Sie sind auf Seite 1von 13

Special Topics In Theology Themes/Purposes: Joy and Thankfulness Teaching in living as a Christian Confidence/ Encouragement Day of Christ The

Gospel Grace is the usual Greek form of greeting, but here is added a new Christian depth. Likewise, peace is a usual Hebrew salutation Paul adopts both in faith and appeals to all the community. (Muller, 1970:34) sharing in the original Greek is , which is closely linked with society, community and partnership Paul is emphasising this is an active partnership. There is a purpose to knowing the Gospel. (Reid, 2012; Muller, 1970:40) Greek knowledge here is , which denotes a deeper and more advanced knowledge. Cf. Colossians 1:9. (Muller, 1970:45) Paul shows here, as in Acts 2, that persecution aids the Gospel to spread thus an encouragement under pressure and teaching to remain resolute.

Cultural Insight Teaching Insight Linguistic Insight Christological Insight

Tom Midgley 11054786 Jesus Christ is mentioned by name 41 times in this short letter. Main focus and concern of Paul is that Christ is exalted.
The official title of Paul as Apostle is missing he has no need to appeal his authority for he is close to this church. (Lightfoot, 1881:81)

Letter to the Philippians

1) Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,

To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and


2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

3 I thank my God every time I remember you, 4 constantly praying with joy

in every one of my prayers for all of you, 5 because of your sharing in the

gospel from the first day until now. 6 I am confident of this, that the one who

began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus


Cultural greeting is maintained; sender to receiver, however the customary thanksgiving and prayer are far more heartfelt and personal than tradition suggests. (Guthrie, 1970:1128) Paul frequently repeats phrases that encapsulate all of the Philippians. The letter draws out underlying themes of unity that are reinforced constantly to encourage the church. Lightfoot asserts it is impossible not to connect the two. (1881:83)

7 It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because you hold me in

your heart, for all of you share in God's grace with me, both in my

imprisonment and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel. 8 For God

is my witness, how I long for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus.

9 And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with

knowledge and full insight 10 to help you to determine what is best, so that

in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, 11 having produced the

Muller calls this the need for an praise of God. intelligent and discriminating love 12 I want you to know, beloved that what has happened to me has actually (1970:46) which seems harsh by helped to spread the gospel, 13 so that it has become known throughout the semantics, a wise and discerning love would be more apt.

harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and

Special Topics In Theology Imperial guard consisted of 9,000 soldiers (Martin, 1980:72) The implication here is the Gospel (word) is dangerous to speak of. Barth (1962:28) excitedly holds to the position that Pauls witness invigorates the Roman Christians and the Word is spreading through the metropolis.

Tom Midgley 11054786

whole imperial guard and to everyone else that my imprisonment is for

Christ; 14 and most of the brothers and sisters, having been made confident

in the Lord by my imprisonment, dare to speak the word with greater

boldness and without fear.

15 Some proclaim Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from goodwill. 16

First hint of division in the church, which Martin claims they have found a new accession of strength but others are not so positively stirred. (1980:72).

These proclaim Christ out of love, knowing that I have been put here for the

defence of the gospel; 17 the others proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition,

not sincerely but intending to increase my suffering in my imprisonment. 18

This passage has tension with v14, from the nobility of confidence in the Lord to envy, rivalry and selfish ambition. Martin (1980:73) asserts that whilst v15-17 are artistically formed, they cannot be removed as an excurses.

What does it matter? Just this, that Christ is proclaimed in every way,

Muller reasons that unlike Judaizers, proclaim Christ is a valid Gospel but preached in wrong motive, not wrong content. (1970:53) This insincerity is perhaps soft on this indictment, literally meaning; not in a pure/holy way (Muller 1970:54) but to worsen Pauls situation, which is just vindictive. This astonishing statement of priority shows the nature of Pauls faith. That perspective on life and death is incredibly radical.

whether out of false motives or true; and in that I rejoice.

Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers

and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance.

