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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature
Philippians, Epistle to the
the sixth in order of the Pauline letters in the N.T. The following article treats the subject from the Scriptural as wvell as the modern point of view.
I. The canonical authority, Pauline authorship, and integrity of this epistle were unanimously acknowledged up to the end of the 18th century. Marcion (A.D. 140), in the earliest known canon. held common ground with the Church touching the authority of this epistle (Tertullian, Adr. AMucirdon, 4:5; 5:20): it appears in the Muratorian Fragment (Routh, Reliquiae Sacrae, 1:395); among the "acknowledged" books in Eusebius (H.E. 3:25); in the lists of the Council of Laodicea, A.D. 365, and the Synod of Hippo, 393; and in all subsequent lists, as well as in the Peslito and later versions. Even contemporary evidence may be claimed for it. Philippian Christians who had contributed to the collections for Paul's support at Rome, who had been eye and ear witnesses of the return of Epaphroditus and the first reading of Paul's epistle, may have been still alive at Philippi when Polycarp wrote (A.D. 107) his letter to them, in which (cl. 2, 3) he refers to Paul's epistle as a well-known distinction belonging to the Philippian Church. It is quoted as Paul's by several of the early Church fathers (Irenaels, 4:18, § 4; Clem. Alex. Paedag. 1:6, § 52, and elsewhere; Tertullian. Adv. Mark 5:20; De Res. Carn. chapter 23). A quotation from it (Philippians 2:6) is found in the Epistle of the Churches of Lyons and Vienne, A.D. 177 (Eusebius, H.E. 5:2). The testimonies of later writers are innumerable. (See CANON).
It is only in very recent times that any doubt has been suggested as to the genuineness of this epistle. Sclrader (Der Ap. Paulus, 5:233) first insinuated that the passage Philippians 3:1 to Philippians 4:9 is an interpolation; but he adduces no reason for this but the purely gratuitous one that the connection between Philippians 2:30 and Philippians 4:10 is disturbed bv this intervening section, and that by the excision of this the epistle becomes "more rounded off, and more a genuine occasional letter" — as if any sound critic would reject a passage from an ancient author because in hfis opinion the author's composition would be improved thereby! Baur goes farther than this, and would reject the whole epistle as a Gnostic compositions of a later age (Paulus, page 458 sq.). But when he comes to point out "the Gnostic ideas and expressions" by which the epistle is marked, they will be found to exist only in his own imagination, and can only by a perverse ingenuity be forced upon the words of the apostle. Thus, in the statement that Christ ἐν μορφῇ θεοῦ ὑπάρχων οὐχ ἁρπαγμὸν ἡγήσατο τὸ ειναι ἴσα θεῷ (Philippians 2:5-6), Baur finds an allusion to the Gnostic aeon Sophia, in which "existed the outgoing desire with all power to penetrate into the essence of the supreme Father." But not only is this to give the apostle's words a meaning which they do not bear (for however we translate ἁρπαγμὸν ἡγήσατο , it evidently expresses an act in the past, not an aim tor the future), but it is manifest that the entire drift of the passage is not to set forth any speculative doctrine, but to adduce a moral inference. This is so manifest that even Baur himself admits it, and by so doing overturns his own position; for it is only on the supposition that what the apostle refers to is a fact, and not a mere speculative fancy, that any moral conclusion can be drawn from it. Equally futile is the attempt to find Docetism in the use of the term μορφή — a term used by the apostle in reference to the divine nature — or of the terms ὁμοίωμα, σχῆμα, and εὑρεθῆναι , all of which occur elsewhere in Paul's writings, and are here used to denote simply that Jesus Christ presented himself to the view of men actually as one of themselves (Linemann, Pauli ad Phil. Ep. cont. Baurium defensa, Gott. 1847; Bruckner, Ep. ad Phil. Paulo auctori vindicata cont. Baur. Lips. 1848). Baur was followed by Schwegler (1846), who argued from the phraseology of the epistle and other internal marks that it is the work not of Paul, but of some Gnostic forger in the 2d century. He too has been answered by Linemann (1847), Brickner (1848), and Resch (1850). 'Even if his inference were a fair consequence from Baur's premises, it would still be neutralized by the strong evidence in favor of Pauline authorship, which Palev (Horae Paulinae, chapter 7) has drawn from the epistle as it stands. The arguments of the Tubingen school are briefly stated in Reuss (Gesch. d. N.T. § 130-133), and at greater length in Wiesinger's Commentary. Most persons who read them will be disposed to concur in the opinion of dean Alford (N.T. 3:27, ed. 1856), who regards them as an instance of the insanity of hypercriticism. The canonical authority and the authorship of the epistle may be considered as unshaken.
