1 Peter 3:14
But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;
Jump to: AlfordBarnesBengelBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctExp GrkGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsICCJFBKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWMeyerParkerPNTPoolePulpitSermonSCOTeedTTBVWSWESTSK
(14) But and if ye suffer.—The old-fashioned phrase would read more intelligibly thus: Nay, if ye should even suffer. So far are men’s attempts to “harm” us (by acts of malice to property or good name, &c.) from really injuring us, that even if it should come to be a matter of “suffering” we are to be congratulated. What he means by this “suffering,” which is so much more than being “harmed,” may be seen from 1Peter 2:21; 1Peter 3:17; 1Peter 4:1; 1Peter 4:15. He means the horrors of capital punishment. He does not speak of this as something that was already occurring, nor as though it were something immediately and certainly impending, but as a case well supposable. There had then as yet been no martyrdoms in Asia. The letter is therefore earlier in date than the Apocalypse (Revelation 2:13). It is a noticeable point that in all St. Paul’s Epistles the word “to suffer” occurs but seven times, and nowhere twice in the same Epistle; whereas it comes twelve times in this one short Letter of St. Peter.

For righteousness’ sake.—Like the “suffering wrongfully” of 1Peter 2:19. It is not as suffering that it is valuable.

Happy are ye.—Quite the right word: yet the use of it obscures the obvious reference to the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:10). The reference to it is all the clearer in the Greek from the significant way in which St. Peter leaves his sentence incomplete, merely giving the catchword of the beatitude. We might represent it to ourselves by putting “Blessed” in inverted commas, and a dash after it. He makes sure his readers will catch the allusion. There is no part of our Lord’s discourses which seems (from the traces in the earliest Christian literature) to have taken so rapid and firm a hold on the Christian conscience as the Sermon on the Mount.

Be not afraid of their terror.—Here the translators might with advantage have kept the same word, and said (as in the original passage from which St. Peter is quoting, Isaiah 8:12), Fear ye not their feari.e., the thing which makes them fear; do not regard with dread the same object as they do. In the original, the persons whose fears Isaiah and the faithful Jews are not to fear are those who were in dread of Syria and Israel. Here the persons are not named; but, of course, according to this interpretation, “they” cannot be the enemies who try to harm the Christians, but, if any one, those of the Christians who, for fear of man, were beginning to abandon Christianity. The intention, however, is not to press this clause for its own sake, but to throw greater force upon the clause which begins the next verse. It argues carelessness about the passage in Isaiah to interpret, “Be not afraid of the fear which your foes strike into you.”

1 Peter


1 Peter 3:14-15.

These words are a quotation from the prophet Isaiah, with some very significant variations. As originally spoken, they come from a period of the prophet’s life when he was surrounded by conspirators against him, eager to destroy, and when he had been giving utterance to threatening prophecies as to the coming up of the King of Assyria, and the voice of God encouraged him and his disciples with the ringing words: ‘Fear not their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the Lord of Hosts Himself, and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread, and He shall be for a sanctuary.’ Peter was in similar circumstances. The gathering storm of persecution of the Christians as Christians seems to have been rising on his horizon, and he turns to his brethren, and commends to them the old word which long ago had been spoken to and by the prophet. But the variations are very remarkable. The Revised Version correctly reads my text thus: ‘Fear not their fear, neither be troubled, but sanctify in your hearts Christ as Lord.’

I. We have first to note the substitution, as a matter of course, without any need for explanation or vindication, of Jesus Christ in place of the Jehovah of the Old Testament.

There is no doubt that the reading adopted in the Revised Version is the true one, as attested by weighty evidence in the manuscripts, and in itself more probable by reason of its very difficulty. The other reading adopted in Authorised Versions is likely to have arisen from a marginal note which crept into the text, and was due to some copyist who was struck by Peter’s free handling of the passage, and wished to make the quotations verbally accurate.

