From: Over 50 Interpreters Explain First Peter Return to Home
By Roland H. Worth, Jr. © 2018
List of All Sources Quoted At End of File
WEB: I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and who will also share in the glory that will be revealed.
Young’s: Elders who are among you, I exhort, who am a fellow-elder, and a witness of the sufferings of the Christ, and of the glory about to be revealed a partaker,
Conte (RC): Therefore, I beg the elders who are
among you, as one who is also an elder and a witness
of the Passion of Christ, who also shares in that glory
which is to be revealed in the future:
5:1 The elders. These officers are called “elders,” a name given at first to all who exercised rule and authority among the Christians; it is identical with the word “bishop” as in the next verse these officers are described as “exercising the oversight” or, literally, “doing the work of bishops;” the word “elder” suggests the mature age which qualified one for the office; the word “bishop” indicates the duties of the office as being those of spiritual oversight; another identical term is “presbyter,” and the band of elders formed the “presbytery,” or Church court. 
The “elders” were overseers of the churches, and are not in the New Testament distinguished from bishops. 
Apostles properly had teaching authority over all congregations; elders had organizational responsibility over a particular congregation. Hence, if a married apostle intended to be in a given location for a prolonged period he might, like Peter, undertake local administrative duties that would normally be the responsibility of others. [rw]
The age of elders: These elders were not always, yet doubtless often, those oldest in years, but rather the most experienced and matured among the converted members of the Church. 
[therefore: added by Holman, NASB]. The best authorities also insert “therefore,” which the A.V. omits. This implies that what is to be said of the duties of elders is to be urged specially on the ground of the considerations with which the previous chapter has closed, and as involved in that “well-doing” which is to accompany fearless trust in God under the pressure of fiery trial. 
which are among you. They weren’t subject to elders/bishops in some other town or city but strictly to those within their own congregation. Regional church governance was unknown in the first century even though it was fully within their capacity to set up. [rw]
I exhort. The word rendered “exhort” is that common New Testament word (parakalô), which we miss in English, including encouragement and entreaty, and even consolation, as well as exhortation. (See, e.g., Acts .) The whole of this Epistle is an example of such. 
who am also an elder. Peter here describes himself as “a fellow-elder,” to appeal to their affection; but to indicate his authority he declares that from personal observation he is one who bears testimony to the sufferings of Christ and who is to be “a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed” when Christ returns. 
He calls himself [an elder] because of his office. What the elders were for the individual congregations, that were the apostles for the church, since they had the superintendence of the entire system of congregations. By this name Peter, in humble love, places himself an equal footing with the elders proper. 
What neither of the above quite gets around to saying is that the wording implies that on the local level he functioned as an “elder,” even though on the church-wide level he functioned in the even greater role of “apostle.” His reason—in light of what follows next—is clearly to make his readers recognize that he is asking nothing of others that he does not demand of himself. To spin out theory and to give orders is easy; to make oneself follow one’s own teaching not always so. [rw]
The Apostle, with a profound humility, strikingly in contrast with the supremacy claimed by his successors, puts himself, as a fellow elder, on a level with the elders to whom he writes, with duties to be fulfilled in the same spirit, subject to the same conditions. 
am also. To put one’s self on a level with those whom we exhort, gives weight to one’s exhortations (compare 2 John 1:1, 2). 
and a witness. One distinction, and only one, is alluded to. It is that of having seen what Christ suffered. Among all these fellow-elders he was the one who had witnessed that. The distinction did not give him lordship over them, but it did give him a title to speak to Christians who were to suffer, and who were tempted to think their trial a strange thing. 
The word is used in the New Testament to denote (a) a spectator or eye-witness (Acts ; ). (b) One who testifies to what he has seen (Acts 1: 8; ). (c) In the forensic sense, a witness in court (Matthew 26:65; Mark 14:63). (d) One who vindicates his testimony by suffering: a martyr (Acts ; Hebrews 12:1; Apocalypse ; 17:6). The first three meanings run into each other. The eye-witness, as a spectator, is always such with a view to giving testimony. Hence this expression of Peter cannot be limited to the mere fact of his having seen what he preached; especially since, when he wishes to emphasize this fact, he employs another word [in Greek] (2 Peter 1:16). Therefore he speaks of himself as a witness, especially in the sense of being called to testify of what he has seen. 
The Greek word calls attention, not so much to the fact of his having been a spectator, an eye-witness, but rather to the fact of his bearing testimony to the sufferings. 
of the sufferings of Christ. He was with Christ in the garden; he was with him when he was apprehended. and he was with Him in the high priest’s hall. Whether he followed Him to the cross we know not; probably he did not, for in the hall of the high priest he had denied him most shamefully; and, having been deeply convinced of the greatness of his crime, it is likely he withdrew to some private place, to humble himself before God, and to implore mercy. He could, however, with the strictest propriety, say, from the above circumstances, that he was a witness of the sufferings of Christ. 
and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed. Looking forward, as they did also, to the blessed world before him and them, he had a right to exhort them to the faithful performance of duty. Anyone, who is himself an heir of salvation, may appropriately exhort his fellow-Christians to fidelity in the service of their common Lord. 
The Greek word for “partaker” (literally, a joint partaker, a fellow-sharer with you) implies that he is, as before, dwelling on what he has in common with those to whom he writes (compare Philippians 1:7). 
The “glory” is presented here in the same large and inclusive sense as in Romans 8:18; Colossians 3:4; 1 John 3:2. Peter speaks of himself as heir of that. But in so doing he also suggests that those associated with him in faith have the like honor. If for a moment, therefore, he distinguished himself from them, he at once places himself again on common ground with them. Neither here, nor in what follows, is there any allusion even to the distinction so solemnly given him by his Lord (Matthews -19). Having engaged the interest and sympathy of the elders by the threefold designation of himself, he now speaks freely and emphatically of their duties and dangers. 
In depth: Why was the
office of “elder / presbyter” adopted ? The New Testament gives no
account of the rise of this office in the Christian Church. When it first mentions Christian elders, it
simply refers to them as the recognized persons in the Church of Jerusalem to
whom the contributions of the Church of Antioch for the relief of “the brethren
which dwelt in Judaea,” were sent “by the hands of
Barnabas and Saul” (Acts 11:30). When it
next mentions them, it is to state that Paul and Barnabas “ordained elders in
every church” in the course of the first missionary journey in
It has been a question, therefore, whether the Apostles proceeded from the first on the definite plan of organizing the Christian Church on the model of existing institutions, and at once took over this office and others from the synagogue, or whether, without setting out with any definite plan, they simply adopted the various offices as circumstances and experience from time to time made it wise or necessary to do so.
As the New Testament pictures the apostles as directly taught by Divine revelation—not to mention the officer of “prophet” existing (with the implicit fact inherent in the title that they also were similarly benefited by supernatural guidance)—the decision on what terminology and practice were to be adopted clearly came from either direct revelation prior to the organizational pattern being implemented or confirmed to the Christians as they sought Divine approval or rejection for what they proposed to do. [rw]
WEB: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, exercising the oversight, not under compulsion, but voluntarily, not for dishonest gain, but willingly;
Young’s: feed the flock of God that is among you, overseeing not constrainedly, but willingly, neither for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind,
Conte (RC): pasture the flock of God that is
among you, providing for it, not as a requirement,
but willingly, in accord with God, and not for the
sake of tainted profit, but freely,
5:2 Feed [Shepherd, NKJV] the flock of God. The work of directing the church is often in the New and Old Testaments represented by the figure of pasturing (cf. Acts ; John ; Jeremiah 23:1-4; Ezekiel 34:2 ff.), and the church by that of a flock (Luke ). 
Feeding is a comprehensive term, for the whole service of the ministry. To watch over the flock, to know their persons, have an acquaintance with their spiritual state and circumstances, to administer ordinances, to go in and out before the fold, to visit the sick, to comfort those that mourn, to pray with the people, and to pray for them; these are among the daily ordinary employments of the ministry. 
