1 Peter 1 – 2:17: Greek Text Commentary by Fenton Hort

Fenton John Anthony Hort [1828–1892], The First Epistle of St Peter I.I-II.17. The Greek Text with Introductory Lecture, Commentary, and Additional Notes

Fenton J.A. Hort died before completing this commentary on 1 Peter, which was intended to be published as part of the old MacMillan series. Nevertheless, as John F. Evan’s notes in his commentary survey, it is still worth consulting for its detailed exegesis.

My thanks to Book Aid for making this public domain title available for digitisation.

Fenton John Anthony Hort [1828–1892], The First Epistle of St Peter I.I-II.17. The Greek Text with Introductory Lecture, Commentary, and Additional Notes. London: Macmillan & Co. Ltd., 1898. Hbk. pp.188. [Click to visit the download page for this title]

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Introductory Lecture
  • Analysis of the Epistle
  • Text and Notes
  • Additional Notes
    1. The Names of St. Peter
    2. The Biblical Terms for Sojourning
    3. The Provinces of Asia Minor Included in St. Peter’s Address
  • Index

Additional Note 3: The Provinces of Asia Minor Included in St. Peter’s Address

The dispersed Christians to whom St Peter wrote his Epistle were sojourners in certain specified regions of the land now called Asia Minor. These regions are designated as ”Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.” The list of names deserves careful study, both as to its contents and as to its order.

Each of the names in the list admits of different interpretations, according to variations of political or other usage and to successive changes of geographical limits. But the five names coincide precisely with the five names that make up the titles of the four provinces of the Roman empire into which Asia Minor, the southern littoral eventually excepted, was divided in and after the reign of Tiberius; and it would need strong positive evidence to refute the consequent presumption that the territory denoted by the list in the Epistle was the territory of these four Roman provinces. This presumption is strengthened by the change from compactness to inexplicable dispersion which takes place when the names in the list are interpreted by their national or popular instead of their Roman sense. No stress indeed can be laid on the absence of the names Mysia, Garia, and Lydia, the three regions which made up the Roman province of Asia according to its original constitution of B.C. 129: the. Acts of the Apostles, which habitually uses the national names in Asia Minor, twelve times designates this long established province by its Roman name Asia, though it also speaks of Mysia in a single passage where it was necessary to distinguish the northern part of Asia. But this explanation will not account for the absence of Paphlagonia between Bithynia and Pontus, the very district which was more likely to contain Christian converts than any other on the northern coast, or of Phrygia between Galatia and Asia, or of Lycaonia and Pisidia between Cappadocia and partly Phrygia, partly Asia, these three regions being known scenes of St Paul’s missionary activity.

The three southern regions of Asia Minor, Cilicia, Pamphylia, and Lycia, require separate consideration. The true or eastern Cilicia, Cilicia Campestris, St Paul’s native land, has a somewhat obscure history after the close of the civil war in B.C. 29. In the distribution of provinces made B.C. 27 Cilicia fell to the emperor. Cyprus is supposed to have been then, as formerly, combined with it, and to have so remained for five years, after which the island is known to have been transferred to the Senate: but the other regions formerly combined with Cilicia Campestris were at this time otherwise assigned. How the little district thus left was administered between B.C. 22 and some time in Hadrian’s reign (A.D. 117-138), is as yet but imperfectly known. For at least a considerable part of this period it was governed by the imperial legate of Syria, as was undoubtedly the case in B.C. 3-2, A.D. 17-21, 36, 52, and 72. In A.D. 74 Cilicia Campestris was reunited by Vespasian to the various mountainous districts of Cilicia (see below, p. 160), which had been detached from it in Augustus’s reign or yet earlier and Cilicia as a whole was apparently formed into a separate province: under Hadrian and his successors this was certainly its condition….

Pages 157-159.

John Calvin on the Catholic Epistles

John Calvin, author of Commentaries on the Catholic Epistles
John Calvin [1509-1564]
John Calvin’s commentaries on the 1 John, 1 & 2 Peter, James and Jude are now available for free download in PDF:

John Calvin (John Owen translator), Commentaries on the Catholic Epistles. Edinburgh: Calvin Translation Society, 1855. Hbk. pp.488.

Commentaries on the First Epistle of Peter

The Argument

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The design of Peter in this Epistle is to exhort the faithful to a denial of the world and a contempt of it, so that being freed from carnal affections and all earthly hindrances, they might with their whole soul aspire after the celestial kingdom of Christ, that being elevated by hope, supported by patience, and fortified by courage and perseverance, they might overcome all kinds of temptations, and pursue this course and practice throughout life.

Hence at the very beginning he proclaims in express words the grace of God made known to us in Christ; and at the same time he adds, that it is received by faith and possessed by hope, so that the godly might raise up their minds and hearts above the world. Hence he exhorts them to holiness, lest they should render void the price by which they were redeemed, and lest they should suffer the incorruptible seed of the Word, by which they had: been regenerated into eternal life, to be destroyed or to die. And as he had said, that they had been born again by God’s Word, he makes mention of their spiritual infancy. Moreover, that their faith might not vacillate or stagger, because they saw that Christ was despised and rejected almost by the whole world, he reminds them that this was only the fulfilment of what had been written of him, that he would be the stone of stumbling. But he further teaches them that he would be a firm foundation to those who believe in him. Hence he again refers to the great honour to which God had raised them, that they might be animated by the contemplation of their former state, and by the perception of their present benefits, to devote themselves to a godly life.

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