See also:Peter . I PETER This
See also:epistle is addressed to " the elect who are sojourners of the Dispersion [Diaspora] in
See also:Asia and
See also:Bithynia." The " Diaspora " was the name generally given to the Jews who were " scattered abroad." This suggests that the
See also:letter was intended for Jewish Christians in the provinces mentioned . But i . 14, 18; ii . 9, to; iv . 3 point rather to Gentile Christians, and it is better to take this view, and interpret the " Diaspora " metaphorically as referring to the isolated position of Christians among the
See also:heathen . The general impression made by the epistle is that the central idea was to strengthen the courage of the recipients, who were likely to undergo per- secution, and to enjoin on them conduct which would remove all reasonable excuse for thinking that
See also:Christianity ought to be regarded as a
See also:crime . Ch. i . 3–12 is an introduction of praise to
See also:God that he had caused the recipients of the epistle to be
See also:born again to the living hope in a glorious salvation . The
See also:rest of the epistle may be divided into three parts: (a) i . 13–ii . 10, mainly hortatory injunctions to live
See also:holy lives in accordance with this new
See also:birth, and to grow up as God's
See also:people in communion with Christ; (0) ii .
II—iv . 6, particular directions as to the
See also:line of conduct to be pursued towards the Gentiles and towards those in authority, with
See also:special reference to the relations of slaves to masters, of wives and husbands to each other, and of Christians to one another; to the first of these a passage is appended dealing with the sufferings of Christ as an example (ii . 21–25), and the whole is completed by an exhortation to meekness and
See also:patience in suffering, in the
See also:light of the sufferings of Christ and the blessings given by them both to the living and to the dead; (-y) iv . 7–v . II, has less cohesion . It begins with exhortations not to forget prayer and love, then the believers are warned to be careful to suffer only as Christians, not as breakers of the
See also:laws . The elders and the younger men are reminded of their duties to the community and to one another . The whole is brought to a close with an exhortation to all to fight manfully against the devil and to
See also:trust in God . Date and Authorship.—These two questions are so closely connected that they cannot be considered separately . The
See also:external evidence of tradition is that the epistle was written by St Peter . This can be traced back to
See also:Irenaeus (iv . 9, 2) and
See also:Clement of Alexandria (Strom. iii .
See also:Ito), and it is thought by many writers that 2 Peter iii . 1, even if it be not itself Petrine, is
See also:good evidence that the writer regarded 1 Peter as apostolic . Evidence for its use, without mention of its name, may be found in
See also:Polycarp, but probably not in the other apostolic fathers (cf . The N.T. in the Apostolic Fathers,
See also:Oxford, 1905, p . 137) . It is, however, possible that
See also:Papias made use of it . It is doubtful whether
See also:Martyr used it, but probable that it was known to
See also:Theophilus of
See also:Antioch . It is not mentioned in the
See also:canon of
See also:Muratori . Thus external evidence, though unanimous in favour of the Petrine authorship, is not sufficient to settle the question . The
See also:internal evidence consists of (a) evidence bearing on the date in connexion with the persecution of Christians, (J1) evidence establishing the relation of the epistle to otherdocuments in early Christian
See also:history, and (y) evidence concerning St Peter personally . (a) It is clear from I Peter i . 6, ii .
12, iv . 12–19, V . 9, that the epistle was written during a
See also:time of persecution . The question which is doubtful is to which persecution the description best applies . The traditional opinion was that the persecution referred to was that under
See also:Nero . But it has been argued that the Neroine persecution according to Tacitus (
See also:Ann. xv . 44) was not a persecution of Christians as such, but was rather the result of false accusation . Moreover there is no
See also:proof that there was any persecution of Christians at this time outside Rome, and I Peter alludes to persecution in the provinces of Asia Minor . Therefore many critics have
See also:felt obliged to bring the epistle into connexion with the epistle of Pliny to Trajan, written c . 112, and asking for advice as to the procedure to be followed in trials of Christians . This is.the earliest evidence which implies organized persecution in the provinces in question, and therefore
See also:Weizsacker and others regard this as fixing the date of the epistle in the beginning of the 2nd century, and excluding the Petrine authorship . Against this view it may be argued that the epistle describes the beginning of persecution .
