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Philippians 3:4-6

Context
3:4 – though mine too are significant. 1  If someone thinks he has good reasons to put confidence in human credentials, 2  I have more: 3:5 I was circumcised on the eighth day, from the people of Israel and the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews. I lived according to the law as a Pharisee. 3  3:6 In my zeal for God I persecuted the church. According to the righteousness stipulated in the law I was blameless.

Philippians 3:8-10

Context
3:8 More than that, I now regard all things as liabilities compared to the far greater value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things – indeed, I regard them as dung! 4  – that I may gain Christ, 3:9 and be found in him, not because I have my own righteousness derived from the law, but because I have the righteousness that comes by way of Christ’s faithfulness 5  – a righteousness from God that is in fact 6  based on Christ’s 7  faithfulness. 8  3:10 My aim is to know him, 9  to experience the power of his resurrection, to share in his sufferings, 10  and to be like him in his death,

1 tn Grk “though I have reason for confidence even in the flesh.”

2 tn Grk “flesh.”

3 sn A Pharisee was a member of one of the most important and influential religious and political parties of Judaism in the time of Jesus. There were more Pharisees than Sadducees (according to Josephus, Ant. 17.2.4 [17.42] there were more than 6,000 Pharisees at about this time). Pharisees differed with Sadducees on certain doctrines and patterns of behavior. The Pharisees were strict and zealous adherents to the laws of the OT and to numerous additional traditions such as angels and bodily resurrection.

4 tn The word here translated “dung” was often used in Greek as a vulgar term for fecal matter. As such it would most likely have had a certain shock value for the readers. This may well be Paul’s meaning here, especially since the context is about what the flesh produces.

5 tn Or “faith in Christ.” A decision is difficult here. Though traditionally translated “faith in Jesus Christ,” an increasing number of NT scholars are arguing that πίστις Χριστοῦ (pisti" Cristou) and similar phrases in Paul (here and in Rom 3:22, 26; Gal 2:16, 20; 3:22; Eph 3:12) involve a subjective genitive and mean “Christ’s faith” or “Christ’s faithfulness” (cf., e.g., G. Howard, “The ‘Faith of Christ’,” ExpTim 85 [1974]: 212-15; R. B. Hays, The Faith of Jesus Christ [SBLDS]; Morna D. Hooker, “Πίστις Χριστοῦ,” NTS 35 [1989]: 321-42). Noteworthy among the arguments for the subjective genitive view is that when πίστις takes a personal genitive it is almost never an objective genitive (cf. Matt 9:2, 22, 29; Mark 2:5; 5:34; 10:52; Luke 5:20; 7:50; 8:25, 48; 17:19; 18:42; 22:32; Rom 1:8; 12; 3:3; 4:5, 12, 16; 1 Cor 2:5; 15:14, 17; 2 Cor 10:15; Phil 2:17; Col 1:4; 2:5; 1 Thess 1:8; 3:2, 5, 10; 2 Thess 1:3; Titus 1:1; Phlm 6; 1 Pet 1:9, 21; 2 Pet 1:5). On the other hand, the objective genitive view has its adherents: A. Hultgren, “The Pistis Christou Formulations in Paul,” NovT 22 (1980): 248-63; J. D. G. Dunn, “Once More, ΠΙΣΤΙΣ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ,” SBL Seminar Papers, 1991, 730-44. Most commentaries on Romans and Galatians usually side with the objective view.

sn ExSyn 116, which notes that the grammar is not decisive, nevertheless suggests that “the faith/faithfulness of Christ is not a denial of faith in Christ as a Pauline concept (for the idea is expressed in many of the same contexts, only with the verb πιστεύω rather than the noun), but implies that the object of faith is a worthy object, for he himself is faithful.” Though Paul elsewhere teaches justification by faith, this presupposes that the object of our faith is reliable and worthy of such faith.

6 tn The words “in fact” are supplied because of English style, picking up the force of the Greek article with πίστει (pistei). See also the following note on the word “Christ’s.”

7 tn Grk “based on the faithfulness.” The article before πίστει (pistei) is taken as anaphoric, looking back to διὰ πίστεως Χριστοῦ (dia pistew" Cristou); hence, “Christ’s” is implied.

8 tn Or “based on faith.”

9 tn The articular infinitive τοῦ γνῶναι (tou gnwnai, “to know”) here expresses purpose. The words “My aim is” have been supplied in the translation to emphasize this nuance and to begin a new sentence (shorter sentences are more appropriate for English style).

10 tn Grk “to know him, the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings.”



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