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The First Epistle of St Peter the Apostle



The 1st Chapter
     Peter an Apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that dwell here and there as strangers throughout Pontus, Galacia, Capadocia, Asia, and Bethynia, elect by the foreknowledge of God the father through the sanctifying of the spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.
     Grace be with you and peace be multiplied.
     Blessed be God the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which through his abundant mercy begat us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from death, to enjoy an inheritance immortal and undefiled, and that perishes not, reserved in heaven for you, which are kept by the power of God through faith, unto salvation, which salvation is prepared all ready to be showed in the last time, in the which time you shall rejoice, though now for a season (if need require) you are in heaviness, through many fold temptations, that your faith once tried, being much more precious than gold that perishes (though it be tried with fire) might be found unto laud (praise, worship), glory, and honour, at the appearing of Jesus Christ: whom you have not seen and yet love him, in whom even now, though you see him not, you yet believe: and rejoice with joy unspeakable and glorious: receiving the end of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
     Of which salvation have the Prophets enquired and searched, which prophesied of the grace that should come unto you, searching when or at what time the spirit of Christ which was in them, should signify, which spirit testified before, the passions that should come unto Christ, and the glory that should follow after: unto which Prophets it was declared that not unto themselves, but unto us, they should minister the things which are now showed unto you of them which by the holy ghost sent down from heaven have preached unto you the things which the angels desire to behold.
     Wherefore gird up the loins of your minds, be sober, and trust perfectly on the grace that is brought unto you, by the declaring of Jesus Christ, as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves unto your old lusts of ignorance: but as he which called you is holy even so be you holy in all manner of conversation, because it is written. Be you holy, for I am holy.
     And if so be that you call on the father which without respect of person judges according to every mans works, see that you pass the time of your pilgrimage in fear. For as much as you know how that you were not redeemed with corruptible silver and gold from your vain conversation which you received by the traditions of the fathers: but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb undefiled, and without spot, which was ordained before the world was made: but was declared in the last times for your sakes, which by his means have believed on God that raised him from death, and glorified him, that your faith and hope might be in God.
     And for as much as you have purified your souls through the spirit, in obeying the truth for to love brotherly without feigning (pretending), see that you love one another with a pure heart fervently: for you are born a new, not of mortal seed, but of immortal, by the word of God which lives and lasts for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man is as the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls away, but the word of the Lord endures ever. And this is the word which by the Gospell was preached among you.

The 2nd Chapter
     Wherefore lay aside all maliciousness (unkindness) and all guile (deception), and dissimulation, and envy, and all backbiting: and as new born babes, desire that reasonable milk, which is without corruption, that you may be grown therin. If so be that you have tasted how pleasant the Lord is, to whom you come as unto a living stone disallowed of men, but chosen of God and precious: and you as living stones, are made a spiritual house, and an holy priesthood for to offer up spiritual sacrifice, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
     Wherefore it is contained in the scripture: behold I put in Sion an head corner stone, elect and precious: and he that believes on him, shall not be ashamed. Unto you therefore which believe, he is precious: but unto them which believe not, the stone which the builders refused, the same is made the head stone in the corner, and a stone to stumble at, and a rock to offend them which stumble at the word, and believe not that whereon they were set. But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, and a peculiar people, that you should show the vertues of him that called you out of darkness into his marvelous light, which in time past were not a people, yet are now the people of God: which were not under mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
     Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which fight against the soul, and see that you have honest conversation among the Gentiles, that they which backbite you as evil doers, may see your good works and praise God in the day of visitation.
Submit yourselves unto all manner ordinance of man for the Lords sake, whether it be unto the King as unto the chief head: other (or) unto rulers, as unto them that are sent of him, for the punishment of evil doers: but for the laud (honor) of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that you put to silence the ignorance of the foolish men: as free, and not as having the liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but even as the servants of God. Honour all men. Love brotherly fellowship. Fear God and honour the king.
Servants obey your masters with all fear, not only if they be good and courteous: but also though they be *froward. For it is thankworthy if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what praise is it, if when you be buffeted for your faults, you take it patiently? But and if when you do well, you suffer wrong and take it patiently, then is there thank with God. *froward: stubborn, contrary, disobedient.
     For hereunto verily were you called: for Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example that you should follow his steps, which did no sin, neither was there guile found in his mouth: which when he was reviled, reviled not again: when he suffered, he threatened not: but committed the cause to him that judges righteously, which his own self bare our sins in his body on the tree, that we should be delivered from sin and should live in righteousness. By whose stripes you were healed. For you were as sheep going astray: but are now returned unto the shepherd and bishop of your souls.

