Category Archives: 1 Peter

1 Peter 2:13-17

In the weekly Bible study that I lead, I am teaching through 1 Peter. This week I will teach through 2:13-17, a section that speaks about the Christian’s obligation to submit to government authorities and the place of government within God’s created order. One of the things that I always seek to do is trace the biblical-theological roots of the (or one of the) major themes in the passage. So with respect to tracing the biblical theological roots of the obligation to submit to government authorities and the role of government, what key passages would you draw upon and how would you trace them out? The obvious parallel is Rom 13:1-7 (though there are some differences between the two passages), but I’m thinking primarily of the OT and canonical roots.

I’ve already taken my stab at it, but I want to see your efforts before I share mine at some point. So, readers, how would you trace the biblical theological roots of submission to government authority?

OT in NT: 1 Peter 2:9-10

“But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.”
(1 Peter 2:9-10, NAS1995)

The phrases in all caps are identified by the NAS as OT citations/allusions. Here is the breakdown:

Chosen race – Isa 43:20
Royal priesthood – Exod 19:6
Holy nation – Exod 19:6
People for God’s own possession – Exod 19:5
Not a people – Hos 1:10; 2:23
People of God – Hos 2:23
Not received mercy – Hos 1:6; 2:23
Received mercy – Hos 2:23

I would add the following additional allusions/echoes:

proclaim the excellencies – Isa 43:21
the one who called you from darkness to light – Isa 42:6-7, 16

So here is the two-part $64,000 question:

1. What are we to make of language describing Israel in the OT applied to the church?

2. How should these OT citations/allusions/echoes influence our interpretation of 1 Pet 2:9-10?