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Philippians 2:19-30

Context
Models for Ministry

2:19 Now I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be encouraged by hearing news about you. 2:20 For there is no one here like him who will readily demonstrate his deep concern for you. 1  2:21 Others are busy with their own concerns, not those of Jesus Christ. 2:22 But you know his qualifications, that like a son working with his father, he served with me in advancing the gospel. 2:23 So I hope to send him as soon as I know more about my situation, 2:24 though I am confident in the Lord that I too will be coming to see you 2  soon.

2:25 But for now 3  I have considered it necessary to send Epaphroditus to you. For he is my brother, 4  coworker and fellow soldier, and your messenger 5  and minister 6  to me in my need. 7  2:26 Indeed, he greatly missed all of you and was distressed because you heard that he had been ill. 2:27 In fact he became so ill that he nearly died. 8  But God showed mercy to him – and not to him only, but also to me – so that I would not have grief on top of grief. 2:28 Therefore I am all the more eager to send him, 9  so that when you see him again you can rejoice 10  and I can be free from anxiety. 2:29 So welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor people like him, 2:30 since it was because of the work of Christ that he almost died. He risked his life so that he could make up for your inability to serve me. 11 

1 tn Grk “For I have no one who is like-minded who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare.”

2 tn The words “to see you” are not in the Greek text, but are implied, and are supplied in the translation for clarity.

3 tn Grk “But.” The temporal notion (“for now”) is implied in the epistolary aorist (“I have considered”), for Epaphroditus was dispatched with this letter to the Philippians.

4 tn Grk “my brother” instead of “For he is my brother.” Verse 25 constitutes one sentence in Greek, with “my brother…” functioning appositionally to “Epaphroditus.”

sn The reason why Paul refers to Epaphroditus as his brother, coworker, fellow soldier, etc., is because he wants to build up Epaphroditus in the eyes of the Philippians, since Paul is sending him back instead of Timothy. This accent on Epaphroditus’ character and service is implied in the translation “For he is…

5 tn Grk “apostle.”

6 tn The Greek word translated “minister” here is λειτουργός (leitourgo").

7 tn Grk “servant of my need.”

8 tn Grk “For he became ill to the point of death.”

9 tn Grk “I have sent him to you with earnestness.” But the epistolary aorist needs to be translated as a present tense with this adverb due to English stylistic considerations.

10 tn Or “when you see him you can rejoice again.”

11 tn Grk “make up for your lack of service to me.”



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