Grammatical analysis of John 1:1c and John 1:14

While the doctrine of the Trinity is defended in many ways with many verses, it is the book of John that contains the most compelling evidence. John 1:1-14 is one of two primary passages used almost universally (the other is John 20:28). Its importance to Christianity cannot be overstated. Michael F. Bird underscores this point in the opening chapter of the book “How God Became Jesus”:

“I have my own view as to “when” Jesus became God…I think I can articulate the answer by way of a quotation from John the Evangelist: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1)”

The Trinitarian interpretation can be summarized with the following logical propositions.

  1. Word was God. (John 1:1c)
  2. Word became flesh. (John 1:14)
  3. Therefore, God became flesh.

If the argument is extended to note that Jesus is the Son of God, it creates an apparent logical contradiction, for it states that Jesus is both the Son of God and God. It is logically incoherent to say that something is both of something and is something. This irrationality is acknowledged as a mystery or paradox that cannot be explained but is true nonetheless.[1] However, let’s put that aside and continue.

All is not as it appears with this argument. But before the analysis can continue, some additional information must be introduced.

Grammar of John 1:1c

John 1:1c uses the copula ‘was’ to join ‘god’ and ‘the word’: “the word was God.” In the Greek this is literally “God was the word”, where ‘the word’ is the subject with the definite article and ‘god’ is the predicate nominative without the definite article. The predicate nominative comes first for emphasis.

There are a range of possible interpretations. Robert Hommel does an excellent job summarizing the grammatical issues in The Apologists Bible Commentary on John 1. Kermit Zarley discusses the competing views in more detail, including the pros and cons of the major options. Those options are shown below in (roughly) increasing order of definiteness:

#PhrasePredicate Nominative Use
(1)The Word was a godindefinite
(2)The Word was divine
The Word had the same nature as God
qualitative adjectival
(3)What God was, the Word wasqualitative adjectival
(4)The Word was Goddefinite-qualitative
(5)God was the Worddefinite

The purely definite force leads to a reversible (or convertible) proposition[2] where “The Word was God” is equivalent to its converse “God was the Word.” This leads to Modalism or Sabellianism. Overwhelmingly, the historical orthodox interpretation has been definite-qualitative, though it has occasionally been translated as divine in an qualitative, adjectival sense.[3] The other qualitative interpretation suggests personification rather than divinity.[4] Jehovah’s Witnesses translate it using a purely indefinite force, where Jesus is a god, but not the God.

20th and 21st century scholarship has been moving away from the traditional interpretation towards more qualitative, adjectival interpretations, though the traditional interpretation remains popular.[5]

Regarding Jesus’ divinity, most of the attention has been and continues to be given to John 1:1 rather than 1:14. This may be a mistake.

Grammar of John 1:14

John 1:14 literally reads “And the word flesh became…” This is properly translated as “The word became flesh.” While in 1:1c used the copula “was”, verse 14 uses the semi-copula “became.” For practical purposes, “became” functions in the same semantic way as “was.” This will become important shortly.

Hommel notes that Don Hartley declared that all mass terms take a qualitative force, including “flesh” in John 1:14:

“John 1:14, for example, does not teach that the Logos became The Flesh or a flesh, but rather “flesh,” signifying that all the Logos possesses all the qualities or attributes of “flesh””

John 1:14 combines ‘the Word’ and the mass noun ‘flesh’ with the semi-copulative ‘became’. The word ‘flesh‘ has a qualitative force.

Having briefly examined the grammar, the problems will now become clear.

Grammatical Problems

Let’s quickly revisit the propositions:

  1. Word was God
  2. Word became flesh
  3. Therefore, God became flesh.

In the propositions, #3 does not logically follow because #1 is not a reversible proposition. #3 is only justified if God was the Word, but such a definite grammatical use is largely rejected by scholars. However, this is not the only argument made for divinity of the Son.

Trinitarian theology fully equates the Son with the Word (the preexistent “Logos-Son”). John 1:1c is taken to mean ‘[the Son] was God’ and 1:14 is ‘[the Son] became flesh.’ In the final analysis, the effective exegetical use of God is therefore strictly definitive (identity), not merely qualitative despite the grammar. It’s not good enough that the Son is ‘a god’ or ‘god-like’, for this suggests two gods. Similarly, the use of flesh is also strictly definitive (identity), for how else can the Son (mentioned in v.14 of the flesh) be the Word?

