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  #1  
Old Mar 21, '05, 9:07 pm
Catholic Dude Catholic Dude is offline
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Default What Does "begotten" mean?

I have always seen this word in many Bibles. Every place I look says it means "created" in one way or another. So why is this word used?
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  #2  
Old Mar 21, '05, 10:16 pm
Steven Merten Steven Merten is offline
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Default Re: What Does "begotten" mean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catholic Dude
I have always seen this word in many Bibles. Every place I look says it means "created" in one way or another. So why is this word used?
Havent you read all the this guy begot that son and that son begot that son and so on. Bearing sons. It has more to giving birth than to creation.

The most important part of being begotten is to be beggoten of God on judgement day to ressurect into eternal life.

Jesus was begotten of the Father also.

Please visit Jesus Loves God

NAB PSA 2:4
He who is throned in heaven laughs; the LORD derides them; Then in anger he speaks to them; he terrifies them in his wrath: "I myself have set up my king on Zion, my holy mountain. I will proclaim the decree of the LORD: The LORD said to me, 'You are my son; this day I have begotten you. Ask of me and I will give you the nations for an inheritance and the ends of the earth for your possession. You shall rule them with an iron rod: you shall shatter them like an earthen dish.'"
NAB ACT 13:32
"We ourselves announce to you the good news that what God promised our fathers he has fulfilled for us, their children, in raising up Jesus, according to what is written in the second psalm, You are my son; this day I have begotten you."
NAB JOH 3:3
Jesus gave him this answer: "I solemnly assure you, no one can see the reign of God unless he is begotten from above." "How can a man be born again once he is old?" retorted Nicodemus. "Can he return to his mother's womb and be born over again?" Jesus replied: "I solemnly assure you, no one can enter into God's kingdom without being begotten of water and Spirit."

NAB 1PE 3:18
He was put to death insofar as fleshly existence goes, but was given life in the realm of the spirit.
NAB HEB 1:5 Messianic Enthronement.
To which of the angels did God ever say, "You are my son; today I have begotten you"? Or again, "I will be his father, and he shall be my son"? And again, when he leads his first-born into the world, he says, "Let all the angels of God worship him."
NAB REV 1:4 Greetings.
To the seven churches in the province of Asia: John wishes you grace and peace -- from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before the throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the first-born from the dead and ruler of the kings of earth.
NAB PSA 89:27
"He shall say of me, 'You are my father, my God, the Rock, my savior.' And I will make him the first-born, highest of the kings of the earth."
NAB COL 1:15 Fullness and Reconciliation.
He is the image of the invisible God, the first born of all creatures. In him everything in heaven and on earth was created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominations, principalities, or powers; all were created through him, and for him. He is before all else that is. In him everything continues in being. It is he who is head of the body, the church; he who is the beginning, the first-born of the dead, so that primacy may be his in everything.

Peace in Christ,
Steven Merten
www.ILOVEYOUGOD.com
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  #3  
Old Mar 21, '05, 10:42 pm
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Madaglan Madaglan is offline
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Default Re: What Does "begotten" mean?

Unless I am mistaken, the word "begotten" was specifically chosen as the word of choice for the Creed because it emphasized the fact that the Word was not "created" at one time by the Father (as argued by the Arians), but instead "begotten"--that is, eternally proceeds from the Father...or something like that.
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  #4  
Old Mar 21, '05, 10:52 pm
Catholic Dude Catholic Dude is offline
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Default Re: What Does "begotten" mean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Madaglan
Unless I am mistaken, the word "begotten" was specifically chosen as the word of choice for the Creed because it emphasized the fact that the Word was not "created" at one time by the Father (as argued by the Arians), but instead "begotten"--that is, eternally proceeds from the Father...or something like that.
You got at the heart of what I was asking. I know what places like Jn3:16 are saying, but people like the JWs turn it around and say "Created" as in God "created" the Son. Do you see what I am getting at? It seems like a bad word to pick in translation, unless like a lot of other words it must have changed its definition over time.
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  #5  
Old Mar 22, '05, 12:34 am
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DavidFilmer DavidFilmer is offline
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Default Re: What Does "begotten" mean?

