Two Ladies at Odds
What prompted St. Paul to write the Epistle to the Philippians? The most obvious motive, I suppose, was his desire to thank that congregation for its recent gift (Phil. 4:10,18). One of their number, Epaphroditus, who had been visiting Paul, had just recovered from a recent illness and was on the point of returning to Philippi. To Paul, this seemed an excellent opportunity to write the Philippians a letter for Epaphroditus to carry along with him (2:25–30).
Yet, as we read through this epistle, we sense that perhaps not everything was fine at Philippi. Although there appear to have been no doctrinal problems there, something urges us to think that there were difficulties of another sort. We suspect that an underlying problem at Philippi, if there . . .
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Patrick Henry Reardon is pastor emeritus of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois, and the author of numerous books, including, most recently, Out of Step with God: Orthodox Christian Reflections on the Book of Numbers (Ancient Faith Publishing, 2019).
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