Before we begin breaking down the scriptures found in 1 Peter it is probably best that we take a look at who the author is, the time frame in which it was written and who the target audience was when it was written. It is always best when entering in to a study of any passage of scripture that you take time to try and understand these few points. It will help you to better understand and apply what you find as you seek to understand Godís Word.
As far as authorship the opening passage leaves us with very little doubt about whom the author is or even the original audience to whom he was writing. We read in 1 Peter 1:1;
1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 1 Peter 1:1 (ESV)
It might not surprise you but there is some debate by scholars as to the authorship of this Epistle. I personally will go with the fact that it is the same Peter who denied Jesus three times (John 18). Who however, Jesus restores to his position of authority and leader of the Church prior to Jesusí ascension to Heaven. This is recorded in John 21:15-17 Jesus forgives Peter and instructs him to feed His sheep. Just a point for thought no matter what you have done you are never beyond Jesus forgiveness and Peter is a prime example of how Jesus can restore all people when they trust in Him.
The verse also tells us who Peter was writing too. We know from Acts that the work has been divided between Peter and Paul. Peter has been called to preach the good news to the Jews and their by His writings are predominately geared towards a Jewish audience. However, this letter addresses a more gentile region of the world that makes it applicable to both the Jew and the Gentile. This is why it is as relevant to you and me today as believers in Jesus Christ.
The original time frame in which it was written is a matter of discussion that centers on the belief that Peter was the author. Peter was martyred in A.D. 65 and history shows him arriving in Rome in A.D. 60 so if the letter was written during this period it was in A.D. 62 or 63. The importance of Peter being the true author cannot be underestimated. His firsthand experience with Christ and the witness of the resurrection provide continuity within the Christian church and its history.
The letter itself addresses method and nature of salvation, a demand for holiness, a description of people of God, Christian witness, appeals and promises to the persecuted and assurance for the faithful servants. My intention is to go verse by verse word by word as we study this valuable letter to the early church from one of the most changed men in the history of the world. I hope you find it beneficial and enlightening as we dive into Godís word and begin to learn what Peter knows and understands about walking in the faith of Jesus Christ. Be blessed today.