Philippians was one of four letters written from prison by Paul to his converts (see Philippians 1:13-14).
Date and Place of Writing
While it is known that Paul wrote the letter from prison, the location and date are not known. It could have been written during his imprisonment in Ephesus around 53 to 55 A.D., or while he was imprisoned in Caesarea around 57 to 59, but in most likelihood it took place while he was imprisoned in Rome around 61 A.D. This fits well with the account of Paul's house arrest in Acts 28:14-31. Also, when he wrote Phillipians he was not in the Mamertine dungeon as he was when he wrote II Timothy, but rather in his own rented house under house arrest where for two years he was free to impart the gospel to all who came to him.
In this letter Paul thanked the Philippians in Macedonia for their kindness towards him. He also used the opportunity to impart other knowledge:
- To report on his own circumstances (1:12-26), (4:10-19)
- To encourage the Philipians to stand firm in the face of persecution and rejoice regardless of circumstances (1:27-30), (4:4)
- To exhort the Philipians to humility and unity (2:1-11), (4:2-5)
- To commend Timothy and Epaphroditus to the Philippian Church (2:19-30)
- To warn the Philipians against the Judaizers and antinomians among them (Chapter 3)
The letter is famous for its plea for humility based on the example of Christ, and for Paul's heartfelt expression of love in wanting the Philippians to be happy: Be "happy in the Lord, I repeat what i want is your happiness." (4:4).
- The NIV Study Bible, Zondervan Press, 1985, Pg. 1801