20 It is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be put to shame in any

way, but that by my speaking with all boldness, Christ will be exalted now as

always in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, living is Christ

and dying is gain. 22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labour for

me; and I do not know which I prefer. 23 I am hard pressed between the

Some translate this line as For Christ is to me in life and in death gain, makes Jesus the subject of both clauses. However, linguistics and grammar in the Greek construction make this unsuitable. (Muller, 1970:61)

two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; 24 but to

remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. 25 Since I am convinced of

this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress

and joy in faith, 26 so that I may share abundantly in your boasting in Christ

Jesus when I come to you again.

Special Topics In Theology

Tom Midgley 11054786

This theme of unity is given a militarised, contentious image here. The language of standing side by side evokes a picture of ranks and battle formations of strength.

27 Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that,

whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know

Pauls use of language infers the passivity of the church in their for the faith of the gospel, 28 and are in no way intimidated by your salvation, and the work of God, in order that no opponents. For them this is evidence of their destruction, but of your one may be proud. This is another working salvation. And this is God's doing. 29 For he has graciously granted you the of his efforts to maintain unity.
that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well-- 30

same mind : is to have A combination of intellectual and affective activity which touches both head and heart and leads to positive action. (Martin, 1976:66) Paul uses it repeatedly to describe the bond between believers.

Collange (Martins, 1976:89) recognises that I still have. that their attitude should be to have regard (phronein) for (Philippians 2) If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation others and be humble (tapeinos) which from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, 2 make Paul combines to an attitude of tapeinophrosyn. It is a my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full mental attitude as well as a practical accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in outworking
humility regard others as better than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not

since you are having the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear

is translated as form; the philosophical meaning is essence or nature more than just shape (). Schumacher and Gifford (1911:16) both interpret this translation to show Jesus is God. Martins (1967:104) says we are moving away from that translation and using character/condition. This is a weakened translation that belittles the Gospel and Pauls teaching on Jesus.

to your own interests, but to the interests of others.

5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,

Cullmen (:176) says the O.T. use of image/likeness () is the parallel form/ root word for the Greek, contextually meaning Gods nature. (exploited) has two interpretations; 1. Usurping, 2. Claiming. Usurping implies theft or overthrowing of God, whereas claiming means assuming something already His by right, and is therefore the contextually and theologically accurate meaning. (Lightfoot, 1881:128)

6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God

as something to be exploited,

7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human

likeness. And being found in human form,

Special Topics In Theology Lightfoot (1881:113) repeatedly reiterates the voluntary nature of this assumption. That Christ opted for this path only reinforces the extraordinary nature of his humiliation.

Tom Midgley 11054786 Lightfoot (1881:128) reasons for one who is not God, who does not have equality with God (v6b), v7-8 is not humble (v3), but because Jesus is and does have equality yet does not exploit it, it is humble. And likewise, because it is humble, Jesus is God. V10-11 Modelled on Isaiah 45:23, but adapted to fit the application to Jesus (unlike Romans 14 where the same text is directly quoted (Lightfoot, 1881:114). It is possible that since the Roman was a more established or learned church, Paul makes this reference more obvious for the Philippians.

8 he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death-- even

death on a cross.

9 Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is

above every name,

10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on

earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue should confess that Jesus

Pauls endearment of the Philippians encourages unity amongst them and grants familiarity and trust. Barth (1962:73) exercises a theological point here between Gods activity and human passivity; that theos estin ho energn is Gods action towards man. He calls this the reason for fear and trembling the recognition of Gods grace and power.

Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

12 Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in

my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own

salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you,

enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

14 Do all things without murmuring and arguing, 15 so that you may be

blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a

crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine like stars in the world.

16 It is by your holding fast to the word of life that I can boast on the day of

Once again, Pauls complete vigilance on instruction is astounding. It echoes the strength of 2:1-5; there is no exception, the standard is perfection.

Christ that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. 17 But even if I am being

poured out as a libation over the sacrifice and the offering of your faith, I am

glad and rejoice with all of you-- 18 and in the same way you also must be

glad and rejoice with me.

Special Topics In Theology

Tom Midgley 11054786

19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I may be

cheered by news of you. 20 I have no one like him who will be genuinely

concerned for your welfare. 21 All of them are seeking their own interests,

not those of Jesus Christ.

