1 Peter, an Apostle of Jesus Christ,
To the exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 chosen and predestined by God the Father, sanctified by the Holy Spirit for the faith of Jesus Christ through the sprinkling of his blood:
May abundant grace and peace be with you.
3 Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. For in accordance with his great mercy he has given us a new birth and a hope for everlasting life through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 4 He has promised us an imperishable, immaculate, and unfading inheritance. 5 It is stored up in heaven for you, who are enabled by divine power and faith to receive the salvation which will be manifested on the last day.
6 You rejoice in this expectation. But now you may have to undergo various trials for a little while. 7 Thus your faith, more precious than the perishable gold we test by fire, will bring you praise, honor, and glory when Jesus Christ is manifested.
8 You never met him. But you love him. You do not see him even now. But you believe in him, and you experience an ineffable and heavenly joy. 9 For through your faith you will obtain the salvation of your souls.
10 The Prophets of old foresaw the grace that was destined for you. 11 They searched and investigated your salvation through the Spirit of Christ which was working in them. They tried to predict the time and the circumstances of the Passion of Christ and his subsequent glory.
12 They discovered that these events would take place, not in their time, but in yours. These very events have been announced to you by your Evangelists through the Holy Spirit, sent from heaven. This was a spectacle which the Angels longed for ages to enjoy.
13 Therefore brace up your minds, be sober, and set your hopes fully upon the grace which will be offered to you at the manifestation of Jesus Christ. 14 As Christians, you must not be governed by passions which used to dominate you when you were ignorant. 15 You must be holy in all your conduct, as God who called you is holy. 16 For he tells us in the Scripture: “You must be holy, for I am holy.”
17 If you pray to our God the Father, who judges men impartially by their actions, you must live piously all the time of your exile on earth. 18 You know that you have been redeemed from your traditional pagan way of life, not through perishable silver or gold, 19 but through the precious blood of Christ, the unblemished and immaculate Lamb of God.
20 Jesus was predestined for this sacrifice before the foundation of the world. But he was revealed only at the end of these last days for your sake. 21 Through him you believed in God who raised him from the dead and glorified him. So your faith and hope rest on God.
22 Now that your souls have been purified by the true religion through the Holy Spirit, you are prepared for an unfeigned and sincere affection. Therefore love one another intensely and heartily. Remember that you have ceased to be sons of mortal flesh. 23 You have been born anew through the divine Gospel, and you are now sons of the living and everlasting God.
24 For the Scripture says: “All flesh is like grass, and all its glory is like the flower of the field. 25 But the word of the Lord endures forever.” Now the word of the Lord is the Gospel which has been preached to you.
1 Consequently, cast off all wickedness, guile, insincerity, envy, and slander. 2 Like new-born children of God, crave the unadulterated milk of the Holy Spirit. Thus you will be able to grow up to salvation. 3 For you have tasted that heavenly food, and you know that the Lord is good.
4 Remember also that you come to Christ as to a living stone, chosen and prized by God. 5 With living stones like yourselves you must build on him a spiritual house of worship, you must serve in it as holy priests, and offer sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
6 For this reason the Scripture says: “Look, I lay in Zion a chosen and precious cornerstone. Those who believe in him will not be put to shame.”
7 Now he is precious to you who believe in him, but not to those who have rejected his Gospel. For the Scripture says: “The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone, 8 a stone of stumbling, a rock of obstruction.” Of course, they stumble, because they reject the Gospel as they had been predestined to do.
PEOPLE OF GOD
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a consecrated class of people. You have been set apart to proclaim the blessings of Christ who called you from darkness to his amazing light. 10 In the past you were no one’s people, but now you are the people of God. In the past you were disinherited. But now you are the heirs of divine mercy.
11 My friends, I implore you, as exiles and pilgrims in this world, to resist the sensual desires which besiege your soul. 12 Live righteously among the Gentiles who slander you as evildoers. For they will observe your good actions and they will glorify God when he is revealed to them.
DUTIES OF CITIZENS
13 For the sake of the Lord, be submissive to every human authority, especially to the emperor who enjoys the supreme power. 14 Obey the governors who are delegated by him to punish criminals and to protect law-abiding citizens. 15 For this is the will of God. For through your good conduct you will silence your ignorant and foolish detractors.
16 Live like free men. But do not use your freedom as a pretext for vice. Remember that you are servants of God. 17 Respect all men, love your brethren, reverence God, obey the emperor.
DUTIES OF SLAVES
18 You slaves, must be perfectly submissive and respectful to your masters, not only to those who are gentile and considerate, but even to those who are arrogant. 19 A man deserves credit when he endures unjust ill-treatment with the strength which comes from God. 20 You deserve no credit when you endure patiently a punishment for doing wrong. But if you endure patiently a punishment for doing right, then you deserve credit before God. 21 Indeed, this is your mission. For Christ suffered for you and left you an example. He now wants you to follow in his footsteps. 22 He never committed a sin and never uttered a deceitful word. 23 He never reviled those who reviled him. He never threatened those who made him suffer. He trusted God, the righteous judge.
24 He bore our sins in his body on the Cross, he enabled us to become dead to sin and to live for righteousness. You have been healed through his wounds. 25 You have strayed like sheep, but you have now returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.
1 Likewise, you wives, obey your husbands. Thus your unbelieving husbands will be converted, not by sermons, 2 but by your examples, by the reverence and modesty of your behavior. 3 Your adornment should not consist in your braided hair, gold jewels, and expensive garments, 4 but in the hidden treasures of your hearts, in the unfading loveliness and gentleness of your spirit which is priceless in the sight of God.
