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Philippians front

Introduction to Philippians

Part 1: General Introduction

Outline of the Book of the Philippians
  1. Greeting, thanksgiving and prayer (1:1-11)
  2. Paul’s report on his ministry (1:12-26)
  3. Instructions
  4. To be steadfast (1:27-30)
  5. To be united (2:1-2)
  6. To be humble (2:3-11)
  7. To work out our salvation with God working in you (2:12-13)
  8. To be innocent and light (2:14-18)
  9. Timothy and Epaphroditus (2:19-30)
  10. Warning about false teachers (3:1-4:1)
  11. Personal instruction (4:2-5)
  12. Rejoice and do not be anxious (4:4-6)
  13. Final remarks
  14. Values (4:8-9)
  15. Contentment (4:10-20)
  16. Final Greetings (4:21-23)
Who wrote the Book Philippians?

Paul wrote Philippians. Paul was from the city of Tarsus. He had been known as Saul in his early life. Before becoming a Christian, Paul was a Pharisee. He persecuted Christians. After he became a Christian, he traveled several times throughout the Roman Empire telling people about Jesus.

Paul wrote this letter while in prison in Rome.

What is the Book of Philippians about?

Paul wrote this letter to the believers in Philippi, a city in Macedonia. He wrote it to thank the Philippians for the gift they had sent him. He wanted to tell them about how he was doing in prison and to encourage them to rejoice even if they are suffering. He also wrote to them about a man named Epaphroditus. He was the one who brought the gift to Paul. While visiting Paul, Epaphroditus became ill. So, Paul decided to send him back to Philippi. Paul encouraged the believers in Philippi to welcome and to be kind to Epaphroditus when he returns.

How should the title of this book be translated?

Translators may choose to call this book by its traditional title, “Philippians.” Or they may choose a clearer title, such as “Paul’s Letter to the Church in Philippi,” or “A Letter to the Christians in Philippi.” (See: How to Translate Names)

Part 2: Important Religious and Cultural Concepts

What was the city of Philippi like?

Philip, the father of Alexander the Great, founded Philippi in the region of Macedonia. This meant that the citizens of Philippi were also considered citizens of Rome. The people of Philippi were proud of being citizens of Rome. But Paul told the believers that they are citizens of heaven (3:20).

Part 3: Important Translation Issues

Singular and plural “you”

In this book, the word “I” refers to Paul. The word “you” is almost always plural and refers to the believers in Philippi. The exception to this is 4:3. (See: Exclusive and Inclusive 'We' and Forms of You)

Who were the “enemies of the cross of Christ” (3:18) in this letter?

The “enemies of the cross of Christ” were probably people who called themselves believers, but they did not obey God’s commands. They thought that freedom in Christ meant that believers could do whatever they desired and God would not punish them (3:19).

Why were the words “joy” and “rejoice” frequently used in this letter?

Paul was in prison when he wrote this letter (1:7). Even though he suffered, Paul said many times that he was joyful because God had been kind to him through Jesus Christ. He wanted to encourage his readers to have the same trust in Jesus Christ. (See: Irony)

What does Paul mean by the expression “in Christ,” “in the Lord,” etc.?

This kind of expression occurs in 1:1, 8, 13, 14, 26, 27; 2:1, 5, 19, 24, 29; 3:1, 3, 9, 14; 4:1, 2, 4, 7, 10, 13, 19, 21. Paul meant to express the idea of a very close union with Christ and the believers. See the introduction to the Book of Romans for more details about this kind of expression.

What are the major issues in the text of the Book of Philippians?
  • Some versions have “Amen” at the end of the final verse in the letter (4:23). The ULT, UST, and other many modern versions do not. If “Amen” is included, it should be put inside square brackets ([]) to indicate that it is probably not original to the Book of Philippians.

(See: Textual Variants)

Philippians 1

Philippians 01 General Notes

Structure and formatting

Paul includes a prayer in the beginning of this letter. At that time, religious leaders sometimes began informal letters with a prayer.

Special concepts in this chapter

The day of Christ

This probably refers to the day when Christ returns. Paul often connected the return of Christ with motivating godly living. (See: godly, godliness, ungodly, godless, ungodliness, godlessness)

Other possible translation difficulties in this chapter


A paradox is a true statement that appears to describe something impossible. This statement in verse 21 is a paradox: “to die is gain.” In verse 23 Paul explains why this is true. (Philippians 1:21)

Philippians 1:1

Paul and Timothy wrote this letter to the church at Philippi. Because Paul writes later in the letter saying “I,” it is generally assumed that he is the author and that Timothy, who is with him, writes as Paul speaks. All instances of “you” and “your” in the letter refer to the believers in the Philippian church and are plural. The word “our” probably refers to all believers in Christ, including Paul, Timothy, and the Philippian believers. (See: Forms of You and Inclusive and Exclusive “We”)

Παῦλος καὶ Τιμόθεος…καὶ διακόνοις

If your language has a particular way of introducing the authors of a letter, use it here.

Παῦλος καὶ Τιμόθεος, δοῦλοι Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ

“Timothy, who are servants of Christ Jesus”

πᾶσιν τοῖς ἁγίοις ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ

This refers to those whom God chose to belong to him by being united to Christ. Alternate translation: “all God’s people in Christ Jesus” or “all those who belong to God because they are united with Christ”

ἐπισκόποις καὶ διακόνοις

“the leaders of the church”

Philippians 1:3

ἐπὶ πάσῃ τῇ μνείᾳ ὑμῶν

Here “remember you” means when Paul thinks about the Philippians while he is praying. Alternate translation: “every time I think of you”

Philippians 1:5

ἐπὶ τῇ κοινωνίᾳ ὑμῶν εἰς τὸ εὐαγγέλιον

Paul is expressing thanks to God that the Philippians have joined him in teaching people the gospel. He may have been referring to them praying for him and sending money so that he could travel and tell others. Alternate translation: “because you are helping me proclaim the gospel” (See: Metonymy)

Philippians 1:6


“I am sure”

ὁ ἐναρξάμενος

“God, who began”

Philippians 1:7

ἐστιν δίκαιον ἐμοὶ

“It is proper for me” or “It is good for me”

τὸ ἔχειν με ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ ὑμᾶς

Here “heart” is a metonym for a person’s emotions. This idiom expresses strong affection. Alternate translation: “I love you very much” (See: Metonymy and Idiom)

συνκοινωνούς μου τῆς χάριτος…ὄντας

“have been partakers of grace with me” or “have shared in grace with me”

Philippians 1:8

μάρτυς…μου ὁ Θεός

“God knows” or “God understands”

ἐν σπλάγχνοις Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ

The abstract noun “compassion” can be translated with the verb “love.” Alternate translation: “and I love you as Christ Jesus dearly loves us all” (See: Abstract Nouns)

Philippians 1:9

Paul prays for the believers in Philippi and talks about the joy there is in suffering for the Lord.


Paul speaks of love as if it were objects that people could obtain more of. Alternate translation: “may increase” (See: Metaphor)

ἐν ἐπιγνώσει καὶ πάσῃ αἰσθήσει

Here “understanding” refers to understanding about God. This can be stated clearly. Alternate translation: “as you learn and understand more about what pleases God” (See: Assumed Knowledge and Implicit Information)

Philippians 1:10


This refers to examining things and taking only those that are good. Alternate translation: “test and choose”

τὰ διαφέροντα

“what is most pleasing to God”

εἰλικρινεῖς καὶ ἀπρόσκοποι

The words “sincere” and “without offense” mean basically the same thing. Paul combines them to emphasize moral purity. Alternate translation: “completely blameless” (See: Doublet)

Philippians 1:11

πεπληρωμένοι καρπὸν δικαιοσύνης τὸν διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ

Being filled with something is a metaphor that represents being characterized by it or by habitually doing it. Possible meanings of “fruit of righteousness” are that (1) it is a metaphor that represents righteous behavior. Alternate translation: “habitually doing what is righteous because Jesus Christ enables you” or (2) it is a metaphor that represents good deeds as a result of being righteous. Alternate translation: “habitually doing good works because Jesus makes you righteous” (See: Metaphor)

εἰς δόξαν καὶ ἔπαινον Θεοῦ

Possible meanings are (1) “Then other people will see how you honor God” or (2) “Then people will praise and give honor to God because of the good things they see you do.” These alternate translations would require a new sentence.

Philippians 1:12

Paul says that two things have happened because of “the progress of the gospel”: many people inside and outside the palace have found out why he is in prison, and other Christians are no longer afraid to proclaim the good news.


Here the word “Now” is used to mark a new part of the letter.


Here this means fellow Christians, including both men and women, because all believers in Christ are members of one spiritual family, with God as their heavenly Father.

ὅτι τὰ κατ’ ἐμὲ

Paul is talking about his time in prison. Alternate translation: “that the things I suffered because I was put into prison for preaching about Jesus” (See: Assumed Knowledge and Implicit Information)

μᾶλλον εἰς προκοπὴν τοῦ εὐαγγελίου ἐλήλυθεν

“has caused more people to hear the gospel”

Philippians 1:13

τοὺς δεσμούς μου φανεροὺς ἐν Χριστῷ

“Chains in Christ” here is a metonym for being in prison for the sake of Christ. “Came to light” is a metaphor for “became known.” Alternate translation: “It became known that I am in prison for the sake of Christ” (See: Metaphor)

τοὺς δεσμούς μου φανεροὺς ἐν Χριστῷ…τῷ πραιτωρίῳ…τοῖς λοιποῖς πᾶσιν

This can be stated in active form. Alternate translation: “the palace guards and many other people in Rome know that I am in chains for the sake of Christ” (See: Active or Passive)

τοὺς δεσμούς μου…ἐν Χριστῷ

Here Paul uses the preposition “in” to mean “for the sake of.” Alternate translation: “my chains for the sake of Christ” or “my chains because I teach people about Christ”

τοὺς δεσμούς μου

Here the word “chains” is a metonym for imprisonment. Alternate translation: “my imprisonment” (See: Metonymy)


This is a group of soldiers that helped protect the Roman emperor.

Philippians 1:14

ἀφόβως τὸν λόγον λαλεῖν

“fearlessly speak God’s message”

Philippians 1:15

τινὲς μὲν καὶ…τὸν Χριστὸν κηρύσσουσιν

“Some people preach the good news about Christ”

διὰ φθόνον καὶ ἔριν

“because they do not want people listening to me, and they want to cause trouble”

τινὲς δὲ καὶ δι’ εὐδοκίαν

“but other people do it because they are kind and they want to help”

Philippians 1:16


“Those who proclaim Christ out of good will”

εἰς ἀπολογίαν τοῦ εὐαγγελίου κεῖμαι

This can be stated in active form. Possible meanings are (1) “God chose me to defend the gospel” or (2) “I am in prison because I defend the gospel.” (See: Active or Passive)

εἰς ἀπολογίαν τοῦ εὐαγγελίου

“to teach everyone that the message of Jesus is true”

Philippians 1:17

οἱ δὲ

“But the others” or “But the ones who proclaim Christ out of envy and strife”

τοῖς δεσμοῖς μου

Here the phrase “in chains” is a metonym for imprisonment. Alternate translation: “while I am imprisoned” or “while I am in prison” (See: Metonymy)

Philippians 1:18

τί γάρ

Paul uses this question to tell how he feels about the situation he wrote about in Philippians 15-17. Possible meanings are (1) this is an idiom that means “It does not matter.” or (2) the words “shall I think about this” are understood as part of the question. Alternate translation: “What then shall I think about this?” or “This is what I think about it” (See: Rhetorical Question and Ellipsis)

πλὴν ὅτι παντὶ τρόπῳ, εἴτε προφάσει εἴτε ἀληθείᾳ, Χριστὸς καταγγέλλεται

“As long as people preach about Christ, it does not matter if they do it for good reasons or for bad reasons”

ἐν τούτῳ χαίρω

“I am happy because people are preaching about Jesus”


“I will celebrate” or “I will be glad”

Philippians 1:19

τοῦτό μοι ἀποβήσεται εἰς σωτηρίαν

“because people proclaim Christ, God will deliver me”

μοι…εἰς σωτηρίαν

“Deliverance” here is an abstract noun that refers to one person bringing another person to a safe place. You may have to specify that it is God whom Paul expects to deliver him. Alternate translation: “in my being brought to a safe place” or “in God bringing me to a safe place” (See: Abstract Nouns)

διὰ τῆς ὑμῶν δεήσεως, καὶ ἐπιχορηγίας τοῦ Πνεύματος Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ

“because you are praying and the Spirit of Jesus Christ is helping me”

Πνεύματος Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ

“Holy Spirit”

Philippians 1:20

κατὰ τὴν ἀποκαραδοκίαν καὶ ἐλπίδα μου

Here the word “expectation” and the phrase “certain hope” mean basically the same thing. Paul uses them together to emphasize how strong his expectation is. Alternate translation: “I eagerly and confidently hope” (See: Doublet)

ἀλλ’ ἐν πάσῃ παρρησίᾳ

This is part of Paul’s expectation and hope. Alternate translation: “but that I will be very bold”

μεγαλυνθήσεται Χριστὸς ἐν τῷ σώματί μου

The phrase “my body” is a metonym for what Paul does with his body. This can be stated in active form. Possible meanings are (1) “I will honor Christ by what I do” or (2) “people will praise Christ because of what I do” (See: Metonymy and Active or Passive)

εἴτε διὰ ζωῆς εἴτε διὰ θανάτου

“whether I live or die” or “if I go on living or if I die”

Philippians 1:21

ἐμοὶ γὰρ

These words are emphatic. They indicate that this is Paul’s personal experience.

