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DeclareHim
02-21-2006, 05:27 PM
On another thread SFIC stated that the Greek word "μονογενη" is best translated 'begotten' or 'only born'. Others and many scholars I have read suggest the better rendering 'unique'. This is certainly a very divided debate. The following translations read begotten:KJV,Geneva,NASB, Douay-Rheims, NKJV, Amplified, Green's Literal Translation, ASV, Wycliffe 1395, Bishops 1568,Wesley's 1755, and Young's Literal Translation.

DeclareHim
02-21-2006, 05:30 PM
The only two translations that read 'unique' are the: ISV, and the Amplified places it in the brackets within the text.

"For this is how God loved the world: He gave his unique Son so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but have eternal life." ISV

"For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life." Amplified

DeclareHim
02-21-2006, 05:35 PM
Translations that read 'one and only' are the following: NIV,HCSB, NCV, and the WEB.

jw
02-21-2006, 05:42 PM
Sorry, posted my thread on this about the same time you were doing yours. I'll repost mine here and they can close on or the other.

....


I missed out on the off topic debate on the other thread, thought I would post my two cents.

"only son" or "unique son" is a better translation than "only begotten son". monogene comes from the root words monos - meaning only, and givomai - meaning to become. It does not come from gevvao - which means to beget.

This is also the meaning BDAG gives for John 3:16
2. pert. to being the only one of its kind or class, unique (in kind) of someth. that is the only example of its category (Cornutus 27 p, 49, 13 ei-j k. monogenh.j o` ko,smoj evsti,. monogenh/ k. mo,na evsti,n=‘unique and alone’; Pla., Timaeus 92c; Theosophien 181, §56, 27). Of a mysterious bird, the Phoenix 1 Cl 25:2.—In the Johannine lit. (s. also ApcEsdr and ApcSed: o` monogenh,j ui`o,j; Hippol., Ref. 8, 10, 3; Did., Gen. 89, 18; u`mnou/me,n ge qeo.n kai. to.n m. auvtou/ Orig., C. Cels. 8, 67, 14; cp. h` du,namij evkei,nh h` m. Hippol., Ref. 10, 16, 6) monogenh.j ui`o,j is used only of Jesus. The renderings only, unique may be quite adequate for all its occurrences here (so M-M., NRSV et al.; DMoody, JBL 72, ’53, 213-19; FGrant, ATR 36, ’54, 284-87; GPendrick, NTS 41, ’95, 587-600). to.n ui`o.n to.n m. e;dwken J 3:16 (Philo Bybl. [100 AD]: 790 fgm. 2 ch. 10, 33 Jac. [in Eus., PE 1, 10, 33]: Cronus offers up his monogenh.j ui`o,j). o` m. ui`o.j tou/ qeou/ vs. 18; to.n ui`o.n to.n m. avpe,stalken o` qeo,j 1J 4:9; cp. Dg 10:2. On the expr. do,xan w`j monogenou/j para. patro,j J 1:14 s. Hdb. ad loc. and PWinter, Zeitschrift für Rel. u. Geistesgeschichte 5, ’53, 335-65 (Engl.). See also Hdb. on vs. 18 where, beside the rdg. monogenh.j qeo,j (considered by many the orig.) an only-begotten one, God (acc. to his real being; i.e. uniquely divine as God’s son and transcending all others alleged to be gods) or a uniquely begotten deity (for the perspective s. J 10:33-36), another rdg. o` monogenh.j ui`o,j is found. MPol 20:2 in the doxology dia. paido.j auvtou/ tou/ monogenou/j VIhsou/ Cristou/. Some (e.g. WBauer, Hdb.; JBulman, Calvin Theological Journal 16, ’81, 56-79; JDahms, NTS 29, ’83, 222-32) prefer to regard m. as somewhat heightened in mng. in J and 1J to only-begotten or begotten of the Only One, in view of the emphasis on genna/sqai evk qeou/ (J 1:13 al.); in this case it would be analogous to prwto,tokoj (Ro 8:29; Col 1:15 al.).—On the mng. of monogenh,j in history of religion s. the material in Hdb.(3 )25f on J 1:14 (also Plut., Mor. 423a Pla,twn … auvtw/| dh, fhsi dokei/n e[na tou/ton [sc. to.n ko,smon] ei=nai monogenh/ tw/| qew/| kai. avgaphto,n; Wsd 7:22 of sofi,aÇ e;sti evn auvth/| pneu/ma noero.n a[gion monogene,j.—Vett. Val. 11, 32) as well as the lit. given there, also HLeisegang, Der Bruder des Erlösers: Aggeloj I 1925, 24-33; RBultmann J (comm., KEK) ’50, 47 n. 2; 55f.—DELG s.v. me,nw. M-M. EDNT. TW. Sv. Further, if you look at passages that use this same word..

