Did Jesus pre-exist? An Answer to, Unitarians!

Did Jesus pre-exist?

 

 

This was an ongoing discussion with a Unitarian on Facebook! (Oct 12 - 2016)

Kenneth is a Unitarian

He asks,

 

"As a Biblical Unitarian, my understanding today (I can always change my mind) is that Jesus pre-existed his birth only in the mind or plan of God and not as a literal being in heaven with God. I believe that is what John 1:1-14 is about; God's logos or word or plan or thought was made flesh when the promised Messiah was born. My wife and I are both working this out at present."

 

Reply,

 

Hello Kenneth,

 

Did Jesus pre-exist in heaven before coming to the earth as a man or was he an abstract thought (plan) in the mind of God?

Let us explore what the bible has to say!

JWs believe that Jesus pre-existed as a being before he came to earth! Why do we believe this? Firstly, this needs a qualified explanation.

The name “Jesus” is the earthly given name to God’s son, this son did not have this name, when in heaven before, he became flesh, so, from that point of view “Jesus” or the name to be given to this person, did not exist, but, did this person, who later became Jesus of Nazareth actually exist, as a spirit being, entity, person, though in a different form? Let the bible speak for itself. Below, I have given three sample texts from our NWT of the bible, other translations read similarly.

NB,

When the apostles use the expression "son of man", along with Jesus himself, the reference is to the historical Jesus, and when Jesus was alive, as a man on earth, his reference to himself as the "son of man", was to show, just that, he was a fleshly son of man, born of woman!

 

 

John 3:13

"Moreover, no man has ascended into heaven but he that descended from heaven, the Son of man."

 

 

John 6:62

“What, therefore, if YOU should behold the Son of man ascending to where he was before?”

 

 

John 8: 23

“So he went on to say to them: “YOU are from the realms below; I am from the realms above. YOU are from this world; I am not from this world”

 

 

Here the person called Jesus, himself says very clearly, that, as a person he pre-existed, hence, notice, the use of the singular personal pronouns “I, he”, such pronouns are not used of an abstract thought (plan) within the mind of God.

 

 

“I am from the realms above… I am not from this world”

 

 

Notice the use of “I am” [Greek – ego eimi] this expression “I am” is a verbal expression indicating existence and then, notice the use of the preposition “from” [Greek – ek (from/out of)] this preposition “from”, denotes the sphere, realm or location, ‘from’ which this person was residing in previously and that place was the spirit realm... hence, Jesus addresses his opposers with the words,

 

 

“What, therefore, if YOU should behold the Son of man ascending to where he was before?”

 

 

In Gen 1:26 we read, “Let us make man in our image…” again, the use of the plural pronoun “us” does not refer to an abstraction, but, another person, as pronouns are used of actual persons and not abstractions, thoughts…also, In John 1:1, 2 we read,

 

 

1“In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God...

2 This one was in [the] beginning with God.

3 All things came into existence through him, and apart from him not even one thing came into existence.”

 

 

So we see, that the, “all things” came into existence by means (through) this person, notice again, the use of the pronouns and that being so, this person must have pre-existed, that which was brought into existence “through” him*, so, other than God the Father, this person, pre-existed other spirit beings and the physical universe, all of which was brought into a state of existence by means of him; again, we see the use of personal pronouns!

 

 

* When one reads:

 

"...this person must have pre-existed, that which was brought into existence “through” him..."

...this creates a paradox for Trinitarians, in that, as Jesus (God's Son) was the agent, mediator, instrumental cause in the creation process, it stands to reason, that he cannot be a part of that, which he brought into existence, in other words, God's Son stands apart of and in relation to that which he brought into existence, as the mediator of such, he stands outside, such, but, is still part of the general creation, as is seen in Prov 8:22, where we see the use of singular personal pronouns (me, I) in regard to the term "Wisdom" and in Rev 3:14, where we see the use of the subjective genitive in regards to the expression "the beginning of the creation of God", the "of God" being in the subjective genitive and thus, carries the force of "hupo" (Origen, Dana and Mantey), thus, "of God" is a literal translation, not a literal meaning, thus, the NWT translated the preposition correctly, by using "by" and not "of"!

 

 

Once again, let us look at some further evidence, as to what the bible says on the matter of pre-existence, as, an actual person?

 

 

Phil 2:5-8

“Keep this mental attitude in YOU that was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although he was existing in God’s form, gave no consideration to a seizure, namely, that he should be equal to God. 7 No, but he emptied himself and took a slave’s form and came to be in the likeness of men. 8 More than that, when he found himself in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient as far as death…”

 

The person who became “Jesus” was in the “form” (Greek – morphe) of God and the form of God is a spirit form (John 4:24) and we must take note of the scripture, when it says,

 

“…who, although he was existing in God’s form…”

 

…here we see the past tense verbal expression “he was existing”, thus showing, that a person existed alongside God and in the same form as God, that form being a spirit form.

