1 Peter 1:18
Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
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(18) Forasmuch as ye know.—This correctly paraphrases the simple original knowing. Security, which is the opposite of the fear of the Father, is incompatible with knowing by whose and what anguish alone the inheritance could be purchased for us.

Corruptible things.—St. Peter’s contempt for silver and gold” is shown early in his history (Acts 3:6; comp. 1Peter 3:4). Gold and silver will come to an end with everything else that is material. Observe that, by contrast, the “blood of Christ” is implied to be not corruptible; and that, not because of the miraculous incorruption of Jesus Christ’s flesh, but because the “blood of Christ” of which the Apostle here speaks is not material. The natural blood of Jesus was only the sign and sacrament of that by which He truly and inwardly redeemed the world. (See Isaiah 53:12, “He poured out His soul unto death,” and Hebrews 10:9-10.)

Redeemed . . . from your vain conversation.—We have to notice (1) what the “redemption” means, and (2) what the readers were redeemed from. Now (1) the word “redeem” is the same which is used in Luke 24:21 (“We used to hope that He was the person destined to redeem Israel”), and in Titus 2:14 (“Gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity”), and nowhere else. The substantive appears in Luke 1:68; Luke 2:38; Hebrews 9:12, to represent the action of redeeming; and in Acts 7:35, of Moses, to represent the person who effects such a redemption. Properly it means to ransom a person, to get them out of slavery or captivity by paying a ransom (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45; comp. 1Timothy 2:6). The notion of an actual ransom paid, however, was apt to slip away, as in the case of Moses just quoted, who certainly gave nothing of the nature of an equivalent to Pharaoh for the loss of his serfs. So that here, as in all passages relating to the Atonement, we must be very careful not to press the metaphor, or to consider it as more than a metaphor. The leading notion here is not that of paying an equivalent, but to call closer attention to the state in which the readers were before. It was a servitude like that of Egypt, or a captivity like that of Babylon, from which they needed a “ransomer” like Moses or Zerubbabel. What then was that condition? (2) St. Peter describes it as a “vain conversation traditional from the fathers.” The word “conversation” again catches up 1Peter 1:15; 1Peter 1:17, “be holy in your conduct; let it be a conduct of fear; for your old vain conduct needed a terrible ransom before you could be set at liberty from it.” The question is, whether a Gentile or Jewish mode of life is intended. If it meant merely as regards religious worship, it would suit either way, for it was of the essence of Roman state “religion” that it should be the same from generation to generation. (See Acts 24:14.) But “conversation” or “manner of life” is far too wide a word to be thus limited, and at the same time the word “tradition” implies (in the New Testament) something sedulously taught, purposely handed down from father to son as an heirloom, so that it could not be applied to the careless, sensual life of Gentiles, learned by example only. On the other hand, among the Jews “tradition” entered into the minutest details of daily life or “conversation.” (See Mark 7:3-4—the Petrine Gospel.) It was a matter of serious “tradition” how a cup was to be washed. “Vain” (i.e., frivolous) seems not an unnatural epithet to apply to such a mode of life, especially to one who had heard Mark 7:7. It would seem, then, that the readers of this Letter were certainly Jews by birth. But would the Apostle of the Circumcision, the supposed head of the legal party in the Church, dare to call Judaism a “vain conversation,” to stigmatise it (the single compound adjective in the Greek has a contemptuous ring) as “imposed by tradition of the fathers,” and to imply that it was like an Egyptian bondage? We have only to turn to Acts 15:10, and we find him uttering precisely the same sentiments, and calling Judaism a slavish “yoke,” which was not only so bad for Gentiles that to impose it upon them was to tempt God, but also was secretly or openly felt intolerable by himself, by all the Jews there present, and even by the fathers who had imposed it. Judaism itself, then, in the form it had then assumed, was one of the foes and oppressors from which Christ came to “ransom” and “save” His people. (See Notes on 1Peter 1:9-10, and comp. Acts 13:39.)

