THE VAST BULK of organised Christendom today teach that this verse refers to the Church, the mystical Body of Christ, and yet a closer examination of the text will show that this is not the case.
Peter began his epistle with the words “to the strangers scattered throughout Asia. ”
The Greek word for stranger means a sojourner or a temporary resident. It is the same word used by Paul in Ephesians 2:19 where it is translated as foreigner. In verse nine which we are considering Peter uses the pronoun ‘ye’ which is emphatic in the Greek and therefore he is implying that the people he is addressing in his letter are distinct from those amongst whom they live. So a picture is building up not of a multi-racial Christian Church, but of a chosen generation (better translated as race) who were only temporary dwellers in their present location, strangers or foreigners living among people who were not of the same ethnic background.