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Last updated: Sep 23, 2013
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What's New: Is the Bible "inspired"?
"Insights" from the New Testament Greek
By Bob Jones, Northside Bible Church, Jacksonville Florida
Godly Christian Witnessing, 1 Peter 3:1 & 2
1 Pet. 3:1&2 states: "Likewise, ye wives, [be] in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; while they behold your chaste conversation [coupled] with fear".
1 Pet. chapter 2 verse 11 through chapter 3 verse 17 concern Godís chain of authority, our Christian conduct in this evil world, and our resultant Christian witness. When you have an opportunity, please read this whole passage.
I selected chapter 3 verses 1&2 because the Greek gives us a key to successful Christian witnessing. The subject of these two particular verses is how a Christian wife is to conduct herself if her husband is not a Christian. But, I believe we can all apply what we learn here.
The words "obey not" in 1 Pet 3:1 means to be stubborn and inflexible, so we can even see that the Christian wife in this context is in a tough spot, with an obstinate, unsaved husband.
The Old English phrase "chaste conversation" here means "pure manner of life".
The Greek word "logos" is translated "word" twice in 1 Pet. 3:1&2, but has two significantly different meanings. The first "logos" is an "articular noun" (has the Greek article "the"), identifying it as "THE" Word of God. The second "logos" is an "anarthrous" noun (does not have the Greek article "the"), meaning here "a spoken word".
So, in 1 Pet. 3:1&2, our Christian wife, with a stubborn, unbelieving husband, is to give her husband the Gospel, tell him what she believes, and then let her GODLY ACTIONS do the rest of the witnessing! The special use of these two nouns for "word", tells us "no nagging"!
An expanded translation of 1 Pet 3:1&2 from the Greek is:
"In the same manner (Like Jesus, our example), wives, continually be in subjection to your own husbands; (letting them make the final decisions), that, even if they are continually stubborn and inflexible toward THE Word of God, they may be gained to the faith, without the use of a spoken word, but through continually observing your respect, and Godly manner of life".
I don't know about you, but I often observe verbal Christian witnessing followed by un-godly actions that tend to nullify the effect of the "witnessing".
It is very important to note here that subjecting ourselves to all the earthly authorities placed over us is part of our "godly manner of life", even if the authorities are unbelievers. God is in control of all the authorities of this earth, from Kings and Presidents, all the way down to parents and children. If we want Godís best for us, we will do things Godís way, and leave the results up to God - He is worthy of our trust!.
I believe this is a good lesson for all of us as we try to be good witnesses for Jesus. Make sure those around us know the "Good News" and that we believe it, and then remember that our actions speak louder than our words.