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Christ In Philippians 2


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#1 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 05:15 AM

The whole point of the passage is that we are to have the same mind which Christ had - the same mind, the same 'morphe', the same attitude, the same obedience. In other words, Christ cannot possibly be said here to have anything which we cannot have, since he is being held up as our example of what to be.

Philippians 2:
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:


So it's talking about a mind, not a nature, not a physical essence, not a Divine substance, but a mind. A mind.
Christ gave the ultimate example of humility when he said to his Father, 'Not my will, but Thine, be done.'

Despite the fact that Christ manifested the character of God perfectly, so that whosoever saw Christ saw God (which is precisely what is required of us, but we never manage it perfectly), Christ still did not consider it appropriate to seize at equality with God (which tells us that he never was equal with God), but rather, subjected himself as a servant.

Despite a life of perfect obedience, manifesting the character of God perfectly , Christ did not demand salvation on the basis of works - he knew that salvation cannot be 'earned' in that sense.
Rather, he submitted himself to the will of his Father and God, being an example to us, that we might do the same.

Hence:

Romans 12:
1I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2And be not conformed [or 'absorbed', given the passive mood of the verb] to this world:  but be ye transformed [the word is  'metamorphow' by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.


- We are to live our lives as sacrifices to God, as Christ did.

- We are not to be passively absorbed by the world, that we might look like them.

- We are to present ourselves as reflections of the Divine character, change our appearance (metamorphe - clearly nothing to do with rank here), so that when others look on us, they see God (as per Matthew 5:16).

- This is our reasonable service , a life of subjecting our will to the will of God, just as Christ made himself a servant, and subjected himself to the will of God.

The humility here spoken of in Philippians 2 is the humility Christ showed in serving God rather than himself - precisely the same humility we are to show to others:

Thus:

Romans 15:
2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.
3For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.



#2 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 05:16 AM

Philippians 2:
6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.


- Who, being in the form of God...

Form = morphe - the form by which a person or thing strikes the vision, external appearance. There are other definitions, but these are the principle definitions. Note the absence of 'status', or 'nature', or 'substance', which is how trinitarians so frequently (and entirely unjustifiably), translate this word.

- thought it not robbery to be equal with God...

Robbery = harpagmos - the act of seizing, robbery a thing seized or to be seized, booty to deem anything a prize, a thing to be seized upon or to be held fast, retained.
In other words, something which belongs to someone else, which you do not have, and which you unlawfully take to yourself.

For Christ to have equality with God therefore requires him to unlawfully take to himself something which he does not have.

#3 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 05:16 AM

- But made himself of no reputation...

Of no reputation = kenow - deprive of force, render vain, useless, of no effect, to make void, cause a thing to be seen to be empty, hollow, false. Most commonly translated 'emptied himself', which is perfecly acceptable. He certainly didn't empty himself of equality with God (he didn't have it), or a Divine nature (he didn't have it - the word 'morphe' certainly doesn't mean 'Divine nature'), or of Divine status (he didn't have it - the word 'morphe' certainly doesn't mean 'Divine status').

He emptied himself as Paul emptied himself, and as we are all to empty ourselves - of his own personal pride and will, humbling himself to his God.

#4 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 05:16 AM

- and took upon him the form of a servant...

Form = morphe - the form by which a person or thing strikes the vision, external appearance. There are other definitions, but these are the principle definitions. Note the absence of 'status', or 'nature', or 'substance', which is how trinitarians so frequently (and entirely unjustifiably), translate this word.

#5 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 05:16 AM

- and was made in the likeness of men...

Likeness = homoioma - like to, shared, common, the same. Very good. So he was like to, he shared, and was the same as, mankind. Not God. Excellent, he was a human. Still no suggestion that he was Divine.

#6 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 05:17 AM

- And being found in fashion as a man...

Fashion = schema - the habitus, as comprising everything in a person which strikes the senses, the figure, bearing, discourse, actions, manner of life, form, frame, manner, way.
In other words, he was a man in every way. What the trinitarian needed was this word to be used way back in verse 6. It should have read:

'Who, being in the fashion of God (the habitus, as comprising everything in a person which strikes the senses, the figure, bearing, discourse, actions, manner of life, form, frame, manner, way)...'

