Summary: This sermon introduces a series of sermons in 1 Peter, by talking about the author, date, recipients, etc. of 1 Peter.
1 Peter Introduction
Title: This letter has always been identified with the Apostle Peter (1:1) and is considered the
first inspired letter he wrote. 1 Peter 5:12 indicates that Peter used Silvanus (Silas) as a
secretary/amanuensis. Peter dictated and Silas wrote.
Author: 1:1, claims to be written by the Apostle Peter. (Also known as Simon in Greek, and as
Simeon in Hebrew; see Mark 1:16 and Jn. 1:40-41). His name is at the head of each list
of disciples, showing very clearly he was the leader among the disciples.
There were documents in the early days falsely claiming to be written by Peter
Primary Evidence some use to say not written by Peter:
Acts 4:13 says Peter and John were “unlearned and ignorant men”. 1 Peter is
written in very good Greek. “Unlearned” only means that they did not have
formal Rabinical training. It does not mean they were illiterate… As far as Peter’s
Greek ability goes, one commentator says “Who knows?….[he has been
preaching to Greek speaking audiences for about 30 years now].” Also, remember
Silas, he probably helped with syntax and grammar.
Evidence for Peter:
From earliest days, early church accepted as being form Peter.
Polycarp (A.D. 69) quotes 1 Peter as authentic.
1 Peter 5:1 the author was an eyewitness of Christ’s sufferings.
1 Peter 5:13 the author call Marcus his spiritual son (Marcus is John Mark, and
Papias, A.D. 60-130, mentions John Mark’s close association with Peter).
Similarities in Peter’s speeeches in Acts and what is in 1 Peter: Here are two;
Date: According to tradition, Peter had to watch as his wife was crucified, but encouraged her
with the words “Remember the Lord”. When it came time to for him to be crucified, he
reportedly pled that he was not worthy to be crucified like his Lord, but rather should be
crucified upside down. Tradition says he was in ca. A.D. 67-68.
On 19 July A.D. 64, Rome burned and Nero tried to blamed this on Christians. As a
result persecution became more widespread and official in nature. No evidence of
official persecution. In fact, 1 Peter 3:13 seems to show that there was not any official
persecution at this time. And 1 Peter 2:13-17 doesn’t indicate fear of the government.
These facts together means it is like written in early SIXTIES A.D., no later than 64-65.
Place of Writing: 1 Peter 5:13 says “the church at Babylon…saluteth you; and so doth Marcus
my son.” Babylon is generally accepted as a figurative description of Rome by many
scholars. Also, Mark is known to have lived in Rome(Col. 4:10; Philemon 24) Paul in
Roman Prison when he wrote Colossians and Philemon.
Probably Rome, but not 100% sure.
Recipients: Appear to be mostly converted Gentiles.
Formerly lived in ignorance (1:14)
Vain lifestyle handed down by their fathers (1:18)
Used to live a pagan lifestyle (4:2-4)
Called “strangers” (1:1) and “pilgrims (2:11) Same Greek word.
This speaks of the transient nature of this earthly existence. Real home is in
Called “scattered” (1:1) throughout 4 Roman provinces. Pontus and Bithynia, Galatia,
Cappadocia, Asia,; four provinces of the Roman Empire that covers most of
modern day Turkey. The order may indicate the route taken with the book.
This speaks of their physical location, perhaps due to persecution? But also
speaks of an underlying unity among believers. They may be scattered
geographically, but they are still part of God’s people (1 Peter 2:9-10).
Called “elect” (1:2).
“God’s chosen ones”, “ones that have been marked out as God’s special people”
Based on: Election is based upon God’s “Foreknowledge” (prognosis,
before + to know = to know beforehand) In medicine a prognosis is a
forecasting/prediction of the probable course of a disease. God’s knowledge is
perfect and absolute. There is no guess work with Him. Election is somehow
based upon God’s perfect Prior Knowledge. Bruce Hamilton says “Election is the
fruit of God’s omniscience”.
Read highlights from Thiessen, pages 258-259.
Election it is fulfilled by: The sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit (1:2)
He is active in both convicting and regenerating
He sets apart from sin (1 Cor. 6:11)
He helps us grow in holiness (2 Cor. 3:18)
He makes the saved completely holy for eternity (Phil. 1:6)
Election purpose: so that people will hearken and be obedient to Jesus Christ and
respond to the gospel and accept Him as Lord of their lives thus being cleansed by
God the Father by his grace chooses based upon foreknowledge
The Holy Spirit Sanctifies
Jesus Christ made it possible with His shed blood.
Strangers = their relation to this world/Heaven
Scattered = their relation to each other-part of God’s people
Elect = their relationship to God based upon God’s omniscience