I read here somewhere that 'the logos IS the ever-living Son'.

The bible says the logos became flesh.

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us; and we saw His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father John 1:14

In the biblical absence of an ever-living 'God the Son' becoming flesh, where does a 'God-the-Son' fit into this narrative? Especially when John describes where Jesus originated, and him being the only son.

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    What do you mean "nothing about an ever-living Son becoming flesh"? The first chapter of St. John's gospel says "In the beginning was the Word ... and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us." Commented Feb 11, 2021 at 1:57
  • We must read what it says.. does it say 'Son'? no. Find a verse about a Son becoming flesh.
    – steveowen
    Commented Feb 11, 2021 at 2:01
  • Check John 17:1-5. Or do you doubt that Jesus was "flesh"? Commented Feb 11, 2021 at 2:06
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    Absolutely not! That's is exactly what he was. He said, 'he was a man who told you the truth' John 8:40 Why would I doubt that? The bible is clear - everywhere he is presented a as man and not a spirit.
    – steveowen
    Commented Feb 11, 2021 at 2:12
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    @user47952 See christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/4464/… Commented Feb 11, 2021 at 15:26

6 Answers 6


"God the Son" as the 2nd person of the Trinity

The construct "God the Son" is the name for the 2nd person of the Trinity, referring to Jesus. The concept of Trinity itself grew in the early church father era after the last book of the New Testament was written, and therefore the construct doesn't appear in the NT.

But since the bishops of the early church needed a formulation to combat heresies in the first 300 years or so, they came up with the Trinitarian formula to define the Christian Godhead more precisely as one God in three Divine persons (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit) who shares one substance, one nature and one essence. Obviously, for Jesus to be part of the Godhead, Jesus would need to "pre-exist" before His incarnation into a baby about 2,000 years ago, thus critical support for naming Jesus to be "God the Son" is the doctrine of the Pre-existence of Christ.

Biblical support for the preexistence of Christ

Your question asked for Biblical support for "God the Son", and thus asking for Biblical support for the doctrine of the preexistence of Christ. The early church, who relied on the teaching of the apostles (who wrote the NT in the first place), traditionally pointed to these passages for support:

About Jesus as "Word became flesh", you wondered why the Trinity isn't Father, Word, Spirit, questioning whether we are committing exegetical fallacy of eisegesis by equating Jesus with the Word. I think it is obviously NOT eisegesis if we read John's gospel as a unified literary work, following how John the apostle (the author of the Gospel of John) presented Jesus as a series of seven 'I AM' statements: Jesus as the Bread of Life (John 6:35), the Light of the World (John 8:12), the Door (John 10:9), the Good Shepherd (John 10:11), the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25-26), the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6), and the Vine (John 15:5). It then makes sense that in the Prologue (John 1:1-18) John began the presentation of Jesus with who Jesus essentially is before being born, as though Jesus was saying "I AM the Word". The conclusion of the Prologue vv. 14-18 made it clear that the "Word" in 1:1 is in fact Jesus, the main character in the book:

¹⁴And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. ¹⁵(John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) ¹⁶For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. ¹⁷For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. ¹⁸No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known.

Importance of proper interpretation

Yes, there are denominations which interpret the NT in such a way that denies the doctrine of Trinity (Jehovah's Witnesses, for example). Therefore there is a danger of reading the NT without respecting the NT authors's intention. If we read the early church fathers carefully we can see how they consciously followed a certain interpretation option which later leads to the Trinitarian formulation in the Nicene creed. This interpretation option they acquired from the apostles themselves, who taught them personally (see gotquestions.org article Who were the Apostolic Fathers). Thus the formula is NOT a new teaching invented in the 4th century, but developed organically from how God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are depicted in the New Testament.

Further study: NT exegesis showing deity applied to Jesus

For a very detailed exegesis on how the New Testament authors applied the term θεός (Theos) to Jesus, a term which traditionally refers to God the Father, I recommend this highly significant 2008 book by Murray J. Harris, professor emeritus of New Testament exegesis and theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School: Jesus as God — The New Testament Use of Theos in Reference to Jesus. This book makes the argument than even before Jesus was given the formal Trinitarian name "God the Son", the NT authors were already persuaded of the deity of Jesus.

