Who was Jesus before his human birth?

Did Jesus exist before his human birth?
Who or what was Jesus before his incarnation? Was he the god of the Old Testament?

To understand who Jesus was, we must first understand the basic doctrine of the Trinity. The Bible teaches that God is one and only one being. This tells us that he - whoever or whatever Jesus was before his incarnation - could not have been a separate God separated from the Father. Although God is a being, for eternity he exists in three equal and everlasting persons whom we know as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. To understand how the doctrine of the Trinity describes the nature of God, we need to remember the difference between the words being and person. The difference was expressed as follows: There is only one thing of God (ie, its essence), but there are three who's within the one being of God, ie, the three divine Persons - Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The being that we call the one God has an eternal relationship within himself from father to son. The father has always been the father and the son has always been the son. And of course, the Holy Spirit has always been the Holy Spirit. One person in the deity did not precede the other, nor is one person inferior in nature to the other. All three persons - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - share the one being of God. The doctrine of the Trinity explains that Jesus was not created at any time prior to his incarnation, but existed eternally as God.

So there are three pillars of the trinitarian understanding of God's nature. First, there is only one true God who is the Yahweh (YHWH) of the Old Testament or Theos of the New Testament - the Creator of all that exists. The second pillar of this teaching is that God consists of three persons who are the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Father or the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is not the Father or the Son. The third pillar tells us that these three are different (but not separate), but they share equally the one divine being, God, and that they are eternal, equal, and consubstantial. Therefore God is one in being and one in being, but he exists in three persons. We must always be careful not to understand the persons of the deity as persons in the human realm, where one person is separated from the other.

It is acknowledged that there is something about God as the Trinity that exceeds our limited human understanding. The Scriptures do not explain to us how it is possible for the one God to exist as a Trinity. It just affirms that this is so. Granted, it seems hard for us humans to understand how the Father and the Son can be one being. Therefore, it is necessary that we keep in mind the difference between person and being that the doctrine of the Trinity makes. This distinction tells us that there is a difference between the way God is one and the way he is three. Simply put, God is one in essence and three in person. If we keep this distinction in mind during our discussion, we will avoid becoming confused by the apparent (but not real) contradiction in the biblical truth that God is a being in three persons - Father, Son and Holy Spirit ,

A physical analogy, albeit an imperfect one, may lead us to a better understanding. There is only a pure [real] light - the white light. But the white light can be broken down into three main colors - red, green and blue. Each of the three main colors is not separate from the other main colors - they are included within the one light, the white. There is only one perfect light, which we call white light, but this light contains three different but not separate main colors.

The above explanation gives us the essential foundation of the Trinity, which provides us with the perspective to understand who or what Jesus was before becoming human. Once we understand the relationship that has always existed within the one God, we can continue with the answer to the question of who Jesus was before His incarnation and physical birth.

Jesus' eternal nature and preexistence in John's Gospel

The pre-existence of Christ is clearly explained in John 1,1-4. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. 1,2 The same was in the beginning with God. 1,3 All things are done by the same, and without it nothing is done, what is done. 1,4 In him was life .... It is this word or logo in Greek that became man in Jesus. Verse 14: And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us ....

The eternal, un-created Word, which was God, and yet was one of the persons of the Deity with God, became a human being. Notice that the Word was God and a man became. The word never came into existence, that is, he did not speak. He was always the word or god. The existence of the word is endless. It always existed.

As Donald Mcleod points out in The Person of Christ: He is sent as one who already has His, not as one who comes into being by being sent (p. 55). Mcleod continues: In the New Testament, Jesus' existence is a continuation of his previous or previous existence as a heavenly being. The Word that dwelt among us is the same as the Word that was with God. The Christ found in the form of a man is the One who existed before in the form of God (p. 63). It is the Word or Son of God who accepts flesh, not the Father or the Holy Spirit.

Who is Yahweh?

In the Old Testament, the most commonly used name for God is Yahweh, which comes from the Hebrew consonants YHWH. He was Israel's national name for God, the ever-living, self-existent Creator. Over time, the Jews regarded the name of God, YHWH, as too sacred to pronounce. The Hebrew word adonai (my lord) or Adonai was used instead. Therefore, for example, in the Luther Bible, the word LORD (in capital letters) is used where YHWH appears in the Hebrew Scriptures. Yahweh is the most common name for God found in the Old Testament - it is used over 6800mal in relation to him. Another name for God in the Old Testament is Elohim, which is used over 2500 times, as in the phrase God, the LORD (YHWHElohim).

There are many scriptures in the New Testament where the authors refer to statements made to Jesus in the Old Testament referring to Yahweh. This practice of New Testament writers is so common that we may miss their meaning. In referring to Jesus, Jahwe scriptures suggest that Jesus was Yahweh or God who became flesh. Of course, we should not be surprised that the authors draw this comparison because Jesus himself explained that passages of the Old Testament related to him (Lk 24,25-27, 44-47, Joh 5,39-40, 45-46).

