Vincent's Word Studies, by Marvin R. Vincent, , at sacred-texts.com
1 Peter 2:1
All (πᾶσαν - πάντα)
Lit., every, or all manner of.
Lit., speakings against. A rare word. Only here and Co2 12:20.
1 Peter 2:2
Peculiar to Peter, and only in this passage. Lit., born but just now (ἄρτι).
The word signifying peculiarly a child at birth, or of tender years. See Luk 18:15; Act 7:19. Of the infant Jesus, Luk 2:12, Luk 2:16. Here marking the recency of Christian life in the converts addressed.
The compound is intensive; earnestly desire. So Rev., long for. Compare Phi 2:26.
The sincere milk of the word (τὸ λογικὸν ἄδολον γάλα)
The A. V. has rendered λογικὸν, of the word; but wrongly. It describes the quality of the milk as spiritual or rational, as opposed to literal and ceremonial. In the only other place where it occurs (Rom 12:1) it is rendered reasonable; which Rev. gives here in margin.
Sincere (ἄδολον) is another epithet of the milk
Lit., without guile, unadulterated. Compare guile in Pe1 2:1. Laying aside guile, desire the guileless milk, etc. Hence Rev. renders the whole passage, Long for the spiritual milk which is without guile.
That ye may grow thereby
The best texts add, unto salvation.
1 Peter 2:3
Ye have tasted (ἐγεύσασθε)
Aorist tense. More literally, ye tasted. "A taste excites the appetite" (Bengel). Compare long for, Pe1 2:2, and Psa 34:8.
Actively benignant, "as distinguished from other adjectives which describe goodness on the side of its sterling worth and its gentleness" (Salmond). See on Mat 11:30.
1 Peter 2:4
Indicating a close (πρός) and an habitual (present participle) approach and an intimate association.
A living stone (λίθον ζῶντα)
Omit as unto. So Rev. The words are in apposition with whom (Christ). Compare Peter's use of the same word, stone, in Act 4:11, and Mat 21:42. It is not the word which Christ uses as a personal name for Peter (Πέτρος); so that it is not necessary to infer that Peter was thinking of his own new name.
Rev., rejected. See on the simple verb, Pe1 1:7. The word indicates rejection after trial.
Of God (παρὰ Θεῷ)
Of in the A. V. is equivalent to by; but πατά has a stronger sense, implying the absolute power of decisive choice which is with God. Render, as Rev., with God; i.e., God being judge; and compare Mat 19:26; Rom 2:11.
At Pe1 1:19 (precious blood) another word is used (τίμιος), denoting essential preciousness. The word here indicates the preciousness as recognized or held in honor.
1 Peter 2:5
Living stones - built up - a spiritual house
It seems as though Peter must have had in mind the conception embodied in Christ's commission to him, of a building erected upon a rock. The metaphor of a house built of living stones is violent, and sufficiently characteristic of Peter; yet it pictures, in a very striking way, the union of stability, growth, and activity in the ideal church. Note the transition from babes growing (Pe1 2:2) to stones built up. But, as Salmond remarks, "In Paul we have even bolder instances of apparent confusion of metaphors, as when, in one breath, he represents believers as at once walking, rooted, and built up in Christ (Col 2:6, Col 2:7).
To offer up (ἀνενέγκαι)
The usual Old-Testament (Septuagint) term for offering of sacrifice. Lit., to bring up to the altar. Compare Heb 13:15. The force of ἀνά, up, appears in the fact of the altar being raised. The word is often used of carrying from a lower to a higher place. Thus Mat 17:1; Luk 24:51. In this sense Pe1 2:24 of this chapter is suggestive, where it is said that Christ bare (ἀνήνεγκεν) our sins: carried them up to the cross. See note there.
1 Peter 2:6
It is contained (περιέχει)
From περί, round about, and ἔχω, to hold. Hence, to contain or comprehend. So Luk 5:9, he was astonished (θάμβος αὐτὸν περιέσχεν) ; lit., astonishment held him, encompassed. Also, Act 23:25, "He wrote a letter after this manner (περιέχουσαν τὸν τύπον τοῦτον) ; lit., containing this form. The verb here is impersonal. The kindred word περιοχή occurs only in Act 8:32, rendered place; i.e., the passage of scripture: either the contents of the passage or the section of the book circumscribed or marked off.
In the scripture (ἐν γραφῇ)
The best texts reject the article. Γραφή means a passage of scripture. See on Mar 12:10. Hence Rev., in scripture; margin, in a scripture.
Behold I lay, etc
See Rom 9:33.
See on Pe1 2:4.
1 Peter 2:7
He is precious (ἡ τιμὴ)
Wrong. Render, as Rev., For you therefore which believe is the preciousness (honor, in margin).
