Phil. 3:10-11 describes how the foundation of Paul’s new value system, in which 3:11 serves as a transition statement in chapter 3, bringing the previous sections (3:1-10) to a climax and seamlessly unfolding the section follow (3:12-4:1). In the whole passage, there are many themes worthy to be discussed, such as rejoice in Christ, true circumcision and the Greco-Roman athlete mentality. To portray the message of Paul in Phil. 3:10-11 effectively, though 3:1-9 will also be discussed briefly, this article will remain focusses on offering commentary of Phil. 10-11.
The structure of the article
This article is divided into three sections:
- Story of Paul: The situation faced by Paul, which directly formed his story and led him to write the letter to the Philippians community will be presented. The political atmosphere in Paul’s time, the religious pressure surround Paul, and the relationship between Paul and the church of Philippi will be discussed in this section.
- The subject matter of 3:10-11: The section will focus on present the subject matter of 3:10-11, discussing the main metaphor we should concerned that used in the last section.
- Commentary: The message of 3:10-11 verse by verse. The discussion will handle the section by finding out the metaphor and co-relation between 3:10-11 and the preceding sections.
English translation of Phil. 3:10-11
|10||to know Him||19a|
|and the power of His resurrection||19b|
|and the fellowship in His sufferings,||19c|
|being conformed the same form in His death,||19d|
|I might attain to||20b|
|the resurrection from the dead.||20c|
Story of Paul
After Paul saw the vision, he went to Macedonia. Later, he established the Philippian Church. However, several parties including the Philippian Christians, Jewish and the unbelievers came to opposite Paul under complicated situation.  In order to cope with his oppositions in Philippi, Paul wrote the epistles to the Philippians while he was imprisoned. This section will ascertain how the story of Paul formed the political atmosphere and the religious pressure, which shaped the complex relationship between Paul and the Philippian Church.
Although Philippi not the capital of the Roman Empire, it was just a colony of Roman, the city’s special status offered people to enjoy lots of benefits, including the use of Roman laws, exemptions from tribute and certain taxes, voting, participating the government holidays. It was because Philippi surrendered their land to veterans of Octavian. Thus, people living in Philippi were called “citizens”, therefore, in return, on one hand, they should commit to the community; on the other hand, they should be loyal to the emperor. As Martin points out, “their intense loyalty to the Roman ethos both as an occasion of proud conviction,” this was especially reflected in the imperial cult, which was a symbol of loyalty to the Roman state as suggested by Keener.
It might be true that some scholars think imperial cult was not widespread throughout the Roman Emperor, however, Keener rightly points out that the threat was “wider” because many cities worshipped the image of Emperor in the temple. Actually, as suggested by Miller, the language used by Paul was political: Paul called Jesus as Lord (κύριος), which was the title of Caesar. Moreover, Paul established church (ἐκκλησία), which was “an alternative society to the ἐκκλησία of the polis.” In Acts 16:19-21, what the owner of the slave said reflected the obvious ideological conflict between Christianity and the Romans.
Before Paul’s arrival, it is believed that there was Jewish community in Philippi. The religious pressure, in other words, was what the difference between so-called Gentile Christian and Jewish Christian. The meaning of “perfection” was different, Paul suggests the only way to “perfection” could only be realized when Christ’s coming; on the other hand, Jewish Christians achieved “perfection” through circumcision and their identity. They suggested an “immediate salvation.” It is particularly true that the difference behind was mainly due to tradition. Just as what Doughty states:
“the original character of Paul’s own controversy with Judaism is no longer the issue. Paul has become the representative of Gentile Christianity, over against which such communities define themselves.”
The meaning of “perfection” brought two diverse interpretation of “sufferings in Christ” between “Gentile Christian” and “Jewish Christian.” This underlying cause created one kind of Paul’s opponents in the Philippian Church.
Moreover, when the Philippian church was established, in the eyes of the unbelievers, there was no clear separation between the Christian church and the congregation of Jewish. As the result of the incident occurred in Acts 16:19-21, Hawthrone and Martin suggests that “hostile feelings against the Jews were readily transferred to Christians.” Hence, together with idols worship linking with politics and economics in the Greco-Roman society, Paul and his Philippian Church faces several kinds of pressure.
Complex Relationship between Paul and the Philippian Church
The political atmosphere and the religious pressure depicted the story of Paul in a complex way. On one side, Paul was delighted by the unity of the Philippian Christians though he was imprisoned; however, on the other side, in order to reach “earthly perfection”, the Jewish Christians not only insisted on keeping the tradition Jewish laws and regulations, but also rejecting to suffer for Christ. In the eyes of Jewish, they regarded what Paul preached as a partial gospel. Therefore, the Jewish Christians should definitely opposite Paul. On the contrary, repented and turned by the Damascus-road experience, the story of Paul intervened by the story of Christ. This resulted Paul deliberately wrote the letter to the Philippian Church, attempting to reveal his story to them.
The subject matter of Phil. 3:10-11
Before unfolding the message of Phil. 3:10-11, the following session will discuss three related concerns of Phil. 3:10-11 one by one:
(1) The resurrection and death;
(2) The relationship of fellowship and citizenship;
(3) The use of OT metaphor in Phil.
These concerns contributed to form the message of Paul in the Epistles to the Philippians through adaptation of the old story and adoption on the new story.
The resurrection and death
The theme of resurrection and death is important in 3:10-11. It is not only because both concepts used twice in the verses, but also it is a paradox in the exhortation of Paul to the Philippian Church.
