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Che Holy Scriptures Analysed
A. C. GAEBELEIN
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The Epistle to the Philippians.
The city of Philippi was built as a military position by Philip the Great of Macedon to keep the wild Thracians in check, which were the neighbors of the Macedonians. Later it became a Roman colony by Augustus, as a memorial of his victory over Brutus and Cassius. It was not a very important city. The Jews had not settled there at all, so that the city did not contain a synagogue. In Acts xvi:12 Philippi is called "the chief city of that part of Macedonia." This does not mean that Philippi was the chief city of all Macedonia, which Thessalonica was; but Philippi was the chief city of that district and the first city to which Paul and his companions came. The historical record of the Apostle's visit to Philippi and how the Gospel was preached there, for the first time on European ground, is found in the book of Acts (Chap. xvi). The conversion of Lydia, her hospitality to the servants of Christ, the demon possessed girl and her deliverance, the suffering of Paul and Silas on account of it, their prayer and praise in the prison, the earthquake, the conversion of the jailer and of his house, are the interesting and blessed incidents connected with the beginning of the church in Philippi. The Apostle probably visited this city twice after this (Acts xx:1 and 6), though the details of these visits are not reported in the book of Acts.
The church in Philippi was greatly attached to the Apostle Paul. He had no need to defend his apostleship and authority, for the Philippians had not been affected by the false Judaizing teachers, who had wrought such havoc in Galatia and Corinth. This must have been due to the fact that there were few Jews in that city. But the Apostle evidently feared the invasion of the Philippian assembly by these false teachers. This we learn from the warning given in chapter iii:2. The church itself was poor and had much trial and affliction; yet did they minister out of their deep poverty to other needy saints (2 Cor. viii:1-2; Phil. i:28–30). They had also ministered liberally to the Apostle twice shortly after he had left them (Phil. iv:15–16); he received their fellowship in Thessalonica. The third time they bad remembered him. Epaphroditus was their messenger who brought the love-gift to the prisoner of the Lord. In return the Apostle sent to the beloved Philippians another gift, this beautiful epistle, dictated by the Spirit of God.
Written From Rome. That this epistle to the Philippians was written by Paul seems almost impossible to doubt. “Indeed, considering its peculiarly Pauline psychological character, the total absence from it of all assignable