would hardly be singled out 
for punishment by a heathen persecutor, and we must therefore think 
of the word as describing a like character in another sphere of 
action. It was, perhaps, a natural consequence of the higher standard 
of morals which the Christian disciple possessed, or imagined himself 
to possess, that he should be tempted to interfere with the action 
of public or private men when he thought them wrong, intermeddling 
in season or out of season. Such a man might easily incur the 
penalties which attach to what, in modern language, we call "con- 
tempt of court," or "obstruction of justice." If a passing word of con- 
troversial application be allowable in a Commentary we may note the 
reproduction of the character of the allot rio-episcopos (1) in the perma- 
nent policy of those who claim to be the successors of St Peter, and 
(2) in the meddling fussiness which leads laymen, or clergy, to interfere 
in matters which properly belong to the office of a Bishop, or to the 
jurisdiction of an authorized tribunal. 

16. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian] The occurrence of a 
name which has played so prominent a part in the history of mankind 
requires a few words of notice. It did not originate with the followers 
of Christ themselves. They spoke of themselves as the "brethren" 
(Acts xiv. 2, xv. 1, 3, 22, &c), as "the saints," i.e. the holy or con- 
secrated people (Matt, xxvii.. 52 ; Acts ix. 13, 32; Rom. i. 7 ; 1 Cor. 
vi. 1 ; Eph. i. 1, &c), as "those of the way," i. e. those who took their 
own way, the way which they believed would lead them to eternal life 
(Acts ix* 2, xix. 9, xxiv. 22). By their Jewish opponents they were 



ISO I. ST PETER, IV. [vv. 17, 18. 

17 be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For 
the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of 
God : and if it first begin at us* what shall the end be of 

18 them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the 

commonly stigmatized as "the Nazarenes" (Acts xxiv. 5), the followers 
of Jesus of Nazareth, the city out of which no good thing could come 
(John i. 46). The new name was given first at Antioch (Acts xi. 26), 
shortly after the admission there, on a wider scale than elsewhere, of 
Gentile converts. Its Latin form, analogous to that of Pompeiani % 
Mariani, for the followers of Pompeius or Marius, indicated that the 
new society was attracting the attention of official persons and others at 
Antioch. The word naturally found acceptance. It expressed a fact, 
it was not offensive, and it might be used by those who, like Agrippa, 
though they were not believers themselves, wished to speak respectfully 
of those who were (Acts xxvi. 28). Soon it came to be claimed by 
those believers. The question, Are you a Christian? became the 
crucial test of their faith. By disowning it, as in the case of the 
mildly repressive measures taken in these very regions by Pliny in the 
reign of Trajan, they might purchase safety (Pliny, Epp. X. 96). 
The words now before us probably did much to stamp it on the 
history of the Church. Men dared not disown it.. They came to 
exult in it. Somewhat later on .they came to find in it, with a par- 
donable play upon words, a new significance. The term Christ'ani 
( = followers of Christ) was commonly pronounced Chrestiani y and that, 
they urged, shewed that they were followers of Chrestus, i.e. of the 
good and gentle one. Their very name, they urged, through their 
Apologist, Tertullian {Apoi. 1. 3), was a witness to the falsehood of the 
charges brought against them. 

on tfiis behalf] Better, perhaps, in this point, or this particular. 
Many of the best MSS. give, however, in this name, i.e. either the 
name of Christ, for whom they suffered, or that of Christian, which was 
the occasion of their suffering. 

17. For the time is come that judgment must begin] Literally, It is 
the season of the beginning of the Judgment, The words of the 
Apostle stand in close connexion with his belief that he was living in 
the last age of the world, that ''the end of all things was at hand." 
(See note on verse 7.) He saw in the persecutions and sufferings that 
fell on the Church, beginning " from the house of God," the opening of 
that judgment. It was not necessarily a work of condemnation. Those 
on whom it fell might be judged in order that they might not be con- 
demned (comp. 1 Cor. xi. 32). But it was a time which, like the final 
judgment, was one of separation. It was trying the reality of the faith 
of those who professed to believe in Christ, and dividing the true dis- 
ciples from the hypocrites and half-hearted. The "house of God" is 
His family, His Ecclesia, as in 1 Tim. iii. 15, and the "spiritual house" 
of chap. ii. 5. 

what shall the end be of them that obey not] The h fortiori argu- 
ment reminds us in some measure of that of St Paul, "If God spared 



v. 19-1 I. ST PETER, IV. 151 

111 1 —  — ■— 

righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the un- 
godly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them 19 
that suffer according to the will of God commit the keep- 
ing of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful 
Creator. 



not the natural branches, take heed lest He also spare not thee" (Rom. 
xi. 21). There, however, the contrast lay between Israel after the flesh 
that was rejected for its unfaithfulness and the new Israel after the 
spirit if it too should prove unfaithful. Here it lies between the true 
Israel of God and the outlying heathen world. With a question which 
is more awful than any assertion, he asks, as to those that obey not, 
What shall be their end? The thought was natural enough to have 
been quite spontaneous, but it may also have been the echo of like 
thoughts that had passed through the minds of the older prophets. " I 
begin to bring evil upon the city which is called by my Name, and 
shall ye" — the nations of the heathen — "be utterly unpunished?" Jcr. 
xxv. 29. Comp. also Jer. xlix. 12 ; Ezek. ix. 6. 

18. And if the righteous scarcely be saved] Once more we have a 
passage from the Old Testament (Prov. xi, 31) without any formula of 
quotation. In this instance the Apostle quotes from the LXX. version, 
though it is hardly more than an inaccurate paraphrase of the Hebrew, 
which runs "the righteous shall be requited (the word may mean 
"punished") "upon earth, much more the ungodly and the sinner." 
St Peter, following the LXX., omits the words "upon earth," which 
limit the application of the proverb to temporal chastisements ; but it is 
obvious, as he is speaking primarily of the fiery trial of persecution, that 
he includes these as well as the issue of the final judgment. A time of 
"great tribulation," such as Christ had foretold, was coming on the 
earth, in which, but for the elect's sake, "no flesh should be saved" 
(Matt. xxiv. 22). The "un-godly" and the "sinner" correspond to 
"those that obey not" in the previous verse, the former pointing to sins 
against God, the latter to sins against man. 

19. Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God] In 
the acceptance of sufferings as being according to the will of God, much 
more is meant than the mere submission to an inevitable destiny. If we 
really think of pain and persecution as working out God's will, per- 
mitted and controlled by Him, we know that that Will is righteous and 
loving ; planning nothing less than our completeness in holiness (1 Thess. 
iv. 3), the Will of which we daily pray that it may be done on earth as 
it is in heaven. The Greek word for "Creator" is not found elsewhere 
in the New Testament, but is found in the LXX. of Judith ix. 12, 
2 Mace. i. 24. Stress is laid on the attribute, or act, of creation as the 
ground of confidence. He who made the soul is also He who hateth 
nothing that He hath made. Here, also, we can scarcely doubt the ex- 
ample of the Great Sufferer was present to the Apostle's mind, and his 
words were therefore echoes of those spoken on the Cross, "Father, into 
thy hands I commend my spirit " (Luke xxiii. 46)* 



152 I. ST PETER, V." [vv. i, 2. 

5 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also 

an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, arid also 

2 a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed : feed the flock 

. * 

CHAPTER V. 

1. The elders which are among you] Some of the better MSS. pre- 
sent the reading The elders therefore among you. If we adopt this 
reading we have the latent sequence of thought in the idea suggested by 
the word "well-doing" in chap. iv. 19, or by the "judgment" of 
chap. iv. 17. The work of the elders was to be directed to strengthen 
men in the one, to prepare them for the other. It is obvious that the 
Apostle addresses those who are "elders" in the special sense of the 
word, as in Acts xi. 30, xv. 22, xx. 17. The last passage shews, as com- 
pared with Acts xx. 28, that the term was interchangeable with 
"Bishops." See also Tit. i. 5, 7, and the notes on verse 2. 

who am also an elder] If the word was used in its official sense in the 
first clause it cannot well be taken in any other sense here. The Apostle, 
with a profound humility, strikingly in contrast with the supremacy 
claimed by his successors, puts himself, as zfeltov elder, on a level with 
the elders to whom he writes, with duties to be fulfilled in the same spirit, 
subject to the same conditions. 

<t witness of the sufferings of Christ] The words bring out the one 
point on which he lays stress as distinguishing himself from others. He 
was in a special sense a "witness" of the actual sufferings of the man 
Christ Jesus (Acts i. 8 — 22, xiii. 31), while they were partakers of those 
sufferings as reproduced in the experience of His people. As in chap. i. 
11, iv. 13, the thought of those sufferings leads, in immediate sequence, 
to that of the glory which is their ultimate issue. The Greek word for 
"partaker" (literally, a Joint partaker, a fellow-sharer with yon) im- 
plies that he is, as before, dwelling on what he has in common with 
those to whom he writes (comp. Phil. i. 7). Some interpreters of note 
have seen, even in the description which he gives of himself as a "wit- 
ness," not that which was distinctive, but the work which he had in 
common with others, of bearing his testimony that Christ had suffered, 
and that His servants also must therefore expect suffering. 

2. feed the flock of God] The word for "feed," here as elsewhere, 
implies the whole work of the shepherd — guiding, directing, protecting, 
as well as supplying food (comp. Luke xvii. 7; John xxi. 16; Acts 
xx. 28; 1 Cor. ix. 7). The shepherd's work had been from a very 
early period a parable of that of rulers and of teachers. Kings were to 
Homer the "shepherds of the people" (icolntve* \a£v). David was 
taken from the sheepfold to feed Israel as the flock of Jehovah (Ps. 
lxxviii. 70, 71). The sin of the kings and rulers of Judah had been that 
they did not feed the flock, but scattered and destroyed it (Jer. xxiii. 
1 — 4; Ezek. xxxiv. 2 — 31). In St Peter's use of the word we note a re- 
production of the words that had fallen on his ears with a three-fold, 
yet varied, iteration, "Feed my sheep" {John xxi. 16). The compre- 
hensiveness of the word must not. be lost sight of. It includes more 
than preaching or teaching, and takes in the varied duties of what we 



T" 



V. 2.] I. ST PETER, V. 153 

of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not 
by constraint, but willingly ; not for filthy lucre, but of a 

rightly call the pastoral office. In the words "the flock of God" men 
are tacitly reminded who is the Chief Shepherd whom they serve, and 
to whom they will have to render an account (comp. Acts xx. 28). It 
may be noted as a characteristic difference that in the Old Testament 
the shepherds of the people are always the civil rulers of the nation 
(e. g. Ps. Ixxviii. 71 ; Ezek. xxxiv. 2), while in the New that thought 
falls into the background, and the shepherd of the flock is its spiritual 
guide and teacher. 

taking the oversight thereof] The first three words are the English 
equivalent of the Greek participle of the verb formed from Episcopos, 
the "bishop," or "overseer'* of the Church. In its being thus used to 
describe the office of the elders of the Church we have a close parallel to 
St Paul's addressing the "elders" of the Church as being also "over- 
seers" (Acts xx. 28). The two terms were in fact interchangeable, and 
what is now the higher office of the Bishop in relation to the Presbyters 
was discharged by the Apostle or his personal representative. 

not by constraint^ but willingly] The words that follow indicate the 
three great conditions of true pastoral work: (1) It must not be entered 
on reluctantly and as under pressure. In one sense indeed the truest 
and best work may be done by one who feels, as St Paul felt, that a 
" necessity is laid upon him (1 Cor. ix. 16), but there the necessity was 
that of a motive essentially spiritual. What St Peter deprecates is the 
drawing back from the labour and responsibility of the care of souls. The 
Nolo episcopari, which has been so often the formula of the pride or the 
sloth that apes humility, would have been in his eyes the sign of cowardice 
and weakness. Here, as in other things, the true temper is that of cheer- 
ful and willing service. The history of the Church presents, it is true, not 
a few instances, among which Chrysostom and Ambrose are pre- 
eminent, of the pastoral and episcopal office being forced upon a re- 
luctant acceptance, but in such cases the reluctance left no trace in the 
after life. The work once entered on was done "willingly," not as a 
forced and constrained service. It maybe noted that the memorable 
treatise of Chrysostom, On the Priesthood, is in its form an apologia for 
his unwillingness to enter on the priestly office on the ground of its 
infinite dangers and responsibilities. Some of the better MSS. add the 
words "according to God," to "willingly," the phrase having the same 
meaning ("according to the will of God,*) as in chap. iv. 6, 2 Cor. 
vii. 9, 10. 

not for filthy lucre] The adverb is not found elsewhere in the New 
Testament. The corresponding adjective meets us in 1 Tim. iii. 3, 8, 
Tit. i. 7. The words are interesting as shewing that even in the troubled 
times in which St Peter wrote there was enough wealth in the Church to 
make the position of a Bishop-presbyter a lucrative one. There was the 
double stipend for those who were both pastors and preachers (1 Tim. 
v. 17). There was, for baser natures, the temptation of us'ng spiritual 
influence for secular ends, "devouring widows' houses," as the Pharisees 
did in Judaea (Matt, xxiii. 14), "leading captive silly women," as did 



154 I- ST PETER, V. [vv. 3, 4. 

3 ready mind ; neither as being lords over GoiVs heritage, but 

4 fceing ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shep- 

the false teachers at Ephesus (2 Tim. Hi. 6) and Crete (Tit. i. n). It may 
be noted that the term which both the Apostles use of the man who 
enters on the work of the ministry of souls from such a motive, is one 
which Greek writers commonly use of one who seeks gain in base and 
sordid ways. In their eyes the calling of a presbyter might be made, so 
followed, as disreputable an occupation as that of the usurer, or the 
pander, or the slave-dealer. In contrast with this temper, eagerly 
catching at emoluments, the Apostle points to the cheerful readiness 
that seeks eagerly for work. 

3. neither as being lords over God's heritage] Better, not lording it 
over the heritages. There is no word in the Greek answering to 
"God's," and it is not wanted to complete the sense. The word for 
"lording" implies an authority exercised both wrongfully and oppres- 
sively. Ambition, the love of power for the sake of power, is, from 
the Apostle's standpoint, as great a hindrance to true pastoral work 
as avarice. The whole history of the Church, in particular the history 
of the papacy, as e.g. in the history of Gregory VII., shews how fatally 
it has worked on souls that had conquered, or had never known, the 
baser temptation. Warnings against such ambition we find again and 
again in our Lord's teaching (Matt xx. 25 — 28; Luke xxii. 24 — 26; 
Mark ix. 34, 35). A memorable picture of the working of such a 
temper in St Paul's rivals at Corinth meets us in 2 Cor. xii. 20. 

The word for "heritages" (the Greek noun (K\ijpos) is in the plural) 
means primarily a "lot;" then, as in Deut. x. 9, xii. 12, the "portion 
assigned by lot. So Jehovah is said to be the "portion" or "heritage" 
of the Levites (Deut. x. 9). Here the idea would seem to be that each 
separate ecdesia was thought of as the "portion" of the presbyter who 
watched over it. The later history of the word presents a curious series of 
transitions. (1) From the congregations it was transferred to the pres- 
byters, as being, it was supposed, in a special sense, the "portion" or 
"heritage" of God. They accordingly were described as the cterus, the 
clerici, of the Church, and hence we get the common words, "clergy," 
and "clerical." (2) From the educational superiority of the clerical 
order in the Middle Ages, the word came to be applied to any person 
of a higher than average culture. So Chaucer speaks of Homer as a 
"great clerke," and the legal phrase "benefit of clergy" retains a 
trace of the same meaning. (3) From this elevation it has come to be 
applied, as by a.facilis descensus, to the lower forms of culture, and the 
"parish clerk" and the copying "clerk" at his desk, present the fallen 
greatness of the word that was once so noble. 

but being ensamples to the flock] Comp. the word and the thought in 
* Thess. iii. 9 and Phil. Hi. 17. It is obvious that the teaching of the 
verse does not condemn the exercise of all spiritual authority as such, 
but only its excesses and abuses ; but in doing this, it points out also that 
the influence of example is more powerful than any authority, and to 
seek after that influence is the best safeguard against the abuse of power. 



v. 5-] I. ST PETER, V. 155 

herd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that 
fadeth not away. Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves 5 
unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, 

4. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear] The word for "chief 
Shepherd" is not found elsewhere, and would seem therefore \o have 
been coined by St Peter, to express the thought which had been im- 
pressed on his mind by his Lord's words, "I am the good Shepherd" 
(John x. 14). In his own work, as in that of all pastors of the Church, 
he saw the reproduction of that of which Christ had set the great 
example. For ''shall appear" it would be better to read is mani- 
fested. 

a crown of glory that fadeth not away] More accurately, as the Greek 
has the article, "the crown of glory." The four last words answer to 
the one Greek word, "amaranthine," or "unfading," the adjective 
being a cognate form of that in chap. i. 4. The crown here is the 
wreath or chaplet of flowers worn by conquerors and heroes, as in 
1 Cor. ix. 25, James i. 12, and differs from the "crowns" or diadems of 
Rev. xii. 3, xix. 12, which were distinctively the badge of sovereignty. 
It is possible, as the adjective "amaranth" was applied to the kind of 
flowers which we know as "everlastings," that there may be an allusive 
reference to the practice of using those flowers for wreaths that were 
placed in funerals upon the brows of the dead. The word and the 
thought reappear in one of Milton's noblest passages ; 

"Immortal Amaranth, a flower which once 
In Paradise, hard by the tree of life, 
Began to bloom, but soon, for man's offence 
To heaven removed, where first it grew, there grows 
And flowers aloft, shading the fount of life; 
And where the river of bliss through midst of Heaven 
Rolls o'er Elysian flowers her amber stream 
With these, that never fade, the spirits elect 
Bind their resplendent locks, inwreathed with beams.*' 

Paradise Lost, III. 353—361. 

5. Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder] The question 
meets us, whether the words refer to age only, or to office as connected 
with age. In either case we have, of course, a perfectly adequate 
meaning. In favour of the latter view we have the facts (1) that in 
Luke xxii. 26, "he that is younger" in the first clause corresponds to 
"he that serveth" or "ministereth" in the second; (2) that in Acts v. 6 
the term is obviously used of those who were discharging duties like 
those of the later deacons, sub-deacons or acolytes; (3) that it is hardly 
likely that the same writer would have used the word "elder" in two 
different senses in such close juxtaposition. On the whole, therefore, 
there seems sufficient reason for adopting this view. St Paul's use of 
the term, however, in the precepts of 1 Tim. v. 1, Tit* ii. 6 is, perhaps, 
in favour of the other. 

Yea, all of you be subject one to another] The words which answer to 



156 I. ST PETER, V. [vv. 6, 7. 

and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth. the 
eproud^ and giveth grace to the humble. Humble 

yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he 
7 may exalt you in due time : casting all your care upon him ; 

"be subject" are wanting in some of the best MSS. and have the 
character of an insertion made to complete the sense. If we omit the 
participle, the words "all of you, one to another" may be taken either 
with the clause that precedes or with that which follows. 

be clothed with humility] The Greek verb (iytcofjifiwaade) for "clothe 
yourselves" has a somewhat interesting history. ^-The noun from which 
it is derived (icbtipos) signifies a "knot." Hence the verb means "to 
tie on with a knot," and from the verb another noun is formed (iyKOfi- 
j8io/*a), denoting a garment so tied on. This, according to its quality, 
might be the outer '•over-all" cloak of slaves, or the costly mantle of 
princes. The word may have well been chosen for the sake of some of 
the associations which this its history suggests. Men were to clothe them- 
selves with lowliness of mind, to fasten it tight round them like a* 
garment, so that it might never fall away (comp. the same thought as 
applied to hatred in Ps. cix. 17, 18), and this was to be worn, as it were, 
over all other virtues, half-concealing, half-sheltering them. It might 
present, from one point of view, the aspect of servitude. It was, in 
reality, a raiment more glorious than that of kings (Acts xii. 21 ), or 
those who live in kings' houses (Matt. xi. 8). In the case of slaves, 
probably in ail cases, the garment so named was white. (Poll. O nomas t, 
IV. 1 19.) This also probably was not without a suggestive significance. 
In Col. ill. 12 we have, though not the word, a thought very closely 
parallel. 

for God resisteth the proud] We have here another passage quoted 
from the Old Testament (Pro v. iii 34, from the LXX. version with 
"God" substituted for "the Lord") without the formula of quotation. 
It is interesting (1) as taking its place in the list of passages from the 
Book of Proverbs, which St Peter quotes both in the First and Second 
Epistles; and (2) as being quoted also by St James (iv. 6). The 
parallelism which we have already traced between the two writers (see 
notes on chap. i. 6, 7, 24) makes it probable that St Peter may have 
derived his quotation from his brother Apostle of the circumcision. In 
James iv. 6 the promise is cited with more special reference to the grace 
which gives men strength for the combat against evil, here in its wider 
and more general aspect. 

6. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of Cod] The 
parallelism with St James (iv. 10) will again be noticed, but the thought 
is one which occurs in many forms elsewhere (Job xxii. 29; Prov. xxix. 
23; Matt, xxiii. 12; Luke i. 52, xiv. 11, xviii. 14). The plural "the 
mighty hand of God," reproduces the LXX. version of Deut. iii. 24. 

in due time] The promise is purposely left in this vague indeterminate 
form. St Peter does not say that the exaltation of victory will come in 
this life. He does not say either, that it will not come till the Resur- 
rection. He is certain, with the full assurance of faith, that this is God's 



vv. 3, 9.] I. ST PETER, V. 157 

for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your 8 
adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking 
whom he may .devour : whom resist stedfast in the faith, 9 

law of retribution,, and he is content to leave "the times and the 
seasons" in the Father's hands, certain that the season chosen will be 
the right one. 

7. casting all your care upon him ; for he careth for you] The English 
version effaces a distinction in the Greek, the first word for "care" im- 
plying "distracting anxiety," as in Matt. xiii. 22; Mark iv. 19; Luke 
viii. 14, xxi. 34, the latter conveying the idea simply of the care that 
foresees and provides, as in Mark iv. 38; John x. 13, xii. 6. The 
thought expressed is accordingly that our anxiety is to be swallowed up 
in our trust in the loving Providence of the Father. Here again we 
have a quotation somewhat altered from the LXX. version (Ps. Iv. 22), 
"Cast thy care upon the Lord and he shall nourish thee," and in the 
warning against anxiety we may find an echo of the precepts against 
"taking thought " (where the Greek verb is formed from the same noun) 
in Matt. vi. 25 — 34. 

8. Be sober, be vigilant] The two words are found in a like juxta- 
position in 1 Thess. v. 6. The tense used here implies an immediate 
act, as though he said, "Rouse yourselves to sobriety and watchfulness," 
rather than a continuous state. The first word has the strict meaning 
of abstinence from that which inebriates. See note on chap. iv. 7. 

because your adversary the devil] The word for "adversary" is the 
same as that used in Matt. v. 25, and carries with it the sense of a 
plaintiff or accuser in a trial before a judge. The Greek word for 
"devil' (5ta/3oXos), uniformly used in the LXX. for the Hebrew 
"Satan," expresses the same thought, with the implied addition that 
the charge is false and calumnious. The comparison with the lion 
has its starting-point, perhaps, in Isai. xxxviii. 13, where, however, 
it is used of God as visiting men with pain and sickness ; or Ps. xxii. 
21, where its use is more closely parallel with the present passage. 
The use of the same verb for "roaring" in the LXX. of Ps. xxii. 13 
confirms the inference that that Psalm — the first words of which, it will 
be remembered, had been uttered by our Lord upon the cross — was 
present to St Peter's mind. The word for "devour," literally, gulp 
down or swallow, implies the thought of total destruction. It is 
probable, wide and general as the words are in themselves, that the 
special form of attack of which the Apostle thought was that of the 
persecution then raging, and of which, though human agents were pro- 
minent in it, Satan was regarded as the real instigator. Comp. 2 Tim. 
iv. 17, When Christ is named as "the Lion of the tribe of Judah" 
(Rev. v. 5) we may probably see the suggested thought that in the 
conflict which His followers have to wage they have with them One 
who is stronger than their adversary. 

9. whom resist stedfast in the faith] The word for "resist" is the 
same as that used in the parallel passage of James iv. 7. " Faith" is 
probably used in its subjective rather than its objective sense, for un- 



158 I. ST PETER, V. [vv. 10, it. 

knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your 
»o brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, 

who hath called us into his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, 

after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, sta- 
xi blish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion 

for ever and ever. Amen. 

shaken trust in God rather than unwavering orthodoxy. Comp. the 
"shield of faith 1 ' in Eph. vi. 16. 

knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren] 
Better, that the same suffering* (as keeping up the continuity of thought 
with chaps, i. 11, iv. 13, v. 1) are being wrought out for your brother- 
hood (the same collective term as in chap. ii. 17) that are In the 
world. The Apostle appeals to the thought of sympathy with other 
sufferers as a ground of steadfastness. Those to whom he wrote were not 
isolated in their afflictions. Far and near there were comrades fighting 
the same battle. It was at once their duty and their privilege to follow 
all examples of steadfastness of which they heard elsewhere, and to set 
that example, so that others, cheered by it, might be strengthened to 
endure even to the end. 

10. But the God of all grace] Rather, as there is no implied contrast, 
"And the God of all grace." The epithet, like "the God of all comfort," 
in 2 Cor. i. 3, implies that God is the Author and Giver of all grace that 
the child of God needs. In connexion with this attribute of God, there 
follows the fact that He had called those to whom the Apostle writes to 
nothing less than a share in His "eternal glory." It may be noted, 
as bearing on the question as to the authorship of the Second Epistle, 
that the same description occurs there also (2 Pet. i. 3). But this calling 
is "in Christ," i. e not merely by Him as the instrument through whom 
the call came, but as being "in Him," i.e. by virtue of our union with 
Him. 

after that ye have suffered a while] Literally, suffered a little ; but 
the context, contrasting the transient suffering with the eternal glory, as 
well as the use of the same adverb in chap. i. 6, justifies us in taking the 
word of time rather than degree. 

make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you] The English verb 
follows the Received Text in taking the Greek verb as optative. Most 
of the better MSS., however, give the future tense, "will make you per- 
feet..." expressing not the prayer of the Apostle, but his firm and stead- 
fast confidence. Each verb has a distinct meaning. That for "make 
you perfect" implies, as in Matt. iv. 21; Luke vi. 40; 1 Cor. i. 10, re- 
storing to completeness; that for "stablish," as 2 Thess. ii. 17, iii. 3, 
the fixity of Christians ; that for "strengthen" (not found elsewhere in 
the New Testament) giving power to resist attack. In "settle" (literally, 
to lay a foundation), as in Matt. vii. 25, Luke vi. 48, which may 
well have been in the Apostle's thoughts, we have the idea of building 
up the spiritual life upon Christ as the one foundation ( 1 Cor. iii. n). 

