In this study of 1 Peter, Barth Campbell combines two recent approaches to the New Testament: social-scientific criticism and rhetorical criticism. Campbell contends that the letter reflects the contest for honor in ancient Mediterranean culture. The Christian recipients of Peter’s letter, currently dishonored by their pagan contemporaries, can look forward to a reversal of their fortune: they will gain divine honor, and their foes will be shamed. The argument of 1 Peter is composed along the lines of Greco-Roman rhetoric, especially as that rhetoric is described in the anonymous Latin handbook Rhetorica ad Herennium. Scholars, pastors, and students will benefit from this study of 1 Peter that considers the cultural and literary backgrounds of its original audience.
“a welcome addition to the library of anyone interested in either rhetorical or social-scientific criticism.”
—Journal of Biblical Literature