But unfortunately, it doesn't. The trinitarian just reads it as if it says that anyway.

So still we find no suggestion that he was Divine in the manner required by the trinitarian.

#7 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 05:17 AM

- he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

No need for translation here. This is precisely the same spirit as is required of us, the 'poor in spirit' of Matthew 5:3 - it's even the same word!

#8 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 05:17 AM

Ok, so I still can't find the bit where it says:

- He had the Divine nature

- He was very God of very God

- He emptied himself of his Divine status (or 'nature', or 'position', or 'glory', or 'equality', depending on which flavour of trinitarian you are)

Where is it? :eek:

#9 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 05:18 AM

The word 'morphe' appears in just two places in the NT, once in Philippians, and once in Mark:

Mark 16:
12After that he {Christ} appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.


The word 'form' there is the word 'morphe'. Now, did Christ have a different outward appearance here, or a different 'position', or 'status' or 'nature'?
Well, we know that he had been raised and immortalised by this stage, so are we now to expect that he ceased to be immortal, and that his nature was changed again into something which was not immortal?

We learn from the parallel record in Luke 24, that on this occasion the disciples didn't recognise Christ, until their eyes were opened later, when he broke bread with them.
Did they fail to recognise him because he had a different 'position' or 'status', of a different appearance? Undoubtedly the latter.

Let's also turn back to Romans 12:

Romans 12:
2And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.


The word 'transformed' here is 'metamorphe', 'to change into another form, to transform, to transfigure'. Thus Liddell and Scott:

metamorph-oô, transform, Gal.19.479; heauton eis ti Ael.VH1.1; disguise, heauton App.BC4.41:--
mostly in Pass., to be transformed, Ep.Rom.12.2, Plu.2.52d, Luc.Asin.11; eis thêriôn idean D.S.4.81; eis Apollôna Ph.2.559; eis ichthun Ath.8.334c; apo doxês eis doxan 2 Ep.Cor.3.18; to be transfigured, Ev.Matt.17.2, etc.


As we might expect, there is no connotation of 'position' or 'status' or 'nature', or 'essence' here, but plenty of references to the outward appearance.
Note the quotes from Scripture, especially the quote from Matthew 17, in which Christ was transfigured. This quote alone ought to tell us that it is the outward appearance which is referred to by the word 'morphe', and not 'status' or 'position', or 'nature', or 'essence'.

So, when Paul tells us to be 'transformed' by the renewing of our minds, he means that we ought to develop a mind (the mind of Christ, in fact), which will result in us appearing a particular way to others. He cannot possibly be referring to 'position', or 'status', or 'nature', or 'essence'. How could it be possible for us to change our own position, or status, or nature, or essence?
Only God can do that.

#10 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 05:18 AM

But can we change our outward appearance, the manner in which we appear to others?
Undoubtedly, and we are commanded to do so. In fact, Christ exhorts us to live in such a manner that when people look at us, they see God:

Matthew 5:
16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.


Everything about the way in which the word 'morphe' was used by the Greeks, and by Scripture, tells us that it refers to outward appearance, rather than 'position', or 'status', or 'nature', or 'essence', as opposed to a subjective and religiously biased definition.

Liddell and Scott:

morph-ê, hê, form, shape, twice in Hom. (not in Hes.), soi d' epi men morphê epeôn thou hast comeliness of words, Hom. Od. 11.367 (cf. Eust. ad loc.); so prob. allos men . . eidos akidnoteros pelei anêr, alla theos morphên epesi stephei God adds a crown of shapeliness to his words, Hom. Od. 8.170: freq. later, morphas duo onomazein Parm.8.53; morphên allaxanta Emp.137.1; morphan brachus Pind. I. 4.53; morphês metra shape and size, Eur. Alc. 1063: periphr., morphês phusis Aesch. Supp. 496; morphês schêma, tupôma, Eur. Ion 992, ti=Eur. Phoen. 162; tên autên tou schêmatos morphên Arist.PA640b34; kai Gaia, pollôn onomatôn m. mia Aesch. PB 212; oneiratôn alinkioi morphaisin IBID=au=Aesch. PB 449; nukterôn phantasmatôn echousi morphas IDEM=A.Fr.312; proupempsen anti philtatês m. spodon Soph. El. 1159; of plants, Thphr.HP1.1.12 (pl.); esp. with ref. to beauty of form, huperphaton morphai Pind. O. 9.65; hois potistaxêi charis euklea m. IBID=au=Pind. O. 6.76, cf. IG42 (au=IG 1).au=IG =lr (Epid., iv B. C.), LXX To.1.13, Vett.Val.1.6, etc.; sôma morphês emês OGI383.41 (Commagene, i B. C.); morphês eikonas IBID=au=OGI 383.27=lr; charaktêra morphês emês IBID=au=OGI 383.60=lr.

2. generally, form, fashion, appearance, Aesch. PB 78, Soph. Trach. 699, ti=Soph. El. 199 (lyr.); outward form, opp. eidos, hekaterô tô eideos pollai m. Philol.5; allattonta to hautou eidos eis pollas morphas Plat. Rep. 380d; m. theôn Xen. Mem. 4.3.13, cf. Ep.Phil.2.6, Dam.Pr.304; hêrôôn eidea kai morphas A.R.4.1193; kata te morphas kai phônas gesticulations and cries, D.H.14.9; tên m. melanchrous, têi m. melichroas, in complexion, Ptol.Tetr.143, au=Ptol. Tetr. 144.

3. kind, sort, Eur. Ion 382, au=Eur. Ion 1068 (lyr.), Plat. Rep. 397c, etc. (Possibly cogn. with Lat. forma for morg&uup;hmā, with f by dissimilation, cf. murmêx .)


Highlighted are the appropriate definitions, supported by the historical uses of these definitions in context. Given that these are the meanings of 'morphe', why do you even bother claiming that it means 'nature'?

#11 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 05:18 AM

So, despite the fact that Christ manifested the character of God perfectly, so that whosoever saw Christ saw God (which is precisely what is required of us, but we never manage it perfectly), Christ still did not consider it appropriate to seize at equality with God (which tells us that he never was equal with God), but rather, subjected himself as a servant.

Despite a life of perfect obedience, manifesting the character of God perfectly , Christ did not demand salvation on the basis of works - he knew that salvation cannot be 'earned' in that sense.

Rather, he submitted himself to the will of his Father and God, being an example to us, that we might do the same.

#12 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 05:19 AM

Hence:

Romans 12:
1I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2And be not conformed [or 'absorbed', given the passive mood of the verb] to this world:  but be ye transformed [the word is  'metamorphow' by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.


- We are to live our lives as sacrifices to God, as Christ did.

- We are not to be passively absorbed by the world, that we might look like them.

- We are to present ourselves as reflections of the Divine character, change our appearance (metamorphe - clearly nothing to do with rank here), so that when others look on us, they see God (as per Matthew 5:16).

- This is our reasonable service , a life of subjecting our will to the will of God, just as Christ made himself a servant, and subjected himself to the will of God.

#13 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 05:19 AM

The Trinitarian Bible Society actually gets rather concerned with this issue:

"Some current modern versions have made an attempt to avoid the problems associated with "emptied himself". The New International Version, the New English Bible, the Revised English Bible, the New Century Version and the New Living Translation have "made himself nothing". Thus they attempt to express the idea of "making void" or "of none effect".
However, the problems associated with the idea of making oneself "nothing" are probably more than those of "emptied himself".(1)

Translating kenow as "emptied himself" introduces problems which liberal, neo-orthodox and conservative commentators have wrestled with for years.

"The pages of commentaries and annotated study Bibles are filled with all manner of heresy and speculation to try to answer this question. If the word "emptied" is used, it must be asked, of what did Jesus empty Himself in order to be able to take "upon him the form of a servant" (Philippians 2.7)?

