Interpreting Philippians 2:5-11

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Irish1975
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Re: Interpreting Philippians 2:5-11

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GakuseiDon wrote: Wed Sep 01, 2021 2:14 pm The argument is that "form of God" (in Greek) means the same as "image of God" (in Hebrew). If so, then it is the same thing. Adam is the son of God created as the first of his race "in the flesh"; Christ is raised from death by God to become the first of his new race "in the spirit" through the resurrection.
But that’s not what the words mean in Greek, which is all that matters. Genesis 1:26 LXX has κατ’ εἰκόνα ἡμετέραν καὶ καθ’ ὁμοίωσιν (image and likeness), so why wouldn’t Paul use those expressions if he meant what you say? Why use the Platonic-sounding ἐν μορφῇ θεοῦ ?
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Re: Interpreting Philippians 2:5-11

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Irish1975 wrote: Wed Sep 01, 2021 4:16 pm
GakuseiDon wrote: Wed Sep 01, 2021 2:14 pm The argument is that "form of God" (in Greek) means the same as "image of God" (in Hebrew). If so, then it is the same thing. Adam is the son of God created as the first of his race "in the flesh"; Christ is raised from death by God to become the first of his new race "in the spirit" through the resurrection.
But that’s not what the words mean in Greek, which is all that matters. Genesis 1:26 LXX has κατ’ εἰκόνα ἡμετέραν καὶ καθ’ ὁμοίωσιν (image and likeness), so why wouldn’t Paul use those expressions if he meant what you say? Why use the Platonic-sounding ἐν μορφῇ θεοῦ ?
As parallel with "form of a servant". According to James Dunn in his book "The Theology of the Apostle Paul", page 284:

First, the hymn uses the term "form (morphe)" rather than the term used in Gen. 1.27, "image (eikon)." In a discussion of allusion, however, the argument carries little weight. The terms were used as near synonyms, and it would appear that the writer preferred "form of God" because it made the appropriate parallel and contrast with "form of a slave."

In 2 Cor 4:4, Paul calls Christ the "image of God". If the terms "form of God" and "image of God" are indeed synonymous, then it explains what is being meant in Phil 2. If they mean something quite different though, then the problem exists as you mentioned earlier:
Irish1975 wrote: Tue Aug 31, 2021 6:49 pmThe problem thus stated is real no matter what theology or religious context is inferred. Christ is both of a divine form, or (perhaps) nature, and the sort of being who can choose freely either to rise up in envious rebellion against God, attempting to seize an equality that apparently he does not enjoy already, or to empty himself in humble submission, to the point of becoming human and mortal. On most conceptions of the divine being, these ideas don't fit.
"Form of God" == "Image of God" nicely solves that issue. Otherwise we'll have to guess what "form of God" actually means, and I'm not aware of any other use of that term that provides an explanation.
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Re: Interpreting Philippians 2:5-11

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GakuseiDon wrote: Wed Sep 01, 2021 7:14 pm
divine being, these ideas don't fit.
"Form of God" == "Image of God" nicely solves that issue. Otherwise we'll have to guess what "form of God" actually means, and I'm not aware of any other use of that term that provides an explanation.
Dunn would seem to have it wrapped up, but then along comes Cover, Michael Benjamin. “The Death of Tragedy: The Form of God in Euripides’s Bacchae and Paul’s Carmen Christi.” Harvard Theological Review 111, no. 1 (January 2018): 66–89. https://sci-hub.se/10.1017/S0017816017000396 and his conclusion:
Phil 2:6a, 7c. Dunn’s attempt to read an adamic christology here stumbles, it seems, on prepositional metaphysics; for Christ is here depicted as being “in the form of God,” (ἐν μορφῇ θεοῦ) rather than being made “according to his image” (κατ’ εἰκόνα θεοῦ), a distinction of critical import for early Platonizing interpreters of the Pentateuch. See Philo, Leg. 3.96.
Building in part on Cover's point, we have Bockmuehl, Markus. “‘The Form of God’ (Phil. 2:6) Variations on a Theme of Jewish Mysticism.” The Journal of Theological Studies 48, no. 1 (1997): 1–23 https://sci-hub.se/10.1093/jts/48.1.1 , who includes other references that may be of interest...

Two significant interconnected issues require attention: 1. does Paul really intend a parallel with Adam? And 2. if he does, is the parallel chiefly between Adam and the earthly Jesus?

