Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God.
He had equal status with God but didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what.
To whom, though himself in the form of God, it did not seem that to take for oneself was to be like God;
who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited,
who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 sn This passage has been typeset as poetry because many scholars regard this passage as poetic or hymnic. These terms are used broadly to refer to the genre of writing, not to the content. There are two broad criteria for determining if a passage is poetic or hymnic: “(a) stylistic: a certain rhythmical lilt when the passages are read aloud, the presence of parallelismus membrorum (i.e., an arrangement into couplets), the semblance of some metre, and the presence of rhetorical devices such as alliteration, chiasmus, and antithesis; and (b) linguistic: an unusual vocabulary, particularly the presence of theological terms, which is different from the surrounding context” (P. T. O’Brien, Philippians [NIGTC], 188-89). Classifying a passage as hymnic or poetic is important because understanding this genre can provide keys to interpretation. However, not all scholars agree that the above criteria are present in this passage, so the decision to typeset it as poetry should be viewed as a tentative decision about its genre.
2 sn The Greek term translated form indicates a correspondence with reality. Thus the meaning of this phrase is that Christ was truly God.