A Commentary on the Epistles of Peter and Jude by J. N. D. Kelly

By J. N. D. Kelly

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Christianity according to i Peter* (Expository Times Ixviii, 1956). 'The Critique of Paganism in i Peter i, 18* (Neotestamentica et Semetica: Festschrift for M. Black. Edinburgh, 1969). J. W. C. Wand, 'The Lessons of First Peter: A Survey of Recent Interpretation* (Interpretation ix, 1959). S. Wibbing, 'Die Tugend- und Lasterkataloge im NT* (ZNTW, Beiheft xxv, 1959). 37 This page intentionally left blank THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER i. ADDRESS AND GREETING i. 1-2 (i) Peter, apostle of Jesus Christ, to God's scattered people settled temporarily in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia who have been chosen (2) as a result of God the Father's foreknowledge, by the sanctifying action of the Spirit, with a view to obedience and sprinkling with the blood of Jesus Christ.

14-16 is studied in the context of the other allusions to trials and sufferings, it becomes plain that this is not the only interpretation that is possible, nor the most plausible. As we saw in §3, the impression which the letter as a whole conveys is not of juridical prosecutions by the government (these seem ruled out by the references themselves, by the statement that the ill-treatment is world-wide, and by the respect shown to the emperor), but of an atmosphere of suspicion, hostility and brutality on the part of the local population which may easily land Christians in trouble with the police.

4) The abrupt' Dear friends' at ii. 11 marks the opening of a fresh pericope, which continues to iii. 12 and forms a relatively compact unity. Style, subject-matter and arrangement, as well as the numerous parallels in other NT epistles, indicate the writer's dependence here on a type of ethical code which was apparently in circulation in the primitive Church and which it took over, with suitable Christian modifications, from models supplied by Jewish and Judaeo-Hellenistic propaganda and popular pagan philosophy.

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