I need help with Philippians 2:6-8

How do I work out the meaning of a Greek text? How can I best understand the forms and vocabulary in this particular text?
Forum rules
This is a beginner's forum - see the Koine Greek forum for more advanced discussion of Greek texts. Please quote the Greek text you are discussing directly in your post if it is reasonably short - do not ask people to look it up.

Re: I need help with Philippians 2:6-8

Postby Eduardo Ortega » July 16th, 2012, 10:46 pm

About the phrase in verse 6 υπαρχων ουχ αρπαγμον ηγησατο το ειναι ισα θεω there are two major trends that I can see in translations and comments:

1) the ones that say that there it says "being equal to God..."
2) the ones that say that there it says "he didn't consider to grasp an equality with God"

If I take option 1), I don't find much sense in the rest of the phrase.
But what is your opinion based just on linguistic grounds? What is the right sense of this, 1) or 2)?

Thanks.
Eduardo Ortega
 
Posts: 37
Joined: July 1st, 2012, 1:21 am

Re: I need help with Philippians 2:6-8

Postby Jonathan Robie » July 17th, 2012, 7:29 am

Our own Barry Hofstatter has blogged on this verse here, and goes into some depth on the meaning of the phrase οὐχ ἁρπαγμὸν ἡγήσατο.

http://my.opera.com/BarryHofstetter/blog/2012/04/07/phil-2-6-a-response

Note: Barry's blog goes into a bunch of theology, which we try to avoid here, so discussions of his blog post should focus on the lexical, linguistic, and contextual arguments he makes.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
Jonathan Robie
 
Posts: 1543
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm

Re: I need help with Philippians 2:6-8

Postby David Lim » July 17th, 2012, 11:02 am

Eduardo Ortega wrote:About the phrase in verse 6 υπαρχων ουχ αρπαγμον ηγησατο το ειναι ισα θεω there are two major trends that I can see in translations and comments:

1) the ones that say that there it says "being equal to God..."
2) the ones that say that there it says "he didn't consider to grasp an equality with God"

If I take option 1), I don't find much sense in the rest of the phrase.
But what is your opinion based just on linguistic grounds? What is the right sense of this, 1) or 2)?

Thanks.


Firstly the part that you quote is not the phrase you are referring to. "ος" is the relative pronoun. "εν μορφη θεου υπαρχων" is an adverbial phrase modifying "ος". "ουχ αρπαγμον ηγησατο το ειναι ισα θεω" is the verb phrase with "ος" as the subject. "το ειναι ισα θεω" functions like a noun phrase as the main object of "ηγησατο". "ουχ" modifies "αρπαγμον" and "ουχ αρπαγμον" is the second "object" of "ηγησατο". Thus the phrase you are referring to corresponds to "ουχ αρπαγμον ηγησατο το ειναι ισα θεω" which means "considered being equal/alike to God not [to be] robbery" / "considered [that] being equal/alike to God [was] not robbery". I would say your second option is only an interpretation of the original text, if you mean "he did not consider grasping an equality with God" ("consider to grasp ..." is incorrect English), because it is clearly different.
δαυιδ λιμ
David Lim
 
Posts: 885
Joined: June 6th, 2011, 6:55 am

Re: I need help with Philippians 2:6-8

Postby Jason Hare » July 17th, 2012, 11:12 am

David Lim wrote:Firstly the part that you quote is not the phrase you are referring to. "ος" is the relative pronoun. "εν μορφη θεου υπαρχων" is an adverbial phrase modifying "ος". "ουχ αρπαγμον ηγησατο το ειναι ισα θεω" is the verb phrase with "ος" as the subject. "το ειναι ισα θεω" functions like a noun phrase as the main object of "ηγησατο". "ουχ" modifies "αρπαγμον" and "ουχ αρπαγμον" is the second "object" of "ηγησατο". Thus the phrase you are referring to corresponds to "ουχ αρπαγμον ηγησατο το ειναι ισα θεω" which means "considered being equal/alike to God not [to be] robbery" / "considered [that] being equal/alike to God [was] not robbery". I would say your second option is only an interpretation of the original text, if you mean "he did not consider grasping an equality with God" ("consider to grasp ..." is incorrect English), because it is clearly different.


