Epistle to the Philippians
The Epistle to the Philippians is a letter, generally accepted to be written by the Apostle Paul around 62 CE to the church of Philippi, Greece. The letter is mostly a personal correspondence where Paul implores to the Philippians to remain adherents to his beliefs.
I have several translations of this book from various bibles, and have read it.
- Much of the letter is the author whining or spouting pious platitudes. There is very little substance here.
- The author writes that he is "in chains for Christ (1:13)," which would indicate being locked up in a dungeon, but he's still able to write and send letters to his friends, and even embellish his situation by saying he is in chains, and his captors allow it. This is a type of house arrest that most criminals could only dream of!
- By warning of others preaching a different gospel (1:15-17) a mere three decades after Jesus' death, the author is weakening the case that we have reliable accounts.
- The letter tells the readers to stand firm in one belief without fear, so that those who oppose you will see it as a sign that your beliefs are correct (1:27-28). This is the logic of a crazy person. All zealots stand fast without fear, but this is not a sign that their beliefs are correct. In fact, refusing to consider that your beliefs may be wrong is the sign of a fool.
- The author stresses the importance of all of Christ's believers to be of one mind (2:2) and not complaining or arguing (2:14). Again, this is terrible advice. Everyone makes mistakes and gets things wrong from time to time. How can you ever fix your mistakes if you force others to believe the same as you? Furthermore, this leaves the religious vulnerable to being taken over by authoritarians.
- The author is sending mixed messages "we who put no confidence in the flesh, though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more (3:3-4)."
- It seems as though expecting payment, while pretending to not expect payment, all the while saying God blesses the giver, has always been an aspect of religion (4:17-19).
- en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistle_to_the_Philippians - Wikipedia.