Addressing Other Preexistence Proof Texts
Addressing Other Preexistence Proof Texts

Addressing Other Preexistence Proof Texts

Other Preexistence Proof Tests

This article explains and refutes the literal preexistence interpretation of various other preexistence proof-texts not addressed in previous articles on the site.

Various scriptural corruptions that suggest preexistence:

Numerous passages in the Net Testament have been corrupted to support orthodox presuppositions of Jesus preexisting and being an incarnation of God. 

  • Jude 1:5 – “The Lord delivered his people out of Egypt” was changed to “Jesus delivered” in a few manuscripts to make Jesus exist in the Old Testament. The Critical text and KJV read, “Now I want to remind you, though you know everything once and for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe.” A variant representing orthodox corruption that is used in some translations is that “Jesus” is replaced with “Lord”. Some modern translations incorporate this corruption, including ESV. 
  • Matthew 1:18 – Matthew records the “beginning” of Jesus Christ. Trinitarians who were uncomfortable with “genesis” (beginning, origin, birth) changed it to “gennesis” (“birth”). For more on this see Dustin Smith’s article, Virginal Conception or Begetting? A look at the Christology of Matthew 1:18-20
  • Luke 9:34 – Scribes altered the phrase “the one who has been chosen” to “in whom I am well pleased.” This is a subtle change, but it takes the emphasis off the fact that Jesus was chosen by God, which some people recognized does not make sense if Jesus is God
  • 1 Corinthians 15:45 – “The first man, Adam” was changed by scribes to read, “the first, Adam” to get rid of the word “man,” since by grammatical implication Christ would then have to be a man also.
  • Ephesians 3:9 – “God who created all things” was changed to “God who created all things through Jesus Christ.”
  • 1 Timothy 3:16 –  “Who” was changed to “God.” This change was very obvious in the texts and is openly admitted by Trinitarian scholars. The change produced a very powerful Trinitarian argument, because the altered text reads, “God was manifested in the flesh,” instead of “[Jesus] who was manifested in the flesh,” which is the correct and recognized reading.
  • Revelation 1:11 – “Alpha and Omega, first and last” was later added to Revelation 1:11. It is not in the critical text that is reflective of the earliest Greek manuscripts. It is also not in the Majority text representing the Koine tradition proper. This is clearly an interpolation that was added later. For notes on how First and Last, Alpha and Omega are used in Rev 1:17 and Rev 2:22, see the section below on these passages.

A larger list of textural corruptions favoring the Trinitarian position – Webpage link:

Also see The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, Bart Ehrman, Amazon Book Link:

Romans 8:3, “God… sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh”

Romans 8:3-4 (ESV)

3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit

Romans 8:3, is nothing but Adam Christology, consistent with the preceding context of Romans 5:12-21 where Paul expounds on Adam Christology in great detail. This single verse should not be isolated and taken out of a vacuum without reference to the surrounding context of the book of Romans. According to Romans 5:14, Adam was a type of the one who was to come, not a type of the one who already existed. Over and over again, Jesus is identified as a simply a man without any reference to incarnation. As the Son of God (a direct creation by God and the one God whom God anointed and favored), Jesus was a type of Adam when he was created. The nature of sin came into the world when Adam and Eve sinned, but it is not an essential part of being human. Jesus looked like a sinful human, but he was not one. Jesus was tempted like we are, yet without sin (Heb. 4:15). 

The teaching that God sent Jesus Christ occurs over 40 times in the New Testament and can have several meanings that do not involve preexistence. Jesus is the “last Adam” (1 Cor. 15:45), and just as God created Adam, so God created Jesus creating him in the womb of Mary (see Dustin Smith’s article, Virginal Conception or Begetting? A look at the Christology of Matthew 1:18-20). The primary meaning of sending in the New Testament is sending out into the world for ministry. God’s sends his servants into ministry. This is the typical meaning in John and elseware. This is clearly demonstrated by the following examples:

  • “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.” (John 1:6)
  • “Whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me” (John 13:20)
  • “Just as you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world.” (John 17:18)
  • “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” (John 20:21).
  • “This Moses… this man God sent as both ruler and redeemer” (Acts 7:35)

Romans 5:12-21 (ESV)

12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— 13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many16 And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. 17 For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

1 Corinthians 8:6, “One Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist”

1 Corinthians 8:5-6 (ESV)

5 For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”— 6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

This verse is used to forward the idea that Jesus participated in the original creation and that all which came into existence came through him. In the verse, there is no mention in either the immediate or the remote context about the creation of the world such that the “all things” refers to the original creation of Genesis. This verse can be understood in a couple of different way without necessitating a doctrine of literal preexistence. 

