Q & A Series:  Is it true that the Greek word replaced by “Begotten” in the Bible is inaccurate and is more accurately translated as “Unique”?

 

By Craig Bluemel

 

 

----- Original Message -----

From: Omar

To: Craig

Subject: Greetings...

 

 

Hey Craig

 

Is it true that the Greek word replaced by Begotten in the Bible is inaccurate and is accurately translated as Unique? So yes Jesus was not the Begotten Son, but a Unique and Spiritual Son, the first of his kind and he encouraged us to have childlike faith and we will also be LIKE Children of God.

 

Waiting your reply,

Omar

 

 

Craig’s Answer:

 

 

Hi Omar,

 

The word ‘unique’ does not accurately portray the Greek word meaning for begotten, as I will explain.  Jesus was called, “the son of God,” at his birth, but he BECAME God’s, “only begotten,” son at the resurrection from the dead.  The Greek word translated, “only begotten,” in John 1:18, and John 3:16, 18 is monogenoús and monogenoús (NT: 3439) means literally, “only-born, i.e. sole, or single of its kind.”  Acts 13:33 specifies the resurrection as when Jesus was, “begotten,” by his Father God.   

 

Monogenoús is a compound word from mono meaning ‘one, only, single,’ and another word, ‘genous, ‘meaning kindred; genetic; heritage, etc.’ Our modern English word ‘genes’ (as in DNA) is derived from the Greek word ‘Génous’ in monogenoús.  In the Greek New Testament there are different words used for the actual birthing process.  The most prominent Greek word translated as born, begotten, birth is gennᜠ(NT: 1080); gennᜠmeans literally generation, kind, or offspring.  Another Greek word used for birth in scripture is tíktœ (NT: 5088) meaning to produce from seed, as a mother, a plant, the earth, etc. 

 

In Luke 1:31 the Greek word for, bear,” a son is tikto and not gennao.  Jesus would be produced from seed in his mother just like any other human baby.  There is one significant difference between Jesus’ conception and that of other humans; GOD was the One that used HIS power to generate the seed (or sperm cell) inside of Mary.

 

Jesus was called, “the son of God,” at his birth, but he BECAME God’s, “only begotten,” son at the resurrection from the dead.  The Greek word translated, “only begotten,” in John 1:18, and John 3:16, 18 is monogenoús and monogenoús (NT: 3439) means literally, “only-born, i.e. sole, or single of its kind.”  Acts 13:33 specifies the resurrection as when Jesus was, “begotten,” by his Father God (see below):

 

Acts 13:33 that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that he raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, 'You are My son; TODAY I have begotten you.' NASU 

 

Acts 13:33 denotes the exact point in time, (i.e. “today”), designated for Jesus to be “begotten,” by God the Father.  It happened when God raised him up and out from among the dead, saying, “Today, I have begotten you.”  This is a fulfillment of what was prophetically spoken thru the prophet David in Psalms 2:7.

 

Psalms 2:7 "I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten you.’ NASU 

 

Because there was a spiritual birth occurring at the resurrection of Jesus the event qualified him the firstborn son (meaning the first “begotten” son) of God from the dead.

 

Colossians 1:18 He (Jesus) also is the Head of his body, the church; seeing he is the beginning, the firstborn from (from = ek, ‘out of’) among the dead, so that he alone in everything and in every respect might occupy the chief place stand first and be preeminent.  AMP

 

Revelation 1:5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the first-born of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us, and released us from our sins by His blood, NAS

 

In Colossians 1:18 Jesus is the firstborn from (from = ek, ‘out of’) among the dead because he was the first man to permanently come out of death’s hold.  In Revelation 1:5 Jesus is the firstborn OF the dead, which portrays him in a position of preeminence over others raised from the dead.

 

Jesus was Mary’s firstborn son according to the flesh, but he is GOD’S firstborn son according to the spirit.

