μορφή as favor

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Dmitriy Reznik
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μορφή as favor

Post by Dmitriy Reznik » February 21st, 2014, 10:57 pm

Dear experts,

I was just reading an article on μορφή in Moulton&Milligan, and noticed a meaning of this work which was new for me, i.e. "favor". And they give an example from papyri where this word was used together with "grace": Χάρις καὶ μορφή. I wondered if this meaning can shed some light for me to understand the phrase "in the form of G-d" in Philippians 2:6, so I searched for this word in the Septuagint Concordance, and found exactly the same combination in Tob 1:13:
καὶ ἔδωκεν ὁ ῞Υψιστος χάριν καὶ μορφὴν ἐνώπιον ᾿Ενεμεσσάρου, καὶ ἤμην αὐτοῦ ἀγοραστής·
And the most High gave me grace and favour before Enemessar, so that I was his purveyor.
But I did not find such a meaning in any lexicons that I have access to besides MM. Could you please give me any material on this?

Thanks,

Dmitriy
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Stephen Hughes
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μορφή as an attraction for favour to be shown to

Post by Stephen Hughes » February 22nd, 2014, 10:44 am

While the experts are preparing to answer your question, let me cut their queue for a moment and tell you a few of my simple thoughts that might help you find a direction to pursue with the "understanding" part of your enquiry.

As you will no doubt have noticed, the meanings of χάρις and μόρφη seem to be in relation to each other in a " to" / "from" relationship. What the Most High has done has resulted in that Shalmaneser has good feelings towards Tobias. χάρις is like "from" - from himself Shalmaneser wants to give someting good., while μόρφη is like "to" - Tobias seems to be the person to whom Shalmaneser should direct his generousity. You will also have noticed that that is different from the Apostle's χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη (1Corinthians 1:1 et passim) which is like "from" (χάρις - God wants to bless us) and "context" / "general setting" (εἰρήνη - the un-struggling calmness within which the blessing will take place).

μόρφη from the point of view of what it is is "form", from the point of view of how people react to that form could be "favour". Probably Phillipians 2:6 could possibly have both the existential meaning of "form" and the relational meaning of "favour".

As for the other parts of speech, the verb μορφοῦν has a generally good connotation, and means form into a good shape, form into something balanced and well-formed - the type of thing that people will praise or pay attention to.

Just as χάρις has moved from "gift" to the "feeling of giving", so μόρφη has moved from the "(well-made) form" to "the feelings evoked when looking at something well-formed"
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Ken M. Penner
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Re: μορφή as favor

Post by Ken M. Penner » February 22nd, 2014, 12:00 pm

Muraoka, GELS wrote: μορφή, ής. f.
1. shape, form·, ἀνδρός Is 44.13; ὡς εἶδος ~ῆς
υἱῶν βασιλέων 'having the features of princes' Jd
8.18A; almost = 'body,' + ψυχή 4M 15.4.
2. a way sth or sbd looks, 'appearance': ἡ μ. τοῦ
προσώπου αὐτοῦ ἠλλοιώθη 'the appearance of his
face changed' Da 3.19 LXX (TH: ὄψις).
*3. favourable estimation on the part of sbd else:
χάρις καὶ μ. 'favour and good standing' To 1.13.
Cf. εἶδος, εἰκών, ἰδέα, ὄψις, ἄμορφος, ῥυθμός,
σχῆμα: Schmidt 4.349-54; Trench 262-6; Wallace;
Behm, TDNT 4.742-6; Spicq 1973; ibid. 2.52-5.
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Ken M. Penner
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Dmitriy Reznik
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Re: μορφή as favor

Post by Dmitriy Reznik » February 22nd, 2014, 11:08 pm

Thanks Stephen. It is an interesting thought about from/to, and I have to admit that I would never notice it on my own.

Thanks to you too, Ken. Does the fact that the LXX lexicon gives "favor" as one of the meanings of the word μορφή, while New Testament lexicons do not mention it, mean that the whole world believes the aforementioned meaning of the word not to be present in the New Testament? And specifically, that nobody believes that Jesus' existence "in the form of G-d" may mean "having G-d's favor"?


Thank you very much again,

Dmitriy
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: μορφή as favor

Post by Barry Hofstetter » February 23rd, 2014, 11:07 am

Dmitriy Reznik wrote:Thanks Stephen. It is an interesting thought about from/to, and I have to admit that I would never notice it on my own.

Thanks to you too, Ken. Does the fact that the LXX lexicon gives "favor" as one of the meanings of the word μορφή, while New Testament lexicons do not mention it, mean that the whole world believes the aforementioned meaning of the word not to be present in the New Testament? And specifically, that nobody believes that Jesus' existence "in the form of G-d" may mean "having G-d's favor"?


