by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 3 Paragraph # 1 Study # 7 March 28, 2010 Lincolnton, N.C.
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:
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 (Citizens, Servants, Wives).
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".
c. The focus upon God's perspective.
d. The focus upon how "holy women" did this "adorning" in "the old time".
1) The word translated "in the old time" is used in 28 texts of the New Testament and very often means "in, or at, a period of time already past", but not always. Paul used it in Romans1:10 to indicate how long his desire had existed to go to Rome (...now atlast...). Jesus used the word in Luke 22:32 to refer to something that was to happen in the future (...when you are converted...).
2) Peter used the word translated "in the old time" five times in his two letters. In 2:10 he used it to refer to a previous period of time and in 3:20 he used it to refer to the critical period of disobedience that led up to the flood. In 2 Peter 1:10 he used it to refer to a future event that would not occur (...you shall never fall...) and in 1:21 he used it to establish the fact that prophecy "never" occurs by the will of man.
3) From these contexts I draw this conclusion: the word points to a time frame within which certain factors exist, either potentially or genuinely. That the time frame may be past, present, or future, is secondary to the issue and is established in the context. In other words, "in the old time" is an illegitimate translation because it gives a sense of "ancient history" that does not exist in the context. Peter, instead, makes it signal an "always" reality. Every godly woman in every span of time acts "thusly". Peter makes this case by using the present tense of the verb "to hope" and then appeals to the example of Sarah from the past. In other words, throughout every generation, women who would be "godly" do it "this way".
a) The "this way" brings up the question of "what way?". The larger answer is "the way of submission to their own husbands".
b) But the more critical answer is "those who hope in God". In other words, "godliness" shows up in "submission" but "submission" is the outworking of "hope".
c) And the critical example is Sarah's reference to Abraham as "lord".
e. The application: "...of whom you are children when you..." copy her example.