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same time it is from Nero's persecution that the writer at any rate drew the intensity of his counsels. The writing certainly looks back to a period of keen terror and distress (16 316 419 59), which had not long begun (cp. the almost contemporary evidence of Mk 139-11, and the allusions to the past in Heb 1032. 33).
After the crisis and controversy at Antioch, Peter's career is only to be traced with dim and approximate accuracy. Like John, he had left Jerusalem by the time of Paul's last visit (Ac 2118). General activity (1 Co 95) is visible in Syria and possibly in those parts of Asia Minor where, as he travelled and preached, he would not traverse the Pauline mission-field (1 P 11). But several items in the later tradition (e.g. Clem. Rom. and Ignatius) point with comparative certainty to a final residence in Rome; which is only possible after Paul had either left the city or died. That both apostles were there together is simply unprovable. External circumstances, then, imply, or at least favour, a connection and familiarity on Peter's part with Paul's teaching, and an acquaintance with Paul's surviving followers. Whether this involves an approximation in doctrine is another question. In the dispute at Antioch, Peter's fault was not a difference of principle (Harman, Journ. Bibl. Lit. xvi. pp. 31-39). He and Paul shared 1 the same general conception of the gospel and its obligations. But he failed in practical consistency, and in loyalty to the principles upon which he had already agreed. His error was a false opportunism. If in subsequent years, after this temporary aberration had passed, Peter came under the impressiveness of the Pauline teaching, especially during his residence in Rome, that influence would half unconsciously and vaguely colour his thoughts 2 and words when he set himself to write a letter of encouragement to the tried Christians of Northern Asia Minor (figuratively addressed as God's people and chosen ones 12),3 with whom, however, there is no trace either inside
1 Cp. Hort, Jud. Christianity, pp. 77–79. The evidence of 1 Corinthians (e.g. 1511) corroborates the supposition that there was no vital antagonism of principle between Paul and Peter. A rapprochement was not out of the question, when Peter's “gospel" , and Paul's were not contradictory views, but in the main complementary delimitations (Gal 27-9; cp. Sabatier, pp. 28-31, and Lipsius ad loc.). Of the two men, Peterso far as we can judge from our sources—was distinctly the more receptive and less original. Renan, in his discussion of the epistle (l'Antéchrist, chap. v.), demurs to the conception of Peter as an exponent of modified Paulinism. He prefers to explain the relation of the two men by Peter's scanty gift for literature and even for speculation : “happily for himself, Peter appears to have remained all through his life a theologian of very moderate ability.” The epistle, however, is no compilation or echo, for all its dependence upon other and earlier writings; and Renan is on safer lines when, in an earlier chapter of the same volume, he calls attention to two considerations which are essential for a grasp of the apostolic age. One is that “deep differences of opinion (deeper indeed than any that, in the subsequent history of the church, gave rise to schism) divided the founders of Christianity,” leading to a bitterness of polemic which was partly due to the fire and susceptibility of the Jewish character. The other is, that “a higher conception united these brother-opponents, even during their lifetime”-anticipating the later and official reconciliation made by the sub-apostolic church. Wernle (Die Synoptische Frage, p. 199 f.) very similarly lays stress on Peter's untheological temperament as the key to his character.
2 The soteriology, no less than the Christology,“ is in the spontaneous rather than the articulated stage” (Fairbairn, Christ. Mod. Theol. p. 330). The author “has no philosophy as to the vocation or institutions of Israel; he has only the most vivid intuition, born of personal experience, into the significance of Christ.”
3 On 11 211 see the beautiful saying in Ep. Diognetus : rãou cévn Totpis totoy aútây, xoà τάσα πατρίς ξένη. For the colloquial use of πληθυνθείη and διάσπορα, compare the three letters of R. Gamaliel of Jerusalem (Derenbourg, Histoire et géogr. de la Palestine, pp. 241-244), where the greeting cipánn ipin tamburosím is taken from the
or outside the epistle that he had any direct acquaintance. Paul had died, not Paulinism. Eripitur persona, manet res. Yet it was a modified Paulinism, combined with other ideas, and reproduced on more general lines, that spoke through this circular epistle addressed by the Jewish Christian leader to the North Asiatic communities.
The problem of the sources from which the epistle draws its references to Jesus is still unsolved. Either they are due to the evangelic tradition from which the synoptic gospels presently sprang, or simply to the Messianic interpretation of OT passages (like Is 53), which in the early church afforded colours for the picture of Christ's patience, suffering, and redemption. Even if a later date is chosen for the epistle, it is unlikely that it, any more than even Hebrews, draws upon the synoptic gospels in their present form. It is more valid to trace resemblances between the general conception of the epistle and some of the Petrine speeches in Acts, which (as even Holsten, Overbeck, and Schmiedel allow) reflect a nucleus of primitive Christian theology ; and there is a convincing statement of the epistle's priority to the Apocalypse, with which it has several features in conimon, by Usteri, Wissenschaftlicher U. praktischer Commentar ü. den ersten Petrusbrief (1887), pp. 309-312.
