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Volume 1

- Study 14


Please consider the followin !e" facts concernin #es$s in relation to literal %re& e'istence( 1. )elati*el" few Scri%t$res seem to indicate an" literal %re&e'istence of #es$s+ 2. The He,rew Scri%t$res %ointed forward to a f$t$re e'istence of the Son of God Messiah+ -+ The #ews ,elie*ed in foreordination rather than literal %re&e'istence+ .+ The Son of God ca/e into e'istence at his ,e ettin in Mar"s wo/,+ 0+ The Son was e'alted to %re&e/inence onl" after his res$rrection+ 1+ The Son did not s%ea! %rior to his recorded life+ 7. No 2i,le te't sa"s that the Son oes back to the 3ather+ 4+ )E56TI7E58 3EW SC)IPT9)ES SEEM TO INDIC6TE 6N8 P)E&EXISTENCE O3 #ES9S The *ast /a:orit" of the Scri%t$res %ro*ide no s$%%ort at all for a doctrine of literal ;%re& e'istence+< 3or instance= fro/ the entire He,rew Scri%t$res onl" Genesis 4(>1? Pro*er,s @(>>= -A and Micah 0(> ha*e ,een ad*anced in an" atte/%t at s$ch %roof+ 8et in the Christian Gree! Scri%t$res there is no hint of %re&e'istence in Matthew= Mar!= 5$!e= 6cts= )o/ans= > Corinthians= Galatians= E%hesians= 4 and > Thessalonians= 4 and > Ti/oth"= Tit$s= Phile/on= #a/es= 4 and > Peter= 4= > and - #ohn or #$de+

The %ri/ar" ,oo! $sed for proof of literal %re&e'istence is the os%el of #ohn+ 6dditionall"= Phili%%ians >(1&@= Colossians 4(40&4B= He,rews 4(4A&4>= 4 Corinthians @(1= and )e*elation -(4. are *iewed as e*idence of the literal ;%re&h$/an e'istence< of #es$s+ Howe*er= two i/%ortant C$estions /$st ,e as!ed( 4D 6re these ;%re&e'istence< state/ents literal or notional? 2" notional pre-existence Ealso called i eal pre-existenceD we /ean that God %redicted and %ro/ised the co/in of the Messiah and that the Messiah was alwa"s in Gods /ind+ >D Ha*e the te'ts which are s$%%osed to teach literal %re&e'istence ,een correctl" translated and correctl" anal"sed?

In s%ite of Lukes tracin of &all t'in(s from t'e start )it' acc*rac+,< there is no /ention thro$ ho$t his os%el of #es$s ha*in e'isted in another for/ %rior to his ,irth( ;I F#*-eG resol*ed also= ,eca$se I ha*e traced all things from the start )it' acc*rac+= to write the/ in lo ical order to "o$= /ost e'cellent Theo%hil$s that "o$ /a" know fully the certaint" of the thin s that "o$ ha*e ,een ta$ ht orall"< ELuke 1:3, 4D+

If the idea of %re&h$/an e'istence of #es$s were tr$e= then fro/ his own words= 5$!e co$ld not %ossi,l" ha*e left o$t this *ital infor/ation for Theo%hil$s to ;know fully+< 5$!e fir/l" and %lainl" %laces the co/in into e'istence of the Son of God at the ti/e of his conce%tion in Mar"s wo/, E5$!e 4(->= -0D= as we shall see in the ne't section+ What 5$!e descri,es is not an" transfor/ation of an e'istin %erson into s$,seC$ent h$/an e'istence+ 1

The os%el of Matthew si/ilarl" i*es no hint of a %re&h$/an e'istence for #es$s+ It too e'%lains #es$s conce%tion as his ti/e of co/in into e'istence= i+e+ his ,e ettin EMatt+ 4(4@= >AD+ The Gos%el of Mark does not deal with the conce%tion and ,irth of #es$s at all= ,$t ,e ins with the e*ents concernin his ,a%tis/+ 6 thoro$ h e'a/ination of this entire os%el re*eals no hint of a %re&h$/an e'istence for #es$s+ The sa/e a%%lies to the entire ,oo! of Acts, 5$!es second *ol$/e( ;The first acco$nt= O Theo%hil$s= I co/%osed a,o$t all t'in(s .es*s starte to do and to teachH< EActs 1:1D+

5$!es reference ,ac! to his first acco$nt= which incl$ded the state/ents concernin the co/in into e'istence of the Son of God E4(-0D= shows that the %erson #es$s did and said nothing %rior to his ,irth+ This fact is also e'%ressed in He,rews 4(>= a *erse which shows that #es$s co$ld not ha*e had a %re&h$/an e'istence+ 6lso fro/ 6cts we /$st as!( Wh" did the onl" official /eetin of the ,od" of Christians= na/el" t'e .er*salem Co*ncil of Acts /0= disc$ss the /a:or iss$e of whether or not Gentile Christians sho$ld !ee% the Mosaic 5aw= and "et /a!e no /ention of what wo$ld ,e a re*ol$tionar" re*elation I that the Messiah had %re*io$sl" ,een an archan el in hea*en?

)a"/ond 2rown was 6/ericas leadin Catholic ,i,lical theolo ian+ In his 2irt' of t'e Messia' he stated that Matthew and 5$!e( show no knowledge of Jesus pre-existence; seemingly for them the conception was the becoming (begetting of !ods Son" E%+ -4D+ Distin $ished Gree! scholar 3+ C+ 2a$r sa"s( #$he idea of pre-existence lies completely outside the Synoptic %Matthew, Mark and Luke& sphere of 'iew"( C'*rc' Histor+ of t'e First T'ree cent*ries E%+ 10+D+ In the Hastin(s $ictionar+ of t'e 2i3le 7ol+ .= %+ 0B1 Professor Willia/ Sanda" of O'ford noted that( )there is not a single reference in the Synoptic !ospels to Jesus ha'ing been the Son of !od before his birth" >+ THE HE2)EW SC)IPT9)ES POINTED 3O)W6)D TO 6 39T9)E EXISTENCE O3 THE SON O3 GOD 6S MESSI6H Did an" of the He,rew Scri%t$res direct #ews of the first cent$r" to e'%ect a Son of God i+e+ Messiah= to ,e one who was alread" in e'istence and who had to i*e $% conscio$s life as an 6rchan el or hea*enl" ,ein ? Please note the followin Messianic %ro%hecies( ;6nd I shall put en/it"H,etween "o$r Ft'e serpent,sG seed and her Ft'e )oman,sG seed< EGen 3:1!D E;who is Christ< Gal+ -(41D+ T'is s'o)e t'at Messia' )as to 3e a escen ant of t'e )oman an 3+ efinition m*st 3e one )'o comes into existence after the ancestor already exists4 F*rt'ermore5 enmit+ i not alrea + exist 3et)een Messia' an t'e serpent,s see 3*t )as to 3e a f*t*re 'ostilit+4
NOTE1 All normal rea in( of t'is 6erse *n erstan s t'e reference 'ere as concernin( E6e an t'erefore )oman-in 4 T'ere is no connection 'ere )it' t'e i ea of an(els as pro *cers of t'e see 4

