Yesterday I've asked a question in regards to the identity of "the dogs" in Philippians 3 - Who are "those dogs"?

This current question now aims to understand the relationship between "the dogs" and the one's who "preach Christ from envy and rivalry" in Philippians 1:15‭-‬18 ESV

Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice,

Are they the same group?

1 Answer 1


These are two entirely different groups (though some interpreters link the two):

  • Phil 3:2 = the dogs who demand circumcision are the ones trying to gain salvation by the works of the flesh, ie, are Judaizers and do not understand the gospel of grace.
  • Phil 1:15-18 = preachers who preach Christ from envy, that is, they preach the gospel of Christ to gain status, or get a following.

Benson says this:

Php 1:15-17. Some indeed preach Christ even of envy — Envying my success, or envying me that esteem and reputation which I have in the church, and seeking to gain it to themselves; and strife — Striving to draw people off from approving me to applaud themselves, and being desirous to maintain in the church a party that shall oppose me, and willing to add as many abetters to it as they possibly can.

Barnes suggests this:

Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife - What was the ground of this "envy and strife" the apostle does not mention. It would seem, however, that even in Rome there was a party which was jealous of the influence of Paul, and which supposed that this was a good opportunity to diminish his influence, and to strengthen their own cause. He was not now at large so as to be able: to meet and confute them. They had access to the mass of the people. It was easy, under plausible pretences, to insinuate hints about the ambitious aims, or improper influence of Paul, or to take strong ground against him and in favor of their own views, and they availed themselves of this opportunity.

It is certainly possible that of these preachers of envy were envious of Paul and aghast at the loss of the Levitical law; but I believe that the story was more than this. The Cambridge commentary correctly observes:

Not that the Judaizer of the Pharisaic type was his only adversary within the Church. He had also, very probably, to face an opposition of a “libertine” type, a distortion of his own doctrine of free grace (Romans 6:1, &c., and below, Php 3:18-19); and again an opposition of the mystic, or gnostic, type, in which Jewish elements of observance were bent with an alien theosophy and angelology (see the Ep. to the Colossians). But ch. Php 3:1-9 fixes the reference here to Christians of the type of Acts 15:1.

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