The specific sins in 1 Peter 2:1 are the most frequent barriers to mutual support, so they deserve a closer look.
Malice: The Greek word kakia is a general word for “evil.”¹ In this passage, it characterizes those who are entrenched in the world system.
Deceit: The Greek word dolos means “cunning” or “treachery.”² It involves more than just lying to a person’s face but means acting in ways that are disingenuous or two-faced.
Hypocrisy: The Greek word hupokrisis refers to one who acts a part, “being one thing inside and another thing outside.”³
Envy: Commenting on Peter’s use of this word, Edward Selwyn describes envy as “a constant plague of all voluntary organizations, not least religious organizations, and to which even the Twelve themselves were subject at the very crisis of our Lord’s ministry.”4
Slander: Literally the word means “evil speech”5 and is especially prevalent when a rumor is passed around. This disparaging gossip destroys our confidence in an individual and weakens that person’s reputation.
Michael J. Svigel received his master of theology in New Testament and doctor of philosophy in Theological Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS). He currently serves as associate professor of Theological Studies at DTS, teaching Theology and Church History. Prior to accepting his position at the seminary in 2007, he worked as a writer in the Creative Ministries Department at Insight for Living Ministries. Mike and his wife, Stephanie, are parents of three children.
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