|New International Version (©2011)|
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,
New Living Translation (©2007)
Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment,
English Standard Version (©2001)
Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
Like newborn infants, desire the pure spiritual milk, so that you may grow by it for your salvation,
International Standard Version (©2012)
Like newborn babies, thirst for the pure milk of the word so that by it you may grow in your salvation.
NET Bible (©2006)
And yearn like newborn infants for pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up to salvation,
Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)
And be as nursing infants, and yearn for the word as for pure and spiritual milk by which you shall grow strong for life,
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
Desire God's pure word as newborn babies desire milk. Then you will grow in your salvation.
King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby:
American King James Version
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that you may grow thereby:
American Standard Version
as newborn babes, long for the spiritual milk which is without guile, that ye may grow thereby unto salvation;
As newborn babes, desire the rational milk without guile, that thereby you may grow unto salvation:
Darby Bible Translation
as newborn babes desire earnestly the pure mental milk of the word, that by it ye may grow up to salvation,
English Revised Version
as newborn babes, long for the spiritual milk which is without guile, that ye may grow thereby unto salvation;
Webster's Bible Translation
As new-born babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
Weymouth New Testament
Thirst, like newly-born infants, for pure milk for the soul, that by it you may grow up to salvation;
World English Bible
as newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the Word, that you may grow thereby,
Young's Literal Translation
as new-born babes the word's pure milk desire ye, that in it ye may grow,
|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:1-10 Evil-speaking is a sign of malice and guile in the heart; and hinders our profiting by the word of God. A new life needs suitable food. Infants desire milk, and make the best endeavours for it which they are able to do; such must be a Christian's desires after the word of God. Our Lord Jesus Christ is very merciful to us miserable sinners; and he has a fulness of grace. But even the best of God's servants, in this life, have only a taste of the consolations of God. Christ is called a Stone, to teach his servants that he is their protection and security, the foundation on which they are built. He is precious in the excellence of his nature, the dignity of his office, and the glory of his services. All true believers are a holy priesthood; sacred to God, serviceable to others, endowed with heavenly gifts and graces. But the most spiritual sacrifices of the best in prayer and praise are not acceptable, except through Jesus Christ. Christ is the chief Corner-stone, that unites the whole number of believers into one everlasting temple, and bears the weight of the whole fabric. Elected, or chosen, for a foundation that is everlasting. Precious beyond compare, by all that can give worth. To be built on Christ means, to believe in him; but in this many deceive themselves, they consider not what it is, nor the necessity of it, to partake of the salvation he has wrought. Though the frame of the world were falling to pieces, that man who is built on this foundation may hear it without fear. He shall not be confounded. The believing soul makes haste to Christ, but it never finds cause to hasten from him. All true Christians are a chosen generation; they make one family, a people distinct from the world: of another spirit, principle, and practice; which they could never be, if they were not chosen in Christ to be such, and sanctified by his Spirit. Their first state is a state of gross darkness, but they are called out of darkness into a state of joy, pleasure, and prosperity; that they should show forth the praises of the Lord by their profession of his truth, and their good conduct. How vast their obligations to Him who has made them his people, and has shown mercy to them! To be without this mercy is a woful state, though a man have all worldly enjoyments. And there is nothing that so kindly works repentance, as right thoughts of the mercy and love of God. Let us not dare to abuse and affront the free grace of God, if we mean to be saved by it; but let all who would be found among those who obtain mercy, walk as his people.