The writer still hopes that Christians will not be obliged to suffer " for the name " and is clearly aware of false accusations of crime . On the other
See also:hand Pliny's letter implies a time when Christianity was in itself a crime and was recognized as such . Thus it is urged, probably correctly, that the epistle belongs to the beginning of a
See also:period of which Pliny's letter marks a later development, and we can only say that c . 112 is the
See also:terminus ad quem . The terminus a quo is more difficult to find . We do not know with certainty when Christianity became a recognized offence, and scholars have supported various hypotheses . T .
See also:Hardy and Sanday think that even under Nero it was criminal to be a Christian ; Neumann thinks that this was first the case under
See also:Sir W, M .
See also:Ramsay believes that this attitude was one of the results of the Jewish War of 70, and ascribes it to
See also:Vespasian . If the Domitianic date be adopted the Petrine authorship is almost excluded, and it is difficult to reconcile the traditional date of St Peter's martyrdom with Ramsay's theory . (#) The relations of I Peter to other books in early Christian literature is shown in the following table: From this table it is sufficiently plain that I Peter is closely connected with Romans,
See also:James and Polycarp . The majority of scholars are agreed that in the case of Romans the dependence is on the side of I Peter, and in the case of Polycarp on the side of Polycarp .
There is less agreement as to Ephesians and James, though in the former case the general opinion favours the dependence of I Peter, in the latter case ite priority . InEngland, however, the priority of James has been supported by Mayor and Hort . In the light of the established use of Romans it is possible that t Peter also used other Pauline epistles and some scholars have seen special traces of the influence of I Cot. and Gal . (for a
See also:list of these cf . Holtzmann, Einleitung in das N.T., 3, p . 314) . It has been argued that the use of the Pauline epistles is improbable for Peter, but this is a subjective
See also:argument which is not decisive . (y) According to tradition Peter was martyred in Rome, and it is probable that this was in the Neroine persecution . If this be so, the
See also:year 64 is the terminus ad
See also:quern of the letter, if it be authentic . Ramsay, however, thinks that Peter may have survived this persecution and suffered at the beginning of the persecutions which, he thinks, were initiated by the
See also:Flavian emperors (see PETER, ST: § 5, 4 and 6) . The whole question of authorship and date is thus a complex of smaller problems, many of which do not seem to admit of any definite answer . If St Paul's epistle to the Ephesians be genuine, and it were really known to the writer of I Peter, and if Peter were martyred in 64, the theory of Petrine authorship demands that it was written by Peter between 59 and 64 .
On the Petrinehypothesis this is the most probable view . The weak point is that it assumes a
See also:great spread of Christianity in the provinces of Asia Minor outside the activity of Paul, and that the official persecution of Christians as- such began throughout the
See also:Empire under Nero, for neither of which is there I Pet . Rom . I Pet . Eph . I Pet. as . I Pet . Polycarp . i . 14 — xii . 2 i . I seq.— i .
3seq . 1 i . 8— i . 3 ii . 5 — xii . I i . 14 — ii . 3 i . 6 seq.— i . 2 seq. i . 13— ii . I ii .
6—Io— ix . 32 ii . 18 5 i . 24 — i . I0 1 . 21 ii . I ii . 13 —X111 . I iii . I — v . 22 i . 23 — i .
18 ii . I I— V . 3 iii . 9 — xii . 17 iii . 22 — i . 20 iv . 8 — v . 20 ii . 12— X . 2 iii . 22 —viii .
34 V . 5 — v.21 V . 5 seq.—iv . 6,10 1,2 iv . 3 II iii . 9— ii.2 iv . 7 —xiii . 12 iv . 7— vii . 2 iv . 9 13 iv . 16—viii .
2 iv . To — xii . 6 corroborative evidence . On the non-Petrine hypothesis a date is demanded some time before the letter of Pliny; this suits the internal evidence better than any possible on the Petrine hypothesis, but it fails to explain the really considerable and early evidence for the Petrine authorship, and necessitates some purely hypothetical
See also:suggestion, such as
See also:Harnack's view that the epistle was originally
See also:anonymous, and that the opening and closing sentences (i . 1 sqq., v . 12 sqq.) were added between A.D . 150 and 195, perhaps by the writer of 2 Peter . The Provenance of the Epistle.—This is defined in r Peter v . 13 as
See also:Babylon . It has sometimes been argued that this is Babylon in
See also:Mesopotamia, in which there were, until the time of the emperor Caius, many Jews; but no good tradition connects St Peter with the evangelization of Mesopotamia, and this
See also:district would have had little in
See also:common with the Graeco-Roman
See also:world of Asia Minor . Another suggestion is that the
See also:Egyptian Babylon is meant (Old Cairo); but in the 1st century this was probably merely a fortress . Thus there is an overwhelming
See also:weight of opinion in favour of the view that Rome, the Babylon of Apocalyptic literature, is intended .
