Notes on Chapter 1
1:1 Paul &
had been with Paul when the church at Philippi was established.
joined Paul in Lystra and continued with him to Berea (Acts
When Paul was brought to Athens by brethren who desired to rescue
antagonistic Jews, Timothy and Silas stayed behind. They finally
up with Paul at Corinth, having come "down from
(Acts 18:5). It may be that during the time Paul was in Athens,
and Silas worked to build up not only the new Christians in
also (cf. 1 Thess. 3:1-2) those in the Macedonian cities,
and Philippi. In any event, Timothy was well-known among the
the word here translated "servants", refers to servants
slaves, as in Eph. 6:5-9 and Col. 3:22.
Acts 20:28. Men referred to as "elders" in Acts 20:17
bishops, or overseers in vs. 28. Also in Titus 1:5-7, the terms
and "bishop" are used interchangeably. However, the
involved in Acts 20:28 represents the overseers as shepherds:
heed unto yourselves and to all the flock...to feed the church of
Compare I Pt. 5:1-5 where the same metaphor is used to
and these elders are distinguished from another shepherd who is
shepherd. Thus the bishops were men who, by reason of their age,
be called elders, and who, by reason of their work of overseeing,
be referred to metaphorically as shepherds (translated
in Eph. 4:11).
deacons Although διάκονος,
the term here translated "deacon", is sometimes
it is to be distinguished from the word, δοῦλος, which
meant "slave", and which was used by Paul with
reference to himself
Distinguishing between the two
- "servant", i.e. slave, (δοῦλος)
used by Paul with reference to himself and Timothy
"servant", i.e., deacon (διάκονος),
is also translated "minister".
- Meaning is clear in the following passages: Eph. 6:8; Col.
3:28; 1 Cor. 12:13.
- Figuratively, all men are slaves, i.e., in bondage, either to
death (Rom. 6:16, Heb. 2:14-15, Jn. 8:31-36) or to righteousness
Richard C. Trench, (Synonyms of the New Testament, p. 32)
between these two words as follows:
- In literal usage this word may be a freeman or a slave.
- Cf. the use of the verb cognate with reference to Martha's
(Lk. 10:40 and Jn. 12:2). Also notice the verb "serve"
last half of Lk. 12:37.
- This word is used of the servants in Jn. 2:5, who were not
slaves, but men who were asked to serve at the wedding, much as
of the bride are often asked to serve at modern weddings in our
From the context, it seems likely that the servants mentioned in
were Jesus' disciples. Why is this so?
- When this word is used, the emphasis is on the work of
- This term is used of all who follow Jesus (Jn. 12:26).
- It is used of those who serve the gospel and consequently,
of Christ. (Rom 15:15-16; 1 Thess. 3:2; 1 Tim. 4:6; Col.
- It is used of those who serve the local church (Rom. 16:1,
διάκονος represents the servant in
his activity for
the work...; not in his relation, either servile, as that
or more voluntary, as in the case of the θεράπων,
to a person.
The deacons. then, are servants, because they serve.
as the bishops are overseers of the church, the deacons are
the church (Rom. 16:1), not of the bishops. (Note that men were
by the brethren, not the bishops, to serve tables in Acts
1:3-4 Paul's joy on account of the
was especially occasioned by what is described in vs. 5.
fellowship in furtherance of the
The word translated "fellowship" speaks of a sharing in
a joint participation in something. Here, who is doing the
in what are they sharing, and how do they share in this? (cf.
from the first day until now =
the beginning of the gospel" (4:15), "in Thessalonica
once and again unto my need" (4:16), and "now at length
revived your thought for me" (4:10).
1:6 he who began a
work in you will perfect it... Christians are God's
2:10) and God continues to work toward the perfection of his
...until the day of Jesus
Christ = "day
of the Lord" (2 Pt. 3:10, 1 Thess. 5:2). "the coming of
(1 Thess. 4:15), "the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ"
2:1). Christians are God's work, but this work is not completed
last day when "this corruptible must put on
"then shall come to pass the saying that is written, Death
up in victory." God's work is not complete until the
unto life. Paul will again speak of being made perfect in this
in Phil. 3:11-12.
Is this passage saying that there
a point at which we will no longer sin?
Is the word "perfect"
to mean sinless?
What might be a good synonym for
"perfect" as used here?