A question has been raised as to whether the extant Epistle to the Philippians is the only one addressed by Paul to that Church. What has given rise to this question is the expression used by the apostle (Philippians 3:1), τὰ αὐτὰ γράφειν ὑμῖν, κ .τ .λ ., where the writing of the same things to them is supposed to refer to the identity of what he is now writing with what he had written in a previous letter. It has also been supposed that Polycarp knew of more than one epistle addressed by the apostle to the Philippians, from his using the plural (δς ἀπὼν ὑμῖν ἔγραψεν ἐπιστολάς) in reference to what he had written to them. To this, however, much weight cannot be attached, for there can be no doubt that the Greeks used ἐπιστολαί for a single letter, as the Latins used litera (see a multitude of examples in Stephans's Thesaurus, s.v.). That Polycarp knew of only one epistle of Paul to the Philippians has been supposed by some to be proved by the passage in the 11th chapter of his letter, preserved in the Latin version, where he says, "Ego autem nihil tale sensi in vobis vel audivi, in quibus laboravit beatlis Paulus qui estis in principio epistolae ejus," etc. But, as Meyver points out, "epistole" here is not the genitive singular, but the nominative plural; and the meaning is not "who are in the beginning of his epistle," which is hardly sense, but (with allusion to 2 Corinthians 3:1) "who are in the beginning [i.e., from the beginning of his preaching the Gospel among you — a common use of ἐν ἀρχῇ, which was the expression probably used by Polycarp] his epistle." It is going too far, however, to say that this passage has no bearing on this question; for if Meyer's construction be correct, it shows that Polycarp did use ἐπιστολαί for a single epistle. Meyer, indeed, translates "who are his epistles;" but if the allusion is to 2 Corinthians 3:1, we must translate in the singular, the whole Church collectively being the epistle, and not each member an epistle. But though the testimony of Polycarp for a plurality of epistles may be set aside, it is less easy to set aside the testimony of the extant epistle itseli in the passage cited. To refer τὰ αὐτά to the preceding χαίρετε ἐν κυρίῳ seems somewhat difficult, for nowhere previously in this epistle has the apostle expressly enjoined on his readers χαίρειν ἐν κυρίῳ , and one does not see what on this hypothesis is the propriety of such expressions as ὀκνηρόν and ἀσφαλές; and to lay the stress on the γράφειν , as Wieseler proposes (Chronologie des Ap. Zeit. page 458), so as to make the apostle refer to some verbal message previously sent to the Philippians, the substance of which he was now about to put into writing, seems no less so; for not only does the epistle contain no allusion to any oral message, but in this case the writer would have said καὶ γράφειν.
A large number of critics follow Pelagius in the explanation, "eadem repetere que presens dixeram;" but it may be doubted if so important a clause may be legitimately dragged in to complete the apostle's meaning, without any authority from the context. Hence many have concluded that the apostle alludes to some written communication previously sent by him to the Philippians (so Hahnlein, Flatt, Meyer, Bleek, Schenkel, etc.). But, besides the lack of all evidence of such lost epistles in general, the assumption here must be pronounced ill a high degree doubtful and precarious. Hence we conclude that τὰ αὐτὰ refers to the χαίρειν, which is the pervading thought of the epistle (Philippians 1:4; Philippians 1:18; Philippians 2:17, etc.), and which seems to have been the more dwelt upon as the actual circumstances of the case might very naturally have suggested the contrary feeling (hence ὀκνηρόν ). See Ellicott, ad loc. Ewald (Sendschreiben des Ap. Paulus, page 431) is of opinion that Paul sent several epistles to the Philippians; and he refers to the texts Philippians 2:12 and Philippians 3:18 as partly proving this. But some additional confirmation or explanation of this conjecture is requisite before it can be admitted as either probabre or necessary.
