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Context of First and Second Letters of Peter Essay

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Updated: Jul 2nd, 2022

Context

In 1st letter, Peter writes to the scattered Christians across the Northern parts of the Asia Minor. He refers to the group as aliens that encompassed Gentiles and Jews (1:1), a phrase suggesting that it was an amalgamation of the Jews and Gentiles who had accepted Christ. They were aliens in the sight of nonbelievers. In the 2nd letter, Peter addresses early Christians to be aware of the false teachings and their immoralities (Skaggs, 2020). He urges the church to hold to the teachings of Jesus Christ that he, Peter, holds the first account. Peter asserts that Jesus’ deliberate delay is to let everyone turn away from their sins (3:9).

Culture

In both letters, there is no common ground for the respective groups. However, it is clear that the various groups had distinct believes including the Roman gods, Greek myths, and Christianity (Skaggs, 2020). It is the reason Peter warns the church about persecutions from the nonbelievers.

Topographical setting

1Peter 5:13 suggest that Peter wrote this letter from the local church, referring it as Babylon, which could be a metaphor, standing in for Rome that like the Mesopotamian city, had fallen for idolatry. As such, it is believed that Peter was in Rome because it was around that period (64 AD) that Nero had ramped up the persecution of Christians. The second letter was also written from Rome as he reminds the Christians to cling to the word of God (Skaggs, 2020). Here, Peter urges the church to embrace the spiritual maturity through God’s knowledge lest they fall to the heretics (2:3).

Political environment

Paul wrote the two letters at a time of persecution and religious intolerance in Rome and Asia. Records indicate that he was persecuted alongside Paul by Emperor Nero around mid-60 AD.

Personal reflections

I chose these letters because as the recipient of Peter’s letters, we all go through challenging times. Such trials hit us even harder when the sources are within our circles. We have to hold true to our faith (Skaggs, 2020). Peter reminds us to be on the guard (2 Peter 3: 17-18) that we may not fall for unprincipled men. One of the major themes is that we must grow in the knowledge of Christ.

Reference

Skaggs, R. (2020). 1, 2 Peter and Jude through the Centuries. John Wiley & Sons.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Context of First and Second Letters of Peter." July 2, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/context-of-first-and-second-letters-of-peter/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'Context of First and Second Letters of Peter'. 2 July.

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