1 Peter 2:14 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Peter 2:14, NIV: or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.

1 Peter 2:14, ESV: or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good.

1 Peter 2:14, KJV: Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.

1 Peter 2:14, NASB: or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.

1 Peter 2:14, NLT: or the officials he has appointed. For the king has sent them to punish those who do wrong and to honor those who do right.

1 Peter 2:14, CSB: or to governors as those sent out by him to punish those who do what is evil and to praise those who do what is good.

What does 1 Peter 2:14 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This verse finishes the sentence begun in verse 13. Peter tells Christians to submit to every human authority, starting with the emperor: the very highest human authority. He continues that we should also submit to those under the highest human authority, namely those who enforce the law. In Peter's time, it was a Roman governor's role to punish those who do wrong—according to the government—and give praise to those who do right. When a governor did this, he was fulfilling his God-given purpose (Romans 13:4).

As Peter has already suggested in previous verses, though, some were falsely accusing Christians of wrongdoing. Still, Peter insists on submission to government authorities. He encourages Christians to make their defense by leading good lives, making right choices, and trusting God to care for them. Believers are not to fight back by rebelling against those in authority, even if wrongfully accused or unfairly treated.

This is hard for some Christians to accept, but it is the clear teaching of Scripture. Jesus taught and demonstrated such submission to human authority Himself, as did Paul (Romans 13:1–7). In the following verses, Peter will show why God wants us to live this way.