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Westminster Commentaries 
Edited by Walter Lock D.D. 














First Published in igiS 


ryiHE primary object of these Commentaries is to be exe- 
-*~ getical, to interpret tlie meaning of each book of the 
Bible in the light of modern knowledge to English readers. 
The Editors will not deal, except subordinately, with questions 
of textual criticism or philology ; but taking the English text 
in the Revised Version as their basis, they will aim at com- 
bining a hearty acceptance of critical principles with loyalty to 
the Catholic Faith. 

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for Schools, less critical than the International Critical Com- 
mentary, less didactic than the Expositor's Bible; and it is 
lioped that it may be of use both to theological students and to 
the clergy, as well as to the growing number of educated laymen 
and laywomen who wish to read the Bible intelligently and 

Each commentary will therefore have 

(i) An Introduction stating the bearing of modern criticism 
and research upon the historical character of the book, and 
drawing out the contribution which the book, as a whole, makes 
to the body of religious truth. 

(ii) A careful paraphrase of the text with notes on the 
more difficult passages and, if need be, excursuses on any 
points of special importance either for doctrine, or ecclesiastical 
organization, or spiritual life. 


But the books of the Bible are so varied in character that 
considerable latitude is needed, as to the proportion which the 
various parts should hold to each other. The General Editor 
will therefore only endeavour to secure a general uniformity in 
scope and character: but the exact method adopted in each 
case and the final responsibility for the statements made will 
rest with the individual contributors. 

By permission of the Delegates of the Oxford University 
Press and of the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press 
the Text used in this Series of Commentaries is the Revised 
Version of the Holy Scriptures. 



r I iHIS Commentary is throughout the product of the War 
-*- period and every line of it was written under the 
shadow of the deplorable calamity that has overcome this 
world of ours. It is possible that some traces of the con- 
ditions under which it was written may be discernible in 
the book itself, for the author found in the Epistle to the 
Philippians a never-failing source of comfort and encour- 
agement in many a dark day and a beacon of hope in times 
of stress and storm whose light was ever shining. I can 
imagine no more effective mental or spiritual tonic and no 
more powerful incitement to patience, courage, and joy, 
however gloomy and depressing the outlook may be, than 
the study of this letter, with its vivid picture of the char- 
acteristic cheerfulness and unquenchable joy of the great 
Apostle, though a violent death might be looming in the 
near future and life, at best, had little to offer him but 
labour and sorrow. Its many inspiring, consoling, and up- 
lifting passages, as e.g. ii. 17, 18, "Yea, and if I am offered 
upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice 
with you all: and in the same manner do ye also joy, and 
rejoice with me", come ringing across the gulf of the ages 
with an appeal and pathos that time has not in the least 

It is this particular aspect of the Epistle, as revealing 
St Paul's consistent patience amid grievous trials, his 
J. h 


amazing buoyancy of spirit in days of darkness and uncer- 
tainty, his unfailing trust in the love of God in Christ Jesus, 
and the serenity and joy which no present misfortune and 
no evil to come can dim, that I have attempted mainly to 
bring out in the present volume, and if the study of the 
Commentary serves to bring to a few readers the unceasing 
comfort which the writing of it brought to me I shall feel 
that I have received ample reward for my labour. 

The somewhat disproportionate length of the Introduction 
may possibly require an explanation. This feature in the 
Commentary is largely due to the fact that advanced criti- 
cism within recent years has confined its attention mainly to 
two points in connection with our Epistle, viz. its integrity, 
and its place of origin; and as neither of these subjects had 
been adequately discussed in any previous Commentary on 
the Epistle it became necessary to deal with both at con- 
siderable length in the present work. 

I desire to tender my most sincere gratitude to the 
General Editor of the series. Dr Lock's wise counsel and 
ripe judgment were generously placed at my disposal at 
every stage of composition, and whatever merits the Com- 
mentary may possess are very substantially due to his 
valuable help and co-operation. 

M. J. 

Holy Gross Day, 1917. 


Introduction : 







Philippi ... . . 

St Paul at Philippi 

Where was the Epistle written ? . 

Was the Epistle written early or late in the 

Roman imprisonment ? . . . . 
The authenticity and integrity of the Epistle 
The occasion and purpose of the Epistle . 
The historical value of the Epistle 

1. St Paul at Rome 

2. The Church of Philippi . 
The characteristics of the Epistle 
St Paul in the Epistle . 
The doctrine of the Epistle . 

1. The Christology . 

2. The Eschatology. 

3. The doctrine of justification 
The Church in the Epistle . 

1. The Church as the "New Israel" 

2. The Christian Ministry 
Analysis of the Epistle . 

Text and Commentary 
Index .... 


XV i 






















I. Philippi. 

The name of Philippi will always arouse the interest and enlist 
the sympathy of every European Christian as being that of the city 
in which organised Christianity in the person of its greatest re- 
presentative first secured a footing in his own continent. The 
pre-Christian history of the city is as important as it is interesting, 
seeing that it was closely connected with the birth of two world-wide 
Empires. Its name it owed to Philip of Macedon, the father of 
Alexander the Great who founded the Greek Empire of the East, 
extended the Greek power as far as India, and originated the move- 
ment which spread widely through Asia the matchless language and 
culture of Greece. Its greatest political privilege, that of being 
a Roman colony, it derived from the fact that it by chance became 
the scene of the decisive victories of the triumvirate, Octavian, 
Antony, and Lepidus, over the murderers of Julius Caesar, an event 
which had no small influence upon the subsequent fortunes of 
Octavian in that it formed the first step of the ladder which ulti- 
mately led to his elevation as the first Emperor of Rome under the 
title of Augustus. It was destined, however, to attain to still greater 
honour and to become associated with a still greater Name, " the 
Name which is above every name ", and to mark an important stage 
in the onward march of an Empire of which the Empires of Alexander 
and Augustus were but pale shadows, an Empire whose crowning 
point was to be attained only when ' ' all the kingdoms of this world 
became the kingdoms of the Lord ", 

Philippi as a Greek City. 

The spot whereon Philippi stood was of importance from very 
early days owing to the fertility of its surroundings and the rich 
mineral deposits found in its neighbourhood. Its ancient name 


"Krenides" (from Kpyjyr}, a si)riiig) is reminiscent of the first feature, 
and close at hand were the gold mines of Mount Pangaeus, the "Rand" 
of the ancient world. Philip of Macedon at the outset of his career 
of conquest had noted the value of the site and had lost no time in 
making it his own. It was admirably adapted for defensive purposes, 
and a fortress was soon built to keep in check the inhabitants of 
Thrace which Philip now added to his dominions. Its rich output 
of gold, amounting it is said to ten thousand talents yearly, provided 
him with a revenue for the equipment of the sea and land forces 
which he required for the extension of his dominion. The citadel 
built by him stood on the height commanding the main road leading 
from West to East, and its ruins are still in evidence. The Empire 
founded by the King of Macedon and immeasurably extended by his 
more renowned son, Alexander, was comparatively short-lived and 
in its entirety did not survive the death of the latter, but it left an 
indelible mark upon the character of the Macedonian people which 
is still discernible in the Christians of Macedonia as we find them 
represented in St Paul's Epistles to the Macedonian Churches. The 
subjects of Philip and Alexander were a simple, hardy, and proud 
race and of tougher fibre than the more renowned inhabitants of 
Southern Greece. It was the Macedonian and not the Athenian who 
made Greek civilisation world-wide and it was the Macedonians who 
longest withstood the attacks of the rising power of Rome. A state- 
ment of Mommsen's is worth quoting in this connection, "In 
stedfast resistance to the public enemy under whatever name, in 
unshaken fidelity towards their native country and their hereditary 
g(jvernment, and in persevering courage amidst the severest trials, 
no nation in ancient history bears so close a resemblance to the 
Roman people as the Macedonians" (Hist. Bom. ii. p. 201, 
Everyman Ed.). That these qualities had not disappeared with the 
loss of their independence is seen from the Acts of the Apostles and 
St Paul's Epistles. Here again we find a people remarkable for its ad- 
herence to the past and its keen jealousy of innovations, and equally 
distinguished by its affectionateness and fidelity when once its 
confidence has been gained. The Macedonians of the Pauline 
Churches are still generous, proud, independent, zealous, and active 
and, in consequence, prone to factiousness, while their women preserve 
that position of honour and right of initiative which in the days long 
gone by had helped to make Macedonia a power in the world. It 
took three great wars before the Roman arms finally prevailed over 


them and it was not until the year 168 B.C. that Macedonian inde- 
pendence and its rule over Greece were destroyed at the decisive 
battle of Pydna. The Macedonian monarchy ceased to exist 144 
years after the death of Alexander and the territory was divided into 
the four districts of Amphipolis, Thessalonica, Pella, and Pelagonia, 
but this arrangement was modified owing to the outbreak of another 
Macedonian war in 149 B.C., when the Roman power finally prevailed 
over the whole of Greece. In 146 B.C. Macedonia and Epirus were 
formed into the Roman Province of Macedonia with Thessalonica 
as its capital, while the remainder of Greece became the Province of 
Achaia with Corinth, which had been sacked and burnt a short time 
before but now rose anew out of its ashes, as the seat of the Roman 

Philippi under the Romans. 

Philippi first came into prominence as a city of the Empire as the 
result of the decisive battles which were fought in its vicinity in 
42 B.C. To mark the importance of that event it was formed into 
a Roman colony in that year with the title of "Colonia Julia Victrix 
Philippensis ", and the coinage of the period upon which the phrase 
"cohors praet. Phil" is found seems to suggest that its first citizens 
consisted of veterans belonging to the body-guard of the victors in 
that fight. Eleven years afterwards when Antony had been finally 
defeated at Actium there was a second influx of Romans into the 
city in the persons of the soldiers of Antony who were banished from 
Italy and transplanted into Philippi. To celebrate Octavian's second 
victory Philippi now received an additional title " Colonia Augusta 
Julia Philippensis" and the privilege of the "jus Italicum" was 
conferred upon its Roman citizens. This meant that the colonists 
were exempt from the oversight of the provincial Governor, that they 
were not subject to poll and property tax, and that their rights to 
property in the soil were regulated by Roman law. 

Our knowledge of the condition of Philippi as a Roman colony 
is derived mainly from inscriptions which have been discovered in 
the vicinity, of which about a hundred survive. Their value consists 
chiefly in the light which they throw upon the religious life of the 
city, and the most interesting of them all is a list of 69 names of the 
members of a guild, which was probably a burial club, associated 
with the cult of Silvanus, an ancient Italian god, in whose honour 
they had built a temple. The last name on the list is Valerius 


Clemens, which reminds us that among the Philippian Christians 
mentioned by St Paul in our Epistle is "Clement", one of his fellow- 
workers, a point of interest as showing that the name was a familiar 
one in Phiiippi. In the matter of its religious life, however, Piiilippi, 
like most Roman cities of the period, and more especially Rome itself, 
was extremely cosmopolitan and provided a home for a wide variety 
of religious systems. Deities of such diverse characters as Diana and 
Minerva, the Thracian Dionysus, who in the neighbouring Mount 
Pangaeus had the most famous of his sanctuaries, the Phrygian god 
Men, whose worship had close affinities with the Thracian cult, and 
the worship of the Roman Emperor, all had their votaries in the city, 
and the inscriptions bear witness to the activity of all these religious 

The ruins still in existence show that the city in Roman days 
was divided into two parts, a higher and a lower city, by the great 
Imperial road, the Via Egnatia, which passed through it. In the 
former were the citadel originally built by Philip of Macedon and the 
temple of Silvanus mentioned above, while in the lower city were 
situated the Greek theatre, rebuilt by the Romans, which stood at 
the right hand of the gate by which the Egnatian road enters from 
the East, the market-place, the forum, as well as a small square in 
which stood the courts of justice. At the foot of the hill upon 
which the citadel was placed there may still be seen the remains of 
four massive columns, marking perhaps the site of the forum, or, as 
some scholars think, that of great Roman baths. In its political and 
social aspects as well as in its religious life Phiiippi was a miniature 
Rome, and of all its privileges and possessions it prized most the fact 
that it was a Roman city. This point is brought out very clearly 
in the narrative of St Paul's first visit to Phiiippi in Acts xvi. 

It was ruled by duumviri who delighted to ape the dignity of 
their Roman prototypes and to call themselves "praetors" and their 
attendants "licturs", and the crowning offence of St Paul and his 
companions was that "they set forth customs which it is not lawful 
for us (Philippians) to observe being Romans". Its strategical im- 
portance, which had attracted the attention of Philip centuries before, 
was further developed by the Romans. It was situated on the main 
artery, the Via Egnatia, which connected Rome with the distant 
provinces of the East and stood where the Balkan range descended 
into a pass, the only possible outlet for a great highway in the 


district. At a distance of eight miles only was the harbour of 
Neapolis which afforded the only spacious and safe anchorage on 
that coast. These two factors offered excellent facilities for the 
purposes of trade, and it became consequently the centre of a large 
commercial traflfic. A characteristic illustration of this is found in 
the narrative in the Acts where the mention of Lydia and her calling 
shows that it had considerable interests in the dyeing industry whose 
centre was at Thyatira. 

The precise political position of Philippi at this time has been 
the subject of much discussion. St Luke in Acts xvi. 12 describes 
it as "a city of Macedonia, the first of the district, a Roman colony". 
The exact meaning of "the first city of the district" is very un- 
certain. If the reading is correct, and this is a matter on which 
doubt has been thrown (cf. Westcott and Hort, Vol. ii. Note on 
Acts xvi. 12), we seem to have to choose between two solutions, one 
of which is offered by Ramsay and the other by Marquardt, the 
great historian of the Roman constitution. 

Sir W. Ramsay (St Paul the Traveller, p. 206) is of opinion that 
the description emanates from St Luke's patriotism and pride in 
a city in which he evidently took no small interest and of which he 
was probably a native. In his love for Philippi he exaggerated to 
some extent the position of the city and sought to vindicate its 
position as against Amphipolis, its neighbouring rival. The phrase 
represents perhaps the position to which Philippi aspired rather than 
the one it actually attained, although its aspirations were to be 
realised at no very distant date. Marquardt {Rom. Staatsverfassung, 
I. 188) regards the expression "first" as referring solely to the 
precedence in the festival associated with the national games. For 
the purpose of the festival cities were graded as of first, second, third, 
or fourth rank, and St Luke is here thinking of the proud position 
of Philippi as a city of the "first" grade. 

It is simpler perhaps to explain the phrase as being due to St Luke's 
not unnatural pride in a city which he regarded as his own, either by 
birth or adoption, which led him to claim for it a position which it 
demanded for itself but was not accorded to it by general consent. 
The description at any rate illustrates his attachment to Philippi and 
his anxiety to vindicate its honour. He would tell us that it was 
a city of a great land, Macedonia, and above all that it was a Roman 
colony. It is significant that, although several cities are mentioned 
in the course of his narrative of St Paul's travels which were Roman 


colonies, Philippi is the only instance where this privilege is definitely 

One more feature remains to be noted before we close our sketch 
of Philippi and its life : there were apparently only a few Jews 
resident in it. In the narrative in Acts xvi. we are reminded that 
the Jews of Philippi were not numerous enough to possess a syna- 
gogue of their own and no strictly Jewish converts are mentioned. 
This accords with the general tone of our Epistle, which seems to 
imply that there was no strong Jewish influence in the Philippian 
Church or in Philippian circles outside of it. This peculiarity can 
hardly have been due to the fact that Philippi was not large enough 
to attract Jews and is probably to be explained by the keen desire 
of the Roman colony to imitate the example of Rome in its hostility 
towards Jews as in other matters. Rome had recently banislied the 
Jews from its borders and the Philippians may have manifested 
a similar tendency. A hint of the prevalent state of feeling is 
perhaps given in Acts xvi. 21, "These men, being Jews, do exceed- 
ingly trouble our city ". 

TI. St Paul at Philippi. 

There is no stage in the history of the extension of the Church 
of Christ in the Empire as related in the Acts which is described 
with more solemnity of language and wealth of detail than that which 
witnessed the arrival of the Pauline Gospel on European soil. The 
entrance of St Paul into Macedonia shares with his arrival in Rome 
the privilege of being, in St Luke's mind, the most important step 
in the Apostle's missionary life, " the one the opening campaign of 
the Gospel in the West, the other its crowning triumph " (Lightfoot, 
Biblical Essays, p. 237). It is impossible to read the narrative in 
Acts xvi. 6-11 without realising the transcendent meaning of the 
movement into Greece for both St Paul and the writer, St Luke. 
We are shown how at every crisis the Apostle's steps are guided by 
the Spirit of God. It is the "Holy Spirit" that forbids him "to 
speak the word in Asia": it is "the Spirit of Jesus" that " suffered 
him not to go into Bithynia " : it is a vision from God that invites 
him " to come over to Macedonia " : and it is the conviction that 
"God had called him to preach the Gospel to the Macedonians" 
that finally determined his plans. Various reasons have been sug- 
gested to account for the remarkable emphasis placed in the narrative 


upon the successive stages which led the Apostle to decide to cross 
the Aegean. It has been well pointed out by Ramsay {St Paul the 
Traveller, pp. 198-200) that it was not the geographical factor that 
was at the root of it ; that historians at that time did not think in 
continents as we do to-day, and that there was no real distinction 
between the lands on either side of the Aegean. Greece and Asia 
Minor were only two divisions of the Roman Empire, closely con- 
nected by ties of common language and culture, and the line of 
distinction was not between European and Asiatic provinces but be- 
tween the Greek provinces of the East and the Latin provinces of the 
West. Ramsay attributes St Luke's supreme interest in this action 
of St Paul to the fact that he was a resident of Philippi and prob- 
ably the Macedonian of the vision at Troas. He also suggests that 
St Paul's determination to abandon Asia Minor for the time and 
to extend his mission across the Aegean was largely due to the 
influence of St Luke. That St Luke was intensely interested in 
this particular movement and that he regarded Macedonia and all 
that concerned it with special affection, lie on the surface of his 
narrative, but I should hesitate to follow Ramsay all the way and 
I doubt whether St Luke's connection with Philippi was as close and 
as definite as he makes it out to be. Tradition is strongly against his 
suggestion and the markedly Greek characteristics of St Luke, which 
are specially emphasised by Ramsay himself, would seem to connect 
him with another city than Philippi which was Macedonian and 
Roman rather than Greek. The narrative in the Acts imphes that 
he had at that time no residence in Philippi, seeing that St Paul 
and his companions had to take up their abode with Lydia. His 
manifest interest in Philippi and his affection for it can be satis- 
factorily explained by the consideration that he was closely connected 
with the founding of the Church there and that he remained in the 
city for some considerable time after the Apostle's departure, taking 
perhaps no small part in the subsequent development of the young 
Christian community. The affectionate disposition of the Church 
towards St Paul would be extended to his companion and physician 
and would have precisely the same effect in the two cases : it would 
bind them closely to the Philippian converts and would serve to 
register in their minds the founding of the Church of Philippi as an 
event never to be forgotten. 

The appeal of Macedonia to both St Paul and St Luke may also 
be partially explained by the close connection between that country 


and the Hellenistic cities of Asia Minor to which the Apostle certainly 
and the Evangelist probably belonged. It was the conquests of 
Alexander of Macedon that had been the main agent of the diffusion 
of Greek life, culture, and institutions in the East, and in the mind 
of the historian there may have been present the idea that the debt 
was now to be repaid and that " the tide which flowed West to 
East was now to roll back by the same channel, laden with a nobler 
treasure by which Asia more than discharged the obligation of 
Europe " (Lightfoot, Biblical Essays, p. 240). 

To the present writer, however, the vividness and emphasis of 
St Luke's narrative seem to be mainly due to the historian's con- 
sciousness that the crossing of the Aegean and the mission to 
Macedonia formed the first definite steps on the road to Rome, and 
if this be the case the narrative falls into line with what is the 
governing motive of the Acts as a whole, viz. to describe the progress 
of the Gospel from Jerusalem to the Imperial city. The record of 
St Paul's missionary activity in the Acts up to this point seems 
to imply that the Apostle had as yet no wider view of his mission 
than the evangelising of the great centres of life in Asia Minor and 
that Rome as the ultimate aim and climax of his work was still 
below the horizon. The whole of the passage, Acts xvi. 6-11, with 
its account of the repeated attempts to visit one district after another 
in Asia Minor, every one of which was nullified by the intervention 
of the Spirit of God, is St Luke's way of showing how the conviction 
that Rome was to be the Apostle's true destination arose in his mind 
and of enabling us to realise how he himself regarded the mission 
to Macedonia as the decisive event in the movement which was 
eventually to bring St Paul to the Imperial capital. The historian 
is writing years after the event, and he reflects upon it in the light 
of later experiences which had taught him the full meaning of the 
coming of St Paul to Rome. Something of the vividness and fulness 
of the narrative were doubtless due to St Luke's Macedonian and 
Philippian sympathies, but of infinitely greater importance was the 
fact that Rome and Christianised Rome filled the historian's eye 
and that the mission to Macedonia and the founding of the Church 
of Pliilippi, itself a Roman colony, were the first conscious turning 
of St Paul's steps in the direction of the capital of the Empire. 

It was during what is conventionally called the " Second Mis- 
sionary Journey" and, according to the system of chronology adopted 
in this volume, about the beginning of the summer of 50 a.d. that 


St Paul and his companions, Silas, Timothy, with the addition of 
St Luke, whose presence for the first time in the Apostle's company- 
is indicated by the use of " we " in the narrative, set sail from the 
harbour of Troas. The voyage across the Aegean, which is described 
by St Luke by the single Greek word iv6vSpofj.yjaafji€v (we made a 
straight course), was apparently accompanied by unusually favourable 
conditions, and a journey which a few years later took five days (Acts 
XX. 6) was now accomplished in two, a fact which might well have 
filled the heart of the Apostle with the hope that the mission to be 
undertaken might be as successful as the initial voyage. No time was 
spent at Neapolis, the port of landing, and the Apostolic band wended 
its way towards Philippi, travelling along the Imperial highway for 
some eight miles or so. 

In the record of St Paul's activities given in Acts xvi. 11-40 
attention is concentrated upon three main incidents. We shall dwell 
on them only as far as they help to illustrate the social and religious 
life of Philippi and the effect of the Gospel message upon the first 
European community to which it was addressed. 

1. The Conversion of Lydia. 

(a) The absence of Jews from Philippi. 

We have already commented upon the comparative absence of 
Jews from Philippi. In this respect it offered a marked contrast to 
the cities of Asia Minor which had been the scenes of the Apostle's 
activities earlier. At Salamis in Cyprus, Antioch in Pisidia, and at 
Iconium he had found a synagogue of the Jews and had utilised it 
as a first means of approach to a new community, but at Philippi 
the Jews were not sufficiently numerous to establish and maintain a 
synagogue and had to be content with a "proseucha", or place of 
prayer, which was found in the open air on the banks of the river 
Gangites (the modern Angista). It was an old custom of the Jews 
to gather for worship by the river side as we learn from Ezra viii. 15, 
21, and from Tertullian {Ad Nat. i. 13), who tells us that the prac- 
tice of "prayers on the shore " (orationes littorales) was maintained 
among the Jews of his days. 

(b) The influence oj the '^Godfearing" Gentiles upon the progress 

of the Gospel. 
There is no mention of Jews proper among those who were con- 
verted " at the beginning of the Gospel " at Philippi and the one 


prominent name in the narrative is that of a woman, Lydia, perhaps 
taking her name from her country, " a Lydian lady " (see note on 
iv. 2), a purple-seller from Thyatira, who had probably been a devotee 
of the Phrygian god, Men. She had, however, been attracted by the 
pure monotheism and strict morality of the Jews and had accepted 
a modified form of Judaism, complying in some degree with the 
practices and customs of Jewish law and ceremonial. It has been 
remarked that Christianity in its early days was successful, not 
because it converted the convinced members of other cults, but 
because it attracted the "honorary members" who were more or 
less loosely attached to the different religious systems (Lake, Steward- 
ship of Faith, pp. 75, 76). This is unquestionably true of the 
Jews as a body, and it was the Gentile " God-fearers ", that class 
of " honorary members " that clung to the robes of Judaism, and 
not the Jews proper that provided a rich harvest for the labourers 
of Christ. No one recognised more clearly the importance of this 
religious type than St Paul, and throughout the whole of his 
missionary career he utilised the "God-fearer" as the way of 
approach to the world of pure paganism. In this respect Lydia 
proved worthy of her designation and showed herself as receptive 
of the higher message of the Christian Gospel as she had been of 
the truths of the Jewish faith, and she was privileged to be not only 
the first Christian disciple at Philippi but also the hostess of the 
Apostolic company during its stay in that city, while her house 
formed the centre of the Christian mission. 

(c) The position of ivomen at Philippi. 

Not less striking than the fact that the first Philippian to respond 
to the appeal of the Gospel was a " God-fearing " Gentile was the 
other fact that this first convert was a woman. That the position 
of women in Macedonia was on a higher plane than in almost any 
country in the ancient world is amply proved by inscriptions dis- 
covered in the district, among which there are several connected 
with monuments erected in honour of women by public bodies, while 
the tone of the inscriptions as a whole gives a prominence to women 
which was not usual in that age (see Lightfoot's note, p. 56). The 
story of Lydia, who was apparently a widow and in good circum- 
stances, is an apt illustration of the freedom and initiative allowed 
to women in a Macedonian city. The unusual respect paid to women 
had a marked effect upon the future development of the Philippian 


Church for both good and evil. The interest and sympathy of the 
women were probably not a little concerned in the affectionate care 
which that Church bestowed upon the Apostle's welfare in the years 
to come, but, on the other hand, some, if not all, of the troubles 
which in later years disturbed the peace of that Church were caused 
by feminine jealousies. 

2. The Ventriloquist. 

(a) Christianity in its relation to slavery and to pagan religion. 

This incident is interesting as illustrating the first recorded 
encounter of St Paul with a slave, a member of that class which 
formed at least half the population of the ancient world. Not the 
least among the services rendered by Christianity to humanity has 
been the liberation of the slave, and we may see in the girl "with 
the spirit of divination " the firstfruits of that great movement 
which slowly but surely has led to the complete abolition of slavery 
wherever the religion of Christ has its full sway. The story also 
enables us to realise how in the realm of pure paganism, as well as 
in that section of it which had made considerable advances towards 
Jewish monotheism, the soil had been prepared for the reception of 
the more exalted and permanent conceptions of the Christian faith. 
The highly nervous temperament of the " ventriloquist " (this is 
probably what is meant by the expression " with a spirit of divina- 
tion") which made her more sensitive to a religious appeal than 
other people, recognised in the message of the Apostle terms and 
expressions with which she was already familiar. He proclaimed 
" the most High God " and came offering " salvation ". That " the 
God Most High ", with a very different connotation doubtless from 
that found in St Paul's preaching, was an object of worship in the 
pagan world is clearly proved by inscriptions, and the " Mystery 
Eeligions " which were beginning to flood the Graeco-Roman world 
from the East spoke of a " salvation " which included the raising 
of the soul above the transiency of the perishable world as well as 
the gift of immortal life through union with the Divine. 

(b) The persecution of Christianity by the State. 

Of equal importance is the light which the narrative throws upon 
the beginning of the persecution of the Christian Church by the 
Roman power. The real motive of the uproar which resulted in the 


appearance of Paul and Silas before the duumviri was not connected 
with religion in any way, but was based entirely upon financial con- 
siderations, as was the case at Ephesus a few years later (Acts xix. 
23-41). It was the loss of the profits which accrued to them from 
the girl's gift of divination and ventriloquism that raised the ire of 
her owners (the plural "masters" probably indicates two brothers, 
as the word is often found in that sense in papyri), but they were 
ingenious enough to frame a charge which placed the Apostles in 
considerable danger. They paraded their loyalty to Rome, utilised 
the general prejudice against Jews, and accused Paul and Silas of 
introducing a religion which was illegal according to the Imperial 
laws and interfered with customs, religious and social, which were 
incumbent upon every true Roman. We recognise in the very terms 
of the charge the origin of that movement which in days to come was 
to assume momentous proportions and to involve the Church and the 
Empire in deadly conflict. 

3. The conversion of the Jailor. 

Roman justice as a whole, with the exception of the conduct 
of Pontius Pilate, is pictured in favourable colours in the New 
Testament, but in the process at Philippi which involved the flogging 
of Paul and Silas and their incarceration in the " inner prison " no 
official seems to have risen to the high ideals of Roman judicial 
methods save the jailor. There can be nothing but the severest 
condemnation for the primary action of the magistrates who allowed 
themselves to be overwhelmed by the mob and were in consequence 
unable to take a calm and judicial view of the proceedings or to give 
the prisoners an opportunity of asserting their rights as Roman 
citizens. The Apostle's experiences at Philippi were, however, in 
marked contrast to what he had learnt elsewhere to expect from the 
Roman provincial authorities, where he had invariably found them 
a protection against the implacable hostility of the Jews and a 
harbour of safety in many a tumultuous storm. 

Glancing over the narrative of the evangelising of Philippi as a 
whole we see Christianity at the very outset of its career in contact 
with three distinct types of humanity, to each of which it was to 
render unique service in the days to come, the woman, the slave, 
and the official. Arising out of this contact are two other factors, 
both of them important and of considerable influence upon the 


future of Christianity on its social and institutional sides. It is at 
Pliilippi that we have the first clear picture of the religion of Christ 
as the religion of tlie family. Lydia and her household were baptized 
and the jailor again and all his were baptized and rejoiced in the 
newly-found salvation, and it is only natural to assume that there 
were in both houses children as well as adult believers and that the 
blessings of Christ were extended to them also. So, very simply 
and very joyfully, there was laid the foundation of the Christian 
home and the Christian family, possibly the most powerful influences 
in the Christian Church of the future. Closely connected with the 
religion of the family was the institution of the " House-Cimrch ", 
a striking feature of primitive Christian life and the prototype of 
the organised Churches and ecclesiastical assemblies and buildings 
of later days. The first corporate gathering of Christians at Philippi 
was held in the house of Lydia, and this eventually developed into 
the Philippian Church to which our Epistle was addressed. We 
read also of the Church in the house of Aquila and Priscilla both at 
Ephesus and Rome (1 Cor. xvi. 19, Rom. xvi. 5), and of the Church 
in the house of Nymphas at Laodicea (Col. iv. 15), which doubtless 
followed the same line of development as that in the house of Lydia. 
It is thought by many scholars that the Epistle to the Hebrews was 
written to such a " House-Church" in Rome. 

Two very clear impressions are gained from the story we have 
been considering, first the cosmopolitanism of the religious life at 
Philippi, which included the Gentile " God-fearer ", the devotee of 
Apollo, and the worshipper of the ancient gods of Rome, who was 
also probably a confirmed adherent of the cult of the Emperor, and 
secondly the comprehensiveness of the Christian Church in which all 
these various types found a home and a realisation of their highest 

St Paul's later intercourse with Philippi. 

The Apostle's first and momentous visit to Philippi, which came 
to such an abrupt and violent end, was followed by two if not three 
later visits. When his three years' ministry at Ephesus was brought 
to a sudden termination by the action of the silversmiths he pro- 
ceeded to Macedonia (2 Cor. ii. 12, vii. 5, 6) where he spent a time 
of anxious waiting for the arrival of Titus from Corinth. It was 
during this period of gloom that the Second Epistle to the Corinthians 
was written, and it is well within the bounds of probability that it 


was written at Philippi itself, where he would receive the affectionate 
sympathy that he so greatly needed and which, judging from the 
tone of the Epistle, proved effective. A few months later on his 
way from Corinth to Jerusalem he kept the Paschal Feast with his 
beloved Philippians (Acts xx. 5, 6). In our Epistle (ii. 24) he 
expresses his intention of paying them a still further visit, and if we 
accept 1 Timothy as a genuine Pauline letter a visit to Macedonia 
is implied in 1 Tim. i. 3. During the period which intervened 
between the Apostle's first visit to Philippi and the writing of this 
Epistle he seems to have received several gifts from the Philippians. 
He refers in terms of grateful acknowledgment to at least two such 
instances of generosity in Phil. iv. 15, 16, and the main practical 
purpose of the Epistle is to thank them for still another contribution 
towards his necessities. 

The later history of the Philippian Church. 

The later history of the Church is sad reading. We hear of it in 
connection with two of the great Apostolic Fathers and Martyrs, 
St Ignatius and St Polycarp, the bishops of Antioch and of Smyrna 
respectively. The former when, about the year 117, he was on his 
way as a prisoner from Antioch to Rome where he was to die for 
the faith, followed in the footsteps of St Paul and passed along the 
Via Egnatia through Troas, Neapolis, and Philippi. In the latter 
city he was welcomed by the local Church, which evidently preserved 
the ideals of affection and sympathy which made it so precious in 
St Paul's sight, and was reverently escorted on his departure. Sub- 
sequently the Philippian Christians wrote two letters, one to the 
bishop's own flock at Antioch to sympathise with it on its irreparable 
loss, and one to St Polycarp requesting him to send them copies of 
the letters which St Ignatius had written during the earlier part of 
his journey to the Churches of Asia Minor. St Polycarp responded 
to their appeal and sent them a letter of his own which throws some 
light on the internal condition of the Philippian Church at this 
period. In some respects it had already fallen from its high estate 
and its fair fame was clouded by a somewhat glaring case of dis- 
honesty and greed among its ofhcials, a sad declension from the 
generosity and disregard of wealth for which it was distinguished in 
its earlier days. 

The Cimrch is casually mentioned by Tertullian and the names 
of some of its bishops are found among the subscribers to the decrees 


of Church Councils held in the fourth and fifth centuries. After 
that a complete darkness falls upon its history. To quote the words 
of Bishop Lightfoot : " Of the Church which stood foremost among 
the Apostolic communities in faith and love it may be literally said 
that not one stone stands upon another. Born into the world with 
the highest promise, the Church of Philippi has lived without a 
history and died without a memorial" {Philipjnans, p. 65). The 
ruins of the city provide rich material wherewith to illustrate its 
pagan life, but have little to tell of its Christian Church. The city 
itself has vanished completely out of sight and cattle browse in the 
meadows where once it proudly stood. It is some slight consolation 
to know that the spot where the Church dearest to St Paul's heart 
was once found has within the last few years been recovered after 
centuries of Turkish misrule and now forms once again a part of 
the Christian world. 

III. Where was the Epistle written ? 

If the question at the head of this section had been asked ten years 
ago we should have replied without hesitation that it was written 
either at Rome or Caesarea and that the balance of probability 
was decidedly in favour of the former. Recently, however, a new 
claimant for the honour of having given birth to the " Epistles 
of the Captivity" has arisen, and many first rate authorities are 
strongly supporting the claims of Ephesus to have been the city 
where some of these Epistles first saw light. To return to the old 
controversy between Caesarea and Rome, there does not seem to be 
much weight in the arguments adduced in support of Caesarea as the 
place where the Epistle was written, and if we have to confine our 
choice to one or other of these two localities, the preference must be 
given to Rome. It is not impossible to make a case of some kind 
on behalf of Caesarea with reference to the Colossian-Ephesiau- 
Philemon group S but the contents of our Epistle are decisively 
against any connection of the letter with that city. There are two 
indications in the Epistle which ought to enable us to identify the 
place of writing. In i. 13 St Paul tells us that " his bonds became 
manifest in Christ in the whole Praetorium" (margin R.V.), and in 

^ See an article by the Bishop of Lincoln (Dr Hicks) in the Interpreter, 
April, 1910. 

C 2 


iv. 22 salutations are sent to the Philippian Church from "the 
saints... especially they that are of Caesar's household ". Now it is 
true that " Praetoriuni" is used to designate the residence of a pro- 
vincial Governor and is actually applied to the Governor's residence 
at Caesarea in Acts xxiii. 35, but the great majority of scholars are 
of opinion that the term here is used of persons and not of a place 
and that it refers either to the Praetorian Guard or to the Imperial 
tribunal presided over by the Praetorian Prefect (see note on i. 13). 
The addition of the expression " to all the rest " strongly supports 
the personal as against the local meaning of the term. If we accept 
this rendering tlie reference is much more natural if connected with 
Rome, where the headquarters of the Praetorian Guard and the 
Imperial tribunal were situated, than with Caesarea which had 
neither the one nor the other. The second passage is still more 
decisive, and it is difficult to see how "the household of Caesar" 
could mean any institution outside of Rome itself. 

Then again the Apostle's situation and surroundings as depicted 
in this Epistle tell strongly in favour of Rome. He is manifestly 
in touch with a large and active Christian Church, composed of 
various sections whose character corresponds with what we know 
of the Roman Church and its conditions from the Acts and the 
Epistle to the Romans. There is no evidence that Caesarea was 
the centre of any such Christian activity as is pictured here, and 
the Apostle's own operations, his close interest in the work of the 
local Church, the effect of his presence upon it, the free access 
to him of a large circle of friends, the sending and receiving of 
letters and messengers do not fit in with the comparative unimpor- 
tance of Caesarea nor with the character of his imprisonment in that 
city, whereas they all point to a large and busy centre like Rome. 
Another factor which points in the same direction is that the Apostle 
in our Epistle speaks hopefully of the prospect of a speedy release and 
termination of his case, to be followed by a visit to Philippi. Now 
at Caesarea he must have been well aware that the issue could not be 
decided there, and, even if release had come, his thoughts were not 
turned towards the Churches of the East but towards Rome, now the 
centre of all his hopes. The Epistle also speaks of the dangerous and 
critical position of the Apostle at the time of writing, but at Caesarea 
he stood in no peril, and real danger only began to threaten him 
when his appeal to Caesar was on the point of being lieard. Those 
who argue in favour of Caesarea make much of the fact that nothing 


is known of Timotlij^ who was in the Apostle's company when the 
letter was being written, having been in Rome, but the same difficulty 
may be cited in the case of Caesarea. There is no actual evidence 
that Timothy accompanied St Paul to the latter city. He was 
certainly among the Apostle's companions during the early stages 
of the last journey to Jerusalem, but his name drops out after the 
sojourn at Troas. He may have travelled with tliem to Jerusalem 
and subsequently joined the Apostle at Caesarea, but it is much 
more probable that he was detached and sent on some mission 
which kept him fully employed for some years and that he did not 
find himself again in the Apostle's neighbourhood until the latter 
arrived as a prisoner in Rome. The argument from the style of the 
Epistle, which seems to connect it closely with the great central 
group of Epistles, will be discussed in another place. To sum up, 
if our choice lies between Caesarea and Rome there can be no question 
but that the decision is definitely in favour of Rome. 

The claims of Ephesus are, however, much stronger than those 
of Caesarea, and it is much more difficult to come to an absolute 
decision in this case. As the Ephesian theory is comparatively new 
and has not been considered in any previous Commentary on the 
Epistle, as far as I am aware, it is necessary to discuss it here at 
some considerable length. 

It might appear that Ephesus is ruled out at the very outset by 
the fact that St Paul is not known to have been imprisoned there, 
but this is precisely what the advocates of the theory claim to be 
able to prove. 

The first scholar to suggest the possibility that St Paul was 
actually imprisoned at Ephesus and wrote the Epistles of the 
Captivity there was H. Lisco of Berlin in 1890. Since that time 
the theory has been received with favour by Deissmann {Light from 
the Ancient East, pp. 229-231), Albertz (Studien und Kritiken, 
1910, pp. 551 ff.), and the American scholar B. W. Robinson (Ameri- 
can Journal of Biblical Literature, 1910, ii.), and that it is by no 
means as fanciful as may appear at first sight is proved by the fact 
that it has enlisted the sympathy of Kirsopp Lake, B. W. Bacon, and 
E. W. Winstanley {Expositor, June, 1914, March and June, 1915). 
The arguments in favour of an Ephesian imprisonment may be briefly 
summed up as follows : 

1. It is evident from 2 Cor. xi. 23 where St Paul speaks of 
himself as "in prisons more abundantly" as well as from the evidence 


of Clement of Rome, who describes the Apostle as having been "seven 
times in bonds ", that the Acts does not give a complete list of the 
Apostle's imprisonments. It is possible, therefore, tliat one or more 
of those not mentioned in the Acts are to be connected with Ephesus, 
where we know St Paul to have been at one period in considerable 
danger from the hostility of both the pagan and Jewish elements of 
the population. 

2. This possibility is considerably strengthened by the language 
of the Epistles to the Corinthians. In 1 Cor. xv. 30, 31, 32 we find 
the Apostle making use of the following expressions with reference 
to his situation at Ephesus at the time of writing. " Why do we 
also stand in jeopardy every hour " ? "I die daily ", " I fought with 
beasts at Ephesus ", language which is interpreted to mean that he 
had actually been imprisoned, tried, and condemned to death but 
had, in some way not known to us, escaped the extreme penalty. 
The gravity of the Apostle's position at Ephesus is also confirmed 
by the tone of 2 Corinthians as e.g. i. 8-9, " We despaired even of 
life, yea we ourselves have had the answer (sentence) of death within 
ourselves. ..God who delivered us out of so great a death " : iv. 8-10, 
"pursued yet not forsaken, smitten down yet not destroyed, always 
bearing about in the body the dying of Jesus" : vi. 9, "As dying, 
and behold, we live". These passages, we are told, can only mean 
that St Paul had been face to face with death and had been saved 
by the merciful interposition of providence. 

3. Many scholars are of opinion that the last chapter of the 
Epistle to the Romans is not an integral part of that Epistle and 
that its original destination was Ephesus and not Rome. If this 
hypothesis is correct the chapter is said to afford strong confirmation 
of the supposed imprisonment of St Paul at Ephesus. In Rom. xvi. 7, 
he describes Andronicus and Junias as "my fellow-prisoners" and 
where could they have shared his prison except at Ephesus? Again 
in xvi. 3 he speaks of Aquila and Priscilla as having " for my life 
laid down their necks " and where could they have risked their lives 
for the Apostle's sake if not at Ephesus where they were his close 
companions and fellow- workers ? 

Further, it is contended that the evidence of the language of the 
New Testament in this direction is confirmed by tradition of a 
threefold character. 

(a) There is in existence at Ephesus to-day a tower which is 
called "St Paul's Prison". 


(6) The tradition is also found in the "Acts of Paul and Thekla", 
a document which in the opinion of those who are qualified to judge 
goes back to the second century and is generally trustworthy in its 
historical details. 

(c) The "Monarchian Prologue" to the Epistle to the Colossians 
reads "Ergo apostolus jawi ligatiis scribit eis ab Epheso". These 
" Prologues " are of the nature of short introductions to the 
Pauline Epistles published in some versions of the Vulgate, and, 
according to Corssen, they are based on Marcionite tradition and 
are, therefore, of considerable value as evidence of second-century 

This twofold line of evidence, that of the New Testament as well 
as that of an early tradition so well authenticated, is said to establish 
beyond a doubt an imprisonment of St Paul at Ephesus. 

Now if we acknowledge the possible truth of this theory the 
question then arises whether any or all of the Epistles of the Capti- 
vity could have been written during such an imprisonment. The 
scholars who maintain that this is the case are not agreed among 
themselves as to which of the Epistles to assign to this particular 
captivity. Deissmann is inclined to place all the Epistles of the 
Captivity here, but his language is not so positive in the case of our 
Epistle as it is with regard to the other three, while B. W. Robinson 
would confine his theory to the Colossian-Ephesian-Philemon group. 
Albertz^ who is the strongest advocate of an Ephesiau imprisonment 
and has dealt with the theory much more fully than any other writer, 
argues in favour of placing the composition of the Epistle to the 
Philippians only at Ephesus, a position with which Kirsopp Lake 
finds himself in sympathy. 

The case for placing the writing of this Epistle at Ephesus as 
stated by Albertz is a strong one and his arguments are telling 
almost to the point of conviction. They may be summarised as 
follows : 

1. The style and content of the Epistle to the Philippians bind 
it closely with the great central group of letters, those to Corinth, 
Rome, and the Churches of Galatia, and if it was written at Ephesus 
much about the time that the letters to the Corinthians were written 
we are rid of the difficulty which confronts the Roman theory, 
viz. the adoption of one style of writing in the Corinthian and Roman 
letters, of another style in the Colossian-Ephesian group, and then 
a reversion to the original style in our Epistle- 


2. The Apostle's own situation and his relationship to the 
Philippian Church are more intelli.i^ible if the Epistle was written at 
Ephesus and not at Rome. The frequent communications between 
St Paul and Philippi and the journeys of Epaphroditus would be 
much more practicable if the Apostle was at Ephesus, within com- 
paratively easy reach, than if he was in Rome, some hundreds of 
miles away. The Epistle also implies that the Philippians were 
perfectly acquainted with his circumstances and tliat there was no 
need to enter into any detailed description of these. His imprison- 
ment is only casually referred to and only then as a fact which was 
well known to them. The intimate intercourse which such a close 
acquaintance with the Apostle's condition implies was much simpler 
between Philippi and Ephesus than between Philippi and Rome. 
St Paul's plans for the future also point in the same direction. His 
most urgent desire if he is released is to return to Philippi, and that 
not because there was any serious trouble in that community which 
demanded his presence, but merely because of his earnest longing to 
see his beloved Church again. From his Roman prison his eyes 
were turned towards the farther West and not backwards to the 
Churches of the East, whereas from Ephesus Philippi w^ould be the 
most natural place to visit once he had regained his freedom. As 
a matter of fact we know that he did actually proceed from Ephesus 
to Macedonia when he was forced to depart hurriedly from that city 
(Acts XX. 1 ; 2 Cor. ii. 12). Further, there is no trace in our Epistle 
of any preaching activity on the Apostle's part, which is inconsistent 
with the situation at Rome as outlined in Acts xxviii. 31. His one 
grievance in our letter is that while others are active he is condemned 
to silence. He cannot preach, his adversaries can (i. 12-19). 

3. The two references to the "Praetorium" and to the "house- 
hold of Caesar" which are generally regarded as pointing definitely 
to Rome are equally applicable to Ej)hesus. 

The Fravtorium. Ephesus satisfies the conditions whether we 
regard this term as referring to a building or to a body of men. If 
we accept the former meaning the expression would stand for the 
residence of the Roman Governor of the province of Asia situated 
in that city, and the phrase " throughout the whole Praetorium " 
would imply that St Paul had appeared before the proconsular 
tribunal and that he and his case were known to all who were con- 
cerned in his trial. If we take "Praetorium" as representing the 
"Praetorian Guard" it is known that a section of the Imperial 


body-guard was often sent on special duty to the provincial capitals, 
(Mommsen, Hist. Rom. iv. p. 323). This is confirmed by epigraphic 
evidence, for among the epitaphs discovered at Ephesus are found 
the names of "praetorians " (see Wood's Discoveries at Ephesus, 1877). 
It would also be much easier for St Paul to make himself known to 
a detachment of 200 " praetorians " in Ephesus than to the whole 
Praetorian corps in Rome which numbered about 9000 men. 

The household of Caesar. This is a term which is used to desig- 
nate the freedmen and slaves attached to the Imperial court. Now 
the evidence of inscriptions reveals the fact that not only were there 
resident in Ephesus individuals answering to this description but 
that there were actually "colleges" composed of these two classes 
to be found in that city (Newton's Collections of Greek Inscriptions 
in the British Museum, edited by Hicks). 

4. The description in i. 15-17 of the Christians who "preach 
Christ of envy and strife" and "proclaim Christ of faction" har- 
monises well with what we know of the situation at Ephesus. In 
this city there was probably a section of Christians associated with 
the name of Apollos, analogous to the "Apollos party" at Corinth, 
which was animated by ignoble motives and took advantage of the 
Apostle's bonds to push itself into the foreground. Apollos is known 
to have been in residence at Ephesus both before and during St Paul's 
ministry there, and his method of teaching would meet with a ready 
response in a city where the Greek spirit was strong and where 
Alexandrian ideas prevailed. The tone of ii. 20 ff. is that of a man 
who bitterly resents the isolation in which he finds himself. Now at 
Ephesus he was surrounded by many Christians who were not his 
own children in the faith, such as Aquila and Priscilla, Apollos, 
Andronicus and Junias : and it may be that some of these promoted 
their own teaching while he was precluded by his bonds from all 

5. Finally, the opponents so fiercely denounced in iii. 1 b if . 
were Judaisers with whom at the time of writing he was manifestly 
in bitter conflict. Now if the Epistle was written at Rome it is 
difficult to understand the recrudescence of the Judaistic contro- 
versy, seeing that St Paul had apparently many years before gained 
a complete victory over these particular opponents. If, on the other 
hand, the letter belongs to the period of the Ephesian ministry it 
saw light when the controversy was at its height and the presence 
of the outbreak against them in it becomes quite intelligible. 


Such then briefly are the arguments by which it is sought to 
prove that St Paul underwent an imprisonment at Ephesus of a 
serious character and that the Epistle to the Philippians was written 
in the course of it. We are now in a position to examine the whole 
theory on its merits, and we shall first consider the validity of the 
suggestion that St Paul was in prison at Ephesus for some substan- 
tial period. There is no difficulty in agreeing that the Apostle must 
have had more freipient experiences of a prison than are recorded in 
the Acts, and it is quite possible that one or more of these may have 
been connected with Ephesus, but whether there was among them a 
period of imprisonment of the length implied in the Epistles of the 
Captivity is another question. St Luke's silence on the point is 
difficult to explain if an imprisonment of the character demanded 
by this theory ever took place. It is strange that, in spite of the 
gaps in his narrative, an event which exercised such a powerful 
influence upon St Paul's life and mind and was so fruitful in literary 
output should have so entirely escaped his notice. And further, 
the Apostle's address to the elders of the Church of Ephesus at 
Miletus (Acts xx. 18-38) is by general consent regarded as the most 
authentic of all the Pauline speeches in the Acts and may be 
an actual transcript of what the Apostle said on that occasion. 
The language of the address certainly implies a period of much 
distress and anxiety in Ephesus and the hostility of the Jews is 
definitely mentioned, but there is not the slightest allusion to 
anything approaching the imprisonment contemplated in this 

The general tone of the Epistles to the Corinthians and the 
particular expressions upon which so much stress is laid by the 
advocates of this suggestion by no means necessitate the interpre- 
tation put upon them. There are considerable difficulties connected 
with the literal acceptation of the i)hrase " I fought with beasts at 
Ephesus ". If St Paul claimed his rights as a Roman citizen as he 
seems to have done, and with success, in other cases, this particular 
form of the death penalty was illegal. His language elsewhere, as 
e.g. in 2 Tim. iv. 17, where the word "lion" must be used in a 
metaphorical sense and the fact that St Ignatius uses precisely the 
same terms in referring to the soldiers who guarded him (Ep. to 
Romans v.) is strongly in favour of the metaphorical meaning of 
this passage. The expression "Why do we also stand in jeopardy 
every hour ? " was true of Christians generally at that time. 


The tone of 2 Corinthians again is adequately explained by what 
we actually know of the Apostle's situation at Ephesus and of the 
position of affairs at Corinth. He had only just escaped from a 
grave peril in the former city and the dissensions and moral con- 
dition of the Church of Corinth filled his heart with the direst 
forebodings. We need have no recourse to a hypothetical imprison- 
ment and trial at Epiiesus at this particular point in his history to 
account for the grave and anxious tone of his utterance. 

The Ephesian destination of the last chapter of the Epistle to 
the Romans is much too problematical to afford firm ground for any 
argument for or against the theory. 

The external evidence is also not without flaws. St Paul may 
have undergone an imprisonment at Ephesus of some kind but it is 
quite certain that the ruin which now bears the name of "St Paul's 
Prison" could never have been utilised for that purpose. Sir C. 
"Wilson in his Handbook to Asia Minor describes it as "a two- 
storied fort with eight chambers, the upper story being reached by 
an outer staircase ", a building eminently unsuitable for the safe 
custody of prisoners. It is of course possible that it might mark 
the site and retain the name of an earlier building. 

The " Monarchian Prologue" to the Epistle to the Colossians 
seems to take it for granted that it was written from an Ephesian 
prison, but Corssen {Zeitschrift fur N.T. Wissenschaft,\'dQ>%,Yo\. i.) 
points out that the peculiar phrase "jam hgatus" refers to the well- 
known imprisonment towards the close of the Apostle's life and that 
the writer must have supposed that St Paul passed through Ephesus 
on his way from Caesarea to Rome and wrote the Epistle there. 
The "Prologue" would still be evidence of an early tradition that 
the Epistle was written from Ephesus although it may not be valid 
as proof of an imprisonment there. The balance of probabilities is, 
therefore, to my mind against an imprisonment at Ephesus of the 
length and character demanded by the Epistles of the Captivity, 
although it is quite possible that an imprisonment of some kind 
may have happened there. 

But even if we allow that St Paul may have been in prison at 
Ephesus for a considerable period it by no means follows that our 
Epistle was written at that particular time. Two decided advan- 
tages are claimed for the theory. 

