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Previous Section  -   Chapters 5:1 - 11

Final Greetings (ch. 5:12 - 14)

In verse 12 we learn that Silas helped Peter write this letter.  Obviously Silas had good writing skills and knew Greek.  Silas was also a good friend of Paul’s and helped Paul write some of his letters.  See 1 Thessalonians 1:1 and 2 Thessalonians 1:1.  You can see Paul's influence in this letter of Peter's, and that is due to Silas.  There are some people who believe that Peter didn't really write this letter, but it was Paul through Silas.  I don't believe that.  That would have made Paul deceptive, and I can't see Paul being deceptive.


Acts 16:37 implies that Silas was arrested illegally.  That being the case, he would have been a Roman citizen, a Hellenistic Jew.  He would have been born and raised somewhere in Asia Minor, modern Turkey , like the Apostle Paul.  Silas is most likely Aramaic name.  His Roman name was Silvanus, who by the way is a Roman god.   


As a side note, 1 Peter was written in a very good Greek style.  On the other hand, 2 Peter was written in a very poor Greek style.  This is most likely due to the fact the Silas penned 1 Peter for Peter, but he did not pen second Peter.  Peter might have written his second letter by himself.  


It has been recently discovered that a writing style that has been called "Asianism" was the writing style of the ordinary person of the day in the area to which Peter wrote.  Many scholars over the years have disregarded second Peter as being canonical because of its writing style, but now we know that the writing style might well have been a common form of regional writing.  Many people have questioned the New Testament because of its writing style, but we've now have learned the same thing.  The Greek writing style which most of the New Testament was written was in ordinary street level Greek, and we just discovered this in the 20th century.  This style of Greek has been named "Koine Greek"; "Koine" in Greek meaning "common".          


Peter’s intent in writing was to show the true grace of God and to encourage his readers to stand steadfast in His grace in the midst of suffering from an anti-Christ culture.  By using the word "stand', Peter is saying that his readers should not fall under the pressure of their present trials.  Standing denotes strength. 


In verse 13 Peter says, "she who is in Babylon ...

sends you greetings."  This question arises. 

"What does Peter mean by Babylon?"  There was

a Babylon in Egypt that was a Roman military post
which is not likely what Peter is speaking of.  Was it the ancient city of Babylon in present day Iraq ?  That is questionable for numerous reasons.  Many early Christians felt that Peter was using the word Babylon symbolically for the city of Rome.  He did not want to make it known where he was writing from for reason of persecution.  Rome was like Babylon of old.  It was rich, luxurious, and filled with pleasurable and worldly things to do.  So Peter might well be saying that the church in Rome send greetings.  Christians in his day would have recognized what he meant, but the non-Christian would not have known what he meant.  It is interesting to note that Peter was executed in Rome within a couple or more years after writing this letter.


Babylon was a literal empire and city in the Old Testament, but the Bible in many places uses Babylon symbolically to represent the ways of the world.  Thus, most don't believe Peter is talking about a literal Babylon here.    


The odd scholar actually believes the pronoun "she" refers to Peter's wife, but I don't see that.  I believe "she" refers to the community of believers in Rome.


In 2 Timothy 4:11 Paul asks Timothy to bring Mark to Rome.  Tradition has it that once Mark came to Rome, he linked himself with Peter.  Mark seems to be to Peter what Timothy was to Paul.  Thus Mark sends his greetings along with Peter. This Mark is the same Mark that wrote the gospel of Mark.  Therefore many scholars believe that the gospel of Mark is actually written from the eye witness of Peter.  In one real sense of the word, the gospel of Mark might well be the gospel of Peter.  This would be the case because Mark was probably not around and walking the streets and roads with Jesus.   


Most scholars understand the words "my son" not to be literal.  Mark was not the biological son of Peter, but a son in the Lord.


Peter says that Mark sends his greetings.  He does not say that Silas sends his greetings. This is most likely due to the fact that Silas probably delivered this letter to these suffering saints in person.


Christians often greeted each other in those days with a kiss.  So it is not unusual for Peter to say in verse 14, "“greet one another with a kiss of love."  This changed over the years.  By the fourth century people got carried away with kissing.  That which God meant to be good, the church messed up.  The church in the fourth century tried to fix this problem by saying only men could kiss men and only women could kiss women.   


Peter ends his letter by saying, "peace to all of you who are in Christ."  These people were not experiencing outward peace in their lives.  Jesus never promised outward peace.  He promised inward peace.  These people surely needed that inward peace that came from Jesus.  They lived in torment.  Many died at the hands of Roman soldiers with the peace of Jesus found in their hearts and souls.  Peter himself was one of those who were executed for his trust in Jesus by the Romans in and around 64 to 66 A D.   


Peter's first letter is very relevant to our Christian world today.  As the world, and especially the western world, moves away from any Christian influence it might have had, an anti-Christ mentality prevails.  This anti-Christ culture will create the same atmosphere for Christians in our day as was seen in Peter's day.  As time goes on; as this anti-Christ culture develops and spreads into all aspects of society, Christians can expect to be persecuted.  We need to seriously take what Peter says to heart.  Our day of trials is not far off.  Peter may have spoken to believers in what is now western Turkey , but he speaks to you and I today as well.  We need to read and study what Peter said, and then apply it to our lives


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