Some claim that John 1 and Colossians 1 defines Jesus as both fully God (as in Almighty God) and also as fully man. It is further claimed that the true definition of “Jesus” is “the Son of God in the flesh.” It is then assumed, based on this definition, that if Jesus is still alive, then he must also still be “in the flesh.” However, when we examine these scriptures, we find that there is nothing either in John 1 or Colossians 1 that justifies the conclusion that Jesus ever was, is now, or ever will be, the only true God (the Supreme Being, the only Most High). Nor do we see anything that gives us a definition that Jesus is now the “Son of God in the flesh.”
The Bible reveals that Jesus has had two different general forms of glory, but he did not have both at the same time. Before Jesus became a man, he spoke of a glory that he had with the only true God before the world (the world that was made through him; the world that he came into, the world that did not recognize him — John 17:1,3,5) was made. (John 1:3,10) Jesus prayed that he again have the glory that had with the only true God, so while he was in the days of his flesh, Jesus did not have that glory. If he did have that glory while in the days of his flesh, then why would he ask the only true God (John 17:1,3) to give that glory to him again? — John 17:5.
Paul spoke of the two general kinds of glory, when he was answering the question about the kind of body with which the dead are raised. He said: “There are also celestial [in the heavens] bodies, and terrestrial [in the earth] bodies; but the glory of the celestial differs from that of the terrestrial.” — 1 Corinthians 15:40.
Jesus, before he became a man, Jesus had the celestial glory, but he did not have the terrestrial glory. Thus John writes: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God [Ton Theon], and the Word was God [Theos, in this usage, more properly should be rendered “mighty,” in the sense of mightiness, not as “God” whom the Word was with]. The same was in the beginning with God [Ton Theon].” (John 1:1,2) John was definitely not telling us that Jesus was “God” whom Jesus was with, but John is telling us of a special mightiness that Jesus had with the only true God before the world of mankind was made. — John 1:10; 17:3,5.
The title “Word,” designates Jesus as the Word of God, as shown in Revelation 19:13. John, in using the word “THEOS” of Jesus, was not making the claim that Jesus “was” the only true God whom Jesus was said he was with. (John 17:1,3,5) Many scholars say that THEOS here is speaking qualitatively. Forms of THEOS in the New Testament correspond with forms of the Hebrew word EL in the Old Testament. In the Old Testament, when forms of the Hebrew word EL were used “qualitatively,” they could be used of other persons and things than Yahweh in the sense of might, power, strength.
We will begin by showing this usage with John 10:34,35, where Jesus quotes and refers to Psalms 82:1,6, where the Psalmist uses both forms of the Hebrew word EL and ELOHIM, and thus these words are applied the sons of the Most High, the sons to whom the Logos came (as Jesus explained). In John 10:34,35, the word ELOHIM is rendered as THEOI, the plural of THEOS. According the King James Version, God [ELOHIM] standeth in the congregation of the mighty [EL]. (Psalm 82:1) In reference to the sons of the Most High, the KJV renders the term EL as “the mighty.” Applying this scriptural principle to THEOS in John 1:1, we would likewise have “the Logos was mighty.”
Additionally, this is not the only place that the KJV renders forms of the words EL (Strong’s Hebrew #410) and ELOHIM (Strong’s Hebrew #430) with terms showing mightiness or strength. Here are a few scriptures: Genesis 23:6 (mighty); Genesis 30:8 (mighty); Genesis 31:29 (power); Deuteronomy 28:32 (might); 1 Samuel 14:15 (great); Nehemiah 5:5 (power); Psalm 8:5 (angels); Psalm 36:6 (great); Proverbs 3:27 (power); Psalm 29:1 (mighty); Ezekiel 32:21 (strong); Jonah 3:3 (exceeding). The point is the King James translators, in all these verses, did not render the word for deity/divinity [EL] as “God” or as “god”, but with terms of might, strength, great, power and might. Likewise, since John is definitely not stating that the Word was the God that the Word was with, the most directly scriptural understanding of John 1:1c should be: “the Word was mighty.”
All of the spirit beings, by “nature” of the superior might given to them by the Almighty are scripturally designated as el or elohim, and thus can be spoken of as divine — mighty — in being. — Psalm 8:5 (compare Hebrews 2:9; also Psalm 50:1 and 96:4 could be speaking of angels as elohim); 45:6,7; Isaiah 9:6,7; John 1:1,2; Acts 2:33; 5:31; Ephesians 1:20,22; Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 1:2-4,8; 1 Peter 1:21; 3:22.
