1 Peter 1:3: Doxology, Part 1

Verse 3:  (2 Cor. 1:3; Eph. 1:3) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which (Tit. 3:5) according to his abundant (Gr. much[1]) mercy (John 3:3, 5; Jam. 1:18) hath begotten us again unto a lively hope (1 Cor. 15:20; 1 Thess. 4:14; 1 Pet. 3:21) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…

[Blessed (understanding, be [Piscator, thus Beza]:  common formula for giving thanks:  2 Corinthians 1:3; Ephesians 1:3:  A similar formula in Daniel 2:20 [Grotius]; that is to say, let him be praised by us because of the following benefits [Estius]) the God and Father (it can be read either separately, or conjointly [Erasmus]; that is to say, God, who is the Father [Menochius, Estius, thus Gomar], with and being in the place of namely, as in 1 Corinthians 15:24;[2] Colossians 2:2[3] [Gomar]) of our Lord, etc.]  Now, he thus describes God, both, for the sake of distinction, for He alone is the true God, who is the Father of Christ, John 17:3; 1 John 2:23; and, so that he might confirm their faith in Christ (Gomar).

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; either the conjunction and is here but an explicative particle, and so we render it, 2 Corinthians 1:3, God, even the Father, etc.; or if we take it for a copulative, as Ephesians 1:3, God is called the God of Jesus Christ, according to Christ’s human nature, and his Father according to his Divine.  Which according to his abundant mercy; this shows the fountain from whence regeneration and all other spiritual blessings flow, and excludes all merit and dignity in us, as the cause of so great benefits.  Abundant mercy is the same with riches of mercy, Ephesians 2:4.

[Who hath regenerated[4] us]  That is, He has begotten us again, namely, unto the immortal life of the soul (Menochius); He has recalled us from the death of sin unto the life of grace (Tirinus); He has reformed us, and made us new creatures[5] (Vorstius); He has begotten sons unto Himself, as similar to Himself through righteousness (Estius).  He makes us of this word also in 1 Peter 1:23;[6] γεννᾶσθαι ἄνωθεν, to be born again, in John 3:3.  Concerning the sense of these terms, and concerning the term παλιγγενεσίας, new birth,[7] we spoke there.  He made us different men, far more truly than that said of Saul formerly, 1 Samuel 10:6.  God is also said to have begotten the people of Israel, when He made it a free people, Deuteronomy 32:18.  But this generation is much higher, unto things eternal, as it follows (Grotius).  By regeneration he understands the sanctification of us, which is situated in the mortification of the old man, and the vivification of the new (Gomar).  The sense:  He who, while He is from eternity the Father of Christ by nature, willed to have us as sons in time by adoption (Estius).

[Unto a hope living]  That is, Either, 1.  of life (Beza out of the Syriac, Estius out of Augustine, Zegers), namely, eternal life, to be acquired by us (Estius out of Augustine):  or, 2.  vivifying (Grotius, Camerarius), namely, forever (Grotius).  The same sort of speech is found in John 6:51 (Grotius, thus Piscator); Hebrews 10:20 (Grotius).  Or, 3.  everlasting, as it is explained in the following verse (Beza):  or, 4.  true and efficacious, not depending upon false opinion, upon which a worldly hope depends, but upon the certain faith of the Gospel; not sterile and, as it were, dead (Gomar).  [The sense:]  With this end and fruit, that through grace we might hope to acquire eternal life (Menochius).  That new life here, says he, excites hope in us (Grotius).  Hope here is taken, either, 1.  Metonymically, in the place of the glory hoped for (certain interpreters in Gomar); or, 2.  properly, for the affection itself, which I prefer (Gomar).

[Through the resurrection of Jesus, etc.]  Which is to be referred, either, 1.  to He regenerated, so that it might signify that the Resurrection of Christ is the cause of our regeneration, as it is said in Romans 4:25.  Compare 1 Peter 3:21 (Gerhard out of Estius) and Romans 6:4, 5 (Gomar):  or, 2.  unto a living hope (Estius, Gomar), which arises from the faith of the resurrection, Romans 8:11; 1 Corinthians 15:17, 19; 1 Thessalonians 4:13, 14 (Gomar), that is, the resurrection of Christ (certain interpreters in Estius).  For, because Christ our head arose, we also as His members shall rise again (certain interpreters in Estius, similarly Menochius).  For that resurrection of Chris both shows that the thing itself is possible, and at the same time shows the He is true who promised the resurrection to us.  For to what purpose otherwise had God raised Him again! to deceive all men?  That does not at all agree with the truthfulness of God.  For the same reason mention is made of the resurrection of Christ in 1 Peter 1:21 and 3:21 (Grotius).

Hath begotten us again; translated us out of a state of sin and misery into a state of grace and life; and so begotten again here, is the same as sanctifying in the former verse.  Unto a lively hope; either a lively hope, for hope of life; or rather, a lively hope is a true and effectual hope, such as proceeds from a lively faith, and is itself productive of peace and purity, Romans 5:2; 1 John 3:3, in opposition to the vain hope of worldly men, which neither comes from faith nor tends to holiness.  By the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead:  this may be referred either, 1.  To God’s begetting us again, and then it implies the resurrection of Christ to be the cause of our regeneration, we being raised to a spiritual life by the power of Christ’s resurrection, and our vivification being often ascribed to it, 1 Peter 3:21; Romans 4:25; 6:4, 5:  see Ephesians 2:5.  Or, 2.  To the lively hope to which he begets us, which depends upon, and ariseth from, the faith of Christ’s resurrection, Romans 8:11; 1 Corinthians 15:17, 19; 1 Thessalonians 4:13, 14. Christ’s resurrection being the cause and pledge of ours, as the certainty of ours depends upon his, so the liveliness of our hope follows upon the faith of it.  Possibly the apostle may have in these words some respect to the languishing condition of the hope of him, and the other disciples, Luke 24:21, which was then ready to expire, but was again revived by their being well assured of his resurrection, Luke 24:33, 34.



[1] Greek:  πολὺ.

[2] 1 Corinthians 15:24:  “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father (τῷ Θεῷ καὶ πατρί); when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.”

[3] Colossians 2:2b:  “…to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ (τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ Χριστου)…”

[4] Greek:  ἀναγεννήσας.

[5] See 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15.

[6] 1 Peter 1:23:  “Being born again (ἀναγεγεννημένοι), not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”

[7] For example, Titus 3:5:  “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration (παλιγγενεσίας, from πάλιν, again or anew, and γένεσις, genesis or birth), and renewing of the Holy Ghost…”

1 Peter 1:2: The Address, Part 2

Verse 2:  (Eph. 1:4; 1 Pet. 2:9) Elect (Rom. 8:29; 11:2) according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, (2 Thess. 2:13) through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and (Heb. 10:22; 12:24) sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:  (Rom. 1:7; 2 Pet. 1:2; Jude 2) Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

