157 Preaching to the Spirits in Prison. 1Peter 3:19

157 Preaching to the Spirits in Prison. 1Peter 3:19

In 1 Peter 3:19 we have an important difference between some translations like the King James Version versus other translations like the English Standard Version.

“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah,” (KJV)

“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, 20 because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.”(ESV)

The Greek word “kyrusso̅” which is used here, in essence means to proclaim, hence being used for preaching. Therefore both preaching or proclaiming to the spirits in prison are grammatically correct.
But there is a huge difference in the application and outcome of the two versions.
“Preaching” in essence is bringing the gospel of salvation to lost people in order to bring them to accepting the salvation through the Blood of the Lamb. Now if Jesus preached to the spirits in prison, the purpose would be to bring them to accept his victory and salvation and be saved. That means that they were given a second chance. On grounds of this meaning, there are indeed denominations that do preach and pray for their lost relatives after death! That is not according to the Scriptures.

On the other hand, if Jesus “proclaimed” his victory to the spirits in prison, it had the purpose of letting them take note of the restoration of the relationship between God and man. Especially to those who caused God to destroy all humans on earth except for Noah and his family, who had been the only righteous at the time of the great flood. That does make sense.
Therefore “kyrusso̅” should be translated as proclaimed and not as preached.
Ti is only when we thoroughly study the implications of the translation of a word that a difference in the meaning and application can be discovered.

God bless,

About Herman of bibledifferences.net

The reasons for the differences between older Bibles like the King James Version and newer Bibles like the New International Version have fascinated me ever since my studies in Theology at the University of Pretoria in the seventies. I have great respect for scribes through the ages as well as Bible translators, so there must be good reasons for the differences. With more than 5600 Greek manuscripts and more than 19000 manuscripts of ancient translations to our disposal, the original autographs of the New Testament can be established without doubt. I investigate the reasons behind the differences and publish the facts in a post on my blogs www.bibledifferences.net (Afrikaans: www.bybelverskille.wordpress.com) to enable my readers to judge for themselves. Personally I love to make an informed decision based of facts. That is why I endeavor to provide that same privilege to the readers of my blogs. Since 1973 I am married to my dear wife and greatest friend, Leah Page, founder director of Act-Up Support (www.actup.co.za) a prayer ministry for families struggling with drug-, occult- and other dependencies. We are blessed with two daughters and two sons, four grand sons and two grand daughters. God is alive and omnipotent! Glory to His Name! Herman Grobler.
This entry was posted in Context, Intrinsic Criteria. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to 157 Preaching to the Spirits in Prison. 1Peter 3:19

  1. Lucas says:


    Totally wrong! They were <> that is, they received the temporal penalty of sin in the flesh and then died, but, having managed to repent when they saw the waters of the flood, and seeing that Noah spoke the truth, they managed to die contrite, in a state of repentance for their sins, enough for God not to condemn them but not to relieve the penalty that was already declared. And then they waited in Hades for the messiah promised to them. So that, despite being dead in the flesh as a result of their sins, they would live according to God in spirit thanks to Jesus’ preaching. Even today, there are people who repent in the last minutes of their lives and are then saved.

    • Lucas,
      Thank you for stopping by and commenting.
      But my friend, you are totally wrong!
      Give me any evidence from the Bible that any of the people in Noah’s time repented.
      I do agree with you that people who do repent, event in the last moment of their lives, will be saved, like the man next to Jesus on the cross. Do you think God told of the rich man and Lazarus just for jokes?
      But in this instance the wrong translation of the Greek word “ekyruxen” in the King James Version should not transform my God into an inconsistent demiurge.
      God bless.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s