1 Peter

1 2 3 4 5

1 Peter 3 – Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on 1 Peter 3 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;

(3:1) "Wives, be in subjection to your own husbands."
Should women have the same rights as men?
What the Bible says about women's rights
There are differences between the sexes and both have different duties. I wouldn't call them rights. The distinction between the sexes will disappear in heaven. See 1 Cor. 11:3.

2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.

3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;

(3:2-6) Wives are to use "chaste conversation, coupled with fear." They are not to braid their hair, wear gold, or put on any "apparel." They are to do these things in imitation of the "holy" women of the Old testament who were "in subjection to their own husbands: even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him Lord."
What the Bible says about clothing and fashion
The letter is addressed to Christian women, not to women in general. Christian women are exhorted to seek other beauties.

4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:

6 Even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.

7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

(3:7) "The wife, as unto the weaker vessel" In relation to her husband, the wife is "the weaker vessel."
And this is not true?

8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

(3:8-11) Be compassionate and courteous. Don't seek revenge when you are harmed by another. Speak kindly of others. Do good and avoid evil.
Speak kindly of others, and there are only two exceptions: Jesus, and his followers.

9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.

10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:

11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.

12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?

(3:13) "Who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?"
Do bad things happen to good people?
The author of the SAB equates here harm with no evil will befall Christians. That is not the same however. Christians live in a fallen world. They're subject to a fallen creation. But the harm that is spoken of here, is harm to the soul. The body can be destroyed by their enemies, but their soul is safe.

14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;

15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

(3:15) "Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you."
Peter says that Christians should be ready to explain why they believe what they do. This is a good verse to remember when Christians refuse to debate you.
Should believers discuss their faith with non-believers?
We can also quote another verse (Matthew 7:6):

Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

The reader is referred to the insight of Solomon on when to debate and when not, see Prov. 26:4-5.

16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.

18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

(3:18) "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust."
Should each person be responsisble for him or herself?
The author of the SAB draws a wrong inference. If someone sins, human law should not punish others, who were not involved, for the sin of another. But it was not forbidden that someone, willingly, should bear someone else's sin. A clear example is Judah who promised to Jacob that he will bear the blame for not bringing back Benjamin, even though he might not have been guilty, see Gen. 43:8-9. Jesus Christ is not punished by God, but he sacrificed himself willingly. He was not forced.

19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;

(3:19 - Jehovah's Witnesses) "He went and preached unto the spirits in prison."
The Watchtower Society teaches that there is no consciousness after death. But if that is so, then how could Jesus have preached to the "spirits in prison?"
That would be an excellent point, if the meaning of this verse was that Christ after his death preached to those that had died. But that would contradict the Bible, because after death awaits us God's judgment (Heb. 9:27), and that is not a conditional judgment:

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

So Christ preaching to the spirits in prison has a different meaning and the next verse clearly indicates that this verse says these spirits were persons, living at the time of Noah, but there are now in prison, that is in hell. And Christ, at that time, preached to them, as John Gill explains:

The plain and easy sense of the words is, that Christ ... went in the ministry of Noah ... and preached both by words and deeds, by the personal ministry of Noah, and by the building of the ark, to that generation who was then in being; and who being disobedient, and continuing so, a flood was brought upon them which destroyed them all; and whose spirits, or separate souls, were then in the prison of hell ... when the Apostle Peter wrote this epistle; ... from whence we learn, that Christ was, that he existed in his divine nature before he was incarnate, he was before Abraham, he was in the days of Noah; and that Christ also, under the Old Testament, acted the part of a Mediator, in his divine nature, and by his Spirit discharged that branch of it, his prophetic office, before he appeared in human nature; and that the Gospel was preached in those early times, as unto Abraham, so before him.

20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

"Eight souls were saved by water."
God drowned drowned everyone on earth except for Noah and his family.
These persons who drowned, brought this punishment upon themselves. There was noting unjust about it. And if they wished, they could have escaped with Noah in the Ark.

21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

(3:21-22) "Jesus Christ: who is ... on the the right hand of God"
How can Jesus sit "on the right hand of God" if Jesus is God?
Is Jesus God?
The author of the SAB asks how can Jesus sit "on the right hand of God" if Jesus is God? That is a good question. And the answer is that Jesus is both man and God. His human nature is not omnipresent. God is omnipresent, but his glory is most present in heaven, so that is why one can say to be on the right hand of God.

22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.