7. Exhortation to Unity—The Example of Christ (Philippians 2:5-11)
I. Translation as It Appears in the NET Bible
2:5 You should have the same attitude toward one another that Christ Jesus had,
2:6 who though he existed in the form of God
did not regard equality with God
as something to be grasped,
2:7 but emptied himself
by taking on the form of a slave,
by looking like other men,
and by sharing in human nature.
2:8 He humbled himself,
by becoming obedient to the point of death
—even death on a cross!
2:9 As a result God exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
2:10 so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bow
—in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
2:11 and every tongue confess
to the glory of God the Father
that Jesus Christ is Lord.
A. The Command (2:5)
B. The Example: Christ (2:6-11)
1. His Humility (2:6-8)
a. His Deity and Pre-existence (2:6)
b. His “Emptying” (2:7a-b)
c. His Death (2:7c-8)
2. His Exaltation (2:9-11)
a. The Receiving of the “Name” (2:9)
b. The Purpose of Jesus’ Exaltation (2:10-11b)
i. Every Knee Will Bow (2:10)
ii. Every Tongue Will Confess (2:11a-b)
c. The Glory of God (2:11c)
From the very outset of his letter to the Philippians (1:1-2), Paul has argued, both by example and explicit statement, that he wants the church to cultivate the virtue of humility with a view toward corporate unity. In his thanksgiving and prayer section (i.e., 1:3-11), he focuses on the church as a whole and aims at their love and unity. He thanks all of them for their participation in the gospel and assures them of his deep love for all the believers (1:3-8). His prayer in 1:9-11 is also concerned with the issue of promoting humility and unity.
In 1:12-26 Paul recounts for the Philippians his circumstances and how he is responding to the difficulties. As he describes his circumstances and his joy, his life becomes a model for the Philippians of how to deal with those who attempt to cause division and disunity. His humility and confidence in God shine through (1:19-20) and his priorities reflect those of his Master (cf. 1:20; John 5:30).
Thus, after addressing the church as a unified whole (1:1-2), praying for them to this end (1:3-11), giving his own life as a model (1:12-26; cf. 4:9), and urging them to live lives of humility and unity—both in the face of pressures from within (1:27-30) and pressures from without (2:1-4)—Paul turns his attention to the powerful example of Christ himself in 2:5-11.
Therefore, the example of Christ’s humility in 2:5-11 is placed in a context aimed at humility and unity. But the connection of the previous material with 2:5-11 can be spelled out in terms more specific than this. Philippians 2:5-11 is the most important passage in the book from a theological as well as practical point of view and exercises a controlling and shaping influence on material which has come before and that which will follow in the letter. Let’s look at some of those connections.
First, recall that Paul does not refer to himself as an “apostle” in 1:1, but as a “servant.” He also includes Timothy under this title. The mention of “servant” (douloi) here early in the book anticipates Paul’s reference to Jesus as the servant (doulou) in 2:7.
Second, we said in our study of 1:6 that the expression “good work” includes God’s saving grace experienced personally by the Philippians’ and its expression in their lives. Further, Paul tells the Philippians that the humble attitude which was seen in Christ ought to be found in them (2:5). Thus, the “good work” God is doing in them is directed at a similar humility and an “other’s-centered” approach to life as was seen Jesus. This is further confirmed by 2:13 where Paul says that the “One who works in them” to produce this kind of ethic is God.
Third, to exhibit the attitude and example of Christ is part and parcel of what it means to be filled with the fruit of righteousness (1:11). Incidentally, prayer is critical to abiding in Christ and producing the kind of fruit that glorifies God and demonstrates that you are Christ’s disciple (John 15:7-8).
Fourth, Paul was other’s-centered and lived his Christian life seeking to serve others for their progress and joy in the faith (1:25). He is an excellent model of one who poured out his life so that others might really live (2:17). This, of course, is precisely what Christ did for us, though on a much grander scale (2:6-8).
Fifth, when Paul urges the Philippians to a life worthy of the gospel, he has in mind, among many things, the idea of suffering faithfully. Christ himself suffered (2:8) and it has been graciously given to Christians not only to believe on Christ, but also to suffer for him (1:29-30). If our Lord humbled himself and accepted the cross on our behalf, so we must be willing to suffer for him.
