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

Postby Jonathan Robie » July 17th, 2012, 9:34 pm

With respect, I think Barry has a very deep grasp of Greek grammar, and is honest with the text. Don't be misled by the fact that he also discusses theology in that blog post.

I'm not sure how you can get much deeper into the Greek language without first getting a more solid grasp on the Greek language. All this "reasoning about" Greek can only get you so far.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Re: I need help with Philippians 2:6-8

Postby Eduardo Ortega » July 17th, 2012, 11:12 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:With respect, I think Barry has a very deep grasp of Greek grammar, and is honest with the text. Don't be misled by the fact that he also discusses theology in that blog post.


But I don't see something conclusive there, only that the proposed translation by the other person was wrong (that exact translation, in the way the other person composed it).

Jonathan Robie wrote:I'm not sure how you can get much deeper into the Greek language without first getting a more solid grasp on the Greek language. All this "reasoning about" Greek can only get you so far.


I'm starting to think the same thing.
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Re: I need help with Philippians 2:6-8

Postby David Lim » July 18th, 2012, 12:55 am

Eduardo Ortega wrote:[...]

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.


Eduardo, I think you did not get what I was saying. I was saying that the following two are completely different:
(1) "did not consider grasping X" (had not grasped and did not think of doing so)
(2) "did not consider X to be something to be grasped" (whether he already had X is not stated)
The first cannot be what the original text says. The second is possible (as ASV took it) but different from how I rendered it:
(3) "considered X not robbery" (the content of X implies that he had X and did not think it was robbery for him to have it)
I believe that (3) fits the context best, for the whole portion is: "ος εν μορφη θεου υπαρχων ουχ αρπαγμον ηγησατο το ειναι ισα θεω αλλ εαυτον εκενωσεν μορφην δουλου λαβων εν ομοιωματι ανθρωπων γενομενος". Since he was "εν μορφη θεου", he considered being "ισα θεω" (just like God) to be not robbery (for he did not seize it in the first place), but he emptied himself by taking "μορφην δουλου" and coming to be "εν ομοιωματι ανθρωπων" (in the likeness of men). Hope this helps!
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Re: I need help with Philippians 2:6-8

Postby Jason Hare » July 18th, 2012, 4:35 am

Eduardo Ortega wrote:
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".


I hope you see your mistake here. In the one instance, you stated that there is no verb meaning "to grasp" in the text, then you mention the noun that means "thing to be grasped." You understand, don't you?, that there doesn't need to be such a verb in the text since we have the noun with that general meaning.

Eduardo Ortega wrote: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


Orthodox Jewish Bibles do not include the New Testament. I'm not sure where you got this, but it didn't come from Orthodox Judaism.

Eduardo Ortega wrote: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).


Again, pull it back to the Greek:

ὃς ἐν μορφῇ θεοῦ ὑπάρχων οὐχ ἁρπαγμὸν ἡγήσατο τὸ εἶναι ἴσα θεῷ, ἀλλὰ ἑαυτὸν ἐκένωσεν μορφὴν δούλου λαβών, ἐν ὁμοιώματι ἀνθρώπων γενόμενος...

How can someone have the same way of thinking as Jesus in these terms? Do not consider greatness something to take hold of or grasp. Do not consider it an important thing in life to have power over other people. Become a servant of all and do your best to empty yourself of your desires for greatness. This is what is being taught here, don't you think?

"Who, though he was in the form of God, did not consider being equal to God something to grasp hold of, but he emptied himself, having taken the form of a servant, having come to be in the similitude of men..."

Though you may be in a position of greatness, you should not consider that something important and worth holding on to. Rather, you should be willing to let go of it and give everything you have for the betterment of others.

That's what it says to me.
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Re: I need help with Philippians 2:6-8

Postby Jason Hare » July 18th, 2012, 4:37 am

Eduardo Ortega wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote:I'm not sure how you can get much deeper into the Greek language without first getting a more solid grasp on the Greek language. All this "reasoning about" Greek can only get you so far.


I'm starting to think the same thing.


Great! When are you going to get signed up for a Greek class?! :)
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Re: I need help with Philippians 2:6-8

Postby Eduardo Ortega » July 18th, 2012, 7:36 am

David Lim wrote:
Eduardo Ortega wrote:[...]

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.


Eduardo, I think you did not get what I was saying. I was saying that the following two are completely different:
(1) "did not consider grasping X" (had not grasped and did not think of doing so)
(2) "did not consider X to be something to be grasped" (whether he already had X is not stated)
The first cannot be what the original text says. The second is possible (as ASV took it) but different from how I rendered it:
(3) "considered X not robbery" (the content of X implies that he had X and did not think it was robbery for him to have it)
I believe that (3) fits the context best, for the whole portion is: "ος εν μορφη θεου υπαρχων ουχ αρπαγμον ηγησατο το ειναι ισα θεω αλλ εαυτον εκενωσεν μορφην δουλου λαβων εν ομοιωματι ανθρωπων γενομενος". Since he was "εν μορφη θεου", he considered being "ισα θεω" (just like God) to be not robbery (for he did not seize it in the first place), but he emptied himself by taking "μορφην δουλου" and coming to be "εν ομοιωματι ανθρωπων" (in the likeness of men). Hope this helps!


