Having established from Scripture in the previous blog that the Son of God has eternally existed, being Yahweh the Almighty I AM, without beginning of days, nor end of life, we can now direct our attention to the proof-texts presented by those who seek to deny His eternal preexistence. Since the Christadelphians, who deny that the Son preexisted His incarnation, interpret most of these texts differently than the Jehovah Witnesses and the followers of A. E. Knoch, I will be considering their distinct interpretations side by side.
Revelation 3:14 “The beginning of the creation of God”
“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God (η αρχη της κτισεως του θεου).’” (Rev 3:14)
All three groups have their own unique way of translating the phrase, “the Beginning of the creation of God (η αρχη της κτισεως του θεου).”
The Jehovah Witnesses’, in their New World Translation, correctly render the first genitive in the phrase as, “of the creation,” but then proceed to render the second genitive “of God (του θεου)” as, “by God,” in order to make Jesus out to be saying that He was created by God. However, the noun του θεου is in the genitive form, not the instrumental, and therefore the phrase should be translated “of the creation of God.”
A. E. Knoch renders η αρχη της κτισεως του θεου as “God’s Creative Original.” Without wanting to be facetious, I must say that it is his paraphrase which is a creative original, rather than it being a literal translation. This rendering aligns with his belief that the Son of God is merely a unique creature, being the first and most sublime of all God’s creatures.
The Christadelphians cannot say that the Son was literally the first created being, since they believe that He didn’t even exist prior to being conceived in Mary’s womb. Therefore, they must go against all consensus of understanding, saying that Christ is the beginning of God’s new creation, rather than seeing Jesus as referring here to the original creation. I here quote their explanation of this verse: “Christ is the beginning of this new creation of God (Rev 3:14), leading the way to which his followers can attain, for, what he is today they can become.”  While it is true that Christ is making all things new, whenever He speaks of the new creation, He refers to it as such (Rev 21:1,5; 2Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15). To read “I am the beginning of the creation of God” as “I am the beginning of the new creation of God,” is to add to the text something which is not actually stated.
However, if we let Scripture interpret Scripture, it becomes clear that, here in John’s Revelation, Jesus is referring to Himself as the uncreated originating source of all creation, the Almighty (Rev 1:8), the eternal Word (Rev 19:13), rather than saying that He is merely the first created being. We see in Scripture that before the ages (before time/space creation) the Father made the ages through the Son, and the Son upholds all things by the word of His power (Heb 1:1-3; Col 1:17). Also, in John 1:1-3 we see that, in the beginning the Word already was, being Himself God, and that “all things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”
Also, in Colossians 1:16 we see that all things were created in (ἔν) Him, whether visible or invisible. Only of the infinitely immense omnipresent Son of God could it be said that all things were created in Him. Only of the infinite God could Solomon say: “Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You” (1 Kings 8:27).
Therefore, ἡ ἀρχή in this context cannot mean “the beginning” in the sense of the first created, since He existed prior to His creation and infinitely extends beyond its limits. Here ἀρχή expresses that He is the active beginning of the creation, the One who caused the creation. It speaks of His priority and preeminence over God’s creation, just as we see His creative role expressed in the other New Testament passages cited above. According to The Complete Word Study Diccionary, when ἀρχή is used as a metonymy of persons, as we see here, it expresses priority and preeminence. 
We saw in the previous blog that Jesus is the Almighty, the Yahweh Elohim of the Old Testament. For those who would argue that the Son was subsequently created as a God, Yahweh is very emphatic, saying to His people Israel:
“You are My witnesses, says Yahweh, and My servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I AM (LXX ἐγώ εἰμι). Before Me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after Me.” (Isa 43:10)
While there are some men and angels who have been designated by Yahweh as gods, in these cases it is merely a delegated position of authority. Yahweh, the I AM, very emphatically declares that there has never been a God created before Him nor after Him. There is only one true God, and both the Father and the Son comprise that one true God (Jn 17:3, cf., 1Jn 5:20). God is one, but that oneness is a complex unity. As Jesus said: “I and My Father are one” (Jn 10:30). For that reason, He could truly say: “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (Jn 14:9). They are distinct, yet one, rather than being two separate Gods.
Colossians 1:15-18 “He is… the firstborn over all creation”
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation (πρωτοτοκος πασης κτισεως). 16 FOR by (ἔν “in”) Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” (Col 1:15-17)
The word “firstborn” is from the compound word πρωτοτοκος (prototokos), made up of protos, meaning “first” and tikto, “to produce.” It literally means “the first to be produced.” From it we derived our word “prototype.” It is commonly used in a literal sense to refer to the firstborn.
A. E. Knoch had a unique way of applying this term here. While he believed that the Son of God was first as to creation, he did not see that as having been a birth, which left him with a dilemma. He attempts to resolve it by dividing first from born. The following is his ingenious attempt to explain the meaning of πρωτοτοκος or firstborn:
“It does not necessarily imply that He was born first. There were many sons of God before His generation as a man. He is the first in reference to creation and the only begotten in regard to generation.” (emphasis mine) 
So, according to Knoch, “first” refers to His creation, and “born” refers to His conception in Mary’s womb, many centuries later. However, dividing the word “firstborn” in this manner is unique to him and is a stretch, to say the least!
