Bibliotheca Sacra 139 (1982) 146-158.

          Copyright © 1982 by Dallas Theological Seminary.  Cited with permission.

 

 

                                     Selected Studies from 1 Peter

                                                         Part 2:

 

 

          The Suffering and Triumphant Christ:

               An Exposition of 1 Peter 3:18-22

 

 

                                               D. Edmond Hiebert

 

 

                For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust,

            in order that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in

            the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; in which also He went and

            made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, who once were

            disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of

            Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is,

            eight persons, were brought safely through the water. And corres-

            ponding to that, baptism now saves you — not the removal of dirt

            from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience --

            through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is at the right hand

            of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and

            powers had been subjected to Him (1 Pet. 3:18-22, NASB).

 

            This paragraph is notoriously obscure and difficult to inter-

pret. Its study readily brings to mind the Petrine comment con-

cerning the Pauline epistles, "in which are some things hard to

understand" (2 Pet. 3:16). The difficulties center in the central

part of the paragraph. But it is a matter of gratitude that the

commencement of the passage, which declares the aim of

Christ's vicarious suffering (1 Pet. 3:18), and the conclusion,

which depicts the culmination of His suffering in triumph (v. 22)

— matters which are essential to the faith — are clear and un-

ambiguous.

            The unifying theme of this perplexing paragraph is Christ's

undeserved suffering for righteousness. The initial "for" (o!ti), or

"because," indicates Peter's intention to encourage the readers to

persevere in their own sufferings and to assure them of coming

triumph in Christ as risen and exalted.


                                                146

 



The Suffering and Triumphant Christ: An Exposition of 1 Peter 3:18-22 147

 

            The treatment of Christian suffering for righteousness in

3:13-17 prompts Peter to refer to Christ's undeserved sufferings

(v. 18a); this elicits an involved treatment of the consequences of

His suffering (vv. 18b-21), concluding with a declaration of His

triumph (v. 22).

 

                            The Character of His Suffering

 

            "For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the

unjust, in order that He might bring us to God" (v. 18a,b). These

words are aptly characterized as "one of the shortest and sim-

plest, and yet one of the richest, summaries given in the New

Testament of the meaning of the Cross of Jesus."1 Peter assures

the readers that suffering for righteousness brings them into

close identity with the experience of their Savior and Lord. It is

"clear proof," Macknight observes, "that sufferings are no evi-

dence of the wickedness of the sufferer, nor of the badness of the

cause for which he suffers."2

            The words "Christ also" imply something of a parallel be-

tween Christ and His followers. Peter already touched on this

parallel in 2:21-23 where Christ is held up as the believer's

example in suffering. But here Christ's suffering "is not pre-

sented as an example, but rather as something quite unique,

beyond imitation; it does not present so much a standard of

behaviour as the objective ground and cause of salvation."3

 

THE PORTRAYAL OF HIS SUFFERING (3:18a)

            The phrase, "Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for

the unjust„" declares the redemptive nature of His suffering.

Manuscript variants raise the problem whether "died" (a]pe<qanen)

or "suffered" (e@paqen) is here the original reading. The manu-

script evidence for "died" is stronger, but due to critical consid-

erations textual editors are divided on their preference.4 "Died" is

the reading followed in most recent English versions. The

thought is not materially affected with either since the reference

is clearly to Christ's Passion. Early Christian usage included the

fact of Christ's death in speaking of His "suffering."

            Peter once strongly objected to the thought of the Messiah

suffering (Matt. 16:22), but now he firmly declares that historical

fact. Two terms point to the unique nature of His death. "Once

for all'' (a!pac), together with the aorist tense of the verb, marks

His atoning work as something which cannot be repeated. This

 



148                 Bibliotheca Sacra — April-June 1982

 

"once-for-all" offering of Christ stands in contrast to the annual

sacrifice of the Jewish high priest on the Day of Atonement and

declares the absolute sufficiency of Christ's sacrifice (Heb. 9:24-

28; 10:12). "For sins" (peri> a[martiw?n), standing second in the

original, declares that His suffering unto death was more than

exemplary; it centered on the mass of human sins in a way the

sufferings of mortal men could never do. This is the regular

phrase in the Septuagint for the sin offering (cf. Lev. 5:7; 6:30)

and conveys the thought of atonement. The plural "sins" points

to the great mass of sins which Christ in His death bore for

mankind.