[According to, etc., κατὰ πρόγνωσιν—ἐν ἁγιασμῷ—εἰς ὑπακοὴν καὶ ῥαντισμὸν, etc.]  This is to be referred, either, 1.  to that, Apostle, etc.; that is to say, an Apostle, appointed according to the will of God (Cyril and Œcumenius in Estius); or, 2.  to that, elect (Estius out of Bede,[1] Lyra, etc. Menochius, Tirinus, Grotius, Gomar, Gerhard, Beza, Piscator, Vorstius), by Trajection[2] (Grotius, Piscator, etc.), with the result that that, strangers dispersed, etc., is included parenthetically (Gomar); inasmuch as what things here follow compel us to hearken (Estius).  Now, those effectually called and separated from the world he here calls elect (Estius, Vorstius), as in John 15:19.[3]  Metonomy of the efficient (Piscator).  [Thus they render the passage:]  Elect (or, chosen [Erasmus, Pagnine]) according to the premeditation, or preconception, or prescience (or, foreknowledge [Castalio]; in accordance with the prescience [Tremellius out of the Syriac]; according to the prescience, or preconception [Tigurinus, Piscator, Montanus, thus the Vulgate]; according as it pertains to the prescience [Arabic]; according to the predetermination [Erasmus]; according to the foreordination [Erasmus, Vatablus]; according to the predilection, or, which comes to the same thing, the providence, or benign ordination [Estius]:  Πρόγνωσις here signifies, either, 1.  a bare prescience [certain interpreters in Gomar, Gerhard], by which God has chosen, or has decreed to save, those whom He foresaw were going to believe, etc. [Gerhard]; or, 2.  a decree preceding [Grotius, Gomar, Tirinus, Hammond, Beza], and eternal [Vatablus, Piscator], concerning the salvation of the elect [Piscator, similarly Erasmus, Gomar]:  or, God’s determinate counsel [Erasmus]; providence [Menochius, Tirinus], not barely speculative, but practical, which includes the will of God [Tirinus, similarly Vorstius]:  or, predestination [Estius out of Augustine and Lyra, Menochius], by which God chose them unto faith and grace [Menochius, Tirinus], and the fit means [Menochius], by which they are conducted unto righteousness and salvation [Tirinus]:  For the prescience of God, when it is posited in the case of good things, is the same as predestination:  For God foresees nothing good that He Himself is not going to do [Estius out of Augustine]:  Thus this word is used in Romans 8:29;[4] 11:2[5] [Estius, Vorstius, Piscator]; Acts 2:23[6] [Grotius]; 1 Peter 1:20[7] [Vorstius, Estius]:  Thus also the simple verb to know is used in the place of to choose, to approve [Estius, thus Gomar], as in Psalm 1:6;[8] Matthew 7:23[9] [Gomar]:  Moreover, among the Latins Decrees are called scita, things known,[10] and Judges are called cognitores, one who knows[11] [Erasmus]:  The sense [here] is the same as in Ephesians 1:4 [Grotius]:  Another reading has πρόθεσιν, the purpose [Vorstius]) of God the Father (who is the efficient and author of election, not exclusive of the Son and the Holy Spirit, but by a certain excellence, by which unto Him, as the first person in order, from which the remaining two persons have their source, Divine actions are generally wotn to be referred [Gomar]:  Others:  Here Father is able to be taken both notionally, so that it might signify the first person; and essentially, so that it might signify God, which is common to the three persons:  For He is Father with respect to Angels, men, and the rest of the creatures [Menochius]), through the sanctification (ἐν ἁγιασμῷ, in the sanctification, in the place of δι᾽ ἁγιασμοῦ, through the sanctification, according to the Hebraism[12] [Vorstius out of Piscator, similarly Erasmus, Gerhard];  that is, by which the Holy Spirit sanctifies the heart through the preaching of the Gospel, according to John 17:17 [Piscator, similarly Gerhard]:  Thus the instrumental cause of salvation is expressed, which is the ministry of the Word and Sacraments, which is the ministry of the Spirit, 2 Corinthians 3:6 [Gerhard]; or the formal cause of our election is denoted, that is, the formal cause of our effectual calling unto Christ [Vorstius out of Beze]; or, in the sanctification, as Bede and certain Latin codices read it, so that there might be a Hypallage here, in the sanctification of the Spirit, in the place of, in the Spirit of sanctification, that is, the sanctifying Spirit [Estius]:  unto, or towards, the sanctification [Beza, Zegers, Grotius, Vulgate, Menochius, Tirinus, Vatablus], that is, εἰς ἁγιασμὸν, unto sanctification [Gomar out of Beza], so that they might be sanctified [Vatablus, thus Estius, Menochius]; or, unto separation from the impurity of the world and from common use, and consecration to God or unto divine use and worship [Gomar, similarly Beza]; which consecration is explained by two species, obedience, and sprinkling, etc., that is, regeneration, and justification [Gomar out of Beza]) of the Spirit (either, 1.  the human spirit [Estius]; that is to say, that not only the flesh might be sanctified, as in the old Law [Tirinus], but also the spirit, or soul [Tirinus, thus Estius]; or, unto sanctification, not carnal or legal, but spiritual [Zegers]:  Or, 2.  the Holy Spirit [Estius, Gomar, thus Zegers, Menochius, Gerhard], as in 2 Thessalonians 2:13 [Gomar]; that is to say, that He might sanctify you [Estius, thus Menochius]:  He thus chose us and love us, that He might also sanctify us through His Spirit:  The Genitive Πνεύματος, of the Spirit, here denotes [Grotius], not the subject [Gomar], but the Cause [Grotius] efficient, or Author, of sanctification [Gomar]:  Which sense better agrees with the context [Gerhard], and is agreed upon by most, for thus is completed in this place the mystery of the Trinity [Estius]; even as election is attributed to the Father, redemption to the Son, so also sanctification to the Holy Spirit [Gomar, thus Estius], as in 1 Corinthians 6:11:  See 1 Peter 1:22 [Gomar]), unto, or towards, obedience (namely, of Christ [Estius]; either, 1.  by which we obey Christ [Estius, similarly Gomar]:  Which Spirit brings it to pass that we obey Go with much more excellence than before [Grotius]:  This and the following depend upon the word, elect [Estius]:  It signifies that they were elected unto this, tha they might obey the divine precepts [Menochius]:  Now, by the name of obedience is understood, either, 1.  faith in Christ [Gerhard, Piscator, thus Gomar, Vorstius]; that is, by which we obey the Gospel [Vorstius], or, those commandments of God, hear ye Him[13] (respond ye to the Gospel [Piscator]:  which is also elsewhere called the obedience of faith, Romans 1:5[14] [Gerhard, similarly Piscator, Vorstius]; Romans 16:26, and the obedience of the Gospel, Acts 6:7;[15] Romans 10:16, and the obedience of Christ, Hebrews 5:9 [Gerhard], and the obedience of the truth, 1 Peter 1:22[16] [Piscator]:  for true faith cannot be without obedience [Vorstius]:  or, 2.  also love and a holy life, which, no less than faith, the Gospel requires [Gomar]:  or, 3.  the obedience with which Christ obeyed all the way unto the death of the cross[17] [certain interpreters in Gomar, Beza]:  But we are not rightly said to be elected unto that obedience, but through and because of it [Gerhard out of Estius]:  [But learned men do not think that the authors of that opinion take that εἰς/unto otherwise, and thus to nullify that difficulty:  for they translate it:]  through obedience [Beza, Tirinus], that is, through the merit of the obedience of Christ [Tirinus]:  Therefore, it denotes the material of our sanctification, namely, the righteousness of Christ, by the imputation of which we are crowned as righteous:  Εἰς/unto here is in the place of διὰ/through, for the Hebrew  בsignifies both[18] [Beza]) and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ (Piscator, Beza, etc.), that is, unto expiation and remission of sins (Estius); or, unto imputation (Gomar), and application (Gomar, Gerhard), of the obedience and sacrifice of Christ (Gomar), and of the benefits acquired by the death of Christ (Gerhard).  For this he calls sprinkling, etc., because no one is cleansed by the blood of Christ from sins, except he be sprinkled by it, that is, except the merit of Christ be applied to him.  Which sprinkling, or application, is indeed made through the obedience of faith, according to Romans 3:25 (Estius, thus Gerhard).  It explains what that obedience of Christ is, and how it is to be view by us, namely, not simply and of itself, but with respect to us, inasmuch as it is a sprinkling (Beza).  There is also here ἑνδιαδύο, an hendiadys,[19] unto obedience and sprinkling, etc., that is, unto faith through which hearts are sprinkled by the blood of Christ, according to Acts 15:9; Hebrews 9:14, etc.; 1 John 1:7 (Gerhard out of Piscator).  He indicates here that the effect of our election is our whole righteousness, which consists partly in faith and the operation of virtues, partly in the remission of sins (Estius).  An allusion is made here, both, to that phrase in Psalm 51:7, thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be clean (Gerhard); and, unto the legal sprinklings, or purifications (Estius, Beza, Erasmus, thus Gerhard, Gomar), 1 Peter 1:19; Exodus 12:23; Hebrews 9:13, 20 (Gomar); Exodus 29:21; Leviticus 8:30 (Gerhard), and especially unto that in Exodus 24:8 (Estius, thus Gerhard).  And it is a most famous Canon of the Jews that the root, or essence, of the sacrifice is the sprinkling of blood (Bochart’s[20] Sacred Catalogue of Animals[21] 1:2:50:573).  It is not treated here of the remission of sins, which precedes the gift of the Holy Spirit; but here it is again a Genitive of Cause.  See Romans 3:25; 5:9; Ephesians 1:7; 2:13; Colossians 1:14; Hebrews 9:19; 10:19, 29; 12:24; 13:12.  But the language of ῥαντισμοῦ/sprinkling is taken from the Law of Moses, in which both the people and the Priests, before entering into the earthly Sanctuary, were sprinkled with a certain liquid, Exodus 24:8; Numbers 31:23.  So also we, so that we might enter into the heavenly Sanctuary, must be sprinkled with the blood of Christ, that is, that is follow His example in enduring sufferings, Hebrews 12:24:  the blood of Christ is called αἷμα ῥαντισμοῦ, the blood of sprinkling, by a Genitive of Effect, but here ῥαντισμὸς αἵματος, the sprinkling of blood, by a Genitive of the Efficient; for that sanctification, that is, the right of entering into the heavenly Sanctuary does not come to us except through the blood of Christ, who is set forth to us as an exemplar both of suffering and of glory (Grotius).  Ῥαντισμὸς αἵματος, the sprinkling of blood, etc., ought to be taken passively, as the preceding ὑπακοὴ/obedience shows, to which it is conjoined, and hence it is something in us; neither does it denote here the remission of sins, which has regard to God, as the Agent, and the blood of Christ, as the meritorious cause.  He has regard here to that action in Exodus 24:7, 8, in which the people is sprinkled with blood, and by that sprinkling the covenant is both signified and sealed, not only on the part of God, but also on the part of the people; as those words show, concerning all those words, among which were, as the promises of God, so also the obedience promised by the people.  Therefore, in this place it signifies that Evangelical obedience is the condition to be furnished by us in this new Covenant, which Christ hence signified by His own blood, who gave Himself, so that He might cleanse us, etc., Titus 2:14 (Hammond).

