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Matthew 20:25-28

Context
20:25 But Jesus called them and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in high positions use their authority over them. 20:26 It must not be this way among you! Instead whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, 20:27 and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave 1 20:28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom 2  for many.”

Galatians 3:26-28

Context
3:26 For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith. 3  3:27 For all of you who 4  were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave 5  nor free, there is neither male nor female 6  – for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 2:3-11

Context
2:3 Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition 7  or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself. 2:4 Each of you should be concerned 8  not only 9  about your own interests, but about the interests of others as well. 10  2:5 You should have the same attitude toward one another that Christ Jesus had, 11 

2:6 12 who though he existed in the form of God 13 

did not regard equality with God

as something to be grasped,

2:7 but emptied himself

by taking on the form of a slave, 14 

by looking like other men, 15 

and by sharing in human nature. 16 

2:8 He humbled himself,

by becoming obedient to the point of death

– even death on a cross!

2:9 As a result God exalted him

and gave him the name

that is above every name,

2:10 so that at the name of Jesus

every knee will bow

– in heaven and on earth and under the earth –

2:11 and every tongue confess

that Jesus Christ is Lord

to the glory of God the Father.

1 tn See the note on the word “slave” in 8:9.

2 sn The Greek word for ransom (λύτρον, lutron) is found here and in Mark 10:45 and refers to the payment of a price in order to purchase the freedom of a slave. The idea of Jesus as the “ransom” is that he paid the price with his own life by standing in our place as a substitute, enduring the judgment that we deserved for sin.

3 tn Or “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”

4 tn Grk “For as many of you as.”

5 tn See the note on the word “slave” in 1:10.

6 tn Grk “male and female.”

7 tn Grk “not according to selfish ambition.” There is no main verb in this verse; the subjunctive φρονῆτε (fronhte, “be of the same mind”) is implied here as well. Thus, although most translations supply the verb “do” at the beginning of v. 3 (e.g., “do nothing from selfish ambition”), the idea is even stronger than that: “Don’t even think any thoughts motivated by selfish ambition.”

8 tn On the meaning “be concerned about” for σκοπέω (skopew), see L&N 27.36.

9 tn The word “only” is not in the Greek text, but is implied by the ἀλλὰ καί (alla kai) in the second clause (“but…as well”). The bulk of the Western text dropped the καί, motivated most likely by ascetic concerns.

10 tc The bulk of the Western text (D*,c F G K it) dropped καί (kai) here, most likely due to ascetic concerns. Strong external attestation for its inclusion from excellent witnesses as well as the majority (Ì46 א A B C D2 0278 33 1739 1881 Ï) also marks it as original.

tn Verses 1-4 constitute one long conditional sentence in Greek. The protasis is in verse 1, while vv. 2-4 constitute the apodosis. There is but one verb not in a subordinate clause in vv. 2-4, the imperative “complete” in v. 2. This is followed by a subjunctive after ἵνα (Jina, translated as an epexegetical clause, “and be of the same mind”) and three instrumental participles. Thus the focus of these four verses is to “be of the same mind” and all that follows this instruction is the means for accomplishing that.

11 tn Grk “Have this attitude in/among yourselves which also [was] in Christ Jesus,” or “Have this attitude in/among yourselves which [you] also [have] in Christ Jesus.”

12 sn This passage has been typeset as poetry because many scholars regard this passage as poetic or hymnic. These terms are used broadly to refer to the genre of writing, not to the content. There are two broad criteria for determining if a passage is poetic or hymnic: “(a) stylistic: a certain rhythmical lilt when the passages are read aloud, the presence of parallelismus membrorum (i.e., an arrangement into couplets), the semblance of some metre, and the presence of rhetorical devices such as alliteration, chiasmus, and antithesis; and (b) linguistic: an unusual vocabulary, particularly the presence of theological terms, which is different from the surrounding context” (P. T. O’Brien, Philippians [NIGTC], 188-89). Classifying a passage as hymnic or poetic is important because understanding this genre can provide keys to interpretation. However, not all scholars agree that the above criteria are present in this passage, so the decision to typeset it as poetry should be viewed as a tentative decision about its genre.

13 sn The Greek term translated form indicates a correspondence with reality. Thus the meaning of this phrase is that Christ was truly God.

14 tn See the note on the word “slaves” in 1:1.

15 tn Grk “by coming in the likeness of people.”

sn The expression the likeness of men is similar to Paul’s wording in Rom 8:3 (“in the likeness of sinful flesh”). The same word “likeness” is used in both passages. It implies that there is a form that does not necessarily correspond to reality. In Rom 8:3, the meaning is that Christ looked like sinful humanity. Here the meaning is similar: Jesus looked like other men (note anqrwpoi), but was in fact different from them in that he did not have a sin nature.

16 tn Grk “and by being found in form as a man.” The versification of vv. 7 and 8 (so also NRSV) is according to the versification in the NA27 and UBS4 editions of the Greek text. Some translations, however, break the verses in front of this phrase (NKJV, NASB, NIV, NLT). The same material has been translated in each case; the only difference is the versification of that material.

sn By sharing in human nature. This last line of v. 7 (line d) stands in tension with the previous line, line c (“by looking like other men”). Both lines have a word indicating form or likeness. Line c, as noted above, implies that Christ only appeared to be like other people. Line d, however, uses a different term that implies a correspondence between form and reality. Further, line c uses the plural “men” while line d uses the singular “man.” The theological point being made is that Christ looked just like other men, but he was not like other men (in that he was not sinful), though he was fully human.



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