Jesus is the Ego Eimi

In the Gospel of John, Jesus told his disciples: Now I say it to you before it happens, so that, when it is done, you believe that it is I (Joh 13,19). This phrase that I am is a translation of the Greek ego eimi. This phrase occurs in the Gospel of John 24mal. At least seven of these statements are considered to be absolute because they are not followed by a phraseology such as in John 6,35 I am the Bread of Life. In these seven absolute cases there is no sentence statement and the I am at the end of the sentence. This indicates that Jesus uses this phrase as a name to identify who he is. The seven passages are John 8,24.28.58; 13,19; 18,5.6 and 8.

If we go back to Isaiah 41,4; 43,10 and 46,4, we can see the background for Jesus' reference to himself as ego eimi (I AM) in John's Gospel. In Isaiah 41,4, God or Yahweh says: It is I, the LORD, the first, and the same among the dead. In Isaiah 43,10 he says: I am the LORD, and later it is said, Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and I am God (v. 12). In Isaiah 46,4, God (Yahweh) again refers to Himself as the I Am.

The Hebrew formulation I am in the Greek version of Scripture, the Septuagint (which the apostles used) in Isaiah 41,4; 43,10 and 46,4 translated with the phrase ego eimi. It seems clear that Jesus made the I Am statements as references to himself because they are directly related to God's (Yahweh's) statements about himself in Isaiah. John in fact said that Jesus said he was God in the flesh (The passage of John 1,1.14, which introduces the gospel and speaks of the divinity and incarnation of the Word, prepares us for that fact).

John's ego eimi (I am) identification of Jesus can also be up to 2. Moses 3 be traced back to where God Himself the I am identified. There we read: God [Hebrew elohim] said to Moses: I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE [a. Ü. I am who I am]. And said, Thus shall you say to the Israelites, 'I will be' [Who am], he has sent me to you. (V.14). We have seen that the Gospel of John establishes a clear connection between Jesus and Yahweh, the name of God in the Old Testament. But we should also note that John does not equate Jesus with the Father (as the other Gospels do not). For example, Jesus prays to the Father (Joh 17,1-15). John understands that the Son is different from the Father - and he also sees that they are both different from the Holy Spirit (Joh 14,15.17.25, 15,26). Since this is so, John's identification of Jesus as God or Yahweh (if we remember his Hebrew Old Testament name) is a trinitarian explanation of God's nature.

Let's go through this again, because it's important. John repeats Jesus' identification of himself as the I AM of the Old Testament. Since there is only one God and John understood this, the only conclusion left is that there must be two persons who share the one being of God (we have seen that Jesus, the Son of God, is different from the Father). With the Holy Spirit, which is also discussed by John in chapters 14-17, we have the foundation for the Trinity. To eliminate any doubt about John's identification with Jesus, we can quote John 12,37-41, where it says:

And though he did so before their eyes, they did not believe in him, 12,38 being fulfilled with the prophet Isaiah's saying, "Lord, who believes in our preaching? And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? "12,39 That's why they could not believe, for Isaiah said again," 12,40 He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, lest they see with their eyes and understand with their hearts and themselves convert, and I help them. "12,41 That's what Isaiah said because he saw his glory and talked about him. The above quotes John used are from Isaiah 53,1 and 6,10. The Prophet originally spoke these words referring to Yahweh. John says that what Isaiah actually saw was Jesus' glory and that he spoke of him. For the apostle John Jesus was thus Yahweh in the flesh; before his human birth he was known as Yahweh.

Jesus is the Lord of the New Testament

Mark begins his gospel by saying that it is the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God "(Mk 1,1), then quoted Malachi 3,1 and Isaiah 40,3 as saying," As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, "Behold 'I send my messenger before you to prepare your way.' '1,3 It is a voice of a preacher in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his way!' Of course the Lord in Isaiah is 40,3 Yahweh, the name of the self-existing God of Israel.

As noted above, Mark quotes the first part of Malachi 3,1: Behold, I will send my messenger to prepare the way before me (the messenger is John the Baptist). The next sentence in Malachi is: And soon we come to his temple the Lord whom you seek; and the angel of the covenant you desire, behold, he is coming! The Lord is of course Yahweh. By quoting the first part of this verse, Mark points out that Jesus is the fulfillment of what Malachi said about Yahweh. Mark announces the gospel, which is that Yahweh, the Lord, came as a messenger of the covenant. But, says Mark, Yahweh is Jesus, the Lord.

From the Roman 10,9-10, we understand that Christians confess that Jesus is Lord. The context up to verse 13 clearly shows that Jesus is the Lord whom all human beings must call to be saved. Paul quotes Joel 2,32 to emphasize this point: anyone who calls on the name of the Lord should be saved (V. 13). If you read Joel 2,32, you can see that Jesus quoted from this verse. But in the Old Testament passage, salvation comes to all who call on the name of Yahweh - the divine name for God. For Paul it is of course Jesus, whom we call to be saved.

