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|New American Bible|
2002 11 11
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1 Rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit,
insincerity, envy, and all slander;
like newborn infants, long for pure spiritual
milk so that through it you may grow into salvation,
for you have tasted that the Lord is good. 2
Come to him, a living stone, 3
rejected by human beings but chosen and precious in the sight of God,
and, like living stones, let yourselves be
built 4 into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to
offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
For it says in scripture: "Behold, I am
laying a stone in Zion, a cornerstone, chosen and precious, and whoever
believes in it shall not be put to shame."
Therefore, its value is for you who have faith,
but for those without faith: "The stone which the builders rejected has
become the cornerstone,"
and "A stone that will make people
stumble, and a rock that will make them fall." They stumble by disobeying
the word, as is their destiny.
5 But you are "a chosen race, a royal
priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the
praises" of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
Once you were "no people" but now you
are God's people; you "had not received mercy" but now you have
6 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and sojourners 7
to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against the soul.
Maintain good conduct among the Gentiles, so
that if they speak of you as evildoers, they may observe your good works and
glorify God on the day of visitation.
8 Be subject to every human institution for the
Lord's sake, whether it be to the king as supreme
or to governors as sent by him for the
punishment of evildoers and the approval of those who do good.
For it is the will of God that by doing good
you may silence the ignorance of foolish people.
Be free, yet without using freedom as a pretext
for evil, but as slaves of God.
Give honor to all, love the community, fear God,
honor the king.
9 Slaves, be subject to your masters with all
reverence, not only to those who are good and equitable but also to those who
For whenever anyone bears the pain of unjust suffering
because of consciousness of God, that is a grace.
But what credit is there if you are patient
when beaten for doing wrong? But if you are patient when you suffer for doing
what is good, this is a grace before God.
For to this you have been called, because
Christ also suffered 10 for you, leaving you an example that
you should follow in his footsteps.
"He committed no sin, and no deceit was
found in his mouth." 11
When he was insulted, he returned no insult;
when he suffered, he did not threaten; instead, he handed himself over to the
one who judges justly.
He himself bore our sins in his body upon the
cross, so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness. By his wounds
you have been healed.
For you had gone astray like sheep, but you
have now returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls. 12
1 [1-3] Growth toward salvation is
seen here as two steps: first, stripping away all that is contrary to the new
life in Christ; second, the nourishment (pure spiritual milk) that the newly
baptized have received.
2  Tasted that the Lord is good:
cf ⇒ Psalm 34:8.
3 [4-8] Christ is the cornerstone (cf
⇒ Isaiah 28:16) that is the foundation of the
spiritual edifice of the Christian community (⇒ 1 Peter
2:5). To unbelievers, Christ is an obstacle and a stumbling block on
which they are destined to fall (⇒ 1 Peter 2:8); cf
⇒ Romans 11:11.
4  Let yourselves be built: the
form of the Greek word could also be indicative passive, "you are being
built" (cf ⇒ 2 Peter 2:9).
5 [9-10] The prerogatives of ancient
Israel mentioned here are now more fully and fittingly applied to the Christian
people: "a chosen race" (cf ⇒ Isaiah
43:20-21) indicates their divine election (⇒ Eph
1:4-6); "a royal priesthood" (cf ⇒ Exodus
19:6) to serve and worship God in Christ, thus continuing the
priestly functions of his life, passion, and resurrection; "a holy
nation" (⇒ Exodus 19:6) reserved for God, a
people he claims for his own (cf ⇒ Malachi 3:17) in
virtue of their baptism into his death and resurrection. This transcends all
natural and national divisions and unites the people into one community to
glorify the one who led them from the darkness of paganism to the light of
faith in Christ. From being "no people" deprived of all mercy, they
have become the very people of God, the chosen recipients of his mercy (cf
⇒ Hosea 1:9; 2:23).
[⇒ 2:11-⇒ 3:12] After
explaining the doctrinal basis for the Christian community, the author makes
practical applications in terms of the virtues that should prevail in all the
social relationships of the members of the community: good example to Gentile
neighbors (⇒ 1 Peter 2:11-12); respect for human
authority (⇒ 1 Peter 2:13-17); obedience, patience,
and endurance of hardship in domestic relations (⇒ 1 Peter
2:18-25); Christian behavior of husbands and wives
(⇒ 1 Peter 3:1-7); mutual charity
(⇒ 1 Peter 3:8-12).
7  Aliens and sojourners: no
longer signifying absence from one's native land (⇒ Genesis
23:4), this image denotes rather their estrangement from the world
during their earthly pilgrimage (see also ⇒ 1 Peter
1:1, ⇒ 17).
8 [13-17] True Christian freedom is
the result of being servants of God (16; see the note on ⇒ 1
Peter 2:18-23). It includes reverence for God, esteem for every
individual, and committed love for fellow Christians (⇒ 1
Peter 2:17). Although persecution may threaten, subjection to human
government as urged (⇒ 1 Peter 2:13,
⇒ 17) and concern for the impact of Christians'
conduct on those who are not Christians (⇒ 1 Peter
2:12, ⇒ 15).
9 [18-21] Most of the labor in the
commercial cities of first-century Asia Minor was performed by a working class
of slaves. The sense of freedom contained in the gospel undoubtedly caused
great tension among Christian slaves: witness the special advice given
concerning them here and in ⇒ 1 Cor 7:21-24;
⇒ Eph 6:5-8; ⇒ Col
3:22-25; Phl. The point made here does not have so much to do with
the institution of slavery, which the author does not challenge, but with the
nonviolent reaction (⇒ 1 Peter 2:20) of slaves to
unjust treatment. Their patient suffering is compared to that of Jesus
(⇒ 1 Peter 2:21), which won righteousness for all
10  Suffered: some ancient manuscripts
and versions read "died" (cf ⇒ 1 Peter
11 [22-25] After the quotation of
⇒ Isaiah 53:9b, the passage describes Jesus' passion
with phrases concerning the Suffering Servant from ⇒ Isaiah
53:4-12, perhaps as employed in an early Christian confession of
faith; cf ⇒ 1 Peter 1:18-21 and
⇒ 1 Peter 3:18-22.
12  The shepherd and guardian of
your souls: the familiar shepherd and flock figures express the care,
vigilance, and love of God for his people in the Old Testament (Psalm 23;
⇒ Isaiah 40:11; ⇒ Jeremiah
23:4-5; ⇒ Ezekiel 34:11-16) and of Jesus
for all humanity in the New Testament (⇒ Matthew
18:10-14; ⇒ Luke 15:4-7;
⇒ John 10:1-16; ⇒ Hebrews
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