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1 and 2 Peter

Flight Plan:

Get your travel planner out for flight sixty over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. Our tour guide, Pastor Skip Heitzig, will take us on a tour of the books of 1 & 2 Peter. Peter's first letter to the church exhorts Christians to remain steadfast in their faith when under persecution, and his second letter tackles the issue of false teachers and a need for discernment against the spreading apostasy. Both books contain a level of warmth in Peter's expressions, making them a great source of encouragement. The key chapters to review are 1 Peter 1-5 and 2 Peter 1-3.

Detailed Notes:


First Peter was written to Christians who were experiencing various forms of persecution, men and women whose stand for Jesus Christ made them aliens and strangers in the midst of a pagan society. Peter exhorted these Christians to steadfast endurance and exemplary behavior. The warmth of his expressions combined with his practical instructions make this epistle a unique source of encouragement for all believers who live in conflict with their culture.


c. 64 A.D.

Writing of 1 Peter


This epistle could be understood as a handbook written for ambassadors to a hostile foreign land. Knowing persecution would arise, Peter carefully prescribed conduct designed to bring honor to the One they represented. The purpose of 1 Peter was to encourage Christians to face persecution so that the true grace of Jesus Christ would be evidenced in them (5:12), and to lift their eyes from present problems and trials to wait for an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade.


Babylon - Peter refers to his location as "Babylon" in 5:13.  He may have been in Rome and wished to conceal his true location.  However, some scholars say he was in the literal city of Babylon, where a Jewish community then flourished.

Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia - Five Roman provinces of Asia Minor (modern Turkey). The churches in those provinces were made up of both Jews and Gentiles.


Peter - The Jewish leaders considered him "uneducated and untrained" (Acts 4:13), but they were astonished by his confidence and the power of his Spirit-controlled personality.

Silas - Also called Silvanus. He was a Jerusalem Christian and a Roman citizen who served as Peter's secretary. He may have had great facility in the Greek language.


Since Peter warns that greater persecution is imminent, some believe that the church was not yet facing an organized Roman persecution when 1 Peter was written.


The Apostle Peter, seeing that false teachers were beginning to infiltrate the churches, calls on believers to grow and become strong in their faith so that they might detect and combat the spreading apostasy. Second Peter focuses on the authenticity of God's Word and the sure return of the Lord Jesus Christ.


c. 65 A.D.

Peter writes the book of 2 Peter

54-68 A.D.

Reign of Nero

c. 68 A.D.

Peter is martyred


Knowing that these churches faced immediate danger, Peter challenges believers to become more mature in their faith by adding specific Christians virtues, and becoming effective and productive in their knowledge of Jesus Christ. Peter exhorts them to withstand the false teachers that had crept in and adversely affected the churches. He describes the conduct of these false teachers, and also the fact that they ridiculed the Lord's Second Coming. For the Christians, Peter taught that the Second Coming is the incentive for holy living.



No geographical places are mentioned in the book of 2 Peter.


Peter - One of the "inner circle" of Jesus' disciples. Peter started out as a fisherman, but later became a leader of the early church.


It is interesting that Peter mentions the writings of the Apostle Paul (3:15-16). He comments on Paul's writings saying that there are things in them that are hard to understand.

Tradition holds that Peter was crucified upside down.