Philippians 3  

The occasion of the epistle was to acknowledge a gift of money from the church at Philippi, brought to Paul by Epaphroditus, one of its members.

This is a tender letter to a group of Christians who were especially close to the heart of Paul, and little is said about doctrinal error.
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Authorship: (Assumed)
Justus C. Piso (circa 103-105 AD)

The True Authorship of the New Testament, by Abelard Reuchlin 1986
[source]
Year Written: (Assumed)
50-60 AD
Manuscript: (Earliest Available)
175-225 AD - Fragment - Papyrus(16,46)
Scripture Type:
Letters - Paul
An epistle (or letter) is a writing directed or sent to a person or group of people, usually an elegant and formal didactic letter. Pauls Epistles (or letters) are the 13 New Testament books which have the name Paul as the first word, hence claiming authorship by Paul. As some of the earliest Christian documents, they provide an insight into the beliefs and controversies of early Christianity and as part of the canon of the New Testament they are foundational texts for both Christian theology and ethics.
Further Reading:
earlychristianwritings.com/text/philippians.html
earlychristianwritings.com/philippians.html
www.openbible.info/geo/preview/phil
google.com/search
   VIDEO (3 ) | PHILIPPIANS
BIBLE CANONS (5) | PHILIPPIANS
BIBLE CANON
A list of Texts a particular religious community regard as authoritative scripture
1. Marcion Canon (140 AD)
Marcionism was a religious movement based on the teachings of the 2nd-century Marcion of Sinope. Marcions Canon lists 14 books out of the 27 books in the New Testament. More specifically, these were Luke and Paul's 13 writings. Marcion even rejected the entire Old Testament of 39 books.

bible.ca/marcion
W Marcion_of_Sinope

Philippians was Fully Accepted (100%) by Marcion Canon
(Fully accepted; true scripture; quoted approvingly)
2. Muratorian Canon (170 AD)
The Muratorian Canon is an ancient list of New Testament books - the oldest such list we have found and lists 22 of the 27 books that were later included in the New Testament of the Christian Bible.

It is noteworthy that the Muratorian Canon omits several epistles that later did win acceptance in the Christian New Testament such as the books of James and 2 Peter.

gotquestions.org/muratorian
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Philippians was Fully Accepted (100%) by Muratorian Canon
(Fully accepted; true scripture; quoted approvingly)
3. Apostolic Canon (300 AD)
Apostolic Canons or Ecclesiastical Canons
W Canons_of_the_Apostles

Philippians was Fully Accepted (100%) by Apostolic Canon
(Fully accepted; true scripture; quoted approvingly)
4. Cheltenham/ Mommsen List (360 AD)
The Cheltenham or Mommsen List is a Latin manuscript discovered by the German classical scholar Theodor Mommsen (published 1886) which probably originated in North Africa in the 4th century.

It has 24-book Old Testament and 24-book New Testament which omits Jude and James, and perhaps Hebrews, and questions the epistles of John and Peter.

bible-researcher.com/cheltenham
W Theodor_Mommsen

Philippians was Fully Accepted (100%) by Cheltenham/ Mommsen List
(Fully accepted; true scripture; quoted approvingly)
5. Council of Rome (382 AD)
The Council of Rome was a meeting of Catholic Church officials and theologians which took place in 382 under the authority of Pope Damasus I, bishop of Rome.

According to a document appended to some manuscripts, the Council of Rome affirmed the authority of the Old and New Testament canon in a decretal or damasine list.
W Council_of_Rome

Philippians was Fully Accepted (100%) by Council of Rome
(Fully accepted; true scripture; quoted approvingly)
Bible Canon (367 AD)
In 367 AD, Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria, first gave a list of the 27-books to become the New Testament 'Bible Canon'
W Development_of_the_New_Testament_canon

CHURCH FATHERS (17) | PHILIPPIANS
Bible Canon (367 AD)
In 367 AD, Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria, first gave a list of the 27-books to become the New Testament 'Bible Canon'
W Development_of_the_New_Testament_canon

TEXTUAL CRITICISM | PHILIPPIANS
CHURCH FATHER
Ancient and generally influential Christian theologians, eminent teachers and great bishops
1. Clement of Rome (97 AD)

