Have Synthetic Biologists Created Life From Non-Life? by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.



Have Synthetic Biologists Created Life From Non-Life?

by  Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

You may have heard of the field of science known as synthetic biology. In this highly advanced area of science, engineers utilize their understanding of biology to “create” new life forms not found in nature. According to SyntheticBiology.org, synthetic biology involves “the design and construction of new biological parts, devices, and systems” and “the re-design of existing, natural biological systems for useful purposes” (“Synthetic Biology,” 2012). Perhaps this conjures up in your mind, as it does in the minds of many others, images of Dr. Frankenstein sewing pieces of dead tissue together into a monster on his laboratory table and bringing it to life. Is this what goes on in synthetic biology? Can scientists create life?

In a word: no. Life cannot come from non-life without supernatural help (cf. Miller, 2012). God alone “gives to all life” (Acts 17:25). Notice that a careful reading of what synthetic biology involves reveals that these engineers are designing and constructing new biological parts, not life; re-designing existing biological systems, not bringing systems to life. Earlier this year, The New York Times ran an article highlighting the remarkable work of Craig Venter, a synthetic biologist who is working on a project involving designing custom bugs. According to the article,

Each of the bugs will have a mission. Some will be designed to devour things, like pollution. Others will generate food and fuel. There will be bugs to fight global warming, bugs to clean up toxic waste, bugs to manufacture medicine and diagnose disease, and they will all be driven to complete these tasks by the very fibers of their synthetic DNA (Hylton, 2012).

There is no doubt that such feats of engineering would be worth high accolades and recognition from the scientific community but, again, Venter is not creating life itself.

Though the authors might wish to “accidentally” convey that idea, since such a feat would certainly attract more attention to the article, a careful reading of the fairly lengthy story reveals the truth. Venter’s methods involve manufacturing DNA and injecting it into a host cell. “It means taking four bottles of chemicals—the adenine, thymine, cytosine, and guanine that make up DNA—and linking them into a daisy chain at least half a million units long, then inserting that molecule into a host cell” that they hope will be able to reproduce. “[T]he DNA was modeled on a natural organism and was inserted into a natural cell.” So a cell is already alive and in existence, and the man-made (i.e, man-mixed) DNA is injected into the living cell. Venter, himself, notes that his team is constructing the DNA, not the cell. “It is just the DNA. You have to have the cell there to read it” (Hylton).

Notice also that the life forms being developed are not completely new designs. According to the article, “the DNA was modeled on a natural organism” (Hylton). Nobel laureate David Baltimore, commenting on Venter’s work, said, “He has not created life, only mimicked it” (Hylton). In other words, this is another example of biomimicry—an act of plagiarism, in a sense, when carried out by atheists.

So, life has not been created. The cell is already alive when it is manipulated by engineers using their DNA designs. A new life form is being designed, but life itself has not been created from non-life. The Law of Biogenesis stands. In nature, life comes only from life of its kind. God is needed in the recipe in order to arrive at life from non-life. [NOTE: For more on Venter and synthetic biology, see Deweese, 2010]


Deweese, Joe (2010), “Has Life Been Made From Scratch?” Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=9&article=3597.

Hylton, Wil S. (2012), “Craig Venter’s Bugs Might Save the World,” The New York Times, May 30, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/03/magazine/craig-venters-bugs-might-save-the-world.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0.

Miller, Jeff (2012), “The Law of Biogenesis,” Reason & Revelation, 32[1]:2-11, January, http://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1018&article=1722.

“Synthetic Biology” (2012), OpenWetWare, http://syntheticbiology.org/.

God's Providence and the Problem of Evil by Kyle Butt, M.Div.



God's Providence and the Problem of Evil

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

In 2008, best-selling author and agnostic professor Bart Ehrman wrote a book titled God’s Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question—Why We Suffer (2008). In the book, Ehrman presented his case for how the biblical answer to the problem of evil is insufficient. His analysis is incorrect and lacking in many ways, but the title of his book brings us to a crucial question regarding evil—why would Erhman and a bulk of the unbelieving world seek such an answer from the Bible? Why put forth so much effort attempting to refute the biblical answer to suffering?

In truth, the “problem of evil” argument is built on the foundation of what the Bible says about God. As it is historically set out, the “problem of evil” contends that the three premises (1) God is all-loving; (2) God is all-powerful; and (3) evil exists, cannot all be true. Where did these three premises originate? The third, that evil exists, is a matter of personal experience and knowledge that virtually all humans can know intuitively. But the first two premises, that God is all-loving and all-powerful, are distinctly set forth in the Bible as attributes of God. Without the biblical insistence that God is all-powerful and all-loving, there would be no “problem of evil.” With that in mind, it would be unfair and dishonest for the skeptic to demand that the Christian answer the problem of evil without reference to the Bible. Yet, that is precisely what Ehrman and others expect. They attempt to discredit the biblical answers to the problem of evil. These attacks against the Bible’s answer have been unsuccessful (Warren, 1972; Miller, 2015). In fact, one of the most impressive responses to evil is the biblical understanding of God’s work through providence. For the purposes of this discussion, we will define providence as the way God orchestrates His will through natural laws. This idea is contrasted with God’s miraculous intervention in human affairs. A miracle, such as Jesus walking on water or God’s empowering Moses to put his hand into his cloak and it become leprous, is a recognizable overriding of certain natural laws. God’s providence, on the other hand, is seen in cases where God works through natural laws to accomplish His will.

To illustrate this difference, let us consider specific examples. In 2 Kings 19, the story is told of Sennacherib’s campaign against the land of Judah. The evil king and his Assyrian army encircled Jerusalem and were confident that they would soon crush the city. That did not happen, because one night an “angel of the Lord went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand; and when the people arose early in the morning, there were the corpses—all dead” (2 Kings 19:35). This episode is a clear example of God miraculously intervening in human affairs. On a different occasion, the prophet Micaiah warned Ahab, the king of Israel, that he would be destroyed if he attacked Ramoth Gilead. Ahab ignored the warning from God’s prophet and attacked the city anyway. In the course of the events, “a certain man drew a bow at random, and struck the king of Israel between the joints of his armor” (1 Kings 22:34). Ahab died of his wound exactly as God had foretold. Ahab’s death, however, came about through what we would call natural events, not miraculous ones.

Another contrast between providential and miraculous involvement can be seen in the lives of Mary and Hannah. In the New Testament narrative of Jesus’ birth, the Bible states that Mary would miraculously conceive Jesus even though she was a virgin (Matthew 1:18-25). In contrast, we read about the birth of Samuel to Hannah. She prayed earnestly for a son and God answered her prayer. Hannah’s conception and birth of Samuel, however, were not miraculous but came about through her union with her husband Elkanah (1 Samuel 1:19-20; see Jackson, “A Study of Divine Providence”).  Samuel’s birth provides an excellent illustration of God’s providence.

Throughout the course of human history God has worked His will through miraculous and providential means. In many eras of history He has used both at the same time, but in some instances and epochs, He has worked primarily through providence with very little or no recognizable miraculous activity. It is important to understand this truth, since it is often affirmed that if God has worked miracles in the past to aid his people, then He “should” be doing the same today. For instance, Bart Ehrman demands, “If he [God] could do miracles for his people throughout the Bible, where is he today when your son is killed in a car accident, or your husband gets multiple sclerosis, or civil war is unleashed in Iraq, or the Iranians decide to pursue their nuclear ambitions?” (p. 274). This idea is well-illustrated on Marshall Brain’s Web site whywontgodhealamputees.com (2014). According to Brain, the fact that God does not miraculously regrow limbs proves that He is imaginary. In chapter 5 of his material, he says, “Nothing happens when we pray for amputated limbs. God never regenerates lost limbs through prayer…. Does God answer prayers? If so, then how do we explain this disconnection between God and amputees?” (2014).

Notice that Brain and Ehrman insist that if God is capable of miracles, then we should be seeing them now. But why must that be the case? Could it be that an all-knowing God has very good reasons why He is not at work in the same miraculous ways He worked in the past? In addition, the same Bible that tells us about God’s miracles also lays out a very strong case for God’s working through providential means. To demand that God must operate in the way that we insist He operate is more than slightly presumptuous, especially in light of the fact that He has given us ample information about other ways He works.

This play by unbelievers is more clearly seen in the proverbial story of the atheistic professor who stands before a class of freshmen and dares God to strike him dead. When nothing happens, the professor glibly comments, “I thought not,” and assumes he has made his point. Could it be possible that there are good reasons God does not strike the professor dead? Certainly. Maybe God knows the man will repent in the future. Maybe He knows that this professor will find a cure for cancer, and although he will lose his soul, he will save many lives. The possibilities are virtually endless.

Ehrman and other unbelievers challenge Christians to produce modern miracles as evidence that God intervenes in the world today. They do so, however, refusing to recognize two important truths. First, even during the ages of human history when God performed miracles, He did not intervene to stop all suffering. People still got sick, had accidents, broke bones, suffered emotionally, and died. It is as if the skeptic insists that the Bible paints a picture of a God who swooped in miraculously to stop all suffering. Such was never the case. Miracles were isolated events designed to confirm the validity of the message of certain divine messengers (Miller, 2003). The Bible has never presented them as a wholesale answer to the problem of pain and suffering. Second, to insist that God must use miracles today discounts the pervasive biblical theme of providence. Throughout history, one of God’s primary modes of operation has been to providentially work through natural laws. To deny that this is the case is to turn a deaf ear to a massive amount of biblical testimony.

A Biblical Case for Providence

When many people think about God working through miracles, they have a picture in mind of a God Who periodically interrupts the regular flow of things and tinkers with the laws that are usually in place. They see God as an intruder into the natural order that He initially set up and that He leaves alone for a large portion of time. It is as if God has created a cosmic aquarium filled with fish, rocks, hiding areas, and a water filtering system. He sits outside the system watching patiently until He is needed, dipping His hand into the system to add something here or take something away there. The problem with this view is that it pictures a system that somehow works independently of God. In this system it is thought that if God does not miraculously intervene, then the system still works fine.

The Bible provides a picture of God’s activity in the world that is much different from this model. Instead of a self-sustaining system that God created at the beginning and primarily has left to its own devices, Scripture teaches that the entire system constantly relies on God. The writer of Hebrews explains that God appointed Jesus Christ as the heir of all things and that He is presently “upholding all things by the word of His power” (Hebrews 1:2-3). It is not that at one time (but not now) He created and upheld the world, but that He is at present still upholding “all things.” Paul confirmed this idea in Colossians when he spoke of Jesus, saying “All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist” (Colossians 1:16-17). Notice that not only was Jesus active in the Creation, but the created world continues to “consist” in Him. It is important to recognize that God originally designed a world of natural laws that would be ideal for Him to providentially use throughout the course of human history. His use of these laws to bring about His purposes is not an interruption of the regular flow of things, since the regular flow of things constantly depends on His power to sustain it. As Richard Bube wrote in his book The Human Quest:

The natural order exists only because God is constantly active in upholding it. God does not use natural processes as if they existed without him. God does not take advantage of natural laws to accomplish his will as if the laws existed without him. We see immediately why the question “Can God intervene in a world ruled by orderly laws?” is meaningless. There is no world ruled by orderly laws except that one constantly maintained in existence by the activity of God (1971, p. 28).

It is because of this fact that scholar John Walton defines providence as “the way God acts through all so-called natural processes, whether in creation, nature, or history” (2001, p. 101). His addition of the adjective “so-called” highlights the fact that the laws of “nature” are perpetually dependant on the supernatural God. In the term providence, then, we see God’s perpetual upholding of the entire Universe.

Special Providence

The general providence of God upholds all nature. The way the term providence is usually applied, however, refers to God’s coordination of events in order to bring about specific desired outcomes. This has been referred to as God’s special providence. It often is spoken of in the Bible as it is seen in the lives of those who follow him (May, 2014, p. 14). We see the difference between general and specific providence when we compare Matthew 5:45, which says that God “makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust,” with Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” In one sense, all life comes from God and the fact that anyone can take a breath is a providential blessing. In another sense, God has promised that all the events in the lives of those who love Him will be orchestrated in a way that they will work together for the ultimate good.

It is important to recognize what the Bible does not say about God’s providence. There is an idea that if a person is a faithful child of God, then God will make sure that he or she is always prosperous, has a wonderful spouse, is blessed with children, and lives a life of comfort and ease. That is not what the Bible says. In fact, the Bible is clear that those who love and follow God often experience serious hardships and trials. Paul told Timothy that “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). James told his readers to “count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience” (James 1:2-3). Peter told his readers who were suffering governmental persecution not to “think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings” (1 Peter 4:12-13). Even the Lord was disciplined in obedience by the things which He suffered (Hebrews 5:8). God does not promise that everything that happens to those who love Him will be good. Instead, He promises that they will work together so that the end result is good.

Bible Examples of Special Providence


The name of God is never mentioned in the book of Esther. For that reason, some have questioned its inspiration and place in the canon. A close analysis of the book, however, shows that it meets the criteria for inspiration. The fact that it does not use God’s name is significant, because the events that happen in the book provide some of the clearest examples of special providence in all of Scripture.

Let us briefly summarize the story. Esther is a Jew who lives in Shushan, the capital of the Persian Empire. She is orphaned, so her cousin Mordecai raises her as if she were his. In the course of events, the Persian king Ahasuerus dismisses his wife and begins the process of looking for another. Esther is among the young women that Ahasuerus assembles at his palace. She surpasses the others in talent and beauty and becomes the new queen. Mordecai warns her not to reveal that she is a Jew. On one occasion, when Mordecai sat in the king’s gate, he uncovered a plot to kill the king. Those involved were found guilty and the event was written in the history book that Ahasuerus kept.