"bowels") Literally, "inward parts" or
(Acts 1:18). However, figuratively, it was the seat of the
used much as we use the word "heart". (It seems to me
of speech was much more appropriate than ours inasmuch as strong
is much more frequently associated with strong physiological
in theabdomen than in the upper chest. ) The verb cognate means
pity," "feel sympathy." To have the tender mercies
would be to have Christ-like sympathy, affection, etc. for
Here, Paul claims to have the tender
(entrails) of Christ. In chapter 2, he speaks of lowliness of
says "Have this mind in you which was also in Christ
Having the tender mercies (entrails) of Christ is not a very
idea from having the mind of Christ, and is in fact an essential
1:9-10 love may abound in knowledge
so that ye may approve the things that are excellent; that ye may
and void of offence. Knowledge and discernment untempered by
up and may cause offence. Cf. 1 Cor. 10:32 where "occasion
is translated from the same word here rendered
also 1 Cor. 8, Rom. 14. We ought to learn to discern good and
5:14) but our knowledge and perception of such must be tempered
1:12 Good has come from the things
befallen Paul. Two specifics are mentioned in 1:13-14.
1:13 praetorian (Mt. 27:27; Mk.
Jn. 18:28,33; 19:19; Acts 23:35) This was used of (1) the
compound of any
magistrate, and (2) the imperial guard, an elite corps. In
those of the praetorian guard who had been taught as a result of
predicament, there were all the rest.
1:14 The second specific good resulting
Paul's predicament was that, upon seeing Paul's faithfulness when
others took confidence to teach more boldly.
1:15 some refers to the enemies
1:16 the one do it of love, knowing
am set for the defense of the gospel. Cf. vs. 14. Their love
1:17 Those who proclaim Christ
the love mentioned in vs. 16, saw in Paul's imprisonment an
to discredit him. Cf. 2 Cor. 10:2, 10-12 and 11:12-23 for
and description of Paul's enemies. Also see Rom. 3:6-7.
What indication is there in 2 Cor.
& 12:2-3 of the gnostic tendencies of Paul's
In Colossians 2:8-23, the
tradition of men
(vs. 8) described by Paul had its origin in gnosticism and what
1:18 God can use even men with evil
accomplish his good. See Gen. 45:7; 50:20; Rom. 9:17.
Can you think of other examples
1:19 this shall turn out to my
is verbatim the Septuagint rendering of the first clause in Job
Job's point was that in the very fact that he would contend with
his guiltlessness, there was for him "salvation", i.e.,
for a godless man would not dare to do such.
"this" refers to either
"I rejoice, yea, and will rejoice" (vs. 18)
"Christ is proclaimed" (vs. 18), or
"affliction for me" (vs. 17)
(a) is the closest antecedent, and
fits the context of the quote from Job. By rejoicing in the
of Christ even by his enemies, Paul would be vindicated as
above the envy and strife which motivated his enemies. However,
part of vs. 19 does not fit so well with this view.
(b) is not so far removed as to be an
antecedent, and furthermore, could conceivably fit the context of
from Job. Paul's work is vindicated when Christ is
after all, Paul's imprisonment came as the result of preaching,
Christ, the resurrection ( Acts 23:6; 24:19-21; 25:18-19). And
fit the latter part of vs. 19, for through the supplication of
and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, Christ would be
(c) seems too far removed to be a
Furthermore, "salvation" in vs. 19 could then hardly be
in the sense of vindication, as it is used in Job 13:16. However.
not necessary that Paul have used "salvation" in the
as did Job even though he quotes Job. Affliction could turn out
(cf. Rom. 5:2-5) through the supplication of the Philippians and
of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
On the whole, especially if the lime
is followed down through vs. 20, (b) seems to be the best
1:22 Here, the renderings of the NIV,
Douay seem best.
I am to
go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me.
shall I choose? I do not know!
to be life in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet
shall choose I cannot tell.
Douay And if
to live in the flesh; this is to me the fruit of labour. And what
choose I know not.
1:23 depart and be with
Are we with Christ now?
Then is it possible that we could
Christ after we die, even before the judgment day?
Is it impossible to suppose that we
Christ immediately after death in some fuller sense than before,
the day of judgment yet remains to come?
This passage teaches essentially the
that is learned from observing Lazarus' state after death in Lk.
1:29 Contained in this verse is the
has said all that he has thus far. What is it?
1:30 What conflict had the
seen in Paul? On what occasion had they seen such?
To what did Paul refer when he
now hear to be in me"?
Notes on Chapter 2