Bible Study Notes on 1 Peter 3 – 20160413

Bible Study Notes

1 Peter 3:1  “…in subjection to your own husbands…”
It amazes me how many people, especially women, have a problem with that phrase.  I have put that phrase to women on questionnaires and asked them to share what it means to them.  Most of the time I either receive no answer at all or some heated replies accusing me of trying to treat women like door mats, apparently by asking the question.  Two interesting things here.  When compared to the instruction Peter gives to husbands in verse 7, it is obvious he does not mean for wives to be slaves or door mats.  Women should respect their husbands as the head of the household and submit to his leading in that capacity.  The other thing is the use of the phrase “own husbands.”  Peter was not suggesting that any woman should be in submission to all men, only their own husbands.  This conveys the existence of a relationship between the man and woman and in no way denigrates women’s role as part of society.

2  “While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.”
From the context it is clear the use of the word fear is meant to convey reverence as opposed to terror.  I also checked the Greek lexicon for the Greek word φóβοσ or fóbos, fear.  It has the meaning of reverence along with terror.  I would stipulate that Peter was also speaking of respect.  The idea is for the wife to do what she does for her husband out of reverence and respect as this is what husbands need from their wives.  Doing so even when the husband’s actions may not deserve it can help lead them to Christ.

3-4  “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel…let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit…”
Some Christian denominations have misinterpreted Peter’s message here to mean that women should not wear makeup, style their hair, or wear certain clothing.  That interpretation is a good example of how many try to use the scripture as a rule book or manual.  They reduce the Bible into a list of do’s and don’t’s without having to concern themselves with the spirit of what is being said.  As Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for appearing like whitewashed tombs, clean on the outside, but unclean on the inside, Peter is telling women to make sure they are more concerned with the state of their heart and not so much how they look on the outside.

7  “…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…”
Excellent verse which is also misunderstood.  Peter tells husbands to treat their wives with understanding and honor as they are also children of God and heirs of His grace.  “Weaker vessel” is not degrading women as some suggest.  It’s acknowledging that women are basically weaker physically, but also deserving of honor.  Like fine china.  Very fragile, but far more valuable than sturdier dishes.

9  “Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing…”
Reflective of what Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount.

16-17   Repeating what he covered in chapter 2.

18-22   Interesting section.  Checked with the commentary.  Had a long and drawn out explanation with multiple ideas.

19  “…He went and preached unto the spirits in prison”
The only place we know of that Christ went after His death was Hades where He set the captives free, the believers who were waiting for Him to conquer Death.  Commentary had some issue with the use of prison as only being negative, but I can see it used as a place of holding or restraint.  Paradise may have been a place of peace and rest, but the believing dead were still held there until Christ arrived.

20  “…were disobedient…in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing…”
Scripture tells us that Noah preached to the people while he was building the ark, but they refused to believe and were destroyed.  The message Jesus would have preached in Hades would have been the announcement that He had completed the Father’s plan.  This would have been joyful news to the believers, but final condemnation to the unbelievers.

20-21  “…eight souls were saved by water…like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us…”
God used the ark to save the believers from His wrath when He brought the flood.  Being immersed in water and brought back up represents what Christ did when He died, was buried, and was resurrected.  The baptism itself doesn’t redeem us.  Belief in Him and what He did saves us from God’s wrath, “the answer of a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

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