Sixth, Phil 2:6-8 is most explicitly connected to the idea of humility in 2:3-4. In these two verses Paul commands the Philippians to do nothing out of selfish ambition or vanity, but in humility regard others as better than themselves. They are to look out for the interests of others ahead of themselves. Is this not exactly what Christ did in 2:6-8. That is why Paul says in 2:5 the attitude of the Philippians should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.
Thus there are many connections in 1:1-2:5 to what follows in 2:6-11. But there are also connections in 2:12 ff to 2:6-11.
First, the “therefore” in 2:12 connects the ethical injunctions in 2:12-15 with the example of Christ outlined in 2:6-11. Once again he is the model to follow. He never complained or grumbled. He never sought his own way. Neither should we.
Second, both Timothy (2:21) and Epaphroditus are examples of Christ-like people (2:21; 2:29-30). Both of them “put the interests” of the Philippians ahead of themselves. Epaphroditus almost paid for such self sacrificing service with his life.
Third, Paul’s example in 3:7-11 is also consistent with the attitude that was in Christ Jesus. He did nothing out of selfish ambition or vanity. He did everything for Christ.
Fourth, Phil 2:9-11 speaks about the exaltation of Christ after his suffering. The fact that the exaltation came after the suffering should not be missed or glossed over. If indeed there were individuals suggesting to the Philippians that the true gospel was purely triumphant and did not involve suffering, Paul had another word! He argues that Christ himself suffered first and then was exalted. The Philippians must suffer first (1:29) and then be exalted (3:20). This is the divine order and cannot be changed. Not for us today either! To be sure the gospel is a triumphant message and one taken up with victory, but the complete victory over sin and suffering must await heaven (3:20-21). Now we have victory through suffering, at the consummation we will have victory over suffering.
So we see that the passage is tightly connected to what came before and after. We are now ready to examine it in some detail. The first item we need to consider is the genre of the passage or the kind of writing it represents. Then we can proceed to an exegesis of the details. Concerning the genre of the passage, there are those who argue that it is an early Christian hymn and that it has certain affinities with other (apparently) hymnic material in the NT (cf. Col. 1:15-20; 1 Tim 3:16). This is quite likely. Still others argue that it is more along the lines of narrative.111 The answer to this question may not necessarily be an either/or. The passage may well have an underlying chronology, reflecting a narrative structure,112 but the fact that it is set off by the relative pronoun “who” (hos), which is also found at Col 1:15 and 1 Tim 3:16 (other NT hymnic material), makes it likely that it is hymnic and that it represents material used as such in the early church. The antecedent of the pronoun, then, is Christ and everyone in the churches wherein it was used knew that. There are other hymnic features including parallelisms and meter, though the precise metrical structure is difficult, if not impossible, to nail down with certainty.113
It is thus reasonable to conclude that the passage has at least some poetic and hymnic elements. With this in mind we should not attempt to make it “walk on all fours.” We cannot press every detail for theological insight and inquiry. It is the language of worship not the carefully guarded comments we find in Romans 8, for example. Further, the passage is being used as a model of Christian humility and behavior. This must be kept in mind when examining the details.114
IV. Exhortation to Unity—The Example of Christ
In this section Paul will give the command for the Philippians to imitate the example of Christ himself. Though he was fully divine, he emptied himself by taking on human nature and dying a shameful death on a cross. Only then, after a life of complete and humble obedience, did God exalt him. The Philippians, and all of us by extension, who name the name of Christ are to walk in his footsteps. We are to humbly carry out God’s will as chosen servants and wait for our vindication and exaltation at the glorification.
A. The Command (2:5)
The sentence in v. 5 literally reads: “this think among yourselves which also in Christ Jesus.” Thus there is no expressed verb in the second clause. As a result some commentators have supplied the verb “think,” since this is the verb in the first clause. Thus they render the sentence: “think this among yourselves which also you think in Christ Jesus.” That is, the same way as you think in Christ Jesus is to be the way you think in your relationships with Christians; or, think this way because it is the only way of thinking that agrees with being a Christian. But this fails to realize that 2:6-11 is not about the way we think in Christ, but is itself an example taken from Christ.115 Therefore, it is better to supply the verb “to be” and render it as “this think among yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.” We can say the same thing in a little less awkward way: You should have the same attitude toward one another that Christ Jesus had.
