Category Archives: Philippians

Fridays in Philippians – Contrasting Motives in Preaching Christ (1:15)

NOTEThis is a condensed excerpt from my forthcoming (2014) commentary on Philippians.

Paul identifies two groups in Rome who have been emboldened in their preaching of Christ because of his faithful witness while under house arrest. In the first group are those who do so from envy and rivalry, or perhaps better “because of envy and rivalry.”[1] Paul combines these two terms elsewhere to describe what life ruled by the flesh looks like (Rom 1:29; Gal 5:20-21; 1 Tim 6:4),[2] a clear indictment of these particular believers. The Greek word translated envy (phthonos) refers to “a state of ill will toward someone because of some real or presumed advantage experienced by such a person”;[3] it is “concerned more to deprive the other man of the desired thing than to gain it.”[4] The same expression occurs in Mark 15:10 to indicate the motives that led the chief priests to hand Jesus over to Pilate. In this context the envy of some who are now preaching Christ could stem from any number of things, including but not limited to: Paul’s recognized status as a leading figure, Paul’s obvious success, or even his notoriety for being a troublemaker. The Greek word translated rivalry (eris) is more difficult to translate; it refers to “conflict resulting from rivalry and discord.”[5] Thus although the word generally means conflict, the context here suggests the more specific sense of rivalry. These brothers are interested in establishing themselves and their ministries in competition with Paul; they are more interested in the expansion of their own ministries than the spread of the gospel per se.[6]

In contrast to the first group of brothers, the second preach Christ from good will. While the Greek word eudokia can mean a basic good disposition,[7] the context here suggests the stronger sense of the word that indicates “pleasure.”[8] That is clearly the sense of the word in Phil 2:13, and it fits the context here. Thus the point is not merely that these brothers preach Christ from good rather than bad motives. It is rather that these brothers preach Christ because they are motivated by a deep and satisfying delight in the Christ they preach.

People preach the gospel for a variety of reasons. Some see it as the path to fortune and fame, preeminence and prestige. More subtly, some preach Christ with one eye on the gospel and another on others engaged in ministry, falling into the subtle but deadly trap of comparing the results. Still others preach Christ because he is their greatest delight. Why do you preach Christ?



[1] The Greek preposition dia when used with the accusative case often indicates the cause of something (BDAG B.2.a), as it does here.

[2] This combination is also found in Philo, where he lists these vices among those things that oppose happiness (Mut. 1:95).

[3] LN 88.160. An interesting parallel is found in the Greek comic poet Philemon (ca. 362– ca. 262 B.C.), who lamented “You abundantly teach me many things because of envy” (cited in VGNT, 667). Doubtful is the suggestion of Bruce Winter, who attempts to connect this word to the political realm and an effort to cause Paul difficulties at his trial; see Bruce W. Winter, Seek the Welfare of the City: Christians as Benefactors and Citizens (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994), 93-94.

[4] NIDNTT 1:557. The entry goes on to quote the Greek writer Xenophon: “The envious are those who are annoyed only at their friends’ successes.”

[5] LN 39.22. All nine NT occurrences are in Paul (Rom 1:29; 13:13; 1 Cor 1:11; 3:3; 2 Cor 12:20; Gal 5:20; Phil 1:15; 1 Tim 6:4; Titus 3:9), and all but two (1 Cor 1:11; 3:3) are in vice lists. According to Philo, eris is the “mother of anger” (Leg. 3:131) and “the most grievous of diseases” (Imm. 1:97).

[6] For more on the identity of these “preachers,” see discussion at 1:17 and the Introduction.

[7] BDAG 1; so also commentators such as Fee, Philippians, 120; Hansen, Philippians, 72; Witherington, Philippians, 81.

[8] See BDAG 2. From a slightly different angle, O’Brien, Philippians, 99-100, suggests that eudokia “has a godward reference, denoting the divine acceptance of Paul’s ministry” (along similar lines see Bockmuehl, Philippians, 78-79).

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Fridays in Philippians – Boldness in the Face of Persecution (1:14)

NOTEThis is a condensed excerpt from my forthcoming (2014) commentary on Philippians.