You take ὃς... ὑπάρχων as an adverbial? I'm lost on how you came to that conclusion.
Jason A. Hare
Rehovot, Israel
Jason Hare
 
Posts: 379
Joined: June 2nd, 2011, 5:28 pm
Location: Rehovot, Israel

Re: I need help with Philippians 2:6-8

Postby Stephen Carlson » July 17th, 2012, 11:35 am

Jason Hare wrote:You take ὃς... ὑπάρχων as an adverbial? I'm lost on how you came to that conclusion.


I think the participial phrase headed by ὑπάρχων is circumstantial of the concessive type. I'm not a fan of the "adverbial" terminology, but I think some grammarians classify circumstantial participial phrases as "adverbial."
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D. (Duke, New Testament)
Stephen Carlson
 
Posts: 1952
Joined: May 11th, 2011, 10:51 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: I need help with Philippians 2:6-8

Postby David Lim » July 17th, 2012, 12:08 pm

Stephen Carlson wrote:
Jason Hare wrote:You take ὃς... ὑπάρχων as an adverbial? I'm lost on how you came to that conclusion.


I think the participial phrase headed by ὑπάρχων is circumstantial of the concessive type. I'm not a fan of the "adverbial" terminology, but I think some grammarians classify circumstantial participial phrases as "adverbial."


Thanks. Yes that is what I meant. In other words, "εν μορφη θεου υπαρχων" specifies the circumstances of "... ηγησατο ...".
δαυιδ λιμ
David Lim
 
Posts: 885
Joined: June 6th, 2011, 6:55 am

Re: I need help with Philippians 2:6-8

Postby Jason Hare » July 17th, 2012, 12:26 pm

David Lim wrote:
Stephen Carlson wrote:
Jason Hare wrote:You take ὃς... ὑπάρχων as an adverbial? I'm lost on how you came to that conclusion.


I think the participial phrase headed by ὑπάρχων is circumstantial of the concessive type. I'm not a fan of the "adverbial" terminology, but I think some grammarians classify circumstantial participial phrases as "adverbial."


Thanks. Yes that is what I meant. In other words, "εν μορφη θεου υπαρχων" specifies the circumstances of "... ηγησατο ...".


Excellent. I understand now. :)
Jason A. Hare
Rehovot, Israel
Jason Hare
 
Posts: 379
Joined: June 2nd, 2011, 5:28 pm
Location: Rehovot, Israel

Re: I need help with Philippians 2:6-8

Postby Eduardo Ortega » July 17th, 2012, 2:19 pm

David Lim wrote:
Eduardo Ortega wrote:About the phrase in verse 6 υπαρχων ουχ αρπαγμον ηγησατο το ειναι ισα θεω there are two major trends that I can see in translations and comments:

1) the ones that say that there it says "being equal to God..."
2) the ones that say that there it says "he didn't consider to grasp an equality with God"

If I take option 1), I don't find much sense in the rest of the phrase.
But what is your opinion based just on linguistic grounds? What is the right sense of this, 1) or 2)?

Thanks.


Firstly the part that you quote is not the phrase you are referring to. "ος" is the relative pronoun. "εν μορφη θεου υπαρχων" is an adverbial phrase modifying "ος". "ουχ αρπαγμον ηγησατο το ειναι ισα θεω" is the verb phrase with "ος" as the subject. "το ειναι ισα θεω" functions like a noun phrase as the main object of "ηγησατο". "ουχ" modifies "αρπαγμον" and "ουχ αρπαγμον" is the second "object" of "ηγησατο". Thus the phrase you are referring to corresponds to "ουχ αρπαγμον ηγησατο το ειναι ισα θεω" which means "considered being equal/alike to God not [to be] robbery" / "considered [that] being equal/alike to God [was] not robbery". I would say your second option is only an interpretation of the original text, if you mean "he did not consider grasping an equality with God" ("consider to grasp ..." is incorrect English), because it is clearly different.


