Epistle To The Philippims, a canonical book of the New Testament, written, according to the unanimous testimony of the ancient church, by the apostle Paul. It is expressly referred to by Polycarp, by the letter sent from the churches of Vienna and Lyons in A. D. 177, and by many of the earliest fathers. In modern times its authenticity has been questioned by Baur (Paulus, der Apostel Jesu Christi, 1845), against whom it has been in particular defended by Lunemann (1847) and Hilgenfeld, in the Zeitschrift fur wissenschaftliche The-ologie (1871). The epistle was probably written at Rome in A. D. 63, toward the close of the imprisonment mentioned in the last chapter of the Acts. The occasion for it seems to have been given by a pecuniary contribution which the congregation at Philippi sent him through Epaphroditus (iv. 10-18). Epaphro-ditus was taken sick in Rome (ii. 27), and after his recovery was sent back with this epistle to the Philippians. The epistle may be divided into three parts. In the first (ch. i. and ii.) the apostle refers at length to his sufferings in Rome; in the second (ch. iii.) he warns the Philippians against the doctrines of false Judaizing teachers; and in the third (ch. iv.) he addresses some exhortations to individual members, refers again to his personal circumstances, and concludes with salutations and benedictions.
Throughout the epistle he exhorts the Philippians to humility and steadfastness in the faith. - Separate commentaries on this epistle have been written by Rheinwald (1827), Mathies (1835), Holemann (1839), Hengel (1839), Rilliet (1841), Neander (1849; English translation by Mrs. H. 0. Oonant, New York, 1851), Ellicott (1861), Karl Braune in Lange's Bibelwerk (1867), and J. B. Lightfoot (1868).