What does “only begotten Son” mean? How is Jesus God’s only begotten Son? from Compelling Truth
John 3:16 teaches that Jesus is God’s “only begotten Son” (King James Version). What does this mean?
The Greek term translated “only begotten” is monogenes, a word used nine times in the New Testament that can mean one of a kind or unique. For example, Luke uses the term three times to refer to an only child (Luke 7:12; 8:42; 9:38). The writer of Hebrews uses the term to refer to Isaac, the only son of Abraham and Sarah, the son of the promise (Hebrews 11:17). Modern translations generally translate monogenes in John 3:16 as “one and only Son” or “only Son” to reflect this definition.
But does this mean Jesus was somehow born or created by God the Father? It does not. Instead, the emphasis is on Jesus as one in unique relationship with the Father. The Bible often uses Father and Son with God and Jesus to explain their relationship in terms we can better understand as humans, but this does not mean Jesus was created by God the Father.
Other passages in the Bible make this very clear. For example, John 1:1-3 states, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” Colossians 1:15-17 also emphasizes Jesus creating all things.