1 Peter 3 is the third chapter of the First Epistle of Peter in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. The author identifies himself as "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ" and the epistle is traditionally attributed to Peter the Apostle.
The original text is written in Koine Greek.
Some of the oldest manuscripts containing this chapter are:
Papyrus 72 (3rd/4rd century)
Papyrus 81 (4rd century; extant: verses 1, 4-12).
Codex Vaticanus (AD 325-350)
Codex Sinaiticus (AD 330-360)
Codex Alexandrinus (ca. AD 400-440)
Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus (ca. AD 450; complete)
Papyrus 74 (7th century; extant: verses 4-5)
This chapter is divided into 22 verses.
This chapter can be grouped (with cross references to other parts of the Bible):1 Peter 3:1-6 = Submission to Husbands
1 Peter 3:7 = A Word to Husbands
1 Peter 3:8-12 = Called to Blessing
1 Peter 3:13-17 = Suffering for Right and Wrong
1 Peter 3:18-22 = Christ’s Suffering and Ours
New King James Versionnot returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.
New King James VersionBut sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;
The following is an extract from the work of theologian John Gill:
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts
Referring to Isaiah 8:13
not by making God holy, which need not, nor cannot be, as He being essentially, infinitely, and perfectly holy; but by declaring and proclaiming His holiness, as the seraphim in Isaiah's prophecy, and the four living creatures in the Book of Revelation did; and by glorifying of him, praising and applauding all His perfections, and among the rest, this of His holiness, and giving thanks at the remembrance of it; which He has so much displayed in the works of creation, providence, redemption, and grace. The Arabic version renders it, "bless the Lord God in your hearts." Some copies, as the Alexandrian, and one of Stephens's, read, "sanctify the Lord Christ"; and so read the Vulgate Latin and Syriac versions; and certain it is that He is intended in Isaiah 8:13
as appears from 1 Peter 3:14
compared with Romans 9:33 NKJV
; 1 Peter 2:8 NKJV
and be ready always to give an answer to every man that ask you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear;
By the hope that is in the saints, is not designed the grace of hope itself, which is given to them, and implanted in them in regeneration; the reason, ground, and foundation of which are, the love, grace, and mercy of God, through Christ, and his person, blood, righteousness, sacrifice, and redemption; but the Gospel, the whole Christian doctrine, the doctrine of faith, and which the Syriac version here calls the "hope of faith"; and the profession of Christianity, called in Hebrews 10:23 NKJV
, the profession of hope; in which persons profess their hope of eternal life and happiness through Christ, as doctrine of the Gospel directs them to. Now, a "reason" of this is to be given; not that they are to account for the Gospel, upon the foot of carnal reason; for that is not of men, nor according to the carnal reason of men; nor is it to be thought that every Christian should be capable of defending the Gospel, either in whole, or in part, by arguments and reasons, in a disputatious way, or to give a reason and argument for every particular truth; but that he should be well acquainted with the ground and foundation of the Christian religion; at least, with the first principles of the oracles of God, and be conversant with the Scriptures, and be able to point out that in them, which is the reason of his holding this and the other truth, though he is not able to give a gainsayer satisfaction, or to stop his mouth: and this is to be done with "meekness and fear"; with "meekness", before men; in an humble modest way; not with an haughty air, and in a morose and surly manner, which serves only to irritate and provoke: and with "fear"; either of God, and so the Ethiopic Version renders it, "with the fear of the Lord"; considering the subject of the argument, and the importance of it, and how much the honor of God is concerned in it; and taking care lest the answer should be delivered in a light, trifling, and negligent manner, and that no part of truth be dropped or concealed, in order to please men, and be screened from their resentments; or with all due reverence of, and respect to men, to superiors, to the civil magistrates, who may ask the reason; for they are to be treated with honor and esteem, and to be answered in an handsome and becoming manner, suitable to the dignity of their persons and office; as the Sanhedrin was by Stephen; and as Felix, Festus, and Agrippa, by the Apostle Paul: and this answer, or reason, is to be given to every man; that has authority to ask, and that asks in a modest manner, and with a reverence suitable to the subject; for the phrases, "with meekness and fear", may respect him that asks the reason, as well as him that gives the answer; for that which is holy is not to be given to dogs, to impudent persons, mockers and scoffers, nor are pearls to be cast before swine, filthy and irreverent persons; see Matthew 7:6 NKJV
the Alexandrian copy, and some others, and so the Vulgate Latin version, read, "but with meekness and fear"; for if it is not asked in such a way, there is no obligation to give an answer: and this is to be given "always"; whenever it is asked in such a manner, and by proper persons; when there is a necessity of it, and as opportunity offers: and saints should be always "ready to" give and therefore it becomes them daily and diligently to search the Scriptures, meditate on them, and get all the help and assistance they can, to lead them into an acquaintance with them, that they may be so; for though the apostles had extraordinary assistance promised them, and therefore were bid not to consider beforehand what they should say, when brought before kings and princes; yet this is not to be expected by ordinary persons, nor in ordinary cases. Agreeably to this is the advice of R. Eleazar;be diligent to learn the law, and know what thou shouldest answer to an Epicure,
or heretic: says R. Jochanan,
or ready; that is, in the same Scriptures on which they form their objections.
New King James Versionby whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison,