In 1 and 2 Peter, Peter is writing to a despised and persecuted people. On July 19, 64 A.D., a fire broke out in Rome. The flames licked up large parts of the city and both mansions and hovels were destroyed. The fires burned for three days and three nights. There were rumors that Nero had his men all over town trying to hinder people from putting out the fires. Nero identified a scapegoat – the Christians. A savage outbreak of persecution ensued. In view of these circumstances, Peter instructs these “pilgrims of the dispersion” to pursue holiness and truth. He encourages them that they are protected by the power of God. 

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