While 1:1c can be interpreted with a definite force, no one interprets 1:14 so that the Son became flesh in the definitive or identity sense. Traditionally, he became flesh in the qualitative sense, that is, the Son fully preexisted humanity (the flesh). For a more detailed proof of this, see the “Copulae Redux” below. How then do we know that the Word was the Son?

While the Word was God (#1) could potentially be a reversible proposition (i.e. “God was the Word”) if definite and not qualitative, The Word became flesh (#2) is not a reversible proposition because it is qualitative. The converse, “Flesh came from the Word” or “Flesh was [previously] the Word”, is not logically necessarily true. When flesh (a mass noun) became Word, this is in the qualitative, not definite (identity), sense. So you can’t conclude that the Son was the Word, because it doesn’t say the Word became the unqualified flesh of Jesus, the Son of God.

Whether ‘the Word’ is God in the definite, qualitative, or indefinite sense, it simply doesn’t matter because the Word is flesh in the qualitative sense. The consequences of this are profound. The full equivalence of ‘the word’ and ‘Son’ (or Jesus) cannot be established on grammatical grounds. This strongly militates against the preexistence of the Son. This precludes theologies based around the incarnation (and possibly angel Christologies as well). It does not, however, imply that Jesus was not divine in some sense. This permits both low and high Christologies[10], but does not settle the question of which one is correct.

Grammatical Illustrations

To help illustrate this conclusion, here are four supporting analogous grammatical examples:

Example #1: Consider the sentences “Lot’s wife became [some] salt” and “When you became a Christian, you became salt [and light].” While the converse might be true (as in the first statement) it is not necessarily (as in the second statement).

Example #2: If I say, “The wooden puppet became flesh”, you don’t say that all flesh is the puppet, you don’t say that a flesh is the puppet, and you don’t say the flesh is a puppet. It is not reversible. Indeed, Pinocchio is no longer a puppet, for he has transformed.

Example #3: I have a briefcase. I decide to put some clothes in it and take it with me on an airplane. The briefcase becomes luggage (another mass noun). While it is true that the briefcase can be called luggage, this is not its essence. It is still a briefcase, even after it loses the luggage attribute when I unpack. But notice again that it is not reversible. I can’t say “look, there is luggage, it must be a briefcase”, for not all luggage are briefcases.

Example #4: The day after “The Word became Flesh”, we could have said that “The word is flesh” (this is why the semi-copula should be treated like a copula).[9] As before, this is not a reversible proposition. Moreover, you can’t say flesh is the Word, because that’s not Trinitarian: his human nature (flesh) is not his divine nature (the word).

Look at example #4 more closely. The Trinitarian wishes to engage in a very subtle equivocation. The alleged proof of the Trinity reads like this: “The Word (that is God) is Jesus” and its converse “Jesus is the Word (that is God).” But that’s not what it says. Consider John 1:14 [NIV]:

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

This is the only place where the Son (Jesus) is tied to the Word. But it is “the flesh that was the word”[6] that made his dwelling, not the Son. It is “the flesh that was the word” that had glory. The glory of the Son is “the flesh that was the word”. This is obviously qualitative, as the glory of the Son is not the Son, but the Father.[7] Yet even fully granting that the flesh is Jesus doesn’t work because ‘flesh’ has a non-reversible use.

Copulae Redux

Let’s reevaluate the copula argument using the theological notion that the Prologue of John is moving the narrative forward in time from creation through to Jesus’ life and death. This is the sense used in Trinitarian doctrine when determining that Jesus preexisted the incarnation.

  1. First, the Word was God (divine; with God the Father).
  2. Then, the Word was flesh (human).
  3. Therefore, the Word was both flesh (human) and God (divine).
  4. The Word was flesh in Jesus, the Son of God.
  5. Therefore, Jesus, the Son of God, was both flesh (human) and God (divine).

It is plain from this formulation that the semi-copula in John 1:14 is treated as a copula in this theology. However, as pointed out by the grammatical analysis, the copulae (#1, #2, and #4) are not reversible. To drive this point home, “Son, the divine” could not become (change into) “Son, the flesh” by identity and still be “Son, the divine.” In order for the Son to be both divine and human, the sense must be qualitative. Therefore, the conclusion does not follow. The argument is logically invalid.


