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Bible Commentaries

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Philippians 1





Verse 1

Philippians 1:1. The only significance belonging to the mention of Timothy is that he was a well-known figure at Philippi (Acts 16:1-12; Acts 19:22; Acts 20:3-6), that they owed much to him, and that he was about to visit them again. The Epistle claims, of course, to be exclusively Paul’s own.— . Already in O.T. . is used in a distinctly religious sense; see esp[16] Psalms (LXX). As used by Paul, while expressing intense fervour of devotion, it includes the idea of a special calling and function in Christ’s kingdom, parallel to its application in O.T. to the prophets; see Romans 1:1, Galatians 1:10, also Titus 1:1. There is genuine humility in the contrast between and . He only calls himself when he assumes a commanding mood (Chr[17]ad loc.).— . . The order strikes the keynote of Paul’s attitude towards his Master. He delights to think of Him in royal dignity, the Messiah who was once Jesus being now . For a good discussion of the respective designations . . and . ., see Von Soden in Abhandlungen C. von Weizsäcker gewidmet, p. 118.— . . It is difficult to say whether is emphatic or not. It is, at least, remarkable how often appears in the opening paragraphs of this Epistle, as if to show Paul’s strict impartiality, perhaps in the face of some pretensions to superiority which appeared in the Philippian Church. But, on the other hand, see 2 Corinthians 1:1, Romans 1:7, where the same phrase seems to have no special emphasis.— . . Really a terminus technicus of the early Church. Having as its basis that idea of consecration to God, and consequent participation in His Divine majesty which bulks so largely in O.T. religion (e.g., Leviticus 11:44-45, Judges 13:7), and continues to have full prominence in the N.T. (Acts, almost all Epistles, Rev.), it suggests also in every N.T. instance that side of Christian life which stands in most glaring contrast with the impurity and sensuality of the Gentiles, holiness of heart and conduct. This would naturally come into view as the result of the working of the Holy Spirit; see McGiffert, Apostolic Age, p. 509 ff.; Hltzm[18], N.T. Theol., ii., p. 152. The best commentary on the expression is John 17:11; John 17:14-23. In his salutations Paul uses the word as practically = (cf.1 Corinthians 1:2, 2 Corinthians 1:1, with 1 Thessalonians 1:1). For the Christian Church is the spiritual successor of the sacred community of Israel. Ideally, all Christians are “saints,” cf. . . (1 Corinthians 1:2). The Spirit is, of course, the Sanctifier, but He only deals with those who are in Christ Jesus.— . . These words sum up Paul’s Christianity. They denote the most intimate living union that can be conceived between the soul of the believer and the Risen Lord. He, as Spirit, is the atmosphere in which the new life is lived. Cf. the Rabbinic use of (place or space) as a name of God; see Taylor, Sayings of Jewish Fathers, 2nd ed., p. 39. The phrase occurs eight times in Phil. The same idea is expressed by ; see esp[19]Galatians 2:20. “The gist of this formula is nothing else than Paul’s mystic faith, in which the believer gives up himself, his own life, to Christ, and possesses the life of Christ in himself: he in Christ, and Christ in him; he dead with Christ, and Christ become his life” (Pfl[20], Paulinism, E. Tr., i., p. 198). For the extraordinarily central place of the idea in Paul’s teaching, see Deissmann, Die Neutestamentliche Formel “in Christo Jesu” (Marburg, 1892).— . . These keenly-discussed terms can only be most briefly examined. Who were the .? In LXX almost always = an official in charge of work being done (e.g., repairs in Temple; rebuilding of Jerusalem) or an officer in the army (much less frequently). In N.T., besides this passage, (a) Acts 20:28, applied by Paul to the of Ephesus, whom the Holy Ghost has made ; (b) 1 Peter 2:25, of Christ, who is called ; (c) 1 Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:7, where it is almost universally admitted to be synonymous with . Two points are clear from N.T. evidence: 1. The is, at least, often the same person as the . 2. The . is concerned with shepherding the flock of God. Have we any information to corroborate these facts? As to the first there is the strong tradition of the early Church, e.g., Jerome, Ep., 69, 3: apud veteres iidem episcopi et presbyteri; there is the admitted fact that in 1 Clem. the name is given to the ; and Tertullian (Apologet., 39) designates the officials who preside over the congregation probati quique seniores; see esp[21] F. Loofs, SK[22], 1890, pp. 639–641. The second fact mentioned above conflicts with the celebrated theory of Hatch and Harnack (who has, however, greatly modified his standpoint; see his important review of Loening’s Die Gemeindeverfassung des Urchristenthums in Th. LZ[23], 1889, coll. 418–429), that the were distinct finance and cultus officials, who only gradually came into possession of more spiritual functions. But it seems hazardous to narrow down the duties of the . No doubt the name may, in certain cases, have been suggested by that of the or (more commonly) , who exercised administrative control over the property of private associations and guilds existing at that time in the Hellenic world and enforced the rules of such associations (see J. Réville, Les Origines de l’Épiscopat, Paris, 1894, pp. 160–163). But just as the functions of these persons were left comparatively vague and undefined, so we might expect to find the beginnings of local administration in the Christian Church still less clearly marked. An additional reason for this would lie in the pre-eminent authority of the Apostles and the high place assigned to the possessors of “gifts”. Accordingly it appears wise to use great caution in making any distinction between . and . Probably the truth lies in the direction of regarding . as a title of status, while . is one of function. Probably all were , while the converse may not be true. The difference of name may point to some early (and unknown) difference of administration. The . may have had some special connexion with the celebration of the Eucharist as the central rite of Christian worship (see Sohm’s strong insistence on this point, Kirchenrecht, pp. 84 ff., 121 ff.) and with the management of Church property, which would originally consist of voluntary gifts offered to God in Christian worship. Gradually, as those endowed with extraordinary “charisms” (e.g., prophets, teachers, evangelists) passed away, their functions would tend to be assumed by the leading office-bearers in each congregation. So the sphere, e.g., of the ., would be greatly enlarged. But we must be content, for lack of evidence, to do without precise definitions, only concluding as to the general equivalence in the earliest times of . and ., and granting that their oversight and guidance were concerned with the spiritual as well as the material well-being of the organisation. Deacons are first mentioned here in the N.T. It is often tacitly assumed that they hold the office or function whose institution is described in Acts 6. This was an early tradition; e.g., Iren., iii., 12, 10: Stephanus ’ qui electus est ab apostolis primus diaconus. But there are considerable arguments against this view. These are admirably summarised by Gwatkin (Hastings’ B.D., i., 574). (1) The seven are nowhere in N.T. called . (2) The qualifications laid down (Acts 6:3) for the seven are much higher than those of 1 Timothy 3:8. (3) Stephen was largely a preacher and Philip an evangelist. (4) The seven evidently rank next to the Apostles at Jerusalem. Hpt[24] (Myr[25]6ad loc.) holds that . and . denote here the same persons, the being a towards the Church, and compares 1 Thessalonians 5:12, . And the vague use of the word to denote any kind of Christian service (in earlier parts of N.T.) might seem to justify the idea. But considering the late date of Phil., it appears more reasonable to connect the office with that of 1 Timothy 3., where a clear distinction is drawn between the . and the . In the early Church the most necessary Christian service would be the care of the sick and poor. So the deacon must neither be double-tongued ( ) nor a “lover of dirty gain” (so Gwatk. tr. ), for in his work of visiting he would have temptations to “gossip and slander” on the one hand, and to “picking and stealing from the alms” on the other (Gwatk loc. cit.). Many reasons are assigned fo the mention of these officers here. But it seems quite natural that Paul should specify those who stood in the forefrom of the Church’s work and life, more especially as the letter is one of thanks for the gift which has been sent to him, a gift the management of which would be in the hands of the controlling authorities in the Church.