5 These were the adornments of the holy women who believed in God and obeyed their husbands. 6 Thus Sarah obeyed Abraham, and called him Lord. You are her true daughters only if you live righteously and irreproachably.
7 Likewise, you husbands, treat your wives considerately. Honor them as the weaker sex because you are joint heirs of the grace of everlasting life. Otherwise, your prayers will not be answered.
8 Finally, all of you must have unity of spirit, sympathy, brotherly love, mercy, and kindness. 9 Do not return evil for evil, nor insult for insult. On the contrary, return only blessings. For you well know that you have been called by God for the very purpose of inheriting his blessings.
10 If you want to enjoy life and see happy days, restrain your tongue from evil and your lips from deceit. 11 Turn away from evil and do good. Seek and pursue peace. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are upon righteous men, and his ears are open to their supplications. But the face of the Lord is set against evildoers.
13 Now who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 Even if you suffer for the sake of righteousness, you will be blessed. Do not be afraid. Do not be dismayed. 15 But glorify the Lord our God in your hearts. Be always prepared to defend your hope for everlasting life before anyone who calls you to account. But do it gently and respectfully. 16 Keep your conscience clear. Thus those who abuse your righteous Christian behavior will be ashamed of their slanders.
17 It is better to suffer for doing right, if that is the will of God, than for doing wrong. 18 For Christ also died for our sins once for all, as a righteous man for unrighteous sinners, and brought us near to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but was revived in the spirit.
19 Then, in the spirit he went and preached to the imprisoned souls, 20 who had refused to believe in the days of Noah. At that time, as you know, the patience of God was manifested when the ark was built, but only a few, namely eight persons, were saved from the Flood.
21 Baptism, which symbolizes this ark of safety, saves you now, not as a removal of physical stain, but as a request for a clear conscience before God through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 22 For he ascended into heaven and is sitting at the right hand of the Father. All the Angels, authorities, and dominions are now subject to him.
DEATH ON THE CROSS
1 Since Christ has died in the flesh, you must follow his example and die with him on the Cross. When you have died in the flesh, you are not subject to sin any longer. 2 So the rest of your physical life will be governed, not by human passions, but by the will of God.
3 You have spent time enough in the past practicing pagan vices, indulging in licentiousness, sensuality, drunkenness, revelry, carousing, and abominable idolatry. 4 Your former companions are amazed that you no longer join them in their riotous dissipation, and they revile you for it.
5 But they must give an account to the Master who is coming to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this very reason he preached the Gospel even to the dead. For they will be judged in the flesh like men, but they will live in the spirit like God.
7 The end of the world is drawing near. Therefore live soberly, and pray watchfully. 8 Above all, love one another earnestly, for love can cover a multitude of sins. 9 Be hospitable to one another ungrudgingly.
10 Employ your particular gift for one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 The preacher must remember that he is delivering the oracles of God. The servant of the Church must minister with the zeal that God only can supply. Thus God will be always glorified through Jesus Christ. Glory and power be to him forever and ever. Amen.
12 My dear friends, you must not be alarmed by the fiery ordeal which may come to test your faith as if an unexpected misfortune were befalling you. 13 On the contrary, you must rejoice, because you are sharing the passion of Christ. Thus you will be enabled to experience the tremendous joy of his glorious manifestation. 14 You must consider yourself blessed, when you are reviled for the sake of Christ. For then the Holy Spirit of God is resting upon you. He is reviled by the unbelievers. But he is glorified by you.
15 You should be ashamed to suffer as murderers, or thieves, or criminals, or spies. 16 But you must be proud to suffer as Christians, and glorify God as his martyrs.
17 The suitable place for judgment to begin is with the house of God. Now, if it begins with us, what will be the end of those who refuse to accept the Gospel of God? 18 If it is so hard for the righteous man to be saved, the wicked and the sinners have scarcely any chance at all. 19 Therefore those who suffer according to the will of God must commend their souls to their faithful Creator and persevere in their ministry of good actions.
1 I appeal to the presbyters among you, as a fellow presbyter, as a witness of the Passion of Christ, and as a partaker of the glory of his coming manifestation: 2 Guard the flock of God entrusted to your care, not by constraint, but by their own free will; not for sordid gain, but freely; 3 not by oppressing your communicants, but by becoming models to your flock. 4 So when the Chief Shepherd is manifested, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.
5 Likewise, you younger communicants, must obey the presbyters. Indeed, all of you must obey one another in perfect humility. For God opposes the proud, but he gives grace to the humble.
6 Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, and he will exalt you in due time. 7 Throw all your anxieties upon him, for he cares for you. 8 Be sober and vigilant. For your adversary, the devil, is prowling and roaring around like a lion, ready to devour you. 9 Resist him, and be firm in your faith. You know that your brethren all over the world are undergoing the same sufferings.
10 But God, the giver of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Jesus Christ, will not let you suffer very long. In the meantime, may he confirm you, protect you, establish you, and strengthen you in your trials. 11 Glory and power to him forever and ever. Amen.
12 I am sending you this short letter through Sylvanus who in my judgment is a trustworthy brother. I am writing to you, because I want to encourage you and assure you that you are firmly established in the true grace of God.
13 Our brethren of the Church in Babylon and my son Mark send you their greetings. 14 Greet one another with Christian love.
Peace to you and to all our fellow believers in Jesus Christ. Amen.