1. Regarding the first issue, it is easy to see the intriguing potential in this text for a contrast between Christ and Adam; and interpreters have in fact suggested this connection ever since Irenaeus and Augustine. In the wider terms of Pauline theology, too, such an 'Adam versus Christ' polarity seems entirely suitable and appropriate.

Nevertheless, the passage has proved remarkably resistant to any positive demonstration of verbal or other specific parallels with the text of Genesis 3. In the Genesis story, it is Eve rather than Adam who receives the proposal to be 'like God' (Gen. 3:5; LXX has 'like gods'). This 'likeness', moreover, is expressed specifically in terms of the knowledge of good and evil, which was in fact acquired (Gen. 3:22), rather than in terms of being 'equal to God'. Neither 'form' nor 'equality' are ever mentioned in the Genesis text. What is more, here in Philippians the suggested identification of 'form' with 'image' is not only lexically hard to substantiate, but must clearly appear to falter on the repetition of the same word in v. 7 ('form of a slave'): as C. A. Wanamaker shows very clearly, this reading leads to logical contradictions and destroys the deliberate syntactical and theological contrast between verses 6 and 7. The language of 'existence' (υπάρχων) in the form of God hardly applies to Adam, and the parallel is made highly unlikely by the notion of 'taking on' the 'form of a slave'.

2. The second question is to some as is the urgency with which it in which the human Christ undoes act to be located? Those who affirm the Adamic scenario here vary as to whether they see (i) verse 6 taking place in heaven (the pre-existently human Second Adam) and only verses 7-8 on earth, or (ii) all of verses 6-8 predicated of the incarnate Christ. Although parallels to the former idea have been sought in 1 Cor. 15:47 and in Philo of Alexandria, an eternally pre-existent human Jesus seems difficult to establish in Paul and to square either with the assertions of v. 6 or with the implied movement to humanity in v. 7. Option (ii) has in recent times been strongly championed by J. D. G. Dunn (see n. 24 = Christology in the Making, 174-81), who argues that even v. 6 must be read in Adamic terms of the human Jesus, and that therefore there is no mention of pre-existence or any prior temporal reference at all: Jesus' exaltation is not his 'return' to heaven but the restoration to the 'Second Adam' of the glory which the first Adam lost.

Despite attracting a good deal of interest, Dunn's interpretation has failed to win the day. It seems unable to accommodate the most likely reading of 'the form of God' and the word άρπαγμός in relation to 'equality with God'. It also, as a result, disrupts the natural flow of Christ being first in that 'form' and then 'born in human likeness' and taking the 'form of a slave' (cf. again Wanamaker). The whole language and logic of verses 6-8 suggests a movement from a divine to a human state, which Christ did not 'have' but 'took' (λαβών).[27=27 This point has also been strongly and persuasively argued by Jiirgen Habermann, Praexistenzaussagen im Neuen Testament (Frankfurt etc.: Lang, 1990), 115 and Otfried Hofius (1991), 116-18 as well as by recent commentators including U. B. Miiller, P. T. O'Brien and G. D. Fee.] And while acknowledging that Paul was perhaps untroubled by the metaphysical intricacies of 'pre existence', we may accept with the vast majority of interpreters since antiquity that the most natural reading of this and other passages (e.g. Col. 1:15-17; 1 Cor. 8:6) will associate Christ with a time prior to Adam.[28=28 See further U. B. Miiller, Philipper, 96; G. D. Fee, Philippians, 203 n. 41; O. Hofius, Christushymnus, 114-22; C. A. Wanamaker, 'Philippians 2.6-11', 179-93; J· Habermann, Praexistenzaussagen, 141—57.] (It is worth stressing that early Christian advocates of the Adam typology did not assert it as an alternative to a pre-existential reading of our passage).

