The Berean Expositor
Volume 45 - Page 171 of 251
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written from Rome must be allowed to hold the field.  A precise date cannot be
established. We must be content to place it between 60A.D. and 64, probably toward the
later date. The Philippians are Macedonians. These, having received the word, stood
firm in the faith, and did not receive false apostles. The Apostle praises them, writing to
them from Rome, from prison, by Epaphroditus' (The [Latin] Marcionite prologue to the
epistle, dating from the second century)".
See The Epistle to the Philippians by
Professor F. W. Beare, p.24.
Professor 100: H. Dodd points out that Paul, as a Roman citizen, was not in danger of
suffering the extreme penalty as the result of any sentence of a provincial court such as
Ephesus, since he could always play his trump card, an appeal to Caesar. Rome alone
was the place that imprisonment could end immediately in death. Prof. A. T. Robertson,
one of the foremost N.T. Greek scholars, writes "the argument (of the Ephesian origin
propounded by Dr. G. S. Duncan) is more ingenious than convincing. It is not possible
here to review the arguments pro and con that convince me that Paul was in Rome when
he wrote this letter to Philippi" (Word Pictures of the N.T., p.433). Donald Guthrie sums
up the situation thus: "If the Roman hypothesis were proved untenable, the Ephesian
would probably be unchallenged as an alternative theory. But the grounds for disputing
the Roman theory are far from conclusive, and in view of this uncertainty and the fact
that the Acts' silence about an Ephesian imprisonment must be a certain embarrassment
to the Ephesian theory, it seems better to give the preference to Rome as the place of
dispatch" (N.T. Introduction, The Pauline Epistles, p.153). No less an authority than
J. B. Lightfoot firmly supported the Roman origin, and others could be named, so at least
we are in good company from a scholastic standpoint in adhering to Rome as the place
where the Apostle Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians, and we should remember that
this subject is largely one of scholarship and research.
But there are two more important points which must be considered, namely, the
make-up of the N.T.; and the dispensational viewpoint. (1) If Philippians was written
from Rome after Acts 28:, then we get a perfect arrangement of the N.T. epistles
in groups of sevens. Seven of Paul's epistles during the Acts: Galatians, Hebrews,
I & II Thessalonians, I & II Corinthians and Romans (we have given our reasons
elsewhere for maintaining the Pauline authorship of Hebrews despite its unpopularity
today).  Seven of Paul's epistles after the Acts: Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians,
Philemon, I Timothy, Titus and II Timothy. Seven general epistles or epistles of the
circumcision: James, I & II Peter, I, II & III John and Jude. This is so obviously of
Divine origin that we should need very strong positive evidence indeed to take any other
position. If we put Philippians into the Acts, this perfect balance is upset, and not only
this, but the inter-relationship of the Prison epistles themselves;  Ephesians and
Colossians making known the Mystery and Philippians and II Timothy the prize and
crown attached to it. (2) Nothing is surer than the miraculous gift of healing is prominent
all through the Acts as one of the sign gifts of the earthly kingdom related to Israel. It is
as prominent in Acts 28: as at the beginning. How comes it then that Paul laments
in Philippians that he cannot heal his beloved friend Epaphroditus who practically lost
his life through serious illness (if he wrote this at Ephesus or Caesarea), yet later at