1. Jesus is God’s provision for Salvation

The “all things” should be understood as being qualified in reference to salvation and as speaking of the new order (new creation) and preservation of the Church. God provided all things for the Church via Jesus Christ. The new paradigm is the kingdom of God, and all things in this kingdom are established through Christ. 

Notice that 1 Cor 8:6 does not say “through whom all things were made (ἐγένετο)” but rather it says in the literal Greek “through whom are all and we through him.” Paul is speaking of our existence through Christ as the present prophetic reality. 

All we need to do is look at chapter 15 in the same book of 1 Corinthians for further clarification. Here are some key statements:

  • “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.” (1 Cor 15:17-18)
  • “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Cor 15:20-22)
  • “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. (1 Cor 8:27)
  • “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.” (1 Cor 15:45)
The all that is being mentioned in reference to “in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor 15:22)  is to be understood as a qualified all in reference to the church –  those who will participate in salvation.
To paraphrase 1 Cor 8:6, it is a fancy way of saying “there is one God, the Father, who is the creator, and there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, who is the savior. A nice parallel is Titus 1:4 where Paul starts the epistle with the greeting, “Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.”
According to the prophetic reality of the kingdom of God (Heb 2:5-8). All things which will remain in existence will remain through Jesus Christ—the author and finisher of our faith, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of God (Heb 12:2).
Another clue is the title Lord given to Jesus, who is also called Christ in the same context. The implication is he is the one through whom are all things and through whom all things exist because he is both Lord and Christ. 
According to Acts 2:36, God had made Jesus both Lord and Christ after being exalted to the right hand of God.  That is, this Jesus who was crucified was made both Lord and Christ. Thus, the all things being and existing through Christ is a post resurrection reality that is still awaiting complete prophetic fulfillment. We don’t yet see all things subjected under his feet (Heb 2:8)

2. God brought all things into existence through the foreknowledge of Christ

The “all things” is in reference to the original creation, but it is in the sense of God foreknowing Christ (Christ being the centerpiece of his plan for salvation) when God created the world. The Greek word dia, translated “through,” is a preposition that has a wide range of meanings including “by reason of” which can indicate motive or denote a marker of something constituting cause as in “because of” or “for the sake of.”

At the original creation, Christ didn’t exist in a literal sense, but in a notional or prophetic sense. In the sense that God planned him to be the means by which he reconciles all things to himself in the fullness of time. 

There are numerous Pauline verses that affirm this understanding. See the article Prophetic Preexistence of Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:20-22 (ESV)

20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

Titus 1:4 (ESV)

4 To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

Acts 2:33-36 (ESV)

33 Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. 34 For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, “‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, 35 until I make your enemies your footstool.”’ 36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

Hebrews 2:5-8 (ESV)

5 For it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. 6 It has been testified somewhere,
“What is man, that you are mindful of him,
or the son of man, that you care for him?
7 You made him for a little while lower than the angels;
you have crowned him with glory and honor,
8 putting everything in subjection under his feet.”
Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him.

1 Corinthians 10:1-13, “The Rock was Christ… we must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did”

Paul uses typology on 1 Cor 10:1-13. A typology occurs when things correspond together in an abstract sense but not in a univocal sense of complete equivalency. King David was a Christ (a Messiah), but we clearly know he is not identical with Jesus. The rock in the context Israel in the desert was a typology of a Christ because it was God’s provision of salvation for the people in that age. Jesus Christ (God’s anointed) is now God’s prevision for salvation in this age.  A Christ in a general sense is what God has anointed, and it is often for the purposes of preservation and salvation of the people. To say “Christ was that Rock” is to say that rock was a type of Christ. The point that Paul is trying to get across as that believers shouldn’t put God’s provision of salvation to the test, as they did in the time of Moses in the desert.

The passage is meant to use the reference to the disobedience in the desert as an example, which things were written down for our instruction (1Cor 10:11).  A rock cannot be equated with a literal person (Jesus) in terms of identity, but it can be equated in terms of predication. That is, the Rock in the wilderness and Jesus are both examples of what God had anointed for the salvation of the people.

1 Corinthians 10:1-11 (ESV)

1For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 and all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
6 Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.” 8 We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. 9 We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, 10 nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.

Galatians 4:4, “God had sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law”

Galatians 4:4 ESV

4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,

Those who advocate incarnation appeal to the Greek word for sent, ἐξαποστέλλω (exapostellō), and born, γίνομαι (ginomai) in Gal 4:4 in contrast to language used elsewhere for sent, πέμπω (pempō) and born, γεννάω (gennaō) in the New Testament. 