τὸ ζῆν Χριστὸς

Here pleasing and serving Christ is spoken of as Paul’s only purpose for living. Alternate translation: “to go on living is an opportunity to please Christ” (See: Metaphor)

τὸ ἀποθανεῖν κέρδος

Here death is spoken of as “gain.” Possible meanings for “gain” are (1) Paul’s death will help spread the message of the gospel or (2) Paul will be in a better situation. (See: Metaphor)

Philippians 1:22

εἰ δὲ τὸ ζῆν ἐν σαρκί

The word “flesh” here is a metonym for the body, and “living in the flesh” is a metonym for being alive. Alternate translation: “But if I am to remain alive in my body” or “But if I continue to live” (See: Metonymy)

καὶ τί αἱρήσομαι

“But which should I choose?”

τοῦτό μοι καρπὸς ἔργου

The word “fruit” here refers to the good results of Paul’s work. Alternate translation: “that means I will be able to work and my work will produce good results” (See: Metaphor and Assumed Knowledge and Implicit Information)

Philippians 1:23

συνέχομαι δὲ ἐκ τῶν δύο

Paul speaks of how hard it is for him to choose between living and dying as if two heavy objects, like rocks or logs, were pushing on him from opposite sides at the same time. Your language might prefer the objects to pull rather than push. Alternate translation: “I am under tension. I do not know if I should choose to live or to die” (See: Metaphor)

τὴν ἐπιθυμίαν ἔχων εἰς τὸ ἀναλῦσαι καὶ σὺν Χριστῷ εἶναι

Paul uses a euphemism here to show that he is not afraid of dying. Alternate translation: “I would like to die because I will go to be with Christ” (See: Euphemism)

Philippians 1:25

τοῦτο πεποιθὼς

“Since I am sure that it is better for you that I stay alive”

οἶδα ὅτι μενῶ

“I know that I will continue to live” or “I know that I will keep on living”

Philippians 1:26

ἵνα…ἐν ἐμοὶ

“so that because of me” or “so that because of what I do”

Philippians 1:27

ὅτι στήκετε ἐν ἑνὶ πνεύματι, μιᾷ ψυχῇ συναθλοῦντες τῇ πίστει τοῦ εὐαγγελίου

The phrases “standing firm in one spirit” and “with one mind striving together” share similar meanings and emphasize the importance of unity. (See: Parallelism)

μιᾷ ψυχῇ συναθλοῦντες

“striving together with one mind.” Agreeing with one another is spoken of as having one mind. Alternate translation: “agreeing with one another and striving together” (See: Metaphor)


“working hard together”

τῇ πίστει τοῦ εὐαγγελίου

Possible meanings are (1) “to spread the faith that is based on the gospel” or (2) “to believe and live as the gospel teaches us”

Philippians 1:28

μὴ πτυρόμενοι ἐν μηδενὶ

This is a command to the Philippian believers. If your language has a plural command form, use it here. (See: Forms of You)

ἥτις ἐστὶν αὐτοῖς ἔνδειξις ἀπωλείας, ὑμῶν δὲ σωτηρίας, καὶ τοῦτο ἀπὸ Θεοῦ

“Your courage will show them that God will destroy them. It will also show you that God will save you”

καὶ τοῦτο ἀπὸ Θεοῦ

“and this is from God.” Possible meanings are the word “this” refers to (1) the believers’ courage or (2) the sign or (3) destruction and salvation.

Philippians 1:30

τὸν αὐτὸν ἀγῶνα ἔχοντες, οἷον εἴδετε ἐν ἐμοὶ, καὶ νῦν ἀκούετε ἐν ἐμοί

“suffering in the same way that you saw me suffer, and that you hear I am still suffering”

Philippians 2

Philippians 02 General Notes

Structure and formatting

Some translations, like the ULT, set apart the lines of verses 6-11. These verses describe the example of Christ. They teach important truths about the person of Jesus.

Special concepts in this chapter

Practical instructions

In this chapter Paul gives many practical instructions to the church in Philippi.

Other possible translation difficulties in this chapter

“If there is any”

This appears to be a type of hypothetical statement. However, it is not a hypothetical statement, because it expresses something that is true. The translator may also translate this phrase as “Since there is.”

Philippians 2:1

Paul advises the believers to have unity and humility and reminds them of Christ’s example.

εἴ τις…παράκλησις ἐν Χριστῷ

“If Christ has encouraged you” or “If you are encouraged because of Christ”

εἴ τι παραμύθιον ἀγάπης

The phrase “by love” probably refers to Christ’s love for the Philippians. Alternate translation: “if his love has given you any comfort” or “if his love for you has comforted you in any way”

εἴ τις κοινωνία Πνεύματος

“if you have fellowship with the Spirit”

εἴ τις σπλάγχνα καὶ οἰκτιρμοί

“if you have experienced many of God’s acts of tender mercy and compassion”

Philippians 2:2

πληρώσατέ μου τὴν χαρὰν

Paul speaks here of joy as if it were a container that can be filled. Alternate translation: “cause me to rejoice greatly” (See: Metaphor)

Philippians 2:3

μηδὲν κατ’ ἐριθείαν μηδὲ κατὰ κενοδοξίαν

“Do not serve yourselves or think of yourselves as better than others”

Philippians 2:4

μὴ τὰ ἑαυτῶν ἕκαστος σκοποῦντες, ἀλλὰ καὶ τὰ ἑτέρων ἕκαστοι

“Do not care only about what you need, but also about what others need”

Philippians 2:5

τοῦτο φρονεῖτε ἐν ὑμῖν, ὃ καὶ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ

“Have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had” or “Think about one another the way Christ Jesus thought of people”

Philippians 2:6

ἐν μορφῇ Θεοῦ ὑπάρχων

“everything that is true of God was true of him”

οὐχ ἁρπαγμὸν ἡγήσατο τὸ εἶναι ἴσα Θεῷ

Here “equality” refers to “equal status” or “equal honor.” Holding onto equality with God represents demanding that he continue to be honored as God is honored. Christ did not do that. Though he did not cease to be God, he ceased to act as God. Alternate translation: “did not think that he had to have the same status as God” (See: Metaphor)

Philippians 2:7

ἑαυτὸν ἐκένωσεν

Paul speaks of Christ as if he were a container in order to say that Christ refused to act with his divine powers during his ministry on earth. (See: Metaphor)

ἐν ὁμοιώματι ἀνθρώπων γενόμενος

“he was born a human being” or “he became a human being”

Philippians 2:8

γενόμενος ὑπήκοος μέχρι θανάτου

Paul speaks of death here in a figurative way. The translator can understand “to the point of death” either as a metaphor of location (Christ went all the way to death) or as a metaphor of time (Christ was obedient even until the time that he died). (See: Metaphor)

θανάτου δὲ σταυροῦ

“even to dying on a cross”

Philippians 2:9

τὸ ὄνομα τὸ ὑπὲρ πᾶν ὄνομα

Here “name” is a metonym that refers to rank or honor. Alternate translation: “the rank that is above any other rank” or “the honor that is above any other honor” (See: Metonymy)

ὑπὲρ πᾶν ὄνομα

The name is more important, more to be praised than any other name. (See: Metaphor)

Philippians 2:10

ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι Ἰησοῦ, πᾶν γόνυ κάμψῃ

Here “knee” is a synecdoche for the whole person, and bending the knee to kneel on the ground is a metonym for worship. “In the name of” here is a metonym for the person, telling who it is they will worship. Alternate translation: “every person will worship Jesus” (See: Synecdoche and Metonymy)


Possible meanings are (1) the place where people go when they die or (2) the place where demons dwell.

Philippians 2:11

πᾶσα γλῶσσα

Here “tongue” refers to the whole person. Alternate translation: “every person” or “every being” (See: Synecdoche)

εἰς δόξαν Θεοῦ Πατρὸς

Here the word “to” expresses result: “with the result that they will praise God the Father” (See: Metaphor)

Philippians 2:12

Paul encourages the Philippian believers and shows them how to live the Christian life before others and reminds them of his example.

ἀγαπητοί μου

“my dear fellow believers”

ἐν τῇ παρουσίᾳ μου

“when I am there with you”

ἐν τῇ ἀπουσίᾳ μου

“when I am not there with you”

μετὰ φόβου καὶ τρόμου τὴν ἑαυτῶν σωτηρίαν κατεργάζεσθε

The abstract noun “salvation” can be expressed with a phrase about God saving people. Alternate translation: “with fear and trembling, continue to work hard to do what is proper for those whom God saves” or “with awe and reverence for God, work hard to do the good things that show that he has saved you” (See: Abstract Nouns)

μετὰ φόβου καὶ τρόμου

Paul uses the words “fear” and “trembling” together to show the attitude of reverence that people should have for God. Alternate translation: “trembling with fear” or “with deep reverence” (See: Doublet)

Philippians 2:13

καὶ τὸ θέλειν, καὶ τὸ ἐνεργεῖν, ὑπὲρ τῆς εὐδοκίας

“so that you will want to do what pleases him and will be able to do what pleases him”

Philippians 2:15

ἄμεμπτοι καὶ ἀκέραιοι

The words “blameless” and “pure” are very similar in meaning and are used together to strenghten the idea. Alternate translation: “completely innocent” (See: Doublet)

φαίνεσθε ὡς φωστῆρες ἐν κόσμῳ

Light represents goodness and truth. Shining as lights in the world represents living in a good and righteous way so that people in the world can see that God is good and true. Alternate translation: “so that you will be like lights in the world” (See: Metaphor)

μέσον γενεᾶς σκολιᾶς καὶ διεστραμμένης…ἐν κόσμῳ

Here the word “world” refers to the people of the world. The words “crooked” and “depraved” are used together to emphasize that the people are very sinful. Alternate translation: “in the world, among people who are very sinful” (See: Doublet)

Philippians 2:16

λόγον ζωῆς ἐπέχοντες

“Hold on” represents firmly believing. Alternate translation: “Continue to firmly believe the word of life” (See: Metaphor)

λόγον ζωῆς

“the message that brings life” or “the message that shows how to live the way God wants you to”

εἰς ἡμέραν Χριστοῦ

This refers to when Jesus comes back to set up his kingdom and rule over the earth. Alternate translation: “when Christ returns”

οὐκ εἰς κενὸν ἔδραμον, οὐδὲ εἰς κενὸν ἐκοπίασα

The phrases “run in vain” and “labor in vain” here mean the same thing. Paul uses them together to emphasize how hard he has worked to help people believe in Christ. Alternate translation: “I did not work so hard for nothing” (See: Parallelism)


The scriptures often use the image of walking to represent conducting one’s life. Running is living life intensively. (See: Metaphor)

Philippians 2:17

ἀλλ’ εἰ καὶ σπένδομαι ἐπὶ τῇ θυσίᾳ καὶ λειτουργίᾳ τῆς πίστεως ὑμῶν, χαίρω καὶ συνχαίρω πᾶσιν ὑμῖν

Paul speaks of his death as if he were a drink offering which is poured upon the animal sacrifice to honor God. What Paul means is that he would gladly die for the Philippians if that would make them more pleasing to God. Alternate translation: “But, even if the Romans kill me and it is as if my blood pours out as an offering, I will be glad and rejoice with you all if my death will make your faith and obedience more pleasing to God” (See: Metaphor)

Philippians 2:19

Paul tells the Philippian believers about his plan to send Timothy soon and that they should treat Epaphroditus as special.

ἐλπίζω δὲ ἐν Κυρίῳ Ἰησοῦ

“But I confidently expect the Lord Jesus to allow me”

Philippians 2:20

οὐδένα γὰρ ἔχω ἰσόψυχον

“No one else here loves you as much as he does”

Philippians 2:21

οἱ πάντες γὰρ

Here the word “they” refers to a group of people Paul does not feel he can trust to send to Philippi. Paul is also expressing his displeasure with the group, who should have been able to go, but Paul does not trust them to fulfill their mission.

