Was Jesus created by God?

Colossians 1:15 (also Rom 8:29)

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

Luke 9:35 (also Mt 3:17)

A voice came from the cloud, saying, "This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him."

Hebrews 1:5-6

For to which of the angels did God ever say, "You are my Son; today I have become your Father"? Or again, "I will be his Father, and he will be my Son"? And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, "Let all God's angels worship him."

John 3:16 (NKJV)

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Some of these passages are better understood when taken in context, for then it's clear they're not saying that God created Jesus. Hebrews 1:5-6 should be seen in the light of verses 2-3:

[God] has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.

Jesus is the exact representation of God because he is God and has always existed. Therefore "firstborn" doesn't mean Jesus was created, but is a way of referring to his pre-eminent position (which would be readily understood in a culture where firstborn children had greater privileges). Similarly, while Colossians 1:15 refers to Jesus as "the firstborn over all creation," verses 15-17 read:

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

If Jesus created all things and is before all things, obviously he was not created himself.

While Jesus often refers to himself, and is referred to by God, as the Son, this is an indication of Jesus' position in the Trinity. It's not necessary to read it as saying God created Jesus, and in fact such a reading contradicts passage such as John 1:1-3 and 10:30-33. Why then does God describe him as the Son? Perhaps God chose to use a father-son relationship to explain his relationship with Jesus since it's the closest-fitting human relationship. Sons are subordinate to their fathers, as Jesus was subordinate to the Father while he was on Earth and submitted to his will. Yet a father-son relationship is a close relationship, both biologically and emotionally. The Father and the Son love each other, and are in fact the same God.

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