Paul wants the Philippians to take on the same attitude that Christ himself had. The apostle has already made reference to the “good work” which undoubtedly includes God’s work of conforming them into the image of Christ (cf. Rom 8:29). Paul wants them to adopt this attitude because he is confident that God is working in them to that end. This is also brought out forcefully in 2:12-13—an exhortation coupled with theological rationale, both of which are closely connected to 2:5-11 through the term “therefore” (hoste). Also, regarding the use of attitude (phronein), the same meaning prevails in 2:5 as we discussed earlier in 1:7. It has more to do with a settled attitude and disposition than any deliberate analytical thinking. In short, Paul wants them to consider their life as Christ considered his.
B. The Example of Christ (2:6-11)
The example from the life and career of Christ is taken from both his humiliation and exaltation, and as we said above, the order is significant. He had to suffer faithfully and then be exalted. This was God’s plan, both for him, as well as the Philippians.
1. His Humility (2:6-8)
a. His Deity and Pre-existence (2:6)
Paul begins this wonderful hymn about Christ’s humility and exaltation with a powerful note about his deity and pre-existence. He says that though he existed in the form of God…. There is no little debate over the meaning of the expression form of God (en morphe theou) in this sentence. Generally speaking, however, the term form refers to outward manifestation which corresponds exactly with what a thing is in its essence. It corresponds with the essential attributes a thing possesses without which it could not be what it is. Thus insofar as Jesus partakes of the form of God, he partakes of all the essential attributes of deity (cf. John 1:1). The mention of “equality with God” (isa theo) in the next phrase further indicates that in the expression “form of God” we are dealing with Christ’s deity.
Though Jesus was fully God he did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped. The difficult expression to understand in this statement is something to be grasped which translates only one Greek word (harpagmon). This word appears only here in the NT. There are at least three different meanings for the word though not all of them are equally valid in this context. First, there are those who argue that it means “to rapture” or “to catch up” or “to have an ecstatic experience.” This is based in part on the use of the verb in passages like 1 Thess 4:17 and 2 Cor 12:2-4. This interpretation makes no sense whatsoever in Phil 2:6 since Paul is not talking about some mystical experience Christ had. Second, some argue that the term refers to something not yet possessed, but to be “grasped after” or “reached for.” But the text says that he was already in the form of God, not that he wanted to become God, as we see for example, in the case of Satan or Adam (Gen 3:5; Isa 14:12-13). Third, the term can also mean “something already possessed” and, therefore, “to be clutched onto” or “held closely” so as to protect.116 This last sense fits the context well. Jesus was not grasping to get something, but already possessed deity and because he did so, he could freely give or empty himself. He “did not regard being equal with God…something to be used for his own advantage.”117
We may summarize this verse using the words of one commentator:
The participle huparchon (“being” [NIV], in the sense of “existing”) is in the present tense and states Christ’s continuing condition. To say that he was existing in the essential metaphysical form of God is tantamount to saying that he possessed the nature of God. The phrase is elaborated on by the words “equality with God” (isa theo). It should be noted that isa is an adverb (not the substantive ison), and hence describes the manner of existence.118
b. His “Emptying” (2:7a-b)
Paul says that Christ did not use his divinity for personal gain, but instead emptied himself (eauton ekenosen). This is one of the most interesting comments in all of Scripture and one that has precipitated an enormous amount of discussion over the centuries. Just what did Paul mean by the verb ekenosen? The answer to this question has led to a number of theories about the incarnation and what took place when Christ took on humanity. Some theories include: (1) Christ divested himself of his deity, but such an hypothesis leaves us with a savior incapable of paying an eternal debt; (2) he gave up his independent exercise of authority. But nothing in the text suggests this interpretation; (3) he emptied himself of his glory; (4) he emptied himself of the relative attributes of deity such as omniscience, omnipresence, etc. (5) he emptied himself of being equal with God.119
The problem with all these theories is that they have no basis in the text and are, therefore, suspect. There is a better sense in which to take the verb ekenosen. It can mean “to pour out”120 and this better fits the context. Thus it is a metaphorical and emotional way of expressing the tremendous humility that Jesus, who will always possess a divine nature, expressed when he took on a human nature and became a servant to the point of dying on a cross.
Thus the way that Jesus expressed this “emptying” or “pouring out” was by taking the form of a servant and by looking like other men. The expression form of a servant (morphen doulou) uses similar language to “form of God” (morphe theou) and stands in stark contrast to the former. The One who was God became a slave! The emphasis in the expression is on his humanity and the fact that as a man he functioned as a slave, one without privileges who came to serve others (cf. Mark 10:45). There have been attempts to see the background for “slave/servant” here as arising out of the servant songs of Isaiah. This may indeed form part of the backdrop, but Paul’s emphasis here is on the contrast between Christ’s deity and lofty position and the fact that he condescended to be a slave among us. It is not on his vicarious messianic mission per se. Thus he is an example to the Philippians who were urged to refrain from selfish ambition and doing things with only their own interests in mind.