            "The just for the unjust" (di<kaioj u[pe>r a]di<kwn) directs atten-

tion to the character of the Sufferer as well as those who benefit

from His sacrificial death. The two antithetical terms, used with-

out an article, effectively contrast the moral character of the two

parties, "a righteous One in place of unrighteous ones." Christ's

character as "just" or righteous fully qualifies Him to deal with

sin in acting "for" (u[pe>r, "instead of"), or as the substitute for

those who fail to conform to the divine standard of right. The

one Man, whose perfect righteousness meant that He never Cie-

served to die, endured the pains of death on behalf of those who

deserved to die."5

 

THE AIM OF HIS SUFFERING (3:18b)

            "In order that He might bring us to God" gives a clear,

concise statement of the great purpose in Christ's once-for-all

death on behalf of sinners. This was "well-doing" in the highest

sense. It constitutes the most powerful appeal to induce sinners

to accept the redemption He has wrought for them. The state-

ment assumes the fact of mankind's estrangement from God

because of sin. But through Christ's atoning death, sin-

estranged humans may be restored to fellowship with "God" (t&?

qe&?), the true God whom believers now know personally. The

dative implies a direct personal relationship with God. Believers

are restored to His gracious favor now; hereafter they shall be re-

stored to His blissful presence.

            The compound verb "might bring" (prosaga<g^) in the aorist

indicates that the purpose was to bring the estranged into an

actual intimate relationship with God. For the saved the purpose

has been realized. The most natural picture behind the expres-

sion is that of the forgiven sinner being brought into the presence

of the King by Christ the Redeemer (cf. Rom. 5:2).

 



The Suffering and Triumphant Christ: An Exposition of 1 Peter 3:18-22 149

 

                        The Consequences of His Suffering

 

            The terse statement of Christ's suffering is followed with an

involved and difficult elaboration of the consequences of His

sufferings. The suffering must be understood in the light of its

consequences (3:18c-21).

 

THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF THE SUFFERER (3:18c)

            Two balanced phrases state the result: "having been put to

death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit." The Greek

construction is identical in each phrase, indicating intended

balance and correspondence between them.

            "Having been put to death in the flesh" declares the violent

death of Jesus, terminating His life as a man here on earth. Men

took violent action against Him to procure His death. "Flesh"

(sarki>), used without an article, is qualitative and refers to the

humanity He assumed at the Incarnation (John 1:14; 1 Tim.

3:16) and characterizes Him as a man among men here on earth.

He was no Docetic phantom who only appeared to have a body.

            "But made alive in the spirit" declares a glorious antithesis.

God acted to bring Him to life again (cf. Rom. 8:11; 1 Pet. 1:21).

Some interpreters hold that the reference here is not to Christ's

bodily resurrection but rather pictures the quickening of His

spirit, which, set free from the limitations of His body, entered

into a new life in the spiritual realm and engaged in spiritual

activities in the spiritual world.6 Verse 19 is then readily under-

stood as relating to a time between Christ's death and resurrec-

tion. But the antithetical structure of these two clauses more

naturally suggests His resurrection as over against His death.

The verb (z&opoihqei>j), used in ten other places in the New

Testament, refers to the resurrection of the dead (John 5:21

[twice]; Rom. 5:17; 8:11; 1 Cor. 15:22, 36, 45) or denotes the

giving of spiritual life (John 6:63; 2 Cor. 3:6; Gal. 3:21). It clearly

means to give life where before it had ceased to be or where it had

never been. In Romans 8:11 it is used synonymously with "raise

up" (e]geo>rw) and asserts resurrection. Christ's redemptive victory

was not complete until His resurrection. The expression does not

refer to a quickening of His disembodied spirit which did not die.