The word “resurrection” translated two words, ἀνάστασις and ἐξανάστασιν, both of them used once in the Philippians. Generally, the meaning of the word is merely about resurrection spiritually in Hellenistic Judaism while at the Greeks regards resurrection as a miracle. Meanwhile, “death(θάνατος)” and “dead (νεκρῶν)” always relate to Hades, an underworld that human life after death. When using these two words, in the mind of Greek and Jewish, resurrection is also mentioned. For example, Greek believed “those who fall in glorious battle live on immortally in their renown on earth,” while Jewish believed the dead will receive “new basis and strength from the resurrection of Jesus.”
Jewish believed that the righteous will “govern nations and rule over peoples,” according to Wis. 3:1, 8-9:
“1 But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment will ever touch them……8 They will govern nations and rule over peoples, and the Lord will reign over them forever. 9 Those who trust in him will understand truth, and the faithful will abide with him in love, because grace and mercy are upon his holy ones, and he watches over his elect.”
As Otto proposes, this kind of Jewish work reflected that Jewish “accentuated the expiatory significance of these martyrs’ deaths” in the 1st century. Paul adapted the eager hope for resurrection of the Jewish, then adopted this hope by exhorting them “to know the power of resurrection……will attain resurrection from the dead” by confessing to Christ and being martyred. It is particularly true that Paul must surely not only suggest resurrection in spiritual, but also impose an important meaning on it. The exact meaning of resurrection will be discussed later.
The relationship of fellowship and citizenship
To attempt to find out the relationship of fellowship and citizenship, the word κοινωνία should be discussed. It can be translated as “participation,” “impartation” or “fellowship.” It delivers a “two-sided relation”, which is a “close bond.” In Greco-Roman period, fellowship is a supreme expression of friendship. It is also the basis ground of a city, through fellowship, each one who owns citizenship should share equally. The word πολιτεύεσθε (1:27) and πολίτευμα (3:20) used in Philippians, which the former can be translated as “live as a citizen” while the latter can be translated as “citizenship.” With reference to the usage of post-Pauline writers, πολιτεύεσθε might imply personal obligations and allegiances in the city while the citizen could maintain his independent will. Therefore, as a good citizen, he might share their commonwealth because of the fellowship within the city.
Firstly, Paul adapated the citizenship of Phillipians, at the same time, the citizenship is about the identity of Christian under the covenant with Christ through faith. Moreover, what Paul adapted is the obligation of sharing within the community, in order to be a good citizen. Therefore, he emphasizes κοινωνία throughout the Phillipians, as illustrated by Edwards:
“The unity that the Philippians need to experience nourishes the soil of healthy community, out of which grows fruitful ministry. The unity that Paul admonishes is stimulated by the unique image of Christian community as consisting of good citizens.”
Paul adopted the meaning of κοινωνία into the Philippian Church, “modifies it with the expression ‘worthy of the gospel,’” reminding them to be a good citizen in the heaven in v20.
The use of OT metaphor in Phil.
In face of his opponents, Paul uses his Jewish background to convince his reading community, the Philippian Church, by generating new meaning through intertextual fusion in some OT metaphors.
In Phil. 3:2, Paul reminded the Philippian Church to “beware of the dogs,” the usage of dogs in OT largely described Gentile who are out of the covenant of God. In the story of Jewish Christian, they might boast themselves the covenant people. Meanwhile, they despised the converted Gentile, calling them “dogs.” Thus, Paul used “dogs” to describe the Jewish Christian, implying that they will be the people out of the covenant of God if they do not realize the actual meaning of sufferings and resurrection.
Other than the identity of God, Paul also uses the suffering experience of Job in the Phil. to shape his own meaning of sufferings. Beale and Carson point out that Paul uses Job 13:13-18 in Phil. 1:19, in the light of the interpretation, Paul, who was imprisoned, read the story of Job that showed his total confidence to God. By hoping for deliverance through sufferings, Paul invites the Philippians to rejoice when they suffered for Christ.
Last, but not the least, Paul not only generates new meaning of Christian identity and suffering, but also shifts the meaning of wisdom teacher from the Jewish tradition to an eschatological sense. In Jewish tradition, the duty of wisdom teacher comes to an end after inviting people to join the school of wisdom, however, Paul asked the Philippian Christians “be imitators of me (3:17).” This point is largely different from the tradition one, as Standhartinger states, “the aim of Paul’s striving for Christ is imitation” in 3:17. It was because the Philippian Christians and Paul were in the same mimesis, which were also suffering for Christ. For this reason, Paul becomes a new wisdom teacher of the Philippian Church. The ultimate goal is not imitation of God’s wisdom as Jewish tradition, but to resurrect and to respond the upward call. Thus, in the story of Paul, the image of Jewish wisdom teacher serves as an “apocalyptic prophet” now. Through sufferings in the presence world, Paul and the imitators of him will be saved, experiencing the transformation of bodies.
In the context of Paul’s story and the subject matters discussed above, this section will portray what Paul is trying to exhort to the Philippian Church in 3:10-11. In attempt to demonstrate this comprehensively, a brief study on the Phil. 3:1-9 should be required as this large section interacts with 3:10-11, developing Paul’s view about “in Christ”.
At the beginning of Phil. 3, Paul commands the Philippian Christian to rejoice in the Lord (v.1). The exhortation and warning in vv.2-6 serve as the foundation of v.1, implying Paul’s new Christian value after his Damascus-road experience. Addressing the discussion on circumcision, Paul not only emphasize that people should worship by the Spirit of God and boast in Christ, or explaining why Paul do not rely on flesh (v.3), rather, Paul reinforces his story after converting by Christ. Interpreting from this angle, people identified himself by circumcision was “dog (v2),” in other words, Paul defines these type of Christian as “Gentile.” It is particularly true that Gupta points out the vv.1-3 serve as “a mimetic purpose.” On one side, interweaving his own conversion story into the Philippian Church, Paul urges them to create another kind of behavior within Christian community, in order to counteract the emphasizing on reliance of personal identity in the Greco-Roman society, such as imperial cults and idols worship;  on the other side, Paul did not tend to stress on his honorable Jewish background before conversion such as circumcision based on Torah (vv.4-6).