During this time, the wicked general Haman began to advance in station and status with the king. He hated Mordecai because the Jew would not bow to him. Instead of killing Mordecai, Haman tricked the king into issuing a decree that all the Jews should be killed. Esther courageously pleaded with the king to save the Jews. Ultimately, Haman’s plot was discovered, he was hanged, and the Jewish people were delivered from destruction. The most interesting aspect of the book of Esther is the underlying working of God through “natural” processes throughout the events taking place.

For instance, of all the young women in the entire kingdom that Ahasuerus could have picked, he chose the Jewess Esther. Her cousin Mordecai was in the perfect place to discover a plot against the king’s life, and his deed was written down in the history book. The entry, however, went unnoticed for many days until one “fortuitous” night the king could not sleep. Due to his insomnia, he ordered that the history book be read, and it just so happened that Mordecai’s discovery was the chosen text. While the king was deciding what to do to honor Mordecai, Haman entered his presence hoping to request that the king hang Mordecai. Instead, Haman was instructed to parade the Jew through the streets as one whom the king chose to honor. Haman was later hanged on the very gallows that he had built to hang Mordecai.

The number of perfectly aligned events that brought about the Jews’ salvation were not coincidences. As John Walton noted, “If we truly understand Esther, it is not saying that there is no God at work, but neither is it saying that there is no circumstance. Instead, it insists that God works through the circumstance…. The only way to understand how God works is to see circumstance as one of his agents” (p. 104). One of the most familiar passages in the text is found in a statement that Mordecai made to Esther. He admonished her to have the courage to go to the king, even knowing that she might die. And he said, “who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14). Notice that Mordecai’s statement implies that the circumstances that led to Esther being the queen could have been arranged intentionally and purposefully for her to save the Jews.

It is at this point that we need to consider an important aspect of special providence. God performed miracles in a way that, to the honest observer, left no room for doubt. Anyone who observed a miracle performed by Jesus or another empowered spokesperson from God, if the person was dealing honestly with the situation, could be sure that God’s power was directly responsible for the event. When considering providence, however, God’s work is often not clear until after the events take place, and even then it is difficult to put a finger on exactly how and where God was active. Mordecai’s sentiment of “who knows” captures this facet of providence well. We see this idea in the New Testament as well. When Paul wrote to his friend Philemon, he mentioned that he had come in contact with one of Philemon’s former slaves. This slave, Onesimus, had run away from Philemon and become a Christian during his time away. Paul was sending him back, and he wrote to Philemon, “perhaps he departed for a while for this purpose, that you may receive him forever, no longer as a slave but more than a slave, as a beloved brother” (Philemon 15-16).

Paul’s use of the word “perhaps” echoesMordecai’s use of “who knows.” Both writers were acknowledging that God works through natural, providential means. But they were also conceding that the circumstances under discussion could only be viewed with some uncertainty when trying to determine exactly what parts of their lives and the lives of others were related to God’s activity. As May correctly wrote, “Miracles are clearly from God. Providence is always ‘perhaps,’ except when God in Scripture tells us He is working behind the scenes” (p. 69).


The life and times of Joseph, son of Israel, consume the bulk of Genesis chapters 37-50. His story provides another clear example of God’s providence in action. Joseph’s dad favored him above his other brothers, because he was the son of Jacob’s beloved wife Rachel. This favoritism led Jacob to treat him better than his brothers, which fueled their jealousy and hatred toward the young man. In addition, Joseph had dreams in which his brothers, Jacob, and Leah bowed down to him. This infuriated his siblings all the more.

On one occasion, Joseph was sent to check on his brothers as they tended their father’s flocks. They conspired against him, captured him, and sold him to a band of slave traders. The traders sold him into Egypt. In Egypt, Joseph spent many years in slavery and in prison, but through a series of remarkable events, became the second most prominent man in all the land. Due to a massive famine, his brothers journeyed to Egypt to buy food. There they bowed to Joseph just as he had seen in his dreams. Eventually, Joseph revealed himself to his brothers and brought his family to live in Egypt. When his father died, his brothers feared that Joseph might seek revenge on them. They came to him, begging for his forgiveness. He calmed them and said, “[D]o not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive” (Genesis 50:19-20).

As we read through the events of Joseph’s life, we see many people who were not trying to help Joseph, nor were they attempting to obey God. His brothers sold him into slavery. Slave traders cruelly sold him into Egypt. His first master’s wife lied about him. His master, Potiphar, then threw him into prison. And the chief butler forgot about him for two years before bringing his name up to Pharaoh. Obviously, the people in Joseph’s life could not see the hand of God, nor were they complicit in God’s plan to elevate Joseph. In addition, many of the events were unjust, wrong, and painful to Joseph. God, however, orchestrated these events in Joseph’s life so that eventually they turned out “for good.” This is the nature of providence.

Providence and Human Free Will

A study of divine providence naturally leads to questions about human free will. If God orchestrates events to bring about desired outcomes, does He force people to act in certain ways? Does He override human free will in order to work providentially? The stories of Esther, Philemon, and Joseph provide us with the answer. God used the choices that the people in the stories freely made, and worked His providence through those choices. At no time did God in the past, or will God in the present or future, override a person’s free will.

If God works His providence through the decisions that various people freely choose, that must mean He knows what they will choose. Some have argued that if God knows what a person chooses, then that person is not free to choose, since he or she is “stuck” choosing what God knows he/she will choose (see Barker, 2008, p. 127). The flaw in this argument hinges on the difference between knowledge and cause. Just because a person may have knowledge of an event does not mean that he caused the event or that the person who makes the choice is somehow constrained by this knowledge. A brief thought experiment makes this point clear. Suppose, hypothetically, you knew that a friend of yours drank coffee yesterday morning. Now suppose you could go back in time and watch him choose to drink coffee instead of milk. Did your knowledge that he would choose coffee somehow force his decision? Not at all. He could have chosen coffee because he liked the taste or wanted the caffeine. The fact that you knew what he would do does not mean he was forced to do it or that your knowledge somehow caused it. Similarly, God knows what every person will do. Using that knowledge, He can arrange events to accomplish His ends through natural circumstances.

How Knowledge of Providence Helps the Sufferer

One of the primary reasons to study providence is to assimilate the idea into an overall answer that helps explain how a loving, all-powerful God can allow those He loves to suffer. What does knowledge of providence offer the sufferer? First, an understanding of providence assures us that God will never allow any person to suffer or be tempted beyond his/her ability to deal with the suffering. Paul explained this to the Corinthian church when he wrote, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

When we suffer, there are times we may feel that we simply cannot endure the pain and sorrow that is crushing us. During such periods of trials and troubles, we must remember that God is still in control of the Universe, and He has solemnly promised us that He will never allow us to suffer or be tempted more than we are able to withstand. While it may seem to us that we cannot hold up under the trials we experience, if God is all-knowing, and if God can providentially arrange the events of human lives to accomplish His ultimate desire, then we can know that He will provide the strength that we need to not only endure, but even to grow through our struggles. The strength He provides may not come in the form or way that we expect. It may come through what others do for us. It may come through something we read in God’s Word. It may come through an inspiring story that we read in a book that a friend happened to lend us. Or it may come through a person coming into our lives that is suffering worse than we are and needs our help, channeling our attention from our own pain to constructive ways to help others with theirs.

Second, an understanding of divine providence can help the sufferer understand that God can arrange events so that suffering can have meaning and purpose, even though it is not inherently good. One excellent biblical example is seen in the life of Paul. Paul’s life after his conversion to Christianity was eventful to say the least. He took three lengthy missionary journeys, during which he was often in peril. He explained to the church in Corinth that he had been beaten three times, shipwrecked three times, stoned, whipped by the Jews five times, and spent a night and day in the ocean (2 Corinthians 11:22-33). Paul often found himself trying to escape legal authorities that were attempting to imprison or kill him.

On one occasion, Paul was lowered over the city wall of Damascus in a basket to escape being captured by the governor of the city (2 Corinthians 11:32-33). Paul’s efforts to avoid capture, however, were not always successful. Once, He was imprisoned and held by the prestigious palace guard. Without an understanding of providence, this situation would seem to the average observer to have a negative effect on Paul and his preaching of the Gospel. Why did Paul have to suffer by being thrown in prison? Why did the church have to suffer through their concern for the apostle? Why did his relatives have to endure the mental anguish of knowing he was imprisoned unjustly? Such questions are legion. Paul provides us with some insight into his situation in the letter he wrote to the church in Philippi. He told them, “But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which have happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ” (Philippians 1:12-13). Notice Paul’s use of the word “actually.” The implication is that at first, it would not seem like prison would help the cause of Christ and the furtherance of the Gospel. It turns out, however, that even though Paul had been unjustly imprisoned and punished with evil intent, God providentially arranged the events so that the Gospel message spread.


God created the world and upholdsit by the word of His power. He designed the natural laws that He perpetually sustains in a way that He can work through them to bring about His desired goals. Throughout human history, He has worked both providentially and miraculously. The fact that He used miracles in the past, however, does not mean that He still, or must, use them today in order to accomplish His ultimate will. The Bible provides extensive material on how God has providentially worked in the past, and how He has promised to continue this activity in the present and future. An understanding of God’s providence provides a vital aspect of the Christian’s overall answer to suffering in the world. Furthermore, the concept of providence can help those who suffer find meaning and comfort through their suffering.


Barker, Dan (2008), godless (Berkeley, CA: Ulysses).

Brain, Marshall (2014), “Why Won’t God Heal Amputees?” http://why wontgodhealamputees.com/.

Bube, Richard (1971), The Human Quest (Waco, TX: Word).

Ehrman, Bart (2008), God’s Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question—Why We Suffer (New York: HarperOne).

Jackson, Wayne (no date), “A Study of Divine Providence,” https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/

May, Cecil Jr. (2014), Providence: The Silent Sovereignty of God (Nashville, TN: Gospel Advocate).

Miller, Dave (2003), “Modern-Day Miracles, Tongue-Speaking, and Holy Spirit Baptism: A Refutation,” Apologetics Press, https://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=264& topic=293.

Miller, Dave (2015), Why People Suffer (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).

Walton, John (2001), Genesis (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).

Warren, Thomas B. (1972), Have Atheists Proved There is No God? (Jonesboro, AR: National Christian Press).

God's Patience by Caleb Colley, Ph.D.



God's Patience

by  Caleb Colley, Ph.D.

Some people picture God as akin to a miserly dictator Who is eager to find a cause to crush the vile human race He created. Is that the way the Bible portrays God? Romans 2:4 reads: “Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” Romans 15:5 emphasizes God’s patience: “Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be likeminded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus.” Peter wrote: “the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation” (2 Peter 3:15).

God is patient because He does not want anyone to be eternally lost. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). One meaning of “patience,” according to the Illustrated Oxford Dictionary, is “the capacity for calm, self-possessed waiting.” God has promised that there will be a day when sinners will receive their final condemnation (2 Peter 2:9; 3:7), but God is waiting in order that more sinners might accept and obey the Gospel. Wayne Jackson noted biblical examples of this patience:

The Lord’s wrath is not inflicted impulsively. Rather, history repeatedly has demonstrated that God exercises “much long-suffering” toward those deserving of punishment (Romans 9:22). His patience was demonstrated to the generation of Noah’s day (Genesis 6:3). He longed to spare corrupt Sodom (Genesis 18:26ff). Jehovah revealed himself to Moses as a God who is “slow to anger” (Exodus 34:6; cf. Psalms 103:8). The Lord was even long-suffering with a wretch as vile as Ahab (1 Kings 21:29). For centuries He was tolerant with the arrogant and stiff-necked nation of Israel (Nehemiah 9:17) [2000].

We desperately need God’s patience, just as the apostle Paul did. Paul was given the opportunity to be saved, despite the fact that he was “the chief ” of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15-16; see Nicks, 1981, p. 190). Potential for salvation rests in God’s patience. Rather than instantly destroying people when they sin, He providentially gives people opportunities and encouragement that should lead to repentance (Titus 2:11). God expects us to request His continued patience as we make mistakes (1 John 1:9; Luke 11:4), and He shows His patience by continually forgiving us of our sins when we do (based on the sacrifice of Christ’s blood and our sincere obedience to His will; see 1 John 1:7).

We should emulate the patience of God. Romans 2:6-7 emphasizes the necessity of patience in the lives of Christians: “[God] will render to each one according to his deeds: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality” (emp. added). Paul instructed Christians to be patient: “Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all” (1 Thessalonians 5:14, emp. added; cf. Christ’s parable of the impatient servant in Matthew 18:23-35). People cannot be saved unless they have patience, because without patience, the Christian’s work is impossible (see Ecclesiastes 7:8; Ephesians 4:2; 2 Timothy 2:24; James 1:4). Patience also is necessary because other essential Christian virtues, including faith, hope, and joy, are dependent on it (James 1:2-4; Romans 5:3; 15:4; Colossians 1:11; see Nicks, 1981, pp. 191-192). William Barclay observed:

If God had been a man, He would have taken His hand and wiped out this world long ago; but God has that patience which bears with all our sinning and which will not cast us off. In our lives, in our attitude to and dealings with our fellow men, we must reproduce this loving, forbearing, forgiving, patient attitude of God toward ourselves (1958, p. 56).

God’s patience is balanced by His perfect justice. Unforgiven sin will be punished, but God’s patience allows time for repentance (Matthew 25:41; 2 Peter 2:9; see Colley, 2004). Isaiah 30:18 makes it clear: “Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you; and therefore He will be exalted that He may have mercy on you. For the Lord is God of justice; blessed are those who wait for Him.” God’s generous patience should motivate us to obey Him.


Barclay, William (1958), The Daily Study Bible: Letters to Galatians and Ephesians (Philadelphia, PA: Westminster).

Colley, Caleb (2004), “God’s Mercy and Justice,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/1860.

