Philippians 1:17

17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.

Philippians 1:17 in Other Translations

KJV
17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.
ESV
17 The former proclaim Christ out of rivalry, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment.
NLT
17 Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely, intending to make my chains more painful to me.
MSG
17 The others, now that I'm out of the picture, are merely greedy, hoping to get something out of it for themselves. Their motives are bad. They see me as their competition, and so the worse it goes for me, the better - they think - for them.
CSB
17 the others proclaim Christ out of rivalry, not sincerely, seeking to cause [me] trouble in my imprisonment.

Philippians 1:17 Meaning and Commentary

Philippians 1:17

But the other of love
Those that were truly brethren in the Lord, who had received the grace of God in truth, to whom the Gospel was come in power, and who had a spiritual and experimental knowledge of Christ, and of the mysteries of his grace; these preached Christ of love, "out of the love of him", as the Ethiopic version reads; that is, out of love to Christ, who to them was exceeding precious, altogether lovely, the chiefest among ten thousands, and their hearts being hot and burning with love to him, they therefore spoke of him with their tongues; and out of love to the Gospel of Christ, which with them was the pearl of great price, and every truth of it more valuable than gold, silver, and precious stones; and out of love to the church of Christ and the members of it, that their souls might be fed and nourished with the wholesome words of Christ, might be comforted with the doctrines of grace, and be established and built up in their most holy faith; and out of love to the souls of others, knowing their miserable estate by nature, and the danger they were in, and therefore preached Christ as the only way of salvation, whereby they could escape the wrath to come; and out of love to the apostle likewise, which the following clause shows;

knowing that I am set for the defence of the Gospel;
meaning either that they knew he was a chosen vessel, to bear the name of Christ, and preach his Gospel in the world; that he was ordained and appointed a minister of it before the world was; separated to it from his mother's womb, and was called unto, and sent to preach it by Christ, and was set apart for it by the church; and was in a very eminent manner qualified to defend it, by preaching, disputing, writing, and suffering: or that they knew that he was laid, or lay, as the words may rendered, in prison, for defending the Gospel of Christ; yea, they knew that his lying in prison was in defence of the Gospel; and therefore, out of love to him, they joined issue with him to defend the Gospel; as he by suffering for it, so they by preaching it, which they knew full well would be matter of great joy to him.

Philippians 1:17 In-Context

15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill.
16 The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel.
17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.
18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice,
19 for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.

Cross References 2

  • 1. Philippians 2:3
  • 2. ver 7,13,14; S Acts 21:33