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Daily Lectionary - Biblical Index

Philippians

Select a scripture reading below.



Who was the author? Paul is the Divinely-inspired author of Philippians.

What is the book? Philippians is a letter to the church in the Roman-colonized city of Philippi in the Roman province of Macedonia, much of which is modern-day Greece.

Where was it written? Paul most likely wrote the letter from prison in Rome.

When was it written? The letter was most likely written near the end of Paul's first Roman imprisonment that probably is dated between A.D. 59 and A.D. 61.

Why? Paul apparently wrote the letter primarily to thank the Philippians for the gift they sent to him by way of Epaphroditus, but other reasons for the letter are also given: reporting Paul's circumstances, encouraging the Philippians to stand firm and to rejoice in the face of persecution, exhorting them to humility and unity, commending Timothy and Epaphroditus to them, and warning the Philippians against both those who would place too much emphasis on the law and those who would place too little emphasis on the law.

How? The Holy Spirit worked through Paul to drive home the theme of joy and rejoicing. The letter is also notably for its uncharacteristic lack of Old Testament quotations and for its profound teaching about Christ that in the apparent context of the letter is only an illustration of a point Paul is making. Nevertheless, Paul in the letter describes how followers of this Christ live: humble, moving towards their goal, free from anxiety, and able to do all things.

For further reading on the book of Philippians:

  • Kretzmann, Paul E. Popular Commentary of the Bible: The New Testament, Volume II, The Epistles of the Apostle Paul, The Epistle to the Hebrews and the Catholic Epistles, the Book of Revelation. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1922. (This volume has 22 pages on Philippians.)
  • Lenski, R. C. H. The Interpretation of St. Paul's Epistles to the Galatians, Ephesians, and Philippians. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Augsburg Publishing House, 1961. (The volume has 212 pages on Philippians.)

 


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