I Peter 3: 7 finer or weaker vessel


I Peter 3: 7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.

Weaker is the translation from *asthenēs.

*Dr. Walt Larimore, MD, who taught or worked for Focus on the Family teaches that asthenēs could be understood as weaker in the sense of fine china and not inferior or weak.

Can this be explained by other scholars?



1 Peter 3:7 from the Haydock Commentary:

Husbands, &c. His advice to husbands: 1. To carry themselves towards their wives with knowledge, prudence, and discretion; 2. Not in any imperious manner, but treating their wives with respect and honour, though a wife be the weaker vessel both in body and mind; 3. Considering themselves and their wives to be joint heirs with them of God’s graces and favours, both in this world and the next; 4. That their prayers and duty to God be not hindered, neither by too great a fondness and compliance, nor by disagreements and dissensions. Wi.

  • Focus on the Family is a non-Catholic organization, and their interpretation will vary from the Catholic.


Too much tap dancing and not enough common sense. Women are weaker physically than men. I don’t know why people get twisted up or upset about saying so. And when that letter was written, it was largely agrarian lifestyles. In such a context, physical labor was the main component of providing food and income for yourself and your family. (This is also one reason why Scripture tells us how much that God cares about widows and orphans, because they are the most vulnerable in such a society).

And St. Peter is bluntly telling Christian men that they are not to hold this superior physical strength over their wives, but are to respect them and treat them as equal heirs to Christ’s Kingdom.


I think too that women are weakened and made more vulnerable due to their role of childbearing. Many young women and older are hampered by their monthly cycle. And between the exhaustion and nausea of early pregnancy, the unwieldiness of full term, the nursing mother’s role with a youngster in tow, and even menopause which considerably weakens a woman’s frame, well, it’s just obvious that much of our lives are spent in vulnerability.


NABRE 1 Peter 3:7
Likewise, you husbands should live with your wives in understanding, showing honor to the weaker female sex, since we are joint heirs of the gift of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.*

The note on that line from NABRE:

  • [3:7] Husbands who do not respect their wives will have as little success in prayer as those who, according to Paul, have no love: their prayers will be “a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal” (1 Cor 13:1). Consideration for others is shown as a prerequisite for effective prayer also in Mt 5:23–24; 1 Cor 11:20–22; Jas 4:3. After all, whatever the social position of women in the world and in the family, they are equal recipients of the gift of God’s salvation. Paul is very clear on this point, too (see 1 Cor 11:11–12; Gal 3:28).

Interesting. Personally I just think it means weaker- physically.


Look at it in the sense of Christ and the Church: Who is the weaker vessel, Christ or the Church? Eve was deceived; Adam was not. That is why his sin was so egregious. Christ is masculine; the Church, feminine.


Possible synonyms are: weak, feeble, sickly; weak in mind or power; insignificant



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