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