Day 3: Overall Context

“There is a saying that there are three rules of real estate:  location, location, location.  The same is true for biblical interpretation:  we need context, context, context!  Have you ever had something you said taken out of context?  It is incredibly frustrating to have an hour-long conversation boiled down to one phrase or have one line from an e-mail pulled out and misused.  It is also misleading, which is why this tactic is used by politicians when they want to sling mud.  People can be vilified by just one joke, one line in an e-mail, or one action; however, to truly know someone, we need to know their background, their heart, their motives, and their goals.  The same is true with reading the Bible.  We can’t just pull a few verses out and interpret them in thin air….If we are going to understand the Bible correctly, we must read things in context.  We have to see God’s heart behind it, His character, His motives, and how things fit into His grand plan throughout history.” –Swim in the Deep End

Over the next couple of days, we need to establish some context by getting a whole-book overview of 1 Peter.  Today, please read chapters 1-3* and make note of any over-arching themes you see.  If you notice words or phrases being repeated several times, that can point to an important theme.  What stands out or surprises you from these chapters?

*Please note:  Chapter 3 does talk about wives submitting to their husbands.  I realize this language could be averse or offensive to many people, some for good reason. This first reading is meant to provide an overview of the whole book, so I hope you will bear with it until we address it in depth in the fourth week of the study.  Even if you are very put-off by the word “submission,” there is still a lot to learn from the rest of the book.  I will encourage friendly discussion when we come to that section of the text!  Thanks.

-Sarah

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4 thoughts on “Day 3: Overall Context

  1. In these chapters, especially the first two, I see a lot of words referring to God’s foreknowledge and control over our salvation, electing us. Specifically, the following- “elect”- v1:1, “foreknowledge”- v1:2, God “caused” us to be born again- v1:3, “foreknown before the foundation of the world”-v1:20, we are “chosen”- v2:9, “called”-v2:9, and again “called”-v1:15. Also, Christ was foreknown in verse 1:20.

    There are a lot of practical commands in these chapters as well- how believers should act if they have been changed by Christ.

  2. Pingback: Day 4: Overall Context, continued | Swim in the Deep End

  3. This comment is really a response to the first two days of background knowledge we gained on Peter. I apologize for being late in posting!

    I heard an education advocate on the radio use Peter as an example when describing students who have different learning needs. As a teacher, this comparison made sense to me so I thought I’d share it here. She was saying that often we as teachers want students like Paul (deep thinker, well-read, logical), but often we get Peter — the kid who is impulsive (jumping out of perfectly good fishing boats), rash (cutting off a soldier’s ear), and passionately vocal (reprimanding Jesus). The speaker reminded teachers that Peter was the one that Jesus often had to “call out” and that Jesus’ teaching methods should show us how to teach these students who constantly need motion and interaction — Jesus taught the disciples while fishing, walking, or eating instead of what we think of as formal education. She suggested that maybe Jesus taught this way with Peter in mind. She also pointed out that it was Peter, not the other disciples that Jesus knowingly said would be the rock on which He would build His church.

    This comment may not apply to this particular post, but I thought it was applicable enough to share.

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