Lecture 3 – The First Letter of Peter: An Ethic for Resident Aliens Awaiting Their Inheritance

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Lecture 3 – The First Letter of Peter: An Ethic for Resident Aliens Awaiting Their Inheritance
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2012-06-13 23:54:05
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Lecture 3 – The First Letter of Peter: An Ethic for Resident Aliens Awaiting Their Inheritance
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  1. Recognize

    Those who reside as aliens (“Christians”) in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.

    Jews in exile

    Jewish Christians

    I Pet 2:12 and 4:3 identifies those outside the community as “Gentiles”

    Repeated references to the pagan background of recipients

    Use of the Hebrew Bible in the Christian Church
    Use of the term “people of Israel” is a clarification of the readers

    Aliens because of their commitment to the lordship of Jesus Christ has led them to transformed attitudes and behavior that place them on the margins of society (social ostracism).
    the audience of 1 Peter
  2. Recognize-
    Kinds of opposition faced by addressees
    Verbal abuse
    Physical assaults
    Persecution
    aspects of the pastoral problem addressed by 1 Peter
  3. The recipients were being marginalized by their society, alienated in their relationships, and threatened with—if not experiencing—a loss of honor and socioeconomic standing (and possibly worse )
    the overall pastoral strategy in 1 Peter (Sect. 15).
  4. The author encourages a transformed understanding of Christian self-identity that redefines how one is to live as a Christian in a world that is hostile to the basic principles of the gospel. Thus the experience of harassment is endurable and its avoidance disadvantageous (1:6-7; 2:21-25; 3:18-22; 4:1-6, 12-19; 5:8-10).
    the overall pastoral strategy in 1 Peter (Sect. 15).
  5. The author exhorts the readers to engage the world as foreigners and resident aliens, having a healthy respect for the society and culture in which they live while at the same time maintaining an appropriate separation from it. It is as foreigners and resident aliens that Peter’s readers are to abstain from carnal desires that, even though perhaps socially acceptable, war against the soul, while at the same time living good lives among the Gentiles (2:11-20; 3:1-16).
    the overall pastoral strategy in 1 Peter (Sect. 15).
  6. “The more I study it (1Peter), the more alien it seems to the interests and projects of mainstream Christianity” (J. H. Elliott 1998: 179).
    the overall pastoral strategy in 1 Peter (Sect. 15).
  7. Match arguments as either for Petrine authorship of 1 Peter or for pseudonymous authorship (Sect. 16).

    *Accepted without serious debate in early church
    . Explicit claim to Petrine authorship
  8. Match arguments as either for Petrine authorship of 1 Peter or for pseudonymous authorship (Sect. 16).


    Broad awareness of Jesus sayings
    . Explicit claim to Petrine authorship
  9. Match arguments as either for Petrine authorship of 1 Peter or for pseudonymous authorship (Sect. 16).

    Possible awareness of traditions in which Peter himself played a role.
    Explicit claim to Petrine authorship
  10. Match arguments as either for Petrine authorship of 1 Peter or for pseudonymous authorship (Sect. 16).

    *Peter’s level of education (cf. Acts 4:13)
    Evidence suggesting possible pseudonymity
  11. Match arguments as either for Petrine authorship of 1 Peter or for pseudonymous authorship (Sect. 16).

    *The author’s use of the Septuagint
    Evidence suggesting possible pseudonymity
  12. Match arguments as either for Petrine authorship of 1 Peter or for pseudonymous authorship (Sect. 16).

    *The absence of any personal reminiscences of Jesus
    Evidence suggesting possible pseudonymity
  13. Match arguments as either for Petrine authorship of 1 Peter or for pseudonymous authorship (Sect. 16).

    *Affinities with Pauline letters
    Evidence suggesting possible pseudonymity
  14. Match arguments as either for Petrine authorship of 1 Peter or for pseudonymous authorship (Sect. 16).

    *Rome as “Babylon” (a post-70 CE phenomenon?)
    Evidence suggesting possible pseudonymity
  15. Match arguments as either for Petrine authorship of 1 Peter or for pseudonymous authorship (Sect. 16).

    *1 Peter reflects a later situation of oppression?
    Evidence suggesting possible pseudonymity
  16. Explore the five themes of 1 Peter’s pastoral response and rhetorical strategy (Sect. 18).

    1. Reaffirming the honor & identity of the disgraced.
    • *”Chosen aliens-in-residence”
    • *New Birth into a new household with a new heritage & a new destiny
    • -“New birth”, Superiority of this new birth, New inheritance.
    • *Holiness-The Levitical “holiness code”, Early Christian interpretations of holiness, Holiness & identity in 1 Peter 2: 4-10
  17. Understand the aspects of Christian formation addressed in 1 Peter (Sect. 19).
    1. In regard to Christians facing persecution

    • 2. In regard to
    • Christians in tolerant nations

    3. Reflections on Christian leadership
  18. Explore the five themes of 1 Peter’s pastoral response and rhetorical strategy (Sect. 18).

    2. Re-interpreting the experience of suffering.
  19. *Suffering as “proving ground”, suffering as sign of God’s favor, unbelievers cannot rightly evaluate honor or assign disgrace, Care in application of “suffering” passages. (Not abuse, domestic violence, diseases, etc. Does apply to suffering encountered when obedience to Jesus’ call, teaching, and example brings one into conflict with those who resist God’s vision for human relationships.)
  20. Explore the five themes of 1 Peter’s pastoral response and rhetorical strategy (Sect. 18).

    3. Redefining the “real” challenge
    • *Focus on the gift of God to be manifested @ Christ’s coming (1 Peter1:13 & 4:13)
    • *Focus on victory in the spiritual war over your souls (1 Peter 5: 5-8)
    • *Focus on the imminence of the end.
  21. Explore the five themes of 1 Peter’s pastoral response and rhetorical strategy (Sect. 18).

    4. Shaping Christian response to a hostile, suspicious society.
    *Urging disciples to embrace their marginal existence as “chosen exiles” ( 1 Peter 1:1; see also 2: 11)

    • *Urging disciples to behave respectfully in every situation (1 Peter 2: 13-17, etc.).-Follow Christ’s example
    • *Dispel prejudice w/virtuous conduct (As wives of unbelieving husbands, as slaves of unbelieving masters, as Christians in general.)*Words to converted slaves and wives in this context
  22. Explore the five themes of 1 Peter’s pastoral response and rhetorical strategy (Sect. 18).

    5. Shaping Relations within the Church
    • *Christians as Siblings, to show the love of sisters and brothers
    • *The importance of Hospitality
    • *Instructions to Christian husbands of Christian wives (& the special problems in translation of 1 Peter 3:7)

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