Friday, February 08, 2008
Ben Witherington's Letters and Homilies for Hellenized Christians
I want to offer praise for Ben Witherington's recent commentary on 1 & 2 Peter entitled Letters and Homilies for Hellenized Christians. I am most encouraged by Witherington’s view of the social milieu of the letter of 1 Peter. He asserts, "We will argue that the early church fathers were right that 1 Peter is written by Peter to Jewish Christians" (2007:17, emphasis added).
The prevailing assumption today among Petrine interpreters is that 1 Peter was written to Gentile Christians. I have believed for quite sometime now however that this consensus position on the question of audience at best does not adequately explain the content of the letter and at worst renders 1 Peter the most thoroughgoing supersessionist text in the New Testament.