By Linda L. Belleville

The message of one of Paul’s most sensitive letters made clear and accessible.

ISBN: 9780718896201


In this accessible and erudite commentary, the respected New Testament scholar Linda Belleville shows how Paul’s letter to the Philippians provides a unique opportunity to see the similarities between the culture of his day and ours and to understand not only what is needed to cope in a hostile society but also to be bold in sharing the sole hope for our global world: knowing Christ and eternal citizenship in heaven.

Philippians was written while Paul was imprisoned in the imperial barracks, awaiting the outcome of a life-or-death trial. His most beloved church was facing strong opponents without and selfish division within. Paul’s strategy is to remind the church of the reasons to rejoice and forgo selfish opinion differences. There is much cause to rejoice because, despite imprisonment, the gospel had reached the entire imperial guard and emboldened Christians everywhere to boldly proclaim Christ; even if he dies, Paul’s ministry of preaching Christ will continue. Yet the Philippians’ best exemplar is Christ himself, who, while enjoying his heavenly riches, willingly took on the human condition with its pain, suffering, and death so that they might gain their own heavenly riches.

Additional information

Dimensions 229 × 153 mm
Pages 124

Trade Information LGENPOD

About the Author

Linda L. Belleville is an adjunct professor of New Testament at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. She studied at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and St Michael’s College, University of Toronto, and has taught at Calvin College, North Park Theological Seminary, and Bethel University. Her previous publications include commentaries on 2 Corinthians and 1 Timothy, as well as contributions to Scripture and Paul, Volumes One and Two.


Author’s Preface

Introduction to Philippians

Philippians 1
Letter Opening And Greeting (1:1–2)
Thanksgiving and Intercession (1:3–11)
Paul’s Thanksgiving for Participation in the Gospel Ministry (1:3–8)
Paul’s Prayer For The Philippians’ Growth in Knowledge and Insight (1:9–11)
Fusing the Horizons: Thankfulness and Charity
Paul’s Situation
The Gospel Advances Despite Imprisonment And Opposition (1:12–18)
Fusing the Horizons: Being Christ in Today’s World
Paul’s Perspective: To Live Is Christ. To Die Is Gain (1:21–30)
Fusing the Horizons: Dealing With Adversity

Philippians 2
The Proper Frame of Mind: The Humility of Christ (2:1–11)
Fusing the Horizons: Philippians 2:6–11 The Model of Christ
Excursus: The Philippian Hymn
The Outcomes of a Christ-Like Mind: 2:12–18
Fusing the Horizons: Facing Adversity
Travel Plans and Upcoming Visits: 2:19–30
Fusing the Horizons: Valuing our Leaders

Philippians 3
The Goal of Knowing Christ Versus Human Achievements: 3:1–9
Fusing the Horizons: The Goal of Knowing Christ Versus Human Achievements
Pressing Toward the Goal: 3:10–14
Fusing the Horizons: Pressing Toward the Goal
Keeping in Step: 3:15—4:1

Philippians 4
A Call for Unity Among the Leadership: 4:2–3
A Call for Ethical Conduct: 4:4–9
A Thank You Note: 4:10–20
Fusing the Horizons: The Blessings of Giving
Final Greetings: 4:21–23



Endorsements and Reviews

In an age when some commentary series produce massive tomes on even as short a book as Philippians, Linda Belleville’s work, like the NCCS in general, is a model of succinctness. Yet all the basics are here and there are wonderfully incisive applications in the ‘Fusing the Horizons’ section and a bonus in-depth look at the famous hymn in 2:5-11. A nice treat.
Craig L. Blomberg, Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary

Belleville has offered a ringing, lucid, and skilful guide for reading Philippians that gets to the heart of the matter. It is filled with keen insights that pastors, teachers, and students alike will find to be of immense help for understanding what Paul is doing in this letter.
David E. Garland, Professor of Christian Scriptures, George W. Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University