The word translated “feed” signifies much more than lead to pasture. It might best be translated “tend”—act the part of a shepherd, to fold the flock, to keep watch lest any go astray; to guard the flock from the wolves. In the case of the Shepherd of shepherds it was to give His life for the sheep. 
The shepherd’s work
had been from a very early period a parable of that of rulers and of teachers. Kings were to Homer the “shepherds of the
people” (ποίμενες λαῶν). David was taken from the sheepfold to feed
flock. Literally, “little flock of God among you, being overseers, not constrainedly.” 
Thought to consider: Ultimately be told, it is always God’s flock and never that of the local elders. Believers here are called “the flock of God.” In John the Lord had given the announcement that there should be one flock (not one fold, as the Authorized Version). The flock of God is the Church, the body of Christ. The language so frequently heard in Christendom when preachers and pastors speak of those to whom they preach as “my flock” or “my people,” is unscriptural and should be avoided. God’s children do not belong to anybody but the Lord. As the Lord had commissioned Peter: “Feed My sheep,” and “Feed My lambs,” so Peter writes to the elders to tend the flock of God. It is the same Greek word used here which we find in John and is really “shepherd”--shepherd the flock of God. 
which is among you. It’s not your job or responsibility to try to make sure some congregation in another city keeps its affairs right. Its your duty to keep the congregation where you are an elder on the straight and narrow. [rw]
That which is committed to you, in your parish. This clause makes this exhortation personal. 
has been felt singular that the flock should be described as among or
(as the word literally means) in the elders. Hence it has been proposed to render the
phrase rather “as much as in you is” (so the margin of the A.V., also Calvin,
etc.). Others explain the form of the
expression as due to the wish to bring out the peculiar intimacy of union
between the elders and the members, as the same preposition is used in the
analogous charge in Acts 20:28—“take heed . . . to all the flock over
(literally in) the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers.” The ordinary local sense, however, is quite
in point, whether it be taken as = which is in your districts; or as =
which is within your reach (Luther, etc.), or as = which is under your care (Hofmann, Huther, etc.). The
idea is that this
taking the oversight thereof. As the Lord had commanded him to feed His sheep (cf. John 21:16-17), so he impresses upon them the right way of leading and feeding the flock of God, since a portion of this flock had been entrusted to each of them. 
not by constraint [compulsion, NKJV]. Not as if you felt that a heavy yoke was imposed on you, or a burden from which you would gladly be discharged. 
As might naturally be the case in view of the weightier burdens or the greater exposure to the malice of persecutors. 
“In the first age, when the profession of the gospel exposed men to persecution, and when the persecutions fell more especially on the bishops, it may easily be imagined that some who were appointed to that office would undertake it unwillingly; not only because they were not disposed to do the duties thereof diligently, but because they were not willing to suffer.” [Unidentified source for quote - 47]
Is Peter more concerned not with how one first gained the post but with discouraging any temptation to desert the post when bad times arise? Why should this exhortation be given so prominently? It is hardly to be thought that Peter had in view the humility which led men to adopt such strange methods of avoiding the responsibility of the priesthood as we find resorted to by Chrysostom and Ambrose. Much more probably he is thinking of the actual danger to life and property of being “ringleaders of the sect” (Acts 24:5), which would lead cowardly bishops to throw up their office. He is not treating of the motives which should lead a man to accept the position. He speaks to persons who already hold the office, and urges them not to leave the flock, like hirelings, when they see the persecution coming on. 
but willingly. Freely, and with the fullness of consecrated souls. 
This first definition describes the elder’s duty as one which is not to be taken up like an unwelcome burden imposed on one, or a task from which one cannot retreat. In such circumstances there will be, as Calvin suggests, a dull and frigid discharge of the work. We have a similar antithesis in 1 Corinthians , and Philemon verse 14. 
He ought with Paul to be able to exclaim, “Woe is unto me, if I preach not the Gospel” (1 Corinthians -17). His aim is to realize that he is fulfilling the will of God with reference to himself. 
not for filthy
lucre [dishonest gain, NKJV]. “He is a true presbyter and minister of
the counsel of God who doeth and teacheth the things
of the Lord, being not accounted righteous merely because he is a presbyter,
but because righteous, chosen into the presbytery” [-- Clement of
The adverb is not found elsewhere in the New Testament. The corresponding adjective meets us in 1 Timothy 3:3, 8; Titus 1:7. The words are interesting as showing that even in the troubled times in which Peter wrote there was enough wealth in the Church to make the position of a Bishop-presbyter a lucrative one. There was the double stipend for those who were both pastors and preachers (1 Timothy ). There was, for baser natures, the temptation of using spiritual influence for secular ends, “devouring widows’ houses,” as the Pharisees did in Judæa (Matthew 23:14), “leading captive silly women,” as did the false teachers at Ephesus (2 Timothy 3:6) and Crete (Titus 1:11). It may be noted that the term which both the Apostles use of the man who enters on the work of the ministry of souls from such a motive [of desiring “filthy lucre”], is one which Greek writers commonly use of one who seeks gain in base and sordid ways. In their eyes the calling of a presbyter might be made [by their actions into] as disreputable an occupation as that of the usurer, or the pander, or the slave-dealer. In contrast with this temper, eagerly catching at emoluments, the Apostle points to the cheerful readiness that seeks eagerly for work. 
Making it dishonorable desire for gain rather than being obtained dishonestly—and applied to preachers in particular: Which, if it be the motive of acting, is filthy beyond expression. The apostle means also, not for a maintenance; for the sake of which merely, or chiefly, no one should undertake the pastoral office. They that preach the gospel may live by the gospel, but no one ought to engage in such a work merely that he may live by it. “O consider this, ye that leave one flock and go to another, merely ‘because there is more gain, a larger salary!’ Is it not astonishing that men ‘can see no harm in this?’ That it is not only practiced, but avowed, all over the nation?” — Wesley. 
but of a ready mind [eagerly, NKJV]. Cheerfully, promptly. 
With spontaneous zeal. 
Fill the office of spiritual shepherds, not as a mere matter of necessary, professional duty, but with a willing mind, as serving God, not like hirelings for the mere earning of the salary you are paid, but gladly and eagerly, not acting as lords and tyrants in the congregation entrusted to you, but making yourselves examples for the flock; your earthly recompense may be small, but when Christ, “the chief Shepherd” shall appear, then you “shall receive the crown of glory that fadeth not away.” 
WEB: neither as lording it over those entrusted to you, but making yourselves examples to the flock.
Young’s: neither as exercising lordship over the heritages, but patterns becoming of the flock,
Conte (RC): not so as to dominate by means of
the clerical state, but so as to be formed into a
flock from the heart.
5:3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage [those entrusted to you, NKJV]. Not with an arbitrary, despotic rule. 
Or: Rather, “lords over inheritances.” The elders are cautioned against interfering to direct the property of their people. 
Bernard of Clairvaux, wrote to Pope Eugene, “Peter could not give thee what he had not: what he had he gave: the care over the Church, not dominion.” 
The meaning here is,
“not lording it over the possessions or the heritage of God.” The reference is,
undoubtedly, to the church, as that which is especially his property; his own
in the world.
lords over. The word
here used (κατακυριεύω katakurieuō) is rendered
“exercise dominion over,” in Matthew ; exercise lordship
over, in Mark ; and overcame, in Acts . It does not elsewhere occur in the New
Testament. It refers properly to that
kind of jurisdiction which civil rulers or magistrates exercise. This is an exercise of authority, as
contradistinguished from the influence of reason, persuasion, and example. The latter pertains to the ministers of
religion; the former is forbidden to them.
Their dominion is not to be that of temporal lordship; it is to be that
of love and truth. This command would
prohibit all assumption of temporal power by the ministers of religion, and all
conferring of titles of nobility on those who are preachers of the gospel. 