There is a break in the sense at the end of the second chapter of the epistle, which every careful reader must have observed. It is indeed quite natural that an epistle written amid exciting circumstances, personal dangers, and various distractions should bear in one place at least a mark of interruption. Le Moyne (1685) thought it was anciently divided into two parts. Heinrichs (1810), followed by Paulus (1817), has conjectured from this abrupt recommencement that the two parts are two distinct epistles, of which the first, together with the conclusion of the epistle (4:21-23), was intended for public use in the Church, and the second exclusively for the apostle's special friends in Philippi. It is not easy to see what sufficient foundation exists for this theory, or what illustration of the meaning of the epistle could be derived from it. It has met with a distinct reply from Krause (1811 and 1818); and the integrity of the epistle has not been questioned by recent critics.
II. Time and Place of Writing. — The constant tradition that this epistle was written at Rome by Paul in his captivity was impugned first by Oeder (1732), who, disregarding the fact that the apostle was in prison (Philippians 1:7; Philippians 1:13-14) when he wrote, imagined that he was at Corinth (see Wolfs Cure Philologicae, 4:168, 270); and then by Paulus (1799), Schulz (1829), Bottger (1837), and Rilliet (1841), in whose opinion the epistle was written during the apostle's confinement at Csesarea (Acts 24:23). But the references to the "palace" (praetorium, Acts 1:13), and to "Caesar's household" (Acts 4:22), seem to point to Rome rather than to Caesarea; and there is no reason whatever for supposing that the apostle felt in Ceesarea that extreme uncertainty of life connected with the approaching decision of his cause which he must have felt towards the end of his captivity at Rome, and which he expresses in this epistle (Philippians 1:19-20; Philippians 2:17; Philippians 3:10); and, further, the dissemination of the Gospel described in Philippians 1:12-18 is not even hinted at in Luke's account of the Caesarean captivity, but is described by him as taking place at Rome (comp. Acts 24:23 with Acts 28:30-31). Even Reuss (Gesch. d. N.T. 1860), who assigns to Caesarea three of Paul's epistles which are generally considered to have been written at Rome, is decided in his conviction that the Epistle to the Philippians was written at Rome.
Assuming then that the epistle was written at Rome during the imprisonment mentioned in the last chapter of the Acts, it may be shown from a single fact that it could not have been written long before the end of the two years. The distress of the Philippians on account of Epaphroditus's sickness was known at Rome when the epistle was written; this implies four journeys, separated by some indefinite intervals, to or from Philippi and Rome, between the commencement of Paul's captivity and the writing of the epistle. The Philippians were informed of his imprisonment, and sent Epaphroditus; they were informed of their messenger's sickness, and sent their message of condolence. Further, the absence of Luke's name from the salutations to a Church where he was well known implies that he was absent from Rome when the epistle was written: so does Paul's declaration (Philippians 2:20) that no one who remained with him felt an equal interest with Timothy in the welfare of the Philippians. By comparing the mention of Luke in Colossians 4:14 and Philemon 1:24 with the abrupt conclusion of his narrative in the Acts, we are led to the inference that he left Rome after those two epistles were written and before the end of the two years' captivity. Lastly, it is obvious from Philippians 1:20 that Pail. when he wrote, felt his position to be very critical, and we know that it became more precarious as the two years drew to a close. Assuming that Paul's acquittal and release took place in 58, we may date the Epistle to the Philippians early in that year.
