Book of the Year

I remember years ago hearing Dick Lucas suggest that each year you choose a book of the Bible for special attention. That you teach from it wherever possible, study it, read it, meditate on it, read about it… And hopefully as the year goes on you start to feel not only like you are getting a hold on the book but more importantly that the book is getting a hold on you…

In that light, my book of the year is… 1 Peter.  Hopefully that will translate to some blogging as well.

After a quick rummage through my bookshelf – I have discovered commentaries by Grudem, Clowney & Micheals.  This looks a useful article as well.

Anyone have some good links or resources to recommend?  Anyone done any good thinking themselves?

Anyone keen to read it with me, doing some community hermeneutics?


16 thoughts on “Book of the Year

  1. John Post author

    So now that you and Colin have commented at the new blog I know that the two guys who read my old blog have made the jump 🙂

    As for 1 Peter – clearly you missed the “anyone doing some good thinking” request. Get sharing preacher boy 🙂


  2. Stephen Murray

    Interesting question for approaching 1 Peter: How do we interpret the Greek word “parepidemos” (1Peter 1:1)? What english word or notion best captures this idea in 1 Peter. The major Bible translations vary from ‘stranger’ to ‘alien’ to ‘exile’ to ‘sojourner’. I think the way we conceptualize this term will make a big difference to how you interpret the book.


  3. John Post author

    Have not really looked at that before but ok, I’ll bite… How so? At first glance they all sound similar enough just with some different nuances. How do you see the nuances being so significant?


  4. Stephen Murray

    “stranger” and “alien” seem to ignore the residency component. From what I understand the term does not mean complete stranger nor one who quickly passes through but rather someone who spends significant time living in a place yet they’re never quite at home. “Exile” has the connotation of being forced to live in a certain place – the Greek experts (in books at least) tell me that there’s no sense of that in the word either. At the moment I like “sojourner” the most, but the word is a bit archaic and people don’t really know what it means but it seems to hold in tension the notion that the people are long time residents of an area without being citizens, because their citizenship is elsewhere.

    Theologically I think that balance needs to be kept – Peter is speaking to people whose ultimate citizenship is in heaven, hence they have a different value system to others – but they still very much live in the world. So the tension is to be a citizen of heaven but not withdraw from this world in the process. I think when we mess up that tension (either to the right or the left) we end up with a defunct Christianity. Thoughts?


  5. John Post author

    Your reasoning seems to make sense. One thought though is that I am struck by the frequent use of OT themes in 1 Peter – temple, people, nation, priesthood, inheritance, blood etc. All of which when we trace these elements through the Bible story have a strong exilic component. Plus when we add the “scattered” of 1v1, and the allusions/similarities with Jeremiah’s letter to the exile. Perhaps we should not throw out the exile word too quickly – if we examine the biblical theological usuage/context and not just etymologically (word studies for anyone else reading).


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  8. Colin

    Lots of OT themes. Peter’s mind is rich in Theology.
    I detected Wisdom, Redemptive and Election texts as three main categories in 1 Peter.

    Also there is a great missional understanding of the Spirit.

    But the question that we must ask as we read through 1 Peter is, what does he mean by ‘The true grace of God’ – after all, that is why he wrote the letter. That and to encourage (see the ending).

    It is prob the book I have done the most work on in the last 8 years or so. And I love going back to it. It really hit the mark in China with a church that is alien and finding it tough.


  9. John Post author

    Thanks Colin – the OT themes/allusions & quotes are everywhere! Has to be very significant in our understanding of 1 Peter.

    Funny you should mention 5v12 “the true grace of God” – I was just chewing that one over yesterday. He does say that is why he wrote the letter… Seems to imply that there is a false or insufficient grace that he is writing to counteract or expand.

    Your 3 categories of Wisdom, Redemptive & Elective texts – are those OT quotes that you are categorising or themes of 1 Peter?


    1. Colin

      We will chat about the true grace tomorrow. 4:12f is key to understanding the true grace – the context of the letter is suffering and glory … ‘to this you were called’ (used twice in the letter) … and how we can participate with Christ for the redemption of the world – the true grace … and lots more :). Then 1:1,2 becomes clearer when this is understood … the NIV and most Eng translations struggle with it, but it is key when translated correctly I think.

      quotes and allusions I am categorising.


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