III. Date And Origin
The date of the letter is uncertain. Paul was writing from prison (1:7, 12-16), expecting possible release (v. 19) or death (v. 20). But which imprisonment? Acts records three: Philippi, Caesarea, and Rome. Obviously Philippi must be ruled out; Caesarea is a possibility; the traditional view supports Rome.
Another possibility is an Ephesian imprisonment. Paul spent well over two years in Ephesus. If the letter originated there, the date would be approximately a.d. 55; if written from Caesarea, about a.d. 58; and if from Rome, about a.d. 61. The question remains open.