Encouragement: Salute the Salutation
Message One of Series: Encouragement for Foreigners- 1 Peter
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ: To those chosen, living as exiles dispersed abroad in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient and to be sprinkled with the blood of Jesus Christ. May grace and peace be multiplied to you.
ETS: Peter greeted the chosen foreigners extending grace and peace to them.
ESS: We should salute the salutation because it identifies important aspects of the epistle.
OSS: [Doctrinal, Educational] I want the hearers to be aware of the importance of every verse of Scripture, even the salutations.
PQ: What aspects are identified in this salutation?
Peter identifies himself as the author of this epistle.
Peter was an apostle of Jesus Christ, the son of Jonah (also known as John), the brother of Andrew , a Galilean fisherman by trade.
Peter’s biological name was Simon (or Simeon) . However, he was later called Peter by Jesus meaning rock (Mk. 3:16, Lk. 6:14, Jn. 1:42)
Per the Holman Bible Handbook, Peter was one the most well-known apostles and leaders in Jerusalem (Holman, 453).
The first aspect identified is the author, Peter.
Peter then identifies the audience (or recipients) of the epistle.
The recipients are the chosen exiles (or foreigners) in the diaspora. The diaspora covered five regions: Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia . This area is known today as Turkey.
Knowing this also identifies the type of epistle: This was a circulatory epistle meaning that it did not have a single audience, but it circulated to many audiences. Both the Holman Bible Handbook and Peter Davids suggested that the order mentioned was likely the order in which the letter carrier traveled (Holman, 453 and Davids, second paragraph under section III, “Recipients”).
Who were the chosen? They were Gentile believers with a pagan background. Some have suggested that the recipients were Jewish, but this is not likely when the internal evidence (1 Pt. 1:14 and 1 Pt. 1:18) is examined. Schreiner stated that Peter would not likely say something like this to a Jewish audience. He further stated that 1 Pt. 4:3-4 makes it clear that the recipients are Gentile (Schreiner, 34).
Furthermore, the recipients were foreigners at the time of writing. Literally, they were dispersed throughout these five regions, but metaphorically, they were foreigners, aliens, or strangers because of their identity and association with Christ. Because of this, they were undergoing suffering -not at the national, political level, but rather at the local level and because of their faith. Regarding this, Karen Jobes wrote, “For the original readers to whom Peter wrote, their identity as Christians was not only the source of great joy but ironically also the reason they suffered grief in various kinds of trials (1:6). Because of their Christian faith, they were being marginalized by their society, alienated in their relationships, and threatened with- if not experiencing- a loss of honor and socioeconomic standing (and possibly worse)” (Jobes, 22).
Regarding their being chosen:
according to the foreknowledge of God the Father
through the means of the sanctifying work of the Spirit (who is the agency) OR in the locative realm of the Spirit (and his sanctifying work in us)
leading to the goal of obedience and the sprinkling of blood of Jesus
Typical New Testament greeting/salutation. Grace and Peace: No significance beyond the salutation. Michaels stated that it was not “deliberately” chosen as to have significance in the letter, but rather chosen out of habit in the normal, typical letter of the time (Michaels, 13).