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Commentary on St. Paul's Epistle to the 


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By the Rev. 

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By the Rev. 


Formerly Master of University College, Durham, and sometime Fellow 
and Tutor of Trinity College, Oxford 

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The passage of the Gospel from Eastern to Western civiliza- 
tion is an event of the highest importance and interest in 
the history of the Christian Church. With the exception 
of the extension of the offer of salvation from Jews to 
Gentiles, there is hardly anything of greater importance 
in the progress of Apostolic Christianity. It was an advance 
from a world in which the best elements of civilization 
were to be found in Judaism, to a world in which the best 
elements were centred in the art and literature of Greece, 
and in the military and political organization of Rome. 
Divine religion was seeking friendship with human philo- 
sophy and human law. 

It did not come uninvited. Macedonia, half Greek and 
half Roman, took the initiative under special guidance 
from heaven. The Spirit intimated that St. Paul, Silas 
and Timothy were not to preach the word in Asia, Mysia, 
or Bithynia : and, when Troas was reached and Luke had 
joined them, a man of Macedonia appeared to the Apostle 
with the urgent appeal, ' Come over into Macedonia and help 
us ' (Acts xvi. 6 a.). Possibly the first ship that was avail- 
able after this summons reached him was one that was bound 
for Neapolis {Kavalla), the port of Philippi, about nine or 
ten miles from it, and separated from it by a ridge which 
was then called Ssnnbolum, and is about 1600 feet above 
the sea. More probably St. Paul saw the great advantages 
of starting from such a centre as PhiUppi, and chose his 
ship accordingly. 


Philippi was founded by Philip of Macedon, father of the 
great Alexander. Its original name was Crenides (/cprjviSei), 
from the numerous streams which feed the Gangites or 
Gangas, the river beside which Lydia and her companions 
worshipped. B.C. i68 Macedonia was conquered by the 
Romans, who divided the country into four districts, which 
were kept rigidly distinct, on the principle of Divide et 
impera. Philippi was in the first of these four districts, 
which had Amphipolis as its capital. B.C. ^149 a different 
policy was adopted. The whole of Macedonia was united 
with Epirus to form the Roman Province of Macedonia, 
with Thessalonica as its capital. But the changes of 
greatest interest to the Christian historian came a centiuy 
later. B.C. 42, Roman ImperiaUsm, as represented by 
Octavian, the future Augustus, and Mark Antony, triumphed 
over the Roman RepubUc, as represented by Brutus and 
Cassius, in the plain between the mountain ranges of Pan- 
gaeus and Haemus close to the walls of PhiUppi. The 
conquerors refounded the city, placing some of their victori- 
ous soldiers there as citizens. After Octavian's victory 
over Antony and Cleopatra, 2nd Sept. B.C. 31, the city was 
once more refounded by the victor, and the Roman popula- 
tion was considerably augmented by defeated soldiers 
from the forces of Antony. It was now a Roman colony 
with the Jus Italicum, which freed it from the tribute usually 
paid by conquered states to Rome. Thus its inhabitants 
had aU the rights and privileges of Romans, and like other 
Roman colonies, it became a miniature Rome. The Mace- 
donian inhabitants seem to have become completely Roman- 
ized, rejoicing in imitating Rome, and resenting changes 
which were not Roman (Acts xvi. 21). Their magistrates 
were called duumviri, and were attended by lictors, who 
carried fasces. The colonial duumviri sometimes assumed 
the title of ' praetors,' and seem to have done so at Philippi, 
for St. Luke calls them a-rpdrtiyol ; but he leaves us in 
doubt as to whether these aTpaT-rjyoi were the same as the 
apxovTe<s before whom the missionaries were first taken 
by the infuriated mob. His Book of Acts is mainly the 


history of the passage of the Gospel from Jerasalem to 
Rome, and he takes pleasure in thinking of Philippi as 
a leading Roman city at the opening of the new Christian 
campaign. The story is of a march from a little modem 
Rome to the great ancient original.* 

At the present time there are two, if not three, sites to be 
noted at Philippi. The modern village, Felibedjik (Little 
PhiUppi, to distinguish it from PhilippopoU in Bulgaria) 
is some distance from the very considerable ruins of the 
city founded by Augustus ; and it is doubtful whether these 
ruins occupy the site of the city founded by Philip. Appian 
says that Philip's city was on a hill,t whereas the ruins 
of the city which became so dear to St. Paul are in the 
plain near the river. 

There had been two reasons for the position and pros- 
perity of the original Philippi ; the proximity of gold- 
mines and the fertility of the plain. The mines were ex- 
hausted long before St. Paul's time, and the fertility of 
the neighbourhood, if he knew of it, was not one of the 
things which attracted him. That the inhabitants were, 
like himself, Roman citizens was no doubt one of the reasons 
why he selected it as the first centre for the new mission 
to Western civilization. Another advantage was that the 
great Via Egnatia, the main high-road between East and 
West, passed through Philippi, dividing the city into its 
two main portions. A third point of importance was that 
there was a Jewish settlement there ; and it was a general 
principle with the earliest Christian missionaries that the 
Gospel must be preached first to the Jews (Acts xiii. 46, 47 ; 
xviii. 6 ; xxviii. 28). 

The Jewish settlement was so small that it did not possess 

* The reading in Acts xvi. 12 is very uncertain. Hort's conjec- 
tural suggestion of IIwpiSos for fiepC&oi has met with very little 
approval. Whichever reading we' adopt, the meaning of irpiSrrq 
remains doubtful ; and Blass would change irpuri/ to irpiinys. 
Perhaps ' a city of the first rank,' * no mean city,' is St. Luke's 

I Civil Wars, IV. xiii. 15. 


a synagogue, but only a ' place of prayer ' {vpoa-evxv), 
on the bank of the river Gangites ; and here on the Sabbath 
the four missionaries began their labours.* The wor- 
shippers whom they met seem to have been chiefly Gentile 
women, who, without becoming proselytes, adopted Jewish 
principles and attended Jewish worship. At any rate 
the first convert, Lydia, was such a person, and her house 
became the home of the infant Philippian Church. It was 
among ' God-fearers,' or " honorary members " of Judaism, 
that St. Paul found some of his best material in missionary 
work, and the Jews hated him the more for his success 
in wresting these " honorary members " from them. 

That ' Lydia ' is not an ordinary proper name, but a nick- 
name bestowed upon her because she was a Lydian from 
Thyatira in Lydia, is possible, and Ramsay regards it as 
" practically certain." But ovofian elsewhere indicates 
actual proper names (Acts v. i, 34, viii. g, ix. 10, 11, 12, 33, 
36, X. I, etc.), whereas 6 eiriKoKoviJ.evo^ or o iiriK\rj0ei,<! 
is used to introduce names that have been substituted for 
the proper name or added to it (Acts iv. 36, x. 18, xi. 13, 
xii. 12, 25, XV. 22) ; and Horace shows us that Lydia was a 
name borne by women who were not Lydians {Odes I. viii. i, 
III. ix. 6). The Lydian hj^pothesis is not generally adopted. 
That Lydia is to be identified with either Euodia or Sjmtyche 
is pure conjecture (see on iv. 2). It need not surprise us 
that she receives no special message and is not mentioned 
in the Epistle. No greetings to individuals are sent ; and 
she may have died or have left Phihppi before the Epistle 
was written. 

The girl who was possessed by a spirit of divination (Ut. ' a 
spirit, Pytho ') was probably a slave, and she may have been 
connected with the oracle of the Thracian Dionysus on the 
adjoining range of Haemus. That she was exploited by a 

• The reading is again very uncertain. We cannot be sure that 
worship was regularly held here, or that there was a building in which 
to hold it. Probably open-air services took place every Sabbath 
and other Jewish holy day. Jews like to have their places of worship 
near water with a view to ceremonial purifications. 


company, to get money for them by uttering oracles and 
telling fortunes,* is mere hj^othesis. ' Her masters ' 
(oi Kvptoi, ainfji) may mean her ' master and mistress,' or 
a family of brothers and sisters whom she served. Papyri 
illustrate this use of oi tcvpioi. She seems to have believed 
in her own inspiration, and she certainly believed in the 
inspiration of the missionaries. They, Uke herself, were 

• slaves of the Most High God,' and they delivered a message 
from Him. But just as our Lord refused the aid of demons 
when they declared Him to be the Messiah, so His Apostle 
refused the aid of this spirit of divination, when it declared 
him and his colleagues to be ministers of salvation. Like 
his Master, he commanded the unclean spirit to come out. 
The severe beating and subsequent imprisonment of Paul 
and Silas, which was the result, is alluded to i. 30. How 
Timothy and Luke escaped outrage we do not know. If 
there was any evidence that Luke was a PhiUppian, this 
might account for his escape. Why did not Paul and Silas 
avoid it by declaring themselves at once to be Roman 
citizens, as they did the next day ? Possibly they did utter 
a protest, but in the uproar the duumviri did not hear it. 
It is also possible that on this occasion they readily accepted 
the fellowship of Christ's sufferings (iii. 10), and were unwill- 
ing to deprive themselves of the opportunity of sharing 
persecution with Him. Cf. 2 Cor. xi. 25. In either case 
the conduct of the magistrates at Phihppi was in marked 
contrast to that of almost all Roman officials elsewhere. 
Whether magistrates or miUtary officers, they usually 
protected the Apostle from persecution, and treated him 
with kindness. These Philippian officials, first buUying 
and then cringing, had probably had no training in the 
grand traditions of Roman justice. 

The gaoler probably believed that the earthquake was the 
result of the prayers which Paul and Silas had been chanting 

* " She belonged to some masters, possibly a corporation of 
priests, who made a good business out of her fortune-telling " 
(Rackham). "Hired by Philippian citizens" (Smith, D.B. art. 

* Philippi '). 


a synagogue, but only a 'place of prayer' [vpoaevxri), 
on the bank of the river Gangites ; and here on the Sabbath 
the four missionaries began their labours.* The wor- 
shippers whom they met seem to have been chiefly Gentile 
women, who, without becoming proselytes, adopted Jewish 
principles and attended Jewish worship. At any rate 
the first convert, Lydia, was such a person, and her house 
became the home of the infant Philippian Church. It was 
among ' God-fearers,' or " honorary members " of Judaism, 
that St. Paul found some of his best material in missionary 
work, and the Jews hated him the more for his success 
in wresting these " honorary members " from them. 

That ' Lydia ' is not an ordinary proper name, but a nick- 
name bestowed upon her because she was a Lydian from 
Thyatira in Lydia, is possible, and Ramsay regards it as 
" practically certain." But ovoimti elsewhere indicates 
actual proper names (Acts v. i, 34, viii. 9, ix. 10, 11, 12, 33, 
36, X. I, etc.), whereas eVt/caXou/ievo? or o iiriKXrjOeCv 
is used to introduce names that have been substituted for 
the proper name or added to it (Acts iv. 36, x. 18, xi. 13, 
xii. 12, 25, XV. 22) ; and Horace shows us that Lydia was a 
name borne by women who were not Lydians {Odes I. viii. i, 
III. ix. 6). The Lydian hypothesis is not generally adopted. 
That Lydia is to be identified with either Euodia or S3mtyche 
is pure conjecture (see on iv. 2). It need not surprise us 
that she receives no special message and is not mentioned 
in the Epistle. No greetings to individuals are sent ; and 
she may have died or have left Philippi before the Epistle 
was written. 

The girl who was possessed by a spirit of divination (lit. ' a 
spirit, Pytho ') was probably a slave, and she may have been 
connected with the oracle of the Thracian Dionysus on the 
adjoining range of Haemus. That she was exploited by a 

* The reading is again very uncertain. We cannot be sure that 
worship was regularly held here, or that there was a building in which 
to hold it. Probably open-air services took place every Sabbath 
and other Jewish holy day. Jews like to have their places of worship 
near water with a view to ceremonial purifications. 


company, to get money for them by uttering oracles and 
telling fortunes,* is mere hj^pothesis. ' Her masters ' 
{ol Kvpiot aiTTJi) may mean her ' master and mistress,' or 
a family of brothers and sisters whom she served. Papyri 
illustrate this use of ol Kvpiot. She seems to have believed 
in her own inspiration, and she certainly beheved in the 
inspiration of the missionaries. They, like herself, were 
' slaves of the Most High God,' and they delivered a message 
from Him. But just as our Lord refused the aid of demons 
when they declared Him to be the Messiah, so His Apostle 
refused the aid of this spirit of divination, when it declared 
him and his colleagues to be ministers of salvation. Like 
his Master, he commanded the unclean spirit to come out. 
The severe beating and subsequent imprisonment of Paul 
and Silas, which was the result, is alluded to i. 30. How 
Timothy and Luke escaped outrage we do not know. If 
there was any evidence that Luke was a Philippian, this 
might account for his escape. Why did not Paul and Silas 
avoid it by declaring themselves at once to be Roman 
citizens, as they did the next day ? Possibly they did utter 
a protest, but in the uproar the duumviri did not hear it. 
It is also possible that on this occasion they readily accepted 
the fellowship of Christ's sufferings (iii. 10), and were unwill- 
ing to deprive themselves of the opportunity of sharing 
persecution with Him. Cf. 2 Cor. xi. 25. In either case 
the conduct of the magistrates at PhiUppi was in marked 
contrast to that of almost all Roman officials elsewhere. 
Whether magistrates or military ofl&cers, they usually 
protected the Apostle from persecution, and treated him 
with kindness. These Philippian officials, first bullying 
and then cringing, had probably had no training in the 
grand traditions of Roman justice. 

The gaoler probably believed that the earthquake was the 
result of the prayers which Paul and Silas had been chanting 

* " She belonged to some masters, possibly a corporation of 
priests, who made a good business out of her fortune-telling " 
(Rackham). "Hired by Philippian citizens" (Smith, D.B. art, 


during the night.* This convinced him that they had a 
Divine commission, just as the substance of their preaching 
had convinced the oracle-giving slave-girl of the reahty of 
their inspiration. Both saw in them ministers of salvation 
(Acts xvi. 17, 30). Lydia, the slave-girl, and the gaoler, 
all of them Gentiles, give us three very different examples 
of the population of Philippi, and therefore of the very 
different elements with which the missionaries had to deal 
in this virgin missionary soU. Lydia and the gaoler show 
the early spread of the Gospel to whole households. We are 
tempted to see in these three converts t3^es which respec- 
tively represent Jewish, Greek, and Roman civilization. 
But Lydia was not a Jewess, though she was powerfully 
attracted by the Jewish religion. That the slave-girl 
was a Greek, and the gaoler a Roman, is not improbable, 
but cannot be proved. 

The ■ we '-section in Acts which began suddenly at Troas 
(xvi. 10) comes suddenly to an end with the departure of 
Paul and Silas from Philippi (xvi. 17-40), showing that Luke 
did not leave Philippi with them. The fact that the duum- 
virs came to the prison, and personally apologized for their 
conduct on the previous day, would teU in favour of the 
work of the missionaries, and would gain respect for Luke 
and any who worked with him. 

Some five years later St. Paul was again in Macedonia, 
and doubtless at Philippi (Acts xx. i). The next year he was 
certainly at Philippi (xx. 5, 6), where the ' we '-sections begin 
again. Some five or six years later this Epistle was written. 
In it there is no direct allusion to intermediate visits ; but 
the general tone of interest, intimacy, and affection is in 
harmony with such facts, and it is possible that ' many 
times used to tell ' (iii. 18) refers to what was said at a second 
or third visit. 

Ignatius passed through PhiUppi on his way to be mar- 
t3Ted at Rome, and a Httle later Polycarp wrote to the 

* Tlpo(Tevx6iJi.€voi v/ivovv may refer to liturgical usage ; but 
v/ivouc may mean no more than repetition. So often in Plato ; 
cf. Soph. Ajax, 292, 


Philippians a letter in which he alludes to our Epistle, 
and possibly to more than one, from the Apostle to the 
Philippians. After that our knowledge of the Philippian 
Church is ahnost a blank. "Born into the world with 
the brightest promise, the Church of Philippi has Uved 
without a history and perished without a memorial" 


The genuineness of the Epistle to the Philippians is now 
so generally admitted even by scholars who are hjTper- 
critical in other directions, that one might be justified in 
assuming it without discussion as certain. Answering 
objections is sla3dng the slain, a process which is all the more 
superfluous, because in some cases it is an objector who 
convincingly replies to the arguments which a previous 
assailant of the Epistle has used. Thus Holsten demolishes 
the criticisms of Baur, only to have his own criticisms 
similarly treated by later writers. Schiirer regards them 
as more hke slips of the pen than serious arguments, and 
Paul Ewald pulverizes them in detail. Sometimes the words 
of the letter are misinterpreted, in order to make out a case 
against it ; sometimes historical situations are invented, 
in order to show that the letter must have been written 
after the death of the Apostle. Arguments are used which 
" are really so weak, that we can hardly believe that the 
objector could have attached any importance to them 
himself " (Bleek). " The objections raised by a few hyper- 
critics are not worthy of serious refutation " (P. S chaff). 

The internal evidence is of the strongest. It would be 
difficult to point to any four consecutive chapters in the 
N.T. as more intensely Pauline. " The tone is Pauline 
beyond the possibility of imitation " (Jiilicher) ; and it 
is so in so many different ways. Assuming, however, 
that any primitive writer was capable of imitating thus 
minutely the Apostle's mental and moral characteristics, 
it is impossible to find any adequate motive for such a 


forgery. Non cuivis Paulinum pecUis effingere, says Bengel ; 
and if so consummate an artist had existed, would he have 
produced such a simple, affectionate, grateful, and undog- 
matic letter as this ? 

The external evidence is hardly less conclusive. There is 
little doubt that Clement of Rome (a.d. 95) knew this 
Epistle. No one passage in his letter can be called a quota- 
tion ; but the cumulative effect of the various expressions 
which may be echoes of Philippians is almost stringent ; 
so many resemblances can hardly be accidental. Ignatius 
seems to have known it. Polycarp certainly did. From 
A.D. 175 onwards testimonies to it become abundant. 

Among foreign scholars of high rank the following accept 
it as genuine ; Bleek, B. Bruckner, W. Bruckner, Clemen, 
De Wette, Ernesti, P. Ewald, Godet, Grimm, Hamack, 
E. Haupt, Hilgenfeld, Holtzmann, JiiUcher, Klopper, 
Lipsius, Lueken, Liinemann, Mangold, Pfleiderer, Renan, 
Resch, Reuss, Sabatier, Schenkel, P. W. Schmidt, Schiirer, 
B. Weiss, Zahn.* 

The same may be said with regard to its integrity. It 
was probably not all dictated at one sitting ; and at iii. i 
there may have been some disturbing interruption. But 
that we really have two letters joined together at this point, 
either of which may have been written first, is an hypothesis 
which solves no difficulties, and which has httle evidence to 
support it ; for the possibility that St. Paul wrote more than 
one letter to the Philippians is no evidence that in this 
Epistle we have two letters dovetailed. Yet this gratmtous 
suggestion is better than the wild theory that fragments 
of two genuine letters He scattered about through all four 
chapters. There is no reasonable doubt that aU four 
chapters were written as parts of one and the same letter, 
and in the order in which we have them. 

* " The attempts made during the nineteenth century to disprove 
the Pauline authorship now possess merely an historic interest " 
(MofEat). See also C. R. Gregory, Canon and Text of N.T. pp. 
205 f., and R. J. Knowling, Testimony of St. Pattl to Christ, pp. iiif. 



Here again we are on firm ground. Almost every indica- 
tion in the letter itself points to one place only, viz. Rome. 
The hypothesis suggested by some modern critics, that it 
was written during the imprisonment at Caesarea, will not 
bear investigation. In i. 13 and iv. 22 we have what almost 
amounts to proof in favour of Rome, and what the Apostle 
tells us about his own surroundings harmonizes with this. 
His hope of being released and coming soon to visit Philippi 
(i. 25, ii. 24) is fatal to the view of Caesarea. Cessation 
of the imprisonment at Caesarea would mean transfer to 

But during the last few years some scholars, including 
B. W. Bacon, Deissmann, and Kirsopp Lake, have suggested 
Ephesus as the place from which the letter was written. 
The theory is less incredible than that which advocates 
Caesarea, but it fails altogether when weighed against 
the almost universally accepted view that the letter was 
written during the two years' imprisonment at Rome. 
The Ephesus theory is based upon a number of more or 
less probable conjectures ; the accepted view is based 
upon well-ascertained facts, (i) We do not know that 
St. Paul was ever imprisoned at Ephesus. We know that 
he was imprisoned for two years at Rome, and the letter 
imphes an imprisonment of many months' duration. It is 
true that 2 Cor. xi. 23 and Clem. Rom. Cor. vi. show that the 
Apostle was thrown into prison more often than the occasions 
mentioned in Acts, and one of these additional imprison- 
ments may have been at Ephesus. But it is very improbable 
that there was an imprisonment of many months at 
Ephesus. St. Luke's silence respecting such an event 
would be extraordinary. (2) ' I fought with beasts at 
Ephesus ' is supposed to imply imprisonment and sentence 
of death, a death from which, in some strange way, the 
Apostle escaped. But it is incredible that a Roman citizen 
was sentenced to fight with wild beasts in the arena. The 
phrase is a metaphor for conflict with brutal men. (3) 


There may have been a praetorium of some kind at Ephesus. 
We know that there was one at Rome. (4) There were 
persons at Ephesus related to the Imperial court who might 
be Said to be ' of the household of Caesar.' We know that 
' the household of Caesar ' was a well-known institution at 
Rome. (5) Many scholars hold that Rom. xvi. really 
belongs to a letter addressed to Ephesus, and in Rom. xvi. 7 
Andronicus and Junias are called ' my feUow-prisoners,' 
and they were probably imprisoned with him at Ephesus. 
But it is far from certain that Rom. xvi. was originally 
addressed to Ephesus ; many scholars regard the theory 
as untenable ; and ' my fellow-prisoners ' need not mean 
more than that ' they, like myself, have suffered imprison- 
ment.' (6) At Ephesus there is a fort called " St. Paul's 
Prison." It is certain that the Apostle was never imprisoned 
in it. 

The Date of the letter, Uke all other dates in the life of 
St. Paul, cannot be determined with exactness. It was 
probably in the spring of a.d. 50 that he first visited Philippi. 
About A.D. 55 he was probably again there, and in the follow- 
ing year he was certainly there. Then comes his arrest at 
Jerusalem, the imprisonment at Caesarea, and the two years' 
imprisonment at Rome, near the end of which he wrote this 
Epistle, about a.d. 60-62. Perhaps a.d. 61 is right, about 
ten years later than i Thessalonians. Some put the dates 
one or two years later, and a few prefer one or two years 

But, whatever the year may be, the letter was written 
late in the two years at Rome. His imprisonment has 
had time to produce momentous effects (i. 12-18) ; he is 
expecting to be released before long (i, 25, ii. 24) ; the PhiUp- 
pians have had time to hear of his necessities and, after 
considerable delay (iv. 10), to send Epaphroditus, to hear 
of his arrival in Rome and serious iUness there, and to let 
him know of their anxiety about him (U. 24-27). Moreover, 
St. Luke has evidently left the Apostle (ii. 21, iv. 22 ; of. 
Col. iv. 14). 

We have no means of knowing whether St. Paul's condi- 


tion had been affected by two events, either of which might 
have made his imprisonment more stringent, and his pros- 
pect of acquittal less, i. The Praetorian Prefect Burrhus, 
an upright man, who had treated St. Paul humanely, died, 
and one of his successors was the infamous TigeUinus. 
2. Nero married Poppaea, who was a Jewish proselyte, 
and would be Ukely to support the Apostle's Jewish prosecu- 
tors. Our Epistle was probably written before either of 
these events took place. No trace of them, therefore, can 
be looked for in it. See Lewin, Fasti Sacri, p. 326. 


We may be sure that during the five years between 
the Apostle's first and second visits to PhiHppi there were 
communications between him and his converts. He would 
not have remained silent, and we know that on several 
occasions they sent supplies to him, and no doubt were 
among the Macedonians who were so generous in contri- 
buting to the fund for the relief of the poor Christians at 
Jerusalem (2 Cor. viii. 1-5). As PhiUppi was on the great 
highway between Asia Minor and much of Europe, oppor- 
tunities of sending messages or letters would be considerable. 
That St. Paul had previously written to the Phihppians 
is more than we know ; but there is no improbability in 
the supposition, and rd, aind in iii. i is regarded by some 
as an allusion to a former letter. On the other side, the 
PhUippians may have sent a letter along with one or more 
of their contributions. In the present Epistle there are 
possible allusions to a letter sent by them after the arrival 
of Epaphroditus in Rome. They may have inquired about 
the Apostle's progress and prospects (i. 12 f.), told him that 
they prayed for him (i. 19), wondered whether they would 
ever see him again (i. 24, 25, ii. 24), inquired about the 
illness of Epaphroditus (ii. 26), and expressed regret that 
the money had not been sent to the Apostle sooner (iv. 10). 
Every one of these features in the Epistle would be quite 
natural, if no such letter had been sent from Philippi, 
and therefore all of them put together do not amount 


to evidence that the Apostle is answering a letter. All 
that can safely be said is that, if such a letter was sent, 
our Epistle is to some extent an answer to it. The hypo- 
thesis of a PhiUppian letter sent after Epaphroditus reached 
Rome does not help us to understand anything in the 
Epistle ; it merely agrees very well with certain features 
in it. The Apostle was sympathetic enough to have sus- 
pected that the PhiUppians were disturbed about the delay 
in sending help, and about the course of events in Rome, 
and resolved to reassure them. This, then, was one reason 
for writing. 

In addition to this, there was Epaphroditus, about whose 
iUness they were so anxious, now restored to bodily health, 
but home-sick, who would gladly carry a letter to Phihppi. 

And, if the Philippians were anxious about the Apostle, 
he also was anxious about them. On the whole, he could 
rejoice greatly at their spiritual condition (i. 3-6, ii. 12) ; 
but there was a want of Christian unity, and a tendency to 
unchristian despondency and gloom. He must exhort them 
to be more united (i. 9, ii. 2-17, iii. 16, iv. 2, 3, 9), and must 
encourage them to rejoice without ceasing (ii. 18, 28, 
iv. 4). He also knew that they were suffering persecution 
(i. 30), and would urge them to stand fast (iv. i). More- 
over, he was anxious about grave evils, which existed 
elsewhere in Christian Churches, and which might find their 
way to PhiUppi. He therefore warns them earnestly 
against the Judaizers who wanted to enslave Christians 
under the Law (iii. 2-11), and against Antinomians who 
taught that Christian hberty meant Gentile laxity about 
sin (iii. 17-21). 

The immediate occafion of the Epistle was the eagerness 
of Epaphroditus to return home. 


The Epistle to the PhiUppians has received a number of 
descriptive epithets. It has been called " the Epistle of 
Joy," " the Epistle of Love." " the Epistle of Humility," 
" the most beautiful of all the Pauline Epistles," " the most 


affectionate," "the happiest," "the noblest reflexion of St. 
Paul's personal character and spiritual illumination," " the 
most attractive picture in the N.T. of Christian life and a 
Christian Church," " the love-letter " among the Pauline 
Epistles, " the testament of the Apostle and the most 
epistolary of all Epistles " (der brieflichste alter Briefe). 
Let us begin with the last of these descriptions ; " it is the 
most letter-Hke of all letters." In other words, it is a real 
letter, and not a treatise, or an essay, or a homily, or any- 
thing else, dressed up to look Uke a letter. It is one of the 
significcint indications of Van Manen's incompetence as a 
critic that he can pronounce it to be " not really a letter, 
but an edifying composition in the form of a letter." Its 
simplicity and artlessness are conspicuous all through as the 
natural outpoiuring of a very affectionate, cheerful, and 
grateful, but somewhat anxious and sensitive friend and 
teacher, to disciples who (as he knows) admire and love 
him, but are in need of both encouragement and warning. 
Indications of mutual affection abound (i. 7-9, 25, 26, ii. 2, 
12, 17, 18, 28, iii. 16, iv. I, 14-17). The topics come one 
after another in a manner which is natural enough, but 
which shows no very careful plan ; and the letter is therefore 
delightfully informal, but somewhat difficult to analyse. 
Here and there, as in the great doctrinal passage (ii. 6-11), 
and in personal explanations (iii. 4-12, iv. 11-13), the word- 
ing seems to have been prepared with some care beforehand. 
But, for the most part, the Apostle has simply made up his 
mind as to the subjects which he will talk about, and he 
utters them as they occvi to his memory. Talk about them 
is exactly what he does. The most perfect kind of letter- 
writing is that which comes nearest to good conversation ; 
and of all the Pauline Epistles none comes nearer to that 
than the letter before us. As one might expect in what is 
addressed by a loving master to loving and dutiful pupils, 
the letter simply swings backwards and forwards between 
what concerns them, and therefore greatly interests him, and 
what concerns him, and is sure to interest them. Both of 
these element s are a self-revelation of the writer. They tell 



us of his prison-thoughts ; — ^his joys and his sorrows and the 
source of his strength in combinipg joy and sorrow with 
regard to the chequered present and the uncertain future. 

The alternations between those whom he addresses and 
himself are roughly as follows : i. 3-11 Thanksgiving 
and Prayer for the Philippians ; i. 12-26 Personal Informa- 
tion about the Apostle ; i. 27-ii. 18 Exhortation and Coimsel 
to the Philippians ; ii. 19-iii. i Personal Information 
about the Apostle ; iii. 2-iv. 9 Warnings and Exhortations 
to the Philippians ; iv. 10-20 The Apostle's Gratitude for 
their affectionate Gift. 

There is no hint, not even in ii. 6-11 or iii. 2-19, that the 
Philippians needed correction in matters of doctrine ; ii. 
6-11 is part of an exhortation with regard to conduct, and 
iii. 2-19 is a warning against evils of doctrine and practice 
which exist elsewhere and might become rife at PhiMppi. 

As already stated, the absence of a prearranged plan 
makes the letter difficult to analyse. But the following 
scheme may be of some help towards a connected view of 
its contents. 

I. The Salutation, i. i, 2. 

II. Thanksgiving and Prayer for the Philippians. 

i. 3-II- 

III. Historical and Personal, i. 12-26. 

1. Results of the Apostle's Captivity, i. 12-14. 

2. The Friendly and Unfriendly Preachers, i. 15-20. 

3. The Apostle's Perplexity and Hope. i. 21-26. 

IV. Hortatory and Doctrinal, i. 27-ii. 18. 

1. Exhortation to Unity and Self-Negation, i. 27-ii. 4. 

2. The Great Example of Self-Negation and Humility. 

ii. 5-11. 

3. Exhortation to Unity and Submission, ii. 12-18. 

V. Explanatory and Personal, ii. 19-iii. i. 

1. Timothy to be sent very soon, ii, 19—24. 

2. Epaphroditus to be sent at once. ii. 25-30. 

3. Transitional, iii. i. 


VI. Warnings and Exhortations, iii. 2-iv. g. 

1. Warning against Judaism, iii. 2-11. 

2. Warning against Antinomianism. iii. 12-21. 

3. Transitional, iv. 1. 

4. Exhortation to Unity, iv. 2, 3. 

5. Exhortation to Joy. iv. 4-7. 

6. Exhortation to practise what is Noblest and Best. 

iv. 8, 9. 

VII. Historical and Personal, iv. 10-20. 

1. Gratitude for the PhiUppians' Gift. iv. 10-18. 

2. Requital and Doxology. iv. 19, 20. 

VIII. Concluding Salutations and Benedictions. 

iv. 21-23. 


The Epistle to the PhiUppians closes the httle group of 
letters which St. Paul addressed to the Churches of Mace- 
donia, a group of intense interest for the student of the work 
and character of St. Paul. These three Epistles are an 
imperishable memorial of his labour and method in founding, 
cherishing and educating these Churches : and that work 
was one of the most momentous ventures in his courageous 
experiments for the furtherance of the Gospel. The Epis- 
tles are only a portion, and perhaps a small portion, of the 
intercourse, Uterary and oral, which passed between the 
Apostle of the Gentiles and the congregations who were 
his first and most beloved converts on European soil. 
It is highly instructive to study the three Epistles together 
and to notice the characteristics which they have in common : 
and it is hoped that commentaries on each of them, similar 
in plan and in the amount of explanation offered, will 
contribute something to such study. Although ten years 
of a very active and very varied hf e Ue between i Thessa- 
lonians and PhiUppians, yet the resemblance in tone is 
remarkable, especiaUy as regards the mutual affection 
between the Apostle and his converts. Neither to the 


Thessalonians nor to the Philippians does he use his official 
title of Apostle. They have never resisted his authority 
and he has no need to remind them of it. In all three letters 
he thanks God for the converts' steadfastness and progress. 
He can say of both Thessalonians (i. Thess. ii. 19) and 
Philippians (iv. i) that they are his crown and his joy, 
his joy in this life and a crown that will do him honour 
in the Ufe to come. He is as sure of their love for him as of 
his own for them ; and he is willing to part with his beloved 
and most helpful Timothy in order to serve either of them 
(i Thess. iii. 2 ; Phil. ii. 19). He prays for them, and he 
counts on their prayers for himself. Both he and they know 
what it is to suffer persecution, and therefore can not only 
feel sympathy for one another, but share in the same kind of 

Apart from the spiritual welfare of his converts there 
were few objects which he had more at heart than the fund 
for the succour of the poor Christians in Judaea, the Pales- 
tine Relief Fund ; and in supporting this his dear Mace- 
donians had done excellently. He says to the Corinthians, 
' Let me make known to you, my Brothers, the grace of God 
which has been and still is being exhibited very remarkably 
in the Churches of Macedonia. In the midst of an ordeal 
of affliction which has served to bring out their genuine 
Christianity, their overflowing happiness, combined with 
quite desperate poverty, has issued in a rich stream of 
simpleminded generosity. For I can testify that up to the 
very limits, yes, and beyond the limits of their very slender 
means, they have given freely, and this without one word 
of suggestion from me. So far from my asking them for 
help, they begged us most urgently to be allowed the 
privilege of taking part in the work of ministering to the 
necessities of their fellow-Christians in Jerusalem. I should 
be misleading you if I were to say that in this they acted 
just as we expected that they would ; one does not expect 
very much from very poor people ; they did far more than 
we expected. It was their own selves that they gave first 
and foremost to the Lord and also to us, and they made 


the offering in both cases because it was so willed by God ' 
(2 Cor. viii. i f.). 

This generous commendation of the Macedonians to 
another Church is quite in harmony with the expressions 
which he uses respecting them in the letters addressed 
to themselves. 


Only a selection is given here. A similar list with 
descriptive notes on the various commentaries will be 
found in the excellent volume on the Epistle in the Inter- 
national Critical Commentary by Dr. Marvin R. Vincent, 
who has had the advantage of coming late (1897) in a very 
distinguished series of commentators. In the following 
summary foreign works which have been translated into 
EngUsh are inserted in the English list. 

On the Greek Text. 


Greek. Chrysostom, Theodore of Mopsuestia,* Theodoret, 

Oecumenius, Theophylact. 
Latin. Ambrosiaster, Pelagius. 

Erasmus, Zwingli, Beza, Calvin, Musculus. 


Bengel, Gnomon Novi Testamenti, 1742 ; tr. 1:857, i860. 

Neander, tr. 1851. 

Webster and Wilkinson, 1855-1861. 

* Swete's admirable edition of the Latin Version with the Greek 
fragments has been often used for the notes in this volume. For 
information respecting all these writers see Swete's Patristic Study, 
and Hastings, D.B. vol, V. art. ' Patristic Commentaries ' by 
C. H. Turner, 


Alford, 1857, 5th ed. 1871. 

Olshausen, 1830 ; tr. 1858. 

C. Wordsworth, 1859. 

Meyer, 4th ed. tr. 1875. 

Eadie, 1877, 2nd ed. 1884. 

Ellicott, 2nd ed. 1861, 5th ed. 1888. 

Lightfoot, 6th ed. 1891. 

C. J. Vaughan, 1885. 

J. Agar Beet, 1890. 

Moule {^Cambridge Greek Testament), 1897. 

B. Weiss, 1902 ; tr. 1906. 

Kennedy [Expositor's Greek Testament), 1903. 

On the English Versions. 

A. Barry [EUicott's Commentary), 1879. 

Gwjmn {Speaker's Commentary), 1881. 

Lumby {Schaff's Commentary), 1882. 

G. C. Martin (Century Bible). 

Sadler, 1889. 