By elect he means, either, 1.  Singled out of the world, and separated unto God in their effectual calling, as 1 Corinthians 1:1; those that are said to be called, 1 Corinthians 1:26, are said to be chosen, 1 Corinthians 1:27, 28; and so the word seems to be taken, James 2:5:  or, 2.  Chosen to salvation, and the means of it, in God’s eternal decree, Ephesians 1:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:13.  According to the foreknowledge; either, 1.  The Divine preordination, or decree of election, as the word is taken, 1 Peter 1:20, and then we may take elect in the first sense; men are chosen out of the world, or called in time, according as they were chosen from eternity, Romans 8:30:  or, 2.  Foreknowledge here is as much as approbation or love, Matthew 7:23; Romans 11:2; and so signifies the free favour and good will of God, which is the fountain from whence the decree of election proceeds; and then we are to take elect in the latter sense, and so elect according to the foreknowledge of God, is, eternally designed unto life, according to, or out of, that free grace and love God did from eternity bear to them, which was the only motive he had for his choosing them:  or, (which comes to the same,) by foreknowledge we may understand election itself, as it is in God; and by election, the same, as terminated in the creature, and executed in effectual calling.  Of God the Father; this doth not exclude the Son or Spirit from their interest in and concurrence to the Divine decree, but only notes the order of working among the three Persons in the affair of man’s salvation; election is ascribed to the Father, reconciliation to the Son, and sanctification to the Spirit.  Through sanctification:  sanctification seems to be taken in a large sense, for the whole change of our spiritual state, both as to real grace in regeneration, and relative in justification; so that God may then be said to sanctify us, when in our effectual calling he justifies us from our sins, and renews us unto obedience:  so it is taken, Hebrews 10:10.  Of the Spirit; this is to be understood rather of the Spirit of God, the efficient of sanctification, than the spirit or soul of man, the subject of it.  Unto obedience; either, 1.  The obedience of Christ to God; and then the sense is, elect, or ordained to be, by the sanctification of the Spirit, made partakers of the benefits of Christ’s obedience:  or, 2.  The obedience of believers to Christ, and that either in their believing, faith being a giving obedience to the great command of the gospel, John 6:29, and particularly called obedience, Romans 1:5; and then the sense runs thus, elect unto faith, which was to be wrought in you by the sanctification of the Spirit:  or else in the exercise of holiness, which is the fruit of faith; and then it signifies the same as Ephesians 1:4, chosen, that you might be made, by the sanctification of the Spirit, holy and unblamable, and might accordingly demean yourselves.  And sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ; an allusion to the sprinkling of the blood of the sacrifices under the law, Hebrews 9:13, 14, 20, 22; 12:24; it signifies the application of the blood of Christ for the purging of the conscience, (which was typified by those legal sprinklings,) especially from the guilt of sin; which sprinkling, or application of the blood of Christ to our consciences, is performed on our part by faith, on God’s part by his Spirit working that faith in us (as well as enabling us unto obedience) in our effectual calling, as likewise by God’s imputing Christ’s righteousness to us; and so the sense of the whole is:  Elect according to the foreknowledge of God, to be by the sanctification of the Spirit brought into the participation of all the benefits of Christ’s redemption; the sum of which consists in the renovation of your natures unto gospel obedience, and the justification of your persons.

[Grace…and peace, etc.]  That is, every sort of good, spiritual and temporal (Menochius).  And the favor of God, and thence advancing prosperity, increase to you more and more.  The same prayer in the same words, 2 Peter 1:2, and in nearly the same words, Jude 2.  Often in Paul’s writing also.  A similar prayer in Numbers 6:24-26

Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied; there being several kinds of grace, 1 Peter 4:10, and several kinds of peace, outward and inward, he wisheth them all kinds of each; and there being several degrees and measures of both, he prays for an increase of these degrees in them, and so a multiplication of all good, both temporal and spiritual, to them.



[1] Bede (c. 672-735), known as the Venerable Bede, was an English monk whose fame rests largely on his ecclesiastical history of England (c. 731).  He wrote many other works, including commentaries on the Pentateuch, Kings, Esdras, Tobias, the Gospels, Acts, and the Catholic Epistles.  His interpretive work is characterized by his commitment to the tradition of the Fathers and by his use of the allegorical method of interpretation.

[2] That is, the transposition of words.

[3] John 15:19:  “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own:  but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen (ἐξελεξάμην) you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”

[4] Romans 8:29:  “For whom he did foreknow (προέγνω), he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

[5] Romans 11:2a:  “God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew (προέγνω).”

[6] Acts 2:23:  “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge (προγνώσει) of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain…”

[7] 1 Peter 1:20:  “Who verily was foreordained (προεγνωσμένου) before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you…”

[8] Psalm 1:6:  “For the Lord knoweth (יוֹדֵעַ; γινώσκει, in the Septuagint) the way of the righteous:  but the way of the ungodly shall perish.”

[9] Matthew 7:23:  “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew (ἔγνων) you:  depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

[10] For example, Livy’s Ab Urbe Condita 1:20:6.

[11] See, for example, Ovid’s Amores 1:12:24.

[12] The Hebrew preposition ב/in can also signify agent, instrument, or means.

[13] See, for example, Matthew 17:5.

[14] Romans 1:5:  “By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith (εἰς ὑπακοὴν πίστεως, or, unto obedience of faith) among all nations, for his name…”

[15] Acts 6:7:  “And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith (ὑπήκουον τῇ πίστει).”

[16] 1 Peter 1:22:  “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth (ἐν τῇ ὑπακοῇ τῆς ἀληθείας, or, in the obedience of the truth) through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently…”

[17] Philippians 2:8.

[18] The Hebrew preposition ב/in can also signify agent, instrument, or means.

[19] That is, two words used to express one concept.