III. Personal Circumstances of the Writer at the Time. —
1. Paul's connection with Philippi was of a peculiar character, which gave rise to the writing of this epistle. That city, important as a mart for the produce of the neighboring gold-mines, and as a Roman stronghold to check the rude Thracian mountaineers, was distinguished as the scene of the great battle fatal to Briutus and Cassiuls, B.C. 42. More than ninety years afterwards Paul entered its walls, accompanied by Silas, who had been with him since he started from Antioch, and by Timothy and Luke, whom he afterwards attached to himself; the former at Derbe. the latter quite recently at Troas. It may well be imagined that the patience of the zealous apostle had been tried by his mysterious repulse, first from Asia, then from Bithynia and Mysia, and that his expectations had been stirred up by the vision which hastened his departure with his new-found associate, Luke, from Troas. A swift passage brought him to the European shore at Neapolis, whence he took the road, about ten miles long, across the mountain ridge called Symbolum to Philippi (Acts 16:12). There, at a greater distance from Jerusalem than any apostle had yet penetrated, the long-restrained energy of Paul was again employed in laying the foundation of a Christian Church. Seeking first the lost sheep of the house of Israel, he went on a Sabbath-dav with the few Jews who resided in Philippi to their small Proseucha on the bank of the river Gangites. The missionaries sat down and spoke to the assembled women. One of them, Lydia, not born of the seed of Abraham, but a proselyte, whose name and occupation, as well as her birth, connect her with Asia, gave heed unto Paul, and she and her household were baptized, perhaps on the same Sabbath-day. Her house became the residence of the missionaries. Many days they resorted to the Proseucha, and the result of their short sojourn in Philippi was the conversion of many persons (Acts 16:40), including at last their jailer and his household. Philippi was endeared to Paul, not only by the hospitality of Lydia, the deep sympathy of the converts. and the remarkable miracle which set a seal on his preaching, but also by the successful exercise of his missionary activity after a long suspense, and by the happy consequences of his undaunted endurance of ignominies which remained in his memory (Philippians 1:30) after a long interval. Leaving Timothy and Luke to watch over the infant Church, Paul and Silas went to Thessalonica (1 Thessalonians 2:2), whither they were followed by the alms of the Philippians (Philippians 4:16), and thence southwards. Timothy, having probably carried out similar directions to those which were given to Titus (1:5) in Crete, soon rejoined Paul. We know not whether Luke remained at Philippi. The next six years of his life are a blank in our records. At the end of that period he is found again (Acts 20:6) at Philippi.
After the lapse of five years, spent chiefly at Corinth and Ephesus, Paul, escaping from the incensed worshippers of the Ephesian Diana, passed through Macedonia, A.D. 54, on his way to Greece, accompanied by the Ephesians Tychicus and Trophimus, and probably visited Philippi for the second time, and was there joined by Timothy. His beloved Philippians, free, it seems, from the controversies which agitated other Christian churches, became still dearer to Paul on account of the solace which they afforded him when, emerging from a season of dejection (2 Corinthians 7:5), oppressed by weak bodily health, and anxious for the steadfastness of the churches which he had planted in Asia and Achaia, he wrote at Philippi his second Epistle to the Corinthians.
On returning from Greece, unable to take ship there on account of the Jewish plots against his life, he went through Macedonia, seeking a favorable port for embarking. After parting from his companions (Acts 20:4), he again found a refuge among his faithful Philippians, where he spent some days at Easter, A.D. 55, with Luke, who accompanied him when he sailed from Neapolis.
Finally, in his Roman captivity (A.D. 57), their care of him revived again. They sent Epaphroditus, bearing their alms for the apostle's support, and ready also to tender his personal service (Philippians 2:25). He stayed some time at Rome, and while employed as the organ of communication between the imprisoned apostle and the Christians, and inquirers in and about Rome, he fell dangerously ill. When he was sufficiently recovered, Paul sent him back to the Philippians, to whom he was very dear, and with him our epistle. (See PHILIPPI).