            The balanced grammatical structure also implies an antith-

esis between "flesh" (sarki>) and "spirit" (pneu<mati), suggesting

that the two nouns should be taken in the same case. The two

 



150                 Bibliotheca Sacra — April-June 1982

 

terms are best taken as datives of reference, "with regard to flesh

... with regard to spirit." But how are "flesh" and "spirit" to be

understood?

            Some have understood the two terms as denoting the mate-

rial and the nonmaterial sides of the man Jesus. But such a view

poses the problem of how His nonmaterial "soul" or "spirit" can

be said to have been raised to life. Others understand a contrast

between the human and divine natures of the incarnate Lord.

But such a separation between the human and the divine does

not seem to accord with the New Testament teaching of the

Incarnation. Perhaps the most probable view is that both terms

refer to the whole Christ. Both "flesh" and "spirit," each used

without an article, emphasize quality and denote two contrasted

modes of the Lord's existence as incarnate, before and after the

resurrection. Kelly observes:

            By flesh is meant Christ in His human sphere of existence, consid-

            ered as a man among men. By spirit is meant Christ in His heavenly,

            spiritual sphere of existence, considered as divine spirit; and this

            does not exclude His bodily nature, since as risen from the dead it is

            glorified.7

The contrast is between Christ's death as a real man here on

earth and His risen life as the glorified Lord. The phrase "made

alive in the spirit" does not refer to Christ's disembodied spirit

but to His quickening in resurrection as the glorified Lord.

 

THE PREACHING TO "THE SPIRITS IN PRISON" (3:19-2ob)

            The difficulties of this paragraph cluster around verse 19:

"in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now

in prison." The words pose a series of intriguing and baffling

questions: Who are "the spirits in prison"? Where is the prison?

When did Christ preach to them? What was His message to

them? The literature is voluminous, and varied answers are

given. But as France remarks, "There is probably no more agree-

ment about its exegesis now than there ever has been."8

            Peter mentions Christ's preaching to the imprisoned spirits

(v. 19) and adds a further characterization of these spirits (v.

20a, b). Peter's purpose clearly was to encourage his afflicted

readers, and obviously he expected his words to be understood.

But subsequent ages have been much perplexed as to his

meaning; each of his terms has been understood differently.

            "In whom" (e]m &$) involves the question of the antecedent on

which this pronoun depends. Most interpreters hold that this

 



The Suffering and Triumphant Christ: An Exposition of 1 Peter 3:18-22 151

 

neuter pronoun relates directly to "spirit" (pneu<mati) just before

it. Some would broaden the antecedent to include the preceding

clause, but this seems unwarranted since an antecedent for the

relative is immediately available in the noun "spirit." This writer

understands the reference to be to Christ in His resurrection life,

rather than to a time between His death and resurrection.

            "Also" (kai>), to be taken with the following words, indicates

that a further activity of Christ is being presented. Peter had

already mentioned the redemptive activity of Christ in bringing

believers to God (v. 18), a truth precious to the hearts of his

readers. Now Peter mentions a second activity of the risen Christ,

which took place in the sphere of the spirit world.

            The recipients of this further ministry are emphatically iden-

tified as "the spirits now in prison" (toi?j e]n fulak^? pneu<masin).

The attributive position of the prepositional phrase "in prison"

(e]n fulak^?) most naturally implies that it was as imprisoned

spirits that Christ preached to them. The word "now" is not

represented in the original. On the identity of these "spirits,"

three major views, with variants, are held.