While the term “firstborn” was often used in a literal sense, the firstborn son among the Jews obtained the birthright which gave them a position of privilege and legal authority over the other members of the household. Eventually, the word came to be used figuratively referring to a position of authority and pre-eminence, without regard to birth.
For example, God said of the coming Messiah, the Son of David: “Also I will make him My firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth” (Ps 89:27). Here we see the term “firstborn” used figuratively of Christ the Son of David receiving a position of preeminence as King of kings and Lord of lords. It is not used in a literal sense, referring to His birth, but rather to His exaltation during the Millennial kingdom. (Other instances in the New Testament where πρωτοτοκος is used in this sense without reference to a literal birth are Rom 8:29; Col 1:18; Heb 1:6, and possibly 12:23).
If there were any doubt concerning what is meant by Christ being the firstborn of all creation, the meaning is explained for us in verse 16 and following, introduced with the explanatory “for”:
“…the firstborn over all creation. FOR by (ἔν “in”) Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” (Col 1:15b-17)
Clearly, in the light of these explanatory statements, the term “firstborn” in Colossians 1:15 is to be understood only in the sense of being prior to and pre-eminent over all things created, rather than the Son Himself having been created or born.
The Christadelphians recognize this usage of the term “firstborn” and appeal to it, since they believe that Christ did not even exist prior to His conception in Mary’s womb. Since they do not believe that the Son existed at the time of creation, they must argue that Colossians 1 is not referring to the original creation, but to the new creation, just as they do with Revelation 3:14. However, there are several problems with trying to make Colossians 1 refer to a new creation.
In the first place, it is described in the past tense, referring to a creation which had already occurred, whereas the new creation is presently in progress and will not be completed until the end of the times of the restoration of all, when all will have finally been made alive and subjected to Christ, resulting in God being all in all in eternity (Acts 3:21; 1Cor 15:22,28).
Also, in verse 17 we see that, not only were all things created in, through and for Him (past tense), but these same all things are presently being held together by Him (συνιστάω). Hebrews further elaborates, saying that He upholds all things by the word of His power” (Heb 1:3). This explains the scientific mystery of the immense power which holds all the atoms of the universe together.
Not only is the creation of all things spoken of here in past tense, but we also see that that same creation, consisting of all things in heaven and on earth, had become estranged from God and at enmity with Him, needing to be reconciled:
“For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.” (Col 1:19-20)
Here we see that God sent His Son in order to reconcile by His own shed blood the very same all things which Christ is said to have originally created in verses 15-17 but had become alienated through the fall. In the final dispensation of the fullness of the times, all creation, both in heaven and on earth, will once again be reunited in Christ, becoming part of His new creation (Eph 1:10; 2Cor 5:17).
Clearly, the term “firstborn” in this passage figuratively expresses Christ’s pre-eminence over creation, rather than saying that He was somehow literally born at the beginning of creation. Colossians 1 presents the Son as the Creator, Sustainer and Reconciler of all created things, just as we see Him presented throughout the rest of the New Testament.
John 3:16 “His only begotten Son”
Both Christadelphians and the followers of Knoch understand “only begotten Son” to be referring to the physical birth of God’s Son through Mary at Bethlehem. However, this reflects an earlier misunderstanding of the etymology of the word μονογενής (monogenes), rendered “only begotten” in the Authorized Version.
At the time when the King James Version was translated, it was thought that μονογενής was composed of μόνος, “only” and γεννάω, “to beget or procreate.” However, as more extrabiblical Greek manuscripts were discovered and examined it became evident that μονογενής was made up of μόνος and γένος, which means “kind,” instead of γεννάω, “to beget.” Therefore, a more correct reading would be, “His only one-of-a-kind Son,” His only unique Son,” or simply “His only Son.”
Even the KJV correctly rendered μονογενής as “only” in nearly every instance, except when it was used referring to the Son of God (“only” Lu 7:12; 8:42; 9:38, cf. “only begotten” Jn 1:14,18; 3:16,18; 1Jn 4:9; Heb 11:17). The only time they rendered μονογενής as “only begotten” referring to someone other than Jesus, was in Hebrews 11:17 where it is clearly a mistranslation, since it calls Isaac Abraham’s only begotten son, when in reality Isaac wasn’t his “only begotten son,” since he also had Ishmael. The obvious reading here should be “your only unique son,” i.e., your only son according to the promise. Most modern translations correct this error, consistently rendering μονογενής as “only” or “unique.”
Obviously, if the Word who became flesh in the incarnation was in the beginning with God, being Himself God, having neither beginning of days nor end of life (Jn 1:1,14; Heb 7:3), He did not literally come into existence by being begotten as God’s Son in Bethlehem, but has always existed as the only unique Son of God. Within the Godhead, the titles Father and Son do not speak of generation by reproduction but of the economic relationship enjoyed between them.