Hebrews 11:7 "By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,"Abraham had more than one son, but Isaac was a unique or special son.

This idea is also seen in the LXX in the Psalms..

Psalm 35:17 Lord, how long wilt thou look on? rescue my soul from their destructions, my darling from the lions.The word translated "darling" is monogene.

DeclareHim
02-21-2006, 06:14 PM
No problem! It's good to know that there's interest in discussing this topic. graemlins/thumbs.gif Interesting points. I agree with your conclusion.

DeclareHim
02-21-2006, 06:20 PM
Translations that read 'only son' are the following: 1525 Tyndale, 1535 Coverdale Bible, BBE, God's Word, RSV,NRSV, New Life Bible, Good News, CEV, ESV,NLT,and the Weymouth NT.

TCassidy
02-21-2006, 08:07 PM
The idea of "monogenes" has nothing to do with being unique or special. The term refers to he who is begotten by God in a way inconceivable to mere mortals. It speaks of a son given by God for a special task, just as Isaac was the son of the promise, and Jesus was given by God for a special task, the Greater Son of the Promise.

Eliyahu
02-21-2006, 10:47 PM
This may be another aspect of the questions.
When did Monogenes happen?
At the time when Jesus was born out of Mary?
or before the Creation, before the beginning?

Eliyahu
02-21-2006, 11:13 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by jw:
I missed out on the off topic debate on the other thread, thought I would post my two cents.

" only son" or "unique son" is a better translation than "only begotten son". monogene comes from the root words monos - meaning only, and givomai - meaning to become. It does not come from gevvao - which means to beget .


Are you sure ? Because my lexicon indicates the connection between μονογενησ and γενναω

γινομαι means become, come in the form of (Jn 1:14), Come out of (Gal 4:4)
γενναω, γενεα, γενετη, γενημα all indicate the Birth, give birth to, genealogy, etc.
I have no doubt that Monogenes relates to Mono-birth.

Please check again.

jw
02-22-2006, 12:30 PM
Originally posted by Eliyahu:

Are you sure ? Because my lexicon indicates the connection between μονογενησ and γενναω

γινομαι means become, come in the form of (Jn 1:14), Come out of (Gal 4:4)
γενναω, γενεα, γενετη, γενημα all indicate the Birth, give birth to, genealogy, etc.
I have no doubt that Monogenes relates to Mono-birth.

Please check again. BDAG and Thayer's have it monos + genos (having to do with a class, nation, kind, descendant).

LS Lexicon has it as monos + ginomai which is the way I had learned it in Greek class.

I haven't seen any supporting gennao. Which lexicon are you looking in?

Additionally the usuage of the word in other places in the NT and LXX would suggest it doesn't have anything to do with "begotten" though. Also Friberg, UBS, BDAG, Louw-Nida, and Thayers all read it as unique, special, or only of a single kind.

Eliyahu
02-22-2006, 01:39 PM
I use Analytical Lexicon by William Mounce.
But so far, I have not found any Lexicon satisfactory to me because most of them are based on or support Minority Texts and they don't show many words which are not in Minority Texts but in Majority Texts.

