1 Peter 5:13
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark.

New Living Translation
Your sister church here in Babylon sends you greetings, and so does my son Mark.

English Standard Version
She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings, and so does Mark, my son.

Berean Study Bible
The church in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings, as does my son Mark.

Berean Literal Bible
She in Babylon elected with you greets you, and my son Mark.

New American Standard Bible
She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings, and so does my son, Mark.

King James Bible
The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.

Christian Standard Bible
She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings, as does Mark, my son.

Contemporary English Version
Greetings from the Lord's followers in Babylon. They are God's chosen ones. Mark, who is like a son to me, sends his greetings too.

Good News Translation
Your sister church in Babylon, also chosen by God, sends you greetings, and so does my son Mark.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The church in Babylon, also chosen, sends you greetings, as does Mark, my son.

International Standard Version
Your sister church in Babylon, chosen along with you, sends you greetings, as does Mark, whom I regard as a son.

NET Bible
The church in Babylon, chosen together with you, greets you, and so does Mark, my son.

New Heart English Bible
She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, greets you; and so does Mark, my son.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
The chosen church which is in Babylon invokes your peace, and Marqus, my son.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Your sister church in Babylon, chosen by God, and my son Mark send you greetings.

New American Standard 1977
She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings, and so does my son, Mark.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Those here at Babylon, chosen together with you, salute you and so does Mark, my son.

King James 2000 Bible
The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, greets you; and so does Mark my son.

American King James Version
The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, salutes you; and so does Marcus my son.

American Standard Version
She that is in Babylon, elect together with you , saluteth you; and'so doth Mark my son.

Douay-Rheims Bible
The church that is in Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you: and so doth my son Mark.

Darby Bible Translation
She that is elected with [you] in Babylon salutes you, and Marcus my son.

English Revised Version
She that is in Babylon, elect together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Mark my son.

Webster's Bible Translation
The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Mark my son.

Weymouth New Testament
The Church in Babylon, chosen like yourselves by God, sends greetings, and so does Mark my son.

World English Bible
She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, greets you; and so does Mark, my son.

Young's Literal Translation
Salute you doth the assembly in Babylon jointly elected, and Markus my son.
Study Bible
Benediction and Farewell
12Through Silvanus, whom I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it. 13The church in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings, as does my son Mark. 14Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.…
Cross References
Acts 12:12
And when he had realized this, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people were gathered together praying.

Acts 12:25
When Barnabas and Saul had fulfilled their mission to Jerusalem, they returned, bringing with them John, also called Mark.

Acts 15:37
Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark.

Acts 15:39
Their disagreement was so sharp that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus,

Colossians 4:10
My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you greetings, as does Mark the cousin of Barnabas. You have already received instructions about him: If he comes to you, welcome him.

Philemon 1:24
as do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers.

2 John 1:1
The elder, To the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in the truth--and not I alone, but also all who know the truth--

Treasury of Scripture

The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, salutes you; and so does Marcus my son.


Psalm 87:4 I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to them that know me: behold …

Revelation 17:5 And on her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, …

Revelation 18:2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great …


2 John 1:13 The children of your elect sister greet you. Amen.

Marcus. See on

Acts 12:12,25 And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary …

(13) The church. . . . elected together with you.--In the original it simply stands "the co-elect one [fern. sing.] in Babylon." Some, therefore, seeing immediately after, "Marcus, my son," and knowing that St. Peter was a married man (Matthew 8:14, 1Corinthians 9:5), have thought that this "co-elect one" was St. Peter's wife. But (1) it is highly improbable that St. Mark was in that sense "son" to St. Peter; (2) quite as improbable that she would have been put so prominently forward in such an Epistle; (3) the word "co-elect" evidently refers back to 1Peter 1:2, and means "co-elect with you," not "with me." It was becoming a not infrequent mode of designating a church, to personify it under a female title (see 2John 1:1; 1Peter 1:4-5; 1Peter 1:13); and it seems therefore much more natural to suppose that the salutation is from this church of "Babylon" to her sister churches in the provinces of Asia Minor. The modesty with which this church at "Babylon" is spoken of, as being only one of many "co-elect" ones is noteworthy. She does not claim such a position among churches as (e.g.) in Song of Solomon 6:8-9.

