1 Peter 3:15

New Testament

13 For who is going to harm you if you are devoted to what is good? 14 But in fact, if you happen to suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. But do not be terrified of them or be shaken. 15 But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess. 16 Yet do it with courtesy and respect, keeping a good conscience, so that those who slander your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame when they accuse you. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if God wills it, than for doing evil. 18 Because Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, to bring you to God, by being put to death in the flesh but by being made alive in the spirit. 19 In it he went and preached to the spirits in prison,

Pirkei Avot 2:14


13 Rabbi Shimon said: Be careful with the reading of Shema and the prayer, And when you pray, do not make your prayer something automatic, but a plea for compassion before God, for it is said: “for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in kindness, and renouncing punishment” (Joel 2:13); And be not wicked in your own esteem. 14 Rabbi Elazar said: Be diligent in the study of the Torah; And know how to answer an epicuros, And know before whom you toil, and that your employer is faithful, for He will pay you the reward of your labor. 15 Rabbi Tarfon said: the day is short, and the work is plentiful, and the laborers are indolent, and the reward is great, and the master of the house is insistent. 16 He [Rabbi Tarfon] used to say: It is not your duty to finish the work, but neither are you at liberty to neglect it; If you have studied much Torah, you shall be given much reward. Faithful is your employer to pay you the reward of your labor; And know that the grant of reward unto the righteous is in the age to come.

 Notes and References

"... 'Defense' or 'apologia', 'on behalf of the gospel' (Philippians 1:16. compare 1:7) was viewed from the first as a duty of Christians; they should be 'ready always to offer explanation and defense' (apologia), 1 Peter 3:15, 'to give answer'). Jews were similarly counselled 'Be alert to study the law, and know how to make answer to an unbeliever' (Pirke Avot 2:14, in the name of Elazar ben Arakhin; end of first century CE). The link made in this rabbinic saying between biblical interpretation and apologetic is normally also manifest in the Christian apologists ..."

Horbury, William "Old Testament Interpretation in the Writings of the Church Fathers" in Mulder, M. J. (ed.) Mikra: Text, Translation, Reading & Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible in Ancient Judaism & Early Christianity (p. 740) Hendrickson Publishers, 2004

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