Verse 2. - As newborn babes. The words look back to 1 Peter 1:3, 23. God begat them again; they were new-born babes in Christ, they must remember their regeneration. The rabbis used the same metaphor of their proselytes; but the apostle was doubtless thinking of the Savior's words (Matthew 18:3; Mark 10:14, 15). Desire the sincere milk of the Word. Desire, long for it eagerly (ἐπιποθήσατε), as babes long for milk, their proper food, the only food necessary for them. It seems that in the adjective λογικόν (paraphrased in the Authorized Version "of the Word," rendered "spiritual" or "reasonable" in the Revised Version) there must be a reference to the Word of God (λόγος Θεοῦ), mentioned in 1 Peter 1:23 as the instrument of regeneration, and called by our Lord (Matthew 4:4, from Deuteronomy 8:3) the food of man (but the Greek in Matthew is ῤῆμα, as in 1 Peter 1:25). The paraphrase of the Authorized Version gives the general meaning; but the adjective means literally, "reasonable" or "rational." The apostle is not thinking of natural milk, but of that nourishment which the Christian reason can regard as milk for the soul - spiritual food, pure and simple and nourishing, capable of supporting and strengthening those newborn babes who not long ago had been begotten again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, through the Word of God. The adjective occurs only in one other place of Holy Scripture (possibly St. Peter may have read it there) - Romans 12:1, τὴν λογικὴν λατερείαν ὑμῶν, where it means the service of the sanctified reason as opposed to the mechanical observance of formal rites. It is explained by Chrysostom as ebony ἔχουσαν σωματικὸν οὐδὲν ταχὺ οὐδὲν αἰσθηνπ´ν Thus it seems nearly to correspond with the use of the word πνευματικός, spiritual, by St. Peter in ver. 5 of this chapter, and by St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:3, 4. St. Paul also speaks of milk as the proper food of babes in Christ (1 Corinthians 3:2; comp: also Hebrews 5:12), though the thought is somewhat different; for St. Peter's words do not convey any reproof for want of progress. This spiritual milk is ἄδολον, pure, unadulterated (comp. 2 Corinthians 2:17; 2 Corinthians 4:2). That ye may grow thereby; literally, therein, in the use of it. All the most ancient manuscripts add the words, "unto salvation." The soul which feeds upon the pure milk of the Word groweth continually unto salvation.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
As new born babes,.... The Syriac version renders it, "be ye simple as infants"; and as if it was a distinct exhortation of itself, and from that which follows; though it seems rather to be descriptive of the persons spoken to, and a character of them, under which the apostle addresses them; which carries in it a reason strengthening the exhortation after given: he takes it for granted that they were begotten again, according to the abundant mercy of God, and born of incorruptible seed, by the word of God, and that they were just, or lately born; and which is to be understood of them all in general, and not of younger converts among them, who might be called little children with respect to others who were young men or fathers; but that, comparatively speaking, those that had been of the longest standing were but as it were newly born, it being at most but a few years since they were called by grace: and they were as "babes", not on account of their want of knowledge, or unskilfulness in the word of righteousness; or of nonproficiency in the learning of divine truths, and their great dulness, backwardness, and imperfection; or because of their incapacity in taking in, and digesting the strong meat and sublimer doctrines of the Gospel; or for their instability and simplicity, being easily deceived and beguiled; nor for their weakness in faith, not being able to walk alone, and their insufficiency to defend, or provide for themselves; but because of their harmlessness and innocence, meekness and humility; and for the sincerity of their faith and love, obedience and profession. The proselytes to the Jews' religion are often said (m) to be , "as an infant just born", or a new born babe; to which the allusion may here be made:
desire the sincere milk of the word; this is not a declaration that these new born souls did do so, though that might be true, but an exhortation to them so to do, as it became them: by "the sincere milk of the word" is meant the Gospel, even the whole of it, and not, as elsewhere, the more plain and easy truths of it; which is compared to milk for its purity in itself, for every word of God is pure and for its purifying nature, as used by the Spirit of God; and for its sweetness and agreeable taste to a regenerate man; and because easy of digestion to a spiritual one; and because it is nutritive to him, by it he is nourished up unto eternal life; and because, as milk is of a cooling nature, so the Gospel is a means, in the hand of the Spirit of God, of assuaging those inflammations, and of allaying that wrath and fiery indignation, raised in the conscience of a sinner by the law; and because as milk, medicinally used, is a restorative in consumptive disorders, so the Gospel is not only the means of helping a declining person, and who is wasted and consumed by sin, but even of quickening such as are dead in sin; it is the savour of life unto life. The Jewish writers speak of , "the milk of the law" (n), of which they generally interpret (o) the passage in Isaiah 55:1 but it is much better applied to the Gospel, which is the milk of the word, or "rational milk": not that the