The change was great radically after Christ intervened into Paul’s life on the Damascus Road. As mentioned by Wong, v.7 illustrates the Damascus event a beginning of Paul’s losing, which brought him to gain in Christ through suffering. The story of Christ in 2:5-11 (hymn of Christ) was significant to Paul, turning him to regard his honorable Jewish background as rubbish (σκύβαλα) (v.7-8). What is subtle that the loss of Paul suffered, in fact, was a gain for him. When knowing Christ rightly, Paul experienced the power of resurrection. This point will be discussed later in the article.
To continue telling his story, Paul told the Philippian Church the internal change in his heart: what the righteousness is in Christ (v.9). Paul said he had found righteousness in Christ through faith, which is contrast to his own righteousness based on the law. This righteousness comes from τῇ πίστει θεοῦ. To confirm the construction and the meaning of the phrase, scholars have widely discussed. As mentioned by Koperski, the construction of the phrase should be objective, expressing the object and the ground of the faith, because the phrase should refer to the faith of the believer. Taking the objective genitive sense, the phrase implies Paul’s confession of Christ as Lord, which is described as a “confessional act of specifically Christian faith” by Koperski. Therefore, Paul could suffer for Christ in v.8, showing that his righteousness will not come automatically because of the obedience of Christ on the cross. Rather, having the righteousness based on Christ, Paul should be willing to suffer for Christ. The story of Christ in the Christ’s hymn inspired Paul’s life, now, Paul interprets his story which inspired by Christ to the Philippian Church, exhorting them to suffer for Christ.
a. to know (τοῦ γνῶναι)
The infinitive “τοῦ γνῶναι” (to know) govern three objects: “αὐτὸν” (him), “τὴν δύναμιν τῆς ἀναστάσεως αὐτοῦ” (the power of his resurrection) and “τὴν κοινωνίαν τῶν παθημάτων αὐτου” (the fellowship in his sufferings). Some scholars think three objects are distinctive goals, but others such as Silva suggests the first καὶ can be known as an epexegetic sense. In this sense, “the power of his resurrection” and “the fellowship of his sufferings” further explain what the meaning of “to know him” is. 
Meanwhile, the infinitive reflects that there is connection between vv1-9 and v.10-11.  It is particularly true that Paul mentions that it is a “far greater value of knowing Christ,” thus, as Fowl points out, Paul’s purpose to gain in Christ is “to know him.” In other words, what Paul wants to emphasize is the purpose of gaining in Christ in v.10. In the light of this, “power of his resurrection” and “fellowship of his sufferings” explain how Paul knows Christ after the Damascus-road experience.
Although the meaning of “know” (γνῶναι) in Greek denotes intelligent comprehension of an object, its usage in LXX can be understood as learning by experience. Thus, it is conceivable that “him” (αὐτὸν) is Christ, and Paul is talking about his personal experience to know Christ as v.8. Bockmuehl further demonstrates Paul’s personal experience is about the relationship with Christ. Therefore, the phrase following “to know” are describing the personal experience of knowing Christ in different aspects. As scholars also agrees that and suggests that there is closed connection between v.1 and v.10, in which v.10 responds the reason Paul could “rejoice in the Lord” in v.1.
b. power of his resurrection (τὴν δύναμιν τῆς ἀναστάσεως αὐτοῦ)
The word “δύναμιν” means “ability” or “capacity” originally. It always relates to a cosmic perspective in the Hellenistic world. When using this word in NT, it is inevitably to associate with the fact of Christ, which links Christ with the OT and the Jewish picture of Messiah. In the Jewish mind, Messiah consists of the strength of Yahweh, leading him to success in the battle. In the context of this, some scholars would suggest the power of resurrection is about the physical, moral and spiritual resurrection of Christians. As Lightfoot states:
“……as the assurance of immortality, this brings triumph over sin and the pledge of justification and asserts the dignity and reinforces the claims of the human body.”
It is undeniable that resurrection of Christ brings hope to Christians, saving them from sin, converting the spiritual life and giving them new life, nevertheless, Paul widened the meaning of the power of Christ’s resurrection. What a new life keeping conversion with the power of Christ’s resurrection means not to wait the future physical resurrection, rather, but to suffer for Christ in the present time, experiencing the source of power, God the Father, under sufferings for Christ. Once converted, the power of Christ’s resurrection operates in the life of a Christian. Fee explains the operation substantially:
“……he (Paul) could throw himself into the present with a kind of holy abandon, full of rejoicing and thanksgiving; and that not because he enjoyed suffering, but because Christ’s resurrection had given him a unique perspective on present suffering……as well as empowering presence whereby the suffering was transformed into intimate fellowship with Christ himself.”
Not because of personal interest like nowadays in the world, Paul urges the Philippian to imitate of him, which is as Martin points out, “intimacy of union with the living Lord” in the presence life.
c. the fellowship in his sufferings (τὴν κοινωνίαν τῶν παθημάτων αὐτου)
As discussed before, fellowship involved the sense of active participation in a close-bond relationship. In Paul’s story, people had obligations to share their common health among citizens, in other words, to be a good citizen. In this light, the praise “fellowship in his sufferings” might exhort the Philippian Church to actively participate in the sufferings of Christ. What kind of sufferings do Paul refers? According to TDNT, πάθημα could be known as “misfortune” or “suffering” due to any external environment, leading bodily or spiritual condition changes. Some might think Paul is urging the Philippian Church to die for Christ on the cross. However, when looking the usage of πάθημα in LXX, it could be understood as “to experience something.” Moreover, in the apocalyptic works, the righteous regard suffering as salvation, and the word does not have to mean to death or martyr when suffering. In the context of this, παθημάτων in plural form may imply the suffering journey of Jesus throughout His life.
