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Lecture 13

Oct 23 - Week 7; Lecture 13 + Tutorial 6 - RELIGST 2HH3

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Religious Studies
Stephen Westerholm

LECTURE 7 RELIGST 2HH3 Lecture 13 October 22, 2013  Letter writing was once the preferred means of communication with people that you could not immediately be with Philippians  Reason for writing letter 1. Thank them 2. Sending back Epaphroditus 3. Update them on his news – he was in prison, possibly facing execution; walks them through what it would mean if he were to live or die (prepare them for the eventuality of his death); catastrophe could be a good thing, get them to think it through, rather than respond emotionally 4. Urging Unity (a seeming problem in the Philippian community)  No sense that there is danger of immorality, false preachers etc; no suspicions or doubt of Paul  Ask the Philippians to strive together; think of the needs of others, rather than themselves  Mentions two women by name and asks them to work together to promote the Gospel 5. Promote Christian Virtue – humility, love, work without complaining 6. Warning against false teachers a. Submission to the law  Doesn’t seem to be a present danger  Warning them of the same sorts of things that happened in Galatia (promotion of circumcision and the observance of the law) o In Galatia it is a present danger, Paul was worried that he was losing them  Seems more like a general concern – this could happen, so he warns them b. Concern arises that people misunderstand the message of freedom  Not subject to the law – but do not indulge sinful passions  Similar to halfway through chapter 5 of Galatians  Their god is their belly; boast in freedom  Philippians 1:6-11 o Take words by themselves – believed to be a hymn that people sang in honor of Christ; praise of Christ o In context – the force of these words is so that Philippians can think of the good of others, not only themselves; have the same mindset that Christ has, even though he was in the form of God, he emptied himself and lived as a man, slave and submitted himself to death, even death on a cross o Paul quotes words used to praise Christ in order to tell Philippians that they ought to be humble minded, but purpose extends further that Paul’s immediate purpose (which reinforces the idea that this passage was written with another propose as a hymn)  Purpose of these words  Christ emptied himself – Paul’s purpose  Honor of Christ – early hymn purpose (possibly written by Paul)  Philippians 3:2-11 o Similar passage to 1 Corinthians 11-12  Autobiographical element; boasting in his weakness o Similar to passage in Galatians 1  Autobiographical element; when he persecuted the church, tried to destroy it, then God intervened, revealed his Son, and he now Paul promotes the Church  Speaks of former zeal for the law  Philippians  God chose to reveal his son and Paul rejected all things in favor of Christ  Former life in Judaism  In becoming a believer in Christ, he rejected the righteousness based on the law, and chose the righteousness that comes from God based on faith o Gives positive reasons – knowing Christ is better, and now treats all else as rubbish o Negative reasons in Galatians – same general message  Underlying both passages – lived my life by embracing the law; now I have turned my back on it and I follow righteousness by way of faith; follow my example and do not submit to the law Colossians  Colossians probably written in the same time and place, and to the same place as letter of Philemon because the same 6 people are with Paul o Book of Philemon 1 LECTURE 7 RELIGST 2HH3  Addressed to Philemon (man of the house), Apphia (presumably his wife), Archippus (his son) and the church that meets in their home  Purpose – Onesimus is being sent back to Philemon  Verse 23-24; different people with Paul = Epaphras, Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke o Colossians  Colossians 4:7 – Onesimus being sent to Colossians  Colossians 4:10-12 – Aristarchus, Mark, Demas, Luke, Epaphras send their greetings  Jesus (called Justus) not mentioned in Philemon  Colossians 4:17 – sending message to Archippus o Sending Onesimus to both churches  Philemon is probably from the Colossian church; send letter by way of Onesimus; sends both letters  Send greetings to Archippus in Philemon and Colossians, because Archippus is in Colossi  Circumstance – Paul is a prisoner of Jesus Christ o Interpretation – Paul is in prison; the reason for imprisonment was because of his service to Jesus Christ  Paul often thought of himself as a slave of Jesus Christ, may just be saying that he serves Jesus completely and reference to being a prisoner may be metaphorical  Epaphras, my fellow prisoner – are all these people in jail?  Outline o Colossians 1:15-20 – hymn to Christ; honor to Christ, creation and reconciliation; through whom everything is created, and through whom God brings all things into harmony to himself  According to Proverbs, God created everything by wisdom  Proverbs 8 – wisdom personified; firstborn of all creation  Hymn taking language that was taken to speak of wisdom – wisdom is Jesus Christ; wisdom through whom all things were created, by which all things are sustained  Language used in wisdom tradition in Israel – apply it to Christ (the one thorough whom all things were created)  “By His word” – name for Christ (eg/ John 1) o Colossians 2 – warnings to false teachings (syncretism)  Syncretism – blending of different religions  Not Christianity in a purer form; blend of Christian beliefs and already held religious beliefs  Colossians may have had syncretism – Jewish element, circumcision, Sabbath observance, new moon is mentioned  Not simply a Jewish concern, not only Jewish law  Asceticism – refraining from things that are a normal thing of life for religious purposes; eg/ fasting, refusal to marry  Not strictly Judaism  Worship of angels and angelic powers, and possibly Jesus being regarded not as deity but as a higher angelic power, along with the others  Paul trying to correct this – Jesus cannot be treated as one of many powers; Christ is all unique, do not mix him with other powers  Paul had never ben to Colossi; Epaphras had been there and won them to Christ o Colossians 3 – encouragement to live appropriately; new life in Christ  Put to death old way of life (fornication, anger, wrath malice etc); now live new way of life (live lives of compassion, kindness, meekness etc)  Similar to Galatians – flesh is the old way of life, spirit is the new way of life  Uses difference language (doesn’t refer to flesh and spirit; uses old and new)  Household Code – no longer a general encouragement (you all ought to be…), but rather more specific admonitions to certain people (wives, husbands, children, masters, slaves)  In principle, may also find this in non-Christian ethical literature  In Christian literature – motivation to do these things to please the Lord o Colossians 4 – greetings  Cast of characters look similar to that of Philemon  Authenticity of Colossians is doubted by scholars o Not unusual for letters to be written in someone else’s name; some believe that vocab, style and ways of thinking differences that this letter comes from a disciple of Paul writing in his name o Eg/ Paul speaks of the church as the body of Christ  Ephesians – Christ is the head, not the body; the body is the church  Colossians – Christ is the body 2 LECTURE 7 RELIGST 2HH3 Tutorial 6 October 23, 2013 Continuation from last tutorial (Galatians)  Three positions 1. Galatians 2:1-10 = Acts 15:1-35  same event o Paul in Galatians is describing this event in Acts o Acts 15 – 3 visit to Jerusalem to see Jerusalem council where they make the decision to not put regulations on incoming gentiles o Differences i. Revelation  Galatians – Paul goes up because of Revelation; set Gospel for leaders  Acts 15 – Paul goes up to Jerusalem because conflict in Antioch ii. Stipulations
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