VINCENT'S WORD STUDIES
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Robertson's Word Pictures in the NT - Greek NT
Rejoice (cairete). See on 2 Cor. xiii. 11.
The same things. It is doubtful what is referred to. Possibly previous letters, or the dissensions in the Church.
Grievous (oknhron). Only here, Matt. xxv. 26; Rom. xii. 11, in both instances rendered slothful. From ojknew to delay. Hence, in classical Greek, shrinking, backward, unready. The idea of delay underlies the secondary sense, burdensome, troublesome. It is the vexation arising from weary waiting, and which appears in the middle English irken to tire or to become tired, cognate with the Latin urgere to press, and English irk, irksome, work.
Evil workers. Compare deceitful workers, 2 Cor. xi. 13.
Concision (katatomhn). Only here in the New Testament. The kindred verb occurs in the Septuagint only, of mutilations forbidden by the Mosaic law. See Lev. xxi. 5. The noun here is a play upon peritomh circumcision. It means mutilation. Paul bitterly characterizes those who were not of the true circumcision (Rom. ii. 28, 29; Col. ii. 11; Eph. ii. 11) as merely mutilated. Compare Gal. v. 12, where he uses ajpokoptein to cut off, of those who would impose circumcision upon the Christian converts: "I would they would cut themselves off who trouble you;" that is, not merely circumcise, but mutilate themselves like the priests of Cybele.
Worship God in the spirit (pneumati Qew latreuontev). The correct reading is qeou of God. Render, as Rev., worship by the Spirit of God. Worship. See on Apoc. xxii. 3. Paul uses the Jews' word which denoted their own service of Jehovah as His peculiar people. Compare Acts xxvi. 7. A Jew would be scandalized by the application of this term to Christian worship.
Rejoice in Christ Jesus (kaucwmenoi). Rev., better, glory. Compare Jer. ix. 23, 24, and 1 Cor. i. 31; 2 Cor. x. 17. In the flesh. External privileges of every kind.
Thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust (dokei pepoiqenai). The A.V. is needlessly verbose. Rev., much better, thinketh to have confidence.
Of the stock of Israel. Not a proselyte, but of the original stock (genouv); not grafted into the covenant race. A descendant of Jacob, not an Idumaean nor an Ishmaelite. For Israel, see on Acts iii. 12, and compare Rom. ix. 4; xi. 1; John i. 47. Descended not from Jacob, the supplanter, but from Israel, the prince of God. See Gen. xxxii. 28.
Of the tribe of Benjamin. Not from one of the lost tribes, but from that which gave to Israel its first king; which alone was faithful to Judah at the separation under Rehoboam, and which had always held the post of honor in the army. See Judg. v. 14; Hos. v. 8. Benjamin only of the twelve patriarchs was born in the land of promise. Mordecai, the deliverer of the Jews from Haman was a Benjamite. Paul's own original name, Saul, was probably derived from Saul the son of Kish, the Benjamite.
A Hebrew of the Hebrews (Ebraiov ex Ebraiwn). The (Hebrews) of the A.V. gives a wrong coloring to the phrase, as if Paul were claiming to be preeminently a Hebrew among other Hebrews He means a Hebrew from (ex) Hebrew parents. Rev., a Hebrew of Hebrews, which is no special improvement. The expression implies characteristics of language and manners. He might be an Israelite and yet a child of Greek-speaking Jews: but his parents had retained their native tongue and customs, and he himself, while understanding and speaking Greek, also spoke in Hebrew on occasion. See Acts xxi. 40; xxii. 2.
The law. The Mosaic law. See on Rom. ii. 12. The validity of that law was the principle upheld by the Judaizers.
A Pharisee. See Acts xxiii. 6; Gal. i. 14. Compare on the whole verse, 2 Corinthians xi. 22.
Blameless (genomenov amemptov). The A.V. does not render the participle, proven or found. Rev., correctly, found blameless.
I counted loss (hghmai zhmian). Better, as Rev., have counted. The perfect tense implies that he still counts them as loss. See on ver. 8. Notice the singular number loss, and the plural gains. The various gains are all counted as one loss.
All things. An advance on those (things) of ver. 7.
For the excellency, etc. (dia). On account of: because the knowledge of Christ is so much greater than all things else.
I have suffered the loss (ezhmiwqhn). Rev., better, I suffered; when I embraced Christianity. Lit., was mulcted. See on Matt. xvi. 26, and cast away, Luke ix. 25.
All things (ta panta). Collectively. All things mentioned in vers. 5-7. Dung (skubala). Rev., refuse. Either excrement or what is thrown away from the table; leavings. The derivation is uncertain. According to some it is a contraction from ejv kunav ballw to throw to the dogs. See on filth, 1 Corinthians iv. 13. Notice the repetition of gain, count, loss, all things, Christ.
Win (kerdhsw). Rev., better, gain, corresponding with gain, ver. 7.
Mine own righteousness (emhn dikaiosunhn). Rev., correctly, a righteousness of mine own. The A.V. would require the article with ejmhn mine, and assumes the existence of a personal righteousness; whereas Paul says, not having any righteousness which can be called mine.
Which is of the law (thn ek nomou). Rev., better, even that which is of the law; thus bringing out the force of the article which defines the character of that righteousness which alone could be personal, viz., righteousness consisting in the strict fulfillment of the law.
Through the faith of Christ (dia pistewv Cristou). Rev., better, through faith in Christ. Faith as opposed to the law. The change of prepositions, through (dia) faith, and of (ek) the law, as turning on the distinction between faith represented as the medium, and the law as the source of justification, cannot be insisted upon as a rule, since both the prepositions are used with faith, as in Gal. ii. 16. Compare Romans iii. 30; v. 1.
Of God. Contrasted with my own.
By faith (epi). Resting upon faith, or on the condition of. Compare Acts iii. 16.
The power of His resurrection (thn dunamin thv anastasewv autou). Power of His resurrection and fellowship of His sufferings furnish two specific points further defining the knowledge of Him. By the power of Christ's resurrection is meant the power which it exerts over believers. Here, more especially, according to the context, in assuring their present justification, and its outcome in their final glorification. See Rom. iv. 24, 25; viii. 11, 30; 1 Cor. xv. 17; Col. iii. 4; Philip. iii. 21. Fellowship of His sufferings. Participation in Christ's sufferings. See Matt. xx. 22, 23; and on Col. i. 24. Compare 2 Cor. i. 5; 1 Peter iv. 13. Faith makes a believer one with a suffering Christ.
Being made conformable (summorfizomenov). Explaining the previous clause: by my becoming conformed, etc. Rev., becoming conformed.
Compare 2 Cor. iv. 10; Rom. vi. 5. For conformed see on Matthew xvii. 2, and on form, ch. ii. 6. The most radical conformity is thus indicated: not merely undergoing physical death like Christ, but conformity to the spirit and temper, the meekness and submissiveness of Christ; to His unselfish love and devotion, and His anguish over human sin.
I might attain (katanthsw). See on Acts xxvi. 7.
The resurrection of the dead (thn exanastasin thn ek nekrwn). Rev., more correctly, from the dead. Lit., the resurrection, that, namely, from the dead. Compare Acts iv. 2. This compound noun for resurrection is found only here, and expresses the rising from or from among (ex), which is further emphasized by the repetition of the preposition ejk (from). The kindred compound verb occurs Mark xii. 19; Luke xx. 28; Acts xv. 5, but in neither passage of raising the dead. The word here does not differ in meaning from ajnastasiv, commonly used, except that the idea is more vividly conceived as a rising from the earth. See Matt. xxii. 31; Luke xx. 35. The phrase resurrection of or from the dead does not often occur in the Gospels, and resurrection ejk from the dead only twice in the New Testament, Acts iv. 2; 1 Pet. i. 3. For the phrase, see on Luke xvi. 31. Resurrection of the dead is a generic phrase, denoting the general resurrection of the dead, bad and good. Resurrection from the dead, in the only two passages where it occurs, signifies resurrection unto life. In 1 Peter i. 3, it is applied to Christ.
Had attained - were perfect (elabon - teteleiwmai). Rev., have attained, am made perfect. There is a change of tenses which may be intentional; the aorist attained pointing to the definite period of his conversion, the perfect, am made perfect, referring to his present state. Neither when I became Christ's did I attain, nor, up to this time, have I been perfected. With attained supply the prize from ver. 14. Rev., am made perfect, is preferable, as preserving the passive form of the verb. I follow after (diwkw). Rev., better, press on. The A.V. gives the sense of chasing; whereas the apostle's meaning is the pressing toward a fixed point. The continuous present would be better, I am pressing.
May apprehend (katalabw) American Rev., lay hold on. Neither A.V.
nor Rev. give the force of kai also; if I may also apprehend as well as pursue. For the verb, see on John i. 5.
For which also I am apprehended. Rev., correctly, was apprehended.
American Rev., laid hold on. Paul's meaning is, "I would grasp that for which Christ grasped me. Paul's conversion was literally of the nature of a seizure. That for which Christ laid hold of him was indeed his mission to the Gentiles, but it was also his personal salvation, and it is of this that the context treats. Some render, seeing that also I was apprehended. Rev., in margin.
Reaching forth (epekteinomenov). Only here in the New Testament.
Epi direction, after; ejk forth; teinw to stretch. Rev., stretching forward. The metaphor is that of the footrace. Bengel says: "The eye outstrips and draws onward the hand, and the hand the foot."
Prize (brabeion). See on 1 Cor. ix. 24. Ignatius uses the word qema that which is deposited as a prize: a prize of money as distinct from the crown. "Be temperate as God's athlete. The prize is incorruption and eternal life" (to Polycarp, 2.). Chrysostom says: "He that runs looks not at the spectators, but at the prize. Whether they be rich or poor, if one mock them, applaud them, insult them, throw stones at them - if one plunder their house, if they see children or wife or anything whatsoever - the runner is not turned aside, but is concerned only with his running and winning the prize. He that runneth stoppeth nowhere; since, if he be a little remiss, all is lost. He that runneth relaxeth in no respect before the end, but then, most of all, stretcheth over the course."
