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Hope as the Motivation of Love: 1 Peter 3: 9–12

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 February 2009


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Short Studies
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1 Our discussion of ethical motivation in I Peter will not be exhaustive: the motivation cited in 3· 1 (the desire to win the unbelieving husband) and the idea of imitating Christ (e.g. 2. 21) and God (1. 15, 16) will not be discussed. The aim here is not to give a comprehensive view of ethical motivation in I Peter but to uncover an (I believe the) essential aspect of that motivation by grappling with two apparently contradictory motifs (see Part 1).

2 Paränese und Kerygma im I. Petrusbrief’, Z.N.W. 45 (1954), 87.Google Scholar

3 Goppelt, L., Der erste Petrusbrief (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1978), p. 121Google Scholar. With reference to these three texts Lohse (p. 86) says, ‘Die letzte und eigentliche Begründung aber, die der I Pt für die ethischen Mahnungen bietet, ist christologischer Art.’ Heinrich Schlier constructs the first part of his excellent essay around these three texts, ‘Eine Adhortatio aus Rom, Die Botschaft des ersten Petrusbriefes’, in: Das Ende der Zeit: Exegetische Aufsätze und Vorträge 3 (Freiburg: Herder, 1971), 272–8.Google Scholar

4 Briefly, the foundation reveals an entire ‘plan of salvation’ rooted in the mercy (1. 3; 2. 10b) and grace (5· 10, 12; 4. 10) of God. Christ was predestined before the foundation of the world, was manifested in history (1. 20), was rejected by men (2. 4), suffered (1. 11; 4. 1, 12; 5. 1), and died for the sake of his people (2. 21, 24; 3· 18; 1. 18, 19). Yet he was raised from the dead (3. 18; 1. 21) and was glorified at God's right hand (1. 21; 2. 7) with all authorities subject to him (3· 22). Now the good news of this accomplished redemption is preached in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven (1. 12) in such a way that it is the life-giving ‘word of God’ (1. 23) calling men out of darkness into light (2. 9; 1. 15) – ‘into his eternal glory in Christ’ (5. 10).

5 Gerhard Delling's fine statement on motivation in I Peter also stops short of explaining how the Christ event enables new behaviour in actual experience: ‘Dieses neue Handeln ist von dem Christusgeschehen in Kreuz und Auferweckung her ermöglicht. Denn im gewaltsamen Sterben Christi ist die alte Existenz aufgehoben, ist die Trennung von Gott durch die Schuld und durch das Verfallensein an das eigene Begehren überwunden, das dem Willen Gottes entgegen ist (4, 2f.) und dadurch die Existenz des Menschen schlechthin bedroht (2, 11).’ ‘Der Bezug der christlichen Existenz auf das Heilshandeln Gottes nach dem ersten Petrusbrief‘, in: Neues Testament und christliche Existenz, Festschrift for Herbert Braun, ed. Betz, H. D. and Schottroff, L. (Tübingen: J. C. B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck), 1973), 112.Google Scholar

6 The term is adapted from Schlier (281): ‘Aber auf welche Weise läßt sich der Mensch auf die ihm so eröffnete und angebotene Geschichte Jesu Christi und also auf die Gnade ein? Wir können mit unserem Brief antworten: im Gehorsam des hoffenden Glaubens oder der glaubenden Hoffnung.’

7 The term is Dunn's, James, Baptism in the Holy Spirit (London: SCM, 1970), 220Google Scholar, ‘In I Peter [obedience to the truth] probably refers to the once-for-all act of obedience at conversion-initiation…; in fact it may well refer to baptism – their response of faith to the gospel, their acceptance of the challenge and invitation made therein and their commitment to the One thus proclaimed.’

8 Der erste Petrusbrief, 132. See also Dunn, 221.

9 Goppelt, (131) and Kelly, J. N. D., The Epistles of Peter and Jude (New York: Harper & Row, 1969), 49Google Scholar. See also Eph. 1. 3 and Col. 1. 5 which seem to equate ‘word’, ‘gospel’ and ‘truth’: ‘You have heard the word of truth the gospel’. Paul also speaks in Gal. 5. 7 and Rom. 2. 8 of obeying the truth and in Rom. 10. 16 and II Thess. 1. 8 of not obeying the gospel. See also Acts 15. 9.

10 Goppelt, 95. I would want to stress however that in Paul faith always includes trusting God's promise (Rom. 4. 17–25) and therefore always involves hope.

