Lectionary Year A
April 18, 1999
1 Peter 1:17-23

Step III: Immediate Context


The first 16 verses of chapter 1 read like a theme setting prologue. They set the stage for and enumerate the bases for ethical advice and consent expected to emerge throughout the letter. Other paragraphs do elucidate the readers' identity as the author(s) appreciate them. More mental, spiritual and physical practices will be recommended as the letter further addresses its topics. "The living and abiding word of God" generates the believers' pursuing a holy life.


This pericope begins a paragraph after one that starts, "Therefore." It has been preceeded by identification of the recipients of the epistle. Following this selection, we find imperatives, urgings and strong suggestions. The author gets right ethical and moral and religious with the addressees. He or she moves from mindsets toward behavior patterns and strategies as the letter progresses.


The initial greeting says it comes from "Peter an apostle of Jesus Christ" (1:1). In 5:12, Silvanus seems to be at least a scribe if not a co-author or even a messenger who might deliver the epistle. Scholars doubt if it originated in the first century. Its vocabulary is entirely too sophisticated to have come from the hand of a simple Galilean fisherman, some commentator claimed.

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