Philippians 2:7 Specifically ἑαυτὸν

froggy

Active member
ἑαυτὸν is a reflexive pronoun. This would indicate that Jesus performed the action of emptying Himself
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
ἑαυτὸν is a reflexive pronoun. This would indicate that Jesus performed the action of emptying Himself
The verb κεναω does that without the pronoun. ἑαυτὸν is the accusative direct object that defines grammatically what was emptied, "himself" ... in other words the person. That "person" (ἑαυτὸν) was emptied from being "in" the form of God and ended up "in" the form of a slave.
 

Gryllus Maior

Well-known member
Why is this a problem? It simply means he emptied himself. The issue discussed is usually not that, but precisely what κενόω means.
 

Gryllus Maior

Well-known member
The verb κεναω does that without the pronoun. ἑαυτὸν is the accusative direct object that defines grammatically what was emptied, "himself" ... in other words the person. That "person" (ἑαυτὸν) was emptied from being "in" the form of God and ended up "in" the form of a slave.
There is no such verb as κεναω. κενόω is never used intransitively. If someone said ἐκέvωοσεν... (he emptied...) by itself with no predicate the reply by the hearers would be τι ἐκένωσεν; "What did he empty?"
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
There is no such verb as κεναω. κενόω is never used intransitively. If someone said ἐκέvωοσεν... (he emptied...) by itself with no predicate the reply by the hearers would be τι ἐκένωσεν; "What did he empty?"
Sorry for the typo, your morphology is correct but your understanding of my use of Greek syntax is not. I take κενοω as transitive. Re-read my comment to @froggy.

Look up this reference in JTS: ἑαυτὸν ἐκένωσεν: JTS 12, 1911, 461-63;

I don't take κενοω as intransitive and that's my point. The direct object of the verb κενοω is ἑαυτὸν and is grammatically what was emptied. It's the only literal interpretation based on grammar.

W. Warren makes a case for what is emptied to be “himself,” for which he gives examples. He said, “But why not take the words as they stand, as expressing exactly St. Paul’s thought? Viz. not that He emptied Himself of anything but that what He poured out was Himself, emptying His fullness into us."
 

Gryllus Maior

Well-known member
Sorry for the typo, your morphology is correct but your understanding of my use of Greek syntax is not. I take κενοω as transitive. Re-read my comment to @froggy.

Look up this reference in JTS: ἑαυτὸν ἐκένωσεν: JTS 12, 1911, 461-63;

I don't take κενοω as intransitive and that's my point. The direct object of the verb κενοω is ἑαυτὸν and is grammatically what was emptied. It's the only literal interpretation based on grammar.

W. Warren makes a case for what is emptied to be “himself,” for which he gives examples. He said, “But why not take the words as they stand, as expressing exactly St. Paul’s thought? Viz. not that He emptied Himself of anything but that what He poured out was Himself, emptying His fullness into us."
I found both the note by Warren and the note by Ross. My objection to both is that their conclusions, while lovely exercises in semantics, do not sufficiently take into account the syntax and actual content of what Paul is saying. With regard to Ross's view ἁρπαγομός, regardless whether it be understood actively or passively, it appears that equality with God is a present possession. Christ, being in the μορφή of God would naturally share in that equality. As for Warren, the emptying himself invites the question of "emptying of what" (a partitive genitive normally accompanies the direct object either expressed or implied, see Stirling's example above). From context it is clear that it is leaving the μορφὴ θεοῦ and taking on the μορφὴ δούλου, which is further qualified ὡς ἅνθρωοπος. To link this with the service and death of Christ rather than the incarnation seems to me to border on the absurd.
 
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Gryllus Maior

Well-known member
M. Aubrey has an article which addresses a tangential question:

Active+Reflexive vs. Middle Voice: What’s the Difference?

