1 Peter 5:12-13 “True Grace”

Translation & Sermon by Nate Wilson for Christ The Redeemer Church Manhattan KS, 22 Nov 2015


12 Through Silas the faithful brother as I reckon [him], I have written [these] few things to y’all,

exhorting and testifying this is the true grace of God in which y’all have been standing.

13 The co-elect in Babylon – and [also] my son Mark – greet y’all.

14 Greet one another with a kiss of love.

Peace be to you – to all those in Christ Jesus. Amen.


·         In the cult classic movie, The Princess Bride, there is a scene where a “mostly-dead” pirate Wesley is brought to the home of Mad Max to be resuscitated. In an effort to find what will motivate the pirate to want to live, Mad Max asks Wesley, “What’s so impoahtant to ya? What’ch’ya got that’s woith livin’ for?” And Wesley croaks out the words “True Love.”

·         What I want to meditate upon this morning is not “True Love” but “True Grace.”

·         Here at the end of First Peter, the Apostle tells us that it’s all about what he calls “the true grace of God.” The melodramatic love portrayed in The Princess Bride is a hollow substitute for “the true grace of God.”

·         I want to review what Peter meant by that phrase and then talk about how that “true grace” impacted the lives of three people whom Peter also mentions in these closing verses.


v.12 Through Silas the faithful brother as I reckon [him], I have written [these] few things to y’all, exhorting and testifying this is the true grace of God in which y’all have been standing.

·         Now, the Gospel is not called “the true grace” anywhere else in the Bible, so we can take it for what the individual words mean: it is the “truth” about “grace” (which is an undeserved gift) from God.

·         The gospel, as it was presented in the Old Testament, used some of the same words, though: Exodus 34:6-7 “And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, [though] by no means clearing the guilty...” (NKJV, echoed in Psalm 86:15)

·         “Grace” and “truth” are also New Testament words to describe the gospel:

o        John 1:14&17 “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth... For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.” (NASB)

o        Colossians 1:6 “The Good News which is spreading among y’all just as it is in all the world and is bearing fruit and growing just as it is also among y’all from the day you heard and understood the grace of God in truth.” (NAW)

·         Peter here calls his message “brief,” and indeed, the epistle of 1 Peter is one of the shorter books in the Bible. Shall we review it briefly?

o        Chapter 1 outlined the process of salvation from God’s “foreknowledge” and “election” to being “born again by the Spirit” to being “justified” by Jesus’ “death” and “resurrection,” “redeemed by His blood,” and hearing the “preaching of the Gospel” and being “sanctified” so as to live “holy” unto God, waiting for “Jesus’ return.”

o        Chapter 2 revolved around Christ, “the living stone rejected” and then made the “cornerstone,” who “called us out of darkness” and “gave us mercy,” the sinless “lamb” who “suffered” for you, “bearing our sins in his body on the cross that we might die to sin and live to righteousness” and “do what is right” and “submit to authority” and “put away” sin.

o        Chapter 3 continues with the lifestyle of trusting God and doing what is right despite hardship because you are “heirs of grace” and “inheritors of blessing.” Why? “Because Christ died for all, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh but made alive in the Spirit,” which salvation was also pictured in Noah’s ark and in Christian baptism.

o        Chapter 4 continues, “therefore, since Christ suffered bodily, arm yourselves” to be able to suffer for Him, but still it is the “gospel” which will “save” men when they are “judged.” “Obeying the gospel” is the only “hope” for the “righteous” to be “saved” because God will “judge” sin when Jesus returns and the “end of all things” comes. Only those whose sin is atoned by Jesus will escape God’s wrath.

o        Finally, Chapter 5 spoke of building up the church community in light of the “sufferings of Christ” and His “glories,” and His second coming, and of “resisting the Devil,” enduring “suffering” because the “God of all grace has called you into His eternal glory” and will save you.

o        Do you see how the good news of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ is what Peter’s message is all about?

