Q: Was Jesus Created, If He Is Called The “Only Begotten Son”?

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Q: Was Jesus Created, If He Is Called The “Only Begotten Son”?

The term “only begotten Son” appears multiple times in scripture and on the surface it looks as if Jesus was actually created by God the Father. Let’s take a quick look at this phrase to see what scripture reveals about it, as well as what it would have meant to the original hearers.

Begotten

The phrase “only begotten” comes from the Greek word “monogenes [μονογενής]. This word is variously translated into English as “only,” “one and only,” and “only begotten.” The word “monogenes” refers to a one-of-a-kind, so to speak, mono –one, and genes – kind. The word is more closely related to uniqueness than being created.

Passages the word is used:

John 1:14, John 1:18, John 3:16, John3:18, Hebrews 11:17, 1 John 4:9

The scriptures do not use the word begotten in a way that would depict birth or coming into being, rather it is used to refer to uniqueness when pertaining to Christ.

Son

Now, some will say that the word “Son” implies His creation. Conceivably, God the Father existed eternally but Jesus appears to be created a finite time ago when He is mentioned as the son or offspring of God. Consider, Psalm 2:7

I will proclaim the Lord’s decree: He said to me, “You are my son; today I have become your father.”

That sure sounds convincing, and many cults have used this verse as an argument for their assault on the Deity of Jesus. But let’s keep reading, perhaps the New Testament can shed some light on this passage. Let’s look in Acts 13 to see how Luke refers to this Psalm.  Acts 13:30-31,

But God raised him from the dead, 31 and for many days he was seen by those who had traveled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now his witnesses to our people.

(Notice that this is describing the Resurrection account of Jesus. Now let’s read the very next verse for the proverbial punch-line). Acts 13: 32-33

32 We tell you the good news: What God promised our ancestors 33 he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm:
“You are my son; today I have become your father”.

Here we can clearly see that Luke is referencing the Resurrection as the day Jesus became the “Son” of God.

The phrase “only begotten Son of God” refers to the uniqueness and resurrection of Christ, thus, it simply has no purchase on undermining the Deity of Christ when it in fact honors Him. The beginning of John is a prime example and understanding the word “begotten” and “father” (implies son), exemplifies the depth of meaning and continuity of theme, in this passage.

John 1:1-3, 14  [NASB]
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. […] 14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Conclusion

The phrase “only begotten Son” therefore, does not imply that Jesus was created by God, it actually speaks to the uniqueness and resurrection of Christ as accepted by classical Christian doctrine. Allowing the bible to interpret itself is paramount, in order to understand the content of any passage. Though we might be familiar with a certain passage, it’s important that we do not neglect the content based solely on a superficial familiarity with our most commonly recited passages.

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24 thoughts on “Q: Was Jesus Created, If He Is Called The “Only Begotten Son”?

    1. Hello, Ark!

      First, this is not merely opinion, this is allowing the text to interpret itself consistently.

      Secondly, if your going to make the claim that the resurrection lacks evidence then please present the actual evidence for such a position. How did you come to the conclusion that there is no evidence for the resurrection?

      Thanks.

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      1. One cannot use the bible to justify the bible any more than one can do similar to a Harry Potter novel.

        The resurrection of the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth is solely a Christian claim and the foundation of your faith.
        I say there is no evidence for it and to date have never seen/ read of any.

        But if you are aware of verified evidence that backs the biblical/christian claim then please, by all means present it.
        And let’s see if we can do it fairly quickly before Colorstorm arrives and bombards us with his unique brand of flowery rhetoric.
        🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Of all people, I didn’t think a little”flowery rhetoric” would scare you… sorry couldn’t help myself.

          Notice, that I am not arguing for the resurrection in this post by circular reasoning, or using the bible to justify the bible claims about the resurrection. Nope, just allowing the text to be understood the same way we would interpret the Rosetta Stone, for instance.

