Philippi was located in northeast Macedonia on a hillside in a pass of the Pangaeus range of the Balkan Mountains which made it a strategic military site 5. The land surrounding Philippi was situated between the Strymon River on the west and the Nestos River on the east, making the area fertile for agriculture. The land found north was wooded, while the area to the south had marshes 5. Philippi was originally an old Thracian village…. Krenides was settled by people from Thasos, an island located to the south in the Aegean Sea 6. The Greek settlers, however, were soon threatened by the Thracian tribes and appealed to Philip II of Macedonia for assistance.
Renaming it Philippi after himself, the ruler populated and fortified the city 6. Philippi was located in the first of these. Philippi was located along this major road, which brought travelers and trade to the city In 42 B.
The victors settled many of their veteran soldiers in Philippi making it a Roman colony. In 30 B. Octavian defeated Antony in the Battle of Actium. Peterlin cautions:. As such Philippi was a kind of ad hoc garrison.
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However, there is no evidence for the presence of any unit of standing Roman army in Philippi after 27 B. The colony of Philippi was like a miniature Rome due to the fact that it employed Roman insignia, money, and dress. In addition, Philippian archi-tecture included a Roman forum, gymnasium, and baths….
The Roman style of government is also well attested Acts And brought them out to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city.
And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans. Latin was the dominant language found in ancient inscriptions. Prior to Roman occupation, Greek had been the official language for more than years and it was still prevalent in the first century. Paul wrote his letter in Greek. The cosmopolitan mixture of people inhabiting Philippi is demonstrated by evidence from religion. Romans had a temple to Bacchus Dionysius , the god of grapes and wine. Many carvings to Diana Artemis.
Love Letter From Prison: A Study on the Book of Philippians
One prominent figure was the Thracian horseman who supposedly guard-ed the deceased and led them into the next life. A temple dedicated to a pantheon of Egyptian gods. An altar dedicated to the emperor Augustus and later the ruins of 2 temples that point to the prominence of the imperial cult. The Jews did not occupy a very strong presence in the city.
We nowhere read of a synagogue being within the city. His coworker Timothy was with him ; Paul was in chains for the sake of the gospel , , He was being watched by soldiers of the Praetorian Guard Many evangelistic efforts were going on within the city when Paul was imprisoned Paul faced a trail that could either end his life in martyrdom or being acquitted ; Upon release he intended to make another trip to Philippi ; These clues point to the Philippian letter being written from Rome about A.
The main argument against Rome as the place of writing involves the number of journeys from Paul to the recipients mentioned in the book.
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Some see up to seven journeys:. News to the Philippians that Paul was in prison. The sending of Epaphroditus. News back to the Philippians that Epaphroditus was sick,. The concern expressed by the church for Epaphroditus. The sending of Timothy. The argument is that if Paul were imprisoned in Rome there would not have been enough time for all of these trips to be made. Thus, many conclude that he prison had be closer to Philippi than Rome. Many have assumed that he was imprisoned at Ephesus.
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It would take about one month to make the journey from Philippi to Rome. Seven journeys with time in-between the trip would have been easily possible. Paul wanted to update them on his situation Paul wanted to thank the Philippians for their gift Paul wanted to encourage the Philippians in their grief…. Paul wanted to promote unity in the Philippian church , 14; Paul wanted to warn the Philippians against false teachers A letter is an half dialogue or a substitute for an actual conversation. This letter is filled with both rhetorical style and close relationship.
Many believe that the Philippian letter is really a combination of several writings of Paul. Letter of Reassurance Letter of Warning Letter of Thanks The text of is put in various places. The major concern is found in Philippians Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe. We are told that the first part of the verse and what follows from b to verse 19 is not consistent.
We are told that a connected with is a more natural reading. Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord…. For our conversation is in heaven…. No satisfactory answer exists for it. Why the letter should be looked upon as a unified whole From Stewart. There is no manuscript evidence for the dissection theory. The dissection theory does not adequately explain necessary transitions. The integrity of Philippians is demonstrated by its themes, themes that are found in all the sections:. Suffering ; ; Joy , 25, , 29; , Right thinking ; , 5; ; 4;2, Humility , 7; , 8, Christian growth ; Thanksgiving ; The integrity of Philippians is demonstrated by its vocabulary.
In other words, Paul uses similar vocabulary throughout the epistle. Irenaeus A.
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Muratorian Fragment Tertullian Clement of Alexandria Hippolytus Origen The church had sent gifts to Paul while he was in chains. These gifts were delivered by Epaphroditus, a leader in the Philippian church who ended up assisting Paul with ministry in Rome. At some point while serving with Paul, Epaphroditus became dangerously sick and nearly died.
After his recovery, Paul sent Epaphroditus back to Philippi carrying with him the letter to the Philippian church. Besides expressing thanks to the believers in Philippi for their gifts and support, Paul took the opportunity to encourage the church concerning practical matters such as humility and unity. The apostle warned them about "Judiazers" Jewish legalists and gave instructions on how to live a joyous Christian life.
In the pages of Philippians, Paul conveys a powerful message about the secret of contentment. Although he had faced severe hardships, poverty, beatings, illness, and even his current imprisonment, in every circumstance Paul had learned to be content. The source of his joyous contentment was rooted in knowing Jesus Christ :. Philippians is one of the Apostle Paul's four Prison Epistles.
Paul wrote to the body of believers in Philippi with whom he shared a close partnership and special affection. He also addressed the letter to church elders and deacons. Under house arrest as a prisoner in Rome, yet full of joy and thankfulness, Paul wrote to encourage his fellow servants living in Philippi.
One of the major trade routes between Europe and Asia, Philippi was a chief commercial center with a mixture of different nationalities, religions, and social levels. Joy in the Christian life is all about perspective. True joy is not based on circumstances. The key to lasting contentment is found through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
This is the divine perspective Paul wanted to communicate in his letter to the Philippians. Christ is the ultimate example for believers.
Through following his patterns of humility and sacrifice, we can find joy in all circumstances. Christians can experience joy in suffering just as Christ suffered:. Christian can experience joy in giving :. Paul, Timothy , and Epaphroditus are the major personalities in the book of Philippians.
Philippians And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians Rejoice in the Lord always.
Again I will say, rejoice! Philippians Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; NKJV.