Now, if we think for a moment of the Jew’s reverence for the letter of Scripture, and then think again of the Jew’s intense monotheism and dread of putting any creature into the place of God, we shall understand how saturated with the belief in the divinity of Jesus Christ, and how convinced that it was the vital centre of all Christian teaching, this Apostle must have been when, without a word of explanation, he took his pen, and, as it were, drew it through ‘Lord God’ in Isaiah’s words, and wrote in capitals over it, ‘Christ as Lord.’

What does that mean? Some of us would, perhaps, hesitate to say that it means that He who was all through the growing ages of brightening revelation of old, named ‘Jehovah,’ is now named Jesus Christ. I believe that from the beginning He whom we call, according to the teaching of the great prologue of John’s Gospel, the ‘Word of God,’ was the Agent of all Divine revelation. But whether that be so or no, whether we have the right to say that the same Person who was revealed as ‘Jehovah’ is now revealed as ‘Jesus Christ,’ the ‘Word made flesh,’ or no, we distinctly fail to apprehend who and what Jesus Christ was to the writer of this epistle, and fail to sanctify Him in our hearts, unless we say: ‘To Thee belongeth all that belongs to God.’ That is the first great truth that comes out of these words, and I would commend it to any of you who may be hesitating about that Christian fact of the true divinity of Jesus Christ. You cannot strike it out of the New Testament, and if you try to do so you tear the book to pieces, and reduce it to rags and tatters.

Further, mark here what the Apostle means by the Christian sanctifying of Christ.

That is a strange expression. How am I to sanctify Jesus Christ? Well, it is the same word that is used in the Lord’s Prayer, and perhaps its use there may throw light on Peter’s meaning here. ‘Hallowed be Thy name’--explains the meaning of hallowing Christ as Lord in our hearts. We sanctify or hallow one who is holy already, when we recognise the holiness, and honour what we recognise. So that the plain meaning of the commandments here is: set Christ in your hearts on the pedestal and pinnacle that belongs to Him, and then bow down before Him with all reverence and submission. Be sure that you give Him all that is His due, and in the love of your hearts, as well as in the thinkings of your minds, recognise Him for what He is, the Lord. Let us take care that our thoughts about Jesus Christ are full of devout awe and reverence. I venture to think that a great deal of modern and sentimental Christianity is very defective in this respect. You cannot love Jesus Christ too much, but you can love Him with too little reverence. And if you take up some of our luscious modern hymns that people are so fond of singing, I think you will find in them a twang of unwholesomeness, just because the love is not reverent enough, and the approaching confidence has not enough of devout awe in it. This generation looks at the half of Christ. When people are suffering from indigestion, they can only see half of the thing that they look at, and there are many of us that can only see a part of the whole Christ: and so, forgetting that He is judge, and forgetting that He is the Lion of the tribe of Judah, and forgetting that whilst He is manifested in the flesh our brother He is also God manifest in the flesh, our Creator as well as our Redeemer, and our Judge as well as our Saviour, some do not enough hallow Him in their hearts as Lord.

Peter had heard Jesus say that ‘all men should honour the Son as they honoured the Father.’ I beseech you, embrace the whole Christ, and see to it that you do not dethrone Him from His rightful place, or take from Him the glory that is due to His name. For your love will suffer, and become a mere sentiment, inoperative and sometimes unwholesome, unless you keep in mind Peter’s injunction.

But, further, there is included in this commandment, not only what Isaiah said, ‘Let Him be your fear and your dread,’ but also a reverent love and trust. For we do not hallow Christ as we ought, unless we absolutely confide in every word of His lips. Did you ever think that not to trust Jesus Christ is to blaspheme and profane that holy name by which we are called; and that to hallow Him means to say to Him, ‘I believe every word that Thou speakest, and I am ready to risk my life upon Thy veracity’? Distrust is dishonouring the Master, and taking from Him the glory that is due unto His name.

Then there is another point to be noted: ‘Sanctify in your hearts Christ as Lord.’ That is Peter’s addition to Isaiah’s words, and it is not a mere piece of tautology, but puts great emphasis into the exhortation. What is a man’s heart, in New Testament and Old Testament language? It is the very centre-point of the personal self. And when Peter says, ‘Hallow Him in your hearts,’ he means that, deep down in the very midst of your personal being, as it were, there should be, fundamental to all, and interior to all, this reverential awe and absolute trust in Jesus Christ--an habitual thought, a central emotion, an all-dominant impulse. ‘Out of the heart are the issues of life.’ Put the healing agent into it, the fountain-head, and all the streams that pour out thence will be purified and sweetened. Deep in the heart put Christ, and life will be pure.

