Philippians 1:22
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
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!

New Living Translation
But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don't know which is better.

English Standard Version
If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell.

Berean Study Bible
But if I go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. So what shall I choose? I do not know.

Berean Literal Bible
But if I am to live in flesh, this is the fruit of labor for me. And what shall I choose? I do not know.

New American Standard Bible
But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose.

King James Bible
But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Now if I live on in the flesh, this means fruitful work for me; and I don't know which one I should choose.

International Standard Version
Now if I continue living, fruitful labor is the result, so I do not know which I would prefer.

NET Bible
Now if I am to go on living in the body, this will mean productive work for me, yet I don't know which I prefer:

New Heart English Bible
But if I live on in the flesh, this will bring fruit from my work; yet I do not make known what I will choose.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But if also in this life of the flesh I have fruit in my work, I do not know what I shall choose for myself.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
If I continue to live in this life, my work will produce more results. I don't know which I would prefer.

New American Standard 1977
But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose.

Jubilee Bible 2000
But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour, yet I do not know what to choose.

King James 2000 Bible
But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labor: yet what I shall choose I know not.

American King James Version
But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labor: yet what I shall choose I know not.

American Standard Version
But if to live in the flesh, -- if this shall bring fruit from my work, then what I shall choose I know not.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And if to live in the flesh, that is to me the fruit of labour, and what I shall choose I know not.

Darby Bible Translation
but if to live in flesh [is my lot], this is for me worth the while: and what I shall choose I cannot tell.

English Revised Version
But if to live in the flesh,--if this is the fruit of my work, then what I shall choose I wot not.

Webster's Bible Translation
But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labor: yet what I shall choose I know not.

Weymouth New Testament
But since to live means a longer stay on earth, that implies more labour for me--and not unsuccessful labour; and which I am to choose I cannot tell.

World English Bible
But if I live on in the flesh, this will bring fruit from my work; yet I don't know what I will choose.

Young's Literal Translation
And if to live in the flesh is to me a fruit of work, then what shall I choose? I know not;
Study Bible
To Live is Christ
21For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22But if I go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. So what shall I choose? I do not know. 23I am torn between the two. I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better indeed.…
Cross References
Romans 1:13
I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, how often I planned to come to you (but have been prevented from visiting until now), in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.

Philippians 1:23
I am torn between the two. I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better indeed.
Treasury of Scripture

But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labor: yet what I shall choose I know not.

live.

Philippians 1:24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.

2 Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ …

Colossians 2:1 For I would that you knew what great conflict I have for you, and …

1 Peter 4:2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to …

this.

Psalm 71:18 Now also when I am old and gray headed, O God, forsake me not; until …

Isaiah 38:18,19 For the grave cannot praise you, death can not celebrate you: they …

I wot.

Genesis 21:26 And Abimelech said, I know not who has done this thing; neither did …

Genesis 39:8 But he refused, and said to his master's wife, Behold, my master …

Exodus 32:1 And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the …

Acts 3:17 And now, brothers, I know that through ignorance you did it, as did …

Romans 11:2 God has not cast away his people which he foreknew. Know you not …

(22) But if I live in the flesh . . .--The translation of this verse in the Authorised version is inaccurate, and perhaps a gloss to soften the difficulty of the original. The exact translation is, But if to live in the flesh this is to me a fruit of work, and what (or, what also) I shall choose I know not. The construction is clearly broken by emotion or absorption in thought; it can only be supplied by conjecture. If (as in 2Corinthians 2:2) the word "and," or "also," can be used to introduce the principal clause ("what then I shall choose," &c.), the construction will be correct, though harsh. If otherwise, we must suppose either that the sentence is broken at the word "work," or that the whole should run, But what if to live in the flesh is a part of work? And what I shall choose, I know not, &c. But though the construction is obscure, the sense is plain. St. Paul had said, "to die is gain." But the thought crosses him that to live still in the flesh, this and this only is (i.e., carries with it) a fruit of apostolical labour, in souls brought to Christ or built up in Him. Accordingly what to choose he knows not. For in such a harvest there is a gain, which outweighs his own personal gain on the other side.

