‘The Being That is in a Manner Equal With God’ (PHIL. 2:6C): A Self-Transforming, Incarnational, Divine Ontology

Fletcher-Louis, Crispin ORCID: 0000-0001-6758-6913 (2021) ‘The Being That is in a Manner Equal With God’ (PHIL. 2:6C): A Self-Transforming, Incarnational, Divine Ontology. Journal of Theological Studies, 71 (2). pp. 581-627. doi:10.1093/jts/flaa096

[img] Text (Peer reviewed version)
9193_Fletcher-Louis_2020_The_Being_that_is_in_a_Manner_[Accepted_version].pdf - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 10 December 2022. (Publisher Embargo).
Available under License All Rights Reserved.

Download (604kB)

Abstract

This article challenges the consensus that τὸ εἶναι ἴσα θεῷ (Phil. 2:6c) means ‘equality with God’ and denotes a status. Linguistic analysis, contextual considerations, and a thorough investigation of an inventory of 149 extant Greek references to divine equality (ἴσος /ἴσα + θεός) show that Phil. 2:6c means ‘being (that is) in a manner equal with God’. Although it evokes well-known language for the status of rulers who received ‘honours equal to the gods’, it has a distinct, rarely attested, but Homeric syntax (cf. Iliad 5:441–2; 21:315), for which the closest parallel is Homeric Hymns 5, line 214. As such, it denotes a dynamic ontology, a mode of being expressed, or actualized, in Christ’s incarnational self-transformation (vv. 7–8). The words also serve a creative affirmation and subversion of the middle Platonic distinction between ‘being’ and ‘becoming’ (as that was expressed in Plutarch and Philo): Christ exists and acts from ‘being’ (ὑπάρχων … τὸ εἶναι v. 6) and is misperceived in the realm of ‘becoming’ (γενόμενος … γενόμενος vv. 7–8). But, against the Platonists, he has a divine ‘being’ that ‘becomes’.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Divine equality; REF2021
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education & Humanities > Humanities
Research Priority Areas: Culture, Continuity, and Transformation
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2021 09:30
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2021 22:34
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/9193

University Staff: Request a correction | Repository Editors: Update this record

University Of Gloucestershire

Bookmark and Share

Find Us On Social Media:

Social Media Icons Facebook Twitter Google+ YouTube Pinterest Linkedin

Other University Web Sites

University of Gloucestershire, The Park, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 2RH. Telephone +44 (0)844 8010001.