Notes on 1 Peter 1:6 (part 2)

Apostle_Peter_Georgian_mosaicἐν ᾧ ἀγαλλιᾶσθε, ὀλίγον ἄρτι εἰ δέον ἐστὶν λυπηθέντες ἐν ποικίλοις πειρασμοῖς,


In which you will be rejoicing greatly, although now for a short time, if it is necessary, you are afflicted with trials of various kinds,

 Some Theological Notes:

1. With respect to 1 Peter 1:6, the interpretation of the verbs and participles of the verse has a significant impact on the theological points that one would make based on the verse. If the rejoicing (ἀγαλλιᾶσθε) has to do with the present time, then Peter is encouraging Christians to rejoice in the midst of their various trials.

2. If, as I have suggested in previous posts, the imperfective aspect of ἀγαλλιᾶσθε is important as well as its future time, then Peter is encouraging his readers to anticipate the rejoicing that they will be doing. They will be rejoicing when their day of salvation comes (1:5) and this rejoicing will take the place of their current suffering (λυπηθέντες) in various trials. Their current suffering is carefully limited by “now,” “for a short time,” and “if it is necessary.” The perfective aspect of the participle (λυπηθέντες) is consistent with the limitations place upon their suffering. Their suffering is limited and has a definite endpoint. After that, they will be rejoicing.

3. Among the three limitations of the trials, “if it is necessary” is probably the most interesting due to its reference to God’s plan for the suffering of the believer. The place of suffering in the purposes of God is further developed in 1:7.

4. Finally, it seems important to notice that Peter refers to “trials of various kinds” (see James 1:2). Trials can take many forms and some are more challenging than others. Thankfully, they are all limited in nature.

Coming Up: Notes on 1 Peter 1:7

For a helpful commentary on 1 Peter, see Ramsey Michaels, 1 Peter.

Ramsey Michaels, 1 Peter, Word Biblical Commentary

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