            The most recent identification sees a reference to the men

alive after Pentecost to whom the gospel was preached by Christ

through the apostles, men in a natural prison house of bondage

to sin and Satan.9 The men of Noah's day are seen as noted

examples of this sinful race. However, such a highly figurative

interpretation of "prison" is contrary to the prevailing meaning

of the term in the New Testament as a place of confinement for

criminals, real or supposed. Nor does "went" (poreuqei>j), an

aorist participle, fit such an extended activity. This view seems

quite improbable.

            Another view, which goes back at least as far as Augustine,10

is that these spirits who are now in prison are the disembodied

souls of the people who perished in the Flood, and that the

preincarnate Christ preached to them through Noah, warning

them of the coming disaster and urging them to repent. This

view found wide acceptance in the medieval Western church and

has strong advocates today.11  It agrees with Peter's later reference

to Noah as "a preacher of righteousness" (2 Pet. 2:5). Such

preaching through Noah can be understood on the principle of

Ephesians 2:17. This view eliminates any references to the diffi-

cult doctrine of Christ's descent into Hades. But this view does

face some strong difficulties. That the activity of Christ Himself

should suddenly be equated with the preaching of Noah is not

 



152                 Bibliotheca Sacra — April-June 1982

 

obvious. The verb "made proclamation" (e]kh<rucen) in the aorist

tense naturally implies a specific event rather than a series of

admonitions extending over long years. It empties the participle

rendered "He went" (poreuqei>j) of its personal significance and

reduces it to an empty pleonasm. It overlooks the natural im-

plication of Peter's word order that the preaching was to impris-

oned spirits.

            A third view, apparently the oldest, identifies these "spirits

in prison" with fallen angels, equated with "the sons of God" in

Genesis 6. This view was widely known and generally taken for

granted in the apostolic age. It is strongly presented in the Book

of Enoch, a composite pre-Christian, Jewish apocryphal writing

widely known in the early Christian church., This view fell into

disfavor with the fourth-century church.12 This angelic trans-

gression was always viewed as having taken place just prior to the

Flood. Proponents point to 2 Peter 2:4-5 and Jude 6 as evidence

that this view was known and accepted in the early Christian

church. They also point out that in the Gospels the word "spirits"

frequently refers to supernatural beings (Mark 1:23, 26, 27;

3:11; 5:2, 8; etc.). The only clear instance in the New Testament

where "spirits" is used of the surviving part of man after death is

in Hebrews 12:23, but this is immediately indicated by the addi-

tion "of righteous men made perfect."13 References to "spirits" as

supernatural beings, either good or bad, occur in the intertes-

tamental literature, for example, Tobit 6:6; 2 Maccabees 3:24;

Book of Jubilees 15:31; The Testament of Dan (in The Testa-

ments of the Twelve Patriarchs) 1:7; 5:5. This view seems to be

supported by the teaching in 2 Peter 2:4 and Jude 614 and is

therefore the most probable.

            The participle rendered "He went" (poreuqei>j) most naturally

denotes a change of location on the part of the herald implied in

the following verb "made proclamation." Those who see a refer-

ence to the preincarnate Christ preaching through Noah hold

that no personal movement need be implied. But if the reference

is to Christ Himself there seems to be no more justification for

eliminating personal movement here than in verse 22 where

movement is obvious. But in what direction did He go? The

verbal form itself is neutral on the question. Dalton insists that

since this participle in verse 22 definitely refers to the Ascension

it must also do so here.15 But in verse 22 the upward movement is

indicated by the words "into heaven." If these "spirits in prison"

are to be equated with the angels that sinned in 2 Peter 2:4, the

 



The Suffering and Triumphant Christ: An Exposition of 1 Peter 3:18-22 153

 

movement was clearly downward, to Tartarus, which in Greek

thought and in Jewish apocalyptic literature was viewed as a

place of punishment lower than Hades. The time of this descent,

not mentioned elsewhere in Scripture, is not certain. May it not

have been immediately after His resurrection, before His appear-

ances to His followers in Jerusalem?

