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For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son..

I only thought about this when recently explaining the difference between Old and New Testament to somebody.

  • Did the Son of God appear in the OT? Was his name Jesus?
  • Was Jesus present in Heaven (or at God's side) before he appeared on earth? Did God "send" his son to earth or was Jesus "created" on earth for the first time?

I can list many more, but limiting it to these two, I hope my question is clear.

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It seems that the Second Person of the Trinity took on the name of Jesus when He entered into creation and was born of Mary. Prior to this, He was with the Father and the Spirit.

When Jesus prays in John 17, He mentions the glory He had with the Father before the world began.

And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began. John 17:5 NIV

Jesus, God the Son, certainly may have been the One who appeared in the Old Testament from time to time, walking in the garden with Adam and Eve, speaking to Abraham about the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah, the fourth Man in the fire with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, perhaps Melchizedek, the "angel" who wrestled with Jacob, etc. However, He was not called Jesus until He was born into the world.

The receiving of the name "Jesus" identified the purpose for which God the Son entered into creation. "Jesus" or "Yeshua" literally means "The Lord Saves". So, Jesus was called "The Lord Saves", because He (the Lord) would, in fact, save His people from their sins.

She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21 ESV

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This is also borne out in the Prologue to John's gospel. –  Andrew Leach May 14 '12 at 15:59
    
Thanks, v good reference in the NT itself. –  JoseK May 15 '12 at 5:44
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Jesus is the logos (λόγος) incarnate - which is what we celebrate in December; the incarnation of the logos and NOT Jesus' birthday party. Therefore in the OT, he is known as Adonai (which is Lord vs LORD) - Please read this.

The most common OT scripture to address this is:

Psalm 110:1 YLT

A Psalm of David. The affirmation of Jehovah (LORD) to my Lord: `Sit at My right hand, Till I make thine enemies thy footstool.'

Which is to say:

"The LORD (YHWH) said to my Lord (Adonai) 'Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool."

Which is then connected to the New Testament:

Mark 16:19 ESV

So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.


EDIT: Added reference from this site:

Adonai

Adon, in Hebrew, means “lord.” The form Adonai, used 439 times in the Bible, can be rendered either as “my Lord” or simply as “Lord.” (Linguists offer various explanations for the element -ai. Is it a possessive pronoun denoting “my” or does it indicate a plural of majesty?) Thus, we find Exodus 15:17 translated most frequently as “the sanctuary, O Lord [Adonai],* which thy hands have established” (KJV) but, sometimes, as “the sanctuary, my Lord, which your hands have established.”1 Since Adonai and Yahweh are both typically translated as “Lord,” many modern Bibles—following a suggestion first made by William Tyndale in 1530—render Yahweh as “LORD” in small capital letters, and Adonai as “Lord.” So, “The Lord [Yahweh] appeared to him” (Genesis 18:1), but “Let me take it upon myself to speak to the Lord [Adonai], I who am but dust and ashes” (Genesis 18:27). The NRSV only confuses things, however, by rendering Adonai as both “Lord” and “LORD.”

Adonai Yahweh

When used individually, both terms are translated as “Lord,” but to avoid the awkward appellation “Lord Lord,” the KJV and NRSV render the expression as “Lord God.” (Here too, small capital letters are used to indicate that the base word is Yahweh.) “Lord Yahweh” is also used. The combination Adonai Yahweh appears 310 times in the Bible, mostly in the prophetic literature, where the prophets often begin their speeches by saying, “Thus says Adonai Yahweh.”


To directly answer your question: Jesus was called Adonai in the Old Testament, however you will find it in translated in English bibles as Lord - single capital. We learn that when God made the word (Logos) incarnate (became flesh) by impregnating Mary via the Holy Ghost. Mary is known by the title of Theotokos - God-bearer.

For illustration purposes:

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But we do celebrate Jesus' birthday party. I think you're trying to draw a distinction between incarnation and beginning to exist, which is valid. But birth is not the difference (even for humans) between those two concepts. –  Flimzy May 14 '12 at 17:15
    
December 25 is not a birthday party for Jesus, he wasn't even born in December. Since that has nothing to do with the OPs question, I'll remove that from the answer. –  user1054 May 14 '12 at 17:55
    
@Flimzy The US celebrates it as a birthday. Really we're celebrating the incarnation which is why the date doesn't really matter (that it's not on his actual day of birth). It's supposed to be a feast day. –  user1054 May 14 '12 at 17:57
    
Whether it's his actual birthday or not has little relevance to whether we're celebrating his birthday or not. It is a celebration of the birth of Christ. I think you are making a good point, though... You just used an invalid argument to make it. :) –  Flimzy May 14 '12 at 20:58
    
When people say, "You Christians don't even know that you're celebrating Jesus' birthday on the wrong date. You're actually celebrating the winter solstice" (and to a point, they're right). I reply, "We are not celebrating a birthday, we are having a feast day to celebrate in the incarnation of the logos" - It's completely different. However the incarnation of the logos involved the birth of a child. And yes, we completely high-jacked the Pagan winter solstice celebration day. –  user1054 May 27 '12 at 13:17
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The christian trinitarian theology states, that the nature of the Three Hypostases are the same. So if Father is omnipresent, so is Son.

Also all the Nicene Christians believe that Son is co-eternal with Father (the Nicene Creed says He was born "before all ages").

To answer the question where is/was Son of God, please meditate on the following:

Being God, You were present in the tomb by Your body, and yet in Hades by Your soul, in Paradise with the thief, and enthroned, O Christ, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, filling all things but encompassed by none.

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In origin was the Logos and the Logos was with ho theos and the Logos was theos(John 1:1)

The Logos was eternally IN or within the origin (ARCHE i.e. God) and was eternally with ho theos (i.e. the Holy Spirit) and was eternally theos himself.

The Logos became flesh.(John 1:14)

The Logos who was eternally God 'became flesh". St. Paul also agrees, "He (ephaneroo) became visible in flesh" (1 Timothy 3:16)

The eternal Logos was born of YHVH in eternity. (LXX Psalm 110:3; Psalm 45:1) and in the right time God sent forth his Son, was born of a woman, born under the Law. (Galatians 4:4)

The Son was born twice to save us and we also need to be born twice to be save. (John 3:3)

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Welcome to Christianity.SE! Your answer is a little hard to follow for somebody who doesn't already know what you are talking about. I've edited the formatting to make it a little more readable, but perhaps you could add some explanation about what the pieces are you are explaining? –  Caleb Sep 22 '12 at 17:32
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Jesus told the Jews that he was Jehovah, the God of the Old Testament, as @user1054 explained. It's in John 8:58.

Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

When he said "I am", he was saying the name of YHVH, or Jehovah, which I believe the Jews didn't even utter. Because he was saying that he was their God, they accused him of blasphemy.

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As would seem fitting, Jesus is the figure of King Melchizedek in Genesis 14:18 where he is the "King of Salem".

The foreshadowing of this verse with bread and wine, being the king of Salem (ultimately Jerusalem) and a "priest of God Most High" are ways that we understand the OT to be written: a beautiful foundation from which the full revelation is made in the NT.

We can also extrapolate from this that Christ is with the people even while his presence may not be always or fully known. It is the mystical aspect of Christ's presence in the OT that has been preparing the way for his Incarnation in the NT.

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What evidence do you have that Melchizedek was really Jesus? –  curiousdannii May 18 at 22:21
    
@curiousdannii In this instance it is more the preponderance of the evidence, what can be inferred from what is revealed at the time. This is essentially the way that Scripture unfolds: it is a slow revealing of the ultimate truths. –  Bezalel Books May 22 at 13:05
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