 

 

Whilst in this “form” something happened in the due course of time,

 

 

“…he emptied himself and took a slave’s form and came to be in the likeness of men…”

 

 

…he “emptied himself”, of what, he “he emptied himself” of his previous “form”, which was a spirit form and then what (?)

 


“…and took a slave’s form and came to be in the likeness of men”

 

 

The term “Word” (John/Rev) is a title for God’s son, as he is his chief spokesperson; he speaks in the name of his Father and God (Eph 1:3, 17; Heb 1:9; Rev 3:12, 14)

 

 

The scriptures clearly show, along with Jesus’ own words himself, that there was an actual person by the side of God in times past!

 

 

I hope this short response gives food for thought Kenneth!

Please see my paper:

http://letusreason.thoughts.com/…/bowing-to-bias-harpagmos-…


Andrew Graham (aka - letusreason)

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Comments (16)

  1. honestycounts

    Sorry,I for one can’t buy the whole "pie in the sky "thing…

    November 02, 2016
    1. letusreason

      Please explain and enhance!

      Are you a Unitarian?

      November 04, 2016
      1. honestycounts

        A realist

        November 04, 2016
        1. letusreason
          Huh?

          November 04, 2016
          1. wirelessguru1

            Well since honesty counts, he is a crazy dude but I AM God.

            November 05, 2016
  2. JumperK

    Better question; did Jesus exist at all?

    November 03, 2016
    1. wirelessguru1

      Well, I (God) do exist.

      November 03, 2016
    2. letusreason

      There is more written about “Jesus of Nazareth”, than Plato or Aristotle or other ancient figures, I suppose, one could ask the question, ‘did they ever exist’, yet people readily accept their existence and without question? Even ancient authorities wrote about Jesus, Celcus, Tacitus, Philo…to name, but, a few! Plato changed Western philosophy, Jesus, had a massive effect on the world with his simple teachings, not bad for one who doesn’t exist!

      November 04, 2016
      1. JumperK

        All those you mention wrote of Jesus 80-100 years after the cult gained some acceptance. There are no writings from any of those who may have been Christ’s contemporaries. The fact remains that we have more evidence fr the existence of Plato than for a Jesus.

        November 04, 2016
        1. wirelessguru1

          Of course there are. His wife (Mary Magdalena) wrote a lot about him…

          November 04, 2016
          1. letusreason

            He was never married, you need to stop reading the higher critics and the movie, “the last Passion of Christ”, all Hollywood!

            November 05, 2016
            1. wirelessguru1

              Of course he was married and had kids…

              November 05, 2016
        2. letusreason

          “All those you mention wrote of Jesus 80-100 years after the cult gained some acceptance…”

          the supposed “cult” did not gain any acceptance, until the 4th century CE, where the pseudo/pagan Constantine legalized the apostate form of the Christianity of his day, which was saturated with Greco pagan philosophies and traditions and customs, such as “Christmas” and “New Year”, which, I hope you will not be participating in, as, you seem, not to wanted to be associated with such myths! There are those, in order to fit in with the crowd go along with these celebratory myths, this way they save face and blend in, it is called expediency!

          " The fact remains that we have more evidence fr the existence of Plato than for a Jesus."

          “evidence” from who and where?

          November 05, 2016
          1. JumperK

            The cult of Christianity was gaining acceptance, it may have been limited to a small area until Constantine, but it never the less was gaining traction.
            Why would I not take part in the festivities you mention? Christmas is a holiday filled with the pagan symbols it was adapted from. The New year is celebrated by all cultures and for centuries.
            As for evidence of Plato, we have his writings, and writings of his students discussing him, we also have writings from his contemporaries describing him and his works. In other words, we have actual works and descriptions from his friends, students, and opponents, people that actually lived during his time. Unlike Christ, who wrote nothing, nor have we any works from friends, enemies, historians, philosophers, no archaeological evidence from the time he supposedly lived, nothing. No only the conflicting writings done long after the supposed Christ lived and the cult was scrambling for traction.

            November 05, 2016
  3. jkruithof

    Actually we all existed as spirit children of our Heavenly Father before we were born. God is referring to Jeremiah’s spirit self when He said to him. Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

    https://www.mormon.org.au/beliefs/plan-of-salvation

    December 02, 2016
    1. JumperK

      Sounds as logical as getting our own planet when we die.

      December 02, 2016