;Hlet /e ad*ise "o$ what this %eo%le will do to "o$r %eo%le afterward in the end of the daysHThe $tterance of the one hearin the sa"in s of GodHJI shall see 'im FMessia'G= ,$t not now? I shall ,ehold hi/ ,$t not near= A star will ste% forth out of "acob= 6nd a sce%ter will indeed arise out of #srael< E$um %4:14&1'D+ T'is prop'ec+ s'o)s t'at Messia' comes &in t'e en of t'e a+s7 an is to 3e a lineal escen ant of .aco34 T'ere is no 'int of 'im existin( from an+ time 3efore t'at4 ;I will raise $% a %ro%het from among their ,rothers li!e "o$ FMosesG< E(eut 1):1)D+ T'is )as s'o)n to 3e f*lfille in Acts 81995 :18: an .o'n ;1/<4 In none of these %ro%hecies is there a hint of ori ination fro/ an elic stoc!+ 2$t rather this $lti/ate %ro%het wo$ld ori inate fro/ h$/an stoc!( ;6nd now #eho*ah the one for/in /e from the belly E;womb7 in all ot'er translationsD as a ser*ant ,elon in to hi/= has said for /e to ,rin ,ac! #aco, to hi/H< E #saiah 4*:!D+ T'e =*otation of Isaia' <>1; in #*-e 9189 s'o)s t'is to 3e a prop'ec+ concernin( t'e Messia'4 6lso Psal/ >> is a %ro%hec" concernin the Messiah as %ro*ed ," its C$otations in the os%els+ So this *erse stron l" indicates that Messiah had God as his God and +ather only from his birth+ He co$ld therefore not ha*e ,een t'e onl+-3e(otten son ,efore that ti/e+ ;+rom the belly of /" /other "o$ ha*e ,een /" God< E,s %%:1-D+

;6 *ir in will be with child and ,ear a son< E#sa ':14D i4e4 'e 3ecomes t'e Son in t'e f*t*re4 ;There has ,een a .on i*en to $s< E#sa *:/D E%ro%hetic %ast tense= /eanin ;will be gi0en<D+ ;H"o$r F$a6i ,sG seed+++will esta,lish his !in do/ to ti/e indefinite+ I shall become his fat'er= he will become /" son< E% .am ':14&1/D+ T'is last prop'ec+ is repeate in / C'ronicles /:1/8 an is applie in He3re)s /10 to .es*s4 F*rt'ermore5 9 Sam*el :1/> sa+s it is ;down to a distant f$t$re ti/e+< ;8o$ are /" Son? I today= I ha*e ,eco/e "o$r father< E,s %:'D+ E;Toda" I ha*e begotten "o$< N6S2= )S7+? Necessaril+5 prior to t'e )ritin( of t'is Psalm "o ,s Son i not exist4 T'is passa(e is =*ote in He3re)s /10 an Acts /8188 s'o)in( t'e f*lfilment in .es*s4
NOTE( The translatin of 6cts 4-(-- in the NWT and the K#7 wron l" /a!e the a%%lication of this to #es$s res$rrection+

;He hi/self calls o$t to /e J8o$ are /" father= /" God+++I /"self shall place hi/ as first born= the /ost hi h of all the !in s< E,s )*:%/, %'D+ 6ll these state/ents are of a f$t$re 3e(ettin( of Gods first,orn Son4 The son is promise and not pre-existent+ So if a son is ali*e ,efore he is ali*e as a h$/an %erson= this wo$ld lead to the i/%ossi,le and $nscri%t$ral idea of a passin( t'ro*(' the wo/, as ta$ ht ," #$stin Mart"r as earl" as 40A 6+D+ and wo$ld= therefore= ,e an incarnation+ 3


;6nd there /$st

o forth a twig o$t of the stump of "esse? and o$t of his roots a sprout will ,e fr$itf$l< E#sa 11:1D+

The f$lfil/ent of Isaiah 44(4 is shown in 1e0elation %%:1/( &I am the root an t'e offsprin( of $a6i 5 an t'e 3ri('t mornin( star47 The )E2 renders it as( &I am t'e offsprin( of $a6i 5 the shoot growing from his stock4447 6s well as rowin $%wards a %lant rows downwards to for/ the root+ So #es$s as the st$/%= root or shoot is deri*ed fro/ the seed L in this case #esse and later Da*id+ #es$s is alwa"s the descendant Eoffs%rin D of Da*id thro$ ho$t the Scri%t$res+ He is ne*er called the ancestor of Da*id Ealtho$ h he does ,eco/e Da*ids ;lord< L Ps+ 44A(4D+ This is a case of lettin the %lain Scri%t$ral lan $a e inter%ret the fi $rati*e lan $a e+ #$st as the f$ll" h$/an Moses had not %re&e'isted= so too= the Messiah wo$ld ,e a %erson who was f$ll" h$/an and one %ro/ised to ,e Gods Son at a f$t$re ti/e+ He was the seed of h$/ans L a wo/an= 6,raha/ and Da*id+ The o*ershadowin of Mar" ," hol" s%irit did not chan e this seed fro/ ,ein h$/an+ If ;the Son< alread" had e'istence co/%letel" inde%endent of the enetic line of #esse= then he wo$ld ha*e onl" co/e thro$ h and not fro/ the st$/% of #esse+ So he wo$ld then not tr$l" ,e a descendant of Da*id+ -+ THE #EWS 2E5IE7ED IN THINGS 2EING 3O)EKNOWNM3O)EO)D6INED NOT 6S 5ITE)6558 P)E&EXISTING This /eans that God holds in /ind a %ict$re of what He intends to acco/%lish= how it will ,e acco/%lished and who will ,e in*ol*ed? none of which thin s act$all" e'ist $ntil their ti/e + This is the #ewish wa" of thin!in + The Gree! word for %re&e'istence pro-*parc'on is $sed in the Scri%t$res on onl" two occasions E6cts @(N and 5$!e >-(4>D= ,$t ne*er in relation to #es$s or an" other entit"+ So there is no word for %re&h$/an e'istence in the Scri%t$res+