I see that I changed the words when I referred to option 2), because I talked about "grasping" and there si no verb "to grasp" in the text.

I was refering to this kind of translations, for example the ASV:

who, existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped,


And the word ἁρπαγμὸν, as I've read, could mean "a thing to be seized".

The are some other versions in that sense, like the NET:

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


Or the NAS:

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


The Bible "Orthodox Jewish Bible":

Who, though existing in the demut of the mode of being of Elohim, nevertheless Moshiach did not regard being equal with G-d as a thing to be seized


Also the "New World Translation":

who, although he was existing in God’s form, gave no consideration to a seizure, namely, that he should be equal to God


Those are examples of versions that I was referring as "2)".

I see that the way I expressed it is not a "direct translation", but still the understanding is the same (or not? may be I'm not understanding these translations well).
Eduardo Ortega
 
Posts: 37
Joined: July 1st, 2012, 1:21 am

Re: I need help with Philippians 2:6-8

Postby Jonathan Robie » July 17th, 2012, 2:43 pm

I found Louw and Nida apt here:

Louw & Nida (57.236) wrote: ἁρπαγμός: that which is to be held on to forcibly - `something to hold by force, something to be forcibly retained.' ὅς ἐν μορφῇ θεοῦ ὑπάρχων οὐχ ἁρπαγμὸν ἡγήσατο τὸ εἶναι ἴσα θεῷ `he always had the nature of God and did not consider that remaining equal with God was something to be held on to forcibly' Php 2.6 (compare the rendering of ἁρπαγμός a in 57.235).

Since ἁρπαγμός may mean not only `to grasp something forcefully which one does not have' (57.235) but also `to retain by force what one possesses,' it is possible to translate Php 2.6 in two quite different ways. This second interpretation of ἁρπαγμός presumes the position of Jesus prior to the incarnation and hence his willingness to experience the kenosis or `emptying' of his divine prerogatives. In any translation of Php 2.6 it is important that both possible renderings be clearly indicated, one in the text and the other in the margin.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
Jonathan Robie
 
Posts: 1543
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm

Re: I need help with Philippians 2:6-8

Postby Eduardo Ortega » July 17th, 2012, 8:14 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:Our own Barry Hofstatter has blogged on this verse here, and goes into some depth on the meaning of the phrase οὐχ ἁρπαγμὸν ἡγήσατο.

http://my.opera.com/BarryHofstetter/blog/2012/04/07/phil-2-6-a-response

Note: Barry's blog goes into a bunch of theology, which we try to avoid here, so discussions of his blog post should focus on the lexical, linguistic, and contextual arguments he makes.


I've read the whole article. At the conclussion the author states:

Let this mind be in you which [was] also in Christ Jesus, who, subsisting
in the form of God, did not esteem seizing upon equality with God but
emptied himself...


Now, this is problematic because the writer (who I assume is providing us
with this translation) hasn't really paid attention to the grammar of the
text. "Seizing upon equality with God" simply cannot work – it's essentially
an impossible rendering.


About my options that I mentioned before:

1) Jesus was equal to God, and then... He didn't do something
2) Jesus didn't ἡγήσατο [direct to, plan, try, consider, intend] a ἁρπαγμὸν [a "robbery", a seizure] of being equal to God.

The "He didn't do something" of option 1) can be divided into:
a) He didn't esteem it (the equality with God) to be something as a prize, or something to be hold, or something to be retained.
It implies a passive sense of ἡγήσατο, and a not "violent" meaning of ἁρπαγμὸν.
b) If we consider to imply an active sense of ἡγήσατο, I find no sense on the sentence then.

I see that the bias that the people have because of the theology, sometimes makes almost impossible to analyze the texts.
We have to live with it, but it's a big problem.

It's very difficult even if we are "very open".
Eduardo Ortega
 
Posts: 37
Joined: July 1st, 2012, 1:21 am

PreviousNext

Return to What does this text mean?

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron