1. Exposition

Why is it not surprising that Paul does not write in concrete terms about his own plight?

Philippians 1:12–26 (ESV)

12 I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel,

It is striking that the apostle does not write very concretely about his own plight. Gnilka1 rightly points out in this regard that we can hardly reconstruct the apostle’s situation. Even the place where he was imprisoned is very difficult to determine. This is, however, not all that surprising, because the Philippians were to an extent already aware of Paul’s circumstances and, moreover, were able to make inquiries via Epaphroditus. Furthermore, the apostle is intentionally restrained in the portrayal of his situation. If one were to ask him, How are you doing? then he answers with how the gospel is doing.2,3