22 But Timothy's worth you know, how like a son with a father he has served

with me in the work of the gospel. 23 I hope therefore to send him as soon

as I see how things go with me; 24 and I trust in the Lord that I will also

come soon.

25 Still, I think it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus--my brother and co-

worker and fellow soldier, your messenger and minister to my need; 26 for

he has been longing for all of you, and has been distressed because you

heard that he was ill. 27 He was indeed so ill that he nearly died. But God

had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, so that I would not

have one sorrow after another. 28 I am the more eager to send him,

therefore, in order that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may

be less anxious. 29 Welcome him then in the Lord with all joy, and honor

such people, 30 because he came close to death for the work of Christ,

risking his life to make up for those services that you could not give me.

Some debate as to this line, regarding whether it references a Lost Epistle to the Philippians (Lightfoot, 1881:138), but in any case, the same things are written so it is no major loss.

(Philippians 3) Finally, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. To write

the same things to you is not troublesome to me, and for you it is a

safeguard. 2 Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of

Barth (1962:92) writes that Paul intends to start his conclusion here but simply follows a great digression, before resuming his conclusion in 4:21. The initial side-track is most plausible, but considering Paul writes his thanks to them for sending gifts in 4:14, an earlier resumption may be more accurate.

Special Topics In Theology

Tom Midgley 11054786

those who mutilate the flesh! 3 For it is we who are the circumcision, who

worship in the Spirit of God and boast in Christ Jesus and have no

confidence in the flesh-- 4 even though I, too, have reason for confidence in

the flesh.

Whilst todays society immediately jumps to self-confidence as a virtue, Paul offhandedly lists his qualifications and then throws them aside in comparison to his confidence in Christ It is not that he is now indifferent to them, they are actually loss. The richness of knowing Christ (v8) is so great, it renders all else a loss. (Barth 1968:97) Indeed, v8, they are rubbish to him.

If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more: 5

circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe

of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as to

zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law,


7 Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of

Christ. 8 More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the

surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have

suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I

may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my

own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the

Paul shows the Philippians more of what it looks like to live power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like as a Christian by his own example. His him in his death, 11 if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead. priority at all times is to personally know Christ better and give others 12 Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; the chance to know Him too (1:9-15)
righteousness from God based on faith. 10 I want to know Christ and the but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his

own. 13 Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one

Special Topics In Theology

Tom Midgley 11054786

thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies

ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of

God in Christ Jesus.

15 Let those of us then who are mature be of the same mind; and if you

think differently about anything, this too God will reveal to you. 16 Only let us

hold fast to what we have attained.

Once realised, this is a pert line by Paul. Essentially, he says, if anyone thinks differently, you are wrong and God will show you it. (Reid, 2013).

By emphasising the inclusive join in, Paul continues to stay away from placing himself on a pedestal and saying simply to follow Christ; it is not something he has attained. (Barth, 1969:112).

17 Brothers and sisters, join in imitating me, and observe those who live

according to the example you have in us. 18 For many live as enemies of

the cross of Christ; I have often told you of them, and now I tell you even

with tears. 19 Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory

is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship

is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord

Jesus Christ. 21 He will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be

conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to

make all things subject to himself.

(Philippians 4) Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long

As throughout, Paul grounds his encouragement for unity in the Lord. Barth (1969:119) observes with interest that Syntyches root form means yoke fellow, a term Paul uses elsewhere for unity of the church.

for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved.

In two lines, Pauls importunacy is so obvious and succinctly summarises the entire letter.

2 I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3

Yes, and I ask you also, my loyal companion, help these women, for they

have struggled beside me in the work of the gospel, together with Clement

and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.

Special Topics In Theology could be translated as the Lord guarantees, which also has connotations of His closeness and provision. Lightfoot (1881:160) calls this phrase, the Apostles watchword.

Tom Midgley 11054786 Barth (1962:122) reasons the command to rejoice and worship God is almost synonymous to not being anxious. The former allows the latter to occur.

