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Bible Commentaries

The People's Bible by Joseph Parker

1 Peter

- 1 Peter

by Joseph Parker

1 Peter

(Babylon, a.d. 63)

[Note. "The Epistle was addressed to the Churches of Asia Minor, which had for the most part been founded by St. Paul and his companions. Supposing it to have been written at Babylon, it is a probable conjecture that Silvanus, by whom it was transmitted to those Churches, had joined St. Peter after a tour of visitation, either in pursuance of instructions from St. Paul, then a prisoner at Rome, or in the capacity of a minister of high authority in the Church, and that his account of the condition of the Christians in those districts determined the Apostle to write the Epistle. From the absence of personal salutations, and other indications, it may perhaps be inferred that St. Peter had not hitherto visited the Churches; but it is certain that he was thoroughly acquainted both with their external circumstances and spiritual state. It is clear that Silvanus is not regarded by St. Peter as one of his own coadjutors, but as one whose personal character he had sufficient opportunity of appreciating ( 1Pe 1:12 ). Such a testimonial as the Apostle gives to the soundness of his faith, would of course have the greatest weight with the Hebrew Christians, to whom the Epistle appears to have been specially, though not exclusively addressed. The assumption that Silvanus was employed in the composition of the Epistle is not borne out by the expression, 'by Silvanus, I have written unto you,' such words according to ancient usage applying rather to the bearer than to the writer or amanuensis. Still it is highly probable that Silvanus, considering his rank, character, and special connexion with those Churches, and with their great Apostle and founder, would be consulted by St. Peter throughout, and that they would together read the Epistles of St. Paul, especially those addressed to the Churches in those districts: thus, partly with direct intention, partly it may be unconsciously, a Pauline colouring, amounting in passages to something like a studied imitation of St. Paul's representations of Christian truth, may have been introduced into the Epistle. It has been observed that there is good reason to suppose that St. Peter was in the habit of employing an interpreter; nor is there anything inconsistent with his position or character in the supposition that Silvanus, perhaps also St. Mark, may have assisted him in giving expression to the thoughts suggested to him by the Holy Spirit. We have thus at any rate, a not unsatisfactory solution of the difficulty arising from correspondences both of style and modes of thought in the writings of two Apostles who differed so widely in gifts and acquirements." Smith's Dictionary of the Bible.]