A Commentary on Philippians 2:6

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Eugene Shubert
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A Commentary on Philippians 2:6

Post by Eugene Shubert » Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:45 pm

God didn't think it robbery to be equal to Himself

It seems that many Trinitarian translators have a difficulty understanding Philippians 2:6. Here are a few reasonable translations of Philippians 2:6:

New English Bible (NEB)
For the divine nature was his from the first; yet he did not think to snatch at equality with God

New American Standard Bible
who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,

NET Bible
who though he existed in the form of God did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped,

Berean Literal Bible
Who, existing in the form of God, did not consider to be equal with God something to be grasped,

New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped.

English Standard Version (ESV)
who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,

Modern English Version (MEV)
who, being in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped.

Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)
Who, though existing in the demut of the mode of being of Elohim [His etzem or essential nature], nevertheless Moshiach did not regard being equal with G-d as a thing to be seized,

Young's Literal Translation
who, being in the form of God, thought not robbery to be equal to God,


The meaning of Philippians 2:6 depends on understanding two things: the phrase "the form of God" and the Greek word harpagmos (translated, robbery).

The word translated form is morphe (pronounced mor-fay'). It occurs only in three places in the New Testament and in each place is rendered form (Mark 16:12; Philippians 2:6-7). In Mark it is applied to the form which Jesus assumed after his resurrection, and in which he appeared to two of his disciples on his way to Emmaus. "After that he appeared in another form unto two of them." This "form" was so unlike his usual appearance, that they did not know him. The word properly means 1. the form by which a person or thing strikes the vision; 2. external appearance. The word form does not suggest that the appearance is the true revelation of the object itself. The form merely participates in the reality.

Confessing Millerite Adventists believe that Christ is a divine and infinite Being having the form of God, and all the essential qualities of God, and yet not exactly God in the fullest sense possible. Here is the scholarly support:

The Septuagint makes use of the term morphe in such passages as Judges 8:18, where it describes Gideon's brothers as having the "form" of princes. And in Isaiah 44:13 where the craftsman is described as making idols in the "form" of a man. Clearly, an idol in the "form" of a man is not equally great as a man. True exegesis reaches this irrefutable conclusion: "The form of something" refers to appearance, likeness and similarity. It is never a reference to exact equality.

Now consider harpagmos. The basic idea of the word ([Greek: harpagmos] in Philp. 2:6) is that of seizing what one does not possess. —F. F. Bruce, Answers to Questions, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1972, p. 109.

Let's make use of both of these impressive summations and translate the essential meaning of Philippians 2:6.

"Christ, who was nearly God, did not think of grasping at equality with God."

If you think about it, every Trinitarian translation of this verse that attempts to be literal is empty of content. See KJV and NKJV. It is nonsense to translate Philippians 2:6 to mean God didn't think it robbery to be equal to Himself.

Zog Has-fallen
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Re: A Commentary on Colossians 2:9

Post by Zog Has-fallen » Wed Jul 09, 2014 10:39 am

Colossians 2:9
"For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form."


'Deity' in Colossians 2:9 of the NASB (and Godhead in the KJV) is a translation of the Greek theotees, which is "an abstract noun for theos," the usual Greek word translated 'God.' (Greek-English Lexicon, Bauer, Arndt, Gingrich). "An abstract noun is one indicating a quality, as goodness, beauty." (Funk and Wagnalls Standard Dictionary, International Edition).

So the Son of God possesses all the fullness of the Father's qualities. This Confessing Millerite Adventist theology on Christ's qualities sounds virtually identical to William Barclay's commentary on John 1:1.

William Barclay wrote:

Finally John says that "The Word was God". There is no doubt that this is a difficult saying for us to understand, and it is difficult because Greek, in which John wrote, had a different way of saying things from the way in which English speaks. When the Greek uses a noun it almost always uses the definite article with it. The Greek for God is `theos', and the definite article is `ho'. When Greek speaks about God it does not simply say `theos'; it says `ho theos'. Now, when Greek does not use the definite article with a noun that noun becomes much more like an adjective; it describes the character, the quality of the person. John did not say that the Word was `ho theos'; that would have been to say that the Word was identical with God; he says that the Word was `theos' --without the definite article-- which means that the Word was, as we might say, of the very same character and quality and essence and being as God. When John said `The Word was God' he was not saying that Jesus is identical with God; he was saying that Jesus is so perfectly the same as God in mind, in heart, in being that in Jesus we perfectly see what God is like. --The Daily Study Bible --The Gospel of John vol.1 III. [Revised Edition ISBN 0-664-21304-9]

Zog Has-fallen
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The essence of the infinite

Post by Zog Has-fallen » Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:00 pm

The Father may be greater in function/office but not in essence.
The essence of anything infinite is infinity. However, it remains that the Father ranks above the Son by a greater infinity. Please permit me to express my theology with a simpler example. Confessing Millerite Adventists believe that the Son has an infinite understanding and only knows the present and the past and everything that the Father has revealed to Him with perfect exactness. So the Father is Omniscient but the Son is not. The Scriptural evidence for this doctrine is Revelation 1:1. There, the Father has reportedly given the resurrected Christ a vision of the future to give to the Apostle John.

Shubee
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Faith in one God the Father, not in one God the Trinity

Post by Shubee » Sat Jul 19, 2014 11:39 am

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Zog Has-fallen
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We believe in one God the Father, not in one God the Trinity

Post by Zog Has-fallen » Tue Jul 29, 2014 2:27 pm

This one verse should be sufficient proof that the Father outranks the Son:

Romans 15:6
so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.


The Father is always mentioned as having the greatest rank. See Where Does Christ Rank in the Godhead.

Romans 7:25
Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

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