4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your gentleness

be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6 Do not worry about anything, but

in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests

be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all

understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

The first four describe the character of the actions themselves, the two formerbeing absolute, the two latterrelative, the fifth and sixth point to the moral approbation which the conciliate; while the seventh and eighth, in which the form of expression is changed are thrown in as an afterthought, that no motive may be omitted. Lightfoot (1881:161)

8 Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just,

whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is

any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these

things. 9 Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and

heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

Whilst Lightfoots analysis fits literately, one cannot help but wonder if Paul is speaking more of Heaven, which would reinforce his teaching about the Day of Christ (ch3).

10 I rejoice in the Lord greatly that now at last you have revived your

concern for me; indeed, you were concerned for me, but had no opportunity

to show it. 11 Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to

be content with whatever I have. 12 I know what it is to have little, and I

know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned

the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of

being in need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

14 In any case, it was kind of you to share my distress. 15 You Philippians

indeed know that in the early days of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no

church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you

alone. 16 For even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me help for my

V14-18: Paul is careful not to offend them with ingratitude but reminds them of his contentment in Christ regardless (Lightfoot, 1881:164).

Special Topics In Theology

Tom Midgley 11054786

needs more than once. 17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the profit that

accumulates to your account. 18 I have been paid in full and have more than

enough; I am fully satisfied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the

gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to

God. 19 And my God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his

riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

20 To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen. 21 Greet every

saint in Christ Jesus. The friends who are with me greet you. 22 All the

saints greet you, especially those of the emperor's household.

23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Paul signs off with the undercurrent reminder that all churches are one body, they are in this together. Beare, 1959, 1973; Lightfoot, 1881; Martins , 1967; Muller, 1970)


What are the implications for Pauls teaching on the Gospel? Pauls first mention of the Gospel comes in 1:3, with the verb (sharing). But this is not sharing the gospel (i.e. evangelism), which is what comes through in most of Christs teaching; Paul talks about sharing in the Gospel. This letter has two focal points regarding the Gospel, which are interspersed throughout, firstly, the Gospel itself and what that means, and secondly, unity in and because of the Gospel. Both, however, are intrinsically linked. Pauls writing is consistently referenced and upheld by Christological foundation and exemplification. The prioritisation of the Gospel is unquestionably a keynote of Jesus, and therefore Paul has no hesitation in doing the same in his letters. The Philippians hymn, as it is often known, is Pauls most obvious and direct elucidation of the Gospel narrative. Paul omits the message of forgiveness and the impact on mankind but focuses rather on Christ Himself, showing the extravagant and extraordinary example He has set us, in order that his teaching in 2:1-5 is grounded in truth. For the point Paul is making, this format works perfectly. Scholars have observed Pauls change of emphasis on the Gospel message in order to

Special Topics In Theology

Tom Midgley 11054786

enforce and solidify his teaching, but the jump of making this a negative criticism (e.g. Funk, in Martins, 1976:92) is over-zealous. Alternatively, his emphasis in Ephesians 2 focuses on the movement from death to life in Christ, rather than Christs actions in life or on the cross, but nowhere in either case, does Paul say anything untrue. If one were to tell a school rugby match report to the parent of a player, the tailoring of said story to focus on the involvement of their child would not be criticised as deceitful or false, it is simply emphasised. Nothing false has been said regarding the match; the result has not changed, the same players will still have scored the points, the child has not done anything different, but the lens of the story is simply angled to be relevant to the audience. Scholars often see the hymn as simply a goldmine of theological linguistics and interpretations, with translational debates raging for centuries, but at any level, it remains a key and comprehensive summary of the Gospel. The implications, therefore, of Pauls teaching on the Gospel in Philippians are essentially an outworking (Collange, in Martins, 1976:89) of chapters 1:27 -30, 2:1-5, and 12-18. Throughout scripture, not just Pauls letters, the knowledge of God and His Gospel is inevitably followed by action it is not simply a sedentary belief, it is a compelling and active faith. Jesus uses the parable of the sower and the seeds to illustrate this; when the Word (seed) takes hold, sinks in, the plant grows, fruit follows. This is alluded to at the start of the letter with Pauls verb of sharing in the Gospel, immediately, we see the practicality of the Word.