1. It brings the Epistle within the period to which the other 
Epistles with which it has the greatest resemblances in style and 


thought belong. There is, however, a growing tendency among 
scholars of the present day to discount the argument based upon 
similarity of style, and it is being increasingly recognised that the 
style and language of any particular Epistle depend mainly upon 
the local conditions of the Church addressed. The apparently 
successful attempt to make the Epistle to the Galatians the earliest 
of the Pauline Epistles and to separate it by a space of some years 
from the Epistle to the Romans, with which it has so much in 
common, bids us be cautious lest we attach too much weight to 
this factor in arriving at a decision concerning the date and origin 
of any Epistle. 

2. The apparent recrudescence of the Judaistic controversy in 
iii. 1 b ff. is a real difficulty and has led many scholars to suspect 
the integrity of the Epistle and to suggest that we have a separate 
letter interpolated at this point, written many years earlier than the 
remainder of the canonical Epistle. Now if St Paul was at Ephesus 
when he wrote the Epistle the conflict with the Judaisers was at its 
height, and the outburst in iii. 1 ff. is quite natural and intelligible, 
and the above mentioned difficulty is disposed of. If, however, the 
passage in question has no connection with Judaisers, but was caused 
by the hostility of Jews, pure and simple, a perfectly reasonable 
hypothesis as we shall show later, there is no difficulty to dispose 
of and the advantage claimed by the Ephesiau theory disappears. 

There are also some very serious objections to the theory as it 

1. The letter is completely silent as to the "collection for the 
saints " which was the one practical matter upon which the whole 
mind of St Paul was bent when his Ephesiau ministry was drawing 
to a close. It is mentioned in every Epistle known to have been 
written at this period, and it is unthinkable that, with his mind 
full of this Christian duty, the Apostle should write to the Philip- 
pian Church, which as we know from other sources was specially 
concerned with this bounty, and ignore that completely while he has 
much to say of the generosity of the Church towards himself. 

2. The joyous, grateful tone of the Epistle is manifest even to 
the most superficial reader. Now if it originated at Ephesus some- 
where about the time that the Epistles to tlie Corinthians were written 
it belongs to a period wdiich was the most stormy and turbulent in 
the whole of St Paul's activity, when the Judaistic controversy was 
at its most bitter stage and when his own situation and that of the 


Churches with which he was most closely concerned were of" the 
gravest possible character. The Apostle was, as we know, a man 
of moods, but it is difficult to imagine even St Paul writing to the 
Philippians a letter which is overflowing with joy and gladness in 
the very thick of this "storm and stress". 

3. The main weakness of the theory, however, consists in the 
fact that it is based upon pure conjecture in many particulars with 
regard to which, in the case of Rome, we are standing upon perfectly 
firm ground. We know that there was a "Praetorium" at Rome, 
whether we regard it as a building or a body of men, and we are 
equally positive that members of the " household of Caesar " were 
to be found in the Imperial palace at all times. It may be true 
that " praetorians " were occasionally stationed at Ephesus and that 
members of the "household of Caesar" were buried there, but we 
have no absolute knowledge that there were " praetorians " or Im- 
perial slaves and freedmen in the city while St Paul lived there. 
Again there may have been an Apollos party at Ephesus but the 
suggestion is a mere conjecture for which there is not a particle of 
real evidence, while the situation depicted in the Epistle is in com- 
plete accord with what we might expect to find in Rome. There 
the Church was already in existence before the Apostle's appearance 
upon the scene, and it was proud of its independence and perhaps 
resented the intrusion of a stranger. Jewish influences were also 
strong in Rome, and these, combined with the anxiety of the Church 
to maintain its independence and its jealousy of interference from 
outside, would produce the condition of affairs which St Paul 
describes with some feeling. 

An Ephesiau imprisonment of some kind is quite possible and 
there is much that is attractive in dating our Epistle from that 
city. It disposes of some difficulties, but it depends upon so many 
conjectures and suppositions which in the case of Rome are cer- 
tainties that I can see no valid reason for abandoning the position 
generally held that the Epistle was written during St Paul's Roman 


IV. Was the Epistle written early or late in the 
Imprisonment ? 

Assuming that the Epistle was written during the Apostle's 
Roman imprisonment we now proceed to enquire at what particular 
period in that imprisonment it was written, whether comparatively 
early or comparatively late. The question has given rise to a con- 
siderable difference of opinion, one school, of which Bishop Lightfoot 
was the most important representative, strongly advocating the 
earlier date, while more recent opinion as a whole is in favour of 
the letter having been written towards the close of the captivity. 
Lightfoot's conclusion was based mainly upon the question of the 
style and language of the Epistle, which unquestionably closely re- 
semble those of the Epistle to the Romans and seem to bring it into 
more intimate contact with that Epistle than with the Colossian- 
Ephesian group which, according to the rival theory, must have 
come between our Epistle and the one other Epistle with which it 
is connected by stylistic and linguistic ties. He also attached great 
weight to the consideration that the advanced stage in the develop- 
ment of the Church exhibited in the Colossian and Ephesian Epistles, 
where the teaching concerning the Church reaches its loftiest heights, 
as well as the marked growth in the heresies combated in these 
Epistles demand that they should be placed as late as possible in 
this particular period. It has, however, already been pointed out 
that the argument founded upon similarity of style and language 
between certain Epistles as evidence of a close connection between 
them is now beginning to lose the force it formerly possessed, and 
the attempt to form an accurate chronological table of the Pauline 
letters on this particular basis is now frankly abandoned by most 
scholars. The language, style, and content of each Epistle are 
determined partly by the Apostle's peculiar mood at the time and 
partly by the conditions governing the life of the Church in question. 
Some remarks of Ramsay's in this particular connection are very 
apposite. " The tone of Colossians and Ephesians is determined by 
the circumstances of the Church addressed. The great Churches 
of Asia are on the highway of the world which traversed the Lycos 
valley, and in them development took place with great rapidity. 
The Macedonians were a simple minded people, living away from 


the great movements of thought. It was not in St Paul's vray to 
send to the Philippians an elaborate treatise against a subtle specu- 
lative theory which had never afifected that Church " {St Paul the 
Tra/veller, p. 359). The point at issue must, therefore, be decided 
on other grounds than those of style, language, and content. 

The data whicli help us in arriving at a conclusion are the 
following : 

(a) Some considerable time must be allowed for the communi- 
cations between St Paul and the Philippians. The Epistle seems 
to demand at least four separate journeys between Rome and 

1. To bring the news of St Paul's arrival at Rome to the 

2. To bring Epaphroditus to Rome. 

3. To convey an intimation of the illness of Epaphroditus to 
the Philippians. 

4. To bring back to Rome the expression of the regret of the 
Philippians at hearing of this illness. 

{b) When the Epistle was written St Paul's companions, Luke 
and Aristarchus, who were with him when he arrived in Rome and 
were also in his company when the Epistle to the Colossians was 
written, were certainly not with him, for the language of ii. 20-21 
is inexplicable if Luke was still at hand. We infer, therefore, that 
these two remained with the Apostle at Rome for some time, were 
still there when he wrote to the Colossians, but that when he came 
to write to the Philippians they had been despatched on some parti- 
cular mission and that the Apostle was lonely in their absence. 

(c) The picture of the Church of Rome given in the Epistle seems 
to imply a stage of considerable progress which would be difficult to 
achieve in a few months' time. Upon the Church itself the Apostle's 
presence has had the effect of a strong stimulant, and the impression 
we derive from the letter is that of a process which is not merely 
the result of the novelty caused by his arrival in Rome, but rather 
of a quickening of life and a renewal of activity which have mani- 
fested themselves for a substantial period. 

Nor is the Apostle's influence or interest in his case confined to 
purely Christian circles. They have extended to the Praetorian 
Guard, and the Roman public generally is much exercised thereby. 
These are considerations, all of which point to a somewhat late 
period in the imprisonment. 


(d) But the most important reason for placing the letter towards 
the very close of the captivity and a decisive one is the fact that it 
definitely implies that St Paul's trial was near at hand, if not indeed 
that some of the preliminary stages of the process had already taken 
place. The Apostle is looking forward to a speedy decision of his 
case and making plans for the future, if the decision is favourable. 
Now that the trial was postponed until towards the very end of the 
two years mentioned in Acts xxviii. 31 is quite clear from St Luke's 
language, and it is somewhere at this point that we must place the 
writing of our Epistle. But when we have got so far we find our- 
selves faced with a remarkable cleavage among those who advocate 
a late as against an early part of the imprisonment. Most scholars 
maintain that when St Paul wrote to the Philippians he was still 
occupying his " hired dwelling" (Acts xxviii. 30) but that the " two 
whole years " had all but lapsed. A few authorities, however, and 
more especially Zahn, contend that he had been removed from his 
own dwelling and that his condition of comparative freedom had 
come to an end with the approach of his trial. Tlie references to 
the "Praetorium" and the "household of Caesar" show, we are told, 
that he was now in the prison which formed part of the Praetorian 
barracks and in close connection with the Christians in the palace 
of Caesar, which was in the neighbourhood of the prison. It is also 
contended that the Epistle gives an impression that the Apostle was 
no longer in a pt^sition to preach the Gospel freely as had been the 
case during the first two years of his imprisonment and that other 
Christian workers in Rome had taken advantage of his enforced 
silence to further their own propaganda. It is difficult of course 
to dogmatise concerning impressions, but a close study of the Epistle 
does not lead me to regard it as the work of a writer whose freedom 
was hampered to any substantial extent. It is hard to conceive 
how a more rigorous imprisonment, with the consequent isolation 
of the Apostle from the Christian brotherhood in Rome, could have 
conduced to the greater progress of the Gospel, or how a period of 
grave tension such as would be caused by the application of harsh 
measures to his own person could have made the Roman Christians 
as a whole more eager or more confident in the preaching of Christ. 
The Apostle speaks as one who is still in close touch with the Roman 
Church and all that concerns it, who is free to send and receive 
messengers and letters, and as one whose influence is yet at its 
height, although he may have forebodings that a change in that 


respect is not far distant. The fateful decision is close at hand, 
it may mean life or it may mean death, but no radical change has 
yet taken place, and he is still in his "own hired dwelling receiving 
all that went in unto him and preaching the kingdom of God... with 
all boldness". 

V. The Authenticity and Integrity of the Epistle. 

1. The authenticity of the E}nstle. 

Rational criticism has very little to urge against the authenticity 
of our Epistle, and with the exception of the Dutch school, repre- 
sented by Van Man en, there are few scholars in the present day who 
are not prepared to accept it as a genuine Pauline product. Various 
attempts have been made since the days of Baur to deny its genuine- 
ness and to assign its authorship to a later writer. These attempts 
are generally based on the alleged differences between our Epistle 
and that group of letters which are universally accepted as Pauline. 
Its Christology, the doctrine of justification, and the view of the 
law found in it are specially singled out as being inconsistent with, 
the Apostle's unquestionable teaching on these points. Other fea- 
tures which are alleged to be un-Pauline are the mild attitude 
towards the Judaisers in i. 14 fiP., the self-glorying and lack of 
humility in iii. 6, which are said to be quite unworthy of St Paul, 
and the uncertainty concerning the resurrection in iii. 11. It is 
also contended that the reference to "bishops and deacons" in i. 1 
points to a later stage of development of the Christian ministry 
than was possible during the lifetime of St Paul and that the 
Epistle, therefore, belongs to post-Apostolic days. Very little 
weight is attached to these objections by the best authorities, and a 
great German writer like Schiirer speaks of the criticisms of Holsten, 
who is the most acute and the most painstaking of those who refuse 
to accept the genuineness of the Epistle, as more like " slips of the 
pen than real arguments ". The whole of this type of criticism is 
in reality based upon a narrow and wrong-headed view of St Paul 
and his writings. It is taken for granted that the four letters, viz. 
those to the Corinthians, Romans, and Galatians, present us with a 
picture of the writer which is complete in every detail, and the Paul 
of these letters is standardised and stereotyped so that anything 
that deviates in the slightest degree from this artificial standard 
J. d 


is forthwith condemned as im-Pauline. This is to make of St Paul, 
who was surely the most versatile and mobile of men, a mere 
machine, a creature of habit and routine, who must always speak 
with the same voice, act with unfailing regularity, and write in the 
same terras. That this is an entirely wrong view to take of the 
Apostle's personality and character is amply proved by the very 
letters which are set up as a standard of Pauline thought and 
action. The presence of the " eulogy of love " in the midst of the 
fierce polemics of 1 Corinthians, his love for his own unregenerate 
unbelieving nation manifested in Romans, and the remarkable capa- 
city he displays for considering a question from manifold points of 
view prepare us to receive as Pauline letters which set forth new 
thoughts and ideas and testify to many a surprising mood and 
change of temperament. Criticism based on the mere differences 
from a standard constructed on purely artificial grounds has, there- 
fore, no validity. It is also impossible to conceive what motive a 
later writer could have in publishing such a letter in St Paul's name, 
or what object could be served by such a procedure. The writer 
has evidently no axe of his own to grind because there are no ques- 
tions of doctrinal or ecclesiastical importance discussed or decided, 
and the letter is so completely governed by the personal element 
that any explanation of its origin save its true one, that it was 
written by the Apostle himself, is hard to find. " The forger who 
according to Van Manen lived in Syria or Asia Minor in the second 
century and wrote an ' edifying composition ' with a conscious effort 
to reproduce the Pauline manner must have been an astonishing 
literary artist, with a depth of insight and delicacy of feeling almost 
without a parallel ". We may, therefore, decide without hesitation 
on internal grounds only that the Epistle is a genuine Pauline 

The external evidence is equally conclusive. 

Traces of its thought and language are found as early as the 
letter of Clement of Rome, who not only reproduces the idea ex- 
pressed in ii. 4, but also makes use of the exact phrase " lowliness 
of mind ". St Ignatius has several echoes of tiie contents of the 
Epistle as such expressions as "poured out as a libation to God" 
(cf. Phil. ii. 17), "Do nothing in a spirit of factiousness" "nor 
yet for vain glory " (cf. Phil. ii. 3), "I endure all things seeing that 
He Himself enableth me" (cf. Phil. iv. 13) show. 

St Polycarp's testimony to his acquaintance with the Epistle is 


still more explicit. He speaks of " enemies of the cross of Christ " 
(cf. Phil. iii. ly), and seems to be reproducing the very words of our 
letter in such phrases as "I rejoiced greatly in the Lord" and "Unto 
whom all things were made subject that are in heaven and in earth" 
(cf. Phil. iv. 10; ii. 10). There is also a definite allusion in his 
own letter to the Philippians to St Paul's correspondence with that 

The evidence of the " Letters of the Churches of Vienne and 
Lyons" written about 177 a.d. is very significant, for in these em- 
phasis is laid on the humility of Christ and the very words of Phil, 
ii. 6 are quoted as illustrating this virtue. 

The testimony of heretical writers is also to the same effect. 
It was known to the Sethiani, who quoted Phil. ii. 6-7 in support 
of their own doctrines, and was used by the Valentinian, Cassianus. 
It was also included in a mutilated form in Marcion's "Aposto- 
licon ". 

Towards the end of the second century it was in general use 
among Catholic writers such as Irenaeus, who explicitly refers to it 
as " St Paul's Epistle to the Philippians ", Tertullian, and Clement 
of Alexandria, and was included among the letters of St Paul in the 
Canon of Muratori. 

2. The integrity of the Epistle. 

While criticism as a whole is in favour of accepting our Epistle 
as Pauline it is by no means so unanimous on the subject of its 
integrity. It will, therefore, be necessary to enter upon a somewhat 
full discussion of the question whether we have in the Epistle to 
the Philippians a simple unit or a compilation of two or more 
Pauline fragments. The main reasons for suggesting that the 
Epistle is a collection of letters or fragments of letters are the 
following : 

{a) The real basis of the disjunctive theory is undoubtedly the 
unexpected change of tone in iii. 2. The transition is so abrupt 
and the subject introduced at this point is so entirely different in 
spirit and character from the Epistle as a whole that many scholars 
are constrained to explain the change as being due to the interpola- 
tion of another letter at this point. 

{b) It is also alleged that there is in the Epistle itself evidence 
to show that more than one letter had been addressed by St Paul to 

d 2 


the Philippian Church. The fact that he had been the recipient of 
assistance from this Churcli on two previous occasions at least (cf. iv. 
16) would necessitate one or two letters of acknowledgment besides 
our present Epistle, and the expi'ession " to wTite the same things 
to you" (iii. 1) cannot well be explained by the contents of our 
letter and must, therefore, refer to previous correspondence between 
the Apostle and the Philippians. 

(c) There is also a certain amount of external evidence in favour 
of the supposition that St Paul wrote more than one letter to the 
Philippians. St Polycarp in his own letter to the same community, 
written in the second century, makes use of the plural "letters" with 
reference to the Apostle's correspondence with them. 

(d) The phrase "finally" with which chapter iii. opens indicates 
an intention on St Paul's part to close the letter at this point and 
is entirely out of place if it was followed by two more chapters, 
forming at least half the letter, as is the case in our present 

(e) It is argued that in the Epistle as it stands the acknow- 
ledgment of the Philippians' bounty is far too casual. It comes 
too near the end of the letter and is apparently nothing more than 
an afterthought, as the Apostle has been on the point of concluding 
the letter with the usual benediction before the acknowledgment is 

The majority of those who allege that the Epistle is a collection 
of letters rather than one single letter divide it into two separate 
documents. They all agree in placing the beginning of the second 
document at iii. 1 b or iii. 2, but there is a striking variety of opinion 
as to the precise point where that document ends. Some divide the 
Epistle into two straightforward documents (Baur and Hausrath), 
each consisting of two chapters, while others interpolate a letter 
consisting of chapters iii. and iv. 1-19 in the middle of an original 
letter which included chapters i. and ii., and iv. 20-23. Kirsopp 
Lake, who also favours the interpolation theory, would close the 
second letter at iv. 3 on the plea that the exhortation to "rejoice" 
found in iii. 1 is repeated and extended in iv. 4, w-hereby an admir- 
able sequence is formed. A more intricate scheme of partition is set 
forth by the Rev. J. E. Symes {Interpreter, Jan. 1914) who contends 
that St Paul must have written live letters to the Church of Philippi 
and that three of them, or fragments of three, are included in our 
present Epistle in the following order : (1) Phil. iii. 2-iv. 9 ; (2) Phil. 


iv. 10-20; (3) Phil. i. 1-iii. 1, iv. 21-23. According to this theory 
the canonical Epistle to the Philippians is the work of a scribe who 
combined these three Pauline docnments which had been preserved 
by the Philippian Church and formed them into one single letter. 

A less drastic view than those mentioned above is that of Ewald 
and others who suggest that we have in our Epistle not a collection 
of separate letters written and sent by St Paul at various times, but 
one document consisting of two sections, one of which was written 
considerably later than the other. 

Let us now examine these arguments. 

1. That St Paul addressed more than one letter to the Philip- 
pian Church, which he held in such high esteem and with which he 
was associated in the most intimate fellowship, is more than probable. 
To mention no other reason, the simple acknowledgment of the 
many gifts he had received at the hands of the Philippian Christians 
would necessitate a fairly wide correspondence. The Apostle was 
essentially a Christian gentleman, and we cannot conceive him re- 
ceiving bounty which was not promptly and gratefully acknowledged. 
But this does not imply that these letters or fragments of them are 
necessarily included in our Epistle. It is very much more reasonable 
to assume that these have perished with the great majority of letters 
that the Apostle must have written in the course of a long and 
active missionary career. There is, therefore, no difficulty in ac- 
cepting the suggestion that he wrote more than one letter to the 
Philippians, and it is quite possible that the expression "to write 
the same things to you " refers to some earlier written communi- 
cations. If it could be proved that St Polycarp by his use of the 
plural "letters" with reference to St Paul's correspondence with 
the Philippians was speaking of what he knew to be in existence 
at the time ivhen he tvas ivriting it would considerably strengthen 
the hands of those who advocate the "partition" theory. It is 
not likely that a letter of the Apostle's which had been preserved 
well into the second century would have been allowed to disappear, 
and the only alternative would be to assume that our Epistle is 
composed of more than one original letter. It is by no means 
improbable, however, that St Polycarp is thinking here of the letters 
to the neighbouring Church of Thessalonica as well as that to 
Philippi. His language in his own letter to the Philippians 
suggests that 2 Tliessalonians was closely associated in his mind 
with the Epistle to Philippi. We also know that TertuUian 


quotes our Epistle as if it had been addressed to the Thessalonian 
Church, and it is, therefore, possible that in the second century 
St Paul's letters to the Macedonian Churches caiue to be regarded 
as a definite group, closely connected with each other. This would 
explain St Polycarp's use of the plural as including not only the 
one Epistle to the Philippians, but the group as a whole (Moflfatt, 
Int. Lit. N.T. p. 174). I would suggest, however, that St Polycarp 
is using the term loosely. He knew that more than one letter had 
been written to Philippi by St Paul, but we need not assume that 
there were any of these in existence when he was writing beyond 
the one known to us. Farther, it is difficult to understand how, 
if there had been several letters to the Church of Philippi extant 
during the later years of St Polycarp, we should find no trace of 
them in Marcion, who was practically his contemporary. 

2. A study of the Pauline Epistles shows clearly that the Greek 
phrase which in our version is translated "finally" does not neces- 
sarily point to the imminent closing of the letter. In 1 Tliess. iv. 1 
and 2 Thess. iii. 1, e.g. the expression is found at a considerable 
distance from the concluding verses of the respective Epistles. In 
the " Koine " (the vernacular Greek of the period) the expression 
does little more than mark the transition from one subject to another, 
and in modern Greek it has become a mere substitute for "therefore". 
Its presence, then, in iii. 1 is no evidence that St Paul intended to 
conclude his letter at this point. 

3. Much stress is laid by some writers, and especially by Mr Symes, 
on the fact that the acknowledgment of the gift of the Philippians, 
which is clearly the practical motive of the letter, is relegated to its 
close and must, therefore, have formed part of another letter. 
A very superficial examination of the Apostle's method as illus- 
trated by his other Epistles completely disposes of this difficulty. 
The main practical purpose of 1 Corinthians was unquestionably the 
organisation of the " collection for the saints ", and yet there is not 
the slightest allusion to it until the very last chapter is reached. 
Again, the practical motive of the Epistle to the Romans is to pre- 
pare the Roman Church for a visit from St Paul in the near future. 
It is true that much is said in the first chapter concerning his desire 
to see Rome, but the actual details of the visit, the how and the 
when, are reserved until the 15th chapter and are not mentioned 
until the Epistle has apparently closed with the benediction in xv. 
13. In this respect our Epistle differs in no wise from what seems 


to have been the general practice of the Apostle. There is probably 
a reference to the generosity of the Philippians in i. 5 in the phrase 
"your fellowship", but the purely personal and practical details are 
relegated to the close of the letter after the more definitely hortatory 
and doctrinal issues have been adequately dealt with. 

4. The real foundation for the supposition that we have more 
than one document embodied in our Epistle is, as we have already 
mentioned, the transition from the first to the second verse of 
chapter iii. The change from "Rejoice in the Lord" of the one 
verse to " Beware of the dogs " of the other is undoubtedly very 
abrupt and disconcerting, but unless the evidence for the intrusion 
of an alien document is overwhelming it is preferable to look for an 
explanation of the change in another direction. Some of St Paul's 
other letters are not altogether free from similar phenomena. The 
presence of the "eulogy of love" (1 Cor. xiii.) in the very midst of 
a letter which affords the strongest manifestation of the stern and 
disciplinary sides of St Paul's character is a case in point. The 
truth is that both 1 Corinthians and this Epistle testify to the 
fulness and many-sidedness of the Apostle's personality. In the 
case of the Corinthian letter we see the womanly tenderness and 
love of the Apostle breaking through his indignation and reproaches 
like a gleam of bright sunshine piercing through the gloom of a 
stormy sky, while the contrary process is revealed in our Epistle. 
There the tenderness and affection with which his heart is over- 
flowing are for the moment overborne by his righteous indignation 
at some special manifestation of the animosity of his enemies. This 
outburst is generally regarded as directed against the Judaiserswho 
in the earlier years of his missionary activity had made him the 
object of their bitter malevolence. This solution is, however, fraught 
with many difficulties, and I am inclined to look in another direction 
for the particular enemy attacked here. The view adopted in this 
Commentary is that our Epistle was written towards the ver}^ close 
of the Roman imprisonment and after some of the preliminary pro- 
ceedings of the trial had already taken place. Is it not possible that 
while St Paul was actually writing the Epistle there may have arrived 
in Rome the deputation of Jewish witnesses from the Council at 
Jerusalem who proceeded to hound him to his death with that 
relentless hatred which had so nearly proved his doom in Jerusalem 
and Caesarea ? So while the Epistle was still in an unfinished state 
the Apostle found his hopes of release seriously jeopardised by the 


arrival of these hostile witnesses and gives vent to his indignation 
in the words which have caused so much difficulty. The abrupt 
change in the tone of the Epistle is all the more natural and in- 
telligible if we bear in mind the fact that the letter was dictated 
and was, therefore, a speech rather than a letter pure and simple. 
We can picture to ourselves the Apostle being interrupted in the 
very act of dictating by the news of the arrival of his relentless 
enemies, and then breaking out into the fierce invective which was 
so faithfully recorded by his amanuensis. The mood lasted but a 
short while, and before the end of the chapter is reached he is again 
on the serene heights, and in the remainder of the letter the original 
spirit is recovered, the joyous and confident tone being maintained 
to the very end. One of the strongest arguments against the " in- 
terpolation " theory is that while the break at the beginning of the 
third chapter is clear enough it is impossible to point out definitely 
where the alleged interpolation ends. The blend is so complete and 
the sequence so natural as to make the supposition of an interpola- 
tion at this point very difficult to accept. 

I do not consider, then, that the arguments taken singly or cumu- 
latively are of sufficient weight to justify us in destroying the unity 
of what is in some respects the most beautiful of all the Pauline Epis- 
tles. Further, a close study of the Epistle itself seems to me to prove 
incontestably that we have here no mere collection of Pauline frag- 
ments but a true Apostolic letter which, in spite of a momentary out- 
burst of indignation, breathes throughout the same spirit and is from 
beginning to end concerned with the same subject. Its contents 
and character may be described in one comprehensive phrase, " the 
Epistle of Humility". From first to last it is the thought of humi- 
lity, Christian humility which has its issue in Christian unity, that 
underlies every utterance in it. There are two expressions which 
mark the very spirit of the letter, "lowliness of mind" and "be of 
one mind" with its variant " be of the same mind". After the first 
chapter, in which the Apostle discourses on his own fortunes and 
the progress of Christianity in Rome, he comes to the main subject 
in the second chapter where it is emphasised in verse after verse. 
The great Christological passage in ii. 5-11 is the very heart of the 
Epistle, and there humility is the central thought and the humility 
of Christ is set up as the great pattern. How then does the so-called 
interpolated section stand with respect to this Christian grace of 
humility which is the leading thought of the Epistle as a whole ? 


Nothing further removed from Christian humility could be imagined 
than the opening verses of chapter iii. with their fierce attacks upon 
the Jews and the Apostle's proud boast of his Hebrew descent and 
of his righteousness in the sight of the law. And yet the chapter 
as a whole offers a most striking parallel to the second chapter, and 
the parallelism is not confined to the general idea but is extended 
also to details. In the previous chapter the Apostle has given us 
an eloquent and moving statement concerning our Lord's " self- 
emptying" and in this chapter he repeats the process, but the 
"self-emptying" is now his own and not his Master's. And more, 
the stages in his own spiritual character correspond exactly, although 
naturally on a different plane, with those he has sketched in his 
conception of the Master's course from glory to glory. He too has 
had his period of privilege and honour, based it is true on wrong 
principles, but real enough at the time when he was proud of his 
Hebrew descent and of his Pharisaic righteousness. He too has 
passed through a period of "humiliation and self-emptying" when 
he willingly abandoned all that formerly seemed to give existence 
any value that he might gain the only prize that he knew now to 
be worth attaining. For him too, by the grace and the power of 
God in Christ Jesus, a period of glory was to dawn, when he attained 
"unto the resurrection from the dead". And all through this 
touching autobiographical passage there shines the most winning 
humility, and the dominating motif of the Epistle comes out clearly 
in such passages as "Not that I have already obtained or am already 
made perfect", "I count not myself yet to have apprehended". 
The whole passage closes with an exhortation to the Philippians to 
cherish the same humble but confident disposition (iii. 15), and the 
keynote is once again sounded in the phrase " be thus minded " and 
is repeated in the following verse "if ye be otherwise minded". 
Further in the last verse of the chapter we have an echo of the 
same leading thought where St Paul speaks of "the body of our 
humiliation ", and it is most significant that when he describes the 
progress of the body from its phase of weakness and decay to the 
glory which awaits it he should reproduce in the words fxeraaxv/xa- 
Tt^w and (rvixixop(f>o<; the fundamental terms that he uses with refer- 
ence to our Lord's own progress from humiliation to glory in ii. 5-11, 
viz. o-x^iiAtt and fji-opcjiy]. Finally in iv. 2 which still belongs to the 
alleged foreign document the phrase "be ye of the same mind" 
recurs. The literary evidence is, therefore, overwhelmingly in favour 


of the integrity of our Epistle. Nut only is the spirit of the re- 
mainder of the letter (Hscernihle in the .so-called interpolated section 
but the very phrases which constitute the keynote of the letter as a 
whole occur repeatedly in it, giving to the whole document a unity 
and self-consistency which the arguments we have adduced are 
powerless to destroy. 

VI. The Occasion and Purpose of the Epistle. 

One of the most interesting characteristics of primitive Christianity 
was the development of the use of letters as a medium of communi- 
cation between individuals and Churches. The use of letters for 
religious purposes was not altogether a novelty, because we find 
instances of a similar usage in earlier times. Jeremiah writes a 
letter to the captives who had been carried away to Babylon which 
is essentially religious in character (Jer. xxix.). In the Apocrypha 
also the Book of Baruch is composed of two books of a hortatory 
character in the form of letters, one from Baruch himself written 
from Babylon to the remnant of the Jews in Jerusalem (chaps, i.-v.), 
and the other from Jeremiah at Jerusalem to the exiles in Babylon. 
But what Ramsay says with regard to the Christian use of the letter 
is fully justified: "The Christians developed the letter into new 
forms, applied it to new uses, and placed it upon a much higlier 
plane than it had ever before stood upon. In their hands communi- 
cation by letter became one of the most, if not the most, important 
agencies for consolidating and maintaining the sense of unity among 
the scattered branches of the universal Church... The unity of the 
separate and equal congregations was kept alive by travel and corre- 
spondence" {H. D. B. Vol. V. "Roads and Travel"). St Paul took 
a leading part in this development and he may well be called the 
creator of the Christian letter. 

The force of circumstances had doubtless something to do with 
the important position assumed by the letter in the Pauline world. 
The wide extent of his missionary activities would alone neces.sitate 
some agent of communication between himself and the many com- 
munities he had founded, but he was the first to see that the contents 
of a letter need not be confined to the mere discussion of matters of 
practical interest and that it can be made the channel of teaching, 
reproof, comfort, exhortation, and love in a way which has been 
imitated by all great Christian letter-writers in subsequent ages. 


The recent discovery oi papyrus documents in Egypt in considerable 
numbers enables us to form a very clear idea oi" the exact form and 
appearance of the Pauline letters. Taking the ordinary papyrus letter 
as a specimen we may infer that the Apostle wrote on a papyrus 
sheet 5 to 5^ inches wide by 9 to 11 inches long. One of these 
sheets would contain a short note like the Epistle to Philemon, but 
when more than one sheet was required they were joined together at 
the ends and formed into a long roll. The sheet was covered on 
one side only with writing arranged in two parallel columns. We 
know from the Apostle's own statement that he generally dictated 
his letters and was content himself with inscribing the final saluta- 
tion in his own writing. Our Epistle was probably actually written 
by Timothy. (See note on i. 1.) The custom of employing an 
amanuensis is illustrated by many of the papyrus letters in which 
the signature is written in a different hand from that of the main 
document. But the parallels between the Pauline letters and the 
normal correspondence of the period are not confined to matters of 
shape and appearance, for the style, plan, and some of the most 
characteristic expressions of St Paul's letters are imitations of those 
found in the ordinary Greek letter. A reference to the vix-^Vi^ papyrus 
letters printed in Deissmann'si//^^^/rc?/^ the Ancient East or to the 
few contained in Milligan's most interesting note on " St Paul as a 
letter writer" {Commentary on. 1 and 2 Thess., pp. 121 ff.) shows 
how far the structure of a Pauline letter with its address, greeting, 
thanksgiving, special contents, personal salutation, and autograph 
was based on the plan of the current letter of the period. 

The conveyance of letters from one place to another was at this 
time a matter of some difficulty. There was certainly an Imperial 
postal system, but its use was strictly confined to Imperial and 
official correspondence. Travelling, however, both for business and 
pleasure was popular, safe, and easy, and Ramsay tells us that at no 
period in the history of the world previous to the introduction of 
steamers and railways was communication so simple and so certain 
as in the days of the Empire. The facilities offered by the journeys 
of friends and acquaintances or by those of special messengers were 
largely utilised for the conveyance of letters in New Testament times, 
and it would seem that most of St Paul's letters were conveyed to 
their destinations by some such means as these. It was an oppor- 
tunity of this character that explains the sending of our Epistle. 
Some months before the Apostle had received from the Philippian 


Church by the hands of Epaphroditus a gift of money. The latter 
was, however, not content with being the mere almoner of the Church 
of Philippi, but had on his arrival in Rome devoted himself so com- 
pletely to the service of St Paul that he fell victim to a serious 
illness which at one time threatened to prove fatal. He, however, 
eventually recovered and was now on the point of returning to his 
native city. St Paul decided to take advantage of his return to send 
a letter to the Church which had so generously ministered to his 
needs, primarilj' to thank them for their kindly thought towards 
himself, and at the same time to reassure them concerning his own 
personal situation, which seems to have caused them some anxiety. 
This letter was our Epistle to the Philippians. It is a moot point 
whether our Epistle betrays any traces of being a reply to a letter 
from the Philippians as well as an acknowledgment of the gift 
received from them. It is quite in accordance with the fitness of 
things that the monetary contribution should have been accom- 
panied by a letter in which the Philippians expressed their un- 
swerving affection for St Paul as well as their apprehensions for 
his future in view of his coming trial. It is now generally recognised 
that some passages in the Pauline Epistles are simpl)^ quotations 
from letters received by the Apostle which he has incorporated in his 
reply. A well-known instance of this is the passage in 1 Cor. viii. 1-9 
where he is dealing with the difficult question of " meat sacrificed to 
idols", and where, in verse after verse, he seems to take up the position 
assumed by those who wrote to him asking him for guidance on this 
particular matter. (See Lock, in Expositor-, Series V, vol. vi, pp. 65 ff.) 
Some scholars maintain that this is true to an appreciable extent of 
our Epistle and that here and there phrases are found which betray 
the very words employed by the Philippians in their letter to the 
Apostle. Thus in i. 12 we seem to have a direct reply to an enquiry 
as to the condition of his own affairs : in i. 7 the rendering adopted 
by some, " because you have me in your hearts " sounds like a direct 
quotation of an expression of deep affection on the part of the 
Philippians, and again in iv. 10 an apology from the Philippians for 
the fact that they had not been able to come to his assistance before 
seems to be repeated. (See Rendel Harris, Expositor, Series V, vol. 8, 
p. 409.) The situation as described in the Epistle seems also to 
demand a further communication from the Philippians, because in 
ii. 26 the Apostle refers to the fact that they had received informa- 
tion of Epaphroditus' illness and that he himself was aware that this 


had caused them considerable anxiety. The question, therefore, 
arises whether the traces of a communication from the PhiUppians 
discernible in our Epistle belong to a letter which accompanied 
the gift or to a later letter sent when they had heard of the illness 
of Epaphroditus and the imminent approach of St Paul's trial. 
Zahu {Int. to N. T. Vol. i. pp. 525 ff.) has built up quite an imposing 
theory around this point. He maintains that the Apostle must 
have sent an acknowledgment of the Philippians' bounty soon after 
its receipt, and that in this letter he informed them of the illness 
of Epaphroditus and added some warnings like those contained in 
the third chapter of our present Epistle, which would explain the 
reference in iii. 1, " To write the same things to you ". Our Epistle 
would in this case be a reply not to any communication, oral or 
written, conveyed by Epaphroditus but to a later letter written to 
acknowledge the receipt of St Paul's thanks. Zahn also tells us that 
our Epistle enables us to have a tolerably definite idea of what that 
letter contained. In i. 3 where, according to the best supported 
reading (in Zahn's view), St Paul emphasises the point that he on his 
part thanks the Lord Jesus for " their fellowship in furtherance of 
the Gospel " he sees a reference to an expression of dissatisfaction 
on the part of the Philippians as to the extent of their support of 
the Apostle and of his work. The tone of the Apostle's language 
in ii. 17, 25, 30, and more especially in iv. 10-20 with reference to 
the mission of Epaphroditus and the gift of which he was the bearer 
are only intelligible, according to Zahn, on the supposition that the 
Church of Philippi had very strongly expressed the feeling that it 
had been slow and ungenerous in coming to his assistance. To the 
Philippians the Apostle's acknowledgment of their bounty had seemed 
cold and lacking in gratitude, and in our Epistle, therefore, he sets 
their mind at rest on this particular point. But this was not the 
only question concerning which they seemed to have formed a wrong 
impression for, according to our critic, they had gone seriously astray 
in their view of the Apostle's own situation. They had described 
themselves as being in a state of grave anxiety as to the result of 
his trial and full of fear that not only the Apostle's own life but the 
whole cause of the Gospel was in extreme peril. It is this impres- 
sion which the Apostle seeks to remove in i. 12-19 when he tells 
them that his trial, far from having the effect they anticipated, had 
had the precisely opposite effect, and that both his own situation 
and the prospects of the Gospel had been considerably enhanced 


thereby. The purpose of our Epistle then, according to Zahn, was 
to dispel the depression among the Philippian Christians caused by 
their anxiety concerning the Apostle's welfare and the future of the 
Church in Rome and to disabuse their minds of the idea that their 
contribution was deficient either in amount or in real warmth of 
spirit and affection. It is this that explains the repeated exhorta- 
tion to rejoice and the frequent and cordial recognition of their 
generosity, as well as the expression of satisfaction and pride in the 
Church, the glowing picture of the progress of the Gospel in Rome, 
and the favourable description of his own situation. There is doubt- 
less much that is true and suggestive in the situation as delineated 
by Zahn, and there is no insuperable difficulty in accepting the 
supposition that St Paul received two written communications from 
Philippi, one by the hand of Epaphroditus and another later on 
telling him of their great anxiety concerning the latter's illness and 
expressing their sorrow and affectionate concern because of the 
Apostle's coming trial and its possible issue. There is no sound 
reason, however, for assuming more than one written communication 
from Philippi to the Apostle, which would be the letter accom- 
panying the gift. Any later message that reached Rome from 
Philippi would probably be a verbal one, or perhaps only a casual 
hint by a Christian traveller who had passed through Philippi on his 
way westwards to Rome. Our Epistle was probably the first written 
acknowledgment of the Philippians' generosity, although it is quite 
possible that the same person who enlightened the latter as to the 
illness of Epaphroditus may also have conveyed a verbal message of 
thanks from the Apostle. There is in the Epistle, however, no trace 
of the complex situation or atmosphere of suspicion and misunder- 
standing which Zahn describes. Not one single phrase in the Epistle 
in this connection requires the interpretation put upon it by him, 
and it is only by overpressing certain simple statements and by 
twisting others that any such view is made possible. The whole 
tone of the letter is in direct opposition to any such situation. It is 
permeated through and through by the spirit of absolute trust and 
confidence, and there is not a word from beginning to end which 
countenances the allegation that the Philippians were grieved at the 
Apostle's lack of proper gratitude or that they had gravely mis- 
understood his position at Rome and needed reproof and correction 
on that point. The real situation is perfectly clear and simple. 
The Apostle had received from the Philippian Church, the dearest 


to his heart of all the Churches that he had founded, a generous 
gift, probably accompanied by a letter expressing their warmest 
affection for him and their regret that circumstances had prevented 
them from ministering earlier to his wants. With this they would 
couple an enquiry as to his personal welfare and the progress of the 
Church in Rome, more especially in view of his coming trial which 
they had heard was to take place shortly and naturally caused 
them some anxiety. The Apostle was prevented by some causes un- 
known to us from sending an immediate written acknowledgment of 
the receipt of their bounty, but takes advantage of the chance journey 
of a Christian brother from Rome to Philippi to send a verbal message 
intimating that the gift and letter had been gratefully received, but 
that Epaphroditus, their messenger and bearer of their bounty, was 
seriously ill. When a s\ifficient period had elapsed to allow of the 
arrival of a later message from Philippi acquainting the Apostle with 
the grief and anxiety occasioned by the news concerning Epaphroditus 
he finds himself in a position to be able to write to them, thanking 
them for their gift, setting their minds at ease with regard to his 
own personal welfare and the progress of the Gospel in Rome, and 
comforting them with regard to Epaphroditus who is now well enough 
to undertake the journey homewards and to be the bearer of the 
letter itself These three points may be said to constitute the 
primary purpose of the letter, although other matters are touched 
upon concerning which more will be said in the section which treats 
of the Philippian Church and its affairs. 

VII. The Historical Value of the Epistle. 

The Epistle to the Philippians is of unusual value as a contri- 
bution to the history of the Apostolic Church, because it not only 
throws considerable light upon the condition of the primitive Chris- 
tian community at Philippi, but is also our one source of information 
concerning a somewhat obscure period in the life of St Paul and in 
the histoiy of the great Church of Rome. The latter feature is, 
indeed, the more important of the two. 

1. St Paul at Rome. 

St Luke, in the Acts, traces the course of St Paul's missionary 
career up to the point where it reaches its climax in the arrival of 
the Apostle in Rome. The details of the arrival itself and the events 


of the days which immediately followed it are described with much 
fulness, but the book comes to an abrupt close with the intimation 
that St Paul " abode two whole years in his own hired dwelling, and 
received all that went in unto him, preaching the kingdom of God 
and teaching the things concerning the Lord Jesus with all boldness, 
none forbidding him " (Acts xxviii. 30, 31). For anything like a 
detailed account of the events of this period of two years and of the 
character of the relationships that existed between the Apostle and 
the Christian community in Rome on the one hand, and between 
him and the Imperial power on the other, we are almost entirely 
indebted to our Epistle. It is true that several others of the Pauline 
Epistles were written from the Roman prison, but beyond a mere 
catalogue of the names of his most intimate companions at the time 
in Col. iv. 7-14 and Philemon 23, 24, and a general reference to 
his imprisonment in Ephes. iii. 1, iv. 1 and Philemon 9, they have 
nothing to tell us of the Apostle's personal condition or of Rome, 
whether pagan or Christian. 

In our Epistle, however, there are several passages which 
enable us to realise to some extent the effect of the presence 
of the great Apostle in the Imperial capital and his influence 
upon the fortunes of Christianity in that city. The picture that 
the Epistle gives us is of St Paul in Rome after nearly two years' 
confinement in his own lodgings, where he was still free to receive 
all who came to him and to exercise his Apostolic mission under 
somewhat restricted conditions. The mere arrival of St Paul, the 
foremost representative of Christianity, in Rome as a prisoner who 
had appealed to the Imperial tribunal was in itself an event of first 
rate importance in the history of the Church. For the first time 
organised Christianity and the Empire stood face to face in the capital 
itself, and St Paul's appeal was a definite challenge to the Empire to 
enter upon that conflict which was to deluge the world with the blood 
of the saints and less than three centuries afterwards was to issue 
in the complete victory of the Church. There was existing in Rome 
before St Paul's arrival a considerable Christian community, con- 
cerning whose origin we have no positive evidence, but which in the 
opinion of some modern scholars had already enjoyed tlie privilege 
of St Peter's presence and leadership, (See especially Edmundson's 
Bampton Lectures, 1913.) It had, however, been content to lead 
its life quietly and had apparently not attracted the special attention 
of pagan or Jewish Rome. With St Paul's arrival upon the scene 


all this was changed. He was already a notable personage in the 
provinces of the Empire, he had come into close contact with Roman 
provincial Governors and high Imperial officials, and had drawn upon 
himself the implacable hostility of the Jews throughout the world. 
Christianity in the person of St Paul in Rome, therefore, became a 
factor to be reckoned with, and the results which followed the change 
in the situation are outlined for us with some definiteness in our 
Epistle. St Paul had already passed through some of the preliminary 
stages of his trial, and it would seem that this had had the effect of 
concentrating attention upon him and the cause he represented. In 
our letter he points out how his presence as a prisoner in Rome and 
the proceedings of his trial had affected his relationships with those 
who were without as well as those within the Church. In pagan 
Rome he mentions two definite spheres in which his own personal 
situation and the Gospel that he preached had become matters of 
interest, w'u. the Imperial household and the Praetorian Guard, and 
he suggests that this was true to some extent of the city as a whole 
(i. 13). His success among the dependants of Caesar's household is 
probably to be explained by the fact that his dwelling was in the 
near vicinity of the Imperial palace, and when we remember that he 
was guarded continuously by a succession of soldiers of the Imperial 
Guard we can understand how the story and something of the per- 
sonal influence of this prisoner had permeated through the whole of 
that body. If we may assume that Romans xvi was written before 
his journey to Rome, it would follow that Christianity had found 
its way into the Imperial household before the arrival of St Paul 
in Rome, for among the Christians to whom he sends greetings in 
that chapter are members of the households of Aristobulus, a son 
of Herod the Great, and of Narcissus, a freedman and favourite of 
Claudius, both of which eventually passed into the possession of 
the Emperor. The Apostle was, therefore, building here on foun- 
dations laid by others. The tone of his language in reference to 
this aspect of his work is one of complete satisfaction and seems 
to imply that Christianity had made itself felt in these circles not 
merely as an object of curiosity, but that a substantial harvest in 
the shape of Christian converts had been gathered in. 

When he comes to speak of his relationships with the Christian 
community in Rome as a whole and of the effect of his presence and 
trial upon it, his satisfaction and joy are not so complete, although 
he exhibits here a wonderful capacity for broadmindedness and 


elimination of self (cf. i. 18 : iv. 5 t6 IttulkU). The Roman Church 
was evidently not a perfectly united and homogeneous body. In its 
early days Christianity in Rome was probably represented by various 
separate groups which met in different houses for the purposes of 
worship and fellowship, and it was the work of years to amalgamate 
these into one organised Christian body, and even as late as the 
date of our Epistle the work was not complete and there was still 
a considerable cleavage. The Church was now apparently prepon- 
deratingly Gentile in character, but with a strong admixture of the 
Jewish element which was particularly active and zealous. In tracing 
the effect upon Roman Christianity of his imprisonment and the 
early stages of his trial, and more especially of his courageous and 
free-spoken defence which had evidently produced a strong impres- 
sion in the court, the Apostle explains that the Roman Church as a 
whole had been stimulated to renewed courage and zeal, but that all 
Roman Christians were not animated by the same motives. One 
section was devoted to him heart and soul and laboured in behalf of 
the Gospel in a manner that filled him with joy and gladness, but 
there was another section of the Church, and apparently an influ- 
ential one, which displayed considerable activity as propagandists, 
but whose efforts did not commend themselves entirely to him. 
They preached " Christ of envy and strife" and proclaimed " Christ 
of faction, not sincerely, thinking to raise up affliction for me in my 
bonds" (i. 15, 17). What this particular section of Roman Chris- 
tians was composed of and what was the precise method of its 
operations have been subjects of much discussion. That it consisted 
mainly, if not entirely, of Jews and that Jewish hostility towards the 
Apostle lay at the root of its attitude is, I think, beyond question. 
And yet they cannot have been Judaisers of the tj^e that is familiar 
to us in the Epistle to the Galatians. It is impossible to imagine 
the Apostle employing language of the comparatively mild character 
that we find in this Epistle if it had reference to quasi-Christians 
who proclaimed a false Gospel. It is important to note that what is 
condemned in our Epistle is not the content of the Gospel preached, 
but the methods and motives of its preachers. The complaint uttered 
by the Apostle is mainly of a personal nature, and it is entirely 
opposed to his character to push his own person to the front if 
the objective truth of the Gospel of Christ is at stake. The real 
basis for the conduct which is made the subject of reproof was 
jealousy of the Apostle's presence in Rome and of his influence upon 


the Church of Rome as a whole. That Church had had a fairly 
long and independent existence before he appeared on the scene, 
and if it had for some years enjoyed the presence of St Peter at its 
head it is not difficult to understand how a section might resent the 
position claimed by St Paul. The very fact that they were Jews 
would at the very outset prevent a too friendly attitude towards 
St Paul, and when his energies became absorbed by the events of 
his trial and his activities proportionately restricted the opportunity 
was too good to lose. They were now comparatively free to follow 
their own bent and to assert their independence of the Apostle's 
guidance, and, according to his own statement, they were not above 
carrying on their propaganda with the deliberate object of causing 
him pain and of making his want of freedom still harder to bear. 
The words with which this passage in the Epistle closes (i. 18) 
are a noble testimony to the Apostle's real breadth of mind and 
toleration and a notable instance of his power to forget himself 
when the cause of Christ was at stake. His opponents' method of 
preaching did not commend itself to him and their attitude towards 
himself was mean, ungenerous, and painful, and yet it was Christ 
that they preached and proclaimed and he, therefore, rejoiced, aye, 
and would rejoice. 

The Apostle's language in ii. 20, 21 would seem to imply that 
when the Epistle was written he was separated from most of his 
intimate friends and companions, and the fact that only two of these 
are mentioned, viz. Timothy, who is associated with him in the 
address, and Epaphroditus, who was to be the bearer of the letter, 
points in the same direction. But we know from other letters 
written from Home that there were several other brethren with 
him during some portion of his imprisonment. It is almost certain 
that Luke and Aristarchus were in his company when he arrived in 
Rome, and that they remained with him until after the Epistles 
to the Colossians and Philemon had been written, and these same 
Epistles show that Mark, Jesus Justus, Epaphras, Demas, and 
Tychicus had been added to their number (Col. iv. 10-14 : Philemon 
23, 24). It is probable, then, that before our Epistle was written 
most, if not all, of these had left Rome on dijBTerent missions assigned 
to them by St Paul. Tychicus we know to have been sent to the 
Churches of the Lycus valley (Col. iv. 7, 8) and it is more than 
likely that he was accompanied by Epaphras, who was closely con- 
nected with these Churches, and by Mark, who was at the time 

e 2 


contemplating a journey to that district (Col. iv. 10). The meaning 
of the reference in ii. 2, " For they all seek their own, not the 
things of Jesus Christ " is obscure, but it is difficult to believe 
that Luke, the beloved physician and St Paul's loyal companion in 
so many perils, could have been at his side when they were written. 
The tone of the passage speaks of one who is oppressed by loneliness 
and isolation : his best and most faithful friends are no longer by 
his side to comfort him, and those who are left, with the exception 
of Timothy, are not animated by the same devotion to himself and 
his principles ; their motives are not so unselfish and disinterested, 
and the Apostle is for the moment saddened and discouraged. 

If our interpretation of iii. 2 ff. be correct there would be a further 
reason for his temporary depression at the very time when the Epistle 
Avas being dictated. The hostility of the Jews in Rome, encouraged 
perhaps by the arrival of the Jewish witnesses from Jerusalem, had 
become active and intensified, and St Paul's prospects of release and 
freedom were receding into the distance in consequence. The separa- 
tion from his friends that he loved and his isolation, together with 
his darkened prospects, proved a burden which was for the moment 
heavier than he could bear, but the courage of the Christian soldier 
triumphs and he soon becomes his own buoyant, confident self again. 
So the picture given to us in the Epistle of the Apostle's own situa- 
tion and of the state of the Roman Church is on the whole painted 
in bright colours, but there are shadows on the canvas here and 
there. The trial as far as it has progressed has been generally 
favourable, but the hostility of the Jews is a grave danger, and the 
future is by no means clear. There is much zeal and activity on 
behalf of the Gospel in the Roman Church, but there are causes 
of disquiet and anxiety. His own influence is on the wane, and 
other methods and other principles than his threaten to become 
ascendant. He is sometimes lonely and depressed, he is not among 
his own children as would be the case at Philippi, and although he 
is surrounded by many friends they are not interested in the Church 
at large outside of Rome itself and they are absorbed in their own 
more immediate concerns. And yet the Apostle's unfailing hope 
and courage overcome all difficulties, and the Epistle throughout 
breathes the spirit of true Christian joy. Come what may, life or 
death, devotion or jealousy, the sweet company of faithful friends 
or the loneliness of isolation " I rejoice, yea, and will rejoice " 
(i. 18). 


