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Begotten/ "Only Begotten"

“For this is the way God loved the world: He have His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). 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 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 11:170…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 (τέκνα θεοῦ, tekna theou), 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).” (NET Bible, John 3:16)

“The nature of God is not to be understood in mathematical terms but in relationship. The Creed goes on to state that the Son is begotten of the Father. The words reach out to the inexpressible mystery of how Christ eternally proceeds from the Father, an eternal act which is at the very heart of Who God is…The Word became flesh at a particular moment in time; He grew from an infant into a man over a span of years. Nevertheless, the Word is eternally begotten of the Father; the Word is eternally the Father’s child.” (Father Spyridon Baily, Vigen Guroian)

“The grace of God,” the eternal Father’s love, was definitively revealed when our Lord Jesus came to minister among us in the flesh. The “appearance” in time of the only-begotten Son is the supreme gift of divine condescension on behalf of all mankind. When the Apostle Paul speaks to Titus of the “salvation [that] has appeared to all men,” this single phrase encompasses all that Christ our God did as a man to assure the possibility of everlasting life for our race.” (Dynamis 1/6/2020)

“Our relationship with God establishes a new Way, one with eternal possibility. Outside of Christ we are dead to God, although He desires no one’s death. “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” (Jn 3:16). Being alienated from God (whether by choice, training, or circumstance) is true death, because God is the Source of life. Life is His gift, allowing us to discern our pitiful condition and return to the Lifegiver, to participate in eternity. We are made alive to God through union with Christ.” (Dynamis 11/15/2021)

"Now the whole offer which Christianity makes is this: that we can, if we let God have His way, we come to share in the life of Christ. If we do, we shall then be sharing a life which was begotten, not made, which always existed and always will exist. Christ is the Son of God. If we share in this kind of life we also shall be sons of God. We shall love the Father as He does and the Holy Ghost will arise in us. He came to this world and became a man in order to spread to other men the kind of life He has by what I call good infection. Every Christian is to become a little Christ. The whole purpose of becoming a Christian is simply nothing else." (C. S. Lewis)


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