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Archived => Nature of God => Topic started by: Jacob Pressures on November 07, 2013, 12:36:25 am

Title: Making Sense of Philippans 2:6
Post by: Jacob Pressures on November 07, 2013, 12:36:25 am
There are 4 different views on Philippians 2:6.

1) Jesus did not consider it robbery to be equal to God.
2) Although equal to God, He did not consider it something to be seized or fully assert.
3) Although being equal to God he did not consider it something to boast or brag about.
4) Since he was not equal to God he did not seek to seize or steal (covet) something that was improper--namely to be equal with God.

These are in contrast with God the Father's old view of his Godship. Notice the following Scriptures:

Isaiah 45:5, 6 says I am Yahweh and there is no one else. With the exception of me there is no God. I shall closely gird you, although you have not known me, 6 in order that people may know from the rising of the sun and from its setting that there is none besides me. I am Yahweh, and there is no one else.

Exodus 20 says: 2 I am Jehovah thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4 Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them, for I Jehovah thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, upon the third and upon the fourth generation of them that hate me, 6 and showing lovingkindness unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.

Obviously, God himself has no problem asserting his authority. He is not ashamed. He says he is Jealous and not to any other god before him.

The first one simply is unlikely. The previous verse tells us to have this same mental attitude that was in Jesus. Well if Jesus did not consider equality with God robbery, then are we to feel the same way? Additionally these scripture obviously are focusing on Jesus' humble nature not this rightfully asserting. (We have two reasons here to reject the first one.)

The others are not so easy.
2) The second one is problematic because it says that Jesus was equal to God but he was somehow hesitant to express it, assert his nature. It also shows Jesus as the weaker of the two. For example, if I had a brother with whom I was equal, my not asserting my equality would be like me holding my head down. My brother stand confident, but me, not so much.  Am I ashamed? Am I reluctant?  The other reason this is problematic is that later at my brother's approval, I'm willing and READY TO SHOW FORTH ALL MY GLORY!  This certainly makes God the more affirming, stronger, confident one. HE is the STANDARD. His approval of me makes a difference.

Why would God need to give him a name above every name? Does he have low self esteem?

Is God somehow proud of him for emptying himself and taking a slave's form?

HOw could God give this if he is already equal to God?

This doesn't seem to make sense.

3) a.  WHy would i boast or brag about being equal to God unless it was somehow a prize? Of course the Scripture says, HE DID NOT boast or brag about his equality with God. But that begs the question why does this question come up? Why is this even being made IF HE IS EQUAL TO GOD? ("I'm male but I don't brag about it.") People just don't talk about their BEING in that way. I don't brag about equality with something unless the things compared is the Standard--and one we would normally NOT HAVE!  So if I don't think it is something to brag about its still a high standard by which i judge myself.  "I'm equal to God but I don't brag about it." And it still implies that Jesus takes a lesser state to God as implied in #2. 

Furthermore if Jesus being equal to God is not a cause for boasting, then why does he not seem so hesitant after God exalting him? If this was such a beautiful quality of the Godhood, then why does he abandon it? (Obviously he is taking on a role in the second case that he did not originally take on.)

As in #2, How could God give him a Name/Authority, he already has? Does God give him permission now? Is God somehow proud of him?

b.  Some may say that those in the GodHOOD are humble and don't assert their authority. But this would completely CHANGE the meaning of this scripture.  It says this ONLY about Jesus in comparison to God. This pattern is also continued throughout Scripture. You never see God playing a lesser role TO or in comparison to Jesus. And as stated earlier, If this was such a beautiful quality of the Godhood, then why does he abandon it? Thus this view must be rejected as unfounded. It also contradicts the numerous Scriptures where God the Father clearly and unambiguously assert his widespread power and authority.

4) Jesus is not equal to God and thus doesn't consider seizing or attempting to seize equality with God. He does not covet God's authority. This seems to make the most sense in context. Jesus is later exalted (given more authority) to a greater position by God his Father yet this is to God's glory and not in rivalry with God's authority.

