Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
bluebell

Was Jesus The Son Of God Before The Earth Was Created?

Recommended Posts

Eternal is defined (by theologians that I studied) as meaning no beginning and no end. So, we aren't eternal beings, only God is. We are immortal beings, in that we have a beginning, but live forever. So, when referencing Jesus statements about our salvation or damnation, the context of our lives has to be taken into account. To the woman at the well, Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13,14) 

In this context (our lives) eternal life is a reference to the quality of life we will and do have because of our being connected to Jesus. Jesus is sharing his eternal life with us, which is not a reference to time, but quality. And the idea of eternal damnation further nails this point down, because eternal damnation certainly couldn't be a reference to eternal time in the past, so it has to be referencing quality of life into the future.

 

I'm not sure i agree.  Yes, eternal damnation/salvation can be referring to the quality of life, but it also has to be referring to time length as well, doesn't it?

 

And the reverse is also true.  If eternal does not have to be referring to a time length, then why does it HAVE to refer to time when in reference to God or Christ?  It kind of seems like theologians are just taking their previoiusly held beliefs and making up definitions for eternal depending on what they believe it must mean.

 

 

Asking about the "beginning" is an interesting question. One that brings up other topics such as Time. I believe that Time only really exists in this creation. Because the reference to Time is always based on entropy, there is no Time without some other reference to compare it to.

With our limited amount of time on Earth, the concept of Time becomes paramount (how much do we have?). If Time was unlimited (such as to an Eternal being), then references to Time would also be irrelevant. Thus, "in the beginning" marks the beginning of referencing Time. Before that, a reference to eternal "time" was irrelevant because God knew all that he would do and what would happen. And at no time was there a lack of anything, time, power, energy, anything.

I agree.

Edited by bluebell

Share this post


Link to post

I've been thinking about this this morning and am wondering, from a non-LDS Christian point of view, whether or not Jesus was the son of God before the earth was created?

 

I know that for many non-LDS Christians the idea that Jesus was created by God-is God's spirit Son-is offensive.  That would seem to imply that Jesus is only considered the Son of God because of his mortal birth as such.  

 

So before Jesus was born as the physical Son of God, what was His relationship with God the Father?

 

Hi Bluebell,

 

What a great question.

 

Yes,as a  non-LDS Christian, I do believe that Jesus, as the second person of the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit, one God) has always been the Son of God.

 

Some of C.S. Lewis' writings from Mere Christianity have always been poignant and helpful for me in trying to understand what is not easy to grasp.  

 

The first is on God's being outside of time. (This is helpful for me to understand that I don't have to think of Jesus being the Son of God as something that must happen in time as our becoming children of our parents happens in time.)  I'll include the link here, as it's more than I want to quote in this thread, but short enough and interesting enough, I think, to read quickly.

 

http://www2.esm.vt.edu/~sdross/text/beyondtime.html

 

 

These next quotes have  more to do specifically with the Trinity and Jesus' divine sonship beyond time.  I'm not saying at all that C.S. Lewis is the final word in Christian theology.  He never claimed that for himself.  But through his logic and gift for framing ideas, he has helped many of us to wrap our heads around metaphysical, spiritual ideas.

 

"I said a few pages back that God is a Being which contains three Persons while remaining one Being. . . . But as soon as I begin trying to explain how these Persons are connected I have to use words which make it sound as if one of them was there before the others. The First Person is called the Father and the Second the Son. We say that the First begets or produces the second; we call it begetting, not making, because what He produces is of the same kind as Himself. In that way the word Father is the only word to use. But unfortunately it suggests that He is there first -- just as a human father exists before his son. . . . we must think of the Son always, so to speak, streaming forth from the Father, like light from a lamp, or heat from a fire, or thoughts from a mind. He is the self-expression of the father -- what the father has to say. And there was never a time when He was not saying it.

 

. . . God is not a static thing--not even a person--but a dynamic, pulsating activity, a life, almost a kind of drama. Almost, if you will not think me irreverent, a kind of dance. The union between the Father and Son is such a live concrete thing that this union itself is also a Person. I know this is almost inconceivable, but look at it thus. You know that among human beings, when they get together in a family, or a club, or a trade union, people talk about the 'spirit' of that family, or club, or trade union. They talk about its 'spirit' because the individual members, when they are together, really develop particular ways of talking and behaving which they would not have if they were apart. It is as if some sort of communal personality came into existence. But of course, it is not a real person: it is only rather like a person. But that is just one of the differences between God and us. What grows out of the joint life of the Father and Son is a real Person, is in fact the Third of the Three Persons who are God.

 

I need to run out now, but hope to get back to this later.  

