Bible Q&A: Where Were We Before We Were Born?

Where were we before we were born?  Did we enter our mother’s womb the same way Christ did?

In the numerous times in the Old Testament where it says God “created” man, the Hebrew word asah is used.  It has as part of its definitions:  “To make,” “to produce,” “to bring about,” implying producing something from nothing.  Thus, God when all was said and done created, made, produced, brought us about from nothing.

God had told Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…” (Jer. 1:5), showing us that Jeremiah had been in the mind of God before he was born and before he had even been formed in the womb.  Thus, a biblical case could be made that we existed in the mind of God before we were born and formed in the womb.  To my knowledge, that is the extent of what the Bible says about where we were before birth or conception.

Concerning the question of whether we entered our mother’s womb the same way Christ did, the answer is no.  Christ’s conception was miraculous in the sense that God chose to violate the laws of nature which he had put into place at creation by causing a virgin to become pregnant and bear a child.

When Mary was told that she, a virgin, would conceive and bear a son, she asked, “How?”  (Lk. 1:34)  The answer she received was:  “The Holy Spirit will come (eperchoamai, overtake, operate within) upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy — the Son of God” (v. 35).

One of the ways Jesus was holy (unique, set apart) from the rest of us is that his conception was unique, miraculous, one of a kind.  A virgin became pregnant.  No sperm fertilized Mary’s egg, and yet she became pregnant.  The same cannot be said of any of us.  Christ was different.  The Holy Spirit miraculously operated within Mary; he does not miraculously operate within any of us today (1 Cor. 13:8-10).

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