Search the Bible
* powered by Bible Study Tools

1 Peter 5:2

    1 Peter 5:2 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Tend the flock of God which is among you, exercising the oversight, not of constraint, but willingly, according to the will of God; nor yet for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Keep watch over the flock of God which is in your care, using your authority, not as forced to do so, but gladly; and not for unclean profit but with a ready mind;

    Webster's Revision

    Tend the flock of God which is among you, exercising the oversight, not of constraint, but willingly, according to the will of God; nor yet for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

    World English Bible

    Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, exercising the oversight, not under compulsion, but voluntarily, not for dishonest gain, but willingly;

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Tend the flock of God which is among you, exercising the oversight, not of constraint, but willingly, according unto God; nor yet for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

    Definitions for 1 Peter 5:2

    Lucre - Gain.

    Clarke's Commentary on 1 Peter 5:2

    Feed the flock - Do not fleece the flock.

    Taking the oversight - Επισκοπουντες· Discharging the office of bishops or superintendents. This is another proof that bishop and presbyter were the same order in the apostolic times, though afterwards they were made distinct.

    Not by constraint - The office was laborious and dangerous, especially in these times of persecution; it is no wonder then that even those who were best qualified for the office should strive to excuse themselves with a genuine Nolo episcopari, "I am unwilling to be a bishop."

    Not for filthy lucre - Could the office of a bishop, in those early days, and in the time of persecution, be a lucrative office? Does not the Spirit of God lead the apostle to speak these things rather for posterity than for that time? See the notes on 1 Timothy 3:3.

    But of a ready mind - Doing all for Christ's sake, and through love to immortal souls.

    Barnes' Notes on 1 Peter 5:2

    Feed the flock of God - Discharge the duties of a shepherd toward the flock. On the word "feed," see the notes at John 21:15. It is a word which Peter would be likely to remember, from the solemn manner in which the injunction to perform the duty was laid on him by the Saviour. The direction means to take such an oversight of the church as a shepherd is accustomed to take of his flock. See the notes at John 10:1-16.

    Which is among you - Margin, as much as in you is. The translation in the text is the more correct. It means the churches which were among them, or over which they were called to preside.

    Taking the oversight thereof - ἐπισκοποῦντες episkopountes. The fair translation of this word is, "discharging the episcopal office"; and the word implies all that is always implied by the word "bishop" in the New Testament. This idea should have been expressed in the translation. The meaning is not merely to take the oversight - for that might be done in a subordinate sense by anyone in office; but it is to take such an oversight as is implied in the episcopate, or by the word "bishop." The words "episcopate," "episcopal," and "episcopacy," are merely the Greek word used here and its correlatives transferred to our language. The sense is that of overseeing; taking the oversight of; looking after, as of a flock; and the word has originally no reference to what is now spoken of as especially the episcopal office. It is a word strictly applicable to any minister of religion, or officer of a church. In the passage before us this duty was to be performed by those who, in 1 Peter 5:1, are called presbyters, or elders; and this is one of the numerous passages in the New Testament which prove that all that is properly implied in the performance of the episcopal functions pertained to those who were called presbyters, or elders. If so, there was no higher grade of ministers to which the special duties of the episcopate were to be entrusted; that is, there was no class of officers corresponding to those who are now called "bishops." Compare the notes at Acts 20:28.

    Not by constraint, but willingly - Not as if you felt that a heavy yoke was imposed on you, or a burden from which you would gladly be discharged. Go cheerfully to your duty as a work which you love, and act like a freeman in it, and not as a slave. Arduous as are the labors of the ministry, yet there is no work on earth in which a man can and should labor more cheerfully.

    Not for filthy lucre - Shameful or dishonorable gain. See the notes at 1 Timothy 3:3.

    But of a ready mind - Cheerfully, promptly. We are to labor in this work, not under the influence of the desire of gain, but from the promptings of love. There is all the difference conceivable between one who does a thing because he is paid for it, and one who does it from love - between, for example, the manner in which one attends on us when we are sick who loves us, and one who is merely hired to do it. Such a difference is there in the spirit with which one who is actuated by mercenary motives, and one whose heart is in the work, will engage in the ministry.

    Wesley's Notes on 1 Peter 5:2

    5:2 Feed the flock - Both by doctrine and discipline. Not by constraint - Unwillingly, as a burden. Not for filthy gain - Which, if it be the motive of acting, is filthy beyond expression. O consider this, ye that leave one flock and go to another, merely because there is more gain, a large salary! Is it not astonishing that men can see no harm in this? that it is not only practised, but avowed, all over the nation?