As we read this short book, the Philippians obviously have a special place in Paul’s heart, and beginning with the first words of chapter 2, Paul approaches them with a message that seems to flow from his own life blood, from the personal experiences which he had accumulated during his missionary journeys.
The epistle for the Philippians is believed to be written in 60 to 64 AD1, appx. 12 years after his initial visit to the city.2 Dr. Paley targets this date by various intimations written within the epistle itself. “It purports,” says he, “to have been written near the conclusion of St. Paul’s imprisonment at Rome, and after a residence in that city of considerable duration. These circumstances are made out by different intimations; and the intimations upon the subject preserve among themselves a just consistency, and a consistency certainly unmeditated.” 3
Paul’s initial experience in Philippi was incarceration, and the conversion of his jailer, in jail for his opposition to the pagan gods and goddesses which filled the city’s culture. The early church in Philippi no doubt experienced the same persecution after his departure. Looking back over his ministry from the Roman jail cell, the commonality which he shared with Philippi no doubt stirred his heart. The persecution, both of Paul and of the Philippians church, may be one of the factors which helped keep this church true to their faith, and near to Paul’s heart. They were ‘cut from the same cloth’ so to speak, believers who came to faith in Christ after being opposed to the message for their own political and religious reasons.
While the King James Version of the bible has maintained one of the higher places in favored bible translations for centuries, work within the past 4 decades has produced more translations which have wrestled with biblical translation accuracy in order to produce works more parallel to our modern