This also agrees with the tradition in 2 Tim. iv . 1 r, which (cf . 1 Pet. v . 13) suggests that StMark was in Rome . Reception in the Canon.—r Peter seems to have been the earliest of the Catholic epistles to obtain recognition . By the year 200 it was accepted everywhere except in two places—the
See also:church of Edessa, which did not receive the Catholic epistles until the 5th century, and, if the canon of Muratori is to be trusted, the church of Rome . It should, however, be noted that Zahn emends the text of the Muratorianum (rather violently) so as to include the epistle (see also BIBLE: New Testament Canon.) The
See also:Theology of z Peter.—The simplicity of the theology is marked, and affords an argument for an early date . Jesus is the
See also:Messiah of whom the prophets had spoken, and the " Spirit of Christ " is identified with the spirit which was in them . His suffering for sin had rescued the elect, and was also an example for Christians to follow . After his
See also:death he preached to the "
See also:spirits in prison." The source of Christian
See also:life is on the one hand belief in God who raised the Messiah from the dead, and on the other hand
See also:baptism which " saves . . . through the resurrection of Jesus Christ." The members of the community are " a royal priesthood, a holy nation " —i.e. inherit the promises made to the Jews, but this
See also:inheritance is bound up with the strongly eschatological
See also:doctrine that Christians are strangers in the world, the end of which is at hand . The Church Organization of i Peter.—This also is very
See also:simple and
See also:primitive, and closely based on the Jewish
See also:model .
The leaders are called presbyters or elders, and their
See also:duty is to
See also:act as shepherds to the
See also:flock . Beyond this there is no sign of a
See also:developed organization: each is to act in accordance with the
See also:gift (x&pwp.a) which he has received . There is no trace of a specially set apart
See also:ministry either for the service of the community or for teaching, as to which the only
See also:limitation given is " If any man speak let him speak as the oracles of God," i.e. probably, in accordance with the Old Testament . 2 PETER This epistle may be divided into five parts . (i) The writer who describes himself as "
See also:Simon (
See also:var. lect . Symeon) Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ," exhorts his readers to become perfect in knowledge and virtue, so as to enter the
See also:kingdom of Christ (i . 3-11) . (2) He then explains his
See also:desire once more to testify to the power of Jesus, and bases his testimony partly on his own experience in the Holy
See also:Mount (apparently a reference to the Transfiguration), and partly on the " word of prophecy " (i . 12-21) . (3) The mention of prophecy leads him to
See also:deal with the question of false prophets, who are accused of false doctrine and immoral practices . In this section is incorporated almost the whole of the epistle of
See also:Jude (ii. r-22) . (4) He then discusses a special feature of the false teaching, viz. doubts thrown on the Parousia, the certainty of which for the future he defends (iii .
1-13) . Finally he warns his hearers that they must be found spotless at the Parousia, and emphasizes the agreement of his teaching with St Paul's (iii . 14-18) . The
See also:object of the epistle is to be seen in the attack made on the false teachers, and in the defence of the certainty of the Parousia of the
See also:Lord . Authorship.—The traditional view is that it was written by St Peter from Rome after 1 Peter . This view is however untenable for the following reasons . (I) The epistle is not quoted by any writer of the 2nd century, and
See also:Origen, who is the first to mention it as Petrine, admits that its authorship was disputed . (2) The
See also:style and language differ greatly from that of i Peter: this argument may however fairly be met by the suggestion that it is improbable that he wrote Greek with ease, and that he may have used a variety of amanuenses . (3) The growth of immorality and false teaching to which it witnesses seems irreconcilable with a very primitive period of church life . (4) It has incorporated the greater
See also:part of Jude in a whole-sale manner difficult to reconcile with
See also:apostolical authorship . (5) It seems to attribute a position of scriptural authority to the Pauline epistles, and this is improbable either in the mouth of Peter, or during the 1st century . Any one of these arguments would be weighty by itself; in combination they
See also:form an irresistible cumulative argument against the Petrine authorship of 2 Peter .
