Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

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1 PETER - Chapter 4

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1 Peter iv.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. He that hath suffered in the flesh, hath ceased from sins. Some expound these words of Christ; but he never had committed the least sin. The true sense is, that every one who suffers by Christ's example, leaves off a sinful life, so as not to fall into great sins. (Witham)

Ver. 3. For the time past is sufficient, &c. As if he said, you who were Gentiles, have already lived too long in vices before your conversion; so that they who are not yet converted, admire[1] at the change they see in you, make a jest of you, talk against you for your not running on with them in the same wicked and shameful disorders: but they shall render an exact account of all to the just Judge of the living and the dead. For as I told you before, in the last chapter, (ver. 19.) for this cause (i.e. because Christ is judge of all) he descended to the place where the souls of the dead were, and preached to them, shewing himself, their Redeemer, who judgeth and condemneth those who had lived according to the flesh, but gave life to those who had lived well, or done penance according to the spirit of God. (Witham)

Ver. 8. Charity covereth a multitude of sins. It is a great means to atone for them; or it may signify, that a charitable mind excuses many sins in others. (Witham)

Ver. 10. As good stewards of the manifold grace of God. An admonition to the ministers of the gospel, to employ well their talents and the graces received to the honour and glory of God. (Witham)

Ver. 12. Think not strange, &c. Be not surprised, nor discouraged that a hot and sharp persecution is come upon you at this time, as if it were a new and an extraordinary thing. It is what you must expect and be ready to receive with patience, and even with joy, when you suffer as Christ did before you, and for his sake: this is the way to eternal happiness in heaven. (Witham)

Ver. 14. Which is of the honour, glory, &c. He gives them the reason why they must rejoice and look upon themselves happy to suffer for the name of Christ, because to suffer for God's sake is glorious, is a mark that the glorious, the honourable, and the powerful spirit of God rests upon them: for as Paul said, (Hebrews xii. 6.) "For whom the Lord loveth, he chastiseth; and he scourgeth every son whom he receiveth." Nothing then is more honourable, nothing more advantageous, than to suffer for being a Christian. This word is only found here, and in Acts xi. 26. (Witham)

Ver. 15. Or a railer.[2] The Greek here signifies one that does evil, or a malefactor. --- Or as coveting the goods of others.[3] The Greek rather signifies one curiously prying into the affairs of others, which Protestants translate a busy body. (Witham)

Ver. 17. The time is that judgment should begin at the house of God. By judgment seems to be here understood afflictions, persecutions, and trials in this world; and the sense is, that the time of this life is a time of suffering. --- And if first at us. That is, if the justice of God deal in this manner with his friends whom he loves, much greater will be hereafter the punishments of sinners, and of those who have refused to believe in Christ. (Witham)

Ver. 18. Scarcely. That is, not without much labour and difficulty. (Challoner)


[1] Ver. 3. In quo admirantur, xenizontai, from xenos, hospes, peregrinus. The same word is used ver. 12, nolite peregrinari in fervore, me xenizesthe te en umin purosei: in ustione, meaning the heat of persecutions.

[2] Ver. 15. Maledicus, kakopoios, malefactor.

[3] Ver. 15. Alienorum appetitor, allotrioepiskopos, aliorum inspector.

Bible Text & Cross-references:

Exhortation to cease from sin: to mutual charity; to do all for the glory of God; to be willing to suffer for Christ.

1 Christ, therefore, having suffered in the flesh, be you also armed with the same thought, for he that hath suffered in the flesh, hath ceased from sins:

2 *That now he may live the rest of his time in the flesh, not after the desires of men, but according to the will of God.

3 For the time past is sufficient to have fulfilled the will of the Gentiles, for them who have walked in riotousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and unlawful worshipping of idols.

4 Wherein they think it strange, that you run not with them into the same confusion of riotousness, blaspheming.

5 Who shall render an account to him, who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

6 For this cause was the gospel preached also to the dead: that they might be judged indeed, according to men in the flesh, but may live according to God in the Spirit.

7 But the end of all is at hand. Be prudent, therefore, and watch in prayers.

8 But before all things have constant mutual charity among yourselves: *for charity covereth a multitude of sins.

9 *Using hospitality towards one another, **without murmuring.

10 *As every man hath received grace, ministering the same one to another: as good **stewards of the manifold grace of God.

11 If any man speak, as the words of God: if any man minister, as by of the power which God supplieth: that in all things God may be honoured through Jesus Christ: to whom is glory, and dominion, for ever and ever. Amen.

12 Dearly beloved, think not strange the burning heat which is to try you, as if some new thing happened to you:

13 But partaking of the sufferings of Christ, rejoice that also in the revelation of his glory ye may rejoice with exultation.

14 If you be reproached for the name of Christ, you shall be happy: for that which is of the honour, glory, and power of God, and that which is his spirit, resteth upon you.

15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or a railer, or as coveting the goods of others..

16 But if as a Christian, let him not be ashamed: but let him glorify God in that name.

17 For it is time that judgment should begin at the house of God. And if first with us: what shall be the end of those who believe not the gospel of God?

18 *And if the just man shall scarcely be saved, where shall the wicked and the sinner appear?

19 Therefore let them who suffer according to the will of God, also commend their souls in good deeds to the faithful Creator.



2: Ephesians iv. 23.

8: Proverbs x. 12.

9: Romans xii. 13.; Hebrews xiii. 2. --- ** Philippians ii. 14.

10: Romans xii. 6. --- ** 1 Corinthians iv. 1.

18: Proverbs xi. 31.