Philippians

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Philippians, Letter to the. An epistle of Paul and book of the New Testament. The addressees are Paul's first congregation in Europe, at Philippi in Macedonia. It was written from prison, either in Rome c.60–2, Caesarea c.56–8, or Ephesus c.53–5. Paul sees himself balanced between life and death (1. 19–26). Among the ringing exhortations in ch. 2 is the important passage verses 5–11, a hymn which speaks of Christ's ‘self-emptying’ (kenōsis). This has traditionally been taken as a basic statement of incarnational christology, though some argue that it refers to Jesus' willingness to accept a shameful death.