|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:16-24 The apostle commends the brethren sent to collect their charity, that it might be known who they were, and how safely they might be trusted. It is the duty of all Christians to act prudently; to hinder, as far as we can, all unjust suspicions. It is needful, in the first place, to act uprightly in the sight of God, but things honest in the sight of men should also be attended to. A clear character, as well as a pure conscience, is requisite for usefulness. They brought glory to Christ as instruments, and had obtained honour from Christ to be counted faithful, and employed in his service. The good opinion others have of us, should be an argument with us to do well.
Verse 18. - The brother, whose praise is in the gospel. The phrase means, "whose worth is praised wherever the glad tidings are preached." There can be no reference to any of the four written Gospels, for they were not in the hands of Christians till a later date; nor did the word "gospel" acquire this significance till afterwards. From Acts 20:5, it is somewhat precariously inferred that St. Luke is meant. Others have conjectured Barnabas, Silas (who are out of the question), Erastus, Mark, a brother of Titus, etc. St. Luke is not unlikely to have been selected as a delegate by the Church of Philippi; but further than this we can say nothing. St. Luke was not a Macedonian by birth, and any Macedonian (e.g., Aristarchus, Sopater, Secundus, Epaphroditus) seems to be excluded by 2 Corinthians 9:4. Palsy notes it as curious that the object of St. Paul's journey to Jerusalem, Which is so prominent in this group of Epistles, is only mentioned indirectly and incidentally by St. Luke (Acts 24:17) in the Acts of the Apostles.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And we have sent with him the brother,.... The Syriac and Ethiopic versions read, "our brother"; and one of Stephens's copies, "your brother": who this brother was, is not certain; some think it was Luke the evangelist, the companion of the apostle in his travels:
whose praise is in the Gospel, throughout all the churches; being known and highly commended by all the churches, for the Gospel he wrote; but it is not certain that Luke as yet had wrote his Gospel; and much less that it was so much known at present among the churches; and besides, this brother's praise seems to be on account of his preaching the Gospel, and not writing one: others think Barnabas is intended, who was chosen and sent out by the churches along with the apostle; but these in a short time separated from each other, nor do we read of their coming together again: others are of opinion, that Apollos is designed, who was a very eloquent preacher, and of whom the apostle had given the Corinthians an intimation in his former epistle, that he would come to them at a convenient time; but to him is objected, that he never was chosen of the churches, to travel with the apostle on such an account as here mentioned: others would have it that Silas or Silvanus is meant, who was a very constant companion of the apostle, and of whom he makes mention in most of his epistles; and others have made no doubt of it, but John Mark is here meant, who not only wrote a Gospel, but was an excellent preacher of it, and was chosen by the churches to go along with Paul and Barnabas; and though there was some distaste taken to him by Paul, he was afterwards reconciled to him, and for his profitableness in the ministry was greatly desired by him; but after all, it is difficult to determine who it was, nor is it of any great moment: a "brother" he was; being not only a regenerate person, but a preacher of the Gospel; a brother in the ministry, and "one whose praise was in the Gospel"; greatly admired, and much commended, for his excellent talent in preaching the Gospel; and for this he was famous "throughout all the churches"; a very great commendation indeed; but this is not all, it follows,
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
18. the brother, whose praise is in the gospel—whose praise is known in connection with the Gospel: Luke may be meant; not that "the Gospel" here refers to his written Gospel; but the language implies some one well known throughout the churches, and at that time with Paul, as Luke then was (Ac 20:6). Not a Macedonian, as appears from 2Co 9:4. Of all Paul's "companions in travel" (2Co 8:19; Ac 19:29), Luke was the most prominent, having been his companion in preaching the Gospel at his first entrance into Europe (Ac 16:10). The fact that the person here referred to was "chosen of the churches" as their trustee to travel with Paul in conveying the contribution to Jerusalem, implies that he had resided among them some time before: this is true of Luke, who after parting from Paul at Philippi (as he marks by the change from "we" to "they," Ac 16:11) six years before, is now again found in his company in Macedonia. In the interim he had probably become so well known that "his praise was throughout all the churches." Compare 2Co 12:18; Phm 24. He who is faithful in the Gospel will be faithful also in matters of inferior importance [Bengel].
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