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Introduction to the New Testament: Romans to Revelation - Lesson 29

1 Peter

1 Peter encourages followers of Christ to persevere even though they face persecution.

Craig Blomberg
Introduction to the New Testament: Romans to Revelation
Lesson 29
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1 Peter

General Letters

Part 3

III. I Peter – Perseverance Despite Persecution

A. Similarities that 1 Peter has with Hebrews and James

1. 1 Peter and Hebrews

a. Same date and circumstances: early to mid 60's near the onset of Nero's persecution (see esp. optative in 1 Peter 3:14)

b. Different audience ("Western Turkey") and provenance ("Rome")

2. 1 Peter and James

a. Similar introductions (James 1:1, 1 Peter 1:1)

b. James implies Jews, 1 Peter doesn't (see especially 1 Peter 4:3-4; cf. 2:10)

c. Both primarily exhortational

B. 1 Peter Outline (Simplest Version)

1. The Problem of Suffering (1:1-12) [N.B. purifying value]

2. First Response: Holiness (1:13-2:10) [N.B. language of "Israel" applied to "church"

3. Second Response: Right Living in Society (2:11-3:22) [N.B. apologetic value of submission (2:12, 15, 3:1, 16)

4. Suffering and Eschatology (4:1-19) [N.B. summary in v. 19]

5. Conclusions (5:1-14) [N.B. addition to domestic code in 5:1-4]

C. The "Domestic Code" (Haustafel) in the Epistles

1. Colossians/Ephesians

a. Husbands/Wives

b. Parents/Children

c. Masters/Slaves

2. 1 Peter

a. Government/Citizens

b. Husbands/Wives

c. Masters/Slaves

d. Elders/Rest of the Church

D. 1 Peter Outline

1. Greeting and Thanksgiving (1:1-12)

2. Call to Christian Holiness (1:13-2:10)

[First Christological Confession]

3. Principles of Submission (2:11-3:7)

a. Citizens and government

b. Slaves and masters

[Second Christological Confession]

c. Wives and husbands

4. Suffering for Being a Christian

[Third Christological Confession]

[Christ announcing victory over demonic realm during ascension?]

[Creating significant purification for us now (4:1) and full salvation after death (4:6)]

5. Exhortations (5:1-12)

6. Closing (5:12-14)

E. 1 Peter 3:18-22 Unpacked

1. Vv. 18-19 – "by the Spirit, through whom," vs. "in the spirit, through which"

2. V. 19 – "preached" as "proclaimed message," not "offered salvation" (k_russ vs. euangeliz¬_))

3. V. 19 – "spirits in prison" as demons

4. V. 20 – disobedience = role in Genesis 6 (cf. 2 Peter 2:4, Jude 6)

5. V. 21 – "baptism saves" as "pledge" or "response"

6. V. 22 – when all this happened – during ascension

F. Responses to Persecution and Injustice in James and 1 Peter

1. James 5:7-11

a. Prayer

b. Trust in God's eschatological vengeance

c. Denunciatory, prophetic rhetoric

d. No actual justification for violence

2. 1 Peter 2:11-4:19

a. Do good to those mistreating you (2:11-17, 3:8-16)

b. Bear unjust suffering as Christ did (2:18-25, 3:17-4:11)

c. Do not submit to authorities' anti-Christian mandates (3:1-7)

d. Trust in God's eschatological vengeance (4:1-19)

e. No actual justification for violence


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Class Resources
  • Paul was trained as a Pharisee and persecuted Christians because he considered them enemies of God. After his conversion experience, he travelled in Asia Minor and Europe preaching the gospel and planting churches. Many of the letters in the New Testament are ones that he wrote to these churches.

  • Paul was trained as a Pharisee and persecuted Christians because he considered them enemies of God. After his conversion experience, he travelled in Asia Minor and Europe preaching the gospel and planting churches. Many of the letters in the New Testament are ones that he wrote to these churches.

