1 Peter 3:18-22
ὅτι καὶ Χριστὸς ἅπαξ περὶ ἁμαρτιῶν ἀπέθανεν , δίκαιος ὑπὲρ ἀδίκων,
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous,
ἵνα ὑμᾶς προσαγάγῃ τῷ θεῷ,
[in order] that he might bring us to God,
θανατωθεὶς μὲν σαρκὶ
being [in that he was ] put to death in the flesh
ζῳοποιηθεὶς δὲ πνεύματι·
but made alive in the spirit,
ἐν ᾧ καὶ τοῖς ἐν φυλακῇ πνεύμασιν πορευθεὶς ἐκήρυξεν , ἀπειθήσασίν ποτε ὅτε ἀπεξεδέχετο ἡ τοῦ θεοῦ μακροθυμία ἐν ἡμέραις Νῶε κατασκευαζομένης κιβωτοῦ,
in which he went and proclaimed to th e spirits in prison, because they [who] formerly did not obey , when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared ,
εἰς ἣν ὀλίγοι , τοῦτ’ ἔστιν ὀκτὼ ψυχαί, διεσώθησαν δι’ ὕδατος.
in which a few , that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.
ὃ καὶ ὑμᾶς ἀντίτυπον νῦν σῴζει βάπτισμα ,
Baptism , which corresponds to this, now saves you,
οὐ σαρκὸς ἀπόθεσις ῥύπου
not as a removal of dirt from the body
ἀλλὰ συνειδήσεως ἀγαθῆς ἐπερώτημα εἰς θεόν, δι’ ἀναστάσεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ὅς ἐστιν ἐν δεξιᾷ θεοῦ, πορευθεὶς εἰς οὐρανόν, ὑποταγέντων αὐτῷ ἀγγέλων καὶ ἐξουσιῶν καὶ δυνάμεων.
but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.
These final two arcs are really only noun clauses, but they could be restated with a subject and predicate. See my explanations below.
v.20b, I show this as Comparison because Peter states the ark delivering a few safely through water is a type and baptism is the antitype. A type helps us understand the antitype by showing what it is like = comparison.
Central Idea: (Flowing directly from v.13-17 where Peter states suffering for the sake of righteousness has as its ultimate end, blessing not defeat), Peter now presents Christ as the supreme example of one who knows what it is to suffer for doing good and experience the blessings - indeed, the complete victory, that came as a result. Baptism is the believer's participation in this resurrection victory which was announced over those defeated. Explanations / Questions: v.18, ὅτι καὶ (for also..) connects this unit to the previous (v.13-17) as a Comparison (example). At first, and maybe second glance, v.19-21 seem at best parenthetical, at worst confusingly disconnected. However, Peter has demonstrated such skill in weaving the OT into his own argumentation that we ought to take care to see how this passage fits within both its immediate context and the letter as a whole. One tool that has helped me see a passage more clearly is to restate the simple subject-predicate clauses, and then fill in the conjunctions: Christ suffered in order that He might bring us to God in that He was put to death in the flesh yet He was made alive in the spirit as a result He proclaimed to the spirits and moreover just as A few were safely delivered through water so Baptism now saves you that is Baptism is not a removal of dirt but Baptism is an appeal to God Insights: This passage fits perfectly within Peter's overall aim to encourage believers facing such trials and persecution that they are in danger of losing hope that God cares for them or will fulfill his salvation promises. Peter has already affirmed that suffering is not only not a sign that God has removed his caring hand, but is in fact a means God uses to bring about greater glory and blessing. He has also presented Christ as an example of godly suffering (a point he will come back to in ch.4). Now Christ's sufferings are shown to be the means by which he vanquishes his enemies and brings his people to God - a reality that those who put their hope in God can take courage in and be assured that their union with Christ is secure.