Illustrated Oxford Dictionary (2003), (New York: Oxford), revised edition.

Jackson, Wayne (2000), “The Righteousness of God Revealed,” [On-line], URL: http://www.christiancourier.com/feature/february2000.htm.

Nicks, Bill (1981), “Patience,” Continuing in the Doctrine, ed. Bill Nicks, M.H. Tucker, John Waddey (Knoxville, TN: East Tennessee School of Preaching and Missions).

"THE GOSPEL OF MARK" The Way To Greatness (9:33-37)



The Way To Greatness (9:33-37)


1. Quietly passing through Galilee, Jesus and His disciples came to Capernaum...
   a. On the way, Jesus foretold His suffering a death a second time - Mk 9:30-32
   b. Also on the way, the disciples disputed who would be the greatest - Mk 9:33-34

2. Jesus took this opportunity to teach His disciples the way to true greatness...
   a. A way involving servitude
   b. A way involving humility

[Like many other paradoxes found in the Scripture (e.g., Mt 5:4-5), the
way to greatness in the kingdom of God is different than the way to
greatness in the kingdoms of men.  From Jesus we learn it involves...]


      1. "If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all." - Mk 9:35
      2. Greatness in Christ's kingdom is different than kingdoms of men - cf. Mt 20:20-26
      3. To be first (great), we must serve, just as Jesus served - cf. Mt 20:27-28
      -- The way of servitude is the way to greatness!

      1. Serve others in evangelism
         a. Someone led you to Christ, can you not lead another to Him? - Jn 1:35-42
         b. Begin by being hospitable, offering acts of kindness and service
         c. At the very least:  invite to services, offer a Bible correspondence course
         d. Open your home to host Bible studies
         e. Hone your skills in personal evangelism, seek to improve
            your ability to share the gospel
      2. Serve others in edification
         a. Many have contributed to your spiritual growth, can you help others? - Ep 4:16
         b. Begin by being present at every service, greeting every one present
         c. Take special interest in those who are new, encourage them
         d. Offer to teach the children, even if only to assist another teacher
         e. Volunteer whatever service you can render in the work and
            worship of the church
      3. Serve others in benevolence
         a. Has anyone ever showed you kindness?  "Be kind to one another" - Ep 4:32
         b. Visit the sick or elderly, at home and in the hospital
         c. Render service such as cleaning, transportation, errands, etc.
         d. Minister to the poor, the hungry, or those otherwise in need
      -- These are just a few ideas of how we can serve others

[In order to offer the kind of service that really pleases God, and
thereby makes one great in the kingdom of God, the virtue of humility is
required.  And so Jesus taught His disciples...]


      1. Jesus used a little child to teach the importance of humility - Mk 9:36-37
      2. The humility of small children provides an example for us - cf. Mt 18:1-4
      3. Like servitude, humility is a cardinal virtue in the kingdom  cf. 1Pe 5:5
      4. When we humbly receive others in Jesus' name, we receive both
         Him and His Father in heaven - Mk 9:37
      -- The way of humility is the way to greatness!

      1. In the area of evangelism
         a. Be open to opportunities to learn how to do personal work
         b. Ask others if you can accompany them as they teach others
         c. Reach out to those who are different than you
         d. Especially those less fortunate than you - cf. Jm 2:5
      2. In the area of edification
         a. Gladly accept subservient roles in teaching, preaching, worship
         b. Encourage and assist those who teach our children
         c. Warmly welcome those below or above your "social status" - Jm 2:1-4
         d. Help with mundane tasks (e.g., cleaning the building)
      3. In the area of benevolence
         a. Help those less fortunate than you - Lk 14:12-14
         b. Perform menial tasks where needed
         c. Offer to babysit, provide meals, help with expenses, etc.
      -- These are just a few ideas of how we show humility toward others


1. It may not seem like much, but the way to greatness is not possible without...
   a. A servant heart and servant hand
   b. A humble heart and humble hand

2. Jesus proved the greatness of service and humility by His own example...
   a. Coming to this earth in the form of a servant - Php 2:5-7
   b. Humbling Himself to the point of death on the cross - Php 2:8
   c. Thereby being highly exalted by God - Php 2:9-11

If we desire to be great in the kingdoms of men, we are setting
ourselves up for a fall:

   "For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles
   himself will be exalted." - Lk 14:11

If we desire to be great in the kingdom of God, let us humbly serve one
another and those in the world...     
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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Some Good Advice From The Chief Justice by Ken Weliever, The Preacherman



Some Good Advice From The Chief Justice

In the wee hours of Wednesday morning as the Senate Impeachment trial of President Trump was concluding its first day, news media outlets reported a “contentious exchange on the Senate floor.”

CNN called it an “extraordinary moment” and “acrimonious” when the “advocates for both sides” failed “to maintain decorum during a highly partisan affair.”

At this point Supreme Court Chief Justice, John Roberts, who’s presiding, stepped in to offer this reproof

“I think it is appropriate for me to admonish both the House managers and the President’s counsel in equal terms to remember that they are addressing the world’s greatest deliberative body,” Roberts said. “One reason it has earned that title is that its members avoid speaking in a manner and using language that is not conducive to civil discourse.”

Roberts further added, “I do think those addressing the Senate should remember where they are.”

While Roberts was referring to the august body and hallowed chamber where the United States Senate was meeting, his counsel is pretty good advice for all of us.

Remember Where You Are

The Preacher of Ecclesiastes warned: “Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God.” Then he reminds us: “God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.”

Where are you?

You and I are in the presence of God. Always. 24/7.

The Psalmist rhetorically raised the questions: “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?” (Ps 139:7)

The answer, of course, is that there’s nowhere in heaven, on earth, on the sea, day or night where God is not present.

So, as we speak and behave it’s all in full display of the Almighty.

Remember Who Are You

Robert’s rebuke, “remember where you are” also implied to “remember who you are.” You’re an elected United States Representative, Senator, or emissary of the President. So conduct yourself decently with dignity and decorum.

Likewise, disciples of Christ need to remember “who you are.” Christian. I recall hearing my friend Dee Bowman relate the advice he gave to his son Russ as a teenager when he would leave the house and go out with his friends: “Remember who you are.”

The worthy name that we wear should motivate us to give serious heed to Paul’s exhortation: “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Phil 1:27).

Remember How You Ought To Speak

Let these Biblical exhortations regarding our speech sink into your minds and hearts.

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (Eph 4:29)

“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” (Col. 4:6)

“Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.” (Eph 5:4)

“If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.” (Jas. 1:26)

Today, our public discourse has become uncivil, uncouth, and unseemly. Vitriolic speech that is crusty, crass, and crude seems to be the order of the day. It’s heard on TV shows. Movies. Newscasts. And political rallies. Words are allowed to be broadcast that just a few years ago would be bleeped. In addition, the discourse between political rivals is often insulting, demeaning and at the very least disrespectful.

It’s imperative that in this era of maligning others with derogatory and disparaging names, that Christians rise above the fray. This applies in our homes between husbands and wives. Parents and children. In our social interactions. In our professions. In church business meetings. On the basketball court and ball field. And on facebook, twitter, text messages and all social media.

Finally, remember the sober warning of King Jesus: “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matt, 12:36-37).

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman





Christians will search for any and all excuses in order to justify drinking alcohol. How does that work in reality?

One to two drinks of alcohol impair mental and physical abilities; mental process such as restraint, awareness, concentration and judgment are affected, reaction time slowed, and an inability to perform complicated tasks. [The Effects of Alcohol and Other Drugs," Motor Safety Foundation, Irvine, Ca, 1991]

As a Christian would you approve of your heart surgeon having a couple of beers before your operation?

As a Christian who believes social drinking is acceptable,  would you be in favor of lowering the drinking age to six years of age?

As a Christian would you feel comfortable with the airplane pilot of your flight having a glass or two of wine before your flight?

As a Christian would you give your dentist permission to have a shot of whiskey before he drills and fills your teeth?

As a Christian is it acceptable, in your eyes, for pregnant women to drink socially?

As a Christian do you approve of beer and wine being served at church Bible studies and other church functions?

As a Christian would you hire a person who drinks a couple of glasses of wine while watching your children?

Would your answers be the same if you inserted the words coffee, tea, milk or soft drinks?

You are legally drunk in all states if you BAC  [Blood Alcohol Concentration] is .08. IMPAIRMENT BEGINS BELOW .02 BAC. One to one and one half drinks results in a .02 BAC. 

Are Christians who say social drinking is acceptable, being honest with the church, the world and themselves?

If social drinking is harmless, then it should be permitted seven days a week in all circumstances where coffee, tea, milk, and sodas are permitted, and permitted for all ages.

Peter's First Letter Chapter Five by Charles Hess



Peter's First Letter
Chapter Five
Copyright ©2003, Charles Hess, Ridgefield, Washington
[ 01 ] [ 02 ] [ 03 ] [ 04 ] [ 05 ] [ 06 ] [ 07 ] [ 08 ] [ 09 ] [ 10 ]
[ 11 ] [ 12 ] [ 13 ] [ 14 ]

In the final chapter[ 1 ] of the apostle's first letter, Peter appeals to elders of the church that they shepherd the church willingly. He encourages younger members to humbly submit to the elders and for all to cast their cares upon the Lord. He warns about the lurking devil who must be resisted. He calls upon the Heavenly Father to strengthen his readers and he gives God the glory. He acknowledges that the letter is "by Silvanus"; sends a greeting from "she who is in Babylon" and another from Mark. Each Christian is encouraged to greet the others (see chart 1 PETER 5 OUTLINE).

  1. Elders to willingly shepherd (1Pe 5:1-4).
  2. Younger members submit to elders, all cast cares upon the Lord (1Pe 5:5-7).
  3. Devil lurks and must be resisted (1Pe 5:8, 9).
  4. May God strengthen; glory given to God (1Pe 5:10, 11).
  5. Silvanus acknowledged; greeting from "she who is in Babylon" and Mark; all to greet each other (1Pe 5:12, 13).


5:1-4 The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: 2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; 3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; 4 and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.

The elders [now, so, the elders].[ 2 ] Although the NKJV ignores the Greek OUN therefore we may be sure that Peter is about to write something that relates to what he said in chapter 4. In light of his straightforward discussion about suffering in the previous chapter, Peter appeals to elders.

Elders are teachers. They set an example for the members. They guard and guide the flock. Other terms describing them are presbyters, bishops, overseers, superintendents, pastors and shepherds (see notes on Ac 11:30; 14:23; 15:4, 6, 22; 20:17, 28-31; 1Ti 3:2-7; 5:17; Tit 1:5-11; Jas 5:14). The course taken by them determines to a large degree how members react to temptations, suffering and work (see note below on Of the sufferings of Christ).

Who are among you [among you, which are among you].[ 3 ] Elders are not aloof from other Christians. They are not detached, unapproachable or separated from the members. They are "among" the membership of the local congregation. Someone has said that shepherds "smell like sheep." This metaphor suggests that elders need to visit, talk with, listen to, pray for and teach the members. Just to sit back and see that this is done is not sufficient.

The converse is also true. The members are also among the elders (see verse 2). That is, they are to follow them, regularly give honor to them and come to them for counsel.

I exhort [I admonish].[ 4 ]

I who am a fellow elder [as, who am their fellow-elder, am also an elder].[ 5 ] Peter was an elder of the church of Christ. He was married and had believing children (implied by Mt 8:14; 1Co 9:5; 1Ti 3:2, 4; Tit 1:6). He was certainly apt to teach. In the beginning of the letter, he called himself "an apostle of Jesus Christ." In the second letter, he describes himself as "a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ." Here, he is a fellow-elder and a witness. Nowhere does he (or any other inspired writer) state or imply that he was Pope.

(1Pe 5:1)
  1. An apostle of Jesus Christ (1Pe 1:1).
  2. A fellow-elder.
  3. A witness of the sufferings of Christ.
  4. A partaker of the glory that is to be revealed.
  5. A bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ (2Pe 1:1).

(1Pe 5:1)
  1. A spectator or eye-witness (Ac 6:13; 10:39).
  2. One who testifies to what he has seen (Ac 1:8; 5:32).
  3. In the forensic sense, a witness in court (Mt 26:65; Mk 14:63).
  4. One who vindicates his testimony by suffering: a martyr (Ac 22:20; Heb 12:1; Re 2:13; 17:6).
  5. (Adapted from Vincent 1.665)

And a witness [and witness].[ 6 ] Peter was present and observed Christ on many occasions including His trial (see Lu 24:46-48; compare Mt 26:58; Lu 22:61; Ac 1:21, 22).

Of the sufferings of Christ [of the sufferings of the Christ].[ 7 ] Except for this one statement that Peter was a witness of the sufferings of Christ, I have been unable to determine that he actually stood by watching as Christ was crucified. We know he witnessed a part of His trial while he warmed himself by the courtyard fire and denied Him. Solely in my imagination, I see him as he looked upon the Savior being scourged and then carrying the cross. I see him weeping as he found a place to stand among the crowd to viewed the Savior suffering on Calvary (see chart BENEFITS OF CHRIST'S SUFFERINGS).

(1Pe 5:1)
  1. Sprinkled of His blood (1Pe 1:2).
  2. Redeemed with His precious blood (1Pe 1:18, 19).
  3. Bore our sins in His body on the tree (1Pe 2:24).
  4. Suffered for sins once (1Pe 3:18).
  5. Suffered in the flesh (1Pe 4:1).

And also a partaker [and, as well as, who am also, who also am, partaker].[ 8 ] While still in his earthly sojourn, Peter thought of heaven where he would soon be sharing the glory of Christ. His trust in the Lord's promises was so strong that he entertained no doubt whatsoever of his future glory.

