In another forum, a question was raised about 1 Peter which implied that the author of 1 Peter was familiar with Paul's Epistle to the Galatians.

What textual evidence (within 1 Peter) supports the theory that the author of 1 Peter was familiar with Galatians?

  • Thank you for the question, but since you are not focusing on a specific passage, the question could take volumes to answer. This forum limits its scope to questions on Biblical passages in order to limit scope. If you have a moment, please review the tour that will provide you the outlook for this website. Thanks!
    – Joseph
    Feb 6, 2016 at 17:23
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    If you can cite an example (chapter and verse) from Peter, you can ask if the author is respoinding to the letter to the Galations. If you wish to edit the question, then this can be re-opened. Feb 8, 2016 at 15:41
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    I voted to reopen. I see this question a fully on-topic. It falls directly under the category of "① the history of that biblical text itself" (here, 1 Peter), that is, did the original author know about Galatians or not. It is a historical question about the context of the initial writing of the text, which is part of what is directly on-topic for the site.
    – ScottS
    Feb 8, 2016 at 19:49
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    @Joseph I do see it as fully "On-Topic". Perhaps it needs one of your exquisitely cogent answers.....;)
    – Tau
    Feb 12, 2016 at 0:49
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    @Susan - perhaps I am misreading the OP's question, but the way it is worded it seems as if a specific passage was in question - "a question was raised about 1Peter today which implied that the author of 1Peter was familiar with Paul's Epistle to the Galatians" what passage in 1 peter is the OP talking about? Feb 13, 2016 at 15:49

3 Answers 3


Raymond E. Brown says, in An Introduction to the New Testament, page 453, First Peter is in many theological stances close to Pauline thought. He says that some critics would put that writing in the Pauline rather than the Petrine school. In other words, the author knew a good deal about Paul's epistles, whether from having seen them or otherwise. The extent of the similarities, not only to Galatians but also to Romans and even Ephesians and Colossians, creates a presumption, at least of familiarity with the earlier epistles, such as to demand a lower standard of proof for a familiarity with Galatians.

Some commentators have pointed to similarities between 1 Peter chapter 4 and Galatians chapter 5. In this context, it has been suggested 1 Peter 4:3 seems to have been inspired by Galatians 5:19-21. If so, this would be good evidence that our author knew Paul's Epistle to the Galatians:

1 Peter 4:3: For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries

Galatians 5:19-21: Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

In its unexpected reference to Abraham and Sarah, 1 Peter 3:6 contains echoes of Galatians 4:22-25, but perhaps even more so of Romans 9:7-10. Whether the author knew one or both, this is the only New Testament reference to Sara outside Paul's epistles and the Epistle to the Hebrews.

  • Abraham and (orgiastic) Gentile sinfulness are universal Jewish obsessions.
    – Lucian
    Aug 17, 2017 at 15:27

The only evidence I see that Peter might have been familiar with the Galatians is that he addressed this epistle to them, and others. (I Peter 1:1) The purpose of his writing to them was persecution in the area and his concern was that Christians suffer as Christians, not as lawbreakers. (I Peter 2:13,14; 4:15,16) I see no evidence that he had read Galatians or that his writing to them depended on them. Paul mentions Peter in Gal. 2:7, 8 saying that the gospel of Peter was committed to the circumcision, as his was to the uncircumcision. But they both could minister to either Jew or Gentile. (Matt. 28:19, Acts 9:15)


The Epistle to the Galatians is considered outstanding among the writings of the Apostle Paul and has a unique color of Paul's personality. In it, the Apostle Paul reveals all his authority, some fundamentals of the Christian faith and yet their harshness against the Judaizing who question his authority.

From Paul, an apostle (not from men, nor by human agency, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised him from the dead) (Gl 1:1 [NET])

We noticed as soon as the contents of the letter will just drift on apostolate, authority, Judaize. Here he starts to claim his authority.

and when James, Cephas, and John, who had a reputation as pillars, recognized the grace that had been given to me, they gave to Barnabas and me the right hand of fellowship, agreeing that we would go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. (Gl 2:9 [NET])

Therefore, given the situation of the letter and the reason for his writing. Paul in summary wants to present itself as authority granted by Jesus himself. The apostles before him, were consulted as far as possible. He met Peter, searched for other but saw only James. Then he returned to Jerusalem again and met John, apart from the others before. During all these meetings and this time, not opposed to it, on the contrary they gave him the hand.

Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. For I did not receive it or learn it from any human source; instead I received it by a revelation of Jesus Christ. (Gl 1:11-12 [NET])

The phrase "ἀποκάλυψις Ἰησοῦς Χριστός" (revelation of Jesus Christ) defines the gospel preached to the Galatians. This phrase is quoted by the Apostle Peter in 1: 12-13 to confirm the Gospel revealed to Paul and preached to the Galatians, too, confirming the words of the Apostle Paul in Galatians 2:9.

They were shown that they were serving not themselves but you, in regard to the things now announced to you through those who proclaimed the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven – things angels long to catch a glimpse of. Therefore, get your minds ready for action by being fully sober, and set your hope completely on the grace that will be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed. (1Pe 1:12-13 [NET])

The phrase "ἀποκάλυψις Ἰησοῦς Χριστός" (revelation of Jesus Christ) has become so celebrated among the apostles that is used to confirm the Book of Revelation's authority.

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must happen very soon. He made it clear by sending his angel to his servant John. (Ap 1:1 [NET])

Again, I apologize for not being fluent in the English language. Due to the fact of having three logins excluded, will no longer participate in the forum. The Peace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the consolations sweet of Holy Spirit in God, the Father. Betho, Brazil.

  • Both "gospel" and "revelation of Jesus Christ" are surely too generic to be specific evidence that 1 Peter is dependent on Galatians.
    – curiousdannii
    Feb 19, 2016 at 8:36

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