A Voice in the
" God's Only 'Begotten' Son "
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made... And the WORD BECAME FLESH AND DWELT AMONG US, AND WE BEHELD HIS GLORY, THE GLORY AS OF THE ONLY BEGOTTEN FROM THE FATHER, full of grace and truth... For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone believing into Him should not perish but have eternal life... The one believing into Him is not judged; but the one not believing is judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." (Jn1:1-3,14,3:16,18)
About a month ago a visitor to the website wrote the following, which is excerpted from his much lengthier communications.
"I have always been laboriously correcting my KJV to be more accurate. The task is daunting. When I stumbled on the Voice in the Wilderness version I was excited and put in my order with LULU. I found Ac8:37 where it should be and 1Jn5:7 where it should be. After ordering I had a thought and hoped I hadn't goofed. I went on line to your version and alas, when I looked at John 3:16 you mistakenly translated monogenes as only begotten. Monogenes does not mean only begotten at all but rather unique, one of a kind.
As we exchanged a few notes in the course of communication, this person also makes the assertion that Jesus was "begotten" only in the context of the Resurrection, and references Rom1:3-4, Ac13:33 as it relates to...
"I will declare the decree: Jehovah has said unto Me, You are My Son; today I have begotten You." (Ps2:7)
So what about this? Is Jesus merely God's "one-of-a-kind and unique" Son? Or was He "begotten"? If He was begotten, does that not suggest an 'origin'? But Jesus said,
"Before Abraham came to be, I AM" (Jn8:58b)
Invoking the very name of God,
"I AM that I AM" (Ex3:14)
As the Father also says of Jesus,
"You throne O God, is forever and ever" (Ps45:6, Heb1:8)
If Jesus is "forever and ever" how can He be "begotten"? And yet, as we shall see: if Jesus was NOT "begotten", sinful man cannot be saved. Does Scripture contradict itself? How does an eternally existing God become "begotten"?
This is related to the argument Jesus throws back at the scribes and educated elite, after they had been grilling Him and had no more they could ask:
"How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David? For David himself said by the Holy Spirit: The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool. Therefore David himself calls Him Lord; how is He then his son?" (Mk12:35-37)
Let's take a look at a few things...
Greek dictionary = "begotten, child"
Break the word down into its derivative parts and one finds:
Monos = alone, without a companion, alone, only
Genes = born, generation, kind, offspring, stock, etc
And Genes derives from:
Ginomai = to become, come into existence, begin to be, come to pass, happen -- to arise, to appear in history, come upon the stage, appear in public, etc.
"The Word became flesh..." (Jn1:14) became = ginomai
"as of the only begotten of the Father" only begotten = Monogenes
"You are My Son, today I have begotten You" (Ps2:7, Ac13:33, Heb1:5,5:5)
Is that prophecy and the NT repetitions of it in error? And does not John 3:16 agree with it?
As Jesus "came upon the stage", after His "flesh and blood" (Jn1:14, Heb2:14) had been begotten in Mary's womb (Lk1:35), and He "appeared in history" God announced Him:
"This (You) is (are) My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased" (Mt3:17, Mk1:11, Lk3:22)
The term "begotten" is when parents have children who are their own. They are born; they are their offspring; of their stock. Not adopted, or acquired some other way. They are related by genetics. (mono-GENES) A child that is gotten by adoption is not genetically matched; it is not 'begotten'. Jesus is not the Father's Son by adoption, as we are (Eph1:5) Jesus is not an impostor brother of lucifer, or some other half-breed. Jesus is VERY GOD (Ps45:6, Heb1:8) just as 'begotten' children are the genetics and stock of their parents.
"I came forth (an expression often used of birth) from the Father and have come into the world." (Jn16:28)
"By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not from God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world." (1Jn4:2-3)
How did Jesus "come in the flesh" unless He was -begotten- in Mary's womb, from the Holy Spirit.
"And the angel answered and said to her, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God." (Lk1:35)
Humans (thus also the Son of Man) are begotten through genetics. Jesus had the Father's 'genetics' through the Holy Spirit.