2. The state of the Church at Rome should be considered before entering on the study of the Epistle to the Philippians. Something is to be learned of its condition about A.D. 55 from the Epistle to the Romans, and more about A.D. 58 from Acts 28. Possibly the Gospel was planted there by some who themselves received the seed on the day of Pentecost (Acts ii, 10). The converts were drawn chiefly from Gentile proselytes to Judaism, partly also from Jews who were such by birth, with possibly a few converts direct from heathenism. In A.D. 55 this Church was already eminent for its faith and obedience: it was exposed to the machinations of schismatical teachers; and it included two conflicting parties, the one insisting more or less on observing the Jewish law in addition to faith in Christ as necessary to salvation, the other repudiating outward observances even to the extent of depriving their weak brethren of such as to them might be really edifying. We cannot gather from the Acts whether the whole Church of Rome had then accepted the teaching of Paul as conveyed in his epistle to them. But it is certain that when he had been two years in Rome, his oral teaching was partly rejected by a party which perhaps may have been connected with the former of those above mentioned. Paul's presence in Rome, the freedom of speech allowed to him, and the personal freedom of his fellow-laborers were the means of infusing fresh missionary activity into the Church (Philippians 1:12-14). It was in the work of Christ that Epaphroditus was worn out (Philippians 2:30). Messages and letters passed between the apostle and distant churches; and doubtless churches near to Rome, and both members of the Church and inquirers into the new faith at Rome addressed themselves to the apostle, and to those who were known to be in constant personal communication with him. Thus in his bondage he was a cause of the advancement of the Gospel. From his prison, as from a centre, light streamed into Caesar's household and far beyond (Philippians 4:22; Philippians 1:12-19). (See ROME).
IV. Efect of the Epistle. — We have no account of the reception of this epistle by the Philippians. Except doubtful traditions that Erastus was their first bishop, and that he with Lydia and Parmenas was martyred in their city, nothing is recorded of them for the next fortynine years. But about A.D. 107 Philippi was visited by Ignatius, who was conducted through Neapolis and Philippi, and across Macedonia, on his way to martyrdom at Rome. His visit was speedily followed by the arrival of a letter from Polycarp of Smyrna, which accompanied, in compliance with a characteristic request of the warm-hearted Philippians, a copy of all the letters of Ignatius that were in the possession of the Church of Smvrna. It is interesting to compare the Philippians of A.D. 58, as drawn by Paul, with their successors in A.D. 107 as drawn by the disciple of John. Steadfastness in the faith, and a joyful sympathy with sufferers for Christ's sake, seem to have distinguished them at both periods (Philippians 1:5, and Polyc. Ephesians 1). The character of their religion was the same throughout, practical and emotional rather than speculative: in both epistles there are many practical suggestions, much interchange of feeling. and an absence of doctrinal discussion. The Old Testament is scarcely, if at all, quoted; as if the Philippian Christians had been gathered for the most part directly from the heathen. At each period false teachers were seeking, apparently in vain, an entrance into the Philippian Church, first Judaizing Christians, seemingly putting out of sight the resurrection and the judgment which afterwards the Gnosticizing Christians openly denied (Philippians 3, and Polyc. 6, 7). At both periods the same tendency to petty internal quarrels seems to prevail (Philippians 1:27; Philippians 2:14; Philippians 4:2; and Polyc. 2:4, 5:12). The student of ecclesiastical history will observe the faintly marked organization of bishops, deacons, and female coadjutors to which Paul refers (Philippians 1:1; Philippians 4:3), developed afterwards into broadly distinguished priests, deacons, widows, and virgins (Polyc. 4, 5, 6). Though the Macedonian churches in general were poor, at least as compared with commercial Corinth (2 Corinthians 8:2), yet their gold-mines probably exempted the Philippians from the common lot of their neighbors, and at first enabled them to be conspicuously liberal in alms-giving, and afterwards laid them open to strong warnings against the love of money (Philippians 4:15; 2 Corinthians 8:3; and Polyc. 4, 6, 11).