 

Something that's really interesting to think about is how the two descriptions of Jesus, Son of God and Son of Man, are used in the Bible.

Share this post


Link to post

Hi Bluebell,

 

What a great question.

 

Yes,as a  non-LDS Christian, I do believe that Jesus, as the second person of the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit, one God) has always been the Son of God.

 

Some of C.S. Lewis' writings from Mere Christianity have always been poignant and helpful for me in trying to understand what is not easy to grasp.  

 

The first is on God's being outside of time. (This is helpful for me to understand that I don't have to think of Jesus being the Son of God as something that must happen in time as our becoming children of our parents happens in time.)  I'll include the link here, as it's more than I want to quote in this thread, but short enough and interesting enough, I think, to read quickly.

 

http://www2.esm.vt.edu/~sdross/text/beyondtime.html

 

 

These next quotes have  more to do specifically with the Trinity and Jesus' divine sonship beyond time.  I'm not saying at all that C.S. Lewis is the final word in Christian theology.  He never claimed that for himself.  But through his logic and gift for framing ideas, he has helped many of us to wrap our heads around metaphysical, spiritual ideas.

 

"I said a few pages back that God is a Being which contains three Persons while remaining one Being. . . . But as soon as I begin trying to explain how these Persons are connected I have to use words which make it sound as if one of them was there before the others. The First Person is called the Father and the Second the Son. We say that the First begets or produces the second; we call it begetting, not making, because what He produces is of the same kind as Himself. In that way the word Father is the only word to use. But unfortunately it suggests that He is there first -- just as a human father exists before his son. . . . we must think of the Son always, so to speak, streaming forth from the Father, like light from a lamp, or heat from a fire, or thoughts from a mind. He is the self-expression of the father -- what the father has to say. And there was never a time when He was not saying it.

 

. . . God is not a static thing--not even a person--but a dynamic, pulsating activity, a life, almost a kind of drama. Almost, if you will not think me irreverent, a kind of dance. The union between the Father and Son is such a live concrete thing that this union itself is also a Person. I know this is almost inconceivable, but look at it thus. You know that among human beings, when they get together in a family, or a club, or a trade union, people talk about the 'spirit' of that family, or club, or trade union. They talk about its 'spirit' because the individual members, when they are together, really develop particular ways of talking and behaving which they would not have if they were apart. It is as if some sort of communal personality came into existence. But of course, it is not a real person: it is only rather like a person. But that is just one of the differences between God and us. What grows out of the joint life of the Father and Son is a real Person, is in fact the Third of the Three Persons who are God.

 

I need to run out now, but hope to get back to this later.  

 

Something that's really interesting to think about is how the two descriptions of Jesus, Son of God and Son of Man, are used in the Bible.

 

I'm excited to hear your further thoughts Paloma so don't forget to come back!  

 

I do get what you (and C.S.L.-love his way of saying things) are saying, but from my perspective it's a bit like putting the cart before the horse.  What i mean is, it's like people (from my perspective) came up with the idea of the trinity and then made sure that every belief fit that idea.  

 

So, when someone asks whether or not Jesus was the Son of God before He was born in mortality the answer, first, has to be correlated with the doctrine of the Trinity, and whatever answer does not match that doctrine is not the answer simply because it doesn't match the doctrine and for no other reason.  Likewise, whatever answer does match the doctrine is right for the same reason-it matches the doctrine-and for no other reason.

 

That's all good if the doctrine of the Trinity is true (as you believe it to be) but a huge stumbling block to knowing the will of God if the doctrine of the Trinity isn't true (or you don't believe it is, as I don't).

 

However, if that is the only answer available--God the Father did not come first or begat Jesus pre earth-creation, therefore Jesus has always been the Son even though He's not the Son in any sense of the actual definition of the word--that anyone has then that's fine.  I certainly don't think that if something can be explained completely then that means it's false.

 

It does make me wonder, if Jesus isn't the Son of God (again, not speaking about His role here in mortality but who He was before this earth was created), then why is that how He is presented to us?  Why do the persons of the trinity need to have different roles?  

 

Why is one the Father and the other the Son (and the third something completely different than both the first two)?  What's the point of each designation?  If those roles existed for us to better have a relationship with God then I could understand that, but since, as i'm being told, those designations existed before we ever did, they must serve some purpose above an beyond God's creations, mustn't they?

 

Why make up roles that have no bearing in reality?  God is no more or less the Father than Christ, and therefore Christ is no more or less the Son than God the Father, and the Holy Spirit is no more or less the Father or the Son than God the Father and Christ are, etc.  

 

Wouldn't it kind of be like two cloned individuals just arbitrarily deciding that one of them was going to be Father and the other Son though the names did not reflect any actual reality of who the individuals were?

