Chapter # 3 Paragraph # 1 Study # 5
March 14, 2010
4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:
6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.
1901 ASV Translation:
4 but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in the incorruptible apparel of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
5 For after this manner aforetime the holy women also, who hoped in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection to their own husbands:
6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose children ye now are, if ye do well, and are not put in fear by any terror.
- I. Peter's Third Step Into the Particulars.
- A. The issue: maintaining a legitimate demonstration of the true character of God (2:9, 12).
- B. The most fundamental "attitude": submission (2:13, 18; 3:1, 5).
- C. The most fundamental "difficulty": fear (3:6, 14).
- D. The most fundamental "relationships": believers/God and husbands/wives.
- 1. The potential.
- 2. The required "cause-streams".
- 3. The focus is upon the "wife's" "adorning".
- a. The word translated "adorning" is a word that is used in the New Testament 187 times in 152 verses and was translated by the translators of the Authorized Version "world" 186 of those times. This means that the choice to use "adorning" was completely unique. This was even so for Peter. He used the word 8 times in 7 verses in First and Second Peter and used it in ways that allowed the translators to feel comfortable with "world" seven of those times (1 Peter 1:20; 3:3; 5:9; and 2 Peter 1:4; 2:5; 2:20; and 3:6).
- b. The focus upon what the translators call "the hidden man".
- 1) The word translated "hidden" refers, on the face of it, to what is not visible. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament says the word refers to things that cannot be reached "by ordinary perception". I take the words to refer to the five senses. If a thing cannot be seen with the eyes, heard with the ears, touched with the hands, tasted with the tongue, or smelled with the nose, it is "hidden". However, all men know that there are things which are "known" by the nonsensory perception of rationality and many will accept a kind of "knowledge" that is emotive, or intuitive. Clearly Peter would not have addressed a "hiddenness" that was complete. Just as clearly, he presents the characteristics of "meekness" and "quietness" as somehow "unhidden".
- 2) The "man of the heart" is an interesting concept. The word translated "man" is the most typical term for a "human being" (used 559 times in 504 verses of the New Testament) found in the New Testament. That it is attached to the "heart" is significant when the "heart" is seen for what it is: the repository of a person's value system (values arranged in an order of priority). Thus, the "man of the heart" is the "man" who participates in the outward expression of the value system. This corresponds to the function of the "spirit" as the sponsor of the activities of the body.
- 3) Peter described this "hidden man of the heart" as a primary aspect of "that which is incorruptible of the Spirit". That Peter sees "incorruptibility" as an involved characteristic means that he sees the issue as associated with "the incorruptible inheritance" (1:4) and "the incorruptible Word" (1:23). The Greek here is convoluted and a tad "hidden" itself in terms of meaning, but it boils down to a description of the Spirit as producing the "incorruptibility" that focuses upon what the translators call "meek" and "quiet". The Spirit's character as "meek" and "quiet" is impossible to "corrupt" (degrade over time). It is the woman's task to release this invisible "man of the heart" so that his connection with the "meek and quiet Spirit" might be made "visible" by means of her actions. This is in contrast to the "outer" fixation upon personal appearance (3:3) and the "inner" turmoil of fear (3:6) and has primarily to do with her "submission" to her husband (3:5).
- a) What is "meekness"? Theological Dictionary of the New Testament says that it is a quality wherein one does not become angry or embittered by being subjected to the unpleasant because one sees himself/herself as a "servant" and not the one who is to "call the shots".
- b) What is "quietness"? Used only twice in the New Testament, the word signifies the demeanor of one "at rest". The word was used extensively in the Greek world so there is an abundance of context from which to see that being undisturbed is a major idea. Perhaps our idea of being "unflappable" best approximates.