A. Peter (1 Pe 1:1,8;5:1)
1. Peter’s given name was “Simon.”
2. Jesus gave him the name Cephas (Jn. 1:42)
· Cephas means stone or rock.
· The Greek translation of the Aramaic word Cephas is petros which also means stone or rock.
· Peter is the only man in the New Testament called by that name.
3. Peter occupied a favored place among the apostles.
4. He occupied a central place in the book of Acts (first 12 chapters).
5. Married and lived in Capernaum
6. In the fishing business with his brother Andrew
7. The Lord appeared to him in a special appearance after the resurrection (Lk. 24:34; 1 Cor. 15:5).
8. God used Peter to win 3,000 souls to Christ on the Day of Pentecost
9. Peter had an important part in the first Church Council in acts 15 (AD 50; Peter is not mentioned after this in Acts)
10. Paul refers to Peter in Galatians 1:18; 2:11; 1 Corinthians 9:5)
B. Peter was literate but unschooled.
1. Called from his trade as a fisherman
2. Called to be a fisher of men (Lk 5:1-11)
C. Peter’s public ministry spanned 30 years and stretched from Jerusalem to Rome.
D. Peter employed Silas as his secretary to write the letter (I Pet. 5:12).
· Silas was a Roman citizen (Ac. 16:36-37)
E. Parallels between 1 Peter and his sermons in Acts:
· Compare 1 Pet. 1:20 with Acts 2:23;
Compare 1 Pet. 4:5 with Acts 10:42
· Compare 1 Peter 2:7-8 and Acts 4:10-11
· In each passage, he quotes Psalm 118:22 to refer to Christ’s rejection by Jewish leaders.
F. First Peter is quoted extensively in early church history.
· This epistle was quoted extensively in the early church in such writings as the letters of Polycarp, Clement, and Irenaeus.
· Tradition: Martyred by Nero (Tertullian, Cyprian, Lactantius; Clement of Rome, Dionysius of Corinth tell us he suffered martyrdom)
· Origin said he was crucified with his head downwards.
· He died AD 64-68
A. AD 62-63
B. 1 Peter was written shortly before Nero’s persecution.
· Peter warns that persecution is imminent.
A. Peter wrote to the five Roman provinces of Asia Minor in what is northern Turkey today.
B. Many Jews lived in these provinces therefore many quotations from the Old Testament are found in I Peter (1:1).
· “Diaspora” (Jews who lived outside Palestine and yet looked on it as their native land)