U. To him be glory and dominion] The duxology is repeated in 



v. 12.] USfrkZtE&y. T59 

By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I 12 

identical terms from chap. iv. 11. Here, as there, it comes as the natural 
sequel to the thought of what God is and what He has done for His 
people; and forms the conclusion to the consecutive teaching of the 
Epistle. It remained only to add a few words of the nature of more 
personal messages. 

12. By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you % as I suppose] The 
Greek order of the words leaves it open whether "to you" is to be con- 
strued with "faithful" as in the English version, or with "I have 
written," the former being, on the whole, preferable. If with the 
Received Text we admit the article before "faithful," we might translate 
the brother who is faithful to you, but in some of the better MSS. the 
article is wanting. In any case the way in which Silvanus is mentioned 
implies that he was already known to the readers of the Epistle. There 
is no ground for questioning his identity with the "Silas" of Acts xv. 
22, 32, 40, the "Silvanus" of 1 Thess. i. 1; 2 Thess. i. 1; 2 Cor. i. 19, 
the second name having probably been taken, after the manner common 
among Jews (comp. the change from Saul to Paulus, Joshua to Jason, 
John surnamed Marcus, and other like instances), when he went as a mis- 
sionary into Gentile countries. It is obvious that the circumstances of his 
life gave him special qualifications for maintaining or restoring unity of 
teaching and feeling between the Jewish and Gentile sections of the 
Church. Trained in the Church of Jerusalem and known as possessing 
prophetic gifts (Acts xv. 32), he had been chosen, with Barsabas, to be the 
Dearer of the encyclical letter from the Council of Apostles and Elders, 
and to enforce its purport orally. Throwing himself so heartily into the 
work of preaching to the Gentiles that he was chosen by St Paul as his 
companion on his second missionary journey, travelling with him and 
Timotheus through Galatia, Troas, Philippi, Thessalonica, and Corinth, 
he was conspicuously fitted to carry on the work which St Paul had 
begun. The scattered notices above referred to do not carry us further 
than his work at Corinth, and we are left to conjecture how he had 
filled up the interval that had elapsed since that date. What we now 
read suggests (1) that he had been working among the Churches of the 
provinces of Asia Minor named in chap. i. 1, and had gained their con- 
fidence; (2) that after St Paul's final departure from those regions 
he had turned to St Peter as still within reach, and had brought under 
his notice the sufferings of the Christians there ; and (3) that he was sent 
back with the Epistie that was to guide and comfort them. It is a 
probable conjecture that St Peter may have received from him copies of 
the Epistles of St Paul to which he refers in 2 Pet. iii. 15, 16. The 
Greek verb for "I have written," as being in the epistolary aorist, is 
rightly taken as referring to this Epistle, and not, as some commentators 
have thought, to a lost earlier one. The words *'by Silvanus" may 
imply that he was either the amanuensis, or the bearer of the letter, or 
possibly, that he united the two characters. 

as I suppose] The Greek verb (the same as in 1 Cor. iv. 1 ; 2 Cor. 
xi. 5) does not carry with it the slight touch of uncertainty which 
attaches to the common use of the English word. 

Peter & Jude 1 1 



i66 i. s¥:Pet|:&- v. [v. 13/ 

» » » • • • 

have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the 

13 true grace of God wherein ye stand. The church that is at 

Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you ; and so 

briefly] We may perhaps think of the Apostle as comparing the 
brevity of what he had written with the longer Epistles of St Paul, such 
as Romans and 1 and 2 Corinthians. 

testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand] The 
words have a special significance as connected with the mission of 
Silvanus. The great Apostle of the Circumcision, writing to the Churches 
that had been mainly planted and taught by the Apostle of the Gentiles, 
bears his full testimony that the "grace" by. which they * 'stand" is 
no counterfeit, but in very deed a reality. Now, as when he and John 
and James the brother of the Lord gave to Paul and Barnabas the 
right hand of fellowship (Gal. ii. 9), he recognkes "the grace of God" 
that had been given to them and through them. The attestation thus 
given of unbroken harmony stands, it need hardly be said, in singular 
contrast with the position of antagonism to St Paul and his teaching 
ascribed to St Peter in the Clementine Homilies and Recognitions ', which 
represent the later workings of the Judaizing party. See notes on 
* Peter iii. 15. 

13. The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you] The 
Greek MSS. (with the notable exception, however, of the Sinaitic), 
as the italics shew, have no noun corresponding to "church," and it 
is, at least, a question whether it ought to be inserted, and the same 
holds good of the pronoun "yoa. ,, On the one hand there is the 
consent of many of the early Fathers in favour of the insertion (see next 
note) and, perhaps, the improbability that a salutation would be sent to 
the Asiatic Churches from any individual convert in the Church of 
Babylon. On the other there is the fact (1) that there is no parallel 
use of the adjective without the noun in this sense in any other 
passage of the New Testament ; (2) that in 2 John 1, which presents 
the nearest parallel, it is almost certain that the "elect lady," or 
the "elect Kyria," or the "lady Eclecta " is a person and not a 
Church ; and (3) that if a salutation was sent from " Marcus my son " 
to the Churches of Asia, there is nothing surprising in a like salutation 
being sent from another individual disciple. If we adopt, as on the 
whole, in spite of the weight due to the Sinaitic MS., seems preferable, 
the latter view, the question who the person was remains open to 
conjecture. It may have been St Peter s wife who was, as we learn 
from 1 Cor. ix. 5, the companion of his labours, and in this case there 
would be a special appropriateness in her sending her greeting in an 
Epistle which had dwelt so fully on the duties of the female members 
df the Church (chap. iii. 1 — 6). It may have been some conspicuous 
member of the Church of Babylon otherwise unknown to us. The 
former view seems to have most in its favour. 

The further question, what place is meant by Babylon, remains for 
discussion, and here also we have to note a wide diversity of opinion. 
On the one hand, Papias, Bishop of Hierapolis, and Clement of Alex* 



v. I4-1 L ST PETER, V. c6i 

doth Marcus my soil. Greet ye one another with a kiss of x 4 

andria, as reported by Eusebius {Hist. n. 15), take the words figuratively, 
as interpreted by the symbolism of the Apocalypse (Rev. xiv. 8, 
xviii. 2, 10), for Rome, and this view has naturally been taken by most 
Romish commentators, who find in this passage a proof, otherwise 
wanting, as far as the New Testament is concerned, of St Peter's con- 
nexion with that Church. Against this it has been urged chiefly, as 
might be expected, by Protestant interpreters, that there would be some- 
thing unnatural in the use of a symbolic term belonging to an apo- 
calyptic vision in the simple words of a salutation, and that it was not 
likely to be intelligible to those who read the Epistle unless they had 
previously become acquainted with the book in which the symbolism' 
occurs. The order in which the names of the Asiatic provinces are' 
given in chap. i. 1, from East to West, is, though not decisive, yet as 
far as it goes in favour of the Epistle having been written from the 
Euphrates rather than the Tiber. There was from the days of the 
Captivity a large Jewish population residing in the new Babylon which 
had risen on or near the ruins of the old (Joseph. Ant, XV. 2, § 2), and' 
although there had been a massacre of many of these (Josephus, Ant. 
xviii. 9, gives the number as 50,000) in the reign of Claudius, and 
others had taken refuge first in Ctesiphon and afterwards in Neerda and 
Nisibis, there may well have been a remnant sufficiently numerous to 
call for St Peter's attention as the Apostle of the Circumcision. Another 
Babylon, it should be added, is named by Strabo (B. xvii.) as a military 
fortress in Egypt, which has been identified by some writers with the* 
modern Cairo, but there are no adequate grounds for assuming that this 
is the city which St Peter refers to. There is, indeed, no evidence, such 
as there is in regard to the Euphrates Babylon, that there was either a 
Jewish population or a Christian Church there. 

and so doth Marcus my son] It is natural, in the absence of any 
evidence to the contrary, to assume that the Marcus so named is identical 
with the "John whose surname was Mark,*' the son of the Mary to 
whose house St Peter went on his release from imprisonment (Acts xii. 
12), the cousin of Barnabas (Col. iv. 10), the companion of St Paul on 
his first missionary journey (Acts xiii. 5). On this assumption the term 
"son" might be used of him either as implying the spiritual parentage 
of conversion, or as the expression of an affection like that which St Paul 
cherished for Timotheus (1 Tim. i. 2) and Titus (Tit. i. 4), His presence 
with St Peter at Babylon when this letter was written, as compared with 
Col. iv. 10 and 2 Tim. iv. 11, indicates that having gone to Rome during 
St Paul's first imprisonment, he had then returned to Asia, and had 
made his way, probably with messages and copies of the later Pauline 
Epistles, to the Apostle of the Circumcision. When St Paul wrote 
shortly before his execution, he believed the disciple to be again in Asia. 
In the traditions of Ecclesiastical history he appears as the " interpreter" 
of St Peter, writing his Gospel to perpetuate the Apostle's oral teaching, 
and as the founder of the Church of Alexandria (Euseb. HisL ill. 39, 
Jerome De Vir. /I lust. c. 8). The view taken by some commentators 
that the Mark here mentioned was a "son" of the Apostle by natural 

II — 2 



162 I. ST PETER, V. [v. 14. 

charity. Peace fo with you all that are in Christ Jesus. 
Amen. 

parentage cannot, of course, be disproved, but it has absolutely nothing 
in its favour. 

14. Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity] Rather, a kiss of 
love. The tense of the Greek verb implies that it was to be done, not 
as a normal practice of the Church, but as a single act, probably when 
the Epistle had been read publicly, in token of the unity of feeling among 
all members of the Church. The practice would seem, from Rom. xvi. 
16; 1 Cor. xvi. 20; 2 Cor. xiii. 12, to have been common on such 
occasions in most of the Churches of the Apostolic age. The separation 
of the sexes when the Church met for worship, which was probably 
inherited from the Jewish synagogue, was a safeguard against the 
scandal which the practice might otherwise have occasioned. In the 
second or third century the "kiss of peace " became a stereotyped rubric 
in the Liturgies of the Church, the bishops and priests kissing each other 
on the cheek, and the laity following their example. Later on, in the 
thirteenth century, when the sexes were no longer separated, the practice 
was discontinued, but traces of it still survived in the use of the Oscula- 
torium, or kissing token, known as the Pax (sometimes a relic, some- 
times an ivory or metal tablet with sacred symbols cut on it), which was 
passed through the congregation, and kissed by each in turn. (Bingham, 
Eccl. Ant. xv. 3. Wetzer und Welte, Kirchen-Lexikon, Art. Friedens- 
hiss.) 

Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus] There is something, 
perhaps, significant in the fact that while the final benediction of the 
Apostle of the Gentiles is "Grace be with you all" (Rom. xvi. 24; 
1 Cor. xvi. 23 ; 2 Cor. xiii. 14 ; and in all his Epistles), that of the 
Apostle of the Circumcision is the old Hebrew " peace," as in Matt. x. 
13, in all the fulness of its meaning. 



THE SECOND EPISTLE GENERAL 

OP 

PETER. 

Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, 1 
to them that have obtained like precious faith with us 

1. Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of yesus Christ] The 
Greek MSS. for the most part give the less usual form Symeon, which, 
as applied to St Peter, only meets us elsewhere in Acts xv. 14. The 
variation may, it is obvious, be looked on from different points of view. 
On the one hand it maybe urged, as against the genuineness of the Epistle, 
that the same writer would not have been likely to have used two dif- 
ferent methods of describing himself, and to have spelt the name which 
he now uses, and which he had not used in the First Epistle, in a man- 
ner different from that which was current in the Gospels, or in the 
documents from which the Gospels were compiled. On the other hand, 
it may be urged that the writer of a spurious second letter, referring to 
the first, as in chap. iii. 1, would not have been likely to put a stumbling* 
block in the way of the reception of his work by adopting a different 
form of opening. The most probable supposition is that the change was 
due to the employment of another amanuensis. It would be natural that 
Silvanus or Mark, both of whom were with St Peter when the First Epistle 
was written, should use the more common form, while, if some member 
of the Church of Jerusalem had been employed for the Second Epistle, 
it would be equally natural for him to use the form which appears, 
from Luke ii. 25, Acts xv. 14, to have been current in that city. 
The name is found, it may be noted, in this form, in the list of St 
James's successors in the Bishopric of Jerusalem (Euseb. Hist. iv. 5). 
In the combination of "servant and "apostle," in place of "apostle" 
only, as in 1 Pet. i 1, we have a variation to which the remarks just 
made apply with equal force. A possible explanation, on the one hand, 
is that the writer of the Epistle (assuming its spuriousness) combined 
the forms of 1 Pet. i. 1 and Jude ver. 1. A more probable supposition 
is that the consciousness of addressing a wider circle of readers than 
those of the Diaspora, to whom the First Epistle had been addressed, 
led the Apostle, in his humility, to follow St Paul's example and to 
describe himself as "the servant" or slave of Christ for the sake of those 
to whom he wrote (Rom. i. t; Phil. i. 1 ; Tit. i. 1). 

io them that have obtained like precious faith with us] The Greek 



164 II. ST PETER, I. [v. 2. 

through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus 
a Christ : Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through 
the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord. 

adjective rendered "like precious" (literally, equally precious) is not 
found elsewhere in the New Testament. Its use may perhaps be con- 
nected with that of the word "precious" in 1 Pet. i. 7, 19. In speaking 
of " us " the Apostle may either be asserting the full equality of blessedness 
between the Jews of the Diaspora and those of the mother Church of 
Jerusalem and the personal disciples of the Lord Jesus, or (addressing his 
Epistle to a wider circle- than before, and therefore purposely altering 
the form of address) between the Gentile and the Jewish converts. They 
have, he says, "obtained" (the word carries with it the idea of obtaining 
by lot or by God's appointment as distinct from a man's own exertions, 
as in Luke i. 9, Acts i. 17) " a faith of equal worth with ours." We ask, 
In what sense is faith used? Is it objective, faith as the truth which is 
to be believed, as in Jude ver. 3? or subjective, the faith that justifies and 
saves? Either meaning is tenable, and probably the Apostle was not 
careful to distinguish between the two, but the latter commends itself as 
more in harmony with St Peter's language in Acts xv. 9, where ' 'faith," as 
given to the Gentiles, is clearly used in its subjective sense. 

through the righteousness of God and our Saviour yesus Christ} 
Literally, in the righteousness. Grammatically, as in Tit. i. 1, the 
word "God" as well as "Saviour" may be referred to Jesus Christ It 
is, however, more consonant with the Apostolic usus loquendi (1 Cor. 
i. 3; 2 Cor, i. 3; Gal. i. 3; Phil. i. 2 et al.) to Tefer "God," though 
the word "father" is not joined with it, to the First Person of the 
Godhead. The ?' righteousness of God..." may be either (1) that which 
God gives and which He gives through Christ, or (2) the righteous- 
ness which is an eternal attribute of the Godhead. On the former sup- 
position there would, to say the least, be something at Variance with the 
usual language of the New Testament writers in saying that men "ob- 
tain faith by righteousness," the usual statement being that "righteous- 
ness comes by faith." It seems better, therefore, to take the latter 
view, and to refer the words to the fact just stated. It was in and by the 
righteousness of God, the absence in Him of any "respect of persons," 
that Jew and Gentile had been placed on an equality. So taken the 
words present a suggestive parallel with Acts x. 34, xv. 8, 9. 

2. Grace and peace be multiplied unto you\ Here the writer falls into 
the phraseology of the First Epistle (see note on 1 Pet. i. 2), but adds to 
the simple benediction the words "through (better In) the knowledge 
of God and Jesus our Lord." The word for "knowledge" {epignosis) 
hovers between the meaning of "complete knowledge" and the recog- 
nition which implies love. It does not occur in the First Epistle. In 
St Paul's Epistles it meets us first in Rom. i. 28, iii. 20, and occurs more 
or less frequently in most of the subsequent Epistles. In 1 Cor. xiii. 8, 
12 the verb from which it is formed is contrasted with the less perfect 
knowledge expressed by gnosis. Looking to the history of the words, 
k would seem probable that in proportion as rash and self-asserting 



vv. 3, 4.] II. ST PETER, I. 165 

According as his divine power hath given unto us all 3 
things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the 
knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue : 
whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious 4 

teaching boasted of the higher gnosis, the "science, falsely so called," of 
1 Tim. vi. 20, which afterwards developed into the heresies of the 
Gnostic sect, the true teachers set up the other word as expressing 
something rlobler and more excellent. ' "Not gnosis ," they seem to say, 
"but epignosis, not an abstract speculative knowledge, but that which 
implies a fulness of contemplation, loving as well as knowing." St 
Peter's use of the word in this Epistle, obviously written after closer 
contact with false teachers of this kind than is traceable in the First, 
admits, probably, of this explanation. 

Jesus our Lord] The peculiar construction, as distinct from "Christ 
Jesus" and "the Lord Jesus," occurs elsewhere only in Rom. iv. 24. 

3. According as his divine power] Better, Seeing that.... The 
Greek word for "divine" is found elsewhere in the New Testament 
only in verse 4 and Acts xvii. 29. 

life and godliness] The words at first suggest the union of outward 
and spiritual blessings, the things needful for body and soul. The words 
that follow shew, however, that "life" must be taken in its higher sense, . 
as extending to the eternal life which "standeth" in the knowledge of 
God. The word for "godliness "is found elsewhere in the New Testa- 
ment only in this Epistle (i. 6. 7, iii. 11), and in Acts iii. 12, where it 
is used by St Peter, and in the Pastoral Epistles (1 Tim. ii. 2, iii. 16, 
iv. 7, 8, et al.), and like that for "knowledge" in ver. 2 is charac- 
teristic of the later period of the Apostolic age. In the LXX. of Prov. 
i. 7 a kindred word appears as an equivalent for "the fear of the Lord." 
Its strict meaning is that of "true reverence for God," and so far answers 
more to "religion" than to "godliness," the state of one who is "godly" 
or "like God." 

through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue] 
The word for "knowledge" is the same as in ver. 2, and fixes, as has 
been said, the meaning of "life" in the previous verse. In the last four 
words the English text mistranslates the preposition, and we have to read 
"by (or through) His own glory and virtue." Some MSS. give the 
simple dative of the instrument (Idiq, 56£fl), and others the preposition 
with the genitive (5*a 56|i;s). For the word "virtue" see note on 
1 Pet. ii. 9. Its recurrence three times in this Epistle (here and in 
verse 5) and so rarely elsewhere in the New Testament (Phil. iv. 8 only) 
is, so far as it goes, in favour of identity of authorship. Taking the true 
rendering, the thought expressed is that the attributes of God manifested 
by Him are the means by which He calls men to the knowledge of the 
truth. 

4. whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises] 
Better, the verb being the same as in the previous verse, through which 
(the glory and the virtue just mentioned) He hath given unto us. The 
nature oi the promises is indicated by the words that follow. They in* 



166 II. ST PETER, I. [w. 5, 6. 

promises : that by these you might be partakers of the 
divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the 

5 world through lust : and beside this, giving all diligence, 

6 add to your faith virtue ; and to virtue knowledge ; and to 

eluded pardon, peace, eternal life, participation in the Divine Nature. 
In the word "precious" we note a reproduction of the phraseology of 
the First Epistle (1 Pet. i. 7, 19), but it should be noted that the 
apparent parallelism with 1 Pet. ii. 7 is in the English only, and not in 
the Greek. 

that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature] The words 
seem bold, but they simply shew how deeply St Peter had entered into 
the meaning of more familiar phrases. If men were "partakers of 
Christ," brought by His own ordinance into communion and fellowship 
with Him (1 Cor. i. 9 ; 2 Cor. i. 7) and with the Father (John xiv. 
20 — 23, xvii. 21 — 23; 1 John i. 3) and with the Holy Ghost (2 Cor. 
xiii. 14), did not this involve their partaking in that Divine Nature 
which was common to the Three Persons of the Godhead ? Christ was 
one with them and with the Father, dwelling in them by the power of 
the Spirit. 

having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust] The 
• verb, which occurs again in chap. ii. 18, 20, is peculiar to this Epistle in 
the New Testament. The word for "corruption," though not peculiar, 
is yet characteristic (chap. ii. 12, 10). The "corruption has its seat 
outwardly, as contrasted with the Kingdom of God, in the world that 
lies in wickedness (1 John v. 19); inwardly in the element of desire 
("lust" in its widest sense), which makes men live to themselves and 
not to God. The moment of escape must be thought of as that of 
conversion, of which baptism was the outward sign. 

5. and beside this, giving all diligence] Better, on this very 
account. The Apostle does not contemplate the elements of Christian 
holiness which he proceeds to specify as additions to our participation 
in the Divine Nature, but rather dwells on that very fact, as a reason for 
pressing onward in the Christian life with all diligence (better, perhaps, 
earnestness). The use of the word in Jude ver. 3 should be noticed 
as a parallelism. The Greek for "giving" (literally bringing in by 
the side of) is an unusual word, not found elsewhere in the New 
Testament, and seems chosen to express the thought that men, though 
rejoicing in God's gifts, were yet to bring in collaterally, as it were, 
their own activity (comp. Phil. ii. 13). 

add to your faith virtue] The Greek word [epichorigein) is a com- 
pound form of that which had been used in 1 Pet. iv. 11 (see note, 
there as to its meaning and history) and furnishes an addition to the list 
of words common to the two Epistles. In the LXX. it occurs but once 
(Ecclus. xxv. 22), and it may be noted that this is the only passage 
(unless Gal. iii. 5 be another instance) where it is used of man's ac- 
tivity and not of God's. Thus taken, the more accurate rendering 
would be with and by your faith supply virtue, with virtue 
knowledge, and so on. The Greek cannot possibly bear the mean* 



w. 7, 8.] II. ST PETER, I. 167 

knowledge temperance ; and to temperance patience ; and 
to patience godliness ; and to godliness brotherly kindness ; 7 
and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in 8 
you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be 
barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus 

ing of "adding to," though the fact is of course implied. What is 
meant is that each element of the Christian life is to be as an instru- 
ment by which that which follows it is wrought out. 

knowledge] The word is the simpler gnosis, placed here in its right 
relation to the fuller epignosis (see note on ver.* 2), to which it leads. 
The context is decisive against our taking it in the sense of a specu- 
lative apprehension of doctrinal mysteries, and we must think of the 
Apostle as meaning the moral discernment of those who " understand 
what the will of t£e Lord is" (Eph. v. 17), who "have their senses 
exercised to distinguish between good and evil" (Heb. v. 14). This 
kind of knowledge is to be gained, as the Apostle teaches, by the 
practice of virtue. 

6. and to knowledge temperance] Better, as before, and by know- 
ledge temperance. The word for "temperance" has a wider range 
than the modern sense of the English term. "Self-government" or 
" self-control" would be better equivalents. In Ecclus. xviii. 30 we 
have, under the heading in the LxX. of "self-control of the soul" 
(tyicpdreia fvxv*)* what may almost be called a definition in the form 
of a precept, " Go not after thy lusts, but refrain thyself from thine 
appetites." The word is not common in the New Testament, but ap- 
pears in Acts xxiv. 25 ; Gal. v. 23. 

and to temperance patience] Better, endurance, the Greek noun 
expressing a more active phase of character than the English, bearing 
up against evils, and continuing steadfast under them. The cognate 
verb is translated "endure" in Matt. x. 22 and elsewhere. 

to patience godliness] See note on ver. 3 for the latter word. 

7. and to godliness brotherly kindness] Better, perhaps, love Of 
the brethren. See note on 1 Pet. i. 22. The recurrence of the words 
may be noted as evidence in favour of identity of authorship. 

and to brotherly kindness charity] Better, love. See note on 1 
Pet. iv. 8. It is to be regretted, as has been said before, that the 
varying usage of our translators hinders us from recognising at once 
the unity of the writers of the New Testament as to the greatness 
and majesty of "love." 

8. if these things be in you] The Greek verb expresses the idea 
of permanent property or possession, as in Matt. xix. 2 1 ; 1 Cor. xiii. 3. 
For "abound, better multiply, as expressing the activity of life' in 
each as reproducing itself in manifold acts. 

they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful] The 
words in italics are not necessary for the meaning and make the 
structure of the sentence awkward. Better, they make you neither 
Idle nor yet unfruitful. The word for "barren" is found in the 



168 II. ST PETER, I. [vv. 9, ia 

9 Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and can- 
not see far off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from 

10 his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence 
to make your calling and election sure : for if ye do these 

" idle" of Matt. xii. 36, xx. 3, and elsewhere. The English "barren " 
introduces a gratuitous tautology. 

in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ] Rather, unto or 
towards, the Greek preposition pointing to "the knowledge... " not 
as the region .in which their activity is to work, but as the goal to- 
which all that activity should be tending. The "knowledge" is 
the higher epignosis of ver. 3, and its position here, as the end and 
crown of the Christian hope, well illustrates its relation to the gnosis 
which belongs to an earlier and less perfect state. 

9. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see far 
off] More accurately, For he to whom these things are dot present 
Is blind, near-sighted. The causal conjunction is important in the 
sequence of thought. We are to press on from height to height of 
Christian excellence, for, if we do not so press, we sink back into a 
want of power to perceive even the elementary truths of the kingdom 
of God. The second of the two words describing this state is defined 
by Aristotle (Prodi. 31) as denoting the state of those who are naturally 
" short-sighted," and is thus adequately rendered in the English version. 
The man in this state in his spiritual power of vision sees the near 
things, the circumstances, allurements, provocations of his daily life, 
but he has lost the power to look to the far-off things of the life eternal. 
This seems, on the whole, a truer interpretation than that which, 
taking the definition of the word given by some Greek lexicographers 
as meaning "one who closes his eyes," sees in it a description of 
one whose blindness is self-caused, who wilfully closes the eyes of 
the spirit that he may not look upon the truth. The state of the 
blind man who saw "men, as trees, walking" (Mark viii. 24) offers 
a suggestive parallel. 

and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins] Literally, 
and hath taken to himself forgetfulnese (the noun is not found else- 
where in the New Testament) of the purification of his Bins of long 
ago. The spiritual fact described is like that of which St James speaks, 
and indicates a like train of thought (James i. 23, 24). The "puri- 
fication" is that of conversion symbolized and made effectual by 
baptism, and connects itself with the stress laid upon it in the words 
that belong to one great crisis of the Apostle's life (Acts x. 15, xi. 9, 
xv. 9). The man who forgets this cleansing of his soul, and acts as if 
he were in his simply natural state, with no power to resist tempta- 
tion, does in fact ignore what God has done for him, and treats "the 
sins of long ago" as though they were still the inevitable accompani- 
ments of the present. 

10. give diligence to make your calling and election sure] "We hardly 
need to prove that the "calling and election" of which St Peter speaks 
were thought of by him as Divine acts according to the Divine fore- 



w. ii — 13.] n. ST PETER, I. 169 

things, ye shall never fall : for so an entrance shall be minis- n 
itered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of 
our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ 

Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always is 
in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and 
be stablished in the present truth. Yea, I think it meet, as 13 

knowledge (1 Pet. i. 2, ii. 21). He was not hindered, however, by 
any speculative difficulties from admitting that it was in man's power 
to frustrate both (comp. * Cor. vL 1 ; GaL ii. 21), and that effort was 
required to give them permanent validity. They were, from his point 
of view, as the conditions of a covenant offered by God's mercy, but 
it remained with man to ratify or rescind the compact. 

ye shall never fall] More literally, and more significantly, ye shall 
never stumble, "stumbling" being, as in Rom. xi. n, a step short 
of falling. The use of the word may be noted as presenting a 
coincidence with the language of St James (Jas. ii. 10, iii. 2). 

11. for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly] 
Better, the entrance Ahull be richly bestowed or supplied. The verb 
is the same as that which is translated " add " in ver. 5, where see 
note. The Greek has the article, with the noun as defining the entrance 
to be that which was the well-known object of the faith and hope 
of all Christians. In St Peter's use of the word we may, perhaps, 
trace an echo of 1 Thess. i 9, ii 1, though it is used there in a lower 
sense. 

everlasting] The rule of keeping, as far as possible, to uniformity 
of rendering would make eternal preferable. It is, perhaps, worth 
noting that this is the only passage in the New Testament in which 
the adjective is joined to "kingdom." 

12. Wherefore J will not be negligent] Many of the better MSS. 
have the reading "I will proceed to put you in remembrance," but 
the Received Text is fairly supported. The words in either case indicate 
the anxiety with which the Apostle looked on the threatening dangers 
of the time. In the addition of " though ye know them " we trace a 
touch of humility and courtesy, like that of St Paul in Rom. i. 12. 
In assuming, previous knowledge, the Apostle finds, as the greatest 
of Greek orators had found before him (Demosth. p. 74. 7), the 
surest means of making that knowledge at once clearer and deeper. 

in the present truth] The translation, though quite literal, is for the 
English reader somewhat misleading, as suggesting the thought that the 
Apostle is speaking of some special truth, not of the truth as a whole. 
Better, therefore, In the truth which Is present with you. So taken 
the words furnish a suggestive parallel to 1 Pet. v. 11, as a recognition 
of the previous work of St Paul and his fellow-labourers in the Asiatic 
provinces. 

IS. Yea, I think it meet] More accurately, But I think It right. 
Though he knows them to be established in the truth, he yet looks on it 
as his duty to remind them of what they know. 



170 II. ST PETER, I. [w. 14, 15. 

long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting 
xi you in remembrance; knowing that shortly / must put off 

this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath 
*5 shewed me. Moreover I will endeavour that you may 

be able after my decease to have these things always in 

as long as lam in this tabernacle] The term chosen is interesting (i> 
as a parallel to St Paul's use of the same imagery in 2 Cor. v. 1, and (2) 
as connected with the reference to the Transfiguration which follows. In 
that vision on the mount, it will be remembered, St Peter had uttered 
the prayer "Let us make three tabernacles..." (Matt. xvii. 4). He had 
now learnt that the true tabernacle of Christ was His human body, and 
to think of his own body also as the tabernacle of His Spirit. 

to stir you up by putting you in remembrance] The phrase, which 
occurs again in chap. iii. 1, may be noticed as characteristic of St Peter. 
He assumes a knowledge not only of the broad outlines of Gospel truth, 
but of the facts of the Gospel history, including, it is obvious, the history 
of the Transfiguration, and corresponding therefore to the record found 
in the first three Gospels. 

14. knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle] Better, 
knowing that swift will be the putting off of my tabernacle. He 
speaks not so much of the nearness of his death, as of the suddenness with 
which it would come upon him, and he is therefore anxious to make all 
necessary preparations for it. In the word for "putting off" we have, 
as in a Cor. v. 1 — 3, a blending of the two closely connected ideas of a 
tent and a garment. Comp. a like association of ideas in Ps. civ. 2. 

even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me] Better, shewed me, 
the aorist pointing to some time definitely present to his mind. The 
only extant record of any such intimation in the Gospels is that in 
John xxi. 18, 19, and, assuming the genuineness of this Epistle, it is 
obvious that it supplies an interesting testimony to the truth of that 
narrative. It will be remembered that we have already seen an 
interesting allusive reference to it in 1 Pet. v. 1. Even on the other 
hypothesis it is, at least, evidence of the early date of a tradition cor- 
responding to that which St John has recorded. 

15. Moreover I will endeavour that you may be able after my decease. . .] 
The word "endeavour" in the modern sense is perhaps slightly too 
weak, the Greek verb implying diligent and earnest effort. In the 
Greek word for "decease (exodos), we meet with another suggestive 
coincidence with the history of the Transfiguration. When the Apostle 
had seen the forms of Moses and Elijah, they had spoken of the 
"decease" which Christ should accomplish at Jerusalem (Luke ix. 31). 
It may be noted that this use of the word, as an euphemistic synonym 
for "death," is entirely absent from Greek classical writers, and that 
probably the two passages referred to are the earliest instances of its use 
in that sense. It occurs, however, a little later in Josephus {Ant. iv. 8, § 2) 
and in Wisd. iii. 1 ("Their departure was taken for misery"), probably 
the work of a contemporary. In the intention thus expressed we may 
fairly see a confirmation of the tradition which speaks of St Mark's 



v. 1 6.] II. ST PETER, I. 171 

remembrance. For we have not followed cunningly devised 16 
fables, when we made known unto you the power and 
coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of 

acting as the "interpreter" or amanuensis of St Peter,* in writing his 
Gospel, recording, at the request of the Apostle's disciples, what they had 
heard orally from him. (Euseb. Hist. 11. 15, in. 39, Iren. Hi. 10, § 6.) 

Another interpretation of the words may be noticed as deserving a 
place among the curiosities of exegesis. Roman Catholic commentators, 
Cornelius a Lapide and others, have connected the words "after my 
decease" with the verb "I will endeavour," and have thus construed 
the Apostle's words into an argument for his continued watchfulness 
and superintendence over the development of the Church's doctrine. 

16. For we have not followed cunningly devised fables ', when we made 
known unto you...] More accurately, For it was not as following 
cunningly devised fables that we made known— the connexion being 
one not of time but of causation. The "fables" or "myths" referred 
to are probably those of which St Paul speaks in the Pastoral Epistles 
(1 Tim. i. 4, iv. 7; 2 Tim. iv. 4; Tit. i. 14), which were, as the descrip- 
tion there given of them indicates, mainly of Jewish origin. With these 
there might be mingled the germs of the Gnosticism incipient in the 
Apostolic age, and developed more fully in the next century. Possibly 
there may be an allusive reference to the claims of the sorcerer of Sa- 
maria, with whom the Apostle had himcelf come into collision (Acts 
viii. 10). The boast of Simon that he was the "great power of God," 
and that his mistress Helena was the incarnation of the Divine Thought or 
Wisdom by which the worlds were made, would answer, closely enough, 
to the " cunningly devised fables" of which St Peter speaks. The word 
for "cunningly devised," framed, i.e., with fraudulent and sophistical 
purpose, is not found elsewhere in the New Testament. The question 
what the Apostle refers to in "we made known to you :" it may refer 
either to unrecorded teaching addressed to the Asiatic Churches, or to 
the wider circle of readers defined in verse 1, or, more probably, to the 
teaching of the First Epistle as to the glory that was to be manifested 
"at the appearing of Jesus Christ" (r Peter i. 7, 13, iv. 13). The tone 
in which the offensive epithet is used suggests the thought that he is 
defending himself against a charge of having followed "fables." Is it 
possible that that charge had been brought against his teaching as to 
" the spirits in prison, as something superadded to the received oral 
traditions of the Church, or to the written records, whether identical 
with our present Gospels or not, in which that teaching had been em- 
bodied? 

the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ] The "coming," 
here, as in every other passage of the New Testament in which the word 
occurs, is the Second Advent, not the first. The mind of the Apostle 
goes back to what he had witnessed in the glory of the Transfiguration, 
as the pledge and earnest of that which was afterwards to be revealed. 
The word does not occur in the First Epistle, but the fact is implied in 
1 Pet i. 7, 13, iv. 13, v. 4. 



172 II. ST PETER, T. (V. 17: 

%7 his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour 
and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the 
excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well 

but were eyewitnesses of Ms majesty] Both words are significant. That 
for " eye-witnesses" (not found elsewhere in the New Testament, but 
used of God as the all-seeing, in 2 Mace vii. 35 ; 3 Mace. ii. 2 1 ) was 
applied in Classical Greek to the highest order of those who were 
initiated as spectators of the Eleusinian mysteries. It would, perhaps, 
be too much to say that that association was definitely present to the 
Apostle's mind, but the choice of an unusual and suggestive word at 
least implies that he looked on himself as having been chosen to a 
special privilege. It deserves notice also, as bearing on the authorship 
of the Epistle, that the verb derived from the noun had been used by 
the writer of 1 Pet. ii. 12, iii. 2. (See notes there.) The word for 
"majesty" also has the interest of having been used in the Gospel nar- 
rative in close connexion with the healing of the demoniac boy which 
followed the Transfiguration (Luke ix. 43), and, as found there, may fairjy 
be taken as including, as far as the three disciples who had seen the 
vision of glory were concerned, what had preceded that work of healing, 
as well as the work itself. The only other passage in the New Testa- 
ment in which it is found is in Acts xix. 27, where it is used of the 
44 magnificence " of the Ephesian Artemis. 

17. For he received from jGod the Father honour and glory] The 
Greek construction is participial, For having received..., the structure of 
the sentence being interrupted by the parenthetical clause which follows, 
and not resumed. The English version may be admitted, though it 
conceals this fact, as a fair solution of the difficulty. 4t Honour and 
glory." The two words are naturally joined together as in Rom. ii. 7, 
10; 1 Tim. i. 17; Heb. ii. 7, 9; Rev. iv. 9, 11, v. 12. If we are to 
press the distinctive force of each, the ** honour" may be thought of as 
referring to the attesting voice at the Transfiguration, the * 4 glory " to the 
light which enveloped the person of the Christ, like the Shechinah cloud 
of 1 Kings viii. 10, 11; Isai. vi. 1, 4} Matt. xvii. 1 — 5; Mark ix. 2 — 7; 
Luke ix. 28 — 36. 

when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory] Literally, 
when such a voice as this was borne to Hint. The choice of the verb 
instead of the more usual word for "came," connects itself with the use 
of the same verb in St Luke's account of the Pentecostal gift (Acts ii. 2), 
and the Apostle's own use of it in verse 2 c in connexion with the gift of 
prophecy. The word for * 4 excellent " (more literally, magnificent, or 
majestic, as describing the transcendent brightness of the Shechinah- 
cloud), not found elsewhere in the New Testament, is, perhaps, an echo 
from the" LXX. of Deut. xxxiii. 26, where God is described as "the 
excellent (or majestic) One of the firmament. " The corresponding noun 
appears in the LXX. of Ps. xxi. 5, where the English version has 
44 majesty." The Greek preposition has the force of 44 by " rather than 
44 from " the glory, the person of the Father being identified with the 
Glory which was the token of His presence. 



w. iS, 19.] II. ST PETER, I. 173' 

pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, 18 
when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also i 9 
a more sure word of prophecy ; whereunto ye do well that 

This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased] The words are 
given, with one slight variation not perceptible in the English, as we find 
them in Matt. xvii. 5. It is obvious, assuming the genuineness of the 
Epistle, that we have here a testimony of great value to the truth of the 
Gospel records. As there is no reference to any written record of the 
words, and, we may add, as St Peter omits the words "Hear ye Him,' r 
which St Matthew adds, the testimony has distinctly the character of 
independence. Had the Epistle been the spurious work of a pseudony- 
mous writer, it is at least probable that they would have been given in 
the precise form in which they are found in one or other of the Gospels. 
St Mark and St Luke, it may be noted, omit the words "in whom I am 
well pleased." The tense used in the Greek of these words is past, and 
not present, implying that the "delight" with which the Father con- 
templated the Son had been from eternity. The whole passage has a 
special interest, as pointing to the place which the Transfiguration 
occupied in the spiritual education of the three disciples who witnessed 
it. The Apostle looked back upon it, in his old age, as having stamped 
on his mind ineffaceably the conviction that the glory on which he had 
then looked was the pledge and earnest of that hereafter to be re- 
vealed. Comp. the probable reference to the same event in John i. 14. 

18. And this voice which came from heaven we heard.. .] More 
accurately, as better expressing the force of the special word used here 
as in the previous verse, And this voice borne from heaven we heard — 
The " we is emphatic, as giving prominence to the fact of the personal 
testimony of the Apostle arid his two brother-disciples. 

when we were with him in the holy mount] It has been urged by some 
critics that the description of the Mount of the Transfiguration by the 
term which in Old Testament language was commonly applied to Zion 
(Ps. ii. 6) indicates the phraseology of a later age than that of the 
Apostles. It is obvious, however, in answer, that the scene of the manifes- 
tation of the Divine glory of which he speaks could not appear as other than- 
"holy ground" — holy as Horeb had been of old (Exod. iii. 5; Acts 
vu » 33) — to the Apostle who had been there. Comp. Josh. v. 15. 
Whether, as the Gospel narrative indicates, it was on the heights of 
Hermon (Matt. xvi. 13), or, as later tradition reported, on Mount Tabor, 
it would remain for ever as a consecrated spot in the Apostle's memory. 
It may, perhaps, be inferred from the tone in which he thus speaks of it, 
that he assumes that his readers had already some knowledge of the fact 
referred to. 

19. We have also a more sure word of prophecy] Better, And we 
have yet more steadfast the prophetic word. The force of the com- 
parative must have its full significance. The "prophetic word" was for 
the Apostle, taught as he had been in his Masters school of prophetic 
interpretation, and himself possessing the prophetic gift, a witness of yet 
greater force than the voice from heaven and the glory of which he had 



174 N. ST PETER, I. [v. 19. 

ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, 
until the day dawn, and die day star arise in your hearts : 

been an eye-witness. He uses the term in its widest sense, embracing 
the written prophecies of the Old Testament and the spoken or written 
prophecies of the New. It is a suggestive fact that the Second Epistle 
ascribed (though probably wrongly) to Clement of Rome, contains what 
is given as a quotation from "the prophetic word" (chap, xi.), and that 
that quotation presents a striking parallel to the language of St James on 
the one hand, and to that of this Epistle on the other. "If we are not 
servants to the Gospel of God because we believe not the promise, 
wretched are we. For the prophetic word saith, Wretched are the 
double-minded, those who doubt in their heart (James i. 8) ; who say, 
All these things we heard in the days of our fathers, but we, waiting day 
by day, have seen none of these things" (2 Pet. iii. 4). Was the Apostle 
referring to a "prophetic word" such as this, which was then actually ex- 
tant, and was to him and others as the sheet-anchor of their faith? The 
words quoted by the pseudo-Clement prove the existence of such a docu- 
ment, as held in high authority, and, though the book itself is lost, there 
is nothing improbable in the thought that the Apostle should refer to it, 
and the continuous guidance of the Spirit of which it was the token, as 
confirming all his previous belief, and assuring him that he had not 
followed cunningly-devised fables nor been the victim of an illusion. In 
any case we must think of him as referring to the continuous exercise of 
the prophetic gift, the power to speak words which came to the souls of 
men as a message from God, which had been given to himself and others. 
We can scarcely fail to note the identity of thought with that expressed 
in the Apostle's speech in Acts ii. 16 — 21. 

whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a 
dark place] Better, as to a torch saining in a gloomy place. It may be ' 
noted (1) that the " torch shining" is precisely the term applied by our 
Lord ("the burning and the shining light" John v. 35) to John the 
Baptist as the last in the long line of the prophets of the older covenant ; 
and (2) that the Greek word for "dark" or "gloomy" (not found else- 
where in the New Testament) is applied strictly to the squalor and 
gloom of a dungeon. Interpreting the word, we find in the "gloomy 
place" the world in which the lot of the disciples was as yet cast. For 
them the "prophetic word," written or spoken, was as a torch casting its 
beams athwart the murky air, preparing the way for a radiance yet 
brighter than its own. 

until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts] The 
imagery reminds us of that of Rom. xiii. 12 ("the night is far spent, the 
day is at hand"), but with a very marked and manifest difference. In 
St Paul's thoughts the "day" is identical with the coming of the Lord, 
as an objective fact; the close of the world's "night" of ignorance and 
darkness. Here the addition of the words "and the day star arise in 
your hearts" fixes its meaning as, in some sense, subjective. The 
words point accordingly to a direct manifestation of Christ to the soul of 
the believer as being higher than the "prophetic word," as that, in its 



w.2t>, 21.] II. ST PETER, I. 175 

knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of 20 
any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in *» 

turn, had been higher than the attestation of the visible glory and the voice 
from heaven. So understood, the passage presents an interesting 
parallelism with the "marvellous light'* of 1 Pet. ii. 9, as also with the 
"day-spring from on high" of Luke i. 78. The word for "day star," 
the morning star (literally, Lucifer, the light-bearer), the star that pre- 
cedes and accompanies the rising of the sun, is not found elsewhere in 
the New Testament or in the LXX., but it is identical in meaning with 
the "bright and morning star" of Rev. ii. 28, xxii. 16, and the use of 
the same image by the two Apostles indicates that it had come to be 
recognised as a symbolic name of the Lord Jesus as manifested to the 
souls of His people. 

20. knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any 
private interpretation] The true meaning of the passage turns partly on 
the actual significance of the last word, partly on the sequence of thought 
as connected with the foregoing. The noun itself does not occur else- 
where in the New Testament nor in the LXX. , but in Aquila's version 
of Gen. xi. 8 it is given as the equivalent of "interpretation." The 
corresponding verb meets us, however, in Mark iv. 34 ("he explained 
all things to his disciples") and in Acts xix. 39 ("it shall be determined"), 
and this leaves no doubt that "interpretation" or "solution" is the right 
rendering. Nor again is there much room for doubt as to the meaning 
of "prophecy of scripture." The words can only point to a " prophetic 
word" embodied in a writing and recognised as Scripture. We have 
seen, however (see note on 1 Pet. i. 10 — 11), that the gift of prophecy 
was thought of as belonging to the present as fully as to the past, 
and chap. iii. 16, 1 Tim. v. 18, and possibly Rom. xvi. 26 and 1 Cor. 
xv. 3, 4, shew that the word Scripture had come to have a wider range 
of meaning than that which limited its use to the Old Testament 
writings, and may therefore be taken here in its most comprehensive sense. 
Stress must also be laid on the Greek verb rendered "is," which might 
better be translated coxneth, or cometh into being. With these data 
the true explanation of the passage is not far to seek. The Apostle 
calls on men to give heed to the prophetic word on the ground that no 
prophecy, authenticated as such by being recognised as part of Scripture, 
whether that Scripture belongs to the Old, or the New Covenant, 
comes by the prophet's own interpretation of the facts with which he has 
to deal, whether those facts concern the outer history of the world, or 
the unfolding of the eternal truths of God's Kingdom. It is borne to him, 
as he proceeds to shew in the next verse, from a higher source, from 
that which is, in the truest sense of the word, an inspiration. The views 
held by some commentators, (1) that St Peter is protesting against the 
application of private judgment to the interpretation of prophecy, and 
(3) that he is contending that no single prophecy can be interpreted 
apart from the whole body of prophetic teaching contained in Scripture, 
are, it is believed, less satisfactory explanations of the Apostle's mean- 
ing. 

Peter & Judc 1 2 



175 II. ST PETER, I. II. [w. 21 ; I. 

old time by the will of man : bat holy men of God spake as 
they were moved by the Holy Ghost 
2 But there were false prophets also among the people, 

2L For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man] More 
accurately, Tor prophecy was not sent (or borne) at any time toy 
the will of man. The article before "prophecy ** in the Greek simply 
gives to the noon the generic sense which is better expressed in English 
by the akwy* of the article. The word for "came" is the same 
as that used of the "voice" in verses 17, 18, and is, as there shewn, 
characteristic of St Peter. That for "old time" is wider in its range 
than the Fi»gK*h words, and takes in the more recent as well as the 
more distant past, and is therefore applicable to the prophecies of 
the Christian no less than to those of the Jewish Church. In the 
phrase "by the will of men " we have a parallelism with John i. 13. 

but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost] 
Better, but being borne on (the same word as the "came" of the 
previous verse, and therefore used with an emphasis which cannot well 
be reproduced in English) by the Holy catost, men spake from God. 
Some of the better MSS. have the preposition "from" instead of the 
adjective " holy." The words assert in the fullest sense the inspiration 
of all true prophets. Their work did not originate in their own will. 
They felt impelled by a Spirit mightier than their own. The mode and 
degree of inspiration and its relation to the prophet's cooperating will 
and previous habits of thought are left undefined. Hie words lend no 
support to a theory of an inspiration dictating the very syllables uttered 
by the prophet, still less do they affirm anything as to the nature of the 
inspiration of the writers of the books of the Old Testament who were 
not prophets. If we retain the Received Text, we have in it an example 
of the use of the term " man of God " (L e. called and sent by Him) as 
equivalent to " prophet," parallel to what we find in Deut. xxxiii. 1 ; 
2 Kings iv. 9, 16, v. 8, and probably in 1 Tim. vi. 11. 

CHAPTER II. 

1. But there were false prophets also among the people] The section 
of the Epistle which now opens contains so many parallelisms with 
the Epistle of St Jude that we can scarcely avoid the conclusion that 
one was derived from the other, or both from a common source. For 
a discussion of the questions which thus present themselves see Intro- 
duction. As regards the meaning of the words it is again an open 
question whether the Apostle refers to the remoter past of the history 
of Israel, to the false prophets of the days of Ahab (1 Kings xxii. 
12), or Isaiah (ix. 15, xxviii. 7), or Jeremiah (Jer. xiv. 14, xxvii. 10), 
or Ezekiel (Ezek. xiii. 3), or Zechariah (Zech. xiii. 4), or to those 
who in his own time had deceived the "people " (the distinctive term 
for " Israel ") in Jerusalem. The warnings against false prophets in our 
Lord's discourses (Matt vii. a*, xxiv. 24), and the like warnings in 1 John 
iv. 1, make it probable that he had chiefly the latter class in view. 
In the Greek compound noun {psatdo-didaskaloi) for "false teachers" 



v. i.] II. ST PETER, II. 177 

even as there shall be false teachers among you, who pri- 
vily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the 
Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift 

we have another word peculiar to St Peter. The word was, perhaps, 
chosen as including in its range not only those who came with a 
direct claim to prophetic inspiration, but all who without authority 
should appear as teachers of a doctrine that was not true, and, as 
such, it would include the Judaizing teachers on the one side, the 
Gnosticizing teachers on the other. Comp. the distinction between 
"prophets and "teachers " in Eph. iv. 11 ; 1 Cor. xii. 29. 

who privily shall bring in] The verb is that from which was formed 
the adjective which St Paul uses for the "false brethren unawares 
brought in" (Gal. ii. 4). Are we justified in thinking that St Peter 
speaks of the same class of Judaizing teachers, or that he uses the 
word as indicating that it was applicable to others also, who were, it 
might be, at the opposite extreme of error ? 

damnable heresies] Literally, heresies of destruction. The word 
"heresy,** literally, "the choice of a party," was used by later Greek 
writers for a philosophic sect or school like that of the Stoics or 
Epicureans, and hence, as in Acts v. 17, xv. 5, xxiv. 5, xxvi. 5, 
xxviii. 22; 1 Cor. xi. 19, for a "sect" or "party" in the Church, 
and thence, again, for the principles characterizing such a sect, and 
so it passed to the ecclesiastical sense of "heresy." The English 
adjective "damnable" hardly expresses the force of the Greek genitive, 
which indicates that the leading characteristic of the heresies of which 
the Apostle speaks was that they led men to "destruction" or "per- 
dition." Comp. the use of the same word in 1 Tim. vi. 9. It may 
be noted that it is a word specially characteristic of this Epistle, in 
which it occurs six times ; twice here, and in verses 2 and 3, and chap, 
iii. 7, 16. 

even denying the Lord that bought them] The word for Lord 
{despotes), literally, a master as contrasted with a slave (1 Tim. vi. 1, 2), 
is used of Christ here, in the hymn, which we may fairly connect with 
St Peter, in Acts iv. 24, in Rev. vi. 10, and, in conjunction with the 
more common word for Lord (HTyrios), in Jude ver. 4. Here the choice 
of the word was probably determined by the connexion with the idea 
of "buying," as a master buys a slave. The use of that word 
presents a parallelism with the thought of 1 Pet i. 18, and here, as 
there, we have to think of the " precious blood of Christ " as the price 
that had been paid. No words could better assert the truth that the 
redemption so wrought was universal in its range than these. The 
sin of the teachers of these "heresies of perdition" was that they 
would not accept the position of redeemed creatures which of right 
belonged to them. The "denial" referred to may refer either to 
a formal rejection of Christ as the Son of God, like that of 1 John 
ii. 22, 23, or to the practical denial of base and ungodly lives. The 
former is, perhaps, more prominently in view, but both are probably 
included. We cannot read the words without recollecting that the 

12 — 2 



178 II. ST PETER, II. [w. 2, 3. 

3 destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways ; 
by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 

3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words 
make merchandise of you : whose judgment now of a long 
time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. 



writer had himself, in one memorable instance, denied his Lord (Matt, 
xxvi. 69 — 75). In his case, however, the denial came from a passing 
cowardice and was followed by an immediate repentance. That which 
he here condemns was more persistent and malignant in its nature, 
and was as yet unrepented of. 

bring upon themselves swift destruction] The adjective, which is 
peculiar to St Peter in the New Testament (here and in chap. i. 14), 
implies the swift unlooked-for manner of the destruction that was to 
be the end of the false teachers rather than the nearness of its approach. 
The Apostle seems to contemplate either some sudden " visitation 
of God," or possibly some quick exposure of their falsehood and 
baseness before men, ending in their utter confusion. 