Drummond (International Handbooks), 1899. 

R. R. Smith, The Epistle of St. Paul's First Trial, 1899. 

Rainy (Expositor's Bible). 

Strachan (Westminster New Testament), 1910. 

Maurice Jones (Westminster Commentaries), 1917. 

A. T. Robertson, Paul's Joy in Christ, 1918. 

New Translations in English. 

The Twentieth Century New Testament, 1900. 
Weymouth, The N.T. in Modern Speech, 1905. 
Way, The Letters of St. Paul, 2nd ed. 1906. 
Moffat, The N.T., a New Translation, 1913. 
Cunnington, The New Covenant, 1914. 

There are valuable articles on the Epistle in Smith's 
DB. by W. T. BuUock ; Hastings' DB. by J. Gibb ; Hastings' 
DAC. by D. Mackensie ; Encyclopaedia Britannica, nth ed., 
by Moffatt ; Murray's Illustr. BD. by Moule. 


See also the article on ' Paul ' in Hastings' DCG. II. by 

The Uterature on the great doctrinal passage ii. 5-11. 
especially with regard to the Kenosis, is considerable ; e.g. 
Godet on Jn. i. 14, 1879 ; Westcott on Jn. i. 14, 1880. 
Hutton, Theological Essays, 1881, 1888, Essay vii. 
Bruce, Humiliation of Christ, 1889. 
Fairbairn, Christ in Modern Theology, 1893. 
Bright, Waymarks in Church History, 1894. 
Gore, Dissertations, 1895. 

Mason, Conditions of our Lord's Life on Earth, 1896- 
PoweU, Principle of the Incarnation, 1896. 
Gifford, The Incarnation, 1897. 
Somerville, St. Paul's Conception of Christ, 1897. 
Hall, Kenotic Theory, 1898. 
Forsyth, The Person and Place of Christ, 1910. 
Weston, The One Christ, and art. ' Kenosis ' in Murray's 

lUustr. BD. 

Among German commentaries on the Epistle the following 
will be found useful : De Wette, 1841, 3 ; B. Weiss, 1859 ; 
Von Soden, 1889 ; Lipsius, 1892 ; Klopper, 1893 ; Haupt 
(in Meyer), 1902 ; Lueken (in J. Weiss), 1908 ; P. EwaJd 
(in Zahn), 1908. 

Frequent references are given in the notes to the very 
valuable Vocabulary of the Greek Testament illustrated from 
Papyri and other Non-literary Sources, by Moulton and Milli- 
gan, which has reached the word Qmpa^, and which Dr. 
Milligan is now carrying on since the lamented death of 
Dr. Moulton through enemy action in the war. 



^ Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the Saints 
in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the Bishops and Deacons : 
2 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the 
Lord Jesus Christ. 

The Salutation in Philippians is somewhat longer than 
the one in 2 Thessalonians, and much longer than the one in 
I Thessalonians. Secular letters of the period have similar 
openings, but they are conventional, and have less fullness 
of wording, and still less fuUness of meaning. What the 
Apostle meant by the Greek words which he uses, and what 
the better instructed among his converts would understand 
by them, is more than is conveyed to us by the English word- 
ing. For us they must be expanded. 

1 Paul and Timothy, well known to you as being, like yourselves, 
devoted bondservants of Christ Jesus, give greeting to the whole body 
of Christians in Philippi, whether Jews or Gentiles, who have been 
consecrated in Christ Jesus as a new Israel, together with their minis- 
ters — the bishops and deacons. ^ We give you the Christian and the 
Jews greeting combined — grace, the source of all spiritual blessings, 
and peace, the end and issue of them all — desiring that you may 
receive them from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 

I. As in the two Epistles to the Thessalonians and in the 
private letter to Philemon, St. Paul refrains from calling 
himself an Apostle, an official title which he uses at the open- 
ing of all his other letters, whether to Churches or to indi- 
vidual ministers, and on which he lays very great emphasis 



in writing to the renegade Galatians. The omission in these 
four cases indicates that the recipients of the letters had no 
need to be reminded of his Apostleship, and that he writes 
in a spirit of friendship, to exhort, instruct, and express 
affection and gratitude, rather than magisterially, to rebuke 
misconduct or correct misbelief. All three of the letters to 
the Macedonian Christians, especially i Thessalonians and 
PhUippians, are of this gentle and genial character. 

In all three letters Timothy is joined with St. Paul in the 
Salutation, as being with him at the time of writing and as 
having been his colleague in the original mission to Mace- 
donia.* Timothy had visited Philippi at least once since 
then, and he is about to visit them again (ii. 19). That 
Timothy was acting as the Apostle's amanuensis is possible, 
but not probable. St. Paul would hardly have dictated 
ii. 19-23 to Timothy himself. But, whereas in i and 2 
Thessalonians the ist pers. plur, is used almost imiformly 
throughout, and the " we ' seems to embrace Timothy and 
Silvanus, here the ist pers. sing, begins at once (' I thank,' 
not ' we thank ') and is continued throughout. Timothy 
is dropped as completely as Sosthenes in i Corinthians ; and 
when he is mentioned again in ii. 19 it is as one who has no 
part in the contents of the letter. See on 2 Thessalonians i. 
1, p. 3. A vrai dire, Paul ecrasa toujoufs ses disciples ; ils 
nejou&rent aupres de lui que le role de secretaires, de serviteurs, 
de courfiers. Quand Paul etait avec sa troupe, il existait 
seul. Renan, Saint Paul, p. 565. 

devoted bondservants of Christ Jesus] Cf. Rom. i. i 

* " The name is an Attic one and first occurs as the father of 
Conon the celebrated general (Thucyd. vii. 52) : the name afterwards 
often occurs in the literary and artistic history of Greece, and it is 
interesting to note its relation to Asia Minor. It is not improbable 
that St. Timothy may have received his name out of compliment 
to the sculptor Timotheus, who was a contemporary of Praxiteles " 
(C. H. Hoole, The Classical Element in the N.T. p. 64). 

The A.V. wavers between ' Timothy ' and ' Timotheus," and the 
latter is often misread as three long syllables, instead of four sylla- 
bles, one long and three short, thus Tlmotheiis. R.V. has ' Timothy ' 


and Tit. i. i. It is not servitude but ownership that is 
indicated. Christians are free, but they are not their own, 
they are not independent ; and in their dependence and 
service they find their true freedom (Rom. vi. 22 ; i Cor. 
vii. 22 ; 2 Cor. iii. 17). The expression SovXoi unites the 
two missionaries, on the one hand with their Philippian 
converts, on the other with the O.T. Prophets. Teachers 
and taught were aUke devoted to the service of God ; and 
• servant of God ' or " of the Lord ' is a frequent designation 
of Prophets (Amos iii. 7 ; Jer. vii. 25, xxv. 4, xxix. 19 ; 
Dan. ix. 6 ; Ezra ix. 11). The Greek word is commonly 
SovXoi, as here, but sometimes depd-n-eov, and sometimes 
Tat?. It places the relation between God or Christ and 
His ministers at a wider distance than Oepdntov, and a still 
wider than -n-at?. On the other hand, it makes the tie 
stronger. They are boimd to Him for life ; they are His 
property ; Gal. vi. 17. See Deissmann, Light from the 
Ancient East, pp. 323 f. ; Thackeray, Gram, of O.T. Grk. 
p. 8. The word here is perhaps meant to be in humble 
contrast to ' the saints.' 

of Christ Jesus] The words in this order are a proper 
name indicating the glorified Christ, and the order is almost 
peculiar to St. Paul. ' Jesus Christ ' may mean Jesus of 
Nazareth who was the Messiah. 

to the whole body of Christians] With remarkable persist- 
ency St. Paul intimates that the Philippians are a united 
whole, and that aU of them have an equal share of his 
affection and solicitude. He excludes no one from his love 
and care, and there ought to be no dissensions among them ; 
see vv. 3-8, 25-27, ii. 17, 26, iv. 21, 23. This feature in the 
Epistle is unique. 

who have been consecrated] This is the meaning of 
■ saints ' (aytot) ; not some who have attained to special 
hoHness of life, but aU who have been admitted to the 
Christian Church. As by circumcision the Jew was conse- 
crated to Jehovah, so by baptism the Christian is consecrated 
to Christ. In each case there is a covenant implying an 
obligation to live a holy life. Cf. iv. 21, 22. Here again 


O.T. phraseology is adopted, and adapted to N.T. use. The 
Israelites were set apart as a ' holy people ' ; Deut. vii. 6, 
xiv. 2, xxvi. 19, xxviii. 9 ; Isa. Ixii. 12 ; Dan. xii. 7 ; cf. i 
Pet. ii. 9. The new Israel is set apart, in a simpler but 
higher way. This is emphasized by ' in Christ Jesus ' ; 
they are holy by spiritual union with Him ; and this addi- 
tion differentiates them from the Jewish wytot. On the 
uniformity of readings in the combination ' in Christ Jesus ' 
and ' in Christ ' see Sanday and Headlam on Rom. i. i and 
iii. 24. 

The word ayi,o<i is rare in classical Greek, 

with the bishops and deacons] Neither word has the article, 
abv ein<TKoiroi<i Kal SiaKovoi^, which perhaps indicates 
that St. Paul did not know them personally. But he knew 
that there were such ministers, and he wishes his readers 
to understand that he addresses every one, officials included. 
We have a-vv, which implies a closer connexion than iJ^rd : 
Simcox, Lan. of the N.T. p. 150; una cum (Beza). The 
reading ffweiriaKoiroti, though accepted by Chrysostom, 
Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theophylact, and Cassiodorus, is 
" meaningless and indefensible " (EUicott). Translators 
differ considerably ; Vincent, ' with the superintendents 
and ministers ' ; Way, ' along with their Church-overseers 
and church stewards ' ; Weymouth, " with the ministers 
of the Church and their assistants ' ; 20th Cent. N.T., 
' with the Presidents and Assistant-Officers ' ; Cimnington, 
■ with overseers and deacons.' Colloquially we might say, 
' bishops, deacons, and all.' 

This is the earliest use of these terms as the names of 
two distinct classes of Church officials. Among their fimo- 
tions they probably managed the funds of the congregation, 
and had been instrumental in sending financial help to the 
Apostle. This may be the reason why he mentions them 
here, as an indirect acknowledgment of their trouble 
on his behalf. The PhiUppians would know why they are 
mentioned. On the one hand, there is an advance on i 
Thess. v. 12, where the single article shows that only one class 
of officials is indicated (see note there). On the other, the 


plural shows that the condition of a monarchical bishop, dis- 
tinct from and above the presbyters, has not yet been reached. 
In the N.T., as in Clement of Rome (xlii. 4, :div. i), iwlaKoiro^ 
and 7r/3e«r/8uT6/3os are convertible terms. Hie ' episcopos ' pres- 
byteros intellegimus ; non enim in una urie plures episcopi 
esse potuissent (Pelagius). Theodore says the same, and 
remarks that presbyters would not have been omitted if 
bishops had meant the superior order.* That the Seven 
in Acts vi. were the original deacons is doubtful ; Acts 
xxi. 8 Philip, one of the Seven, is not called ' the deacon,' 
but ' the evangeUst.' See Lightfoot, PMlippians, pp. 95 f. ; 
Motdton and Milligan, Vocabulary of the Grk. Test. p. 149 ; 
Hastings' DAC. artt. ' Bishops ' and ' Church Govern- 

The ' bishops and deacons ' are mentioned after the whole 
body of Christians, just as in Acts xv. 4 ' the apostles and 
elders ' are mentioned after 'the Church.' Contrast Heb. xiii. 
24. The order is indifferent ; and the curious explanation 
of Aquinas, that " shepherds go behind their flocks," is 
not required. 

2. grace and peace] This combination of Western and 
Eastern salutations is found in all the Pauline Epistles, 
with ' mercy ' inserted between the two in the Pastorals. 
It occurs in i and 2 Peter, 2 John, and Revelation, and we do 
not know who originated it. It evidently became widely 
current at an early date. See Charles on Rev. i. 4. In the 
O.T., ■ grace ' (xajot?) is frequent in the Wisdom Books ; 
and in the N.T. is extraordinarily frequent in the Pauline, 
especially of God's favour to man as manifested in His 
incarnate Son, a favour which generates peace of mind. 
' Peace ' is not the mere absence of anxiety, or the mere 
cessation of antagonism between man and man. It is 
the cessation of antagonism between man and God, the 
product of permanent reconciliation. See on 2 Thess. 
i. 2 ; J. A. Robinson, Ephesians, p. 221; Sanday and 

* In the Ep. of Polycarp to the Philippians there are " presbyters ' 
and ' deacons/ but no ' bishops.' 


Headlam on Rom. i. 5 ; Renan, Hibbert Lectures, 1880, 
p. II ; T. R. Glover, The Jesus of History, p. 206. 

God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ] This equal 
emphasis on the Father and Christ is very remarkable 
and very frequent in the Pauline Epistles from first to last, 
and is not confined to them. It is specially remarkable 
for the transfer of the Greek equivalent of the ineffable 
' Jehovah ' to Jesus Christ as His usual title. St. Paul 
rarely uses it of the Father, but constantly of the Messiah. 
In these four chapters it is thus used 14 times. See Renan, 
Saint Paul, p. 274 ; Briggs, The Messiah of the Apostles, 
p. 86 ; Hort on i Pet. i. 3 ; Simcox, Lang, of N.T. p. 49 ; 
Case, Evolution of Early Christianity, pp. 112, 236, 356. 


The first main portion of the letter begins here, and it has 
two sections, one concerning the Philippians, and one 
concerning himself. These two subjects alternate in this 
intimate and affectionate letter, and at last are blended 
together. We have here i. 3-11 Thanksgiving and Prayer 
for the Philippians, and 12-26 the Apostle's Circumstances 
and Feelings. 

i. 3-11. Thanksgiving and Prayer for the 

' I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, • Always in 
every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, » For 
your fellowship in the Gospel from the first day until now ; • Being 
confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work 
in you, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: ^Even as it 
is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my 
heart, inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and con- 
firmation of the Gospel, ye are all partakers of my grace, s For 
God is my record, how greatly I long after you all, in the bowels of 
Jesus Christ.* And this I pray, that your love may abound yet 
more and more in knowledge, and in all judgment. "That 


ye may approve things that are excellent, that ye may be sincere 
and without offence till the day of Christ. " Being filled with the 
fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ unto the glory 
and praise of God. 

It has long been noticed that aU the PauHne Epistles, 
except Galatians, i Timothy, and Titus, begin with Thanks- 
giving. The recovery from the rubbish-heaps of Egj^t 
of numerous secular letters of the period has shown that 
at the beginning of them expressions of thankfulness to 
the gods were a conventional feature in ordinary corres- 
pondence. Deissmann, Light from the A.E. p. 169. With 
St. Paul they are studied introductions to the serious 
words which foUow, calculated to rouse the attention 
of the recipients and win their sjmipathies. As Chrysostom 
remarks, " because he knows so much good about them." 
Quite naturally, here and elsewhere, the thanksgiving 
passes into prayer. Thankful for their goodness in the 
past, the Apostle prays that it may be made to increase 
still more in love, knowledge and discernment. 

The Thanksgiving portion is a long sentence, extending 
over six verses (3-8), and some of the clauses are interlaced. 
In order to bring out the meaning it is necessary to disen- 
tangle and expand them. The exact connexions of the 
different expressions in ?;. 3 are uncertain, but unimportant. 
Editors are not agreed as to the best arrangement. For 
similar transitions from thanksgiving to prayer, see on 
I Thess. iii. 9-11. See also on 2 Thess. i. 11, 12, ii. 16, 17, 
iii. 5, 16. We have similar transitions Eph. i. 16 and Col. 
i. 9. Not only conventional thanksgivings, but brief 
mentions of prayer, are found in pagan letters of the Aposto- 
lic Age. In a papyrus of the 2nd cent. Antonius Maximus, 
after greeting his sister Sabina, says " Before all things 
I pray that thou art in health, for I myself also am in health." 
In an intensely interesting papsnrus of similar date Antonis 
Longus, after greeting his mother Nilus, says " Continually 
r pray that thou art in health. My supplication for 
thee I make daily before the Lord Serapis." Deissmann, 
Light, pp. 172, 176. Here again, therefore, St. Paul follows 


the custom of the time, giving it an intense reaUty and rich 

^ I thank my God on all my remembrance of you for the work which 
all of you have done for him and for me, * on all occasions, in all my 
supplications for all of you, making my supplication With joy. ^ I 
thank Him, I say, for your fellowship with me in contributing to 
the spread of the Gospel from the earliest days of your conversion 
down to the present moment. ^ My thankfulness and joy have an- 
other basis besides our happily united past and present ; for about 
the future I have this very confidence, that He who initiated in you 
this good work of co-operating with me will be sure to bring it to 
perfection, so as to last till the day of Christ's Return and stand 
the testing of it. ^ I have full justification for being thus minded 
on behalf of all of you, because the affectionate remembrance is 
ever in my heart, how you had fellowship with me in the sufierings 
of my imprisonment, and in my labours in defence and establishment 
of the Gospel ; and this shows that you are partakers with me of the 
grace of God — all of you. ^ That this is ever in my mind is no 
exaggeration, for I call God to Witness how I yearn after you all with 
the tenderness of Christ Jesus, in whom I live and have my being. 

* And this is the substance of my prayers for you ; that your love 
for God and for one another and for me, warm as it is, may ever abound 
and expand more and more in perfect knowledge of the Christian life 
and unfailing discernment as to its attainment ; ^^ so that you can with 
sureness approve the things that are really excellent, and thus be free 
from stain and stumbling, fit for the day of Christ ; " as being filled 
with the fruit of righteousness, which is won, not by our own power, 
but through Jesus Christ, to promote, not our own glory, but the glory 
of God and our praise of the same. 

3. my God] ' It is because He is mine that I thank.' 
Contrast i Thess. i. 2 and 2 Thess. i. 3, where ' our,' which 
would be ambiguous, as possibly including the Thessalonians, 
is omitted.* Cf. Acts xxvii. 23. 

on all my remembrance] On the whole of it ; not ' upon 
every remembrance ' (A.V.), in omni memoria (Viilg.). 
The thankfulness is based on the sum total of remembrance.' 
Timothy is at once completely discarded ; ' I,' ' my,' ' my.' 

for the work which all of you have done] The intercon- 

* St. Paul has ■ my God ' after ' I thank ' Rom. i. 8 ; i Cor. i. 4 ; 
Philem. 4. As a rule there is no pronoun with ' God.' 


nexion of the clauses is not clear, but v'T^p irdvreav ifi&v 
probably belongs to eu;j^aptcrra) : Eph. i. 16 ; Rom. i. 8. 

4. on all occasions] A stronger expression [vavTore) 
than ' always ' {aei), which in N.T. has almost fallen out 
of use. Neither A.V. nor R.V. distinguishes the two words. 
Cf. i. 20, ii. 12, iv. 4 ; and eV Tram, iv. 2.I Note the repetition 

of Tra?. 

in all my supplications] ' In every kind of suppUcation.' 
The word {Sirjai^) implies an expression of need, in N.T. 
addressed by man to God, but not necessarily intercession. 
Here and iv. 6 we need a word to distinguish it from irpoaev- 
Xo/iai and irpoaevxv- Here A.V. has both ' prayer ' and 
' request ' for Seijcrt?. See Suicer, I. 824. 

with joy] The dominant note of the Epistle ; i. 18, 25, ii. 2, 
17, 18, 28, 29, iii. I, iv. I, 4, 10. Summa epistolae, says 
Bengel, Gaudeo, gaudete. Joy is a leading feature in the 
Apostolic Church ; Rom. xvi. 19 ; 2 Cor. vi. 10, vii. 4 ; 
Col. i. 24 ; Acts viii. 8, 39, xiii. 52, xv. 3, xx. 24 ; etc. 
See on i Thess. i. 6, and Maurice Jones on Phil. iv. 4 ; Hast- 
ings' DAC. art. ' Joy.' Here the word is emphatic by 

5. I thank Him, I say] The insertion is necessary to show 
that what follows looks back to the first clause. 

fellowship in contributing to] Lit. ' fellowship towards,' 
not ' fellowship in ' (A.V.). We have the same construction 
(leoiviovla ek) Rom. XV. 26 ; 2 Cor. ix. 13. ' Contributing 
to ' (cf. iii. 22) is in point here, because the Philippians' 
co-operation towards the spread of the Gospel had several 
times taken the form of supplying the Apostle with funds. 
That was by no means the only form which it took ; but 
this form was a service to God (iv. 18) as well as to His 
Apostle, and it was doubtless in his mind when he dictated 
these words. As De Wette points out, it would be unworthy 
of the Apostle not to think of their generosity in this con- 
nexion. Every convert had become a missionary. ' Fel- 
lowship ' is a frequent idea in this letter ; ii. i, iii. 10, iv. 15 ; 
cf. i. 7, iv. 14. Suicer, II. 125. 

from the earliest days] Such constancy ! 



6. about the future] His knowledge respecting their past 
and present conduct is one reason for thankfuLiess and 
joy : there is another, — ^his sure hope that God will help 
them onwards to perfection. 

this very] For avTo tovto, which is frequent in Paul, 
cf. 2. Cor. ii. 3, iii. 5, etc. ' This thing, if nothing else.' 
Haec fiducia nervus est gratiarum aotionis (Bengel). ' Con- 
fidence ' {■n-iiroiBa) is another frequent idea ; i. 14, 25, ii. 
24, iii. 3, 4 ; " the firm touch of an intent mind " (Moule). 

He who initiated . . , will bring to perfection] Both ex- 
pressions (o evap^dfievof and e7rtT6\6<ret) are used in the 
language of mystery-religions of the beginning and conclu- 
sion of the ceremonies of initiation, and also in reference 
to sacrifices. Cf . iv. 12. St. Paul was familiar with such 
language. Some of his Gentile converts had been initiated 
in one or other of these mysteries, and the langimge 
would suggest to them the right kind of ideas. That is a 
very different thing from the extravagant view that his 
Gospel was derived from these mysteries, and that Christian 
doctiines and sacraments are copied from such rites. Hast- 
ings' DAC. II. pp. 622, 134b, 426.* 

Theodore remarks that without the Divine aid their 
future would be imcertain ; but St. Paul is confident that 
the aid will be given : God is not like one who begins and is 
not able to finish. " The task we have in hand will find its 
end by the power of God, who is able, wherever He speaks, 
to turn word into deed " (Gregory of Nyssa Ep. xvi.). 

good work] This may have a wider meaning than their 
co-operation with the Apostle. 

bring to perfection] Or ' complete ' ; not " perform ' 

* " In Christianity, as understood by Paul, we may trace great 
likeness to the pagan mysteries. I do not mean that he plagiarized 
from them. When he speaks of them it is in tenns of the greatest 
dislike and contempt. It is not a field in which he would choose 
to dig, even for pearls of price" (Gardner, Religious ExperieMce 
of St. Paul, p. 80 ; see also p. no, where he withdraws his much 
earlier view that Eleusis suggested the Pauline account of the 
Lord's Supper). 


(A. v.). For ' begin . . . complete ' cf. 2 Cor. viii. 6 ; Gal. 
iii. 3. 

till the Day of Christ's Return] * Right up to the Day ' ; 
also called the ' Day of the Lord ' (see on i Thess. v. 2) and 
' that Day ' (see on 2 Thess. i. 10), a dominant thought with 
the first Christians. The expression suggests a day of trial 
in which every one's work will be tested (i Cor. iii. 13), and 
this needs to be stated in EngHsh. St. Paul nowhere says 
that he wiU Uve till then ; he merely suggests that he may be 
among those who will do so. As to the details of the ' Day 
of Jesus Christ' — an expression peculiar to this Epistle^ 
he has no fixed eschatological system ; but he believed that 
the Day was near. Here, as often, we have a difference of 
reading between ' Christ Jesus ' and ' Jesus Christ ' ; but 
not when ' in ' precedes. 

7. I have full justification] Lit. ' Even as it is just for 
me,' Kaddx; ea-Tiv BUaiov ifioi. The pronoun is emphatic. 

for being thus minded] Or ' to feel this,' tovto tf>poveiv, a 
Pauline verb, very frequent in this letter and in Romans. 
See on ii. 2. He is sure that his converts will have neither 
so much trust in themselves as to suppose that it was in 
their own strength that they began the Christian life, nor 
so much distrust in God as to fear that after all He will faU 
them. Cf. ii. 12, 13. 

in my heart] There is no possessive pronoun in the Greek 
[iv TTj KapSia), and the two personal pronoims might be 
transposed. Either ' I have you in my heart ' or ' you have 
me in your heart ' is possible grammatically. The context 
{v. 8) and the order of the words decide for the former. 

had fellowship with me] ' Shared it with me.' ' SjTmpa- 
thized with me ' is inadequate ; actual fellow-suffering is 
meant. See on iv. 14. Compounds with (^vv are frequent 
in Paul ; in this letter we have ffvvKoi,vwv6<i, awixonat, 
<Tvv<^v')(p'i) a-vvx<^ipo^i irwepryo';, a-vvarparuarrj^, avfifiop^i^o- 
lievos, avfifiop<f)o^, avvfii/jLijTT]!;, avvXafi^dvm, avvKOivcaveto, 

in the sufferings of my imprisonment] Two things are 
coupled {ev T€ . . . Kol €v), and two aspects are given of 
the second. The first sums up the Apostle's suffering ; 


the second describes his work under two aspects — ^his 
defence of the Gospel against criticism and his confirmation 
of it by argument. But the two aspects are treated as one, 
under one and the same article {iv ry a-jroXoyia kuI ^e^auoerei), 
they sum up missionary effort. The ' defence ' might 
refer to pleading before the Imperial Court at Rome, as 
Zahn contends ; but this is less likely ; cf . v. 16. For 
^e^aiaxrm see M. and M., Vocabulary, p. 108 ; Deissmarm, 
Bible Studies, p. 104 ; and cf . Heb. vi. 16. 

of the grace] ' Grace ' has the article (t% ^^aptro?) and 
means the grace of God, a Divine privilege ; 2 Cor. iv. 15 ; 
Gal. v. 4 ; Eph. ii. 8, iv. 7. This ' grace ' is the ground of 
the ' justification ' mentioned above. Vulg. has gaudil ; 
confusion of x^P''"''"^ with x^'P^'- The Divine privilege 
in this case is their fellowship in his sufferings and in the 
sufferings of Christ ; cf. ixapi(r07) in v. 29.* 

8. for I call God to witness] Not ' lecord ' (A.V.). The 
' for ' {ydp) refers to the truth of the declaration of his 
affectionate remembrance of his converts. He often uses 
this solemn asseveration with regard to what was hidden 
from himian eyes, sometimes to repel charges or suspicions, 
as in 2 Cor. i. 23 and Gal. i. 20, sometimes, as here and Rom. 
i. 9, to emphasize his intense affection. Cf . Rom. be. i ; 
2 Cor. xi. 31. " In regard to what was hidden, to whom 
could he appeal but to God ? " (Aug. Ep. cxxvi. 10). No 
other reason need be sought. 

yearn after you all] The compoimd kiriiroBa is probably 
to some extent intensive, although the eiri marks tiie direc- 
tion of the longing rather than its intensity; cf. ii. 26, 
and see on i Thess. iii. 6. The yearning may include 
their eternal salvation ; it is no mere human affection. 
II s'etait mis en etat de ne se rejouir du bien qu'on lui 

* La seule chose qui depende de nous, c'est de rendre nos souffrances 
meritoires : mais souffrir, oune pas souffrir.n'ist point laissS d notre 
choix. Nous sommes ing6nieux d nous priver nous-memes de tout 
le mivite de nos souffrances. Ce que damne la plupart des kommes 
ne sont pas les plaisirs seulement ; c'est encore I'usage pen chritien 
qu'ilsfont de lews peines (Massillon, Sermon for the 2nd S. in Advent). 


faisait, que pour V amour de ceux qui le faisaient (Bossuet). 
with the tenderness of Christ Jesus] ' With a heart which 
is one with the heart of Messiah Christ ' (Way). ' With 
tender Christian affection ' (Weymouth). It is a spiritual 
yearning. ' In the bowels ' is a clumsy mistranslation of 
airXdyxvO', frequent in A.V. The <T7r\. included the heart, 
lungs, and Uver, as distinct from the intestines or bowels. 
The Greek poets regarded the a-n-\. as the seat of the stormy 
affections, as anger and love ; the Hebrews as the seat of the 
tender affections, as pity and charity. Here the meaning is 
much the same as ' heart ' in v. 7 ; but we have two words 
in Greek and need two words in English. ' Breast ' would 
serve here, but not in ii. i ; ' tenderness ' will do in both 
places. No one word will suit all the passages. Here and 
ii. I R.V. has ' tender mercies ' ; Col. iii. 12 and Philem. 
12, 20 ' heart ' ; 2 Cor. vi. 12 ' affections ' ; vii. 15 ' inward 
affection ' ; i Jn. iii. 17 ' compassion.' On St. Paul's " mystic 
genitive," expressing mystic fellowship, see on 2 Thess. 
ii. 18, iii. 5 ; Deissmann, St. Paul, p. 140. Wiclif thinks 
that viscera Christi are the ordinances contained in the 
Church, which ought to be revived, Sermo Ivi. Better 
Bengel ; In Paulo non Paulus vivit sed Christus ; quare 
Paulus in Christi movetur visceribus. See Rostron, Christo- 
logy, p. 138 ; Suicer, II. 997. 

We say ' in the heart,' ' with the tenderness ' ; in the 
Greek we have iv in both verses. In late Greek iv is a 
hard-worked preposition. 

We may note again how repeatedly in this section St. 
Paul insists that what he says applies to all his converts. 
There are no exceptions. There had been disputes of some 
kind (iv. 2, 3), which he deplored, and about which he would 
not take sides. In his estimation and affection they aU 
stand high. The affectionate words lead on naturally to 
prayer for them. 

The prayer portion illuminates the meaning of ' Pray 
without ceasing,' i Thess. v. 17. All work must be done, 
all Ufe must be lived, with a sense of the presence of God 
which is the spirit of prayer. The Apostle is ever conscious 


that his work cannot prosper without the blessing of God,' 
for which from time to time he definitely prays. " No- 
where doeis this brave, strenuous, kind and loving person- 
ality stand forth revealed more clearly than in his prayers " 
(Weinel, St. Paul, the Man and his Work, p. 129). 

9. this is the substance] What follows looks back to the 
statement that he constantly prays for the Philippians 
{v. 4). Gaudiwm ad praeteritum temfus refertur, precatio ad 
futurum. Redit ad frecationem, quam obiter tantwm uno verba 
attigerat (Calvin). 

that] The Xva gives the purport rather than the pur- 
pose of the prayer, as in i Thess. iii. i ; Col. i. 9. 

your love] Possibly love for one another is specially meant, 
but rt dyairri seems to be used here, as in i Cor. xiii., for 
' love ' in its fullest sense. It comes first, before ' knowledge ' 
and ' discernment.' Prayer for its increase implies that it 
already exists. For en cf. Heb. vii. 15. 

more and more] For the characteristic addition cf . v. 23 ; i 
Thess. iv. i, 10 ; 2 Cor. vii. 13. Here we have en fiaXXov 
Koi fiaXXov, which in conjunction with the special verb in 
the present tense {irepiara-evy) conveys the idea of extreme 
and continually increasing abundance. He can hardly 
find words strong enough to express the affectionate large- 
ness of his requests for them. Ignis in apostolo nunquam 
dicit, Sufficit (Bengel). 

in perfect knowledge] It is another characteristic of St. 
Paul that he always desires that his converts should have, 
by instruction and experience, fuU appreciation of the real 
meaniag of Christian belief and duty. Such is specially 
the case in the four Epistles of this group. Without these, 
love may go grievously astray. Misty thought, emotional 
conduct, and indiscriminate good nature are perilous. 
As in Eph. i. 17, iv. 13 ; Col. i. 9, 10, ii. 2, iii. 10 ; Philem. 
6, we have the compound eirlr/vaai,^, which perhaps generally 
implies advanced and full knowledge. Here the eVt- corre- 
sponds to the Trao-?; before alaOrjaei. See Evans on i Cor. 
xiii. 12, Lightfoot on Col. i. 9, and Maurice Jones here. 

unfailing discernment] Every kind of sensitiveness with 


regard to Christian feeling and conduct. The converts 
should become experts in spiritual things, and know in- 
stinctively what matters, and .what does not matter, in 
thought and action. A new sense, a moral taste, is acquired ; 
Heb. V. 14. As regards such things, the whole Church must 
(as Newman has said), " like its Divine Founder during the 
time of His education, be ever in the midst of the doctors, 
both hearing them and asking them questions." Aia07jo-i<; 
occurs nowhere else in N.T. Cf. Prov. i. 4, 22, ii. 10. A.V. 
has ' judgment ' or 'sense.' See M. and M., Vocabulary, p. 14. 

It is love that is to have this knowledge and discern- 
ment. Christian love is not blind, and while it increases, 
it is regulated. The Philippians' affection for the Apostle 
ought not to make them gloomy about his condition. 

10. so that you can] For eii to of the result cf. i Thess. 
ii. 12, iii. 10 ; 2 Thess. i. 5 ; 2 Cor. viii. 6. Burton, N. T. 
Moods and Tenses, § 409. 

with sureness approve] Because SoKifid^eiv means appro- 
val after a testing investigation ; i Thess. ii. 3, v. 21. It 
is assumed that approval leads to action. M. and M., 
Vocabulary, p. 167. 

the things which are really excellent] The same phrase, 
SoKifid^eiv TO. Si,a4>epovTa, occurs Rom. ii. 15, and in both 
places opinions differ as to the meaning ; see R.V. and 
margin. For rd Ska<j>6povra may mean either ' things that 
surpass, that are excellent,' or ' things that differ.' If the 
latter is adopted, So/ctfid^etv refers to the testing rather 
than to the approval which is the result of the testing. 
But it does not require much spiritual knowledge and dis- 
cernment to test things which differ. Such powers are much 
more necessary to decide with sureness what things are really 
excellent and worthy of adoption in practice ; Tij/a /lev iea\d, 
Tiva Se KpeiTTova (Theodoret) ; probare fotiora (Vulg.). 
I Cor. abounds with instances of the Apostle's moral taste 
and tact. 

and thus be] The second "va depends on the preceding 
clause, and not on the first clause in v. 9. A repetition 
of ' I pray ' {Trpoaevj(pnai) is not to be understood. 


free from stain and from stumbling] The derivation of 
elXiKpivek remains an unsolved problem ; but it certainly 
means ' unsullied,' " pure ' ; cf . 2 Pet. iii. 10 and see on 2 
Cor. i. 12. Trench, Syn. § Ixxxv. It is probable that 
u'rrpoaKO'iro'i is here intransitive as in a speech of St. Paul in 
Acts xxiv. 16. So also in papyri, " free from hurt or harm.' 
See also Suicer. But ' without giving offence,' ' without 
causing to s\mab\&,' as in i Cor. x.'32 and Ecclus. xxxii. 21, 
makes good sense ; ' spotless ' in the sight of God, and ' harm- 
less ' in the sight of men. M. and M.^ Vocabulary, pp. 72, 
183 f. 

fit for the Day of Christ] Or ' with a view to,' ' against,' 
el? rjfiepav. The Day of Judgment is meant, as in i/. 6 and 
ii. 16. It is their condition in reference to God that is in 
the Apostle's mind ; on that Day there must be nothing 
to offend Him. His prayer, Hke his thanksgiving («. 6), 
looks forward to that decisive moment, which would be 
often in his mind as years, and especially years of imprison- 
ment, passed. Case, The Evolution of Early Christianity, 
p. III. 

II. as being filled] Perf . part. {ireirXijpco/ievoi) ; they have 
been filled and the fullness abides. 

fruit of righteousness] The fruit which righteousness 
produces ; Amos vi. 12 ; Prov. xi. 30 ; Jas. iii. 18. ' Righte- 
ousness ' means fulfilment of duties to God and to man. 

not by our power] This is the point of stating that the 
fruit of righteousness is won ' through Jesus Christ.' The 
Philippians must not suppose that they can attain this 
rich fruit by their own unaided effort and merit. Only 
through union with Christ can this be done ; iv. 13 ; 2 
Cor. xii. 9. ' The branch cannot bear fruit of itself.' * 

to promote the glory of God] Bearing much fruit is specially 
to His glory ; Jn. xv. 8. This is the true end of all Christian 
action ; i Cor. x. 31 ; i Pet. iv. 11. No other end, however 
holy, can supersede it. Cf . ' That they might be called trees 
of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might 

• A heathen does good work, yet not consciously through Christ ; 
a hypocrite does good work, yet not for God's praise, but man's. 


be glorified,' Is. Ixi. 3. For B6^a see Kennedy, St. Paul's 
Conception of the Last Things, p. 299 ; Milligan, Thessa- 
lonians, p. 27. 

our praise] ' Glory ' and ' praise ' are not mere synonjmis. 
' Glory ' refers to Divine grace exhibited in holy lives, 
' praise ' to human gratitude for this gift ,; Eph. i. 6, 12. 
See Hort on the combination of the two words in i Pet. i. 7, 
and M. and M., Vocabulary, p. 227. 

