A reader writes:
It is generally accepted by most biblical scholars that in the course of his argument in Philippians 2, Paul cites an existing hymn that would have been well known to his readers. As one of your readers has already pointed out, Paul's writing pre-dates the writing of the Gospels. But it should be added that this hymn predates Paul, and has evidently become well known throughout the early Christian community by the time Paul is writing (about 60 CE).
This points to the existence of a rather robust belief in Jesus' divinity quite early in the history of the Jesus movement.
That passage remains for me a fulcrum of my faith - because it wraps together the two great Christian mysteries, the Incarnation and the Resurrection, and casts it in terms of God "emptying himself." The longer I live, the more I think "emptying oneself" is the critical Christian move.
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