Jehovah's Witnesses and Others: Hebrews 7 - Did Jesus have a beginning?

In Hebrews 7, when showing parallels between Melchizedek and Jesus, one of the things mentioned is this:

"Having NEITHER A BEGINNING OF DAYS nor an end of life, but having been made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually." (Hebrews 7:3 - NWT)

How do Jehovah's Witnesses (and those with similar theology) explain this?


Barley, I didn't forget to read or post the first part of the passage. As one of the other answerers pointed out, certain aspects of Melchizidek's life was left anonymous for the SOLE PURPOSE that these parallels could be drawn to Jesus. And, if you are a JW, one of these parallels is quite problematic, since they believe that Jesus had a beginning. But what does the scripture say?


Update 2:

Barley, Jesus existed BEFORE his birth as a human. That is what the verse is talking about. Mary and Joseph have nothing to do with this passage.

Update 3:

So basically, the "best" defense is that "neither a beginning" is symbolic?

I see the symbolism in Melchizidek, but I see nothing symbolic about the statements made of Jesus.

17 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    The context of those verses do show the everlasting-to-everlasting pre-existent being of Christ. Paul was stating the Christ as the Word, before He became Jesus. This Word had no beginning and no end, He was fatherless and motherless in the human standpoint, and He was definitely not human before He became flesh.

    The word begotten does not apply to birth or creation if this person (the Word) was neither human nor animal. JWs should ALWAYS check the definitions carefully, and see the word begotten means birth for humans and animals, which the Pre-existed Word did not apply to either human or animal. The second definition of begotten is what applies, He inherits all things.

    Melchizedek means King of Righteousness

    King of Salem means King of Peace

    He had no human ancestry in His Priestly Office. He is God, begotten without mother, and He is Man, conceived without father.

  • 1 decade ago

    You forgot the rest of the scripture (actually the beginning of the scripture) which tells me your only interest is to twist it. It goes:

    "In being fatherless, motherless, without genealogy, having......

    Melchizedek, we know, had a father and a mother, as he was human, and he probably had a genealogy, ancestors of course, but possibly descendants as well --- the thing is, the Bible does not specify, so from the writer's viewpoint, Paul's that is, he had no beginning or end, etc.

    There is no record of him inheriting the priesthood through his lineage and none showing it's end, so too Jesus, has no record inheriting the priesthood (he was of the tribe of Judah, the priests were of Levi) and the bible does speak of him having no successor.

    EDIT ---

    You are pulling 1 statement out of the scripture and disregarding the rest. You are saying that he didn't have a beginning but yet you know he did have a mother and a father and ancestors, in other words, you suggest that 1 part is literal the rest is symbolic.

    EDIT 2 ---

    Actually, the verse is talking about Melchizedek, and that's my point. Look at verses 1 and 2 and you'll see that, then in verse 4 it speaks of Abraham having dealings with him, it's all talking about the man Melchizedek. And it continues to go on about his priesthood before even bringing Jesus into the discussion.

    Was Melchizedek made like the Son of God (in verse 3), he did not have a prior existence, and so forth. The entire thing is symbolic, as the last verse of chapter 6 states: according to the manner (or, order) of Melchizedek. If you read the entire chapter, Paul points out why he makes the comparison.

    EDIT 3 ---

    By the way, I apologize for incinuating that you were twisting the scripture, it's just that so many do here on Yahoo, I can now see you did not have that intent. And good discussion, maybe one day we'll meet and can have it all over again.

  • grnlow
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    The Bible shows clearly that Jesus did have a beginning. Being the first creature ever created by Jehovah God. (Colossians 1:15-18; John 1:2-3) Before the universe or even the angels, Jesus existed alone with Jehovah.

    Melchizedek's genealogy is not recorded. Just that he was both a king and priest with Jehovah's favor. Like him, Jesus is both King and Priest of God's Kingdom having Jehovah's extreme favor. Jesus, however, will never die again unlike men.

