I have been pondering this verse for some time and finally decided to do a search to see what others have to say about it. My point of reference to answering it has more to do with responding to those of other faiths as well as confirming that the Trinity is what I have come to understand it to be. I also noticed that the last posting in the way of a response was nearly a year ago. Anyway, trying to follow the guidelines of posting a response, I hope that I am doing justice in answering as I am about to. Likewise, I felt there was a great insight in prior responses, to which I hope I am not just being redundant. Finally, I am not a theologian or hermeneutics person by any means, but maybe my thoughts on this verse will provide additional light and clarity in case they're needed to be for someone, who may come across this very page, and especially from a layperson, moved by the Spirit of God and His Word.
First, I could be wrong, but I do not believe that there is any other verse in scripture that approaches what appears to be the questions this verse potentially raises or would include the magnitude of its inference.
Second, in light of arguments that come from other faiths may use as “proofs” that there is no support of the Trinity, namely this verse, as they try to discredit Christ’s representation, role, or position in the Trinity. I feel that it is like so many other verses in scripture that it feels like God purposely provides what appears to be such stumbling blocks, to help the real inquisitor, pursuer, diligent seeker, etc (as opposed to the analytical skeptic), reach deeper to find that God does indeed have an answer where it appears He does not cover Himself. Here is one such verse, but in fact, He has.
Third, while I cannot articulate as others here have so eloquently done, from a grammatical or hermeneutical perspective, I will approach this from a very simple perspective, that may or may not have been covered already (I was trying to follow along, so that I was not just repeating someone else’s thought or idea, but may have missed it).
Fourth, okay, now that I have laid out all of the “disclaimers”, here is the conclusion I feel I have come to, which could possibly have blind sidedness on my part, but I believe is very plausible.
God reveals Himself in different ways throughout scripture: He did it through His Spirit hovering over the waters in Genesis. He did it through a still small voice to Elijah in 1 Kings 19. He did it as a Theophany (prior to His revelation as a babe in a manger or as our Savior on the cross as well as other forms) where we see God reveal Himself in Genesis 18, 32, Exodus 3, 13, and Job 38, and in so many other ways. It was God’s way of revealing Himself for that moment in time, to those people at that time and for a specific purpose.
So, then we read in Hebrews 1:1, 2, “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.” (NIV), as well as 1 Peter 1:19,20 where it says “19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.” (NIV). This is further confirmed at the end of Revelation 13:8, where it says “the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.”
Therefore, while God lives outside of time, He still works within it on our behalf. It seems to me that for a time, God manifests Himself in the grand theme of things, for a time, as our Savior, Redeemer, Mediator, etc. Once that moment or act is no longer needed, certainly at the conclusion of many things, then His manifested revelations are no longer needed as such, while He always was and is God, He then resumes as the God He is. However, He does this while all the while continuing to be all of those things anyway. While He is our Redeemer at the moment of redemption, the need for Him to redeem will one day pass, but He is always known as our Redeemer. He brings forth His arm of Salvation, He reveals Himself with a mighty right arm or the Arm of the Lord is revealed at given times.
Another verse that some non-orthodox faiths try to use with regards to Jesus being brought forth or argue that He is a created being, is when they use the verse in Proverbs 8:22-31, where it speaks of what appears to be God bringing forth Wisdom and as Creator at the beginning... The Lord formed and brought me [Wisdom] forth at the beginning of His way, before His acts of old. I [Wisdom] was inaugurated and ordained from everlasting, from the beginning, before ever the earth existed. [John 1:1; I Cor. 1:24.] When there were no deeps, I was brought forth, when there were no fountains laden with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills, I was brought forth, [Job 15:7, 8.] While as yet He had not made the land or the fields or the first of the dust of the earth. When He prepared the heavens, I [Wisdom] was there; when He drew a circle upon the face of the deep and stretched out the firmament over it, When He made firm the skies above, when He established the fountains of the deep, When He gave to the sea its limit and His decree that the waters should not transgress [across the boundaries set by] His command, when He appointed the foundations of the earth–[Job 38:10, 11; Ps. 104:6-9; Jer. 5:22.] Then I [Wisdom] was beside Him as a master and director of the work; and I was daily His delight, rejoicing before Him always, [Matt. 3:17; John 1:2, 18.] Rejoicing in His inhabited earth and delighting in the sons of men. [Ps. 16:3.] AMPC: Amplified Bible, Classic Edition.
This is used in correlation with 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:16, where Christ is called “the Power and Wisdom of God”- (1 Cor. 1:24). Therefore, Christ is indicated in that place, since it would seem that Jesus is the Wisdom of God. So again, per time in God’s economy, did God only begin to have wisdom when He brought forth Jesus, or did God not always have Wisdom, thus, if Jesus is the Power and Wisdom of God, would not that mean that Jesus was always with Him. It is just a matter of when the Godhead chooses to bring forth the manifestation or revelation of some aspect of Himself. Again, in our finite limitations, where we have to work within time, God reveals different aspects of His character, love, wrath, etc. Moreover, so with the revelation of Jesus as our salvation, our redeemer, His wisdom, etc, God brings forth His revelation at His appointed time and as often, as is necessary.
In light of all of this, it would seem to me that in God’s timing and for His purposes, God reveals who He is. In other words, though there appears to be a time stamp on when Jesus is seated at God’s right hand, was He not always seated there? I ask this, especially since Jesus refers in John 17:4, 5 to the Father in prayer, while here in His earthly body, to have shared a glory with the Father before the world began. Is not this, in terms of once more sharing it again, having accomplished the work He came to do, in a specific time and space, though He did it before the world began, but was only revealing it at that space and time, literally, since He is not confined by the limitations of time as we are?
I could be completely off on any one of these views, not having the biblical credentials or the academia, to put forth such ideas. However, if I am wrong or missing anything, please correct me as this is how I have viewed it and have moved forth in it, trusting that if this is a revelation of what God is revealing, then perhaps like Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2:6-8, this is God’s wisdom, hidden from the wise and in times past and is revealing it now. Unfortunately, in this last statement, perhaps I am violating the rules, since I am asking for help or to be corrected, should I be possibly missing something in my argument or comments.