Sunday, June 11, 2017

Philippians 2:5-11 — The Unipersonal God Exalted Jesus


Philippians 2:5
touto phroneite en humin ho kai en christw
THIS BE YOU MINDING IN YOU WHICH ALSO IN CHRIST
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ieesou
JESUS,
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Philippians 2:6
hos en morphee theou huparchwn ouch harpagmon
WHO IN FORM OF GOD EXISTING NOT SNATCHING
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heegeesato to einai isa thew
HE CONSIDERED THE TO BE EQUAL (THINGS) TO GOD,
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Philippians 2:7
alla heauton ekenwsen morpheen doulou labwn en
BUT HIMSELF HE EMPTIED FORM OF SLAVE HAVING TAKEN, IN
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homoiwmati anthrwpwn genomenos
LIKENESS OF MEN HAVING BECOME;
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Philippians 2:8
kai scheemati heuretheis hws anthrwpos etapeinwsen
AND TO FASHION HAVING BEEN FOUND AS MAN HE MADE LOWLY
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heauton genomenos hupeekoos mechri thanatou
HIMSELF HAVING BECOME OBEDIENT UNTIL DEATH,
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thanatou de staurou
OF DEATH BUT OF STAKE;
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Philippians 2:9
dio kai ho theos auton huperupswsen kai
THROUGH WHICH ALSO THE GOD HIM PUT HIGH UP OVER, AND
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echarisato autw to onoma to huper pan onoma
HE GRACIOUSLY GAVE TO HIM THE NAME THE OVER EVERY NAME,
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Philippians 2:10
hina en tw onomati ieesou pan gonu kampsee
IN ORDER THAT IN THE NAME OF JESUS EVERY KNEE SHOULD BEND
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epouraniwn kai epigeiwn kai
OF THOSE IN HEAVEN AND OF THOSE ON EARTH AND
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katachthoniwn
OF THOSE UNDERGROUND,
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Philippians 2:11
kai pasa glwssa exomologeeseetai hoti kurios
AND EVERY TONGUE SHOULD CONFESS OUT THAT LORD
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ieesous christos eis doxan theou patros
JESUS CHRIST INTO GLORY OF GOD FATHER.
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Westcott & Hort Interlinear, as obtained from the Bible Students Library DVD.
The straightforward and most simple reasoning from the above is that Jesus was in a form [external appearance] of God, but that he was not God.

In Philippians 2:6, we do read that Jesus was existing in the form (external appearance) of God (assuming that Paul actually meant the word transliterated as THEOS to mean "God", Supreme Being, and not "a god" -- a mighty being, as the angels -- Psalm 8:5; Hebrews 2:7]. Before he became flesh (John 1:14), Jesus had a celestial glory that was in the likeness of his God. — John 17:1,3,5; 1 Corinthians 15:40.

Unlike the one spoken of in Isaiah 14:14, however, Jesus did not seek to be equal to God; rather, he “did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped.” — Philippians 2:6, New American Standard.

The word “God” — throughout Paul’s letter to the Philippians — refers to only one person, as can be seen from Philippians 2:9,11, and even in latter part of Philippians 2:6.

Some believe that in Philippians 2:6, the first instance of “God” may not actually refer to “God”, but rather to mightiness in general, using the Hebraic meaning for the word for “God”.

However, the use of the Greek word transliterated as morphe (meaning “external appearance”), indicates that the first instance of “God” actually refers to the God and Father of Jesus.

Jesus was existing in the external appearance, in the likeness of, his God, but he was not his God, nor did he seek to be equal to his God.

Instead, he became in the likeness of men of sinful flesh, externally appearing as a bondservant of corruption, although he was not really such.

The word “morphe” is being used in Philippians 2:7 in parallel with two other words, all of which carry similar meanings.

There is nothing Philippians 2:5-11 that means that Jesus was God Most High anymore than it means that Jesus was actually a bond-servant of sin in likeness of men. —  Genesis 14:22; Psalm 7:17; 83:18; 92:1; Luke 1:32; John 13:16; Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Matthew 23:39; Mark 11:9,10; Luke 13:35; John 3:2,17,32-35; 4:34; 5:19,30,36,43; 6:57; 7:16,28; 8:26,28,38; 10:25; 12:49,50; 14:10; 15:15; 17:8,26; 20:17; Acts 2:22,34-36; Romans 15:6; 2 Corinthians 1:3; 8:6; 11:31; Colossians 1:3,15; 2:9-12; Hebrews 1:1-3; Revelation 1:1.

Philippians 2:6-11 is discussing how Jesus left the form (Morphe — external appearance) of God, that is, the glory he had with his God and Father (Ephesians 1:3) before coming into the world (John 17:5), and took on the form (Morphe — external appearance) of a bondservant. — Philippians 2:7.

Jesus was already a servant of God before coming to the earth, so Philippians 2:7 cannot be referring to his becoming a servant of God, as some have claimed. — John 3:16,17; 5:30,36; 6:38,44; 8:29,38,42; 10:36; 17:3; Galatians 4:4; Hebrews 10:5; 1 John 4:9,10.

