The First Epistle of Peter, commonly known as First Peter, is the 21st book of the New Testament and the 60th book of the King James Version of the Bible. The book is set out as a letter which was addressed to churches throughout Asia Minor which, at the time, were being persecuted for their religion.
1 Peter is a relatively small book in the KJV of the Bible and is set out as a letter. Like the other letters contained in the Bible, 1 Peter contains no tales or violence but does contain some prejudice towards Pagans, as seen in chapter four.
Summary of Chapters
The first chapter of 1 Peter tells of God's word that was preached about being Holy and the infallibility of God's word. An interesting sentence is 1:7, which states that gold and silver perish - even though refined by fire, which obviously isn't quite true.
Chapter Two begins with a message to rid yourselves of sins and a parable of a rock, the parable accompanying the notion of a bad stone with non-belief and a good stone (one being used in buildings) with belief. It then goes on to urge somewhat of a call to persevere, telling people of a Holy nation to abstain from sinning. The chapter then goes on to urge everyone including slaves to submit to God. There seems to be some inconsistencies over the object that bore Jesus, 1 Peter tells of Jesus on a tree as opposed to a cross (2:24).
Chapter Three is mainly aimed at husbands and wives, and gives a set of guidelines for each to live by. It tells women to be utterly submissive to their husbands, and husbands to be considerate to their 'weaker partners' - their wives. This directly shows sexism and proves that not all sexism is contained within the Old Testament, so this book proves the undoing to the apologetic arguments of both sexism and slavery existing in the Old Testament solely.
Chapter Four tells of how Christ never sinned but also how the Pagans are 'detestable' (4:3), they are said to be lustful and drunk among other things. The book then tells Christians specifically to perservere and not be ashamed of their beliefs, and that those who suffer should continue to do good.
Chapter Five, the last chapter of 1 Peter, is addressed to elders and young men in particular. The elders are told to be good examples to young men, who are in turn, told to be submissive to those who are older. A message is also given around this area (5:5), saying that god opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble. The last few sentences of chapter five name 'Mark' as the son of the author, with the author being or meant to be Saint Peter it is likely that 'son' was meant as a non-literal sense and meant as close companion. The Evangelist Mark and Saint Peter were known companions and Mark is said to have recorded tales of Peter's.
First Peter's author is identified in the opening text as, "Peter, an apostle of Jesus." That the book was written by Saint Peter is confirmed by early fathers of the Christian church, such as Origen of Alexandria (c. 185 - 254), Tertullian (c. 140 - 222), and Irenaeus (c. 140 - 203).
However, most scholars today agree that the writings attributed to Peter were written by an unknown author after his death, estimating its writing to have taken place between 60 and 112 AD.
This book does not contain anything of actual importance even though it does have some guidelines for living, these guidelines are explained in other books however. It may also be worth remembering that sexism and slavery do not only exist in the Old Testament as seen in chapters two and three. Chapter three shows sexism directly whilst chapter two only mentions slavery, but cases of slavery can be seen in numerous other places in the New Testament in more detail than in this book.