Was the gospel preached to those who were dead – killed by the Flood?

A friend got confused by the Living Bible paraphrasing 1Peter 4:6 like this:

1Peter 4:6 That is why the Good News was preached even to those who were dead—killed by the flood—so that although their bodies were punished with death, they could still live in their spirits as God lives.

Sure, the problem is

1. he read a paraphrase
2. out of context.

Here is a better translation:

1 Peter 4 (NRSV)
4 Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same intention (for whoever has suffered in the flesh has finished with sin), 2 so as to live for the rest of your earthly life no longer by human desires but by the will of God. 3 You have already spent enough time in doing what the Gentiles like to do, living in licentiousness, passions, drunkenness, revels, carousing, and lawless idolatry. 4 They are surprised that you no longer join them in the same excesses of dissipation, and so they blaspheme. 5 But they will have to give an accounting to him who stands ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this is the reason the gospel was proclaimed even to the dead, so that, though they had been judged in the flesh as everyone is judged, they might live in the spirit as God does.

Those who are enslaved to sin are considered dead even though they are alive. The righteous, even if they are already dead, are considered alive.

The good news was preached to those considered dead in sin and trespasses that they may repent and live in the Spirit.

There is absolutely no benefit in reading a paraphrase 😉

I often check a couple of good translations: NASB, RSV, NRSV…


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