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- 1 Peter
by Joseph Sutcliffe
THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER.
OF St. Peter’s history the gospels are full, and St. Paul has placed him as the first apostle, and effectual minister to the circumcision. Galatians 2:8. Peter was with Paul at Antioch, which became the chief seat of christianity in Asia. When Peter was liberated from prison by the angel of the Lord, he deemed it not prudent to remain in the territories of Herod Agrippa; yet he was at the council held in that city. Acts 15:7. After this he travelled in proconsular Asia, as Origen on Genesis modestly asserts, “and preached to the scattered [jews and proselytes] in Pontus, Bithynia, Cappadocia and Asia. Afterwards, on coming to Rome, he was crucified with his head downward, having himself requested that his crucifixion might be in this manner.” He is supposed to have laboured about seven years in Antioch, and the adjacent provinces.
F. Sixtus, a learned preacher at Sienna, in his Bibliotheca Sancta, anno 1626, mentions five books attributed to Peter, but which Pope Gelasius had accounted either suppositious or interpolated. These are,
1. On Preaching. 2. The Gospel. 3. The Acts 4:0 . The Revelation 5:0 . The Judgment.
Peter and Paul were both martyred in Rome, as Linus writes, during the second year that he was bishop of that city. 2 Timothy 4:21.
This epistle was written from Babylon, that is, from Rome, figuratively called Babylon, because she oppressed the church as ancient Babylon oppressed the jews. To think otherwise is a provocation; for before the apostles’ times Seleucia had drawn off the inhabitants from old Babylon, and left it an execrated ruin.
As Peter left Rome to go with Mark to Alexandria, about the year forty three or forty five, it is generally inferred, but with no certain evidence, that he wrote to the scattered flocks about that time. The epistle is full of excellence of doctrine, purity of morals, and fervour of exhortation. The opening chapter is generally allowed to be written in a style of great magnificence. See more on Acts 28:0.
the Second Week of Advent