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Reading 1–2 Peter and Jude

Reading 1–2 Peter and Jude: A Resource for Students

Eric F. Mason
Troy W. Martin
  • Book Info
    Reading 1–2 Peter and Jude
    Book Description:

    An essential textbook on 1-2 Peter and Jude for readers of all levels

    Scholars engage the best contemporary work on 1-2 Peter and Jude in this student-oriented book. The first four chapters in this collection-on authorship and pseudonymity, literary relationships among the three books, epistolary rhetoric, and apocalyptic elements-consider important, foundational issues related to all three epistles. These essays lay the groundwork for more focused chapters that examine theology and theory in 1 Peter as well a stylistic, theological, and thematic overlap in Jude and 2 Peter.


    A range of theological, literary, and theoretical approachesDefinitions for specialized terminologyHistorical and cultural background informationExplanations of methodologies

    eISBN: 978-1-58983-738-6
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

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  1. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  2. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. Abbreviations
    (pp. xi-xviii)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-10)
    Eric F. Mason and Troy W. Martin

    The three New Testament epistles treated in this volume—1 Peter, 2 Peter, and Jude—have long been viewed as outliers in the New Testament canon by biblical scholars, even though the three books faced differing assessments in the early church. Second Peter, quite suspect throughout much of the patristic era, was further marginalized by some late nineteenth- to mid-twentieth-century scholars who claimed it exemplifies “early catholicism,” a supposed calcification of the early church’s vibrant faith into a cold, institutional, tradition-bound orthodoxy, and thus it is “perhaps the most dubious writing in the canon” (Käsemann 1964, 169).¹ Discussion of Jude...

  5. Gathering Apostolic Voices: Who Wrote 1 and 2 Peter and Jude?
    (pp. 11-26)
    Lewis R. Donelson

    Almost all readings of texts include questions about the original author of the text. While readings of texts, especially biblical texts, have many purposes and methods, most readings at some point undertake an attempt to hear the voice and intentions of the original author. Part of what we want to do when we read is to understand the text as the author wanted it to be understood. Readers of biblical texts typically share this concern. We want to know who wrote 1 and 2 Peter and Jude and how they wanted their letters to be understood. It turns out that,...

  6. The Literary Relationships among 1 Peter, 2 Peter, and Jude
    (pp. 27-46)
    Jeremy F. Hultin

    Someone encountering the New Testament for the first time would expect to find a greater affinity between 1 and 2 Peter than between 2 Peter and Jude. After all, both Petrine epistles say they are written by “Peter” (identified as an “apostle”), and 2 Peter even calls itself his “second letter” (2 Pet 3:1), suggesting an awareness of the first. Yet ever since antiquity, careful readers have been struck by how greatly 1 and 2 Peter differ in style and thought. Readers have also long noted that 2 Peter and Jude have a great deal in common. Indeed, the similarities...

  7. The Epistolary Rhetoric of 1 Peter, 2 Peter, and Jude
    (pp. 47-62)
    Duane F. Watson

    There are many types of Greek and Roman letters contemporary with the New Testament that developed in different contexts for different purposes. The relationships of friendship, family, and client-patron form some of the contexts that generated these letters. Ancient epistolary handbooks classify letters into their many types, including friendship, family, praise and blame, and exhortation and advice. These classifications and others are ideal types that can be amplified and mixed to better serve their purposes within different contexts (Stowers 1986; Malherbe 1988; Klauck 2006).

    These Greek and Roman letters were influenced by rhetorical conventions. They can also be classified according...

  8. “Awaiting New Heavens and a New Earth”: The Apocalyptic Imagination of 1–2 Peter and Jude
    (pp. 63-82)
    Kelley Coblentz Bautch

    Near the end of 2 Peter, the author makes an intriguing statement that should catch the attention of any modern reader: “In accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home” (2 Pet 3:13 NRSV). Indeed, this is not the only language in the book that likely seems foreign to modern audiences. The Day of the Lord? Revelation of the deeds of humankind, both good and bad, and portending judgment? Obliteration of the heavens and earth that we know? Some readers of Scripture may find such claims extravagant, eccentric, or marginal...

  9. Reborn to a Living Hope: A Christology of 1 Peter
    (pp. 83-98)
    Steven J. Kraftchick

    Schubert Ogden begins his bookThe Point of Christologyby observing, “Without a doubt the question christology answersisthe question ‘Who is Jesus?’ But what certainly is wrong in this understanding is what it in effect denies in assuming that this is theonlyquestion that christology answers.” Ogden states this to ensure that Christology will attend to the question of who Jesus is (or was), butalsoto the difference that answers to that question have for understanding God and ourselves. This statement requires that in constructing a Christology one must always ask, directly or indirectly, two other...

  10. Christians as Babies: Metaphorical Reality in 1 Peter
    (pp. 99-112)
    Troy W. Martin

    Metaphors permeate 1 Peter from the very beginning, where the Christian recipients are described as “elect sojourners of the Diaspora,” to the end, where the sender and his community are identified as the “co-elect [Diaspora] of Babylon.”¹ The author of 1 Peter is quite fond of metaphor, and an informed interpreter of this document as well as of the New Testament as a whole needs some understanding of metaphors and how they function in thought and communication. R. Melvin McMillen notes, “Petrine scholars are well-advised to think deeply and read widely in the field of metaphor, not only because of...

  11. Be Holy, For I Am Holy: Paraenesis in 1 Peter
    (pp. 113-134)
    Nancy Pardee

    Amid the struggles of daily life and the pain of life’s tragedies, people often look for comfort and strength. This search, perhaps above all else, is at the heart of 1 Peter. The letter presupposes ongoing conflict between the recipient communities and the surrounding pagan society; thus encouragement was an important, if not the primary, goal of the letter.¹ The precise nature of the attacks is not specified, but references to slander (katalaleō, 2:12), insult (loidoria, 3:9), defamation (blasphēmeō, 4:4), and reproach (oneidizō, 4:14) point to an oppressive social environment rather than to any government-sponsored prosecution.² Yet the stress experienced...

  12. Ethnicity, Empire, and Early Christian Identity: Social-Scientific Perspectives on 1 Peter
    (pp. 135-150)
    David G. Horrell

    New Testament studies has become a highly diverse discipline with a wide range of methods and approaches. Among the many contemporary approaches, what has come to be known as social-scientific criticism has an important place, even if, as I shall suggest below, it is now too diverse and too integrated into the discipline as a whole to be easily identified as one specific and particular method.

    The immediate origins of social-scientific criticism lie in the early 1970s, although there are earlier precursors, including an interest in social history (see further Horrell 2002). Two important landmarks may be identified. One is...

  13. 1 Peter and Postmodern Criticism
    (pp. 151-166)
    Félix H. Cortez

    An array of diverse methods loosely characterized as postmodern has emerged in the area of biblical studies in the last thirty years. The purpose of this chapter is to introduce the reader to the basic tenets of postmodern criticism and its related methods and to survey briefly its impact on the analysis and interpretation of 1 Peter.

    We should begin by saying that postmodern biblical criticism is not a method but rather a stance or a posture that uses different methods of analysis, and some of these methods at times may even be contradictory (Adam 1995, vii; Bible and Culture...

  14. 1 Peter in Patristic Literature
    (pp. 167-180)
    Andreas Merkt

    For the church fathers, there was no doubt that the letter known to us as 1 Peter was written by the apostle himself. This authorship by Peter is why the letter was regarded from the second century onward as a text of special inspiration and authority.

    Together with 1 John, it formed the germinating core of a group of letters that have been called the Catholic Epistles (Schlosser 2004). This designation has been in use since the third century and primarily refers to the status of those letters as accepted by the catholic church in contrast to those writings for...

  15. Biblical and Nonbiblical Traditions in Jude and 2 Peter: Sources, Usage, and the Question of Canon
    (pp. 181-200)
    Eric F. Mason

    The authors of Jude and 2 Peter make ample use of texts and traditions from books that have long been classified as either “biblical” or “nonbiblical.” In addition, the author of 2 Peter demonstrates knowledge of Jesus traditions similar to those in the Gospels and also an awareness of Paul’s letters. This chapter focuses on three major questions. First, what biblical and nonbiblical sources have the authors of Jude and 2 Peter used? Second, how are these sources utilized? Third, how might these authors have understood the concept of “canon”?

    Admittedly this third question must be approached cautiously so as...

  16. Are the Others Too Other? The Issue of “Others” in Jude and 2 Peter
    (pp. 201-214)
    Peter H. Davids

    Jude and 2 Peter are sometimes treated as literature too short, obscure, and controversial for serious study. Sitting as they do toward the end of the New Testament, they often warrant only cursory treatment at the end of a course on New Testament letters or the end of a volume on multiple letters. Furthermore, it is clear to most scholars that 2 Peter has used Jude much as Matthew and Luke have used Mark. Because of this, the two works are often treated together in such a manner that they almost merge, with Jude considered the junior partner and 2...

  17. Searching for Evidence: The History of Reception of the Epistles of Jude and 2 Peter
    (pp. 215-228)
    Wolfgang Grünstäudl and Tobias Nicklas

    In the introduction to his still-important 1977 monograph, Tord Fornberg states,

    A hasty glance at bibliographical works such as theElenchusandNew Testament Abstractsindicates that the interest in Early Christian epistolary literature is focused chiefly on the Corpus Paulinum (including Hebrews) and to some extent on the three major Catholic Epistles, i.e. James, 1 Pet[er], and 1 John. The four minor epistles, 2 Pet[er], 2 John, 3 John and Jude on the other hand, seldom come under consideration. (Fornberg 1977, 1)

    The situation described by Fornberg has not really changed during the last decades. Even if the minor...

  18. Index of Ancient Sources
    (pp. 259-271)
  19. Index of Modern Authors
    (pp. 272-276)