Asian Christians will identify with the context of the epistle to the Philippians – a church hemmed in on every side. The internal struggles of the community, personality conflicts among leaders, division within the church, and challenges from false teachers coupled with the violent threat from outside the church parallels the situation in many parts of Asia today. Paul’s ethical exhortations to the believers in Philippi enrich, guide, and correct so that a vibrant Body of Christ can be established. Philippians teaches all Christians to make it their goal to know Christ more and more each day, imitate his example above all others, and bear bold witness to God’s offer of salvation to all, beyond every divisive border. This commentary on Philippians studies the text exegetically in its original dynamic context while seeking to hear the rhetorical thrust of the apostle’s words in the present Asian context.
The Asia Bible Commentary Series empowers Christian believers in Asia to read the Bible from within their respective contexts. Holistic in its approach to the text, each exposition of the biblical books combines exegesis and application. The ultimate goal is to strengthen the Body of Christ in Asia by providing pastoral and contextual exposition of every book of the Bible.
Roji Thomas George’s commentary faithfully bridges two worlds of the text: Paul’s own and that of Asian believers today, especially in India. The step-by-step exposition of Paul’s thought with an eye toward the experience of the Asian church will also help readers in other contexts uncover the significance of Paul’s message in new ways. George’s work is therefore highly recommended!
Scott J. Hafemann, DTh
Honorary Reader in New Testament,
School of Divinity, St Mary’s College,
University of St Andrews, UK
Thoroughly engaging both the biblical text’s ancient background and his modern South Asian setting, Roji George connects these horizons skilfully. With well-reasoned and sound conclusions, George articulates the significance of Philippians for Asian contexts today.
Craig S. Keener, PhD
F. M. and Ada Thompson Professor of Biblical Studies,
Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, Kentucky, USA
George’s careful and nuanced reading of Philippians is enriched with suggestive similarities to the multi-religious contexts of the modern Asian readers. For him, Paul’s critical adaptation to cultural-political discourses with difference, in other words, embracing the “scandalous” pattern of the “self-emptying Messiah,” is the crux of negotiating modern mission praxis even when facing persecution. Here is an excellent tool for pastors, missionaries and serious students of the Bible who care to be shaped as authentic Yesu bhaktas in a religiously pluralistic and volatile contexts.
Idicheria Ninan, PhD
Professor of New Testament,
South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies, Bangalore, India
Table of Contents
- Series Preface
- Author’s Preface
- List of Abbreviations
- Commentary on Philippians
- Selected Bibliography
- A Comparison of Perspectives on Suffering in Paul and Other Religions
- Christian Discipleship by Imitation in the Context of the Gurukula Pathashala System in India
- “Dual Citizenship” of Christians in a Hostile and Pluralistic Religious Context
- Partnership in Mission: Defining the Donor-Recipient Relationship