Our List of 300 Religious Subjects

Epistle to the Philippians

(fil - ip' - ee - uhnz)

General Information

The Epistle to the Philippians, the 11th book in the New Testament of the Bible, was written by Saint Paul to the Philippians - a Christian community in eastern Macedonia - from prison in Ephesus in AD 57 or, as some scholars believe, in Rome in the early 60s. Some scholars think that the present letter is a composite of three different ones. In one (4:10 - 20), Paul thanks the Philippians, with whom he had good relations, for a gift they sent him. In another (1:1 - 3:1), Paul gives them a hopeful report of his legal situation and encourages them to Christian living. In a third (3:2 - 4:3), he attacks a Judaizing Gnostic group trying to mislead the Philippians. The epistle is noted for the hymn to Christ in 2:6 - 11 and for its generally joyful tone.

Anthony J Saldarini

F Craddock, Philippians: Interpretation (1984); J Fitzmeyer, The Letter to the Philippians (1968); J J Muller, Epistles of Paul to the Philippians (1985); M Silva, Philippians (1988).

Epistle to the Philippians

Brief Outline

  1. Greetings and thanksgiving (1:1-11)
  2. Progress of the Gospel (1:12-20)
  3. Working and suffering for Christ (1:21-30)
  4. Exhortations to humility (2:1-13)
  5. Exhortation to the Christian life (2:14-18)
  6. Personal remarks involving Timothy and Epaphroditus (2:19-30)
  7. Exhortations and warnings (3:1-4:9)
  8. Thanksgiving (4:10-20)
  9. Final greetings (4:21-22)


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