The opening address (1 Pet 1:1)

“Peter,

An apostle

Of Jesus Christ,

To the chosen ones

Living

In the dispersion

In Pontus,

Galatia,

Cappadocia,

Asia,

And Bithynia.”

Πέτρος ἀπόστολος Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐκλεκτοῖς παρεπιδήμοις Διασπορᾶς Πόντου, Γαλατίας, Καππαδοκίας, Ἀσίας, καὶ Βιθυνίας,

This author said “Peter (Πέτρος), an apostle (ἀπόστολος) of Jesus Christ (Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ), to the chosen ones (ἐκλεκτοῖς) living (παρεπιδήμοις) in the dispersion (Διασπορᾶς) in Pontus (Πόντου), Galatia (Γαλατίας), Cappadocia (Καππαδοκίας), Asia (Ἀσίας), and Bithynia (καὶ Βιθυνίας).”  The name Peter appears over 150 times in the canonical New Testament writings.  This is an obvious allusion to Peter, the leader of the twelve apostles.  Like Paul, he called him an apostle of Jesus Christ.  Who was he writing to?  This author spoke of the diaspora of the Israelites that dated back to the sixth century BCE.  However, the major diaspora of the Jewish people took place after the Roman destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 70 CE.  These Jewish people were now living outside of Israel.  This word diaspora was only used three times in the NT canonical writings.  This author named a number of specific places.  Pontus and Bithynia were Roman provinces in northern Asia Minor along the Black Sea.  These names only appear here and in the Acts of the Apostles.  Galatia and Cappadocia were large Roman provinces in Asia Minor.  Paul had addressed letters to both of these provinces.  Asia was a Roman province, roughly one third of western Asia Minor.  Clearly, this letter was addressed to the chosen Jewish Christians living in Asia Minor, not in Israel.  Have you ever lived in a place that you were not born in?

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