;God+++calls the thin s that are not as tho$ h the" are< E 1om 4:1'D+

E4(4 .eremia' )as fore-no)n 3*t i not literall+ pre-exist B.eremia' /10?4 Also see Romans C19>D >19 8 an Ep'esians /1<4 A itionall+5 'ope an in'eritance can 3e fore-no)n1
;Hthe hope that is lai *p for "o$ in hea*en< E2ol 1:! N6S2D+ ;Hthe $nfadin inheritance+ It is reser6e in the hea*ens for "o$< E1 ,eter 1:4D+

;Hthis F/anG= as one deli*ered $% ," the etermine co*nsel and foreknowledge of GodH< EActs %:%3D E;predetermined plan< N6S2= ;deter/ined %$r%ose< NK#= ;%re& arran ed %lan< N5TD+ ;He*sG was foreknown E;%redestined< in )E2 and MoffattD ,efore the fo$ndin of the world ,$t he was /ade /anifest at the end of the ti/es< E 1 ,eter 1:%-D+ Christians are si/ilarl" fore!nown( &T'e ones c'osen accor in( to t'e fore-no)le (e of "o 7 E4 Pet+ 4(4= >D and &He c'ose *s4443efore t'e fo*n in( of t'e )orl 7 EE%h+ 4(.D+ 8et Christians did not literall" %re&e'ist+ To fore!now is the s$%ernat$ral a,ilit" to !now so/eone ,efore the" e'ist as with #ere/iah 4(0+ 6lso #a/es D$nn co//ents that( """in 1*eter 1+,- the key 'erb (#was made manifest( is set in antithesis with .predestined" $hat is to say that the contrast is not between pre-existence and incarnation/ but between that which was predestined and that which was re'ealed"""0n 4

other words/ *eter may well mean that what was made manifest was not so much 1hrist as what was predestined for 1hrist/ !ods eternal plan""" C'ristolo(+ in t'e Ma-in(= %+>-B+

;Hthe scroll of life of the 5a/, who was sla$ htered= fro/ the fo$ndin of the world< E1e0 13:)D+ @or for )or 1 ;,oo! of the life of the la/, the one ha*in ,een sla$ htered fro/ the throwin down of the world+< T'is is accor in( to t'e s+ntax of t'e "ree- text4 Howe*er= the 5a/, was not literall" sla$ htered ,efore the fo$ndation of the world+ )ather he was fore!nown in Gods /ind+ EPlease note that there is no co//a in the Gree! as there is in the NWTD+ .+ THE SON OF GO C6ME INTO EXISTENCE 6T HIS 2EGETTING IN M6)8S WOM2

;Hfor that reason EG! io -aiD Ft'e creati6e miracle in Mar+G what is ,orn will ,e called hol"= God3s .on< ELuke 1:3!D+ The Gree! io -ai /eans &$recisely for that reason47, It does not /ean 4for that reason also+ Protestant theolo ian Wolfhart Pannen,$r states that( 0n 2uke the di'ine Sonship is established by the almighty acti'ity of the di'ine Spirit upon Mary (2uke 1+34 ) Jesus di'ine Sonship is explicitly established by his miraculous birth)Jesus virgin birth stands in an irreconcilable contradiction to the christology of the incarnation of a pre- existent Son of !od" .es*s "o an Man E%%+ 4>A= 4.-D+ 6dolf Harnac! also notes that( $he miraculous genesis of 1hrist in the 'irgin and a real pre-existence of 1hrist are of course mutually exclusi'e" Histor+ of $o(ma 7ol+ 4= %+ 4A0+

Hol" s%irit at #es$s conce%tion was the cause of his ,eco/in Gods Son+ Therefore #es$s was ne*er Gods Son at an" ti/e %rior to his ,irth+ 2eca$se #es$s came into existence as the Son of God when he was concei*ed in Mar"s wo/, he co$ld not ha*e alread" ,een in e'istence as the Son of GodO 6s Ga,riel states( ;This one will 3e reat and will 3e calle .on of the Most Hi h< ELuke 1:3%D+ Matt'e) 01> an #*-e ;180 emonstrate t'at ;will be called sons of God< /eans e'actl" the sa/e as ;will be sons of the Most 5igh < In 5$!e 1(-0 Christians ;will ,e sons of the Most Hi h< and "et the" did not %re&e'ist+ 3$rther/ore= this one was oin to ,e reat+ This /eans that if he had %re&e'isted his ,irth he certainl" wo$ld not ha*e ,een reat+ That oes co/%letel" a ainst the idea of hi/ ha*in %re*io$sl" ,een an archan el or ;a od+<

The Kin do/ Interlinear Translation EKITD= $nder its Gree! te't of Matthew cha%ter one= /a!es it clear that #es$s *er" ,e innin or ori in was when he was ,e otten ," God in Mar"s wo/,( 5

