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First Epistle of Peter

The First Epistle of Peter is a book of the Bible New Testament. The author identifies himself in the opening verse as "Peter, an apostle of Jesus", but modern scholars are sceptical that the apostle Peter wrote it himself due to the cultured style of the Greek. One theory is that it was written by Silvanus, who is mentioned towards the end (5:12) of the epistle. In the following verse the author includes greetings from "the church in Babylon", which may be an early use of this Christian title for Rome. If that is its true origin, then that fact would strengthen the case that it was actually written by Peter, and perhaps was written around AD 60. If Silvanus himself wrote this work, then it could have been written much later, but because bishop Polycarp alludes to this letter, it was written before the mid-2nd century. Some scholars reject both Peter and Silvanus as authors, and date its composition during the reign of the emperor Domitian (AD 81 - 91).

This epistle is addressed to "the strangers scattered abroad", i.e., to the Jews of the Dispersion (the Diaspora) in a five of the provinces of Asia Minor, listed in the order in which they would naturally occur to one writing from Babylon on the Euphrates. He counsels (1) to steadfastness and perseverance under persecution (1-2:10); (2) to the practical duties of a holy life (2:11-3:13); (3) he adduces the example of Christ and other motives to patience and holiness (3:14-4:19); and (4) concludes with counsels to pastors and people (ch. 5).

Its object is to confirm its readers in the doctrines they had already been taught. Peter has been called "the apostle of hope," because this epistle abounds with words of comfort and encouragement fitted to sustain a "lively hope." It contains about thirty-five references to the Old Testament.

This article uses text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.\n