11 ‘Glaube ist Grund zum Jubel insbesondere, weil er nach vorne gerichtet ist.’ Delling, ‘Bezug der christlichen Existenz’, 97.

12 Compare John i. 13 where ‘children of God’ are begotten ‘not of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man but of God’. Again the divine priority is expressed in I John 5. 1: ‘The one who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God’ (cf. I John 4. 7). That I Peter has a similar conception of the origin of faith/hope is confirmed by 2. 8: ‘who stumble not obeying the word, unto which also they were appointed’, ‘ες ὂ denkt an das Straucheln, das Versagen des Glaubens, nicht an seine Folgen’, Goppelt, , Der erste Petrusbrief, 150Google Scholar, note 58. So Christian Maurer in T.D.N.T. 8, 157.Google Scholar

13 ‘Die Aussageweise drückt den Gedanken der vollen Gewißheit aus’. Delling, , ‘Bezug der christlichen Existenz’, 96.Google Scholar

14 ‘λπς ist hier nicht das Hoffen, sondern das Erhoffte, die verbürgte, heile Zukunft’, Goppelt, 94. But this is probably an overstatement wrongly excluding the subjective dimension.

15 The Epistles of Peter and Jude, 48. Cf. Heb. 4. 12.

16 ‘Darin begründet der Jubel der Christen auch in der Bedrängnis der Gegenwart (V. 6).’ Delling, ‘Bezug der christlichen Existenz’, 97.

17 I can see no way to be at all sure whether τελεως modifies νϕoντες (‘being completely sober’) or λπσατε (‘hope fully’). The commentators usually just express their feelings and cite each other's opinions. I can do no better: it seems to me more in tune with the supreme value of grace in 1. 3–12 to follow up with a call for an all-consuming hope rather than simply to say ‘Hope!’

18 Der erste Petrusbrief, 110.

19 Which Goppelt (as far as I can see, inconsistently) admits (116): ‘Dem Hoffen entspricht als unmittelbare Folge, wie des öfteren in der Paränese gesagt wird, die Heiligung, worauf V. 14–16 eingeht.’

20 The New Testament knows nothing of the philosophical difficulty that affections or desires cannot be commanded. We find commands to rejoice, to be grateful, not to fear or be anxious, etc., all of which demand a change in our affections. The command to love God with all our heart may mean more, but surely not less, than that we should delight ourselves in the Lord and desire his fellowship. The reason affections can be commanded is not that they are in our ultimate control but because, given the nature of divine reality, some affections ought to exist toward God and man and some ought not. To know that a certain affection ought to exist is a sufficient condition for being the object of a reasonable command to experience that affection. If we feel unable to render obedience the solution is not to call the commands unreasonable but to pray with St Augustine: ‘O Charity, my God, enkindle me! Thou commandest continence. Grant what thou commandest and command what thou wilt.’ Confessions (400) x. 40. Some of the most insightful reflections on the relation between will and desire are still those by Edwards, Jonathan in Freedom of the Will (New York: Bobbs-Merrill Co., 1969), 415.Google Scholar

21 That is why our minds must be ‘girded up’ and ‘sober’: ‘While the drunkard loses himself in a dream world, the sober person sees the real situation and adapts himself to the reality of his assured future: he hopes’. Goppelt, p. 116. See also Schelkle, , Die Petrusbriefe HTK, 13, 2Google Scholar; Freiburg: Herder, 1970), 44, ‘Alle Gedanken, durch die Erwartung behindert werden könnte, müssen abgetan werden.’

22 Cf. Schnackenburg, R., The Moral Teaching of the New Testament (London: Burns and Oates, 1965), 368Google Scholar, ‘This epistle shows more compellingly than almost any other New Testament writing what strong moral stimulus hope gives.’

23 Not ‘human institution’, Bigg, C., The Epistles of St Peter and St Jude, ICC (Edinburgh: T. and T. Clark, 1902), 139Google Scholar. ‘Diese ganz offensichtlich von Röm 13 inspirierte Deutung ist aber keineswegs überzeugend. κτσις heißt nirgendwo sonst “Ordnung”, weder in Profangräzität noch in der LXX. Da das Wort außerdem in V. 13 f und 17 durch personale Begriffe aufgenommen wird und auch in V. 18a; 3, 1 und 5, 5 jeweils eine personale Fassung der Unterordnung im Blick ist (vgl. auch das πση) liegt die…Übersetzung “Geschöpf” durchaus näher’, Schrage, W., Die Christen und der Stoat nach dem Neuen Testament (Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlagshaus Gerd Mohn, 1971), 66 note 145Google Scholar. So Goppelt, 182; and Delling, 110.

