How can Jesus be “the beginning of the creation of God” and still be God? The scriptures prove that the true identity of Jesus is fully God who became a man, yet the human being called Jesus Christ of Nazareth was also so fully human that his human sonship had a beginning by his begetting (Luke 1:35; John 5:26). Therefore the Person called the Son pre-existed His birth as the “Mighty God” and “Eternal Father”, but the human aspect of his existence did not begin until the child was actually born and given (Isaiah 9:6) as the Prince of Peace.
Does Revelation 3:14 mean “beginning” or “ruler”?
Jesus said in Revelation 3:14 that he is “the beginning (arche) OF the creation of God.”
Rather than starting with the Greek text used by John in the book of Revelation, and in his other writings (in the gospel of John and his Epistles), Trinitarian often skip to other passages where the Greek word “arche” is used outside of the context of the apostle John himself. Yet in order to properly exegete the original meaning of “arche” in Revelation 3:14, we must first look at other parallel passages where the apostle John used the Greek word “arche” starting with the book of Revelation itself.
Jesus also said in Revelation 22:13, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning (arche) and the end.” Since it is nonsensical to believe that Revelation 22:13 should be translated as, “the ruler and the end,” the normative use of arche must be translated as “beginning” rather than “ruler.”
The apostle John also used the word “arche” in 1 John 1:1 as, “That which was from the beginning (arche).” It would not be sensible to say, “That which was from the ruler” in the context of 1 John 1:1. The same is true in John 1:1, “In the beginning (arche) was the word.” Could John have meant, “In the ruler was the word?”
After doing a thorough word search for “arche” in the writings of John, I found that John never used the Greek word “arche” as a “ruler” anywhere in his writings. Since the apostle John’s inspired writings prove that he never used the Greek word “arche” to mean a “ruler”, it is highly unlikely that he meant to say, “the RULER of the creation of God” rather than “the BEGINNING of the creation of God” in Revelation 3:14.
The apostle John used the Greek word “archon (ar’khone)” for Nicomedus being a “ruler of the Jews” in John 3:1, but he never used the Greek word “arche” for “ruler” anywhere in his Gospel narrative, nor in the book of Revelation, or in his Epistles. Archon means, “First in rank, ruler, chief, magistrate”, but has nothing to do with a “beginning” like the Greek word “arche” does throughout John’s inspired writings. That is why I only found one translation which translated Revelation 3:14 as “ruler” (the NIV) out of twenty one common translations of Revelation 3:14. Since the vast majority of New Testament translations are written by Trinitarian scholars, it speaks volumes that almost all of them unanimously translated “arche” as “the beginning of the creation OF God” in Revelation 13:8.
What Did Jesus mean when he said that He is …“The Amen, the faithful and true witness, THE BEGINNING OF THE CREATION OF GOD” in Revelation 3:14?
Notice that the text states that Jesus as a Son is “the Beginning OF THE CREATION OF GOD (Rev. 3:14)” rather than being the actual creator! Jesus as a Son was the beginning of the creation of God because a true Son has to have a beginning. How could the Son be included in “the creation of God” while simultaneously existing as the Creator called God the Son? Could a Son Person have always existed as a Son throughout eternity past while being “the beginning OF THE CREATION of God? Certainly not! Therefore the traditional Trinitarian interpretation is nonsensical because it contradicts the clear meaning of the words of inspired scripture.
The only proper exegesis of Revelation 3:14 proves that Jesus as a human Son was “the beginning of the creation OF GOD” the Father because Jesus as a Son is the expressed thought of God the Father before the Son was “granted life in himself.” Hence, Jesus as a Son is contrasted with “GOD” the Father who actually did the creating. Hebrews 2:7 cites Psalm 8:5-6 to inform us that the Son is “set” or “appointed to rule over the works of His hands (the Father’s Hands). Therefore the Son as a Son could not have created anything.
The Son could not have created all things as a Son because the Son was spoken of in scripture as “the firstborn of all creation (Colossians 1:15)” just as Revelation 13:8 says that the Son was already spoken of as “the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world (Revelation 13:8).” In this light we can understand that Jesus was “the beginning of the creation of God” in God’s expressed prophetic thought and plan before Jesus actually existed as a child born and Son given (Isaiah 9:6). For just as Jesus was not literally slain from the beginning of creation as “the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world” (in Revelation 13:8), so he was not literally the “firstborn of all creation” either (in Colossians 1:15); otherwise, Jesus would have been born and slain twice. Therefore, Jesus was already born and slain in God’s prophetic anticipation of future events (in the Father’s prophetic expressed thought – the meaning of “logos” in John 1:1) before he was actually born and slain after creation.