Of the glory [in the glory].[ 9 ] Peter began the topic of "glory" by writing of "the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow" (1Pe 1:11). He said that God "raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory" (1Pe 1:21; compare Lu 24:46; Joh 17:5). He encouraged those sharing His sufferings to "keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory, [they] may rejoice with exultation" (1Pe 4:13).

That will be revealed [that is to be, that shall be, about to be, revealed].[ 10 ] There is a sense that Christians share the Savior's glory while still on earth. Peter said he was a partaker of "the glory." Now, he says it "will be revealed" (compare 1Pe 1:5, 7, 11; 4:13). Like Paul, he lived "in hope of eternal life" (Tit 1:2; 3:7). His hope of heaven was so certain he expressed it as a reality.

[5:2] Shepherd [tend, feed].[ 11 ] "Shepherd is a verb that expresses the work of a shepherd or pastor (see Eph 4:11). That work is to guide, guard, protect, tend and feed the flock (see chart OVERSIGHT OF ELDERS).

(1Pe 5:2)
  1. BOSKE feed my lambs (Joh 21:15).
  2. POIMAINE tend my sheep (Joh 21:16).
  3. BOSKE feed my sheep (Joh 21:17).
  4. Overseers to POIMAINEIN shepherd the church of God (Ac 20:28).
  5. POIMANATE shepherd the flock of God (1Pe 5:2).

The flock of God.[ 12 ] "The flock" is the church. Notice that it is not the flock of the elders, but is "of God." The church belongs to God, not the pastors. Peter refers to his readers as sheep (1Pe 2:25). Christ is the Chief Shepherd (verse 4). Under Him, elders are shepherds of a local flock. An elder is "God's steward"[ 13 ] As such, he, along with other elders, is in charge of a local flock that belongs to God. Paul implied that elders as well as preachers be paid if they labor in the word. When he asked a question about drinking milk, he implied as much: "Who POIMAINEI tends a flock and does not drink the milk of the flock?" (1Co 9:7).

Which is among you [among you, that is your charge].[ 14 ] It is not the duty of a set of elders to guard and guide the whole country or the entire brotherhood. They are not obligated to care for those not members of God's flock.[ 15 ] Their responsibility is limited to a local congregation. They are to shepherd the flock of God "which is among" them. Their particular charge is the people where they worship and over which they were appointed.

Serving as overseers [taking, exercising, the oversight, the oversight thereof, overseeing it].[ 16 ] Although the verb "serving as overseers" is omitted from some Greek texts, it points out the work suggested by the noun EPISKOPOUS bishop or overseer (see Ac 20:28; Php 1:1; 1Ti 3:1, 2; Tit 1:7; charts SHEPHERDING GOD'S FLOCK; OVERSIGHT OF ELDERS).

(1Pe 5:3)
  1. The Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God (Ac 20:28).
  2. Labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you (1Th 5:12).
  3. Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine (1Ti 5:17).
  4. Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers (1Pe 5:2).

Not by compulsion [not because you must, of constraint, of necessity].[ 17 ] Elders perform their work voluntarily. They do not need to be compelled to do so. They minister to the flock freely and willingly. This is not to say that they should never be paid (see note on 1Ti 5:17).

But willingly [according to the will of God, in keeping with God's will].[ 18 ] One of the attractive aspects of the Lord's church is that its work is not done out of pressure or coercion. Non-compulsory work done out of free will has a fascinating appeal. Because of this, it is not a burden. On the other hand, like any non-supervised work, it may become easy to shirk.

Lest elders and others find a loophole for neglect by the words "willingly" or "voluntarily," "according to the will of God" ought to preclude laziness.

Creative and innovative additions introduced into the work and worship of the church are not according to God's will and are forbidden by the statement, "according to the will of God." Elders need to be on guard for the introduction of innovative doctrines and practices not authorized in the holy word.

Not for dishonest gain [nor yet for filthy lucre, shameful gain, base gain, the sake of base gain].[ 19 ] If an unscrupulous elder took charge of the church treasury, he might improperly dip into it for personal use. Paul guarded against that kind of accusation against himself by not taking any pay from the church at Corinth (compare 1Co 9:12, 18; 2Co 12:14). When carrying the heavy contribution to Jerusalem, he had several faithful men to accompany him.

But eagerly [but readily, heartily, of a ready mind].[ 20 ] Elders are self-starters and finishers. They work because they want to. "Eagerly" describes their enthusiasm, fervor and zeal. They always exercise patience but they work with intensity and vigor.

[5:3] Nor as being lords over [not as, neither as, domineering over, lording it over].[ 21 ] Jesus pointed out that those recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over their subjects (Mk 10:42). Elders are not like the Gentile despots or tyrants. They never act like bossy civil dictators. They do not oppress, subjugate or dominate the members. Mind control as practiced by some cults is absolutely forbidden.

Those entrusted to you [those in your charge, God's heritage, the charge allotted to you, your possessions].[ 22 ] The Greek KLEEROON is plural and may be rendered "charges." The NKJV, NASB and some other versions accommodate the plural Greek word by rendering it "those," that is members "entrusted" or "allotted."

Various churches in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia had elders (see 1Pe 1:1). Elders in local congregations had "charges" or "those entrusted" to their care. Individual Christians were under a plurality of elders. No one elder or eldership in the first century was over more than one congregation. The exaltation of one elder, however, developed quite early. Later, one and then another of the exalted elders assumed responsibility over a few churches, some of which had their own elders. This was a direct violation of the will of God (see verse 2). Ruling bishops were called "archbishops." The heirarchy is not in line with biblical truths.

(1Pe 5:3)
  1. An image or form. TUPOUS images which you made to worship them (Ac 7:43).
  2. Examples. TUPOI examples to the flock (1Pe 5:3).
  3. A writing copy. Christ also suffered for you, leaving you HUPOGRAMMON an example (1Pe 2:21).
  4. An antitype. Primarily the impression left by a stroke. ANTITUPON corresponding to that, baptism now saves you (1Pe 3:21).
  5. An architect's plan, sculptor's or painter's model. HUPODEIGMA an example to those who would live ungodly (2Pe 2:6).
  6. (Compare Vincent 1.666, 667).

But being examples to the flock [but as, making yourselves, models, ensamples, for, of, the flock].[ 23 ] Notice the various Greek words the fisherman Peter uses for "example." He must have had a large vocabulary or else the Holy Spirit supplied his very words.

A false doctrine has arisen that denies that elders have any authority other than their examples. To use the present verse to support that idea is to miss the point. Jesus is our example (Joh 13:15; 1Pe 2:21). In spite of that, He gave commands (Joh 13:34; 14:15, 21, 23; 15:10, 12, 17; 1Jo 2:3, 4). We call Him "Teacher and Lord"[ 24 ] (Joh 13:13). The fact that He is an example does not nullify his rulership. The fact that elders are examples does not nullify their duty to make wise decisions as they lead the congregation. Please do not misunderstand and think that elders are rulers in the sense that Christ is. They rule under Him and obey His word. They are examples but they also rule. Not only are they to rule but should "rule well" (see 1Ti 5:7).

[5:4] And when the Chief Shepherd appears [and when the chief Shepherd shall appear, is, shall be, manifested]. The appearing or manifestation of the Chief Shepherd is the final coming of Christ (see Col 3:4; 1Jo 2:28; charts CHIEF SHEPHERD A and B). At His coming, all faithful Christians will receive the crown of life, that is, the crown which is eternal life (see note on 2Ti 4:8). A reward will be given to faithful elders.

(1Pe 5:4)
  1. I will establish one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them-- My servant David. He shall feed them and be their shepherd (Eze 34:23; compare Eze 37:24).
  2. For it is written: "I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered" (Mk 14:27).
  3. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep (Joh 10:11).
  4. I know My sheep, and am known by My own (Joh 10:14).

(1Pe 5:4)
  1. Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant (Heb 13:20).
  2. For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls (1Pe 2:25).
  3. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away (1Pe 5:4).

You will receive [ye shall obtain].[ 25 ] Previously, Peter used the same verb when he wrote, "KOMIZOMENOI receiving the end of your faith-- the salvation of your souls" (1Pe 1:9). The crown of glory may be understood to be eternal salvation.

(1Pe 5:4)
  1. Laid up for me the crown of righteousness (2Ti 4:8).
  2. For once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life (Jas 1:12)
  3. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life (Re 2:10).

The crown of glory [a crown of glory].[ 26 ] The "crown of glory" is not a kingly crown but a garland of honor. Its figurative meaning is "the crown which is glory." Paul wrote:

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Ro 8:18).

When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory (Col 3:4).

That does not fade away [unfading, that fadeth not away].[ 27 ] The fact that mention is made of the unfading nature of the crown suggests that the writer had in mind laurel or ivy crowns given to victorious soldiers or athletes (see note on 1Co 9:25). The difference is that the heavenly crown never wilts, never fades. Neither does the inheritance (1Pe 1:4).


5:5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble."

(1Pe 5:5)
  1. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake (1Pe 2:13).
  2. Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear (1Pe 2:18).
  3. Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands (1Pe 3:1).
  4. You younger people, submit yourselves to your elders (1Pe 5:5).
  5. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility (1Pe 5:5).

Likewise you younger people [in the same way ye younger, that are younger].[ 28 ] "Younger" is plural in the Greek and may be rendered "younger men" or "younger people." In this Peter's first letter, he gives a series of instructions on submission (see chart SUBMISSION). He now concludes the series.

Submit yourselves to [be subject, are to be submissive, unto].[ 29 ] A young lady said she would probably never marry because she did not want to be in subjection. She correctly perceived that wives are to be in subjection to their husbands (see Eph 5:22-24; 1Pe 3:1). Consider that younger people are to be in subjection to their elders. All brothers and sisters are to clothe themselves with humility toward one another (compare 1Pe 3:8). Not only that, but all Christians are to submit "to one another in the fear of God" (Eph 5:21).

Your elders [the older, elder].[ 30 ] "Elders" is thought by some to be those ordained to rule in local churches. In verse 1, this is precisely the meaning. However, in my judgment, older brothers in Christ, whether ordained or not, are here put in contrast to "younger men." The Greek does not actually say "your" elders or "the" elders. If it did, it would suggest that they were the ordained men (see footnotes). Let us suppose the elders here are bishops of the church. Should younger people be in subjection to them? Yes. Suppose they are just older men. The same applies. Respect and honor should be given them as well.

Yes, all of you [all, and all, yea all, of you].[ 31 ] In case there is a disagreement as to whether the elders mentioned above are bishops or pastors, let it be observed that the exhortation to be submissive to one another has everyone doing it.

Be submissive to one another [be subject, to serve, one another, toward, towards, one to another].

And be clothed with humility [clothe, are to clothe, gird, yourselves, bind on, humility].[ 32 ] The noun corresponding to "be clothed" denotes a garment that is wrapped around or girded on. In first century Greek "be clothed" particularly alluded to a white apron or scarf worn by bondservants. Anyone wearing one of those aprons was identified as a slave. Figuratively, a Christian is to securely tie the "slave's apron" around his waste so that it never comes off. He always should be recognized as being in subjection to Christ, to the elders and to his brothers and sisters in Christ.

Before His crucifixion, Jesus took a towel and "DIEZOOSEN[ 33 ] girded Himself" (Joh 13:4). I am sure Peter recalled his own arrogant words to Jesus that night, "You shall never wash my feet!" (Joh 13:8; compare verses 9, 14, 15). Now he not only is figuratively wearing the slave's apron but he urges every Christian to do the same.

Toward one another [to serve one to another, to, towards, each other].[ 34 ] The lesson is one of humility. Humility is an inner attitude that expresses itself in submission to God and others, even toward His least disciple.

For God resists [for God opposes, resisteth, sets himself against].[ 35 ] Here is a motivation for humility. God is against proud people. He resists them.

Surely He scorns the scornful, but gives grace to the humble (Pr 3:34).

But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble" (Jas 4:6).

(1Pe 5:5)
  1. Pharaoh. Who is the LORD that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? (Ex 5:2).
  2. Naaman. Was furious and went away and said, "Indeed, I said to myself" (2Ki 5:11, 12).
  3. Uzziah. But when he was strong his heart was lifted up, to his destruction, for he transgressed against the LORD his God by entering the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense (2Ch 26:16).

(1Pe 5:5)
  1. Hezekiah. Did not repay according to the favor shown him, for his heart was lifted up; therefore wrath was looming over him (2Ch 32:25; compare verse 26).
  2. Haman. Mordecai did not bow or pay him homage, Haman was filled with wrath (Es 3:5).
  3. Nebuchadnezzar. Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty? (Da 4:30).
  4. Belshazzar. You have lifted yourself up against the Lord of heaven (Da 5:23).

The proud [the arrogant].[ 36 ]

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall (Pr 16:18; compare 11:2; 18:12; Jer 49:16; Ob 3, 4; see charts THE PROUD A and B; GOD RESISTS THE PROUD).

(1Pe 5:5)
  1. Has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts (Lu 1:51).
  2. Backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters (Ro 1:30).
  3. Lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy (2Ti 3:2).
  4. God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble (Jas 4:6; 1Pe 5:5).

But gives grace to the humble [and giveth, but he gives, grace to the humble, but to the humble gives grace].[ 37 ] Jesus was (is) "gentle and lowly in heart" (Mt 11:29). He blesses the lowly. His mercies and grace are indeed great:

For a mere moment I have forsaken you, but with great mercies I will gather you (Isa 54:7).

But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble" (Jas 4:6).

This is in line with Jesus' explanation of why He spoke in parables.

For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him (Mt 13:12).


5:6, 7 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

(1Pe 5:6)
  1. Jacob. Not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth which You have shown Your servant (Ge 32:10).
  2. David. Who am I, O Lord GOD, and what is my house? (2Sa 7:18).
  3. Solomon. I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in (1Ki 3:7).