In my opinion, this 4th view is the only one that fits all the elements of this set of Scripture.  The obvious subordination in these verses cannot be ignored.

I'm interested in your thoughts, but please follow the pattern I set. I you have another scenario not represented here, call it #5 and so on.
Title: Re: Making Sense of Philippans 2:6. PART 1.
Post by: jayceeii on February 13, 2020, 03:20:09 pm
jp: There are 4 different views on Philippians 2:6.

jc: This question evidently goes back to the translation, where translators have disagreed. The King James Version says: “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God…” The English Standard Version says, “Who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped…”

jp: 1) Jesus did not consider it robbery to be equal to God.

jc: The sentence appears to assert identity between Jesus and God, as in Jesus would say, “I am God and I should be able to declare it openly, just as all of you declare yourselves.” Part of the trouble of course is that humans don’t know who or what they are. If Jesus said, “I am God,” they cannot reply, “Well, we are creatures.” This is called ignorance.

jp: 2) Although equal to God, He did not consider it something to be seized or fully assert.

jc: This meaning seems quite the opposite from (1), but the two could be harmonized if it is noticed Jesus couldn’t state His divinity openly in that epoch, saving it for later epochs.

jp: 3) Although being equal to God he did not consider it something to boast or brag about.

jc: If Jesus is God, then there is no one to boast TO. There’s no competition with a creature. Envy would only show existential foolishness. If Jesus is God then the angels want to know about it. He’ll find ways to assert this, which do not impinge on their glory.

jp: 4) Since he was not equal to God he did not seek to seize or steal (covet) something that was improper--namely to be equal with God.

jc: Jesus is God, but not the whole of God. The Lord is God’s Face and Voice, but not His Action, except in local settings. Sometimes the Lord speaks of the Invisible God as if it is another, but this is a conundrum from the Trinity. Watch carefully and you see God knows He is speaking only of Himself in large portion, for Father and Son are one Being.

I’d add a number 5 here, which is that Jesus knows His Godhood cannot be grasped by the creatures. It is a constant challenge for the Lord to communicate that He is different, and it is upon Him to notice the creatures aren’t quite “getting it,” whatever proofs or discussions are offered. Language is not a binder. God’s knowledge and men’s are not commensurate. The Lord offers words in human language, but who can understand Him?

jp: These are in contrast with God the Father's old view of his Godship. Notice the following Scriptures:

jc: Number (1) does not seem to be in contrast to it, and the Lord can speak boldly.

jp: Isaiah 45:5, 6 says I am Yahweh and there is no one else. With the exception of me there is no God. I shall closely gird you, although you have not known me, 6 in order that people may know from the rising of the sun and from its setting that there is none besides me. I am Yahweh, and there is no one else.

jc: OK, WHO SAID THIS? WHO HEARD IT? There is no mechanism for the Invisible God to communicate to creatures directly. Humans only fancy they hear the voice of God in their heads, and the Bible played into this awful hubris rather than reiterating again and again what Jesus said, no one comes to the Invisible God save through the Lord. Whoever wrote this was an interpreter for God, and he wrote through his special knowledge. The Christians have developed no theories about the knowledge of the prophets besides saying mindlessly the Holy Spirit picked them up like pens or pencils.

jp: Exodus 20 says: 2 I am Jehovah thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

jc: This is the racist God from the Old Testament. The Living God disavows connection. I could write a parable about a frog, and the frog needed a mask. Only a frog mask fit.

jp: 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

jc: This is wishful thinking by the Deity. The trouble is the humans are unable to generate an adequate God-concept. The Bible fails to describe God’s selfless traits, because if it did no human would respond favorably. God kept Himself hidden in the scriptures, and when you come upon statements like this, they point nowhere real. Continuing the parable, God says this to men but He can see that they are thinking, “Thou shalt have no other frogs before me.” The men can think only of a frog in their image.

