The fictitious audience of 1 Peter

Will Robinson, Stephen R. Llewelyn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent scholarship has argued that Simon Peter is not the author of 1 Peter, whilst maintaining that the addressees in 1:1 are the real recipients of the letter. We contend that both the stated author and the stated audience are part of the author’s deception. We propose instead that the author may have simply argued that this text was an older letter from Peter. This proposal is consistent with the widely-held view that pseudepigraphical letters were not knowingly accepted in early Christian circles, as well as the ancient tradition that Peter was believed to be the real author of the text and offers a simple solution as to how the letter escaped the scrutiny that came with pseudepigraphical works. If this thesis is followed, scholarship concerned with uncovering the socio-economic status of the Christians in Asia Minor based on this text is therefore misguided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)939-950
Number of pages12
JournalHeythrop Journal
Issue number6
Early online date29 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


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