The paradoxical nature of the result stated in 1:14 should not be missed. The natural response to persecution would be to cower in fear and reduce one’s public visibility. We see such a response in the days following the crucifixion of Jesus; his followers gathered behind locked doors because they feared they might be next (John 20:19). Yet less than six weeks later they boldly and publicly preach the gospel to Jews gathered from across the Roman Empire to celebrate Pentecost. The difference was the gift of the Spirit (Acts 2:1-4). Although Paul does not explicitly mention the Spirit here, he will soon do so in connection with his own situation (Phil 1:19). Only the Spirit can transform the natural response of cowardice in the face of persecution into greater boldness to proclaim the very message that provokes persecution. Such boldness is not the product of greater human effort, but is rather fueled by confidence/trust in the Lord. Paul makes the connection between trust in the Lord and sharing the gospel explicit in 2 Corinthians 4:13-14—”Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, ‘I believed, and so I spoke,’ we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence.”[1] There appears to be a proportional relationship between one’s boldness in speaking the gospel fearlessly and trust in the Lord. Lack of boldness may signal a lack of confidence/trust in the Lord.



[1] Here in 2 Corinthians 4:13-14 Paul quotes from Psalm 116:10, where the psalmist verbally expresses his faith in the midst of persecution; for more on this citation, see G. K. Beale and D. A. Carson, Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2007), 764-65.

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Fridays in Philippians – The Unexpected Advance of the Gospel (1:13)

NOTEThis is a condensed excerpt from my forthcoming (2014) commentary on Philippians.

God’s relentless commitment to the advance of the gospel often works itself out in unexpected ways. From a human perspective Paul’s imprisonment would seem like a disaster. But in God’s providence it was the means by which the gospel would advance in a seemingly impenetrable place—the praetorian guard. Where Paul could not reach by any other conceivable means God had placed him to make it evident that his entire life is “in Christ.” In that sense Paul’s experience is not unique; throughout the history of the church God has often advanced the gospel by placing his people in circumstances and locations they could not reach themselves so that those beyond the apparent reach of the gospel might hear the good news and believe. Perhaps some who read these words are or will one day find themselves in just such a situation.

We can learn from Paul’s example here of making it clear in our interaction with other that all that we experience as believers is experienced in Christ. That means that even the worst of circumstances remain under his gracious rule. Our actions and experiences are not self-interpreting. Just as Paul had to make it evident to those he encountered that his bonds are paradoxically evidence of his status of being “in Christ,” so too believers today must explain to others that their own experience remains under the gracious rule of Christ.

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Fridays in Philippians – Paul is in Chains but the Gospel Runs Free (1:12)

NOTEThis is a condensed excerpt from my forthcoming (2014) commentary on Philippians.

Here in verse 12 Paul stresses that his circumstances have really served to advance the gospel.[1] On a human level, one would expect that Paul’s imprisonment would slow or perhaps even stop the progress of the gospel.[2] After all, Paul cannot plant churches while in Roman custody. But, as Paul states elsewhere “the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Cor 1:25). The irony is that while Rome has imprisoned Paul in an effort to prevent his message from spreading, that very imprisonment has become the means by which the gospel advances. Paul may be in chains, but the gospel runs free. That is the surprising but true state of affairs.[3]

In referring to the advance of the gospel, Paul uses a rare word (prokopē) that occurs just one other place in the New Testament outside of this letter. As part of his instructions to Timothy, Paul tells him to put them into practice “so that all may see your progress” (1 Tim 4:15).  The term was commonly used to refer to progress in moral virtue or wisdom, especially in Philo and Stoic literature.[4] But here it refers to the progress of the gospel, which advances like a disciplined Roman legion cutting its way through enemy opposition.[5]

By framing the discussion of his circumstances within the context of the progress of the gospel, Paul makes it clear that the gospel is of utmost importance. Rather than complain about the difficulty of his circumstances, Paul revels in the advance of the gospel. Just as Joseph saw that what his brothers meant for evil God meant for good (Gen 50:20), so too Paul sees the sovereign hand of a good God behind the evil intentions of his Roman captors.

Paul’s commitment to the progress of the gospel is a needed reminder to the church today. It is easy for believers to get distracted with a plethora of activities and concerns, many of them good things. But do they advance the gospel? Perhaps more pointedly, is the progress of the gospel our primary concern as believers?