&T'e 3oo- of t'e 'istor+ E;origin7 in %IT4 G! (eneseoos fro/ (enesisD of .es*s C'rist5 son of $a6i 5 son of A3ra'am7 EMatt 1:1D+ ;Hthe ,irth E;origin7 in %IT4 G! (eneseoosD of #es$s Christ was+++Mar"Hwas fo$nd to ,e pregnant ," hol" s%irit< EMatt 1:1)D+ In his detailed ,irth narrati*e Matthew $ses the word (enesis in 4(4 and 4(4@+ In 2a$ers Gree!&En lish 5e'icon (enesis is defined as( #5nes coming into being at a specific moment/ birth"( Also #state of being - existence( and #of ancestry as point of origin"( Howe*er= ones act$al ori in ones enesis i/%lies the e*ent of ones co/in into e'istence and so refers to the ti/e of ones conce%tion in the wo/, and not to the e*ent of ones ,irth+ 6ccordin to all Gree!&En lish le'icons the $s$al Gree! word for ;,irth< is (ennesis and not (enesis= altho$ h this can also /ean ;,irth+< Howe*er= ;,irth< is not the ri ht /eanin in t'e context of Matthew 4(4@ ,eca$se the ne't thin stated in *erse 4@ of Matthews acco$nt is that &Mar+E)as fo*n to 3e $regnant 3+ 'ol+ spirit47 So the word (enesis5 as $sed in 4(4@= does not concern #es$s ,irth ,$t his ,e ettin i+e+ his %oint of co/in into e'istence his 3e(innin(4 So ,eca$se the Gree! of Matthew 4(4@ has the word (enesis and not (ennesis it sho$ld ne*er ha*e ,een translated as ;Hthe ,irth of #es$s Christ was +++< ,$t as( &T'e origin of .es*s C'rist )asE7 or &The beginning of Jesus Christ was 6lso Matthew 4(4 is ,est translated as &T'e 3oo- of t'e origin7 of .es*s C'ristE7 or &The book of the beginning of Jesus Christ This shows that #es$s Jori inated in a line fro/ 6,raha/= and so Dar,"s translation reads( ()ook of the generation of *esus +hrist,- 0n fact/ 6ssociate Professor of )eli io$s St$dies Dr+ 2art Ehr/an states that( #the earliest and best manuscripts agree in introducing the passage with the words+ .$he beginning of Jesus 1hrist happened this way" T'e Ort'o ox Corr*ption of Script*re = %+ B0+ 6lso Dr Ha ner in the @or 2i3lical Commentar+ $nderstands that Matthew 4(4@( *icks up the genesoos/ .origin of 1+1 and suggests that the Biblos genesoos/ .record of origin/ now reaches its goal" So altho$ h Matthew 4(4 in*ol*es #es$s ancestr" his ori in ,eca$se of his line of descent fro/ 6,raha/ thro$ h Da*id= "et lo icall" it ;reaches its goal( when #es$s co/es into act$al e'istence at the end of that line i+e+ his ,e ettin as stated in *erse >A+

3$rther/ore= the Kin do/ Interlinear Translation /a!es it clear that #es$s the Son of God ," his ,e ettin ," hol" s%irit in Mar"s wo/, accordin to 5$!e 4(-0 did not co/e into e'istence $ntil he was Jfathered= J enerated= or J,e otten ," God in Mar"+

;H for that which has ,een begotten E;generated7 in %IT+ G! (ennet'en fro/ (ennaoD in her is ," hol" s%irit< EMatt 1:%-D+ This Gree! word e(ennesen Efro/ (ennaoD /eanin ;fathered=< ;was ,e otten=< or ; enerated< is $sed for the /ore than .A indi*id$als in Matthews enealo ical list of #es$s ancestors who were Jfathered i+e+ ,ro$ ht into e'istence at conce%tion+ The rather dated word ;,e at=< as $sed in the K#7 etc+= i*es the acc$rate /eanin of (ennet'en ,$t the New #er$sale/ 2i,le e'%resses it acc$ratel" in /odern ter/s as= for instance( &A3ra'am fat'ere Isaac47 8et none of these .A indi*id$als had a %re&h$/an e'istence+ So also with reference to #es$s the word (ennet'en does not allow for an" %re&h$/an e'istence for hi/ i+e+ he did not e'ist as a %erson %rior to his ,e ettin in Mar"s wo/,+ Matthews acco$nt in cha%ter one alone de/onstrates that #es$s was not in e'istence at an" ti/e %rior to his ,e ettin ," hol" s%irit+ 6

Therefore= at no ti/e do the Matthew or 5$!e acco$nts indicate that #es$s was onl" co/in into e'istence as a '*man= as tho$ h he was first ali*e and then /erel" %assed through Mar" rather than ori inatin in her as Matthew 4(>A states+ If these two acco$nts i*en ," 5$!e and Matthew $nder ins%iration are ta!en serio$sl"= the" ne ate all atte/%ts to i*e #es$s an ori in ,efore his conce%tion= which is wh" Matthew and 5$!e a%%ear first in the Christian Gree! Scri%t$res+ The" state that God Jfathered #es$s ," /iracle at that ti/e and therefore that /$st= in all lo ic= ,e when #es$s ,eca/e the Son of God+ In fact= a %erson is what he is accordin to his ori in and does not chan e fro/ one s%ecies to another not fro/ an el to h$/an+ M#2A5 !:%

;6nd "o$= O 2ethlehe/ E%hrathah= the one too little to et to ,e a/on the tho$sands of "udah fro/ "o$ there will co/e o$t to /e the one who is to ,eco/e ruler in #srael= whose origin EHe,+ motsaa'D is from early times EHe,+ mi-e emD= fro/ the days of time indefinite EHe, ola'mD+< This is $s$all" C$oted ," #Ws and so/e Trinitarians in an atte/%t to ne ate the a,o*e infor/ation fro/ Matthew 4(4= 4(4@ and 4(>A= and to show that #es$s e'isted ,efore his ,e ettin in Mar"s wo/,+ 3irstl" it /$st ,e noted that the He,rew word /eanin s are( motsaa' P ; oin s forth< or ;ori in< mi-e em P ;fro/ of old< Esee He,rew interlinear and /ost translationsD ola'm G &ancient da"s< Esee He,rew interlinear= N62= ES7= N)S7= )OTH= SQG= )E2= and NI7D+ The two ter/s mi-e em and ola'm are ,ein $sed in He,rew %arallelis/ so that the N5T renders the/ as one tho$ ht( &)'ose ori(ins are from t'e istant past47 There is here no /eanin of eternit"+ So contrar" to Trinitarianis/ there is no ;eternal Son+< 6lso there is here no /eanin of ti/e %rior to the Genesis creation+ In fact= we find in Micah B(>A a si/ilar %hrase to that $sed in 0(> which %oints ,ac! onl" as far as the He,rew forefathers= not to a ti/e ,e"ond the worlds creation( ;Hthe lo*in &!indness i*en to A3ra'am= which "o$ swore to o$r forefat'ers fro/ days of long ago EHe,+ mi-e emD< EMic ':%-D+ ;In that da" I shall raise $% the ,ooth of $a6i that is fallen+++I shall ,$ild it $% as in the days of long ago EHe,+ ola'mD<< EAmos *:11D+ Ola'm is $sed also with reference to Moses ti/e as ;da"s of old< EIsa+ 1-(44D+ T'e Ne) International $ictionar+ of OT T'eolo(+ an Exe(esis 7ol+ -(-.B states( 6icah 4+, predicts the coming of a messianic king from 7ethlehem/ whose origin was .from old/ from ancient times ( mime olam " 8ere the nom" phrase could well refer to the pristine days of the 9a'idic monarchy (as the reference to 7ethlehem/ 9a'ids home town/ suggests " 0t probably expresses the hope for the #new 9a'id( who would take control of the decrepit monarchy and restore 0sraels glory (cf" :;ek" 34+,3-,4; 3<+,4-,4 " =hile it is tempting to see here a reference to the eternal pre-existence of the 6essiah/ no such an idea is found in biblical or postbiblical Jewish literature before the Similitudes of :noch/ 1 st cent" 71 to 1st >9 (1:noch 4?+,-@ """% And e en there no !re"e#isten$e !rior to birth, but !rior to se$ond $oming &"