jp: 4 Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

jc: Here is where God led men poorly, treating them like one-dimensional thinkers rather than respecting their ability to comprehend realities. The real instruction necessary here is that men should not make idols after themselves, which is to say try to see God as something more than a powerful man in the sky who basically agrees with most of their conclusions. Men were predicted not to understand or care about religion to such depths.

jp: 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them, for I Jehovah thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, upon the third and upon the fourth generation of them that hate me, 6 and showing lovingkindness unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.

jc: Again the face of the racist God appears, where the living God treats individuals. The line is an insult to human intelligence, presuming there is no mental function for a unique personality beyond genetics. Plus, tying things to race made it seem easy to plow into Heaven like a herd of cattle, a philosophy that backs all Christendom even though not all are Israelites. They are thinking, “God accepts big groups, and I am in such a group too.”

jp: Obviously, God himself has no problem asserting his authority.

jc: Again, the scriptures quoted make God seem goofy. He’s lumbering around in the background like an actual human father, bellowing here and there but not really minding. There have been no scriptures reflecting God’s true authority, since all scriptures have been presented to humans, and this is beyond human ken. The key is that God could only get angry at disobedience, but humans were never warned. Judgment is not about anger.

jp: He is not ashamed.

jc: It isn’t about shame, it’s about the limitation of the human mind to think about existence, their own or the planet in its long-term fate. You have to wait until God is speaking honestly to people, before you will know much about His moods and ways. Furthermore the Lord is God’s Voice, not the arms of Action. If these arms of Action come against humanity at Judgment, the Lord will be found whistling a tune nearby.

jp: He says he is Jealous and not to any other god before him.

jc: Oh, the racist God and now the jealous God! The nature of said jealousy is not described in scripture, and forms the topic for many a sermon. In general the preachers assert God wants attention on Him and only Him, but they fail at this time to differentiate this from self-centered behavior seen among kings and princes, presidents and caliphs. It’s a unifying factor for the religion, but I think not a description of the Living God. It serves as a useful example of how the religions are basically corrals, not bastions of truth.

jp: The first one simply is unlikely. The previous verse tells us to have this same mental attitude that was in Jesus. Well if Jesus did not consider equality with God robbery, then are we to feel the same way? Additionally these scripture obviously are focusing on Jesus' humble nature not this rightfully asserting. (We have two reasons here to reject the first one.)

jc: The four are harmonious and can readily be unified, but it all depends on the interpretation. Christians have not recognized the same words can be interpreted differently by different minds, though one would think this to be basic for entities claiming intelligence. The reason they cannot see this, though, is that the minds are not unified to begin with, so language fails to unite them too. If the minds are unified to one truth, then we see language as a playground where no ill-intent is found, instead beauty.

Looking at Philippians 2:5, though, I see the unification I generated is out of context. “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus…” Here is where we start demonstrating that Christianity is a false religion, as it presumes humans are smashed up next to the Creator when in fact for proper reverence for God it should be emphasized the Lord cannot be imitated, particularly inwardly, by any creature. If the truth is pushed farther we see humans also cannot imitate the angels, particularly inwardly. This leaves humans adrift and distant from the divine, but they should learn this about themselves.

Let us look at the five possible interpretations raised in the light of the actual smash-up context of the Bible, that pretends there is one step to God for mortals, far from the truth.

1) Jesus did not consider it robbery to be equal to God.

Jesus said He would return as a thief, but the Christians had already stolen the place of angels next to Him. Christianity makes it seem as if there is one step to God, and this means the God-concept is exceedingly poor, and the self-concept is uninsightful and unjustifiably prideful. This has been allowed in history before now, that humans suppose God is right with them and they’re acceptable to Him. It’s a wrong idea that must change.

2) Although equal to God, He did not consider it something to be seized or fully assert.