Quote from the concluding paragraphs of the book:

The general conclusion of this investigation may be stated in the following way. While the NT customarily reserves the term θεός for the Father, occasionally it is applied to Jesus in his preincarnate, incarnate, or postresurrection state. As used of the Father, θεός is virtually a proper name. As used of Jesus, θεός is a generic title, being an appellation descriptive of his genus as one who inherently belongs to the category of Deity.⁹³ In this usage θεός points not to Christ's function or office but to his nature.⁹⁴ When this title is anarthrous (John 1:1, 18; Rom. 9:5), the generic element is emphasized. When it is articular (John 20:28; Titus 2:13; Heb. 1:8; 2 Pet. 1:1), the titular aspect is prominent.

In the christological use of θεός we find both the basis and the zenith of NT Christology: the basis, since θεός is a christological title that is primarily ontological in character and because the presupposition of the predominantly functional Christology of the NT is ontological Christology; the zenith, because θεός is a christological title that explicitly and unequivocally asserts the deity of Christ.

⁹³. The word generic needs careful definition. As used here, it does not refer to a class that incorporates many divine beings, but to a category involving a single entity ("God"), a category which nevertheless is distinguishable from other categories. It is the same use of genus as when one describes God as sui generis.

⁹⁴. In the sentence "Winston Churchill was a Britisher and a prime minister," "Winston Churchill" is a proper noun, "Britisher" a generic title, and "prime minister" an official title. A parallel sentence would be "Jesus Is God and King."

Further study: Trinitarians vs. objections to the preexistence of Christ

For further study on the preexistence of Christ and how Trinitarians addressed modern objections, I recommend this 1997 JETS paper: "He Came Down from Heaven": The Preexistence of Christ Revisited by Douglas McCready. He later wrote a highly cited book He Came Down from Heaven -- The Preexistence of Christ and the Christian Faith published by IVP in 2005 reviewed here.

Some quotes from the paper (emphasis mine):

Christ’s preexistence is not “a luxury of theological speculation, which we could set aside in the interest of simplication.”³ It is important because it shows the extent of God’s concern for our need. The doctrine says it was God the Son, possessor of the fullness of deity with the Father from eternity, who took human existence to himself so that we might enjoy eternal life with God. Jean Galot notes that the doctrine situates God’s decision to save us before time, showing that God’s attitude toward a fallen humanity is fundamentally gracious and loving.

Historically most exegetes have agreed that Paul, Hebrews, John, and other NT writings affirm that the Son of God existed prior to his incarnation. Oden reminds us that this affirmation is no optional point in Christian theology. The affirmation even appears in settings that precede Paul’s writings, which themselves date from only 20 to 35 years after Jesus’ death. John Knox emphasizes that these references to Christ’s preexistence appear not in contexts that stress preexistence but instead mention it incidentally in the process of making some other point, as if preexistence were a generally understood and accepted teaching.⁴

This doctrine was not the result of early Christianity’s encounter with Hellenism. It arose out of the early Church’s Jewish roots. Justin Martyr identified the preexistent Christ with the angel of the Lord of the OT, and Novatian concluded that Abraham’s visitor on the eve of Sodom’s destruction was the same preexistent Christ. This is not to say that Jews of the period would have been comfortable with any really preexistent being sharing any measure of deity with God the Father. After all, the claims Christianity makes in conjunction with this doctrine are what made Christianity a different religion from Judaism.

Study of the background for a preexistent Son of God who became incarnate shows it to be a belief without parallel. Larry Hurtado says, “Although the doctrinal reflections on Christ continued and developed over several centuries, the essential steps in treating the exalted Christ as divine were taken while Christianity was still almost entirely made up of Jews and dominated by Jewish theological categories.”⁵

This means Hellenistic religious and philosophical concepts could have played no significant role in developing the early Christian belief in Christ’s preexistence. Christian thinkers at least as early as Paul were driven to belief in Christ’s preexistence by their belief about who Jesus of Nazareth was and what he became at his resurrection. A doctrine of incarnation required preexistence. The developing understanding of the NT writers can be seen in the sending statements of the synoptics, the Johannine prologue, 2 Cor 8:6, Gal 4:4, Phil 2:6–11 and Hebrews 1, to list only the most prominent passages. Objections to belief in Christ’s preexistence have had in some way to deny the apparent meaning of these texts.