While there are many different interpretations for John 1:1c that can be used to support various Christologies, a number of them become implausible in light of John 1:14. In particular, it strongly militates against the preexistence of Jesus or the Son, since the full equivalence of ‘the word‘ and ‘Son‘ cannot be established. It does not, however, imply that Jesus was not divine in some sense. This permits both low and high Christologies.[10] Thus, incarnational theologies are most affected.

The grammar suggests that the Word of God the Father dwells inside of Jesus, the Son of God. This is the traditional Unitarian monotheist position: God dwelt inside of Jesus, but was not him by identity.[11]

For those who remain unconvinced, you can say that “The Father is God” and “Jesus is God” and “Jesus is not the Father”. If you don’t see the contradiction, it is probably because you have mentally replaced “is God” with “is fully God but a distinct person of the Trinity”. Trinitarians often do this automatically without realizing their assumption. But it is an assumption because the text just says “God” and the Bible never explicitly states that “God” means “Trinity”. The grammar does not justify this interpretation on its own. It must be added into the text.


Don Hartley, in reading John 1:1c as purely qualitative and in light of John 1:14, stated the following:

“Thus, Jesus is God in every sense the Father is”[8]

This represents a typical exegesis for John 1:1c and 1:14.

“In other words, the clear semantic of the mass or plural count noun, is meant to disambiguate the semantics of the singular count noun to which it is related in the discourse.”[8]

That is, the use of the mass noun “flesh” disambiguates the semantics of the singular anarthrous predicate nominative count noun “God” to which it is related. Therefore, disambiguate ‘the word was God’ by interpreting ‘God’ qualitatively according to the meaning of ‘the word became flesh.’ That is, the word is both flesh and God. Sound familiar?

  1. Word was God. (John 1:1c)
  2. Word became flesh. (John 1:14)
  3. Therefore, God became flesh.

Hartley argues that we should interpret #1 in light of ‘flesh’ in #2. To what end? To show #3, of course, but also to say more than that: “Jesus is God in every sense the Father is.” This goes much farther than is justified.

‘God’ and ‘flesh’ are related through ‘the word.’ You can plausibly say that ‘the word’ is a part of (or the nature of) ‘God the Father’ and that ‘the word’ became embodied within Jesus. All of this is justified grammatically as well as being fully compatible with Hartley’s semantic argument. But qualitative embodiment of the Word comes nowhere close to justifying Hartley’s view of Jesus, which contains three errors:

“Jesus is God…

You can’t get full equivalence between flesh/word/God and Jesus for the reasons already discussed. It’s not a logically valid deduction. Being qualitatively related is insufficient.

…in every sense…

Based on what? Even if ‘God’ is purely qualitative, there are a variety of possible explanations besides “in every sense.” Moreover, he doesn’t mean “in every sense”, he means “in every sense, including essence, but not person-hood.” This is circular reasoning because it presumes Trinitarianism.

…the Father is.”

‘God [the Father]’ is subtly equivocated with ‘[the full divinity of] God [the Trinity]’. This is an equivocation fallacy and circular reasoning. It is also another mistaken example of the definite (by identity) Jesus/flesh relationship (John 1:14) and the non-definite word/God relationship (John 1:1c). This reasoning is invalid.


This argument was developed after doing some grammatical research on John 1. The result was unexpected. I desired confirmation or a rebuttal, so I posted an early version of this argument on another forum. No feedback was forthcoming. It is undeniably possible that a critical logical mistake has been made here. It is also possible that no such mistake has been made. The goal of this academic and intellectual exercise is to see if the argument can hold up to scrutiny.

In my experience, Trinitarians will generally refuse to discuss alternatives to incarnational Christology. Historically, I would have been literally burned at the stake (along with my writings) for even making such arguments. As such, biblical unitarian monotheist authors like Kermit Zarley and Anthony Buzzard are rarely the subject of rebuttals. Rather, such arguments are likely to be dismissed with derision and scorn. This is especially frustrating for those searching for truth. Perhaps one day we will have greater dialogue.

John C. Wright, who denied that the doctrine of the Trinity could be established on the basis of natural reason or scripture alone[1], once stated:

“Ninth tenths of the enmity between Protestant and Catholic is concerned in non-serious but very bitter arguments of exactly this type, where the Protestant is uttering some slander against Catholicism that can with equal justice be turned against the Protestants.”

