How The “Only-Begotten Son?”

Welcome back everyone to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. We’ve lately been looking at the Watchtower booklet of “Should You Believe In The Trinity?” We’re on the section now offering arguments against the Trinity with a focus now on who Jesus is. Tonight, we’re going to address what is said about Jesus being the only-begotten Son.

The Watchtower begins with saying that Trinitarians say that the Son is eternal, but how can a Son be as old as his Father? My first thought in response to this is that it makes no sense to me to say the Father is old. That is placing God on a chronological timeline as if to say “God’s been around a long time!” Yes. God exists everlasting to everlasting, but He does not age and He does not celebrate birthdays. He cannot be measured chronologically.

However, we could also look at the point about a son being as old as his father and say “And whoever heard of a father having a son without a mother?” However, the Watchtower surely would not say that Jesus’s existence began in the womb of Mary but that He did pre-exist.

The idea of Father and Son is analogical language so we should not expect one-to-one correspondence. God is not just like us. He is not like us in any way. We are like Him. When the day comes that my wife and I have children, should we have a son, we could not say “Well we have a son and His way is kind of like ours.” No. He has a Son and our way is meant to be kind of like that, though of course different as it is temporal.

The Watchtower goes on however to say the following:

Trinitarians claim that in the case of Jesus, “only-begotten” is not the same as the dictionary definition of “begetting,” which is “to procreate as the father.” (Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary) They say that in Jesus’ case it means “the sense of unoriginated relationship,” a sort of only son relationship without the begetting. (Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words) Does that sound logical to you? Can a man father a son without begetting him?

To begin with, an English dictionary is a terrible place to go to to define biblical words. Vine’s is a much better source thankfully. However, why would they say we believe Jesus is the only-begotten, except that Jesus is not begotten? This is a misrepresentation entirely by the Watchtower. Of course, it’s easy to do for them since they cite no Trinitarians.

The Watchtower tells us the same word for only-begotten is also used for Isaac and there can be no doubt that Isaac was begotten in the normal sense.

If you mean through sexual intercourse, yes, that is so. (Though keep in mind Jesus was not begotten in this way. Even if we believed the Son had a beginning, how can it be considered “normal”?) However, I do not know of anyone who believes it’s normal for 90 year-old women to get pregnant through sexual intercourse.

It can’t even mean firstborn for Isaac! Ishamel was there before Isaac was. So if the Watchtower wants to say that Jesus is only-begotten in the sense that he was the firstborn, that will not apply to Isaac then. Could it be that Isaac is the only-begotten in that he is defined by his unique relationship to his father?

The Watchtower quickly concludes that Jesus was begotten in time. If that is so, then they have a problem with wisdom. Wisdom is said to be begotten as well, so was there a moment in time that God was not wise, and then He begot wisdom, and after that He became wise?

Or could it be that God begot in the sense that He brought forth that which was always with Him, His Son?

Yes. Could it actually be that what Christians have taught for centuries has been correct?

We shall continue tomorrow.

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