The Letter to the Philippians


 1:1 ¶ TO all Christ’s People at Philippi, with the Presidents and Assistant-Officers, | FROM Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus.

 2 | May God, our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ bless you, and give you peace.


 1:3 ¶ Every time I think of you and pray for you, I always thank my God for you all;

 4 and my prayers are full of joy,

 5 when I remember the share that you have had in helping forward the Good News, from the first day that you received it until now.

 6 For of this I am quite sure—that God who began a good work in you will complete it in readiness for the Day of Jesus Christ.

 7 And, indeed, I am justified in having this feeling about you all; because I have an affectionate remembrance of you, and of how, both in my imprisonment and in the work of defending and establishing the Good News, you all shared the honour with me.

 8 God will bear me witness that I yearn over you all with the tenderness of Christ Jesus.

 9 And what I pray for is this—that your love may grow yet stronger and stronger, with increasing knowledge and with perfect discernment,

 10 so that you may appreciate moral excellence. And I pray, too, that you may be kept pure and blameless in readiness for the Day of Christ,

 11 and that you may bear a rich harvest of the righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, and so bring honour and praise to God.


 1:12 ¶ Now, Brothers, I want you to recognize that what has happened to me has actually served to help forward the Good News.

 13 My imprisonment has been plainly seen, both by the whole of the Emperor’s Guards and by every one else, to have come upon me for Christ’s sake.

 14 And besides this, most of our Brothers, having gained confidence in the Lord through my imprisonment, now venture with far greater freedom to tell of God’s Message fearlessly.


 1:15It is true that some actually proclaim the Christ out of jealousy and opposition; but there are others who proclaim him from good-will.

 16 The latter do it from love for me, knowing that I have been appointed to plead the cause of the Good News.

 17 The former spread the news of the Christ in a spirit of rivalry, and not sincerely, thinking to add to the pain of my imprisonment.

 18 But what of that? Why, in some way or other, either with assumed or with real earnestness, Christ is being made known; and of this I am glad. Yes, and I will be glad,

 19 for I know that—thanks to your prayers and to a rich supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ—all this will make for my Salvation.

 20 And this agrees with my keen expectation and hope that I shall have no cause for shame, but that through my unfailing courage, now as hitherto, Christ will be honoured in my body, whether by my life or by my death.


 1:21For life to me is Christ, and death is gain.

 22 But what if by my continuing to live my labours bear fruit? I cannot see which to choose!

 23 I am sorely perplexed either way! My own desire is to depart and be with Christ, for this would be by far the better.

 24 But for your sakes it may be more needful that I should stay here still.

 25 Indeed I am confident that this is so, and therefore I am sure that I shall stay, and stay near you all, to promote your progress and joy in the Faith;

 26 so that you may find in me fresh cause for Christian exultation through having me among you once more.


 1:27 ¶ Whatever happens, let your lives be worthy of the Good News of the Christ: so that, whether I come and see you, or only hear of your affairs at a distance, I may know that you are standing firm, animated by one spirit, and joining with one heart in a common struggle for the Faith of the Good News,

 28 without showing the least terror of your opponents. To them this will be an indication of coming Ruin, but to you it will be an indication of Salvation—an indication from God.

 29 For on behalf of Christ, you have had the honour granted you, not only of trusting in him, but also of suffering on his behalf.

 30 It is the same hard struggle as that in which you once saw me engaged, and which you hear that I am maintaining still.


 2:1 ¶ If, then, any encouragement comes through Christ, if there is any persuasive power in love, if there is any companionship of the Spirit, if there is any tenderness or pity,

 2 I beg you to make my happiness complete, by living together in harmony and love—one in heart and in spirit.

 3 Nothing should be done in a spirit of rivalry or from vanity, but each of you should humbly reckon the others to be of more account than himself,

 4 and all should consult the interests of others in addition to their own.

 5 Let the spirit of Christ Jesus be yours also.

 6 Though from the beginning he had the divine nature, yet he did not look upon equality with God as something to be clung to,

 7 but impoverished himself by taking the nature of a servant and becoming like other men.