Philippians 2:22

ὡς πατρὶ τέκνον, σὺν ἐμοὶ ἐδούλευσεν

Fathers and sons love each other and work together. Timothy was not really Paul’s son, but he worked with Paul as a son works with his father. (See: Simile)

εἰς τὸ εὐαγγέλιον

Here “the gospel” stands for the activity of telling people about Jesus. Alternate translation: “in telling people about the gospel” (See: Metonymy)

Philippians 2:24

πέποιθα…ἐν Κυρίῳ, ὅτι καὶ αὐτὸς ταχέως ἐλεύσομαι

“I am sure, if it is the Lord’s will, that I will also come soon”

Philippians 2:25


This is the name of a man sent by the Philippian church to minister to Paul in prison. (See: How to Translate Names)

συνεργὸν καὶ συνστρατιώτην

Here Paul is speaking of Epaphroditus as if he were a soldier. He means that Epaphroditus is trained and is dedicated to serving God, no matter how great the hardship he must suffer. Alternate translation: “fellow believer who works and struggles along with us” (See: Metaphor)

ὑμῶν…ἀπόστολον καὶ λειτουργὸν τῆς χρείας μου

“who brings your messages to me and helps me when I am in need”

Philippians 2:26

ἐπιποθῶν ἦν πάντας ὑμᾶς, καὶ ἀδημονῶν

“he was very worried and wanted to be with you all”

Philippians 2:27

λύπην ἐπὶ λύπην

The cause of the sorrow can be made explicit. Alternate translation: “the sorrow of losing him added to the sorrow I already have from being in prison” (See: Assumed Knowledge and Implicit Information)

Philippians 2:28

κἀγὼ ἀλυπότερος ὦ

“I will be less anxious” or “I will not worry as much as I have been”

Philippians 2:29

προσδέχεσθε οὖν αὐτὸν

“Gladly receive Epaphroditus”

ἐν Κυρίῳ μετὰ πάσης χαρᾶς

“as a fellow believer in the Lord with all joy” or “with the great joy we have because the Lord Jesus loves us”

Philippians 2:30

μέχρι θανάτου ἤγγισεν

Paul here speaks of death as if it were a place that one could go to. (See: Metaphor)

ἀναπληρώσῃ τὸ ὑμῶν ὑστέρημα, τῆς πρός με λειτουργίας

Paul speaks of his needs as if they were a container that Epaphroditus filled with good things for Paul. (See: Metaphor)

Philippians 3

Philippians 03 General Notes

Structure and formatting

In verses 4-8, Paul lists how he qualifies for being considered a righteous Jew. In every way, Paul was an exemplary Jew. But he contrasts this with the greatness of knowing Jesus. (See: righteous, righteousness, unrighteous, unrighteousness, upright, uprightness)

Special concepts in this chapter


The people of the ancient Near East used dogs as an image to refer to people in a negative way. Not all cultures use the term “dogs” in this way.

Resurrected Bodies

We know very little about what people will be like in heaven. Paul teaches here that Christians will have some kind of glorious body and will be free from sin. (See: heaven, sky, heavens, heavenly and sin, sinful, sinner, sinning)

Important figures of speech in this chapter


Paul uses an extended illustration to describe the Christian life. The goal of the Christian life is attempting to grow to be like Christ until a person dies. We can never achieve this goal perfectly, but we must strive for it.

Philippians 3:1

In order to warn his fellow believers about Jews who would try to get them to follow the old laws, Paul gives his own testimony about when he persecuted believers.

τὸ λοιπόν, ἀδελφοί μου

“Now moving along, my brothers” or “Concerning other matters, my brothers”


See how you translated this in Philippians 1:12.

χαίρετε ἐν Κυρίῳ

“be happy because of all the Lord has done”

τὰ αὐτὰ γράφειν ὑμῖν, ἐμοὶ μὲν οὐκ ὀκνηρόν

“It is no trouble for me to write these things again to you”

ὑμῖν δὲ ἀσφαλές

Here “these things” refers to Paul’s teachings. You can add this alternate translation to the end of the previous sentence. Alternate translation: “because these teachings will protect you from those who teach what is not true” (See: Assumed Knowledge and Implicit Information)

Philippians 3:2


“Beware of” or “Look out for”

τοὺς κύνας…τοὺς κακοὺς ἐργάτας…τὴν κατατομήν

These are three different ways of describing the same group of false teachers. Paul is using strong expressions to convey his feeling about these Jewish Christian teachers.

τοὺς κύνας

The word “dogs” was used by the Jews to refer to those who were not Jews. They were considered unclean. Paul speaks of the false teachers as though they were dogs, to insult them. If you have a different animal in your culture that is considered unclean or whose name is used as an insult, you could use this animal instead. (See: Metaphor and Irony)

τὴν κατατομήν

Paul is exaggerating about the act of circumcision to insult the false teachers. The false teachers said God will only save a person who is circumcised, who cuts off the foreskin. This action was required by the law of Moses for all male Israelites. (See: Hyperbole and Metonymy)

Philippians 3:3

ἡμεῖς γάρ ἐσμεν

Paul uses “we” to refer to himself and all true believers in Christ, including the Philippian believers. (See: Inclusive and Exclusive “We”)

ἡ περιτομή

Paul uses this phrase to refer to believers in Christ who are not physically circumcised but are spiritually circumcised, which means they have received the Holy Spirit through faith. Alternate translation: “the truly circumcised ones” or “truly God’s people”

οὐκ ἐν σαρκὶ πεποιθότες

“do not trust that only cutting our flesh will please God”

Philippians 3:4


“Although if I wanted to.” Paul is introducing a hypothetical situation that could not possibly exist. (See: Hypothetical Situations)

ἐγὼ ἔχων πεποίθησιν καὶ ἐν σαρκί. εἴ τις δοκεῖ ἄλλος πεποιθέναι ἐν σαρκί, ἐγὼ μᾶλλον

This is a hypothetical situation that Paul does not believe is possible. Paul says if it were possible that God would save people based on what they did, then God would certainly have saved him. Alternate translation: “No one can do enough things to please God, but if anyone could do enough things to please God, I could do more good things and please God more than anyone” (See: Hypothetical Situations)


Paul uses “myself” for emphasis. Alternate translation: “certainly I” (See: Reflexive Pronouns)

Philippians 3:5


This can be stated in active form. Alternate translation: “A priest circumcised me” (See: Active or Passive)


“seven days after I was born”

Ἑβραῖος ἐξ Ἑβραίων

Possible meanings are (1) “a Hebrew son with Hebrew parents” or (2) “the purest Hebrew.”

