This commentary by respected New Testament scholar Gordon D. Fee is a scholarly yet thoroughly readable study of Paul’s letter to the suffering community of believers in Philippi.
Working directly from the Greek text but basing his comments on the New International Version, Fee sets Paul’s letter to the Philippians squarely within the context of first-century “friendship” and “moral exhortation” to a church facing opposition because of its loyalty to Jesus Christ. At the same time Fee gives equal concern to the letter’s theological and spiritual relevance.
Important features of this commentary include a remarkable comparison of Philippians to two well-known types of letters in the Greco-Roman world: the letter of friendship and the letter of moral exhortation; an introduction that discusses the occasion, authenticity, and theological contributions of Philippians; and scholarly insights that resolve many of the formal and structural issues that have long puzzled New Testament scholars.
With Logos, the NICNT will integrate into the Passage Guide. Whenever you enter your passage and click go, results from the NICNT will appear on the text you’re studying. This gives you instant access to exactly what you’re looking for—in far less time than it would take you to walk over to the bookshelf and begin flipping through a print volume, let alone find the information you need.
This is truly a massive commentary on Philippians—massive in its detailed consideration of introductory matters, massive in its detailed examination of the Greek text, and massive in its exposition of theological matters. Word by word and phrase by phrase, Fee analyzes the argument and distills the theology from what he takes to be Paul’s letter from his Roman imprisonment. He avoids no problem, is guilty of no oversimplifications, is unwilling to impose false clarity where ambiguity is unavoidable, yet through it all he finds the theology of this little gem from the mind of Paul. This is a first-rate commentary, and much will be learned from a careful reading of it.
—Paul J. Achtemeier, professor emeritus of biblical interpretation, Union Theological Seminary
This is an exceedingly important contribution. Fee has become one of the premier commentators on the Pauline letters. Precious few scholars can claim comparable mastery of the whole range of exegetical studies, from the technical details of textual criticism to the broad challenges of theological reflection. Moreover, he combines readable exposition in the text with thorough documentation in the footnotes. A real treasure.
—Moises Silva, emeritus professor, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
Gordon D. Fee is professor emeritus of New Testament studies at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. In addition to his many highly respected commentaries and biblical studies, he is also the author of Paul, the Spirit, and the People of God; Gospel and Spirit; and How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth.
“The concern is with divine selflessness: God is not an acquisitive being, grasping and seizing, but self-giving for the sake of others.” (Page 211)
“The context makes it clear that this is not a soteriological text per se, dealing with ‘people getting saved’ or ‘saved people persevering.’ Rather it is an ethical text, dealing with ‘how saved people live out their salvation’ in the context of the believing community and the world. What Paul is referring to, therefore, is the present ‘outworking’ of their eschatological salvation within the believing community in Philippi.23 At issue is ‘obedience,’ pure and simple, which in this case is defined as their ‘working or carrying out in their corporate life the salvation that God has graciously given them.’” (Page 235)
“Paul the theologian of grace is equally the theologian of joy. Christian joy is not the temporal kind, which comes and goes with one’s circumstances; rather, it is predicated altogether on one’s relationship with the Lord, and is thus an abiding, deeply spiritual quality of life.22 It finds expression in ‘rejoicing,’ which is not a Christian option, but an imperative.” (Page 404)
“But ‘salvation’ is not only something they receive; it is something they do.” (Page 234)
“What he has not yet ‘obtained,’ therefore, is the eschatological realization of the goal expressed in vv. 10–11, the kind of knowing of Christ that will be his only when he has ‘attained unto the resurrection from the dead’—or its equivalent, as vv. 20–21 clarify.” (Page 343)