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Calvin's Commentaries, Vol. 45: Catholic Epistles, tr. by John King, [1847-50], at





1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the sojourners who are scattered through Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithyuia,

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

3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, according to his great mercy hath begotten us again to a living hope, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and unfading, laid up in heaven for you;

5 Who by the power of God are kept through faith unto salvation, which is ready to be revealed at the last time:

6 On account of which ye exult, though now for a little while, if it be necessary, ye are made sorrowful through various temptations;

7 That the probation of your faith, much more precious than gold which perisheth, though even it be proved by fire, may be found unto praise, and honour, and glory, when Jesus Christ shall be revealed:

8 Whom, though ye have not seen, ye love; on whom believing, though ye see him not, ye exult with joy unspeakable and glorious;

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

10 Of which, salvation the prophets inquired and searched, who prophesied of future grace to us;

11 Searching what or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ who was in them did signify, previously testifying of the sufferings of Christ, and of the glories which were to follow:

12 To whom it was revealed, that not to themselves, but to us they ministered the things which have been now declared to you by those who have preached to you the gospel, through the Holy Spirit sent from heaven; into which things the angels desire to look.

13 Therefore, girding up the loins of your mind, being sober, perfectly hope for the grace which is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

14 As obedient children, not conformed to former lusts which prevailed during your ignorance:

15 But as he who has called you is holy, be ye also yourselves holy in your whole conduct;

16 Because it is written, "Be ye holy, for I sin holy."

17 And since ye call on the Father, who, without respect of persons, judgeth the work of every one, puss in fear the time of your

18 Sojourning; knowing that not with corruptible things, silver or gold, you have been redeemed from your vain way of living, delivered down from the fathers;

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

20 Who had been, indeed, foreordained before the world was founded, but has been manifested in the last times for you,

21 Who through him believe in God, who has raised him from the dead, and has given him glory, that your faith and hope may be in God:

22 Purifying your souls by obedience to the truth through the Spirit, with an unfeigned brotherly love, love ye one another from a pure heart fervently;

23 Having been begotten again, not from a seed that is corruptible, but incorruptible, through the word of the living God, which abideth for ever.

24 For all flesh is as grass, and all his glory as the flower of the grass: wither does the grass, and its flower fades;

25 but the word of the Lord remains for ever: and this is the word which has been declared to you.


1 Laying aside, therefore, all wickedness, and all guile, and dissimulations, and envyings, and all slanderings,

2 As infants lately born, desire the milk that is rational and guileless, that by it ye may grow;

3 If indeed ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious:

4 To whom coming as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious,

5 Ye also yourselves as living stones are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

6 Therefore also the Scripture contains this, "Behold, I lay in Sion a corner-stone, chosen, precious; and he who believeth in him shall not be ashamed."

7 To you, then, who believe, he is precious; but to the unbelieving, the stone which the builders rejected, this has become the head of the corner;

8 And a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense to those who stumble at the word, being unbelieving; to which also they had been appointed.

9 But ye are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye may declare the virtues of him who has called you out of darkness

10 Into his marvelous light: who sometimes were not a people, but now are the people of God; who had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

11 Beloved, I exhort you as sojourners and strangers, to abstain from carnal desires, which war against the soul;

12 Having your behavior good among the Gentiles, that whereas they speak against you as evil-doers, they may, considering your good works, glorify God in the day of visitation.

13 Be then subject to every human ordinance for the Lord's sake;

14 Whether to the king, as supreme; or to governors, as those who are sent by him, for the punishment indeed of evil-doers, but for the praise of those who do well:

15 For so is the will of God, that by well-doing ye should put a stop to the ignorance of foolish men;

16 As free, and not having liberty as a cloak for wickedness, but as the servants of God.

17 Honor all, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.

18 The servants, let them be subject with all fear to their lords, not only to the good and humane, but also to the perverse.

19 For this is acceptable, if for conscience towards God any one bears sorrows, suffering unjustly:

20 For what sort of glory is it, if ye bear it when having done evil ye be buffeted? but if, having done well and suffering, ye bear it, this is acceptable with God.

21 For to this end you have been called; because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that ye may follow his footsteps;

22 Who did no sin, nor was guile found in his mouth; who, when reviled, reviled not again;

23 When suffering, threatened not; but committed his cause to him who judgeth righteously;

24 Who bare himself our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sin, may live to righteousness; by whose bruise have ye been healed.

25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but ye have been now turned to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.


