1Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the elect who are living as exiles, scattered in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. 2This is according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, so that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with his blood. Grace be to you and may peace be multiplied.
Demonstration of faith – Called to holiness
3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy, became our father again. This is to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4to an incorruptible and undefiled inheritance that does not fade away. It is reserved in heaven for you 5who by the power of God are protected through faith for a salvation which is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6In this, you greatly rejoice, although for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials. 7This way, may the demonstration of your faith, which is more precious than gold that perishes even though it is tested by fire, be found to result in praise, glory, and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8Even though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with unspeakable joy and glory. 9And so you are receiving the result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 10About this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you did much research and investigation. 11They were investigating the time and circumstances that the Spirit of Christ which was in them pointed to by predicting the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow them. 12They received revelation that they were servants of these things not for themselves but for you. These have now been announced to you by those who preached the Good News by the Holy Spirit sent out from heaven, and angels desire to gaze upon these things.
13Therefore, prepare your minds for action, be sober and set your hope fully on the grace that is brought to you by the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14Be children of obedience and do not conform yourselves to your former lusts as in your ignorance. 15But just as he who called you is holy, you yourselves should also be holy in every aspect of your life, 16because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’ (Leviticus 11:44-45) 17If you call on him who judges without discrimination according to everyone’s work as Father, spend your lives as exiles here, in reverent fear. 18Know that it was not with corruptible things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the useless way of life handed down to you by your forefathers. 19Instead, it was with precious blood of a blameless and pure lamb, the blood of Christ. 20He was foreknown even before the foundation of the world but he was revealed at the end of times for your sake. 21Through him, you believe in God who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope might be in God.
Call to brotherly affection
22Having purified your souls by obedience to the truth through the Spirit, love one another from the heart, in sincere brotherly affection and fervently. 23You have been born again, not of corruptible but of incorruptible seed, through the word of God which lives and remains forever. 24Truly,
All flesh is like grass,
and all of man’s glory like the flower in the grass.
The grass withers, and its flower falls;
25but the word of the Lord endures forever. (Isaiah 40:6-8)
This is the word of Good News which was preached to you.
A spiritual house, a holy priesthood
1Therefore, putting away all wickedness, deceit, hypocrisy, envies, and all evil speaking, 2as newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the Word, so that you may grow from it. 3If indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious, 4come to him who is a living stone, rejected by men but chosen by God and precious. 5You also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, in order to offer up spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6As the Scripture has it,
Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, chosen, and precious.
Whoever believes in him will not be disappointed. (Isaiah 28:16)
7For you who believe, this brings honour, but for those who are disobedient,
The stone which the builders rejected,
has become the chief cornerstone, (Psalms 117:22)
a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence. (Isaiah 8:14)
Indeed, they stumble at the word and are disobedient, which is what they were laid aside for. 9But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. 10In the past, you were not a people, but now, you are God’s people. In the past, you had not obtained mercy, but now, you have obtained mercy. 11Beloved, I beg you as exiles and pilgrims to abstain from carnal lusts which war against the soul. 12Live righteous lives among the nations so that if people accuse you of being evildoers, they may, by your good works which they see, glorify God in the day of visitation. 13Therefore, for the Lord’s sake, submit yourselves to every human institution: to the emperor as supreme, 14or to governors as commissioned by him to punish those who do evil and to praise to those who do good. 15For this is the will of God: that by going good you should silence the ignorance of those who are foolish. 16Be free, but do not use your freedom as a cloak of wickedness; but as slaves of God.
Call to reverence and endurance
17Honour everyone. Love the brethren. Fear God. Honour the king. 18Servants, be in subjection to your masters with full reverence, not only to the good and kind but also to the wicked. 19Truly, it is worthy of praise if someone endures pain and suffers unjustly because of conscience towards God. 20But what glory is there if when you sin, you patiently endure a beating? However, if you patiently endure suffering when you do good, this is worthy of praise with God. 21You were called to this, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example so that you should follow in his steps. 22Yet, he did not sin, ‘neither was deceit found in his mouth’ (Isaiah 53:9) 23and when he was cursed, he did not curse back. When he suffered, he did not threaten but committed himself to the one who judges righteously. 24In his body, he bore in himself our sins on the tree, so that having died to sins, we might live to righteousness; and ‘by his stripes you were healed.’ (Isaiah 53:5) 25Indeed, you were going astray like sheep, but now, you have returned to the shepherd and bishop of your souls.
Instructions for wives and husbands
1In the same way, wives, be in subjection to your own husbands. This way, even if they do not obey the word, they might be won by the behaviour of their wives without a word, 2seeing your pure and reverent attitude. 3Your beauty should not only consist in external ornaments and hairstyles, golden jewellery or fine clothing. 4Instead, let it be in the hidden person of the heart, in the incorruptible adornment of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. 5This is how the holy women of the past hoped in God and also adorned themselves. They were submissive to their own husbands, 6as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him ‘lord.’ You are now her children if you do what is good and do not give in to fear.