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    Hi. You asked a question about what Christsns believe and it was answered. Comments are not the place to argue that those beliefs are wrong. If there is something about the answer you don't understand please ask another question. Commented May 26, 2020 at 2:56
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    thx. Comments are used to ask for clarification or to point out problems in the post. I saw problems...
    – steveowen
    Commented May 26, 2020 at 3:27
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    @user48152 You didn't ask whether Trinitarians say "In the beginning was Jesus" - you would need to do that as a separate question.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented May 26, 2020 at 7:56
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    please explain. Who on earth (or elsewhere) would actually say that?
    – steveowen
    Commented May 26, 2020 at 8:13
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    @user48152 I think your confusion is partly that for Trinitarians, the Word has always been the Son of the Father and didn't become the Son when he was born.
    – eques
    Commented May 26, 2020 at 14:11

God the Son? To say the Father is God, is equal to saying "God the Father." In like manner, to say the "Son is God," is equal to saying "God the Son." Does the Bible use the exact words, "God the Father," yes. Does the Bible use the exact words, "God the Son," no. Does the Bible teach and clearly say that Jesus Christ is God, yes.

John 1:1-14. At John 1:1, "In the beginning" does not have the definite article "the" so it literally reads, "in beginning." So Genesis 1:1 says, "In the beginning" and so does John 1:1. John 1:2, "He/This one" was in beginning with God."

The main thought of Genesis 1:1 is "WHAT HAPPENED" IN THE BEGINNING. John 1:1 is teaching WHO EXISTED in the beginning. In other words, John's beginning "antecedes" the Genesis beginning extending without an initial beginning into eternity past.

John 17:24, "Father, I desire that they also whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am, in order that they may behold My glory, which Thou had given Me, for Thou did LOVE ME BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD." The same idea is presented at John 17:5.

Prophets were sent without preexisting, Jesus was sent from outside the world of flesh, into it, to redeem His people. You also have verses that declare plainly that Jesus is God. John 20:28, 2 Peter 1:1 and others. And yes, I know there are those who try and dispute these verses but the text of Scripture should always speak for itself. What it does not say, it cannot mean.

You also made this statement in the comments section. "ok, he didn't pre-exist because the word became flesh ~2000 yrs ago. You cannot say 'in the beginning was Jesus'! That's called eisegesis.

For your information "God the Son" did preexist His incarnation and was known as "The angel of the Lord" in the Old Testament. He first appears at Genesis 16:7 to Hagar and at verse 13 she identifies Him as God. This is all I'm going to say on this topic and I will be happy to prove it at another time. Now you know why I can say, "God the Son."

  • Ephesians 3:15 in the NAS [BibleHub] '[the Father], from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name,' is reasonably expanded '[the archetypal Father] who in the first instance defines rather than is (helpfully) portrayed by (even outstanding) examples of fatherhood on Earth .... Every family on Earth and in Heaven being a reflection (however marred) of the relationships within the Godhead, and intended to be a true reflection ....' Rationalising breaks down because we have daughters in families, and no counterparts of the Spirit. Commented Jun 2, 2020 at 10:47

It's important to remember that the phrase "God the Son" is a man made theological construct coined with the intention of summarizing biblical truth much like the phrases "trinity", "vicarious atonement", or "plenary inspiration". The importance is not in the finding of these phrases within the canon of scripture but in determining how well they represent scriptural truth. We cannot find "God the Son" in scripture but we do find "Son of God" and so we must determine what is meant by this term and then see if and how the theological trinitarian construct "God the Son" is valid.

In the genealogy in Luke's gospel Adam is referred to as the son of God:

the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God. - Luke 3:38

Angels are also referred to as sons of God:

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them - Job 1:6

And Jesus is referred to as the son of God:

Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: - Romans 1:3-4

The distinction between Jesus as son and the other sons lies in the means by which son-ship is acquired.

