Was Jesus Created By God?

By Samuel Matthews

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:1-3). KJV

Loved one, is there a possibility that before the Universe was created that God, the “Ancient of days,” was all alone and that out of his own being he brought into existence the Word, who eventually became Jesus Christ? No, that is NOT a concept that can be harmonized with Bible truth.

Consider the following:

No other God before or after

Jehovah God explicitly declares that no other God existed — either before or after him. Note the testimony of Isaiah:

“Before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am Jehovah; and besides me there is no God” (Isa. 43:10-11).

Christ is eternal

Eternality is a prime characteristic of one who possesses the nature of deity. God is “from everlasting to everlasting” (Psa. 90:2).

He is the “high and lofty One who inhabits eternity” (Isa. 57:15). Now, inasmuch as it is clear that the divine Word (Christ — Jn. 1:1, 14) possesses the nature of deity, one must conclude that he is intrinsically eternal.

Declared eternal in prophecy

The Old Testament explicitly declared the eternal nature of the preincarnate Christ. Isaiah refers to the “Prince of Peace” as “everlasting” (Isa. 9:6).

The prophet Micah says that, in reality, the “goings forth” of the Bethlehem baby have been from “of old, from everlasting” (Mic. 5:2).

New Testament Testimony

The New Testament is equally clear in this matter. Three times in John 1:1 the apostle employs the imperfect tense verb en (rendered “was”) to denote the “timeless existence” of the sacred person known as the Word. The eternal existence of the pre-incarnate antedates “the beginning,” to which John alludes, in this passage.

Jesus claimed eternality

Jesus himself affirmed his eternal existence when he said to the Jews: “Before Abraham was born, I am” (Jn. 8:58). The present tense form, ego eimi (“I am”) stands in contrast to the aorist form “was born” (genesthai — to begin to be, to come into existence). The two expressions contrast the eternal and the temporal.

The Jews certainly understood what Christ said, i.e., that he claimed eternality, therefore, the status of being God. That is why they sought to stone him. The expression “I am” points one back to Exodus 3:14, where Jehovah identifies himself as the “I AM,” i.e., the self-existent One.

The first and the last, the “always living one”

In the book of Revelation, Jesus claims that he is “the first and the last, and the Living [present participle — always living] one” (Rev. 1:17-18). He is also the “Alpha and the Omega” — first and last letters in the Greek alphabet (22:13; cf. 1:8; 21:6). These phrases assert the eternal nature of the One so described, and are applied in these texts to either God the Father, or to Christ.

It is NOT biblical, therefore, to assert that the second Person of the Godhead had a “beginning” in any way.

Unfortunately, those of the Watchtower persuasion teach the heresy that God created Jesus originally. People following the Jehovah’s Witnesses doctrines say Revelation 3:14 proves that Jesus was the first one to be created.

These are sincere and zealous people, but they are wrong on many religious issues, not the least of which is their denial that Jesus Christ possesses the nature of deity. They subscribe to the dogma that Christ was nothing more “than a perfect man” (Let God Be True, p. 87).

In the same work, the Watchtower Witnesses contend:

“The truth of the matter is that the Word is Jesus Christ [see Jn. 1:1, 14], who did have a beginning; because, at Revelation 3:14, he distinctly states that he was the beginning of the creation of God” (p. 88).

There are two points that reveal the fallacy of the Watchtower contention.

(1) No interpretation can be assigned to Revelation 3:14 that makes it conflict with other clear passages that affirm the eternal nature of the Lord Jesus.

For example, the prophet Micah declared that though a baby would be born in Bethlehem, nonetheless his existence was “from everlasting” (Mic. 5:2). This expression asserts the “eternity” of the Son of God. Micah’s prophecy was fulfilled by the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem (see Mt. 2:5-6).

In John’s Gospel record, three times in 1:1 the apostle employs the imperfect tense verb en. “In the beginning was [en] the Word [Christ, v. 14], and the Word was [en] with God, and the Word was [en] God.” The imperfect tense here denotes the “timeless existence” of the Second Person of the Godhead.

John’s use of the imperfect form conveys no idea of origin for God or for Christ; rather, it reflects continuous existence for both of these divine beings.

These are but a sampling of the evidence that establishes the eternal existence of Jesus Christ.

(2) The term “beginning,” as employed in Revelation 3:14, does not suggest a commencement in time for Jesus Christ. The Greek word that is rendered “beginning” in Revelation 3:14 is ARCHE. The term is employed in various senses in Greek literature. It may refer to the “beginning” of something if there is evidence available that the “something” indeed had a beginning, e.g., in “the beginning of the gospel” (Mk. 1:1). But this certainly does not exhaust the meaning of the expression.

