Theirdifferent views of the authorship of 1 and 2 Peter will be discussed andcompared in this paper. 1 Peter is a New Testament writing. It has only fivechapters that seems to portray the purpose of bringing hope to Christians. Christians should lead their lives by serving God and knowing that the judgementof God will be coming. Their faith will be tested, but Christians are told staytrue to God.
The point is to tell Christians that they should keep to theirfaith no matter what is going on in the world. The people being addressed wherethose of the church whom were estranged from their old life. This letter has thesame pattern of a Pauline letter, opening with a greeting and thanksgiving. Thenit gives the purpose and reflects on the identity of Christians.
It ends with anexhortation and closing. It is done neatly and kept in order. 1 Paul seems tohave been written in Rome. It is written for the churches in the area ofnorthern Asia Minor.
The time period could range from 60-72 C. E. during thetime of Paul whom is considered to have traditional authorship. 2 Peter appearsto be the “last testament” of the apostle who had authorship of it. Correct teaching is emphasized, showing that is a major concern of the author.
The letter gives a warning that judgement will condemn those without goodethical conduct. This includes all heretics. In 2 Peter’s three chapters, theauthor expresses his believe of the time when judgement will come. The authoruses the Hebrew Scriptures, the prophets’ testimonies, Peter’s eyewitness of thetransfiguration of Jesus, and the writings of Paul.
The author’s point is thatthe Parousia is real and not a myth. 2 Peter tells that the reason for the delayof the Parousia is that God’s time is different from human time. So, the cominghas not occurred when it was believed it should have. It also says that God isdelaying the coming to give time for humans to repent. 2 Peter seems to alsohave been written during the Apostolic Age and is one of the last New Testamentwritings. In The New Oxford Annotated Bible, the authorship seems to be pointingto Peter himself to be the author.
It also says that Silvanus could have beenthe author, but it is very doubtful. In the beginning, Peter is named, but atthe end, Silvanus is mentioned in the closing. In 2 Peter, the letter ispresented to have been written by Simeon Peter. He says that he is the servantand apostle of Jesus, but there is doubt to this. By him saying this, doubts ofauthorship is brought forth. The time period is confused by the author sayingthis.
The reason for this is Simeon Peter’s death was predicted by Jesus. Ifthis happened, then he could not have been an apostle of Peter. Also, he claimsto have had fellowship with Peter, but the way the author presents hisinterpretation of Paul’s letters, it is doubtful. Another source is TheInterpreter’s Bible Volume 12.
This source also expresses authorship concerns,stating that 1 Peter was written by Peter with the help of Sylvanus who was likea brother to Peter. The place where 1 Peter was written seems to have been Rome. This is because of the fact Babylon is mentioned, and it is considered to be acryptic name meaning Rome. The time period seems to have been in 60 C. E.
because this is during the time of the lifetime of Peter. 2 Peter’s authorshipis also discussed. Simon Peter is said to have been the author but this sourcedoubts it. The difference is style with 1 Peter expresses that they do not havethe same authors. The author is unknown, but wrote in the spirit of Peter,condemning heresy. Rome is considered to have been the place of authorship.
Since there is proof that 1 Peter was written in Rome, and due to the fact that2 Peter is heavily influenced by it, then 2 Peter was also written in Rome. Theinfluence that 1 Peter has on 2 Peter proves this. 2 Peter is also considered tohave been written in the middle of the second century. A third source is TheInterpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible. It expresses that the beginning of 1Peter definitely shows that the author is Peter himself.
Also, the authorstating that he was an eyewitness to Jesus backs up the belief that he is theauthor. There is no evidence why he wrote it. Only the belief that he did it tofortify the faith of who he was writing to could have been the explanation. There are arguments against Peter being the author. These come from claims thathe only speaks of Jesus’ death and resurrection. The only explanation is that heis less concerned with his life, and more concerned with the fact that his deathbrought grace.
This source states that there is no proof that can say Peter wasnot the author. If Peter is the author, then the date of the writings can fallaround 64 or 67 C. E. This source also discusses the authorship of 2 Peter. Theapostle Simon Peter is considered to have authorship.
This is considered to bean unclear fact though. The purpose of 2 Peter is clearer than the authorship. It is to go against the skepticism of the Parousia. It is considered to bewritten around the second century, long after the apostolic age. A fourth sourceis The Anchor Bible Series. This source discusses that the question of theauthor’s identity is raised in the text.
Silvanus is questioned to be theauthor. He could be Peter’s secretary, his collaborator, or the true author. Paul is noted to be the author, but the mention of Silvanus in the text putsquestions on this fact. The theological character of 1 Peter seems to have someof Silvanus’s touch in it. The language of 1 Peter also suggests this. Theauthor has heavy influence of Pauline writings, and this shows that Peter mightnot be the author.
For Peter to base a lot of 1 Peter on Pauline writings wouldmake him switch from his Jewish beliefs to a more Gentile Christianity. It couldbe possible but very doubtful. The language of 1 Peter is more toward a Greekstyle than that of a Galilean fisherman, which was what Peter was. This couldpossibly show that he must have collaborated with someone, which was Sivanus.
2Peter’s author presents himself as the apostle Peter. This would be SimeonPeter. This source believes that it was a follower of Peter that wrote 2 Peterthough. The author’s purpose seemed to have been to preserve the apostolictradition. Also, 2 Peter does not have any personal information about Jesus,showing that he could not have been Peter. The language is portrayed asHellenistic, and not of a Galilean fisherman.
This shows that the author isunknown. There is no other evidence that tells who the author could have been. The latest 2 Peter was written could have been 90 C. E. It is also believed thatsince the author wanted to have the identity of Peter, then the place ofauthorship was Rome. As noted above, there are different views on the authorshipof 1 and 2 Peter.
Some of the bible scholars contrast each other and others areagree upon certain facts. For 1 Peter there is very many questions as to who theauthor is. The evidence points mostly to Peter being the true author. Silvanushas also been considered to be the author. If the evidence is examined closely,he could have only been Peter’s scribe.
Some say that he was the author, oreither he helped Peter write the letter. The text has many different influencesthat come from Peter though, so Silvanus might not have had anything to do withthe writing of the letter. 2 Peter’s author will probably stay anonymous. Although Simeon Peter could have been the author there is strong evidence thathe was not.
It could have been someone who wanted to uphold the apostolictradition, so this person wrote as Peter. The author only portrayed himself asPeter and was not actually Peter himself. Bible scholars will probably continueto study the authorship if 1 and 2 Peter. One day they might find hard evidenceto who the author really was. Until then they can only use the text of the Bibleto research the authorship.
For 1 Peter, the authorship has more evidenceshowing Peter was the author. 2 Peter’s author could have been Peter but moreevidence points to an unknown author. BibliographyBeasley, James R. , et al.
An Introduction to the Bible. Nashville: AbingdonPress, 1991. The Anchor Bible Series: The Epistles of James, Peter, and Luke. New York, New York: Doubleday, 1964. The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible. Nashville: Abingdon, 1962.
The Interpreter’s Bible: The Holy Scriptures Volume12. New York: Abingdon Press, 1957. The New Oxford Annotated Bible. New York:Oxford University Press, 1994.Religion