Because of his union with Christ, Paul can participate in the suffering journey of Christ through enduring beaten, despising and dishonor from the unbelievers, and even imprisonment. As discussed before, sufferings unlikely to someone think relate to death or become martyrs for Christ; instead of this, Paul urges the Philippian Church to suffer for Christ at present.
To participate in Christ’s sufferings, as Lightfoot mentions, it should be appreciated the power of resurrection in the life, by taking practical actions into our life. To some extent, ideologically, in the eschatological sense, Paul put forth to the Philippian Church that they must actively participate in Christ’s sufferings. It is because the model of Christ is presented to the Philippian Church in the Christ hymn in Phil. 2:6-11, in which the will of self-emptying and obedient in suffering of Christ is shown. As a result, active participation in his sufferings is an indispensable action in knowing Christ.
Besides, if the Philippian Church decided to suffer for Christ, there are three distinctive significance. Firstly, as united with Christ, the one who are willing to suffer for Christ is infused with new life, which provides the power of Christ’s resurrection as an ability among them, leading them to cope with the tribulations at presence time. In other words, in Philippian Church, the Christians will face the despising from the unbelievers, even imprisonment. As stated by Silva, “the stinging reality of Christian suffering is our reminder that we have been united with Christ.” In other words, to suffer for Christ is a process to enter the glory of God. Secondly, just as what the literal meaning of the phrase means, “the fellowship in his sufferings” can be understood as a fellowship with Christ. It is not oddly that Stanley described “Christian existence” as “fellowship in his (Christ’s) passion.” Furthermore, it is always true that suffering for Christ is a testimony to the world for Christ. The reason Paul exhorts the Philippian Church to imitate of him, in fact, is imitation of Christ. Thus, to walk the same path of Christ through sufferings, it manifests the irreplaceable importance of Christ’s suffering to the world.
d. being conformed the same form in His death (συμμορφιζόμενος τῷ θανάτῳ αὐτοῦ)
The verb “συμμορφιζόμενος” can be literally translated as “being conferred the same form.” It also can be understood as “being conformed the same form.” Paul urges the Philippian Church to be imitator of him in 3:17, here, he set up the foundation of imitator here: His form of life imitates the form of Christ’s life, thus, he is just an imitator of Christ. It is presumably that the self-emptiness of Christ in Phil. 2:6-11 intervened the story of Paul, enforcing him to be self-emptiness at this time. At this point of view, “to be imitator of me” means a hope that Paul the Philippian Church could also be self-emptiness as Christ’s sufferings throughout their lives. It is true that this phrase connects with “to know him,” expanding its meaning to another perspective.
How Paul conformed himself to be same form in Christ’s death is neither to abandon his life by dying on the cross immediately, nor only to struggle against his sin spiritually; rather, since he has “faith in Christ”, knowing Christ becomes the supreme target in his life, Paul takes up the cross of Christ as his cross daily in order to be “form of slave” as Christ. Taking up the cross of Christ means to suffer for Christ, reject imperial cult and other tradition, which must lead to suffer physical pains, humiliations, personal sins, and even death throughout lifetime. By the way of sufferings, Paul links with all sufferings and death event in the life of Christ; in other words, there is a union with Christ. Union with Christ in this sense is what Paul exhorts the Philippian Church to follow. If the story of Christ provokes in the life of Philippians Christians, as well as ours, Paul is telling his readers to seek for the interest of the other actively, for this is the result of conforming in Christ’s death, which Christ is obedience to God.
a-b. If somehow, I might attain to (εἴ πως αταντήσω εἰς)
The word καταντάω literally means “to reach a goal,” therefore, it is obviously that the goal of knowing Christ is to “attain” to the resurrection from the dead. However, it is surprised that Paul use “εἴ πως” here, which Paul seems to express an uncertainty. According to Otto analyzed, there are several interpretations among scholars: Firstly, it denotes from doubt to expectation; Secondly, Paul is certain in resurrection, but not sure in “intervening events;” Thirdly, Paul expresses his personal humility and self-distrust; Lastly, Otto suggests Paul maintains “his confession in his impending death” and “attaining to a special resurrection of martyrs.”
In the context of 3:1-11, it is not adequately that saying Paul is not sure about the resurrection; Moreover, it is sure that Paul is pointing to the physical sufferings from the external environment because of political and religious reasons when he wrote the letter to the Philippian Church. Instead of the first two suggestions, the expression of εἴ πως is about the humility of Paul, as suggested by Hawthorne and Martin, Paul knows the salvation is a gift from God at the beginning to the end. Thus, on one side, Paul is exhorting more than a hope for salvation, affirming his participating in the fellowship in Christ’s sufferings through the power of resurrection, by endurance of physical sufferings in his life time; on the other side, what Paul wanted to underline is not the future resurrection, but the present sufferings. As the result, Paul uses αταντήσω as present participate in subjunctive mood, tending to express the hard difficulty in maintaining the good confession and putting down his life until death for Christ. In other words, the cost paid for Christ is expensive because it includes to reject the imperial cult, Jewish tradition if the Philippian Christians want to be a good citizen in the heaven.
c. resurrection from dead (τὴν ἐξανάστασιν τὴν ἐκ νεκρῶν)
There are two perspectives in understanding τὴν ἐξανάστασιν τὴν ἐκ νεκρῶν. The first one is to project the future resurrection in Paul’s life time. By physical suffering for Christ at present, Paul have involved in the future resurrection by experiencing the power of spiritual resurrection. It is particularly true as stated by Melick:
“Successively and progressively the moral life must be changed, the physical body ultimately transformed, and believers brought to the eternal resting place of resurrection, heaven itself.”