 

I'm not trying to be disrespectful more just thinking out loud...

Share this post


Link to post

Storm Rider,

 

I agree with what you have said.

 

Your use of the word folklore strikes me.   At the time, there was no internet and yet I had spent years in deep study of InfoBase’s first digitization of books by only Prophets, Apostles and the like.  Having a desire to be a mystical Mormon I had no problem looking beyond the printed doctrine, seeking further light and knowledge in a hope to obtain the promise of the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood and come to know the mysteries of Godliness , even a knowledge of God.  If there is anything to all this, I still believe that level is only obtained via personal revelation, understanding the symbolisms, having oral teachers/mentors.  To me it will be a sad day when the generations of the folklore mentors die off.

Share this post


Link to post

 

I'm not sure i agree.  Yes, eternal damnation/salvation can be referring to the quality of life, but it also has to be referring to time length as well, doesn't it?

 

And the reverse is also true.  If eternal does not have to be referring to a time length, then why does it HAVE to refer to time when in reference to God or Christ?  It kind of seems like theologians are just taking their previoiusly held beliefs and making up definitions for eternal depending on what they believe it must mean.

 

 

I agree.

 

It depends on the context for each particular passage. For example, theologians take the statements about God in the context they are found and derive the definition of Eternal from those passages. The beautiful fact is that God shares his life with us. What kind of life is this? Eternal life, and yes it also indicates time to us (without end…), however it doesn't indicate that we lived eternally before.

 

We all take previously held beliefs and use them to interpret passages we read. That is why this is an issue here. In context, the Bible no where teaches that man lived previously to this life. I understand that is what the LDS believe and so those passages, when read from an LDS perspective, may indicate something different. But, not if we are going to use the Bible alone as an authoritative source, which is what theologians do. 

Edited by danielwoods

Share this post


Link to post

We really need to stop thinking of terms like Son and firstborn, so simplistically and in contemporary terms.  We need to examine the period in which these terms were used and what they met to those peoples .

For example Exodus 4: 21-23 ...The Lord says "Israel is MY son, My firstborn. Do the cross referencing.  ( who is the Lord here???--very important---very important to understand)

 

 
Moses Leaves for Egypt
21The LORD said to Moses, "When you go back to Egypt see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go. 22"Then you shall say to Pharaoh, 'Thus says the LORD, "Israel is My son, My firstborn. 23"So I said to you, 'Let My son go that he may serve Me'; but you have refused to let him go. Behold, I will kill your son, your firstborn."'"…
Cross References
Matthew 2:15, Romans 9:4, Hebrews 12:23, Exodus 6:11, 7:16, Psalm 89:27, Isaiah 64;16, 64:8, Jeremiah 31:9, Hosea 11:1

Share this post


Link to post

 

We really need to stop thinking of terms like Son and firstborn, so simplistically and in contemporary terms.  We need to examine the period in which these terms were used and what they met to those peoples .

For example Exodus 4: 21-23 ...The Lord says "Israel is MY son, My firstborn. Do the cross referencing.  ( who is the Lord here???--very important---very important to understand)

 

 
Moses Leaves for Egypt

21The LORD said to Moses, "When you go back to Egypt see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go. 22"Then you shall say to Pharaoh, 'Thus says the LORD, "Israel is My son, My firstborn. 23"So I said to you, 'Let My son go that he may serve Me'; but you have refused to let him go. Behold, I will kill your son, your firstborn."'"…

Cross References
Matthew 2:15, Romans 9:4, Hebrews 12:23, Exodus 6:11, 7:16, Psalm 89:27, Isaiah 64;16, 64:8, Jeremiah 31:9, Hosea 11:1

 

 

The Lord here is Jehovah.  His "firstborn" is a direct reference to birthright.  Israel has always been the birthright nation, chosen to receive inheritance from the Lord of the blessings of Abraham.

 

In the same way the Savior is the Father's firstborn and will inherit the Church of the Firstborn (the righteous) as his inheritance, showing that the Father possesses ownership of things which the Son has yet to inherit.  Once Christ inherits all the Father's glory pertaining to this creation we are told the righteous will get to be joint-heirs with him and to rule and reign with him over the kingdom he inherits from his Father.

 

Definitely NOT simplistic or contemporary.  But a perfect example of Christ being the Son of the Father and gaining blessings he had not yet received that the Father already possessed.

Edited by JLHPROF

Share this post


Link to post

I've been thinking about this this morning and am wondering, from a non-LDS Christian point of view, whether or not Jesus was the son of God before the earth was created?

