Philippians 2:5-11 is often misquoted and misunderstood. Many believe it is speaking of a time of unity for mankind.

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How to use.

Written by Lee Stevenson. Sorry my editing is not very good.

I often see people quote this scripture claiming that this means one day all will worship the one true God and they also falsely claim this scripture indicates Jesus is God. Many believe this speaks of a time of unity. Lets us look to see what this scripture is actually telling us.

At the very beginning of the text it makes it clear that he never considered himself as being equal to God but was a perfect representative for God. He perfectly mirrored God’s qualities. It clearly shows he was a spirit creature existing in heaven that for a short period of time was made a human. We know God cannot die but Jesus did die. Because he remained humble and loyal to his heavenly father even in the face of death when God resurrected him he was given authority above everything but God himself.

As for the knees bending this is because all God’s enemies will be destroyed and all will know that Jehovah is the one true God. This is speaking of the judgment that will take place and what the results of it will be.

(Philippians 2:5-11) 5 Keep this mental attitude in you that was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although he was existing in God’s form, gave no consideration to a seizure, namely, that he should be equal to God. 7 No, but he emptied himself and took a slave’s form and became human. 8 More than that, when he came as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, yes, death on a torture stake. 9 For this very reason, God exalted him to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every other name, 10 so that in the name of Jesus every knee should bend—of those in heaven and those on earth and those under the ground— 11 and every tongue should openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.

When God sat Jesus down at the throne he also gave him the authority to judge those who are disobedient. Since Jesus is the king we must respect his authority and obey the commands he left us. He also gave Jesus the authority to bring to life those who have died. He can not do anything on his own initiative but does what he has heard and seeks his fathers will not his own.

(John 5:22-30) 22 For the Father judges no one at all, but he has entrusted all the judging to the Son, 23 so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. 24 Most truly I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes the One who sent me has everlasting life, and he does not come into judgment but has passed over from death to life. 25 “Most truly I say to you, the hour is coming, and it is now, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who have paid attention will live. 26 For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted also to the Son to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to do judging, because he is the Son of man. 28 Do not be amazed at this, for the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, and those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment. 30 I cannot do a single thing of my own initiative. Just as I hear, I judge, and my judgment is righteous because I seek, not my own will, but the will of him who sent me.

If we judge others we put ourselves under judgment. We all will have to render account for the things we do whether good or bad we will be judged accordingly. At this time all will know that Jehovah is the one true God. So instead of looking for imperfections and sin in others we should be looking at ourselves and reading God’s word so we can continue to grow spiritually and be more aware of things we may need to work on.

(Romans 14:10-12) 10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you also look down on your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11 For it is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says Jehovah, ‘to me every knee will bend, and every tongue will make open acknowledgment to God.’” 12 So, then, each of us will render an account for himself to God. . .

(2 Corinthians 5:10) For we must all appear before the judgment seat of the Christ, so that each one may be repaid according to the things he has practiced while in the body, whether good or bad.

(Galatians 6:4, 5) But let each one examine his own actions, and then he will have cause for rejoicing in regard to himself alone, and not in comparison with the other person. 5 For each one will carry his own load.

(Matthew 28:17-20) . . .. 18 Jesus approached and spoke to them, saying: “All authority has been given me in heaven and on the earth. 19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you. And look! I am with you all the days until the conclusion of the system of things. . .

(Ephesians 1:20, 21) which he exercised toward Christ when he raised him up from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above every government and authority and power and lordship and every name that is named, not only in this system of things but also in that to come.

(Philippians 2:9, 10) For this very reason, God exalted him to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every other name, 10 so that in the name of Jesus every knee should bend—of those in heaven and those on earth and those under the ground—

(1 Corinthians 15:23-28) . . .. 24 Next, the end, when he hands over the Kingdom to his God and Father, when he has brought to nothing all government and all authority and power. 25 For he must rule as king until God has put all enemies under his feet. 26 And the last enemy, death, is to be brought to nothing. 27 For God “subjected all things under his feet.” But when he says that ‘all things have been subjected,’ it is evident that this does not include the One who subjected all things to him. 28 But when all things will have been subjected to him, then the Son himself will also subject himself to the One who subjected all things to him, that God may be all things to everyone. . .

