1 Peter

series: Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

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"[Jobes's] work is marked by deft engagement with the Greek text, dexterous handling of the secondary literature, and clarity of argument, with alternative viewpoints regularly given their due."--Joel B. Green, Catholic Biblical Quarterly

In this addition to the acclaimed BECNT series, Karen H. Jobes provides a fresh, insightful commentary on 1 Peter that will help students and pastors understand and apply this important letter to the world in which we live.

Throughout the commentary, Jobes emphasizes the Christian's relationship to culture and the place of suffering in the Christian life. She also presents a new suggestion about the original recipients of the letter, highlights the insights provided by the use of the Septuagint in the letter, and challenges prevailing assumptions about the nature of the Greek in the letter.

As with all BECNT volumes, 1 Peter features the author's own translation of the Greek text and detailed interaction with the original text. This commentary admirably achieves the dual aims of the series--academic sophistication with pastoral sensitivity and accessibility.


"'How good is the Greek of 1 Peter?' asks Jobes in an excursus to this new volume in the Baker Exegetical Commentary series. She gives evidence that it is good but not so good that Peter the fisherman could not have written it. Her attention to detail throughout and her expertise in the Greek Old Testament make this a work that deserves to be added to a fairly short list of commentaries on 1 Peter that are not to be missed."--J. Ramsey Michaels, professor of religious studies emeritus, Missouri State University

"Jobes has written a first-rate commentary on 1 Peter. Fully conversant with, and responsive to, a wide range of contemporary Petrine scholarship, Jobes contributes creative solutions to a series of long-standing critical issues that every serious student must face when locating 1 Peter at its point of origin. This makes her book useful for the scholar and the classroom. More importantly, Jobes recognizes the theological relevance of this neglected letter for contemporary believers who must navigate their faith and a distinctively Christian lifestyle through an increasingly non-Christian and even hostile world. This property makes her book useful for the pastor and the congregation."--Robert W. Wall, professor of the Christian Scriptures; chair, biblical studies department, Seattle Pacific University

"Jobes has written a fluent and interesting commentary that enables the reader to see the forest through the trees. Throughout, she expounds the overall theological teachings of the epistle with an informed and perceptive attention to its Old Testament background, but she also provides a close and scholarly exegetical analysis of its text."--J. Keith Elliott, professor of New Testament textual criticism, University of Leeds

"Jobes has written a fresh and highly interesting commentary on 1 Peter. Not only does she cover the usual issues that must be covered in any commentary of value, but she has added her own fresh insights that will make scholars and pastors alike take notice. Her syntactical analysis showing Semitic influence in 1 Peter's Greek is original and quite helpful, as is her argument that the addressees were Christians displaced from Rome. But this work, while far more interesting than a rehash of old arguments, is also not, at root, about scholarly novelty. It is a solid, practical commentary that any pastor could use without worrying about getting lost in a sea of Greek. Thus, it is at once a solid exposition of 1 Peter that will assist the busy practitioner who may have little interest in the details of Greek--even someone with no knowledge of Greek can use it--and also a scholarly presentation that will attract the notice of academics. Jobes is to be commended for holding these two tasks of the commentator together in such a way that neither set of readers will feel slighted by her or be put off by material addressed to the other group. This is a solid, evangelical commentary that I warmly commend."--Peter H. Davids, visiting professor, St. Stephen's University

"After the magisterial commentaries by Achtemeier and Elliott, one might think it has all been said. Jobes rewards her readers, however, with new and challenging arguments concerning authorship and historical setting, as well as with the strengths that her own proven competence in Septuagint studies bring to an epistle so rich in intertextual conversations with the Jewish Scriptures. Jobes is thoroughly conversant with scholarly literature and shows a keen interest in incorporating the results of rhetorical and social-scientific explorations of the text along with the more traditional modes of interpretation. Jobes will be a necessary conversation partner for future scholarship on 1 Peter, and her commentary has become the resource of choice for the seminary classroom and pastoral study."--David A. deSilva, professor of New Testament and Greek, Ashland Theological Seminary

"Jobes combines thoroughness, originality, and keen exegetical insight in writing a commentary that will benefit scholars, pastors, and students. She combines an understanding of the ancient audience with helpful suggestions on interpreting the message of 1 Peter in contemporary Western culture. Her willingness to challenge old interpretations and to offer new perspectives about the situation of the author and the original readers makes this book a valuable addition to the literature on 1 Peter."--James Thompson, associate dean of the graduate school of theology; professor of New Testament, Abilene Christian University

Praise for the series
"This series has set a new standard in reader-friendliness with its attractive presentation that combines detailed exegetical comment on the Greek text with accessibility for those who have little or no knowledge of the original language of the New Testament."--I. Howard Marshall, University of Aberdeen

The Author

  1. Karen H. Jobes
    © Les Barker

    Karen H. Jobes

    Karen H. Jobes (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary) is Gerald F. Hawthorne Professor of New Testament Greek and Exegesis, Emerita at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. She is the author of several books, including 1 Peter in the Baker...

