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The People beside Paul: The Philippian Assembly and History from Below
Joseph A. Marchal, editor
ECL 17
Publication Date
November 2015



Who are the people beside Paul, and what can we know about them?

This volume brings together an international and interdisciplinary group of scholars with a broad range of expertise and a common interest: Philippi in antiquity. Each essay engages one set of contextual particularities for Paul and the ordinary people of the Philippian assembly, while simultaneously placing them in wider settings. This "people’s history" uses both traditional and more cutting-edge methods to reconsider archaeology and architecture, economy and ethnicity, prisons and priestesses, slavery, syncretism, stereotypes of Jews, the colony of Philippi, and a range of communities—there and then and also here and now. The contributors are Valerie Abrahamsen, Richard S. Ascough, Robert L. Brawley, Noelle Damico, Richard A. Horsley, Joseph A. Marchal, Mark D. Nanos, Peter Oakes, Gerardo Reyes Chavez, Angela Standhartinger, Eduard Verhoef, and Antoinette Clark Wire.


  • An examination of the social forms and forces that shaped and affected the Philippian church
  • Essays offer insight into standard questions about the letter’s hymn and audience, Paul’s "opponents," and the sites of the community and of Paul’s imprisonment
  • A focused exploration of more marginalized topics and groups, including women, slaves, Jews, and members of localized cults

Joseph A. Marchal is the author and editor of four other works on the study of Paul's letters and the communities that received them including, Philippians: Historical Problems, Hierarchical Visions, Hysterical Anxieties (Sheffield Phoenix Press), Studying Paul's Letters: Contemporary Perspectives and Methods (Fortress), The Politics of Heaven: Women, Gender, and Empire in the Study of Paul (Fortress), and Hierarchy, Unity, and Imitation: A Feminist Rhetorical Analysis of Power Dynamics in Paul's Letter to the Philippians (Society of Biblical Literature).

Download volume front matter, including table of contents and introduction.

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