My Favorite Books

The Walking Drum
Ender's Game
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Curse of Chalion
The Name of the Wind
Chronicles of the Black Company
The Faded Sun Trilogy
The Tar-Aiym Krang

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Review: 1 Peter

1 Peter 1 Peter by Karen H. Jobes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An excellent commentary on 1 Peter that digs into the interpretations of the original greek that gave me a much better understanding of the challenges that such entails (and which helped me re-evaluate my own understanding of this epistle). The writing style was very accessible and helpful for someone who is neither a theologian nor an expert in koine greek, so I had no problems following her analysis. Perhaps the only aspect missing would be the limited treatment of the exegesis from the early church; however, what is there is to the point and reasonably evaluated in view of modern scholarship and existing limitations. On balance, there is a lot of analysis focused on each verse (400 pages to discuss some 100 verses) that tackles a number of potentially problematic interpretations with tremendous skill and insight. 

In particular, I was fascinated by the historical context of the household codes and the primary linkage of Jesus to the “Suffering Servant” as well as folk traditions of Noah in Asia Minor that would have influenced the target audiences understanding of the text (this was entirely new for me). In addition, the speculation linking that target audience to the explosions of Jews (and Christians) from Rome into Asia Minor where they would be seen as aliens and strangers fit rather nicely into my own research of late. Finally, the analysis on the when and who with regard to authorship was outstanding (even if inclusive). The rest (on suffering for the sake of Christ) was pretty much inline with my original understanding.

I. Greeting to the Christian Diaspora of Asia Minor

II. The Opening of the Letter: Reassurance for God’s People

- A. Doxology as the Basis for the Christian Line

- B. Be What You Are

- C. The Identity of God’s People

III. As God’s People, Live Godly Lives

- A. Commendable Social Behavior as God’s People

- B. The Inner Qualities of Righteous Living

- C. Suffering Unjustly for the Name of God

IV. Consolation for the Suffering Flock

- A. Final Through about Suffering for Christ

- B. Final Exhortations to the Community

V. The Closing of the Letter: Final Words and Greetings

Excursus: The Syntax of 1 Peter: How Good Is the Greek

I was given this free advance review copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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My Ratings Explained ...

  • [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
  • [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
  • [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
  • [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
  • [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.