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Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: - Philippians 2:5-6

Various translations render "hegeomai" as thought, consider, regard, count, esteem, deem, reckon, and even a strange "take advantage" (which I think is outside the box). All of these rightly represent a function of mind, as the object in question (equality with God) is perceived and rationally, accurately considered.

For comparison, the exact same word in the exact same form appears in 1 Timothy 1:12 (he counted) and Hebrews 11:11 (she judged).

Indeed, we are exhorted to have the same mind in us as was in Christ Jesus when He, Christ Jesus, thought (hegeomai) it not robbery to be equal with God when He was in the form of God. Following that consideration he "took upon him the form of a servant". The condescension follows after and flows from the consideration in the text of v. 6-8 just as the exaltation of v. 9 follows after and flows from the condescension.

There are those who declare that, prior to his birth, Jesus did not exist with person-hood and that, if he existed in some form, he existed as "an idea in the mind of God". Biblical Unitarians are one such group. However this verse declares that, prior to his birth in Nazareth, Christ Jesus displayed function of mind. He considered, thought, reckoned, esteemed, or counted.

Additionally, having considered he then acted by "making himself of no reputation" and "took the form of a servant" in accordance with his reckoning. It is crystal clear from the verse in question that it is the "who" which "thought" and equally clear that the "who" is Christ Jesus prior to his birth in Nazareth.

The who, "being in the form of God", is prior to "in the form of a servant" and "made in the likeness of men" as evidenced by the conjunctive "but" separating the hegeomai of equality with God, which took place when in the form of God, and the actions of making himself of no reputation, etc. which result from the hegeomai. If the latter activity can be understood as Jesus' birth in Nazareth (and indeed it must if he did not pre-exist his birth), then it is prior to his birth in Nazareth when he considered.

From those who deny a pre-incarnate "person" of Christ; Who or what performed "hegeomai", that function of personal, rational mind?

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    I took the liberty of editing only to place anglicised Greek words in italics, as is conventional, to avoid them being seen as transliterations. Please roll back if you feel this is intrusive. Up-voted +1.
    – Nigel J
    Sep 22 at 12:54
  • On what do you base, "prior to his birth" from that verse? Is it crystal clear in your mind only as the text has no time frame to signal this.
    – steveowen
    Sep 23 at 12:58
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    @steveowen When Jesus "considered it not robbery" was when he was "in the form of God". Following that consideration he "took upon him the form of a servant". The condescension follows after and flows from the consideration in the text of v. 6-8 just as the exaltation of v. 9 follows after and flows from the condescension. Sep 24 at 13:10
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    @steveowen It is prior to "in the form of a servant" and "made in the likeness of men". If these two terms can be understood as Jesus' birth in Nazareth then it is prior to his birth in Nazareth. If these two terms can be understood as something else, why don't you present that in an answer. Sep 24 at 13:30
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    @steveowen There is no when or no time element from the text. Jesus was God all along. Greek Scholar A.T Robertson: Being (υπαρχων). Rather, "existing," present active participle of υπαρχω. In the form of God (εν μορφη θεου). Μορφη means the essential attributes as shown in the form. In his preincarnate state Christ possessed the attributes of God and so appeared to those in heaven who saw him. Here is a clear statement by Paul of the deity of Christ. Mike quoted Thayer a Unitarian agrees that a "but" or in my NASB, vs6, "who, although He existed as God. Although means, in spite of the FACT.
    – Mr. Bond
    Sep 25 at 17:07

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