Peter, First Epistle of

This epistle is addressed to "the strangers scattered abroad",
i.e., to the Jews of the Dispersion (the Diaspora).

Its object is to confirm its readers in the doctrines they had
been already taught. Peter has been called "the apostle of
hope," because this epistle abounds with words of comfort and
encouragement fitted to sustain a "lively hope." It contains
about thirty-five references to the Old Testament.

It was written from Babylon, on the Euphrates, which was at
this time one of the chief seats of Jewish learning, and a
fitting centre for labour among the Jews. It has been noticed
that in the beginning of his epistle Peter names the provinces
of Asia Minor in the order in which they would naturally occur
to one writing from Babylon. He counsels (1) to steadfastness
and perseverance under persecution (1-2:10); (2) to the
practical duties of a holy life (2:11-3:13); (3) he adduces the
example of Christ and other motives to patience and holiness
(3:14-4:19); and (4) concludes with counsels to pastors and
people (ch. 5).