Christians do not claim to be equal to God, but they claim God speaks to them inwardly. They think they have immediate access to a two-way telephone line of prayer. In essence each is saying, “God is my underarm,” as all the advice they collect is the usual selfish nonsense humans everywhere are always spewing. There is nothing humans can grasp or seize that can bring them next to God quickly. That they think there is, is a total delusion.

3) Although being equal to God he did not consider it something to boast or brag about.

95% of Christian proselytizing or more is sitting in the pews waiting to grin enticingly at new arrivals. These are family men looking for support for their project, from others similarly engaged. Each, especially preachers, may try actual proselytizing once or twice in their life, then spend the rest of the life recounting the episodes. The trouble with proselytizing is that there is no logical case. There’s only a case of rumor and innuendo. As each tries it he faces the same fierce opposition he’d give to challenges to his religion.

4) Since he was not equal to God he did not seek to seize or steal (covet) something that was improper--namely to be equal with God.

This would be right for humans. However the train of greed is in motion, and won’t stop.

5) Jesus did not regard it to be possible for humans to understand who and what He is, i.e. the embodied God for Earth.

The angels would understand about this, and humans might understand it using the analogy of a farmer with his herd, or a shepherd with his sheep. Humans are the reverse of the Deity in almost every practical way, a fact that should be incorporated in religion.
Title: Re: Making Sense of Philippans 2:6. PART 2.
Post by: jayceeii on February 13, 2020, 03:31:12 pm
jp: The others are not so easy.
2) The second one is problematic because it says that Jesus was equal to God but he was somehow hesitant to express it, assert his nature. It also shows Jesus as the weaker of the two. For example, if I had a brother with whom I was equal, my not asserting my equality would be like me holding my head down. My brother stand confident, but me, not so much.  Am I ashamed? Am I reluctant? 

jc: Nay, this is reading too much into it! For Jesus to be hesitant to express His divinity, means that God in a body was hesitant to express His divinity. Jesus and the Father are one Being. It is the same God Invisible without, who is made visible in the Lord. There’s no contest and in the end no disharmony. The reason Jesus was hesitant in that era is that humans won’t accept it or understand it. Or you could say they were bound to misunderstand and so it was better revealed by the disciples. Furthermore if Jesus says He is God without listing God’s attributes, it opens the door to all sorts of evil pretenders. If He lists God’s attributes the pretenders are held back, but the religion fails among men.

jp: The other reason this is problematic is that later at my brother's approval, I'm willing and READY TO SHOW FORTH ALL MY GLORY!  This certainly makes God the more affirming, stronger, confident one. HE is the STANDARD. His approval of me makes a difference.

jc: I have seen no glory in man save that of the proud ape, beating his chest brutally. Gene Kelly was glorious in a better way, but of course he began no religious movement.

In general the remark fails because it is a wrong interpretation of the Trinity, that there are two gods instead of one God with two different manifestations. It is tough to get humans to think about spiritual profundities, and the reason is their minds are tuned to the material plane, and any metaphysical ideation is entirely theoretical and cut off from any experience. Those who can think with metaphysical profundity, demonstrate they have spiritual experience even if they don’t know it, like Thomas Merton or William Craig.

The Lord does not seek approval from the Invisible God. He is a conscious manifestation of the Invisible God. Nor is the audience the ones the humans anticipate. Their minds have no standards to judge quality of personality, in one another and of course in the Deity. In general seeing Jesus they conclude He is the wrong one for them, hence Isaiah described the Lord as “despised and rejected, and one from whom men hide their faces.”

