The following articles have been compiled and indexed by inWORD Bible software.
And Thou Lord: Identifying the “Lord"
“Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands.” (Hebrews 1:9-10)
Is the Trinity in Genesis?
Most Christians believe in the church doctrine of the Trinity, that God is one essence consisting of three co-equal and co-eternal Persons: the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit. Many cite three passages in the book of Genesis as their primary Old Testament (OT) support for the Trinity: Genesis 1:26; 3:22; 11:7. And they often refer to them when asserting that Jesus preexisted. These texts are as follows:
Incarnation and Trinity Give Us a Clue
The Apostle Paul wrote to his missionary associate, Timothy, about those who taught in opposition to Paul’s teaching. He said, “If anyone advocates a different doctrine, and does not agree with sound word, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words” (1 Timothy 6:3-4 NASB). And Paul wrote similarly in a later letter to Timothy, “Retain sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you” (2 Timothy 1:13 NASB). So, Paul says to guard the true doctrine by using sound words. Both verses in the Greek text use the words hugiaino and logos, meaning “healthy words.”
The Pre-existence of Christ
The doctrine indicated in the heading to this article is, we are convinced, extensively held among Universalists, and, by some, supposed to be a doctrine of essential importance, and to furnish a sort of necessary groundwork for their faith in the salvation of all men. We have heard it said by some Universalists, who had not eliminated all the crudities of Calvinism from their faith, that the salvation of those who died before the birth of Christ could be advocated only on the ground of his pre-existence; the atonement being ante-dated, and its benefits applied to them by anticipation; though on what scriptural or rational grounds this is maintained, we never could divine. But the larger number of those who hold to Christ’s pre-existence rest their faith on certain texts of Scripture which they know not how to understand if that doctrine be not true. And we have thought that we might do a useful service by calling the attention of our readers to a consideration of some of the passages of Scripture which have been supposed to teach the doctrine of Christ’s pre-existence. We say, which have been supposed to teach it; for we are thoroughly convinced that this doctrine is founded on a misconception of language; as we hope to show to the satisfaction of the candid reader. As preliminary to the examination proposed, it will not be unprofitable to refer to some well-settled principles and rules of interpretation, which must always be followed if we would arrive at a just understanding of the Scriptures.
Did Jesus Come Down from Heaven?
The institutional church has always claimed that the Bible says Jesus pre-existed as God in heaven and came down to earth to become a man, called “the incarnation.” The Nicene Creed says of Jesus, “For us men and our salvation he came down from heaven.”
Did Jesus Preexist in Heaven?
The institutional church has always proclaimed that Jesus preexisted in heaven. And it has concluded that Jesus’ preexistence indicates that he was and is God. But in modern times, the idea that Jesus preexisted has been seriously challenged. One argument is that if Jesus preexisted as a fully developed personality, that does not allow for human development and therefore compromises his being human.
God But Not God: The Angel of the LORD
The most mysterious and enigmatic figure in the Old Testament (OT) is “the angel of the LORD.” It occurs 56 times, and “the angel of God” occurs 10 times. He appeared to Abraham, Hagar, Isaac, Jacob, Manoah and his wife, Moses, Joshua, and many others.
Did Christ Pre-Exist?
“If there is, among the distinctive articles of the Christian faith, one which is basic to all the others, it is this: that our Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man for our salvation,” writes a prominent theologian and educator.
On the Jewish-Christian Doctrine of the Preexistence of the Messiah
The view that the Jews who lived about the beginning of our era, and the early Christians, or both, held that the Messiah was pre-existent with God, has been entertained by many scholars. Pfleiderer,¹ Weiss,² Harnack,³ Weizsacker,⁴ Hausrath,⁵ Schurer,⁶ Sabatier,⁷ Edersheim,⁸ Bruce,9 Dodds,¹⁰ Briggs,¹¹ Cone,¹² Gould,¹³ Stevens,¹⁴ Charles,¹⁵ Goodspeed,¹⁶ and Somerville,¹⁷ may all be quoted in favor of this view, and these are but a few of its advocates.
Did Christ Pre-Exist His Birth?
“In (the) beginning was the Word.” (John 1:1)
Whose Borders Have Been From of Old
“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” (Micah 5:2)
Wrested Scriptures: The Body Provided (Hebrews 10:5)
“Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, . . . a body hast thou prepared me.”
Wrested Scriptures: Creator of Heaven & Earth (Hebrews 1:10-12
“And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.”
Wrested Scriptures: Heir and Son Made the Worlds (Hebrews 1:2)
“[God] hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.”
Wrested Scriptures: God Addressing God (Hebrews 1:8)
“But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.”
Wrested Scriptures: Without Beginning (Hebrews 7:3)
“Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.”
Wrested Scriptures: Jesus Not the Word (John 1:1-3)
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”
Wrested Scriptures: Pre-existent Son of Man (John 3:3)
“And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.”
Jesus: “I Am” Who?
“Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.” (John 8:28)
Kermit Zarley on the Deity and Preexistence of Jesus
Prof. Dale Tuggy and Biblical unitarian and author Kermit Zarley discuss a number of themes from the book The Restitution of Jesus Christ, including:
Adoptionism, sometimes called dynamic monarchianism, is a nontrinitarian theological doctrine which holds that Jesus was adopted as the Son of God at his baptism, his resurrection, or his ascension. According to Epiphanius’s account of the Ebionites, the group believed that Jesus was chosen on account of his sinless devotion to the will of God.