2. The Church of Pkilippi. 

The history of the founding of the Church at Philippi as related 
in the Acts will have taught us to some extent what we might expect 
to learn of the condition of that Church at the time when our Epistle 
was written. Some twelve years had elapsed since the Gospel was 
first preached at Philippi, but there does not seem to have been any 
notable change in the situation, and the Church had developed along 
the lines which were characteristic of its earliest history, of which 
three are very marked. 

1. The affectionate relationship existing between the Apostle 
and his converts. The narrative in the Acts lays emphasis upon 
the hospitable reception of the Christian missionaries, the generosity 
of Lydia, the widespread success of the Gospel and its effect upon 
difi'erent grades of society, and the manifest sympathy of the neo- 
phytes with the Apostle in his sufferings. Now all this and more is 
reflected in the picture of the Church of Philippi which is drawn in 
our Epistle. The letter itself is pre-eminently the most affectionate 
and joyous of all the Pauline Epistles. Bengel summarises its con- 
tents in the phrase " Gaudeo, gaudete ". It is remarkably free from 
complaint and fiiult-finding and points definitely to the absence of 
any lack of loyalty to the Apostle himself on the part of the Philip- 
pian Church. The sympathy and generosity assume a practical form 
in the sending of a substantial gift of money towards the Apostle's 
needs in his Roman prison, and his high regard for the Church is 
displayed by his readiness to accept the gift, a privilege that he had 
denied to other Churches. That it was thoroughly loyal to St Paul 
is written large on the very surface of the Epistle ; his authority is 
never called in question and there is no reflection cast upon his 
position as an Apostle. Reverence and an affectionate regard for 
the great Christian missionary who had called them from darkness 
into light were the sentiments which governed the Church. The 
mutual relations which existed between the Apostle and liis con- 
verts were the ideal of what should exist between the shepherd and 
his flock. On the one side we find sympathy at a time of afflic- 
tion, support in a period of want, loyalty, intense and sincere, towards 
the Apostle's person and office, a faithful following of his teaching and 
practice, and earnest prayer for his welfare, spiritual and material, 
and on the other an affectionate trust, deep gratitude, and a 


heart-felt appreciation of all their efforts on his behalf and that 
of the Gospel, while these sentiments are cemented and sanctified 
by his never ceasing supplication to God through Christ Jesus for 
the spiritual progress of his beloved Philippian Church. 

2. The position of women in the Church of Philippi. The 
"first-fruit" of the Gospel in Philippi was a woman, Lydia, the 
purple-seller of Thyatira and a "God-fearer" before her reception 
into the Christian Church. We are, therefore, not surprised to 
find that women continued to play a prominent part in the further 
history of the Philippian Church. It is not fanciful to attribute in 
some degree the affectionate relationship between St Paul and that 
Church to womanly interest and sympathy, and it is quite in accord- 
ance with what we know of woman's nature to see in the frequent 
efforts of the Church to minister to the Apostle's wants something 
of her influence and activity. At the same time women are prone 
to suffer from the defects of their qualities and their zeal and devo- 
tion are occasionally apt to lead to mutual jealousies and dissensions. 
This would seem to have been the case at Philippi, and one of the 
discordant notes in the Epistle is concerned with two women, Euodia 
and Syntyche, who had laboured praiseworthily in the building up 
of the Church. A report of this somewhat discreditable quarrel 
had reached the Apostle, and it called forth from him an earnest 
exhortation to these persons to settle their differences and to cease 
to trouble the Church. Generally speaking, however, the influence 
of the feminine element in Philippi was admirable and had unques- 
tionably no little share in developing a faithful, loyal, affectionate, 
and Christ-like community in that city. 

3. The constituent elements of the Church of Philippi. We 
have seen that Jews were comparatively few in Philippi, and 
what was true of the city as a whole would also seem to be appli- 
cable to the Christian portion of it. The Church of Philippi was 
unquestionably mainly Gentile in character, and it is to this that 
we must attribute much of what is characteristic of its development 
and ultimate history. Its unique relations with St Paul, its marked 
affection for him, its undeviating loyalty to his person and doctrine, 
and its comparative freedom from divisions and controversies were 
due in no slight measure to the absence from its midst of the dis- 
turbing Jewish element, which was always hostile to the Apostle. 
Another factor that perhaps points to the weakness of the Jewish 
section is the acceptance on the part of St Paul of frequent financial 


contributions from this particular Church. It is doubtful whether 
any such assistance would ever have been offered had the Jewish 
party been strong at Philippi, but it is tolerably certain that St Paul 
would never have consented to put himself under an obligation to 
the Church under these conditions. Cf 1 Cor. ix. 12; 2 Cor. ix.- 

We have already suggested (p. xlv) that the passage iii. 2 ff. is 
not concerned with Judaising Christians, and it, therefore, cannot 
be used as evidence for the existence of a powerful Jewish Christian 
community at Philippi. But even if it were satisfactorily established 
that the Apostle had in view here his old and bitter opponents it is 
most improbable that they were to be found within the Philippian 
Church itself The whole tone of the Epistle is against any such 
cleavage within the Church as this would imply, and it is much more 
probable that the Judaising peril, if it really existed, was approaching 
the Philippian Church from outside and that the Apostle thought it 
right to put the Church on its guard against it. 

Weaknesses in the Philippian Church. Although the condi- 
tions at Philippi are on the whole satisfactory there are shadows 
in the picture here as well as in that of the Roman Church at the 
same period. 

(a) The Church was apparently not entirely free from persecu- 
tion. At Philippi, as well as in the Christian world as a whole, there 
were "adversaries" and it had been granted to the Church of Philippi 
to " suffer on behalf of Christ " (i. 28, 29). The Apostle's exhorta- 
tion at this point seems to imply that the effect of persecution had 
been to strike terror into the hearts of some of the Philippian con- 
verts with the result that they were in danger of falling away and 
abandoning their newly-won faith. There was needed a firm and 
united attitude on the part of the whole Church, the development 
of true Christian courage and endurance, and the display of a fear- 
less and confident front towards the enemy. The exhortation is 
enforced by an appeal to his own firmness and courage when con- 
fronted by similar conditions. 

(b) The two key-notes of the Epistle are the Christian virtues 
of humility and unity, and it is, therefore, probable that in the 
Church of Philippi there was some tendency to disregard the prime 
necessity of these two ingredients in the perfect growth of the 
Christian body. The dispositions that conduced to the dissensions 
among the leading women of the Church, self-love, ambition, and 


jealousy, were no doubt to some extent characteristic of other sec- 
tions of the Church. The old Macedonian pride and independence 
and Roman arrogance, in both races the natural outcome of a long 
career of conquest, may have had something to do with this de- 
velopment. They produced a spirit of self-satisfaction and a sense 
of superiority among some of the members. The striking passage, 
iii. 11-16, where St Paul sketches his own personal Christian career 
and the classical description of the virtue of humility with Christ 
Himself as the great Exemplar in ii. 5-8 point to some such situa- 
tion as we have suggested. The danger was one which often threatens 
the growth of a young and exceedingly energetic body, and although 
it had not yet become a serious menace it threatened the future 
welfare of the Church and evoked from the Apostle a grave and 
reasoned protest. 

The failure of the later Philippian Church to realise the fair 
promise of its early life may have been due to its disregard of the 
Apostle's warning, and it is quite possible that it perished not so 
much from attacks from outside as from weaknesses inherent in itself 
which eventually produced disintegration and ruin. 

(c) Closely connected with the party of " superiority and self- 
satisfaction " and forming indeed another wing of the section which 
arrogated to itself the title of "spiritual" was a section of Philip- 
pian Christians of whom St Paul speaks in terms of the gravest 
reprobation and severity. The Apostle's language in describing 
this party reaches the very climax of condemnation. They are the 
" enemies of the cross of Christ, whose God is the belly and whose 
glory is in their shame" (iii. 18, 19). Many scholars interpret this 
passage as having reference to Jewish Christians (see note m loc), 
but St Paul's terms here are difficult to understand if he had in 
view Jews, who were generally pure and careful in their outward 
lives, whereas they are perfectly intelligible if applied to a type of 
Gentile Christian with whom we are quite familiar in other Pauline 
Epistles. It is more than probable that the assumption of superiority 
and the claim to "perfection" (iii. 15) associated with the one vm\g 
and the libertinism which the Apostle bewails in the other are both 
traceable to the same cause. In both cases we are reminded of the 
"spiritual" party in the Church of Corinth (1 Cor. ii. 10-13, 15, 
16, iii. 1, and chapters viii., ix., x.) which claimed that, as the Spirit 
was received in the Christian Sacraments and gave eternal life to 
the recipient, religion was consequently entirely a matter of the 


spirit. This conception had two practical results. In the one case 
it produced the ascetic who prided himself upon his abstinence from 
all that is carnal, and in the other it accounted for the immorality 
of those who claimed that what was done in and through the body- 
could not affect the life of the spirit. Traces of both these tenden- 
cies are discernible in our Epistle, but to see them when they have 
reached their complete development we have to study the teaching 
of the later Gnostic sects. 

VIII. The Characteristics of the Epistle. 

(a) Its style. The first feature that strikes the reader of the 
Epistle is that it is a real letter. There is no trace of the studied 
and conventional style of the classical epistle : there is no straining 
after effect and nothing to denote a production composed for the 
eye of the public. From beginning to end it is personal, intimate, 
and informal. Jowett once remarked that St Paul's Epistles "read 
like good conversation ", and of no Epistle is this perhaps so true 
as of the Epistle to the Philippians. It reminds one rather of a 
person speaking to his beloved converts face to face than writing to 
them from a distance, and this is perhaps explained by the fact 
that the letter was almost certainly dictated to and copied by an 
amanuensis. We seek in vain for any sign of careful and reasoned 
method in its composition, and it is so free from anything like 
logical sequence that it is often a matter of considerable difficulty 
to trace the exact sequence between one paragraph and another. 
The intimate and familiar style is also heightened by the absence 
of the official designation "Apostle" in the address of the letter. 
It is not the "Apostle" armed with authority that speaks here, but 
the personal friend and the Christian brother writing to those who 
were very near his heart. Both he and they are " servants of Jesus 
Christ". The strictly doctrinal element is also introduced subordi- 
nately. It is the personal relations, both on his side and theirs, that 
are allowed to have their full sway. He is much concerned with 
their anxiety about himself and with their sympathy for him in his 
many afflictions, and he strives tenderly, as a father with his children, 
to quiet their minds, to encourage them in the face of trials, and to 
correct what faults he finds among them. And even in the matter 
of correction, where the claim to Apostolic authority would have 
been natural, it is more the father or the brother that is speaking 


than the official. So again it is to liis own example aud not to his 
authority that he appeals when he would drive home the lesson 
that is needed. His gratitude for their generous thought for 
himself is much in his mind and is in evidence all through the 

(6) Its tone. It has well been called the "Epistle of love" 
among St Paul's letters, and it is worthy of note that the love 
manifested here is not one-sided. The letter helps us to realise 
not only the Apostle's fervent love for his children in the faith, 
but the earnest and warm requital of that love on the part of the 
Philippian Christians. The whole tone of the Epistle is coloured 
by the immediate purpose of its writing, viz. to thank them for 
their loving thought and generous action towards himself. The 
letter is indeed a wonderful and illuminating illustration of the 
closeness of the tie which bound the Apostle to his converts, and 
the intimacy is not interrupted here, as in so many Churches which 
owed their existence to him, by disloyalty and suspicion. The atmo- 
sphere surrounding him and the Church is permeated through and 
through by love unfeigned, undisturbed, and unwearying, a love that 
translates itself into action and expresses itself in warmhearted 
sympathy and support on the one side and in the sincerest gratitude 
on the other. 

A second note of the Epistle, not less conspicuous than the spirit 
of love with which it is sutFused is that of "joy". There was much 
in the surroundings which tended to gloom and depression ; the 
darkness of an uncertain future, the conduct of an active section 
of the Roman Church, his comparative loneliness and isolation and 
the pressure of advancing years, while even at Philippi matters were 
not altogether conducive to satisfaction and peace of mind. And 
yet throughout the Epistle the joy of the Christian Apostle in Christ 
breaks through the overhanging clouds. Ever and anon amidst a 
Babel of confusing sounds there rings the clarion note "Rejoice 
in the Lord alway, and again I say, rejoice". But although the 
dominant note of the Epistle is one of joy and contentment it 
nevertheless reveals a remarkable variety of moods in the Apostle. 
As the letter proceeds, passage by passage, the change of mood is 
clearly discernible. No one particular feeling lasts long, but is soon 
followed by its antithesis, and joy often gives way to sorrow. His 
hopeful outlook upon the progress of the Gospel is interrupted by 
his fears of what may happen when his own presence and influence 


are withdrawn, and his satisfaction concerning the spiritual condi- 
tion of the Church of Philippi as a whole gives way to tears of bitter 
sorrow when he thinks of those who are " the enemies of the cross 
of Christ ". His confidence in the favourable issue of his trial 
changes into a fearful anticipation of possible condemnation and 
death, and his calm and peaceful view of death as rest in Christ 
is modiiied by a consciousness of unworthiness and lack of perfection 
(Drummond, Pkilippians, p. 358). So throughout the Epistle light 
and shadow are intermingled, and yet the predominating impression 
is that of a soul uplifted, full of joy and confidence in the Lord, re- 
joicing in the many proofs of God's goodness both to himself and to 
the Church, and looking steadfastly to the end which shall find him 
"with Christ". 

(c) The Old, Testament in the Epistle, The Old Testament is 
never deliberately quoted in the Epistle, and its contents are not 
cited by the Apostle for the purpose of pressing home an argument 
as in some of his other Epistles. The influence of the LXX is, 
however, frequently apparent, and echoes of its language and some- 
times its exact words are found in the body of the Epistle. Thus 
i. 19 is a verbal reproduction of Job xiii. 16 /cat rovro fxoi dTrojSyjareTai 
el<s croiTTjpiav. 

The passage wherein St Paul describes the final exaltation of 
Christ in ii. 10 f. is an adaptation of Isaiah xlv. 23 on e/xoi Ka/xi/'et 
TTtti' yovv Koi ofielraL iraaa yXwcrcra tov O^qv. 

The following phrases and expressions are also reminiscent of 
the Old Testament : 

il. 15 tva yevrjcrde ainefXTTTOi Kai aKcpatoi, reKva Oeov, afx^/xa fxicrov 
ycvEas (TKoXtas koI Sieo-T/aa/x/xeVr;?. Cf. Deut. J*Xxii. 5 i^jJidpTocrav, ovk 
avTw TiKva, fiwfXTjTO. • ycvco. ctkoXlo. Kal Sie(TTpafifJi€vrj. 

ii. 16 OVK ets Kevov cSpajnov, ovSk cis k€v6v eKOTrtaaa. Cf. Isaiall 
xlix. 4; Ixv. 23 Kevws e/coTrt'ao-a' ov KOTnd(rov(riv ei? xerov. 

iv. 3 ev /3t/3Aa) ^0)17?. Cf. Psalm Ixviii. 28 iK /3t)3Xou ^(ovtwv. 

iv. 18 6<Tiiy]v eiiwSia?. Cf. Ezekiel XX. 41 Iv oafxy evwStas. 


IX. St Paul in the Epistle. 

The Epistle is most valuable for the insight it gives us into 
special aspects of the Apostle's character, some of which have already 
been touched upon in the preceding section. It provides us with a 
wholesome corrective of a narrow view of the Apostle's character as 
a whole which has been too common among a certain class of writers. 
These take for granted that the great dogmatic and controversial 
Epistles reveal his personality in all its completeness, with the result 
that he has been standardised as a man of uncompromising sternness, 
jealous of his own position and authority, rejoicing in disputes and 
invective, and practically devoid of those gentler qualities wdiich we 
associate with our ideal of a complete man and exemplary Christian. 
In our Epistle an entirely different view of his character is revealed to 
us, a view which helps us to realise that the Epistles to Galatia 
and Corinth have displayed only one side of the man and the Apostle, 
and that not the most attractive and lovable side. But even in 
these very letters there were elements which threw an occasional 
light upon the true character of St Paul. The " Psalm of Love " in 
1 Cor. xiii. and certain passages in 2 Corinthians which betray his 
intense eagerness to forgive and his longing for reconciliation should 
have been sufficient in themselves to show that he was no mere 
upholder of Apostolic authority, the uncompromising opponent of 
error in life and doctrine, the hard and unsympathetic judge of all 
that was not quite in accord with his own ideas, as so many writers 
have pictured him. And these fitful gleams of another and gentler 
side of his character which we obtain from these Epistles are developed 
into the clearest daylight by what we learn of him in our Epistle. 
It is the most personal of all his letters and enables us to understand 
" Paul, the Man " more fully and more accurately than any other 
source. We learn, first of all, that he was not a man of one mood, 
which was fixed, determined, and constant at all times, but that he 
was particularly sensitive to his environment and generally governed 
by the immediate situation and by the special relationship existing 
between him and his correspondents. Where sternness, the assertion 
of Apostolic authority, and the functions of a judge are demanded 
by the internal condition of a particular Church these qualities are 
exercised to the full, but where a Church like that of Philippi was 
free from serious error, obedient and loyal to Christ and to its 


fouufler, in full sympathy with his teaching and bound to him by 
close ties of affection, the tender and human side of his character 
is displayed in all its attractiveness. The strong, stern, and un- 
compromising Apostle of the letters to the Churches of Galatia and 
Corinth becomes the tender-hearted, appreciative, affectionate, and 
broad-minded Christian brother of the Philippiau Epistle. To the 
student who is satisfied that the St Paul of the controversial letters 
is the true and complete Apostle the character of the writer of our 
Epistle is unintelligible, and he is driven to the conclusion that it 
was not written by St Paul at all. The authorities who take this 
view have not taken into consideration the difference in the con- 
ditions governing the different letters. In Galatia and Corinth the 
issues were vital and Christianity itself was at stake, and because of 
this there was not, and could not be, any question of compromise or 
suspension of judgment. In Philippi and Rome, on the other hand, 
the matters in dispute were primarily of a personal nature, and the 
real essence of the Gospel was not imperilled. The conduct of a 
certain section of Christians might engender pain and sorrow to him- 
self personally, but the truth in Christ was not seriously endangered. 
The kingdom of Christ was being extended, not entirely on lines 
which commended themselves to him, yet because it was being ex- 
tended he would acquiesce, aye, and rejoice in the fact. Our Epistle, 
therefore, illustrates the Apostle's principles admirably. When the 
essential content of the Gospel was being undermined he would fight 
with all the strength and determination at his command, but when 
it was only a question of his own personal views and predilections 
he could forgive and forget. 

There is another factor to be considered before we have fully 
explained the pecuHar atmosphere of joy and serenity which sur- 
rounds the Epistle. The mildness of judgment and the breadth of 
sympathy manifested in the letter are not due merely to the fact 
that the conditions were particularly favourable at Philippi, but 
because the whole composition is conceived in the spirit of love. 
That St Paul should love every Church which owed its faith to himself 
is only natural, and it is no less natural that some Churches should 
attract a greater share of his affection than others, and this was 
eminently true of the Church of Philippi. From the very day which 
witnessed the first preaching of Christ in that city his love for the 
Philippians was only equalled by their love towards him. And 
further, this love had its source in Christ, manifested itself in 


activity in Christ, and looked to Christ as its crown and consum- 
mation. It is the mutual love with its centre in Christ through 
which the Apostle approached this Church, and this softened every 
judgment that might otherwise have been harsh, minimised the 
defects and weaknesses, and clothed his message with a friendliness 
and tenderness that are wonderfully winning and attractive. 

Among the other qualities displayed in this Epistle which are 
essential elements in St Paul's life and character we may mention 
his mysticism, humility, and tactfulness. 

The Mysticism of St Paul. 

There is no Epistle of St Paul which is more fully charged with 
what we may call the " mysticism " of the Apostle than the Epistle 
to the Philippians. Every thought, every sentiment, every action 
is brought into vital relation with Christ, and the whole life of the 
Apostle himself and of the Christian believer is identified with the 
life of Christ. The expression "in Christ" or "in Christ Jesus", 
which is perhaps the most characteristic of all the Pauline phrases, 
recurs over and over again and reveals the fundamental basis of his 
thought. The following are some of the most important passages 
which manifest this, the mystic side of St Paul's character : " The 
saints in Christ Jesus ", i. 1, iv. 21. " How I long after you all in 
the tender mercies of Christ Jesus ", i. 8. " To me to live is Christ ", 
i. 21. " That your glorying may be in Christ Jesus ", i. 26. " If there 
is therefore any comfort in Christ ", ii. 1. " I trust in the Lord that 
I shall come shortly ", ii. 24. " Stand fast in the Lord ", iv. 1. 

His life, joys, sorrows, hopes, fears, plans and purposes are all 
rooted in Christ, and what is true of himself he predicates of all 
Christians, whether as individuals or in their corporate capacity. 
" The saints " as constituting the Church at Philippi are " in Christ " 
and every individual "saint" is possessed of the same privilege. 
This mystical union of the Christian with Christ, by means of which 
the whole being of the Christian is transformed and identified with 
Him, was, in St Paul's mind, the outcome of a spiritual act of faith. 
Faith in Christ meant dying with Him to sin and rising again to 
newness of life, and so close and essential was the union thus effected 
that the Apostle represents his whole being as possessed by Christ 
Himself. " It is no longer I that live but Christ liveth in me ". For 
him Christ was no longer a mere historical Person but a Spirit within 


his heart and mind. It was not his own voice that spake but the 
voice of Christ within him, and the obedience that he gave to the 
promptings of his better self became in reality obedience to the Divine 
Will which had possessed and appropriated his own. And more, in 
virtue of this union, and only in virtue of it, the acts, the powers, 
the holiness, and the experiences of the life of Christ avail for 
him. " I can do all things in Him that strengtheneth me ", he 
declares in our Epistle, iv. 13. 

The Humility of St Paul. 

Hand in hand with this sublime consciousness of vital union 
with Christ and of the identification of his own life with that of the 
Saviour there is to be seen the essential humility of the Christian 
disciple. The striking parallelism between the two sections, ii. 5-11 
and iii. 3-16 has already been commented on (p. xlvii). In St Paul's 
life as in that of the Master there had been a " self-emptying", and 
the way of exaltation in his own case as in that of Christ was based 
on a real surrender. Separated by an immeasurable distance and on 
entirely different planes, the course of the Master and of His disciple 
followed the same lines. Christ, in order that He might be highly 
exalted and be given a Name above every name, had willingly 
abandoned His condition of glory which had been His from all 
eternity and had taken on the form of a servant and had died on 
the Cross. So too the Apostle had surrendered the privileges which 
were his as a Pharisaic Jew, and all that he had prized as of the 
utmost value he had counted but loss for the excellency of the 
knowledge of Jesus Christ, that he might gain Him and be found 
in Him. To him, therefore, as to the Lord the way of surrender 
had been the road to ultimate triumph and glory. The humility 
that with all the force at his command he impresses upon the 
Philippians he illustrates by his own example as well as that of 
Christ. He may be united to Christ in every fibre of his being, 
yet there is none of that false assurance, that presumptuous sense 
of absolute security which was the bane of many a Gentile Christian, 
who, because he was baptized into Christ and had partaken of the 
Christian Mysteries, thought that no further effort was needed and 
that Christian morality need not be wedded to Christian profession. 
Christian life was to the Apostle ever a life of constant striving and 
gradual and difficult progress : the end, the final union with the 


glorified Lord, was not yet in sight. In that very beautiful and 
pathetic passage, iii. 11-16 he emphasises the need for continuous 
and unceasing effort on the part of the Christian, condemns equally 
an undue elation which arises from the successes of the past and 
the despondency which follows its failures, but his conception of the 
Christian course is, nevertheless, lightened by the resplendent hope 
of the reward of final victory. 

So in every feature, in its surrender of privilege, in its humiliation 
and sutTering, in its effort and struggle, and in its ultimate triumph 
and reward the life of the Christian, as illustrated by that of St Paul, 
must correspond with the life of Christ " who left us an example that 
we should follow His steps " (1 St Peter, ii. 21). 

The Tactfulness of St Paul. 

Another feature in the Apostle's character which is well illustrated 
by our Epistle is his tactfulness. In this respect it shares with the 
Epistle to Philemon the privilege of presenting St Paul to the world 
as the Christian gentleman. The passage, iv. 10-20, in which he 
conveys his gratitude to the Philippians for their generous gifts is a 
model of what such an expression of thanks should be. He opens 
with a full recognition of their constant thought for him and of the 
fact that it was only lack of opportunity that prevented it from taking 
practical form earlier. At the same time he is anxious to impress 
upon them his independence of material conditions and his suffi- 
ciency in Christ, but is nevertheless extremely careful lest there 
should be the slightest hint of any want of gratitude on his part. 
There is in the passage a beautiful blending of true thankfulness to 
the Philippians wdth a sense of his own absolute dependence upon 
Christ, and he lifts the whole transaction to a lofty plane whereon 
the Philippians' service to himself becomes a " sacrifice, acceptable, 
well-pleasing to God", iv. 18. 

St Paul at the close of his life. 

The Epistle is also interesting as giving us a picture of St Paul 
in the last stage of his life. It is essentially a letter of his mature 
age when death seemed very near. We witness here the fruit of 
St Paul's long years of study in the school of Christ and of experience. 
With advancing years there arrives a change in the appreciation of 


values, followed by a corresponding change in methods. We see in 
our Epistle the result perhaps of what corresponded to the vision 
vouchsafed to Elijah on Mount Horeb when he learnt that God was 
not in the whirlwind, earthquake, or fire, but in the still small voice 
of love and gentleness. St Paul too may have realised in the course 
of long years of fruitful experience that sternness, violence, and 
invective are not the strongest forces in the realm of Christ and that 
more ground may be gained and richer results achieved by the 
exercise of the more markedly Christian virtues of sympathy, affec- 
tion, and tenderness. Some such process as this is perhaps necessary 
to explain the marked change between the tone of his later Epistles 
and that of his earlier ones. 

Further, the possible imminent approach of death must have 
coloured his vision and softened his character and judgment. His 
own outlook upon death is so beautiful, confident, and peaceful that 
it must have had a corresponding effect upon his outlook upon the 
Church and the world. Faults and weaknesses receded into the 
background, and his mind became concentrated upon what is ad- 
mirable, noble, and attractive in the Church and in the world around 
it. In this connection his appreciation of what was valuable in pagan 
life and philosophy is very striking. In iv. 8 he approaches very 
closely to the ideal of the Greek philosopher in his conception of 
honour and worth. It is the only place where the Greek term for 
"virtue " is used in the New Testament, and here the "beautiful" 
also stands side by side with the "good " in close fellowship. 

Finally we note how completely the Apostle has been captured 
by the love of Christ. It is the dogmatic side of Christianity that 
has received most attention at the hands of St Paul, and "faith " 
has ever been regarded as the typical Pauline quality, but in our 
Epistle we see his whole being transfigured and illuminated by love. 
Love has indeed come to its own in St Paul of the Philippian letter, 
although it has its honoured place, but more in theory as the root 
of Christian conduct, in Romans, 1 Corinthians, and notably in 
Ephesians. So the Epistle remains on the whole the truest, most 
beautiful, and most complete representation of St Paul the Christian 
which has come down to us. 



X. The Doctrine of the Epistle. 

The Epistle to the Philippians is the least doctrinal of all St 
Paul's Epistles to the Churches, and there is in it no attempt at 
any formulated discussion of any point of Christian doctrine. This 
is to be attributed to the fact that there were no serious errors 
prevalent in the Philippian Church as there were in the Churches 
of Galatia for instance, and that no matter of doctrine was being 
questioned as was the case in the Church of Corinth. Yet some of 
the most important statements of Christian doctrine extant are 
found embedded in it. Much, however, of the teaching contained 
in it is implicit rather than explicit, and even where a well-defined 
doctrinal statement is met with it is generally in the form of a con- 
firmation or illustration of a practical lesson and is not a formal 
definition of the doctrine itself. The implications of the Epistle are, 
however, so weighty and form such an important contribution to the 
body of Christian teaching that they demand to be considered at 
some length. The doctrinal contents of the Epistle may be con- 
sidered from the following aspects. 

1. The Christology. 

2. The Eschatology. 

3. The doctrine of Justification. 

1. The Christology of the Epistle. 

Phil. ii. 5-11. 

By far the most important and pregnant statement of doctrine 
in the Epistle is the passage ii. 5-11, and it would be difficult to 
find even in the formulated and elaborate discussions on the Being 
and Person of Christ in the Epistles to the Colossians and Ephesians 
a more definite and more exalted Christological conception. Tlie 
statement has become an integral factor in every system of Christo- 
logy and must, therefore, be considered from that point of view. It 
comes at the end of a particularly impressive exhortation to unity, 
to a unity based on lowliness of mind and a complete forgetfulness 
of self, and the lesson is driven home by an appeal to the example 
of Christ as the great revelation of the lowly and unselfish spirit in 


The discussion turns very largely upon the exact meaning in 
classical and contemporary Greek of some of the salient terms in 
the passage, but it would be out of place in a Commentary of this 
character to consider this aspect of the question, and we must be 
content here with defining the general lines along which the dis- 
cussion proceeds. We are met at the very outset by a fundamental 
difference of opinion as to the correct interpretation of the passage 
as a whole. The majority of scholars are of opinion that St Paul 
is speaking here of Christ in three different spheres of existence, 
the pre-Incarnate, Incarnate, and Exalted Christ, but there is a 
considerable school of thought which confines the reference to the 
historical Christ and refuses to see in the statement any evidence 
that the Apostle believed in a pre-existent, pre-Incarnate Christ, or 
if he did believe this, that he had His pre-existence in his mind at 
that moment. 

We will consider first of all the position maintained by the second 
school of thought. This interpretation is comparatively modern in 
its origin and was practically unknown in the early centuries of the 
Church's life, although, in this as in so many other doctrinal matters, 
Pelagius followed a line of his own and took this view of the passage. 
It owes its present position very largely to the influence of Erasmus 
and Luther, and it has been adopted by a large body of Continental 
scholars. An admirable statement of the theory is given by Sabatier 
(St Paul, pp. 256 ff.) which we shall do well to quote. According 
to him St Paul is thinking not of some celestial being, but of the 
historical Christ, and it is His earthly life that he so admirably 
sums up in the idea of renunciation and obedience. The subject 
of the paragraph is Christ coming to glory through renunciation, 
and in order to make this possible He must have been already in 
Himself and by nature of a higher condition. This is expressed 
by the phrase " being in the form of God ", which expresses a sub- 
stantial relation to God, but does not mean absolute Divinity. There 
is one stage higher, " to be on an equality with God ", a position 
which Christ might have thought of seizing, but which He did not 
usurp. This higher position is eventually to be His, but only by 
the full development of His moral being, and there is betw^een His 
original condition of " being in the form of God " and His destined 
exaltation to "equality with God" a progress, a real development 
of His being. 

This progress is accomplished in three stages. 



1. He did not through egotism or pride seek to place Himself 
on a level with God or prematurely usurp the Divine equality. 

2. " He annihilated Himself". Christ, who by the order of His 
being was of Divine nature, renounced the Divine form of His 
essence and annihilated His personal will in the presence of His 
Father's will. He sacrifices Himself and performs a definite moral 
act in order that He may become truly Himself and fulfil His 
destiny. The sacrifice is defined in the clause, " taking the form 
of a servant", which is further explained in the expressions 
"being made in the likeness of men", "being found in fashion 
as a man ". 

3. He rendered obedience, which reached its consummation in 
the death of the Cross and so illustrated His own law of the moral 
life that "he that humbleth himself shall be exalted". So by 
reaching the lowest depth of His humiliation in His death on the 
Cross He attained the very height of His glory and fulfilled His 
destiny, a condition of complete and actual Divine royalty. 

Sabatier has his own views with regard to certain particulars in 
St Paul's statement which are not shared by those who maintain 
that the Apostle has in mind throughout the historical Christ, but 
the above may be taken as representing very fairly the general idea 
of those who favour this interpretation. The principal advantage 
that is claimed for this view is that it is difficult from the point of 
view of a right moral judgment to see how the acts of a Divine 
being have any ethical value for us and that St Paul, therefore, 
could hardly have set forth for our example the action of a pre- 
existent and purely Divine Christ. 

The main objection to the theory as a whole is that it does not 
accord with the structure of the passage. If the Christ that was 
in the thought of St Paul was the Incarnate Christ we have only 
two stages in the process described here, viz. the Incarnate and 
the Exalted life, whereas the passage seems to imply three definite 

1. " Being in the form of God He counted it not a prize to be 
on an equality with God ". 

2. " But emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, etc." 

3. "Wherefore God also highly exalted Him ". 

There is a progress here, with a definite point of departure, a 
journey, and a return to still higher glory and honour. The pro- 
gress did not begin at the moment of Incarnation, as the theory we 


are discussing would lead us to understand, but was an act of the 
will of the Divine Son while yet in the bosom of His Father. 

The rival theory may be said to be that of the Church as a whole, 
although here again there are varieties of opinion on matters of 
detail. The best exposition of this view is unquestionably that 
of Dr Giftord (E. H. Gifford, The Incarnation, London, 1897) and 
we shall follow him closely in what follows. It has at any rate the 
decided advantage of corresponding to the structure of the Apostolic 
statement and of giving an explanation of the three distinct stages 
which that statement seems to contemplate. 

1. The Christ is the pre-Incarnate Christ, originally God by 
nature, "being in the form of God", who did not consider that 
"equality with God", i.e. the outward condition of glory which 
was the manifestation of His Divine nature, was a treasure to be 
held fast. 

2. At the Incarnation "He emptied Himself " temporarily of 
the outward glory of Deity and "took upon Himself the nature 
of a bond-servant", becoming man, yet not mere man but rather 
the representative of mankind, " in the likeness of men ". In the 
eyes of men He was a man like themselves, " being found in fashion 
as a man", i.e. they saw in Him a human form, bearing, action, 
mode of life, wants and their satisfaction, which they recognised as 
those common to humanity. In this guise He submitted Himself to 
further humiliation and partook not only of the nature of a bond- 
servant but also of his shameful death by dying on the cross, and 
thus proceeded to the extreme and final depth of self-abasement. 

3. The Exaltation. As the self-humiliation was complete and 
without reserve so the reward was proportionately great. To Him 
there was given a Name above every name, and the whole creation, 
animate and inanimate, was to join in the homage and praise due to 
Him who now, as His rightful reward, enters again upon the glory 
which He had with His Father before the world was (St John xvii. 5). 

It will be noticed that in this exposition the phrases "being in the 
form of God " and " being on an equality with God " are interpreted 
as referring to two different qualities of the Godhead, the one to the 
essential nature of the Deity, inseparable from it, while the second 
is said to imply the circumstances of glory and majesty associated 
with the manifestations of the Godhead which could be resigned 
temporarily. The "self-emptying" of the pre-Incarnate Christ 
consisted, therefore, in the laying aside at the Incarnation of that 


equality of glory, majesty, and honour which He possessed in His 
pre-existent state, and for the restoration of which He prayed in 
St John xvii. 5. There is, however, a considerable school of thought 
and a growing one, which, while it accepts the main proposition that 
the " self-emptying " is predicated of the pre-Incarnate Christ, does 
not agree with the exposition above in some of its more important 
details. The most prominent representative of this school is the 
Bishop of Oxford, Dr Gore. The difference of opinion is concerned 
chiefly with the meaning of "equality with God " and with the pre- 
cise definition of that of which Christ emptied Himself. Dr Gore 
and those who think with him practically equate the two expressions 
"being in the form of God" and "being on an equality with God", 
with the result that the " self- emptying " is held to imply an aban- 
donment not merely of what was external, the outward glories of 
Deity, but of some of the internal, essential attributes of the God- 
head. It may be well to quote the Bishop's own words on this point. 
" Christ in His pre-existent state was living in the permanent char- 
acteristics of the life of God, had a right to remain in it, it belonged 
to Him, but He regarded not His prerogatives as a prize to be 
clutched at. For love of us He abjured the prerogatives of equality 
with God and by an act of deliberate self-abnegation He so emptied 
Himself as to assume the permanent characteristics of human or 
servile life, 'the form of a servant'. In outward appearance He 
was like other men ' and was found in fashion as a man', i.e. in the 
transitory quality of our mortality. He took the 'form', 'likeness', 
' fashion ' of manhood, all. Thus remaining in unchanged person- 
ality He is exhibited as ' laying aside the mode of divine existence 
in order to assume the human ' " {Dissertations on the Incarnation, 
pp. 88, 89). 

Another view, and a very interesting one, which also regards the 
passage as contemplating the pre-Incarnate Christ, is that held by 
Kennedy {Expositors N.T. Vol. iii. pp. 435 ff.), Garvie {Expositor, 
vn. vii. pp. 37-41) and Somerville {St Paul's Conception of Christ, 
pp. 190 f.). According to this interpretation "equality with God" 
is not what the pre-Incarnate possessed originally, but is something 
still future and only became His after He had finished His earthly 
course, when " God highly exalted Him ". In Somerville's words 
St Paul's thought here is that " the Pre-Incarnate One has presented 
to Him a career by which He was able to realise the possibilities 
that lay wrapt in His being ' in the form of God '. Christ might 


have asserted His right to be worshipped as God, but did not regard 
' equality with God ' as a thing to be clutched at, but looked rather 
to the good of men and renounced His own things to enter upon a 
course of self-denying service to others and of humble obedience 
to the will of God. He preferred to receive from His Father the 
sovereignty over all as the Divine recognition of His self-effacement 
for others rather than by the assertion of His own right". It will 
be seen that this view is in agreement with Sabatier's on the point 
that there is in the passage a progress from what is a less perfect form 
of being to one that is perfect and complete. The exalted state is 
not a simple return to the pre-Incarnate stage, but means an acces- 
sion of personal greatness for which His earthly career furnished the 
needed preparation and discipline. There is much that is attractive 
in this interpretation but it is open to the very simple objection 
that it is difficult to understand how, if " equality with God " was 
still in the future, St Paul could have spoken of Christ as "emptying 
Himself" of it. How can one divest oneself of what one does not 
possess ? 

It is not within the province of this Commentary to enter upon 
a lengthy discussion of the respective merits of these different in- 
terpretations and I must content myself with placing them before 
the reader in the words of their foremost exponents. I must at 
the same time express my decided preference for the view which 
has been generally prevalent in the Church. This view interprets 
St Paul as having in his thought the complete course of Christ, 
pre-Incarnate, Incarnate, and Exalted. It also retains for Him in 
His Incarnate being all the essential attributes of the Godhead, 
while doing full justice to the idea of self-abasement, in that He 
emptied Himself of the outward glory and honour of His Divine 
manifestation. It preserves the breadth and unity of conception 
which are so characteristic of the statement as a whole. It gives 
us a Christ in whom perfect Godhead and perfect Manhood are in- 
separably united in one Divine Person, and in the fact that Christ 
in His Incarnate state still remains "in the form of God " we have 
a complete assurance that the moral attributes of His Godhead are 
fully and faithfully represented in the Incarnate Word. 

The Kenotic theory. 

We have not exhausted the importance and interest of this 
Christological passage when we have discussed its interpretation 


as a wliole, for in recent years it has attracted more attention than 
ever because it has been pressed into the service of what is generally 
termed "the Kenotic theory". (The "kenosis" of Christ which 
underlies the theory is derived from the Greek verb e/ccVwo-e in Phil, 
ii. 7, "He emptied Himself".) The theory is specially associated 
with the name of Dr Gore, who was principally responsible for intro- 
ducing it into public notice in this country. We may, therefore, 
state it briefly in his words. " Our Lord refrained from the divine 
mode of consciousness within the sphere of His human life that He 
might really enter into human experience" {Dissertations on the 
Incarnation, p. 97). The Bishop was not the originator of the idea 
for it is in some respects a product of the Reformation. It receives 
no support from early ecclesiastical writers, and the Church for close 
upon 1500 years knew practically nothing of it. Dr Gore attributes 
this silence to the fact that theologians during all these centuries 
hardly attempted to explain the intellectual phenomena of our Lord 
during the period of His humiliation. It was the theologians of the 
Reformation, and Luther in particular, who began to lay stress upon 
the limitations of our Lord's manhood, and since that time a "kenotic 
theory" of some kind has been widely held by representatives of the 
Lutheran and reformed Churches on the Continent. Luther, as we 
have seen, interpreted the Christological passage we have been dis- 
cussing as referring to the Incarnate Christ, and was driven to some 
such explanation of the phrase " He emptied Himself" as is implied 
in kenoticism. Dr Gore disagrees with Luther on this point and 
sees in St Paul's statement a state of being previous to the Incar- 
nation and ascribes the first stage of the process described by the 
Apostle to the pre-existent Christ, but they are at one in their in- 
sistence upon the limitations of Christ's human consciousness implied 
in the expression "He emptied Himself". Now if the view taken 
of the passage in this Commentary be correct there is no room in 
it for a "kenosis " in the Bishop's sense of the term, because what 
Christ abandoned at His Incarnation was not anything internal to 
His being, the essential attributes of His Godhead, but the external 
glory and condition. 

It is not implied here that there was no real "kenosis", no real 
limitation upon the Divine omniscience and omnipotence within the 
sphere of Christ's Incarnate life, but merely that the theory derives 
no direct support from this particular passage. 

The metaphysical question as to the relation of the human nature 


in Christ to the essential attributes of the Godhead did not concern 
St Paul here and the passage does nothing more than contrast the 
two modes of life, life in the pre-Incarnate and life in the Incarnate 
state. Throughout the statement the Godhead of Christ in the 
Apostle's thought remains exactly on the same level ; the " being 
in the form of God " is not abandoned at the Incarnation, it is only 
veiled, to be revealed again in all its glory at the Exaltation. 

But as there will be doubtless many readers who are not prepared 
to accept this view and are interested in the "Kenotic theory" I have 
thought it right to give a brief account of it in its various aspects. 

It ought to be understood at the outset that the "kenosis" which 
is postulated of Christ is not based fundamentally on this passage in 
our Epistle and that St Paul's statement is only utilised to buttress 
an idea derived from other sources. The theory is, in reality, founded 
on the portrait of Christ alleged to be given in the Gospels, which, 
we are told, is not intelligible unless we assume some limitations 
upon Divine omniscience and omnipotence in His Incarnate life. 
It is also claimed that some such limitations are demanded by the 
conception of Christ as a true and perfect man, in whom there 
was a growth of human will and knowledge. As instances of the 
"kenosis" in action there are cited St Mark xv. 34 = St Matth. 
xxvii. 46, which imply that the intercourse between Father and 
Son was not always perfect : St Mark xiii. 32 and St John xvii. 4, 5 
where Christ Himself seems to speak of limitations of His own 
knowledge and glory: St Luke ii. 40-52 and Hebrews iv. 15; v. 7, 8, 
where the New Testament writers assume on His part a growth in 
wisdom and learning and emphasise the reality of the temptation. 
Further, He asks questions which seem to imply a natural need of 
information, and His constant recourse to prayer is characteristically 
human as an expression of faith and trust. He never extends our 
stock of knowledge, physical or historical, out of His Divine omni- 
science, and in these matters He is perfectly content to accept the 
current conceptions of His age. The inference from these facts is 
perfectly clear, simple, and wholly justifiable, viz. that our Lord 
during His earthly life "lived and taught and thought and was 
inspired as a true and proper man, under the limitations of con- 
sciousness which alone made possible a really human experience " 
(Gore, u. s. p. 87). 

There is, however, a considerable difference of opinion as to 
the extent of this "kenosis". 


There is tlie "Absolute Kenotic view" which is associated in 
Germany with Gess and in Switzerland with Godet, a scholar well 
known in English circles. Godet, starting from St John i. 14, which 
he interpreted in a manner all his own, taught that the Son in 
becoming Incarnate ceased to live the life of the Godhead and to 
exercise His cosmic functions, which means that Christ during His 
period of humiliation entirely abandoned His position and functions 
in the Blessed Trinity. This assumption is so wholly at variance 
with the spirit and content of the New Testament that it need not 
detain us further. 

There are various gradations between this extreme view and that 
for which Dr Gore is responsible and which is now prevalent in this 
country. According to this there was a real abandonment of Divine 
attributes and prerogatives within a certain sphere, but not an abso- 
lute abandonment. Christ still retained His cosmic functions, and 
the "kenosis" postulated in this theory only contemplates a state of 
limitation within the sphere of humanity, which is compatible with 
the exercise in another sphere of the fulness of Divine power by the 
same Divine Person. 

I am prepared to accept the Bishop's view as a fairly true and 
correct explanation of certain features in the Gospel portrait of 
Christ, but with certain reservations which can be best expressed 
in some very pregnant words of the late Dr W. Bright ( Waymarks 
in Church Histm-y, Appendix, pp. 392, 393). " In regard to the 
kenosis, if it is once granted that during Christ's ministry among 
men, even at the lowest point of self-abasement, He was still as God 
' upholding all things by the word of His power', this is enough to 
carry the principle of the interpretation of Phil. ii. 6 which confines 
the kenosis to the sphere of His humanity. For outside these limits, 
if He acted as God at all, He must so act altogether. Within these 
limits He dispensed with manifestations of His Divine Majesty, 
except on occasions and for special ends. As a rule He held in 
reserve, and by a continuous self-restraint, the exercise of divine 
powers, and accepted the conditions of human life with all its sinless 

The advantages of the theory are that it emphasises the real 
human experiences, sufferings, and limitations of Christ during His 
earthly course. It has restored the historical humanity of Christ 
to its right place in the conception of His Person. The tendency 
of Catholic theology in the past has been to allow the human in 


Christ to be swallowed up and lost in the Divine and so to remove 
Him far from human sympathies. Later teaching has restored the 
balance and given us a Christ, perfectly Divine, but also accessible 
to man through His perfect humanity. At the same time I do not 
consider that this passage in our Epistle can be justifiably cited in 
support of the theory. There is no evidence that St Paul ever took 
this view of our Lord's Person and consciousness, and I fail to see 
here any proof that there was in his mind a " kenosis " of this type. 
The "emptying" of which the Apostle speaks was an abandonment 
of outward glory only, and the question of the relations of the Divine 
and human in Christ does not enter, nor do we find a solution of that 
very difficult problem in this passage. 

Note. — A full discussion of the Kenotic theories will be found 
in Bruce, The Humiliation of Christ (T. and T. Clark, 1889) and in 
some excellent chapters in Forsyth, The Person and Place of Jesus 
Christ (Hodder and Stoughton, 1910). 

2. The Eschatology of the Epistle. 

The eschatological teaching of the Epistle is confined to a few 
casual expressions, and there is nothing in the shape of a formulated 
scheme of eschatology to be found in it. 

1. There is considerable stress on the coming of " the day of the 
Lord ", " the day of Christ ", or "the day of Jesus Christ ". Cf. i. 6, 
10, ii. 16, while the comparative imminence of the coming finds 
expression in iv. 5 "The Lord is at hand". 

2. Death and its sequel are dwelt upon in a passage of great 
pathos in i. 21-26. 

3. In ii. 10-11 there is a paragraph which seems to extend the 
benefits of Christ's redemption to the world of spiritual things. Cf. 
"In the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven 
and things on earth and things under the earth ". 

4. In iii. 21 the resurrection body is described as " the body of 
His glory " as contrasted with " the body of our humiliation ". 

Two of these points demand further elucidation. 

1. The Parousia and Judgment. In our Epistle the Apostle 
has travelled far from the view of his early missionary days when 
the Second Advent seemed to him and to the whole Church to be at 
the very door and likely to take place during his o^vn lifetime. His 


later experiences had, however, widened his vision, and his expecta- 
tion of tlie imminent coming of Christ had receded into tlie distance. 
His ministry had enlarged his point of view ; the world was to be 
gathered for Christ and His kingdom on earth was to include the 
whole of humanity. But the change was concerned with the point 
of time only. The parousia was just as real to him in the days of 
his Roman imprisonment as in those of his freer activity, and the 
note rings constantly in our Epistle. Here also, as in the earlier 
Epistles, it is to be a coming to judgment, and the " day of Jesus 
Christ " is to be a day of testing whether the work of grace has been 
perfected (i. 6), and the Christian conscience is " sincere and void of 
offence " (i. 10). That day will also test the permanent value of his 
own Apostolic labours, " that I may have whereof to glory in the day 
of Christ, that I did not run in vain, neither labour in vain " (ii. 16). 

The comparative imminence and the certainty of the coming find 
a place here also. " The Lord is at hand" (iv. 5), and, therefore, 
time is short, and patient forbearance, considerateness, and humility 
are virtues which are essential to the true disciple of Christ. 

2. St Paul's doctrine of the Intermediate State. Some scholars 
of note contend that our Epistle shows that St Paul had advanced 
and changed his view concerning the condition of the soul after 
death. In his earlier Epistles, and more especially in 1 Corinthians, 
his eschatological scheme contemplated a parousia, a resurrection of 
the dead, a last judgment, and after that the consummation of the 
blessed. But in our Epistle, we are told, the final step in this process 
becomes the immediate sequel of death, without any intervention 
of the parousia or resurrection, so that his earlier idea of a visible 
advent of Christ and a resurrection of the dead has given way to the 
more spiritual theory of the soul's entrance through death into its 
perfected heavenly state and full communion with Christ. The text 
upon which this view is based is i. 23, " having the desire to depart 
and be with Christ ; for it is very far better ". Those who support this 
interpretation of the Apostle's words also maintain that this modi- 
fication of his earlier teaching is foreshadowed in 2 Cor. v. 1-8, and 
more especially in the last verse of the passage, where he speaks of 
being "willing rather to be absent from the body and to be at 
home with the Lord ". The change in his view of death and its 
sequel is said to be due to his perilous experiences at Ephesus 
and to the influence of Alexandrian Hellenism, and more particu- 
larly of the teaching of the Book of Wisdom, upon his mind. This 


book, with which St Paul is supposed to have become familiar 
during his ministry at Ephesus which was a great centre of Alex- 
andrian propaganda, has no resurrection of the body, and in it the 
souls of the righteous are united to God immediately after death. 
It is assumed that the effect of this book on the Apostle's mind, 
combined with the fact that he was at this period brought face to 
face with death, caused the doctrine of the resurrection to fall into 
the background and brought about the practical renunciation of the 
idea of the intermediate state. He had not entirely parted with 
the earlier Judaic conceptions which still have a considerable hold 
upon him, but the more spiritual Hellenistic idea, with its hope of 
immediate reunion of the righteous with the Lord, is gradually 
becoming dominant. Personally I do not consider that St Paul's 
words in our Epistle or in 2 Corinthians demand the interpretation 
put upon them by these scholars, and this particular view seems to 
me to furnish another instance of that mechanical and narrow con- 
ception of the Apostle's mind and the expression he gave to it which 
has been condemned elsewhere. (See p. Ixvi.) There is not in St 
Paul's writings anything approaching a well-defined system of escha- 
tology, and the differences between the ideas expressed in one 
Epistle and those in another are due not to any radical change of 
opinion on his part, but simply to a new point of view or to a new 
body of experiences There is no real incompatibility between his 
view of death and its sequel as set forth in the Epistles to the 
Thessalonians, and that contained in our Epistle, Many other 
passages in the Epistle to the Philippians show conclusively that 
a parousia, a resurrection, and a judgment are fixed elements in the 
Pauline eschatology, but there are times when the Apostle's mind 
overleaps spaces and distances and he beholds himself in perfect 
fellowship with his Lord. It is some such mood as this in which 
we find him when he speaks of " departing and being with Christ", 
It is the yearning to die and be with Christ that is the ruling passion 
at the time, and the nearer the approach of death the more the wiU 
of the Apostle strives to bridge the gulf separating him from com- 
plete union with his Master. So the thought here transcends all 
experience of an intermediate state and obliterates the interval 
between death and the full consummation of blessedness. 


3. I'he Doctrine of Justification in the Epistle. 

The one solitary passage which touches upon this subject occurs 
in the middle of the autobiographical section in which the Apostle 
describes the effect of his conversion to Christianity and his subse- 
quent spiritual development. The "righteousness" which he defines 
in iii. 9-1 1 is possessed of three qualities. 

1. It is not a righteousness of his own, i.e. it is not attained 
by his own efforts to obey the law. 

2. It is a righteousness through faith in Christ and is the gift 
of God by faith. 

3. Its effect in action St Paul describes in the following words : 
" That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the 
fellowship of His sufferings, becoming conformed unto His death : 
if by any means I may attain unto the resurrection from the dead ". 