Gospel is a scheme according to the carnal reason of men; it is contrary to that, and above sound reason, though not repugnant to it; but it is what is calculated for faith, the spiritual reason of men, and for such who have their spiritual senses exercised, to discern between good and evil; it is a spiritual drink, and is made up of spiritual things, and suited to the spiritual man; it is milk, not in a natural, but in a mystic and spiritual sense: the Syriac version renders it, "the word which is as milk, pure and spiritual": and it is "sincere"; without mixture, unadulterated with the inventions and doctrines of men, Jews or heretics: or "without deceit"; being neither deceitfully handled by the faithful ministers of it, nor causing deceit, or deceiving those that cordially receive it. Now, this it becomes regenerate person, to "desire"; and vehemently long after, as a new born babe does after its mother's milk; for the Gospel is that to one that is born again, as the breast is to a babe: desire after it supposes knowledge of it; and where there is an experimental knowledge, there will be a value and esteem for it, even above necessary food, and, at times, an hungering and thirsting after it, an impatient longing for, and desire of it; when such souls will labour after it, and diligently observe and attend every opportunity of enjoying it, and think long ere the seasons of meeting with it return; for it is suitable food for them, savoury food, such as their souls love, and which indeed they cannot live without: now the end of this exhortation, and of such a desire, and of feeding on the words of faith and sound doctrine, is,
that ye may grow thereby: regenerate persons are not at their full growth at once; they are first children, then young men, and then fathers in Christ; the Gospel is appointed as a means of their spiritual growth, and by the blessing of God becomes so, and which they find to be so by good experience; and therefore this milk of the word is desirable on this account, for the increase of faith, and the furtherance of the joy of it; for their growth in grace, and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and in an experience of spiritual strength from him, and unto him, as their head in all things; not merely in the leaves of a profession, but in the fruits of grace, righteousness, and holiness. The Alexandrian copy, and several others, and also the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Ethiopic versions, add, "unto salvation": that is, until they come to a perfect knowledge of Christ, and to be perfect men with him, being arrived to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ, and in the possession of that salvation he has obtained for them,
(m) T. Bab. Yebamot, fol. 22. 1. & 48. 2. & 62. 1. & 97. 2. Maimon. Hilch. Issure Bia, c. 14. sect. 11. & Eduth, c. 13. sect. 2.((n) Jarchi in Cant. 5. 12. (o) Jarchi, Aben Ezra, & Kimchi, in Isaiah 55.1. Abarbinel, Mashmia Jeshua, fol. 26. 1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. new-born babes—altogether without "guile" (1Pe 2:1). As long as we are here we are "babes," in a specially tender relation to God (Isa 40:11). The childlike spirit is indispensable if we would enter heaven. "Milk" is here not elementary truths in contradistinction to more advanced Christian truths, as in 1Co 3:2; Heb 5:12, 13; but in contrast to "guile, hypocrisies," &c. (1Pe 2:1); the simplicity of Christian doctrine in general to the childlike spirit. The same "word of grace" which is the instrument in regeneration, is the instrument also of building up. "The mother of the child is also its natural nurse" [Steiger]. The babe, instead of chemically analyzing, instinctively desires and feeds on the milk; so our part is not self-sufficient rationalizing and questioning, but simply receiving the truth in the love of it (Mt 11:25).
desire—Greek, "have a yearning desire for," or "longing after," a natural impulse to the regenerate, "for as no one needs to teach new-born babes what food to take, knowing instinctively that a table is provided for them in their mother's breast," so the believer of himself thirsts after the word of God (Ps 119:1-176). Compare Tatius' language as to Achilles.
sincere—Greek, "guileless." Compare 1Pe 2:1, "laying aside guile." Irenæus says of heretics. They mix chalk with the milk. The article, "the," implies that besides the well-known pure milk, the Gospel, there is no other pure, unadulterated doctrine; it alone can make us guileless (1Pe 2:1).
of the word—Not as Alford, "spiritual," nor "reasonable," as English Version in Ro 12:1. The Greek "logos" in Scripture is not used of the reason, or mind, but of the WORD; the preceding context requires that "the word" should be meant here; the adjective "logikos" follows the meaning of the noun logos, "word." Jas 1:21, "Lay apart all filthiness … and receive with meekness the engrafted WORD," is exactly parallel, and confirms English Version here.
grow—The oldest manuscripts and versions read, "grow unto salvation." Being BORN again unto salvation, we are also to grow unto salvation. The end to which growth leads is perfected salvation. "Growth is the measure of the fulness of that, not only rescue from destruction, but positive blessedness, which is implied in salvation" [Alford].
thereby—Greek, "in it"; fed on it; in its strength (Ac 11:14). "The word is to be desired with appetite as the cause of life, to be swallowed in the hearing, to be chewed as cud is by rumination with the understanding, and to be digested by faith" [Tertullian].
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