The word for “lording” implies an authority exercised both wrongfully and oppressively. Ambition, the love of power for the sake of power, is, from the Apostle’s standpoint, as great a hindrance to true pastoral work as avarice. Warnings against such ambition we find again and again in our Lord’s teaching (Matthews 20:25-28; Luke 22:24-26; Mark -35). A memorable picture of the working of such a temper in Paul’s rivals at
For thought: Domineering would be next to impossible in churches constituted after the congregational model, for in them the flocks, as a rule, domineer over the pastors. “My flock,” says such a pastor, “are all shepherds, and I am the one sheep that they look after.” 
over God's heritage [those entrusted to you, NKJV]. των κλήρων tōn klērōn; Vulgate: “in cleris”--over the clergy. The Greek word here (κλῆρος klēros) is that from which the word “clergy” has been derived; and some have interpreted it here as referring to the clergy, that is, to priests and deacons who are under the authority of a bishop. Such an interpretation, however, would hardly be adopted now. The word means properly: (a) a lot, die, anything used in determining chances; (b) a part or portion, such as is assigned by lot; hence, (c) an office to which one is designated or appointed, by lot or otherwise; and, (d) in general any possession or heritage, Acts 26:18; Colossians 1:12.
“The charge allotted to you:” One word in Greek, in the plural. The word kleros originally means the portion of inheritance apportioned to any one by lot, then the portion assigned to any one, whether it be an office (as here) or a possession and inheritance as in Acts 26:18; Colossians 1:12. The congregations are here called kleroi (the charges allotted to you), because they were assigned to the different elders as the portion of the Church in which to exercise their official duties. To interpret kleroi in the sense of “the clergy,” as advocated by Roman Catholic expositors, is contrary to all scriptural usage. 
but being ensamples to the flock. Old English for “examples.” 
Patterns of holy living instead of lordly tyrants. 
Compare the word and the thought in 2 Thessalonians 3:9 and Philippians 3:17. It is obvious that the teaching of the verse does not condemn the exercise of all spiritual authority as such, but only its excesses and abuses; but in doing this, it points out also that the influence of example is more powerful than any authority, and to seek after that influence is the best safeguard against the abuse of power. 
The purest obedience (Hebrews ) is obtained by example (Bengel). “The life should command, and the tongue persuade” (Augustine). Paul lays great stress on the example set by the pastor (2 Thessalonians 3:9; Philippians ; 1 Timothy ; Titus 2:7). 
WEB: When the chief Shepherd is revealed, you will receive the crown of glory that doesn't fade away.
Young’s: and at the manifestation of the chief Shepherd, ye shall receive the unfading crown of glory.
Conte (RC): And when the Leader of pastors will
have appeared, you shall secure an unfading crown
5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear. The word for “chief Shepherd” is not found elsewhere, and would seem therefore to have been coined by Peter, to express the thought which had been impressed on his mind by his Lord’s words, “I am the good Shepherd” (John 10:14). In his own work, as in that of all pastors of the Church, he saw the reproduction of that of which Christ had set the great example. 
In Christ is called the Shepherd, in Hebrews 13:20 the great Shepherd, to whom the elders, as well as the flock which they tend, are subject. 
ye shall receive a crown of glory. From [in Greek], 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. Though it is urged that Peter would not have employed a reference to the crown of the victors in the games, because of the abhorrence of the Palestinian Jews for heathen spectacles, yet the reference to the crown of leaves seems to be determined by the epithet unfading, as compared with garlands of earthly leaves. 
The crown here is the wreath or chaplet of flowers worn by conquerors and heroes, as in 1 Corinthians , James , and differs from the “crowns” or diadems of Revelation 12:3, , which were distinctively the badge of sovereignty. 
Scripture speaks of the crown of righteousness (2 Timothy 4:8), the crown of life (James ; ), and here of the crown of glory. These are but different aspects of the glory of the eternal life and of that crown (Revelation ), which the believer will receive in its fullness and perfection, after the resurrection and consummation of all things. 
that fadeth not away. This is essentially the same word, though somewhat different in form, which occurs in 1 Peter 1:4. The word occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. 
WEB: Likewise, you younger ones, be subject to the elder. Yes, all of you clothe yourselves with humility, to subject yourselves to one another; for "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble."
Young’s: In like manner, ye younger, be subject to elders, and all to one another subjecting yourselves; with humble-mindedness clothe yourselves, because God the proud doth resist, but to the humble He doth give grace;
Conte (RC): Similarly, young persons, be subject
to the elders. And infuse all humility among one
another, for God resists the arrogant, but to the
humble he gives grace.
5:5 Likewise, ye younger. Some scholars think that all who are not elders are meant. Among the Greeks “younger” sometimes meant those inferior in position. Perhaps the word enforces this sense as well as those younger in years. 
Or: Not simply younger in years, as opposed to elder, which must here mean, as in 1 Peter 5:1, elders in office. Many understand the laity, the rest of the congregation, to be meant, upon whom obedience to their ministers is enjoined, as in Hebrews ; others, the deacons, or at least a class of ministers inferior and subordinate to the presbyters. The clear distinction made, and a comparison with Luke 22:26-27, where the “greater” and “younger” are similarly opposed, would seem to confirm this view. 
submit yourselves. To give due respect and reverence to their persons, and to yield to their admonitions, reproof, and authority, enjoining and commanding what the word of God requires, Hebrews . 
Why have elders unless you are going to let them do their job? [rw]
unto the elder. The word “elder” may denote either a Church officer or a man advanced in years. In the last paragraph it meant the former. Here it possibly means the latter. Younger persons are urged to render respectful obedience to Church officers, or to Christians who possess the maturity and wisdom of age. 
The general duty is here implied, as it is everywhere in the Bible, that all suitable respect is to be shown to the aged. Compare Leviticus 19:32; 1 Timothy 5:1. 
Yea, all of you be subject one to another. And perform all the offices of friendship and charity one to another. 
Pay all due regard to each other’s feelings and treat each other with kindness, courtesy, and respect. 
and be clothed with humility. Clothe yourselves with humility so as to be in a disposition to serve one another, is the sense of the passage. 
These duties of submission to superiors in age or office, and subjection to one another, being contrary to the proud nature and selfish interests of men, he advises them to be clothed with humility. “Let your minds, behavior, garb, and whole frame, be adorned with humility, as the most beautiful habit you can wear; this will render obedience and duty easy and pleasant; but, if you be disobedient and proud, God will set himself to oppose and crush you; for he resisteth the proud, when he giveth grace to the humble.” 
be clothed. Assuming that the word has specifically in mind the garments worn by slaves : There is, therefore, special force in the use of this word here, as denoting an humble mind. They were to be willing to take any place, and to perform any office, however humble, in order to serve and benefit others. They were not to assume a style and dignity of state and authority, as if they would lord it over others, or as if they were better than others; but they were to be willing to occupy any station, however humble, by which they might honor God.
In this case . . . The word would thus be chosen in order to indicate “the menial service which they were to render one to another; in the same way as our Lord showed it in His own example and person when He girded Himself with a towel and washed the disciples’ feet” (Humphrey, Comm. on the Rev. Vers., p. 446). 
Assuming that the wording emphasizes the clothing worn by any and all classes of society : The Greek verb (ἐγκομβώσασθε) for “clothe yourselves” has a somewhat interesting history. The noun from which it is derived (κόμβος) signifies a “knot.” Hence the verb means “to tie on with a knot,” and from the verb another noun is formed (ἐγκομβῶμα), denoting a garment so tied on. This, according to its quality, might be the outer “over-all” cloak of slaves, or the costly mantle of princes. The word may have well been chosen for the sake of some of the associations which this its history suggests.
Men were to clothe themselves with lowliness of mind, to fasten it tight round them like a garment, so that it might never fall away (compare the same thought as applied to hatred in Psalm 109:17-18), and this was to be worn, as it were, over all other virtues, half-concealing, half-sheltering them. It might present, from one point of view, the aspect of servitude. It was, in reality, a raiment more glorious than that of kings (Acts ), or those who live in kings’ houses (Matthew 11:8). In the case of slaves, probably in all cases, the garment so named was white. (Poll. Onomast. 4:119.) This also probably was not without a suggestive significance. In Colossians we have, though not the word, a thought very closely parallel.
