1From Paul and Timothy, # 1:1 Timothy was Paul’s convert, coworker, and spiritual son. See 1 Tim. 1:2. both of us servants of Jesus, the Anointed One. To all his devoted followers in Philippi, including your pastors, # 1:1 Or “guardians,” as translated from the Greek. The Aramaic text uses the word priests, and could refer to Jewish priests who had received Jesus as the Messiah. and to all the servant-leaders # 1:1 As translated from the Aramaic. The Greek text is “deacons.” The word for deacon is actually taken from a Greek compound of the words dia and kovis that means “to kick up the dust,” referring to a servant who is so swift to accomplish his service that he stirs up the dust of the street running to fulfill his duty. of the church.
2May the blessings of divine grace and supernatural peace that flow from God our wonderful Father, and our Messiah, the Lord Jesus, be upon your lives.
Paul Prays for the Philippians
3-4My prayers for you are full of praise to God as I give him thanks for you with great joy! I’m so grateful for our union 5and our enduring partnership that began the first time I presented to you the gospel. 6I pray with great faith for you, because I’m fully convinced that the One who began this gracious work # 1:6 Or “good [worthwhile] work.” Paul uses language here that sounds similar to Gen. 1:2. When God created the heavens and the earth, he declared it to be “good.” And now with the new creation life within us, God again sees our growth in grace as something good. in you will faithfully continue the process of maturing you # 1:6 Or “he will see to it that you remain faithful.” until the unveiling # 1:6 Literally “day of Christ.” This is the day of his unveiling, his appearing. of our Lord Jesus Christ!
7It’s no wonder I pray with such confidence, since you have a permanent place in my heart! # 1:7 Or “since you have given me a permanent place in your hearts.” You have remained partners with me in the wonderful grace of God even though I’m here in chains for standing up for the truth of the gospel. # 1:7 The Aramaic can be translated “the truth of God’s revelation.” The Greek can also be translated “for the defense and proof (a possible hendiadys) of the gospel.” 8Only God knows how much I dearly love you with the tender affection # 1:8 Or “mercies.” of Jesus, the Anointed One.
9I continue to pray for your love to grow and increase beyond measure, bringing you into the rich revelation of spiritual insight # 1:9 The Greek word for “insight” (aisthēsis) is a hapax legomenon in the New Testament and used numerous times in the Septuagint referring to practical understanding linked to life. It is a word that implies walking out the truth that insight reveals. It could also be translated “experience,” or “to experience the reality of something and apply it to life.” in all things.
10This will enable you to choose # 1:10 The Greek word for “choose” (dokimazō) means “to examine, to discern, or approve after testing.” It comes from a root word that means “accepted” or “pleasing.” So discernment becomes the path to finding what God approves, not simply what God forbids. When love, revelation, and insight overflow into our discernment, we will always be looking for what is excellent and pleasing in God’s eyes. We choose what is best, not by law or rules, but by loving discernment. the most excellent way of all # 1:10 As translated from the Greek. The Aramaic can be translated “choose those things that bring contentment.” —becoming pure and without offense until the unveiling of Christ. # 1:10 Or “in preparation for the day of Christ.” This is the day of his unveiling at his appearing. 11And you will be filled completely with the fruits of righteousness # 1:11 Or “the fruit that is righteousness.” that are found in Jesus, the Anointed One—bringing great praise and glory to God!
12I want you to know, dear ones, # 1:12 Or “my brothers.” what has happened to me has not hindered, but helped my ministry of preaching the gospel, causing it to expand and spread to many people. 13For now the elite Roman guards and government officials # 1:13 Or “Caesar’s court.” overseeing my imprisonment have plainly recognized that I am here because of my love for the Anointed One. 14And what I’m going through has actually caused many believers # 1:14 Or “brothers.” to become even more courageous in the Lord and to be bold and passionate to preach the Word of God, all because of my chains.
15It’s true that there are some who preach Christ out of competition and controversy, for they are jealous over the way God has used me. Many others have purer motives—they preach with grace and love filling their hearts, # 1:15 Or “with goodwill.” This translation has borrowed the term “love” from v. 16 and made it explicit here as the purest motive for preaching the gospel. 16because they know I’ve been destined for the purpose of defending the revelation of God. # 1:16 As translated from the Aramaic. The Greek is “the gospel.” The implication from the Aramaic is that some of these preachers (v. 15) had been ordained by Paul.
17Those who preach Christ with ambition and competition are insincere—they just want to add to the hardships of my imprisonment. 18Yet in spite of all of this I am overjoyed! For what does it matter as long as Christ is being preached? If they preach him with mixed motives or with genuine love, the message of Christ is still being preached. And I will continue to rejoice 19because I know that the lavish supply # 1:19 The Greek word for “supply” can also be translated “festive chorus.” of the Spirit of Jesus, the Anointed One, and your intercession for me will bring about my deliverance. # 1:19 A quotation from Job 13:16 (LXX). 20No matter what, I will continue to hope and passionately cling # 1:20 The Greek word is apokaradokia and can be translated “with the deepest and intense yearnings,” or “the concentrated desire that abandons all other interests with outstretched hands in expectation.” It is possible that Paul uses the words “passionately cling,” and “hope” as a hendiadys (i.e., “my hope-filled intense expectation”). Romans 8:19 is the only other place in the New Testament where apokaradokia is found. to Christ, so that he will be openly revealed through me before everyone’s eyes. # 1:20 Literally “with uncovered faces.” Some interpret it to mean without shame. So I will not be ashamed! # 1:20 See also Rom. 1:16; 2 Cor. 10:8; 1 Peter 4:16; 1 John 2:28. In my life or in my death, Christ will be magnified in me. 21My true life is the Anointed One, and dying means gaining more of him.
22-24So here’s my dilemma: Each day I live means bearing more fruit in my ministry; yet I fervently long to be liberated from this body # 1:22–24 The Greek uses the word analyō, which means “to fold up a tent and depart.” Sailors used this word to say, “loose the ship and set sail.” And farmers used analyō to mean “to unyoke an oxen” (set it free). and joined fully to Christ. That would suit me fine, but the greatest advantage to you would be that I remain alive. So you can see why I’m torn between the two—I don’t know which I prefer.
25Yet deep in my heart I’m confident that I will be spared so I can add to your joy and further strengthen and mature your faith. # 1:25 Or “that I could help with your pioneer advance and joy in faith.” Paul was excited to help them make new pioneer advances in their faith and joy. 26When I am freed to come to you, my deliverance will give you a reason to boast even more in Jesus Christ.
27Whatever happens, keep living your lives based on the reality of the gospel of Christ. Then when I come to see you, or hear good reports of you, I’ll know that you stand united in one Spirit and one passion—celebrating together as conquerors # 1:27 As translated literally from the Aramaic. The Greek states “striving side by side with one mind.” in the faith of the gospel. # 1:27 Or “his revelation.” 28And then you will never be shaken or intimidated by the opposition that rises up against us. Your courage will prove to be a sure sign from God of their coming destruction. 29For God has graciously given you the privilege not only to believe in Christ, but also to suffer for him. 30For you have been called by him to endure the conflict in the same way I have endured it—for you know I’m not giving up.