16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
What does “begotten” mean? This is perhaps one of the most quoted verses in the entire Bible, after Genesis 1:1 and Psalms 23. Yet most people don’t even know what that one word means. I didn’t know until a minute ago (which led me to writing this post). In fact, the word is so overlooked that it’s removed from the NIV, the version a majority of Americans are using. Unfortunately.
According to Google, the word means, “A past participle of beget.” Click on “beget” and you get “(typically of a man, sometimes of a man and a woman) bring (a child) into existence by the process of reproduction.”
Okay, so that just means Jesus is his son. why do we need such a fancy word to explain that? Heck, the word “son” is the very next word after “begotten”. That’s redundant!
Now hold on a second, previous paragraph. That word wouldn’t be there unless there was a reason for it being there. Let’s look deeper. What is that word in Greek?
μονογενῆ (or monogenes). which means, “single of its kind“.
I think we can agree that there never has been and never will be anyone like Jesus. Therefore, He truly is God’s only begotten Son. The evil NIV tries to downplay Him by making the verse “one and only Son”, which devalues the original text. That’s why that one word is so important. By saying Jesus is God’s “one and only Son”, you’re putting doubt into people’s mind that Jesus is in fact God. Because if He’s His Son, and he was born 2,000 years ago, yet God is eternal, how can Jesus be God? Insert the word “begotten” and you have your answer.
One word makes a difference between understanding and being mislead.