I am starting on a task: to memorize the book of Philippians. So far, I have chapter 1, verses 1-7 (7 is shaky)
Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,
always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy,
because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.
It struck me again, the "why" - it's the Gospel.
Why does Paul thank God for the Philippians? Because of their partnership in the Gospel.
What is the good work? the partnership in the Gospel.
Why does Paul hold them in his heart? they are partakers with him of grace (the Gospel)
I am puzzling over verse 7.
NIV renders it
whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me.
vs the ESV
or you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.
It seems a little thing, in the NIV Paul comes first, in the ESV, the Philippians come first.
But it is a big thing:
In the NIV Paul puts himself first, and (given the lack of punctuation in the translation, is taking the credit for himself.
whether I am in chains or [whether I am] defending or confirming the Gospel, all of you share in God's grace with me.
The two acts are as one - in chains or defending and confirming
In the ESV, Paul puts other first:
YOU are all partakers with me, BOTH in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the Gospel
the "both" specifically makes them two different acts.
The Philippians shared grace with Paul while he was imprisoned and they shared grace when they defended and confirmed the Gospel.
To me, that becomes important in knowing the character of Paul.