 

I know that for many non-LDS Christians the idea that Jesus was created by God-is God's spirit Son-is offensive.  That would seem to imply that Jesus is only considered the Son of God because of his mortal birth as such.  

 

So before Jesus was born as the physical Son of God, what was His relationship with God the Father?

 

So many things have been thrown into this thread that processing so much information would be mind-boggling for most people. What follows is an answer to your question from an LDS point of view that I believe you'll find enlightening:

 

One of the main reasons why the Book of Mormon teaches us that the personages of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost are (is) one God is because all three personages of the Godhead are utterly dependent on each other if they are to function in their individual sacred roles: God the Father could not function in His role as God the Father unless he works in total unison and harmony with the personages of the Son and the Holy Ghost. In other words, there can be no personage of God the Father without the other two personages of the Godhead functioning with Him as a unit; and there can be no personage of the Son without the personages of the Father and the Holy Ghost; and there can be no personage of the Holy Ghost without the personages of the Father and the Son. Each individual personage with his specific role within the Godhead would be rendered ineffectual and meaningless without the two other personages acting in their specific roles. 

 

In point of fact, God the Father would have been unable to create the spirits of men in the pre-earth life unless the personages of the Son and the Holy Ghost also all played their own individual and indispensable creative roles in a process that many Latter-day Saints mistakenly believe God the Father could have performed on His own. This is why in the pre-earth life, before the spirit sons and daughters of God were created, God the Father told His Only Begotten Son that THEY -- both God the Father and God the Son -- would create the spirit bodies of all mankind:

 

26 And I, God, said unto mine Only Begotten, which was with me from the beginning: LET US make man in our image, after our likeness; and it was so. And I, God, said: Let them have dominion over the fishes 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. (Moses 2)  (Moses chapter 3 makes it clear this verse is speaking of the pre-mortal creation of spirits)

 

Note in the above passage how in the beginning God the Father addresses the personage of Christ as His "Only Begotten," meaning the only begotten Son of God; and the Father calls Christ His Only Begotten Son long before the Saviour was ever born on the earth. So in LDS theology Christ was the Son of God and a member of the Godhead in the beginning, long before the spirit sons and daughters of God were ever created. And it's equally important to remember that in LDS theology there is and can be no God unless that God is a united presidency of three personages known as the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, each of the three members of that holy presidency being interdependent, each having His own specific and indispensable role to play. God is three personages acting in perfect unity or there is no God. So saith the Book of Mormon and so saith the Book of Moses...

Edited by teddyaware

Share this post


Link to post

First born is an interesting term....and definitely cannot be looked upon in contemporary terms like mentioned or too simplistically

 

Psalm 89:20

27

I have found My servant David; With My holy oil I have anointed him. . . . Also I will make him My firstborn, The highest of the kings of the earth.

Share this post


Link to post

Some people see the word "begotten" and say that Jesus is a created being because only someone who had a beginning in time can be "begotten." What this fails to note is that "begotten" is an English translation of a Greek word. As such, we have to look at the original meaning of the Greek word, not transfer English meanings into the text.

Just as some p

 

First born is an interesting term....and definitely cannot be looked upon in contemporary terms like mentioned or too simplistically

 

I have found My servant David; With My holy oil I have anointed him. . . . Also I will make him My firstborn, The highest of the kings of the earth.

Take notice how David has been allotted the position of firstborn! However, David was the youngest—and not the firstborn—of Jesse, his father; the firstborn was Eliab as indicated in 1 Samuel 17:13. Take notice in Psalm 89:27 how God assigns this title. Consider also Ephraim’s inheritance of the title of firstborn (Jeremiah 31:9), even though he was the younger (Genesis 41:51–52).

Like David and Ephraim, Jesus also received this title. David and Ephraim were obviously not the first created entities, and so it would be illogical to make the claim that Jesus was created due merely to the endowment of this titleship. Hence, there is no contradiction. Jesus is both the Creator and the One who inherited this elite title.

Yes Jesus also has the "title: of firstborne---I agree it would absolutely "illogical" to make the claim that Jesus was "created" due to merely to the endowment of this "titleship"....This is just plain common sense, if one examines this closely in context.. As David and Ephraim were the youngest sons....YET had the elite title of first borne.

 

 

Some people see the word "begotten" and say that Jesus is a created being because only someone who had a beginning in time can be "begotten." What this fails to note is that "begotten" is an English translation of a Greek word. As such, we have to look at the original meaning of the Greek word, NOT transfer English meaning into the text.

Just like some people see the word firstborne and say that Jesus was the firstborne of God..   We have seen this is Not true as with David and Ephraim.

Share this post


Link to post

As has been clearly stated..the title firstborn has nothing to do with being created. 

