Book Review:1 Peter Commentary by Arnold Fruchtenbaum

The Ariel Bible Commentary incorporates the Messianic Epistles. One of the Commentaries in that volume is 1 Peter by Arnold Fruchtenbaum. It is a well-written exegesis of the original language of 1 Peter.  Fruchtenbaum does not analyze every verb tense, voice and mood, like A.T. Robertson, but sufficiently addresses the most important and helpful interpretive issues.  

With Fruchtenbaum’s Jewish background and doctoral studies, he is well-equipped to highlight the Jewish nature of this epistle, which was written to the elect in the Diaspora. He does not impose a theology upon the text, but interprets the text in order to develop theology.  He wisely notes the danger of several writers who impose their theology upon the text, which promotes erroneous interpretations (pp. 319-321).  

Fruchtenbaum’s background on Peter is most interesting.  Peter was married and traveled with his wife (1 Cor. 9:5), but Paul was not and did not. God is able to use anyone of us in our different situations in different ways and in different degrees.

First Peter is about suffering and glory.  The word suffering is used fifteen times and the world glory is used ten times.  Fruchtenbaum’s message is: the believer will attain his glory by means of suffering. 

I always find Fruchtenbaum’s material organized, outlined and well-written.  Yet the best part about Fruchtenbaum is he is an unflinching classical dispensationalism. He stands his ground and knows how to refute false teaching.  That makes reading his material easier to understand, because he sticks with the natural interpretation, rather than a theology imposed on the text.  

Fruchtenbaum outlines the book into the 1) the Status of the Believers (1:3-2:10); 2) the Conduct of the Believers (2:11-4:11); and 3) Sufferings and Partakers of the Glory to Come (4:12-5:11). Authority orientation is important to Peter as he learned to submit to the Lord’s authority before and after the resurrection and he set down orientation to authority in government (2:11-12), business (2:18-25), the home ( 3:1-7) and the church (5:1-11). 

I also appreciate how the entire text of the book is recorded and then analyzed phrase by phrase. Every serious student of Scripture will want a handle on Fruchtenbaum’s commentary, because of his clear delineation of the text.  Do not teach 1 Peter without having read and studied this commentary!


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