Counsel given to battered women in the church has too often relied on 1 Pet 3:1–6 to encourage women to stay with an abusive husband for the husband's sake. This article argues that, while this teaching may be the message of 1 Pet 3:1–6, its use by the church is an abuse of biblical authority. Historical, literary, and canonical contexts suggest that the surface message of the text — submission to even an abusive husband—is not its complete message.

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