Now though we cannot trace the immediate effect of Paul's epistle on the Philippians, yet no one can doubt that it contributed to form the character of their Church, as it was in the time of Polycarp. It is evident from Polycarp's epistle that the Church, by the grace of God and the guidance of the apostle, had passed through those trials of which Paul warned it, and had not gone back from the high degree of Christian attainments which it reached under Paul's oral and written teaching (Polyc. 1, 3, 9, 11). If it had made no great advance in knowledge, still unsound teachers were kept at a distance from its members. Their sympathy with martyrs and confessors glowed with as warm a flame as ever, whether it was claimed by Ignatius or by Paul. They maintained their ground with meek firmness among the heathen, and still held forth the light of an exemplary though not a perfect Christian life.
V. Scope and Contents of the Epistle. — Paul's aim in writing is plainly this: while acknowledging the alms of the Philippians and the personal services of their messenger, to give them some information respecting his own condition, and some advice respecting theirs. Perhaps the intensity of his feelings and the distraction of his prison prevented the following out his plan with undeviating closeness. For the preparations for the departure of Epaphroditus, and the thought that he would soon arrive among the warm- hearted Philippians, filled Paul with recollections of them, and revived his old feelings towards those fellow-heirs of his hope of glory who were so deep in his heart (Philippians 1:7) and so often in his prayers (Philippians 1:4).
Full of gratitude for this work of friendly remembrance and regard, Paul addressed to the Church in Philippi this epistle, in which, besides expressing his thanks for their kindness, he pours out a flood of eloquence and pathetic exhortation, suggested partly by his own circumstances, and partly by what he had learned of their state as a Church. That state appears to have been on the whole very prosperous, as there is much commendation of the Philippians in the epistle, and no censure is expressed in any part of it either of the Church as a whole, or of any individuals connected with it. At the same time the apostle deemed it necessary to put them on their guard against the evil influences to which they were exposed from Judaizing teachers and false professors of Christianity. These cautions he interposes between the exhortations suggested by his own state, and by the news he had received concerning the Philippians, with which his epistle commences and with which it closes. We may thus divide the epistle into three parts. In the first of these (Philippians 1:2), after the usual salutation and an outpouring of warm-hearted affection towards the Philippian Church (Philippians 1:1-11), the apostle refers to his own condition as a prisoner at Rome; and, lest they should be cast down at the thought of the unmerited indignities he had been called upon to suffer, he assures them that these had turned out rather to the furtherance of that great cause on which his heart was set, and for which he was willing to live and labor, though, as respected his personal feelings, he would rather depart and be with Christ, which he deemed to be "far better" (Philippians 1:12-24). He then passes by an easy transition to a hortatory address to the Philippians, calling upon them to maintain steadfastly their profession, to cultivate humanity and brotherly love; to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling, and concluding by an appeal to their regard for his reputation as an apostle, which could not but be affected by their conduct, and a reference to his reason for sending to them Epaphroditus instead of Timothy, as he had originally designed (Philippians 1:25; Philippians 2:30). In part second he strenuously cautions them, as already observed, against Judaizing teachers, whom he stigmatizes as "dogs" (in reference, probably, to their impudent, snarling, and quarrelsome habits), "evil-workers," and "the concision;" by which latter term he means to intimate, as Theophylact remarks (ad loc.), that the circumcision in which the Jews so much gloried had now ceased to possess any spiritual significance, and was therefore no better than a useless mutilation of the person. On this theme he enlarges, making reference to his own standing as a Jew, and intimating that, if under the Christian dispensation Jewish descent and Jewish privileges were to go for anything, no one could have stronger claims on this ground than he; but at the same time declaring that however he had once valued these, he now counted them "all but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ" (Philippians 3:1-12). A reference to his own sanctified ambition to advance in the service of Christ leads him to exhort the Philippians to a similar spirit; from this he passes to caution tjaem against unnecessary contention, and against those who walk disorderly, concluding by reminding them of the glorious hopes which, as Christians, they entertained (Philippians 3:13-21). In the third part we have a series of admonitions to individual members of the Church at Philippi (Philippians 4:1-3), followed by some general exhortations to cheerfulness, moderation, prayer, and good conduct (Philippians 4:4-9); after which come a series of allusions to the apostle's circumstances and feelings, his thanks to the Philippians for their seasonable aid, and his concluding benedictions and salutations (Philippians 4:10-23).