(1Pe 5:6)
  1. Centurion. Not worthy that you should come under my roof (Mt 8:8).
  2. Syrophoenician woman. Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs (Mt 15:27).
  3. Sinful woman. Stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head (Lu 7:38).
  4. Pure and undefiled religion. To visit orphans and widows in their trouble (Jas 1:27).

Therefore humble yourselves [therefore, then, humble yourselves therefore].[ 38 ] Because of what Peter has said, it is imperative that Christians humble themselves under God's mighty hand. Humbling oneself before Him implies worshipping Him and obeying His will.

Under the mighty hand of God.[ 39 ] The mighty hand of God suggests His omnipotence. His irresistible power is both comforting and compelling.

That He may exalt you [that he may lift you up].
[ 40 ] The only true exaltation is that which God gives.

For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted (Lu 14:11; 18:14).

In due time [in the due time].[ 41 ] God's calendar does not match man's. People need to learn to wait upon Him and be content with what He does "in due time" or "at the proper time" (see chart IN DUE TIME).

(1Pe 5:6)
  1. To give them food EN KAIROO in due season (Mt 24:45).
  2. To give them their portion of food EN KAIROO in due season (Lu 12:42).
  3. For while we were still helpless, KATA KAIRON in due time Christ died for the ungodly (Ro 5:6).
  4. Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you EN KAIROO in due time (1Pe 5:6).

[5:7] Casting [cast, having cast, committing].[ 42 ] The verb "casting" is in the aorist tense, suggesting that Christians are to cast their anxieties upon the Lord once and for all, never to take them up again. The background for this thought is in a Psalm of David.

Cast your burden on the LORD, and He shall sustain you; he shall never permit the righteous to be moved (Ps 55:22).

All your care upon Him [all your anxiety, anxieties, cares, on him, to him].[ 43 ] Jesus said:

Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? (Mt 6:25; compare verse 33).

For He cares for you [because he cares, careth, about you].[ 44 ] A proud person does not cast his anxiety upon anyone.

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up (Jas 4:10).


5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

Be sober [be vigilant, self-controlled awake].[ 45 ] A sober and serious spirit is one that is ready to pray, watch and do battle with evil (see 1Pe 1:13; 4:7).

(1Pe 5:8)
  1. GREEGOREITE watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming (Mt 24:42).
  2. Stay here and GREEGOREITE watch with Me (Mt 26:38).
  3. GREEGOREITE watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation (Mt 26:41).
  4. GREEGOREITE watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming (Mk 13:35).
  5. Be sober, GREEGOREESATE be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about (1Pe 5:8).

Be vigilant [watch, be watchful].[ 46 ] Trust in the Lord does not permit carelessness. Faithful Christians are alert and give attention to possible actions of the devil (see chart BE WATCHFUL).

Because your adversary [your adversary].[ 47 ] The devil is the adversary of every Christian (see Mt 13:25, 28, 39). He stood against Israel and He stands against the church.

Now Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel (1Ch 21:1)

Examples of those falsely accused by Satan are Job and Joshua the high priest. The devil said to God, "Does Job fear God for nothing?" (Job 1:9).

Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. 2 And the LORD said to Satan, "The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?" (Zec 3:1, 2).

(1Pe 5:8)
  1. Tempted Eve (Ge 3:4, 5).
  2. Moved David to number Israel (2Ch 21:1).
  3. Slandered Job (Job 1:9-11).
  4. Caused boils (Job 2:7).
  5. Opposed Joshua the high priest (Zec 3:1).

The devil [the devil].[ 48 ] The meaning of the word DIABOLOS devil indicates that he is a slanderer.[ 49 ] He is a false witness, a deceiver ( Re 20:10) and a malicious accuser (Re 12:10). Satan defames, besmirches, libels, misrepresents and maligns God's people. Through evil men he continues to deceive (2Ti 3:13). He is "the wicked one" or "the evil one" (see Mt 6:13; 13:19, 38; 1Jo 2:13). He tempted the Son of God (Mt 4:1). He is a murderer (Joh 8:44). His children wanted to kill Jesus (Joh 8:40).

(1Pe 5:8)
  1. Beelzebub the ruler of demons (Mt 12:24).
  2. A murderer . . a liar, the father of (Joh 8:44).
  3. Ruler of this world (Joh 12:31; 14:30; 16:11).
  4. The god of this world (2Co 4:4).
  5. Prince of the power of the air (Eph 2:2).

(1Pe 5:8)
  1. The wicked one (Eph 6:17).
  2. The angel of the bottomless pit, in Hebrew, Abaddon, in Greek, Apollyon (Re 9:11).
  3. That serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world (Re 12:9).

(1Pe 5:8)
  1. Jesus tempted by devil (Mt 4:1-11; compare 1Jo 2:16).
  2. Eternal fire prepared for devil and his angels (Mt 25:41).
  3. Blinded minds of unbelieving (2Co 4:4).
  4. Deceived Eve by his craftiness (2Co 11:1-4).
  5. Fiery darts of the wicked one (Eph 6:16).
  6. Walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1Pe 5:8).

Walks about [prowls, walketh, is going, round, around].[ 50 ] Some of the Greek philosophers were called "peripatetics" (walkers in Greek) probably because they strolled around teaching and debating. Satan never rests. He is always on the move. He is ever prowling around.

Like a roaring lion [as a roaring lion].[ 51 ] The Greek word for "roaring" sounds something like the roar of an animal or the sound made by a hungry beast (see footnote). Marvin Vincent points out that:

In Judges 14:5; Psalm 21:13; 103:21 (Septuagint), the same word as here is used for the roaring of the lion as a translation of the Hebrew word for the thunder in Job 37:4.[ 52 ]

In a cry of anguish, regarded as prophetic of those who double-crossed Christ and crucified Him, David wrote:

They gape at Me with their mouths, like a raging and roaring lion (Ps 22:13).

Lions are depicted as tearing the pray, eating people and making widows. Figuratively, they describe vicious rulers.

The conspiracy of her prophets in her midst is like a roaring lion tearing the prey; they have devoured people; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in her midst (Eze 22:25).

Her princes in her midst are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves that leave not a bone till morning (Zep 3:3).

There is the sound of wailing shepherds! For their glory is in ruins. There is the sound of roaring lions! For the pride of the Jordan is in ruins (Zec 11:3).

Jesus is the lion of the tribe of Judah (Re 5:5). Like a lion, He has great courage (Pr 28:1) and strength (Pr 30:30). As "a lion" He is victorious over sin and Satan.

Seeking.[ 53 ] Satan does a lot of "personal work." He is always looking for a prospect. His main target is individual Christians.

Whom he may devour [someone to devour].[ 54 ] Like a hungry animal that gulps and swallows down his prey, Satan prefers to make short work of his victims. It is his aim to cause souls to be lost, the quicker the better. He does not just attack the infirm and the stragglers. The apostles themselves were not off-limits to him. Jesus said to Simon, "Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat" (Lu 22:31).

Satan's "mission statement" is to hurt and destroy. He is fierce and cruel like a man-eating lion that has tasted human flesh and become even more dangerous.


5:9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

Resist him [whom withstand].[ 55 ] Christians must resist, oppose and stand up to Satan, firmly resisting his attacks (see charts HOW TO RESIST SATAN A and B). With the whole armor of God a Christian is enabled to stand against him (see charts HOW TO RESIST SATAN A and B).

(1Pe 5:9)
  1. Use Scripture (Mt 4:4, 7, 10).
  2. Pray (Lu 22:30, 31).
  3. Preach the word of God. Jesus sent Paul "To open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God in order that they may receive forgiveness" (Ac 26:18).

(1Pe 5:9)
  1. Do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil (Eph 4:26, 27).
  2. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Eph 6:11).
  3. Shield of faith: quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one (Eph 6:16).
  4. Submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you (Jas 4:7).

Steadfast [firm, firmly].[ 56 ] A hypocrite may be tough and wiry. He may bend like a weed. A Christian is hard as a rock, solid as an army tank. Yet, he is gentle as a lamb. He is steadfast because he stands on a firm foundation (see 2Ti 2:19).

In the faith [in faith, in your faith].[ 57 ] In opinions, a Christian has liberty to compromise but in matters of faith he stands like a stone wall. He has unwavering trust in God's word.[ 58 ] A strong faith is maintained by a constant study of the word (Joh 20:30, 31; Ro 10:9, 10). He makes continuous use of the word of God which is the sword of the Spirit (Eph 6:17; 2Jo 9; Jude 3). When Jesus resisted Satan's temptations, He kept saying to him, "It is written" (see Mt 4:4, 6, 7, 10).

Knowing that.[ 59 ] Remembering the sufferings of Stephen, James, Paul and others helps strengthen Christians in the time of persecution.

The same sufferings are experienced [the selfsame suffering, afflictions, experience of suffering, is required, are accomplished, is being completed].[ 60 ] If only one Christian were singled out to endure every affliction, it would be terrifying. However, it offers some encouragement to the one suffering to know that other Christians are enduring similar temptations, trials and distress.
The Greek present tense indicates the experiences of suffering Christians were, at that very time, already begun and were continuing to be accomplished.

By your brotherhood [in, of, your brethren].[ 61 ] Persecution was so general, that Peter used the term "brotherhood." He had previously written, "Love the brotherhood" (1Pe 2:17).

In the world [throughout, that, who, are in, which is in, the world].[ 62 ] In many parts of the world, especially in the Roman Empire, Christians were being persecuted. The particular outbreak of which Peter spoke began after the great fire in Rome in AD 64. Non-Christian Tacitus wrote about the martyrdom of Christians under Nero:

Their death was made a matter of sport; they were covered in wild beast's skins and torn to pieces by dogs; or were fastened to crosses and set on fire in order to serve as torches by night . . . Nero had offered his gardens for the spectacle and gave an exhibition in his circus, mingling with the crowd in the guise of a charioteer or mounted on his chariot. Hence, . . . there arose a feeling of pity, because it was felt that they were being sacrificed not for the common good, but to gratify the savagery of one man.[ 63 ]


5:10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.

(1Pe 5:10)
  1. God of truth (De 32:4; Ps 31:5; Isa 65:16).
  2. The living God (Jos 3:10; Ps 42:2; 84:2; Jer 10:10; Da 6:26; Mt 26:63; Ro 9:26; 1Th 1:9).
  3. The God of heaven (Ezr 5:11, 12; 6:9, 10; 7:12, 21, 23; Ps 136:26; Da 2:18, 19, 37, 44).
  4. God of my life (Ps 42:8).

(1Pe 5:10)
  1. God my exceeding joy (Ps 43:4).
  2. God of our salvation (Ps 68:19, 20).
  3. God of recompense (Jer 51:56).
  4. The God of gods (Da 2:47; 11:36).

(1Pe 5:10)
  1. The God of glory (Ac 7:2).
  2. Of peace (Ro 15:33; 16:20; Php 4:9; 1Th 5:23; Heb 13:20).
  3. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (2Co 1:3).
  4. Of all comfort (2Co 1:3).
  5. Of love and peace (2Co 13:11).

(1Pe 5:10)
  1. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Ex 3:6; Ac 7:32).
  2. The God of Shadrach, Meshech and Obednigo (Da 3:28, 29).
  3. The God of Jacob, Israel (Ps 146:5; Ezr 5:1; 7:15).
  4. The God of Jerusalem (Ezr 7:19).
  5. The God of our fathers (Ezr 7:27).

But may the God of all grace [but, and, the God of all grace].[ 64 ] God is "the Lord of hosts" (Jer 32:18).[ 65 ] He is also the God of all grace. His grace is manifold (1Pe 4:10). There is no other source of saving grace (see Ac 4:12). Paul's reference to the "grace of Christ" is suggestive of the deity of Jesus.

I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, (Ga 1:6).

Who called us [who has, hath, called you].[ 66 ] The Greek aorist tense of "called" alludes to the time when Peter's readers heard the gospel and obeyed it. God calls sinners into His kingdom of grace by the gospel (Ro 1:16; 2Th 2:14). He calls them into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord (1Co 1:9).

To His eternal glory [unto, into, his eternal glory].[ 67 ] Paul looked forward to an "eternal weight of glory" far beyond all comparison (2Co 4:17). The glory of heavenly salvation is eternal. It will never end.

By Christ Jesus [in Christ, in Jesus Christ].[ 68 ] Many translators, instead of correctly rendering the phrase, "in Christ Jesus" because it better indicates the sphere into which one is called and in which all spiritual blessings flow (see note on Eph 1:3). Penitent sinners are transferred into Him when they are baptized and forgiven (Ro 6:3, 4; Ga 3:26, 27).

After you have suffered [when, after that, ye have suffered].[ 69 ] All the godly suffer (2Th 3:12). This was especially true of Peter's readers. For them, pain and sorrow would one day come to an end. There would be sweet rest from labors. Tears would be wiped away. Of course, these blessings come to all faithful Christians.

(1Pe 5:10)
  1. Everyone who KATEERTISMENOS is perfectly trained will be like his teacher (Lu 6:40).
  2. No divisions among you, but you KATEERTISMENOI be perfectly joined together (1Co 1:10).
  3. KATARTIZESTHE become complete (2Co 13:11).
  4. KATARTIZETE restore such a one (Ga 6:1).
  5. And KATARTISAI perfect what is lacking in your faith (1Th 3:10).

(1Pe 5:10)
  1. KATARTIZONTAS mending nets (Mt 4:21).
  2. But a body You have KATEERTISOO prepared for Me (Heb 10:5).
  3. The worlds KATEERTISTHAI were framed by the word of God (Heb 11:3).

A while [for a, little, little while].[ 70 ] The suffering of Peter's readers was due to the distress of "various trials."

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials (1Pe 1:6).

