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Philippians (Hermeneia | Herm)

ISBN: 9780800660963

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Paul’s letter to the Philippians offers treasures to the reader—and historical and theological puzzles as well. Paul A. Holloway treats the letter as a literary unity and a letter of consolation, according to Greek and Roman understandings of that genre, written probably in Rome and thus the latest of Paul’s letters to come down to us. Adapting the methodology of what he calls a new history of religions perspective, Holloway attends carefully to the religious topoi of Philippians, especially the metamorphic myth in chapter 2, and draws significant conclusions about Paul’s personalism and “mysticism.” With succinct and judicious excursuses treating pertinent exegetical and theological issues throughout, Holloway draws richly on Jewish, Greek, and Roman comparative material to present a complex understanding of the apostle as a Hellenized and Romanized Jew.

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Key Features

  • Provides a classic historical-critical reading of Philippians
  • Presents a fantastic commentary for students, teachers, scholars, and professors
  • Emphasizes the development of Isaiah as a literary document over time

Top Highlights

“The goal of consolation was to defeat grief, one of the four cardinal passions,11 and to replace it as far as possible with its contrary, joy (χαρά, gaudium, laetitia).” (Page 2)

“But it is also consistent with Luke’s agenda: the good Jew Saul is also the good Roman Paul.” (Page 62)

“There is a third option, however, that immediately recommends itself once we have correctly interpreted Paul’s prayer in 1:9 to be a prayer not for love but for knowledge, and that is that what Paul wants for the Philippians is the ‘knowledge and discernment’ required to ascertain ‘the things that really matter.’” (Page 78)

“If one accepts this line of interpretation—that πραιτώριον in Phil 1:13 refers to military personnel and not to a building—then a Roman provenance becomes almost certain.” (Page 22)

“Paul’s prayer in Phil 1:10 that the Philippians learn to identify ‘the things that really matter’ (τὰ διαφέροντα) evokes this theory.” (Page 5)

Paul A. Holloway is University Professor of Classics and Ancient Christianity at Sewanee: The University of the South, the author of Coping with Prejudice: 1 Peter in Social Psychological Perspective (2009) and Consolation in Philippians (2001), and the editor of Women and Gender in Ancient Religions (2010).

Sample Pages from the Print Edition


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  1. Torrey Seland

    Torrey Seland


  2. Rev. Dr. K. Robert Schmitt
  3. Henry Friesen

    Henry Friesen


    I need to have you change my address before I order the book on Philippians. Henry Friesen 210 2455 48th Ave. Vernon, BC V1T 0A9 Could you please make that address change ? Henry Friesen


Digital list price: $43.99
Save $9.00 (20%)