Update: April 2021…
Thanks to the fluctuating, transitory nature of the Internet this study of Philippians needs updating. The links referencing two of the main Bible commentaries have changed. That means this needs rewriting/updating. So, at this time, I’m reading a couple of commentaries and working out how to proceed. I ask you prayers for guidance by the Holy Spirit. Until the rewrite/update is completed, you may read the original. Just be aware that many of the links will not work.
“Thank you, Holy Spirit, for this opportunity to study Your Word. Please guide us as we study. Let us hear only that which comes from You.”
1 Paul and Timothy, [a]servants of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus that are at Philippi, with the [b]bishops and deacons: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (From the ASV).
If this is the first time you have studied one of St. Paul’s letters then you won’t notice something odd about this greeting. But check out how St. Paul greets the Romans, the Corinthians, the Galatians and the Ephesians. Do you note that something is missing from this and that something else is added? The commentaries I read produced much verbiage about the fact that St. Paul does not mention his authority as an apostle and that he does address the clergy separately.
Of more interest to me is a really nice essay on how the Jewish and Hellenistic (Greek) cultures structured their letters and the way Paul and Timothy modified this structure. That essay can be found here: Bible Gateway IVP New Testament Commentary.
The InterVarsity Press New Testament Commentary is a good Evangelical resource. Their ‘outline’ of the letter to the Philippians and a set of links to all their commentary essays can be found here.
You may have noted in the quoted Scripture above that there are two notes labeled “a” and “b”. These are translation notes. If you click on the Scripture, you will be linked to the source of the text. There, at the bottom of the page, are the translation notes.
If you are not familiar with Bible Gateway now might be a good time to check it out. There are other equally good Bible Study resources available. I’ve been using Bible Gateway for some time and so I’m more familiar with it. However. if there is a similar resource you’d like to recommend, please do so. BTW: I won’t link to any of the sections of any resource that require a paid subscription.