The Meaning of 1 Peter 5:3 Explained

1 Peter 5:3

KJV: Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

YLT: neither as exercising lordship over the heritages, but patterns becoming of the flock,

Darby: not as lording it over your possessions, but being models for the flock.

ASV: neither as lording it over the charge allotted to you, but making yourselves ensamples to the flock.

What does 1 Peter 5:3 Mean?

Verse Meaning

Third, an elder should lead by giving an example of godly living that others can follow rather than by driving people forward with authoritarian commands (cf. 1 Timothy 4:12; 2 Thessalonians 3:9). He should be able to expect them to do as he does as well as to do what he says. The English word "clergy" derives from the Greek verb kleroo, meaning "to make a possession," here translated "allotted to your charge" (NASB).
"The shepherds are not to be little popes or petty tyrants. Matthew 20:25; 2 Corinthians 1:24.
"Peter mentions three common sins of preachers: laziness, greed, popishness, all of which are especially objectionable in days of persecution." [1]
"I made it a practice never to ask my congregation to give to any cause to which I didn"t also give. I do not think we have a right to make a demand of other folk that we are not doing ourselves." [2]
"If I have any counsel for God"s shepherds today, it is this: cultivate a growing relationship with Jesus Christ, and share what He gives you with your people. That way, you will grow, and they will grow with you." [3]
"The effective pastor . . . must be "among" his people so that he can get to know them, their needs and problems; and he needs to be "over" his people so he can lead them and help them solve their problems. There must be no conflict between pastoring and preaching, because they are both ministries of a faithful Shepherd. The preacher needs to be a pastor so he can apply the Word to the needs of the people. The pastor needs to be a preacher so that he can have authority when he shares in their daily needs and problems. The pastor is not a religious lecturer who weekly passes along information about the Bible. He is a shepherd who knows his people and seeks to help them through the Word." [4]
Since one of the husband"s primary roles is that of shepherd of his family, it is worthwhile to read 1 Peter 5:2-3 from this perspective. A husband should shepherd his family flock by caring for their needs. He should consider this a privilege (voluntarily), he should make his family a priority (eagerness), and he should be a model of integrity (example). Certainly he should tell the members of his family that he loves them. [5]
It might be profitable to read Psalm 23and put your name in the place of the shepherd if you are an elder and or a husband.
"The flock" over which an elder ruled was probably a house-church. Each church in a town usually consisted of several house-churches at this time. [6]

Context Summary

1 Peter 5:1-7 - Serving One Another
According to these words Peter, though he stood at a distance, must have been an eyewitness of the Savior's death. He is careful to speak of the glory in the same breath as the sufferings, because if we endure the one, we shall share the other. Positions of influence in the Church in those days involved grave risks, but the Apostle believed that love to Christ would induce men to take the place of under-shepherds to the flock of God, and that they would use their power with gentleness, humility and holy consistency.
The younger men may include the deacons, but the all, 1 Peter 5:5, refers to the entire membership. They were to gird on humility, as a slave his towel, that they might serve one another, John 13:4. Those who humble themselves in the profoundest loyalty toward God stand as rocks before their fellows. Remember Luther's-"Here I stand, I can do no other." You cannot say, "Nobody cares what becomes of me." God cares, and with an infinite tenderness. He cared before you cast your care on Him! God is linked to your little life by His tender regard and care for you. [source]

Chapter Summary: 1 Peter 5

1  He exhorts the elders to feed their flocks;
5  the younger to obey;
8  and all to be sober, watchful, and constant in the faith;
9  and to resist the cruel adversary the devil

