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THE FIRST EPISTLE GENERAL OF PETER - Chapter 1 - Verse 23

Verse 23. Being born again. See Barnes "Joh 3:3".

Not of corruptible seed. "Not by virtue of any descent from human parents." Doddridge. The result of such a birth, or of being begotten in this way—for so the word rendered born again more properly signifies is only corruption and decay. We are begotten only to die. There is no permanent, enduring life produced by that. It is in this sense that this is spoken of as "corruptible seed," because it results in decay and death. The word here rendered seed—spora—occurs nowhere else in the New Testament.

But of incorruptible. By truth, communicating a living principle to the soul which can never decay. Comp. 1 Jo 3:9: "His seed remaineth in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God."

By the word of God. See Barnes "Jas 1:18"

: "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures." Comp. See Barnes "Joh 1:13".

It is the uniform doctrine of the Scriptures that Divine truth is made the instrument of quickening the soul into spiritual life.

Which liveth and abideth for ever. This expression may either refer to God, as living for ever, or to the word of God, as being for ever true. Critics are about equally divided in the interpretation. The Greek will bear either construction. Most of the recent critics incline to the latter opinion—that it refers to the word of God, or to his doctrine. So Rosenmuller, Doddridge, Bloomfield, Wolf, Macknight, Clarke. It seems to me, however, that the more natural construction of the Greek is to refer it to God, as ever-living or enduring; and this interpretation agrees well with the connexion. The idea then is, that as God is everliving, that which is produced directly by him in the human soul, by the instrumentality of truth, may be expected also to endure for ever. It will not be like the offspring of human parents, themselves mortal, liable to early and certain decay, but may be expected to be as enduring as its ever-living Creator.

{a} "born again" Joh 1:13 {b} "word" Jas 1:18

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