Throughout the letter, Paul is constantly addressing the issue of disunity within the church in Philippi and relentlessly presses the priority of the Gospel as the remedy to that. In chapter 4, Paul publically address two women who are in conflict, and his first charge to them is to find unity in the Lord, and then follows up by reminding them of their toil for the Gospel. Pauls unyielding belief is that the Gospel should and does bring unity to people. Whilst much of church history and denominational bickering is evidence to the contrary, Paul unswervingly holds to the unity the Gospel brings.

What are the implications of Pauls teaching on the Day of Christ? The Day of Christ is a frequent reference point for Paul (Beare, 1959:35,93) in his letters to many of the early churches (cf. 1 Cor. 1:8, 1 Cor. 5:5, 2 Cor. 1:14, 2 Thess. 2:1-2, Tim. 4:8), and Philippians is no different; indeed, Beare (1959:35) goes so far as to imply Pauls single-minded aspiration towards the attainment of this goal is his purpose for writing. The opening paragraph of the letter sets where his eyes are fixed, without any confusion, and he quickly follows it by explaining why it is right for him to think this way. This is an astonishing priority considering his current predicament of imprisonment. Barth (1962:17-18) lauds Zundels observation that the Day of Christ is not the day of our death (also, Muller (1970:42)but the day of Christ Jesus, His victory in this world, its creation anew by Him. This day is the day of impending, certain and accomplished victory over evil, so it is no wonder Paul has his eyes fixed on it. Discussed first though; is Pauls teaching on the day itself. Beare

Special Topics In Theology

Tom Midgley 11054786

(1959:53) asserts immediately that Paul is referring to the Old Testament day of the Lord, or more commonly known as judgement day. Yet he also highlights that whilst the O.T. tends to paint that Day in sombre colours (e.g. Zeph. 1:15, Amos 5:20), Christ transforms it for His followers into the day of Salvation (1 Thess. 1:10). The dichotomy is intriguing and potentially puzzling, particularly as he is alone in recognising it and does no more than acknowledge it. Throughout, Paul pushes the agenda of what it means to live as a follower of Christ, and the attitudes of such a life, but all as response to salvation, and mindful of the Day of Christ. Preachers liken the mentality Paul encourages in regard to this to that of a sports team who have won their league with games to spare. There is no mathematical, logical or possible way for them to lose it from their current position; victory is theirs, but that does not allow the team to stop playing or give up (Wells, 2011). The mentality and attitude Christians then and now are to have, (for this letter has wisdom for all time (Reid, 2013)), is one of a continuing battle but with the foreknowledge of and confidence in the certain victory in Christ. Furthermore, in Ch. 3:12-21, Paul refers to this Day as his goal, the goal. The Day of Christ is his target, it defines everything he does, as he teaches Timothy in his second letter (2:1-7), the goal of Heaven is his motivation and prize. At the end of that letter, some of his last known written words, Paul speaks of completion: I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:7-8) All this states simply that the implication of Pauls teaching of the Day of Christ inaugurates the forward-looking mentality and out-living from which his life in Christ strives toward in faith. It is an incredible insight into the man himself and the diligence he, by his own writing, has been granted and works out in his labour. Paul focuses on Christ for most of Ch.2 but once again mentions the Day of Christ as the focus of his labour in v16. It is absorbing that he claims to be able to boast on this day, a) because of their holding fast to the word of life, but b) because of his exhortation of Gods work being the enabling factor in that (2:13). At first glanc e, one would be forgiven for reading it as contradicting. Beare (1959:93) decides that it is Pauls sense of responsibility as a steward of the mysteries of God (1 Cor. 4:1) that allows him to claim a fruitful labour in them. Barth (1962:77-78) goes deeper and says that whilst Paul is excited to call them his joy and crown (4:1), his labour is ultimately for Christ, not himself. Barth argues that if Paul has laboured for his own glory, his labour will be in vain because on the Day of Christ, his toil will be shown for what it is self-gratifying and self-glorifying. Yet if his work is for Christs glory, then his labour in them is not in vain, and shall be shown as such on the Day of Christ. Barths logical and profound insight into this matter allows both Paul to labour and to

Special Topics In Theology

Tom Midgley 11054786

be pleased at his work, and still give all the glory to Christ, appeasing his own theology (2:13) and recognising his work.

