The translocal links between early Christian communities have been mentioned in various contexts, predominantly in comparisons between these groups and the various associations of the ancient world. This article raises some of the methodological issues involved in studying these links (what links are there apart from Paul who stands in their centre?) and examines the direct and indirect references to them in Philippians. Apart from the links established through Timothy, they appear in the context of the "fellowship in the Gospel" (1:5), the generous exchange of information, including the sending of Timothy and Epaphroditus, in mutual prayer and in the visits of Paul and his co-workers, who are not only related to Paul, but also appear as emissaries of the churches from which they originate. These links also become apparent in the extensive travelling that is presupposed before, during and after the composition of Philippians, in the activities of the opponents mentioned in Philippians 3, and in financial support, greetings and mutual longing. The final section sketches the significance of such intercongregational links for various quests, such as their rhetorical function in Pauline discourse and plausibility, the unity of New Testament theology, New Testament ecclesiology, Paul's conception of space, and as raw data for social-network-analysis approaches to early Christianity.


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pp. 377-431
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