|Bibliotheca Sacra 139 (1982) 146-158.
Copyright © 1982 by Dallas Theological Seminary. Cited with permission.
Selected Studies from 1 Peter
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-
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.
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
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
"The just for the unjust" (dir a]di
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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]khtense 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-
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
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
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
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]pecede17 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
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
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
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
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
Testarent. The cognate verb (e]perwta
"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
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
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
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
Peter added two participial clauses pointing to events prior
to Christ's heavenly enthronement. "Having gone into heaven"
(poreuqei?j ei]j ou]rano
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
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
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
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
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-
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
Please report any errors to Ted Hildebrandt at: email@example.com