Original Research

Die eenheid van die Filippensebrief: Oorwegings vanuit die gedagtestruktuur van die brief

G.J.C. Jordaan
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 60, No 1/2 | a518 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v60i1/2.518 | © 2004 G.J.C. Jordaan | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 October 2004 | Published: 20 October 2004

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Abstract

The unity of the Philippian letter: Considerations from the thought structure of the letter

During the last two decades a new interest has emerged in the structure of the letter to the Philippians, leading to a variety of text oriented studies, which have more or less confirmed the unity of the letter. This article contributes to these studies by making a thought-structure analysis of the text of Philippians. This analysis, which takes the grammatical relations within the text as point of departure, but proceeds to a study of the more implicit markers of structure, such as repetition and figures of speech, reveals that the thoughts in the letter body of Philippians are arranged in a triangle pattern. In this pattern Philippians 1:27-30 serves as a “table of contents”, which is expanded upon in the rest of the letter body (2:1-3:21). In a subtle way the main elements of the “table of contents” are echoed in Philippians 4:1-9, resulting in an “inclusio”-pattern. These patterns of thought structure of Philippians provide further support for theories in favour of the unity of the letter.


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