The physical resurrection must come on the day Christ come, thus, at present, the aim of the Philippian Christians is not only to change their moral life, but also to suffer for Christ by experiencing the power of Christ’s resurrection.
Other than helping Paul to have fellowship in Christ’s suffering and to be conformed in Christ’s death, the power of resurrection helps Paul to get into the final resurrection. Jewish think the righteous one would be resurrected someday. According to this, what “the resurrection from the dead” means the one knowing Christ would be given a new and glorified life as the form of Christ.
It is simple to conclude that Paul urges the Philippian Church to have faith in Christ when facing humiliation and tribulations. Through the discussion in the article, it is pertinent to describe Paul is interpreting his story, which he met Christ in the Damascus-road experience, to the Philippian Church. When introducing his story, Paul adapted and adopted dozens of OT metaphors to pursue his reading community.
Nevertheless, Paul did not mention “citizen” in Phil. 3:10-11, it is explicit that he is encouraging the Philippian Church to act as a good heavenly citizen throughout 3:1-20. The one who know Christ correctly possesses the combine identity as a heavenly citizen, hence, the value of a Philippian Christian is drastically changed. They will not maintain the early citizenship by keeping the practice of imperial cults and Jewish tradition such as circumcision anymore. On the contrary, the ultimate goal of them is suffering for Christ through experiencing the power of Christ’s resurrection. Thus, they rejoice when union with Christ.
- Moises. Silva, Philippians, BECNT. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2005), 167; Andris H. Snyman, “A Rhetorical Analysis of Philippians 3:1-11,” Neotestamentica 40.2 (2006): 278. ↑
- Acts 16:9-10, 12-40. ↑
- Hawthrone and Martin comments “this opposition came from fellow Christians as well as from the outside world” was “strangely’. Gerald F. Hawthorne and Ralph P. Martin. Philippians, WBC 43 (Waco, Texas: Word Books, 2004), lv. ↑
- Eddwards, 77-78; Ralph P. Martin, Philippians: An Introduction and Commentary, TNTC 11 (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1987), 11. ↑
- The veterans of Octavian became the initial population of Philippi and they came to Philippi after Octavian defeated Antony and Cleopatra at the battle of Actium. Dennis, R. Edwards, “Good Citizenship: A Study of Philippians 1:27 and Its Implications for Contemporary Urban Ministry,” EX AUDITU 29 (2013): 77-78; Martin, Philippians: An Introduction and Commentary, 11. ↑
- Edwards states “To the Philippians citizenship was about more than just voting, paying taxes, or participating in certain government holidays. Citizenship involved commitment to the community, to the polis…… Life in the polis was meant to reflect genuine community.” Edwards, “Good Citizenship,” 78. ↑
- Martin, Philippians: An Introduction and Commentary, 11. ↑
- Keener points out “The line between human and divine had always been thin in Greek religion, and consequently peoples of the Greek East had built temples to Roman emperors from the first emperor on.” Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2014), 726. ↑
- For example, Miller suggests “no evidence that several of Paul’s main ministry centers had cults of the Roman emperor during his lifetime.” But he also suggests that “the imperial cult would have been perceived as one cult among many and often would be indistinguishable from the cult of any other god. Imperial festivals were held on the birthdays of Caesar, just as they were on those of other gods.” Colin Miller, “The Imperial Cult in the Pauline Cities of Asia Minor and Greece,” The Catholic Biblical Quarterly 72 (2010): 320, 322. ↑
- Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentar, 726. ↑
- Other than two examples above, Miller also suggests that “Paul’s proclamation of the “good news” of Jesus the Messiah, likewise, supposedly, flies directly in the face of the “good news” of Caesar, which was proclaimed at his ascension or on his birthday.” Miller, “The Imperial Cult in the Pauline Cities of Asia Minor and Greece,”316. ↑
- “But when her owners saw their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the authorities. When they had brought them before the magistrates, they said, “These men are throwing our city into confusion. They are Jews and are advocating customs that are not lawful for us to accept or practice, since we are Romans.” ↑
- Martin, Philippians: An Introduction and Commentary, 11. ↑
- A. F. J. Klijin, “Paul’s Opponents in Philippians iii,” Restoration Quarterly 12 (1969): 284. ↑
- Hawthorne and Martin, Philippians, lv. ↑
- Darrell J. Doughty, “Citizens of Heaven: Philippians 3.2-21,” New Testament Studies 41 (1995): 110. ↑
- Hawthorne and Martin, Philippians, xxxix. ↑
- Edwards, “Good Citizenship,” 87. ↑
- Hawthorne and Martin, Philippians, lii. ↑
- The word “resurrection” translated ἀνάστασις and ἐξανάστασιν, used twice in 3:10-11, at the same time, “death” (θανάτῳ) and “dead”(νεκρῶν) used once each. ↑
- ἀνάστασις used 13 times in the Epistles while six times in LXX; ἐξανάστασιν used once in the Epistles and LXX, ↑
- In fact, the meaning of resurrection “varies according to the relevant subject.” Greeks thinks resurrection is impossible or a miracle of resuscitation. TDNT, s.v. “ἀνάστασις,” vol 1, 354, 369-370. ↑
