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

New Living Translation
But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.

English Standard Version
having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.

Berean Study Bible
keeping a clear conscience, so that those who slander you may be put to shame by your good behavior in Christ.

Berean Literal Bible
having a good conscience, so that in the case that they might speak against you, those reviling your good manner of life in Christ, they shall be ashamed.

King James Bible
Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

New King James Version
having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.

New American Standard Bible
and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who disparage your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.

NASB 1995
and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.

NASB 1977
and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.

Amplified Bible
And see to it that your conscience is entirely clear, so that every time you are slandered or falsely accused, those who attack or disparage your good behavior in Christ will be shamed [by their own words].

Christian Standard Bible
Yet do this with gentleness and reverence, keeping a clear conscience, so that when you are accused, those who disparage your good conduct in Christ will be put to shame.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
However, do this with gentleness and respect, keeping your conscience clear, so that when you are accused, those who denounce your Christian life will be put to shame.

American Standard Version
having a good conscience; that, wherein ye are spoken against, they may be put to shame who revile your good manner of life in Christ.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
As you have a good conscience, so that those who speak against you as against evil people, may be ashamed as people who reject your beautiful way of life, which is in The Messiah.

Contemporary English Version
Give a kind and respectful answer and keep your conscience clear. This way you will make people ashamed for saying bad things about your good conduct as a follower of Christ.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But with modesty and fear, having a good conscience: that whereas they speak evil of you, they may be ashamed who falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

English Revised Version
having a good conscience; that, wherein ye are spoken against, they may be put to shame who revile your good manner of life in Christ.

Good News Translation
but do it with gentleness and respect. Keep your conscience clear, so that when you are insulted, those who speak evil of your good conduct as followers of Christ will become ashamed of what they say.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Keep your conscience clear. Then those who treat the good Christian life you live with contempt will feel ashamed that they have ridiculed you.

International Standard Version
But do this gently and respectfully, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak evil of your good conduct in the Messiah will be ashamed of slandering you.

Literal Standard Version
having a good conscience, so that whenever they speak against you as evildoers, they may be ashamed—[those] who are maligning your good behavior in Christ;

NET Bible
Yet do it with courtesy and respect, keeping a good conscience, so that those who slander your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame when they accuse you.

New Heart English Bible
having a good conscience; so that when they speak evil against you, they may be put to shame who slander your good manner of life in Christ.

Weymouth New Testament
Yet argue modestly and cautiously, keeping your consciences free from guilt, so that, when you are spoken against, those who slander your good Christian lives may be put to shame.

World English Bible
having a good conscience; that, while you are spoken against as evildoers, they may be disappointed who curse your good way of life in Christ.

Young's Literal Translation
having a good conscience, that in that in which they speak against you as evil-doers, they may be ashamed who are traducing your good behaviour in Christ;

Additional Translations ...
Context
Suffering for Righteousness
15But in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give a defense to everyone who asks you the reason for the hope that is in you. But respond with gentleness and respect, 16keeping a clear conscience, so that those who slander you may be put to shame by your good behavior in Christ. 17For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.…

Cross References
Daniel 6:4
Thus the administrators and satraps sought a charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom, but they could find no charge or corruption, because he was trustworthy, and no negligence or corruption was found in him.

Acts 28:22
But we consider your views worth hearing, because we know that people everywhere are speaking against this sect."

1 Timothy 1:5
The goal of our instruction is the love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and a sincere faith.

Hebrews 13:18
Pray for us; we are convinced that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way.

1 Peter 2:12
Conduct yourselves with such honor among the Gentiles that, though they slander you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us.

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

1 Peter 2:19
For if anyone endures the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God, this is to be commended.

1 Peter 3:21
And this water symbolizes the baptism that now saves you also--not the removal of dirt from the body, but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God--through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

1 Peter 4:4
Because of this, they consider it strange of you not to plunge with them into the same flood of reckless indiscretion, and they heap abuse on you.


Treasury of Scripture

Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

a good.

1 Peter 3:21
The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

1 Peter 2:19
For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.

Acts 24:16
And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.

whereas.

1 Peter 2:12
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.

Titus 2:8
Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.

falsely.

Matthew 5:11
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

good.

1 Peter 3:1,2
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; …









(16) Having a good conscience.--This strikes the key-note of the paragraph. How vigorously St. Peter repeats it! "Zealous for that which is good," "for righteousness' sake," "sanctify the Lord," "with meekness and fear," "a good conscience," "your good conversation."

Whereas.--The word means precisely the same as in 1Peter 2:12, where see Note.