1 Peter 1:18-21. Forasmuch as ye know, &c. — That is, be holy in your whole behaviour, because ye know what an immense price your redemption cost; that you were not redeemed with corruptible things — Such as all visible and temporal things are; even silver and gold — Highly as they are prized, and eagerly as they are sought; from your vain conversation — Your foolish, sinful way of life, a way wholly unprofitable to yourselves, and dishonourable to God; received by traditions from your fathers — Which you had been engaged in by the instruction or example of your forefathers. The Jews derived from their fathers that implicit regard for the traditions of the elders, by which they made the law of God of none effect, with a variety of other corrupt principles and practices. In like manner the Gentiles derived their idolatry, and other abominable vices, from the teaching and example of their fathers; for, in general, as Whitby justly remarks, the strongest arguments for false religions, as well as for errors in the true, is that men have received them from their fathers. But with the precious blood of Christ — Blood of immense value, being the blood of the only-begotten Son of God, who had glory with the Father before the world was; as of a lamb without blemish and without spot — See on Leviticus 22:21-22. The sacrifice of himself, which Christ offered to God without spot, being here likened to the sacrifice of the paschal lamb, and of the lambs daily offered as sin-offerings for the whole nation, we are thereby taught that the shedding of Christ’s blood is a real atonement for the sins of the world. Hence John the Baptist called him the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world. And to show the extent of the efficacy of his sacrifice, that it reaches backward to the fall of man, as well as forward to the end of time, he is said (Revelation 13:8) to be the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Who verily was foreordained — Προεγνωσμενου, foreknown, before the foundation of the world — Before God called the universe into being; but was manifested — Namely, in the flesh, John 1:14; 1 John 3:8; in these last times — Of the Mosaic economy, or in the times of the gospel, the last dispensation of divine mercy; see note on Hebrews 1:2; for you — Jews or Gentiles; who by him — Through the virtue of his sacrifice, and the efficacy of his grace; do believe in God — In the one living and true God, as your Friend and Father; that raised him up from the dead — Thereby confirming his doctrine, showing the efficacy of his atonement, procuring for you the Holy Spirit, and assuring you of your resurrection; see on 1 Peter 1:3; and gave him glory — Placed him at his own right hand, and invested him with all power in heaven and on earth, for the salvation of his followers, and the destruction of his and their enemies. See Hebrews 10:13. That your faith and hope might be in God — That you might be encouraged to believe in God as reconciled to you through Christ, that you might hope on good grounds that he will glorify you as he hath done Christ your Head; or, that your faith and hope might terminate in God the Father, or be ultimately fixed on him through the mediation of his Son.

1:17-25 Holy confidence in God as a Father, and awful fear of him as a Judge, agree together; and to regard God always as a Judge, makes him dear to us as a Father. If believers do evil, God will visit them with corrections. Then, let Christians not doubt God's faithfulness to his promises, nor give way to enslaving dread of his wrath, but let them reverence his holiness. The fearless professor is defenceless, and Satan takes him captive at his will; the desponding professor has no heart to avail himself of his advantages, and is easily brought to surrender. The price paid for man's redemption was the precious blood of Christ. Not only openly wicked, but unprofitable conversation is highly dangerous, though it may plead custom. It is folly to resolve, I will live and die in such a way, because my forefathers did so. God had purposes of special favour toward his people, long before he made manifest such grace unto them. But the clearness of light, the supports of faith, the power of ordinances, are all much greater since Christ came upon earth, than they were before. The comfort is, that being by faith made one with Christ, his present glory is an assurance that where he is we shall be also, Joh 14:3. The soul must be purified, before it can give up its own desires and indulgences. And the word of God planted in the heart by the Holy Ghost, is a means of spiritual life, stirring up to our duty, working a total change in the dispositions and affections of the soul, till it brings to eternal life. In contrast with the excellence of the renewed spiritual man, as born again, observe the vanity of the natural man. In his life, and in his fall, he is like grass, the flower of grass, which soon withers and dies away. We should hear, and thus receive and love, the holy, living word, and rather hazard all than lose it; and we must banish all other things from the place due to it. We should lodge it in our hearts as our only treasures here, and the certain pledge of the treasure of glory laid up for believers in heaven.Forasmuch as ye know - This is an argument for a holy life, derived from the fact that they were redeemed, and from the manner in which their redemption had been effected. There is no more effectual way to induce true Christians to consecrate themselves entirely to God, than to refer them to the fact that they are not their own, but have been purchased by the blood of Christ.

