Preparation Prior to the study session, participants should read the entire book.
Orientation 1 Peter is book #21 of 27 in the New Testament, and and is one of the general letters. For more information see the Bible Overview page.
Synopsis This is the first of two letters by Peter, leader of the original 12 apostles. It was written in Greek - not Peter's language - and he mentions he had writing assistance from Greek-speaking Silas (greek: Silvanus) (5:12). The theme is the proper attitude and response to Christian suffering. Peter expects his followers to face persecution, and writes so they may endure by having a divine perspectice on suffering.
If the believer is obedient to government, it will be a good testimony (2:13). Christ is the model: he suffered silently and as a substitute (2:21). He then describes submission in marriage (3:1).
Believers should defend their faith, but in a graceful manner (3:13). Believers should now pursue the will of God, rather than earthly things (4:1). Don't be surprised if you are slandered for your faith (4:12). He urges leaders to be good shepherds of their flocks (5:1). Silas/Silvanus is acknowledged as helping write the letter (5:12).
Activity Peter spends a lot of time cautioning his followers to be submissive. Is this his natural personality? Look up these incidents from Peter's life:
1. Peter walks on water in Matthew 14:28.
2. Peter disowns Jesus in Matthew 26:69.
3. Peter reacts to Jesus' arrest in John 18:10.
4. Peter and John are arrested and put before the Jewish Council. The Jewish elders tell him to stop teaching about Jesus. What is his response in Acts 4:20?
5. Peter and some other apostles are arrested again - and before the same council again. The high priest wants to know why Peter disregarded his previous instructions. What is his response in Acts 5:29?
What could have changed his outlook from being impulsive and outspoken to encouraging submission and quietness?
Discussion points Peter says men should honor women - as the weaker sex (3:7). This word would be certainly be considered politically incorrect today! What could Peter have meant by this? * Connections 2 Peter is the sequel to this book.
The Roman Catholic Church considers Peter the first pope, because Jesus says that "on this rock (Peter) I will build my church" in Matthew 16:18.
For source citations see the home page. Revised April 14 2014
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