Even though the letter of 1 Peter has sometimes been overshadowed by Paul's many New Testament letters, it is nonetheless distinctive for the clarity with which it presents the Christian message. In this volume Joel Green offers a clear paragraph-by-paragraph analysis of 1 Peter and, even more, unpacks the letter’s theology in ways that go beyond the typical modern commentary. Following Green's paragraph-by-paragraph commentary is an extended discussion of the "theological horizons" of 1 Peter. Throughout his study Green brings the message of 1 Peter into conversation with Christian theologians—ancient and contemporary—so that the challenge of this letter for Christian faithfulness can be heard more clearly today.
“Nor does he deny the validity of the experiences of his audience, as though they were not really experiencing the life of refugees. The issue is not that or what they are suffering, but rather how to make sense of it. Hence, 1 Peter concerns itself from the very beginning with issues of Christian identity and formation, constitution and behavior. This is profound theological work.” (Page 14)
“First Peter is addressed to folks who do not belong, who eke out their lives on the periphery of acceptable society, whose deepest loyalties and inclinations do not line up very well with what matters most in the world in which they live. This is not the sort of life that most people find attractive.” (Page 18)
“On the other hand, repeated references to the pagan character of their background strongly intimate that most of those in the audience assumed by the letter were Gentile (see 1:14, 18; 2:10, 25; 4:3–4). The comment that, prior to their conversion, the readers of 1 Peter had neither faith nor hope in God likewise urges their identification as Gentiles (1:21). These considerations speak decisively in favor of our identifying the first audience of 1 Peter as communities of Christians in which persons of Gentile background would have predominated.” (Page 5)
“In the earlier years of the church’s spread, too, Christians would have distinguished themselves from the general populace by their nonparticipation in public festivals (cultural affairs imbued with religious, political, and social consequence). Failing to associate themselves with these religiocultural activities, their behaviors would have been perceived by the general populace as atheistic, perhaps even bordering on unlawful. Failing to participate in these activities, they would have been charged with bringing upon their communities the disfavor of the gods.” (Page 9)