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"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead". 1 Peter 1:3. NIV.

  1. Does "new birth/anagennesas" refer to "us"?

As a consequence of "us" being born, hope is now living in us. [ "born again" ESV].

  1. Or, does new birth refer to "hope"?

In us, hope has been born and so is living in us.

You were "having no hope" Ephesians 2:12. Hope which was "dead" is now living hope.

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    I would suggest linking this text to that of Romans 6:3-6 where the apostle Paul describes the process of the new birth.
    – oldhermit
    Sep 18 at 16:53
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Given that Peter starts his letter by addressing God's scattered chosen ones (the elect, vss.1-2), who have experienced the sanctifying work of the Spirit to be obedient to Jesus Christ, he and they are the ones who have been given "new birth". They are the "us" who have been given new birth.

The Companion Bible helpfully translates this new birth as, "begotten us again". It notes that the Greek anagennao means 'begat again'. And that this Greek word is used a second time in verse 23, which reads, "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever."

This shows that the Christians being addressed were begotten the first time with "corruptible seed" (literal, physical birth as mortals). But the second time it was with "incorruptible seed" which is bound up with the living word of God. Put that together with verse 3, which says this second begettal was "by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead", and it is seen that the eternal Word of God is the key element in this second birth, this new birth. It is not what we do, but what he achieved via his resurrection from the dead, that makes this new birth possible.

Because of Jesus' resurrection from the dead, those who are born again have a living hope. It is his unique resurrection that gives believers this new hope. If Jesus had remained dead, they would have had no hope of God forgiving their sins and bringing them to newness of spiritual life - life eternal. Therefore, this new and living hope is a consequence - a result of - being begotten a second time, by the Spirit.

Genesis, or begetting (gennao) is a matter of a separate entity being in the world, independently. The natural, physical process is shown in John 16:21: "When a woman delivers (tikto), grief she has; but when she begets (geannao) the child, no longer remembers she the tribulation" (EGNT). After the pangs and the travail, the cord is cut; a separate entity is in the world; it is begotten.

But of Jesus' birth, uniquely, it is stated that prior to delivery there is a begetting. It is prior to the separating of a child which, in circumstances of two natural parents, would be a begetting. And this begetting is in her, Matthew 1:20 - "That in her which is begotten..." Joseph was told not to fear to take Mary as his wife, "for that which is in her was begotten of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 1:20 YLT). And that begotten of the Spirit is holy.

Apply that to the new birth, the second birth, being born again of the Spirit. Unless the gennao is a work of the Holy Spirit, there will be no new, spiritual, holy life. The person is brought to newness of spiritual life by the Holy Spirit - "begotten again unto a living hope". Romans chapter 8 details the indispensable role of the Holy Spirit in giving believers this new begettal, and the role of hope (which follows) is described in verses 23 to 31.

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  • Very clear and concise. Up-voted +1.
    – Nigel J
    Sep 24 at 16:24
  • Yes, "living hope" was evident after their "new birth" but that was not in fulfillment of the "ultimate hope", that being the living and ruling with Christ in and from the heavens, which can only happen after the "2nd Advent", when the long physically dead Chosen ones come back to life to a new Spiritual existence with Christ. Sep 24 at 16:47
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What does "new birth" refer to in 1 Peter 1:3?

It refers to both of the OP's Points 1 and 2.

Does "new birth/anagennesas" refer to "us"?

Yes. We have Jesus and Nicodemus' conversation in (English Standard Version) John 3:

3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

he is born
γεννηθῇ (gennēthē)
Verb - Aorist Subjunctive Passive - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's 1080: From a variation of genos; to procreate; figuratively, to regenerate.

again.”
ἄνωθεν (anōthen)
Adverb
Strong's 509: From ano; from above; by analogy, from the first; by implication, anew.

1 Peter 1:

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

has given us new birth
ἀναγεννήσας (anagennēsas)
Verb - Aorist Participle Active - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's 313: To beget again, beget into a new life. From ana and gennao; to beget or bear.

John 3:3      γεννηθῇ ἄνωθεν   derive from    ἄνω and γεννάω 
1 Peter 1:3   ἀναγεννήσας      derives from   ἀνά and γεννάω

The difference between the two wordings is ἄνω and ἀνά.

ἄνω: above, up to the top, up to the brim, things above, heaven, the heavenly region
ἀνά: as a preposition denotes upwards, up, as a prefix denotes up, again, back

ἀνά has a more general sense than ἄνω. In this distinction, Jesus is talking about being born from heaven while Peter is talking about being born from above. Both convey the sense of being born again or born anew.