            "Made proclamation" (e]kh<rucen), here used absolutely, is

another crucial term for the interpretation. This familiar verb,

only here in the Petrine Epistles, means "to announce, to pro-

claim aloud" as a herald, to make a public proclamation. The

content of the proclamation must be indicated by the context. In

the majority of its New Testament occurrences it refers to the

preaching of the gospel. Understanding the "spirits in prison" to

be hurnans who have died, this meaning has been appealed to in

support of the so-called "larger hope," or, more correctly, a

second chance. Such an interpretation of the meaning here

raises serious theological difficulties.

            The New Testament does use this verb in a neutral sense

(Luke 12:3; Rev. 5:2). The Septuagint, with which Peter certainly

was familiar, uses the verb to refer to bringing bad news as well as

good news (Jon. 1:2; 3:2, 4). Such a neutral meaning also fits

Peter's purpose to boost the morale of his afflicted readers if the

picture is that of Christ's announcing His victory over evil powers

rather than of an offer of salvation. France points out that "the

statement in verse 22 that all spiritual powers are subject to

Christ would cohere better with a proclamation of his victory

than with an offer of salvation to them."16 Thus Peter is not

saying that Christ preached the gospel to these imprisoned spir-

its but rather announced His triumph over evil, which was bad

news for them. But for Peter's readers it meant comfort and

encouragement.

            These spirits are characterized in verse 20 as those "who

once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in

the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark." "Who once

were disobedient" (a]peiqh<sasi<n pote, "unyielding at one time,"

Rotherham's rendering) characterizes them by their former con-

duct. The verb involves deliberate disobedience, conscious re-

sistance to authority. "Once" (pote, "formerly, at some time in the

past") indicates that their disobedience took place prior to their

imprisonment and Christ's announcement to them. If the identi-

fication of these "spirits" as angels is correct, then the reference

is to the angelic transgression of God's command (Jude 6-7; Gen.

 



154     Bibliotheca Sacra — April-June 1982

 

6). Peter links the time to the days of Noah before the Flood.  The

double compound verb "kept waiting" (a]pecede<xeto)17 indicates

eager waiting for something to happen, an attitude of "waiting it

out." No indication of what God waited for is added, but

apparently it was the voluntary termination of the evil being

carried on. The term does not suggest optimism but rather God's

patient forbearance with evil before judgment falls.

            This disobedience took place "in the days of Noah, during the

construction of the ark." The reference does not settle the ques-

tion of the identity of the "spirits in prison," since it can apply

either to the people of Noah's day or to the fallen angels whose

activity is uniformly related to the era before the Flood. The

phrase, "during the construction of the ark" (kataskeuazome<nhj

kibwtou?), rendering a present tense participle, indicates the

prolonged activity extending over an unknown number of years.

God's patience with obstinate evil is marvelous, but it does have

its limits.

 

THE SALVATION THROUGH WATER TYPIFYING BAPTISM (3:20c-21)

            The mention of the ark enabled Peter to shift his thought

from those, on whom judgment fell to those who were saved. He

mentioned the few who were saved (v. 20c) and elaborated on the

illustrative significance of that event (v. 21).

            The events following the construction of the ark are briefly

stated: "in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought

safely through the water" (v. 20c). "Few," as contrasted to the

many who perished, is an encouragement to Peter's readers who

were rejected minorities in their own communities. The water of

the Flood, which brought death to the wicked, paradoxically was

the very means of deliverance for the saved in that it bouyed up

the ark, bringing them safely through to the new world.

            Peter views the salvation of Noah and his family through the

Flood waters by means of the ark as an illustration of Christian

baptism: "And corresponding to that, baptism now saves you" (v.

21). The relationship involves some complexities of grammar as

well as perplexities for the interpreter. This is the only direct

mention of water baptism in the Epistles.

            There is some grammatical uncertainty concerning the

antecedent on which the reference of baptism is based.18 The

relative pronoun o! in the original seems best understood as

including the entire preceding picture of Noah and his family in

the ark being saved through water. What corresponds to baptism

 



The Suffering and Triumphant Christ: An Exposition of 1 Peter 3:18-22 155

 

is best understood as referring to God's saving act in saving the

readers as He saved Noah and his family.

