Summary: An in-depth study on the book of Philippians

Philippians Part 1 – The Man Paul

I. Name

A. Hebrew Saul—asked for

B. Roman – Paul –little

II. Birth and Early Life

A. Jew—Benjamin (Philippians 3:5)

B. Born in Tarsus—capital of Roman province of Cilicia (Acts 22:3)

C. Pharisee’s son (Acts 23:6)

D. Roman Citizenship – Inherited Roman citizenship from his father (Acts 22:25)

III. Education/Vocation

A. Rabbinical school—Gamaliel (Acts 22:3)

1. Excelled and was extremely zealous for the traditions of his fathers.

2. Zealous (Galations 1:14)

B. Tentmaker—Jews believed in bringing children up into an honest calling. “Jewish

education sought to produce a man who could both think and act; one who was

neither an egghead nor a clod.” (Zondervan Pict. Encycl. Pg 625)

IV. Saul the Persecutor (Acts 7:58-8:3) Chief of sinners.

A. Persecutor of Christianity; officiating at the martyrdom of Stephen

B. Imprisoning Christians at Jerusalem, bringing believers back who fled outside of


V. Conversion

A. Road to Damascus (Acts 9)

B. Reconstructing Theology (Galatians 1:12-19)

C. Bond Servant—Servant for life. (Exodus 21:5-6 & 1 Cor. 6:19-20)

VI. Missionary Work

A. Second Missionary Journey 49-52 A.D.

B. Directions to Philippi (Acts 16:6-12)

C. Lydia – First Fruits; Offered Paul a place to stay (Acts 16:14-15)

D. Paul gets in trouble in Philippi (Acts 6:16-24)

E. Stayed long enough to start the church in Philippi.

VII. Death

A. Imprisoned in Rome. (2 Timothy 4:6-8)

Traditionally accepted that Paul was acquitted and told to leave Rome—he visited

Philippi afterwards. He was only to be again imprisoned.

B. The second prison was a hole with a window to let down food.

Interesting Point: The Roman state did not take care of their prisoners

in the form of food, drink, clothes, and medical care. It was

the responsibility to bring those things in.

C. Under Nero he was beheaded.

1. He was stripped.

2. Beaten.

3. Beheaded

Philippians Part 2 – The Place—Philippi

I. Philippi—City of Philip

A. Modern Northern Greece—hill town in the department of Kavala, Greece

overlooking the coastal plain and the bay of Neapolis—a bout 9 miles inland

B. Seized by Philip of Macedon the father of Alexander the Great

1. Gold Mines—though almost exhausted, yielded Philip more than 1000 talents

a year.

2. Recognized as a strategic site for military and the spread of the Gospel

C. Positioned on the main road from Europe (Rome) to Asia—the Via Egnatia

Principal stop for traders going East or West.

D. Roman Civil War in 42 B.C.

The decisive battle of the second civil war was fought at Philippi

E. Augustus Caesar made it a Roman colony

1. Parties of veteran soldiers, who had served their time and had be granted

citizenship, were sent to settle these strategic road centers. (Barclay)

2. Colonies—little fragments of Rome and their pride in Roman citizenship

was their dominating characteristics.

a. Roman language spoken

b. Roman dress

c. Roman customs observed

F. Population composed of three main elements.

1. Romans were dominant caste

2. Native Macedonians were numerically the largest group

3. Considerable number of Orientals and few Jews

II. Luke may have stayed in Philippi. He was a native or at least a student of medicine

at Philippi

Philippians Part 3 The People of the Philippian Church

I. Visited by Paul in 52 A.D. (Acts 16:12-40)

A. First congregation established on European soil. Paul’s visit to Philippi affected all

of our lives in the west.

B. This visit was due to a vision of a man of Macedonia (Acts 16:9)

II. Three main characters of visit

A. Lydia – Seller of purple—Asiatic –Prince of Purple

B. Possessed slave girl—native Greek slave.

C. Jailor—Roman Middle Class

III. Lydia

A. First convert mentioned-house became meeting place of the infant church.

Jewish community was so small it didn’t have a synagogue

B. Hostess of Infant Philippian Church

1. Prominence of church in Philippi ceased after Paul’s life.

2. After a few reference in early church history, it sank into obscurity.

3. No church has existed in Philippi for ages, nor does the city exist any longer.

4. “Born into the world with the brightest of promise,” wrote J. B. Lightfoot,

“the church of Philippi has lived without a history and perished without a


Philippians Part 4 The Letter

I. Letter Forms

A. As a result, from the Egyptian rubbish heaps, archaeologists have rescued hundreds of documents, marriage contracts, legal agreements, government forms, and most interesting of all, private letters. When we read these private letters we find that there was a pattern to which nearly all conformed; and we find that Paul’s letters reproduce exactly that pattern. (pg xii William Barclay)

B. Philippians

1. Epistle off Excellent Things

2. Epistle of Joy

C. Written

1. When? Written in the early 60’s—63 or 64 A.D.

2. Where?

a. ? Rome Imprisonment

b. Caesarea

c. Ephesus

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