Various possibilities have been offered. Some say He was emptied of His glory. Others say it was of one or the other of His Godly attributes or abilities, such as divine privileges, divine majesty, divine power and divine nature, riches, His favorable relationship to the divine law, the independent use of His divine prerogatives, His glory or the environment of glory. Some even believe that He emptied Himself completely of His deity or Godhood.

Since these explanations are not to be found in the context of Philippians 2.1-11, the only limit to speculations is the imagination."
(Trinitarian Bible Society)



#14 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 05:20 AM

Just to drive the point home, Here's how the word 'morphe' is used in the LXX:

Judges 8:
18 Then said he unto Zebah and Zalmunna, What manner [MORFH of men were they whom ye slew at Tabor? And they answered, As thou art, so were they; each one resembled the children of a king.

Job 4:
16 It stood still, but I could not discern the form [MORFH] thereof: an image was before mine eyes, there was silence, and I heard a voice, saying,

Daniel 4:
36 At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness [MORFH] returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me.

Daniel 5:
6 Then the king's countenance [MORFH] was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.

9 Then was king Belshazzar greatly troubled, and his countenance [MORFH] was changed in him, and his lords were astonied.

10 Now the queen, by reason of the words of the king and his lords, came into the banquet house: and the queen spake and said, O king, live for ever: let not thy thoughts trouble thee, nor let thy countenance [MORFH] be changed:

Daniel 7:
28 Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance [MORFH] changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.


Very obviously, it refers to outward appearance.

#15 Evangelion

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Posted 29 June 2003 - 10:45 PM

See here for more on Philippians 2.
'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.

#16 Matthew Hawkins_*

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Posted 30 June 2003 - 06:07 AM

Christ gave the ultimate example of humility when he said to his Father, 'Not my will, but Thine, be done.'

Despite the fact that Christ manifested the character of God perfectly, so that whosoever saw Christ saw God (which is precisely what is required of us, but we never manage it perfectly), Christ still did not consider it appropriate to seize at equality with God (which tells us that he never was equal with God), but rather, subjected himself as a servant.

Despite a life of perfect obedience, manifesting the character of God perfectly , Christ did not demand salvation on the basis of works - he knew that salvation cannot be 'earned' in that sense.

Rather, he submitted himself to the will of his Father and God, being an example to us, that we might do the same.

Hence:

QUOTE 
Romans 12:
1I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2And be not conformed [or 'absorbed', given the passive mood of the verb] to this world:  but be ye transformed [the word is  'metamorphow' by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

[...]

- We are to live our lives as sacrifices to God, as Christ did.

- We are not to be passively absorbed by the world, that we might look like them.

- We are to present ourselves as reflections of the Divine character, change our appearance (metamorphe - clearly nothing to do with rank here), so that when others look on us, they see God (as per Matthew 5:16).

- This is our reasonable service , a life of subjecting our will to the will of God, just as Christ made himself a servant, and subjected himself to the will of God.

The humility here spoken of in Philippians 2 is the humility Christ showed in serving God rather than himself - precisely the same humility we are to show to others:

Thus:

QUOTE 
Romans 15:
2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.
3For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.

[...]

He emptied himself as Paul emptied himself, and as we are all to empty ourselves - of his own personal pride and will, humbling himself to his God.

[...]

- he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

No need for translation here. This is precisely the same spirit as is required of us, the 'poor in spirit' of Matthew 5:3 - it's even the same word!


Even when the words, "Do all to the Glory of God" "1 Cor 10:31" should always be up on the front wall in front of everyone at the meeting, as to make everyone see it and make everyone think about it when they are singing hymns of praises, and when they listen to, and when saying amen to the prayers that are said.

All to make the Mind of Christ develop in us, as to live by it in daily life when we go out into the world.

#17 Evangelion

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Posted 30 June 2003 - 06:40 AM

You know m8, I think I'm going to edit that post for the sake of clarity... :blink: :eek:
'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.

#18 Matthew Hawkins_*

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Posted 30 June 2003 - 07:37 AM

thanks m8 :P




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