WHAT GLORY DID JESUS HAVE WITH THE FATHER?
Jesus said in John 17:5, “the glory which I had with (para) you before the world was.”
“With you” is para in the dative which literally means with in the sense of being with someone or in the presence of someone. However, since Para in the dative is also used metaphorically in scripture, there is no reason why Jesus could not have existed with the Father in His mind and plan. Thayer wrote that para in the dative in John 17:5 "indicates that something is or is done either in the immediate vicinity of someone, OR (metaphorically) IN HIS MIND." (Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, 477).
James 1:17 - 18 “… Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with (para dative “in the presence of”) whom (the context proves “the Father”) there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word (logos) of truth …”
Notice that the subject of James 1:17 is impersonal gifts “coming down from the Father of lights.” Hence, the gifts that come from above are “with” the Father of lights” (para in the dative “in the presence of”). If GIFTS can be said to be “with” “the Father of lights” (para in the dative, “in the presence of”) then God’s prophetic word (logos) can also be said to be with the Father in a prophetic sense before the world began.
Job 12:13 (ISV) says, “With God is wisdom and strength; counsel and understanding belongs to him.”
Here we can see that God’s wisdom, strength, counsel and understanding can be understood to be “WITH” Him while also belonging to Him.
Another good example of para in the dative is found in 2 Peter 3:8,
“one day is with (para dative “in the presence of”) the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”
If “one day” can be said to be “with the Lord” (in the presence of the Lord) in a figurative sense, then so can Christ and God’s elect have been “with the Lord” in a prophetic sense within His own mind and plan.
Thayer himself admitted that the Greek grammar in John 17:5 can also be interpreted in favor of the logos being with the Father “IN HIS MIND.” Thayer stated that "With" translated from Greek is "PARA" in the dative case in John 17:5. Thayer said that this "indicates that something is or is done either in the immediate vicinity of someone, OR (metaphorically) IN HIS MIND." (Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, 477).
In Daniel 7:13-14, Daniel saw a prophetic vision of God the Father giving Jesus dominion and glory over all humanity before that dominion and glory was actually given, so Jesus can be said to be with the Father (para in the dative) “IN HIS MIND” and plan.
Most Trinitarian so called exegesis affirms that John 17:5 says that the Son was given Divine Glory by the Father "before the world was" created. So Trinitarian scholars are expecting us to believe that a coequal God Person (the Son) was given divine glory from another coequal God Person (the Father) in heaven because one of the coequal God Persons would later become a man.
If a God the Son Person was already a complete God Person before the incarnation, then it is nonsensical to believe that a coequal God Person could be given anything that was not already His in the first place.
2 Timothy 1:9-10 “God has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was GIVEN TO US IN CHRIST JESUS BEFORE THE TIMES OF THE AGES, but now has been manifested by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus.”
Paul spoke about something being ALREADY GIVEN TO US before the creation of the world. The Father’s “own purpose and grace” had already been “GIVEN TO US IN CHRIST JESUS BEFORE THE TIMES OF THE AGES”. But that reality was not manifested in human history until after the appearing of Jesus our Savior.
The inspired text in John 17:1-5 could not have been addressing a divine glory that Jesus allegedly had with the Father before the world was (in John 17:5) because Jesus prayed for the glory which he HAD with the Father in the past tense. The word “had” in Greek is "eichon' which is in the past tense. It can mean, "I used to have” or “I was having.”
Since most Trinitarian theologians believe that Jesus as a Son never lost his divine glory in heaven while also becoming a man, they cannot believe that Jesus ever lost his divine glory in the incarnation. Hence, John 17:5 presents an insurmountable dilemma for Trinitarians. For an alleged unchangeable God the Son (Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8) could not have lost His glorious presence in heaven while simultaneously becoming a man. Therefore, Trinitarians must concede that Jesus could not have been praying about divine glory which he allegedly had with the Father before the world was.
