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Updated American Standard Version

Translating Truth

The Epistle of Paul to the Philippians

  • Author: Paul
  • Place Written: Rome
  • Writing Completed: c. 60–61 C.E.

Greeting

1 Paul and Timothy, servants[1] pledged to Christ Jesus, to all the holy ones[2] in Christ Jesus that are in Philippi, with the overseers[3] and servants:[4] 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanks to God; Paul’s Prayer

3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, 5 for your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 And I am sure that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion until the day of Jesus Christ. 7 It is right for me to feel thus about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. 8 For God is my witness, how I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in accurate knowledge[5] and all discernment;[6] 10 so that you may approve[7] what is excellent, and so be sincere and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 being filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Gospel Advances Regardless of Trouble

12 Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, 13 so that it has become known throughout the whole praetorian guard,[8] and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. 14 And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word of God without fear.

15 Some indeed preach Christ from envy and strife, but others from good will. 16 The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in this I rejoice.

Yes I will also rejoice,

19 For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance[9] through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.

To Live Is Christ, to Die Is Gain

21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I am to live on in the flesh, this means fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. 23 I am hard pressed between the two, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better. 24 yet to remain in the flesh is more necessary for your sake. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, through my presence with you again.

Let Your Manner of Life Be Worthy of the Gospel

27 Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind[10] striving side by side for the faith of the gospel; 28 and in no way frightened by your opponents, which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that from God. 29 For to you it has been granted for the sake of Christ, not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for his sake, 30 having the same conflict, which you all saw in me, and now hear to be in me.

Christian Humility

2 If there is therefore any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit,[11] if any tender mercies and compassions, 2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind,[12] having the same love, being in full accord[13] and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but in humility[14] consider others as more important than yourselves. 4 Everyone should look out not only for his own interests,[15] but also for the interests of others.

 Christ’s Humility and Exaltation

5 Have this mind[16] in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Holding Fast to the Word of Life

12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to act, on behalf of his good pleasure.

Lights in the World

14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 15 that you may come to be blameless[17] and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I can boast because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain. 17 But even if I am[18] being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 And in the same way also you be glad and rejoice with me.

Timothy and Epaphroditus

19 But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, so that I also may be encouraged when I know the things concerning you. 20 For I have no one else like-minded who will genuinely care for your concerns. 21 For they all seek their own interests, not the things of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know his proven character, because he has served with me in the gospel ministry like a child with a father. 23 Therefore, I hope to send him as soon as I see how things go with me; 24 and I trust in the Lord that I myself also will be coming shortly.

Epaphroditus’ Mission

25 But I thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need; 26 since he has been longing for all[19] of you and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick. 27 For indeed he was sick to the point of death, but God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, so that I would not have sorrow upon sorrow. 28 Therefore I am sending him all the more eagerly so that when you see him again you may rejoice and that I may be less anxious. 29 Therefore receive him in the Lord with all joy, and hold men like him in high regard; 30 because he came close to death for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was lacking in your service to me.

Righteousness Through Faith in Christ

3 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To be writing the same things to you is no troublesome (thing) to me, and for you, it is a safeguard.

2 Beware of the dogs,[20] beware of the evil workers, beware of those who mutilate the flesh![21] 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and boast in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh, 4 though I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind[22] to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law,[23] a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the congregation;[24] as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless.

All Things Loss on Account of Christ

7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ, 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but one through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith, 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed to his death; 11 that by any means I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Reaching Forward to God’s Goal

12 Not that I have already obtained it or am already perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brothers, I do not count myself as having laid hold of it: but one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude;[25] and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; 16 Only to what we have attained, let us go on walking in the same.

Citizenship in the Heavens

17 Brothers, join in imitating me, and observe those who walk according to the example you have in us. 18 For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, and they have their minds on earthly things. 20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21 who will transform the body[26] of our humble body, to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him to subject all things to himself.

Think of Excellence

4  Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, my beloved.

Exhortation, Encouragement, and Prayer

I urge Euodia, and I urge Syntyche, to be of the same mind[27] in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true yokefellow,[28] help these women, who struggled alongside me for the gospel, together with Clement[29] and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.[30]

Do Not Be Anxious Over Anything

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be made known to all men. The Lord is at hand.[31] In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds[32] in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on[33] these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Appreciation of Support

10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content[34] in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to be made lowly, and I know also how to be abounding; in everything and in all things I have learned the secret of both being filled and going hungry, both to abound and to be lacking. 13 I can do all things through[35] him who strengthens me. 14 Nevertheless, you have done well to share[36] with me in my affliction.

15 And you yourselves also know Philippians that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no congregation[37] shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone. 16 For even in Thessalonica you sent gifts for my needs once and again.[38] 17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your account. 18 But I have received everything in full, and I have an abundance. I am fully supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you sent a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God. 19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20 Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever.[39] Amen.

Final Greetings

21 Greet every holy one in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me greet you. 22 All the holy ones greet you, especially those of Caesar's household.