[1] Such a translation is an attempt to bring out the sense rather than woodenly follow the Greek, which reads something like “have come more into/for the progress of the gospel.”

[2] The Greek word translated “really” (mallon) could also be rendered “rather” (BDAG 3). If it means really, Paul’s point is one of intensification (“what has happened to me has definitely served to advance the gospel”); see, e.g., Jerry L. Sumney, Philippians: A Greek Student’s Intermediate Reader (Peabody: Hendrickson, 2007), 19. If it means rather, Paul’s point is one of contrast (“[contrary to what you expect] what has happened to me has served rather to advance the gospel”); see, e.g., O’Brien, Philippians, 90. The context favors the latter.

[3] The verb translated “has served” is actually erchomai, which normally means “come.” But here it is part of an idiomatic expression that means “result in furthering” (BDAG 5). The perfect tense of the verb emphasizes the state of affairs resulting from Paul’s circumstances.

[4] Speaking of celebrating the Passover, Philo writes “For while meditating on the migration from the passions and sacrificing the passover you ought to take the advance [prokopēn] towards perfection” (Leg 3:165; see also Leg 2:81; 3:249 [2x]; Pot 1:46; Agr 1:157; EBR 1:82; FUG 1:176). According to the sophist Diodorus Siculus, Pythagoras and his followers were unable to escape envy from their fellow Greeks “even though Pythagoras himself and the Pythagoreans after him made such advancement [prokopēs] [in wisdom] and were the cause of so great blessings to the states of Greece” (Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca Historica 10.10.2). A Greek wordplay between “advance” (prokopē) and “hindrance” (proskopē) may also be in view here (Hansen, Philippians, 67).

[5] Cp. Vincent, Philippians, 16.

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Fridays in Philippians – The Ultimate Goal of Paul’s Prayer (1:11)

NOTEThis is a condensed excerpt from my forthcoming (2014) commentary on Philippians.

The ultimate goal of what Paul prays (1:9-11) is the glory and praise of God. Just as the Lord’s Prayer begins with a request that God would hallow his name (i.e., cause his name to be regarded as holy and exalted), so too Paul’s ultimate aim in prayer is the glory of God.[1] On the day of Christ, when every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (2:10-11), God will be praised and glorified because of the fruit he has produced in and through his people. Not even the spiritual growth of the Philippians is exempt from the ultimate goal of bringing glory and praise to God. All that God does for, to, in and through the believer is ultimately so that his own greatness may be displayed and recognized.

What a blessing that God is not satisfied to merely give us the righteousness of Christ, but also fills his people with its fruits! And that fruit is the result of the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ given to the believer. Through our union with Christ, we share in his righteousness, both in the legal sense of our standing before him and in the experiential sense of a transformed life that is under the direction of the Spirit.



[1] Silva, Philippians, 49.

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Fridays in Philippians – The Purpose and Result of Love Abounding (1:10)

NOTEThis is a condensed excerpt from my forthcoming (2014) commentary on Philippians.

Both the purpose and the result of the Philippians’ love abounding in knowledge and insight/discernment are stated here in verse 10. The purpose is so that you may approve what is excellent.[1] Although the verb translated approve (dokimazō) can mean to put to the test or examine (e.g., 1 Cor 11:28; 2 Cor 13:5), here it has the sense of proving or approving something.[2] Paul uses similar language in Romans 12:2—”Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern [dokimazein] what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (cp. Eph 5:10). As biblical love abounds more and more in knowledge and all discernment it enables believers to recognize, embrace and follow God’s good and acceptable and perfect will.

But rather than speaking of approving God’s will as he does in Romans 12:2, Paul instead speaks of what is excellent. Behind this expression is a verb (diapherō) that means to be worth more or superior to something.[4] The specific expression used here (ta diapheronta) refers to those things that are significant/essential or even excellent. While some things are clearly right or wrong, good or bad, many things are not so clear cut. Indeed, it is especially difficult to distinguish between what is good and what is best, what is permissible from what is preferable. That is why Christian love must grow in knowledge and all discernment, so that God’s people can demonstrate through their lives their approval of what is excellent. “Here we have a definition of Christian wisdom—to know what is advantageous or expedient—not to torture the mind with empty subtleties and speculations.”[7]