2. And many shall follow their pernicious ways] Better, their 
lasdvlousnesses. The word is the same as in Mark vii. 22, Rom. xiii. 
13, 1 Pet. iv. 3, and elsewhere; and the English version loses the dis- 
tinctive character of the sectarian teaching and conduct (analogous to 
what is noted in Jude, verses 4, 8, Rev. ii. 20) which called down the 
Apostle's condemnation. The needless variation in the rendering of the 
PLnglish version hinders the reader from perceiving the identity with St 
Jude's condemnation of those who " turn the grace of God into lasci- 
ziottsness." 

the way of truth shall be evil spoken of] Better, reviled or blas- 
phemed. Comp, Rom. ii. 94. In the use of the term "the way 
of truth" we have an interesting parallel with the frequent occurrence 
of that word in the Acts (xviii. 26, xix. 9, 23, xxii. 4, xxiv. 22), as 
equivalent to what we should call, in modern phrase, the "system" 
or the "religion" of Christ The scandals caused by the impurities 
of the false teachers brought discredit upon the whole system with 
which, in the judgment of the outside world, they were identified. 

3. through covetousness shall they with feigned words make mer- 
chandise of you] Better, In or with covetousness. The adjective for 
"feigned is not found elsewhere in the New Testament. This greed 
of gain, found in strange union with high-flown claims to a higher 
knowledge and holiness than that of others, seems to have been one 
of the chief features of the heresies of the Apostolic age. Comp. 
1 Tim. vi 5; Tit i. 11. If they made proselytes it was only that 
they might get profit out of them. 

whose judgtnent now of a longtime lingereth not] Better, for whom 
Judgment for a lone time ldleth not. 

damnation] Better, destruction, as keeping up the continuity of 
thought with the preceding verses. The thought involves a naif- 
personification of the two nouns. "Judgment" does not loiter on its 



w. 4, 5.] II. ST PETER, II. 17* 

For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them 4 
down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, 
to be reserved unto judgment ; and spared not the old 5 
world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of 

way; "destruction" d>oes not nod drowsily, like the foolish virgins of 
Matt. xxv. 5. Both are eager, watchful, waiting for the appointed hour. 

4. For if God spared not the angels that sinned] Better, spared not 
angels, there being no article in the Greek. Here the nature of the 
sin is not specified. We may think either of a rebellion of angels 
headed by Satan, such as Milton has represented in Paradise Lost, 
or of the degradation of their spiritual nature by sensual lust, as in 
Gen. vi. 2. Looking to the more definite language of Jude, verses 
6 — 8, where the guilt of the angels is placed on a level with that of 
Sodom, it seems probable that the Apostle had the latter in his 
thoughts. 

but cast them down to heU] Literally, cast them into Tartarus. 
The use of a word so closely bound up -with the associations of Greek 
mythology is a phenomenon absolutely unique in the New Testament. 
A compound form of the same word had been used of Zeus as in- 
flicting punishment on Cronos and the rebel Titans. (Apollodorus, 
Bibl. 1. 1.) Here it is used of the Almighty as punishing rebellious 
angels. 

delivered them into chains of darkness] The MSS. present two readings, 
one giving a word which literally means a "rope, as in the LXX. of 
Prov. v. 22, and may, therefore, rightly be rendered "cords," "bonds," 
or "chains," so agreeing with the thought of Wisd. xvii. 17 ("they 
were bound with a chain of darkness") and Jude, verse 6, and the other 
a noun which has probably the meaning of "dens" or "caves." The 
latter is the best supported, having A, B, C and N in its favour. The 
two words differ but by a single letter, (1) eetpcus, and (2) <retpots, and as 
(2) was the less familiar of the two and (1) agreed better with the 
"everlasting chains" (or "bonds") of Jude verse 6, the change was a 
natural one for transcribers to make. 

to be reserved unto judgtnent] Literally, being reserved. The judg- 
ment in Jude, verse 6, is defined as that of the "great day." Here it is 
left undefined, but it is natural to refer it to the same great day of doom. 
As far as the text goes, it indicates a difference of some kind between 
the angels who are thus imprisoned, and the "demons" who torment 
and harass men on earth, but it would be hazardous to dogmatise with 
undue definiteness, on the strength of this passing allusion, as to the con* 
dition of these inhabitants of the unseen world. 

5. and spared not the old world...] The a fortiori argument is con- 
tinued, and enters on the series of typical examples of judgments which 
St Peter had heard from our Lords lips in Luke xvii. 26—29. * n 
regard to this instance we note the parallelism with 1 Pet. iii. 20, ex- 
tending even to the stress laid on the number of those who were rescued 
from the destruction — " Noah, the eighth person," is, according to a 
common idiom, equivalent to "Noah and seven others." The nouns in 



/ 



i8o II. ST PETER, II. [vv. 6—9. 

righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the 

6 ungodly ; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha 
into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making 
them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; 

7 and delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of 
s the wicked : (for that righteous man dwelling among them, 

in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day 

9 to day with their unlawful deeds ;) the Lord knoweth how 

to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the 

the clause that follows are remarkable as being all without the article in 
the Greek. 

bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly] The description 
of Noah as " a preacher of righteousness" has no verbal counterpart in 
the language of the Old Testament, but it is obviously implied in the 
substance of the narrative. 

6. and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes...] The 
parallelism with Luke xvii. 26 — 29 continues and here runs on side by 
side with Jude (verse 7), who omits, however, any reference to the 
deluge, and does not dwell on the deliverance of Lot. 

making them an ensample...] St Peter does not see in the supernatural 
destruction of the cities of the plain an exception to the normal order of 
the Divine government. It was rather a pattern instance of the judg- 
ment sure to fall, sooner or later, on all who were guilty of like sins. 
It may be noted that that destruction had been used as an illustration 
by the older prophets (Isai. i. 9, 10 ; Ezek. xvi. 48—56) as well as by 
our Lord. 

7. vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked] More accurately, 
vexed with the mode of life (or conduct) of the lawless ones in 
lasdviouanesa. On "conversation" see notes on r Pet. i. 15, and on 
" lasciviousness " note on verse 2. 

8. for that righteous man...] Literally, the righteous man. We 
note the use of the term in this half-generic, half-individual, way as 
analogous to that of James v. 6. 

vexed his righteous soul] Literally, tortured, as in Mark v. 7, vi. 48. 
It would have seemed scarcely necessary to point out that the words 
refer to the pain suffered by a man of sensitive moral nature at the sight 
and report of flagrant evil (comp. Ezekiel's language (ix. 4) as to those 
"that sigh and that cry" for the abominations done in Jerusalem) had 
not some patristic interpreters of authority (Theophylact and (Ecumenius) 
seen in them a description of the self-inflicted ascetic discipline by which 
Lot maintained his purity. It may be noted that the "seeing" is 
peculiar to St Peter. 

9. the godly... the unjust] Both adjectives are in the Greek without 
the article. 

out of temptations] The word includes the trial of conflict with evU, 
as well as its alluring side. See note on 1 Pet. i. 6. 



w.io, II.] II. ST PETER, II. 181 

unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished : but chiefly *<> 
them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, 
and despise government Presumptuous are they y self- 
willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. 
Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, « 

to be punished] Literally, under punishment. The participle is in 
the present tense, and has no future or gerundial force. The ungodly 
are represented as being already under a penal process of some kind. 
If we take the Greek word for " punished " in the sense in which it was 
received by the Greek ethical writers (Aristotle, Rhet. I. 10), who 
distinguish between koiasis, as punishment inflicted for the good of the 
sufferer, and timdria as inflicted for the satisfaction of justice, the word 
chosen by St Peter at least admits the idea of the punishment being 
corrective. In the only other passage in which the word occurs 
(Acts iv. 21) the verb implies a penalty inflicted in order to bring about 
a desired result Looking to the fact that the words obviously refer to 
the case of Noah as well as that of Lot, we may find in them* a point of 
contact with i Pet. iii. 19, iv. 6. Those who are here said to be under 
punishment are the same as the "spirits in prison," who were " judged " 
in order that they might " live." 

10. but chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness] 
Literally, in the lust of defilement, the genitive being either that of a 
characterising attribute, or implying that those of whom the writer 
speaks had fallen to a depth of baseness in which they seemed to desire 
impurity for its own sake, apart even from the mere pleasure of in- 
dulged appetite. (Comp. Rom. i. 28.) In the parallel passage of 
Jude, verse 7, we have the addition "going after strange flesh." The 
Apostle seems to have in view the darker forms of impurity which were 
common throughout the Roman Empire (Rom. i. 24 — 28). St Paul 
uses the cognate verb in Tit. i. 15. 

and despise government] More literally, lordship, or, perhaps better, 
dominion. In Eph. i. 21, CoL i. 16 the word seems used of angelic 
authorities. Here apparently, as in Jude verse 8, the abstract noun is 
used as including all forms of authority, just as St Paul uses "power" in 
Rom. xiii. 1, 2. 

Presumptuous are they]- Better, Daring, or perhaps, Barer*. 

they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities] Better, they do not 
tremble as they blaspheme (or revile) glories. The last word may be 
used like " principalities" and "powers," as including all forms of the 
dignity that gives glory, but the context seems to shew that it also is 
used with special reference to angels. This passage, with the parallel 
in Jude, verses 8, 9, suggests the inference that the undue "worshipping 
of angels " in the Judaizing Gnosticism which had developed out of the 
teaching of the Essenes (CoL ii. 18) had been met by its more extreme 
opponents with coarse and railing mockery as to all angels whether good 
or evil, and that the Apostle felt it necessary to rebuke this licence of 
speech as well as that which paid no respect to human authority. 

11. Whereas angels, which are greater in power,,.] Some of. the 



\Zi II. ST PETER, II. [w. 12, 13 

bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. 
1? But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and 

destroyed, speak evil oithe things that they understand not; 
as and shall utterly perish in their own corruption ; and shall 

receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it 

MSS. omit the words "before the Lord." The words as they stand 
here leave it uncertain of what instance the Apostle speaks, but it is 
probable that he refers to the tradition mentioned by St Jude (see notes 
on Jude 9), or possibly to the words spoken by the Angel of the Lord 
to Satan as the accuser of Joshua the son of Josedech in Zech. iii. 1, 
In the "railing" accusation, we have a distinct reference to the "re- 
viling" or "speaking evil" of the previous verse. The Vulgate ren- 
dering "non portant adversus se execrabile judicium" is probably meant 
to convey the sense "against each other," but it has been strangely 
interpreted by Lyra and other Roman Catholic commentators as- mean- 
ing that as "evil angels cannot endure the accursed doom that falls on 
them from the Lord," how much less will ungodly men be able to endure 
it The true sequence of thought is obviously that if good angels refrain 
from a railing Judgment (not "accusation") against evil ones, how much 
more should men refrain from light or railing words in regard to either. 

12. But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed] 
Literally, as irrational merely natural animal* born for capture and 
destruction. A different order of the words in some MSS. justifies the 
rendering born by their nature. The words express a strong indignation, 
at first sight scarcely reconcilable with the implied protest against a 
railing accusation. It must be remembered however that the whole 
context implies a depth of infamy and impurity for which no language 
could well be too strong in its scornful condemnation. 

speak evil of the things that they understand not] Literally, speaking 
evil (or railing) in the things in which they are ignorant. The words 
point to the same form of railing as before. They present, as it were, 
the evil of which St Paul speaks ("intruding into those things which 
they have not seen," Col. ii. 18) at its opposite pole. As, on the one 
hand, there was the danger of an undue reverence for angelic "dignities," 
so, on the other, there was the peril of men acting irreverently, from the 
standpoint of an equally crass ignorance, and speaking of the mystery of 
spiritual evil, not with solemn awe, but with foolish talking and jesting. 

and shall utterly perish in their own corruption] We cannot improve 
on the English rendering, but it fails to give the emphasis which is found 
in the Greek from the repetition of the same root both in the noun and 
the verb. Literally the clause runs, they shall be corrupted in and by 
their corruption, i.e. in St Paul's words, of which these are in fact 
the echo, "they that sow to the flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption** 
(GaL vi. 8). 

13. and shall receive the reward of unrighteousness...] The words, 
which stand in the Greek as one of a series of participial clauses, are, 
perhaps, better joined with the last clause of the preceding verse, 
They shall perish receiving the reward.... 



v. i*] II. ST PETER, II. 183 

pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and ble- 
mishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while 
they feast with you ; having eyes full of adultery and that *4 

as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time] The latter 
words have been variously rendered; (1) as in the English version, (2) 
counting delicate living for a day (i.e. but for a little while, laying stress 
on the transitoriness of all such indulgence) as pleasure : (1) seems, on 
the whole, preferable, all the more so as it supplies a point of contact at 
once with St Peter's own language as to the shamelessness of revel "at 
the third hour of the day" (Acts ii. 15), and with St Paul's contrast 
between the works of the day and those of night (Rom. xiii. 13, 14; 
1 Thess. v. 7). It has been urged against this that the Greek word for 
"riot" means rather the delicate and luxurious living (Luke vii. 25) that 
might be practised both by day and night rather than actual riot, but it 
is obvious that luxury shews itself chiefly in banquets which belong to 
night, and to carry the same luxury into the morning meal might well 
be noted as indicating excess. In the Greek version by Symmachus a 
cognate noun is applied to the banqueters of Amos vi. 7. 

Spots they are and blemishes] The former word is found inEph. v. 27 ; 
the latter is not found elsewhere in the New Testament. 

sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you] 
The MSS. both here and in the parallel passage of Jude (ver. 12) vary 
between dirarcus ( = deceits) and dyaxous {—feasts of love). The latter 
gives, on the whole, a preferable meaning, and, even if we adopt the 
former reading, we are compelled by the context to look on the love- 
feasts as the scene of the sin referred to. The Agapae were a kind of 
social club feast, at first, perhaps, connected in time and place with the 
Lord's Supper, but afterwards first distinguished and then divided from 
it. They were a witness of the new brotherhood in which the conven- 
tional distinctions of society were suspended, and rich and poor met 
together. Their existence is recognised in early ecclesiastical writers, 
in the first century by Ignatius {ad Smyrn. c. 2), in the second by 
Tertullian {ApoL c. 39), and they survived for three or four hundred 
years, till the disorders connected with them led to their discon- 
tinuance. In 1 Cor. xi. 21 we have traces of such disorders at a very 
early period, and St Peter's language here shews that they had found 
their way into the Asiatic Churches as well as into that of Corinth. 
The "false teachers" and their followers took their place in the 
company of the faithful, and instead of being content with their simple 
food, consisting probably of bread, fish, and vegetables (the fish are 
always prominent in the representations of the Agapae in the Catacombs 
of Rome), brought with them, it would seem, the materials for a more 
luxurious meal (comp. 1 Cor. xi. 21), and, as the context shews, abused 
the opportunities thus given them for wanton glances and impure 
dalliance. Taking the first reading (" deceits "), the Apostle lays stress 
on the fact that in doing so they were in fact practising a fraud 
on the Christian society into which they thus intruded themselves. 

14. having eyes full of adultery] The Greek gives literally the some- 



IS* II. ST PETER, II. [v. 15; 

cannot cease from sin ; beguiling unstable souls : a heart 
they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed chil- 
is dren : which have forsaken the right way, and are gone 
astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who 

what strange figure, having eyes fall of an adulteress. The phrase is 
probably connected with a recollection of our Lord's words as to the sin 
of looking on a woman, to lust after her, being equivalent to adultery 
( Matt. v. 28). St John's mention of the "woman Jezebel " in the Church 
of Thyatira (Rev. ii. 20 — 22) suggests the thought that there may have 
been some conspicuous woman of that type of character present to 
St Peter's thoughts, who at once encouraged her followers to bring their 
dainties — even though they were things that had been sacrificed to idols, — 
to the Agapae of the Christian Church, and when they were there held 
them fascinated by her wanton beauty. The spell thus exercised is further 
described as causing a restlessness in evil. The eyes that were thus 
attracted could not "cease from sin." 

beguiling unstable souls] The Greek word for "beguiling" may be 
noted as one of those which St Peter had in common with St James. It 
means primarily to "take with a bait, or in a snare," and in Jas. i. 14 
is rightly rendered "enticed." The idea suggested is that the false 
teachers attended the Agapae as seducers of the innocence of others. 

a heart they have exercised with covetous practices] Better, trained 
In covetousness. The words have an adequate meaning if we take 
"covetousness" in its ordinary sense. Greed of gain as well as wanton- 
ness characterised the false teachers. (See note on verse 3.) In not a 
few instances, however, there is so close a connexion between the Greek 
word and sins of impurity (comp. 1 Thess. iv. 6 ; 1 Cor. v. 1 1 ; Eph. 
v « 3» 5) that it is not unreasonable to see that meaning here also. The 
idiomatic use of the English phrase " taking advantage " of a woman's 
weakness, presents a like association of thought. 

cursed children] Better, children of a curse. The Apostle falls back 
on the old Hebrew idiom of expressing character by the idea of sonship. 
So we have "children of obedience in 1 Pet. i. 14. "Children of 
disobedience" (Eph. ii. 2). The "son of perdition" (John xviL n). 

15. which have forsaken the right way...] There may possibly be a 
reference to "the way of truth" in ver. 2 and to the general use 01 "the 
way" for the sum and substance of the doctrine of Christ. (See note 
on verse 2.) It may be noted that the charge thus brought against the 
false teachers by St Peter is identical with that which St Paul brings 
against Elymas of "perverting the right ways of the Lord" (Acts xiii. 
10). We may see in the sorcerer of Cyprus, as well as in that of 
Samaria, a representative instance of the character which both Apostles 
condemn. 

following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor] The use of the term 
"way" is probably connected with the stress laid in the narrative of 
Num. xxii. $2 ("Thy way is perverse before me"), in the journey which 
Balaam took in spite of the Divine warnings. The form Bosor, instead 
of Beor, may* represent the mode of pronouncing the guttural letter that 



v. i6.] II. ST PETER, II. 185 

loved the wages of unrighteousness ; but was rebuked for 16 
his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad 

enters into the Hebrew name {V) which prevailed in Galilee, analogous 
to that which in other languages has turned evrd into septem, v\ij into 
sylva, and the like. On this supposition, St Peter's use of the form pre- 
sents a coincidence with his betraying himself by his Galilean dialect in 
Matt. xxvi. 73. The characteristic feature of that dialect was its tendency 
to soften gutturals. Another explanation, not, however, incompatible 
with this, has been found in the conjecture that as the Hebrew word 
Bashar signifies "flesh," the Apostle may have used the form of the 
name which conveyed the thought that Balaam was "a son of the flesh," 
carnal and base of purpose. Like explanations have been given of the 
change of Sychem (=a portion) into Sychar (=a lie) (John iv. 5), of 
Beelzebub ( = lord of flies) into Beelzebul ( = lord of dung) (Matt. x. 25, 
xii. 24). If we accept the explanation given by many commentators 
of the name Nicolaitans (Rev. ii. 6) as being a Greek equivalent for 
Balaamites, there would be reason for thinking that the prominence 
given to his history at this period of the Apostolic age led men, after 
the manner of the time, to find even in the syllables of his name a 
paronomasia which made it ominous and significant of evil. 

The prominence just spoken of is traceable not only here and in the 
parallel passage of Jude (ver. 11), but in Rev. ii. 14, where it appears 
in close connexion with the practice of eating things sacrificed to idols 
and the impurity associated with that practice. It has been contended 
by some writers (Renan, St Paul, c. x. p. 304) that from the point of view 
of the three writers who thus refer to Balaam, St Paul, in teaching the 
essential indifference of the act (1 Cor. viii. 4 — 8), appeared to reproduce 
the errors of the son of Beor. The hypothesis is, however, a singularly 
untenable one. No teacher could condemn the practice more strongly 
than St Paul, though he does so on rational and spiritual grounds, 
and not from the Jewish standpoint of there being an actual physical 
contamination in the things so sacrificed (1 Cor. viii. — x.). It would 
indeed be much more in accordance with facts to infer that it was St 
Pauls allusion to the history of Balaam's temptation of the Israelites 
(1 Cor. x. 8; Num. xxv. 9, xxxi. 16) that first associated the name of 
the prophet of Pethor with the corrupt practices of the party of licence 
in the Apostolic Church, and that St Peter, St Jude, and St John were 
but following in his track. It is noticeable, lastly, that in the purely 
Ebionite or Judaizing books, known as the Clementine Homilies and 
Recognitions^ there is no reference to the name of Balaam. 

who loved the wages of unrighteottsness\ The phrase is repeated from 
verse 13 as laying stress on this point of parallelism between the earlier 
and later forms of evil. It is not without interest to note that in both 
the Apostle reproduces what we find recorded as spoken by him in 
Acts i. 18. 

16. but was rebuked for his iniquity] Literally, had a rebuke for 
bis transgression ot the law. 
. the dumb ass. speaking with man's voice... ] The Greek word for 



i86 II. ST PETER, II. [vv. 17, 18. 

17 the madness of the prophet These are wells without water, 
clouds that are carried with a tempest ; to whom the mist 

xs of darkness is reserved for ever. For when they speak 
great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts 

" ass " is literally beast of burden. It is used, as here, in Matt. xxi. 5. 
The term for '* madness" is not found elsewhere in the New Testament, 
but the corresponding verb is used by St Paul (2 Cor. xi. 23). For 
"forbade" it would be better, perhaps, to read checked, the actual 
rebuke having come from the angel, and taking the form of a permission 
rather than a prohibition. It is obvious that St Peter assumes the truth 
of the narrative of Num. xxii. (22 — 33) as beyond question, nor is there 
indeed any ground for thinking that it was at that time questioned by 
any reader, as it has been since. It does not fall within the scope of 
this Commentary to discuss either the objections which have been urged 
against that narrative, or tbe explanations that have been offered as 
toning down or minimising the supernatural element in it. 

17. These are wells without water] In the parallel passage of St 
Jude (verse 12) we have "clouds without water." In St Peter's 
variation we may, perhaps, trace an allusive reference to our Lord's 
teaching as to the "fountain of springing water" m John iv. 14, or to 
St James' illustration from the "fountain (the same word as that here 
translated "well") that sends forth fresh water only, and not salt and 
fresh together (James iii. n, 12). We are reminded also of the " broken 
cisterns that can hold no water" of Jer. ii. 13. There, however, we 
have in the LXX. the proper Greek word for cisterns as contrasted 
with the "fountain of living waters." 

clouds that are carried with a tempes(\ More accurately, mist* 
driven about by a whirlwind, the better MSS. giving "mists" 
instead of "clouds." The word was probably chosen as indicating 
what we should call the "haziness" of the speculations of the false 
teachers. The Greek word for "tempest" is found also in the descrip- 
tions of the storm on the Sea of Galilee in Mark iv. 27 ; Luke viii. 23. 
Did St Peter's mind go back to that scene, so that he saw, in the wild 
whirling mists that brought the risk of destruction, a parable of the 
storm of heresies by which the Church was now threatened? The 
imagery, it may be noted, is identical with that used by St Paul, when 
he speaks of men as "carried about by every wind of doctrine" (Eph. 
iv. 14). 

to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever] The two last words 
are omitted in some of the best MSS. and versions. For "mist" it 
would be better to read blackness, as in Jude, verse 13. It is noticeable 
that the word had been used by Homer (//. xv. 191) of the gloom of 
Hades, and so had probably come to be associated in common language 
with the thought of Tartarus, as it is here and in verse 4. 

18. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity] Literally, 
For speaking.... The adjective is used by classical writers both literally 
and figuratively of excessive magnitude. It indicates what we should 
call the "high-flown" character of the language of the false teachers. 



v. I9-] II- ST PETER, II. 187 

of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were 
clean escaped from them who live in error. While they >9 
promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of 
corruption : for of whom a man is overcome, of the same 

"Vanity" is used in its proper sense of "emptiness." There was no 
substance below their show of a transcendental knowledge. Here 
again we trace a parallel with St Paul's language, "Knowledge puffeth 
up" (1 Cor. viii. 1). 

they allure through the lusts of the fleshy through much wantonness] 
Better, they entice in the lasts of flesh (describing the state of the 
tempters) by acts of lasdviouflness (as the dative of the instrument). 
The word for "allure" is the same as in verse 14. In "wantonness" 
we have the same word as in verses 2 and 7. 

those that ivere clean escaped from them who live in error] Some of 
the better MSS. give those who were a little (or partially) escaping... 
In the one case, stress is laid on the fact that the work of a real and 
true conversion was marred by the impurity into which the victims were 
afterwards betrayed ; in the other, on the fact that their conversion had 
been but incomplete, and that therefore they yielded readily to the tempt- 
ation. A possible construction of the sentence would be to take the last 
clause in the Greek in apposition with the first, "those that had partially 
escaped, those that live in error," but the English version gives a 
preferable meaning. In the verb for "live" we have a cognate form of 
St Peter's favourite word for "conversation" or "conduct (1 Pet. i. 15, 
18, ii. 12, iii. 1, a, 16). 

