Got milk? Septuagint Psalm 33 And The Interpretation Of 1 Peter 2:1-3 -- By: Karen H. Jobes
WTJ 64:1 (Spring 2002) p. 1
Septuagint Psalm 33 And The Interpretation Of 1 Peter 2:1-3
Karen H. Jobes is Associate Professor of New Testament at Westmont College, Santa Barbara, California.
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk,
so that by it you may grow up in your salvation …
1 Pet 2:2 (NIV)
The author of 1 Peter writes to first-century Christians of Asia Minor encouraging and exhorting them to be faithful to the Lord and loving to each other as they face various griefs and sufferings for the name of Christ.1 Peter knows them to have been born anew (1:3) by the imperishable seed of God (1:23), and into a reality of living hope based on the resurrection of Jesus Christ (1:3). By virtue of their faith in Christ, they have entered into a new life that has alienated them from the priorities and values of their society to such an extent that Peter addresses them as visiting strangers (1:1) and resident aliens (2:11).2 In 2:1–3 Peter continues the new-birth motif begun in chapter 1 with an explanation and exhortation that new life in Christ means a transformation of values and behavior:
1Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. (NIV)
Peter exhorts his readers to pursue those attitudes and behaviors that will sustain their growth in their new life in Christ. Those interpreters who saw this epistle as originally a baptismal homily or liturgy found support in 2:2 for the addressees as new believers, an idea which continues to have influence.3 However, Peter is not describing the recent conversion of his readers, for he has already described all believers as new-born children of God, and uses the metaphor to instruct them to crave pure spiritual milk, even as a newborn baby craves its mother’s
WTJ 64:1 (Spring 2002) p. 2
milk, that is, instinctively, eagerly, and incessantly. Although milk is elsewhere in the New Testament used as a metaphor for teachings suitable for immature Ch...
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