In addition to the dogmatic question (on which cp. besides Reuss, Hist. Christ. Theol. ii. p. 262 f., and Paul Ewald, Hauptproblem, pp. 68–75, Ritschl's Entstehung,2 pp. 116, 285), three points are material in a discussion upon the period of this writing's composition : the authorship, the literary connections, and the relations which are implied between the Roman government and Christianity. All these points, it must be confessed at the outset, are unhesitatingly used by the best editors and critics to determine a position for the document which brings it down later than the lifetime of its reputed author. But if the Petrine authorship be provisionally admitted, the date is plainly within the seventh decade of the first century; the letter falls either before 64 A.D., the possible date of Peter's martyrdom upon the newer chronology, or before 67, the commonly adopted year. Two periods then are tenable. That before 64 has been held by Hofmann, Bleek (+ 62 A.D.), Bartlet (AA, p. 297f., c. 63 A.D.), and Renan (63–64 A.D.), while Zahn puts it in the spring of 64 (Einl. ii. pp. 17–27). Salmon dates it not earlier than 64 A.D. Usually, however, a somewhat later period in the apostle's life is assigned as the date of the epistle's composition, with the consequences of the Neronic persecution in the background (Tacitus, Annales, xv. 44, quos per flagitia invisos vulgus Christianos appelabat=414, 15). The years 64-67 in this case form the general locus of the letter. So the older critics after Ewald and Neander, Mayerhoff, de Wette, Meyer, Sieffert (Real-Encycl. XI. (1883), p. 534 f.), and Huther; in this country and more recently, Farrar, Early Days of Christianity, pp. 67–85 ; Plumptre, Bible Studies, p. 450, "Epistles of St. Peter and St. Jude," Cambridge, 1887 ; Schäfer, Einl. pp. 319–329; also Bovon, NTTh, ii. pp. 440-444; Sanday and Headlam, Romans," ÍCC, pp. lxxiv-lxxvi; Stevens, NTTh, pp. 293-311 ; Hort, Judaistic Christianity, pp. 154, 155, alsó in his posthumous First Epistle of Peter (1898); and, with his usual candour, Adeney, BI, pp. 447-447. Weiss is practically alone, except for Kühl (Meyer), in putting the epistle prior to Rom. Ephes. * (Petrinische Lehřbegriff, 1858, and in INT, ii. pp. 143, 144); the admitted coincidences of language (especially with Ro xii-xiii) and sentiment certainly imply LXX (Dan 398 625 [Theod.). The Gentile origin of the readers must, particularly since the arguments of von Soden and Zahn, be accepted as an axiom.
its subsequent position (cp. especially at this point, Usteri, op. cit. pp. 250–256, 280 f., and Zahn, Einl. ii. pp. 36–38) and its literary dependence. The latter point is valid, though it has been frequently over-estimated, cp. Dr. Patrick's article, Theological Review, ii. pp. 177-193; and Scharfe, SK (1889), iv. pp. 633-670, “Die schriftstellerische Originalität des ersten Petrusbriefs"). The terminus a quo, then, for the date is the period in which Romans, if not Ephesians, was composed and circulated. The terminus ad quem is the more doubtful date of Peter's death, on the assumption that the writing is authentic.