[20] Samuel Bochart (1599-1667) was a French pastor and scholar with a wide variety of interests, including philology, theology, geography, and zoology.  He was on familiar terms with many of the greatest men of his age.

[21] Hierozoicon, sive Bipertitum Opus de Animalibus Scripturæ.

Poole on Numbers now Available in Print!

At long last, Poole’s Synopsis on Numbers is complete and available in print, our largest volume ever (more than 650 pages).

The Book of Numbers contains “the foundation of the Church and Commonwealth of the Israelites, while they walked and wandered in the wilderness”, and lays “before us the unchangeable love of God promised and exhibited to this people; the comely order established and observed among them; sundry examples of His horrible judgments againt obstinate sinners; the Fatherly chastisements and corrections of the faithful offending; and the dangerous plottings and devilish policies of the Church’s enemies”.  –William Attersoll, Numbers (1618)

“I beseech the theological collector not to let a fine copy of good old Matthew Poole’s ‘Synopsis Criticorum’…slip through his fingers without becoming master of it.”  –Dibdin’s ‘Lib. Comp.’, 52.

1 Peter 1:1: The Address, Part 1

[circa 60 AD]  Verse 1:  Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers (John 7:35; Acts 2:5, 9, 10; Jam. 1:1) scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia…

[Peter]  It is the same name as Cephas,[1] just as Θωμᾶς/Thomas and Δίδυμος/Didymus[2] are the same name (Grotius).  [See Gomar.[3]]

[An Apostle, etc.]  Concerning which see John 1:42 and Matthew 4:18, etc. (Piscator).  The Apostles are not wont in the beginning of their Epistles to omit this their office, certainly the highest, so that thence their authority, and that the greatest, might be fixed upon their writings (Grotius).

[To the elect[4]]  That is, unto faith and grace (Menochius[5]):  to those whom God, with others passed over and reprobated, elected unto eternal life (Estius[6]).  Or, to Christians, as in Romans 8:33; 16:13; Colossians 3:12; 2 Timothy 2:10; Titus 1:1; 1 Peter 2:6, 9; namely, to Jewish Christians:  for to those Peter was chiefly sent.[7]  The title was taken from the Old Testament, in which the Israelites are called בַּחוּרִים/chosen, Isaiah 65:9[8] and elsewhere.[9]  Therefore the Apostles apply the same name, and certainly with much greater justification, to those believing upon Christ, whom God has set apart for Himself unto much greater holiness, as it soon follows.  See John 15:19[10] (Grotius).  They are said to be elect in many ways, but here from eternity elected unto salvation, according to the foreknowledge of God, etc., as it follows (Gerhard).  Others:  Elect here means the same thing as effectually called, that is, actually separated from the impious and unbelieving.  Compare John 15:19; 1 Corinthians 1:26 (Vorstius, similarly Gomar).  Now, that these Jews were such, Peter concluded, either, by a judgment of charity, because the marks of election were appearing in them, or, by a revelation of the Holy Spirit (Gomar).

[Strangers, etc., παρεπιδήμοις διασπορᾶς]  Strangers (or, resident aliens [Estius, Tremellius[11]], or, dwellers from abroad [Grotius, thus Camerarius,[12] Zegers,[13] Castalio[14]]:  Hebrew:  תּוֹשָׁבִים/sojourners, in Genesis 23:4[15]; Psalm 39:12[16] [Grotius]:  Either, 1.  metaphorically, that is to say, to the faithful who are here foreigners and removed from their heavenly fatherland [certain interpreters in Gomar]:  See Hebrews 11:13;[17] 1 Peter 2:11[18] [certain interpreters in Gomar, Grotius]:  Which is refuted by the name of the dispersion following [Estius]:  Or, 2.  with the proper signification [Gomar, similarly Estius], from which one is not rashly to recede, at least in an inscription [Gomar]) of the dispersion (Montanus,[19] Beza,[20] Tigurinus[21]).  A Genitive of adjunct (Piscator):  even, dispersed (Pagnine,[22] Piscator), disseminated (Tremellius out of the Syriac), sojourning here and there (Erasmus,[23] Illyricus,[24] Tigurinus, Vatablus[25]).  Question 1:  Who then are they to whom Peter writes?  Response 1:  Gentile converts (Augustine, Luther,[26] Osiander,[27] Hessels,[28] etc., in Gerhard):  with whom alone do many of the things here written agree; as, 1.  that they did not seen Christ, 1 Peter 1:8:  2.  that they are not a people, 1 Peter 2:10:  3.  that to them are ascribed both ignorance, 1 Peter 1:14, and idolatry, 1 Peter 4:3, both which properly agree with Gentiles; the former, Acts 17:30; Ephesians 4:18, the latter, Galatians 4:18; 1 Thessalonians 1:9, and a life lived according to the will of the Gentiles, 1 Peter 4:3:  4.  that καὶ αὐτοὶ, yourselves also, 1 Peter 2:5; that is to say, not only the Jews, but also the Gentiles (certain interpreters in Estius).  Response 2:  the Jews (Eusebius,[29] Jerome, Œcumenius,[30] Athanasius,[31] and Baronius[32] in Gerhard, Gomar, Estius, Menochius, Tirinus,[33] Beza):  1.  because many things here said agree better with them, as that strangers of the dispersion, compared with James 1:1; but the Gentiles were not strangers or sojourners in the following regions; and the mention of their paternal traditions, 1 Peter 1:18; and their conversation had among the Gentiles, 1 Peter 2:12; and that he urges them by the authority of the Prophets, 1 Peter 1:10, which was sacrosanct to the Jews, but not to the Gentiles:  2.  because the second Epistle of Peter was written to the Jews, 2 Peter 1:19; 3:15, and therefore also the first, as it is evident from 2 Peter 3:1:  3.  because Peter was chiefly a minister of the Jews, Galatians 2:7 (other interpreters in Gerhard).  The Jews, moreover, before conversion and faith, were not a people, that is, simply or entirely by reason of calling, both external and internal.  Many of them also, in order to please Kings and avoid dangers, polluted themselves by idolatry, as the books of the Maccabees relate[34] (Gomar).  Response 3:  the Jews principally, yet secondarily converted Gentiles, who were mixed with the Jews, and were constituting one Church with them in these places, not less than at Rome, Corinth, etc.; although Paul, as the Apostle of the Gentiles,[35] wrote principally to converted Gentiles (Gomar).  Question 2:  What then was this dispersion of the Jews?  Response 1:  That dispersion accomplished after the death of Stephan, Acts 8:1 (most interpreters in Gerhard, thus Hammond), which certainly is not to be omitted here, concerning which is used the word διασπαρέντες/dispersed in Acts 8:4; 11:19 (Grotius).  However, this dispersion is said to have been throughout Judea and Samaria, Acts 8:1 (Gerhard).  Objection:  But some of those proceeded into Antioch, Damascus, Cyprus, Acts 9:10; 11:19 (Baronius in Gerhard).  Response 1:  But those were too few to constitute entire Churches.  Response 2:  That dispersion was already accomplished in a former time before Christ, in Assyria, Babylon, and Egypt (Gerhard, similarly James Cappel[36]), of which mention is made in John 7:35; Acts 2:9, 10 (Gerhard).  All places in which the Israelites were living outside of their own country are called διασποραὶ/dispersions, at whatever time, upon whatever occasion, those migrations might have happened; whether in wars, as by Tiglath-pilneser,[37] Shalmaneser,[38] and Nebuchadnezzar,[39] or to evade domestic ills, for which reasons many departed into Syria, and into Egypt, and into other parts of the Roman Empire (Grotius).  There was a threefold dispersion of the Israelites, 1.  of the Ten Tribes by Shalmaneser into Media, etc., 2 Kings 17:6; 18:11; 2.  of the Two Tribes by Nebuchadnezzar into Babylon and Mesopotamia, whence they migrated into the following places, Pontus, etc.; 3.  by Ptolemy Lagus into Egypt and Alexandria[40] (Mede’s[41] Works 1:20:97[42]).  The principal division of this dispersion was the Babylonian Jews; whom therefore he does not actually name, because he was writing from Babylon (Drusius[43]), 1 Peter 5:13 (Mede’s Works 1:20:97).  Now, all these that are here named are regions of the Roman Empire, not the Parthian,[44] in which was Babylon.  I think those to be mistaken who either think only two διασπορὰς/dispersions are mentioned, or think that Babylon was the head of those Jews that were throughout Asia, which was subject to the Romans.  Media,[45] Hyrcania,[46] and parts further off were situated under the Babylonian Patriarch;[47] but Egypt, Libya, and those near to them were situated under the head of the Sanhedrin of Alexandria.[48]  All others were under the Prince, that is, נָשִׂיא, of Jerusalem, who afterwards sat at Tiberias.[49]  In Colchis[50] there were already some of the Israelite nation from the deportation of Shalmaneser and Nebuchadnezer.  But here it is treated of the Jews, concerning whom also in Acts 2:9, where mention is also made of Cappadocia and Asia.  All those were making use, not of the Chaldean version, but of the Greek:  and in that tongue Paul addressed them.  In Philo,[51] Agrippa[52] mentions the dispersions of the Jews throughout Egypt, Phœnicia, Syria, Pamphylia,[53] Cilicia,[54] Bithynia,[55] Pontus.[56]  [See the very words in Grotius.]  Then, with many other places interjected Agrippa comes unto the places beyond the Euphrates.  But in Babylon in his own time he that that there were no Jews (Grotius).

