The Epistle of Paul to the Philippians, often referred to simply as Philippians, is the eleventh book in the New Testament. Paul and Timothy first visited Philippi in Greece during Paul’s second missionary journey, which occurred between approximately 49 and 51 AD. Philippi was the location of the first Christian community established in Europe.
Biblical scholars are in general agreement that the letter was indeed written by Paul of Tarsus. Although some consider that the letter was written from Ephesus in 52-55 AD or Caesarea Maritima in 57-59, the estimated date of the letter is 62 AD, about 10 years after Paul’s first visit to Philippi.
The letter was written to the church at Philippi, one of the earliest churches to be founded in Europe. They were very attached to Paul, just as he was very fond of them. Of all the churches, their contributions (which Paul gratefully acknowledges) are among the only ones he accepts. (Acts 20:33–35; 2 Cor. 11:7–12; 2 Thess. 3:8). The generosity of the Philippians comes out very conspicuously (Phil. 4:15). “This was a characteristic of the Macedonian missions, as 2 Cor. 8 and 9 amply and beautifully prove. It is remarkable that the Macedonian converts were, as a class, very poor (2 Cor. 8:2), though the very first converts were of all classes (Acts 16); and the parallel facts, their poverty and their open-handed support of the great missionary and his work, are deeply harmonious.” (Moule).
Paul’s first visit to Philippi was on his second missionary journey and is recorded in Acts 16.
The problem with letters is that it can be like listening to one end of a phone call. In this letter, Paul is simply writing to his friends. There is no big theological or apologetic agenda, he is simply writing to treasured loved ones. Explore with us!