Premium Essay

Pre-Existence of Jesus

In: Religion Topics

Submitted By akutz
Words 2975
Pages 12
The Preexistence of Jesus:

Jesus’ Divine Origin and Identity in the Gospel of Mark

Andrew Kutz

REL 371 - New Testament

Dr. Jason Bruner

February 27, 2015


Bart Ehrman, a New Testament scholar and author of The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Church Writings, was once a strong proponent of the view that the Gospel of John, alone, presents Jesus as divine:

Until a year ago I would have said – and frequently did say, in the classroom, in public lectures, and in my writings – that Jesus is portrayed as God in the Gospel of John but not, definitely not, in the other Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

Nevertheless, over the course of writing his book How Jesus Became God, Ehrman admitted to a change of perspective, saying, “These [Synoptic] Gospels do indeed think of Jesus as divine.”As far as this statement, Ehrman and I agree. He does, however, clarify his position, as he posits a viewpoint that I will attempt to refute.

For Mark, Jesus was adopted to be God’s son at his baptism. Before that, he was a mere mortal. For Luke, Jesus was conceived by God and so was literally God’s son, from the point of his conception. (In Luke Jesus did not exist prior to that conception to the virgin – his conception is when he came into existence). For John, Jesus was a pre-existent divine being – the Word of God who was both with God and was God at the beginning of all things – who became a human. Here he is not born of a virgin and he is not adopted by God at the baptism (neither event is narrated in John – and could not be, given, John’s Christology). So yes, now I agree that Jesus is portrayed as a divine being, a God-man, in all the Gospels. But in very different ways, depending on which Gospel you read. I believe it to be a fair summary to say that the crux of Ehrman’s argument is that while each Gospel...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay


...and was drawn to one sentence: “Jesus was a man and as such could not also be God.” Seeing the puzzled look on my face, one of the men asked me what I thought about the claim. The Biblical basis for Jesus humanity can be illustrated in scripture. John 1:14 states: “So the Word became human and lived here on earth among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory of the only Son of the Father.” When Jesus was born, God became a man. He was not part man and part God, he was completely human and completely divine. Jesus Christ is the perfect expression of God in human form. Another important doctrine of Christianity is that of Jesus deity. In John 10:30 it reads: “The Father and I are one.” This is the clearest statement of Jesus divinity he ever made. Jesus and his father is not the same person but are triune in the nature of the Godhead. On page 158, Towns explains that, “The Biblical basis for Jesus deity is His pre-existence and eternity. Jesus has always existed as stated, John 8:58: “Jesus answered, “The truth is, I existed before Abraham was even born!” This is one of the most powerful statements uttered by Jesus. When he said that he existed before Abraham was born he undeniably proclaimed his divinity. In addition, the Bible teaches that Jesus is both God and man at the same time, (Hypostatic Union). The Bible supports that Jesus is God by showing all the attributes of God. Matthew 18:20 reveals Jesus is everywhere. “For where two......

Words: 927 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay


...Christology Jesus was born human for several reasons. He came to fulfill an office. He is sinless and like no other man. He had a role of uniting heaven and earth, (John 1:51). Another reason is because God established that the shedding of blood for remission of sins. (Leviticus 17:11, Hebrews 9:22) For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins (Hebrews 10:4 KJV). In His humanity he was tempted, he was poor, he was despised and he was persecuted. This made him able to sympathize with us. He also endured a cruel death. Only a human being could fully understand this. Lastly Jesus coming in the flesh is the mark of the spirit from God. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God and every spirit that does not confess that] Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. (1 John 4:2-3 NKJV) Jesus Christ is truly God and truly man. (Elwell, 2001) For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; (Colossians 2:9, KJV) Jesus Christ was and is God incarnate. As Christians we believe that there is a God who is infinite and immutable. He is a personal God, a creator and the Ruler of the entire universe. I believe that his deity is His eternality and His pre-existence. The hypostatic union states that human nature was united with the divine nature in the one person......

Words: 705 - Pages: 3

Free Essay


...parent while it is still only a child, people cannot comprehend God's will in their current physical and earthly state. Now why is there evil in the world if God is so supreme. Augustine had his view on why evil exist if god is so good. Augustine based his theodicy on his reading of key Biblical passages: Genesis 3 and Romans 5:12-20 Genesis 3 is the story of Adam and Eve and their ‘”fall” in the Garden of Eden. In it the snake convinces the woman to eat the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The woman picks the fruit, and passes some to Adam. Because of their disobedience God has them evicted from the garden. In Romans 5 Paul describes the Christian belief that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross cancels out the disobedience of Adam and Eve. In his self-sacrifice Jesus has made available the gift of righteousness. Augustine said God is perfect. The world he created reflects that perfection. Humans were created with free will. Sin and death entered the world through Adam and Eve, and their disobedience. Adam and Eve’s...

