Shopping Cart
Your Cart is Empty
There was an error with PayPalClick here to try again
CelebrateThank you for your business!You should be receiving an order confirmation from Paypal shortly.Exit Shopping Cart


Paul and Timothy in the Book of Philippians (Part Three)

Posted on January 29, 2013 at 7:11 PM Comments 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: 

“King 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:  

  • Timothy was an outstanding partner of Paul. Paul met him on his first missionary journey in Lystra/Derbe. Paul also mentioned him in the salutations of six epistles – 2 Corinthians, Colossians, Philippians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, and Philemon. It is believed that Timothy participated with Paul in the Macedonian evangelism.  It would have been a shock, to the brethren, if Timothy was not mentioned in Paul’s letter while he (Timothy) was with him.
  • It has also been widely suggested by notable scholars that the  inclusion of Timothy in the authorship stems from the fact that he acted as Paul’s amanuensis as Tertius was in the case of the Epistle to the Romans (Rom. 16:22). Others believe Paul included Timothy out of humility. But this was not to support his teaching by additional authority.

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.

Special appeal:  

If my weekly Journal has been a blessing to you, please forward it to those in your e-mail as well as your social media contacts with your personal recommendation for them to subscribe to this informative Journal at no cost on my blog.  New subscriber(s) will also receive one of my books in an E-book:  A Journey of Faith: A Call to Missions without a Purse at no cost. The subscriber(s) will have free access to my Journal’s achieve which contains some scholarly articles. 

Sign up for our Free Weekly Missions Journal
For Email Marketing you can trust