1 Peter

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Pub Date 18 Oct 2022 | Archive Date 25 Dec 2022

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In this new edition in the award-winning BECNT series, leading evangelical biblical scholar Karen Jobes offers a substantive commentary on 1 Peter. The first edition, widely regarded as one of the leading commentaries on 1 Peter, has sold over 22,000 copies. The second edition takes recent scholarship into account and has been updated and revised throughout.

Jobes takes a historical-grammatical approach to exegeting 1 Peter and considers the possibility that the original readers of the letter were actual exiles who had known Peter in some other location, probably Rome. She analyzes each discourse unit of the Greek text with a view toward not only what the letter meant in its original setting but how it speaks to readers today.

As with all BECNT volumes, this commentary features an acclaimed, user-friendly design and admirably achieves the dual aims of the series--academic sophistication with pastoral sensitivity and accessibility--making it a useful tool for pastors, church leaders, students, and teachers.

In this new edition in the award-winning BECNT series, leading evangelical biblical scholar Karen Jobes offers a substantive commentary on 1 Peter. The first edition, widely regarded as one of the...

Advance Praise

“Karen Jobes’s 1 Peter commentary has long been my go-to. She writes with scholarly depth and pastoral clarity, and her first edition was the most universally useful and comprehensive commentary on my shelf. This second edition only improves on that strength. By adding her own translations and updating the arguments around the use of the LXX/OG, Jobes causes her strength in language and textual histories to shine even brighter. For the casual student or the advanced scholar, this second edition solidifies its place as my top recommendation for a 1 Peter commentary.”—Mariam Kovalishyn, associate professor of New Testament, Regent College

“Ever since it first appeared, Karen Jobes’s commentary on 1 Peter has been my primary textbook for teaching this letter. This revised edition keeps the best of what she wrote before while also interweaving interaction with the most valuable literature of recent years along with gems of contemporary application. Clearly reasoned and written, Jobes’s judicious conclusions merit acceptance at almost every turn. A great resource has become even better.”—Craig L. Blomberg, distinguished professor emeritus of New Testament, Denver Seminary

“Jobes’s welcome new edition has much to offer students and scholars of 1 Peter. It retains her clear exegetical analysis and her evaluation of the letter’s main theological themes, which made her first edition so comprehensive. This updated text expands on Jobes’s distinctive contributions to the study of 1 Peter and includes an additional section on the ways the Greek Jewish Scriptures have shaped the letter. Jobes decisively models how to consider various interpretive issues and viewpoints while also asserting and supporting her own positions.”—Janette H. Ok, associate professor of New Testament, Fuller Theological Seminary

“Jobes’s completely updated commentary presents a well-argued discussion of significant introductory matters. Her careful exegesis and attention to the use of the Old Testament in 1 Peter is noteworthy. I highly recommend this commentary for students and church leaders who are looking for a clear, understandable presentation of 1 Peter in its historical, literary, and theological contexts.”—Ruth Anne Reese, professor of New Testament, Asbury Theological Seminary

“Karen Jobes’s 1 Peter commentary has long been my go-to. She writes with scholarly depth and pastoral clarity, and her first edition was the most universally useful and comprehensive commentary on...

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An excellent commentary on 1 Peter that digs into the interpretations of the original greek that gave me a much better understanding of the challenges that such entails (and which helped me re-evaluate my own understanding of this epistle). The writing style was very accessible and helpful for someone who is neither a theologian nor an expert in koine greek, so I had no problems following her analysis. Perhaps the only aspect missing would be the limited treatment of the exegesis from the early church; however, what is there is to the point and reasonably evaluated in view of modern scholarship and existing limitations. On balance, there is a lot of analysis focused on each verse (400 pages to discuss some 100 verses) that tackles a number of potentially problematic interpretations with tremendous skill and insight. In particular, I was fascinated by the historical context of the household codes and the primary linkage of Jesus to the “Suffering Servant” as well as folk traditions of Noah in Asia Minor that would have influenced the target audiences understanding of the text (this was entirely new for me). In addition, the speculation linking that target audience to the explosions of Jews (and Christians) from Rome into Asia Minor where they would be seen as aliens and strangers fit rather nicely into my own research of late. Finally, the analysis on the when and who with regard to authorship was outstanding (even if inclusive). The rest (on suffering for the sake of Christ) was pretty much inline with my original understanding.