Greek Commentary for 1 Peter 5:3

Lording it over [κατακυριευοντες]
Present active participle of κατακυριευω — katakurieuō late compound (κατα κυριος — kataτων κληρων — kurios) as in Matthew 20:25. [source]
The charge allotted to you [κληρικος]
“The charges,” “the lots” or “the allotments.” See it in Acts 1:17, Acts 1:25 in this sense. The old word meant a die (Matthew 27:25), a portion (Colossians 1:12; 1 Peter 1:4), here the charges assigned (cf. Acts 17:4). From the adjective τυποι γινομενοι — klērikos come our cleric, clerical, clerk. Wycliff translated it here “neither as having lordship in the clergie.”Making yourselves ensamples (γινομαι — tupoi ginomenoi). Present active participle of τυποι — ginomai and predicate nominative υπογραμμος — tupoi (types, models) for which phrase see 1 Thessalonians 1:7. Continually becoming. See 1 Peter 2:21 for του ποιμνιου — hupogrammos (writing-copy).To the flock Objective genitive. [source]
Making yourselves ensamples [γινομαι]
Present active participle of τυποι — ginomai and predicate nominative υπογραμμος — tupoi (types, models) for which phrase see 1 Thessalonians 1:7. Continually becoming. See 1 Peter 2:21 for του ποιμνιου — hupogrammos (writing-copy). [source]
To the flock [tou poimniou)]
Objective genitive. [source]
As lording it [κατακυριεύοντες]
See Matthew 20:25; Acts 19:16. Other words are used for the exercise of legitimate authority in the church: προΐ́σταμαι , to be over (1 Thessalonians 5:12; 1 Timothy 5:17); ποιμαίνω , as 1 Peter 5:2, tend. But this carries the idea of high-handed rule. [source]
Heritage [κλήρων]
Plural. Κλἤρος means a lot. See on inheritance, 1 Peter 1:4. Froth the kindred adjective κληρικός comes the English cleric, contracted into clerk, which in ecclesiastical writings originally signified a minister; either as being chosen by lot like Matthias, or as being the lot or inheritance of God. Hence Wycliffe translates the passage, “neither as having lordship in the clergie. ” As in the Middle Ages the clergy were almost the only persons who could write, the word clerk came to have one of its common modern meanings. The word here, though its interpretation is somewhat disputed, seems to refer to the several congregations - thelots or charges assigned to the elders. Compare προσεκληρώθησαν , were added as disciplesA. V.,consorted with (Acts 17:4). Rev. renders charge. Why not charges? [source]
Examples [τύποι]
Peter uses three different terms for a pattern or model: ὑπογραμμός , a writing-copy (1 Peter 2:21); ὑπόδειγμα , for which classical writers prefer παράδειγμα , an architect's plan or a sculptor's or painter's model (2 Peter 2:6); τύπος (see on 1 Peter 3:21), of which our word type is nearly a transcript. The word primarily means the impression left by a stroke ( τύπτω , to strike)Thus John 20:25, “the print of the nails.” Used of the stamp on coin; the impression of any engraving or hewn work of art; a monument or statue; the figures of the tabernacle of Moloch and of the star Remphan (Acts 7:43). Generally, an image or form, always with a statement of the object; and hence the kindred meaning of a pattern or model. See Acts 23:25; Romans 5:14; Philemon 3:17; Hebrews 8:5. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for 1 Peter 5:3

