Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What did most Christians believe around 150 AD about Jesus's preexistence?

I know Christology is something I dwell on a lot now,which some people may find peculiar if they think they already have the truth wholeheartedly,no need for questioning.I think what a lot of people do though when exegeting scripture is divorce not only the historical context and sheer reason from their interpretations but also the Hebrew thought of the time and how they used language and concepts from their exegesis.(Not the Hebrew thought that assumed Christ should be killed but the Hebrew thought forms like Jesus and his disciples held) .When I thought Christ preexisted his birth,I never even thought that this might cause a controversy every bit as big as God being three people would have.The thing is..the controversy this equally probably would have caused is just as absent from the bible.No councils to discuss how the man Messiah Jesus was also an archangel,a Godman,or anything else at all.This reasonably leads me to believe that the texts that seem to suggest preexistence and that Christ was more(in ontology) than the perfect and preeminently exalted Messiah,Lord,king,and MAN have alternative interpretations in their Hebrew context that must be at least considered.I plan on purchasing "Christology in the Making" by James Dunn because from a preview on line it seems he goes in depth with Wisdom Christology which is exactly what someone with my former "Arian" view needs to diligently consider when contemplating that his/her view may in fact be a deception in my opinion not exactly on par with the trinitarian one but still egregious if in fact wrong.

One must always consider the bible's implicit revelations and the overwhelming bulk of it's suggestions from cover to cover as well while he is plucking texts here and there trying to make sense of them.(those plucked in the major minority that may seem to indicate something that is foreign to the rest of the Word.)This is what I wasn't doing before,though I didn't recognize it.When we go on carrying on a traditional(what may very well be a lie) God allows an operation of error because we believe fairy tales and ear ticklers that originated quite often in Hellenism,the downfall of truth in Christianity in many ways.How can God help if we're dead set on what we believe that may be a lie?How can God humble and teach us if we haughtily carry our theological conclusions around with clenched fists,closed eyes,and unfortunate determination of their (possibly imagined) inviolable accuracy?

The fact is,throughout the entire OT there is simply zero indication that Yahweh our Most High God planned on sending his special angel who had his name in him(because he was his rep on earth as Yah can't be seen) or anyone else to become something/someone else.Not only would we have to imagine/pretend it's there but we would also have to assume God created one singular individual to become someone else in nature entirely,when this seems to be something he detests given his reaction to his angelic sons materializing as "men" and having Nephilim offspring with genuinely human women in Genesis.It is in fact the pagans who believe,who teach,that divine gods who aren't human descend and become human to dwell among us.One must at least consider that the doctrines he holds dear may have a pagan origin given that Satan is a roaring incorrigible powerful lion tragically deceiving left and right,and not just within "cults."No one is immune!I haven't been immune and I don't claim to be now.I have been UNBELIEVABLY deceived on the simplest of scriptural points on a number of occasions.This is where my conscience kicks in and asks me if sharing my reasoning here is wise,given that I've preached untruths to people in the past.Then I tell myself that it's ok to share my journey as a Christian while being cautious not to teach dogmatisms to people with MY fists clenched,with MY eyes closed.I'm only doing what I naturally feel led to do.Preach Christ(who he actually is is of remarkable importance) and his kingdom(what it actually is is of remarkable importance.The orthodox belief that we fly away to heaven when we die divorces scripture from what it tries to convey from cover to cover!) while refining the fine points as I learn and grow.

Another point of consideration for me came when I was contemplating how I was proclaiming to others that trinitarian fruit(especially in the past!) has led to horrendous unimaginable inexcusable horrors like burning people alive in torture just because they wouldn't admit Jesus was the same God his own God is!The bible says you shall know them by their fruit,so it was apparent to me that the lie that produced THIS kind of fruit was not one I was willing to adopt!(needless to say,I think the trinity is EASILY disprovable outside this fact)..But what I wasn't considering is that "Arian" fruit is similarly philosophical,mystical,perhaps even Gnostic and has ALSO led to murders,though not as many to be sure!Still yet,what right did I have telling anyone a doctrine that inspires murder is from Satan while the Arian fruits aren't always the peachiest either.The Arian fruit may be the lesser evil to be sure but a lesser evil isn't good enough.I started thinking perhaps a doctrine that didn't inspire people to murder or banish others or to torture them may be the correct one.I know someone could easily use the reasoning point that Christianity has produced some terrible fruits but that we can't judge Christianity by that!What I can do though is reason that the KIND or BRAND of Christianity that produced those fruits is rotten and not my Lord's kind and brand.