Adam was created:

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. - Genesis 1:27

As were the angels:

Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his hosts! Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars! Praise him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens! Let them praise the name of the LORD! For he commanded and they were created. - Psalm 148:2-5

Jesus was begotten in distinction to created beings:

And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm, “‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you.’ - Acts 13:32-33

For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”? Or again, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son”? - Hebrews 1:5

The passage from Acts links Jesus' son-ship to his resurrection from the dead and it might be misconstrued that, therefore, the 2nd person of the trinity had a beginning. However the passage from Romans indicates that Jesus' son-ship was 'declared' or 'defined' in the resurrection and not 'begun'.

Alternatively the Incarnation might be supposed as the beginning of the son-ship of Jesus and in one sense (but not the full sense) that would be accurate. As the son of man and as born of a woman in the natural way (except for his conception) Jesus had a definite beginning in the flesh. As such he is both referred to as the last/final/ultimate Adam and at the same time contrasted with the first Adam in the same verse:

Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. - 1 Corinthians 15:45

It could be further supposed that the Incarnation as the beginning of the son-ship of Jesus the God/man is equivalent to saying that the Son of God has a beginning but that would be a mistake. Jesus was human because he was born of a woman and his humanity had a creation date (birth, conception, whatever is preferred for the purposes of this topic). However the son of God was not created, as were Adam and the angels, but begotten. Begotten is a term that describes the father's role. A child is born of a mother and begotten of a father. A child has two parents and will have attributes of both father and mother through begetting and bearing. Jesus had a human mother and so possesses full humanity. Jesus had infinite, eternal God as father and so possesses full deity.

There is a clear principle in Scripture (and also by science and common sense) that like begets like. That which is begotten of God must, therefore, be God or else the begetting did not occur. By way of example, if a female horse births a mule then we know the begetting was not of a male horse but of a male donkey because attributes of both are demonstrated. If the foal is all horse, then there was no donkey involved.

Jesus urged the people of his day to believe not just his words but his actions:

The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.” Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken— do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” - John 10:33-38

He ate and slept and walked and bled and died just as do all humans. Because he was born of a woman he displayed human attributes. By this we are to infer that he possessed every human attribute even though the display of each attribute is not recorded for us.

He performed miracles, forgave sin, commanded demons and lives forever just as God does. Because he was begotten of God he displayed Divine attributes. By this we are to infer that he possessed every Divine attribute even though the display of each attribute is not recorded for us.

That is why in referencing Psalm 45 the author of Hebrews equates the Son with God:

And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God's angels worship him.” Of (toward/about) the angels he says, “He makes his angels winds, and his ministers a flame of fire.” But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. - Hebrews 1:6-8

An interlinear Greek text renders Hebrews 1:8 thus:

Toward - (conj.) - the - Son - the - throne - of - you - the - God - into/unto - the - age - of the - of age - (unclear) - of candidness - the - (unclear) - of the - of kingdom - of you.

This clearly identifies "the Son" as "you, the God". This verse also has the "advantage" of the definite article (the) for God, ho Theos, which some often cry is missing in John 1:1 and thereby deny two parts of the Trinity.

The phrase "Son of God", as it applies to Jesus, makes him singularly unique in that He is begotten of God. Since like begets like, God begets God. Since God is infinite and eternally self-existent in his being then that only Son which is begotten of God must also be infinite and eternally self-existent in his being.

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days (‛ôlâm ‛ôlâm). - Micah 5:2

From ancient days (‛ôlâm ) is the vanishing point. To repeat it, as it is repeated in Micah, is to say "to the horizon...and again" or "keep going to the horizon until you arrive there". It is a Hebrew expression of eternity and is often rendered 'everlasting' or 'forever and ever' in English.

Micah's prophesy applies this term,‛ôlâm‛ôlâm, to the origin of the promised King in the past. This promised King is revealed to us in the New Testament as Jesus, the begotten Son of God and we may keep going to the horizon of the past over and over again in search of the point of his origin and it will never be reached: The Son is begotten of eternal God and is therefore eternal. He is both begotten of God AND has never not existed.

It is stated in the Westminster Confession 2.3 that this "God the Son" is eternally begotten of the Father and a 1975 ecumenical version of the Nicene Creed echoes this language. The man made phrase "God the Son" then is an attempt to encapsulate the body of scriptural revelation into an easily remembered form so as to aid in teaching and defense against faulty doctrine. Like any theology it's only validity is in it's accurate representation of biblical truth.

