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Philippians

Philippians

Historical background

The historical background of Philippians is traditionally gathered from two main primary New Testament sources: informative internal data from the letter itself, and related information garnered from the rest of the New Testament Canon, especially from the Acts of the Apostles and the other Pauline Epistles.[2] Other primary information is also derived from external historical sources related to the chronological connections between Paul’s association with Philippi, its political and economical setting, and its social and religio-philosophical context.[3]

According to the document itself, the Philippians had sent Epaphroditus, their envoy (“messenger [apostolon] and minister [leitourgon]” Phil 2:25), with contributions as an expression of their “partnership” and “concern” to meet the needs of Paul (Phil 1:3–5, Phil 2:30, and Phil 4:10–19).

During the execution of his responsibilities of travel to deliver their “gift” (Phil 4:17), Epaphroditus contracted some life-threatening debilitating illness (esthenese, cf. Phil 2:26–27). At some point he recovers. It is at this time, whether premeditated or due to an extended stay with the apostle, various internal matters are revealed to Paul on the part of Epaphroditus (Phil 1:27–30, Phil 2:19–24, Phil 3:2–3, Phil 3:17–20, Phil 4:2–3, and Phil 4:9).

Upon Epaphroditus’ return to health, Paul sends word to the Philippians through Epaphroditus of his upcoming sentence in Rome and of his optimism in the face of death (1:18b–26), along with exhortations to imitate his capacity to rejoice in the Lord despite one’s circumstances (2:14–18). Moreover, Paul sends counsel regarding spiritual adversaries among the Philippians (3:1–21), and conflicts within their fellowship (4:2–3). Lastly, he provides receipt of both Epaphroditus’ heroism (2:25–30) and the arrival of “the gift” (4:10), along with his promise of a divine accounting (4:17–20).

Within the letter is also found an optimism where Paul’s belief of his release is the basis upon which he promises to send Timothy to them for ministry (3:19–23), and an anticipation to also pay them a personal visit (2:24). With this communication Epaphroditus sets out on his homeward journey (2:28–29).

There has been ongoing debate regarding where Paul was when he wrote this letter (and therefore the date of the letter’s composition). Internal evidence in the letter itself points clearly to it being composed while Paul was in custody (Philippians 1:7,13), but which period of imprisonment is highly debated[citation needed]. Some suggest the Roman imprisonment at the end of the Book of Acts (chapter 28:30,31). Others suggest the earlier Caesarean imprisonment (Acts 23–26). Still others suggest an earlier imprisonment again, and postulate an Ephesian imprisonment during Paul’s lengthy stay in that city (Acts 19). Until recently no one seems to have advocated the second period of Roman imprisonment (after the end of the book of Acts, but attested to in the writings of early church fathers).[4] Jim Reiher considered and speculated on this theory in a 2012 article.[5] The main reasons suggested for a later date, include:

The letter’s highly developed Ecclesiology
An impending sense of death permeating the letter
The absence of any mention of Luke in a letter to Luke’s home church (when the narrative in Acts clearly suggests that Luke was with Paul in his first Roman imprisonment)
A harsher imprisonment than the open house arrest of his first Roman imprisonment
A similar unique expression that is shared only with 2 Timothy[citation needed] A similar disappointment with co-workers shared only with 2 Timothy.
This second Roman imprisonment theory is still to be rigorously debated in the wider theological community.

Source : Youtube.com & en.wikipedia.org

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加拉太書

加拉太書

加拉太書 Galatians (粵語) 主要內容 保羅為自己的使徒職分辯護 (覆蓋1:1-2:14)。問候了加拉太的各會眾後,保羅奇怪他們竟然這麽快便離開真理,轉而信從另一種好消息。他堅決宣布:“無論是我們,是天上來的使者,若傳福音給你們,與我們所傳給你們的不同,他就應當被咒詛。”保羅所宣布的好消息不是屬人的,也不是人教導他的,“乃是從耶穌基督啟示來的”。從前保羅一度熱心擁護猶太教,逼迫上帝的會眾,但後來上帝藉他的非配得仁慈呼召保羅,要保羅把他愛子的好消息向列國宣揚。歸信了三年之後,保羅才上耶路撒冷。在使徒之中,他只見過彼得和主的弟弟雅各。雖然猶太的各會眾聽聞過保羅的事,並且因他而“歸榮耀給上帝”,他們卻沒有和保羅見過面。 [13] 十四年之後,保羅再次上耶路撒冷,私下解釋他所傳講的好消息。保羅的同伴提多雖然是個希臘人,他們卻沒有要提多受割禮。雅各、磯法、約翰看見主委託保羅傳好消息給未受割禮的人(正如彼得受託傳好消息給受過割禮的人),他們就向保羅和巴拿巴伸出表示通力合作的右手,叫保羅和巴拿巴往列國的人那裏去,他們自己則往受過割禮的人那裏去。後來磯法來到安提阿,由於懼怕受過割禮的人,以致沒有正確行事,“與福音的真理不合”,保羅就當眾責備他。 (加拉太書2:14)

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