[16] especially.

[17] Chrysostom.

[18]ltzm. Holtzmann.

[19] especially.

[20] Pfleiderer.

[21] especially.

[22] Studien und Kritiken.

[23] Theologische Literaturzeitung.

[24] Haupt.

[25] Meyer.



Verses 1-2

Philippians 1:1-2. SALUTATION.



Verse 2

Philippians 1:2. Paul feels that the ordinary Greek salutation or the Eastern is too meagre for Christian intercourse. But closely connected with is his own great watchword , a word which, perhaps, above all others, shows the powerful remoulding of terms by Christian thought and feeling. for Paul is the central revelation of the fatherly heart of God in the redemption which Christ has accomplished for unworthy sinners. And its direct result is , the harmony and health of that life which is reconciled to God through Jesus Christ; see an interesting discussion of the Apostolic greeting by F. Zimmer, Luthardt’s Zeitschr., 1886, p. 443 ff. Of course governs . The Socinian exegesis which makes . depend on is impossible in view of Titus 1:4 (so Gw[26]ad loc.).— . The favourite designation of Jesus Christ in the early Church. See on chap. Philippians 2:11infr. Cf. the extraordinary frequency of the term as applied to God in Apostolic Fathers, etc. On the whole subject see Harnack, Dogmen-Geschichte, i., pp. 153–158.

[26] Gwynn.



Verse 3

Philippians 1:3. Much may be said in favour of the reading (see crit. note) from the point of view of sense. The antithesis would then show that the letter is a direct reply to one received from Philippi, and the emphasis on Paul’s own thanksgiving would be accounted for (with Zahn) by the supposition that the Philippians imagined a slight lack of cordiality on his part. This supposition is favoured by the prominence given in the Epistle to Paul’s delight in them.— . . . . Cf.1 Corinthians 1:4, ; Papyr. Lond., xiii., [ ] (quoted by Dsm[27], BS[28], p. 210). A word condemned by the grammarians, but in common use from the time of Polyb., and found in modern Greek as (Hatz., Einleit., p. 285).— . These words have been the subject of much discussion. No doubt could be used here in what Ell[29] calls its “ethicolocal” sense of a circumstance or experience regarded as the basis of an action, and thus the meaning would be: “I give thanks to my God at my whole remembrance of you” (“every remembrance” is, it seems to us, in spite of Kl[30], Lips[31] and Weizs., linguistically impossible). Or, what is more natural after (see exx. supr.), may be “on account of”. This would make good sense. The total impression left upon him by his intercourse with them is one which calls forth thankfulness. There is another possible meaning supported by Hfm[32], Zahn, Wohl[33], Harnack (Th. LZ[34], 1889, col. 419) and Sohm (Kirchenrecht, p. 81). may be gen. of subject, and so we should translate: “on account of your whole remembrance of me”. This would accord admirably with the context, preparing the way for (Philippians 1:5), and pointing delicately to the practical expression of their thoughtfulness. The only serious objection to it is that the other interpretation fits in more suitably with the parallels Romans 1:8-9, 1 Corinthians 1:4, Ephesians 1:16, Colossians 1:3, 1 Thessalonians 1:2 and those in LXX.

[27] Deissmann (BS. = Bibelstudien, NBS. = Neue Bibelstudien).

[28] Bibelstudien

[29] Ellicott.

[30] Klöpper.

[31]ips. Lipsius.

[32] Hofmann.

[33]ohl. Wohlenberg.

[34] Theologische Literaturzeitung.



Verses 3-8




Verse 4

Philippians 1:4. Various divisions of these words have been proposed, some referring to the preceding verse, others taking together, and regarding the remainder of the sentence as a connected whole. It seems least arbitrary to find in Philippians 1:4 a complete thought. The prominence of shows the exuberance of his joy in them.— . A special aspect of , that of entreaty for the satisfaction of some known want; cf. Ell[35] on 1 Timothy 2:1.— . The undertone of the whole letter.— . . An interesting parallel in Papyr. of Faijûm, 172 A.D., [ ] (Dsm[36], NBS[37], p. 78), in the general sense of “asking” (cf. , Luke 5:33, 1 Timothy 2:1).

[35] Ellicott.

[36] Deissmann (BS. = Bibelstudien, NBS. = Neue Bibelstudien).

[37] Neue Bibelstudien



Verse 5

Philippians 1:5. On what does depend? Surely it follows of preceding clause (so Chr[38], Th. Mps[39]) rather than of Philippians 1:3. It is, at least, awkward to take twice with the same verb. . has an emphatic position. Now he gives the reason for his joy.— . At the first glance . seems to refer to their mutual fellowship and harmony as Christians. A closer examination reveals that this whole passage is concerned with Paul’s personal relation to them. And so . anticipates (Philippians 1:7), and will mean their common participation with Paul in spreading the Gospel. This really includes the idea of united action on the one hand, and the concrete expression of their helpfulness, their gift to the Apostle, on the other. Hort (Christian Ecclesia, p. 44) points out that there is something concrete in the of Acts 2:42. The same is true of Romans 15:26, 2 Corinthians 9:13, Hebrews 13:16. This concrete notion in . (almost equiv. to “contribution”) is supported by the use of , which is employed technically in contexts like this to denote the destination of money-payments, collections, etc. So 1 Corinthians 16:1, ; Acts 24:17, . Important exx. from Papyri in Dsm[40], BS[41], pp. 113–114, NBS[42], p. 23. Cf. on the whole idea the most apt comment of Chr[43]ad loc.: , , . .— . It is unnecessary to narrow this down to the preaching of the Gospel. Used comprehensively.— . Cf. the account of their generosity in chap. Philippians 4:10 ff.— . The same phrase in Romans 8:22. Cf. Papyr. of Faijûm [ ] [ ] in Dsm[44], NBS[45], p. 81.

[38] Chrysostom.

[39] Mps. Theodore of Mopsuestia.

[40] Deissmann (BS. = Bibelstudien, NBS. = Neue Bibelstudien).

[41] Bibelstudien

[42] Neue Bibelstudien

[43] Chrysostom.

[44] Deissmann (BS. = Bibelstudien, NBS. = Neue Bibelstudien).

