In a continuation of the questions regarding the context of the Christ hymn
note that word order is not particularly important in Greek, so what is often
v. 7 but laid aside (aorist) himself, taking the form of a servant, in the
likeness of men being born, even being found in bearing as a man...
Note, inclusive language here could be used (in the likeness of
humanity... in bearing as a person)
could be rendered:
but in the likeness of men being born, even in bearing being found as a man,
began to (inceptive aorist) lay aside himself, taking the form of a servant.
Note, inclusive language could not be used here, because it would
eliminate the contrast Paul is (might be) drawing between the rights and
privileges of manhood (the Adamic image of God) with the (non) rights and
privileges of a servant.
The first instance suggests the possibility of a pre-existent godly
state of Christ assuming a human (not exactly godly) state, while the second
supposes a man, being born among (real) men in the image of God (with all
attending rights and privileges), surrendering that stature to assume the form
of a servant (willingly and voluntarily).
Now, is there any grammatical reason why it couldn't be rendered as the
second form? I understand there are certainly theological implications of
either translation, but I'm asking if the second instance is grammatically
A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanging;
it is the skin of living thought and changes from day
to day as does the air around us. - Oliver Wendell Holmes