·         Now, there is some confusion in the Greek manuscripts over the last verb in this verse, which I translated, “y’all have been standing” – in the Perfect tense, reflecting the majority of Greek manuscripts. I don’t see a contradiction between that and the reading of the NIV, NASB, and ESV, which render it as a command (reflecting several of the most ancient Greek manuscripts). If Peter affirms that it is the “true grace” from the hour they first believed, then the implication is that it is still to be believed, so, by all means, “keep standing” in this “true grace.”

o        “Standing in grace” is mentioned in one other place in the Bible, and that is Paul’s review of the Gospel message in Romans 5:1-2, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”

o        Perhaps Silas remembered these very words Paul had written to the Romans when he had been with Paul back in Corinth half a dozen years previous, and perhaps Silas mentioned them to Peter, and Peter repeated that sentiment here. Just a guess; I don’t know.

·         Now, to illustrate what it looks like to stand in the true grace of God, I would like to tell the stories of the three people mentioned in these verses: namely, Silas, Peter and the Babylonian Church, and Mark. How did they stand in the true grace of God?

1. Silas/Silvanus

·         is mentioned in Acts as a Christian leader or pastor in Jerusalem (15:22)

·         He is also described as a prophet (15:32) – gifted in sharing God’s word with people.

·         He travelled with Paul on his second missionary journey,

o        picking up Timothy in Lystra while visiting the churches in south central Turkey that Paul and Barnabas had planted back during their first missionary journey,

o        and then Silas and Timothy went with Paul up to northern Turkey to preach and plant churches (16:6-8) – the same churches that Peter is writing to (1 Peter 1:1).

o        Later Silas crossed the Aegean sea with Paul to plant churches in Greece, including:

§         Philippi (16:12), where they spent a night in jail singing hymns together,

§         Thessalonica (17:1), where a mob tried to kill them,

§         and Corinth (18:1&5), where they set up a church next-door to the Jewish synagogue and converted the president of the synagogue! And when the Jews in the synagogue tried to get Paul in trouble with the proconsul, a mob of Greeks beat up the new president of the synagogue who had not converted to Christianity!

o        What stories Silas must have had to tell of his adventures with Paul!

·         In the book of Acts, the guy’s name is spelled “SILAS,” but in the epistles (which were written by different human authors), the guy’s name is spelled “SILVANUS” (or Σιλουανός in Greek). It appears to be the same guy, because everything that Silvanus did in the Epistles matches what Silas did in Acts:

o        In the first verses of First and Second Thessalonians, Paul wrote of the true “grace” of God to them, saying that these letters are not only from him but also from Silvanus and Timothy[1]. Why would he mention Silvanus and Timothy? Acts 17 tells us that Silas and Timothy helped him plant the Thessalonian church.

§         “Now when they [Paul and Silas and Timothy] had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, ‘This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.’ And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas.” ~NKJV.

§         So it’s only natural that the Thessalonians would want to hear from Silas along with Paul when he wrote.

o        Later on we also see it in 2 Corinthians 1:19, where Paul mentions that the Corinthians first heard the true grace of God preached by Him and this Silvanus. (“For the Son of God, Christ Jesus, who was preached among you by us--by me and Silvanus and Timothy--was not yes and no, but is yes in Him. ~NASB) Acts 18 also tells us that it was Paul and Silas who first preached the gospel to the Corinthians:

§         “Paul departed from Athens and went to Corinth. And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla (because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome); and he came to them. So, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers. And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks. When Silas and Timothy had come from Macedonia, Paul was compelled by the Spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ.” ~NKJV

§         Now, for some reason, Paul didn’t seem to have the courage to tell the Jews in Corinth that Jesus was the Messiah until Silas and Timothy arrived. Perhaps Paul remembered being persecuted by the Jews in Thessalonica for teaching that Jesus was the Christ, and was afraid of saying it here for fear of more persecution.

§         What did Silas do that made the difference? I don’t know. Maybe he just prayed for Paul; maybe he gave Paul a pump-you-up talk, but, because Silas came to Corinth, people there heard that Jesus is the Christ and they became Christians.

·         Now, the Bible doesn’t tell us what Silas did after that, but it is natural to assume he went back home to Jerusalem.

·         Verse 13 indicates that Silas took a mission trip to Babylon with Peter, and later decided to return to those churches he had planted up in northern Turkey with Paul and encourage them. Paul is in jail and can’t visit them; Timothy is busy in Ephesus, so Silas is going to go himself.