Professor Ramsay, on the other hand, finds himself compelled by not very obvious historical considerations to regard the imperial procedure found in the second century as initiated not by Nero, nor-as Neumann holds—by Domitian, but by Vespasian ; in consequence of this, he dates 1 1 Peter in the second part of Vespasian's reign (between 75 and 80 A.D.), CRE, chaps. xi-xiii ; ŠPT, p. 22; Exp.4 viii. pp. 8 f., 110 f., 282 f. This period, he holds, is the only one which adequately corresponds to the policy of the Empire and the consequent attitude of Christianity, as these are reflected in this epistle. For the necessary abandonment of 67 as the traditional terminus ad quem of Peter's life, he quotes an obiter dictum of Dr. Hort. But there is no need, and hardly any evidence, for the hypothesis that a change took place in the imperial policy under the Flavians. As a rule, the features of that recently started persecution (412) and hostile pressure upon the Christians, which forms part of the historical situation for this writing, can be interpreted as characteristically Neronic? (Beyschlag, NTTh, i. pp. 377–382; Allard, Histoire des Perséc. i. p. 61 f.). “The words of Tacitus [Annal. xv. 44] in regard to the Christians under Nero exactly suit the circumstances to which this epistle refers ” (Hatch, EB, article “Peter”). While Christianity is evidently within an anxious and agitated situation, besieged by suspicion and prejudice, the compulsory worship of the Emperor, which distinguished the later persecution of Domitian, is conspicuously absent. The unpopularity of Christians might be due partly to their connection with Judaism, partly to the secrecy of their rites and beliefs, partly to social disturbances. The organisation and general shape of the communities, too, are primitive, and there is an absence of definiteness in the official traits, even where it might have been expected. All this points to a date between the Pauline letters and the Apocalypse (or Hebrews). The difficulties of such a position must be admitted. But they are not insuperable. They rise from our limited knowledge of the period in question, rather than from any inherent discrepancies which can be
Similarly Swete (Mark, p. xvii. f.) and F. J. Briggs (CR, 1897, pp. 449-454). 1 The latter also gives up the traditional martyrdom of Peter under Nero, and thinks that not until 70-75 A.D. could the Roman attitude of hostilities to Christians have spread from the capital to the provinces. Zahn (Einl. ii. 39-42) endeavours to explain the features of the writing from the pre-Neronic period, i.e. apart from the existence of any authoritative persecution, and agrees that the term todoric (315) should be taken in a non-technical sense (Col 45 f.). Jacoby (NT Ethik, pp. 220-222) fully accepts the traditional date and authorship.
2 L. Schultze, Handbuch der theol. Wissenschaften, Band 1, Abth. 2, pp. 106-109. In the Domitianic Apocalypse (610) and Lk 182-8, exactly as in 4 Esdras 435, the cry is, “How long?" The apparent delay of retribution is the question, not (as in 1P 412) the approach of trial. The reference in Clem. Rom. to Jewish "jealousy" as the cause of Peter's death might also lead us to infer that the apostle had become an object of suspicion to the Jews during his later life. Would this implied “ apostasy” tally with that approximation to the liberal views of Pauline Christianity, which must be assumed upon the traditional view of 1 Peter ?
reasonably found between the writing and its contemporary background (Haupt, SK, 1895, pp. 390-393).1 The main points which would make such a position tenable, could they be estabsished, are, (a) that Peter survived Paul, and wrote this letter after 642 ; (b) that his Roman residence is historical ; (c) that as the survivor of the company (Gal 2), he wrote out of his Christian authority to the Gentile Christians 3 of Northern Asia, just as Paul had previously written to the collective churches in the Ephesus district; (d) that Peter not only had read and absorbed Romans,—which under the circumstances was highly probable,
- but had also access to one of the copies which had been made of Ephesians. That the latter writing (i.e. a copy of it) came back to Rome some years after its circulation in Asia, is far from improbable, in view of the close communication between Rome and the Asiatic provinces. At the same time it must be admitted that no case for the authenticity of the writing amounts to much more than a combination of slender probabilities, and in face of the evidence and adherents of the pseudonymous theory, no one can hold even provisionally to the seventh decade date without reluctance and uneasiness.
Giving up the Petrine authorship, the older school (Schwegler, Hilgenfeld, Mangold, etc.) fixed the date (cp. Schmiedel, EWK, ii. p. 34, 1883, article “Catholic Epistle") in Trajan's reign, c. 112 A.D., or slightly later, 113-115, when persecution for the Name was prominent. This favourite position is still held by Holtzmann (Einl. pp. 310-320), Weizsäcker (AA, ii. p. 160), S. Davidson (INT, i. pp. 529-563), and W. Brückner (Chron. pp. 67-80). Similarly Pfleiderer (Urc. pp. 654–660), whose arguments, as well as those of Holtzmann, are put aside with
i The really difficult points of the seventh decade date are (a) the relation of the writing to Rom.-Ephes., and (6) the existence of so developed a Christianity north of the Taurus by that time, as Pliny's evidence only carries us back to c. 90 A.D. The latter point is not decisive, for the evangelisation of Asia Minor, even during the period of Paul's activity, lies partly in shadow, except for the possible activity of Aquila and Priscilla. The literary connection of 1 Peter with the later Pauline epistle is indubitable, and can hardly be explained apart from the hypothesis of an amanuensis who was familiar with these writings. Peter must in that case have been himself acquainted with the leading Pauline ideas-impregnated in fact with certain phrases and
of his fellow-apostle. (Even Klöpper, though unable to admit that either is genuine, recognises the use of Ephesians in 1 Peter.) He reproduces these freely and in a modified form (cp. his treatment of Christ's sufferings and of man's faith), writing as he does with a practical object in view. Still the epistle requires a historical situation sufficient to admit of “the marriage of true minds” involved in such an attitude to Paulinism, and this is furnished if we suppose that Peter reached Rome early in the seventh decade, a fact which it is becoming more and more difficult to ignore, even under the mass of subseque traditions. One of the advantages of the “ newer chronology” is that it leaves room for this residence of Peter in Rome after the death of Paul.“
2 It is not a crucial objection to this date that the epistle contains none of the definite and poignant allusions which we should expect to the recent Neronic persecution. The references to contemporary hostility are explicit enough for practical purpose--and for safety.