19. While they promise them liberty \ they themselves are the servants 
of corruption] We have here the characteristic feature of the teaching 
which St Peter condemns. It offered its followers freedom from the 
restraints which the Council of Jerusalem had imposed alike on partici- 
pation in idolatrous feasts and on sins of impurity (Acts xv. 39). That 
this was the key-note of their claims we have a distinct indication in St 
Paul's teaching on the same subject His question "Am I not free?" 
(1 Cor. ix. 1), his condemnation of those who boasted of their "right" 
("liberty" in the English version) to eat things sacrificed to idols (1 Cor. 
viii. 9), who proclaimed that all things were "lawful" for them (1 Cor. 
x. 23), shew that this was the watchword of the party of license at 
Corinth, and the language of St Peter, though more coloured with the 
feeling of a burning indignation at the later development of the system, 
i.«, in substance, but the echo of that of his brother Apostle. In his 
contrast between the boast of liberty and the actual bondage to corrup- 
tion we may trace a reproduction of our Lord's teaching in John viii. 34, 
of St Paul's in Rom. vi. 16. The word for "they are the servants" 
(literally, being the servants) implies that this had been all along their 
settled, continuous state. The very phrase bond-slaves of corruption 
seems to reproduce Rom. viii. 21. 

of whom a man is overcome.,.] The Greek leaves it uncertain whether 
the pronouns refer to a person, or to a more abstract power — wherein 
a man is overcome, to that he is enslaved. On the whole the latter 



iS8 II. ST PETER, II. [vv. 20, 21. 

1   

»o is he brought in bondage. For if after they have escaped 
the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the 
Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled 
therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them 

2 i than the beginning. For it had been better for them not 
to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they 
have known it> to turn from the holy commandment 

seems preferable. Here again we have an echo of St Paul's language 
in Rom. vi. 16. 

20. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world] The 
word "escaped " had been used above (verse 1 8) of the followers. Here, 
as the context shews, in the repetition of the word "overcome" from 
the preceding verse, it is used of the teachers themselves. They also 
had once fled from the pollutions of heathen life and heathen worship 
into which they had now fallen back. 

through the knowledge of t/ie Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ] The 
word for "knowledge" in the Greek is the compound form (Myrbwis) 
which is always used by St Paul (e.g. Eph. iv. 13; Col. ii. a, iii. 10; 
1 Tim. ii. 4), and had been used by St Peter (chap. i. 2, 3, 8), 
of the highest form of knowledge which is spiritual as well as 
speculative. The false teachers had not been all along hypocrites 
and pretenders. They had once in the fullest sense of the words 
" known Christ" as their Lord and Saviour. There is, perhaps, no 
single passage in the whole extent of New Testament teaching more 
crucial than this in its bearing on the Calvinistic dogma of the indefecti- 
bility of grace. The fullest clearness of spiritual vision had not protected 
these heresiarchs from the temptations of their sensuous nature. 

they are again entangled therein, and overcome] The verb "entangled" 
is used also by St Paul (2 Tim. ii. 4). It describes vividly the manner 
of the fall of those of whom the Apostle speaks. They had not at first 
contemplated the ultimate results of their teaching. It was their boast 
of freedom which led them within the tangled snares of the corruption 
in which they were now inextricably involved. 

the latter end is worse with them than the beginning] Literally, the 
last state lias become worse than the first. The last words are so 
distinctly a citation from our Lord's teaching in Matt. xii. 45, that we 
are compelled to think of St Peter as finding in the history of the false 
teachers that which answered to the parable of the unclean spirit who 
was cast out of his house and returned to it with seven other spirits 
more wicked than himself. 

21. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of 
righteousness] The verb for "known" is, like the noun in the pre- 
ceding verse, that which implies the fullest form of knowledge, as in 
1 Cor. xiii. 12; 2 Cor. vi. 9; 1 Tim. iv. 3. The "way of righteous- 
ness" is like the "way of truth" in verse 2, a comprehensive description 
of the religion of Christ as a whole, regarded here in its bearing on 
life, as there in its relation to belief, 



w. 22; i.] II. ST PETER, II. III. 189 

delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them ac- r» 
cording to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his 
own vomit again; and, The sow that was washed to her 
wallowing in the mire. 

This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in 3 
both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remem- 

to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them] The word 
"delivered" implies, as in Luke i. 2; 1 Cor. xi. 2, 33, xv. 3; Jude, 
verse 3, the oral teaching of the elements of Christian faith and life 
which was imparted to all converts prior to their baptism. Stress is 
laid on the "commandment" because the Apostle is contemplating 
chiefly the sins of impurity of which the heresiarchs had been guilty 
rather than their dogmatic heresies as such. 

22. it is happened unto them according to the true proverb. ..] Lite- 
rally, that (saying) of the true proverb has happened to them... In 
the words that follow we have another of St Peter's references, with- 
out a formal citation, to the Book of Proverbs (xxvi. 11). See notes 
on 1. Pet. iv. 8, v. 5. The form in which he gives the proverbs 
is participial. "The dog returned to his own vomit; the washed sow 
to her wallowing in the mire."' We have, however, the colloquial, 
allusive form which the proverb had assumed in common speech rather 
than an actual quotation, and the second part of the proverb is 
not found in the passage referred to. In both cases stress is laid on 
the fact that there had been a real change. The dog had ejected what 
was foul; the sow had washed herself, but the old nature returned 
in both cases. Those who after their baptism returned to the impu- 
rities they had renounced, were, in the Apostle's eyes, no better 
than the unclean beasts. In the union of the two types of baseness 
we may, perhaps, trace a reminiscence of our Lord's teaching in Matt, 
vii. 6. 

CHAPTER III. 

1. This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto yoti\ A new section 
of the Epistle opens. The "false teachers" recede from view, and the 
thoughts of the Apostle turn to the mockers who made merry at the 
delay of. the coming of the Lord, to which Christians had so confidently 
looked forward as nigh at hand. In the stress laid on this being the 
"second Epistle" we have a fact which compels us to choose between 
identity of authorship for both Epistles, or a deliberate imposture as 
regards the second. 

/ stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance] The word for 
"pure" is found in Phil. i. 10, the corresponding noun in 1 Cor. v. 8; 
2 Cor. i. 12, ii. 17. Its primary application is to that which will bear 
the full test of being examined by sunlight, and so it carries with it the 
sense of a transparent sincerity. Its exact opposite is described in 
Eph. iv. 18, "having the understanding" (the same Greek word as that 
here rendered "mind") darkened. In the "stirring up by way of re- 
membrance" we have a phrase that had been used before (chap. i. 13). 



190 II. ST PETER, III. [vv. 2—4. 

» brance : that ye may be mindful of the words which were 
spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the command- 

3 ment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour : knowing 
this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, 

4 walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the pro- 
mise of his coming ? for since the fathers fell asleep, all thittgs 

2. the words which were spoken before by t/ie holy prophets] The 
conjunction of " prophets" and * 'apostles" here is so entirely after the 
pattern of the like combination in Eph. ii. 20, iii. 5, iv. 11, that there 
can scarcely be a doubt that the writer meant at least to include the 
New Testament prophets who had spoken of the coming of the Lord, 
and whose predictions were now derided. 

the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour] The 
better MSS., with an overwhelming weight of authority, give of your 
Apostles. It is obvious that the reading thus supported gives a special 
interest to the words. They are a distinct recognition like that in 
1 Pet. v. 12, and here in verse 15, of the Apostleship of St Paul and his 
fellow-workers. The Asiatic Churches were to remember his com- 
mandment (such, for example, as the rule of life in Eph. iv. — vi.), and 
to fashion their lives accordingly. 

3. knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers] 
The better MSS. give the emphatic Hebrew idiom of reduplication 
fcomp. Gen. xxii. 17), scoffers shall come In their scoffing. The 
first noun is found only here and in the parallel passage of Jude, 
ver. 18; the latter, here only. 

walking after their own lusts, and saying...] This is given as the 
ground of their mocking temper. The habit of self-indulgence is at 
all times the natural parent of the cynical and scoffing sneer. 

4. Where is the promise of his coming?] The question indicates the 
comparatively late date of the Epistle. St James had spoken (probably 
A.D. 50) of the Judge as standing at the door; St Paul had written 
twice as if he expected to be living on the earth when the Judge should 
come (1 Thess. iv. 15; 1 Cor. xv. 51; 2 Cor. v. 4), and yet He came 
not. Men began to think that the Coming was a delusion. 

for since the fathers fell asleep] Ordinarily, the "fathers," as in Rom. 
ix. 5, would carry our thoughts back to the great progenitors of Israel 
as a people. Here, however, the stress laid by the mockers on the 
death of the fathers as the starting-point of the frustrated expectation, 
seems to give the word another application, and we may see in the 
"fathers" the first generation of the disciples of Christ, those who had 
' * fallen asleep " without seeing the Advent they had looked for ( 1 Thess. iv. 
1 5); those who had reached the "end of their conversation" (Heb. xiii. 7). 
The scoffers appealed to the continuity of the natural order of things. Seed- 
time and harvest, summer and winter, followed as they had done from 
the beginning of the creation. In the last phrase we may trace an echo 
of Mark x. 6, xiii. 19. "You have told us, they seem to have said, "of 
an affliction such as there has not been from the beginning of the crea- 



w. 5, 6.] IL ST PETER, III. 191 

continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For 5 
this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God 
the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the 
water and in the water : whereby the world that then was, 6 

tion, and lo ! we find the world still goes on as of old, with no great 
catastrophe. 1 ' The answer to the sneer St Peter gives himself, but it 
may be noted that the question of the scoffers at least implies the early 
date of the writings in which the expectation of the Coming is pro- 
minent. 

In the use of the verb to "fall asleep" for dying, we are reminded of 
our Lord's words "Our friend Lazarus sleepeth" (John xi. 11); of St 
Paul's "many sleep" (1 Cor. xl 30). So in Greek sculpture Death and 
Sleep appear as twin genii, and in Greek and Roman epitaphs nothing 
is more common than the record that the deceased "sleeps" below. 
Too often there is the addition, as of those who were without hope, 
"sleeps an eternal sleep." In Christian language the idea of sleep 
is perpetuated in the term "cemetery" (Kot/xrjrripio?= sleeping- p\ace) 
as applied to the burial-place of the dead, but it is blended with that of 
an "awaking out of sleep" at the last day, and even with the thought, 
at first seemingly incompatible with it, that the soul is quickened into 
higher energies of life on its entrance into the unseen world. 

0. For this they willingly are ignorant of] More accurately, For 
this is hid from them by their own will The English phrase "they 
ignore" exactly expresses the state of mind of which the Apostle speaks. 
The ignorance of the scoffers was self-chosen. They closed their eyes 
to the truth that the law of continuity on which they laid stress was 
not without exception. There had been a great catastrophe in the past. 
There might yet be a great catastrophe in the future. 

that by the word of God the heavens were of old] The history of the 
creative work in Gen. L furnishes the first example that the order of the 
universe was not one of unbroken continuity of evolution. In* " the word 
of God" we may see a reference either (1) to the continually recurring 
formula "God said" in Gen. i. 3, 6, 9, or (i) to the thought that it was 
by the Eternal Word that the work of Creation was accomplished, as 
in John i. 3 ; Heb. L 2 ; and we have no sufficient data for deciding 
between the two. Heb. xl 3 ("the worlds were framed by the word 
of God") is exactly parallel to St Peter's language, and is open to the 
same diversity of interpretation. In any case the words are a protest 
against the old Epicurean view of a concourse of atoms, and its modern 
counterpart, the theory of a perpetual evolution. 

and the earth standing out of the water and in the water] More accu- 
rately, and the earth formed oat of water and by means of water. 
The words carry us back, as before, to the cosmogony of Gen. i. The 
earth was brought out of chaos into its present hosmos, by the water 
being gathered into one place and the dry land appearing (Gen. i. 9). 
It was kept together by the separation of the waters above the firmament 
from those that were below the firmament (Gen. i. 6). The Apostle 
speaks naturally from the standpoint of the physical science of his time 

Peter & Judo 1 3 



1 



j 9 2 II. ST PETER, III. [w. 7,8- 

7 being overflowed with water, perished : but the heavens and 
the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in 
store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and 

8 perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant 

and country, and we need not care to reconcile either his words or those 
of Gen. i. with the conclusions of modern meteorological science. The 
equivalent fact in the language of that science would be that the per- 
manence- of the existing order of the world is secured by the circulation 
of water, rising in evaporation, and falling in the form of rain, between 
"the higher and lower regions of the atmosphere, and that there must 
have been a time when this circulation began to supervene on a previous 
state of things that depended on different conditions. 

6. whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water % 
perished] The "whereby" is not without its difficulties. Does it refer 
to the whole fact of creation described in the previous verse, or to the 
two regions in which the element of water was stored up? On the 
whole, the latter has most in its favour. In the deluge, as described in 
Gen. vii. n, the "fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the 
windows of heaven were opened/' and so the waters above and those 
below the firmament were both instruments in the work of judgment 
The stress laid on the same fact here and in I Pet. iii. 19, 20 is, as far 
as it goes, an evidence in favour of identity of authorship. In the use 
of the word "perished," or "was destroyed," we have a proof, not to be 
passed over, as bearing indirectly upon other questions of dogmatic 
importance, that the word does not carry with it the sense of utter 
destruction or annihilation, but rather that of a change, or breaking up, 
of an existing order. It is obvious that this meaning is that which gives 
the true answer to those who inferred from the continuity of the order 
of nature that there could be no catastrophic change in the future. 

7. but the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word] 
Some of the better MSS. give by His word, but the received reading* 
rests on sufficient authority. 

are kept in store, reserved unto fire] Literally, axe treasured up. The 
use of the word in reference to punishment has a parallel in Rom. ii. 5. 
In naming "fire" as the instrument of that "destruction "of the existing 
framework of the world, which is, like that by water, to be the starting- 
point of a new and purified order, the Apostle follows in the track of 
1 Thess. i. 8, and Dan. vii. 9 — 11. It may be noted, though not as point- 
ing to the source from which the Apostle derived his belief, that this 
destruction of the world by fire entered into the physical teaching of the 
Stoics. It is not without interest to note that it was specially prominent 
in the teaching of Zeno of Tarsus, who succeeded Chrysippus as the 
leading teacher of the School (Euseb. Praep, Evang, XV. 18). It ap- 
pears also, in a book probably familiar to the Apostle, the Book of 
Enoch, c. xc. 11. 

• against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men] The word 
for "perdition" is the same as that rendered "destruction "in chap, ii. I, 
and is identical in meaning with the verb "perished" in the preceding 



v. 9] II. ST PETER, III. 193 

of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thou- 
sand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is 9 
not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slack- 
ness ; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any 

veise. We cannot accordingly infer from it that the "ungodly" will 
cease to exist, but only that there will be a great and penal change in 
their condition* An interesting parallel to the teaching of this passage, 
probably in great part derived from it, is found in an Oration of Melito 
of Sardis, translated from the Syriac by Dr Cureton in A. D. 1855. 
"There was a flood of water.... There will be a flood of fire, and the 

earth will be burnt up together with its mountains and the just shall 

be delivered from its fury, as their fellows in the Ark were saved from 
the waters of the Deluge." 

8. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thingl Literally, the 
construction being the same as in ver. 5, let not this one thing be 
hidden from you. 

that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years '...} The latter clause 
has its origin in the words of the Psalmist, "A thousand years in thy 
sight are but as yesterday" (Ps. xc 4) ; but while the Psalmist dwells only 
on the littleness of our greatest time -measures, the Apostle completes the 
thought by joining with it the possible greatness of that which to our 
sight is almost infinitely little. " A day" (probably with special refer- 
ence to the day of judgment) may be pregnant, with results for the 
spiritual history of mankind or of an individual soul as great as those of 
a millennium. The delay of a millennium may be but as. a day in the 
evolution of the great purposes of God. The words have the additional 
interest of having impressed themselves as a "faithful saying" or axiom 
of religious thought on the minds of the apostolic age, and are quoted as 
such in the Epistle that bears the name of Barnabas (chap. xv.). This 
forms the second answer of the Apostle to the sneering question of the 
mockers. 

9. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count 
slackness..*] We entei here on the third answer, and it rests on the 
purpose which was working through what men looked on as a delay in 
the fulfilment of the promise. That purpose was one of love and mercy. 
It was not slackness or tardiness, but "long-suffering." We note, as an 
evidence of identity of authorship, the recurrence of the thought which 
we have found in 1 Pet. Hi. 20. The "long-suffering of God " which 
had shewn* itself then, as in the history of Gen. vi. 3, in the delay of a 
hundred and twenty years between the first prophetic warning of the 
coming judgment and the actual deluge, was manifested now in the 
interval, longer than the first disciples had anticipated, between the first 
and the second comings of the Christ. We ask, as we read the words, 
whether the Apostle, as he wrote them, contemplated the period of 
well-nigh two thousand years which has passed since without the ex- 
pected Advent; and we have no adequate data for answering that 
question. It may well have been that though the horizon was receding 
as he looked into the future, it was still not given to him "to know 

13—2 



194 II. ST PETER, III. [w. 10, n. 

to should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But 
the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night ; in the 
which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and 
the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and 

« the works that are therein shall be burnt up. Seeing then 

the times and the seasons" (Acts i. 7), and that he still thought that 
the day of the Lord would come within much narrower limits, per- 
haps, even, in the lifetime of that generation. But the answer which 
he gives is the true answer to all doubts and questions such as then 
presented themselves, to reproductions of the like questions now. 
However long the interval, though it be for a period measured by mil- 
lenniums, there is still the thought that this is but as a moment in the 
years of eternity, and that through that lengthened period, on earth or 
behind the veil, there is working the purpose of God, who doth not will 
that any should perish (comp. 1 Tim. ii. 4 ; Ezek. xviii. 23), but that 
all should come to repentance. Here again the word "perish" does 
not mean simple annihilation, but the state which is the opposite of 
salvation. 

10. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night. . .] The 
confidence of the Apostle that this wiU be the end of the history of the 
human race is not shaken by the seeming "slackness" in its approach. 
Either reproducing the thought which he had heard from his Master's 
ups (Matt. xxiv. 43), or echoing the very words of St Paul (1 Thess. v. 2), 
he declares that it will come, and will come suddenly, when men are not 
looking for it. 

the heavens shall pass away with a great noise] The last four words 
answer to one Greek adverb, not found elsewhere, which implies the 
"whizzing" or "rushing" sound of an arrow hurtling through the air 
(Horn. 77. xvi. 361). The "heavens" (in the plural, after the common 
mode of speech both in the Old and New Testament) shall, in that great 
day, be the scene of a great convulsion. "We have here obviously the 
same thought as in Matt. xxiv. 29, but the mind of the Apostle, now 
rising to the character of an apocalyptic seer, beholds in that convulsion 
not a work of destruction only, but one of renovation. Comp. a like 
picture of the end of the world's history in Rev. xx. 1 1, xxi. 1. 

the elements shall melt with fervent heat] The word " elements" may 
possibly stand for what were so called in some of the physical theories 
of the time, the fire, air, earth, water, out of which all existing 
phenomena were believed to be evolved (comp. Wisd. xix. 18). The word 
was, however, used a little later on for what we call the "heavenly 
bodies," sun, moon, and stars (Justin Mart. Apol. 11. 4. 4), and that mean- 
ing, seeing that the "elements" are distinguished from the "earth," and 
that one of the four elements is to be the instrument of destruction, 
is probably the meaning here. 

the earth also and the works that are therein] The use of the word 
"works" suggests the thought that the Apostle had chiefly in view all 
that man had wrought out on the surface of the globe; his cities, 
palaces, monuments, or the like. The comprehensive term may, how- 



w. 12, 13] II. ST PETER, III. 195 

that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner offer- 
sons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 
looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, ia 
wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and 
the elements shall melt with fervent heat ? Nevertheless »3 
we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and 

ever, include "works" as the "deeds" of men, of which St Paul says 
that they shall all be tried by fire (1 Cor. lit 13). 

11. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved] Literally, Seeing 1 
therefore that all these things are being, dissolved. The Greek 
participle is in the present tense, and is probably used to convey the 
thought that even now the fabric of the earth is on its way to the final 
dissolution. If with some of the better MSS. we read "shall thus be 
dissolved," instead of "then," the participle must be taken as more 
definitely future, being coupled, as in that case it must be, with the 
manner as well as the fact of the dissolution. 

ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness] It should be 
noted, though it cannot well be expressed in English, that both the 
Greek nouns are in the plural, as expressing all the manifold forms in 
which holy living (see note on r Pet. i. 15) and "godliness" shew 
themselves. The verb for "be" is that which emphatically expresses a 
permanent and continuous state. The thought implied is that the 
belief in the transitoriness of all that seems most enduring upon earth 
should lead, as a necessary consequence, to a life resting on the eternal 
realities of truth and holiness. 

12. looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God,..] 
The English versions follow the Vulgate and Luther in this rendering. 
It is doubtful, however, whether the Greek verb for •* hasten," followed 
by an accusative without a preposition, can have this meaning, and its 
natural transitive force (as e.g. in the LXX. of IsaL xvL 5, and 
Herod. I. 38) would give the sense hastening the day. So taken, the 
thought of the Apostle is that the "day of God" is not immutably fixed 
by a Divine decree, but may be accelerated by the readiness of His people 
or of mankind at large. In proportion to that readiness there is less 
occasion, if we may so speak, for the "long-suffering of God," to postpone 
the fulfilment of His promise. 

wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved] More accurately, 
on account of which, viz. "the day of God," the destruction of the 
present order being for the sake of that which is to usher in a new and 
better state. On the words that follow see note on ver. 10, which is 
almost verbally reproduced. Micah L 4 may be referred to as presenting 
the same picture of destruction. 

13. zue, auording to his promise, look for new heavens and a new 
earth] The promise of which the Apostle speaks is that of IsaL lxv. i 7, 
lxvi. 31, where we have the very words, "new heavens and a new 
earth," the context there connecting it with the restoration of Israel to 
their own land and the renewed glory of Jerusalem. The same hope 



196 II. ST PETER, III. *[w. 14,15. 

14 a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, 
beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent 
that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and 

15 blameless. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord 
is salvation ; even as our beloved brother Paul also accord- 
shews itself in the visions of the Apocalypse (Rev. xxi. 1) as connected 
with the "new Jerusalem" coming down from God, and appears in a 
fuller and more expanded form in the Apocryphal Book of Enoch. "The 
former heaven shall pass away and a new heaven shall shew itself" 
(chap. xcii. 17). "The earth shall he cleansed from all corruption, 
from every crime, from all punishment" (c. x. 27). 

wherein dwelleth righteousness] This again reproduces the thought of 
Isaiah (lxv. 25) that "they shall not hurt (LXX. "act unrighteously") 
nor destroy in all my holy mountain," and St John's account of the new 
Jerusalem that "there shall in no wise enter into it anything that de- 
filet h" (Rev. xxi. 37). It is implied in St Paul's belief that "the creature 
itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption" (Rom. viii. 
n). Earth itself, purified and redeemed, is to be the scene of the 
blessedness of the saved, as it has been, through the long aeons of its ex- 
istence, of sin and wretchedness. 

14. be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace. . . ] The language, 
like that of ver. 8, is that of one who still lives in the expectation that he 
and those to whom he writes may yet survive to witness the coming of the 
Lord. The hour of death has not yet taken the place in the Apostle's 
thoughts, as it has done since, of the day of that Coming. In the ex- 
hortation that men should be diligent (better, be earnest) to be found in 
peace at that day, we may trace an echo of our Lord's words, " Blessed is 
that servant, whom his Lord when he cometh shall find so doing" (Matt. 
xxiv. 46). " Peace" is used in its widest Hebrew sense, as including 
every element of blessedness, peace with God, and therefore peace with 
man, the peace which Christ gives, not as the world gives (John 
xiv. 27), the peace which passes understanding (Phil. iv. 7). 

without spot, and blameless...] The words are nearly identical with 
those which describe the character of Christ as "a lamb without blemish 
and without spot" in 1 Pet i. 19, and their re-appearance is a fresh 
link in the chain of evidence as to identity of authorship. They who ex- 
pect the coming of Christ should be like Him in their lives. The first 
of the two words may be noticed as used also by St James (i. 97). 

15. A nd account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation] The 
words have a pointed reference to ver. 9. Men were impatient, and 
counted the "long-suffering of God "as tardiness in the fulfilment of 
His promises. The true way of looking at it was to see in it the working 
out of His plan of salvation for all who should be willing to receive it. 
In the "long-suffering of our Lord" (obviously from ver. 18), the "Lord 
Jesus," we see a testimony, indirect but not the less explicit, to the 
full participation of the Son in the counsels and purposes of the 
Father. 

even as our beloved brother Paul...] The words imply a full recognition 



w. 16, 17.] II. ST PETER, III. 197 

ing to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you ; 
as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; 16 
in which are some things hard to be understood, which they , 
that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the 
other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, 17 



of St Paul's work as a brother in the Apostleship, and are in harmony, 
as has been noticed, with 1 Pet. v. 11 ; 2 Pet i. 12, iii. 2. 

according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto yoti\ As far 
as the subject-matter is concerned, 1 Thess. iv. v. and 2 Thess. ii. seem 
to correspond most closely with St Peter's reference, and as these were 
written when Silvanus was with St Paul (see note on 1 Pet. v. 13), there 
is strong ground for believing that St Peter would be acquainted with 
their contents. If, on the other hand, we restrict the words "hath 
written to you " to the Asiatic Churches to whom 1 Peter was addressed, 
we may think of Eph. i. 14, ii. 7, iii. 9 — n ; Col. i. 20, as referred to 
here, while the statements are included in the allusion in the next 
verse. * 

16. as also in all his epistles] The English represents the Greek 
accurately enough, but the absence of the article in the original should 
be noted as shewing that there was not yet any complete collection of 
St Paul's Epistles. All that can be legitimately inferred from the ex- 
pression is that St Peter knew of other Epistles (probably i and 2 
Thess., 1 and 2 Cor., and Romans) besides those— or that — to which 
he had referred in the preceding verse. 

speaking in them of these things] i. e. of the coming of the Lord and 
of the end of the world. Here, on the assumption made in the previous 
verse, we may find a reference, as to 1 Thess. iv. v. and 2 Thess. ii. ; so 
also to Rom. viii. 19 — 21, xiii. 11, is; 1 Cor. iii. 13, iv. 5, xv. 51 — 54. 

in which are some things hard to be understood] We are left to con- 
jecture what these were. We might think of the mysterious predictions 
of "the man of sin" in 2 Thess. ii., or the doctrine of the "spiritual 
body" in 1 Cor. xv. 44, 2 Cor. v. 1 — 4, but it is not easy to see how 
these elements of St Paul's teaching could have been perverted to the 
destruction of men's spiritual life. On the whole, therefore, it seems 
more likely that the Apostle finds in the "unlearned and unstable" the 
party of license in the Apostolic Church, who claimed to be following 
St Paul's assertion of his freedom, by eating things sacrificed to idols and 
indulging in sins of impurity (see note on chap. ii. 19), or who quoted his 
words "that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law" 
(Rom. iii. 28) as sanctioning a profligate Antinomianism. 

which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest...] Both words are 
peculiar to this Epistle in the New Testament. The latter had been 
used in chap. ii. 14. The word for "wrest" expresses the action of a 
windlass that twists what is submitted to its action. 

as they do also the other scriptures] Few passages are more important 
than this in its bearing on the growth of the Canon of the New Testa- 
ment. It shews (1) that the distinctive term of honour used of the books 



I> 



198 II. ST PETER, III. [v. 18. jj 

beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye 
also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from 
,8 your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the know- 
ledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be 
glory both now and for ever. Amen. 

of the Old Testament was applied without reserve to St Paul's writings; 
(2) that probably other books now found in the Canon were also so 
recognised. The last inference, though it might be said that the "other 
Scriptures'* did not necessarily mean other writings than those of the 
Old Testament Canon, is confirmed (1) by the use of the term 
"Scripture" as connected with a quotation from Luke x. 7 in 1 Tim. 
v. 18 ; (2) by St Paul's reference to "prophetic writings" or " Scriptures " 
as unfolding the mystery which had been hid from ages and genera- 
tions in Rom. xvi. 26, and probably by the tests which he gives in 
2 Tim. iii. 16 as the notes by which "every inspired Scripture, or 
writing,'' might be distinguished from its counterfeit See notes bearing 
on this subject on 1 Pet. i. 10 — 12, iv. ir ; a Pet. i. 20, 21. 

