King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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1 Peter 1

The apostle blesses God for his special benefits through Christ. (1-9) Salvation by Christ foretold in ancient prophecy. (10-12) All are exhorted to holy conversation. (13-16) Such as is suitable to their principles, privileges, and obligations. (17-25)

1 Peter 1 Audio:

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The apostle blesses God for his special benefits through Christ

1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:

7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

Salvation by Christ foretold in ancient prophecy

10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:

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

12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

All are exhorted to holy conversation

13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:

15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

Such as is suitable to their principles, privileges, and obligations

17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:

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;

19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:

25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers dispersed. Lit. of the dispersion; i.e. to the Jews or Gentiles now converted, who lived dispersed in those countries, chosen or elected[1] according to the foreknowledge and eternal decrees of God unto the sanctification of the spirit. Wi. — Asia is taken for one of the four quarters of the globe, or for Asia Minor, or for that province of Asia Minor of which Ephesus is the capital. It is in this latter sense it appears here to be understood, since Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, and Bithynia are also contained in the provinces of Asia Minor. V.

Ver. 2. Unto the obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ; i.e. to be saved by the merits of his death and passion. Wi. — All the three divine Persons conspire in the salvation of the elect. The Father as principle of their election, by his eternal prescience; the Son as victim for their sins, and the source of all merit; the Holy Ghost as the spirit of adoption and love, animating and sanctifying them, and leading them to glory.

Ver. 4. Reserved in heaven for you. Lit. in you; that is, it is also in you by reason of that lively faith and hope, which is in you, of enjoying Christ. Wi.

Ver. 7. At the appearing of Jesus Christ. Lit. in the revelation; i.e. when he shall be revealed, manifested, and appear at the day of judgment. Wi.

Ver. 11. Searching into what time, or manner of time. The ancient prophets with longing and ardent desires, obtained to know of the Holy Ghost, the spirit of Christ, the time and the glory that followed those sufferings, by Christ’s resurrection and ascension. All these were revealed to them, and they saw that they ministered things to you, not to themselves; that is, that these things they were ministers of, in prophesying about them, were not to happen in their time, but are not come to pass, as they have been preached to you. Wi.

Ver. 12. The Holy Ghost being sent down from heaven, on whom the Angels desire to look.[2] This place is differently expounded. Some refer these words, on whom the Angels desire to look, to Jesus Christ, who was named in the foregoing verse; some to the Holy Ghost, who, being one God with the Father and the Son, the Angels are happy in seeing and loving him. See Estius and the Greek text. Wi.

Ver. 13. The loins of your mind girded. It is a metaphor, to signify they must live in such a manner as to be always prepared for heaven, as persons used to gird their garments about them, when about to walk or run, or to undertake any labour. Wi.

Ver. 14. As children of obedience; i.e. as obedient children. Wi.

Ver. 18. From your vain conversation of the tradition of your fathers. S. Peter teacheth what S. Paul repeats in many places, that it was in vain for them to hope to be saved by the ceremonies and precepts of the former law, to which their forefathers had added many unnecessary and groundless traditions. They could only hope for salvation by believing in Christ, by the price of whose precious blood they were redeemed from their sins, as they had heard by the word of the gospel preached to them. His doctrine is the same with that of S. Paul, of S. James, of S. John, and of the other apostles, that to be saved it is not enough to have faith or hope in Christ, but it must be a faith joined and working by charity, obeying the law of Christ in the spirit of charity with a sincere and brotherly love of every one, without setting our hearts upon the vanities and corruptible things of this world, remembering that all flesh is as grass, or the flowers of the field, which wither and pass away in a very short time. Thus presently vanish all riches, honours, pleasures, and all the glory of this life, but the word of God and his promises will bring us to happiness which will last for ever. Wi.

Ver. 23. Thus this new birth, common to you all, should form between you an union much more stable and solid than that formed in you by the ties of blood. V.

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[1] V. 1. Electis, eklektois. It is certain this word does not only signify those who are predestinated to eternal glory, but those who are chosen or called to believe; as John vi. Christ says, that he had elected or chosen his twelve apostles, and yet one of them (Judas) was a devil. The Jews were called the elect people of God, as now are all Christians; nor can we think that all to whom S. Peter wrote, were predestinated to glory. Ibid. Advenis dispersionis; i.e. dispersis in Ponto, &c.

[2] V. 12. In quem desiderant Angeli prospicere. The Greek MSS. and copies at present have eis a, in quæ, which is commonly expounded to agree with the mysteries revealed to the prophets, and which the Angels rejoiced and were delighted to see fulfilled by the coming of Christ. It seems as if the ancient interpreter had read eis o, agreeing with pneuma, spiritum; or perhaps eis on, to agree with theon, understood. These changes of a letter might easily happen. It appears that not only divers Latin interpreters, but also some of the Greek Fathers brought these words to shew the divinity of the Holy Ghost, as S. Athan. Epist. i. ad Serap. p. 653. Edit. Ben.