The First Epistle of St Peter the Apostle
Peter an Apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that dwell here and
there as strangers throughout Pontus, Galacia, Capadocia, Asia, and
Bethynia, elect by the foreknowledge of God the father through the
sanctifying of the spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the
blood of Jesus Christ.
Grace be with you and peace be multiplied.
Blessed be God the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which
through his abundant mercy begat us again unto a lively hope by the
resurrection of Jesus Christ from death, to enjoy an inheritance
immortal and undefiled, and that perishes not, reserved in heaven
for you, which are kept by the power of God through faith, unto
salvation, which salvation is prepared all ready to be showed in the
last time, in the which time you shall rejoice, though now for a
season (if need require) you are in heaviness, through many fold
temptations, that your faith once tried, being much more precious
than gold that perishes (though it be tried with fire) might be
found unto *laud,
glory, and honour, at the appearing of Jesus Christ: whom you have
not seen and yet love him, in whom even now, though you see him not,
you yet believe: and rejoice with joy unspeakable and glorious:
receiving the end of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Of which salvation have the Prophets enquired and searched,
which prophesied of the grace that should come unto you, searching
when or at what time the spirit of Christ which was in them, should
signify, which spirit testified before, the passions that should
come unto Christ, and the glory that should follow after: unto which
Prophets it was declared that not unto themselves, but unto us, they
should minister the things which are now showed unto you of them
which by the holy ghost sent down from heaven have preached unto you
the things which the angels desire to behold.
Wherefore gird up the loins of your minds, be sober, and trust
perfectly on the grace that is brought unto you, by the declaring of
Jesus Christ, as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves unto
your old lusts of ignorance: but as he which called you is holy even
so be you holy in all manner of conversation, because it is written.
Be you holy, for I am holy.
And if so be that you call on the father which without respect
of person judges according to every mans works, see that you pass
the time of your pilgrimage in fear. For as much as you know how
that you were not redeemed with corruptible silver and gold from
your vain conversation which you received by the traditions of the
fathers: but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb
undefiled, and without spot, which was ordained before the world was
made: but was declared in the last times for your sakes, which by
his means have believed on God that raised him from death, and
glorified him, that your faith and hope might be in God.
And for as much as you have purified your souls through the
spirit, in obeying the truth for to love brotherly without feigning
(pretending), see that you love one another with a pure heart
fervently: for you are born a new, not of mortal seed, but of
immortal, by the word of God which lives and lasts for ever. For all
flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man is as the flower of
grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls away, but the word of
the Lord endures ever. And this is the word which by the Gospell was
preached among you.
worship), *feigning (pretending)
Wherefore lay aside all *maliciousness and all guile
and dissimulation, and envy, and all backbiting: and as new born
babes, desire that reasonable milk, which is without corruption,
that you may be grown therin. If so be that you have tasted how
pleasant the Lord is, to whom you come as unto a living stone
disallowed of men, but chosen of God and precious: and you as living
stones, are made a spiritual house, and an holy priesthood for to
offer up spiritual sacrifice, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
Wherefore it is contained in the scripture: behold I put in
Sion an head corner stone, elect and precious: and he that believes
on him, shall not be ashamed. Unto you therefore which believe, he
is precious: but unto them which believe not, the stone which the
builders refused, the same is made the head stone in the corner, and
a stone to stumble at, and a rock to offend them which stumble at
the word, and believe not that whereon they were set. But you are a
chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, and a
peculiar people, that you should show the vertues of him that called
you out of darkness into his marvelous light, which in time past
were not a people, yet are now the people of God: which were not
under mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims,
abstain from fleshly lusts, which fight against the soul, and see
that you have honest conversation among the Gentiles, that they
which backbite you as evil doers, may see your good works and praise
God in the day of visitation.
Submit yourselves unto all manner ordinance of man for the
Lords sake, whether it be unto the King as unto the chief head:
*other unto rulers, as unto them that are sent of him, for the
punishment of evil doers: but for the *laud of them that do well.
For so is the will of God, that you put to silence the ignorance of
the foolish men: as free, and not as having the liberty for a cloak
of maliciousness, but even as the servants of God. Honour all men.
Love brotherly fellowship. Fear God and honour the king.
Servants obey your masters with all fear, not only if they be
good and courteous: but also though they be *froward. For it is
thankworthy if a man for conscience toward God endure grief,
suffering wrongfully. For what praise is it, if when you be buffeted
for your faults, you take it patiently? But and if when you do well,
you suffer wrong and take it patiently, then is there thank with
For hereunto verily were you called: for Christ also suffered
for us, leaving us an example that you should follow his steps,
which did no sin, neither was there guile found in his mouth: which
when he was reviled, reviled not again: when he suffered, he
threatened not: but committed the cause to him that judges
righteously, which his own self bare our sins in his body on the
tree, that we should be delivered from sin and should live in
righteousness. By whose stripes you were healed. For you were as
sheep going astray: but are now returned unto the shepherd and
bishop of your souls.
*maliciousness (unkindness against
another) *guile(deception), *other (or) *laud (honor) *froward:
stubborn, contrary, disobedient.