20 verses later, Peter confirms this general sense of born again in 1 Peter 1:

23 since you have been born again [ἀναγεγεννημένοι ], not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;

Does new birth refer to "hope"?

Yes.

1 Peter 1:

3b he has caused us to be born again to a living hope

ἀναγεννήσας    ἡμᾶς     εἰς
born-again     us       to

Here the Greek word ἀναγεννήσας (born-again) is not as strict in meaning as Jesus and Nicodemus' γεννηθῇ ἄνωθεν (born from heaven). ἡμᾶς (us) is accusative serving as the direct object of the verb, matching the accusative living and accusative hope. There is a strong grammatical link between us and living hope.

Does "new birth/anagennesas" refer to "us"?

Yes.

As a consequence of "us" being born, hope is now living in us.

Right.

Does new birth refer to "hope"?

Yes.

In us, hope has been born and so is living in us.

Right.

What does "new birth" refer to in 1 Peter 1:3?

More precisely, from grammar, it refers to the living hope in us. More broadly, from the Greek word study, it refers to being born from heaven by the indwelling Holy Spirit living in us.

Good question. I've learned quite a bit just by researching it.

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What does "new birth" refer to in 1 Peter 1:3?

Both Epistles of Peter are written to the chosen ones, those with heavenly hope:{1 Peter 1:4, Imperishable life in heaven, 2 Peter 1:4 Partakers of the divine nature.

1 Peter 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy, he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead". 1 Peter 1:3. NIV.

1/Does "new birth/anagennesas" refer to "us"?

"He {GOD} has given us new birth into a living hope"{1 Peter 1:3b] Thus from a careful reading of the verse you will notice that the "new birth" is granted from above by God- yes it is caused by God. It refers to all Christians, the scriptures show however that only a small number will be chosen. Read Revelation 14:3-4

The new birth originates from God

1 John 3:9 NASB

9 No one who has been born of God practices sin because His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin continually, because he has been born of God.

James 1:17 NASB

17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or [a]shifting shadow.

John 1:13 NASB

13 who were [a]born, not of [b]blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of a man, but of God

.

Does new birth refer to "hope"?

Yes' God gave a heavenly hope to a little flock,"heirs of God and also fellow heirs with Christ" [ Rom.Vs 17a}

Luke 12:32 NASB

32 Do not be afraid, little flock, because your Father has chosen to give you the kingdom.

Corinthians 1:21-22 NET

21 But it is God who establishes[ us together with you in Christ and who anointed us, 22 who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a down payment.

Romans 8:15-17 NET

15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery leading again to fear,[a] but you received the Spirit of adoption,[b] by whom[c] we cry, “Abba,[d] Father.” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness to[e] our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 And if children, then heirs (namely, heirs of God and also fellow heirs with Christ)[f]—if indeed we suffer with him so we may also be glorified with him.

You were "having no hope" Ephesians 2:12. Hope which was "dead" is now living hope.

Ephesians 2:12-13 NASB

12 Remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the people of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of the promise, having no hope and without God in the world.13 But now in Christ Jesus you who previously were far away [c]have been brought near [d]by the blood of Christ.

Hope which was dead:

The Ephesians were gentile Christian, and sinners like the Israelites since they were also descendants of Adam. Now with the sacrifice of Jesus, the way has been opened for people of the nations to a close relationship with God and also the hope of everlasting life, either in heaven or on the earth. Jesus said the meek will inherit the earth.

Matthew 5:5 NET

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Psalm 37:11 KJV

11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

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  • Don't know whether it was you who voted me up, but I meant to vote this up last night when I posted my answer and then forgot, it being 4:30 in the morning. Upvoted +1. Sep 22 at 14:09
  • Olde English; I just read you answer :+1 Sep 22 at 17:29
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What does "new birth" refer to in 1 Peter 1:3?

Peter's letter (written circa 62-64 AD) was written to the "faithful" Christians of the day, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia who are chosen ... (1:1), in the time of Emperor Nero. This letter proved to be most timely in view of the storm of persecution that broke out almost immediately thereafter. The readers of this letter were "predominantly" of Gentile rather than Jewish background (1:14; 2:9-10; 4:3-4), after the gospel was taken to them by Peter ...Acts Ch. 10. Their situation was one of suffering and trial (4:12), but not because of the empire-wide ban on Christianity, since that came later. Persecution took many forms, not the least of which was social ostracism. The readers are encouraged to rejoice and live above all reproach.