The phrase looking like other men (en omoiomati anthrpon genomenos) also modifies the verb “he emptied himself.” It serves to strengthen the fact that even though he was divine, Jesus voluntarily took on a genuine human nature.121 The term “likeness” or “like” (omoiomati) as the NET Bible has it, does not indicate mere appearance, as we might think of the word today. Rather, it means that Christ was in all respects a man, except that he was without sin (Heb 4:15).122
c. His Appearance to Other Men and His Death (2:7c-8)
Though he was eternally God, he made himself nothing (so NIV) by taking on the form of a slave and by being made in human likeness. The participial phrase by sharing in human nature can also be translated as “being found in appearance as a man.” It can either go with the verb “emptied himself” or with the following verb “humbled himself.” In either case, the key term “appearance” (schemati) stresses the humanity of Christ as he appeared visibly to other men. They regarded him as fully human (cf. 2 Cor 5:16) for he went through all the phases of life that normal human beings go through. Regarding Scriptural statements about Jesus’ humanity, Hendriksen enumerates the following list: (1) He came into the world through natural means, i.e., birth (Luke 2:7), but men did not understand the virgin birth; (2) He grew up like other boys (Luke 1:80; 2:52); (3) He learned a trade like other young men (Mark 6:3); (4) He was hungry, thirsty, weary, and slept like other people (Matt 4:2; John 4:6; Mark 4:38); (5) He got angry like others, though often for other reasons (Mark 3:5), and (6) he died like others, though his death was vicarious. People regarded him as fully human, and rightly so, but they misunderstood his sinlessness and his deity.123
Paul goes on to say that Jesus humbled himself, by becoming obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross! Thus the magnitude of his humility is measured by the extent to which he was obedient—all the way to death. The term obedient (hupekoos) means to adhere to or follow the desires of another, in this case the Father. Jesus always did what pleased his Father and in the Garden of Gethsemane he yielded his own will to that of the Father (Matt 26:39; Mark 14:36; Luke 22:42).
The repetition of the word death with the term even between the two occurrences stresses the awful shame and cruelty of death by way of the cross. Death by crucifixion was considered to be reserved only for criminals, those who were slaves, thieves, killers, and outright enemies of the state. The Jews viewed death on a cross as a sure sign that the individual so crucified was accursed by God (Deut 21:22, 23; 1 Cor 1:23).124 Commenting on the horrors of death by crucifixion, Green says:
Among the torturous penalties noted in the literature of antiquity, crucifixion was particularly heinous. The act itself damaged no vital organs, nor did it result in excessive bleeding. Hence, death came slowly, sometimes after several days, through shock or a painful process of asphyxiation as the muscles used in breathing suffered increasing fatigue. Often, as a further disgrace, the person was denied burial and the body was left on the cross to serve as a carrion for the birds or to rot.
Crucifixion was quintessentially a public affair. Naked and affixed to a stake, cross or tree, the victim was subjected to savage ridicule by frequent passersby, while the general populace was given a grim reminder of the fate of those who assert themselves against the authority of the state.125
2. His Exaltation (2:9-11)
The result of Christ’s humiliation and pouring himself out unto death is that God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name. The ultimate end or goal of Christ’s exaltation and universal Lordship is the realization of God’s glory. Thus there is a marked contrast between the first section of this hymn (2:6-8) and the last section of the hymn (2:9-11). The first part deals with Christ’s humility and lowliness, while the second deals with how God responded to Christ’s obedience by exalting him and giving him dominion over the entire universe.
a. The Receiving of the “Name” (2:9)
Paul says that because of the faithful obedience of Christ, God exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name. The verb exalted (huperupsosen) means to “super exalt” or “lift up to the highest place.” Jesus is lifted up to reign over all creation—a role that YHWH (God) himself fulfills (cf. vv. 10-11). This is similar to a statement found in 1 Enoch 51:3 which speaks of the “son of man” assuming the throne of God and sharing in his cosmic rule:126
In those days, (the Elect One) shall sit on my throne and from the conscience of his mouth shall come out all the secrets of wisdom…
The exaltation, then, is to rule over everything in creation. The same verb is used in the Greek OT to refer to YHWH’s exalted status above all other gods (Ps 96:9; Dan 3:52; 54, 57-58).127 The past tense of the verb (i.e., “exalted”) is meant to take in the resurrection and exaltation in one grand sweep, though the emphasis lies on the latter.