John 20:25 Print [τύπον]
See on 1 Peter 5:3. [source]
John 13:15 Example [ὑπόδειγμα]
On the three words used in the New Testament for example, ὑπόδειγμα , τύπος , and δεῖγμα , see on 2 Peter 2:6; see on 1 Peter 5:3; see on Judges 1:7. [source]
John 13:15 An example [υποδειγμα]
For the old παραδειγμα — paradeigma (not in N.T.), from υποδεικνυμι — hupodeiknumi to show under the eyes as an illustration or warning (Matthew 3:7), common in the papyri for illustration, example, warning, here only in John, but in James 5:10; 2 Peter 2:6; Hebrews 4:11; Hebrews 8:5; Hebrews 9:26. Peter uses τυποι — tupoi (1 Peter 5:3) with this incident in mind. In Judges 1:7 δειγμα — deigma (without υπο — hupo) occurs in the sense of example. That ye also should do Purpose clause with ινα — hina and the present active subjunctive of ποιεω — poieō (keep on doing). Doing what? Does Jesus here institute a new church ordinance as some good people today hold? If so, it is curious that there is no record of it in the N.T. Jesus has given the disciples an object lesson in humility to rebuke their jealousy, pride, and strife exhibited at this very meal. The lesson of the “example” applies to all the relations of believers with each other. It is one that is continually needed. [source]
Acts 1:17 Received his portion [ελαχεν τον κληρον]
Second aorist active indicative of λαγχανω — lagchanō old verb, to obtain by lot as in Luke 1:9; John 19:24, especially by divine appointment as here and 2 Peter 2:1. Κληρος — Klēros also means lot, an object used in casting lots (Acts 1:26), or what is obtained by lot as here and Acts 8:21, of eternal salvation (Acts 26:18; Colossians 1:12), of persons chosen by divine appointment (1 Peter 5:3). From this latter usage the Latin cleros, clericus, our clergy, one chosen by divine lot. So Peter says that Judas “obtained by lot the lot of this ministry” (διακονιας — diakonias) which he had when he betrayed Jesus. The Master chose him and gave him his opportunity. [source]
Acts 20:28 To all the flock [παντι τωι ποιμνιωι]
Contracted form of ποιμενιον ποιμνη — poimenion ̂ poimnē (John 10:16) already in Luke 12:32 and also in Acts 20:29; 1 Peter 5:2, 1 Peter 5:3. Common in old Greek. Hath made (ετετο — etheto). Did make, second aorist middle indicative of τιτημι — tithēmi did appoint. Paul evidently believed that the Holy Spirit calls and appoints ministers. Bishops The same men termed elders in Acts 20:17 which see. To shepherd (ποιμαινειν — poimainein). Present active infinitive of purpose of ποιμαινω — poimainō old verb to feed or tend the flock (ποιμνη ποιμνιον — poimnēποιμην — poimnion), to act as shepherd (βοσκε — poimēn). These ministers are thus in Paul‘s speech called elders (Acts 20:17), bishops (Acts 20:28), and shepherds (Acts 20:28). Jesus had used this very word to Peter (John 21:16, twice την εκκλησιαν του τεου — boske feed, Acts 21:15, Acts 21:17) and Peter will use it in addressing fellow-elders (1 Peter 5:2) with memories, no doubt of the words of Jesus to him. The “elders” were to watch over as “bishops” and “tend and feed as shepherds” the flock. Jesus is termed “the shepherd and bishop of your souls” in 1 Peter 2:25 and “the great Shepherd of the sheep” in Hebrews 13:20. Jesus called himself “the good Shepherd” in John 10:11. The church of God The correct text, not “the church of the Lord” or “the church of the Lord and God” (Robertson, Introduction to Textual Criticism of the N.T., p. 189). He purchased (περιποιεω — periepoiēsato). First aorist middle of περιποιησιν — peripoieō old verb to reserve, to preserve (for or by oneself, in the middle). In the N.T. only in Luke Luke 17:33; Acts 20:28; 1 Timothy 3:13. The substantive δια του αιματος του ιδιου — peripoiēsin (preservation, possession) occurs in 1 Peter 2:9 (“a peculiar people” = a people for a possession) and in Ephesians 1:14. With his own blood Through the agency of (του τεου — dia) his own blood. Whose blood? If tou theou (Aleph B Vulg.) is correct, as it is, then Jesus is here called “God” who shed his own blood for the flock. It will not do to say that Paul did not call Jesus God, for we have Romans 9:5; Colossians 2:9; Titus 2:13 where he does that very thing, besides Colossians 1:15-20; Philemon 2:5-11. [source]
