The brothers and sisters send greetings who are with me people send greetings,
All God's here you especially those who belong to Caesar's household.
especially who are of Caesar's household.
The grace be with your spirit.
of the Lord Jesus Christ
Analyzing the Paragraph
Theme of the paragraph: Every one is equal through Jesus Christ (in Christianity).
(Main theme): Greet everyone the same.
(result) Christ with you all.
(introduction) Greet every saint.
The most important words that are found in Philippians 4: 21 are "greet" and, "Christ." In Philippians 4:22, the most valued word is "God's." In verse 23 of this chapter the most noteworthy word is "grace." It is essential to realize that some of the words identified in certain verses are repeated in others, such as the term "greet" and "Jesus Christ" -- which underscores their significance.
The Greek translation for the word greet is xaipetw. It has a range of meetings from a mere acknowledgement of a person to a friendly acknowledgement. A particular archaic definition means to weep. As it is used in this passage, however, greet is best translated as a friendly acknowledgment. The Greek term for Christ is christos, which translates into the anointed one or, within the New Testament, is translated into the Messiah. Chrien is the Greek verb for to anoint. Within this passage, which is found in the New Testament, Christ is akin to the term Messiah and refers to the son of God -- he whom became flesh to sacrifice his life for humanity and who rose from the grave to govern with God by his side. The range of definitions for this term is rather limited to the one just provided. The Hebrew word for God is El. Although this term denotes God, it also connotes various other definitions such as might or strength. However, due to the capitalization of its use in this passage from Philippians, it unequivocally means the one and only God of the Hebrews and of Christians. There are a few Greek words for grace, such as ?, ?, and . As such, there is a considerable range of definitions for this term, which might mean charm or beauty, a short prayer to say before eating, mercy, and a sense of right and wrong. Nonetheless, within this passage it denotes God's love and favor to mankind.
When explicating the historical and social significance of these verses at the end of this chapter, it is difficult to extrapolate the one from the other because they are so inter-related. The historical context directly pertains to the social context due to the fact that this literature was written by Paul when he was imprisoned. Socially, then, he is somewhat of a pariah, which explains why his greetings that essentially encompasses all of Christianity and of its believers in Christ is so significant. Another highly influential historical aspect that has direct sociological connotations is Paul's reference to Caesar. Caesar, of course, was the leader of the Romans and the head of the political regime that was responsible for imprisoning Paul. Socially, then, this information means that Paul was not only an outlaw, but also political prisoner directly because of the belief (in Christianity) that he references in this passage. Thus, there is a growing spirit of magnanimity that is found in these verse, since even while within the confines of a jail cell Paul not only embraces his oppressor and all of those who support him (the household of Caesar), but he also manages to summon such joyful greetings in a situation that is characterized by extreme duress. It is notable that such duress does not come across within this passage, however, which appears to exude the opposite sentiment -- feelings of happiness and security. One can infer that this sentiment was actually at the time it was written a living testament of the thesis of this document -- that everyone is equal in Jesus Christ, even prisoners.
I Philippians 4
A. Introduction (Philippians 4:1-3)
1. Paul emphasizes the need to believe in and stand by God.
B. Final Exhortations (Philippians 4: 4-9)
1. Paul urges his readers to rejoice in God, regardless of their circumstances.
C. Thanks for Their Gifts (Philippians 4: 10-20)
1. The author thanks his supporters for championing him during his travails.
D. Final Greetings (Philippians 4: 21-23)
1. The author denotes that there is equality in Christ for everyone.
As the prior outline indicates, the primary theme of the final greetings segment of this chapter in the book of Philippians is to reference the fact that there is parity between all who believe in Christ. In this respect, this passage functions as a conclusion for this chapter of the letter that Paul was writing. It does not necessarily offer a restatement of the ideas that preceded it, but it operates as a summation of those ideas. After emphasizing earlier in this chapter that Paul is content with his circumstances (he is imprisoned for believing and propagating the word of Christ) and explaining how others should rejoice in God despite whatever obstacles they might encounter, he then demonstrates these principles by showing his magnanimity. This form of largess is demonstrated by the fact that Paul is saying that everyone is equal in Christ and should acknowledge each other as such. Moreover, he even extends this equality of treatment and of spirit to those who he could rightfully call his enemies, Caesar and the Romans that have arrested and imprisoned him. Verses 21-23 of this chapter end the chapter, which is why it is especially poignant of Paul to close this part of the letter with a gesture that extends to both his brothers and sisters in Christ as well as to those who are attempting to oppose him.
This writing of Paul is best categorized as the genre of literature known as an epistle. Quite simply, it is a letter that he is writing while he is incarcerated to various supporters and to the world at large. The fact that this particular piece of a literature is a letter actually considerably assists in the interpretation of the Philippians 4:21-23 which is characterized by Paul's "sense of joy in the midst of difficulty" (Bugg, 1991, p. 253). The reader can understand the particular situation which moved the author to begin writing the letter, as well as understand to whom the author is addressing in these scriptures. It certainly accounts for the 23rd verse in this chapter in which he provides an ending that functions as a blessing that is appropriate for concluding a written correspondence. Essentially, simply by knowing that this passage and the entire chapter is a component of a letter, the reader can make a number of inferences about Paul's reasons for writing which guide her interpretation. Since this is a deliberate work of non-fiction, most of those interpretations pertain to literal aspects of real people that Paul is both referencing and addressing. The literalness of that interpretation is particularly underscored in an analysis of literary conventions used in verses 21-23 of the fourth chapter. The only remotely figurative literary conventions are his reference to Caesar's household, which is interpreted as emblematic of all of Caesar's regime and not just those who live with him.
The main theological themes in Philippians 4: 21-23 are firstly, that everyone is equal in Christ and within the Christian religion, and that this equality extends to someone unlikely people. Specifically, those unlikely people include prison inmates (as these are the ones that Paul references when he says they are "with me" (Paul, 1973) in jail), and even those who might be considered the enemies of Christianity -- the same Romans who crucified Christ. The author certainly references the notion that everyone is equal in Christianity in other parts of the book of Philippians than Chapter 4: 21-23. The idea that there is a brotherhood and sisterhood involved with the Christian faith, one that encompasses both men and women, is illustrated in several different places. Paul refers to his "brothers and sisters" (Paul, 1973) in both Philippians 4: 1 and Philippians 4: 8, a fact which is indicative of the equity between those of the Christian faith. Additionally, this idea is prevalent in James 2: 8-11 in the passage in which the author disparages the concept of "favoritism" (James 2: 8-11) in upholding God's law as it relates to the tenet of loving one's neighbor as one loves one's self. The concept of loving others like one love's oneself directly correlates to the idea that there is equality in Christianity.
Philippians 4: 21-23 is saying that there is an inherent equality that is found through simply believing in Christ. Moreover, this degree of equality is actually a fairly integral component of Christianity. As such, these verses function as a means of supporting the idea that one…