John Calvin Complete Commentary - Philippians 3:16 - 3:16

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John Calvin Complete Commentary - Philippians 3:16 - 3:16


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16Nevertheless, so far as we have attained Even the Greek manuscripts themselves differ as to the dividing of the clauses, for in some of them there are two complete sentences. If any one, however, prefer to divide the verse, the meaning will be as Erasmus has rendered it. (194) For my part, I rather prefer a different reading, implying that Paul exhorts the Philipplans to imitate him, that they may at last reach the same goal, so as to think the same thing, and walk by the same rule For where sincere affection exists, such as reigned in Paul, the way is easy to a holy and pious concord, As, therefore, they had not yet learned what true perfection was, in order that they might attain it he wishes them to be imitators of him; that is, to seek God with a pure conscience, (2Ti_1:3,) to arrogate nothing to themselves, and calmly to subject their understandings to Christ. For in the imitating of Paul all these excellences are included — pure zeal, fear of the Lord, modesty, self-renunciation, docility, love, and desire of concord. He bids them, however, be at one and the same time imitators of him; that is, all with one consent, and with one mind.

Observe, that the goal of perfection to which he invites the Philippians, by his example, is, that they think the same thing, and walk by the same rule He has, however, assigned the first place to the doctrine in which they ought to harmonize, and the rule to which they should conform themselves.



(194) The rendering of Erasmus is as follows:— “Eadem incedamus regula,ut simus concordes ; ” — “ us walk by the same rule, that we may be of the same mind.” The words inserted in the common text κανόνι τὸ αὐτὸ φρονεῖν rule mind the same thing,) are omitted, as is noticed by Granville Penn, in the Vat. and Alex. MSS., the Copt. and Ethiop. versions, and by Hilary and Augustine. — Ed