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The recipients of the letter has been suffering various trials and afflictions, and the possibility of greater and more sever difficulties was very real. This letter was addressed to Christians who were scattered throughout the Roman world.
The author identifies himself as Peter, and the content and character of the letter tend to support his authorship. Moreover, the letter reflects the history and terminology of the Gospel and Acts, notably Peter's speeches. It was written about 64 A.D.
1 Peter touches on various doctrines and has much to say about Christian life and duties. It has been characterized as a letter of separation, of suffering and persecution, of suffering and glory, of hope, of pilgrimage, of courage, and as a letter dealing with the true grace of God. It contains numerous exhortations.
The recipients of the letter were probably the same group of Christians addressed in Peter's first letter. They were in danger of being confused be false teachers.
The author identifies himself as Simon Peter. He asserts that this is a his second letter to the readers (3.1) and refers to Paul as "our beloved brother" (3.15), The character of the letter is compatible with the claim that is was written by Peter. It was written about 66 A.D.
Peter as a "shepherd" of Christ's sheep is particular concerned about the false teachers and evildoers who have come into the church. He teaches the church how to deal with these false teachers, but he also recommends to his readers a wholesome combination of Christian faith and practice. The Lord is certain to return, so the believers are to be watchful!
False teachers were trying to mislead first-century Christians by denying, among other things, the true humanity of Christ. This view came to be called Gnosticism and is the background of much of 1 John.
The author is John son of Zebedee - the apostle and author of the Gospel of John. He was a first cousin of Jesus. The letter was likely written around A.D. 90.
John had two basic purposes in mind in the letter:
During the first two centuries A.D. the gospel was taken from place to place by traveling evangelists and teaches. Believers customarily took these missionaries into their homes and gave the provisions for there journey and when they left. Since Gnostic teachers also relied on this practice, 2 John was written to urge discernment in supporting traveling teachers.
John wrote this letter around A.D. 90.
John writes of how important it is for Christians to love one another. To love means to obey God's commandments, and God's commandments in turn tell us to live lives of love. John again emphasizes the importance of the doctrine that Jesus is God's Son - both God and man. Christians should separate themselves from those who teach otherwise.
Itinerant teachers sent out by John were rejected by Diotrephes, a dictatorial leader in one of the churches in the province of Asia. This man had gone so far as to excommunicate members who showed hospitality to John's messengers.
John wrote this letter around A.D. 90.
John writes to Gaius, his personal friend and a leader in the church. He wants to praise and thank him for his help and to encourage him. He also reproves Diotrephes for not cooperating and for rebelling against John's leadership. In a later visit John will deal with him personally.
Jude originated as a personal letter from a leader in the apostolic church to one or more of the congregations dispersed throughout the Roman Empire. The dangers facing the church at this time were not those of outright persecution and extinction but of heresy and distortion of the faith.
The author identifies himself as Jude, another form of Hebrew name Judah. He was most likely Judas, the brother of our Lord Jesus. The letter was written around A.D. 65.
Although Jude was eager to write to his readers about salvation, he thought he must instead warn them about certain immoral, false teachers circulating among them, who were perverting the grace of God. They were apparently trying to convince believers that being saved by grace gave them license to sin, since their sins would not longer be held against them. It has been thought that these false teachers were Gnostics, probably forerunners of second-century, fully developed Gnosticism.
Since Roman authorities at this time were beginning to enforce the cult of emperor worship, Christians -- who held that Christ, not the emperor, was Lord -- were facing increasing hostility. Some in the church were advocating a policy of compromise; this has to be corrected lest its subtle influence undermine believers' determination to stand fast in the perilous days ahead.
Four time author identifies himself as John, and John was held to the author from as early as the second century. The letter was written around A.D. 95.
John writes to encourage the faithful to resist staunchly the demands that they worship the emperor. He informs his readers that the final showdown between God and Satan in imminent. Satan will increase his persecution of believers, but they will soon be vindicated when Christ returns, when the wicked are forever destroyed, and when God's people enter an eternity of glory and blessedness.