1st Peter - Fellowship of Fire - 2009
Book of First Peter
In the Fellowship of the Fire
(cf., Isa 43:2; Dan 3:25; 1Pe 4:12).
(see William Barclay’s introduction on 1 Peter)
- First and Second Peter are grouped in what are called the General Epistles, written to the church at large. The theme of First Peter is the refining and growth potential in our sufferings, 1Pe 1:3, 1Pe 1:6; 1Pe 2:2. This epistle was written to believers scattered by persecution throughout Asia Minor (1Pe 1:1). The date was circa 64-65 A.D., the beginning of Nero’s persecutions.
- First Peter is the best known and loved of these epistles, called by E.J. Goodspeed, “One of the most moving pieces of persecution literature.” This epistle is written to suffering believers, and is styled by Isaac Walton as, “affectionate, loving, lowly, and humble."
- This epistle conveys an intense expectation of the Lord’s return, as seen in 1Pe 1:5,1Pe 1:7,1Pe 1:13; 1Pe 2:12; 1Pe 4:13,17; 1Pe 5:1-4.
- It has been shown by scholars E.G. Selwyn and C.H. Dodd that this epistle conforms to the recorded sermons of Peter in the book of Acts in five main respects or topics.
- The messianic age has dawned: Act 2:14-16; Act 3:12-26 w/ 1Pe 3:10-12; 1Pe 4:7.
- This is through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus: Act 2:20-31; Act 3:13-14 w/ 1Pe 1:20-21.
- By resurrection/ ascension Christ is exalted at God’s right hand: Act 2:22-26; Act 3:13 w/ 1Pe 1:21; 1Pe 2:7, 1Pe 2:24.
- These events will be consummated in Christ’s return in glory: Act 3:19-23 w/ 1Pe 1:5, 1Pe 1:7, 1Pe 1:13; 1Pe 4:5,1Pe 4:13,1Pe 4:17.
- These things provide grounds for repentance and faith: Act 2:38-39; Act 3:19; Act 5:31 w/ 1Pe 1:13-25; 1Pe 2:1-3.
- Peter is quoted or referenced by Irenaeus, Clement, and Polycarp as evidence of its early acceptance and authenticity.
- The epistle is noted for its excellent Greek and vocabulary, due no doubt to the scribe Silvanus (1Pe 5:12), the Silas of Act 15:22, Act 15:27, Act 15:32, Act 15:40; Act 16:19; Act 17:4; and companion of Paul, cf., 2Co 1:19; 1Th 1:1; 2Th 1:1.
- The recipients were undergoing persecution, which began with Saul of Tarsus (Act 8:1-4) and gained steam under Rome; Christians being accused of cannibalism (the Lord’s table), incest (couples called brother and sister), treason (refusal to say “Caesar is Lord”), and sex orgies (the love feasts).
- Parallels with Ephesians show a close familiarity with the writings of Paul, and see also 2Pe 3:15-16. Compare 1Pe 1:3 with Eph 1:3; 1Pe 1:13 with Eph 6:14; 1Pe 1:20 with Eph 1:4; 1Pe 3:22 with Eph 1:20-21.