The Vulgate version of Philippians 2:11 reads:

VUL et omnis lingua confiteátur, quia Dóminus Jesus Christus in glória est Dei Patris.

Translation and every tongue confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.

Which engenders the following reading of the Greek:

NA28 καὶ πᾶσα γλῶσσα ἐξομολογήσηται ὅτι κύριος Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς εἰς δόξαν θεοῦ πατρός.

My Translation and every tongue confess that [the] Lord Jesus Christ [is] in the glory of God the Father.

Whereas the prevailing understanding is:

My Translation and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord: to the glory of God the Father.


Which one is more likely the intended meaning, or is there even possibly intended ambiguity/multivalence?

  • Wouldn't Paul have used ἐν instead of εἰς if he meant "in"?
    – Ruminator
    Apr 30, 2018 at 12:25
  • One would think. Apr 30, 2018 at 12:47
  • 1
    The literal rendering of the words καὶ πᾶσα γλῶσσα ἐξομολογήσηται ὅτι κύριος Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς εἰς δόξαν θεοῦ πατρός is 'and every tongue confess that Lord Jesus Christ unto glory of God - Father. (One of the common translations of εἰς is 'unto'. The concept is 'motion into'.
    – Nigel J
    May 1, 2018 at 12:55
  • @NigelJ But the Vultage has "is in", I think and that seems to be what we're comparing.
    – Ruminator
    May 2, 2018 at 16:26
  • The OP states 'the intended meaning' and that is the intended meaning of the original text which is in Greek.
    – Nigel J
    May 2, 2018 at 16:48

3 Answers 3


As correctly stated in the comments, in Classical Greek the preposition ἐν with the dative means “in”, while εἰς with the accusative means “into, towards”. However, in post-classical Greek the latter is increasingly used to mean “in”, for example in the Septuagint of Numbers 35,33: καὶ οὐ μὴ φονοκτονήσητε τὴν γῆν εἰς ἣν ὑμεῖς κατοικεῖτε “do not pollute the land in which you live” (Vulgate: ne polluatis terram habitationis vestræ). The Vulgate obviously understood εἰς in the same way in Philippians 2,11.

The semantic shift from “into” to “in”, which begins in the Hellenistic period, is completed in Modern Greek, where the ordinary word for “in” is σ(ε), the continuation of Classical εἰς.

  • The answer lacks a primary source, though, which makes it not very authoritative.
    – Ruminator
    May 2, 2018 at 16:27
  • @Ruminator. Is the LXX not a primary source?
    – fdb
    May 2, 2018 at 17:19
  • It is a primary source for LXX studies but is not authoritative as to all koine usages. In other words, how can you disqualify the usage of EV simply by showing in the LXX it was used differently? Can you prove how the word "race" is used and not used in English by 3 examples from Sports Illustrated?
    – Ruminator
    May 2, 2018 at 18:37

How do translations render the verse?

First group.

Philippians 2:11 (NRSV)

11 And every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:11 (NIV)

11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:11 (NASB)

11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Second group.

Philippians 2:11 (DRA)

11 And that every tongue should confess that, the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:11 (NLV)

11 And every tongue will say Jesus Christ is Lord. Everyone will give honor to God the Father.

Philippians 2:11 (JUB)

11 And that every tongue should confess that, the Lord Jesus Christ is Lord in the glory of God the Father.

Ours translations fall into two discernible groups; the first separates Jesus Christ, show that he is distinct from the father, and is subject to him, whereas the second group does not.

When faced with such ambiguous passages and before making a decision, we look to the scriptures for similar passages, and the context of the verse in order to make a comparison.

Paul, the writer of Philippians, gives the closest parallel to us, in Romans 10:9, which reads:

Romans 10:9(NRSV)

9 Because[a] if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Romans 10:9 (NABRE)

9 For, if you confess[a] with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Other verse which show the distinction between “God” and “Jesus”.

Titus 2:13 (NABRE)

13 As we await the blessed hope, the appearance[a] of the glory of the great God and of our savior Jesus Christ,

Titus 2:13 King James Version (KJV)

13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ;

Titus 1:4 (NABRE)

4 To Titus, my true child in our common faith: grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our savior.

Titus 1:4 (KJV)

4 To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.


The prevailing is the correct translation

My Translation “and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord: to the glory of God the Father.”

We observe that My Translation maintains the distinction between “God the Father” and “Jesus is Lord”. In context, we read that Jesus was exalted to a name above all others, by God the Father and that all creation in heaven and on earth bow to it. The highly exalted Jesus is called; “Lord” he is not called “God” or “Father”, but Paul says this is done; to the glory of the God the Father.

Ambiguities usually exist when translators do not translate, but interpret the scriptures according to one’s theological believes. This is falsification of evidence and Christians do not look favorably to it. Christians want Bibles which are translated accurately and without bias, and not what priests, ministers, scholars or theologians believes to be true.