Having thanked God for his readers' happy condition and 
prayed for their further progress, he now tells them about 


We have here a brief description of St. Paul's bodily and 
mental condition during his imprisonment in Rome, and of 
the somewhat chequered furtherance of the Gospel there. 
The Philippians must not suppose that his imprisonment 
has put a stop to this furtherance : on the contrary, it has 
helped it, especially among the troops of the Imperial 
Guard. Some preachers are unfriendly .; but even this will 
prove a blessing through the Philippians' prayers, which he 
is sure to have. His sufferings inspire friendly preachers 
with fresh zeal. He expects to be set free and to visit 
the Philippians again. 

It is possible that the Philippians had sent a letter of 
inquiry and sympathy, in which they spoke of their pride 
in him (i. 26) and apologized for their slowness in send- 
ing help (iv. 10). More probably Epaphroditus brought 
messages from them. 

The paragraph consists of three sections, each of which 
forms a complete sentence in the Greek ; 12-14, 15-20, 21-26. 
It is convenient to break two of these into shorter sentences 
in English. 

i. 12-14. Results of the Apostle's Captivity. 

" But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things 
which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance 


of the Gospel. " So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all 
the palace, and in all other places. " And many of the brethren 
in the Lord, waxing confident in my bonds, are much more bold 
to speak the word without fear. 

This section can, without serious disadvantage, be kept 
as one sentence in paraphrasing. 

^^ Now I am afraid that you may be under some apprehension about 
myself and my doings, and I therefore would have you understand, 
Brethren, that my condition of captivity, so far from being an impedi- 
ment to the spread of the Gospel, has really come to be a help to its 
advance ; ^* so that the fact of my being in bonds became, in the 
power of Christ, a manifest influence among all the soldiers of the 
Imperial Guards and all the rest ; ^^ and also so that the large majority 
of the brethren here, having found in the Lord a ground for confidence 
in my endurance of my bonds, have gained still more abundant courage 
to speak the word of God emd to speak it fearlessly. 

12. I therefore would have you understand] St. Paul 
was very sensitive as to what his converts might think of 
him, his circtimstances, and his work. This feeling is 
apparent in i Thess. ii. 1-12 and 2 Thess. ii. 2, iii. 7-9. 
It is still more apparent in 2 Cor. i. 12, iii. i, iv. 7, vi. 10, 
X. i-xii. 18. When the Apostle was for years in prison, 
his converts would be specially perplexed ; ' An ambassador 
in chains ' (Eph. vi. 20) was such a contradiction. There- 
fore in the Epistles of the Captivity this feature is conspicu- 
ous ; Eph. iii. 1-13 ; Col. i. 24-29 ; Philem. 9, 13. But we 
cannot safely infer from what is said here that the easy 
method of imprisonment of Acts xxviii. 30 had ended and a 
more severe kind been imposed. With ' would have you 
understand ' cf. ' do not wish you to remain in ignorance,' 
I Thess. iv. 13 ; i Cor. x. i ; 2 Cor. i. 8. In these phrases 
6eX(o is more common than 8ov\ofx,ai, which we have here, 
and this exact phrase occurs nowhere else. BovXo/un 
implies " will with premeditation " ; Hort on Jas. iv. 4 ; and 
here ' to understand ' is emphatic. Such expressions are 
so common in correspondence that we are not surprised 
to find them in secular letters preserved in papyri. See 
M. and M., Vocabulary, p. 115. We say In commercial 
prose ' I beg to inform you.' 


Brethren] The address occurs six times in this affectionate 
letter. For aSe\<f>ot as members of a religious guild see 
M. and M., p. 9 ; Hamack, Mission and Expansion of 
Christianity, I. pp. 405 ff. ; see also Kennedy, Sources 
of N.T. Grk. p. gs. 

my condition] He does not say " my sufferings and perils,' 
but ' my circumstances' [ra xar ifii), as in Eph. vi. 21 ; 
Col. iv. 7 ; cf. Tobit x. 8. A. T. Robertson, Grammar of 
Greek N.T. p. 608. 

so far from being] ' As you may be supposing.' Perhaps 
his enemies said that his prolonged imprisonment was 
proof of God's displeasure. This use of fiaWov, ' rather than 
the contrary,' is idiomatic. Vulg. has magis, but potius 
would be better. Winer, p. 304. 

has come to be] Cf. Wisd. xv. 5 eh ovetBo^ ep'j^erai. 
Vulg. has venerVfVit ; better evenerunt. 

advance] IIpoKoiriq (i Tim. iv. 15 ; Ecclus. li. 17 ; 2 Mace, 
viii. 8) is a military metaphor from removing trees and 
other obstacles [irpoKo-KTeiv) before an advancing army. 

13. became in the power of Christ] A.V. wrongly con- 
nects this phrase with ' bonds,' and in ' are manifest ' 
ignores the change from perfect to aorist.* On the thor- 
oughly Pauline expression eV Xpiarm, which sums up the 
relation of the believer to the Saviour, see Sanday and 
Headlam on Rom. vi. 11 ; Headlam, St. Paul and Chris- 
tianity, pp. 143 f. ; Pfleiderer, Paulinism, I. pp. 197 ff. 

among all the soldiers of the imperial guards] Lit. ' in 
the whole of the praetorium.' Does this mean a particular 
residence, and if so, which ? Or, a particular body of men ? 
Praetorium meant originally ' the praetor's or general's 
tent in a camp,' i.e. 'head-quarters.' When the praetors 
became civil magistrates in Rome and were often sent to 
provinces as governors, their official residence in the province 
was called praetorium (Matt, xxvii. 27 ; Mk. xv. 16 ; Jn. xviii. 
28, 33 ; Acts xxiii. 35). That is not the meaning here ; the 

* That Iv 'S.puTTw must go with (ftavepoi, and that ' all the rest ' 
means all who visited St. Paul in his dwelling, is pointed out by 
Wieseler, Chronologie, p. 457. 


praetorium which St. Paul influenced was in Rome. On 
the assumption that it means a place, two hypotheses are 
advocated, (i) The Imperial residence on the Palatine, 
' the palace ' (A.V). The opinion of Greek Fathers (who 
are not good authorities about Roman technical terms) 
cannot make this explanation probable. Nowhere is the 
word used in this sense ; nor is it likely that it ever was so 
used, or that St. Paul, who was in Rome at the time of writ- 
ing, has here made an ignorant blunder. (2) The camp 
established for the praetorian cohorts by Tiberius, traces 
of which survive near the present Porta Pia. This meaning 
also lacks authority. On the assumption that it means 
persons rather than a place, two other hypotheses are advo- 
cated. (3) The Praetorian regiments or Imperial Guards. 
There is abundant evidence (Livy, Tacitus, Suetonius, 
Pliny, Josephus and inscriptions) that the word was used 
in this sense. Evidently ' and all the rest ' points to persons 
rather than a place. Lightfoot and most modems adopt 
this view. (4) Ramsay, St. Paul the Traveller, p. 357, 
follows Mommsen in thinking that the persons connected 
with the imperial court which tried St. Paul are meant. 
The Apostle might have impressed them. Seeing, however, 
that he was imprisoned in Rome for two years, that a soldier 
was always with him, and that the soldier was frequently 
changed, his opportunities of influencing large numbers of 
the soldiers must have been far greater. He was in the 
custody of the Prefect of the Praetorians, and in the course 
of two years the same soldiers must often have sat with 
him for hours. Sa cellule de prisonnier devint un foyer 
de predication ardente. . . . La prison de Paul fut ainsi 
pUcs fdconde, que ne I'avait He sa libre activite. Ses chaines 
etait d elles comme une prddication (Renan, L'Antechrist, 
pp. 9, 10). See Lightfoot's detached note and Hastings' 
DAC. artt. 'Guard' and 'Palace.' All these interpreta- 
tions point to Rome, not Caesarea, as the place where the 
letter was written. Cf. iv. 22. 

all the rest] An indefinite expression [ical rolt Xonroii 
Traatv), meaning that there were many other persons in 


Rome who were influenced by the ' ambassador in chains.' 
It was evident to all who visited this interesting prisoner 
that he was no vulgar criminal or dangerous leader of 
revolt. Cf. 2 Cor. xiii. 8 ; Col. i. 23. There is no need 
to confine it to the rest of the soldiers. We all use similar 
hyperbole, knowing that it will not be understood Uterally. 
" The words intimate a wide personal influence " (Moule). 
' The palace and all other -places ' (A.V.) cannot stand. 

14. the large majority] Cf. i Cor. ix. 19 ; 2 Cor. ii. 6, 
iv. 15. This is another good result of the imprisonment, 
' Many ' (A.V.) may perhaps stand for roix; 7r\et'oi»a? in 
spite of the article ; Blass, § 44, 3. 

having found in the Lord] A.V. and R.V. connect ' in the 
Lord' with ' brethren,' which has little point. ' Brethren '= 
' Christians,' who of course are " in the Lord.' In Col. 
iv. 7 the brother is ' beloved in the Lord ' ; in Col. i. 2 the 
brethren are ' faithful in Christ.' Here it is the confidence 
that is 'rooted in the Lord.' Nowhere is 'in the Lord ' 
connected with 'brethren.' Cf. ii. 24; 2 Thess. iii. 4; 
Gal. v. 10. Respecting ' confidence ' {ireiroiOoTa';) see on 
i. 6. For the construction cf. 2 Cor. x. 7. 

my bonds] His endurance of them was evidence that the 
Gospel was something worth suffering for. ' The word 
of God is not bound,' 2 Tim. ii. 9. 

more abundant courage] Through contemplating the 
heroic endurance of the prisoner.* Courage had already 
been exhibited by them, and in him they had a pledge of 
their own victory, signus victoriae nostrae habentes (Calvin). 
All Christians are regarded as " speaking the word of God.' 

the word of God] Following inferior MSS. the A.V. omits 
' of God.' Cf. Acts iv. 31 ; i Cor. xiv. 36 ; 2 Cor. iv. 2 ; 
Col. i. 25. 

fearlessly] The Apostle harps on courage and confi- 

* Moreover, " the clearer it became that nothing of a suspicious 
character could be alleged against his work, the bolder they could 
become in preaching, without fear that they would be suspected 
of any crime " (B. Weiss ad loc). Cf. axcoXwcos, Acts xxviii. 31. 


i. 15-20. The Friendly and the Unfriendly Preachers. 

IS Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife, and some also 
of good will. " The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, 
supposing to add affliction to my bonds : '^ But the other of love, 
knowing that I am set for the defence of the Gospel. »8 What then ? 
Notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, 
Christ is preached, and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. 
1' For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your 
prayer, and the supply of the spirit of Jesus Christ, " According to 
my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be 
ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ 
shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life or by death. 

We have here a second paradox. It was paradoxical 
that the imprisonment of the Apostle should tend to the 
spread of the Gospel. It was a still greater paradox that 
the Gospel of love and peace should be preached out of 
envy and strife. 

^ I say that the majority of the brethren are inspired by my suffer- 
ings to speak the word of God nobly. The truth is that some whom I 
could mention are actually preaching the Christ of envy and strife, 
while others do so also of benevolent purpose both to the cause and 
me. ^^ The latter do this out of love to me, because they know that I 
am set here by God to defend the Gospel, ^'^ while the former proclaim 
[the] Christ out of partisanship, with sadly mixed motives, thinking in 
this way to increase the pressure of my bonds. ^^ Then what is the 
result ? Only that in every kind of way, whether by a mere show 
of disinterestedness, or with what is truly such, Christ is being pro- 
clfiimed ; and therein I rejoice. Yes, and I shall go on rejoicing. 
^' Surely that is the right thing to do ; for I know that all this che- 
quered success and suffering, so far from injuring me, v^ill conduce 
to my salvation here and hereafter, through your entreaty for me, 
and the consequent bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. 
^*' All this is in accordance with my intense anticipation and hope that 
no atom of shame will be found in me ; on the contrary, that with 
every form of boldness of speech, as on all previous occasions, so 
also in the present crisis, Christ will be magnified in my person, 
whether I continue to live or am sentenced to death. 

15. some whom I could mention] This use of rtve? occurs 
in all four groups of the Pauline Epistles ; 2 Thess. iii. 11 ; 


1 Cor. iv. 18, XV. 12 ; 2 Cor. iii. i, x. 2 ; Gal. i. 7 ; Tim. 
i. 3, 19, etc., A. T. Robertson, Gf. pp. 743, 1200. 

actually] A frequent use of icaC : Gal. ii. 13, 17. 

of envy and strife] Through (Sia) envious and contentious 
dispositions. Cf. Mk. xv. 10 ; Mt. xxii. 18. Envy and 
strife are often in combination ; Rom. i. 29 ; Gal. v. 20 ; 
I Tim. vi. 4. This strange contradiction is not rare. Reli- 
gious teaching often aims more at the discomfiture of those 
who dissent from us than at bringing men to Christ. Calvin 
says that in this he had the same experience as St. Paul. 
' The Christ ' may indicate that these missionaries were 
Judaizers, who chiefly insisted on the fact that Jesus was 
the promised Messiah. 

benevolent purpose] The meaning of the Biblical word 
evSoKia varies according to the context. Here the opposi- 
tion to ' envy and strife ' requires ' kindly intention ' or 
' goodwill ' ; Eph. i. 5, 9 ; Ecclus. i. 27, ii. 16, xii. 17, etc. 
The ' goodwill ' is general ; not merely to the Apostle, 
but also to his work. Cf. ii. 13. Propensa volwntate (Beza). 

16. The latter] Inverted order ; chiasmus is frequent 
in the Pauline Epistles. See on 2 Cor. ii. 16, vi. 8, ix. 6, 
xiii. 3 ; etc. A.V. transposes vv. 16 and 17. 

I am set here] Or, ' I am appointed ' {tceiiiai) ; ' this is 
why God keeps me in Rome.' Cf. i Thess. iii. 3 ; Lk. ii. 
34 ; Ecclus. xxxix. 29. ' Lying inactive ' is not the mean- 
ing ; rather ' posted as a sentinel.' 

to defend] Not ' to give an account ' of his ministry to God, 
as Chrysostom and others understand ets d-noXoyuiv. See 
on V. 7. 

17. proclaim] A.V. has ' preach ' for both Kijpvaaeiv and 

Christ out of partisanship] The words are in proximity for 
the sake of contrast ; what has partisanship or intrigue 
to do with Christ ? The words " proclaim Christ ' are 
rather superfluous, and may be inserted for the sake of 
the contrast. 'EpiBeCa is not connected with epi^, but 
with epido'i, 'a hired labourer.' Hence 'electioneering 
with hired canvassers,' and so ' party spirit.' A.V. has 


• strife,' as if from ept?. See on 2 Cor. xii. 20, and Lightfoot 
on Gal. V. 20.* 

with sadly mixed motives] Lit. ' not purely,' ovx a/yvm.^ 
Some of their motives were utterly base ; laXa fiiv, oii 
KaX&<{ Se, Theodoret ; rem castam non caste, Augustine. 
P. Ewald's proposal to make ovx «7''<»? apply to both the 
parties is surprising. 

think] There is marked contrast between elh6r€<i 
and oioiievot ; the friendly preachers know, the unfriendly 
ones suppose. Olofievot suggests that the thinking is 
erroneous ; Jas. i. 7 ; i Mace. v. 61 ; 2 Mace. v. 21. Chry- 
sostom and Theodoret surmise that these unfriendly 
preachers said that Paul's vigorous preaching would excite 
Nero to persecute. Similarly Pelagius and Erasmus. 

in this way] Present infinitive, not future. 

to increase the pressure] ©X-t'i^t?, commonly rendered 
' affliction ' or ' tribulation,' Vulg. pressura or trihulatio, 
impUes pressure, and in classical Greek is used of actual 
crushing. Here the idea of pressure is appropriate. These 
unfriendly preachers suppose that they aggravate the galling 
of the chains. Vincula jam pressura erat ; afflicto afflictionem 
addere putabant (Bengal). But the true reading is iyetpetv, 
' to raise,' not iiri^pipeiv^ ' to add ' (A.V.). 

18. Then what is the result?] Lit. 'For what ? ' or * What 
then ? ' ' Well, what of that ? ' This usage of ri yap 
is classical. Cf. Rom. iii. 3. Vaughan follows Meyer and 
transfers the interrogation to the end of the sentence ; ' For 
what is it but that every way, etc' That is, ' The result 
is nothing but this.' 

* Kennedy thinks that ' selfish ' ambition may be the prevailing 
meaning in N.T. Possibly they gloated over the fact that they 
were free to preach where and when they pleased, while his oppor- 
tunities were greatly curtailed. Envious themselves, they thought 
that this would make him envious. That they hoped " to increase 
the severity of his imprisonment by exciting the jealousy of the 
Court " cannot be the meaning. He was not the founder of 
the Church in Rome, and they may have regarded him as an 


only that] They meant to produce affliction, and they have 
caused joy. Cf. Acts xx. 23. Some texts here omit irXrjv 
and some (with more probabiUty) omit on. 

in every kind of way] Cf . 2 Thess. iii. 16 ; Rom. iii. 2. 

a mere show] Or, ' ostensible motive ' (Trpo^ao-ei). As in 
I Thess. ii. 5, this would be disinterestedness. The word 
commonly implies that the ostensible motive is insincere ; 
Acts xxvii. 30. Vulg. has fer occasionem, which is not the 
meaning ; Beza in speciem. 

therein I rejoice] The ptmctuation is uncertain. Appar- 
ently St. Paul checks himself here ; it seems so strange to 
, rejoice at insincere preaching of Christ. But on the whole 
he feels justified and decides that he may go on rejoicing. 
This requires a full stop after " rejoice ' and after ' rejoicing. ' 
But it is possible to place only a comma after ' rejoicing ' and 
connect closely with what follows ; ' I shall go on rejoicing, 
for I know that, etc. ' Both ways make good sense. The 
punctuation of A.V. and R.V. is less forcible. See on 2 
Cor. xi. I, where there is similar doubt about aXKh kuL and 

These outbursts of joy from one who for years hadjbeen 
a prisoner are remarkable. But Renan says with truth. 
En somme pen d'annSes dans la vie de I'apotre 
heureuses que celles-ci {L'Antechrist, p. 17). Moreover, 
this spirit of resignation, which is not found in Galatians 
or 2 Corinthians, is natural enough towards the end of a 
very chequered imprisonment. See Augustine, Letter 
to Vincentius, Ep. XCIII. iv. 15. We learn from Chrysos- 
tom, Theodore, and Theodoret that this passage was mis- 
interpreted to mean that St. Paul did not approve of attacks 
upon heresy. But in this case it was not the teaching, 
but the spirit of the teachers, that was wrong. 

19. All this] This perplexing combination of what is 
wholly satisfactory with what is mainly very much the 

will conduce to] ' Will turn out to ' ; non modo non in 
pressaram (Bengel) : Lk. xx. 13 ; 2 Mace. ix. 24. Here we 
have a quotation from Job xiii. 16 ; cf. xv. 3. Quotations 


26 COMMEN'TARY On t'HlLll'I'lAiSfS [i. 19,20 

from Job are rare in N.T. Cf. i Thess. v. 22 ; Rom. xi. 
35 ; Lk. i. 52. 

my salvation] In its widest sense, as is shown by what 
follows respecting the Holy Spirit. Chrysostom limits 
it to deliverance from peril ; but cf. v. 28, ii. 22, and the 
similar passage 2 Thess. ii. 13. 

through your entreaty] Same word as in «. 4. He is con- 
fident that they will pray for him and pray effectually. 
Intercession on the hmnan side, and supply of the Spirit 
on the Divine side, secure his salvation. See on i Thess. 
V. 25 ; 2 Thess. iii. i ; 2 Cor. i. 11. He believed intensely 
in intercession. 

and the consequent supply] The ' supply ' is bracketed 
with ■ your entreaty ' under one article, so that ' your ' 
belongs to both. The response to prayer is regarded as 
certain and immediate ; Mk. xi. 24. The Philippians' 
prayer ascends to heaven, and from heaven the supply 
descends. It is doubtful whether eiri^opiffia means a 
' bountiful supply ' or even an ' additional supply. ' Lan- 
guage becomes weakened in course of time, and then addi- 
tions are made to restore the original strength. Compounds 
are often more common in late Greek than the simple 
words. Thus iirixopvyelv is used in much the same sense 
as x°PV1/^^v, and in N.T. it is more frequent. M. and M., 
Vocabulary, p. 251. So also airodvrjaKetv than dvrjtrKeiv : 
airoKTeiveiv is frequent, while Kreiveiv does not occm:. 

the Spirit of Jesus Christ] We need not ask whether this 
means the Spirit which Jesus gives or the Spirit which He is. 
St. Paul makes no hard and fast distinctions. See on 2 Cor. 
iii. 17. See also Burton, Spirit, Soul, and Flesh, p. 190 ; 
Headlam, Si. Paul and Christianity, pp. 106 f. "It is, in fact, 
impossible to make a rigid distinction in the Pauline Epistles 
between the Holy Spirit and the Spiritual Christ. Life 
in Christ and Ufe in the Spirit are the same " (Gardner, 
Religious Experience of St. Paul, p. 176). 

20. intense anticipation] Or, ' eager expectation, ' ' earnest 
desire.' ' Attoku paSoKia, which occurs elsewhere in Bibhcal 
Greek, Rom. viii. 19 only, combines the ideas of turning 


away from other objects {diro) and stretching out the head 
with eagerness to some one thing. The dvo might indicate 
the quarter whence the thing desired is expected to come ; 
or waiting right on to the end. In any case it impUes fixedness. 
Theodore makes the diro negative, so that diroKapaBoKia = 
TO d-rreKirl^eiv = ' despair ' ; ' I am moved by despair and 
help.' This can hardly be right. See Deissmann, Light, p. 
377 ; Cremer, Lex. p. 177. Josephus says of himself 
during the siege, that he disregarded those who were bringing 
ladders, direKapaSo/cei Se rijv opfirjv tSsv /SeXwi/, BJ. III. 
vii. 26. Suicer, I. 451. 

no atom of abject shame] With regard to the defence 
and commendation of the Gospel. There wiU be no cowardly 
reticence. Other possible failures, such as miscalculation 
and disappointment, may be included in the comprehensive 
eV ovSevL which is balanced by the comprehensive ei* irdari 

every form of boldness of speech] The opposite of base 
shame ; i Jn. ii. 28. See on 2 Cor. iii. 12 and x. 8, and cf. 
Eph. vi. 19. 

the present crisis] His imprisonment and approaching 
trial. His conviction is based on past and present experience. 

Christ will be magnified] With characteristic humility 
he does not say ' I wiU magnify Christ ' ; he claims no inde- 
pendent action, as if Christ were in his debt. Cf . fieyaXvv- 
Brjvai, 2 Cor. x. 15. 

in my person] Cf . i Cor. vi. 20 ; 2 Cor. iv. 10. His body 
will be the sphere in which Christ's majesty wiU be made 
conspicuous. It was his body that was in prison and 

whether ... or] So that, whatever his enemies do to 
him, they wiU promote the glory of Christ; not that, 
as Jerome puts it, they cannot hurt Paul. Evidently this 
is late ia his imprisonment. 

He has told the Phihppians about his work and fellow- 
workers ; he now goes on to tell them of his feelings 


i. 21-26. The Apostle's Perplexity and Hope. 

" For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. " But if I live 
in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour : yet what I shall choose, 
I wot not. " For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to 
depart, and to be with Christ, which is far better. " Nevertheless, 
to abide in the flesh, is more needful for you. " And having this 
confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all, 
for your furtherance and joy of faith, " That your rejoicing may be 
more abundant in Jesus Christ for me, by my coming to you again. 

We have here a third paradox ; this time an internal one, 
in the heart of the Apostle himself. He longs to die, and 
he longs to Uve. He yearns to depart, and be more closely 
with Christ ; and he yearns to stay, and do Christ's work 
among his beloved PhiMppians. 

^^ I am confident that He will be glorified by my life or my death, 
for, whatever it may be to others, to me life means Christ, and there- 
fore death, which will take me to Him, meems gain. ^' But if my life 
in the flesh thus far, if this has been fruitful of good work, and there- 
fore may be equally fruitful in the future — then I do not decide what 
I am to choose ; ^^ but I am held in a strait between the two alterna- 
tives ; having my desire towards striking camp and being with Christ, 
for it is far, far better ; "* but to abide by the flesh is more necessary on 
account of you. '^ And of this being fully confident, I know that I 
shall bide and abide here with all of you, to promote your advance 
in believing and your joy in believing, ^^ in order that your reason 
for boasting may, because of your relation to Christ Jesus, be more 
abundant in me. His Apostle, through my presence with you again. 

21. to me life means Christ] The ' me ' is very emphatic. 
' For myself there is no life worth calling life, except what is 
spent with Christ.' Not merely ' in my opinion,' but ' in 
my experience.' Si vixero, Christo ; or better, Qmcquid 
vivo, Christum vivo (Bengel). Cf. iii. 8, 9 ; Gal. ii. 20. Not 
• Christ is to me l5^e ' (Tindale), but " to me living is Christ.' 

death] ' Life ' means continuing to Uve, pres. infin., to 
iv"' Note the change to the aor. infin., to aTrodavelv, 
' to have died,' ' to be dead,' not to airodu-^aKsiv^ ' the act 
of dying.' Cf. 2 Cor. vii. 3, et? to avvairodavetv koI aw^r/v, 
'to share life after death and before death with you.' 

is gain] St. Paul is preparing for the statement in v. 23, 


that for him to have left this life is preferable to being 
in it. Of course he does not mean that only this life is 
Christ, and that leaving this life [i.e. leaving Christ) is gain. 
Cf. Wisd. iii. 1-3. Calvin remarks that this passage is fatal 
to the view that the intermediate state is one of sleep and 

22. But if my life in the flesh] The verse is [a well- 
known crux, and certainty as to its exact interpretation 
is impossible. The A.V. hardly does justice to the Greek. 
The R.V. gives two renderings, one in the text, and one 
in the margin. WH. margin suggests eprfov koX n 
alp'^aofiai ; oil ryvapi^o). If . . . work, ' then what am I 
to choose ? I cannot say.' So also Blass, § 65, i, §77, 6. 
Otherwise Winer, pp. 374, 751. In any case something 
not in the Greek must be supplied, and ellipses are common 
in Paul. The general meaning, however one may reach it, 
is clear ; ' If my continuing to live in the flesh is to be 
fruitful for the Gospel, I cannot declare what I am to 
choose.' He adds ' in the flesh,' because ' death ' does not 
mean ceasing to live ; for the same reason he substitutes 
' striking camp ' for d3dng. 

I do not decide] Or, ' I do not perceive,' ' I do not under- 
stand.' In classical Greek yvcopl^a) means ' I get know- 
ledge of,' or ' I have fuU knowledge of,' and this may be the 
meaning here. But in N.T. the verb is commonly transi- 
tive, ' I make known,' ' I declare ' ; i Cor. xii. 3, xv. i ; 
2 Cor. viii. i ; Gal. i. 11 ; etc. ' I do not decide ' may 
represent either use. See M. and M., p. 120. 

23. But I am held in a strait] ' For I am in ' (A.V.) is a 
false reading {yap for 8e) and an inadequate rendering of 
avvexofiai. The verb implies the pressure which confines 
and restricts ; Lk. viii. 45 ; xii. 50, xix. 43 ; Acts xviii. 
5. See on 2 Cor. v. 4, where awexei ■^fta<i means ' hems us 
in,' keeping us from aU selfish motives. Cf; awoxv, 2 Cor. 
ii. 4. 

between the two alternatives] ' From both the sides,' 
CK reov Svo, ' betwixt ihe two,' the two just mentioned. 
As Seneca says (Ep. Ixv. 18), Sapiens assectaforque sapien- 


tiae adhaeret qmdem in corpore suo, sed optima sm parte 
abest : et ita formatus est, ut ilii nee amor vitae, nee odium sit. 
Patitur mortalia ; scit ampliora superesse. " To many of us 
life and death have seemed like two evils, and we knew not 
which was the less. To the Apostle they seem like two 
immense blessings, and he knows not which is the better." 
(Ad. Monod, quoted by Moule). 

my desire towards] ' The desire/ the one which now con- 
sumes him and is decidedly in one direction. 

striking camp] This is probably the metaphor by which 
* to unloose ' {avaXvaai) comes to mean ' to depart from 
Ufe.' M. and M., p. 36 ; Burton, Moods and Tenses, § 107, 
413. Dissolvi Vulg. represents the inferior reading avoKv- 
6r)vai. In inscriptions the verb is Tised of departing in 
death. Cf. 2 Cor. v. i ; 2 Tim. iv. 6 ; Clem. Rom. Cor. 
xliv. 5. Others suggest ' unloosiag from moorings and 
setting sail ' as the metaphor. Tobit ii. 9 ; Judith xiii. i ; 
see Suicer. 

being with Christ] Cf. i Thess. iv. 17. In both passages, as 
in Col. ii. 20, iii. 3, we have o-uv, which impUes closer union 
than Merd. Thackeray, St. Paul and Jewish Thought, 
pp. 128 f. The two infinitives have only one article ; de- 
parting and being with Christ are closely connected. Cf. 
' To-day thou shalt be with me in Paradise,' Lk. xxiii. 43 ; 
also Acts vii. 59, words which St. Paul heard ; 2 Cor. v. 8. 
In I Thess. iv. 14, 16 and i Cor. xv. 51, 52 the dead are 
asleep and awake to be with Christ at His Return ; St. Paul 
has no fixed scheme of eschatology. Deissmaim, St. Paul, 
p. 189. 

far, far better] The comparative Kpelaaov is doubly 
strengthened with ttoWoS fiaWov, a combination unique in 
N.T. Cf. 2 Cor. iii. 9, vii. 13. Blass, § 44, 5. Decedere est 
melius quam manere in came : cum Christo esse, multo magis 
melius (Bengel). Such strengthened comparatives occur 
in colloquial Latin. Plautus has magis dulcius and magis 

24. to abide by the flesh] Not ' in the flesh' (A.V., R.V.) ; 
the iv is an interpolation from v. 22. Except in the 


strictly local sense, as ' in Ephesus,' i Cor. xvi. 8, St. Paul 
never has ev after i-ntfikveiv. ' To abide by ' means " to 
retain with all its consequences.' ' Nevertheless ' (A.V.) is 
too strong for Se. 

more necessary] There is more obligation to adopt this 
alternative. Cf- St. Paul's speech, Acts xiii. 46. 

on account of you] Or, " for your sake,' 81 vfiu^. He has 
no weak longing for death as an escape from the work 
and worry of this world. Nam i-pse vitae flenus est, cui 
adjici nihil desiderat sua causa, sed eorum quibus utilis est, 
Liberaliter facit, quod vivit. . . . Dolorem fert, mortem expectaf 
(Seneca, Ep. xcviii. 15, 17). Wetstein quotes Ingentis 
animi est aliena causa ad vitam reverti : quod magni viri saep 
fecerunt (Ep. civ. 4). 

25. of this being fully confident] He is not claiming to have 
had a diviae revelation to this effect ; he is giving his own 
conviction. He said that he knew [olSa there as here) that 
the Ephesians would never see him again (Acts xx. 25) ; yet 
he did return to Ephesus (2 Tim. i. 15, 18, iv. 20). Nihil 
nisi sub conditione sperat (Calvin). For ire-n-oiOa see on v. 6. 

bide and abide with] MevSi xal irapafj,eva). The latter means 
■ remain beside,' ' continue with.' The verb often impUes 
a voluntary remaining when one might depart. For similar 
playing on words see on iii. 3 ; 2 Thess. iii. 11 ; 2 Cor. i. 13, 
iv. 8, etc. This is some indication that he expects his trial 
to take place soon, and therefore that he had already been 
imprisoned for a long time. 

all of you] He once more (see on v. 8) intimates that all 
his Philippian converts are included. It is not likely 
that all his converts everywhere are meant. 

advance in believing] ' Advance ' and ' joy ' have only 
one article (see on v. 19), and therefore ' in believing ' (-nj? 
TTto-rews) belongs to both. See on v. 12 for ' advance.' 
' Joy/ the dominant note, sounds once more. 

26. reason for boasting] Cf. Ecdus. ix. 16. The sentence 
is somewhat obscure ; but iv Xpta-rm 'Irjaov belongs to 
Trepiaaeiirj, not to Kdivxv/^a, for which A.V. wrongly has 
' rejoicing ' here, ii. 16 and iii. 3. 


presence with you again] Or, ' my coming to visit you 
again ' ; cf. ii. 12 ; i Cor. xvi. 17 ; 2 Cor. x. 10.* This mean- 
ing of irapovaia is common in papyri. The idea of ' coming 
in state,' or ' pajdng an official visit/ which the word 
sometimes implies, is probably absent here. See on i 
Thess. ii. 19. Meanwhile, until he can come, he sends 
exhortations and instructions. 


This portion of the Epistle falls easily into three distinct 
paragraphs, which, however, are closely connected with 
one another, the doctrinal part forming a link between the 
two exhortations, both of which are directed to the SEime 
end, viz., the promotion of unity by the practice of self- 
suppression. Evidently there had been at PhiUppi rivalries 
and disputes, if not something more serious. This was a 
real drawback to the Apostle's general satisfaction, and he 
now begins to deal with it. We have i. 27-ii. 4 Exhorta- 
tion to Unity and Self-negation ; ii. 5-1 1 Christ the great 
Example of Self-negation and Humility ; and ii. 12-18 
Further Exhortation to Unity and Submission. As before, 
it is convenient to break up the long Greek sentences. 

i. 27-ii. 4. Exhortation to Unity and Self-negation. 

"1 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the Gospel of 
Christ, that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear 
of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind, striv- 
ing together for the faith of the Gospel, "s And in nothing terrified 
by your adversaries : which is to them an evident token of perdition, 
but to you of salvation, and that of God. " For unto you it is 
given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also 
to suffer for his sake, "> Having the same conflict which ye saw in 
me, and now hear to be in me. 

ii. > If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort 
of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, 
* Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, 

* If this letter had been written at Caesarea, he would be ex- 
pecting to visit, not Philippi, but Rome, to which he had appealed. 


being of one accord, of one mind. ' Let nothing be done through 
strife, or vainglory, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other 
better than themselves. * Look not every man on his own things, 
but every man also on the things of others. 

We have the usual alternation of subject. Having for 
a while spoken of himself, he now turns again to his converts. 

*^ Only, whatever happens to me, do remember of what Kingdom 
you are citizens, and do live worthily of the Gospel of Christ. So that 
whether I come and see you with my own eyes, or stay away and hear 
all about you from others, let me have the joy of knowing that you are 
standing firm in one and the same spirit, with one soul fighting side by 
side in alliance with the Faith of the Gospel. ^^ And never be scared 
by any assault made upon you by those who oppose you. Fearlessness 
of this kind is a clear intimation to them of their perdition, but of 
your salvation. And the fearlessness with its meaning comes of 
course from God ; ^^ because on you there was conferred by Him the 
privilege that on Christ's behalf you should not only in faith surrender 
to Him, but also on His behalf suffer. '* For you have entered the 
same sort of arena of conflict in which you saw me contending at 
Philippi and now hear of my contending in Rome. 

ii. ^ It is therefore to your own experience that I can appeal. If 
your life in Christ has any power to persuade you, if love supplies any 
encouragement, if fellowship with the Spirit of love is a reality, if you 
feel any tenderness and compassion, ^ complete in^me the joy which 
you have already inspired. You can do this by being of the same 
mind among yourselves, by mutual and impartial love, by being knit 
together in soul, by being of one mind. ^ Do nothing under the 
influence of peirtisanship, nothing under the influence of personal 
vanity ; on the contrary, with lowliness of mind, each of you re- 
garding one another to be superior to himself, * each and all of you 
adopting as your aim, not your own interests alone, but beyond them 
the interests of others. 