3 To them the OT predicates of worship and privilege are consistently transferred. Zahn (Einl. ii. pp. 7, 8) ingeniously turns the difficulty of Peter writing to Gentiles, by the remark that they would feel inspirited and confirmed in the faith by receiving such care and advice from the prominent leader of the circumcision (Gal 27). Like several others of Zahn's acute explanations, this smacks of Hofmann. Nor is there any basis for Chase's ingenious hypothesis that Peter was summoned by Paul to Rome to show their unity, and that Silvanus started from Rome to Asia as the messenger of Paul, but also carrying a supplementary letter from Peter.
considerable force by Usteri (op. cit. pp. 240–247) and Ramsay (CRE, p. 187 ff.). Jülicher, like Cone (Gospel and its Interpret. p. 260 f.), considers we cannot go far wrong with the general date 100 c., and Bousset places 1 Peter with Apoc. 2-3 at the beginning of the second century (in Meyer's Comm. “Apoc.” p. 284); while von Soden-arguing mainly (after Neumann) from the references to persecution-prefers to come back definitely to Domitian's reign (JpTh, 1883, pp. 461-508; HC, III. ii. p. 109 f.), like J. Réville (Les orig. de l'Episcopat, i. p. 358 f.), Scholten, and Harnack (in its original form, 83–93 A.D., or possibly even earlier, “Die möglichkeit ist nicht ausgeschlossen, das es schon geraume Zeit vorher verfasst ist"), with Wrede (ZNW, 1900, pp. 75-85) and McGiffert (AA, pp. 482 f., 593 f.). The last-named supposes that the writing was composed by a Paulinist during Domitian's reign, anonymously ; it is hardly possible to take seriously his further suggestion that Peter's name was added, not to give it apostolic authority (as Harnack suggests), but simply as “the chance act of an individual scribe," though it is a really ingenious conjecture that Barnabas was the author. More plausible, though with as little basis in actual evidence, is Harnack's subtle hypothesis that the writing, an anonymous and earlier homily, received between 150 and 175--2.e. before the age of Clement Alex., Tertullian, and Irenaeus, who evidently knew the letter as Petrine—the addition of its present address and conclusion ; these were the work of the author of 2 Peter, modelling his style on Ac 15 and Heb 13.2
The question of the date is thus dependent upon the question of authorship to a large degree (Reuss, pp. 262–275). Certainly a prolific literature grew up in the second century under the name of Peter ; but so far from discrediting, this fact seems rather to increase the probable genuineness of at least the present writing, which
i Besides the fact that the readers are not addressed as members of a second generation, but as people who had been brought to Christianity not long ago, although they had no personal intercourse with Christ, another cardinal objection to the second-century date ought probably to be admitted in the literary relation (Usteri, pp. 320 – 324) between Clem. Rom. and this epistle, cp. Pet. 11 119 21 29 217 221 CR. 11 74 362 59 24 517 1617 338, apart 1
224, apart from the use of words like éyadorono and exporwronýztws. Some of these may be due to Clem. Rom.'s acquaintance with Ephes.-Heb.; but even so, that analogy tells for the previous date of 1 Peter. A similar conclusion is to be drawn from the resemblances between it and the Apocalypse.
2 This theory, which would add 11-2 512-14 to the writing, as a title and conclusion composed after the middle of the second century, has really not much more support here than the similar hypothesis in the case of James. The fact that the MSS. supply no evidence, makes it difficult for us to suppose that all extant MSS. are descended from an ancestor which was thus altered before the end of the second century. Also it is hard to see why a similar process was not applied to 1 John (TU, ii. 2, pp. 106-109; Chron. pp. 455-465). The allusion in 1 P 51 does not, of course, necessarily imply an eyewitness, for méprus can quite well be taken in the sense of passages like 1 Co 1515, and “the sufferings of the Christ” mean probably (as in i P 413) Christian trials. Indeed, had Peter written the epistle, it is hard to see why he would not have used a word liké súTÓTTYS, or some definite and clear expression. On the other hand, it is a good point to notice that, so far as we can judge, only three men could have stood in the relations indicated by 1 P511-14 to Mark and Silvanus. These three were Paul, Barnabas, and Peter. Between them the authorship (real or intended) probably lies. F. W. Lewis (Exp.5 x. pp. 319, 320) argues that the epistle was written after Paul's death, since the absence of any mention of Paul (1 P 512. 13) indicates that Mark and Silvanus had been deprived by death of their former master.