The author describes himself as "Peter an apostle of Jesus Christ", and there is no overriding reason to doubt the truth of his claim, although the beautiful Greek style employed has led some scholars to believe that the actual writing may have been done by an associate (probably a secretary). The contents breathe the spirit of Peter. His speeches recorded in Acts indicate a similar attitude toward persecution and suffering. The letter here reflects a time of suffering and trial. No doubt the widespread persecution of the Christians by the Roman authorities was the occasion of the "fiery trial" (4:12). The writer admonishes his readers to a life of purity, of godly living, and exhorts them to steadfastness and faithfulness.