If one examines the term begotten in it's original Greek meaning...it has nothing to do with being created.

Some further verses confirming Jesus is not created.

 

Other obvious verses from the Bible do speak of Jesus' lack of origin:

  • For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
  • In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. (John 1:1-2)
  • Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)

The prophecy of Jesus Christ found in Isaiah indicates that Jesus is the Mighty God who is the Eternal Father (i.e., eternal indicates that He is not created). John 1:1 indicates that Jesus is God, who was present in the beginning (again, indicating that Jesus was not created). The third verse comes from Hebrews, which states that Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever. Obviously, if Jesus were created, this verse could not be true.

Philippians tells us explicitly how Jesus is the eternal God who took on the form of a man:

...Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. (
)

The idea that Jesus was created is vigorously contradicted by the Bible. It is not a minor theological concept. Jesus is God and is to be worshippedas such. Those who fail to worship Him will bow the knee (Philippians 2:10)7 before being sent off in eternal judgment. For more information on Jesus' claim to being God, see Jesus Christ Never Said He Was God?.

Share this post


Link to post

I'm excited to hear your further thoughts Paloma so don't forget to come back!  

 

I do get what you (and C.S.L.-love his way of saying things) are saying, but from my perspective it's a bit like putting the cart before the horse.  What i mean is, it's like people (from my perspective) came up with the idea of the trinity and then made sure that every belief fit that idea.  

 

So, when someone asks whether or not Jesus was the Son of God before He was born in mortality the answer, first, has to be correlated with the doctrine of the Trinity, and whatever answer does not match that doctrine is not the answer simply because it doesn't match the doctrine and for no other reason.  Likewise, whatever answer does match the doctrine is right for the same reason-it matches the doctrine-and for no other reason.

 

That's all good if the doctrine of the Trinity is true (as you believe it to be) but a huge stumbling block to knowing the will of God if the doctrine of the Trinity isn't true (or you don't believe it is, as I don't).

 

However, if that is the only answer available--God the Father did not come first or begat Jesus pre earth-creation, therefore Jesus has always been the Son even though He's not the Son in any sense of the actual definition of the word--that anyone has then that's fine.  I certainly don't think that if something can be explained completely then that means it's false.

 

It does make me wonder, if Jesus isn't the Son of God (again, not speaking about His role here in mortality but who He was before this earth was created), then why is that how He is presented to us?  Why do the persons of the trinity need to have different roles?  

 

Why is one the Father and the other the Son (and the third something completely different than both the first two)?  What's the point of each designation?  If those roles existed for us to better have a relationship with God then I could understand that, but since, as i'm being told, those designations existed before we ever did, they must serve some purpose above an beyond God's creations, mustn't they?

 

Why make up roles that have no bearing in reality?  God is no more or less the Father than Christ, and therefore Christ is no more or less the Son than God the Father, and the Holy Spirit is no more or less the Father or the Son than God the Father and Christ are, etc.  

 

Wouldn't it kind of be like two cloned individuals just arbitrarily deciding that one of them was going to be Father and the other Son though the names did not reflect any actual reality of who the individuals were?

 

I'm not trying to be disrespectful more just thinking out loud...

 

Bluebell, you end by saying that you're just "thinking out loud",  and I so identify with that.  I don't feel as if you're disrespectful in the slightest.

 

I like trying to understand where others are coming from in their faith positions, and trying to explain my own.  But I don't feel defensive about my own faith.  I like to step outside of my own beliefs and try to see with the eyes of others.  

 

When you say that from your perspective, it seems like people" came up with the the idea of the trinity" and then made the ideas fit ... I can see that (from your POV, of course).  

 

And I admit that I was raised in a Christian home and so the doctrine of the Trinity is like second nature to me.  (There was a time when I questioned and even walked away from my "faith roots" and then came to believe as a young adult because of answered prayer and an encounter with God.)

 

Over the years I have pondered the relationship of the 3 persons in the Trinity.  And I appreciate the thoughts and questions you have.  To me, it's not at all hard to think that God, who IS LOVE, should supremely manifest a loving relationship in eternity by the loving bonds of family (Parent, Child,  and I see the Holy Spirit as part of their connection, but also as the promise and actuality of our relationship with both the Father and Son).  I think these designations of Father and Son do have purpose beyond God's creation, but I also think that we have always been in God's heart. And so it's impossible for me to divorce God from His creation, even though for us, there was a beginning.

 

I sometimes think that we LDS and non-LDS Christians get caught up in putting too much weight on our differences.  For example, because we believe in God's eternal timelessness and human nature as created beings, I wonder if LDS folk tend to think of us as not feeling intimately and infinitely related to our Eternal God.  (Just as I think it's very possible for LDS and non-LDS to misunderstand each others' beliefs about works and grace, which tends to be the typical example of how we each put too much weight on the implications of our respective positions.)

