Meaning of Philippians 2:6- MORFH and hARPAGMOS

From: Kyle Dillon (
Date: Mon Oct 26 1998 - 18:27:43 EST

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<DIV><FONT color=#000000 size=2>What exactly is the meaning of Philippians 2:6?
The Greek text reads:</FONT></DIV>
hHGHSATO </FONT><FONT color=#000000 size=2>TO EINAI ISA QEWi</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=#000000 size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>The KJV translates hUPARCWN as a causal participle (although
it seems much more likely that it functions as a concessive participle in the
context), and therefore hARPAGMON is translated &quot;robbery.&quot; But this
doesn't seem to be in line with the definition of hARPAGMOS. hARPAGMA, a related
form, is defined as &quot;prey,&quot; or &quot;that which has been siezed&quot;
(which is in line with the derivative hARPAZW, &quot;to sieze&quot;). Some have
suggested that the ending -MOS, as opposed to -MA, refers to the act rather than
the result (that is, hARPAGMOS would mean, as the NWT has, &quot;siezure&quot;
or &quot;that which is to be siezed&quot;). But I have heard of a reference to a
work of Plutarch, where hARPAGMOS is used in reference to the conquests of
Alexander the Great and carries the meaning of &quot;booty,&quot; &quot;spoil of
war,&quot; or &quot;something that is exploited or abused.&quot; Does anyone
know of this reference, or even any extra-biblical reference to hARPAGMOS that
could determine the exact meaning of this word?</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>The NIV translates MORFHi as &quot;nature&quot; instead of the
traditional &quot;form.&quot; What exactly does MORFH mean? It would seem that
the best translation of this verse is &quot;Who, although existing in God's
form, did not consider equality with God something to be siezed (or
&quot;exploited,&quot; depending on the meaning of hARPAGMON).&quot; Does this
translation accurately convey the meaning of the text?</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>Kyle Dillon</FONT></DIV></BODY></HTML>


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