Many Christians in the 2nd to the 4th centuries, and many since, have read the famous opening of the gospel according to John like this:
In the beginning [i.e. at the Genesis creation, but not necessarily before] was the Word [i.e. the pre-human Jesus], and the Word was with God [i.e. the Father], and the Word was divine. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being.
Is “the Word” here really the man Jesus, before he was a man? This view seems to be reinforced by a few passages in Paul, and Hebrews 1, which seem to say that Jesus created the cosmos, that is, that God created the cosmos through him. This makes the Genesis creation a two-agent affair. The view also holds Jesus to be an additional divine being in some sense, but not in the same sense that the Father is divine, as he, but not Jesus, is the ultimate source of all else, and exists independently of any other being.
In today’s episode I talk with Mr. Danny Andre Dixon, a former minister and youth minister and life-long student of the Bible, who defends this view in The Son of God: Three Views of the Identity of Jesus. His view is there called “Arian” for its similarities to the views of the controversial Alexandrian presbyter Arius, a controversy about which led to the famous council at Nicea. Similar views were held by Justin Martyr and other “two-stage” logos theorists in the 2nd and 3rd Christian centuries, and aside from the point that there was a time when the Son didn’t exist, it is similar to the views of those called “Eusebians” in the fourth century.
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