New American Standard Bible
Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons:
King James Bible
Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:
Darby Bible Translation
Paul and Timotheus, bondmen of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the overseers and ministers;
World English Bible
Paul and Timothy, servants of Jesus Christ; To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and servants:
Young's Literal Translation
Paul and Timotheus, servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with overseers and ministrants;
Philippians 1:1 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Paul and Timotheus - Paul frequently unites some person with him in his epistles; see the notes at 1 Corinthians 1:1. It is clear from this, that Timothy was with Paul at Rome. Why he was there is unknown. It is evident that he was not there as a prisoner with Paul, and the probability is, that he was one of the friends who had gone to Rome with a view to show his sympathy with him in his sufferings; compare the notes at 2 Timothy 4:9. There was special propriety in the fact that Timothy was joined with the apostle in writing the Epistle, for he was with him when the church was founded, and doubtless felt a deep interest in its welfare; Acts 16. Timothy had remained in Macedonia after Paul went to Athens, and it is not improbable that he had visited them afterward.
The servants of Jesus Christ - see the notes at Romans 1:1.
To all the saints in Christ Jesus - The common appellation given to the church, denoting that it was holy; see the notes, Romans 1:7.
With the bishops - σὺν επισκόποις sun episkopois; see the notes, Acts 20:28. The word used here occurs in the New Testament only in the following places: Acts 20:28, translated "overseers;" and Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:7; 1 Peter 2:25, in each of which places it is rendered as "bishop." The word properly means an inspector, overseer, or guardian, and was given to the ministers of the gospel because they exercised this care over the churches, or were appointed to oversee their interests. It is a term, therefore, which might be given to any of the officers of the churches, and was originally equivalent to the term presbyter. It is evidently used in this sense here. It cannot be used to denote a diocesan bishop; or a bishop having the care of the churches in a large district of country, and of a superior rank to other ministers of the gospel, because the word is used here in the plural number, and it is in the highest degree improbable that there were dioceses in Philippi. It is clear, moreover, that they were the only officers of the church there except "deacons;" and the persons referred to, therefore, must have been those who were invested simply with the pastoral office. Thus, Jerome, one of the early fathers, says, respecting the word bishop: "A presbyter is the same as a bishop. And until there arose divisions in religion, churches were governed by a common counsel of presbyters. But afterward, it was everywhere decreed, that one person, elected from the presbyters, should be placed over the others." "Philippi," says he, "is a single city of Macedonia; and certainly there could not have been several like these who are now called bishops, at one time in the same city. But as, at that time, they called the same bishops whom they called presbyters also, the apostles spoke indifferently of bishops as of presbyters." Annotations on the Epistle to Titus, as quoted by Dr. Woods on Episcopacy, p. 63.
And deacons - On the appointment of deacons, and their duty, see the notes at Acts 6:1. The word "deacons" does not occur before this place in the common version of the New Testament, though the Greek word rendered here as "deacon" frequently occurs. It is rendered "minister" and "ministers" in Matthew 20:26; Mark 10:43; Romans 13:4; Romans 15:8; 1 Corinthians 3:5; 2 Corinthians 3:6; 2 Corinthians 6:4; 2 Corinthians 11:15, 2 Corinthians 11:23; Galatians 2:17; Ephesians 3:7; Ephesians 6:21; Colossians 1:7, Colossians 1:23, Colossians 1:25; Colossians 4:7; 1 Timothy 4:6; "servant" and "servants," Matthew 22:13; Matthew 23:11; Mark 9:25; John 2:5, John 2:9; John 12:26; Romans 16:1; and "deacon" or "deacons," Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:8, 1 Timothy 3:12. The word properly means servants, and is then applied to the ministers of the gospel as being the servants of Christ, and of the churches. Hence, it came especially to denote those who had charge of the alms of the church, and who were the overseers of the sick and the poor. In this sense the word is probably used in the passage before us, as the officers here referred to were distinct in some way from the bishops. The apostle here mentions but two orders of ministers in the church at Philippi, and this account is of great importance in its bearing on the question about the way in which Christian churches were at first organized, and about the officers which existed in them. In regard to this we may remark:
(1) That only two orders of ministers are mentioned. This is undeniable, whatever rank they may have held.
(2) there is no intimation whatever that a minister like a prelatical bishop had ever been appointed there, and that the incumbent of the office was absent, or that the office was now vacant. If the bishop was absent, as Bloomfield and others suppose, it is remarkable that no allusion is made to him, and that Paul should have left the impression that there were in fact but two "orders" there. If there were a prelate there, why did not Paul refer to him with affectionate salutations? Why does he refer to the two other "orders of clergy" without the slightest allusion to the man who was set over them as "superior in ministerial rank and power?" Was Paul jealous of this prelate? But if they had a prelate, and the see was then vacant, why is there no reference to this fact? Why no condolence at their loss? Why no prayer that God would send them a man to enter into the vacant diocese? It is a mere assumption to suppose, as the friends of prelacy often do, that they had a prelatical bishop, but that he was then absent. But even granting this, it is an inquiry which has never been answered, why Paul did not make some reference to this fact, and ask their prayers for the absent prelate.
(3) the church was organized by the apostle Paul himself, and there can be no doubt that it was organized on the "truly primitive and apostolic plan."
(4) the church at Philippi was in the center of a large territory; was the capital of Macedonia, and was not likely to be placed in subjection to the diocesan of another region.
(5) it was surrounded by other churches, since we have express mention of the church at Thessalonica, and the preaching of the gospel at Berea; Acts 17.
(6) there is more than one bishop mentioned as connected with the church in Philippi. But these could not have been bishops of the Episcopal or prelatical order, if Episcopalians choose to say that they were prelates, then it follows:
(a) that there was a plurality of such persons in the same diocese, the same city, and the same church - which is contrary to the fundamental idea of Episcopacy. It follows also,
(b) that there was entirely missing in the church at Philippi what the Episcopalians call the "second order" of clergy; that a church was organized by the apostles defective in one of the essential grades, with a body of prelates without presbyters - that is, an order of men of "superior" rank designated to exercise jurisdiction over "priests" who had no existence.
If there were such presbyters or "priests" there, why did not Paul name them? If their office was one that was contemplated in the church, and was then vacant, how did this happen? And if this were so, why is there no allusion to so remarkable a fact?
LibraryTwenty Second Sunday after Trinity Paul's Thanks and Prayers for Churches.
Text: Philippians 1, 3-11. 3 I thank my God upon all my remembrance of you, 4 always in every supplication of mine on behalf of you all making my supplication with joy, 5 for your fellowship in furtherance of the gospel from the first day until now; 6 being confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ: 7 even as it is right for me to be thus minded on behalf of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as, both in my bonds …
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III
A Prisoner's Triumph
A Believer's Privilege at Death
For There were Even in the Apostles' Times Some who Preached the Truth Not...
But Ananias answered, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem;
Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. And a disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek,
and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia, a Roman colony; and we were staying in this city for some days.
"Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
2 Corinthians 1:1
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God which is at Corinth with all the saints who are throughout Achaia:
For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
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