6ccordin to the Anc'or 2i3le Commentar+ on Micah( 0t describes the place from which something goes out/ the place of sunrise/ going out on a Aourney/ a military campaign or being born" $he latter connotaion would make #mo;aot( (goings forth / like #toledot( (generations / refer to 9a'ids ancient lineage/ preser'ed in the old genealogies (Buth 4 " $he term #mo;a( can also refer to what goes forth from the mouth of !od" $his meaning would suggest that 6icah is referring to the co'enant guarantees that 9a'ids line would endure fore'er/ interpreted now as ancient predictions of a 9a'idic 6essiah for the end time (2uke 1+3,; ,Sam" < #0 will be his father and he will be my son(/ *salm ?C+34/ which says that !od will not modify that #mo;a( of 8is lips/ #what has gone forth from my lips concerning 9a'id( " *s" , promises 9a'id dominion to the ends of the earth *s" <, represents the fullest statement" 6lso= t'e Ne) American 2i3le st$d" notes e'%lain Micah 0(> as a reference to the Messiahs descent fro/ the ancient Da*idic d"nast"( $he tiny city and clan of 7ethlehem-:phrathah/ from which comes the ancient 9a'idic dynasty (whose origin is from old/ from ancient times with its messianic king/ one who is to be ruler in 0srael" 6dditionall"= T'e Cam3ri (e 2i3le for Sc'ools an Colle(es sa"s( %origins in 6icah 4+, refers to his (the Messiah&s descent from the ancient 9a'idic family" 3$rther to the N5T renderin of Micah 0(> Moffatts renderin ca%t$res the real sense here with( &)'ose ori(in is of lon( escent47 So origin in Micah 0(> refers to #es$s line of descent which= for the #ewish readers of Matthew cha%ter one= oes ,ac! to 6,raha/+ 7ario$sl" the Messiah is descri,ed as the son of Da*id= the seed of 6,raha/= ,$t also as the seed of the wo/an EGen+ -(40D+ So the ; oin s forth< or ;ori in< of the Messiah as ;the seed of the wo/an< refers to his lineal descent thro$ h 6,raha/ and Da*id+ He wo$ld ,e a /ale heir to Da*id and at the sa/e ti/e Gods Son E> Sa/+ B(4.D+ 3$rther/ore= it wo$ld incl$de the %ro%hecies concernin Messiah as co/in thro$ h the tri,e of #$dah EGen+ .N(4AD and his ,ein an Israelite EN$/+ >.(4B&4ND+ Nothin here indicates an" %re&e'istent %erson+

If ori(in in Micah 0(> referred to a %re&2ethlehe/= real e'istence of the Son= it wo$ld ,e in contradiction of Matthew 4(4@ and 5$!e 4(->= -0 which i*e details of the ori(in of #es$s as his 3e(ettin( 3+ 'ol+ spirit to ,eco/e Gods Son= i+e+ his conce%tion in Mar"+ Clearl" the conte6t or the word 4origin3 is different in Micah ! than in Matthew 1:1) + The first refers to Messiahs ancestr"= while the latter refers to his %ersonal co/in into e'istence+ In fact= referrin to Micah 0(>= #a/es D$nn= %rofessor of di*init" at D$rha/ 9ni*ersit"= co//ents that the He,rew does not s$ est %re&e'istence+ Cross&referencin shows that it li!el" was Micah 0(> that the 4st cent$r" #ews had in /ind= when the" said( ;Has not scri%t$re said that the Christ is co/in from the offspring of (a0id= and from 7ethlehem the *illa e where Da*id $sed to ,e?< E"ohn ':4%D+ Therefore= the Messiah= as the final descendant of the Da*idic d"nast"= is %art of a d"nast" that is ancient+ This is what /a!es the Messiahs ori in ancient+ In conte't it wo$ld ,e incorrect to ass$/e that this /eant that the Messiah e'isted ,efore the worlds creation+ Si/ilarl"= in tr"in to assess who #es$s is( ;So/e of the crowd+++,e an sa+in(( JThis is for certaint" the prophet+ Others were sa"in ( JThis is the 2hrist< E"ohn ':4-, 41D+ 8

6nd when as!ed ," #es$s( ;JWho are /en sa"in the Son of Man is? The" F t'e isciplesG said( JSo/e sa" "ohn the 7aptist= others 8li9ah= still others "eremiah or one of the prophets< EMatt 1/:13, 14D+ 6nd "ohn 1:4* (i6es Nat'aniel,s reco(nition of .es*s as1 ;)a,,i= "o$ are the .on of God= "o$ are king of #srael <

In no case does an"one s$


est that #es$s was a %re&e'istent s%irit+

;That which was begotten EJ enerated in KITD in her< EMatt 1:%-D+ "ennao G to ,e et+ The dictionar" definition of to 3e(et is to originate, to cause to e6ist #a/es D$nn co//ents in C'ristolo(+ in t'e Ma-in(1 begetting - the coming into existence of one who will be called and will in fact be the Son of God/ not the translation of a pre-existent being to become the soul of a human baby or the metamorphosis of a di'ine being into a human foetus / %+ 0+ E*er" sin le indi*id$al descri,ed in the Scri%t$res as ha*in ,een literall" ,e otten ca/e into e'istence only at the time of his.her conce$tion + It is incorrect to sa" that it was only as a human that #es$s was ,e otten at his conce%tion+ It is the %erson L the indi*id$al & who first ca/e into e'istence at that ti/e+ It is illo ical to %ro%ose that an"one co$ld ,e ,e otten in essence twiceO

