New International Version
For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.
King James Bible
For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
Darby Bible Translation
For to this [end] were the glad tidings preached to [the] dead also, that they might be judged, as regards men, after [the] flesh, but live, as regards God, after [the] Spirit.
World English Bible
For to this end the Good News was preached even to the dead, that they might be judged indeed as men in the flesh, but live as to God in the spirit.
Young's Literal Translation
for for this also to dead men was good news proclaimed, that they may be judged, indeed, according to men in the flesh, and may live according to God in the spirit.
1 Peter 4:6 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
Was the Gospel preached also to them that are dead - This is a most difficult verse; the best translations I have seen of it are the following: -
"For this indeed was the effect of the preaching of the Gospel to the dead, (the unconverted Gentiles), that some will be punished as carnal men; but others, (those converted to Christianity), lead a spiritual life unto God." - Wakefield.
"For this purpose hath the Gospel been preached even to the dead, (i.e. the Gentiles), that although they might be condemned, indeed, by men in the flesh, (their persecutors), yet they might live eternally by God in the Spirit." - Macknight.
"For this cause was the Gospel preached to them that were dead; that they who live according to men in the flesh, may be condemned; but that they who live according to God in the Spirit, may live." - Knatchbull.
There are as many different translations of this verse, and comments upon it, as there are translators and commentators. That of Sir Norton Knatchbull, could the Greek text bear it, appears the most simple; but that of Dr. Macknight, which is nearly the sense given by Mr. Wesley in his Paraphrase, is more likely to be the true one among those already proposed.
But if the apostle had the same fact in view which he mentions, 1 Peter 3:19, 1 Peter 3:20, then the antediluvians are the persons intended: For this cause - that Christ is prepared to judge the quick and the dead, and to dispense righteous judgment in consequence of having afforded them every necessary advantage, was the Gospel preached by Noah to them also who are dead - the antediluvian world, then dead in trespasses and sins, and condemned to death by the righteous judgment of God; but in his great compassion he afforded them a respite, that though they were condemned as men in the flesh, (for this was their character; my Spirit will not always strive with man, forasmuch as he is Flesh, Genesis 6:3), yet, hearing this Gospel by Noah, they may believe, and live according to God in the Spirit - live a blessed life in eternity according to the mercy of God, who sent his Spirit to strive with them. This appears to me to be the most consistent sense; especially as the apostle seems to refer to what he had said of the Spirit of Christ in Noah preaching to the spirits in prison - the rebellions that lived before the flood. See the notes on 1 Peter 3:19-20 (note).
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
'Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin. 2. That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. 3. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: 4. Wherein they think it …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John
The Old Man and the New.
The Gospel Message in Antioch
Facing Life's Record
1 Peter 1:12
It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.
1 Peter 3:18
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.
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