A quick consultation with a quality Greek lexicon such as BDAG quickly diffuses these arguments.

Sent, ἐξαποστέλλω (exapostellō) vs πέμπω (pempō)

The BDAG lexicon gives the definition of ἐξαποστέλλω (exapostellō)  as follows:
1 to send someone off to a locality or on a mission, send away, send off, send out
2 to send off as an act of dismissal, send away
3 to send someth. off in an official sense, send, dispatch
The Lxx exhibits ἐξαποστέλλω (“sent out”) in Malachi 3:1—”Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me.”

Luke 7:27-28 confirms that Malachi 3:1 applies to John the Baptist. Then it goes on to say, “among those who are born of woman none is greater than John.” This is an indication that John is not an incarnation, but a product of reproduction. Yet, John is the messenger that was sent, ἐξαποστέλλω (exapostellō) in Malachi 3:1. The same word that those who advocate incarnation claim implies incarnation. Their claims refuted in the application of the use of the word in reference to John. John did not preexist in the literal sense, and nether did Jesus.

Luke 7:33-34 also provides a wonderful parallel between John the Baptist and Jesus, “For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine… The Son of Man has come eating and drinking.” The coming of both is not an indication of coming down from heaven but going out into the world for ministry. 

Luke 7:27-28 ESV

27 This is he of whom it is written,
“‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.’
28 I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John.  Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”

Luke 7:33-34 ESV

  33 For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ 34 The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’
With respect to the Greek word for sent of πέμπω (pempō), there is extensive use in the NT of applying both the Jesus and others. John the Baptist is introduced in John 1:3 as being “a man sent from God.” Here are some other examples:

  • “Whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me” (John 13:20)
  • “Just as you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world.” (John 17:18)
  • “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” (John 20:21)

Born, γίνομαι (ginomai) vs Born γεννάω (gennaō)

Those who advocate incarnation like to point out that the two words for born of ginomai and gennaō are used in Galatians 4 to differentiate Jesus being born vs. other humans being born. Gal 4:4 uses the word ginomai in reference to Christ, while Gal 4:23 and 29 uses a form of the word gennaō in reference to humanity in general.  They claim that this differentiation is to indicate that Jesus’s was not brought into existence but rather preexisted and was made a man after having existed in some other mode of being.  
The BDAG lexicon gives a wide range of potential meaning for the word γίνομαι (ginomai):
1 to come into being through process of birth or natural production, be born, be produced 
2 to come into existence, be made, be created, be manufactured, be performed
3 come into being as an event or phenomenon from a point of origin, arise, come about, develop
4 to occur as process or result, happen, turn out, take place
5 to experience a change in nature and so indicate entry into a new condition, become someth.
6 to make a change of location in space, move
7 to come into a certain state or possess certain characteristics, to be, prove to be, turn out to be
8 to be present at a given time, be there
9 to be closely related to someone or someth., belong to
The BDAG lexicon gives a narrower range of potential meaning for the word γεννάω (gennaō) with a stronger connotation of being begotten by parents:
1 become the parent of, beget
2 to give birth to, bear
3 to cause someth. to happen, bring forth, produce, cause
The word applied to Jesus, a form of the word “ginomai” implies being brought into existence in a more generic and broad sense, whereas the implication of “gennao” gives a more narrow implication of being begotten through parents. Thus, the distinction Paul is making in using two different words for “born” is that Jesus was brought into existence in apart from having the connotation of natural reproduction.  When it comes to others being “born,” Paul wanted to give the connotation of natural reproduction using the word gennaō.
Although Gal 4 is a great proof text for the virgin birth, it is not at all a proof text for preexistence and incarnation.

Revelation 1:17, “First and Last”

Often “first and last” in Isaiah 44:6 is conflated with Revelation 1:17. These however are two different books with two different contexts. The meaning of “first and last” is understood in reference to the context and does not necessarily have a fixed meaning. In Isaiah 44, God, the LORD of hosts is “first and last” with respect to being the one and only God. In Revelation 1:17 Jesus is “first and last” in respect to being the living one who died and is alive forevermore, and has the keys of Death and Hades. In context, it is clear that Jesus is “First and Last” in the sense that he is God’s provision for salvation for all mankind from the beginning to the end.

