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The Form of Philippians 2:6-11

The Form of Philippians 2:6-11

Excerpt
The basic question regarding form is whether these verses are an early Christian hymn. Most contemporary scholars interpret these verses as a hymn because of the rhythmical quality, rare words and phrases, and motifs. The second portion of the passage, 2:9–11, goes beyond the demands of the immediate context. It seems to be the second stanza of the hymn about Christ. Although the exaltation theme presented there contributes to the context, here Paul advocated humility, not exaltation. If the verses do constitute a hymn, which seems reasonable, they reveal something of the worship of the early church. At least two characteristics predominate: They express a depth of theology which reveals in particular a highly developed Christology; they reveal that the early church had formulated its Christology in cryptic but powerful language. Further, the fact that Paul could appeal to the (apparently) well-known hymn indicates the widespread interest the early church had in Jesus. More
Melick, Richard R. Philippians, Colossians, Philemon. Vol. 32. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1991. Print. The New American Commentary.
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