It is my intent to avoid bitter, unnecessary arguments. I believe that even if God is not a Trinity of equal persons, that He still wants his body to be united. I worship in fellowship with many Trinitarians, whom I call Brothers and Sisters in Christ.

[1] See CCC#237: (emphasis added) “But his inmost Being as Holy Trinity is a mystery that is inaccessible to reason alone or even to Israel’s faith before the Incarnation of God’s Son and the sending of the Holy Spirit.” Catholic John C. Wright notes that both  doctrines of Trinitarianism and the Incarnation have “no basis whatever in natural reason.”

[2] A reversible or convertible proposition is one in which the proposition and its converse are both true. Formally A→B and B→A are both true.

[3] The distinction between divine and God’s nature is fairly subtle and can also be stated as divine nature. Roman Catholic grammarian Max Zerwick has argued for each at different times (in 1963 and 1988). The reasoning behind each differs slightly. (Zarley, p.328, 335)

[4] Unlike the other options, #3 cannot be mistaken for a second God or identity with God. It must mean that the Word is a reflection or representation of God, not God himself (e.g. Hebrews 1:3). (Zarley, p.334,336)

[5] Prior to and after E.C. Colwell developed his rule regarding anarthrous predicate nominatives, the traditional explanation held sway. The scholarly change away from this explanation is largely a consequence of the work of Phillip B. Harner. He stated “In John 1:1 I think that the qualitative force of the predicate is so prominent that the noun cannot be regarded as definite” (Phillip B. Harner, “Qualitative Anarthrous Predicate Nouns”. p.87).

[6] “The flesh that was the word” is awkward, obscure phrasing, but does not presume theology. Using embodiment would be clearer, as in “the flesh that embodied the word” or “the word that was embodied in the flesh.”

[7] As in John 15:8 [NIV]: “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”

[8] Don Hartley. 1998. “Revisiting the Colwell Construction in Light of Mass/Count Nouns.” [link].

[9] Since John 1:1 is written as history (what was), it implies that the truth value of “The Word was God” and “The Word is God” are equivalent, just as the truth value of “The Word became flesh” and “The Word is Flesh” are equivalent. Context allows us to treat the semi-copula as a copula.

[10] Jesus, a man, could have attained divinity—if at all—at conception, birth, baptism, transfiguration, resurrection, or ascension. This argument can be used in support of any of these. It only precludes arguing that Jesus, the Son of God, preexisted—as God, a god, or an angel.

[11] This is directly analogous to the Protestant evangelical “letting Jesus into my heart.” It is not clear why a Protestant evangelical tradition would embrace Trinitarianism, since the evangelical tradition explicitly maintains that God dwells inside a Christian. Having God dwell within both Jesus and his followers is in keeping with this primary theme of John’s gospel.

11 thoughts on “Grammatical analysis of John 1:1c and John 1:14

  1. “The text of John 1:1 has a sordid past and a myriad of interpretations. With the Greek alone, we can create empathic, orthodox, creed-like statements, or we can commit pure and unadulterated heresy. From the point of view of early church history, heresy develops when a misunderstanding arises concerning Greek articles, the predicate nominative, and grammatical word order. The early church heresy of Sabellianism understood John 1:1c to read, “and the Word was the God.” The early church heresy of Arianism understood it to read, “and the word was a God.”

    David A. Reed. “How Semetic Was John? Rethinking the Hellenistic Background to John 1:1.” Anglican Theological Review, Fall 2003, Vol. 85 Issue 4, p709 (source)

  2. [This comment by “Nigel” was accidentally deleted. It is reproduced here.]

    I tend to agree with your rendition : I have never been able to wrap my head around traditional Trinitarian Christology . The grammatical argument is a good one, and I think if you add translational ambiguity (for example the translation of the word “monogenes” as meaning “only begotten ” (which I think is a distortion of the actual meaning of “unique , or only ” ) then the paradox of equivalence and begotten-ness becomes even more apparent.