- θάνατος used 120 times in the Epistles while 351 in LXX; νεκρῶν used 120 times in Epistles while 83 times in LXX. According to TDNT, death “does not end human existence to the degree that the dead lead a shadowy existence in Hades, this cannot be regarded as a life;” and dead always used as a noun, mean dead body, the dead in the underworld or inanimate objects. TDNT, s.v. “θάνατος,” vol 3, 9; TDNT, s.v. “νεκρῶν,” vol 4, 892. ↑
- Another example of resurrection is “the Homeric heroes hazard their lives for fame, so κλέος (δόξα) offers the opportunity of bringing death as an act into life.” TDNT, s.v. θάνατος,” vol 3, 9; TDNT, s.v. “νεκρῶν,” vol 4, 893. ↑
- Other than Wis. 3:1-9, Otto points out other Jewish works, such as 1 Enoch 47:1-4; 2 Apoc. Bar. 30:2, also reflected this point. Randall E. Otto, “‘If Possible I May Attain the Resurrection from the Dead’,” The Catholic Biblical Quarterly 57 (1995), 335-336. ↑
- Otto, “‘If Possible I May Attain the Resurrection from the Dead’,” 339. ↑
- The word κοινωνία used three times both in the Philippians and LXX. TDNT, s.v. “κοινωνία,” vol 3, 798. ↑
- TDNT, s.v. “κοινωνία,” vol 3, 799. ↑
- TDNT, s.v. “πολιτεύεσθε,” vol 4, 520, 526, 536. ↑
- Actually, Brewer suggests there is connection between πολυτευεσθαυ and πολιτεύεσθε. He thinks the connection can be justified by its lexical history. Those personal obligations and allegiance include “some law, order, system, or principle which imposes its requirements upon the individual.” Raymond B. Brewer, “The meaning of Politeuesthe in Philippians 1:27,” Journal of Biblical Literature 73 (1954): 78, 83. ↑
- Miller claims that “when πολυτευεσθαυ is understood as signifying Israel, the people covenanted through faith in Christ.” Ernest C. Miller, “Politeuesthe in Philippians 1:27: Some Philological and Thematic Observations,” JSNT 15 (1982), 92 ↑
- Edwards, “Good Citizenship,” 75. ↑
- Brewer successfully points out what a good citizen in the heaven is “while you are members of a Roman colony you are also a colony of heaven from which you are awaiting the return of your divine Lord and Savior .” Brewer, “The meaning of Politeuesthe in Philippians 1:27,” 83; Edwards, “Good Citizenship,” 78-79. ↑
- Richard B. Hays,Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul, (Yale University Press. 1989), 26. ↑
- Scott C. Ryan, “The Reversal of Rhetoric in Philippians 3:1-11,” Perspectives in Religious Studies 39 (2012): 69-70. ↑
- G. K. Beale and D. A. Carson, Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007), 835-836. ↑
- Stephen Fowl, “The Use of Scripture in Philippians,” In Paul and Scripture: Extending the Conversation, ed. Christopher D. Stanley (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2012), 173. ↑
- Angela Standhartinger, “Apocalyptic Though in Philippians,” In the Jewish Apocalyptic Tradition and the Shaping of New Testament Thought, ed. Benjamin E. Reynolds, and Loren T. Stuckenbruck (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2017), 236. ↑
- Standhartinger explains that “Paul and others like him have provided a pattern (τύπος), which the community is called upon to develop with its own creativity. At this point, the self-representation of the wisdom teacher has reached its culmination, and suddenly, Paul takes up a new role.” Standhartinger, “Apocalyptic Though in Philippians,” 237. ↑
- In Jewish tradition, the wise one will search for wisdom without leaving the world. They think the righteous one will be elevated into the heaven, thus, they will recover from sufferings. Standhartinger, “Apocalyptic Though in Philippians,” 236. ↑
- Standhartinger suggests that there will be “body of citizens with political rights” in the heaven. Standhartinger, Apocalyptic Though in Philippians, 242. ↑
- Gupta suggests that the whole section of 3:1-11 “offers interaction with another, not unrelated, passage that also develops Paul’s understanding of a new value system “in Christ.” Nijay K. Gupta, “‘I will not be Put to Shame’: Paul, The Philippians, and the Honorable wish Eor Death,” Neotestamentica 42.2 (2008): 264. ↑
- D. Michaels Stanley, “Become Imitators of Me: the Pauline Conception of Apostolic Tradition,” Biblica 40 (1959):870. ↑
- Ryan points out that Paul deliberately sets up “an encomium of self-praise in vv. 4b-6 and then immediately dismantles it in vv. 7-11,” then, he says that his gains before means “nothing when compared to surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus his Lord (3:7-8).”Gupta also comments that vv.4-6 is similar to Cor 11:6-12:1. Gupta, “‘I will not be Put to Shame’,” 259; Ryan, “The Reversal of Rhetoric in Philippians 3:1-11,” 75; Stanley, “Become Imitators of Me,” 870. ↑
- As observed by Synman, Jewish thinks they are righteousness because of physical circumcision, which is based on Torah. But the true righteousness should be related to the faith in Christ and knowing Him. Snyman, “A Rhetorical Analysis of Philippians 3:1-11,” 278 ↑
- Teresa Wong, “Christ’s Mind, Paul’s Mind,” Louvain Studies 17 (1992): 302. ↑
- Gupta, “‘I will not be Put to Shame’,” 258. ↑
- Wong explains that it is obviously “Paul did not intend to deny that by losing he had already gained,” adding that the loss is just a process to gain. Wong, “Christ’s Mind, Paul’s Mind,” 303. ↑
