The relationship between the church and the scriptures of Israel is fraught with complexities, particularly in regard to how the first Christians read scripture in light of the gospel of Christ. Patrick Egan examines the text of 1 Peter in light of its numerous quotations of scripture and demonstrates how the epistle sets forth a scriptural narrative that explains the nature and purpose of the church.
Egan argues that 1 Peter sets forth an ecclesiology based in a participatory christology, in which the church endures suffering in imitation of Jesus' role as the suffering servant. The epistle admonishes the church to a high moral standard in light of Christ's atoning work while also encouraging the church to place hope in God's final vindication of his people. Addressing the churches of Asia Minor, 1 Peter applies the scriptural narrative to the church in unexpected ways.