Saturday, April 01, 2006

Paul notes: Philippians

Lent 2001

During Lent 2001 I participated in a weekly Friday morning study of Paul's letters; now, during Lent 2006 I've finally typed my notes! Here they are.

Paul notes: Philippians

Circa 52-54? Or written c. 56 from Ephesus or c. 62 from Rome? Probably Rome — see 4:22.
In the Roman province of Macedonia, Philippi was the first church on European soil
Letter of joy!

Philippians 2

"Philippians 2 is the meat of the whole thing!"
Charles Adams — Hartford Memorial Church, Detroit
James Forbes — Riverside

King Lear — Genesis 3

2:5-11 probably a hymn, not by Paul, "down to earth"

The Mad Dancers

"We don't have the inflection; we don't have the face!"

amazingly together

...look also to the interests of others: empathy/ministry
"Say 'sorry'"

2:5-6 downward movement; therefore God
2:5-6 this is universal!!!
2:6 grasped probably is best translation
his prerogative — voluntary nature of kenosis
empty=pouring out (very close)

Jesus is the actor here!, so we can pour ourselves out on others' behalf
Servant=slave; no choice in the matter

Slave: Jesus gave up his rights, ultimately leading to life!
* He could have done other *
–this is the cutting edge of faith!–

2:12 *work this out in your head!
"fear and trembling" or "AWE"

physical workout—you have the gift!!!

2:15 you shine as stars in the world –NRSV
2:17 Even if I am being poured out as a libation [different verb from 2:7]

2:19-30 News from Lake Woebegone

Søren Kierkegaard — Fear and Trembling * what is the meaning of things?
Awe and Responsibility (Phillips)

"You don't need me, Paul, you need Christ."

2:25 Epaphroditus sent to Philippi by Paul with a gift or message and he almost died!!!

w. 4; 21 "probably a pretty fair parable"

Philippians 3

3:1 safe=safeguard – NEB
Jews were fragmented and fighting among themselves
Pressure from outside, so Rome could take advantage of it!
...if you're Jewish, you must follow the law!

Walter Wangerin, Paul "short man syndrome"!!

Legitimate I: Paul vs. Jesus or Buddha
3:4-6, Paul's CV, but Paul had no control over most things in his CV
3:6 blameless as to the law! (not possible...?)
"external requirements the law" ~Oxford Annotated Bible

3:10 that I may
3:11 that if possible
3:13 section of confession—forgetting what is behind
past in both a person and in a global sense: cultural past; incredible!
3:20 commonwealth is in heaven; citizens of heaven; "we are a colony of heaven" (Moffat)

Paul is absolutely sure he's in Christ! "aha" of grace! And a tiny bit more humble, even.
In Christ or like Christ?

Philippians 4

Chapter 4: Stewardship Letter
Joy: drawn and received in obedience — a decision
Chapter 4: "Chapter for the counted-cross-stitch group!" All of these familiar saying are more connected when we read them in context
BTW: Philippians probably is just one letter

4:2 help these women! These things are not worth fighting over!

4:3 yokefellow

from prison Paul says don't be anxious — don't edit your prayers!
4:8-9 advice for living — go to the symphony; go find something beautiful
Flower! How pretty it is!

4:10 here the stewardship letter begins in earnest; at least you're remembering me.
4:11-12 Paul the Jewish mother; Little Red Hen, story book
4:13 I can... "In the One empowering me!" The dynamite word
4:14 yet this is a land without punctuation; they literally were run-on sentences with culturally understood breaks

us: white – middle-class – educated

Malagasy: worse to assign blame than to have committed the act!
German: our sister language, sister culture

You can't observe your own culture accurately until you're in another culture

4:17 not that I seek the gift, but I seek the profit [fruit], which increases to your credit!

4:18 * paid in full *
4:22 Caesar's jail

in Rome or in Ephesus? Probably Rome, because of this reference.