7In the same way, you husbands should live with your wives according to knowledge, giving them honour as to the weaker vessel and also as joint- heirs of the grace of life. This way, your prayers will not be hindered.
Imitators of what is good – Do not fear
8Finally, be all like-minded, compassionate, loving as brethren, tender-hearted, polite, 9not giving back evil for evil or insult for insult. Instead, give back blessing, knowing that you are called to do this, so that you may inherit a blessing. 10For,
Whoever would love life, and see good days,
should keep his tongue from evil,
and his lips from speaking deceit.
11Let him turn away from evil, and do good.
Let him seek peace, and pursue it.
12For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears open to their prayer;
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. (Psalms 33:12-16)
13Now, who will harm you, if you become imitators of what is good? 14But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. ‘Do not fear what they fear, and do not be troubled.’ (Isaiah 8:12) 15Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts and always be ready to give a verbal defence to everyone who asks you an explanation for the hope that is in you with humility and fear. 16Have a good conscience, so that even while some speak against you as evildoers and curse your good way of life in Christ, they may be put to shame. 17It is better, if it is God’s will, that you should suffer for doing what is good rather than for doing what is evil.
Christ’s work of salvation – Baptism
18Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the unrighteous, so that he might bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit. 19Thus, he also descended and preached to the spirits in prison. 20In the past, those had been disobedient, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, while the ark was being built. In this ark, a few, that is eight souls, were saved through water. 21This is an antitype of baptism, which now saves you. Baptism is not the putting away of the impurity of the flesh but the appeal of a good conscience towards God through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 22He is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, with angels, authorities and powers being subject to him.
Life in the spirit
1Therefore, as Christ suffered for us in the flesh, equip yourselves with the same mind; for anyone who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin. 2Thus you should no longer live the rest of your time in the flesh for human lusts but to do God’s will. 3Truly, we have spent enough of our past time fulfilling the desires of Gentiles. We used to live in indecency, lusts, excess drinking, orgies, riotous behaviour and abominable idolatries. 4They think it is strange that you no longer run with them into the same abusive lifestyle, and they speak evil of you. 5However, they will give an account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6For this reason, the Good News was preached even to the dead, so that they might in the flesh undergo the judgement that faces all human beings but live in the spirit as to God.
7The end of everything is near. Therefore, be clear-minded, self-controlled and sober in prayer. 8Above everything, be committed to your mutual love because love covers a multitude of sins. 9Be hospitable to one another, without grumbling. 10As each has received a gift, use it to serve each other, as good stewards of the grace of God in its various forms. 11If anyone speaks, let it be as the very words of God. If anyone serves, let it be with the strength that God supplies, so that in everything, God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion unto ages of ages. Amen.
A fiery trial
12Beloved, do not be astonished at the fiery trial which has come upon you and that is testing you. It is not as if something strange was happening to you. 13But because you are partakers of Christ’s sufferings, rejoice, so that at the revelation of his glory you also may rejoice with exceeding joy. 14If you are insulted for the Name of Christ, you are blessed because the divine Spirit of glory is resting upon you. On their part, Christ is blasphemed, but on your part he is glorified. 15However, let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evil doer or a meddler in other people’s matters. 16Still, if one of you suffers for being a Christian, there is no reason to be ashamed but glorify God in this matter. 17For the time has come for judgement to begin with the household of God. If it begins first with us, what will happen to those who do not obey the Good News of God?
18If it is hard for the righteous to be saved,
what will happen to the ungodly and the sinner? (Proverbs 11:31)
19Therefore, let those, who suffer according to the will of God in doing good, entrust their souls to him who is a faithful Creator.
Exhortation to presbyters
1I exhort the presbyters among you, as the fellow-presbyter and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and as one who will also share in the glory that is to be revealed. 2Be shepherds to the flock of God which is in your care. Do not oversee the flock under compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but with eagerness. 3Do not act as lords over those entrusted to you but become examples to the flock. 4When the chief shepherd is revealed, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.
Call to humility
5Likewise, you younger ones, be subject to those who are older. Yes, all of you should clothe yourselves with humility and subject yourselves to one another, for ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ (Proverbs 3:34) 6Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. 7Cast all your worries on him, because he cares for you.
8Be sober, self-controlled and watchful. Your adversary, the devil, roams around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9Resist him, steadfast in your faith, knowing that your brethren throughout the world experience the same sufferings. 10But after you have suffered a little while, may the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, make you perfect, restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11To him be the glory and the power unto ages of ages. Amen.
12Through 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.
13She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, greets you; and so does Mark, my son. 14Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace be to you all who are in Christ Jesus. Amen.