That is at Babylon.--Three places have claimed to be understood under this name: (1) A little place called Babylon in Egypt, which has nothing to plead for itself except the unlikelihood of St. Peter ever being at the Oriental Babylon, coupled with the difficulty of supposing that the name is used quite figuratively. Perhaps, also, we should mention the traditional connection of St. Mark with Egypt. No one now, however, maintains this view. (2) The literal Babylon in the East. This has for itself the simple way in which St. Peter uses the word without any circumlocution. But it has 'nothing else for it, to set against all the overwhelming arguments in favour of the third claimant; besides which we learn from Josephus of a great expulsion of Jews from the Oriental Babylon a few years before this date: these Jews might of course, however, have gathered there again, as they did at Rome, in spite of frequent expulsions. (3) It may be called the established interpretation that the place meant is Rome. We never hear of St. Peter being in the East, and the thing in itself is improbable, whereas nothing but Protestant prejudice can stand against the historical evidence that St. Peter sojourned and died at Rome. Whatever theological consequences may flow from it, it is as certain that St. Peter was at Rome as that St. John was at Ephesus. Everything in the Letter also points to such a state of things as was to be found at Rome about the date when we believe the Letter to have been written. It is objected that St. Peter would not gravely speak of Rome under a fanciful name when dating a letter; but the symbolism in the name is quite in keeping with the context. St. Peter has just personified the church of the place from which he writes, which seems quite as unprosaic a use of language as to call Rome "Babylon." And it seems pretty clear that the name was quite intelligible to Jewish readers, for whom it was intended. The Apocalypse (Revelation 17:18) is not the only place where Rome is found spoken of under this title. One of the first of living Hebraists (who will not allow his name to be mentioned) told the present writer that no Hebrew of St. Peter's day would have had need to think twice what city was meant when "Babylon" was mentioned. And on the mention of the name, all the prophecies of the vengeance to be taken on the city which had desolated the Holy Land would rush with consolation into the mind of the readers, and they would feel that St. Peter, though supporting St. Paul, was still in full sympathy with themselves. Finally, as M. Renan suggests, there were reasons of prudence for not speaking too plainly about the presence of a large Christian society in Rome. The police were still more vigilant now than when St. Paul wrote in guarded language about the Roman empire to the Thessalonians. (See Excursus on the Man of Sin, after 2 Thess.) It might provoke hostilities if the Epistle fell into the hands of a delator, with names and places too clearly given.

Marcus, my son.--The particular word here used does not occur elsewhere of spiritual relationship, but the other thought is very improbable. We should have heard of it in other places had St. Mark been his son in the flesh. (See Acts 12:12.) St. Mark was. of course, well known in Asia Minor (Acts 12:25; Colossians 4:10; 2Timothy 4:11).

