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By Erland Waltner, J. Daryl Charles

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This may help account for the quality of the language and the style [Authorship]. Designation of the Readers 1:1b Much scholarly attention has been given to the intriguing description of the intended readers: the exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. Most versions of the NT render this phrase somewhat differently, especially in translating exiles (parepidemois *) and Dispersion (diasporas). Precisely who are these exiles, sojourners, refugees, or aliens? Are the terms strangers (paroikoi) and exiles (parepidemoi*)both appearing in 2:11to be taken literally, as Elliott argues in A Home for the Homeless?

The merciful action of God was demonstrated in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Likewise, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is linked to the action of the new birth that takes place in the experience of the Christian believer. Living hope, for the recipients of this letter, is not viewed as an ideal or an imperative, but as present internal experience with external consequences. They are a new people of God because they have been given a new life through the merciful action Page 35 of God. In mercy, God has raised Jesus Christ from the grave and is raising believers out of their former deadness into a new life of faith, hope, and love.

The image of inheritance here is intended to emphasize its divine origin and also its eschatological expression. In the OT, inheritance was often associated with the possession of land. Peter, writing mainly to Gentile Christians, uses the term metaphorically to speak of the Christian's possession of the hope of eternal life and of the coming kingdom of God. Clearly, this heavenly inheritance is not only for the individual but "points to the restoration of the community of the righteous and the destruction of evil" (Perkins: 31).

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