  • A very nicely written explanation with only a couple of significant flaws. Seeing as I'm not allowed to 'critique' the trinity here, we'll leave it at that.
    – steveowen
    Commented May 30, 2020 at 22:43
  • @user48152 I am interested in what you have to say. Apparently there is a chat feature available but I don't know how to access it. Do you? Commented May 31, 2020 at 11:49
  • Jesus had infinite, eternal God as father and so possesses full deity. This is denied throughout scripture. Jesus was mortal in every sense - even subject to death - this males him not God. Divine yes, as without sin etc. The text explicitly informs God cannot be tempted, or sin, or die. Thus, it's only validity is in it's accurate representation of biblical truth FAIL.
    – steveowen
    Commented Feb 16, 2021 at 21:09
  • @user47952 What does God beget? Commented Feb 17, 2021 at 1:59

In the beginning was (past) the Word and the Word became flesh and so now is flesh. As a result of leaving His place with God, and becoming human and giving Himself for us, God has acted:

5...which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father [properly "Father God" as the article is not present]. (Philippians 2:5-11 ESV)

As a result of taking on human form, the Word has been given a Name above all Names. Obviously that cannot be Logos as Greek and Jewish philosophers also had their "logos." Moreover, Scripture clearly states God has the prerogative to change a name (i.e. Abram becomes Abraham). Thus when Scripture indicates a new name has been given, the old one should no longer be used.

Jesus now "fits in" on the basis of surrendering His initial position and becoming human to experience death on the cross, Jesus Christ is [now] highly exalted so that at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow (i.e. worship) and confess Jesus Christ is "Lord" (i.e. God) which will bring glory to Father God.

  • This does not answer the Q. Did God the Son become flesh?
    – steveowen
    Commented Sep 20, 2021 at 22:32

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” ‭‭John‬ ‭1:14‬ ‭

  • We see that the Word became flesh

  • That Word dwelt among us

  • We (John says) have seen the glory of the Word who became flesh

  • This glory of the Word is the same as the glory of the only begotten Son of God

““For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” ‭‭John‬ ‭3:16‬ ‭

And if anyone should argue that the Word made flesh was not Jesus the next verse says that John the Baptizer testified about Him, the Word, who existed before John, even though John was conceived at least 3 months earlier

John testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ ”” ‭‭John‬ ‭1:15‬ ‭


The Word is the Son of God

Further passages

In speaking of Jesus

“but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭2:7‬ ‭

He first existed, then emptied Himself and then took on a human body to be born in so that He would not grasp at equality with God v6 though He was God. This is addressing the Title of this post, did Jesus become flesh? Yes indeed.

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,” ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭2:5‬ ‭

Another supporting argument connecting Jesus to the Word

“He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God.” ‭‭Revelation‬ ‭19:13‬ ‭

And just to make it more obvious who the Word is

“From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.” ‭‭Revelation‬ ‭19:15-16‬ ‭

Not only is this speaking from Psalm 2 again about the only begotten of the Father or the Son of God from psalm 2 but He bears the title Name that only one can bear.

“to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.” ‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭6:14-16‬ ‭

Undoubtedly Jesus is the Word

  • Looks good, but who is, "He first existed then emptied Himself"? Clearly this is not a 'son' 1 John 1:1 explains quite adamantly the logos was not a 'person'.
    – steveowen
    Commented May 12, 2021 at 13:10
  • I just showed you “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, ... but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭2:5, 7‬ ‭ John 1:1 says the Word IS a person. V1 say He was God. Unless you don’t think God is a person either. And just to emphasize that the Word is a person He or (this one) was in the beginning with God.” ‭‭John‬ ‭1:2‬. So not only was the Word God but the Word was WITH God and was also God in the beginning (before Creation). So whatever God is, the Word was also.
    – Autodidact
    Commented May 12, 2021 at 13:24
  • And John the Baptizer is speaking about the Word and all the Greek point to a person not an object. The Word being testified to by John the Baptizer is being referred to as a person, not an it. John1:15
    – Autodidact
    Commented May 12, 2021 at 13:30
  • no, what you showed me was traditional speak which 'makes' the logos a person. If you bothered to read 1 John 1:1, you would see another rendition of 'which' and 'that' - this is not speaking of a person, but the logos from which the son was derived. The only person is Jesus who is the word (now, as the man) as you have said. "He or (this one)" - the latter being more appropriate to avoid the heavy handed 'him' or 'he'.
    – steveowen
    Commented May 12, 2021 at 13:32
  • yes, obviously v15 is speaking of Jesus - the logos become flesh v14 - of course he is referring to a person! V1-3 is not speaking of Jesus. Even if the logos IS a person - this doesn't account for the God-the-Son construct which the Q was about
    – steveowen
    Commented May 12, 2021 at 13:33

