Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

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1 PETER - Chapter 1

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1 Peter i.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers dispersed. Literally, of the dispersion; i.e. to the Jews or Gentiles now converted, who lived dispersed in those countries, chosen or elected[1] according to the foreknowledge and eternal decrees of God unto the sanctification of the spirit. (Witham) --- Asia is taken for one of the four quarters of the globe, or for Asia Minor, or for that province of Asia Minor of which Ephesus is the capital. It is in this latter sense it appears here to be understood, since Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, and Bithynia are also contained in the provinces of Asia Minor. (Bible de Vence)

Ver. 2. Unto the obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ; i.e. to be saved by the merits of his death and passion. (Witham) --- All the three divine Persons conspire in the salvation of the elect. The Father as principle of their election, by his eternal prescience; the Son as victim for their sins, and the source of all merit; the Holy Ghost as the spirit of adoption and love, animating and sanctifying them, and leading them to glory.

Ver. 4. Reserved in heaven for you. Literally, in you; that is, it is also in you by reason of that lively faith and hope, which is in you, of enjoying Christ. (Witham)

Ver. 7. At the appearing of Jesus Christ. Literally, in the revelation; i.e. when he shall be revealed, manifested, and appear at the day of judgment. (Witham)

Ver. 11. Searching into what time, or manner of time. The ancient prophets with longing and ardent desires, obtained to know of the Holy Ghost, the spirit of Christ, the time and the glory that followed those sufferings, by Christ's resurrection and ascension. All these were revealed to them, and they saw that they ministered things to you, not to themselves; that is, that these things they were ministers of, in prophesying about them, were not to happen in their time, but are not come to pass, as they have been preached to you. (Witham)

Ver. 12. The Holy Ghost being sent down from heaven, on whom the Angels desire to look.[2] This place is differently expounded. Some refer these words, on whom the Angels desire to look, to Jesus Christ, who was named in the foregoing verse; some to the Holy Ghost, who, being one God with the Father and the Son, the Angels are happy in seeing and loving him. See Estius and the Greek text. (Witham)

Ver. 13. The loins of your mind girded. It is a metaphor, to signify they must live in such a manner as to be always prepared for heaven, as persons used to gird their garments about them, when about to walk or run, or to undertake any labour. (Witham)

Ver. 14. As children of obedience; i.e. as obedient children. (Witham)

Ver. 18. From your vain conversation of the tradition of your fathers. St. Peter teacheth what St. Paul repeats in many places, that it was in vain for them to hope to be saved by the ceremonies and precepts of the former law, to which their forefathers had added many unnecessary and groundless traditions. They could only hope for salvation by believing in Christ, by the price of whose precious blood they were redeemed from their sins, as they had heard by the word of the gospel preached to them. His doctrine is the same with that of St. Paul, of St. James, of St. John, and of the other apostles, that to be saved it is not enough to have faith or hope in Christ, but it must be a faith joined and working by charity, obeying the law of Christ in the spirit of charity with a sincere and brotherly love of every one, without setting our hearts upon the vanities and corruptible things of this world, remembering that all flesh is as grass, or the flowers of the field, which wither and pass away in a very short time. Thus presently vanish all riches, honours, pleasures, and all the glory of this life, but the word of God and his promises will bring us to happiness which will last for ever. (Witham)

Ver. 23. Thus this new birth, common to you all, should form between you an union much more stable and solid than that formed in you by the ties of blood. (Bible de Vence)


[1] Ver. 1. Electis, eklektois. It is certain this word does not only signify those who are predestinated to eternal glory, but those who are chosen or called to believe; as John vi. Christ says, that he had elected or chosen his twelve apostles, and yet one of them (Judas) was a devil. The Jews were called the elect people of God, as now are all Christians; nor can we think that all to whom St. Peter wrote, were predestinated to glory. Ibid.[Ver. 1.] Advenis dispersionis; i.e. dispersis in Ponto, &c.

[2] Ver. 12. In quem desiderant Angeli prospicere. The Greek manuscripts and copies at present have eis a, in quĉ, which is commonly expounded to agree with the mysteries revealed to the prophets, and which the Angels rejoiced and were delighted to see fulfilled by the coming of Christ. It seems as if the ancient interpreter had read eis o, agreeing with pneuma, spiritum; or perhaps eis on, to agree with theon, understood. These changes of a letter might easily happen. It appears that not only divers Latin interpreters, but also some of the Greek Fathers brought these words to shew the divinity of the Holy Ghost, as St. Athanasius, Epist. i. ad Serap. p. 653. Edit. Ben.

Bible Text & Cross-references:

He gives thanks to God for the benefit of our being called to the true faith, and to eternal life; into which we are to enter by many tribulations. He exhorts to holiness of life, considering the holiness of God, and our redemption by the blood of Christ.

1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers dispersed through Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect,

2 According to the foreknowledge of God, the Father, unto the sanctification of the Spirit, unto the obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace be multiplied.

3 *Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy hath regenerated us unto a lively hope, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

4 Unto an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not, reserved in heaven for you,

5 Who by the power of God are kept by faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time.

6 In which you shall greatly rejoice, now if ye must be for a little time, affected by divers temptations:

7 That the trial of your faith, much more precious than gold, (which is tried by the fire) may be found unto praise, and glory, and honour, at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

8 Whom having not seen you love: in whom also now, though you see him not, you believe: and believing, shall rejoice with an unspeakable and glorified joy:

9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

10 Concerning which salvation the prophets have inquired, and diligently searched, who prophesied of the grace to come in you:

11 Searching into what time, or manner of time, the Spirit of Christ should signify in them: foretelling those sufferings that are in Christ, and the glories that should follow:

12 To whom it was revealed, that not to themselves, but to you they ministered those things, which are now declared to you by those who have preached the gospel to you, the Holy Ghost being sent down from heaven, on whom the Angels desire to look.

13 Wherefore having the loins of your mind girded, being sober, hope perfectly for that grace which is offered you at the revelation of Jesus Christ:

14 As children of obedience, not conformed to the former desires of your ignorance:

15 But according to the holy one, who hath called you: be ye also holy in all conversation:

16 For it is written: *You shall be holy, because I am holy.

17 And if you call on the Father, who *without respect of persons, judgeth according to every one's work, converse in fear during the time of your sojourning here:

18 Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, gold or silver, from your vain conversation of the tradition of your fathers:

19 *But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb unspotted and undefiled:

20 Foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world, but manifested in the last times for you,

21 Who through him are faithful in God, who raised him from the dead, and gave him glory, that your faith and hope might be in God:

22 Purifying your souls in the obedience of charity, with a brotherly love, from a sincere heart love one another earnestly:

23 Being born again not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible by the word of God, who liveth and remaineth for ever.

24 *For all flesh is as grass: and all the glory thereof as the flower of grass: the grass is withered, and the flower thereof is fallen away.

25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever: and this is the word which hath been preached unto you.



3: 2 Corinthians i. 3.; Ephesians i. 3.

16: Leviticus xi. 44. and xix. 2. and xx. 7.

17: Deuteronomy x. 17.; Romans ii. 11.; Galatians ii. 6.

19: 1 Corinthians vi. 20. and vii. 23.; Hebrews ix. 14.; 1 John i. 7.; Apocalypse i. 5.

24: Ecclesiasticus xiv. 18.; Isaias xl. 6.; James i. 10.