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dc.contributor.advisorTrebilco , Paul
dc.contributor.advisorGarthwaite, John
dc.contributor.authorEllis, Gerard Majella
dc.date.available2013-05-05T23:41:37Z
dc.date.copyright2013
dc.identifier.citationEllis, G. M. (2013). Grammar as Theology: A Linguistic Rereading of Philippians 2:6-7a (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy). University of Otago. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10523/3977en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10523/3977
dc.description.abstractThis thesis offers an alternative answer to a purported enigma, the meaning of ἁρπαγμόν in Philippians 2:6. Solutions which are based on the supposed synonymity of that word with ἅρπαγμα (such as those of Lightfoot 1868 and Hoover 1971) fail to account for two facts: the first, that phrases containing ἁρπαγμός (the example from Plutarch, in a discussion of the correct nature of friendship between men and youths, regarding the sexual mores of Cretan men notwithstanding) are concerned with activities or statements worthy of approval; the second, that any translation of ἁρπαγμός in Philippians 2:6 must allow for a similar, or at least compatible, translation of the word in all its other occurrences in the Greek of the koiné. The translations of ἁρπαγμός proposed in this thesis to account for these two facts do not require reference to ἅρπαγμα or ἁρπαγή, or to the concepts, either of res rapienda or of res rapta, much commented on in the literature of its subject. Paul’s use in Philippians 2:6 of ἁρπαγμός has a meaning which is akin to that which it has for Plutarch and Vettius Valens (authors of the first and second century CE). The meaning proposed in this thesis also allows for its gradual (and recorded) development over time that permitted Oecumenius towards the end of the first millennium to find in Philippians 2:6b an αἴνιγμα resulting from changes in the meaning of ἁρπαγμός of which he was apparently not aware. Oecumenius’s definition of Paul’s ἁρπαγμόν as καθ᾽ ἁρπαγήν, allowed him (and the Latin churches before him) to take the final words of Philippians 2:6, τὸ εἶναι ἴσα θεῷ in a sense which in my view Paul never intended and is impossible in its context. To translate ἴσα θεῷ as ‘equal to God’ is contrary to the phrase’s history, which goes back in Greek literature to the Homeric epics, the staple text of classical and post-classical schoolrooms. In the translation of quotations from secular and ecclesiastical authors of the third to fifth centuries CE, the use of ἁρπαγμός and Philippians 2:6b as a whole in the senses which are offered by this thesis appears not to cause any insurmountable difficulties, but rather improvements, in our understanding of them. By making Rome the place of Paul’s writing of the captivity epistles (Philippians and Philemon), this thesis also proposes a vision of the church particularly applicable to Philippi as a Roman colony in which Latin was the language of official business and which had a strong relationship with diuus Iulius and diuus Augustus as its founders. It also suggests a purpose for the angel’s prophecy in Acts 27:24, to the fulfilment of which that text makes no reference, and which there is good reason to believe was not achieved through his appeal to the Emperor (Acts 25:11-12). Paul’s imprisonment, in the praetorium in Rome, this thesis suggests, leads to a confrontation with Nero and the fulfilment of the prophecy, a fulfilment which would have been known to Luke’s contemporaries. The Epistle to the Philippians is the one in which Paul feels sure enough to reveal more of himself than in any other of his writings, and so offers an occasion to place him in the Roman world in a way that suggests that in its Latin half the apostle feels more isolated and more alone than he ever was in the East. Even though this thesis does not explore Paul’s inner world, it sets out to place him in the Roman Empire of the first century of our era in a fashion that agrees with both the NT and the church’s memory, and with our knowledge of that empire.
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dc.language.isoen
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
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dc.subjectPhilippians
dc.subjectHarpagmos
dc.subjectTranslation
dc.subjectPaul
dc.subjectEmperor Nero
dc.subjectImprisionment
dc.subjectPhilippi
dc.subjectRome
dc.titleGrammar as Theology: A Linguistic Rereading of Philippians 2:6-7a
dc.typeThesis
dc.date.updated2013-05-02T05:19:42Z
dc.language.rfc3066en
thesis.degree.disciplineTheology and Religion
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophy
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Otago
thesis.degree.levelDoctoral
otago.openaccessOpen
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