Now
gennao (γενναω) interpretted as to beget, generate, give birth to, produce.

genesis (γενεσισ) birth, nativity

genematos (γενηματοσ): natural produce, fruit, increase.

Relatively many words are connected with gennao, but the followings are in supportive of your position on ginomai:

1 Cor 3:18 - γενεσθω
John 8:33 γενησεσθε
γενησθε

If we can interpret it as Mono-become, Mono-existant, Mono-established,
can we apply the same to the other people who were expressed as mono-genes ( Luke 7:12, 8:42, 9:38)? They are rather easier to be interpretted as Mono-gennethen (begotten)

This may need some more study in Etymology of Greek, but it seems to be mono-gennao.

jw
02-22-2006, 01:57 PM
Get BDAG, it's usually looked at as the authority, and is very thorough.

Also we have to keep in mind etymology doesn't always make the meaning. The Son of God was neither born nor created - He is eternally existent. As seen from the first chapter of John and the usage of eimi as an imperfect. In the begining He was.

Also look at John 1:14, "And the Word became [ginomai] flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten [monogenes] from the Father, full of grace and truth."

Eliyahu
02-22-2006, 03:10 PM
At the moment I trust the choice by KJV translators as they had some profound knowledge in languages.
Birth doesn't mean any fertilization only. It can mean a certain development to expand.
Jn 1:14 I interpret rather this way:
Word has come in the form of flesh.
Word was God, God is a Spirit (Jn 4), flesh profits nothing. God didn't become what is not God.

Marcia
02-22-2006, 03:22 PM
God the Son added human nature to his deity. He was and always is the Son.

Doesn't the idea of "begotten" imply that this is the Son coming from God in the sense that Jesus has God's nature? No other "son" of God (such as the angels or the saints, adopted sons of God) have that. So in that sense, "begotten" does mean unique.

This discussion is a little above my head but it's interesting. JW, thanks for your post.

Diggin in da Word
02-22-2006, 03:39 PM
Originally posted by jw:
[Quote]
The Son of God was neither born nor created - He is eternally existent.I do not see where this doctrine of Jesus not being born comes from. My Bible teaches me,

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Marcia
02-22-2006, 03:54 PM
Yes, Jesus was born when he incarnated but that was not the beginning of his existence as the Son of God. The rest of us are born but exist only from the moment of conception. Jesus always existed as the Son of God and incarnated as a babe when he was born of Mary and the Holy Spirit.

Being born was the beginning of adding his humanity, but he was always the Son of God. That is what the Trinity is about -- the Father, Son, and the HS -- eternally existing in the Godhead.

Maybe this is turning into a discussion of the eternal Sonship of Christ?

DeclareHim
02-22-2006, 05:43 PM
Yes Jesus humanity was born but that moment was not the beginning of His being the Son of God that has always existed. (See John 1:1). In John 3:16 the verse is speaking of Jesus as God's Son whom never had a beginning.

Faith alone
02-22-2006, 07:53 PM
DeclareHim,

"Begotten" is an archaic term, not used any more. The idea of the Greek term was already posted by jw. It means "unique" or "only." "One and only" may be a bit strong. It comes from the idea of a first-born child being the unique 1st-born, but it is used to simply refer to the uniqueness,and there is nothing about being born inherent in the term, contrary to popular opinion. I categorized many translations below. You will not find a translation in the last 20 years translating it as "begotten" or "only begotten."

John 3:16 - "begotten" or "only/unique"?

ONLY:
NRSV - "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
HCSB - "For God loved the world in this way: He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.
NLT - "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
RSV - For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
ESV - For God so loved the world,that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
TEV (Good News) - For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.
God's Word - God loved the world this way: He gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life.
CEV - God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die.
NLB - For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son. Whoever puts his trust in God's Son will not be lost but will have life that lasts forever.
Tyndale NT (1526) - For God so loveth the worlde yt he hath geven his only sonne that none that beleve in him shuld perisshe: but shuld have everlastinge lyfe.

