Philippians 2:6

Who, being in the form of God, thought it not a thing to be grasped to be equal with God:
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AD 400
Knowing that he is “in the form of God,” he committed no theft. … Rightly, then, he equaled himself with God. For the one who “thinks robbery” is the one who makes himself equal to another whose inferior he is.
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AD 400
When he dwelt among humans, he appeared as God by his acts and works. “For the form of God” differs in nothing from God. Indeed, the reason for his being called the form and image of God is to make it apparent that he himself, though distinguishable from God the Father, is everything that God is…. His works revealed his form. Since his works were not those of a human, he whose work or form was that of God was perceived to be God. For what is “the form of God?” Is it not shown by the evidences given of his divinity—by his raising of the dead, his restoration of hearing to the deaf, his cleansing of lepers? Epistle to the Philippians.. ...

Athanasius the Apostolic

AD 373
What clearer and more decisive proof could there be than this? He did not become better from assuming a lower state but rather, “being God, he took the form of a slave.” … If [as the Arians think] it was for the sake of this exaltation that the Word came down and that this is written, what need would there be for him to humble himself completely in order to seek what he already had? Against the Arians ...
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
These things are said partly on account of the economy by which the Son assumed humanity … partly because the Son owes to the Father his existence and also owes to the Father indeed his equality or parity with the Father. The Father, however, owes to no one his being, whatever he is.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Wherein lies the Son’s equality? If you say in greatness, there is no equality of greatness in one who is less eternal. And so with other things. Is he perhaps equal in might but not equal in wisdom? Yet how can there be equality of might in one who is inferior in wisdom? Or is he equal in wisdom but not equal in might? But how can there be equality of virtue in one who is inferior in power? Instead Scripture declares more simply “he thought it not robbery to be equal.” Therefore every adversary of truth who is at all subject to apostolic authority must admit that the Son is in some one respect at least the equal of God. Let him choose whichever quality he might wish, but from that it will appear that he is equal in all that is attributed to divinity. ...

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
God who is eternally wise has with him his eternal Wisdom [the Son]. He is not in any way unequal to the Father. He is not in any respect inferior. For the apostle too says “who, when he was in the form of God, thought it no robbery to be equal with God.”
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Cyprian of Carthage

AD 258
Of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, of things in earth, and of infernal things, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord in the glory of God the Father.". For which cause also God hath exalted Him, and hath given Him a name, that it may be above every name, that in the name of Jesus every knee should be bowed, of things heavenly, and earthly, and infernal; and that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in glory of God the Father." ...
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Epiphanius of Cyprus

AD 403
Suppose that when he became a slave he ceased being truly Lord. How then could it be said that in his coming the one who was “in the form of God took the form of a slave”? Ancoratus
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Eusebius of Caesarea

AD 339
[Paul] acknowledged Christ and no other to be the Son of God. The flesh that Christ assumed was called “the form of a slave” and “son of man.” But as to that birth which, unknown to all, was from the Father and before all ages, he was Son of God.
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Eusebius of Vercelli

AD 371
You must choose one of two paths. Either there is a single inequality in the two [divine Father and divine Son] or there is a single equality in the glory of divinity itself. For no one is either greater or less than his own form…. This singular equality is seen not only in the concord of their willing together. It is rather in their very deity, since the form of equality is in no way divided into parts. Where there is one equality, there is no discord. Where there is one equality, neither is prior to the other. Neither is posterior nor subordinate, since there is no distinction in the united equality, which is the fullness of divinity. , ...

Fulgentius of Ruspe

AD 533
While the whole Word came to us when “the Word was made flesh,” the whole remained with the Father in Spirit, equal to the Father, from whom he is eternally begotten yet made less by the gracious assumption of flesh so that he could be visible to us. And by this the Lord from the Lord remained Lord “in the form of God.” In order that he might come to slaves he received “the form of a slave” from his handmaid. ...
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Gaius Marius Victorinus

AD 400
What does this mean—“being equal to God”? It means that he [the Son] is of the very same power and substance [as the Father]. … It is in this sense therefore that Christ was equal to God. Note that Paul did not say Christ was “similar to God,” for that would imply that Christ possessed some accidental likeness to the substance of God but not that he was substantially equal. … Thus Christ is the form of God. The form of God is the substance of God. The form and image of God is the Word. The Word is forever with God. The Word is of one substance with the Father, with whom from the beginning it remains forever the Word. ...