Date.—If the Petrine authorship be abandoned, the terminus ad quem of the epistle is its use by Origen (or, just possibly, by Clement of Alexandria), and the terminus a quo is fixed by the following considerations: (1) the activity of an immoral
See also:Gnosticism; (2) the attainment by the Pauline epistles of great authority, and their perversion by heretics; (3) the use made of the epistle of Jude . It is difficult to define the exact date to which these indications point, but there is a general agreement that it must be sought in the 2nd century, and perhaps the decades immediately before and after the year A.D . 150 are the most probable . Place of Origin.—There is hardly any evidence on this point: but the most probable place seems to be
See also:Egypt, as the letter has points of connexion with Philo, Clement of Alexandria and the Apocalypse of Peter, and seems first to have been used in the church of Alexandria . It should however be noted that Deissmann argues on lexical grounds in favour of Asia Minor (Bibel
See also:Stud. pp . 277-284) . Relation to other Early Christian Documents.—The documents with which 2 Peter has the greatest
See also:affinities are the epistle of Jude, and the Apocalypse of Peter, of which a fragment was found in
See also:Akhmim in 1892 by M Bouriant . In each case the
See also:affinity is very close, and is capable of more than one explanation . Roughly speaking 2 Peter ii. reproduces Jude: it is possible therefore either that Jude is an epitome of 2 Peter or that the writer of 2 Peter used Jude . The former hypothesis has a few supporters, notably T . Zahn and
See also:Spitta, but most writers are emphatic in thinking that 2 Peter has incorporated Jude, and this view is almost certainly correct (see JUDE, EPISTLE oF) . The connexion with the Apocalypse of Peter is more complicated: the evidence of a comparison between the two documents (which is made in full in F .
See also:Chase's article in Hastings's
See also:Dictionary of the Bible) is to show that either one document is dependent on the other, or both were written by the same
See also:person, or both come from the same circle . Of these theories there is least to be said for the dependence of the Apocalypse on 2 Peter, and perhaps most for the dependence of 2 Peter on the Apocalypse . Reception in the Canon.—2 Peter was the last of the Catholic epistles to be accepted as canonical . It was first regarded as such in Alexandria, perhaps originally in connexion with the Apocalypse of Peter rather than with r Peter . Thence it passed into the canon used by the church of Constantinople, in the 4th century made its way into the Roman canon, and in the 6th was accepted last of all by the
See also:Syria church (see also BIBLE: New Testament Canon) . The Theology of 2 Peter.—The theology of the epistle is specially marked by two characteristics—its high Christology and its eschatological character . Christ is referred to as " our God and Saviour," and the fatherhood of God is apparently only regarded as referring to the Divine Son . The
See also:work of Christ was the redemption of the elect, and this redemption awaits its consummation in the Parousia . This is the central point of the teaching of the epistle and is obviously directed against that of the false prophets . The writer looks forward to the destruction of the
See also:present world by
See also:fire, when the wicked, whether angels or men, who have been reserved for
See also:judgment will be finally condemned, and a new era of happiness for the elect will begin . Church Organization.—There is very little in 2 Peter which throws light on church organization .
From his silence it would appear that the monarchialepiscopacy did not yet exist in the church to which the writer belonged, and perhaps the prophets were still the chief guides, but the argument from silence cannot be pressed . In any case the growth of false and immoral prophets, which ultimately led to the obsolescence and suppression of this
See also:order, was far advanced and was one of the reasons which led to the writing of the epistle . AuTxoRITIEs.—Besides the books and articles already mentioned the following are important: F . H . Chase, " Peter " and " Epistles of Peter " in Hastings's
See also:Diet . Bible; P . W . Schmiedel, " Simon Peter " in the Ency . Bib . ; Lightfoot, S . Clement of Rome, 1, 201–315 and I I , 481-502; Harnack, Altchr . Litt. and Chronologie ' (the relevant sections) .
The relevant sections in the Introductions of Holtzmann, T . Zahn, Julicher,Salmon,
See also:Weiss and Moffat . The commentaries of Bigg, Mayor, F . Spitta, Kuhl (in
See also:Meyer's Commentary), von Soden (in Holtzmann's Commentary), and Weiss . (K .
PETER WENTWORTH (1530-1596)
There are no comments yet for this article.
Do not copy, download, transfer, or otherwise replicate the site content in whole or in part.
Links to articles and home page are encouraged.