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Bibil Identifier bibil:243041
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) ἁρπαγμός Revisited: A Philological Reexamination of the New Testament’s "Most Difficult Word"
Author Martin, Michael Wade
Journal Journal of Biblical Literature (Volume: 135, Issue: 1)
Year (Publication) 2016
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2016
Year (Copyright) 2016
Year (Reference) 2016
Language English
Pages 175-194 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract This study revisits the much-debated ἁρπαγμός (Phil 2:6) and offers first a rebuttal of J. C. O’Neill’s challenge to Roy W. Hoover’s landmark essay on the double-accusative idiom involving the word and then a refinement of Hoover’s understanding. In response to O’Neill, I argue that (a) in failing to mount a challenge to most of the occurrences of ἅρπαγμα in the idiom and to the related cluster of idioms involving ἁρπάζειν and near-synonyms ἕρμαιον, εὕρημα, εὐτύχημα, and κέρδος, O’Neill leaves sufficient evidence at hand for the establishment of the idiom with ἅρπαγμα; and (b) this evidence negatively impacts his challenge of the occurrences with the admitted synonym ἁρπαγμός, a challenge that in any case falters upon closer examination. Hoover is correct that the idiom with ἅρπαγμα/ἁρπαγμός exists, that the two words are interchangeable within it, and that within it they have the meaning "something to seize upon [for advantage’s sake]." Philippians 2:6b may, in fact, be translated, "[Christ] did not consider equality with God something to seize upon." In refinement of Hoover, however, I challenge his claim—famously seized upon by N. T. Wright—that the idiom implies that the object deemed ἅρπαγμα/ἁρπαγμός "belongs" to the subject in question. I conclude, rather, that the idiom does not speak positively or negatively to the matter of possession—hence the debate over whether Christ possessed "equality with God" cannot be settled by appeal to the phrase.
DOI 10.1353/jbl.2016.0007
Pericopes Philippians 2,6
Terms ἁρπαγμός αρπαγμος
Links Online document (PDF, English)
Last modification 2018-01-12