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This article was originally published as:

Young, N. H. (1999). An Aristophanic contrast to Philippians 2.6–71 New Testament Studies, 45(1), 153-155.


Commentators often note that the emphasis in Phil 2.6–7 on Christ's selfless giving is quite contrary to pagan concepts of divinity. N. T. Wright, for example, writes that αρπαγμος, when construed as an abstract noun meaning ‘snatching’, ‘grasping’, or ‘getting’, ‘refers, intransitively, to a particular way of life, namely, that which characterized pagan rulers, and indeed pagan gods and goddesses such as the Philippians might have worshipped in their pre-Christian days’. Yet no commentator to my knowledge has referred to the excellent example of the grasping nature of pagan deities found in Aristophanes’ comedy the Ecclesiazusae (‘Women in Government’).


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