not on the principle of works which [have been done] in righteousness which *we* had done, but according to his own mercy he saved us through [the] washing of regeneration and renewal of [the] Holy Spirit,
'Washing' is right here. It is a bath, or the water for it. 'Regeneration' is not the same word as 'being born again,' nor is it used so in scripture. The force of the word is a change of position; a new state of things. The word is only used here, and in Matt. 19.28 for the Saviour's coming kingdom.