 8 Then he appeared among us as a man, and still further humbled himself by submitting even to death—yes, death on a cross!

 9 And this is why God raised him to the very highest place, and gave him the Name which ranks above all others,

 10 so that in honour of the Name of Jesus every knee should bend, in Heaven, on earth, and under the earth,

 11 and that every tongue should acknowledge JESUS CHRIST as LORD—to the glory of God the Father.


 2:12 ¶ Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always been obedient in the past, so now work out your own Salvation with reverence and awe, and that not only when I am with you, but all the more now that I am away.

 13 Remember it is God who, in his kindness, is at work within you, enabling you both to will and to work.

 14 In all that you do, avoid discontent and dissension,

 15 so as to prove yourselves blameless and innocent—children of God, and faultless, though in the midst of an evil-disposed and perverse generation. Among such people you are seen shining like stars in a dark world,

 16 offering to men the Message of Life; and I shall be able at the Day of Christ to boast that I did not live my life for nothing, nor toil for nothing.

 17 And yet, even if, when your faith is offered as a sacrifice to God, my life-blood has to be poured out over it, still I shall rejoice and share the joy of you all;

 18 and in the same way you also must rejoice and share my joy.


 2:19 ¶ I hope, however, if the Lord Jesus permits it, to send Timothy to you before long, so that I may myself be cheered by receiving news of you.

 20 For I have no one but him to send—no one of kindred spirit who would take a genuine interest in your welfare.

 21 They are all pursuing their own aims and not those of Christ Jesus.

 22 But you know what Timothy has proved himself to be, and how, like a child working for his father, he worked hard with me to help forward the Good News.

 23 It is Timothy, then, whom I hope to send, as soon as ever I can foresee how it will go with me.

 24 And if the Lord permits it, I trust that before long I myself shall follow.

 25 Still I think it necessary to send Epaphroditus to you now, for he is my brother, fellow-worker, and fellow-soldier, and he was also your messenger to help me in my need.

 26 He has been longing to see you all, and has been distressed because you heard of his illness.

 27 And I can assure you that his illness very nearly proved fatal. But God had pity on him, and not on him only but also on me, so that I should not have sorrow upon sorrow.

 28 I am all the more ready, therefore, to send him, so that the sight of him may revive your spirits and my own sorrow may be lightened.

 29 Give him, then, the heartiest of Christian welcomes, and hold men like him in great honour.

 30 It was owing to his devotion to the Master’s work that he was at the point of death, having risked his own life in the effort to supply what was wanting in the help that you sent me.


 3:1 ¶ And now, my Brothers, good-bye, and the Lord be with you. To repeat what I have already written does not weary me, and is the safe course as far as you are concerned.


 3:2 ¶ Beware of those ‘dogs’; beware, I mean, of those mischievous workers; beware of the men who mutilate themselves.

 3 For we are really the circumcised—we whose worship is prompted by the Spirit of God, who exult in Christ Jesus and do not rely upon external privileges.

 4a And yet, personally, I have some reason for relying even upon them.


 3:4b ¶ If any one thinks he can rely upon external privileges, far more can I!

 5 I was circumcised when eight days old; I am an Israelite by race, and of the tribe of Benjamin; I am a Hebrew, and the child of Hebrews. As regards the Law, I was a Pharisee;

 6 as regards zeal, I was a persecutor of the Church; as regards the righteousness that comes through Law, I proved myself blameless.

 7 But all the things which once stood to my credit I have now, for the Christ’s sake, come to reckon as loss.

 8 More than that, I reckon everything else as loss, on account of the exceeding value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. And for his sake I have lost everything, and reckon it all the merest refuse, if I can but gain Christ

 9 and be found in union with him; any righteousness that I may have being, not the righteousness resulting from obedience to Law, but the righteousness which comes through faith in Christ—the righteousness which is derived from God and is founded on faith.

 10 My aim is to get to know Christ, and to learn the power that is in his resurrection and what it means to share his sufferings,

 11 in the hope that, if I grow like him in his death, I may possibly attain to the resurrection from the dead.

