1 Peter 2:12
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

New Living Translation
Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.

English Standard Version
Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

New American Standard Bible
Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.

King James Bible
Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles, so that in a case where they speak against you as those who do what is evil, they will, by observing your good works, glorify God on the day of visitation.

International Standard Version
Continue to live such upright lives among the gentiles that, when they slander you as practicers of evil, they may see your good actions and glorify God when he visits them.

NET Bible
and maintain good conduct among the non-Christians, so that though they now malign you as wrongdoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God when he appears.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And let your way of life be beautiful before all children of men, those who speak wicked words of you, that they may see your beautiful works and praise God in the day of examination.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Live decent lives among unbelievers. Then, although they ridicule you as if you were doing wrong while they are watching you do good things, they will praise God on the day he comes to help you.

Jubilee Bible 2000
and have your honest conversation among the Gentiles, so that, in that which they murmur about you as of evildoers, having witnessed your good works, they may glorify God in the day of visitation.

King James 2000 Bible
Having your conduct honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

American King James Version
Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

American Standard Version
having your behavior seemly among the Gentiles; that, wherein they speak against you as evil-doers, they may by your good works, which they behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Having your conversation good among the Gentiles: that whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by the good works, which they shall behold in you, glorify God in the day of visitation.

Darby Bible Translation
having your conversation honest among the Gentiles, that [as to that] in which they speak against you as evildoers, they may through [your] good works, [themselves] witnessing [them], glorify God in [the] day of visitation.

English Revised Version
having your behaviour seemly among the Gentiles; that, wherein they speak against you as evil-doers, they may by your good works, which they behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

Webster's Bible Translation
Having your manner of life honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evil-doers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

Weymouth New Testament
Live honourable lives among the Gentiles, in order that, although they now speak against you as evil-doers, they may yet witness your good conduct, and may glorify God on the day of reward and retribution.

World English Bible
having good behavior among the nations, so in that of which they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they see, glorify God in the day of visitation.

Young's Literal Translation
having your behaviour among the nations right, that in that which they speak against you as evil-doers, of the good works having beheld, they may glorify God in a day of inspection.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

2:11,12 Even the best of men, the chosen generation, the people of God, need to be exhorted to keep from the worst sins. And fleshly lusts are most destructive to man's soul. It is a sore judgment to be given up to them. There is a day of visitation coming, wherein God may call to repentance by his word and his grace; then many will glorify God, and the holy lives of his people will have promoted the happy change.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 12. - Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles. If we read ἀπέχεσθαι, in ver. 11 (some ancient manuscripts have ἀπέχεσθε), there is a slight irregularity in the construction, as the participle ἔνοντες is nominative; it gives more force and vividness to the sentence (comp. in the Greek, Ephesians 4:2; Colossians 3:16). The conversation (ἀναστροφή, mode of life or behavior) of the unconverted is described as "vain" in 1 Peter 1:18; the conversation of Christians must be seemly (καλή), exhibiting the beauty of holiness. The Churches to which St. Peter wrote were in Gentile countries; they must be careful, for the honor of their religion, to set a good example among the heathen - a warning, alas! too often neglected in modern as well as in ancient times. That, whereas they speak against you as evil-doers; literally, wherein, in the matter in which they speak, i.e. in reference to manner of life. Christians were commonly accused of "turning the world upside down;" of doing "contrary to the decrees of Caesar," as at Thessalonica (Acts 17:6, 7); of being atheists and blasphemers of the popular idolatry, as at Ephesus (Acts 19:37). Suetonius calls them a "genus hominum superstitionis novae et maleficse" ('Vit. Neron.,' 1 Peter 16.). Probably the grosser accusations of Thyestean banquets, etc., came later. They may by your good works, which they shall be hold, glorify God in the day of visitation. The word rendered, "which they shall be bold" (ἐποπτεύσαντες, or, according to some of the older manuscripts, ἐποπτεύοντες, beholding), occurs only here and in 1 Peter 3:2. It implies close attention; the Gentiles watched the conduct of the Christians, narrowly scrutinizing it to discover faults and inconsistencies. The use of the corresponding substantive, ἐπόπτης, in 2 Peter 1:16 is a coincidence to be noticed. It is not probable that there is any reference to the heathen use of the word in connection with the Eleusinian Mysteries. St. Peter hopes that this close observation of the lives of Christian people would lead the Gentiles to glorify God; he was thinking, perhaps, of our Lord's words in the sermon on the mount: "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.' Perhaps in the following clause also we may trace an echo of the Savior's words in Luke 19:44, "Because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation" (ἐπισκοπῆς, as here). St. Peter hopes that the holy lives of Christians may be made the means of saving many Gentile souls in the time of visitation; that is, when God should visit the heathen with his converting grace, seeking to draw them to himself, whether by gracious chastisement or by the preaching of his servants. This seems more natural than to understand the words of God's visitation of the Christians in the persecutions which were impending; though it is true that many Gentiles were won to Christ by the calm and holy bearing of suffering Christians.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles,.... To have the conversation honest, is to provide things honest in the sight of men; to live and walk honestly before all; to do those things which are right and honest in the sight of God, and among men; to order the conversation aright, according to the law of God, which is a rule of walk and conversation, and as becomes the Gospel of Christ; and which was the more, and rather to be attended to, because these converted Jews were "among the Gentiles", that knew not God; idolaters, and unbelievers, profane sinners, who were watching for their halting, and that they might take an advantage against them, and the Gospel, and the religion they professed, from their conversations:

that whereas they speak against you as evildoers: charging them with the grossest immoralities, as the Heathens did the Christians in the first ages; which appears evidently from the apologies of Tertullian, Jnstin Martyr, and others; though it seems that the Jewish converts are here intended, who were accused by the Gentiles of seditious principles and practices, and of acting contrary to the laws of civil government, refusing to yield subjection to Gentile magistrates, and obedience to Heathen masters; and hence the apostle, in some following verses, enlarges on those duties, and which he exhorts them to attend unto, that they might put to silence the ignorance of such foolish accusers: and

that they may, by your good works which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation; or "trial", or "examination", as the Syriac version renders it; which may be understood either of human or divine visitation; if of the former, then the sense is, let the saints attend to all the duties of civil life, that when Heathen magistrates come to visit their several districts, and inquire and examine into the conduct of men, and seeing and finding that the Christians behave well and orderly, instead of persecuting them, they will bless God that they are such good subjects; if of divine visitation, which seems most likely, this must either design a visitation by way of judgment, or of mercy; for as the Jews say (d), there is "a visitation", for good, and a visitation for evil: God sometimes visits in a way of punishment for sin, and sometimes in away of grace, for the good and welfare of men; and then the sense is, that when wicked men take notice of and observe the good works of the saints, their civil, honest, and orderly conversation, they shall glorify God on that account, who has enabled them to perform them; and acknowledge the goodness of them, and the wrong judgment they have passed upon them, and the ill measure they have measured out to them; and this will be, either when God visits them in a way of wrath, as at the day of judgment, or at the time of some temporal calamity before, or when he visits them in a way of mercy, calls them by his grace, and effectually works upon them by his Spirit: the same argument for the performance of good works is used by Christ, in Matthew 5:16.

(d) Zohar in Gen. fol. 93. 3.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

12. conversation—"behavior"; "conduct." There are two things in which "strangers and pilgrims" ought to bear themselves well: (1) the conversation or conduct, as subjects (1Pe 2:13), servants (1Pe 2:18), wives (1Pe 3:1), husbands (1Pe 3:7), all persons under all circumstances (1Pe 2:8); (2) confession of the faith (1Pe 3:15, 16). Each of the two is derived from the will of God. Our conversation should correspond to our Saviour's condition; this is in heaven, so ought that to be.

honest—honorable, becoming, proper (1Pe 3:16). Contrast "vain conversation," 1Pe 1:18. A good walk does not make us pious, but we must first be pious and believe before we attempt to lead a good course. Faith first receives from God, then love gives to our neighbor [Luther].

whereas they speak against you—now (1Pe 2:15), that they may, nevertheless, at some time or other hereafter glorify God. The Greek may be rendered, "Wherein they speak against you … that (herein) they may, by your good works, which on a closer inspection they shall behold, glorify God." The very works "which on more careful consideration, must move the heathen to praise God, are at first the object of hatred and raillery" [Steiger].

