Philippians 3:20

New Testament

18 For many live, about whom I have often told you, and now, with tears, I tell you that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their end is destruction, their god is the belly, they exult in their shame, and they think about earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven—and we also eagerly await a savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform these humble bodies of ours into the likeness of his glorious body by means of that power by which he is able to subject all things to himself.

Philo The Special Laws 1:13


13 Some persons have conceived that the sun, and the moon, and the other stars are independent gods, to whom they have attributed the causes of all things that exist. But Moses was well aware that the world was created, and was like a very large city, having rulers and subjects in it; the rulers being all the bodies which are in heaven, such as planets and fixed stars; 14 and the subjects being all the natures beneath the moon, hovering in the air and adjacent to the earth. But that the rulers aforesaid are not independent and absolute, but are the viceroys of one supreme Being, the Father of all, in imitation of whom they administer with propriety and success the charge committed to their care, as he also presides over all created things in strict accordance with justice and with law. Others, on the contrary, who have not discovered the supreme Governor, who thus rules everything, have attributed the causes of the different things which exist in the world to the subordinate powers, as if they had brought them to pass by their own independent act.

 Notes and References

"... The politeuma in Philippians 3:20–21 also acts politically when sending out a savior (σωτῆρ). The believers are desperately awaiting him “from there” (ἐξ οὗ). Saviors are gods, men, and women, who save people or communities in times of crisis and help to improve living conditions. Human saviors act by commission of the gods. The political leader Aratus, for example, is praised as a savior before the savior Gods “because to thy native city thou hast brought a sacred and heavenly reign of law.” The saving act makes the human savior the agent of divine power. Politeumata send out citizens on rescue missions, as the Athenians did with Kephisdoros, So too does the Lord Jesus Christ in Philippians 3:20 save on behalf of a politeuma and draw his power from Heaven.50 But of course, who the other citizens of the heavenly politeuma are is not mentioned. Because the politeuma already acts by sending the σωτήρ, it is not very likely that only the future or exiled members, the Philippians, are in view. A politeuma of angels is more probably in mind, as in the case of the Dead Sea Scrolls. In any case, the σωτήρ Jesus Christ clothes the citizens to be saved with an appropriate heavenly garment that represents his body of glory ..."

Standhartinger, Angela "Apocalyptic Thought in Philippians" in Stuckenbruck, Loren T. (ed.) The Jewish Apocalyptic Tradition and the Shaping of New Testament Thought (pp. 233-244) Fortress Press, 2017

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