I have to write on this for an exam and it is beginning to dawn upon me how widely this Christ-hymn has been written upon. There is no way that I can cover all of the strands of thinking so I am going to have to concentrate on what is resonating most.
Rob Bell's 'You' is helpful, in that to declare 'Jesus Christ as Lord' is something truly radical to do in the context of where your loyalties were expected to lie as resident of the Roman colony Philippi.
Authorship of the hymn is a mine-field I won't get bogged down in but this passage's resonance with Stephen's prayer at his stoning is interesting.
The Christology of a pre-existent Christ I had better cover and the arrangement of the sentences and their chiastic movement of descent and ascent (exaltation) is interesting. Hopefully, I will be able to produce some sort of written response in half an hour covering its (i) context, (ii) Christological content and (iii) what it tells us about the origin and character of NT christology - origin - Isaiah suffering-servant motif - yes? NT character - look at Col 1 and John 1 - yes?
I've got about 5 days to cram this and a couple of the church fathers into my brain for spewing out next Wednesday. It's all pretty intense and I couldn't sleep last night for stress.