Why is Jesus described as having come into existence BEFORE being born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2)?

"O Bethlehem ..., from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose ORIGIN is from of old, from ancient days" - RSV, cf. JB, NEB, REB, NAB, NIV, AT, Mo, NRSV, NJB, Byington, and Young's.)

(Origin: "a coming into existence" - Webster's New World Dictionary, 1973.)

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  • Mindy
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Because he is the Son of God and had a prehuman existence alongside God Almighty in heaven prior to being born as a human being.

    Where do these people come up with Jesus being "God the Son"? There is not one single verse in the Bible that calls Jesus Christ "God the Son".

    At JOHN 8:58 a number of translations, for instance The Jerusalem Bible, have Jesus saying: “Before Abraham ever was, I Am.” Was Jesus there teaching, as Trinitarians assert, that he was known by the title “I Am”? And, as they claim, does this mean that he was Jehovah of the Hebrew Scriptures, since the King James Version at Exodus 3:14 states: “God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM”?

    At Exodus 3:14 (KJ) the phrase “I AM” is used as a title for God to indicate that he really existed and would do what he promised. The Pentateuch and Haftorahs, edited by Dr. J. H. Hertz, says of the phrase: “To the Israelites in bondage, the meaning would be, ‘Although He has not yet displayed His power towards you, He will do so; He is eternal and will certainly redeem you.’ Most moderns follow Rashi [a French Bible and Talmud commentator] in rendering [Exodus 3:14] ‘I will be what I will be.’”

    The expression at John 8:58 is quite different from the one used at Exodus 3:14. Jesus did not use it as a name or a title but as a means of explaining his prehuman existence. Hence, note how some other Bible versions render John 8:58:

    1869: “From before Abraham was, I have been.” The New Testament, by G. R. Noyes.

    1935: “I existed before Abraham was born!” The Bible—An American Translation, by J. M. P. Smith and E. J. Goodspeed.

    1965: “Before Abraham was born, I was already the one that I am.” Das Neue Testament, by Jörg Zink.

    1981: “I was alive before Abraham was born!” The Simple English Bible.

    1984: “Before Abraham came into existence, I have been.” New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures.

    Thus, the real thought of the Greek used here is that God’s created “firstborn,” Jesus, had existed long before Abraham was born.—Colossians 1:15; Proverbs 8:22, 23, 30; Revelation 3:14.

    Again, the CONTEXT shows this to be the CORRECT understanding. This time the Jews wanted to stone Jesus for claiming to “have seen Abraham” although, as they said, he was not yet 50 years old. (Verse 57) Jesus’ natural response was to tell the truth about HIS AGE. So he naturally told them that he “was alive before Abraham was born!”—The Simple English Bible.

    “The Word Was God”:

    At JOHN 1:1 the King James Version reads: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Trinitarians claim that this means that “the Word” (Greek, ho lo′gos) who came to earth as Jesus Christ was Almighty God himself.

    Note, however, that here again the CONTEXT lays the groundwork for ACCURATE UNDERSTANDING. Even the King James Version says, “The Word was WITH God”. Someone who is “WITH” another person cannot be the same as that other person. In agreement with this, the Journal of Biblical Literature, edited by Jesuit Joseph A. Fitzmyer, notes that if the latter part of John 1:1 were interpreted to mean “the” God, this “would then contradict the preceding clause,” which says that the Word was WITH God.

    Notice, too, how OTHER translations render this part of the verse:

    1808: “and the word was a god.” The New Testament in an Improved Version, Upon the Basis of Archbishop Newcome’s New Translation: With a Corrected Text.

    1864: “and a god was the word.” The Emphatic Diaglott, interlinear reading, by Benjamin Wilson.

    1928: “and the Word was a divine being.” La Bible du Centenaire, L’Evangile selon Jean, by Maurice Goguel.

    1935: “and the Word was divine.” The Bible—An American Translation, by J. M. P. Smith and E. J. Goodspeed.

    1946: “and of a divine kind was the Word.” Das Neue Testament, by Ludwig Thimme.

    1950: “and the Word was a god.” New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures.

    1958: “and the Word was a God.” The New Testament, by James L. Tomanek.

    1975: “and a god (or, of a divine kind) was the Word.” Das Evangelium nach Johannes, by Siegfried Schulz.

    1978: “and godlike kind was the Logos.” Das Evangelium nach Johannes, by Johannes Schneider.

