About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Commentary on 1 Peter
commentary is based on the 1994 edition of the NIV Bible.
The section titles in this commentary correspond to those found in
the NIV Bible.
2 letters of Peter were written by Simon Peter, one of the disciples of
Jesus. Jesus also called him
Cephus, Aramaic for "stone or rock."
Most of what we know about Peter is found in the 4 gospel accounts,
the first 13 chapters of Acts, and a little from what the Apostle Paul
says about him.
know very little about Peterís missionary trips. In
Acts 12:17, after his miraculous escape from prison, Luke says that he
went to other places. We
simply donít know where these other places were.
Tradition has it that he ended up in
was an unlearned and ignorant fisherman, or so the Jewish establishment of
his day thought. See Acts
4:13. This has presented
problems with some concerning the authorship of first and second Peter.
Some suggest that Peter was not intelligent enough to write such a
letter in Greek, but we donít need to worry about this because Peter
himself, in 1 Peter 5:12 says that Silas helped him write this letter.
This Silas was the Silas who was friends with Paul and Timothy. See
1 Corinthians 1:19, 1Thesxsalonians 1:1 and 2 Thessalonians 1:1.
Silas knew Greek and probably helped Paul in his writing.
thing we need to understand, something many don't really understand, is
when the book of Acts states that Peter was uneducated, we must think in
terms of theological issues. The
context of the Acts statement concerns Peter's dialogue with the
Sanhedrin, the theologians of the day.
Peter and his family were most likely middle class businessmen.
They were fishermen with many ships.
When those in the Sanhedrin said that Peter was uneducated, they
were speaking about uneducated in matters of theology and the rabbinical
traditions and laws as they were so educated in.
We really can't say that Peter was an uneducated country hick.
He was not a stupid man.
tells us to whom he wrote his letter in verse 1 of chapter 1.
He wrote his letter to those in
interesting to note that if you read Paul's missionary journey in Acts 17
and 18, the Holy Spirit told him not to go into northern Asia, northern
Turkey today. The Holy Spirit
told him to go to
says that he wrote this letter from Babylon. There is a discrepancy
between scholars whether the
was a military post in Egypt at the time of Peter's writing called Babylon
as well, but most Bible teachers don't believe Peter was writing from
if not most Bible teachers, believe that Peter was using the word
it comes to
one knows for certain just when Peter wrote his first letter.
Many, if not most, suggest that it might be around 63 AD, or, from
61 to 64 AD. Some even think
slightly before 61 AD. The reason given for this is because of the
reference in chapter 1 verse 1 to those who have been scattered.
James, the writer of the letter of James, and the leader of the
Muratorian Fragments (written around 170 to 180 A D) is the earliest list
of suggested canonical writings. It
lists 22 out of the 27 New Testament books that are found in our modern
cannon of Scripture. It
omits the first letter of Peter in the canon of the Bible.
That being said, we have some pretty early Christian writers who
seemed to have quoted from 1 Peter. Clement
of Rome, prior to 100 AD seemed to have alluded to 1 Peter in his letter to the
Corinthians. Polycarp, a
disciple of John, wrote in and around 125 A D, directly quoted from 1
Peter 1:8, 1:13, 1:21, 3:22, 5:9)
1 Peter 5:12 we note that Silas, also known as Silvanus, helped Peter
write this letter. This is why
some think that Paul might have even written this letter.
Silas did help Paul write some letters.
This only means that the writing style of 1 Peter is similar to the
writing style of Paul. It's
just a matter of common sense. Silas
was a Jewish Roman. We know
that he was probably a Roman citizen because Acts 16:37 implies he was
illegally arrests. Silas
is probably the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew name Saul.
Silvanus is his Roman name. It
was also one of the names of a Roman god.
Silas was probably a Hellenistic Jew, born and raised somewhere in
theme of this letter concerns the persecution and the suffering of the
saints, and how we should live as Christians in the midst of such trials. The
Christians to whom Peter is speaking to were going through a very rough
time. Some were being killed
for the faith in Jesus. I
believe what Peter says to these suffering saints is becoming more
applicable to Christians in the western world today.
As the west moves away from any Christian influence it once
embraced, Christians will suffer from a secular anti-Christ culture more
than ever before. For this
reason, we should pay attention to Peter's first letter.
If you study 1 Peter in this light you will certainly gain a much
better understanding of what he said.
Understanding the background of any Biblical book always helps you
understand what is meant in the book.