The result of approving the things that are excellent is so that you may be pure and blameless. The rare adjective translated pure (eilikrinēs) refers to something that is unmixed, a sense that was extended into the moral realm as being sincere, lacking hidden motives or pretense.[8] The adjective translated blameless (aproskopos) is almost as rare;[9] it can have the sense of either being without fault or not causing offense to someone else. While both senses fit here, the context points to the first sense.[10] The combination of these two terms encompasses both internal dispositions and outward actions.[11] The result of approving the things that are excellent is a life that is pure both inwardly and outwardly. The experience of the Christian makes it clear that no one is able to perfectly live out this high calling, and this is perhaps even implied by the fact that Paul is praying for this to be a reality for the Philippians. But over time there should be a gradual and noticeable growth in these areas the longer one walks with Christ.



[1] The use of the preposition eis + the articular infinitive expresses purpose; cf. Robertson, Grammar, 1071; Burton, §409.

[2] Cf. BDAG 2.b. In the NT it is a distinctly Pauline word; 17 of the 22 occurrences are in his letters. His usage is roughly evenly split between the two senses of test/examine (1 Cor 3:13; 11:28; 1 Cor 13:5; Gal 6:4; 1 Thes 2:4 [2x]; 1 Tim 3:10) and prove/approve. The former sense is also prevalent in the Apostolic Fathers of the need to examine bishops and deacons (1 Clem 42:4; 44:2; Did 15:1), prophets, (Did 11:11; Hmk 1:7 [2x], 16) and travelling teachers (Did 12:1). In the LXX (36x) it is prevalent in the Wisdom literature in particular. In the Psalms it is used to speak of God trying/testing the godly (16:3; 25:2; 65:10; 80:8; 138:1, 23) as well as Israel testing God in the wilderness (94:9). The verb is also common in both Josephus (29x) and Philo (40x). An example of this verb used with the sense of approve is a marriage contract from before the NT period which requires disputes to be settled by three men “whom both shall approve” (P. Eleph 110 cited in VGNT). This verb was also a technical term for testing currency (e.g., Plato, Timaeus 65c); see Marvin Richardson Vincent, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistles to the Philippians and to Philemon (ICC 37; New York: C. Scribner’s Sons, 1897), 12.

[7] Calvin et al., Philippians, 32.

[8] Cf. BDAG; LN. The only other NT occurrence is 2 Peter 3:1, where it describes the kind of thinking that should be characteristic of a believer. In the only LXX occurrence, wisdom is described as a pure emanation of the glory of God (Wis 7:25). Philo (25x) uses it in a variety of ways, mostly to modify a person’s mental faculties (e.g., Opi 1:8; Ebr 1:101, 190; HER 1:98, 308; Leg 1:88; Cng 1:143 [2x]; Spe 1:99; Mos 2:40; Pep 1:45; Qex 2:47). Some have argued that eilikrinēs comes from a combination of eilē (“warmth or light of the sun”) and krinō (“to judge”), with the resulting sense of “tested by sunlight”; see, e.g., TDNT 2:397-398; EDNT. But this origin is uncertain at best, and has been questioned by others; see, e.g., Vincent, Philippians, 13;  J.H. Moulton and W.F. Howard, Accidence and Word-Formation (A Grammar of New Testament Greek vol. 2; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1908), 105; Kennedy, “Philippians,” 422.

[9] It occurs just two other places in the NT, either in reference to Paul’s conscience (Acts 24:16) or his behavior among both Jews and Greeks (1 Cor 10:32).

[10] “Paul’s central concern is not primarily the readers’ relationship to outsiders but the wider issue of how they will appear in the presence of the coming Lord” (Bockmuehl, Philippians, 68-69).

[11] There may even overtones from the purity required of priests serving in the temple; see N. T. Wright, The Prison Letters: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon (2nd ed.; Paul for Everyone; Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2004), 86.

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Fridays in Philippians – Love abounding in Knowledge & Discernment (1:9)

NOTEThis is a condensed excerpt from my forthcoming (2014) commentary on Philippians.

