Monday, January 10, 2011

Martin Hengel on on the Christ Hymn

Just reading the conclusion to Martin Hengel's The Son of God and this is what he says about the Christ Hymn of Philippians 2 (p. 76):

"Now if Christ is identical with the heavenly, pre-temporal 'image of God', that also means that he was ' of divine nature', as we hear at the beginning of the Philippians hymn. Thus, although he is clearly subordinate, the Son no longer stood on the side of creation alone, but also on the side of God. Only through the incarnation, which is 'consummated' in his death on the cross, does he receive a share in human destiny and can he be regarded as reconciler and intercessor for men. Jesus was now no longer just the perfect righteous man, chosen by God, who was in complete accord with God's will, a model for discipleship, but in addition the divine mediator who out of the Father's love for lost men obediently gave up his heavenly communion with the Father and took on human form and human destiny, a destiny which led to a shameful death on the cross. Thus incarnation and death became an unsurpassable expression of the divine love."

1 comment:

kevinv said...

Doesn't this hymn have more to do with the 'first adam' and 'second adam' reading of the creation story that was popular in Paul's day (e.g. Philo)? I think a lot of scholars today would categorize this hymn as more about the humiliation and exultation of Christ rather than the incarnation view.

Does this view have much merit in your opinion?