To say one more thing about this remark, it reflects the human hubris of concluding they are already pleasing in God’s sight, when the Bible and other religious texts have not presented any significant standards above those which selfish men choose for themselves. For instance the entire human drama takes place over a bed of greed and anger, and if one appears who is not greedy or angry they aren’t impressed. Yet this is what God demands.

jp: Why would God need to give him a name above every name?

jc: It is the angels who trumpet the Lord’s Name, because they care about existential matters and can recognize their Creator. The Lord is not boastful but there is no other God for Earth, so He has to accept a certain amount of attention, plus having the divine wit for teaching works as required. He can always present the higher standards of God to dazzle even the angels. Yet God’s glory can be hard to recognize, for He is so different.

jp: Does he have low self esteem?

jc: Facing a human is something like facing a meat chopper. There’s no responsiveness to logic or to personal presence, just something like a fist hammering out its self-will upon all around. So there is no place for self-esteem among entities like that, instead fear.

jp: Is God somehow proud of him for emptying himself and taking a slave's form?

jc: Again, this is a wrong concept of the Trinity. The Lord’s body carries the literal consciousness of the Deity. It is the same Invisible God, adhering within that body. Further here it is important to add that humans often boast they have made their self-will little, therefore they expect God to lift them higher in potency. For instance Gandhi thought he’d made himself zero, and with a long string of those God could add a one to the left to make a large number. This was delusion. He was still full of self-will and pride. The world has seen no examples of truly selfless persons. If it does it won’t like them.

jp: How could God give this if he is already equal to God? This doesn't seem to make sense.

jc: The right way to think about the Lord is the Invisible God for Earth offering His Personality. This is God in His noblest aspects, although limited within a bodily form.

jp: 3) a.  Why would I boast or brag about being equal to God unless it was somehow a prize?

jc: This is the rub, creatures should not be thinking like this, ever! Yet the Bible jammed them up next to Jesus here, with unfortunate results. Fortunately God is Real, and high enough above the humans to maintain His status easily over time, riding out the early bumps with laughter. The real rub is that angels are going to want to keep their status too.

jp: Of course the Scripture says, HE DID NOT boast or brag about his equality with God.

jc: Jesus does not need to boast, He simply is God. When He speaks it is God speaking, nor can another approach those hallowed grounds. Furthermore boasting presumes there is someone worth impressing, but this is not the case among humans. You will find the Lord and the angels sometimes do boast, but only after the victory has been secured and in a way that keeps the pressure on themselves to keep performing at their tip-top level.

jp: But that begs the question why does this question come up?

jc: So many have started talking like this, but begging the question is a specific fallacy of circular reasoning, not asking for a question. The English language goes down the tubes sometimes, though perhaps over time this issue can be resolved by renaming the fallacy.

jp: Why is this even being made IF HE IS EQUAL TO GOD? ("I'm male but I don't brag about it.")

jc: Yes, this is my point above, but the phrase “equal to” is less accurate than continuing to emphasize Jesus is of one being with the Invisible God. It’s not equality, but a projection. If the Lord ever boasts it’s a challenge to creatures to try to keep pace with Him. For instance the Lord may say, “Ha, watch me work without money my whole life.” Obviously the Christians were not challenged in this way. They’d have called it torment.

jp: People just don't talk about their BEING in that way.

jc: This discussion is on the irreverent side, for it is not right to talk simultaneously about the being of the creatures, and the Being of the Creator. People need to develop a place or shrine in their minds where God is kept separate from every aspect of His creation. Your being is FROM the Creator’s Will. His Being is not something you can ever understand. In general you should understand your own being first. Then you will see God is Above.

jp: I don't brag about equality with something unless the things compared is the Standard--and one we would normally NOT HAVE!  So if I don't think it is something to brag about it’s still a high standard by which I judge myself. 

jc: If I’m interpreting this correctly, he’s saying for him to be boasting about something, it would need to be something which is a high standard but one which most do not have. And here is exactly where the creatures should not be comparing themselves to the Creator. It’s not only something they don’t have, but something they can’t have, but in the jam-packed religions where it seems like only one step to God and God might be something like a man, people have not been thinking clearly or reverently about the Lord.

jp: "I'm equal to God but I don't brag about it."

