1 Peter Summary
1 Peter or First Peter is a book included in the Christian New Testament. Also known as the First Epistle of Peter, 1 Peter is addressed to several churches of Asia Minor that were undergoing religious persecution during the first century AD. Traditionally, the author of 1 Peter is held to be Saint Peter the apostle, although there is widespread debate as to the authenticity of the claim. Some consider Paul the Apostle to be the actual author; others even believe that the work of 1 Peter might have been created pseudonymously.
1 Peter is also quite difficult to date convincingly. One of the principal questions that arise while one is trying to date 1 Peter is that whether the religious persecution spoken of in the text points to a local event that occurred in Asia Minor or was it a massacre that took place throughout the entire empire. The standpoint of authorship is also a vital factor when it comes put an exact date on 1 Peter. If Peter is held to be the actual author of the work, then the tentative date for its composition would be somewhat before his martyrdom, which could make the date somewhere around 68 AD. Some even believe the date could be as early as 64 AD. Alternatively, scholars who favor the notion of a pseudonymous authorship believe that the most likely date of its composition was between the years of 72 AD and 92 AD.
The epistle of 1 Peter starts with an address to the audience who are the exiles of the scattered tribes living in parts of Asia Minor. These people were chosen long ago by God the Father to be immersed into the Holy Spirit. Peter asks them to hold on to their faith through these testing times. With the resurrection of Christ, the people of the land have been reborn to a life of hope. People’s faith on God is of more value than earthly riches, and like gold, it should be eventually purified by fire to stand the test of time. Peter says that the trust and love that they put on Jesus brings them great joy and will eventually bring salvation to their souls.
Peter asks the people to get rid of all their vices and wait obediently for the second coming of the Christ. He also asks them to reside in this world purely as strangers or temporary residents as this will help them to steer clear of the desires and cravings of their lower natures as they are conflicting to the true natures of their souls. Men should abide by the laws of the state and follow the norms of the society. Servants should be respectful to their masters and endure pain and suffering with patience; this will help them to follow Christ’s example who suffered for mankind. Women should respect their husbands and be submissive to them. Instead of adorning themselves with fine clothes and jewelries, they should focus on developing their true inner beauty which was the secret of beauty for the women of ancient times.
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