“Living is Christ and Dying is Gain: Paul’s Reimagining of Human Flourishing in Philippians”

Bibliographic information:

Gregory E. Lamb, “Living is Christ and Dying is Gain: Paul’s Reimagining of Human Flourishing in Philippians,” SBJT 22.4 (2018): 7–31.



Given modernity’s explosion of diversity and specialization of knowledge, few ideas or concepts can be thought of as truly universal or unifying. However, the idea of living and dying well, also known as “human flourishing” (expressed in antiquity as εὐδαιμονία in the Greek, Maat in Egyptian, and ars vivendi/ars moriendi in Latin), has been a thematic thread that has woven its way throughout the warp and weft of the tapestry of human history. Bedrock to human existence are questions such as: “What does it mean to live and die well?”; and “What of human suffering and death?” Paul’s Epistle to the Philippians, perhaps more than any other New Testament (NT) writing, succinctly addresses these questions and more. Surprisingly, there is a lacuna in contemporary scholarship regarding Paul’s conception of human flourishing within Philippians. This essay seeks to fill (albeit, partially) this lacuna. In this essay, I contend that Philippians is central to Paul’s reimagined conception of human flourishing as a cruciform life, and that while he was surely aware of the topic of living and dying well in the cultures around him, Paul stands in stark contrast to them.

The full article can be accessed and downloaded here: https://sebts.academia.edu/GregoryLamb


Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) (website: http://equip.sbts.edu/category/publications/journals/journal-of-theology/sbjt-224-winter-2018/)

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