This assessment is consistent with the fact that one of the earliest Greek manuscripts from the 5th century, reads “I am the firstborn and the last” rather than “first and last” (Codex Alexandrinus). “Firstborn” in this context pertains to Jesus being the first of the resurrection, or Jesus being God’s firstborn in the sense of preeminence (Jesus is the most favored of the sons of men (Psalm 45:2) and has been exalted above creation (Acts 2:36, Phil 2:9-10).  Accordingly, the context is not that Jesus is chronologically the first of God’s original creation. Rather, Jesus is chronologically first and preeminent with respect to God’s new creation. 

Jesus being “first and last” is in the sense that there is salvation in no one else and that his sacrifice is once and for all time. As it says in Hebrews 10:12-13, “Christ offered for all time a single sacrifice for sin, for by a signal offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.” And it says in Hebrews 10:10, “We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all”. We see Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone (Hebrews 2:9). God, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of our salvation perfect through suffering (Hebrews 2:10). For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source (Hebrews 2:11).

Moreover, God predestined us to be conformed to the images of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers (Romans 8:29, 1 Thes 5:9-10). Christ is the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep (1 Cor 15:20-22). The mystery of God’s purpose is what he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time to unite all things in him (Eph 1:9-10). The plan hidden for ages in God is the manifold wisdom of God  – the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord (Eph 3:9-11).  There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12). He is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead (Acts 10:43). The hour is coming when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live (John 5:26). And he has given him authority to execute judgement because he is the Son of Man (John 5:27). There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus who gave himself as a ransom for all (1Tim 2:5-6). The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand (John 3:35).

Revelation 1:12-18 (ESV), “First and Last”

12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, 15 his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. 17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18 and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.

Revelation 1:17b-18 (Codex Alexandrinus, 5th Century), “firstborn and the last”

 “Fear not, I am the firstborn and the last,  and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.”

Hebrews 2:9-11 (ESV), he might taste death for everyone

9 But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone10 For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. 11 For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source.

Hebrews 10:10-14 (ESV), through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all – for all time

10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all11 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

“I am the first and the last”, REV Commentary

The phrase, “the first and the last,” is a title that is used five times in the Bible, twice in Isaiah of God (Isa 44:6; 48:12), and three times in Revelation of the Son (Rev 1:17; 2:8; 22:13). Trinitarians sometimes make the assumption that since the same title applies to both the Father and the Son, they must both be God. However, there is no biblical justification on which to base that assumption. When the whole of Scripture is studied, we can see that the same titles are used for God, Christ and men. Examples include “Lord,”  “Savior,” and “King of kings.” If other titles apply to God, Christ and men without making all of them into “one God, ” then there is no reason to assume that this particular title would mean God and Jesus were one God unless Scripture specifically told us so, which it does not.

In the Old Testament, God truly was “the first and the last.” The meaning of the title is not specifically given, and so scholars debate it, but it seems that a key to its meaning is given in Isaiah 41:4, in which God says He has called forth the generations of men, and was with the first of them and is with the last of them. Isaiah 41:4 says, “Who has done this and carried it through, calling forth the generations from the beginning? I, Yahweh—with the first of them and with the last—I am he.” Thus, the Bible connects the phrase “the first and the last” with calling forth the generations.

While God was the one who called forth the generations in the Old Testament, He has now conferred that authority on His Son. Thus, it is easy to see why the Lord Jesus is called “the first and the last” in the book of Revelation. It will be Jesus Christ who will call forth the generations of people from the grave to enter in to everlasting life. God gave Jesus authority to raise the dead (John 5:25-27). His voice will raise all dead Christians (1 Thess. 4:16-17), and he will change our bodies into new glorious bodies (Phil. 3:20-21). However, even when Jesus said he had the authority to raise the dead, he never claimed he had that authority inherently because he was God. He always said that his Father had given authority to him. While teaching about his authority, Jesus Christ was very clear about who was the ultimate authority: “The Son can do nothing by himself…the Father…has entrusted all judgment to the Son…For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in himself. And He has given him authority to judge” (John 5:19, 22, 26-27). If Jesus had the authority to raise the dead because he was in some way God, he never said so. He said he had his authority because his Father gave it to him. With the authority to raise the generations came the title associated with the existence of the generations, and so that is a major reason that after his resurrection Jesus Christ is called “the first and the last.”

