The First General Letter of Peter
Peter, apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, 2 chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the father, by the sanctification of the spirit into obedience, and the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. May grace and peace be multiplied to you. 3 Praised be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his abundant mercy re-fathered us in living hope, by Jesus Christ’s having risen again from death, 4 into an immortal, incorruptible and unfading inheritance, set aside in heaven toward you, 5 which in the power of God are protected by faith to salvation, which is prepared for this purpose, that it may be revealed in the last time, 6 in which you rejoice, now for a short time afflicted by various temptations, if need be, 7 that the examination of your faith, far more precious than gold (which perishes, even if tested in fire), may be found in pause, glory and honor, as Jesus Christ shall be revealed, 8 whom, though you do not see him, you yet love; whom, though you do not presently see him, believing, you rejoice with such unspeakable joy and glorying, 9 receiving the endpoint of your faith, the salvation of souls; 10 of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched into, who had been prophesying of the grace that shall be coming to you; 11 searching toward what, or in what sort of time the spirit of Christ, which was in them, could be signifying; which when it came before, bore witness to afflictions coming in Christ, and the glories which were to follow thereafter; 12 to whom also it was revealed that, not to themselves alone, but also to us, they had ministered these things which are now proclaimed to you by those who proclaimed the gospel to you, by the holy spirit sent from heaven, into which the angels desire to look. 13 Therefore belt up your mind, being sober; hope perfectly in the grace which has been offered to you, when Jesus Christ shall be revealed to you, 14 like obedient children, that you not accommodate yourselves according to your former lusts, as when you were unaware of Christ, 15 but like the one who has called you is holy, thus yourselves also, you should remain holy in everything you do, 16 because it is written, Be holy, for I am holy. 17 And if you shall call upon the father, who without regard for individuals judges each according to their own doings, see that you pass the time of your journey here in fear. 18 As much as you know that you were not redeemed with such perishable things as silver or gold, from your own futile conversation, the tradition which you received from your fathers, 19 but by the precious blood, spotless and unpolluted like fire, of Christ; 20 who was foreordained before the founding of the world, but was revealed at the end of time, 21 for you who by him believe in God, who raised him from death, and gave him glory, that you may have faith and hope toward God, 22 who purify your souls, being obedient to truth, by the spirit with brotherly love, a stranger to all that is fake, loving each other strongly from a pure heart, 23 reborn not from mortal, corruptible seed, but by immortal, incorruptible seed, by the word of God which lives and remains forever. 24 Because all flesh shall be grass, and all human glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers and its flower falls away, but the word of the Lord remains forever. 25 And this is the word which has been borne to you by the gospel.
Therefore having set aside all wickedness and all deceitfulness and all phoniness, and envies, and every evil manner of speaking, 2 as newborn children, desire after that milk which is not of the body but of the spirit, which knows no deceit; that by it you may grow, 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is kind, 4 to whom, coming like a living stone, away indeed from people who are reprobate, and to God, chosen and precious; 5 indeed you have built your own selves up as living stones, into a spiritual house, a holy priesthood for offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ, 6 as is contained in scripture:
Behold, I place in Zion a stone,
placing it at the head of the corner;
it is hand-selected and precious;
and the one who believes in it
will not be brought to shame.
7 Therefore, that stone is precious to you who believe; but to those who do not believe it is the stone that the builders rejected, but has now become the head of the corner, 8 the stone which will cause them to stumble, the rock that they will trip and fall over—those who stumble on the word, being disbelievers, in and to which they were appointed. 9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people which has entered into reward, that you may proclaim the powers of the one who called you out of the darkness, into his wonderful light. 10 You who were beforetimes not a people at all are now the people of God; you who beforetimes had not obtained mercy now have obtained mercy.
11 Beloved, I beseech you, as strangers and pilgrims: abstain from the lusts of the flesh, which war against the soul; 12 and have your conversation be honest among the nations, that where they may speak against you as evildoers, esteeming you from your good deeds, they will glorify God in the day of the visitation. 13 Therefore be subject to the creations of people for the sake of the Lord, whether to kings, as supreme; 14 whether to leaders, as to those who have been sent by him to avenge those who do harm but to praise the doers of right; 15 for such is the will of God, that doing well, you may shut the mouth of the foolish and ignorant people, 16 as free people, and not making use of freedom for a pretext of evil, but as servants of God. 17 Honor all people; love brotherhood; fear God; honor the king.
18 Servants, be subject to your masters with fear, not only to the good and humane, but also to the depraved. 19 For this is grace if any shall suffer harm for the sake of the conscience of God, being treated poorly for doing well. 20 For what glory is it, if you fall into beatings as sinners, and bear it? But if when you do good, and still suffer evil, and then bear it, this is pleasing to God. 21 For indeed into this you are called, as also Christ has suffered for us, leaving behind an example for us, that we should follow in his footsteps, 22 who did no sin, nor was deceit found in his mouth; 23 who, when cursed, did not return the curse; when beaten down, did not threaten, but handed judgment over to the one who judges righteously; 24 who himself bore our sins in his own body upon a tree; so that we might live to righteousness, who by our sins were dead—by his own lash wounds we have been healed. 25 For you were like straying sheep, but have now been returned to the shepherd and watcher of your souls.