Two things may be said by way of summary of this discussion. First, Paul's evident fondness for the Christ-Adam polarity where may indeed have coloured his presentation of Christ's tude in this passage, too—especially if one considers that 6-8 arguably stand in deliberate contrast with the self-centred human behaviour decried implicitly in 2:2—4 and explicitly 2:21. Secondly, however, the text nevertheless offers insufficient evidence to establish an explicit link, or even a deliberate to Adam. The only demonstrably intentional contrast is between human self-seeking (2:3-4) and Christ's self-giving (2:6); in connection, non-explicit parallels with Adam are just as likely be the result of accustomed ways of Pauline thinking about Christ and sinful humanity. The arguments here are obviously complex and intricate, and scholarship has yet to reach a consensus on this matter. The problem is, however, that the undeniable counter-analogy between Philippians 2 and Genesis 3 in general is not easily pinned down in particulars.
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Re: Interpreting Philippians 2:5-11

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Thanks Neil. Good info!
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Re: Interpreting Philippians 2:5-11

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neilgodfrey wrote: Wed Sep 01, 2021 7:46 pm
GakuseiDon wrote: Wed Sep 01, 2021 7:14 pm
"Form of God" == "Image of God" nicely solves that issue. Otherwise we'll have to guess what "form of God" actually means, and I'm not aware of any other use of that term that provides an explanation.
Dunn would seem to have it wrapped up, but then along comes Cover, Michael Benjamin. “The Death of Tragedy: The Form of God in Euripides’s Bacchae and Paul’s Carmen Christi.” Harvard Theological Review 111, no. 1 (January 2018): 66–89. https://sci-hub.se/10.1017/S0017816017000396 and his conclusion: (snipped)
That's an interesting read. Thanks for the references, Neil. Unfortunately I can't access the full Bockmuehl's "The Form of God" article, which would have been useful. But I don't see anything in Cover's article (thanks for the link!) that illuminates the issue of "form of God" vs "image of God". Then again, I have no qualifications in the fields required, and no knowledge of any of the ancient languages involved, so anything I write should be taken with a grain of salt!
Phil 2:6a, 7c. Dunn’s attempt to read an adamic christology here stumbles, it seems, on prepositional metaphysics; for Christ is here depicted as being “in the form of God,” (ἐν μορφῇ θεοῦ) rather than being made “according to his image” (κατ’ εἰκόνα θεοῦ), a distinction of critical import for early Platonizing interpreters of the Pentateuch. See Philo, Leg. 3.96.
Looking at Philo, there is nothing there that helps. Philo, Leg. 3.96 reads:
http://www.earlyjewishwritings.com/text ... book4.html

Now, Bezaleel, being interpreted, means God in his shadow. But the shadow of God is his word, which he used like an instrument when he was making the world. And this shadow, and, as it were, model, is the archetype of other things. For, as God is himself the model of that image which he has now called a shadow, so also that image is the model of other things, as he showed when he commenced giving the law to the Israelites, and said, "And God made man according to the image of God."{46}{#ge 1:26.} as the image was modelled according to God, and as man was modelled according to the image, which thus received the power and character of the model.

It confirms the idea that man was made in the image of God, without man being EQUAL to God. IF, and I do mean IF "form of God" is the same as "image of God", then that explains the context of Phil 2:6 nicely. I don't see anything in Philo, Leg. 3.96 contributing to the discussion.

Two significant interconnected issues require attention: 1. does Paul really intend a parallel with Adam? And 2. if he does, is the parallel chiefly between Adam and the earthly Jesus?

1. Regarding the first issue, it is easy to see the intriguing potential in this text for a contrast between Christ and Adam; and interpreters have in fact suggested this connection ever since Irenaeus and Augustine. In the wider terms of Pauline theology, too, such an 'Adam versus Christ' polarity seems entirely suitable and appropriate.

Yes, Paul certainly compares Adam and Christ a number of times. Adam is the first Adam who was made in the image of God, Christ is the last Adam.

Nevertheless, the passage has proved remarkably resistant to any positive demonstration of verbal or other specific parallels with the text of Genesis 3. In the Genesis story, it is Eve rather than Adam who receives the proposal to be 'like God' (Gen. 3:5; LXX has 'like gods'). This 'likeness', moreover, is expressed specifically in terms of the knowledge of good and evil, which was in fact acquired (Gen. 3:22), rather than in terms of being 'equal to God'. Neither 'form' nor 'equality' are ever mentioned in the Genesis text.

That's kind of irrelevant. For this analysis, it isn't important what the Genesis author meant, only what Paul thought that the Genesis passage meant. Paul writes that, through one man's sin, death entered the world. That sin brought death to his fleshly heirs. And through one man's actions, eternal life was brought into the world for his spiritual heirs. If Paul thought that the sin of Adam involved a grasping for immortality -- which Gen 3 described as becoming like the gods -- then it is irrelevant whether Gen 3 explicitly says that or not.

