WRITER: The Apostle Peter ( 1 Peter 1:1 )
DATE: Probably A.D. 60. That "Babylon" refers to the former city on the Euphrates, or to Rome, cannot be inferred from 1 Peter 5:13 . The text is obscure.
THEME: While Peter undoubtedly has scattered Jewish believers in mind, his Epistles comprehend Gentile believers also ( 1 Peter 2:10 ). The present Epistle, written from a church on Gentile ground ( 1 Peter 5:13 ), presents all the foundational truths of the Christian faith, with special emphasis on the atonement. The distinctive note of First Peter is preparation for victory over suffering. The last-name word occurs about fifteen times, and is the key-word to the Epistle.
The Epistle is in three parts:
- Christian suffering and conduct in the light of full salvation, 1:1-2:8
- The believer's life in view of his sevenfold position, and of the vicarious suffering of Christ, 2:9-4:19
- Christian service in the light of the coming of the Chief Shepherd, 5:1-14