I am in a strait betwixt (the) two.--The word here used signifies "to be hemmed in," or "confined," and is generally associated with some idea of distress (as in Luke 8:45; Luke 19:43), not unfrequently with the pressure of disease (Matthew 4:24; Luke 4:38; Acts 28:8). Our Lord uses it of mental distress in Himself (Luke 12:50): "How am I straitened till it be accomplished!" Here the sense is clear. St. Paul's mind is "hemmed in" between two opposing considerations, till it knows not which way to move, even in desire.

Verse 22. - But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labor: yet what I shall choose I wot not; or perhaps, as Meyer, "I make not known." St. Paul wavers between his own personal longing for rest in Paradise with Christ, and the thought that the continuance of his life on earth might conduce to the spreading of the gospel. The grammar of the Greek sentence aptly represents the apostle's hesitation. The construction is almost hopelessly confused. Perhaps the interpretation of the R.V. is the simplest: "But if to live in the flesh, - if this is the fruit of my work, then what shall choose I wot not." Thus καρπός is parallel with κέρδος (Ver. 21); τὸ ζῇν ἐν σαρκι is also a gain, a fruit; the genitive is one of apposition; the work itself is the fruit. St. Paul, says Bengel, regards his work as fruit, others seek fruit from their work. Bishop Lightfoot proposes another rendering, "But what if my living in the flesh will bear fruit, etc.? In fact what to choose I know not." Surely, says Bengel, the Christian's lot is excellent; he can hesitate only in the choice of blessings; disappointed he cannot be. But if I live in the flesh,.... To be in the flesh sometimes signifies to be in a state of nature and unregeneracy, and to live in and after the flesh, to live according to the dictates of corrupt nature; but here it signifies living in the body, or the life which is in the flesh, as the Syriac version renders the phrase here, and as the apostle expresses it in Galatians 2:20, and the sense is, if I should live any longer in the body, and be continued for some time in this world:

this is the fruit of my labour; or "I have fruit in my works", as the above version renders it:

yet what I shall choose I wot not, or "know not"; whether life or death; since my life will be for the honour and glory of Christ, and though a toilsome and laborious one, yet useful and fruitful: by his "labour", he means his ministerial work and service; the ministry is a work, a good and honourable work, and a laborious one. Christ's faithful ministers are labourers; they labour in the word and doctrine, both in studying and preaching it; and such a labourer was the apostle, who by the grace of God laboured more abundantly than others; the "fruit" of which was the conversion of many sinners, the edification, comfort, and establishment of the saints, their fruitfulness in grace and works, the spread of the Gospel far and near, the enlargement of the kingdom of Christ, and the weakening of Satan's kingdom, and the glorifying of Christ in his person, offices, and great salvation; all which was a strong and swaying argument with him, to desire to live longer in the body, and made it on the one hand so difficult with him what to choose: for as a certain Jew (b) says,

"the righteous man desires to live to do the will of God while he lives;

but not with that view, he adds,

"to increase the reward of the soul in the world to come.

(b) Kimchi in Psal. vi. 5. 22. Rather as Greek, "But if to live in the flesh (if), this (I say, the continuance in life which I am undervaluing) be the fruit of my labor (that is, be the condition in which the fruit of my ministerial labor is involved), then what I shall choose I know not (I cannot determine with myself, if the choice were given me, both alternatives being great goods alike)." So Alford and Ellicott. Bengel takes it as English Version, which the Greek will bear by supposing an ellipsis, "If to live in the flesh (be my portion), this (continuing to live) is the fruit of my labor," that is, this continuance in life will be the occasion of my bringing in "the fruit of labor," that is, will be the occasion of "labors" which are their own "fruit" or reward; or, this my continuing "to live" will have this "fruit," namely, "labors" for Christ. Grotius explains "the fruit of labor" as an idiom for "worthwhile"; If I live in the flesh, this is worth my while, for thus Christ's interest will be advanced, "For to me to live is Christ" (Php 1:21; compare Php 2:30; Ro 1:13). The second alternative, namely, dying, is taken up and handled, Php 2:17, "If I be offered."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.
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NT Letters: Philippians 1:22 But if I live on (Philipp. Phil. Php.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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