Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Bible Study Series: Philippians (Introduction)

Map showing many of the sites where St. Paul ministered, including Philippi

First of all, let me belatedly wish you all a blessed Feast of the Nativity.  In other words, Merry Christmas!  For those of you on the Julian Calendar, may your feast be blessed when it comes! 

Things were very busy in the Early household during the week leading up to Christmas.  Now, the family and I are visiting my in-laws in Texarkana.  We return home tomorrow, and then I have a fairly busy schedule of services at St. Joseph's, beginning with Matins and Divine Liturgy for St. Basil on the evening of the 31st, and then our regular weekend services. 

This coming Sunday, I will be starting a new Bible study series, on St. Paul's letter to the Philippians.  This is one of my very favorite epistles, if not my favorite.  I thought I would post my notes here over the course of the study, with the hope that they might benefit you.  I also encourage you to listen to the podcasts with the classes recorded live.  You can access the podcast by clicking on the "Teach Me Thy Statutes" icon on the left side of this page.

Here are my introductory notes, which are very skeletal.  After this, they will be more "meaty" and readable.

Introduction to Philippians

Author:  St. Paul
Place of Writing: Rome (while in prison)
Date of Writing: c. 62 A. D.
Purpose:  To thank the church in Philippi for their financial gifts and to encourage them to remain faithful in the face of coming persecution.
Audience: the Church in Philippi, a Roman Colony in Macedonia

The Church in Philippi

·       First church founded by St. Paul in Europe
·       Founded after he had a vision
·       Jewish community was very small; had no synagogue but met by river
·       Church met in home of Lydia, a well-to-do merchant
·       There St. Paul drove a demon out of a slave girl and was later jailed
·       Brought the jailer’s family to Christ
·       Had generously given to support St. Paul’s ministry
·       One of St. Paul’s favorite churches (if not his very favorite)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Father James,
Was it Lydia, the merchant, that had given generously to St. Paul's ministry?
Thank you for posting your notes, Father. You and your blog have been such a blessing in my life, teaching me so much about what it means to be God's child and how to live my life in the way He wants me to. The only problem is that I am a very slow learner, and the more I learn, the more I realize that what I DON'T know seems to be exponentially increasing. Keep blogong for us Father, your efforts are much appreciated.