LESSON ONE : INTRODUCTION- Background to First Peter.
  NKJV / KJV / NIV / ASV / Overview Chart.


Firstly, before we delve into the letter itself, let us set the scene by defining the context in which it was written. This will help us get a better appreciation of the message...


The early church universally acknowledged the authenticity and authority of First Peter. The Apostles name is given in 1 Peter 1:1, and there are definite similarities between certain phrases in the letter and Peter's sermons as recorded in the book of Acts (Compare 1 Peter 1:20 and Acts 2:23; 1 Peter 4:5 and Acts 10:42).

One of the most notable similarities with a sermon given by Peter in Acts is the quote found in 1 Peter 2:7-8 that is the same as used in Acts 4:10-11. This was a direct quote from Jesus that Peter would have overheard (See Matthew 21:42) about His rejection by the Religious community of that day.

Twice in Acts Peter used the Greek word 'xylon' (wood tree) to speak of the Cross, and this distinctive use is also found in First Peter (See Acts 5:30; Acts 10:39 ; 1 Peter 2:24).

The epistle contains a number of other allusions to events in the life of Christ that held special significance for Peter (e.g. 1 Peter 2:23; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 Peter 4:1 ; 1 Peter 5:1 - compare 1 Peter 5:5 and John 13:4 - look at these verses and try to figure out what event/s Peter would have had in mind).

An especially important reference in first Peter to an event of relevance to Peter is found in 1 Peter 5:2 which has the same use of the Greek word for 'to shepherd/ tend' in Scripture as that used by Jesus in John 21:16.

For further comments on authorship see...

Authorship and Date of First Peter.

For more about the life of Peter see..

Outline of Peter's Life.


First Peter is an Apostolic Epistle written, as we have seen, to encourage and instruct Gentile and/or Hebrew Christians in Asia Minor (Turkey) during intense persecutions under the Roman Emporer Nero.

Look at the following links for more detail on the literary content of the epistle...

Brief Overview of First Peter.

Click here for the Overview Chart of First Peter.


Read the following articles to find out the historical events that formed the backdrop for this letter....

Historical Background to First Peter.

Click here for map of the time of First Peter in terms of the extent of the Roman Empire.

Click here for map of the time of First Peter in terms of the location of Early church and Jewish settlers.


Click on the following links to see the Theological doctrines presented in First Peter...

Theological Contribution of First Peter.

Sufferings in Peter's Life and as seen in this Epistle.

Teaching on the Doctrine Of Suffering.

General Scripture on Suffering For Jesus.

For further information please also read this Overview of First Peter From Holman's Multimedia Dictionary.

Again you can look at the overview chart which combines elements of all the above...

Click here for the Overview Chart of First Peter.

When you have finished the above click here to go back to the contents and continue your study.