Interpreting Philippians 2:5-11

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Interpreting Philippians 2:5-11

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Aleph One wrote: Thu Mar 11, 2021 12:47 am
Ben C. Smith wrote: Wed Mar 10, 2021 2:55 pm
rgprice wrote: Wed Mar 10, 2021 2:39 pmAnyway, what this seems to be emphasizing is that name of Jesus is a humbling name.
I do not understand this. Jesus is the name God gifts him (ἐχαρίσατο) upon being exalted. That seems like the very opposite of humbling. Jesus is the name of highest honor in this passage.
This does read as kind of hilarious (and extremely Pauline) that Jesus was SO humble he was the GREATEST! Paul seems to do a lot of this sort of thing when he emphasizes how he's the best apostle because he's "the most meek," "the most flawed," "the most unimportant," etc. :notworthy:
I can kind of see/understand that, but I am not necessarily convinced that Paul himself wrote the Jesus Hymn.
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Re: Interpreting Philippians 2:5-11

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lsayre wrote: Thu Mar 11, 2021 6:03 am Obedience unto the point of death does not necessarily mean obedience that actually resulted in death. It potentially seems to fall just short of that end.
Abraham - Isaac...
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Re: Interpreting Philippians 2:5-11

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rgprice wrote: Wed Mar 10, 2021 2:39 pm This passage certainly seems like it is the origin story of Jesus.
You might be interested, by the way, in my comparison of Jesus with Ba'al, including some key details from the Jesus Hymn: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3153.
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Re: Interpreting Philippians 2:5-11

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Ben C. Smith wrote: Thu Mar 11, 2021 6:11 am Can you expound on what you mean when you say that we are told he was a God?
"5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Jesus Christ, 6 who, as He already existed in the form of God"

But I think really this all makes more sense if this is a narrative about the incarnation of the Logos. The Logos didn't have a name, so this becomes a story about how the Logos obtained an identity. It also matches nicely to the concepts of the Logos.
(1.215) For there are, as it seems, two temples belonging to God; one being this world, in which the high priest is the divine Word, his own firstborn son. The other is the rational soul, the priest of which is the real true man, the copy of whom, perceptible to the senses, is he who performs his paternal vows and sacrifices, to whom it is enjoined to put on the aforesaid tunic, the representation of the universal heaven, in order that the world may join with the man in offering sacrifice, and that the man may likewise co-operate with the universe.
(On Dreams)
(63) For the Father of the universe has caused him to spring up as the eldest son, whom, in another passage, he calls the firstborn; and he who is thus born, imitating the ways of his father, has formed such and such species, looking to his archetypal patterns.
(On the Confusion of Tongues)
(146) And even if there be not as yet any one who is worthy to be called a son of God, nevertheless let him labour earnestly to be adorned according to his first-born word, the eldest of his angels, as the great archangel of many names; for he is called, the authority, and the name of God, and the Word, and man according to God's image, and he who sees Israel.
(On the Confusion of Tongues)
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Re: Interpreting Philippians 2:5-11

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rgprice wrote: Thu Mar 11, 2021 6:54 am
Ben C. Smith wrote: Thu Mar 11, 2021 6:11 am Can you expound on what you mean when you say that we are told he was a God?
"5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Jesus Christ, 6 who, as He already existed in the form of God"
I see. The interpretation of that line is thorny.
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Re: Interpreting Philippians 2:5-11

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Ben C. Smith wrote: Thu Mar 11, 2021 7:18 am I see. The interpretation of that line is thorny.
Might I query how you would interpret the entire passage? :)
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Re: Interpreting Philippians 2:5-11

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rgprice wrote: Thu Mar 11, 2021 8:17 am
Ben C. Smith wrote: Thu Mar 11, 2021 7:18 am I see. The interpretation of that line is thorny.
Might I query how you would interpret the entire passage? :)
I am up in the air about it, honestly. I thought I had a handle on it a couple of years ago, but some articles, especially one by Talbert which started a process of rethinking, have thrown me off a bit, and I am reconsidering everything. You can see some of the beginnings of this process on the forum: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=4795, at least.
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Re: Interpreting Philippians 2:5-11

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To me, what Talbert says just solidifies my view that the servant is the Logos. That's not Talbert's interpretation, but now this all makes sense to me.

Paul is reading the servant of the suffering servant as the Logos, which makes sense. That's how Paul was able to apply Isaiah.
Isaiah 53:
1 Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
(63) For the Father of the universe has caused him to spring up as the eldest son, whom, in another passage, he calls the firstborn; and he who is thus born, imitating the ways of his father, has formed such and such species, looking to his archetypal patterns.
(On the Confusion of Tongues)
The Logos was the unsung servant of God, doing his work for him. His firstborn son, who "wanted to become a real boy" :p

But no kidding, I think this makes a lot of sense.
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Re: Interpreting Philippians 2:5-11

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rgprice wrote: Thu Mar 11, 2021 8:54 am To me, what Talbert says just solidifies my view that the servant is the Logos. That's not Talbert's interpretation, but now this all makes sense to me.
If Talbert is correct, then there is no pre-existence in the Jesus Hymn. The Logos, as I understand the concept, is pre-existent. How would these two things mesh?
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Re: Interpreting Philippians 2:5-11

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I disagree with Talbert on a number of points. I think he got a lot wrong in that analysis, but what he says about the connection to Isaiah looks right.

For example:
Moreover, early Christianity knew traditions which regarded Jesus as second Adam (Rom 5:12–21; Mark 1:13; Luke 4:1–13) and traditions which regarded Jesus as the son of Adam (Luke 3:23–38).
I disagree here. Luke 3:23–38 does not regard Jesus as a son of Adam, indeed the opposite.
Luke 3:23 He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph
I, of course, read the genealogy of Luke very different than others. I see it really as an anti-genealogy, possibly Marcionite. It's actually calling attention to the fact that Jesus is NOT a son of Adam, and thus not a part of God's creation.

Now, that doesn't necessary have any bearing on the interpretation of Philippians 2, but I'm just saying that the idea that Jesus was a "son of Adam" is not as well supported as it may appear. And then there is the question of 1 Cor 15, where Marcion had Lord instead of Adam. I agree that second Adam seems to make more sense, but I wouldn't call it definite.

However, it seems to me that Talbert can be correct about the association with Adam, but also incorrect about pre-existence.

And nevertheless, is the hymn about a suffering servant who existed long ago?

But I agree, it does give more possibilities for how to read the passage. I'm just not sure that it resolves things as neatly as Talbert implies.
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