Read & Study the Bible Online - Bible Portal

Verse 6

Was the Gospel preached also to them that are dead - This is a most difficult verse; the best translations I have seen of it are the following: -

"For this indeed was the effect of the preaching of the Gospel to the dead, (the unconverted Gentiles), that some will be punished as carnal men; but others, (those converted to Christianity), lead a spiritual life unto God." - Wakefield.

"For this purpose hath the Gospel been preached even to the dead, (i.e. the Gentiles), that although they might be condemned, indeed, by men in the flesh, (their persecutors), yet they might live eternally by God in the Spirit." - Macknight.

"For this cause was the Gospel preached to them that were dead; that they who live according to men in the flesh, may be condemned; but that they who live according to God in the Spirit, may live." - Knatchbull.

There are as many different translations of this verse, and comments upon it, as there are translators and commentators. That of Sir Norton Knatchbull, could the Greek text bear it, appears the most simple; but that of Dr. Macknight, which is nearly the sense given by Mr. Wesley in his Paraphrase, is more likely to be the true one among those already proposed.

But if the apostle had the same fact in view which he mentions, 1 Peter 3:19 , 1 Peter 3:20 , then the antediluvians are the persons intended: For this cause - that Christ is prepared to judge the quick and the dead, and to dispense righteous judgment in consequence of having afforded them every necessary advantage, was the Gospel preached by Noah to them also who are dead - the antediluvian world, then dead in trespasses and sins, and condemned to death by the righteous judgment of God; but in his great compassion he afforded them a respite, that though they were condemned as men in the flesh, (for this was their character; my Spirit will not always strive with man, forasmuch as he is Flesh, Genesis 6:3 ;), yet, hearing this Gospel by Noah, they may believe, and live according to God in the Spirit - live a blessed life in eternity according to the mercy of God, who sent his Spirit to strive with them. This appears to me to be the most consistent sense; especially as the apostle seems to refer to what he had said of the Spirit of Christ in Noah preaching to the spirits in prison - the rebellions that lived before the flood. See the notes on 1 Peter 3:19-20 ; (note).

Be the first to react on this!

Scroll to Top

Group of Brands