Along this same line . . . The word seems to be derived, however, rather from a simpler noun denoting a band. It thus means to fasten, not merely to put on, but to gird tightly on; the grace of humility being not the girdle that fastens other things, but the thing which is girt firmly about one. It is therefore a stronger form of Paul’s “Put on . . humbleness of mind” (Colossians ). Bengel paraphrases it admirably thus: “Indue and wrap yourselves about with it, so that it may be impossible for the covering of humility to be torn from you by any force.” 
for God resisteth the proud and giveth grace to the humble. We have here another passage quoted from the Old Testament (Proverbs , from the LXX version with “God” substituted for “the Lord”) without the formula of quotation. 
A quotation (Proverbs ) from the LXX, which differs slightly from the Hebrew, quoted in the same words in James 4:6. Cf. Proverbs 29:23; Isaiah 57:15, 66:2. 
for God resisteth the proud. He does not make their way easy nor go out of His way to help them. The person who is arrogant toward his fellow man is almost guaranteed to have the same attitude toward God. Yes, he or she “may do what God wants them to do”—grudgingly and unwillingly. But God has never been impressed by the empty image of “spirituality;” He wants the substance. [rw]
The ‘resisteth’ indicates a strong and deliberate opposition. Its idea is that of setting oneself in array against one. 
and giveth grace to the humble. Those with the right attitude toward both their fellow man and God. The one who realizes that worldly success rests not only on hard work and talent, but opportunity and good fortune as well. Their success is far less likely to go to their head, as it is tempered by a stern realism toward life. In the relationship with God, he realizes that it really comes down to God’s rules or anarchy—each person claiming the “right” to their own “truth” no matter how much God has labeled something sinful. He is humble in going by God’s rules, realizing that he is neither wise nor powerful enough to come up with anything better. For who is the created and who is the Creator? [rw]
In depth: Case that the term “elders” is not used chronologically of older church members but of official church office holders . The question meets us, whether the words refer to age only, or to office as connected with age. In either case we have, of course, a perfectly adequate meaning.
In favor of the latter view we have the facts (1) that in Luke 22:26, “he that is younger” in the first clause corresponds to “he that serveth” or “ministereth” in the second; (2) that in Acts 5:6 the term is obviously used of those who were discharging duties like those of the later deacons, sub-deacons or acolytes; (3) that it is hardly likely that the same writer would have used the word “elder” in two different senses in such close juxtaposition.
On the whole, therefore, there seems sufficient reason for adopting this view. Paul’s use of the term, however, in the precepts of 1 Timothy 5:1, Titus 2:6 is, perhaps, in favor of the other.
In depth: A survey of interpretive options as to the distinction between “elders” and “younger” . The exhortation clearly is to the cherishing of a spirit of deference on the part of one class to another. But the question is, Are the two classes introduced here in respect of age simply, or in respect of office?
Seeing that in the opening verse the term “elders” is used in the official sense, it is natural to suppose it to have the same sense here. It is not less natural to suppose the correlative term “younger” to have a similar official sense. And this is supported by the circumstance that in connection with the narrative of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:5, 10) we read of the “young men” as if they were a distinct class, charged with certain manual services to the Church, who accordingly rise up at once and perform unsummoned the duty which had to be done then. In this case, the exhortation would bear upon the relations of the junior and subordinate office-bearers (not necessarily identical with the deacons), or the recognized servants of the Church, to the presbyters or elders.
It is alleged on the other hand, however, that there is no historical notice of the institution of any such lower order of church officers, and that the passage in Acts 5 does not necessarily imply the existence of a distinct class known officially as the “young men” or the “younger men.” Hence the phrase “ye younger” is taken by some (Wiesinger, Alford, etc.) to mean the general membership of the Church, its members as distinguished from its office-bearers.
Others (Huther, etc.) understand the official sense to be dropped here, and both the “elders” and the “younger” to be designations of age only.
Others (de Wette, etc.) suppose the “elders” to mean the office-bearers proper, and the “younger” to denote neither a junior order nor the entire non-official membership, but only those members who were young in years and consequently under stronger temptation to snow themselves insubordinate to their ecclesiastical rulers.
The term “elder” in the
WEB: Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time;
Young’s: be humbled, then, under the powerful hand of God, that you He may exalt in good time,
Conte (RC): And so, be humbled under the
powerful hand of God, so that he may exalt you
in the time of visitation.
5:6 Humble yourselves therefore. The parallelism with James (James ) will again be noticed, but the thought is one which occurs in many forms elsewhere (Job ; Proverbs 29:23; Matthew ; Luke , , ). 
This is a reproduction of the words of the Master more than once heard by Peter: “He that exalteth himself shall be abased; but he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” 
under the mighty hand of God. The plural “the mighty hand of God,” reproduces the LXX version of Deuteronomy 3:24. 
It is not limited in the O.T. to God’s power in afflicting or punishing. Neither is it so limited here. The Hand that lays low also exalts. The reason why the irresistible power of that Hand is exerted in chastening is that it may [later] be exerted in exalting [= that He may exalt you in due time]. 
that He may exalt you in due time. The promise is purposely left in this vague indeterminate form. Peter does not say that the exaltation of victory will come in this life. He does not say either, that it will not come till the Resurrection. He is certain, with the full assurance of faith, that this is God’s law of retribution, and he is content to leave “the times and the seasons” in the Father’s hands, certain that the season chosen will be the right one. 
“In due time:” In God’s appointed time, either in this life, when trial has wrought its perfect work (James 1:3-4), or if not here, then the glory shall surely come at the time of the judgment. 
WEB: casting all your worries on him, because he cares for you.
Young’s: casting all your worries on him, because he cares for you.
Conte (RC): Cast all your cares upon him, for
he takes care of you.
5:7 Casting all your care upon him. [This] does not relieve us, however, from the responsibility of being watchful against temptation. The Christian must be “sober” and “watchful” because his “adversary the devil as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” [1 Peter 5:8]. 
Compare Psalms 55:22, from whence this passage was probably taken: “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee; he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” Compare, for a similar sentiment, Matthew 6:25-30. The meaning is, that we are to commit our whole cause to him. If we suffer heavy trials; if we lose our friends, health, or property; if we feel that we have no strength, and are in danger of being crushed by what is laid upon us, we may go and cast all upon the Lord; that is, we may look to him for grace and strength, and feel assured that he will enable us to sustain all that is laid upon us. 
for he careth for you. See Matthew 10:29-31. He is not like the gods worshipped by many of the pagan, who were supposed to be so exalted, and so distant, that they did not interest themselves in human affairs; but He condescends to regard the needs of the meanest of his creatures. It is one of the glorious attributes of the true God, that he can and will thus notice the needs of the mean [= lowly] as well as the mighty; and one of the richest of all consolations when we are afflicted, and are despised by the world, is the thought that we are not forgotten by our heavenly Father. 
In depth: Greek distinctions in the verse . The English version effaces a distinction in
the Greek, the first word for “care” implying “distracting anxiety,” as in
Matthew 13:22; Mark 4:19; Luke 8:14, 21:34, the latter conveying the idea
simply of the care that foresees and provides, as in Mark 4:38; John 10:13,
12:6. The thought expressed is
accordingly that our anxiety is to be swallowed up in our trust in the loving
WEB: Be sober and self-controlled. Be watchful. Your adversary, the devil, walks around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
Young’s: Be sober, vigilant, because your opponent the devil, as a roaring lion, doth walk about, seeking whom he may swallow up,
Conte (RC): Be sober and vigilant. For your
adversary, the devil, is like a roaring lion,
traveling around and seeking those whom he
5:8 Be sober, be vigilant. The two words are found in a like juxtaposition in 1 Thessalonians 5:6. The tense used here implies an immediate act, as though he said, “Rouse yourselves to sobriety and watchfulness,” rather than a continuous state. The first word has the strict meaning of abstinence from that which inebriates. 
Be sober [serious, Holman; keep your mind clear, GW]. In 1 Peter 4:7 it appears as a preparation for prayer. In this third recommendation, it is enjoined as a protection against Satan. 
