GENEVA BIBLE 1599
The Bible of the Pilgrims who founded America and also the Bible of the Reformation.
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1 Wherefore, (*) (1) laying aside all maliciousness, and all guile, and dissimulation, and envy, and all evil speaking,
(*) Romans 6:4; Ephesians 4:23; Colossians 3:8; Hebrews 12:1-2 .
(1) Having laid for the foundation the Spirit of God effectually working by the word, and having built thereupon three virtues which are the grounds of all Christian actions, to wit, faith, hope, and charity; now he proceedeth to a general exhortation, the first member whereof is, that we flee all shew, both of secret and also open malice.
2 (2) As (a) newborn babes desire the (*) (♣) sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby,
(2) The second is, that being newly begotten and born of the new seed of
the incorrupt word drawing and sucking greedily the same word as milk,
we should grow more and more, as it were, grow up in that spiritual
life. And he calleth it, Sincere, not only because it is a most pure
thing, but also that we should take heed of them which corrupt it.
(a) As becometh new men.
(*) Or, the milk of understanding which is without deceit.
(♣) In this their infancy and new coming to Christ he willeth them to take heed lest for the pure milk, which is the first beginnings of learning the sincere word, they be not deceived by them which chop and change it, and give poison instead thereof.
3 (3) If so be that ye (*) have tasted that the Lord is bountiful.
(3) He commendeth that spiritual nourishment for the sweetness and profit of it.
(*) Or, do taste.
4 (4) To whom coming as unto a living stone, disallowed of men, but chosen of God and precious,
(4) He goeth on forward in the same exhortation, and useth another kind of borrowed speech, alluding to the Temple. Therefore he saith, that the company of the faithful is as it were a certain holy and spiritual building, built of the lively stones, the foundation whereof is Christ, as a lively stone sustaining all that are joined unto him with his living virtue, and knitting them together with himself, although this so great treasure be neglected of men.
5 Ye also as lively stones, be made a spiritual house, (5) a holy (*) Priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
(5) Going forward in the same similitude, he compareth us now to Priests, placed to this end in that spiritual temple, that we should serve him with a spiritual worship, that is, with holiness and righteousness; but as the temple, so is the Priesthood built upon Christ, in whom only all our spiritual offerings are accepted.
(*) Revelation 1:6 .
6 (6) Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture, (*) Behold, I put in (♣) Sion a chief cornerstone, elect and precious, and he that believeth therein, shall not be ashamed.
(6) He proveth it by the testimony of the Prophet Isaiah.
(*) Isaiah 28:16; Romans 9:33 .
(♣) Meaning, that God hath appointed Christ to be chief and head of his Church.
7 (7) Unto you therefore which believe, it is precious; but unto them which be disobedient, the (*) stone which the (♣) builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
(7) By setting the most blessed condition of the believers, and the most miserable of the rebellious one against another, he pricketh forward the believers, and triumpheth over the other; and also preventeth an offence which ariseth hereof, that none do more resist this doctrine of the Gospel, than they which are chiefest amongst the people of God, as were at that time that Peter wrote these things, the Priests, Elders and Scribes. Therefore he answereth first of all that there is no cause why any man should be astonished at this their stubbornness, as though it were a strange matter, seeing as we have been forewarned so long before, that it should so come to pass; and moreover, that it pleased God to create and make certain to this selfsame purpose, that the Son of God might be glorified in their just condemnation. Thirdly, for that the glory of Christ is hereby set forth greatly, whereas notwithstanding Christ remaineth the sure head of his Church, and they that stumble at him, cast down and overthrow themselves, and not Christ. Fourthly, although they be created to this end and purpose, yet their fall and decay is not to be attributeth to God, but to their own obstinate stubbornness which cometh between God's decree, and the execution thereof or their condemnation, and is the true and proper cause of their destruction.
(*) Psalm 118:22; Matthew 21:42; Acts 4:11 .
(♣) The Priests, Doctors and Ancients of the people.
8 And a (*) stone to stumble at, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient, unto the which thing they were even ordained.
(*) Isaiah 8:14; Romans 9:33 .
9 (8) But ye are a chosen generation, a (♠) royal (*) Priesthood, a holy nation, a (♣) peculiar people, that ye should shew forth the virtues of him that hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light,
(8) The contrary member, to wit, he describeth the singular excellency of the elect, and also lest any man should doubt whether he be chosen or not, the Apostle calleth us back to the effectual calling, that is, to the voice of the Gospel sounding both in our ears and minds by the outward preaching and Sacraments, whereby we may certainly understand that everlasting decree of our salvation (which otherwise is most secret and hidden) and that through the only mercy of God who freely chooseth and calleth us. Therefore this only remaineth, saith he, that by all means possible we set forth the great goodness of the most mighty God.
(♠) That is, partakers of Christ's Priesthood and kingdom.
(*) Exodus 19:6; Revelation 5:10 .
(♣) Or, gotten by purchase.
10 (*) Which in time past were not a people, yet are now the people of God; which in time past were not under mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
(*) Hosea 2:23; Romans 9:25 .
11 (9) Dearly beloved, (10) I beseech you, as strangers and pilgrims, (*) (11) abstain from fleshly lusts (12) which fight against the soul,
(9) He returneth to that general exhortation.
(10) A reason why we ought to live holy, to wit, because we are citizens of heaven, and therefore we ought to live according to the Laws not of this world, which is most corrupt, but of the heavenly city, although we be strangers in the world.
(*) Romans 13:14; Galatians 5:16-17 .
(11) Another argument: The children of God live not according to the flesh, that is, according to that corrupt nature, but according to the Spirit. Therefore fleshly motions ought not to here rule in us.
