Philippi, an important military city of Mahkehdohnée-ah named after Philip of Mahkehdohn, father of Alexander the Great, was located c. 9 miles northwest of its seaport, Neapolis. It became a Roman colony in 42 B.C. Its citizens had Roman citizenship; the right to vote; its own senate and magistrates;. Roman: law, language, and protection; and governed themselves. There was no synagogue here. The Jews here did not persecute Paul. He first came to Philippi as a result of his Mahkehdohnée-an vision at Troas (Acts 16:9-40).
The writer of Philippians was also the Apostle Paul, whom God used to write fourteen New Testament Books (see Notes on First Thessalonians, page 516).
Internal evidence to Paul's authorship is clear both by the accepted title that bears his name and by the text. He identifies himself in his opening salutation (1:1). He refers to his bonds in the Roman palace (4:22; 1:13) and to trial requiring his defense (1:7,17); and he infers authorship in his reference to Timothy, who was with him on his first visit (Acts 16:1-3,11) and was his child and fellow-servant in Christ, whom he intends to send to them (2:18-23). And he refers to his former persecution of the church (3:6 cf. Acts 8:3).
External evidence comes from the writings of the "church fathers" (patristic tradition of the early church). The Muratorian Canon (A.D. 160-200): "For the Epistles of Paul . . . he wrote to not more than seven churches, . . . the third to the Philippians." There is no contradictory evidence found in the early church, but Paul's authorship was an accepted fact and never doubted until the eighteenth century.
Dating of Philippians, is determined by the fact that he was in prison (3:1; 4:1) in Rome (1:13 cf. 4:22). Both Ephesians (6:21) and Colossians (4:7) were delivered by Tu-kheekóhs. Timothy was with Paul when he wrote Colossians (1:1). He also is named as co-author of Philippians (1:1). How-. ever Paul indicates in Philippians that he is near the end of his imprisonment (2:23,24) at Rome (1:13; 4:22). He anticipates an early release (1:25,26) which. occurred in Spring of 63), while no such mention is made in the other Epistles.
The Purpose of Paul's writing is to give thanks for a sacrificial gift, to express joy in Christ even in great trial, and to exhort unity in the church.
Characteristics include: exhortive but absence of rebuke; personal (a love letter); joyful even though imprisoned; emphasis on The Holy Spirit (1:19; 2:1; 3:3); with only a hint of a problem of disunity between two women (4:2).
The Book may be outlined as follows:
I. The Confidence of the Christian Life (1:1-30).
Christ Our Life (1:21).
II. The Ideal of the Christian Life (2:1-30).
Christ Our Example (2:5).
III. The Enemies of the Christian Life (3:1-21).
Christ Our Object (3:14).
IV. The Strength of the Christian Life (4:1-23).
Christ Our Strength (4:13).