PHILIPPIANS 2:5-11

A (5) Let this mind be in you, which was also in CHRIST

B (5) JESUS:

C (6) Who, being in the form OF GOD, thought it not robbery to be equal WITH GOD:

D (7, 8) but himself emptied, form of a slave taking, in likeness of men WAS BECOMING <1096>; and in fashion being found as a man

E (8) he humbled himself,

D1 (8) AND BECAME < 1096> obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

C1 (9) Wherefore GOD also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

B1 (10, 11) That at the name OF JESUS every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that JESUS

A1 (11) CHRIST is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Comment:

The AV order for verses 7 and 8 has “men” and “man” in close proximity, with “was made”/”became” <1096> either side of them. Initially, then, it looks like there are two central statements; “in the likeness of men:” and “And being found in fashion as a man” or maybe “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself”. But in fact, in the Greek in verse 7, “in the likeness of men” comes before “was made”.

If you read a `literal’ version of the text which follows the Greek word order there is a `rhythm’ which seems to place “he humbled himself” as a separate statement at the end. For D (7, 8) I’ve used Marshall’s literal English translation so you can see what I mean. In the above structure I’ve not included “man”/”men” as part of the chiasm and opted for “made”/”became” as the inner pair, with “he humbled himself” as the central statement. See what you think.

Another, separate, issue is the order of “Christ” and “Jesus”. Does the requirement to form a chiastic structure provide one reason why the order of the terms, Christ Jesus/Jesus Christ in this passage, and maybe others, are reversed?

One thought on “PHILIPPIANS 2:5-11”

  1. I have another proposal that keeps the regular parallelism. A and A’ refer to the Lord’s elevated status, B and B’ to his humility. The central pairing emphasise Christ as a man.

    A. 6 Who, being in the form of God,
    thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

    B. 7 But made himself of no reputation,
    and took upon him the form of a servant,

    C. and was made in the likeness of men:
    8 And being found in fashion as a man,

    B’. he humbled himself,
    and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

    A’. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him,
    and given him a name which is above every name:

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