Howe*er= Christians are ;,orn a ain=< that is= spiritually begotten( ;He*er"one ha/ing been begotten of God sins not= ,$t the one begotten of God !ee%s hi/< E1 "ohn !:1)D+ EMarshalls InterlinearD+ ;Han"one ,orn of God does not %ractice co//ittin sin= ,$t the :ne who was begot& ten of God caref$ll" watches o*er and %rotects hi/H< E 1 "ohn !:1)D+ E6/%lified 2i,le+ See
also N62= Dar,"= and 8o$n D+

The %hrase ;ha/ing been begotten< is in the perfect tense in the Gree! te't indicatin an on oin condition in the case of Christians i+e+ s%irit$al ,e ettin + Howe*er= the %hrase ;the :ne who was begotten< with reference to #es$s= is in the aorist tense in the Gree! and refers to a once onl" and ne*er to ,e re%eated e*ent of the %ast L a %h"sical ,e ettin + Hence the ,e ettin of #es$s occ$rred accordin to Matthew 4(>A and 5$!e 4(-0 onl" on the one occasion when he was s$%ernat$rall" concei*edM,e otten in Mar"s wo/,+ The K#7 and NK#7 ter/s ;onl"&,e otten of a father=< ;onl" ,e otten Son=< and ;onl" ,e otten Son of God< which occ$r in #ohn 4(4.= 4@? -(41= 4@ and 4 #ohn .(N all refer to #es$s $niC$eness as a son and in %artic$lar the $niC$eness of his *ir inal ,e ettin in Mar" and in ha*in no h$/an father+ This /eans that #es$s= altho$ h f$ll" h$/an= is ne*er to ,e *iewed as a ;/ere /an< L he is a $niC$el" enerated h$/an %erson+ So ,eca$se 3e(otten /eans

;,ro$ ht into e'istence=< the idea of a transfor/ation fro/ one life for/ to another is lo icall" e'cl$ded+
Note( The ter/ 3e(et is also occasionall" $sed in 2i,le enealo ies in a le al rather than ,iolo ical sense+


The a%ostle Pa$l e'%resses #es$s co/in into e'istence in the sa/e ter/s as do Matthew and 5$!e+ 6s enerall" translated Pa$l states that( ;Hwhen the f$ll li/it of the ti/e arri*ed= God sent forth 'is Son5 who came to be EG! (enomenonD o$t of EfromD a wo/anH< EGal 4:4D+ Howe*er= ,eca$se of the aorist %artici%le in the Gree! it is ,etter rendered( ;Hwhen the f$ll li/it of the ti/e arri*ed= God sent forth 'is Son5 who ha0ing come to be EG! (enomenonD o$t of EfromD a wo/anH< The aorist %artici%les in this *erse show that the ;sendin < occ$rred after the ,irth of "o Is Son= and not before his ,irth i+e+ the ti/e when he ca/e to ,e or e'ist+ Indeed the Gree! word (enomenon is fro/ the for/ ginomai and this is defined as( ;$o come into existence" $o come into being through process of birth (!al" 4+4 "( E2a*er,s #exicon?4 This e'cl$des the idea of one who ca/e t'ro*(' Mar" as wo$ld ,e the case with so/eone who had had a %re& h$/an e'istence+ If there was a %re&e'istence= then ter/s s$ch as incarnation or trans/i ration or trans/$tation or transfor/ation wo$ld ,e a%%ro%riate+ 2$t in the case of the Son of God= the 2i,le descri,es the ,e innin of a new %erson= e'actl" as %ro%hesied in Psal/ >(B and > Sa/$el B(4. :$st as Galatians .(. C$ite clearl" shows that #es$s was the Son of "o %recisel" ,eca$se he had a /other as well as a 3ather+

;8o$ are /" Son= today I ha*e ,e otten "o$< E,s %:' N6S2D+ 6ccordin to He,rews 4(0 and 6cts 4-(-- this %ro%hec" was f$lfilled when #es$s was ,orn+ Howe*er= there is a translation iss$e with 6cts 4-(--+ The %hrase ;raised $%< was /istranslated in the K#7 and later in the NWT as ;raised $% a(ain=< or ;res$rrected+< The literal translations and the NK#7 and NI7 ha*e corrected this and 3+3 2r$ce states with reference to 6cts 4-(--( $he promise of '",3/ the fulfilment of which is described in '"33/ has to do with the sending of the 6essiah/ not his resurrection (for which see '"34 " Derse 34 adds #from the dead(" So we are o,li ed to differentiate the word raise *p in *erse -- fro/ raise from t'e ea in *erse -.+ 3ro/ the Se%t$a int we et the %ro%hec" concernin Messiahs ,e ettin when God sa"s( ;+rom the womb ,efore the da"star I ha*e begotten "o$< E,s 1-*:3 5XX ,$t 11-:3 in the MasoreticD+ 6ltho$ h the Masoretic te't reads differentl" /an" He,rew /an$scri%ts ha*e different *owel %ointin that read as a,o*e+ These incl$de the S"riac Peshitta and the He,rew te't $sed ," Ori en Eearl" ch$rch fatherD+ These /a" reflect a /ore acc$rate ori inal te't and show that the %ro/ised Messiah comes into existence E,e ottenD in a /others wo/,+

