"Only-begotten" son of God - Part Two - The Church, and the Bible usage


Forum Reasoner - Nemesis of the Trolls
Feb 25, 2023
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The Churches, and this "begotten" issue
Now, as to the discussion regarding this "begotten" in Christendom, it began with a person who believes that Jesus is God, asking me if I thought Jesus was created because of the use of "begotten". I answered yes, although this isn't the only reason, and without a decent explanation, it means nothing.

Then they more specifically stated, "Only something that had a beginning in time can be begotten, is that right?" of which I responded "Yes" again.

But then the person wanted to explain "monogenes" to me, probably not realising that the word "mono" and "genes" are quite explanatory of themselves, and are used often in the English language, such as "genesis", "genetics", and so forth, all of themselves demonstrating a point of origin. Therefore, "monogenes" is not hard to see the meaning of having a single point of origin or beginning, or at least to some degree meaning something like that.

The word does have a Hebrew equivalent, which is evident from the Greek Septuagint versions, where one word is used in place of another. Sure, the exact meanings may differ a little, but what is sufficient to grasp the important points from in both languages are clear. You can look at the Greek usage here, and the Hebrew usage here.

I think his point was to show me that I can't state that Jesus is not God due to the use of the word "Begotten". If so, then he was correct. But this does not nullify the fact that Jesus is not God. It is God who begets Jesus, and it was at Jesus' baptism when he was begotten. At the time of writing, John, the apostle, who wrote that Jesus is God's "only begotten son" or "Son" if one wants to put a capital on it, was correct in calling Jesus such. Jesus was the only one of whom God had "begotten", of sons.

The explanation I was shown was this:
So what does monogenes mean? According to the Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (BDAG, 3rd Edition), monogenes has two primary definitions. The first definition is "pertaining to being the only one of its kind within a specific relationship.
This is its meaning in Hebrews 11:17 when the writer refers to Isaac as Abraham's "only begotten son" (KJV). Abraham had more than one son, but Isaac was the only son he had by Sarah and the only son of the covenant. Therefore, it is the uniqueness of Isaac among the other sons that allows for the use of monogenes in that context.
Then this second definition:
The second definition is "pertaining to being the only one of its kind or class, unique in kind." This is the meaning that is implied in John 3:16...John was primarily concerned with demonstrating that Jesus is the Son of God (John 20:31), and he uses monogenes to highlight Jesus as uniquely God's Son - sharing the same divine nature as God - as opposed to believers who are God's sons and daughters by adoption...

But this does not suffice. Why not? Because it does not address the OTHER sons of God mentioned in the Bible. Which sons?

If we go to Genesis 6:4, we see spirit sons of God - angels - choosing to leave their place in heaven, come down to earth, have unnatural sexual relations with the women (notice that this is sons of God committing sexual immorality. Muslims should note that this action on the part of God's heavenly spiritual family was an abomination in God's eyes). These angels were not "adopted by God", so as to fit this description of "begotten".

Neither so in Job, where it is twice recorded that the "sons of God" came before our holy God in heaven, and even Satan appeared before Him. (Job 1:6, 2:1) So, as the angels were created by God, "through and for" Jesus, they can't be ascribed as to God differentiated by "adoption" can they. Not only were they spirit creatures, but those in Genesis were DISOBEDIENT creatures. So Jesus' being "only begotten son of God" must have meant something else.

So, what did it mean?

Well, frankly, other than trying to say it means Jesus is God, the other person was right for most of it, or at least inasmuch as meaning even words that the church leaders were using when talking to Deedat. Jesus - AT THAT TIME - was the only begotten son of God. Sure, there were other sons of God. And there will be more sons of God. But none of us can be called a Son of God until God has decided to call the person such. When Jesus was baptised, it was then that Jehovah (God) acknowledged publicly Jesus as the Son of God.

Jesus, being a man, regardless of perfection or not, had the choice and ability to do what he wanted. He CHOSE to do God's will. He remained sinless and then dedicated himself to God in this state. After this, he remained sinless, and even died as a sinless man. Something none of us humans can ever do.

So, that might help explain it for as regards the humans, as we too can become sons of God, and be adopted by him. Then we will be "begotten" by God, or as much as it is a misnomer in many places, be "born again" as such.

For the Muslim reader, note that this again has nothing to do with sex between spirit creatures and humans.

But how does this relate to the angels, especially the faithful angels? Have not angels such as Gabriel ALWAYS been faithful angels, and therefore, "begotten" of God?

Well, yes, as regards being faithful, but no as to being "begotten". Because firstly, Jesus forsook his position in heaven to come down to earth. He didn't leave disobediently, but made an agreement with God to do His will. His existence as a spirit creature - an angel - was removed, and his life was transplanted into Mary as a human baby. Jesus grew up as a human, with the only difference of not being sinful by nature, as he did not inherit sin from Adam, as he was fatherless. God "fathered" him in a spiritual sense. And as a human, Jesus was begotten by God. The angels never were described as begotten.

And if we really want to push the language, we can refer to the fact that Jesus is described as the firstborn of all creation (Revelation 3:14, Colossians 1:15). In fact, it states that not one thing came into existence without Jesus, other than God and himself. But all things are made through and for Jesus. So even Jesus' spiritual angelic brothers are not begotten. They were created BY God, through Jesus, the master worker.
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