Sunday, December 11, 2016

John 1:18 - The Only Begotten God

John 1:18
No one has seen God at any time. The one and only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him. -- World English.
No one has seen God at any time ; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him. -- New American Standard.
theon oudeis hewraken pwpote monogenees theos
2316 3762 3708 4455 3439 2316
ho wn eis ton kolpon tou patros ekeinos
3588 1511_1 1519 3588 2859 3588 3962 1565
Westcott & Hort Interlinear, as obtained from the Bible Students Library DVD:
No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, that One declares Him. -- Green's Literal Translation.
When the scripture says no one has seen God, who is this "God"? Who is "him" that Jesus makes known or explains? Does the first instance "God" here mean three persons, or one person? It should be obvious that it is "God" whom no man has seen that is being made known by another, that is, Jesus. So does the word "God", whom no man has seen, refer to one person, or to three persons? Again, it should evident that the word "God" is being used of one person, not three persons, and that it is only one person that Jesus came to make known, not a triune God.
The word begotten is usually transliterated as "monogenes". Many translations seem to ignore the "genes" part of the word monogenes and seem to focus on the "mono" part, rendering it "The only one." Others would render the "genes" as "kind", making it "one of a kind."
The Textus Receptus, representing the later "majority" text has "only-begotten son," while the earlier manuscripts usually have "only-begotten god." Some trinitarians prefer the Textus Receptus rendering, since they would maintain that "God" was never begotten. Others like to point to John 1:18 as an instance where Jesus is called "God", and claim that it means that Jesus is a person of the Almighty God.
It should be apparent that if John did refer to the Jesus as theos in this verse, it is not the same sense as "Theos" that no man has seen. Also, does "God" in reference to Jesus, speak of Jesus as a man, or as his allegedly being God Most High? Applying the assumed "dual nature" theory to this verse ends up with an apparent self-contradiction, for it would end up having Jesus as being allegedly God Most High making known the Most High God, not the human Jesus making known the Most High God. To illustrate this, let us replace the references to God with "the Most High" in various translations:
New American Standard: No one has seen [the Most High] at any time; the only begotten [Most High] who is in the bosom of the [Most High], He has explained [the Most High].
English Standard Version: No one has ever seen [the Most High]; the only [Most High], who is at the [Most High]'s side, he has made [the Most High] known.
New Revised Standard Version: No one has ever seen [the Most High]. It is [the Most High] the only Son, who is close to the [Most High]'s heart, who has made [the Most High] known.
NET Version: "No one has ever seen [the Most High]. The only one, himself [the Most High], who is in closest fellowship with the [the Most High], has made the Most High known."
In effect, this would have, not the human Jesus making known the Most High, but would mean that the alleged Jesus Most High was making known the Most High; or, it would have the humanity of Jesus to be "God" Most High, since it was the human Jesus who made God known.
In order to get trinity into this verse, what the trinitarian is forced to do is split the sentence up so as to make it appear to be saying something different than John actually recorded, like: ""No one has ever seen the God [The trinitarian has to imagine and assume that "God" here means, not all three persons of the alleged trinity, but rather the alleged "first person" of the alleged trinity, since "God" is here equated with the Father of Jesus]. The only one, himself God [not the human Jesus, but the alleged trinitarian idea of "God Nature" of Jesus; the trinitarian has to imagine and assume that "God" here means the alleged second person of the alleged triune God, but such would require it to not mean the "human nature" as that term is applied to the imagined "dual nature" of jesus], who is in closest fellowship with the Father, has [the trinitarian, in applyng his dual nature to Jesus, has to switch as this point from the alleged trinitarian "God nature" of Jesus to the alleged human nature of the alleged dual nature of Jesus] made God known." Thus, in mid-sentence, and then out of context of, and even in contradiction to, what John actually wrote, the alleged "dual nature" would change in order to satisfy the added-on trinity dogma. In reality, Jesus, even in the days of his flesh, could be referred to as theos in the sense of having received power from the only true Power in the universe, his Father. (John 17:3) Jesus was the prophet like Moses (Acts 3:13-26), who also, being a man, was made "a god" -- one of might -- to Pharoah. -- Exodus 7:1.
Regardless of all the arguments against the idea, genes (presumed to be a form of genos or genea) in monogenes does indicate a beginning, or being brought forth. Some say it simply means "one of a kind," and yet, genos/genea means "kind" in reference a race or people who share a common origin or development, which does go back to the idea of being brought forth into existence. The Greek words are never used of people or a kind that was never brought forth into existence, as is claimed for the Son of God. An examination of the usage of genos, as well as genea, all through the New Testament will demonstrate this.
However, since Jesus was with the only true God before the world of mankind was made (John 17:3,5), having descended from heaven (John 3:13), he could tell of heavenly things (John 3:12), thus he came to tell about the invisible unipersonal God. (Colossians 1:15 -- "God" refers to one person, not more than one person) Jesus did NOT explain a three-personed God; having been with the unipersonal God, and learned from the unipersonal God, he explained about one person, his Father, his one-personed God. -- Matthew 11:27; 8:28; John 7:16; 8:14,28,29,38; 12:49 (Deuteronomy 18:15-19); 14:24; 1 John 5:20.