    A non grammatical argument that leads to similar conclusions would be simply that it is logically inconceivable for the ineffable essence of the creator to be “contained” (in the sense of equivalence ) in “flesh” whether singular or plural: You cant catch light in a bottle. A Baha’i teaching on this is the metaphor of god as the Sun, and Jesus Christ as the mirror . Though an earthly observer cannot “see god ” ( as John himself points out a few verses later”) we can certainly see a perfect reflection of God in his mirror. But the mirror remains the mirror and the sun remains the sun . If looking at the mirror, one were to exclaim “Abha” , they would be entirely correct. (Note this metaphor is not intended to equate the ineffable unknowable omniscient pre-existent God with the celestial sun which is , of course an aspect of creation) but rather is intended to capture the notion of “light ” meaning spiritual order, design , plan, message, “logos ” .. so yes, logos is the “firstborn” of God (meaning the expression of the consciousness of God” and through it is everything made. It should be clear from the foregoing that this observation comes from a seeker (myself) who is not entirely “Christian” in the sense of doctrinal , but who at the same time completely accepts and asserts the divinity of Christ and seeks to understand the fullness of his message without the overlay of doctrinal and dogmatic distortion.

  3. This is all incorrect. Especially your understanding of John 1:14. You also missing John 1:18 and you miss the rest of the Gospel where, point by point, the Son of God (Jesus) is portrayed by Jesus himself as pre-existent with the Father before he became human. Paul also says that Jesus became human about twice and yet pre-existent and sinless in order to die, resurrect and reconcile the world to himself. Also, Jude 5 says Jesus took the people out of Egypt giving rise to all other textual variants (1) “Lord”, (2) “Lord God”, (3) “God”, (4) “God Christ”.
    The grammatical analysis is off.

    Chrys C. Caragounis – Jan Van der Watt, «A Grammatical Analysis of John 1,1», Vol. 21 (2008) 91-138

    See also the papers and commentaries on John and Paul by Donald A. Carson, Craig Keener, Larry Hurtado, Loren T. Stuckenbruck, and I forget the others (on my computer at home and in Logos Bible Software)

    1. Thank you for your comment. If you have additional (and more specific) references, I would appreciate it, if for no other reason than that future readers will be able to examine them for themselves.

      “you miss the rest of the Gospel where, point by point, the Son of God (Jesus) is portrayed by Jesus himself as pre-existent with the Father before he became human. [..] Paul also says that Jesus became human about twice”

      I’m aware of dozens of Trinitarian proof texts and believe I have examined most of them, especially the more critical ones. If it isn’t a bother, can you provide a handful of the best ones that defend your claim, so that I can respond to them specifically? And if you have found any errors in my logic, I’d appreciate a specific rebuttal, if you have one.

      “You also missing John 1:18”

      John 1:18 contains one of the most hotly contested passages of scripture in the entire bible, whether or not it says “monogenēs son” or “monogenēs God”. I ask for specific citations because I am unable to determine which you are arguing for.

      To beget is to produce, to create. Saying Jesus (or the Word) was created was the widely held belief in the first three centuries, but that’s considered heresy now. It wasn’t until the Council of Nicaea in the 4th century that semantic language was developed to say “begotten not made”, even though it makes no logical sense to say “created but not made”. Setting that aside, monogenēs can also mean “one of a kind” or “unique”. To wit, this rendering…

      No one has ever seen God; the unique Son—who is in a most intimate relationship with the Father—has made [the Father] known.

      …is still not critical of my point. How do you think this challenge my argument? Which of the many possible interpretations are you are putting forth as correct?

      “Also, Jude 5 says Jesus…”

      Again, you pick a passage of scripture that has unclear attestation. Greek manuscripts read “Jesus”, “the Lord”, or “the God Christ”. Aramaic manuscripts say “God”. Naturally, this is of no help to us.

      Exodus clearly ascribes the release of Israel from Egypt to God’s intervention. There is no indication anywhere else in scripture to indicate that “Jesus” had any role in Israel’s escape from Egypt. Moreover, Jude refers to Jesus six other times as “Christ”, never as “Jesus” alone.

      Your reading is not commonly accepted in most Bibles.

      See: Chrys C. Caragounis – Jan Van der Watt, «A Grammatical Analysis of John 1,1»

      You are making my point for me: “Most of the attention has been and continues to be given to John 1:1 rather than 1:14.”

  4. May I ask why, for John 1:1, that you did not consider the singular anarthrous predicate nominative count noun to be indefinite. There are several examples of singular anarthrous predicate nominative count nouns in John where translators have no problems assigning them as indefinite.