[45] Neue Bibelstudien



Verse 6

Philippians 1:6. . Accus. of the “inner object,” where the neuter pronoun takes the place of a cognate substantive; cf.2 Corinthians 13:1, (see Blass, Gram., p. 89). is characteristic of Paul, “the firm touch of an intent mind” (Moule, CT[46] ad loc.). “Having this firm persuasion.” Curiously enough, the same confident assurance, although based on very different grounds, is characteristic also of the later Jewish theology, e.g., Apocal. of Baruch (ed. Charles), xiii., 3. “Thou shalt be assuredly preserved to the consummation of the times.” Also xxv., 1; lxxvi., 2. “Christianity, by its completely rounded view of the world, guarantees to believers that they shall be preserved unto eternal life in the kingdom of God, which is God’s revealed end in the world” (Ritschl, Justification, E. Tr., p. 200).— . This verb, although a word of ritual in classical Greek, is found in LXX (Pentat.) apparently in the simple sense “begin”. In its only other occurrence in N.T., Galatians 3:3, it is combined with as here.— . De W., Lft[47] and others refer this to of Philippians 1:5. Is it not far more natural to regard it as “the work of God” par excellence, the production of spiritual life, the imparting of the of Philippians 1:7? Cf. chap. Philippians 2:13 and esp[48]Romans 14:20, .— . . On the order . ., see Philippians 1:1supr. . lacks the article on the analogy of (LXX). This favourite conception of O.T. prophecy refers to “the time when the Lord reveals Himself in His fulness to the world, when He judges evil and fulfils His great purposes of redemption among men.’ But the judgment has not its end in itself, it is but the means of making Jehovah known to the world, and this knowledge of Him is salvation” (Davidson, Nahum, etc., p. 105). It is easy to see how the N.T. idea grows out of this. Paul probably assumes that the day is not far off, but indulges in no dogmatising. This name is given to the day because Christ as is to be judge. Belief in the Parousia of Christ has a most prominent place in Paul’s religious thought. He never attempts to specify the time. But it cheers him, esp[49] in crises of his history (as in this Epistle), to believe that the Lord is near. (See Teichmann, Die paulin. Vorstellungen von Auferstehung und Gericht, p. 11 ff.). There is perhaps no part of Paul’s thought in which it is so difficult to trace a fixed outline of ideas as the eschatological. And yet there is no part more regulative for him than this.

[46] Cambridge Greek Testament.

[47] Lightfoot.

[48] especially.

[49] especially.



Verse 7

Philippians 1:7. . = our “right” or “natural”.— . . Not “think this concerning you,” but “have this care on your behalf”; cf. chap. Philippians 4:10 . of course refers to the finishing in them of God’s “good work”. . seems always to keep in view the direction which thought (of a practical kind) takes. usually has the sense of “interest in” (so Lft[50]).— . . . Paul’s only use of with infin.— . . Perhaps it is best (with Zahn) to take . here not so much as the seat of the softer feelings, but rather as the abode of the stronger thoughts, resolutions, etc. A regular Greek usage. Cf.1 Corinthians 2:9, 2 Corinthians 3:15; 2 Corinthians 4:6et al. Thus the whole expression would almost be equiv. to “I know that you,” etc.; cf. (Thdrt[51]). His love is expressed in the next verse.—Evidently . . . . goes with the following clause, for it is much more natural to suppose a break at the first , which is resumed by the second. On before . . see crit. note. Paul separates here (so also Wohl[52]) between his and his , which makes up one idea with . It seems to us clear that this . marks a crisis in his circumstances of which the influence is seen all through the Epistle; cf., e.g., Philippians 1:19; Philippians 1:25, chap. Philippians 2:23-24. Ought it not to be taken in its ordinary judicial sense of a defence against a regular charge? (as against Lft[53] and Moule, CT[54], who refer . and . to Paul’s missionary work at Rome, and Hpt[55], who thinks of Paul’s whole activity in refuting opponents, both public and private). The correctness of this view receives strong confirmation from Dsm[56] (BS[57], p. 100 ff.), who shows that Paul, like the Translators of the LXX, was well acquainted with the technical sense of (Lat. evictio), the obligation under which the seller came to the buyer to guarantee against all claims his right to what he had bought. So Paul’s defence before the emperor is a guarantee of the Gospel, a warrant of its value and claims. For . see 2 Timothy 4:16. “My defence and confirmation of the Gospel.”— . . . . here must be the great central gift of God’s grace, which Paul always keeps in the foreground. Cf.1 Corinthians 15:10, , . There is no need to limit it to the grace of apostleship or to that granted to him in his trials and sufferings. Their love and kindness towards him and his great work, even at the darkest moments in his career, are proof enough that they share along with him in the grace of God. It is probably better to separate from . [J. Weiss (Th. LZ[58], 1899, col. 263) would read , comparing chap. Philippians 2:25, Philippians 4:16, Romans 12:13. Certainly this would give good sense and be more pointed.]

[50] Lightfoot.

[51]hdrt. Theodoret.

[52]ohl. Wohlenberg.

[53] Lightfoot.

[54] Cambridge Greek Testament.

[55] Haupt.

[56] Deissmann (BS. = Bibelstudien, NBS. = Neue Bibelstudien).

[57] Bibelstudien

[58] Theologische Literaturzeitung.



Verse 8

Philippians 1:8. An exact parallel is Romans 1:9-11, . Such adjuration of God he uses only in solemn personal appeals; cf.Galatians 1:20. Perhaps this goes to justify Zahn in supposing that the Philippians had imagined some lack of cordiality in Paul’s reception of their gift. Comm[59] have noted the intensity of language manifested in the compound . But it is needful to remember the fondness of later Greek for compounds which had lost their strong sense. Calvin, with practical insight: neque enim parum hoc valet ad fidem doctrinæ, faciendam cum persuasus est populus a doctore se amari.— . “With the heart of Jesus Christ” (with which his own has become identified). This amounts to the same thing as love. Cf.Galatians 2:20, which is the best comment. Possibly Paret (Jahrb. f. deutsche Theol., iii., 1, p. 25) is not too fanciful in finding here a definite recollection of Jesus’ nature, of which (in the Gospels) is a common expression. Every genuine pastor has some experience of this feeling.

[59]omm. Commentators.



Verse 9

Philippians 1:9. Zahn would put this clause under the government of in the preceding sentence. No strong argument can be used against this, but it is doubtful whether the explanation is necessary. In the use of here, “purport” (to adopt Ellicott’s expression) seems to be blended with “purpose”. There are certainly passages in which the full “telic” force of cannot be fairly asserted. This accords with the development of the later language. See Hatz., Einl (Hatzidakis, Einleitung in die Neugriech. Grammatik), p. 214 ff. Possibly in this passage is rhetorically parallel to in Philippians 1:10. (See J. Weiss, Beiträge zur Paulin. Rhetorik, p. 9.)— . can scarcely mean anything else than “your love towards one another”. This has been already exemplified in their with Paul.— . In LXX, chiefly in Sirach. It is mainly in Paul’s writings that it reaches this derivative sense of “abound”. In the Synoptics it still means (usually), as in ordinary Greek, “to remain over”. Sola charitas non admittit excessum (Bacon, de Augm. Scient., vii., 3, quoted by Gwynn).— . . . . Apparently an eager and enthusiastic spirit prevailed in this Church. As so commonly, it might be accompanied by a slight want of discernment. That would lead, on the one hand, to misunderstandings over trifling matters (cf. chap. Philippians 4:2?), on the other, to giving heed to plausible teachers. As the Galatians combined enthusiasm and fickleness, perhaps, at Philippi, enthusiasm was apt to prevail over spiritual common sense. Is not Lft[1] mistaken in annotating “Love imparts a sensitiveness of touch,” etc.? This is not before Paul’s mind. His prayer is that the sensitiveness of touch may be added to love.— . A favourite word in the Epistles of the imprisonment. A good example of its intensive force is 1 Corinthians 13:12, , . Very frequent in Justin M., e.g., a definition of (Dial., 221 A), , . Cf. Dial., 220 [2]; Apol., ii. 10, 19. Here = a firm conception of those spiritual principles which would guide them in their relations with one another and the world.— . Moral sensibility, quickness of ethical tact. Originally of sense-perception, but applicable to the inner world of sensibilities. Kl[3] quotes aptly from Hippocrates, de Off. Med., 3, . A complete parallel is Hebrews 5:14, where the writer defines the (cf.Philippians 3:12; Philippians 3:15-16) as .— . Probably “all kinds of”.

