From: Mike Phillips (
Date: Thu Jun 13 1996 - 09:30:33 EDT

> From: "Cepuch, Pete (AZ15)" <>, on 6/12/96
10:33 PM:
>> part of the progression:
> v3-the circumcision-the-ones-worshipping by spirit of God, not
> in flesh trusting....
> v4-8 Paul's own experience trusting in the flesh(his fleshly
> credentials-as it were-which are quite impressive)
> v8-considers these loss, even SKUBALA(garbage)so that he might
> gain Christ,
> v9-not having the righteousness(justification)out of torah BUT
> through(dia)the faith of Christ(there it is again-in context
> I think this justification is a gift to believers through
> HIS faith(faithfulness)not ours),
> v10-12 -i.e. the justification from God (based-upon-epi)the faith,
> to KNOW HIM(he being alive-risen)and the POWER of HIS
> --------ressurection, fellowship of his sufferings, jointly-conformed
> to his death....the out-ressurection....etc.

        Does the allusion to Torah (or even nomos) occur in the text? If not,
one might just as easily construe Paul as lamenting his former vehemence as a
disciple of Gamaliel, i.e., a particular brand of Judaism(s) among many, one of
which may be (for Paul) Christianity (as he was in the midst of comprehending
it). Obviously the question is loaded, but not with any intent to disrupt so
much as to clarify -- is this portion exegesis or extrapolation based upon
historical views of Paul that are being viewed at present with different
questions in mind? I know this question can go a lot of ways, but can we limit
it to the Greek at hand, i.e., Philippians. I am asking what level of
ambiguity exists in the text itself surrounding what Paul is speaking to (not
to mention, to whom).

