Luke 3-4~ Day 24~ Jesus is God's only Son?
I am always intrigued with the lineages listed in the Bible! To me, it’s proof of the book being historically accurate!! Luke writes out Joseph’ s lineage all the way back to Adam! I love how it is worded, “…the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.”
Adam was God’s son! That is so endearing to me! That means we are the greatest of grandkids to God! ☺️
But….wait a minute….what about what John says in the famous quote, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) Doesn’t that seem like a contradiction? God has millions of children, but John says “only” one? Hmmmm…well, I had to do some digging in to that!
The answer is in the translation of course! The Greek wording for this phrase literally translates “monogenes", which can be translated as, “only begotten”, “one and only” and “only”.
We can see how different Bible translations choose different ways to translate the same Greek word. KJV, NASB, and ASV use “only begotten Son” while others just use “only Son” (NIV and ESV).
Having the word “begotten” has fallen out of vogue in newer translations because of some false teachers using the word to prove that Jesus was not equal to God but a creation of God. Taking out the word may clarify things for some people, but I find leaving “begotten” there helps clarify my question above!
I am going to just cut and past part of an article that helped me understand why “begotten” is a helpful word to keep or at least understand what “only” means:
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 1:14, 18; 3:18; 1 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 "begotten" as in “produced” or “created” by God the Father.
There you have it! That extra digging helped me! I hope it helped you too!