Verse 13. - The Church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; literally, the co-elect in Babylon ἡ ἐν Βαβυλῶνι συνεκλεκτή. The word "Church" is given in no manuscripts with the remarkable exception of the Sinaitic; the rest have simply "the co-elect." We ask - What word is to be supplied, "Church" or "sister"? Some think that St, Peter's wife (comp. Matthew 8:14; 1 Corinthians 9:5) is intended, or some other well-known Christian woman (comp. 2 John 1). In favor of this view is the following salutation from Marcus. It is more natural to join together the names of two persons than to couple a Church with an individual. Also it scorns exceedingly improbable that such a word as "Church" should be omitted (a word, we may remark, which occurs nowhere in St. Peter's Epistles), and the ellipse left to be filled up by the readers. On the other hand, it is said to be unlikely that a humble Galilaean woman should be described as "the co-elect in Babylon." This argument would have considerable weight if the apostle were writing from large and well-known Church, like that at Rome; but it is quite possible that "the co-elect" might be the only Christian woman, or the one best known among a very small number in Babylon. On the whole, it seems most probable to us that by "the co-elect" (whether we supply "together with you" or "with me") is meant a Christian woman known at least by name to the Churches of Asia Miner, and therefore very possibly St. Peter's wife, who, St. Paul tells us, was his companion in travel. The question now meets us - Is "Babylon" to be taken in a mystic sense, as a cryptograph for Rome, or literally? Eusebius, and ancient writers generally, understand it of Rome. Eusebius is commonly understood to claim for this view the authority of Papias and Clement of Alexandria (as has been stated in the Introduction, p. 9.). But the historian's words ('Hist. Eccl.,' 1. 15. 2) seem to claim that authority only for the connection of St. Peter with St. Mark's Gospel; the identification of Babylon with Rome seems to be mentioned only as a common opinion in the time of Eusebius. It is said that there is n o trace o f the existence of a Christian Church at the Chaldean Babylon, and no proof, apart from this passage, that St. Peter was ever there. There had been a great Jewish colony at Babylon, but it had been destroyed in the time of Caligula. In answer to these arguments, it may be urged that the cryptograph of Babylon for Rome would probably not be understood; even if we assume the earliest date assigned to the Apocalypse, that book could scarcely be known very generally in Asia Minor when this Epistle was written. St. Peter at Babylon, like St. Paul at Athens, may have met with little success; the infant Church may have been quickly crushed. There may have been a second settlement of Jews at Babylon between A.D. and the date of this Epistle. But it is quite possible that St. Peter may have been working as a missionary among the Babylonian Gentiles, for we cannot believe that he confined his ministrations to the Jews. On the whole, it seems much more probable that St. Peter was writing at the famous city on the Euphrates, though no traces of his work there remain, than that he should have used this one word in a mystical sense at the end of an Epistle where all else is plain and simple (see this question discussed in the Introduction, p. 9.). And so doth Marcus my son. Τέκνον is the word used by St. Paul of spiritual relationship (see 1 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:2; Titus 1:4). St. Peter has υἱός here. Still, it seems most probable that Marcus, mentioned as he is without any further description, is not a son of the apostle after the flesh, but the well-known John Mark of the Acts (see Introduction, p. 8.). The church that is at Babylon,.... The Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions, supply the word "church", as we do. Some, by "Babylon", understand Rome, which is so called, in a figurative sense, in the book of the Revelations: this is an ancient opinion; so Papias understood it, as (e) Eusebius relates; but that Peter was at Rome, when he wrote this epistle, cannot be proved, nor any reason be given why the proper name of the place should be concealed, and a figurative one expressed. It is best therefore to understand it literally, of Babylon in Assyria, the metropolis of the dispersion of the Jews, and the centre of it, to whom the apostle wrote; and where, as the minister of the circumcision, he may be thought to reside, here being a number of persons converted and formed into a Gospel church state, whereby was fulfilled the prophecy in Psalm 87:4 perhaps this church might consist chiefly of Jews, which might be the reason of the apostle's being here, since there were great numbers which continued here, from the time of the captivity, who returned not with Ezra; and these are said by the Jews (f) to be of the purest blood: many of the Jewish doctors lived here; they had three famous universities in this country, and here their Talmud was written, called from hence (g) Babylonian. The church in this place is said to be

elected together with you; that is, were chosen together with them in Christ, before the foundation of the world, to grace here, and glory hereafter; or were equally the elect of God as they were, for as such he writes to them, 1 Peter 1:2 and this the apostle said in a judgment of charity of the whole church, and all the members of it, being under a profession of faith in Christ; and nothing appearing to the contrary, but that their faith was unfeigned, and their profession right and sincere. This Church, he says,

saluteth you; wishes all peace, happiness, and prosperity of every kind,

and so doth Marcus, my son; either, in a natural sense, his son according to the flesh; since it is certain Peter had a wife, and might have a son, and one of this name: or rather in a spiritual sense, being one that he was either an instrument of converting him, or of instructing him, or was one that was as dear to him as a son; in like manner as the Apostle Paul calls Timothy, and also Titus, his own son. This seems to be Mark the evangelist, who was called John Mark, was Barnabas's sister's son, and his mother's name was Mary; see Colossians 4:10. He is said (h) to be the interpreter of Peter, and to have wrote his Gospel from what he heard from him; and who approved of it, and confirmed it, and indeed it is said to be his.

