Form (Noun) - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words

Form (Noun)

[ 1,,G3444, morphe ]
denotes the special or characteristic form or feature" of a person or thing; it is used with particular significance in the NT, only of Christ, in Philippians 2:6-Philippians 2:7, in the phrases "being in the form of God," and "taking the form of a servant." An excellent definition of the word is that of Gifford: "morphe is therefore properly the nature or essence, not in the abstract, but as actually subsisting in the individual, and retained as long as the individual itself exists. ... Thus in the passage before us morphe Theou is the Divine nature actually and inseparably subsisting in the Person of Christ. ... For the interpretation of 'the form of God' it is sufficient to say that

(1) it includes the whole nature and essence of Deity, and is inseparable from them, since they could have no actual existence without it; and

(2) that it does not include in itself anything 'accidental' or separable, such as particular modes of manifestation, or conditions of glory and majesty, which may at one time be attached to the 'form,' at another separated from it. ...

The true meaning of morphe in the expression 'form of God' is confirmed by its recurrence in the corresponding phrase, 'form of a servant.' It is universally admitted that the two phrases are directly antithetical, and that 'form' must therefore have the same sense in both." * [* From Gillford, "The Incarnation," pp. 16,19,39.]

The definition above mentioned applies to its use in Mark 16:12, as to the particular ways in which the Lord manifested Himself.

Note: For the synonymous word schema, See FASHION. For the verb morphoo, See FORMED, No. 1, below.

[ 2,,G3446, morphosis ]
"a form or outline," denotes, in the NT, "an image or impress, an outward semblance," Romans 2:20, of knowledge of the truth; 2 Timothy 3:5, of godliness. It is thus to be distinguished from morphe (No. 1); it is used in almost the same sense as schema, "fashion" (which see), but is not so purely the outward "form" as schema is.

[ 3,,G5179, tupos ]
"the representation or pattern" of anything (for which See ENSAMPLE), is rendered "form" in Romans 6:17, "that form (or mold) of teaching whereunto ye were delivered," RV. The metaphor is that of a cast or frame into which molten material is poured so as to take its shape. The Gospel is the mould; those who are obedient to its teachings become conformed to Christ, whom it presents. In Acts 23:25, it is used of a letter, RV, "form" (AV, "manner"), with reference to the nature of the contents.

[ 4,,G1491, eidos ]
lit., "that which is seen" (eidon, "to see"), "an appearance or external form," is rendered "form" in the RV of Luke 3:22, of the Holy Spirit's appearance at the baptism of Christ; in John 5:37, in the Lord's testimony concerning the Father; in Luke 9:29 it is said of Christ Himself; it is translated "sight" in 2 Corinthians 5:7, the Christian being guided by what he knows to be true, though unseen; in 1 Thessalonians 5:22 Christians are exhorted to abstain from "every form of evil," RV (the AV, "appearance" is inadequate), i.e., from every kind of evil. See FASHION, SHAPE, SIGHT.

[ 5,,G5296, hupotuposis ]
"an outline, sketch" (akin to hupotupoo, "to delineate," hupo, "under," and No. 3), is used metaphorically to denote "a pattern, example," "form," in 2 Timothy 1:13, "of sound words" (RV, "pattern"); in 1 Timothy 1:16, "pattern" and "ensample." See ENSAMPLE.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words