Philippians (fəlĭpˈēənz) [key], letter of the New Testament, written by St. Paul from captivity probably in Rome (c.A.D. 60) to the Christians of Philippi (in Macedonia), the first European city that he evangelized. The letter thanks them for gifts they had sent him, informs them of his own situation, and gives advice and encouragement. The centerpiece of the letter is the quotation of an early Christian hymn, the purpose of which is to exhort the Philippians to live a life of humilty and service as exemplified by Jesus. The abrupt transitions in the letter suggest to some scholars that Philippians is a composite of several Pauline letters.

See R. P. Martin, Philippians (1987); P. T. O'Brien, Philippians (1991).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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