[watchful, ESV; on the alert, NASB]. A frequent exhortation, e.g. 1
Corinthians 16:13; Revelation 3:2. It is
the word twice used by our Lord in his remonstrance to the Apostle in
because your adversary the devil. Your enemy; he who is opposed to you. Satan opposes man in his best interests. He resists his efforts to do good; his purposes to return to God; his attempts to secure his own salvation. There is no more appropriate appellation that can be given to him than to say that he resists all our efforts to obey God and to secure the salvation of our own souls. 
The word for “adversary” is the same as that used in Matthew , and carries with it the sense of a plaintiff or accuser in a trial before a judge. The Greek word for “devil’ (διάβολος), uniformly used in the LXX for the Hebrew “Satan,” expresses the same thought, with the implied addition that the charge is false and calumnious. 
Is he a figure of speech, or a real person? I venture to ask you to consider that question to-day. It is a venture, because it requires some courage in these days to ask men to bring the belief in the personality of evil out of the dim and obscure regions in which they leave it and to face it as a practical fact. But if there be a personal power of evil using all the defects of body, or of mind, or imagination to attract or impel what is wrong, then it has a very real [impact] upon our practical struggle. To ignore it is to wage our warfare from the first in a great mistake. 
as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. Full of rage, as a roaring lion — Fierce and hungry, watching for an opportunity to ensnare and destroy you. 
Augustine says, “Christ is called ‘a lion’ (Apocalypse 5:5) because of his courage: the devil, because of his ferocity. The one lion comes to conquer, the other to hurt.” Seven Hebrew words are used for this animal; six to describe his movements and four to describe his roar. He is mentioned in the Bible about one hundred and thirty times. In Job 4:10, 11, five different words are used for him. In Judges 14:5; Psalms 21:13; ciii. 21 (Sept.), 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. 
This graphic figure of speech may indicate some of the peculiar temptations of the readers, the opposition of their adversaries, the false charges of their slanderers; but it also symbolized the cruelty and the craft, the restless activity and terrifying threats, which ever characterize the foul Tempter, the enemy of our souls. 
Satan tempts under three forms: 1.
The subtle serpent; to beguile our senses, pervert our judgment, and enchant
our imagination. 2. As an angel of
light; to deceive us with false views of spiritual things, [changes] in
religion, and presumption on the providence and grace of God. 3. As a roaring
lion; to bear us down, and destroy us by violent opposition, persecution, and
death. Thus he was acting towards the followers of God at
walketh about. Compare Job 1:7; Job 2:2. Peter, however, is not calling attention to the fact that Satan is always prowling about, but he warns the sleeping shepherds that he is especially doing so now. This season of persecution was just his time for picking off one here and another there. 
devour. Not lightly hurt, but swallow up and utterly destroy, by himself or his instruments. 
“Devour” by leading to unfaithfulness. The figure is very bold, to devour, to swallow greedily, like a toad swallowing a fly, or a serpent a worm. The devil devours indifferent and weak Christians “by sapping their faith, by encouraging them in self-reliance, by leading them to tempt God by presumption, or by inciting them to do evil that good may come” (Sadler). 
It is probable, wide
and general as the words are in themselves, that the special form of attack of
which the Apostle thought was that of the persecution then raging, and of
which, though human agents were prominent in it, Satan was regarded as the real
instigator. Compare 2 Timothy 4:17. When Christ is named as “the Lion of the
WEB: Withstand him steadfast in your faith, knowing that your brothers who are in the world are undergoing the same sufferings.
Young’s: whom resist, stedfast in the faith, having known the same sufferings to your brotherhood in the world to be accomplished.
Conte (RC): Resist him by being strong in faith,
being aware that the same passions afflict those
who are your brothers in the world.
5:9 Whom resist. By refusing to comply with temptations to evil and persevering in that which is good. 
The word for “resist” is the same as that used in the parallel passage of James 4:7. 
The expression is somewhat more picturesque in the Greek than in the English. “Stand and face him,” instead of running away from posts of duty (1 Peter 5:2), or lying still and letting things take their course (1 Peter 5:8). 
stedfast in the faith. Firm in the faith. Gerhard: “Victory over Satan lies in faith, because faith unites us to Christ, the victory. By faith the devil is driven to flight as is the lion by fire.” (See 1 Corinthians 6:17; Ephesians ; .) 
“Faith” is probably used in its subjective rather than its objective sense, for unshaken trust in God rather than unwavering orthodoxy. Compare the “shield of faith” in Ephesians 6:16. 
By “the faith” here is meant not the objects believed, but the subjective conviction, the power or principle of faith (cf. 1 John 5:4-5). The spiritual adversary will be faced to little purpose where he is met by weak and wavering conviction. Only he who is strong in the faith which makes him a Christian, is strong enough to vanquish this foe in the assaults which he makes with the engine of persecution. Compare James 4:7, and above all, Paul’s view of the shield of faith and its efficiency in Ephesians 6:16. 
Interpreted in a strictly individual sense: Letting nothing rattle your firmness or determination to serve the Lord. [rw]
Interpreted in a
collective sense: The adjective [form of the word here rendered
“stedfast” means firm, solid, compact, so in
Hebrews , 14 it is used of
“solid food” and in 2 Timothy
of a “firm foundation.” The verb is used
in Acts 16:5 of the churches being “consolidated in the faith,” and in
Colossians 2:5 Paul rejoices to see [“order,” KJV; “good discipline, NASB] on
the part of his readers, where Lightfoot explains [the language] in a military
sense “solid front” or “close phalanx” and compares 1 Maccabees
So here Peter urges his readers to face the foe with a solid front,
shoulder to shoulder not merely with their fellow-Christians in
knowing that the same afflictions. Compare for a similar sentiment, 1 Corinthians 10:13. The meaning is, that you should be encouraged to endure your trials by the fact that your fellow-Christians suffer the same things. 
Technical aside on differing ways to translate this that add up to the same thing: The phrase “the same sufferings” means, literally, “the same things of the sufferings,” or “the identities of the sufferings.” The construction of the sentence is also otherwise peculiar. Hence it is variously rendered, e.g., as = considering that the same sufferings are accomplishing themselves in your brotherhood, etc. (Huther); or as = knowing that ye are accomplishing the same sufferings with your brotherhood, etc.; or as = considering how to pay the same tribute of suffering as your brethren in the world; or simply as = knowing that the same sufferings are being inflicted on your brotherhood, etc. (Wilke). The idea in any case is sufficiently plain. 
are accomplished [experienced, NKJV] in your brethren. Other Christians are suffering in the same way with yourselves. 
Such sufferings are common to all Christians and not only the saints of the Dispersion. 
that are in the world. Those scattered throughout the world both far and near, personally known or unknown. [rw]
The Apostle appeals to the thought of sympathy with other sufferers as a ground of steadfastness. Those to whom he wrote were not isolated in their afflictions. Far and near there were comrades fighting the same battle. It was at once their duty and their privilege to follow all examples of steadfastness of which they heard elsewhere, and to set that example, so that others, cheered by it, might be strengthened to endure even to the end. 
There is one thing,” says Archbishop Leighton, “that much troubles the patience and weakens the faith of some Christians; they are ready to think there is none, yea, there was never any beloved of God in such a condition as theirs. Therefore the Apostle Paul breaks this conceit (1 Corinthians ), “no temptation hath taken you but such as is common to man:” and here is the same truth, “the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren.” This is the truth, and, taken altogether, is a most comfortable truth; the whole brotherhood go in this way, and our eldest Brother went first.” 
WEB: But may the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
Young’s: And the God of all grace, who did call you to His age-during glory in Christ Jesus, having suffered a little, Himself make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you;
Conte (RC): But the God of all grace, who has
called us to his eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will
himself perfect, confirm, and establish us, after
a brief time of suffering.
But the God of all grace. It was proper in their anticipated trials to direct them to God, and to breathe forth in their behalf an earnest prayer that they might be supported. A prayer of this kind by an apostle would also be to them a sort of pledge or assurance that the needed grace would be granted them. 
The epithet, like “the God of all comfort,” in 2 Corinthians 1:3, implies that God is the Author and Giver of all grace that the child of God needs. 
who hath called us [you, ESV, NASB] unto His eternal glory. He has called us into a relationship, but He forces no one into accepting the offer. [rw]
The contrast is between the “eternal glory” and the suffering for “a little while.” 
