Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Gordon Fee on Philippians 1:1-2

Philippians 1:1-2

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,

To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Comments on Philippians 1:1-2 by Gordon Fee in Paul's Letter To The Philippians(Fee, Gordon D. Paul's Letter to the Philippians. Grand Rapids, Mich: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1995), a volume in The New International Commentary on the New Testament:

"Paul and Timothy are thus to be thought of as "slaves/servants of Christ Jesus." Here is the absolute predominant motif in this letter. Everything is in, of, by, and for Christ Jesus. Christ Jesus is the basis for their common existence; he is the focus and content of the gospel in which Paul, Timothy, and the Philippians are partners; and he is the Lord, to whom every knee shall bow..." (64)

"Exactly as one finds the earliest (1 Thessalonians) and later (1 Timothy) letters, both reference [to overseers] are plural. No evidence exists for a single leader as the "head" of the local assembly in the Pauline churches." (67)

"It is worth noting that this [Grace to you and peace] is the invariable order of Paul's words, not "grace and peace to you" as in most translations. Very likely there is significance to this order; the grace of God and Christ is what is given to God's people; peace is what results from such a gift." (70)

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