God not only exalted him, but more specifically, he gave him the name that is above every other name. The term gave (echarisato) means “graciously given.” The reference to the name (onoma) serves the function of not only identifying Jesus, but also saying something specific about him. It is the name of “Lord” (v. 11 kurios) that was given to him. Therefore, Jesus enters into the ruling functions of God himself. This name and all that goes with it was acquired not by selfish ambition, but by lowly submission and was, therefore, graciously given to Christ. He is enjoying that which was already his by right, but for which he never clung to selfishly. As Martin says:
The honour now conferred is expressed by the bestowal of the name, i.e., a character, which he chose to assume not by right or seizure (the harpagmos of v. 6), but by obedient humiliation. The honour which he refused to arrogate to himself is now conferred upon him by the Father’s good pleasure…The human name ‘Jesus’ is important not least because it declares that lordly power is seen as committed to the hands of the historical person of Jesus of Nazareth, who is not some cosmic cipher or despotic ruler but a figure to whom Christians can give a name and a face.128
There are many other passages in the NT that affirm Christ’s universal right to rule. In Matthew 28:18 Jesus claims to have received all authority in heaven and earth. In Ephesians 1:20-21 Paul says that Christ was seated in the heavenlies far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that can be named not only in the present age, but also in the age to come. The early preaching of the church recognized that Christ was exalted to the status of Lord (Acts 2:33, 36) and upon the basis of his universal Lordship offered the gospel to all men (Acts 10:34-36). Thus, Christ’s lordship is viewed as universal and eternal. But he got there by humble obedience—that is the message proper of Philippians 2:6-11.
In early Christian teaching this pattern of suffering first, then exaltation, was affirmed repeatedly. For example, Jesus himself, when discussing his death with the disciples, said that “whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matt 16:25). Thus, suffering proceeds glory. Peter told the young would-be leaders of the church to humble themselves under God’s mighty hand, and that God would exalt them in due time (1 Peter 5:7). It is interesting to note that in both 1 Peter 5:7 and Matt 16:25 the devil is right there to tempt a person to promote themselves. The same pattern of humility and then exaltation occurs in James 4:10 as well: “Humble yourselves under God’s mighty hand that he may lift you up in due time.” This lesson for us is obvious; we should regularly measure our lives by Christ’s humiliation.
b. The Purpose of Jesus’ Exaltation (2:10-11b)
Paul reveals the two purposes for the exaltation of Jesus Christ, namely, that (1) every knee will bow and (2) every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God. In reality, however, these two purposes form a unified vision which amounts to the universal recognition of Jesus’ lordship. It is particularly his lordship and rule which is to the glory of God.
i. Every Knee Will Bow (2:10)
The following comment about “every knee bowing” and “every tongue confessing” is taken from Isaiah 45:23. The context of the quotation from Isaiah is taken up with the uniqueness of YHWH in contrast to lifeless idols (45:14 “he has no peer; there is no other God”). In the Isaiah passage, YHWH, and YHWH alone, is unique and the only One who creates, redeems, and sustains (45:17-18, ). In particular, Isaiah 45:22-25 reads as follows:
45:22 Turn to me so you can be delivered,
all you who live in the earth’s remote regions!
For I am God, and I have no peer.
45:23 I solemnly make this oath,
what I say is true and reliable:
Surely every knee will bow to me,
every tongue will solemnly affirm,
45:24 they will say about me,
“Yes, the LORD is a powerful deliverer.”
All who are angry at him will cower before him.
45:25 All the offspring of Israel will be vindicated by the LORD
and boast in him.
Thus the passage is a powerful statement about YHWH’s regal supremacy. It is precisely this supremacy which is conferred on Jesus in Philippians 2:10-11. Paul says that at the name of Jesus (en to onomati Iesou) every knee will bow and every tongue confess. In contemporary Christian circles the common misinterpretation of this passage is that the reference to the word name means specifically the name Jesus. But, it is the name given to Jesus which is the issue here. That name is “Lord” (kurios) and it is at that name that all will bow and confess. The image of bowing invokes attitudes in the ancient Near East of paying homage to one’s god(s) in recognition of its inherent authority.129 The application to Christ is amazing.
