Co-workers (Phil. 4:3)


I ask you also,

My loyal companions,

Help these women!

They have labored

Side by side

With me

In the work

Of the gospel,

Together with Clement,

And the rest

Of my co-workers,

Whose names

Are in the book of life.”

ναὶ ἐρωτῶ καὶ σέ, γνήσιε σύνζυγε, συνλαμβάνου αὐταῖς, αἵτινες ἐν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ συνήθλησάν μοι μετὰ καὶ Κλήμεντος καὶ τῶν λοιπῶν συνεργῶν μου, ὧν τὰ ὀνόματα ἐν βίβλῳ ζωῆς.

Paul said, “Yes (ναὶ)!  I ask you also (ἐρωτῶ καὶ σέ), my loyal companions (γνήσιε σύνζυγε), help these women (συνλαμβάνου αὐταῖς)!  They have labored side by side with me (συνήθλησάν μοι) in the work of the gospel (αἵτινες ἐν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ), together with Clement (μετὰ καὶ Κλήμεντος), and the rest of my co-workers (καὶ τῶν λοιπῶν συνεργῶν μου), whose names (ὧν τὰ ὀνόματα) are in the book of life (ἐν βίβλῳ ζωῆς).”  Only the Pauline letters used this word γνήσιε, that means lawfully begotten, genuine, real, or true, and the word συνεργῶν, that means a fellow worker, associate, or helper.  Only this Philippian letter uniquely used this word σύνζυγε, that means a yokefellow or colleague, and the word συνήθλησάν, that means to strive with, compete together with others, or cooperate vigorously with.  Paul was speaking to his loyal companions or a leader in Philippi to help these women iron out their disagreements.  Euodia and Syntyche were good women since they had labored with Paul at his side in spreading the word and work of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  They were co-evangelists with him and Clement as well as others, since they were well known in the Christian Philippian community.  They had worked with Paul and others in Philippi to spread the word of God about Jesus Christ.  The names of these people would be found in the book of life, a reference to the Jewish tradition that God had a book about everyone’s life as in Exodus, chapter 32:32-33.  There Moses spoke, “‘But if you will not, then blot me out of the book that you have written.’  The Lord answered Moses, ‘Only the one who has sinned against me will I blot out of my book.’”  How would you do in God’s book of life on you?

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