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cPHILIPPIANS: Written by Paul in late 56C.E. or early 57C.E., after 'Galatians' was issued.
Paul's warning about some Jewish missionaries,
preying on Gentile Christians:
Paul was probably afraid that the Jewish Christians who targeted his Gentile converts of Galatia (Galatians letter) would go to Philippi. And once again (relative to the Corinthians letters), as a pre-emptive measure, Paul felt he had to talk about his credentials. The general tone of the letter is very different of the one in 'bPhilippians'. It is also somewhat similar of the one in 'Galatians'.
3:1 ... For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe. 2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship
God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, 4 though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; 6 concerning zeal, persecuting the church;
[as in Gal1:13, admission by Paul of his persecution of the church of Jerusalem (35C.E)]
` concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
Paul pictures himself very close to Christ:
Actually, it seems that Paul put himself on a parallel course with Christ!
7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.
Paul's exhortations and appeal to the Philippians
to follow him:
Paul felt insecure and thought the Philippians could be attracted by Jewish preachers, just like the Galatians did.
16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of
the same mind. 17 Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. 18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of
Christ: 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame; who set their mind on earthly things. 20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Lord Jesus Christ.
4:1 Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.
Paul wants to avoid disagreement between
two prominent Christian women:
Paul did not take position in the conflict, just exhorted for peace and harmony.
2 I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life. 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Very poetic! And then, another exhortation for peace and Paul's preaching & example.
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy; meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. ...
cPHILIPPIANS: later addition
3:20b from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
This passage is likely a late addition (but the words in
may be authentic). It certainly appears to
be an outright (long) extension of the preceding
sentence. According to his letters, Paul
certainly did not present Jesus Christ as
some kind of all powerful God. The "Father"
is the one raising the dead and "transfiguring"
dead & alive ones: 1Th4:14, 1Co8:11,15:38,
Ro8:11 "But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you."
Paul never used the title "Savior" in his (authentic) letters. However the same title (for Christ) will become very popular in later epistles, attributed to him or Peter:
Eph5:23, 2Ti1:10, Tit1:4,2:13,3:6, 2Pe1:1,11,2:20,3:2,18