CARTA A LOS FILIPENSES. CAPITULO 3

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Capítulo 3

1 Mientras tanto, hermanos míos, alégrense en el Señor. A mí no me cuesta nada escribir las mismas cosas, y para ustedes es una seguridad.

2 ¡Cuídense de los perros, de los malos obreros y de los falsos circuncisos!

3 Porque los verdaderos circuncisos somos nosotros, los que ofrecemos un culto inspirado en el Espíritu de Dios y nos gloriamos en Cristo Jesús, en lugar de poner nuestra confianza en la carne, aunque yo también tengo motivos para poner mi confianza en ella.

4 Si alguien cree que puede confiar en la carne, yo puedo hacerlo con mayor razón;

5 circuncidado al octavo día; de la raza de Israel y de la tribu de Benjamín; hebreo, hijo de hebreos; en cuanto a la Ley, un fariseo;

6 por el ardor de mi cielo, perseguidor de la Iglesia; y en lo que se refiere a la justicia que procede de la Ley, de una conducta irreprochable.

7 Pero todo lo que hasta ahora consideraba una ganancia, lo tengo por pérdida, a causa de Cristo.

8 Más aún, todo me parece una desventaja comparado con el inapreciable conocimiento de Cristo Jesús, mi Señor. Por él he sacrificado todas las cosas, a las que considero como desperdicio, con tal de ganar a Cristo

9 y estar unido a él, no con mi propia justicia –la que procede de la Ley– sino con aquella que nace de la fe en Cristo, la que viene de Dios y se funda en la fe.

10 Así podré conocerlo a él, conocer el poder de su resurrección y participar de sus sufrimientos, hasta hacerme semejante a él en la muerte,

11 a fin de llegar, si es posible, a la resurrección de entre los muertos.

12 Esto no quiere decir que haya alcanzado la meta ni logrado la perfección, pero sigo mi carrera con la esperanza de alcanzarla, habiendo sido yo mismo alcanzado por Cristo Jesús.

13 Hermanos, yo no pretendo haberlo alcanzado. Digo solamente esto: olvidándome del camino recorrido, me lanzo hacia adelante

14 y corro en dirección a la meta, para alcanzar el premio del llamado celestial que Dios me ha hecho en Cristo Jesús.

15 Así debemos pensar los que somos maduros; y si en alguna cosa ustedes piensan lo contrario, Dios los iluminará.

16 De todas maneras, cualquiera sea el punto adonde hayamos llegado, sigamos por el mismo camino.

17 Sigan mi ejemplo, hermanos, y observen atentamente a los que siguen el ejemplo que yo les he dado.

18 Porque ya les advertí frecuentemente y ahora les repito llorando: hay muchos que se portan como enemigos de la cruz de Cristo.

19 Su fin es la predicción, su dios es el vientre, su gloria está en aquello que los cubre de vergüenza, y no aprecian sino las cosas de la tierra.

20 En cambio, nosotros somos ciudadanos del cielo, y esperamos ardientemente que venga de allí como Salvador el Señor Jesucristo.

21 El transformará nuestro pobre cuerpo mortal, haciéndolo semejante a su cuerpo glorioso, con el poder que tiene para poner todas las cosas bajo su dominio.

Chapter 3

1

Finally, my brothers, rejoice 1 in the Lord. Writing the same things to you is no burden for me but is a safeguard for you.

2

2 3 Beware of the dogs! Beware of the evil workers! Beware of the mutilation! 4

3

For we are the circumcision, 5 we who worship through the Spirit of God, who boast in Christ Jesus and do not put our confidence in flesh,

4

although I myself have grounds for confidence even in the flesh.If anyone else thinks he can be confident in flesh, all the more can I.

5

Circumcised on the eighth day, 6 of the race of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrew parentage, in observance of the law a Pharisee,

6

in zeal I persecuted the church, in righteousness based on the law I was blameless.

7

(But) whatever gains I had, these I have come to consider a loss 7 because of Christ.

8

More than that, I even consider everything as a loss because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have accepted the loss of all things and I consider them so much rubbish, that I may gain Christ

9

and be found in him, not having any righteousness of my own based on the law but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God, depending on faith

10

to know him and the power of his resurrection and (the) sharing of his sufferings by being conformed to his death,

11

if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

12

8 It is not that I have already taken hold of it or have already attained perfect maturity, 9 but I continue my pursuit in hope that I may possess it, since I have indeed been taken possession of by Christ (Jesus).