 

Going back to what you said about the trinity seeming like someone came up with the idea and then made the pieces fit ... that does make sense from your point of view.  But from my own perspective, the Trinity appears like the opposite of correlation ... that is, the idea of the trinity arose because there were disparate ideas that needed to be grappled with by believers who were committed to a monotheistic faith.  One thing they knew was "there is one God;  God is One!".  But then what did they do with what they saw and understood in the biblical story and writings that pointed to the deity of Christ and of the Holy Spirit, and with the idea that Jesus and the HS are co-eternal and co-equal with God the Father?  

Share this post


Link to post

Your avatar always makes me smile, Paloma..you really need to drop in more often. :)

Share this post


Link to post

Your avatar always makes me smile, Paloma..you really need to drop in more often. :)

 

Thanks, Cal.  I was just thinking that I should change that avatar which I had come across when looking for pictures for one of my grandkids.  But now I have a brand new grandchild this week, so I'll keep going with the maternal look for awhile!

 

As for dropping in, I know that my visits are ridiculously rare ... but often enough for me to still feel connected to some of you.  Truth be told, I'd much rather sit down over lemonade with you and Bluebell than engage on message boards.  

Share this post


Link to post

As for dropping in, I know that my visits are ridiculously rare ... but often enough for me to still feel connected to some of you. Truth be told, I'd much rather sit down over lemonade with you and Bluebell than engage on message boards.

How awesome would that be!

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks, Cal.  I was just thinking that I should change that avatar which I had come across when looking for pictures for one of my grandkids.  But now I have a brand new grandchild this week, so I'll keep going with the maternal look for awhile!

 

As for dropping in, I know that my visits are ridiculously rare ... but often enough for me to still feel connected to some of you.  Truth be told, I'd much rather sit down over lemonade with you and Bluebell than engage on message boards.  

So would I, even the addict of message boards that I am!

Share this post


Link to post

It depends on the context for each particular passage. For example, theologians take the statements about God in the context they are found and derive the definition of Eternal from those passages. The beautiful fact is that God shares his life with us. What kind of life is this? Eternal life, and yes it also indicates time to us (without end…), however it doesn't indicate that we lived eternally before.

 

I agree that using the word 'eternal' doesn't indicate that we lived before, which to me indicates that the word eternal does not have to mean something has no beginning.  Christians use that word without meaning that something had no beginning all the time.

 

We all take previously held beliefs and use them to interpret passages we read. That is why this is an issue here. In context, the Bible no where teaches that man lived previously to this life. I understand that is what the LDS believe and so those passages, when read from an LDS perspective, may indicate something different. But, not if we are going to use the Bible alone as an authoritative source, which is what theologians do.

 

This is actually a different topic (pre-mortal life) but the bible does teach that man lived previously, it's just that not everyone interprets the verses in that way.

  • When God laid the foundations of the earth, all the sons of God shouted for joy:Job 38:4–7;
  • Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee:Jer. 1:4–5;
  • God chose us before the foundation of the world:Eph. 1:3–4;

I know that you don't interpret those verses to support my beliefs and that's o.k. (I don't interpret certain verses in a way that supports your's so it all equals out), but the point is that this is not an issue of not being able to only use the bible.  :)

Share this post


Link to post

So many things have been thrown into this thread that processing so much information would be mind-boggling for most people. What follows is an answer to your question from an LDS point of view that I believe you'll find enlightening:

 

One of the main reasons why the Book of Mormon teaches us that the personages of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost are (is) one God is because all three personages of the Godhead are utterly dependent on each other if they are to function in their individual sacred roles: God the Father could not function in His role as God the Father unless he works in total unison and harmony with the personages of the Son and the Holy Ghost. In other words, there can be no personage of God the Father without the other two personages of the Godhead functioning with Him as a unit; and there can be no personage of the Son without the personages of the Father and the Holy Ghost; and there can be no personage of the Holy Ghost without the personages of the Father and the Son. Each individual personage with his specific role within the Godhead would be rendered ineffectual and meaningless without the two other personages acting in their specific roles. 

