1st letter of Peter

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New Testament
Acts of the Apostles
Paul's letters
Catholic letters
St. Peter, fresco , Church of Lärbo, Gotland , 13th century

The first letter of the apostle Peter belongs to the New Testament .


Verse 1.1 EU gives the apostle Peter as the author. In 5.1 EU the author calls himself “fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ”. He writes the letter "through Silvanus " (5.12 EU ) and calls Markus his "son" (5.13 EU ).

The authorship of Peter is confirmed in the early church tradition, namely in the 2nd century by Polycarp , Papias , Clemens of Alexandria and Irenaeus , in the 3rd century by Tertullian , Origen and Cyprian . With all these authors, the first epistle of Peter is counted among the generally recognized scriptures and its inclusion in the canon is never questioned.

Most historical-critical research today doubts that Peter was the author, for the following reasons:

  • The style of 1 Petr is Koine -Greek; and not just oral but literary koine, which suggests Greek as the author's native language. The mother tongue of the fisherman Peter from Galilee (who is described as uneducated in Acts 4.13  EU ) was most likely Aramaic. Even if Peter was familiar with the "world language" of that time, Greek, such a written command of Greek can hardly be assumed.
  • The author of 1 Petr quotes the Old Testament mostly from the Greek translation. Only 1 Petr 4,8 EU apparently refers directly to the Hebrew text of Prov 10,12  EU .
  • The letter doesn't sound too personal; the tradition of Jesus is only referred to in traditional early Christian language (1 Petr 2,22-25 EU ). If the author was Petrine, it would be expected that the letter would convey exclusive knowledge of an eyewitness.
  • There are substantive connections between 1 Peter and the Pauline letters .
  • 1 Petr 1,1 EU assumes that Christianity has already gained a foothold in Asia Minor in various areas.

Counter arguments are:

  • On the Koine -Greek: Petrus came from Bethsaida , a bilingual Greek-Jewish city (this is underlined by the fact that his brother Andreas had a Greek name), and he probably worked in the Greek-speaking diaspora for decades. Silvanus / Silas, whom he mentions as co-author, is a Roman citizen and certainly speaks Greek.
  • Concerning the theology, which is close to the Pauline: Between Peter and Paul there was mutual appreciation and probably no essential theological differences. Your controversy, mentioned in Gal 2 : 11-21  EU , did not concern opposites in theology , but their practical implementation (Paul accused Peter of not acting according to his theology ). The Old Church knew nothing of a sharp theological contrast between the two; only theology in the 19th century brought up this idea.
  • the letter contains traditional material (pareneesis, confessions, songs): Such a material is believed to be found only by those who assume a late dating. There is no clear indication of this in the text of the letter.
  • The persecution of Christians mentioned in the letter: One does not have to think of the time of Trajan (around 100 AD), because the letter does not speak of a state systematic persecution of Christians. And there was selective persecution of Christians by the pagan environment in the first decades after 30 AD, in several areas of the empire (e.g. Paul on his missionary trips or the Neronian persecution of Christians in 64 or 65 AD).

In addition to a Mark (1 Petr 5,13 EU ), a Silvanus is also mentioned (1 Petr 5,12 LUT : "through Silvanus, the faithful brother, I have written a few words for you, as I think"), who is possibly with the Paul's companion Silas is identical. Some Catholic and evangelical theologians therefore assume that Silvanus wrote the letter on behalf of Peter (secretary hypothesis), perhaps in the last years of Peter's life.

With the city of Babylon, which is given in 5.13 EU as the place of composition, Rome is probably meant.


The letter begins with the words:

  • Peter , Apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers in the dispersion in Pontus , Galatia , Cappadocia , Asia and Bithynia , chosen according to the providence of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, to obedience and to be sprinkled with the blood of Jesus Christ : Grace and peace will be bestowed upon you more and more!

According to verse 1.1 EU , the letter is apparently addressed to the Christians scattered throughout Asia Minor . Only the southern Roman provinces , Lycia , Cilicia and Pamphylia in Asia Minor are not mentioned.

Some verses, e.g. B. 2.9 EU or 4.3 EU , indicate Gentile Christians as recipients, but a readership made up of Jewish and Gentile Christians is not excluded. It is even probable since there were many Jewish Christians in Asia Minor.


For a long time, the writing of the letter was mostly dated to around 90 AD; today, exegetes assume a time window between 90 and about 130 AD. If an actual authorship of the apostle Peter is assumed, the letter is dated to the time before or around 60.


