by Roger Thomas

This content is part of a series.

1 Peter: The Fiery Trial (23 of 29)
Series: Through the New Testament
Roger Thomas
1 Peter 1:1-16

For most of us, the idea of persecution or suffering for our faith seems far-fetched. We live in a free society. No one we know has ever been jailed for professing Christ. However, that's not true for lots of the world. Alam told us a few weeks ago what it meant to become a Christian in Pakistan. Last's week film (China Crises) illustrated the adversity of being a believer in communist China.

Living free of adversity and persecution has not been the fate for much of Christian history. Unfortunately, it may not remain true forever even in our own land. It certainly wasn't true for the First Century readers of our next book in our journey through the Bible. We are ready for the sixtieth of the sixty-six books of the Bible. We began this journey four years ago. Six more books and we will have covered the entire Bible library a book at a time.

1 Peter is the second of what is sometimes known as the General Epistles. The books of James through Jude are lumped together in a separate category for a couple of reasons. They were not written by Paul. The other letter-type books were. They are not addressed to a specific locale. Romans, 1 Corinthians, Ephesians, 1 Timothy and other books were addressed to Christians in a specific city or to a specific Christian leader. These letters, including 1 Peter, were written to Christians in general or at least believers spread over a large area.

Peter, the fisherman turned leader of the disciples, penned the book. The concluding paragraph credits help from Silas (Silvanus, the Latin name in some translations). Early Christian tradition claims that the book was written from Rome (note the symbolic reference to those who in Babylon, 5:13) shortly before Peter was put to death under the brutal persecution of Emperor Nero. That would place it in the mid 60's of the first century. A reign of terror began in the capital city whe ...

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