Words: 1186 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay


...Atheism Newsletter! Enter email address Discuss in my forum Sign Up Who was John the Baptist?: John the Baptist (also: John the Baptizer) appears in each of the four gospels as a figure preaching the immediate coming of a Messiah. John is depicted in a manner consistent with Jewish eschatological expectations: dressed and acting like Elijah, John is preparing the way for the Messiah as well as the “last days.” Gospel stories suggest that John’s ministry was popular and successful. According to Luke, he was born into a priestly family. When did John the Baptist live?: John the Baptist Pre ache s John the Baptist lived during the first half of the first century. When he was born and how old he was when he died are unknown. Luke’s account of John’s birth, claiming that his parents were the priest Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth, suggests that he would have been the same age as Jesus. Where did John the Baptist live?: John the Baptist would have been active primarily in Galilee, around the Jordan River. Although the Jordan was not suitable for the purposes of agriculture or navigation, there are a...

Words: 597 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Piero Della Francesca’s the Flagellation of Christ

...regarding the artwork. It was created in the mid fourteenth century, making it a quattrocento, and utilizes the styles of renascence art. The group of three men in the foreground contains the main theme of the painting that is the Christian acceptance and Jewish rejection of Jesus as the messiah and how that created a divide in theological beliefs between the two groups. Through a visual analysis it is apparent that this image is unlike almost any other Christian depiction of the life of Jesus. In this representation of the Flagellation Jesus is not the main focus; rather he is confined to the background of the image. This is an unprecedented reversal of Jesus and surrounding figures in Christian artwork. The main focus is of a group of three men in the foreground. This is apparent due to their location relative to the location of Jesus. It is easily seen that the group of three men are in the foreground due to the artist’s clear lines on the floor that creates a three-dimensional scene. Although there is distance between the groups, there is a clear connection between them. Jesus and his group of tormentors reflect the first triad. This is further supported by the similarities between the posture of Jesus and the middle youth in the foreground. The fact that the two groups are connected shows that Piero’s main point lies in the foreground, but is heavily supported by the flagellation. The three men composing the foreground appear to be somewhat prominent due to their......

Words: 943 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

The Christology Debate

..."in the beginning was the word, the word was with God, and the word was God." John 1:14, tells us "And the word became flesh and dwelt among us . When the Word became flesh, he dwelt in the womb of Mary and was born as Jesus. Jesus is the incarnation of God. He is God in flesh. Col. 2:9 tells "for in him dwells all the fullness of deity in bodily form." Another term for the incarnation of God in reference to Jesus is the hypostatic union. The term "incarnation" does not appear in the New Testament, but the concept is definitely taught: John 1:1, 14; Col. 2:9; Phil. 2:5-8; 1 Tim. 3:16; 1 John 4:2; John 20:28; Heb. 1:8 (ref) There are two views stology teaches that God the son; the second person of the Trinity laid aside the use of certain divine attributes or emptied Himself in the incarnation in order to become fully human. This view is also called the incarnation when the second person of the Godhead became flesh. this doctrine reaches reached every area of Christian theology and effects every area as well. The doctrine of the incarnation reveals the identity of Christ this theology touches the pre-existence of Christ, Christ’s humanity, deity, sinlessness, and His three-fold office and more. The traditional view of Christology maintains that Jesus exercised both his divine and human attributes at the same time. Christology is the study of Christ the word is derived from the Greek word Christos, meaning anointed one or Christ. Christ is the second person of......

Words: 1193 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

About L's

...all away, away B We're giving it all to go Your way Verse 1: B In the Father there is freedom B There is hope in the Name that is Jesus B Lay your life down give it all now B We are found in the love of the Saviour Pre-Chorus E G#m We've come alive in You B G#m Set free to show the truth E G#m F# Our lives will never be the same Chorus: B We're giving it all away away E G#m E We're giving it all to go Your way B We're giving it all away away E G#m E We're giving it all to go Your way (Away we're singing) Verse 2: B We are sold out to Your calling B Everything that we are for Your glory B Take our hearts now, have it all now B Let our lives shine Your light like the morning Bridge: C#m E B F# You rolled back the curtains from our eyes And now we can see You C#m E B F# You've shown us Your way Your truth and life C#m E B F# We offer our lives to bring You fame E We're caught in Your freedom E C#m We're caught in Your freedom Chorus Today is the Day – Lincoln Brewster Intro: C Am G F | C Am G F | C Am G | Verse 1: F C Am7 G F C Am G Im casting my cares aside. Im leaving my past behind. F C Am7 G F Dm7 F Im setting my heart and mind on You, Jesus. F C Am7 G F C Am G Im reaching my hands to Yours, believing there’s so much more, F C Am7 G F Dm7 F Knowing that all You......