Did God the Son become flesh?

If answering from the scriptures, there is no 'God the Son' mentioned from Genesis to Revelation, but there is Jesus (the son of God) who appears in the NT being the promised 'seed of Abraham' (Gal 3:16), of David Rom 1:3, the 'seed of the woman' (Gen 3:15) and numerous other prophecies about the 'one to come'.

He is born ~4BC to a virgin called Mary by the power of God's spirit. This is the first we hear the name Jesus. His origin is the logos - the word of God. Other words used to translate logos to English are reason, report, speech, news, account, utterance plan or message. There is no reason to think logos is a person based on the biblical usage of this common word.

'The logos became flesh', is how John describes Jesus' beginning in John 1:14. Prior to that, John links God's creation process with this logos - all things are made through it, BY God. There is no reason to say 'he' when describing the logos from the Greek. Words like Οὗτος (Houtos) John 1:2 don't mean 'he', but more like 'this one', 'this' or 'it', and αὐτῆς (autēs) v3 is not forced to be 'him' either. Whatever the logos is - John is not saying it is God in a person/being sense, but OF God. The logos was WITH God. Whatever is WITH God cannot BE God, but at least somehow associated with God to the point of being holy or divine.

The whole OT speaks of the one God, not a combination God, the NT doesn't alter this understanding - especially as Jesus comes to reveal the Father and to remove all mystery - not create more! (Col 2:2, Col 1:26, Eph 3:3, Rom 16:25) His insistent, 'one true God', claims need no interpretation.

No Jew would think for a moment that logos is another God or another part of God with Yahweh. Logos is used 39 times and in other forms like 'logou’ another ~250 times - none are a person except in the emphasis shown by publishers in Johns first few verses. For brevity, see Note 5.

John clarifies by, as the NEB puts it, 'what God was, the logos was'. So the logos is as God, but not God. Can or does the logos do anything, say anything of itself? God creates through it - except for this through-ness, the logos does nothing. How then can it be fully God?

Suffice to say, whatever the logos is - it is not flesh, it cannot die, it is not a person that it could be tempted or sin. Additionally, the logos cannot be separated from God - it cannot function or exist apart from God - this is John's thrust of the prologue. God and His word are at the beginning and made all that is - logos is God's will and purpose in action.

All these attributes are important for the Messiah, Jesus, to have. So, we have Jesus finally entering the plan of God - foretold and foreknown from the beginning (1 Pet 1:20) - from the foundation of the world. But he didn't begin actually existing until his miraculous conception and subsequent birth.

Summarising so far;

  • God the Son is not scriptural
  • whatever the logos is, is not a person - cannot die or all the other things Jesus was commissioned to do. 1John 1 describes this logos as a "which" - certainly not a way to describe a person who is God!
  • Jesus is scriptural - born ~4BC and is the essence of God in, 'the word becoming flesh', being holy and without sin from birth.

If we are going to try and link this human Jesus prior to his birth as some pre-existing entity - i.e. God the Son, are there any texts that might help us to do that?

A popular one is John 17:5

And now, Father, glorify me in Your presence with the glory I had with You before the world existed. BSB

And now You, Father, glorify me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world existed. NASB

That looks good as a proof-text' until we do a little digging and see the context and other explanatory texts that help to understand John 17:5 in the way John and God intended.

Either Jesus IS God or he is not - we have to pick one. We cannot have him being God for some things and just a man for other things - like dying, etc. etc.