          Finally, to make a claim that there is no “verified evidence” is subjective considering the amount of evidence surrounding the matter. I have no verified evidence that You exist! You could be a computer generated program programmed to post the opposite of everything colorstrom posts :)! But who needs that kind of justification for everyday life anyways? You get in your car without knowing how much risk your assuming -every day! So let’s try to be consistent at the very least. But if that is your actual informed position then your welcome to it, but please then explain away the 12 minimal facts of Dr. Habermas. I’m sure your peers would be pleased to see that paper demolished. The only way to do that is to tear down all of Dr. Habermas’ arguments and evidence, then in its place construct your alleged “verified” accounts of the matter as it REALLY happened.

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          1. It really is not subjective Petrus, and this is sadly what inculcation does to people: convinces them that fiction is fact and, ”We can prove it …watch us!”

            Habermas’s ”argument” is based on a presuppositional perspective – the bible is true -and no historian will utilize such a method. This is an erroneous methodology and cannot be backed with any sort of extra biblical evidence whatsoever.
            There isn’t even a tomb for goodness sake!

            What next? Noah’s Flood was real?

            Such apologetic chicanery might be is okay to quell the trembling hearts of doubting Christians but will not wash in the real world of serous scholarly or scientific academia – or mainstream commonsense either, as you know I am sure.

            If the bible cannot stand up to serious scrutiny then it is not worth the paper it was originally written, copied, altered, interpolated, and forged on.

            All you have is faith, Petrus, and a certain level of credulity, I’m afraid.

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            1. Well, Ark your entitled to your opinion, perhaps it is merely a matter of faith as you say, but should I take your comments as “worth the paper thier written on”?

              Your inconsistency is telling that though your arguments concern historical evidence your partiality implies a deep vitriolic resistance to Christianity in general.

              I’m not trying to force Christianity on you my friend, you have clearly made up your own mind at this point. So let’s agree to disagree.

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              1. No, Petrus, I believe I am entitled for you to demonstrate an impartiality and an honest, open and frank approach not solely influenced by faith and not totally reliant on apologetics.
                If the bible can stand up to honest scrutiny the evidence for its claims should be there for all to see.

                So where is this evidence?

                As always seems to happen, when I ask for straightforward answers you accuse me of of bias and refusing to acct evidence when in truth there is none.
                And then you discontinue the discussion/thread, often with a platitude but are never prepared to pursue evidence/ truth to its logical conclusion.
                That is symptomatic of fear.

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                1. It will take more than flowery rhetoric to scare me my friend.

                  Any reasonable person can see that the Christian faith speaks to the greatest questions of humanity, 1) origins 2) morality 3) meaning and 4) destiny.

                  The evidence for the NT is unparalleled with about 25000 manuscripts that agree on all essential doctrines. But wait before we get here, I’m really glad you want to take this seriously because this whole time we have been using reason and logic and truth which is meaningless unless atheism is assumed to be false.

                  So if you are appealing to reason and truth and logic to make your case then please provide a naturalistic explanation for the origin of reason. Why should we trust a monkey’s brain? How has natural selection favored TRUTH in the struggle for life? And how can you account for immaterial entities like laws of logic?

                  You see if atheism is true the our brains are no more special than falling dominos, physical cause and effect. How credible is falling dominos?

                  This whole time we have assumed that atheism is false by appealing to the fact that logic is the product of an orderly universe (not an unguided one) that we can know truth, through reason, of a mind that is made in the image and likeness of the Logos.

                  Let’s not forget about the big picture here, all this time you have been appealing to a reality that is far better explained by the existence of a logical immaterial intelligent mind.

                  The same one your trying to disprove with reason and logic.

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                  1. It will take more than flowery rhetoric to scare me my friend.

                    Oh, I don’t go in for ‘’scaring’’, Petrus. You Christians are experts in this field. Ask any child who has been brought up with threat of Hell hanging over them.

                    Any reasonable person can see that the Christian faith speaks to the greatest questions of humanity, 1) origins 2) morality 3) meaning and 4) destiny.

                    Yes, it may ”speak”. In fact it is quite garrulous. But the answers it provides are nonsensical.

                    The evidence for the NT is unparalleled with about 25000 manuscripts that agree on all essential doctrines. But wait before we get here, I’m really glad you want to take this seriously because this whole time we have been using reason and logic and truth which is meaningless unless atheism is assumed to be false.