Now, in another part of this letter the Apostle says, ‘Ye are a spiritual house.’ I think some notion of the same sort is running in his mind here. He thinks of each man’s heart as being a shrine in which the god is enthroned, and in which worship is rendered. And if we have Christ in our hearts, then our hearts are temples; and if we ‘hallow’ the Christ that dwells within us, we shall take care that there are no foul things in that sanctuary. We dishonour the indwelling Deity when into that same heart we allow to come lusts, foulnesses, meannesses, worldlinesses, passions, sins, and all the crew of reptiles and wild beasts that we sometimes admit there. If we hallow Christ in our hearts, in any true fashion, He will turn out the money-changers and overturn the tables. And if we desire to hallow Him in our hearts, we too, must by His Spirit’s help, purge the temple that He may enter and abide.

And so I come to the next point, and that is the Christian courage and calmness that ensue from hallowing Christ in the heart.

The Apostle first puts his exhortation: ‘Be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled,’ and then he presents us an opposite injunction, obedience to which is the only means of obeying the first exhortation. If you do not sanctify Christ in your hearts, you cannot help being afraid of their terror, and troubled. If you do, then there is no fear that you will fall into that snare. That is to say, the one thing that delivers men from the fears that make cowards of us all is to have Christ lodged within our hearts. Sunshine puts out culinary fires. They who have the awe and the reverent love that knit them to Jesus Christ, and who carry Him within their hearts, have no need to be afraid of anything besides. Only he who can say, ‘The Lord is the strength of my life’ can go on to say, ‘Of whom shall I be afraid?’ There is nothing more hopeless than to address to men, ringed about with dangers, the foolish exhortations: ‘Cheer up! do not be frightened,’ unless you can tell them some reason for not being frightened. And the one reason that will carry weight with it, in all circumstances, is the presence of Jesus.

‘With Christ in the vessel

I smile at the storm.’

The world comes to us and says: ‘Do not be afraid, do not be afraid; be of good courage; pluck up your heart, man.’ The Apostle comes and says: ‘Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts; and then, and only then, will you be bold.’ The boldness which fronts the certain dangers and calamities and the possible dangers and calamities of this life, without Christ, is not boldness, but foolhardiness. ‘The simple passeth on, and is punished,’ says the book of Proverbs. It is easy to whistle when going through the churchyard, and to say, ‘Who’s afraid?’ But the ghosts rise all the same, and there is only one thing that lays them, and that is--the present Christ.

In like manner the sanctifying of Jesus Christ in the heart is the secret of calmness. ‘Fear not their fear, neither be troubled.’ I wonder if Peter was thinking at all of another saying: ‘Let not your heart be troubled; neither let it be afraid.’ Perhaps he was. At any rate, his thought is parallel with our Lord’s when He said, ‘Let not your heart be troubled. Believe in God, and believe in Me.’ The two alternatives are possible; we shall have either troubled hearts, or hearts calmed by faith in Christ. The ships behind the breakwater do not pitch and toss. The little town up amongst the hills, with the high cliffs around it, lies quiet, and ‘hears not the loud winds when they call.’ And the heart that has Christ for its possession has a secret peace, whatever strife may be raging round it.

‘Be not troubled; sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts.’ Peter leaves out a clause of Isaiah’s, though he conveys the idea without reiterating the words. But Isaiah had added a sweet promise which means much the same thing as I have now been saying, when he went on to declare that to those who sanctify the Lord God in their hearts, He shall be for a sanctuary. ‘The sanctuary was an asylum where men were safe. And if we have made our hearts temples in which Christ is honoured, worshipped, and trusted, then we shall dwell in Him as in the secret place of the Most High’; and in the inner chamber of the Temple it will be quiet, whatever noises are in the camp, and there is light coming from the Shekinah, whatever darkness may lie around. If we take Christ into our hearts, and reverence and love Him there, He will take us into His heart, and we shall dwell in peace, because we dwell in Him.

