the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary Haydock's Catholic Commentary
- 1 Peter
by George Leo Haydock
FIRST EPISTLE OF ST. PETER,
This first Epistle of St. Peter, though brief, contains much doctrine concerning faith, hope, and charity, with divers instructions to all persons of every state and condition. The apostle commands submission to rulers and superiors, and exhorts all to the practice of a virtuous life, in imitation of Christ. This epistle was written with such apostolical dignity, as to manifest the supreme authority with which its writer, the prince of the apostles, had been invested by his Lord and Master, Jesus Christ. He wrote it at Rome, which figuratively he calls Babylon, about fifteen years after our Lord’s ascension. (Challoner) --- St. Peter, otherwise called Simon, son of John or Jonas, was from Bethsaida, a city of Galilee. He was married, and lived at Capharnaum, and was employed with his brother Andrew, as fishermen, when our Lord called them. St. Peter on every occasion testified a more than usual zeal for his Master, and hence our Lord shewed him a very particular and very marked attention. He would have Peter present at his transfiguration; (Luke ix. 28.) and at another time declared that he [Peter] was a rock, upon which he [Jesus Christ] would build his Church, against which the gates of hell should never prevail. (Matthew xvi. 18.) Although St. Peter had the misfortune or weakness to deny Jesus Christ in his passion, our Lord, after his resurrection, gave him fresh proofs of his regard. (Matthew xvi. 7.) He continued him in his primacy over all, and appointed him in the most explicit manner visible head of his Church, when thrice asking Peter: "lovest thou me more than these?" and St. Peter as often answering, Christ said to him: "feed my lambs, feed my sheep." (John xxi. 15.) --- This epistle was always received in the Church as canonical, and as written by St. Peter, prince of the apostles. It is commonly agreed that it was written from Rome, which St. Peter calls Babylon, (Chap. v. 13.) and directed to those in the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, &c. (ver. 1.) who were before Jews or Gentiles, and had been converted to the Christian faith. It is certain this letter was not written till after the true believers had the name of Christians. (Chap. iv. 16.) Many think it was written before the year 49; but this is not certain. Others judge not till after the year 60, and some not till a short time before he wrote his second epistle. See Tillemont, t. i. Art. 31. on S. Pet. and tom. ii. on S. Mark, p. 89.) The main design is to confirm the new converts in the faith of Christ, with divers instructions to a virtuous life. (Witham) --- Grotius, Erasmus, and Estius, discover in this epistle, a strength and majesty worthy the prince of the apostles. Est autem epistola profecto digna Apostolorum Principe, plena authoritatis et majestatis Apostolicæ: verbis parca, sententiis referta.