That ye were not redeemed - On the word rendered "redeemed," (λυτρόω lutroō,) see the notes at Titus 2:14. The word occurs in the New Testament only in Luke 24:21; Titus 2:14, and in this place. The noun (λύτρον lutron) is found in Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45, rendered ransom. For the meaning of the similar word, (ἀπολύτρωσις apolutrōsis,) see the notes at Romans 3:24. This word occurs in Luke 21:28; Romans 3:24; Romans 8:23; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Ephesians 1:7, Ephesians 1:14; Ephesians 4:30; Colossians 1:14; Hebrews 9:15, in all which places it is rendered redemption; and in Hebrews 11:35, where it is rendered "deliverance." The word here means that they were rescued from sin and death by the blood of Christ, as the valuable consideration on account of which it was done; that is, the blood, or the life of Christ offered as a sacrifice, effected the same purpose in regard to justice and to the maintenance of the principles of moral government, which the punishment of the sinner himself would have done. It was that which God was pleased to accept in the place of the punishment of the sinner, as answering the same great ends in his administration. The principles of his truth and justice could as certainly be maintained in this way as by the punishment of the guilty themselves. If so, then there was no obstacle to their salvation; and they might, on repentance, be consistently pardoned and taken to heaven.

With corruptible things, as silver and gold - On the word "corruptible," as applicable to gold, see the notes at 1 Peter 1:7. Silver and gold usually constitute the price or the valuable consideration paid for the redemption of captives. It is clear that the obligation of one who is redeemed, to love his benefactor, is in proportion to the price which is paid for his ransom. The idea here is, that a price far more valuable than any amount of silver or gold had been paid for the redemption of the people of God, and that they were under proportionate obligation to devote themselves to his service. They were redeemed by the life of the Son of God offered in their behalf; and between the value of that life and silver and gold there could be no comparison.

From your vain conversation - Your "vain conduct, or manner of life." See the notes at 1 Peter 1:15. The word "vain," applied to conduct, (ματαίας mataias,) means properly "empty, fruitless." It is a word often applied to the worship of idols, as being nothing, worthless, unable to help, Acts 14:15; 1 Kings 16:13; 2 Kings 17:15; Jeremiah 2:5, Jeremiah 2:8,Jeremiah 2:19 and is probably used in a similar sense in this place. The apostle refers to their former worship of idols, and to all the abominations connected with that service, as being vain and unprofitable; as the worship of nothing real (compare 1 Corinthians 8:4, "We know that an idol is nothing in the world'), and as resulting in a course of life that answered none of the proper ends of living. From that they had been redeemed by the blood of Christ.

Received by tradition from your fathers - The mode of worship which had been handed down from father to son. The worship of idols depends on no better reason than that it is that which has been practiced in ancient times; and it is kept up now in all lands, in a great degree, only by the fact that it has had the sanction of the venerated people of other generations.

18. Another motive to reverential, vigilant fear (1Pe 1:17) of displeasing God, the consideration of the costly price of our redemption from sin. Observe, it is we who are bought by the blood of Christ, not heaven. The blood of Christ is not in Scripture said to buy heaven for us: heaven is the "inheritance" (1Pe 1:4) given to us as sons, by the promise of God.

corruptible—Compare 1Pe 1:7, "gold that perisheth," 1Pe 1:23.

silver and gold—Greek, "or." Compare Peter's own words, Ac 3:6: an undesigned coincidence.

redeemed—Gold and silver being liable to corruption themselves, can free no one from spiritual and bodily death; they are therefore of too little value. Contrast 1Pe 1:19, Christ's "precious blood." The Israelites were ransomed with half a shekel each, which went towards purchasing the lamb for the daily sacrifice (Ex 30:12-16; compare Nu 3:44-51). But the Lamb who redeems the spiritual Israelites does so "without money or price." Devoted by sin to the justice of God, the Church of the first-born is redeemed from sin and the curse with Christ's precious blood (Mt 20:28; 1Ti 2:6; Tit 2:14; Re 5:9). In all these passages there is the idea of substitution, the giving of one for another by way of a ransom or equivalent. Man is "sold under sin" as a slave; shut up under condemnation and the curse. The ransom was, therefore, paid to the righteously incensed Judge, and was accepted as a vicarious satisfaction for our sin by God, inasmuch as it was His own love as well as righteousness which appointed it. An Israelite sold as a bond-servant for debt might be redeemed by one of his brethren. As, therefore, we could not redeem ourselves, Christ assumed our nature in order to become our nearest of kin and brother, and so our God or Redeemer. Holiness is the natural fruit of redemption "from our vain conversation"; for He by whom we are redeemed is also He for whom we are redeemed. "Without the righteous abolition of the curse, either there could be found no deliverance, or, what is impossible, the grace and righteousness of God must have come in collision" [Steiger]; but now, Christ having borne the curse of our sin, frees from it those who are made God's children by His Spirit.

vain—self-deceiving, unreal, and unprofitable: promising good which it does not perform. Compare as to the Gentiles, Ac 14:15; Ro 1:21; Eph 4:17; as to human philosophers, 1Co 3:20; as to the disobedient Jews, Jer 4:14.

conversation—course of life. To know what our sin is we must know what it cost.

received by tradition from your fathers—The Jews' traditions. "Human piety is a vain blasphemy, and the greatest sin that a man can commit" [Luther]. There is only one Father to be imitated, 1Pe 1:17; compare Mt 23:9, the same antithesis [Bengel].