Perfect [will, shall, himself, himself shall, restore, make, make you, complete].[ 71 ] The Received Text makes this and the three following verbs in the optative mood. The optative mood expresses a wish. The texts from which many modern versions are translated make them all indicative future. In these versions, the wish or prayer becomes an assurance.[ 72 ]

Establish [stablish, steadfast, confirm].[ 73 ] God will establish the frail and delicate Christians to make them hardy and robust.

My soul melts from heaviness; strengthen me according to Your word (Ps 119:28).

(1Pe 5:10)
  1. When you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren (Lu 22:32).
  2. So that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father (1Th 3:13).
  3. Comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work (2Th 2:17).
  4. Be patient. Establish your hearts (Jas 5:8).
  5. Be watchful, and strengthen the things that remain (Re 3:2).

Strengthen [and strengthen you, strong].[ 74 ] "Strengthen" is another word that indicates God imparts vitality to Christians. Paul prayed for the saints at Ephesus:

That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man (Eph 3:16).

The immediate text does not clearly state how the strengthening is done whether directly or through the agency of the NT. Many understand it to be the latter because of the sufficiency of the word (2Ti 3:16, 17).
(1Pe 5:10)
  1. For it TETHEMELIOOTO was founded on the rock (Mt 7:25).
  2. Being rooted and TETHEMELIOOMENOI grounded in love (Eph 3:17).
  3. In the beginning ETHEMELIOOSAS laid the foundation of the earth (Heb 1:10).

And settle you [ground, settle, you, unwavering].[ 75 ] "Settle you" is not carried in versions such as the ASV and RSV. Marvin Vincent points out that the forceful expressions "perfect, establish, strengthen and settle you" joined together imply strong feeling. With the very letter Peter was writing, he was strengthening his brethren as instructed by Jesus.

But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren (Lu 22:32).

So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Feed My lambs." 16 He said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Tend My sheep." 17 He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do you love Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You." Jesus said to him, "Feed My sheep" (Joh 21:15-17).


5:11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

To Him be the glory and the dominion [unto him be glory and dominion, the power, the might][ 76 ] It is comforting to know that God, not Satan, is forever on the glorious throne of the universe (see note on 1Pe 4:11).

Forever and ever [forever, for the ages of the ages].[ 77 ]

The LORD sat enthroned at the Flood, and the LORD sits as King forever (Ps 29:10).

Amen.[ 78 ] The doxology (praise to God) has ended with an appropriate "Amen!" It is so!


5:12 By Silvanus, our faithful brother as I consider him, I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand.

By Silvanus [through Silvanus].[ 79 ] It is difficult to determine just how the letter from Peter was "by" or "through" Silvanus. He may have acted as secretary or amanuensis. He may have assisted in some other way. Some think he travelled with the letter to deliver it to all the churches to whom it was addressed. He may have read it aloud to several congregations. He may have done all of these.

It is generally thought that Silvanus is the same as Silas. If so, he was one of the leading men from Jerusalem selected along with Paul and Barnabas to go to Antioch with the Jerusalem letter, where he remained (Ac 15:22, 27, 34). Silas was a prophet (Ac 15:32). Paul chose him as a traveling companion (Ac 15:40). He preached at Corinth (2Co 1:19). He joined Timothy in the letters to Thessalonica. He was well-known there (1Th 1:1; 2Th 1:1).

Our faithful brother [a, the, faithful brother, brother unto you].[ 80 ] After Paul's final arrest, I wonder if Silas became a close associate of Peter.

As I consider him [as I suppose, account, regard, him].[ 81 ] Peter did not have any doubts or misgivings about Silvanus. He was a faithful and trustworthy brother in Christ.

I have written to you [I have written, written unto you].[ 82 ]

Briefly [brief, in a few words].[ 83 ] The Hebrew writer also said, "I have written to you DIA BRACHEOON in few words" (Heb 13:22). To him, thirteen chapters were just "a few words."

Exhorting.[ 84 ] Peter is encouraging his readers by this appeal.

And testifying [and declaring].[ 85 ] Undoubtedly, Paul and Silas had preached to many of the people to whom Peter was writing. Peter now adds his testimony to the inspired teaching as being the true grace of God. That is, his testimony was inspired as well.

(1Pe 5:12)
  1. Sprinkling of Christ's blood to cleanse hearts (1Pe 1:2, 18, 19).
  2. Eternal salvation (1Pe 1:9).
  3. Chosen by God (1Pe 2:9).
  4. Called (1Pe 2:21).
  5. Saved by baptism (1Pe 3:21).
  6. Suffering (1Pe 4:19).
  7. Perfection, establishing, strengthening (1Pe 5:10).

That this is the true grace of God.[ 86 ] The grace of God is expressed in Peter's letter, as well as in all the NT books. The expression refers to what God's grace accomplishes. Salvation is not accomplished through the Law of Moses, by science or human philosophy. It is accomplished by the "true grace of God" (see chart THE TRUE GRACE OF GOD).

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age (Tit 2:11, 12).

In which you stand [wherein ye stand, be established, stand fast, stand ye fast, therein, in it].[ 87 ] Some time ago I received a personal letter from an old friend and missionary overseas in which he mentioned a recent visit to the United States and to a specific congregation known to us both. He wrote:

It was truly good to see old friends, but my heart really ached in the disappointment in some of the things I saw and heard. I really hate to see people try to modernize the Gospel, which is a timeless treasure that should be kept intact at all costs. In fact, I have tears in my eyes now as I think about it.

He went on to say:

As groups change towards the undesirable, with the Lord's blessings, they can also be changed back, with a more ardent, determined heart to follow just the truth. Let us keep on praying, having hopes, and working where we can to encourage that to happen.[ 88 ]


5:13 She who is in Babylon, elect together with you, greets you; and so does Mark my son.

She who is in Babylon [the church in, that is at, Babylon].[ 89 ] Notice that in some versions the word "church" is in italics, indicating it was supplied by the translators.[ 90 ] Scholars are not at all agreed on this. Some have suggested "she" was Peter's wife or some other prominent woman. I doubt that he would have sent greetings from a woman to so many churches without mentioning her name unless she happened to be his own wife.

Literal Babylon was a city on the Euphrates River. A rule of interpretation is to take a passage literally unless there is a reason to make it figurative. In the present case, I am not certain. If Peter referred to a congregation, I have wondered what he meant by Babylon because the old city on the Euphrates did not amount to much at the time he wrote. Some authorities say there was a still population of Jews in the vicinity of literal Babylon. Perhaps after the captivity, several remained behind when Nehemiah and Ezra returned to Jerusalem.

If Peter meant by "Babylon" the church in Jerusalem, he may have used cryptic language so that the persecuted Gentile churches could understand that the Jewish church was also in trouble. I doubt that most of his readers were Jewish Christians, but if they were, perhaps by "Babylon" he was alluding to Gentile churches of Christ.

Some interpreters think "Babylon" is symbolic of Rome. There is little doubt that Paul was imprisoned twice in Italy and then beheaded on the Ostian Way a modest distance southwest of ancient Rome. In Rome and other cities in Italy, there is an abundance of paintings, frescoes and statues of Peter, not a few of which depict him being crucified head downward. Nevertheless, some scholars remain unconvinced that Peter ever did any evangelistic work there.

Evidently Peter was in "Babylon" when he wrote the letter. Apparently, Silvanus (Silas) and Marcus (John Mark) were with him.

Elect together with you [who is likewise chosen, elected together, that is elected, the called, with you].[ 91 ] Peter had informed his readers that they were "chosen" (1Pe 1:1, 2). If by "She who is in Babylon" he alludes to the church in Jerusalem, the phrase "together with you" makes some sense. If the readers understood it this way, the fellowship of all the saints would be cemented. Peter may have been giving assurance that both Jewish and Gentile Christians were God's chosen.

Greets you [salutes, saluteth, greet, you, sends you greetings].[ 92 ]

And so does Mark my son [and so doth my son Mark, also, and, Marcus my son].[ 93 ] Some have taken this literally and said that John Mark was Peter's own son. Others, myself included, understand him to have been converted or at least nurtured by Peter and as such was his "son in the faith."
Mark [Marcus].[ 94 ] I suppose this "Mark" is the same as John Mark, cousin of Barnabas (Col 4:10), and writer of the Gospel of Mark (see also 2Ti 4:11; Ac 12:25; 13:5, 13; 15:37, 39; Phm 24). If so, it is interesting that after Peter was miraculously released from prison he went to the "house of Mary, the mother of John" (Ac 12:12). Those who would make Mary Peter's wife and John Mark his literal son have difficulty explaining why the house was not called "Peter's house" (as was the fine structure he owned in Capernaum (see Mt 8:14).


5:14 Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to you all who are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Greet one another [greet ye, salute, one another].[ 95 ] A congenial hand-shake, an affectionate hug or friendly smile is a greeting.

With a kiss of love [with the kiss, in a kiss, of love, of charity].[ 96 ] Guy N. Woods gave the following thought:

Throughout the biblical period, from Adam to John on Patmos, and in eastern lands to this day, greeting, by means of the kiss, has been and is practiced. Because it was a custom common to the day and the lands in which they lived, early christians observed it. There are numerous allusions thereto in the writings of the "church fathers," as well as in the NT. The custom is mentioned by Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Chrysostom, Augustine and various other ancient writers, and it is referred to, in addition to the instances mentioned in the foregoing question, in 1 Corinthians 16:20; 2 Corinthians 13:12; and 1 Thessalonians 5:26. . . Kissing, as a mode of greeting, was no more sanctioned than hands-shaking is today, both methods being customs of the times. Inasmuch as Christianity requires sincerity in this mode of greeting today, so it enjoined it in the kiss of greeting in that day. It was to be "holy," hence, not impure; the "kiss of love," prompted by love, and in exhibition of it.[ 97 ]

Peace to you all [peace be with, unto, all of you].[ 98 ]

Who are in Christ Jesus [that are in Christ, Christ Jesus].[ 99 ] Baptism brings one into Christ (Ro 6:3; Ga 3:27). In Him are all spiritual blessings (Eph 1:3). One of these blessings is peace with God (see Ro 5:1, 2).

Amen. This final "Amen" appears in the Greek Received Text and is carried by the KJV and NKJV but not in Nestle, the UBS3[ 100 ] or the ASV and some other versions.