 

Matthew 1:24-25 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, 25 and did not know her till she had brought forth HER firstborn son.  And he called His name JESUS.  NKJV

 

Luke 2:7 And she brought forth HER firstborn Son, and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.  NKJV

 

When God raised Jesus from the dead He caused the human soul and spirit of the man to reenter the body of flesh and blood that had been crucified.  This is how God caused the mortal body of His son to come to life, but there was something even more miraculous.  God the Father likens the resurrection of His son to be the moment in time (i.e. – “Today”) when HE gave, “birth,” after HIS (God’s) own kind.  We might compare this spiritual birth to that of human beings whose fleshly bodies give birth after THEIR own kind (See Genesis 5:1-5).

 

I am not teaching some esoteric, pie-in-the-sky, or hard to understand doctrine when I say God the Father gave birth to His son Jesus at the resurrection.  In fact, there is absolutely no other place in the entire scripture that says GOD caused Jesus to be, “begotten,” at any time other than the resurrection.  As I proved earlier in the study by comparing all the gospel accounts of Jesus’ fleshly birth, it was his mother MARY that gave physical birth to him.

 

God IS spirit and when the day came for Him to declare Jesus as HIS, “only begotten,” Son, He raised him up in demonstration of His (God’s) Divine power according to the Spirit of holiness.  This means Jesus is the first man ever to be born again (i.e. literally ‘born from above’) and he was regenerated (born) anew and given the capacity to impart this same Spirit of holiness to all that would come to God by faith thru his mediatorship and because of his propitiation (sacrifice) for sin.

 

Romans 1:1-6 Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, 4 who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles, for His name's sake, 6 among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ.  NAS

 

Romans 8:2-4, 12 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit…12 But if the Spirit of Him {God} who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He {God} who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. NASU

 

When Jesus was born in a manger in Bethlehem this fulfilled that which God promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son, who was born a descendant of David according to the requirement of the flesh (Romans 1:2-3).   God made a promise to king David that from one of his descendents would come a MAN (the Messiah aka the Christ) that would ascend to his (David’s) throne.  Once Messiah ascended to the throne of David, (a kingly position symbolic for his position of rule over all the TRUE Israel), he would rule in justice and righteousness from that day forward and forever (2 Samuel 7:8-16 & 1 Chronicles 17:7-15).

 

Christians often confuse the fleshly bloodline of David as being connected to Jesus thru his mother Mary.  However Mary is NOT descended from the bloodline of tribe of Judah.  The only mention of Mary’s lineage in the Scripture is found in Luke 1:5, 36, where it is associated with Aaron’s line and the Levites.  In Luke 1:5 mentions a priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah; and he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.  In Luke chapter One the angel of the Lord was sent to give Mary a message concerning the conception and birth of her son Jesus the Christ.  As part of the instructions given to Mary, the angel said to her in Luke 1:36, “And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age.”  Based upon this fact Mary cannot be directly descended from the tribe of Judah.

 

The promise God made to David however was that one of his descendents according to the flesh would rule his throne WAS fulfilled in the FLESHLY way thru Joseph, who was husband of Mary because HE was the fleshly descendent of Judah.  When John the Baptist was born, his father Zacharias prophesied concerning the imminent birth of Jesus, which would soon follow, and in his prophetic utterance he mentions the, “House of David.”

 

Luke 1:67-70 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying: 68 " Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people, 69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of David His servant-- 70 As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old-- NASU

 

Zacharias’ mention of Jesus as coming from the house of David refers DIRECTLY to Joseph, husband of Mary, because Joseph is specified in scripture as a descendant of the house of David, and the tribe of Judah.  Joseph is even referred to in the common Jewish vernacular as the “son of David.”

