Christ’s Persona before Incarnation (Series 4)
By Eusebio Tanicala, Ph.D.
This is a series of articles that will help clarify the status of the Logos (Word) of John 1:1, 14 before the incarnation of Christ thro Virgin Mary. One side affirms that Christ before His incarnation was a spirit persona; another side claims that Christ was a mere idea, a plan, a promise or a concept much as an architect’s plan of a house.
Proposition A states it like this: Resolved according to the Bible that Christ before His incarnation thro Virgin Mary was a spirit persona.
Proposition B States it like this: Resolved according to the Bible that Christ before His incarnation thro Virgin Mary was a mere idea, a plan, in God’s mind.
A persona is a spirit or human entity or being that has mind, a self consciousness, and is capable of moral choices and has action.
Angels are personal entities. Human beings are personal entities. Satan the Devil is a spirit persona.
To this writer, Christ, before His incarnation, was a spirit persona, the Second Person in the Godhead. When Christ became flesh, He remained a persona with deity in Him as well as humanity in Him. A very unique occurrence, in fact a mystery, in human history.
IMPORTANCE OF THE STUDY
Determining whether or not Christ was a persona before His incarnation in A.D. 1 helps to clarify the issue of Christ’s deity.
LOGOS IN THE LEXICON
(Please refer to series #1 on the various applications of the term logos in the NT.)
After reflecting on this lesson you should be able to state your conclusion that a persona rather than an idea or plan is identified with the actions of seeing and hearing God.
In this series we submit passages where Christ is understood to have existed before A.D. 1 and where he is understood to have seen and heard the Father. Seeing and hearing are actions properly identified with a person and NOT identified with a plan, an idea or a concept. A plan cannot see nor hear.
In the following verses from the Gospel of John (NKJV), please notice actions, descriptions and attributes. Ask if these befit a spirit person or do they apply to an idea or concept.
John 3:31,32 – These lines are from John the Baptist. The pronoun “He” refers a persona, not a plan or an idea; the “He” has seen and heard what He testified or taught to the Jews. Seeing, hearing, and testifying are acts of a persona. Verse 31 gives the background that Christ heard things in Heaven not on earth below. These are not acts of an idea or a concept in God’s mind.
John 5:19-20 — These words are from Christ. The personal pronouns “He” and “Him” are used to refer to a persona. Acts of seeing, doing, the Father showing to Him all things are actions that befit a persona. These are not acts of an idea or a concept.
John 6:46 – No man has seen the Father except He who is from God; He has seen the Father. The personal pronoun “He” refers to a persona not to an idea or concept. The act of seeing is properly befits a persona not an idea. You may refer to John 1:18 which gives about the same idea as declared by John the Baptist of seeing and knowing God.
John 8:23 &26 – Christ said, “I am from above” or heaven and further he said, “I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him.” The personal pronoun “I” refers to a persona not to an idea; and the act of having “heard” befits a persona and cannot be said of a concept or an idea.
John 8:40 & 15:15 – Christ said, “But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God.” And “…for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.” The hearing by Christ is logically before his incarnation.
John 17:25 – Christ said, “…for You loved Me before the foundation of the world” and you supplement it with 17:5, “And now, O Father, glorify Me together with yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was” the declarations give an unmistakable picture: there was a persona of Christ before He was incarnated in A.D. 1.
If these acts of seeing God and hearing from God were assigned to Christ’s humanity only, then the charge of blasphemy by the Jewish elders, Pharisees and high priests would be true and justifiably worthy of punishment. It is the spirit persona of Christ that He had before His incarnation that exonerates Him from the charge of blasphemy.