The doctrine of the trinity alleges that Jesus existed before He was born and that Jesus Christ is co-eternal with the Father. This notion is generally described as the pre-existence of Christ and without it the trinity falls apart.
Did Jesus Actually Exist Before He Was Born?
Advocates for the trinity declare that Jesus had a dual nature held together by virtrue of a hypostatic union and that only the human part of Christ was born in Bethlehem. This means that while the humanity part of Jesus was being born His eternal and unborn part was waiting in the wings to occupy its new home in a human body. This is a strange and unbiblical doctrine to be sure! We wonder if it means Jesus wasn’t really and truly born in Bethlehem after all. Did Jesus actually exist before He was born?
The Peculiar Idea of Eternal Begetting
There is talk in the creeds of another novel and unbiblical idea called “eternal begetting”. This teaching is just one of many desperate attempts that try to support the whole shaky house of cards we call the doctrine of the trinity. Along with being totally unintelligible, wouldn’t the peculiar idea of eternal begetting have put a lot of strain on Mary? Is there any truth to the idea that Jesus existed from eternity long before He was born? No doubt there is some language in the New Testament that is confusing but fortunately there are other Biblical teachings that help clarify things. Let’s take a closer look.
What is Prophetic Prolepsis?
This might be a term you’ve never even heard but prophetic prolepsis is an academic way of saying that God “calleth the things that are not as though they are.” (Romans 4:17) You can write it in your book that once God wills and determines something it is as good as done. “Yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it, I will also do it.” (Isaiah 43:13) God can speak of things He has planned as though they have already happened because they are absolutely certain to take place. This is why He can speak of things that have yet to occur as though they have existed from all eternity. The things that God plans already exist in His sovereign will and that is the ultimate and eternal reality! “He calleth the things that are not as though they are.”
How Old is Jesus Christ?
God’s eternal plan was that He would have a Son who would ultimately redeem mankind and bring us to our high destiny. This plan was from eternity but Jesus’ actual life didn’t begin until He was conceived and then born in Bethlehem. How old is Jesus Christ? “His goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5:2) The promise of Jesus Christ was in the mind of God “from everlasting” but Jesus’ actual appearing didn’t come to pass until He was born in Bethlehem. This is a biblical way to understand scriptures that would otherwise seem to indicate Jesus existed from eternity. It’s helpful to read your Bible with the idea in mind that the things God declares in His Word already exist in His plan for the ages even though the fulfillment of those things may still be in the future.
PS: This isn’t a hard idea to understand but it is important. If what we have shared here makes sense to you please share this post with a friend. Thanks and God bless.
Copyright 2022 by Bob Shutes