Strangers in the Light

Philonic Perspectives on Christian Identity in 1 Peter


The author of the present work wants to throw new light on the intended readers of 1 Peter by investigating what it could possibly mean that they were to live as Strangers in the Light. It is argued that the author of 1 Peter considers his readers as living a life influenced by social circumstances very much comparable to those of the Diaspora proselytes to Judaism. Hence similar discussions in Jewish Diaspora works can illuminate his descriptions and exhortations. Among these Diaspora works, the works of Philo of Alexandria should be drawn into the discussions in a much more comprehensive way than has been done so far.
In addition to a study of the role of Silvanus in the making of the letter, this volume contains four studies that carry out what the author calls 'philonic readings' of central issues of 1 Peter 2,5-11.
The study will demonstrate the usefulness of Jewish diaspora works for understanding the social life of the early Christians.


EUR €110.00USD $138.00

Biographical Note

Torrey Seland Doctor Artium, University of Trondheim 1991. Professor of Biblical Studies and Dean of Faculty of Social Science at Volda University College, Volda Norway. He is Professor of New Testament Studies at The School of Mission and Theology, Stavanger, Norway and the author of Establishment Violence in Philo and Luke (Brill: 1995), and co-editor of Neotestamentica et Philonica (Brill, 2003). Currently, he is working on aspects of the ancient social world as understood by Philo.

Review Quotes

'Strangers in the Light is a must read for all Petrine scholars. The book makes for good reading and convinces that the interpretation of 1 Peter is elucidated and enhanced by using insights drawn from Diaspora Jewish literature and the social concerns voiced in this literature.' Fika van Rensburg, Review of Biblical Literature, 2006 'Seland's book as a whole advances a number of discussions in relation to 1 Peter, and it highlights the often untapped potential of Philo's writings in relation to our understanding of the New Testament and its world.' Kenneth L. Schenck, The Studia Philonica Annual 20 (2008) 'Seland’s approach and well informed studies throw fresh light on 1 Peter and demonstrate that it is promising to draw on the works of Diaspora Judaism for understanding how the Jewish authors of the New Testament thought on how Christians – be they Gentile or Jews – should preserve their identity and live in a pagan environment.' Christoph Stenschke, Journal of Early Christian History 1.1, (2011)