1 Peter 3:14-16. But if you should suffer — If any should be so wicked as to endeavour to harm you when you are doing good; if your heathen rulers, or any others, should persecute you for righteousness’ sake; that is, upon the account of your religion, because you follow Christ, and believe and obey his gospel; this, properly speaking, will be no harm to you, but a good: yea, happy are you — In so suffering, in spite of all the malicious and outrageous efforts of your enemies; yea, your sufferings will be so far from lessening, that they will increase your happiness, and that in many respects. Be not afraid of their terror Τον δε φοβον αυτων μη φοβηθητε, the very words of the Septuagint, Isaiah 8:12-13; Fear ye not their fear: the exhortation which Isaiah gave to the Jews when threatened with an invasion by the Assyrians. The words are a Hebraism; the meaning of which is, Be not affected with the fear which they endeavour to raise in you by their threatenings. Or, as some understand the expression, Let not that fear be in you which the wicked feel. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts — Namely, by fearing him more than men, how many or powerful soever they may be; by believing all his promises; by trusting in his wisdom, power, and goodness; by acknowledging his justice in the punishments which he inflicts, and by patiently bearing all the trials he is pleased to appoint. By these dispositions, believers sanctify God in their hearts; they give him the glory of all his perfections. See on Isaiah 8:13. And be ready always — By a familiar acquaintance with the contents and evidences of your holy religion, and by that cheerfulness and presence of mind which arises from a consciousness of your practical regard to it; to give an answer to every man that asketh you — Either by virtue of his office, or for his own information; or when the defence of the truth requires it; a reason of the hope that is in you — Of eternal life; with meekness — For anger would hurt your cause, as well as your soul; and fear — A filial fear of offending God, and a jealous fear of yourselves, lest you should speak amiss. Having a good conscience — Keeping your consciences clear from guilt, that they may justify you when men accuse you; or conducting yourselves so that your consciences may not reproach you for dishonouring the gospel, by walking unsuitably to its holy precepts; that whereas, or wherein, they speak evil of you, as of evil-doers — And lay to your charge crimes of the most detestable nature; they may be put to shame, who falsely — Without any shadow of cause; accuse your good conversation — Your inoffensive, useful, and holy behaviour; in Christ — According to his doctrine and example.

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.But and if ye suffer for righteousness" sake - Implying that though, in general, a holy character would constitute safety, yet that there was a possibility that they might suffer persecution. Compare the Matthew 5:10 note; 2 Timothy 3:12 note.

Happy are ye - Perhaps alluding to what the Saviour says in Matthew 5:10; "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness" sake." On the meaning of the word happy or blessed, see the notes at Matthew 5:3. The meaning here is, not that they would find positive enjoyment in persecution on account of righteousness, but that they were to regard it as a blessed condition; that is, as a condition that might be favorable to salvation; and they were not therefore, on the whole, to regard it as an evil.

And be not afraid of their terror - Of anything which they can do to cause terror. There is evidently an allusion here to Isaiah 8:12-13; "Neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread." See the notes at that passage. Compare Isaiah 51:12; Matthew 10:28. "Neither be troubled." With apprehension of danger. Compare the notes at John 14:1. If we are true Christians, we have really no reason to be alarmed in view of anything that can happen to us. God is our protector, and he is abundantly able to vanquish all our foes; to uphold us in all our trials; to conduct us through the valley of death, and to bring us to heaven. "All things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come," 1 Corinthians 3:21-22.

