Proverbs 8:23-26 says, “I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. 24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. 25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: 26 While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.”
So Christ was brought forth from the Father before the earth was created in the days of eternity. And of course, if Christ was brought forth than this also confirms His personality has an origin. Note that the Hebrew word “Olam” used for everlasting in verse 23 in the KJV has several possible meanings and has been translated in many different ways according to context and what the translators believed to be correct. It can mean “the vanishing point”, “time out of mind – past or future”, “ancient time” and “beginning of the world” to name a few. Here are some other translations that demonstrate this point.
Proverbs 8:23 CJB “I was appointed before the world, before the start, before the earth’s beginnings.”
Proverbs 8:23 HCSB “I was formed before ancient times, from the beginning, before the earth began.”
Proverbs 8:23 NLT “I was appointed in ages past, at the very first, before the earth began.”
Proverbs 8:23 NLV “I was set apart long ago, from the beginning, before the earth was.”
Proverbs 8:23 RSV “Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth.”
Who does “wisdom” refer to in Proverbs 8 since some say this does not refer to Christ?
1 Corinthians 1:24, 30 “But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. 30 But of him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.”
Wisdom in the following verse also refers to Christ.
Luke 11:49 “Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles,”
“Through Solomon Christ declared: “The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth.” — (E.G. White, ST, Aug 29, 1900)
Some also have the wrong concept of the word beginning in Scripture. God of course has no beginning and the word beginning means the “origin” and source of something. One example from the Oxford dictionary for “beginning” is, “The background or origins of a person or organization.” If Christ was co-eternal with the Father, then like His Father, He would have no beginning. The Septuagint that Jesus quoted from says, “He established me in the beginning, before time was, before He made the earth.” So all Bible translations of Proverbs 8:23 in fact actually say Christ has an origin!
Solomon has used Hebrew parallelism in verse 23 which expresses a thought one way, and then uses a complementary thought to express it another way. So the last two phrases of this verse are saying the same thing as the first phrase but in a different way. This gives tremendous clarity on when he is referring to and yet most still get it wrong. Bible writers did not understand science as we do and measured time by the spheres in the sky that did not exist until Christ created everything. So Christ was established in the beginning (Genesis 1:1) before He made the earth, which was before time was since there was nothing to measure time by yet.
Thus we know that the beginning was when the earth was made where there was nothing in existence to measure time by and hence was before time was. And so the phrases “from eternity”, “from everlasting”, “before time was”, “the days of eternity”, “from the beginning” and “before the earth was” all mean the same thing. Quite simply, before the earth and all things were created. Micah 5:2 also informs us that Christ has an origin and was brought forth a long time ago. It also uses the Hebrew word “Olam” as Proverbs 8:23 and has the same translation issue. The phrase “goings forth” in the KJV implies an origin of course and why the NIV used the word “origins.”
Micah 5:2 KJV “But you, Bethlehem Ephratah, though you be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”
Micah 5:2 NIV “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”
Some have mistaken the words “Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever:” in Hebrews 1:8 to mean His throne has always existed but it uses the same Greek words as Revelation 22:5 in regards to for ever and ever and both refer to forward in time unless of course we have always existed. The NIV is clearer as it says, “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever.”
“And although we may try to reason in regard to our Creator, how long He [Christ] has had existence, where evil first entered into our world, and all these things, we may reason about them until we fall down faint and exhausted with the research when there is yet an infinity beyond.” — (E.G. White, 7BC 919.5)
“There was a time when Christ proceeded forth and came from God, from the bosom of the Father (John 8:42; 1:18), but that time was so far back in the days of eternity that to finite comprehension it is practically without beginning.” — (E.J. Waggoner, CAHR, p. 21, 1890)
Thus Ellen White and Waggoner say that Christ was brought forth from God a very long time ago. Christ was the Son of God before He was sent to Earth and was tore from the bosom of His Father.
“The Eternal Father, the unchangeable one, gave his only begotten Son, tore from his bosom Him who was made in the express image of his person, and sent him down to earth to reveal how greatly he loved mankind.” — (E.G. White, RH, July 9, 1895)
Note that the nature of God and His only begotten Son is actually illustrated on a small scale with Adam and Eve.
“Adam had enjoyed the companionship of God and of holy angels. … Love, gratitude, loyalty to the Creator—all were overborne by love to Eve. She was a part of himself,” — (E.G. White, PP, 56.2)
In exactly the same way Eve was part of Adam, Christ is part of God.
“God’s love for the world was not manifest because He sent His Son, but because He loved the world He sent His Son into the world that divinity clothed with humanity might touch humanity, while divinity lay hold of infinity. Though sin had produced a gulf between man and his God, divine benevolence provided a plan to bridge that gulf. And what material did He use? A part of Himself. The brightness of the Father’s glory came to a world all seared and marred with the curse, and in His own divine character, in His own divine body, bridged the gulf and opened a channel of communication between God and man.” — (E.G. White, Lt36a, Sept 18, 1890)
So we find that Christ was tore from the bosom of His Father and hence was part of Himself, which is something a Trinitarian can never say. The Son of God was brought forth from the Father and hence is the same substance of His Father. This means that everything Christ consists of has always existed as it came from the Father. But the person of Christ had a beginning even though what Christ consists of does not. Thus it would not necessarily be incorrect to say that Christ has always existed before he was born from the perspective that He existed in the bosom of His Father.