The First Epistle of Peter is the sixtieth book in the Christian Bible, and the twenty-first in the New Testament. This book is believed to be a letter from Peter to fellow Christians. The traditional Roman Catholic belief is that was written during his time as Bishop of Rome or Bishop of Antioch but that is not said in the letter, which says that it was written from Babylon. In the Book of Revelation Babylon is used as a code word for Rome. The letter was sent to Christian churches in Asia Minor that were being persecuted for their faith.
Who sent the letter
Many students of the book believe that Peter was not the author of the letter because it seems been written by someone who had learned rhetoric and philosophy, and had studied the Greek language, none of which would be usual for a Galilean fisherman. Others believe that Peter used an educated secretary to help him write the letter or that he studied relevant subjects in the decades-long period between Jesus' death and Peter's writing of the letter.
To whom it was sent
1 Peter was sent to the “elect resident aliens” living in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. These were Roman provinces in Asia Minor. In Chapter 1, verse 17, they are told to “live in reverent fear during the time of your exile". Peter calls them "strangers", in the first verse of the letter. This could mean Christians wishing for their home in heaven, or people in a different place from where they were born. While local people may have been unkind to the Christians, Peter tells them to stay loyal to both their religion and the Roman Empire (Chapter 2, verse 17).
What Peter tells the Christians
- (1) to keep faithful even when other treat them badly. (Chapters 1 and 2)
- (2) to live a holy life in every day ways. (Chapter 2 and 3)
- (3) He uses the example of Jesus Christ and other reasons to be patient and holy in Chapters 3 and 4.
- (4) He concludes with advice to pastors and people (Chapter 5).