Philippians 2: 3-11

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a) Comment on points of historical, theological and interpretative interest, setting the passage into its immediate context. Additionally, make comments on significant factors such as language, genre, form / source / redaction and other relevant bible passages. Philippians 2: 3-11 The passage of scripture chosen for this essay is taken from a letter which is “almost universally acknowledged” (Murray, 2001:1180) to have been written by the apostle Paul. As is clearly stated in the opening verses of the letter it is written “To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi...” (Philippians 1:2a), which was the first city within Macedonia that Paul reached with the gospel (Acts 16:12-40). Some concern is however expressed as to…show more content…
In turning to the next section of the passage it is possible to see a considerable stylistic change. In the midst of writing a “theological document, cast in letter The form...” (Martin & Hawthorne, 2004:lxvi) Paul introduces a hymn of praise to Jesus, which has a distinctly Christological focus, in order to emphasise his teaching. Ralph Martin argues in his revision of Gerald Hawthorne’s commentary on Philippians that whilst there is little disagreement that verses 6-11 constitute a Page 2 of 9 “...very early “hymn” of the Christian church” (Martin & Hawthorne, 2004:99) this is where the consensus ends. He goes on to cite numerous examples of scholarly analysis of the ‘hymn’ which go into great detail as to how this passage should be reconstructed stylistically (Martin & Hawthorne, 2004:100ff). At first reading it would appear that Philippians 2:5 is a verse that links the preceding verses together with the ‘hymn’ found in verses 6-11. However, Peter O’Brien (1991:203) suggests that there is some disagreement over these amongst scholars between those who put forward a “...‘kerygmatic’ interpretation...” (O’Brien, 1991:203) of the subsequent hymn, those who support a view that verse 5 actually commences a new section of discourse, and those who see it as a continuation of Paul’s teaching on unity. This latter stance is O’Brien’s own and seems to make the most sense in regards to the passage in question, and supports the idea that the verse links these two

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