Thank you very much again,

Dmitriy
It simply means that the editors of the those lexicons didn't find the usage attested in their corpora. BDAG does not list it, neither does the LSJ. M&M do, citing Tobit 1:13 and a few parallels in the papyri. I don't see the usage of "favor" (apparently "looking good" hence being treated favorably) fitting the context at all in Phil 2.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

timothy_p_mcmahon
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Re: μορφή as favor

Post by timothy_p_mcmahon » February 23rd, 2014, 3:38 pm

Dmitriy:

I find your proposal intriguing and might be amenable to the μορφη θεου meaning 'God's favor' — but what, then, would be the sense of the parallel μορφην δουλου? A 'slave's favor'?
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Dmitriy Reznik
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Re: μορφή as favor

Post by Dmitriy Reznik » February 23rd, 2014, 4:57 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote: It simply means that the editors of the those lexicons didn't find the usage attested in their corpora. BDAG does not list it, neither does the LSJ. M&M do, citing Tobit 1:13 and a few parallels in the papyri. I don't see the usage of "favor" (apparently "looking good" hence being treated favorably) fitting the context at all in Phil 2.
Thanks Barry,
I am not insisting on the idea. The meaning of being "in form of G-d" has always been obscure to me, and when I suddenly found a meaning that was new to me, I thought maybe it could fit, as I have not seen yet any explanation that would definitely fit the context and all.
timothy_p_mcmahon wrote:Dmitriy:

I find your proposal intriguing and might be amenable to the μορφη θεου meaning 'God's favor' — but what, then, would be the sense of the parallel μορφην δουλου? A 'slave's favor'?
Timothy,

Of course not a "slave's favor". I thought maybe it could be kind of a word play, where the Messiah was favored by G-d before He took a form of a slave, thus the word would have different meanings.
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Ken M. Penner
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Re: μορφή as favor

Post by Ken M. Penner » February 23rd, 2014, 5:57 pm

Muraoka, GELS wrote: Schmidt 4.349-54; Trench 262-6; Wallace;
Behm, TDNT 4.742-6; Spicq 1973; ibid. 2.52-5.
The secondary literature cited:
J.H. Heinrich Schmidt, Synonymik der griechischen Sprache, 4 vols. (Leipzig, 1876-86).
R.C. Trench, Synonyms of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, 1953 [= repr. of (London, 1880)]).
D.H. Wallace, "A note on μορφή," Theologische Zeitschrift 22(1966):19-25.
C. Spicq, "Note sur μορφή dans les papyrus et quelques inscriptions," RB 80(1973):37-45.
C. Spicq, Theological Lexicon of the New Testament, 3 vols., ET J.D. Ernest (Peabody, Mass., 1994), tr. of Lexique theologique du Nouveau Testament (Paris, 1991).
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Ken M. Penner
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Ken M. Penner
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Re: μορφή as favor

Post by Ken M. Penner » February 24th, 2014, 11:30 am

This is from TDNT 4:743:
Behm wrote:b. Fig. “goodpleasure,” Tob. 1:13: καὶ ἔδωκεν ὁ ὕψιστος χάριν καὶ μορφὴν ἐνώπιον Ενεμεσσαρου, Wilcken Ptol., 33, 8 ff.: δο͂ͅ σοι ὁ Σάραπις καὶ ἡ Ἐ̓͂σις ἐπαφροδοσίαν χάρειν μορφὴν πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα καὶ τὴν βασίλισσαν etc. The term can also take on another sense in Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom., XIV, 15: κατά τε μορφὰς (“gestures,” “miming”) καὶ φωνάς. c. It can also be used generally for “kind,” “manner,” Eur. Ion, 381 f.: πολλαί γε πολλοῖς εἰσι συμφοραὶ βροτῶν, μορφαὶ δὲ διαφέρουσιν, ibid., 1067: ἄλλας βιότου μορφάς, Plat. Resp., III, 397c: A specific mode of delivery has at its command παντοδαπὰς μορφὰς τῶν μεταβολῶν (kinds of alterations).
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Ken M. Penner
St. Francis Xavier University

Dmitriy Reznik
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Re: μορφή as favor

Post by Dmitriy Reznik » February 24th, 2014, 11:44 am

Behm wrote:b. Fig. “goodpleasure,” Tob. 1:13: καὶ ἔδωκεν ὁ ὕψιστος χάριν καὶ μορφὴν ἐνώπιον Ενεμεσσαρου
So based on this, can't Phil 2:6 refer to "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." (Mat 3:17)?
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