1 Peter 3:1
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives,

New Living Translation
In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over

English Standard Version
Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives,

Berean Study Bible
Wives, in the same way, submit yourselves to your husbands, so that even if they refuse to believe the word, they will be won over without words by the behavior of their wives

Berean Literal Bible
Likewise wives, be subject to the own husbands so that, even if any are disobedient to the word, they will be won over without word by the conduct of the wives,

New American Standard Bible
In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives,

King James Bible
Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
In the same way, wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, even if some disobey the Christian message, they may be won over without a message by the way their wives live

International Standard Version
In a similar way, you wives must submit yourselves to your husbands so that, even if some of them refuse to obey the word, they may be won over without a word through your conduct as wives

NET Bible
In the same way, wives, be subject to your own husbands. Then, even if some are disobedient to the word, they will be won over without a word by the way you live,

New Heart English Bible
In like manner, wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; so that, even if any do not obey the Word, they may be won by the behavior of their wives without a word;

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
In this way, also, you women, submit to your husbands, that you may win without labor those who do not obey the word by your beautiful way of life,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Wives, in a similar way, place yourselves under your husbands' authority. Some husbands may not obey God's word. Their wives could win these men [for Christ] by the way they live without saying anything.

New American Standard 1977
In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives,

Jubilee Bible 2000
Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands, so that also those who do not obey the Word, may be won without a word by the conversation of their wives,

King James 2000 Bible
Likewise, you wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conduct of the wives;

American King James Version
Likewise, you wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;

American Standard Version
In like manner, ye wives, be in subjection to your won husbands; that, even if any obey not the word, they may without the word be gained by the behavior of their wives;

Douay-Rheims Bible
In like manner also let wives be subject to their husbands: that if any believe not the word, they may be won without the word, by the conversation of the wives.

Darby Bible Translation
Likewise, wives, [be] subject to your own husbands, that, even if any are disobedient to the word, they may be gained without [the] word by the conversation of the wives,

English Revised Version
In like manner, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, even if any obey not the word, they may without the word be gained by the behaviour of their wives;

Webster's Bible Translation
Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the deportment of the wives;

Weymouth New Testament
Married women, in the same way, be submissive to your husbands, so that even if some of them disbelieve the Message, they may, apart from the Message, be won over by the daily life of their wives, after watching your daily life--

World English Bible
In the same way, wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; so that, even if any don't obey the Word, they may be won by the behavior of their wives without a word;

Young's Literal Translation
In like manner, the wives, be ye subject to your own husbands, that even if certain are disobedient to the word, through the conversation of the wives, without the word, they may be won,
Study Bible
Wives and Husbands
1Wives, in the same way, submit yourselves to your husbands, so that even if they refuse to believe the word, they will be won over without words by the behavior of their wives 2when they see your pure and reverent demeanor.…
Cross References
1 Corinthians 7:16
How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

1 Corinthians 9:19
Though I am free of obligation to anyone, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.

1 Corinthians 14:34
women are to be silent in the churches. They are not permitted to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says.

Ephesians 5:22
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.

Colossians 3:18
Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

1 Peter 3:2
when they see your pure and reverent demeanor.

1 Peter 3:7
Husbands, in the same way, treat your wives with consideration as a delicate vessel, and with honor as fellow heirs of the gracious gift of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.
Treasury of Scripture

Likewise, you wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;

ye.

Genesis 3:16 To the woman he said, I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your …

Esther 1:16-20 And Memucan answered before the king and the princes, Vashti the …

Romans 7:2 For the woman which has an husband is bound by the law to her husband …

1 Corinthians 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; …

1 Corinthians 14:34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted …

Ephesians 5:22-24,33 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Lord…

Colossians 3:18 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.

1 Timothy 2:11,12 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection…

Titus 2:3-6 The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becomes holiness, …

obey.

1 Peter 1:22 Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through …

1 Peter 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: …

Romans 6:17 But God be thanked, that you were the servants of sin…

Romans 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias said, Lord, who …

2 Thessalonians 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that …

Hebrews 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation …

Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which …

they.

