I & II Peter Introduction – Study Notes


Scriptures to Read:

1 Peter 1:3 All honor to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for it is by his boundless mercy that God has given us the privilege of being born again. Now we live with a wonderful expectation because Jesus Christ rose again from the dead. 4 For God has reserved a priceless inheritance for his children. It is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. 5 And God, in his mighty power, will protect you until you receive this salvation, because you are trusting him. It will be revealed on the last day for all to see.

1 Peter 1:13 so think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the special blessings that will come to you at the return of Jesus Christ. 14 Obey God because you are his children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of doing evil; you didn’t know any better then.

1 Peter 1:22 Now you can have sincere love for each other as brothers and sisters because you were cleansed from your sins when you accepted the truth of the Good News. So see to it that you really do love each other intensely with all your hearts.

1 Peter 2:9 But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are a kingdom of priests, God’s holy nation, his very own possession. This is so you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

1 Peter 2:15 It is God’s will that your good lives should silence those who make foolish accusations against you.

1 Peter 2:18 You who are slaves must accept the authority of your masters. Do whatever they tell you– not only if they are kind and reasonable, but even if they are harsh.

1 Peter 3:1 In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands, even those who refuse to accept the Good News. Your godly lives will speak to them better than any words. They will be won over

1 Peter 3:7a,8 In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. 8 Finally, all of you should be of one mind, full of sympathy toward each other, loving one another with tender hearts and humble minds.

1 Peter 3:18 Christ also suffered when he died for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners that he might bring us safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit.

1 Peter 4:10 God has given gifts to each of you from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Manage them well so that God’s generosity can flow through you.

1 Peter 4:19 So if you are suffering according to God’s will, keep on doing what is right, and trust yourself to the God who made you, for He will never fail you.

1 Peter 5:2 Care for the flock of God entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly– not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God.

1 Peter 5:6 So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and in his good time he will honor you. 7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you.

II Peter 1:3 As we know Jesus better, his divine power gives us everything we need for living a godly life. He has called us to receive his own glory and goodness!

II Peter 1:20,21 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophets themselves 21 or because they wanted to prophesy. It was the Holy Spirit who moved the prophets to speak from God.

II Peter 2:1 But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach their destructive heresies about God and even turn against their Master who bought them. Theirs will be a swift and terrible end.

II Peter 2:9 So you see, the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials, even while punishing the wicked right up until the day of judgment.

II Peter 3:11-13 Since everything around us is going to melt away, what holy, godly lives you should be living! 12 You should look forward to that day and hurry it along– the day when God will set the heavens on fire and the elements will melt away in the flames. 13 But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world where everyone is right with God.

II Peter 3:17 I am warning you ahead of time, dear friends, so that you can watch out and not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people. I don’t want you to lose your own secure footing.

Break-out groups:

Divide into 3 groups by ‘count off” method to 3, 1-2-3 etc

G1- Authorship – Date – Audience – Place of writing

Hints:

Findings:

G2- I Peter Main Themes

Hints:

Findings:

G3- II Peter Facts & Themes

Hints:

Findings:

Author, Date and Audience

We discover in both I & II Peter 1:1 the identity of the authorship is the Apostle Peter. Peter was the leader of the apostles (see list: Matt. 10; Mark 3; Luke 6; Acts 1). He was first called Simon (Greek) or Simeon (Hebrew) and was the son of Jonas (John) and Andrew’s brother; from a family of fisherman who lived in Bethsaida and later in Capernaum. Peter was married (Mark 1:30) and his wife is noted to have traveled with him (I Cor. 9:5). Jesus renamed him Peter or Cephas which means ‘stone’ or ‘rock’ and he was singled out for special lessons throughout our Lord’s ministry. He was also the spokesman for the Twelve and took the lead in the early days of the church and was first to articulate the Gospel to both the Samaritans and Gentiles.

According to I Peter 5:13 he is writing from ‘Babylon’ and this is most likely Rome (see Rev 17,18).

The style of Greek used in I Peter is classical and some doubt that Peter being ‘uneducated’ could have drafted it. While Peter may not have received formal training he was likely literate. The main point is that he wrote the letter ‘by Silvanus’ or Silas who being the secretary could have aided syntax, grammar and style. Silvanus being a prophet (Acts 15:32) through the dictation of Peter – under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit – conveyed the exact message intended by God for His people.

I Peter was likely written in or soon after 64 AD; possibly after The Great Fire of Rome in 64 during the reign of Nero. There are many references to persecution throughout this epistle.

It is uncertain who or what actually caused the fire — whether accident or arson. According to Tacitus, some in the population held Nero responsible. To diffuse blame, Nero targeted the Christians. There were Christians who confessed to the crime, but it became known that Christians were forced to confess by means of torture, and the passage is unclear as to what the Christians confessed to — being arsonists or Christians. Suetonius and Cassius Dio favor Nero as the arsonist with an insane desire to destroy the city as his motive, or to rebuild Rome in a new style more to his liking. However, major accidental fires were common in ancient Rome. In fact, Rome burned again under Vitellius in 69 and under Titus in 80. According to Tacitus, Nero ordered Christians to be thrown to dogs, while others were crucified or burned to serve as lights. From WIKI

II Peter was likely written in 67 or 68 AD just prior to his martyrdom in the same year.

The audience in I Peter was the diasporas/διασποράς (dispersion or scattered ones), likely clusters of both Jewish and Gentile believers, under escalating persecution, spread throughout various cities of the Roman Empire. The audience is, ‘those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as our’ in II Peter. The somewhat non-distinct, as to location or nationality, description of the intended readers was likely to protect them from persecution.

Main Themes in I Peter

• Our focus must be on God and cause us to live to please Him and love our church family

• We are priesthood of believers and by the proof of our lives we put to shame our accusers

• We make real our faith by submission in every way imaginable, in every relationship

• We will suffer for the truth we hold and live and one greater went before us and showed the way it is done.

• Use your gifts to serve his people and if you are a leader, use special care to gladly lead the flock

• Live in humility to God and His power and trust Him in everything

Main Themes in II Peter

While I Peter deals with dangers from outsiders hostile to Christ and His people, II Peter ̶ along with Jude ̶ examine dangers from within the community. We are sternly warned about two conjoined problems: the emergence of false teachers, and the teaching itself. When one peers beneath the veil of the kingdom of cults, you will find invaluable assistance and instruction in II Peter. Stand strong in correct doctrine and a life if purity while avoiding a world centric and self centered life.

Anything that draws us from a distinctive Christian perspective on life is a danger to the believer and to the church body.

What is a Christian perspective?

Name some ways a worldly perspective can damage a group of believers:

What are some techniques which false teachers employ to lead astray?

• Characteristics:

• Appeal:

• Doctrines:

• Our response:

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