What are the implications of Pauls teaching on life as a Christian? Paul has much to say on life as a Christian, far too much to discuss in so few words, but the principles on which he works on this topic are more manageable. As for application, Pauls teaching follows much the same line of thinking Christs (one would probably consider that a prerequisite for an Apostle), but it is an astounding line. There are no half measures in their application of Scripture. Case and point: in Matthew 22:36-40, Jesus commands the people to love your neighbour as yourself, in Ephesians 4:2-4, Paul urges them to be completely humblebearing with one another in love, and here in Philippians 2:2-4 he charges them to do nothing from selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility regard others better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests but to the interests of others. Nowhere do either say, Love your neighbour, unless they insult youregard others better than yourselves, unless they really are not there is no room for excuse, manipulation, or misinterpretation. Again, Pauls vision for Christian life is of unity. As was shown with his teaching on the Gospel, that love for Christ and the Word should breed unity and love. Martin (1976:66) explains the implications of (same mind) is an intellectual bond or unity, in that believers follow the same Gospel, and an affective activity that is an out-living of that belief. This is reemphasised by Collanges recognition of the assonance created between and by Pauls use of the word , thereby creating an encompassing word of mental and heartfelt attitude that delivers the practical out-working/living of this instruction. In a similar fashion, the Oxford English Dictionary classes love as a verb; it is the same idea for just as love, an emotion, is not present without action; faith and unity are not present without this out-working of humility. (James 2:14-26 offers similar insight). Consequently, the implication of Pauls teaching on life as a Christian believer is revolutionary to the upmost. A moments meditation on what it looks like to do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, or to look to the interest of others over and above oneself will bring home the radicalness of teaching here. Jesus words in Luke 9:23 epitomise this succinctly If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. The implication of discipleship here is twofold; firstly, that disciples must deny themselves, that is, look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. And secondly, disciples must take up their cross, that is, be ready to face persecution. At face value, that is an astonishingly nonsensical and ludicrous calling but upon reading and recognising Jesus mission, Paul proclaims (Phil. 2:1, 6-11, 3:7-10, 21) that there is no other way he would rather live.

Special Topics In Theology

Tom Midgley 11054786

Bibliography / References 1. Aland, K. et al. (2001) The Greek New Testament (4th Ed.) Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft (prev. USA: United Bible Societies). Pp. 672-696 2. Barth, K. (1962) The Epistle to the Philippians (Translated by James W. Leitch from the German, Erklarung des Philipperbriefes (6th ed. 1947) Evangerlischer Verlag AG Zurich). London: SCM Press Ltd . 3. Beare, F.W. (1959) The Epistle to the Philippians 1st Ed. London: A. and C. Black Limited. Pp. 29-37, 47-158 4. Beare, F.W. (1973) The Epistle to the Philippians 3rd Ed. London: A. and C. Black Limited. Pp. 24-36, 47-158 5. Dobson, J. H. (1988) Learn New Testament Greek. Swindon, England: Bible Society. Pp. 1-15 (to date). 6. Google Translate (2013) Google, ONLINE: 7. Hansen, W.G. (2009) The Letter to the Philippians. Nottingham, England: Apollos and Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. 8. Lightfoot, J.B. (1881) Saint Pauls Epistle to the Philippians (A Revised Text with Introduction, Notes, and Dissertations) 6th Ed. London: Macmillan and Co. Pp. 81-178 9. Martin, R. P. (1967) Carmen Christi, Philippians ii. 5-11 In Recent Interpretation And In The Setting of Early Christian Worship. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pp. 97-246 10. Martin, R. P. (1976) The New Century Bible Commentary: Philippians. London: Marshall, Morgan & Scott (Publications) Ltd. 11. Muller, J. J. (1970) The Epistles of Paul to the Philippians and to Philemon. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. Pp. 31-154 12. Reid, D. (2012-2013) Gospel Centred Thinking/Living/Confidence and Knowing Christ, Sermon Series in Philippians. Oxford: St Ebbes in Headington. 4/11/2012-24/3/2013. Available at: 13. Well, C. (2011) Christians in Sport Academy: Living for the Lord. Bicester: Christians in Sport Head Office, Training Day, Academy 2011 (Jan-Jun) All Scripture quotations taken from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV).