Exegetical Studies in 1 Peter Part 2 -- By: Everett F. Harrison

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 097:387 (Jul 1940)
Article: Exegetical Studies in 1 Peter Part 2
Author: Everett F. Harrison


Exegetical Studies in 1 Peter
Part 2

Everett F. Harrison

(Continued from the April-June Number, 1940)

I. Salutation. 1:1-2.

Of the five places mentioned in the salutation, three are named in Acts 2:9 as the homes of men who heard Peter preach on the day of Pentecost. The temptation is great to account for Peter’s interest in these districts on the ground that some of his first converts must have carried the gospel with them on their return from Jerusalem. Attractive as this is, it cannot be allowed, for Luke informs us that Peter’s auditors at Pentecost were dwelling (κατοικοῦντες) at Jerusalem, an expression which does not refer to mere attendance upon a feast of a few days’ or even weeks’ duration. The word indicates that Jerusalem had become their permanent home, no matter where it had been originally. Their continuance in the apostles’ fellowship (Acts 2:42–47) points in the same direction. They did not proceed to return to the various places mentioned in the chapter as their former homes. The most that can be granted is that the presence in the early Jerusalem church of men who had come from Asia Minor must have produced a lively interest in all efforts to evangelize that section and minister to the spiritual well-being of believers there.

More important than the residence of the readers is their relation to God. They are the elect. The word ἐκλεκτοῖς has much the same force as κλητοί in Paul’s letters, but is even stronger as indicating the separation of the called ones from the mass of men, and so prepares the way for the thought of Christians as pilgrims and strangers on the earth. The word is found again in 2:4, with reference to Christ, and in 2:9, with reference to the church, the background of Israel’s selection from among the nations serving to emphasize the corresponding position of believers in the world during this age.

The construction of the first two verses is a bit awkward. The most common method of dealing with ἐκλεκτοῖς is to regard it as a noun and make it the governing term for κατὰ πρόγνωσιν at the beginning of the second verse. Some prefer to regard it as an adjective in this instance, intended to modify παρεπιδήμοις. While elect foreigners is not an impossibility in itself, such a construction leaves

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