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Paraphrasing the Bible

Good morning, everyone. Today we conclude the Working with God’s Word series. We began with a post on interpreting the Bible; yesterday, we continued the series with outlining the Bible, and today we conclude with paraphrasing the Bible. Paraphrasing a Bible passage is a good way to know if you comprehend what a passage says. If you can put a passage of the Bible into your own words, then you know that you comprehend it. (Or at least, you’re closer to comprehending it.) Below is my paraphrase of Philippians 2:19-30, and brackets indicate where certain paraphrases come from earlier or later in the book:

I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I will be happy once I hear news of your progress in the faith, which you evidenced before my departure from you [2:12]. I send Timothy because there is no one like him. Unlike others who pursue their own interests, Timothy pursues the interests of Christ and is genuinely concerned about your welfare. You yourselves know Timothy’s worth; you know that he has faithfully served with me in the gospel like a son with his father. Because of all this, I hope to send him to you once I know whether my release is imminent. Do not worry, though; in the Lord, I am sure that I will come to you once I am released.

Epaphroditus is my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier. He was the messenger you sent to me, and he ministered to my need by giving me your love gift [4:18]. I have sent Epaphroditus to you because he has longed to be reunited with ya’ll; he was distressed for your sakes because ya’ll know of his illness. In fact, he was very ill and nearly died, but God had mercy on Him. By extension, God had mercy on me, too—Epaphroditus’ recovery has prevented me from experiencing further sorrow. I am very eager to send him to ya’ll because you will rejoice at seeing him in good health. Sending him would also relieve my anxieties for your spiritual welfare; I need him to deliver this letter to ya’ll for ya’lls progress in the faith. I not only hope for you to rejoice at his return, but I exhort you to receive him joyfully in the Lord. Epaphroditus nearly died for the work of Christ; he risked his life to complete the mission you gave him regarding me. You should honor all men who are as selfless as he has proven to be.

Please note that it is not necessary to write down a paraphrased passage; paraphrasing in your mind or out loud as you answer the question “What is this passage saying?” is the primary purpose of such exercises. God bless you all.

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