1 Corinthians 7:16 For what know you, O wife, whether you shall save your husband? …

Colossians 4:5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.

won.

Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that wins souls is wise.

Proverbs 18:19 A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their …

Matthew 18:15 Moreover if your brother shall trespass against you, go and tell …

1 Corinthians 9:19-22 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant …

James 5:19,20 Brothers, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him…

III.

(1) Likewise ye wives . . .--Third division of second prudential rule: subordination conjugal. Here, again, the form in the original is participial, joining this injunction on to 1Peter 2:13; 1Peter 2:18, where the word is the same in Greek, "wives, in the same way submitting yourselves." Whether this imposes for all time upon Christian wives as complete a submission towards their husbands as is here enjoined might perhaps be questioned, because the special reason for the command in this place was to allay suspicions engendered by the boldness with which Christianity proclaimed the freedom of the individual. St. Peter has just been giving injunctions for absolute submission, even to injustice, on the part of slaves; and the progress of Christianity has abolished slavery altogether. The measure of the Christian wife's submission may safely be left to her own enlightened conscience, guided by other passages of the New Testament not written, like this, for a special emergency.

Your own husbands.--This does not order submission to the husband in contrast to submission to other directors, but rather gives a reason for obedience. "The Christian wife that hath love to God," says Leighton, "though her husband be not so comely, or so wise, or any way so amiable, as many others, yet because he is her own husband, and because of the Lord's command in the general, and His providence in the particular disposal of His own, therefore she loves and obeys."

That if any obey not the word.--Rather, in order that even supposing some (at present) disobey the word. "The word" is, of course, the Gospel, the declaration of the fulfilment of the prophecies in Jesus. And those who "disobey the word" are, according to constant usage, the Jews. The present verb is used of the Jews in Acts 14:2; Acts 17:5; Acts 19:9; Romans 10:21; Romans 11:31; Romans 15:31, besides St. Peter's own use in 1Peter 2:8; 1Peter 4:17. The only places where it is distinctly used of others are Romans 2:8 (of Jew and Gentile together), Romans 11:30 (where the Gentiles are compared with the Jews), Hebrews 3:18 (of the Israelites in the wilderness), Hebrews 11:31 (of the men of Jericho), 1Peter 3:20 (of the refractory antediluvians). In any case it must mean a wilful refusal to submit to the Word, in spite of being intellectually convinced. (See especially 1Peter 2:8.) For every reason, therefore, it is more probable that the case here supposed is that of Hebrew (Christian) women, married to men of their own race who reject the gospel.

They also may . . .--The order here is not so neat as in the original, and it spoils the point to insert the definite article before "word." It should run, In order that . . . through their wives' conversation, without a word, they may (literally, shall) be gained. There is something almost playful in the substitution of "their wives" instead of "you," and in the "without a word" contrasted with "the word" before. St. Peter seems to enjoy laying the little innocent plot. He was himself, as the Prayer Book reminds us, a married man. And what he means here, is not that those who have resisted the public preaching in the synagogues, should even without that public preaching be won; rather, that though the gospel as uttered verbally only provokes them to opposition, the gospel as submissively acted by their wives, without a word said on the matter, ought to convert them. "This model of submission and humility," says M. Renan, meaning the Lamb of God, "is made by Peter the law for all classes of Christian society. The wife above all, without setting up for a preacher (sans faire la prcheuse), ought, by the discreet charm of her piety, to be the great missionary of the faith." The word rendered "won" keeps up the playfulness of that which goes before; it means "to turn a profit," and there is just enough of ruse in it to make the enforcement of submission to a husband of opposed religious views seem an enticing little speculation. The tense of the original verb indicates that the scheme is certain to succeed. (Comp. Matthew 18:15; 1Corinthians 9:19-20.) Archbishop Leighton points out that in Hebrew the name of the book of "Ecclesiastes; or, the Preacher," is a feminine, and the same is the case in Psalm 68:11, and elsewhere.

