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.
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.
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;
Philippians 1:22 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
But if I live in the flesh - If I continue to live; if I am not condemned and make a martyr at my approaching trial.
This is the fruit of my labour - The meaning of this passage, which has given much perplexity to commentators, it seems to me is, "If I live in the flesh, it will cost me labor; it will be attended, as it has been, with much effort and anxious care, and I know not which to prefer - whether to remain on the earth with these cares and the hope of doing good, or to go at once to a world of rest." A more literal version of the Greek will show that this is the meaning. Τοῦτό μοι καρπὸς ἔργου Touto moi karpos ergou - "this to me is (or would be) the fruit of labor." Coverdale, however, renders it: "Inasmuch as to live in the flesh is fruitful to me for the work, I wot not what I shall choose." So Luther: "But since to live in the flesh serves to produce more fruit." And so Bloomfield: "But if my life in the flesh be of use to the gospel (be it so, I say no more), verily what I shall choose I see and know not."
See also Koppe, Rosenmuller, and Calvin, who give the same sense. According to this, the meaning is, that if his life were of value to the gospel, he was willing to live; or that it was a valuable object - operae pretium - worth an effort thus to live. This sense accords well with the connection, and the thought is a valuable one, but it is somewhat doubtful whether it can be made out from the Greek. To do it, it is necessary to suppose that μοι moi - "my" - is expletive (Koppe, and that καὶ kai - "and" - is used in an unusual sense. See Erasmus. According to the interpretation first suggested, it means, that Paul felt that it would be gain to die, and that he was entirely willing; that he felt that if he continued to live it would involve toil and fatigue, and that, therefore, great as was the natural love of life, and desirous as he was to do good, he did not know which to choose - an immediate departure to the world of rest, or a prolonged life of toil and pain, attended even with the hope that he might do good. There was an intense desire to be with Christ, joined with the belief that his life here must be attended with toil and anxiety; and on the other hand an earnest wish to live in order to do good, and he knew not which to prefer.
Yet - The sense has been obscured by this translation. The Greek word (καὶ kai) means "and," and should have been so rendered here, in its usual sense. "To die would be gain; my life here would be one of toil, and I know not which to choose."
What I shall choose I wot not - I do not know which I should prefer, if it were left to me. On each side there were important considerations, and he knew not which overbalanced the other. Are not Christians often in this state, that if it were left to themselves they would not know which to choose, whether to live or to die?
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...
I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that often I have planned to come to you (and have been prevented so far) so that I may obtain some fruit among you also, even as among the rest of the Gentiles.
But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better;
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