  • Translations aren't a primary source, especially when they disagree. A lexicon should be cited to show that the one is correct and the other not rather than anecdotal examples because they can't demonstrate that eis might not be used the other way.
    – Ruminator
    May 2, 2018 at 16:30
  • Ruminator: Appreciate you comment. Lexicons should help translators produce accurate translations but do not. Professor of Religious studies, Jason David BeDuhn in his book Truth in Translation, uses similar passages to help clarify the meaning. For example , 2Peter 1:1 and 2 Peter 1:2 have identical grammatical structure , translations in verse 2 maintain the distinction between “God” and “Jesus, our Lord” while most ignore it in verse 1. Why? Compare also Titus 2:13, Titus 1:4 and 2 Thess.1:12. I recommend you get a copy. May 4, 2018 at 17:52
  • The professor analyzes John 1:1 the most controversial verse in the Bible, many similar verses in grammar and structure are translated correctly by the same translator, yet when it comes to John 1:1 the grammar is ignored. For example in John 4:19 we must translate “You are a prophet” not “You are the prophet”. In John 8:48 “You are a Samaritan” not “ You are the Samaritan ”, Compare also John 9:24, 12:6, John 4:24 has the same construction a John 1:1c, Acts 28:6 and many others. I read fluent Greek, but my grammar is basic, so I avoid it, I use the interlinear and parallel passages . May 4, 2018 at 17:54
  • I hear what you are saying. Appealing to the original languages often compounds complexity rather than resolving it!
    – Ruminator
    May 4, 2018 at 18:13

εἰς is rather "to", "towards", "to the effect" than "in", yet the latter can also translate it in certain instances. In this sense, in Latin εἰς would be better translated by "ad", like in expression "ad majorem dei gloriam" ("to/towards the greater glory of God") which in Greek would be εἰς τὴν μεγίστην δόξαν θεοῦ. For instance, in James 1:19: ταχὺς εἰς τὸ ἀκοῦσαι, βραδὺς εἰς τὸ λαλῆσαι, βραδὺς εἰς ὀργήν ([man should be] "quick to listen (towards listening), slow to talk (towards talking), slow to wrath (towards being wrathful"), but the "in" can also do, "be slow in talking", when "in" entails the notion of "in relation with".

In Philiphians 2:11 the prevailing understanding you bring is the soundest, for the passage implies conditionality: if you want to glorify the Father as God, then you cannot do this but by acknowledging and confessing the Lordship and Godhead of Jesus. Thus, Arians or Jehovah Witnessians, lacking this necessary precondition in their common theologies, cannot glorify God properly in principle, according to the logic of this Pauline passage. The same is asserted by John, that whoever does not acknowledge the Son, that is to say, the Godhead of the Son, and does not pay Him the equal honor as to the Father (John 5:23), such a heretical man would have neither the Father, that is to say, the Father as God (1 John 2:23).

  • @Downvoter Dear, my, precious, downvote at pleasure, I care not a tiny bit for points, I am no idiot, but please substantiate and write the reasons, for this is interesting and the site is developed for the reason of interesting discussions. Thanks. May 1, 2018 at 21:29
  • Actually, a "forum" is for discussion. Here what is sought are authoritative answers from primary sources. I was not the original down voter but I did add my down vote because you cite no primary sources and get up on your Trinitarian soapbox .
    – Ruminator
    May 1, 2018 at 21:47
  • @Ruminator Primary source is Gospel, which I have cited. The Godhead and Lordship of Jesus is clearly asserted here, unless one blinds his/her eye, as it is asserted in many other passages, couple of which I have quoted here as well. Your based-on-nothing-but-emotion harangue against Trinity proves that you have had some personal distress against a priest or somebody in your life-experience, so is a sheer psychology, having nothing to do with theology and this site. But if you follow sincerely logic and sound sense, it is impossible not to come to glorification of Trinity, which I wish you. May 1, 2018 at 22:00
  • As a primary source for the Greek usage of words is much better served by an appropriate lexicon rather than anecdotal evidence when available. LSJ is available online. As to "confessing the Lordship and Godhead of Jesus", "lordship" is contextual but since it is granted by God because of obedience and for God's glory I should say it is anti-contextual. You come to the text with an axe to grind. Can't you see that? Can you not admit to it?
    – Ruminator
    May 1, 2018 at 22:05
  • @Ruminator I can give evidences from dictionaries and TLG as well, for I am a classicist and know ancient Greek quite well. In my scholarly articles I do properly all quotations. Here I can be less strict and say things without rigid adherence to my habitual asceticism. As to your theological point: yes, you are right, that lordship to humanity of Jesus was given due to His obedience, but before even becoming human, He as God's Logos and Son, with neither material body nor created intelligent soul, was Lord and God, equal (ἴσα) to God Father, without any obedience, but naturally (Phil. 2:6-7). May 1, 2018 at 22:17

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