κατὰ νόμον Φαρισαῖος

The Pharisees were committed to obeying all of the law. Being a Pharisee showed that Paul was committed to obeying all of the law. Alternate translation: “as a Pharisee, I was committed to obeying all of the law”

Philippians 3:6

κατὰ ζῆλος διώκων τὴν ἐκκλησίαν

Paul’s zeal was his enthusiasm for honoring God. He believed that by persecuting the church he proved how zealous he was for God. Alternate translation: “I had so much zeal for God that I persecuted the church” or “Because I wanted so much to honor God, I persecuted the church”

διώκων τὴν ἐκκλησίαν

“I attacked Christians”

κατὰ δικαιοσύνην τὴν ἐν νόμῳ γενόμενος ἄμεμπτος

“Righteousness under the law” refers to being righteous by obeying the law. Paul obeyed the law so carefully that he believed that no one could find any part of it that he disobeyed. Alternate Translation: “I was so righteous by obeying the law that I was blameless”

Philippians 3:7

ἅτινα ἦν μοι κέρδη

Paul is referring here to the praise he received for being an eager Pharisee. He speaks of this praise as if he had viewed it in the past as a businessman’s profit. Alternate translation: “anything that other Jews praised me for” (See: Metaphor)


These are common business terms. If many people in your culture do not understand formal business terms, you could translate these terms as “things that made my life better” and “things that made my life worse.”

ταῦτα ἥγημαι…ζημίαν

Paul speaks of that praise as if he were now viewing it as a business loss instead of a profit. In other words, Paul says that all his religious acts of righteousness are worthless before Christ. (See: Metaphor)

Philippians 3:8


“Really” or “Truly”

καὶ ἡγοῦμαι

The word “now” emphasizes how Paul has changed since he quit being a Pharisee and became a believer in Christ. Alternate translation: “now that I have trusted in Christ, I count” (See: Assumed Knowledge and Implicit Information)

ἡγοῦμαι πάντα ζημίαν εἶναι

Paul is continuing the business metaphor from Philippians 3:7, saying it is worthless to trust in anything other than Christ. Alternate translation: “I consider everything to be worthless” (See: Metaphor)

διὰ τὸ ὑπερέχον τῆς γνώσεως Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ Κυρίου μου

“because knowing Christ Jesus my Lord is worth so much more”

ἵνα Χριστὸν κερδήσω

“so that I may have only Christ”

Philippians 3:9

εὑρεθῶ ἐν αὐτῷ

The phrase “be found” is an idiom that emphasizes the idea of “to be.” Alternate translation: “be truly united with Christ” (See: Idiom)

μὴ ἔχων ἐμὴν δικαιοσύνην, τὴν ἐκ νόμου

Paul knows that he cannot become righteous by obeying the law.

ἀλλὰ τὴν διὰ πίστεως Χριστοῦ

The word “that” refers to righteousness. Paul knows that he can become righteous only by believing in Christ. Alternate translation: “but having the righteousness that comes by believing in Christ”

Philippians 3:10

τὴν δύναμιν τῆς ἀναστάσεως αὐτοῦ

“his power that gives us life”

κοινωνίαν παθημάτων αὐτοῦ

“what it is like to suffer as he suffered” or “what it is like to participate in suffering with him”

συμμορφιζόμενος τῷ θανάτῳ αὐτοῦ

Possible meanings are (1) Paul wants to be like Christ by dying as Christ died or (2) Paul wants his desire to sin to become as dead as Jesus was before he was raised. (See: Active or Passive and Metonymy)

Philippians 3:11

εἴ πως καταντήσω εἰς τὴν ἐξανάστασιν τὴν ἐκ νεκρῶν

The word “somehow” means Paul does not know what is going to happen to him in this life, but whatever happens, it will result in eternal life. “so that, no matter what happens to me now, I will come back to life after I die”

Philippians 3:12

Paul urges the believers at Philippi to follow his present example because of heaven and the new bodies that wait for believers. He speaks of how he works as hard as he can to be like Christ, knowing that God will allow him to live forever in heaven, as if he were a runner racing for the finish line.


These include knowing Christ, knowing the power of his resurrection, sharing in Christ’s suffering, and being united with Christ in his death and resurrection (Philippians 3:8-11).


“so I am not yet perfect” or “so I am not yet mature”

διώκω δὲ

“But I keep trying”

καταλάβω, ἐφ’ ᾧ…κατελήμφθην ὑπὸ Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ

Receiving spiritual things from Christ is spoken of as if Paul could grasp them with his hands. And, Jesus choosing Paul to belong to him is spoken of as if Jesus grasped Paul with his hands. This can be stated in an active form. Alternate translation: “I may receive these things because that is why Jesus claimed me as his own” (See: Metaphor and Active or Passive)

Philippians 3:13


See how you translated this in Philippians 1:12.


Receiving spiritual things from Christ is spoken of as if Paul could grasp them with his hands. Alternate translation: “all these things belong to me yet” (See: Metaphor)

τὰ μὲν ὀπίσω ἐπιλανθανόμενος, τοῖς δὲ ἔμπροσθεν ἐπεκτεινόμενος

Like a runner in a race is no longer concerned about the part of the race that is completed but only focuses on what is ahead, Paul speaks of setting aside his religious works of righteousness and only focusing on the race of life that Christ has set before him to complete. Alternate translation: “I do not care what I have done in the past; I only work as hard as I can on what is ahead” (See: Metaphor)

Philippians 3:14

κατὰ σκοπὸν διώκω εἰς τὸ βραβεῖον τῆς ἄνω κλήσεως τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ

As a runner presses onward to win the race, Paul presses onward in serving and living in obedience to Christ. Alternate translation: “I do all I can to be like Christ, like a runner racing to the finish line, so that I may belong to him, and God may call me to himself after I die” (See: Metaphor)

τῆς ἄνω κλήσεως

Possible meanings are that Paul speaks of living eternally with God as if God were to call Paul to ascend (1) to heaven as Jesus did or (2) the steps to the podium where winners of races received prizes, as a metaphor for meeting God face to face and receiving eternal life. (See: Metaphor)

Philippians 3:15

ὅσοι…τέλειοι, τοῦτο φρονῶμεν

Paul wants his fellow believers to have the same desires he listed in Philippians 3:8-11. Alternate translation: “I encourage all of us believers who are strong in the faith to think the same way”

καὶ τοῦτο ὁ Θεὸς ὑμῖν ἀποκαλύψει

“God will also make it clear to you” or “God will make sure you know it”

Philippians 3:16

εἰς ὃ ἐφθάσαμεν, τῷ αὐτῷ στοιχεῖν

Paul uses “we” to include the Philippian believers. Alternate translation: “let us all continue obeying the same truth we have already received” (See: Inclusive and Exclusive “We”)

Philippians 3:17

συνμιμηταί μου γίνεσθε

“Do what I do” or “Live as I live”


See how you translated this in Philippians 1:12.

