Did Jesus Always Exist in the form of God?

Did Jesus Always Exist in the form of God?

Philippians 2:5-6-7

Steven Ritchie

Philippians 2:6 "Who, although He existed (HUPARCHO = “To Begin under”, or to “come into existence) in the form of God, did not regard EQUALITY (isos) with God a thing to be grasped …”

HUPARCHO (hoop-ar'-kho)– TRANSLATED AS “EXISTED” in Philippians 2:6

Some Trinitarians have alleged that the Greek word “huparcho” in Philippians 2:6 means “eternally existing.”

Strong's Exhaustive Concordance - EXIST "Huparcho"

"From hupo and archomai; TO BEGIN UNDER (quietly), i.e. COME INTO EXISTENCE (be present or at hand); expletively, to exist (as copula or subordinate to an adjective, participle, adverb or preposition, or as an auxiliary to a principal (verb) -- after, behave, live."


Wherefore, Greek scholars could have translated Philippians 2:6 to read, "although he began existing in the form of God." Such a translations disproves Trinitarian theology but perfectly agrees with Oneness theology. I ask our Trinitarian friends to show how the word "huparcho" has anything to do with "eternally existing?" Such a view is only in Trinitarian wishful thinking.

Thayer's Greek Lexicon

STRONGS NT 5225: ὑπάρχω ὑπάρχω; imperfect ὑπῆρχον;

1. Properly, TO BEGIN below, to make A BEGINNING; universally, TO BEGIN; (Homer, Aeschylus, Herodotus, and following).

2. TO COME FORTH, hence, to be there, be ready, be at hand

HUPARCHO is never used for God anywhere in the Bible.

W. E. Vine's An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, p. 390. "to make a beginning (hupo, `under'; arche, `a beginning')" –

The Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon by Liddell and Scott (Trinitarians) says,

"[huparcho] ... to begin, make a beginning ... 2. to make a beginning of ... 3. to begin doing ... 4. to begin [doing] kindness to one ... Pass. to be begun" - p. 831, Oxford University Press, 1994 printing.

Although the Greek verb “huparcho” can be translated as “existed”, the full nuance of meaning is that huparcho means something that has come into existence at some point in time.

The Trinitarian NT Greek expert Dr. Alfred Marshall wrote:

"[Ginomai] denotes the coming into existence of what did not exist before.... This verb [just like huparchon] is therefore not used of God...."

p. 106, New Testament Greek Primer, Zondervan Publishing House, 1978 printing.

Luke 16:23 - "he lifted up his eyes, being [huparcho] in torment," NASB.

The rich man could not have always eternally existed in the state of torment because “huparcho” proves that the rich man had “come to be” in torment at a point in time.

In like manner, Christ Jesus “huparcho” “began to exist” or “came to be” in existence in Philippians 2:6. Thus proving that the Son could not have always existed in the form of God throughout eternity past!

Other examples where “huparcho” is used to prove that persons “began” or “came to be” in a particular condition: Luke 16:23; Acts 2:30; Acts 7:55; Ro. 4:19; 2 Cor. 8:17; James 2:15 (plural form).

Another example: James 2:15 says, "If a brother or sister be [huparcho] naked [`without clothes'] …" Obviously a brother or sister could not have always eternally existed in a naked condition throughout eternity past. This proves that the Greek verb “huparcho” means that a person has “began” or “came into” a particular condition rather than always having been in that condition.

Trinitarian Bible scholar Dr. Robert Young noted the correct, complete meaning for uparcho in this verse: "BEGIN to be [uparcho] naked" - Young's Concise Critical Bible Commentary, Baker Book House, 1977 ed.)

Therefore, huparcho does not mean "eternal pre-existence" as claimed by some Trinitarians.


Philippians 2:6 "Who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard EQUALITY (isos) with God a thing to be grasped …”

The true identity of the Son is equal with the omnipresent Father in the same sense that the Greek word "isos" in Acts 11:17 means "identical" or the "same as."

"If God gave to them (the Gentiles) THE SAME (ISOS) GIFT as He gave to us (the Jews) also after believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?"

Just as the gift of the Holy Spirit that was poured out on the Gentile believers is “identical” (or “the same”) as the gift of the Holy Spirit that was poured out on the Jews, so the deity of the Son is identical (or “the same”) as the deity of the Father.

The same Greek word "isos" is used in Philippians 2:6 which can be translated as "equal, identical, or same." Therefore the man Christ Jesus did not regard being "equal", "identical", or being the "same" as God a thing to be gasped (Philippians 2:6). Hence the deity of the Son is the same identical deity of God the Father via incarnation (as a true man) just as the gift of the Spirit that was poured out on the Gentiles is the same identical Spirit that was poured out on the Jewish brethren. Paul wrote, “he existed in the form of God” (past tense) because the man Christ Jesus began to exist “in the form of God” on earth as a man before his death.

The word “form,” in the original Greek is “morphe,” which means “form” or “outward appearance.” Hence, Philippians 2:5-9 is not speaking about an unseen spiritual form existing with God prior to the incarnation, but rather, a physical and tangible image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15) that was made visible for all to see after he was “made of a woman (Galatians 4:4/Luke 1:35/Hebrews 2:9/Romans 1:3-4).”

Hence, the "form" (morphe) of God in Philippians 2:6-7 must be an "outward form" or physical "image" (Colossians 1:15) as "the word made flesh" (John 1:14) rather than an alleged invisible unseen image before the incarnation.

Mark 16:12 is the only other place in the Greek NT that uses the Greek word "morphe.” T