(12) The third argument: for although those lusts flatter us, yet they cease not to fight against our salvation.
12 (13) (*) And have your conversation honest among the Gentiles, that they which speak evil of you as of evil doers, (14) may by your good (♣) works which they shall see, glorify God in the day of (b) (♠) visitation.
(13) The fourth argument, taken of the profit of so doing; for by this means also we provide for our good name and estimation, whilest we compel them at length to change their minds, which speak evil of us.
(*) 1 Peter 3:16 .
(14) The fifth argument, which also is of great force; because the glory of God is greatly set forth by that means, whilest by example of our honest life, even the most profane men are brought unto God, and submit themselves unto him.
(♣) Matthew 5:16 .
(b) When God shall also have mercy on them.
(♠) Your good conversation shall be as a preparative against that day that God shall shew mercy unto them and turn them.
13 (15) (*) Therefore submit yourselves unto (c) all (♣) manner ordinance of man (16) for the Lordís sake, (17) whether it be unto the King, as unto the superior,
(15) That which he spake generally, he now expoundeth by parts, describing severally every man's duty. And first of all he speaketh of the obedience which is due both to the Laws, and also to the Magistrates both higher and lower.
(*) Romans 13:1 .
(c) By ordinance, is meant the framing and ordering of civil government, which he calleth ordinance of man, not because man invented it, but because it is proper to men.
(♣) Or, public-like government.
(16) The first argument: because the Lord is the author and revenger of this policy of men, that is, which is set amongst men; and therefore the true servants of the Lord must above all others be diligent observers of this order.
(17) He preventeth a cavil which is made by some, that say they will obey Kings and the higher magistrates, and yet condemn their ministers, as though their ministers were not armed with their authority which sent them.
14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent of him, (18) for the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of them that do well.
(18) The second argument taken of the end of this order, which is not only most profitable, but also very necessary; seeing that by this means virtue is rewarded, and vice punished, wherein the quietness and happiness of this life consisteth.
15 (19) For so is the will of God, that by well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of the foolish men,
(19) He declareth the first argument more amply, shewing that Christian liberty doeth amongst all things least or not at all consist herein, to wit, to cast off the bridle of Laws, (as at that time some altogether unskillful in the kingdom of God reported) but rather in this, that living holy according to the will of God, we should make manifest to all men, that the Gospel is not a cloak for sin and wickedness, seeing we are in such sort free, that yet we are still the servants of God, and not of sin.
16 As free, and not as having the liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.
17 (20) (d) Honor all men, (*) love (e) (♣) brotherly fellowship, fear God, honor the King.
(20) He divideth the civil life of man, by occasion of those things
which he spake into two general parts: to wit, into those duties which
private men owe to private men, and especially the faithful to the
faithful, and into that subjection whereby inferiors are bound to their
superiors, but so, that Kings be not made equal to God, seeing that fear
is due to God, and honor to Kings.
(d) Be charitable and dutiful towards all men.
(*) 1 Peter 1:22; Romans 12:10 .
(e) The assembly and fellowship of the brethren. Zechariah 11:14 .
(♣) With them which acknowledge one self Father in heaven.
18 (*) (21) Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and courteous, but also to the (♣) froward.
(*) Ephesians 6:5; Colossians 3:22 .
(21) He goeth to the duty of servants towards their masters, which he describeth with these bounds, that servants submit themselves willingly and not by constraint, not only to the good and courteous, but also to the froward and sharp masters.
(♣) In all obedience this must be before our eyes, that we obey in the Lord; for if any command things against God, then let us answer, It is better to obey God than men.
19 (*) (22) For this is thankworthy, if a man for (f) (♣) conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.
(*) 2 Corinthians 7:10 .
(22) The taking away of an objection: Indeed the condition of servants
is hard, especially if they have froward masters, but this their
subjection shall be so much the more acceptable to God, if his will
prevail more with servants, than the masterís injuries.
(f) Because he maketh a conscience of it to offered God, by whose good will and appointment, he knoweth this burden is laid upon him.
(♣) Knowing that God layeth this charge upon him.
20 For what praise is it, if when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye take it patiently? But and if when ye do well, ye suffer wrong and take it patiently, this is acceptable to God.
21 (23) For hereunto ye are called, for Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an (g) example that ye should follow his steps.
(23) He mitigateth the grievousness of servitude, while he sheweth
plainly that Christ died also for servants, that they should bear so
much more patiently this inequality between men which are of one
selfsame nature, moreover setting before them Christ the Lord of lords
for an example, he signifieth that they cannot but seem too delicate,
which shew themselves more grieved in the bearing of injuries, than
Christ himself who was most just, and most sharply of all afflicted, and
yet was most patient.
(g) A borrowed kind of speech taken of painters and schoolmasters.
22 (*) Who did no sin, neither was there guile found in his mouth.
(*) Isaiah 53:9; 1 John 3:5 .
23 Who when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not, but (24) committed it to him (25) that judgeth righteously.
(24) He sheweth them a remedy against injuries, to wit, that they
commend their cause to God, by the example of Christ.
(25) He seemeth now to turn his speech to masters, who have also themselves a master and judge in heaven, who will justly revenge the injuries that are done to servants, without any respect of persons.
24 (*) (26) Who his own self bare our sins in his body on the tree, that we being dead to sin, should live in righteousness; by whose stripes ye were healed.
(*) Isaiah 53:5; Matthew 8:17 .
(26) He calleth the servants back from the consideration of the injuries which they are constrained to bear, to think upon the greatness and the end of the benefit received from Christ.
25 For ye were as sheep going astray, but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
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1 Corinthians 14:8
And also if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to battle?
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