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

[1] Or slaves (Gk., doulos)

[2] Holy Ones, Saints: (Heb. qā·ḏôš; Gr. hagios) Persons who are dedicated to God physically, mentally, spiritually, and morally. These ones are God’s people, who are accredited a righteous standing before God based on the ransom sacrifice of Christ (Matt. 20:28), who are declared holy, pure, and clean in God’s eyes.–Mark 6:20; 1 Cor. 6:2; Php 1:1; 4:22; Rev 18:20; Rev 22:21.

[3] Gr episkopos, lit., “an overseer” (epi, “over,” skopos, “to look over” or “to watch over”

[4] Or ministers, deacons; (Gr, diakonois)

[5] Epignosis is a strengthened or intensified form of gnosis (epi, meaning “additional”), meaning, “true,” “real,” “full,” “complete” or “accurate,” depending upon the context. Paul and Peter alone use epignosis.

[6] Or insight, experience (Gr, aisthesei)

[7] Or discover; or differing

[8] A soldier of the Roman emperor's bodyguard, security for the family

[9] Or, salvation, Paul’s being released

[10] Lit one soul

[11] Or any sharing of spirit

[12] That is, thinking the same thing

[13] Lit together in soul

[14] Lit lowly mindedness

[15] Lit not the (things) of themselves each (ones).

[16] Lit be thinking, mental attitude

[17] Blameless: (Heb. tam, tamim; Gr. amomos, amometos) means, “perfect, blameless, sincerity, entire, whole, complete, and full.” Of course, Noah, Jacob, and Job were not literally perfect. When used of imperfect humans, the terms are relative, not absolute. However, if we are fully committed to following, a life course based on God’s will and purposes, fully living by his laws, repent when we fall short, he will credit us righteousness.–Gen. 6:6; 25:27; Job 9:20-22l Ps. 119:1; Pro. 11:20; Phil 2:15; 1 Thess. 5:23.

[18] i.e., his life is, his blood is

[19] One early MS reads “to see you all”

[20] The dogs, referring to a well-known party—the Judaizers. These were nominally Christians who accepted Jesus as the Messiah, but as the Saviour of Israel only. They insisted that Christ’s kingdom could be entered only through the gate of Judaism. Only circumcised converts were fully accepted by God.

[21] “Those who mutilate the flesh,” or “the incision,” or “the mutilation” lit., “a cutting off” (kata, “down,”temno, “to cut”), “a mutilation,” [it] is a term found [here], used by the apostle, by a paranomasia, contemptuously, for the Jewish circumcision with its Judaistic influence, in contrast to the true spiritual circumcision.

[22] Or has a reason

[23] The Mosaic Law. The validity of that law was the principle upheld by the Judaizers.―WSNT

[24] Gr ekklesia (“assembly”)

[25] Phroneo … signifies (a) “to think, to be minded in a certain way”; (b) “to think of, be mindful of.” It implies moral interest or reflection, not mere unreasoning opinion.

[26] Body: (Gr. sōma) The complete material structure or physical form of a organism, human being, or animal. (Mark 14:22; Lu 17:37; Rom. 8:23; 1 Cor. 12:12; 15:37; Phil. 3:21) There are also spiritual bodies, which are invisible to human eyes and completely beyond human senses. (1 Cor. 15:40, 44) The term “body” is also used in symbolically.–Rom 6:3-6; 1 Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:28; Eph. 1:22-23; 2:16; 4:4; Col. 1:18.

[27] The verb φρονέω [phroneo] to be minded, is found eleven times in this epistle, and only seventeen times in the rest of the New Testament.

[28] Or “true companion”

[29] Clement was a common name and should not be connected with Clement of Rome.

[30] Book of Life: (Gr. biblos tēs zōēs) In biblical times, cities had a register of names for the citizens living there. (See Ps. 69:28; Isa. 4:3) God, figuratively speaking, has been writing names in the “book of life” “from the foundation of the world.” (Rev. 17:8) Jesus Christ talked about Abel as living “from the foundation of the world,” this would suggest that we are talking about the world of ransomable humankind after the fall. (Lu 11:48-51) Clearly, Abel was the first person to have his name written in the “book of life.” The individuals who have their names written in the “book of Life” do not mean they are predestined to eternal life. This is evident from the fact that they can be ‘blotted out’ of the “book of life.” (Ex 32:32-33; Rev. 3:5) Jesus ransom sacrifice alone gets one written in the “book of life,” if they accept the Son of God. However, it is remaining faith to God that keeps them from being ‘blotted’ out of the “book of life.” (Phil. 2:12; Heb. 10:26-27; Jam. 2:14-26) It is only by remaining faithful until the end that one can be retained permanently in the “book of life.”–Matt. 214:13; Phil. 4:3; Rev. 20:15.

[31] Or “The Lord is near.”

[32] Or “your mental powers; your thoughts.”

[33] Or “dwell on these things; ponder these things”

[34] Or “self-sufficient

[35] Lit in

[36] Or have fellowship with

[37] Gr ekklesia (“assembly”)

[38] Lit “and once and twice”

[39] Lit to the ages of the ages