"Beget" means to create something like yourself (ie, procreation). It's a specific type of creation. You can "create" many types of things, but you can only "beget" something like yourself.

Birds beget birds. And worms beget worms for the birds to eat.

The term can be applied inorganically. Violence, as the saying goes, begets more violence. But you wouldn't say "violence begets suffering" because suffering is not the same type of thing as violence. You could say "violence creates [causes] suffering,," but not "begets."
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  #6  
Old Mar 22, '05, 1:16 am
Ghosty Ghosty is offline
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Default Re: What Does "begotten" mean?

In the sense of the Creed, it doesn't mean "create", but rather "proceeds", or "comes from". Just as I can come from Seattle, or even the other room, I'm not created by either of those things.
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  #7  
Old Mar 22, '05, 7:11 am
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: What Does "begotten" mean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidFilmer
"Beget" means to create something like yourself (ie, procreation). It's a specific type of creation. You can "create" many types of things, but you can only "beget" something like yourself.

."
NO beget (present tense) does NOT mean create in any way shape or form. Create is what the Creator does - God alone. Beget is what an earthly father does in a physically self-emptying act, which results in the conception of a child. Your earthly father did not create you out of nothing, God did that. Your earthly father begat you.

Beget is what God the Father does in a divinely self-emtying eternal action, He begets the Son. The Son is completely and totally receptive of the Father's love, and eternally returns the totality of this Love to the Father, who eternally is fully receptive of this Love. The Love is the Holy Spirit. Creation is the action taken by the Father, for love of the Son through the action of the Holy Spirit which results in the existence of creatures. The Son is NOT a creature, therefore He was not created by God the Father, He was begotten.

Please do not sling words around carelessly (as some bible translators have done) especially here on this forum.
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  #8  
Old Mar 22, '05, 9:38 am
reen12 reen12 is offline
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Default Re: What Does "begotten" mean?

How about this,

Beget, from a human view, implies sequence:
first the father, then the son.

But try to think of the sun that lights and warms
our planet:

the star [the sun] cannot be thought of without
giving off light. To be a star is to give off light.
The concept of "sequence" is more muted in this
analogy, and is easier to conceptualize.

God the Father always was/is, Christ, begotten of
the Father, always was/is....the way light comes
from a star...if you have a star, you have light.
Since the Father is, the Son is.

[All analogies fail in some particular. There are
"dying" stars, black holes etc.]

reen12
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  #9  
Old Mar 22, '05, 11:24 am
wcknight wcknight is offline
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Default Re: What Does "begotten" mean?

A great description of the Trinity is written in the first Chapter of a book (City of God) written by a german nun in the 15th century. It is reported as being dictated by Our Blessed Mother and describes the instants or divine decrees that describes Creation and God's plan for the universe.

Jesus is not a created being as He is God, He is the Word as John says in his gospel and the Word is God, his incarnation into a human body was decreed before creation. God distributed as much of Himself into Jesus as was possible for a human creature to contain. SO Jesus is truly human, and truly part of the essence of God. The Word existed as God was from the beginning, so there is no beginning of Jesus and no end.

The first created creature was Mary (as least in terms of divine decree), as she was to become the perfect vessel to bear God on earth. God envisioned the Mother of God even before the angels.

The first two instances described God's acknowledgement of Himself, communication (it sound like a self awareness type deal) and His desire to distributed His goodness.

The third described the desire to make the Word incarnate and the creation of Mary as the perfect creature to bear Jesus.

The fourth or fifth described the creation of the angels, the universe, Hell etc.

From the beginning God knew about the rebellion of some of the angels and of man. Even though he wanted all of His creation to accept Him, he granted free will and also knew some would reject Him. Rather than creating automatons, God let us have a choice to choose Him or reject Him.

wc
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  #10  
Old Mar 22, '05, 11:40 am
awalt awalt is offline
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Default Re: What Does "begotten" mean?