Philippians was Rejected (0%) by Clement of Rome
(No mention; no quotes; opinion unknown)
2. Ignatius of Antioch (110 AD)

Philippians was Approved (75%) by Ignatius of Antioch
(Citation; approving quotation; alluded to; acceptable with changes)
3. Barnabas (130 AD)

Philippians was Rejected (0%) by Barnabas
(No mention; no quotes; opinion unknown)
4. Hermas (140 AD)

Philippians was Approved (75%) by Hermas
(Citation; approving quotation; alluded to; acceptable with changes)
5. Papias of Hierapolis (140 AD)

Philippians was Rejected (0%) by Papias of Hierapolis
(No mention; no quotes; opinion unknown)
6. Polycarp (150 AD)

Philippians was Approved (75%) by Polycarp
(Citation; approving quotation; alluded to; acceptable with changes)
7. Didache (150 AD)

Philippians was Rejected (0%) by Didache
(No mention; no quotes; opinion unknown)
8. Diognetus (150 AD)

Philippians was Rejected (0%) by Diognetus
(No mention; no quotes; opinion unknown)
9. Justin Martyr (155 AD)

Philippians was Rejected (0%) by Justin Martyr
(No mention; no quotes; opinion unknown)
10. Irenaeous (202 AD)

Philippians was Fully Accepted (100%) by Irenaeous
(Fully accepted; true scripture; quoted approvingly)
11. Clement of Alexandria (215 AD)

Philippians was Fully Accepted (100%) by Clement of Alexandria
(Fully accepted; true scripture; quoted approvingly)
12. Tertullian (220 AD)

Philippians was Approved (75%) by Tertullian
(Citation; approving quotation; alluded to; acceptable with changes)
13. Origen (254 AD)

Philippians was Approved (75%) by Origen
(Citation; approving quotation; alluded to; acceptable with changes)
14. Eusebius of Caesarea (340 AD)

Philippians was Fully Accepted (100%) by Eusebius of Caesarea
(Fully accepted; true scripture; quoted approvingly)
15. Athanasius of Alexandria (367 AD)

Philippians was Fully Accepted (100%) by Athanasius of Alexandria
(Fully accepted; true scripture; quoted approvingly)
16. Cyril of Jerusalem (386 AD)

Philippians was Fully Accepted (100%) by Cyril of Jerusalem
(Fully accepted; true scripture; quoted approvingly)
17. Augustine of Hippo (400 AD)

Philippians was Fully Accepted (100%) by Augustine of Hippo
(Fully accepted; true scripture; quoted approvingly)
Textual Criticism

EVIDENCE: Was Paul the Author?
Today, it is assumed Paul is the author. However, it is known that Paul extensively used Scribes ('Amanuensis') to write his letters. Paul dictated his thoughts and the Scribe wrote the letter as they saw fit. Therefore, all, if not the majority of Paul's Epistles (letters) in the New Testament Bible are authored by unknown Scribes.
EVIDENCE: Paul had a troubling 'Thorn'
In his Corinthians letter, Paul speaks of a 'Thorn In My Flesh' troubling him. Bible scholars have 4 theories on the 'thorn':

    1 Physical Sickness - The 'thorn' is a physical sickness (i.e. malaria, malta fever, epilepsy, convulsive attacks, chronic ophthalmia etc.). Many of these illnesses affect the eye-sight and would explain why Paul suffered from poor vision.
    2 Mental Illness - The 'thorn' is a mental illness (i.e. brain disorder, hallucination, schizophrenia, depression etc.)
    3 Spiritual Problem - The 'thorn' is a spiritual or moral problem (i.e. demon, evil-spirit, devil possession etc.)
    4 Ministerial Opposition - The 'thorn' is the Jewish persecution, opposition and resistance to Paul's ministry. This is considered a weak theory because if Paul was referring to a opposing person or movement, he would have referred to such individuals by name.

EVIDENCE: Paul had Eye-Sight Problems
It is known that Paul used Scribes ('Amanuensis') to write his letters as he suffered from poor eye-sight and was unable to write. According to early sources, Paul was 'a short, bony, little Jew with constant running eyes from his eye problems, squinting with a very large angular nose'.