High calling (anw klhsewv). Lit., upward calling. A calling which is from heaven and to heaven. Klhsiv calling, is habitually used in the New Testament of the act of calling. Compare Heb. iii. 1. The prize is bound up with the calling; promised when the call is issued, and given when the call is fulfilled.
Whereto we have already attained (eiv o efqasamen). Whatever real christian and moral attainment you may have made, let that serve as a rule for your further advance. The character of this standard of attainment is illustrated by the words in ver. 15, be thus minded, and by those in ver. 17, as ye have us for an example. The individual variations are not considered. He regards rather the collective development, and assumes the essentials of christian attainment on the part of his readers. For attained, see on we are come, 2 Cor. x. 14.
Let us walk by the same rule (tw autw stoicein) The idea of a regulative standard is implied, but rule kanoni must be omitted from the Greek text. Rev. brings out the antithesis better: whereunto we have already attained, by that same rule let us walk. Omit let us mind the same thing.
Mark (skopeite). See on looking, ch. ii. 4.
So as (outwv kaqwv). Rev., "which so walk even as ye have," etc. The two words are correlative. Briefly, imitate me and those who follow my example.
Earthly things (ta epigeia). See on 2 Cor. v. 1. Compare Col. iii. 2.
Is in heaven (uparcei). The use of this word instead of ejsti is is peculiar. See on being, ch. ii. 6. It has a backward look. It exists now in heaven, having been established there of old. Compare Heb. xi. 16; John xiv. 2.
We look for (apekdecomeqa). Rev., wait for. See on 1 Cor. i. 7. Used only by Paul, and in Heb. ix. 28. Compare Rom. viii. 19, 23, 25; Gal. v. 5. It indicates earnest, patient waiting and expectation. As in ajpokaradokia earnest expectation, ch. i. 20, the compounded preposition ajpo denotes the withdrawal of attention from inferior objects. The word is habitually used in the New Testament with reference to a future manifestation of the glory of Christ or of His people.
The Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ (swthra). Savior has no article, and its emphatic position in the sentence indicates that it is to be taken predicatively with Jesus Christ, and not as the direct object of the verb. Hence render: we await as Savior the Lord, etc. Compare Heb. ix. 28, "To them that wait for Him will He appear a second time unto salvation."
Our vile body (to swma thv tapeinwsewv hmwn). Wrong. Render, as Rev., the body of our humiliation. See, for the vicious use of hendiadys in A.V., on Eph. i. 19. Lightfoot observes that the A.V. seems to countenance the stoic contempt of the body. Compare Col. i. 22. The biographer of Archbishop Whately relates that, during his last illness, one of his chaplains, watching, during the night at his bedside, in making some remark expressive of sympathy for his sufferings, quoted these words: "Who shall change our vile body." The Archbishop interrupted him with the request "Read the words." The chaplain read them from the English Bible; but he reiterated, "Read his own words." The chaplain gave the literal translation, "this body of our humiliation." "That's right, interrupted the Archbishop, "not vile - nothing that He made is vile." That it may be fashioned like (eiv to genesqai auto summorfon). The words that it may be, or become, are omitted from the correct Greek text, so that the strict rendering is the body of our humiliation conformed, etc. The words are, however, properly inserted in A.V. and Rev. for the sake of perspicuity. Rev., correctly, conformed for fashioned like. Fashion belongs to the preceding verb. See on shall change The adjective conformed is compounded with morfh form (see on ch. ii. 6, and made conformable, ch. iii. 10). As the body of Christ's glory is a spiritual body, this word is appropriate to describe a conformation to what is more essential, permanent, and characteristic. See 1 Cor. xv. 35-53. His glorious body (tw swmati thv doxhv autou). Wrong. Rev., correctly, the body of His glory. The body in which He appears in His present glorified state. See on Col. ii. 9.
The working whereby He is able (thn energeian tou dunasqai). Lit., the energy of His being able. Dunasqai expresses ability, faculty, natural ability, not necessarily manifest. Energeia is power in exercise, used only of superhuman power. See on John i. 12; 2 Pet. ii. 11. Hence, as Calvin remarks, "Paul notes not only the power of God as it resides in Him, but the power as it puts itself into act." See Eph. i. 19, where four of the six words for power are used.
Subdue (upotaxai). Rev., subject. See on Jas. iv. 7. It is more than merely subdue. It is to bring all things within His divine economy; to marshal them all under Himself in the new heaven and the new earth in which shall dwell righteousness. Hence the perfected heavenly state as depicted by John is thrown into the figure of a city, an organized commonwealth. The verb is thus in harmony with ver. 20. The work of God in Christ is therefore not only to transform, but to subject, and that not only the body, but all things. See 1 Cor. xv. 25-27; Romans viii. 19, 20; Eph. i. 10, 21, 22; iv. 10.