2:1 For you yourselves know, brothers and sisters, 1 about our coming to you – it has not proven to be purposeless. 2 2:2 But although we suffered earlier and were mistreated in Philippi, 3 as you know, we had the courage in our God to declare to you the gospel of God 4 in spite of much opposition. 2:3 For the appeal we make 5 does not come 6 from error or impurity or with deceit, 2:4 but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we declare it, not to please people but God, who examines our hearts. 2:5 For we never appeared 7 with flattering speech, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed – God is our witness – 2:6 nor to seek glory from people, either from you or from others, 2:7 8 although we could have imposed our weight as apostles of Christ; instead we became 9 little children 10 among you. Like a nursing mother caring for her own children, 2:8 with such affection for you 11 we were happy 12 to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us. 2:9 For you recall, brothers and sisters, 13 our toil and drudgery: By working night and day so as not to impose a burden on any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God. 2:10 You are witnesses, and so is God, as to how holy and righteous and blameless our conduct was toward you who believe. 2:11 As you know, we treated each one of you as a father treats his own children, 2:12 exhorting and encouraging you and insisting that you live in a way worthy of God who calls you to his own kingdom and his glory. 2:13 And so 14 we too constantly thank God that when you received God’s message that you heard from us, 15 you accepted it not as a human message, 16 but as it truly is, God’s message, which is at work among you who believe. 2:14 For you became imitators, brothers and sisters, 17 of God’s churches in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, because you too suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they in fact did from the Jews, 2:15 who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets 18 and persecuted us severely. 19 They are displeasing to God and are opposed to all people, 2:16 because they hinder us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. Thus they constantly fill up their measure of sins, 20 but wrath 21 has come upon them completely. 22
2:17 But when we were separated from you, brothers and sisters, 23 for a short time (in presence, not in affection) 24 we became all the more fervent in our great desire 25 to see you in person. 26 2:18 For we wanted to come to you (I, Paul, in fact tried again and again) 27 but Satan thwarted us. 2:19 For who is our hope or joy or crown to boast of 28 before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not of course you? 2:20 For you are our glory and joy!
[2:1] 2 tn Grk “has not become empty.” Paul is defending himself against the charge that he lacked earnestness and personal concern for them, but appeared in their city out of greed or egotism. In his defense he appeals to what they recall of his ministry and what has become of it since he left, all of which demonstrates his God-given earnestness and effectiveness.
[2:2] 4 tn The genitive in the phrase τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τοῦ θεοῦ (to euangelion tou qeou, “the gospel of God”) could be translated as either a subjective genitive (“the gospel which God brings”) or an objective genitive (“the gospel about God”). Either is grammatically possible. This is possibly an instance of a plenary genitive (see ExSyn 119-21; M. Zerwick, Biblical Greek, §§36-39). If so, an interplay between the two concepts is intended: The gospel which God brings is in fact the gospel about himself. This same phrase occurs in vv. 8 and 9 as well.
[2:3] 5 tn Grk “For our exhortation.” Paul here uses παράκλησις (paraklhsis) to speak in broad terms about his preaching of the gospel, in which he urges or appeals to people to respond to God’s salvation (cf. the verb form παρακαλοῦντος [parakalounto"] in 2 Cor 5:20).
[2:7] 8 tn Punctuating vv. 6 and 7 is difficult. One must consider the difficult textual problem of v. 7 (see tc note on the word “children” in that verse) as well as the grammar of the verse. In the translation above, “little children” is understood to be a predicate nominative connected to the verb “became.” This allows a full stop to be placed at the end of v. 6 and before the phrase “like a nursing mother” in v. 7. This separates the two metaphors which impact the textual problem and allows for greater clarity in the way the sentence is read.
[2:7] 10 tc The variant ἤπιοι (hpioi, “gentle”) has fair support (א2 A C2 D2 Ψc 0278 33 1739 1881 Ï), but νήπιοι (nhpioi, “little children”) has significantly stronger backing (Ì65 א* B C* D* F G I Ψ* pc it bo). It is not insignificant that the earliest Alexandrian and Western witnesses in support of ἤπιοι are actually not Alexandrian or Western; they are the second correctors of Alexandrian and Western
[2:13] 14 tn Grk “for this reason,” which seems to look back to Paul’s behavior just described. But it may look forward to v. 13b and mean: “and here is another reason that we constantly thank God: that…”
[2:15] 18 tc ἰδίους (idious, “their own prophets”) is found in D1 Ψ Ï sy McionT. This is obviously a secondary reading. Marcion’s influence may stand behind part of the tradition, but the Byzantine text probably added the adjective in light of its mention in v. 14 and as a clarification or interpretation of which prophets were in view.
[2:16] 21 tc The Western text (D F G latt) adds τοῦ θεοῦ (tou qeou) to ὀργή (orgh) to read “the wrath of God,” in emulation of the normal Pauline idiom (cf., e.g., Rom 1:18; Eph 5:6; Col 3:6) and, most likely, to clarify which wrath is in view (since ὀργή is articular).
[2:18] 27 tn Or “several times”; Grk, “both once and twice.” The literal expression “once and twice” is frequently used as a Greek idiom referring to an indefinite low number, but more than once (“several times”); see L&N 60.70.
[2:19] 28 sn Crown to boast of (Grk “crown of boasting”). Paul uses boasting or exultation to describe the Christian’s delight in being commended for faithful service by the Lord at his return (1 Cor 9:15-16; 2 Cor 1:12-14; 10:13-18; Phil 2:16; and 1 Cor 3:14; 4:5).