1tn Or “spiritual fellowship” if πνεύματος (pneumato") is an attributive genitive; or “fellowship brought about by the Spirit” if πνεύματος is a genitive of source or production.

2tn Grk “and any affection and mercy.” The Greek idea, however, is best expressed by “or” in English.

3tn Or “and feel the same way,” “and think the same thoughts.” The ἵνα (Jina) clause has been translated “and be of the same mind” to reflect its epexegetical force to the imperative “complete my joy.”

4tn The Greek word here is σύμψυχοι (sumyucoi, literally “fellow souled”).

5tn 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.”

6tn On the meaning “be concerned about” for σκοπέω (skopew), see L&N 27.36.

7tn 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.

8tc 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 (46 א A B C D2 0278 33 1739 1881 ¤) 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.

9tn 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.”

10sn 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.

11sn The Greek term translated form indicates a correspondence with reality. Thus the meaning of this phrase is that Christ was truly God.

12tn See the note on the word “slaves” in 1:1.

13tn 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.

14tn 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.

15tn Grk “with fear and trembling.” The Greek words φόβος and τρόμος both imply fear in a negative sense (L&N 25.251 and 16.6 respectively) while the former can also refer to respect and awe for deity (L&N 53.59). Paul’s use of the terms in other contexts refers to “awe and reverence in the presence of God” (P. T. O’Brien, Philippians [NIGTC], 284; see discussion on 282-84). The translation “awe and reverence” was chosen to portray the attitude the believer should have toward God as they consider their behavior in light of God working through Jesus Christ (2:6-11) and in the believer’s life (2:13) to accomplish their salvation.

16tn Or “as stars in the universe.”

17tn Or “holding out, holding forth.”

18tn Grk “For I have no one who is like-minded who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare.”

19tn The words “to see you” are not in the Greek text, but are implied, and are supplied in the translation for clarity.

20tn 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.

21tn 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…

22tn Grk “apostle.”

23tn The Greek word translated “minister” here is λειτουργός (leitourgo").

24tn Grk “servant of my need.”

25tn Grk “For he became ill to the point of death.”

26tn 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.

27tn Or “when you see him you can rejoice again.”

28tn Grk “make up for your lack of service to me.”