1 Peter 5 – The Final Words

Tonight we are wrapping up our study of 1 Peter. We will begin our study of 2 Peter on July 11. In these last verses of this letter, we have Peter’s conclusion to his letter.

Silvanus: (v.12)

The salutation opens with Peter’s remark that “Through Silvanus . . . I have written briefly to you.” v.12. The person of Silvanus pops up all of the New Testament. The name “Silvanus” is the Latin name for the Greek Silas. Silas was one of the men appointed by the Jerusalem Council to deliver the Council’s letter of instruction and blessing to Paul and Barnabus in Antioch. Acts 15:22. At this time, Peter was probably part of this Council. As shown in Acts and Paul’s letters, Silas/Silvanus accompanied Paul throughout most of his ministry. Assuming Peter and Paul both died together under Nero, then we do have Silas, once more, coming back into the company of Peter at the end.

The question is what was Silvanus’ role in this letter? Was he simply a messenger as he was for the Council of Jerusalem or was he more than a letter carrier? We know that Peter was an uneducated fisherman who spoke with a thick Galilean accent. Acts 4:13, Matt. 26:73. And from early Christian tradition (see below) we believe that Peter did use translators in his ministry. Therefore, it is possible that Silvanus was not only Peter’s secretary (like Tertius was for Paul,   Rom. 16:22) but translated and polished Peter’s dictation of the letter or even a sermon given by him. In today’s world, Silvanus may be considered a co-author of this letter.  

What we see in the person of Silvanus/Silas is what see throughout the New Testament if we simply open our eyes. The early church was not simply a project carried out by great men like Peter, Paul, James, or John. Rather, the early church was a project carried out by innumerable and often unknown men and women who are never celebrated with feast days or iconography but are known only as a name in the writings we have or known only by Christ himself. See, Rom. 16, Luke 10:1. But, of course, it is on their shoulders, and not simply those of the named apostles, that the church stands.  

Mark: (v.13)

Like Silvanus, Mark appears throughout the New Testament in both Paul and Acts. One of the earliest post-biblical Christian writings says that this Mark was the writer of the eponymous gospel and that he gained all of his information for his gospel from being a translator of Peter.

Papias was the leader of the church in Heiropolis in Asia Minor. He lived approximately from 70-130 and wrote a work called the “Exposition of the Sayings of the Lord” which is now lost. In his book, The History of the Church, Eusebius (d.339) quotes from this lost work as follows:

This also the presbyter (John the apostle) said (to  me, Papias): “Mark, having become the interpreter of Peter, wrote down accurately, though not in order, whatsoever he remembered of the things said or done by Christ. For he neither heard the Lord nor followed him, but afterward, as I said, he followed Peter, who adapted his teaching to the needs of his hearers, but with no intention of giving a connected account of the Lord's discourses, so that Mark committed no error while he thus wrote some things as he remembered them. For he was careful of one thing, not to omit any of the things which he had heard, and not to state any of them falsely.”

According to John the Apostle (though Papias, through Eusebius) it appears that Mark was Peter’s companion, translator, and author of the second gospel.

Final Words:

Paul ends most of his letters with some working of the following words that we also find in Peter: Grace, Love, Peace (and sometimes a Kiss). See, 1 Thess. 5:12-28, 2 Cor. 13:11-14, Eph. 6:23. For a church undergoing persecution or any type of turmoil, these final words are words of comfort and encouragement. It is the grace of God, the love for each other, and the peace of Christ that will sustain and see them through whatever our current problems may be.

SCHEDULE: We are NOT meeting Tuesday, June 27 or July 4.  

Dinner is at 6. The menu is chicken mole. Discussion at 6:45. Compline at 8. Hope to see you here!

Peace be to the whole community, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love undying. Ephesians 6:23-2

Ephesians 6:23-24

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