jc: Again, this throwing his mind right next to the Creator’s mind, is irreverent and bespeaks a poor God-concept. Even if he says this about an angel it is still irreverent. What he could say, is that he’s equal to an enlightened human sage (https://www.bmcm.org/). That type of comparison might be fruitful, if philosophers are kicking ideas around. But still if they meet such a sage, they find he is significantly beyond them.

jp: And it still implies that Jesus takes a lesser state to God as implied in #2.

jc: The presumption is that Jesus is right in with the humans, but such is not the case. The humans will listen only through interpreters, never to the Lord directly. He was coming close to a stronger point above, saying that he is a male but does not boast about it. Jesus is God and does not boast about it. If a male boasts to a female that he is male she doesn’t care, since she has no part of being male and never will. Similarly the creatures have no part of being God and never will. It should be obvious, but the religions mixed things up.

jp: Furthermore if Jesus being equal to God is not a cause for boasting, then why does he not seem so hesitant after God exalted him? If this was such a beautiful quality of the Godhood, then why does he abandon it?

jc: Things are hinging on the meaning of the phrase “equal to,” where jp is thinking about two, not two-in-one, the proper view of the Father and Son in the Trinity. Jesus was hesitant. He did not boast. He not only did not boast about being God, but He did not boast in a way intended to be fruitful to man, as in listing all the things He could accomplish from selfless power and supernal bliss, that they couldn’t even begin to try.

jp: (Obviously he is taking on a role in the second case that he did not originally take on.) As in #2, How could God give him a Name/Authority, he already has?

jc: Men have only considered the Holy Spirit before now, they have not reckoned on the angels lurking. It is the angels who celebrate the Lord’s Presence, knowing themselves to be creatures and Him to be the Creator, and furthermore rejoicing in their eternal tasks. The Lord’s ministries do not require the Holy Spirit’s aid, until it is time to spread into the human domain, as for instance Paul being struck down, not really one of the disciples.

jp: Does God give him permission now? Is God somehow proud of him?

jc: Does jp give himself permission to write now? Is jp somehow proud of jp? If Jesus is God, sophisticated people need to learn to speak about one God either visible or invisible.

jp: b.  Some may say that those in the GodHOOD are humble and don't assert their authority. But this would completely CHANGE the meaning of this scripture.  It says this ONLY about Jesus in comparison to God.

jc: I think he is trying to say by “those in the Godhood,” the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the three-in-one. Of these, only the Son speaks. The Father and Holy Spirit remain silent. When he says, “it says this,” it is of paramount importance who actually wrote. It was not the invisible God, but this is a general fault in Christendom. Authoritative-sounding poetry sounds like the voice of God in their heads, and they can’t understand a lesser agent was required to write it (unless the Lord wrote it). “The Bible” is in many ways the God of the Christians, as they allow no mechanisms for the appearance of vaulting text. These are people who are in way over their heads in metaphysical waters, unable to apply discrimination to concepts that are beyond their experience, easily pointed wrong ways.

jp: This pattern is also continued throughout Scripture. You never see God playing a lesser role TO or in comparison to Jesus.

jc: Yes, you see how the Bible becomes God’s voice in his head, as he is unable to think about an actual writer and what that writer’s spiritual status might be. It’s a nice trick. Some clever poets, likely having higher knowledge, projected the human image through the Bible in a mask made to fit their faces. Humans don’t look up to the prophets enough.

He doesn’t have to look to the prophets, though, Jesus Himself said “Why callest thou me good? None is good, save one, that is, God.” Everyone has interpreted this to mean Jesus was admitting a lesser virtue. The trouble comes in when Jesus looks around, and finds no one to be good! As the embodied God, even the angels fall away as missing key elements of what the Lord would call a full personality. The angels can never measure up to Him. They can only hope for a degree of commensurateness. This becomes especially relevant when Jesus is allowed to speak freely about what He can do that the others cannot do, giving challenges as it were, in case anyone wanted to live a life pleasing to God. Jesus never did this, even in small measure, as His role was to be near to humans.