Verse 1. - Likewise, ye wives. St. Peter has spoken of the duties of servants: why does he omit those of masters? There must have been Christian masters in Asia Minor, as is plain from Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 4:1. But we notice that St. Paul, though he has a few words for masters, addresses slaves at much greater length. Probably Christian masters were comparatively few, while large numbers of slaves had embraced the religion which could do so much to comfort and elevate the oppressed. Again, the immediate purpose of the apostle is to inculcate submission to authority; therefore, having enforced upon Christian servants the example of their Lord, he proceeds to speak of the duty of Christian wives. Christianity was in its infancy; it was to be the means of abolishing slavery, and of raising woman to her proper place in society; but as yet slaves were cruelly oppressed, and women were ill treated and despised. Aristotle tells us that among the barbarians (and a large proportion of the population in the greater part of Asia Minor was barbarian, i.e. non-Greek) the woman and the slave hold the same rank ('Pol.,' I. 2:4). In Greek communities the case was different; but even among the Greeks women occupied a very subordinate position. Christianity would introduce a great and sweeping change in the relations of the sexes, as well as in the relations of master and slave. But the change must be gradual, not violent; it must be brought about by the softening and purifying influences of religion, not by revolt against recognized customs and established authority. Indeed, Christianity would introduce an element of division - the Lord had said so (Luke 12:51-53); families would be divided. It could not be otherwise; Christians must not set even family ties above the love of Christ. But Christian wives must be peacemakers; they must, as far as possible, live at peace even with unbelieving husbands. They would often have much ill treatment to endure in those coarse, cruel days; they must bear it with the quiet strength of gentleness. Be in subjection to your own husbands; literally, submitting yourselves. The participle, as in 1 Peter 2:18, seems to look back to the imperative, "submit yourselves," in 1 Peter 2:13. The present participle implies that this voluntary submission is to be habitual. The adjective "your own" (ἰδίοις) emphasizes the duty. That, if any obey not the Word, they also may without the Word be won by the conversation of the wives. There is a well-supported reading, "Even if any." Husband and wife would often be converted together; but if this should not be the case, and if the unbelieving husband should set himself in direct opposition to the Word of God (for the words "believe not" have more than a negative meaning, as in 1 Peter 2:7), still Christian wives must submit themselves. They must do this for the glory of God, and with the hope of saving their husbands' souls; that those unbelieving husbands may be won to Christ and to everlasting life by the silent eloquence of the quiet self-restraint and holy behavior of their wives, without argument or preaching on the wives' part. A self-denying holy life will do more to win those with whom we live in close intercourse than even holy words, and much more than debate and controversy. This seems to be the meaning of ἄνευ λόγου rather than the other possible interpretation, "without the preaching of the Word." Be won; literally, be gained. Each soul converted is a gain to Christ, to the kingdom of heaven, to itself, in this case also to the wife who is the happy instrument of saving her husband (comp. 1 Corinthians 9:19, 20). The word rendered "conversation" here, as elsewhere, means "conduct, behavior." (Compare, on the whole subject, the teaching of St. Paul, Ephesians 5:22-24; Colossians 3:18; 1 Timothy 2:9-11.) Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands,.... As well as subjects to princes, and servants to masters; though not with the same sort of subjection, but what is suitable to the relation they stand in to their husbands; See Gill on Ephesians 5:22. See Gill on Colossians 3:18.

that if any obey not the word; any husband who is an unbeliever, has no love for the Gospel, and gives no credit to it, but despises, disbelieves, and rejects it, the word of truth, of faith, of righteousness, reconciliation, and salvation. The apostle, though he includes all wives, and exhorts them in general to subjection to their own husbands, yet has a particular regard to such as had unbelieving husbands, and who, on that account, were scrupulous of living with them, and of being in subjection to them; and therefore, as the Apostle Paul also did, he advises them to abide with them, and behave well to them, using much the same argument as he does in 1 Corinthians 7:10.

