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Chapter Summary

The events surrounding the latest collection of support for Paul in Philippians are to be seen as an aspect of the general situation of disunity and conflict in the church. In order to substantiate this hypothesis, an interpretation of the whole epistle is required which combines, and accounts for, several factors: confusion related to the place of suffering in the life of a Christian; the reality of disunity and controversy in the Philippian church; and the fact that one of the parties harbored at least dissatisfaction if not open hostility against Paul. This conclusory chapter offers a tentative reconstruction of the underlying situation and demonstrates how all these factors fit together. The reconstruction must start at some time prior to Paul's letter to the Philippians when the church came under some kind of external pressure from the pagan environment, possibly in the form of social ostracism.

Keywords: disunity; Epaphroditus; Paul's letter; Philippian church; Philippians



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