It may be noted, as bearing on the question as to the authorship of the Second Epistle, that the same description occurs there also (2 Peter 1:3). 
by [in, ESV, NASB, NIV] Christ Jesus. But this calling is “in Christ,” i.e. not merely by Him as the instrument through whom the call came, but as being “in Him,” i.e. by virtue of our union with Him. 
after that ye have suffered a while. The Greek is, “having suffered a little,” and may refer either to time or degree. In both respects the declaration concerning afflictions is true. They are short, compared with eternity; they are light, compared with the exceeding and eternal weight of glory. See 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. 
Or: A very little while compared with eternity. 
All time is short in comparison of what comes after. 
make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. Overview of distinction between the terms : Each verb has a distinct meaning. That for “make you perfect” implies, as in Matthew 4:21; Luke 6:40; 1 Corinthians 1:10, restoring to completeness; that for “stablish,” as 2 Thessalonians 2:17, 3:3, the fixity of Christians; that for “strengthen” (not found elsewhere in the New Testament) giving power to resist attack. In “settle” (literally, to lay a foundation), as in Matthew , Luke , which may well have been in the Apostle’s thoughts, we have the idea of building up the spiritual life upon Christ as the one foundation (1 Corinthians ).
If one reverses the order of these : Inverting the order of the words, and taking the last particular first, as preparatory to the others, (which the sense of the several expressions seems to require, according to the usual progress of the work of grace in the hearts of believers,) the meaning will be, 1st, May he place you on your foundation, (so the word θεμελιωσαι, here rendered settle you, properly signifies,) even on the foundation which God hath laid in Zion (1 Corinthians 3:11), Christ Jesus, or on the foundation of the apostles and prophets (Ephesians 2:20), namely, the fundamental doctrines attested by them.
2d, May he strengthen you, that no power of earth or hell may move you from that foundation. In consequence of this,
3d, May he establish you in his truth and grace, in faith, hope, love, and new obedience, that you may be steadfast and immoveable in your adherence to the doctrines, your possession of the graces and privileges, and your performance of the duties of your holy calling. And in this way,
4th, May he make you perfect, or complete Christians, lacking nothing, destitute of no grace or virtue, and possessing every one in a mature state, a state of meekness for the inheritance of the saints in light.
make you perfect. Complete in character. 
By means of your trials. 
The idea conveyed by the “perfect” is that of preparing completely, equipping fully, bringing into fault less order, so that nothing shall be wanting. It is the term which is used for “perfect” in such passages as Luke , 1 Corinthians , 1 Thessalonians , Hebrews ; and it is applied to the mending of broken nets (Matthew ), and the restoring of one in fault (Galatians 6:1), etc. 
Most of the better MSS., however, give the future tense, “will make you perfect . . . ,” expressing not the prayer of the Apostle, but his firm and steadfast confidence. 
stablish. The “stablish” means to plant firmly, to make fast, so that there shall be no tossing or overturning. 
The [Greek] word is akin at the root to [the Greek word that can be rendered] steadfast (verse 9), and is the very word used by Christ in his exhortation to Peter, “strengthen thy brethren” (Luke ). Possibly there is a reminiscence of this in Peter’s use of the word here. Compare 1 Thessalonians 3:13; 2 Thessalonians 2:17; James 5:8; Apocalypse 3:2. 
strengthen. [Strengthen] you to resist temptations and bear all trials with patience. 
[The Greek word is] only here in New Testament. Compare Ephesians 3:16. 
“So that ye may overcome every opposing force. Language worthy of Peter (a rock)” (Bengel). He thus confirms and strengthens his brethren (Luke ). 
settle you. [Settle is] omitted by some texts, and by Revision. From (a Greek word meaning] a foundation. The radical notion of the word is, therefore, to ground securely. It occurs in Matthew 7:25, of the house founded on a rock; in Heb. i. 10, of laying the foundations of the earth. In Ephesians 3:18, it is joined with rooted. The massing of these expressions, unconnected by conjunctions, indicates strong feeling. Bengel thus sums up the whole: “Shall perfect, that no defect remain in you: shall stablish, that nothing may shake you: shall strengthen, that you may overcome every adverse force. A saying worthy of Peter. He is strengthening his brethren.” 
WEB: To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.
Young’s: to Him is the glory, and the power -- to the ages and the ages! Amen.
Conte (RC): To him be glory and dominion
forever and ever. Amen.
To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. The doxology is repeated in identical terms from 1 Peter 4:11. Here, as there, it comes as the natural sequel to the thought of what God is and what He has done for His people; and forms the conclusion to the consecutive teaching of the Epistle. It remained only to add a few words of the nature of more personal messages. 
To him. The God of all grace. 
be glory. For this abundant grace. 
and dominion. The might shown in performing what is thus promised. 
This is the true consolation in trouble, to extol the power of God. If His be the dominion, and He have called us to His glory, then what can we fear? 
for ever and ever. Permanently; continually. 
Amen. May God so grant it! [rw]
Weymouth: I send this short letter by Silas, our faithful brother--for such I regard him--in order to encourage you, and to bear witness that what I have told you is the true grace of God. In it stand fast.
WEB: Through 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.
Young’s: Through Silvanus, to you the faithful brother, as I reckon, through few words I did write, exhorting and testifying this to be the true grace of God in which ye have stood.
Conte (RC): I have written briefly, through
Sylvanus, whom I consider to be a faithful brother
to you, begging and testifying that this is the true
grace of God, in which you have been established.
By Silvanus. It has been supposed that Paul, then a
There is no ground for questioning his identity with the “Silas” of Acts 15:22, 32, 40, the “Silvanus” of 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Corinthians 1:19, the second name having probably been taken, after the manner common among Jews (compare the change from Saul to Paulus, Joshua to Jason, John surnamed Marcus, and other like instances), when he went as a missionary into Gentile countries.
is obvious that the circumstances of his life gave him special qualifications
for maintaining or restoring unity of teaching and feeling between the Jewish
and Gentile sections of the Church.
Trained in the
scattered notices above referred to do not carry us further than his work at
a faithful brother unto you. Brother has the definite article, the faithful brother, designating him as one well known for his fidelity. Revision renders our, with the in margin. 
“This is said to assure his readers, and the churches at large, of the genuineness of the Epistle. It would be brought to them by Silvanus, ‘the faithful brother,’ who would certify them from whom it came” (Wordsworth). 
as I suppose [as I consider him, NKJV; I know him to be, Holman]. Too feeble, since the [Greek] verb denotes a settled persuasion or assurance. See Romans 3:28, “we conclude” or reckon as the result of our reasoning. Compare Romans 8:18; Hebrews 11:19. Revision, as I account him. 
The expression “as I suppose”-- ὡς λογίζομαι hōs logizomai --does not imply that there was any doubt on the mind of the apostle, but indicates rather a firm persuasion that what he said was true. Thus, Romans , “For I reckon (λογίζομαι logizomai) that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared,” etc. That is, I am fully persuaded of it; I have no doubt of it. Peter evidently had no doubt on this point, but he probably could not speak from any personal knowledge. 
Or: From these and many like expressions used in the epistles of the apostles it is evident, that the divine afflatus, by which the Holy Ghost assisted them to write, did not dictate the very words, but only presided over them to preserve them from error in writing, seeing the Holy Ghost could not say, “As I suppose;” nor could Peter have used this phrase, if the divine illumination had influenced and instructed him in this matter.  If the Spirit “preserve[d] them from error in writing” did this not create the same end result as if the Spirit had been even more active in the composition of the text? [rw]
I have written. Literally, I wrote. As 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. Paul, writing to Philemon, says [in Greek], I sent; since to Philemon the act of sending would be already past. Therefore in using this form of expression Peter does not refer to the second epistle, nor to another now lost, but to the present epistle. 
briefly. Peter next describes his letter as being very brief in comparison with all he should like to write. 
The Holy Scripture hath fullness of matter in fewness of words, the whole counsel of God shut up in a narrow compass. The Lord knows that much reading is a weariness of the flesh, Ecclesiastes , and hath therefore provided for our infirmity. 