What is more, here in Philippians the suggested identification of 'form' with 'image' is not only lexically hard to substantiate, but must clearly appear to falter on the repetition of the same word in v. 7 ('form of a slave'): as C. A. Wanamaker shows very clearly, this reading leads to logical contradictions and destroys the deliberate syntactical and theological contrast between verses 6 and 7. The language of 'existence' (υπάρχων) in the form of God hardly applies to Adam, and the parallel is made highly unlikely by the notion of 'taking on' the 'form of a slave'.

But in fact it is the opposite of that:

Christ has the form of God, which I would argue meant immortality, the same immortality that Adam would have had. When Adam eat the fruit, he would die. Christ emptied himself of that potential immortality, and instead took on the form of a servant. What servant? A servant of the sin of Adam:

Rom 6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.


So, at least to me, amateur that I am, it makes perfect sense. There is no logical contradiction there at all.

2. The second question is to some as is the urgency with which it in which the human Christ undoes act to be located? Those who affirm the Adamic scenario here vary as to whether they see (i) verse 6 taking place in heaven (the pre-existently human Second Adam) and only verses 7-8 on earth, or (ii) all of verses 6-8 predicated of the incarnate Christ. Although parallels to the former idea have been sought in 1 Cor. 15:47 and in Philo of Alexandria, an eternally pre-existent human Jesus seems difficult to establish in Paul and to square either with the assertions of v. 6 or with the implied movement to humanity in v. 7.

Yes, I agree. I won't say it rules out pre-existence, but I agree it makes pre-existence of Christ unnecessary in the reading. Anymore than Adam being in the "image of God" makes a pre-existent Adam necessary. Again, it's only if Paul means "image of God" when he writes "form of God"

Option (ii) has in recent times been strongly championed by J. D. G. Dunn (see n. 24 = Christology in the Making, 174-81), who argues that even v. 6 must be read in Adamic terms of the human Jesus, and that therefore there is no mention of pre-existence or any prior temporal reference at all: Jesus' exaltation is not his 'return' to heaven but the restoration to the 'Second Adam' of the glory which the first Adam lost.

Yes, that's how I read it also.

Despite attracting a good deal of interest, Dunn's interpretation has failed to win the day. It seems unable to accommodate the most likely reading of 'the form of God' and the word άρπαγμός in relation to 'equality with God'. It also, as a result, disrupts the natural flow of Christ being first in that 'form' and then 'born in human likeness' and taking the 'form of a slave' (cf. again Wanamaker). The whole language and logic of verses 6-8 suggests a movement from a divine to a human state, which Christ did not 'have' but 'took' (λαβών).[27=27 This point has also been strongly and persuasively argued by Jiirgen Habermann, Praexistenzaussagen im Neuen Testament (Frankfurt etc.: Lang, 1990), 115 and Otfried Hofius (1991), 116-18 as well as by recent commentators including U. B. Miiller, P. T. O'Brien and G. D. Fee.]

Well, all those scholars find such a reading difficult, so it's natural to go with them over an amateur like myself. I'd have to read their arguments for myself, and even then I probably wouldn't understand them. Still, I don't see the disruption of the natural flow of Christ being in the form of God and then being born in human likeness at all... IF "form of God" == "image of God". Christ isn't moving from a divine form into a human one, he is moving from an idealised human form into a form that is a consequence of sin, i.e. a servant of the sin of Adam.

And while acknowledging that Paul was perhaps untroubled by the metaphysical intricacies of 'pre existence', we may accept with the vast majority of interpreters since antiquity that the most natural reading of this and other passages (e.g. Col. 1:15-17; 1 Cor. 8:6) will associate Christ with a time prior to Adam.[28=28 See further U. B. Miiller, Philipper, 96; G. D. Fee, Philippians, 203 n. 41; O. Hofius, Christushymnus, 114-22; C. A. Wanamaker, 'Philippians 2.6-11', 179-93; J· Habermann, Praexistenzaussagen, 141—57.] (It is worth stressing that early Christian advocates of the Adam typology did not assert it as an alternative to a pre-existential reading of our passage).

1 Cor 8:6 is:

But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

Is this about pre-existence? I don't see it. For Paul, God's plan starts and ends with Christ. That plan was a mystery until revealed at the last. It might suggest an actual pre-existent Christ, but it doesn't require it, AFAICS.