In the os%el of Matthew the enealo " of #es$s r$ns ,ac! thro$ h Da*id to 6,raha/+ The enealo ical record i*en ," 5$!e ta!es thin s e*en f$rther ,ac! to 6da/ E5$!e -(-@D+ 2oth Matthew and 5$!e had a/%le o%%ort$nit" for /entionin a %re&e'istence if the" had ,elie*ed in a %re&h$/an Son= ,$t no s$ch thin is descri,ed in their detailed acco$nts+ Closel" lin!ed with Matthews enealo ical list is the state/ent that #es$s ca/e into e'istence in Mar"s wo/, EMatt+ 4(>AD+ The ti/e and location of the ori in of the Son of God are /ade 10

trans%arentl" clear+ 5$!e also tells that the Son of God ca/e into e'istence in Mar"s wo/,+ E5$!e 4(->= -0D and thro$ ho$t the s"no%tic os%els #es$s is called ;Son of Da*id=< he is ne0er called or linked with Michael or any other spirit being + 6n an elic identit" for the Son of God is %lainl" e'cl$ded+ If #es$s had reall" %re&e'isted as Mic'ael i+e+ the teachin of #eho*ahs Witnesses= he co$ld not ," definition ha*e ,een the lineal and ,iolo ical descendant of Da*id+ To s%ea! of a %re& '*man e'istence contradicts the Scri%t$res that show #es$s as co/in into e'istence onl" at his conce%tion in Mar"+ One cannot e'ist ,efore one e'ists+ S$ch an idea is illo ical as is e'istence in another for/+ 0+ THE SON W6S EX65TED TO P)E&EMINENCE ON58 63TE) HIS )ES9))ECTION ;Hhe h$/,led hi/self and ,eca/e o3e ient as far as eat'++++or this 0ery reason EG!+ io -aiD also God e6alted him to a su$erior $osition and !indl" a*e hi/ the na/e that is a,o*e e*er" na/e E,hil %:), * NWTD+

The Gree! word -ai for ;also7 Eor an D does not need to ,e translated se%aratel" ,eca$se it is %art of a Gree! %hrase which is correctl" translated as ;Therefore< EN)S= ES7= NI7= )E2D= ;2eca$se of this< EN62D= ;6nd for this< EN#2D= ;That is wh"< E2arcla"D or ;3or this reason< EN6S2 in 5$!e 4(-0+ $io -ai /eans ;for this reason %recisel"< he will ,e the Son of GodD+ 6lso the %hrase (to a su$erior $osition- is a/,i $o$s ,eca$se it i/%lies a comparison of two hi h %ositions+ More acc$ratel" the word highly de/onstrates the Gree! as showin the s*perlati6e( ;to the hi hest %lace< ENI7D? ;ele*ated hi/ to the %lace of hi hest honor< E N5TD+ Hence ,oth ES7 and N)S7 i*e( ;=herefore God has highly e6alted him>< EMost ot'er translations are similar+D So #es$s attained that s$%re/e %osition $nder God= which wo$ld ha*e ,een i/%ossi,le if he alread" had it+

;Hthe first,orn fro/ the dead that he might become the one who is first EJ$re0emin0 ent in ESF an ot'ersD in all thin s< E2ol 1:1), 1*D+ ;So he has become ,etter than the an els= to the e'tent that he has inherited a na/e /ore e'cellent than theirs< E5eb 1:4D+ This was ,eca$se &'e 'a made a purification for o*r sins47 B*erse -D+ It does not sa" that he was ,ein restored to so/e %ast inheritance i+e+ the number % position in the $ni*erse? ,$t= that he is only now worthy of s$ch inheritance ,eca$se he &3ecame o3e ient as far as eat'7 and &'a ma e a p*rification for o*r sins47 He was i*en this %osition ,eca$se( ;6ltho$ h he was a son= he learned o,edience fro/ the thin s he s$ffered< E 5eb !:)D+ Onl" after this learnin %rocess c$l/inated in his ,eco/in o3e ient as far as eat' did he ,eco/e %re&e/inent and ain his s$%erlati*e %osition ne't to God EPs+ 44A(4= where he is ;/" lord< EHe,+ a oniD and certainl" not a second GodD+


1+ DID THE SON SPE6K P)IO) TO HIS )ECO)DED 5I3E? ;He F"o G has at the end of these da"s spo-en to $s ," /eans of a Son< E5eb 1:%D+ #es$s= the Son= ,eca/e God3s spokesman onl" &at t'e en of t'ese a+s7 whereas God %re*io$sl" had $sed %ro%hets and an els as His a ents EHe,+ 4(4= >(>D+ If #es$s had ,een %re*io$sl" an archan el EMic'aelD= then= as a /essen er and as one &stan in( in 3e'alf of t'e sons of +o*r people7 EDan+ 4>(4D he /ost li!el" wo$ld ha*e s%o!en for God %rior to &t'e en of t'ese a+s47 8et in sa"in &to )'ic' one of t'e an(els i 'e J"o K e6er sa+1 L!o* are m+ sonE7 He,rews 4(0 shows that the Son was ne*er an an el+ B+ NO 2I25E TEXT S68S THE SON GOES 7A2? TO THE 36THE) #es$s ne*er sa"s he will ,e ret$rnin to the 3ather as if he had ,een with Hi/ %re*io$sl"= ,$t sa"s( ;Hand was oin to God+< #ohn 4-( ;I a/ oin /" wa" to the 3ather+< #ohn 4.(4>= >@? 41(>@ ;I a/ oin to the 3ather+< #ohn 41(4A= 4B &I a/ ascendin to /" 3ather+< #ohn >A(4B The Gree! is clear on this and the NWT= NK#7= N)S7= )otherha/= and K#7 are /ain *ersions that are correct for all these *erses+ The NI7 and so/e others wron l" re%ort #es$s as ; oin ,ac!< or ret$rnin to the 3ather+

THE ;SENDING< O3 #ES9S W6S HIS COMMISSIONING 3)OM 2I)TH The ;sendin < of #es$s was his co//issionin fro/ ,irth+ 6ll the %ro%hets recei*ed a %ro%hetic call and were sent+ This had nothin to do with ,ein ali*e ,efore ,ein ,orn+

;H,efore "o$ %roceeded to co/e forth fro/ the wo/, I sanctified "o$+ Pro%het to the na& tions I /ade "o$ +++ to all those to who/ I shall send you +++ see I ha*e commissioned "o$ this da"< E"er 1:!, ', 1-D+ Sen in( did not /ean that "eremiah literall" %re&e'isted and ca/e down fro/ hea*en= ,$t that he was co//issioned at ,irth+

;There ca/e a /an+++ha*in ,een sent forth fro/ God+++his na/e was "ohn< E"ohn 1:/ 8o$n s 5iteralD+ T'e sen in( fort' of #ohn did not /ean that he literall" %re&e'isted and ca/e down fro/ hea*en+ It was si/%l" a co//issionin ," God+

;#$st as "o$ sent me forth into the world= I also sent them Fthe disciplesG forth into t'e )orl 7 E"ohn 1':1)D+ ;#$st as the 3ather has sent me forth= I also a/ sending @:A< E"ohn %-:%1D+ 12