Another way that we can tell that the title “first and last” does not make Jesus God is simply the way Jesus used it. Note what the verse in Revelation says: “I am the first and the last, and the Living One, and I was dead, and Look! I am alive for evermore, and I have the keys of death and of the grave” (Rev. 1:17, 18). Patrick Navas observes:

“Jesus is the one who ‘was dead’ but now lives…. In two out of three instances where Jesus describes himself as ‘the First and the Last’ in the book of Revelation, the statement is made in association with his death and subsequent resurrection. …If ‘the First and the Last’ in this case means, or ultimately implies, ‘God (Almighty), the Eternal One,’ in what way would it make sense for Jesus to say, in effect, ‘I am the Eternal God, I died but came to life’? How strange and how unlikely—if not impossible—would it have been for God to have died or said that he died? Even many Trinitarians teach that ‘God,” or the ‘divine nature/aspect of Christ,’ did not die, in any way. …So Trinitarians would have to argue, ultimately, that Jesus is identifying himself as God by calling himself ‘the First and the Last’ and, immediately after, switching to, or speaking out of, his ‘human nature,’ due to the fact that he died. This would clearly be a case of ‘playing fast and loose’ with Scripture.” (Divine Truth or Human Tradition, pp. 585, 586).

The fact that when Jesus used the title “the first and the last” he connected it with his death and resurrection shows us that, far from a claim to being God, it showed how, as the Son who obeyed his Father all the way to the cross and death, Jesus now had authority from God to even raise the dead. We can see this especially since he finished Rev 1:18 by saying that he had the keys to death and the grave, which would only make sense for him to say if his having those keys was not inherently part of his nature. If he were God, why say he had the keys to death and the grave. Of course God has those keys, but the human Son of God would only have them if God the Father gave them to him.

Much of the above commentary is taken from the REV (Revised English Version) Bible Commentary, used with permission

Revelation 22:13, “Alpha and Omega”

Many apologists presume that “the Alpha and Omega” is a title that only applies to the Lord God, the Almighty. However, this is just another way of saying “first and last” or “beginning and end” these terms appear to be interchangeable and ways of saying the same thing. This is evidenced by the fact that some early manuscripts have different word orders for Revelation 22:13. “Alpha and Omega” applies to Christ in the same sense that “First and Last” applies to Christ (see the detailed notes in the previous section, First and Last, Revelation 1:17). There is no reason to believe that “Alpha and Omega” only applies to God and like other concepts and titles that can also apply to Christ. A common fallacy is to presume that because a title or concept is applied to God, that it necessarily only applies to God.

Revelation 22:13 (ESV)

13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

 “The Alpha and the Omega”, REV Commentary

A popular commentary on Revelation (Bullinger) says that the phrase “is a Hebraism, in common use among the ancient Jewish commentators to designate the whole of anything from the beginning to the end; e.g., ‘Adam transgressed the whole law from Aleph to Tau’ (Jalk. Reub., fol. 17.4).” That would make the expression the figure of speech. The best scholarly minds have concluded that the phrase has something to do with starting and finishing something, or the entirety of something. Norton writes that these words, “denote the certain accomplishment of his purposes; that what he has begun he will carry on to its consummation” (A Statement of Reasons for Not Believing the Doctrines of Trinitarians; 1877, pp. 479, 480).

Since both God and Jesus Christ are “the Alpha and the Omega” in their own respective ways, there is good reason to believe that the title can apply to both of them, and no good reason why this title makes the two into “one God.” The titles “Lord,” “Savior,” and “king of kings apply to both God and Christ, as well as to other men. As with “Lord,” “Savior” and “King of kings,” this title fits them both. God is truly the beginning and the end of all things, while Christ is the beginning and the end because he is the firstborn from the dead, the Author and Finisher of faith, the Man by whom God will judge the world, and the preeminent one of the new ages to come.

Revised English Version (REV) Bible Commentary, used with permission

“first and the last”

See the previous section in reference to “first and last” in Revelation 1:17.

“Beginning and the end”, REV Commentary

“Beginning and the end.” The phrase appears twice: here and in Revelation 22:13. The exact meaning of the phrase “the beginning and the end” is not given. Scholars give differing explanations of the phrase, but the meaning must be closely associated with the concepts of “Alpha and Omega” and “First and Last” because these titles are associated (cp. Rev. 22:13). We have seen from the study of the title “Alpha and Omega” that it refers to the start and finish of something, and we have seen from the title “First and Last” (Rev. 1:17) that Christ will raise up the generations of people unto everlasting life. It is clear why Christ would be called the “beginning and the end” in association with these concepts. He is the firstborn from the dead, and he will be the one to call the last people out of their graves, he is both the Author and Finisher of faith, he is the Man by whom God will judge the world, and he is the one who will then create and bring to completion the next ages (see the commentary on Heb. 1:10). There is no compelling reason to assume Jesus is God simply because of the title, “the Beginning and the End.” It is common for people of similar status to use the same title.

(Revised English Version (REV) Bible Commentary, used with permission