Christ poem

Chapter 2 of this epistle contains a famous poem describing the nature of Christ and his act of redemption.  Due to its unique poetic style, many people believe that this passage constitutes an early Christian poem or hymn that was composed by someone else prior to Paul’s writings, perhaps as early as the mid to late 30s CE.  Technically, it is not a hymn since it does not have a Greek rhythmic or metrical structure.  However, it is a strong theological statement about Jesus Christ.  This Christ poem is significant because it strongly suggests that there were very early Christians who understood Jesus to be a pre-existent celestial being, who chose to take on human form, rather than a human who was later exalted to a divine status.  Thus, like the prologue of the Gospel of John, Jesus was considered a divine person who became human.  God became incarnate in human form.  This poem also suggests the kenosis theory that God emptied himself to become a human being like us.  It is widely agreed by interpreters, however, that the Christ poem depicts Jesus as equal to God after his resurrection.