Likewise let the wives be in subjection to their husbands that
even they which believe not the word, may without the word be won by
the conversation of the wives: while they behold your pure
conversation coupled with fear. Whose apparel shall not be outward
with broided hair, and hanging on of gold, or in putting on of
gorgeous apparel: but let the hid man of the heart be uncorrupt,
with a meek and a quiet spirit, which spirit is before God a thing
much set by. For after this manner in the old time did the holy
women which trusted in God, attire themselves, and were obedient to
their husbands, even as Sara obeyed Abraham, and called him Lord:
whose daughters you are as long as you do well, not being afraid of
Likewise you men dwell with them according to knowledge: giving
honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as unto them
that are heirs also of the grace of life, that your prayers be not
In conclusion, be you all of one mind, one suffer with another,
love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous, not rendering evil for
evil, neither rebuke for rebuke: but contrariwise, bless,
remembering that you are thereunto called, even that you should be
heirs of blessing. If any man long after life, and loves to see good
days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they
speak not guile. Let him *eschew evil and do good: let him seek
peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the
righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers. But the face of
the Lord beholds them that do evil.
Moreover who is it that will harm you, if you follow that which
is good? Notwithstanding happy are you if you suffer for
righteousness sake. you and fear not though they seem terrible to
you, neither be troubled: but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts.
Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a
reason of the hope that is in you, and that with meekness and fear:
having a good conscience, that when they backbite you as evildoers,
they may be ashamed, for as much as they have falsely accused your
good conversation in Christ.
It is better (if the will of God be so) that you suffer for
well doing, than for evil doing. For as much as Christ has once
suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, for to bring us to God,
and was killed, as pertaining to the flesh: but was quickened in the
In which spirit he also went and preached unto the spirits that
were in prison, which were in time past disobedient, when the long
suffering of God abode exceeding patiently in the days of Noah,
while the ark was a preparing wherein few (that is to say, eight
souls) were saved by water, which signifies baptism that now saves
us, not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but in that a
good conscience consents to God, by the resurrection of Jesus
Christ, which is our right hand of God: and is gone into heaven,
angels, power and might subdued unto him.
For as much as Christ has suffered for us in the flesh, arm
yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he which suffers in the
flesh, ceases from sin, that he from this time on should live as
much time as remains in the flesh: not after the lusts of men, but
after the will of God. For it is sufficient for us that we have
spent the time that is past of the life, after the will of the
gentiles, walking in wantonness, lusts, drunkenness, in eating,
drinking and in abominable idolatry.
And it seems to them a strange thing that you run not also with
them unto the same excess of riot, and therefore speak they evil of
you, which shall give *accompts to him that is ready to judge quick
and dead. For unto this purpose verily was the gospel preached unto
the dead that they should be condemned of men in the flesh, but
should live before God in the spirit. The end of all things is at
Be you therefore discreet and sober, that you may be apt to
prayers. But above all things have fervent love among you. For love
covers the multitude of sins. Be you harbourous one to another, and
that without grudging. As every man has received the gift, minister
the same one to another as good ministers of the many fold grace of
God. If any man speak let him talk as though he spoke the words of
God. If any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God
ministers unto him. That, that God in all things may be glorified
through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and
while the world stands. Amen.
Dearly beloved, be not troubled in this heat, which now is come
among you to try you, as though some strange thing had happened unto
you: but rejoice, in as much as you are partakers of Christs
passions, that when his glory appears, you may be merry and glad. If
you be railed upon for the name of Christ happy are you. For the
spirit of glory and the spirit of God rests upon you. On their part
he is evil spoken of: but on your part he is glorified.
See that none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or an
evildoer, or as a
busybody in other mens matters. If any man suffer as a Christian
man, let him not be ashamed: but let him glorify God on his behalf.
For the time is come that judgement must begin at the house of God.
If it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them which believe
not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved: where
shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them that
suffer according to the will of God, commit their souls to him with
well doing, as unto a faithful creator.
*accompts (accounts, accomplishments)
The elders which are among you, I exhort, which am also an
elder and a witness of the afflictions of Christ, and also a
partaker of the glory that shall be opened: see that you feed
Christs flock which is among you taking the oversight of them not as
though you were compelled thereto, but willingly: not for the desire
of filthy lucre, but of a good mind, not as though you were lords
over the parishes: but that you be an example to the flock. And when
the chief shepherd shall appear, you shall receive an incorruptible
crown of glory. Likewise you younger submit your selves unto the
elder. Submit your selves every man, one to another, knit yourselves
together in lowliness of mind. For God resists the proud and gives
grace to the humble. Submit your selves therefore under the mighty
hand of God, that he may exalt you, when the time is come. Cast all
your care to him: for he cares for you.
Be sober and watch, for your adversary the devil as a roaring
lion walks about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist steadfast
in the faith, remembering that you do but fulfil the same
afflictions which are appointed to your brethren that are in the
world. The God of all grace, which called you unto his eternal glory
by Christ Jesus, shall his own self after you have suffered a little
affliction make you perfect: shall settle strength and establish
you. To him be glory and dominion for ever, and while the world
By Silvanus a faithful brother unto you (as I suppose) have I
written briefly, exhorting and testifying how that this is the true
grace of God, wherein you stand. The companions of your election
that are of Babylon, salutes you, and Marcus my son. Greet you one
another with the kiss of love. Peace be with you all which are in
Christ Jesus. Amen.
Here ends the first
epistle of saint Peter