John 17:

  • v1 Father glorify your son

  • v2 God gave him authority over all mankind

  • v3 You (Father) are the only true God - the one who sent Jesus

  • v4 I did the work You gave me to do

  • v5 glorify me with the glory I had with you before the world existed

None of this (like 99% of the NT) sounds like Jesus is claiming to be God.

All this sounds like the human Jesus wanting to be glorified, having received authority from the one true God, having been sent to do a job. Then we get, 'before the world existed', this bit that doesn't seem to fit the only-human Jesus narrative.

If Jesus pre-existed his birth by millennia, he wasn't a man. The 'God the Son' cannot be a man!

This process of God (a God the Son) becoming a fleshly man, an incarnation, isn't in the bible either, but moving on.

  • This whole John 17 discourse is a prayer from Jesus to God.

  • v22 The glory which You have given Me I also have given to them

This has the tone of already done, it is past tense. But Jesus was glorified when? After his ascension.

But this He said in reference to the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. John 7:39

Note v5 above - it's strange that Jesus only had this glory, 'before the world existed'. If he had it eternally, this is an odd way to ask for it back. This then is a reference to God's plan which has been in operation before Genesis. 'slain from the foundation', and Matt 13:35 'I will explain things hidden since the creation of the world' Rev 13:8, 1 Pet 1:20 'known before the foundation of the world', Heb 9:35 '...suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world'

Jesus understands God's word - what He proclaims, comes to pass - as if it already was. The glory he was looking forward to is exactly this - it already was. The only detail missing for it to be fully realised was the moment - and that moment in time was now at hand!

Another aspect to this glory is that Jesus knew that he was the logos made flesh. He was at one with the Father in ways we can barely imagine. Not one essence or substance, but one in purpose as John 17:11, 21 clearly show.

Jesus knew what God had accomplished through His word, His plan, His design and purpose. He knew that he was going to reveal the fuller glory of this logos function as a man and eventually as a firstfruit of creation when he was given new spirit life at his resurrection. This is the glory that would be forth coming.

He said to them, “You foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to come into his glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and with all the Prophets, He explained to them the things written about himself in all the Scriptures. Luke 24:25–27

Here Jesus, the 'logos become flesh', the one without sin and holy from birth, the man at one with God (Not one substance as some suggest) but in purpose and nature as several texts point out, and is fully aware of God's plan from before the world began. He knew who he was and what his mission was. He knew who God was and that He would not let him flounder against all temptation, because 'he was made like us in every way' Heb 2:17 tempted in every way Heb 4:15, Jesus totally needed the Father and he knew it! Jesus knew the plan - he WAS the plan. As we know all things come to their fulness in Christ.

So he is well aware of his fulfilment of prophecy - lots of them!

He knew he was going to die (resisting it at the end, but humbly and obediently accepting God's will over his own), he knew he was going to be with the Father in heaven, John 17:13, he knew of the glory awaiting his opportunity to say, "It is finished!"

So Jesus, praying for the glory that was built in for him as the key, the cornerstone to God's amazing plan from before the world began, is totally natural for him to ask for this as the end draws perilously close! He's nervous, tense, anxious, troubled - he is looking for encouragement from the Father, reminding himself of what awaits his triumphant finish.

Before proceeding, let's quickly ascertain what 'God the Father' signifies. It would be an assumption to conclude because the triune Godhead needs a leader - a figure head, a father for God the Son. That would be also unscriptural. As the trinity is never mentioned, only extrapolated, there is no Divine relationship. There is God (Yahweh) and of course, His logos and that's it. Later comes Jesus, but 'Father' is already established.

The term 'Father', as God, is in relation to mankind. Exodus 4:22, Isa 63:16, Hosea 11:1, Matt 5:45, 6:9, John 20:17. Jesus affirms this in John 20:17 with,

Jesus said to her, “Stop clinging to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father

He then says, 'to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God'. which echoes this Father to all creation reality. (Is God the Father of the Holy Spirit too? As we can see from the apostles, they knew perfectly well what the Holy Spirit was The Holy Spirit is the spirit of the Father)

Another popular verse is John 10:30 I and the Father are one.

