The Letters of Peter

Peter almost certainly wrote his first letter between the onset of the Neronian persecution in 64 and Nero's death in 68 and although his primary mission was to the Jews, the text indicates a largely gentile audience in Pontus, Galatia, Capadocia, Asia and Bithynia (1 Peter 1:1) (now Northern Turkey). The Second Letter was written only slightly later. This dating makes the traditional date of Peter's death in 64 somewhat problematic.

There are some who believe that neither of the Letters was authored by Peter (he uses an amanuensis, Silvanus) but the contemporaneous evidence for and against Peter's authorship is tenuous. Subsequent attribution, particularly in the case of the First Letter, is very strong: Irenaeus quotes it; Tertullian and Clement of Alexandria attribute it; the author of the Shepherd of Hermas and Clement of Rome allude to it; Polycarp, Papais and Justin Martyr either quote or allude to Peter's writings. Before discussing his themes, we need to consider Peter's journey from fisherman to theologian.

First Letter:

Second Letter:

KC 03/07

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