27. whatever happens to me] This is impUed in the ' only ' 
[fiovov). For a similar ellipse after fiovov see Gal. ii. 10, vi. 
12. In 2 Thess. ii. 7 there is probably no eUipse. What 
follows here is very emphatic. 

of what Kingdom you are citizens] TIoKLrsveade impHes 
' behaving as citizens ' (R.V. margin), and m iii. 20 the 
Philippians are reminded that ' our citizenship (TroXiTevfia) 
is by its very nature [vTrdpxei) in heaven.' The expression 
oftffl? TToXirevofievoi is used by Clement of Rome Cor. 


xxi. I ; cf. xxi. i, liv. 4. The verb is no doubt purposely 
substituted for the more usual Trepiirareiv to remind the 
Philippians that they are fellow-citizens and ought to be 
united. Philippi was a Roman colony, and the idea of 
citizenship would be readily appreciated there. Elsewhere 
in N.T. the verb occurs only in Acts xxiii. 1, in a speech 
of St. Paul. Cf . 2 Mace. vi. i, xi. 25, and see Suicer, II. 799. 

worthily of] Cf . I Thess. ii. 12 ; Rom. xvi. 2 •; Eph. iv. i ; 
i. 10. Deissmann, Bible Studies, pp, 248 f. 

whether ... or] The construction is not quite smooth, 
but the meaning is plata. 

all about you] With ra irepl v/i&v here and ii. 19, 20, cf. 
TO. -rrepl ^fi&v, Eph. vi. 22. 

are standing firm] The present of the strong form ffTij/ew is 
used, as in 2 Thess. ii. 15 and Gal. v. i, followed by iv, as in 
iv. I ; I Thess. iii. 8 ; i Cor. xvi. 13. Kennedy, Sources of 
N.T. Grk. p. 158. The thought of contests in the arena 
seems to be in the Apostle's mind throughout the passage ; 
cf. V. 30 ; ii. 16, iii. 14. While our Lord's illustrations are 
mostly from external nature and country life, those of His 
Apostiie are mostly from city life — the stadium, the army, 
slavery, legal institutions, trade, etc. Conybeare and 
Howson, ch. xx. sub init. E. A. Abbott, The Fourfold Gospel, 
V. p. 236. 

in one and the same spirit] P. EwaJd takes eV evl irveviMTi 
to mean the Holy Spirit, comparing Eph. i. 17, iv. 3 ; so also 
Moule, comparing i Cor. xii. 13 ; Eph. ii. 18. 

with one soul] Cf. Acts iv. 32. The best ancient Versions 
and Chrysostom coimect ' with one soul ' with ' stand firm.' 
The emphatic position before ' fighting side by side with ' 
is more forcible. On •^vx'7 see Hatch, Biblical Greek, pp. 

in alliance with the Faith] This rather than ' for the faith ' 
(A. v., R.V.) seems to be the meaning; but 'shoulder 
to shoulder with one another ' may be right. This, however, 
is already expressed by ' with one soul.' 

' The Faith ' is personified, as the Truth is in i Cor. xiii. 
6. In any conflict. Christians must range themselves 


on its side. The Faith of the Gospel is that which Chris- 
tians have to behave and practise. Hamack, Dogmen- 
geschichte, I. pp. 129 ff. 

28. never be scared] tlrvpofiai occurs nowhere else in 
Scripture. It is used of animals shsdng when startled, and 
often figuratively. The opponents are Jews or heathen, 
and this is one o several indications that Christians in 
PhiUppi and elsewhere in Macedonia were suffering perse- 
cution. See on i. Cor. xvi. 9 and 2 Cor. vii. 5. 

of this kind] ' Of such a character as to be.' The pro- 
noun ^Tt? is attracted into the gender of evSetf t?, ' intima- 
tion,' or ' demonstration.' This word is Pauline in N.T. 
(Rom. iii. 25, 26 ; 2 Cor. viii. 24), and it is not found in 
LXX. It means an appeal to facts. For the attraction cf. 
Eph. iii. 13. 

their perdition] The fearlessness of the Christian athlete 
shows his opponents that they are contending against 
something more than human force. If they kill him, 
they send him to the eternal joy which he desires, while 
they make their own entrance into it less possible. St. 
Paul nowhere defines ' perdition,' which is the opposite of 
' salvation.' Cf. iii. 19. 

your salvation] In complete generality of meaning. See 
Hort on atorijpiav ■>^v)(S)v, i Pet. i. 9. ' To you of salvation ' 
(A.V.) is an inferior reading, vpTiv for vfi&v. The pronoun is 
emphatic here and in the next verse. 

the fearlessness with its meaning] This is included in the 
neuter tovto. It is owing to Divine agency that the 
Christian athlete is free from fear, and that this fact has its 
twofold message, whether the world recognizes this or not. 
This twofold message is a ' cloud and darkness ' to the 
adversaries, but ' light by night ' to those whom they 
persecute (Barry). 

29. because on you] How does the Apostle know that 
this comes from God ? Because an immense privilege 
and honour has been conferred on his converts, which would 
be unintelligible otherwise. Gratiae munus signum sahttis 
(Bengel). The verb ixapLaQii implies this ; it was a free 


gift, and an invaluable one ; Lk. vii. 21, 42. Cf. v x«/"'. i- 7, 
and exapi<TaTo, n. 9. 

on Christ's behalf] We have this repeated for emphasis, 
and between we have the surrender to Him ; t6 iirep . . . 
TO ek . . . TO virep. Evidently ' to suffer ' was to have 
come after ' on Christ's behalf.' But it adds point to 
insert the free gift of faith as the first step in the high privi- 
lege, and the ' suffer ' comes with emphasis at the close. 
* Given (or granted) in the behalf of Christ ' (A.V., R.V.) 
is not the right connexion. 

not only] For ov fiovov see Burton, § 481. 

in faith surrender to Him] Elt avrhv iriaTeveiv is frequent 
in John : elsewhere in Paul, Rom. x. 14 and Gal. ii. 16 only. 

We see here the boldness and sureness of St. Paid. Chris- 
tian courage must come from God, because, after enabling us 
to put our whole trust in Christ, He grants the glory of 
suffering for Christ. See on 2 Cor. xii. 10 ; also F. B. 
Westcott, Si!. Paul and Justification, pp. 307 f. To the 
pagan this is absurd paradox ; he does not wish to suffer at 
all. But Christian experience proves that the paradox is 
true ; Acts v. 41 ; Rom. v. 3 ; Col. i. 24. IIia-Teveiv eit 
is the most common formula for absolute trust with regard 
to Christ or God. 

30. the same sort of arena of conflict] Cf. i Tim. vi. 12 ; 
2 Tim. iv. 7. In i Thess. ii. 2 he alludes, as here, to what 
he had suffered from the Jewish mob and the Roman 
duumvirs at Philippi. The nominative participle {tov 
avTov ay&va exovTss), though not Strictly grammatical, 
for it looks back to vjiZv, is very natural, especially when 
we remember that St. Paul was dictating. Moulton, Prole- 
gomena, p. 225. Cf. dvexofievoi,, Eph. iv. 2. It is not 
necessary, in order to save the grammar, to make ^rt? . . . 
Trdaxeiv a long parenthesis. Note olov, not ov : it was not 
identical, for the Philippians were not in prison ; but they 
were exposed to persecution.* 

* That " some of the Christians were in the custody of the military 
authorities as seditious persons " at Phihppi at this time is rather 
more than can safely be inferred from this passage. 


now hear] From Epaphroditus, or whoever read this 
letter to them. 

ii. I. in Christ] See on i. 13. The four clauses seem to 
be arranged in pairs, one relating to union with Christ and its 
benefit, the other to communion with the Spirit and its 

any power to persuade you] The context shows that irapa- 
tcXfja-K! here means ' exhortation ' rather than ' supplica- 
tion ' or ' consolation ' (Vulg.). Cf. i Cor. xiv. 3 ; 2 Cor. 
viii. 17). 

encouragement] With Tra/ja/tXJjo-ts and Trapafivdiov (Wisd. 
iii. 18) cf. irapaKoXovvTe'i and irapafivdov/ievoi (i Thess. 
ii. 12). 

fellowship with the Spirit] Koivwvla (i. 5, iii. 10), avvicoi- 
v(ov6i (i. 7) and Koivtovelv (iv. 15) are characteristic words 
in this letter, which pleads for unity, and the renderings 
ought to harmonize. This passage decides for ' fellowship. ' 
See Robertson and Plummer on i Cor. x. 16 and cf. 2 Cor. 
xiii. 13. 

tenderness] SvXar/'xya as in i. 8 ; and the word for ' com- 
passion ' is also plural, olKTipiMoL. In Scripture both 
words are commonly plural. In N.T. oUnpiiov, Col. iii. 
12, is the sole exception. It is extraordinary that these 
plurals, according to overwhelming evidence, are preceded, 
like KoivavCa, by et Tt?. St. Paul, in dictating, probably 
said ei rt?, meaning to use another singular noun ; and then 
used two plurals, as best expressing his meaning. Scrivener, 
Introd. II. p. 386 ; Moulton, Prokg. p. 59 ; A. T. Robertson, 
Gr. p. 410. On the fondness of St. Paul for long enumera- 
tions of cognate moral qualities see Simcox, Writers of the 
N.T. pp. 35 f. Chrysostom calls attention to the intense 
earnestness of these four clauses. The need of unity is 
so great that exhortation has become entreaty; 

2. complete in me the joy] Already mentioned in i. 4, 5. 
We have here the same verb as in Jn. iii. 29, ' This my 
joy has been made complete, ' •n-eirX'qpayTat : also i Jn. i. 4 ; 
2 Jn. 12. 

being of the same mind] He has prayer for all of them 


(i. 4), he thinks well of them all (i. 7), they all share grace 
with him (i. 7), he yearns after all of them (i. 8). He has 
begged them to be miited in fighting on the side of the 
Faith (i. 27). Here, in the " tautology of earnestness," he 
enlarges on the great need for miited thought and action. 
For vva see Burton, § 215, 217 ; Lightfoot on Col. i. 9 ; 
for TO avTo (f>p., Deissmann, B.S. p. 256. 

by mutual and impeurtial love] So that the love may be 
' the same ' in all relations. There is such a thing as 
unity in hatred. 

knit together in soul] S^vyfrvxoi occurs nowhere else in 
N.T. The classical word is avfjui^pwv. It is better to have 
a comma after avvy^vxot, rather than make it coalesce with 
TO ev <j}povovvre<i, ' with according soul being of one mind.' 
We have four antecedents with ' if ' in w. i, and four conse- 
quents in V. 2. 

being of one mind] He finds it difficult to explain without 
repetition ; cf. iv. i. He ends where he started, slightly 
varjdng the expression, by substituting ' the one,' to ev, 
for ' the same,' rb airo. He has his favourite verb <])poveiv 
with both ; and it always refers, not to any particular 
opinion, but to a permanent view or feeling. ' Minding 
the one thing needful ' is a possible meaning. But cf . 
the current phrase ev koX r'avro, unum atque idem, 
' one and the same. ' There is similar repetition iii. 7-9 and 
iv. 12. 

3. Do nothing, etc.] ' Do ' is not expressed here, any more 
than in the proverbial /irjBev ayav. Cf . tiV iraiBl fidxaipav, firi 
irvp iwl irvp. Ignatius, Philad. viii. 2 has nTjhev kut' ipiOeCav 
irpdaaere. But it is perhaps simpler to supply (ppovovvre^ 
from the previous clause ; ' having in mind nothing in 
the way of partisanship. ' The meaning is much the seime. 
For epiQeta see on i. 17. 

personal vanity] As opposed to zeal for the glory of God. 
Personal vanity and strife are often cause and effect, setting 
oneself up provokes others to pull one down. KevoSo^ia 
has this meaning here, as in Mace. ii. 15, viii. 18 ; ako 
in Philo and Polybius. But in Wisd. xiv. 14 it seems 

11. 3, 4] HORtAf ORY ANt) DOCtRlNAL 39 

to mean 'vain opinion,' "folly.' Cf. Gal. v. 26; Suicer, 
II. 86. 

lowliness of mind] So A.V. and R.V. here for Tairei- 
vo^poavvT]. Col. iii. 12 A.V. has ' humbleness of mind, ' 
R.V. ' humUity. ' Lowliness of mind opposes ' vanity, ' 
and regarding the interests of others opposes " partisanship.' 
As the word has the article, we might say " due lowliness 
of mind. ' The virtue is specially needed when we compare 
ourselves with others. The word is not found in classical 
Greek. Humility, one of the greatest of Christian virtues, 
was of Uttle account with the majority of heathen philoso- 
phers. A low opinion of yourself is either true or false. 
If it is false, you ought to correct it. If it is true, you are 
a very poor creature. Aristotle's fie'faXof^vxp'i has no 
humility, and a society consisting oi /ieyaXoyfrvxoi would be 

regarding one another] This explains what is meant by 
humblemindedness. The Christian knows that he has 
many defects and faiUngs which are unknown to his fellows, 
and which he has no right to suppose that they have. 
On the other hand, he sees in them virtues which he knows 
that he does not possess. 

4. each and all] The plural e/caa-Toi makes the scope 
of the admonition more comprehensive. The plural is 
rare ; here only in N.T. As the Apostle makes no excep- 
tions in his aflEection for them, so there ought to be no 
exceptions in their affection for one another. Cf. i Cor. 
X- 24, 33. With the repetition of sKacrroi. cf. i Cor. vii. 17. 
We need not press the repetition to mean ' each set of you, ' 
' each little section into which you may be divided.' The 
imperative ' Look not ' (A.V.) is wrong. 

It is possible that v. 4 repeats the second half of w. 3 ; 
each fixing his attention, not on his own good qualities, 
but on those of others also. The ' also ' is against this 

beyond them] Or ' also ' is the meaning of icai. It is 
not wrong to look to one's own interests ; it is wrong to 
look to them exclusively. With axoTrovvre^ cf. aKo-mlTe, 


iii. 17 ; friendly interest is implied in both places. Contrast 
Rom. xvi. 17. 

ii. 5-11. Christ the Great Example of Self-negation 
AND Humility. 

• Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus : • Who, 
being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God : 
' But made himself of no reputation and took upon him the form 
of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. » And being 
found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient 
unto death, even the death of the Cross. 'Wherefore God also 
hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above 
every name : »° That at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, 
of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth : 
'• And that every tongue should confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord, 
to the glory of God the Father. 

This doctrinal portion, important as it is in itself, comes 
in quite incidentally. " A purely practical motive has led 
the Apostle to hand down to us one of the loftiest ex- 
pressions of his faith in Christ " (Von Soden, Early Chris- 
tian Literature, p. iii). Its object is, not to correct errors by 
giving instruction in doctrine, but to enforce the exhorta- 
tions respecting conduct, by appeaUng to the conduct of 
Christ, " which is the ideal type that the Christian should 
strive to imitate and reproduce " (Sabatier, The Apostle 
Paul, p. 256). Neither here nor in the latter doctrinal 
passage (iii. 2-iv. i) is there any hint that errors of doctrine 
existed in the PhiJippian Church ; and no Epistle of St. 
Paul has less of doctrine in it than this one. The things 
which needed correction were rivalries and sqtiabbles. The 
establishment of harmonious thought and action in a com- 
munity requires from each individual the repression of all 
self-assertion and the renunciation of much that might be 
claimed. The whole life of Christ on earth is a unique 
pattern of such hmnihty ; and it won a unique reward.* 

* Un Dieu anSanti, rend les humiliations honorable : un Dieu chargi 
dt nos douleurs, rend les souffrances aimables : un Dieu uni A I'homme 


The language of the passage is carefully chosen, with 
balances and rhythmical clauses. The Apostle " loves 
that rhythm of style for which his taste had been sharpened 
by the language of the Prophets. Whole sections of his 
Epistles can be divided into short complete lines like poetry 
in prose " (Von Soden, p. 25). A. S. Way makes this passage 
into a " Hjman of the Incarnation." See on i Thess. iv. 17, 
p. 78 footnote. See also Deissmann's excellent remarks, 
St. Paul, pp. 168 f . ; Headlam, 5^. Paul and Christianity, 
pp. 58 f . ; Moffatt, Intr. to the Literature of the N. T. pp. 
57, 167 ; Ramsay, The First Christian Century, pp. 105 f. ; 
Rostron, Christology, pp. 1 12-129. 

^ Reflect in your own minds this, which was also the thought 
in the mind of Christ Jesus ; ® who, though He was by nature 
in the form of God, yet did not regard being on an equality with God 
as a prize to be strenuously secured. '' On the contrary, of His own 
free will He divested Himself of His glory in assuming the form of a 
bondservant by being born in human guise. ^ And being recognized 
by men as a man in all that is external. He humbled Himself by 
becoming obedient to God, which extended to submission unto death, 
and not merely death, but death on the cross. ^ Therefore in conse- 
quence of this God supremely exalted Him, £ind conferred upon Him 
the name which is above every name, '^*'so that in Jesus' Name 
every knee should bow, of beings in heaven, and beings on earth, 
and beings under the earth, ^^ and every tongue freely confess that 
Jesus Christ is Lord, and all this to promote the glory of God the 

5. Reflect in your own minds] He continues to dwell on 
the condition of their minds ; 4>povelv, as twice in v. 2. 

the thought in the mind] AU that the Greek gives is ' which 
also in Christ Jesus,' and the meaning almost certainly is 
' Think in yourselves that which He also thought in Himself,' 
understanding i^povrjdi) ; ' Model your thoughts on His. 
It is sometimes understood to mean, ' Cultivate the same 
unity among yourselves as you have enjoyed in relation to 

fait taire la raison, et rend la foi yneme raisonnable (Massillon). 
Qu'est-ce qu'etre membre de Jesus-Christ ? C'est suivre la destinie 
du.chef, et lui etre conforme ; mourir A tout avec lui ; ne former au 
dedans de soi que ses desires et ses sentiments ; ne pas chercher sa 
consolation en ce monde comme lui {ibid.) 



Christ.' What follows about Christ as a pattern of humility 
and self-renunciation is decisive against this. The Latin 
of Theodore of Mopsuestia has Talia sapite et qttalia Christus 
videtiir sapmsse : Beza 7s sit affectus in voibis, qm fuit et in 
Christo. Bossuet Entrons dans Us memes dispositions oil a 
etS le Seigneur Jesus. 

The next two verses (6, 7) are among the most difficult 
passages in Scripture. Each clause is open to more than 
one interpretation, and it is impossible to be certain about 
the correctness of the several solutions which one-decides to 
adopt. The leading words in most of the clauses are of 
disputed, if not doubtful, meaning. Note the three verbs 
which express existence ; elvat 'to be, ' virapxeiv ' to be 
essentially, ' 7tveo-0ot • to come to be,' ' to become.' 

6. though He was by nature] Or, ' being originally ' (R.V. 
margin) : not &v (i. i ; Rom. i 7 ; i Cor. i. 2 ; etc.), but 
virdpxoyv (see Evans on i Cor. xi. 7). The word points 
clearly to the pre-existence of Christ, to the period prior 
to the Incarnation. The participle is probably imperfect ; 
and the expression points clearly to the meaning of the 
words which accompany it. Sabatier calls the four words 
" the most exalted metaphysical definition ever given 
by Paul to the Person of Christ " [The Apostle Paul, 

p. 259)- 

"The epistle sets forth three different states of the Messiah : 
pre-existence in heaven, humiliation on earth, and enthrone- 
ment in heaven. Each of these is presented with a wedth 
of meaning beyond anything taught in the previous Paulin- 
ism " (C. A. Briggs, The Messiah of the Apostles, p. 179). 

in the form of God] 'Ev fiop(f>ii ©eoj. The best alternative 
for ' form ' here is ' nature,' — that which He was really. 
But ' by nature ' being implied in virdpxt»v the more Uteral 
' form ' is the better rendering. ' In the form of God ' means 
' possessing the Divine attributes.' Cf. the ' image (eUmv) 
of God,' 2 Cor. iv. 4 ; Col. i. 15, 16 ; and ' the expression of 
His essence ' (x*/5a«T^p ttjs viro(TTda-€a<i avrov) Heb. i. 3 — 
phrases which come near to the Joharlnine doctrine of the 
Aoyoi. See Lightfoot on Col. iii. 10, J. H. Bernard on 2 


Cor. iv. 4, Westcott on Heb. i. 3, PuUan, Early Christian 
Doctrine, p. 21, and Foimdations, pp. 192 f. 

did not regard] The same verb as in v. 4, perhaps purposely 

being on an equality] We have here, not la-oy tw @e£, as 
Jn. V. 18, but tea &em, which possibly impUes the Divine 
prerogatives rather than the Divine Person, ' the being 
equal things with God, ' or perhaps ' existence on equality 
with God.' 

a prize to be strenuously secured] The meaning of dprray^o^ 
remains open to doubt, but the idea of ' robbery ' or ' plun- 
dering ' may be set aside. The Latin rendering rapina 
has misled many translators and commentators. Nor need 
the original distinction, between apirayiJi,6<;, the ' process 
or act of plundering, ' and ap-n-aytia, a ' piece of plimder,' 
be maintained. In late Greek the differences implied 
by differences of termination become blurred ; e.g. Bea-fiof 
and iKaafi6(; represent a result rather than a process or act ; 
and the difference between /S/scoo-t? and ^p&fia, it6(tl<s and TroVa 
is sometimes ignored ; Theodore here treats dp-n-ayiMO'; as thfe 
same as apirayfia. It means ' a catch, ' something which is 
of great value, perhaps without the original idea of acqtiisi- 
tion. The latter point is in dispute. Does dpirayfio^ mean 
a treasure to be eagerly acquired, or a treasure to be tenaci- 
ously retained ? The word may seem to imply the former 
and the context is not decisive. On the one hand it is said 
that, if Christ was already by nature in the form of God, 
possessing all the Divine attributes, how could He regard 
equality with God as a treasure to be acquired ? On the 
other hand, by becoming incarnate. He treated it as a trea- 
sure which He would not jealously cling to and hold fast. 
' Secure ' covers either meaning, ' acquire ' or ' retain. ' If 
' acquire ' is preferred, we may interpret that He might 
(as He was tempted to do) have used His Divine powers in 
such a way as to force men to recognize Him as the Son of 
God, ' making Himself equal to God ' ; and this He refused 
to do ; Trfv d^iav eKelvijv direKpvyJr^v (Theodore), (^uod erat, 
hwmilitate celavit (Pelagius). But we cannot decide by 


principles of logic matters which transcend human reason. 
It is possible that St. Paul is here using language of the pre- 
existence of Christ which logically is appropriate to the 
incarnate Son. 

There is no need to suppose that he is thinking of the First 
Adam, who was tempted to become as God (Gen. iii. 5), or 
of the fall of Lucifer (Is. xiv. 12-17). 

7. on the contrary] So far from regarding the Divine 
attributes as something to be carefully secured, He volun- 
tarily let them go. This seems to be the main feature 
in the Example, readiness to surrender what was rightly His 

divested Himself of His glory] Cf. 2 Cor. viii. 9. Two 
features in Christ are singled out for imitation. His self- 
negation and His humility ; the former is mentioned here. 
' Himself ' is emphatic by position {eambv eKeviuaev) inti- 
mating that it was His own doing. Cf . M ^a eavr&v^ v. 4. 
' Made Himself of no reputation ' (A.V.) is very inadequate : 
semet ipsum exinanivit (Vulg.) is better. Sanday, The 
Oracles of God, p. xiv.* 

It does not help us to say that ' He emptied Himself ' is 
a sentence complete in itself, and requires no secondary 
object. A secondary object must be imderstood. He 
emptied Himself of something. A reservoir cannot empty 
itself without parting with its contents, and the contents 
in this case are the glories of the Divine nature. The exact 
meaning of this is beyond us. Attempts to explain the 
union of Godhead and manhood are inevitably failures. 
" Any attempt to commit Paul to a precise theological state- 

* See Milton's Ode on the Nativity, i. 2. 

" That glorious Form, that light insufferable, 
* * * « « « 

He laid aside : and here with us to be. 

Forsook the courts of everlasting day. 

And chose with us a darksome house of mortal clay." 
In Westcott's words, it was " a laying aside of the mode of divine 
existence " (on Jn. i. 14). The whole note is illuminating. "The 
Indwelling of the pleroma refers to the Eternal Word, and not to the 
incarnate Christ " (Lightfoot on Col. ii. 9). 


ment of the limitations of Christ's humanity involves the 
reader in a hopeless maze. . . . Christ's consciousness 
of deity was not suspended during His earthly life. He 
knew that He had glory with the Father before the world 
was, and would receive it back " (Vincent, p. 89). On the 
other hand, "He lived according to the conditions of 
man's life, and died under the circumstances of man's 
mortality " (Westcott on Heb. ii. 18). The emptying is 
described as a climax ; status exinanitionis gradatim pro- 
fwndior (Bengel). 

in assuming the form of a bondservant] A complete anti- 
thesis to the ' form of God ' ; we have H'OP't'V in both places, 
and therefore the same English word in both. Here one 
would prefer ' nature, ' because ' form ' might suggest that 
He merely looked Hke a bondservant, that He was disguised 
as one ; which is utterly misleading. Against this gross 
misinterpretation of St. Paul's language Gregory Nazianzen 
protests in his letter against ApoUinarius {Ep. cii.). Just 
as before the Incarnation He was really and essentially 
0609, so at the Incarnation He became really and essentially 
SoOXoy. The ka^atv emphasizes the voluntariness of the 
change. It was not imposed upon Him ; He assumed it ; 
and the two aorists show that the and the assuming 
were contemporaneous. They give two aspects of the 
same act.* 

To whom was He a bondservant ? To God, whose will 
was His will, and perhaps we may say to the whole race 
of mankind. But in Mk. x. 45 and Lk. xxii. 27 we have 
SiaKoveiv. Christ ' ministered ' to many individuals, but 
we are nowhere told that He was the ' bondservant ' of any 
human being. Nor is the Suffering Servant in Isaiah in the 
Apostle's thought ; that is always Trat?, not Bov\o<}. 

* Sa puissance se change en faiblesse ; sa sagesse infinie n'est plus 
qu'une raison, naissante et envellopp&e ; son immensitS parait ren- 
fermie dans les homes d'un corps mortel ; Vintage de la substance de 
son Pire est cach&e sous la vile forme d'esclave ; son Hernelle origine 
commence & compter des temps et des moments ; enfin, it parail aneanii 
dans tous ses litres (Massillon) . 


being born in human guise] ' Being bom ' {yev6fi6vo<s), 
like ' assuming,' is in contrast to what He ' was by nature ' 
{vTrdpxtov) ; and ' guise ' or ' similitude ' {ofioicofia) is in 
contrast to ' form ' or ' essence ' {fiop^tj). Therefore the 
noun implies the reality of the likeness rather than the reality 
of the human nature (Trench, Syn. § xv.). The latter has 
been stated in the previous clause. There was " substantial 
likeness " (F. B. Westcott, Si. Paul and Justification, pp. 242, 
291). We are concerned now with what was external and 
apparent. Elsewhere St. Paul insists again and again on 
the reahty of Christ's Humanity ; iii. 10 ; Rom. viii. 3 ; 
Gal. iv. 4 ; Col. i. 22, 24 ; etc. ' In hirnian guise, ' not 
merely in the hkeness of a man (cf . Mt. xiii. 52), but ' of men ' 
[avdpoo'Trmv), of the whole human race, to whom He seemed 
to be one of themselves. He was really such (Heb. ii. 17), 
but He was a great deal more. 

8. being recognized] ' Found ' {evpedek) expresses the 
quality, not as it exists in itself, but as it is perceived and 
recognized ; iii. 9 ; i Cor. iv. 2 ; 2 Cor. v. 3, xi. 12. 

in all that is external] In popular language <^X'it^°' and 
/io/30^ are as convertible as ' shape ' and ' form ' are in 
English ; but in technical language o'X'?/"'" indicates what 
is external and changeable, popcjiij what is essential and 
permanent. This distinction prevails in N.T. in the use of 
the two words and of the derivatives of each ; p-eTaaxnpMTi^e. 
adai, o-nj/o-j^ij/iariffeff^ai, fj,eraiJ,op<f>ova6aL, <Tvp,p.op^ovadai (iii. 
10), avp.p,op<f)o<; (iii. 21), piopt^ovaOai, p^p^atcn^. The 
meanings in this passage are clear. They "imply re- 
spectively the true Divine nature of our Lord (p-op4>Ti Qeov), 
the true human nature (iMp<j>v SovXov), and the externals of 
the human nature {a-xrjfian w? dv0po}Tro<s)." Lightfoot, p. 

For a-x^f^"'"''^ the Latin Versions have figuna, habitu, specie. 
Whereas p-op<f>v can be used of both Godhead and manhood, 
axvP'a is applicable to the latter only. Cf. i Cor. vii. 31, 
where a-xnf^"- is used of the external world. In Christian 
interpolations in the Testaments of the XII Patriarchs 
we h^ve both terms used of the ma,nhood ; Zabulon ix. § 


Syp-eade @eov iv a'xi^fjbart avBpdi'irov, and Benjamin x. 7 eVl 
7,^9 <j)avivTa iv fiop^fj avOpcoirov. But possibly both terms 
may be meant to refer to the externals. 

He humbled Himself] The change of order is significant : 
eavTov eK€v(oa-ev, ' He emptied Himself ' ; eTaireivcoaev 
eavrov, ' He humbled HimseU.' Even as man He humbled 
Himself to the uttermost. 

obedient to God] Obedientia servum decet (Bengel) ; ' to 
God ' is impUed in v. 9. He became so by a life of absolutely 
perfect obedience in all things, Heb. v. 8. ' Obedient unto 
death ' (A.V.) is misleading, as if the obedience was rendered 
to Death : oboediens usque ad mortem (Vulg.) is the meaning. 
And He became obedient by learning to be so through the 
things which He suffered (Heb. v. 8). 

which included] which went as far as that, /texf" Oavdrov, 
Heb. xii. 4 ; 2 Mace. xiii. 14. 

and not merely death] This is implied in Se. The prayers 
in Gethsemane may be in St. Paul's mind. Crucifixion was a 
death of extreme suffering and shame ■; being nailed to a tree 
like vermin. Christ had assumed the nature of a slave 
to God; and crucifixion was the death of a slave to man 
(Gal. v. II ; Heb. xii. 2), a death excruciating and accursed 
(Gal. iii. 13). The Apostle may be suggesting that, willing 
as he was to share his Master's sufferings and death, yet 
as a Roman citizen he could not be crucified, and members 
of the Roman colony at Philippi would appreciate this 
privilege and privation. Cicero, Pro Rabirio v. 10, points 
out how impossible such a death was for a Roman. 

Some critics divide vv. 6-8 into four clauses, which seem 
to be balanced by four corresponding clauses in vv. 9-11. 
Thus, (i) o? ev fiop'f'V ■ • • (2) aWa ... (3) ev onoiwfiaii 
... (4) iraTreivaa-ev . . . (l) Sio Kal ... (2) xal ix'^picxaTo 
... (3) """' ^^ ■'■?' ovofiaTi ... (4) Koi traaa. See 
J. Weiss in Theologische Studien, Gottingen, J897, Pp. 190 ^ • 

9. Therefore in consequence of this] Ato Kai. The «at 
impHes that God on His side responds, in accordance with 
the principle that he who humbles himself is exalted ; Mt. 
xxiii. 12 ; Lk. xiv. 11, xviii. 14 ; of. Jas. iv. 6 ,; i Pet. v. 3. 


' Him ' is emphatic by position, as is natural in a statement 
of reciprocity ; He emptied Himself, and God exalted Him. 

supremely exalted Him] Ainbv vTrepwjrcoaev. On St. 
Paul's fondness for words compounded with inrip see on 2 
Thess. i. 3. This more than cancels the emptying and 
humiUating. Cf. Ps. xcvi. (xcvii.) 9. 

conferred] See on i. 29 and Hort on i Pet. i. 21. 

the Name] Not ' a Name ' (A.V.) ; ro Svofia is the right 
reading, and 'the Name' is probably 'Lord,' as the 
equivalent of ' Jehovah ' in O.T. See on i. 2.* 

It is not quite certain that any name is meant. ' Name ' 
may mean ' rank ' or ' dignity. ' This makes excellent 
sense here, and to some seems to be preferable. God gave 
Him the dignity which is above every dignity. 

above every name] Non modo super omne iiomen humanum 

10. in Jesus' Name] Not ' at ' (A.V.) ; Ps. Ixiii. 4. ' The 
Name which belongs to Jesus ' is the meaning ; that which 
represents His majesty in its completeness, far above the 
designation of any created being (Eph. i. 21). Theodoret 
thinks that ' Son of God ' or ' God ' is the name. Some 
moderns decide for ' Jesus ' ; e.g. Case, Evolution of Early 
Christianity, p. 158. But ' the Name ' in v. 10 must mean 
the same as in v. 9, and in t;. 9 ' Jesus ' cannot be meant, 
for many persons have been called ' Jesus, ' and Christ Him- 
self had the name of Jesus during His earthly Ufe, before the 
extremity of an accursed death. The passage is often 
strangely misunderstood, as ordering the custom of bowing 
the head when the name of Jesus is mentioned. ' Bending 
the knee ' is often a metaphor for reverence and worship or 
prayer ; Rom. xi. 4 ; Eph. iii. 14. '' To bow the knee in the 
name of Jesus is to pay adoration in that sphere of author- 
ity, grace, and glory for which the name stands " (Vincent). 
However we may explain the details, the meaning is that 

* " What name is meant is clear from the fact that because of 
this name He becomes the object of the adoration of all. For 
they all are to confess that Jesus Christ is the divine Lord in the 
sense in whjch God alone bears this name " (B. Weiss). 


every being should pay the utmost respect to the majesty 
of the incarnate and glorified Son. See Is. xlv. 23 which 
is adapted here and quoted Rom. xiv. 11 ; also i Pet. iii. 

in heaven and on earth] Whether the adjectives are 
masculine or neuter, the triplet is an expansion of ' the 
whole creation,' ' all the works of the Lord.' Cf. Rev. v. 
13, where ' and on the sea ' is added. Wiclif (De Benedicta 
Incarnacione, iii.) has omne genu flectatur celestium, quos 
restituit, terrestrium, quos redemii, ef infernormn, quos 
spoliavit. But respecting the three classes " we know too 
Uttle of the Apostle's ideas to be able to venture upon a deci- 
sion " (P. Ewald). See M. and M., Vocabulary, pp. 236, 252. 

II. freely confess] Or, " jojrfully proclaim.' All that 
e^ofwXoyeladai of necessity means is " openly declare ' ; but 
LXX usage gives the verb the notion of praise or thanks- 
giving, and that idea is very appropriate here. M. and M., 
Vocabulary, p. 224. Cf. Rom. xv. 9 ; i Cor. xii. 3. Acts 
viii. 37 cannot be quoted as part of the true text. 

is Lord] Emphatic by position. 

and all this] ' To the glory etc. ' need not be restricted to 
V. II : it probably looks back to vv. 9 and 10. " Wherever 
the Son is glorified, the Father is glorified " (Chrysostom). 

ii. 12-18. Further Exhortation to Unity and 

"Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in 
my presence only, but now much more in my absence ; work out 
your own salvation with fear, and trembling. " For it is God 
which worketh in you, both to will and to do, of his good pleasure. 
'*Do all things without murmurings, and disputings : "That ye 
may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, 
in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine 
as lights in the world : '» Holding forth the word of life, that I may 
rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither 
laboured in vain. '^ Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and 
service of your faith, I joy and rejoice with you all. '» For the same 
cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me. 

The Apostle proceeds to press home the lesson of Christ's 


self-negation, humility, and obedience. The theological 
statement is not continued beyond the point at which it 
serves the immediate practical purpose. 