So we can see this is talking about Jesus and his being sat on the throne in the heavenly kingdom and given a lot of authority even authority to judge and resurrect. Once all this has been accomplished he will hand the throne back over to his father Jehovah God.

4 thoughts on “Philippians 2:5-11 is often misquoted and misunderstood. Many believe it is speaking of a time of unity for mankind.

  1. proverbs14onebewise October 6, 2019 / 10:08 am

    Oh Lee, I was so so impressed with your incredible research on IC. I am sad that you do not believe Jesus is God. There is so much Biblical evidence to support that. I would love to discuss that with you if you are willing.

    • Lee October 6, 2019 / 11:41 am

      Jesus never claimed he was equal to God any evidence presented would be because a scripture is being taken out of context.

  2. proverbs14onebewise October 15, 2019 / 9:39 am

    So I am starting to research the origins of the NWT. Honestly, Unless you can make a good argument in its favor, I feel like I don’t have to go any farther than this, written by the nephew of the principle Bible scholar from the JW organization, Frederick Franz.
    In his book Crisis of Conscience Raymond Franz, a former member of the Governing Body of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, describes some interesting conversations that he had with the principal translator of the version, who happened to be his uncle. He recounts that between 1965 and 1971, while engaged in preparing a Bible dictionary (published in 1971 under the title Aid to Bible Understanding), he sought guidance on a number of questions from Frederick Franz, who “was acknowledged as the organization’s principal Bible scholar.” We reproduce below several paragraphs from Crisis of Conscience (pages 21-24) for the light they shed upon the New World Translation and one of its translators, and also for the wise observations of the author concerning the interpretation of the Bible.
    The Society’s vice president, Fred Franz, was acknowledged as the organization’s principal Bible scholar. On a number of occasions I went to his office to inquire about points. To my surprise he frequently directed me to Bible commentaries, saying, “Why don’t you see what Adam Clarke says, or what Cooke says,” or, if the subject primarily related to the Hebrew Scriptures, “what the Soncino commentaries say.” Our Bethel Library contained shelf after shelf after shelf filled with such commentaries. Since they were the product of scholars of other religions, however, I had not given much importance to them, and, along with others in the department, felt some hesitancy, even distrust, as to using them. As Karl Klein, a senior member of the Writing Department, sometimes very bluntly expressed it, using these commentaries was “sucking at the t-ts of Babylon the Great,” the empire of false religion according to the Society’s interpretation of the great Harlot of Revelation.
    The more I looked up information in these commentaries, however, the more deeply impressed I was by the firm belief in the divine inspiration of the Scriptures the vast majority expressed. I was impressed even more so by the fact that, though some were written as early as the eighteenth century, the information was generally very worthwhile and accurate. I could not help but compare this with our own publications which, often within a few years, became “out of date” and ceased to be published. It was not that I felt these commentaries to be without error by any means; but the good certainly seemed to outweigh the occasional points I felt to be mistaken.
    When the subjects of “Older Man [Elder]” and “Overseer” were assigned to me, research into the Scriptures themselves soon made evident that the congregational form of supervision employed by us did not conform to the first-century arrangements. (We had no bodies of elders in our congregations; one man in each congregation was the sole “overseer.”) Somewhat disturbed, I approached my uncle with the evidence. Again his response took me by surprise. “Don’t try to understand the Scriptures on the basis of what you see today in the organization,” he said, and added, “Keep the Aid book pure.” I had always looked upon the organization as God’s one channel for dispensing truth and so this counsel sounded unusual to say the least. When I pointed out that the Society’s New World Translation rendering of Acts, chapter fourteen, verse 23, evidently inserted the words “to office” in connection with the appointment of elders and that this somewhat altered the sense, he said, “Why don’t you check it in some other translations that may not be as biased.” [Later editions of the New World Translation dropped the added phrase. The first edition had read: “Moreover, they appointed older men to office for them in the congregation and, offering prayer with fastings, they committed them to Jehovah in whom they had become believers.”] I walked out of his office wondering if I had actually heard what I had heard. In future days I was to remind him of these statements on more than one occasion during Governing Body sessions.
    That conversation strongly affected my approach to Scripture. I deeply appreciated the integrity toward Scriptural truth his remarks indicated. I began to appreciate more than ever before how vitally important context was in discerning the meaning of any part of Scripture, and that realization seemed to be true of others of the group who were working regularly on the Aid project. We also came to realize the need to let the Bible define its own terms rather than simply taking some previously held view or letting an English dictionary definition control. We began to make greater use of the Hebrew and Greek lexicons in the Bethel library, and concordances that were based on the original language words rather than on English translations.
    It was an education and it was also very humbling, for we came to appreciate that our understanding of Scripture was far less than we had thought, that we were not the advanced Bible scholars we thought we were. I personally had been on such a “treadmill” of activity over the previous twenty-five years that, although reading through the Bible several times, I had never been able to do such serious, detailed research into the Scriptures, in fact never felt great need to do so since it was assumed that others were doing it for me. The two courses at Gilead School I had attended were so tightly programmed that they gave little time for meditation, for unhurried investigation and analysis.
    Now having both time and access to the extra Bible helps, the lexicons, commentaries, Hebrew and Greek concordances, and so forth, was an aid. But above all it was seeing the need always to let the context guide, always to let the Scriptures themselves control, that made the major difference. There was no overnight change of viewpoint but, over a period of years, a gradual deepening of appreciation of the crucial need to let God’s Word speak for itself to the fullest extent possible. I could see why those one-hundred and two-hundred-year-old commentaries in our Bethel library were comparatively timeless in their value. The very fact of their verse-by-verse approach more or less obligated them to stay within the contextual meaning and thereby considerably restricted them from taking excursions into sectarian views or interpretive flights of fancy.
    Thus the material in the Aid book relating to elders and the congregational direction in Bible times was very different from the position then held by Jehovah’s Witnesses, where a more or less “monarchical” arrangement had prevailed. The Scriptural arrangement of bodies of elders had been summarily ended in 1932 by Judge Rutherford due to a lack of cooperation on the part of some elders with the Society’s programs and policies. His position as President gave Rutherford the necesary authority to take such a stand and all congregations were invited to vote for the disbanding of bodies of elders and their replacement by a Society-appointed “Service Director.” For the next forty years there were no bodies of elders in the congregations. That is why the New World Translation of the Bible published by the Society in the 1950’s regularly used the rendering “older men” rather than “elders,” a then officially discredited term.

