1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a Christian Forum that recognizes that all Christians are a work in progress.

    You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

The problem with Phil. 2:6, 7 (part 3)

Discussion in 'Christian Apologetics Forum' started by tigger 2, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. tigger 2

    tigger 2 New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    21
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    The problem with Phil. 2:6, 7 (part 3)

    Many trinitarians insist that this scripture proves that Jesus was (and is) “equal with God.” But all the real evidence proves just the opposite! Phil. 2:6 is, in reality, proof that Jesus has never been equally God with the Father!

    To begin with, the context of Phil. 2:3-8 indicates how Phil. 2:6 should be interpreted. The context stresses the concept of humility and obedience, and Phil. 2:6 itself is clearly meant as the prime example of this for all Christians. The trinitarian The Amplified Bible, for example, translates Phil. 2:3, 5 this way:

    “Instead, in the true spirit of humility (lowliness of mind) let each regard the others as better than and superior to himself.... Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus. - Let Him be your example in humility.”
    Then that very example of Jesus' humility (Phil. 2:6-8) is given.

    Also see The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, vol. 1, p. 547.

    Most trinitarian interpretations of Phil. 2:6, however, do not show Jesus as regarding God as “better than and superior to himself” in the beginning (as the context demands for this example)! Most of them, instead, twist that proper example of humility into just the opposite: an example of a person who regards himself already as equal to the Most High, Almighty God.

    Such an interpretation destroys the very purpose (Phil. 2:3) of Jesus’ “example in humility” here!

    Paul is not telling us to regard ourselves as equal to others. (Whether we obey them or not is very important but is not the main point here.) He is clearly using Jesus as his example to teach that each Christian must, as the trinitarian Amplified Bible above puts it, “regard others as better than and superior to himself”! And yet most trinitarian translations show Jesus doing the very opposite in this “example in humility” for all Christians!

    Something, then, is very wrong with the translation of Phil. 2:6 in most trinitarian Bibles!

    It would more properly be rendered:

    "Although he was existing (or, possibly, "came to be" - huparchon) in the external appearence (morphe) of God (or 'of a god', theou), he did not consider taking by force [harpagmon] equality with God.
     
  2. Angelina

    Angelina Prayer Warrior Staff Member Admin

    Messages:
    8,240
    Likes Received:
    747
    Faith:
    Christian
    What you need to understand is who Jesus was prior to being born into the world. John 3:13 tells us that Jesus [the son of man] came from heaven originally.

    This is true re: Christ's humility but within the context of those very words, you will find [further on] that he indeed existed in the form and unchanging essence of God
    You have taken only one portion of the AMP bible without viewing what the rest of it states, ergo ~ 4 Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Have this same attitude in yourselves which was in Christ Jesus [look to Him as your example in selfless humility], 6 who, although He existed in the form and unchanging essence of God [as One with Him, possessing the fullness of all the divine attributes—the entire nature of deity], did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped or asserted [as if He did not already possess it, or was afraid of losing it]; 7 but emptied Himself [without renouncing or diminishing His deity, but only temporarily giving up the outward expression of divine equality and His rightful dignity] by assuming the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men [He became completely human but was without sin, being fully God and fully man].
     
  3. tigger 2

    tigger 2 New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    21
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    Angelina,
    I don't believe any Bible translation today is totally accurate. Certainly paraphrase Bibles (and especially 'Amplified' Bibles) are most likely to distort the original meaning.

    I chose to quote a small part of Phil. 2 from this Bible because I thought it brought out what was intended in the clearest manner. It certainly does not mean that I would use this Bible in any of its other biased renderings!

    If you prefer, then,

    3 "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. .... 5 adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus," - Christian Standard Bible.

    I doubt that there is any trinitarian-translated and published Bible translation which will give up one of its favorite interpretations of Phil. 2:6. That is why I have studied the context and NT Greek vocabulary to provide a more likely translation.

    See 'The Trouble With Phillippians 2:6' (parts 1 and 2). The Greek word harpagmon, for example, simply did not mean 'grasp' or its equivalent which most trinitarian translations use. It (and its source words) always meant to 'take something away from another by force.'

    In fact, even the trinitarian The Expositor’s Greek Testament, 1967, pp. 436, 437, vol. III, tells us:

    “We cannot find any passage where [harpazo] or any of its derivatives [which include harpagmos] has the sense of ‘holding in possession,’ ‘retaining’. It seems invariably to mean ‘seize’, ‘snatch violently’. Thus it is not permissible to glide from the true sense [‘snatch violently’] into one which is totally different, ‘hold fast.’ ”
     
  4. Stranger

    Stranger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,177
    Likes Received:
    641
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    Since your translation cannot be considered accurate, why should your denial that Jesus is God be accurate?