Notice that even the Tyndale (and Coverdale) translation in 1526 that the other translationsd are based on which translate it as "begotten" has simply "only." This happened with the Bishop's Bible, which referred to Wycliffe's translation from the Latin Vulgate into English in 1385. (Not the best idea.) Revisions since then of the Tyndale NT type Bibles all had begotten.


One and only:
NCV - "God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but have eternal life.
WEB - For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
NIV - "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
TNIV - "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Begotten (older translations only):
KJV - 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.
NKJV - For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
ASV (1905) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.


Only begotten:
NASB (1977) - "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
Ampl. - For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.


The NET Bible has a very good note here regarding Jesus being the "only begotten Son of God":
"Although this word is often translated "only begotten," such a translation is misleading, since in English it appears to express a metaphysical relationship. The word in Greek was used of an only child (a son [Luke 7.12; 9.38] or a daughter [Luke 8.42]). It was also used of something unique (only one of its kind) such as the mythological Phoenix (1 Clement 25:2). From here it passes easily to a description of Isaac (Heb 11.17 and Josephus, Ant. 1.13.1 [1.222]) who was not Abraham's only son, but was one-of-a-kind because he was the child of the promise. Thus the word means "one-of-a-kind" and is reserved for Jesus in the Johannine literature of the NT. While all Christians are children of God (TEKNA QEOU), Jesus is God's Son in a unique, one-of-a-kind sense. The word is used in this way in all its uses in the Gospel of John (1.14, 18; 3.16, 18)." Also, a comment by a Wycliffe Bible translator in the BTrans group about MONOGENHS:
While I understand Harold's caution and want to avoid theology, I would like to suggest that the "begotten" part here is misleading, because there is no link to the birth (the etymology is from GINOMAI "become", not GENNAW "give birth"). The word MONOGENHS means "one of a kind" or "unique", and should be translated as such - or perhaps simply as "only". For some reason people seem to think that it has the idea of "birth" in the root meaning - it does not. It has the idea of coming to be. Jesus "became" the only, the one-of-a-kind, unique Son of God at His incarnation. He has always existed as the Son of God. He became the "Son of Man" - a human being - at His incarnation, where he took on humanity.

Begotten comes from "beget." It is defined as
1 : to procreate as the father : SIRE
2 : to produce especially as an effect or outgrowth

The 2nd definition applies here. But IMO using "begotten" or "only begotten" is a mistake, because people do not know what begotten means - it isn't used anymore. They think it is referring to a father bringing about a birth, and it does not.

FA

Eliyahu
02-22-2006, 08:31 PM
I can understand the position of ginomai, but still there are many derivatives related to gennao and I would not escape so quickly from the notion of Begotten.
The relationship between Father and Son means Birth. We are accustomed only to the birth relationship by fertilization or sexual reproductive process. However we may imagine the process of expansion of Living Truth before the Eternity, before the Creation, where Father and Son were one and everything belonging to Father was inherited to the Son by the Spirit so that Trinity share all the nature and characteristics together in common. Such Process might have been called the Birth.

Luke 7:12, 8:42, 9:38
Are they all Unique ?

Faith alone
02-23-2006, 12:38 PM
Originally posted by Eliyahu:
I can understand the position of ginomai, but still there are many derivatives related to gennao and I would not escape so quickly from the notion of Begotten. MONOGENHS is not related to GENNAO at all. That is a misunderstanding that many have made in articles on this subject. GINOMAI has nothing to do with GENNAO. They are not related terms.

Originally posted by Eliyahu:
The relationship between Father and Son means Birth. We are accustomed only to the birth relationship by fertilization or sexual reproductive process. However we may imagine the process of expansion of Living Truth before the Eternity, before the Creation, where Father and Son were one and everything belonging to Father was inherited to the Son by the Spirit so that Trinity share all the nature and characteristics together in common. Such Process might have been called the Birth.