·         First Peter is a letter from one of the original 12 disciples

o        To affirm the faith of the believers in that area,

o        to affirm the ministry credentials of Silas,

o        and to set the teaching agenda, as Silas visits these churches along the Black Sea, namely to teach “the true grace of God.”

·         What did “standing in the true grace of God” look like for Silas? He was so impacted by the good news of this true grace that it motivated him to leave his home in Jerusalem and travel all over the world telling people about it. What a testimony!

·         Now, in v. 13, Peter mentions two entities which send greetings, “The co-elect in Babylon and [also] my son Mark.” I want to share their stories too. What did standing in the true grace of God look like to them?

2. “The co-elect in Babylon”

·         is somewhat mysterious. All the Bible says is that:

1.       she is singular and feminine,

2.       she is “in Babylon,” and

3.       she was “chosen together” with someone else – presumably together with the “elect/chosen ones scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia” to whom Peter was writing (1 Peter 1:1, cf. 2:4-9).

·         Some scholars think this is referring to a prominent Christian woman that the Christians in Turkey might know about (such as Peter’s wife[2]), but I agree with the majority[3] who think it just refers to the church, which is a feminine noun in Greek.

o        One of the most ancient Greek manuscripts, the Sinaiticus, actually inserts the word “church” here.

o        The ancient Latin Vulgate translation reads, “The church that is in Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you.” (Douay-Rheims)

o        And the KJV follows this tradition[4].

·         There is even more debate as to whether “Babylon” is a code name for “Rome” (as it is in the book of Revelation)[5], or whether this is the literal Babylon in Iraq[6].

o        In general, the Italian Rome is promoted by ancient writers and by modern Roman Catholics, who had a particular interest in promoting Rome by connecting Peter with it, whereas almost every modern Protestant commentator believes it is speaking of the Persian city of Babylon.

o        It might come as a surprise, but the Bible doesn’t ever say that Peter actually set foot in Rome.[7]

o        Gordon Clark explained in his commentary: “[T]o dispose of such a claim... that Peter was for twenty-five years the first pope and bishop of Rome... The New Testament itself contains the evidence... After his first labors in Jerusalem, he was imprisoned in A.D. 46 in Jerusalem. In A.D. 52 he was attending the Jerusalem Council. The next year he was with Paul in Antioch. About the year 58, Paul sent greetings to twenty-seven persons in Rome, but Peter is not mentioned. In A.D. 61, Paul arrived in Rome as a prisoner, and some Christians came to meet him, but not Peter. The next year Paul wrote to the Ephesians, the Philippians, the Colossians, and to Philemon; other Christians are associated with him, but not Peter. In A.D. 64 all men forsook Paul (2 Timothy 4:16); did this mean Peter also, or was not Peter there? Paul indicates (2 Timothy 4:11) that only Luke was with him. This period covers the last twenty years of Peter’s life, and it all points to the falsity of the papal claims.”

o        In support of Peter’s location in Babylon in Persia, the old Scottish commentators, Jamieson, Faussett, and Brown explained, “Babylon was the center from which the Asiatic dispersion whom Peter addresses was derived. Philo [The Embassy to Gaius, 36] and Josephus [Antiquities, 15.2.2; 23.12] inform us that Babylon contained a great many Jews in the apostolic age (whereas those at Rome were comparatively few... [Josephus, Antiquities, 17.11]); so it would naturally be visited by the apostle of the circumcision[8]. It was the headquarters of those whom he had so successfully addressed on Pentecost, Acts 2:9 [mentions] Jewish ‘Parthians ... dwellers in Mesopotamia’ (the Parthians were then masters of Mesopotamian Babylon); these he ministered to in person. His other hearers, the Jewish ‘dwellers in Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia... [etc.],’ he now ministers to by letter.”

o        Marvin Vincent, author of the classic Word Studies of the New Testament observed, “[O]ther geographical designations in this epistle (1 Pet. 1:1 “Pontus, Cappadocia, Asia, Bithynia”) have undoubtedly the literal meaning... [and] wherever [Rome] is mentioned in the New Testament, with the single exception of the Apocalypse (and even there it is distinguished as 'Babylon, the great'), it gets its usual name, Rome.”