τοὺς οὕτω περιπατοῦντας, καθὼς ἔχετε τύπον ἡμᾶς

“those who already are living as I live” or “those who already are doing what I do”

Philippians 3:18

πολλοὶ…περιπατοῦσιν…τοὺς ἐχθροὺς τοῦ σταυροῦ τοῦ Χριστοῦ

These words are Paul’s main thought for this verse.


A person’s behavior is spoken of as if that person were walking along a path. Alternate translation: “Many are living” or “Many are conducting their lives” (See: Metaphor)

οὓς πολλάκις ἔλεγον ὑμῖν, νῦν δὲ καὶ κλαίων, λέγω

Paul interrupts his main thought with these words that describe the “many.” You can move them to the beginning or end of the verse if you need to.

πολλάκις ἔλεγον ὑμῖν

“I have told you many times”

κλαίων, λέγω

“am telling you with great sadness”

τοὺς ἐχθροὺς τοῦ σταυροῦ τοῦ Χριστοῦ

Here “the cross of Christ” refers to Christ’s suffering and death. The enemies are those who say they believe in Jesus but are not willing to suffer or die like Jesus did. Alternate translation: “in a way that shows they are actually against Jesus, who was willing to suffer and die on a cross” (See: Metonymy)

Philippians 3:19

ὧν τὸ τέλος ἀπώλεια

“Someday God will destroy them.” The last thing that happens to them is that God will destroy them.

ὧν ὁ Θεὸς ἡ κοιλία

Here “stomach” refers to a person’s desires for physical pleasure. Calling it their god means that they want these pleasures more than they want to obey God. Alternate translation: “they desire food and other physical pleasures more than they desire to obey God” (See: Metaphor)

ἡ δόξα ἐν τῇ αἰσχύνῃ αὐτῶν

Here “shame” stands for the actions that the people should be ashamed about but are not. Alternate translation: “they are proud of the things that should cause them shame” (See: Metonymy)

οἱ τὰ ἐπίγεια φρονοῦντες

Here “earthly” refers to everything that gives physical pleasure and does not honor God. Alternate translation: “All they think about is what will please themselves rather than what will please God” (See: Metonymy)

Philippians 3:20

By Paul’s use of “our” and “we” here, he includes himself and the believers in Philippi. (See: Inclusive and Exclusive “We”)

ἡμῶν…τὸ πολίτευμα ἐν οὐρανοῖς ὑπάρχει

Possible meanings are (1) “we are citizens of heaven” or (2) “our homeland is heaven” or (3) “our true home is heaven.”

Philippians 3:21

ὃς μετασχηματίσει τὸ σῶμα τῆς ταπεινώσεως ἡμῶν

“He will change our weak, earthly bodies”

σύμμορφον τῷ σώματι τῆς δόξης αὐτοῦ

“into bodies like his glorious body”

τῷ σώματι…κατὰ τὴν ἐνέργειαν τοῦ δύνασθαι αὐτὸν, καὶ ὑποτάξαι αὑτῷ τὰ πάντα

This can be stated in active form. Alternate translation: “body. He will change our bodies with the same power he uses to control all things” (See: Active or Passive)

Philippians 4

Philippians 04 General Notes

Special concepts in this chapter

“My joy and my crown”

Paul had helped the Philippians become spiritually mature. As a result, Paul rejoiced and God honored him and his work. He considered discipling other Christians and encouraging them to grow spiritually as important to Christian living. (See: spirit, spiritual and disciple)

Other possible translation difficulties in this chapter

Euodia and Syntyche

Apparently, these two women disagreed with each other. Paul was encouraging them to agree. (See: Assumed Knowledge and Implicit Information)

Philippians 4:1

When Paul says, “my true companion,” the word “you” is singular. Paul does not say the name of the person. He calls him that to show he worked with Paul to spread the gospel. (See: Forms of You)

Paul continues with some specific instructions to the believers in Philippi on unity and then gives instructions to help them live for the Lord.

ὥστε, ἀδελφοί μου ἀγαπητοὶ καὶ ἐπιπόθητοι

“My fellow believers, I love you and I greatly desire to see you”


See how you translated this in Philippians 1:12.

χαρὰ καὶ στέφανός μου

Paul uses the word “joy” to mean that the Philippian church is the cause of his happiness. A “crown” was made of leaves, and a man wore it on his head as a sign of honor after he won an important game. Here the word “crown” means the Philippian church brought honor to Paul before God. Alternate translation: “You give me joy because you have believed in Jesus, and you are my reward and honor for my work” (See: Metonymy)

οὕτως στήκετε ἐν Κυρίῳ, ἀγαπητοί

“so continue living for the Lord in the way that I have taught you, dear friends”

Philippians 4:2

Εὐοδίαν παρακαλῶ, καὶ Συντύχην παρακαλῶ

These are women who were believers and helped Paul in the church at Philippi. Alternate translation: “I beg Euodia, and I beg Syntyche” (See: How to Translate Names)

τὸ αὐτὸ φρονεῖν ἐν Κυρίῳ

The phrase “be of the same mind” means to have the same attitude or opinion. Alternate translation: “agree with each other because you both believe in the same Lord” (See: Metonymy)

Philippians 4:3

ναὶ, ἐρωτῶ…σέ, γνήσιε σύνζυγε

Here “you” refers to the “true fellow worker” and is singular. (See: Forms of You)

γνήσιε σύνζυγε

This metaphor is from farming, where two animals would be bound to the same yoke, and so they work together. Alternate translation: “fellow worker” (See: Metaphor)


Clement was a man who was a believer and worker in the church at Philippi. (See: How to Translate Names)

ὧν τὰ ὀνόματα ἐν βίβλῳ ζωῆς

“whose names God has written in the Book of Life”

Philippians 4:4

χαίρετε ἐν Κυρίῳ

“be happy because of all the Lord has done.” See how you translated this in Philippians 3:1.