1 In like manner the wives, let them be subject to their own husbands, that even if any believe not the word, they may without the word be gained by the behavior of their wives,

2 While observing your pure behavior and fear:

3 Whose adorning, let it not be the outward, in the plaiting of the hair and the encircling of gold, or the putting on of cloaks;

4 But the inner man of the heart, which is in the incorruption of a placid and quiet spirit, which before God is precious.

5 For so formerly also holy women who hoped in God, adorned themselves, being subject to their own husbands;

6 As Sara, who obeyed Abraham, calling him lord; whose daughters ye become, when ye do well, and are not terrified by any dread.

7 Let husbands in like manner dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor to the wife as the weaker vessel, and as joint-heirs of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.

8 Finally, be ye of one mind, compassionate, loving to the brethren, merciful, humble-minded;

9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing, but on the contrary, bless ye, knowing that you have been called for this end, that ye may inherit a blessing.

10 For let him who would love life and see good days, keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking guile; let him turn away from evil and do good;

11 Let him seek peace and pursue it:

12 Because the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his cars to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against them who do evil.

13 And who is he who can do you harm, if ye be followers of what is good?

14 But if ye also suffer for righteousness, happy are ye; and the fear of them fear not, nor be troubled;

15 But sanctify the Lord of hosts in your hearts, and be ready always for an answer to any one asking you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;

16 Having a good conscience, that whereas they speak against you as evil-doers, they may be ashamed who slander your good behavior in Christ.

17 For it is better to suffer, if so be the will of God, for doing good than for doing evil:

18 Because Christ also once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, having indeed been put to death in the flesh, but brought to life by file Spirit:

19 By whom having also gone, he preached to the spirits who were in prison,

20 When there were formerly unbelievers, when once the patience of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was prepared; in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved by water;

21 Corresponding to which, baptism saves us also now (not the casting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience towards God) through the resurrection of Jesus Christ;

22 Who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, angels and dominions and powers being made subject to him.


1 Christ then having suffered for us in the flesh, be ye also armed with the same mind: because he who hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;

2 That he may no longer live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.

3 For it is enough for us, that we have wrought, in the past time of life, the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excesses in wine, revellings, banquetings, and wicked idolatries:

4 On account of which they think it strange, that ye run not with them into the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you;

5 Who shall give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

6 For the gospel has for this end been also preached to the dead, that they may indeed be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the Spirit.

7 But the end of all things is near; be ye then sober, and watchful to pray;

8 And above all things having fervent love among yourselves; for love will cover a multitude of sins.

9 Be hospitable towards one another, without murmurings.

10 As every one has received a gift, minister the same one to another, as good dispensers of the manifold grace of God;

11 If any one speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any one minister, let him do so as by the power which God supplies; that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ; to whom be the glory and the dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

12 Beloved, think it not strange when ye are tried by fire for the purpose of proving you, as though some new thing had happened to you;

13 But inasmuch as ye are partakers of the sufferings of Christ, rejoice; that at the revelation also of his glory ye may exultingly rejoice.

14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you: by them, indeed, he is slandered, but by you he is glorified.

15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or an evil-doer, or as a coveter of another man's goods; but if as a Christian, let him not be ashamed;

16 Nay, let him in this case glorify God: for it is the time, when judgment begins at the house of God;

17 But if it be first on us, what will be the end of those who obey not the gospel of God?

18 And if the righteous be hardly saved, the ungodly and the sinner, where will they appear?

19 Let therefore those who suffer according to the will of God, commit their souls to him, in doing good, as to a faithful possessor.


1 The elders who are among you I exhort, who am also an elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker of the glory which shall be revealed:

2 Feed as much as in you lieth the flock of God, discharging the office of bishops, not constrainedly, but willingly; not for the sake of filthy lucre, but liberally;

3 And not as exercising tyranny over God's heritages, but that ye may be patterns to the flock:

4 And when the Chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive an unfading crown of glory.

5 In like manner the younger, be ye subject to the elder; yea, be ye all subject to one another: put ye on humility of mind; because God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble.

6 Be ye then humbled under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time;

7 All your care being cast on him, for he cares for you.

8 Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary, the Devil, as a roaring lion, goeth around, seeking whom he may devour:

9 Whom resist ye, being firm in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are accomplished in your brethren in the world.

10 Now the God of all grace, who hath called us to his eternal glory through Christ Jesus, — may he perfect you, while suffering for a short time, confirm, strengthen, and establish you:

11 To him be the glory and the dominion, for ever and ever. Amen.

12 By Sylvanus, a faithful brother to you, as I suppose, I have written in a few words, exhorting you and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which ye stand.

13 The church, elected together with you, which is in Babylon, saluteth you, and Marcus my son.

14 Salute ye one another with the kiss of love. Grace be to you all who are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Next: First John