corpus-paul digest: April 18, 2002

RSBrenchley at RSBrenchley at
Sat Apr 20 15:13:03 EDT 2002

    Vince Endris writes:

> I am currently doing an exegesis paper on Phil. 1:12-18.  I am primarily 
>  interested in these "opponents" of Paul.  I have done much reading on this 
>  problem and am surprised at the lack of literature on it, and at the most 
>  widely accepted answers.  It seems like there are a lot of writers who 
>  believe these to be Jewish Christians.  However, to me this just can not 
>  the case.  Paul rejoices in that these opponents are preaching Christ.  
>  is opposed to how he talks about Jewish Christians (even with in the same 
>  letter, i.e. 3:2). The only way I can see Paul advocating Jewish 
>  is if there was some way that they were only preaching christ and were not 
>  at the same time preaching circumcision.  Is this a possibility? 

    Can we in fact be sure that the 'dogs' of 3:2 are Christian? Could they 
be Jews, or possibly over-zealous proselytes pushing the 'benefits' of 
circumcision the way some fundamentalists today push their favourite quirks, 
trying to make the church conform to the expected norms, rather than trying 
to maintain what must have appeared as some sort of compromise between 
Judaism and paganism or Hellenism?


Robert Brenchley
RSBrenchley at
Birmingham UK

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