Philippians 2:5-11 - In the "form" of God? Grasping equality?

Philippians 2:5-11 is a wonderful poem or hymn about the work of Christ but many people have misunderstood some of its statements and concluded that Christ is a lesser God than the Father. Verses 5-6 say: "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,�" (NIV). Other Bible translations such as the NASB, NRSV and NKJV have "in the form of God" instead of "being in very nature God" but this does not accurately convey the meaning of the underlying Greek. The Greek word expresses the idea of "form which fully expresses the being which underlies it." Another clause that has been misunderstood is "did not consider equality with God something to be grasped" This is a difficult clause to understand even in the Greek. However, some recent research has shown that the phrase "something to be grasped" is in fact an idiom which should be translated "something to be used for His own advantage" or "something to be exploited" (as the NRSV does). This makes a lot more sense of the whole passage and is consistent with Luke 22:42, John 6:38, Romans 15:3 and 2 Corinthians 8:9.

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