 

Matthew 1:1, 20-21 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham… 20 But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. NAS

 

The reason Joseph is referred to as the son of David is due to his ancestry, which is traced directly to the bloodline of king David, son of Jesse, from the tribe of Judah.  To insure that Jesus would be legally born into and thru the line of Judah, it was necessary to do so thru Joseph.  Just before the birth of Jesus, Caesar Augustus sent a decree for everyone to register their families’ names; below are excerpts from the account in Luke’s gospel:

 

Luke 2:1-7 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth…3 And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, 5 in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. 6 While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. NASU

 

Through Joseph the Lord Jesus was registered legally as being from the fleshly line of David, even though this was not done genetically thru Mary.  Further proof for this is found in the narrative that records what happened when Jesus was age twelve, when Joseph and Mary returned to find him, after he was found missing from their caravan; they found Jesus in the temple court teaching and asking questions:

 

Luke 2:48-51 When they saw him, they were astonished; and his mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us this way?  Behold, your father {Joseph} and I have been anxiously looking for you." 49 And he said to them, "Why is it that you were looking for me?  Did you not know that I had to be in My Father's house?"  50 But they did not understand the statement, which he had made to them. 51 And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and he continued in subjection to them; and his mother treasured all these things in her heart. NASU

 

When Mary rebukes Jesus in Luke 2:48 (above) she says to him, “your father {Joseph} and I have been anxiously looking for you.”  This shows the relationship that existed between Jesus as a boy and Joseph, who was acting as and considered by all to be the father of Jesus (even though God was the true Father of the child, because God was the One that conceived Jesus in Mary’s womb).  The last and final proof that Jesus was descended from the tribe of Judah and as the descendent of king David is found in excerpts from the genealogy of Christ below:

 

Luke 3:23, 32-33 When He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph, the son of Eli… the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon, 33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Ram, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah.   NASU

 

Jesus had to come from the bloodline of Jesse, father of David, and Jesse was a descendent of the tribe of Judah.  Since Joseph was registered as from the house of David and since Jesus was the, “supposed the son of Joseph,” this put him in the correct genealogy to ascend to David’s throne.  The only problem was that Jesus did not ascend to David’s throne until AFTER he was resurrected from the dead, as is plainly stated in Acts chapter 13.

 

Acts 13:22-23, 28-39 "And after He {God} had removed him {king Saul}, He raised up David to be their {Israel’s} king, concerning whom He also testified and said, 'I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who will do all My will.' 23  From the offspring of this man {David}, according to promise, God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus… 28 And though they {the Jews} found no ground for putting Him {Jesus} to death, they asked Pilate that He be executed. 29 And when they had carried out all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the cross and laid Him in a tomb. 30  But God raised Him from the dead 32 And we preach to you the good news of the promise made to the fathers, 33 that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm,' Thou art My Son; TODAY I have begotten Thee.' 34  And as for the fact that He {God} raised Him {Jesus} up from the dead, no more to return to decay, He has spoken in this way: 'I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.' 35 "Therefore He also says in another Psalm, 'Thou wilt not allow Thy Holy One to undergo decay.' 36 For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep, and was laid among his fathers, and underwent decay; 37 but He whom God raised did not undergo decay. 38 Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you…”    NAS

 

The passage above specifies that God fulfilled His promise to king David concerning his (David’s) descendent when He {God} raised up Jesus from the dead.  At the same time, God also says of Jesus at the resurrection, “Thou art My son, TODAY I have BEGOTTEN, thee.”  As Paul summarizes in what he says in Acts 13:38, because of the resurrection, when He had “begotten” Jesus, the atonement for sin was complete and from then on through Jesus Christ forgiveness of sins is proclaimed.

 

Something happened at that moment of Jesus’ resurrection that the scripture describes as the birthing of an indestructible body.  A capacity to spiritually beget other sons and daughters in the spirit was given to Jesus by God at the resurrection.  Jesus did not exercise this life-giving capacity until AFTER he had ascended to his position of glory at the Father’s right hand.

 

I hope this is helpful,

 

Craigo 

 

Craig Bluemel

The Bible Answer Stand Ministry

1 Peter 3:15 Always be ready to give reasonable justification to anyone who asks you for an explanation of the hope that is within you,  but do it considerately and courteously.

 

 

 


 

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