> The progression goes on from there as Paul states that he hasn't laid hold
> of it yet, but he is pursuing "if even I might lay-hold
> (katalabw)upon which I was laid-hold by Christ Jesus". The progression goes
> on as he forgets the things behind and stretches forward according to
> goal(skopon-mark)he pursues upon the prize of
> the high calling(or above calling)of God in Christ Jesus etc.
> V15 as many as(are)complete(teleioi-perfect,mature)this-thing let us
> think(set to exercise the mind-phronomen)....
> The final verses of this chapter continue on the progression of being
> joint-imitators of Paul(v17), Paul as the type(tupon)v18--the enemies of the
> cross of Christ(not the enemies of Christ, but the enemies
> of the cross)and the believer's heavenly citizenship(commonwealth)etc.
> So, indeed, it would seem that Paul is talking of reality, here, and
> how PROGRESS can be made--here in this life now-----
> pete cepuch
> From:
> To:
> Cc:
> Subject: Re: SUMMORPHIZOMENOS (Phil 3:10)
> Date: Wednesday, June 12, 1996 8:28PM
> "Well", he said to himself when first he saw this 'innocent' little
> query,
> "here's grist for somebody's mill!" And behold! Hours have passed since its
> posting and no one has yet responded. But this is so much more than a
> grammar problem, for all that it begins as one. It goes to the very heart
> of Paul's understanding of Christian religious experience. And surely
> nobody is going to argue that GINWSKW in this passage refers to
> intellectual understanding or recognition of the truth of a proposition.
> At 9:36 AM -0500 6/12/96, Eric Weiss wrote:
> >Philippians 3:10 SUMMORPHIZOMENOS
> >
> >Depending on which lexicon I check, this is either passive ptc. of
> >SUMMORPHIZW (BAGD, Abbott-Smith) or is from the deponent (I guess)
> >SUMMORPHIZOMAI (Louw-Nida, UBS dictionary), if a -OMAI lexical entry means
> >the verb is deponent. LSJ on Perseus lists it under SUMMORPHIZOMAI and
> calls
> >it passive. Is this participle passive ("being conformed to the likeness
> >of"), middle ("conforming myself to the likeness of") or deponent
> >("conforming [what?] to the likeness of")?
> I would call it middle or (as I am about to decide to do unilaterally)
> rather I would call it "reflexive"--"deponent" means nothing, so far as I
> can tell, but that the grammarian is irked that the verb's morphology
> doesn't follow the pattern of the corresponding verb in his/her own
> language. I would understand Paul here as meaning that he wants to
> participate mystically in the actual death of Jesus as an experience that
> will lead ultimately to participation in his resurrection. The MORFH
> element here ought to be understood, of course, as referring to personal
> mystical assimilation of the death-suffering of Jesus; I don't know whether
> this means that Paul is actually undergoing that exercise of medieval
> mystics like St. Francis of stretching out the arms as if being crucified
> and awaiting the reception of the STIGMATA. I don't know the history of
> that process, but it wouldn't surprise me to learn that this passage is a
> primary source for it. On the other hand, I think there is a sense of
> personally experiencing the pains of the dying Jesus, and I think the
> language here is too strong to be purely analogical or meditative. At any
> rate, I take the sense to be, "bringing myself into essential oneness with
> his death in the endeavor somehow to reach (all the way) to resurrection
> from the dead."
> >Also, if SUMMORPHIZOMENOS is adverbially modifying TOU GVWNAI AUTON ("for
> the
> >purpose that I might know him"), how is it related:
> >
> > Instrumental ("by being conformed to the likeness of his death")?
> >
> > Modal ("in the manner of being conformed to the likeness of his
> > death")?
> >
> > Telic ("for the purpose of being conformed to the likeness of his
> > death -- if [or "so that"] somehow I might attain unto the out-
> > resurrection from the dead").
> >
> > Resultative ("with the result that I am being conformed to the
> > likeness of his death")
> >
> >Or is it just "attendant circumstance" ("and be conformed to the likeness
> of
> >his death")?
> >
> >Are all these possibilities valid?
> I think one has to go all the way back to 3:8 to reconstruct what's going
> on in this very emotional sequence of statements that has been unleashed by
> the thought of Judaizers attempting to bring circumcision and Torah into
> this most beloved of the churches Paul has founded. There is the swaggering
> boast about all that he is by birth and upbringing, then the contemptuous
> renunciation of every ground of pride (I can't help but compare Cassandra
> in Aeschylus' "Agamemnon" stripping off the mantic gown of Apollo and
> trampling it as she denounces the god)--in view of the all-surpassing worth
> of "knowing (GNWSEWS) Christ Jesus my Lord. This is a mystic "knowing"--and
> that expression is followed by the declaration of his sole and ultimate
> restatement of the substance of DIA TO hUPEREXON THS GNWSEWS in 3:8 which
> was then picked up in hINA XRISTON KERDHSW KAI hEUREQW EN AUTWi, and then
> I would understand SUMMORFIZOMENOS in none of the ways you suggested above
> but more simply as TEMPORAL: "to know him and the miracle of his
> resurrection and sharing in his sufferings, as I put myself into the
> pattern of his death ..." I guess you could call this by one of those fancy
> names used to distinguish adverbial participles--but I don't think he's
> saying more or less than that mystical knowledge of Christ means for him
> the experience of participating in the process of his death and
> resurrection: WHEN Paul "knows" Christ, this is HOW he knows him--does
> that make it "modal"? I still think "temporal" is probably a better term
> here, because I think it is important that the participle SUMMORFIZOMENOS
> is in the present tense.
> I read this query this afternoon with interest when I was too busy to
> respond; I see that nobody has picked up on it thus far. It is a
> fascinating passage in many ways, not least in that it is the nearest Paul
> ever comes in expression to something like the mystical participation of
> believers in the fate of the redeemer in the Mystery Cults.
> Carl W. Conrad
> Department of Classics, Washington University
> One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
> (314) 935-4018
> OR
> WWW:

Mike Phillips
Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, Indiana USA (
Hebrew Union College - JIR, Cincinnati, Ohio USA (a grad student)

Content-Type: application/octet-stream; name="ATTRIBS.BND"
Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="ATTRIBS.BND"

Attachment converted: Tacitus:ATTRIBS.BND 1 (????/----) (00034D4B)

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:37:44 EDT