Forasmuch as ye know; considering that ye were, &c.

That ye were not redeemed with corruptible things: see Titus 2:14. This implies them to have been in a servile condition, and in bondage to their own errors, till they were converted to Christ.

As silver and gold; the most precious things, of greatest esteem among men.

From your vain, because unprofitable to, and insufficient for, righteousness and salvation, conversation, viz. in your Judaism, wherein you were so much addicted to uncommanded rites and ceremonies, as to have little respect for God’s law.

Received by tradition; and so not only by their example and practice, but by their doctrine and precepts, Matthew 15:3, &c.; Mark 7:7, &c. See likewise Galatians 1:14.

From your fathers; either your ancestors, as Ezekiel 20:18, or doctors and instructors, who are sometimes called fathers, 1 Corinthians 4:15.

Forasmuch as ye know,.... From the Scriptures of truth, by the testimony of the Spirit, by his work upon the soul, and by the application of the benefits of redemption, such as justification, pardon, adoption, and sanctification; see Job 19:25,

that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold. The redemption of a soul, which is of more worth than a world, requires a greater price than gold and silver; and those who have the largest share thereof, can neither redeem their own souls with it, nor the souls of others. The soul is immortal and incorruptible, but these are corruptible things, which may be cankered, or wear away, and perish by using; and therefore, seeing redemption is not obtained by anything corruptible, nothing corrupt in principle, or practice should be indulged. The allusion is to the redemption of the people of Israel, and of the firstborn, by shekels, Exodus 30:12. Gold and silver do not mean pieces of gold and silver, but gold and silver coined; for only by such could redemption of anything be obtained (d) but these are insufficient for the redemption of the soul; which is a deliverance from the slavery of sin, the bondage, curse, and condemnation of the law, the captivity of Satan, and from a state of poverty, having been deep in debt, and sold under sin. It here follows,

from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; meaning not the corruption of nature, which is propagated from father to son by natural generation, and lies in the vanity of the mind, and is the spring and source of an evil conversation; though the saints, as they are redeemed from all sin, so from this, that it shall not be their condemnation; not Gentilism, which lay in vain philosophy, in idolatry and superstition, and in evil and wicked conversation, encouraged by the example of their ancestors; but Judaism, and either regards the ceremonial law, which was delivered by Moses to the Jewish fathers, and by them handed down to their posterity; and which was vain, as used and abused by them, and was unprofitable to obtain righteousness, life, and salvation by, and therefore was disannulled by Christ, who has redeemed and delivered his people from this yoke of bondage; or rather the traditions of the elders, which our Lord inveighs against, Matthew 15:3 &c. and the Apostle Paul was brought up in, and zealous of, before conversion, Galatians 1:14 as the Pharisees were. These were the inventions and decrees of them they called "fathers", to whose dogmas and decisions they paid the utmost respect. These made up their oral law, which the Jews say (e) Moses received from Sinai, and delivered to Joshua; and Joshua to the elders; and the elders to the prophets; and the prophets to the men of the great synagogue, the last of which was Simeon the just; and from him it was delivered to another; and so from one to another to the times of Christ and his apostles and afterwards; and which consisted of many vain, useless, and unprofitable things; to walk according to which must be a vain conversation; and the saints now being redeemed by a greater price than that of silver and gold, and which is after mentioned, they ought not therefore to be the servants of men, no, not of these fathers, but of God and Christ,

(d) Maimon. & Bartenora in Misn. Beracot, c. 7. sect. 1.((e) Pirke Abot, c. 1. sect. 1, 2, &c.

(11) Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

(11) An exhortation, in which he sets forth the excellency and greatness of the benefit of God the Father in sanctifying us by the death of his own Son. And he partly sets the purifyings of the law against the thing itself, that is, against the blood of Christ, and partly also men's traditions, which he condemns as utterly vain and superstitious, be they never so old and ancient.