17. beivare lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked] 
Better, of the lawless ones, as in chap. ii. 7. It is noticeable that 
while St Paul had used the word for being " led away " of Barnabas 
as being influenced by the Judaizing teachers at Antioch (Gal. ii. 13), 
St Peter here applies it to those who were persuaded by teachers at the 
opposite pole of error. Comp. note on chap. ii. 1. The word . for 
** error" is prominent in the Epistles to which St Peter has referred 
in the preceding verses (Eph. iv. 14 ; 1 Thess. ii. 3 ; 2 Thess. ii. 11). 

fall from your own stedfastness] The "steadfastness" of the readers 
of the Epistle as contrasted with the unstable or unsteadfast of verse 16 
is acknowledged; but they are warned that it requires care and watch- 
fulness to preserve it. He does not assume any indefectible grace of 
perseverance. The tense of the verb in "lest ye fall" indicates that it 
would be a single and decisive act. 

18. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour 
Jesus Christ] The final thought of the Epistle, like that with which it 
opened, is the growth of the Christian life. Here, as there (chap. i. 5), 
stress is laid on knowledge as an element of growth, partly as essential 
to completeness in the Christian life, partly also, perhaps, in reference 
to the "knowledge falsely so called" (1 Tim. vi. 20) of which the false 
teachers boasted. 

To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen] The word "glory" 
in the Greek has the article, which makes it include all the glory which 
men were wont, in their doxologies, to ascribe to God. The Apostle 
has learnt the full meaning of the words "that all men should honour 
the Son, even as they honour the Father" (John v. 13.). The effect 0/ 
his teaching may be traced in the Churches to which the letter was 
mainly addressed, in Pliny's account of the worship of Christians in the 
Asiatic provinces, as including "a hymn sung to Christ as to God " {Ep. 
ad Trajan. 96). The Greek phrase for "lor ever" (literally, for tfca 



v. 1 8.] II. ST PETER, III. 199 

day of the aon., or eternity) is a peculiar one, and expresses the thought 
that "the day" of which the Apostle had spoken in verses 10 and 12 
would be one which should last through the new aeon that would 
then open, and to which no time-limits could be assigned. 

The absence of any salutations, like those with which the First 
Epistle ended, is, perhaps, in part due to the wider and more encyclical 
character which marks the Second. The Apostle was content that his 
last words should be oh the one hand an earnest entreaty that men 
should "grow" to completeness in their spiritual life, and, on the other, 
the ascription of an eternal glory to the Lord and Master whom he 
loved. 



THE GENERAL EPISTLE OF 

JUDE. 

Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, t 
to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and pre- 
served in Jesus Christ, and called : Mercy unto you, and a 
peace, and love, be multiplied. 

1. Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James] The 
question who the writer was who thus describes himself has been dis- 
cussed in the Introduction. Here it will be enough to note (i) that the 
use of the term "servant" does not exclude a claim to Apostleship 
(Rom. i. i; Phil. i. i); and (2) that it is the term used by the writer 
whom the author of this Epistle claims as his brother (James i. 1). This 
description of himself as "the brother of James 1 ' has no parallel in the 
New Testament. We might have expected "brother of the Lord," but 
probably he shrank from what might have seemed the boastfulness of 
so describing himself, or felt, perhaps, that that title was now insepa- 
rably connected with James, the Bishop of Jerusalem (Gal. i. 19). It 
may be inferred, without much risk of error, (1) that he wished, bear- 
ing so common a name, to distinguish himself from others, like Judas 
not Iscariot, of John xiv. 22, Luke vi. 16, the Lebbaeus or Thaddaeus 
of Matt. x. 3, Judas surnamed Barsabas (Acts xv. 22), and others. 

to them that are sanctified by God the Father. . . ] Literally, sanctified in 
God the Father, i.e. through union with Him, living in Him. Some of 
the better MSS., however, give "be/oved in God, in which case the 
thought would be that they were the objects of the writer's love, 
not "according to the flesh, but with an emotion which had its source 
in God. So taken it would be analogous to the phrases "salute you 
much in the Lord" (1 Cor. xvi. 19), or, "rejoice in the Lord" (Phil, 
iv. 4). 

and preserved in Jesus Christ...] The tense of the participle in the 
Greek implies a completed act continuing in its results. The word 
may be noted as specially characteristic of the later Epistles. We have 
it in 1 Pet i. 4; 2 Pet. ii. 4, 9, 17, iii. 7; eight times in 1 John; 
four times in Jude. In the sense in which it is used here, it is probably 
connected with the fact of the delay in the second Advent of the Lord, 
and was chosen to indicate that those who were waiting patiently for 
it were being kept or guarded by their union with Christ. 

and coiled] The idea runs through the whole of the New Testa- 



202 JUDE. [vv. 3, 4. 

3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you 
of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write 
unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend 

4 for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For 

ment. The word appears in Matt. xx. 16, xxii. 14 as contrasted with 
"chosen" or *' elect, in Rom. i. 1, 6, 7, viii. 28 as the sequel of a pre- 
determining election. Each aspect of the word must be kept in mind. 

2. Mercy unto you \ and peace, and love, be multiplied] The saluta- 
tion corresponds with that of 1 Pet. i. 2 ; a Pet. i. 2, with the substitu- 
tion of "mercy" for "grace" (the two are united in 1 Tim. i. 2 ; 2 Tim. 
i. 2 ; Tit. i. 4), and the addition, as in the latter passages, of " peace." 

8. Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common 
salvation...'] More accurately, giving all diligence, as a present act con- 
nected with the time of writing. The word for "diligence," as with 
the cognate verb in 2 Pet. i. 10, 15, iii. 14, implies earnest effort. The 
term ''common salvation," not elsewhere found in the New Testament, 
has a parallel in the " common faith" of Tit. i. 4. In both passages 
stress is laid on the "faith," or the "salvation," as being that in which 
all Christians were sharers, as distinct from the "knowledge" which 
was claimed by false teachers as belonging only to a few. 

it was needful for me to write unto you] Better, perhaps, I found a 
necessity. The ground of the necessity lies in the fact stated in the 
next verse. The words have been interpreted as meaning that he was 
about to write a fuller or more general Epistle, and was then diverted 
from his purpose by the urgent need for a protest against the threaten- 
ing errors; and the inference, though not, perhaps, demonstrable, is at 
least legitimate, and derives some support from the change of tense 
(which the English version fails to represent) in the two infinitives, 
the first "to write" being in the present tense, such as might be used of 
a general purpose, the second in the aorist, as pointing to an immediate 
and special act. 

that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered 
unto the saints] The simple form of the verb for " contend" is found in 
Col. i. 29, iv. 12, and implies, as it were, "wrestling" for the faith. 
This expression finds a close parallel in the "striving together for the 
faith" of Phil. i. 27. "Faith" is obviously to be taken in its objective 
sense, as being, so to speak, the belief of the Universal Church. And 
this faith is described as being "once for all delivered to the saints." It 
was not necessarily embodied as yet in a formal Creed, or committed to 
writing, but was imparted orally to every convert, and took its place 
among the "traditions" of the Church (2 Thess. ii. 15, iii. 6), the noble 
deposit, " the good thing committed to their trust" which all pastors and 
teachers were to watch over and pass on to others (2 Tim. i. 14), identi- 
cal with the "form of sound words" (2 Tim. i. 13). In the words that 
describe the "mystery of godliness" in 1 Tim. iii. 16, and in the "faith- 
ful sayings" of the Pastoral Epistles (1 Tim. i. 15, Iii. 1, iv. 9; 2 Tim. 
ii. 1 x ; Tit. iii. 8), we have probably portions of this traditional faith. It 
was now imperilled by teachers who denied it, both in their doctrine 



v. 5-] JUDE. 203 

there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of 
old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning 
the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the 
only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. I will therefore 5 
put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how 

and their life, and it was necessary that men should redouble their 
efforts to maintain it unimpaired. 

4. For there are certain men crept in unawares,, .] More literally, For 
there crept in unawares certain men... There is a touch of contempt 
in the way in which, as in Gal. ii. 4, 2 Pet ii. 1, the false teachers are 
referred to without being named. Here also, as there, stress is laid on 
their making their way into the Church insidiously, and, as it were, 
under false pretences. The words that follow have often been urged 
as giving a sanction to the Calvinistic theory of a Divine decree predes- 
tining men to condemnation, but it is against this view that the word "of 
old" is never used in the New Testament of the Divine Counsels, which 
are in their very nature eternal, and are commonly indicated by such 
words as "before the foundation of the world" (Eph. i. 4), "from the 
beginning of the world" (Actsxv. 18), the "eternal purpose" (Eph.iii. 11) 
and the like. The Greek word for "of old" may, on the contrary, be 
used of even a recent past, as in Mark xv. 44, 2 Pet. i. 9. Nor does the 
Greek word for "ordained" express the thought of a decree like that of 
the Calvinistic theory, but rather of a public designation, as in Gal. 
iii. 1. St Jude's words accordingly are adequately rendered by who 
wera long ago before marked out as on their way to this condemna- 
tion, and may refer to previous prophetic utterances of the same type 
as those of 1 Tim. iv. 1, 2, or 2 Pet. ii. 1, which had already pointed to 
such men as the coming danger of the Church. 

turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness] The description 
agrees with that in 2 Pet. ii. 18, 19, in pointing to the party who under 
the pretence of magnifying the grace of God (Rom. vi. 1), and assert- 
ing their Christian liberty, led base and licentious lives, the party, i.e., 
condemned alike by St Paul (x Cor. vi. 9— 18), by St Peter (a Pet. ii.) 
and by St John (1 John iii. 7 — 10). See notes on 2 Pet. ii. 

denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ] The better 
MSS. omit the word "God," and as the Greek word for the first " Lord " 
is that used in 2 Pet. ii. 1 (see note there), we are probably justified 
in applying it also to Christ. On that view, or indeed in any case, it 
would be better to express the distinction between the two terms by- 
translating, the only Master and Lord Jesus Christ. The "denial*' 
spoken of is two-fold, both in doctrine, as in 1 John ii. ??, 23, or in 
life, but the context shews that stress is laid chiefly on the latter. 

5. I will therefore put you in remembrance] More accurately, I wish 
to put yon In remembrance, or, to remind yon. The language pre- 
supposes, like that of 2 Pet i. 13, to which it presents a close parallel, 
the previous instruction of the readers of the Epistle in the faith once 
delivered to the saints. 

though ye once knew this] The better MSS. give "knew all things," 



204 JUDE. [v. 6. 

that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of 

« Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not And 

the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their 

own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under 

reminding us of "ye know all things" of r John ii. 20. The word is 
limited in both cases, by the context, to all the essential elements of 
Christian faith and duty. 

how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt] 
The MSS. present a curious variation of reading, some giving "the 
Lord," some "Jesus," and some "God." St Paul's use of the name of 
"Christ" in 1 Cor. x. 4 is, in some sense, parallel to that of "Jesus," 
which seems, on the whole, the best-supported reading. The reference 
to the judgment that fell upon Israel in the wilderness takes the place 
of that drawn from the flood in 2 Pet. ii. 5, and may, perhaps, be traced 
to St Paul's way of dealing with that history in 1 Cor. x. 1 — 10, or to 
Heb. iii. 12 — 19. 

afterward] More literally, secondly, or in the second place. 

6. And the angels which kept not their first estate] The two last 
words answer to a Greek term which may either mean "beginning," i. e. 
their original constitution, the meaning adopted in the English version, or 
"sovereignty." The latter sense may mean either that they rejected the 
sovereignty of God, or that they abandoned the position of power and 
dignity which He had assigned them. Looking to the fact that the term 
is used in the New Testament, as by Jewish writers, as describing a class 
of angels (the "principalities" of Eph. i. 21, iii. 10, vi. 12; Col. i. 16, 
ii. 15), the latter explanation is probably the true one. On the nature of 
the sin referred to, see notes on 2 Pet. ii. 4. 

but left their own habitation] As this is named as the sin, not as the 
punishment, it seems to imply a descent from the region of heaven to that 
of earth, like that implied m the language of Gen. vi. 2. 

he hath reserved in everlasting chains. . .] The words, like those of 2 Pet 
ii. 4, seem to indicate a distinction between the angels who were thus 
punished, and the "demons" or "unclean spirits" with Satan at their 
head, who exercise a permitted power as the tempters, accusers, and 
destroyers of mankind, the "world-rulers of this darkness" of Eph. 
vi. 12, who even "in heavenly places" carry on their warfare against 
the souls of men. It is possible that St Jude recognised such a dis- 
tinction. His language, like that of St Peter, follows the traditions of 
1 the Book of Enoch, which speaks of fallen angels as kept in their prison- 
house till the day of judgment (xxii. 4), and those which are represented 
by the Midrasch Ruth in the Book of Zohar, '* After that the sons of 
God had begotten sons, God took them and brought them to the mount 
of darkness and bound them in chains of darkness which reach to the 
middle of the great abyss." A fuller form of the Rabbinic legend re- 
lates that the angels Asa and Asael charged God with folly in having 
created man who so soon provoked Him, and that He answered that if 
they had been on earth they would have sinned as man had done. " And 
thereupon He allowed them to descend to earth, and they sinned with 



X 



\ 



vv. 7, 8.1 



JUDE. 



205 



darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as 7 
Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them, in like 
manner giving themselves over tfc fornication, and going 
after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the 
vengeance of eternal fire. Likewise also, these filthy dream- 8 
ers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dig- 

the daughters of men. And when they would have returned to Heaven 
they could not^ for they were banished from their former habitation and 
brought into the dark mountains of the earth" (Nischmath Chaim in 
Nork's Rabbinische Quellen und Parallelen). The resemblance between 
this tradition and that of the Zoroastrian legend of the fall of Ahriman 
and his angels, and again of the punishment of the Titans by Zeus in the 
mythology of Hesiod {Theogon. 729), shews the wide-spread currency 
of the belief referred to. How far this allusive reference to a tradition 
which the writers accepted stamps it with a Divine authority as an article 
of faith is a question the answer to which depends on external considera- 
tions as to the nature of the inspiration by which the writers who so re- 
ferred were guided. The office of the interpreter is limited to stating 
what, as far as can be gathered, was actually in the thoughts of the 
writer. 

7. the cities about them, in like manner. . .going after strange flesh] The 
words describe the form of evil for which the cities of the plain have 
become a byword of infamy. In saying that this sin was like that of 
the angels, it is clearly implied that in the latter case also there was a 
degradation of nature, such as is emphasized in the words that " the sons 
of God went in unto the daughters of men" (Gen. vi. 4). Impurity, and 
not simply or chiefly pride, as in the mediaeval traditions represented in 
the poems of Csedmon and Milton, is thought of as the leading feature in 
the fall of the angels {Book 0/ Enoch, c. 9). 

suffering the vengeance of eternal fire] The words imply a reference to 
something more than the natural phenomena of the Dead Sea region. 
The fire which had destroyed them is thought of as being still their 
doom, as permanent as the "eternal fire of Matt. xxv. 41. For 
"vengeance," which admits of a bad as well as a good meaning, it might 
be better to read "just punishment." 

8. Likewise also these filthy dreamers...] More accurately, these men 
dreaming defile the flesh. The English version follows many com- 
mentators in suggesting the thought that the words describe the kind of 
sensual dreams which lead to the pollution described in Lev. xv. 16, 17. . 
This meaning, however, does not lie in the word itself, and as the parti- 
ciple is, by the construction of the sentence, equally connected with all 
of the three verbs that follow, it is better to see in it a simple description 
of the dreaming, visionary character of the false teachers. They lived, as 
it were, in a dream (perhaps exulted in their clairvoyant visions), and 
the result was seen in impurity like that of the cities of the plain, in 
"despising dominion" and "speaking evil of dignities." On the 
questions presented by the two lost clauses, see notes on 2 Pet. ii. 10. 



/ 



/ 



206 JUDE. [v. 9. 

9 nities. Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with 
the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not 

•. Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil...] It 
is obvious, from the manner in which St Jude writes, that he assumes 
that the fact to which he refers was familiar to his readers. No tradition, 
however, precisely correspdnding with this statement is found in any 
Rabbinic or apocryphal book now extant, not even in the Book of Enoch, 
from which he has drawn so largely in other instances (verses 6, 14). 
CEcumenius indeed, writing in the tenth century, reports a tradition that 
Michael was appointed to minister at the burial of Moses, and that the 
devil urged that his murder of the Egyptian (Exod. ii. 12) had deprived 
him of the right of sepulture, and Ongen (die Princ. in. 2) states that 
the record of the dispute was found in a lost apocryphal book known as 
the Assumption of Moses, but in both these instances it is possible that the 
traditions may have grown out of the words of St Jude instead of being 
the foundation on which they rested. Rabbinic legends, however, 
though they do not furnish the precise fact to which St Jude refers, 
shew that a whole cycle of strange fantastic stories had gathered round 
the brief mysterious report of the death of Moses in Deut xxxiv. 5, 6, 
and it will be worth while to give some of these as shewing their general 
character. Thus, in the Targum, or Paraphrase, of Jonathan on 
Deuteronomy it is stated that the grave of Moses was given over to the 
special custody of the Archangel Michael. In the Debarim Rabba 
i.e. the Midrash on Deuteronomy (fol. 263), it is related that Sammael, 
the prince of the Evil Angels, was impatient for the death of Moses. 
"And he said, 'When will the longed-for moment come when Michael 
shall weep and I shall laugh?' And at last the time came when Michael 
said to Sammael, 'Ah ! cursed one ! Shall I weep while thou laughest?' and 
made answer in the words of Micah, 'Rejoice not against me, O mine 
enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall 
be a light unto me'" (Mic. vii. 8). A longer and wilder legend is 
given in the same book (foL 246), which must be somewhat abridged. 
" Moses prayed that if he might not enter into the Promised Land, he 
might at least be allowed to live ; but God told him that unless he died 
in this world he could have no life in the world to come, and com- 
manded Gabriel to fetch his sou!. Gabriel shrank from the task. Michael 
was next bidden to go, and he too shrank ; and then the command was 
given to Sammael, who found him with his face shining as the light, and 
he was afraid and trembled. He told him why he was come, and Moses 
asked him who had sent him, and he made answer that he was sent by 
the Creator of the Universe. But Moses still held out, and Sammael 
returned with his task unfulfilled. And Moses prayed, 'Lord of the 
World, give not my soul over to the Angel of Death.' And there came 
a voice from Heaven, 'Fear not, Moses, I will provide for thy burial,' 
and Moses stood up and sanctified himself as do the Seraphim, and the 
Most High came down from Heaven and the three chief angels with 
Him. Michael prepared the bier and Gabriel spread out the winding 
sheet.... And the Most High kissed him, and through that kiss took 



v. io.] JUDE. 207 

bring against /////* a railing accusation, but said, The Lord 
rebuke thee. But these speak evil of those things which 10 
they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute 

his soul to Himself* (Nork, Rabbinische Quellen). It is suggestive that 
the sin of the angels comes prominently forward in connexion with the 
legend. The soul of Moses pleads its reluctance to leave the body 
which was so holy : "Lord of the world 1 The angels Asa and Asael 
lusted after the daughters of men, but Moses, from the day Thou ap- 
pearedst unto him in the bush, led a life of perpetual continence." 

It is clear from these extracts that there was something like a floating 
cycle of legendary traditions connected with the death of the great 
Lawgiver, and it is a natural inference that St Jude's words refer to one 
of these then popularly received. It is scarcely within the limits of 
probability that anything in the nature of a really primitive tradition 
could have been handed down from generation to generation, through 
fifteen hundred years, without leaving the slightest trace in a single 
passage of the Old Testament ; nor is it more probable to assume, as 
some have done, that the writer of the Epistle had received a special 
revelation disclosing the fact to him. His tone in speaking of the fact 
is plainly that of one who assumes that his readers are familiar with it. 
The question whether in thus mentioning it he stamps it with the ' 
character of an actual fact in the history of the unseen world, will 
depend, as has been said above, upon the conclusion we have formed 
as to the nature of the inspiration under which the writers of the New 
Testament thought and wrote. Most thoughtful students of Scripture 
are now agreed that that inspiration did not necessarily convey an 
infallible power of criticising the materials of history and distinguishing 
popular belief from contemporary records ; and there is nothing, there- 
fore, irreverent in the thought that St Jude may have referred inci- 
dentally to a legend which he saw no reason to question, and which 
supplied an apposite illustration. In comparing this allusion with the 
parallel passage in 2 Pet. ii. 1 1, the thought suggests itself that the 
Apostle may have deliberately avoided what appeared to him unau- 
thorized additions to the Sacred Records, and so worded his exhorta- 
tion as to make it refer to what he found in Zech. iii. 3. 

a railing accusation} The Greek phrase, literally a Judgment, or 
charge, of blasphemy, though not absolutely identical with that in 2 Pet. 
ii. ii, has substantially the same meaning, not "an accusation of blas- 
phemy," but one characterised by reviling. 

10. But these speak evil of those things which they knmo not. . .] The 
context leaves no doubt that the region of the "things which they know 
not" is that of good and evil spirits. The false teachers were, though 
in another spirit, "intruding into those things which they had not seen," 
like those whom St Paul condemns in Col. ii. 18. 

but what they know naturally, as brute beasts...] There is an obvious 
reference to the natural impulses of sensual desire which the false 
teachers did understand only too well, but which they perverted either 
to the mere gratification of lust, or, as the words and the context seem 

Peter & Jude 1 4 



208 JUDE. [vv. ii, 12. 

ii beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Woe unto 
them ! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran 
greedily* after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished 
in the gainsaying of Core. 

is These are spots in your feasts of charity when they 

to indicate, to that gratification in a manner which was contrary to the 
laws of nature. If we would understand the burning vehemence of the 
writer's language, we must picture to ourselves the horror which he 
would feel at finding sins like those of Rom. i. 26, 27 reproduced among 
those who claimed to be followers of Christ, transcending others in 
their knowledge of the mysteries of the faith. 

11. Woe unto them I for they have gone in the way of Cain..."] We 
ask naturally what was the point of comparison. Probably in the case 
of those who were in the writer's thoughts, as in most others, "lust'* 
was "hard by hate," and the false teachers were murderous and malig- 
nant, as well as sensual. The reference to Cain in 1 John iii. 12 in- 
dicates that his name was used to point a moral as to the issue of the 
"evil works" in the spirit of hatred and of murder. Possibly, however, 
here also the writer may have had in his thoughts some of the Rabbinic 
legends which represented Cain as the offspring, not of Adam, but of 
Sammael, the Evil Spirit, and Eve, and as the parent of other evil 
spirits (Eisenmenger's Entdeckt, yudenthum, I. 832, 11. 428), and there- 
fore as connected with the idea of foul and unnatural impurity. > 

ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward] See notes on 
2 Pet. ii. 15. Here, as there, the mairi thought connected with the 
name of Balaam is that of the sin of uncleannessinto which the Israelites 
were led by him. 

attd perished in the gainsaying of Core] L e. by a gainsaying which was 
in its nature identical with that of Korah in Num. xvi. Completing 
the parallel thus suggested it is obvious that as the false teachers answer 
to Korah and his company, so the true apostles and prophets of the 
Church of Christ are thought of as occupying a position like that of 
Aaron or Moses. The Greek word for "gainsaying" is the LXX. 
equivalent for the "Meribah" of Num. xx. 13, 24. A strange Rabbinic 
legend, while it placed the souls of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram in 
Gehenna, represented them as not tormented there (Eisenmenger, 
Entdeckt. yudenthum y II. 342). 