As we have stated many times elsewhere, the Creator, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, is revealed as one person from Genesis to Revelation. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is always distinguished from His Son throughout the Bible. -- Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Isaiah 61:1,2; John 17:3; Acts 3:13-26; Hebrews 1:1,2; Revelation 1:1.
The Greek word translated as "God" in reference to Jesus is "Theos." Forms of "theos" are used in the New Testament to translate forms of the Hebrew word for "God", that is, "el". However, these words can be used in a more general way, when used of persons or things other than Yahweh, denote a special mightiness or power. Thus, Moses was made a god -- a mighty one -- to Pharaoh. (Exodus 7:1) The angels are mighty ones, not just in authority, but in their being, and thus are referred to as "elohim" (a plural form of "el"). (Psalm 8:5; Hebrews 2:7) The sons of the Most High whom to the Logos came are referred to elohim -- gods, mighty ones. -- Psalm 82:6; John 1:10; 10:34,35.
See the following studies:
Psalm 82:6 – Who Are the Gods?
Of course, Jesus is the only-begotten mighty one, as Moses was made a mighty one to Pharoah. Jesus was a mighty one with the only true God before the world of mankind was made. -- John 1:1,2,10; 17:3,5. See:
Studies on John 1:1
Addendum 1: In the Bosom
The question has been asked, in effect, "Doesn't the fact that John speak of Jesus as being 'in the bosom' of God show that the incarnate Word is in the Father?" The implication seems to be that in some manner this means that Jesus is Himself the only true God. The one presenting the thought would seem to recognize that the word "God" in John 1:18 is applied only to the Father, not the Son of "God", and yet, it seems to be that there is some of kind of assumption being made that if Jesus is in "God", then Jesus must "God" whom he is "in".
Actually, the word "bosom" is being used figuratively in John 1:18. It is not speaking of a literal "bosom", but it represents the close relationship of Jesus with his God and Father.
The truth is that Jesus is not only in God, but the followers of Jesus are also "in God":
1 John 4:15 World English
Whoever will confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in him, and he in God.
1 John 4:16 World English
We know and have believed the love which God has in us. God is love, and he who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him.
Jesus, in prayer to the "only true God" (John 17:1,3), stated:
John 17:20 Neither for these only do I pray, but for those also who believe in me through their word,
John 17:21 that they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us.
The point is that if the fact that Jesus is in God means that Jesus is the only true God, then, to be consistent, we would have to believe that all who believe in Jesus, since they are also "in God", must also be the only true "God". Of course, in reality, neither being figuratively in the bosom of God or in God has anything to do with being God. Such a thought has to reckoned in the imagination and assumed upon what Jesus said, and such assumption would only need to be made if one wishes to use such an assumption to mean that Jesus is the only true God or a person of the only true God.
It is claimed that the deity of Jesus is all John wants to show in his Gospel, and evidently from this conclusion, the thought is that in John 1:18, John is showing Jesus' deity when he speaks of the "incarnate Word". Jesus is in indeed, the only true God’s (John 17:1,3) firstborn, both as son as well as deity. However, while John speaks of Jesus’ deity several times, most of the book of John is not about Jesus’ deity. John never speaks of an "incarnate" Word, as that word is used related to what many think as related to the "incarnation" doctrine. While in the days of his flesh (Hebrews 5:7), Jesus was no longer the glorious celestial deity (1 Corinthians 15:40) that he "was" (John 1:1) when he was with the only true God (John 17:1,3) before he became flesh, as can be seen from John 17:5.
Nothing in any of this, however, means that Jesus is the only Most High -- the only true God -- of whom he is the son. — Luke 1:32; John 17:3.
 Addendum 2:
Some have claimed that the Old Testament relates that Moses and other did see "God". The Israelites “saw” God either in vision, by a manifestation, or through Yahweh’s angels.
Yes, Moses saw the “back” of Yahweh (Exodus 34:20-23); whether this was by means of vision, or whether it was by means of a physical manifestation, the Bible does not say. Whatever it means, it would not mean that Yahweh has a human form with a literal physical back that one may see and literal physical face that one may not see.
The Greek word “oudeis,” like forms of the Greek word “pas” (meaning ‘all’), is always qualified by common evidence and context as to what is being spoken of. All through the NT it is often restricted to the world of mankind, which does not include the angels, as the angels are spoken of as seeing God’s face in Matthew 18:10. Nevertheless, this word is usually not used in the NT with reference to excluding angels in whatever is being spoken of, except where the angels are especially spoken of in the context, as in Matthew 24:36.
Thus, “no one” in John 1:18 refers to “no man”, no one in the world into which Jesus came. (John 1:10) Indeed, many translations render the word “oudies” as “no man” in John 1:18 (as well as in many other places).
Why is God invisible? The scriptures do not give a direct answer to that question, except that it could be said of Him that He dwells in “unapproachable light; whom no man has seen, nor can see.” (1 Timothy 6:16) Like the angels, and as Jesus now is in his celestial glory (John 17:5; 1 Corinthians 15:40), we cannot see God’s substance, but this does not rule out that one can see him in a vision, as a manifestation as though he had a physical shape, or through an angel, even as the angels manifested themselves as men, although in reality they are not men. We can reason from this, however, that the celestial realm is out of reach for mankind, since man, even when complete in his sinless glory (as Adam was before Adam sinned) is still flesh and lower than the celestial plane. — 1 Corinthians 15:39-41; Psalm 8:5; Hebrews 2:7.

For more study on the deity of Christ:
The Logos was Theos
True God Versus False God = False Dichotomy
Why is Jesus Called "ELOHIM" and "THEOS"?
Hebraic Usage of the Titles for "God"
The Fullness of Deity
John 20:28 – My Lord and My God

No comments:

Post a Comment