I. Greeting to the Christian Diaspora of Asia Minor
II. The Opening of the Letter: Reassurance for God’s People
- A. Doxology as the Basis for the Christian Line
- B. BeWhat You Are
- C. The Identity of God’s People
III. As God’s People, Live Godly Lives
- A. Commendable Social Behavior as God’s People
- B. The Inner Qualities of Righteous Living
- C. Suffering Unjustly for the Name of God
IV. Consolation for the Suffering Flock
- A. Final Through about Suffering for Christ
- B. Final Exhortations to the Community
V. The Closing of the Letter: Final Words and Greetings
Excursus: The Syntax of 1 Peter: How Good Is the Greek


I was given this free advance review copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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Stand firm in the faith! This is the chorus repeated throughout the letter of 1 Peter. Written to a people scattered throughout many different provinces in Asia Minor, this is one of the most powerful letters of encouragement to persecuted groups of believers. Many of the early believers did not have the kind of freedom many of us currently enjoy. There are themes of faith during persecution; living as resident aliens; suffering for the faith; seeing God as Trinity; salvation; end times; and more. Author Karen Jobes helps us not only to understand the themes but more importantly, the contexts to illuminate our understanding of these themes. We read about date and authorship; intended audiences; origins; lexical considerations; sources; the impact of Roman colonization; theological flow; and more. With clearly marked outlines, Jobes systematically deals with the text on a thought-by-thought manner. Many sources were consulted before she gives us her own contribution. There are three unique features in this commentary.

1) Audience: That the letter was written not to indigenous believers but to the diaspora displaced from other places such as Rome;
2) Sources: Using the Septuagint (LXX) to facilitate a greater understanding of the contextual background;
3) Original Language: The original text might not necessarily be Greek. Instead, it could very well be one who was well-versed in the Semitic language other than Greek.

Jobes asserts that the audience at that time was a minority struggling against a culture that resisted their presence. This affirms the relevance of the letter for our times. Through the ages, the Church has frequently been the minority. Some are even relegated to refugee status when believers are forced to flee. The fundamental principle in 1 Peter is that it is better to suffer for doing right than to sin. Other themes include how to live as believers in an unChristian world; how to interact with prevailing culture without compromising on Christian principles; and how to live as resident aliens.

My Thoughts
First, this is a well-thought-out commentary. An excellent biblical commentary needs at least both diligent exegetical analysis and relevant homiletical application. Recent trends in commentary publishing have not only accomplished that with the best scholars available, but they also provide lots of historical background and contextual information to illuminate the reasons for the text. In other words, the quality of commentaries has improved and this new commentary is one such addition. This commentary aims to do more than the above, targeted at preachers, pastors, and teachers. Moving away from a verse-by-verse methodology, this commentary works in a passage-by-passage or paragraph-by-paragraph format. This is in line with the famous Big Idea summary that increases the big-picture understanding without becoming bogged down by minor details. The initial outline not only prepares readers who might be opening the commentary for the first time, but it can also be a useful guide for future reference. giving each of the sections a title is also an interpretive choice which I feel the author has done well. The selections of Greek are printed with both the transliteration as well as the English meaning side by side which gives readers a quick understanding of the relevance of the word without having to resort to their own dictionaries. I appreciate how at the end of each section, the author reminds us about where we are in the letter, to give us a big picture of where we are heading.

Second, this commentary is conservative, evangelical, and updated with the latest archaeological research and modern scholarship. While the commentary is useful for the general reader, this distinction provides the average layperson a level of certainty when it comes to theological orientation. Usually, theological points of view are relatively easier for trained theologians, scholars, and seminarians. Most people who have not gone to Bible School might find it more difficult to discern different theological biases. Like Bible translations, every commentary is in itself an interpretation. Thus, this commentary is essentially an interpretation from the angle of Jobes's evangelical heritage. Having said that, Jobes does not limit herself to mainly evangelical scholars. She cites other scholars from other traditions like the Roman Catholic scholar Yves Congar and Jewish rabbis. Readers will also note how the author regularly makes a case for why evangelicals differ from these other traditions.

Third, I feel that the commentary is heavier on the exegesis and exposition. There is a strong level of meticulous scholarship supplemented by good research. On a relative scale, the homiletical aspect is weaker. I know there are some commentaries that invite two different authors to write a commentary like this. One would focus on the exegesis while the other would concentrate on the homiletics of the texts. To be fair, Jobes's work is already quite credible, so my suggestion above is a possible future addition. Having said that, I fully concur with Jobes when she calls for a more "quantitative textual analysis" over the many "subjective" commentaries out there. Jobes backs up her commentary not only with exegesis credibility and faithful contextual understanding. For that reason, I recommend this commentary highly for students or readers desiring a commentary that is objectively focused on truth rather than opinion.

Karen H. Jobes (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia) is Gerald F. Hawthorne Professor of New Testament Greek and Exegesis, Emerita, at Wheaton College and Graduate School in Wheaton, Illinois. She has written several books, including commentaries on Esther (NIV Application Commentary), the Gospel of John (Through Old Testament Eyes), and 1, 2, and 3 John (Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament), and has coauthored with Moisés Silva, Invitation to the Septuagint.

Rating: 4.25 stars of 5.

This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Academic and NetGalley without requiring a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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