- Koperski points out that the phrase should be objective rather than subjective, which the former will be translated as “faith which is in and of Christ” but the latter will be translated as “Christ’s faith” which means “the obedience of Christ” or “faithfulness of Christ”. Veronica Koperski, “The Meaning of Pistis Chritou in Philippians 3:9,” Louvain Studies 18 (1993): 200, 202. ↑
- Paul’s confession of Jesus as Lord in Phil. 3:9 is similar to Rom 10:9-10. Koperski, “The Meaning of Pistis Chritou in Philippians 3:9,” 214. ↑
- According to what Koperski suggest, both the obedience of Christ and the personal will to accept suffering for Christ are gift of God mentioned in Phil. 1:28-30. Koperski, “The Meaning of Pistis Chritou in Philippians 3:9,” 215. ↑
- To discuss in details, the proposals are different among different scholars. For example, Silva suggests “to know Christ means to experience his resurrection and to share in his sufferings,” while Fee proposes the most important thing is “knowing Christ;” at the same time, Hawthorne and Martin tend to illustrate the first things to know is “the power of resurrection” because the power of Christians come from the resurrection of Christ. Gordon D. Fee, Paul’s Letter to the Philippians, NICOT 36 (Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans Pub., 1995), 330; Hawthorne and Martin, Philippians, 329; Silva, Philippians, 163. ↑
- Bockmuehl comments that v.10 is “obviously equivalent to v.8” and is “and parallel to v.8-9”. Perriman also offers a similar proposal. Markus. A Bockmuehl, Commentary on the Epistle to the Philippians, Black’s New Testament Commentaries (London: Adam & Charles Black, 1997), 213; Andrew Perriman, “The Pattern of Christ’s Sufferings: Colossians 1:24 and Philippians 3:10-11,” Tyndale Bulletin 42.1 (1991), 73. ↑
- Stephen E. Fowl, Philippians, THNTC (Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 2005), 155. ↑
- Based on the meaning of “γνῶναι,” it is not surprising that Lightfoot considers this word could be understood as “recognize, feel, appropriate.” J. B. Lightfoot, Philippians, The Crossway Classic Commentaries (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 1994), 164; TDNT, s.v. “γινώσκω,” vol 1, 689, 698. ↑
- As Synman thinks, in Phil. 3:8, “γνωναι implies the sharing of certain personal experiences, rather than intellectual knowledge.” Snyman, “A Rhetorical Analysis of Philippians 3:1-11,”275. ↑
- What Bockmuehl points out is “knowing Christ” do not mean to understand “a fact or a formula, but of a comprehensive and ever-deepening personal relationship with Christ, increasingly growing into union with him.” Bockmuehl, Commentary on the Epistle to the Philippians, 213-214. ↑
- Fee, Paul’s Letter to the Philippians, 333; nyman, “A Rhetorical Analysis of Philippians 3:1-11,” 275. ↑
- The root of the word “δύναμιν” used three times in the Philippians and 149 times in the Epistles; the lexme (δύναμις) of the word used only once in the Philippians and 60 times in the Epistles; in LXX, it used 28 times (13 times in the Judges and 15 times in Dan). TDNT, s.v. “δύναμις,” vol 2, 285, 296, 299. ↑
- Other than Lightfoot, Hawthorne and Martin also interpret that Paul “desires to know him personally as the resurrected ever-living Lord of his life…… He wishes to know him alive and creatively at work to save him from himself, to transform him from “bad” to “good,” to propel him forward toward a life of service to others, to inaugurate “newness of life,” life in the Spirit, in a word, to resurrect him from death in sin to life in God, to quicken and stimulate his whole moral and spiritual being.” Hawthorne and Martin, Philippians, 197; Lightfoot, Philippians, 164-165. ↑
- Lightfoot, Philippians, 164-165. ↑
- Martin adequately explains what Paul emphasizes is the present experience of power of Christ’s resurrection, but not the future one. Ralph P. Martin, Philippians, NCBC (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1976), 135. ↑
- Stanley, “Become Imitators of Me,” 870. ↑
- Bockmuehl, Commentary on the Epistle to the Philippians, 214-215. ↑
- Fee, Paul’s Letter to the Philippians, 331. ↑
- Martin, Philippians, 133. ↑
- the word πάθημα only used once in the Philippians and used 16 times in the Epistles, but did not use in LXX. TDNT, s.v. “πάθημα,” vol 5, 904, 908-909, 930 ↑
- Scholars such as Bockumuehl, Hawthrone and Martin, Synman agree that there is close linkage between “the power of resurrection” and “the fellowship in his sufferings.” Bockmuehl thinks that each phrase affirms an aspect experience of knowing Christ, but Hawthorne and Martin think two phrases “are to be thought of not as two totally separate experiences but as alternate aspects of the same experience.” On the other side, Synman regards two phrases as a single unit, which are connected by the article “την.” Bockmuehl, Commentary on the Epistle to the Philippians, 214; Hawthorne and Martin, Philippians, 197; Snyman, “A Rhetorical Analysis of Philippians 3:1-11,”275. ↑
- Hawthorne and Martin, Philippians, 198. ↑
- Lightfoot, Philippians, 165. ↑
- Bockmuehl confirms that in Paul’s mind, “experience of affliction and tribulation to Christ” is needed for knowing Christ. Also, in the eschatological view, sufferings are needed for those who are hoping for the coming of the Messiah. Bockmuehl, Commentary on the Epistle to the Philippians, 215. ↑
- Although Paul do not mention resurrection in Phil. 2:9, Fowl points out the importance of relationship between knowing Christ and suffering by saying “Paul cannot speak here of knowing Christ apart from speaking of sharing in Christ’s sufferings.” Fowl, Philippians, 155. ↑
