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Monday, December 8, 2008

Is Jesus Only Begotten?


In the light of the John 3:16 conference...I wonder if droves of people now truly understand what the verse teaches? Doubt it (I will be buying the DVD to listen to what they said...or tried to say!). I do wonder how many believers understand what "only begotten" means in the passage...can the average Christian explain the verse to the duo of Jehovah's Witnesses that are standing on his/her doorstep? I guarantee that they will know their false doctrine in a convincing manner that would baffle the average "church-goer."

Don't believe me? Take a test...go to the following JW website and read what they have to say:

In the following website the JWs clearly (but not in any detail) spell out their view. Here is what they say:

Here is an even more in depth discussion of their belief on this matter, http://www.watchtower.org/e/ti/article_05.htm:

  • "Trinitarians claim that in the case of Jesus, "only-begotten" is not the same as the dictionary definition of "begetting," which is "to procreate as the father." (Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary) They say that in Jesus' case it means "the sense of unoriginated relationship," a sort of only son relationship without the begetting. (Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words) Does that sound logical to you? Can a man father a son without begetting him?

  • Furthermore, why does the Bible use the very same Greek word for "only-begotten" (as Vine admits without any explanation) to describe the relationship of Isaac to Abraham? Hebrews 11:17 speaks of Isaac as Abraham's "only-begotten son." There can be no question that in Isaac's case, he was only-begotten in the normal sense, not equal in time or position to his father. The basic Greek word for "only-begotten" used for Jesus and Isaac is mo·no·ge·nes', from mo'nos, meaning "only," and gi'no·mai, a root word meaning "to generate," "to become (come into being)," states Strong's Exhaustive Concordance. Hence, mo·no·ge·nes' is defined as: "Only born, only begotten, i.e. an only child."—A Greek and English Lexicon of the New Testament, by E. Robinson. The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, edited by Gerhard Kittel, says: "[Mo·no·ge·nes'] means 'of sole descent,' i.e., without brothers or sisters." This book also states that at John 1:18; 3:16, 18; and 1 John 4:9, "the relation of Jesus is not just compared to that of an only child to its father. It is the relation of the only-begotten to the Father."

So how would you respond? Here is my analysis...

#1- They say begetting doesn't make sense since the english definition implies creation/procreation. Simple rebuttal- English translations are fallible and don't always convey the intended meaning of a word...the Greek is the key here.

#2- Now...when they get into the Greek they have the air of authority...but not really. Just because someone quotes Greek and Hebrew to you doesn't mean they are scholarly and right! They quote the Greek word behind "only begotten" as monogenes...and they are correct. This word is used in the following verses; Luke 7:12, Luke 8:42, Luke 9:38, John 1:14, John 3:16, 3:18, Heb 11:17 and 1 John 4:9.

Here is what they said above: monos means "only", or one...this is correct. They run into problems when they speak of the second part of the compound word, genes.

Gennao is a Greek verb that means "be father of; bear, give birth to (perhaps conceive); pass. be born; lead to, cause" (Thayer's)- this is not the word on the 2nd half of monogenes. Genos is the noun form of ginomai and is the source of the second 1/2 of the word. Here is what it means:

Thayer's Greek Lexicon states that genos means "race, stock" and doesn't always imply procreation from a mother/father. It can also be translated as "nation." Here are some verses that help to show this (note that not all imply "procreation"):

  • Acts 7:19- "The same dealt subtilly with our kindred, and evil entreated our fathers, so that they cast out their young children, to the end they might not live."

  • 2 Corinthians 11:26 "In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;"

  • Philippians 3:5 "Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;"

  • 1 Peter 2:9 "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:"

  • Mark 7:26 "The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter."

  • Mark 9:29 "And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting."
When you put the two together you get a "one of a kind" Saviour! The meaning of the word becomes, according to Thayer's, "single of its kind." Here are a few more lexical sources and how they define "monogenes":
  • Friberg Lexicon defined the word as "of what is the only one of its kind of class unique."

  • UBS Lexicon "only, unique"

  • Louw-Nida Lexicon- "pertaining to what is unique in the sense of being the only one of the same kind or class - 'unique, only.'"

  • LEH Lexicon- "the only member of a kin, only-begotten, only (of children); alone in its kind, one only"

  • Ginrich Lexicon- "Only, unique"
Jesus was NOT created by God...He is God the Father's one of a kind, unique, in His own class Son...this does NOT mean He was procreated.
Be ready Christian...don't slam the door shut in their faces! God is bringing the lost sinner to your doorstep...you have the truth...and if you won't give it to them, how do you know you've been saved yourself...are you any different than they are? Food for thought.

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> posted by Jim Leavenworth at

1 Comments:

Blogger Edward Albright said...

What's your point?

Jesus said, as recorded in John 3:16, that God gave his only begotten son.

That is simple.

He was God's only begotten son prior to his coming to earth.

Jesus was the first thing that Jehovah God created.

Jesus can not be Jehovah if salvation is to occur.

December 9, 2008 at 10:21 AM  

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