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By, Jonathan Paran Aran (B. Th) (Mail box no. 77)
1 Peter Dr. Greg Forbes Malaysia Bible Seminary 13th July 2010/Semester 2
Section 1 a) List all the terms in Chapter 1 that describe what God has done for the believer in the present. - Chosen v.1 - Set apart v.2 - Show mercy, New birth, living hope v.3 - Inheritance imperishable, undefiled and unfading v.4 - God protects inheritance v.5 - Ransomed v.18 - Born anew v.23 b) Describe all blessings associated with Christ¶s return (the revelation of Christ). When is ³salvation´ in 1 Peter? - Inheritance that can never perish is kept by God until coming of salvation at the last day 1:5 - Salvation of your soul (receiving the end result of faith) 1:9 - Receive boundless joy 4:13 (rejoice when his glory is revealed) - Elders/ overseers who are faithful will receive a crown of glory that never fades 5:4 In these references ³salvation´ for Peter comes later, awaiting the arrival of Christ. Ideas flowing in this manner arises from the mention that believers will receive their inheritance at the last day (1:5), ³that they are receiving´ (1:9) which indicates the ongoing receiving, boundless joy arising when Jesus¶ glory is revealed (4:13) and that elders will receive a crown of glory when the Chief shepherd arrives (5:4). These references indicate a future disposal of blessings. c) List all the terms that Peter uses in 2:4-10 to describe the church. Where are these terms from and to whom did they apply. Terms used: - Chosen by God, precious to him v.4 - Living stones, holy priesthood v.5 - A chosen people, a royal priesthood, A holy nation, God¶s special possession, Called out of darkness v.9 - The people of God, Those who receive mercy v.10 Where are these terms from? It is apparent that these tones have a large connection to the Old Testament designation towards Israel. The call to be ³living stones built into a spiritual house´ has the idea that Peter is drawing understanding from the OT e.g. 1 Kings 5:5 and Is 56:7. The word use on house which is µoikos¶ is referred to Jerusalem temple. Holy priesthood is echoed from Ex 19:6; 23:22; Is 61.6. ³A chosen people´ Is 43:20. Royal Priesthood and holy nation: Ex 19:6 and 23:22. ³God¶s special possession´: Ex 19:5 Is 43:21 Mal 3:17. In v.10 Peter borrows words from Hosea 1:6, 9; 2:1, 23.
To whom did they apply? These terms apply to the believers whom Peter was addressing who were predominantly Gentile and some Jewish Christian church/ community. d) List all the references to suffering/ persecution throughout the epistle, and restate in your own words the point(s) made by each reference. References: - 1:6-7: Peter calls the believers to rejoice because of what he said in v3-5 but now they are facing trials which are for the testing of their faith which will show that they are genuine in what they believe. This will result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus comes. - 2:12: The call to be witnesses by way of life in society, though accusations may come. This may turn for their salvation in which they witness their good life and they will give glory to God when he comes. - 2:18-25: Out of Fearing God, slaves to show unconditional submission to their masters. Suffering unjustly is commendable rather than being in the wrong. God approves of this (God¶s favour). Jesus becomes the example to follow in this scenario. - 3:9-12: Don¶t take revenge but bless instead. This is because then God will be attentive to our prayers on the basis of our speech and life. - 3:13-14: Blessed to suffer for doing right. - 3:16-18: Way of life that follows Christ distils slanderous remarks from outsiders. Jesus is given as an example to follow. - 4:1-6: Jesus is our example in that we prepare to suffer like he did if need be so. The ones who suffer have no desire for sin but focus to God. God will judge us according to how we live. - 4:12-19: Suffering happens and Peter tells them that not to be surprised when it comes. Suffering somehow shows that God¶s Spirit rests on you and that we rejoice that we carry his name. - 5:8-11: Be prepared, resisting the devil by standing firm and standing together with other Christians who are sojourner of the same condition they were going through. e) How should believers behave towards one another? - 1:22 To love without hypocrisy and truly from the heart - 2:17 Love for fellow believer - 3:1-6 wives are called to submit to their husbands, this is by way they live (gentle and quiet spirit v.4) following the way OT women did. - 3:7 Husbands to be considerate with their wives treating them with respect - 3:8 call to be like minded, sympathetic, loving each other, being compassionate and humble. - 4:8 love each other deeply - 4:9 offer hospitality willingly - 4:10-11 edify each other by ministering to one another so Christ will be praised - 5:2-4 Elders are called to be shepherds of the flock, willingly, eager to serve and being examples to them.
