Could Peter Have “Written” 1 and 2 Peter Some Other Way?

Here is the last of my three posts digging down deeper into the question of whether Peter would have, or could have, written the books we now call 1 and 2 Peter, composed in highly literate Greek by someone skilled in Greek composition.


It should come as no surprise that Peter could not write Greek (or Aramaic, for that matter).  As it turns out, there is New Testament evidence about Peter’s education level.  According to Acts 4:13, both Peter ...

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Seriously. How Many People in Antiquity Could Write?

I have received some push-back from readers who object to my view that Simon Peter, Jesus’ disciple, a fisherman from rural Galilee whose native language was Aramaic, living among lower-class people who spoke Aramaic, almost certainly could not have written a highly stylized and sophisticated Greek treatise such as we find in the book of 1 Peter.   My sense is that I will never convince anyone who thinks that it is simply “common sense” that of course he could learn ...

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Who Wrote 1 Peter?

This post is to close out my discussion of 1 Peter, from the New Testament.  Who actually wrote it?  Spoiler alert: we don’t know, but it probably wasn’t Peter.

On several occasions on the blog I’ve talked about the issue, most recently at length in a repost earlier this year:  That’s where I give the fuller story.  For now I give just the simple side of things, as I lay it out in my undergraduate textbook on the New ...

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The Situation Behind the (“Forged”) Book of 1 Peter

I am in the midst of talking about works attributed to Peter, the chief disciple, which have come down to us from the early church.  I should be clear, I think each and every one of these writings was “forged.”   I don’t think Peter himself wrote any of them – 1 Peter, 2 Peter, the Gospel of Peter, the Apocalypse of Peter, or any of the other Petrine works that we now have.  Each was written by a different author, ...

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The So-Called First Letter of Peter

I am nearly at the end of my discussion of “Petrine” works in early Christianity, the books that some early Christian or another had been written by Peter, the closest disciple to Jesus in the New Testament.  There are other books connected with Peter that I have chosen not to talk about, at least at this point, including legendary accounts of his missionary activities, some of which are really interesting and were, at one point, highly influential.

At this stage, though, ...

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Introducing the Book of 2 Peter

To make sense of the difficulty I’ve been having in figuring out what they Apocalypse of Peter did not make it into the NT, but the book of 2 Peter did, I need to say a bit about the latter – and probably about *other* Petrine books that did or did not make It (which also claim to be written by Peter even though the author was someone else).   Here is a brief introduction to the book of 2 Peter, ...

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Miraculous Conversions in the Book of Acts

This new box in my New Testament Introduction deals with one of the fascinating and best documented phenomena from early Christianity — that the earliest followers of Jesus were believed to be able to do great miracles, leading to the conversion of outsiders to the new faith.  This notion is recorded already in our earliest sources.  Here is what I say about it from the book of Acts, our first account of the spread of Christianity.


Another ...

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A Bit of Fun with 666!

As I hope you know, I try to keep my personal politics out of the blog.  I also hope I succeed, but some of you may think not…  But I do try.    It’s not that I do not have strong political convictions.  On the contrary, I am passionately political and will go to the mat for my views.   BUT, I want the blog to be open and welcoming to all people, whatever their political views (or religious views or any ...

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Who Wrote the Book of Revelation?

I’ve been asked about who wrote the book of Revelation.  Here are some musings on it, the first part taken from my textbook on the New Testament.

Even though the book of Revelation was finally included in the New Testament canon because Christian leaders came to think it had been written by Jesus’ disciple, John the son of Zebedee, there were outspoken dissenters against its inclusion. Perhaps the most famous was Dionysius, a bishop of the city of Alexandria (Egypt) in ...

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The Lake of Fire in Revelation

OK, you’ve waited a while for me finally to get to the Lake of Fire in the book of Revelation.  But just think of it as the Final Judgment: you know it’s coming soon, but you don’t know when.

Here is what I think about it (both the final judgment and the lake of fire) (clarification: this is not what *I* think of these things; this is what I think *Revelation* is saying about these things).  As previously indicated, I do ...

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