Philippians 2:25
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
But I thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger and minister to my need;

King James Bible
Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants.

Darby Bible Translation
but I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow-workman and fellow-soldier, but your messenger and minister to my need,

World English Bible
But I counted it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, fellow soldier, and your apostle and servant of my need;

Young's Literal Translation
And I thought it necessary Epaphroditus -- my brother, and fellow-workman, and fellow-soldier, and your apostle and servant to my need -- to send unto you,

Philippians 2:25 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus - Epaphroditus is nowhere else mentioned but in this Epistle; see Philippians 4:18. All that is known of him, therefore, is what is mentioned here. He was from Philippi, and was a member of the church there. He had been employed by the Philippians to carry relief to Paul when he was in Rome Philippians 4:18, and while in Rome he was taken dangerously sick. News of this had been conveyed to Philippi, and again intelligence had been brought to him that they had heard of his sickness and that they were much affected by it. On his recovery, Paul thought it best that he should return at once to Philippi, and doubtless sent this Epistle by him. He is much commended by Paul for his faithfulness and zeal.

My brother - In the gospel; or brother Christian. These expressions of affectionate regard must have been highly gratifying to the Philippians.

And companion in labour - It is not impossible that he may have labored with Paul in the gospel, at Philippi; but more probably the sense is, that he regarded him as engaged in the same great work that he was. It is not probable that he assisted Paul much in Rome, as he appears to have been sick during a considerable part of the time he was there.

And fellow-soldier - Christians and Christian ministers are compared with soldiers Plm 1:2; 2 Timothy 2:3-4, because of the nature of the service in which they are engaged. The Christian life is a warfare; there are many foes to be overcome; the period which they are to serve is fixed by the Great Captain of salvation, and they will soon be permitted to enjoy the triumphs of victory. Paul regarded himself as enlisted to make war on all the spiritual enemies of the Redeemer, and he esteemed Epaphroditus as one who had shown that he was worthy to be engaged in so good a cause.

But your messenger - Sent to convey supplies to Paul; Philippians 4:18. The original is, "your apostle" - ὑμῶν δὲ ἀπόστολον humōn de apostolon - and some have proposed to take this literally, meaning that he was the apostle of the church at Philippi, or that he was their bishop. The advocates for Episcopacy have been the rather inclined to this, because in Philippians 1:1, there are but two orders of ministers mentioned - "bishops and deacons" - from which they have supposed that "the bishop" might have been absent, and that "the bishop" was probably this Epaphroditus. But against this supposition the objections are obvious:

(1) The word ἀπόστολος apostolos; means properly one sent forth, a messenger, and it is uniformly used in this sense unless there is something in the connection to limit it to an "apostle," technically so called.

(2) the supposition that it here means a messenger meets all the circumstances of the case, and describes exactly what Epaphroditus did. He was in fact sent as a messenger to Paul; Philippians 4:18.

(3) he was not an apostle in the proper sense of the term - the apostles having been chosen to be witnesses of the life, the teachings, the death, and the resurrection of the Saviour; see Acts 1:22; compare the notes, 1 Corinthians 9:1.

(4) if he had been an apostle, it is altogether improbable that he would have seen sent on an errand comparatively so humble as that of carrying supplies to Paul. Was there no one else who could do this without sending their bishop? Would a diocese be likely to employ a "bishop" for such a purpose now?

And he that ministered to my wants - Philippians 4:18.

Philippians 2:25 Parallel Commentaries

Library
April 28. "For it is God which Worketh in You" (Phil. Ii. 13).
"For it is God which worketh in you" (Phil. ii. 13). Sanctification is the gift of the Holy Ghost, the fruit of the Spirit, the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the prepared inheritance of all who enter in, the greatest obtainment of faith, not the attainment of works. It is divine holiness, not human self-improvement, nor perfection. It is the inflow into man's being of the life and purity of the infinite, eternal and Holy One, bringing His own perfection and working out His own will. How easy, how
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

May 28. "He Humbled Himself" (Phil. Ii. 8).
"He humbled Himself" (Phil. ii. 8). One of the hardest things for a lofty and superior nature is to be under authority, to renounce his own will, and to take a place of subjection. But Christ took upon Him the form of a servant, gave up His independence, His right to please Himself, His liberty of choice, and after having from eternal ages known only to command, gave Himself up only to obey. I have seen occasionally the man who was once a wealthy employer a clerk in the same store. It was not an
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

The Ascent of Jesus
'Wherefore also God highly exalted Him and gave unto Him the name which is above every name; 10. That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things on earth, and things under the earth; 11. And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.'--PHIL. ii. 9-11 (R.V.). 'He that humbleth himself shall be exalted,' said Jesus. He is Himself the great example of that law. The Apostle here goes on to complete his picture of the Lord
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

July the Fourth Emptying Oneself
"He emptied Himself." --PHILIPPIANS ii. 1-11. In Mr. Silvester Horne's garden a very suggestive scene was one day to be witnessed. A cricketer of world-wide renown was playing a game with Mr. Horne's little four-year-old son! And the fierce bowler "emptied himself," and served such gentle, dainty little balls that the tiny man at the wickets was not in the least degree afraid! And the Lord of glory "emptied Himself," fashioning Himself to our "low estate," and in His unspeakably gentle approaches
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year

Cross References
John 13:16
"Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him.

Romans 16:3
Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus,

Romans 16:9
Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and Stachys my beloved.

2 Corinthians 8:23
As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker among you; as for our brethren, they are messengers of the churches, a glory to Christ.

Philippians 2:26
because he was longing for you all and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick.

Philippians 4:3
Indeed, true companion, I ask you also to help these women who have shared my struggle in the cause of the gospel, together with Clement also and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

Philippians 4:18
But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God.

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