(e) Eccl. Hist. l. 2. c. 15. (f) T. Bab. Kiddushin, fol. 69. 2. & 71. 2. & Gloss. in ib. (g) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 24. 1.((h) Papias apud Euseb. Hist. Eccl. l. 3. c. 39. Tertullian. adv. Marcion, l. 4. c. 5. Hieron. Catalog. Script. Eccl. sect. 2. 18. 13. The … at Babylon—Alford, Bengel, and others translate, "She that is elected together with you in Babylon," namely, Peter's wife, whom he led about with him in his missionary journeys. Compare 1Pe 3:7, "heirs together of the grace of life." But why she should be called "elected together with you in Babylon," as if there had been no Christian woman in Babylon besides, is inexplicable on this view. In English Version the sense is clear: "That portion of the whole dispersion (1Pe 1:1, Greek), or Church of Christianized Jews, with Gentile converts, which resides in Babylon." As Peter and John were closely associated, Peter addresses the Church in John's peculiar province, Asia, and closes with "your co-elect sister Church at Babylon saluteth you"; and John similarly addresses the "elect lady," that is, the Church in Babylon, and closes with "the children of thine elect sister (the Asiatic Church) greet thee"; (compare [2626]Introduction to Second John). Erasmus explains, "Mark who is in the place of a son to me": compare Ac 12:12, implying Peter's connection with Mark; whence the mention of him in connection with the Church at Babylon, in which he labored under Peter before he went to Alexandria is not unnatural. Papias reports from the presbyter John [Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 3.39], that Mark was interpreter of Peter, recording in his Gospel the facts related to him by Peter. Silvanus or Silas had been substituted for John Mark, as Paul's companion, because of Mark's temporary unfaithfulness. But now Mark restored is associated with Silvanus, Paul's companion, in Peter's esteem, as Mark was already reinstated in Paul's esteem. That Mark had a spiritual connection with the Asiatic' churches which Peter addresses, and so naturally salutes them, appears from 2Ti 4:11; Col 4:10.

Babylon—The Chaldean Babylon on the Euphrates. See [2627]Introduction, ON THE PLACE OF WRITING this Epistle, in proof that Rome is not meant as Papists assert; compare Lightfoot sermon. How unlikely that in a friendly salutation the enigmatical title of Rome given in prophecy (John, Re 17:5), should be used! Babylon was the center from which the Asiatic dispersion whom Peter addresses was derived. Philo [The Embassy to Gaius, 36] and Josephus [Antiquities, 15.2.2; 23.12] inform us that Babylon contained a great many Jews in the apostolic age (whereas those at Rome were comparatively few, about eight thousand [Josephus, Antiquities, 17.11]); so it would naturally be visited by the apostle of the circumcision. It was the headquarters of those whom he had so successfully addressed on Pentecost, Ac 2:9, Jewish "Parthians … dwellers in Mesopotamia" (the Parthians were then masters of Mesopotamian Babylon); these he ministered to in person. His other hearers, the Jewish "dwellers in Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia," he now ministers to by letter. The earliest distinct authority for Peter's martyrdom at Rome is Dionysius, bishop of Corinth, in the latter half of the second century. The desirableness of representing Peter and Paul, the two leading apostles, as together founding the Church of the metropolis, seems to have originated the tradition. Clement of Rome [First Epistle to the Corinthians, 4.5], often quoted for, is really against it. He mentions Paul and Peter together, but makes it as a distinguishing circumstance of Paul, that he preached both in the East and West, implying that Peter never was in the West. In 2Pe 1:14, he says, "I must shortly put off this tabernacle," implying his martyrdom was near, yet he makes no allusion to Rome, or any intention of his visiting it.5:10-14 In conclusion, the apostle prays to God for them, as the God of all grace. Perfect implies their progress towards perfection. Stablish imports the curing of our natural lightness and inconstancy. Strengthen has respect to the growth of graces, especially where weakest and lowest. Settle signifies to fix upon a sure foundation, and may refer to Him who is the Foundation and Strength of believers. These expressions show that perseverance and progress in grace are first to be sought after by every Christian. The power of these doctrines on the hearts, and the fruits in the lives, showed who are partakers of the grace of God. The cherishing and increase of Christian love, and of affection one to another, is no matter of empty compliment, but the stamp and badge of Jesus Christ on his followers. Others may have a false peace for a time, and wicked men may wish for it to themselves and to one another; but theirs is a vain hope, and will come to nought. All solid peace is founded on Christ, and flows from him.
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