indicates it was written after Acts 16
    (Paul's "bonds") indicates it was after Acts 21
    ("Praetorian") & 4:22 ("Caesar's household")indicate it was as late or later than Acts 28.

    Contrast Eph. 6:19-20 with Phil. 1:13-18. On the basis of this contrast, what might be suggested concerning the relative date of these two epistles?

    Read Act 28:16-31 and Philippians 1:29-30. What conclusion might one draw concerning the relative date of Philippians?


    Paul had made three earlier visits to Philippi: Acts 16:12ff (compare 1 Thess. 2:2); Acts 20:1; & Acts 20:3-6.

    Unique feature of Philippi: There was no synagogue. How do we know this? (See Acts 16:13 and contrast with it Acts 13:5 (Salamis), Acts 13:14 (Antioch of Pisidia), Acts 14:1 (Iconium), Acts 17:1 (Thessalonica), Acts 17:10 (Berea), Acts 17:16 (Athens), Acts 18:4 (Corinth), and Acts 16:19 (Ephesus).

      What would the lack of a synagogue suggest about the prevalence of Jews in Philippi?

      What does the presence or absence of a large Jewish population suggest about persecution?

      In spite of the conclusions drawn on the basis of these observations, what danger at Philippi concerned Paul? (See chapter 3.)

    Women played a prominent role in the church at Philippi. See Acts 16:13-14, Phil. 4:2-3.

      Was Paul a woman-hater as some have said?

      Do the instructions of such passages as 1 Tim. 2:11-15 and 1 Cor. 14:34-35 prevent women from playing an important role in a congregation?

      Were most of the Philippians most likely well-to-do, or relatively poor? See 2 Cor. 8:1-2 (cf. Acts 16:12).


    The occasion of the letter is clear from Phil. 4:18; 2:25-20. Paul used Epaphroditus' return as an opportunity to send a letter in which he might thank the Philippians, warn them, and most of all, encourage them. That is, he intended to do for them what he described in 1:14. "Philippians" is thus a letter, not a treatise. Contrast the subject matter and flow of thought with Romans, Galatians, and Hebrews. As a letter, and not a treatise, it does not provide itself to useful outlining.

Notes on Chapter 1