    Bibliography

    Robert H. Countess, The Jehovah’s Witnesses’ New Testament: a Critical Analysis of the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures (2nd ed. Phillipsburg, New Jersey: Presbyterian and Reformed Pub. Co., 1987).
    Bruce M. Metzger, “The New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures.” The Bible Translator 15/3 (July 1964), pp. 150-153.
    Bruce M. Metzger, “The Jehovah’s Witnesses and Jesus Christ: A Biblical and Theological Appraisal.” Theology Today 10 (1953): 65-85.
    Raymond V. Franz, Crisis of Conscience (Atlanta: Commentary Press, 1983). Contains a number of interesting remarks on the New World Translation.

    1. Raymond V. Franz, Crisis of Conscience (Atlanta: Commentary Press, 1983), p. 50. The author, Raymond V. Franz, was from 1971 to 1980 a member of the Governing Body of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and a nephew of vice-president Frederick W. Franz. He wrote Crisis of Conscience after being expelled from the organization. On page 50 of the book he adds the following information in a footnote: “Other members of that Committee were Nathan Knorr, Albert Schroeder and George Gangas; Fred Franz, however, was the only one with sufficient knowledge of the Bible languages to attempt translation of this kind. He had studied Greek for two years in the University of Cincinnati but was only self-taught in Hebrew.”

    • Lee October 15, 2019 / 1:51 pm

      And still when scholars compared their interpretation of the bible to others most of them agreed that it is the most accurate. So I guess it doesn’t take being a scholar to figure out they other bibles had made many errors.

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