T'e sen in( fort' of the disci%les in the sa/e wa" as #es$s was &sent fort' into t'e )orl 7 did not /ean that the" had %re&e'isted+

;God sent forth His Son= who ca/e to ,e o$t of a wo/an+< 5iterall"( ;ha0ing come to be out of woman< EGal 4:4D+ This last state/ent wo$ld ,e contradicted if the sendin forth of the Son was fro/ %re& e'istence+ The ;ha*in co/e to ,e o$t of wo/an< C$alifies the tho$ ht( ;God sent forth His Son+< ;H," sending His own Son in the li!eness of sinf$l flesh< E1om ):3D+ ;The 3ather has sent forth His Son as Sa*io$r of the world< E1 "ohn 4:14D+ ;God sent forth his onl"&,e otten Son into t'e )orl < E1 "ohn 4:*D+ )en storf in T'e T'eolo(ical $ictionar+ of t'e NT sa+s1 2inguistically there is no support for the thesis that in !alatians 4+4 the e# in e#a!ostellien indicates that prior to the sending/ the one sent was in the presence of the one who sent him+ E7ol+ 4= %+ .A1D+

;To "o$ first= God= after raising up his Ser*ant= sent him forthH< EActs 3:%/D+ So no %re&h$/an ,ein was raised $% in hea*en and then sent down to earth+ The sendin or co//issionin ca/e after #es$s was raised $% at ,irth :$st as #ere/iah was raised $% at the ti/e of his ,irth to ,e a %ro%het+ WH6T 62O9T 4 TIMOTH8 -(41? ;+++who was /anifested in flesh< KIT+ ;He was re*ealed in flesh< N)S7+

#a/es D$nn tells $s that manifeste Eep'anerot'eD si/%l" /eans appeared( without any implication of pre'ious hiddenness (cp John C;3; Bom 3+,1; , 1or 3+3; 4+1-; 4+1-; 1 John 3+4/? / so that the context becomes of crucial importance in determining the intended meaning of the text ) 0n this case/ there is no indication that the thought was intended to include a third stage of existence prior to appearance on earth"""%that is& without any intention of implying a pre'ious %pre-existent& hiddenness" Please also note #ohn N(-( ;Hthat the wor!s of God /i ht ,e manifested in his case+< T'ese L)or-s, i not pre-exist literall+4 4 CO)INTHI6NS 4A(.( ;TH6T )OCK W6S CH)IST< This is t"%olo " with reference to Christ acco/%an"in Christians thro$ h life+ The Christian e'%erience is ,ein read ,ac! into the e'%eriences of the Israelites deli*erance fro/ E "%t and their wilderness wanderin s toward the Pro/ised 5and+ Pa$l tells $s twice that he is s%ea!in in this %assa e ;t"%icall"< E4 Cor+ 4A( 1= 44D( Passin thro$ h the red seaMclo$d P The /irac$lo$s /anna P Stri!in the roc! Ets*rD at 1ephidim P The $shin o$t of water P Christian ,a%tis/+ Contin$o$s s$%%l" of s%irit$al food+ Christ in the flesh s/itten for sins of /an+ The i*in of hol" s%irit+ 13

C'ristolo(+ in t'e Ma-in(5 %%+ >-1&>-B+

Stri!in the roc! EselaD at ?adesh P Christ o$r Hi h Priest not to ,e s/itten twice ,$t onl" to ,e addressed+ 8et ;the" i/%ale the Son of God afresh< Water ca/e o$t a,$ndantl" P The s$%%l"in of hol" s%irit+ The > roc! incidents were at each end of the wanderin s EE'od$s 4B and N$/,ers >AD+ So Pa$l is in no wa" sa"in that Christ literall" e'isted as a roc! or that he e'isted in the ti/e of the wilderness wanderin s+ THE SON O3 GOD BNOT .UST A 2O$!? W6S S6C)I3ICED ;When he co/es into the world he sa"sH"o$ %re%ared a body for /e< E5eb 1-:!D+ This ,od" was not so/ethin that the Son was %o$red intoO If s$ch was the case then onl" the ,od" was sacrificed+ Howe*er= it is %lain fro/ the Scri%t$res that the Son hi/self died E)o/+ 0(4AD+ The Son of God was the sacrifice offered as Gods ;la/,+< 6DDITION65 COMMENTS O3 5E6DING 2I25E SCHO56)S In the 4N0As Po%e Pi$s ranted Catholic scholars si nificant freedo/ for a /ost in&de%th e'a/ination of the Scri%t$res witho$t fear of an" heres" char es concernin what the" disco*ered+ 6t the sa/e ti/e a n$/,er of Ch$rch of En land ,isho%s and scholars con*ened /eetin s to disc$ss the iss$e of who #es$s reall" was+ The 5$theran Ch$rch also ,eca/e in*ol*ed in the sa/e in*esti ations+ The concl$sions were startlin for these Ch$rches+ 8et the a$thorities= Cardinals= etc+ started to cla/% down on the findin s of these scholars= res$ltin in the e'co//$nication or ;sidelinin < of so/e of the scholars+ Ha%%il" these researchers wrote n$/ero$s ,oo!s which ha*e o%ened $% the de,ate and which is still oin on toda"+ The followin are onl" a few ,rief C$otes fro/ their e'tensi*e and detailed disc$ssions of this C$estion as to who #es$s is+ $here is no indication that Jesus thought or spoke of himself as ha'ing pre-existed with !od prior to his birth"""> complete discontinuity between Jesus own self assertions and the subseEuent claims made about him would constitute a fatal flaw""" Professor #a/es D$nn & in C'ristolo(+ in t'e ma-in(5 %+ >0.+ $he christology of Jewish Christianity, which had been dominant for decades and knew of no pre-existence christology/ was increasingly swept aside and was finally branded heretical" a christology today which heedlessly uses the dogmatic theme of .pre-existence and introduces it into the F$ foists on the NT an idea which it does not contain in this form" Karl&#osef K$schel in 2orn 3efore all timeH %%+ -N>&-N.+ Professor #a/es Mac!e" as!s( what exactly/ according to this term %pre-existence& pre-exists what else/ and in what sense does it do so)the logical path to alleged pre-existence is a tortuous one" T'e C'ristian Experience of "o as Trinit+5 %+ 04+ By Raymond C. Faircloth