12. These are spots in your feasts of charily] Here also, as in 2 Pet. 
ii. 13, the MSS. vary between "deceits" (aTarcus) and "feasts of charity, 
or love" (cryairow), but the evidence preponderates for the latter reading. 
Some MSS., including the Sinai tic, insert the words "these are 
murmurers...," which now stand in verse 16, at the beginning of this 
verse. The word rendered "spots" (ffviKdies) is not the same as that 
in 2 Pet. ii. 13 (<rrr?\oi), and in other Greek writers has the sense of 
"reefs" or "rocks below the sea." It is possible that St Jude may have 
looked on the two words as identical in meaning, but it is obvious, on 
the other hand, that the word "rocks," though it suggests a different 
image, gives a perfectly adequate sense to the whole passage. The false 



v. 12.] JUDE. 209 

feast with you> feeding themselves without fear : clouds they 
are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose 
fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by 

impure teachers who presented themselves undetected in the Christian 
love-feasts were as sunken rocks, and, if men were not on their guard, 
they might easily, by contact with them, "make shipwreck" of their 
faith (x Tim. i. 19). On these love-feasts and their relation to the life 
of the Apostolic Church see notes on a Pet ii. 13. 

when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear] Better, 
feasting with you without fear, pasturing themselves. The adverb is 
more naturally joined in the Greek with the participle that precedes it, 
and the English " feeding," suggesting, as it does, in this context simply 
the act of eating, fails to give the force of the Greek word for "feed, 
which, as being that used in Acts xx. 28, 1 Pet. v. 2, expresses the idea 
of the pastoral office. What St Jude means is that these teachers of im- 
purity, instead of submitting themselves to the true "pastors" of the 
Church, came in, like the false shepherds of Ezek. xxxiv. 1, *, 8, 10, to 
"feed themselves," i. e. to indulge their own lusts in defiance of authority. 

clouds they are without water] The "clouds" take the place of the 
"wells" of a Pet. ii. 17. The difference of imagery makes it probable 
that there may have been a difference of a like kind in the previous verse, 
and so far confirms the interpretation as to the "rocks" in the first clause 
of the verse. A like comparison is found in Prov. xxv. 14 ("Whoso 
boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain"). 
Men look in the hot climate of the East to the cloud as giving promise 
of the rain from heaven. It is a bitter disappointment when it passes 
away leaving the earth hard and unrefreshed as before. So men would 
look in vain to these false teachers, shifting alike in their movements 
and their teaching, borne to and fro by "every wind of doctrine" 
(comp. Eph. iv. 14), for any spiritual refreshment. 

trees whose fruit witherethy without fruit] Literally, autumn-wither- 
ing trees. This may mean either simply "autumnal trees," as " in the 
sere and yellow leaf' that is the forerunner of decay, or "trees that 
wither just at the very season when men look for fruit," and which are 
therefore fit symbols of the false teachers who are known " by their fruits." 
The use of a cognate word in Pindar (Pyth. V. 161) suggests, however, 
that the part of the compound word that corresponds to "autumn" may, 
like our "harvest," be taken as a collective expression for the fruits of 
that season, and so the term, as used by St Jude, would mean "trees 
that wither and blight their fruit instead of bringing it to maturity." 
The addition of "without fruit" is accordingly not a mere rhetorical 
iteration, but states the fact that the withering process was complete. 
The parable implied in the description was familiar to the disciples 
from the teaching both of John the Baptist and our Lord (Matt. iii. 10, 
vii. 16 — 20; Luke xiii. 6 — 9, and the Miracle of the Barren Fig-tree, 
Matt. xxL 10). 

twice deaa] Better, that have died twice, stress being laid on the 
repetition of the act of dying. It is not easy to fix the precise meaning 

14 — 2 



210 JUDE. \vv. 13, 14. 

13 the roots ; raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own 
shame ; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness 

14 of darkness for ever. And Enoch also, the seventh from 
Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh 

of the phrase, either as it affects the outward imagery or the inter- 
pretation of the parable. which it involves. Probably the tree is thought 
to die once when it ceases to bear fruit, and a second time when the 
sap ceases to circulate and there is no possibility of revival. So with the 
false teachers, there was first the blighting of the early promise of their 
knowledge of the truth, and then the entire loss of all spiritual life. 
The end of such trees was that they were "rooted up" and cast into the 
fire (Matt. iii. 10). In the interpretation of the parable, this may refer to 
the sentence of excommunication by which such offenders were excluded 
from fellowship with the Christian society, or to the judgment of God 
as confirming, or, it may be, anticipating that sentence. 

13. raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame] Image 
follows on image to paint the shameless enormities of the false teachers. 
In this we trace an echo of the thought, though not of the words, of Isai. 
lvii. 20. The same image meets us, though in a milder form, and to 
express a different type of spiritual evil, in James L 6. The Greek 
word for "shame" is in the plural, as indicating the manifold forms of 
the impurity of the false teachers. 

wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever\ 
The latter words are parallel to 2 Pet. ii. 17. The word for "wander- 
ing stars" is that which in the terminology of astronomy distinguishes the 
"planets" from the fixed stars. Here, however, the ordered regularity 
of planetary motion supplies no fit point of comparison, and we may 
probably see in the words a reference either to comets or shooting 
stars, whose irregular appearance, startling and terrifying men, and 
then vanishing into darkness, would present an analogue to the short- 
lived fame and baleful influence of the false teachers whom St Jude has 
in view. They too were drifting away into the eternal darkness. 

14. And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these... "\ 
The words that follow are almost a verbal quotation from the Apocry- 
phal Book of Enoch. As that work had probably been in existence for 
a century before St Jude wrote, and was easily accessible, it is more 
natural to suppose that he quoted here, as in previous instances, what 
he thought edifying, than to adopt either of the two strained hypotheses, 
(1) that the writer had received what he quotes through a tradition inde- 
pendent of the Book of Enoch, that tradition having left no trace of it- 
self in any of the writings of the Old Testament, or (?) that he was 
guided by a special inspiration to set the stamp of authenticity upon the 
one genuine prophecy which the apocryphal writer had imbedded in a 
mass of fantastic inventions. On the general question raised by this 
use of apocrypha] material, see the Introduction to this Epistle ; and 
for the history and contents of the Book of Enoch, the Excursus at the 
end of this volume. In the description of Enoch as the "seventh from 
Adam" there is probably a mystical symbolism. As being such he 



vv. 15, 16.] JUDE. 211 

with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon 15 
all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all 
their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, 
and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have 
spoken against him. 

These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their 16 
own lusts ; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, 

became typical of the great Sabbath, the millennium, which, according 
to Jewish thought, was to close the six thousand years of the world's 
work-day history. 

Behold^ the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints] The words 
appear in the Book of Enoch, as spoken by an angel who interprets a 
vision which the Patriarch had received as foretelling the judgment of 
the last day. The latter words run in the Greek literally, with His 
holy myriads, probably with a reference to Deut. xxxiii. 2, the "saints" 
or "holy ones here being not the disciples of Christ, but the "innumer- 
able company of angels" (Heb. xii. 22; Ps. lxviii. 17). 

15. to execute judgment upon all...] The following is given as a 
literal translation of the prophecy as it stands in the Book of Enoch : 
4 'And He cometh with ten thousands of His holy ones, that He may 
execute judgment upon them and destroy the ungodly, and may plead 
with all the carnal ones for all the things which sinners and the ungodly 
have done or wrought against Him." St Jude's version differs from 
this in the reiterated use of the word "ungodly" as noun, adjective, 
verb and adverb. 

16. These are murmurers, complainers.. .] The first noun is not found 
elsewhere in the New Testament, but the use of cognate verbs and 
nouns in Matt. xx. n; Luke v. 30 ; 1 Cor. x. 10 ; Acts vi. 1 and else- 
where, suggests that it refers primarily to the temper of a rebellions 
murmuring against human authority; in this case, probably, against that 
of the apostles and other appointed rulers of the Church. The Greek 
word for "complainers" has a more specific meaning, and means strictly 
Warners of fate, or, in modern phrase, finding fault with Providence. 
They took, as it were, a pessimist view of their lot of life, perhaps 
of the order of the world generally. The same word is used by Phito 
( VU. Afos. p. 109) to describe the temper of the Israelites in the wilder- 
ness, and appears in the Characters of Theophrastus (c. XVII.) as the 
type of the extremest form of general discontent, which complains even 
of the weather. 

walking after their own lusts] This stands in connexion with the fore- 
going as cause and effect. The temper of self-indulgence, recognising 
not God's will, but man's desires, as the law of action, is precisely that 
which issues in weariness and despair. The Confessions of the Preacher 
present the two elements often in striking combination (Eccles. ii. 
1 — 20). 

their mouth speaketh great swelling words] For the latter words and 
what they imply, see notes on 2 Pet. ii. 18. 



212 JUDE. [w. 17— 2a 

having men's persons in admiration because of advantage. 
X7 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken 
18 before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ ; how that 

they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who 
i 9 should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they 
30 who separate themselves, sensual, having not. the Spirit But 

having metis persons in admiration] Literally, admiring persons. 
The phrase, which is a somewhat stronger form of the more familiar 
"accepting persons" (James ii. 1; Gal. ii. 6; Matt. xxii. 16) occurs in 
the LXX. of Gen. xix. 21 ; Lev. xix. 15. The temper characterised is 
that which fawns as in wondering admiration on the great, while all the 
time the flatterer is simply seeking what profit he can get out of him 
whom he flatters. 

17. remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles.. .] 
The passage stands in close parallelism with 2 Pet. iii. 2, but differs in 
speaking only of "apostles" and not of prophets, and apparently also in 
referring only or chiefly to the predictions of the apostles and not to 
their commandments. If we could assume that 2 Peter was the earlier 
of the two Epistles, we might see in St Jude's language a reference to 
that of the Apostle. It will be noticed also that St Jude does not say, 
as St Peter does, "of us the apostles" (see, however, note on 2 Pet. 
iii. 2), and so far leaves it uncertain whether he includes himself. 

18. there should be mockers in the last time...] The word for 
"mockers" is found in 2 Pet. iii. 3, but the general character of those 
described agrees with the picture drawn in 1 Tim. iv. 1; 2 Tim. iii. 1. 
St Jude, it will be noted, does not dwell on the specific form of mockery, 
the taunts as to the delay in the second coming of the Lord, on which 
St Peter lays stress. 

walk after their own ungodly lusts'] Literally, after the lusts of their 
own impieties. The last word adds a special feature to the description 
already given, in nearly the same words, in verse 16. 

19 k These be they who separate themselves] Many of the better MSS. 
omit the reflexive pronoun. The verb is not found elsewhere in the 
New Testament, but a simpler form, with the same meaning, occurs in 
Lev. xx. 24. It was characteristic of the false teachers and mockers 
who are spoken of that they drew lines of demarcation, which Christ had 
not drawn, between themselves and others, or between different classes 
of believers, those, e.g., who had the higher gnosis, or exercised a wider 
freedom (2 Pet. ii. 19), and those who were content to walk in "the 
Apostles' doctrine and fellowship" (Acts ii. 42). They lost sight of the 
unity of the Church of Christ and preferred the position of a sect or 
party ; and, in so doing, united the exclusiveness of the Pharisees with the 
sensuous unbelief of the Sadducees. 

sensual, having not the Spirit] The adjective is the same as that 
which describes the "natural man" of 1 Cor. ii. 14, and implies that 
the man lives in the full activity of his emotional and perceptive 
nature, without rising into the region of the reason and conscience which 



v. 2i.] JUDE. 213 

 1 11 

ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, 
praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of 21 
God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto 

belong to his spiritual being. "Sensual," or better perhaps, sensuous, 
is the nearest English equivalent, but, strictly speaking, it expresses the 
lower aspect of the character represented by the Greek term. The 
"sensuous" or psychical man is not necessarily "carnal" in the sense 
usually attached to that term, but the two words are closely connected 
with, and indeed overlap each other. The words seem specially directed 
against the boast of many of the Gnostic teachers, who, looking to 
St Paul's words in 1 Cor. ii. 14, boasted that they alone were "spiritual" 
in that Apostle's sense of the term, and that the members of the Church 
were, as the "natural" or ** sensuous," incapable of knowing the higher 
mysteries of God (Iren. L.6. 2—4). St Jude retorts the charge, and says 
that they, who boast of their illumination, are in very deed destitute of 
every higher element of the religious life. The word for " Spirit" stands 
without the article in the Greek, and though this does not necessarily 
exclude the thought that the Spirit of God is spoken of, it is, perhaps, 
better to rest in the meaning that the false teachers were so absorbed in 
their lower, sensuous nature that they no longer possessed, in any real 
sense of the word, that element in man's compound being, which is itself 
spiritual, and capable therefore of communion with the Divine Spirit. 

20. building up yourselves on your most holy faith...] Both the ad- 
jective, which is nowhere used of faith in its subjective sense, and St 
Jude's use of the substantive in verse 3, lead us to take "faith" in the 
objective sense, as nearly identical with "creed," which attaches to it in 
the later Epistles of the New Testament (1 Tim. v. 8 and perhaps 
1 Tim. iv. 7). The readers of the Epistle are exhorted to take that 
faith as a foundation, and to erect on it the superstructure of a pure and 
holy life. 

praying in the Holy Ghost] The precise combination is not found else- 
where in the New Testament, but the fact which it expresses corresponds 
with St Paul's language in Rom. viii. 26, and the almost identical 
phraseology of 1 Cor. xiv. 15. What is meant is the ecstatic outpouring 
of prayer in which the words of the worshipper seem to cone as from 
the Spirit who "helpeth our infirmities" and "maketh intercession for 
us," it may be in articulate speech, it may be also as with "groanings 
that cannot be uttered" (Rom. viii. 26). Here again we may recognise- 
a side-glance at the false teachers. Not those who deserted th2 Church's 
faith for a life of impurity, but those who "built" on it a life of holi- 
ness, were capable of that height of devotion which is described as 
" praying in the Spirit" 

21. keep yourselves in the love of God.,,] The words admit equally 
of being taken of our love for God, or God's love for us, but the latter 
meaning is more in harmony with the general tenor of Scripture, and, in 
particular, with our Lord's language ("continue ye in my love") in 
John xv. 9, and probably also St Paul's ("the love of Christ constraineth 
us") in 1 Cor. v. 14. 



214 JUDE. [vv. 22, 23. 

»? eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a dif- 
23 ference : and others save with fear, pulling them out of the 
fire ; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. 

looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ] The verb implies, as 
in Luke ii. 25, 38, xxiii. 51, that the "mercy" is thought of as in the 
future, and probably there is a special reference to the second coming of 
Christ as that which will manifest His mercy no less than His righteous 
judgment. There is no ground, however, for limiting it to this signifi- 
cance, and it may well include all acts of mercy to which men were 
looking forward in patient expectation, as in store for them during the 
remainder of their earthly pilgrimage. 

The reference in this and the preceding verse (1) to the Holy Spirit, 
(?) to the Father, (3) to the Lord Jesus Christ, may be noted as shewing 
St Jude's witness to the "faith once delivered to the saints." 

22. And of some have compassion, making a difference..^] The MSS. 
present a strange variety of readings. Those of most authority give, 
Some rebuke (or convict, the same word as that used in John xvi. 8 ; 
Eph. v. 11) when they debate with you (participle in the accusative case). 
The Received Text rests on the evidence of later MSS., but it maybe 
questioned whether the participle (in this case in the nominative), which 
is in the middle voice, can have the meaning of "making a difference/ 1 
and even if we adopt that reading it would be better to render the 
word rebuke, as you debate with them, as with an implied re- 
ference to the same word as used in verse 9. Internal evidence, as 
far as it goes, agrees with the better MSS. There is more point in the 
contrast between the teachers who need a severe rebuke and those who 
may be saved with fear than in the two degrees of pity presented by 
the Received Text. 

23. and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire] Here 
again the MSS. present a striking variation, those of most authority 
giving "others save, snatching them out of the fire, and have compas- 
sion on others with fear." If we adopt this reading we have two classes 
of offenders brought before us, those who are to be saved as from the 
fire, as on the very verge of destruction, and those who are for some 
reason or other objects of a more tender pity, though they do not come 
within the range of immediate action. That pity, however, the context 
shews, was not to be accompanied by any tolerance of the evils into 
which they had fallen. In "snatching out of the fire" we have probably 
a reminiscence of the "brand plucked out of the fire" of Zech. iii. 2. 

hating even the garment spotted by the flesh] The "garment" is the 
inner tunic worn next to the flesh, and therefore thought of as con- 
taminated by its impurity, and it serves accordingly as a symbol of all 
outer habits of life that are affected by the inner foulness of the soul 
that is in bondage to the flesh. As men would loathe the touch of a defiled 
garment, bearing the stains of a cancerous ulcer, so they were to hate 
whatever was analogous to it in conduct (comp. Isaiah xxx. 12). The 
allusion to Zech. iii. 2 in the previous clause makes it probable that here 
also tlieie is a reference to the "filthy garments;" polluted, ie., with 



vv. 24, 25.] JUDE. 215 

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and 24 
to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with 
exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory 25 
and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. 
Amen. 

some ceremonial uncleanness, in which the high-priest Joshua the son of * 
Josedech first appears in the prophet's vision. In the benediction of 
Rev. iii. 4 on those who "have not defiled their garments," we have 
the same imagery. 

24. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling] Better, aisle 
to keep you from stumbling. See note on the difference between 
"stumbling" and "falling," on 2 Pet i. 10. The form of the concluding 
doxology is determined naturally by the thoughts that have led up to it. 
The writer had been dwelling on the various ways in which men had 
stumbled and fallen. He now directs their thoughts to God as alone 
able to preserve them from a like disastrous issue. 

to present you faultless before the presence of his glory] The adjective 
is a favourite one with St Paul (Eph. i. 4, v. 27 ; Phil. ii. 15 ; Col. i. 22) 
as describing the character of believers. In Heb. ix. 14 and 1 Pet. i. 19 
it is used of the stainless purity of Christ. The "glory" spoken of is 
that which is to be manifested at the coming of Christ "in his own 
glory, and that of the Father, and of the Holy Angels" (Luke ix. 26). 
Comp. also Tit. ii. 13. 

with exceeding joy] Both adjective and substantive are expressed in 
Greek by the one word for "exulting joy" in Luke i. 14, 44; Acts 
ii. 46. 

20. to the only wise God our Saviour,..] The form of the doxology 
in the Received Text presents a parallelism to that of 1 Tim. i. 1 7. The 
word "wise" is, however, omitted in many of the best MSS. In the 
use of the word " Saviour" as applied to God we have a parallelism with 
1 Tim. ii. 3. The Father, no less than the Son, was thought of by both 
writers as the Saviour and Preserver of all men. The MSS. that omit 
"wise" add, for the most part, "through Jesus Christ our Lord." 

be glory and majesty, dominion and power] The Greek has no verb, 
and the gap may be filled up either with the imperative of ascription or 
the indicative of assertion. The four words are brought together as ex- 
pressing the aggregate of the Divine Omnipotence, the last word expres- 
sing the "power of authority," as distinct from that of energy. The 
better MSS. insert after "power" the words "before all time" (literally, 
before the whole awn), so that the doxology includes the past eternity 
as well as the future. In the words "for ever" we have literally unto 
all the aces, or aons. 

The Epistle ends with the "Amen" which was the natural close of a 
doxology, and, like the Second Epistle of St Peter, contains no special 
messages or salutations. The letter was strictly a catholic, or encyclical, 
Epistle. 



2i6 JUDE. 



EXCURSUS ON THE BOOK OF ENOCH. 

Jude, Verse 14. 

The history of the book which bears this title is a sufficiently re- 
markable one. St Jude's reference to the prophecy of Enoch does not 
necessarily prove that he was acquainted with the book, but it at least 
shews the existence of traditions that had gathered round the patriarch's 
name. Allusions elsewhere to the fall of the angels (Justin, ApoU 11. 5) 
or to the work of Enoch in preaching to them (Iren. I v. 6), or to his 
knowledge of astronomy (Euseb. H. E. vii. 32), in like manner do not 
indicate more than the widely diffused belief that he represented not only 
the holiness, but the science of the antediluvian world. The first Church 
writer who seems really to have known it is Tertullian (De Hab. Mul. t 
c. 3), who, after giving at length the story how the angels that fell were 
allured by the beauty of the daughters of men, adds that he knows that 
the Book (scriptura) of Enoch is rejected by some as not being admitted 
into the Jewish "Storehouse" of holy writings. He meets the supposed 
objection that such a boojc was not likely to have survived the deluge by 
the hypothesis that it might have been committed to the custody of 
Noah, and been handed down after him from one generation to another, 
or that he might have been specially inspired, if it had perished, to re- 
write it, as Esdras was fabled (2 Esd. xiv. 38—48) to have re-written the 
whole Hebrew Canon. He defends his acceptance of it on the grounds 
( 1) that it prophesied of Christ, and (2) that it had been quoted by St Jude. 
In another passage (de Idol, c. 15) he names Enoch as predicting certain 
superstitious practices of the heathen, and so as being the most ancient 
of ail prophets. Augustine, on the other hand, adopting the view that 
the "sons of God" of Gen. vi. were righteous men who fell into the 
temptation of lust, rejects the book (which he clearly knew) as 
apocryphal, and while he admits the prophecy quoted by St Jude as 
authentic, dismisses all the rest as fabulous (De Civ. Dei, XV. 23). After 
this the book seems to have dropped out of sight, and it is Hot again 
referred to by any ecclesiastical writer. Fragments of it were found by 
Scaliger in the Chronographia of Georgius Syncellus, and printed by 
him in his notes on Eusebius in 1658. In 1773* however, Bruce, the 
Abyssinian explorer, brought over three copies which he had found in 



JUDE. 217 

the course of his travels, and one of these, presented to the Bodleian 
Library, was translated by Archbishop Lawrence and published in 1821. 
Another and more fully edited translation was published in German by 
Dillmann in 1853. 

The book thus brought to light after an interval of some fourteen 
hundred years, bears no certain evidence of date, and has been variously 
assigned by different scholars, by Ewald to B.C. 144 — 120, by Dillmann 
to B.C. 110, while other scholars have been led by its reference to the 
Messiah to ascribe a post-Christian origin to it. As regards its contents, 
it is a sufficiently strange farrago. The one passage which specially 
concerns us is found in c. ii. f and is thus rendered by Archbishop 
Lawrence. It comes as part of the first vision of Enoch : God will be 
manifested and the mountains shall melt in the flame, and then "Behold 
he comes with ten thousand of his saints to execute judgment upon 
them, and to reprove all the carnal for everything which the wicked 
and ungodly have done and committed against him." In c. vii., viii. 
we have the legend of the loves of the angels and the birth of the giants, 
and the invention of arts and sciences. Then comes a prophecy of the 
deluge (c. x.), and visions of the city of God (c. xiv.), and the names of 
the seven angels (c. xx.). He sees the dwelling-place of the dead, both 
good and evil (c. xxii.), and the tree of life which had been in Eden 
(c. xxiv. ), and a field beyond the Erythraean Sea in winch is the tree of 
knowledge (c. xxxi.). Vision follows upon vision, until in c. xlvi. 
we have a reproduction of that in Dan. vii. of the Ancient of Days in 
the Son of Man, who is identified with the Messiah (c. xlvii.), the 
Chosen One of God. And so the book goes on, leaving on the reader's 
mind an impression like that of a delirious dream, with endless repe- 
titions and scarcely the vestige of a plan or purpose. The reader of the 
English Apocrypha may find the nearest accessible approach to the 
class of literature which it represents in the Second Book of Esdras, 
but that, in its profound and plaintive pessimism, has at least the ele- 
ments of poetry and unity of purpose. The Book of Enoch stands on a 
far lower level, and belongs to the class of writings in which the decay 
of Judaism was but too prolific, on which St Paul seems to pass a final 
sentence when he speaks of them as "old wives' fables" (1 Tim. iv. 7). 



INDEX. 



abominable idolatries, 140 

adversary, 157 

agapae, 183 

'Ain et Tabigah, 5 

amaranth, 155 

angels that sinned, 199, 904 

answer of a good conscience, 137 

Asia, 61 

ass, 186 

Babylon, 160, x6x 

Balaam, 184, 208 

baptism, 136, 138 

Barnabas, 98 

barren, 167, 168 

Barsabas, 85, 86 

Bartholomew, 9 

beguiling, 184 

Bethsaida, 5 ; Bethsaida Julias, 5 

binding and loosing, 13 

bishop, 120, 15a 

Bithynia. 6a 

blind, 168 

book of Enoch, 204, 210, six, 2x6, 217 

Bosor, 184 

brethren of the Lord, 84 

buffeted, 1x7 

Cain, 208 

Caligula, 44, 45 . 
calling and election, 168 
Cappadocia, 61 
Cephas, 8, xa 
chains of darkness, 179 
charity, 144 
chief shepherd, 155 
chosen generation, x 10 
Christ ( the name, 107 
Christian, 149 
clergy, X54 

cloke of maliciousness, 115 
clouds without watsr, 209 
coming of Christ, 171, 190 
commission to the Apostles, 31 



complainers, 21 x 

conversation— behaviour, iot, t72, tax 

core, 2o3 

corner-stone, 109 

corruption, 166 

crown of glory, x$5 

cursed children, 184 

darkness, xxt 

daughters of Sarah, 124 

day of God, 195 ; day of the Lord, 194; 

day of visitation, 113 
day star, 175 
decease, 170 
denial, 177 

descent into Hades, 131 
devil, 157 
diligence, 166 
dispersion, the, 91 
dog, 189 
Dorcas, 46 
draught of fishes, xo, 29 

elder, 155; elders, 152 

elect; 93 

election, x68 

element, 194 

end of all things, 143 

endeavour, 170 

Enoch, book of, 204, 2x0, 211, 216, 217 

ensue, 128 

entangled, 188 

epignosis, 165, 168 

epistles of Paul, 197 

example, xi8 

excellent glory, 172 

eyes full of adultery, 183 

eyewitnesses, 17a 

fables, 171 

fall asleep, 191 

fathers, 190 

fear, xoa 

filthy lucre, 153 

fire, 192 ; eternal fire, 205 



INDEX. 