                    25,000 manuscripts! Wow! And how many copies did Harry Potter sell? While some believe quantity is everything, didn’t your missus ever tell you that quality is really where it’s at?
                    25,000 manuscripts (mostly which are bits of) just means you have a lot of copies of nonsense. So what?
                    Surely you are aware of all the things Eusebius wrote?
                    Did you never read/study Marcion?
                    You must be aware of how the bible was compiled.
                    You surely don’t believe the gospels are written by eyewitnesses, now do you?
                    You cannot be that credulous.

                    So if you are appealing to reason and truth and logic to make your case then please provide a naturalistic explanation for the origin of reason. Why should we trust a monkey’s brain? How has natural selection favored TRUTH in the struggle for life? And how can you account for immaterial entities like laws of logic?

                    I don’t need to provide an answer to Origins and have no wish to do so. And remember, YOU CANNOT EITHER.
                    I am perfectly happy with Evolution; along with the Human Genome project, archaeology and geology. These blow theism completely out of the water.

                    You see if atheism is true the our brains are no more special than falling dominos, physical cause and effect. How credible is falling dominos?

                    What on earth has atheism got to do with the quality etc of our brains? Atheism is simply the absence of belief in gods. ALL GODS. Nothing more, nothing less.

                    This whole time we have assumed that atheism is false by appealing to the fact that logic is the product of an orderly universe (not an unguided one) that we can know truth, through reason, of a mind that is made in the image and likeness of the Logos.
                    Let’s not forget about the big picture here, all this time you have been appealing to a reality that is far better explained by the existence of a logical immaterial intelligent mind.
                    The same one your trying to disprove with reason and logic.

                    Really? And how do you get from the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth, who you genuflect to, to this creator deity that you believe is the creator of all things?
                    You only have the bible, which is clearly nothing but historical fiction.
                    Surely you are not hanging your hat on this?

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                    1. I gave you the option to “agree to disagree” my friend but you can only take a horse to water I guess. (Sorry for the length in advance)

                      Ok, you failed to provide good reason for the origin of logic, truth and reason so let’s continue to assume Philosophical Naturalism (atheism) is still false. So with that established lets consider your rebuttals.

                      As far as “scaring children” you might find this interesting https://thei535project.wordpress.com/2016/06/21/why-does-richard-dawkins-terrorize-kids-with-nihilistic-pessimism/ It’s clear that Atheism is not the neutral position nor even a default position, it takes intense indoctrination to become and atheist and suppress our God given intuitions.

                      I was hoping to write a formal article about this sometime but you keep pressing this issue, so allow me to share a glimpse. ☺

                      “You surely don’t believe the gospels are written by eyewitnesses, now do you?”

                      Surely you’re aware of the classical scholar and historian Colin Hemer who identifies 84 facts in the last 16 chapters of Acts that have been confirmed by historical and archaeological research. Yes?

                      How about Craig Bloomberg that did a similar study that examines John’s gospel verse by verse and identifies 59 facts that have been confirmed by historical and archaeological research.

                      But apart from that, the fact is there are excellent reasons to believe the gospel accounts were written by eyewitness we also have great reasons to believe they told the truth, consider: 1) NT writers included embarrassing testimony that no one would make up. 2) They included difficult sayings that no one would make up. 3) They left in demanding sayings of Jesus. 4) They distinguished Jesus words from their own. 5) They included events related to the Resurrection that no one would make up. 6) They included more that 30 historically confirmed people in their writings that no one would make up. 7) They were careful to include divergent details that no one would make up. 8) They challenged their readers to check out verifiable facts, even about miracles. 9) They describe miracles with simple unembellished accounts, like other historical events. And finally, 10) The NT writers abandoned their long held sacred beliefs and practices, adopted new ones, and did not deny their testimony under persecution or threat of death.

                      To show they are in fact NOT eyewitness please tear down these facts with evidence and replace them with the actual matter of fact in their place. You claim my position is solely built on faith (which i affirm as trust from Latin: fide), but to be honest if you deny the evidence YOU have the greater faith! Not the faith that is built on reason and evidence but the Dawkins faith —in the teeth of evidence.

