Comment on Phil 2:11

At the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

This is a beautiful hymn.

But if I recall correctly, verse 11 used to be translated:
“and every tongue confess to the glory of God the Father that JESUS CHRIST IS LORD”.

The finality was on Jesus. He had top billing. Now (in the latest translation) the Father is mentioned last, so now God the Father has the final word.

Not sure which version I prefer better–or if even it’s up to me to choose :slight_smile:

In this divine competition, we’re pitting God vs. God. It’s sad that someone has to win, and someone else has to lose. Our language may not do proper justice…

The Father does take presidence, because the Son does the Father’s will. In prayer we address the Father through the Son, never the other way around.

Translations aren’t meant to emphasize in the way you cited. Having said that, it is only right and proper that the Father come first. He was the focus of Jesus’ ministry and at the heart of all he said and did. :slight_smile:

I’d like to check out different bibles but what come s to mind is that Jesus did everything for the glory to God.

Neither translation changes the meaning, that is, how the sentence is diagramed and the clauses relate to each other. There for both are legit. In diagraming though, the greater emphasis in the sentence is on Jesus, though the whole comparison is rather ironic, considering the context.

I’m glad you posted!

Got out many bibles. They all have, “To the glory of God” at the end. As I said before, Jesus did everything for the glory of God. But every knee shall bow to Jesus, so the importance is on Him, as pnewton says. Young’s Literal Translation has the same ending.

I’m thanking you because you motivated me to pull out a bible I have from 1816! It says the same thing too. I should try to find out how to preserve it…

I agree with you about our language not doing justice. It never does when using it to try to explain the Almight!


The Greek ends “into/in/to the glory of God the Father,” which is probably why many translations you see now choose this order.

This. The Greek literally runs: pasa glōssa exomologēsētai oti kyrios Iēsous Christos, eis doxan Theou patros “every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, in/to the glory of God [the] Father.”

(Trivia: the final line of the Gloria in excelsis Deo, aka the ‘Glory to God’ or the Great Doxology for Eastern Christians - “You alone are the Lord, … Jesus Christ … in the glory of God the Father (eis doxan Theou Patros / in gloria Dei Patris)” - is actually quoting Philippians 2:11. ;))

The translation the OP is referring to is more idiomatic than literal: it puts the clause “Jesus Christ is Lord” to the end of the sentence. That doesn’t mean that that way of translating the verse is ‘wrong’.

Just want to say, re the above highlighed, that the Mass has many biblical passages in it, either sung or spoken.

It brought to mind a good book I’d like to recommend:

The Lord’s Supper (The Mass as Heaven on Earth)
By Scott Hahn

He decided to convert to catholicism while attending a Mass and he really appreciates it and explains it well. (It’s not a techical book about the form of the Mass.)


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