Words: 1522 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Islam Worksheet

...the Arabic root “asalama” which literally means peace, purity and submission. Thus Islam means “surrender to the Almighty” and Muslim means “one who is in a state of submission”. It is understood that this submission is to the Will of God, as is laid down in the Quran. This tenet is unequivocally accepted by all sects of Islam be they Shia, Sunni or Sufis. 2. Explain the basic concepts of Islam. Islam is an unerringly monotheistic religion. It enjoins the existence of one God, his prophet Muhammad who is the Last Prophet in a long line of prophets sent throughout time and to every civilization, and the Quran as the Word of God revealed to Muhammad through the angel Jibrael. Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable and the purpose of life is to worship him and to adhere to his word, as laid down in the Quran, and in Sunnah , as closely as possible. They believe that Islam is the final, completed and universal version of a faith revealed too many prophets before; most notably Abraham, Moses and Jesus, but whose message has now been distorted. 3. Describe the practices of Islam. The practices of Islam are based on the ubiquitous “Five Pillars”. These are, in order of importance, Shahadah or acceptance of One-ness of God, Salat or five daily Prayers, Saum or Fasting in the month of Ramadan, Zakat or obligatory Alms-giving, Hajj or Pilgrimage to...

Words: 1258 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Understanding Islam

...The rise of Islam is intrinsically linked with the Prophet Muhammad, believed by Muslims to be the last in a long line of prophets that includes Moses and Jesus. Under the Muslim belief, Muhammad was the chosen recipient and messenger of the word of God through the divine revelations, Muslims from all walks of life strive to follow his example. Muhammad was born into the most powerful tribe in Mecca, the Quraish, around 570 A.D. The power of the Quraish derived from their role as successful merchants. Several trade routes intersected at Mecca, allowing the Quraish to control trade along the west coast of Arabia, north to Syria, and south to Yemen. After working for several years as a merchant, Muhammad was hired by Khadija, a wealthy widow, to ensure the safe passage of her caravans to Syria. They eventually married. When Muhammed was in his forties, he began having visions and hearing voices. Searching for clarity, he would sometimes meditate at Mount Hira, near Mecca. On one of these occasions, the Archangel Gabriel (Jibra'il in Arabic) appeared to him and instructed him to recite "in the name of the lord." This was the first of many revelations that became the basis of the Qur'an, the holy book of Islam. These early revelations pointed to the existence of a single God, contradicting the polytheistic beliefs of the pre-Islamic Arabian Peninsula. The Qur'an was dictated by Muhammad but, according to the Qur'an, it did not originate with Muhammad. The Qur'an testifies of......

Words: 1142 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Monastic Life Christian V Buddhist

...stand out in their wide-scale use above the rest. These two religions are Christianity and Buddhism. In an idyllic situation, there are definite similarities in the lives of the monks and nuns who dedicate themselves to the monasteries* of both religions. History shows us that the reality of what was practiced in the respective institutions of these two religions was often very different. There are, however, many differences in daily monastic life for Christians and Buddhists, but the greatest differences became manifest in what the ultimate goals of those monks and nuns who practiced monastic life in the name of Christianity and Buddhism.         In both Christian and Buddhist tradition monastic life is defined as having a cloistered existence, forsaking normal life and taking religious vows. In both traditions, the vows that are taken are meant to be binding for life. In the case of some types of Buddhism most of these vows are to be kept even if one leaves monastic life, and in Christianity monastic vows are only a more specific reaffirmation of the vows taken by all Christians when they are baptized.[1] More specifically, Christians vow to reject Satan and to accept Christ, and monks do this for a second time when they receive the rite of tonsure, which is why this rite is often called the second baptism. The rite of tonsure is the cutting of hair and shaving of scalp, which has had many reasons over the ages, but is always a sign of submission to God. Buddhists also......

