Original Research

A hybrid Christian identity in Philippians 1:15–18

Woo Min Lee
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 77, No 4 | a6216 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v77i4.6216 | © 2021 Woo Min Lee | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 June 2020 | Published: 29 January 2021

About the author(s)

Woo Min Lee, Department Biblical Studies, Adjunct Faculty, McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, United States

Share this article

Bookmark and Share


There have been various studies on the passage of Philippians 1:15–18 but there have been few studies on a hybrid aspect of Christian identity implicated in the passage. The aim of the study was to reveal a hybrid aspect of the passage. The socio-historical setting for the study was the Greco-Roman period. For this study, I employed rhetorical criticism, a socio-linguistic approach and an anthropological linguistic approach to the passage, as well as the analysis of the socio-historical and cultural background of the passage. As a result, I found that Paul, who retained his Jewish identity but embraced Christian identity, tried to suggest such a new kind of identity for the intended audience and their community. In this article, I argued that Paul as a hybrid personality urged the Christian community in Philippi to have distinguished Christian habitus and field in Philippians 1:15–18. In particular, Paul persuaded his intended audience or readers to acknowledge and accept even those preachers who had questionable intentions into their Christian community. Such an inclusive attitude was to make a clear distinction between the community and their traditional Greco-Roman socio-cultural background.

Contribution: The research on Philippians 1:15–18 reveals a hybrid aspect of Christian identity implicated in the passage. This research would contribute to the biblical studies of the Hervormde Teologiese Studies journal through its rhetorical, socio-linguistic and anthropological approach to the biblical passage of Philippians 1:15–18.


Paul; Philippians; Christian; hybrid; habitus; field; community; identity


Total abstract views: 1681
Total article views: 1069

Crossref Citations

No related citations found.