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, I’m talking only about books that we know were thought to be legitimate parts of the New Testament in one circle or another:  2 Peter, the Apocalypse of Peter, and the Gospel of Peter.   And it has occurred to me (just this morning!) that I haven’t said anything yet about the one book connected with Peter that almost *everyone* we know of (who said anything about the matter) thought was part of canonical Scripture:  the book of 1 Peter.

I will want to say a few things about this book before getting back to the more specific question of why some of these books made it in (1 and 2 Peter) and others not (the rest), especially, of most interest to me these days, the Apocalypse of Peter.

Here is a basic overview of the book of 1 Peter, taken from my New Testament textbook (this will take a couple of posts).


The book of 1 Peter is a kind of circular letter written in the name of the apostle Peter to “the exiles of the Dispersion” in several of the provinces of Asia Minor: “Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia” (1:1). Before considering the question of whether Simon Peter himself actually wrote this letter, we need to learn something about its recipients and their situation.


The Addressees

The author calls his readers “exiles” (1:1) and “aliens” (2:11). Most scholars have understood these to be figurative designations of…

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