The "new birth" of "US" towards a living "HOPE" through Christ (1:1-25)

Peter directs his readers' attention, the "US" here in question, to the fact that they, due to their unwavering faith in Jesus and his RANSOM SACRIFICE (sacrificial death of Jesus, made in order to reconcile sinners to a holy God ... Mark 10:45), can be assured of the unfading inheritance reserved for them in the heavens, as part of God's chosen peoples (Jew and Gentile alike) and that their "new birth", as it were, should be seen as a living "HOPE" of what would "LATER" (see below) come about, in that they would reside with their future King of Kings for eternity in the heavens, as at least part of the newly chosen representatives of "Mankind", to rule with Him as part of the privileged 144,000 (Jew AND Gentile alike), bought from the earth ...Rev 14:3, to then rule with Him from the New heavens, over the Great Multitude of other, new birth/born again, righteous souls ...Rev 7:9, who will be residing on the New earth (heaven having already been assigned).

NB on "LATER"

The living "HOPE" should, in all likely hood, be seen as pertaining to the 2nd Advent, which will herald the First Resurrection, when all those in the Memorial Tombs (John 5:28,29), will be brought back to life, the first of whom will be those "heirs to the promise" for heavenly life ...Gal 3:29, their spirits having been preserved by God in perpetuity for this extremely momentous occasion ...(1 Peter 1:4,5,9). There will of course be some chosen ones, as indeed there will be some non-chosen (but at least righteous) ones, still living at the time of "the end", the latter of which will no doubt survive the all encompassing turmoil of ARMAGEDDON, whereas it is my belief that the former will be (the only ones) raptured up to meet the lord in the air...1 Thess 4:17.

PS:- There will be other, not so righteous souls (non-believers and disbelievers), given chance to live again on the New earth, who will be subject to "the Judgement", but these will be wholly within the Second Resurrection, who will have a different kind of "HOPE", a hope that they can prove worthy of being able to avoid the Second Death.

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  • Halleluiah! +5 (just a small suggestion. a simple fellow like me found the l o n g sentences hard to apprehend - there is lot in there, perhaps dot points might assist)
    – steveowen
    Sep 22 at 23:52
  • Thank you Steve, or is it "48152" and ... point(s) taken !! Sep 23 at 0:38
  • To the anonymous downvoter. You are a born again coward. What you have done is not in keeping with this site, not to mention unchristian. You need to recheck our "Code of Conduct" and you really need to ask for forgiveness. Otherwise, it's to Hell with you. Sep 25 at 14:02
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What does "new birth" refer to in 1 Peter 1:3?

Answer: Our "new birth" occurs precisely according to Romans 6:3-4. Unfortunately, mere hope avails nothing. We simply cannot rely solely on the words of 1 Peter 1:3 to understand this fact.

Nonetheless, suppose we repeat the verse cited in the OP:

  • 1 Peter 1:3: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (emphasis added).

Passages such as the above are far more easily understood when we look to others which describe the process of the "new birth" more directly. We need to recognize what the term "rebirth" means, and how we must accomplish it. Here, we need look no further than the Letter to the Romans (as suggested by @oldhermit above):

  • Romans 6:3-4: "[Do] you not know that all of us who have been baptized [water immersed] into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4Therefore we have been buried with Him [the death of our old, sinful selves] through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life [this is our spiritual rebirth in Christ]" (emphasis added).

The following is a short list of passages expressing the very same concept:

  • Acts 2:38: “Repent and be baptized, everyone of you, for the remission of sins” (emphasis added).
  • Acts 22:16: “Arise and be baptized… and wash away your sins” (emphasis added).
  • Galatians 3:26-27: "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ" (emphasis added).
  • Mark 16:16: “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved..” (emphasis added).
  • 1 Peter 3:21: “Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you” (emphasis added).
  • Colossians 2:12: "[Having] been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead" (emphasis added).
  • Titus 3:5: "He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration [baptism, water immersion] and renewing by the Holy Spirit" (emphasis added).

We should remember that it was none other than the Son of God Himself who spoke of our need to be baptized. Failure to do so prohibits us from entering the kingdom of God:

  • John 3:5: "Jesus answered, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God'" (emphasis added).

We must never overlook the direct reference to baptism — water immersion — in the name of Christ for the cleansing of our sins. This is freely available to all who receive this vital promise and obey it.

At this point, and not a moment sooner, we become the children of God, those who have the hope described in the Letter to the Ephesians based on the OP.

