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Philippians 1:19-26

Context
1:19 for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance 1  through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. 1:20 My confident hope 2  is that I will in no way be ashamed 3  but that with complete boldness, even now as always, Christ will be exalted in my body, whether I live or die. 4  1:21 For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. 1:22 Now if I am to go on living in the body, 5  this will mean productive work 6  for me, yet I don’t know which I prefer: 7  1:23 I feel torn between the two, 8  because I have a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far, 1:24 but it is more vital for your sake that I remain 9  in the body. 10  1:25 And since I am sure of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for the sake of your progress 11  and joy in the faith, 12  1:26 so that what you can be proud of may increase 13  because of me in Christ Jesus, when I come back to you. 14 

1 tn Or “salvation.” Deliverance from prison (i.e., release) is probably what Paul has in view here, although some take this as a reference to his ultimate release from the body, i.e., dying and being with Christ (v. 23).

sn The phrase this will turn out for my deliverance may be an echo of Job 13:16 (LXX).

2 tn Grk “according to my eager expectation and hope.” The κατά (kata) phrase is taken as governing the following ὅτι (Joti) clause (“that I will not be ashamed…”); the idea could be expressed more verbally as “I confidently hope that I will not be ashamed…”

3 tn Or possibly, “be intimidated, be put to shame.”

4 tn Grk “whether by life or by death.”

5 tn Grk “flesh.”

6 tn Grk “fruit of work”; the genitive ἔργου (ergou) is taken as an attributed genitive in which the head noun, καρπός (karpos), functions attributively (cf. ExSyn 89-91).

7 tn Grk “what I shall prefer.” The Greek verb αἱρέω (Jairew) could also mean “choose,” but in this context such a translation is problematic for it suggests that Paul could perhaps choose suicide (cf. L&N 30.86).

sn I don’t know what I prefer. Paul is here struggling with what would be most beneficial for both him and the church. He resolves this issue in vv. 24-25.

8 tn Grk “I am hard-pressed between the two.” Cf. L&N 30.18.

9 tn Grk “But to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you.”

10 tn Grk “the flesh.”

11 tn Grk “for your progress.”

12 sn Paul’s confidence in his release from prison (I know that I will remain and continue with all of you) implies that this Roman imprisonment did not end in his death. Hence, there is the likelihood that he experienced a second Roman imprisonment later on (since the belief of the early church was that Paul died under Nero in Rome). If so, then the pastoral letters (1-2 Tim, Titus) could well fit into a life of Paul that goes beyond any descriptions in the book of Acts (which ends with Paul’s first Roman imprisonment). Some have argued that the pastorals cannot be genuine because they cannot fit into the history of Acts. But this view presupposes that Paul’s first Roman imprisonment was also his last.

13 tn Grk “your boasting may overflow in Christ Jesus because of me,” or possibly, “your boasting in me may overflow in Christ Jesus.” BDAG 536 s.v. καύχημα 1 translates the phrase τὸ καύχημα ὑμῶν (to kauchma jJumwn) in Phil 1:26 as “what you can be proud of.”

14 tn Grk “through my coming again to you.”



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