Jesus did exist prior to His birth as a human being.


Some Christians do not believe that Jesus existed before He was born as a human being. This short article shows that Jesus existed before He was born – even “before Abraham” (John 8:58) – that He existed from eternity, namely from “the beginning” (John 1:1) – and that He existed in the “form of God” and had “equality with God” (Phil 2:6).

But God sent “his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh” (Rom 8:3). He “emptied Himself” of “equality with God” (Phil 2:7), descended from heaven (John 6:62; 16:28), and “became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14, NIV).


Dr. Dale Tuggy is an example of a Christian philosopher who does not believe in the preexistence of Christ. He, and other Christians like him, do not believe that Jesus existed before He was born as a human being. This is called Socinianism. Listen, for example, to some of his podcasts:

The purpose is this article is not only to show that Jesus existed before He was born, but that He ‘always’ existed; from the beginning of time.

Jesus existed before His birth.

The Baptist said, “After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me” (John 1:29).

Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58).

He shared glory with God “before the world was” (John 17:5).

He existed from eternity. 

He is “from long ago, from the days of eternity” (Micah 5:2).

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God
” (John 1:1).

He is before all things” (Col 1:17).
He is “the Beginning of the creation of God” (Rev 3:14).

The “beginning” is understood as the beginning of time. In other words, there was no time when He was not. The article on “the firstborn of all creation” (Col 1:15) interprets that as saying that the Son was the first being to exist.

He descended from heaven.

The following statements are provided as evidence that Jesus descended from heaven. The opponents of this view maintain that such statements must be read figuratively and not as evidence that He literally came down from heaven. You be the judge:

Jesus said to Nicodemus, “No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man” (John 3:13).

“For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven … I am the bread of life … I have come down from heaven” (John 6:33-38).

What then if you see the Son of Man ascending
to where He was before
” (John 6:62)?

I am from above; you are of this world,
I am not of this world
” (John 8:23).

He came from God.

Jews questioning Jesus
Jews questioning Jesus

I proceeded forth and have come from God” (John 8:42)

I came forth from the Father and have come into the world; I am leaving the world again and going to the Father” (John 16:28).

God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16).

It is sometimes said that Jesus became God’s begotten Son when He was born as a human. But John 3:16 indicates that He was God’s only begotten Son even prior to His birth as a human being.

He was sent by God. 

“... God did: sending his own Son
in the likeness of sinful flesh
and as an offering for sin
” (Rom 8:3).

Other articles provide many further examples to show that God sent Jesus. That God sent Him firstly implies His pre-existence; that He existed prior to becoming a human being. Secondly, this statement implies His subordination to God; not only as a human being but also in His pre-existence.


“The Word became flesh
and made his dwelling among us”
(John 1:14, NIV).

For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh” (2 John 1:7).

Philippians 2

Philippians 2 contains a very instructive passage in which Paul describes Christ’s existence through four phases:

(1)   Before His birth;
(2)   As a human being;
(3)   His death; and
(4)   After His resurrection and ascension

(1) Before His birth, Jesus existed in the “form of God” and had “equality with God” (Phil 2:6).

(2) To become a human being, Jesus “emptied Himself” of the “form of God” and of “equality with God” (Phil 2:7). He remained the same Person as before, but He became a mere human baby, without knowledge or wisdom. He was truly and fully human.

The Cross

(3) His death was a test to see whether He would remain “obedient to the point of death” (Phil 2:8). His entire life was a test of obedience.

(4) After His death, “God highly exalted Him” (Phil 2:9) so that He would be worshiped by all (Phil 2:9-10). He is again equal with God. Dr Tuggy relects this argument, but would God require the entire universe to worship a mere human being? 

For a more detailed further discussion of this important passage, see the article on – Philippians 2.

Other Available Articles

Is the “Word” In John 1:1 a person or a personification?

Did Jesus exist before His human birth?

In the Beginning

John 1:1 reads, “In the beginning was the Word.” Some propose that Jesus did not exist before He became a human being. See, for example, Tuggy’s case against preexistence.

Consequently, they hold that “the Word,” in these dramatic verses (John 1:1-2), does not refer to the Son of God, but simply to God’s eternal plan or wisdom by which He made all things.

For example, John 1:9-10 indicates that “the world was made through” “the true Light … coming into the world.” People that do not believe that Jesus existed before His human birth would argue that this simply means that the world was made through God’s wisdom and that God’s wisdom, which is the true light, came into the world when God gave it to the mortal human being called Jesus.

Genesis 1 provides support for this view, for in that chapter God creates by speaking. The phrase “God said” is found 10 times in that chapter. For instance, “God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light” (Gen 1:3).

Another verse used to support this view is Psalm 33:6:

“By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, And by the breath of His mouth all their host.”

But the Word is the Son of God.

This is indicated by the following:

The beginningWith God – The Word is described as “with God” (John 1:1-2). The Word must therefore be a Person; not merely God’s plan or wisdom.

Created through – According to John 1:3, God created all things through the Word, but according to Colossians 1:16 and Hebrews 1:2, God created through His Son. The Word is therefore His Son.

(Note: “Him” in John 1:3 is an interpretation. The original Greek word means “the same”. The “Him” therefore cannot be used as proof that “the Word” is the Son of God.)

Word of GodBecame flesh – But perhaps the clearest evidence is John 1:14, which states that “the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us”. This can only be the Son of God.

Interestingly, His preexistence is not a clear teaching in the synoptic gospels, but there is also much evidence of His preexistence elsewhere in John and in Paul’s letters. For example:

He “descended from heaven” (John 3:13; 6:38, 62).

He said, “I am from above … I am not of this world” (John 8:23).  See Jesus existed prior to His birth in the form of God.

Revelation is progressive.

The synoptic gospels do not clearly teach His preexistence because revelation is progressive. At first, the apostles did not know that He existed before His birth.  That was only later revealed to John and perhaps also to Paul.

Evolution of Religious Dogma

The progressive nature of revelation should not be confused with the evolution of religious dogma. Religious theories slowly develop over time. The existence of the conflicting Christian schools of thought proves that this development is mostly not from God, but from man’s corrupt mind. God’s whole truth exists in the world but is spread among the different Christian denominations and movements.

Why is the Son of God called “the Word?”

He is the Word because He brings light and life:

“In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men” (John 1:4).

“The true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man” (John 1:9).

“The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:5).

He is also the Word because He is God’s creative power. Perhaps He is the Word that God spoke to bring the universe into existence and, therefore, that He was “begotten” when God spoke. These things are beyond human understanding.