January 9th, 2014

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Philippi was a significant city in the history of the Roman Empire. Two major battles occurred in the nearby plain: 42BCE when Octavian (later named Caesar Augustus) and Mark Anthony defeated Cassius and Brutus (the assassins of Julius Caesar); and 30BCE when Octavian defeated Mark Anthony. Following each victory Philippi was given increased prominence. Philippian daily life became a fusion of Roman and Greek culture. By the time of Paul’s first visit in 49CE, Philippi was a political centre located on an important route between Rome and the eastern part of the Empire. The prominence of women in Paul’s relationship with the Philippian church infers that women had a significant role in Philippian public life in general.

Read Acts 16.

What grabs your attention about Paul’s initial interaction with the people of Philippi and the establishment of the church?