Paul’s desire for the Philippians’ love to increasingly abound in knowledge and discernment/insight indicates at least two things. First, although love must have some basis in basic knowledge, its depth, consistency and endurance in some sense depends on growing knowledge of the person or object loved. Knowledge is not the enemy of love for God, but a necessary condition for its existence. In a healthy marriage, a husband’s love for his wife (and vice versa) deepens as he grows in his knowledge of her. The same is true of our relationship with God; as we grow in our understanding of him and his ways, our love for him, his gospel, his people and the world will deepen as well. Second, the fact that Paul prays for this growth in knowledge and insight/discernment implies that it is God who must grant these realities. While it is our responsibility as believers to pursue growth in knowledge and discernment/insight through the available means such as the preaching of God’s Word, reading/studying the Bible and helpful Christian literature, these activities are insufficient in and of themselves to produce the kind of knowledge and discernment/insight Paul speaks of here. Apart from the supernatural work of God’s Spirit to use those efforts, the only kind of knowledge gained from those activities is the kind that makes a person arrogant (cf. 1 Cor 8:1). Bockmuehl summarizes the thought well here: “Christ, it seems, has no place for love that is selfish, indulgent, and lacking in discrimination—nor indeed for knowledge that does not express itself in love.”[1] How essential it is then to pray that God will grant us knowledge and discernment/insight that works itself out in tangible acts of love for God and others.


[1] Bockmuehl, Philippians, 67.

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Fridays in Philippians – The Affection of Christ Jesus

What Paul solemnly affirms is how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. The verb translated yearn (epipotheō) means “to have a strong desire for someth[ing], with implication of need.”[1] Paul regularly uses this verb to describe an intense desire for fellow believers (Rom 1:11; 2 Cor 9:14; 1 Thess 3:6; 2 Tim 1:4), and will do so later in the letter to describe Epaphroditus’s longing for the Philippians while he was with Paul (Phil 2:26). In the LXX of the Psalms it expresses a longing for God (42:1 [2x]), his courts (84:2), his word (119:20, 131) and his salvation (119:174).[2] Paul uses this strong term to indicate the depth of his longing to be with the Philippians and experience in person their fellowship in the gospel. And again he emphasizes that he longs for all of them, not merely some.

He yearns for them with the affection of Christ Jesus. The word rendered affections (splanchnon) in the first sense refers to one’s inward parts such as the kidneys or intestines, but came by extension to refer to a person’s seat of emotions or a feeling itself.[3] It “concerns and expresses the total personality at the deepest level.”[4] This usage is similar to the way that we might speak of the heart; when we say someone feels sorrow in his heart, we do not mean sorrow in the physical organ that pumps blood throughout the body. Paul always uses this word in connection with fellow believers, including later in Philippians 2:1.

In the Gospels the related verb splanchnizomai repeatedly describes Jesus’ compassion for people (Matt 9:36; 14:14; 15:32; 20:34; Mark 1:41; 6:34; 8:2; Luke 7:13; 10:33). This observation is interesting in light of Paul describing his affection as being of Christ Jesus. While there are a number of different ways this expression could be understood, it most likely means “the affection that comes from Christ Jesus.”[5] Paul longs for the Philippians with a deep-seated affection that comes from Jesus Christ himself as they experience fellowship in the gospel.[6] As believers we experience the very same affection that Jesus Christ showed those he encountered, because Christ lives in us to experience and express that affection for others.[7] “Paul’s deeply emotional expression of Christian affection in this verse is not primarily the sign of a gushing temperament, but of a gushing Christology!”[8]

The power of the gospel is shown in the supernatural affection that it produces not only for Jesus Christ himself, but also for those who belong to Jesus Christ. This affection is deepened as believers experience fellowship in the gospel. People who have little or nothing in common on an economic, social, political or ethnic basis are brought together by the Holy Spirit in unified devotion to Christ and the advance of his gospel.


[2] Philo uses this verb to express a desire for virtue (Abr. 1:48) and God himself (Abr. 1:87).

[3] See BDAG; EDNT.

[4] TDNT 7:555.

[5] As such the genitive indicates origin. Other possibilities include subjective (“affection that Jesus Christ has for you”) or possessive (“affection that belongs to Jesus Christ”).

[6] “In the meantime he instructs us by what rule the affections of believers ought to be regulated, so that, renouncing their own will, they may allow Christ to sit at the helm. And, unquestionably, true love can flow from no other source than from the bowels of Christ, and this, like a goad, ought to affect us not a little—that Christ in a manner opens his bowels, that by them he may cherish mutual affection between us”; see Calvin et al., Philippians, 30-31.