                      Not to mention the 25 years between the NT autographs and the first copies (half a generation) to the other earliest documents: Homer 400yrs (100 generations), Demosthenes 1400yrs, Herodotus 1400 yrs, Plato 1200yrs, Tacitus 1000 yrs, Caesar 1000 yrs, Pliny 750yrs. To suspect the 9 authors constructed a conspiracy while spread all over the world after 25 years is absurd!

                      Compared to their number of manuscript copies: NT 5800, Homer 1800, Demosthenes 200, Herodotus 8, Plato 7, Tacitus 20, Caesar 10, Pliny 7. This makes the reconstruction of the originals virtually certain! We can verify this claim simply by looking at the thousands of references to the NT by the early church fathers. If the NT was destroyed you could reconstruct all major doctrines from the early church fathers alone! The rest is absolute gravy my friend and any claim to the contrary is simply crushed by the overwhelming evidence. The NT can withstand open-minded investigation, but nothing can satisfy an a priori bias that smears what your looking at.

                      Oh and one more thing, to say you’re “perfectly happy with evolution” doesn’t clarify which definition your using for evolution and how you get 1) matter from non-matter 2) life from non-life to even make natural selection POSSIBLE, and 3) consciousness from non-consciences. Unfortunately by trying to eliminate a creator your box is reduced and reality cannot fit into it. Surely you’re not hanging your hat on this as a solution? It appears to be a greater problem!

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                    2. Marvelous apologetics . I can see your senior indoctrinator is very likely proud as kitten ful of sixpences at his ”star pupil”.
                      Well done. Hook line and snker I’d have to say
                      You must truly enjoy bamboozling people with this – if they have the stamina to pay attention – as you most certainly have bamboozled yourself.

                      To your credit you can recite oodles of stuff. Cut and Paste or eidtic memory?
                      However, I’ll venture you don’t truly truly understand much of it.

                      And there I was suggesting that you surely had a bit more between your ears than a Licona/Craig clone.

                      And you all love to include the standard tropes, like the embarrassment issues, don’t you?
                      Oh, and wehat tomb by the way?
                      Did they recently find it or something?
                      I dont watch the news so I could easily have missed it.

                      And still no verifiable evidence for the the resurrection of the character Jesus of Nazareth.Why is this do you think?

                      Anyway, let’s cut to the chase.

                      Fact 1:No credible biblical scholar these days considers the gospels are eye-witness accounts and MORE IMPORTANTLY:
                      Fact 2. No historian considers them eye witness accounts or for that matter reliable historical accounts.

                      Unfortunately by rejecting science and simply saying Goddidit your box is reduced and reality becomes fantasy – like lending credence to the Tooth Fairy of Santa Claus.

                      Even if we were to grant you a creator called Yahweh, how you make the character Jesus of Nazareth into this god is Mission Impossible, unless you wish to lie to yourself concerning the bible?

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                    3. I admire your tenacity, you could influence this generation and change to world if you were on the side of truth. Alas your stuck repeating yourself continually, taking up huge portions of your limited lifetime, without any results.

                      Why do you hate God so much?

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                    4. And the ultimate Creationist Apologetic trope. ”Why do you hate God so much?”
                      Good grief. I am an atheist.

                      First: you don’t even have the good manners to identify which god you claim I hate and,
                      Second: I don’t hate any gods as I don’t believe in any gods.

                      Really , Petrus, that is such a very silly and immature thing for you to write and should be beneath you.

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                2. Don’t waste your time and breath on this one ark. He thinks atheists are making a positive claim that God does not exist even though I have repeatedly corrected him. He will not be honest with you. He’s a lost cause.

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  1. God Bless you my dear friend, I believe Jesus Is Called Only Begotten Son, because He is sinless, and we are all called like Jesus to be an example of the Savior in our life, and that people can see the Savior in us.
    That’s all.

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  2. @Petrus.
    Neil Carter expresses the truth of the matter succinctly and with straightforward commonsense.

    If the resurrection of Jesus really happened, we wouldn’t be still debating its historicity today. The present-day evidence for the other claims of the Christian faith would be overwhelming, and all around us. They would leave little room for doubt.

    Now … you demonstrate that this event you claim really happened with verifiable evidence , and not wishy-washy worn out apologetics.
    Let’s see some mature integrity for a change, Petrus, and not the bleeding heart waffle from someone who comes across as a Mike Licona/William Lane Craig clone.
    I thought us South Africans were made of sterner stuff than that?

    Ark.

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    1. Roman historian A. N. Sherwin-WHite expresses the truth of the matter succinctly and with straightforward commonsense.

      “For Acts the confirmation of historicity is overwhelming … Any attempt to reject its basic historicity must now appear absurd. Roman historians have long take it for granted”

      Also consider this quote from classical scholar and archaeologist William M. Ramsay

      “I began with a mind unfavourable to it [Acts] … It did not lie then in my line of life to investigate the subject minutely; but more recently I found myself often brought into contact with the book of Acts as an authority for the topography, antiquities, and society of Asia Minor. It was gradually borne in upon me that in various details the narrative showed marvellous truth.”

      Using the protection of the operable term “verifiable” you somehow justify brushing all evidence aside, when it doesn’t pass your alleged standards. Yet, scholars value the NT for all the aforementioned attributes.

      South Africa is the most diverse nation in the world, no single standard can count for everyone, except perhaps —in political trouble. My heart breaks for SA.

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      1. I am not familiar with White’s writing, but the first or second site revealed he is quoted by people like Craig and that deplorable charlatan Strobel. This was enough to make me feel uncomfortable straight away.
        I could search for more but I sense you will find ohers to support the viewnyou have.
        Of course, more modern scholarship has already produced more up to date analysis of Acts and the findings are considerably different to what you are promoting.

        As for Ramsey.
        Well yes, topography is all good and well. This doesn’t affect its essential nature, like the Pentateuch, of being Historical Fiction.

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    1. Is that all? http://www.peterkreeft.com/topics-more/resurrection-evidence.htm

      http://carm.org/there-are-no-non-biblical-accounts-resurrection

      http://www.apologeticscanada.com/2015/05/26/resurrection-making-sense-of-historical-data/

      http://www.bethinking.org/did-jesus-rise-from-the-dead/q-is-there-really-solid-evidence-for-the-resurrection-of-jesus

      But since you fail to take my position seriously, I wasn’t going to type my response out again… what a waste of time. Now you can reject these articles based on your beloved genetic fallacy and I still get to utilize my day elsewhere.

      I’m still waiting for justification regarding: 1) logic 2) reason 3) truth 4) your definition of evolution 5) matter from non-matter 6) life from non-life 7) consciousness from non-consciousness 8) your outright rejection of the evidence for God, Jesus, and Jesus resurrection as stated above.

      Without that your just dancing to your DNA, as am I apparently so why even try to persuade anyone otherwise when it’s determined by the physical laws of nature acting on physical matter through unguided processes, or falling dominos?

      Your burden of proof is monstrous I’m afraid. Or just acknowledge the fact that you are living inconsistently as a hypocrite cheating on your worldview. You pick.

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      1. I asked for verifiable evidence. You do understand what this means I take it, yet you simply continue to post apologetic. Why is this?
        Surely your indoctrination is not so deep your are unable to fully grasp the meaning of verifiable evidence?

        Let me make it easier for you if the resurrection story is just a tad too difficult.

        Please provide verifiable evidence that the character, Jesus of Nazareth walked on water.

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  3. I thought I had responded to points 1 through 8
    But in case you missed them or I wasn’t clear enough:
    1.-3. Evolution.
    4. I defer to experts such as Jerry Coyne.
    5. I defer to the best astro physicists and other relevant experts in this field. I am not qualified to even scratch an answer.
    6. Have no idea about origins. In fact, nobody does, as far as I am aware.
    7. I defer to the relevant experts in the field.
    8. a.Which god in particular are you talking about that you state I reject?
    b.There is no contemporary evidence for the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth so what exactly is there to reject?
    c. See above regarding contemporary evidence.

    Like

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