^* You have Christ's example to inspire and guide you. So then, 
my beloved ones, just as on all occasions hitherto you have showed 
ready obedience to God, do so now in this way. Not only when you 
can rely upon me during my presence with you ; on the contrary, 
far more during my absence from you ; — ^relying upon yourselves, 
with godly fear and trembling anxiety to be obedient, work out your 
salvation. ^^ In this you have far better help than mine. For it is 
God who works in you, in fulfilment of His benevolent purpose (there- 
fore you need not fear and must not glory) ; and He supplies you with 
both the will and the power to be obedient. ^* In all that you have 
to do be not like the Israelites with their murmurings and questionings, 
** that you may become blameless in the sight of men and innocent 
in the sight of God. Yes, become children of God, not rebels, children 
without blemish, in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, — 
amongstwhom you appear as luminaries in the world, — ^ holding out 
to others the Gospel in all its life-giving power. With this blessed result, 
that on the Day of Christ's Return to test all works I may be able to 
boast that, as regards yourselves, I did not run my race in vain, nor yet 
struggle and toil in vain. ^'' Do not think that I grudge the toil. 
I would give far more than that. Even if I am poured out on the 
sacrifice and service of your faith, when this is offered to God, I 
rejoice and congratulate all of you ; ^° and in the same meumer I 
invite you to rejoice and to congratulate me. 

12. So then] Itaque Vulg. here and iv. i. The wo-re 
evidently refers to the description of Christ as a model ; 
see on iv. i and on i Thess. iv. 18. 

my beloved ones] Cf. iv. i ; i Cor. x. 14. 

have showed] This is one of many cases in which it is 
the Greek idiom to use the aorist, but the English idiom 
to use the perfect. Cf. e/Madov^ iv. 11. 

obedience to God] As Christ did {v. 8). Beet follows Meyer 
in taking obedience to be to' the "apostohc authority of 
Paul." But V. 13 points to God, and ©ed? is emphatic by 
position. See Hort on i Pet. i. 14. ' To obey,' viraKoieiv, 
is ' to listen submissively. ' 

In what follows two constructions are intermingled; 
but it is not difficult to disentangle them. 


Not only] This belongs to " work out, ' not to " showed ready 
obedience. ' 

during my presence] See on i. 26. 

far more] ttoWw fiaXKov, as in i. 23. 

relying upon yourselves] The reflexive pronoun eavr&v 
is very emphatic, and something to mark this is needed early 
in the sentence. See Pfleiderer, Paulinism, I. p. 224. 

fear and trembling anxiety] The combination <f>o^o<} koX 
Tp6iio<s is frequent in LXX, and there the usual meaning 
is fear of severe treatment ; Gen. ix. 2 ; Exod. xv. 16 ; 
Deut. ii. 25, xi. 25 ; etc. But that is not how St. Paul uses 
the expression. He is the only N.T. writer who has the 
phrase, and he appears to mean by it a nervous anxiety to 
do one's duty ; i Cor. ii. 3 ; 2 Cor. vii. 15 ; Eph. vi. 5, where 
this fear is opposed to eye-service.* Fear of failure may be 
included, and some Fathers make this the whole idea. 

work out] The preposition in Karepyd^eaOe is intensive, 
strengthening the simple verb, ' carry to the end, ' usque ad 
metam (Bengel). Vulg. has aperari here and generally ; 
also facere, perficere, efficere, and consummare. The com- 
pound occurs twenty times in Paul and only thrice in the 
rest of N.T. The Kara sometimes gives a bad sense ; Rom. 
i. 27, ii. 9 ; I Cor. v. 3. Cf. per in perf^ere and perpetrare. 

your own salvation] The reciprocal force of eavrSiv (Eph. 
iv. 32 ; Col. iii. 13, 16), ' one another's salvation, ' is certainly 
not the meaning here. 

13. For it is God] ' God ' is emphatic ; and ' for ' (vap) 
explains how they can work out their own salvation without 
either despondency or presumption. They must anxiously, 
but hopefully, seek to secure their own eternal welfare, 
for God is sure to help, because it is His desire and delight 
to do so. See Hort on i Pet. i. g.f 

* Die game christliche Gewissenhaftigkeii darin liegt (De Wette). 

I Non, il ne le peut de lui-meme et par lui-mime : mats il n'oublie 
point d'ailleurs ce que lui apprend le Docteur des nations, qu'il peut 
tout en celui qui le fortifie. De sorte qu'il ne balance pas un moment 
i se mettre en ceuvre et A commencer. Ce n'est point par une thneritS 
presomptueuse, puis^ue son espSrance est fondie sur ce grand principe 


works in you] Another Pauline expression ; epepyeiv 
with a personal subject, ivepyecadai with an impersonal ; 
seventeen times in Paul and only thrice elsewhere in N.T. 
' In you, ' not " among you. ' St. Paul is not troubled 
with the relation of these facts to the question of man's 
free will. 

in fulfilment of] ' For ' (R.V.) is better than ' of ' (A.V.). We 
have virip, ' in order to accompUsh, ' not Sid. Blass, § 42, 5. 
This clause is not to be taken with what follows, as Conybeare 
and Howson take it. 

both the will] The Divine help can be counted on from 
the very start ; Aug. De Grat. et Lib. Arb. xvii. ; loth 
Article of ReUgion. We must co-operate. It rests with us 
to decide whether we shield to good or to evil influences. 

14. In all] ' All ' is emphatic ; all the details of daUy 
life ; I Cor. x. 31 ; cf. Col. iii. 17. 

like the Israelites] The context seems to show that the 
Apostle has their unrest and rebeUious utterances against 
Moses in his mind ; Exod. xvi. 7 ; Num. xvi. 11 ; Cf. i Cor. 
X. 10. 

questionings] Referring perhaps rather to spoken disput- 
ings than to mental reasonings ; Rom. i. 21, xvi. i ; i Cor. 
iii. 20. Vulg. has haesitationes, Rhem. ' staggerings. ' In 
papyri SidKoyta-fioi seems always to mean uttered discus- 
sions ; there are no examples of ' thoughts,' ' cogitations.' 
M. and M., p. 151. It was evidently open disagreements 
that troubled the PhUippian Church. In BibUcal Greek 
the word has commonly, but not invariably, a bad sense. 
Hatch, Bibl. Grk. p. 8. 

15. may become] ' May be ' (A.V.) follows the inferior 
reading ^re : yevrjade is probably right, and ^re may come 
from i. ID. 

innocent] Lit. 'unmixed,' "unadulterated," uKepaioi, 
as in Rom. xvi. 19 ; Mt. x. 16. Trench, Syn. § Ivi. Cf. 
etXiKpiveiv , i. 10. 

children of God] Not ' ihe sons of God ' (A.V.). This 

de Saint Paul (Bourdaloue). Bossuet has a similar passage, Midita- 
tions, Sermon sur la Montagne, xxxii. 


quotation from the Song of Moses, Deut. xxxii. 5, is further 
evidence that the conduct of the rebellious Israelites in the 
wilderness is the danger which the Phihppians must avoid. 

without blemish] Rather than ' without rebuke ' (A.V.). 
This is the third negative adjective ; free from blame, from 
adulteration, from blemish. They are to be fit to be pre- 
sented to God. Hort on i Pet. i. 19 ; Westcott on Eph. 
i. 4 ; Trench, § ciii. 

perverse] Stronger than ' crooked ' ; Acts ii. 40, xx. 30 ; 
Mt. xvii. 17; Lk. ix. 41. 'Generation.' not 'nation' 

you appear] Or " are seen,' not ' ye shine ' (A.V. following 
Vulg. lucetis). We have (paiveaffe, not (l)aiv£Te, and the 
verb is probably indicative, not imperative. 

luminaries] Rather than ' lights ' ; ^ann^pe'i, not ^wra. 
In LXX the word is commonly used of sun, moon, and stars ; 
Gen. i. 14, 16 ; Wisd. xiii. 2 ; Ecclus. xUii. 7. It " is 
suggestive of a light shining in darkness " (Abbott, The 
Fourfold Gospel, V. p. 254). Beza is misleading with 
faces. See Swete on Rev. xxi. 11, the only other N.T. 
passage in which the word occurs ; Trench, § xlvi. 

16. holding out to others] The meaning of iiri'xpvTe'i is 
uncertain. From " appljdng, ' ' directing, ' it comes to mean 
' holding forth,' ' offering,' e.g. food or drink. This makes 
good sense here. ' Instead of disputing among yourselves, 
dispense your spiritual blessings to others.' Praetendentes 
Beza, sustinentes Calvin. Some render irn-ixovTe^ ' holding 
fast,' continentes Vulg. ; and this also makes good sense. 
' Instead of disputing about unimportant matters, keep 
firm hold on that which is essential.' ' Because ye possess ' 
is inadequate.* 

the Gospel etc.] ' A word of hfe ' means a communication 
which has life as its subject and effect ; and ' life ' has here 

* Field {Otium Norvic. III. p. 118) rejects both these renderings, 
and gives, as a literal translation, " holding the analogy of life," 
i.e., " being (to the world) in the stead of life." He rightly rejects 
the suggestion that tjxaaTTJpei points to such lights as the Pharos 
at Alexandria. 


its highest and most comprehensive sense. ^070^ has no 
article. Cf. Jn. vi. 63, 68. 

Day of Christ's Return] See on i. 6. The ek means 
not ■ imtil,' but ' against the Day.' The boasting is reserved 
for that Day. 

able to boast] Cf. i. 26 ; i Thess. ii. 19 ; 2 Cor. L 14. A.V. 
again has ' rejoice. ' 

as regards yourselves] This Umitation is implied. The 
results of his work among other converts are not under 

I did not run] We have the same expression Gal. ii. 2. 
The metaphor impUes great efEort ; i Cor. Ix. 25 ; Gal. v. 7. 
The aorist looks back from the point of view of the Day. 

in vain] Lit 'unto emptiness,' ek kbvov, being empty- 
handed after all ; i Thess. iii. 5 ; 2 Cor. vi. i. The repetition 
gives emphasis. 

struggle and toil] It is possible that eKoiriaaa continues 
the metaphor of contests in the arena ; cf. Is. xl. 31. More 
probably the thought is of missionary (Cor. i xv. 10, xvi. 16) 
and of manual labour, of which he had had much experience ; 
see on i Thess ii. 9 ; 2 Thess. iii. 8 ; 2 Cor. xi. 27. 

17. But . . . even if] Something has to be understood 
between aWd and ei KaC. • But why talk of labours ? I 
am ready even if the worst comes,' viz. the being condemned 
to death. Ei Kai introduces a condition which is stated 
problematically, but is conceded as a fact, ' even though ' ; 
2 Cor. iv. 3, 16, V. 16, vii. 8, xiii. 11 ; Col. ii. 5. The kuL 
emphasizes airevhofiai, which is admitted for the sake of 
argument. Winer, pp. 554 f. 

am poured out] Not ' I am being poured out.' The 
present tense does not mean that the sacrifice is already 
begun ; and there is therefore no inconsistency between 
this statement and the expectation of reletise in i. 25, 26, ii. 
24. In 2 Tim. iv. 6, when the death was very near, ^Si; 
depicts the pouring as beginning, ^Si; tririvSofiai,. The 
present after «t often merely states the supposition graphic- 
ally. The allusion is probably to heathen sacrifices, ia which 
the libation was a more distinct feature than in Jewish 


sacrifices. A prisoner in Rome would often see or hear of 
heathen Ubations. Moreover, nearly all the Philippian 
Christians were converts froin heathenism. It is to heathen 
rites that he refers 2 Cor. ii. 14. 

The sacrifice is the Philippians' faith. The Apostle's 
life-blood is the libation poured over it. Who offers the 
sacrifice ? Surely the PhUippian Church ; not the Apostle 
whose Ufe-blood enriches the sacrifice. 

sacrifice and service] It is not easy to find a satisfactory 
rendering for \et,Tovpyia here. In LXX it and its cognate, 
forms occur about 140 times, and they commonly imply 
sacerdotal ministration. Here it may be added to dvaia to 
suggest that the Philippians iu offering their faith perform a 
priestly act. They share in the imiversal priesthood of the 
Christian Church. Vulg. has the vague obseqmum. See 
on 2 Cor. ix. 12. 

congratulate] It is difficult to decide between 'con- 
gratulate ' and ' rejoice along with ' for avyxaipto, but the 
latter makes rather poorer sense when y. 18 is taken into 
account. ' Have the same joy, and the same rejoicing 
with me ' is tautological. ' I rejoice with all of you ' 
implies that the Philippians are already rejoicing ; whereas 
in V. 18 they are exhorted to rejoice. Vulg. has congratulor 
here ; congaudeo 1 Cor. xii. 26, xiii. 6. English Versions 
have ' rejoice ' or ' be glad.' The question is unimportant. 
Note the 'all.' As in i. 3-8, he refuses to recognize their 
differences ; all without exceptions are included. 

18. in the same measure] He and they are to have the 
same joy and the same subject of congratulation. He 
cannot bear to be alone in rejoicing, and they ought to be 
able to rejoice with him in the prospect of his possible 
martjrrdom. ' The same ' is placed first with emphasis. 
Cf. Mt. xxvii. 44. 

This charge concludes the exhortations. He once more 
changes from the Philippians to himself and speaks of 
personal matters. Having told of his past and present, 
he now speaks of his future. 



The Apostle's plans have reference to compensating 
the Philippians for his enforced absence from them. He 
means to send them the best substitute, Timothy, whom they 
know so well and who wiU do his utmost to serve them 
(19-24). But as Timothy cannot come at once, he is sending 
back to them their delegate Epaphroditus, about whom they 
have been anxious, and who has worked himself almost 
to death in order to prove Philippian devotion to the 
Apostle (25-30). 

ii. 19-24. Timothy to be sent very soon. 

" But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto 
you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state. 
'» For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your 
state. '^ For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's. 
'' But ye know the proof of him. That as a son with the father he 
hath served with me in the Gospel. *' Him therefore I hope to send 
presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me. " But 
I trust in the Lord that I also myseU shall come shortly. 

It is remarkable that St. Paul uses more decided language 
about eventually coming himself than about his sending 
Timothy soon. He hopes {vv. 19, 23) to do the latter ; he is 
confident {v. 24) about doing the former. 

1' But, although I cannot at present come myself, I quite hope in 
the Lord Jesus to send you Timothy very soon, in order that I as well 
as you may be cheered in mind thereby, for from him I shall get to 
know about your spiritual Welfare. ^^ I select him, for I have no one 
with me here who is at all his equal in mind, I mean none who will be 
likely to be so genuinely anxious about your spiritual welfare. ^^ For, 
of the others, one and all pursue their own interests, and care nothing 
about those of Jesus Christ. ^^ But by the credentials of long experi- 
ence you know how, as a son to a father, he has slaved with me for 
the promotion of the Gospel. ^ Him, therefore, I quite hope to send 
forthwith, as soon as ever I see how things will go with myself. ^* But 
as regards that, I am confident in the Lord that I myself also shall 
come to you very soon. 


19. But I quite hope] This looks back 16 v. 12, in which he 
exhorted them to continue to be obedient during his absence. 
He is obliged at present to remain absent, but he quite 
hopes to send a very good substitute soon. It also looks 
back to V. 17 ; he might ' be poured out,' and in that case 
could not return to them. A.V. has ' I trust ' for both 
iXiri^m and ireiroiOa, thus obliterating an interesting 
change in the Apostle's attitude of mind. Both the hope 
and the confidence are ' in the Lord. ' Chrysostom says, 
" See how he makes all depend upon God " ; he should have 
said "upon Christ." Cf. i. 13, Rom. xiv. 14, xvi. 2-22; 
I Cor. iv. 17, vii. 22, 39, etc. All that he thinks and does 
is ' in Christ,' i. 21. 

send you Timothy] As in the very similar passage i Cor. 
iv. 17, we have vfilv, ' for your comfort.' A.V. has ' unto 
you, ' which would be •7rp6<i vfiai, as in v. 25. Cf . i Thess. 
iii. 6 ; 2 Thess. i. 3. 

cheered in mind] Ei-\frvxeiv occurs here only in Biblical 
Greek, and seems not to be found in classical Greek. * The 
cognate words are not rare either in classical Greek or 
in LXX. This shows that he expects to live to receive 
Timothy's report. 

20. with me here] This limitation is implied ; he says 
' I have, ' not ' I know. ' 

his equal in mind] 'Ia6-^vxo<s is another very rare word. 
' So dear unto me ' (A.V. margin) is not the meaning <; that 
would be itro'i Trj<! yfrvxv'i M-ov, Deut. xiii. 6. Nor is ' heart 
and soul with me ' (Way) right ; that would be <Tvfj.'rJrvxo<i. 
N eminent -pari animo praeditum, (Beza), or Neminem aeque 
animatum ad, res vestras curandas (Calvin), is better. 

who will be likely] Here, as often in N.T., So-tk has its fuU 
meaning, ' who is of such a quality as. ' A. T. Robertson, 
Gr. pp. 726 f. Cf. i. 28 ; 2 Thess. i. 9 ; etc. 

genuinely] Both adverb [yvrjcriax;) and adjective are 
exclusively Pauline in N.T., meaning ' legitimately bom,' 

* 'Eiitlruxtiv occurs Joseph. Anf. XI. vi. 9 of Ahasuerus encourag- 
ing Esther, and the imperative eiil/vx^i, ' Be of good cheer,' is 
found in inscriptions. M. and M., Vocabulary, p. 268. 



and so ' genuine,' ' sincere. ' Cf. iv. 3 ; Tim, i. 3 of Timothy 
himself. See M. and M., p. 129. 

anxious] Cf . 2 Cor. xi. 28 ; i Cor. xii. 25 ; 2 Mace. xiv. 8. 
There is a right and a wrong anxiety, just as a right and a 
wrong attention to one's own interests {v. 4). See on iv. 6 
and cf. Mt. vi. 25, 34 ; Lk. xii. 22. 

21. of the others] The same Umitation as before ; he is 
speaking of those who are in Rome. 

one and all] IlavTe? has the article, making ' all ' rigorous ; 
there are no exceptions. This looks Uke emotional hyper- 
bole ; but he perhaps means only " all who were available 
for missionary purposes " (Ellicott) ; they had all begged 
to be excused from going to Philippi. Evidently Luke 
and Aristarchus are no longer with him. The letter Wcis 
written late in the Roman imprisonment. Cf . 2 Tim. iv. 10. 

pursue their own interests] ' Seek their own advantages ' ; 
ii. 4 ; I Cor. x. 24, xiii. 5. Note the change from 
TO irepi vfjL&v to ra iavT&v. quatn multi sua causa pit 
sunt! (Bengel). 

22. But by the credentials, etc.] The ' But ' (Se) might be 
understood in two ways. Either, ' But I need not commend 
him to you ; ye are alive to his tried worth ' ; Abbott, 
Johannine Grammar, p. 197. Or, ' But he is very different 
from all the rest.' 

credentials] The A. V. has four renderings of Soki/iij, ' proof,' 
' trial,' ' experiment,' and ' experience.' Vulg. has prohatio 
and experimentum. That the PhUippians' knowledge of 
Timothy was the result of experience is imphed in yivdiaKeTe. 
In commending Timothy he is merely reproducing their 
own proved estimate of him. Strangely enough, Vulg., 
Pelagius, Wiclif, and Calvin take yivaxTKere as an impera- 
tive ; as if Timothy was a stranger to the Philippians ! 

he has slaved with me] The " with ' {avv) must not be 
anticipated and placed before ' a father,' as in A.V. When 
St. Paul dictated «? naTpl tskvov, he had some other con- 
struction vaguely in his mind. His main thought was that 
Timothy had been Uke a son to him ; 2 Tim. i. 2. He then 
thinks that he will commend Timothy as an equal and a 


colleague. To supply ' with ' before ' a father ' spoils 
this sudden and pleasinig change of view. Concinne loquitur, 
partim ut de filio, partim ut de collega (Bengel). A.V. has 
'with the father.' 

slaved with me] Both being ^ovKoi Xpia-rov 'Iriaov, i. i. 
All this shows that Timothy had no part in the composition 
of the letter. 

for the promotion of] Not ' in ' (A.V.) ; ek as in i. 5, not ev. 

23. Him, therefore] The pronoun is emphatic, and antici- 
pates ' I also myself ' in v. 24. The /j.ev . . . Be might be 
rendered ' On the one hand I hope to send him ; on the 
other I am confident of coming myself. ' A.V. has ' I hope ' 
for iXTTt^eo here, in v. 19 ' I trust. ' 

forthwith] ' Presently ' is now not strong enough for 
6^auT^9. In 1611 ' presently ' had its proper meaning^ 
of ' immediately.' Aldis Wright, Bible Word Book, p. 473, 
and T. L. O. Davies, Bible English, p. 109, give illustrations. 

as soon as ever I see] The verb d(/>tS<B or aTrtSw is used of 
seeing from a distance, seeing the issue of events ; also of 
concentrating one's attention on one object. The former 
better fits the context here. Cf. Jonah iv. 5. The aspirated 
form a(f>lBo) is frequent in papyri. 

how things will go] Tct irepl ifii ; not quite the same as 
ra tear' e>6, i. 12. Could he have said this at Caesarea ? 
It almost necessarily impUes Rome. 

24. I am confident] Cf. i. 6, 25. For ' in the Lord ' and 
' very soon ' cf. v. 19. The verse is in emphatic contrast 
to ' I hope ' vv. 19, 23. This visit he paid between his first 
and second imprisonment at Rome, i Tim. i. 3. 

very soon] This raxito'i is against his having thoughts 
of first going to Spain. But it must be interpreted in har- 
mony with what has just been stated. Timothy is to be, 
not a mere messenger, but a substitute for the Apostle 
during some time. Cf. i Cor. iv. 17-19. 

ii. 25-30. Epaphroditus to be sent at once]. 

" Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my 
brother and companion in labour, and fellow soldier, but your 


messenger, and he that mmistered to my wants. " For he longed 
after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard 
that he had been sick. "' For indeed he was sick nigh nnto death, 
but God had mercy on him : and not on him only, but on me also, 
lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow, 's I sent him therefore the 
more carefully, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that 
I may be the less sorrowful. *' Receive him therefore in the Lord 
with all gladness, and hold such in reputation : '" Because for the 
work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to 
supply your lack of service to me. 

Epaphras perhaps might be an abbreviation of Epaphro- 
ditus ; but that is no reason for identifying the persons who 
respectively bear the names in N.T. Epaphras (Col. i. 7, 
iv. 12 ; Plulem. 23) was an Oriental, a Colossian. Epaphro- 
ditus was a European, a Philippian ; and we know no more 
of him than what is told us here. 

^^ But, as neither of us can come immediately, I account it necessary 
to send to you Epaphroditus, who is one with me in faith and shares 
my labours and my conflicts, but whom you sent to me to serve 
me in my need. ^^ I am sending him with all the more satisfaction, 
because he has been yearning to see all of you again, and was deeply 
distressed because you heard that he had been ill. ^ For indeed he 
was very ill, and very ne£u-ly died. But God in His mercy spared 
him, — a mercy not to him only, but also to me, to save me from having 
an additional burden of sorrow. ^ For this reason I am sending him to 
you the more eagerly, in order that by the sight of him in good health 
you may regain your joy, and that I, through sympathy with your 
and his delight, may have my sorrow lessened. ^^ Give him therefore 
a hearty welcome in the Lord with every form of joy, and hold men 
like him in great esteem ; ^"because it Wcis through his devotion 
to the work of the Gospel that he very nearly died, hazarding his life 
in order that by his affectionate zeal he might fulfil that part of 
your service towards me which you were unable to render in person. 

25. I account it necessary] Here, as in v. 28, we have an 
epistolary aorist, which must be rendered by the present 
tense in English. Burton, § 44 ; Winer, p. 347. Cf. 2 Cor. 
viii. 17, 18. 22, ix. 3. 

Epaphroditus] The name means ' favoured by Aphrodite,' 
'comely.' There was an incredible tradition that he was 


Nero's secretary.* Theodoret hesitatingly makes him an 
e-n-LaKOTTo^ at PhiUppi. 

one with me in faith] ' The brother ' means ' who is a 
Christian ' ; i. 14 ; 1 Cor. v. 11 ; Gal. i. 2. 

shares my labours] Or ' my fellow-worker ' ; cf. iv. 3 ; 
Rom. xvi. 3, 9, 21 ; Philem. i. 24 ; etc. 

shares my conflicts] As a fellow-soldier must do ; awarpa- 
TatTri<i here and Philem. 2. The three terms are under one 
article, and perhaps are meant to form a climax ; ' one 
with me in faith, in work, in warfare. ' The Apostle perhaps 
feared that the Philippians might be dissatisfied with the 
way in which Epaphroditus had acted as their representative 
in Rome. He tells them how devoted he had been, and 
charges them to give him a hearty welcome. 

you sent to me to serve me in my need] Lit. ' your apostle 
and minister of my need.' There is strong emphasis on 
vfxSiv, contrasting what Epaphroditus was to the PhiUppians 
with what he was to St. Paul. A.V. spoils this by Umiting 
vfiStv to airoa-roK.ov. MttocttoXoi' koI Xecrovpyov balance 
(Twepyov Kui arpaTimT'qv. ' Apostle ' does not mean that 
Epaphroditus held any office in the Church, | but that he was 
the emissary selected by the Philippians to bring their 
offerings to the imprisoned Apostle. He was their delegate 
{legatus, Beza, Bengel), to minister to his wants ; cf. iv. 16 
and 2 Cor. viii. 3. For Xeirovpy. see on v. 17 ; it was a 
holy service. 

26. yearning to see] ' To see ' is of somewhat doubtful 
authority ; the true reading may be ' yearning for all of you,' 
as in i. 8. The periphrastic imperfect, eirnroOmv rjv, indi- 
cates the persistent continuance of homesickness. 

* There was a freedman of Octavianus, and another of Nero, 
of this name. The latter helped Nero to kill himself and was put 
to death by Domitian . Neither of these can have been the PhUippian 
who ministered to St. Paul. See Dion. Cass. ii. 11, 13; Tac. Ann. 
XV. 55 ; Suet. Nero, xlix. ; Domit. xiv. C. H. Hoole, The Classical 
Element in the N.T. p. 34. 

t Epaphroditus is one of many whom later tradition has placed 
among the Seventy. Any N.T. name, about which the contrary 
was not known, might be put on that list. 


deeply distressed] Or, ' sore troubled ' ; the word that is 
used of the Agony, Mk. xiv. 33 ; Mt. xxvi. 37. If aSrjfiovelv 
(from a and Brifiot through aStjficov) can mean ' be away 
from one's people,' " away from home,' the word is very 
appropriate to a homesick person. 

had been ill] In such cases the English pluperfect best 
represents the Greek aorist, as in A.V. 

27. For indeed] Kal yap introduces what amounts to 
an additional reason ; ' he was not only ill, he was at death's 
door. ' IlapaTr\ri<riov occurs here only in Biblical Greek. 

additional burden] ' His death, on the top of my imprison- 
ment.' Not, ' on the top of his illness ' (Chrys.). AU this 
(the Philippians hear of St. Paul's need ; they collect money 
and send Epaphroditus ; he overworks himself in Rome 
and falls ill ; the PhiMppians hear of this ; he hears that they 
are anxious about him ; he recovers) implies a very con- 
siderable amount of time. This letter cannot have been 
written early in the Apostle's imprisonment. 

There is no hint that the Apostle used his miraculous 
powers of heaUng to cure his friend. Such powers were not 
given him to further his own interests. What is certain is, 
that, with characteristic unselfishness, he was willing to 
part with such consoling and useful friends as Timothy and 
Epaphroditus, in order to help his beloved Philippians. 

28. am sending] With this letter ; epistolary aorist, as 
in V. 25 ; cf. Eph. vi. 22 ; Col. iv. 8 ; Philem. 11. 

the more eagerly] Festinantius, Vulg. The Apostle's syra- 
pathy is conspicuous ; with the sickness and homesickness 
of Epaphroditus, with the Philippians' anxiety about him, 
and with their joy at seeing him again well. Cf. 2 Cor. xL 

regain your joy] The "n-dXiv is amphibolous, but it goes 
better with xaprire than with 'tSovTe^. The Vulg. is equally 
uncertain, ut visa eo itervm gaudeatis ; but there also ' again ' 
goes better with what follows. Beza has eo rursus visa 
gaudeatis ; so also A.V. and R.V. 

my sorrow lessened] One is tempted to say ' one sorrow 
the less ' ; but that would be too definite. The additional 


sorrow in v. 27 was removed when Epaphroditus recovered. 
The original sorrow, which still remains his portion, will 
be lessened by sympathy with the Philippians' joy at having 
Epaphroditus home again and in good health. 

29. Give him therefore] TipoahexetrOe might mean ' expect 
him ' ; Mk. xv. 43 ; Lk. ii. 25 ; Tit. ii. 13. But that cannot 
be the meaning here, for Epaphroditus was the bearer of 
the letter. Cf. Rom. xvi. 2. 

in the Lord] A truly Christian welcome ; i. 13, ii. 19, 24. 

every form of joy] Cf. i. 20. ' Gladness ' (A.V.) obscures 
the reiteration in the letter of X"P" (i- 4. 25, ii. 2, iv. i) and 
Xaipeiv (i. 18, ii. 17, 18, 28, iii. I, iv. i, 4, 10). With 7rao-»j? 
Xapai; cf. Rom. xv. 13 ; Jas. i. 2. 

hold] Both verbs are present imperative ; ' give an endur- 
ing welcome ; hold continually in honour. ' 

in great esteem] The compound evrz/to? (Lk. vii. 2, 
xiv. 8) is specially used of the personal preciousness (i Sam. 
xxvi. 21 ; Is. xliii. 4) of those who are held in honour, 
as in classical Greek. Hort on i Pet. ii. 4. 

30. the work] The best MSS. have to epyov without 
addition; cf. 'the Name,' v. 9, 'the Way,' Acts ix. 2, 
xix. 9, 23, xxiv. 22 ; " the Work, ' Acts xv. 3S, in a speech 
of St. Paul. Other MSS. add KvpLov or tow Kvpiov (R.V. 
margin), or Xpiarov (A.V., R.V.). 

hazarding his life] napa^aXeva-dfievo^, ' having played 
the gambler ' {7ro/ja/3o\o? = ' venturesome '). Copyists not 
being famiUar with this verb substituted nrapa^ovXevadfievoi;, 
and hence ' not regarding his life ' (A.V.). There is nothing 
to suggest that he was out of health when he started from 
Philippi, or was overcome by the fatigue of the journey. 
His health broke down in Rome, in the effort to make up 
for the absence of other Phihppians. Tradens animam 
SIMM (Vulg.) is vague. Cf. Regulwm et Scauros animaeque 
magnae Prodigum Paullum, Hor. Od. I. xii. 37. The Para- 
bolani at Alexandria were a large guild who risked their 
lives in visiting the sick and burying the dead during the 
plague. Deissmaim, Light, p. 84 ; Suicer, II. 565. 

might fulfil] The delicate conciseness of the Greek cannot 


be reproduced in English. Both A.V., ' to supply your 
lack of service,' and R.V., ' to supply that which was lacking 
in your service,' suggest that the Philippians had been re- 
miss in ministering to the Apostle's needs ; whereas they had 
been liberal. To hint that his converts had been niggardly 
in their gifts would be very unlike the Apostle's tactfulness 
and deHcacy. But the donors had had to send their contri- 
butions ; they could not come and minister to him in person : 
and Epaphroditus had nearly killed himself in the struggle 
fully to make up for their absence. 'AvairXtjpovv is ' to fill 
up that which is partly empty,' to complete what is incom- 
plete. See Robertson and Plummer on i Cor. xvi. 17, 
where the same phrase occurs. As in v. 17, Vulg. has 
obsequiimt for Xenovp'^ia. Self-sacrificing service is implied. 
Weinel says of this passage (25-30), " The man who can 
write such words from his heart wins the affections of his 
fellows. It is scarcely possible to write with greater con- 
sideration or tenderness. There are no parallels in all 
epistolary literature to the passages in which Paul speaks 
of his friends and fellow-labourers to his converts ' ' [St. Paul, 
the Man and Ms Work, p. 376). 

iii. I. Renewed Exhortation to Rejoice. 

'Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same 
things to you, to me indeed is not grievous ; but for you it is safe. 

Either in the middle of this verse, or at the end of it, 
there is a sudden break. The exact position of the break 
depends upon the interpretation of the second half of the 
verse. If it refers to what is coming, the break is in the 
middle of the verse. If it refers to what has akeady been 
said, the break is at the end. 

* For the rest, my Brethren, I charge you to rejoice as all Christians 
should. Forgive me if I repeat myself. To be writing the same 
things to you is not at all irksome to me, and it may save you from 

1. For the rest] ' As to what remains to be said. ' This 
division of the letter, like 2 Thess. iii. i, opens with to XotTroK, 


which seems to imply that the writer is thinking of bringing 
his letter to a conclusion. Aolttov (i Thess. iv. i ; i Cor. 
I. 16 ; 2 Cor. xiii. 11) is perhaps more colloquial. A.V. 
and R. V. have ' Finally ' for both, and Vulg. nearly always 
has de cetera, which is better. In i Cor. i. 16 the expression 
is too remote from the conclusion for ' Finally, ' and there 
A.V. and R.V. have ' besides. ' Here the Apostle at once 
Egresses, and to Xoittov is repeated iv. 8. 

my Brethren] St. Paul does not often add fiov to aSe\</)oi. 
In Rom., I Cor., and Phil, twice each. St. James has it 
very often. 

rejoice] Xaipere may mean either ' rejoice ' or ' farewell,' 
and some think that here both meanings are intended. Cf . 
ii. 18, iv. 4. As so often (see on i. 14, ii. 10, 24 ; 2 Cor. xiii. 
11) everj^hing is 'in the Lord,' the Christian's natural 
environment ; one in which, as Chrysostom remarks, 
even afflictions have joy. He connects this clause closely 
with what precedes ; ' You have no reason to be out of 
heart ; you have Epaphroditus ; you shall have Timothy ; 
I am coming also. What do you need more? Rejoice.' 
The connexion is doubtful. 

the same things] These are the crucial words ; what is 
meant by ra avrd ? Various answers are possible. The 
same (i) as I have said by word of mouth ; (2) as I have 
told Epaphroditus to say to you ; (3) as I have said in a 
former letter ; (4) as I say in this letter. Neither (i) nor 
(2) seems to be very probable. Beet, Vincent and Zahn 
adopt (3) ; but, as Theodore, Theodoret, and Pelagius 
remark, we do not even know {ovBe/iodev ifiddofiev) that 
there had been an earlier letter, although it is quite possible 
that there had been one or more. Assuming (4) to be right, 
what subjects are repeated in this letter ? There are two 
dominant notes, the duty of rejoicing and the duty of 
imity. As the former has just been enjoined (xatpere), this 
may be the topic for the repetition of which the Apostle 
apologizes. If it be asked, what peril was there in not 
rejoicing, we may reply that gloom is a dangerous temper, 
and that the Philippians had still to learn the importance 


of Christian joy. If we look at what follows (iii. 2-iv. i) they 
ara warned against two errors, tiie acceptance of either of 
which would be fatal to their wnity ; and this therefore 
may be the meaning of " the same things, ' and hence the 
curious digression.* Certainty is not attainable. 

Meyer, Lightfoot, Beet, and M. Jones, with Conybeare 
and Howson, place the break in the middle of the verse ; 
W.H., Moffatt, and Lueken place it at the end of it. R.V. 
has no break. EUicott thinks that " this exhortation not 
unnaturally follows." Vaughan sees " entire coherence and 
beautiful harmony." 

irksome] ' Causing delay ' is a common meaning of 
oKVYipoi;, and hence ' sluggish, ' " reluctant ' ; Rom. xii. ii ; 
Mt. XXV. 26 ; and often in Proverbs. Here it means ' caus- 
ing reluctance. ' Even if it were irksome to him, the safety 
of so many would outweigh this.f 

save you from mistake] Repetition prevents misunder- 
standing. Vulg. has the inexact necessarium, which may 
be an echo of i. 24. 


There are two Warnings, one against Judaism (iii. 2-11), 
and one against Antinomianism (iii. 12-21). The Exhorta- 
tions are to Unity (iv. 2, 3), to Joy (iv. 4-7), and to the 
Practice of what is Noblest and Best (iv. 8, 9). 

iii. 2-11. Warning against Judaism. 

' Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers : beware of the Conci- 
sion. ' For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, 

* On the whole this seems to be the best explanation. The 
Judaizers were a ceaseless horror. They were an actual or a possible 
trouble wherever the Apostle worked. In his previous visits he 
may often have warned the Philippians against them. 

