Category: A group of biblical books that have a similar literary genre or main themes and have been placed together as a major section of the Bible.
Epistle: Letters that were commissioned from the original circle of Jesus’ apostles and sent to various Jesus communities around the ancient world.
Literary Style: A unique style of writing that follows recognized literary conventions and language patterns.
Prose Discourse: A speech that makes persuasive claims through a logical sequence of thought and clear patterns of rhetoric.
Letter: An ancient Jewish-Roman style letter, written to an individual or community, that seeks to persuade the readers to live consistently with the truths they have already embraced.
Paul thanks the Philippian Christians for their generosity and shares how they are all called to imitate Jesus’ self-giving love.
Watch our Read Scripture video on the book of Philippians, which breaks down the literary design of the book and its flow of thought. There is one Read Scripture video dedicated to the book of Philippians, which aims to help you see its unique contribution to the story of Jesus, but also how it works within the Bible’s overall framework.
In the book of Philippians, we read a series of short vignettes revolving around the Messiah Poem in Chapter 2. The poem retells the gospel story and references Adam's rebellion from Genesis and the suffering servant in Isaiah. In each vignette, Paul uses words or ideas from the poem to show how living as a Christian means seeing our own story as a living expression of Jesus' story.
We are to imitate His way of life. Even in our suffering, we can be content as we mimic Him and draw closer to Him.
While our true citizenship is in heaven, we can enjoy a close connection to Jesus and an awareness of His love and presence now that gives us hope in the darkest hours.
Paul urges the Philippians living in the midst of intense Roman patriotism to follow Jesus' example and live out His story even if they're persecuted.
The Messiah Poem is a condensed version of the gospel story with Old Testament references. The rest of the book of Philippians refers to it.
Timothy, Epaphroditus, and Paul are living examples of the story of Jesus. They participate in His suffering and sacrificial love and are worthy of imitation.
Paul encourages Christians to exercise humility, be unified, vent to God who gives them peace, stop complaining, and see beauty and grace in all circumstances.
Paul sees his suffering as a reenactment of Jesus' life story, and hardships taught him that the secret of contentment is simple dependence on God.