Luke 7:12, 8:42, 9:38
Are they all Unique ? Well, I don't think the idea of "first-born" is related to actual birth, but to the idea that Jesus, having become a human being (by birth) was the "first-born." As such, He was due the double portion of inheritance. IOW, I don't think it has anything to do with something that happened in time past, but His incarnation.

Jesus is the unique Son of God. We become sons of God when we are re-born, but Jesus remains the unique Son of God. So yes, Jesus is "unique." The term was not applied to the Father or the Holy Spirit.

Those texts in Luke do use MONOGENHS. Yes, they are unique. They are the first-born child of their father. Notice that one is a girl. But you bring up an excellent point. MONOGENHS is not some special term used only of Jesus.

FA

[ February 23, 2006, 11:52 AM: Message edited by: Faith alone ]

Faith alone
02-23-2006, 12:50 PM
MONOGENHS is only used 9 times on the NT. John uses it 5 times in his writings, 4 times in his gospel, and only to refer to the unique Son of God in each case. Hebrews 11:17 uses it in reference to isaac, but the author does so in comparing Isaac as a type of Christ.

The other 3 were quoted by Eliyahu, and they refer to first-born children - not to Christ.

FA

Eliyahu
02-23-2006, 12:59 PM
I am afraid there might be any misunderstanding about my statement.
What I meant is that we should accept the conventional interpretation about Monogenhs as
the only begotten,which may mean the Only Born to the usual men like Luke 7:12, 8:42, 9:38, until we can have further conviction that it may mean Mono-ginomai.

In case of Luke, they are apparently meaning the only sons of their family,IMO.
Every one is darling sons and darling daughters in their families, isn't it?

Faith alone
02-23-2006, 07:03 PM
Originally posted by Eliyahu:
I am afraid there might be any misunderstanding about my statement.
What I meant is that we should accept the conventional interpretation about Monogenhs as
the only begotten,which may mean the Only Born to the usual men like Luke 7:12, 8:42, 9:38, until we can have further conviction that it may mean Mono-ginomai.

In case of Luke, they are apparently meaning the only sons of their family,IMO.
Every one is darling sons and darling daughters in their families, isn't it?Eliyahu,

Hmmm. The problem is that the lexicons all make it very clear that MONOGENHS is not related to GENNAO. It is not "only-born." To beget something is to bring it into existence or to cause it to become. A first-born child can be a MONOGENHS, because they are the unique child of their parents. BTW, in Luke 8:42 it is referring to an only child who was a daughter - Jairus' daughter. MONOGENHS can refer to girls as well as boys.

But we are just playing games with root meanings with such. The meaning of MONOGENHS is not "once-born" Zodhiates Hebrew-Greek key study Bible has a Greek dictionary which often breaks down words into their components. Now in general, we need to be careful, because that assumes some things about how words evolve that isn't true. It's referred to as the root fallacy - basing the meaning of a word on its root, where it came from and the component parts. But... I looked it up anyway - it does list the parts as MONO - GINOMAI. It has nothing to do with GENNAO. I know that some articles on the internet say that it does. That does not agree with any lexicon that I have checked out.

So this is not a matter of gaining further "conviction." It's simply a matter of looking it up in a lexicon - preferably the 2 most professional ones - BGAD and Liddell & Scott. The word means "unique, only."

When MONNOGENHS is used to refer to the 1st-born, the way it is unique does have to do with birth, and "only-born" would make some sense there. But that is not its meaning, in general. That is its applied meaning in a specific context.

So bottom-line: the word means "unique, one-of-a-kind, only." The question we should be asking ourselves is how is this applied to Jesus. IMO it relates to His unique physical birth at the incarnation, but perhaps I'm missing something. He is certainly uinque in that He is the only one who is the Son of God.

The meaning of this word is not about "birth." Can it be applied in that manner? Yes. How was it applied to Jesus? That is the question.

Anyway, that's why modern Bibles, with few exeptions, translate it as simply "only." IMO to translate it as "begotten" is a mistake because people have the wrong understanding of what that means.

FA