            What the Flood scene represents is explicitly identified by

Peter as "baptism" (ba<ptisma). Some hold that the reference is to

Spirit baptism (1 Cor. 12:13),19 but most interpreters agree with

Wuest that "water baptism is clearly in the apostle's mind."20 The

term, which does not occur in pagan or Jewish literature before

the time of the New Testament, denotes not the act of baptizing

but rather the rite of Christian baptism in its true significance.

            The assertion that "baptism now saves you" must not be

severed from Peter's identification of this baptism. The material

waters of Christian baptism are not the outward instrument

producing an inner spiritual regeneration; baptism is rather an

act of obedience bearing witness to a personal inner union by

faith with Christ in death and resurrection (cf. Rom. 6:3-5; Gal.

3:27; Col. 2:12). Peter, like Paul, assumed that in true Christian

baptism the outward act and the inner reality are kept together.

Peter then added two appositional clauses to define the nature of

baptism.

            Negatively, baptism is "not the removal of dirt from the

flesh," that is, it is not a mere rite of physical purification. The

word "but" (a]lla>) marks a strong contrast. Positively, baptism is

"an appeal to God for a good conscience," another phrase that

has been variously understood. Central to the interpretation is

the word "appeal" (e]perw<thma), which occurs only here in the New

Testarent. The cognate verb (e]perwta<w) is commonly rendered

"to ask, to question, to inquire." But such a meaning for the

noun here seems questionable. In Matthew 16:1 this verb means

"to request." On this basis some suggest "a request for (or,

proceeding from) a good conscience." Thus baptism can be

viewed as "an appeal to God for a good conscience" (NASB).

            The papyri show that the noun e]perw<thma was at times used

in a technical sense to denote the question-and-answer process

in establishing a formal agreement.21 In usage this term, which

denotes only the asking of a question, also came to include the

response. In juristic language it was used to denote a legal

contract.22 This usage made the term suitable to the solemnities

in connection with Christian baptism, involving the questions

asked of the baptismal candidate and his personal response

concerning his faith and commitment. Modern interpreters

generally view Peter's expression in the light of this usage. Then it

may be rendered, "a pledge to God out of a good conscience" (if

 



156                 Bibliotheca Sacra — April-June 1982

 

"conscience" is a subjective genitive), or "a pledge to maintain a

good conscience" (if "conscience" is an objective genitive). Several

other terms for this Greek noun appear in modern English

versions.23

            In view of this question-and-answer usage of the noun, the

rendering in the Authorized Version, "the answer of a good con-

science toward God," is quite acceptable. The believer's accep-

tance of baptism is his answer to the Spirit's questions stirring

his conscience and resulting in his conversion. His answer is

given out of "a good conscience," a conscience purified by the

blood of Christ and assured of personal acceptance with God. His

baptism is his answer to the work of God in his heart, bearing

witness before the world to what God has done for him. This

forms a good contrast to the preceding negative.

            The phrase "through the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (v.

21c) may be a direct continuation of the preceding words or may

be connected with the word "saves." The former connection mars

the balance between the two preceding clauses, while the latter

connection makes clear the true source of the believer's salva-

tion. Without His resurrection, the guarantee of His victory,

baptism would be an empty form.

            With this reference to Christ's resurrection the thought re-

turns to the triumph of the suffering Christ in verses 18-19. It

forms a natural transition to the picture of the culmination of

His suffering.

 

                        The Culmination of His Suffering

 

            The picture of the suffering Christ culminates in His

triumph: "who is at the right hand of God, having gone into

heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been sub-

jected to Him" (v. 22). Now the picture is crystal clear, and in the

center stands the Savior's throne!

