READ PHILIPPIANS FOUR
After calling the believers to emulate the attributes of God in their inner life, Paul turns to a seemingly more practical note – the believers “concern” for his welfare.
Read Philippians 4:10-13. What do you think, at first impression, Paul means by “concern”?
The Greek word here is φρονέω (fron-eh-o), and it has a very broad range of translation – broader than any other Greek word we’ve looked at up to this point. Let’s do one final word study for the book of Philippians to help us understanding 1) what Paul wants to communicate to the Philippian church in these verses, and 2) how these verses fit into the overall theme of the book.
Look up the following verses and read them in full. Because of the broad range of meaning for φρονέω, I’m including the English phrase that is derived from this Greek word (it can be tricky to spot):
Matthew 16:23 – “for you are not setting your mind …:
Romans 8:5 – “set their minds…”
Romans 12:16 – “be of the same mind…”
Romans 15:5 – “likeminded…”
2 Corinthians 13:11 – “of one mind …”
Galatians 5:10 – “that you will adopt…”
When you consider all of these verses together, what common theme arises? What interpretive value do you think φρονέω has, given the variety of ways it can be translated?
Surprisingly, φρονέω shows up many times in the book of Philippians as well. Close your day of study today by doing a contextual word study (studying only the occurrences of φρονέω in the book of Philippians):
Philippians 1:7 – “for me to feel…”
Philippians 2:2, first use – “of the same mind …”
Philippians 2:2, second use – “intent on …”
Philippians 2:5 – “let this mind be in you …”
Philippians 3:15, first use – “think this way ….”
Philippians 3:15, second use – “this otherwise…”
Philippians 3:19 – “set their minds”
Philippians 4:2 – “live in harmony…”
Philippians 4:10 – “your concern …”
When you consider all of the Philippian verses together, what common theme arises?
What interpretive value do you think φρονέω has, given the variety of ways it can be translated, and how it is used in the whole of the NT and in Philippians specifically?
This is one of the joys of intentional, in-depth Bible studies! We would miss the rich work God is doing if we just read this verse at face-value. Tomorrow, we’ll mine the meaning of this word for our immediate context, but today, consider everything you’ve learned about this small word from reading Scripture as a whole. The Word of God is, by His grace, safe enough for a toddler to play in and deep enough that the greatest scholars will never plumb its depths! And the invitation extended to me and to you is to venture out into the waters of His Word with eagerness and anticipation, with grateful hearts that seek to know God more and more every day.
PRAY & REFLECT
Thank God for the riches of His Word. Thank Him for the way He has woven them together to point you to Christ. Ask Him for a heart full of eager anticipation of what He will do through His Word as you commit to being a life-long student of the Scriptures.