  • Greetings (1.1–2 EU )
  • The living hope of Christians (1.3-12 EU )
  • Reminder for a holy walk in the vocation as Christians (1.13 EU –2.10 EU )
  • The behavior of the servants of God (2.11 EU –3.22 EU )
  • The Church of Christ (4.1 EU –5.9 EU )
  • Blessings and greetings

Important places

  • 2.9 EU The priesthood of all believers

Web links


  • Norbert Brox : "Peter I. The 1st Peter II. The 2nd Peter". In: Theologische Realenzyklopädie 26 (1996), pp. 308-319
  • Barbara Aland et al. a. (Ed.): Novum Testamentum Graecum. Editio critica maior . Vol. 4: The Catholic Letters . Lfg. 2: The letters of Peter . Teilbd. 1: text ; Teilbd. 2: Accompanying materials . Stuttgart 2000 (full text-critical edition)
  • Anthony Casurella: Bibliography of Literature on First Peter . New Testament Tools and Studies 23. Brill, Leiden u. a. 1996 ISBN 90-04-10488-7
  • Watson E. Mills: 1 Peter . Bibliographies for Biblical Research, New Testament Series 17. Mellen Biblical Press, Lewiston NY et al. a. 2000 ISBN 0-7734-2441-5


  • Leonhard Goppel : The First Letter of Peter . Critical-exegetical commentary on the New Testament 12.1. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 8th edition (1st edition of this new edition) 1978, ISBN 3-525-51618-5
  • Norbert Brox: The first letter of Peter . Evangelical-Catholic Commentary on the New Testament 21. Benziger, Zurich / Neukirchener Verl., Neukirchen-Vluyn 4., through. and supplementary edition 1993, ISBN 3-7887-1257-0
  • Uwe Holmer , Werner de Boor : The letters of Peter and the letter of Judas . Wuppertaler Studienbibel.NT 18. Brockhaus, Wuppertal 1994 (generally understandable, application-oriented)
  • Heiko Krimmer , Martin Holland : First and second Peter letter . Edition C, Biblical Commentaries 20. Hänssler Verlag, Neuhausen-Stuttgart 1994, ISBN 3-7751-1599-4 (generally understandable , application-oriented)
  • Johann Tobias Beck : Peter’s letters. A comment . Reprint of the edition Gütersloh, Bertelsmann, 1896. with an escort. by Gerhard Maier. Brunnen-Verl., Gießen 1995, ISBN 3-7655-9226-9
  • Peter H. Davids: The First Epistle of Peter . The New International Commentary on the New Testament. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids 4th print. 1998, ISBN 0-8028-2516-8
  • Eduard Schweizer: The first letter of Peter . Zurich Bible Commentaries 15. Theol. Verl., Zurich 4th edition 1998, ISBN 3-290-17189-2
  • G. Bray (Eds.): James, 1-2 Peter, 1-3 John, Jude . InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove 2000 (for almost every verse the respective commentary by the Church Fathers in English translation)
  • John H. Elliott: 1 Peter. A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary . The Anchor Bible 37 B. Doubleday, New York et al. a. 2000, ISBN 0-385-41363-7
  • Karl Hermann Schelkle: The letters of Peter. The letter of Jude . Herder's theological commentary on the New Testament. Herder, Freiburg i. Br. 2002
  • Thomas R. Schreiner: 1, 2 Peter, Jew . The New American Commentary 37. Broadman & Holman, Nashville 2003, ISBN 0-8054-0137-7
  • Benedikt Schwank : The First Letter of the Apostle Peter . Spiritual textual interpretation, Vol. 20, Patmos, Düsseldorf 4th edition 1986, ISBN 3-491-77120-X
  • Donald P. Senior: 1 Peter . Sacra Pagina Series 15. Liturgical Press, Collegeville MN 2003, ISBN 0-8146-5817-2
  • Rebecca Skaggs: The Pentecostal Commentary on 1 Peter, 2 Peter, Jude . Pentecostal commentary New Testament. T. & T. Clark International, London 2004, ISBN 0-8264-6569-2 (Pentecostal Church)
  • Reinhard Feldmeier : The first letter of Peter . Theological commentary on the New Testament 15.1. Rework Evang. Verlagsanst., Leipzig 2005, ISBN 3-374-02323-1