Thus, this relates to the purpose for which Jesus came to earth, that is, to give his human soul, his human body, his human blood, his human flesh, once for all time as a ransom for many — for all. — Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45; Luke 22:19; John 6:51; 1 Corinthians 11:27; 1 Timothy 1:15; 2:5,6; Hebrews 2:9; 10:10; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 John 4:9,10,14.

The human race came to be in bondage to corruption, sin and death due to Adam’s sin. — Genesis 3:17-19; Ecclesiastes 1:2,13-18; 7:13; Romans 5:15-19; 8:15,20-22; Galatians 4:3; Corinthians 15:21,22.

Was Jesus in bondage to sin and corruption as the rest of the human race? Obviously not. Jesus had no sin, but he did come in the likeness — the appearance — of sinful flesh to be sin on our behalf. — John 8:46; 1 Peter 2:2; Romans 8:3; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15.

Although he was born of a woman, he was begotten as a human by means of God’s holy spirit. — Matthew 1:20; Luke 1:35; Galatians 4:4.

It was God, by means of his Holy Spirit. who prepared the body of Jesus; thus, he was born sinless, without any bondage of corruption as is common to mankind under condemnation in Adam. — Romans 5:12-19; 8:21; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; Hebrews 10:5.

Nevertheless, Jesus, as a human, did have a “form” of that bondage, the external appearance, so to speak, of that bondage, since he suffered and paid the price for sin. — 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:13; Hebrews 10:10; 1 Peter 2:24; 3:18; 4:1.

God sent his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh in order to condemn sin in the flesh. — Romans 8:3.

Jesus suffered the consequences of sin in order to pay the price of sin — death — for the human race, although he himself was not sinful.

Therefore, just as Jesus had the external appearance of being a sinner, so likewise, Jesus in his prehuman existence, had the external appearance of God, being even then the image of his God.

Regardless, there is nothing in these verses that say anything about Jesus’ being a “person of God”. The idea has to be added to and read into what Paul said.

Nor is there anything that says that Jesus has two “natures” at once, that of being the Most High and also that that of being a human, a little lower than the angels.

On the other hand, Paul shows that Jesus did not consider equality with God to be something for him to grasp, and Jesus is exalted by the unipersonal God. — Philippians 2:9.

Consequently, Paul shows that Jesus is not God who exalted him, and that his exaltation results in “the glory of God, the Father.” (Philippians 2:11), the God and Father of Jesus, the only true God. — Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Matthew 4:4 (Deuteronomy 8:3; Luke 4:4); Matthew 4:7 (Deuteronomy 6:16); Matthew 4:10 (Exodus 20:3-5; 34:14; Deuteronomy 6:13,14; 10:20; Luke 4:8); Matthew 22:29-40; Matthew 26:42; Matthew 27:46; Mark 10:6 (Genesis 1:27; Genesis 2:7,20-23); Mark 14:36; 15:34; Luke 22:42; John 4:3; 5:30; 6:38; 17:1,3; 20:17; Romans 15:6; 2 Corinthians 1:3; 11:31; Ephesians 1:3,17; Hebrews 1:9; 10:7; 1 Peter 1:3; Revelation 2:7; 3:2,12.

See also:
Philippians 2:5-11 – Humility of Mind

Jesus is Not Yahweh (Jehovah)

ADDENDUM:


Regarding the “name” in Philippians 2:9, it has been stated that “for a Pharisaic Jew there was only one name that could possibly be described in that way, and it was the name of God.” One comments: “That Philippians passage was a typical way an ANE Jew would say, “Jesus is Yahweh“. They just didn’t talk like we do.”

The unipersonal “God” of Philippians 2:9 did not give to God the name of God to be above every name that God has given, for such would mean that God would have exalted God from being a little lower than the angels to being a higher than the angels. (Hebrews 1:4; 2:9; 1 Peter 3:22) It would further mean that God did not have this name until God exalted God.

Nor did Jehovah give to Jehovah the appellative name of Jehovah to be above every name that Jehovah has given; such an idea would mean that Jehovah exalted Jehovah from being lower than the angels to a position greater than the angels, and that Jehovah did not have the name Jehovah until Jehovah exalted Jehovah. – Philippians 2:9; Hebrews 1:4; 2:9; 1 Peter 3:22.

Nor did Jesus receive either the appellation “Jesus” or “Jehovah”/"Yahweh" at the time when the unipersonal “God” exalted Jesus. The Son of the Most High (Luke 1:32,35) already had the appellation “Jesus” before he was exalted. – Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:31.

It should be apparent that when the Most High — the unipersonal “God” — exalted His Son (Luke 1:32,35; Philippians 2:9; Ephesians 1:3,17-23), that the unipersonal “God” gave to Jesus the name (office, position of glory) that is above every name, with the evident exception of that of Jehovah, the only the Most High. — 1 Corinthians 15:27.

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