Is made the head of the corner (ἐγενήθη εἰς κεφαλὴν γωνίας)
Rev., correctly, "was made." The preposition εἰς, unto, carrying the idea of coming unto the place of honor, is not rendered in A. V. or Rev. Lit., it would be, was made or became unto the head, etc.
1 Peter 2:9
Better, Rev., race: a body with a common life and descent.
Nation (ἔθνος). People (λαὸς)
The distinction between these three words cannot be closely pressed. Race emphasizes the idea of descent; nation, of community. Λαὸς people, occurring very often in the Septuagint, is used there mostly of the Israelites, the chosen people. The same use is also frequent in the New Testament; but it is employed in a more general sense, as by Luk 2:10. It would seem that this idea, however, in its metaphorical and Christian application, the chose Israel of God, directed Peter's choice of the word, since he adds, a people for God's own possession.
Peculiar (εἰς περιποίησιν)
Lit., a people for acquisition. Rev., a people for God's own possession. Wyc., a people of purchasing. Cranmer, a people which are won. The word occurs Th1 5:9, rendered obtaining (Rev.); Eph 1:14, God's own possession (Rev.). See Isaiah 43:21 (Sept.), where the kindred verb occurs: "This people have I formed for myself (περιεποιησάμην).
Shew forth (ἐξαγγείλητε)
Only here in New Testament. Proclaim, tell abroad.
The praises (τὰς ἀρετὰς)
Lit., the virtues. So Rev., excellencies. The word occurs Isa 43:21 (Sept., see above), and is rendered praise. See, also, Isaiah 42:12 (Sept.), "Declare his praise (ἀρετὰς) in the islands."
1 Peter 2:10
See on Pe1 2:9, and note the choice of the term here. A people of God. Compare Rom 9:25, Rom 9:26.
1 Peter 2:11
A favorite term with Peter, occurring eight times in the epistles. See the phrase, our beloved. Barnabas and Paul, Act 15:25, in the letter sent by the council at Jerusalem to the Gentile Christians, the account of which, doubtless, came from Peter. Compare our beloved brother Paul, Pe2 3:15.
Rev., sojourners. Compare Pe1 1:17, "the time of your sojourning (παροικίας)."
The compound pronoun denotes a class, of that kind which, classifying all fleshly desires in one category.
1 Peter 2:12
Rev., behavior. See on Pe1 1:15.
Whereas (ἐν ᾧ)
Rev., correctly, wherein; in the matter in which.
They speak against (καταλαλοὔσιν)
Compare evil-speakings, Pe1 2:1, and Act 28:22.
Which they shall behold (ἐποπτεύοντες)
Rev., beholding. Used by Peter only, here and Pe1 3:2. The kindred noun ἐπόπτης, an eye-witness, occurs only at Pe2 1:16. It is a technical word, meaning one who was admitted to the highest degree of initiation in the Eleusinian mysteries. Here it conveys the idea of personal witness; behold with their own eyes.
The word occurs four times in Peter, and nowhere else in the New Testament except Joh 18:30, where it is applied by the priests to Christ himself.
The radical idea of the word is that of observing or inspecting. Hence ἐπίσκοπος, an overseer or bishop. Visiting grows naturally out of this, as visitare from visere, to look at attentively. See Introduction, on Peter's emphasis upon sight; and compare behold, in this verse. The "day of visitation" is the day of looking upon: "When God shall look upon these wanderers, as a pastor over his flock, and shall become the overlooker or bishop of their souls" (Pe1 2:25, Lumby).
1 Peter 2:13
Submit yourselves (ὑποτάγητε)
Rev., be subject. See Rom 13:1 sq.
Ordinance of man (ἀνθρωπίνῃ κτίσει)
Lit., to every human creation or institution. Rev., creation, in margin.
The emperor, styled king by Greek writers.
1 Peter 2:14
The present participle. In the habit of being sent: sent from time to time.
The king; not the Lord.
Not strong enough. Better, vengeance, as Rev. Compare Luk 18:7; Rom 12:19.
Them that do well (ἀγαθοποιῶν)
Only here in New Testament.
1 Peter 2:15
Put to silence (φιμοῦν)
A very graphic word, meaning to muzzle or gag. Compare Co1 9:9; Ti1 5:18. See on Mat 22:12.
In classical Greek it is an ignorance arising from not coming into contact with the person or thing to be known. It occurs only once again in the New Testament, Co1 15:34. Here it signifies not want of acquaintance, but of understanding; a state of ignorance.
Of foolish men (τῶν ἀφρόνων ἀνθρώπων)
Of the foolish men; the article referring to those just mentioned, who speak against them as evil-doers.
