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Why did Peter refer to the people as strangers who were scattered?


1 Peter 1:1

NKJV - 1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.

Clarify Share Report Asked August 20 2017 Mini Anonymous

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
I would say that Peter referred to the Christians to whom his epistle was directed as strangers who were scattered for two reasons.

First, the followers of Jesus had been widely dispersed from Jerusalem as a result of the persecution of Christians that arose following the martyrdom of Stephen (Acts 8:1-4). (Peter made a specific reference to this dispersion in 1 Peter 1:1.) In that sense, they were strangers because, as a result of their travels, they were living in locations other than their original homes.

Second (and more symbolically), Peter's words were in reference to the fact that, as followers and imitators of Christ, Christians (wherever their physical earthly home might be located) are (both in Peter's day and in the present time) "in the world" (that is, living and acting in the midst of the day-to-day events occurring on earth), but not "of the world" (that is, neither following the beliefs and behaviors of the sinful world system that rejected and murdered Jesus (and still rejects Him today), nor owing their primary allegiance to any earthly ruler, but being first and foremost subject to God, and to His commandments, which made (and still makes) them "strangers" in the view of their societies).

Jesus made the same point in his trial before Pilate, when He admitted to being a king, but noted that His kingdom was not of this world, which He said was proven by the fact that those who served Him did not fight in order to prevent Him from being arrested. Instead, the followers of His kingdom heard His words and acknowledged them as truth (John 18:33-38).

August 22 2017 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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