1 Peter 1:18. The apostle strengthens his exhortation by reminding his readers of the redemption wrought out for them by the death of Christ. It is an assumption too far-fetched to suppose that this verse serves to show “the causal connection between the protasis and the apodosis of 1 Peter 1:17” (Schott).

εἰδότες] not: “since ye know,” but: “considering,” “reflecting;” Gerhard: expendentes; cf. 2 Timothy 2:23 and my commentary on the passage.

ὅτι οὐ] The negation is placed foremost in order the more to give prominence to the position.

φθαρτοῖς, ἀργυρίῳ ἢ χρυσίῳ] φθαρτοῖς is not an adjective here (Luther: “with perishable silver and gold”), but a substantive:with perishable things;” see Winer, p. 491 [E. T. 662].

Benson thinks that by ἀργυρίῳ ἢ χρυσίῳ the apostle alludes to the custom of paying money as a sign of reconciliation, according to Exodus 30:12-16; Numbers 3:44-51; Numbers 18:16; this is possible, but not probable.

ἐλυτρώθητε] is here used in its strict signification of, to ransom, or redeem by a λύτρον (cf. Matthew 20:28), as in Titus 2:14, whilst in Luke 24:21 this definite application is lost sight of; with the thought, cf. 1 Corinthians 6:20. The ransom is stated in the following verse.

ἐκ τῆς ματαίας ὑμῶν ἀναστροφῆς] cf. 1 Peter 1:14. μάταιος, “empty, without real contents,” does not occur in an ethical sense in the classics; LXX. Isaiah 32:6 translation of אָוֶן is not to be limited specially to the idolatry of the heathen (Carpzov, Benson, etc.), still less to the ceremonial service of the Jews (Grotius).[90]

πατροπαραδότου] belongs to the whole idea preceding: ΜΑΤΑΊΑς ὙΜῶΝ ἈΝΑΣΤΡΟΦῆς (see Winer, p. 489 [E. T. 659]). Aretius explains it by innata nobis natura; but this is not appropriate to ἈΝΑΣΤΡΟΦῆς; correctly Erasmus: quam ex Patrum traditione acceperatis; Steiger: “by upbringing, instruction, and example” (thus also de Wette-Brückner, Wiesinger, Weiss, Schott). This attribute emphatically shows that the ΜΑΤΑΊΑ ἈΝΑΣΤΡΟΦΉ is peculiar, not to the individual only, but to the whole race, and has been from the earliest times, and consequently is so completely master of the individual that he cannot free himself from it.

There is here no “special reference to Judaeo-Christian readers” (Weiss, p. 181).

[90] Although ματαία ἀναστροφὴ πατροπαράδοτος does not necessarily apply to the heathen (Schott), yet the expression more aptly characterizes their mode of life than the Jewish.

1 Peter 1:18. Amplification of Isaiah 52:3 f., Δωρεὰν ἐπράθητε καὶ οὐ μετὰ ἀργυρίου λυτρωθήσεσθε (cf. Isaiah 45:13εἰς Αἴγυπτον κατέβη ὁ λαός μου τὸ πρότερον παροικῆσαι ἐκεῖ. The deliverance from Babylon corresponds to the deliverance from Egypt. To these the Christians added a third and appropriated to it the descriptions of its predecessors.—οὐ φθαρτοῖς, κ.τ.λ. The preceding negative relief to positive statement is characteristic of St. Peter, who here found it in his original (Isa. l.c.). φθαρτοῖς echoes ἀπολλυμένου and is probably an allusion to the Golden Calf of which it was said These be thy gods O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt (Exodus 32:14). According to Sap. 14:8, it is the proper name for an idol: τὸ δὲ φθαρτὸν θεὸς ὠνομάσθη. So the dative represents the agent and not only the instrument of the deliverance.—ματαίας supports the view taken of φθ., for the gods of the nations are vanity, μάταια הבל (Jeremiah 10:3, etc.).—πατροπαραδότου, ancestral, hereditary. The adjective indicates the source of the influence, which their old way of life—patrius mos, patriritus—still exercised over them. The ancient religion had a strength—not merely vis inertiae—which often baffled both Jewish and Christian missionaries: “to subvert a custom delivered to us from ancestors the heathen say is not reasonable” (Clem. Ac. Protr. x.). This power of the dead hand is exemplified in the pains taken by the Stoics and New Pythagoreans to conserve the popular religion and its myths by allegorical interpretation. Among the Jews this natural conservatism was highly developed; St. Paul was a zealot for the ancestral laws. But the combination of patriarch and tradition does not prove that the persons addressed were Jewish Christians. The law, according to which the Jews regulated their life, was Divine, its mediator Moses; and there is a note of depreciation in the words not that it is derived from Moses only from the Fathers (John 7:22). πατρο is contrasted with πατέρα (17) as παραδότου with the direct calling.