    Stranger
     
  5. tigger 2

    tigger 2 New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    21
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    Any English translation of a verse or verses which are of essential importance should be analyzed by examining the Greek or Hebrew text. I have done so with most verses which are considered the best trinity 'proofs.'
     
  6. Stranger

    Stranger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,177
    Likes Received:
    641
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    Oh, so the only English translation that should be considered, is yours?

    Stranger
     
  7. tigger 2

    tigger 2 New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    21
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    Thank you for your valuable on-point informative reply.
     
    Richard_oti likes this.
  8. Angelina

    Angelina Prayer Warrior Staff Member Admin

    Messages:
    8,240
    Likes Received:
    747
    Faith:
    Christian
    tigger, I don't disagree with your premise regarding Christ's humility and how we are to mirror that in our own personal growth however, that does not set aside the rest of this scripture which points towards Christ's divinity. The word "harpagmon" referred to the KJV which used the word "robbery" thusly stating ~ KJV " Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God" The word robbery in this context simply means to plunder or steal. I agree with you that the term "robbery" is not being used according to the context found in the KJV. With that said, I do not know how that, then relates to the Trinitarian belief of Jesus being God?
     
  9. tigger 2

    tigger 2 New Member

    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    21
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    Angelina,
    Phil. 2:6 is given to us as an example of Christ's humility - Christian Standard Bible 3 "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. .... 5 adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus," and then Christ's example of this humility as found in most translations incorrectly shows him as thinking himself equal to God. How is this an example of "consider others as more important than yourselves"?

    Yes, KJV (and a few that follow its lead) says "Who, being in the form [morphe] of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God." This not a sensible use of 'robbery.'

    Consider some modern versions of Phil. 2:6.

    NASB - 6 who, although He existed in the form [morphe - 'outward appearance'] of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,

    ESV - who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,

    RSV - who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,

    If we plug in the best meanings of the words morphe and harpagmon, we would have:

    "who, although He existed in an/the outward appearance of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be seized by force."

    I understand that God and his angels in heaven are spirit persons. That is, in heaven, all there have spirit bodies. All others there, then, (although in a much lesser sense) are in the image and outward appearance of God.
     
    Richard_oti likes this.
  10. Stranger

    Stranger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,177
    Likes Received:
    641
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    You're welcome.

    You speak of 'Trinitarian' bias in other translations, yet you yourself have an anti-trinitarian bias from which you play with the Greek words.

    In (Philippians 2:5-6) distinction is made between "being in the form of God" and "made in the likeness of men". Jesus was not made in the form of God but was "in the form of God". Jesus was "made in the likeness of men".

    Therefore Jesus who is God, was made in the likeness of men.

    You are not arguing against the Trinity here. These verses do not prove any Trinity. You are claiming that Jesus is not God. Which is where you miss the boat.

    Stranger
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017 at 5:17 AM
    Angelina likes this.
  11. kepha31

    kepha31 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,913
    Likes Received:
    143
    Country:
    Canada


    Do you think Jesus is being prideful and arrogant when he says he is equal with God? Is He supposed to LIE and say He is not God? "others" and "yourselves" have nothing to do with Christ's divinity. You are twisting Scripture.

    John 14:10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.
    tigger, here Jesus clearly says He does not speak on his own authority. Then on whose authority does He speak?

    John 10:30 – Jesus says, “I and the Father are one.” They are equal. The Jews even claimed Jesus made Himself equal to God. Jesus’ statement in John 14:28, “the Father is greater than I,” cannot contradict John 10:30 (the Word of God is never in conflict). Jesus’ statement in John 14:28 simply refers to His human messianic role as servant and slave, which He, and not the Father or the Holy Spirit, undertook in the flesh.
    Your premises of humility falls short. God cannot be approached without it. Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
    Humility is not grovelling, it is not a mere psychological disposition. It is a moral virtue. It doesn't mean wearing rags, it means knowing the truth of who you are.

    Humility – Overcomes the sin of pride. Humility is the virtue that recognizes our 100% reliance on God for all that we have, or ever will have. Everything on earth is on loan from God, including our good looks, our money, our house, etc. Those who think that they got all of these things on their own are in for a big surprise upon death. The devil fools some of us into thinking that we got these things due to our hard work, or our talent, or whatever, when in fact, God gave them all to us. Pride is the devil’s great sin, and he wants us all to think that we are gods too, like he does. But by being humble, we beat him every time, because humility comes from the heart, and the devil does not have a heart. In Christianity, the bible says that the first shall be last, and the last shall be first. God humbles the proud and exalts the humble, says the bible, so get exalted! Be humble!

    There is no problem with Phil. 2, it's how you are reading it.
     
Loading...