The Meaning of “Granted” in Philippians 1:29

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Caution is needed when consulting Greek dictionaries because in any language the precise meaning of a word varies according to context and even according to the writer. In citing Thayer’s Greek Lexicon (Electronic Database. Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2006, 2011) I have therefore been careful to quote the meaning of the word it gives for the specific verse we have been examining (Philippians 1:29).

The highly regarded Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament by Walter Bauwer, translated by Ardnt & Gingrich (Second Edition) specifically cites this verse as meaning “you have been [graciously] granted the privilege of suffering for Christ” (graciously is part of the quote).

At least twelve English Bible versions use the word privilege in their translation:

    The Voice

    The Passion Translation

    New Revised Standard Version

    International Standard Version

    GOD’S WORD® Translation

    Good News Translation

    Common English Bible

    New Living Translation

    J.B. Phillips New Testament

    Weymouth New Testament

    Bible Amplified Bible (both the Classic and revised Editions)

And at least four use the word honor :

    Expanded Bible

    New Century Version

    Easy-to-Read Version

    International Children’s Bible

In his commentary on this passage, Ralph P. Martin says that suffering “. . . is a sign of His favor, ‘seals of adoption to the children of God’, as Calvin says . . .” (The Epistle of Paul to the Philippians, 1959, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, Page 89).