1 Peter 2:16
Lit., having or holding.
Only here in New Testament. Lit., a veil. The idea is that of using Christian freedom as a mask for ungodly license. Paul uses the kindred verb (Rom 4:7) of the covering of sins. On the sentiment, compare Gal 5:13.
1 Peter 2:18
Household servants. So Rev., in margin. Not a common term in the New Testament, occurring only in three other passages: Luk 16:13; Act 10:7; Rom 14:4. Some suppose that Peter intended to cover by it freedmen and other dependants in the household, or that he uses it with a conciliatory purpose, as presenting the slave in closer relation with the family.
A common derivation of this word is from εἴκω, to yield. Hence the meaning, mind, yielding, indulgent. But the true derivation is from εἰκός, reasonable; and the word implies rather the not being unduly rigorous: "Wherein not strictness of legal right, but consideration for one another, is the rule of practice" (Alford). Compare Phi 4:5, where, for moderation (τὸ ἐπιεικὲς), Rev. gives forbearance, with gentleness in margin. According to Aristotle, the word stands in contrast with ἀκριβοδίκαιος, one who is exactingly just, as one who is satired with less than his due.
Lit., crooked. See Luk 3:5. Peter uses the word in Act 2:40 (untoward); and Paul, in Phi 2:15 (crooked). The word froward is Anglo-Saxon fream-ward or from-ward, the opposite of to-ward. (See untoward, above.) Thus Ben Jonson:
"Those that are froward to an appetite;"
i.e., averse. Compare the phrases to-God-ward (Co2 3:4); to-us-ward.
1 Peter 2:19
Conscience toward God (συνείδησιν Θεοῦ)
Rev., in margin, conscience of God. The idea is not conscientiousness in the ordinary sense, but the conscious sense of one's relation to God; his consciousness of God. Thus one suffers patiently, not from a conscientious sense of duty, but from an inner consciousness of his relation to God as a son, and to Christ as a joint-heir, which involves his suffering with him no less than his being glorified with him.
1 Peter 2:20
What glory (ποῖον κλέος)
Lit., what kind of glory. This word for glory occurs nowhere else in the New Testament.
See Mat 26:67 : struck with the fist. This whole passage, Pe1 2:19-24, bears the mark of Peter's memories of the scene of Christ's last sufferings (see Introduction) - the blows of the servants, the scorn of the high-priest, the silent submission of Jesus, the cross, the stripes.
1 Peter 2:21
Only here in the New Testament.
An example (ὑπογραμμὸν)
Only here in the New Testament. A graphic word, meaning a copy set by writing-masters for their pupils. Some explain it as a copy of characters over which the student is to trace the lines.
Lit., follow upon. The compound verb implies close following. From writers and painters, the metaphor changes now to a guide.
1 Peter 2:22
Stronger than the simple was, and indicating a guilelessness which had stood the test of scrutiny. Compare Mat 26:60; Joh 18:38; Joh 19:4, Joh 19:6. Christ's sinlessness had also stood the test of Peter's intimacy.
1 Peter 2:23
Reviled - again (ἀντελοιδόρει)
Only here in the New Testament.
Committed himself (παρεδίδου)
But this gives a reflexive force to the verb which has no parallel. Commentators are divided, some supplying his cause, as Rev., in margin; others, his judgment; others, his revilers. Better, the subject of the contest - his insults and injuries. Salmond renders, but left it to him, etc.
Compare without respect of person, Pe1 1:17.
1 Peter 2:24
See on Pe1 2:5. Bare up to the cross, as to an altar, and offered himself thereon.
The tree (ξύλον)
Lit., wood. Peter uses the same peculiar term for the cross, Act 5:30; Act 10:39.
Being dead (ἀπογενόμενοι)
Rev., more strictly, having died. Used here only in the New Testament. The rendering of the verb can be given only in a clumsy way, having become off unto sin; not becoming separate from sins, but having ceased to exist as regards them. Compare Rom 6:18.
Lit., bruise. So Rev., in margin. Only here in New Testament; meaning a bloody wale which arises under a blow. "Such a sight we feel sure, as we read this descriptive passage, St. Peter's eyes beheld on the body of his Master, and the flesh so dreadfully mangled made the disfigured form appear in his eyes like one single bruise" (Lumby).
1 Peter 2:25
For ye were as sheep going astray (ἦτε γὰρ ὡς πρόβατα πλανώμενοι);
i.e., as commonly understood, ye were like straying sheep. But the ye were should be construed with the participle going astray, the verb and the participle together denoting habitual action or condition. Render, as Rev., ye were going astray like sheep. See on Mar 12:24.
See on Pe1 2:12.