The Nature of Pre-existence in the Hebraic Mind and the "Logos"

I wish to point out 2 basic facts that are ESSENTIAL to a proper understanding of Scripture, particularly the gospel of John.  Indeed, they are essential to properly understand the entire New Testament!  The almost universal failure to acknowledge these 2 facts can be traced to the general and intentional anti-Hebraic approach Christian leaders take in their study of the New Testament and to the ignorance of Hebraic things among sincere Christians.  It is likely at least one of these 2 facts will be something you did not realize; however, I am convinced many of the leaders of Christianity DO realize it but purposely conceal it because of the damage it would cause to their Trinitarian teachings as well as many other orthodox dogmas of Christianity.  These 2 facts are presented below followed by discussion of each.  I am going to merely touch the fringes of the subjects.  Entire books could and have been written on these 2 subjects alone.  FAR more detailed discussion can be found in numerous publications among which is the outstanding book, The Doctrine of the Trinity - Christianity's Self-Inflicted Wound, by Sir Anthony Buzzard and Charles Hunting.  Now to the 2 basic facts.

  1. The Hebraic understanding of "pre-existence" DOES NOT necessarily imply a LITERAL, PHYSICAL pre-existence.
  2. The term logos has other renderings that are FAR more logical and understandable than the common mystical and VERY BIASED rendering of "Word".


I wish I could convey the enormous importance of this topic.  The need to understand scripture from the context in which it was written is underscored by this issue.  Please pause and truly consider as you read how crucial it is for us to understand what was written from the context of those that wrote it. Furthermore, please recognize the irrefutable fact that ALL the authors were Jews that thought, lived, and wrote entirely within a Hebraic framework.  As you continue reading this remember it is critical to interpret Scripture in the proper context and that task is just as relevant to the pre-existence issue as it is to anything else.

The pre-existence topic is especially applicable to the gospel of John; however, it finds application throughout the entire New Testament.  There is no better example of the tragic breakdown in communicating Hebraic writings to the Westernized world than has occurred with the concept of "pre-existence".  The typical understanding of John's writings is the result of a failure (I believe premeditated misrepresentation) to properly describe the Hebraic concept of this crucial issue.  The common Christianized concept of the pre-existence of Messiah, in particular, has been divorced from the purely Hebraic mind set of the New Testament authors.  Two of the many catastrophic outcomes of abandoning this Judaic context are the Trinity and the belief that Yahshua is God.  I distinguish them as 2 separate outcomes because in fact they are, and many reject the Trinity yet still cling to the belief that Yahshua is "God" because of confusion over the question of pre-existence.  At the very least the gospel of John has been grossly misinterpreted because of the failure to apply the proper context to it's interpretation.

I need only reference a single Hebraic source to clarify the issue. The clarity of the reference leaves no misunderstanding and removes the veil of deceit so long used by the church to conceal truth.  Below is a quote from Everyman's Talmud - The Major Teachings of the Rabbinic Sages, by Abraham Cohen.  Everyman's Talmud is an excellent little book (if you call almost 400 pages little) that summarizes many of Judaism's primary teachings - a book every sincere student of Scripture should have on their bookshelf.  It should be realized this is the GENERAL, STANDARD HEBRAIC understanding of this issue.  The following quote is on page 347 and is taken from the section which discusses the Messiah in the chapter on the Hereafter.

The belief was general that the sending of the Messiah was part of the Creator's plan at the inception of the Universe.  "Seven things were created before the world was created: Torah, repentance, the Garden of Eden (i.e.Paradise), Gehinnom, the Throne of Glory, the Temple, and the name of the Messiah" (Pes. 54a).  In a later work there is the observation: "From the beginning of the creation of the world king Messiah was born, for he entered the mind (of God) before even the world was created" (Pesikta Rab. 152b)

So, here we see how the "pre-existence" of Messiah (christ) was understood by the Hebraic mind. Remember that ALL THE BIBLE'S WRITERS WERE HEBRAIC!  Messiah was "born" in the MIND (thought, motive, plan) of YHVH (God) before creation but did NOT literally exist!  The concept of a PHYSICAL literal pre-existence is arrived at by most Christians only because they have unknowingly (or knowingly) abandoned the Hebraic concept.

I must press this issue.  It's importance is unequaled.  It must be noted how the pre-existence of the Messiah is defined in terms of his (Messiah's) existence in the MIND of G-d since before Creation.  There is absolutely no literal pre-existence assumed at all!

You see, the Hebraic mind is so overwhelmed and awed by the magnificence, power, splendor, and infinite nature of YHVH that it assumes to "exist" whatever is in YHVH's mind long before His "thought" actually physically manifests itself.  The certainty of YHVH's plan (thought) makes it as though the "thought" had already happened.  YHVH's intent or thought or motive or plan is so certain that it is said to "exist" despite its absence in the physical world!  Obviously, since the "intent" or "plan" or "motive" of YHVH has always included the coming Messiah, the Hebraic mind assumes him (Messiah) to have "existed" (in the Mind of YHVH) since before creation!  However, this "pre-existence" was NOT considered literal or physical!