One what? One substance? That's an unbiblical idea. Especially so as other verses explain exactly what Jesus meant - no speculation needed.

I am no longer going to be in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given me, so that they may be one just as we are. John 17:11

The glory which You have given me I also have given to them, so that they may be one, just as we are one v22

Are we 'one substance' with God? No, neither was Jesus - as the verses show. But we will be of one mind - being OF the world no longer, but at one with God, in Christ. John 17:16

There are always going to be 'proof-texts' that supposedly show some aspect of Jesus that makes him God. But they are used out of context or 'read into' so that a another meaning is forced onto what was intended.

What about John 1:1

In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God

What it does not say is - in the beginning was Jesus!

Why does it not say this? Well, because it doesn't. God didn't make anything in Genesis through His Son. The son, Jesus, didn't begin until ~4BC so he was hardly there in the beginning.

A God the Son cannot come from the logos. What sense would that make? God only made His son - 'the logos become flesh' to have someone that could be the perfect sacrifice. God needed a human - made like us. To have a 'God the Son' be the Lamb, the tempted, the mortal, the able to sin son would not work. Nor would it be fair.

Imagine Satan being told by God to get ready for the final round. I'm sending my son - the second Adam, for you to tempt and try to get him onto your side. Oh, btw, it's really ME! Good luck! No, that wouldn't cut it. Either Jesus is made like us or he is not. God doesn't fudge or mess with the truth. The fact is He needed the fight to be fair and square. Jesus had to win only by faith and the power of God's spirit in him. Not by some Godly tricks. God cannot stop being God no matter what theologians make up. For Jesus to 'put aside his Godliness' makes a mockery of what was accomplished on the cross and the life lived to that climactic event. He was totally dependant on God - only God could - and DID, save Jesus from death.

Another passage explains this logos in addition to John 1

During the days of Jesus’ earthly life, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the One who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.

What about Rev 3:14 'the beginning of God's creation' BLB, 'the Beginning of the creation of God' NKJ, 'the ruler of God's creation' NIV

Christ cannot be the first created as that would not let him be God eternal. But we know when the bible says he was made - ~4BC. Anything prior is conjecture.

He certainly IS ruler, so that works. Jesus IS the beginning of the final stage of God's creation. It is only through Jesus that all created things reach their intended glory. Jesus is 'firstborn from the dead' Col 1:15, 18 meaning he is the first to rise to new spirit life - the destination for all men who trust in the name and promise of Jesus the Saviour.

What about Heb 1:8 But unto the Son: “Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever...

Next verse explains and gives all the context we need.

You have loved righteousness and have hated wickedness; because of this, God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of exultation above Your companions."

  • Jesus has a God - the same God as everyone else. This on its own is a huge problem for a co-equal God the Son. Here we see the supreme God, anointing with position above all others - except Himself. I don't know if the God members call each other 'God' but if they are supposed to be all equal, then, probably not.

  • When is God ever not God of the creation? When does God have companions that He needs to exalted over?

Either Jesus is God or he is not. The bible makes no claims he IS God, but honours the narrative of the human Jesus who fits the description of,

for God so loved the world, that He gave His only son.

Not a God the Son who cannot die, not an incarnation of God, a masquerade, but the real thing - the real son, the only son, Jesus the man.

Jesus left earth as a man and will return the same - a man with spirit life eternal as all his sheep will also become. What happened to the eternal God the Son? Did he give up being God to become a man, and thus always now being a man? That is an impossibility for God to stop being God. God the Son stopped being a spirit and became a man. That's sounds very silly doesn't it? If we stick to the biblical account, we have no need for these paradoxical and bizarre concepts.

We must conclude; there is no God the Son because he doesn't fit anywhere in the biblical revelation and there is no need for him to exist. In fact, he cannot exist if God gave His only son.


Note 5 logos is not a person in any of these or the other 300 logos verses. Luke 7:17 And the news about Jesus spread… John 6:60 This is a difficult statement… Phil 2:16 holding fast the word of life… John 15:3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you… Matt 5:37 But let your statement be, 'Yes, yes… Luke 8:11 the seed is the word of God. Heb 4:12 The word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword 1 Cor 2:4 my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words…

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