on 1-peter 1 :1
Peter, an apostle - Simon Peter, called also Kephas: he was a fisherman, son of Jonah, brother of Andrew, and born at Bethsaida; and one of the first disciples of our Lord. See the preface.
The strangers scattered throughout - Jews first, who had believed the Gospel in the different countries here specified; and converted Gentiles also. Though the word strangers may refer to all truly religious people, see Genesis 47:9; Psalm 39:12, in the Septuagint, and Hebrews 11:13, yet the inscription may have a special reference to those who were driven by persecution to seek refuge in those heathen provinces to which the influence of their persecuting brethren did not extend.
Pontus - An ancient kingdom of Asia Minor, originally a part of Cappadocia; bounded on the east by Colchis, on the west by the river Halys, on the north by the Euxine Sea, and on the south by Armenia Minor. This country probably derived its name from the Pontus Euxinus, on which it was partly situated. In the time of the Roman emperors it was divided into three parts:
1. Pontus Cappadocius;
2. Pontus Galaticus; and,
3. Pontus Polemoniacus.
The first extended from the Pontus Polemoniacus to Colchis, having Armenia Minor and the upper stream of the Euphrates for its southern boundary. The second extended from the river Halys to the river Thermodon. The third extended from the river Thermodon to the borders of the Pontus Cappadocius.
Six kings of the name of Mithridates reigned in this kingdom, some of whom are famous in history. The last king of this country was David Comnenus, who was taken prisoner, with all his family, by Mohammed II. in the year 1462, and carried to Constantinople; since which time this country (then called the empire of Trebizond, from Trapezas, a city founded by the Grecians, on the uttermost confines of Pontus) has continued under the degrading power of the Turks.
Galatia - The ancient name of a province of Asia Minor, now called Amasia. It was called also Gallograecia, and Gallia Parva. It was bounded on the east by Cappadocia, on the south by Pamphylia, on the north by the Euxine Sea, and on the west by Bithynia. See the preface to the Epistle to the Galatians.
Cappadocia - An ancient kingdom of Asia, comprehending all the country lying between Mount Taurus and the Euxine Sea.
Asia - This word is taken in different senses: It signifies,
1. One of the three general divisions of our continent, and one of the four of the whole earth. It is separated from Europe by the Mediterranean Sea, the Archipelago, the Black Sea, the Palus Maeolis, the rivers Don and Dwina; and from Africa by the Arabic Gulf, or Red Sea: it is everywhere else surrounded by water. It is situated between latitude 2 and 77 N., and between longitude 26 E. and 170 W.; and is about 7, 583 miles in length, and 5, 200 miles in breadth.
2. Asia Minor, that part of Turkey in Asia, now called Natolia, which comprehends a great number of province situated between the Euxine, Mediterranean, and Archipelago.
3. That province of Asia Minor of which Ephesus was the capital. It appears, says Calmet, that it is in this latter sense that it is used here by St. Peter, because Pontus, Galatia, and Bithynia, are comprised in the provinces of Asia Minor. See Calmet.
on 1-peter 1 :1
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ - On the word apostle, see the Romans 1:1 note; 1 Corinthians 9:1 ff notes.
To the strangers - In the Greek, the word "elect" (see 1 Peter 1:2) occurs here: ἐκλεκτοῖς παρεπιδήμοις eklektois parepidēmois, "to the elect strangers." He here addresses them as elect; in the following verse he shows them in what way they were elected. See the notes there: The word rendered "strangers" occurs only in three places in the New Testament; Hebrews 11:13, and 1 Peter 2:11, where it is rendered pilgrims, and in the place before us. See the notes at Hebrews 11:13. The word means, literally, a by-resident, a sojourner among a people not one's own - Robinson. There has been much diversity of opinion as to the persons here referred to: some supposing that the Epistle was written to those who had been Jews, who were now converted, and who were known by the common appellation among their countrymen as "the scattered abroad," or the "dispersion;" that is, those who were strangers or sojourners away from their native land; others, that the reference is to those who were called, among the Jews, "proselytes of the gate," or those who were admitted to certain external privileges among the Jews, (see the notes at Matthew 23:15) and others, that the allusion is to Christians as such, without reference to their origin, and who are spoken of as strangers and pilgrims.
That the apostle did not write merely to those who had been Jews, is clear from 1 Peter 4:3-4 (compare the introduction), and it seems probable that he means here Christians as such, without reference to their origin, who were scattered through the various provinces of Asia Minor. Yet it seems also probable that he did not use the term as denoting that they were "strangers and pilgrims on the earth," or with reference to the fact that the earth was not their home, as the word is used in Hebrews 11:13; but that he used the term as a Jew would naturally use it, accustomed, as he was, to employ it as denoting his own countrymen dwelling in distant lands. He would regard them still as the people of God, though dispersed abroad; as those who were away from what was properly the home of their fathers. So Peter addresses these Christians as the people of God, now scattered abroad; as similar in their condition to the Jews who had been dispersed among the Gentiles. Compare the introduction, section 1. It is not necessarily implied that these persons were strangers to Peter, or that he had never seen them; though this was not improbably the fact in regard to most of them.
Scattered - Greek, "of the dispersion," (διασπορᾶς diasporas) a term which a Jew would be likely to use who spoke of his countrymen dwelling among the pagan. See the John 7:35 note, and James 1:1 note, where the same Greek word is found. It does not elsewhere occur in the New Testament. Here, however, it is applied to Christians as dispersed or scattered abroad.
Throughout Pontus ... - These were provinces of Asia Minor. Their position may be seen in the map prefixed to the Acts of the Apostles. On the situation of Pontus, see the notes at Acts 2:9.
Galatia - On the situation of this province, and its history, see the introduction to the notes at Galatians, section 1.
Cappadocia - See the notes at Acts 2:9.
Asia - Meaning a province of Asia Minor, of which Ephesus was the capital. See the notes at Acts 2:9.
And Bithynia - See the notes at Acts 16:7.
on 1-peter 1 :1
1:1 To the sojourners - Upon earth, the Christians, chiefly those of Jewish extraction. Scattered - Long ago driven out of their own land. Those scattered by the persecution mentioned Acts 8:1, were scattered only through Judea and Samaria, though afterwards some of them travelled to Phenice, Cyprus, and Antioch. Through Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia - He names these five provinces in the order wherein they occurred to him, writing from the east. All these countries lie in the Lesser Asia. The Asia here distinguished from the other provinces is that which was usually called the Proconsular Asia being a Roman province.