The author of this epistle was Simon Peter (1:1), the well-known and loved disciple of Christ, of whom we read in the Gospels and in the Acts of the Apostles. Both church history and internal evidence (5:1) within the epistle provide very strong evidence that 1 Peter was written by the apostle of Jesus. Evidently Peter’s words were written down by Silvanus (or Silas), who was a traveling companion of Paul for some time (Acts 15:40) and, here, acted as Peter’s scribe or amanuensis (1 Peter 5:12). That Peter was likely writing with an amanuensis may account for the more complex Greek that some suggest a lowly fisherman could not have written. The use of an amanuensis was not an uncommon feature of either New Testament material or other writings of the first century.
Peter is believed to have died in AD 67 in the persecutions of Nero, being hung upside down on a cross. We know from historical sources that persecution arising from anti-Christian sentiments grew strong in Rome around AD 64 during the reign of Nero (AD 54-68). Peter makes references to “Babylon” (1 Peter 5:13), which is likely a veiled reference to Rome. In view of the references to persecution and suffering in this epistle, it would seem probable that Peter wrote this letter to give comfort to suffering believers between the time of intense Christian suffering and his own death.
Hope through Christ in the midst of suffering.
To encourage Christians to persevere in their suffering by setting before them the hope of grace reserved for them, as well as the glory of Jesus Christ..
The Contribution of 1 Peter to Redemptive Revelation
Peter begins his epistle by lifting before the eyes of his readers the glorious privileges that they have through the gospel of Christ. The church was in the midst of facing present and future trials, afflictions, and struggles. Peter reminds Christians that they are not alone because they are following in Christ’s suffering, and therefore, that Christian suffering needs to be held within the context of God’s love for His people, which began before the foundation of the world and will continue into glory. Christians suffer precisely because they are “strangers” and sojourners in this world. Christians experience suffering because they do not belong to this world and are to live lives that are contrary to the standards and ideals of this world; they are suffering for righteousness’s sake (1 Peter 3:14). The Christian’s time in this world is to be marked by cultivating a life of holiness (1:15), growing in grace and knowledge of God (1 Peter 2:2), shunning the “fleshly lusts, which war against the soul” (1 Peter 11), and prayerfully awaiting “the end of all things” (4:7). In all their suffering, Christians are not to be “ashamed” but may confidently “commit the keeping” of their soul to God, “as unto a faithful Creator” (1 Peter 19).
In this way Peter pursues his objective of pointing on the one hand to our glorious privileges and on the other hand to our duties as pilgrims, as husbands and wives, as sufferers for Christ’s sake, as objects of this world’s criticism and scorn—and yet, through it all, as heirs of glory. Every chapter, having looked at one problem or another of the believer’s life in this world, ends with some vital uplifting truth. Chapter 1 ends with the inspiration of God’s Word; 1 Peter 2 with our soul’s safety in Christ’s care; 1 Peter 3 with the reminder that Christ is now ascended with universal authority over all angels, as well as over all human authorities; 1 Peter 4 with our souls in the care of a faithful Creator; and 1 Peter 5 with the prayer that God will, after we have suffered a while in this world, make us perfect and bring us into his “eternal glory” (1 Peter 5:10). The overall message is, “Look up!”
- Salutation (1 Peter 1:1-2)
- Christian Characteristics (1 Peter 1:3-2:10)
- A Christian’s Living Hope (1 Peter 1:3-12)
- A Christian’s Holiness (1 Peter 1:13-25)
- A Christian’s Sure Foundation (1 Peter 2:1-10)
- Christian Duties in the World (1 Peter 2:11-4:11)
- Being Sojourners (1 Peter 2:11-12)
- Submission to Earthly Authorities (1 Peter 2:13-25)
- Submission in Marriage (1 Peter 3:1-7)
- Submission in Suffering (1 Peter 3:8-22)
- Submission to One Another (1 Peter 4:1-11)
- Christian Responsibility in the Church (1 Peter 4:12-5:11)
- Enduring Suffering Together (1 Peter 4:12-19)
- Shepherding the Flock (1 Peter 5:1-4)
- Living in Humility and Hope (1 Peter 5:5-11)
- Conclusion (1 Peter 5:12-14)
Extracted from: Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible Notes(Beeke, Joel R. 2015. Reformation Heritage Books).