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An Exposition Of the Epistles Of Saint Paul And Of The Catholic Epistles Volumes 1&2

Introduction

THE history of St. Paul’s arrival and preaching at Philippi is recorded at full length in the Acts of the Apostles (16:6–40). When at Troas, he was divinely admonished to pass over to Macedon, to preach the Gospel there. A man of Macedon stood before him in a vision at night, and besought him to pass over to his country and help them. Accordingly, setting sail from Troas, he reached Neapolis on the following day accompanied by Timothy, Silas, and Luke; and from thence they came to Philippi, so called from Philip, the father of Alexander the Great, by whom it was enlarged and fortified against the incursions of the Thracians. Here, having preached the Gospel with success, both himself and Silas were scourged and cast into prison, upon the doors of which being miraculously thrown open, the gaoler, with all his family, were converted. The Philippians, although very poor, were liberal in aiding the Apostle out of their temporal substance; they sent him pecuniary aid when at Thessalonica, and they were the only Church that did so. Hearing of the Apostle’s imprisonment, they sent Epaphroditus (who, according to some, was their Bishop), to carry relief to him in his necessities. Epaphroditus, falling sick, was brought to the very verge of the grave. Upon his recovery, the Apostle sent this Epistle by him to the Philippians.

ITS OBJECT WAS—To thank them for their charity towards him, and to inform them how matters stood with him; to congratulate them on the patience which they exhibited under affliction, and, at the same time, to encourage them to persevere. He charges them, in a particular manner, to distrust the false teachers, whose morals he depicts, and denounces as “dogs,” as “enemies of the cross of Christ,” &c. The false teachers in question were the same that he combated in his Epistle to the Galatians—viz., the Judaizantes, or Jewish zealots, whose leading error was that the observances of the Mosaic law should be necessarily united with the Gospel, in order to obtain justification.

ITS LANGUAGE, Greek.

ITS CANONICITY, never questioned in the Church.

TIME AND PLACE OF.—Written by St. Paul in chains, (as is generally supposed), during his first imprisonment, from which he expected to be liberated. He was not liberated from his second imprisonment. It was written about the year 62.








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