 12 Not that I have already secured it or that I am already made perfect. But I am pressing on, in the hope of actually laying hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.

 13 For myself, Brothers, I do not regard myself as having yet laid hold of it. But forgetting what lies behind me, and straining every nerve towards that which lies in front, the one thing I am doing

 14 is to press on to the winning-post, to gain the prize of that heavenward Call which God gave me through Christ Jesus.

 15 All of us, then, whose faith is matured, should take this view of life. Then, if in any respect you take a mistaken view, God will make that also plain to you.

 16 Only we must order our lives by the standard which we have already reached.


 3:17 ¶ Brothers, join one another in copying my example, and fix your eyes on those who are living by the pattern which we have set you.

 18 For there are many—of whom I have often told you, and now tell you even with tears—who are living in enmity to the cross of the Christ.

 19 The end of such men is Ruin; for their appetites are their God, and they glory in their shame; their minds are given up to earthly things.

 20 But the Empire to which we belong is in Heaven; and it is from Heaven that we are eagerly looking for a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.

 21 By the exercise of his power to bring everything into subjection to himself, he will change this body that we have in our humiliation, until it is of the same nature as the body which he has in his glory.


 4:1 ¶ So then, my dear Brothers, whom I am longing to see—you who are my joy and my crown, and who are very dear to me—stand fast by the Lord.


 4:2 ¶ I entreat Euodia, and I entreat Syntyche, to live in harmony as fellow-Christians;

 3 yes, and I ask you, my true comrade, to help them, remembering that they toiled by my side in spreading the Good News; and so, too, did Clement and my other fellow-workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.


 4:4 ¶ Good-bye, and may the Lord always be with you. I will say it again—The Lord be with you.

 5 Let your forbearing spirit be plain to every one. The Lord is near.

 6 Do not be anxious about anything; but under all circumstances, by prayer and entreaty joined with thanksgiving, make what you want known to God.

 7 Then, through your union with Christ Jesus, God’s Peace which surpasses every human conception will stand guard over your hearts and your thoughts.


 4:8 ¶ In conclusion, Brothers, wherever you find truth or holiness, righteousness or purity, anything lovable or anything attractive, or if there is anything in ‘virtue’ and ‘honour,’ there let your thoughts dwell.

 9 All that you learnt and received from me, and all that you heard and saw that I myself did, you should continually put into practice; and then God, who gives peace, will be with you.


 4:10 ¶ I must say, too, that, as a Christian, I was exceedingly glad that after so long an interval your interest in me had revived. Not that you had not taken any interest in me, but you had had no opportunity of showing it.

 11 Do not think that I am saying this under the pressure of want. For, however I am placed, I, at least, have learnt to be independent of circumstances.

 12 I know how to face humble circumstances, and I know how to face prosperity. Into every human experience I have been initiated—into plenty and hunger, into prosperity and want.

 13 Nothing is beyond my power in the strength of him who makes me strong!

 14 Yet you have acted nobly in sharing my troubles.

 15 And you at Philippi know as well as I that in the early days of the Good News—at the time when I had just left Macedonia—no Church, with the one exception of yourselves, had anything to do with me in the matter of giving and receiving.

 16 Indeed, even while I was still in Thessalonica, you sent more than once to relieve my wants.

 17 It is not that I am eager for your gifts, but I am eager for the abundant return that will be placed to your account.

 18 I have enough of everything, and to spare. My wants are fully satisfied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts which you sent me. They are like the sweet fragrance of a sacrifice which is acceptable and pleasing to God.

 19 And my God—so great is his wealth—will, in glory, fully satisfy your every need, through your union with Christ Jesus.

 20 To him, our God and Father, be given all glory for ever and ever. Amen.


 4:21 ¶ Give my good wishes to all our fellow-Christians. The Brothers who are with me send you their good wishes.

 22 All Christ’s People here, and especially those who belong to the Emperor’s household, send theirs.


 4:23 ¶ May the blessing of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.