To the Philippians
(1.1) Paul and Timothy, slaves of none but the one true representative of God, the State-executed but divinely vindicated and resurrected terrorist, Jesus, to all those who have set themselves apart to join this movement — being in Philippi with an established counter-government.
(1.2) Grace to you and peace from God who now embraces and cares for us all — we, who are rejected by authorities who claim to be our fathers (yet who abandon us to poverty and misery and the laws of the occupiers, all the while telling us that we should be grateful that our so-called immorality has not made our situation worse than it is!) — and the State-executed but resurrected terrorist, Jesus, who is now the one true divinely elected representative of us all.
(1.3) I thank my God with every remembrance of you, and (1.4) always make joyful supplications on your behalf, with every supplication that I make (1.5) in view of your active and ongoing participation in this movement which embodies the good news of Jesus’ victory over all the powers of Sin and Death which are so prominently expressed in the terrain, the laws, the charity, the boundaries, the representatives and the “fathers” of our “fatherlands.” From the beginning until now you have actively participated in spreading this movement and this good news and (1.6) I am confident that the one who began this good (albeit illegal) work in you will continue to bring it to completion until the day of our representative and liberator, Jesus.
(1.7) It is just and right for me to think this on behalf of you all because you have me in your heart, for you all participate in my grace, both in my bonds — as I am now imprisoned as one who has gone throughout the Empire and established assemblies (what they take to be “terror cells”) in many of the major cities in the East — and in the defense and vindication of the good news. (1.8) For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the love of the one true divinely elected representative of us all, Jesus. (1.9) And this I pray, that your love may ever increase in deeper knowledge and all perception, (1.10) so that you may be able to approve superior things — for how we have learned that those things that we have been taught to think of as superior (things like laws and charity and fathers and rulers and philanthropists), are actually inferior and how hard it is to shake this way of thinking now — and that you may be undefiled (by participation in any of those things that the world of the empire takes to be “superior”) and without blame (by refusing to participate in those practices that the world of the empire takes to be “superior”) in the day of our representative and liberator, (1.11) having been filled with the fruit of justice through Jesus our representative and liberator to the glory and praise of God.
(1.12) I want you to know, beloved siblings, that what has happened to me has actually advanced the good news, (1.13) as it has become known throughout the whole entire military-political complex where I am imprisoned and to everyone else that my (State and law sanctioned) imprisonment is for a liberator who was also imprisoned, and even killed, at the behest of both State and law; (1.14) furthermore, many other members of our movement have become confident because of my bonds and are more willing to dare to speak fearlessly about the seditious content of our speech and our lives.
(1.15) Some make this proclamation, a proclamation made be those who act as official heralds of our representative and liberator (a surprising king over all kings!) out of envy and strife but some make it with good intentions. (1.16) These proclaim our representative and liberator out of love, knowing that I have been appointed to defend the counter-imperial and counter-intuitive good news; (1.17) the others make proclamations about our representative and liberator out of a sense of rivalry, not purely (they are defiled by their acceptance of and participation within notions and practices of “superiority” that we have already rejected) hoping to stir up trouble as I am in bonds (perhaps they believe that the authorities will be more eager to execute me if they catch on to the full content of what we are saying and doing and the full scope of our movement?). (1.18) But what does it matter? In every way, whether in pretense or in truth, our representative and liberator is proclaimed, and in this I rejoice.
And I will continue to rejoice, (1.19) for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your supplications and the bountiful supply of the spirit of Jesus, the state-executed by divinely vindicated and resurrected terrorist. (1.20) It is my earnest expectation and hope that I will not be put to shame but with all courage as always even now our representative and liberator will be magnified in my body, whether through life or through death (which means, of course, that I will continue to embrace shame as honour and the shameful as honourable!). (1.21) For to me, to live is the representative and liberator — to know him and to imitate him — and to die is gain — for then my imitation will be complete and I will be able to expect the same divine vindication that he received. (1.22) If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labour for me — continuing to build this movement — and I do not know which I prefer. (1.23) I am hard pressed from both sides, my desire is to depart and be with our representative and liberator, for that is much better; (1.24) but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you and for the movement as a whole. (1.25) Since I have been persuaded of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, so that you may progress in joyful faithfulness (even if that is a faithfulness unto death at the hands of the Powers), (1.26) and that you may boast again in Jesus, our representative and liberator, when I am present with you once again.
(1.27) Only live your life in a manner that is worthy of the good news of the victory won by our representative and liberator — which means embodying socioeconomic and theopolitical practices and relationships that are opposed to the practices and relationships that ended up producing the legal execution of our Lord — so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear things concerning you, you are standing firmly in the spirit of solidarity, with one psyche, wrestling and waging war for the embodied content of the good news (1.28) and not being frightened in anything by your opponents (who all too often have wealth and power and even the law on their sides!), for their opposition to you is a proof of their destruction (as enemies of the God who vindicated and raised our representative and liberator, Jesus) and it is also proof of your salvation (as you faithfully follow in the trajectory established by Jesus). This is God’s doing. (1.29) Because to you it was given, on behalf of our representative and liberator, not only to have faith in him, but also to suffer on his behalf (1.30) since you are having the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I still have — that is to say, since you, too, are now being treated as terrorists and threats the the very grounds of civilization.
To the Philippians