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Lexham Research Commentary: 1 Peter


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First Peter addresses a church facing social pressure and ostracization, yet the letter’s message is one of hope based on the foundation of Jesus Christ. These churches can rest assured that God has marked them out as a holy nation—a unique people group that ignores ethnic identity markers in favor of a unity forged through the blood of Jesus Christ.

The Lexham Research Commentary is your starting point for study and research. Each volume gives you the tools you need to find answers quickly. This commentary is designed to do the time-consuming work of searching through commentaries, journal articles, and monographs to find the information you need, saving you valuable time by curating all of the best literature in one place—it’s a commentary on the commentaries. The annotated notes on the various viewpoints and interpretive options within the text allow you to quickly synthesize a broad range of views on a particular passage. Dense, jargon-filled research is distilled into easy-to-understand comments. As you critically study the text, the contextual notes help you place the passage within the narrow context of the biblical book and the broader context of the entire canon.


The Lexham Research Commentaries were formerly known as the Lexham Bible Guides.

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Top Highlights

“In other words, sometime after Jesus’ crucifixion (and, possibly, resurrection), he proclaimed victory to the sinful spirits who had instigated the sin that resulted in the flood and were now imprisoned (i.e., the ‘sons of God’ of Gen 6:1–4).” (1 Peter 3:19–22)

“This is not a statement about where the inheritance is located; it is a statement about its divine origin and quality.” (1 Peter 1:4–5)

“‘Peter’s point is that one sets one’s hope on future grace, not by idle wishfulness or unfounded optimism, but by a mental resolve to live in such a way as to manifest the ‘living hope’ of the Christian believer.” (1 Peter 1:13)

“Second, Peter calls his audience to embrace their calling by being holy (hagioi … genēthēte) rather than reverting to their previous lifestyle.” (1 Peter 1:13–25)

“Furthermore, in the process of grappling with the believer’s identity in relation to both the world and Christ, 1 Peter seizes on the term Christianos. First Peter is the only book in the New Testament where Christians use the term to describe themselves; significantly, from here onward the term becomes Christianity’s ‘standard self-designation’ (Horrell 2007, 381).” (source)


The Lexham Research Commentary provides the following for each literary unit:

  • Customizable media slides for use in the classroom
  • An introductory overview
  • An outline of the unit’s structure and biblical significance
  • A summary and explanation of key words, important facts, and controversial issues
  • A listing and description of related literature for further study
  • An application overview
  • Concluding thoughts

Product Details

  • Title: Lexham Research Commentary: 1 Peter
  • Author: Paul A. Himes
  • Editor: Douglas Mangum
  • Series: Lexham Research Commentaries
  • Publisher: Lexham Press
  • Publication Date: 2017

About the Author

Paul Himes (PhD, New Testament, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) is the author of Foreknowledge and Social Identity in 1 Peter. He has published several articles and essays on the General Letters, especially the text and theology of 1–2 Peter.

About the Editor

Douglas Mangum is an academic editor for Lexham Press. He holds a PhD in Hebrew from the University of Free State and holds an MA in Hebrew and Semitic Studies from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He is a Lexham English Bible and Lexham Research Commentary editor, a Faithlife Study Bible contributing editor, a Studies in Faithful Living co-author, a regular Bible Study Magazine contributor, and a frequently consulted specialist for the Lexham Bible Dictionary.


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  1. Keenan Davidson
  2. Josiah Reimers
  3. Ray Mills