Likewise you women should be subject to your husbands; that also those who do not obey the word may be won over without word by the behavior of their wives, 2 considering your pure behavior conjoined with reverence, 3 whose ornamentation, may it not be that which is outward, such as the braiding of hair or donning of gold jewelry, or the donning of fine apparel; 4 but the person who is hidden in the heart, in the incorruptible adornment of a calm and quiet spirit, which spirit is in the eye of God a rich and magnificent thing. 5 For in this manner also in former times those holy women hoping in God would adorn themselves, and were subject to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him “lord”; whose daughters you have become, if you shall do well, and fear no terror. 7 Likewise, men, dwell with them according to knowledge, imparting honor to your wives as to a more fragile jar, and also as co-heirs of the grace of life, lest your prayers be interrupted. 8 In summation, be all of one mind, likewise affected, apt to brotherly love, merciful, modest, humble— 9 not retaliating evil with evil or cursing for cursing, but on the contrary, blessing, knowing yourselves to be called into this, and that you possess the blessing of inheritance. 10 For the one who desires to love life, and see good days, shall restrain his tongue from evil, and his lips not speak deceit. 11 Reject evil and do good; seek peace and pursue her; 12 for the eye of the Lord is upon the righteousness, and his ears to their requests; again, the face of the Lord is upon those who do evil. 13 And who is it who shall harm you, if you are zealous toward goodness? 14 But then if you shall undergo anything bad because of your righteousness, you are all the more blessed; but do not fear their fear, nor be disturbed—but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts. 15 And be always prepared to answer whoever asks, that you may speak of that hope which is among you 16 with modesty and reverence, having good conscience, so that in this, those who are your detractors, as evildoers, may be put to shame, who bring false accusation against your good behavior in Christ. 17 For it is better if you are afflicted by evil, if the will of God shall so will, for doing good, than doing evil— 18 just as Christ himself suffered for our sins, a righteous man for unrighteous people, so as to lead us to God, made dead in the flesh, but made alive in spirit— 19 in which also he went, and proclaimed to the spirits which were in prison, who were once disbelieving, 20 when the patience of God was waiting in the days of Noah, while the ark was under construction, in which few—eight, to be precise—souls were saved through the water, 21 of which baptism, now being a corresponding symbol, now gives us salvation; who have not cast away the filthy flesh, but who have, as with a good conscience, replied well toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who is at the right hand of God, having swallowed death whole, so as to have effected the inheritance of eternal life; having gone to heaven and subjected to himself angels and authorities and powers.
Being that Christ has suffered for us flesh, you should arm yourselves according to the same mode of thought—that the one who has suffered in flesh has withheld from sin— 2 so that you no longer should live in human lusts, but in the will of God, during the time which remains in the flesh. 3 For it is enough to us in the life we had before to have carried out the will of the nations in lasciviousness, lust, drunkenness, gorging, orgying and the nefarious worship of idols. 4 But it would seem absurd to them that you not run along with them in their excess of riotousness, those who will speak evil of you. 5 The one who shall give a report of them is the one who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For in this, even to the dead, the gospel is proclaimed, that they as well may be judged according to people in flesh, also living according to God in spirit. 7 But the end of all things is drawing nigh; therefore, be wise and vigilant to prayer. 8 But before all things, have mighty love between yourselves; for love works upon a multitude of sins. 9 Be hospitable one toward another, without murmuring, 10 as whoever has received a gift, serving one to another as good dispensers of the various graces of God. 11 If anyone shall speak, he will be speaking as the speech of God; if anyone shall serve, he shall be serving as with the power which God supplies; such that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, whose is glory and majesty for an age of ages, Amen.
12 Most beloved, do not marvel when you are tried by fire, for its purpose is to prove you, as if something new were to happen to you; 13 but in this rejoice, that you are fellow partakers of the suffering of Christ, that in the very revelation of his glory you may rejoice and exult. 14 If you shall suffer reproach in the name of Christ, you are blessed, for glory and the spirit of God shall rest upon you. 15 (Indeed, according to them he shall suffer cursing, and according to you he will be glorified.) For none of you shall suffer as a killer, or a thief, or a nuisance, or curious about strange things. 16 But if any should suffer like a Christian, such should not be a shame; but he should glorify God for it. 17 But then, this is the time for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it shall first begin with us, what shall be the end of those who do not believe the gospel of God? 18 And if salvation is barely effected upon the righteous, how does that compare for the ungodly and the sinner? 19 Therefore, those who shall suffer according to the will of God will do well to hand over their souls as to the faithful founder.
To the old men who are among you, I beseech, being myself an old man, and witness to the suffering of Christ, and also a co-partaker of the glory which is yet to be revealed: 2 tend the flock of Christ which is among you, according to his will, not as if you were forced to, but willingly; nor affected by ill-gotten riches, but with a ready spirit; 3 nor as lording it over those beneath you, but so as to be an example to the flock. 4 And when the chief shepherd himself shall appear, you will bear a crown of glory that shall not fade away. 5 Likewise the youth, be subject to those older than you, as everyone is subject to everyone else. Have a spirit of humility toward one another, because God resists the haughty, but gives grace to the humble. 6 Therefore become humble under the powerful hand of God, that he may lift you up when the time comes; 7 placing every concern of yours upon him, for he himself has concern for you. 8 Be sober, and keep watch; for your opponent, the devil, walks around roaring like a lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, strong and firm in the faith, knowing that your same suffering, which is in the world, are accomplished through your brothers. 10 But all grace to God, who has called us to his eternal glory through Christ Jesus; after you have suffered a while, he will himself perfect you, strengthen you, establish you. 11 To him may there be glory and dominion for an age of ages, Amen.
12 By Silvanus your faithful brother, as I have dictated to him, I have written but a little, exhorting and testifying this to be the true grace of God, in which you stand. 13 The community, fellow-participant with you in the selection, which is in Babylon, greets you; as does Mark, my son. 14 Greet each other with the kiss of love. May peace be with all of you who are in Christ Jesus. Amen.