[1] Lightfoot.

[2] Codex Claromontanus (sæc. vi.), a Græco-Latin MS. at Paris, edited by Tischendorf in 1852.

[3] Klöpper.



Verses 9-11




Verse 10

Philippians 1:10. . . Cf.Romans 2:18, . Two possible renderings. (1) “Approve things that are excellent.” (2) “Test things that differ,” i.e., good and bad. Lft[4] opposes (2) on the ground that “it requires no keen moral sense to discriminate between good and bad”. But was not this precisely the great difficulty for heathen-Christians? Theophyl. defines . by . The idea seems to be borne out by the following . and . We are therefore compelled to decide for (2). “The fundamental choice arrived at in believing has to be reiterated continually in a just application of it to a world of varying and sometimes perplexing cases” (Rainy, Expos. Bib., p. 37). There are exx. of . in chap. 3 passim. Of course this is made possible by the guidance of the indwelling Spirit. It shows us “the highest point which Paul reaches in his treatment of moral questions” (Hitzm., N.T. Theol., ii., p. 149, who points out as instances of his delicate moral tact the precepts given in 1 Corinthians 8-10, Romans 14).— . . . There is no warrant for adhering to the common derivation of . from compounded with either (“heat of sun”) and so = “tested by sunbeam,” or (= “troops”) and so “separated into ranks”. The word is the equiv. of Lat. sincerus, “pure,” “unmixed”. A favourite term in Plato for pure intellect and also for the soul purged from sense. Cf. Phaedo, 66 [5], 67 [6], 81 B. Naturally transferred to the moral sphere. T. H. Green (Two Sermons, p. 41) describes as “perfect openness towards God”. . will then mean, in all probability, “not giving offence” to others, the obverse side of . This sense seems to us to be proved by 1 Corinthians 10:32 with the context, which is simply an expansion of Paul’s thought here. Cf. also 1 John 2:10.— . has the meanings “with a view to” and “until,” which here shade off into each other. The conception of . . “grew in Paul’s hands to a whole æon, lasting from the to the ” (Beysch., N.T. Th., ii., p. 273).

[4] Lightfoot.

[5] Codex Alexandrinus (sæc. v.), at the British Museum, published in photographic facsimile by Sir E. M. Thompson (1879).

[6] Codex Alexandrinus (sæc. v.), at the British Museum, published in photographic facsimile by Sir E. M. Thompson (1879).



Verse 11

Philippians 1:11. Critical evidence (see above) fixes as the correct reading. We should, of course, expect the gen. (see the v.1.), but one of the most marked features in later Greek is the enlarging of the sphere of the accus. It is quite common to find it with verbs like and . . . Cf. in modern Greek , “I am full of possessions” (see See Hatz., Einl (Hatzidakis, Einleitung in die Neugriech. Grammatik), pp. 220–223; F. Krebs, Rection d. Casus in d. späteren histor. Gräcität, Heft i., pp. 3–4, ii., p. 3 ff.).— . . A frequent phrase in Prov. (LXX). A showing forth of the results of righteousness. There is nothing here about justification, as Moule supposes. It is right conduct the Apostle has in view. But it is hardly needful to note that with Paul there can be no dissociation of the two ideas. is always with him the right relation between God and man, made possible through Christ, which asserts itself, under the Holy Spirit’s influence, in righteous conduct.— . . The as well as the . is due to Christ (cf. chap. Philippians 4:13).— . . . . Cf. the refrain in Ephesians 1:6; Ephesians 1:12; Ephesians 1:14, and Christ’s words in John 17:4, . The disciple must be as the Master.



Verse 12

Philippians 1:12. . . . A common epistolary phrase. Cf. in a Letter to the magistrates of Oropus from the Roman Consuls, 73 B.C. (Viereck, Sermo Graecus, etc., Gött., 1888, p. 36). , as so frequently, is transitional.— = my circumstances. In later Greek came to be a regular periphrasis for the gen. W. Schmidt (de elocut. Josephi, pp. 21–22) gives striking exx. from Josephus, e.g.,Antt., i., 296, , where . = . See also Kaelker, Quaestiones de elocut. Polybiana, p. 282. This is Paul’s first reference to his own affairs, which were of the deepest concern to the Philippians. Their gift had been prompted by their apprehensions of his sore need. Perhaps, as Calvin suggests, his opponents were using his calamities as a proof of the worthlessness of his Gospel.— .’ . The use of seems to imply that they were looking out for bad news of the Apostle. And that would justify the supposition that, shortly before this, a change had occurred in Paul’s circumstances. May not the change be connected with the of Philippians 1:7? Is it not probable that Paul had been transferred from his hired lodging (Acts 28:30) into the prison where those on trial were kept in custody? O. Hirschfeld (Sitz. Bericht. of Berlin Academy, 1891, pp. 857–858) holds that imprisonment at Rome was of a military character, and that the barracks of various city troops served as prisons. Mommsen (op. cit., 1895, p. 500) agrees with Hirschf. in believing that the castra peregrinorum may have been used esp[1] for this purpose. The Philippians would naturally expect that this stricter custody must mean severer hardships for the Apostle. As a matter of fact it has been in his favour. is a technical term in Stoic philosophy for “progress towards wisdom” (see Zeller, Stoics, etc., p. 294). It is condemned by Phrynichus (ed. Lobeck, p. 85) as unclassical. Frequent in later Greek, esp[2] in Plutarch and Polyb.— . Cf.Mark 5:26, (why should Ell[3] object to this parallel?), Acts 19:27.

[1] especially.

[2] especially.

[3] Ellicott.



Verses 12-14

Philippians 1:12-14. HIS PRESENT SITUATION.



