Simon (or Simeon) was the original name of Peter, the son of Jonas (or John), and brother of Andrew, a disciple of John the Baptist, as Peter also may have been. A fisherman by occupation, he was an inhabitant of Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee, though subsequently he dwelt with his family at Capernaum. From Mark 1:30 we learn that Peter was a married man during the period of the Gospels.
Jensen points out that Peter’s life can be divided into four parts: (1) Pre-gospel Period; (2) Gospel period; (3) Early Church Period; and (4) Later life Period (time when epistles were written).
Date and Place Written:
I Peter was probably written around the time of the outbreak: of the Neronian persecution, or A.D. 64. Peter says he wrote this Epistle from Babylon. If we are to interpret this literally, there was a Babylon on the Euphrates (Mesopotamia) and also a Babylon on the Nile (City of Egypt). But quite generally it is thought to mean Rome. Merrill Tenney says Babylon was “a mystic name for Rome.”
Destination of Epistle:
To the churches in Asia Minor. Many of these had been founded by Paul, but Peter may have visited during evangelistic work between A.D. 49-62.
Occasion for Writing:
The 35-year-old church was experiencing severe persecution. It had always experienced some persecution on the local level; however, Imperial Rome now set its hand to the task of eliminating true Christians. “Thus the Epistle was born in the atmosphere of suffering, shortly before Peter’s own martyrdom” (Halley’s Bible Handbook).
A Little Help:
You are encouraged to use other translations, commentaries, and other Bible helps in your study of this quarterly.
In this quarterly you are going to cover many profound truths. Because of their depth and complexity, some of these teachings may be difficult to understand. So, ask the Holy Spirit to grip your heart and life with new ideas. As they are translated into practical reality in your relationship with God and with others, you will come to understand and experience these truths more clearly and intimately.
The following books were very helpful in preparing these studies. All direct quotes are noted.
I & II Peter; A Self-Study Guide; Moody Press; Irving L. Jensen. The Epistles of Peter; Moody Press; Edgar C. James.
An Introduction to the New Testament; Moody Press; D. Edmond Hiebert.
New Testament Survey; Eerdmans Press; Merrill C. Tenney.
Halley’s Bible Handbook; Zondervan Press; Henry H. Halley.
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia; Eerdmans Press; 1974.
The New Testament in Modem English; Macmillan Press; J.B. Phillips.
Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible; Baker Book House; Ralph Earle.