219 



fishers of men, 10 
followers, 128 
foreknowledge, 92, 103 
forgiveness, 17 

Galatia, 60, 91 
garment, 2x4 
glory, 172, 198, 215 
gnosis, 164, 165, 167, 1 63 
godliness, 165 
Gomorrha, 180 
grace, 93 

heresies, 177 

heritage, 154 

hidden man of the heart, 123 

holy mount, the, 173; holy priesthood, 

zo8 
honour all men, 115 
honour and glory, 172 
hospitality, 145 
house, spiritual, 108 
husbands, 125 

inheritance incorruptible, 94 

James, Epistle of, 67, 77 

Jannes and Jambres, 87 

Joanna, k 

Jona or Joannes, 5 

Joses, 85 

Jude, 83, 301 ; brother of James, 83, 84; 

his character, 87 
judgment, 179 

king * emperor, 114, 116 * 

kiss of charity, 162; kiss of peace, 162 

knowledge, 164, 167, 168, 188 

legends concerning Moses, 206 

liberty, 187 

like precious, 164 

living stone, 107 

Logos, io5 t 

long-suffering, 196 

Lord, 177 

lot, 154 

love of the brethren, 104 

lusts, 112; lust of uncleanness, 181 

majesty, 172 

Marcus, xoi 

meekness, 123 

men of God, 176 

mercy, 214 

Michael the archangel, 206 

mighty hand of God, 156 

milk of the word, 106 

mist of darkness, x86 

mockers. 212 

Moses, death of, 206 

Nathanael, 9 



natural brute beasts, 182 

new heavens and new earth, 195 

Noah, 180 

oracles of God, 146 
ordinance of man, 1x3 
osculatorium, 162 

partakers of the Divme nature, 166 

?atience, 167 
'aul, 196, 197 ; epistles of, 197 
pax, 162 
peace, 93, 162 

Ssculiar people, no 
entecost, 36 

Peter, his birth, 6; early life, 6, 7; at 
Capernaum, 7 : named Cephas, 8 : his 
confession of faith, 12; at the Trans- 
figuration of Christ, 15 ; his feet washed 
by the Saviour, 21 ; Peter in the garden 
of Gethsemane; uses the sword, 24; 
denies his Master, 25 ; his repentance, 
26 ; at the sepulchre with John, 27 ; 
sees the risen Lord, 27; change in 
Peter's character, 33, 34 ; preaches on 
the day of Pentecost, 37; heals the 
lame man, 38: his boldness before the 
council, 39; his vision at Joppa, 46; 
his release from prison, 49 ; rebuked by. 
Paul, 52; at Babylon, 53; legend con- 
necting hiin with Rome, 53 ft. 

Philip, 9 

pilgrims, it 1 

Pontus, 60 

present truth, 169 

priesthood, an holy, 108; royal priest- 
hood, xxo 

prison, 132 

private interpretation, 175 

prophetic word, 173, 174 

punishment, i8x 

purity, 104 

put off, 170; put to silence, 114 

raging waves, 210 
railing accusation, 182 
regeneration, the, 19 
revelation of Christ, 147 
right way, 184 
righteousness of God, 164 
riot, 183 
roaring lion, 157 
royal priesthood, no 

salvation, 9; 

sanctification, 93 

Sarah, daughters of, 124 

scripture, 198 

sensual, 212 

servants, x 16 ; servants of corruption, 187 

shepherd, chief, 155 

Silvanus, 159 

Simon, 6 



220 



INDEX. 



Simon the Sorcerer, 18, 55, 59, 171 

slackness, 193 

Sodom and Gomorrha, 180 

sojourners, 91 

soul, 113 

sow, 189 

spirits in prison, 132 

spiritual house, iod 

sprinkling, 93 

steadfastness, 198 

stone, living, 107 

stripes, 120 

stumbling, 169 

swift destruction, 178 

Symeon, 6, 162 

tabernacle, 170 
Tabitha, 46 
temperance, 167 



temptations, 180 

thankworthy, 117 # 

title of the first epistle of Peter, 91 

transfiguration, 15, 172 

tree ss cross, 119 ; trees without fruit, 209 

vanity, 187 
vessel, 125 

visitation, day of, 113 
voice from heaven, 173 

wandering stars, 210 

way of righteousness, x88; way of truth, 

178 
wells without water, 186 
wives, 121 ff. 
word of God, 191 ; word of the Lord, 105 

Zebedarus, 7 



CAMBRIDGE: PRINTED BY C. J. CLAY, M.A. AND SONS, AT THE UNIVERSITY PRESS. 



THE CAMBRIDGE BIBLE FOR 
SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES. 

General Editor, J. J. S. Perowne, 
Bishop of Worcester. 

<$pfttfon0 of tf)e press. 

"// is difficult to commend too highly this excellent series. 9 * — Guardian. 

" The modesty of the general title of this series has, we believe, led 
many to misunderstand its character and underrate its value. The books 
are well suited for study in the upper forms of our best schools, but not 
the less are they adapted to the wants of all Bible students who are not 
specialists. We doubt, indeed, whether any of the numerous popular 
commentaries recently issued in this country will be found more service- 
able for general use" — Academy. 

" One of the most popular and useful literary enterprises of the 
nineteenth century." — Baptist Magazine. 

" Of great value. The whole series of comments for. schools is highly 
esteemed by students capable of forming a judgment. The books are 
scholarly without being pretentious : and information is so given as to be 
easily understood." — Sword and Trowel. 

" The value of the work as an aid to Biblical study, not merely in 
schools but among people of all classes who are desirous to have intelligent 
knowledge of the Scriptures, cannot easily be over-estimated" — The 
Scotsman. 



The Book of Judges. J. J. Lias, M. A. " His introduction is clear 
and concise, full of the information which young students require, and 
indicating the lines on which the various problems suggested by the 
Book of Judges may be solved." — Baptist Magazine. 

1 Samuel, by A. F. Kirkpatrick. "Remembering the interest 
with which we read the Books of the Kingdom when they were appointed 
as a subject for school work in our boyhood, we have looked with some 
eagerness into Mr Kirkpatrick's volume, which contains the first instal- 
ment of them. We are struck with the great improvement in character, 
and variety in the materials, with which schools are now supplied. A 
clear map inserted in each volume, notes suiting the convenience of the 
scholar and the difficulty of the passage, and not merely dictated by the 
fancy of the commentator, were luxuries which a quarter of a century 
ago the Biblical student could not buy. " — Church Quarterly Review. 

"To the valuable series of Scriptural expositions and elementary 
commentaries which is being issued at the Cambridge University Press, 
under the title 'The Cambridge Bible for Schools,' has been added 
The First Book of Samuel by the Rev. A. F. Kirkpatrick. Like 
other volumes of the series, it contains a carefully written historical and 
critical introduction, while the text is profusely illustrated and explained 
by notes." — The Scotsman. 

' 30,000 

8/i/ox 



i CAMBRIDGE BIBLE FOR SCHOOLS & COLLEGES. 

 — — 

XL Samuel. A. F. Kirkpatrick, M. A. " Small as this work is 
in mere dimensions, it is every way the best on its subject and for its 
purpose that we know of. The opening sections at once prove the 
thorough competence of the writer for dealing with questions of criti- 
cism in an earnest, faithful and devout spirit ; and the appendices discuss 
a few special difficulties with a full knowledge of the data, and a judicial 
reserve, which contrast most favourably with the superficial dogmatism 
which has too often made the exegesis of the Old Testament a field for 
the play of unlimited paradox and the ostentation of personal infalli- 
bility. The notes are always clear and suggestive; never trifling or 
irrelevant; and they everywhere demonstrate the great difference in 
value between the work of a commentator who is also a Hebraist, and 
that of one who has to depend for his Hebrew upon secondhand 
sources. " — Academy* 

"The Rev. A. F. Kirkpatrick has now completed his commentary 
on the two books of Samuel. This second volume, like the first, is 
furnished with a scholarly and carefully prepared critical and historical 
introduction, and the notes supply everything necessary to enable the 
merely English scholar — so far as is possible for one ignorant of the 
original language — to gather up the precise meaning of the text. Even 
Hebrew scholars may consult tnis small volume with profit." — Scotsman. 

I. Kings and Epheslans. "With great heartiness we commend 
these most valuable little commentaries. We had rather purchase 
these than nine out of ten of the big blown up expositions. Quality is 
far better than quantity, and we have it here.— Sword and Trowel. 

I. Kings. "This is really admirably well done, and from first to 
last there is nothing but commendation to give to such honest work." — 
Bookseller. 

XL. Kings. "The Introduction is scholarly and wholly admirable, 
while the notes must be of incalculable value to students." — Glasgow 
Herald. 

"It is equipped with a valuable introduction and commentary, and 
makes an admirable text book Ifor Bible-classes." — Scotsman. 

" It would be difficult to find a commentary better suited for general 
use. " — Academy. 

The Book of Job. "Able and scholarly as the Introduction is, it is 
far surpassed by the detailed exegesis of the book. In this Dr Davidson's 
strength is at its greatest. His linguistic knowledge, his artistic habit, 
his scientific insight, and his literary power have full scope when he 
comes to exegesis. ...The book is worthy of the reputation of Dr Davidson ; 
it represents the results of many years of labour, and it will greatly help 
to the right understanding of one of the greatest works in the literature 
of the world."— The Spectator. 

" In the course of a long introduction, Dr Davidson has presented 
us with a very able and very interesting criticism of this wonderful 
book. Its contents the nature of its composition, its idea and purpose, 
its integrity, and its age are all exhaustively treated of.... We nave not 
space to examine fully the text and notes before us, but we can, and do 
heartily, recommend the book, not only for the upper forms in schools, 
but to Bible students and teachers generally. As we wrote of a previous 
volume in the same series, this one leaves nothing to be desired. The 
notes are full and suggestive, without being too long, and, in itself, the 



OPINIONS OF THE PRESS. 



introduction forms a valuable addition to modern Bible literature." — The 
Educational Times. 

"Already we have frequently called attention to this exceedingly 
valuable work as its volumes have successively appeared. But we have 
never done so with greater pleasure, very seldom with so great pleasure, 
as we now refer to the last published volume, that on the Book of Job, 
by Dr Davidson, of Edinburgh.... We cordially commend the volume to 
all our readers. The least instructed will understand and enjoy it ; 
and mature scholars will learn from it." — Methodist Recorder. 

Job — Hosea. " It is difficult to commend too highly this excellent 
series, the volumes of which are now becoming numerous. The two 
books before us, small as they are in size, comprise almost everything 
that the young student can reasonably expect to find in the way of helps 
towards such general knowledge of their subjects as may be gained 
without an attempt to grapple with the Hebrew ; and even the learned 
scholar can hardly read without interest and benefit the very able intro- 
ductory matter which both these commentators have prefixed to their 
volumes. It is not too much to say that these works have brought 
within the reach of the ordinary reader resources which were until 
lately quite unknown for understanding some of the most difficult and 
obscure portions of Old Testament literature." — Guardian. 

Eccleslastes ; or, the Preacher. — "Of the Notes, it is sufficient to 
say that they are in every respect worthy of Dr Plumptre's high repu- 
tation as a scholar and a critic, being at once learned, sensible, and 
practical. . . . An appendix, in which it is clearly proved that the 
author of Ecclesiastes anticipated Shakspeare and Tennyson in some 
of their finest thoughts and reflections, will be read with interest by 
students both of Hebrew and of English literature. Commentaries are 
seldom attractive reading. This little volume is a notable exception." — 
The Scotsman. 

" In short, this little book is of far greater value than most of the 
larger and more elaborate commentaries on this Scripture. Indispens- 
able to the scholar, it will render real and large help to all who have to 
expound the dramatic utterances of The Preacher whether in the Church 
or in the School." — The Expositor* 

"The 'ideal biography' of the author is one of the most exquisite 
and fascinating pieces of writing we have met with, and, granting its 
starting-point, throws wonderful light on many problems connected with 
the book. The notes illustrating the text are full of delicate criticism, 
fine glowing insight, and apt historical allusion. An abler volume 
than Professor Plumptre's we could not desire." — Baptist Magazine. 

Jeremiah, by A. W. Streane. "The arrangement of the book is 
well treated on pp. xxx., 396, and the question of Baruch's relations 
with its composition on pp. xxvii., xxxiv., 317. The illustrations from 
English literature, history, monuments, works on botany, topography, 
etc., are good and plentiful, as indeed they are in other volumes of this 
series." — Church Quarterly Review \ April, 1881. 

" Mr Streane' s Jeremiah consists of a series of admirable and well- 
nigh exhaustive notes on the text, with introduction and appendices, 
drawing the life, times, and character of the prophet, the style, contents, 
and arrangement of his prophecies, the traditions relating to Jeremiah, 



4 CAMBRIDGE BIBLE FOR SCHOOLS & COLLEGES. 

meant as a type of Christ (a most remarkable chapter), and other 
prophecies relating to Jeremiah." — The English Churchman and Clerical 
Journal. 

Obadlah and Jonah. "This number of the admirable" series of 
Scriptural expositions issued by the Syndics of the Cambridge Uni- 
versity Press is well up to the mark. The numerous notes are 
excellent. No difficulty is shirked, and much light is thrown on the 
contents be4h of Obadiah and Jonah. Scholars and students of to-day 
are to be congratulated on having so large an amount of information on 
Biblical subjects, so clearly and ably put together, placed within their 
reach in such small bulk. To all Biblical students the series will be 
acceptable, and for the use of Sabbath-school teachers will prove 
invaluable. " — North British Daily Mail. 

"It is a very useful and sensible exposition of these two Minor 
Prophets, and deals very thoroughly and honestly with the immense 
difficulties of the later-named of the two, from the orthodox point of 
view." — Expositor. 

" Haggai and Zecharlah. This interesting little volume is of great 
value. It is one of the best books in that well-known series of 
scholarly and popular commentaries, * the Cambridge Bible for Schools 
and Colleges ' of which Dean Perowne is the General Editor. In the 
expositions of Archdeacon Perowne we are always sure to notice 
learning, ability, judgment and reverence .... The notes are terse 
and pointed, but full and reliable." — Churchman. 

Malachi. " Archdeacon Perowne has already edited Jonah and 
Zechariah for this series. Malachi presents comparatively few difficulties 
and the Editor's treatment leaves nothing to be desired. His introduction 
is clear and scholarly and his commentary sufficient. We may instance 
the notes on ii. 15 and iv. 2 as examples of careful arrangement, 
clear exposition and graceful expression." — Academy ', Aug. 2, 1890. 

" The Gospel according to St Matthew, by the Rev. A. Carr. The 
introduction is able, scholarly, and eminently practical, as it bears 
on the authorship and contents of the Gospel, and the original form 
in which it » supposed to have been written. It is well illustrated by 
two excellent maps of the Holy Land and of the Sea of Galilee." — 
English  Churchman. 

"St Matthew, edited by A. Carr, M.A. The Book of Joshua, 
edited by G. F. MACLfeAft, D.D. The General Epistle of St James, 
edited by E. H. PlAJMPTRE, D.D. The introductions and notes are 
scholarly, and generally such as young readers need and can appre- 
ciate. The maps in both Joshua and Matthew are very good, and all 
matters of editing are faultless. Professor Plumptre's notes on 'The 
Epistle of St James' are models of terse, exact, and elegant renderings 
of the original, which is too often obscured in the authorised version." — 
Nonconformist. • - •*no.i 1 j 

44 St Mark, with Notes by the Rev. G. F. Maclear, D.D. Into 
this small volume Dr Maclear, besides a clear and able Introduc- 
tion to the Gospel, and the text of St Mark, has compressed many 
hundreds of valuable and helpful notes. In short, he has given us 
a capital manual of the kind required— containing all that is needed to 
illustrate the text, i.e. all that can be drawn iromthe history, geography, 



OPINIONS OF THE PRESS. 



customs, and manners of the time. But as a handbook, giving in a 
clear and succinct form the information which a lad requires in order 

to stand an examination in the Gospel, it is admirable I can very 

heartily commend it, not only to the senior boys and girls in our High 
Schools, but also to Sunday-school teachers, who may get from it the 
very kind of knowledge they often find it hardest to get —Expositor. 

"With the help of a book like this, an intelligent teacher may make 
'Divinity' as interesting a lesson as any in the school course. The 
notes are of a kind that will be, for the most part, intelligible to boys 
of the lower forms of our public schools ; but they may be read with 
greater profit by the fifth and sixth, in conjunction with the original 
text." — The Academy. 

"St Luke. Canon Farrar has supplied students of the Gospel 
with an admirable manual in this volume. It has all that copious 
variety of illustration, ingenuity of suggestion, and general soundness of 
interpretation which readers are accustomed to expect from the learned 
and eloquent editor. Any one who has been accustomed to associate 
the idea of 'dryness 1 with a commentary, should go to Canon Farrar 's 
St Luke for a more correct impression. He will find that a commen- 
tary may be made interesting in the highest degree, and that without 
losing anything of its solid value. . . . But, so to speak, it is too good 
for some of the readers for whom it is intended. " — The Spectator. 

"Canon Farrar's contribution to The Cambridge School Bible 
is one of the most valuable yet made. His annotations on The Gospel 
according to St Lake, while they display a scholarship at least as sound, 
and an erudition at least as wide and varied as those of the editors of 
St Matthew and St Mark, are rendered telling and attractive by a 
more lively imagination, a keener intellectual and spiritual insight, a 
more incisive and picturesque style. His St Luke is worthy to be ranked 
with Professor Plumptre's St James % than which no higher commend- 
ation can well be given." — The Expositor. 

"St Luke. Edited by Canon Farrar, D.D. We have received with 
pleasure this edition of the Gospel by St Luke, by Canon Farrar. It is 
another instalment of the best school commentary of the Bible we pos- 
sess. Of the expository part of the work we cannot speak too highly. 
It is admirable in every way, and contains just the sort of informa- 
tion needed for Students of the English text unable to make use of the 
original Greek for themselves." — The Nonconformist and Independent. 

"As a handbook to the third gospel, this small work is invaluable. 
The author has compressed into little space a vast mass of scholarly in- 
formation. . • The notes are pithy, vigorous, and suggestive, abounding 
in pertinent illustrations from general literature, and aiding the youngest 
reader to an intelligent appreciation of the text. A finer contribution to 
'The Cambridge Bible for Schools' has not yet been made." — Baptist 
Magazine. *■+■■- 

►^ "We were quite prepared to find in Canon Farrar's St Luke a 
masterpiece of Biblical criticism and comment, and we are not dis- 
appointed by our examination of the volume before us. It reflects very 
faithfully the learning and critical insight of the Canon's greatest works, 
his 'Life of Christ' and his 'Life of St Paul', but differs widely from 
both in the terseness and condensation of its style. What Canon Farrar 
has evidently aimed at is to place before students as much imormation 



6 CAMBRIDGE BIBLE FOR SCHOOLS & COLLEGES. 

as possible within the limits of the smallest possible space, and 
in this aim he has hit the mark to perfection."— 7%* Examiner. 

The Gospel according to St John. "Of the notes we can say with 
confidence that they are useful, necessary, learned, and brief. To 
Divinity students, to teachers, and for private use, this compact 
Commentary will be found a valuable aid to the better understanding 
of the Sacred Text." — School Guardian. 

"The new volume of the * Cambridge Bible for Schools' — the 
Gospel according to St John, by the Rev. A. Plummer— shows as 
careful and thorough work as either of its predecessors. The intro- 
duction concisely yet fully describes the life of St John, the authenticity 
of the Gospel, its characteristics, its relation to the Synoptic Gospels, 
and to the Apostle's First Epistle, and the usual subjects referred to in 
an 'introduction'." — The Christian Church. 

"The notes are extremely scholarly and valuable, and in most cases 
exhaustive, bringing to the elucidation of the text all that is best in 
commentaries, ancient and modern." — The English Churchman and 
Clerical journal. 

"(i) The Acts of the Apostles. By J. Rawson Lumby, D.D. 
(2) The Second Epistle of the Corinthians, edited by Professor Lias. 
The introduction is pithy, and contains a mass of carefully-selected 
information on the authorship of the Acts, its designs, and its sources. 

The Second Epistle of the Corinthians is a manual beyond all praise, 

for the excellence of its pithy and pointed annotations, its analysis of the 
contents, and the fulness and value of its introduction." — Examiner. 

"The concluding portion of the Acts of the Apostles, under the very 
competent editorship of Dr Lumby, is a valuable addition to our 
school-books on that subject. Detailed criticism is impossible within 
the space at our command, but we may say that the ample notes, touch 
with much exactness the very points on which most readers of the text 
desire information. Due reference is made, where necessary, to the 
Revised Version ; the maps are excellent ; and we do not know of any 
other volume where so much help is given to the complete understand- 
ing of one of the most important and, in many respects, difficult books 
of the New Testament." — School Guardian. 

"The Rev. H. C. G. Moule, M.A., has made a valuable addition 
to The Cambridge Bible for Schools in his brief commentary on 
the Epistle to the Romans. The 'Notes' are very good, and lean, 
as the notes of a School Bible should, to the most commonly ac- 
cepted and orthodox view of the inspired author's meaning ; while the 
Introduction, and especially the Sketch of the Life of St Paul, is a model 
of condensation. It is as lively and pleasant to read as if two or three 
facts had not been crowded into well-nigh every sentence." — Expositor. 

"The Epistle to the Romans. It is seldom we have met with a 
work so remarkable for the compression and condensation of all that 
is valuable in the smallest possible space as in the volume before us. 
Within its limited pages we have 'a sketch of the Life of St Paul,' 
we have further a critical account of the date of the Epistle to the 
Romans, of its language, and of its genuineness. The notes are 
numerous, full of matter, to the point, and leave no real difficulty 
or obscurity unexplained." — The Examiner. 



OPINIONS OF THE PRESS. 



"The First Epistle to the Corinthians. Edited by Professor Lias. 
Every fresh instalment of this annotated edition of the Bible for Schools 
confirms the favourable opinion we formed of its value from the exami- 
nation of its first number. The origin and plan of the Epistle are 
discussed with its character and genuineness." — The Nonconformist, 

"The Second Epistle to the Corinthians. By Professor Lias. The 
General Epistles of St Peter and St Jnde. By E. H. Plumptre, D. D. 
We welcome these additions to the valuable series of the Cambridge 
Bible. We have nothing to add to the commendation which we 
have from the first publication given to this edition of the Bible. It is 
enough to say that Professor Lias has completed his work on the two 
Epistles to the Corinthians in the same admirable manner as at first 
Dr Plumptre has also completed the Catholic Epistles." — Nonconformist '. 

The Epistle to the Epheslans. By Rev. H. C. G. Moule, M.A. 
" It seems to us the model of a School and College Commentary — 
comprehensive, but not cumbersome; scholarly, but not pedantic. — 
Baptist Magazine, 

The Epistle to the Philippians. " There are few series more valued 
by theological students than 'The Cambridge Bible for Schools and 
Colleges/ and there will be no number of it more esteemed than that 
by Mr H. C. G. Moule on the Epistle to the Philippians" — Record. 

" Another capital volume of 'The Cambridge Bible for Schools and 
Colleges.' The notes are a model of scholarly, lucid, and compact 
criticism." — Baptist Magazine. 

Hebrews. "Like his (Canon Farrar's) commentary on Luke it 
possesses all the best characteristics of his writing. It is a work not 
only of an accomplished scholar, but of a skilled teacher." — Baptist 
Magazine. 

*'We heartily commend this volume of this excellent work." — 
Sunday School Chronicle. 

"The General Epistle of 8t James, by Professor Plumptre, D.D. 
Nevertheless it is, so far as I know, by far the best exposition of the 
Epistle of St James in the English language. Not Schoolboys or 
Students going in for an examination alone, but Ministers and Preachers 
of the Word, may get more real help from it than from the most costly 
and elaborate commentaries." — Expositor. 

The Epistles of St John. By the Rev. A. Plummer, M.A., D.D. 
"This forms an admirable companion to the 'Commentary on the 
Gospel according to St John,' which was reviewed in The Churchman 
as soon as it appeared. Dr Plummer has some of the highest qualifica- 
tions for such a task ; and these two volumes, their size being considered, 
will bear comparison with the best Commentaries of the time." — The 
Churchman. 

" Dr Plummer's edition of the Epistles of St John is worthy of its 
companions in the 'Cambridge Bible for Schools' Series. The 
subject, though not apparently extensive, is really one not easy to 
treat, and requiring to be treated at length, owing to the constant 
reference to obscure heresies in the Johannine writings. Dr Plummer 
has done his exegetical task well." — The Saturday Review. 



THE CAMBRIDGE GREEK TESTAMENT 

FOR SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES 

with a Revised Text, based on the most recent critical authorities, and 
English Notes, prepared under the direction of the General Editor, 

The Bishop of Worcester. 

" Has achieved an excellence which puts it above criticism" — Expositor. 

St Matthew. " Copious illustrations, gathered from a great variety 
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are- indeed remarkably interesting, while all explanations on meanings, 
applications, and the like are distinguished by their lucidity and good 
sense."— Pall Mall Gazette. 

St Mark. "The Cambridge Greek Testament of which Dr Maclear's 
edition of the Gospel according to St Mark is a volume, certainly 
supplies a want. Without pretending to compete with the leading 
commentaries, or to embody very much original research, it forms a 
most satisfactory introduction to the study of the New Testament in 
the original.... Dr Maclear's introduction contains all that is known of 
St Mark's life ; an account of the circumstances in which the Gospel 
was composed, with an estimate of the influence of St Peter's teaching 
upon St Mark ; an excellent sketch of the special characteristics of this 
Gospel ; an analysis, and a chapter on the text of the New Testament 
generally." — Saturday Review. 

St Luke. "Of this second series we have a new volume by 
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gives us in clear and beautiful language the best results of modern 
scholarship. We have a most attractive Introduction. Then follows 
a sort of composite Greek text, representing fairly and in very beautiful 
type the consensus of modern textual critics. At the beginning of the 
exposition of each chapter of the Gospel are a few short critical notes 
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deserve mention. The expository notes are short, but clear and helpful. 
For young students and those who are not disposed to buy or to study 
the much more costly work of Godet, this seems to us to be the best 
book on the Greek Text of the Third Gospel."— Methodist Recorder. 

St John. " We take this opportunity of recommending to ministers 
on probation, the very excellent volume of the same series on this part 
of the New Testament. We hope that most or all of our young ministers 
will prefer to study the volume in the Cambridge Greek Testament for 
Schools" — Methodist Recorder. 

The Acts of the Apostles. "Professor Lumby has performed his 
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freshness of which Bible students will not be slow to appreciate. The 
volume is enriched with the usual copious indexes and four coloured 
maps." — Glasgow Herald. 

I. Corinthians. "Mr Lias is no novice in New Testament exposi- 
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addition to the existing books." — Guardian. 

The Epistles of St John. " In the very useful and well annotated 
series of the Cambridge Greek Testament the volume on the Epistles 
of St John must hold a high position... The notes are brief, well 
informed and intelligent." — Scotsman. 

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