Your responses on Phil 3:10

From: Eric Weiss (
Date: Thu Jun 13 1996 - 09:10:15 EDT

Thank you very much for your responses.

I have a book/spiral-bound xerox (I forget the author) which is a commentary
on the Prison Epistles, it's main usefulness being that the author
grammatically diagrams (in the Greek) every word in the texts. I looked at
it AFTER I posted my query and found that he links SUMMORPHIZOMENOS with the
hINA CHRISTON KERDHSW at the end of 3:8. I have problems with that because
SUMMORPHetc. occurs so far from KERDHSW and if he's doing it because it's a
finite verb and he wants to link the particple with a finite verb, there's a
later one (hEUREQW--3:9) that's closer to SUMMORPHetc., though only a couple
words closer. But I don't have enough training/learning (just 2 yrs. NT
Greek and no Classical Greek) to know if that perception is valid. If
nothing else, his book, along with your responses, has expanded the ways I'm
looking at this passage in terms of relating the words to try to understand
what Paul is saying.

It is a remarkable passage, and as I read and re-read it, I feel like I'm
swimming in deep waters and catching glimpses of things that are at present
beyond my comprehension but fascinating--sites and insights things beautiful
and mysterious. I use the water image because I haven't yet found a place to
stand from which to survey the passage and grasp it--every time I look at it
and try to link words and concepts, or try to fit it together, I see
something new--or I read responses like yours and say, "hmmm...let me look at
it this way." It doesn't help that SUMMORPHIZOMENOS is so ambiguous in terms
of what it's modifying or how it is to be grammatically related to the rest
of the passage or that it totally changes things if it's taken as a passive
instead of a reflexive; nor does it help that EXANASTASIN is a hapax
legomenon as far as the NT is concerned; and it certainly doesn't help that
EXANASTASIN THN EK NEKRWN--"the out-of-[the]-dead-ones out-resurrection" as
I'd literally translate it--it's not the normal or usual construction of
"resurrection of the dead" as found elsewhere in the NT (I may be reading too
much into the repetition of the article and the repetion of the preposition
EX/EK, however--again, my lack of training may cause me to focus on things
that aren't significant). And if this last phrase is indeed unusual, is Paul
talking about the future resurrection of the dead or about a present
experience, a spiritual resurrection from the "dead" (that is, those who are
spiritually ignorant because they haven't attained the TOU GNWNAI AUTON--I
think the Amplified Bible views it this way)? Obviously you both have
considered these things, but it's new to me and exciting. And if I hadn't
taken Greek, I don't think I'd ever have seen or understood the ways this
passage can be interpreted.

Again, thank you for your comments. I guess I'll do a little library or
bookstore browsing of commentaries on Philippians, though I don't know if
I'll find too many that try to fit these sentences into the context of the
entire passage, indeed the entire book. The use of TOUTO PHRONWMEN in 3:15
might hearken back to the TOUTO PHRONEITE of 2:5 where Paul begins writing
about CHRISTOS and MORFH and his QANATOS on/of a cross and his subsequent
hUPERUPSOW (resurrection? out-resurrection?)--themes that are prominent in


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