Where was Jesus before he was born in 1 B.C.?
The Bible is very clear about the identity of Jesus Christ:
- He is the Son of God
- He is God (part of the Trinity)
- He was involved in the creation of the world
So, if Jesus is God and God is eternal (always existing), then where was Jesus before the New Testament begins? This is a question that has sent Christians from the earliest times searching the Old Testament.
First, nowhere in the Old Testament is there a character known as "Jesus" who is obviously the same person. ("Jesus" is the same name as Joshua, but the Joshua we know from Moses time is NOT the son of God.) This is one reason why the Jews of his own time were perplexed when he appeared. Many had come claiming to be the Messiah, so until there was proof he was just one more potential charlatan.
Second, there is evidence that the Trinity has been there from the beginning. In Genesis, God refers to Himself as "we" and "us" repeatedly during creation. (Of course, this is not proof, merely evidence. The story of Creation is poetry, which allows some linguistic freedom, and there are cases of human kings referring to themselves as "we" and "us", as well.)
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” - Genesis 1:26
Third, there is a character int he Old Testament who shows up again and again, who is always doing God's work, and who appears to have great power. He is called "the Angel of the Lord" and is always associated with an appearance of God Himself.
- Genesis 16:7–12: The Angel of the Lord saves Hagar
- Genesis 21:17-18: The Angel of the Lord saved Hagar and Ishmael
- Genesis 22:11-18: The Angel of the Lord stays Abraham's hand from sacrificing Isaac
- Exodus 3:2: The Angel of the Lord speaks to Moses from the burning bush
- Judges 13:3-22: The Angel of the Lord promises Samson
- Zechariah 3:1: The Angel of the Lord opposes Satan before God
...and there are many more appearances. Did you notice a common theme in all of these cases? The Angel of the Lord is a savior. He speaks for God and he opposes Satan. This is almost exactly the way Jesus presented himself in the New Testament.
It is likely that this Angel of the Lord is in fact Jesus before his birth to Mary.