Philippians 3:17 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Philippians 3:17, NIV: "Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do."

Philippians 3:17, ESV: "Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us."

Philippians 3:17, KJV: "Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample."

Philippians 3:17, NASB: "Brothers and sisters, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us."

Philippians 3:17, NLT: "Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example."

Philippians 3:17, CSB: "Join in imitating me, brothers and sisters, and pay careful attention to those who live according to the example you have in us."

What does Philippians 3:17 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The goal of a Christian is to become more like Christ (Philippians 3:11–16). Since his focus is entirely on this goal, and he considers all other pursuits "rubbish," Paul teaches his readers to mimic his approach. Paul's best teaching tool is more than a letter—it is his life. Paul can appeal to his own example as a model for his readers because his focus is on Christ. This shows clearly in his words, actions, and attitudes.

Paul's suggestion is not coming from a sense of arrogance. He has already noted his own imperfection (Philippians 3:12). Paul also teaches the Philippians to look to the example of other godly people. In a time before the completed New Testament, a living example was especially important. Even today, the lives of godly people—seen in person or in a biography—can inspire us to deeper spiritual growth. Jesus also used the tool of personal example when teaching His followers (John 13:15). Hebrews 11 offers the examples of other godly people given as inspiration to believers.