The 3rd Chapter
     Likewise let the wives be in subjection to their husbands that even they which believe not the word, may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives: while they behold your pure conversation coupled with fear. Whose apparel shall not be outward with broided hair, and hanging on of gold, or in putting on of gorgeous apparel: but let the hid man of the heart be uncorrupt, with a meek and a quiet spirit, which spirit is before God a thing much set by. For after this manner in the old time did the holy women which trusted in God, attire themselves, and were obedient to their husbands, even as Sara obeyed Abraham, and called him Lord: whose daughters you are as long as you do well, not being afraid of every shadow.
     Likewise you men dwell with them according to knowledge: giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as unto them that are heirs also of the grace of life, that your prayers be not let.
     In conclusion, be you all of one mind, one suffer with another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous, not rendering evil for evil, neither rebuke for rebuke: but contrariwise, bless, remembering that you are thereunto called, even that you should be heirs of blessing. If any man long after life, and loves to see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak not guile. Let him eschew (avoid) evil and do good: let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers. But the face of the Lord beholds them that do evil.
     Moreover who is it that will harm you, if you follow that which is good? Notwithstanding happy are you if you suffer for righteousness sake. you and fear not though they seem terrible to you, neither be troubled: but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts. Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you, and that with meekness and fear: having a good conscience, that when they backbite you as evildoers, they may be ashamed, for as much as they have falsely accused your good conversation in Christ.
     It is better (if the will of God be so) that you suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. For as much as Christ has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, for to bring us to God, and was killed, as pertaining to the flesh: but was quickened in the spirit.
     In which spirit he also went and preached unto the spirits that were in prison, which were in time past disobedient, when the long suffering of God abode exceeding patiently in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing wherein few (that is to say, eight souls) were saved by water, which signifies baptism that now saves us, not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but in that a good conscience consents to God, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which is our right hand of God: and is gone into heaven, angels, power and might subdued unto him.

The 4th Chapter
     For as much as Christ has suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he which suffers in the flesh, ceases from sin, that he from this time on should live as much time as remains in the flesh: not after the lusts of men, but after the will of God. For it is sufficient for us that we have spent the time that is past of the life, after the will of the gentiles, walking in wantonness, lusts, drunkenness, in eating, drinking and in abominable idolatry.
     And it seems to them a strange thing that you run not also with them unto the same excess of riot, and therefore speak they evil of you, which shall give accompts (accounts, accomplishments) to him that is ready to judge quick and dead. For unto this purpose verily was the gospel preached unto the dead that they should be condemned of men in the flesh, but should live before God in the spirit. The end of all things is at hand.
     Be you therefore discreet and sober, that you may be apt to prayers. But above all things have fervent love among you. For love covers the multitude of sins. Be you harbourous one to another, and that without grudging. As every man has received the gift, minister the same one to another as good ministers of the many fold grace of God. If any man speak let him talk as though he spoke the words of God. If any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God ministers unto him. That, that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and while the world stands. Amen.
     Dearly beloved, be not troubled in this heat, which now is come among you to try you, as though some strange thing had happened unto you: but rejoice, in as much as you are partakers of Christs passions, that when his glory appears, you may be merry and glad. If you be railed upon for the name of Christ happy are you. For the spirit of glory and the spirit of God rests upon you. On their part he is evil spoken of: but on your part he is glorified.
     See that none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or an evildoer, or as a
busybody in other mens matters. If any man suffer as a Christian man, let him not be ashamed: but let him glorify God on his behalf. For the time is come that judgement must begin at the house of God. If it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them which believe not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved: where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God, commit their souls to him with well doing, as unto a faithful creator.

The 5th Chapter
     The elders which are among you, I exhort, which am also an elder and a witness of the afflictions of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be opened: see that you feed Christs flock which is among you taking the oversight of them not as though you were compelled thereto, but willingly: not for the desire of filthy lucre, but of a good mind, not as though you were lords over the parishes: but that you be an example to the flock. And when the chief shepherd shall appear, you shall receive an incorruptible crown of glory. Likewise you younger submit your selves unto the elder. Submit your selves every man, one to another, knit yourselves together in lowliness of mind. For God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. Submit your selves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you, when the time is come. Cast all your care to him: for he cares for you.
     Be sober and watch, for your adversary the devil as a roaring lion walks about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist steadfast in the faith, remembering that you do but fulfil the same afflictions which are appointed to your brethren that are in the world. The God of all grace, which called you unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, shall his own self after you have suffered a little affliction make you perfect: shall settle strength and establish you. To him be glory and dominion for ever, and while the world endures. Amen.
     By Silvanus a faithful brother unto you (as I suppose) have I written briefly, exhorting and testifying how that this is the true grace of God, wherein you stand. The companions of your election that are of Babylon, salutes you, and Marcus my son. Greet you one another with the kiss of love. Peace be with you all which are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Here ends the first epistle of saint Peter


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