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Philippians 2:22

ESV But you know Timothy’s proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel.
NIV But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel.
NASB But you know of his proven character, that he served with me in the furtherance of the gospel like a child serving his father.
CSB But you know his proven character, because he has served with me in the gospel ministry like a son with a father.
NLT But you know how Timothy has proved himself. Like a son with his father, he has served with me in preaching the Good News.
KJV But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel.

What does Philippians 2:22 mean?

The Philippians already knew about Timothy and his reputation. Some translations specify his name here, for clarity, though the original Greek literally says "his." Timothy's relationship with Paul was compared to a son with a father. Timothy was both a coworker and spiritual family member with Paul. Given the type of assignments Paul gives Timothy in the Bible, his level of trust must have been extremely high. It would not be a stretch to refer to Timothy as Paul's "right hand man."

Interestingly, Paul compares the father-son dynamic to Timothy's service with him in the gospel. In other words, here the description is of Timothy's service with Paul rather than his relationship. This connection would have made much greater impact during the time Paul wrote. Then, most sons served in the same vocation as their father from a young age. Timothy and Paul had worked together like father and son for some time. They were close relationally as well as in their common work to share the good news with others.
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