[Of Pontus, etc., Πόντου, Γαλατίας]  Some read these conjointly (Gerhard), like Theodoret[57] and Œcumenius, throughout Galatia of Pontus (Gomar), so that this might be distinguished from that Galatia bordering on the Celts, which is Celtic Gallia[58] (certain interpreters in Gerhard).  But Galatia of Pontus is nowhere found in writing.  Neither is Galatia a region of Pontus, but it lies near to it on the South (Gerhard out of Estius).  Others:  of Pontus, of Galatia (Estius, Gomar, Gerhard, etc.).  These are two distinct regions (Beza).  Pontus[59] is a maritime region (Beza, Gerhard), which encompasses the entire coast of the Euxine/Black Sea all the way to Colchis (Gerhard), bordering on the inland [regions] of Galatia and Cappadocia, as it is proven out of Strabo[60] (Beza, Gerhard).  From this region this Epistle is called To the Pontians, as Cyprian,[61] out of Tertullian,[62] calls it.  In Galatia there were many Jews, as it appears from the epistle of Paul to the Galatians (Grotius).

[Of Cappadocia[63]]  See on Acts 2:9 (Grotius).

[Of Asia]  Not the greater, but the lesser (Estius, Gerhard).  Objection:  But Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, and Bithynia were regions of Asia Minor (Estius, Gerhard, Gomar).  Response:  Asia, both here and in Acts 16:6, 7 (Gerhard), is taken Synecdochically (Gomar), and specifically (Gerhard, Estius), for Ionia[64] (Gomar, Grotius, Drusius), or the region around Ephesus (Estius, thus Gerhard, Grotius, Menochius, Drusius); which is specifically called Asia, says Jerome, or rather Eusebius, in Concerning the Places of the Acts of the Apostles[65] (Drusius), in which were [also] those seven cities of Revelation 1:11 (Estius, Gerhard, thus Menochius), and that entire tract of land and islands, which embraces Troas,[66] Phrygia,[67] Lydia,[68] Mæonia,[69] and Ionia (Menochius), and in which there were a great number of Jews, as Josephus testifies in his Antiquities of the Jews 12:3; 14:17; 16:3.  See on Acts 6:9; 19:2, 8, 10, 13, 33 (Grotius).

[And of Bithynia]  Which was near to Pontus, Galatia, and Asia, specifically so called (Grotius):  which was at the beginning of the Sea over against Thrace[70] (Gerhard).  See the Geographers (Grotius).  Now, Peter writes to these Provinces, either, 1.  because previously he preached to them with the living voice (Gerhard, Jerome in Estius); as it is gathered from this, that he says that he writes for ὑπόμνησιν, a reminder, etc., 2 Peter 1:12, 13; 3:1, compare also 2 Peter 1:15 (Gerhard):  or, 2.  because grievous persecutions had been excited there (Estius, Gerhard).  Question:  Why is there no mention of Babylon, which was the head of this dispersion (Gerhard)?  Response:  Because he was present there (Gomar), and from there he wrote this Epistle, 1 Peter 5:13 (Gomar).

To the strangers; not only metaphorically strangers, as all believers are in the world, 1 Peter 2:11; but properly, as being out of their own land, and so really strangers in the places here mentioned.  Scattered; so James 1:1.  Throughout Pontus; a country of the Lesser Asia, bordering upon the Euxine sea, and reaching as far as Colchis.  Galatia; which borders upon Pontus, and lies southward of it.  To the Gentile churches inhabiting here, Paul wrote his Epistle inscribed to the Galatians.  Cappadocia; this likewise borders upon Pontus, and is joined with it, Acts 2:9.  Asia; that part of Asia the Less, which was especially called Asia, viz. the whole country of Ionia, which contained in it Troas, Phrygia, Lydia, Caria,[71] etc.  See Acts 16:6, 9; 19:10, 31.  And Bithynia; another province of the Lesser Asia, bordering upon Pontus and Galatia, and opposite to Thracia.  Question.  Who were the strangers to whom this Epistle was written?  Answer.  Chiefly the Christian Jews scattered in these countries, as appears by 1 Peter 2:12, and 1:18, where he mentions the traditions of their fathers, of which the Jews were so fond, Matthew 15:2; Galatians 1:14; but secondarily, to the converted Gentiles.  As Paul, the apostle of the uncircumcision, wrote principally to the converted Gentiles, at Rome, Corinth, Ephesus, etc., but doth not exclude those Jews that were among them, who, being converted to the faith, were of the same mystical body with them; so Peter, though he firstly wrote to the converted Jews, as being an apostle of the circumcision, yet includes the Gentiles that were mingled among them, and joined in faith and worship with them.



[1] Πέτρος/Peter signifies rock or stone, as does כֵּיפָא/Cephas in Chaldean.

[2] See John 11:16.  Δίδυμος/Didymus, signifying twin, is a Greek form of the Hebrew name Θωμᾶς/ תְּאוֹם/Thomas, which also means twin.

[3] Francis Gomar (1569-1641), as Professor of Divinity at Leiden (1594), was a colleague and opponent of Jacob Arminius.  After the Arminian conflict, he held a variety of academic posts.  He wrote Analysis et Explicatio Epistolarum et Quinque Priorum Capitum Apocalypseos.

[4] 1 Peter 1:1a:  “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the elect (ἐκλεκτοῖς, moved to the beginning of verse 2 in the Authorized Version) strangers scattered…”

[5] John Stephen Menochius (1576-1656) joined the Society of Jesuits at an early age.  His superiors in the order, recognizing his academic abilities, set him apart for training in the exposition of Holy Scripture.  His Commentarii in Sacram Scripturam displays great learning and sound judgment.

[6] William Estius (1542-1613) was a Flemish Catholic scholar; he labored first as a lecturer on Divinity, then as the Chancellor at Douai.  In his commentary writing, as exemplified in his Commentarii in Sacram Scripturam and Commentarii in Epistolas Apostolicas, he focuses on the literal meaning of the text; he was highly regarded for his abilities as an exegete.

[7] See Galatians 2:7, 8.

[8] Isaiah 65:9:  “And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains:  and mine elect (בְחִירַי) shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.”

[9] For example, Psalm 105:6:  “O ye seed of Abraham his servant, ye children of Jacob his chosen (בְּחִירָיו).”

[10] John 15:19:  “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own:  but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen (ἐξελεξάμην) you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”

[11] John Immanuel Tremellius (1510-1580) converted from Judaism to Christianity and quickly embraced the principles of the Reformation.  He taught Hebrew at Strasburg (1541) and at Cambridge (succeeding Paul Fagius in 1549), and served as Professor of Old Testament at Heidelberg (1561).  Tremellius translated the Old Syriac New Testament into Latin.

