1 Peter 3:19
New International Version
After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits--

New Living Translation
So he went and preached to the spirits in prison--

English Standard Version
in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison,

Berean Study Bible
in which He also went and preached to the spirits in prison

Berean Literal Bible
in which also having gone, He preached to the spirits in prison

New American Standard Bible
in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison,

King James Bible
By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;

Christian Standard Bible
in which he also went and made proclamation to the spirits in prison

Contemporary English Version
Christ then preached to the spirits that were being kept in prison.

Good News Translation
and in his spiritual existence he went and preached to the imprisoned spirits.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
In that state He also went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison

International Standard Version
in which he went and made a proclamation to those imprisoned spirits

NET Bible
In it he went and preached to the spirits in prison,

New Heart English Bible
in which he also went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison,

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And he preached to those souls who were held in Sheol,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
In it he also went to proclaim his victory to the spirits kept in prison.

New American Standard 1977
in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison,

Jubilee Bible 2000
in which he also went and preached unto the imprisoned spirits,

King James 2000 Bible
By whom also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;

American King James Version
By which also he went and preached to the spirits in prison;

American Standard Version
in which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison,

Douay-Rheims Bible
In which also coming he preached to those spirits that were in prison:

Darby Bible Translation
in which also going he preached to the spirits [which are] in prison,

English Revised Version
in which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison,

Webster's Bible Translation
By which also he went and preached to the spirits in prison;

Weymouth New Testament
in which He also went and proclaimed His Message to the spirits that were in prison,

World English Bible
in which he also went and preached to the spirits in prison,

Young's Literal Translation
in which also to the spirits in prison having gone he did preach,
Study Bible
Suffering for Righteousness
18For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the spirit, 19in which He also went and preached to the spirits in prison 20who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, while the ark was being built. In the ark a few people, only eight souls, were saved through water.…
Cross References
1 Peter 3:18
For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the spirit,

1 Peter 3:20
who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, while the ark was being built. In the ark a few people, only eight souls, were saved through water.

Treasury of Scripture

By which also he went and preached to the spirits in prison;

By which.

1 Peter 1:11,12
Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow…

1 Peter 4:6
For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

Nehemiah 9:30
Yet many years didst thou forbear them, and testifiedst against them by thy spirit in thy prophets: yet would they not give ear: therefore gavest thou them into the hand of the people of the lands.

in.

Isaiah 42:7
To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.

Isaiah 49:9
That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.

Isaiah 61:1
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;







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

which
(hō)
Personal / Relative Pronoun - Dative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 3739: Who, which, what, that.

He also went
πορευθεὶς (poreutheis)
Verb - Aorist Participle Passive - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 4198: To travel, journey, go, die.

[and] preached
ἐκήρυξεν (ekēryxen)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 2784: To proclaim, herald, preach. Of uncertain affinity; to herald, especially divine truth.

to the
τοῖς (tois)
Article - Dative Neuter Plural
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

spirits
πνεύμασιν (pneumasin)
Noun - Dative Neuter Plural
Strong's Greek 4151: Wind, breath, spirit.

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

prison
φυλακῇ (phylakē)
Noun - Dative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 5438: From phulasso; a guarding or, the act, the person; figuratively, the place, the condition, or, the time, literally or figuratively.
(19) By which.--If "by the Spirit" had been right in the former verse, this translation might have stood here, though the word is literally in; for "in" is often used to mean "in the power of," "on the strength of:" e.g., Romans 8:15. But as that former rendering is untenable, we must here keep strictly to in which--i.e., in spirit. This might mean either of two things: (1) "spiritually speaking," "so far as thought and sympathy goes," as, for instance, 1Corinthians 5:3, Colossians 2:5; or else (2) "in spirit," as opposed to "in the body"--i.e., "out of the body" (2Corinthians 12:2; comp. Revelation 1:10), as a disembodied spirit. We adopt the latter rendering without hesitation, for reasons which will be clearer in the next Note.

