Answered By: Esther Gillie
Last Updated: Mar 03, 2021     Views: 96

Here is what a student who earned an "A" grade on this assignment has to say. She emphasized reading very carefully the pages assigned. It is essential to read the entire book of Philippians. She insists if you skip this step, you will not be prepared to complete the assignment adequately.

Also, it is critical to read the textbook IBI, 263-71, about the author-centered textual meaning and authorial intention. Your job is to detect Paul's intent in his communication to Philippians, consider the medium he chose to communicate (letter, or epistle) and what connections you make to literature. 

From page 269 in IBI, to perform literary critical analyses, consider (1) the author's intent (2) "the conventions of the text that reflect that text" and (3) the reader's response. Understand that the texts function as speech acts, recall the discussion of speech act theory.

She said to read carefully pages 293-312 to understand Paul's literary strategy. To do this, inform yourself of the principles & circles of context (immediate, book, author's corpus, pertinent Testament, Bible).

She said that of the four questions in the assignment, she felt that scholarly sources outside of IBI were not necessary for all the questions. She used a source to support her answer for only two of the questions, she cited a different source for each, thereby meeting the assignment requirements.

Because she read and re-read, she understood what the instructor asks in each of the four questions. She didn't have to use a lot of words for at least two of the questions. She used more words for the other two questions because she integrated information from the external source.

She developed her answers first and then used the bibliography at the back of IBI to find a source that looked like it would support her answer. Her process was to copy and paste the source title in the library catalog to see if the library had it.  An additional strategy is to paste the title in Summon or WorldCAT if you don't find it in the catalog. WorldCAT often finds items in the library better than either the catalog or Summon. 

As your instructor points out, the library holds the majority of the titles listed on pages 637-81 (bibliography in the back of the IBI text). Several of the titles are available online such as

Hellerman, Joseph H., Andreas J. Kostenberger, and Robert W. Yarbrough. Philippians. Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group, 2015.

Reumann, John. Philippians: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary. Vol. 33B. New Haven, [Conn.]: Yale University Press, 2008.

Here is a passage from the Dictionary of Paul and His Letters

Philippians is a letter the apostle Paul wrote to the church in the city of Philippi in Macedonia, the first church e founded in Europe. It is the most personal of all of his letters. Although not a theological treatise, Philippians does have a great deal to say about God and his ways with people, about Christ Jesus and about Christians and how they should live in this world. The terms “overseers” and “deacons” (1:1) occur here for the one and only time in Paul’s letters, but without any elaboration on what these people did or about what kind of authority they exercised within the church.
1. Contents
2. The City and Its Citizens
3. The Church and Its Apostle
4. Some Critical Questions
5. Theological Themes

Read more of this passage either in 

Hawthorne, Gerald F., Ralph P. Martin, Daniel G. Reid. Dictionary of Paul and His Letters: A Compendium of Contemporary Biblical Scholarship. Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2009. p 510


In print
Gerald F. Hawthorne, “Philippian, Letter to the,” in Gerald F. Hawthorne and Ralph P. Martin, eds., Dictionary of Paul and His Letters [Downers Grove, Ill.: IVP, 1993], p 707-13,

If you find an in-print source and are a distant student use ILL to request the book or use WorldCAT to see if the title is available from a local library.

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