            His presence "at the right hand of God," in fulfillment of

Psalm 110:1, declares His present position as enthroned in

power and glory. It is the position of honor and authority next

to God. He is associated with the Almighty in the governing of

the universe.

            Peter added two participial clauses pointing to events prior

to Christ's heavenly enthronement. "Having gone into heaven"

(poreuqei?j ei]j ou]rano<n) marks an event which culminated

in the enthronement of the risen Christ. Few passages in the New

 



The Suffering and Triumphant Christ: An Exposition of 1 Peter 3:18-22 157

 

Testament depict this historical event (Mark 16:19; Luke 24:51;

Acts 1:6-11). These words constitute a passing reminiscence of

an eyewitness to that unforgettable event.

            The second clause, "after angels and authorities and powers

had been subjected to Him," underlines the universality of

Christ's dominion. This clause, in the genitive absolute con-

struction, portrays the fact of the angelic subjection as the back-

ground for Christ's present sovereignty. Masterman remarks,

"The thought of subjection, that has been in the mind of the

Apostle throughout these chapters, reaches its climax here."24

            "Angels and authorities and powers" apparently indicates

different groups or ranks of angelic beings. Some, like Lenski,25

hold that the reference is to good angels; this would be obvious if

the expression is to be closely linked with the word "heaven" just

before. But the genitive absolute construction connects the pic-

ture with Christ's all-inclusive domination. The inclusion of evil

angels seems clear (Col. 2:14-15). Christ's sovereignty over all

spiritual forces is a precious assurance to afflicted believers.

Peter's readers, who were facing a very real onslaught from evil

powers through their enemies, would find real encouragement in

this remark.

 

                                                Notes

 

1   J. M. E. Ross, "The First Epistle of Peter," in A Devotional Commentary

(London: The Religious Tract Society, n.d.), pp. 151-52.

2   James Macknight, A New Literal Translation from the Original Greek of All

the Apostolic Epistles, with a Commentary, and Notes, 6 vols. (1821; reprint ed.,

Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1969), 5:478.

3   William Joseph Dalton, Christ's Proclamation to the Spirits: A Study of 1

Peter 3:18 4:6 (Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute, 1965), p. 104.

4   In support of e@paqen see F. H. Scrivener, He Kaine Diatheke. Novum

Testamentum. Text us Stephanici A.D. 1550 (London: Whittaker Et Soc: Bell Et

Daldy: 1867); Alexander Souter, Novum Testamentum Graece, 2d ed. (Oxford:

Clarendon Press, 1962); Nestle-Aland, Novum Testamentum Graece, 26th ed.

(Stuttgart: Deutsche Biblestiftung, 1979); Kurt Aland et al., The Greek New

Testament, 3d ed. (New York: United Bible Societies, 1975). In support of

a]pe<qanen see Brooke Foss Westcott and Fenton John Anthony Hort, The New

Testament in the Original Greek (New York: American Bible Society, 1966); Kurt

Aland et al., The Greek New Testament, 2d ed. (New York: American Bible Society,

1966) Erwin Nestle and Kurt Aland, Novum Testamentum Graece, 24th ed. (New

York: American Bible Society, n.d.); R. V. G. Tasker, The Greek New Testament,

Being the Text Translated in the New English Bible 1961 (Oxford: Oxford

University Press, 1964).

5   David H. Wheaton, " 1 Peter," in The New Bible Commentary, Revised, eds. D.

Guthrie and J. A. Moyter (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1970), p. 1244.

6   John Albert Bengel, New Testament Word Studies (reprinted., Grand Rapids:

Kregel Publications, 1971) 2:746; B. C. Caffin, "I Peter," in The Pulpit

 



158                 Bibliotheca Sacra — April-June 1982

 

Commentary (reprint ed., Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1950),

p. 133; A. J. Mason, "The First Epistle General of Peter," in Ellicott's Commentary on

the Whole Bible, 8 vols. (reprint ed., Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House,

n.d.), 8:420; J. W. C. Wand, The General Epistles of St. Peter and St. Jude,

Westminster Commentaries (London: Methuen & Co., 1934), p. 100.

