Meaning of Philippians 2:6- MORFH and hARPAGMOS
questioning1 at yahoo.com
Tue Oct 27 14:55:39 EST 1998
Dear Kyle and other Greeks,
In his thorough commentary on Philippians, Moises Silva disucusses
many of the pertinent exegetical issues surrounding the Christ "hymn."
On p. 123 of his work, he cites several Classical texts which
illustrate Lightfoot's distinction between SXEMA and MORFH will not
hold up under serious scrutiny. Some of these texts are as follows:
TO AUTOU EIDOS EIS POLLAS MORFAS (Republic 2.19 = 380d).
ENOS SWMATOS OUSIAN METASXHMATIZWN KAI METAXARATTWN EIS POLUTROPOUS
MORFAS (The Embassy To Gaius 80 [LCL 10:41]. Philo).
OUX hO TOIS QEOIS THN MORFHN hEOIKWS (Fifteenth Julian Oration 34 [LCL
Despite writing that Lightfoot was misguided in his analysis of MORFH,
however, Silva contends that there is a certain element of truth in
Lightfoot's treatment of MORFH. Where Lightfoot is supposedly correct,
is in his confining MORFH THEOU to the Divine essence. As proof of
this statement, he cites Philo (and Josephus) who indicates that the
QEOU MORFH "cannot be counterfeited as a coin can be." In other words,
only one who is ontologically God can visually represent the "form of
My question: Are there places in Classical literature where a god or
demi-god is said to legitimately reflect the form of God?
If this is too far off-topic, please reply offlist.
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