This concept is witnessed from the New Testament.  In Paul's epistle to the Messianic community in Rome we find the following:

Romans 4:17 (NASB)
17 (as it is written, "A father of many nations have I made you" ) in the sight of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.

The phrase, "calls into being that which does not exist." has as its literal rendering, shown in the center column reference of the NASB, "calls the things which do not exist as existing".  The New King James Version renders this phrase as, "calls those things which do not exist as though they did."  These phrases present PRECISELY the same idea as the Hebraic concept just discussed.  And no wonder, since Paul was a "Hebrew of Hebrews."

So, in his epistle Paul provides STRONG evidence that supports the traditional Hebraic meaning of Pre-existence in his description of YHVH as a "God who ... calls those things which do not exist as though they did."  Therefore, for those that wish proof from the New Testament, you now have it!  Better yet, it comes from the very epistle and the very apostle Traditional Christianity most exalts!  For those of you that prefer the King James Version, it is even more clearly stated as:

Romans 4:17 (KJV)
17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

For additional contributions to the New Testament evidence I present regarding the fact that preexistence is not literal, consider the following verses:

1 Peter 1:19-20 NKJV
19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 20 He indeed was foreordained (foreknown, destined) before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you
Revelation 13:8 (KJV)
8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

If we apply the logic of those promoting a literal preexistence of Messiah to this verse we would have to conclude that Messiah was slain upon the execution stake long before Creation!  Obviously, the Lamb (Yahshua Messiah) was not slain until long after "the foundation of the world".  Trinitarians and others promoting the anti-messiah of the Beast hate this verse because of the damage it causes to their incorrect preexistence doctrine.  So, we see hear just one more verse from the New Testament that buttresses my argument that preexistence in the Hebraic, SCRIPTURAL context is NOT a literal preexistence.  Instead it is to be understood as the state of existence in the mind, thought, plan, or motive of God.  God's divine plan included the Lamb (Messiah) before the foundation of the world; however, that Lamb did NOT literally exist until it/he was manifested at his appointed time!

Note also that the context from which Revelation 13:8 was taken discusses the Beast and how he will deceive virtually the entire world.  It is this very Beast that is promoting the anti-messiah (replacement Messiah), "other gods", and rebellion against YHVH's eternal instructions (Torah or Law)!  Sadly, most "that dwell upon the earth" DO worship that Beast - traditional Christianity!

Why do most Messianic "rabbis" choose to conceal the TRUE Hebraic concept of preexistence as they supposedly attempt to educate others regarding Hebraic roots?  Could it be for the same reason as Traditional Christian theologians?  Could it be their death-grip on the Trinity will not allow them to accept Truth?  Could it be they will promote ONLY (often with distortions, such as their Kabbalistic Trinity) those Hebraic foundations that support their biased orthodox Christian foundational beliefs?

As I said in my Kabbalah article:

Unfortunately most "Messianic" groups are little more than traditional evangelical organizations dressed in Judaic garb and promoting a little Torah.  Most people do not realize that the majority of Messianics are simply traditional Christians that decided to add Jewish liturgy to their services and that embrace - to varying degrees - Torah.  Besides that, they are generally no different than Traditional Christians; therefore, the Trinity and many other false doctrines are carried-over into their Messianic organizations.  Unfortunately, many of these groups are composed of people that have a cult-like attraction to "Jewishness" more than to Truth.  Every time I read in Revelation the verse that mentions "those that say they are Jews but are not", I think of the standard Messianic group.  More often than not, their beliefs do not originate from Judaic roots, but, instead, actually originate from the Traditional Christian organizations from which they came.  The Pope can parade around with a Torah scroll and wear a tallit, but he is still the Pope!  These "Messianic" believers have never left Babylon.  They've simply changed neighborhoods; one a bit more liturgically "Jewish" but still well within the city!

I will be more specific in the application of this FUNDAMENTAL BIBLICAL CONCEPT in those verses where it needs to be remembered; however, its use should be obvious in the gospel of John.  I will most assuredly show due diligence in applying this Hebraic truth as it is encountered.


Interestingly, the term logos dovetails perfectly with the previous sure Biblically Hebraic fact.  Why do I say this?  Well, if the translators had not been so biased in passages such as the famous ones of John 1 where they render the term as "Word", it would be obvious; however, since they were I will explain. The translators even expanded upon their bias in John 1 by rendering the term "Word" with a capital "W" - a totally unsubstantiated and blatant show of bias!