they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; for though the ordinary way and means of conversion is the word, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word; yet it may be sometimes done without it; or however by the agreeable conversation of professors, and so of religious wives, the hearts of such as were averse to Christianity, and the Gospel, as unbelieving husbands, may be so softened, and wrought upon, as to entertain a better opinion of it, and in process of time be inclined to hear and attend it; the consequence of which may prove their conversion, which is a gaming, or winning of souls; and which, as it is for their good, is for the glory of Christ; for as every soul that is delivered from the power of darkness, and is translated into the kingdom of Christ, is a loss to Satan, it is a gain to Christ, and to his church. The Syriac version, instead of "without the word", reads, "without labour"; as if the winning of unbelieving husbands was easily obtained by the conversation of their wives. CHAPTER 3

1Pe 3:1-22. Relative Duties of Husbands and Wives: Exhortations to Love and Forbearance: Right Conduct under Persecutions for Righteousness' Sake, after Christ's Example, Whose Death Resulted in Quickening to Us through His Being Quickened Again, of Which Baptism Is the Sacramental Seal.

1. Likewise—Greek, "In like manner," as "servants" in their sphere; compare the reason of the woman's subjection, 1Co 11:8-10; 1Ti 2:11-14.

your own—enforcing the obligation: it is not strangers ye are required to be subject to. Every time that obedience is enjoined upon women to their husbands, the Greek, "idios," "one's own peculiarly," is used, while the wives of men are designated only by heauton, "of themselves." Feeling the need of leaning on one stronger than herself, the wife (especially if joined to an unbeliever) might be tempted, though only spiritually, to enter into that relation with another in which she ought to stand to "her own spouse (1Co 14:34, 35, "Let them ask their own [idious] husbands at home"); an attachment to the person of the teacher might thus spring up, which, without being in the common sense spiritual adultery, would still weaken in its spiritual basis the married relation [Steiger].

that, if—Greek, "that even if." Even if you have a husband that obeys not the word (that is, is an unbeliever).

without the word—independently of hearing the word preached, the usual way of faith coming. But Bengel, "without word," that is, without direct Gospel discourse of the wives, "they may (literally, in oldest manuscripts, 'shall,' which marks the almost objective certainty of the result) be won" indirectly. "Unspoken acting is more powerful than unperformed speaking" [oeCUMENIUS]. "A soul converted is gained to itself, to the pastor, wife, or husband, who sought it, and to Jesus Christ; added to His treasury who thought not His own precious blood too dear to lay out for this gain" [Leighton]. "The discreet wife would choose first of all to persuade her husband to share with her in the things which lead to blessedness; but if this be impossible, let her then alone diligently press after virtue, in all things obeying him so as to do nothing at any time against his will, except in such things as are essential to virtue and salvation" [Clement of Alexandria].3:1-7 The wife must discharge her duty to her own husband, though he obey not the word. We daily see how narrowly evil men watch the ways and lives of professors of religion. Putting on of apparel is not forbidden, but vanity and costliness in ornament. Religious people should take care that all their behaviour answers to their profession. But how few know the right measure and bounds of those two necessaries of life, food and raiment! Unless poverty is our carver, and cuts us short, there is scarcely any one who does not desire something beyond what is good for us. Far more are beholden to the lowliness of their state, than the lowliness of their mind; and many will not be so bounded, but lavish their time and money upon trifles. The apostle directs Christian females to put on something not corruptible, that beautifies the soul, even the graces of God's Holy Spirit. A true Christian's chief care lies in right ordering his own spirit. This will do more to fix the affections, and excite the esteem of a husband, than studied ornaments or fashionable apparel, attended by a froward and quarrelsome temper. Christians ought to do their duty to one another, from a willing mind, and in obedience to the command of God. Wives should be subject to their husbands, not from dread and amazement, but from desire to do well, and please God. The husband's duty to the wife implies giving due respect unto her, and maintaining her authority, protecting her, and placing trust in her. They are heirs together of all the blessings of this life and that which is to come, and should live peaceably one with another. Prayer sweetens their converse. And it is not enough that they pray with the family, but husband and wife together by themselves, and with their children. Those who are acquainted with prayer, find such unspeakable sweetness in it, that they will not be hindered therein. That you may pray much, live holily; and that you may live holily, be much in prayer.
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NT Letters: 1 Peter 3:1 In like manner wives be in subjection (1 Pet. 1P iP i Pet) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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