5:5 Younger people are to submit to elders in humility to one another 5:14 Greet each other warmly (holy kiss)
f) How should believers relate to the non-Christian pagan society? What are the terms that Peter uses to describe the status of believers within such a society? How they are to relate to their society: - Living good lives amongst them 2:12 - Submit to human authority, do good, live in freedom but not to cover up evil, 2:13-16 - Respect others, honor the emperor 2:17 - Slaves are to submit to their good and bad masters 2:18 - Wives are to submit to their unbelieving partners in their behaviour 3:6 - Don¶t tread the route of revenge but rather bless those who insult them 3:9, 13-14 - Ready to explain the faith to others if they ask with gentleness and respect 3:15 - Don¶t participate with them in their pagan way of life which they used to live in before 4:3-4 Terms Peter used to describe status of believers within the society:
1:1 God¶s elect and exiles 1:10-12 They were privileged 1:17 Foreigners 1:23 Born again 2:5 Living stones, built into spiritual house, holy priesthood 2:9 Chosen people, royal priesthood, a holy nation, God¶s special possession 2:10 The people of God, those who receive mercy 2:11 Foreigners and exiles 3:9 Those who inherit the blessing 4:14 Blessed 4:16 Those who bear his name if one suffers for his name sake/ Christian 4:17 God¶s household 5:14 Those who are in Christ
Section 2: To whom did Peter write this epistle and what was their situation? Peter has been attested by some to have written his letter to Jewish Christians. Evidence of this can be seen in several verses that carry with them terms and ideas pertaining to Jewish terminology and understanding (1:1, 1:4). In 2:9-10 where words such as ³chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own...´ all have point to a direction
they were Jews. But on the contrary there are strong arguments against that. Evidence for this can be seen in 1:14 or 1:18 where they indicate that they were not speaking not of Jews. Even stronger in 4:3-4 Peter speaks of the previous way of life they used to live and their change ways in that they do not practice what they did before after their conversion. With all these considerations at hand we could come to a conclusion that the readers were predominantly Gentile but this is not to exclude Jews who were addressed by Peter in the terms of ³oikos´ in the Greek which refers them to household communities. They were comprised of people of the lower classes. Example of this can be found in 2:18ff where it does not indicate ethical practices of masters but only slaves. A theological intent can be discerned in that Peter was concerned with people in subordinate roles. It can be noted from reading through 1 Peter that the theme of suffering. There were two other known state persecutions that were Nero in AD 64 in Rome and Domitian in AD 95 in Asia Minor where both are not possible in support of state charged persecution. Another indication comes from positive overtones of the government in 1 Pet 2:13-17. They were more likely being victimized by their pagan neighbours. This happened because they did not participate in pagan religious practices and they withdrew from their past life. These steps they took were considered improper, that is to leave the religion of their ancestors. Therefore Peter used terms like aliens and exiles based on the nature of their persecution.
Section 3: (A short paragraph on each category is sufficient.) Peter presents a strong case of them in understanding who they are in Jesus. Terms such as being chosen v.1, set apart v.2, show mercy, having new birth (v.23 as well) and a living hope v.3, haring an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading v.4 where God protects it v.5 and being ransomed v.18 all points to a wonderful picture that anchors
their faith in what they have in Jesus. Peter reshapes their identity by pointing them to what God has done for them in Jesus. This in turn will be the basis on which Peter will draw out how their living should be. Peter here deals with stating a strong soteriological understanding that will have a purpose to navigate how it is for them to live. According to the way Peter puts it in his letter here salvation is a future event. Peter states that inheritance (1:5), the salvation of the soul (1:9) and receiving boundless joy (4:3) are blessings received in the future. He used such terms as ³revealed in the last time´ (1:5), ³receiving the end result of your faith´ (1:9) and ³when his glory is revealed´ (4:13) all hold to an indication that salvation is received in its fullness at the coming of Christ. It could be that Peter addressed this in order to anchor the faith of his readers so that they remain steadfast in their trials. A future filled with hope awaits, their way of life is not lived in vain but awaits the fullness of their salvation at the end. Peter exhorts them to keep on living their life of faith reminding them that it is not finished until Christ returns and this is when their salvation will be realized fully. Predominantly, some of terms found in 1 Peter 2:4-10 such as being a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God¶s special possession comes from Exodus 19:5-6. These terms were central to Israel in understanding that they were the elect of God. Peter wrote to his readers to remind them of who they were, the elect of God using language equivalent to language of Israel. Knowing that they were the elect with them the understanding that in the midst of their trials they had a foundation and trust to hold onto. It became their foundation for ethic as well. The suffering and persecution they faced was not something out of the ordinary for a Christian but Peter tells them that there will be consequences of following Jesus even on the onset of doing good. Their sufferings have eschatological dimensions in which sees hope,
vindication and commendation at the coming of Christ in 1:6-7. Their suffering for doing good is commendable to God and that it shows their relational connection (4:14). This could also be a way of missions as well, where the non-believers might be won over by their life example in the midst of their suffering. Jesus sets for them an example to follow in suffering and this becomes a pattern in which they follow. Implicitly, it also becomes a source of encouragement in that Jesus also suffered like them. After all in the end God is the judge of how one lives (3:9-12, 4:5) and so their life should follow the pattern based on who God is (1:16) and the example he laid out for them in Jesus to follow. Christian behaviour of loving one another, considerate, being like-minded or submissive all fall out of a response of what God had done for them (mainly seen in 1:1-12). Since they were already persecuted from their society or maybe even their families, the community of believers now has become their family and Peter¶s exhortation¶s for them in how they live together becomes all the more important. An implication of how they behave and relate to one another can also be seen in the form of witness. Their unity in their belief and life will be a witness to those outside the church. Christians living among their pagan neighbours were to exemplify God¶s character and nature (1:16).This is basically in how they relate and in what Christians shun from their old practices. It is through this example that they will eventually communicate the message of their faith by how they live. This will open up conversations on what they believe but in relating this Christians are called to share their faith with respect. The terms that Peter applied to the believers to whom he wrote reminded them of who they were and in whom they belonged to. This would become their anchor of hope and encouragement in the pagan society where they were socially marginalized. It gave them a sense of belonging. It also reminded them that although they were living in the midst of society, they were also foreigners and exiles. They belonged to God, in a way that their way of life and how they live
are governed by him and not the social norms of the world they were living in. Their identity gave them an ethics of how to live.