1 Peter 3:21

Which also (o kai). Water just mentioned. After a true likeness (antitupon). Water in baptism now as an anti-type of Noah's deliverance by water. For baptisma see on "Mt 3:7". For antitupon see on "Heb 9:24" (only other N.T. example) where the word is used of the earthly tabernacle corresponding (antitupa) to the heavenly, which is the pattern (tupon Hebrews 8:5 ) for the earthly. So here baptism is presented as corresponding to (prefigured by) the deliverance of Noah's family by water. It is only a vague parallel, but not over-fanciful. Doth now save you (uma nun swzei). Simplex verb (swzw, not the compound diaswzw). The saving by baptism which Peter here mentions is only symbolic (a metaphor or picture as in Romans 6:2-6 ), not actual as Peter hastens to explain. Not the putting away of the filth of the flesh (ou sarko apoqesi rupou). Apoqesi is old word from apotiqhmi ( Romans 2:1 ), in N.T. only here and 2 Peter 1:14 . Rupou (genitive of rupo) is old word (cf. ruparo, filthy, in James 2:2 ; Revelation 22:11 ), here only in N.T. (cf. Isaiah 3:3 ; Isaiah 4:4 ). Baptism, Peter explains, does not wash away the filth of the flesh either in a literal sense, as a bath for the body, or in a metaphorical sense of the filth of the soul. No ceremonies really affect the conscience ( Hebrews 9:13 ). Peter here expressly denies baptismal remission of sin. But the interrogation of a good conscience toward God (alla suneidhsew agaqh eperwthma ei qeon). Old word from eperwtaw (to question as in Mark 9:32 ; Matthew 16:1 ), here only in N.T. In ancient Greek it never means answer, but only inquiry. The inscriptions of the age of the Antonines use it of the Senate's approval after inquiry. That may be the sense here, that is, avowal of consecration to God after inquiry, having repented and turned to God and now making this public proclamation of that fact by means of baptism (the symbol of the previous inward change of heart). Thus taken, it matters little whether ei qeon (toward God) be taken with eperwthma or suneidhsew. Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ (di anastasew Ihsou Cristou). For baptism is a symbolic picture of the resurrection of Christ as well as of our own spiritual renewal ( Romans 6:2-6 ). See 1 Peter 1:3 for regeneration made possible by the resurrection of Jesus.