Contrary to common scholarly assumption, the majority of Christians in firstcentury Roman Philippi were Greek noncitizens who would have longed for Roman enfranchisement due to its perceived legal, social, and economic benefits. Therefore, Paul does not use the word polivteuma (politeuma; commonwealth) in Phil 3:20 to restrain the Philippian Christians’ civic pride; rather he employs the political term in order to remind suffering Greek Christians that their true politeuma, the commonwealth from which they derive their citizenship, is found in the heavens.
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