Again, lots of scholars seem to see the idea of a pre-existence of Christ in Paul, so that needs to be taken into consideration.

Two things may be said by way of summary of this discussion. First, Paul's evident fondness for the Christ-Adam polarity where may indeed have coloured his presentation of Christ's tude in this passage, too—especially if one considers that 6-8 arguably stand in deliberate contrast with the self-centred human behaviour decried implicitly in 2:2—4 and explicitly 2:21. Secondly, however, the text nevertheless offers insufficient evidence to establish an explicit link, or even a deliberate to Adam. The only demonstrably intentional contrast is between human self-seeking (2:3-4) and Christ's self-giving (2:6); in connection, non-explicit parallels with Adam are just as likely be the result of accustomed ways of Pauline thinking about Christ and sinful humanity.

True enough.

The arguments here are obviously complex and intricate, and scholarship has yet to reach a consensus on this matter. The problem is, however, that the undeniable counter-analogy between Philippians 2 and Genesis 3 in general is not easily pinned down in particulars.

Yes. But the analogy is about the ideas behind them both, it isn't a direct comparison between them. Adam was in the image of God, he was disobedient, with the result that he and his heirs suffered death. Christ was in the image of God, he came in the form of an heir of Adam, he was obedient to death, with the result that he and his spiritual heirs gained eternal life.

If you read through Phil 2 with that idea in mind, it all makes sense (at least to me!):

Phil 2:3 nothing in rivalry or vain-glory, but in humility of mind one another counting more excellent than yourselves --
4 each not to your own look ye, but each also to the things of others.
5 For, let this mind be in you that is also in Christ Jesus,
6 who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal to God,
7 but did empty himself, the form of a servant having taken, in the likeness of men having been made,
8 and in fashion having been found as a man, he humbled himself, having become obedient unto death -- death even of a cross,
9 wherefore, also, God did highly exalt him...


It is consistent with the passages where Paul directly compares Adam with Christ:

Rom 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

1 Cor 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

1 Cor 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
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Re: Interpreting Philippians 2:5-11

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GakuseiDon wrote: Thu Sep 02, 2021 4:22 am
Nevertheless, the passage has proved remarkably resistant to any positive demonstration of verbal or other specific parallels with the text of Genesis 3. In the Genesis story, it is Eve rather than Adam who receives the proposal to be 'like God' (Gen. 3:5; LXX has 'like gods'). This 'likeness', moreover, is expressed specifically in terms of the knowledge of good and evil, which was in fact acquired (Gen. 3:22), rather than in terms of being 'equal to God'. Neither 'form' nor 'equality' are ever mentioned in the Genesis text.

That's kind of irrelevant. For this analysis, it isn't important what the Genesis author meant, only what Paul thought that the Genesis passage meant. Paul writes that, through one man's sin, death entered the world. That sin brought death to his fleshly heirs. And through one man's actions, eternal life was brought into the world for his spiritual heirs. If Paul thought that the sin of Adam involved a grasping for immortality -- which Gen 3 described as becoming like the gods -- then it is irrelevant whether Gen 3 explicitly says that or not.
What is being compared are the words that we read in Genesis and the words that we read in Paul's passage. If we go beyond this data and seek an argument in what we believe an author thought and how he interpreted the words of Genesis then we enter the realm of question begging. How do we know Paul interpreted Genesis that way, because that's our interpretation of what he wrote.... and so forth.
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Re: Interpreting Philippians 2:5-11

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A more generally accessible point for B's Form of God article: https://sci-hub.se/10.1093/jts/48.1.1
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Re: Interpreting Philippians 2:5-11

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GakuseiDon wrote: Thu Sep 02, 2021 4:22 am. . . . Then again, I have no qualifications in the fields required, and no knowledge of any of the ancient languages involved, so anything I write should be taken with a grain of salt!

. . . . Well, all those scholars find such a reading difficult, so it's natural to go with them over an amateur like myself. I'd have to read their arguments for myself, and even then I probably wouldn't understand them.

