Paul’s short, affectionate letter to the Philippians has been much belabored of late by biblical scholars keen to analyze it in light of Greco-Roman letter-writing conventions. Yet Ben Witherington argues that Philippians shouldn’t be read as a letter at all but, rather, as a masterful piece of long-distance oratory—an extension of Paul’s oral speech, dictated to a scribe and meant to be read aloud to its recipients.
With this in mind, Witherington analyzes Philippians in light of Greco-Roman rhetorical conventions, identifying Paul’s purpose, highlighting his main points and his persuasive strategies, and considering how his audience—denizens of a society of limited literacy yet saturated in highly skilled oral rhetoric—would have heard and received Paul’s message.
Offering verse-by-verse commentary, Paul’s Letter to the Philippians is a fantastic addition to the Socio-Rhetorical Commentary Series (8 Vols.) already available in Logos and is perfect for scholars, students, and laity. With our digital format, you can link your favorite Bible to Paul’s Letter to the Philippians for ease of scrolling, and running a Passage Guide search will provide results from Witherington’s work.
Ben Witherington III is Amos Professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, Kentucky, and is on the doctoral faculty at St. Andrews University, Scotland. Witherington has twice won the Christianity Today best Biblical Studies book-of-the-year award, and his many books include We Have Seen His Glory: A Vision of Kingdom Worship and socio-rhetorical commentaries on Mark, Acts, Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philemon, Colossians, Ephesians, and 1 and 2 Thessalonians. He writes a blog at patheos.com and can also be found on the web at benwitherington.com.