Philippians 1:21
Parallel Verses
New International Version
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

New Living Translation
For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.

English Standard Version
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

New American Standard Bible
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

King James Bible
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For me, living is Christ and dying is gain.

International Standard Version
For to me, to go on living is the Messiah, and to die is gain.

NET Bible
For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For my life is The Messiah, and if I shall die, it is gain for me.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Christ means everything to me in this life, and when I die I'll have even more.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain.

King James 2000 Bible
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

American King James Version
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

American Standard Version
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For to me, to live is Christ; and to die is gain.

Darby Bible Translation
For for me to live [is] Christ, and to die gain;

English Revised Version
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Webster's Bible Translation
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Weymouth New Testament
For, with me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

World English Bible
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Young's Literal Translation
for to me to live is Christ, and to die gain.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

1:21-26 Death is a great loss to a carnal, worldly man, for he loses all his earthly comforts and all his hopes; but to a true believer it is gain, for it is the end of all his weakness and misery. It delivers him from all the evils of life, and brings him to possess the chief good. The apostle's difficulty was not between living in this world and living in heaven; between these two there is no comparison; but between serving Christ in this world and enjoying him in another. Not between two evil things, but between two good things; living to Christ and being with him. See the power of faith and of Divine grace; it can make us willing to die. In this world we are compassed with sin; but when with Christ, we shall escape sin and temptation, sorrow and death, for ever. But those who have most reason to desire to depart, should be willing to remain in the world as long as God has any work for them to do. And the more unexpected mercies are before they come, the more of God will be seen in them.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 21. - For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Others, as Calvin, render (not so well), "For to me Christ is gain both in life and in death." The alternative suggested in Ver. 20 leads St. Paul to a short digression on the comparative advantages of life and death; he is content with either. Life is blessed, for it is Christ; comp. Colossians 2:4, "Christ, who is our Life," and Galatians it. 20, "Not I, but Christ liveth in me;" "Quit-quid rive, Christum vivo" (Bengel). The life of Christ lives, breathes, energizes, in the life of his saints. His flesh, his incarnate life is their meat; his blood, the mystery of his atonement, is the drink of their souls. He abideth in them, and they in him. And yet death is gain; the slate of death, not the act of dying, is meant (the infinitive is aorist, τὸ ἀποθανεῖν), for the dead in Christ are at home with the Lord (ἐνδημοῦντες πρὸς τὸν Κύριον) in a far more blessed sense than the saints on earth.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

For to me to live is Christ,.... Christ was his life "efficiently", the efficient cause and author of his spiritual life; he spoke it into him, produced it in him, and disciplined him with it: and he was his life, objectively, the matter and object of his life, that on which he lived; yea, it was not so much he that lived, as Christ that lived in him; he lived by faith on Christ, and his spiritual life was maintained and supported by feeding on him as the bread of life: and he was his life, "finally", the end of his life; what he aimed at throughout the whole course of his life was the glory of Christ, the good of his church and people, the spread of his Gospel, the honour of his name, and the increase of his interest; and this last seems to be the true sense of the phrase here,

and to die is gain; to himself, for death is gain to believers: it is not easy to say what a believer gains by dying; he is released thereby, and delivered from all the troubles and distresses of this life, arising from diseases of body, losses and disappointments in worldly things; from the oppressions and persecutions of wicked men; from indwelling sin, unbelief, doubts, and fears, and the temptations of Satan; he as soon as dies enters into the presence of God, where is fulness of joy, and is immediately with Christ, which is far better than being here, beholding his glory and enjoying communion with him; he is at once in the company of angels and glorified saints; is possessed of perfect holiness and knowledge; inherits a kingdom prepared from the foundation of the world, and wears a crown of life, righteousness, and glory; enters upon an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled; is received into everlasting habitations, into mansions of light, life, love, joy, peace, and comfort; is at perfect rest, and surrounded with endless pleasures. This is the common interpretation, and is countenanced by the Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions, which read, "to die", or "if I die, it is gain to me": but instead of reading the words as consisting of two propositions, they may he considered as one, and the sense be either this; Christ is gain to me living or dying in life or in death; for Christ is the believer's gain in life; he is all in all, his righteousness, his wisdom, his sanctification, his redemption, his life, his light, his food, his raiment, his riches, his joy, peace, and comfort; he is everything to him he wants, can wish for, or desire: and he is his gain in death; the hope he then has is founded on him, and the triumphs of his faith over death and the grave arise from redemption by him; his expectation is to be immediately with him; and the glory he will then enter into will lie in communion with him, in conformity to him, and in an everlasting vision of him: or thus, for me to live and to die is Christ's gain; his life being spent in his service, in living according to his will, in preaching his Gospel, serving his churches, and suffering for his sake, was for his glory; and his death being for his sake, in the faith of him, and the steady profession of it, would be what would glorify him, and so be his gain likewise; and this seems to be the genuine sense of the words, which contain a reason of the apostle's faith, why he was persuaded Christ would be magnified or glorified in his body, whether by life or by death.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

21. For—in either event (Php 1:20) I must be the gainer, "For to me," &c.

to live is Christ—whatever life, time, and strength, I have, is Christ's; Christ is the sole object for which I live (Ga 2:20).

to die is gain—not the act of dying, but as the Greek ("to have died") expresses, the state after death. Besides the glorification of Christ by my death, which is my primary object (Php 1:20), the change of state caused by death, so far from being a matter of shame (Php 1:20) or loss, as my enemies suppose, will be a positive "gain" to me.

Philippians 1:21 Additional Commentaries
Context
To Live is Christ
21For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose.…
Cross References
Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Philippians 1:22
If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know!
Treasury of Scripture

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

to live. See on ver.

Philippians 1:20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing …

Philippians 2:21 For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's.

1 Corinthians 1:30 But of him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made to us wisdom, …

Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord …

Colossians 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall you also …

to die.

Philippians 1:23 For I am in a strait between two, having a desire to depart, and …

Isaiah 57:1,2 The righteous perishes, and no man lays it to heart: and merciful …

Romans 8:35-39 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, …

1 Corinthians 3:22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, …

2 Corinthians 5:1,6,8 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, …

1 Thessalonians 4:13-15 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brothers, concerning them …

Revelation 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, Write, Blessed are …

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