13

Brothers, I for my part do not consider myself to have taken possession. Just one thing: forgetting what lies behind but straining forward to what lies ahead,

14

I continue my pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus.

15

Let us, then, who are «perfectly mature» adopt this attitude. And if you have a different attitude, this too God will reveal to you.

16

Only, with regard to what we have attained, continue on the same course. 10

17

11 Join with others in being imitators of me, 12 brothers, and observe those who thus conduct themselves according to the model you have in us.

18

For many, as I have often told you and now tell you even in tears, conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ.

19

Their end is destruction. Their God is their stomach; their glory is in their «shame.» Their minds are occupied with earthly things.

20

But our citizenship 13 is in heaven, and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

21

He will change our lowly body to conform with his glorified body by the power that enables him also to bring all things into subjection to himself.

 

 

1 [1] Finally . . . rejoice: the adverb often signals the close of a letter; cf Philippians 4:8; 2 Cor 13:11. While the verb could also be translated «good-bye» or «farewell,» although it is never so used in Greek epistolography, the theme of joy has been frequent in the letter ( Philippians 1:18; 2:2, 18); note also Philippians 4:4 and the addition of «always» there as evidence for the meaning «rejoice.» To write the same things may refer to what Paul has previously taught in Philippi or to what he has just written or to what follows.

2 [2-21] An abrupt change in content and tone, either because Paul at this point responds to disturbing news he has just heard about a threat to the faith of the Philippians in the form of false teachers, or because part of another Pauline letter was inserted here; see Introduction. The chapter describes these teachers in strong terms as dogs. The persons meant are evidently different from the rival preachers of Philippians 1:14-18 and the opponents of Philippians 1:28. Since Philippians 3:2-4 emphasize Jewish terms like circumcision ( Philippians 3:2-3, 5), some relate them to the «Judaizers» of the Letter to the Galatians. Other phrases make them appear more like the false teachers of 2 Cor 11:12-15, the evil-workers. The latter part of the chapter depicts the many who are enemies of Christ’s cross in terms that may sound more Gentile or even «gnostic» than Jewish ( Philippians 3:18-19). Accordingly, some see two groups of false teachers in Phil 3, others one group characterized by a claim of having attained «perfect maturity» ( Philippians 3:12-15).

3 [2-11] Paul sets forth the Christian claim, especially using personal, autobiographical terms that are appropriate to the situation. He presents his own experience in coming to know Christ Jesus in terms of righteousness or justification (cf Romans 1:16-17; 3:21-5:11; Gal 2:5-11), contrasting the righteousness from God through faith and that of one’s own based on the law as two exclusive ways of pleasing God.

4 [2] Beware of the mutilation: literally, «incision,» an ironic wordplay on «circumcision»; cf Gal 5:12. There may be an association with the self-inflicted mutilations of the prophets of Baal ( 1 Kings 18:28) and of devotees of Cybele who slashed themselves in religious frenzy.

5 [3] We are the circumcision: the true people of God, seed and offspring of Abraham ( Gal 3:7, 29; 6:15). Spirit of God: some manuscripts read «worship God by the Spirit.»

6 [5] Circumcised on the eighth day: as the law required ( Genesis 17:12; Lev 12:3).

7 [7] Loss: his knowledge of Christ led Paul to reassess the ways of truly pleasing and serving God. His reevaluation indicates the profound and lasting effect of his experience of the meaning of Christ on the way to Damascus some twenty years before ( Gal 1:15-16; Acts 9:1-22).

8 [12-16] To be taken possession of by Christ does not mean that one has already arrived at perfect spiritual maturity. Paul and the Philippians instead press on, trusting in God.

9 [12] Attained perfect maturity: possibly an echo of the concept in the mystery religions of being an initiate, admitted to divine secrets.

10 [16] Some manuscripts add, probably to explain Paul’s cryptic phrase, «thinking alike.»

11 [17-21] Paul and those who live a life centered in Christ, envisaging both his suffering and resurrection, provide a model that is the opposite of opponents who reject Christ’s cross (cf 1 Cor 1:23).

12 [17] Being imitators of me: not arrogance, but humble simplicity, since all his converts know that Paul is wholly dedicated to imitating Christ ( 1 Cor 11:1; cf also Philippians 4:9; 1 Thes 1:6; 2 Thes 3:7, 9; 1 Cor 4:6).

13 [20] Citizenship: Christians constitute a colony of heaven, as Philippi was a colonia of Rome ( Acts 16:12). The hope Paul expresses involves the final coming of Christ, not a status already attained, such as the opponents claim.