  • Paul was trained as a Pharisee and persecuted Christians because he considered them enemies of God. After his conversion experience, he travelled in Asia Minor and Europe preaching the gospel and planting churches. Many of the letters in the New Testament are ones that he wrote to these churches.

  • A key theme in the book of Galatians is how the Law and the Gospel are related.

  • A key theme in the book of Galatians is how the Law and the Gospel are related.

  • A key theme in the book of Galatians is how the Law and the Gospel are related.

  • The return of Christ is a central theme in the letters to the Thessalonians.

  • The return of Christ is a central theme in the letters to the Thessalonians.

  • Paul addresses the extremes of asceticism and hedonism, as well as concerns regarding marriage, spiritiual gifts and the resurrection.

  • Paul addresses the extremes of asceticism and hedonism, as well as concerns regarding marriage, spiritiual gifts and the resurrection.

  • Paul addresses the extremes of asceticism and hedonism, as well as concerns regarding marriage, spiritiual gifts and the resurrection.

  • Paul responds to specific situations in the Corinthian church including emphasizing a correct perspective on giving and encouragement to see God's redemptive purpose in our suffering.

  • Paul responds to specific situations in the Corinthian church including emphasizing a correct perspective on giving and encouragement to see God's redemptive purpose in our suffering.

  • Paul wrote Romans as a systematic exposition of the gospel.

  • Paul wrote Romans as a systematic exposition of the gospel.

  • In Colossians, Paul emphasizes the deity of Christ. Philemon was written to a gentlema Paul knows to encourage him to welcome back Onesimus, his runaway slave, who became a disciple of Christ and was returning.

  • In Colossians, Paul emphasizes the deity of Christ. Philemon was written to a gentlema Paul knows to encourage him to welcome back Onesimus, his runaway slave, who became a disciple of Christ and was returning.

  • Paul describes to the followers of Jesus in Ephesus, who they are in Christ, and the ethical implications for how they should live their daily lives.

  • Paul describes to the followers of Jesus in Ephesus, who they are in Christ, and the ethical implications for how they should live their daily lives.

  • Paul contrasts the condescention and the exaltation of Christ, and addresses specific situations in the Philippian church.

  • Paul writes to encourage and instruct Timothy and Titus, both of whom are young pastors.

  • Paul writes to encourage and instruct Timothy and Titus, both of whom are young pastors.

  • Both 1 Timothy and 1 Corinthians contain key passages addressing the roles of men and women in the local church.

  • Both 1 Timothy and 1 Corinthians contain key passages addressing the roles of men and women in the local church.

  • The book of James emphasizes that people demonstrate that they have true faith in Christ by their good works.

  • The book of James emphasizes that people demonstrate that they have true faith in Christ by their good works.

  • Hebrews is written to Hebrew Christians to demonstrate how Christ fulfilled the Mosaic covenant.

  • Hebrews is written to Hebrew Christians to demonstrate how Christ fulfilled the Mosaic covenant.

  • 1 Peter encourages followers of Christ to persevere even though they face persecution.

  • 1 Peter encourages followers of Christ to persevere even though they face persecution.

  • Jude and 2 Peter both emphasize refuting false teachers.

  • Major themes in John's epistles are sin, the love of God, the humanity and deity of Jesus, and the importance of obedience.

  • Major themes in John's epistles are sin, the love of God, the humanity and deity of Jesus, and the importance of obedience.

  • Revelation focuses on God's plan for cosmic history and the importance of perseverance during difficult circumstances.

  • Revelation focuses on God's plan for cosmic history and the importance of perseverance during difficult circumstances.

  • Revelation focuses on God's plan for cosmic history and the importance of perseverance during difficult circumstances.

  • Revelation focuses on God's plan for cosmic history and the importance of perseverance during difficult circumstances.

Using the English New Testament, this course surveys the New Testament epistles and the apocalypse. Issues of introduction and content receive emphasis as well as a continual focus on the theology of evangelism and on the contemporary relevance of the variety of issues these documents raise for contemporary life.