New American Standard Bible
Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable.
King James Bible
Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.
Darby Bible Translation
Servants, be subject with all fear to your masters, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the ill-tempered.
World English Bible
Servants, be in subjection to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the wicked.
Young's Literal Translation
The domestics! be subjecting yourselves in all fear to the masters, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the cross;
1 Peter 2:18 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Servants, be subject to your masters - On the duty here enjoined, see the notes at Ephesians 6:5-9. The Greek word used here (οἰκέται oiketai) is not the same which is employed in Ephesians, (δοῦλοι douloi.) The word here means properly "domestics" - those employed about a house, or living in the same house - from οἶκος oikos, "house." These persons might have been slaves, or might not. The word would apply to them, whether they were hired, or whether they were owned as slaves. The word should not and cannot be employed to prove that slavery existed in the churches to which Peter wrote, and still less to prove that he approved of slavery, or regarded it as a good institution. The exhortation here would be, and still is, strictly applicable to any persons employed as domestics, though they had voluntarily hired themselves out to be such. It would be incumbent on them, while they remained in that condition, to perform with fidelity their duties as Christians, and to bear with Christian meekness all the wrongs which they might suffer from those in whose service they were.
Those who are hired, and who are under a necessity of "going out to service" for a living, are not always free from hard usage, for there are trials incident to that condition of life which cannot be always avoided. It might be better, in many cases, to bear much than to attempt a change of situation, even though they were entirely at liberty to do so. It must be admitted, however, that the exhortation here will have more force if it is supposed that the reference is to slaves, and there can be no doubt that many of this class were early converted to the Christian faith. The word here rendered "masters" (δεσπόταις despotais) is not the same which is used in Ephesians 6:5, (κυρίοις kuriois.) Neither of these words necessarily implies that those who were under them were slaves. The word used here is applicable to the head of a family, whatever may be the condition of those under him. It is frequently applied to God, and to Christ; and it cannot be maintained that those to whom God sustains the relation of δεσπότης despotēs, or "master," are "slaves." See Luke 2:29; Acts 4:24; 2 Timothy 2:21; 2 Peter 2:1; Jde 1:4; Revelation 6:10. The word, indeed, is one that might be applied to those who were owners of slaves. If that be the meaning here, it is not said, however, that those to whom it is applied were Christians. It is rather implied that they were pursuing such a course as was inconsistent with real piety. Those who were under them are represented as suffering grievous wrongs.
With all fear - That is, with all proper reverence and respect. See the notes at Ephesians 6:5.
Not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward - The word rendered "froward" (σκολιοῖς skoliois) means properly "crooked, bent;" then perverse, wicked, unjust, peevish. Anyone who is a servant or domestic is liable to be employed in the service of such a master; but while the relation continues, the servant should perform his duty with fidelity, whatever may be the character of the master. Slaves are certainly liable to this; and even those who voluntarily engage as servants to others, cannot always be sure that they will have kind employers. Though the terms used here do not necessarily imply that those to whom the apostle gave this direction were slaves, yet it may be presumed that they probably were, since slavery abounded throughout the Roman empire; but the directions will apply to all who are engaged in the service of others, and are therefore of permanent value. Slavery will, sooner or later, under the influence of the gospel, wholly cease in the world, and instructions addressed to masters and slaves will have no permanent value; but it will always be true that there will be those employed as domestics, and it is the duty of all who are thus engaged to evince true fidelity and a Christian spirit themselves, whatever may be the character of their employers.
LibraryChrist the Exemplar
'For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps.'--1 Peter ii. 21. These words are a very striking illustration of the way in which the Gospel brings Christ's principles to bear upon morals and duty. The Apostle is doing nothing more than exhorting a handful of slaves to the full and complete and patient acceptance of their hard lot, and in order to teach a very homely and lowly lesson to the squalid minds of a few captives, …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John
Mirrors of God
A Defence of the Doctrine of Justification, by Faith in Jesus Christ;
Justification by an Imputed Righteousness;
Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ;
1 Timothy 6:1
All who are under the yoke as slaves are to regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that the name of God and our doctrine will not be spoken against.
to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.
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