Friday 12 December 2008

Philip Greenslade on Four Things Worth Knowing about 1 Peter

Philip Greenslade, 1 Peter: Living Hope, Cover to Cover Bible Discovery (Farnham: CWR, 2004).

(1) 1 Peter was written by one of the original followers of Jesus (9).

(2) 1 Peter was written from the capital city of the Roman empire – probably sent around AD 65 from Rome (the ‘Babylon’ of 5:13), to Christians living in ‘the backwoods of the empire’ (10).

(3) 1 Peter highlights the centrality of Jesus and his achievement – with ‘each section of practical instruction’ being ‘linked to a powerful dogmatic statement about the Person and work of Jesus’ (10-11).

(4) 1 Peter was written to Christians under pressure to conform to society – predominantly Gentiles (1:14; 2:10-11; 4:3), they are undergoing trials (1:6; 2:12, 19; 3:16; 4:12-19) which, however, fall short of full-scale persecution. Rather, ‘the pressure is that of resisting conformity to a godless culture, the pain of social ostracism, the frustrating awkwardness of being different’ (11) – which should not be underestimated, and which also raises the issue of ‘the Christian’s relation to the surrounding culture’ (12).

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