We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more
Select Bible Use this Lookup to open a specific Bible and passage. Start here to select a Bible.
Make selected Bible the default for Lookup tool.
Book: Ch.V. Select book from A-Z list, enter chapter and verse number, and click "Go."
:
OR
  • Previous Result
  • Results
  • Look It Up Highlight any word or phrase, then click the button to begin a new search.
  • Highlight On / Off
  • Next Result

The Oxford Bible Commentary Line-by-line commentary for the New Revised Standard Version Bible.

Philippians - Introduction

Equalled only by Philemon, Philippians is the most personal of Paul's letters. Among the categories listed by ancient theorists (Malherbe 1988 ), it combines features of a hortatory ‘letter of friendship’ (Fee 1995: 214) with those of a ‘patronage letter’ (Bormann 1995: 161–205). Unusually for Paul, the OT is seldom cited; his argument is passionately centred on Christ, yet he often uses Stoic language (see PHIL E).

Although the letter's contents are conditioned by practical matters, the main emphasis is on strengthening the commitment and faith of the Philippian Christians, as was Paul's regular aim (Meeks 1983: 84–107). He urges them to follow the example of Christ in union with him (repeatedly expressed by ‘sharing’, koinōnia and its compounds), so as to grow in a Christlike mindset guiding both belief and action. This is expressed by several recurring verbs, especially phronein, ‘think’ or ‘feel’, which, together with ‘rejoice’, chairein, virtually structures the letter, creating a major inclusio from beginning to end.

  • Previous Result
  • Results
  • Look It Up Highlight any word or phrase, then click the button to begin a new search.
  • Highlight On / Off
  • Next Result
Oxford University Press

© 2015. All Rights Reserved. Privacy policy and legal notice