14. But and if—"But if even." "The promises of this life extend only so far as it is expedient for us that they should be fulfilled" [Calvin]. So he proceeds to state the exceptions to the promise (1Pe 3:10), and how the truly wise will behave in such exceptional cases. "If ye should suffer"; if it should so happen; "suffer," a milder word than harm.

for righteousness—"not the suffering, but the cause for which one suffers, makes the martyr" [Augustine].

happy—Not even can suffering take away your blessedness, but rather promotes it.

and—Greek, "but." Do not impair your blessing (1Pe 3:9) by fearing man's terror in your times of adversity. Literally, "Be not terrified with their terror," that is, with that which they try to strike into you, and which strikes themselves when in adversity. This verse and 1Pe 3:15 is quoted from Isa 8:12, 13. God alone is to be feared; he that fears God has none else to fear.

neither be troubled—the threat of the law, Le 26:36; De 28:65, 66; in contrast to which the Gospel gives the believer a heart assured of God's favor, and therefore unruffled, amidst all adversities. Not only be not afraid, but be not even agitated.

But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake; if ye suffer unjustly, whether it be for the true profession of the gospel, or in the exercise of righteousness, being followers of that which is good, and walking in the practice of the duties before mentioned.

Happy are ye; both in the spiritual benefit you gain by sufferings, viz. your edification in faith, patience, humility, &c.; the glory which redounds to God, who supports you under and carries you through them; and the reward you yourselves expect after them, Matthew 5:10, &c.

And be not afraid of their terror; either be not afraid after the manner of carnal men, (as the prophet’s meaning is, Isaiah 8:12,13), or rather, (the apostle accommodating the words of the prophet to his present purpose), be not afraid of those formidable things wherewith they threaten you; or, be not afraid of themselves and their threatenings, whereby they would strike terror into you: and so here is a metonymy in the words; fear, the effect, being put for the cause; thus fear is taken, Psalm 64:1 91:5 Proverbs 1:26.

Neither be troubled; viz. inordinately, with such a fear as is contrary to faith, and hinders you from doing your duty, John 14:1.

But and if ye suffer for righteousness sake,.... For the doctrine of justification by the righteousness of Christ, which was the great stumbling block to the Jews, and on account of which they persecuted the Christians; it being not after man, nor according to the carnal reason of men, and was contrary to the method they had fixed on, and what excluded boasting in them, and was thought to be a licentious doctrine; and for a righteous cause, for professing Christ and his Gospel; for vindicating both which, whoever did must expect to suffer persecution; and also for living soberly, righteously, and godly; for by a religious life and conversation the saints are separated from the world, and are distinguished from them, which in effect sets a mark of infamy and reproach upon them; and saints, by an agreeable life, reprove others, and condemn them; all which irritate and provoke them to hate and persecute them: now these words prevent an objection that might be made to what is before said; that none can, or will harm such as are followers of good; whereas it is a clear case, that saints for righteousness sake are hurt, and do suffer in their persons, characters, and estate; they are reproached and reviled, and often suffer confiscation of goods, imprisonment, and even death itself; to which the apostle answers, by granting it, and supposing that this should be the case, as it sometimes is; yet no hurt is done them, they are still happy persons: happy are ye; since suffering on such an account is a gift of God, even as believing in Christ itself is, and is a real honour done to a person, and to be so accounted; moreover, such generally enjoy much of the presence of God, and the comforts of his Spirit; the Spirit of God and of glory rests upon them; hereby the graces of the Spirit of God in them are exercised, tried, and proved, and shine out the brighter; the faith and hope of other Christians are strengthened, and God is glorified; and besides, the kingdom of heaven, the crown of life, and eternal glory, with which their sufferings are not to be compared, are theirs, and which they shall certainly enjoy: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; referring to a passage in Isaiah 8:12 and the meaning is either, be not afraid with the same sort of fear as wicked men are; with a worldly slavish fear of men, and of the loss of worldly things, and of life itself: or, afraid of them, as the Syriac version renders it; who inject fear into you; do not be afraid of their revilings and reproaches, of their threatenings and menaces, and even of death itself by them, which is the utmost they can do; do not be troubled at anything they say or do to you; since nothing can harm you, since God is on your side, Christ has delivered you from this present evil world, and saved you out of the hands of every enemy; and since the love of God, which casteth out fear, is shed abroad in your hearts, and you are encompassed with it, and nothing can separate you from it. But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: {15} and be not afraid of their {k} terror, neither be troubled;

(15) A most certain counsel in afflictions, be they never so terrible, to be of a steady mind and to stand fast. But how shall we attain to it? If we sanctify God in our minds and hearts, that is to say, if we rest upon him as one that is almighty that loves mankind, that is good and true indeed.