    1. It has been a few years since I did my research. I distinctly recall concluding that the Jehovah’s Witness position was more plausible than the definite-force explanations, but less plausible than the qualitative-force explanations. But as I have never knowingly interacted with a Jehovah’s Witness—either in person or online—I didn’t consider this line of exploration to be very important. As such, I have forgotten all the reasons why I rejected it. However, I can share the following, which may be of interest to you.

      This is a quote from the first link:

      “Prior to Phillip B. Harner’s study of qualitative anarthrous predicate nouns (see below), “qualitative” nouns were viewed more or less as indefinite nouns.”

      The qualitative and the indefinite senses are grammatically the same form, but may have different senses/forces for that one form. In some ways, a qualitative sense is indefinite.

      You are also correct that there are several other examples. For example:

      “Hartley’s results demonstrate that in John’s Gospel, a preverbal PN is usually qualitative (56%), as opposed to definite (11%), indefinite (17%), or qualitative-indefinite (17%). He concludes that from the standpoint of pure statistical analysis, THEOS in John 1:1c is most likely qualitative”

      So all else equal, we would use a qualitative force as the starting assumption, and see if the evidence supports it before trying another alternative. It’s worth noting that even Jehovah Witness Greg Stafford admits the qualitative force:

      “The inspired apostle shows that the Word has the same kind of nature and qualities that “the God” (not simply the “person”) he existed with has “

      That is, the JW asserts that it is both qualitative and indefinite. But note one thing: he assumes “the Word” is a “he”, which, as I’ve argued, is not a valid conclusion. The primary reason to use the indefinite force is if you already know it is a “he”, not an “it”. But this begs the question. Without circular reasoning, we lack a compelling contextual reason to consider the indefinite force.

      I think the definite-force argument is very nearly a logical contradiction, but the indefinite-force argument is merely improbable. The Trinitarian assumes that the Word is a “he”. In doing so, he implicitly argues most strongly for the JW position—defeating his own argument—because the indefinite or indefinite-qualitative sense is more probable than the definite sense. But without that assuming the conclusion, there is no reason to pick either. So, I admit that the indefinite-force argument is grammatically possible in isolation, but I think highly unlikely here. It just doesn’t make sense in light of my argument regarding John 1:14.

      1. Thank you for the reply.

        Just as side note note Greg Stafford was a JW when he wrote his first book. He still believes in what we wrote about John 1:1c but he started his own own following after he disagreed with some explanations of prophecy, and has not been a HW for many years.

        Before I reply to what you have said, am I correct in understanding that you do not hold the view that Jesus pre-existed before his birth

        1. “am I correct in understanding that you do not hold the view that Jesus pre-existed before his birth”

          I’m somewhat agnostic on the point. That Jesus is—right now—divine is beyond a doubt. When he became divine—or if he was always divine—is not clearly stated. Preexistence is a conjecture, a speculation.

          I’ve examined dozens of Trinitarian proof texts and many patristic writings (I’m writing a post on the Christology of church fathers during the first 300 years of the church, but it isn’t finished). The evidence seems overwhelming that the current conception of the Trinity did not exist during the first three centuries of the church.

          The idea of preexistence partially comes from the Logos being interpreted through the lens of Greek—not Hebrew—thought. Many patristics were steeped in Greek philosophy, and it is unsurprising that the words of John were interpreted in a purely Greek light. John may have borrowed language from a secular Logos framework, but he wasn’t a Greek philosopher.* He was evidently speaking by analogy of Genesis (i.e. New creation through Jesus vs the first creation) and it seems evident that the Word was personified in the same way that Wisdom was, a decidedly Hebrew way of thinking.

          Do all souls preexist their flesh, as the Mormons say? Is there a reincarnation in which some (rare?) souls can come back for another chance at theosis, as Bruce Charlton and other non-Christian religions suggest? Are souls created at conception, or at some indefinable point prior to or after this? Does it even make sense to describe the timelessness of the divine within the bounds of time itself? In my view, preexistence verges on metaphysical incoherence.

          If you are asking me if Jesus preexisted as “a god” or “an angel”, then no, I see no compelling evidence for that. I don’t think it can be seriously supported, even if I were to agree that Jesus preexisted for sake of argument.

          * This is similar to the Pharisaic/Rabbinic power to bind and loose. While this may have contemporaneously referred to the power to allow and disallow (a positive and negative), Jesus’ mission was to bind up the broken-hearted and to loose the captives (two positives). One’s metaphysical framework matters.

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