In an effort to get my Koine Greek up to par again, with the hopes that I can move into Attic and Ionic soon, I’ll be posting my personal translations on here for all to see and comment on. Since my goal in learning Attic is so that I can translate poetry, I’ll begin with one of the most poetic Koine passages: Paul’s recitation of a hymnic formula in Philippians 2:6-11. Since I’m doing one verse a day, I’ll be editing this every day.
(6Gr) ὃς ἐν μορφῇ θεοῦ ὑπάρχων οὐχ ἁρπαγμὸν ἡγήσατο τὸ εἶναι ἴσα θεῷ
(6En) who, possessing1 the nature2 of God, did not consider it robbery3 to be equal4 with God,
1I chose this wording, eschewing the ἐν that naturally occurs, in order to bring out the meaning of ὑπάρχων. This word (Strong 5255) connects to (Strong 5223) ὕπαρξις, which is the term for a possession or property.
2Hotly debated word throughout the ages, I translated it as “nature” in order to avoid the theological slipperiness of “form.” Though both meanings are possible, Paul’s use of “equal with God” makes it clear that “form does not get across the whole story.
3The use of “robbery” here makes tons more sense when contrasted with Paul’s use of “possession” earlier.
4The word here is is-os, meaning “equal,” which you might remember from the math term isosceles, meaning “equal legs.”
Indie people have recently come to my attention as the “new hippie,” though you could never get away with calling them that to their face. Well, along with the rest of Indie culture, we now have a savior for these mountain men, one who “doesn’t take no crap from the man.” While Indie Jesus may have kept his sacrosanct sandals and beard, he has been given a +1 Sweater Vest of Truth to replace his simple, white robes, and the addition of a vintage belt assures Him that He’ll be accepted at the next Pitchfork staff meeting.
I wonder if He stays up nights listening to Bon Iver? Now all we need is Hipster Paul of Tarsus.