Philippians 2:6

From: Jeffrey B. Gibson (
Date: Fri Jun 25 1999 - 20:50:45 EDT

Linda Gray wrote:

> Hello,
> In my reading of an interlinear version of the "new testament", I was
> reading Phillipians and I came upon a stumbling block that I have yet
> remove. I am sure that it has been discused before, but I wish to ask
> one question.
> Can Phillipians 2:6 be read as: "who, existing in the form of God, he
> not consider fighting to be equal to God."
> Or maybe: who, existing in the form of God, he did not consider
> to be equal to God."
> Your help would be welcomed, since I really don't want to move on
until I
> get this verse resolved.

I think the closest anyone has come to getting this right is Tom Wright
who notes
that Philip 2:6 should be translated as:

Who, though he was in the form of God,
Did not regard his equality with God as something to take advantage of,

Moreover, if I may add a hermeneutical comment about the importance of
this verse, it
is not because of anything it does or does not say with respect to the
vexed question
of whether the NT calls Jesus "god", but because it provides a model of
with regard to power that Christian are to emulate. Further, I wonder
how much the
interpretation of the function of the exhortation is determined by a
conscious anti
typology being carried out by Paul against what his Philippian readers
were aware of
regarding what the divine Caesar proclaimed in word and deed should be
done with
one's divine status?


Jeffrey Gibson

Jeffrey B. Gibson
7423 N. Sheridan Road #2A
Chicago, Illinois 60626

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