    Continue reading about Karen H. Jobes


"Karen Jobes, author of the 1 Peter Commentary from the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament series, is an outstanding New Testament Scholar. Jobes has an obvious understanding of the original languages, solid theological perspective, and the ability to communicate the fruit of her labors. . . . Her comments reflect both a grasp of the historical, but also fresh ideas for us today. Just as there is great danger in using only commentaries from the past or only using the latest and most modern, continuity of the past and present works coming together is important. You will find this in 1 Peter. You will also appreciate Jobes' attention to details, demonstrating her masterful handling of the Greek text, but not in a way that will lose the reader in the process."--Equip for Ministry

"Simply outstanding. . . . Jobes exhibits considerable skill and learning in this valuable and well-written resource for pastors, seminarians, and learned laypersons. . . . This [is a] comprehensive, erudite, and comparatively concise volume. . . . Jobes adeptly navigates a legion of existing commentaries and scholarly articles, covering a whole spectrum of hermeneutical traditions, schools, and ideological allegiances, and in the process posits consistently reliable biblical exegesis. . . . Particularly noteworthy is the author's enlightened isagogical presentation. Jobes's introduction is a delight to read not merely because it is expertly composed, but because it also contains the seeds and development of an original theoretical proposal and two compositional clarifications that collectively serve as a stimulating contribution to the exegetical and expository study of 1 Peter. . . . The exegetical and exposition portions of 1 Peter in BECNT prove themselves insightful on most passages, resulting in a commentary that should be a dependable companion for discerning homilogicians and teachers of the New Testament."--John J. Bombaro, Modern Reformation

"In recent years the English-speaking world has been blessed with a number of new and thorough commentaries on this beautiful New Testament letter. Karen Jobes has added to that rich literature in this most recent work."--Bible Today

"[Jobes's] work is marked by deft engagement with the Greek text, dexterous handling of the secondary literature, and clarity of argument, with alternative viewpoints regularly given their due. Thankfully manageable in size . . . this is nonetheless a major critical commentary that takes its place alongside Paul J. Achtemeier's in the Hermeneia series . . . and J. H. Elliott's in the Anchor Bible. . . . Jobes's study of 1 Peter thus admirably serves the aims of the BECNT series, with strengths especially in her attention to detail and her interaction with current scholarship on the letter."--Joel B. Green, Catholic Biblical Quarterly

"Karen Jobes has faithfully executed the BECNT mission. In addition, she brings two fresh contributions to the study of 1 Peter by offering a new proposal for the sociohistorical background of the letter, and by providing a much needed objective criterion for discussing the quality of the Greek of 1 Peter. . . . Jobes' fresh contributions do not end with introductory matters. Her familiarity with the Septuagint makes her approach unique among 1 Peter commentators and the reader benefits from the many times she roots Peter's words to the Septuagint context to which they allude. . . . Jobes is to be commended for writing a commentary that meets the needs of the pastor preparing a sermon or Bible study and which at the same time warrants the attention of the academy. . . . Jobes' 1 Peter can and should be mentioned in the same breath with John Elliott, Paul Achtemeier, Leonhard Goppelt and Ramsey Michaels."--Kelly David Liebengood, Midwestern Journal of Theology

"As a competent guide to the content and message of 1 Peter, the commentary is sure to win a wide circle of readers. . . . The commentary proper has an unusually attractive, reader-friendly format. . . . Jobes writes clearly and concisely. She is especially deft at reporting and evaluating scholarly opinion. . . . Grammatical and syntactical problems--so abundant in 1 Peter--are ably unpacked and solutions competently weighed. . . . She does not dodge or sugarcoat the tough theological issues present here but seeks their resolution in a manner that is faithful to the intent and thrust of the letter. I do not agree with all her conclusions, but as an evangelical catholic of the Lutheran persuasion I welcome her holding up 1 Peter, its content and evangelical agenda rather than conservative tradition or ecclesiastical dogma, as the ultimate arbiter of meaning. Students, pastors, general readers and scholars will all be well-served by this learned guide to the letter's treasures."--John H. Elliott, Review of Biblical Literature

