1 Peter 4

1So, since Christ suffered
Most mss2 A P Maj.) add ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν (huper hēmōn, “for us”); others (א* 69 1505 pc) add ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν (huper humōn, “for you”), the first hand of א also has ἀποθανόντος (apothanontos, “since he died”) instead of παθόντος (pathontos, “since he suffered”). But the reading without ὑπὲρ ἡ/ὑμῶν best explains the rise of the other readings, for not only is there confusion as to which pronoun belongs here, but the longer readings, being clarifications, are evidently motivated readings. The shortest reading is found in important and early Alexandrian and Western witnesses (Ƥ72 B C Ψ 0285 323 1739) and is strongly preferred.
in the flesh, you also arm yourselves with the same attitude, because the one who has suffered in the flesh has finished with sin,
Has finished with sin. The last sentence in v. 1 may refer to Christ as the one who suffered in the flesh (cf. 2:21, 23; 3:18; 4:1a) and the latter part would then mean, “he has finished dealing with sin.” But it is more likely that it refers to the Christian who suffers unjustly (cf. 2:19–20; 3:14, 17). This shows that he has made a break with sin as vs. 2 describes.
2in that he spends the rest of his time
This verse may give the purpose or result of their “arming” themselves as called for in v. 1b and then the translation would be: “so that you may spend the rest of your time…” But it is better to take it as explanatory of the last phrase in v. 1: what it means to be finished with sin.
on earth concerned about the will of God and not human desires.
3For the time that has passed was sufficient for you to do what the non-Christians
Grk “the Gentiles,” used here of those who are not God’s people.
Grk “to accomplish the desire of the Gentiles.”
You lived then
Grk “having gone along,” referring to the readers’ behavior in time past.
in debauchery, evil desires, drunkenness, carousing, drinking bouts,
According to BDAG 857 s.v. πότος the term refers to a social gathering at which wine is served, hence “drinking parties” (cf. TEV, NASB). However, the collocation with the other terms in v. 4 suggests something less sophisticated and more along the lines of wild and frenzied drinking bouts.
and wanton idolatries.
The Greek words here all occur in the plural to describe their common practice in the past.
Grk “in/by which,” referring to the change of behavior described in v. 3. The unbelievers are astonished by the readers’ moral transformation. Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
they are astonished
Or “are surprised, are taken aback.” The same verb occurs in 4:12.
when you do not rush with them into the same flood of wickedness, and they vilify you.
Grk “blaspheming,” giving the result of their astonishment. Here the target of their “blasphemy/vilification” is not God but the Christian.
5They will face a reckoning before
Grk “give an account to.”
Jesus Christ
Grk “the one”; the referent (Jesus Christ) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
who stands ready to judge the living and the dead.
6Now it was for this very purpose
Grk “since for this purpose the gospel was preached even to the dead,” referring to the purpose described in the clause to follow in v. 6b.
that the gospel was preached to those who are now dead,
In context the phrase those who are dead refers to those now dead who had accepted the gospel while they were still living and had suffered persecution for their faith. Though they “suffered judgment” in this earthly life (i.e., they died, in the midst of physical abuse from the ungodly), they will enjoy life from God in the spiritual, heavenly realm because of the gospel (v. 6b). It clearly does not assume a second chance for conversion offered to unbelievers who had died; why would Peter urge people to suffer in this life for the sake of the gospel if he believed that mercy would be extended to all the dead in the hereafter (cf. 2:7–8; 4:1–5, 12–19)?
so that though
Grk “so that they may be judged…but may live.” Greek emphasizes the contrast between these two clauses more than can be easily expressed in English.
they were judged in the flesh
Or “in their earthly lives,” since “flesh” here denotes the physical, earthly life. The phrase “in the flesh” is retained to preserve the links with 3:18 and 4:1 which use the same wording.
by human standards
Grk “according to men.”
they may live spiritually
Grk “in spirit,” referring to the heavenly, eternal realm of existence (cf. 3:18).
by God’s standards.
Grk “according to God.”

Service, Suffering, and Judgment

7 For the culmination of all things is near. So be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of prayer.
Grk “for prayers.”
8Above all keep
The primary verb of v. 8 is a participle (“having”) but it continues the sense of command from v. 7.
your love for one another fervent,
Or “constant.”
because love covers a multitude of sins.
The statement of v. 8b, love covers a multitude of sins, is proverbial: It is quoted from Prov 10:12 (cf. Jas 5:20). It speaks of the forbearance that comes with love: Christian love is patient and forgiving toward the offenses of a fellow Christian (Matt 18:21–22; 1 Cor 13:4–7).
9Show hospitality
There is no main verb in this verse (“showing hospitality” translates the adjective φιλόξενοι [filoxenoi]), but it continues the sense of command from v. 7.
to one another without complaining.
10Just as each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another
Grk “serving it to one another.” The primary verb is a participle but it continues the sense of command from v. 7.
as good stewards of the varied grace of God.
11Whoever speaks, let it be with
Grk “if anyone speaks - as God’s words.”
God’s words.
Or “oracles.”
Whoever serves, do so with the strength
Grk “if anyone serves - with strength…”
that God supplies, so that in everything God will be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong
Grk “is/are.”
the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.

12 Dear friends, do not be astonished
Or “do not be surprised, taken aback.” The same verb occurs in 4:4.
that a trial by fire is occurring among you,
Grk “at the burning among you, occurring to you for testing.”
as though something strange were happening to you.
13But rejoice in the degree that you have shared in the sufferings of Christ, so that when his glory is revealed
Grk “in the revelation of his glory.”
you may also rejoice and be glad.
The verb “be glad” is used also in 1:6 and 1:8. The verbs of v. 13b are used together in Matt 5:12 and Rev 19:7.
14If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory,
Many mss, some of them important and early ([א] A P 33 81 323 945 1241 1739 pm bo), add καὶ δυνάμεως (kai dunameōs; “and of power”) here. The shorter reading is supported by Ƥ72 B K L Ψ 049 pm). Although the evidence is evenly divided, the longer reading looks to be an explanatory or liturgical expansion on the text and for this reason should be considered secondary.
who is the Spirit of God ,
Grk “the Spirit of glory and of God.”
A quotation taken from Isa 11:2.
on you.
15But let none of you suffer as a murderer or thief or criminal or as a troublemaker.
The meaning of the Greek word used here is uncertain. It may mean “spy, informer,” “revolutionary,” or “defrauder, embezzler.” But the most likely meaning is “busybody, one who meddles in the affairs of others, troublesome meddler.” The translation given in the text is intended to suggest this general idea.
16But if you suffer as a Christian,
The verb is implied by the context but not expressed; Grk “but if as a Christian.”
do not be ashamed, but glorify
These are third-person imperatives in Greek (“if [one of you suffers] as a Christian, let him not be ashamed…let him glorify”), but have been translated as second-person verbs since this is smoother English idiom.
God that you bear such a name.
Grk “in this name.”
17For it is time for judgment to begin, starting with the house
Grk “to begin from the house.”
of God. And if it starts with us, what will be the fate
Or “the end.”
of those who are disobedient to the gospel of God?
18And if the righteous are barely saved, what will become of
Grk “where will he appear.”
the ungodly and sinners?
The personal references in v. 18 are generic singulars, but they have been changed to the plural in English to maintain consistency with the plurals of v. 17.
A quotation from Prov 11:31 (LXX).
19So then let those who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator as they do good.
Grk “in doing good.”

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