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Frequently Asked Questions About Christianity
  Christianity FAQ 4 : Jesus the Begotten Son?
Article ID : MSS010004  [16682]  

Question No.4

The Bible; "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:16); should you not believe in Jesus to have eternal life?

Answer No.4

Of course, we believe in Jesus for what he was and we do not believe in what he was not. We Muslims believe Jesus was a Messiah; "Spirit from God"; "Word of God"; the righteous Prophet as well as Messenger of God and the son of Virgin Mary. But, we do not believe Jesus was "the begotten son of God." The truth of the matter is apostle John never ever wrote; Jesus was "the begotten" son of God.

Please obtain a copy of the `Gideon Bible' from a Hotel or Motel near you. It is distributed free since 1899, all over the world, by The Gideon Society. In the beginning of this famous Bible, John 3:16 is translated in 26 popular world languages. You may be amazed to discover that in the English translation, the editors have used the traditionally accepted term "His only begotten son." Whereas, in several other languages the editors have used the term "His unique son" or "His one of a kind son." In 1992, when I discovered this textual variations, I wrote letters to various universities in North America requesting them to confirm the original Greek term used by John. Below is a copy of the response received from The George Washington University:-

John 3:16 and John 1:18 each have the word `monogenes' in Greek. This word ordinarily means "of a single kind". As a result, "unique" is a good translation. The reason you sometimes find a translation that renders the word as "only begotten" has to do with an ancient heresy within the church. In response to the Arian claim that Jesus was made but not begotten, Jerome (4th century) translated the Greek term `monogenes' into Latin as `unigenitus' ("only begotten"). Paul B. Duff, 22 April, 1992.

Professor Duff's response was based upon `Anchor Bible', volume 29, page 13-14. The Greek term for "begotten" is `gennao' as found in Mt.1:2, which John did not use.

Hot Tip: (precise and pertinent)

Jesus said to Mary; "...go to my brethren, and say to them, I ascend to my Father and your Father..." (John 20:17). This verse demonstrates that the usage of term `Father' was purely metaphorical. As for Jesus being a "unique son", he, unlike us, was created without a physical Father.


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