18. as ye know that ye were not redeemed …] The idea of a ransom as a price paid for liberation from captivity or death, suggests the contrast between the silver and gold which were paid commonly for human ransoms, and the price which Christ had paid. In the word itself we have an echo of our Lord’s teaching in Matthew 20:28, Mark 10:45. In this instance, it will be noted, stress is laid on the fact that the liberation effected by the ransom is not from the penalty of an evil life, but from the evil life itself.

from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers] Better, as before, vain conduct. It has been somewhat rashly inferred from these words that the Apostle is speaking mainly, if not exclusively, of the converts from heathenism who were to be found in the Asiatic Churches. His own words, however, in Acts 15:10, yet more the condemnation passed by our Lord on the traditions of the elders (Matthew 15:2-6, Mark 7:3-13), and St Paul’s reference to his living after the traditions of the fathers (Galatians 1:14), are surely enough to warrant the conclusion that he is speaking here of the degenerate Judaism of those whom he addresses, rather than turning to a different class of readers, or, at the least, that his words include the former.

1 Peter 1:18. Οὐ φθαρτοῖς, not with corruptible things) 1 Peter 1:23.—ματαίας, vain) A vain course of life, which leaves no fruit behind, when the time has passed away.—πατροπαραδότου, received from the fathers) There is only one Father to be imitated, 1 Peter 1:17. There is the same antithesis, Matthew 23:9. In religion men too willingly and pertinaciously tread in the footsteps of their fathers, and the Jews in particular.

Verse 18. - Forasmuch as ye know; literally, knowing, considering. That ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold. The order in the original gives mere emphasis: "That not with corruptible things, silver and gold, were ye redeemed." Afford notes here that the diminutives (ἀργυρίῳ ἤ χρυσίῳ) stand generally (not always) for the coined or wrought metal. The word ἐλυτρώθητε, "ye were ransomed," seems to point back to the great saying of our Lord, "The Son of man came... to give his life a ransom for many (λύτρον ἀντὶ πολλῶν)" (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45; comp. 1 Timothy 2:6). Doubtless no human language can adequately express the mystery of the atonement. That stupendous fact transcends human reason, and cannot be exactly defined in human words. But the Lord himself describes it as a ransom" a ransom for many," given in their stead. Reverence keeps us from pressing the illustration in all its details. It may be that the correspondence between the atonement and the redemption of a slave from an earthly master is not exact in all points. But the illustration comes from the Lord himself, who is the Truth; it must be true as far as human language permits, as far as human reason can comprehend. It teaches, as plainly as words can express, the doctrine of vicarious satisfaction: he gave his life, not only in behalf of us, but also instead of us - a ransom for our sins. Compare the use of the word ἀγοράζειν (1 Corinthians 6:20), "Ye are bought with a price;" and (2 Peter 2:1), "The Lord that bought them;" also ἐξαγοράζειν (Galatians 3:13), "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the Law." From your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; literally, out of your vain manner of life or conduct. The word here rendered '" vain ' is used of idolatry in Acts 14:15, and also the corresponding verb in Romans 1:21. St. Peter seems to be thinking mainly of Gentile Christians; he would scarcely describe the sinful conversation of Israelites as "handed down from your fathers" (Revised Version) without some qualification. Habits are transmitted from fathers to children; habitual custom is made an excuse for many shortcomings, but "unus Pater imitandus" (Bengel). 1 Peter 1:18Ye were redeemed (ἐλυτρώθητε)

The verb occurs only in two other passages, Luke 24:21; Titus 2:14. It carries the idea of a ransom-price (λύτρον, from λύω, to loose).

With silver or gold (ἀργυρίῳ ἢ χρυσίῳ)

Lit., with silver or gold money; the words meaning, respectively, a small coin of silver or of gold.


Rev., manner of life. See on 1 Peter 1:15.

Received by tradition from your fathers (πατροπαραδότου)

A clumsy translation; improved by Rev., handed down from your fathers. The word is peculiar to Peter.

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