1 This letter comes from Peter, apostle of Jesus Christ, and is sent to God's chosen people: exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. 2 You were chosen by God the Father in his wisdom, made holy by the Spirit, so that you might obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with his blood. May you have grace and peace more and more!
3 Praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Through his great mercy we have been born again and given a living hope* Or “a hope that brings us life.” through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 4 This inheritance is eternal, it never spoils or fades, and it is kept safe in heaven for you. 5 Through your trust in him, God will protect you by his power until salvation arrives—the salvation that is ready to be revealed at the last day.
6 So be glad about this, even though you may be sad for a short while as you endure various trials. 7 These prove that your trust in God is genuine, just as fire is used to prove if gold is genuine—even though that too can be destroyed—and your faith is more valuable than gold! In this way your trust in God will be recognized and you will receive praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ appears.
8 You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you cannot see him now, you trust in him and you're filled with wonderful, indescribable happiness. 9 Your reward for trusting in him is that you will be saved! 10 It was this salvation that the prophets searched for and investigated when they spoke of the grace that was prepared for you. 11 They tried to find out when and how this would take place, for the Spirit of Christ inside them spoke clearly about Christ's sufferings and glory to come. 12 It was explained to them that they were not doing this for themselves, but for you—since what they spoke about you've now learned from those who shared the good news with you by the Holy Spirit that heaven sent. Even the angels are eager to find out about all this!
13 Make sure your minds are in gear. Be clear-headed. Fix your hope exclusively on the grace you'll be given when Jesus is revealed. 14 Live like children that do what they're told. Don't allow yourselves to be shaped by your former sinful desires when you didn't know any better. 15 Now you need to be holy in everything you do, just as the one who called you is holy. 16 As Scripture says, “You are to be holy, for I am holy.”† Quoting Leviticus 11:44-45 or Leviticus 19:2
17 Since you call him Father, and recognize he judges everyone impartially based on what they do, take your time here on earth seriously, respecting him.
18 You already know that you were not set free from your pointless way of living that you inherited from your forefathers by things that don't have lasting value, like silver or gold. 19 You were set free by the costly blood of Christ, who was like a lamb with no flaw or defect.
20 He was chosen before the world was created, but he was revealed in these last days‡ Or “at the end of time.” for your benefit. 21 Through him you trust in God who raised him from the dead, and glorified him, so that you could have confidence and hope in God. 22 Now that you've dedicated yourselves by following the truth, love each other sincerely like a true family.§ Or “with brotherly love.” 23 You've been born again, not the product of a mortal “seed,”* The emphasis here is that different “seeds” produce different kinds of “life.” but immortal, through the living, eternal word of God. 24 For: “All people are like grass, and all their glory like wildflowers. The grass withers and the flowers fall. 25 But the word of the Lord remains forever.”† Quoting Isaiah 40:6-8. This word is the good news that was explained to you.
*1:3 Or “a hope that brings us life.”
‡1:20 Or “at the end of time.”
§1:22 Or “with brotherly love.”
*1:23 The emphasis here is that different “seeds” produce different kinds of “life.”