o        “There is no evidence that at that early period the name Babylon was given to Rome, nor were there any existing reasons why it should be. The name is generally supposed to have been applied to it by John, in the book of Revelation... but this was probably long after this Epistle was written, and for reasons which did not exist in the time of Peter.” ~Albert Barnes

o        “[Peter] was not at Jerusalem when St. Paul returned thither for the last time, since St. Luke makes particular mention of St. James, and describes him as the head of the Christian community at Jerusalem, but says nothing of St. Peter, whom he would hardly have passed over in perfect silence if he had been there. Now St. Paul’s last visit to Jerusalem happened in the year 60, and since... the First Epistle of St. Peter was written about this time, it is not at all improbable that St. Peter, who was absent from Jerusalem, was then engaged in preaching the Gospel to the Babylonians...[9]” ~Adam Clark

·         It is interesting that the one-and-only thing that the Babylonian church wants to communicate about herself in this greeting (besides the name of the city) is that she is syn-eklecte “chosen together.”

o        Does this not reflect a faith that “stands in the true grace of God”? – Not standing in good works she has done, but in the truth that God has graciously “chosen” to save her along with the other Christians in Jerusalem, Antioch, Asia, and Macedonia.

o        This is just what Jesus taught. Those who get saved are those whom God chose to save in the first place:

§         Mat. 22:14 “For many are called, but few are chosen...”

§         Mat. 24:22  “And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened...”

§         Mat. 24:24 “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect...”  

§         Mat. 24:31 “And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (NKJV)

o        Babylon, whose Rabshaqeh mocked God, Babylon whose army destroyed Jerusalem and exiled her people, and Babylon where the apostate Jews remained instead of rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem. God has chosen to save people even there in Babylon! Alleluia! “Wonderful grace of Jesus, greater than all my sin!”

·         Standing in “the true grace of God” led this entity in Babylon to declare with confidence that God had chosen to save even her and to insist that Peter insert a greeting to fellow believers also saved by God’s election.

o        Standing in the true grace of God compelled Peter to preach in Judea, Samaria, Galilee, Syria, and in Babylon, and it compelled Silas to travel even more widely around the world,

o        but for the church in Babylon, standing in the true grace of God meant staying put in Babylon, declaring the glory of God in salvation, and showing solidarity with persecuted believers.  

·         Now let’s look at what “standing in the true grace of God” meant to the final person mentioned in v.13,

Mark, which Peter calls his “son”

·         There is a John-Mark whose parents owned a house in Jerusalem that the believers met in early on (Acts 12:12). This may even have been the same house with the upper-room that Jesus kept the Passover in.

·         Peter was married, and could have had a son, but his home was in Capernaum up in Galilee (Matt. 8:14), not in Jerusalem where Mark’s house was, so this probably isn’t Peter’s literal son. Perhaps Peter was a spiritual father, in that Mark became a follower of Jesus as a result of Peter’s evangelism near Mark’s boyhood home.

·         Certainly it was Mark’s family that was hosting the prayer meeting that released Peter from jail the first time, so they were already fond of him then.

·         Also, Barnabas was Mark’s cousin (Col. 4:1), so when Barnabas went to Antioch – and later, on the first missionary journey with Paul, he took Mark along (Acts 12:25).

·         Mark, however, abandoned Paul and Barnabas in the middle of the trip (Acts 15:37-38), so, next time Paul wanted to do a missionary journey, he refused to take Mark and chose Silas instead. Barnabas seized that occasion to take Mark on a ministry trip to Cyprus. (Acts 15:39)

·         Some time after that, Mark spent more time with Peter and wrote the Gospel of Mark.

o        His Gospel relates a lot of Peter’s perspective on the life of Christ,

o        but also has some of Mark’s own observations as a boy living in Jerusalem when Jesus was crucified there.

o        Some scholars think Mark was the young man who escaped the soldiers in the Garden of Gethsemane by shinnying out of his clothes (Mark 14:51) – why else would that funny detail be in the Gospel of Mark?

