Philippians 2

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Philippians 2
Vignette by Loutherbourg for the Macklin Bible 105 of 134. Bowyer Bible New Testament. Headpiece to Philippians.gif
Head-piece to Philippians. Philippians 2:7-8. Print made by James Heath. 1800. Published by T. Macklin, London.
BookEpistle to the Philippians
CategoryPauline epistles
Christian Bible partNew Testament
Order in the Christian part11

Philippians 2 is the second chapter of the Epistle to the Philippians in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It is authored by Paul the Apostle about mid-50s to early 60s AD and addressed to the Christians in Philippi.[1] Jesuit theologian Robert Murray notes that a narrative in verses 5-11 about Christ, "who humbled himself, by becoming obedient to death" is central to this chapter.[2] German protestant theologian Ernst Lohmeyer argued in 1928 that verses 6-11 were an existing hymn about Christ which Paul quotes in his letter, a theory which "has come to dominate both exegesis of Philippians and study of early Christology and credal formulas".[3]

Text[edit]

The original text was written in Koine Greek. This chapter is divided into 30 verses.

Textual witnesses[edit]

Some early manuscripts containing the text of this chapter are:

Unity of Minds and Hearts (2:1–4)[edit]

This section centers on Paul's appeal for unity of minds and hearts among the people, which can be expressed by four phrases: two using the keyword phronein ("of the same mind" or "of one mind"), then agape ("love") and sumpsuchoi ("united in soul" or "being in full accord").[4] Maintaining his reference to the joy which Paul already feels in respect to the Philippians (verses 1:4 and 1:25), he speaks of this joy being "made full, like a measure".[5]

Christ as the Focus and Model for Discipleship (2:5–11)[edit]

Following the exhortation in the earlier section, Christ is pointed as the model for discipleship, with a poetic narrative "beyond Paul's usual vocabulary", but not necessarily beyond his capacity.[6]

Verse 5[edit]

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,[7]

This verse uses the same word phronein which Paul used at the start of this chapter.

Verse 6[edit]

who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,[8]

Verse 7[edit]

but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. [9]
  • "Made Himself of no reputation": or "nevertheless emptied himself"; he lost nothing of what he had, but the glory of his divine nature was covered and hid from the people so they reputed him as a mere man.[10]
  • "Taking the form of a bondservant" (KJV: "took upon him"): voluntarily, was not obliged, or forced to be in the form of a servant, as was often prophesied in Isaiah 42:1; 52:13, Zechariah 3:8, also called in the Targum, "my servant the Messiah".[10]
  • "Likeness": from Ancient Greek: ὁμοίωμα homoiōma; "in the likeness of men", not the likeness of the first Adam, but of "sinful flesh", and was treated as a "sinner", although he was "equal to God".[10]

Verse 8[edit]

And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.[11]

The Desired Response (2:12–18)[edit]

Based on Christ's example, Paul exhorts the people to "work out your own salvation... for it is God who is at work".[12]

Timothy and Epaphroditus, Paul's Go-Betweens (2:19–30)[edit]

Two of Paul's helpers, Timothy and Epaphroditus, are introduced and the reasons for their journey are explained in this part, mainly to show Paul's affection to the people of Philippi.[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Murray 2007, pp. 1179–1180.
  2. ^ Murray 2007, pp. 1181.
  3. ^ Murray 2007, pp. 1180.
  4. ^ Murray 2007, pp. 1183.
  5. ^ Meyer, H. A. W. (1880), Meyer's NT Commentary on Philippians 2, accessed 1 June 2020
  6. ^ Murray 2007, pp. 1184.
  7. ^ Philippians 2:5 NKJV
  8. ^ Philippians 2:6 NKJV
  9. ^ Philippians 2:7 NKJV
  10. ^ a b c John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible, - Philippians 2:7
  11. ^ Philippians 2:8 NKJV
  12. ^ Murray 2007, pp. 1186.
  13. ^ Murray 2007, pp. 1187.

Sources[edit]

  • Coogan, Michael David (2007). Coogan, Michael David; Brettler, Marc Zvi; Newsom, Carol Ann; Perkins, Pheme (eds.). The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books: New Revised Standard Version, Issue 48 (Augmented 3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195288810.
  • Murray, Robert, SJ (2007). "69. Philippians". In Barton, John; Muddiman, John (eds.). The Oxford Bible Commentary (first (paperback) ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 1179–1190. ISBN 978-0199277186. Retrieved February 6, 2019.

External links[edit]