■f The words are a rough iambic trimeter, such as is common in 
Greek Comedy, and may possibly be a quotation. For other in- 
stances of possible quotations cf . i Cor. xv. 33 ; Tit. i. 12. The 
hexameter in Jas. i. 17 is probably afcidental. 


and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. 
* Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other 
man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I 
more : ' Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the 
tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews ; as touching the law, 
a Phajisee : • Concerning zeal, persecuting the Church ; touching 
the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. " But what thiugs 
were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. s Yea doubtless, 
and I count all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of 
Christ Jesus my Lord : for whom I have suffered the loss of all 
things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, * And 
be found in him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the 
law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness 
which is of God by faith : '" That I may know him, and the power of 
his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made 
conformable unto his death, '^ If by any means I might attain unto 
the resurrection of the dead. 

The abrupt change of tone is no suificient reason for 
thinking that we have here a portion of a different letter. 
Very possibly the Apostle was interrupted at this point by 
" some new exasperating experience " (JiiHcher), and when 
he resumed, a different subject was in his mind. " Many 
passages of his Epistles are like the sudden eruption of a 
volcano " (Von Soden, Early Christian Literature, p. 23). 
See also Hort, Judaistic Christianity, p. 114, and cf. 2 Cor. 
xi. 13-15 ; 1 Thess. iii. 14-16. 

^ Be on your guard about the unclean dogs, on your guard about 
the wicked workers, on your guard about the self-mutilation. * I 
call it mutilation, for we Christians are the true circumcision ; we 
who by the Spirit of God, and not with the traditions of men, offer 
the true worship ; we who have our boast in Christ Jesus, and put 
no confidence in the external privileges of race and habitation. 
* I say this, not as depreciating what I do not possess. I say it, 
although I myself can have confidence even in these privileges, 
if I care to do so. If any other man thinks that he can place confi- 
dence in Jewish privileges, I can do so more securely. ^ I was cir- 
cumcised the eighth day after birth ; I am descended from the 
original stock of Israel, not grafted into it ; I know to which tribe I 
belong, the renowned tribe of Benjamin : I am the Hebrew son of 
Hebrew parents. To these inherited distinctions I added others by my 
own choice. As regards the law, I joined the strict sect of Pharisees ; 
■ as regards zeal for the national faith, I persecuted the Christian 


Church ; as regards such righteousness as consists in mere observance 
of the law, I showed myself blameless. '' But such things as used to 
be in my eyes items of gain, these, in order to win Christ, I have set 
down as just so much loss. ^ Nay, moreover, I even continue to set 
down, not merely these things, but all things, as so much loss, when 
compared with the supreme value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. 
To win Him I suffered the loss of everything, one and all, and I now 
set them down as utter refuse, in order that I may gain Christ,^ and be 
found at the great Day to be a member of His body, not having any 
righteousness of my own such as comes from the law, but such as 
comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from 
God on condition of this faith, ^<' that I may know and appropriate 
Christ. This implies knowing the power of His resurrection and 
having fellowship in His sufferings, with my nature conformed to 
His death, '^ if so be that I may attain, as He did, to the rising again, 
the rising again from the dead. 

2. Be on your guard] Cf. our colloquial, ' Just look at,' 
' keep your eye on. ' The /SXeTrexe occurs thrice. It 
precedes each of the opprobrious designations of these 
disturbers of the Church's peace ; and each of the designa- 
tions has the article, showing that some notorious mischief- 
makers are here condemned. But the three designations 
are of one and the same class, whether Jews or (more pro- 
bably) Judaizing Christians. There were such people 
among professing Christians ; but the tone of the Thanks- 
giving (i. 3-11) forbids us to suppose that there were such 
in the Philippian Church. St. Paul was probably sufEering 
from them in Rome, and was anticipating their appearance 
at Phihppi. We must take into account the moods of an 
imprisoned, highly sensitive, and often soUtary man 

the unclean dogs] A.V. omits the article ; it is a particular 
class of ■ dogs ' that is censured. Theodore, hke Horace 
(obscenaeque canes), and Dr. Pusey, condemns dogs for their 
avaiaxvvTia : Ambrosiaster and Pelagius for their bark. 
Dollinger said that dogs are the only animals that make a 
noise for the sake of making it. But it may be doubted 
whether St. Paul is here thinking of either shamelessness 
or barking. Dogs are unclean animals to Orientals, and 
the scavenger dogs in Eastern cities are generally diseased. 


Hence ' dog ' was a common word of reproach. Chrysostom 
remarks that ' dogs ' was a common name for Gentiles ; 
these Judaizers are as offensive as heathen. 

the wicked workers] Active in mischief, especially in the 
work of making converts, ' adulterating the word of God.* 
See on 2 Cor. ii. 17, xi. 13. Theodoret thinks that * workers ' 
must refer to conduct rather than to doctrine. 

self-mutilation] As a reUgious rite their circumcision 
was as worthless as the gashings of the prophets of Baal, 
about which the cognate verb KUTeTifj-povro is used i Kings 
xviii. 25. Cf. Gal. v. 12 ; Lev. xxi. 5. For the play on 
words, of which St. Paul is fond (/caraTo/iT;, TrepiTOfiij), see 
on i. 25. Chrysostom and Theodoret suggest that these 
Judaizers tried to mutilate the Church, and hence the 
expression. But that is not the Apostle's meaning. 
Horace is nearer the truth with his contemptuous curti 
Judaei. Sat. I. ix. 70. See Suicer, II. 66, 67.* 

3. I call it mutilation] This is impUed in the yap, aAd the 
ij)«.ets which precedes yap is very emphatic. Cf. Stephen's 
speech Acts vii. 51, which St. Paul heard ; also Rom. ii. 25 f. 
and Ezek xUv. 7. 

we Christians] Not ' we missionaries,' as some interpret 
Vfj^eii}. The Jews prided themselves on their rite of circum- 
cision and called the nncircumcised Gentiles ' dogs ' ; it is 
Jews who are * the dogs,' and the true circumcision has 
passed to the Gentiles. 

the true circumcision] Col. ii. 11 ; Deut. x. 16, xxx. 6 ; 
Jer. iv. 4. 

by the Spirit of God] This is the better reading {0fov), 
rather than ' offer worship to God ' {&ew), which is less 
strongly attested and throws a somewhat pointless emphasis 
on to ' God.' Christians worship God who is spirit with the 
help of His Spirit. "The Spirit, in this usage of Paul, 
is not to be regarded as equivalent to the mere influence 
of God. It includes an ontological as well as an ethical 

* Wiclif gives the word a curious turn, rendering it " division ' 
so also Tindale and Cranmer with ' dissension.' 


element " (Moffat, Paul and Paulinism, p. 38). See Burton, 
Spirit, Soul, and Flesh, pp. 193-198, 201. 

the true worship] The genuine service of spiritual devotion. 
Aarpeia and \arpeva, originally used of hired service, came 
to be technical terms for religious worship, a ministry of 
volimtary surrender. See Westcott on Heb. ix. 4, x. 2, 
and Swete on Rev. vii. 15. 

have our boast] Cf. i. 26, ii. 16 (where, as here, A.V. 
wrongly has 'rejoice'). The expression is Pauline; over 
fifty times, and elsewhere rare. See Robertson and Plummer 
on I Cor. i. 31. 

external privileges] Although iv aapKi applies primarily 
to circumcision and ceremonial observances, yet it covers 
physical origin, heredity and nationality as well. Cf. 

'IcrparfK KaTO. aapKa I Cor. X. l8. See on i. 25 for ireTTOida 
and note ovk, not m, of a plain matter of fact. Winer, 
p. 609 ; Moulton, Proleg. p. 231. 

4. although I myself] The iyeo is emphatic ; it is no 
longer ' we.' The PhiUppians, being Gentiles, could not 
claim the external privileges which aU Jews possessed, 
whereas the Apostle could claim them to the full ; 2 Cor. 
xi. 18-22 ; Rom. xi. i ; Acts xxiii. 3. Just as the exhorta- 
tion to humility was enforced by the example of Christ 
(ii. 5-8), so the warning against Judaism is enforced by the 
experiences of His Apostle. ' Might have ' (A.V., R.V.) 
is incorrect ; he did have. 

even in these very privileges] ' Even ' (R.V.) seems to 
be the meaning of Kai. But it may mean ' also ' (A.V.), in 
these externals as well as in the privileges which belong to 
Christians. In either case it imphes that they are hardly 
worth mentioning. 

if any other man] Some of the Judaizers would do so. 

thinks] Cf. i Cor. iii. 18, viii. 2, x. 12 : not ' seems ' ; cf. 
2 Cor. X. 9 ; Gal. ii. 9. Vulg. has videtur. ' Thinks ' is 

I more securely] ' I have a stronger reason for such confi- 
dence.' What follows is in substance very similar to 2 Cor. 
xi. 22-28 ; but in expression the two differ considerably. 


In both we have a precious fragment of autobiography, 
drawn from him, like Newman's Apologia, by hostile criti- 
cism. The rejoinder in 2 Cor. is more vehement and 
rhetorical in form. Here he states the points of com- 
parison more calmly. 

5. on the eighth day] Lit. ' For circumcision eight days 
old ' ; cf. TeTapralo<!, Jn. xi. 39. This alone proved that 
he was a Jew by birth (Gen. xvii. 12 ; Lev. xii. 3). Ishmael- 
ites, hke Ishmael (Gen. xvii. 25), were not circumcised 
till they were thirteen years old. Proselytes might be any 
age at the time of their circumcision. See Conybeare and 
Howson, ch. II. 

Israel] The name implies the covenant with God ; it is 
the reUgious name of the nation. See on 2 Cor. xi. 22. 
IshmaeUtes claimed descent from Abraham, Edomites 
from Abraham and Isaac, Israelites from Abraham, Isaac, 
and Israel, the ' prince and wrestler with God.' For 
iic cf. Jn. iii. I, 6, 31 ; Col. iv. 11. 

tribe of Benjamin] Owing to the confusion caused by the 
Captivity, by no means every Jew knew to what tribe he 
belonged. The tribe of Benjamin was renowned as having 
within its borders the Holy City, as having supplied Israel 
with the first king, and as being the only tribe which re- 
mained faithful to Judah after the disruption of the king- 
dom. Cf. Ezra iv. i. 

Hebrew son] Lit. ' a Hebrew sprung from Hebrews.' 
There was no heathen blood in him. Both his parents 
were pure Jews. Though Hving out of Palestine they used 
the Hebrew Scriptures and spoke Aramaic (Chrysostom, 
Oecumenius, Theophylact) . This late meaning of ' Hebrew, ' 
as specially referring to language, seems to prevail in N.T. 
See Trench, § xxxix. ; Hastings, DB. II. p. 326, DAC. I. 
P- 533- The names seem to be in a descending cUmax, 
' Israel ' denoting the highest, and Hebrew the lowest, 
of the distinctions. 

The verse should have ended here. We now come to 
distinctions which depended upon St. Paul's own will and 
judgment. Here the climax, if there is one, ascends. Phari- 


saism might be conventional ; persecution might be mere 
ferocity ; punctilious fulfilment of the Law was at any rate 

As regards the law] Nofiov has no article, but evidently the 
Jewish Law is meant. He took the Pharisees' view of it. 
His father was a Pharisee (Acts xxiii. 6, xxvi. 5). But 
' son of ' may mean ' disciple of.' 

6. Zeal for the national faith] Gal. i. 14 ; Acts xxi. 20, xxii. 
3-5 ; I Mace. ii. 58. 

I persecuted] This had become a great shame to him, le 
sujet d'ime doulcyureuse humiliation. II s'en afflige comme 
s'il avail persecute le Seigneur lui-meme (Sabatier). But 
he sarcastically states it here as being, in the eyes of many 
Jews, a glorious distinction. Gal. i. 13 ; i Tim. i. 13. 
He had persecuted, as the Jews are now persecuting him ; 
and in each case the persecution was conscientious. 

observance of the law] Again I'o^os has no article, 
although Jewish Law is meant. A.V. renders Kara in 
three different ways, ' as touching,' ' concerning,' ' touch- 
ing.' In the third clause it ignores '^ev6ix.evo<s. 

showed myself] " Came to be,' " proved myself.' 

blameless] Minute duties were scrupulously performed, 
and no Pharisee, however strict, could have blamed him for 
laxity. As regards justitia externa literalis he was communi 
hominum existimatione faultless (Calvin). Cf. the rich yoimg 
man, Mt. xix. 20 ; Mk. x. 20. 

7. such things] ' AU that were of such a character as to 
be gains ' ; aJtva rjv icephrj . See on h. 20 and cf . Gal. 
iv. 24. For 'these' (toSto) A.V. has "those.' 

in order to win Christ] ' For Christ ' (A.V., R.V.) is too 

have set down] Abiding result of past action. 

so much loss] On the credit side are entries which make 
a show of value ; when properly estimated, they are not 
only worthless, they represent a dead loss. The change 
from plural {ickphvi) to singular {i,i)idav) marks the difference 
between items and net result. See on iv. 14. 

The Apostle again repeats himself, as in ii. 2. The repeti- 


tion of the same words must be preserved in English ; 
KipSrj, iKepS^aco — ijyTj/Mai, '^ryov/iai, -^yovfiat — ^rjiiuiv, ^7f/j,iav, 
i^tjfiicodijv — irdvTa, to "rravTa — Xpiarov, Xpuvrov, Xpiarov. 
The repetition is the effect of eagerness and earnestness. 

8. Nay,, moreover, I even] We have an accumulation of 
particles, dXKa fiev oiv ye Kal, or dXKd fiev oZv with or 
without KuL (readings vary), the combined force of which 
seems to be to reinforce the previous statement. Winer, 
p. 552 ; Blass, § 77, 13, 14. He not only ' has set down these 
things ' just mentioned, but ' he continues to set down 
all things,' as a minus quality, as just so much loss. 

when compared with] We have Sta with the accusative 
thrice in vv. 7, 8. It is possible that in all three cases it 
means 'for the sake of,' 'in order to win.' But in this 
second case it seems to mean ' by reason of,' ' in considera- 
tion of,' which here is equivalent to ' in comparison with ' ; 
rfi vapadeaei t&v Kpeirrovtov (Theodoret). 

the supreme value] 'The surpassingness.' For the 
neuter participle with the article followed by a genitive 
cf. Rom. ii. 4 ; Lk. ii. 27. A. T. Robertson, Gr. pp. 767, 
1109; Blass, § 47, I. Vulg. has a weak adjective; propter 
eminentem scientiam. Better Beza ; propter eminentiam 

Christ Jesus my Lord] With emphatic fullness at the end 
of the sentence. It indicates his own experience of the 
Jesus who as Christ was crucified and of the Lord who had 
appeared to him and in whom he had lived for years. See 
Hort on i Pet. i. 3. 

I suffered the loss] At his conversion he was willing 
to have everything confiscated (2 Cor. vii. 9 ; Lk. ix. 25) 
without exception. Ta iravra is stronger than the preceding 
irdvTa. Cf. V. 21 ; Eph. i. 10, II, iv. 15 ; also oi iravret, ii. 

utter refuse] ' Dogsmeat,' or ' dung.' The derivation 
of vKv^aXov is uncertain. It is used of what is thrown away 
as worthless or abominable, especially the refuse from a meal, 

* Farrar suggests that his conversion may have involved the loss 
of all his means'of living. 



or excrement. Cf. the savourless salt, not fit even for the 
dunghill, Lk. xiv. 35, and wepcKaddpiiara, 1 Cor. iv. 13 ; 
also a-KVpaXa avdpmnrov iv Xoyia-fim avTov, Ecclus. xxvli. 14. 

gain Christ] So R.V., rather than 'win Christ,' as A.V. 
We must keep to the commercial metaphor of balancing 
accounts. Gain Christ now in the life. 

g. may be found] On ' the Day of Jesus Christ ' (i. 6, 10, 
ii. 16), when the great testing takes place : it is not a recogni- 
tion by other Christians that is meant. ' Found ' in this 
context suggests the outcome of a trial ; cf . ii. 8 and 2 Cor. 

V. 3- 

a member of] Lit. ' in Him.' 

of my own] The adjectival pronouns (e/io?, etc.) are 
not used in N.T., xmless emphatic, as here. Contrast vfi&v, 
i. 19, 25, ii. 30. Simcox, LangiMge of N.T. pp. 54 f. 

from the law] From scrupulous observance of all its regu- 
lations. As in vv. 6, 7 the Mosaic Law is meant. The 
clauses form a chiasmus, ' through faith ' balandng ' from 
the law,' and ' righteousness from God ' balancing ' righte- 
ousness of my own.' Chiasmus is frequent in Paxil ; i Cor. 
iii. 17, iv. 10, viii. 13, xiii. 2 ; 2 Cor. iv. 3, vi. 8, ix. 6. x. 12, 

righteousness from God] See Thackeray, St. Paul and 
Jewish Thought, pp. 85, 89. 

this faith] The faith just mentioned, t^ iri(rret. 

10. know and appropriate] Or, 'get to know and appreciate,' 
rov yv&vai, which in construction depends on tvo iceph^aw. 
Cf. Rom. vi. 6. A process is implied in ytvwa-Kw, and the 
knowledge is experimental and practical. The constr. 
Tov with the infinitive is very frequent in Paul and Luke. 

This implies] It is convenient to make a break in the long 
Greek sentence. 

the power] AU that His resurrection impUes and effects, 
especially our rising from sin to a new life here, and our rising 
to eternal life hereafter. " It reversed every doom of every 
kind of death, and thus annulled the hopelessness which 
must settle down on every one who thinks out seriously 
what is involved in the universal empire of death. It was 


by the faith in the Resurrection that mankind was enabled 
to renew its youth " (Hort on i Pet. i. 4). Even more than 
that ; " It was the guarantee of man's final attainment of 
fullness of life " (Anon.). ' The power which raised Hini ' 
is not the meaning. 

fellowship in His sufferings] Closely coupled with ' the 
power of His resurrection ' ; the two terms have only 
one article. St. Paul is giving his own spiritual experiences, 
and hence the order of the clauses. Christ's sufferings 
preceded His resurrection ; but St. Paul recognized the risen 
Christ before he participated in His sufferings. ' I will show 
him how many things he must suffer for My Name's sake,' 
Acts ix. 16. The fellowship includes the internal conflict 
with temptation as weU as the external conflict with 
persecutors. See on 2 Cor. i. 5, iv. 10 ; and for Koivmvia on 
ii. I. 

St. Paul's getting to know that Jesus Christ had risen 
influenced the whole of his subsequent life ; Sanday and 
Headlam on Rom. viii. 11, 34 ; Pfleiderer, Paulinism, pp. 169, 
192. " Paul's religion was not an artificial creation but an 
affair of real life . . . under the inspirations furnished by his 
own immediate experience ' ' (Case, The Evolution of Christi- 
anity, p. 354). Gwynn compares the second part of the 
Exhortation in the Visitation of the Sick. 

my nature conformed to] Transformed so as to share it. 
With avfifiOpiju^ofievof here cf. avfi.p6p^ov<!, Rom. viii. 29, 
and /ierafiop(l)ov/ie6a, 2 Cor. iii. 18 ; Rom. xii. 2 ; also the 
sense, otherwise worded, of Rom. vi. 5 ; 2 Cor. iv. 10. See 
Lightfoot, p. 130. 

to His death] By the prospect of martyrdom. St. Paul 
" here implies his expectation of death, to be followed by 
resurrection ; not of survival till the Lord's Return " 

II. if so be that I may attain] He states the matter 
doubtfully, in humble admission of his own frailty and 
unworthiness. For eiirox; cf. Rom. i. 10, xi. 14 ; Acts xxvii. 
12 i Moulton, Proleg. pp. 187, 195 ■; Burton, Moods and 
Tenses, § 276 ; Blass, § 65, 6. Karavrdv is specially used of 


reaching a destination. With the aorist subjunct. here cf. 
KaToXa^to, V. 12 ; and see M. and M., Vocabulary, p. 183. 

the rising again] The double compound i^avdaraai^ 
occurs nowhere in LXX and nowhere else in N.T., and in 
translation the difference from avdaraai^ should be marked, 
although there is no difference in meaning. In late Greek, 
compoimds become very frequent. Bengel refines too much 
when he suggests that dvaaraaiv refers to Christ and 
i^avdaraai^ to Christians. M. and M., p. 221. 

from the dead] Throughout his Epistles, St. Paul has in his 
nund ' those who are in the way of salvation ' {oi a-m^fievoi,) 
far more often than ' those who are on the way to perdition ' 
{oi airoXXv/jievoi). He has the former in mind here ; and 
possibly for that reason says ' from the dead ' rather than 
' of the dead.' They are freed once and for ever from the 
category of ' the dead.' The theory of two resurrections, 
one of the righteous and another of the remainder, is to be 
regarded with great caution. In i Thess. iv. 16 ' rise first ' 
means ' rise at once,' before the Christians who are alive 
are caught up into the air. See Swete's fuU note on Rev. 
XX. 5. 

iii. 12-21. Warning against Antinomlanism. 

The drift of the Whole section is clear. Freedom from 
Judaism, which relies so much on external conformity 
to law, implies no encouragement to laxity of life. The 
details are less clear. Laxity of life seems to be contem- 
plated under two forms, the delusion that perfection has 
been already attained (12-16), and the delusion that Chris- 
tian liberty involves the abohtion of all moral restraints 
(17-21). In both cases, as in the preceding section (2-11), 
the Apostle points to his own spiritiial experiences, and the 
connexion between v. 11 and v. 12 is close. 

12-16. None of us is really perfect. 

" Not as though I had already attained, either were aJready per- 
fect : but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which 
also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. "Brethren, I count not 
myself to have apprehended : but this one thing / do, forgetting 


those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things 
which are before, '• I press toward the mark, for the prize of the 
high calling of God in Christ Jesus. »* Let us, therefore, as many 
as be perfect, be thus minded : and if in any thing ye be otherwise 
minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. ^' Nevertheless, where- 
unto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us 
mind the same thing. 

It is worth while to show the close connexion between the 
end of the first Warning and the beginning of the second. 

12 Mark my ' if so be.' I do not mean that by my conversion 
I did already reach the goal, nor do I claim, as some do, that I am 
already made perfect. Not so. I am pressing forward in the race 
to see if I may really grasp the prize, encouraged to do this because 
I was really grasped by Christ. ^^ Brethren, whatever others may 
think about themselves, I for one do not account myself to have grasped 
the prize. My one rule of conduct is this. Forgetting both the 
failures and the successes which lie behind me, and straining after 
what still lies in front, ^* I am pressing forward towards the goal, 
to win the prize, which is no less than God's invitation in Christ Jesus 
to enter into the joys of heaven. ^ Let those of us therefore who 
may consider that they are already perfect in the Christian life be thus 
minded as regards the need for strenuous effort. Hold that principle 
fast, and then, if in any particular you are differently minded from 
me, this also God will reveal to you as He has to me. ^^ Only, 
whatever truth we have reached, by the same we must direct our 

12. I do not mean] See on iv. 11. 

already made perfect] This wotild not happen till his Ufe 
on earth was completed. See Westcott on Heb. xii. 23. 

I did already reach] The aorist eKa^ov may indicate 
a definite point of time in the past ; and if so, his conversion, 
which he has just described [vv. 7 f.), is probably meant. 
The aorist may also refer to his life regarded as a whole ; 
' I do not mean that I have reached the goal.' There are 
cases in which it is the Greek idiom to use the aorist where 
we in English use the perfect ; and then to translate the 
Greek aorist by the Enghsh aorist is misleading. Here, 
as in Jn. viii. 29, the interpretation is doubtful, and therefore 
the rendering is doubtful. In Jn. xiii. 13, 34, xv. 9, 12, 
we must have the perfect in Enghsh. 


A.V. has ' attain ' for both Karavri^erm and eKa^ov. 

I am pressing forward . . . really grasp] Lit. ' I pursue . . . 
catch. ' For Stw/co) see on i Thess. v. 15. Of the alternative 
renderings, ' press forward ' and ' pursue ' or ' follow after ' 
(Rom. ix. 30, xii. 13), either makes good sense here r, but 
' press forward ' is necessary in v. 14 and therefore better 
here. Strenuous effort is implied. For KaTaXafi^dvm see 
Cor. ix. 24 ; for el with the subjimctive, v. 11 ; i Cor. xiv. 
5 .; Blass, § 65, 6 ; A. T. Robertson, Gr. pp. 934, 1017, 1044. 
The play on words between eXafiov and KaraXd^io might be 
reproduced with ' take ' and ' take hold.' The former 
impUes receiving a gift, the latter grasping a prize. 

because] 'E<})' w is often ambiguous. Here, as in 2 Cor. 
V. 4, ' because ' seems to be preferable to ' wherefore.' We 
might render ' that for which ' (A.V.), viz. his future salva- 
tion V but ' because ' is better. 

grasped by Christ] As a prize, on the way to Damascus. 
Everywhere he regards his conversion as a sudden and 
supernatural thing : he was not gradually led from Judaism 
to Christianity. Knowhng, Testimony of St. Paul to Christ, 
pp. 188 f . 

13. Brethren] The address introduces an important 
statement ; here to correct a possible misapprehension ; cf. 
I Thess. v. 25 ; Rom. x. i ; Gal. iii. 15, vi. i. In such cases 
dSeXipoi stands first in the sentence. 

I for one] The emphatic position of iya> efiavrov rather 
impUes that there are some people who have a different 
opinion respecting themselves, or (less probably) a different 
opinion respecting him. Cf. Jn. v. 30, 31, vii. 17, etc. 
He is thinking of the Antinomians of vv. 18, 19. 

do not account] The commercial metaphor again, as in 
vv. 7, 8, iv. 8. Aoyi^ofiai is exceedingly frequent in Paul, 
especially in Rom. and 2 Cor. A.V. has ' count ' for both 
^ryovfiai and Xoyl^onai. 

My one rule] There are various ways of expanding the 
eUiptical ^fBi. If ev is accusative, 'But one thing I 
reckon,' or ' I do,' or ' I can say.' Such elhpses are not 
rare in the Epistles. A. T. Robertson, Gr. p. 391. 


Forgetting, etc.] ' I let the dead past bury its own dead.' 
He is neither despondent because of falls nor presumptuous 
because of advances. 'Remember Lot's wife.' See Lk. 
ix. 62 ; Mk. xiii. 16 ; Jn. vi. 66. 

Straining after] As in a footrace, which is one of St. Paul's 
favourite metaphors. Double prepositional compounds 
like direKTeivofj.evo'i here and cnreKSexofieda, v. 20, become 
very common in late Greek. A. T. Robertson, Gr. p. 165. 
Although he owes all to God, yet he is responsible for the 
use which he makes of Divine grace. Footrace (ii. 16) is 
more probable than chariot- race (Farrar). 

14. the goal] Or ' the mark ' {o-kottov), that on which one 
fixes one's gaze ; in shooting, the target (Job xvi. 13 ; Lam. 
iii. 12), in racing, the goal. The runner fwsues it, as some- 
thing to come down on or overtake, Kara o-kottov SitoKei. 

to win the prize] Lit. ' unto the prize,' which is awaiting 
the winner at the goal. Cf. i Cor. ix. 24, 25. The deriva- 
tion of ^pa^eioD is unknown ; it occurs Clem. Rom. Cor. 
V. 5, and is frequent in pap37rL 

God's invitation . , . heaven] Lit. ' the upward calling 
of God.' KXriai<i is used of invitations to a banquet, and in 
N.T. often of the Divine invitation to enter the Kingdom ; 
Rom. xi. 29. This Divine invitation is perpetual, and it is 
dveo in its action and in its result. Cf . Rom. viii. 30 ; i Cor. 
i. 26, vii. 20 ; Heb. iii. i ; Pet. i. 12. Chrysostom 
says that athletes are not crowned in the race-course 
below ; the king calls them tip and there crowns them. 
He takes ' in Christ Jesus ' with ' am pressing forward ' ; 
but see i Cor. vii. 22 ; i Pet. v. 10 ; Clem. Rom. Cor. xlvi. 6. 

15. perfect] Probably there is irony in the Apostle's 
placing himself, hypothetically, among such people, as in 
I Cor. viii. i. Some Corinthians had claimed special 
knowledge, and some among the Philippians had claimed 
to be 'perfect.' "Christian perfection really consists 
only in this constant striving for perfection " (B. Weiss). 
See also Gregory of Nyssa, adv. Eunomiwm, VIII. 5, sub -fin., 
and Pfieiderer, PauUnism, I. p. 225. 

are differently minded] With regard to the question 


of perfection and the duty of pressing forward. 'ErepoK 
occurs nowhere else in N.T. It probably suggests erroneous, 
but not heretical teaching. See on 2 Cor. xi. 4. 

this also] viz. " that in which you are differently minded.' 
' Even this ' (A.V., R.V.) is less suitable. Calvin remarks 
that nemo ita loqui jure posset, nisi cm certa constat suue 
doctrinae ratio. Cf. Eph. iii. 3. 

will reveal to you] Emphasis on ' you.' ' God has granted 
a revelation to correct my erroneous convictions ; if neces- 
sary. He will do the Hke for you.' 

16. Only] The verse is elliptical and somewhat obscure. 
The Greek gives ' Only whereunto we reached, in the same 
to walk.' The infinitive is a strong imperative, as in Rom. 
xii. 15 and Titus ii. 2-10. This imperatival infinitive was 
often used in laws and maxims, and it is found in papyri. 
Perhaps ' we must ' or ' we are bound to ' is to be under- 
stood. Burton, § 364 ; Moulton, Proleg. p. 179. What is it 
that ' we reached ' ? Probably the principle that we must 
never cease striving to make advance ; our present position 
must be only a means to further progress, step by step : 
travaillons sans reldche, et ne crayons jamais que c'est assez. 
Cf. Rom. iv. 12. 

The insertion of ' rule ' with ' the same ' and the addition 
of ' mind the same thing ' are interpolations from Gal. 
vi. 16 and from Phil. ii. 4 respectively. 

17-21. No one has licence to sin. 

•7 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which 
walk so as ye have us for an ensample. '* (For many walk, of whom 
I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are 
the enemies of the cross of Christ : 1' Whose end is destruction, 
whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind 
earthly things.) *" For our conversation is in heaven, from whence 
also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ : "Who shall 
change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious 
body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue 
all things unto himself. 

Once more the Apostle appeals to experience. The 
Phihppians know his manner of Ufe and that of his fellow 


missionaries. Has their conduct ever given any encourage- 
ment to moral laxity? 

" Be united, one and all of you, Brethren, in becoming imitators of 
me ; and carefully regard as your aim those whose walk in life is so 
fashioned that you have me and my colleagues as a pattern. ^^ This 
is no needless caution ; for there are many, of whom I many times 
used to tell you, and now tell you even with tears, that they walk in 
life as the enemies of the cross of Christ. ^^ Their end is perdition ; 
sensual indulgence is their god ; their glory is in what is really 
their shame, they whose minds grovel in earthly things. 2" Such men 
have no fellowship with us Christians. l?or our real home and country 
is not on earth, but in heaven ; and it is from heaven that we con- 
fidently look for a Saviour also, even the Lord Jesus Christ. ^^ He 
will change the passing fashion of this body of ours — the body of our 
temporary humiliation, so as to share the lasting form of His own body 
— the body of His eternal glory. He will do this by the working 
of the Divine power which enables Him even to bring into subjection 
to Himself all things alike. 

17. Be united, etc.] This is probably the meaning of 
(Tvv/jLLfj-rjrai, /xou yiveaOe : omnes uno consensu et v/na mente 
(Calvin). Some interpret the aw- as meaning ' join with me 
in imitating,' i.e. in imitating Christ. But what follows 
shows that the Apostle is here giving himself as a pattern. 
' Be united with others who imitate me ' is possible, but 
it gives crvv- an unnatural meaning. See on i Thess. i. 6 ; 2 
Thess. iii. 7, 9 ; i Cor. iv. 16, xi. i. ' Followers ' (A.V. 
habitually for fnifiriTai) is inadequate. 

regard as your aim] As in v. 4. Contrast ^Xin-ere in v. 2. 
Cogita, quantum nobis exempla bona prosint : scies mag- 
norum virorum non minus praesentia esse utilem memoriam 
(Seneca, Ep. cii. 30). 

those whose walk] Presumably their pastors. 

me and my colleagues] ' Me ' is felt to be egotistical, and 
■ us ' is substituted. It includes Silas, Timothy, and 
others who had worked with St. Paul at Philippi, As in 
2 Thess. iii. 9, we have tvitov, not tuttod?. It is the mission- 
aries collectively who supply the pattern. They have 
started a Christian tradition, which by its variety in detail 
shows that the Christian life is possible for all. For Tv-nov 


^M«? Codices Amiatinus and Fuldensis have formam nos, 
while Vulg. and other Latin authorities have the obviously 
corrupt formam nostrum. 

i8. for there are many] The charge to imitate their 
teachers requires explanation, and it at once receives it. 
The evil is widespread, of long standing, and grave. It 
probably existed among Roman Christians, although not 
as yet at Philippi, as the high praise in the Thanksgiving 
(i. 3-8) shows. But it might spread thither, and was already 
discussed there. He mentions no names of persons either 
at Rome or elsewhere : personal denunciation might do 
more harm than good. 

many times used to tell] We perhaps might render, ' whom 
I many times used to call in your hearing, the enemies, etc' * 
Such reiteration was absolutely necessary, as all missionaries 
know, where converts from heathenism Uve in heathen 
surroimdings. Hort thinks that he is still denouncing the 
Judaizers rather than teachers of antinomian principles 
(JudaisHc Christianity, p. 115). The language is too 
general for certainty. It was the Judaizers who said that 
St. Paul's teaching about the Law led to generally lawless 

even with tears] Tears for their miserable condition, as 
well as for his own suffering. Cf . Lk. xix. 41 ; 2 Cor. ii. 4 ; 
Acts XX. 31. Like J. H. Newman, while writing the 
Apologia pro Vita sua in 1864 ; " I have been constantly 
in tears, and constantly crying out in distress " (Letter to 
Hope Scott, 2 May). These sinners perhaps had said that 
they were carrying out the Apostle's own teaching about 
freedom from the Law. 

the enemies of the cross] Those who were specially such. 
The expression illustrates the emphasis which St. Paul 
placed on the cross, — ^to him the sjonbol of self-renunciation, 
but to the heathen, of fooHshness and horror ; i Cor. i. 
18, 23. These men mocked the cross by gross self-indulg- 

19. Their end is perdition] ' The end ' which follows from 
♦ Note the play between noXKoL and iroMcwws. 


such conduct ; he proceeds to explain why. ' Perdition ' 
not ' destruction ' (A.V.). Cf. Rom. i. 21 ; v. 32, viii. 13 ; 
2 Cor. xi. 15 ; Gal. vi. 8 ; Jas. i. 15 ; 2 Pet. ii. 1-3. Que 
I'on peche impunement, c'est le comble du dSsordre ; ce 
serait le desordre, non de I'homme qui piche, mats de Dieu 
qui ne punit pas (Bossuet). 

sensual indulgence] Here, and perhaps Rom. xvi. 18, 
' the belly ' (/cotXta) means the fleshly appetites generally, 
as in Ecclus. xxiii. 6. Mere selfishness seems to be inade- 
quate. P. Ewald compares yaarpl SovXeveiv, ryaaTpiSovXo^, 
Koi\i68ov\oi;, KotXiciKdrpi}'; ; add KotXioSaifietv. See Suicer, 
II. 119.* This hardly apphes to Judaizers. 

their glory, etc.] Their boasted Uberty was shameful 
slavery to lust. As Pere Hyacinthe said to a company of 
' free-thinkers ' at Cannes ; " Vous etes ni litres ni pen- 
sews ; vous etes Us esclaves de vos prejuges, de vos passions, 
de vos piches." 

earthly things] Col. iii. 2 ; Jas. iii. 15. This seems almost 
a bathos after the three strong statements which precede it. 
But it prepares the way for the magnificent contrast which 
follows in vv. 20, 21, in which Way finds material for another 
hymn : " Hjnnn of the Citizens of Heaven." 

20. For our real] ' For ' and the emphatic ' our ' imply 
absolute rejection of such misinterpretation of freedom. 

country and home] ' Conversation ' = ' daily fife ' (A.V.) 
is now misleading. ' Citizenship ' (R.V.) or ' common- 
wealth ' (R.V. marg.) are better renderings of irdXiTevfj.a, 
which also means ' citizen-hf e ' or ' citizen-duties ' ; but the 
local sense seems to be required by e^ o5. Tertullian and 
Jerome have municipatus. This heavenly Fatherland 
is the home of the highest moral Hberty, and is in emphatic 
contrast to ' earthly things.' Cf. Eph. ii. 19 ; Heb. xi. 13. 
Plato has a remarkable parallel. Rep. ix. p. 592 B ; also 

* A spice, quemadmodum immensae hominum cupiditates hient 
semper et poscant. Alius Hbidine insanit, alius abdomini servit, 
alius lucri totus est (Seneca, De Benef. VII. xxvi. 3). Quid mihi 
voluptaiem nominas ? Hominis honum quaero, non ventris (De 
Vita Beata, ix. 3). 


Philo, De Confus. i. 416 Mang. The description of Chris- 
tians in the Epistle to Diognetus v. 9, i'jrl 7^? Siarpi^ova-tv 
a\X iv oipdvo) iroKi.TevovrM,, may be an echo of this passage. 
Cf. 'Where your treasure is, etc.,' and see F. B. Westcott, 
A Letter from Asia, p. 138. 

is in heaven] Not ean, but virdpxei, and hence the insertion 
of 'real.' It is no Utopia ; it exists. It is now; not will 
be hereafter. And it is ours already. See on ii. 6 and 2 
Cor. viii. 17, xii. 16 ; cf. Gal. iv. z6 ; Heb. xii. 22. 

we confidently look for] The ' we ' may include the de- 
parted as well as those who are in this world. In the 
strong compound aireKSexofieOa the otto implies dis- 
regard of other things and concentration on one object, 
as in aTTOKapaSoKia, 1. 20. Cf. Rom. viii. 19 ; i Cor. i. 7 ; 
Heb. ix. 28. It seems to have been a usual word for ex- 
pressing expectation of the Advent. Its use in i Pet. 
iii. 2 and in Heb. ix. 28 may have come from St. Paul, who 
may possibly have coined the word. M. and M., Vocabulary, 
p. 56. 

a Saviour] The word is emphatic ; ' And it is from heaven 
that as a Saviour also we look for, etc' It probably comes 
from LXX : but its connexion with troXirevfia here makes 
an allusion to the pagan use of the word to designate the 
Emperor not improbable. With the exception of Luke, 
the title in N.T. is found only in the later writings. In the 
Pastoral Epistles and in 2 Peter it is frequent. 

the Lord Jesus Christ] He is the Lord of the heavenly 
iroXCrevfia. See on v. 8 for similarly emphatic fullness. 

21. change the passing fashion] In the compoimds 
fieraaxvfi'aTiaet and avfifiop^ov we must again mark the 
radical difference between o'XV/^ and fj-optf)!], as in ii. 6-8. 
The one is external and transitory, the other is essential 
and permanent. Vulg. has reformahit, configtiraium, which 
just spoils the Old Latin transfigurabit, conformatwm. Cf. 
2 Cor. xi. 13-15. 

But ■ vile body ' (A.V.) is misleading, like Luther's unsern 
nichtigen Leib, and Beza's corpus nostrum humile. There is 
here no trace of the Gnostic view that everything material is 


impure, and that the human body is an object of contempt. 
As compared with the spiritual body in the future life, 
it is in a condition of humihation. Those who share the 
humiliation of Christ (ii. 8) may hope to share His glory 
(ii. 9). Cf. Rom. i. 4andseeHortoni Pet. i. 21. There may 
be a secondary argument against those who make indulgence 
of the body their aim in hfe, — a body which will soon be re- 
fashioned. ' Body ' (not ' bodies ') is generic, as in Rom. 
vi. 12. 

body of His eternal glory] ' His glorious body ' (A.V.) is 
weak and inadequate. Neither here nor 2 Cor. iv. 4 nor 
Rom. viii. 21 is t^s Sofj;? a characterizing genitive. ' The 
glory ' is that in which He appeared to St. Paul. 

working] Excepting 2 Thess. ii. 9, 11, ivipyeia in N.T. 
is always used of Divine activity ; there of diabolical. 
All instances therefore are of supernatural energy, and all 
are in the writings of St. Paul (Eph. i. 19, iii. 7, iv. 16 ; Col. 
i. 29, ii. 12), and are characteristic of our group. M. and 
M., Vocabulary, p. 214. 

which enables Him] The construction {rod c. infin.) 
is very frequent in Paul and Luke. Blass, § 71, 3. 

to Himself] Strong testimony to His Divine power.* 

all things alike] At the close, with emphasis. As in 
V. 8, iravra has the article ; there are no exceptions, not 
even death ; i Cor. xv. 25-27. There may be an allusion 
to Ps. viii. 6. 


Somewhat like iii. i, iv. i is isolated, and may be called 
transitional. The long digression which begins suddenly, 
through some cause unknown to us, has come to an end with 
the solemn words in iii. 20, 21. This verse springs naturally 
out of the previous warnings, as wo-re shows. Equally 

* avrm, not iavrQ, is the right reading, but it certainly looks 
back to OS, and therefore to ' the Lord Jesus Christ.' If avT<3 be 
adopted, it is a unique feature in N.T. 


naturally it leads on to more specific exhortations as to the 
necessity of unity and concord (2, 3), less definite exhortations 
in the same direction having been given i. 27-ii. 18. 

» Therefore, my brethren, dearly beloved and longed for, my 
joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved. 

It is necessary to show the connexion with what precedes 
and what foUows. 

^ So then, remembering that you are citizens of a heavenly kingdom 
and are earnestly expecting a heavenly Saviour, listen to my renewed 
appeal. You are my brethren, whom I love and long to see again, 
you are my present joy and the crown which I hope to win. For 
all these reasons stand fast in the Lord, my beloved ones, and show 
your steadfastness by inward union. 

I. So then] For wo-re introducing the result of what has 
just been stated, and followed by an imperative, cf. U. 12 ; 
I Thess. iv. 18 ; i Cor. iii. 21, etc. Outside the Pauline 
Epistles the combination is rare. T. A. Robertson, Gr. p. 999. 

my brethren, whom I love, etc.] It is a rehef to turn 
from the enemies of the Cross to the affectionate and 
generous Phihppians. In his earnestness the Apostle 
accumulates words of ajBEection, and (as in ii. 2) is careless 
about repetition. Nowhere else does he use this full form 
of address : blandis appellationibus . . . quae tamen non 
sunt adulationis, sed sinceri amoris (Calvin). 

long to see again] 'Eirnr60j]To<i occurs nowhere else 
in N.T. or in LXX, but iwnroSeiv is in all four of the 
Pauline groups ; i. 8, ii. 26 ; i Thess. iii. 6 ; etc. We have 
e-7rfjr6dt](ri<{, 2 Cor. vii. 7, II, and iiri-rrodeia, Rom. xv. 23. 

crown] Here, as in i Thess. ii. 19, the ' crown ' (ffre^ovos) 
is the wreath or garland worn as a mark of success or desert 
(i Cor. ix. 25) . The PhiUppians will be such a crown at the 
Day of Judgment to the Apostle who converted them and 
estabhshed them in the faith. * This shows that no PhiHp- 

* Saint Paul disait aux Philippiens qu'ils Staient sa couronne. 
Ne pouvons-nous pas dire que nous sommes la couronne de Jisus- 
Christ, mais une couronne de souffrances ? II attendait que de nos 
bonnes aeuvres nous lui fissions une couronnes d'honneur, et par nos 
iniquiUs nous lui enfaisons une d'ignominie (Bourdaloue). 


plans are among those who are condemned in iii. 18, 19. 
See Ropes, on Jas. i. 12 ; Hastings, DB. art. ' Crown ' ; 
Trench, Syn. § xxiii. 

For all these reasons] ' According to my instructions and 
exhortations ' seems to be the meaning of oi^tco?. It 
commonly refers to what precedes. See on Thess. iv. 17. 

stand fast] See on i. 27 and cf. i Thess. iii. 8 ; 'in the 
Lord ' is certainly not to be taken with ' my beloved ones.' 

iv. 2, 3. Exhortation to Unity. 

" I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the 
same mind in the Lord. ' And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, 
help those women which laboured with me in the Gospel, with Clement 
also, and with other my fellow-labourers, whose names are in the 
book of life. 

These two verses raise several questions which cannot 
be answered with any certainty, (i) What was the nature 
of the controversy between the two first mentioned ? (2) 
Is either of the two to be identified with the Lydia of Acts 
xvi. 14, 15 ? (3) Is the word rendered ' yokefellow ' a 
proper name ? If not, who is this yokefellow ? Some 
other questions may be answered with confidence. Are the 
first names names of real persons, or do they represent 
parties in the Church ? Beyond reasonable doubt they are 
names of persons, both of whom are women. Does ' yoke- 
fellow ' mean the Apostle's wife'? Assuredly not, but the 
hypothesis is ancient, and as such requires notice. 

^ I exhort Euodia, and I exhort Syntyche, to put an end to their 
differences and be of the same mind in the Lord. ^ Yes, and I ask 
thee also as a friend, my genuine and faithful yokefellow, to give 
these two ladies a helping hand towards reconciliation and reunion, 
for they were united in fighting side by side with me in my contests 
on behalf of the Gospel ; along with Clement also and the rest 
of my fellow workers, whose names, although I mention them not, 
are enrolled in the Book of Life. 

2. I exhort] The context decides whether irapaKoXelv, 
which is frequent in N.T., means ' exhort,' " encourage ' or 


' console.' It does not occur in any of the Johannine books, 
or in Jas. or 2 Pet. 

Euodia] A.V. makes EvoUav the ace. of a man's name, 
Euodias ; but no such name has been found. Euodia or 
Euhodia is fairly frequent in inscriptions, and no doubt 
this is right here as the name of some Philippian lady. 

Syntyche] Some propose to make Sui'tu^j^iji' the ace. of a 
man's name ; but no such name has been found, whereas 
Sjmtyche, Sintyche, and Suntyche do occur.* The awTot? 
aiTivei; in w. 3 is conclusive as to both names being femi- 
nine. They were evidently well-known women in the 
Philippian Chmrch, and exercised the Uberty and influence 
which was common among Macedonian women at this 
time ; and in Macedonia women seem to have had a better 
social position than anjnvhere else in the civilized world. 
Acts xvi. 14, 40, xvii. 4, 12 give evidence of this ; and this 
feature is found also in inscriptions. The conjectiure that 
' Lydia ' in Acts xvi. 14, 40 means that she was a woman of 
Lydia, and that she may be identified with either Euodia 
or Syntyche, cannot be disproved, but it is not very probable. 
The quarrel between the two women was evidently notorious, 
and was leading to party spirit in the Chiurch. That they 
were deaconesses is possible, and Renan treats the hypo- 
thesis as certain. ' I exhort ' with both names emphasizes 
the fact that the two persons are at present aJienated from 
one another, and at the same time shows that the Apostle 
takes sides with neither. Both are in fault, and he makes 
the same appeal to both. Hoc his ponit, quasi coram 
adhortans seorsimi utramvis, idqi*e summa ct*m aequitate 

be of the same mind] The same phrase as in ii. 2. The 
meaning here may be " agreement for the accomplishment 
of practical aims " (Zahn). 

in the Lord] They are both of them members of Christ, 

* Meyer attributes to Theodore of Mopsuestia the view that 
Syntyches was Euodia's husband. Theodore states that some 
people said so (nvts 8« (^ao-tv). He himself suggests that the two 
ladies contended irtpi -irpamunv, super primalum. 


as he is ; i. 14, ii. 19, 24, 29, iii. i, etc. They are sisters 
in Christ and ought not to be estranged. 

3. Yes] Not ' And,' as A.V., following the corrupt reading 
Kai for vai. Nat [dulcis particula) confirms, often a state- 
ment, sometimes an entreaty, as here and Philem. 20. 
Judith ix. 12 it is repeated. See Ellicott. 

I ask as a friend] Only in his letters to the beloved Mace- 
donian Churches does St. Paul use the more friendly ipfOTw 
(i Thess. iv. i, v. 12 ; 2 Thess. ii. i), which rather implies 
that the two parties are equal ; whereas ' exhort ' assumes 
some kind of authority over those who are exhorted. The 
change of word is remarkable. He gives what is almost 
a command to Euodia and Syntyche ; of his colleague 
he asks a favour. In classical Greek ipcorm is used of asking 
questions rather than of asking favours. In pre-Christian 
letters the two verbs are sometimes combined, as in i Thess. 
iv. I. Trench, § xl. ; M. and M., p. 255. 

genuine and faithful] Ti/Tjo-to?, as i Tim. i. 2 ; Tit. i. 4 ; 
2 Cor. viii. 8, and nowhere else in N.T. See on yvija-lto^ ii. 20 
and cf. Ecclus vii. 18. The suggestion that it is a proper 
name, ' Gnesius, my fellow-worker,' may be disregarded. 
M. and M., Vocabulary, p. 129. Oddly enough, the Latin 
rendering, germane compar, led to the idea that Germanus was 
a proper name, which got into the Greek text of Cod. G. 

yokefellow] Sw^vyov from aw^evyvvfii, ' I fasten to- 
gether.' Some suggest that this is a proper name, and 
that yvrjiTie points to its being so ; ' I ask Synzygus, rightly 
so called, a genuine yokefellow.' If so, we may compare 
the play on the name Onesimus in Philem. 11, and on Nabal 
in I Sam. xxv. 25. The objection that the name occurs 
nowhere else in literature or inscriptions is serious, but it 
does not prove that there could not have been a Philippian 
with such a name. We may compare this problem with 
2 Jn. I, where some render the ' elect lady ' as the " elect 
Kyria,' and others as the ' lady Electa.' 

Assuming that ' yokefellow ' is right, who is he ? Barna- 
bas, Silas, Timothy, Luke, and the leading ' bishop ' in 
Philippi are conjectures. Victorinus suggests that the 



Apostle now turns aside and addresses Epaphroditus, 
who is to carry the letter, and is here urged to use his 
personal influence ; and this view is adopted by Lightfoot, 
Zahn, and others. But was Epaphroditus to read this 
about himself to the Philippians ? Clement of Alexandria 
and Origen mention an early belief that the ' yokefellow ' 
was the Apostle's wife, a belief which Chrysostom corrects. 
Renan (S. Paul, p. 148) translates ma chtre epouse, and 
suggests Lydia, whom Baring Gould also thinks that the 
Apostle may have married. But he was unmarried or a 
widower when he wrote i Cor. vii. 8, and if the yokefellow 
was a woman we should have yvr/ala not yvija-ie, as Theodore 
of Mopsuestia points out. Wieseler {Chronologie, p. 548) 
suggests Christ as the yokefellow ! In Hastings, DAC. 
art. ' Synzygus,' it is assumed that the word is a proper 
name. WH. have vvvl^vye in their text, and Svv^vye in 
the margin. Ramsay adopts avv^vye as probably meaning 
St. Luke. 

lend them a helping hand] "LvvXafi^avov aiirau;, niid. 
voice with dative, as Lk. v. 7. ' Lay hold of the difficulty 
along with them.' 

for they were united] There is possibly a play on words 
between <TvvKafj,^dvov and <ywridXr)aav. There is certainly 
a play of meaning between ' help them to unite now ' and 
' for they were united before.' Women were the first 
hearers at PhiUppi ; Acts xvi. 13, 14. " Lest their public 
exhortation should appear to degrade these two women 
before the congregation, Paul recalls the services which 
they had rendered to the congregation ; and in order that 
it might be known what events he had in mind, he mentions 
the name of a man who also assisted him on that occasion " 
(B. Weiss aci loc). 

' Help those women who ' (A.V.) mistranslates both airah 
and al'Tivev. The latter gives the reason why they deserve 
to be helped ; cf . i. 28, ii. 20 ; iii. 7 ; Gal. iv. 24, 26. 

fighting side by side with me] The favourite metaphor 
from the arena ; i. 27, 30, ii. 16, iii. 13, 14. ' Laboured 
with me ' (A.V., R.V.) is inadequate. 


along with Clement also] This looks back to ' fighting 
side by side with me ' rather than to ' give a helpinghand.' 
He is mentioned because of his connexion with the two 
ladies. Clement is some Philippian about whom we know 
nothing. Gwjom's attempt to justify the patristic identi- 
fication of this Clement with the famous bishop of Rome, 
third from Linus, and writer of the Roman Epistle to the 
Corinthians, is surprising. There is no evidence that this 
Clement ever migrated to Rome ; and, if he did, it is im- 
probable that a Philippian would become the leading presby- 
ter in the Roman Church. The name Clement was exceed- 
ingly common.* The icaC before K\'^fiepToi; may be either 
■ also,' looking back to the two ladies, or ' both,' anticipating 
•and the rest of my fellow-workers.' Hastings, DB. art. 
' Clement.' 

Book of Life] The metaphor is frequent in O.T. and in the 
Apocalypse ; Exod. xxxii. 32 ; i Sam. xxv. 29 ; Ps. Ixix. 
28, cxxxix. 16 ; Dan. xii. i ; etc. Rev. iii. 5, xiii. 8, 
xxi. 27, xxii. 19. See Swete on Rev. iii. 5 ; Charles on 
Enoch xlvii. 3 ; Hastings, DAC. art. ' Book of Life.' 
Wetstein gives illustrations from Rabbinical writers. The 
expression involves no doctrine of predestination. And 
it does not imply that these persons are dead ; Lk. x. 20. 

iv. 4-7. Renewed Exhortation to Joy. 

•Rejoice in the Lord alway : and again I say. Rejoice. ^ Let 
your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. 
« Be careful for nothing : but in everything by prayer and supplica- 
tion with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God. 
^ And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall 
keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 

After the very brief and very gentle expression of dis- 
satisfaction, the Apostle returns to the dominant note of 

* Among the many inscriptions found in or near Philippi is a list 
of members of some guild or club. The last of the sixty-nine names 
is Valerius Clemens. Clement of Rome gives no hint in his Epistle 
that he stood in the relation to St. Paul which is indicated here — 
rather the contrary. 


jojrfulness. As in ch. iii, we had first religion (5-10) and 
then morality (17-21), so here (4-7 and 8, 9). 

* I have called you my joy. You yourselves must have joy on all 
occasions, as all Christians should. I can never say it too often, 
and I v?ill say it yet again, Have joy. * Let your forbearing spirit, 
not your contentiousness, become known to all men. The Lord, 
who will judge all self-assertion and strife, is at hand. * In no case 
spoil your lives with needless anxieties ; but in every case, by your 
prayer and your supplication, always combined with thanksgiving, 
let your requests be made known before God. ^ Then the peace 
which God gives in answer to prayer, which will calm your 
dissensions and forebodings, and which is more potent than self- 
assertion or brooding care, will keep guard over your debating hearts 
and your anxious minds, in Christ Jesus, who is your house of defence 
and your castle. 

4. have joy] It is debated whether xatpere here means 
' rejoice,' as in ii. 18 ; i Thess. v. 16 ; Mt. v. 12 ; Lk. x. 20, 
or ' farewell,' as in 2 Cor. xiii. 11, or something of both 
meanings, as perhaps in iii. i. Vulg. here has gaudete, 
and of the two meanings it is manifest that ' rejoice ' camiot 
well be excluded, because joy is such a prominent feature in 
the letter, and has just come to the front again in iv. i. 
Here, as in i Thess. v. 16, 17, it is closely followed by an 
exhortation to cultivate the spirit of prayer as a security for 
joy. It is ' in the Lord,' in the thought that we are one 
with Him, that joy can be secured (Chrysostom). Weinel {St. 
Paul, p. 125) says of these verses, " Here we have the key- 
note of the Christian life, as Paul conceived it. Like rays 
of bright sunshine, such words break forth from the heavy 
masses of Pauline polemics." See the parallel in Hab. 
iii. 17-19 ; also Is. xU. 16, Ixi. 10.* 

on all occasions] As in i. 4, 20, iii. 22, and generally in 
N.T., irdvTore, not aei. Cf . irdvrore ')(alpeTe, i Thess. V. 16, 

• Farrar points out how the joy of St. Paul during long imprison- 
ment contrasts with the dismal despondency of Ovid in the Tristia, of 
Cicero in hislettersfromexile, and of Seneca in his treatise dedicated 
to Polybius from his banishment in Corsica. The tidings of great 
joy have changed the balance between human dejection and human 


but ael Se ■xa^povTS's, 2 Cor. vi. 10. This almost excludes 
the meaning ' farewell.' 

I will say] Not 'I say ' (A.V.). In N.T., as in classical 
Greek, ip& is always future. 

again] ' I am not forgetting the sorrow or the suffering ' : 
c'est le set de toutes nos joies. 

5. your forbearing spirit] 'EtrieiK'^'s and eirieiKeia denote the 
"sweet reasonableness" which, by admitting limitations 
and making allowances, prevents summum jus from be- 
coming summa injuria. It forbears from insisting upon full 
rights, where rigidity would be harsh. See Arist. Eth. 
Nic. V. X. 3. In 2 Cor. x. i it is mentioned as a special 
characteristic of Christ. ' Moderation ' (A.V.) and modestia 
(Vulg.) are too vague. Acts xxiv. 4 we find ' clemency ' 
and dementia. See Trench, § xliii. 

become known to all men] Not merely to all Christians ; 
that they may admire it and imitate it ; Jn. xiii. 35. For 
iyvcoa-O'^ cf. Lk. xxiv. 35 ; Acts ix. 24. 

The Lord is at hand] Therefore be peaceful and patient ; 
I Cor. xvi. 22 ; Jas. v. 8 ; Heb. x. 24, 25 ; Rev. i. 7, iii. 
II.* At any moment they may have to answer for their 
conduct ; and if any one is really wronged, his wrongs 
will be righted. Retaliation here and now is altogether 
out of place. 

The words might mean that ' the Lord is always near 
us,' and knows all that we think or do ; Clem. Rom. Cor. 
xxi. 3. But that is not the probable meaning here, where 
the thought that the Lord will come soon suggests a warning 
against useless disquietude. 

6. needless anxieties] Cf. i Cor. vii. 32. ' Be careful for 
nothing ' (A.V.) is ambiguous and rather misleading. 
' Never be full of cares ' might be better. Mepifivav is ' to 
be fuU of cares which divide and distract the mind ' ; curae 
quae meum animum diverse trahunt. Cf. Virg. Aen. 
iv. 285 f. It is unreasonable anxiety, especially about 
things which we cannot control, not reasonable care about 
those which we can influence, that is here condemned ; 

♦ See Murray's Illustr, B.D, art, ' Maranatha," 


see on ii. 20. Jas. v. 13 gives the same remedy as is given 
here for over-anxiety. Cf. i Pet. v. 7. 

in every case] 'Ep iravri, as in i Thess. v. 18. While 
•n-dvTore marks limitless extension in time, iv iravri marks 
limitless extension in sphere. Vulg. has in omni oratione ei 
obsecratione, taking ev iravri with two feminine substantives. 
Elsewhere it has in omnibus for ev iravri. Prayer can 
remove the feeling of helplessness ; curare et orare plus vnUr 
se pugnant quam aqua et ignis (Bengel). 

your prayer and your supplication] Both nouns have the 
article, which may mean the prayer and the supplication 
which is suitable, or which is usual in public worship. See on 
i. 4, and Trench, Syn. § li. 

with thanksgiving] The duty comes naturally in an exhorta- 
tion to joy. For the combination with prayer see i Thess. 
iii. 9, 10, V. 17, 18 ; Col. iv. 2 ; i Tim. ii. i. It was in the 
stocks of the inner prison at Philippi that Paul and Silas 
prayed and sang hymns to God ; Acts xvi. 25. 

requests] Airijfiara, as in I Jn. V. 15. A.V. has ' request.' 
See Cremer, Lex. p. 73. 

before God] ITpo? rov Qeov, apud Dernn. Cf. Jn. i. i. 
' Made known ' seems strange in such a connexion. The 
Psalms are fiill of such addresses to God. 

7. Then the peace] ' Such will be a sure consequence 
(/cat) of casting all anxiety on the God who takes care of 
you ' (i. Pet. V. 7). It is the 'peace of God ' because He 
bestows it ; and because He bestows it He is ' the God 
of peace ' (w. 9 ; Rom. xv. 33 ; i Cor. xiv. 33). It is the 
atmosphere in which He exists, and which He desires to 
communicate. The peace is not dependent on the literal 
granting of the requests. 

will keep guard] A.V. has 'keep,' R.V. has 'guard.' We 
need both words to give the force of the military metaphor 
in ^povprjaei. Peace must always do sentry duty if its 
rule is to be preserved from external and internal foes. 
Most Latin authorities have custodiat, and some Greeks 
comment as if we had an optative here. The words are 
a prophecy or a promise, not a prayer. 


' Which passeth all understanding ' (A.V., R.V.), i-e. which 
is beyond all power of comprehension, so that, as Augustine 
says, not even Angels can understand it, makes excellent 
sense ; but it is doubtful whether it is what the Apostle 
means. He has been warning his converts against conten- 
tiousness and over-anxiety ; and he seems to mean that 
God's peace produces far better results than human schem- 
ing ; it is superior to aU man's devices for security, and is 
more efficacious in removing disquietude than any intellec- 
tual effort or reasoning power. These often augment 
disquietude. ' Surpasseth ' rather than ' passeth.' 

your hearts and your minds] These two cover the spheres 
in which dissensions and carking cares are generated. 
Although vorffiaTu are commonly the ■products of wv?, and 
therefore ' thoughts ' rather than ' minds,' yet here and 2 
Cor. iii. 14, iv. 4, xi. 3 the thinking faculty seems to be 
meant. See Hastings, DCG. and DAC. art. ' Heart.' In 
N.T. voTffia is exclusively Pauline. 

in Christ Jesus] Not 'through ' (A.V.). The strong rock 
and fortress (Ps. xxxi. 2, 3) in which Divine peace keeps 
watch. What better security can Christian souls need ? 

iv. 8, 9. Exhortation to Practise what is Noblest 

AND Best 

" Cherish beautiful thoughts. Live noble lives " is Wey- 
mouth's summary. We have a generous encouragement 
to the Philippians to take a broadminded view respecting 
worthy ideals. There was much in their heathen views that 
had to be absolutely abandoned ; but there was also much 
that might be, and ought to be, valued and retained. Here 
they needed knowledge and discernment (i. 9). 

8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things 
are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, 
whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things (ire of good report : 
if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these 
things. * Those things which ye have both learned, and received, 
and heard, and seen in me, do : and the God of peace shall be with 


" Nowhere has the born Jew approached so closely to 
the moral ideal of the Greek philosophers as in the concep- 
tions of honour and worth which he here strings together " 
(Von Soden, Early Christian Literatwre, p. 113). " In 
Phil. iv. 8 Paul himself, with full consciousness, includes 
natural morality in Christian morality " (Clemen, Primitive 
Christianity, p. 367). See also Knowling, Testimony of 
St. Paul to Christ, p. 491. 

We have eight classes or points of view, which perhaps are 
arranged in pairs : the last pair, by change of wording, is 
separated from the rest. The fifth and sixth classes are 
also different from the first four. They refer to men's 
estimate of things, whereas the first four refer to realities, 
without thought of estimates. In paraphrasing it is 
worth while to mark this grouping, which may be inten- 

* For the rest, Brethren, whatsoever things are really true, really 
grand, really righteous, really pure, whatsoever things are lovely, 
whatsoever things are winsome, — all the moral value that you were 
wont to give to virtue and to the praise of mankind, — take these ideals 
continually into account. ^ Yet be not content with contemplating 
ideals. Go on and practise also the things which you learned and 
received from me, and which you heard of me doing and saw me do. 
Practise them in your daily lives. Then the God Who gives the 
peace that you need will be with you. 

8. For the rest] After the sudden and prolonged di- 
gression at iii. I, the Apostle once more prepares to bring 
the letter to a close. The rendering of to XonrSv must be 
the same in both places, implying that more remains to 
be said. 

really true] This and the following terms are to be under- 
stood in the widest and highest sense. It is difficult to find 
a good rendering for o-e/ A.V. gives 'honest,' with 

■ venerable ' in the margin ; R.V. ' honourable,' with 
' reverend ' in the margin ' Worthy, ' ' dignified, ' ' majestic, ' 

■ august,' 'seemly,' "wins respect ' are suggestions made by 
translators and commentators. 

lovely] Inspiring admiration and love ; amabilia, Vulg. ; 


lieUich, Luther. IIpo<r^i\ri<s occurs nowhere else in N.T. 
In LXX ; Ecclus. iv. 7, xx. 13. 

winsome] ' Of good report ' (A.V., R.V.) is not the mean- 
ing of evtiyqfiot : ' of gracious import ' would be nearer. 
Not 'well spoken of ' but "well speaking,' i.e. expressing 
what is kind and likely to win people, and avoiding what 
is likely to give offence, is the meaning. 

moral virtue] Nowhere else does St. Paul use dp err], 
possibly because of its prominence in heathen philosophy. 
Here he uses it precisely because of that prominence. 
The Philippians' pagan ideas about intrinsic excellence 
were not wholly to be abaiidoned ; there was much that was 
noble in them and worthy of being remembered. In O.T. 
dpeTT] means ' glory ' or ' praise ' rather than " virtue, ' and 
hence perhaps the immediate mention of ' praise ' here. But 
in the Apocrypha the Greek philosophic meaning is frequent. 
See Hort on i Pet. ii. 9 ; Cremer, Lex. p. 646. Elsewhere 
in N.T., 2 Pet. i. 3, 5 only. In N.T. the Christian ideas 
of virtue are expressed by other terms ; SiKaioavvri, 
ayiaxriivT), uyi6rr}<!, dyd-Trr), ')(priar6rr}<i, evae^eia, dyadaiavvri. 

praise of mankind] Whatever all men praise is sure to be 
worthy of consideration ; an Aristotelian principle. Cf. 
securus judical orbis terraritm. See Hort on i Pet. i. 7 ; 
also Aug. Ep. ccxxxi. 4. 

take into account] With a view to habitual conduct ; 
horum rationem habete. For Xoyi^etrffe see on iii. 13 ; 
the present imperative is here used of action which is to 
continue. Here we have the Apostle's " commendation 
of the Science of Ethics " (Beet). 

9. practice also] Knowledge of what is noble without 
endeavour to reaUze it is fatal. In what follows we have 
two pairs, ' learned and received,' ' heard and saw,' and the 
two pairs are connected by ' and.' The «at which precedes 
the pairs {& xaL ) is ' also,' not ' both ' (A.V.. R.V.). The 
Phihppians have two things to guide them ; the sum of 
what is noblest in human ideals, and the Apostolic teaching 
by word and example. 

received] This is not a mere repetition of ' learned ' ; 


wapekd^ere suggests that their teachers handed on to them 
precepts which they themselves had been taught. Cf. 
I Thess. ii. 13, iv. i ; and Thess. iii. 6 ; i Cor. xvi. i, 3. 

heard of me doing] ' When I was absent from you.' It 
might mean ' heard me saying,' both clauses referring to his 
presence. Cf. i. 30 ; 2 Tim. i. 13, ii. 2. St. Paul often 
mentions himself, with or without his feUow-missionaries, 
as a pattern for his converts to copy ; i Thess. i. 6 ; 2 
Thess. iii. 7, 9 ; i Cor. iv. 16 ; Phil. iii. 17. He explains why 
he does so ; because, as the converts are well aware, he 
himself endeavours to imitate Christ ; i Cor. xi. I ; Gal. 
ii. 20. To tell them to imitate Christ would in many cases be 
less practical ; they had not yet had sufficient experience 
of Christ. A concrete example, set by those whom they had 
seen and heard, would for a time be more effective. Vita 
non minus quam ore virtuium dux fuerat ac magister (Calvin). 

Then] The Koi is similar to that at the beginning of v. 7. 
In both places the internal peace of the soul seems to be 
specially meant. Indirectly, by suppressing self-assertion, 
this wiU promote peace in the Church. 

the God of peace] Rom. xv. 33, xvi. 20. See Westcott 
on Heb. xiii. 20. Dieu est appele le Dieu de paix : il fait 
habifer dans sa maison ceux qui sont de meme esprit et de 
meme cceur (Bossuet). 


He once more returns from exhorting the PhiUppians to 
the subject of himself ; and he here reaches the matter 
which was one of the main reasons for sending the letter, 
viz. the desire to express his gratitude for the gift which 
they had sent to him. He has already alluded to their 
beneficence ; i. 5, 6, ii. i, 12, 30 ; and the mention of the 
' bishops and deacons ' at the outset may be prompted by 
this same thought. He now speaks definitely. 


iv. 10-18. Gratitude for the Philippians' Gift. 

1° But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your 
care of me had flourished again, wherein ye were also careful, but 
ye lacked opportunity. '^ Not that I speak in respect of want : for 
I have learned in whatever state I am, therewith to be content. 
" I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound : 
everjnvhere and in all things I am instructed, both to be full and to 
be hungry, both to abound and to sufier need. " I can do all things 
through Christ, which strengtheneth me. ^•Notwithstanding, 
ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction. 
IB Now ye PhUippians know also, that in the beginning of the Gospel, 
when I departed from Macedonia, no Church communicated with 
me, as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. *• For even 
in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. •' Not 
because I desire a gift : but I desire fruit that may abound to your 
account, "s But I have all and abound. I am full, having received 
of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of 
a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God. 

These verses exhibit a characteristic combination of 
delicacy and independence. He is anxious to show that 
he is deeply touched and truly grateful, and also that his 
gratitude is not "a lively sense of future favours." His 
words have been criticized as wanting in proper feeling, 
and other estimates of them may be quoted. "The 
passage presents as tactful a treatment of a delicate matter 
as can well be found in the whole range of high literature " 
(Von Soden). " Courteous expressions, as dignified as 
they are deUcate " (Meyer). Un modele de bonne grace et de 
vive piete (Renan). " A singularly graceful and dignified 
postscript " (Barry). 

^'' But I must not omit to say this. It was a great joy to me in the 
Lord that already once more you revived in your thought for me : 
with a view to which you were really taking thought for me, but 
were lacking the opportunity of showing your solicitude. "I do 
not mean that I Was actually in want. I was not ; for I for my part 
have learned in the circumstances in Which I am to be content. '^ I 
know also how to bear being reduced to penury ; I know also how 
to bear being in abundance. In each and all circumstances of lifie 
I have been initiated into the secret of being able both to have plenty 
and to be famished, both to have abundance and to be in want. ^^ The 
secret is this : I have strength to bear everything when united with 


Him who gives me such power. '^* Nevertheless, though I was not 
in great want, you did a noble thing in coming forward to have fellow- 
ship with me in my affliction by contributing to my support. ^ But 
you also yourselves, my Philippians, know well, without my reminding 
you, that this Was no new thing with you ; because in the earliest 
days of the Gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no Church 
had fellowship with me as regards giving and taking, with the sole 
exception of yourselves. In your Ccise I allowed it. ^^ Indeed I 
may say ' before I departed,' because even when I was still in Thes- 
salonica you sent more than once to minister to my needs. ^' I 
repeat that I do not mean that I am desiring to have any gift from you. 
But I do mean that I am desiring that the fruit of your generosity 
should accumulate to your account in heaven. ^^ And I can give 
a receipt in full for all that you owed me, and I have abundance over. 
I am fully supplied, seeing that I received from Epaphroditus the gifts 
which came from you. They are an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice 
acceptable, well-pleasing to God. 

10. But I must not omit] The Be, as in i Cor. i6 and Gal. 
iv. 20, indicates that something has just occurred to him. 
He has been meaning to say it, but might have forgotten. 
The Se looks back to 4-9, or perhaps earlier. ' I have been 
exhorting you to rejoice and to imitate me : so I must thank 
you for making me rejoice.' 

great joy] Cf. Mt. ii. 10 ; Lk. ii. 10, xxiv. 52 ; Acts viii. 8, 
XV. 3. It is possible, with R.V., to regard eydpi)v as an 
epistolary aorist ; ' it is a great joy.' In any case the verb 
is emphatic. See Augustine, Confessions, XIII. xxvi. 39 f. 

in the Lord] It was a holy joy, not a mere casual emotion ; 
" not of a worldly or ordinary kind " (Chrys.). 

already once more] Not vvv, but ^817, which is made inde- 
finite by the addition of trore. See Sanday and Headlam 
on Rom. i. 10, the only other passage in N.T. in which the 
combination occurs. 

revived] Like ' revived, ' aveddXere may be either active or 
neuter, ' revived your thought for me,' or ' revived in regard 
to your thought for me.' ' Budded forth again ' (Alford), 
' shot forth afresh ' (Cimnington), refiorttistis pro me sentire 
(Vulg.). Cf. Ecclus. i. 18, xi. 22, 1. 10. To speak of ' reviving 
once more ' sounds somewhat Uke a complaint, an idea 
which he at once proceeds to dispel. 


you were really] Imperfect, with «at for emphasis ; 
'were really minding,' e'<^po vetre, the favourite verb once 
more ; i. 7, ii. 2, etc. 'E(j>' <S may mean ' seeing that,' or 
■ for which purpose. ' 

lacking the opportunity] A rare verb, aKatpeladaL, 
occurring here only in N.T. It is the opposite of evKaipeiv, 
I Cor. xvi. 12 ; Mk. vi. 31 ; Acts xvii. 21. It probably 
means that they had no one to send with their gift. Some 
understand a»'e^a\eT6 of reviving prosperity, and ■^fatpela6e 
of lack of means. 