7   J. N. D. Kelly, A Commentary on the Epistles of Peter and of Jude, Harper's

New Testament Commentaries (New York: Harper & Row, 1969), p. 151,

8   R. T. France,"Exegesis in Practice: Two Samples," in New Testament: Inter-

pretation, Essays on Principles and Methods, ed. I. Howard Marshall (Grand

Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1977), p. 264.

9   John Brown, Expository Discourses on the First Epistle of the Apostle Peter

(reprint ed. [3 vols. in 2], Marshallton, DE: National Foundation for Christian

Education, n.d.), 2:463-75; W. H. Griffith Thomas, The Apostle Peter: Outline

Studies in His Life, Character, and Writings (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans

Publishing Co., 1946), pp. 214, 216-17.

10   In the letter of Augustine (A.D. 354–430) to Euodius. For the history of this

view see Bo Reicke, The Epistles of James, Peter, and Jude, The Anchor Bible

(Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Co., 1964), pp. 37-47.

11   Arno C. Gaebelein, The Annotated Bible (reprint ed., Chicago: Moody Press,

1970), 9:78-80; William Kelly, Preaching to the Spirits in Prison, 1 Peter III. 18-20

(reprint ed., Denver: Wilson Foundation, 1970); C. E. B. Cranfield, I & II Peter and

Jude: Introduction and Commentary, Torch Bible Commentaries (London: SCM

Press, 1960), p. 102; Ray Summers, "1 Peter," in The Broadman Bible Commen-

tary, ed. Clifton J. Allen, 12 vols. (Nashville: Broadman Press), 12:164.

12   The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, s.v. "Enoch, Books of,"

by H. G. Andersen, 2:310-11.

13   In Luke 24:37, 39 the word "spirit" means a ghost or man's angelic counter-

part. In Luke 23:46 and Acts 7:59 "my spirit" is probably a substitute for the

personal pronoun.

14   For a full presentation of this view see Dalton, Christ's Proclamation to the

Spirits, pp. 135-201.

15   Ibid., pp. 159-61.

16   France, "Exegesis in Practice," p. 271.

17   The Textus Receptus here does not have the double compound, reading

e]cede>xeto.

18   The antecedent to the neuter relative o cannot be the ark, since ark is a

feminine noun. The antecedent is either "water" just before it, or more probably it

is the entire preceding picture of Noah and his family in the ark being saved

through the Flood waters.

19   Merrill F. Unger, The Baptism and Gifts of the Holy Spirit (Chicago: Moody

Press, 1974), pp. 129-31.

20   Kenneth S. Wuest, First Peter in the Greek New Testament for the English

Reader (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1942), p. 108.

21   James Hope Moulton and George Milligan, The Vocabulary of the Greek

Testament Illustrated from the Papyri and Other Non-Literary Sources I reprint

ed., London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1952), pp. 231-32; Reicke, The Epistles of

James, Peter, and Jude, pp. 184-85.

22   Hermann Cremer, Biblico-Theological Lexicon of New Testament Greek,

trans. William Urwick (reprint ed., Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1954), p. 717.

23   Some examples are "craving," "search," "earnest seeking," "prayer," "prom-

ise," "pledge."

24   J. Howard B. Masterman, The First Epistle of S. Peter (Greek Text) (London:

Macmillan & Co., 1900), pp. 136-37.

 



158b               Bibliotheca Sacra — April-June 1982

 

 

25 R. C. H. Lenski, The Interpretation of the Epistles of St. Peter, St. John and

St. Jude (Columbus, OH: Lutheran Book Concern, 1938), p. 177.

 

 

This material is cited with gracious permission from:

Dallas Theological Seminary

            3909 Swiss Ave.

            Dallas, TX   75204          

www.dts.edu

Please report any errors to Ted Hildebrandt at:  thildebrandt@gordon.edu