    At John 1:1 there are TWO occurrences of the Greek noun the·os′ (god). The first occurrence refers to Almighty God, with whom the Word was (“and the Word [lo′gos] was with God [a form of the·os′]”). This first the·os′ is preceded by the word ton (the), a form of the Greek definite article that points to a distinct identity, in this case Almighty God (“and the Word was with [the] God”).

    On the other hand, there is no article before the second the·os′ at John 1:1. So a literal translation would read, “and god was the Word.” Yet we have seen that many translations render this second the·os′ (a predicate noun) as “divine,” “godlike,” or “a god.” On what authority do they do this? The Koine Greek language had a definite article (“the”), but it did not have an indefinite article (“a” or “an”). So when a predicate noun is not preceded by the definite article, it may be indefinite, depending on the context. The Journal of Biblical Literature says that expressions “with an anarthrous [no article] predicate preceding the verb, are primarily qualitative in meaning.” As the Journal notes, this indicates that the lo′gos can be likened to a god.

    It also says of John 1:1: “The qualitative force of the predicate is so prominent that the noun [the·os′] cannot be regarded as definite.”

    So John 1:1 highlights the quality of the Word, that he was “divine,” “godlike,” “a god,” but NOT Almighty God. THIS HARMONIZES WITH THE REST OF THE BIBLE, which shows that Jesus, here called “the Word” in his role as God’s Spokesman, was an obedient subordinate SENT to earth by his Superior, Almighty God. There are many other Bible verses in which almost all translators in other languages consistently insert the article “a” when translating Greek sentences with the same structure. For example, at Mark 6:49, when the disciples saw Jesus walking on water, the King James Version says: “They supposed it had been a spirit.” In the Koine Greek, there is no “a” before “spirit.” But almost all translations in other languages add an “a” in order to make the rendering fit the context. In the same way, since John 1:1 shows that the Word was with God, he could not be God but was “a god,” or “divine.”

    Joseph Henry Thayer, a theologian and scholar who worked on the American Standard Version, stated simply: “The Logos was divine, not the divine Being himself.” And Jesuit John L. McKenzie wrote in his Dictionary of the Bible: “Jn 1:1 should rigorously be translated . . . ‘the word was a divine being.’”

    Violating a Rule?:

    Some claim, however, that such renderings violate a rule of Koine Greek grammar published by Greek scholar E. C. Colwell back in 1933. He asserted that in Greek a predicate noun “has the [definite] article when it follows the verb; it does not have the [definite] article when it precedes the verb.” By this he meant that a predicate noun preceding the verb should be understood as though it did have the definite article (“the”) in front of it. At John 1:1 the second noun (the·os′), the predicate, precedes the verb—“and [the·os′] was the Word.” So, Colwell claimed, John 1:1 should read “and [the] God was the Word.”

    But consider just two examples found at John 8:44. There Jesus says of the Devil: “That one was a manslayer” and “he is a liar.” Just as at John 1:1, the predicate nouns (“manslayer” and “liar”) precede the verbs (“was” and “is”) in the Greek. There is no indefinite article in front of either noun because there was no indefinite article in Koine Greek. But most translations insert the word “a” because Greek grammar and the context REQUIRE it.—See also Mark 11:32; John 4:19; 6:70; 9:17; 10:1; 12:6.

    Colwell had to acknowledge this regarding the predicate noun, for he said: “It is indefinite [“a” or “an”] in this position only when the context demands it.” So even he ADMITS that when THE CONTEXT REQUIRES IT, translators may insert an indefinite article in front of the noun in this type of sentence structure. Does the context require an indefinite article at John 1:1? Yes, for the testimony OF THE ENTIRE BIBLE is that Jesus is not Almighty God. Thus, not Colwell’s questionable rule of grammar, but CONTEXT should guide the translator in such cases. And it is apparent from the MANY translations that insert the indefinite article “a” at John 1:1 and in other places that MANY SCHOLARS DISAGREE with such an artificial rule, AND SO DOES GOD'S WORD.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdMV3PIEUco

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    { Real Truth about John 1:1 }

    No Conflict:

    Does saying that Jesus Christ is “a god” conflict with the Bible’s teaching that there is only ONE God? No, for at times the Bible employs that term to refer to mighty creatures. Psalm 8:5 reads: “You also proceeded to make him [man] a little less than godlike ones [Hebrew, ’elo·him′],” that is, angels. In Jesus’ defense AGAINST the charge of the Jews, that he claimed to be God, he noted that “the Law uses the word gods of those to whom the word of God was addressed,” that is, human judges. (John 10:34, 35, JB; Psalm 82:1-6) Even Satan is called “the god of this system of things” at 2 Corinthians 4:4.