(k) Be not dismayed as they are.

1 Peter 3:14. ἀλλʼ εἰ καὶ πάσχοιτε] ἀλλά expresses the antithesis to the negation contained in the preceding question: “but even though you should suffer;” cf. Winer, p. 275 [E. T. 367]; a species of restriction which, however, is not intended to weaken the force of the foregoing thought. No doubt the possibility of suffering is admitted, yet in such a way that the Christian is considered blessed on account of that suffering. πάσχειν is not identical with κακοῦσθαι, but, as Bengel rightly remarks: levius verbum quam κακοῦσθαι. Every Christian has a πάσχειν, but he need never fear a κακοῦσθαι.[189]

διὰ δικαιοσύνην] recalls Matthew 5:10. δικαιοσύνη is here (cf. chap. 1 Peter 2:24) synonymous with τὸ ἀγαθόν and ἡ ἀγαθὴ ἐν Χριστῷ ἀναστροφή, 1 Peter 3:16.

μακάριοι] sc. ἐστέ. Even suffering itself contributes to your blessedness.

τὸν δὲ φόβον κ.τ.λ.] These and the words which begin the following verse are “a free use” (Schott) of the passage, Isaiah 8:12-13, LXX.: τὸν δὲ φόβον αὐτοῦ (i.e. τοῦ λαοῦ) οὐ μὴ φοβηθῆτε, οὐδὲ μὴ ταραχθῆτε· κύριον αὐτὸν ἁγιάσατε. The thought here is not quite the same, the sense of the Old Testament passage being: do not share the terror of the people, and do not be moved by what alarms them. If φόβος be here taken objectively, then φόβος αὐτῶν is “the fear emanating from them,” or “the fear which they excite” (de Wette, Brückner); cf. Psalm 91:5 : οὐ φοβηθήσῃ ἀπὸ φόβου νυκτερινοῦ; cf. also in this chap. 1 Peter 3:6. If, on the other hand, it be taken in a subjective sense, then αὐτῶν is equal to “of them,” therefore: “do not fear with the fear of them, i.e. do not be afraid of them” (Schott and Hofmann also). In both cases the meaning is substantially the same. Wiesinger is inaccurate when he takes φόβος subjectively, and interprets αὐτῶν as de Wette does.

[189] These words also are wrongly explained by Schott, since he takes ἀλλʼ as quickly denying the previous statement, and introducing a new turn of thought, separates εἰ καί from each other, and connects καί with πάσχοιτε in the sense of “even.” For the first, Schott appeals to Hartung’s Partikell. II. p. 37; for the second, to Hartung, I. p. 140, note; but without any right to do so. For, as to the former, he overlooks that ἀλλʼ here follows on a sentence negative in meaning; and as to the latter, that καί has here a position, in which a separation of it from εἰ could not for a moment be thought of. The apostle would have expressed the idea: “if for righteousness’sake you should have to experience (not only not happiness and blessing, but) even suffering,” by εἰ διὰ δικαιοσύνην καὶ πάσχοιτε.

