13 June, 2016
Search The Scriptures —Study 0 — Introduction to 1 Peter
Study 0 From the Book of 1 Peter is the Introduction of the Book
This letter is attested very early external evidence as a genuine writing of the apostlePeter. When Peter wrote it he was 'in Babylon'(5:13). It seems best to regard this as a reference to Rome. A probable date for the writing of the letter is AD 63.
The letter is addressed to 'the exiles of the dispersion Asia Minor. But, though Peter was the apostle of the circumcision, and the term 'dispersion' was ordinarily applied to the Jews scattered among the nation, the letter itself contains clear evidence that its readers at least included converted Gentiles (1:14; 2:9, 10; 4:3, 4), who were addressed as the spiritual Israel dispersed among the heathen.
The letter had a double purpose: to comfort and encourage the Christians in a time of persecution actual or threatened; and to exhort them, all the more on account of this danger, to holiness of living and to hope of glory. The problem of suffering, especially the suffering of God's people, was the main subject of the book of Job, and we have met with contributions to its solution in Isaiah and in the Gospel of John. In this letter, as in Job, it is of primary importance, and here we find a noble and satisfying answer to Job's despairing questions. Compare, for example Jb.10 with 1 Pet. 1:6-9. Peter has a key to the problem which Job had not. He knew that a sinless One had suffered and died, bearing our sins in His body on the tree; so that undeserved suffering has to halo of His glory round it, and to bear it aright is to follow in the steps of the Redeemer. Also, His resurrection and heavenly enthronement (1:21; 3:22) are proof that suffering in the will of God leads to certain eternal reward.