[7] “It is not Paul who lives within Paul, but Jesus Christ, which is why Paul is not moved by the bowels of Paul but by the bowels of Jesus Christ”; see Johann Albrecht Bengel, Charlton Thomas Lewis and Marvin Richardson Vincent, New Testament Word Studies (2 vols.; Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1971), 2:426. Compare the similar comment by Lightfoot: “The believer has no yearnings apart from his Lord; his pulse beats with the pulse of Christ; his heart throbs with the heart of Christ”; see Joseph Barber Lightfoot, Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Philippians (London: Macmillan and Co., Limited, 1898), 85.

[8]Bockmuehl, Philippians, 65.

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How I’m Spending My Sabbatical

Yesterday I began my one semester sabbatical from teaching at Grace College & Theological Seminary. Although many have joked that this is merely a 4 1/2 month vacation, the reality is that my sabbatical will be quite busy with writing projects. Here are the two main things I will be working on:

  1. Finish a commentary on Philippians. I have been working for almost four years (off and on) on this commentary in the Mentor Commentary Series by Christian Focus. My hope is to complete the draft by the end of January and send it out to colleagues and friends for feedback. Once I receive feedback from them I hope to send it off to the publisher by the beginning of the summer, if not sooner. Lord willing it will come out in 2014.
  2. Begin a commentary on Galatians. Having written my dissertation on Galatians, I am excited to begin work on a commentary on Galatians. It will be part of a new series that Broadman & Holman entitled Biblical Theology for Christian Proclamation. Look for more details on this series down the road; the lineup of contributors is stacked!

In addition to these two major projects, there are also some smaller ones (a journal article here, a chapter in an edited volume there, etc.) that will keep me busy as well. And from March 1-12 I will be leading a group of college and seminary students from Grace on a trip to Israel.

Please join me in praying that God will bless this season of writing to proclaim his glory and encourage his people.

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Fridays in Philippians – Paul’s Mindset towards the Philippians

NOTEThis is a condensed excerpt from my forthcoming (2014) commentary on Philippians.

Paul now shifts to explain his joyful gratitude for the Philippians by expressing the depth of his affection for them: It is right for me to feel this way about you all.[1] Although most English translations give the impression that Paul is speaking of his feelings, he in fact is speaking of something far more significant. A more wooden translation would be “It is right for me to think this way about you all” (cf. NKJV, NET). The verb in question is phroneō, one of the key words in the entire letter.[2] By itself the verb has the broad sense of think, judge, form an opinion, or set one’s mind on something.[3] It is used in a variety of ways here in Philippians, referring to Paul’s mindset towards the Philippians (1:7), the Philippians’ mindset towards each other (2:2, 5; 4:2), the Christian life (3:15) or Paul (4:10), and even the mindset of gospel-opponents (3:19). As such the verb speaks of one’s frame of reference for life, what we today might refer to as a worldview. It is a way of evaluating the world around us and acting in a manner consistent with that mindset. So although this word can include the emotions, the focus is on the mind. Of course, the close relationship between the mind and the emotions means that one’s mindset is both affected by and shapes the emotions.


[1] In the Greek, this verse actually begins with the conjunction kathōs, which usually expresses a comparison (reflected in KJV, NKJV). Because of the perceived awkwardness, several English translations omit it altogether (NIV, TNIV, ESV, RSV, NRS). But this hides the relationship of 1:7-8 with what comes before (1:3-6) and thus should be retained. Instead of its more common comparative sense, here kathōs expresses cause (cf. BDAG 3; BDF §453.2) as reflected in the NASB and NLT.

[2] This verb is a distinctly Pauline word; 23 of the 26 NT occurrences are found in his letters (Matt 16:23; Mark 8:33; Acts 28:22; Rom 8:5; 11:20; 12:3 [2x], 16 [2x]; 14:6 [2x]; 15:5; 1 Cor 13:11; 2 Cor 13:11; Gal 5:10; Phil 1:7; 2:2 [2x], 5; 3:15 [2x], 19; 4:2, 10 [2x]; Col 3:2). Ten of those 23 Pauline occurrences are here in Philippians.

[3] Cf. BDAG.

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