 

In point of fact, God the Father would have been unable to create the spirits of men in the pre-earth life unless the personages of the Son and the Holy Ghost also all played their own individual and indispensable creative roles in a process that many Latter-day Saints mistakenly believe God the Father could have performed on His own. This is why in the pre-earth life, before the spirit sons and daughters of God were created, God the Father told His Only Begotten Son that THEY -- both God the Father and God the Son -- would create the spirit bodies of all mankind:

 

26 And I, God, said unto mine Only Begotten, which was with me from the beginning: LET US make man in our image, after our likeness; and it was so. And I, God, said: Let them have dominion over the fishes 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. (Moses 2)  (Moses chapter 3 makes it clear this verse is speaking of the pre-mortal creation of spirits)

 

Note in the above passage how in the beginning God the Father addresses the personage of Christ as His "Only Begotten," meaning the only begotten Son of God; and the Father calls Christ His Only Begotten Son long before the Saviour was ever born on the earth. So in LDS theology Christ was the Son of God and a member of the Godhead in the beginning, long before the spirit sons and daughters of God were ever created. And it's equally important to remember that in LDS theology there is and can be no God unless that God is a united presidency of three personages known as the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, each of the three members of that holy presidency being interdependent, each having His own specific and indispensable role to play. God is three personages acting in perfect unity or there is no God. So saith the Book of Mormon and so saith the Book of Moses...

 

That's certainly an interesting perspective!  Thanks for making me think.

Share this post


Link to post

First born is an interesting term....and definitely cannot be looked upon in contemporary terms like mentioned or too simplistically

 

I have found My servant David; With My holy oil I have anointed him. . . . Also I will make him My firstborn, The highest of the kings of the earth.

Take notice how David has been allotted the position of firstborn! However, David was the youngest—and not the firstborn—of Jesse, his father; the firstborn was Eliab as indicated in 1 Samuel 17:13. Take notice in Psalm 89:27 how God assigns this title. Consider also Ephraim’s inheritance of the title of firstborn (Jeremiah 31:9), even though he was the younger (Genesis 41:51–52).

Like David and Ephraim, Jesus also received this title. David and Ephraim were obviously not the first created entities, and so it would be illogical to make the claim that Jesus was created due merely to the endowment of this titleship. Hence, there is no contradiction. Jesus is both the Creator and the One who inherited this elite title.

Yes Jesus also has the "title: of firstborne---I agree it would absolutely "illogical" to make the claim that Jesus was "created" due to merely to the endowment of this "titleship"....This is just plain common sense, if one examines this closely in context.. As David and Ephraim were the youngest sons....YET had the elite title of first borne.

 

It's a very interesting term, and full of symbolic power.  Anciently, the firstborn was the son who received the birthright.  He got a double portion of the inheritance while all other sons received a single. The Firstborn also had the most responsibility.  In the Law of Moses, the firstborn belonged to God, whether he was human or animal.  

 

There were two ways someone could be designated as the firstborn.  They either actually were the firstborn, or they were made the firstborn when the literal firstborn lost the honor because of disobedience.  

 

Jesus claims the title because it is true.  He is literally the firstborn of the Father.   David claimed the title when the actual firstborn proved unworthy.  The House of Ephraim gains it for the same reason.

Share this post


Link to post

Some people see the word "begotten" and say that Jesus is a created being because only someone who had a beginning in time can be "begotten." What this fails to note is that "begotten" is an English translation of a Greek word. As such, we have to look at the original meaning of the Greek word, not transfer English meanings into the text.

Just as some p

 

 

 

Some people see the word "begotten" and say that Jesus is a created being because only someone who had a beginning in time can be "begotten." What this fails to note is that "begotten" is an English translation of a Greek word. As such, we have to look at the original meaning of the Greek word, NOT transfer English meaning into the text.

Just like some people see the word firstborne and say that Jesus was the firstborne of God..   We have seen this is Not true as with David and Ephraim.

 

I looked up the greek translation for the word 'begotten' as used to refer to Jesus Christ in the New Testament.  According to the definition, It's used to denote an only child, that's the original meaning of the greek word.

 

For example, the greek word used in John 1:14 (speaking about Jesus Christ) is the same greek word used in Luke 7:12 (speaking about the dead only son of a widow.

 

The word is used 9 times in the NT-6 in reference to Christ and 3 in reference to mortal children.

Share this post


Link to post

As has been clearly stated..the title firstborn has nothing to do with being created. 

If one examines the term begotten in it's original Greek meaning...it has nothing to do with being created.

Some further verses confirming Jesus is not created.

 

Other obvious verses from the Bible do speak of Jesus' lack of origin:

  • For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
  • In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. (John 1:1-2)
  • Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)

The prophecy of Jesus Christ found in Isaiah indicates that Jesus is the Mighty God who is the Eternal Father (i.e., eternal indicates that He is not created). John 1:1 indicates that Jesus is God, who was present in the beginning (again, indicating that Jesus was not created). The third verse comes from Hebrews, which states that Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever. Obviously, if Jesus were created, this verse could not be true.