    Ray Mills


  4. Akintoye AKINTUNDE
  5. Anthony Talton
  6. Randy



    As a disclaimer, when evaluating commentaries, I always want to know whether the author fears God enough to faithfully convey the meaning of Scripture, or whether he's going to cave to social pressure and teach what society wants to hear. Jesus sharply rebuked the Scribes and Pharisees for their fine way of setting aside the word of God, in favor of their own man-made traditions. So I always ask myself, "What does this commentary say about God's will for the roles of men and women in society?" Usually, the answer to that question will reveal who the author fears most. From the beginning, Dr. Himes admits he has approached the topic of 1 Peter 3:1-6 "with some nervousness", trying "not to alienate those who might have a different interpretation" (Himes, 2017, Author's Preface). Ironically, Himes begins by correctly observing that "While abuse undoubtedly took place [in Bible times], it seems significant that Peter did not believe it necessary to address the possibility of abuse toward the wife in 1 Peter 3:1–6 like he did with the household slave in 1 Peter 2:18–21. (Himes, 2017, 1 Peter 3:1-6). Nevertheless, he then marches forward to insert lengthy warnings against "Spousal Abuse” into the study. Conceding to feminist Betsy Bauman-Martin, Himes cautions, "We must address that this passage has the potential to be used to justify the sin of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse." For this, he blames and excoriates men who are "abusers, who will take any excuse to assert their pseudo-masculinity". He warns, "this is not as rare as we would like to think" (Himes, 2017, 1 Peter 3:1-6). This conveys to me, the impression he agrees with feminists that men who want to lead their families should be lectured, cautioned, and generally viewed with suspicion. Contrary to 1 Timothy 2:11-15 (where Paul states he does "not allow" women to teach or exercise authority over a man, based not on the culture of the day, but on God's order in creation and woman's role in the fall), Himes recommends we read Bible theology taught by feminist women like Bauman-Martin, Caryn Reeder, Catherine Gonzalez, Heibert (who "follows" the teaching of Susan Foh), and Jeannine Brown. Caryn Reeder adopts Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza's femnist "hermeneutics of suspicion" against patriarchal social orders, to "guard against their potential for domination and abuse" (Reed, 2012). While 1 Peter tells wives to submit without fear, these feminists teach that women should treat the concept of male authority as both suspicious and potentially dangerous. While Dr. Himes doesn't necessarily agree with feminist Bauman-Martin on every point (he at least doesn't agree it was Peter's intent to encourage abuse), he further concedes that Bauman-Martin "well states" there is a difference between "the patriarchal (mis)interpretation" of the letter, and how the "original readers" may have interpreted it. I take this to mean he agrees with the feminist position that a "patriarchal" interpretation of the passage is a "(mis)interpretation" (Himes, 2017, 1 Pe 3:1-6). It appears to me that Himes lends credibility to the views of feminists, by devoting much of what he writes on 1 Peter 3:1-6, to their concerns, objections, and skepticism about the passage, and male authority in general. When it comes to the instruction for husbands, however, (1 Peter 3:7), we see no such warnings or "cautions" directed to wives. There isn't the slightest hint of a presumption that wives might ever be known to take legal advantage of their husbands. Instead, it again turns negative against men, presuming they are potential abusers, and that they need to be cautioned. Statistically, it has been stated that 80% (some judges claim it's 90% or higher) of men who commit violent crimes, rape, or otherwise abuse women, come from households where there was no father, and they were raised instead, by the ideology of their single mother. We also know that 80% of divorces are initiated by women. We're told the problem is "toxic masculinity" and "abuse", but it's more likely the absence of masculinity in the household, due to the actions of the wife, that results in men becoming abusers of women. It is not uncommon for women to divorce their husbands, just because they think they can do better. The courts are more likely to give her custody of the children and possession of the house. The man is sent out with nothing, to start over, while he watches his wife having relations with another man, and then turning his children against him. I'm so sick and tired--when the Bible plainly teaches the role God wants for men and women in society, and when this clearly states women are supposed to respect and voluntarily submit to their husbands--of instead hearing endless lectures about how men should be presumed as potential abusers, and shamed as tyrannical despots, if they dare to think God wants them to operate as the head of the family. The Lexham Research Commentary on 1 Peter claims to be "a commentary on the commentaries". It promises to 1) Save you "valuable time by curating all the best literature in one place", 2) "synthesize a broad range of views on a particular passage", 3) distill "dense, jargon-filled research...into easy-to-understand comments", and 4) "place the passage within the narrow context of the biblical book and the broader context of the entire cannon." Dr. Hime's own preface states his objectives as, [1] to point pastors and lay people "to the best resources available in Logos that deal with 1 Peter", [2] "to cover all the major difficult and controversial portions of the epistle, without generally coming "to a conclusion", [3] to provide graduate students with a "next level" layer of research", and [4] to "deal with the practical application of 1 Peter for modern Christian living". While I believe Dr. Himes has somewhat met the goals set by the Lexham Research Commentary, I cannot recommend this volume. It is my understanding that he condones women teaching men, and that he shows more fear of feminist objections to the plain teaching of Scripture, than he does to admitted knowledge Peter himself, never made the presumptions feminists propose. For a set of commentaries that better meets the stated goals of the Lexham Research Commentaries, I heartily recommend the "Exegetical Summaries Series": Cited Works Paul A. Himes, 1 Peter, ed. Douglas Mangum, Elizabeth Vince, and Abigail Salinger, Lexham Research Commentaries (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2017. The Enemy In The Household: Family Violence in Deuteronomy and Beyond", Baker Academic, Grand Rapids, MI, 2012
  7. Billy Avery

    Billy Avery


  8. Rev. Dr. K. Robert Schmitt
  9. Joe Marshall

    Joe Marshall


  10. Timothy Miller
    Great idea to summarize the scholarship on an issue.