Temple, Exile and Identity in 1 Peter will generate a fresh and perhaps even a new understanding of the main themes of 1 Peter, which include questions of identity, suffering, hope, holiness, and judgment. Mbuvi explores the temple imagery in the epistle of 1 Peter and focuses on the use of cultic language in constituting the new identity of the Petrine community. He contends that temple imagery in 1 Peter undergirds the entire epistle.
1 Peter directly connects the community's identity with the temple by describing it in terms reminiscent of the temple structure. He calls the members of the community "living stones," formulating an image that has been categorized as a "Temple-Community." This concern with the temple characterizes the restoration eschatology in the Second Temple period with its focus on the establishment of the eschatological temple. Restoration of Israel was also to be characterized by hope for the re-gathering of the scattered of Israel, the conversion or destruction of the Gentiles, and the establishment of God's universal reign, all of which are reflected in the discourse of the epistle.