C. Written to Christians everywhere (1 Pe 1:18-19,23; 2:10,24)
D. Peter was especially the apostle to the Jews (Gal. 2:7-8)
E. The epistle was written predominantly to Hebrew Christians but also includes Gentile Christians.
A. The purpose of 1 Peter is to enable Christians to come to grips with the grace of God in suffering (1 Pe 5:12).
B. A secondary purpose is to encourage Christians to face persecution and suffering (1 Pe 1:6-7; 5:8-9).
C. Peter encourages believers to lift their eyes above present difficulties to God’s grace.
· he shows them the hope ahead (1 Pe 1:3)
· he points to the example of Christ (1 Pe 2:21-23)
I. Salutation (1:1-2)
A. Author, 1 Pe 1:1a
B. Addressees, 1 Pe 1:1b-2
II. Perspective in Suffering (1 Pe 1:3-2:10)
A. The perspective of hope, 1 Pe 1:3-12
B. The perspective of the Word, 1 Pe 1:13-25
C. The perspective of a new position, 1 Pe 2:1-10
III. The Pressures of Suffering, (1 Pe 2:11-4:11)
A. Pressure of evil desires, 1 Pe 2:11-12
B. Pressure of the state, 1 Pe 2:13-17
C. Pressure of employment, 1 Pe 2:18-25
D. Pressure of the home, 1 Pe 3:1-7
E. Pressure of social life in the church, 1 Pe 3:8-12
F. Pressure of the world, 1 Pe 3:13-4:6
G. Pressure of service, 1 Pe 4:7-11
IV. Prescriptions of how to suffer for Christ (1 Pe 4:12-5:11)
A. Prescriptions for endurance in suffering, 1 Pe 4:12-19
B. Prescriptions for right attitudes in suffering, 1 Pe 5:1-11
1. Attitudes of elders, 1 Pe 5:1-4
2. Attitudes of all believers, 1 Pe 5:5-10
VI. Conclusion (1 Pe 5:12-14)
VI. CANONICITY (proof of why this book belongs in the Bible)
A. External evidence
1. Irenaeus quotes it (AD 175)
2. Tertullian quotes it (AD 190)
3. Clement (Alexandria) quotes it (AD 195)
4. Clement of Rome quotes it (AD 96)
5. Polycarp quotes it (AD 116)
6. Epistle of Diognetus quotes it (AD 117)
7. Testament of the 12 Patriarchs uses it (AD 120)
8. Papias uses it (AD 120)
9. Hermas uses it (AD 130)
10. Unanimously cited by evangelical scholars as authentic until recently
Challenges to Peter’s authorship:
-excellent Greek did not come from a fisherman
-quotes from the Septuagint (LXX)
-apparent Pauline theology
Arguments for Peter’s authorship:
-Greek was the common trade language in Israel (Silvanus was his amanuensis)
-the early church affirmed Peter wrote the epistle
–no challenge from the early church against Peter’s writing
-references to Christ and His work
-the Septuagint was the common Bible in Peter’s day
B. Internal Evidence
1. 1:1 – calls himself “Peter“
2. Acquainted with the life of Christ and his teachings
· 1 Peter 5:5 -an allusion to Christ girding himself with a towel (John 13:35)
· 1 Peter 5:2 – feed the flock (John 21:15-17)
· 1 Peter 4:14; 5:7,8 – sayings of the Lord
· 1 Peter 5:1 – “witness of the sufferings of Christ” (1 Pe 3:18; 4:1)
· Lingers over the person of Christ in his sufferings (1 Pe 2:19-24)
A. Asia Minor was highly heterogeneous
B. Asia Minor was prosperous
C. Religion was eclectic.
D. Jews had a privileged position in Asia Minor
VIII. PLACE OF WRITING
A. Babylon, 1 Pe 5:13 (Code name: Rome, not the city on the Euphrates)
B. Babylon was the center of the Eastern Dispersion
A. The ominous shadow of persecution was the occasion for the letter.
B. Christian need to prepared for the upcoming Nero persecution in Rome, some Christians already lived in peril of threat for their lives.
C. Presently, the persecution was primarily unofficial and social rather than legal – sporadic (1 Pe 3:17;4:12-19).
D. Nature of the persecutions were slanderous attacks (1 Pe 4:14,15; 4:4,5; 2:13-17,11,12,16; 5:2-3)
E. Suffering mentioned 16 times (1 Pe 1:6; 2:19; 3:14,17; 4:12-16; 5:9)
A. Comfort for suffering Christians
B. Hope in time of trial
C. Compare 1 Pe1:6,7; 2:12,19,20,21; 3:13,14,16,17; 4:1,4,12,14-16,19; 5:9-10
XI. KEY VERSES
A. 1 Peter 1:3-7
B. 1 Peter 4:12, 13
A. “Hope” (5 times)
B. “Glory” (16 times – with cognates)
C. “Precious” (5 times)
D. “Grace” (10 times)
E. “Suffering” (16 times; implied 6 times)
A. Parallelisms with other epistles (especially with Romans and Ephesians)
B. Emphasis on the suffering of Christ (1 Pe 1:11,19-21; 2:21-24; 3:18; 4:13; 5:1)
C. Many Old Testament allusions and quotes
D. Excellent Greek
E. Primarily practical rather than a doctrinal epistle
XIV. MISCELLANEOUS MATTER
A. Peter’s name occurs 210 times in the New Testament; Paul’s name occurs 162 times; all other apostles occur 142 times.
B. 1 Peter was copied by Silvanus/Silas (1 Pe 5:12).
C, Mark was with Peter.
C. 5 chapters; 105 verses