Other Letters

The Other Letters Series covers Hebrews; Firstand Second Peter; First, Secondand Third John;and, Jude. All the letters written by Paul are in the Paul’s Letters Series, while Jamesis in the James Series and Revelationis in the Revelation Series.

Surprisingly little information is known about the letters in this series. The exact dates of all of them are unknown, and the author of Hebrewsis both unknown and disputed. The target audiences of the letters are broadly described, if described at all.

Based on information from the NIV Archaeological Study Bible, the dates of these letters might be:

Hebrews                     60-70 AD

1 Peter                         60-64 AD

2 Peter                        64-68 AD

Jude                             60-68 AD

1 John                          85-95 AD

2 John                          85-95 AD

3 John                          85-95 AD

First Peter

The letter was addressed from Peter the apostle. You can quickly see why some scholars wonder how the uneducated Peter of the gospels attained the language and theological skill to write this letter. Perhaps 1 Peter 5:12 provides part of the answer.

This letter was sent to faithful Christians in various areas of modern-day Turkey, but was likely meant for much wider dissemination. They had apparently been going through various trials, and Peter encouraged them to stay faithful, thereby obtaining salvation. Peter reminds them that Christ suffered, too.

Holiness is an important outcome of faithfulness and suffering. Peter tells them that they are to be holy because God is holy, and because God will judge each of them according to their deeds. He reminds them that they are specially chosen by God who called them. They are to behave honorably so that even unbelievers will glorify God.

Like Paul and James, Peter calls for believers to have submissive attitudes so they can bring others to Christ. They are also to have a desire for unity and a loving spirit. Over and over, Peter stresses the need for right behavior.

1 Peter 4:7 reflects one of the reasons why Peter is so forthright and urgent that people behave rightly. He says the end of all things is near. With that insight, Peter knows people need to change now, not at some point in the future when it might be too late. 1 Peter 4:8 shows just how much Peter has developed his thought process. He says to love each other deeply. Not just love each other, but love deeply. Why? Because love covers over a multitude of sins.

Another reason Christians are to behave rightly is that they are representatives of God. Peter urges his hearers to speak as if God is speaking, and serve with all the strength God provides. The end goal of this is one thing: that God is praised through Jesus Christ.

As Peter moves to conclude the letter, he reminds the elders to be good shepherds of their flocks. Although it happened nearly forty years earlier, you can be sure Peter remembers Jesus telling him to take care of Jesus’ sheep.

Primary Scriptures:
1 Peter 1-5
Story Summary:
Overview of 1 Peter
Roman Empire
60-64 AD