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Philippians 1:27-30

Context

1:27 Only conduct yourselves 1  in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ so that – whether I come and see you or whether I remain absent – I should hear that 2  you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind, by contending side by side for the faith of the gospel, 3  1:28 and by not being intimidated in any way by your opponents. This is 4  a sign of their 5  destruction, but of your salvation – a sign which 6  is from God. 1:29 For it has been granted to you 7  not only to believe in Christ but also to suffer for him, 1:30 since you are encountering 8  the same conflict that you saw me face and now hear that I am facing. 9 

1 tn Grk “live as citizens.” The verb πολιτεύεσθε (politeuesqe) connotes the life of a freeman in a free Roman colony.

sn Conduct yourselves (Grk “live your lives as citizens”). The Philippians lived in a free Roman city, and thus understood from their own experience what it meant to live as citizens. Paul is here picking up on that motif and elevating it to the citizenship of heaven. Cf. 3:20 (our citizenship is in heaven).

2 tn Grk “the things concerning you, [namely,] that.” The ὅτι (Joti) clause is appositional to τὰ περὶ ὑμῶν (ta peri Jumwn) and therefore “the things concerning you” was not translated.

3 tn The phrase “the faith of the gospel” could mean one of three things: “the faith that is the gospel” (genitive of apposition), “the faith that originates from the gospel” (genitive of source), or “faith in the gospel” (objective genitive).

4 tn Grk “which is,” continuing the sentence begun in v. 27.

sn The antecedent of the pronoun This is conceptual, most likely referring to the Philippian Christians standing firm for the gospel. Thus, their stand for the gospel is the dual sign of their opponents’ destruction and of their own salvation.

5 tn Grk “to them.”

sn Paul uses the dative “to them” (translated here as their) to describe the coming destruction of the gospel’s enemies, but the genitive “your” to describe the believers’ coming salvation. The dative accents what will happen to the enemies (called a dative of disadvantage [see ExSyn 143-44]), while the genitive accents what the believers will possess (and, in fact, do already possess, as v. 29 makes clear).

6 tn Grk “this.” The pronoun refers back to “a sign”; thus these words have been repeated for clarity.

7 tn Grk “For that which is on behalf of Christ has been granted to you – namely, not only to believe in him but also to suffer for him.” The infinitive phrases are epexegetical to the subject, τὸ ὑπὲρ Χριστοῦ (to Juper Cristou), which has the force of “the on-behalf-of-Christ thing,” or “the thing on behalf of Christ.” To translate this in English requires a different idiom.

8 tn Grk “having,” most likely as an instrumental participle. Thus their present struggle is evidence that they have received the gift of suffering.

9 tn Grk “that you saw in me and now hear [to be] in me.”



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