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The Letter of Paul to the Philippians: Chapter 1

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Text view alone

1Paul and Timothy, servants a Gk slaves of Christ Jesus,

To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops b Or overseers and deacons: c Or overseers and helpers

2Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

3I thank my God every time I remember you, 4constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, 5because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. 6I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ. 7It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because you hold me in your heart, d Or because I hold you in my heart for all of you share in God's grace e Gk in grace with me, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. 8'For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus. 9'And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight 10'to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, 11'having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.

12'I want you to know, beloved, f Gk brothers that what has happened to me has actually helped to spread the gospel, 13'so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard g Gk whole praetorium and to everyone else that my imprisonment is for Christ; 14'and most of the brothers and sisters, f Gk brothers having been made confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, dare to speak the word h Other ancient authorities readword of God with greater boldness and without fear.

15'Some proclaim Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from goodwill. 16'These proclaim Christ out of love, knowing that I have been put here for the defense of the gospel; 17'the others proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but intending to increase my suffering in my impris onment. 18'What does it matter? Just this, that Christ is proclaimed in every way, whether out of false motives or true; and in that I rejoice.

Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19'for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance. 20'It is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be put to shame in any way, but that by my speaking with all boldness, Christ will be exalted now as always in my body, whether by life or by death. 21For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. 22If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which I prefer. 23'I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; 24but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. 25Since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in faith, 26so that I may share abundantly in your boasting in Christ Jesus when I come to you again.

27Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel, 28and are in no way intimidated by your opponents. For them this is evidence of their destruction, but of your salvation. And this is God's doing. 29For he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well— 30since you are having the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.


a Gk slaves

b Or overseers

c Or overseers and helpers

d Or because I hold you in my heart

e Gk in grace

f Gk brothers

g Gk whole praetorium

h Other ancient authorities readword of God

Text Commentary view alone

1.1–2 : Salutation.:

1 :

Bishops and deacons, the alternate translation overseers and helpers is preferable.These functions are not yet the church offices that they will later become.

1.3–11 : Thanksgiving.

A common feature of a Pauline letter.

5 :

Sharing, “koinônia,” an important Pauline concept ( 2.1; 3.10; 4.15 ). From the first day, when Paul first preached at Philippi (Acts 16.12 ).

6 :

The day of Jesus Christ, when he will return and the present age will end ( 2.16; see 1 Cor 1.8;cf. 2 Thess 2.3 and 2 Pet 3.10 ).

10 :

Rom 2.18 .

1.12–26 : Paul's situation in chains.

13 :

Paul is confined in some Roman administrative center, wherehe has had the opportunity to preach the gospel.

15–18 :

Not all Christian preachers agreed with Paul orliked him; this is clear in Galatians and 1 and 2 Corinthians (especially 2 Cor 10–13 ), and here Paulquestions their motives.

19 :

Quoting Job 13.16 .

21–24 :

His life is not his own but is given over to Christ,so that he is indifferent to the outcome of life or death; nevertheless, his death would mean loss to his churches.

1.27–4.4 : Appeal to unity, to be followed by examples.

2.1–18 :

First example: self –emptying of Christ.

6 :

In the form of God, equality with God, may refer to divine status, or simply preexistence as a heavenlybeing (Dan 7.14 ), or Adam's original immortality (Wis 2.23–24 ), which Christ renounced by becoming subject to death.

7 :

But emptied himself, the extreme limit of self‐denial.

8 :

Mt 26.39 ; Jn 10.18 ; Rom 5.19 ; Heb 5.8 ; 12.2 .

9 :

Exalted, in raising him from the dead. The name … above every name is Lord.

10–11 :

Cf. Isa 45.23 .

12 :

With fear and trembling, a frequent biblical expression (Ex 15.16; Deut 2.25;Ps 2.11; Isa 19.6; 4 Macc 4.10 ) that had become a commonplace (1 Cor 2.3; 2 Cor 7.15; Eph 6.5 ).

15 :

Shine like stars, Dan 12.3 .

16 :

Day of Christ, see 1.6n .

17 :

Paul's possible death is compared to a temple sacrifice.

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