1 Peter: Introduction to 1 Peter

Basic Orientation to the Letter

Who wrote the letter?

The letter presents itself as from the apostle Peter (1.1 cf 2 Pet 3.1) and this seems to have been widely accepted in the early church and is supported by some scholars. It has, however, been disputed by many modern scholars who argue (on various grounds eg quality of Greek, persecutions likely after his death, theology too Pauline, lack of interest in earthly Jesus) that it comes not from Peter but from a “Petrine circle” some time after the martyrdom of the apostle (c. 64-68 AD). A complicating factor is the role of Silvanus (5.12) whom some see as writing on Peter’s behalf and others as simply delivering the letter.

When was it written?

The letter is in the context of persecution within the Empire and its recipients are located in 1.1 as scattered through a number of regions in Asia Minor/modern Turkey (there are different views as to whether they are Jewish Christians or Gentile Christians or both). The closing reference to Babylon (5.13) is understood to refer to Rome as where the letter originates. Some see this as supporting Petrine authorship as there is evidence Peter was in Rome at the end of his life. The date is clearly related to conclusions about authorship – if Peter is the author then is likely written 60-63 AD. Others argue it reflects a later period of persecution (eg under Domitian) and was probably written in the 70s or 80s.

Introducing the Epistle of 1 Peter

Biblical Theologians

Mark Alan Powell has resources based on his Introducing the New Testament (Baker 2009)

His page on 1 Peter has various resources for students and teachers including the following PDFs:

Authorship of 1 Peter

Martyrdom of Peter

Map of Asia Minor and Provinces Addressed in 1 Peter (JPEG)

Parallels Between 1 Peter and Other New Testament Writings

Honour and Shame in Peter

Silvanus and Mark

Resident Aliens: A Social Class?

Images for Church in 1 Peter

The Weaker Vessel: Women and Wives in 1 Peter

Descent into Hell

Postscript to 1 Peter: Persecution in Bithynia-Pontus

1 Peter in the Revised Common Lectionary

Bibliography

Karen Jobe‘s Introduction (incomplete) from her 2005 Baker Exegetical Commentary on 1 Peter.

Daniel Keating‘s Introduction and other materials on 1 Peter from his 2011 Baker Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture on 1 & 2 Peter and Jude

Greg Forbes‘ Introduction and comments on 1 Peter 1.1-5 from his 2014 B&H Exegetical Guide to the New Testament

Download (PDF, 1.23MB)

Dr Thomas L. Constable‘s expository notes on 1 Peter (2015 edition, 85pp) with references to various (mainly conservative) commentaries are available in HTML and as downloadable PDF.

Dr Stephen Moyise‘s 2001 short introduction (with reference to the Greek but much not requiring knowledge of Greek) is available here.

Biblical Training Website

This website has a number of helpful introductory resources including

Dr Robert Stein‘s New Testament Survey

1 Peter Introduction (11 mins) – transcript

 

1 Peter Content (24 mins) – transcript

 

Dr Thomas Schreiner‘s New Testament Survey

1 Peter (42 mins)

 

1 Peter (part 2) (45 mins)

 

Dr Craig Blomberg‘s Introduction to the New Testament

1 Peter (36 mins)

 

1 Peter (part 2) (38 mins)

 

Dr Bill Mounce‘s 52 Major Stories of the Bible

1 Peter (22 mins) – transcript

 

Dr Bill Mounce‘s New Testament, Its Structure, Content and Theology

1 & 2 Peter, Jude (1 hr 5 mins) – transcript

 

Luther Seminary’s Enter the Bible Website

This has resources on 1 Peter by Professor Mark Kolden including

Summary

Outline

Background

Introductory Issues

Theological Themes

On the right hand side of the page are various further resources including short commentaries on the opening chapters and 5 short videos on themes of the letter.

The Text This Week Website

This has resources relating to

1 Peter as a whole

Specific passages from 1 Peter

 

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