Introduction to the Epistle of Philippians:
Philippi was a Roman colony in Greece, named after Alexander the Great’s father, Philip of Macedon. In AD 49, Paul started his 2nd missionary journey with Silas as his co=partner. In AD 51, Paul and Silas visited Philippi. Paul converted and saved Lydia, a businesswoman at a riverside on a Sabbath day. All hell broke loose when Paul exorcised a demonized slave girl, landing Paul and Silas into the local prison, Acts 16:16-24. While Paul and Silas were singing, praying, and praising God at midnight, a dramatic earthquake loosened the prisoners’ chains. The Philippian jailer wanted to commit suicide, but Paul told him not to take his life. Paul converted and saved the Philippian jailer and his family. The next day, when the magistrate realized that Paul was a Roman citizen, he apologized to Paul and released him, Acts 26: 25-40. The Philippian church kick-started with Lydia, the Philippian jailer, and his family,
Paul left Philippi and traveled to Thessalonica, Berea, Corinth, Ephesus, and many places before arriving at Jerusalem in AD 57.
In Jerusalem, the Jews mobbed him outside the temple, the Romans arrested him and sent him to Caesarea Philippi. In AD 59, the Romans sent Paul on board a prison ship en route to Rome, Acts 21-26. In AD 60, after surviving a shipwreck and a poisonous snakebite, Paul finally reached Rome as a prisoner under house arrest, Acts 28. On hearing the arrest of Paul, the Philippian church sent Epaphras to visit him with financial support. Paul wrote “Philippians” as a thank you letter. Epaphras took it back to the Philippian church. The theme of this epistle is “joy” and “rejoice”.