Again, lots of scholars seem to see the idea of a pre-existence of Christ in Paul, so that needs to be taken into consideration.
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Re: Interpreting Philippians 2:5-11

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On two points arising.
In the Genesis story, it is Eve rather than Adam who receives the proposal to be 'like God' (Gen. 3:5; LXX has 'like gods')
Reading on to the next verse, we learn that the Woman doesn't go fetch Adam, and yet he is there with her. This propinquity appears to be overtly mentioned in both Hebrew and Septuagint. It follows that there is a foundation (but not proof) for Adam being a witness to, but not a participant in the conversation between Serpent and the Woman.

In other words, it is reasonable but not obligatory to infer that Adam took the fruit with the intention of achieving the transformation that Serpent had explained in Adam's hearing.

The other point is subtler. While I appreciate Neil's caution,
What is being compared are the words that we read in Genesis and the words that we read in Paul's passage. If we go beyond this data and seek an argument in what we believe an author thought and how he interpreted the words of Genesis then we enter the realm of question begging. How do we know Paul interpreted Genesis that way, because that's our interpretation of what he wrote.... and so forth.
Language is processed both semantically as well as syntactically, then and now, always and everywhere. Congruence of meaning is a datum, too*.

It is not circular to observe that Paul is aware of the Genesis story, that there is some sense in which Jesus's story is related to Adam's story elsewhere in his writing, and that in the immediate passage, Paul is exemplifying magical thinking. In magical thought, if a magical operation has come to catastrophe, then it is "magical-reasonable" for a second magician to try and reverse the catastrophe by doing the opposite of what the first magician did.

I am not saying that I can know what was in Paul's mind, and I'm surely not saying there is only one theory of magic. Nevertheless, in applying theory of mind, I am not "circular" to heed what I know some people claim to think who are in situations "like" Paul's, and say things "like" what Paul writes here.

----
* And at the expense of making a Monty Pythonesque third point having committed to only two, is there really any doubt that people allude to material they've read without opening a copy to refresh their recollection of every detail, down to the exact prepositions used?

Jerome placed the "voices in the Temple" a generation early, because he worked from memory. Origen rewrote Antiquities 20, because he worked from memory. Bart Ehrman created a new letter from Pliny to Trajan, because he worked from memory. But it's a BFD that Paul used his own prepositions in retelling a story, just maybe from memory?
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Re: Interpreting Philippians 2:5-11

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Paul the Uncertain wrote: Thu Sep 02, 2021 6:39 am
It is not circular to observe that Paul is aware of the Genesis story, that there is some sense in which Jesus's story is related to Adam's story elsewhere in his writing, and that in the immediate passage, Paul is exemplifying magical thinking. In magical thought, if a magical operation has come to catastrophe, then it is "magical-reasonable" for a second magician to try and reverse the catastrophe by doing the opposite of what the first magician did.

I am not saying that I can know what was in Paul's mind, and I'm surely not saying there is only one theory of magic. Nevertheless, in applying theory of mind, I am not "circular" to heed what I know some people claim to think who are in situations "like" Paul's, and say things "like" what Paul writes here.
RE: Paul's awareness of the Genesis story

Yesterday I listed to a podcast by Philip A. Harland where Paul's awareness of the Garden of Eden story was discussed:

Podcast 8.8: Internal Functions of the Rhetoric of Satan in Paul and John (ca. 50-110 CE)
https://www.philipharland.com/Blog/reli ... tion-page/

He argues for a link between 2 Cor 11:3 and 11:14. Here are the two verses in their immediate contexts:

1I hope you will bear with a little of my foolishness, but you are already doing that. 2I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. For I promised you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.
3I am afraid, however, that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may be led astray from your simple and pure devotion to Christ. 4For if someone comes and proclaims a Jesus other than the One we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit than the One you received, or a different gospel than the one you accepted, you put up with it way too easily....

12But I will keep on doing what I am doing, in order to undercut those who want an opportunity to be regarded as our equals in the things of which they boast. 13For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their actions.

Harland suggested that both verses allude to the Genesis story since Paul probably knew the the tradition that identified "the serpent" as "Satan."

PS. I also listened to a podcast yesterday on magical thinking as understood by Jean Gebser:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Gebs ... _structure.
We usually think of magic and faith as opposites. But another option (a wise synthesis) is to "transcend and include"--transcend the less mature magical thinking, but without excluding it through repression or denial. The resulting enchantment includes some fearfulness, but without paralysis, and a degree of uncertainty about what surprises might happen next, but without a loss of creativity.
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