The conception of righteousness in this passage proceeds on the 
whole on familiar lines, and is based essentially on St Paul's ex- 
perience of life in Christ. To die with Christ, to rise with Him to 
newness of life, to crucify the flesh, and to attain to righteousness 
and salvation which come of loyalty to the Divine will as embodied 
in Christ, all these he has known in the course of his Christian 
progress which he sets forth in this particular chapter for the edifi- 
cation of his Philippian converts. The "justification" defined here 
is that quality in its complete aspect, including not only the entrance 
upon a new way of life but the whole process of sanctification in all 
its stages, until the Christian, who has been justified in Christ and 
mystically united with His death and resurrection, attains to final 
glory. St Paul had been born privileged, he tells us, but at his 
conversion he came to regard all that he reckoned as " gain " to be 
mere " loss ". No longer would he strive to keep himself " right 
with God " (which is the fundamental meaning of " righteousness " 
in the Pauline sense) by "doing and doing and doing", he would 
not even assume that he had started right with God. The problem 
" How to become right with God ? " once for all now faced him, and 
he found the answer in Christ. Through Christ a new way was 
opened, God's appointed way, and justification was now for him an 
accomplished fact (Westcott, *S'^ Paul and JustifiA^ation, pp. 15, 16). 
The Apostle then goes on to exhibit this righteousness in action. 
It is a righteousness of God, active and energising, which implies on 
the part of the believer a close identification with the crucified and 


risen Christ and an appropriation of His merits, leading finally to the 
" resurrection from the dead " and eternal bliss to follow. 

It has been thought that the close association of the conception 
of righteousness with that of the resurrection introduces a new 
Pauline thought here. Thus M. Mdndgoz {Le Pecke et la Redemp- 
tion, p. 270) writing with reference to this passage says : " In Phil, 
iii. 10 we find the most precise statement of St Paul's doctrine of 
justification. The key to the system is on the one hand the idea 
of justification of Christ by death and resurrection, and on the other 
the idea of the identification of the individual with the person of 
Christ by faith ". According to him, then, Christ Himself needed 
to be justified by the resurrection, and the Christian through faith 
becomes partaker of that justification of Christ's. What is new 
in the idea is the claim that Christ Himself needed to be justified 
by the resurrection, and this receives little, if any, support from 
St Paul's language here or elsewhere. The theory is discussed at 
some length in Bruce's St Paul's Conception of Christianity, pp. 161- 

There is a sense in which justification is very closely connected 
with the resurrection of Christ, and the connection is very clearly 
defined by St Paul in Romans iv. 25, " Jesus our Lord who was... 
raised for our justification". It was the resurrection that put the 
crown and seal to the Atonement wrought by His death, and at the 
same time evoked the faith which makes the Atonement effectual. 
The resurrection is the most decisive proof of the atoning value of 
His death, for it is the proof that Christ was more than man, and 
without the resurrection the Sacrifice of Calvary would have been 
incomplete. It placed upon that sacrifice the stamp of God's 
approval and proved that it was accepted. (See Sanday and 
Headlam, Romans, p. 117). 

XI. The Church in the Epistle. 

1. The Church as the ^^ New Israel". 

The references to the Church in the Epistle are few in number 
but are full of significance. The Christian community at Philippi 
is definitely named a " Church " in iv. 15. The title generally 
associated with the Christians both at Philippi and Rome in our 
Epistle is that found in i. 1, iv. 21, 22, where they are called " the 


saints in Christ Jesus ", a term which gives us a very clear idea of 
the Apostle's conception of the position and character of tlie Christian 
Church. The Greek word which is represented in our Versiou by 
" the saints " is the LXX terra for Israel as a people, chosen, holy, 
and consecrated to Jehovah, and stands for the idea expressed, e.g. 
in Exod. xix. 6, "Ye shall be to me a kingdom of priests and an holy 
nation", and in Deut. xiv. 2, "The Lord thy God has chosen thee 
to be a peculiar people unto Himself". A phrase exactly corre- 
sponding to St Paul's usage in our Epistle is found in 1 Mace. x. 39, 
" to the saints at Jerusalem ". The application of the term "saints " 
to denote the Christian body as a whole implies, then, that in the 
Apostle's mind it had now taken the place of Israel and had inherited 
all its titles and privileges and that it conferred all the blessings 
which Israel was meant to bestow upon the world. And further, 
it is of importance to note that the claim is extended to cover 
not only what is implied in the Israel of early days which was 
now practically represented by the Palestinian community of Jews, 
but includes within its limits that much wider Israel represented 
by the Judaism of the Dispersion, with its Greek Bible and its 
Greek converts, its broad outlook upon the world, and its great 
missionary propaganda. This claim is put forward most expli- 
citly in iii. 3, where St Paul declares that Christians are "the 
true circumcision", a position that is amplified in 1 St Pet. ii. 9, 
" ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a 
peculiar people", where every single privilege that is claimed for 
Israel in the extracts we have quoted from the Pentateuch are 
bodily transferred and applied to the Christian Church. The trans- 
ference of all the claims and privileges of the Israel of old to the 
Church of Christ and the placing of the latter in the position of the 
New Israel are of considerable importance as defining the true 
relationship between the Old and New Covenants. Israel of old 
had been the recipient of the promises of God, but as it had now, by 
its unbelief and its refusal to accept Jesus as the Messiah, cut itself 
off from the mercy and favour of God, God's promises, which cannot 
be made void by man's unbelief, remain steadfast and sure and 
passed over to the small remnant of the nation which was obedient 
to the Messiah and thus became the New Israel. All that belonged 
to the Israel of old now belonged to the New : and more, because 
the coming of the Messiah increased and multiplied the privileges 
and blessings of the people of God. The conception of the Christian 


Church as heir to all the claims, privileges and attributes of the 
Jewish Church involved two consequences. 

1. The New Israel, like God's chosen people of old, must be 
a definitely visible society. Under the old dispensation Israel was 
plainly distinguished from the world debased in idolatry by its 
worship of the One True God who had revealed Himself to His 
people, and in the same way, the cleavage between the Christian 
Church, the New Israel, and all other religions must be sharply 
defined. To the Christian, as to the Israelite, there was vouchsafed 
the light of God's revelation and knowledge of His will, as contrasted 
with the darkness of the pagan world generally . On one side there 
were truth, knowledge, and service of God, and on the other the 
worship of the creature rather than the Creator. It was not the 
least of the services rendered by St Paul that he was the first to 
recognise the true significance of Christianity and to insist that the 
New Israel, which was originally confined to the small Jewish 
Christian community, should be so widened as to include within 
itself every Christian, whether Jew or Gentile. There were still 
barriers between God's people and the world around them, but 
they were barriers, not of nationality and race, but of ideal and 

2. The conception also involved a continuity of life between the 
old and the new. Christ, the Messiah, did not establish a new and 
independent religious society as a rival to the old Israel, but a society 
which inherited and succeeded to all the prerogatives and claims of 
the Jewish people which had forfeited these by their unbelief. 
A new covenant was established, it is true, and established and 
sealed with the blood of the Incarnate and Crucified Saviour. The 
old covenant of Moses had done its work and was now obsolete, and 
the basis of salvation was no longer the observance of Law but 
personal trust in and devotion to Jesus and faith in the saving 
power of the Cross. Yet the New Israel is still the repository 
of the self-revelation of the One True God, as was the Israel of old, 
but its blessings and privileges are richly multiplied. To it there is 
given the forgiveness of sins through the sacrifice of the Cross and 
assurance of salvation through the consciousness of fellowship with 
God in the Holy Spirit, blessings which they of the old Covenant 
only saw and greeted from afar. 

Note. — A most excellent and lucid discussion of the conception 
of the Church of Christ as the "New Israel" will be found in 


Hamilton, The People of God, Vol. ii. pp. 24 ff. to which I am 
considerably indebted in this paragraph. 

2. The Christian Ministry. 

The Epistle to the Philippians is of considerable value in that it 
seems to mark a definite stage in the development of the Christian 
Ministry. It is addressed to "all the saints in Christ Jesus which 
are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons " (i. 1). In view of 
the official character of the address and the close connection of these 
titles with the Christian community at Philippi and taking into 
account the well defined meaning of these terms in the period 
immediately following that in which our Epistle was written, it 
seems right and natural to translate the Greek words as we have 
done and to regard them as referring to officers holding a recognised 
position in the Church and not to mere functions performed in that 
Church, as would be the case if we rendered the phrase " the 
ministers of the Church and their assistants" as is done in some 
translations. (Cf The New Testament in Modern Speech.) In the 
Pastoral Epistles the terms "bishops" and "deacons" are unquestion- 
ably the official titles of Church ministers, and, if we accept these as 
authentic Pauline documents, the interval which separates them 
from our Epistle is a very short one, at the most two or three years. 
It is, therefore, tolerably certain that the terms are used in a similar 
sense here, and if that be the case we have in our Epistle the first 
instance in the Pauline Epistles in which these words have a definitely 
official connotation. It, therefore, marks an important stage in the 
history of the Christian Ministry when terms, which had hitherto 
only described those who performed certain functions, such as "those 
who rule" and "those who serve", now become stereotyped official 
titles of these functionaries. A ministry of some kind is essential to 
the well-being of any organised society, and in this respect the Church 
stood on the same plane as every other community constituted for 
the mutual welfare of its members. It is only natural, therefore, 
to find in St Paul's Epistles that in the Churches that he founded 
there was a "ministry", i.e. a set of officers differentiated from the 
members in general, who had charge of certain affairs of the local 
Church in his absence, while he kept an important share of the 
government in his own hands. But in the earlier stages of his 
missionary activity the ministry was as yet in a rudimentary and 


fluid state, and it is the character of the services rendered and not 
the official designations of the ministers themselves that is emphasised 
at this period. 

Thus in 1 Thess. v. 12-13, probably the earliest of St Paul's 
Epistles, there is a distinct reference to individuals in the Church 
who are distinguished from the body of believers as a whole. " To 
know them that labour among you and are over you in the Lord and 
admonish you ". Again in 1 Cor. xii. 28 and Ephes. iv. 1 1 we have 
formulated lists of those who exercise spiritual functions in the 
Churches, including Apostles, prophets, teachers, evangelists, pastors, 
helps, governments, while in Rom. xii. 8 there is an exhortation to 
"him that ruleth", and in the preceding verse the word "ministry" 
is used in a general sense. There would seem to have been even 
at this early period a certain distinction between a higher grade of 
officers, those who rule and exercise government and those of a lower 
grade who are designated "helps". The notices in the earlier 
Epistles imply that there was as yet no fixed form of ministry in all 
the Churches and that the precise character of it varied according 
to the local conditions of the different communities. Now it is 
beyond question that early in the second century the Christian 
ministry consisted of three well-defined grades or orders, bishops, 
presbyters or priests, and deacons, and the problem before us here is 
to discover what particular stage in the development from the fluid, 
varied, and indeterminate ministry implied in the earlier Pauline 
Epistles to the fixed and well-defined ministry of the sub- Apostolic 
Church is indicated in our Epistle. It will be helpful, however, to 
have some knowledge of the history of the terms "bishop" and 
" deacon " and of the conditions which necessitated the formation of 
a ministry and called for the particular functions which attached to 
each of these offices. 

{a) Bishop. The term itself is of Greek origin and is an Angli- 
cised form of iiTLaKOTTo?, a word meaning "one who has oversight". 
In Greek life it represented a wide variety of functions and is applied 
to colonial commissioners, inspectors, magistrates, and officers who 
superintended the finances of religious clubs and guilds. In the 
LXX it is used to denote taskmasters, presidents, and commissioners. 
Thus both in sacred and profane literature alike eTrto-KOTros denotes 
a position of responsibility and povver, and it is only natural to con- 
clude that when the term was taken over by the Christian community 
it still retained the significance that attached to it in Greek circles 



and that it connoted a person who exercised functions of superin- 
tendence and leadership. 

(b) Deacon. This also like " bishop " is a Greek word and in 
its original meaning signifies a servant. It is often used in this 
simple sense in the New Testament, as e.g. in St Matth. xxii. 13 
and St Luke viii. 3. There is, however, now abundant evidence 
that the way had been prepared for the Christian usage of the word 
by its application to the holders of various offices, and it is known 
that a definitely religious connotation attached to the word in the 
first century B.C. (For details see Moulton and Milligan, The Voca- 
bulary of the Greek Testament, s.v.) The actual word "deacon" 
does not occur in the Acts, but the cognate terms " ministry " and 
"to minister" are found frequently in the book and with two shades 
of meaning. In Acts vi. 1 " ministration " is used of " care for the 
poor ", while in xi. 29 and xii. 25 it refers to services rendered in 
connection with the famine in Jerusalem. A more definitely reli- 
gious meaning is associated wdth the word in vi. 4 and xx. 24 where, 
in the first case, it denotes " the ministry of the word " and in the 
second the "ministry" which St Paul "received from the Lord 
Jesus ". In the Pauline Epistles the word and its cognates have 
much the same significance as in the Acts, i.e. they denote those 
who render service in connection with the Church as well as those 
who are more particularly associated with the "ministry of the 
word ". Thus in 2 Cor. ix. 1 the collection for the Church of Jeru- 
salem is a " ministering to the saints ", while in Ephes. iii. 7, Col. 
i. 23 St Paul speaks of himself definitely as a " minister of the 
Lord" and this sense of the word appears also in Col. iv. 17, Ephes. 
iv. 12, but in every case that we have noted the term is used to 
denote functions and is not yet the definite title of an ofticial. It 
would seem, therefore, that we have in our Epistle the first instance 
in which the word is used in this strictly official sense, although 
some writers are of opinion that the reference to Phoebe in Eom. 
xvi. 1 " Phoebe who is a ' deaconess ' (margin R. V.) of the church 
that is at Cenchreae " points to a still earlier example of this usage 
and that the term "deaconess" is applied to Phoebe as a member 
of the order of "women deaconesses" which we find in existence at 
the period of the Pastoral Epistles. 

It is doubtful whether we are to trace the origin of the " dia- 
conate" as an order to the institution of the "Seven" described in 
Acts vi. 3 in spite of the fact that this view was firmly held in the 


early Christian centuries and that the "deacons" in the great Roman 
Church were strictly limited to seven in imitation of the Apostolic 
Church of Jerusalem. The " Seven " appear to have been a body 
of officials called into being by the peculiar conditions of the pri- 
mitive Church of Jerusalem, and when these conditions disappeared 
the officials seem to have ceased to exercise their functions. One 
of them, St Philip, appears later as an evangelist, and even at the 
period immediately following their appointment St Stephen aban- 
doned the specific duty of " ministering to tables " and attained to 
great reputation as a public teacher "full of grace and power". 

The name perhaps survived, although they are not specifically 
called " deacons " in the Acts, but there is no evidence to show that 
the "deacon" of later days was a direct successor of the "Seven", 
although his functions appear to have been much like theirs. 

"We shall now proceed to enquire what is the precise significance 
of the terms as they are used in our Epistle and what particular 
functions were associated with each of the two offices. It is of 
special importance to note that of the three grades in the ministry 
which became constant and permanent in the following century only 
two are mentioned in our context and that the middle order, that 
of " presbyters = elders ", is conspicuous by its absence. It is 
generally assumed that at this particular period in the history of 
the ministry the terms "bishop" and "presbyter" are interchang- 
able and stand for the same person and office. In favour of this 
view it is pointed out that in Acts xx. 17 and 28 the same persons 
are called "elders" and "bishops" and that in 1 Timothy some of 
the same qualifications are demanded of a bishop as those laid down 
for an elder in the Epistle to Titus. 

Further it would appear from Acts xiv. 23 that it was St Paul's 
custom to place elders in charge of the Churches that he had estab- 
lished, and he would probably have followed this practice at Philippi 
so that the "bishops" of our Epistle are presumably identical with 
the elders that he originally appointed. There is, however, a strong 
body of opinion in favour of the view that the term " presbyter " 
in the New Testament does not signify an office but a class of men. 
According to this idea, which is that of Weiszacker and Vincent, 
the Christian community was divided into two classes, the governing 
and the governed, or in other words, the "elder" and the "younger", 
and the term "presbyter" or "elder" meant Church members of 
repute, influence, and manifest piety who were the leaders of the 


community, but did not necessarily hold any distinct office. Out 
of this body of "elders" the "bishops" or "overseers" would natu- 
rally be selected, and these would often retain the title of "elders" 
which they shared with the rest of the presbyterate, so that when 
we find the duties of the elder corresponding with those of a bishop 
it is the elder who has been selected for the more definite office that 
is implied and not the elder in his original capacity. On the other 
hand "elders" in Acts xiv. 23 and Titus i. 5 appear to perform 
definite official functions and in many other places in the Acts and 
Pauline Epistles something more definite seems to be demanded of 
them than mere membership of a class. Even those who hold the 
view we have mentioned acknowledge that among the elders there 
was a special section called "the elders who rule" which would 
probably represent the "bishops" met with in other parts of the 
New Testament. The balance of evidence is decidedly in favour 
of the supposition that in the New Testament at any rate "bishop" 
and "presbyter" are interchangable, synonymous terms. It is 
possible, however, that while every bishop was a presbyter not all 
presbyters were bishops. 

The language of the greeting in our Epistle is significant as 
showing the position occupied by these officials at this particular 
period. That the "bishops and deacons" were, or were rapidly 
becoming, regularly constituted officers at this time seems to be 
established beyond a doubt, but they were as yet of less import- 
ance than the community itself. The salutation is primarily to 
"the saints", and to the bishops and deacons only secondarily. 
They do not yet stand for the Church as they did a century 
later, when a letter was addressed directly to the bishop as the 
recognised representative of the Church concerned. Further, the 
use of the plural "bishops " indicates that we have not yet arrived 
at that stage when a single Church only possessed one bishop. In 
Philippi at this time a bishop was only a member of a board of 
bishops, but when we come to the period of the Pastoral Epistles 
an advance in this respect is perceptible. Here the authority and 
position of a bishop would seem to be independent. There is no 
question of others sharing his responsibility or power; the quali- 
fications required are strictly individual, and we are well on the way 
towards the monarchical bishop of the second century. 

There has been in recent years a considerable change of opinion 
as to what constituted the precise duties and functions of a bishop 


and deacon in the early Church and what were the particular causes 
which brought about the establishment of these orders. Hatch, 
whose views were also adopted by Harnack, maintained that a 
Christian bishop was a close imitation of the analogous official in 
Greek circles where he was primarily concerned with financial and 
social matters, and more especially in connection with clubs and 
guilds. On this assumption it was argued that the principal 
functions of a bishop in the Christian Church were not strictly 
religious and that a bishop was appointed mainly for such duties 
as the care of the poor, the exercise of hospitality, and more parti- 
cularly the financial oversight of the community. The reference 
to " bishops and deacons " in our Epistle was construed as a proof 
of this statement, it being taken for granted that they are mentioned 
here because they were specially concerned in the financial assistance 
that was rendered to St Paul by the Philippian Church. Hatch 
based his view chiefly on the evidence of Greek inscriptions which, 
according to him, proved clearly that "bishops" were in the main 
the finance officers of heathen clubs, but there is considerable hesi- 
tation among later scholars in accepting his conclusions on this point, 
with the result that the argument based on the supposition that a 
heathen bishop was a finance officer and that a Christian bishop 
must, therefore, partake of the same character does not now carry 
much weight. 

A much more attractive theory, and one which seems to meet 
the facts of the case much more satisfactorily than that of Hatch, 
is the theory which attributes the institution of the Christian 
Ministry in all its grades to the duties necessarily associated with 
the celebration of the Christian Eucharist. This view is most clearly 
and most ably set forth by Hamilton in his recent work on The 
People of God and I propose to give a short summary of his argu- 
ment. (See Vol. II. chaps. 5 and 6.) 

Beginning with the history of the primitive Church of Jerusalem 
he argues that the appointment of the "Seven" to meet the peculiar 
needs of the moment confirms the supposition that later Christian 
officials would be called into being by the special circumstances of 
the Christian community. Now the one Christian institution which 
then separated Christians from Jews and demanded a specific official 
was the Eucharist. Justice was not administered in Christian courts, 
preaching and evangelising were the tasks of Christians as such, no 
leaders were required in daily worship because, being Jews as well 


as Christians, the disciples worshipped in the Temple, but the 
Eucharistic Feast was celebrated "at home" in contrast to the 
public worship in the Temple and would require a presiding officer. 
In this president and those who assisted him we are, according 
to Hamilton, to recognise the beginnings of a dehnite Christian 
Ministry. In the earliest days the Apostles would preside, as they 
alone were present at the institution of the Sacrament and had been 
entrusted with it, but in process of time others would share the 
privilege with them or act as substitutes for them in their absence. 

It is not improbable that the same course was followed in this 
matter as in the case of the financial problems of the Church and 
that certain specific persons were set aside for the work, men of age, 
discretion, and piety, in whom we may recognise the Christian 
"elders" or "presbyters", a term, but only the term, borrowed 
from the synagogue. Thus the custom of selecting certain indi- 
viduals to preside at the Eucharist would gradually lead to the 
formation of a definite class to whom the function appertained 
and who would, as in the case of the "Seven", receive Apostolic 

In the Pauline Churches we meet with "bishops", "presbyters", 
and "deacons". The first and second terms were no doubt borrowed 
from other organisations, but identity of name does not necessarily 
involve identity of function, and the duties performed by bishops 
and elders in the Christian Church did not of necessity coincide 
with those of the same officials in Greek or Jewish circles. The 
special functions of a Christian Ministry arose out of the peculiar 
needs of the Church at the time, and out of that Church in its 
corporate capacity. The possible spheres of corporate activity which 
would necessitate the appointment of public officials may be con- 
fined to the following. 

1. Legislative and executive work. 

2. Administration of finance. 

3. Administration of justice and discipline. 

4. Pastoral oversight. 

5. Conduct of meetings for edification and prayer. 

6. Conduct of meetings for the celebration of the Eucharist. 
Now the Epistles to the Corinthians show that there was no 

legislative or executive assembly in that Church and that all matters 
of impt)rtance were referred to St Paul himself for decision, and also 
that there was no organised financial body to deal with the spending 


of public money on such objects as the support of the Apostles, the 
relief of the sick and poor, or the expenses in connection with public 
meetings, or, in other words, that there was no common Church fund 
in the Pauline communities at the period of the Corinthian letters. 
Again it is quite clear that the Christians of Corinth had no judicial 
system of their own and that in the case of secular disputes among 
themselves they had recourse to the heathen courts, while offences 
against Christian morality were dealt with by the Church as a whole, 
there being no special officers entrusted with judicial and disciplinary 
powers. In the case of Pastoral work and meetings of a general 
rehgious character the leadership would fall into the hands of those 
who possessed the special charismatic gifts, the " teachers " and 
" prophets ", and the description of such meetings in 1 Cor. xiv. 26- 
33 implies the absence of any presiding officer to check the pro- 
ceediugs. The issue is, therefore, narrowed down to the last of the 
possible spheres of activity, and we are led to assume that the 
official ministry of the Church was primarily concerned with the 
celebration of the Eucharist. Now the Eucharist was essentially 
a social and corporate institution and was celebrated in the presence 
of the whole Church, and yet only one person could break the bread 
and bless it, and this alone would create a differentiation of function 
— one individual would preside and would by that very act be 
distinguished from those who partook. The selection of such an 
individual would be governed by the personal character of the local 
Christians, and questions of personal influence and piety would enter 
largely into it. In some Churches there might be a class of men 
from whom the president was invariably chosen, while in others the 
choice might always be limited to one and the same person. The 
office did not demand any special physical or mental qualifications 
or even special spiritual gifts such as those connected with an 
Apostle or prophet, but merely that moral fitness which any Chris- 
tian might possess. In the Epistle to the Philippians the officials 
of that Church are definitely called " bishops and deacons ", and it 
is significant that in the Epistle of Clement (chap. 44) the same two 
groups of Church officers are closely connected with the Eucharist, 
the " bishops " who offered the gifts and who were, therefore, the 
presidents of the gathering and the " deacons" who assisted them. 
In the " Didachfe " the same functions are also assigned to these two 
orders. Assuming that presbyters and bishops were at this period 
practically interchangable terms, the one used chiefly on Jewish 


soil and the other in the more definitely Gentile communities, the 
functions which in the New Testament are associated with the 
former term, such as responsibility, leadership, and representation 
would grow naturally out of their position as presidents at the 
Eucharist, and out of their personal influence. The business of the 
community would also gradually come into their hands, and this 
would account for the use of the title " bishop" as the Church came 
into closer contact with Greek ideas and phraseology. 

The order of " deacons " was necessitated by the growth of the 
various Christian communities and by the call for " assistants " to 
help in the general discharge of the affairs of the Church as well 
as for the distribution of the elements at the Eucharist. The 
"bishops" or "elders" still retained the presidency, as no assist- 
ance was required in that capacity, and the "breaking of the bread" 
still remained their exclusive function. 

The theory also explains the universality of this type of ministry 
in the ApostoHc Church. The Eucharist, according to New Testa- 
ment evidence, was celebrated in every Christian Church and was 
the one distinctive Christian service common to the Church as a 
whole : presidents and assistants were, therefore, a universal Chris- 
tian necessity. 

Dr Hamilton claims that this view gives a clear and consistent 
explanation both of the development of the organisation of the 
Churches and also of the positions which presbyters and bishops 
occupied in early Church life. The mention of " bishops and 
deacons " in the Church of Philippi somewhere about the year 60 
makes it probable that the custom, which we find established towards 
the end of the first century, of having these two grades of officials 
closely connected with the Eucharist, should be traced to New 
Testament times, while the study of the history of the primitive 
Church in Jerusalem shows that in the president at the Eucharist 
we have the most natural cause which can be assigned for the origin 
of the presbyterate. 


XII. Analysis of the Epistle. 

I. Introduction, i. 1-11. 

(a) The Address. 1-2. 

(b) Thanksgiving and prayer for the Philippians. 3-11. 

1. Thanksgiving for their co-operation in the work of the 
Gospel in the past and in the present and for the Apostle's 
confident assurance, based on his personal knowledge and 
experience of them, that God will in the future complete 
the good work that He has inaugurated in them. 3-7. 

2. A prayer that their love may increase and issue in higher 
spiritual knowledge and discernment and that they may 
be filled with the fruits of righteousness unto the glory 
and praise of God. 8-11. 

II. An account of his own personal situation in Rome and of the 

progress of Christianity in that city. i. 12-26. 

(a) The preliminary stages of his trial have exercised a 
stimulating influence upon Christian life generally in 
Rome and have had the effect of making himself and 
the cause he stands for well known in Imperial circles 
and more particularly among the Praetorian Guard. 

(b) The Christians in Rome, who had been inspired through 
his trial with fresh zeal and renewed courage, are, how- 
ever, not all imbued with the same pure and unselfish 
motives. Many of them are loyal to him and to his 
Gospel, but there is a section which is actuated by ill- 
will towards himself and which preaches " Christ of envy 
and strife ". Yet because it is Christ that is preached he 
rejoices in that fact. 14-18. 

(c) His own hopes and fears. The result of the trial is un- 
certain. It may end in freedom or it may end in death, 
and it is difficult to decide which is the more desirable. 
His own instinctive conviction is that he will be released, 
because his presence and guidance are so urgently de- 
manded by the needs of the Churches. 19-26. 


III. The main hortatory section of the Epistle, i. 27-ii. 18. 

(a) An exhortation to unity and forgetfulness of self. i. 27- 
ii. 4. 

{b) An appeal to Christ as the crowning example of humility 
and self-surrender and as illustrating the principle that 
the way of humiliation is the path to glory. 5-11. 

(c) A further exhortation, based on the preceding appeal, to 
obedience, earnest and anxious spiritual effort, and mutual 
peace, so that the Apostle may receive the due reward of 
his labour in the day of Christ. 12-16. 

{d) St Paul contemplates the possibility that his end may 
be near, but come life, come death, he will rejoice and 
the Philippians are to rejoice with him. 17-18. 

IV. The Apostle's plans for the future, ii. 19-30. 

(a) The proposed visit to Philippi of Timothy, who receives 
the Apostle's highest commendation in view of his zeal 
and perfect loyalty to himself, and a possible visit in the 
near future from St Paul himself. 19-24. 

{h) The contemplated return of Epaphroditus to his native 
city, and an account of his illness and recovery and of the 
services rendered by him to the Apostle. 25-30. 

V. St Paul is now approaching the closing stages of his letter and 

once again sounds the call " to rejoice ". iii. 1 a. 

VI. At this point there is a sudden break in the sequence, and the 

Apostle's attention is diverted for the moment from the 
main purpose of the letter, so that the remainder of the 
chapter is devoted to grave and strongly worded warnings 
against two sets of opponents, Jews, who were probably 
to be found in Rome, and Gentile Christians in Philippi. 
iii. 1 b-21. 

1. A warning against Jews, lb-11. 

{a) A protest against Jewish pride and exclusiveness. 1 b-6, 
leading to 

{b) A defence of the Christian position as illustrated by his 
own experience and more especially by his conversion, 
which involved a complete surrender of his privileges 


as a son of the covenant and the abandonment of the 
" righteousness which is of the law ", 7-9, and made him 
the recipient of the "righteousness which is of God by 
faith", which issued in the knowledge of Christ and of 
the power of His resurrection, conformity with His death, 
and the hope of a final triumph in " the resurrection from 
the dead". 10-11. 

2. A warning against the " spiritual " party in the Philippian 
Church, which was divided into two sections. 12-21. 

(a) Those who were given to undue spiritual presumption 
and a false assurance of perfection. The lesson is pressed 
home by an appeal to his own spiritual strivings and 
gradual progress in Christ. 12-16. 

(b) Those who in virtue of their claims to "spirituality" 
affected to despise the body and its passions and in con- 
sequence fell into pagan immorality. 17-19. 

(c) The incompatibility of this sensual life with the position 
of Christians as a colony of heaven, whose Saviour is in 
heaven, and with the future glory awaiting the body. 

VII. 1. At this point the main thread of the letter, interrupted 

at iii. 1 b, is again resumed in an impressive exhortation 
to steadfastness and unity, which is particularly addressed 
to certain women in the Philippian Church, iv. 1-3. 

2. A general exhortation to the Church as a whole to display 

a spirit of joyfulness, considerateness, and trust in God, 
closing with a benediction. 4-7. 

3. The exhortation is resumed, but with special reference to 

moral excellence and beauty generally and with strong 
emphasis upon definite Christian qualities as exhibited 
in the Apostle's own person and life. 8-9. 

VIII. The Apostle now enters upon what is the chief practical 

purpose of the letter, viz. to express his gratitude to the 
Philippian Church for its generosity towards himself 
iv. 10-20. 

(a) A recognition of the unfailing goodwill of the Philip- 
pians towards himself and of the fact that this had been 


prevented from taking practical form earlier in his impri- 
sonment by the lack of opportunity only. 10. 

(b) An assertion of his own independence of material con- 
ditions because of his complete dependence upon the 
power of Christ within him. 11-13, 

which is, nevertheless, coupled with 

(c) a grateful acknowledgment of their kind thought for 
him on this as well as on previous occasions, and with 
the invocation of the rich blessings of God upon them. 

(d) A doxology. 20. 

IX. Final salutations and benediction, iv. 21-23. 

XIII. Bibliography. 

A Hst of the more important books utilised in this Com- 


Bengel. Gnomon of the New Testament. 
Agar Beet. 1890. 
Lightfoot. 1891. 
Rainy {Expositor's Bible). 1892. 
Lipsius {Hand-Gommentar zum, N.T.). 1892. 
Moule {Cambridge Greek Testament). 1897. 
Moule. Philippian Studies. 1897. 
Vincent {International Critical Commentary). 1897. 
Drummond {International Handbooks to the New Test.). 1899. 
Ilaupt {Meyer's Kommentar, 8th Edition). 1902. 
Kennedy {Expositor's Greek Testament). 1903. 
Clarke {Cambridge Revised Version). 1909. 
Strachan ( Westminster Neic Testament). 1910. 
Dibelius {Ilandbuch zum NT). 1913. 

Articles on " The Epistle to the Philippians " in Hastings' Dictionary 
oft/ie Bible by J. Gibb, and in the Encyclopaedia Biblica by Van 


Books of a General Character. 

Conybeare and Howson. Life and Epistles of St Paul. 1877. 
Ramaay. The Church in the Roman Empire. 1893. 

St Paul the Traveller. 1896. 

The Teaching of St Paul in the Terms of the Present Day. 

Lightfoot. Biblical Essays. 189.3. 
Introductions to the New Testament. 

Jiilicher. E. T. 1906. 

Zahn. E. T. 1909. 

Peake. 1909. 

Allen and Grensted. 1913. 
Moffatt. Historical New Testament. 1901. 
Introduction to the Literature of the Neio Testament. 1911. 

McGiffert. History of the Apostolic Age. 1897. 

Weisziicker. „ „ „ E. T. 1902. 

Kennedy. St PauVs Conception of the Last Things. 1904. 

Clemen. Paulus. 1905. 

Weinel. St Paid, the Man and his Work. E. T. 1906. 

Rackham. The Acts of the Apostles. 1906. 

Deissmann. Light from the Ancient East. E. T. 1910. 

St Paul. 1912. 

Knowling. The Testimony of St Paul to Christ. 1911. 

Gardner. The Religious Experience of St Paul. 1911. 

Hamilton. The People of God. 1912. 

Headlam. St Paul atid Christianity. 1913. 

Glover. The Christian tradition and its verification. 1913. 

Books dealing with the Kenotic Theory. 
Brnce. The Humiliation of Christ. 1889. 
Gore. Bampton Lectures. 1891. 

Dissertations on the Incarnation, 1895. 

Sabatier. The Apostle Paul. 1891. 
Bright. Way marks in Church History. 1894. 
Powell. The Principle of the Incarnation. 1896. 
Giflford. The Incarnation. 1897. 
Somerville. St Paul's conception of Christ. 1897. 
Forsyth. The Person and Place of Jesus Christ. 1910. 
Articles on " Kenosis " in Hastings' Bible Dictionary by Lock and in 
Hastings' Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics by Loofs. 


Translations op the New Testament. 

The Ticentieth Centwy New Testament. 1901. 

The Neio Testament in Modern Speech (Waymouth). 1908. 

Moffatt. A new translation qf the New Testament. 1913. 

Numerous Articles in the Expositor, Expository Times, and Journal 
of Theological Studies. 


Vocabulary of the Greek Testament. Parts I and II. Moulton and 

Milligan. 1914-1915. 
A Pocket Lexicon to the Greek New Testament. A. Souter, 1916. 



I. Introduction, 1 — 11 

{a) The Address, 1 — 2 

I. 1 Paul and Timothy, ^servants of Christ Jesus, to all 
the saints in Clirist Jesus which are at Philippi, with the 
2 ^bishops and deacons : Grace to you and peace from God 
our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 

^ Gr. hondaervants, ^ Or, overseers 

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, devoted to him soul and 
body, to all at Philippi who are consecrated to God by their faith in and 
union with the same Christ Jesus, together with the ministers of the Church, 
the bish"ps who exercise spiritual oversight over you and the deacons who 
assist them in their good icork. May God our Heavenly Father and our 
Lord Jesus Christ, His Son, grant unto you that grace which is God^sfree 
gift to His oicn and that peace one tcith another and with God, that tran- 
quillity of soul ichich is theirs who have approj->riated God^s gracious 


1. Paul and Timothy. Timothy joint authority. Here, however, the 

is also associated with Ht Paul in the mention of Timothy's name is only 

opening addresses of 1 and 2 Thes- an act of courtesy on St Paul's part 

salouians, 2 Corinthians, Colossians, ("humanissime", Bengel) and is in- 

and Philemon. In the Epistles to sorted partly because he was well 

the Thessalonians the inclusion of known to the Philippians and was 

his name and that of Silvanus is associated by them with that momen- 

more than a mere formahty, and the tons period when the Gospel was 

use of the plural "we" in the body first preached to them by the Apostle, 

of these Epistles seems to imply that and partly because he acted on this 

these two are regarded as joint occasion as St Paul's amanuensis, 

authors with the Apostle and that Butthesingular "1" isused through- 

the letters were issued under their out the Epistle and the manner of 

J. 1 



the reference to Timothy in ii. 19-22 
shows that he stands outside and 
has neither part nor authority in the 
contents of the letter itself. 

servants of Christ Jesus. Lit. 
"bond-servants". A study of the 
designations attaclied by St Paul to 
himself and his fellow signatories 
in the different Epistles is both 
instructive and interesting. The 
Epistles to the Thessalonians are 
devoid of any qualifying designation 
in this respect. In 1 and 2 Corin- 
thians, Galatians, Colossiaus, and 
Bphesiaus he employs the official 
title "Apostle". In Philemon he is 
"the prisoner of the Lord", while 
in Romans he calls himself both 
"servant" and "Apostle". Here he 
and Timothy are "servants of Christ 
Jesus". The principle underlying 
the Apostle's usage in this matter 
would seem to be that when his 
Apostolic status is called in ques- 
tion or where false doctrine or other 
disturbing elements demand that h"s 
Apostolic authority should be em- 
phasised the official title "Apostle" 
is deliberately employed. The use of 
the official title in Romans probably 
asserts St Paul's right to address a 
Church which was not of his owti 
founding and to which he was a com- 
parative stranger. In those cases 
where the above conditions did not 
obtain he is content with a designa- 
tion which places him on a level Avith 
his readers, such as "the servant 
of Christ Jesus" or, as in the case 
of the Epistle to Philemon, with 
a description which is a delicate 
appeal for sympathy, "the prisoner 
of the Lord". It is significant that 
in all three letters addressed to the 
Churches of Macedonia the claim 
to authority finds no expression, a 
striking tribute to the very cordial 
and aflfectionate relations that existed 

between St Paul and these Churches 
and to the absence of any grave 
disorders either in doctrine or prac- 
tice. "The servant of the Lord" is 
a familiar Old Testament phrase and 
is there always associated with the 
great men of God and especially 
with the prophets. The use of this 
particular term might seem to imply 
that the Apostle is here claiming 
for himself and his companion a 
special prerogative and position as 
prophets and leaders of God's people, 
but the whole tone of the Epistle, 
with its repeated emphasis on hu- 
mility and its touching proofs of 
the tender and affectionate relations 
existing between himself and his 
readers, rather favours the view that 
he demands nothing for himself or 
Timothy which he is not prepared to 
concede to Christians generally. The 
Philippians as well as the Apostle 
are "servants of Christ", owned by 
Him, dependent upon Him for all 
that they are and have, and willingly 
pledged to His service. "Bond- 
servant" here carries with it no 
thought of the forced service of 
the slave. The service of Christ is 
essentially the offering of a willing 
obedience, and the true implication 
of St Paul's idea is well expressed 
in the "Collect for Peace" in our 
"Order of Morning Prayer". "Whose 
service is perfect freedom" (cui ser- 
vire regnare est). 

all. One of the most significant 
features in the Epistle is the frequent 
use of the word "all" and itscoguates. 
It is employed as a corrective of a 
tendency to disiuiion and jealousy in 
the Pliilippian Church as well as to 
mark the Apostle's afi"ection towards 
every individual member of that 

saints. See Int. p.lxxxv. It is the 
Christian Church as the New Israel 

I. 1-2] 


inheriting all the privileges and con- 
ferring all the blessings and benefits 
associated with membership of the 
Chosen Peoj)le that is here implied. 
At the same time it denotes that 
holiness of life and that consecration 
of will and purpose which are ideally 
associated with the name and pro- 
fession of a Christian. 

bishops and deacons. See Int. 
pp. Ixxxviii-xcvi. These terms are 
used here for the first time in the New 
Testament as definite official titles of 
two grades of ministers in the Chris- 
tian Church. The expression should, 
therefore, not be translated as if it 
contained only a general reference 
to "those that rule and those that 
serve" as is done by some authorities. 
Neither is it analogous to 1 Thess. 
V. 12, where the position of the article 
shows that the compound description 
"they that labour among you and are 
over you in the Lord" refers to one 
class of persons. Here it is not a 
single group that is in question, 
called "overseers" with reference to 
the Church and "servers" with refer- 
ence to Christ, but two separate sets 
of officials, bishops and deacons. 
At the same time the place that 
these officials occupy in the address, 
coming after and not before the 
Church as a whole, shows that they 
have not yet attained the dominating 
position as rulers and representatives 
of the Churches which was theirs a 
few decades later. It is quite possible 
that the reason why they are speci- 
fically mentioned here is that they 
had the control of the finances of 
the Church and that the Apostle is 
anxious to recognise their services 
in the matter of the organisation of 
the gift of money sent to him by the 
Philippian Church. 

2. The Apostle in all his letters 
follows the epistolary custom of the 

day in the matter of the address and 
greeting. The latter feature, how- 
ever, in the ordinary correspondence 
of the period was almost universally 
confined to the single word "greet- 
ing", as we see from letters included 
in the New Testament itself (cf Acts 
XV. 23 : xxiii. 26) and from countless 
papyrus letters. But St Paul trans- 
forms the conventional greeting into 
an earnest Christian prayer and fills 
it with a deep Christian meaning. 
With a play upon the word x^^P^'^^^ 
"greeting", it remains no longer a 
mere courteous expression from one 
l)erson to another, but becomes ;(rtpty 
"the grace of God our Father and 
the Lord Jesus Christ", the Divine 
favour in all its rich possibilities. 
To this he adds the characteristic 
Hebrew salutation "Peace be with 
yoxi", but this is again immeasurably 
enriched and lifted into the sphere 
of God and of Christ, so that the 
whole greeting becomes an epitome 
of all that is central and essential in 
the Christian religion. "May God 
grant unto you His grace in Christ 
Jesus with, all its wealth of riches 
and that peace which the grace of 
God can alone create, peace with 
God, peace in your innermost being, 
peace with one another". Cf. iv. 
7, 9. 

from God our Father and the 
Lord Jesus Christ. The co-ordina- 
tion of "God our Father" and "the 
Lord Jesus Christ" is a convincing 
proof of the place the Divinity of om* 
Lord held in the mind of St Paul. 
It is perhaps doubtful whether he 
anywhere specifically calls Christ 
God (but see Rom. ix. 5; Tit. ii. 13), 
yet the language of this verse and of 
countless others in his Epistles shows 
that in all the essentials of Deity 
Christ stood for the Apostle on the 
same plane as the Father. There is 


perhaps a diflFerence of function im- are mediated through Christ Jesus 
plied here. God the Father is the and only in union with Him can they 
source of gi*ace and peace, but they be realised. 

(b) Thanhsgiving, 3 — 7 

3, 4 I thank my God upon all my remembrance of you, always 
in every supplication of mine on behalf of you all making 

5 my supplication with joy, for your fellowship in further- 

6 ance of the gospel fi-om the first day until now ; being 
confident of this very thing, that he which began a good 
work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ : 

7 even as it is right for me to be thus minded on behalf of 
you all, because ^I have you in ray heart, inasmuch as, 
both in my bonds and in the defence and confirmation of 
the gospel, ye all are partakers with me of grace. 

1 Or, ye have me in your heart 

In all my thoughts of you I am led to thank my God and in every 
prayer of mine I j}ra,y for you all with joy, when I retncmher how from 
the very day I first preached Christ among you you have laboured un- 
ceasingly on behalf of the Gospel and have co-operated tcith m,e tcith true- 
hearted sympathy and loyalty in the service of our common Master. And 
m,y thankfulness and joy are concerned not only with your past, but I 
have every confidence and assurance that the future has still greater 
blessings in store for you and that the work begun in you long ago, a work 
not your own but Divine in its origin and inspiration, shall by God be 
brought to perfection, and that His perfect work shall be made manifest 
in that Day when Jesus Christ, the Judge of all, shall appear to meet and 
reward His oirn. And this confidence i^f mine tcith reference to the 
blessed future in store for you is based on sound reasons, partly because it 
is the result of />rrt//e?yi<^ meditation and earnest refection on my j^art, 
and partly because your love and sympathy for me and your u/islinted 
efforts on my behalf both as a prisoner and tchen I was oh my trial have 
given me ever^ right to think that you also have shared in that grace 
which impels me to preach Christ and to suffer for Him and has be- 
stowed upon you the privilege of being fellow-workers and felhicsufferers 
tcith me. 

3. / thank my God ujjon all my be the correct reading it affords no 

remembrance of you. There is a ground for Zahn's suggestion that 

certain amount of MS. support for the "I indeed" is emphatic and that 

another reading here "I indeed St Paul is here removing an im- 

thank my God for all your remem- pressiou which prevailed among the 

brance of rae" and it is adopted by Philippians that his gratitude to 

Zahn and Moffatt. ]5ut even if this them for the interest thevhad mani- 

1. 3-5] 


fested in his welfare was lacking in 
warmth. The whole tone of the 
Epistle with its affectionate tender- 
ness is proof positive that no such 
doubt or distrust clouded the happy 
relations between the Apostle and 
his readers. The great majority of 
authorities, however, accept the tra- 
ditional reading as being more in 
accord with parallel passages in 
the introductory sections of other 

my God. Cf. Acts xxvii. 23, "the 
God whose I am, whom also I serve". 
St Paul is fond of expressing his own 
close personal relation with God 
especially in his thanksgivings and 
prayers. Cf. Rom. i. 8 : Philemon 4, 
and possibly 1 Cor. i. 4. 

up<)n all my remembrance of you. 
This expres.sion may refer either to 
the occasion or to the cause of the 
Apostle's thanksgiving. In the one 
case we should translate "I thank 
my God whenever I think of you" 
and in the other "I thank my God 
because of my whole remembrance 
of you". The sense is much the same 
in either case. Every thought and 
memory associated with the Philip- 
pians called to mind their devoted 
service on behalf of the Gospel and 
himself, and for this he thanks God. 

4. always in every supplicatum 
of mine on hehalf of you all m,aking 
my supplication with joy. It is 
better to take this clause as being 
complete in itself and not closely 
connected \vith or depending upon 
what precedes or what follows. It 
will be then a parenthetical insertion 
between the thanksgiving in v. 3 and 
its object in t. 5 and will be co- 
ordinate with the preceding clause, 
because although St Paul regarded 
thanksgiving as an essential compo- 
nent of prayer he generally seems to 
keep the two elements apart. 

on behalf <f you all. This may 
belong either to what precedes or to 
what follows. If we accept the ren- 
dering in the R.V. "in every suppli- 
cation on behalf of you all" it will 
mean that whenever St Paul prayed 
for the Philippians he did so with 
joy. If on the other hand we trans- 
late "making my supplication with 
joy on behalf of you all" the Apostle 
meant to say that whenever he prayed 
the Philippians had a specially joyous 
place in his prayers. 

icith joy. At the very opening 
of the Epistle the Apostle strikes one 
of its dominant notes. Cf. Bengel, 
"Summa epistolae: Gaudeo, gau- 

5. for your felloicship in fur- 
therance of the gospel. This is to 
be closely connected with v. 3 as ex- 
plaining the gi'ound of the Apostle's 
gi-atitude to God. At the same time 
the note of joy in v. 4 is also carried 
forward. His thankfulness and joy 
are both based on his remembrance 
of how the Philippians had served 
and suffered in the cause of Christ. 

fell.tiwMp. Their cooperation 
with St Paul and with one another 
on behalf of the Gospel. There is 
perhaps also underlying the word 
the thought which is ever present in 
the Apostle's mind of their "fellow- 
ship" in the Spirit of Jesus Christ 
which was the inspiration of their 
zeal and the bond of their united 
service. The reference should not 
be confined to the gift that the 
Apostle had received from the 
Philippians. It was for the Christian 
services of the Philippians in their 
manifold forms that St Paul praised 
God, and not merely for their bounty 
to him personally, although this may 
well have been included in the ex- 
pression, as he was in the habit of 
regarding material contributions of 



[l. 5-7 

this character as an offering to God 
ami a substantial service to the cause 
of Christianity. Cf. 2 Cor. ix. 12, 13, 
where tiie "collection for the saints'' 
is described in terms which imply 
its deep spiritual significance, and 
iv. 18 in this Epistle where the very 
gift we have alluded to is spoken of 
as "an odour of sweet savour, a sacri- 
fice, acceptable, well pleasing to God ". 

6. being confident of thin eery 
thing, A further reason for his 
thanksgiving and joy. It is not only 
the thought of the Philippians' sei'- 
vices in the past that filled the 
Apostle's heart with gratitude ; the 
omens for the future are equally 
fiivourable. Cf. Bengel, "Initium est 
pignus consummationis" ("The be- 
ginning is the earnest of the end"). 

that he irhicli hcgdn a good work 
in you will perfect it. 

began, perfect. These two words 
are found closely connected in pagan 
religious language and signify the 
beginning and the closing of the 
sacrificial rites. They are also used 
in the " Mystery Keligions" to denote 
the early and final stages of the pro- 
cess of the initiation of the mystic. 
St Paul may here and in Gal. iii. 3, 
where the two words are also found 
together, be borrowing language 
which was familiar to his readers 
who had been formerly associated 
with pagan religious cults in order 
to express the ideas of the progress, 
gi'owth, and final consummation of 
God's work in the soul of the Chris- 
tian, but the words are also used in 
an ai)proximate sense in the LXX 
and in the writings of licllenistic 
Jews like Philo. 

There is a ring of certainty in 
St Paul's language here which is 
very significant. He is persuaded 
that in the Christian life the end is 
contemplated in the initial stages. 

This confidence of his is based on 
three gi-ounds. 1. The unalterable 
l^lan and purpose of God and the un- 
changing loveof Him who has the end 
in view from the beginning. 2. The 
principle of life in Christ which 
carries with it the idea of growth 
and permanence. The entrance of 
Christ into the soul was an abiding 
presence, an indwelling which no- 
thing could vitally disturl), the be- 
ginning of a fellowship which was 
eternal. 3. A day would dawn when 
Christ's work would be exhibited in 
all its fulness, and when the spiritual 
harvest would be reaped, a day made 
blessed and glorious by the perfection 
of His work in His redeemed. (See 
Ex2msitory Times., xxv. p. 344.) 

a good work, "the good work", i.e. 
the work of this fellowship, but per- 
haps including the thought of the 
new creation in Chi-ist Jesus, the 
renovation of the whole nature of 
man by the indwelling Spirit of 

until the day of Jesus Christ, in- 
volving the idea of testing and of 
glory. "The day of Jesus Christ" 
shall test whether the process of 
spiritual growth has been consum- 
mated and sliall also manifest the 
joy and glory of Christ of 
the harvest reaped and the work 

7. eren as it is right for me, "for 
me" is emphatic and means "for me 
above all else". 

as it is right. The meaning of 
"right" here is probably the same 
as in Col. iv. 1 "Masters render unto 
your servants that which is their due 
right", a sense of ^Uaioi' which is 
very frequent in the papyri and 
more especially in the concluding 
formulae of petitions. (Moulton and 
Milligan, s.v.) St Paul, therefore, 
says here, "It is only your due that 



I should be persuaded of your 
glorious future". 

he thus minded. Souter translates 
(ppovflv "to have in my mind, to set 
my mind upon, suggesting moral in- 
terest, thought and study, and not a 
mere unreflecting opinion". So the 
Apostle implies that he has reached 
the confident conclusion formulated 
in the previous verse after earnest 
and careful considerationof what God 
had done for them in the past and 
of their splendid response to God's 
efforts. "The^poi-eZi/ of the Philip- 
pians for him (iv. 10) is answered by 
a (Ppovflv of him for them which has 
to be of a different kind ; he cannot 
and need not send them money in 
return, but he can cherish great 
and good hopes of their religious 
prospects". (Moffatt, Eu-posilor, viii. 
xii. p. 340.) 

because I hace yon in my heart. 
The context seems to demand for 
this phrase a connection not so much 
with the heart as the seat of affection 
but rather as the seat of reflection. 
This use of the word may be illus- 
trated by St Luke, i. G6, "All that 
heard them laid them up in their 
heart", and Acts v. 4, "How is it 
that thou hast conceived this thing 
in thy heart ?" Accepting this mean- 
ing the expression then becomes a 
stronger affirmation of the preceding 
clause "be thus minded". The 
Apostle's confidence is the result of 
his deepest I'eflectionupon the mean- 
ing and outcome of the Christian 
life lived by the Phihppians. It is 
possible to translate "because ye 
have me in your heart" as is done in 
the Margin of the R.V.,but as St Paul 
is concerned throughout with his own 
impressions of the Philippian Church 
and its progress in Christ the former 
rendering is preferable. 

inasmuch aSy both in my bonds 
and in the d^ence and co7ifirmation 
of the qospel. There is a consider- 
able difference of opinion as to 
whether St Paul has in mind here 
his general vindication of theGosi)el 
as its representative in Rome or 
whether the reference is definitely 
confined to his trial and defence 
before the Imperial Court. Those 
who with Lightfoot place the Epistle 
early in the imprisonment, or with 
Ramsay deny that the Apostle was 
brought to trial at the end of the 
two years' residence in his hired 
dwelling, naturally plead for the 
former view. The theory adopted 
in this Commentary that the Epistle 
was written after the preliminary 
stages of the trial had taken place 
(see Int. p. xxxviii) is based very 
largely on the supposition that there 
is a definite allusion to the trial in this 
passage. This view is confirmed by 
the use of the word /3e/3atw(rts (con- 
firmation) in the LXX (Lev. xxv. 23), 
in the New Testament (Heb. vi. 16, 
where it means a "legal guarantee"), 
and also in the x>apyri where it 
always seems to have the teclinical 
forensic sense in mind. (Moulton 
and Milligan, s.v. ; Deissmann, Bible 
Studies, p. 104.) 

ye all are partakers ivifh me of 
grace. Cf. 1 Cor. xv. 10, "By the 
grace of God I am what I am". 
Grace here covers all that St Paul 
values in his Christian life, all that 
he had become by the grace of God. 
The term is not to be confined to 
any special type or manifestation 
of grace such as the "grace of 
apostleship" or even of the privi- 
lege of suS'ering on behalf of Christ. 
Moffatt's translation brings out its 
meaning admirably "how you all 
share with me in the grace divine". 

8 PHILTPPIANS [1. 8-9 

St PauTs Prayer for the Philippian Church, 8 — 11 

8 For God is my witness, how I long after you all in the 

9 tender mercies of Christ Jesus. And this I pray, that your 
love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and all 

10 discernment ; so that ye may ^approve the things that are 
excellent ; that ye may be sincere and void of offence 

1 1 unto the day of Christ ; being filled with the ^ft-uits of 
righteousness, which are through Jesus Christ, unto the 
glory and praise of God. 

1 Or, prove the things that differ ^ Gr. fruit. 

And (/' any icitness is needed to the depth of my affection for you God 
Himself can testify how I yearn for communion with you, in body and 
soul, with a tenderness inspired hy Jesus Christ Himself. I have already 
told you how unceasingly I jyray for you {v. 4), and it will comfort you 
to know what it is that 1 ask God on your behalf. I pray that your love, 
love for Christ, love for the brethren, love for me, may so groic and develop 
as to create in you that knowledge which tcill enable you to have a grasp 
of Christian principles, teach you how to apply them in your relations 
with one another and with the world around you, and give you a sense of 
ichat, among confiicting ideals and interests, is vital. I also pray that 
in your daily life you may set an example of transparent honesty and 
that you hurt or harm nobody, so that all through your Christian course 
and at the great Day you may stand the test of Christ. Finally I pi^ay 
that your life may be fruitful and become rich iii every Christian grace 
and virtue and that all that you do may be fm- the glory and praise of 
God the Father. 

8. For God is my witness. Cf. Cf. iv. 1, "my brethren, beloved and 

Gal. i. 20: 2 Cor. i. 23. Thisexpres- longed for". The Aj^ostle identifies 

sion is in St Paul a mark of intense himself so closely with Christ that it 

personal emotion, and in the two in- is the Master's own tenderness that is 

stances quoted above is employed to manifested in his own intense longing 

add force to an indignant denial of an for the presence and fellowship of his 

implied charge against him on the beloved i'hilijjpians. 
part of his oi>ponents. Hero, how- 9. And this I pray. See special 

ever, the spirit of the passage is note on "St Paul's prayers". Here 

entirely different, and the calling of he prays that Christian love in all its 

God to witness is the Apostle's way breadth and possibilities may grow 

of empha.sising his consuming love and put forth its finest bloom, .so that 

for his converts. "Only God can tell it may produce knowledge and all 

how deep is my affection for you". discernment. The Greek word for 

how I long after you all in the knowledge seems to denote know- 

tender mercies of Christ Jesus, ledge directed towards a particular 

I. 9-ro] 



object, and the direction implied is 
explained by the following term dis- 
cernment^ which is knowledge issuing 
in moral tact and the power to choose 

10. approve the things that are 
excellent. This is the central aim of 
St Paul's prayer for the Philippian 
Church. The phrase is ambiguous 
but it means at least "to test things 
that differ" (see Margin, R.V.), to 
draw a line between good and evil, 
between truth and falsehood, and 
implies the conduct of "full grown 
men, those who by reason of use have 
their senses exercised to discern good 
and evil" (Heb. v. 14). But it has a 
still deeper meaning, "to test the 
things that surpass, that are ex- 
cellent", the power to discern riva 

fxev KoAa, riva 8e Kpeirrova- (TheO- 

doret), to choose "ex bonis optima" 
(Bengel), to have an ear for true 
notes, an eye for excellence, a keen 
spiritual vision. St Paul may be 
giving us an indication of what he 
means by "things that are excellent" 
in iv. 8, "whatsoever things are 
true, ... honourable, ...just, ... pure, 
lovely, of good report". The verb 
also includes the thought not only 
of "testing" but of "approving". 
The Philippians were not simply to 
examine but to class, to put their 
stamp upon, to pass on from judg- 
ment into action. 

The ^''things that are excellent" 
are partly intellectual, such as judg- 
ments in theory, the deepest truth, 
the view most true to fact, most 
founded on reason, most faithful to 
the past and the future ; and partly, 
practical activities, the best course 
to pursue, the most tactful means 
of guiding, teaching, building up. 
There is evidence that the Greek 
expression was used in the sense of 
"what is essential", which is the 

meaning adopted by MofFatt in his 
translation of Rom. ii. 18 and of this 
passage, "having a sense of what 
is vital in religion" which sums 
up admirably all that the phrase 

The phrase gave the keynote to 
William Watson's Poem, "The Things 
that are more Excellent", of which 
one verse may be quoted : 
The grace of friendship — mind and 

Linked with their fellow heart and 
The gains of science, gifts of art, 

The sense of oneness witb our kind; 
The thirst to know and understand — 

A large and liberal discontent: 
These are the goods in life's rich hand, 

The things that are more Excellent. 

sincere. The Greek is equivalent 
to the Latin sincerus. Its meaning 
here may be explained possibly by 
St James, i. 27, "unspotted from 
the world", i.e. uncontaminated by 
the pagan atmosphere in which the 
Philippians are compelled to live. 
Another, and perhaps a better, ren- 
dering would be, "perfect honesty 
and openness of character in their 
relation to God and man ". 

void of offence. This may be taken 
actively or passively and may mean 
either "not stumbling yourselves" or 
"not causing others to stumble". 
As the passage as a whole seems to 
have in view their attitude towards 
others the passive "giving no offence 
to others" and hence "blameless", a 
meaning which the word has fre- 
quently in the papyri, gives the better 
sense here. This is clearly the mean- 
ing of the synonym in Rom. xiv. 13 
and of the identical word in 1 Cor. 
x. 32. The thought is illustrated by 
1 Cor. viii. 13. The word used here 
is not a purely Biblical word as was 
thought until recently, but is often 

10 PHILIPPIANS [I. to-. I 

found in contemporary secular liter- Jeaus Christ. Cf. Ainos vi. 12. These 

ature :ind inscriptions. may be either ( 1 ) the fruits j)roduced 

^mto the day nf Christ. The pre- by the consciousness of the favour of 

position "unto" has the sense of "in God justifying the sinner or (2) the 

view of", "keeping j'our ej'es in the fruits which consist in righteousness, 

direction of ". Hence we may para- i.e. a sanctified Chri.stian life. The 

phrase, "Ever remembering the day Greek here and in Gal. v. 22 is sin- 

of Christ which will testthe character gular, "fruit", denoting that there is 

of your Christian life and reward a unity among all its manifestations, 

your perseverance". unto the yJory and praise of God. 

11. being filled icith the fruits This is in St Paul the aim and end 

qf righteousness, which are through of all Christian grace and effort. 

8t Paul's Prayers 

There are few things in St Paul's Epistles which repay study better than 
the Apostle's prayers which are found in every letter of his, with the single 
exceiDtion of that to the Galatians, and even that, with all its storms and 
tempests, closes on the note of prayer: "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ 
be with your spirit. Amen". 

Conventional formulae of thanksgiving and prayer were common enough 
in the letters of the period, and occasionally we meet with expressions in 
them which betray no small amount of religious feeling. A soldier writes 
to his l\ither, "I thank the Lord Serapis that when I was in peril in the sea 
he saved me immediately", and a prodigal son writes to his mother, "I make 
supi^lications for thee daily before the Lord Serapis " {Papyrus letters found 
in the Fayum in Egypt, belonging to the 2nd century a. p.). But it is only the 
framework that the Apostle has borrowed from the ordinary letter of his 
time. In spirit and content his thanksgiving and prayer belong to a different 
world, and all trace of conventionality and mere social courtesy has dis- 
appeared. St Paul's epistolary j)i-ayers are prayers in the fidlest sense, 
combining the recognition of the presence and goodness of God and of the 
unceasing need of His help with the most fervent desire for the spiritual 
gi'owth and the eternal salvation of his converts. They are not private 
prayers concerned simply with his own personal welfare, but are essentially 
"Prayers for the Churches". 

Following the model in the conventional letter the Pauline prayer invari- 
ably opens with a thanksgiving to Almighty God for all that the Church in 
question has achieved in Christ in the past, and this is followed by a prayer 
in the more exact sense of the term, that God may complete the good work 
and bring it to maturity. In the earlier Epistles the prayers are com- 
paratively simple in language and conception, as e.g. 2 Thess. i. 11-12, ''We 
pray always for you, that our God may count you worthy of your calling, and 
fulfil every desire of goodness and every work of faith, with power ; that the 
name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and ye in Him", but when 
we come to the letters of the Captivity we find that the prayers far excel any- 
thing that the letters contain in wealth of language, in loftiness of idea, and 
in exaltation of spirit. Eplies. i. 3-2:^ and Col. i. 9-23 are striking examples 


of the spiritual heights to which 8t Paul could attain in prayer. He seems 
to lose himself completely in the contemplation of the rich blessings already 
bestowed upon the Ephesian Church and of the still higher glories which 
are in store for the faithful and redeemed. He is so overpowered by the 
vision of glory which unfolds itself before him that he insensibly glides into 
an enraptured soliloquy, so that it becomes difficult to determine where the 
prayer, i^roperly so called, ends and the passionate and inspii-ed declamation 
of doctrine begins. The most characteristic feature of the Apostle's 
prayers in every one of the Epistles of the Captivity is the petition that his 
readers may be granted knowledge. Cf. Ephes. i. 17, "that the God of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you a spirit of wisdom 
and revelation in the knou-/edge of Him". 

Col. 1. 9, "that ye may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all 
spiritual wisdom and imderstanding". 

Philemon 6, "that the fellowship of thy faith may become effectual in 
the knowledge of every good thing which is in you, unto Christ". 

Phil. i. 9, "that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge 
and all discernment". 

The possession of spiritual truth is for St Paul the root of all Christian 
life and progress, the indispensable condition of all morality and right 
thinking. In this matter he is in complete accord with our Lord's teaching 
concerning the function of the Holy Spirit as recorded in St John's Gospel, 
"The Spirit of truth shall lead you into all truth". In our Epistle, however, 
love, love of Christ and love of the brethren, is placed even before knowledge, 
and knowledge is declared to be the product of love. Here the Apostle is 
following the line of his own expei-ience and indeed that of every sincere 
follower of Christ. It is the realisation of the love of Christ that is the 
first step in the path which leads to union with Christ and final redemption 
in Him. Love begets knowledge of its Divine object and of His will, a 
knowledge that grows and expands in exact proportion to the closeness of 
the intimacy between the soul and its Beloved. So St Paul prays that the 
Phihppians may be filled with a love which is ever on the increase, so that 
it may create in them such spiritual knowledge as will give them the sense 
to perceive what is supreme and vital in their religion, an absolute trans- 
parency of spirit and purpose, a gentleness that will neither hurt nor harm, 
and a Christian life rich in a harvest of right living. Thus shall they 
accomplish the \vill and purpose of God for them and live only for His glory 
and praise. 

II. A Narrative of his own Personal Situation at Rome 


(a) The effect of his presence and trial upon the progress 
of Christianity in Rome generally, 12 — 13 

12 Now I would have you know, brethren, that the things 
which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the 



[l, 12-13 

13 progress of the gospel ; so that my bonds became manifest 
in Christ ^throughout the whole pra3torian guard, and to 
all the rest 

' Gr. in the whole Prcetorlum. 

Now with rtiference to my own situation and ajfairs, which have been 
apparently the cause of some anxiety to you, let me inform you that your 
apprehensions are groundless and that my jyresence in Rome has exercised 
a favourable influence upon the 2)rogress of the Oospel in the Imperial 
City. My imprisonment, which like all else in my life is endured for 
Christ's sake and has its meaning in Christ, has become a familiar topic 
throughout the whole Praetorian guard and in other wide and im2)ortant 
circles in Rome. 

(With the whole paragraph cf. Ephes. chap, iii, especially c. 13, and 
Col. i. 24 — 29, which show how anxious and perplexed St Paul's Churches 
were on account of his imprisonment.) 

1 2. Now I would hare you know' 
brethren. A formula which is very 
common in the letters of the period. 
Cf. "I would have you know that I 
did not expect you to go up to the 
metropolis", in n papyrus letter from 
the Fayum, 2nd centuiy a.d. 

rather, in contrast to the fears 
entertained by the Philippians. 

progress. The Greek word is a 
military term denoting the work of 
pioneers clearing the country in front 
of an army on the march. Hence it 
comes to mean the result of such 
labours — an advance, progress. 

13. so that my bonds became 
manifest in Christ. This passage is 
generally interpreted as if it read 
"so that my bonds became manifest 
that they are in Christ", i.e. "it is 
now recognised that I am in prison 
because of my religion and not be- 
cause I am a criminal in the ordinary 
sense of the term". There are several 
weighty objections to this interpre- 
tation. First of all the grammar of 
the passage is decidedly opposed to 
it, and it is difficult to see how this 
particular meaning can be extracted 
from the actual words used by 

St Paul. Then again it is exceed- 
ingly doubtful whether the profession 
of Christianity as such was at this 
time regarded as an offence against 
Roman law. The evidence of the 
Acts seems to show that Roman 
officials in the provinces refused to 
accept the Apostle's religious views 
as constituting a serious charge 
against him, and the gi-ave offence 
of which he was accused was that of 
being a disturber of the public peace. 
Finally there seems to be no valid 
reason why the expression "in 
Christ" should have a meaning here 
which is different from what it bears 
universally in the Pauline EpLstles. 
If we connect "in Christ" with the 
verb, -vve have a perfectly intelligible 
sentence, whose meaning is quite in 
accord with the Apostle's use of this 
particular expression in all other 
contexts. "It is Christ that has 
transformed my imprisonment, so 
that far from being a hindrance to 
me or to the progress of the Gospel 
it has become a great and wide- 
reaching influence in Rome. Boimd 
though I am. His power and grace 
have enabled me to bear strong and 




telling witness for Him, and my very 
humiliation has 'in Him' become 
a manifestation of His grace and 

throughout the whole Prcetorian 
guard. The Latin word "Prae- 
torium" has throughout the whole 
course of its history been used to 
denote both places and persons. It 
originally meant the praetor's tent 
in camp and then came to be used 
for the military council thatassenibled 
in that officer's tent. The local sense 
was further extended to cover the 
official residence of the governor of 
a province, and the word eventually 
came to mean any kind of princely 
or Imperial residence, or even a 
large country house. In regard to 
persons it was employed to desig- 
nate the Imperial Body-guard, or 
the supreme Imperial Court which 
met under the presidency of the 
Prcefecti Prcetorio. In the New 
Testament the word is frequently 
used in the narrative of our Lord's 
trial for the residence of the Roman 
Governor in Jerusalem and in Acts 
xxiii. 35 of the same official's resi- 
dence in Caesarea. There is no 
defining clause attached to the term 
in our text, and the exact meaning 
of the phrase "in the whole Prte- 
torium" is much disputed. Many 
authorities support a local sense, as 
if it referred to the Praetorian Camp 
outside the walls of Rome, close to 
the Porta Viminalis or to the Prae- 
torian Barracks on the Palatine, and 
suppose that the Aj)ostle had been 
removed from his "hired dwelling" 
and was now in close custody in 
Camp or Barracks. But there is no 
evidence to show that the term was 

used to denote either of these local- 
ities, or the Imperial Palace in Rome. 
A local meaning to the term appears, 
therefore, to be inadmissible, and 
our choice seems to lie between the 
Prsetoriau Guard and the officials of 
the Imperial High Court. Mommsen 
was a strong advocate of the second 
view and was at one time followed 
by Ramsay. The latter has, however, 
recently abandoned this opinion, 
because he has become converted to 
the theory that the Apostle was not 
brought to trial at this stage but was 
released owingtothe non-appearance 
of the witnesses from Judaea and 
now favours the interpretation in the 
R.V. which is also in my opinion 
the correct one. (See Ramsay, in 
Exjwsitur, VIII. V. p. 267.) The Apos- 
tolic prisoner had become a familiar 
personage throughout the whole of 
the Imperial Guard because he was 
in their custody, and the fact that 
he was watched by an endless suc- 
cession of soldiers for two whole 
years would have brought him into 
contact with most of the members 
of that body. Moule in his Philip- 
plan Studies has an instructive note 
on the character and conduct of him 
who could create such a luiiversally 
favourable opinion among the Prse- 
torians. " It must have been a course 
of unbroken consistency of conduct 
as well as of openness of witness. 
Had he only sometimes, only rarely, 
only once or tmce, failed in patience, 
in kindness, in the great dignity of 
the Gospel, the whole succession of 
his keepers would have felt the effect 
as the story passed from one to the 


(6) The effect of his imprisonmetit upon the Roman Church, 


14 And that most of the brethren in the Lord, 'being con- 
fident through my bonds, are more abundantly bold to 

15 speak the word of God without fear. Some indeed preach 
Christ even of envy and strife ; and some also of good will : 

16 the one do it of love, knowing that I am set for the defence 

17 of the gospel : but the other proclaim Christ of faction, not 
sincerely, thinking to raise up affliction for me in my bonds. 

1 Gr. trusting in my bonds. 

Within the Roman Church itself my imprisonm,ent and trial have 
been the meaiis qf inciting the majority of tlte brethren to greater boldness 
and courage in proclaiming fearlessly the icord of God, being assured tliat 
the Lord who has protected me will not fail them. But ivhile all these are 
inspired by the same confidence and courage they are not all animated by 
the same pure motioes. There is a section among them whose purpose in 
preaching Christ is to engender faction and strife. Many of them, how- 
ever, are in loyal sympathy with me and with my ideas and are filled 
with trite affection for me, realising the significance and object of my 
mission, that I am appointed by the Great Captain for the defence of the 
Gospd. The others that I alluded to proclaims Christ in order to 
further their own jiersonal ambitions and those (f the party they lead, 
hoping also that by doing this thin/ will make my imprisontnent harder to 

14. most of the brethren in the and the simple phrase "brother in 

Lord, being confident through my the Lord" is never found in St Paul. 

bonds. In the Lord. It is better The Apostle's imprisonment had been 

to connect these words with "con- the means of encouraging the ma- 

fident" and not with "brethren" as jority of Roman Christians to greater 

in the R.V., because "brethren" activity and boldness on behalf of 

already involves being "in the Lord". Christ, so that, strong in the assur- 

It is true that there are instances in ance that the Lord who had protected 

the Pauline Epistles where the words the Apostle would also protect them, 

"brother "and 'brethren "are further they preached Christ without fear, 

explained by the addition of this or are more abundantly bold. This 

an analogous expression as e.g. Col. implies that the Roman Church as a 

i. 2, "the faithful brethren in Christ", whole was already active and zealous 

and Col. iv. 7, "beloved brother in before the Apostle's arrival in the 

the Lord", but the presence of the city. His presence among them had 

defining clause is in both cases due only wakened to a more vigorous life 

to the adjective. It is the "brethren a confidence in God's protection and 

who are faithful in Christ" and the a boldness of utterance which already 

"brother beloved in the Lord" that existed to some degree. On his 

are in question in these two instances, coming to Rome St Paul had thanked 

I. 14-17] 



God and taken courage at the sight 
of them (Acts xxviii. 15). Now they 
thank God and take courage at the 
sight of him and his patient con- 

1 5. Some . . . some ... It is a moot 
question whether the two parties 
designated here are the "majority" 
and "minority" of the preceding 
verse, or whether the Apostle is 
entering upon a new classification 
by subdividing the active and zealous 
majority. It is more natural to sup- 
pose that he preserves the subject 
of the previous verse and has still in 
his mind the energetic section of the 
Church and then proceeds to difler- 
entiate between its two wings, the 
one inspired by goodwill towards 
himself and the other by selfishness 
and jealousy. There is a slight 
difficulty perhaps in understanding 
how the Apostle could describe the 
second wing as "being confident in 
the Lord through my bonds", yet it 
is not impossible to realise how the 
comparatively favourable progress 
of his trial might inspii'c even those 
who were not too well disposed to- 
wards him with the conviction that 
preaching Christ was after all not 
such a perilous proceeding as it 
appeared to be and so encourage 
them "to speak the woi'd of God 
without fear". 

of envy and strife. For the 
identity and motives of the party 
implied here see Int. pp. Iv-lvii. 

of goodicill. Goodwill towards 
the Apostle personally and towards 
the progress of the Gospel generally. 

16-17. The one do it of love,... 
the other proclaim Christ of faction. 
Some authorities translate these 
expressions "the party of love" and 
"the party of faction", but it is 
better on the whole to attach "of 
love" and "of faction" to the verb 

"proclaim Christ", as explaining the 
motives which animated the re- 
spective parties. 

of lorn. Like "goodwill", love of 
St Paul and love of the Gospel. 

of faction. The subjective noun 
corresponding to this word, o epi6os, 
is used by Homer of one who hires 
out his labour. In Aristotle's Politics 
it describes candidates in an election 
who by bribery and other devious 
means created a following. Hence 
it came to be employed not only of 
the method of gaining followers but 
also of the act, which explains the 
meaning the word seems to have in 
Rom. ii.8, 2 Cor. xii.20, Viz. ambition. 
It is the ambition of rival leaders 
who create parties for egotistical 
purposes and to serve their own 
ends that apjiears to be expressed 
by the term, and it is, therefore, the 
leaders of the party that was hostile 
to himself rather than their followers 
who are condemned here by the 
Apostle. (See Hort on St James 
iii. 14.) 

knotcing that I am set for the 
defence of the gospel. This explains 
the goodwill and love of the party 
friendly to himself. They recognised 
the true significance of the Apostle's 
mission and imprisonment and saw 
in them the Lord's purpose and the 
Lord's protection. 

/ am set, like a soldier posted on 
guard by his captain. 

not sincerely. With mixed and 
impure motives. The opposite per- 
haps of what the Apostle j)rays may 
be granted to the Philippians in i. 10. 

thinking. The word in later Greek 
conveys the idea of "thinking with a 
purpose", so that we may translate 
here, "purposing to raise up afflic- 
tion for me in my bonds", to make 
my imprisonment burdensome and 
harder to bear. 

16 PHILIPPIANS [1.18-.9 

His own hopes and fears, 18 — 20 

18 What then ? only that in every way, whether in pretence 
or in truth, Christ is proclaimed ; and therein I rejoice, yea, 

19 and will rejoice. For I know that this shall turn to my 
salvation, through your 8Ui)plication and the supply of the 

20 Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation 
and hope, that in nothing shall I be put to shame, but that 
with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be 
magnified in my body, whether by life, or by death. 

Well, let them work in this spirit and with this tnotive. The one 
important matter is that Christ is being preached and not whether the 
jjreaching is entirely in accord icith m,y ideas and predilections. There- 
fore because Christ is being ptrechched I reprice in the fact, aye, and will go 
on rejoicing. And I have reason to rejoice because I knoic that my present 
situation will ham its outcome in my highest spiritual welfare and perhaps 
in m.y release from bonds. In any case it will form a pathway for me to 
the glories of Heaven, aided as I am by your prayers for me and by the 
grace of the Holy Spirit so freely bestowed upon me in Christ. I, there- 
fore, cherish the passionate hope that in the part I Imkc to play I may 
exhibit no shrinking from pain or peril which icill bring shame on myself, 
but that on the contrary I may now, as all througli my Christian career, 
glorify Christ icith all boldness and freedom of speech in this body which 
I have dedicated to His service, whether I lice or whether I die. 

18. What then ? "What am I would then read, "and therein I 

to say concerning this preaching of rejoice. Yea, and will rejoice be- 

theirs, what judgment am I to pass cause I know...". If we accept the 

on their motives and conduct?" punctuation in the R.V. the second 

only that. "The one thing that clause becomes an echo or affirmation 

matters is not my personal feeling or of the first, or it may be a simple 

comfort, not whether Christ is being aside in the i^rocess of dictating. For 

preached exactly in accordance with St Pauls charity and breadth of mind 

my ideas of fitness, but that Christ as illustrated here, see Int. p. Ivii. 
is being preached". 19. this. The situation generally 

in pretence or in truth. Cf. as described in 12-17. His bonds, 

MoflFatt, "for ulterior motives or the actinty of the Roman Church, 

honestly". the goodwill and loyalty of his own 

and therein Trejoice,yea, and icill friends, the jealousy and selfseeking 

rejoice. There is another punctua- of his oj^poncnts are joys and trials 

tionof this sentence which is adopted which through the intercession of 

by Westcott and Hort, who place a the I'hilippian Churcli and the 

full stop after the first "rejoice" and comfort of the Holy Spirit shall be 

a comma after the second, thus con- transnmted into graces and blessings 

necting the latter half of the sentence which will advance his spiritual life 

with what follows. The passage and lead to a final victory in Christ. 


my salmtion. Not merely a ver- to this noun is used in the 'pajnjri in 

diet of acquittal in the Supreme a way which implies the "generous" 

Court and a consequent release from connotation underlying the word 

prison, although this may well be here. Cf. this extract from a /7rt/ryr«s 

included in the thought, but "sal- letter. "I for my part/>ro<-i(/erf for 

vation" in its widest sense. The my wife in a measure that exceeded 

narrower reference is ruled out by my resources" (Moulton and Milli- 

the emphasis upon "the supply of gan, s.v.). 

• the Spirit of Jesus Christ" a.s one of the supply of the Spirit. This 

the causes contributing to this sal va- expression may denote either "the 

tion, which can hardly, therefore, rich endowment which the Spirit 

imply that of the body only. It is siqiplies" where "the Spirit" is the 

also better to give the term its cus- giver, or "the rich endowment which 

tomary sense in the PauUne Epis- consists in the supply of the Spirit", 

ties unless there are overwhelming where "the Spirit" is the gift. It is 

reasons to the contrary, which is not possible that the Apostle was think- 

the case here. ing of "the Spirit of Jesus Christ" 

supply. The verb corresponding as both giver and gift. 

The Holy Spirit in the Ejnstle 

The references to the Divine Spirit in our Epistle are comparatively 
rare, and are confined to four verses. Of these, three point unquestionably 
to the Holy Spirit, viz. i. 19, "the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ" ; 
ii. 1, "the fellowship of the Spirit" ; and iii. 3, "who worship by the Spirit 
of God", but the fourth, i. 27, "stand fast in one spii-it", is probably to be 
interpreted of the human spirit as it responds to the Divine Spirit, although 
it would be too much to say that the Holy Spirit cannot possibly be in view 
here. The lack of uniformity in the designations of the Spirit in this Epistle 
as e.g. "the Spirit of Jesus Christ", "the Spirit of God" is characteristic of 
the Pauline Epistles generally. Thus in one passage, Rom. viii. 9-11, the 
Spirit is successively termed "the Spirit of God", "the Spirit of Christ", 
"the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead", and "the Spirit 
that dwelleth in you". The relation between Christ and the Spirit in 
St Paul's mind has been the source of considerable discussion. His language 
in such passages as 2 Cor. iii. 17, 18, where the following expressions are 
found "the Lord is the Spirit", "where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is 
liberty", "even as from the Lord the Spirit" seems to amount to an absolute 
identification of the two. Further, throughout the Epistles the same 
activities are associated vnih the Spirit as are predicated of the indwelling 
Christ. The new life is in Christ and in the Spirit (2 Cor. v. 17 : Rom. xiv. 17). 
Christ and the Spirit dwell in the Christian (Gal. ii. 20: Rom. viii. 10: 
Rom. viii. 9, 11), and in the Church (1 Cor. xii. 27: 1 Cor. iii. 16). Both Son 
and Spirit intercede for the believer (Rom. viii. 34: Rom. viii. 26) and are 
the agents of his adoption (Ephes. i. 5: Gal. iv. 6). The moral life is 
the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. v. 22) and is at the same time the fruit of 
righteousness which is through Christ (Phil. i. 11). This list might be 
extended almost indefinitely so as to include practically every gift, grace, 

J. 2 


and power of the Christian life, all of which are regarded by St Paul as 
being indifferently within the province of Christ or of the Spirit. The 
identification has seemed so complete that some authorities strongly urge 
that for the Apostle Jesus Christ was the Spirit and that in his concep- 
tion of the Godhead there were two and not three Divine Persons. And 
yet an equal amount of evidence might be cited to show that while the 
connection between Christ and the Spirit was of the most intimate character 
possible the distinction between them is clearly and definitely maintained 
by St Paul. Thus in Rom. viii. 10, 1 1 while the same functions are attributed 
to both they yet stand apart and side by side, and this is also true of passages 
like Rom. xv. 16, 30: 1 Cor. vi. 11:2 Cor. i. 21, 22: Ephes. i. 17. God, the 
Lord, and the Spirit are definitely separated in Rom. i. 1-14 : 1 Cor. xii. 
4-6: 2 Thess. ii. 13, and more particularly in the Apostolic benediction in 
2 Cor. xiii. 14. There is one significant feature to be noticed in regard to 
the interchange of names and functions between Christ and the Spirit in 
St Paul, viz., that it is always the risen and exalted Christ and never the 
earthly Jesus that is equated with the Spirit, and this is probably the clue 
to his doctrine of the Holy Spirit. It was in some way a blending of the 
doctrine of the Spirit which he had iidierited from the Old Testament and 
found in the primitive Christian Church and his own spiritual experience 
in Christ. The earliest Christians regarded the Holy Spirit bestowed upon 
them at Pentecost as the source of their wonder-working gifts and powers, 
but to the Apostle, at any rate primarily, the new life was the result of his 
personal knowledge and acceptance of the Risen Christ and of His indwelling 
in him. Thus the Sjiirit which endowed the Church with the gifts and the 
powers of the new life and the Christ who made of him a new ci-eature 
became almost merged in one concept. Much also of the Apostle's language 
concerning Christ and the Spirit may be explained by the fact that to his 
mind the two Persons in their action upon the human soul were inseparable. 
The Spirit can only be received by those who are in Christ, union with 
Christ being the indispensable condition of the indwelling of the Spirit, and 
we can, therefore, imderstand how to St Paul the Spirit frequently becomes 
the Spirit of Jesus Christ. 

20. earnest expectation. There everlasting God". (Deissmann, Zi</A< 

is an interesting quotation from a from the Ajicient East, ]). 377.) 

recently discovered petition pre- The actual form used by St Paul 

sented by some peasants of the dnoKapn^oKia is not found outside 

village of Aphrodite in Egypt in the the New Testament, and in it only 

year 537 — 538 a.d. to a high official twice, viz. here and in Rom. viii. If), 

which illustrates the use of this word and it is probably a word of the 

and its connection with the parousia Apostle's own coining. Etymologi- 

of Christ as in this verse. cally considered it suggests two ideas, 

"It is a subject of prayer with us 1. with outstretched head, 2. diver- 
day and night to be held worthy of sion from other objects. It is here 
your welcome i)arousia... We await linked with the familiar Pauline 
you as they 2fa^c/iea^<;r//y from Hades "hope" in order to lend intensity 
for the future parousia of Christ, the to the Apostle's characterisation of 

1. 20] 



tho forward-looking element in his 
spiritual experience. He has been 
speaking of the preaching of Christ 
as a source of personal joy and this 
immediately suggests the part he 
himself can play in the magnifying 
of his Master. His whole being 
throbs with the glory of the prospect 
which like a fair landscape opens 
before him, and he exults in the 
passionate hope that he will know 
no shrinking of shame but break 
into a glad abandonment of holy 
boldness in the preaching of Christ 
"whether by life or death" in that 
body which has been absolutely 
devoted to this sacred service. (See 
"Studies in the Pauline Vocabulary", 
R. M. Pope, Expository Times, xxii. 
p. 71.) 

that in nothing I shall he put to 
shame. Cf. Bengel, "St Paul con- 
nects shame with himself, glory with 

hut that with all holdness, as 
always, so now also Christ shall he 
magnified in my body, whether hy 
life, or hy death. The reference is 
primarily to his attitude at the trial 
and its possible result and to the 
hope that no hardship or suffering 
may intimidate him or lead him to 
manifest the slightest disloyalty to 
his Master. But there sweeps across 
his mind the vision of another Judg- 
ment, and his earnest expectation 
is the hope that in that Day he 
shall be found never to have proved 

unworthy of himself or of his Master, 
but that all through life and in 
death, \vhenever that may come and 
whatever form it may take, he may 
haveglorified by his consistent 
devotion in work and suffering. 
With the thought of the passage wo 
may compare 1 St John ii. 28, "that, 
if He shall be manifested, we may 
have boldness, and not be ashamed 
before Him at His coming". 

boldness. Strictly "boldness of 
speech": cf. 2 Cor. iii. 12, where the 
old order which kept God at an 
awful distance and veiled His glory 
is contrasted with the new with its 
"liberty" (2 Cor. iii. 17), its freedom 
of action and access, thus providing 
an atmosphere where "boldness of 
speech" can flourish. The word is 
found in this sense in Plato {Rep. 
557 b), "Does not liberty of act 
and speech abound in the city?", 
and is borrowed in the New Testa- 
ment and invested with a new and 
glorious meaning. Cf. Acts iv. 13, 
where the fine boldness of the 
Apostles' defence, unlearned and 
ignorant men though they were, 
astonished the Jewish Council, So 
in our context it denotes that Chris- 
tian boldness which implies candour 
and utters truth and the whole truth 
and that right of free speech which 
is the badge of the privilege of the 
servant of Christ. (See " Studies in 
the Pauline Vocabulary", R. M. 
Pope, Expository Times,xxi. p. 236.) 

Life or death? the choice and its consequences, 21 — 26 

21, 22 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. ^But 

if to live in the flesh, — 2*/ this is the fruit of my work, then 

23 -what I shall choose ^I wot not. But I am in a strait 

1 Or, But if to live in the flesh be my lot, this is the fruit of my icork : and 
what I shall choose I toot not. 

2 Or, ivhat shall I choose? ^ Or, I do not make known 



betwixt the two, having the desire to depart and be with 

24 Christ; for it is very far better : yet to abide in the flesh 

25 is more needful for your sake. And having tliis confidence, 
I know that I sliall abide, yea, and abide with you all, for 

26 your progress and joy 4n the faith ; that your glorying 
may abound in Christ Jesus in me through my presence 
with you again. 

1 Or, of faith 

Now whether this trial of mine issues in life or death matters not, fur 
life to nte is not what it means to the world at large, but is summed up iti 
the one word " Christ ". Christ is its inspii'ation and Christ is its aim 
and end, and, therefore, emn death is a gain. But if it is put to me that 
my life in the past has been productive of such a rich harvest of work for 
Christ and that it is, therefore, clearly in your interest that I should 
continue to live and work then I find it difficult to tell you ichat I would 
choose, life or death. I am indeed in a dilemma, for the prospect of death 
and of complete union with my Master is inexpressibly sweet to me, and 
yet for your sakes it is better that I should lice. I have already expressed 
m,y convicti<m that my future is to be one of joy and that whether I live 
or die my own salvation and the gh>ry of Christ are assured, and I am 
equally convinced that if I remain on the earth I sJiall remain near you 
all, in spirit or body, and that my presence with you irill help to develop 
your faith and joy in the Gospel. And so you will have a threefold 
ground for glorying, in Christ Jesus your Lord, in me His prisoner, and 
in my presence amotig you again vouchsafed to you by His favour. 

21. For to me to live is Christ, and it leaves us with one member of the 

to die is gain. The Apostle is not parallelism " to live is Christ " with- 

here weighing "life" and "death" in out any counterpart. It is, therefore, 

the balance but is concerned solely the question of death only that is 

with what significance "death" has dealt with here, 

for him. The question of the mutual Fur. The connection may be 

advantages of life and death is not either with v. 18, "I rejoice, yea, and 

entered upon until we reach v. 22. will rejoice" because "to me to live 

A study of the parallelism which runs is Christ" or, better perhaps, with 

througli the whole passage makes the preceding verse, " I am confident 

this quite clear. that Christ shall be magnified in my 

Thus "to live in the flesh" v. 22 = body whether by life or whether by 

"to abide in the flesh" v. 24. death, because to me to live is Christ 

"the fruit of my work" v. 22 = and, therefore, to die is gain". 

" is more needful for your sake " v. 23. to me to lice is Christ. The em- 

"to depart and be with Christ" phatic word in the sentence is "to 

V. 23 = "to die is gain" v. 21. me" which implies that St Paul is 

If, then, the contrast between hfe here contrasting his ideal of life with 

and'death is introduced in this verse that cherished by men generally. 

I. 21-23] 



" Life for nie means not the interests 
that usually appeal to men, wealth, 
family, business, pleasure, the pursuit 
of which causes death to be regarded 
as a dejirivation and a loss, but life 
for me is Christ, to serve Christ, to 
suffer for Christ, to be so closely 
united with Him that it is not I that 
live but Christ who liveth in me. 
Death, therefore, only means the rest 
after service, the reward of suffering, 
the blessed union with Him consum- 
mated and crowned, and is con- 
sequently an unquestionable gain". 
Cf. Wisdom iii. 2, 3, "In the eyes 
of fools they seemed to die ; and 
their departure was counted to be 
their hurt, and their going from us 
to be their ruin : but they are in 
peace ". The verse, therefore, should 
be translated, " For to me to live is 
Christ, and, therefore, to die is gain ". 

22. The variants in the Margin 
of the R.V. reveal the difficulty 
experienced by the Revisers in 
arriving at a satisfactory interjireta- 
tion of the Apostle's meaning here. 
The general idea contained in the 
verse is clear, and it is quite evi- 
dent that he is estimating the 
advantages of a prolonged life and 
comparing these with those to be 
gained by death. It is generally 
agreed that the Apostle's language 
is incomplete as it stands and that 
a word or words have to be supplied 
somewhere. The renderings in the 
R.V. and in the Margin respectively 
represent very fairly the attempts 
generally made to complete the sense 
of the passage, and most authorities 
are content to follow the text of the 
Revisers and to paraphrase, " If 
my continuing in the flesh, if this 
means a career still productive for 
the Gospel, then I know not what to 
choose ". 

The objection to the rendering 

of the Revisers is that the words 
" fruit of work " are given a mean- 
ing which they do not seem to 
bear on the surface. Accepting 
the interpolation of the second 
'if" as reasonable we read "If to 
live in the flesh, if this is fruit of 
work". "To live in the flesh" is 
plainly dependent uijon "fruit of 
work", whereas in the interpretations 
generally accepted the process is the 
exact reverse of this and "fruit of 
work" is made dependent upon "to 
live in the flesh". The question that 
St Paul puts to himself is whether 
" to live in the flesh " is the " fruit of 
work" or, in other words, whether 
the character of his work in the past 
makes it desirable or necessary that 
his life should be jirolonged for the 
, sake of the Church. We should 
then paraphrase the verse as follows, 
" If my work in the past, with all its 
rich results in the Mission field and 
the plenteous harvest garnered for 
Christ, makes it desirable or neces- 
sary that I should go on living and 
working — then when I measure thif> 
against the rest and peace I gain in 
death, what to choose I dare not 
venture to declare". 

to lire in the flesh, as contrasted 
with the ideal of life emphasised in 
the preceding verse. 

/ wot not. A stronger word is 
needed here to express the Greek, 
which requires "I make known" and 
not " I know ". " I cannot tell " (cf 
Moulton and Milligan, s.v.). The 
Apostle will not venture to decide 
between the alternatives, and the 
choice must be left in his Master's 

23. / am in a strait hetimxt the 
two. " I am constrained by two 
conflicting motives ", the word here 
being the same as in 2 Cor. v. 14, 
" the love of Christ constraineth us". 



[i. 23-25 

to depart. The Greek word was 
used originally of unmooring a vessel 
or moving camp. It is frequently 
found in Hellenistic inscriptions as 
a euphemism for " to die ", which is 
obviously the meaning here. Of. 
2 Tim, iv. 6, "The time of my depar- 
ture is at hand". 

and be with Christ. For the es- 
chatology of the passage see Int. 
p. Ixxxii. The Apostle's mind moves 
across the intervening spaces and 
dwells on the final scene, the crown- 
ing point of Christian redemption, 
the perfect and complete union with 
Christ in glory. 

veryfarbetter. Cf. Bengel, " which 
is far, far better ". 

24. yet to abide in the flesh is 
more needful for your sake. " To 
be with Christ" and "for your sake" 
are the horns of the dilemma in 
which St Paul is placed. The call 
of Christ in death has a charm which 
is hard to resist, and yet he knows 
how they need his presence, his 
counsel, and his guidance, and so the 
call to life is loud and strong. A 
desire to seek rest and peace in 
death on the part of her children 
became a pressing problem for the 
Church in later days when she had 
sternly to check the rush for martyr- 
dom in times of stress and persecu- 

25. This verse is generally under- 
stood as expressing the Apostle's 
confident opinion that because his 
presence is essential to the future 
welfare of the Philiiipian Church 
he must, therefore, be released. 
Haupt, however, protests enei'geti- 
cally against this view and, I believe, 
with good reason. He points out 
that St Paul was at this stage quite 
uncertain in his own mind concern- 
ing the issue of the trial and that 
the knowledge that he was necessary 

to the Church was nothing new to him 
and could not, therefore, have created 
this definite and confident impression 
at that particular moment. If this 
was all that was needed to assure 
him of his safe acquittal he need 
never have hesitated as to his ulti- 
mate release, and in that case the 
whole discussion is entirely out of 
place. Haupt, therefore, suggests 
that St Paul is here breaking new 
ground and that the alternative of 
life or death is no longer in his mind. 
The Apostle at this point reverts to 
the conviction expres.sed in v. 19 
that, whether in life or in death, the 
future is to be one of joy and that 
his salvation and glory are assured. 
What folhjws here, therefore, is con- 
ditional upon his release, but he 
expresses no definite opinion as to 
the future in that direction. If the 
issue is favourable, if he does "re- 
main" it vdll mean "remaining with 
you all", i.e. not merely with the 
Philippians but with the Church as 
a whole. The " remaining " contem- 
plates not his bodily presence only 
but the presence and influence of his 
spirit in the Church. What he feels 
confident of is, therefore, not his 
release, but that he will bless the 
Church in the future if released. 
There is much to be said in favour 
of Haupt's suggestion. It gives a 
wider vision of the future as it existed 
in St Paul's mind than the inter- 
pretation generally accepted and 
removes the difticulty felt by many 
as to the inadequacy of the need of 
the Philippians as a firm basis for 
the Apostle's conviction that he would 
be acquitted. At the same time it 
is not easy to agree with his conten- 
tion that St Paul is not referring to 
his personal presence at Philippi, in 
the fece of the latter half of the 
following verse where a future visit 

I. 25-36] PHILIPPIANS 23 

to that Church seems to be definitely 26. that your glorying may 

contemplated. abound in Christ Jesus in me 

for your progress and joy in through my presence tcith yon 

the faith. Progress and joy both again. St Paul frequently declares 

helowg to the faith. Progress. The his conviction, more especially in the 

Apostle employs the same word here Epistles to the Corinthians, that it 

to denote the advance of the Philip- is the Christian's right and privilege 

plans in the Christian ftiith as he to boast, provided the "boasting" 

used to describe the effect of his im- is based on right principles and 

prisonnient and trial upon Roman associated with worthy objects. 

Christianity (i. 12). His presence at Here he implies that the Philippians 

Philippiistohave an influence similar too have just and adequate grounds 

to that it had in Rome and is to be- for "boasting", because of their 

come an impulse to greater activity. relation to Jesus Christ, of their con- 

This will, in itself, fill their hearts nection with himself, Christ's Apostle 

with joy, joy proceeding out of loyal and prisoner, and because of his 

and ever increasing dependence coming presence among them, a pri- 

upon Christ, which is, according to vilege vouchsafed both to them and 

this Epistle, the true prerogative of to him by the favour of Jesus Christ, 
the mature Christian. 

III. An Exhortation to Unity and Self Surrender, 

i. 27— ii. 4 

{a) Let their life as a Christian coimnimity he irorthy of 
the Gospel of Christ ivhlch demands united action, a 
fearless attitude in the face of opponents, and the 
capacity to suffer for Christ, i. 27 — 30 

27 Only Met your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of 
Christ : that, whether I come and see you or be absent, I 
may hear of your state, that ye stand fast in one spirit, 

28 with one soul striving ^for the faith of the gospel; and in 
nothing affrighted by the adversaries : which is for them an 
evident token of perdition, but of your salvation, and that 

29 from God ; because to you it hath been granted in the behalf 
of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer in 

30 his behalf : having the same conflict which ye saw in me, 
and now hear to be in me. 

1 Gr. behave as citizens worthily. ^ Gr. loith. 

For you the one supreme necessity is that your life as a Christian 
community should be worthy of the Gospel to which you were called and 
of Christ who is your Hend, so that whether I come and see you or be 
absent and hear of you I may have the satisfaction of knowing that, in the 



[i. 27 

conflict which you wage on behalf of the faith contained in the Gospel I 
delitered to you, yoii are standing like soldiers, shoidder to shoulder, ani- 
mated by that unity of will and purpose which is the xtork <f the Holy 
Spirit within you and dominated by that seyitiment of close fellowship 
and comradeship which is the fruit of the same Spirit. And further, 
tlhot your bearing in the face of opjjonents and persecutors is one of un- 
daunted fearlessness and courage, for this very attitude of yours icill be 
the strongest proof to them that by their hostility towards you they are only 
bringing upon themselves spiritual ruin, while it will assure you of ultimate 
victory and eternal salvation, an assurance, let me add, that corner from 
God Himself. For it is your j^rivilege in rekition to Christ not only to 
believe on Him but to suffer for Him, aye, and to be fellow-soldiers and 
fellow-sufferers with me for I have, as you know, both fought and suffered 
for Him in the past and still continue to do so. 

27. let 7/our manner of life. The 
original is a characteristic Greek 
word which means "to live a citizen 
life" as those who are members of a 
corporate body. A Greek inscrip- 
tion of the first century illustrates 
the Apostle's thought here, "To 
those who lead the most pious and 
most beautiful lives". At this period, 
then, it had come to mean practically 
"to conduct yourselves", but in this 
Epistle written to a city which was 
specially proud of being a Roman 
colony the original meaning may 
underlie the use of the word both 
here and in iii. 20. 

be worthy of the gospel of Christ. 
"Every connniuiity has its laws 
and statutes which the loyal citizen 
strives to obey. The community to 
which you belong is not, however, 
ruled by law but it has its principles 
whicli are inherent in the Gospel 
of Cin-ist its Head. See that you 
honour and respect these principles 
in your daily Christian life". 

that ye stand fast, like soldiers, 
shoulder to shoulder. 

in one spirit. The jiarallels in 
1 Cor. xii. 13: Ephes. ii. 18, where 
"spirit" is not preceded by the 
article and where the reference is 
definitely to the Holy Spirit, favour 

the supposition that the Divine 
Spirit is also meant here. It is 
the Spirit of God which creates 
unity of purpose, firmness and stead- 
fastness of character, and produces 
the "one soul" which St Paul has 
in mind in this exhortation. Most 
authorities, however, influenced no 
doubt by the follov\ing phrase "with 
one soul", equate "spirit" with the 
human s])irit. In that case the "one 
spirit" will refer to the influence 
upon the Philippians of the Divine 
Spiritand will indicate their spiritual 
life as one rounded whole, with special 
emphasis upon unity and firmness. 

with one soul. The spirit of 
comradeship, that fine trait of the 
soldier vvliich has its fruit in per- 
fect sympathy, mutual miderstand- 
ing, and a matchless forgetfulness 
of self. 

striving for the faith of the 
gospel. Better perhaps, "striving 
side by side for the faith of the 
gospel" and so emphasising still 
further the camaraderie implied 
in "with one soul". The Greek is 
capable of another rendering, "striv- 
ing side by side with the faith of 
the gospel", where "faith" would be 
regarded as the comrade who stands 
shoulder to shoulder with the com- 

I. 27-30] 



batant, cf. 2 Tim. i. 8. The former 
rendering is the more natural of 
the two. 

the faith of the gospel. An early 
illustration of the tendency of the 
word "faith" to become a technical 
term expressing the content of the 

28. affrighted. A word generally 
used of startled, frightened horses. 

adi-ersaries. Persecutors and op- 
ponents of the Christian commvmity 
at Philippi. The hostility manifested 
towards the Apostle himself and his 
companions when they paid their 
first visit to that city seems to have 
been directed afterwards to the 
Church that was founded there. 
This opposition must have come prin- 
cipally from Gentiles, as the Jews, 
who in most of the Pauline centres 
of work were active opponents of the 
new religion, were not a strong ele- 
ment in Philippi. 

v:hich = ihe firm attitude of the 

an evident token of perdition. 
Their fearlessness in the face of 
attack wdll be a demonstration to 
the persecutors that their attempts 
against the Christians are destined 
to failure because they are fighting 
against God and that they are only 
bringing upon themselves that fate 
which consists in the loss of eternal 
life and permanent exclusion from 

the kingdom of God, cf. iii. 19 : 
2 Thess. i. 5. 

hut of your salmlion. Their own 
steadfastness, on the other hand, is 
a pledge of their success in the 
present conflict, of final victory 
against every enemy, and of life 
eternal in Christ. 

and that from God. Not "salva- 
tion" but the whole pi'ocess described 
in the verse. The assurance of the 
hopeless defeat of the enemy and of 
their own ultimate victory and salva- 
tion is a direct intimation from God. 

29. Faith in Christ implies suS"er- 
ing for Christ which is the Christian's 
choicest privilege, cf Acts v. 41 : 
Rom. V. 3: Col. i. 24, and Bacon, 
"Adversity is the blessing of the 
New Testament ". 

30. conflict. The original de- 
notes a contest in the athletic games. 
Both the Apostle and his converts 
were contending for the crown given 
to those who had "fought a good 
fight and finished their course". 
With the thought in this verse cf 
2 Cor. i. 6, "which worketh in the 
patient endui-ing of the same suffer- 
ings which we also sufi'er", where 
the Apostle also speaks of the fellow- 
ship in sufi"ering between himself 
and his flock. In 1 Thess. ii. 14 he 
emphasises the community of suffer- 
ing between the Churches of Judaea 
and that of Thessalonica. 



(b) (i ) The appeal is continued with special emphasis upon 
humility and abnegation of self as its basis, 1 — 4 

II. 1 If there is therefore any comfort in Christ, if any 
consolation of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any 

2 tender mercies and compassions, fulfil ye my joy, that ye 
be of the same mind, having the same love, being of one 

3 accord, ^of one mind; doing nothing through faction or 
through vainglory, but in lowliness of mind each counting 

4 other better than himself ; not looking each of you to his 
own things, but each of you also to the things of others. 

1 Some ancient authorities read of the same mind. 

And note let me appeal to all that is most essential and most valuable 
in your Christian experience. If your knowledge and pos.^ession of Christ 
have any power to persuade you, if you hace found comfort in Christian 
love, if your partaking of the gift of the Holy Spirit luis created among 
you a sense of real fellowship, if you believe in tender-heartedness and 
compassion, let there be perfect unity among you and so Jill my cup of joy 
to the brim. When I speak of unity I mean a unity of Ihomjht, will, and 
purpose, and above all a unity ba^ed on that Christian virtue of humility 
which knows neither jealousy, ambition, nor pride, and studies the interests 
of others and not its own. 

1. St Paul opens the most weighty of the community at large ; comfort, 
section of the Epistle with an im- fellowship, tenderness, and sympathy, 
passioned appeal to the deepest ' therefore. Tliis is generally con- 
Christian experiences of his readers. nected with i. 27, "Let ycair manner 
The heaping tf>gether of phrase upon of life be worthy of the gospel of 
phrase, the repetition of "if" before Chrjst", bo that the notes of stead- 
each constituent, and the choice of fastness and unity introduced there 
the words themselves all point to the are here expanded and based more 
gi'ave importance which the Apostle definitely upon humility and abne- 
attached to his exhortation. Further, gationofself The Dean of Lichfield 
the experiences appealed to are in (Dr Savage) in a sermon i-eported in 
their very nature conducive to hu- the Guardian of Feb. 24, 1910, ha.s, 
mility and imity. They are the however, a very suggestive and inter- 
virtues and qualities which are esting explanation of the reference 
characteristic of a corporate body, in the word " therefore " and of the 
in which the interests of the indi- connection of the passage with other 
vidual are submerged for the benefit Pauline matter. He contends that 

II. 1-3] 



"therefore" cannot be satisfactorily 
accounted for by reference to any 
preceding context in the Epistle and 
that it must consequently refer to 
some well-known saying which would 
be readily recognised by the Philip- 
pians. He finds a definite clue to 
this saying in the third clause of the 
passage, "if any fellowship of the 
Spirit", and in the general resem- 
blance of the passage as a whole to 
the Apostolic benediction in 2 Cor. 
xiii. 14. The "comfort in Christ" 
corresponds to "the grace of our 
Lord Jesus Christ", "the consola- 
tion of love" to "the love of God", 
and " the fellowship of the Spirit" to 
" the fellowship of the Holy Ghost". 

comfort in Christ, consolation in 
love. The verbs analogous to com- 
fort and consolation are found to- 
gether in 1 Thess. ii. 11, "how we 
dealt with each one of you, as a father 
with his own children, exhorting you 
and encouraging you". Again the 
former of the two verbs is found in 
Ephes. iv. 1 and 1 Cor. i. 10, where 
it has manifestly the sense of " I 
beseech". It is, therefore, better to 
attach to the noun here the meaning 
associated with it in the New Testa- 
ment generally, where it seems to 
have the connotation of "appeal" and 
to translate "If Christ appeals to 
you". " If what you have experienced 
in Christ appeals to you, if it has power 
to lift you to still higher ideals". 

consolation. If we are to make 
any marked distinction between this 
and the word "comfort" in the pre- 
ceding clause we shall do well to 
translate it as the Revisers do, "con- 
solation", consolation which issues 
in encouragement to greater efl'orts. 
This is the meaning of the word in 
Wisdom iii. 18, "Nor in the day of 
decision shall they have consola- 
tion ". 

if any fellowship of the Spirit. 
Cf. Moule, " if there is such a thing 
as Spirit-sharing". Paraphrase, "If 
God's Holy Spirit is the consecrating, 
guiding power of your life, if not only 
you have partaken of Him but if He 
fully shares your very life". Moff"att's 
translation of the whole passage is 
most illuminating, "So by all the 
stimulus of Christ, by every incentive 
of love, by all your participation in 
the Spirit, by all your affectionate 
tenderness, I pray you to give me 
the utter joy ". 

2. fulfil ye my joy. The Apostle 
here completes the thought in i. 27, 
"If I could only see you standing 
firm and fearless, fighting a good 
fight for the Gospel, and, profiting 
by your experiences in Christ, show- 
ing perfect unity among yourselves, 
my cup of joy would be full to over- 
flowing ". 

that ye he of the sanne mind, 
having the same love, being of one 
accord, of one mind. The first clause 
" be of the same mind" describes the 
unity which the Apostle desires in 
general terms, and it is then illus- 
trated more in detail in the three 
succeeding clauses. 

having the same love. It is a unity 
resting on the love of Christ which 
engenders love of the brethren. 

being of one accord. A unity in- 
volving a common aim and purpose. 

of one mind. With hearts knit 
together by Christian sympathy and 
like sentiments. 

3. faction. See note on i. 17. 
The conjunction of the word in this 
verse with " vainglory" and "hu- 
mility" supports the meaning given 
to it there. It is the ambition of 
rival leaders that the Apostle has 
principally in view, perhaps that of 
the women, Euodia and Syntyche, 
mentioned in iv. 2. 



[II. 3 

vainglory. This is the only in- 
stance where the noun occurs in the 
New Testament l>ut it is found in 
the LXX in 4 Mace. ii. 15, and the 
adjective "vainglorious" in Gal. v. 
26. The idea conveyed in the 
word is that of "glory which has 
no reality, pretentious, liollow". 
(Souter, s.v.) Cf. St John v. 44. 

lowliness of mind. Tanfivo<l>po(Tvvr) 
which is here translated "lowliness of 
mind" (It is difticult to understand 
why the Revisers represent the word 
by three different English equiva- 
lents, "humility" in Col. iii. 12, 
"lowliness" in Ejjhes. iv. 2, and 
"lowliness of mind" here, when the 
familiar term "hiimility" would have 
done excellent and adequate service 
in all three cases.) is not found in 
the LXX and in tlie few cases where 
it occurs in profjine literature as 
e.g. in Josephus, B. J. xlix. 2 and 
Epictetus, Diss. iii. 24, 25 it is 
used in a bad sense, of pusillanimity 
or abjectness. The corresponding 
word in classical Greek is Tairdvorrjs 
but this is always associated with 
the idea of baseness. There is an in- 
teresting conversation on "humility" 
between Gladstone and Morley re- 
corded in the latter s Life of Glad- 
stone, Vol. III. p. 466, where Gladstone 
says, "I admit there is no Greek 
word of good credit for the virtue 
of hiunility ". 

Morley. '■'"raTreiviWr^sl But that 
has the association of meanness". 

Gladstone. "Yes, a shabby sort 
of humility. Humility-as a sovereign 
grace is the creation of Christianity". 

Some remarks of Lecky's are to 
the same effect. Cf. Rationalism 
in Europe, Vol. ii. p. 102 (Cheap 
Edition), " Pride was deemed the 
greatest of virtues and humility the 
most contemptible of weaknesses in 
Roman civilisation", and History of 

European Morals, Vol. ii. p. 186 
(Cheap Edition), "The disposition of 
humility is pre-eminently and almost 
exclusively a Christian virtue". 

In the two other New Testa- 
ment passages noted above where 
tlie word occurs it comes Ijefore 
"meekness and long-suffering", 
showing that it is only by a wise 
and lowly estimate of ourselves 
that we come tti know what is due 
to others. Humility, then, describes 
the sjiirit of one who has come to 
the knowledge of himself in relation 
to God and it is, therefore, primarily 
a religioiis and not a social virtue. 
There is no trace in it of the mean- 
ness or weakness associated with the 
tei-m in pagan literature. On the 
contrary it is the badge of the 
strong, whatRuskin in his "Frondes 
Agrestes" describes as the first test 
of a truly great man. St Augustine's 
estimate of humility is equally strik- 
ing, "The first and second and third 
Christian grace is humility". St Paul 
carries his admiration of "humility" 
to even gi'eater lengths than any of 
the great writers we have quoted. 
For him it is the one si^ecific virtue 
and quality which above all others 
exjilains the work and character of 
Christ, our Saviour, who "humbled 
Himself, becoming obedient even 
unto death". It was the special 
creation of Christ Himself, it was 
He who brought the new spirit into 
the world and illustrated it in His 
own Person because He was "meek 
and lowly of heart". 

counting other better than him- 
self. An expansion and illustration 
of the virtue of humility. It is the 
quality based on a right knowledge 
of self, of self as seen in perfect 
truth, in its relation to God and 
to God's holiness, which produces a 
lowly depreciation of self and a high 


appreciation of all that is good and ships that is condemned. The verse 

estimable in others. may mean either "regarding others' 

4. eadi. The Greek word is in qualities as being better than your 

the plural, which implies tliat the own", or "consulting the interests 

Apostle is thinking here of gi-oups of others as well as and before your 

and not of mere individuals. It is own", 
the vice of parties and party-leader- 

(ii) An appeal to Christ as the crowning example of humil- 
ity and self-surrender and as illustrating the principle 
that the way of humiliation is the path to glory, 5 — 11 

5 Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus : 

6 who, ^ being in the form of God, counted it not a ^ prize to 

7 be on an equality with God, but emptied himself, taking 
the form of a ^servant, *being made in the likeness of men ; 

8 and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, 
becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the 

9 cross. Wherefore also God highly exalted him, and gave 

10 unto him the name which is above every name ; that in 
the name pf Jesus every knee should bow, of things in 
heaven and things on earth and ^things under the earth, 

11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is 
Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 

1 Gr. being originally. ^ Gr. a thing to be grasped. 

^ Gr. bondservant. * Gr. becoming in. 

^ Or, things of the world below 

Now let your fellotcship towards one another he of the same character 
as that you experience in Christ. For Christ, though He teas subsisting 
in the essential nature of God from all eternity, did not regard His being 
on an equality of outward glory and majesty with God as a prize aiul 
treasure to be tightly held, but of His own will emjitied Himself thereof, 
and took the nature of a bond-servant, and was tnade like us men. Yet He 
was not mere man but the representatice man, though in outward guise 
and manner of life He was man and nothing more. - And this was not tlie, 
limit of His humiliation for He stooped even to die, aye, and died like a 
slave upion the Cross. But the depth of His humiliation in submitting to 
the shameful death upon the Cross had its consequence and its reward in 
an exaltation which teas proportionately hfty. For God raised Him up 
on high to His own right hand, and gave Him the Name which is above 
every name — the name of Jesus Christ, Lord of all— so that, as Isaiah 
prophesied of old, all creation, animate and inanimate, in heaven, on earth, 
and in the under-world might adore the name of Jesus, Incarnate and 




Exalted, and that the whole universe might bend the knee to Him and lift 

its voice in praise of Him, proclaiminr/ that Jesus Christ is Lord. Thus 
shall the whole process <if redemption be crowned and the glory of God the 
Father be manifested in all its fulness. 

5. Have this mind in you, which 
was also in Christ Jesus. This 
rendering represents the view of the 
passage taken by most authorities 
but it does not seem to set forth 
accurately what the Apostle says 
here. He is still thinking of the life 
of the Christian comnirniity, and the 
motive of the verse seems to be an 
appeal to that community to cherish 
that spirit of Christian fellowship 
among its members which corre- 
sponds to the fellowship it enjoys 
with Christ. It is not an appeal to 
Christ as the outstanding example 
of humility that is in question here, 
although that is implied all through 
the passage that follows The words 
of the Greek and the use of the 
title, Christ Jesus, arguo against the 
view that is prevalent. It is not 
the Jesus that walked on earth but 
the Christ, Incarnate and Exalted, 
that is in St Paul's mind, and the 
unity that he presses upon thePhilip- 
pian Church is to be achieved by the 
growth of that spirit of fellowship 
which it has already experienced 
in its relation to Christ Himself. 
Cf. Moffatt's translation, " Treat one 
another with the same spirit as you 
experience in Christ". 

6-11. For the doctrinal aspects of 
this passage see Int. pp. Ixxiii-lxxxi. 

being. The Greek has the sense 
of "being orighially", as is pointed 
out in the Margin of the R.V., 
combined pcrhaj^s with the idea 
of "continuing to be", and the com- 
plete thought is illustrated by 1 St 
John i. 1, "That which was from 
the beginning..., the eternal life, 
which was with the Father, and 

was manifested unto us", where the 
eternal Being of the pre-Incamate 
Son and His continuance as such 
are clearly brought out. 

in the form of God. The phrase 
declares the essential Divinity of 
Christ, that which is inseparable 
from the essence and nature of God. 
It is not the glory of the Godhead 
of which Christ divested Himself at 
His Incarnation that is meant here, 
but the Divine nature, unchangably 
and inseparably subsisting in the 
Person of the Son. The same idea 
of the completeness and the essential 
nature of the Godhead of the Divine 
Son is expressed in Col. i. 15, "the 
image of the invisible God", where 
"image" denotes a complete and 
perfect representation of that which 
it figures. 

a prize. The Avord apTra-y/xds- is 
capable of two meanings, an active 
and a passive, i.e. it may mean 
"snatching", whence we get the 
"robbery" of the A. V. or "the thing 
snatched" and hence "prize" as in 
the K.V. If the word is taken in 
the active sense we should translate 
"who did not regard it as an act of 
rapacity that He was on an equality 
with God, but yet emptied Himself 
of that equality and took on the 
form of a servant". With the pas- 
sive sense we get, "who did not 
i-egard His being on an equality 
\y\\\\ God (1) as a treasure to be 
held fast, or (2) as a treiisure to be 
clutched at, but emptied Himself 
of it". There would seem to be no 
reason to hesitate as to our choice 
of meaning here, because the active 
sense of the word gives us a render- 

II. 6-7] 



ing which is not in accord with the 
trend of the Christological passage 
as a whole. The emphasis is not on 
the claim to a dignity which was 
Christ's by right as is implied in the 
translation "robbery", but on the 
surrender of that dignity. But when 
we have arrived at this point the 
further question arises whether the 
"equality with God" is something 
which Christ possesses already and 
surrenders at the Incarnation, or 
whether it is something still in the 
future, a prerogative that He might 
attain to, but for the attainment of 
which two courses were open to Him. 
He might claim it as His right, but 
He preferred to realise it by the free 
gift of His Father as the reward of 
His humiliation and obedience. In 
this case "equality with God" looks 
to the exaltation and glory described 
in vv. 9, 10, and to the bestowal upon 
Him of "the Name which is above 
every name". There is much that 
is attractive in this suggestion, but 
as we have pointed out in the Intro- 
duction it is open to the very weighty 
objection that it is difficult to con- 
ceive how Christ could divest Him- 
self of that which was not His. On 
the whole the former of the two 
translations that we have associated 
with the passive meaning d/j7rny/io?, 
which is also that of the Revisers, is 
to be preferred as being more in 
harmony with the general scope of 
the passage. 

equality with God. This is not 
quite the same as "equal ^vith God ", 
which calls attention perhaps to the 
Personality, rather than to the cha- 
racteristics Avhich we should associ- 
ate with the expression in the text. 
The phrase has been interpreted in 
three ways. 

(1) As equivalent to "being in 
the form of God " and denoting the 

very essence of Deity and support- 
ing, therefore, the theory of the 
"kenosis" which maintains that at 
the Incarnation Christ did actually 
divest Hiiiiself of some of His Divine 

(2) It denotes the outward glory 
and manifestation of the Godhead, 
which the Son surrendered at His 
Incarnation, those associations of 
His Divinity which are separable 
from His essential nature. 

(3) A dignity and prerogative 
which were to be His in the future 
as the reward of His humiliation. 

For reasons which are fully stated 
in the Int. pp. Ixxiii-lxxvii it is the 
second of these three interpretations 
that is accepted here. 

7. hut emptied himself. A new 
meaning for this expression has been 
suggested by the Rev. W. Warren in 
the Journal of Theological Studies, 

Vol. XII. p. 461. Taking apirayixos 

in the active sense and regarding the 
phrase "He emptied Himself" as 
complete in itself and not requiring 
a secondary object Mr Warren trans- 
lates the passage, "He considered 
His equality with God not as an 
opportunity for self-aggrandisement, 
but eflfaced all thought of self and 
poured out His fulness to enrich 
others". The passage in question, 
he tells us, contains two ideas, (1) the 
abnegation of selfish impulses — the 
opposite of ambition, and (2) self- 
devotion, self-sacrifice for the sake 
of others — the opposite of plunder- 
ing others or ignoring their interests 
in that of one's own ambition, a view 
of our Lord's mission often found in 
the New Testament as e.g. in Ephes. 
i. 23, iv. 10 : 2 Cor. viii. 9 : Heb. ix. 12. 
The verb " emptied ", therefore, does 
not require a Genitive of the second- 
ary object, and Christ did not empty 
Himself of anything but poured 



[n. 7-c 

Himself, emptying Ilis fulness into 

us. Of. Tfi v7rnf)xovTa Kfrovr, to spend 
all one's pr(»})erty on the poor. St 
Clirys. Horn. .ciii. on 1 Tim. p. 617 D. 
takiiif/ the form of a servavt, in 
contrast to the " form of God " which 
was His from all eternity, the term 
"form" in both cases expressing the 
very essence of the nature implied, 
there the very essence and fulness 
of Deity, here humanity in all its 
reality. In the use of the term 
"servant" there may be an allusion 
to the "Servant of the Lord" in 
deutero-Isaiah, because there and 
here it is the depth of the humi- 
liation and suffering of Jesus the 
Messiah that is emphasised. "He 
took the form of a slave". 

being made, as to His humanity 
in contradistinction to His "being" 
from all eternity which is predicated 
of His Divine nature. 

in the likeness of men. The force 
of the plural "men" is to emphasise 
the fact that Christ in his humanity 
represented mankind in general. 

8. fashion, i.e. the outward and 
changable guise as contrasted with 
"form", the inseparable, unchang- 
able essence. Here it represents 
the impression Christ made on the 
world at large. He was "found ", i.e. 
recognised, as a man in all that is 
associated with man's outward being, 
in shape, language, conduct, activi- 
ties, and needs. 

There is a striking parallel to 
St Paul's language in this and the 
preceding verse in the Testaments 
of the XII Patriarchs. 

Cf. Test. Benjamin x. 7, "The 
King of Heaven will appear on 
earth in the form of a man ", and 
Test. Zebulun ix. 8, "Ye will see God 
in the fashion (f a man ", where 
the two characteristic words ^opc^i; 
and crxw^ ^'"6 used. These verses. 

however, do not appear in all the 
MSS. of the Testaments and are 
regarded by Dr Charles as later 
Christian interpolations and as pos- 
sibly based on this passage. 

he humbled himself. A further 
step in that process of self-humi- 
liation upon which Christ entered at 
the Incarnation. This was like the 
taking of human nature the act of 
His own free will. "He humbled 

becoming obedient even imto death, 
yt'a, the death (f the cross. An ex- 
lilanation of the measure of the self- 
humiliation of the preceding clause. 
He not only assumed the nature of a 
slave, but stooped even to die the 
death of the slave. There is in the 
Apostle's language a reflection of 
the horror and degradation associ- 
ated with crucifixion in the mind 
of every Roman. Cf. Cicero, Pro 
Rahirio.^ v. 16, " Far be the very 
name of the cross, not only from 
the bodies of Roman citizen.s, but 
from their imaginations, eyes, and 

9. Wherefore also God highly 
exalted him,. This is not so much 
the reward as the direct and natural 
consequence of the humiliation. It 
also illustrates our Lord's own teach- 
ing, " He that humbleth himself shall 
be exalted". Inasmuch as the hu- 
miliation touched the lowest depths 
of shame and sufi'ering the exaltation 
is proportionately lofty, and He who 
willed to die the death of the slave 
on the Cross was raised to the highest 
pinnacle of glory and was seated at 
the right hand of God. As the 
Divinity of Christ remains on the 
same level throughout the passage 
the exaltation must be primarily con- 
nected with His humanity, but there 
is an advance of His whole being in 
function and office. He now be- 

11. 9-io] 



comes Ruler in Ilis Messianic King- 
dom, a position that He has gained 
through His life, death, and resm-- 

the name. This has been generally 
explained either as "Jesus Christ" 
or as "Lord". "Jesus Christ" em- 
phasises the union of the human and 
the Divine in the Person of Him who 
was now raised to reign over the new 
Kingdom, and associates the Jesus of 
the earthly life with its experiences 
and sufferings with the Christ, God's 
anointed, now supreme in the Mes- 
sianic realm. " Lord", on the other 
hand, was the Greek equivalent of 
the glorious Divine Name of the Old 
Testament and in Hellenistic pagan 
religious life was the most significant 
title attached to the many deities 
that were worshij^ped in that poly- 
theistic world. Its application to 
Christ, therefore, represents the 
climax and consummation of New 
Testament Christology. To St Paul 
and his age, the Christ, Incamiate, 
Crucified, and Risen, has become 
equated with the Most High God of 
the Jew, and for Him is claimed ex- 
clusively the honour associated in 
paganism ^ith the supreme deity. 
The "name" here may also be identi- 
fied with the full title "Jesus Christ, 
the Lord ", which would meet all that 
is claimed on behalf of each separate 
constituent and would give a much 
fuller scope to the "name" than 
either constituent taken by itself. 
It connotes the human Jesus, the 
Divine Messiah, the Lord and Ruler 
of the Messianic Kingdom, and all 
combined in the Person of Christ, 
Incarnate and Exalted to the right 
hand of God. 

10. in the name of Jesus. In 
primitive times the name and being 
tended to be one in essence and the 
name was not a mere convention but 

the thing itself, so that if any one 
knew the name he was master in 
some measure of the thing. It was, 
however, in relation to the world of 
spirits, good and evil, that the name 
came to assume momentous import- 
ance. A familiar illustration of this 
is the story of Jacob wTestling with 
the angel at Peniel, "Tell me I 
pray thee thy name" (Gen. xxxii. 29). 
If a man came to know the name of 
the demon powers which were the 
bane and terror of primitive life he 
was supposed to be able to exercise 
influence over the demon and to be 
able to use him in his own interest. 
There may be a reference to this idea 
in this verse. St Paul's imagery 
seems to represent a conflict between 
the hosts of the spirit world, demons, 
evil spirits, powers of darkness, 
whose names were known to the 
magician, who could, therefore, use 
them for his own purposes, and the 
Christian, who also knows the Name 
which is above every name, and to 
whom, therefore, victory is a cer- 
tainty. Cf. Just. Mart. Trypho, 30, 
" Even the very name of Jesus is 
terrible to the demons". (See Glover, 
The Christian Tradition and its 
Verification, p. 143 flf.) 

every knee should how .. .should 
coti/ess that Jesus Christ is Lord. 
An adaptation of Isaiah xlv. 23, 
which is quoted exactly in Rom. xiv. 
1 1 and predicated of God. It is here 
expanded by the addition of the 
clause "of things in heaven... under 
the earth" and applied to the exalted 
Christ, and is a significant illustration 
of the place occupied by Christ in St 
Paul's conception of the Godhead. 

o/" things in heamn, and things 07i 
earth, and things under the^ earth. 
It is a moot point whether the adjec- 
tives here corresponding to "the 
things in heaven etc." should be 




taken as neuter or masculine. If 
tliey are masculine the classification 
would represent angels, men, and the 
souls of the departed. It is better 
on the whole perhaps to follow the 
R.V. and to regard the passage as 
an expression of the homage of all 
creation, animate and inanimate, to 
Christ as lie enters upon His king- 
dom and glory. 

There were two different cosmo- 
logical conceptions in the ancient 
world, the Aryan, which was based 
on the numbers 3 and 9, and the 
Semitic, based on the numbers 7 
and 12. The old Greek, Indian, and 
Persian mythologies show a world 
built on the 9 basis. Thus there arc 

a. Three Heavens = Paradise. 

h. Three Earths = Middle Stations. 

c. Three Under-worlds = Hades. 
In later developments such as Pla- 
tonism and Stoicism Heaven, or the 
region of Aether, was subdivided 
into (1) central fire, (2) the plane of 
the fixed stars, (3) the planet sphere, 
while Earth, or the Kvc region, con- 
sisted of (1) Air, (2) Water, (3) Earth. 
The third region, that of the under- 
world, was struck out by the Stoics, 
but it survived in the popular con- 
sciousness. In his cosmological ideas 
St Paul was more Greek than Jew 
and the number 3 occupies an im- 
portant place in his wi'itings. Cf. 

1 Cor. i. 23, 26 : vi. 11 : xi. 3; Gal. 
V. 22, where we find 9 fruits of the 
Spirit divided into 3 classes. A 
striking instance of this usage is also 
found in this verse where he adopts 
the Aryan world-conception with its 
three regions, (1) Heaven, which he 
also subdivides into 3 Heavens in 

2 Cor. xii. 2. (2) Earth, which also 
has its middle stations. Cf. Ephes. ii. 
2. (3) The under-world. In the 
matter of his cosmogony and the sig- 
nificance \xQ attached to the nmnber 

3 and its multiple 9 we may trace the 
influence upon the Apostle of the 
Judaism of the Diaspora, which waa 
already permeated by BaV)ylonian 
and Persian ideas, as well as the in- 
fluence of the Hellenism of Tarsus, 
where both in the Stoic schot)ls and 
in the popular consciousness this 
view of the world prevailed. 

11. every tongue should confess 
that Jesus Christ is Lord. We have 
probably here the earliest form of 
the Bai^tlsmal Confession and the 
original germ of the Christian Creed. 
The catechumen before baptism 
would be called upon to declare, "I 
believe that Jesus Christ is Lord". 
This is confirmed by the Western 
text of Acts viii. 37, where the 
eunuch is represented as saying " I 
believe that Jesus Chiist is the Son 
of God", and by analogous passages 
in St Paul's Epistles as e.g. Rom. x. 
9, "If thou shalt confess with thy 
mouth Jesus as Lord", and 1 Cor. xii. 
3, "No man can say 'Jesus is Lord' 
but in the Holy Spirit". 

Lord. This title became the cha- 
racteristic expression of the Chris- 
tian attitude towaixis Christ in the 
Apostolic age. It is a fact of the 
greatest significance that this term, 
so intimately associated with the 
Supreme God in the mind of every 
Jew, should also be the designation 
which adhered to Christ in the early 
Church. In the pagan world it is 
found as the regular title of heathen 
gods in many inscriptions of the 
period, but it only emerges into full 
daylight in the Emperor-cult among 
the Romans. From the time of 
Augustus downwards it is the normal 
designation of the Emperors in rela- 
tion to the cult, and "our Lord" is 
by no means infreciuent in this con- 
nection. The Hellenistic Christian 
was, therefore, perfectly familiar ^nth 


the very definite connotation of the sion of Jesus Christ as Lord claimed 

title which is unhesitatingly applied for Him the homage and adoration 

by St Paul to Christ. In 1 Cor.viii.S, of all creation. 

6, where he speaks of "lords many" to the glory of God the Father. 

and "one Lord Jesus Christ" there The aim and climax of the whole 

is probably a tacit protest against process of creation and redemption, 

the use of the term in connection Cf. 1 Cor. xv. 28, "that God may be 

with the Emperor-cult which was allinall" andStChrysostom, //om<7;y 

then beginning to assume a vei-y im- 07i PhUiiipians, Chap, iv, "A mighty 

portant place in the religious life of proof it is of the Father's power and 

the Empire and was destined for goodness and wisdom that He hath 

some considerable period to be the begotten such a Son, a Son nowise 

most powerful rival of Christianity. inferior in goodness and wisdom... 

The passage here shows clearly that like Him in all things, Fatherhood 

the Apostolic Church by its confes- excepted". 

Special note on vv. 10, 11 

Some scholars have seen in these verses a doctrine of " universalism " on 
St Paul's part. Thus Dr Charles in his article on " Eschatology " in the 
Encyclopaedia Bihlica, Vol. ii. Col. 1386, writes : "Since all things in heaven 
and on earth, visible and invisible (whether thrones or dominions or princi- 
palities or powers), were created by Christ (Col. i. 16) and were to find their 
consummation in Him, they must come within the sphere of His mediatorial 
activity : they must ultimately be summed up in Him as their head (Ephes. i. 
10). Hence in the world of spiritual beings since some have sinned or 
apostatised, they too must share in the atonement of the cross of Christ 
and so obtain reconciliation (Col. i. 20) and join in the universal worship of 
the Sou (Phil. ii. 10).... Since all things must be reconciled and summed up 
in Christ there can be no room finally in the universe for a wicked being, 
whether human or angelic. Thus the Pauline eschatology points obviously 
in its ultimate issue either to the final redemption of all created personal 
beings or to the destruction of the finally impenitent". Dr James Orr writes 
to the same effect in the Expositor, vii. x. p. 406 : " There are hints in the 
New Testament of a future unification — a gathering up of all things in Christ 
as Head — whence God is once more 'all in all' which would at least seem to 
imply a cessation of active opposition to the will of God — an acknowledg- 
ment universally of His authority and rule — a reconciliation in some form 
on the part of those outside the blessedness of the Kingdom, with the order 
of the universe. Cf. Acts iii. 21 : 1 Cor. xv. 24—28 : Ephes. i. 10 : Phil. ii. 
10 — 1 1 ". But although the Apostle's language in these verses and elsewhere, 
taken by itself, might seem to favour "universalism" and to involve the 
recovery of all personal beings, his language in other contexts is quite 
unambiguous and leaves us in no possible doubt as to his views on the ulti- 
mate fate of the mcked. We need only refer to 2 Cor. iv. 3, and especially 
to 2 Thess. i. 9, where he describes their future as " eternal destruction from 
the face of the Lord and from the glory of His might ". This might imply 



"annihilation", but is decisive against " universalisni ". With reference to 
vv. 10, 1 1 of this chai)ter Dr Cliarles seems to read into them considerably 
more than they convey to the ordinary reader. Here, as elsewhere, St Paul 
is painting the ideal and gives a clear assertion of the purpose of God's 
redemption in Christ, which is potentially to embrace the whole of creation 
without necessarily assuming that the loving jiurpose of God is to be fully 
accomplished. lie has a splendid vision of the effect upon the whole uni- 
verse of the glorious exaltation of Christ and of His coming to reign, but in 
this vision, as in many another, it is only the general idea that is outlined, 
and it is unsafe to conclude from an outburst of inspired enthusiasm that 
the idea will be fulfilled in all its details. 

(iii) A further exhortation, based on the preceding ajjjyeal, 
to obedience, earnest and anxious effort, and mutual 
peace, 12 — 16 

12 So then, my beloved, even 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 trem- 

13 bling ; for it is God which worketh in you both to will and 

14 to work, for his good pleasure. Do all things without 

15 murmurings and disputings ; that ye may be blameless 
and harmless, children of God without blemish in the 
midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom 

16 ye are seen as ^lights in the world, holding forth the word 
of life ; that I may have whereof to glory in the day of 
Christ, that I did not run in vain neither labour in vain. 

^ Some ancient authorities omit as. ^ q^_ luminaries. 

You have seen how our blessed Master obeyed even unto death and how 
glorious was the exaltation tchich foUoiced. So noic, my beloved, do ye 
follow in His steps, and let your obedieiwe be as conspicuous now when I am 
away from you as it was when T was still among you. Avoid the habit qf 
depending too much upon my presence with you, and complete the good work 
which was begun in you by God through me, working out your own salva- 
tion to its complete fruition, but in due subinission to the trill qf God and 
always having in view the testing at the Great Day. Work out your own 
salvation did I say ? Yes, but remember that it is God after all who is 
your strength and stay and that it is His grace that filU you with power 
both to will and to icork, and that your ultimate salvation is the accom- 
j)lishment of His love and purpose for you. Aviid also in your Christian 
life that spirit of discontent and that habit of questioning the decrees qf 
God which we/re the curse qf Israel qfold, so that in the world, around you, 

II. 12-13] 



among people who have wandered far away from the truth of God and 
obstinately refuse to return, you may be marked as those that live without 
reproach, transparent in your honesty, and irdthout spot or stain on your 
Christian robe, as befits those who are God's own children. You must be 
seen as lights shining in a dark -world, illuminating and freely offering to 
all that need it the Gospel that alone brings life, so that in the day when 
Christ shall hold His great Assize you tnay be my pride and glory and a 
living proof that I did not work for nothing. 

12. So then. The connection here 
is not quite clear. The Apostle may 
be looking back to v. 2 "be of the 
same mind " which leads us back still 
further to i. 27, the exhortation to 
present an unbroken front to the 
enemy ; or he may have in view the 
whole of the preceding passage and 
is impressing upon the Philippians 
the example of Christ's humility and 
exaltation as a guide and encourage- 
ment to them. A better connection 
than either of these seems to be indi- 
cated by the presence of " obey " in 
the verse, which immediately sug- 
gests the "obedience of Christ" in 
V. 18 as the point that is emphasised 

not as in my presence only, but 
now much more in my absence. 
This is to be taken mth what fol- 
lows. "Do not place too much de- 
pendence upon my presence among 
you, but work out your own salva- 
tion". The previous sentence is in- 
complete as it stands and requires 
the addition of " continue to do so " 
or some similar phrase, and with the 
sentence "not as in my presence 
only " a new thought begins. 

work out your vica salcation. 
There are two emphatic words in 
this injunction, '"''out" and ^''oirn". 
"Work out". The letter is written 
to " saints " who had already made 
some considerable progress in the 
Christian life, cf. i. 6. The good 
work has been begun and they are 
to co-operate with God in working it 

completely out and in bringing it to 
its full accomplishment. The Apostle 
himself is no longer among them, the 
planting and watering are past, and 
it is now for God to give the increase. 
Hence "work out your own salva- 
tion ", no longer depending upon his 
personal presence, but in complete 
dependence upon God. 

with fear and trembling. This is 
a set phrase in the Pauline Epistles, 
cf. Bphes. vi. 5, where it is used of 
the disposition of slaves towards their 
masters, and 2 Cor. vii. 15, where the 
reception to be given to Titus by the 
Coi-inthian Church is in view. In 
both cases the phrase signifies the 
attitude of submission. In 1 Cor. ii. 
3, 4 the Apostle speaks of himself as 
being " in much trembling " and yet 
his speech and preaching are "in 
demonstration of the Spirit and 
power". The expression is, there- 
fore, free from any trace of fearful 
anxiety or of the terror of the slave. 
It is the frame of mind which be- 
tokens submission to the will and 
purpose of God that is indicated here, 
and this leads to the thought con- 
tained in the verse that follows. 
There is perhaps also included in 
the phrase the fear of the judgment 
(cf. V. 16) at the day of Christ, the 
noble fear of failing to respond to 
love which has not yet risen to the 
level of 1 St John iv. 18, cf. Heb. xii. 

13. for it is God tohich worketh 
in you both to will and to work. In 



[ii. 13-16 

the original tlio stress is laid on 
" God " (for God it is that works) in 
order to prevent any misunderstand- 
ing and discouragement that niiglit 
have been caused by tlie emphasis 
on "yourselves" implied in "your 
own salvation". Their salvation is 
ultimately God's work, and it is God 
Himself who has created in them the 
desire to fulfil His gracious will and 
who will provide the power to bring 
that desire to its complete fruition. 

for his good pleasure. This is to 
be connected with " it is God which 
worketh". The whole aim of re- 
demption, of God's own work in them 
and of their co-operation with Him, 
is that He may fully accomplish His 
plan and purpose for them. 

14. Do all tltings without mur- 
miirings and disputings. 

murnmrings. Souter, s.v., ex- 
plains "murmurings" as generally 
meaning " smouldering discontent ", 
cf. 1 Cor. X. 10. 

disputings. The Greek word is 
used in the papyri of a judicial in- 
quiry, the hearing of a case, and 
arguments in court, Avhence we get 
the thought of outward disputings 
and discussions, and Souter trans- 
lates it " deliberation, plotting". The 
contemporary usage of both these 
words favours the idea that the 
Apostle is referring here to social 
weaknesses in the life of the Philip- 
pian community and that it is the 
mutual relations of the brethren to- 
wards each other that are in question. 
The use of the word " murmurings " 
in the LXX, however, and elsewhere 
in St Paul as e.g. in 1 Cor. x. 10, 
where the reference is clearly to the 
conduct of Israel in the wilderness, 
and the quotation from Deut. xxxii. 
6 which immediately follows would 
seem to show decisively that what 
the Apostle has in view is the sin to 

which the Israelites of old were so 
prone, murmuring against God and 
dissatisfaction with His decrees. 

15. The whole of this verse is 
reminiscent of the LXX of Deut. 
xxxii. 5, "They have gone astray, they 
are not His children, but culpable, 
a crooked and perverse genera- 

blameless., as regards the opinion 
of the outside world concerning 

harmless. The Greek is used of 
wine and metals, and signifies purity, 
freedom fi'om adulteration and alloy. 
Hence, "simplicity of character", 
differing only slightly from the " sin- 
cere" of i. 10. As contrasted with 
"blameless" which refers to the 
opinion of others, it seems to denote 
the Divine estimate of them. 

children of God without blemish 
in the midst of a crooked and per- 
verse generation. This is, as we have 
seen, an adaptation of Deut. xxxii. 5, 
which implies that the Apostle meant 
to warn the Fhilippians against fol- 
loiving the exanqjle of Israel during 
its sojourn in the wilderness. 

among ichom ye are seen as lights 
in the world. Lights. The Greek 
word occurs only here and in Rev. 
xxi. 11 in the New Testament, and 
in the latter context it has apparently 
the sense of " sun ". In the LXX it 
is used almost exclusively of the 
heavenly bodies, and it is, therefore, 
better here to translate it more defi- 
nitely as " luminaries "'. The Chris- 
tian is in his degree to reflect the 
character of Him who said of ?Iim- 
self " I ain the light of the world". 

16. holding forth the word of life. 
An equally legitimate translation 
would be "holding fast the word of 
life ". Our choice of renderings will 
depend upon the view we take of tlie 
reference here. The former trans- 

II. i6] 



latioii carries on the thought of the 
preceding verse where the influence 
of the Christians upon the outside 
world is clearly in question. In that 
case St Paul is pleading that the Phi- 
lippians ought to be absorbed in the 
true mission of the Church to those 
outside instead of letting themselves 
dispute and quarrel with each other. 
If we accept the sense of " holding 
fast " we get the following sequence 
of thought. The world is dark, but 
you are points of light ; don't let 
yourselves be extinguished as you 
will be if you give way to discontent 
and disputes. It is the thought of 
contrdst with the outside world that 
is uppermost in this rendering and 
not that of influence. Harmony and 
humility are essential not only to the 
well-being but to the very being of a 
Church : only thus is it marked off 
from the rest of the world. (See 
Moflfatt, Expositor, viii. xii. pp. 344— 

the word of life. The word that 
brings life, the Gospel in all its truth 
and in all its quickening power. 

life, in the widest sense of the 
term, the " eternal life " of St John's 
Gospel. This is the gift of God which 
is the possession of the Christian from 
the moment he turns to Christ and 
lays hold of His salvation and is an 
undying principle whose essence lies 
in partaking of the life of Christ, 
being grafted into Him, and being 
ruled by His Spirit. It reaches its 
complete realisation in the final 
union with Christ in His glorious 
Kingdom. The conception of Christ 
as "light" and "life" is also asso- 

ciated with the Johanninc "Word" 
in St John i. 4, " and the light was 
the life of men ". 

that I may have whereof to glory 
in the day of Christ. For a similar 
thought cf. i. 26 with the note upon 
it, and also 2 Cor. i. 4, " ye also are our 
glorying in the day of our Lord 
Jesus ". The pride which the Apostle 
has in mind here is that Christian 
pride which is based upon the suc- 
cessful working of the grace of God 
in Christ upon his converts through 
the instrumentality of his missionary 
activity. The time will come when 
before the judgment seat of God 
everyone will be rewarded according 
to his deeds. In that day he also 
must have a treasure to show before 
(jrod, and even now he may begin to 
congratulate himself on what he will 
eventually produce. Such "boast- 
ing" is no "vain-glory" but is the 
duty and privilege of the Apostle 
and of every Christian as such. 

that I did not run in vain neither 
labour in vain. The day of Christ is 
to prove that " he did not work for 
nothing". (Moffatt'stranslation.) The 
first half of the sentence is found in 
Gal. ii. 2 and the second in Gal. iv. 11. 
There may be here an echo of Isaiah 
xlix. 4, " I have laboured in vain, I 
have spent my strength for nought 
and in vain". Deissmann {Light 
from the Ancient East, p. 317) sug- 
gests that St Paul's frequent use of 
the phrase " labour in vain" is a trem- 
bling echo of the discouragement 
resulting from a width of cloth being 
rejected as badly woven and, there- 
fore, not paid for. 



[II. 17 

(iv) St Paul contemjylates the possibility that his labours 
may be terminated hy a violent death. Yet, he the issne 
what it may, he will rejoice and they must rejoice with 
him, 17—18 

17 Yea, and if I am ^offered upon the sacrifice and service of 

18 your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all : and in the same 
manner do ye also joy, and rejoice with me, 

^ Gr. poured out as a drink-offering. 

And eren if my trial, as it p'ssibly may, ends in condem,vafion and 
death I shall regard my execution as crowning the offering to God of 
your faith and as the libation that I shall pour upon the sacrifice of your 
devoted service. Let us not sorrow, therefore, even though I have to die, 
hut let us all rejoice therein, both you and 1. 

17. In the figure employed here 
the Apostle has probably in mind 
the pagan sacrifices in which the 
libation is poured over the victim 
and not the Jewish custom of pour- 
ing water round the altar. The 
general sense of the verse is quite 
clear. The faith of the Philippians 
is the "sacrifice" ; the actual offering 
of the sacrifice before God is the 
" service " ; the possible violent death 
of the Apostle is the " libation " 
which is to be poured over the sacri- 
fice of the Philipi>ians' faith and is 
to crown and complete it. There is 
a considerable difference of opinion 
as to the identity of the " priest " 
who ofl"ers the sacrifice in the figure. 
Most commentators contend that it 
is the Philippian Church that oft'ers 
up its own faith as a sacrifice to God 
and that St Paul's blood is the liba- 
tion added to the offering. A better 
solution is to regard St Paul as the 
priest, the Philipijians' faith as the 
sacrifice, and the priest's o\w\ blood 
as poured out upon the victim that 
he is ofi"ering. The thought of the 
Philipi^ian Church as an off"ering 
acceptable to God has been already 

expressed in the preceding verse, 
and it is his own pride and his own 
anxiety as the person responsible 
for the character of the off"ering that 
are uppermost there. In this verse 
he changes the metaphor somewhat 
and uses the terms of sacrificial 
ritual to biing out his meaning, but 
his own function remains the same. 
It is he who ofi"ers the faith and 
devotion of the Philippians as a 
sacrifice before God, and it is he who 
is prepared, should necessity arise, 
to pour upon it the libation of his 
o\™ life-blood. In support of this 
view it should be noted that Paul in 
Rom. XV. 16, 17 explicitly describes 
his ministry in terms of priesthood 
and sacrifice. He recognises in these 
verses that he is possessed of the 
priestly character and that in that 
character he offers the Gentiles as a 
sacrifice to God, sanctified and ren- 
dered acceptable by the power of 
the Holy Si)irit. There is, therefore, 
no reasonable objection to taking 
his words in our context in their 
natural sense and regarding the 
Apostle himself as the priest oflering 
the sacrifice. 

11. i8] PHILIPPIANS 41 

18. I j(yy^ and rejoice with you by the outpouring of his own life 

all: and in the same manner do ye upon it. The Philippians are to re- 

also joy, and rejoice with me. joice because God's work in them 

A possible translation which finds will have been fully accomplished, 
favour with some scholars is " I re- the Apostle himself rejoices because 
joice and congratulate you all: do ye he has been chosen as the instru- 
also rejoice and congratulate me ", ment in God's hands to bring about 
but it is better on the whole to take this happy and blessed result. As 
the words as an injunction to mutual both he and his converts have been 
joy without explicitly introducing so closely associated with this pro- 
the element of congratulation. The cess so too must they be joint par- 
Apostle has in view the crowning of takers in the joy which the fulfilment 
the offering of the Philippians' faith of God's loving purpose demands. 

IV. The Apostle's plans for the future, 19 — 30 

(i) The proposed visit of Timothy to Philippi, 19 — 24 

19 But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy shortly 
unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know 

20 your state. For I have no man likeminded, who will care 

21 Hruly for your state. For they all seek their own, not the 

22 things of Jesus Christ. But ye know the proof of him, 
that, as a child serveth a father, so he served with me in 

23 furtherance of the gospel. Him therefore I hope to send 
forthwith, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me : 

24 but I trust in the Lord that I myself also shall come 

^ Gr. genuinely. 

But be of good cheer, for I hope that it may be in accordmice with the 
will and purpose of God that I should send Timothy to you shortly, so 
that you may be well informed in all that concerns me and that I, on my 
side, may have the consolation of knowiiig how matters stand with you. 
For Timothy is unique among my present companions, and there is by 
my side no one who has the same sincere and unselfish care for you and 
your spiritual interests. The others are all engrossed in their own plans 
and ideas and are not dominated, as he is, by the thought of what is 
essential to the welfare of the Church of Christ. You know him of old 
and you will remember hoic from those early days when he was my 
companion at Philippi he has been like a son to me atid has loyally and 
faithfully co-operated icith me in my mission for the Gospel of Jesus 
Christ. The issue of my trial will be decided soon, and the tnoment the 



[ii. 19-3 

verdict has been pronounced Timothy shall come to you. Aye, and further, 
I trust that the Lord will be gracious to me also, and that I shall be set free 
to follow Timothy and come to you myxelf. 

1 9. The proposed visit of Timothy 
to Philippi had a double motive. 
We note first of all the thought of 
the encouragement that the coming 
of Timothy would produce among 
the Philippians, an encouragement 
that was all the more needed perhaps 
because he had just touched upon 
the possibility of his own death. 
But he himself was also to be cheered 
and comforted by the news that 
Timothy would be able to send him 
on his arrival at Philippi. His most 
intimate companion and friend was 
to be his representative among them 
and was to give them that guidance 
and help which his own enforced 
absence prevented him from giving. 
Also if the worst happened and death 
came to himself Timothy was to 
comfort them in their sorrow con- 
cerning his fate. It was not the 
first time that he had undertaken on 
St Paul's behalf a mission of this 
character. He had been sent from 
Athens to encourage the Church of 
Thessalonica in the face of persecu- 
tion, 1 Thess. iii. 2, 6, and later on 
from Ephesus to Macedonia and 
thence to Corinth when the Apostle 
himself was unable to pay these 
Churches a promised visit, 1 Cor. 
xvi. 10. 

20. likeminded, with Timothy 
and not with the Apostle, as is shown 
by the following verse, where the 
contrast is between Timothy and the 
other brethren who were in St Paul's 
immediate neighbourhood at the 

truly. The Greek word meant 
originally " born in wedlock ", hence, 
" not spurious ", from whence it came 
to have the sense of "genuinely, 

sincerely". The corresponding ad- 
jective denotes in the papyri "a 
lawful wedded wife" as well as 
"legitimate children" and is used 
also of "legal charges", whence we 
derive the meaning of " fitting, suit- 
able". The word is also connected 
with " friend " in the sense of " gen- 
uine" and becomes an epithet of 
affectionate appreciation (as in Phil, 
iv. 3 and in 1 Tim. i. 2 of Timothy 
himself), and is frequently found in 
inscriptions of honour in that sense. 

The adverb, as here, has the 
meaning of "honestly, sincerely". 
Cf. "will honourably protect the 
child ", a cpiotation from a papyrus. 
In St Paul's time the word had 
practically outgrown its original 
meaning and was invariably used in 
its more developed sense. (See 
Moulton and Milligan, s.v.) 

21. The tone of this verse throws 
light on the Apostle's comparative 
loneliness at the time, for it is 
unthinkable that he could have ex- 
pressed himself in these terms if 
Luke and Aristarchus and other of 
his companions who had devoted 
themselves so whole-heartedly to his 
service had been by his side. Those 
who are now in his company are not 
in that complete sympathy with him 
and his aims which was characteristic 
of his old and faithful friends. They 
are more concerned with advancing 
their own ideas and interests, and 
the welfare of the Pauline Churches 
is not so dear to them as to the 
hearts of those who had been asso- 
ciated with him in their founding. 
Rome and its affairs were to them 
the centre of attraction and not 
the Churches of the distant East 

II. 21-24] 



Hence the Apostle's momentary des- 
pondencj' and the loss of his usual 
buoyancy of spirit. 

22. But ye knoic the proof of hbn. 
The Philippians are femiliar with 
Timothy's character and conduct. 
They know how he was tested at 
Philippi and elsewhere and how 
successfully he survived the ordeal. 
They will remember how devotedly 
he served both the Gospel and the 
Apostle himself in Macedonia and 
othei' regions of the Pauline mis- 
sionary field. 

as a child serveth a father. Cf. 
1 Tim. i. 2, "my true child in the 
faith": 2 Tim. i. 2, "my beloved 
child ". 

so he served with me in further- 
ance of the gospel. The Apostle's 
humility will not allow him to com- 
plete the sentence and to say " so he 
served me ". He, therefore, changes 
its form and places Timothy on the 
same level as himself. They were 
brethren, fellow- workers, and fellow- 
servants of Christ. 

23. Timothy was apparently to 
bring to Philippi the news of the 
verdict at the trial which St Paul 
expected would be pronounced 

/ sliall see. The Greek word is 
the same as that in Heb. xii. 2, 
'"'' Looking unto Jesus, the author 
and perfecter of our faith", where 
it has the sense of looking away 
from other things and concentrating 
attention uijon one particular object. 
Here the Apostle represents himself 
as carefully studying the course of 
his own affairs in order that he may 
gain definite and precise knowledge 
of his position. 

24. St Paul is still in danger and 
the issue of the trial is doubtful, but 
he is confident that it will end in 
his release. Yet that confidence is 
conditional and is centred "in the 
Lord " as is all else in his life. It is 
the Lord's will and the Lord's pur- 
pose that are to be accomplished in 

(ii) The return of Epaphroditus, 25 — 30 

25 But I counted it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, 
my brother and fellow- worker and fellow-soldier, and your 

26 hnessenger and minister to my need; since he longed 
^after you all, and Avas sore troubled, because ye had 

27 beard that he was sick: for indeed he was sick nigh 
unto death : but God had mercy on him ; and not on him 
only, but on me also, that I might not have sorrow upon 

28 sorrow. I have sent him therefore the more diligently, 
that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I 

29 may be the less sorrowful. Receive him therefore in the 

30 Lord with all joy; and hold such in honour: because for 
the work of ^Christ he came nigh unto death, hazarding 

^ Gr. apostle. ^ Many ancient authorities read to see you all. 

2 Manv ancient authorities read the Lord. 


his life to supply that which was lacking in your service 
toward me. 

Meanvrhile as Timothy is not yet in a position to start I am sending 
to you without any delay Epaj)hroditus, my brother in the faith, my 
faithful helper in my work, and my comrade in the fght, trho is also one 
of yourselces, a very apostle of your Church and the hearer of your 
gift to me. I consider it all the more necessary to send him became 
his h^art icas filled with longing to see you again and to return, so that 
by his presence among you he might dispel your anxiety concerning 
himself, for he knows that you were aware of his illness. For, in truth, 
his illness was so severe that it well nigh proted fatal, bid God spared him 
and was also merciful to me, for the death of my loyal comrade would 
have been an additional burden that I could hardly have borne. I, therer 
fore, hasten to send him on his journey that his prresence among you may 
not only be a source of joy to you but that the knowledge that I shall gain 
of your satisfaction and jileasure may also hinng cotisolation to me in my 
loneliness. Give him the truest of Christian welcomes and recognise at its 
full value the work done and the brave spirit show?i by this comrade of mine. 
For it was owing to his devotion to Christ and His came that he came so 
nearly to die. He risked his life, indeed, in performing on your behalf 
what you would ham wished to do yourselves personally, seeing that lie was 
tlie bearer of your generous gift to me. 

25. Epaphrnditus. The name is that two men of the same or similar 
frequently found in papyri. Epa- names might have been found among 
phras may be a shortened form of it, St Paul's faithful and much valued 
and many authorities identify the companions at this time. 
Epaphroditus of our Epistle with my brother and felloic-tcorker 
theEpaphrasmentionedinColiv. 12: and felloic -soldier. Cf. Anselm, 
Philemon, 23. In favour of this iden- " My brother in the faith, my fellow- 
tification it is pointed out that they worker in preaching, my fellow- 
were both in St Paul's company soldier in adversity", a description 
during his Roman imprisonment and which implies common sympathies, 
that they are both referred to by labours undertaken in conmion, and 
him in similar terms. Thus Epa- community in struggle and suffering, 
phroditus is his " brother and fellow- your messenger. Lit. " your apos- 
worker and fellow-soldier " while tie ". The use of this particular term 
Epaphras is " one of you, a servant .shows that in St Paul's mind Epa- 
of Jesus Christ" (Col. iv. 12) and his phroditus was more than the mere 
"fellow prisoner" (Philemon, 23). bearer of the Philippians' gift to him. 
The main objection to this identifica- Underlying the word here is the idea 
tion is that Epaphroditus is very of " one commissioned " and perhaps 
intimately connected with Philippi also the thought of the sacredness 
and Epaphras is just as closely con- of the mission. Cf. 2 Cor. viii. 23, 
nected with Colossae. As the name where similar ideas are associated 
was evidently a fairly common one with the word. "They are the 
there is no real difficulty in imagining messengers of the Churches, they 

II. 25-30] 



are the glory of God" Ou the 
strength of the attachment of the 
terra "apostle" to Epaphroditus 
here the Greek Church placed hira 
in the same rank as Barnabas, Silas, 
and others who held the rank of 
Apostles in the Church, but the con- 
text suggests "messenger", perhaps 
with a somewhat heightened mean- 
ing, to be the better translation. 
Theodoret in his Commentary on 
this Epistle makes him bishop of 

minister. The word signifies a 
public official, one who renders ser- 
vice to the state. In the LXX 
it is the regular term for " priest ", 
who was the public and official ser- 
vant of God in the ritual system 
of the Old Testament. The use of 
the word here, therefore, implies the 
sacred character of Epaphroditus' 
service to the Apostle. The " mes- 
senger" is commissioned by the 
Philippians, he is their oSicial re- 
presentative to St Paul, and his 
mission has sacred associations be- 
cause it is concerned with the Apostle 
of Chi-ist, is on behalf of the Gospel, 
and is the outcome of the love that 
arises from union with Christ. 

27. not on him only., hut on me 
also. The Apostle closely identifies 
himself with his fellow-workers. 
Their sicknesses, their trials are his 
own, and the mercy of God shown 
to them is vouchsafed also to him. 
Cf. 2 Cor. xi. 29. 

sorrow upon sorrow. Sorrows 
were his daily lot ; the restraint upon 
his activity caused by his imprison- 
ment, the uncertainty of the prospect 
that lay before him, the jealousy 
and selfishness of many Roman 
Christians were burdens that were 
hard to bear. To lose his devoted 
friend and companion by death in 
addition to all these would have 

been almost more than even his 
brave heart could have endured. 

