Chapter 14 “The Beloved Community” after Paul: Early Christianity in Philippi from the Second to the Fourth Century

In: Philippi, From Colonia Augusta to Communitas Christiana

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Abstract

In the first half of the fourth century Bishop Porphyrius donated a mosaic floor for the “Basilica of Paul” at Philippi’s city center. What can we know about Christians in Philippi in the three and a half centuries between Paul’s correspondence with Philippi and the founding of Porphyrius’ Church? To answer this question, this article describes the earliest archaeological data, summarize the information derived from Paul’s correspondence, the mission-narratives in three Acts of Apostles as well as the Letter of Polycarp and some indications of the reception of the letter to the Philippians. While historical Christians remain almost invisible at Philippi, there is ample evidence that Philippians was read as a becoming martyrs farewell address to his beloved community and that Philippi became one (among other) important pilgrimage sides at which the Paul’s martyrdom was remembered.

Philippi, From Colonia Augusta to Communitas Christiana

Religion and Society in Transition

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