Authorship and Date. First Peter identifies its author as "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ" <1:1>. His frequent references to Christ's suffering <2:21-24; 3:18; 4:1; 5:1> show that the profile of the Suffering Servant was etched deeply upon his memory. He calls Mark his "son" <5:13>, recalling his affection for the young man and family mentioned in <Acts 12:12>. These facts lead naturally to the assumption that the apostle Peter wrote this letter.
Authorship of the epistle by the apostle Peter has been challenged, however, on the following grounds: (1) no official persecutions of the church took place during Peter's lifetime; (2) the epistle echoes some of Paul's teachings; and (3) the literary quality of the Greek seems too refined for a Galilean fisherman.
Valid as these objections are, they do not seriously challenge Peter's authorship of the epistle. The sufferings mentioned in the epistle need not refer to official persecutions, which did not begin until the time of the Roman emperor Domitian (A. D. 81-96), but to earlier local incidents. The last two questions are neatly resolved by recognizing the role that Silvanus <5:12> played in composing the epistle.
As a former associate of the apostle Paul, and as one who doubtlessly came to the Greek language as a native, Silvanus may have played an important role in bringing this epistle to completion. We might say of 1 Peter that the ideas came from Peter, but the design from Silvanus. The reference to "Babylon" <5:13>, a common image for civil power opposed to God, indicates that the epistle was written from Rome.
Illustrated Bible Dictionary)
(Copyright (C) 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)
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