Philippians 4:5

ὁ Κύριος ἐγγύς

Possible meanings are (1) The Lord Jesus is near to the believers in spirit or (2) the day the Lord Jesus will return to the earth is near.

Philippians 4:6

ἐν παντὶ, τῇ προσευχῇ καὶ τῇ δεήσει μετὰ εὐχαριστίας, τὰ αἰτήματα ὑμῶν γνωριζέσθω πρὸς τὸν Θεόν

“whatever happens to you, ask God for everything you need with prayer and thanks”

Philippians 4:7

ἡ εἰρήνη τοῦ Θεοῦ

“the peace that God gives”

ἡ ὑπερέχουσα πάντα νοῦν

“which is more than we can understand”

φρουρήσει τὰς καρδίας ὑμῶν καὶ τὰ νοήματα ὑμῶν ἐν Χριστῷ

This presents God’s peace as a soldier who protects our hearts and thoughts from worrying. Here “hearts” is a metonym for a person’s emotions. Alternate translation: “will be like a soldier and guard your emotions and thoughts in Christ” or “will protect you in Christ and will keep you from worrying about the troubles of this life” (See: Personification and Metonymy and Assumed Knowledge and Implicit Information)

Philippians 4:8

τὸ λοιπόν

As Paul ends his letter, he gives a summary of how believers should live to have peace with God.


See how you translated this in Philippians 1:12.

ὅσα προσφιλῆ

“whatever things are pleasing”

ὅσα εὔφημα

“whatever thing people admire” or “whatever things people respect”

εἴ τις ἀρετὴ

“if they are morally good”

εἴ τις ἔπαινος

“and if they are things that people praise”

Philippians 4:9

καὶ ἐμάθετε καὶ παρελάβετε, καὶ ἠκούσατε καὶ εἴδετε, ἐν ἐμοί

“that I have taught and shown you”

Philippians 4:10

Paul begins to thank the Philippians for a gift that they have sent him. He begins in verse 11 to explain that he is thanking them for this gift simply because he is grateful, not because he needs them to give him anything more.

Philippians 4:11

αὐτάρκης εἶναι

“to be satisfied” or “to be happy”

ἐν οἷς εἰμι

“no matter what my situation is”

Philippians 4:12

οἶδα καὶ ταπεινοῦσθαι…περισσεύειν

Paul knows how to live happily having either no possessions or many possessions. (See: Assumed Knowledge and Implicit Information)

χορτάζεσθαι καὶ πεινᾶν, καὶ περισσεύειν καὶ ὑστερεῖσθαι

These two phrases mean basically the same thing. Paul uses them to emphasize that he has learned how to be content in any situation. (See: Parallelism and Merism)

Philippians 4:13

πάντα ἰσχύω ἐν τῷ ἐνδυναμοῦντί με

“I can do all things because Christ gives me strength”

Philippians 4:14

Paul continues explaining that he is thanking the Philippians for their gift to him simply because he is grateful, not because he needs them to give him anything more (see Philippians 3:11).

μου τῇ θλίψει

Paul speaks of his hardships as if they were a place that he was in. Alternate translation: “when things became difficult” (See: Metaphor)

Philippians 4:15

ἀρχῇ τοῦ εὐαγγελίου

Paul refers to the gospel here as meaning his preaching of the gospel. (See: Metonymy)

οὐδεμία μοι ἐκκλησία ἐκοινώνησεν εἰς λόγον δόσεως καὶ λήμψεως, εἰ μὴ ὑμεῖς μόνοι

This can be stated in the positive. Alternate translation: “you were the only church that sent me money or helped me” (See: Double Negatives)

Philippians 4:17

οὐχ ὅτι ἐπιζητῶ τὸ δόμα

Paul is explaining that his reason for writing about gifts is not that he hopes that they will give him more gifts. Alternate Translation: “My reason for writing this is not that I want you to give me more”

ἐπιζητῶ τὸν καρπὸν τὸν πλεονάζοντα εἰς λόγον ὑμῶν

Paul explains his reason for writing about gifts. Here “fruit that increases to you credit” is a metaphor for either (1) more good deeds that can be recorded for the Philippians. Alternate translation: “Rather I want God to recognize the increasing good deeds that you do” or (2) more blessings for the good things that the Philippians do. Alternate translation: “Rather I want God to bless you more because of the good deeds that you do”(See: Metaphor)

Philippians 4:18

Paul finishes thanking the Philippians for their gift (see Philippians 3:11) and assures them that God will take care of them.


Possible meanings are (1) Paul has received everything that the Philippians sent or (2) Paul is using humor to continue the business metaphor from Philippians 3:8 and saying that this part of the letter is a receipt for commercial goods that Epaphroditus delivered.


Paul means plenty of the things that he needs for himself. (See: Assumed Knowledge and Implicit Information)

ὀσμὴν εὐωδίας, θυσίαν δεκτήν, εὐάρεστον τῷ Θεῷ

Paul speaks of the gift from the Philippian church as if it were a sacrifice offered to God on an altar. Paul implies that the church’s gift is very pleasing to God, like the sacrifices that the priests burned, which had a smell that pleased God. Alternate translation: “I assure you these gifts are very pleasing to God, like an acceptable sacrifice” (See: Metaphor)

Philippians 4:19

πληρώσει πᾶσαν χρείαν ὑμῶν

This is the same word translated “have been well-supplied” in verse 18. It is an idiom meaning “will provide everything you need” (See: Idiom)

κατὰ τὸ πλοῦτος αὐτοῦ ἐν δόξῃ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ

“from his glorious riches that he gives through Christ Jesus”

Philippians 4:20

τῷ δὲ Θεῷ…ἡμῶν

The word “Now” marks the closing prayer and the end of this section of the letter.

Philippians 4:21


This refers to those people who were either ministering with or to Paul.


See how you translated this in Philippians 1:12.

πάντα ἅγιον

Some versions translate this as “every holy person.”

Philippians 4:22

πάντες οἱ ἅγιοι

Some versions translate this as “All the holy people.”

μάλιστα…οἱ ἐκ τῆς Καίσαρος οἰκίας

This refers to servants who worked in Caesar’s palace. “especially the fellow believers who work in the palace of Caesar”

Philippians 4:23

μετὰ τοῦ πνεύματος ὑμῶν

Paul refers to the believers by using the word “spirit,” which is what enables humans to relate to God. Alternate translation: “with you” (See: Synecdoche)