evildoers—Because as Christians they could not conform to heathenish customs, they were accused of disobedience to all legal authority; in order to rebut this charge, they are told to submit to every ordinance of man (not sinful in itself).

by—owing to.

they shall behold—Greek, "they shall be eye-witnesses of"; "shall behold on close inspection"; as opposed to their "ignorance" (1Pe 2:15) of the true character of Christians and Christianity, by judging on mere hearsay. The same Greek verb occurs in a similar sense in 1Pe 3:2. "Other men narrowly look at (so the Greek implies) the actions of the righteous" [Bengel]. Tertullian contrasts the early Christians and the heathen: these delighted in the bloody gladiatorial spectacles of the amphitheater, whereas a Christian was excommunicated if he went to it at all. No Christian was found in prison for crime, but only for the faith. The heathen excluded slaves from some of their religious services, whereas Christians had some of their presbyters of the class of slaves. Slavery silently and gradually disappeared by the power of the Christian law of love, "Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." When the pagans deserted their nearest relatives in a plague, Christians ministered to the sick and dying. When the Gentiles left their dead unburied after a battle and cast their wounded into the streets, the disciples hastened to relieve the suffering.

glorify—forming a high estimate of the God whom Christians worship, from the exemplary conduct of Christians themselves. We must do good, not with a view to our own glory, but to the glory of God.

the day of visitation—of God's grace; when God shall visit them in mercy.

1 Peter 2:12 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Living Stone
11Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. 12Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.
Cross References
Isaiah 10:3
What will you do on the day of reckoning, when disaster comes from afar? To whom will you run for help? Where will you leave your riches?

Daniel 6:4
At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.

Matthew 5:16
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Matthew 9:8
When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to man.

Luke 19:44
They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you."

John 13:31
When he was gone, Jesus said, "Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him.

Acts 28:22
But we want to hear what your views are, for we know that people everywhere are talking against this sect."

Romans 14:18
because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.

2 Corinthians 8:21
For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.

Philippians 2:15
so that you may become blameless and pure, "children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation." Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.

1 Timothy 5:10
and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the Lord's people, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.

Titus 2:8
and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.

James 3:13
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.

1 Peter 2:15
For it is God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.

1 Peter 3:16
keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

1 Peter 4:11
If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 4:16
However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.
Treasury of Scripture

Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

your conversation.

1 Peter 3:2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.

Psalm 37:14 The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to …

Psalm 50:23 Whoever offers praise glorifies me: and to him that orders his conversation …

2 Corinthians 1:12 For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that …

Ephesians 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the …

Ephesians 4:22 That you put off concerning the former conversation the old man, …

Philippians 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becomes the gospel of Christ: …

1 Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise your youth; but be you an example of the believers, …

Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with …

James 3:13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show …

2 Peter 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner …

honest.

Romans 12:17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the …

Romans 13:13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, …

2 Corinthians 8:21 Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but …

2 Corinthians 13:7 Now I pray to God that you do no evil; not that we should appear …

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are …

1 Thessalonians 4:12 That you may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that …

1 Timothy 2:2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a …

Hebrews 13:18 Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things …

among.

Genesis 13:7,8 And there was a strife between the herdsmen of Abram's cattle and …

Philippians 2:15,16 That you may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without …

that.

1 Peter 3:1,16 Likewise, you wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, …

1 Peter 4:14-16 If you be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are you; for the …

Matthew 5:11 Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and …

Matthew 10:25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant …

Luke 6:22 Blessed are you, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate …

Acts 24:5,6,13 For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition …

Acts 25:7 And when he was come, the Jews which came down from Jerusalem stood …

whereas. or, wherein. they may.

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, …

Titus 2:7,8 In all things showing yourself a pattern of good works: in doctrine …

glorify.

1 Peter 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man …

Psalm 50:23 Whoever offers praise glorifies me: and to him that orders his conversation …

Romans 15:9 And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, …

1 Corinthians 14:25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling …

the day.

Luke 1:68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he has visited and redeemed his people,

Luke 19:44 And shall lay you even with the ground, and your children within …

Acts 15:14 Simeon has declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, …

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