1 Peter - Introduction

See chapter 4:12 . This encouragement and exhortation is set forth in an impetuous torrent which is thoroughly characteristic of the impetuous Peter. His style is lively, energetic, and pleasing, if somewhat wanting in the logical connection and precision of the great apostle to the Gentiles. An indirect object of Peter in writing was, doubtless, to give his support to the authority of Paul. The churches addressed were founded by Paul, but in them had subsequently appeared Judaizers (see/Commentaries/PeoplesNewTestament/pnt.cgi?book=re&chapter=005#" who had sought to undermine his authority. Peter recognizes the work, and his teaching is an indirect endorsement of Paul. It served to show the Jewish Christians that the two great apostles were in harmony. (3.) One question remains, where was the epistle written? Chapter 5:13 shows that Peter was at Babylon at the time. It seems strange that there should be any question in view of the fact that in all the ancient world, the word Babylon without any other explanations always mean the great city on the Euphrates, or the territory adjacent, which took its name from the city. True, its former greatness was gone, and it was a Roman province, but it had been the home of tens of thousands of the Circumcision, the class to whom Peter directed his labors, ever since the Captivity. We know that in the latter part of the first century and in the second the Rabbinical schools of Babylon vied in importance with that at Tiberias, and that "the Prince of the Captivity" was a formidable potentate for a subject. It is opposed to all the facts of history to contend that there was not, at the date of this epistle, a great Jewish population on the banks of the Euphrates, and an indefinite passage of Josephus belonging to a period a generation earlier, would never have been used for this purpose had it not been that it is essential to the argument of the Papacy to give Peter a long residence at Rome. It is equally out of the question to assert that Peter in a plain, matter of fact letter, speaks of Rome by a name that was only applied to it later in a book of symbols, with the statement that it is used as a symbol. Babylon had carried Israel into captivity; when pagan Rome did the same thing she became a mystical Babylon; and spiritual Rome also merited the designation by carrying into captivity the church of God. There is no reasonable ground for doubt that Peter extended his labors for his own race to Mesopotamia and from thence wrote this epistle. It was probably written towards the close of Paul's first imprisonment in Rome. There are reasons for thinking that Peter had seen the Ephesian letter, one of the epistles of Paul's imprisonment, and hence this Epistle was probably written as late, at least, as A. D. 63.