Yes, thinking again, considering once again the context in such a way, I realize that it makes sense.

My "bias" was to try to read the second part of the sentence as opposed to the first ος εν μορφη θεου υπαρχων, but may be it's in the same line of thought.

In that case, it would mean that even when he had "form of God (or a god)", and he didn't consider that an equality with God would be a robbery, he emptied himself and took the form of a slave.
The meaning would be then that he had the right to be equaled to God, but he throwed off that even when he had the right to have it.

Yes, it's the first time that the phrase makes really sense to me.
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Re: I need help with Philippians 2:6-8

Postby Eduardo Ortega » July 18th, 2012, 7:48 am

Jason Hare wrote:Orthodox Jewish Bibles do not include the New Testament. I'm not sure where you got this, but it didn't come from Orthodox Judaism.


It's the name of the Bible, I'm not saying they are orthodox. May be they are messianic.

Jason Hare wrote:Again, pull it back to the Greek:

ὃς ἐν μορφῇ θεοῦ ὑπάρχων οὐχ ἁρπαγμὸν ἡγήσατο τὸ εἶναι ἴσα θεῷ, ἀλλὰ ἑαυτὸν ἐκένωσεν μορφὴν δούλου λαβών, ἐν ὁμοιώματι ἀνθρώπων γενόμενος...

How can someone have the same way of thinking as Jesus in these terms? Do not consider greatness something to take hold of or grasp. Do not consider it an important thing in life to have power over other people. Become a servant of all and do your best to empty yourself of your desires for greatness. This is what is being taught here, don't you think?

"Who, though he was in the form of God, did not consider being equal to God something to grasp hold of, but he emptied himself, having taken the form of a servant, having come to be in the similitude of men..."

Though you may be in a position of greatness, you should not consider that something important and worth holding on to. Rather, you should be willing to let go of it and give everything you have for the betterment of others.

That's what it says to me.


Yes, I'm understanding the same.
Even with the "variations" about translating that part in a way or another, the general understanding is the same, the one that you said.

But as I have to explain it (to others) I wanted to know it precisely.
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Re: I need help with Philippians 2:6-8

Postby Eduardo Ortega » July 18th, 2012, 8:18 am

Jason Hare wrote:
Eduardo Ortega wrote:
Jonathan Robie wrote:I'm not sure how you can get much deeper into the Greek language without first getting a more solid grasp on the Greek language. All this "reasoning about" Greek can only get you so far.


I'm starting to think the same thing.


Great! When are you going to get signed up for a Greek class?! :)


Many times I thought about studying Greek (and if everything goes right, later Hebrew). But I didn't go to check the availability to do it here in my city. I thought that I should end in a evangelical seminar or something like that, and only if they allow me there (I'm not evangelical). And my concerns were also that they could teach me something biased.

Now I'm considering to study on my own, reading books.
It would be better for me if I could do it in Spanish, at least at the first stages.

Bud decidedly I need it.

When? First I'll have to figure how to do it.

What do you recommend to start? books? a teacher? a course?

I didn't see much advertising about "study koine Greek" here, LOL
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Re: I need help with Philippians 2:6-8

Postby Jason Hare » July 18th, 2012, 10:02 am

Eduardo Ortega wrote:Many times I thought about studying Greek (and if everything goes right, later Hebrew).
<snip>
When? First I'll have to figure how to do it.

What do you recommend to start? books? a teacher? a course?

I didn't see much advertising about "study koine Greek" here, LOL


At this point, there is discussion all over the forum on the best grammars for beginning to learn Greek, for continued study, for precision and reference, etc. There is also discussion about learning to use ancient Greek as a spoken language.

If you're interested in starting up a study online, you can check out Textkit's Greek and Latin Forum. They often have people who get together for online studies by email or on the forum. There is also the GreekStudy list for the same thing.

I would encourage you to study Attic Greek as a starting point. Once you've got the sense of Attic (the language of ancient Athens), you'll be able to read the New Testament without any real problem at all.

If you would like specific resources, we can provide you with links to specific threads here on B-Greek for discussion of the various grammars available (free and otherwise), with their various pros and cons. :)

I can help you with Hebrew connections whenever you're ready for that. I live in Israel and actually teach Hebrew over the Internet to Americans.
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Re: I need help with Philippians 2:6-8

Postby Eduardo Ortega » July 18th, 2012, 11:35 am

Jason Hare wrote:
Eduardo Ortega wrote: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


Orthodox Jewish Bibles do not include the New Testament. I'm not sure where you got this, but it didn't come from Orthodox Judaism.


I made a mistake when I copied the name of the bible, it is "Orthodox Jewish Brit Chadasha".

Here it is online: http://www.afii.org/OJB.pdf
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