Verse 13

Philippians 1:13. For the skilful rhetorical structure of Philippians 1:13-17 see J. Weiss, Beitr., p. 17, who compares Romans 2:6-12.— is, on the whole, more common; see Luke 8:29, Acts 16:26; Acts 20:23. According to Cobet, Mnemosyne, 1858, p. 74 ff. (quoted in W-Sch[4], p. 85, n. 8), the neuter form refers to actual bonds, the masc. to the imprisonment. But there seems to be no distinction, e.g., in Attic Inscrr[5] (see Meisterhans, Gramm. d. attisch. Inschr., p. 112, n. 1025). And Sch. states that the distinction will not apply to LXX.— . . . It has become plain that he is a prisoner wholly for Christ’s sake, and not on account of any breach of law. . must be translated by the English perfect, for, as Moule (CT[6]) well points out, “our English thought separates present from past less rapidly than Greek”. Of course we must supply . as predicate with . .— . . is one of the most keenly contested expressions in the Epistle. Four leading interpretations are found. (1) Those forming the praetorian guard. So Lft[7], Hfm[8], Abbott, Hpt[9], Vinc. This explanation has much in its favour. Those coming up on appeal from the Provinces were handed over for surveillance to the praefecti praetorio (see Marquardt-Momms., ii. 23, p. 972 and n. 2). And Lft[10] (Com., pp. 99–104) has shown conclusively that the word admits of this meaning. (2) The barracks or camp of the praetorian guard. So Lips[11], Kl[12], Alf[13], De W., Myr[14], Ws[15], Von Soden. But none of these Comm[16] bring direct evidence to show that the name praetorium was ever definitely applied to the castra praetoriana, built under Tiberius at the Porta Viminalis (Tac., Ann., iv., 2). (3) The emperor’s palace. So Chr[17], Th. Mps[18], Thdrt[19], Beng., Mynster (Kleine theol. Schriften, p. 184, some strong arguments), Gwynn, Duchesne. In all other passages of N.T. . = residence of the ruler. It is said that it would be impossible for anyone writing from Rome to call the palace . But; as Gw[20] observes, this is a provincial writing to provincials, and using the word in a familiar sense. Further, the change for the better in Paul’s circumstances is connected with the knowledge that his bonds are in Christ. Is it because the authorities (emperor, etc.) have already begun to take a favourable view of his case that the preaching is allowed to prosper without hindrance and that his associates take courage? This interpretation cannot be dismissed altogether lightly. (4) The judicial authorities. So Mommsen (op. cit., p. 498) and Ramsay (St. Paul, etc., p. 357 ff.). These would be the praefecti praetorio (either one or two) with their assessors and other officials of the imperial court. Momms. quotes from a letter of Trajan to Pliny (Ep. Plin., 57 [65]), in which he decides that a criminal condemned to exile, but, in spite of this, lingering in the province, should be sent in chains ad praefectos praetorii mei, who are not the prison officials but those concerned with the hearing of cases. This explanation also would agree well with what Paul says about his bonds and the progress of the Gospel. We would hesitate to decide between (1) and (4), the context seeming to support the latter, while, perhaps, favours the former.— . . Cf. CIG., i., 1770, . Apparently a vague phrase = everywhere else.

[4]-Sch. Schmiedel’s Ed. of Winer.

[5]nscrr. Inscriptions.

[6] Cambridge Greek Testament.

[7] Lightfoot.

[8] Hofmann.

[9] Haupt.

[10] Lightfoot.

[11]ips. Lipsius.

[12] Klöpper.

[13] Alford’s Greek Testament.

[14] Meyer.

[15] Weiss.

[16]omm. Commentators.

[17] Chrysostom.

[18] Mps. Theodore of Mopsuestia.

[19]hdrt. Theodoret.

[20] Gwynn.



Verse 14

Philippians 1:14. . Vaughan holds that “from the universal practice of deciding matters by the vote of a majority the term comes to mean the main body, the society as a whole,” but this scarcely seems needful.— . . These words surely make up one phrase (so Alf[21], Weizs., Ws[22], etc., as against Lft[23], Lips[24], Myr[25], etc.). Cf.Colossians 1:2. It is difficult to see where the tautology, which is said to be involved in this interpretation, comes in. Probably it is an almost technical combination. Dsm[26] (BS[27], p. 82) notes from Papyri a precisely similar technical use of in the language of the Serapeum at Memphis.— . . . . “Having confidence in my bonds,” i.e., being encouraged by the favourable light in which his imprisonment was beginning to be regarded when seen in its true character. [This tells in favour of (4) in Philippians 1:13.] Cf. Philm. 21, .— . Hpt[28] believes that . is used here expressly instead of as emphasising the physiological process rather than the word spoken. In the later language these refinements were apt to be overlooked. Still it is interesting to find that in LXX is almost invariably transl. by and by .

[21] Alford’s Greek Testament.

[22] Weiss.

[23] Lightfoot.

[24]ips. Lipsius.

[25] Meyer.

[26] Deissmann (BS. = Bibelstudien, NBS. = Neue Bibelstudien).

[27] Bibelstudien

[28] Haupt.



Verse 15

Philippians 1:15. . Are these included in the of Philippians 1:14 or not? We prefer to believe (so also Weizs., Jahrb. f. deutsche Theol., 1876, p. 294 ff.) that the Apostle has changed his point of view. For is it conceivable that those who “had confidence” in his bonds should, on the other hand, “raise affliction” (Philippians 1:17) for those bonds? He thinks now not so much of the emboldening of his Christian brethren as of the fact that the Gospel is being preached with great vigour over a wide area. Accordingly may be taken by itself.—Probably goes with . “Some preach ’ actually from envy and rivalry.”— = “rivalry” (not “strife”), as often. Cf. Thuc., vi., 31, 4; Æsch., Eumen. (ed. Paley), 933 (where used in a good sense). To whom does Paul refer? It has usually been taken for granted that it must be to his un-wearying opponents, the Judaisers. So Myr[29], Alf[30], Lft[31], Franke (esp[32]SK[33], 1895, p. 772), Duchesne and others. But, as Hpt[34] clearly shows, we have no grounds for assuming the existence of a definitely anti-Pauline Jewish-Christian party at Rome (so also Hort, Judaistic Christianity, pp. 112–113). At the same time this jealousy of the Apostle, a matter of personal feeling, may well have arisen in the Jewish wing of the Roman Church. They would naturally be roused to some bitterness by Paul’s emphasis on the universality of the Gospel and his neglect of its specially Jewish setting. But it is unreasonable to divide all the Christians of the Apostolic Age into Gentile-Christians and Judaisers. There would be many Jewish-Christians who never favoured the extreme methods or even doctrines of the latter. (Cf. M‘Giffert’s instructive discussion, Apost. Age, pp. 393–395, and Pfl[35], Urchrist., pp. 147, 151.) It is indeed quite possible that those referred to here are Pauline Christians who for some reason have a personal pique at the Apostle. (Cf. Ws[36], Amer. J. of Theol., i., 2, pp. 388–389, who throws out the interesting suggestion that they may have been old teachers of the Church who had become jealous of Paul’s high position, and so wished to outstrip him and destroy his popularity.) “Paul says nothing here which I have not experienced” (Calv.).— . Although not explicitly, these, of course, belong to the of Philippians 1:14. marks the contrast with the preceding clause.— . The word can mean nothing else here than “goodwill”. For it is placed in antithesis to and , and resumed by below. Cf.Sirach 9:12, .

[29] Meyer.

[30] Alford’s Greek Testament.

[31] Lightfoot.

[32] especially.

[33] Studien und Kritiken.

[34] Haupt.

[35] Pfleiderer.

[36] Weiss.



Verses 15-18




Verse 16

Philippians 1:16. . Is this a complete phrase or does . qualify the predicate . . . supplied from Philippians 1:15? The latter seems most natural, as it preserves the complete parallelism of the clauses, which would otherwise be disturbed by .— has practically become perf. passive of . is seldom used. (See Gildersleeve on Justin M., Apol., i., 11, 6.) Exactly parallel are Luke 2:34, ; 1 Thessalonians 3:3, . “Am appointed.”



Verses 16-17

Philippians 1:16-17. An overwhelming mass of authority is in favour of transposing these verses as above (see crit. note). TR. is simply an emendation based on the order in Philippians 1:15.