The scriptural conclusion is that since John is definitely not saying that the Word “was” (past tense) the only true God, then he is speaking of THEOS as a quality, that is, of the might, power, the glory that he “was” but was not while he was in the days of his flesh. Whatever is meant by THEOS in John 1:1c expresses what the LOGOS “was” before he became flesh, not while he “was” in the days of his flesh. – Hebrews 5:7
See the studies on John 1:1,2 at:
When Jesus became a man, he no longer had the glory of the celestial, but he became fully a man, crowned with the glory a little lower than the angels. (Hebrews 2:9) As already, shown, while in the days of his flesh, Jesus did not have his former glory. (John 17:5) But he did possess the glory of a human, a glory that he maintained without spot or blemish, since he never sinned, and thus never fell short of the glory of his God and Father. (Romans 3:23) According to the scriptures, all mankind are dying because of Adam’s sin. (1 Corinthians 15:21,22; Romans 5:12-19) Yet Jesus never sinned. Does this mean that Jesus was not a man? Common evidence of the scriptures show that Jesus is not included in the “all” being spoken, since the manner in which he came into this world was not as a result of uniting a man’s sperm with the ovum of a woman. Hebrews 10:5 lets us know that his body was specially prepared by God Himself. He was not of dying race in Adam. (Romans 5:115-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22) Thus, his body was not a dying body, but it was a body having sinless life, a body with the possibility of living forever, as Adam had before Adam sinned. John, in speaking in the past, while Jesus was flesh, said that: “In him was life.” (John 1:4) Jesus could not give dying flesh for mankind, but he could give living flesh (flesh not under condemnation of death), which he spoke of symbolically as “living bread.” (John 6:51) Jesus, therefore, offering his life, was offering the life that was in him, in his flesh, his human body, for the world of mankind. And having thus never sinned, having proven himself incorruptible before God even under severe sufferings, Jesus brought life and incorruption to light for mankind. (2 Timothy 1:10) He condemned sin in the flesh, proving that a sinless man could remain obedient. (Romans 8:3) In his obedience, he, as a human being, was brought to perfection, to completion, thus putting on incorruption (having proven himself incorruptible), as Adam could have done had Adam remained obedient. By his obedience to the only true God, Jesus thus conquered, and thus, as a human, no death could claim any hold on him. However, Jesus willingly gave up his human soul — his human sentiency — to pay the price for Adam and the dying race in Adam, so that his soul — his sentiency — was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit. (1 Peter 3:18) In receiving his soul back from realm of death, from the Bible hell, Jesus’ soul was no longer with the glory of a physical, terrestrial, earthy, body, but it was then a with the glory of a celestial, spiritual, heavenly body. Jesus, by his taking Adam’s place, has become the “last Adam” — the last father — the human race, so that his is now, not an earthly father, but the “life-giving spirit” from heaven.
Jesus gave himself as human in sacrifice, he did not give himself as THEOS in sacrifice. The ransom sacrifice of Jesus only buys back what Adam lost. Adam lost sinless life on earth, in a physical, terrestrial body; Adam did not lose life in the heavens. It was only due to his sin, that Adam fell short of the glory of God. Before he sinned, therefore, his flesh did not fall short of that glory. There is nothing at all in the Bible that indicates that life in the heavens was ever offered to Adam. Thus, what Jesus gave to purchase mankind was not a spiritual, a celestial glory, but rather an earthly, fleshly glory. By offering in sacrifice that crown of glory, which is a little lower than the angels, Jesus therefore tasted death for every man. — Hebrews 2:9.
Of course, the name “Jesus” was first applied to Jesus when he became a Man. Before he became a man, Jesus tells us of his existence with the only true God, and that he had a glory at that time which he did not have as a man. Thus he prayed that the glory that he formerly had should be given to him again. (John 17:1,3,5) John speaks of that glory by using the Greek word “theos.” (John 1:1,2) Theos does usually mean “God,” but it does not always mean so. The Hebrews many times used the Hebrew words that are translated into Greek by the word “theos” to mean might, power, strength, etc. Jesus applied this general meaning to theos when he spoke of the sons of God as THEOI, thereby rendering the Hebrew ELOHIM by the Greek word THEOI (a plural of THEOS — As a man, Jesus had the full glory of man, since he never fell short of that glory due to sin, for in him was no sin. That glory, however, is a glory a little lower than the angels. (Psalm 8:5; Hebrews 2:7) Thus his human crown of glory was never marred with sin, as is true of the descendants of Adam. — Romans 3:23; 5:12-19.
Jesus was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit. (1 Peter 3:18) If Jesus is still flesh, then he never sacrificed his flesh; thus there has never been any offering made to God for our sins. — John 6:51; Ephesians 5:2; Hebrews 9:14; 10:10,12.
Jesus is no longer in the “days of his flesh.” (Hebrews 5:7) He now has a celestial (heavenly), spiritual body, having become the life-giving spirit from heaven. — 1 Corinthians 15:40,44,45,47.
Thus, Jesus never had two different “natures” (glories) at once. Jesus, before he became flesh, did not have the crown of human being, a little lower than the angels, but he did have the a celestial glory alongside the only true God. When he became flesh, he did not have the glory that he formerly had, but he did have the terrestrial glory of a human being, a little lower than the angels. Having sacrificed the glory of being a human being, a little lower than the angels, Jesus now is again with the celestial glory. Jesus never possessed both glories at once, thus the doctrine of Jesus’ having dual natures/beings at once is not in the Bible.
Jesus’ Prehuman Glory