John 17:5

With thine own self (para seautwi). "By the side of thyself." Jesus prays for full restoration to the pre-incarnate glory and fellowship (cf. Matthew 1:1 ) enjoyed before the Incarnation ( John 1:14 ). This is not just ideal pre-existence, but actual and conscious existence at the Father's side (para soi, with thee) "which I had" (h eicon, imperfect active of ecw, I used to have, with attraction of case of hn to h because of doxh), "before the world was" (pro tou ton kosmon einai), "before the being as to the world" (cf. verse John 24 ). It is small wonder that those who deny or reject the deity of Jesus Christ have trouble with the Johannine authorship of this book and with the genuineness of these words. But even Harnack admits that the words here and in verse John 24 are "undoubtedly the reflection of the certainty with which Jesus himself spoke" (What Is Christianity, Engl. Tr., p. 132). But Paul, as clearly as John, believes in the actual pre-existence and deity of Jesus Christ ( Philippians 2:5-11 ).