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|Posted on January 29, 2013 at 7:11 PM||comments (0)|
“Paul and Timothy, Servants of Jesus Christ…” ( Philippians 1:1)
As we continue our study of Paul and Timothy in this week’s Journal, I will address the authorship of the book. Does this letter have a dual authorship? There has been an ongoing scholarly debate as to the writer – Paul or Timothy. Most scholars believed that it was written by Paul and Timothy served as his secretary. In ancient times,beginning a letter with the names of the senders, addressees, and the greetings were the acceptable format of a letter. The Pauline address follows the Jewish model. A good example of this twofold structure, including a greeting in the form of a direct address is found in the edict of Nebuchadnezzar:
To the peoples, nations and men of every language, who live in all the world: May you prosper greatly… “(Dan. 4:1).
By the Hellenistic period, the standard opening in letters consisted of three components: the name of the sender, the name of the addressee, and the greeting. According to the formal greeting of their day, one can conclude that this book was written by Paul and Timothy. However, as I mentioned above, most trusted biblical scholars agreed that Paul authored it and Timothy served as his secretary. The following are the possible reasons for Timothy’s inclusion in the letter:
Having discussed the backgrounds of Paul and Timothy, and establishing the authorship, I now turn to the most important title Paul called Timothy and himself: "servants [slaves] of Christ."
To be continued.
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