They speak evil of you, as of evil doers.--Tischendorf follows one of the best manuscripts and the Pesehito-Syriac version in reading whereas ye are evil spoken of. It is easy to see how the ordinary reading would come in, from the similarity of 1Peter 2:12; and we may pretty confidently adopt the emendation. In any case, the words "as of evil doers" should be removed.

They may be ashamed (or, confounded).--When? St. Peter is evidently thinking of the Christian at the bar of the curator or pro-consul, and the mortification of the delator, or spy, who had given information against him.

Falsely accuse.--Literally, insult, that is, "odiously calumniate." The word occurs again only in Luke 6:28.

In Christ.--This is the nearest approach in St. Peter to a use of this word as a proper name. Still, it is not so. Other Hebrews, he reminds them in this word, were safe from persecution only by rejecting the national hope of a Messiah. It is simply because these men are "in Christ" that the heathens (perhaps also their fellow Jews) insult their conversation. The phrase "in Christ," i.e., as members of the Church, occurs again in 1Peter 5:10; 1Peter 5:14, and the thought is common enough in St. John (e.g. 1John 5:20), but it does not come in 2 Peter, nor in Hebrews, St. James, or St. Jude. Of course, St. Paul's writings teem with it. It contains the converse side of the Incarnation doctrine to that involved in 1Peter 3:15; we not only have the whole Christ dwelling in us, but He embraces us all; "Ye in me, and I in you" (John 14:20).

Verse 16. - Having a good conscience. This word "conscience" (συνείδησις) is one of the many links between this Epistle and the writings of St. Paul. St. Peter uses it three times; St. Paul, very frequently. There is a close connection between this clause and the preceding verse. A good conscience is the best reason of the hope that is in us. An apology may be learned, well-expressed, eloquent; but it will not be convincing unless it comes from the heart, and is backed up by the life. Calvin (quoted by Huther) says, "Quid parum auctoritatis habet sermo absque vita." That, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers. The Revised Version follows the Sinaitic Manuscript in reading, "Wherein ye are spoken against," and omitting "as of evil-doers? It is possible that the received reading may have been interpolated from 1 Peter 2:12, where the same words occur; except that there the mood is indicative, here, conjunctive, "wherein they may possibly speak evil of you." They may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ; rather, as the Revised Version, they may be put to shame; that is, "proved to be liars" (comp. 2 Corinthians 7:14). The word translated "falsely accuse" is that which is rendered "despitefully use" in Matthew 5:44. Luke 6:28. It is a strong word. Aristotle defines the corresponding substantive as a thwarting of the wishes of others out of gratuitous malice ('Rhet.,' 2:2). For "good conversation," see 1 Peter 1:15, 18. The Christian's life is in Christ, in the sphere of his presence, he dwelling in us, and we in him (comp. 2 Corinthians 5:17, etc.).

Parallel Commentaries ...


Greek
keeping
ἔχοντες (echontes)
Verb - Present Participle Active - Nominative Masculine Plural
Strong's 2192: To have, hold, possess. Including an alternate form scheo skheh'-o; a primary verb; to hold.

a clear
ἀγαθήν (agathēn)
Adjective - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's 18: A primary word; 'good'.

conscience,
συνείδησιν (syneidēsin)
Noun - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's 4893: The conscience, a persisting notion. From a prolonged form of suneido; co-perception, i.e. Moral consciousness.

so that
ἵνα (hina)
Conjunction
Strong's 2443: In order that, so that. Probably from the same as the former part of heautou; in order that.

those who slander you
καταλαλεῖσθε (katalaleisthe)
Verb - Present Indicative Middle or Passive - 2nd Person Plural
Strong's 2635: To speak evil of, rail at, slander. From katalalos; to be a traducer, i.e. To slander.

will be put to shame
καταισχυνθῶσιν (kataischynthōsin)
Verb - Aorist Subjunctive Passive - 3rd Person Plural
Strong's 2617: From kata and aischunomai; to shame down, i.e. Disgrace or put to the blush.

by your
ὑμῶν (hymōn)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Genitive 2nd Person Plural
Strong's 4771: You. The person pronoun of the second person singular; thou.

good
ἀγαθὴν (agathēn)
Adjective - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's 18: A primary word; 'good'.

behavior
ἀναστροφήν (anastrophēn)
Noun - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's 391: Dealing with other men, conduct, life, behavior, manner of life. From anastrepho; behavior.

in
ἐν (en)
Preposition
Strong's 1722: In, on, among. A primary preposition denoting position, and instrumentality, i.e. A relation of rest; 'in, ' at, on, by, etc.

Christ.
Χριστῷ (Christō)
Noun - Dative Masculine Singular
Strong's 5547: Anointed One; the Messiah, the Christ. From chrio; Anointed One, i.e. The Messiah, an epithet of Jesus.


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