VI. Characteristic Features of the Epistle. — Strangely full of joy and thanksgiving amid adversity, like the apostle's midnight hymn from the depth of his Philippian dungeon, this epistle went forth from his prison at Rome. In most other epistles he writes with a sustained effort to instruct, or with sorrow, or with indignation; he is striving to supply imperfect, or to correct erroneous teaching, to put down scandalous impurity, or to heal schism in the Church which he addresses. But in this epistle, though he knew the Philippians intimately, and was not blind to the faults and tendencies to fault of some of them, yet he mentions no evil so characteristic of the whole Church as to call for general censure on his part or amendment on theirs. Of all his epistles to churches, none has so little of an official character as this. He withholds his title of "apostle" in the inscription. We lose sight of his high authority, and of the subordinate position of the worshippers by the river-side; and we are admitted to see the free action of a heart glowing with inspired Christian love, and to hear the utterance of the highest friendship addressed to equal friends conscious of a connection which is not earthly and temporal, but in Christ, for eternity. Who that bears in mind the condition of Paul in his Roman prison can read unmoved of his continual pravers for his distant friends, his constant sense of their fellowship with him, his joyful remembrance of their past Christian course, his confidence in their future, his tender yearning after them all in Christ, his eagerness to communicate to them his own circumstances arid feelings, his carefulness to prepare them to repel any evil from within or from without which might dim the brightness of their spiritual graces? Love, at once tender and watchful — that love which "is of God" — is the key-note of this epistle; and in this epistle only we hear no undertone of any different feeling. Just enough, and no more, is shown of his own harassing trials to let us see how deep in his heart was the spring of that feeling, and how he was refreshed by its sweet and soothing flow.
VII. Commentaries. — The following are the exegetical helps specially on this entire epistle; a few of the most important are indicated by an asterisk (*) prefixed: Vietorinus, In Ep. ad Ph. (in Mai, Script. Vet. III, 1:51; Pseudo-Hieronymus, Commentarii (in Opp. [Suppos.], 11:1011); Chrysostom, Homiliae (Gr. et Lat. in Opp. 11:208; also in Erasmi Opp. 8:319; in Engl. [including other epistles] in Lib. of Fathers, 14, Oxf. 1843, 8vo); Zwingli, Annotationes (Tigur. 1531, 4to; also in Opp. 4:504); Hoffmann, Commentarius (Basil. 1541,8vo); Brenz, Explicatio (Franc. 1548, 8vo; also in Opp. 7); Calvin, Commentarii (in Opp. often; separately in Engl. by Becket, Lond. 1584, fol.; by Johnston [includ. Colossians], Edinb. 1842, 12mo; by Pringle [includ. Colossians and Thessalonians], Edinb. 1851, 8vo); Major, Enarratio [includ. Colossians and Thessalonians] (Vitemb. 1554, 1561, 8vo); Ridley, Exposition (in Richmond's Fathers, 2); Weller, Commentaries [includ. Thessalonians] (Norib. 