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. Chapter 3.

Wives and Husbands

1 In the same way you women must accept the authority of your husbands, so that if there are any of them who disbelieve the Gospel they may be won over, without a word being said, 2 by observing the chaste and reverent behaviour of their wives. 3 Your beauty should reside, not in outward adornment—the braiding of the hair, or jewellery, or dress— 4 but in the inmost centre of your being, with its imperishable ornament, a gentle, quiet spirit, which is of high value in the sight of God. 5 Thus it was among God's people in days of old: the women who fixed their hopes on him adorned themselves by submission to their husbands. 6 Such was Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him 'my master'. Her children you have now become, if you do good and show no fear.

7 In the same way, you husbands must conduct your married life with understanding: pay honour to the woman's body, not only because it is weaker, but also because you share together in the grace of God which gives you life. Then your prayers will not be hindered.

Suffering for Righteousness Sake

8 To sum up: be one in thought and feeling, all of you; be full of brotherly affection, kindly and humble-minded. 9 Do not repay wrong with wrong, or abuse with abuse; on the contrary, retaliate with blessing, for a blessing is the inheritance to which you yourselves have been called.

13 WHO IS GOlNG to do you wrong if you are devoted to what is good? 14 [ Is.8.12-13. ] And yet if you should suffer for your virtues, you may count yourselves happy. Have no fear of them: [Or: Do not fear what they fear.] do not be perturbed, 15 but hold the Lord Christ in reverence in your hearts. [Or: hold Christ in reverence in your hearts, as Lord.] Be always ready with your defence whenever you are called to account for the hope that is in you, but make that defence with modesty and respect. 16 Keep your conscience clear, so that when you are abused, those who malign your Christian conduct may be put to shame. 17 It is better to suffer for well-doing, if such should be the will of God, than for doing wrong. 18 For Christ also died [Some witnesses read: suffered.] for our sins [Some witnesses read: for sins. Others read: for sins on our behalf.] once and for all. He, the just, suffered for the unjust, to bring us to God.

In the body he was put to death; in the spirit he was brought to life. 19 And in the spirit he went and made his proclamation to the imprisoned spirits. 20 They had refused obedience long ago, while God waited patiently in the days of Noah and the building of the ark, and in the ark a few persons, eight in all, were brought to safety through the water. 21 This water prefigured the water of baptism through which you are now brought to safety. Baptism is not the washing away of bodily pollution, but the appeal made to God by a good conscience; and it brings salvation through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who entered heaven after receiving the submission of angelic authorities and powers, and is now at the right hand of God.

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NEBNew English Bible: © The Delegates of the Oxford University Press & the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press 1961. This Webpage layout © Paul Ingram 2009. Any mismatches, truncated verses, other mistakes? Please e-mail me.