Philippians 1:9 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Philippians 1:9, NIV: And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,

Philippians 1:9, ESV: And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment,

Philippians 1:9, KJV: And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;

Philippians 1:9, NASB: And this I pray, that your love may overflow still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment,

Philippians 1:9, NLT: I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding.

Philippians 1:9, CSB: And I pray this: that your love will keep on growing in knowledge and every kind of discernment,

What does Philippians 1:9 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul mentions love again in this letter several times (Philippians 1:16; 2:1, 2; 4:1). The "love" credited to the Philippian church is not simply a feeling of affection. It is an active, lived-out love. Paul uses the Greek word agape, meaning a selfless, sacrificial concern for the benefit of others. Based on their reputation, the love of the Philippian church was already strong. Paul prays for it to grow even more.

However, Paul is not merely concerned with love. Even though it's a critical characteristic, it's not the only important aspect of the Christian life. He specifically prays for two other qualities: knowledge and discernment. True, biblical love requires knowledge. We grow in love when we learn more about God's love for us, and about how to love others. In addition, love includes discernment. Discernment helps us love better by allowing us to focus on God's kind of love. His love is unconditional, rather than human love, which typically focuses on ourselves.