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HE completion of this commentary has been unavoidably delayed by the thronging duties of parochial work since my departure from Cambridge. In the Notes and Introduction I have relied chiefly upon the study of other New Testament Books and of the Septuagint with which the Epistle is saturated. The opinions adopted are in many cases based upon the views of other commentators too numerous to mention. I must, however, express my indebtedness to the commentary of Dr Hort upon the earlier portion of the Epistle, and to that of Dr Bigg upon the whole book, even where I fail to concur with his views. For the problems of date and authorship I have derived most help from the exhaustive articles of Dr Chase on S. Peter and 1 Peter in Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible, and not without full consideration have I ventured to differ from some of the conclusions of Professor Ramsay in The Church in the Roman Empire.
My thanks are due to the Syndics of the University Press for their patient forbearance and to the General Editor for his great kindness in reading the proofs and for much valuable criticism.
G. W. B.
1. THE LIFE AND CHARACTER OF ST PETER
Simon (or Symeon Acts xv. 14; 2 Pet. i. 1) was son of Jonas (Mt. xvi. 17) or John (Jn i. 42, xxi. 15—17) and brother of Andrew. His home was at Capernaum but he may have originally come from Bethsaida (Jn i. 44). He was married at the time of his call (Mk i. 30) and in later years his wife accompanied him on his missionary travels (1 Cor. ix. 5). He and his brother were partners with James and John as fishermen.
His calls. (a) To personal friendship with Jesus (Jn i. 41—42). Probably both he and Andrew had been disciples of the Baptist. Andrew having found the Messiah brings Simon to our Lord who at once recognizes in him latent possibilities which will develope into Rock-like strength of character.
(b) His call to discipleship (Mt. iv. 18—19; Mk i. 16—18) took place while he was fishing. He and Andrew are summoned to follow Jesus with a promise that they shall be "fishers of men." St Luke (v. 1-11), either following a different tradition or more probably describing a later repetition of the call to discipleship, records it after the healing of Simon's wife's mother and other miracles in Capernaum. Our Lord borrows Simon's boat from which to preach. An extraordinary draught of fishes convinces Simon that Jesus must possess more than human powers. He exclaims "Depart from me for I am a sinful man, O Lord," but 8 assured "From henceforth thou shalt catch men."
(c) The call to Apostleship was perhaps some six months later, when our Lord selected twelve to be His special companions to
be trained as Messengers (Mk iii. 14). On their first Mission they were sent "two and two," and it is a plausible conjecture that St Peter's companion was St John. They had previously been partners, and together with Andrew, they formed the innermost circle of the Twelve at the raising of Jairus' daughter (Mk v. 37), at the Transfiguration (Mk ix. 2), in Gethsemane (Mk xiv. 33). Peter and John "made ready the Passover" (Lk. xxii. 8). At the Last Supper Peter made signs to John (Jn xiii. 24). They alone entered the High Priest's palace at the Trial (Jn xviii. 15). They alone visited the Sepulchre on hearing of the empty tomb (Jn xx. 2—10). It was of St John's future that St Peter asked the Risen Lord (Jn xxi. 20).
Peter and John together healed the cripple (Acts iii. 1-10), together they were arrested by the Sanhedrin (iii. 11), together they visited Samaria (viii. 14). They with James the Lord's brother were regarded as "pillars" of the Church and supported St Paul's work among the Gentiles (Gal. ii. 9).
St Peter's Character as pourtrayed in the Gospels is that of a warm-hearted, impulsive man ready to dare all and doubt nothing, but, until he had been "sifted as wheat," his confidence was partly self-confidence which failed in the hour of trial; his impulsiveness led him at times to act and speak hastily.
His impulsiveness in action may be seen in
(a) his request to walk on the water (Mt. xiv. 28 ff.),
(b) his proposal to make three tabernacles at the Transfiguration (Mk ix. 5—6),
(c) his conduct about the tribute money (Mt. xvii. 24 ff.), (d) drawing his sword to smite the High Priest's Servant (Jn xviii. 10),
(e) entering the Palace at the Trial and then denying his Master (Mt. xxvi. 69 ff., etc.),
(f) entering the sepulchre (Jn xx. 6),
(g) jumping into the water to hasten to the Risen Lord (Jn xxi. 7 ff.).
His impulsiveness of speech led him at times to criticize or contradict his Master.
"All men seek for Thee" (Mk i. 37). "This shall never be unto Thee" (Mt. xvi. 22). "Thou shalt never wash my feet";