24 I have phrased these last two sentences carefully so as not to imply that a Christian in absolutely every situation is forbidden to retaliate against evil. In view of 2. 14 the possible situation of force fully resisting evil in the world cannot be ruled out even for the Christian. But even when he resists, it will be from a different spirit: ‘So kann wer die Freiheit gefunden hat, nicht zu widerstehen, in dieser Freiheit auch um der Ordnung und um des Nächsten willen dem Unrecht widerstehen. Er wird in anderer Weise widerstehen, z. B. das Gericht anrufen, als der Mensch, der voll Angst und Begehren seinen Lebensraum selbst absichern will…er leidet darunter, daß er widerstehen muß.’ Goppelt, L., ‘Das Problem der Bergpredigt’, in Christologie und Ethik (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1968), 40.Google Scholar

25 Spicq, C., Les Épîtres de Saint Pierre, Sources Bibliques (Paris, 1966), 15.Google Scholar

26 Der erste Petrusbrief, 48.

27 Beare, F. W., The First Epistle of Peter, 2nd edn (Oxford, 1958), 134Google Scholar. The efforts of Selwyn, E. G. ‘establish more clearly than ever the literary dependence of I Peter upon several if not all of the epistles of the Pauline corpus’, 195.Google Scholar

28 Selwyn, E. G., The First Epistle of Peter, see Essay IIGoogle Scholar; Carrington, Philip, The Primitive Christian Catechism (Cambridge, 1940).Google Scholar

29 Goppelt, 224; Lohse, E., ‘Paränese und Kerygma im 1. Petrusbrief’ (see note 6), 75Google Scholar. Cf. p. 72 for a warning against trying to reconstruct a fixed catechism behind the written sources. In agreement are Kelly, J. N. D., The Epistles of Peter, 135Google Scholar, and Schelkle, K. H., Die Petrusbriefe (Freiburg: Herder, 1970), 95.Google Scholar

30 ‘Aktuelles im Zeugnis der Zwölf Väter’ in: Studien zu den Testamenten der Zwölf Patriarchen (Berlin, 1969), 96Google Scholar. The saying was also alive in the rabbinic tradition: Strack–Bill., 370. C. Burchard cites the use of this expression in I Thess. 5. 15, Rom. 12. 17 and I Peter 3. 9 and comments: ‘es ist an alien drei Stellen bloß negativer Vordersatz zu einer Positiven…Hier wird ein jüdisch-hellenistischer Satz übernommen und in Fortgang verchristlicht’. Untersuchungen zu Joseph u. Asenath, W.U.N.T. 8 (Tübingen, 1965), 100.Google Scholar

31 Epictetus, Discourses 3Google Scholar, 12. 10; 21. 5, Encheiridion, 10.

32 Epictetus, Encheiridion, 42; for other discussions of reviling in Epictetus see Discourses 1, 25. 29; iii, 4. 8; 20. 9; iv, 4. 46; 5. 8, 9, 32; Encheiridion 20, 28.

33 I have argued in Love Tour Enemies, SNTS Monograph 38 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979) 52fGoogle Scholar., that this command is not Matthean but original. It is a daring statement, for everywhere else in the early church paraenesis that νθστημι appears in connection with some sort of evil, the command is: ‘Resist!’ (Gal. 2. 11; Eph. 6. 13; James 4. 7; I Peter 5. 9).

