1 Peter 2:16
New International Version
Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God's slaves.

New Living Translation
For you are free, yet you are God's slaves, so don't use your freedom as an excuse to do evil.

English Standard Version
Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.

Berean Study Bible
Live in freedom, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.

Berean Literal Bible
as free, and not having the freedom as a cover-up for evil, but as servants of God.

New American Standard Bible
Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God.

King James Bible
As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.

Christian Standard Bible
Submit as free people, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but as God's slaves.

Contemporary English Version
You are free, but still you are God's servants, and you must not use your freedom as an excuse for doing wrong.

Good News Translation
Live as free people; do not, however, use your freedom to cover up any evil, but live as God's slaves.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
As God's slaves, live as free people, but don't use your freedom as a way to conceal evil.

International Standard Version
Live like free people, and do not use your freedom as an excuse for doing evil. Instead, be God's servants.

NET Bible
Live as free people, not using your freedom as a pretext for evil, but as God's slaves.

New Heart English Bible
as free, and not using your freedom for a cloak of wickedness, but as slaves of God.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
As free children, and not as persons who make their liberty a cloak for their evil, but as Servants of God.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Live as free people, but don't hide behind your freedom when you do evil. Instead, use your freedom to serve God.

New American Standard 1977
Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God.

Jubilee Bible 2000
as being free, yet not using your liberty to cover maliciousness, but as slaves of God.

King James 2000 Bible
As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.

American King James Version
As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.

American Standard Version
as free, and not using your freedom for a cloak of wickedness, but as bondservants of God.

Douay-Rheims Bible
As free, and not as making liberty a cloak for malice, but as the servants of God.

Darby Bible Translation
as free, and not as having liberty as a cloak of malice, but as God's bondmen.

English Revised Version
as free, and not using your freedom for a cloke of wickedness, but as bondservants of God.

Webster's Bible Translation
As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.

Weymouth New Testament
Be free men, and yet do not make your freedom an excuse for base conduct, but be God's bondservants.

World English Bible
as free, and not using your freedom for a cloak of wickedness, but as bondservants of God.

Young's Literal Translation
as free, and not having the freedom as the cloak of the evil, but as servants of God;
Study Bible
Submission to Authorities
15For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorance of foolish men. 16Live in freedom, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. 17Treat everyone with high regard: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.…
Cross References
John 8:32
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

Romans 6:22
But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the fruit you reap leads to holiness, and the outcome is eternal life.

1 Corinthians 7:22
For he who was a slave when he was called by the Lord is the Lord's freedman. Conversely, he who was a free man when he was called is Christ's slave.

Galatians 5:13
For you, brothers, were called to freedom; but do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh. Rather, serve one another in love.

James 1:25
But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom, and continues to do so--not being a forgetful hearer, but an effective doer--he will be blessed in what he does.

Treasury of Scripture

As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.

free.

John 8:32-36
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free…

Romans 6:18,22
Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness…

1 Corinthians 7:22
For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant.

and.

Jude 1:4
For 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.

using.

Matthew 23:14
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.

John 15:22
If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.

1 Thessalonians 2:5
For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness:

but.

Ephesians 6:6
Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;

Colossians 3:24
Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.







Lexicon
[Live]
ὡς (hōs)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 5613: Probably adverb of comparative from hos; which how, i.e. In that manner.

in freedom,
ἐλεύθεροι (eleutheroi)
Adjective - Nominative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 1658: Free, delivered from obligation. Probably from the alternate of erchomai; unrestrained, i.e. not a slave, or exempt.

[but]
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

do not use
ἔχοντες (echontes)
Verb - Present Participle Active - Nominative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 2192: To have, hold, possess. Including an alternate form scheo skheh'-o; a primary verb; to hold.

