Courses

The Book of 1 Peter

I. Title

       The title is taken from the name of the author of the letter; it is the first of two letters written by Peter.

II. Author and Setting

       Peter and Silas are the authors of the letter, based on 1 Peter 1:1 and 5:12:

       Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
       To God's elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia...
       With the help of Silas, who I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it.

       According to the four Gospels, Peter was the leader and spokesperson for the early disciples. He is called by four different names in the New Testament: Simeon, a Greek transliteration of the Hebrew Shime`on; Simon, a Greek name obviously very similar to the Hebrew name; Cephas, a Greek transliteration of the Aramaic kepa, which means "rock"; and Peter, which is the Greek equivalent of the Aramaic Cephas. Peter is the most common designation, the name given to him by Jesus.
       Peter was one of the first disciples Jesus called (Mark 1:16-18). He was a fisherman from Bethsaida of Gaulanitis (John 1:44). He had a home in Capernaum (Mark 1:21, 29). He was married (Matthew 8:14, Mark 1:30, and Luke 4:38), and according to Paul, he took his wife with him when he went to visit various churches (1 Corinthians 9:5).
       According to 1 Clement 5:4-7, Peter and Paul were both martyred during Nero's reign sometime after July 19, 64, when Rome suffered a disastrous fire, which Nero blamed on Christians. It seems likely, then, that the letter was written before this fire, and so it was probably written sometime between AD 62 and 64.
       According to 1 Peter 5:13, Peter was writing from "Babylon", which was a common designation for Rome among first century Jews and Christians.

III. An Outline of 1 Peter

I. Salutation 1:1-2
II. Privileges and Responsibilities 1:3-2:12
III. Submission and God's honor 2:13-3:7
IV. Suffering and persecution 3:8-5:11
V. Conclusion 5:12-14

IV. Questions on 1 Peter

1. Discuss Peter's teachings on submission. How do they compare to Paul's?
2. Discuss the significance of 1 Peter 2:9-12.
3. What does Peter have to say about suffering?
4. What advice does Peter have for elders?
5. What is Peter referring to when he mentions "Babylon" in 5:13?