I guess I'll end this blog entry by quoting someone who I think was one of the forerunners of both the Arian and the trinitarian view,as I can't dogmatically conclude he was either given that he applied Proverbs 8 to Jesus and said Jesus was "created."He at the same time said God became a man left and right,so I don't know what he believed.If I had to guess,I'd say he was an Arian who understood others besides God could properly be termed "God" as agents,representatives,and people afforded might and power BY the Most High one.He called Jesus "another god"..something no modern day trinitarian would ever do.At least not those with a more studied indoctrination of their own errors.Isn't it amazing how the trinity has "developed" vastly differently from even their own theological forefathers conclusions and ways of using language and concepts to describe it?From this alone we can conclude we have a "different doctrine" on our hands.I'm sure trinitarians would say a "refined" one..but from my experience they will say just about anything to preserve and defend their tradition and even their modern way of using blatantly Hellenistic language to define God.

Anyway,I digress.I have been accused by more than a few trinitarians since I said I don't think Jesus preexisted anymore of adopting a belief that originated in the 1500's!Thus my quote from Justin Martyr here from his Dialogue with Trypho ch. 48:

"Now assuredly, Trypho," I continued," [the proof] that this man is the Christ of God does not fail, though I be unable to prove that He existed formerly as Son of the Maker of all things, being God, and was born a man by the Virgin. But since I have certainly proved that this man is the Christ of God, whoever He be, even if I do not prove that He pre-existed, and submitted to be born a man of like passions with us, having a body, according to the Father's will; in this last matter alone is it just to say that I have erred, and not to deny that He is the Christ, though it should appear that He was born man of men, and [nothing more] is proved [than this], that He has become Christ by election. For there are some, my friends," I said, "of our race, who admit that He is Christ, while holding Him to be man of men; with whom I do not agree, nor would I, even though most of those who have [now] the same opinions as myself should say so; since we were enjoined by Christ Himself to put no faith in human doctrines, but in those proclaimed by the blessed prophets and taught by Himself."

Now THIS is significant.Why?Because Martyr admits(his writings dated from 150-160 C.E long before all the Nicene hullabaloo)that MOST of those who shared his belief that Jesus is the Christ(yes,Christians) DIDN'T believe Jesus preexisted,but that he was simply the MAN Jesus Christ.(a "man of men"1 Tim 2:5,Acts 17:31)Though he disagrees with them,not only did he admit most Christians held to a non-preexistent Christ,(and by reason a non-triune God) LONG before Nicea,but ALSO that he couldn't "prove" a preexistence.Interesting.And DEFINITELY significant considering the date of this writing and false claims about the "Socinian" view being absent in early Christianity.In Martyr's time,not only was it A "view" but it apparently was the MAJORITY one.Come to think of it,if Justin thought there was a POSSIBILITY he couldn't prove Christ preexisted then no way was he trinitarian.Because what Christian in the world would say they couldn't necessarily scripturally prove Yahweh himself existed before Jesus's birth?None.Justin was an Arian.That's my conclusion and I'm sticking to it.


  1. I agree that Jesus did not pre-exist except in Gods mind and salvation plan. I have a study in this that I would like to E. Mail to you. I am still adding to it, but I believe you will agree with at least most, if not all, of it. Send me an E.Mail address to: gordonkruger@rocketmail.com and I will send it to you. Gordy

  2. Why didn't his friends write anything against pre-existence if they didn't believe it? I wonder if the Roman Catholics destroyed the writings they disagreed with... I love quotes like these by the way! Keep it up sister, love in Anointed Jesus!