The Peter Principle– Part Sixteen

The Bible and Culture | 1/20/2020 | Staff
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In most ways, the most helpful portion of Gene Green’s detailed study is the long chapter on 1 Peter.Lot’s of good exegesis and theological reflection can be found on pp. 301-400. In this chapter Green rightly demonstrates that 1 Pet. 5. 12 refers to writing briefly with the help of Silas about the various topics included in the letter. Peter is the author of this letter, and Silas is the facilitator, turning Peter’s ideas into some of the best Greek in the NT. Unlike say 1 Thessalonians, Silas is not indicated to be a co-author with Peter in this document. It would be helpful at some juncture if someone would try and put the pieces together about Silas/Silvanus’ role in early Christianity, considering he is one of the emissaries who circulates James’ letter after the Acts 15 council, he is a sometime co-worker with Paul, and a sometime co-worker with Peter as well as 1 Pet. 5.12 suggests. And unlike Titus, who is nowhere mentioned in Acts, we find Silas in all three sources. I am not convinced by Green’s argument that despite Eusebius (H.E. 3.1.2); Jerome (de vir il.1), and Epiphanius (27.6.6.) all telling us Peter went to Anatolia, and Eusebius is also clear he wrote 1 Peter to Jews, we should ignore this evidence, as if it was just a made up tradition these early Christian writers followed.

One of the things that needs to be reflected on is how very difficult it would be in a small religious movement to pull off a pseudepigrapha. The more particulars added to such a document, the less convincing it becomes because it could be cross-checked by near contemporaries. Green earlier in his study rightly notes that for the most part, 2nd-4th century forgers didn’t attempt phony letters from apostles, they tried...
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