    See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand [Paul's eyesight was defective and he needed help to write]

    As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you, and even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself. Where, then, is your blessing of me now? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me.

    Paul replied, Brothers, I did not know [due to bad eye-sight] that he was the high priest; for it is written: 'Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people.'

EVIDENCE: Church was aware of Paul's Eye-Sight problem
In Galatians, Paul confirms the Galatian Church was aware of his eye-sight problem. So much so, they would have 'plucked out their own eyes and given them to him' were it possible.

    Where, then, is your blessing of me now? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me.

EVIDENCE: Paul used Scribes to write his Epistles (Letters)
Paul composed his letters in accordance with the writing conventions of his time. Scribes were essential as the skills required for writing with primitive pens and paper made writing legibly a challenge.

Tertius was one Roman Scribe ('Amanuensis') who wrote on behalf of Paul. Tertius wrote Paul's Epistles (letters), either from notes, ideas or direct from Paul's mouth. At the end of the Epistle (letter), Paul would conclude with personal greetings in his own writing. [John Gill's commentary]

Timothy is present as Paul and Tertius write Romans. Did Timothy have any influence over the final text? If so, what was that influence? Was any text in Romans written by Timothy?

    I, Tertius, the one writing this letter for Paul, send my greetings, too, as one of the Lord's followers

    Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.

    I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand, which is the distinguishing mark in all my letters. This is how I write.

    I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand.

    Timothy, my co-worker, sends his greetings to you, as do Lucius, Jason and Sosipater, my fellow Jews.

EVIDENCE: Bible Scholars who consider Paul's Letter PHILIPPIANS forged and interpolated
'Interpolation' is where a Word, Verse, Passage or even entire Chapter was added to Paul's Letter, often many years after Paul had written, disseminated it or died. Bible Scholars who hold the view that Paul's Letter is interpolated include:

  • Baur and Schwegler held the whole epistle non-Pauline; as apparently did Volkmar and Hitzig Davidson {1882: 164) refers to early division theories. For the early attempt to exclude parts of the epistle see Volter (1892}; Clemen {1894).
  • 1:1b, Bruckner; Volter {1892}; Schmiedel {1902}; Moffatt {1918: 171}; Riddle and Hutson (1946: 123); Marxsen {1964: 57}; Fischer{1973}; Schenke and Fischer (1978: 126}.
  • 2:6-11, Loisy {1935: 91f.; 1948: 364}; Bruckner (1885; 1890: xix, 219ff.}; but cp. Marxsen (1969: 22-37}; Holsten {1876}; Barnikol {1932b}; Barnes (1947: 244, "perhaps open to some doubt; it might be a development at the end of the first century of our era"}; Berlage {1880: 80ff.}; Schmiedel {in part).
  • 3:1-4.9 Schrader apud Davidson {1882: 158).
  • 3:1, Clemen.
  • 3:2, 5, Weisse.
  • 3:9, Wassenbergh.
  • 3:10f., Schmiedel.
  • 3:18, Laurent.
  • 3:20, Bruckner; Clemen.
  • 4:2f., Ewald.
  • 4:3, Schenke {1978: 128).
SCRIPTURE TEXT (21) | PHILIPPIANS
Philippians   |   Chapter: 3   |   Verses: 21
Chapter:
1 2 3 4
Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.
1 of 21
For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
2 of 21
Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:
3 of 21
Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;
4 of 21
Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
5 of 21
But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
6 of 21
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
7 of 21
And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
8 of 21
That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
9 of 21
If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
10 of 21
Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
11 of 21
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
12 of 21
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
13 of 21
Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
14 of 21
Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
15 of 21
Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
16 of 21
(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:
17 of 21
Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
18 of 21
For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
19 of 21
Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
20 of 21
Philippians   |   Chapter: 3   |   Verses: 21
Chapter:
1 2 3 4


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1. Literal Meaning - What the Text says
2. Historical Setting - The story events; how the Text was understood in its time
3. Grammar - The surrounding sentence and paragraph; textual context
4. Synthesis - A comparison with similar Texts to give a better contextual understanding

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