Hello everybody, and welcome in to episode 67 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Hebrews 5 today and our focus is on Jesus as the begotten son of God. We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Para, Brazil, Lima Peru, Kerala, India, Rajasthan, India, Minneapolis, Minnesota and Roanoke, Virginia. Thanks for listening! Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more – Click here for our reading plan
Begotten is not a word that is used very frequently in modern English, and it is becoming quite rare in modern versions of the Bible as well, and yet, Jesus is God’s only begotten son, which is a very, very important truth that is worthy of our attention today. Consider Hebrews 5:5. In the CSB, we read:

 In the same way, Christ did not exalt himself to become a high priest, but God who said to him,

You are my Son;
today I have become your Father, (Hebrews 5:5, CSB) 

The ESV is a little different, though, and it says:

So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him,

“You are my Son,
today I have begotten you”; Hebrews 5:5, ESV

In both of these passages, the standard Greek word “γεννάω gennáō” is used. This is a frequently used word in the Bible, sometimes translated as ‘begat,’ like, Abraham begat Isaac, Isaac begat Jacob, etc. It usually refers to a male fathering or  or having a child. We also see the word used in Matthew 1:20, and translated as , ‘conceived.’ 

20 But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. Matthew 1:20

More famously, the word appears in a slightly different form in John 3:16, which the KJV translates as:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

The word that the translators of the KJV are using there is the Greek word “monogenes,” and it is a heavily loaded and important theological word. Mono here means only, and gennao means, as we have already said, conceived or begat. Some modern translations of John 3:16 smooth out this passage so much that we actually might miss an important truth. The ESV, for instance, translates John 3:16 as saying that “God Gave His only son,” which seems to minimize that important Greek word ‘monogenes’ a little bit too much. Let’s read our passage and then discuss how Jesus is God’s one and only son with a bit more depth.

What does it mean that God has begotten Jesus? Moreso, what does it mean that Jesus is God’s ONLY begotten son? Does this mean that Jesus first came into existence when He was born of Mary, and that God was His literal Father somehow? No, Jesus did not come into being somewhere around 2000 years ago. Does it mean that Jesus was created by God at some point? Again, that is not what is referenced here, though some cults and false groups have used John 3:16 and Hebrews 5 to make such claims. Let’s turn to our friends at Gotquestions.org to better understand how Jesus is God’s only begotten Son:

False teachers have latched onto this phrase to try to prove their false teaching that Jesus Christ isn’t God; i.e., that Jesus isn’t equal in essence to God as the Second Person of the Trinity. They see the word “begotten” and say that Jesus is a created being because only someone who had a beginning in time can be “begotten.” What this fails to note is that “begotten” is an English translation of a Greek word. As such, we have to look at the original meaning of the Greek word, not transfer English meanings into the text.

So what does monogenes mean? According to the Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (BAGD, 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.

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 (see also John 1:14183:181 John 4:9). 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 (Ephesians 1:5). Jesus is God’s “one and only” Son.

The bottom line is that terms such as “Father” and “Son,” descriptive of God and Jesus, are human terms that help us understand the relationship between the different Persons of the Trinity. If you can understand the relationship between a human father and a human son, then you can understand, in part, the relationship between the First and Second Persons of the Trinity. The analogy breaks down if you try to take it too far and teach, as some pseudo-Christian cults (such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses), that Jesus was literally and humanly “begotten” as in “produced” or “created” by God the Father. Source: https://www.gotquestions.org/only-begotten-son.html

We know that Jesus did not come into existence when He was born of Mary because of various clear Bible teachings like:

57 The Jews replied, “You aren’t fifty years old yet, and you’ve seen Abraham?”

58 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, before Abraham was, I am.” John 8:57-58

and, even more clearly, John 1:

 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. John 1:1-3
Jesus was with God in the beginning and He was God in the beginning. He has created everything, and all things were created through Him.
End of the Show: Bible memory verse for MARCH!: Hebrews 7:25 “Therefore, [Jesus] is able to save completely those who come to God through him, since he always lives to intercede for them.

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