Another factor is that in classical Greek any verb can be put in the middle and give a reflexive sense. But even in classical Greek this happens more with some verbs than others. However, by the Koine period, the use of the middle in that classical reflexive sense has largely dropped out of the language, so reflexive pronouns get a lot more use.
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
I found both the note by Warren and the note by Ross. My objection to both is that their conclusions, while lovely exercises in semantics, do not sufficiently take into account the syntax and actual content of what Paul is saying. With regard to Ross's view ἁρπαγομός, regardless whether it be understood actively or passively, it appears that equality with God is a present possession. Christ, being in the μορφή of God would naturally share in that equality. As for Warren, the emptying himself invites the question of "emptying of what" (a partitive genitive normally accompanies the direct object either expressed or implied, see Stirling's example above). From context it is clear that it is leaving the μορφὴ θεοῦ and taking on the μορφὴ δούλου, which is further qualified ὡς ἅνθρωοπος. To link this with the service and death of Christ rather than the incarnation seems to me to border on the absurd.
If one takes the accusative object, "himself", as what was emptied the verb is transitive. The literal interpretation is that he, "himself" was emptied from what he was "in", the form of God.

Since you have the 1911 JTS article you have footnote #1 on the bottom of page 463 where he gives examples of Classical usage "of the thing emptied or poured out."

So he emptied "himself" from being "in" the form of God to being "in" the form of a slave.

This is not the service and death of Jesus but the person of the Word leaving the form of God and taking the form of man.

So I do see it as starting with his prehuman existence to be born as a human being.
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
That was the point I was trying to make. "He emptied Himself" ἑαυτὸν is a reflexive pronoun
It's he emptied himself (himself = the person who was in the form of God) and not he himself emptied. Remember the verb "empty" is transitive and "himself" is the accusative direct object of the verb. You can't take the direct object from the transitive verb and make it intransitive.
 

froggy

Active member
It's he emptied himself (himself = the person who was in the form of God) and not he himself emptied. Remember the verb "empty" is transitive and "himself" is the accusative direct object of the verb. You can't take the direct object from the transitive verb and make it intransitive.
Jesus performed the action. Would that be transitive? Cindy eats apple pie. (Transitive). Jesus emptied Himself (Transitive)
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
Jesus performed the action. Would that be transitive? Cindy eats apple pie. (Transitive). Jesus emptied Himself (Transitive)
Jesus performed the action because he is the subject of the finite verb "empty" and this is true regardless of what the direct object is, or even without a direct object. You don't need "himself" to be present to identify who does the emptying.

You also need an example that is parallel.

Wine is in a gold cup. There is also an empty wooden cup. Cindy empties the wine and then it is in a wooden cup. The gold cup is now empty.

The gold cup is the form of God. The wooden cup is the form of a slave, a human baby.
 

The Real John Milton

Well-known member
Jesus performed the action because he is the subject of the finite verb "empty" and this is true regardless of what the direct object is, or even without a direct object. You don't need "himself" to be present to identify who does the emptying.

You also need an example that is parallel.

Wine is in a gold cup. There is also an empty wooden cup. Cindy empties the wine and then it is in a wooden cup. The gold cup is now empty.

The gold cup is the form of God. The wooden cup is the form of a slave, a human baby.

What do you think “form of God” is, and also “form of a slave” ?
 

Roger Thornhill

Well-known member
So you do not agree that ἑαυτὸν is reflexive?

Sure it is. Forgive me if I misunderstood you, but it appeared to me that you identify a pronoun as reflexive as if that is it's only function. Note Smyth:

1218. Direct Reflexives.—The reflexive pronouns are used directly when they refer to the chief word (usually the subject) of the sentence or clause in which they stand.
γνῶθι σεαυτόν learn to know thyself P. Charm. 164e

In the example "learn to know thyself" (γνῶθι σεαυτόν) the reflexive pronoun is reflexive and also the accusative direct object of the verb. The object of knowing is "thyself."

At Philippians 2 the reflexive pronoun is also the accusative direct object of the verb. Therefore what is known is "thyself" and what was emptied was "himself."

Being a reflexive pronoun and the direct object are not mutually exclusive properties.
 
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