Verse 17

Philippians 1:17. . Here virtually = “selfishness” (rather than “factiousness”). Originally, the character of a worker for pay. Now that which degraded the hired worker, in the estimation of antiquity, was his labouring wholly for his own interests, while it was a sign of the noble to devote himself to the common weal. This sense suits all N.T. passages (Romans 2:8, 2 Corinthians 12:20, Galatians 5:20, James 3:14; James 3:16). See Hpt[37]’s valuable note from which the above is condensed.— . It is hard to say whether ought to be retained. It would easily be accounted for as an assimilation to . in Philippians 1:15.— . A distinction has been drawn between . as confined to those sent by Christ and . as applying to all preachers, including our Lord Himself. Probably they are quite synonymous here. Cf. an excellent note in Westcott (on 1 John 1:5) on the special signification of . among compounds of = “proclaim with authority, as commissioned to spread the tidings throughout those who hear them”.— . “With mixed motives.” Cf. Pind., Ol., iii., 37, (quoted by Alf[38]).— . “Purposing.” So frequently in later Greek. Schmid (Atticismus, i., 128) quotes from Dio Chrys., Aristides and Philostratus. Cf. Phryn. (ed. Lobeck), 190, . There is a sharp contrast between in Philippians 1:16 and here.— . . . The balance of authority is in favour of . is probably an ancient gloss, which may have crept into some text from the margin. The phrase apparently means “to stir up vexation for me in my imprisonment”. They attributed their own jealous feelings to the Apostle, and could not conceive a greater worry to him than that he should hear of their success in preaching.

[37] Haupt.

[38] Alford’s Greek Testament.



Verse 18

Philippians 1:18. There seems little doubt that we should read , as there would be a tendency to omit either word to simplify the sense. Ws[39] holds that was inserted because copyists did not notice that is causal, introducing a protasis. But it is difficult to imagine this misunderstanding if stood alone. probably goes closely with preceding. “Supposing they purpose, etc., what then? Only that ’ Christ is preached.” has its usual classical sense. For . in this usage, cf.Acts 20:22-23, , .— . . A common antithesis. The one party preached the Gospel, ostensibly for Christ’s sake, really to gain their own ends.—The best punctuation of the next clause is that of W.H., who place a colon after and a comma after .— . Must not . mean “the fact that, in spite of my imprisonment, Christ is preached”? It seems far-fetched to refer it to his imprisonment.— . Assuming that Paul’s opponents here were Judaisers, Comm[40] have been driven to desperate shifts to explain his joy in their preaching. This verse was quoted in the early Church in favour of heretics, so that Chr[41], Th. Mps[42] and Thdrt[43] have to protest against the abuse of it (see Swete, Th. Mps[44], i., p. 209). When reasonably interpreted it presents no serious difficulties.— . . Closely connected with the following verse, but not necessarily introducing a new subject (as Hfm[45]). It has almost the same force as if had preceded. The form for , like for in N.T. Cf. CIA., ii., 593, b, 18 (2 cent. B.C.). Found in LXX, where also occurs (W-Sch[46], p. 108, n. 8). This is a progressive future. Cf.Romans 6:2 (see Burton, MT[47], p. 32). Perhaps we can detect, as some have suggested, a note of loneliness and resignation in this verse (cf. chap. Philippians 2:21).

[39] Weiss.

[40]omm. Commentators.

[41] Chrysostom.

[42] Mps. Theodore of Mopsuestia.

[43]hdrt. Theodoret.

[44] Mps. Theodore of Mopsuestia.

[45] Hofmann.

[46]-Sch. Schmiedel’s Ed. of Winer.

[47] Moods and Tenses (Burton, Goodwin).



Verses 18-20




Verse 19

Philippians 1:19. The only apparent ground for reading is its difficulty. (which has greatly preponderating authority) gives the reason for the continuance of his joy.— . There is no need to limit this to his captivity (so Kl[48]), or his worries and trial (De W., Lft[49]). It is used generally of his present circumstances. . is quoted from Job 13:16 (LXX).— . We fail to see why this should be interpreted as the final eschatological salvation (so Ws[50], Lft[51], Kl[52], etc.). There is nothing in the context to justify such a thought. He has every reason to hope, he tells them, that he will see them again in peace (Philippians 1:25-27). Surely he is thinking chiefly of his probable release, an expectation which admirably accords with the favourable view of his case which was evidently being taken at Rome. This interpretation (Chr[53], ) is strongly supported by the sense of the word in Job 13:16, from which it is here quoted, where has not the usual deeper meaning which belongs to it in the Prophh. and Pss., but signifies victory in a contest for the right. Cf. also 2 Corinthians 1:10 ff., a passage precisely akin to this, which favours the above idea of . [We find that Zahn uses almost the same arguments, Luthardt’s Zeitschr., 1885, p. 300.] This verse is linked to Philippians 1:12 by Philippians 1:18. He desires their prayers for deliverance, and the promised Spirit of Christ (Luke 12:12) to give him wisdom that he may know how to act. In any case (the thought crosses his mind that he may still be condemned) he hopes to glorify Christ whether in life or death.— . The absence of the article is no reason for joining . closely with . under the government of . The gen. . . . is quite sufficient to isolate . “The supply given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ.” This is the Spirit possessed by Christ Himself and communicated to all who abide in Him as members of His body. Of course Paul, at times, really identifies Christ with the Spirit, e.g., 1 Corinthians 15:45, 2 Corinthians 3:17. Cf.1 Corinthians 6:17. This identification springs directly from his own spiritual history. “The first ‘pneumatic’ experience Paul had was an experience of Christ” (Gunkel, Wirkungen d. heil. Geistes2, p. 91). Cf. for the word . Ep. ad Diogn., i., 10, . “A suitable and common word for the Giver God.’ The generosity of its origin survives in the transfer” (Gildersleeve ad loc.).

[48] Klöpper.

[49] Lightfoot.

[50] Weiss.

[51] Lightfoot.

[52] Klöpper.

[53] Chrysostom.



Verse 20

Philippians 1:20. . The concentrated intense hope which ignores other interests ( ), and strains forward as with outstretched head ( , ). Cf.Romans 8:19, . The verb is found in Polyb., Plut., Joseph., Aquila.— . very probably refers, in the main, to his own conduct, the danger of denying his Lord under stress of hardships, but there is also involved the thought of Christ’s treatment of him. This gives the true antithesis to .— . We are inclined to believe that . has its literal meaning, boldness of speech, for he has before him the danger of denying Christ. Of course there is implied the idea of courage in his whole bearing. The word is typical of the attitude of the early Christians.— . His trial is in process.— .’ . There is some force in Meyer’s suggestion that passive verbs are used here because Paul feels himself the organ of Divine working. . “In my person.” . in Paul is always a colourless word, the organ of the or the , and taking its character from its constituting principle. If he lives, it will be for the service of Christ, which is the highest honour he can pay his Lord. If he has to die, then his readiness to endure death and his calm courage in enduring will be the most eloquent testimony to the worth of his Lord.



Verse 21

Philippians 1:21. . Why this emphasis? He knew that, after the expression of his joyful confidence and hope, the word would come as a shock to their minds. There could be no question as to how men in general felt concerning life and death. But he, the Apostle, occupies a different standpoint. This standpoint he must explain. In spite of Haupt’s strong arguments for taking , not as bodily life, but as life in its general conception (including the future existence), we cannot help feeling that the antithesis of and (Philippians 1:20) necessitates the same contrast between and . [Kabisch, Eschatologie d. Paulus, p. 134, goes the length of saying that Paul does not know the conception of life as an ethical quality; that it always means for him simply existence. Probably there may be more truth in this than we are at first sight, from our different modes of thought, inclined to admit. To the Jewish mind non-existence was certainly one of the most terrible ideas conceivable.] If life meant for Paul wealth, power, self-gratification and the like, then death would loom in front of him with terror. But life for him means Christ. He is one with his Lord. And he knows that death itself cannot break that union, it can only make it more complete (because death is . , Philippians 1:23). Thus it must be actual gain, a definite addition to his joy. Contrast the thought of Apoc. of Bar., xiv., 12, in some degree similar: “the righteous justly hope for the end, and without fear depart from this habitation, because they have with thee a store of works preserved in treasuries”.— . Cf.Wisdom of Solomon 3:2, , , · . In sharp contrast to Paul’s Statement, Cf. Libanius, Orat., xxvi., p. 595 A (quoted by Wetstein): . See numerous apt illustrations in Wetstein.



Verses 21-23




Verse 22

Philippians 1:22. To show the diversities of interpretation to which this verse has given rise, it is enough to note that in the first clause Hpt[54] would supply , while Ws[55] suggests . Others regard the first two clauses as protasis ( summing up the words preceding), making the apodosis begin with . The context suggests an explanation more simple and more natural. Paul has sought to convince them that death has no terror for him; that, on the contrary, it is pure gain. Yet he will not have them suppose that therefore life on earth ( , life with the encumbrance of sinful flesh) is a burden and a trouble. In the circumstances, as he points out immediately, it is probably best for him and them. And he will give a preliminary hint of this. Must we not supply , in thought, in the first clause? This is suggested both by preceding and by the which follows. has to be supplied, admittedly, in both clauses of Philippians 1:21. There is no greater difficulty in doing so here. “But if life in the flesh be my portion, this means (so we must also translate the supplied in first clause of Philippians 1:21) for me fruit of (i.e., springing from) labour.” is qualified by ., because the Apostle felt that he could not regard physical death as quenching his life. Death only meant fuller life, therefore he must define when he wishes to speak of life on this earth.— . For the phrase see Psalms 103. (104) 13, ; Wisdom of Solomon 3:15, . Aptly Thphyl., · .— . has practically ousted from N.T. It is quite natural to have the fut. indicat. in a deliberative sentence.— . Its invariable meaning in N.T. = “make known”. This sense suits almost every instance in LXX. So here, “I do not make known,” “I cannot tell”.

[54] Haupt.

[55] Weiss.



Verse 23

Philippians 1:23. (with most authorr.). = “rather”. Cf.Romans 4:20.— . . Apparently the idea is that of a strong pressure bearing upon him from ( the source) two sides and keeping him motionless.— . . Cf. Thuc., iv., 81, . .— . Aor. of momentary action (see Burton, MT[56], p. 50). Only here in N.T. in this sense. Cf.2 Timothy 4:6, ; Philo, Flacc. ad fin., . Frequent in LXX and late Greek = depart. In Polyb. it usually means castra movere.— . . From this passage and 2 Corinthians 5:8 (but see also 1 Thessalonians 5:10) as compared with others, e.g., 1 Thessalonians 4:15, 1 Corinthians 15:51, Beyschl. (N.T. Theol., ii., 269 ff.), Teichmann (op. cit. pp. 57–59), Grafe (Abhandl. C. v. Weizsäcker gewidm., p. 276) and others conclude that the Apostle changed his views on eschatology in his later years, and esp[57] when death stared him in the face. Instead of supposing a sleep ( ) until the Parousia, or else the direct experience of that event, he now believes that after death the soul is immediately united to Christ. It is, however, hazardous to build up eschatological theories on these isolated utterances of the Apostle. He has, apparently, no fixed scheme of thought on the subject. The Resurrection is not before his mind at all in this passage. His eschatology, as Dsm[58] (Th. LZ[59], 1898, col. 14) well observes, must rather be conceived as . Death cannot interrupt the life . This is the preparation for being . Even contemporary Jewish thought was familiar with a similar idea. So, e.g., Tanchuma, Wajjikra, 8: “When the righteous leave the world they ascend at once and stand on high” (Weber, Lehren d. Talmud, p. 323). See also Charles, Eschatology, p. 399 ff.— . . . It seems necessary for the sense to insert with the best authorities. The double comparat. is fairly common.

[56] Moods and Tenses (Burton, Goodwin).

[57] especially.

[58] Deissmann (BS. = Bibelstudien, NBS. = Neue Bibelstudien).

[59] Theologische Literaturzeitung.



Verse 24

Philippians 1:24. . seems common with Paul in a colourless sense.— . It is hard to decide whether it should be retained or not. No difference is made in the sense.— . It is characteristic of the Apostle that the first thing which strikes him is the need of others. Wetstein quotes aptly from Seneca, Epp. ad Lucil., p. 104, ingentis animi est aliena causa ad vitam reverti quod magni viri saepe fecerunt.



Verses 24-26




Verse 25

Philippians 1:25. . . . “With this conviction (sc., that his life is needful for them) I know,” etc. Paul does not claim to be infallible, but he is so confident of the Philippians’ need of him that he cannot doubt that this will be God’s purpose too. There is every reason to believe that his hope was justified (see Introduction).— (which is best attested) has in later Greek the special sense of “remaining alive”. See Schmid, Atticismus, i., p. 132, who quotes Dio., i., 62, 8; 333, 29; Herod., i., 30, and compares Plat., Phaed., 62 [60], 86 C.— . . . . . Probably . should be taken apart from , which goes closely with . “With a view to your progress and the joy of your faith.” (Chr[61]).

[60] Codex Sangermanensis (sæc. ix.), a Græco-Latin MS., now at St. Petersburg, formerly belonging to the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Its text is largely dependent upon that of D. The Latin version, e (a corrected copy of d), has been printed, but with incomplete accuracy, by Belsheim (18 5).

[61] Chrysostom.



Verse 26

Philippians 1:26. “In order that your ground of glorying may increase in Christ Jesus through me, by reason of my,” etc. Their is their knowledge and possession of the Gospel. Christ Jesus is the sphere in which this blessing is enjoyed. Cf.Sirach 9:16, .— is defined by the following clause. Paul looks on his presence with them as an occasion of advance in their Christian calling. , which here denotes strictly the basis, may be translated “through”. This passage bears out the favourable turn which Paul’s affairs have taken. He looks forward to rejoining them.



