1. Rid yourselves, then, of all spite, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and carping criticism.
2. Like new-born babies all your longing should be for milk -- the unadulterated spiritual milk -- which will help you to grow up to salvation,
3. at any rate if you have tasted that the Lord is good .
4. He is the living stone, rejected by human beings but chosen by God and precious to him; set yourselves close to him
5. so that you, too, may be living stones making a spiritual house as a holy priesthood to offer the spiritual sacrifices made acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
6. As scripture says: Now I am laying a stone in Zion, a chosen, precious cornerstone and no one who relies on this will be brought to disgrace.
7. To you believers it brings honour. But for unbelievers, it is rather a stone which the builders rejected that became a cornerstone,
8. a stumbling stone, a rock to trip people up. They stumble over it because they do not believe in the Word; it was the fate in store for them.
9. But you are a chosen race, a kingdom of priests, a holy nation, a people to be a personal possession to sing the praises of God who called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
10. Once you were a non-people and now you are the People of God; once you were outside his pity; now you have received pity.
11. I urge you, my dear friends, as strangers and nomads, to keep yourselves free from the disordered natural inclinations that attack the soul.
12. Always behave honourably among gentiles so that they can see for themselves what moral lives you lead, and when the day of reckoning comes, give thanks to God for the things which now make them denounce you as criminals.
13. For the sake of the Lord, accept the authority of every human institution: the emperor, as the supreme authority,
14. and the governors as commissioned by him to punish criminals and praise those who do good.
15. It is God's will that by your good deeds you should silence the ignorant talk of fools.
16. You are slaves of no one except God, so behave like free people, and never use your freedom as a cover for wickedness.
17. Have respect for everyone and love for your fellow-believers; fear God and honour the emperor.
18. Slaves, you should obey your masters respectfully, not only those who are kind and reasonable but also those who are difficult to please.
19. You see, there is merit if, in awareness of God, you put up with the pains of undeserved punishment;
20. but what glory is there in putting up with a beating after you have done something wrong? The merit in the sight of God is in putting up with it patiently when you are punished for doing your duty.
21. This, in fact, is what you were called to do, because Christ suffered for you and left an example for you to follow in his steps.
22. He had done nothing wrong, and had spoken no deceit.
23. He was insulted and did not retaliate with insults; when he was suffering he made no threats but put his trust in the upright judge.
24. He was bearing our sins in his own body on the cross, so that we might die to our sins and live for uprightness; through his bruises you have been healed.
25. You had gone astray like sheep but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.