Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Monogenes (only begotten)

It is certainly understandable that many trinitarians will do their utmost to avoid the Biblical references to the creation of Jesus by God before the earth was created. Many modern trinitarian Bibles have therefore "retranslated" such NT words as "Firstborn," "Beginning" (of God's Creation), and, as here, "only begotten" (monogenes). This word which Countess wants to mean "only, unique" is literally from either monos, (alone, solitary) and genos, (offspring) - W. E. Vine, p. 811, or from monos (alone) and ginomai (to come into being) - pp. 1667 and 1640, New American Standard Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, #3439, 3441, 1096. It literally means "onlyborn" or "onlybegotten" and is used with this sense no matter how it is translated!

Generally acclaimed as the most literally accurate translations of the 20th century, the ASV (1901) and NASB (including my 1963 edition of the NASB [NT] and my 1975 edition of the complete NASB Bible) both translate monogenes as "onlybegotten"! Even Baptist NT Greek expert A. T. Robertson agrees: "Monogenes (only born)" - p. 13, Vol. 5, Word Pictures, Broadman Press, 1960.

Noted trinitarian New Testament Greek scholar, Dr. Alfred Marshall also agrees that monogenes literally means "only begotten." - see John 3:16 in The Zondervan Parallel New Testament in Greek and English, Zondervan Bible Publishers, 1975.

So for Countess to insist on "only" as the only proper translation of monogenes, and to condemn the NWT for "onlybegotten" is certainly specious to say the least. - p. 77-80. (See OBGOD study paper for evidence that monogenes is applied only to created things and is more properly rendered as "onlybegotten" or "onlyborn").

Furthermore, his claim that many modern trinitarian Bibles have begun rendering monogenes as "only" is true enough, but his claim that the most literal trinitarian Bible of all, the NASB [NT], does so also is inexcusable!

How could such an obvious and easily disproved statement have "accidentally" remained through all the careful editing, revisions, etc. that have been done on this "Critical Analysis" since 1966?

Also see:
OBGOD - Jn 1:18 - "only-begotten god" - NWT (Examining the Trinity)

Does Coptic John 1:18 contradict Coptic John 1:1? (NWT & Coptic)

DEF (Examining the Trinity)

THEON (Examining the Trinity)

Monogenes (only begotten) (Defending the NWT)

Begotten and Created (Examining the Trinity)

John 1:18 "the only-begotten god" / Son (Defending the NWT)