on 1-peter 5 :12
By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose - To say the least of this translation, it is extremely obscure, and not put together with that elegance which is usual to our translators. I see no reason why the clause may not be thus translated: I have written to you, as I consider, briefly, by Silvanus, the faithful brother. On all hands it is allowed that this Silvanus was the same as Silas, Paul's faithful companion in travel, mentioned Acts 15:40; Acts 16:19; and, if he were the same, Peter could never say as I suppose to his faith and piety: but he might well say this to the shortness of his epistle, notwithstanding the many and important subjects which it embraced. See the Syriac, Vulgate, etc. If the words be applied to Silvanus, they must be taken in a sense in which they are often used: "I conclude him to be a trustworthy person; one by whom I may safely send this letter; who will take care to travel through the different regions in Asia, Pontus, Galatia, and Bithynia; read it in every Church; and leave a copy for the encouragement and instruction of Christ's flock." And in such a state of the Church, in such countries, no ordinary person could have been intrusted with such a message.
Exhorting - Calling upon you to be faithful, humble, and steady.
And testifying - Επιμαρτυρων, Earnestly witnessing, that it is the true grace - the genuine Gospel of Jesus Christ, in which ye stand, and in which ye should persevere to the end.
on 1-peter 5 :12
By Silvanus - Or Silas. See the 2 Corinthians 1:19 note; 1 Thessalonians 1:1, note. He was the intimate friend and companion of Paul, and had labored much with him in the regions where the churches were situated to which this Epistle was addressed. In what manner he became acquainted with Peter, or why he was now with him in Babylon is unknown.
A faithful brother unto you, as I suppose - The expression "as I suppose" - ὡς λογίζομαι hōs logizomai - does not imply that there was any doubt on the mind of the apostle, but indicates rather a firm persuasion that what he said was true. Thus, Romans 8:18, "For I reckon (λογίζομαι logizomai) that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared," etc. That is, I am fully persuaded of it; I have no doubt of it. Peter evidently had no doubt on this point, but he probably could not speak from any personal knowledge. He had not been with them when Silas was, and perhaps not at all; for they may have been" strangers "to him personally - for the word "strangers," in 1 Peter 1:1, may imply that he had no personal acquaintance with them. Silas, however, had been much with them, (compare Acts 15:17-31,) and Peter had no doubt that he had shown himself to be "a faithful brother" to them. An epistle conveyed by his hands could not but be welcome. It should be observed, however, that the expression "I suppose" has been differently interpreted by some. Wetstein understands it as meaning, "Not that he supposed Silvanus to be a faithful brother, for who, says he, could doubt that? but that he had written as he understood matters, having carefully considered the subject, and as he regarded things to be true;" and refers for illustration to Romans 8:18; Philippians 4:8; Hebrews 11:9. Grotius understands it as meaning, "If I remember right;" and supposes that the idea is, that he shows his affection for them by saying that this was not the first time that he had written to them, but that he had written before briefly, and sent the letter, as well as he could remember, by Silvanus. But there is no evidence that he had written to them before, and the common interpretation is undoubtedly to be preferred.
Exhorting - No small part of the Epistle is taken up with exhortations.
And testifying - Bearing witness. The main design of the office of the apostles was to bear witness to the truth, (See the notes at 1 Corinthians 9:1;) and Peter in this Epistle discharged that part of the functions of his office toward the scattered Christians of Asia Minor.
That this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand - That the religion in which you stand, or which you now hold, is that which is identified with the grace or favor of God. Christianity, not Judaism, or Paganism, was the true religion. To show this, and bear continual witness to it, was the leading design of the apostolic office.
on 1-peter 5 :12
5:12 As I suppose - As I judge, upon good grounds, though not by immediate inspiration. I have written - That is, sent my letter by him. Adding my testimony - To that which ye before heard from Paul, that this is the true gospel of the grace of God.