[your]
τὴν (tēn)
Article - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

freedom
ἐλευθερίαν (eleutherian)
Noun - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 1657: Freedom, liberty, especially: a state of freedom from slavery. From eleutheros; freedom.

as
ὡς (hōs)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 5613: Probably adverb of comparative from hos; which how, i.e. In that manner.

a cover-up
ἐπικάλυμμα (epikalymma)
Noun - Accusative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 1942: A covering, cloak, veil, pretext. From epikalupto; a covering, i.e. pretext.

for
τῆς (tēs)
Article - Genitive Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

evil;
κακίας (kakias)
Noun - Genitive Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 2549: From kakos; badness, i.e. depravity, or malignity, or trouble.

[live] as
ὡς (hōs)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 5613: Probably adverb of comparative from hos; which how, i.e. In that manner.

servants
δοῦλοι (douloi)
Noun - Nominative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 1401: (a) (as adj.) enslaved, (b) (as noun) a (male) slave. From deo; a slave.

of God.
Θεοῦ (Theou)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2316: A deity, especially the supreme Divinity; figuratively, a magistrate; by Hebraism, very.
(16) As free.--This points at once to what was the gist of the accusation. The Christian took up a position of complete independence within, and professed himself in a certain sense to be above the laws, by virtue of being a member of Christ's kingdom. This position of independence the heathen state resented, and looked upon the Christian Church as a dangerous organisation. Here, therefore, St. Peter both insists upon, and defines that independent position. "This the Apostle adds," says Leighton, "lest any should so far mistake the nature of their Christian liberty as to dream of an exemption from obedience either to God or to man for His sake, and according to His appointment. Their freedom he grants, but would have them understand aright what it is."

And not using.--The word "as" in the Greek attaches better to the participle instead of to the word "cloke," so that the sentence will run, As free (i.e., as men who are really free), and not as using freedom for a curtain of vice. In this way the true and the false freedom are more forcibly contrasted.

For a cloke of maliciousness.--The uncommon word here used means any kind of covering, but not in the sense of a garment, so that we must not insist on the metaphor of the word "cloke." The same Greek word is used in Exodus 26:14 to express the second covering of the tabernacle there mentioned, i.e., the uppermost, outermost covering. Grimm quotes a fragment of the comic poet Menander, "Wealth is a covering of many a bad thing;" this helps us to see that what St. Peter means is not ordinary hypocrisy. The man does not profess to be better than he is, but loudly asserts that he is not a slave. Men admire such freedom of speech, and excuse his vices just because of their openness.

But as the servants of God.--Such freedom as has been mentioned is no freedom. It is moral slavery. The only true freedom lies in being "servants" (or rather slaves) "of God," whose will it is that you should be good subjects (1Peter 2:13; 1Peter 2:15). For a slightly different turn of thought, see Galatians 5:13.

Verse 16. - As free. This verse is not to be taken with what follows, for it does not well cohere with the contents of ver. 17; but either with ver. 14 (Ver. 15 being regarded as parenthetical) or with ver. 15, notwithstanding the change of case in the original, which presents no real difficulty; the meaning being that Christian freedom must show itself, not in license, but in willing obedience to constituted authorities: "Not only for wrath, but for conscience' sake" (Romans 13:5). Those whom the truth makes free are free indeed, but true freedom implies submission to legitimate authority. And not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness; literally, not having your liberty as a cloak. The word rendered "cloak" (ἐπικάλυμμα) is used in the Septuagint (Exodus 26:14) for the covering of the tabernacle. The pretence of Christian liberty must not be made a covering, a concealment, of wickedness. But as the servants of God. The truest liberty is that of the servants of God; his service is perfect freedom (comp. Romans 6:16-23). 2:13-17 A Christian conversation must be honest; which it cannot be, if there is not a just and careful discharge of all relative duties: the apostle here treats of these distinctly. Regard to those duties is the will of God, consequently, the Christian's duty, and the way to silence the base slanders of ignorant and foolish men. Christians must endeavour, in all relations, to behave aright, that they do not make their liberty a cloak or covering for any wickedness, or for the neglect of duty; but they must remember that they are servants of God.
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