[12] Joachim Camerarius the Elder (1500-1575) was a German Lutheran classical scholar, who served as a professor at Nuremberg, and later at Leipzig.  He assisted Phillip Melanchthon in the preparation of the Augsburg Confession, and engaged in efforts to mediate between Catholics and Protestants on behalf of King Francis I of France and Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II.  He wrote Commentarius in Novum Fœdus.

[13] Nicholas Tacitus Zegers (d. 1559) was a Flemish Franciscan exegete.  He wrote Scholion in Omnes Novi Testamenti Libros (1553), Epanorthotes, sive Castigationes Novi Testamenti (1555), and Inventorium in Testamentum Novum, a concordance (1558).

[14] Sebastian Castalio (1515-1563) distinguished himself as a scholar by means of his linguistic talents, evident in his Annotationes in Vetus et Novum Testamentum.  However, the greatness of Castalio’s talents did not extend to the logico-synthetic work of theology, and he ran into controversy with Calvin.  He was inclined towards Pelagianism, and his views were influential in the development of Socinianism.  As a translator of the Bible, he takes overmuch liberty, attempting to mold the speech of the prophets to suit those with a taste for classical Latin.

[15] Genesis 23:4:  “I am a stranger and a sojourner (וְתוֹשָׁב) with you:  give me a possession of a buryingplace with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight.”

[16] Psalm 39:12:  “Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears:  for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner (תּוֹשָׁב), as all my fathers were.”

[17] Hebrews 11:13:  “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims (παρεπίδημοί) on the earth.”

[18] 1 Peter 2:11:  “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims (παρεπιδήμους), abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul…”

[19] Benedict Arias Montanus (1527-1598) was a Spanish Benedictine monk.  He attended the Council of Trent, and he was heavily involved in the production of the Polyglot Bible.  He wrote commentaries on several books of the Bible, including Elucidationes in Omnia Sanctorum Apostolorum Scripta.

[20] Theodore Beza (1519-1605) served as Rector of the Academy and Professor of Theology in Geneva.  He was the colleague, then successor, of Calvin.  He issued a Greek New Testament, and later published his Annotationes in Novum Testamentum.  He authored notable theological works, such as Tractationes Theologicæ and Summa Totius Christianismi, as well as poems and contributions to the Huguenot metrical psalter of Clement Marot.

[21] Leo Jud (1482-1542) was a co-laborer of Ulrich Zwingli during the time of the Swiss Reformation.  His translation work might be his most important contribution to the reformation of Zurich.  He labored with other divines to produce a vernacular version for the Swiss people, and he produced a Latin version of the Old Testament, usually known as “Tigurinus”, which would be translated, “of Zurich”.

[22] Pagnine (1466-1541) was an Italian Dominican.  He was gifted as a Hebraist, exegete, and preacher.  He was commissioned by Pope Leo X to produce a new Latin translation of the Scripture.

[23] Desiderius Erasmus (1467-1536) was a Dutch humanist, a classical scholar, and a Roman Catholic theologian.  Although he never left the Roman Church, he sought the reformation of its corruptions, and he contributed greatly to the Reformation through the production of his various editions of the Greek New Testament and his Annotationes in Novum Testamentum.  He was certainly one of the greatest and most influential scholars of his time.

[24] Matthæus Flaccius Illyricus (1520-1575) was a Lutheran divine.  He served as Professor of Hebrew at Wittenburg (1544), then as Professor of New Testament at Jena (1557).  He made great contributions in the fields of church history and hermeneutics.  He wrote Clavis Scripturæ Sacræ seu de Sermone Sacrarum Literarum and Glossa Compendiaria in Novum Testamentum.

[25] Francis Vatablus (c. 1485-1547) was a prominent Hebrew scholar, doing much to stimulate Hebraic studies in France.  He was appointed to the chair of Hebrew in Paris, 1531.  Although a Roman Catholic, his annotations (Annotationes in Vetus et Novum Testamentum) found employment among Protestants and Catholics alike.

[26] Luther wrote commentaries on 1 and 2 Peter.

[27] Lucas Osiander (1534-1604) was a Lutheran theologian.  He produced an edition of the Vulgate with supplemental annotations and corrections, inserting Luther’s translation in the places in which the Vulgate departs from the Hebrew.  He was also an accomplished composer of music.

[28] Jean Hessels (1522-1566) was a Belgian theologian; he served as professor of theology at the University of Louvain.  He was defender of the Augustinianism of Michael Baius.  He wrote commentaries on the Gospel of Matthew, the Epistles of John, 1 Timothy, and 1 Peter.

[29] Eusebius (c. 267-338) was Bishop of Cæsarea, author of that famous Ecclesiastical History, and supporter of Constantine the Great.

[30] Œcumenius has been held traditionally to have been a late-tenth century bishop of Trikkala in Thessaly, but the authorship of the commentaries traditionally ascribed to him is confused.  The commentaries on Acts and the Catholic Epistles are the same as those of Theophylact of Bulgaria (eleventh century); the commentary on the Pauline Epistles is older, copied in part from the work of Andrew of Cæsarea (563-637); the commentary on the Apocalypse appears to have been composed around the turn of the seventh century.

[31] Athanasius (c. 298-373) was bishop ofAlexandria, and a great defender of Nicean orthodoxy.

[32] Cæsar Baronius (1538-1607) was an Italian cardinal and church historian.  He wrote a twelve-volume history of the Church up to the year 1198, entitled Annales Ecclesiastici a Christo Nato ad Annum 1198.

[33] James Tirinus (1580-1636) was a Flemish Jesuit priest.  His abilities as a commentator are displayed in his Commentaria in Sacram Scripturam.

[34] 1 and 2 Maccabees relate the history of the attempts of the Seleucid Empire to impose idolatrous worship upon the Jews.

[35] Romans 11:13.

[36] James Cappel (1570-1614) was the older brother of Louis Cappel.  He was Professor of Hebrew and Theology at the Academy of Sedan.  He wrote Observationes in Novum Testamentum.

[37] See 1 Chronicles 5:6, 26.

[38] See 2 Kings 17.

[39] See 2 Kings 24; 25; 2 Chronicles 36.

[40] Ptolemy Lagides was one of Alexander the Great’s generals, and later ruler of Egypt from 323 to 283 BC.  Circa 312, Ptolemy took Jerusalem, and deported a great many Jews and Samaritans.

[41] Although most remembered for his work on John’s Apocalypse, The Key of the Revelation, and his escatological views, Joseph Mede (1586-1638) treats texts spanning the entire Bible in his Works.  Mede was first a student, and then a fellow, tutor, and Reader of Greek, at Christ’s College, Cambridge.

[42] From Mede’s “Dissertation on Acts 2:5”.

[43] John Drusius (1550-1616) was a Protestant, who excelled in Oriental studies, Biblical exegesis, and critical interpretation, as is evident from his Annotationes in Pentateuchum, Josuam, Judices, Ruth, Samuelem, Estheram, Jobum, Coheleth, seu Ecclesiasten, Prophetas Minores, Ecclesiasticum, Tobit, 1 Librum Machabæorum; Notæ Majores in Genesin, Exodum, Leviticum, et Priora 18 Capita Numerorum; Annotata in Novum Testamentum.  He served as Professor of Oriental Languages at Oxford (1572), at Louvain (1577), and at Franeker (1585).

[44] The Parthian Empire endured from 247 BC to 224 AD.  At its largest, it extended from what is now south-eastern Turkey to eastern Iran.

[45] A region roughly equivalent to modern-day Iran.

[46] A small region just south of the Caspian Sea.

[47] This is likely a reference the Babylonian Exilarch, the Jewish leader/prince of the Diaspora community in Babylon.  This office lasted from the Babylonian Captivity (or so it is thought) to the eleventh century AD.