Jesus explained that he already had predestined glory when he continued his prayer in John 17:24 "... that they may see my glory which YOU HAVE GIVEN ME, for you LOVED ME BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD." The words, "before the foundation of the world" holds the same essential meaning as the words "before the world was" in John 17:5. A coequally distinct true God Person could not have been "GIVEN" divine glory before the world was created while still remaining a coequally distinct true God Person. Hence, “my glory which you HAVE GIVEN ME” could not have been an alleged coequal true God Person’s glory. For if a pre-incarnate Messiah was given divine glory before the creation, then he could not be a truly coequal God Person.
Furthermore, Jesus proved that he was not addressing a God Person's glory in John 17 because he prayed in John 17:22 "The glory WHICH YOU HAVE GIVEN ME, I HAVE GIVEN TO THEM." Could God's elect share in divine glory in violation of Isaiah 42:8? Since Isaiah 42:8 proves that God will not GIVE HIS GLORY TO ANOTHER who is not God, we can clearly see that Jesus was not addressing a true God Person's glory because the glory that Jesus was given was also given to his disciples. Jesus received glory by his resurrection just as his true followers would receive the same glory when they are resurrected.
Wherefore, Trinitarians erroneously exegete John chapter seventeen in their attempts to prove that a pre-incarnate Messiah shared divine glory before the world was. Yet the context proves otherwise!
The context of John 17:1 and John 13:1 prove that Jesus was speaking about being glorified in his resurrection in John 17:5 rather than being given Divine Glory.
Jesus opened his prayer in John 17:1 saying, “Father, THE HOUR AS COME; glorify Your Son ..."
John 13:1 states, “Now before the feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that HIS HOUR HAD COME that he would DEPART OUT OF THIS WORLD.”
Here we find that Jesus was addressing the hour of his approaching death in the context of praying in John chapter seventeen? Thus we know that when Jesus prayed by saying that “the hour has come” in John 17:1, he was talking about the hour of his death. John chapter eighteen follows with Judas betraying Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane so we know that “the hour” Jesus was talking about was his approaching death and subsequent resurrection. Therefore the scriptural evidence proves that Jesus prayed that he would be glorified by being resurrected after his death.
John 7:39 “By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since JESUS HAD NOT YET BEEN GLORIFIED.”
The context of John 7:39 proves that Jesus had not yet been glorified in his resurrection.
John 12:16 “At first his disciples did not understand all this. ONLY AFTER JESUS WAS GLORIFIED (resurrected) did they realize that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him.”
The context of the above scriptures prove that Jesus was given glory by being resurrected from the dead. Jesus also gives this same glory to his disciples in John 17:22 because his true followers will be glorified by resurrection.
Trinitarians often say that a plan or an idea cannot be in the presence of someone. While this may be true with us mere mortals, the miraculous nature of our God permits Him to think and speak of things as if they already exist before they actually exist later on in time (Romans 4:17; Isaiah 41:4).
The book of life contains God’s plan for the ages and the names of God’s elect which have been written down from the creation of the world.
“The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because it once was, now is not, and yet will come.”
“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, STANDING BEFORE THE THRONE and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.”
“And I saw the dead, great and small, STANDING BEFORE THE THRONE, and books were opened. ANOTHER BOOK WAS OPENED, WHICH IS THE BOOK OF LIFE. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.”
Here we find that all of God’s elect as well as the damned were seen “STANDING BEFORE THE THRONE” in the presence of God by the apostle John in prophetic visions. Since the All Knowing God “foreknew” Christ and His elect “before the creation of the world”, there is no reason why Christ could not have already been in the presence of God in God’s expressed thought.
Thayer’s Greek Lexicon states that "with" translated from Greek is "PARA" in the dative case in John 17:5. Thayer says that this "indicates that something is or is done either in the immediate vicinity of someone, OR (metaphorically) IN HIS MIND." (Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, 477).