11. I do not mean] Ovx ori, as in v. 11 and iii. 12. This 
ellipse is a N.T. phrase. See on 2 Thess. iii. 9 ; 2 Cor. i. 24. 
In classical Greek it means " not only,' or ' not but that.' 
Simcox, Language of N.T. p. 174 ; Blass, § 81, i ; Winer, p. 
501. ' Not that I speak in respect of want ' (A.V., R.V.) is 
literal but not lucid. Lightfoot has ' in language dictated 
by want.' ' Want,' wo-repTyo-t? (here and Mk. xii. 44 only), 
implies actual penury. 

I was not] This is implied in iya> yap, iya> is emphatic. 

have learned] This is one of those cases in which it is 
the Greek idiom to use the aorist and the English to use the 
perfect. A. T. Robertson, Gr. p. 835. See on iii. 12.*^ 

content] Independent of help and wealth, avTdpK7)<;, 
Ecclus. xl. 18. M. and M., Vocabulary, p. 93. The less a man 
requires for himself, the more contented he is sure to be. 
See on 2 Cor. iii. 5, ix. 8 ; cf. i Tim. vi. 6. The richest 
man, said Socrates, is he who is content with least. Beatus 
est praesentibus, qualiacunque sunt, contentus, amicusque 
rebus suis (Seneca, De Vita Beata, vi. 2). Se contentus 
est sapiens . . . egere enim necessitatis est; nihil autem 
necesse sapienti est {Epist. ix. 11, 12). 

12. reduced to penury] As the great Example was. See 
on 2 Cor. viii. 9, xi. 7 ; cf. Phil, ii, 6, 7 ; Jas. i. 10. 

in each and all] 'Ev TravrX koL ev nraaiv, a vaguely com- 

* Here again we seem to have rhetorically balanced clauses. 
' I have learned ' balances ' I can do ' (v. 13), and between these 
statements we have four couplets in succession (v. 12), See J. 
Weiss in Theologische Studien, p. 191. 


prehensive expression. Both vavri and iraai.v are neuter ; not 
' in every circumstance and among all men. ' Cf . 2 Cor. xi. 6. 

been initiated] Mepuvrfiiat, one of a group of words which 
the Apostle borrows from the language of pagan mysteries ; 
e.g. fivaTfjpiov, yvS)ari<;, vow, o-o^ta, reXeio?, and perhaps 
■TTvevfia and ^vxv. R. M. Pope, Intr. to Early Church 
History, pp. 43 f. 

have pknty] Plenty of food, as both the word and the 
context imply. In late Greek xopTa(f6(7(9at has quite lost 
the notion of ' browsing. ' It is used of hmnan beings without 
any suggestion that they are brutish in their food. Vulg. 
satiari, Ambrstr. saturari. Cf. i Cor. iv. 11 ; 2 Cor. xi. 27. 

have abundance and be in want] Once more (ii. 2, iii. 7-9) 
the Apostle repeats without scruple in order to express his 
meaning fully. He has just had vareprfinv and trepiaaeveiv 
and here he has irepuTaeveiv and va-Tepela-Gai, Cf. I Cor. 
viii. 8 and 2 Cor. xi. 9. 

13. united with Him] Lit. 'in Him '; cf. ot. i, 7. 'Christ' 
(A.V.) is an interpolation. In His strength, through union 
with Him ; in Christo, non propria virtuie (Calvin). The 
statement is a paradox and a profound truth.* His depend- 
ence on Christ is the secret of his independence ; see on 2 
Cor. xii. 9. Note the parallel couplets ; ' I have learned ' 
and so ' I know,' ' I have been initiated ' and so ' I have 
strength.' For evSwafiovv, ' to enable,' cf. i Tim. i. 12 ; 
2 Tim. iv. 17. 

14. Nevertheless] The uses of ■jtXjj'v differ in this letter ; 
i. 18, iii. 16, iv. 14. R.V. has ' Howbeit ' here, and else- 
where ' only.' Though his great joy was not caused by 
rehef from great want, yet it was real, because the reUef 
proved the generous sympathy of the PhiUppians. 

did a noble thing] Mk. vii. 37; Acts x. 33. See Hort 
on I Pet. ii. 12. 

* L'enireprise est grande ; mais le secours est igal au travail. Dieu, 
qui vous appelle si haut, vous tend la main ; son Fils, qui lui est Sgal, 
descend d, vous pour vous porter. Dites done avec Saint Paul : je puis 
tout avec celui qui me fortifie (Bossiuet). 

See also Cyril of Jerusalem, Cat. Led. xxi. 4 


fellowship with me in my affliction] 'To share it with me.' 
" Co-operation is still the great demand among modern 
Christians. Churches so often leave it all for the pastor to 
do." {A.T. 'Robertson, PMUppians, p. 62.) For (TWKoivcoveiv 
see Eph. v. 11 ; Rev. xviii, 4. Cf . <rvvicoivo)v6<i, i. 7 ; i Cor. 
ix. 23 ; Rev. i. 9. In these words the idea of personal 
fellowship is prominent ; in iJueTo-xp<s and (rvvfieToxo': the 
idea of participation in a common blessing. Westcott 
on Heb. iii. i. ' Communicate ' (A.V.) is now misleading ; 
in 1611 it had the right meaning. 

15. you also] ' As well as I.' 

my Philippians] Very rarely does he addres's his converts 
by name. Here and 2 Cor. vi. 11 the passage is specially 
affectionate. Gal. iii. is hardly less so, in spite of the 
epithet. In all three places he brings his own life into 
close connexion witli that of his converts.* 

in the earliest days] The beginning of the Mission to 

when I departed] If this means ' at the time of my depar- 
ture, ' there was some early contribution previous to what was 
brought from Macedonia to Corinth. See 2 Cor. xi. g, where 
the compound verb, irpoaave-TrXripwaev, implies some- 
thing in addition, and probably refers to previous gifts 
of the Macedonians. But ore e^X6ov may be a lax con- 
struction for ' when I had departed. ' Paley, Horae PauUnae, 
VII. i. and iii. 

as regards giving and taking] Perhaps we should say ' as 
to the account of credit and debit' ; in ratione dati et accepti, 
Vulg. In papyri X070? occurs in the sense of 'account.' 
See on v. 17 and cf. Ecclus. xU. 19, xlii. 7. As in iii. 7, 8, 
St. Paul may be adopting commercial language ; and if so, 
his motive here may be to give a playful turn to a deUcate 
subject.f Chrysostom interprets this as meaning that the 
Philippians gave material gifts and received spiritual gifts. 

* The form 4>iXL-innja-oa may come from Philippenses. In secular 
Greek we have $i\i7r7rels and ^iXLinrrivoL 

t That actual statements of accounts passed between the givers 
and the receiver, as Zahn supposes, is very unlikely. 


So also Pelagius, dantes carnalia spirituaUa accefistis. 
Theodore of Mopsuestia rightly rejects this. The meaning 
is that what they gave he received. He worked for his 
living, and accepted nothing from those among whom he 
worked. In Thessalonica he accepted no support from 
Thessalonians (i Thess. ii. 9 ; 2 Thess. iii. 8) ; at Corinth 
none from Corinthians (2 Cor. xi. 7, xii. 13) ; but in either 
place he could accept gifts from Philippians. 

16. more than once] Lit. ' both once and twice.' As in i 
Thess. ii. 18 ; Neh. xiii. 20 ; i Mace. iii. 30, the meaning 
probably is ' twice.' This mode of numeration is Hebraic ; 
Job. V. 19 ; Eccles. xi. 2 ; Amos i. 3, 6, 9, 11, 13, etc. 

even when] Thessalonica was a larger and richer city 
than Philippi. 

to minister to] For this use of et? cf. i. 5 ; 2 Cor. ii. 12 ; 
and see on i Cor. xvi. i. M. and M. give illustrations. 
Vocabulary, p. 186 b. 

17. I do not mean] As in v. 11 and iii. 12. 

I am desiring] As in iirnrodSt (i. 8, ii. 26), the preposition 
in iwi^rjTM is partly intensive, although it marks the direc- 
tion of the desire rather than its intensity. As in vv. 1 and 
12, repetition adds emphasis. 

to your account] or ' to your credit ' ; in rationem vestram, 
Vulg. El<! \d70i' should probably have the same rendering 
here and in v. 15. See on 2 Thess. i. 3. 

18. give a receipt in full] This may be another commercial 
metaphor. Papyri abundantly show that aTre^™ wa- fre- 
quently used in this sense in the vernacular of the day. 
Deissmann, Bible Studies, p. 229, Light from Anc. East, 
pp. no f . ; M. and M., Vocabulary, p. 57. But the ordinary 
meaning ' I have right out,' ' I have to the full ' (Mt. vi. 
2, 5, 16 ; Lk. vi. 24) makes such excellent sense that it 
may reasonably be adopted. In any case airk')(m forms 
an antithesis to k-7n^r]T&, ' so far from wanting I have 
in full,' and we have repetition three words meaning 

odour of a sweet smell] A frequent expression in O.T., 
Gen. viii. 21 ; Exod. xxix. 18 ; Lev. i. 9 ; Ezek. xx. 41, 


etc. Cf. 2 Cor. ii. 15 .; Eph. v. 2. The quotation helps the 
transition from the business aspect of the transaction 
to the religious one. There is " no justification for compar- 
ing the Persian idea, that the blessed dead would live among 
pleasant odours " (Clemen, Primitive Christianity and 
its Non- Jewish Sources, p. 171). 

a sacrifice well-pleasing] As in Rom. xii. i ; Wisd. iv. 10. 
Cf. Heb. xiii. 16, and see Hort on i Pet. ii. 5. This does 
not mean that the gift had actually been offered at the 
altar. It means that it is the religious element in the gift 
that he specially values. Again we have repetition ; sweet 
smell, acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God. 

iv. 19, 20. Requital and Doxoiogy. 

" But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches 
in glory, by Christ Jesus. "" Now unto God and our Father be 
glory for ever and ever. Amen. 

The Apostle can do no more than thank them, but he is 
sure that God will requite them. 

19 You have pleased God by fully supplying all my needs, 
and God on my behalf will fully supply all your needs, according to 
the measure of the wealth which is His to bestow, not only here, but 
in the kingdom of glory, on those who are in Christ Jesus. 

^^ Now to Him who is God and Father to us all be the glory which 
is due to Him for ever and ever. Anien. 

19. God on my behalf] Such is the point of saying ' my 
God ' here, qui quod servo ejus datur remunerabitur (Bengel)^ 
Cf . i. 3 ; Rom. i. 8 ; Philem. 4. ' And ' (R.V.) not • but ' 
(A.V.) for Se. 

will fully supply] Fut. indie, not optat. as some Fathers 
read. IlXijpcoaei, ' will fill to the full,' as in v. 18. Cf. 
the futures in vv. 7 and 9. 

all your needs] Every kind of need, material and spiritual, 

according to the measure] ' On the scale of,' ' in accordance 
with.' Cf. Rom. xi. 33. 

in the Kingdom of glory] 'Ev So^y is added, lest any one 
should suppose that only earthly needs are meant, as 



Theodore supposes. Theodoret limits the meaning to 
rov enrovpdviov ttKovtov, and no doubt heavenly riches 
are specially meant ; but earthly benefits are not excluded. 
The thought of this superabundant bounty coming from 
God prompts an immediate doxology.* 

20. our God and father] The change from ' my God ' 
to ' our God ' is natural. He is no longer thinking of God 
acting on his behalf. Both here and Gal. i. 5 ' our ' belongs 
to both ' God, and ' Father,' and in both places he would 
wish to unite himself with his converts. See on i Thess. i. 3. 

the glory] In the doxologies ' glory ' commonly has the 
article, r) ho^a : Rom. xvi. 27 ; Gal. i. 5 ; Eph. iii. 21 ; 2 Tim. 
iv. 18 ; Heb. xiii. 21 ; i Pet. iv. 11 ,; 2 Pet. iii. 18. 

for ever and ever] Lit. ' unto ages of ages,' a form peculiar 
to N.T. and very frequent in the Apocal3rpse. Each ' age ' 
represents a long and indefinite period, and the whole 
indicates an incalculable vastness of duration. Papyri 
show how thoroughly Greek the prepositional combina- 
tions with almv are. M. and M., p. 16. 


'1 Salute every Saint in Christ Jesus : the brethren which are 
with me greet you. '' All the Saints salute you, chiefly they that are 
of Caesar's household. »' The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be 
with you all. Amen. 

St. Paul very probably added this conclusion with his 
own hand. See on 2 Thess. iii. 17. 

^^ Greet in Christ Jesus every Christian in Philippi. All the brethren 
who are my companions here send greetings to you. ^^ All the 
Christians in Rome send greetings to you, especially those who are 
come from the Imperial household. 

2' The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. 

21. Greet in Christ Jesus] This is probably the true 

* Bengel gives it a wider connexion : Doxologia fluit ex gattdio 
iotius epistolae. But cf. Rom. xi. 36 ; Gal. i. 5. 


connexion. See Robertson and Plummer on i Cor. xvi. 19, 
where ev Kvpim must be taken with aaTrd^erat, and cf. 
Rom. xvi. 22. But ' every saint in Christ Jesus ' may be 
right ; cf. Rom. xvi. 11, 12, 13. Papyri supply abundant 
evidence that d(nrd^oiJ,ai was the regular word for expressing 
greetings at the close of a letter. M. and M., p. 85. 

every Christian] Of whatever kind. See on i. i. We 
need not, with Theodore,, exclude nominal Christians. 
Even they have been consecrated. 

my companions here] The companions who visited him 
most frequently in his imprisonment, especially Timothy. 

22. All the Christians] Even those who are censured in 
ii. 20, 21. We must have either ' greet ' or ' salute ' in all 
three places ; not ' salute,' * greet,' " salute.' 

the Imperial household] The domus Caesaris or familia 
Caesaris, which would include every one from high officials 
down to slaves. Such persons might have the privilege 
of visiting those who were in prison, at any rate such as had 
appealed to Caesar. That Seneca was one of these is a 
baseless conjecture. As Phihppi was a Roman colony, 
with a number of veteran soldiers among its population, 
this greeting from Caesar's household would be much 
appreciated. In any case it is noteworthy that the Gospel 
in ilium scelerum omnium et flagitiorum abyssum penetravit 
(Calvin). There is little doubt that Christianity had 
entered the Imperial household before St. Paul reached 
Rome. There were many Jews among the lower officials 
in Nero's household, and it was perhaps among them that 
the Gospel made its first converts. See Lightfoot, Biblical 
Essays, pp. 321 f . ; Sanday and Headlam, Romans, pp. 
xviii. f. ; Ramsay, Paul the Traveller, p. 353 ; and the 
references in Renan, L'Antechrisi, pp. 11-13. 

23. The grace of the Lord] The common form of the 
Apostle's final Benediction, rfjv awndv evXoyiav (Theo- 
doret), which, however, varies somewhat in details. See on 
I Thess. iv. 28 and 2 Thess. iii. 18. The ordinary secular 
conclusion was ' Fare ye weU,' eppaxrOs, Acts xv. 29, or 
' Farewell,' eppwa-o. Cf. 3 Jn. 2. 


with your spirit] This is the true reading. A.V. follows 
inferior authorities, which have /lera •n-avToav for fiera tov 
TrvevfjMTo^. ' With your spirit ' occurs Gal. vi. 18 and 
Philem. 25 ; " with thy spirit ' 2 Tim. iv. 22. We might 
expect • with your spirits ' : but the generic singular is 
usual ; I Thess. v. 23 ; Rom. viii. 16 ; cf . Rom. vi. 12 ; 
I Cor. vi, 19. 

The 'Amen,' as usual, is an addition borrowed from 
the littirgies; but in Gal. vi. j8 and Jude 25 it may be 



Abbott, E. A., 34, 53, 58 
Advent, Second, 11, 16, 84, 86 
Alford, xxii, 100 
Alternations in the Epistle, xvii, 

xviii, 17, 33, 55 
Ambrosiaster, xxi, 68 
Amen, 108 

Antinomianism condemned, 76 
Aorist, Force of the, 19, 28, 45, 54, 

62, 77 
Epistolary, 60, 62, 100 
Sometimes = English perfect, 50, 

77> loi 
Apostle, I, 61 
Appian, vii 
Aristotle, 39, 93 
Article, Absence of the, 4, 54, 65, 72, 

Force of the, 12, 21, 23, 26, 29, 

31. 39, 48. 58, 61, 63, 68, 73, 

74. 75. 85, 106 
Attra:ction of the pronoun, 35 
Augustine, 12, 24, 52, 95, 97, 100 
AuQienticity of the Epistle, xi, xii 
A. v.. Defects in the, 8, 19, 23, 31, 

35. 39. 47. 52, 53. 57. 59. 61, 72. 

81, 84, 95, 97 

Bacon, B. W., xiii 

Barry, A., xxii, 35, 99 

Baur, F. C, xi 

Beet, J. A., xxii, 50, 65, 66, 97 

" Belly," Meaning of word, 83 

Benediction, Concluding, 107 

Bengel, xii, xxii, 9, 10, 13, 14, 24, 
25. 28, 30, 35, 45. 48, 51, 58, 
59, 61, 76, 88, 94, 105, 106 

Benjamin, Tribe of, 71 

Bernard, J. H., 42 

Beza, 4, 23, 25, 42, 53, 57, 61^ 62, 73, 

74 .. 
Blass, vu, 21, 29, 30, 52, 73, 75, 85, 


Bleek, xi, xii 

Bondservant, 2, 45 
Book of Life, 91 
Bossuet, 12, 13, 42, 52, 98 
Bourdaloue, 51, 52, 86 
Brethren, 19, 65, 78 
Briggs, C. A., 6, 42 
Bruce, A. B., xxiii 
Burrhus, xv 

Burton, E. de Witt, 15, 26, 30, 36, 
38, 60, 70, 75, 80 

Caesar's Household, xiv, 107 
Caesarea, Imprisonment at, xiii, 20, 

Calvin, xxi, 14, 21, 23, 29, 31, 53, 

57, 72, 80, 81, 86, 98, 102, 107 
Case, S. J., 6, 16, 48, 75 
Cassiodorus, 4 
Change of tense, 19, 28 
Characteristics of the Epistle, xvi- 

xviii, 9, 37, 65 
Charles, R. H., 5, 91 
Chiasmus, 23, 74 
Christ Jesus, 3, 11 
Christology, 6, 40-49 
Chrysostom, xxi, 23, 24, 37, 49, 57, 

62, 65, 69, 71, 90, 92, 100, 103 
Cicero, 47 
Circumcision, the true and the 

worthless, 69 
Clemen, xii, 96, 105 
Clement of Alexandria, 90 
Clement of Philippi, 91 
Clement of Rome, xii, 5, 30, 33, 79, 

Climax, 45, 71 

Coming, Second, 11, 16, 84, 86 
Commentaries, xxi 
Comparatives strengthened, 30 
Compounds, 26, 27, 46, 51, 64, 84 

Double, 76, 79, 84 

with ai¥, II 

with iitrif), 48 




Constructions, Amphibolous, 34, 62 

Doubtful, 9, 50, 58 
Cranmer, 69 
Cremer, 27, 97 
Cross, Emphasis by St. Paul on the, 

Crown of Victory, 86 
Cyril of Jerusalem, 102 

Date of the Epistle, xiv, 27, 31, 58 

Davies, T. L. O., 59 

Day of the Lord, n, 16, 54, 84, 86 

Deacons at Philippi, 4 

Deissmann, xiii, 2, 7, 12, 13, 30, 34, 
38, 41, 63, 104 

Devout heathen, viii 

De Wette, xii, xxiii, 9, 51 

Dictation of letters, St. Paul's, xvii, 
37, 58, 106 

Divination, viii 

" Dogs " as a term of abuse, 68, 69 

Dollinger. 68 

Duration of the Apostle's imprison- 
ment, xiv 

Duumvirs at PhiUppi, ix, 36 

ElUcott, xxii, 4, 58, 66, 89 

Ellipses frequent in the Pauline 
Epistles, 29, 33, 79, 80 

Envy and strife in rehgion, 23 

Epaphroditus, xv, xvi, 60-64 

Ephesus, Conjectured imprison- 
ment at, xiii, xiv 

Erasmus, xxi, 24 

Eschatology, 11, 16, 30, 93 

Euodia, 88 

Evans, T. S., 14, 42 

Ewald, P., xi, xii, 24, 34, 49, 83 

Example, St. Paul as an, 81, 98 

Faith personified, 34 
Farrar, F. W., 73, 79, 92 
Fear and trembling, 51 
Fellowship, 9, 37, 75 
Field, F., 53 
First person singular; 2, 8 

Gardner, P., 10, 26 
God, Our or My, 8 
" God-fearers," viii 
Gospel, 53 
Gould, Baring, 90 
Grace, 12 

Grace and Peace, 5 
Gregory of Nazianzus, 45 
Gregory of Nyssa, 10, 79 

Gregory, C. R., xii 
Gwynn, xxii, gi 

Harnack, xii, 19, 35 

Hatch, E., 34, 52 

Headlam, 19, 26, 41 

Hebrew of Hebrews, 71 

Holsten, xi 

Holtzmann, xii 

Holy Spirit, 26, 34, 37, 69 

Hoole, C. H., 2, 61 

Hope and confidence, 56-59 

Horace, 61, 63, 69 

Hort, vii, 6, 17, 18, 33, 48, 50, 53, 

67. 75. 85, 97. 102. 105 

Humility a specially Christian vir- 
tue, 9, 27, 39 

Hyacinthe, P6re (Loyson), 83 

Hymns, x, 41, 83 

Hyperbole, 21, 58 

Ignatius, x, xii, 38 
Imperfect, Periphrastic, 61 
Infinitive, Imperatival, 80 
Integrity of the Epistle, xii, 67 
Intercession, 26 
Interpolations, 30, 63, 80 
Israel, Import of the name, 71 

Jerome, 27, 83 

Jews and Gentiles at Philippi, vii 

Jones, Maurice, xxii, 9, 14, 66 

Josephus, 27, 57 

Joy, the dominant note of the 

Epistle, 9, 25, 31, 37, 63, 65, 91, 

Judaizers, 66, 82 
Jiilicher, xi, xii, 67, 68 

Kennedy, H. H. A., xxii, 17, 24, 34 
Klopper, xii 
Knee, Bowing the, 48 
Knowling, R. J., xii, 78, 96 

Lake, K., xiii 

Letter from the Philippians pos- 
sible, xv, 17 

Lewin, xv 

Life, Book of, 91 

Lightfoot, xi, 5, 14, 20, 42, 44, 46, 
66, 75, loi, 107 

" Lord," of Christ, 6, 49, 57, 63- 
65. 73. 84, 88, 93, 100, 107 

Lueken, xii, 66 

Luther, 84, 97 

Lydia, viii, x, 90 

Macedonia, v 



Macedonians, St. Paul's affection for 

the, xix 
Magistrates at Philippi, ix 
Massillon, 12, 41, 45 
Metaphors, Athletic, 34, 35, 36, 54, 


Commercial, 72, 74, 78, 103 

Military, 19, 30, 61 
Meyer, xxii, 24, 50, 66, 88, 99 
Milligan, 17 
Milton, 44 

MofEatt, xii, xxii, xxiii, 41, 66, 70 
Mommsen, 20 
Monod, A., 30 

Moule, xxii, 10, 21, 30, 34, 75 
Moulton, 36, 37, 70, 75 
Moulton and Milligan, xxiii, 5, 12, 

16, 18, etc. 
Mystery-reUgions, 16, 102 

Neapolis, v 

Nearness of the Advent, 93 
Nero, XV, 24, 61 
Newman, J. H., 15, 82 

Occasion and Object of the Epistle, 


Oecumenius, xxi, 71 

O.T., Echoes of the, 25, 49, 53 

Origen, 90 

Palestine tlelief Fund, xx 

Paley, 103 

Papyri, ix, 7, 16, 18, 32, 59, 79, 103, 

104, 106 
Parabolani, 63 
Paradox, 22, 28, 36 
Partisanship condemned, 23 
Parousia, 32 
Paul, St., bracketed with Timothy, 2 

Afiection for his converts, xvii, 3, 
13. 38, 50. 86 

Indignation against Judaizers, 

Sensitiveness, 18, 68 

Sympathy, xvi, 62 

Tactfulness, 99 

View of the Second Advent, 11, 

Peace, 3, 94, 98 
Pelagius, xxi, 5, 24, 43, 58, 65, 68, 

Perdition, 35 
Perfect tense, 16, 72 
Persecution, 35, 36, 72 
Meiderer, xxi, ig, 51, 75, 79 

Philippi, vi, 34, 36, 47 

Three sites of, vii 

Why chosen as a starting-point, 
PhUo, 38 
Plato, X, 83 
Plautus, 30 

Playing on words, 31, 78, 83, 89 
Polybius, 38 
Polycarp, x, xii 
Poppaea, xv 
Praetorium, xiv, 19 
Praise. 17 
Prayer, 13, 94 
Preposition, liepetition of, 11, 13, 

Presbyters, 5 
Present tense. Force of the, 24, 28, 

34, 63. 73 
Prize, 43, 79 
PuUan, 43 

Punctuation, Question of, 25, 38 
Pusey, 68 

Quotations from poets, 66 

Rackham, ix 

Ramsay, 20, 41 

Readings, Various, vii, viii, 11, 24, 

25. 30. 35. 52, 6i, 63, 69, 80 
Reiteration in teaching, 65, 82 
Renan, xii, 2, 6, 20, 25, 88, 90, 99, 

Repetition frequent in the Epistle, 

9, 38. 39. 72. 73. 102, 104, 105 
Resurrections, Theory of two, 76 
Robertson, A., 64, 70, 107 
Robertson, A. T., xxiii, 19, 57, 73, 

78, 103 
Robinson, J. A., 5 
Rome, the place 'from which St. 

Paul wrote, xiii, 20, 32, 59 
Ropes, J. R., 87 
Rostron, 13, 41 
R.V., Defects in the, 30, 70, 72, 97 

Sabatier; xU, 40, 42, 72 

Saints, 3 

Salutations, i, 106 

Salvation, 26, 35 

Sanday, xxiii, 44 

Sanday and Headlam, 4, 5, 19, 75, 

100, 107 
Schafi, P., xi 
Schurer, xi, xii 
Scrivener, 37 
Seneca, 29, 31, 81, 83, loi 



Simeox, W., 4, 6, 37, 74, loi 

Spirit, 34 

Spirit, Holy, 26, 34, 37, 69 

Suicer, g, 13, 27, 30, 39, 63 

Supplication, 9 

Swete, xxi, 53, 70, 76, 91 

Syntyche, 88 

^oizygus, 89 

Tacitus, 61 

Testaments of the XII Patriarchs, 

Testing, 74 

Thackeray, H. St. J., 3, 30, 74 
Thanksgivings in letters, 7 
Theodore of Mopsuestia, xxi, 4, 5, 

10, 25, 27, 42, 43, 65, 68, 88, 

104, 106 
Theodoret, 15, 24, 61, 65, 69, 73, 106 
Theophylact, 4, 71 
Tigellinus, xv 
Timothy, 2, 56, 59 
Tindale, 28 

Transposition of verses, 23 
Trench, 4^, 52, 53, 87, 89, 93 
Turner, C. H., xxi 

Unity needed at Philippi, 34, 37, 40, 

Van Manen, xvii 

Vaughan, C. J., xxii, 24, 66 

Via Egnatia, vii 

Vincent, M. R., xxi, 4, 48, 65 

Virgil, 93 

Virtue, 97 

Von Soden, xxiii, 40, 41, 67, 96, 99 

Vulgate, 8, 15, 19, 24, 44, 47, 50, 

51. 52. 53. 58. 62, 65, 92, 100 
Defects in, 12. 25, 30, 53, 55, 63, 

66, 70, 73, 82, 84, 94 

Way, A. S., xxii, 4, 13, 41, 83 

Weinel, 14, 64, 92 

Weiss, B., xii, xxii, 21, 48, 79 

Weiss, J., 47, loi 

Westcott, B. F., 43, 44, 45, 53, 70. 

77. 98, 103 
Westcott, F. B., 36, 46, 84 
Wetstein, 31, 91 
Wette, De, xii, xxiii, 9, 51 
Weymouth, xxii, 4, 13, 95 
Wiclif, 13, 49, 58, 69 
Wieseler, 19, 90 

Winer, 19, 29, 54, 60, 70, 73, loi 
Women converts, viii 
Wright, Aldis, 59 

Zahn, XX, xxiii, 12,165, 88, 103 


iydrif, 14 
iyios, 4 
ayvwt, 24 
d7i4i', 36 

iSeTupis, I9i 65, 78 
idTinoycip, 62 


alpeurOcu, 29 
alaOijais, I4, 15 
afTii/ia, 94 
aliiy, 106 
dxai/ieurdat, lOI 
dx^/xnos, 52 
iXKd, 54, 73 
dXXa, KcU, 25 
draddXAeti', lOO 
dvaXiied', 30 
iparXripoOp, 64 
di'da'Tiuru, 76 
iva, 79 
al'wi, 33 

da-eKTeiyA/tepos, 79 
artxi^iv, 104 
dTo^ai'CU', ri, 28 
ivoxapadoKia^ 26 
droXoY^a, 12, 23 
aTbffToKoi, 6t 
operi), 97 
ipraynds, 43 
a^dpn;;, loi 
aird, rd, XV, 65 
ofiTi, t4, 38 
airi toOto, IO 
iiplSu, 59 

fiePauiiris, 12 
p\ir€Tf, 68 
Ppa^eiov, 79 
^oiXo/uu, 18 

7dp, 12, 51,69, lOl 
ylyeaOai, 42, 46, 52 
ytpdrKCiy, 53, 74, 93 
7i')i<rios, 89 
TKijcriwi, 57 
yrupij^ii), 29 

a^, 58, 105 
diria-a, 9 
a(aXoYt(r/i6s,' 52 
iia^ipovTa, rd, 15 
«'«, 47 

SuiKeu>, 78, 79 
SoKci, 70 
doKifid^eip, 15 
SoK(/i^, 58 
S6|a, 85, 105, 106 
SoSXos, 3, 45 
Si}o, ^K TO)', 29 

^avruK, 51) 58 
^16, 70, 78, lOI 
el KcU, 54 
cr x«i, 75 
elkiKpiv^s, 16 
<ip^'"7i S 
«'s. 9. 16. S4i 59 
^(t, 29 
^KadTot, 39 
Air^fu, 57 
f", II, 13 
^y Kvplif, 21 
^y Xpiirr^, 26 
«>-, 78 
ic, t6,38 
^vapld/ievoi, 0, 10 
?»««fis, 35 
ivSvyo/ioVv, 102 
epipytia, 85 
ivepyeTr, 52 
ivTifios, 63 
^|avdcrra<r», 76 

4o>^J, 59 
^|o/u)Xo7E(a'0at, 49 

^T^w. S3 
^xfYfuirii, 14 
ivieixis, t6, 93 
^a-tJijTU, 104 
i-nfilveir, 31 
iviroBeir, 12, 61 
eirnr66i}Tot, 86 
Vfiricoros, 4 




eiriTeXeJi', lO 

fpyov, rb, 63 
i/kteela, 23 
ipu, 93 
iptoTu, 89 
iripat, 80 
fr( AuiXXov, 14 
ebSoKla, 23 
EAoStav, 88 
eipeSels, 46 
eS^nj/ios, 97 
ti>Vl'wxet>', 57 
e^' 4;, 78, lOI 

fij/tfo, 72 
if*, TO, 28 

^oS/uu, 78 

IjSri, 100 

^ju^/)a XpuTToO, 16 

e66s, 43 
Bep&irav, 3 
0X(^u, 24 

r»o, i4>,is. 38 

r^a Qeif, 43 
to-6i^o!, 57 

Ka0i&s, II 

Koi, 39. 47. 70. 91. 94. 97. 

Ka2 7(i/], 62 

KapSia, II 

icard, 19 

kototyAXm;., 23 

Karakaupdyeiv, 78 

KaTayTyi', 75 

Kararo/ti}, 69 

KaTepryij;ea$cu, 5 1 

Kaixniia, 31 

Kei/iat, 23 

iceroSolfa, 38 

K^ov, e<s, 54 

Kefovr, 44 

*t^/i>Si7, 72 

Kiipiiraea', 23 

icX^o-jt, 79 

KoiMa, 83 

KOiyciU'eii', 37 

Koirayla, 9, 37 

JCOJTtJv, 54 

Kpturami, 30 
(nives, 68 
Kipioi, oi, ix 

Xa/ijarffCTi., 45, 77 
Xeirou/)ylo, 55, 64 

Xeiroii/ii76s, 61 
XoytfeffdcM, 78, 97 
Xiyos, 103, 104 
\ofr6v, TO, 64, 65. 

liaWov, 14, 30 
jueYoXiJi'W, 27 
I/Leni7)iuu, 102 
^eir, 31 
lupinrq.*, 93 
/terd, 30 

lt,era<rxVf"''''ii'f"'i 84 
/"?SA., 38 
mA'oi., 33, 36 

ral, 89 
foi^iuara, 95 
y6iios, 70 

o7Sa, 31 
olKTtpiiol, 37 
oU/ievoi, 24 
ofos, 36 
inrijplK, 66 
ofioluiiia, 46 
dvifutTi, viii 

«o-"s. 3S. 57. 72, 90 
otrrus, 87 
oi)x *", loi 

«■»«, 3) SS 
T(iXu>, 62 
rdvTa, t4, 73, 85 
Trdyres, oi, 58 
Toi-Tf, er, 94, lOI 
vdvTOTC, 9, 92 
xopaj3oXci;«reo«, 63 
rapoKoXeZi', 87 
iropii/cXij(7«, 37 
rapaSa/ipdvea, 98 
irapanimw, 31 
vapa/iiSiov, 37 
rapa^Xi^trioir, 62 
ira/tcuiria, 32 
rappr/irla, 26 

TivoiBa, 10, 21, 31, 57, 70 
Tep(, r4, 34, 58, 59 
B-epHToreji', 84 
xepuraeiew, 14, 31, 102 
9-E/»ra/ii}, 69 
riirret!cty, ei;, 36 
xtcTTts, 31, 74 
vXefoyes, 0!, 21 
■ir\fiv, 102 
irXiypoCi', 16, 38 
TveS/ta, 34, 108 
«-oXiTeiic(r0a(, 33 
weUTev/M, 33, 83 



ToXX^ /iaXXoK, 30, 51 
vori, ^Sij, 100 
rpeff^irepos, 5 
xpoffS^eo-ffai, 63 
vpoaeiixij, viii 
n-/io<r0tXi}t, 97 
vpotpiaei, 25 
vTipo/iat, 35 

o-dpf, 70 
ireiaibs, 96 
(ric67ros, 79 
VKipaKov, 73 
arirpavoi, 86 
ffviinop^i^/ievos, 75' 
(rifi/iopipos, 84 
trwepyla, 61 
(Twi-xptmi, II, 29 
airj^e, 89 
avykaiip&yev, 90 
Sui'7T)x''7''i 88 

ri icar' ^/»^, 19 
ra ir«p£, 34, 58, 59 
TOireu'oSv, 47 
Taireuiixppocini, 39 
raxius, 59 

T^icxa eeoS, 52 
Tii'es, 22 
"t, 37 
ti)tos, 81 

inrc£px«''t 33. 42. 84 
*T^Pi 36 
iirepv<f/oOp, 48 
iarepetcrBai, 102 
iaripTicrit, 102 

•(■aiveaBat, S3 
ipipos xal Tp6/u>s, 51 
^paveri., II, 38, 41, lOl 
ippovpelv, 94 
^ffTijpes, 53 

Xofpw, 65, 92 

Xopa. 63 
Xopts, S, 12 
X(>pTa^(rda(, 102 

lis, 58 

(So-Tt, 50, 85, 86 

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