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Final Greetings September 6, 2012

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on Philippians 4:21-23.

Summary: Paul begins by telling the Philippians to greet all believers in a Christian manner; also, his personal companions and fellow-travelers greet them. In addition, all of the believers in Rome – including the slaves and freedmen who are attached to the palace – greet them.

Paul concludes by praying that the grace of Christ would be with them.

Thoughts: Strolling through Philippians was rather enjoyable; it even served as a welcome break from my relatively in-depth strolls through Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, and Ephesians. To understand why many believers have delighted in reading this letter, one must peruse Alister McGrath’s introduction to Lightfoot’s commentary:

Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi is one of the gems of the New Testament. Freed from the need to engage in controversy with his opponents, Paul was able to share his joy in the gospel with his beloved fellow believers in Philippi. Even though he wrote from prison, Paul’s letter exults in the joy of the gospel and the great hope which it brings to those who know Christ.

I should also note that the personal nature of this letter provides the reader with a glimpse into the lives of various Biblical characters, including Epaphroditus, Euodia, Syntyche and Clement. Yet Paul’s intimate connection with the Philippians does not preclude him from defending the Gospel in this letter – he still needs to refute the threats of the Judaizers and the Antinomians. Thus, the “warmth-to-defense” ratio in this letter is not infinite – yet it is high compared to the other epistles that I have strolled through. I am now curious as to which of the remaining Pauline epistles contains a similar “warmth-to-defense” ratio – perhaps Philemon fits the bill.

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