So you see this objection from Jesus has another interpretation. ““Why callest thou me good? None is good, save one, that is, God. Have you finally noticed that I am God?” This is the correct answer to the question, but one hopes that the angels are also good.

jp: And as stated earlier, If this was such a beautiful quality of the Godhood, then why does he abandon it? Thus this view must be rejected as unfounded.

jc: Jesus is replete in beautiful qualities, and is very careful and judicious in asserting His Godhood. In friendly social situations it is generally irrelevant. In the end the angels look to the Lord to teach them something, and they are pleased He knows well who He is. Yet the Lord cannot scrutinize His companions too carefully, or He’d be dismayed at their creaturehood. He has to engage looser standards, playing with the angels on their terms.

jp: It also contradicts the numerous Scriptures where God the Father clearly and unambiguously assert his widespread power and authority.

jc: Again I must ask, WHO WROTE IT? The Lord is God’s only Voice, but the prophets are lesser voices still in harmony with God’s voice, and ultimately God’s friends, I believe. The Invisible God never writes, and if the Holy Spirit picks up a human to write the result is a disaster from beginning to end, as the human’s greed and anger stain it all.

Most of these verses declaring God’s power are tyrannical, reflecting ugly human passions. Humans are quick to wave their hands saying, “This is all great,” but if you look carefully there are not only cracks in the façade, but gigantic fissures and gulfs. And it is obvious the Christian God’s powers are not widespread, if you look at the competing religions. Surely a powerful God could give a unitary revelation of religion to a globe! One has to conclude there isn’t a Christian God except in the fevered minds of Christians.

jp: 4) Jesus is not equal to God and thus doesn't consider seizing or attempting to seize equality with God.

jc: The world is in a desperate situation if the Creator cannot embody and speak directly. Then it would be a world of creatures only. In such a world the angels would have to come and testify about the God they know of in Heaven, and of course the religions wouldn’t swirl around the Incarnation. The smash-up religions at least gave us this much.

jp: He does not covet God's authority.

jc: The Lord’s authority is the same as that of the Invisible God, but Jesus does not wield appreciable power, false rumors about miracles to the contrary. Yet when He speaks, especially with the angels, there is a certain give-and-take, since it is not friendly to be perfect in obvious ways. The Lord cultivates a seeming imperfection that is greater perfection when analyzed carefully. Yet the angels try to do the same, which is why they are called the pure in heart. Humans have actual imperfections against which they battle.

jp: This seems to make the most sense in context. Jesus is later exalted (given more authority) to a greater position by God his Father yet this is to God's glory and not in rivalry with God's authority.

jc: Again, this could only refer to the Holy Spirit’s power moving in the minds of men. God only speaks through the Lord. This is something the Lord can demonstrate and prove, but it takes significant wit and spiritual experience to be able to see the proofs. God has not been glorified on Earth before now, which really still looks like apes descended from the trees and took over the place with a grinning Ape God above them.

jp: In my opinion, this 4th view is the only one that fits all the elements of this set of Scripture.  The obvious subordination in these verses cannot be ignored.

jc: Yes, the Christian mind is muddled, conceiving Jesus to be a man like them. It’s interlaced tightly through the interpreters, such as Paul. Jesus allowed this interpretation, but it meant the religion died to Him. He seemed to leave a back door, saying not to believe those claiming to be Him, but would have needed to add explicitly that He could prove that it is Him, since allusion, particularly in scripture, is beyond human mentality.

jp: I'm interested in your thoughts, but please follow the pattern I set. I you have another scenario not represented here, call it #5 and so on.

jc: I can add here that there seems to be an element of jp thinking Jesus is submitting to him, as in he sees Jesus knuckling under and concludes it is right that He should in any case. This is indeed the nature of Christianity, worshipping a perpetually crucified Lord.