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The Only Begotten God, the Only Begotten Son of God, or Both?

Did John write the Word was God?

Some scriptures in the book of John refer to Christ as God’s son. The original Greek, at John 1:18, calls Christ “the only begotten God.”

Jehovah’s Witnesses argue that in his pre-human state Christ was a created spirit creature, by his Father Jehovah. They cite John chapter one as part of their evidence. However, I believe it is possible, even likely, that when John wrote about Christ being the only begotten son of God John was referring to Christ in his human state only. And that term has absolutely nothing to do with Christ in his natural state, before coming to earth. No other being is said to be begotten by God.

In the sense that word is generally understood Adam and Eve were not begotten, but instead created. The word usually means born from a woman, after she becomes pregnant, by a man:

Definition of beget

transitive verb

1to procreate as the father SIRE He died without begetting an heir.

That didn’t happen when Adam and Eve were created. Nor has it happened by God to any human, except Christ.

The whole of John chapter one is telling us how the Word of God became flesh, to dwell with us. Being begotten by God was that process. And since that is the general theme of John chapter one, then to assume the Word being called “the only begotten Son of God” means Christ was created as God’s Son in his original state is a stretch. Why? Because that interpretation is not aligning itself with what that chapter is all about, which is how Christ came to live with humans.

The arguments most denominations hold to, that “first born of all creation” means Christ was preeminent over all creation might be correct, but that phrase could also mean he was born as a man, as that preeminent one. Note this prophecy about the Messiah from Psalms:

You are My Son; today I have become Your Father. 8Ask Me, and I will make the nations Your inheritance, the ends of the earth Your possession.…  Psalm 2:7 & 8

Notice that prophecy is obviously speaking about some time after Christ’s birth as a human, either his actual birth, or at his baptism by John. So the Psalm appears to support my position that when scriptures speak of Christ being the Son of God, those are only referring to his human birth, e.g. “today I have become Your Father.” Not, eons ago I became your Father. Furthermore, scriptures in John chapter one speak of Christ as being the only son of the Father, without including that word begotten. “We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son from the Father,” John 1:14. Since other Bible scriptures claim God has different sons-see Job 1:6- then these scriptures in John calling Christ God’s only Son appear to allude to Christ’s begotten nature as a human. He being the only Son of God in that sense.

Watchtower teaches it means that God independently created Christ, but then used Christ to create all other things, thus making Christ God’s only son. But their argument has a gaping hole in it. The fact that Job 1:6 calls other creatures sons of God is that hole. Why? Because Watchtower admits Christ created those angels, those other sons of God. That shows their argument has no merit. Why? Because even though Christ created them, they are still God’s sons, and referred to as his sons in scripture. That fact proving Christ creating them, or the Father independently creating them, had absolutely nothing to do with that designation naming angels as sons of God. So why would that reason be applied to Christ?

The original Greek calls Christ “the only begotten God” here.

Let’s get back to John chapter one now. John 1:1 is interpreted by Bible scholars to read:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

However, Watchtower denies that idea. It teaches a definite article must precede the Greek word for God in every biblical instance of Greek scripture, for those authors to be referring to their God. It teaches because there is no definite article, that is the ancient Greek rendering of the word ‘the,’  preceding the ancient Greek word rendering for God, then John was not writing that the Word was God. Watchtower claims John meant Christ only has a divine nature, and that John didn’t mean Christ is God over angels and men. However, without a logical explanation why there is neither a definite article in front of the Greek word for God when referring to the Father in John chapter one at verses 6, 12, 13, & 18, then Watchtower’s assertion that the absence of a definite article in front of theos at John 1:1, when referring to Christ, means John was not naming Christ as God, holds no weight. Not to a reasonable mind. It has no merit. At the very least Watchtower would need to explain why definite articles are not preceding the word for God in those other verses, in that same chapter, for their argument to make any sense at all. At best Watchtower would not only need to explain that, but add to it why its interpretation should be accepted to the exclusion of all the scholarly interpreters that are denying Watchtower’s position.

Note that here, at John 1:12, there is not a definite article in Greek preceding the Greek word for God either.
Just as a definite article does not precede the Greek word for God in John 1:1 referring to Christ. And yet here in John 1:12 Watchtower claims the god referred to is Jehovah. Children of who? Children of God, not children of (the) God in John 1:12.

I’ll close by leaving the book of John. Here at Isaiah chapter nine he penned the Jewish Messiah will be called Mighty God:

  6For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Ask any Jehovah’s Witness to call Christ their god in front of you, and note their response. Ask most ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses who claim to still be believers in God to call Christ their God in front of you, and note their response. It will likely be some sort of explanation about what they believe that scripture means instead of doing it. However, the scripture claims some people will do that. So the side-stepping explanation they give about what they claim those words of Isaiah mean are useless to God. The only important aspect about it to God is are those who call Christ their God his followers or not. Are they?

For more information on this topic read:

http://debatescripture.org/index.php/is-christ-god-over-angels-and-men-or-an-archangel/