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Bible Study Commentary


Introduction: The First Epistle of Peter

Who is the author of this letter?

answer:   Some scholars have argued against Peter's authorship, but when we consider all the issues and facts for authorship, we  can confidently support the claim of the letter: that it is from Peter the Apostle of Jesus Christ (1:1).  We should also not forget the fact that Silas assisted him in writing this brief letter (5:12).

Who is the original recipients of this letter?

answer:  As indicated in the opening of the letter, the original recipients of the letter  were Christians who were scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.  These were Roman provinces in northwestern Asia minor, the area of modern day Turkey.  It is very likely that these Christians were mostly Gentiles who were once involved in Judaism.  In verses 2:9-10, Peter refers to them as if they were Jewish, but Peter is teaching that as Christians they are now the people of God, the new and true Israel.

When and where was it originally written?

answer: Because of the tradition that Peter was martyred during Neroís persecution, the letter may have been written from Rome before A.D. 64 or 65.  

What is the purpose and main theme of this letter?

answer:  Peter wrote the letter to encourage churches in dealing with Christians living in a non-Christian society, such as the Roman empire.  The theme of 1 Peter is an exhortation for the Christians to endure suffering and to maintain a holy life because of the great salvation which they have received from God.

Outline of the Letter:  The following is a suggested outline of the Epistle.  This division is not originated by the author nor is the only way to make the outline. The purpose of an outline is to help us see the flow of the theme throughout the whole letter. The division of our Lessons will not necessarily follow the division of this outline.

Peterís Greetings (1:1-2)

Thanksgiving for the Great Salvation (1:3-12)

Living a Holy Life as Godís People (1:13-2:10)

Exhortations about Treating Others (2:11-3:12)

Encouragement in Suffering (3:13-4:6)

Attitudes Among Members of Godís Family (4:7-11)

Another Encouragement in Suffering (4:12-19)

Exhortation to Church Leaders (5:1-5)

Exhortation of Humility and Steadfastness (5:6-9)

Final Statement (5:10-11)

Final Greetings (5:12-14) 

It is highly recommended prior of an in-depth study of this epistle that a careful reading of the Epistle in its entirety be conducted in one sitting. Your goal is not to understand every word and sentence, but rather, to see the big picture; the general theme or main message of the letter.  One hour should be enough to carefully read through the whole epistle in one sitting.

Let's start Lesson 1.


Note to teachers:  If you have any questions, need additional clarification, or have comments concerning this commentary, please do not hesitate to inform me. CLICK HERE