1 Kefa 1:1-2

Greetings

In my last post, we looked at some interesting commentaries for background information on Kefa’s writings to the saints throughout Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). In this post, we will begin to unpack his first letter to the saints.

From: Kefa, an emissary of Yeshua the Messiah,

To: God’s chosen people, living as aliens in the Diaspora – in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, the province of Asia, and Bithynia


Location of Kefa’s recipients.

God’s chosen people, literally, “God’s elected ones,” meaning Israel, living as aliens in the Diaspora. Kefa directs his letter primarily to Jewish Believers (including Jewish proselytes who later accepted Yeshua) since he was an emissary to the Circumcised (Ga 2:7–8). However, the spiritual content of his Gospel, salvation by trust (vv. 3–9), was identical with that of Sha’ul, the emissary to the Gentiles (Ga 2:6–9). However, Gentiles who have not converted to Judaism but have trusted in the Jewish Messiah and thrown in their lot with the Jewish Believers are counted along with them, since by their trust such Gentiles have been grafted into Isra’el (Ro 11:17–24, Ep 2:11–16). [1]

chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father and set apart by the Spirit for obeying Yeshua the Messiah and for sprinkling with His blood: Grace and shalom be yours in full measure.

This verse names what Christian theology calls “the three persons of the Trinity”; and, even though non-Messianic Jews find it a stumblingblock, Messianic Judaism must not finesse the fact that God expresses distinct aspects of his absolute unity through the Father, the Ruach, and Yeshua the Messiah. Here it is the Father who has chosen and exercised His foreknowledge, [2] the Ruach who has set Believers apart from sin, and Yeshua the Messiah who is to be the object of obedience and is the One whose blood is sprinkled.

In the Tanakh and Jewish thought, God’s people were corporately chosen, because God foreknew them; Kefa applies the same language to believers in Yeshua. Obedience and the sprinkling of blood also established the first covenant (Ex 24:7–8).

Ok, we didn’t get very far, but that was intentional. I want to keep these posts in Kefa’s letters short and sweet. In my next post, we will begin to unpack 1 Kefa 1:3-12.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1]  Jewish New Testament Commentary.

[2]  Eaton’s Bible Dictionary describes God’s foreknowledge as: One of the high attributes essentially appertaining to God the full import of which we cannot comprehend. In the most absolute sense, His knowledge is infinite.

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