As I mentioned when I wrapped up my last entry, the second half of James, I was surprised to find that I liked James. It was a well-written, even-toned, intelligent, introspective work. James did a great job of distilling Christ’s message and giving examples of how that should be lived. The stress was on doing and saying and thinking how Jesus did, not as someone who is trying to co-opt the church does. That’s a huge difference, and major points for James.
And now, we move on to:
The First Epistle of Peter
[toc hint=”table of contents” title=”Table of contents” class=”toc-right” style=”width: 30%”]Only two sentences in, and I already have doubts about this book. Much of this reminds me of the letters from Paul. Boring, bland, superflous and ingratiating. “Therefore, get your minds ready for action by being fully sober, and set your hope completely on the grace that will be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed.” Stuff like that. To quote Inigo Montoya, “Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.” Jesus’s spirit and blood is going to rescue everyone from sin and make the angels jealous. But people had better be good and not fall back into what they were doing before. Oh, and human glory dries up but the word of God lives forever.
What is it with the New Testament authors comparing people to babies? “Like newborn babies, thirst for the pure milk of the word…” That is a very odd comparison to make. It seems condescending to me. It sounded condescending when Paul did it, too. Apparently Peter and Paul are more alike than I thought. Which might make for a painful book to read. Hopefully it’ll go fast though.
Peter comes up with an interesting idea. He is talking about it being good to get persecuted for doing the right thing. But people are going to beat you anyway, so “What credit is it if you sin and patiently receive a beating for it?” In other words, you are going to get your ass kicked one way or another. At least doing something good to deserve it. Enduring the beating will please god. Or something like that.
Oh, Christians are sheep. Seriously, Peter says this! “For you were like sheep that kept going astray…”
Apparently even Peter can be right about a thing or two…
Up next: Interchangeable apostles
New installments of The New Testament In Review will be posted each Tuesday and Thursday. The new posts will always be on my blog, http://biffster.org. The entire series is accessible via http://biffster.org/ntir. If you are one of my Facebook friends, you can get an advance preview on my Facebook page. You can also follow me (@biffster) on Twitter to be alerted to new posts.
- Peter who? It’s Paul’s ball now – Acts 17-21 (biffster.org)