We may perhaps think of the Apostle as comparing the brevity of what he had written with the longer Epistles of Paul, such as Romans , 1 and 2 Corinthians. 
Exhorting [to encourage you, Holman, ISV, NET]. No small part of the Epistle is taken up with exhortations. 
and testifying. Bearing witness. The main design of the office of the apostles was to bear witness to the truth (see 1 Corinthians 9:1), and Peter in this Epistle discharged that part of the functions of his office toward the scattered Christians of Asia Minor. 
The interlocking of “exhorting” and “testifying” in this epistle: The verb used here is a compound form of the usual verb. This is its only occurrence in the N.T. Some hold that it should be rendered “giving additional testimony,” as if Peter meant that what he had done was simply to add his own testimony to what the readers had already been instructed in by Paul and Silas. The compound verb, however, gives the same idea, only with greater strength, as the simple verb. The two participles are not to be taken to refer (as they are understood by de Wette, etc.) to separate portions of the Epistle. We cannot say that so much of it is exhortation, and so much of it testimony. It is throughout an Epistle of the twofold character expressed by these terms, its exhortations rise upon the solid basis of its testimony to the grace of God, and its testimony is determined with a view to the practical statement of duty. 
that this is the true grace of God. That the religion in which you stand, or which you now hold, is that which is identified with the grace or favor of God. Christianity, not Judaism, or Paganism, was the true religion. 
The Epistle is not at all a doctrinal treatise, but, recognizing fundamental truths, and often reaching back into the Old Testament by quotation and allusion, it seeks to establish its readers in their Christian convictions and patient confidence. 
The great Apostle of the Circumcision, writing to the Churches that had been mainly planted and taught by the Apostle of the Gentiles, bears his full testimony that the “grace” by which they “stand” is no counterfeit, but in very deed a reality. Now, as when he and John and James the brother of the Lord gave to Paul and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship (Galatians 2:9), he recognizes “the grace of God” that had been given to them and through them. The attestation thus given of unbroken harmony stands, it need hardly be said, in singular contrast with the position of antagonism to Paul and his teaching ascribed to Peter in the Clementine Homilies and Recognitions, which represent the later workings of the Judaizing party. 
wherein ye stand [stand firm in it, English Standard Version]. If we observe the altered translation of the latter portion of my text which is given in the Revised Version, we shall see that the verse is itself an example of both “testifying” and exhorting. For the last clause is not, as our Authorized Version renders it, “Wherein ye stand”--a statement of a fact, however true that may be--but a commandment, “In which stand fast.” 
In depth: Silvanus/Silas—scribe or deliverer of the text ? [“By”] may refer (a) to the scribe by whom the Epistle was written or (b) to the messenger by whom it was conveyed. In favor of (a) it may be urged that Paul certainly employed amanuenses to write his Epistles and that there is strong probability that Peter did the same. As a Galilean fisherman, it is argued, he could only have a very imperfect knowledge of Greek and, according to tradition, required the services of Mark as his “interpreter,” so that he could hardly have composed such an Epistle himself.
Zahn therefore, following out the suggestion of earlier German writers, maintains that Peter entrusted the composition of the letter to Silvanus, adding only the last few verses himself, as Paul usually did. Selwyn, with an ingenuity which is hardly likely to find many supporters, identifies Silvanus with Luke and argues that he not only wrote this Epistle for Peter but had also acted as Paul’s amanuensis in his Epistles to the Romans and Ephesians, thus accounting for the coincidences between 1 Peter and those Epistles.
Against (a) it may be urged  that if so important a person as Silas wrote the Epistle but was not the bearer of it we should have expected him to send a salutation himself, as he would certainly be known to some of the readers, having worked in Galatia with Paul on his second journey,  that the Epistle does not read like a joint production in which Peter furnished the ideas while another was responsible for the language.
Therefore it is more probable that Silvanus was the messenger by whom the letter was
sent. [“By”] is certainly used in that
sense in Acts 15:23 and it is almost certainly used of the messengers in some
of Ignatius’ Epistles. The commendation
of Silvanus would have special force if he was
starting on a missionary journey through
In depth: More on the role of Silas in the early church . Silvanus is generally assumed to be the Silvanus who is mentioned by St Paul in 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Corinthians 1:19, from which passages we gather that he was Paul’s companion and fellow-worker in Corinth during his second missionary journey. This in turn makes it practically certain that Silvanus is to be identified with Silas who was Paul’s chief companion at the same time and place according to Acts.
In this case we know that Silas was one of “the
leaders among the brethren,” presumably in
With the same object Paul delivered the decrees of
the Apostolic Conference to the Asiatic Churches. Thence Paul and Silas crossed to
From Philippi Silas accompanied Paul to Beroea and remained there with Timothy for a time, when
Paul left for
As he is not mentioned in the Epistle to the Romans
it is practically certain that he had not yet visited
There is therefore an interval of at least eight or
ten years during which we know nothing of Silas. It is hardly likely however that one who had
been such an ardent missionary with Paul should have abandoned the work
altogether. Therefore it is quite
possible that he may have revisited the scenes of his former labors in
We have no evidence as to the reason of his visit to
who is in
you doth the assembly in
Conte (RC): The Church which is in
elect together with you, greets you, as does my
The church [She, NKJV] that is at
unlikely that in a friendly salutation the enigmatical title of
And: The fact, however, that the word is
mystically used in a mystical book like the Apocalypse—a book, too, which is
steeped in the spirit and terminology of the Old Testament--is no argument for
the mystical use of the word in writings of a different type. The allegorical interpretation becomes still
less likely when it is observed that other geographical designations in this
Epistle (1 Peter 1:1) have undoubtedly the literal meaning. There is no reason to suppose that, at the
time when this Epistle was written, the city of
As a non-city reference: The interpretation of this passage to the
effect that the words “the elect one” (feminine) in
This word [= She] would be properly used in reference to one
individual if writing to another individual, but would hardly be appropriate as
applied to an individual addressing a church.
It could not readily be supposed, moreover, that any one female in
As this salutation is coupled with that of Marcus, we might suppose an individual to be meant; but it is difficult to believe that any woman—even Peter’s wife, as some suppose—would send her greeting to the churches of Asia Minor in this mysterious way. Hence the clause probably refers to a church. Cf. 1 Corinthians 16:19; 2 John [verses] 1, 13. 
elected together with you. Sharing with you this distinction. [rw]
saluteth [greets, NKJV] you. Wishes for you the best and wants you to know it. [rw]
and so doth Marcus. With this salutation Peter adds another from Mark. 
The Mark whom he describes as his spiritual son is certainly the son of the Mary whose household was on such close friendly terms with the Apostle (cf. Acts ), the Mark whom he had converted. 
Usually identified with the “John Mark” who was the companion of Paul at the beginning of the first journey, but deserted the Apostle, was refused permission to join him for the second journey, and went on a separate tour with Barnabas (Acts 12:25, 13:5, 15:37). Afterwards he was reconciled to Paul (Colossians ). Mark was a Jerusalem Jew, connected with leading members of the church (Acts ). Mark was a cousin of Barnabas (Colossians ). 
my son. Probably in a spiritual sense, though some, as Bengel, think that Peter’s own son is referred to. 
The mother of Mark seems to have been intimately acquainted with Peter (Acts 12:12), and we have a right to infer that Mark owed his conversion to Christianity to Peter, who evidently calls Mark “his son,” in the same spiritual sense in which Paul gives this name to Titus and to Timothy (Titus 1:4; 1 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:2). 
In depth: The case
for an unidentified specific individual sending greeting . The Greek MSS (with the notable
exception, however, of the Sinaitic), as the italics
show, have no noun corresponding to “church,” and it is, at least, a question
whether it ought to be inserted, and the same holds good of the pronoun
“you.” On the one hand there is the
consent of many of the early Fathers in favor of the insertion and, perhaps,
the improbability that a salutation would be sent to the Asiatic Churches from
any individual convert in the
On the other there is the fact (1) that there is no parallel use of the adjective without the noun in this sense in any other passage of the New Testament; (2) that in 2 John 1:1, which presents the nearest parallel, it is almost certain that the “elect lady,” or the “elect Kyria,” or the “lady Eclecta” is a person and not a Church; and (3) that if a salutation was sent from “Marcus my son” to the Churches of Asia, there is nothing surprising in a like salutation being sent from another individual disciple.