He went and preached unto the spirits in prison.--There are two main ways of interpreting this mysterious passage. (1) The spirits are understood as being now in prison, in consequence of having rejected His preaching to them while they were still on earth. According to this interpretation--which has the support of such names as Pearson, Hammond, Barrow, and Leighton (though he afterwards modified his opinion). among ourselves, besides divers great theologians of other countries, including St. Thomas Aquinas on the one hand and Beza on the other--it was "in spirit," i.e., mystically speaking, our Lord Himself who, in and through the person of Noah, preached repentance to the old world. Thus the passage is altogether dissociated from the doctrine of the descent into hell; and the sense (though not the Greek) would be better expressed by writing, He had gone and preached unto the spirits (now) in prison. In this case, however, it is difficult to see the purpose of the digression, or what could have brought the subject into St. Peter's mind. (2) The second interpretation--which is that of (practically) all the Fathers, and of Calvin, Luther (finally), Bellarmine, Bengel, and of most modern scholars--refers the passage to what our Lord did while His body was dead. This is the most natural construction to put upon the words "in which also" (i.e., in spirit). It thus gives point to the saying that He was "quickened in spirit," which would otherwise be left very meaningless. The "spirits" here will thus correspond with "in spirit" there. It is the only way to assign any intelligible meaning to the words "He went and" to suppose that He "went" straight from His quickening in spirit--i.e., from His death. It is far the most natural thing to suppose that the spirits were in prison at the time when Christ went and preached to them. We take it, then, to mean that, directly Christ's human spirit was disengaged from the body, He gave proof of the new powers of purely spiritual action thus acquired by going off to the place, or state, in which other disembodied spirits were (who would have been incapable of receiving direct impressions from Him had He not Himself been in the purely spiritual condition), and conveyed to them certain tidings: He "preached" unto them. What was the substance of this preaching we are not here told, the word itself (which is not the same as, e.g., in 1Peter 1:25) only means to publish or proclaim like a crier or herald; and as the spirits are said to have been disobedient and in prison, some have thought that Christ went to proclaim to them the certainty of their damnation! The notion has but to be mentioned to be rejected with horror; but it may be pointed out also that in 1Peter 4:6, which refers back to this passage, it is distinctly called a "gospel;" and it would be too grim to call that a gospel which (in Calvin's words) "made it more clear and patent to them that they were shut out from all salvation!" He brought good tidings, therefore, of some kind to the "prison" and the spirits in it. And this "prison" must not be understood (with Bp. Browne, Articles, p. 95) as merely "a place of safe keeping," where good spirits might be as well as bad, though etymologically this is imaginable. The word occurs thirty-eight times in the New Testament in the undoubted sense of a "prison," and not once in that of a place of protection, though twice (Revelation 18:2) it is used in the derived sense of "a cage."