[48] There was a thriving Jewish community in Alexandria, Egypt, led by an Alexandrian Sanhedrin.

[49] Tiberias was located on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee.  There the Sanhedrin settled circa 150, after the expulsion of the Jews from Jerusalem in 135 due to the Bar Kokhba Revolt.  Tiberias developed a thriving rabbinical academy, and the Jerusalem Talmud was probably compiled there under the supervision of Rabbi Judah haNasi, the Prince (circa 200).  Judah is thought to have been called the Prince because he was a descendant of David and president of the Sanhedrin.

[50] A region on the south-eastern shore of the Black Sea.

[51] From On the Embassy to Gaius 281-283.  Philo was a first century Jewish scholar of Alexandria, Egypt.  In him, one finds a synthesis of Platonic philosophy, Hebrew learning, and Jewish theology.

[52] Agrippa I, or Herod Agrippa, grandson of Herod the Great, was the king of Jews from 41 to 44.

[53] Pamphylia was in the center of the southern coast of Asia Minor.

[54] Cilicia was just east of Pamphylia.

[55] Bithynia was on the north-western coast of Asia Minor.

[56] Pontus was on the south-eastern shore of the Black Sea.

[57] Theodoret (393-457) was bishop of Cyrus, and a significant participant in the Christological controversies of his age.  He was an advocate of Antiochian dyophysitism, or moderate Nestorianism, although he condemned the Nestorian affirmation of two Sons in Christ, and the Nestorian denial that Mary was Theotokos, that is, the Mother of God.  His orthodoxy was clear at the Council of Chalcedon (451).

[58] The Celts inhabited all of modern-day France.  Celtic Gallia was the Alpine region on the border of modern-day France and Italy.

[59] Πόντος/Pontus can signify sea, or refer to the region.

[60] Strabo (c. 63 BC-c. 24 AD) was a geographer and historian.

[61] Testimonia ad Quirinium 3:36, 37, 39.  Cyprian (d. 258) served as Bishop of Carthage.  He is noted for his refusal to readmit into the Church those who had “lapsed” under persecution.

[62] Scorpiace 12.  Tertullian was a Latin Father of the second century.  He labored as an apologist during times of persecution, and was important in the development of the Trinitarian vocabulary in the Latin-speaking West.

[63] Cappadocia was east of Galatia.

[64] Ionia was in the center of the western coast of Asia Minor.

[65] Eusebius wrote Onomasticon (or, On the Place-Names in the Holy Scripture); Jerome, De Situ et Nominibus Locorum Hebræorum (Concerning the Situation and Names of Hebrew Places).  Jerome’s work is a translation of Eusebius’ with some editorial modifications.

[66] Troas is north of Ionia on the western coast of Asia Minor.

[67] Phrygia was in the heart of Asia Minor.

[68] Lydia was west of Phrygia, but not reaching to the coast.

[69] Mæonia was the ancient name of Lydia.

[70]Thrace was due east ofMacedonia, before one would cross intoAsia Minor.

[71] Caria was south of Lydia.

Outline of 1 Peter 1

The apostle’s address to the strangers elect in Christ, dispersed throughout the Lesser Asia, 1, 2.  He blesseth God for having raised them to the hope of a blessed immortality, 3-9.  He showeth that their salvation in Christ had been foretold by the prophets of old, 10-12, and exhorteth them to a vigilant and holy conversation, suitable to their calling and redemption by the blood of Christ, 13-21, and to mutual love, 22-25.

The Argument of 1 Peter

Of the penman of this Epistle there is no doubt; and of the time of his writing it, no certainty, whether about the year of our Lord 45, or rather 65.  The occasion of it may (not improbably) be thought to be the same that was of James’s writing his, viz. the folly and perverseness of some in those times, and among the Jewish Christians to whom he wrote, in separating faith from holiness, and their doubting whether Peter and Paul taught the same doctrine.  His scope therefore is, partly to confirm these saints in the belief of the gospel, and to testify that the doctrine of the grace of God through Jesus Christ, which they had embraced and did profess, was indeed infallibly true, 1 Peter 5:12, being the same that had been preached by the prophets to the fathers of the Old Testament, 1 Peter 1:10-12; fairly implying it to be the same that Paul preached, by his sending this Epistle to them that were of the circumcision, by Silvanus, a minister of the uncircumcision, and Paul’s ordinary companion in the work of the gospel; as likewise he doth by that ample testimony he gives to Paul and his writings, 2 Peter 3:15, 16.  And partly to exhort them to the practice of godliness, and a conversation suitable to the gospel:  and that he doth, both as to the general duties incumbent on all believers, 1 Peter 1:13-2:12; and as to the particular duties which concerned them in their several relations, subjects to magistrates, servants to masters, husbands and wives mutually to each other, ministers to people, younger people to their elders, and especially sufferers towards their oppressors and persecutors; but withal intermixing several general duties, and of concernment to all, and concluding all with prayer and salutation.

Prolegomena to 1 Peter

The time of the writing of this Epistle is uncertain, neither is it of much importance to know (Vorstius[1]).  It is customary to assign it to the year of our Lord 44 (Hammond[2]), or, 45 (Baronius[3] in Gerhard[4]), by which reckoning it would be the most ancient of all the Apostolic Epistles (Gerhard); or 65, as it might be gathered from the approaching Judgment of God against the Jews,[5] concerning which see 1 Peter 4:7, 12, 17 (Lightfoot’s[6] Harmony, Chronicle, and Order of the New Testament 147).  The occasion for writing was the coming of Silvanus or Silas[7] to Peter[8] (Gerhard out of Lyra[9]), and the uncertainty of many whether Peter was teaching the same things as Paul and Silas (Gerhard), and the opinion of Simon Magus,[10] Nicolas,[11] and other, who were preaching faith without works (Augustine in Gerhard).  The scope and argument was that he was testifying that to be the true doctrine which they had embraced concerning the grace of God through Christ, as it might be gathered from 1 Peter 5:12 (Piscator,[12] similarly Gerhard), and that he was exhorting them, both unto perseverance in this faith (Piscator), and unto the study of good works (Gerhard).  This Epistle has τὸ σφοδρὸν, the fervor, or vehemence, one might expect of the Prince of the Apostles (Grotius[13]).



[1] Conradus Vorstius (1569-1622) was a Dutch Arminian, condemned by the Synod of Dort and banished.  It is reported that he openly embraced Socinianism at the end of his life.  He wrote Commentarius in Omnes Epistolas Apostolicas, Exceptis Secunda ad Timotheum, ad Titum, ad Philemonem et ad Hebræos.

[2] Henry Hammond (1605-1660), a learned divine, served the Church of England as Rector of Penshurst, Kent (1633), Archdeacon of Chichester (1643), Canon of Christ Church, Oxford (1645), and Sub-dean (1648).  He was invited to sit in the Assembly at Westminister, but he participated instead in the rising at Tunbridge and other efforts in support of Charles I.  He remained a loyal Royalist and Anglican until the day of his death.  He wrote A Paraphrase and Annotations upon the New Testament, briefly Explaining All the Difficult Parts Thereof.

[3] Cæsar Baronius (1538-1607) was an Italian cardinal and church historian.  He wrote a twelve-volume history of the Church up to the year 1198, entitled Annales Ecclesiastici a Christo Nato ad Annum 1198.

[4] John Gerhard (1582-1637) was an eminent Lutheran divine.  He held the position of Professor of Divinity at Jena (1616), and he was four times the Rector of the same.  He wrote Commentarius super Priorem Divini Petri Epistolam and super Posteriorem Divini Petri Epistolam.

[5] The Jews rebelled against Rome in 66.  The strength of the rebellion was largely broken in 70, when Titus took Jerusalem, and the Roman army destroyed the Temple.

[6] John Lightfoot (1602-1675) was a minister and divine of such distinction and learning that he was invited to sit as a member of the Assembly of Divines at Westminster.  He specialized in Rabbinic learning and lore.  He brought that learning to bear in his defense of Erastianism in the Assembly, and in his comments upon Holy Scripture.