The reference to those in heaven and on earth and under the earth speaks to the universal nature of his Lordship such as we saw in passages like Matt 28:18 and Eph 1:20-21. He is Lord over absolutely every created being, whether they be angelic or human. Christ is “Lord of Lords and King of Kings!” Commentators who limit the statement: “those who are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth,” to spirits and demonic powers, have failed to realize, among other things, that it is people who were giving the Philippians a difficult time, not spirits per se. Thus while the hymn may take in spirits, it takes in all humanity as well. It is likely that in heaven refers to spirits in the heavenly realm; on earth refers to human beings, and under the earth refers to the dead who will someday confess Christ as Lord.130
ii. Every Tongue Will Confess (2:11a-b)
The question arises with these two purpose clauses as to whether every knee will gladly bow and every tongue gladly confess—that Christ is Lord. The answer in this passage seems to be “no.” There will be many who under the sheer weight of the obvious, will, under compulsion, acknowledge his sovereignty. They will be forced to concede his place of power and rule, but they will do so with much shame. This agrees with the Isaiah passage, especially 45:24 which says that all who have raged against him will be put to shame.131
On the other hand, all Christians will rejoice together and gladly proclaim to the universe that Christ is Lord. In fact, to the degree that we confess him as Lord today, we share in the great eschatological “confession” when the entire universe will acknowledge his rule!
c. The Glory of God (2:11c)
The confession of Christ’s Lordship will certainly bring glory to God, but it may be in this passage that Paul is thinking about Christ’s Lordship itself, not the confession, as something that brings him glory. The “lordship of Jesus in no way threatens or rivals God. Quite the reverse, for it actually reveals the divine glory since the Father has planned that this should be so.”132
V. Principles for Application
1. The first thing an intelligent Christian should do in the light of Philippians 2:6-11 is bow with their face low to the ground and worship the Lord. He, and he alone, is the sovereign of the universe. That position was graciously given to him in the light of his obedience unto death.
2. Practically, the passage as a whole enforces the ethic taught in 2:1-4 and 2:12ff. If Christ himself, though he was divine, did not seek selfishly anything that he might credit to his own account, but instead obeyed the Father completely his entire life, so ought we to do the same. If we have been seeking our own interests, we need to repent and seek the interests of others. You can begin with the relationships in your own home, work place, etc.
111 See Fee, Philippians, 196.
112 There is a movement from Christ’s pre-existence, to his incarnation, to his suffering and death, to his exaltation and universal Lordship.
113 See Hawthorne, Philippians, 76-79.
114 For further discussion on the literary form, background, authorship, and text of this piece of literature, see O’Brien, Philippians, 187-203. This history of discussion on this passage alone is enough to keep a person reading for a very long time.
115 Paul is not referring here to the technical sense of “in Christ” such as we find in passages like Ephesians 1:3-14.
116 Cf. Hawthorne, Philippians, 84-85; Silva, Philippians, 117-18.
117 Roy W. Hoover, “The Harpagmos Enigma: A Philological Solution,” HTR 64 (1971): 118, as quoted in Silva, Philippians, 118.
118 Kent, “Philippians,” 123.
119 Cf. Hawthorne, Philippians, 85, for a summary list of proposed theories.
120 So Fee, Hawthorne, Silva, and O’Brien.
121 The language of “emptying himself” does indeed lead to theories and models concerned to demonstrate how the divine nature can coexist with a human nature in one person with apparently one will (cf. certain kenotic thories and the two-minds theory). But, this passage does not answer that question in any detail, save only to present us with certain facts about this person. It does not tell us precisely the way in which this works. For a discussion of the coherence of the incarnation as idea, see Thomas D. Senor, “The Incarnation and the Trinity,” in Reason for the Hope Within, ed. Michael J. Murray (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999), 238-52.
122 Hendriksen, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon, 110.
123 Hendriksen, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon, 111-12.
124 See Hawthorne, Philippians, 89-90.
125 Joel B. Green, “Death of Jesus,” in Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels, ed. Joel B. Green, Scot McKnight, and I. Howard Marshall (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1992), 147.
126 See Bertram, TDNT, 8:609, fn. 31.
127 Cf. Hawthorne, Philippians, 91.
128 Martin, Philippians, 109.
129 Fee, Philippians, 224.
130 See Fee, Philippians, 224-25; cf. also f.n. 35.
131 O’Brien, Philippians, 243.
132 O’Brien, Philippians, 251.