Jesus was a born God (μονογενὴς θεὸς )

That's what it says in the original Greek of John 1:18.

θεὸν οὐδεὶς ἑώρακεν πώποτε· μονογενὴς θεὸς ὁ ὢν εἰς τὸν κόλπον τοῦ πατρὸς ἐκεῖνος ἐξηγήσατο.

(No man hath seen God at any time, the *only begotten Son*, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. KJV)

Mainstream Christianity embraces the Athanasian trinity doctrine that identifies Jesus as God. The doctrine is rather confusing but it clearly identifies Jesus as eternal. That has always seemed nuts to me. Jesus prayed to God he was not God himself.

So I have come across something that is great fun indeed: The usage of "monogenēs theos" in the original Greek of John 1:18. See above. A single-born god! Is that not clear enough that Jesus was created, despite having divine attributes?

The KJV (see above) translates "μονογενὴς θεὸς" as "only begotten son" in that passage. And the Griesbach recension of the Greek has that usage too "monogenes huios", begotten son. So I was unaware that both Westcott & Hort and Nestle recensions give "monogenēs theos". "theos" must be better attested than "huios" in the early MSS. Westcott & Hort above.

So in the light of the best modern recensions of the original Greek text, the translation "only begotten son" is absurd. The original text says "single-born GOD" -- μονογενὴς θεὸς. Jesus was a god but not THE god. That's what it says. He was in the bosom of THE god: In the bosom of τοῦ πατρὸς (THE father)

Huge fun however is the way most modern translations render "monogenēs theos". They either miss out "monogenes" entirely or say simply "only". And some stick with "son", despite that not being in the best renderings of the original Greek text. Though the NIV has the grace to put "son" in brackets! It is obviously a hugely embarrassing passage to them. Embarrassing enough for them to mistranslate it deliberately. They are just incapable of saying that Christ was both "genes", "born", "conceived" (perhaps "generated" in modern terms) but also a "theos", a god! "A born God". Let those words sink in.

I suppose trinitarians will waffle their way around that, as they usually do, but there is nothing unclear or mysterious in the original text. If the text had said a born son, it could have meant Christ's incarnation. But it does not. It was not a man that was born. It was a God.

Needless to say, the theologians and exegetes have gone wild trying to tell us that the text does not mean what it says. They say that μονογενὴς (monogenes) just refers to a particular person etc. And they then give a pile of excerpts from classical and Biblical Greek in support of that. They also quote Liddell & Scott's definitions in support of their claims. But all the examples they give are in fact of naturally born people and people identified by their particular birth. Putting it another way, Greeks would on occasions refer to people as "borns", for various reasons. But born still meant born.

But let's leave the μονο aside and just look at γενὴς. They won't like Liddell & Scott's first definition of "genea", which is "of the persons in a family". Not the mystical persons of the trinity but the individual persons of a normal family. And let us look at a word we all know: "Genesis". It's exactly the same word in Greek and English and it's a form of γενὴς. And we know what it refers to, don't we? A beginning. So Christ was a god who had a beginning, a birth.

I would have been burnt at the stake for saying that at times in the past. But it is not me speaking. It is John 1:18.


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