In Phil 4:12, Paul asserts that he knows how to be abased and how to abound. If this is more than a cliché and Paul is being genuine about his life, while his being abased can be shown easily in his letters, it is less certain when he abounded. This essay explores what may be suggested about Paul's earlier life. In his apostolic life Paul says he was weak (άσθενής) and humiliated (ταπεινός), and the essay argues that this is a description of his contrasting this new life with how his life was before. In his apostolic life, Paul chose a downward mobility to empower his evangelism of the impoverished Gentiles of cities, becoming like those he sought to convert and in that way manifesting the similar path of identification of Jesus himself.

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