Gaius Marius Victorinus

AD 400
God is the very principle of life. God is being itself. God contains life as a principle of life and so also understanding. But life and understanding are in a sense the form and image of what exists. What most truly exists is God. God is being itself, as many agree, and more so that which is above existence. The form of existence is motion, understanding and life…. Christ is said to be “the form of God” because Christ is life, consciousness and understanding. ...
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Gaius Marius Victorinus

AD 400
It would be a kind of robbery if two things were not equal by nature but were forced to be made equal or made equal through some accident. It therefore shows great confidence and bespeaks the very nature of divinity when Paul says of Christ that he did not think it robbery to be equal with God yet did not consider this equality something he had to fortify. ...
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George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Who being in the form of God, (that is truly, properly, and essentially God from eternity, as the ancient Fathers here observed against the Arians) taking the form of a servant, (i.e. taking upon him our human nature) became truly a man, and as man the servant of God, but remaining always God as before, thought it not robbery, no injury to his eternal Father, to be equal, to be esteemed, and to declare himself equal to God, to be one thing with him: as on divers occasions he taught the people, as we have observed in the notes on St. John's gospel (Witham) ...

Gregory of Nyssa

AD 394
The form of God is absolutely the same as the essence. Yet when he came to be in “the form of a slave,” he took form in the essence of the slave, not assuming a naked form for himself. Yet he is not thereby divorced from his essence as God. Undoubtedly when Paul said that he was “in the form of God,” he was indicating the essence along with the form. . ...
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Gregory of Nyssa

AD 394
He did not say “having a nature like that of God,” as would be said of [a man] who was made in the image of God. Rather Paul says “being in the very form of God.” All that is the Father’s is in the Son. .
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Hippolytus of Rome

AD 235
And that this is what has been declared, "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant."
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John Chrysostom

AD 407
When someone who has the power to think great thoughts humbles himself, that one is humble. But when his humility comes from impotence, that is not what you would call humility…. It is a humility of a greater sort to refrain from “seizing” power, to be “obedient to death.” .
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John Chrysostom

AD 407
Now equality is not predicated of one subject, for that which is equal must be equal to something. Do you see how the existence of two subjects is affirmed, not two mere names without real significance? Do you hear how the Only Begotten existed before the ages? Homily on Philippians.
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John Chrysostom

AD 407
Suppose someone commits a robbery and grabs something that does not belong to him. Wouldn’t he be inclined to hold on to it tightly, to grasp it and not lay it aside for fear of losing it? But suppose someone else possesses an estate by nature. He would not have any fear of losing it. He would not then be afraid to descend temporarily from his estate of dignity. He would know that he would suffer no loss, because it belongs to him naturally…. We are human beings. We are not divine by nature. We do not possess goodness by nature. But to God divinity belongs by nature…. His dominion was not acquired by seizure but was natural. It was not the gift of another but always stable and secure. . ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
I have stated the views of the heretics. It is befitting that I now speak of what is our own. They say that the words, He counted it not a prize, are of wrongfully seizing. We have proved, that this is altogether vapid and impertinent, for no man would exhort another to humility on such grounds, nor in this sort does he praise God, or even man. What is it then, beloved? Give heed to what I now say. Since many men think, that, when they are lowly, they are deprived of their proper right, and debased, Paul, to take away this fear, and to show that we must not be affected thus, says that God, the only begotten, who was in the form of God, who was no whit inferior to the Father, who was equal to Him, counted it not a prize to be on an equality with God. Now learn what this means. Whatsoever a man robs, and takes contrary to his right, he dares not lay aside, from fear lest it perish, and fall from his possession, but he keeps hold of it continually. He who possesses some dignity which i...
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John Chrysostom

AD 407
How can the wretched [Sabellius] say that Christ’s existence began from Mary? This implies that before this he did not exist. But Paul says that “being the form of God he took the form of a slave.” … The form of a slave is truly a slave and nothing less. So too the form of God is truly God and nothing less. Paul did not write that he was in process of coming to be in the form of God; rather “being in the form of God,” hence truly divine. This is as much as to say “I am that I am.” . ...

Lucifer of Cagliari

AD 370
It was he who was and is and always shall be in the form of the Father, the true Son, immutable and unchangeable because he is God and the allpowerful Son of the Almighty, who nonetheless deigned to lower himself for our salvation, so that he might cause us to rise even as we lay prostrate.
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Methodius of Olympus

AD 311
Being in the image of God, [humanity] still needed to receive the likeness. The Word, having been sent into the world to perfect this, first of all took on our own form, even though in history it has been stained by many sins, so that we for our part, on whose account he bore it, should be once again capable of partaking in his divine nature. Hence it is now possible for us to receive God’s likeness. Think of a skilled painter painting a likeness of himself on a surface. So we may now imitate the same characteristics that God himself has displayed in his becoming a human being. We hold these characteristics before us as we go in discipleship along the path he set out. His purpose in consenting to put on human flesh when he was God was this: that we, upon seeing the divine image in this tablet, so to speak, might imitate this incomparable artist. . ...

Phileas of Thmuis

AD 306
"For He thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made Himself of no reputation, taking upon Him the form of a servant: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself unto death, even the death of the cross."
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AD 450
He did not rob, because who he was, he was by nature. Thus the omnipotence of the Father was in the Son and the omnipotence of the Son in the Father. The Father is never without the Son nor the Son without the Father. –.
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Tertullian of Carthage

AD 220
As a man". This for certain is He "who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.". In the image of God, "thought it not robbery to be equal to God."
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Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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