28. the more diligently., without 
studying his own convenience, but 
animated solely by the desire to 
relieve their anxiety. 

that. may rejoice, and that I 
may he the less sorrowful. "You 
will rejoice because Epaphroditus 
is restored to you again, and my 
trials will not be so hard to bear 
when I hear of your joy". 

29. Receim him therefore in the 
Lord tcifh all joy. Cf. Twentieth 
Century New Testament, "Give 
him the heartiest of Christian wel- 
comes ". 

hold such in honour. Cf. Moffatt, 
" value men like him ". 

30. hea.iusefor the work of Christ 
he came nigh unto death. This ex- 
pression gives no real ground for 
assuming, as some scholars do, that 
the Apostle had formed the im- 
pression that there was an element 
of suspicion in the attitude of the 
Philipi^ians towards Epaphroditus 
and that this very emphatic tribute 
to the character of the service ren- 
dered by the latter was intended to 
remove any such suspicion. The 
stress laid on the very real anxiety 
caused to the Philippian Church by 
the news of Epaphroditus' illness is 
suSicient warrant that there was no 
lack of sympathy or appreciation on 
its side. The character of the ser- 
vice rendered is emphasised in order 
to show its true significance. It was 
not merely undertaken on their be- 
half, or on behalf of the Apostle 
himself, but was a ministry whose 
true meaning and purpose were only 
realised in Christ. 

hazarding his life. Hapa^oXev- 
o/ "hazard" is a gambler's word 
signifying the throwing of dice, a 
form of amusement of which the 



[ii. 30-111. 

Apostle was perhaps the frequent 
spectator sus it was practised by the 
Prjetoriaii guards. The word is not 
found elsewhere in the New Testa- 
ment, or in any other writing of the 
period, and it was so rare that some 
copyists altered it and substituted 
for it the more familiar verb rrapa- 
^ovXevoixm which exi)lains the trans- 
lation in the A. V., "not regarding his 
life". It is probably, however, not a 
word coined by St Paul, as it was as- 
sumed to be until recently, for in an 
inscription discovered atOlbeaonthe 
Black Sea, presumably of the second 
century, the word occurs in the 
identical participial form found here 
and with precisely the same meaning. 
"It was witnessed of him that in 
the interest of friendship) he had 
exposed himself to danger as an 
advocate in legal strife by taking 
his clients' causes even up to 
emperors". In a context of this 
character there can be no question 
of the borrowing of a New Testament 
word, and it must, therefore, have 

been current in other than Christian 
Churches. (Deissmann, Light from 
th-e Ancient East, p. 84.) There is 
perhaps an interesting survival of 
the word in the " Parabolani " men- 
tioned in the Cod. Thend., Hb. xvi. 
Tit. 33, who were an inferior order 
of Church officers fulfilling the duty 
of hospital attendants and nurses to 
the sick and poor. Vincent suggests 
that the name " Parabolani " attached 
to the order is explained by the fact 
that they " hazarded their lives " by 
coming into contact with jjlague and 
contagious diseases. 

to supply that ichich was lacking 
in your service toward me. This 
is the Apostle's courteous way of 
expressing his gratitude both to 
Epaphroditus and to the Philip- 
pians ; to Epaphroditus for being 
the bearer of the gift, to the Philip- 
pians for the gift itself, which only 
needed their personal attendance at 
the jiresentation to make it quite 

V. St Paul sounds the call "to rejoice", la 
III. 1 a. Finally, my brethren, h'ejoice in the Lord. 

1 Or, farewell 

And now, my brethren, let me once again call uponyouto let Christian 
joy hare its due place in your lives. 

1 a. Finally. This does not ne- 
cessarily mean that the Apostle is at 
this point approaching the end of 
his letter. The Greek phrase occurs 
in other Epistles well away from the 
close as e.g. in 1 Thess. iv. 1, and in 
the language of tiie period it meant 
little more than "now" or "there- 

fore ". 

rejoice in the Lord. St Paul again 
strikes one of the dominant notes of 
the Epistle, harking back perhaps to 
ii. 17, 18, where the thought has 
been interrupted for the moment by 
the reference to the coming visits of 
Timothy and Epaphroditus. 


VI. 16—21 

At this point there is an abrupt break, and the Apostle's attention is 
diverted from the main purpose of tlie letter. The remainder of the chapter 
is devoted to grave and strongly worded warnings against two sets of oppo- 
nents, Jews, perhaps in Rome, and a party among the Gentile Christians at 
Philippi, which was filled with spiritual pride and was in consequence 
divided into tw^o groups, one of which claimed Christian perfection, while 
the othei', in its contempt for the body, fell into pagan immorality. 

(i) A warning against Jews, lb — 11 

(a) A protest against Jewish national pride and 
eocclusiveness, 1 b — 6 

1 b. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not irk- 

2 some, but for you it is safe. Beware of the dogs, beware of 

3 the evil workers, beware of the concision : for we are the 
circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God, and glory in 

4 Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh : though 
I myself might have confidence even in the flesh : if any 
other man Hhinketh to have confidence in the flesh, I yet 

5 more : circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, 
of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews ; as touching 

6 the law, a Pharisee ; as touching zeal, persecuting the 
church ; as touching the righteousness which is in the law, 
found blameless. 

1 Or, seemeth 

But you must forgive me if I digress for a moment and repeat some 
warnings that I have on former occasions addressed to you. I have no 
hesitation in doing this because it is your we/fare and safety that I have in 
view. I hid you heware of those who like dogs are shameless, impure, and 
insolent, beware, I say, of these workers of wickedness, beware of those 
whose vaunted privilege is only a self-mutilation. For we Christians, and 
not they, are the true circumcision, we who serve God according to His 
will and jnirpose and render to Him true worship becauM we are filled 
with His Spirit, we whose one boast is that we are Chrlsfs and not that we 
possess any national or material advantages, althozigh I myself have every 
right to pride myself on the jjossession of these very privileges. No one, 
indeed, has a stronger claim to boast of these Jewish advantages than I 
have, because there is no privilege which a Jew values that is not mine. A 
true member of the covenant people and no proselyte, I was circumcised on 
the eighth day, I come qf good old Israelitish stock, and belong to the tribe 




which furnished the nation with its first King, the tribe which remained 
loyal to the house of David and hoji kept its strain pure and undsfiled 
throughout the ages. In point of descent I wan horn of Hebrew j)arents 
on both sides. To come to acquired prieileges, J am a Pharisee, a member 
of the straitest of all Jeicish sects, in point of zeal I persecuted the Church 
of Christ, and as touching the righteousness as it is conceived by the law I 
was beyond reproach. 

1 b. To write the same things. 
Many attempts have been made to 
explain the expression "the same 
things" from the contents of the 
Epistle itself, and Moffatt (see Ex- 
positor, viir. xii. p. 346) is still of 
opinion that a good case can be 
made out for this view, but none of 
the explanations is very convincing. 
It is better, therefore, to seek for 
an explanation outside the Epistle, 
either in warnings addressed orally 
or in some previous letter or letters 
to the Philippians, and to confine 
the reference to the impassioned 
outbreak which follows. 

to me indeed is not irksome. An 
epistolary formula which Souter 
paraphrases, " I do not hesitate ". 

but for you it is safe. " I do not 
hesitate to revert to an old subject 
if by doing that I protect you ". 

With the thought of the verse as 
a whole cf. Dr Johnson in The 
Rambler, " It is not sufficiently con- 
sidered that men more frequently 
require to be reminded than in- 
formed ". 

2. Beirare. The threefold repe- 
tition of this word marks the urgency 
and intensity of the warning. 

dogs, evil workers, tlie cmcision. 
These are not three separate groups 
of opponents. Gentiles, Jewish Chris- 
tians, and Jews, but one homogeneous 
group composed of Jews, pure and 
simple, described under three cate- 

dogs. The pariah was the most 
contemptible of all creatures in the 

East and the term "dog" as applied 
to others was a symbol of what was 
ignoble and mean. In this respect 
its use was by no means confined to 
expressing the attitude of the Jew 
towards the Gentile but it was a 
general term of opprobrium in the 
Eastern world and remains so to 
this day. It is possible, however, 
that the Apostle may here be con- 
sciously api^lying to Jews the par- 
ticular term of reproach they ai^plied 
to Gentiles. In the New Testament 
the "sow" and the "dog" are coupled 
together as representing apostates 
from the Church. Cf 2 St Peter ii. 
22, and Rev. xxii. 15, where "dogs" 
are associated with sorcerers, forni- 
cators, murderers, and idolaters who 
are outside the city, i.e. with those 
corrupted by the foulest vices of 
the pagan world. Here perhaps the 
main thought is that of the shame- 
lessness and insolence of his Jewish 

ecil workers. "They are workers 
of wickedness even when they work". 
If the identity of the party con- 
demned here was what we have 
assumed it to be and it was com- 
posed of Jews who were harrying 
the Apostle to death, the "evil" 
they were "working" might have a 
specific reference to their relentless 
hostility towards himself 

the concision. This word is not 
found elsewhere in the New Testa- 
ment and it is deliberately employed 
here as a play upon the Greek for 
"circumcision". It is adequately 

III. 2-4] 



represented by the English word 
"mutilation". As the designation of 
a party it denotes those whose 
boasted privilege is after all a 
mere bodily mutilation, without any 
moral or spiritual significance or 

3. we are the circurncishm, i.e. 
those who have put away all bodily 
uncleanness in the power of Jesus 
Christ. Cf. Col. ii. 11, "In whom ye 
were also circumcised with a circum- 
cision not made with hands, in the 
putting off of the body of the flesh, 
in the circumcision of Christ". The 
Christian Church is the true Israel 
of God, inheriting all its privileges 
and conferring all its blessings. For 
St Paul's doctrine of the Church as 
the New Israel cf. Int. pp. Ixxxv- 

who icorship by the Spirit of God, 
and glory in Christ Jesus, and have 
no ctinjidence in the flesh. The 
Apostle bases this claim on three 

(1) icho worship by the Spirit 
of God. By the use of the term 
" worship " the Apostle employs that 
which in the LXX denotes the ser- 
vice rendered to Jehovah by the 
Chosen People and in so doing 
transfers to the New Israel the 
worship and homage paid to God 
which was the proud privilege and 
monopoly of Israel of old. It was 
the Church's possession of the 
Spirit which formed its primary 
claim to be able to worship God 
according to His will, that Spirit 
whose outpouring upon the New 
Israel had been promised by the 
prophets. The presence of the Holy 
Spirit in the Church gave it life and 
power and love and so enabled it to 
offer to God true and acceptable 
worship, cf. St John iv. 23 : Rom. 
xii. 1 : 1 Pet. ii. 5. In all these 

passages there is the same implied 
contrast with Jewish worship as hero. 

(2) and glory in Christ Jesus. 
For "glory" see notes on i. 26 and 
ii. 16. The Christian Church does 
not pride itself on any national or 
ceremonial privilege. Its province 
is as wide as the love and redeeming 
grace of Jesus Christ Himself, to 
whom adequate worship can only be 
rendered by a society as wide as the 
world itself. 

(3) and have no confidence in 
the flesh. "Flesh " is here the an- 
tithesis both to " Christ Jesus " and 
the "Spirit". What the Apostle 
meant by the term is explained 
very fully in the two following 
verses. It included all that a Jew 
valued most, all that was the source 
of his vaunted righteousness, all 
that led to the familiar Jewish 
contempt for those who stood out- 
side the covenant, but with special 
emphasis on the thought that the 
Jew's confidence was primarily based 
on the fleshly act of circumcision 
which widened out into confidence 
in privilege and position. The phrase 
also indicates the confidence founded 
on one's own effort to attain right- 
eousness as contrasted with that 
rooted in the consciousness that 
righteousness is only attainable in 
union with Christ and through the 
instrumentality of the Holy Spirit. 

4. St Paul enters here upon his 
spiritual autobiography. The repe- 
tition of the "I" which occurs no 
less than fourteen times in the 
passage shows the strong personal 
element running through it. He 
begins by a description of himself 
as Saul the Pharisee and gives a 
catalogue of the j^rivileges and ad- 
vantages which were the pride and 
glory of the Pharisaic Jew and so 
proves that even from his opponents' 



[hi. 4-6 

point of view, which he assumes 
all through this portion of his de- 
fence, he had a better claim to 
boast than most of them, were he 
so inclined. Cf. 2 Cor. xi. 22 flF. 

5. (1) His 2Jrivileges by birth. 

circumcised on the eighth day., 
and therefore a pure Jew, a member 
of the covenant people by birth, and 
not a proselyte. 

oj the stock of Israel. Cf. Bengel, 
"Born of Rachel, a legitimate wife, 
and not of a handmaid" and there- 
fore of good Israelitish stock. 

of the tribe of Benjamin. Born 
of a tribe of gi'eat renown in the 
national history, of a tribe which 
gave Israel its first King, which 
remained loyal to the royal line of 
David and preserved its original 
strain with remarkable purity. 

a Hebrew of Hebrews, i.e. a 
Hebrew son of Hebrew parents 
and stock. It has been thought 
that this expression refers to the 
fact that his family was free from 
the Hellenistic tendencies which 
operated so powerfully upon the 
Jews of the Diaspora, but Philo, who 
was a Hellenist of the Hellenists, 
is described by Josephus as a 
"Hebrew", which argues against 
this view. 

(2) Hi^ privileges by choice and 

as touching the law, a Pharisee. 
A member of the sect which was 
strictest in maintaining the law and 
whose very existence was bound up 

with the observance of the law in all 
its minutiae. 

6. as touching zeal, persecuting 
the church. In his zeal on behalf of 
the national faith of which they con- 
sidered themselves the pillars and 
guardians he had outdistanced them 
all. In his hatred and persecution 
of the Christian Church he had 
proved himself a very Zealot. Cf. 
Acts xxii. 3-5, xxvi. 9-11, and Rom. 
X. 2, "For I bear them witness 
that they have a zeal for God, but 
not according to knowledge". 

as touching the righteousness 
which is in the law, found blameless. 
The claim to "blamelessness" from a 
Pharisaic point of view was by no 
means uncommon as we learn from 
the story of "the rich yoimg man" in 
St Luke xviii. 21. There was, there- 
fore, nothing unusual or presumptu- 
ous in the Apostle's assertion that 
in his outward conduct there had 
been found neither fault nor failure. 
There is no contradiction between 
his statement here and the descrip- 
tion of his inward struggle in Rom. 
vii. 7-23. It was not the infraction 
of the outward demands of the 
Jewish law in its ethical and cere- 
monial aspects that filled his soul 
with torment, but the sense of sin 
in his innermost being. Neither is 
it inconsistent with 1 Tim. i. 13-14, 
because there he is regarding his 
past in Judaism from the Christian 
and not from the Pharisaic stand- 
point as he is doing here. 


(b) A defence of the Christian position as illustrated by 
his own experience, more especially by his conversion, 
which involved the surrender of his privileges as a son 
of the covenant and the abandonment of the righteous- 
ness which is of the law and made him a recipient of 
the righteousness which is of God by faith, issuing in 
the Itnowledge of Christ and of the power of His resur- 
rection and in the hope of final victory, 7 — 1 1 

7 Howbeit what things were ^gain to me, these have I 

8 counted loss for Christ. Yea verily, and I count all things 
to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ 
Jesus my Lord : for whom I suffered the loss of all things, 

9 and do count them but ^dung, that I may gain Christ, and 
be found in him, ^ not having a righteousness of mine own, 
even that which is of the law, but that which is through 
faith in Christ, the righteousness which is of God *by faith : 

10 that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, 
and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed 

11 unto his death; if by any means I may attain unto the 
resurrection from the dead. 

^ Gr. gains. ^ Or, refuse 

* Or, not having as my righteousness that which is of the law 

■* Gr. upon. 

But all that I used to regard as privileges of great value in my old life 
I have now learnt to consider as positive disadrantages in view of my 
relation to Christ. Aye, and farther, I came to regard not only the 
privileges I enjoyed as a Jew hut all I possessed in the world as a dead 
weight to be rid of compared with the inestimable blessings I gained when 
I came to know Christ ; for I abandoned my all for His sake and learnt to 
regard it as mere refuse, if by the transaction I might gain Christ and be 
completely identified with Him and be His at the last day, clothed no 
longer with a righteousness based upon the performance of duties imposed 
upon me by the law but with a, righteousness which is the very gift of God 
and the reward of faith, attainable only through faith in Christ. The 
righteousness that I speak of consists in knowing Christ through and 
through and in experiencing in myself the power of His resurrection, and 
in being so closely identified with Him that I share in His sufferings and 
death, so that I may perhaps reach the very crown of my hope and desire, 
" the resurrection from, the dead ", when I shall have complete and unbroken 
fellowship with Him. 




[ill. 7-8 

7. what things were gain to me. 
All that was held in high esteem 
from the Pharisaic standpoint, and, 
therefore, the whole series of Jewish 
privileges enumerated in the pre- 
ceding verses. 

have I counted. The Greek tense 
here indicates an action performed 
at a definite point of time, which 
must, therefore, be identified with 
the Apostle's conversion, when he 
once and for all abandoned the 
Pharisaic position. 

loss. Tlie word signifies that the 
much-vaunted Pharisaic preroga- 
tives were not only worthless but 
that thej' were positively ruinous, 
because they were based upon ut- 
terly wrong principles and turned 
the eye of the soul in the wrong 
direction in its search for righteous- 

for Christ, " in order that I may 
gain Christ " or " in comparison with 
what I found in Christ when I came 
to know Him ". 

8. The picture iu the Apostle's 
miud is that of a man with a pile of 
treasure in front of him — gold, jewels 
— who refuses it and will have no- 
thing to do with it and actually 
spurns it and tran)ples it under foot 
as too contemi^tible to be thought 
of if he may only gain Christ and be 
found in Him (Sanday, E.cpusitoyy 
Times, XIV. p. 487). 

/ count. The tense here carries 
with it the sense of a process not 
only begun at a definite moment but 
continued all through the Apostle's 
Christian life. 

all things. The act of surrender 
is now extended so as to include not 
only the "gains" of the preceding 
verso, but every earthly advantage 
and privilege ; comfort, friends, family 
associations, all that the world held 
dear to him before he " took up his 

cross" and became a follower of Jesus 

for the excellency of the knowledge 
of Christ Jesus my Lard. The 
idea is that of a business trans- 
action, exchanging what was worth- 
less and ruinous for what wiis a 
treasure of surpassing worth ("the 
excellency of"). 

the knowledge of Christ Jesus my 
Lord. "To know" signifies for St 
Paul the whole of his Christian ex- 
perience. It reaches far beyond 
mere intellectual knowledge, in- 
cludes faith, service, and sacrifice, 
and is analogous to the familiar 
PauUne phrase "to be in Christ". 
It is the mystical knowledge by 
means of which he becomes one 
with Christ, so that his whole life 
is lived in Christ and he has no 
consciousness of being, apart from 
Christ. It is a knowledge that is 
constantly developing as the inti- 
macy with the Master becomes 
closer luitil it reaches its culmina- 
tion when " he shall know even as he 
is known ". Such knowledge, there- 
fore, constitutes the whole secret of 
the Christian life. 

Christ Jesus my Lord. The full 
title and the use of the personal 
pronoun emphasise St Paul's claim 
that in his oicn experience he had 
learnt to know Christ in the full 
significance of His Being. His 
knowledge was no longer confined 
to the exalted Christ whom he had 
seen on the road to Damascus, but 
included all that the life, teaching, 
and suffei-ings of the Jesus who had 
walked on earth meant in the pur- 
pose of God for the redemption of 

for whom I suffered the loss of 
all things. The threefold emphasis 
upon the Apostle's renunciation, 
twice iu this verse and once in the 

III. 8-10] 



preceding verse, reminds us of ii. 
7, 8, where the self-abnegation of 
Christ is described stage by stage 
as well as in its absolute complete- 
ness. Ramsay {St Paul the Traveller, 
p. 310) suggests that St Paul had 
been disowned by his family on 
becoming a Christian and reduced 
from a position of Avealth and in- 
fluence in his nation to poverty and 
contempt. This would give a deeper 
force to the words here. 

that I may gain Christ. Not 
"win" a prize as in the A.V. but 
"gain" a profit. 

9. andbe found in him. MofTatt 
has an interesting note in Exjwsi- 
tory Times, xxiv. p. 46 on the ana- 
logous use of this phrase and idea in 
Epictetus, Diss. 3rd Book, chap. v. 
where the great Stoic teacher says, 
" What would you like to be doing 
when you are ovei'taken (by death) ? 
For my part may I be overtaken 
when I am attending to nothing else 
than to my own will, seeking to 
be imperturbable, unhindered, un- 
compelled, free. I want to he, found 
practising this so that I may be able 
to say to God ' I have been ill when 
it was Thy will, so have others, but 
I was willing it should be so, I 
became poor at Thy will but I re- 
joiced in it.... Now it is Thy will 
that I depart from the assembly of 
all men ; I go, giving all thanks to 
Thee that Thou hast counted me to 
be worthy to join in this assembly 
of Thine and to behold Thy works 
and to follow Thy governing provi- 
dence'. May death overtake me 
when I am thinking of this, when 
I am writing, reading, about this". 
MoiSatt sees a very striking resemb- 
lance in this passage to Phil. iv. 10- 
18 and suggests that St Paul uses 
the phrase "to be found" in the same 
sense as Epictetus does, viz. " to be 

found when surprised by death". 
While we mayagree that this thought 
was in the Apostle's mind and that 
he regarded "being found in Christ" 
as the very crown of his Christian 
life it is doubtful whether he confines 
his "being found" to the final act 
and consummation. The "gaining 
Christ" and the "being found in 
Christ" are obvious parallels, and 
the general trend of the passage is 
in favour of the idea that he has in 
mind his Christian course as a whole, 
from the day when he came " to know 
Christ" to that day when Christ's 
work in him shall be consummated 
in final union with Himself. 

righteousness. The Apostle uses 
this term here in its widest sense as 
including not only the idea of right 
relation to God but also that of 
" right living", the life lived in Christ 
according to the will of God through 
the power of the Holy Spirit. He be- 
gins by describing the righteousness 
which he claims to have iJossessed 
from the Pharisaic standpoint. Ac- 
cording to the strictest Jewish view 
he already stood in the right relation 
to God as a member of the covenant 
people, and his careful observance 
of the law and its demands pro- 
claimed him "righteous" in actual 

through faith in Clirist,. . .of God 
hy faith. The righteousness of the 
Christian is primarily the gift of God 
and not the result of any efi"ort of 
his own, and is conditioned only by 
the exercise of faith, faith in Christ 
and in the redeeming power of His 
grace and love and not by any 
dependence upon law and its obser- 

10. that T m,ay knoic him. This 
is the completion of the process, the 
first stage of which is marked in v. 8. 
His Christian life opened with the 



[ill. 10-11 

recognition of the crucified and risen 
Jesus as his Lord, it will reach its 
couii^lete fruition only when that 
knowledge is perfected, when he 
mil know Christ as fully as God 
knows him and when his whole being 
becomes Christ's through His power 
working within him. 

and thepnicer of his resurrection. 
The Apostle goes on to explain what 
the knowledge of Christ consists in. 
It is to know and realise in himself 
"the power of His resurrection". 
His own deepest spiritual experi- 
ences must correspond with the vital 
facts in Christ's scheme of redemp- 
tion. He must die to sin and be 
raised to newness of life, and the 
power that raised Jesus from the 
dead must be the power to raise him 
from spiritual death to a new and 
abiding life, in and through the 
isen and exalted Christ. 

and the fellowship of his suffer- 
ings. In the world of fiict the 
order found here should be reversed 
because Christ suffered and died 
before He rose again, but in St 
Paul's own experience it was the 
resurrection that was the funda- 
mental event, the starting point of 
his life in Christ. It was the vision 
of the risen and living Christ that 
cut short his career of persecution, 
convinced him that '■ he was kicking 
against the pricks", and turned his 
face in the right direction. It was 
only after much meditation and 
reflection that he realised the signifi- 
cance of the death of Christ and 
learnt that he too had to die like 
his Master :ind "to knoAv the fellow- 
ship of His suff'erings " if he was to 
share in the power of His risen life. 
It is important to note that all 
through this verse the Apostle is 
moving in the plane of the spiritual 
and that it is the experience of the 

Christian in the light of the Cross 
that he has in mind ; the death to 
sin and the assurance that, because 
he had shared with Christ at this 
point, he will share with Him all 
through, in the risen life and in the 
final exaltation. The passage has 
been interpreted otherwise as if it 
referred to St Paul's bodily suflfer- 
ings on behalf of Christ and the 
language has been compared with 
Col. i. 24, "filling up on ray part that 
which was lacking of the afliiction 
of Christ in my flesh". The next 
clause "becoming conformed unto 
His death" has also been explained 
as referring to the climax of the 
Apostle's su8"erings, " dying as He 
died", literally. There may be in- 
volved in the passage the thought 
of bodily suffei'ing, but its whole tone 
and its language when compared 
with that of the Apostle elsewhere 
show that primarily the Apostle is 
thinking of the spiritual process in 
his own heart and in that of every 
sincere Christian. The whole process 
is conceived as arising from the union 
of the Christian mth Christ, which 
involved a mystical sharing in all 
Christ's experiences. 

becoming conformed tinto his 
death. Cf. Rom. vi. o. This clause 
carries on and defines the reference 
in the preceding sentence. The fel- 
lowship in Christ's suff'erings means 
dying with Christ, and the use of 
the present participle implies that 
the djing is a continuous process 
which only ends when physical death 
supervenes and closes the struggle 
with sin. 

11. In this and the following 
verses the Apostle seems to take up 
a position which appears to con- 
tradict the statement concerning 
himself in the passage we have been 
considering. In v. 9 he describes 


himself as having gained the right- of God in Christ Jesus, if the joixmey 

eousness of God, whereas here and is to be safely accomplished and the 

in the three following verses he final goal reached, 
implies that he has not attained the resurrection from the dead. 

righteousness and that the crown is This is the consummation of the 

still in front. He has yet before whole process of redemption out- 

him a hard and difficult journey lined in vv. 9, 10. The apparent 

before the prize is finally won. But distrust here is not distrust of the 

the two statements are not really power of Christ, but the distrust 

contradictory. His first statement inspired by the humility which comes 

sets forth God's ideal and loving from the consciousness of his own 

purpose and aim for all who are in weakness as he faces the supreme 

Christ, the second emphasises the heights to be scaled. This particular 

dangers and difficulties of the course, form of the phrase, " the resurrection 

the need for constant watching and which is from the dead " shows that 

prayer, the jjerils arising from false the Apostle has in view here the 

confidence, and the necessity of con- resurrection of the righteous only, 
tinual dependence upon the grace 

(ii) A protest against the 'spiritual" party iti Philippi, 
which was divided into two sections, 12—21 

{a) Those who claimed that they tcere pei-fect, 12 — 16. 
The lesson is pressed home by an appeal to his oivn 
strivings atid gt^adual progress in Christ. 

12 Not that I have ah-eady obtained, or am already made 
perfect: but 1 press on, if so be that I may ^apprehend 
that for which also I was apprehended by Christ Jesus. 

13 Brethren, I count not myself -yet to have apprehended: 
but one thing / do, forgetting the things which are behind, 
and stretching forward to the things which are before, 

14 I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the ^high 

15 calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many 
as be perfect, be thus minded : and if in anything ye are 
otherwise minded, even this shall God reveal unto you: 

16 only, whereunto we have already attained, by that same 
rule let us walk. 

^ Or, apprehend, seeing that also I icas apprehended 

^ Many ancient authorities omit yet. ■* Or, upward 

And you m,ust not misunderstand me here. I make no claim, as some 
among you seem, to do, to have reached tlie goal or to have attained to all 



[ill. 12-13 

that is incolved in {/aitiing and knowing Christ. I am still only a com- 
petitor in the arena, I am uti/l running my race and pressing eagerly 
towards the winning post, hoping that one day I may graap tJie victor's 
prize which was Christ's very purpose for me when He laid hold of me. 
Let me warn those among you who are filled with spiritual pride and 
assurance that I do not reckon the prize to he mine yet. My one con- 
suming thought is not to be discouraged by my failures in the past or to 
be orer-elated by my .niccesses but, like the wise runner, to keep my eyes 
fixed on the goal and with every nerm strained to the uttermost to reach 
the end and to tcin the prize, which is that calling of God which bids me 
njjwardand shall lead me to the heights of blessedness because lam Christ's 
and He is mine. And ecen thoivgh there be among us those who deem 
themselces to hace gained the prize of perfection in Christ yet eeen for 
them it is well to cherish the principle of humility and distrust of self. 
And if there is a difference of opinion between us with regard to this 
question of perfection God will in His time set you right on the point. 
The one tiling essential for all is that we should keep the course that leads 
straight to the goal. 

12. The Apostle at this point 
turns away from the Jews who were 
harrying him at Rome and fixes 
his attention \\\yo\\ a section of the 
Philippian Church which was in its 
tendencies identical with the party 
in the Church of CorinLh which arro- 
gated to itself the title of "spiritual", 
was filled with overweening j^iide, 
and claimed spiritual perfection. 
Cf. 1 Cor. iii., iv. He counters the 
views of the "perfectionists" by an 
appeal to his own example and to 
his experience of the gradual and 
difficult progi-ess of the Christian to- 
wards the final goal, and so explains 
the hesitation expressed with regard 
to his own ultimate success in v. 11, 
"if by any means I may attain to the 
resurrection from the dead". 

perfect. See note on i. 6. 

I jyress on. Lit. "I pursue". Cf. 
an extract from a papyrus, "A 
patriarch fleeing into the desert was 
pur.'iued by a lion". A Christian 
amulet of early date is in.scribed 
"Fly hateful .si)int! Christ pursues 
thee", and in both cases the Greek 
is identical with the word here. St 

Paul is pursuing the object which is 
not yet within his gi-asp. 

/ may apprehend that for which 
also 1 was apprehended by Christ 
Jesus. An alternative rendering is 
given in the Margin of the R. V., "see- 
ing that also I was apprehended". 
The two renderings respectively may 
be paraphra.sed as follows : (1) "That 
I may grasp that which was in the 
mind of Christ when He grasped 
me". (2) "That I may grasp it, 
because I have been grasped by 
Christ". The general .sense of the 
passage is much the same in either 
case and both renderings point to 
the fact that the security for final 
attainment rests with Christ. It is 
the purpose of Christ in the Apostle 
that will be accomplished and it is 
the power of Christ granted to him 
at his conversion and continued all 
through his Christian course that 
will crown tliis with triumph. 

13. Brethren. A direct appeal 
to the " spiritual " x^arty at Philippi. 

/ count. This is a character- 
istic Pauline word which is used 
no less than twentv-nino times iu 

in. 13-14] 



the Epistles (without inchiding the 
instances where it occurs in quota- 
tions from the Old Testament) and 
only three times elsewhere in the 
New Testament. It is a metaphor 
from keeping accounts, imjilying a 
setting down on the credit and debit 
side. "The arithmetical factors of 
St Paul's spiritual life were so sure 
that he felt perfectly certain of their 
validity and how far they would take 
him. Whatever he had accomplished 
by means of them thus far he knew 
well that there were still greater 
victories to be won and heights to be 
attained. His sums were not all 
done, "I do not reckon that I have 
grasped" anything. So he pressed 
forward that by the faithful use of 
the same spiritual arithmetic would 
come the same power and blessing 
in the future". (W. H. Griffith 
Thomas, Expository Times, xvii. 
p. 213.) 

but one thing I do. A remarkable 
illustration of the concentration of 
purpose in St Paul which was yet 
compatible with a multitude of other 
interests and did not narrow his 
sympathies or create a self-centred 

forgetting. The Greek word is 
used in the " Mysteries " to signify 
the abandonment of the past on the 
part of the mystic with a view to 
further advance in knowledge and 
consecration, and this would seem 
to be the approximate sense in which 
St Paul employs the term here. 

forgetting the things which are 
behind. The past may discourage 
by its failures or produce over-con- 
fidence by its successes. To dwell 
upon it unduly is, therefore, a source 
of spiritual weakness. The past 
which St Paul is thinking of here 
may be either his old life in Judaism 
or his experiences as a Christian up 

to the present moment. The use of 
the phrase "the things which are 
behind" elsewhere in the New Testa- 
ment as e.g. in St Luke ix. 62, St 
John vi. 66, where the contexts point 
clearly to a relapse into Jewish life 
and practice, favours the former in- 
terpretation, but the Apostle at this 
point is no longer concerned with the 
old Jewish life, which has had no 
place in his thought after v. 9, and 
his whole mind is now bent upon his 
life in Christ. It is the failures and 
successes of his Christian course that 
are not to hinder or hamper him in 
running and completing the race 
that is set before him. The meta- 
phor is taken from the race, the most 
famous of all the competitions in the 
Grecian games, where looking back 
over the shoulder as the end of the 
race drew near was so often fatal to 
victory. Cf. the story of Atalanta. 

stretching forward to the things 
which are before., like the runner in 
the race with head thrown forward 
and body bent towards the goal. 

14. the goal. Originally a mark 
aimed at by an archer. Hence " the 
end in view". 

the prize. The Greek word is 
rarely found in literature but is 
common enough in the papyri where 
it is frequently used to denote the 
prize or reward for successful achieve- 

of the high callincj of God' in 
Christ Jesus. Lit. "the upwai'd call- 
ing of God in Christ Jesus ", explain- 
ing what the prize consists of. Cf. 
Heb. iii. 1, "partakers of a heavenly 
calling". The expression involves 
two ideas. The call is from God in 
heaven, and its motive is to raise men 
up to heaven. 

in Christ Jesus. Cf. Heb. xii. 2, 
" Jesus the author and perfecter of 
our faith ". Col. i. 27, "Christ in you, 



[ill. 14-16 

the hope of glory". It is through 
Christ that the call comes and it is 
in perfect union with Christ that the 
response to the call is made possible. 
15. Let Its ther(^i)7'<', as many as 
be perfect^ he thus minded. This and 
the following verse constitute one 
of the few passages in the Epistle 
that are difficult to interpret. The 
Apostle's meaning is by no means 
easy to determine, and befoi-e we can 
arrive at a clear understanding of 
what he does say we must first of all 
decide upon the sense we attach to 
the word "perfect" in the context. 
If it means here what it obviously de- 
notes in i\ 12, i.e. complete spiritual 
maturity, St Paul can only have used 
the word ironically, because the 
whole point of the discussion in the 
preceding verses is to accentuate the 
fact that neither he nor any other 
Christian has yet arrived at that 
stage of perfection. We should then 
translate " Let those of us who boast 
of our ' perfection ' be thus minded ". 
If, on the other hand, the Apostle is 
speaking in a serious vein the term 
must denote a difi"erent stage of 
growth from tliat contemplated in 
V. 12 and point to a relative perfec- 
tion. In that case the passage would 
be rendered, " Let those of us who 
have left the stage of childhood and 
are full grown men in the faith, but 
have not yet arrived at perfect 
maturity, be thus minded". I fail, 
however, to see any reason for as- 
suming that St Paul used the term 
in two different senses within the 
limits of a passage of this length, and 
the expression in question can be 
interpreted quite satisfactorily by 
giving the word " perfect" its normal 
meaning. St Paul is here speaking 
in the spirit of irony. " Even sup- 
posing some of us are as perfect as 
we claim to be it will do us no harm 

to exercise humiUty and distrust of 
ourselves". His point is not what 
these particular Philippian Chris- 
tians actually are but what they 
claim to be. 

be thus minded, i.e. let them pre- 
serve the frame of mind that he has 
outlined in the preceding passage, 
which involves humility and the con- 
sciousness of the need of never- 
ceasing effort which are the marks of 
his own Christian endeavour. 

and if in anything ye are otlier- 
wise minded: "if we are not in 
complete agreement upon this ques- 
tion of 'perfection', if we differ as 
to the precise stage of spiritual 
development we have reached". 

ecen this shall God rereal unto 
you. " God will in His own good time 
set you right in the matter. He will 
reveal to you exactly where you 
stand". St Paul assumes that they 
are wrong in their view of Christian 
perfection, but maintains that, in any 
case, humility should be the mark of 
the most mature Christian as it was 
of Christ Himself, and promises that 
for the humble-minded God has still 
richer treasures of knowledge in 

16. only., whereunto we hace al- 
ready attained., by that same rule let 
us valk. Lit. " whereunto we have 
attained let us walk in the same". 
The translation in the A.V. "let 
us walk by the same rule, let us 
mind the same thing " wiis based on 
a text which included explanatory 
glosses interpolated from Gal. vi. IG, 
" as many as shall walk by this rule ", 
and Phil. ii. 4, "be of the same 
mind ". The suggestion conveyed in 
the former of the two glosses was 
adopted by the Revisers, but quite 
unnecessarily, as the Apostle's mean- 
ing is clear and complete without the 
intrusion of the extraneous word 

III. 1 6- 1 8] 



"rule". The Greek a-roixe't" means 
" to walk in a straight line '', and in 
view of this we should, therefore, 
translate, " whatever be the stage of 
development we have reached let us 

keep to the line". St Paul has still 
in mind the runner in the race and 
is emphasising the vital necessity of 
keeping to the course if the goal is 
to be reached and the prize won. 

(b) The protest against the " spiritual " parti/ is continued 
but is now directed against another section of it, those 
ivho affected to despise the body and in consequence fell 
into j^agan immorality, 17 — 19 

17 Brethren, be ye imitators together of me, and mark them 

18 which so walk even as ye have us for an ensample. For 
many walk, of whom 1 told you often, and now tell you 
even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of 

19 Christ: whose end is perdition, whose god is the belly, 
and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things. 

/ have warned you against one dangerous tendency which I hear is 
gaining ground among you and I now put you on your guard against a 
still more dangero^is peril which threatens you. As a Christian community 
take me for your example so far as I folloio Christ and pay special heed 
to those who walk in our steps. For there are among you some who hear 
the name of Christ, of whom I have warned you before and do so now 
with tears in my eyes, whose way of life is hostile to the Cross of Christ, 
whose course must end in spiritual ruin. For their only motive is the 
satisfaction of their animal nature and they actually pride themselves on 
their shameful excesses and, though claiming .spiritual prerogatives, all 
that they are really concerned with is of the earth, earthy. 

17. Brethren, he ye imitators to- 
gether (f me. 

together. This may mean either 
united action among themselves, i.e. 
" be united in your imitation of me ", 
or joint action with the Apostle, 
" be imitators along with me in imi- 
tating Christ" (Bengel), cf. 1 Cor. 
xi. 1. 

and mark them, which so walk 
even as ye have us for an ensample. 
The addition of this clause supports 
the former of the two interpretations 
of the preceding sentence and sug- 
gests that the exhortation is to 

united action among themselves. 
"There are some among you who 
already follow my example. Unite 
wnih. them in their imitation of 
me ". 

18. The warning here is couched 
in much more explicit terms than 
that addressed to the other wing of 
the "spiritual" party which was 
prone to spiritual pride and false 
confidence, but was apparently above 
reproach in its moral life. It was 
the antinomian tendency that con- 
stituted the grave and pressing 
danger in the Philippian Church. 



[ill. 18-19 

The " spiritual " party as a whole was 
Gentile in character and this is par- 
ticularly true of the group that is 
condemned in this and the following 
verse, because Jews, with all their 
faults, were renowned for the order 
and decency of their outward con- 
duct. The Gentile Christians, on the 
other hand, were in constant danger 
because of their surroundings and of 
their close contact with heathen im- 
moral life. Of. 2 Cor. vi. 14-18. 

of whom I told you often. The 
eflFort to counteract the tendency of 
the convert from paganism to re- 
lapse into a heathen course of life 
while still professing Christianity was 
an unceasing factor in missionary 
preaching. The Epistles to the Co- 
rinthians witness to the gi'ave diffi- 
culties which St Paul had to face 
from this quarter. 

even tceeping. " The teai's of the 
Apostle have explained him to us. 
The power of his Apostleship was in 
his personal Christianity, and his 
personal Christianity was a Chris- 
tianity of tears. By tears of grief 
he subdued others by gaining their 
sympathy ; by tears of love he gained 
love, and by tears of tenderness he 
persuaded others by the simplicity 
of his GosiJel" (Adolphe Monod, 
Sermon on " The tears of St Paul "), 
cf. Acts XX. 31 : 2 Cor. ii. 4. 

enemies of the cross of Christ. 
The Cross is, in this Epistle, the 
crowning point of our Lord's humilia- 
tion and obedience. For a professing 
Christian to indulge in sins of the 
flesh and to plunge into immorality 
was to wage wai- against all that was 
signified by the Cross and a direct 
denial of our Lord's teaching. "If 
any man will come after me, let him 
deny himself and take up his cross 
and follow me". The fact that the 
Ajwstle in 1 Cor. i. 23, speaks of the 

Cross as an oflFence to the Jews does 
not necessarily imply that it was an 
offence to none but Jews and that, 
in consequence, the Christians ar- 
raigned here must have been Jewish 
Christians. St Paul's incture of the 
outward life of those condemned in 
this passage is a fairly clear indica- 
tion that they were Gentile and not 
Jewish Christians. 

19. end. The word reXo? implies 
more than mere cessation and in- 
cludes the idea of the attainment of a 
goal. Hence we might translate "the 
natural result and the end", cf. Rom. 
vi. 21, "the end^the full out-working 
—of these things is death ". 

perdition. The loss of everything 
that makes Hfe worth living, exclu- 
sion from the Kingdom of God and 
the glorious eternal home of the 
righteous, cf. Rev. xxii. 15. The close 
of an ancient Coptic spell in a magi- 
cal papyrus reads, " give you over to 
blank chaos in utter destruction ". 

whose god i.s the belly. A general 
term implying grossness and sen- 
suality and involving a view of life 
limited by the body and its basest 

whose glory is in their shame, 
" who pride themselves on those very 
sins of which as Christians they 
should be deeply ashamed". For a 
similar thought with reference to 
pagan life, cf. Rom. i. 32. 

irho mind earthly thiugx. An 
allusion to the doctrine held by the 
so-called "spiritual" as to the in- 
difference of the body and its uses. 
" Your vaunted spirituality is after 
all but a cloke for sin and your phi- 
losophy is only an excuse for im- 
morality and self-indulgence. With 
all your talk of high thinking and 
your assumption of superiority your 
mind is es.sentially concerned with 
things of earth and vour soul seldom 


rises above it ". We have here per- contempt and led to asceticism on 
haps early traces of the Gnostic doc- the one hand and tograve libertinism 
trine which viewed the body with on the other. 

(c) The incompatibility of this sensual life icith the position 
of Christians as a colony of heaven, ivhose Saviour is 
in heaven, and icith the future glory mvaiting the body, 

20 For our ^citizenship is in heaven; from whence also we 

21 wait for a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall 
fashion anew the body of our humiliation, that it may 
be conformed to the body of his glory, according to the 
working whereby he is able even to subject all things unto 

1 Or, commonwealth 

For ice Christians must hear in mind that tee are now only a colony 
and that heacen is our mother-State, and that from, this far land of ours 
we look to heaven for the coming of a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who 
shall change and make aneio this hody of ours that is now subject to weak- 
ness, decay, and death and make it like the hody that He wears in glory, 
through the working of the Divine power that is His, whereby all things 
are made to acknowledge His supremacy. 

20. For, either in contrast to ment from a mother city whose 

" mind earthly things " or, better, as organisation it copied, and this would 

a protest against the whole concep- seem to give the best meaning here 

tion of the Christian life delineated (cf Souter, s.v,). See Moffatt's trans- 

in the preceding paragraph. lation, " We are a colony of heaven", 

is, "is in its essence". The Greek a rendering which suggests the tran- 

word is the same as that in ii. 6, sitoriness of our sojourn on earth, 

" being in the form of God " and the glory of the State to which we 

denotes that the " citizenship " is the belong, and our enjoyment of the 

possession of the Christian now and privileges which are inherent in our 

not something that is to be his in mother-State, as well as the momen- 

the world beyond. tous duties and responsibilities which 

citizenship. The original means are incumbent upon those who are 

strictly " what one does as a citizen" its citizens. This sense of the term 

from which it came to have the would make a special appeal to the 

meaning of constitution, citizenship, Philippians whose proudest boast 

and franchise and in process of time was that they were Romans and 

was used to indicate the state or whose city was in some of its most 

commonwealth. It is used occa- notable features a miniature of 

sionally to denote a colony or settle- Rome, cf Acts xvi. 21. 



[ill. ao— 21 

from whence. The reference is 
not to "heaven" as would appear 
from the R.V., but to the "colony". 
The Saviour is expected to come 
from heaven, but the hope and expec- 
tation of His coming are cherished 
in the colony on earth. 

we wait. The original is a rare 
Greek word which means " we await 
eagerly" and is possibly a word 
manufactured by St Paul himself. It 
is used in the apocryphal "Acts of 
Paul" in the sense of "waiting for" 
and is found in the New Testament, 
outside the Pauline Epistles, in Heb. 
ix. 28, 1 St Peter iii. 20, where in 
both instances it has probably been 
borrowed from St Paul. 

Saviour. This is a word which 
constantly occurs in the LXX as the 
translation of a term closely asso- 
ciated with God, cf Isaiah xlv. 21, 
" a just God and a Saviour ". It also 
occupied an important place in 
Greek religion. Zeus, Apollo, Ascle- 
pius, Hermes, were all worshipped 
under the title of " Saviour ". It 
was afterwards applied to heroic 
men and particularly to the suc- 
cessors of Alexander, Ptolemies and 
Seleucids. Finally it was again and 
again ascribed to the Emperor 
Augustus, cf an inscription in the 
island of Philae, where Augustus 
is spoken of as "He who arose a 
Saviour, Zeus most mighty". The 
designation emphasised the clemency 
and grace of the Emperor, qualities 
which were peculiarly valued by sub- 
jects in the Roman Provinces. The 
"Saviour" in this sense was the 
helper in time of need, the bringer of 
deliverance. Hadrian is also called 
in an inscription (Dittenberg, Syll. 
383) "the Saviour who rescued and 
nurtured his own Hellas". The lan- 
guage of the New Testament in such 
passages as St John iv. 12, "the 

Saviour of the world", and 2 Tim. 
i. 10, " the appearing of our Sa\iour 
Jesus Christ " suggests a more or less 
conscious adoption of language and 
ideas from the Imperial cult, on 
the part of Christian wTiters. The 
combination of "citizenship" and 
"Saviour" in this verse also seems 
to point to an analogous influence. 
The supreme test of loyalty for citi- 
zens of the Empire was adherence 
to the worship of the Imperial ruler 
who was Lord, Saviour, and God. 
The Christian commonwealth also 
had its Lord and Saviour, but they 
both in reality belong to the unseen 
world. (See H. A. A. Kennedy in 
Expositor., VI. vii. p. 300, to whom 
I am indebted for this note.) 

The position of " Saviour " in the 
sentence is emphatic. "A Saviour 
it is that we look for, even our Lord 
Jesus Christ". 

the Lord Jesus Christ. The full 
title signifies the coming of our Lord 
in the plenitude of His power and 
glory and points, therefore, to His 
second coming. 

21. who shall fashio?i anew the 
body of our humiliation. St Paul 
has no sympathy with those who take 
the low view of the body and its func- 
tions that was characteristic of the 
Stoic and other philosophies. It is 
always regarded by him with rever- 
ence, it is "the temple of the Holy 
Ghost " and is to share fully in the 
redemption through Christ. It is a 
" body of humiliation " because while 
on earth it is subject to weakness, 
suffering, and death. This mortal 
is, however, to put on immortality 
and the weakness of the body of 
humiliation is to be transformed into 
the power and glory of the "spiritual 
body' while still retaining its j)er- 
sonal identity and sense of individu- 
ality, cf 1 Cor. XV. 

in. 2i] 



fashion anew, coT{formed. It is 
significant that in these two com- 
pound verbs there should be found 
the nouns "fashion" and "form" 
which the Apostle had already used 
in ii. 6, 7. There he applies them to 
Christ Himself, here they are used of 
the human body. 

humiliation, glory. Equally sig- 
nificant is the use here of the very 
terms which St Paul employed with 
reference to the humiliation and 
exaltation of Christ. The human 
body which has shared in the humili- 
ation of Christ is also to be partaker 
of His glory. 

the working. The word is used 

in the New Testament only of the 
superhuman power of God or the 
devil. It is used of the power of 
God in Ephes. i. 19, iii. 7, iv. 16, 
Col. ii. 12, and of the power of Satan 
in 2 Thess. ii. 9. It involves the 
thought of "efficiency arising from 
power ". Cf 1 Cor. xv. 26 f , where 
the subjection of the world-power is 
to usher in the glory of Christ. 

unto himself. The aim and end 
of our redemption, body and soul, is 
the service and glory of Christ. It 
is the outcome of His will and its 
final purpose is the full accomplish- 
ment of that gracious will. 


VII. (a) The Apostle now takes up the main thread of the 
letter which had been ahruptly broken off at iii. 1 a and 
once again impresses upon the Philijypiatis the need of 
steadfastness and unity, mentioning in p>articular tivo 
women, Euodia and Syntyche, who were probably the 
source of the disunion which troubled the Church, 1 — 3 

IV. 1 Wherefore, my brethren beloved and longed for, 
my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my beloved. 

2 I exhort Euodia, and I exhort Syntyche, to be of the 

3 same mind in the Lord. Yea, I beseech thee also, true 
yokefellow, help these women, for they laboured with me 
in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow- 
workers, whose names are in the book of life. 

And now let me once again revert to the subject I was discussing when 
I was interrupted and make a final appeal to you to stand firm and 
steadfast in the faith with Christ as your strength and stay, for you are 
my brethren whom, I love and long to see, my joy and pledge of victory. 
I beseech Euodia and I beseech Syntyche to compose their differences in the 
spirit of the Lord, and I entreat thee also, my true comrade, to take a hand 
in making peace between these women, for they ought to be helped seeing 



[IV. 1-3 

that they contended at mij side on behalf of the Onspel, as did Clement 
and many another helper of mine, whose names are written in the book 
of life. 

1. Wherefore. The connection 
here is not with what immediately 
precedes, because at this point the 
Apostle seems to lose sight of the 
particular section whose tendencies 
he has just condemned and is now 
concerned with the Church as a 
whole. The "wherefore'' then looks 
back to the earlier part of the Epistle 
where he has been inculcating the 
need of steadfastness and unity. 

m,y brethren beloved and longed 
for. An impressive expression of 
the Apostle's sense of loss caused by 
his enforced separation from them. 
One of his severest trials as a prisoner 
was that his bonds prevented his 
free movement among the Churches. 
Because they were his "beloved" 
they were "missed" by him. For 
"longed for" cf. i. 8, 26 : Rom. i. 11, 
XV. 23. 

my joy and crown. A favourite 
expression with St Paul. Cf. 1 Thess. 
ii. 19, 20, which enables us to realise 
the exact thought in the Apostle's 
mind here, for the reference in the 
verse quoted is definitely to our 
Lord's second coming. It, therefore, 
completes the idea contained in ii. 
16, "that I did not run in vain neither 
labour in vain". The Churches that 
he founded and built up in Christ are 
to be the proof and reward of his 
labour in that day when Christ shall 
test every man's work. 

crown. The wreath worn by the 
victor in the games and not the 
diadem of the monarch. 

so stand fant in the Lord. This 
looks back to i. 27. See note on that 

2. / exhort Eiiodia, and I exhort 
Si/ntyche. These were two women 

who played a prominent part in 
Church life in PhiHppi. (See Int. 
p. XX for the position of women in 
Macedonia.) The presence of "ex- 
hort" before each name emphasises 
the Apostle's personal appeal to 
them. The jealousies and ambitions 
of women were one of the main 
sources of dissension and weakness 
in the Church and to some extent 
explain St Paul's repeated exhorta- 
tions to unity in the Epistle. Ramsay 
{Ex2V>sitor, VI. x, p. 45) is of opinion 
that one of the women was identical 
with Lydia, this being only her 
secondary name pointing to her native 
country and being equivalent to 
"the Lydian", and that the primary 
name was Euodia or Syntyche. The 
secondary name was frequently used 
in ordinary practice as the more 
familiar designation, just as the 
shorter name was often used for 
the longer as in the case of Silas 
for Silvanus, ApoUos for Apollonius, 
and Prisca for Priscilla. Whether 
Lydia is indicated here or not it is 
more than probable that the women 
belonged to the original circle of 
disciples at Philippi, were closely 
connected with Lydia, and had been 
important factors in the develop- 
ment of the life of the Church since 
its foundation. 

to be of the same mind in the 
Lord. The very atmosphere and 
si)irit of Christianity and their own 
union with the Lord ought to have 
placed them above all jealousy and 
ambition in the past, and in the 
future these influences ought to pave 
the way to mutual peace and unity. 

