1. Exposition

Whom is Paul thinking of when he says "to speak the word"?

Philippians 1:14 (ESV)

14 And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

According to van Swigchem, the expression to speak the word (ton logon) was a common term for the preaching of God’s Word by official gospel preachers.1 The expression to speak the word can, however, also be otherwise explained. Haupt has pointed out that the apostle here uses the verb lalein rather than legein to indicate speaking.2 The first verb refers to sound and tone, while the second emphasizes the content of that which is said. At stake here then are Christians in general. Through Paul’s testimony in court they regained confidence in the Lord: once again they dared to open their mouths as Christians; no longer were they ashamed of the Word of God that had entered their lives. Still, it remains questionable whether the distinction between lalein (talking) and legein (speaking of) is as significant as Haupt takes it to be. It is clear from Philippians 1:15 that what is being referred to here is proclaiming, with the primary connotation thus coming to mind being public witnessing. However, it is not necessary to limit this public preaching to those who would have been appointed to this task.3