Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Did Jesus Exist Before He Was Made Flesh?
I was asked in one of the forums to reply to:
I have high regard for Voy Wilks, although I do not agree with a lot of his conclusions. As far as I know, he has never accepted the ransom for all, that is, that Jesus' sacrifice guarantees for the whole human race -- Adam and all who are dying in Adam -- a second judgment apart from the judgment that resulted in condemnation of all through Adam. -- John 12:47,48; Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; Acts 17:31; 1 Timothy 2:5,6.
The Ransom For All Blogsite
I don't generally use the expression "pre-exist", but rather I speak of the "prehuman existence" of Jesus.
I will be briefly examining the scriptures given in Voy's study one at a time.
Wilks presents Hebrews 1:2 as being the most powerful of the scriptures offered to prove that Jesus had a prehuman existence. I had never really thought of Hebrews 1:2 as being used to try to prove Jesus' pre-human existence; to me, it would not be the most powerful of the scriptures related to his pre-human existence. I would think even Hebrews 1:10 to be more convincing that Jesus was with his God when the world of mankind was made.
I do not believe that Hebrews 1:2, however, speaks of the world being made through Jesus, but it does speak of the "ages" as being made through Jesus. Although the KJV and many translations do often render the Greek word (often transliterated as aion) as "world", I believe that it is misleading to do so. The Greek word "aion" refers to a time period; its plural is used in Hebrews 1:2 is referring to ages, periods of time. God has made the ages -- the periods of time as related to man -- through Jesus. I believe that these "ages" spoken of are the "ages to come" (Ephesians 2:7) which would never be had it not been that the man Jesus gave himself as a ransom sacrifice for all. God "calls things that are not, as though they were." (Romans 4:17) Thus, through Jesus, those ages to come are reckoned as having been made. The new creature is reckoned, counted, as though the present age has already passed away, and thereby he tastes of the "age to come." -- 2 Corinthians 5:17; Hebrews 6:5; Revelation 21:1-5.
Hebrews 1:1,2 does not mention that Jehovah spoke to the prophets through the angels, but we know that in the Old Testament that Jehovah did speak through his angels who relayed his message to the prophets who delivered the message to the people. — Exodus 3:2-4 [see Acts 7:30,35; Galatians 3:19]; Genesis 16:7-11,13; 22:1,11,12,15-18.
I do not know for a fact that Jehovah did not use his Son when Jehovah spoke through the prophets. It could have been that Jehovah did use a similar method as depicted in Revelation 1:1: God to Jesus, Jesus to the angel, the angel to John, and John to the servants of God. Substitute John with the prophets. -- Genesis 16:7-11; 22:11; 31:11; Exodus 3:2-5; 23:20-23; Judges 2:1-4; 6:11,12; 13:3.
Nevertheless, the fact that Jehovah spoke through his prophets does not mean that Jesus was not in existence with his Father before the world of mankind was made. -- John 1:10; 17:1,3,5.
I have a study on Hebrews 1:1-3:
Voy Wilks, as well as many others, makes the claim that the word "by" in John 1:3,10, Colossians 1:16, and Hebrews 1:2, means 'on account of', instead being used to denote instrumentality. I believe that he is mistaken concerning this matter, but, if one simply looks up the meaning of the Greek word "dia" in a Greek dictionary, I can see how one might conclude such. One should be careful, however, when different definitions are given since there may be Greek grammatical rules of common usage that would apply to what meaning should be given.
See my studies:
In the Beginning
The World Made Through the Logos
Is Jesus Designated the Creator?
The Unipersonal God Spoke Through His Son
In Koine Greek the meaning of a preposition is defined by the case of the noun that it relates to. As pertaining to forms of the world often transliterated into English as "dia" (Strong's #1223), when the noun is genitive, the meaning is instrumental. John 1:3, Colossians 1:16 and Hebrews 1:2 use the word dia with the genitive case; as such, dia should be understood as meaning an instrumental "by" or "through" in those verses. However, contrary to what many believe this does not designate Jesus as the Creator, but rather the instrument that the Creator used in whatever creation is being referred to in the context.
Likewise, the Greek preposition often transliterated as "en" (Strong's #1722), as used in Colossians 1:16,17, also denotes instrumentality, as I have shown in the studies listed earlier.
Amongst Voy's arguments, he presents Hebrews 1:8-10 as meaning:
"He [Yahweh, verse 5] says of the Son, 'G-d [the Father, Yahweh] is thy throne for ever and ever, thy royal septre is the septre of equity: thou [the Son] hast loved justice and hated lawlessness, therefore G-d, the G-d, has consecrated thee with the oil of rejoicing beyond thy comrades' - and, 'Thou [Yahweh] didst found the earth at the beginning, O L-rd [Yahweh], and the heavens are the work of thy hands; ...'" (Heb. 1:8-10, Moffatt).
