8. Conclusion

Personal greetings and benediction


Paul concludes his letter with personal greetings and a benediction. It is quite possible that these verses are in his own hand, the rest of the letter having been dictated. He sends his greeting to all the believers in Philippi and adds a greeting from all the believers who are with him in Rome, probably his co-workers, including those who belong to Caesar's household. He then closes with a benediction.


i] Context: See 1:1-11.


ii] Background: See 1:1-11.


iii] Structure: The conclusion to the letter:

Greetings, v21-22;

Benediction, v23.


iv] Interpretation:

Theories about as to the identity of "those who belong to Caesar's household." It is simply not possible to identify who they are, nor what position they held in the "household". They could be slaves, officials, military or civil. They may just be those who Paul has befriended in prison, guards even. The reference does support the contention that Paul is writing from Rome. See Bruce for a short survey of possible contenders.

The benediction is typically Pauline and very similar to the ending of his other letters. One point of interest is the phrase meta tou pneumatoV uJmwn, "with your spirit." The same wording is used in the benediction found in Galatians 6:18, although this should not be taken to imply some connection with Galatians. Most commentators take it to be nothing more than an emphatic way of expressing uJmwn, "you" = "yourselves".

Text - 4:21

Conclusion, v21-23: i] Greetings, v21-22.

aJgion adj. "[all] God's people" - [greet every] holy = saint. The adjective serves as a substantive, accusative direct object of the imperative verb "greet". "Give my good wishes to every one of God's dedicated people", Barclay.

en + dat. "in [Christ Jesus]" - As Varner notes, this is now the twentieth use of "in the Lord", or "in Christ." As already indicated, a local sense prevails, expressing incorporative union, although likely to be idiomatic; "give our regards to all the believers."

sun + dat. "who are with [me]" - [the brothers] with [me greet you]. Expressing association.


malista adv. "especially" - [all the saints greet you and] especially. the superlative form of the comparative adverb mala; "in particular, those who belong to the Emperor's household", Cassirer.

oiJ "those who" - the ones. The article serves as a nominalizer turning the prepositional phrase "from the household of Caesar" into a substantive, subject of the assumed verb "to greet"; "in particular, those of Caesar's household greet you."

ek + gen. "belong to" - from [the household of caesar]. The preposition may be taken to express source / origin, but most likely serving as a partitive genitive; "the believing members of Caesar's household."


ii] Benediction. An optative verb to-be is assumed, expressing a wish / desire, here a wish / desire that God's favor / grace, operative through Jesus Christ, might be bestowed on the Philippian believers.

tou kuriou (oV) gen. "of the Lord" - [the grace] of the lord. The genitive is ablative, expressing source / origin.

Ihsou Cristou (oV) gen. "Jesus Christ" - Genitive standing in apposition to "Lord".

meta + gen. "be with" - Expressing association / accompaniment.

uJmwn gen. pro. "your [spirit]" - [the spirit] of you. The genitive is adjectival, possessive. One's own "spirit", a person's inner being; "may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ find its home deep deep within you."


Philippians Introduction

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