Romans 6:17 Form of doctrine [τύπον διδαχῆς]
Rev., form of teaching. For τύπον , see on 1 Peter 5:3. The Pauline type of teaching as contrasted with the Judaistic forms of Christianity. Compare my gospel, Romans 2:16; Romans 16:25. Others explain as the ideal or pattern presented by the gospel. Form of teaching, however, seems to point to a special and precisely defined type of christian instruction. [source]
Romans 5:13 Figure [τύπος]
See on 1 Peter 5:3. [source]
1 Corinthians 10:6 Examples [τύποι]
See on 1 Peter 5:3. The word may mean either an example, as 1 Timothy 4:12, or a type of a fact or of a spiritual truth. Hebrews 9:24; Romans 5:14. [source]
1 Corinthians 10:6 Were our examples [τυποι ημων εγενητησαν]
More exactly, examples for us (objective genitive ημων — hēmōn not subjective genitive, of us). The word τυποι — tupoi (our types) comes from τυπτω — tuptō to strike, and meant originally the mark of a blow as the print of the nails (John 20:25), then a figure formed by a blow like images of the gods (Acts 7:43), then an example to be imitated (1 Peter 5:3; 1 Timothy 4:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:7; 2 Thessalonians 3:9), or to be avoided as here, and finally a type in a doctrinal sense (Romans 5:14; Hebrews 9:24). [source]
1 Thessalonians 1:7 An ensample [τύπον]
See on 1 Peter 5:3. [source]
Hebrews 8:5 Pattern [τύπον]
See on 1 Peter 5:3. The meaning is that, in all essential features, the Levitical system of worship was a copy of a heavenly reality. This was pressed into an absurd literalism by the Rabbins, who held that there were in heaven original models of the tabernacle and of all its appurtenances, and that these were shown to Moses in the Mount. The writer draws out of this vulgar conception the thought that the material tabernacle was an emblem of a spiritual, heavenly sanctuary. The Levitical priests, therefore, serve only a copy and shadow. [source]
Hebrews 8:5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things [οἵτινες ὑποδείγματι καί σκιᾷ λατρεύουσιν τῶν ἐπουρανίων]
The connection is, “there are those who offer the gifts according to the law, such as ( οἵτινες ) serve,” etc. For λατρεύουσιν servesee on 2 Timothy 1:3. Omit unto. Rend. serve the copy and shadow, etc., or, as Rev., that which is a copy and shadow. For ὑπόδειγμα copysee on 1 Peter 5:3; see on 2 Peter 2:6. Comp. Hebrews 9:23. Τῶν ἐπουρανίων “of heavenly things.” Τὰ ἐπουράνια in N.T. usually “heavenly places.” See Ephesians 1:3; Ephesians 2:6; Ephesians 3:10; Ephesians 6:12: “heavenly things,” John 3:12; Philemon 2:10; Hebrews 9:23. [source]
James 2:6 Oppress [καταδυναστεύουσιν]
Only here and Acts 10:38. The preposition κατά , against, implies a power exercised for harm. Compare being lords over, 1 Peter 5:3, and exercise dominion, Matthew 20:25, both compounded with this preposition. [source]

What do the individual words in 1 Peter 5:3 mean?

not as exercising lordship over - those in your charge but examples being to the flock
μηδ’ ὡς κατακυριεύοντες τῶν κλήρων ἀλλὰ τύποι γινόμενοι τοῦ ποιμνίου

κατακυριεύοντες  exercising  lordship  over 
Parse: Verb, Present Participle Active, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: κατακυριεύω  
Sense: to bring under one’s power, to subject one’s self, to subdue, master.
τῶν  - 
Parse: Article, Genitive Masculine Plural
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
κλήρων  those  in  your  charge 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Masculine Plural
Root: κλῆρος  
Sense: an object used in casting or drawing lots, which was either a pebble, or a potsherd, or a bit of wood.
τύποι  examples 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: τυπικῶς 
Sense: the mark of a stroke or blow, print.
γινόμενοι  being 
Parse: Verb, Present Participle Middle or Passive, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: γίνομαι  
Sense: to become, i.
τοῦ  to  the 
Parse: Article, Genitive Neuter Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
ποιμνίου  flock 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Neuter Singular
Root: ποίμνιον  
Sense: a flock (esp.