1 Peter 3:14. ἀλλʼμακάριοι. Nay if ye should actually suffer—if some one, despite the prophet (1 Peter 3:13), should harm you—for the sake of righteousness, blessed are ye. Peter appeals to the saying, μακάριοι οἱ δεδιωγμένοι ἕνεκεν δικαιοσύνης (Matthew 5:10).—πάσχοιτε, ει with optative (cf. 1 Peter 3:17, εἰ θέλοι) is used to represent anything as generally possible without regard to the general or actual situation at the moment (Blass, Grammar, p. 213). The addition of καί implies that the contingency is unlikely to occur and is best represented by an emphasis on should. The meaning of the verb is determined by κακώσων above, if ye should be harmed, i.e., by persons unspecified (αὐτῶν).—δικαιοσύνην. perhaps suggested ζηλωταί, cf. 1Ma 2:27-29, πᾶς ὁ ζηλῶν τῷ νόμῳἐξελθέτωτότε κατέβησαν πολλοὶ ζητοῦντες δικ. καὶ κρίμα.—τὸν δὲ φόβονὑμῶν. An adaptation of Isaiah 8:12 f. LXX, τὸν δὲ φόβον αὐτοῦ μὴ φοβηθῆτε οὐδὲ μὴ ταραχθῆτε· κύριον αὐτὸν ἁγιάσατε καὶ αὐτός ἔσται σου φόβος. The scripture corresponding to the saying, Fear not them that kill the body; but fear rather him that can destroy both soul and body (Matthew 10:28 parallels Luke 12:4 f. where the description of God is modified). The sense of the original, fear not what they (the people) fear; Jehovah of Hosts Him shall ye count holy and let Him be the object of your fear, has been in part abandoned. For it is simpler to take the fear as referring to the evil with which their enemies try to terrify them, than to supply the idea that their enemies employ the means by which they themselves would be intimidated. Compare 1 Peter 3:6.—τὸν χριστόν, gloss on κύριον = Jehovah; cf. 1 Peter 2:3.—ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις sc. mere profession. Peter is probably thinking of the prescribed prayer, Hallowed be thy name, elsewhere in N.T. it belongs to God to sanctify Christ and men.—ἔτοιμοι ἀεὶ πρὸς ἀπολογίαν, ready for reply. The contrast between the inward hope (parallels sanctification of Christ in the heart) and the spoken defence of it is not insisted upon; the second δέ is not to be accepted. The use of the noun in place of verb is characteristic of St. Peter. The play upon ἀπολογίαν back-word and λόγον cannot be reproduced. Properly speech in defence, . is used metaphorically ([153] [154] παντί) here as by St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:3, ἡ ἐμὴ ἀπολογία τοῖς ἐμὲ ἀνακρίνουσιν; where also, though another technical word is introduced, no reference is intended to formal proceedings in a court of law. St. Peter is thinking of the promise which he himself once forfeited lor unworthy fear, I will give you mouth and wisdom (Luke 21:14 f., Luke 12:11, uses ἀπολογεῖσθαι; Matthew 10:19, λαλεῖν).—παντιλόγον, to every one (for dative cf. 1 Corinthians 9:3) that asketh of you an account. The phrase (compare Demosthenes Against Onetor, p. 868, ἐνεκάλουν καὶ λόγον ἀπῄτουν) recalls the Parable of the Steward of Unrighteousness, of whom his lord demanded an account (Luke 16:1 ff.), as also the metaphor of 1 Peter 4:10, ὡς καλοὶ οἰκονόμοι.—μετὰ πραΰτητος καὶ φόβου, with meekness (cf. 1 Peter 3:4) and fear of God (Isa. l.c. has the same play on the senses of fear).—συνείδησιν ἔχοντες ἀγαθήν, intermediate step between διὰ σ. θεοῦ and the quasi-personification of σ. . in 1 Peter 3:21; so St. Paul says οὐδὲν γὰρ ἐμαυτῷ σύνοιδα (1 Corinthians 4:4) but goes on beyond the contrast between self-judgment and that of other men to God’s judgment. 1 Peter 3:17 supplies the explanation here.—ἵναἀναστροφήν, generalisation of Peter’s personal experience at Pentecost, when the Jews first scoffed and then were pierced to the heart (Acts 2:13; Acts 2:37). Misrepresentation is apparently the extent of their present suffering (17) and this they are encouraged to hope may be stopped. The heathen will somehow be put to shame even if they are not converted (1 Peter 2:12).—ἐν ᾧ, in the matter in respect of which; see 1 Peter 2:12.—ἐπηρεάζοντες, occurs in Luke 6:28, προσεύχεσθε περὶ τῶν ἐπηρεαζόντων ὑμᾶς, and therefore constitutes another hint of contact between St. Luke and Peter (cf. χάρις, 1 Peter 2:19). Aristotle defines ἐπηρεασμός as “hindrance to the wishes of another not for the sake of gaining anything oneself but in order to baulk the other”—the spirit of the dog in the manger. Ordinarily the verb means to libel, cf. λαλῆσαι δόλον (10).—ὑμῶνἀναστροφήν, your (possessive genitive precedes noun in Hellenistic Greek) good-in-Christ behaviour: ἑν Χριστῷ (1 Peter 4:14; 1 Peter 4:16) is practically equivalent to Christian, cf. if any is in Christ a new creature.