    Trinitarians are spiritually blind and desperately need to open their eyes and awaken to the truth before they receive the judicial punishment of everlasting destruction for choosing to not know God (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10).

    Ciao

    Source(s): "Should You Believe in the Trinity?", page 26 starting with the subheading "I AM": http://www.watchtower.org/e/ti/index.htm?article=a... { Should You Believe in the Trinity? } I proudly study the Bible intensely with Jehovah's Witnesses.
  • 1 decade ago

    There is an implication that Jesus always existed. He said " Before Abraham was , I am."

    There are other scriptures that describe Jesus this way:

    " Jesus Christ , the same , yesterday today and forever " seems to indicate a timelessness that predates birth . I do not believe time exists at all . This explains people who have foreknowledge of loved one's deaths prior to their actual demise. The Bible also says that Christians are already seated in Heavenly places with Christ Jesus. We can argue that I am actually sitting in my living room . In reality , I am in both places at the same time.

    Some anti Christians have argued that this generation passed away before seeing Christ sitting at the right hand of the Father. These fail to understand that when Stephen was martyred he saw into Heaven and saw Jesus sitting at the right of the Father.

    There are many , many others who assert that they have seen into Heavenly places while continuing to live their human existence.They are not insane anymore than homosexuality is a mental illness. Mysticism is beyond the understanding of psychiatric study, as was homosexuality.

    I know there are theories that the New Testament was a great plot which was written to "seem " to fulfill prophecy.

    Conspiracy theories will always be considered and most are false assertions.

  • 1 decade ago

    Elijah great question! I love how trinitarians have totally ignored your question! What else is new!

    Anyway! As you correctly pointed out Micah 5:2 is a perfect example of Christ having a beginning, who didn't exist in eternity with the Father as some have claimed in their answer!

    To add on top of your vs is also Micah 5:4 (NIV) that says:

    He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God.

    So it is evident that Christ has a GOD, who is his Father! How can he exist in eternity and be God when he HAS a God and had an ORIGIN!

  • 1 decade ago

    Jesus was God's first creation, his first born Son. Before him there was only God who had no beginning and was his Father, and all other creation came after his be created. 1 Colossians 1:15.

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  • You have it backwards. There were clear prophecies about Bethlehem, so Luke made it clear that Jesus had been born there. To explain this he came up with this bizarre census story. There was a census about 10 years after Herod the Great's death (ca 6-7 AD), but there was no custom of people going to their ancestral homes for a census.

    In other words, why is Jesus said to have been born in Bethlehem? Because the prophecies said the Messiah would.

  • 1 decade ago

    That would be because he came into existence BEFORE being born in Bethlehem.

    He was in fact, the very start of God's creating.

    Colossians 1:15.

    Coming to earth was but one assignment in his very long life.

  • 1 decade ago

    This is some of the BS that makes Christianity a very shortsighted religion. They tell you that God doesn't want us to sin, yet the sacrifice for sin existed long before there was a universe, let alone a sinner. I mean, if mankind never sinned, what would Jesus' role have been then?

    But Paul says that before the foundations of the earth, God's plan was Jesus. It just doesn't make any rational sense at all of you examine it too closely. I guess Paul should have given it more thought when he was making this all up!

  • mom
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Jesus is Jehovah's first creation and was with Jehovah long before he came to earth

    Source(s): one of Jehovah Witnesses
  • 1 decade ago

    John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    (Jesus is the Word made flesh).John 1:14:

    And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

    Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us (THIS US INCLUDES JESUS) make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

    2 Timothy 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

    1 Peter 1:20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

    (Jesus made payment for sins of elect before the foundation of the world. The second time was just to show his love, but payment was not made then; it was made before the foundation of the world.)

    Hebrews 7:3

    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.

    Source(s): King James Bible. www.familyradio.com www.the-latter-rain.com www.wecanknow.com
  • 1 decade ago

    Well the idea behind this in Christian theology is that Jesus' spirit was created before time (a little hard to understand) and was then born into the world through a virgin birth into the body of a man. Read the beginning of the gospel of John, it starts out like "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God..." The Word here is referring to the Son or Messenger, one of the aspects of the Trinity. Also read Genesis, the "us" and "our" that God uses to refer to Himself is evident of this idea.

    Source(s): UCSB Religious Studies Major
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