Indeed, Jesus as part of the Godhead always existed, "before Abraham....I AM" (Jn8:58) But His humanity had a "begotten" point. And this begotten point is NOT the resurrection, but when the "Word -became- flesh" (Jn1:14)
But as the one definition states for monogenes, "used of only sons and daughters" Jesus was/is the Father's one/only/begotten son. To merely have an "only/unique" son does not indicate -origin-, because somebody might adopt a child, and it becomes their -only- child through adoption. But they are not related by 'genetics'.
Jesus -is- God, "Your throne O God...." (Ps45:6) And He was begotten as the Son of Man, through Mary, by the Holy Spirit. He is God's -Son- 'genetically'. They are the 'same' -ONE- God. (De6:4) They have the same 'surname'. That is what monogenes represents. And linguistically, idiomatically, that's what "begotten" means.
And in case there are still questions...
"To Enoch was born Irad; and Irad begot Mehujael, and Mehujael begot Methushael, and Methushael begot Lamech." (Ge4:18)
Begot, begot, begot, begot....a human genetic term of procreation.
After this exchange had been going awhile, I got to thinking...Jesus was never known in the OT as God's "Son", except in prophecy. Even David speaks of "Jehovah said to my -Lord-" (Ps110:1) In His various theophanies He was known as the "angel of Jehovah" (Ge16:10) And just as we know that "God is Spirit" (Jn4:24), and angels are "ministering -spirits-" (Heb1:14), we know the "Angel of Jehovah" (Spirit) was Jesus, because God promised Moses, "My Angel will go before you" (Ex23:23), and Paul explains that the One who was spiritually with Israel in the wilderness "was Christ" (1Co10:4)
Jesus came to mankind, a physical sort of creature that needs to see, feel and touch.
"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of Life; the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us;" (1Jn1:1-2)
This Angel of Jehovah, the Word, "became flesh" through the agency that all humans (since Adam and Eve) come into being, through the genetic process of being "begotten". Yes, Jesus was the "firstfruits" of the resurrection; but that is not a 'genetic' process: parents-to-children. It is a bringing back to life of that which died. The only time Jesus was "begotten" (genetically), the way the word is ever understood, was when the Word was made flesh. (Jn1:14)
And why was this necessary?
"Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to every person, because everyone sinned." (Rom5:12)
"...the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom6:23)
If the debt was a -human- debt, the one who pays the debt must also be human; to make the payment IN KIND to the debt
"For since through man came death, through Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam everyone dies, even so in Christ everyone shall be made alive." (1Co15:21-22)
Does this prove the visitor's comments? Is Jesus' "begotten-ness" the resurrection? Before the resurrection, does there not need to be a dead body -to- be resurrected? Where did that "dead body" come from?
If man is to experience the resurrection, even though unqualified due to sin; does not the one who pays the debt also need to lead the way, not only in forgiveness through death, but also the resurrection unto Eternal Life?
"But now Christ has been raised from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep... But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christís at His coming." (1Co15:20,23)
How could Jesus be the firstfruits of the Resurrection, unless He first died? And how could He die as man's 'substitute' unless He was 'human'; "flesh and blood". (Heb2:14) And, other than Adam and Eve who were individually and uniquely formed in the beginning from dust and Adam's rib, how has every human since Adam and Eve come into existence? Through being "begotten". The physical and genetic union of a seed in the mother's womb. Jesus was the "Seed" of the woman (Gen3:15), impregnated by the Holy Spirit (Lk1:35), and was "brought forth" (born) through a human mother. It was essential for this to be so.
The "Word became flesh". The Word, eternally existing; taking on the form of flesh and blood...
"...who, being in the form of God, did not consider clinging, to be equal with God, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found comprised as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." (Php2:6-8)
There are many terms that can define the human pro-creative process: fertilization, impregnation, etc. The term that is universally used in Scripture is: beget, begot, begotten. Any doctrine that denies that Jesus was "begotten" in the flesh, is a false doctrine:
"By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come (begotten) in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not from God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world." (1Jn4:2-3)
Related topic: "Better Than Angels"
The person who wrote many words arguing that Jesus was not "begotten", due to his alleged expertise in Greek, also did a lot of checking out of the VW-edition Bible (which was his original complaint), and even for his objection to Jn3:16, did ultimately conclude:
"Nonetheless, I find your Voice a really good version. The best that so far I have seen. I know that took a lot of hours and a whole lot of work. Good job."