The word nekros (Noun and Adjective) has different meanings, according as it is used in different connections:--
1. With the Article (hoi nekroi) it denotes dead bodies, or corpses or carcasses in the grave, apart from the personality they once had. This is the O.T. idiom also. See Sept. Gen. 23:3, 4, 6, 8. Deut. 18:11; 28:26. Jer. 7:33; 9:22; 19:7. Ezek. 37:9. See notes on Matt. 22:31. 1Cor. 15:35.
2. Without the Article (nekroi) it denotes the persons who were once alive but who are now alive no longer : i.e. dead persons as distinct from dead bodies. Cp. Deut. 14:1. Judg. 4:22. Lam. 3:6. And see notes on Matt. 22:32. Acts 26:23. 1Cor. 15:12, 13, 15, 16. Heb. 13:20, &c.
3. With a Preposition, but without the Article, which may be latent in the Preposition (ek nekron), it denotes out from among dead people. See notes on Mark 9:9, 10. Luke 16:30, 31. Acts 10:41. Rom. 6:13; 10:7, 9; 11:15. 1Cor. 15:12-20. Heb. 11:19.
4. With a Preposition, and with the Article; e.g. 'ek ton nekron, it denotes emphatically out from among the dead bodies, or corpses. Cp. Eph. 5:14. Col. 1:18; 2:12.
5. The bearing of this on 1Pet. 4:6 will be better seen if we note that we have nekroi (See No. 2 above), meaning people who were then dead, but who had had the Gospel preached. (Ap. 121. 4) to them while they were alive; and this is confirmed by the Gr. Particle, men ( = although) in the next clause, which is ignored both by the A.V. and R.V. The verse reads thus : "For to this end to those who are (now) dead was the Gospel preached, that though they might be judged in the flesh according to [the will of] men (*), yet they might live [again, in resurrection], according to [the will of] God, as regards [the] spirit"; i.e. in spiritual bodies, spoken of in 1Cor. 15:44, 45.
To this end -- to give those to whom the apostle wrote this hope --
the Gospel was preached to them, as described in 1Pet. 1:12, 25.
The hope of glory was thus set over against their sufferings (1Pet. 1:11;