[ 1 ]The basic text in this chapter is the NKJV. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Alternate phrases in brackets are from ASV, Darby, ESB, KJV and RSV and occasionally another version. Greek transliteration follows the BibleSoft method.
[ 2 ]PRESBUTEROUS OUN, elders therefore (Marshall 920); inferential, denoting that what it introduces is the result of or an inference from what precedes so, therefore, consequently, accordingly, then; PRESBUTEROUS is the comparative degree of PRESBUS an old man, an elder; the duty of elders is described by the verb EPISKOPEOO to oversee; as the designation of an official (Arndt 593, 700); they were appointed according as they had given evidence of fulfilling the Divine qualifications, Titus 1:6 to 9; compare 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and 1 Peter 5:2 (Vine 350, 351); so the elders (Williams); elders then (Lenski 215).
[ 3 ]EN HUMIN, among you (Marshall 920; Williams); literally, in you; with, among, in the presence of, with dative of person (Thayer 210); in your care (Lenski 215).
[ 4 ]PARAKALOO, I exhort (Marshall 920); primarily, call to a person [PARA to the side, KALEOO to call] (Vine 390); appeal to, urge, exhort, encourage, with accusative of the persons and direct discourse (Arndt 617); admonish, exhort (Thayer 482); I beg (Williams); I urge (Lenski 215).
[ 5 ]HO SUMPRESBUTEROS, a fellow-elder [SUN with] (Vine 351); the co-elder (Marshall 920); fellow-elder. The expression is decisive against the primacy of Peter (Vincent l.664); the fellow elder (Lenski 215); a joint-elder (Williams).
[ 6 ]KAI MARTUS, and witness (Marshall 920; Lenski 215); [whence English MARTYR one who bears witness by his death], denotes one who can or does aver what he has seen or heard or knows (Vine 1237); not limited to the mere fact of having seen what he preached; especially since, when he wishes to emphasize this fact, he employs another word, EPOPTEES [eyewitnesses, 2Pe 1:16]. Therefore he speaks of himself as a witness, especially in the sense of being called to testify of what he has seen (Vincent 1.665); a witness (Williams).
[ 7 ]TOON TOU CHRISTOU PATHEEMATOON, of the of Christ sufferings (Marshall 920); sufferings, misfortunes, calamities, evils, afflictions, which Christ suffered (Thayer 472); of the suffering borne by Christ (Williams); of the sufferings of Christ (Lenski 215).
[ 8 ]KOINOONOS, sharer (Marshall 920); an adjective, signifying having in common [KOINOS common], used as a noun denoting a companion, partner, partaker (Vine 833); sharer (Marshall 920); this use of the word, expressing a present realization of something not yet attained, occurs in no other writer in the NT (Vincent 1.665); the partaker (Lenski 215); a sharer (Williams).
[ 9 ]HO KAI TEES DOXEES, the also of the glory (Marshall 920); of the state of blessedness into which believers are to enter hereafter through being brought into the likeness of Christ (Vine 483); the glorious condition of blessedness into which it is appointed and promised that true Christians shall enter after their Savior's return from heaven (Thayer 156); of the glory (Williams); also of the glory (Lenski 215).
[ 10 ]TEES MELLOUSEES APOKALUPTESTHAI, the being about to be revealed (Marshall 920); the salvation and glory that await the believer (Vine 964); that is to be uncovered (Williams); about to be revealed (Lenski 215).
[ 11 ]POIMANATE, shepherd (Marshall 920; Lenski 215); act as a shepherd [from POIMEEN a shepherd] of those who act as spiritual shepherds under [Christ] (Vine 417); shepherd (Marshall 920); tend . . . the verb denotes all that is included in the office of a shepherd--guiding, guarding, folding, no less than feeding, which latter is expressed by BOSKOO (Vincent 1.665); feed [from POIMAINOO to feed, pasture, tend a flock], to see that the congregation is cared for and guarded against worldliness, unfaithfulness, false teaching, and the like (Littrell); be shepherds (Williams).
[ 12 ]TO POIMNION TOU THEOU, the flock of God (Marshall 920; Lenski 215); possibly a diminutive of POIMNEE [akin to POIMEEN a shepherd], is used in the NT only metaphorically, of a group of Christ's disciples . . . of local churches cared for by elders (Vine 439); of the flock of God (Williams).
[ 13 ]OIKONOMON, a steward, primarily denoted the manager of a household or estate [OIKOS a house, NEMOO to arrange], used of elders or bishops in the churches (Vine 1087). Ancient stewards managed that which belonged to another (see Tit 1:7).
[ 14 ]EN HUMIN, among you (Marshall 920; Lenski 215); literally, in you; with, among, in the presence of, with dative of person (Thayer 210); that is among you (Williams).
[ 15 ]Benevolent work is not limited to members of the local church (compare Ro 9:13; Ga 6:10). Neither is evangelism (Mk 16:15; consider Peter's own work in other places).
[ 16 ]EPISKOPEOO [Received Text], literally, look upon [EPI upon, SKOPEOO to look at, contemplate] [some ancient authorities omit it] (Vine 824); look upon, inspect, oversee, look after, care for: spoken of the care of the church which rested upon the presbyters, 1 Peter 5:2 (Thayer 242); overseeing it (Lenski 215).
[ 17 ]MEE ANANKASTOOS, not by way of compulsion (Marshall 920); [not] by force, unwillingly, by constraint (Vine 224); [not] by force or constraint; opposite to HEKOUSIOOS voluntary, of free will (Thayer 36, 198); not constrainedly (Lenski 215); not as though you had to (Williams).
[ 18 ]ALLA HEKOUSIOOS KATA THEON, but willingly according to God (Marshall 920); denotes voluntarily, willingly [of exercising oversight over the flock of God] (Vine 1228); voluntarily, willingly, of one's own accord (Thayer 198); but of your own free will (Williams); but voluntarily in accord with God (Lenski 215).
[ 19 ]MEEDE AISCHROKERDOOS, nor from eagerness for base gain (Marshall 921); [from AISCHROS disgraceful KERDOS gain], the word filthy is intend to convey the idea which lies in AISCHROS, base or dishonorable; becoming such if it is made the motive of the minister's service (Vincent 1.665, 666); an adjective, denotes "from eagerness for base gain" (Vine 6986); adverb, from eagerness for base gain (Thayer 17).
[ 20 ]ALLA PROTHUMOOS, but eagerly (Marshall 921; Lenski 215); willingly, with alacrity (Vine 923); [PRO forward, THUMOS heart or spirit], with a ready mind; a forward spirit; denoting not mere willingness, but zeal (Vincent 1.666); willingly, with alacrity (Thayer 539); but freely (Williams).
[ 21 ]MEED' HOOS KATAKURIEUONTES, nor as exercising lordship over (Marshall 921); high-haded rule (Vincent 1.666); a strengthened form of KURIEUOO to be lord of, to exercise lordship over] (Vine 690); holding in subjection, being master of, exercising lordship over (Thayer 332).
[ 22 ]TOON KLEEROON, the lots (Marshall 921); plural. KLEEROS means a lot. Revised renders charge. Why not charges? (Vincent 1.666); KLEEROS=a lot, allotment, heritage [whence English "clergy"] . . . here the word is plural, literally, "charges" (Vine 173); of persons, HOI KLEEROI, those whose care and oversight has been assigned to one [allotted charge], used of Christian churches, the administration of which falls to the lot of the presbyters (Thayer 349).
[ 23 ]ALLA TUPOI GINOMENOI TOU POIMNIOU, but examples becoming of the flock [that is, the various spheres assigned to the elders] (Marshall 921); an example, pattern, in an ethical sense (Vine 363);in an ethical sense, examples to be imitated: with a genitive of the persons to whom the example is offered (Thayer 632); but proving yourselves models for the flock (Williams); but as being examples to the flock (Lenski 215).
[ 24 ]HO KURIOS, the Lord or the Ruler (Joh 13:13).
[ 25 ]KOMIEISTHE, ye will receive (Marshall 921); KOMIZOO denotes to bear, carry, in the middle voice, to bear for oneself, hence to receive (Vine 929); receive, obtain (Thayer 354); you will receive (Williams); you will bring away (Lenski 220).
[ 26 ]TEES DOXEES STEPHANON, of glory crown (Marshall 921); [from STEPHOO to put round, encircle], it is the crown of victory in the games; of military valor; the marriage wreath, or the festal garland, woven of leaves or made of gold in imitation of leaves. Thus it is distinguished from the royal crown, which is DIADEEMA, of which diadem is a transcript (Vincent 1.667); in some passages the reference to the games is clear [1Co 9:25; 2Ti 4:8]; it may be so in 1 Peter 5:4, where the fadeless character of "the crown of glory" is set in contrast to the garlands of earth (Vine 250); the eternal blessedness which will be given as a prize to the genuine servants of God and Christ; good opinion concerning one, and as resulting from that, praise, honor, glory (Thayer 155, 587); the glorious crown (Williams); crown of glory (Lenski 220).
[ 27 ]TON AMARANTINON, the unfading (Marshall 921); negative adjective [A negative, MARAINOO, in the passive, to waste away], primarily signifies composed of amaranth [an unfading flower, a symbol of perpetuity, see Paradise Lost 3.353], of the crown of glory promised to faithful elders (Vine 398); unfading (Lenski 220); that never fades (Williams).
[ 28 ]HOMOIOOS, NEOOTEROI, likewise, younger men (Marshall 921; in like manner [from the adjective HOMOIOOS like, resembling, such as, the same as] (Vine 674); younger (Vine 1259); young men, opposite PRESBUTEROI (Arndt 536); young, youthful, opposite to PRESBUTEROI (Thayer 425); you younger men on your part (Williams).
[ 29 ]HUPOTAGEETE, submit yourselves (Marshall 921); primarily a military term, to rank under HUPO under, TASSOO to arrange], denotes in the middle or passive voice, to subject oneself, to obey, be subject to (Vine 1099); middle [voice], subject one's self, obey, submit to one's control; yield to one's admonition or advice (Thayer 645); must be submissive (Williams); be in subjection (Lenski 221).
[ 30 ]PRESBUTEROIS, to older men (Marshall 921); among Christians, those who presided over the assemblies [or churches] (Thayer 536); as designation of an official [compare Latin senator] elder, presbyter (Arndt 700); to elders! (Lenski 221); to the elders (Williams).
[ 31 ]PANTES DE, and all (Marshall 921); do you all (Lenski 921); and you must all (Williams).
[ 32 ]TEEN TAPEINOPHROSUNEEN ENKOMBOOSASTHE, humility gird ye on (Marshall 921); ENKOMBOOSASTHE is second person plural, first aorist middle imperative of ENKOMBOOMAI (Han 421); the last word is a very peculiar one, occurring only here. It is derived from KOMBOS a roll, band or girth: a knot or roll of cloth, made in tying or tucking up any part of the dress. The kindred word ENKOMBOOMA, from which the verb is directly formed, means a slave's apron, under which the loose garments were girt up (Vincent 1.667, 668); gird oneself with (Vine 190); the ENKOMBOOMA was the white scarf or apron of slaves, which was fastened to the girdle of the vest [EXOOMIS], and distinguished slaves from freemen; hence 1 Peter 5:5 . . . gird yourselves with humility as your servile garb [ENKOMBOOMA], that is, by putting on humility show your subjection one to another (Thayer 166); the noun from which [ENKOMBOOSASTHE] is derived [KOMBOS] signifies a knot; and the noun [sic] form means to tie with a knot (Woods 128); put on the servant's apron [Greek verb means to put a waiter's apron on to serve] (Williams); apron yourselves with lowly-mindedness (Lenski 221).
[ 33 ]Girded round, that is, firmly [DIA throughout, used intensively], is used of the Lord's act in girding Himself with a towel, John 13:4, 5, and of Peter's girding himself with his coat, 21:7 (Vine 478).
[ 34 ]ALLEELOIS, to one another (Marshall 921; Williams); the dative ALLEELOIS denotes "one to another" (Vine 811); with respect to each other (Lenski 221).
[ 35 ]HOTI HO THEOS ANTITASSETAI, because God resists (Marshall 921; Lenski 223); a strong and graphic word. Literally, setteth himself in array against, as one draws out a host for battle (Vincent 1.668); of God, negatively, of leaving persistent evildoers to pursue their self-determined course, with eventual retribution (Vine 958); opposes one's self, resists (Thayer 51); because God opposes (Williams).
[ 36 ]HUPEREEPHANOIS, arrogant men (Marshall 921); signifies showing oneself above others, pre-eminent [HUPER above, PHAINOMAI to appear, be manifest]; it is always used in Scripture in the bad sense of arrogant, disdainful, proud (Vine 898); in a bad sense, with an overweening estimate of one's means or merits, despising others or even treating them with contempt, haughty (Thayer 641); haughty ones (Lenski 223); the haughty (Williams).
[ 37 ]TAPEINOIS DE DIDOOSIN CHARIN, but to humble men he gives grace (Marshall 921); primarily signifies low-lying. It is used always in a good sense in the NT, metaphorically, to denote . . . humble in spirit (Vine 568); lowly in spirit, humble (Thayer 614); but bestows His unmerited favor on the humble (Williams); but gives grace to lowly ones (Lenski 223).
[ 38 ]TAPEINOOTHEETE OUN, be ye humbled therefore (Marshall 921); signifies to make low, metaphorically, in passive voice with middle sense, humble yourselves (Vine 569); in exhortations [to show what ought now to be done by reason of what has been said], that is, wherefore, [our transitional therefore]; submit one's self in a lowly spirit to the power and will of God (Thayer 463, 615); submit therefore (Williams); accordingly be lowly (Lenski 224).
[ 39 ]HUPO TEEN KRATAIAN CHEIRA TOU THEOU, under the mighty hand of God (Marshall 921; Lenski 224); strong, mighty [akin to KRATOS strength, relative and manifested power, of the "mighty" hand of God (Vine 739); mighty, that is, the power of God (Thayer 358); to God's strong hand (Williams).
[ 40 ]HINA HUMAS HUPSOOSEE, in order that you he may exalt (Marshall 921); of spiritual uplifting and revival (Vine 383); raise the spirits by blessings of salvation (Thayer 647); that he may exalt you (Lenski 224); so that he may exalt you (Williams).
[ 41 ]EN KAIROO, in time (Marshall 921); in the phrases "in due season" [see chart IN DUE TIME], there is no word representing "due" in the original, and the phrases are, literally, "in season," "in time" (Vine 335); with the genitive of a thing, the time of, etc., that is, at which it will occur (Thayer 318); at the proper time (Williams); in due season (Lenski 224).
[ 42 ]EPERHRIPSANTES, casting (Marshall 921; Lenski 224); the aorist participle denoting an act once for all; throwing the whole life with its care on him (Vincent 1.668); figuratively, of casting care upon God (Vine 164); cast upon, give up to, God (Thayer 242); figuratively, cast one's care upon God (Arndt 298); cast (Williams).
[ 43 ]PASAN TEEN MERIMNAN HUMOON EP' AUTON, all the anxiety of you on him (Marshall 921); the whole of your care, anxiety (Vincent 1.668); probably connected with MERIZOO, to draw in different directions, distract, hence signifies that which causes this, a care, especially an anxious care (Vine 160); care, anxiety (Thayer 400); all your worry upon him (Lenski 224); every worry you have upon Him (Williams).