If we adopt, as on the whole, in spite of the weight
due to the Sinaitic MS, seems preferable, the latter
view, the question who the person was remains open to
conjecture. It may have been Peter’s
wife who was, as we learn from 1 Corinthians 9:5, the companion of his labors,
and in this case there would be a special appropriateness in her sending her
greeting in an Epistle which had dwelt so fully on the duties of the female
members of the Church (1 Peter 3:1-6).
It may have been some conspicuous member of the
WEB: Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace be to you all who are in Christ Jesus. Amen.
Young’s: Salute ye one another in a kiss of love; peace to you all who are in Christ Jesus! Amen.
Conte (RC): Greet one another with a holy kiss.
Grace be to all of you who are in Christ Jesus. Amen.
Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity [love, NKJV]. The last words of the book appear to recall some of the parting words of the Savior before He died. Peter had heard his Lord say, “Love one another as I have loved you;” and he writes, “Greet ye one another with a kiss of love.” He had heard the Lord say, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace;” and he writes, “Peace be with you all that are in Christ.” 
Post-apostolic development of the custom: [In light of the admonitions of Paul on the subject], says Origen, “the custom was handed down to the Churches that after prayers (so Justin Apol., i. 65) the brethren should welcome one another with a kiss.” Chrysostom (on Rom. l.c.) calls it “the peace by which the Apostle expels all disturbing thought and beginning of smallmindedness . . . this kiss softens and levels.” But the practice was obviously liable to abuse as Clement of Alexandria shows, “love is judged not in a kiss but in good will. Some do nothing but fill the Churches with noise of kissing . . . There is another—an impure—kiss full of venom pretending to holiness” (Paed., iii. 301 P). Therefore it was regulated (Apost. Const., ii. 57, 12, men kiss men only) and gradually dwindled. 
Peace be with you all. There is something, perhaps, significant in the fact that while the final benediction of the Apostle of the Gentiles is “Grace be with you all” (Romans 16:24; 1 Corinthians 16:23; 2 Corinthians 13:14; and in all his Epistles), that of the Apostle of the Circumcision is the old Hebrew “peace,” as in Matthews 10:13, in all the fullness of its meaning. 
Paul’s favorite benediction is “Grace be with you” (Galatians ; Romans ; etc.). Peace is the result of the reception of the grace of God. 
that are in Christ Jesus. For there can be no true peace except for those who live in union with Christ. 
That are true Christians. 
United to him by faith. 
Here, for the second time in this Epistle, we have the phrase “in Christ Jesus” which permeates several of the Pauline Epistles. 
Amen. “So be it! May you listen to, heed, and practice the pleas I have sent to you for by so doing you will remain faithful children of God!” [rw]
BOOKS/COMMENTARIES UTILIZED IN THIS STUDY:
1 [Anonymous]. Teacher’s Testament/Nelson’s Explanatory Testament
Nelson & Sons;
2 Marvin R. Vincent, D.D. Word Studies in the New Testament. Charles
3 Robert Young. Commentary on the Holy Bible. A. Fullarton & Co;
4 Daniel Whitby, D.D. and Moses Lowman. A Critical Commentary and
on the New Testament. Carey Hart,
Henry. Vol. IV: Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible.
6 Rev. Dr
C. G. Barth. The Bible Manual.
R. Erdman. The
8 Joh. Ed. Huther, Th. D., Critical and Exegetical Handbook to the
General Epistles of James, Peter, John, and Jude [Meyer’s Commentary
on the New Testament].
Bernhard Weiss, D.D. A
Commentary of the New Testament Vol. IV.
Simeon, M.A. Horae
Homileticae Vol. XX.
and Ball, 1833.
11 Rev. S. T. Bloomfield, M.A. Recensio Symoptica Annotations Sacrae
12 George Leo Haydock. Haydock’s Catholic Family Bible and Commentary
13 Howard Crosby, D.D. New Testament, With Brief Explanatory Notes. New
14 Anonymous [Justin
Edwards]. The New
Testament of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
This edition has more notes, but Edwards’ name is attached to a shorter
edition of the
same material at UTS,
Wesley, M.A. Explanatory Notes upon
the New Testament.
16 Orello Cone, D.D. International Handbooks to the N.T. Vol. 3: The Epistles. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons / Knickerbocker Press, 1901.
17 Philip Doddridge, D.D. The Family Expositor (Paraphrase and Version of
the New Testament [American edition]). Amherst, Ms.: J. S. & C. Adams,
and L. Boltwood;
18 Adam Clarke, LL.D., F.S.A., etc. The New Testament of our Lord and
Saviour Jesus Christ Vol. VI.
Fraser, M.A., D.D. Synoptical
Lectures of the Books of Holy Scripture Vol.
Robert Jamieson, D.D. Rev. A. R. Fausset, A.M. Rev. David Brown D.D. A
Commentary, Critical and explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments Vol. II The S. S. Scranton Company
21 Martin Luther. The Epistles of St. Peter and St. Jude Preached and
22 Barton W. Johnson. People’s New Testament. Internet Edition. 1891.
23 Arno Gaebelein. Annotated Bible. Internet Edition. 1920s.
24 John R. Dummelow. Dummelow’s Commentary on the Bible. Internet Edition. 1909.
25 Robert Hawker. Poor Man’s Commentary. Internet Edition. 1828.
26 Johann A. Bengel. Gnomon of the New Testament. Internet Edition. 1742.
27 Alexander MacLaren. Exposition of the Holy Scriptures. Internet Edition.
28 Matthew Poole. English Annotations on the Holy Bible. Internet Edition.
29 John Trapp. Complete Commentary. Internet Edition. Written 1600s;
30 Joseph Sutcliffe. Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. Internet
31 Albert Barnes. Notes on the New Testament. Internet Edition. 1870.
32 James Gray. Concise Bible Commentary. Internet Edition. 1897-1910.
33 F. B. Meyer. Thru The Bible (Commentary). Internet Edition. 1914 edition.
34 John and Jacob Abbott. Abbott’s Illustrated New Testament. Internet
35 John Calvin. Commentaries. Internet Edition. Written in 1500s. Printing:
36 William R. Nicoll, editor. Expositor’s Greek Testament. Internet
E. M. Plumptre. Internet Edition. 1890.
39 D. D. Whedon. Commentary on the New Testament; volume 5: Titus to
Revelation. Internet Edition.
40 Ariel A. Livermore. The Epistles to the Hebrews, the Epistles of James,
Peter, John, and Jude and the Revelation of John the Divine[:] Commentary
and Essays. Internet Edition.
41 M[ichael] F. Sadler. The General Epistles of SS. James, Peter, John, and
42 Robert S. Hunt. The Epistle to the Hebrews and the General Epistles. In
the Cottage Commentary series.
43 A. T. Robertson. New Testament Interpretation (Matthew to Revelation):
Notes on Lectures. Taken stenographically. Revised Edition by William M.
Fouts and Alice M. Fouts.
44 William G. Humphry. A Commentary on the Revised Version of the New
45 W. H. Bennett. The General Epistles: James, Peter, John and Jude. In the
Century Bible series.
46 A. J. Mason. “First Epistle of Peter” in Ellicott’s New Testament
Commentary for English Readers. Internet Edition. 1884.
47 Joseph Benson. Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. Internet
48 William B. Godbey. Commentary on the New Testament. Internet Edition.
49 James Nisbett, editor. Church Pulpit Commentary. Internet Edition. 1876.
[Note: this is not “The Pulpit Commentary.”]
50 Revere F. Weidner. Annotations on the General Epistles of James, Peter,
and Jude. In the Lutheran
Literature Company, 1897.
51 Schaff’s Popular Commentary on the New Testament. Internet Edition.