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16Yet if any of you suffers as a Christian, do not consider it a disgrace, but glorify God because you bear this name.

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16. a Christian—the name given in contempt first at Antioch. Ac 11:26; 26:28; the only three places where the term occurs. At first believers had no distinctive name, but were called among themselves "brethren," Ac 6:3; "disciples," Ac 6:1; "those of the way," Ac 9:2; "saints," Ro 1:7; by the Jews (who denied that Jesus was the Christ, and so would never originate the name Christian), in contempt, "Nazarenes." At Antioch, where first idolatrous Gentiles (Cornelius, Ac 10:1, 2, was not an idolater, but a proselyte) were converted, and wide missionary work began, they could be no longer looked on as a Jewish sect, and so the Gentiles designated them by the new name "Christians." The rise of the new name marked a new epoch in the Church's life, a new stage of its development, namely, its missions to the Gentiles. The idle and witty people of Antioch, we know from heathen writers, were famous for inventing nicknames. The date of this Epistle must have been when this had become the generally recognized designation among Gentiles (it is never applied by Christians to each other, as it was in after ages—an undesigned proof that the New Testament was composed when it professes), and when the name exposed one to reproach and suffering, though not seemingly as yet to systematic persecution.

let him not be ashamed—though the world is ashamed of shame. To suffer for one's own faults is no honor (1Pe 4:15; 1Pe 2:20),—for Christ, is no shame (1Pe 4:14; 1Pe 3:13).

but let him glorify God—not merely glory in persecution; Peter might have said as the contrast, "but let him esteem it an honor to himself"; but the honor is to be given to God, who counts him worthy of such an honor, involving exemption from the coming judgments on the ungodly.

on this behalf—The oldest manuscripts and Vulgate read, "in this name," that is, in respect of suffering for such a name.




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