1561, 8vo); Salbont, Commentarii [includ. other epistles] (Antw. 1561, 8vo; also in Opp. Colossians Agr. 1568, fol.); Musculus, Commentarius [includ. Colossians, Thessalonians, and 1 Timothy] (Basil. 1565, 1578, 1595, fol.); Aretius, Commentarii [includ. Colossians and Thessalonians] (Morg. 1580, 8vo); Olevian, Notae [includ. Colossians] (Genesis 1580, 8vo); Steuart (Roman Cath.), Commentarius (Ingolst. 1595, 4to); Zanchius, Commentarius [includ. Colossians and Thessalonians] (Neost. 1595, fol.; also in Opp. 6); Weinrich, Explicatio (Lips. 1615, 4to); Airay, Lectures (Lond. 1618, 4to); Battus, Commentarius (Rost. 1627, 4to); Velasquez (Rom. Cath.), Commentarii (Lugd. 1628-32; Antw. 1637, 1651; Ven. 1646, 2 volumes, fol.); Schotan, Commentaria (Franeck. 1637, 4to); Crell, Commentarius (in Opp. 1:501); Meelfuhr, Commentationes (Altorf, 1641, 4to); Cocceius, Commentarius (in Opp. 5); Daille, Exposition (2d ed. Genesis 1659-60, 2 volumes, 8vo; in English by Sherman, Lond. 1841, 8vo); Scheid, Disputationes (Argent. 1668, 4to); Breithaupt, Animadversiones (Hol. 1693, 1703, 4to); Hazevoet, Verklaaring (Leyd. 1718, 4to); Van Til, Verklaaring ([includ. Romans] Harlem, 1721. 4to; in Lat. [includ. 1 Corinthians, Ephesians, and Colossians] Amst. 1726, 4to); Busching, Introductio (Hal. 1746, 4to); Storr. Diss. exegetica (Tub. 1783, 4to; also in Opusc. 1:301-67); Am Ende, Annotationes (fasc. 1, 2, Torg. 1789-92; Viteb. 1798-1803, 8vo); Paulus, De tempore, etc. (Jen. 1799, 4to); Lang, Bearbeit. (Nuremb. and Alt. 1800, 8vo); Krause, An diversis hom. script., etc. (Regiom. 1811, 4to; also in Opusc. pages 1-22); Hoog, De Philip. conditione (L.B. 1825, 8vo); *Rheinwald, Commentar (Berl. 1827, 8vo); Acaster, Lectures (Lond. 1827, 8vo); Rettig, Quaestiones (Giess. 1831, 8vo); Schinz, D. Christl. Gemeine zu Phil. (Zur. 1833, 8vo); Eastburn, Lectures (N.Y. 1833, 8vo); Passavant, Auslegung (Basle, 1834, 8vo); Baynes, Commentary (Lond. 1834, 12mo); Matthies, Erklad. (Greifsw. 1835, 8vo); *Steiger, Exegese [includ. Colossians] (Par. 1837, 8vo); *Van Hengel, Commentarius (L.B. 1838, 8vo); Holemann, Commentarii (Lips. 1839, 8vo); Anon., Erklar. (Hanov. 1839, 8vo); Neat, Discourses (Lond. 1841, 8vo); Rilliet, Commentaire (Genesis and Par. 1841, 8vo); Hall, Exposition (Lond. 1843, 8vo); Neander, Erlauf. (Berl. 1849, 8vo; in Engl. by Mrs. Conant, N.Y. 1851, 12mo); Robertson, Lectures (Lond. 1849, 12mo); B. Crusius, Commentar (Jen. 1849, 8vo); Kohler, Auslegung (Kiel, 1855, 8vo); Toller, Discourses (Lond. 1855, 12mo); *Weiss, Auslegung (Berl. 1858, 8vo); *Ellicott, Commentary [includ. Colossians and Philemon] (Lond. 1858, 8vo); Jatho, Erklar. (Hildesh. 1858, 8vo); *Eadie, Commentary (Lond. 1858, 1861, 8vo); Shulte, Commentary (Lond. 1861, 8vo); Schenkel, Erlaut. [includ. Ephesians and Colossians] (Leipz. 1862, 8vo); Newland, Catena (Lond. 1862, 8vo); Vaughan, Lectures (2d ed. Lond. 1864, 8vo); Todd, Expositions (Lond. 1864, 8vo); *Lightfoot, Commentary (Lond. 1868, 1870, 8vo); Johnstone, Lectures (Lond. 1875, 8vo). (See EPISTLE).
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McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Philippians, Epistle to the'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/p/philippians-epistle-to-the.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.