·         Many years later, Mark was in Rome, helping Paul while he wrote the books of Colossians (4:10) and Philemon (1:24). At that time, Mark was planning to travel to Colossae to minister in the church there. After some time in Colossae, he moved to the nearby town of Ephesus to help Timothy appoint elders and deacons there.

·         Meanwhile Paul conducted a preaching tour through Europe and landed back in prison in Rome. That’s when Paul wrote 2 Timothy and said, “Man, I wish Mark were here with me. His ministry is so useful!” (2 Tim 4:11) Perhaps his usefulness consisted in being a good writer, perhaps in being a good preacher, perhaps in just being a good get-things-done sort of guy, I don’t know.

·         Early church historians tell us that Mark ended up in Alexandria, Egypt, where he started a Christian school.

·         Standing in the true grace of God for Mark meant

o        hosting a prayer meeting for the church when his pastor got thrown into jail,

o        writing out the story of Jesus and the good news of salvation for others to read,

o        trying again to minister with Paul after failing the first time,

o        and starting a Bible school.


·         Are you standing in the true grace of God?

o        Do you believe the good news that Jesus died in your place to save you from being punished by God for your own sins and that Jesus rose from the dead and is even now reconciling sinners to God?

o        Are you acting and living out a lifestyle that is consistent with your faith?

·         What you believe results in actions and a lifestyle consistent with what you believe.

o        For Peter and Silas, it meant being a world travelers and preachers

o        For the church in Babylon it meant faithfulness at home and reaching out to persecuted Christians,

o        For Mark it included writing and teaching and trying again after an embarrassing failure.

o        What would it look like for you to stand in the true grace of God?

Comparison[i] of Bible Translations of 1 Peter 5:12-14

Patristic GNT







12 Διὰ Σιλουανοῦ ὑμῖν τοῦ πιστοῦ ἀδελφοῦ, ὡς λογίζομαιPNI-1S, δι᾿ ὀλίγων ἔγραψαAAI-1S, παρακαλῶνPAP-NSM καὶ ἐπιμαρτυρῶν ταύτηνASF εἶναιPAN ἀληθῆASF χάρινASF τοῦ Θεοῦ εἰς ἣνASF ἐστήκατεIAI-2P[10].

12 Through Silas the faithful brother as I reckon [him][11], I have written [these] few things to y’all, exhorting and testifying this is the true grace of God in which y’all have been standing.

12 By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying [that] this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand.

12 By Silvanus, [our] faithful brother as I consider [him], I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying [that] this is the true grace of God in which you stand.

12 By Silvanus, a faithful brother as I regard [him], I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring [that] this is the true grace of God. Stand [firm] in it.

12 Through Silvanus, [our] faithful brother ([for] so I regard him), I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying [that] this is the true grace of God. Stand [firm] in it!

12 With [the help of] Silas, [whom] I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, encouraging [you] and testifying [that] this is the true grace of God. Stand [fast] in it.

13 ᾿ΑσπάζεταιPNI-3S ὑμᾶς ἡ ἐν Βαβυλῶνι συνεκλεκτὴNSF καὶ Μᾶρκος ὁ υἱός μου.

13 The co-elect X in Babylon[12] and [also] my son Mark greetX y’all.

13 The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.

13 She [who is] in Babylon, elect together with you, greets you; and so does Mark my son.

13 She [who is] at Babylon, [who is] likewise chosen, sends you greetings, and [so does] Mark, my son.

13 She [who is] in Babylon, chosen together with [you], sends you greetings, and so does my son, Mark.

13 She [who is] in Babylon, chosen together with [you], sends you her greetings, and [so does] my son Mark.

14 ἀσπάσασθεADM-2P ἀλλήλους ἐν φιλήματι ἀγάπης. Εἰρήνη ὑμῖν πᾶσι τοῖς ἐν Χριστῳ ᾿Ιησοῦ[13]· ἀμήν.

14 Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace be to you – to all those in Christ Jesus. Amen.

14 Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

14 Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to you all who are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

14 Greet one another with the kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

14 Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace be to you all who are in Christ.

14 Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.


[1] 1 Thess. 1:1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace... (NKJV)

2 Thess. 1:1-2 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace...

[2] See commentaries by Alford, Bengel, A.T. Robertson.