34 Comparing Matt. 5. 44 with Luke 6. 27, 28 we find ‘Love your enemies’ in both and a command to pray for those who persecute (Matt.) or abuse (Luke) you in both. The commands ‘Do good to those who hate you and bless those who curse you’ (Luke 6. 27A, 28a) are unique to Luke. Bultmann argues that Luke's four-line unit ‘is more likely to be the original form since he gives otherwise parallel elements in abridged form’, The History of the Synoptic Tradition (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1963), 79Google Scholar. O. J. F. Seitz argues that the synthetic parallelism of Luke 6. 27, 28 shows that these four lines are preserved ‘with great fidelity’ and ‘are probably of Palestinian origin’, Love Your Enemies’, N.T.S. 16 (Oct. 1969), 52Google Scholar. Dieter Lührmann, however, argues that Matthew's two-line form is more original and that of these only the first (Matt. 5. 44a ‘Love Your Enemies’) is authentic; Liebet eure Feinde’, Z.Th.K. 69 (1972), 416, 425 fGoogle Scholar. His reasons for rejecting Luke's two unique commands are that the first (‘do good to those who hate you’) can be constructed from words in 6. 22, 26, and the second (‘bless those who curse you’) has a parallel in Rom. 12. 14 which shows ‘that Paul knew these lines as a free saying’ (416). I do not think either of these arguments is compelling. His reason for rejecting Matt. 5. 44A (‘pray for those who persecute you’) is this: the rhetorical questions (Matt. 5. 46 f.) could never have stood alone but were attached from the time of their formation to the command of Matt. 5. 44. But the only correspondence between the rhetorical questions and the commands in 5. 44 is the reference to love. ‘Das läßt den Schluß zu, daß sie zu einer Fassung des Gebotes hinzutraten, die nur die erste Zeile, “Liebet eure Feinde!” enthielt’ (425 f.). Lührmann may be demanding an overly strict correlation between the commands of 5· 44 and the rhetorical questions of 5. 46 f. Even if he is not, we can put against his argument Schürmann's sharp observation that Matthew's σπσησθε (5· 47) may be a ‘Gräzisierung’ of Luke's εủλoγεīτε (6. 28a) which has been dropped by Matthew in 5. 44, Das Lukasevangelium, Part 1 (Freiburg: Herder, 1969), 354Google Scholar. This would not only weaken Lührmann's argument that ‘Pray for those who persecute you’ is secondary, but it would also buttress our conclusion that the command ‘Bless those who curse you’ moved from Jesus' mouth into the NT paraenesis, not vice versa.

35 In agreement with Barrett, C. K., The Epistle to the Romans (New York: Harper, 1957), 241Google Scholar; Althaus, P., Der Brief an die Römer, N.T.D. 6, 3rd edn (Göttingen, 1963), 116Google Scholar; Cranfield, C. E. B., A Commentary on Romans 12–13, S.J.T. Occasional Papers 12 (Edinburgh, 1965), 49Google Scholar; Dodd, C. H., The Epistle of Paul to the Romans (London, 1932), 200Google Scholar; Schmidt, H. W., Der Brief des Paulus an die Römer, T.H.N.T. 6 (Berlin, 1963), 2140Google Scholar; Goppelt, , Der erste Petrusbrief 229 note 18.Google Scholar

36 Gundry, Robert, ‘Further Verba on Verba Christi in First Peter’, Biblica 55 (1974), 211–32.Google Scholar

37 Best, Ernest, ‘1 Peter and the Gospel Tradition’, N.T.S. 16 (1970), 95113.Google Scholar

38 Gundry, Robert A., ‘“Verba Christi” in I Peter: their implications concerning the Authorship of I Peter and the Authenticity of the Gospel Tradition’, N.T.S. 13 (19661967), 336–50.Google Scholar

39 ‘Further Verba’, 225, cf. 213, 216, 223.

40 Der Brief an die Römer, MK, 12th edn (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1966), 307.Google Scholar

41 Der Segen im Neuen Testament (Berlin, 1967), 62.Google Scholar

42 I construe τoũτo (3· 9b) to refer back to ελoγoũντες rather than forward to the ỉνα-clause. See next section.

43 For example IV Ezra 5. 41; I Enoch 45. 4 f.

44 For example IV Ezra 7. 9, 16; 8. 58; Ps. Sol. 14. 10; 15. 15; 1QS 11. 7.

45 Segen im Neuen Testament, 63.

46 Suggestive too is the reference in Matt. 25. 34 and Heb. 6. 7 to an eschatological blessing given to those who live a certain kind of life. Delling, 97, points out the verbal and substantial parallels between Matt. 25. 34 and I Peter 1. 5.

47 But the author does not buttress his command with an explicit reference to the Lord (as Paul occasionally does). It is probably inappropriate to ask why, since the question assumes wrongly that one should or would make explicit the source of every allusion to Jesus' teachings. For a discussion of why Jesus was not quoted more freely in the early Christian paraenesis see Goppelt, L., Theologie des Neuen Testaments, n (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1976), 369–71Google Scholar. To write as an apostle (1. 1) in continuity with Jesus and the early Christian paraenetic tradition was sufficient authorization for I Peter's exhortation. Ernest Best's remark that Jesus is not cited because he was not yet a moral authority for the church is totally unwarranted. 1 Peter, N.C.B. (London: Oliphants, 1971), 129.Google Scholar

48 See the excursus ‘Die Ständetafeltradition’ in Goppelt, Leonhard, Der erste Petrusbrief, 163–79.Google Scholar

49 Admittedly there is no clear break between vv. 8 and 9, but λoιδoραυ ντ λoιδoρας in v. 9 clearly recalls Jesus' response to abuse in 2. 23, öς λoιδoρoμενoς ούκ ὐντελoιδρει, and therefore must surely refer to abuse coming from outside the circle of believers.

50 Knopf, R., Die Briefs Petri und judä, MK, 12, 7th edn (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1912), 134.Google Scholar

51 Der erste Petrusbrief, 228 note 15.

52 Goppelt, 228; Selwyn, E. G., The First Epistle of Peter, 190Google Scholar; Reicke, B., The Epistles of James, Peter and Jude, The Anchor Bible, 37 (New York: Doubleday, 1964), 105Google Scholar; Kelly, J. N. D., The Epistles of Peter and Jude, 137Google Scholar; Bigg, C., The Epistles of St Peter and St Jude, 156Google Scholar; Alford, H., The Greek Testament, 4, 360Google Scholar; Schelkle, Karl says that ‘die grammatische Auflösung des Verses ungewiß ist’. Die Petrusbriefe, HKNT, 13, 2 (Freiburg: Herder, 1970), 94.Google Scholar

53 A Grammar of the Greek New Testament (Nashville, Term.: Broadmann, 1934), 699.Google Scholar

54 An Idiom-Book of New Testament Greek, 2nd edn (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1959, reprinted 1979), 142.Google Scholar

55 Selwyn (see note 12) argues (413 f.) that Ps. 34 was a reservoir of early Christian paraenetic teaching, as parallels from Rom. 12 and I Thess. 5 show, as well as its use here and in I Peter 2. 3, 4. He suggests that the form it has in I Peter may have already existed in the catechetical tradition (190).

56 So Goppelt (note 2), 230.

57 The Hebrew text reads, ‘Who is the man who desires life, who loves days to see good?’

58 The Greek New Testament, 4, 360.Google Scholar

59 Schelkle, , Petrusbriefe, 95Google Scholar; Schenk, W., Segen im Neuen Testament (Berlin, 1967), 63Google Scholar; Selwyn, 190; Kelly, 138. On the other side, interpreting them in an earthly, present sense are Bigg, 157, and Alford, 360. A common Rabbinic interpretation of Ps. 34. 13 was that leprosy was often a curse upon the misuse of the tongue (e.g. slander) and so the instruction that the one who desires life should keep his tongue from evil was taken as a warning that leprosy would ruin or take one's life if one did not guard one's tongue. Leviticus Rabbah 16 (116b); Tanhḥuma (Buber) 4 (23a). But also among the Rabbis the psalm had been given an eschatological interpretation: Tanhḥuma (Buber) 5 (23a), ‘“Who desires life” in this world, “who loves long life” in the future world. Therefore it says, “Keep your tongue from evil” etc.‘ Strack–Bill., in, 764 f., 498; 11, 136c. The Rabbis often admonished not to return evil for evil but instead to do good, basing this on OT texts like Prov. 20. 22 (Midrash Psalm 41. 8 (131a)) and Exod. 23. 5 and Prov. 17. 13 (Genesis Rabbah 38 (23a) and Mic. 7. 18 Exodus Rabbah 26 (87b)). But in the material gathered by Strack–Bill., 1, 370–2, I did not find any connection with Ps. 34. 13 ff.

60 Goppelt, 222.

61 Alford, 359; Bigg, 155.

62 Kelly, 138: here ‘life’ and ‘good days’ ‘stand for eternal life (cf. “life” in 7), “the salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1. 5), which is in fact the content of that “blessing” the Anatolian Christians are to inherit (9)…’.