[153] cod. Purpureus. 6th century (fragments of all the Gospels).

[154] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

14. But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye] Better, “But even if ye suffer, blessed are ye,” as reproducing more closely the beatitude of Matthew 5:10.

be not afraid of their terror] The words are taken (as before, without any formula of citation) from the LXX. of Isaiah 8:12-13. “Terror” is here probably objective in its sense (as in Psalm 91:5), and “their terror”=the terror which they, your enemies and persecutors, cause.

1 Peter 3:14. Πάσχοιτε, ye suffer) A milder word than κακοῦσθαι, to be afflicted.—μακάριοι, happy) ch. 1 Peter 4:14. Not even does this deprive you of a, happy life; it rather increases it. A remarkable manner of treating the subject of the cross.—τὸν δὲ φόβον αὐτῶν μὴ φοβηθῆτε, μηδὲ ταραχθῆτε· Κύριον δὲ τὸν θεὸν ἁγίσατε ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν, Be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts) He teaches how adversities are to be borne, in order that happiness may not be diminished. Isaiah 8:12-13, Septuagint, τὸν δὲ φόβον αὐτοῦ (τοῦ λαοῦ) οὐ μὴ φοβηθῆτε, οὐδὲ μὴ ταραχθῆτε. Τὸν Κύριον τῶν δυνάμεων αὐτὸν ἁγιάσατε, καὶ αὐτὸς ἔσταί σου φόβος. Ye shall not fear their fear, nor shall ye be afraid. Sanctify the Lord of Hosts Himself, and He shall be thy fear. Do not fear that fear, which the wicked both themselves entertain, and endeavour to excite in you. Φοβεῖσθαι φόβον is said, as χαίρειν χαρὰν, to rejoice with joy. There is one only who is to be feared, even the Lord: who is sanctified with pure fear, and truly honoured as God, the feelings of the pious answering to the Divine omnipotence [Isaiah 8:13].

Verse 14. - But and if ye suffer for righteousness sake, happy are ye; better, but although ye should suffer. St. Peter knew that persecution was coming; he wished to prepare his readers for it. He recalls to their thoughts the eighth beatitude, almost reproducing the Lord's words (Matthew 5:10). Such suffering (πάσχειν, lenius verbum quam κακοῦσθαι," Bengel) would do them no real harm; nay, it would bring with it a true and deep blessing. "Righteousness" here seems synonymous with "that which is good" in the last verse. Christians had often to suffer, not only because of their confession of Christ, but because of the purity of their lives, which was a standing reproach to the heathen. Compare St. Augustine's well-known saying, "Martyrem tacit non poena, sed causa." And be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled. From Isaiah 8:12. The genitive may be taken as objective: "Be not afraid of the terror which they cause;" or as subjective, "with the terror which they feel." The former view is more suitable here. 1 Peter 3:14Blessed

See on Matthew 5:3.

Be troubled (ταραχθῆτε)

The word used of Herod's trouble (Matthew 2:3); of the agitation of the pool of Bethesda (John 5:4); of Christ's troubled spirit (John 12:27).

1 Peter 3:14 Interlinear
1 Peter 3:14 Parallel Texts

1 Peter 3:14 NIV
1 Peter 3:14 NLT
1 Peter 3:14 ESV
1 Peter 3:14 NASB
1 Peter 3:14 KJV

1 Peter 3:14 Bible Apps
1 Peter 3:14 Parallel
1 Peter 3:14 Biblia Paralela
1 Peter 3:14 Chinese Bible
1 Peter 3:14 French Bible
1 Peter 3:14 German Bible

Bible Hub

1 Peter 3:13
Top of Page
Top of Page