Verse 19. - By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; rather, in which (εν ω΅ι). The Lord was no longer in the flesh; the component parts of his human nature were separated by death; his flesh lay in the grave. As he had gone about doing good in the flesh, so now he went in the spirit - in his holy human spirit. He went. The Greek word (πορευθείς) occurs again in ver. 22, "who is gone into heaven." It must have the same meaning in both places; in ver. 22 it asserts a change of locality; it must do the like here. There it is used of the ascent into heaven; it can scarcely mean here that, without any such change of place, Christ preached, not in his own Person, but through Noah or the apostles. Compare St. Paul's words in Ephesians 4:9 (the Epistle which seems to have been so much in St. Peter's thoughts), "Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?" And preached (ἐκήρυξεν). It is the word constantly used of the Lord from the time when "Jesus began to preach (κηρύσσειν), and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matthew 4:17). Then, himself in our human flesh, he preached to men living in the flesh - to a few of his own age and country. Now the range of his preaching was extended; himself in the spirit, he preached to spirits: "Πνεύματι πνεύμασι; spiritu, spiritibus." says Bengel; "congruens sermo." He preached also to the spirits; not only once to living men, but now also to spirits, even to them. The καί calls for attention; it implies a new and additional fact; it emphasizes the substantive (καὶ τοῖς πνεύμασιν). The preaching and the condition of the hearers are mentioned together; they were spirits when they heard the preaching. It seems impossible to understand these words of preaching through Noah or the apostles to men who passed afterwards into the state of disembodied spirits. And he preached in the spirit. The words seem to limit the preaching to the time when the Lord's soul was left in Hades (Acts 2:27). Huther, indeed, says that "as both expressions (θανατωθείς and ζωσοποιηθείς) apply to Christ in his entire Person, consisting of body and soul, what follows must not be conceived as an activity which he exercised in his spirit only, and whilst separated from his body." But does θανατωθείς apply to body and soul? Men "are not able to kill the soul." And is it true, as Huther continues, that the first words of this verse are not opposed to the view that Christ preached in his glorified body, "inasmuch as in this body the Lord is no longer ἐν σαρκί, but entirely ἐν πνεύματι? Indeed, we are taught that "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; "and that that which "is sown a natural body is raised a spiritual body" (σῶμα πνευματικόν); but Christ himself said of his resurrection-body, "A spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have" (Luke 24:39). He preached to "the spirits in prison (ἐν φυλακῇ)." (For φυλακή, comp. Revelation 20:7; Matthew 5:25, etc.). It cannot mean the whole realm of the dead, but only that part of Hades in which the souls of the ungodly are reserved unto the day of judgment. Bengel says, "In carcere puniuntur sontes: in custodia servantur, dum experiantur quid facturus sit judex?" But it seems doubtful whether this distinction between φυλακή and δεσμωτήριον can be pressed; in Revelation 20:7 φυλακή is used of the prison of Satan, though, indeed, that prison is not the ἄβυσσος into which he will be cast at the last. 3:14-22 We sanctify God before others, when our conduct invites and encourages them to glorify and honour him. What was the ground and reason of their hope? We should be able to defend our religion with meekness, in the fear of God. There is no room for any other fears where this great fear is; it disturbs not. The conscience is good, when it does its office well. That person is in a sad condition on whom sin and suffering meet: sin makes suffering extreme, comfortless, and destructive. Surely it is better to suffer for well-doing than for evil-doing, whatever our natural impatience at times may suggest. The example of Christ is an argument for patience under sufferings. In the case of our Lord's suffering, he that knew no sin, suffered instead of those who knew no righteousness. The blessed end and design of our Lord's sufferings were, to reconcile us to God, and to bring us to eternal glory. He was put to death in respect of his human nature, but was quickened and raised by the power of the Holy Spirit. If Christ could not be freed from sufferings, why should Christians think to be so? God takes exact notice of the means and advantages people in all ages have had. As to the old world, Christ sent his Spirit; gave warning by Noah. But though the patience of God waits long, it will cease at last. And the spirits of disobedient sinners, as soon as they are out of their bodies, are committed to the prison of hell, where those that despised Noah's warning now are, and from whence there is no redemption. Noah's salvation in the ark upon the water, which carried him above the floods, set forth the salvation of all true believers. That temporal salvation by the ark was a type of the eternal salvation of believers by baptism of the Holy Spirit. To prevent mistakes, the apostle declares what he means by saving baptism; not the outward ceremony of washing with water, which, in itself, does no more than put away the filth of the flesh, but that baptism, of which the baptismal water formed the sign. Not the outward ordinance, but when a man, by the regeneration of the Spirit, was enabled to repent and profess faith, and purpose a new life, uprightly, and as in the presence of God. Let us beware that we rest not upon outward forms. Let us learn to look on the ordinances of God spiritually, and to inquire after the spiritual effect and working of them on our consciences. We would willingly have all religion reduced to outward things. But many who were baptized, and constantly attended the ordinances, have remained without Christ, died in their sins, and are now past recovery. Rest not then till thou art cleansed by the Spirit of Christ and the blood of Christ. His resurrection from the dead is that whereby we are assured of purifying and peace.
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