Let's look at the possible Greek meanings of the term logos. The New Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible defines among the various meanings the following:
  1. Motive
  2. mental faculty
  3. Reasoning
  4. Intent
  5. Thought
  6. Divine Expression

What is really illuminating is the fact that, according to the Strong's Concordance I referenced, a Greek philosopher named Heraclitus first used the term logos around 600 B.C. to designate the divine reason or plan which coordinates a changing universe.  Thus, we have a historic precedent which shows the proper understanding of logos is as the "Divine Plan, thought, or motive" of the Almighty Creator.  Furthermore, when this corrected rendering is applied to John 1:1-3 the term logos can be shown to not be referring specifically to Messiah (much less some mysterious "Word-man") but, instead, refers to the Divine Plan from (or through) which YHVH created all things and which included Messiah as the crowning achievement!  As a side note, the use of the personal pronouns "he" and "him" are NOT concrete and early versions of Scripture - Tyndale's original translation for example - used the term "it".  The article entitled, "What does John 1:3-4 REALLY Say?" discusses this in more detail.

John 1:1-3
In the beginning was the Divine plan/motive/thought, and the Divine plan/motive/thought was with God, and the Divine plan/motive/thought was God.  The same (Plan) was in the beginning with God. All things were made by it and without it was not any thing made that was made.

This makes perfect sense!  In the beginning YHVH had a Divine Plan.  This Divine Plan was, of course, with YHVH since it was His master plan conceived in His Divine Mind.  The only information mankind has available to understand God is His Torah (instructions) - His Divine Plan.  Through study of that Plan one can grasp aspects of God.  There is nothing else available with which the characteristics of YHVH God can be understood.  Therefore, His Divine Plan - being the very manifestation of YHVH's Divine thought and Mind - is YHVH!  Yahshua the Messiah, as the perfect servant and emissary of God, revealed the character of God more than any other man; however, everything he did and preached was accomplished within the sphere of God's Plan.  Thus, the Plan of God is still the only way we have of understanding God.  Of course, since YHVH (God) is Spirit, the use of terms such as "mind" are anthropomorphic so that we can grasp basic concepts.

Anthropomorphism: attribution of human characteristics or to nonhumans: the attribution of a human form, human characteristics, or human behavior to nonhuman things such as deities in mythology and animals in children's stories.

The concept that the Torah or Mind (thought, Plan) of YHVH is inseparable from YHVH is a long standing, traditional Hebraic understanding of the Creator!  It is comparable to you and your mind (mental faculty, reasoning) being inseparable.  It can be said that you ARE your mind; thus, you ARE your "logos" (thought, mind).  (It does seem, however, that Traditional Christian and counterfeit Messianic leaders may have somehow become separated from their mental faculties - or "lost their minds".)  So, just as a human can be said to be his/her mind, YHVH can anthropomorphicly be said to be His mind (logos).  Later verses could be correctly construed to interject the sublime and ultimate ingredient of His Plan, which is Messiah.  However, this "Plan" or intent for a future Messiah was only in the Mind of YHVH and did not physically and literally get "begotten" until Yahshua the Messiah physically appeared upon earth 2000 years ago.

There is no argument that "word" is one possible rendering; however, why would the translators choose the most nebulous possible rendering of the term logos in areas such as John 1?  The rendering of "word" is completely illogical in the first chapter of John unless one is already predisposed to belief in the Trinity and intentionally biases the translation to support a "mysterious" inner meaning.  The historic precedent mentioned earlier and the more clear rendering of Divine "plan" or "motive" or "thought" or "intent" makes far more sense and removes all mystery!  So what we have in crucial verses of the New Testament is an intentionally ambiguous and biased translation done in such a way so as to hide the far clearer translation of the Greek word logos!

Additional support for the opinion that "intent" or "motive" or "thought" is the better rendering of logos in John 1 is its clear agreement with the standard Hebraic understanding of the pre-existence of the Messiah which we covered earlier!  JOHN WAS A HEBREW - A JEW - A MAN WITH A JUDAIC/HEBRAIC MIND THAT THOUGHT AND WROTE FROM A THOROUGHLY HEBRAIC MINDSET! Without doubt, Messiah WAS in the mind of YHVH before Creation and this "thought" or "intention" was "manifested in the flesh" much later when the "Plan" for Messiah materialized.  So, the logos was, indeed, "manifested in the flesh"; however, when properly translated what we see is that "the plan/intent was manifested in the flesh."

So, in summary, the doctrine of the Trinity and the deity of Messiah rides largely upon a grossly incorrect understanding of "pre-existence" and an intentionally ambiguous and "mysterious" translation of the Greek term logos.  The facts I've presented are clear regardless of your acceptance of them.  At the very least they render as completely impotent and inconclusive the often and fiercely promoted "traditional" understanding of many "proof" passages used by Trinitarians as they attempt to promote one of the many false doctrines of the Beast and great Harlot and her daughters.

Source: Bruce Barham