Be Holy For I Am Holy: What Does 1 Peter 1:16 Mean?

1 Peter 1:16 reads, “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” King James Version (KJV)

Translation1 Peter 1:16
ESVFor the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”
NASBbecause it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”
NIVfor it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
NLTFor the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”

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Be Holy For I Am Holy: Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

1:13-16 As the traveller, the racer, the warrior, and the labourer, gathered in their long and loose garments, that they might be ready in their business, so let Christians do by their minds and affections.

Be sober, be watchful against all spiritual dangers and enemies, and be temperate in all behaviour. Be sober-minded in opinion, as well as in practice, and humble in your judgment of yourselves.

A strong and perfect trust in the grace of God, is agreeable with best endeavours in our duty. Holiness is the desire and duty of every Christian. It must be in all affairs, in every condition, and towards all people.

We must especially watch and pray against the sins to which we are inclined. The written word of God is the surest rule of a Christian’s life, and by this rule we are commanded to be holy every way. God makes those holy whom he saves.

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1 Peter 1:16 | Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

16. Scripture is the true source of all authority in questions of doctrine and practice.

Be ye … for I am—It is I with whom ye have to do. Ye are mine. Therefore abstain from Gentile pollutions. We are too prone to have respect unto men [Calvin]. As I am the fountain of holiness, being holy in My essence, be ye therefore zealous to be partakers of holiness, that ye may be as I also am [Didymus].

God is essentially holy: the creature is holy in so far as it is sanctified by God. God, in giving the command, is willing to give also the power to obey it, namely, through the sanctifying of the Spirit (1Pe 1:2).

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Daniel Isaiah Joseph

Daniel's seminary degree is in Exegetical Theology. He was a pastor for 10 years. As a professor, he has taught Bible and theology courses at two Christian universities. Please see his About page for details.

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