"Perhaps the greatest value of this particular commentary on 1 Peter will be the discussion of a theory which seeks to identify the recipients of this letter in terms of a historical reconstruction of the original context in which this letter was written and received. . . . For this theory to be persuasive, it must be able to explain plausibly all the data and implications faced by competing alternatives, and help explain additional features of this particular epistle. It does so quite well. . . . The value of this commentary on 1 Peter lies . . . in the skill with which the author weaves throughout her exegetical analysis important considerations drawn from documented social and political circumstances of the ancient world. The biblical text is treated with constant sensitivity to this comprehensive historical setting, never forcing an alien interpretation of the text. . . . Several features of this commentary deserve special mention. The author supplies her own translation of the Greek text. . . . The printed text on the page is very attractive, enhanced by the use of in-text references to sources (author, date, and page), reducing the need for numerous footnotes. Readers are well served by exegetical extended paraphrase-summaries of passages, usually one written to introduce and another to summarize the pericope under consideration. Throughout the volume, Greek and Hebrew words appear in both original script and transliteration. Treatment of interpretive difficulties and options is usually thorough and up to date. . . . We encourage pastors and church libraries to investigate purchasing . . . this volume. In light of its balanced discussions and obvious grasp of the message of 1 Peter, we say without hesitation that this particular commentary needed to be written."--Nelson D. Kloosterman, Mid-America Journal of Theology

"I would recommend this commentary to any person studying 1 Peter. Jobes is an excellent exegete, and her background in Old Testament and LXX studies helps her to elucidate the text of 1 Peter. Moreover, the commentary is very refreshing because of its pastoral nature. Jobes writes in such a manner that the readers of the commentary will readily understand not only how the message of 1 Peter applied to the original readers, but also how it applies in their lives."--James D. Dvorak, Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism

"This recent commentary on 1 Peter by Karen Jobes distinguishes itself in the midst of the crowd, primarily through careful interpretation and a consistent effort to make a unique contribution. . . . One of the strengths of Jobes's commentary is in how she consistently explains the importance of Peter's message for the original recipients of the letter in light of their historical circumstances. At the same time, Jobes sprinkles throughout her commentary applications for present-day readers. . . . Throughout the commentary, Jobes explains various viewpoints on interpretive problems in the letter, and yet she also clearly states her own position and the supporting evidence for it. . . . I found Jobes's discussion of the historical background to 1 Peter to be convincing, especially when compared to other proposals. Her approach has the benefit of helping us to recognize the extent to which the original recipients would have felt their status as foreigners, a feeling greatly increased by their commitment to Christ."--Joel F. Williams, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

"The BECNT is an excellent commentary series, and Karen H. Jobes gives a well-researched, fresh look at 1 Peter in her contribution to this series. . . . Jobes' expertise in both New Testament and Septuagint studies clearly shines through in this volume. . . . The perceived value in a commentary today is not in dishing out dogma but in describing and critiquing various interpretations while ultimately advocating the position consistent with the beliefs and objective research of the writer. Jobes does this well in a clearly evangelical framework. . . . This is a fine commentary, with rich exegesis and exposition, good food for thought, and plenty of citations to aid the reader in further study."--James R. Wicker, Southwestern Journal of Theology

"Admirably fulfilling the intention of the [BECNT] series, Jobes's mid-level commentary is characterized by its careful evaluation of the central interpretive issues in each passage in view of the history of their interpretation. She also rightfully pays attention to the letter's major theological themes against their OT backdrops, with a particularly helpful emphasis on its (new) covenant themes. . . . Jobes's commentary presents with competence the central content of the letter by consistently navigating among the various interpretive options judiciously and keeping a steady eye on the letter's major theological themes. I recommend it strongly as a text for exegesis classes . . . and for the work of a pastor. . . . Jobes's important historical argument concerning the origin of the churches to which Peter writes will most likely be her greatest contribution to the future study of 1 Peter."--Scott Hafemann, Bulletin for Biblical Research

"This ought to be a 'first off the shelf' commentary for most pastors teaching through 1 Peter."--Phillip J. Long, Reading Acts blog

Praise for the series:

"In this age of unprecedented proliferation of biblical commentary series, it is an outstanding accomplishment for the Baker Exegetical series consistently to have produced what with only rare exceptions have become the best available commentaries on the Greek text of the New Testament book or books treated."--Craig Blomberg, Denver Journal

"Rigorous exegesis by seasoned scholars with explicit evangelical commitments. This is also one of the best-designed, easy-to-read series as it includes intro matters, then each commentator's translation, commentary, and textual notes for every passage. Very reliable."--Bruce Riley Ashford and Grant Taylor, Between the Times blog