[3] See commentaries by Calvin, JFB, Vincent, Jerome, Albert Barnes, Adam Clark, John Gill, Matthew Henry, James Moffett, Gordon Clark.

[4] So does the Syriac Peshitta

[5] A position supported by Papias, Eusebius, Clement of Alexandria, Bede, Valesius, Grotius, Cave, Whitby, Lardner, Luther, Ewald, Hoffmann, James Moffett, and A.T. Robertson, who wrote, “If Peter is in Rome about a.d. 65, there is every reason why he should not make that fact plain to the world at large and least of all to Nero.” Other authors have even suggested that this “Babylon” designates a city in Egypt or the city of Jerusalem! (Barnes)

[6] The position of Alford, Calvin, Neander, JFB, Erasmus, Vincent, Wesley, Albert Barnes, Drusius, Lightfoot, Bengel, Adam Clark, John Gill, and Gordon Clark.

[7] Calvin wrote, “Eusebius and Jerome extend the time of Peter’s presidency at Rome to twenty-five years; but this may be easily disproved by what is said in the first and the second chapter of the Epistle to the Galatians. They say that Mark died at Alexandria, in the eighth year of Nero; but they imagine that Peter, six years after this, was put to death at Rome by Nero. If Mark formed, as they say, the Alexandrian Church, and had been long a bishop there, he could never have been at Rome with Peter.”

[8] John Gill even goes so far as to suggest that this was a fulfillment of the Prophecy from Psalm 87:4  "I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to those who know Me; Behold, O Philistia and Tyre, with Ethiopia: 'This one was born there.' "

[9] Clark continues: “The plain language of epistolary writing does not admit of the figures of poetry, and, though it would be very allowable, in a poem written in honor of Gottingen, to style it another Athens, yet if a professor of this university should, in a letter written from Gottingen, date it Athens, it would be a greater piece of pedantry than ever was laid to the charge of the learned.”

[10] This Imperfect Indicative spelling (“y’all have been standing”) is found in the majority of the known Greek manuscripts of first Peter and of the Textus Receptus edition of the Greek New Testament, thus the KJV. However, contemporary critical editions of the Greek New Testament like Nestle-Aland and UBS spell this word στητε, which is Aorist and either Subjunctive or Imperative (NIV, NASB, and ESV interpret it Imperative “Stand fast/firm in it.”), and this is because all of the known Greek manuscripts which are older than the 9th Century read thus. Curiously, there are manuscripts with entirely different verbs (“you are” and “you requested”), and the ancient translations are all over the map so they don’t help settle the matter, although some of the oldest-known Latin manuscripts side with the KJV, and the Indicative would match the sense of the parallel passage in 1:25 “this is the word which was preached to you.”

[11] The placement of this Greek phrase “As I logic” is inbetween “faithful brother” and “few things” so it could refer to either.

[12] The Sinaiticus , the Syriac Peshitta, and some Latin Vulgate manuscripts interpret this as “the church” – and the KJV follows this tradition. There is some debate as to whether “Babylon” is a code name for “Rome” as it is in the book of Revelation, or whether this is the literal Babylon in Iraq.

[13] Since the Vaticanus and Alexandrinus don’t have the name “Jesus” or the final “Amen,” and since the ancient versions are split over whether or not to include it, contemporary critical editions of the GNT do not include these last two words. However, these two words are in the Sinaiticus and in many of the oldest versions and are in the majority of Greek manuscripts, and they do not change the meaning, so I think they should be kept.

[i] Where the traditional Patriarchal edition of the Greek Bible is challenged by the Textus Receptus or by the modern critical editions, I note that. When an English translation adds words not in the Greek text, but does not indicate it has done so by the use of italics (or greyed-out text), I put the added words in [square brackets]. When one English version chooses a wording which is different from all the other translations, I underline it. When a version chooses a translation which, in my opinion, either departs too far from the root meaning of the Greek word or departs too far from the grammar form of the original Greek word, I use strikeout. And when an English version omits a word which is in the Greek text, I insert an X. (Sometimes I will place the X at the end of a word if the Greek word is plural but the English translation is singular.) I have also tried to use colors to help the reader see correlations between the Greek original and the various translations when there are more than two different translations of a Greek word.