On Bart Ehrman’s blog site there is a lively discussion of Paul’s letter to the Philippians. It all started when someone posted the questions, “What did Paul write in his original letter?”
As is common to say these days, “That’s a great question.” It would be nice to know the answer.
There is one possibility, that Paul said exactly the same thing in his letter that we read today in the various Bibles. Another is that there may be small and unimportant differences between his original letter and the surviving copies. But, one thing is certain, we do not know for sure what was in his original letter.
I understand there is a widely held conclusion Philippians is two letters cobbled together into one letter. This raises the question why this was done, who did it and what did the original letters say that was different, if they were at all different.
Many scholars apparently agree Paul dictated most of his letters instead of writing them himself. This opens the possibility of some editing by the original scribe.
Then, there were all the other scribes. The oldest surviving copy of Philippians was written 150 years after the time of Paul. One has to assume many copies were written early on to be distributed to groups. Then these copies wore out and were recopied at many locations at many different times. There is no way to know if changes were made by the many scribes or not.
The story of the writing and impact of Philippians is more interesting than the book itself.