Proverb 8:22, "The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old.”
The Hebrew Tanakh says, “The LORD MADE ME as the beginning of His way, The first of His works of old.” The Septuagint says, “The LORD created me.” The most literal translation of the Hebrew is “the LORD ACQUIRED me.” To acquire something, implies that God made it.
The LORD (YHWH) did not literally “make” or “acquire” Jesus as “the firstborn of all creation”, just like the LORD did not literally make His elect when He “foreknew” and “predestines us” in Jesus Christ (Ephes. 1:4-5; Romans 8:29-30). Just like a human architect first creates a detailed blueprint before actually building something, so our Heavenly Father pre-created all things through His preconception in and through Christ within His foreknown plan.
“Who has performed and accomplished it, CALLING FORTH THE GENERATIONS FROM THE BEGINNING?” Isaiah 41:4
God’s word clearly informs us that all of the generations of human history (including all human ages – see Heb. 1:2) were “called forth” through God’s “expressed thought” (through God’s Logos – John 1:1) “FROM THE BEGINNING.” The Son of God was the first to be called forth in God the Father’s expressed thought (logos) within His own expressed “wisdom”, “knowledge”, and “understanding” that came “from His mouth” (Proverb 2:6) before anything was actually created (Proverb 8:25).
“Before the mountains were settled, before the hills I WAS BROUGHT FORTH (the original Hebrew word means “BORN” – NIV, ISV); WHILE HE (the Father) HAD NOT YET MADE THE EARTH and the fields, NOR THE DUST OF THE WORLD.” Proverb 8:25
It is in this sense that the Son was brought forth as “the image of the invisible God, the FIRSTBORN of all creation” in Colossians 1:15. This is the precise meaning of the Greek word “logos” which means God’s “expressed thought” in John 1:1. Jesus Christ existed in the expressed prophetic thought of God the Father. God the Father first called forth Christ before he called forth the generations of all human ages in His detailed plan for His future creation.
Wherefore, Jesus was already “the beginning of the creation of God” and “the firstborn of all creation” as a predestined Son (a predestined man) rather than an alleged coequal God Person. In this light we can see how Jesus as a “foreknown” (1 Peter 1:20) Son of God is the preeminent purpose “of the CREATION OF GOD” (Revelation 3:14) rather than an actual pre-incarnate agent in creation. For Jesus could not have actually participated as an agent in the creation of all things in heaven and earth as a “foreknown” Son “before the creation of the world (1 Peter 1:20)” because a foreknow Son could not have actually existed before being “foreknown”.
Christ was “FOREKNOWN before the creation of the world but was manifest in these last days because of you (1 Peter 1:20).”
“The hope of eternal life was promised BEFORE THE CREATION OF THE WORLD (Titus 1:2).”
The scriptures inform us that Jesus is the arm of Yahweh Himself who came to save us by becoming our Salvation as a man (Isaiah 53:1; Isaiah 52:10; Isaiah 59:16; Psalm 118:14). Since Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not a man”, Jesus could not be God with us as God, but rather, God with us as a true man.
How then could Jesus as God be “the beginning OF the creation OF GOD” and still be God? The only viable explanation can be articulated by Oneness believers. For the only true God is the Father who now exists in two modes of life: a divine life and a human life (John 5:26 – “as the Father has life in himself [a Divine Life], so he has granted the Son life in himself [a human life]”).
Two Modes of Life
Jesus exists as the “Mighty God” and “Eternal Father.” (Isaiah 9:6)
Jesus exists as God who became a child born and son given (the foreknown “child born” and “son given” – Isaiah 9:6) who had a beginning by his virgin begetting.
Jesus as a human son is “the beginning of the creation OF God” because in the logos of God (in God’s expressed thought) God foreordained all things in Him (in God’s mind and expressed plan – Ephesians 1:4-5; Colossians 1:16) before the creation of the world. However, Jesus as the great “I AM” (John 8:58 “before Abraham was I AM”) has always existed as the “Mighty God” and “Eternal Father” (Isaiah 9:6) throughout eternity past.