The Christ-Hymn In Philippians 2:5-11 -- By: I. Howard Marshall

Journal: Tyndale Bulletin
Volume: TYNBUL 019:1 (NA 1968)
Article: The Christ-Hymn In Philippians 2:5-11
Author: I. Howard Marshall

The Christ-Hymn In Philippians 2:5-11

I. Howard Marshall

A Review Article

The annual Tyndale Lectures delivered under the auspices of the Tyndale Fellowship for Biblical and Theological Research have not infrequently given an earnest of good things to come from the lecturers who have delivered them. The first New Testament lecture on The Speeches in the Acts (delivered in 1942 and published in 1944) was the harbinger of Professor F. F. Bruce’s two major commentaries on the Greek and English texts of the Acts, and since that auspicious beginning there have been lectures on such subjects as ‘The Pastoral Epistles and the Mind of Paul’, ‘The Relation of St John’s Gospel to the Ancient Jewish Lectionary’ and ‘2 Peter Reconsidered’ which have been followed by important studies in these fields.1

In 1959 Dr Ralph P. Martin delivered a New Testament lecture (published in 1960) entitled An Early Christian Confession, in which he gave a full and richly documented exposition of Philippians 2:5-11. He followed this piece of work up with a commentary on the Epistle as a whole (1959), and this at once received acclaim as being a work of high merit. Not content with these achievements, he has pursued his studies further, obtaining the award of a London Ph.D. en route, and has now put us further in his debt with a definitive work on Philippians 2:5-11.2 In this book he offers an exhaustive discussion of his chosen passage in the light of everything of note written about it during the past sixty years to 1963, and gives us his own carefully

wrought exposition of the passage, its background in early Christianity, and its significance for the proclamation of the gospel today.

The enormous amount of scholarly material to be discussed— Dr Martin has a bibliography of about 500 items—has made for a bulky monograph, and the author has clearly had difficulty in organizing his survey. There is a certain amount of repetition, and at times one feels that the logical structure of the discussion could have been improved. These factors, however, simply point to the complexity of the themes to be discussed and illustrate the author’s desire to do justice to every point of view, including a few which he has momentarily rescued from oblivion in order to indicate how just was their consignment to that abode.


Dr Martin has divided his book into three parts. In the first he discusses the background of the passage and gives ...

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