A Life-Changing Encounter With God’s Word From The Book Of 1 Peter, by the Navigators
As the third of this series I have read and reviewed , one certainly gets a sense of comfort about it. To be sure, there are likely 66 books in this series I have only read a small portion of that, but all the same there is a certain joy in reading a good series because of the familiarity one has with the way the series is organized, with the sorts of concerns the book has because of its context, and so on. This is the sort of book that rewards close study because of its small size. This series appears, at least from an anecdotal basis, to be far better in the smaller books where more detailed questions can be asked  as opposed to the larger books where one finds a great deal more selection bias in what sort of materials are included and which ones are not. In the case of a small book where there are only five chapters, a lot more material is included in questions, and that is decided a good thing and definitely something to appreciate. This book, along with the volume on Titus, are among the best, although there are some flaws here because of a certain bias on the part of the readers.
As is customary in this series, the book begins with a discussion of how to use the series and some background on Peter and his readers and the context of the book with a map of the Roman empire. After this there is an overview of the book and a total of thirteen lessons (including one review lesson) along with a discussion of what is going on in 1 Peter and some study aids. To put this book and its detail in perspective, this book is slightly longer than the volume on Nehemiah, which has more than double the number of chapters. In general, this detail is a good thing, as it allows the authors to include a great deal of discussion material about the structure and organization of the book, as there is apparently some debate. I found this sort of debate to be interesting as writers can be subtle enough where their work can be organized in several ways. I know that to be the truth for at least one prolific writer whom I know better than most, and that is certainly the case with Paul and Peter among others (Isaiah and Moses, perhaps most notably). At any rate, the book uses its additional detail in a mostly good way.
That is not to say, though, that this book is perfect. Although this book is not nearly as problematic as some of the other volumes in the series, there are still some problems. Perhaps the most obvious problem is the way that the author assumes that the book was written from Rome, something that comes up several times over the course of the volume. Peter himself says that he wrote from Babylon, which had a large Jewish community at the time Peter wrote, if not the degree of cultural cachet it had in the past. Yet either because the authors want to draw the connection between Rome and Babylon that is an easy (if not necessarily true in all circumstances) connection to make or because they have a case of Romecentric bias, or a bit of both, the authors make certain assumptions about 1 Peter and its provenance as a book that are not quite accurate. Still, it’s a worthwhile volume despite this and related flaws.
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