Philippians tells us explicitly how Jesus is the eternal God who took on the form of a man:

...Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. (
)

The idea that Jesus was created is vigorously contradicted by the Bible. It is not a minor theological concept. Jesus is God and is to be worshippedas such. Those who fail to worship Him will bow the knee (Philippians 2:10)7 before being sent off in eternal judgment. For more information on Jesus' claim to being God, see Jesus Christ Never Said He Was God?.

 

Since you've talked about using the original meaning of the words and not the english translations, let's do that with the word 'eternal'.

 

When you look up the Hebrew definition of the word translated as 'eternal' in the OT (in reference to God), the definition is 'ancient'.  Not 'uncreated' as you seem to believe it means.  The specific example you used in Isaiah (which is 'everlasting' in the KJV and not eternal), means "perpetuity, for ever, continuing future."

 

In the NT, (and it's interesting that in the NT, the word eternal is almost exclusively used in relation to life or damnation and only two times in regards to God) when the word eternal is used in reference to eternal life, the definition is "without beginning or end" or just "without end".

 

When the word is used in reference to God in the NT, it can mean a period of time, an unbroken age, or world/universe.

 

We've already talked about what 'begotten' actually means in Greek so we don't need to go over that again.  Though there are multiple different hebrew and greek words translated as eternal in english, I have not found any of them which can be defined as 'uncreated'.

 

And just to make sure you are aware, LDS believe that Jesus is God, even while also believing that He is the firstborn of the spirit children of God.

Share this post


Link to post

 

I agree that using the word 'eternal' doesn't indicate that we lived before, which to me indicates that the word eternal does not have to mean something has no beginning.  Christians use that word without meaning that something had no beginning all the time.

 

 

This is actually a different topic (pre-mortal life) but the bible does teach that man lived previously, it's just that not everyone interprets the verses in that way.

  • When God laid the foundations of the earth, all the sons of God shouted for joy:Job 38:4–7;
  • Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee:Jer. 1:4–5;
  • God chose us before the foundation of the world:Eph. 1:3–4;

I know that you don't interpret those verses to support my beliefs and that's o.k. (I don't interpret certain verses in a way that supports your's so it all equals out), but the point is that this is not an issue of not being able to only use the bible.   :)

 

In response, the verses you cite do not teach pre mortal existence, in the sense of one teaching it, "here is where you were pre mortal…" . Rather, if the Bible alone is used, those verses teach 1)Angels were witnesses to the foundation of the Earth (not humans), 2&3) reference God's foreknowledge. 

 

I understand we have different points of view, but I hope we can agree, that if one limits oneself to the bible alone, pre mortal existence of humans isn't taught. 

 

I do think we agree on the use of the word eternal though.  :)

Share this post


Link to post

In response, the verses you cite do not teach pre mortal existence, in the sense of one teaching it, "here is where you were pre mortal…" . Rather, if the Bible alone is used, those verses teach 1)Angels were witnesses to the foundation of the Earth (not humans), 2&3) reference God's foreknowledge.

I understand we have different points of view, but I hope we can agree, that if one limits oneself to the bible alone, pre mortal existence of humans isn't taught.

I do think we agree on the use of the word eternal though. :)

Actually, that verse says sons of God witnessed the creation, not Angels.

The bible teaches that we are the children of God. Even unbelievers are called the offspring of God.

And if you want to interpret the other verse to be speaking only about God's foreknowledge that's fine, but that's not what the verse actually says.

Share this post


Link to post

Bluebell I hope you can continue to come up with such great topics in the future...much appreciated.

I have given a lot of thought to your responses----- I appreciate the time and thought you put into them. I woke up thinking that a lot of our responses  seem like putting the cart before the horse so to speak. 

 

It is my understanding that the LDS church teaches that their god is the God of the Bible, yet they teach he is a material god of flesh and bone who himself was born into the material universe which clearly pre-existed him. The LDS teaching is that their god is a product of an existing material universe not the producer of it (god of flesh and bone). The question that begs to be answered is " How could the god of Mormonism be born into the "universe" that pre-existed him and he be it's creator. In other words the LDS church teaches that their god created the universe that pre-existed him!

 

According to the Bible, God created the material Universe and it began when He created it. Time began at that Creation and there was nothing before time. What we, as material beings, cannot comprehend is how God exists outside of time and space. The solution of evolution and Mormon doctrine is to assume all things always were....but that leaves a serious question unanswered as to how the universe exists in "time", but had no beginning.

 

Does't the very essence of time necessitate a beginning?...therefore negating the assumption that all things always were? In other words in order for time to exist it has to have a beginning?

Share this post


Link to post
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×