Moffatt's Translation without the alterations:
Hebrews 1:8 He says of the Son, 'God is thy throne for ever and ever, thy royal sceptre is the sceptre of equity:
Hebrews 1:9 Thou hast loved justice and hated lawlessnes. Therefore God, thy God, has consecrated thee with the oil of rejoicing beyond thy comrades' --
Hebrews 1:10 and, 'Thou didst found the eart at the beginning, O Lord, and the heavens are the work of thy hands.
As already pointed out, the statements are being made "of" Jehovah's son, not of Jehovah. Jehovah is addressing his Son. The quotes as given by Moffatt do not suggest otherwise, since by connecting them with "and" he is showing that Jehovah is still the speaker who is speaking to His Son. We have no reason to think that Paul does not continue to speak of the Son of Jehovah in Hebrews 1:10.
And [Jehovah continues to speak of His Son], “You, Lord [Jesus], in the beginning, laid the foundation of the earth. The heavens are the works of your hands. They will perish, but you continue. They all will grow old like a garment does. As a mantle you will roll them up. And they will be changed. But you are the same. Your years will not fail.” -- Hebrews 1:10-12, World English.
This is an indirect quote from Psalm 102:25-27. If "Lord" in Hebrews 1:10 means Jehovah, this would mean that Jehovah is speaking of His Son as Himself. Trinitarians love that idea, by which they use their imagination so as to imagine, assume, add to and read into, what is stated that there are two different and distinct persons, both of whom are the same Jehovah.
I wrote on this before, and the study may be found at:
I will quote from that study:
If we read the Psalm closely, we can see that the Psalmist is prophetically playing the role of Messiah in verse 24: “I said, O my God, do not take me away in the midst of my days.” As David often did not speak of himself when using the first person, but prophetically of the Messiah (Psalm 16:8-10=Acts 2:25-30; Psalm 22:1=Matthew 27:46; Psalm22:22=Hebrews 2:11,12; Psalm 35:19=John 15:25; Psalm 40:6-8=Hebrews 10:5-10; Psalm 41:9=John 13:18, etc.), so the writer of Hebrews tells us that the Psalmist who wrote Psalm 102 was prophetic of the Messiah to whom Jehovah, the Father, spoke. From this we can also reasonably conclude that the author of Psalm 102 is also David. Thus Jesus fulfilled this role in his statement: “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from me; nevertheless, not what I want, but what you want.” — Matthew 26:39; See also John 12:27.
It should be borne in mind that punctuation is a modern invention, and thus the punctuation we see in our translations is not inspired. The Scriptures were previously without any punctuation. The punctuation as given in many translations is manifestly wrong in several places. Let us look at Psalm 102-24-27, applying punctuation in accordance to what Paul stated:
For he has looked down from the height of his sanctuary. From heaven, Jehovah saw the earth; To hear the groans of the prisoner; To free those who are condemned to death; That men may declare the name of Jehovah in Zion, And his praise in Jerusalem; When the peoples are gathered together, The kingdoms, to serve Jehovah.
[Now Jesus is represented as speaking at the time of his death.] He weakened my strength along the course. He shortened my days. I said, “My God, don’t take me away in the midst of my days. Your years are throughout all generations.”
[Hear Jehovah's answer of assurance to that heart prayer:] “Of old, you laid the foundation of the earth. The heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will endure. Yes, all of them will wear out like a garment. You will change them like a cloak, and they will be changed. But you are the same. Your years will have no end. The children of your servants will continue. Their seed will be established before you.”
The present world (kosmos) - the present heavens and earth -- into which sin has come, and which has been made corrupt through that sin, is what is to pass away. The world that was made through Jesus is the world into which Jesus came, but which world did not recognize him because of their darkness due to sin. (John 1:10,11; 3:19) It is the same "world" that sin came into through the first man Adam. (Romans 5:12) It is this world, this heavens and earth, the generation condemned through Adam (Romans 5:12-19), that is/are to pass away. (Isaiah 24:4; Matthew 24:34,35; 1 John 2:17; 2 Corinthian 4:4-6) Peter wrote of a world, a heavens and an earth, that passed away in the flood of Noah's time, but it was not planet earth, nor the physical sun, moon, stars, etc., that passed away. (2 Peter 3:5) However, the world that was made through Jesus is to pass away, but Jesus will not never be removed, for his dominion is ann "everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." -- Daniel 7:14, World English.
Ronald R. Day, Senior, Restoration Light Bible Study Services: ResLight, Rlbible