Monday, September 15, 2008

Philippians 2:1-13

Note, Paul uses just about every key Christian term in this section: encouragment (paraklysis), love (agape), sharing (koinoonia) and compassion (splangchna) are all in the first verse!

2:1 These "if" clauses are ambiguous to their bases in fact. They could be translated "Since there is X, Y and Z."

2:3 One interesting word here (among the many) is "conceit," which is literally "kenodoxia." Christ will "keno" himself before his "glory." But this is a different type of empty glory!

2:5 The key verb/idea here is "phrone-oom" which means have a mind/regard/think. This verb is found twice in 2:2

2:6
- This sentence "did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited" could also read "did not regard exploitation/grasping as worthy of God."
- The idea of form is important -- Greek gods, as any museum will show you, had beautiful forms, not those of slaves! Click here for more

2:7 Ken-oo is the key verb here (emptied)

2:12 The verb here for work out is "katergazo-mai" from kata (intensifier) and erg-oo (to work). One possible meaning for this verb is simply "achieve" but another one is "to work up," ie, to make use of; fields, for example, are worked on to make them ready for harvest. Make use of your salvation!

A personal note -- Coming from a strongly Lutheran tradition, I struggle with this verse. However, I wonder if the fear and trembling is because what it means to achieve salvation is to undergo our own road to the cross.

2:13 The agent in this verse is clearly God! The word for enable here is literally "energe-oo."

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