ARCHE can also signify the “first cause,” of a thing, or that by which something “begins to be,” i.e., the originating source. In Revelation 3:14 ARCHE is used of Christ as the uncreated principle, the active cause of creation. The term in this text is NOT to be understood as … the first of created things.

(3) In Revelation 22:13, Christ refers to himself as the “beginning [arche] and the end [telos].” If “beginning” suggests that there was a time when Christ did not exist, but that he came into existence as the first being of God’s creation, does “end” indicate that there will be a point at which the Savior will go out of existence? The question hardly needs a response.

In Isaiah 48:12 the Lord God described himself as “the first” and “the last.” Did he mean to indicate that there was a time when he did not exist? The very idea is absurd.

The Watchtower Society is grievously in error in its doctrine that Jesus Christ was a “created” being; even their contention that he was the FIRST created being.

They say, “Jesus Christ was the first creature made by God the Father.” They cite as proof Colossians 1:15, where Jesus is said to be the “firstborn of all creation,”  

The Watchtower dogma, that Jesus was the first being created by the Father and, therefore, he is not eternal in his nature, is a totally false teaching. The following points indisputably refute the “Witness” claim.

Firstborn: Preeminence

The Greek word for “firstborn” is prototokos, a term with roots in the Old Testament. When the word is used literally, it can denote the first that comes from the womb, whether of man or beast (cf. Ex. 13:2).

Frequently, however, “firstborn” is an expression of rank, or preeminence, and the original linguistic components (“first” and “born”) no longer play any role in the meaning (e.g., Ex. 4:22).

A clear example of this is seen in Jeremiah 31:9, where “Ephraim” (a symbol for the kingdom of Israel) is called the Lord’s “firstborn,” although literally Manasseh, Ephraim’s older brother, was the “firstborn” (Gen. 48:14).

In this context “firstborn” is employed as a designation for primacy (cf. Gen. 48:19).

The Israelite people referred to Jehovah as becoro sheloam, “the firstborn of all the world,” or of “all creation,” which expression signified the Lord’s role as the creator of all things.

In Psalm 89, God said regarding David, though ultimately the reference is to Jesus, David’s illustrious offspring, “Also I will make him my firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth” (v. 27; cf. Rev. 1:5).

The fact that this kingly One is to be appointed (future tense) as a “firstborn” is conclusive evidence that a point of origin is NOT in view.

Firstborn: Not in Origin

The world’s ripest scholars of New Testament Greek are virtually unanimous in their opposition to the claims of the Watchtower Society. They say, “Firstborn” (Col. 1:15) does not indicate the origin of the Second Person of the Godhead.

There is a precise Greek word to indicate the “first” of a particular created order; it is the term proto-ktistos. This word is defined as meaning “founded or created first.”

This is not the term employed by Paul to depict Christ in the Colossian context, though the apostle had a term available should he have wanted to make that point. That he did not is significant.

Prototokos in Colossians 1:15 emphasizes a “superiority of essence,” and it does not suggest that Christ is a part of the creation himself, but [he] stands rather in a unique relationship to God, the ‘invisible.’

The “for” clause (that begins verse 16) provides the explanation for the term “firstborn,” namely that ALL THINGS owe their creation to Christ’s mediation. The point is NOT that Christ is the first creature; rather, the thought being emphasized is “Christ’s supremacy over creation.”

Moreover, since the apostle affirms that Jesus created all things, it would follow logically that if he himself were a created being, he must have made himself!

Recognizing this necessary though absurd conclusion, the Watchtower Society presumptively inserted the term “other” into the New World Translation at verse 16; “because by means of him all [other] things were created.” Their use of brackets reveals an awareness that there is no textual basis for the insertion.

Firstborn: Preeminent in His Resurrection

Finally, the use of “firstborn” in verse 18 sheds light on the foregoing text. The Savior is described as “the firstborn from the dead” (cf. Rev. 1:5).

Jesus was NOT the “firstborn from the dead” as a consequence of being the first one ever to be raised from the dead. There were resurrections from death in the Old Testament (cf. 1 Kgs. 17:8-24), and during the personal ministry of the Lord (cf. Jn. 11:17ff).

Christ is “firstborn from the dead” in that he demonstrated his power over the grave. He was even instrumental in effecting his own resurrection (Jn. 2:19). Further, unlike others, who were resurrected, Jesus was raised to die “no more” (Rom. 6:9). He is the ever-living one who now has the “keys” over both death and Hades (Rev. 1:18). There is simply no justification for the notion that the pre-incarnate Word (Jn. 1:1,14) was a created being. The God of Heaven is so good. We love you so much.

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