3. true yoke^felluic. The Greek 
o-i'^Dyoy might possibly be a proper 

IV. 3] 



name, Syzyges, but no such name 
has as yet been discovered among 
the abundant literary remains of 
the age. If it is a proper name the 
Apostle plays upon its meaning as 
he does with that of Onesimus in 
Philemon 10, "a true yokefellow, 
as your name implies". It is more 
probably, however, just an ordinary 
noun referring to some well-known 
person either at Philippi or among 
the Apostle's own companions. Many 
suggestions have been offered as to 
the identity of this person, some of 
them interesting and some of them 
grotesque, as e.g. the suggestion that 
the reference is to Lydia who was 
married to St Paul ! A plausible 
solution is that "the true yokefellow" 
was either Epaphroditus who was 
to be the bearer of the letter, or 
Timothy who was actually writing 
the letter and was to visit Philippi 
shortly. The description of the latter 
in ii. 20 as one "who will truly (the 
same word as true yokefellow) cai-e 
for your state " supports the sugges- 
tion that he may be the person in 
question here. If so the appeal was 
an aside on the part of the Apostle, 
"and do you, my good comrade, 
when you get to Philippi help to 
bring about peace between these 
two women", which became incor- 
porated in the letter. (Cf. Bd- 
mmidson, Bampton Lectures, 1913, 
p. 111.) 

If not a companion of St Paul 
he was probably some prominent 
member of the Philippian Church 
the reference to whom would be 
easily recognised by the readers of 
the Epistle but of whom we have no 
knowledge. He might have been 
one of the "bishops" mentioned in 
i. 1. 

AeZjt?="Iend a hand" in reconcil- 
ing these women, or perhaps "help" 

them in the work they are doing for 
the Gospel. 

for they laboured with me. The 
Greek involves the idea of conflict 
and struggle and is, therefore, a 
fitting description of those who had 
been members of the Church from 
its foundation and had shared in the 
Apostle's work and sufl'erings. Cf. 
Moffatt's translation, "they fought 
at my side in the active service of 
the Gospel ". 

with Clement als(\ and the rest of 
my fellow-workers. This sentence 
is to be connected with "laboured 
with me" and not with "help". 
Clement is a name found in a Phi- 
lippian inscription of the period. 
Cf Int. p. xiv. 

the hook of life. This is an ex- 
pression of long standing and is 
found as early as Exodus xxxii. 32. 
It is also used frequently in the 
Psalms. Cf. especially Psalm Ixix. 
28, "Let them be blotted out of 
the book of the living ". In Mai. iii. 
16 the prophet speaks of a "book 
of remembrance" which was "written 
before God for them that found the 
Lord and that thought upon his 
name". In Dan. vii. 10 we read of 
the "books" being opened and again 
in xii. 1 of " every one that shall be 
found written in the book", and a 
similar distinction between "the 
book" and "the books" is found in 
Rev. XX. 12. The "books" were 
apparently a record of the deeds 
of all who were judged whereas the 
"book of life" only included those 
who were destined to eternal salva- 
tion. Cf Rev. xiii. 8, "every one 
whose name hath not been written 
in the book of life of the Lamb". 
The figure was probably borrowed 
originally from civil lists or registei-s 
in which the names of the citi- 
zens were inscribed. Cf. iii. 20. An 


interesting survival of the terra is Tribes in his 'Exposition of the 

mentioned in i\\e Journal of Theo- Offices of the Church' in the fol- 

logical Studies, Vol. xiii. p. 580 f. lowing terms : 'The Book of Life 

"The Book of Life was a form of which is laid upon the altar before 

diptych in the Syriac liturgy of St the consecration of the mysteries 

James which was read in connection shows the commemoration of the 

with the kiss of peace. A copy of saints and their fellowship with 

this ' Liber Vitae' exists in the Christ and that their names have 

Vatican Library. It is described been ^\Titten in the book of life 

by George, Bishop of the Arab which is in heaven '". 

(b) A general exhortation to a spirit of joyfidness, patience, 
considerateness, and trust in God, closing with a bene- 
diction, 4 — 7 

4 ^Rejoice in the Lord alway : again I will say, ^Rejoice. 

5 Let your ^forbearance be known unto all men. The Lord 

6 is at hand. In nothing be anxious ; but in everything by 
prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests 

7 be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which 
passcth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and 
your thoughts in Christ Jesus. 

^ Or, Farewell ^ Or, gentleness 

Now the sum and substance of all that I have written to you is included 
in one pregnaiit 2^hrase, '"'' Rejoice in the Lord'\ a precept that I can 
never too often rejyeat. Let all the world see your considerateness and 
realise that you are not unduly insistent upon your just rights, for the 
day of the Lord is at hand ichen all injustice and inequality shall he 
redressed. Do not let consuming care make your lives a burden to you 
but in all your affairs have recourse to prayer. Live your lives as in the 
presence of God and both by prayer and thanksgiving make all your needs 
known to Him, And the peace of God which can achieve far more than 
any thought or device of yours sfuill guard your souls and keep them safe 
against all dangers, for in Christ you have an impregnable fortress. 

4. R^oice. Souter maintains that difficult to account for. Moreover 

the verb xa'P"'' i" the Imperative the coiTesponding noun "joy" is 

always denotes a "greeting" and that one of the dominant notes of the 

the sense here is, therefore, that of Epistle : it is better, therefore, to 

" farewell ". The somewhat peculiar accept the Revisers' translation. The 

repetition of the injmiction in this thought would then be illustrated 

passage is quite intelligible if we take by Clem. Alex. Paed. i. xx. 3, 4, 

the word in the sense of "rejoice", "the 'new people' are always happy, 

but if it meant "farewell " it is always in the full bloom of thought. 

IV. 4-7] 



always at spring-time", and again in 
Paed. I. xxii. 1, "the Chui-ch is the 
one thing in the world that always 

5. your forbearance. Matthew 
Arnold described this quality as 
the "sweet reasonableness" which 
he found to be so marked a feature 
in the character of Jesus. It is also 
perhaps the most definite character- 
istic of the spirit w^hich animates 
this Epistle as a whole. In Classical 
Greek the word signified equity as 
opposed to strict law, gentleness as 
opposed to contentiousness, and the 
best English equivalent for it is 
possibly "considerateness" or "large- 
heartedness". The word is employed 
by St Paul in 2 Cor. x. 1, where he 
speaks of the "meekness and gentle- 
ness of Christ ", and there is in the 
use of the word in our context an 
unspoken appeal to the spirit of 
Christ who had not insisted on His 
own privileges. Cf ii. 5-8. "Exhibit 
in your omi lives that which was 
such a beautiful trait in the Master's 
character, and do not be too insis- 
tent upon what is perhaps your just 

The Lord is at hand. Cf. 1 Cor. 
xvi. 22, where the original Aramaic 
form of the expression, " Maran-atha ", 
is preserved. This had probably 
come to be a familiar form of 
salutation in the primitive Church, 
and it is significant that while the 
Apostle had to some extent modi- 
fied the eschatological views he 
entertained in his earlier Epistles 
the old phraseology still survives. 
The expression is also connected in 
thought with what precedes, "the 
day of the Lord, the day of rejoicing 
is near at hand. He will adjust 
all your grievances". A rendering 
which gives quite a diff'erent turn 
to the expression is favoured by 

some scholars who interpret "near" 
in a local sense and translate "The 
Lord is near to you, by your side". 
Cf Psalm cxlv. 18, "The Lord is 
nigh unto all that call upon Him". 
This rendering suits the context 
admirably and were it not for the 
fact that the use of the expression 
elsewhere in the New Testament 
and its peculiar ejaculatory fonn 
deinand the eschatological connec- 
tion one might say that the second 
is the preferable of the two trans- 

6. In nothing he anxious. "Be 
care-ful for nothing" in the old 
sense of the word "care-ful". Con- 
siderateness towards others and a 
joyous, confident view of life shoiild 
be the normal characteristics of the 
Christian. Cf Sermon on the Mount, 
to which there may be a conscious 

hut in everijthing = in all the 
details and trials of life, great and 

prayer and supplication with 
thanksgiving. These are three in- 
variable components of St Paul's 
own prayers as we saw in i. 3-11. 
Cf. also 1 Tim. ii. 1. 

prayer is the atmosphere and 
spirit of prayer, the realising of 
God's presence. 

supplication is the spirit of prayer 
in action. 

requests ai'e the actual favours 
which are asked of God in prayer. 

unto God signifies the direction 
of the prayer as well as the need of 
the consciousness of God's presence 
and of His readiness to hear when 
we pray. 

7. the peace of God. Cf. i. 2 : 
iv. 9. This is the answer to the 
prayer, the peace which comes from 
God and calms all the inward 
tumults of the soul by removing all 




[IV. 7 

traces of self-assertion and carking 

which passeth all understanding. 
This may mean cither (1) "surpass- 
ing every thought", i.e. "achieving 
infinitely more than any care or 
thought of your own can accomp- 
lish", or (2) " surpassing your wildest 
dreams". The first is better because 
it brings into marked contrast what 
God's peace and man's thought can 
accomplish and, therefore, carries on 
the idea contained in the exhorta- 
tion "in nothing be anxious". It 
also gives a more coiTect rendering 
of the Greek which represents the 
"faculty of thought" rather than 
the action of the faculty. Cf Ephes. 
lii. 19. 

guard. The original means "to 
garrison" and the figure is that of 
a garrison in a citadel keeping watch 
over a city. In all Hellenistic cities 

this body had a twofold duty to per- 
form, to keep peace within the city 
itself and to protect it against attacks 
from outside. So the peace of God 
guards the soul against the attacks 
of temptation from outside and keeps 
order among the discordant elements 
within the soul itself There is an 
intentional contrast between the two 
words — peace and guard. Peace 
will be the truest sentry in the 
spiritual war. 

your hearts and your thoughts. 
The whole inner being of the Chris- 
tian, his emotions, his affections, his 
will, and his thoughts are the objects 
of God's constant care and protec- 

in Christ Jesus. " He is the 
citadel, a fortress of rest and holi- 
ness ; the peace of God is the 
sentinel". (Moule.) 

(c) An appeal to the Philippians to study and value all 
that is beautiful and admirable in pagan morality, and 
to practise all that is estijnable in his oum Christian 
life, 8—9 

8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatso- 
ever things are honourable, whatsoever things are just, 
whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, 
whatsoever things are ^of good report; if there be any 
virtue, and if there be any praise, ^think on these things. 

9 The things which ye both learned and received and heard 
and saw in me, these things do : and the God of peace 
shall be with you. 

1 Gr. reverend. 

2 Or, gracious 

3 Gr. take account of. 

Finally, brethren, T would have you take into your calculation all that 
is best and noblest in the pagan life aro2ivd yoxi. Whaterer is true, ichat- 
eeer is admirable, whatever is just, whatever w ;')«<r^, whatever is lovely 
and gracious, whatever of value there is in heathen virtue and whatever 
is worthy of praise in heathen life, these things you are to reckon icith and 

IV. 8] 



appraise. Be not content, hotceeer, tcith this pagan ideal hut let the 
Christian teaching that I gam you and the Christian example that I set 
you he the ruling principles of your daily life and action. Then indeed 
shall the God of peace he with you. 

8. Ou St Paul's appreciation of 
what was beautiful and ethical in 
pagan life see Int. p. Ixxi. 

St Paul wishes the Philippian 
Christians not to imagine that all 
goodness lies within their own circle 
in such a sense as to lead them to 
ignore or despise or fail to admire 
the goodness that lies outside them, 
tlie heathen world and its civic life. 
To the Apostle goodness is good- 
ness, truth is truth, and righteousness 
is righteousness wherever it is found, 
and if they would take account of it 
they would find it a further ground 
for faith in God and belief that all 
things are summed up in Christ. 

true. (1) Truthfulness, the great 
Persian virtue (Herodot. i. 136), 
which will not pretend to what it 
does not really feel. Cf Gen. xlii. 
11, "We be true men". 

(2) Truth of thought, i.e. a recog- 
nition of the facts of human life, 
not simply as they are but as they 
are in the sight of God, in their 
ideal : the laying hold of the prin- 
ciples that explain and unify them. 
This was the great object of Greek 
thought, and St Paul was probably 
thinking of the truths he had learnt 
from Stoicism which had been vital- 
ised for him by his conversion. 

Jionourahle. In the A.V. "honest". 
Margin "venerable". In the R.V. 
"honourable". Margin "reverend". 
A better rendering than any of 
these perhaps would be "august", 
"majestic", "dignified". To the 
Philippians and to the Apostle 
himself the word would be primarily 
associated with the Greek gods and 
goddesses, especially with the 2f/xi/ai 

Qea'i, the witnesses to the reality of 
conscience and sin and its penalties. 
The word would also remind them 
of the temples of the gods, the 
heathen mysteries, and indeed of all 
heathen religions, which even at 
their lowest represent men's awe 
before the dreadful gods and at 
their best represent the belief that 
God is worthy to receive the best, 
the richest, the grandest gifts that 
we can oft'er Him. 

It is also used of human character, 
and this is the case always in the 
New Testament where it is confined 
to the Pastoral Epistles. Cf. Titus 
ii. 2, 7 : 1 Tim. iii. 8. Here it would 
represent the "gravitas", the noble 
seriousness of the best Roman type. 

just, i.e. right in the relation of 
man to man. 

To St Paul and his converts the 
term would represent all that they 
connected with the Roman govern- 
ment, the whole fabric of law and of 
the law-courts, the magistrate as the 
minister of God to punish and to 
reward, as well as the commercial 
system of the Empire. The occur- 
rence of the word here illustrates the 
Apostle's appreciation of what was 
the best and noblest characteristic 
of the Roman people and of its 
most valuable contribution to a later 
world, its splendid conception of 
law and its strong sense of justice, 
the value of which he himself had 
experienced more than once in his 
stormy career. 

pure, in the sense of stainless and 
free from defilement. The reference 
may be first of all to the cei'emonial 
purity among he Jews who met for 



[IV. 8 

M'orship and prayer by tlie river, 
which was a witness to God's holiness. 
Then again dyvrj was the special 
epithet of Artemis, the Virgin-God- 
dess, and was used in this connection 
to denote those whose lives were 
consecrated to religion. Further 
there would be associated with the 
word the thought of domestic purity 
which in the best Roman life reached 
a higli standard, as we find from in- 
sci-iptions and from Pliny's letters. 
Lastly perhajjs it rcjiresented the 
real purity of thought essential in 
those approaching a temple. An 
inscription over a temple of Aescu- 
lajiius reads : 
"Pure must they be who pass this 

fragrant shrine within, 
And pure alone are they whose thoughts 
are free from sin". 

lovely, of good report. The Greek 
words here are both ambiguous, but 
both give the tenderer side of life 
on its attractive side, in relation 
between man and mm rather than 
in relation to God. 

lovely is so translated in the A. 
and R.V.'s but it certainly includes 
the idea of "friendly" : all that there 
is of friendliness in the world. To 
St Paul the word would revive 
pleasant memories of the kindness 
and friendliness of the gaoler at 
Philippi and of the barbarians of 
Malta. It is the recognition of 
brotherhood and of the call to ser- 
vice wliere there is need, and the 
instinct of trust which is a child's 
attitude to anyone : it is all that we 
mean by courtesy, graciousness. If 
"lovely" is the right meaning the 
word opens out a wealth of imagina- 
tion, the beauty of nature calling 
upward to the thought of God's 
beauty : the beauty of art in its 
effort to reproduce and surpass the 
beauty of nature : human beauty on 

its deepest side, the beauty of a noble 

of good report. So translated in 
both the A. and R.V.'s and perhaps 
rightly. If so the phrase is akin to 
"if there be any praise" later on in 
the verse. But the word is more 
probably active in sense, i.e. "well 
speaking" rather than "well-spoken 
of", "gracious" as in the Margin of 
the R.V. and, therefore, closely 
associated with the previous word 
"lovely", although it points rather 
to words than to deeds. The word 
would recall to St Paul (1) The 
language of religious reverence, the 
awed silence in the heathen temples, 
the tribute of the anima naturaliter 
Christiana to the awful dread pre- 
sence of God. (2) The language of 
" euphemism " ; the kindly desire to 
speak gently of the WTong doings 
of others, the utterance of the charity 
which covers all things. (3) Perhaps 
the beauty of poetry and music : the 
poet's desire to express things at 
their best, \ai\\ its tribute to the 
spiritual aspect of things; the mu- 
sician's eflFort to express the mani- 
fold feelings stirred by the deepest 

if there be any virtue, and if 
there be any praise. These are 
comprehensive phrases but too 
general to dwell upon in detail. 

if there he any cirtue, "wherever 
you see any of the four great cardinal 
virtues of Plato or any of the virtues 
of Aristotle's Ethics", or more widely, 
" whatever excellence there is, there 
is a tribute to man's striving after 
perfection and to the spirit's control 
of the body". 

// there be any praise. Whether 
it be the magistrates' praise of well 
doing or the state's decree in recog- 
nition of civic merit or even the 
praise awarded to the victor in the 

IV. 8-9] 



games, there is a tribute to man's 
glad recognition of excellence and 
to his delight in it, to the value of 
human judgment. 

think on these things, "think 
these thoughts, draw them into your 
mind as a preparation for action " or 
"think about these things, reckon 
^vith them, take account of them 
in your doctrine". Either exegesis 
implies a filling and a purifying of 
the mind. The value of thinking 
consists in the fact that it enlarges 
the sense of the working of God's 
spirit in the world and gives a deeper 
sense of the naturalness of religion. 
In St Paul's mind this should lead up 
to corresponding action, for he passes 
at once to a definite command : "the 
things which ye both learned and 
received and heard and saw in me, 
these tuings do". 

The whole paragi-aph is a noble 
illustration of iSt Paul's sensitiveness 
to the higher aspirations of those 
whom he strove to win for the faith 
which to him represented an im- 
measurably higher standard of life. 
There is not in the whole literature 
of Greece a more sympathetic picture 
of pagan ideals than those which 
St Paul sets before the Philippian 
Christians. It is the Hellenist that 
is speaking here, the man who had 
learnt amidst the surroundings of 
his early life and education to admire 
Greek culture and all that was 
beautiful in Greek life. And yet all 
through we recognise the restraint 
which he exercised in view of the 
Hebraist and the Christian in him. 
He had known too well the dark 
side of pagan life to be absolutely 
whole-hearted in his admiration of it. 

9. It is not easy to decide whether 
the Apostle has still in mind the 
qualitieslie commends in the previous 
verse when he speaks of "the things 

which ye both learned and received 
and heard and saw in me" or whether 
he has now passed on to consider 
specific Christian virtues. The con- 
trast between "these things do" and 
"think on these things" of v. 8 seems 
to point to a different category of 
virtues here. The pagan qualities 
are to be taken into account, weighed 
and valued, and then, if proved 
worthy, are to become factors in 
their daily lives, but the definite 
Christian graces, love, joy, peace, 
longsuftering, or even these same 
pagan qualities passed through the 
crucible of Christ as they saw them 
exemplified in the Apostle himself, 
required no weighing in the balance : 
their value was self-evident, and it 
only remained to put them into 

which ye both learned... and saw 
in me. We note here the boldness 
of the Apostle's appeal to his own 
example^ cf iii. 17, 1 Cor. xi. 1, "Be 
ye imitators of me even as I am of 
Christ". We might have expected 
him to appeal directly to the example 
of Christ and yet his appeal is justi- 
fied by two thoughts. (1) We have 
to be believed in by others (cf 1 Tim. 
iv. 12), because those whom we strive 
to influence have to begin ^\'ith our- 
selves, though we pass them on to 
the source of all goodness in us. 
(2) We have to be ourselves : to come 
to God to find our real self, our best 
self. We learn at once our limita- 
tions and dependence but we leani 
also our strength and our gifts. Cf. 
Gal. ii. 20: 1 Cor. xv. 10. 

and the God of peace shall be with 
you. In V. 7 he had spoken of the 
peace of God which was to calm all 
their anxieties and accomplish all 
that their own thinking and planning 
could not do. Here we have the 
reverse side of the picture. They 


had their work to do, their Christian secure for them the presence and 
life to develop in every direction, the blessing of the God who brings 
but fiiithful effort on their part would peace. 

VIII. An expression of the Apostle's gratitude for 


(«) A recognition of the unfailing goodwill of the Philippian 
Church, coupled with an assertion of his own indepen- 
dence of material conditions because of his comjjlete 
dependence upon the power of Christ within him, 10 — 13 

10 But I ^rejoice in the Lord greatly, tliat now at length 
36 have revived your thought for me; ^wherein ye did 

11 indeed take thought, but ye lacked opportunity. Not 
that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in 

12 whatsoever state I am, therein to be content. I know how 
to be abased, and I know also how to abound : in every- 
thing and in all things have I learned the secret both to 
be filled and to be hungry, both to abound and to be in 

13 want. I can do all things in him that strengtheneth me. 

1 Gr. rejo'ced. 2 Qr, seeing that 

And now before I close my letter I have one pleasing duty to perfm-m. 
It filled my heart with joy to find your care for me blossoming into life 
again. Not indeed that there ever was a tim,e when you ceased to care for 
me. It was not the caring but the opportunity for translating it into 
action that was lacking. But it was not my own personal need that made 
your gift so precious. For I have now learned the lesson of Christia?i inde- 
pendence and contentment. Whether the tide of prosperity is running 
low or tchether it is at the fiood is all one to me: among all the changes 
and chances of life, whether I am fed or hungry, whether I am rich or 
poor, I have penetrated the real secret of living. It consists in the fact that 
I have all p>oiC!er through Christ tcho dwells in me and makes me strong. 

10. revived. A word used of showing your love for nie in a prac- 

flowers blooming again in springtime. tical fashion". 

Cf. Ecclus. xi. 22, "and suddenly He 11. Not that I speak in respect 

maketh His blessing to flourish". of want. "My gi-atitude is not a 

wherein = (1) "with reference to beggar's thanks for charity". (Agar 

the matter I have just mentioned", Beet.) 

or (2), as in the Margin of the R. V., want. A word only used here and 

"seeing that", i.e. "I rejoiced because in St Mark xii. 44, "She of her 

you at length had an opportunity of icant did cast in all that she had", 

IV. II-I2] 



and apparently signifying extreme 

for I have learned. St Paul's 
sense of independence of material 
conditions was not a natural endow- 
ment but a lesson that he had learnt 
with some effort and difficulty. 

in whatsoever state I am. Better, 
"in my present state whatever that 
may entail". The reference is not 
a general one, but has in view the 
Apostle's position at that particular 

to he content. The corresponding 
Greek noun avrdpKeia which denotes 
the sufficiency of one who is inde- 
pendent of external circumstances 
was used by the Stoics to describe 
the dominant disposition of the 
"wise" man. It is used in this sense 
by St Paul in 2 Cor. ix. 8, "having 
all sufficiency in everything". Cf. 
1 Tim. vi. 6. On the difference be- 
tween the Christian and Stoic self- 
sufficiency, cf. Findlay, Christian 
Doctrine and Morals: "The self- 
sufficiency of the Christian is rela- 
tive : an independence of the world 
through dependence upon God. The 
Stoic self-sufficiency pretends to be 
absolute. One is the contentment 
of faith, the other of pride. Cato 
and Paul both stand erect and fear- 
less before a persecuting world : one 
with a look of rigid and defiant scorn, 
the other with a face now lighted up 
with unutterable joy in God, now 
cast down with sorrow and wet with 
tears for God's enemies. The Chris- 
tian martyr and the Stoic suicide are 
the final examples of these two me- 
morable and contemporaneous pro- 
tests against the evils of the world". 

12. / knotc. This is the result 
of the lesson he had learnt. 

to be abased. The Greek word is 
used of the dropping of a river after 
a flood or of the levelling of a height. 

Cf. St Luke iii. 5, "Every mountain 
and hill shall be brought low". The 
meaning attached to the word by 
St Paul is illustrated by 2 Cor. xi. 7, 
" Did I commit a sin in abasing my- 
self that ye might be exalted becaiise 
I preached to you the Gospel of God 
for nought ?" where it has the sense 
of "keeping myself low", perhaps 
with reference to his working as a 
tent-maker but more probably point- 
ing to the comparative poverty which 
was the result of his self-denying- 
action. So it comes to denote any 
form of adversity, a going down into 
reproach, poverty, or sorrow. There 
is in the use of the word here an echo 
of the humiliation of the Master 
which the Apostle has described so 
poignantly in ii. 6. 

to abound. Lit. "to overflow"; 
the very antithesis of the thought 
expressed in "to be abased". 

i7i everything and in all things. 
This phrase involves two ideas, every 
individual circumstance of life, and 
life as a whole. 

have I learned the secret. The 
original, from which our English word 
"niysterj'" is derived, denotes the 
act of initiation into the secrets and 
privileges of the "Mystery Religions" 
of Greece and the East and furnishes 
another instance of the Apostle's 
habit of using terms derived from 
pagan life and religion which were 
familiar to his readers in order to 
illustrate his own ideas. From its 
use in connection with the "Mys- 
teries" the term came to have the 
sense of "to become familiar with" 
which is the meaning here. "I have 
been initiated into, have become 
familiar with, the secret". The past 
participle came eventually to be used 
to denote a baptized Christian, i.e. 
one who had been initiated into the 
Christian Mysteries. 


74 PHILIPPIANS [IV. i.-i.^ 

to hr fifhd. This word originally cumstances in the i)ower with which 

denoted tlie feeding of animals with Christ has endowed him. To him 

grass from which it came to have the there belongs now the fullest and 

meaning of "to be filled to reple- completest self-sufficiency which is 

tion". Cf. St Matt. v. 6. compatible with hisutterdependence 

13. / can do all things. The upon Christ. It is related that when 

Greek requires a stronger expression, Cromwell was dying he asked that 

"I have all power". The verse as a rr. ll-l:i of this chapter should be 

whole is an expansion of the pre- read to him and that after this 

ceding and explains the secret into was done he repeated the passage 

which he has been initiated. He has to himself so that the last words 

learned not only how to be filled and heard from his lips were, "I can 

to be hungry, how to overflow and do all things through Christ which 

be in want, but he has realised also strengtheneth me", 
that he is absolute master of all cir- 

{h) The assertion of his own self-sufficiencif in Christ is now 
coupled ivith a grateful achwivledgment of the Philip- 
pians' kind thought for himself on this as well as on 
previous occasions, for ivhich kindness God will i-epay 
them, 14—19 

14 Howbeit ye did well, that ye had fellowship \dth my 

15 affliction. And ye yourselves also know, ye Philippians, 
that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from 
Macedonia, no church had fellowship with me in the matter 

16 of giving and receiving, but ye only ; for even in Thessa- 

17 lonica ye sent once and again unto my need. Not that I 
seek for the gift ; but I seek for the fruit that increaseth 

18 to your account. But I have all things, and abound : Jam 
filled, having received from Epaphroditus the things that 
came from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice 

19 acceptable, well-pleasing to God. And my God shall fulfil 
every need of yours according to his riches in glory in 
Christ Jesus. 

And yet it was a noble deed of yours to sympathise with me in my 
affliction and to contribnte towards my needs. And you are well aware, 
my dear Philippian friends, that this kitid act of yours iras no new thing 
on your part, for you trill remember how in those far off days when 
I first preached the Gospel am'mg you that it was you alone that 
2}articipafed with me in the matter of giving and taking. And there 
were other occasions also when you did this, for in a. city of the rank 

IV. H-is] 



and riches of Thessalonica you more than once ministered to my 
needs. Not, as I have already reminded you, that I am in any pressing 
need of your gift, hut I value it because of the interest that will accrue to 
you from it. I give you a receipt in full. I am indeed filled to overfl^nwing 
by your care for and kindness to me. And your f/ift that come by the 
hand of Epaphroditus meant much more than an offering to me. It was 
in truth a sacrifice and offering well pleasing and acceptable to God. I 
have nothing to give you in return but my thanks, but my God will amply 
repay you and supply all your wants out of the treasures of His riches 
in the glorious Kingdom of Christ. 

14. ye did tcell. Better "ye did 
a noble and beautiful thing". 

that ye had fellowship with my 
affliction. By their practical sym- 
pathy with him they had become 
sharers in his imprisonment and 
sufferings and had taken something 
of his burden upon themselves... So 
it had been his own aim "to know 
the fellowship of Christ's sufferings" : 
to be so intimately united with 
Christ that His sufferings and death 
became his own. The union of the 
Christian with Christ produces a 
similar fellowship of Christian with 
Christian. Cf iii. 10. 

15. ye Philippians, the name by 
which Roman citizens resident in 
the colony described themselves as 
compared with the natives of the 
city. Here and there the Apostle is 
in the habit of addressing his readers 
directly by a general term that em- 
braces them all and sums them up 
in one class. Cf. 2 Cor. vi. 1 1 : Gal. 
iii. 1. It is always a mark of deep 
emotion when he is impelled to make 
this direct appeal so that every 
reader may feel that he is personally 
addressed. In all three cases where 
this direct appeal occurs it follows 
an autobiographical passage in which 
the Apostle puts prominently for- 
ward his own work and the spirit 
in which that work is done. (See 
Ramsay, Ej-positor, v. viii. p. 121.) 

in the beginning of the gos2)el = 

" when the Gospel was first preached 
to you". This is one of those ex- 
pressions which illustrate the very 
considerable importance which the 
Apostle attached to the Macedonian 
mission as the first definite step to- 
wards the bringing of the Gospel to 
Rome, the centre of the Empire, and, 
therefore, towards the evangelising 
of the world. In 2 Thess. ii. 13, 
according to a reading which is well 
supported, he speaks of the Church 
of Thessalonica as "the first fruit of 
the gospel", and his language here 
in describing the mission in that 
region emphasises the same view. 

tchen I departed from Macedonia. 
Combining this statement with that 
in the following verse "for even in 
Macedonia ye sent once and again 
to my need" we gather that the 
Philippians had during the early 
period of their association with 
St Paul contributed at least three 
times to his wants, twice in Thessa- 
lonica itself and once after he had 
left that city. The last occasion is 
probably identical with that men- 
tioned in 2 Cor. xi. 9, "the brethren 
when they came from Macedonia 
supplied the measure of my want". 

in the matter of giving and re- 
ceiving. Lit. "inthematter of debit 
and credit". H. A. A. Kennedy in 
an interesting note on "TheFhiancial 
colouring of Phil. iv. 15 — 18" in the 
Expository Times, xii. 43, ^\Tites, 



[IV. r5-r9 

"It is possible that the Philippians 
may have been couscious of some 
slight remissness in their attention 
to St Paiil and perhaps the Apostle 
sets himself to correct a temporary 
misunderstanding on their part as 
to his feelings towards them. So 
when he comes to thank them he 
does so with singular grace and 
happiness of touch, and by a skilful 
and unstrained use of financial terms 
he imparts a half-humorous tone to 
this section of the Epistle. Thus in 
V. 15 the terms 'debit and credit' 
represent thesquarivg of the account 
by their gifts to him. The preposi- 
tion 'unto' in 'mito my need' in 
r. 16 is used in a semi-technical sense 
as in the papyri of 'the application 
of the several items in an account'. 
Here it means 'to account of my 
need'. So again 'the fruit that 
increases to your account' is trans- 
lated by Chrysostom, 'the fruit shall 
produce interest for you ', and he 
evidently understood St Paul's words 
as having a flavour of the exchange". 
See also note on v. 18. 

17. See Kennedy's note under 
V. 15. Cf. also MoflFatt's translation, 
"It is not the money that I am 
anxious for; what I am anxious for 
is the interest that accumiilates in 
this way to your divine credit". 

18. But I hane all things, airkx'^ 
which is here translated "I have" 
is the invariable term for giving a 
receipt in the vernacular of the 
period and is generally found in this 
sense in papyri and ostraka. We 
should, therefore, paraphrase, "I 
give you a receipt in full for all you 
owe me". 

an odour of a tweet smell, a sac- 
rifice acceptable, well pleasing to God. 
St Paul lifts the contribution of the 
Philii)pians from the mere level of 
mutual courtesy and sympathy and 

looks ui.)on it in its relation to Gk)d. 
He imparts to it a sacrificial aspect, 
regarding it as a holy and fragrant 
ofifering to God Himself. Similar 
language is used in the Epistle of 
Clement (chap, xliv.) and in the 
Didache (chap, xiv.), not only with 
respect to the elements in the 
Eucharist, but also in regard to the 
material offerings of the congregation 
at that service. 

ati odour of a stteet smell. This 
is a reminiscence of Exod. xxix. 18 
and Ezek. xx. 41. 

19. my Ood. God was his, and, 
therefore, all the treasury of God's 
love and grace was at his disposal 
The consciousness of his possession 
by God and of God by him fills him 
with such confidence that he makes 
the most lavish of promises, for he 
regards the very riches of heaven as 
his in Christ. 

shall fulfil erery need of yoiirs. 
"You have ministered to me. "What 
can I send you in return? I have 
no gift that Epaphroditus can cany, 
but my God will cover every need of 
jours with the wealth of His riches". 

according to his riches. The 
measure of God's generosity is in 
proportion to His illimitable riches, 
which are a treasury as deep as 
Divine love itself. Cf. 1 Cor. iii. 22, 
"all things are yours", and 1 Tim. 
vi. 17. 

in gl>rij. This may mean either 
(1) the sphere in which the infinite 
graciousness of God is manifested. 
The reference would then be to the 
glory of the Messianic Kingdom. 
Cf. Bphes. i. 18, "the riches of the 
glory of his inheritance", or (2) the 
result of the outpouring of God's 
riches would be to manifest His 
glory. In view of the frequent 
occurrence of the thought of Christ's 
Kingdom in glory in the Epistle it 


\% probable that the Apostle has that Christ Jesus and they will be realised 

idea in mind here. in their full content in His Kingdom 

in Christ Jesus. The treasures of of glory. 
God are revealed and bestowed in 

20 Now unto our God and Father he the glory ^for ever 
and ever. Amen. 

1 Gr. unto the ages of the ages. 

20. Doxology. "Now unto our article is important. It is "the glory" 

God and Father be t/ie glory for which is God's own attribute and 

ever and ever. Amen". The Pauline element. 

doxology is found in one form or Amen. This is a transliteration 

another in Romans, Galatians, Ephe- of a Hebrew word which is both an 

sians, and 1 Timothy. The particular adverb and a noun and means firm(ly), 

form it takes here is practically a valid(ly) and is used to express assent 

repetition of Gal. i. 5, where the to a preceding statement. In the 

doxology is at its simplest. In Rom. post-exilic age it came to be em- 

xvi. 27, Ephes. iii. 20, 21, and 1 Tim. ployed as an answer or refrain in 

i. 17 it is much elaborated and chorus to the words of a previous 

expanded and shows signs of the speaker and is found in this connec- 

influence of Jewish doxologies such tion at the close of each division of 

as are found in Tobit xiii. 6, 10 and the Psalter. It acquired a fixed 

Enoch ix. 4. Here it is an ascrip- place in the services of the synagogue 

tion of praise to the Father for where it still forms the common 

His infinite grace and love towards response of the congregation. From 

mankind manifested by the rich the synagogue it was borrowed by 

inheritance which awaits His saints the Christian Church. Cf. 1 Cor. 

in the glorious Kingdom of Christ. xiv. 16: Rev. v. 14. 

the glory. The presence of the 

IX. Final salutations and benediction, 21 — 23 

21 Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which 

22 are with me salute you. All the saints salute you, especially 
they that are of Cfesar's household. 

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

Greet in the name of Christ every Christian among you. My own 
personal companions send greetings and so do all the Christians here, 
especially those who are attached to the Imperial household. 

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ he with your spirit. Amen. 

21. Salute every saint in Christ translation in The New Testament 

Jesus. "In Christ Jesus" should be in Modern Speech, "My Christian 

taken with "salute" and not with greetings to every one of God's 

"saint". See note on i. 14. Cf. the people". 



[IV. 21-23 

The brethren which are with me 
salute you. The salutation liere is 
from the Apostle's more immediate 

22. All the saints salute you, 
i.e. Roman Christians as a whole. 

especially they that areofCacsat^s 
household. These are slaves and 
freedmen belonging to the Imperial 
establishment. Cf. Int. p. Iv. 

In Rom. xvi. 10, 11 St Paul 
sends greetings to the households of 
Aristobuliis and Nai'cissus, both of 
which are kno\vn from contemporary 
records to have passed into the 
possession of the Emperor at their 
owners' deaths. "Nero's palace was 
a strange place for saints, but light 
penetrates into the darkest places. 
Some of those who had to wait every 
day in the presence of Nero were 
all the time beholding the face of 
Christ. Paul was not a prisoner in 
vain". (Strachan, s.v.) 

23. The Apostolic benediction. 
The normal method of closing a letter 
at this period Avas by the use of the 
single word "farewell" as is shown 
by countless papyrus lettei's as well 
as by letters included in the New 
Testament itself Cf Acts xv. 29 
and possibly Acts xxiii. 30. St Paul, 
however, sets up a closing formula 
of his own and as he tells us in 
2 Thess. iii. 17, 18 he does so deli- 
berately: "The salutation mthmine 
own hand, the hand of Paul, which 
is the token in every epistle, so I 
write. The grace of our Lord Jesus 
Christ be with you all". His signa- 
ture was also different from that 
employed by other Apostolic writers, 
for St Peter and St John both invoke 
"peace" and not "grace" as their 
parting blessing. Cf 1 St Peter 
V. 14 : 3 St John 14. 

The Apostle's closiiig greeting is 
found in its simplest form in Col. iv. 1 8, 

"Grace be with you" and reaches its 
highest development in the Trinita- 
rian formula in 2 Cor. xiii. 14, but 
in every form, simple or elaborate, 
"grace" is the essential constituent 
and in every instance except in Col. 
iv. 18 it is "the grace of our Lord 
Jesus Christ" that is accentuated. 
"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ 
be with you", is the core of the Apos- 
tle's message. It is through the grace 
given by Christ and through the right 
use of it that man learns something 
of the love which God has for man, as 
it is through the grace of Christ 
the love of God manifests itself and is 
reflected in the love which man has 
for his fellows. Even in the full 
Trinitarian benediction "grace" 
comes first, and here St Paul is 
following the line of his own experi- 
ence. It was the "grace" of our 
Lord Jesus Christ that revealed to 
him the love of the Father in all its 
infinite richness, it is His grace that 
made it possible for him to become 
partaker of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit 
by which he became insepai'ably 
united to Christ and to whose Divine 
influence he was indebted for all that 
was of value in his life. 

be with your spirit. This ending 
is peculiar to this Epistle and that 
to the Galatians. Its occurrence 
here is perhaps due to the Apostle's 
anxiety to close the letter on the 
note that he has sounded .so clearly 
and so persistently throughout. He 
is possibly looking back to i. 27, 
"that ye stand fast in one spirit", 
and so his closing prayer and blessing 
are an invocation of the grace of our 
Lord Jesus Christ upon his beloved 
Philij^pians that through it they may 
be completely filled with the Holy 
Spirit, that Spirit which produces 
unity and peace in the Church of 


Achaia, xiii 

Acts of Paul and Thekla, xxix 

Aegean, xvii, xviii 

Albertz, xxvii, xxix 

Alexander the Great, xi, xii, xviii, 62 

Analysis of the Epistle, xcvii-c 

Andronicus and Junias, xxviii, xxxi 

Anselm, 44 

Antony, xi, xiii 

Antinomiaiiism, 59-61 

Aphrodite, 18 

Apollo, 62 

ApoUos, xxxi, XXXV, 64 

Apostle, Ixiii, 2 

Aquila and Priscilla, xxiii, xxviii, xxxi 

Aristarchus, xxxvii, Ivii, 42 

Aristobulus, Iv, 78 

Aristotle, 15, 70 

Arnold, Matthew, 67 

Artemis, 70 

Asclepius, 62 

Athens, 42 

Augustine, St, 28 

Augustus, xi, 34, 62 

Babylon, xlviii 

Bacon, Lord, 25 

Bacon, B. W., xxvii 

Bampton Lectures, liv, 65 

Baptismal Confession, 34 

Barnabas, 45 

Baruch, xlviii 

Baur, xxxix, xiii 

Benediction, Apostolic, 18, 27, 78 

Bengel, lix, 1, 5, 6, 9, 19, 22, 50, 59 

Bibliography, c-cii 

Bishops, Ixxxviii-xcvi, 3, 65 

Book of Life, 65-66 

Bright, W., Ixxx 

Bruce, A. B., Isxxi, Ixxxv 

Caesar, Household of, xxxi, xxxv, 

xxxviii, Iv, 78 
Caesarea, xxv-xxvii, xlv 
Captivity, Epistles of, xxv-xxvi 
Cassianias, xli 
Catachumen, 34 

Cato, 73 

Charles, Dr, 32, 35 

Christ, Divinity of, Ixxiii-lxxvii, 3, 
30-35; Humiliation and Kenosis of, 
Ixxvi-lxxix, 29-32; Exaltation of, 
Ixxv-lxxvi, 32-34 ; Servants of, 2 ; 
Spirit of, 5, 17, 18 ; Day of, 6, 18, 
37, 39, 62, 66 ; Union with, Ixvii, 8, 
12, 22, 58 ; Name of, 33 ; As Lord, 
34 ; Faith in, 53 ; Knowledge of, 
53, 54 ; Sufferings and death of, 32, 
54-60 ; Resurrection of, 54 

Christology, Ixxii-lxxxi 

Chrysostom, 32, 35, 76 

Church, Ixxxv-lxxxviii, 2, 3 

Cicero, 32 

Citizenship of the Christian, 61-62 

Claudius, Iv 

Clement of Rome, xxviii, xl, 76 

Clement of Alexandria, xli, 66, 67 

Clement, xiv, 65 

Colossae, 44 

Corinth, xiii, xxiii, xxiv, 42 

Corinth, Church of, Ixii, 37, 56, 60 

Corssen, xxix, xxxiii 

Cosmology, 34 

Cromwell, 74 

Deacons, Ixxxviii-xcvi, 3 

Deissmann, xxvii, xxix, xlix, 7,18,39,46 

Demas, Ivii 

Diana, xiv 

Diaspora, Ixxxvi, 34, 50 

Didach^, xcv, 76 

Dionysus, xiv 

Doxology, 77 

Drummond, Ixv 

Duumviri, xiv, xxii 

Edmundson, liv, 65 
Egypt, xlix 
Elijah, Ixxi 

Emperor-Cult, xxiii, 34, 35, 62 
Encyclopaedia Biblica, 35 
Epaphras, Ivii, 44 

Epaphroditus, xxxvi, 1, liii, Ivii, 44, 45, 
46, 65, 76 



Ephesus, xxv-xxxv, 11, 42 

Epictetus, 28, 53 

Erasmus, Ixxiii 

Eschatology, Ixxii, Ixxxi-lxxxiii, 22, 35 

Eucharist, xciii-xcvi 

Euodia, Ix, 63, 65 

Ewald, xliii 

Expositor, 1, Ixxvi, 7, 13, 35, 39, 48, 62, 

64, 75 
Expository Times, 6, 19, 52, 53, 57, 75 

Family, Keligion of, xxiii 
Fa.yum, 10, 12 
Financial Terms, 75-76 
Findlay, 73 
Forsyth, Ixxxi 

Garvie, Ixxvi 
Gess, Ixxx 
Gifford, E. H., Ixxv 
Gladstone, 28 
Glover, T. R., 33 
Gnosticism, Ixiii, 61 
Godet, Ixxx 
Gore, Dr, Ixx^a-lxxx 
God- Fearers, xix-xx 
Greek Church, 45 
Greek Games, 57 
Griffith Thomas, 57 

Hadrian, 62 

Hamilton, Dr, Ixxxviii, xciii-xcvi 

Harnaek, xciii 

Harris, Kendel, 1 

Hatch, xciii 

Haupt, 25 

Hellenism, Ixxxii, 34, 50, 71 

Hellenistic Christians, 34 

Hellenistic Jews, 6 

Hermes, 62 

Herodotus, 69 

Herod the Great, Iv 

Hicks, Dr E. L., xxv 

Homer, 15 

Hort, 15 

House-Church, xxiii 

Humility, xlvi-xlviii, 28 

Ignatius, xxiv, xxxii, xl 

Imperial Court, xxvi, liv, 7, 17 

Inscriptions, xiii, 22, 24, 46 

Intermediate State, Ixxxii-lxxxiii 

Irenaeus, xli 

Israel, The New, Ixxxv-lxxxvii 2, 3 49 

Jacob, 33 

Jailor at Philippi, xxii 

Jeremiah, xlviii 

Jerusalem, xviii, xxiv, xxvii, xlv 

Jewish Christians, 48, 60 

Jews, The, xvi, xix, xxxiv, xlv, Iv, Iviii, 

Ixxxvi, 25, 47, 48, 60 
Johnson, Dr, 48 
Josephus, 28 

Journal of Theological Studies, 31, 36 
Jowett, Ixiii 

Judaea, Churches of, 25 
Judaisers and Judaistic Controversy, 

xxxi, xxxiv, xlv, Ivi, Ixi 
Judgment, Day of, Ixxxi-lxxxii. See 

also Christ, Day of 
Jus Italicum, xiii 
Justification, Doctrine of, Ixxii, Ixxiv- 

Ixxv, 52-55 
Justin Martyr, 33 

Kennedy, H. A. A., Ixxvi, 62, 75, 76 
Kenosis and Kenotic Theory, Ixxvii- 

Ixxxi, 31 
Koine, xliv 

Lake, K., xx, xxvii, xxix 

Lecky, 28 

Letters in New Testament Period, 

xlviii-1, 3, 10, 12, 78 
Lightfoot, xvi, xxi, xxv, xxxvi, 7 
Lisco, H., xxvii 
Lock, Dr, 1 
Luke, St, xv-xviii, xxxii, xxxvii,xxxviii, 

Ivii, Iviii, 42 
Luther, Ixxiii, Ixxviii 
LXX, The, Ixv, Ixxxvi, Ixxxix, 6, 7, 

28, 39, 45, 49, 62 
Lydia, xv, xx, xxi, xxiii, Ix, 64, 65 

Macedonia, xii-xviii, 43, 75 

Macedonia, Churches of, xliv, 2, 75 

Macedonia, Women in, xii, xx, 64 

Eacedonia, Mission to, xvii-xviii 

Malta, 70 

Manen, Van, xxxix, xl 

Marcion, xxix, xli, xliv 

Mark, St, Ivii 

Marquardt, xv 

Men, xiv, xx 

M^n^goz, M., Ixxxv 

Messiah, The, Ixxxvi-lxxxvii 

Miletus, Speech at, xxxii 

Milligan, G., xlix 

Ministry, The Christian, Ixxxviii- 

xcvi, 3 
Moffatt, xliv, 4, 7, 9, 16, 27, 30, 39, 45, 

48, 53, 61, 65, 76 
Mommsen, xii, xxxi, 13 
Monarchian Prologues, xxix, xxxiii 
Monod, A., 60 
Morlcy, J., 28 

Morning Prayer, Order of, 2 
Moule, Dr, 13, 27, 68 
Moulton and Milligan, xc,6, 7,17,21,42 



Muratori, Canon of, xli 
Mysteries, Christian, Ixix 
Mystery Heligions, xxi, 6, 57, 73 
Mysticism of St Paul, Ixviii 

Name, Tlie, 33 
Narcissus, Iv, 78 
Neapolis, xv, xix, xxiv 
Nero, 78 

Olbea, 46 

Old Testament, Ixv, 2, 18. See also 

under LXX 
Onesimus, 65 
Orr, J., 35 
Ostraka, 76 

Paganism, xxi, 9, 33, 48, 61, 69, 71 

Papyri, xxii, xlix, 3, 6, 9, 10, 12, 17, 
38, 42, 56, 60, 76, 78 

Parousia, Ixxvi-lxxvii, 18, 67. See also 
under Christ, Day of 

Paul, St, at Philippi, xvi-xxv ; at 
Caesarea, xxvi; at Ephesus, xxvii- 
XXXV ; at Rome, xxvi-xxvii, xxx- 
XXXV, xxxvii-xxxviii, xlv-xlvi, 1-liii, 
liv-lviii; His broadmindeduess, Iv, 
16 ; Relations with Philippian 
Church, Ixiii-lxv, Ixvi-lxviii, 3, 4 ; 
In the Epistle, Ixvi-lxxi ; His mysti- 
cism, Ixviii ; Humility, xlvi, Ixix, 2, 
43 ; Tact, Ixx ; Appreciation of Greek 
Culture, Ixxi, 69-72 ; Courtesy, Ixx, 

I, 46, 76; Sympathy, Ixiii, 45; Af- 
fection, Ixvii-lxix ; Prayers, 3, 8, 10- 

II, 67 ; Views of life and death, 20- 
22 ; Autobiography, xlvii, Ixix, 49 ; 
Privileges as a Jew, 49-50 ; His 
Christian Course, 52 ; Doctrine of 
Righteousness, Ixxiv, 53-55 ; His 
views on "perfection," Ixix, 56-59; 
Christian Independence, Ixx, 72-73; 
Trial, xxxviii, Iviii, 7, 23 ; Imprison- 
ment, xxvi, xxxvi-xxxix, liv 

Pelagius, Ixxiii 

Persecution, xxi-xxii, 25 

Pharisees, Ixix, 49, 50 

Philae, 62 

Philip, St, xci 

Philippi, xi-xvi 

Philippi, St Paul at, xvi-xxv 

Philippi, Church of. Early History, 
xvi-xxiii ; Later History, xxiv-xxv ; 
Relationship with St Paul, lix, 24 ; 
Disunion and jealousy in, Ixi, 2, 64, 
65 ; Weaknesses in, Ixi-lxii ; Its gifts 
to St Paul, xxiv, xliv, 1, Ix, 72-77 ; 
Anxiety for St Paul, li, 12 ; Perse- 
cution of, Ixi, 25; Spiritual Party in, 
Ixii, 56-61; Women in, xx, Ix, 64-65 

Philo, 6, 50 

Phoebe, xc 

Plato, 19, 34, 70 

Pliny, 70 

Polycarp, xxiv, xl, xlii, xliii, xliv 

Pope, R. M., 19 

Prastorium or Prfetorian Guard, xxv, 

xxvi, XXX, xxxi, xxxv, xxxvii, xxxviii, 

12, 13, 46 
Prayers of St Paul, 3, 8, 9, 10-11, 

Presbyter, Ixxxix-xcvi 
Prisca or Priscilla, 74 
Prison, St Paul's, xxviii, xxxiii 
Proseucha, xix 

Ramsay, xv, xvii, xxxvi, xlviii, 7, 13, 

53, 64, 75 
Roads and Travel, xlviii-1 
Robinson, B. W. , xxvii, xxix 
Roman Empire, xxii, liv, 35 
Roman Law, xxii, 69 
Rome, xvii, xxv-xxxiv, xlv, 1, 13, 23, 

61, 75 
Rome, Church of, xviii, xxxvii, xliv, 

lii, hii, Ivi-lvii, Ixiv, 14, 15, 16, 23, 

42, 45 
Rome, St Paul in, liii-lviii 
Ruskin, 28 

Sabatier, A., Ixxiii 

Sacraments, Ixii 

Saints, Ixxxvi, 2 

Sanday, Dr, 52 

Sanday and Headlam, Ixxxv 

Savage, Dean, 26 

Serapis, 10 

Servant of the Lord, 2, 32 

Sethiani, xli 

Silvanus or Silas, xix, xxii, 1, 45, 64 

Slavery, xxi 

Somerville, Ixxvi 

Souter, 7, 28, 38, 48, 61, 66 

Spirit, Holy, 17, 18, 24, 27, 49 

Spiritual Party in Corinth, Ixii, 56 

Spiritual Party in Philippi, Ixii, 55-61 

Stephen, St, xci 

Stoics, 34, 69, 73 

Strachau, 78 

Symes, J. E., xlii, xliv 

Syntyche, Ix, 63-65 

Tarsus, 34 

Tertullian, xix, xxiv, xli, xliii 

Testaments of the XII Patriarchs, 

Theodoret, 45 
Thessalonica, Church of, xliii, 25, 

42, 75 
Thyatira, xv, xx, Ix 


Timothy, xix, xxvii, xlix, Ivii, 1, 2, 41, Warren, W., 31 

42, 43, 46, 65 Watson, William, 9 

Titus, xxiii, 37 WeizBacker, xci 

Troas, xxiv, xxvii, 17 Westcott and Hort, xv, 16 

Tychicus, Ivii Western Text, 34 

Winstanley, E. W., xxvii 
Universalism, 35 Wisdom, liook of, Ixxxii 

Women, Position of, xii, xxix, 64, 65 
Ventriloquist, xxi 

Via Ignatia, xiv, xxiv Zahn, xxxviii, 4 

Vincent, xci, 46 Zeus, li, lii, 62 


BY J. B. PEACE, M.A., 



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