Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. With
the bishops and deacons. By bishops many understand those who were only priests; for the name of priests, at
that time, was common to those who were by their ordination priests or bishops, though the order as well as the functions
were different. St. Chrysostom also takes notice, that the name of deacon then signified any minister of Christ. St. Paul
also might mean the bishops, or priests and deacons, not only of Philippi, but also of the adjacent places. (Witham)
Ver. 5. For
your fellowship. This word is divers times used by St. Paul for a contribution of charitable alms, which it may also signify
in this place; though others expound it of their being made partakers of the graces of Christ, by the gospel. (Witham)
Ver. 7. In
the defence, &c. being then a prisoner, waiting for his trial; and the defence he could make for himself, and the
sentence of the judge. (Witham)
Ver. 9. That
your charity, &c. It is worthy of remark, that St. Paul does not beg that the Philippians may enjoy temporal blessings,
but that they may be rewarded with an increase of spiritual favours; (Calmet) and as he remarks in the succeeding verses,
that they may be filled with the fruits of justice.
Ver. 12. Now
I desire, &c. From hence it appears, that what was intended as the greatest hindrance to the propagation of the Christian
religion, eventually proved the most direct method of extending it. St. Paul was not less zealous in prison, and in chains,
than when he laboured under no obstacles to his designs: how much the reverse is the conduct of our late reformers!
Ver. 13. In
all the court, or in the whole palace of the emperor, and to all others, or in all other places at and near Rome. (Witham)
Ver. 14. And
many of, &c. encouraged by the intrepidity and perseverance of the apostle. (Calmet) --- Knowing that sufferings undergone
for the cause of Jesus Christ were most honourable, and the portion truly enviable of all the saints, as by sufferings they
were known to be his disciples, and by sufferings they were to purchase that eternal weight of glory prepared for all that
suffer patiently and joyfully for God's sake.
Ver. 15. Some...out
of envy and contention publish and preach Christ, thinking perhaps that this would displease me, or exasperate
my persecutors against me; but whatever their motive be, if they preach the true doctrine of Christ, I rejoice. (Witham)
Ver. 19. I
know that this shall turn to my salvation, &c. It may either signify to his spiritual good and the salvation of his
soul, or to his safety and deliverance out of prison: if this was his first imprisonment. (Witham)
Ver. 20. Whether
it be by life, or by death. To live longer, if God pleaseth, or to suffer death at this time, he shews himself resigned
to either. (Witham)
Ver. 21. To
live is Christ. If it be his will that I live, my life shall be spent in his service. --- To die, and suffer martyrdom,
will be my gain, by coming to the enjoyment of Christ sooner. (Witham)
Ver. 22. This
is to me, &c. His meaning is, that although his dying immediately for Christ, would be his gain, by putting him presently
in possession of heaven; yet he is doubtful what he should choose, because by staying longer in the flesh, he should be more
beneficial to the souls of his neighbours. (Challoner) --- What I shall choose I know not: though my earnest desire
is to be dissolved from this mortal body, and to be with Christ, as my greater happiness, yet if it be the will
of God that I labour longer, as necessary for your good, and that I again come to you, let God dispose of me according to
his holy will. (Witham)
And having this confidence. In effect St. Paul escaped this first danger, for after having remained two years at Rome,
he was taken from his confinement. (Calmet) --- I know (or am persuaded, as in the Greek) that I shall remain....by
my coming to you again. This is one argument that this epistle was written during his first imprisonment at Rome: yet
this is not agreed upon by the interpreters, and especially whether he ever returned again to Philippi. (Witham)
Ver. 27, &c.
Whether when I come, and see you, &c. This implies a doubt of his seeing them again. At least endeavour you to
lead a life worthy of the gospel, according to the principles of your faith; and be not terrified by your adversaries
and persecutors: God permits this for your salvation, though an occasion of perdition to your persecutors: you
having the like to combat as you have seen in me, when whipped at Philippi. See Acts xvi. (Witham)
Ver. 28. The
adversaries. Either by the persecutions of the Jews and Gentiles, or by the doctrine of false brethren.