  • RussJW
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    In what way was Jesus like that? Granted, we know that Jesus’ Father was Jehovah God and that his human mother was Mary of the tribe of Judah. Still, there was a similarity between Melchizedek and Jesus. How so? Jesus was not born in the tribe of Levi, the tribe for priests in the nation of Israel. No, Jesus had not become a priest through human genealogy. Neither had Melchizedek, who had not become a priest “according to the law of a commandment depending upon the flesh,” that is, by being born into a priestly tribe and family. (Hebrews 7:15, 16) Rather than becoming a priest through a human father who had himself been a priest, Jesus had “been specifically called by God a high priest according to the manner of Melchizedek.”—Hebrews 5:10.

    Further, Jesus did not have any descendants or successors to his priesthood. In this sense too, he was without genealogy. He will eternally carry out his priestly service as a helpful instructor. Paul commented on this perpetual service, saying:

    “[Jesus] because of continuing alive forever has his priesthood without any successors. Consequently he is able also to save completely those who are approaching God through him, because he is always alive to plead for them.”—Hebrews 7:24, 25.

    Our consideration of Paul’s words at Hebrews 7:3 should therefore be more than a mere piece of knowledge to store away in our head. It should reinforce our appreciation for the loving provision that Jehovah God has made for us to obtain forgiveness of sin everlastingly and for the way he has arranged for us to receive help and guidance perpetually.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Jehovah's Witnesses - I believe you do your best to be good in Gods eyes. I don't understand why you would follow a religion solely created by another human being in the early 19th century and not the true teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ, our original teacher of the Word of God.

    But I do commend you all for opening your hearts to people and getting them to open their minds to the bible. However, some of your teachings seem to stray of the true Word of God. ( I said SOME not all.... I do agree with most of what you teach...)

    I DO BELIEVE that Jesus was eternal therefore, this is the meaning of that phrase "neither beginning nor end." SInce Jesus was the son of God, he lived on this earth but is eternally with the father, our Lord God. I believe this should answer your question. Eternal = neither a beginning nor end. Jesus is eternally in Heaven and really never died...... Rewind to the Resurrection of the cross.

  • 1 decade ago

    You are reading from the JW bible where words have been changed. It explains it better in the NIV...Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest forever.

    It is a new thought with a comma after the word "life". The bible tell us that Jesus did have a beginning and is a priest forever.

    The word "begotten" in Greek # 1080 in the concordance means to regenerate:--bear, beget, be born, bring forth.

    Jesus denied his deity in Mark 10:18..

    ...And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

    Jesus also said he has a God in John 20:17 and Revelations 3:12. Peter and Paul start their letters of with"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, so if the apostles were all of one mind then they all knew Jesus was who he said he is "The Son of God" and NOT God the Son.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It was refering to the priesthood authority of Melchizedek (like Abraham, and later, Moses and Elijah). He was of a different order. We learn that when the Mosaic Law came to be, the priesthood authoirty of Aaron and his sons was hereditary. That is, the right of this higher priesthood (that Melchizedek held) was not inherited in the same way as with the Levites and the sons of Aaron. Righteousness was the absolute requisite for the conferral of this higher priesthood. And all those who are ordained unto this priesthood are made like unto the Son of God, "abiding a priest continually."

    I hope I made some sense.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It is simple. all scriptures that relate to Jesus as a creation refer to his being created through Mary. There are no scriptures that show when he was created as the angel Michael.

    This is a very good point and I encourage the Witnesses to pray over it.

    May all those who are lost come to an accurate understanding of our Lord and be saved.

  • 1 decade ago

    You have to realize that the NWT is a JW publication and NOT a true translation of the Bible. It is the first intentional systematic effort at producing a complete version of the Bible that is edited and revised for the specific purpose of agreeing with a group's doctrine.

    The verse from the King James version reads: Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.

    This must not be understood according to the letter; but the scripture has chosen to set him forth as an extraordinary person, without giving us his genealogy, that he might be a fitter type of Christ, who as man was without father, as God without mother; whose priesthood is without descent, did not descend to him from another, nor from him to another, but is personal and perpetual. --

    Have a blessed day.

  • 1 decade ago

    1 John 1:2

    (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that ETERNAL LIFE which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)

    Pretty much, Jesus is eternal as God the Son.

    Jehovah in the flesh.

    They'll get it someday!!!

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