Verse 27

Philippians 1:27. “gives the aim for which he wishes to remain alive” (Hfm[62]).— . For the whole phrase cf. Inscrr[63] of Pergamon (after 133 B.C.), Bd. ii., 4965, [ ] (Dsm[64], NBS[65], p. 22). For . . Cf. Inscrr[66] Perg., 521, of a priestess, (op. cit., p. 75).— . In addition to reff. in marg., cf. Joseph., Vit., 2; Paris Papyr., 63, coll. 8, 9 (164 B.C.), in which a letter-writer claims for himself that he has [ ] before the gods (Dsm[67], BS[68], p. 211); 1 Clem. ad Cor., vi., 1. The word seems gradually to have lost its original sense of life in a community, and came to mean simply “live” or “behave”. But probably a shade of its original significance often survives as here, to live as directed by certain regulations, certain laws. [Hort, Christian Eccl., p. 137, would retain the strict sense, “live a community-life ’ one directed not by submission to statutes but by the inward power of the Spirit of fellowship”.]— . We should, of course, expect with some finite verb of knowing, but the Apostle, as so frequently, changes the expression of his thought in the process of its formation.— . . . Curiously enough, the second reference to citizenship (Philippians 3:20) is followed by the same two verbs and (so Gw[69]). This is the first direct exhortation to unity in the Epistle. Apparently there was a danger of friction. We have no reason to suppose that there had been serious divisions in the Philippian Church, but the case of Euodia and Syntyche (Philippians 4:2) discloses perilous tendencies. This was not unnatural, for “the very energy of the Christian faith tended to produce energetic personalities” (Rainy, Exp. B., p. 82). And so, apart from doctrinal differences altogether, divergences might arise on questions of method, organisation, etc., with serious consequences. The following words, , viewed in the light of 1 Corinthians 12:9; 1 Corinthians 12:11; 1 Corinthians 12:13, suggest that the differences may have been due to a supposed superiority in spiritual endowments.— . . It is difficult to define precisely the Pauline idea of . At times (e.g., Romans 8:16) Paul speaks as if the Divine . and the human were two forces existing side by side, the Divine working upon the human. At others, the . in man seems to refer to the direct indwelling of the Spirit- of God as the principle of new life imparted to man, e.g., Romans 8:10. On the whole, we believe it is true to affirm that . in Paul is not a psychological but a religious term (so also Hpt[70] Kl[71] holds that Paul recognised a distinct . . Hltzm[72] would identify this with the . Cf. Cone., Paul, pp. 326–327). Here we are safe in holding that . refers to the common, spiritual life implanted in them by the direct working of the Holy Spirit. Certainly this is its most usual significance in Paul. See an instructive discussion in Holsten, Paulin. Theol., p. 11, who shows that when Paul uses . to denote the human spirit, apart from Divine working, it is when he is obliged to emphasise it as the inner power which moves in the hidden life, or when he draws a sharp contrast between the inner and outer side of human nature, laying stress upon the former as the essential, in opposition to the senses which cannot truly know.— . Apparently Chr[73] and Th. Mps[74], with the best ancient versions, join . . with . The words denote the common feeling, the agreement of heart and mind which was the result of possession of the same Spirit. Cf.Acts 4:32. Kl[75] well compares the sense of camaraderie which binds the soldiers of a country together. For an exhaustive discussion of see Hatch, Essays in Bibl. Greek, pp. 101–109.— . . . A comparison with Philippians 4:3 would suggest “striving along with the faith” (so Lft[76], Vau.). This is certainly harsh. The parallel in Judges 1:3, , favours the sense, “striving together ( ) for the faith”. Conjungat vos evangelii fides, praesertim cum illa vobis sit communis armatura adversus eundem hostem (Calvin).— . Christianity regarded in its most characteristic aspect as the acceptance of God’s revelation of mercy in Christ, and the resting upon that for salvation. gradually becomes a technical term. See Hatch, Hibbert Lectures, p. 314; Harnack, Dogmengesch., i., p. 129 ff.

[62] Hofmann.

[63]nscrr. Inscriptions.

[64] Deissmann (BS. = Bibelstudien, NBS. = Neue Bibelstudien).

[65] Neue Bibelstudien

[66]nscrr. Inscriptions.

[67] Deissmann (BS. = Bibelstudien, NBS. = Neue Bibelstudien).

[68] Bibelstudien

[69] Gwynn.

[70] Haupt.

[71] Klöpper.

[72]ltzm. Holtzmann.

[73] Chrysostom.

[74] Mps. Theodore of Mopsuestia.

[75] Klöpper.

[76] Lightfoot.



Verses 27-30




Verse 28

Philippians 1:28. . is apparently used esp[77] of scared horses. So Diod. Sic., xvii., 34, 6, . It is found in Plut., Reipub. Ger. Praec., p. 800, of a multitude. See Kypke ad loc. . . Who are their adversaries? In Philippians 1:30 he speaks of them as having the same conflict as he had when at Philippi and now has at Rome. In both these instances, most probably, his opponents were heathen. Further, when warning his readers against Jewish malice, what he usually fears is not that they will be terrified into compliance, but that they will be seduced from the right path. And, as Franke (Myr[78]5ad loc.) points out, the conflict here is for the , not for the of the Gospel. It is no argument against this that some of his reasoning would only have force for Jews, e.g., suffering as a gift of God (so Holst., Jahrb. f. prot. Th., 1875, p. 444). For he is speaking of the impression made upon them (the Philippians), and he uses Christian modes of expression. Probably therefore he thinks chiefly of their heathen antagonists, as, in any case, Jews seem to have formed a very small minority of the population. The pagans of Philippi, on the other hand, would struggle hard against a faith which condemned all idol-worship, for the extant remains at Philippi and in its neighbourhood show that they were an extraordinarily devout community. See esp[79] Heuzey et Daumet, Mission Archéologique de Macédoine, pp. iii., 84–86. At the same time we cannot exclude the possibility that he had non-Christian Jews in his mind as well.— . “Inasmuch as this” (sc., the fact of their not being terrified). The relative is, as frequently, attracted to its predicate. So , agreeing with ., for . In the following words the true reading is . That of TR. has arisen for the sake of symmetry with the succeeding clause.— . An Attic law-term. In N.T. only in Paul. Not found in LXX. It denotes proof obtained by an appeal to facts. See SH[80] on Romans 2:15.— has its usual Pauline antithesis . Paul has never defined .—All edd. read . Not only is it better attested (see crit. note), but it also deserves preference as being the harder reading and sufficient to explain the other. It really includes . The emphasis in Paul’s mind changes from the persons to their destinies. It was quite natural to assimilate to preceding. But there is also the thought that they (the adversaries) will be affected not only by the proof of their own destruction, but also by that of the Philippians’ salvation.— seems to refer to . “If God be for us, who can be against us?”

[77] especially.

[78] Meyer.

[79] especially.

[80] Sanday and Headlam (Romans).



Verse 29

Philippians 1:29. . We are inclined to join this clause immediately to (so also Hpt[81]). The prospect of suffering was apt to terrify them. But when they view suffering in its true light, they will discover that it is a gift of God’s grace ( .) instead of an evil.— . . . The Apostle intended to insert after ., but for a moment he pauses. To emphasise the real value of suffering for Christ’s sake, he compares it with that which they all acknowledge as the crowning blessing of their lives, faith in Him. As to the form of the sentence, this is a favourite rhetorical device of Paul’s. See J. Weiss, Beiträge, p. 11 n. . might have been expected. “When a limitation of an infinitive or of its subject is to be negatived rather than the infinitive itself, the negative is used instead of . This principle applies esp[82] in the case of the adverb ” (Burton, MT[83], p. 183).— . The deepest aspect of faith, the intimate union into which the soul is brought.

[81] Haupt.

[82] especially.

[83] Moods and Tenses (Burton, Goodwin).



Verse 30

Philippians 1:30. . For the fact, see Acts 16:19 ff. and cf.1 Thessalonians 2:2. The metaphor has been prepared for by and . Cf. Epictet., iv., 4, 32 (quoted by Hatch, Hibb. Lects., p. 156), “Life is in reality an Olympic festival: we are God’s athletes to whom He has given an opportunity of showing of what stuff we are made”. was constantly used in later Greek of an inward struggle. See some striking exx. from Plutarch in Holden’s note on Timoleon, xxvii., § 5.— . A broken construction. It ought strictly to be dative agreeing with . It can scarcely be taken as parallel with . and .— . See reff. above.— . His Roman trial.



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Bibliographical Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Philippians 1". The Expositor's Greek Testament. 1897-1910.