[7] Silas was a Prophet, and he accompanied Paul on his second missionary journey.  See Acts 15-17.

[8] 1 Peter 5:12.

[9] Nicholas de Lyra (1270-1340) was born to Jewish parents, but he converted to Christianity.  He entered the Franciscan Order and became a teacher of some repute in Paris.  His Postilla in Vetus et Novum Testamentum demonstrate remarkable ability and a commitment to the literal sense of the Scripture.

[10] Simon Magus was a Samaritan magician, converted to Christianity by Philip, but discovered by Peter to be a false professor (Acts 8).  Later church historians remember him as the source of all heresies.

[11] The Nicolaitans, Revelation 2:6, 15, were the disciples of Nicolas (perhaps the Nicolas mentioned in Acts 6:5); they taught the lawfulness of eating things offered to idols and a community of wives.

[12] John Piscator (1546-1626) was a learned Protestant divine.  He held the position of Professor of Divinity at Herborn (1584).  His German version was the first, complete and independent, since that of Martin Luther.  Through the course of his career, his views changed from those of the Lutherans to those of the Calvinists, and from those of the Calvinists to those of the Arminians.  He remains widely regarded for his abilities as a commentator.  He wrote Commentarii in Omnes Libros Veteris et Novi Testamenti.

[13] Hugo Grotius (1583-1645) distinguished himself in the field of international law, but he was interested in many fields of learning, including Christian apologetics, theology, and Biblical criticism and exegesis.  His exegetical talents are displayed in his Annotationes in Vetus et Novum Testamentum.  His dual interest in international law and theology caused him to run afoul of civil authorities:  Embracing Arminian doctrine, he was imprisoned from 1618-1621 after the Synod of Dort declared against the position.

Directions for Use

Each of the volumes in this series, The Exegetical Labors of the Reverend Matthew Poole is actually composed of two separate works:  A Synopsis of Interpreters, Both Critical and Otherwise, of the Sacred Scriptures (known by its Latin title, Synopsis Criticorum, the translated text of which is printed in this regular type) and Annotations upon the Holy Bible (the text of which is printed in bold type).  In the Synopsis, written primarily for students, ministers, and scholars, Poole presents something of a verse-by-verse history of interpretation, setting forth the most important interpreters and interpretative positions.  The Annotations, on the other hand, are written for the use of the common man, giving a summary of the most important interpretive issues and Poole’s own, most mature (being written in the years immediately prior to his death), judgment.  In these volumes, the Annotations have been interspliced into the translation of the Synopsis, creating an omnibus ofPoole’s exegetical efforts.

It may already be apparent from this brief description of these volumes that they are intended for study; they are certainly not a light read.  So that every reader, from the unlearned to the scholar, might get the most profit from these volumes, these directions are proffered:

 

1.  Read and study the prefatory material, especially the “Preface to the Synopsis:  Romans-Revelation.”[1]

 

In the “Preface to the Synopsis:  Romans-Revelation,” the reader is introduced to the interpreters, writing on these Books of the Bible, who, in Poole’s judgment, are of the greatest significance.  Because the Synopsis is primarily about the history of interpretation, an acquaintance with the interpreters is of the utmost importance.  The translator has provided additional information about these men in the footnotes to aid the reader.  Paul taught the Ephesian Christians that the ascended Lord Jesus provides teachers for the edification of His Church in all ages;[2] this is a synopsis of their teaching and testimony, a thing of surpassing value.

 

2.  Note that a brief summary of each book and an outline of each chapter has been provided.[3]

 

This will help the reader get and keep the entire context in view as he studies particular verses.

 

3.  Study the cross-references.

 

The Authorized Version of the text has been provided at the beginning of each verse.  In the Annotations, Poole provided a great many cross-references in the printing of the verse itself.[4]  These should not be neglected; they are of great value in gaining an understanding of the verse being studied, and it will be found that the verse being studied has implications for the right interpretation of other texts.[5]  Furthermore, the reader will find the verses, referenced in the Synopsis portion for the illustration of grammatical principles, to be of great help and use.  When the reason for the citation of a particular verse is not clear in English, the translator has provided annotations in the footnotes to aid understanding.

 

4.  Begin the study of the commentary portion under each verse with the Annotations portion (printed in bold).

 

Remember that the Annotations were written for the common man, and in them Poole, or the divines who completed the Annotations after Poole’s death,[6] summarizes and gives an evaluation of the most important matters.  Reading the Annotations portion will frequently shed much light upon the mass of raw exegetical material in the Synopsis portion.

 

5.  Note that Poole often presents a wide variety of interpretive positions in a short space.

 

In the Synopsis portion, contradictory positions can be presented without any transition.  The intepreters who held a certain view are usually given in parentheses after the presentation of the interpretive position, and this is frequently all that the reader is given with respect to a transition from one position to another.

 

6.  Make use of the Index as needed.

 

            An index of relatively obscure people and places has been included for the help of the reader.  The index refers the reader back to the page upon which the person or place was first mentioned and footnoted.

 

7.  Be patient and persevere.

 

Solomon the Wise teaches in the Proverbs that in some things knowledge and wisdom come only with effort,[7] and penetrating beyond a superficial understanding of the Scriptures will require hard work; but let the Christian give himself to this labor in the assurance of faith, that Jesus Christ is speaking to him through the Word,[8] and that in this study he will taste of the Lord that He is good.[9]



[1] The prefatory material can be found in The Exegetical Labors of the Reverend Matthew Poole:  Volume 80:  Revelation 1-7.

[2] Ephesians 4:11-13.

[3] Poole composed the book outlines from Genesis to Isaiah, but the chapter outlines were not added until the third edition of the Annotations, 1696, by Samuel Clarke and Edward Veale.  Samuel Clarke (1626-1701), one of the ejected ministers under the Act of Uniformity, was well-qualified for this editorial work, having composed his own The Old and New Testament, with Annotations and Parallel Scriptures (1690) and A Survey of the Bible; or, an Analytical Account of the Holy Scriptures, Containing the Division of Every Book and Chapter, thereby Shewing the Frame and Contexture of the Whole (1693).  Edward Veale was one of the divines called upon to complete Poole’s Annotations, writing the portions on Ephesians, James, 1 and 2 Peter, and Jude.  He will be discussed at greater length in conjunction with those portions.

[4] Samuel Clarke and Edward Veale appear to be responsible for supplemental cross-references, added toPoole’s own.  All of the cross-references have been provided in this text.

[5]Westminster Confession of Faith 1:9:  “The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself:  and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one) it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly.”

[6] Edward Veale provided the comments on 1 and 2 Peter in Poole’s Annotations.  Veale (d. 1708) labored in the work of the ministry in both England and Ireland, having been ordained in 1657.  He later served as a senior fellow at Trinity College in Dublin, until he was deprived for nonconformity.  After his deprivation, he ministered as chaplain to Sir William Waller, and then as a pastor at Wapping.  He edited and published, with Richard Adams, Stephen Charnock’s Discourse on Divine Providence (1680), and, of course, with Samuel Clarke, the third edition of Matthew Poole’s Annotations (1696).

[7] Proverbs 2:1-5.

[8] 1 Peter 1:11.

[9] 1 Peter 2:3.

Title Page

The

 

Exegetical Labors

 

of the

 

Reverend Matthew Poole

 

 

 

Translated by Dr. Steven Dilday

Edited by April M. McLeod

 

 

Volume 78:  1 and 2 Peter

 

Containing:

 

I.  A Synopsis of Interpreters, Both Critical and Otherwise, of the Sacred Scripture

 

II.  Annotations upon the Holy Bible

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Culpeper, Virginia

Master Poole Publishing

2013

A New Beginning…

If you have been considering studying the Scriptures with Matthew Poole, now is a good time to begin.  I am going to begin blogging through 1 and 2 Peter, two precious books of holy writ, and yet somewhat neglected.  May the Lord bless our studies together, so that we might know Christ, the fellowship of His sufferings, and the power of His resurrection.

–Dr. Dilday