Hebrews 1:5 “You are my Son, Today have I begotten You”
This verse is here quoted from Psalm 2:7, referring to Christ, and it is mistakenly presented as evidence that He wasn’t the Son of God prior to His birth in Bethlehem. However, Luke, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, indicated that the Father had declared this concerning Christ at the time of His resurrection, figuratively being the firstborn from the dead (Col 1:18). Luke says:
“God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.’” (Acts 13:33)
Psalm 2:7 cannot be referring to Christ’s resurrection and at the same time refer to His birth. Equally mistaken are those who believe that Psalm 2:7 speaks of some sort of “eternal generation” of the Son of God by God’s eternal decree.
Genesis 3:15 “the seed of the woman.”
The final argument I will be considering in this blog is presented by the Christadelphians against Christ ever having existed prior to His conception in Mary’s womb. It shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the biblical teaching concerning the incarnation of the Son of God. The argument goes: “If Christ pre-existed, how could he be described as ‘the seed of the woman?’” 
This ignores the fact that the eternal Word, being God the Son, became flesh, being born of a woman, and dwelt among us (Jn 1:14; Gal 4:4). He didn’t begin to exist nine months prior to being born in Bethlehem – He already existed previous to becoming incarnate. It was said of the preincarnate Son that He was sent and that He came into the world. A non-existent being could not be said to have been sent or to have come:
“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law.” (Gal 4:4)
“Therefore, coming into the world (present participle), He said: ‘Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me. 6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. 7 Then I said, 'Behold, I have come — in the volume of the book it is written of Me — to do Your will, O God.’” (Heb 10:5-7)
It doesn’t say that God “conceived” a Son, but that He “sent” Him. The fact that He is here seen to have been conversing with the Father prior to His incarnation when He was being sent by Him, and that He willingly came into the world to do the Father’s will, requires that He had a conscious existence prior to being born of a woman. In Matthew 20:28, Jesus said that He came with a purpose – to serve and to give His life a ransom for many. This logically requires a previous conscious existence.
In Philippians 2 we see that, prior to coming in the likeness of men, He existed in the form of God. But rather than clinging to His position of equality with God, He emptied Himself, taking upon Himself all the limitations of humanity:
“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Phil 2:5-8)
Here we see Him first presented as existing in the form of God. Then He emptied Himself in taking on the form of a servant in the likeness of men, appearing as a man. He came to serve and give His life a ransom for mankind. In order to do that, it was necessary that He become incarnate in human form as our Kinsman Redeemer. The language of this passage becomes meaningless if indeed He didn’t exist as God prior to taking on human flesh.
Therefore, in answer to their question: “If Christ pre-existed, how could he be described as ‘the seed of the woman?’” I would ask: “How else could Yahweh become our Savior and Kinsman redeemer?” In order for the Son of God to be our Savior, He had to be fully God and at the same time fully man. He was fully divine as the Son of God and at the same time fully human as the seed of the woman, born of the seed of David according to the flesh (Rom 1:3-4). While existing in the form of God, the Father sent His only unique Son to be born of a woman according to the flesh. However, He never ceased being God: He simply took upon Himself the likeness of sinful flesh, yet without sin:
“For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh.” (Rom 8:3)
God the Son had to become incarnate on account of sin – not His own sin, but rather on account of the sins of the world of humanity. The child Jesus who was born in a manger may have appeared to be just as any other newborn. However, Isaiah the prophet was shown that He was in reality Emanuel or “God with us” (Isa 7:14; Matt 1:23). He also declared of Him:
“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isa 9:6)
Having examined five of the primary texts used to deny that the Son of God is co-eternal with the Father, it becomes clear that, when properly understood, they in no way contradict the overall revelation of Scripture concerning the eternal preexistence of the Son.
Nevertheless, Christadelphians actually teach that, in order for one to have eternal life, they must deny that Christ, the Son of God, is co-equal and co-eternal with the Father, since, to them, only the Father is the true God. In the next blog I will be considering the passages of Scripture they use to support this claim.
 christadelphia.org “Jesus Did Not Pre-Exist”
 The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament, ἀρχή, NT:746:
(VII) Spoken by metonymy of persons indicating not time but priority and preeminence (Col 1:18, "who is the beginning," meaning the ruler). See prœtótokos
(4416), firstborn; Sept.: Gen 49:3; Deut 21:17. In Rev 1:8; 21:6; 22:13, "the beginning and the end" means the first and the last indicating the One who created the beginning and the One who will bring about the end of what He originally created, not through elimination but change. In Rev 3:14, "the beginning of the creation" means the active beginning of the creation, the One who caused the creation, referring to Jesus Christ not as a created being, but the One who created all things (John 1:3).
The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament © 1992 by AMG International, Inc. Revised Edition, 1993)
 A. E. Knoch, Sons of God
 christadelphia.org “Jesus Did Not Pre-Exist”