In Philippians 2,9-11, we read that Jesus has a name that is above all names, that all knees should bow in his name, and that all tongues will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Paul bases this statement on Isaiah 43,23, where we read the following: I have sworn to myself, and righteousness has come from my mouth, a word to be kept: All my knees should bow to me and swear all tongues and say: In the Lord I have justice and strength. In the context of the Old Testament, this is Yahweh, the God of Israel, who speaks of himself. He is the Lord who says: There is no god but me.

But Paul did not hesitate to say that all knees bow to Jesus and all tongues will confess him. Since Paul only believes in one God, he must somehow equate Jesus with Yahweh. One might ask the question: If Jesus was Yahweh, where was the Father in the Old Testament? The fact is that both the Father and the Son, according to our trinitarian understanding of God, are Yahweh because they are one God (as well as the Holy Spirit). All three persons of the deity - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - share one divine being and one divine name called God, theos, or Yahweh.

Hebrews connects Jesus with Yahweh

One of the clearest statements Jesus associates with Yahweh, the God of the Old Testament, is Hebrew 1, especially the verses 8-12. It is clear from the first few verses of chapter 1 that Jesus Christ, as the Son of God, is the theme (v. 2). God made the world [the universe] by the Son and made him an heir to everything (v. 2). The Son is the reflection of his glory and the image of his being (v. 3). He carries all things with his powerful word (v. 3).
Then we read the following in verses 8-12:
But of the Son: "God, your throne lasts from eternity to eternity, and the scepter of justice is the scepter of your kingdom. 1,9 You have loved justice and hated injustice; therefore, O God, your God has anointed you with joyous oil like none of your kind. "1,10 And:" You, Lord, in the beginning founded the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. 1,11 They will pass, but you will stay. They will all become as old as a robe; 1,12 and like a coat, you will roll them up like a robe they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will not stop. First, we should note that the material in Hebrew 1 comes from several psalms. The second passage in the selection is quoted by Psalm 102,5-7. This passage in the Psalms is a clear reference to Yahweh, the God of the Old Testament, the Creator of all that exists. In fact, the whole psalm 102 revolves around Yahweh. But Hebrews applies this material to Jesus. There is only one possible conclusion: Jesus is God or Yahweh.

Note the words above in italics. They show that the Son, Jesus Christ, is called both God and Lord in Hebrew 1. Further, we see that Yahweh's relationship with the One who is being addressed was God O your God. Therefore, both the respondent and the addressed god. How can that be because there is only one God? The answer, of course, lies in our trinitarian explanation. The Father is God and the Son is God too. There are two of the three persons of the One Being, God, or Yahweh in the Hebrew language.

In Hebrew 1, Jesus is portrayed as the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. He remains the same (v. 12), or simple, that is, his nature is eternal. Jesus is the exact image of the nature of God (v. 3). Therefore, he must be God too. It is no wonder that the author of Hebrews could take passages describing God (Yahweh) and referring to Jesus. James White, in The Forgotten Trinity [The Forgotten Trinity] on pages 133-134, puts it this way:

The author of the Letter to the Hebrews shows no inhibition in taking this passage from the Psalter - a passage that is only fitting to describe the eternal Creator God himself - and refers him to Jesus Christ ... What does it mean that the author of the Hebrew Letter is a Passage that applies only to Yahweh and then refers to the Son of God, Jesus Christ? It means that they saw no problem in making such an identification because they believed that the Son was indeed the incarnation of Yahweh.

Jesus' pre-existence in the writings of Peter

Let's look at another example of how the New Testament scriptures equate Jesus with Yahweh, the Lord or God of the Old Testament. The apostle Peter calls Jesus, the living stone, rejected by men but chosen and precious by God (1Pt 2,4). To show that Jesus is this living stone, he quotes the following three passages from Scripture:

"Behold, I lay in Zion a chosen, precious cornerstone; and whoever believes in him shall not be ashamed. "2,7 For you who believe, he is precious; for the unbelievers, however, "the stone which the builders have rejected and which has become the cornerstone, 2,8 is a stumbling block and a rock of annoyance"; they clash with him because they do not believe the word for which they are intended (1Pt 2,6-8).

The expressions are from Isaiah 28,16, Psalm 118,22 and Isaiah 8,14. In all cases, the statements refer to the Lord, or Yahweh, in their Old Testament context. So it is for example in Isaiah 8,14 Yahweh, who says: But conspire with the LORD Zebaoth; let that be your fear and your terror. 8,14 He will be a pitfall and a stumbling block and a rock of offense for the two Houses of Israel, a pitfall and a noose for the citizens of Jerusalem (Isa 8,13-14).

For Peter, as for the other authors of the New Testament, Jesus is thus to be equated with the Lord of the Old Testament - Yahweh, the God of Israel. The apostle Paul also quotes Isaiah 8,32 in Romans 33-8,14 to show that Jesus is the stumbling block over which the unbelieving Jews stumbled.


For the authors of the New Testament, Yahweh, the rock of Israel, became man in Jesus, the rock of the church. As Paul said of the God of Israel, "They [the Israelites] have all eaten the same spiritual food, and have all drunk the same spiritual potion; for they drank of the spiritual rock which followed them; but the rock was Christ.

Paul Kroll

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