Peter, it is claimed by some, wrote Mark. Having finished his account of the life of Jesus it would now be good to read his pastoral advice to the scattered Christians in northern Asia Minor (modern Turkey). However, did Peter really write the epistles that carry his name? One argument against this is that the style of the two letters is so different that the same person could not have written both. This is solved by the idea that Peter commissioned someone to write the first letter and commissioned someone different for the second letter or wrote it himself. Another objection is that the letters look a lot like they were written by Paul and not be Peter. This is explained by the idea that Paul had just been executed and Peter was commissioning someone who had been with Paul to write a letter on his behalf to those who had been converts of the converts of Paul. A third objection is that Peter was an apostle to the Jews and Paul’s domain was to the Gentiles. Of course, these roles would change upon Paul’s death and so Peter would have stepped up for the interim until his own execution.
The cause for writing this epistle seems to be to encourage and solidify these new converts in northern Turkey. The increased persecution would have caused many to waver in their faith. If an apostle communicated with them, it would help them to feel less forsaken. Also, if the apostle Peter wrote to them in the same way as Paul, they would feel a continuity in the message between their own apostle Paul and the main group of apostles represented by Peter.
The identity and the responsibilities of the people of God are laid out for the establishing of a sound faith. It is a timely message for us today. We need to establish an identity in the faith when the culture tells us that any identity we wish to establish is equally valid. Secondly, we need to know how to act on that faith when we are told that so much that we might call Christian is not welcome in the culture.
Help us to find our identity in Jesus and all that he has obtained for us, Father. Help us to live out the life that such identity demands.
- What arguments are made against Peter’s authorship (Petrine authorship)?
- What is an ‘amanuensis’? Why is one relevant to reading Peter’s epistles?
- What is 1 Peter about?
- How might you benefit from revisiting your identity in Christ?
- How might you benefit from reading Peter’s directions on how to live a godly life?