[ 44 ]HOTI AUTOO MELEI PERI HUMOON, because to him it matters concerning you (Marshall 921); the watchful care of interest and affection (Vincent 1.669); a care or concern to someone . . . followed by PERI TINOS about someone or something (Arndt 500); genitive of object, care about, have regard for, a person or a thing (Thayer 396); MELEI is the third person singular of MELOO, used impersonally, signifies that something is an object of care, especially the care of forethought and interest, rather than anxiety (Vine 161); because he is caring for you (Lenski 224); because He cares for you (Williams).
[ 45 ]NEEPSATE, be ye sober (Marshall 921); signifies to be free from the influence of intoxicants; in the NT, metaphorically, it does not in itself imply watchfulness, but is used in association with it (Vine 1057); be sober (Lenski 225); be calm (Williams).
[ 46 ]GREEGOREESATE, watch ye (Marshall 921); watch, used of spiritual alertness (Vine 1213); metaphorically, watch, that is, give strict attention to, be cautious, active--take heed lest through remissness and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtake one (Thayer 122); and alert (Williams).
[ 47 ]HO ANTIDIKOS HUMOON, the adversary of you (Marshall 921); [from ANTI against, DIKEE a lawsuit], here an adversary in general the article points to a well-known adversary . . . Satan (Vincent 1.669); firstly, an opponent in a lawsuit . . . also used to denote an adversary or an enemy, without reference to legal affairs, and this is perhaps its meaning in 1 Peter 5:8, where it is used of the Devil. Some would regard the word as there used in a legal sense, since the Devil accuses men before God (Vine 26); your opponent (Lenski 225; Williams).
[ 48 ]DIABOLOS, [the] devil (Marshall 921; Lenski 225); an accuser, a slanderer [from DIABALLOO to accuse, to malign], is one of the names of Satan. From it the English word "Devil" is derived, and should be applied only to Satan, as a proper name. . . There is one Devil, there are many demons (Vine 298).
[ 49 ]DIABOLOS appears in three NT passages as a lable for people who are of evil disposition or are slanderers (1Ti 3:11; 2Ti 3:3; Tit 2:3). The word "devil" occurs 35 times in the NKJV. In the KJV, "devil" is used to translate DAIMONION demon.
[ 50 ]PERIPATEI, walks about (Marshall 921); this word gave name to that sect of Greek philosophers known as Peripatetics, because they walked about while teaching or disputing (Vincent 1.670); [as a roaring lion] walks (Lenski 225); is always prowling about (Williams).
[ 51 ]HOS OORUOMENOS LEOON, as roaring a lion (Marshall 921); conveys somewhat of the sense by the sound [OORUOMENOS]. It denotes especially the howl of a beast in fierce hunger (Vincent 1.669); howling or roaring, onomatopoeic, of animals or men, used of a lion as a simile of Satan; a literal meaning (Vine 676, 973); like a roaring lion (Williams); as a roaring lion (Lenski 225).
[ 52 ]Vincent 1.669.
[ 53 ]ZEETOON TINA, seeking whom (Marshall 921); seeking [in order to find out], by thinking, meditating, reasoning; inquiring into (Thayer 272); seeking someone (Lenski 225); trying [to devour you] (Williams).
[ 54 ]KATAPIEIN, to devour (Marshall 921; Williams); literally, swallow down (Vincent 1.670); [from KATA down, intensive, PINOO to drink], of Satan's activities against believers (Vine 299); to devour (Thayer 335); to swallow (Lenski 225).
[ 55 ]HOO ANTISTEETE, whom oppose (Marshall 921); withstand is the more accurate rendering; as the verb means rather to be firm against onset than to strive against it. With in withstand is the Saxon wid, against (Vincent 1.670); set against [ANTI against, HISTEEMI to cause to stand], used in middle [or passive] voice and in the intransitive second aorist and perfect active, signifying to withstand, oppose, resist (Vine 958); resist him (Williams); whom stand against (Lenski 226).
[ 56 ]STEREOI, firm (Marshall 921); conveys the sense of compactness, compact solidity, and is appropriate, since a number of individuals are addressed and exhorted to withstand the onset of Satan as one compacted body. . . implies solidity in the very mass and body of the thing itself; steadfastness, mere holding of place. A rock is STEREOS firm, solid; but a flexible weed with its tough roots resisting all efforts to pull it up, may be steadfast (Vincent 1.670); firm, solid, hard, stiff (Vine 433, 1086); and be strong (Williams); firm (Lenski 226).
[ 57 ]TEE PISTEI, in the faith (Marshall 921); in faith (Williams); as regards the faith (Lenski 226).
[ 58 ]Compare Guy N. Woods 130.
[ 59 ]EIDOTES, knowing (Marshall 921; Lenski 226); because you know (Williams).
[ 60 ]TA AUTA TOON PATHEEMATOON . . . EPITELEISTHAI, the same things of the sufferings to be accomplished (Marshall 921); EPITELEISTHAI is the present passive infinitive of EPISTELEOO (Han 422); sufferings . . . literally, the same things of sufferings, emphasizing the idea of identity; are being accomplished. The present infinitive denotes something in process of accomplishment (Vincent 1.670); sufferings; [EPI up, intensive, TELEOO to finish, to bring to an end], the fuller meaning is accomplished perfectly (Vine 14, 1104); the same kinds of sufferings are being executed (Lenski 226); the same sort of sufferings is experiencing (Williams).
[ 61 ]HUMOON ADELPHOTEETI, of you brotherhood (Marshall 921); literally, brotherhood (Vincent 1.671); primarily, a brotherly relation, and so, the community possessed of this relation, a brotherhood (Vine 147); brotherhood (ASV footnote); your brotherhood; upon your brotherhood (Lenski 226); your brotherhood [composed of Christian Jews scattered all over the world] (Williams).
[ 62 ]TEE EN TOO KOSMOO, in the in the world (Marshall 921); primarily order, arrangement, ornament, adornment (Vine 1245); the ungodly multitude; the whole mass of men alienated from God, and therefore hostile to the cause of Christ (Thayer 357); in the world (Lenski 226); all over the world (Williams).
[ 63 ]Tacitus, Annals 15.44 from Zondervan 581.
[ 64 ]HO DE THEOS PASEES CHARITOS, the Now God of all grace (Marshall 921); moreover, the God of all grace (Lenski 227); and God, the giver of every spiritual blessing (Williams).
[ 65 ]Jehovah-tsebaoth-- This name, translated "The-LORD-of-hosts," was used in the days of David and the prophets, witnessing to God the Savior who is surrounded by His hosts of heavenly power (1 Sam. 1:3). (from Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright (C) 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers).
[ 66 ]HO KALESAS HUMAS, the [one] having called you (Marshall 921); aorist tense, the true reading is HUMAS you, instead of us. . . who called you (Vincent 1.671); who has called you (Williams); the One who called you (Lenski 227).
[ 67 ]EIS TEEN AIOONION AUTOU DOXAN, to the eternal glory of him (Marshall 921); without end, never to cease, everlasting (Thayer 20); unto his eternal glory (Lenski 227); to His eternal glory (Williams).
[ 68 ]EN CHRISTOO or EN CHRISTOO 'IESOU, in Christ (Marshall 921); the best texts omit Jesus. . . in Christ, denoting the sphere or element in which the calling and its results take place (Vincent 1.671); through your union with Christ (Williams); in connection with Christ (Lenski 227).
[ 69 ]PATHONTAS, having suffered (Marshall 921; Lenski 227); suffered, of human suffering, of followers of Christ (Vine 1103); have suffered (Williams).
[ 70 ]OLIGON, [you] a little (Marshall 921); more literally, a little while (Vincent 1.671); little, few [the opposite of POLUS much] (Vine 677); a little while (Lenski 227; Williams).
[ 71 ]AUTOS KATARTISEI, [him]self will adjust (Marshall 921); future tense, mend, repair, used of fishermen repairing their nets (Woods 132); the KJV overlooks the AUTOS himself, which is very significant as indicating God's personal interest and energy in the work of confirming his children. Shall perfect. Revised reads restore, in margin. The root of this word appears in AROO or ARARISKOO to fit or join together. So ARTHRON means a joint. The radical notion of the verb is, therefore, adjustment--the putting of all the parts into right relation and connection (Vincent 1.671); will Himself make you perfect (Williams); will himself equip (Lenski 227).
[ 72 ]Compare Vincent 1.671.
[ 73 ]STEERIXEI, confirm (Marshall 921); third person future, active indicative of STEERIZOO (Han 422); future tense, make fast, support that which totters (Woods 132); akin at the root to STEREOS steadfast (verse 9), and is the very word used by Christ in his exhortation to Peter, "strengthen thy brethren" [Lu 22:32]. Possibly there is a reminiscence of this in Peter's use of the word here (Vincent 1.672); firm (Lenski 227; Williams).
[ 74 ]STHENOOSEI, strengthen (Marshall 922); third person singular, future active indicative of STHENOOO (Han 422); future tense, impart strength (Woods 132); make strong, strengthen (Thayer 574); and strong (Williams); strengthen [you] (Lenski 227).
[ 75 ]THEMELIOOSEI, found (Marshall 922); [from THEMELIOS a foundation]. The radical notion of the word is, therefore, to ground securely (Vincent 1.672); first aorist optative third person singular, make stable, establish (Thayer 287).
[ 76 ]AUTOO TO KRATOS, to him [is] the might (Marshall 922); dominion, in the doxologies (Thayer 359); to Him be dominion (Williams); to him the might (Lenski 227).
[ 77 ]EIS TOUS AIOONAS TOON AIOONOON, unto the ages of the ages (Marshall 921); for the eons of the eons! (Lenski 227); forever (Williams).
[ 78 ]AMEEN, amen (Marshall 922; Lenski 227; Williams); so be it, be it so.
[ 79 ]DIA SILOUANOU, through Silvanus (Marshall 922); by Silvanus (Williams); by means of Silvanus (Lenski 229).
[ 80 ]HUMIN TOU PISTOU ADELPHOU, to you the faithful brother (Marshall 922); the faithful brother, designating him as one well-known for his fidelity (Vincent 1.672); our faithful brother (Williams); the faithful brother (Lenski 229).
[ 81 ]HOOS LOGIZOMAI, as I reckon (Marshall 922; Lenski 229); the verb denotes a settled persuasion or assurance (Vincent 1.672); suppose, deem, judge (Thayer 379); as I regard him (Williams).
[ 82 ]EGRAPHA, I wrote (Marshall 922); literally, I wrote [an example of what is known as the epistolary aorist. The writer regards the time of writing as his correspondent will do when he shall have received the letter. We say in a letter, I write. . . . Peter [refers] . . . to the present epistle (Vincent 1.673); I have written (Williams); have I written (Lenski 229).
[ 83 ]DI' OLIGOON, by a few [words] (Marshall 922); literally through few [words] (Vincent 1.673); literally means "by few." In 1 Peter 5:12 it signifies by means of few words, "briefly" (Vine 142); this short letter (Williams); in brevity (Lenski 229).
[ 84 ]PARAKALOON, exhorting (Marshall 922); primarily, call to a person [PARA to the side, KALEOO to call] (Vine 390); admonish, exhort (Thayer 482); urging (Lenski 229); to encourage you (Williams).
[ 85 ]KAI EPIMARTUROON, and witnessing (Marshall 922); bearing witness to [a strengthened form of MARTUREOO bear witness, witness], testifying (Vine 1132); bearing witness to, establishing by testimony (Thayer 240); and to testify (Williams) and testifying (Lenski 229).
[ 86 ]TAUTEEN EINAI ALEETHEE CHARIN TOU THEOU, this to be [the] true grace of God (Marshall 922); primarily, unconcealed, manifest [A negative, LEETHOO to forget,=LANTHANOO to escape notice], of things true, conforming to reality; CHARIN, in another objective sense, the effect of grace, the spiritual state of those who have experienced its exercise . . . a state of grace; ALEETHEES denotes the reality of the thing (Vine 500, 1170, 1171); grace which can be trusted (Thayer 27); that this is God's genuine grace (Lenski 229); that this is the true, unmerited favor of God (Williams).
[ 87 ]EIS HEEN STEETE, in which ye stand (Marshall 922; Lenski 922); [some texts have] HESTEEKATE, the best texts read STEETE, imperative. . . stand ye fast therein. Literally, "into which stand," the preposition with the verb having the pregnant force of entering into and standing fast in (Vincent 1.673); stand firm in it (Williams).
[ 88 ]Personal letter from Malcom Parsley of Seoul, Korea, April 6, 1995.
[ 89 ]HEE EN BABULOONI, the in Babylon (Marshall 922); the word is not in the Greek but is supplied with the feminine definite article HE. There is, however, a difference of opinion as to the meaning of this feminine article. Some suppose a reference to Peter's own wife; others, to some prominent Christian woman in the church (Vincent 1.673); the words under HEE in their feminine forms are used for this pronoun (Vine 1031); of the city itself (Thayer 92); in late Judaism Rome began to take on the name and many of the characteristics of Babylon as a world-power hostile to God, denounced by the prophets . . . others, thinks of the Babylon in Egypt . . . the Babylon in Mesopotamia is also suggested by some,, but at the time of Diodorus Siculus, that is, 1 BC, it was almost entirely uninhabited (Arndt 129); your sister-church [Greek has only feminine article which might mean, the lady or the church (implied)]in Babylon (Williams); the one in Babylon (Lenski 231).
[ 90 ]"Church" was also supplied in the Syriac, Vulgate and other ancient versions (Macknight 626).
[ 91 ]SUNEKLEKTEE, co-chosen [church?] (Marshall 922); means "elect together with" (Vine 352); chosen together with someone understood, only feminine . . . no individual lady is meant, least of all Peter's wife, but rather a congregation with whom Peter is staying (Arndt 787); chosen along with you (Williams); the one elect with you (Lenski 231).
[ 92 ]'ASPAZETAI HUMAS, greets you (Marshall 922); the verb is used as a technical term for conveying greetings at the close of a letter, often by an amanuensis (Vine 507); there salutes you (Lenski 231); wish to be remembered to you (Williams).
[ 93 ]KAI HO HUIOS MOU, and the son of me (Marshall 922); probably in a spiritual sense, though some, as Bengel, think that Peter's own son is referred to (Vincent 1.674); and my son (Williams)(; also my son (Lenski 231).
[ 94 ]MARKOS, Mark (Marshall 922; Lenski; Williams); John Mark, the author of the gospel (Vincent 1.674).
[ 95 ]ASPASASTHE ALLEELOUS, greet ye one another (Marshall 922); the verb is used as a technical term for conveying greetings at the close of a letter, often by an amanuensis (Vine 507); greet one another (Williams); salute one another (Lenski 232).
[ 96 ]EN PHILEEMATI AGAPEES, with a kiss of love (Marshall 922; Lenski 232; Williams); a kiss, a token of Christian brotherhood, whether by way of welcome or farewell, "a kiss of love" (Vine 628).
[ 97 ]Woods, Questions 2.181.
[ 98 ]EIREENEE HUMIN PASIN, peace to you all (Marshall 922; Lenski 233); harmonious relationships (Vine 839); peace to all of you (Williams).
[ 99 ]TOIS EN CHRISTOO, the ones in Christ (Marshall 922); indicates a very close relation . . . be or abide in Christ (Arndt 259); that [are] in connection with Christ (Lenski 233); that are in union with Christ (Williams).
[ 100 ]Kurt Aland, Editors, The Greek New Testament, United Bible Societies, third edition, published in Stuttgart, printed in West Germany, 1975.

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The basic text, and all quotations not designated otherwise, are from the New King James Version, copyrighted ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Bracketed alternatives are drawn from various sources such as the ASV, Darby, KJV and RSV. Greek transliteration follows the BibleSoft method.

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