Individual studies

  • Horst Goldstein : Pauline community in the first letter of Peter . Stuttgarter Bibelstudien 80th Verl. Kath. Bibelwerk, Stuttgart 1975 ISBN 3-460-03801-2
  • William L. Schutter: Hermeneutic and Composition in I Peter . WUNT 2/30. Mohr, Tübingen 1989 ISBN 3-16-145118-X
  • Angelika Reichert: An early Christian praeparatio ad martyrium. Studies on the composition, traditional history and theology of the 1st letter of Peter . Contributions to biblical exegesis and theology 22. Lang, Frankfurt a. M. u. a. 1989 ISBN 3-631-41796-9
  • Ferdinand R. Prostmeier: Action models in the first letter of Peter . Research on the Bible 63. Echter, Würzburg 1990 ISBN 3-429-01313-5
  • John H. Elliott: A Home for the Homeless. A Social-Scientific Criticism of 1 Peter, Its Situation and Strategy. With a new introduction . Fortress Press, Minneapolis 1990 ISBN 0-8006-2474-2
  • Reinhard Feldmeier: Christians as strangers. The metaphor of the foreign in the ancient world, in early Christianity and in the 1st epistle of Peter . WUNT 64. Mohr, Tübingen 1992 ISBN 3-16-145982-2
  • Troy W. Martin: Metaphor and Composition in 1 Peter . SBL Dissertation Series 131. Scholars Press, Atlanta 1992 ISBN 1-55540-665-3
  • Andrew Chester, Ralph P. Martin: The Theology of the Letters of James, Peter, and Jude . University Press, Cambridge 1994 ISBN 0-521-35631-8
  • Rainer Metzner: The reception of the Gospel of Matthew in the 1st letter of Peter. Studies on the traditional-historical and theological influence of the 1st Gospel on 1st Peter . WUNT 2/74. Mohr, Tübingen 1995 ISBN 3-16-146378-1
  • Lauri Thurén: Argument and Theology in 1 Peter. The Origins of Christian Paraenesis . JSNTSup 114. Academic Press, Sheffield 1995 ISBN 1-85075-546-9
  • Jens Herzer : Peter or Paul? Studies on the relationship between the first epistle of Peter and the Pauline tradition . WUNT 103. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 1998 ISBN 3-16-146848-1
  • Barth L. Campbell: Honor, Shame, and the Rhetoric of 1 Peter . SBLDS 160. Scholars Press, Atlanta 1998 ISBN 0-7885-0510-6
  • Karl-Heinrich Ostmeyer: Baptism and Typos. Elements and theology of the typologies of baptism in 1 Corinthians 10 and 1 Peter 3 . WUNT 2/118. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2000 ISBN 3-16-147308-6
  • Sharon Clark Pearson: The Christological and Rhetorical Properties of 1 Peter (= Studies in Bible and Early Christianity. Vol. 45). Mellen, Lewiston NY 2001 ISBN 0-7734-7632-6
  • F. Lapham: Peter: The Myth, the Man and the Writings. A Study of Early Petrine Text and Tradition . JSNTSup 239. Sheffield Academic Press, London et al. a. 2003 ISBN 0-8264-6214-6
  • Karl Mathias Schmidt: Reminder and reminder in the mask game. Epistolography, rhetoric and narrative of the pseudepigraphic letters of Peter (= Herder's biblical studies. Vol. 38). Herder, Freiburg i. Br. 2003 ISBN 3-451-28184-8
  • Ilmars Hiršs: A people made up of Jews and Gentiles. The ecclesiological contribution of the First Letter of Peter to the Christian-Jewish conversation . Edited by Martin Rese in collaboration with the Institutum Judaicum Delitzschianum . Münster Judaic Studies 15. Lit-Verl., Münster / Hamburg a. a. 2003 ISBN 3-8258-6618-1
  • Heinz Giesen: Jesus' message of salvation and the church. Studies on eschatology and ecclesiology among the Synoptics and in the first letter of Peter (= Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniensium. [BETL] 179). Peeters, Leuven et al. a. 2004 ISBN 90-429-1516-1
  • Torrey Seland: Strangers in the Light. Philonic Perspectives on Christian Identity in 1 Peter (= Biblical Interpretation Series. Vol. 76). Brill, Leiden / Boston 2005 ISBN 90-04-14491-9

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Markus Vinzent : The resurrection of Christ in early Christianity. Herder Verlag, Freiburg 2014, ISBN 978-3-451-31212-0 , pp. 72-74.
  2. Udo Schnelle : Introduction to the New Testament. Göttingen 1996, p. 460.
  3. Marlis Gielen : The first letter of Peter. In: Martin Ebner , Stefan Schreiber (ed.): Introduction to the New Testament. 3rd, revised. Ed., Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2020, pp. 521-533 (here: pp. 529 f.).
  4. E.g. Klaus Berger : Commentary on the New Testament . Gütersloh 2011, p. 909 f .: "between 50 and 55 AD"