Words: 1682 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

The Synoptic Problem

...distinctive information about Jesus, his public ministry, death, Resurrection, and significance” (Mueller 80). Each of the four Gospels were written at different times, and without collaboration. Due to the differences of chronological order, the order in which events took place, vocabulary, the overall contents, and similarities the Synoptic Problem was created. The Synoptic problem refers to the discussion and the relationship between the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The main question that the Synoptic problem posses is what is the nature of the relationship between the three Gospels of Mark, Matthew, and Luke, which was written first, and what sources were used in each of them? With the exception of John, the Gospels have many different similarities in the text, passages, and the specific arrangements of those passages. The reason for the Gospel written by John not being included in the synoptic problem is that there are very few agreements in the text compared to those of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. “The synoptic gospels are synoptic in that they share a majority of their information. Mark contains 93% shared information, Matthew 58% and Luke contains 41%. The Gospel of John in the only gospel that is not considered part of the synoptic gospels because it is 92% peculiar, or dissimilar in its structure and makeup” (Linderer 2). Although each of the Gospels written by Matthew, Mark, and Luke have similar text when it comes to the life of Jesus, his......

Words: 1186 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay


...1. How does Islam handle the relationship between man and woman in society? Many Quranic verses address men and women separately, as distinct sexes, while others refer to the human species as such. The injunctions of Islam are meant for both men and women, both of whom have immortal souls, are held responsible for their actions in this world, and will be judged accordingly in the hereafter. The gates of both Heaven and hell as well as the intermediate purgatorial states are open to members of both sexes, and the injunctions of religion pertain to both men and women, who are equal before the Divine Law in this world and before God on the Day of Judgment.As far as the social and economic aspects of life are con-cerned, Islam sees the role of the two sexes in their complementarity rather than in their opposition. The role of women is seen primarily but not necessarily exclusively as preserving the family and bringing up the children and that of men as protecting the family and providing economically for it.The Quran, however, does not forbid women to engage in economic or even political life, and in certain sectors of even traditional Islamic society, such as agriculture, women have always participated in economic life on a par with men. Both men and women have, however, complete economic independence according to Islamic Law, and a woman can do what she wants with her wealth independent of her husband. What is especially emphasized is the central role of the family, which......

Words: 1520 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Religious and Ethnic Diversity

...They also believe that the second coming has already happened back in 1914, and that World War I was the beginning of the end. This differs from most Christian beliefs whereas the second coming has not yet happened and the recent events such as earthquakes, natural disasters, and disease is a precursor to the second coming of Christ (Robinson, 1996-2009). Most Christian religions believe that there is life after death where your mortal body dies and your soul will either go to heaven or hell. Jehovah’s witnesses do not believe in life after death and that the only souls that will remain after death are those that had taken part in the death of Jesus, sinned against the Holy Ghost, or been determined by god to live eternal death (Robinson, 1996-2009). Jehovah’s witnesses believe that Armageddon will come soon to non-believers, and through Jesus, Jehovah will inflict his rage on those non-believers. For 1000 years there will be a theocracy where all of the believers will live in peace for that 1000 years, after the 1000...

Words: 1317 - Pages: 6

Free Essay


...birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” [27] So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. [28] And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Observations • “Be fruitful and multiply,” a command to bear children, is the very first command given to human beings. • There is a connection between humans as “made in God’s image” and childbearing – that is, each time a new human being comes into existence a new “image-bearer” comes into existence, further spreading God’s image. • There is also a connection between the commands to “be fruitful and multiply” and “fill the earth and subdue it” – the latter cannot be accomplished without the former. • The command to “be fruitful...

Words: 1315 - Pages: 6

Free Essay


...Misconceptions about Islam – A personal perspective Islam may be the most misunderstood religion in the United States. The impression that majority of non-Muslim Americans have is usually obtained through the media which typically represent Islamic countries or groups in the middle of a Holy War. These wars are usually waged by Islamic Fundamentalist who use terrorism and other violent acts to get their messages across giving Islam a negative reputation. Because of the lack of understanding of this highly visible religion, many conflicts arise between non-Muslim Americans and the people who live in Muslim worlds. Consequently, this causes problems among our different cultures by creating various political and religious battles that result from these misconceptions. In order to decrease the U.S. populace agita regarding the various Muslim cultures, it is important for Americans to have a better understanding of other religions including Islam. I believe three of larger misconceptions are: Islam condones violent acts, Islam is intolerant of other religions and that Muslims worship a different God. One of most misunderstood beliefs is that Islam condones violent acts and supports various types of “Jihad”. Karen Armstrong notes that Islam means “submission” or the total surrender of oneself to God, while the word Jihad in Arabic, means "struggle.” Jihad appears frequently in the Qur'an and, in Armstrong’s text; its common usage implies the "striving in the way of......

Words: 1256 - Pages: 6