 Ver. 1. Cum episcopis et diaconis, sun episkopois
kai diakonois. St. Jerome, St. Chrysostom, &c. take notice, that though the office of bishop and priest was different,
yet both these different orders were sometimes expressed by the word bishop, episkopos; sometimes by the
word priest, presbuteros. St. Jerome, tom. 4. in Titum. p. 413.: Quia eosdem episcopos illo tempore, quos
et presbyteros appellabant, propterea indifferenter de episcopis quasi de presbyteris est locutus. See again, tom. 4, part
2, Epist. ad Oceanum, p. 648. and Ep. ad Evangelium, p. 802. St. Chrysostom on this place: Tunc nomina erant communia; atque
etiam ipse episcopus vocabatur diaconus. (tom. 4. log. a. p. 5. Ed. Savil.) Tous presbuterous outos
ekal. Tote gar ekoinonoun tois onomasi, kai diakonos o episkopos elegeto.
 Ver. 13. In omni Prętorio, en olo to praitorio.
Bible Text & Cross-references:
The apostle's affection for the Philippians.
1 Paul and Timothy, the servants of Jesus Christ: to all the saints in
Christ Jesus, who are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons.
2 Grace be unto you, and peace from God, our Father, and from the Lord
3 I give thanks to my God, in every remembrance of you,
4 Always in all my prayers making supplication for you all with joy,
5 For your fellowship in the gospel of Christ, from the first day until
6 Being confident of this very thing, that he who hath begun a good work
in you, will perfect it unto the day of Christ Jesus.
7 As it is meet for me to think this for you all: because I have you
in my heart: and that in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of my joy.
8 For God is my witness, how I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus
9 And this I pray, that your charity may more and more abound in knowledge,
and in all understanding.
10 That you may approve the better things, that you may be sincere and
without offence unto the day of Christ,
11 Being filled with the fruit of justice, through Jesus Christ, unto
the glory and praise of God.
12 Now, I desire, brethren, you should know, that the things which have
happened to me, have fallen out rather to the furtherance of the gospel:
13 So that my bonds are made manifest, in Christ, in all the court, and
in all other places:
14 And many of the brethren in the Lord taking courage by my chains,
are much more bold to speak the word of God without fear.
15 Some, indeed, even out of envy and contention: but some also for good-will
16 Some out of charity, knowing that I am set for the defence of the
17 And some out of contention preach Christ not sincerely, imagining
that they raise affliction to my bonds.
18 But what then? So that every way, whether by occasion, or by truth,
Christ be preached: in this also I rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.
19 For I know that this shall turn to my salvation, through your prayer,
and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
20 According to my expectation and hope, that in nothing I shall be confounded:
but with all confidence, as always, so now also shall Christ be magnified in my body, whether by life, or by death.
21 For to me, to live is Christ; and to die is gain.
22 And if to live in the flesh, that is to me the fruit of labour, and
what I shall choose I know not.
23 But I am straitened between two; having a desire to be dissolved,
and to be with Christ, being by much the better:
24 But to remain in the flesh is necessary for your sake.
25 And having this confidence, I know that I shall remain and continue
with you all, for your furtherance and joy of faith:
26 That your rejoicing may abound in Christ Jesus, for me, by my coming
to you again.
27 *Only let your conversation be worthy of the gospel of Christ: that
whether when I come and see you, or being absent, hear of you, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind labouring
together for the faith of the gospel:
28 And in nothing be ye terrified by adversaries: which to them
is a cause of perdition, but to you of salvation, and this from God.
29 For to you it is given for Christ, not only to believe in him, but
also to suffer for him:
30 Having the same conflict as that which you have seen in me, and now
have heard of me.
27: Ephesians iv. 1.; Colossians i. 10.; 1 Thessalonians ii. 12.