- Silva, Philippians, 165; Wong, “Christ’s Mind, Paul’s Mind,” 303. ↑
- Stanley, “Become Imitators of Me,” 870. ↑
- Fee, Paul’s Letter to the Philippians, 332. ↑
- Phil. 3:10 is the only use of συμμορφίζω. TDNT, s.v. “συμμορφίζω,” vol 7, 787. ↑
- Ryan explains the belief of Paul clearly, he states that “Rather than offering his self-glorification as something that should be emulated by the audience, Paul desires that his listeners rather imitate his ability not to grasp these privileges and to “empty ״themselves just as he argued Christ did in 2:5-11.” Fee suggests that “being conformed” and “death” links with the Christ narrative in 2:6-11. The root of the word συμμορφιζόμενος is συμμορφίζω, which links the form (μορφή) of Christ in God. Paul uses this word to link 2:6-11 and 3:10 together by describing “his sufferings as God’s way of conforming him into the likeness of Christ.” Wong points out that Christ’s life is a “form” and “model” for us. Fee, Paul’s Letter to the Philippians, 333-334; Ryan, “The Reversal of Rhetoric in Philippians 3:1-11,” 77; Wong, “Christ’s Mind, Paul’s Mind,” 304. ↑
- Bockmuehl, Commentary on the Epistle to the Philippians, 215; Richard R. Melick, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon, An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture (NAC 32. Nashville, Tenn.: Broadman Press, 1991), 135. ↑
- What Lightfoot thinks of “becoming like him in his death” means to endure “all pangs and afflictions undergone in the struggle against sin either within or without.” However, as Ryan points out, all the “old markers” of Paul “are set aside in light of Christ’s faithful death and resurrection and the righteousness that comes on the basis of the community’s trust (3:9).” Bockmuehl agrees that the verb συμμορφιζόμενος imply Paul set himself a good example to the Philippian Church, being to be like the “form” of Christ’s humiliation. Moreover, Melick also states “being conformed to his death was the daily process of living.” Thus, the struggle against sin suggested by Lightfoot should be related to those “old markers.” That is to give up the “old markers” and to be “form of slave.” Bockmuehl, Commentary on the Epistle to the Philippians, 216-217; Hawthorne and Maritn, 199; Melick, Philippians, 136; Lightfoot, Philippians, 165; Ryan, “The Reversal of Rhetoric in Philippians 3:1-11,” 77. ↑
- Scholars have different view when discussing what “to be conformed in Christ’s death” means. Perriman upholds a view that “to be conformed in his death” is a lifetime process through suffering. Bockmuehl tends to think Christians will also “participate in the ‘form’ of his (Christ’s) heavenly glory.” Snyman, Hawthorne and Maritn point out that a mystical union with Christ will be strengthened by physical pains. Bockmuehl, Commentary on the Epistle to the Philippians, 216-217; Hawthorne and Maritn, 199; Perriman, “The Pattern of Christ’s Sufferings,” 71; Snyman, “A Rhetorical Analysis of Philippians 3:1-11,” 276. ↑
- Fowl, Philippians, 156. ↑
- The word used once in the Philippians and 13 times in the Epistles; It used five times in LXX (once in 2 Sam 3:29 and four in 2 Mac). TDNT, s.v. “καταντάω,” vol 3, 625. ↑
- The general use of two words express “indefiniteness, not means or method.” Silva, Philippians, 166; Otto, “‘If Possible I May Attain the Resurrection from the Dead’,” 324. ↑
- Otto, “‘If Possible I May Attain the Resurrection from the Dead’,” 326, 329, 330. ↑
- When Lightfoot thinks the use of “ει πως” presents a “modest hope”, Fowl also agrees that Paul is not to refer “a general resurrection of the just and unjust together,” but “the hope that God who raised Jesus from the dead.” Thus, scholars like Snyman and Martin direct a wrong way to interpret this phrase. In this point of view, Hawthorne and Martin states that the verse reflects humility of Paul “that recognizes that salvation is the gift of God from start to finish and that as a consequence he dare not presume on this divine mercy.” However, it is exaggerated that the humility of Paul is “self-distrust” by Perriman. Fowl, Philippians, 157; Hawthorne and Martin, Philippians, 200; Lightfoot, Philippians, 165; Martin, Philippians, 136; Perriman, “The Pattern of Christ’s Sufferings,” 70; Snyman, “A Rhetorical Analysis of Philippians 3:1-11,” 277-278. ↑
- Otto, “‘If Possible I May Attain the Resurrection from the Dead’,” 332. ↑
- Hawthorne and Martin, Philippians, 201; Perriman, “The Pattern of Christ’s Sufferings,” 70, 73; Silva, Philippians, 165. ↑
- Melick, Philippians, 135. ↑
- Lightfoot, Philippians, 165. ↑
- Edwards denotes that Paul deliberately uses the image of citizenship, and “modifies it with the expression ‘worthy of the gospel.’” Edwards, “Good Citizenship,” 78-79. ↑
- McNeill and Perriman agree that after knowing Christ, the value of a Christian will be changed. McNeill describes the change will bring “the sublimation in Christian experience of the athlete’s intense, all-out effort” as stated by Paul; While Perriman points out that the change is a “total reveral of values accompanied his conversion, and the hope and ambition that motivate his Christian life: Paul has counted all that was once gain as loss.” John T. McNeill, “The Christian Athlete in Philippians 3:7-14,” Religious Studies 39 (2012): 106; Perriman, “The Pattern of Christ’s Sufferings,” 68. ↑