First Peter Background and History
By: Patty Nicholas-Boyte
Dear Bible Study Readers, I am excited to embark on a Bible Study journey with you as we delve into the book of 1 Peter!
Background and History:
It is generally accepted that this letter was written by the Apostle Peter while he was residing in Rome during Nero’s reign, probably around the year 60-63 AD. The letter was addressed to those living in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia (Turkey). As we are told in the first verse.
“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who reside as strangers, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen“
1 Peter 1:1 (NASB)
As you can see Peter writes to the people of these regions who are scattered, living as strangers, but they are chosen.
History depicts Nero as a vicious, blood thirsty, malevolent dictator, who murdered his own mother, first wife, and also probably his second wife. From 60 – 67 AD Christians were persecuted due to the fact that they refused to worship the multiple gods of the Roman Empire. However, in 67 AD there was a massive fire in Rome that lasted seven days and destroyed a large part of the city. Most historians believe that Nero started the fire to make room for his “Golden Palace”.
He placed the blame on the Christians and this is when persecution escalated to a horrific level. Execution forms could include being eaten alive by wild animals, being set on fire, crucifixion, or for the most fortunate, a swift be-heading. But even in the midst of this immense suffering, Church history also depicts the boldness, and joy of the Christ Followers as they were being led to their execution.
How did the early believers endure such persecution with such grace? I hope to answer that question in the weeks to come as we work through this powerful book of the Bible.