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

The Structure of Philippians.

The letter has a ‘rondo’ structure; after an ‘overture’ (here called 1B), comments on practical matters (sections 2, 4, and 6C) alternate with two major exhortations (sections 3 and 5) each centring on a narrative with a downward–upward movement; the first about Christ ( 2:5–11 ), the second about Paul ( 3:4–14 ). These and their contexts are linked by many corresponding words and phrases (Garland 1985: 158–9; Fee 1995: 314–15). Repetition of significant words or ideas occurs throughout the letter. Inclusio is used systematically, both to articulate sections of the argument and to make the letter's closing sentences echo keywords in the opening. The commentary notes these points in detail.

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Oxford University Press

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