63 Lohse, E., ‘Paränese und Kerygma im 1. Petrusbrief’ (note 6), 86.Google Scholar

64 So Schenk (note 41), 62: ‘Vom eschatologischen Ziel der Berufung spricht nicht unsere Stelle, sondern 5. 10.’

65 On I Peter 3· 9 Calvin writes: ‘Because the condition may seem hard and almost unjust, he calls their attention to the reward, as though he were saying that there is no reason why the faithful should complain, because they will turn wrongs to their own benefit. In short he shows what a gain patience will be, for if we submissively bear injuries the Lord will bestow on us this blessing.’ The First and Second Epistles of St Peter, trans. Johnston, W. B. (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1963), 285Google Scholar. Similarly Windisch, Hans: ‘Die Motivierung würde einem Logion εύλoγεīτε İνα εύλoγηθτε entsprechen’, Die Katholischen Briefe, H.N.T. 15 (Tübingen: J. C. B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck), 1951), 69Google Scholar. Best, E., ‘I Peter and the Gospel Tradition’, N.T.S. 16 (1970), 113Google Scholar, note 2, having cited I Clement 13. 2 (έλεãτε ινα έλεηθτε, etc.), suggests that I Peter 3. 9b ‘may represent a phrase cast in the same pattern as those in I Clement’. Furnish agrees that ες τoũτo looks backward, in opposition to Kelly, but he does not discuss the significance of the ινα-clause, The Love Command in the New Testament (Nashville: Abingdon, 1972), 168.Google Scholar

66 Selwyn (142) argues that due to the emphatic place of ‘father’ in the sentence ‘the sense cannot be “if the Father you invoke is the impartial Judge of every man's work”, but conversely “if you invoke the impartial Judge as Father”.’ Hence for him the motive here is the father's mercy not the judge's righteousness. But surely Kelly (71) is right that ‘Coming so soon, however, after the mention of the divine judgment, fear is much more naturally understood of the awe (“godly fear”) which it should inspire…The writer's point is that, since God whom his readers address as Father is to be their judge, they would be wise to have a healthy dread of His judgment and shape their behaviour accordingly.’

67 Das Ethos des Urchristentums (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1968 reprint of 2nd edn, 1942), 201.Google Scholar

68 This is especially true if what we are to fear is not the prospect of failing to show our works valuable enough to merit salvation, but rather the prospect of failing to act in a way that befits beneficiaries of the infinitely valuable work of redemption already achieved for us in the death and resurrection of Christ (1. 18–21). Similarly Delling, 109 f., ‘…der Verfasser warnt damit vor einer praktizierten Geringschätzung der Heilstat Gottes’.

69 The same quotation from Prov. 3· 34 LXX is found in James 4. 6. Both James and I Peter have ô θεóς for the LXX κριoς. The saying therefore probably belongs to the early Christian tradition where it received this form. But James 4. 6 does not have I Peter's ôτι. It is typical rather of I Peter (so Goppelt, 334).

70 ‘Die Demut wird hier nicht als eine Tugend oder als Selbsterniedrigung gelohnt; sie empfängt Gottes gnädige Zuwendung, weil sie die Hände nach ihr austreckt: “Demut” bedeutet, sich von Gottes Barmherzigkeit abhängig wissen.’ Goppelt, 334.

71 van Unnik's, W. C. 1954 article, ‘The Teaching of Good Works in I Peter’ (N.T.S. 1)Google Scholar defendsthe thesis that ‘Peter uses the word γαθoπoιεīν and its derivatives with the same range of meaning as was usual among the “Greeks”…But the foundation is quite different from the Greek: God's, calling and not human goodness; and its aim is different: not to earn glory for oneself but to make the way free for the Gospel towards the disobedient’ (108). That is, ‘No special “Christian”, but truly human ethics are demanded’ (107). What makes ‘good works’ Christian is their ‘foundation’ and ‘aim’. But how do these good works fit into the process of salvation? Van Unnik answers, ‘These good works have no place in the process of salvation. The work Christ has done is the unshakable basis in the relation with God…’ (107). ‘It is nowhere said that good works are accounted for righteousness with God, that they bring atonement or special reward…“Good deeds” have no special value for the acquirement of God's favour…They are not done for heaven's sake, but for neighbour's sake’ (108). But in view of my exegesis I think that in his reaction against a doctrine of supererogation (mentioned on 108), van Unnik has minimized, if not denied, a crucial aspect of the motivation of Christian behaviour in I Peter, namely, the promise of resulting blessing or reward.

72 See Schelkle, K., Die Petrusbriefe, 94, note 2Google Scholar, to bless ‘bedeutet…segnen, indem man Gottes Gnade auf jemand herabruft’. Also Goppelt, Der erste Petrusbrief, 229: ‘Heilwünschende Fürbitte’.