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  • You might want to read this:- heraldstaronline.com/opinion/local-columns/2017/02/… Sep 23 at 10:37
  • @OldeEnglish Respectfully, I read the article from your link, but the subject concerns "once saved, always saved." I'm not sure I referenced this topic in my response above. Nonetheless, thanks for your comment.
    – Xeno
    Sep 23 at 18:25
  • You 'imply' the topic though...Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21. Sep 24 at 21:43
  • @OldeEnglish Respectfully, just how have I implied anything? I'll use 1 Peter 3:21 again: "Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you" Is the counter-point not equally true: "Corresponding to that, refusal to be baptized condemns you"? I'm not following your logic, but I say this with respect.
    – Xeno
    Sep 24 at 23:20
  • The mere fact that you quote those two verses, would seem to suggest that you are of the belief that "baptism" into Jesus and into his death makes sinning of no consequence anymore. In other words ..."Once saved, always saved". But this has to be a fallacy, as "freewill" and Satan will still have their say and inevitably cause some to stumble. Sep 25 at 3:47
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This sentence diagram from Logos Bible Software answers your question.

ὁ ... ἀναγεννήσας - aorist active participle nominative masculine singular - "who caused to be born again"

ἡμᾶς - 1st person accusative plural pronoun - "us" - is the only accusative noun/pronoun in the proximity that isn't in a prepositional phrase.

Thus, we are the object of ἀναγεννήσας and the recipients of new birth.

enter image description here

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  • @ Perry Webb Very clear. Great resource.
    – C. Stroud
    Sep 18 at 19:57
  • Are we supposed to be impressed by your unabashed and brazenly unapologetic use of this chart, or just confused, because it's all just "Greek" to me?? Might as well have been in Chinese. I recognize and therefore know the meanings of some words, but come on, really!! Surely you could have "fleshed out" your initial grammatical facts, if that was what you were trying to do, with a better way of understanding...... It seems like you meant to go somewhere with this and then didn't. Very perplexing!! Sep 23 at 12:05
  • Sorry, I only have a book with the Greek sentence diagrams.
    – Perry Webb
    Sep 23 at 12:47
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What does "new birth" refer to in 1 Peter 1:3?

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Contrary to popular opinion, we are not 'reborn/born from above' until Jesus' return. This passage points to the hope we have been given for something that is yet future. Why would we hope for something we already have?

Our place in the new age is reserved for the believer, the faithful disciple who is protected by God for the salvation Jesus brings for the saints.

Salvation is a process began with God's provision of His spirit and continues with a faithful, obedient life until the conclusion by a change into a new spirit life of immortality.

In this age we have a deposit of holy spirit only.

Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, 22 who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge. 1Cor 1:21-2

for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable (flesh) but imperishable, (spirit) that is, through the living and enduring word of God. 1 Pet 1:23

If anyone is now imperishable, then they have been 'born again'. Again, what we see is the beginning of a process that God has initiated in us and will be completed when He sends Jesus back to earth to grant that final event of imperishibility.

This is when the Kingdom will finally begin. A kingdom isn't a kingdom until it has unopposed reign over its subjects. Satan is still the king of the world, he is a 'dead archangel walking', but his reign is continuing over this age until it doesn't. He will finally be deposed and retrained from interfering when Jesus (who already defeated him) returns.

Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 1 Cor 15:50

The Kingdom will not be made of fleshly people - the saints will have been changed to full spirit life and made immortal. The subjects will still be flesh - the remnant of the end of this age who survive the tribulation and are not God's people - yet.

You have made them into a kingdom and priests to our God, and they will reign upon the earth. Rev 5:10

In this pattern of events we find this next passage finally coming true.

No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 1 John 3:9

The saints, filled with God, will no longer sin or have any desire to sin.

because His seed abides in him

Finally, the perfect creation of mankind made in His image is complete. We will be like God only and not like evil at all. And it will all have been possible because Jesus was 'slain from the foundation of the world' Rev 13:8

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    @ steveowen You say: "A kingdom isn't a kingdom until it has unopposed reign over its subjects". I'm not sure where you get this from. "the prince of the power of the air" Eph 2:2 may appear powerful but that does not effect Christ's kingdom. "My kingdom is not of this world" John 18:36
    – C. Stroud
    Sep 19 at 9:00
  • This world still has only one king - the devil. God has called some few to be His and placed us into the kingdom of His son. But it is still not of this world - as you correctly state. But it soon will be the only kingdom - of this world - when the devil is banished.
    – steveowen
    Sep 19 at 9:03
  • I previously breezed over this answer but on reading it more deliberately, I see it has definite merit. Upvoted + 1. Sep 23 at 11:09

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