Here is the Strong's interpretation:

1080γεννάω [gennao /ghen·nah·o/] v. From a variation of 1085; TDNT 1:665; TDNTA 114; GK 1164; 97 occurrences; AV translates as “begat” 49 times, “be born” 39 times, “bear” twice, “gender” twice, “bring forth” once, “be delivered” once, and translated miscellaneously three times. 1 of men who fathered children. 1a to be born. 1b to be begotten. 1b1 of women giving birth to children. 2 metaph. 2a to engender, cause to arise, excite. 2b in a Jewish sense, of one who brings others over to his way of life, to convert someone. 2c of God making Christ his son. 2d of God making men his sons through faith in Christ’s work.

v v: verb

TDNT Theological Dictionary of the New Testament

TDNTA Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Abridged in One Volume

GK Goodrick-Kohlenberger

AV Authorized Version

Strong, J. (1996). The exhaustive concordance of the Bible : Showing every word of the test of the common English version of the canonical books, and every occurence of each word in regular order. (electronic ed.) (G1080). Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship.
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  #11  
Old Mar 22, '05, 12:29 pm
michaelp michaelp is offline
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Default Re: What Does "begotten" mean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catholic Dude
You got at the heart of what I was asking. I know what places like Jn3:16 are saying, but people like the JWs turn it around and say "Created" as in God "created" the Son. Do you see what I am getting at? It seems like a bad word to pick in translation, unless like a lot of other words it must have changed its definition over time.
Actually, if you look to most modern translations, you will find that they don't use the word "only begotten" anymore. Recent linguistic studies have shown that the Greek root is not from gennao (to beget), but genes) (unique or one of a kind). Christ is the unique Son of God, not the "only-begotten" son, which does imply "createdness." The NIV, NET, ESV, and all other translations have changed recognizing this.

This is interesting since the creed of Nicea DID say that Christ was begotten in eternity, but did not attempt to explain what this meant. This was a reaction to the Arians and give unfortuate implications concerning the ontology of Christ. Christ is not in any way ontologically subordinate to the Father.

Michael
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  #12  
Old Mar 22, '05, 1:16 pm
Ignatius Ignatius is offline
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Default Re: What Does "begotten" mean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catholic Dude
I have always seen this word in many Bibles. Every place I look says it means "created" in one way or another. So why is this word used?
It's an old English word. It literally means to procreate as the father.

The reciprocal for a woman would be to conceive.
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  #13  
Old Mar 22, '05, 1:28 pm
Philthy Philthy is offline
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Default Re: What Does "begotten" mean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catholic Dude
You got at the heart of what I was asking. I know what places like Jn3:16 are saying, but people like the JWs turn it around and say "Created" as in God "created" the Son. Do you see what I am getting at? It seems like a bad word to pick in translation, unless like a lot of other words it must have changed its definition over time.
Reread the Nicene creed and you'll get a much better idea of what begotten means as it applies to Christ, and a better understanding of his divinity - which is your actual endpoint in trying to understand "begotten".

We believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only son of God.
Eternally begotten of the Father;
God from God
Light from Light
True God from true God
Begotten, not made, One in being with the Father
Through Him all things were made.
That is a serious dose of the holy Spirit right there. You think maybe they had a little trouble with some folks trying to deny the divinity of Christ before this was written?
I know you are seeking to understand the word begotten - that's good. This section of the creed(in fact the entire creed) is an excellent meditation for understanding how much there is to Jesus - don't rush through it!

Phil
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  #14  
Old Mar 22, '05, 4:32 pm
reen12 reen12 is offline
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Default Re: What Does "begotten" mean?

Ha! I'd forgotten the phrase in the Creed:

Light from Light....the star analogy must have
occured to me because Light from Light was already
in my thought.

reen12
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  #15  
Old Mar 22, '05, 11:05 pm
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Madaglan Madaglan is offline
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Default Re: What Does "begotten" mean?

Quote:
Originally Quoted by michaelp:Quote:
Originally Posted by Catholic Dude
You got at the heart of what I was asking. I know what places like Jn3:16 are saying, but people like the JWs turn it around and say "Created" as in God "created" the Son. Do you see what I am getting at? It seems like a bad word to pick in translation, unless like a lot of other words it must have changed its definition over time.



Actually, if you look to most modern translations, you will find that they don't use the word "only begotten" anymore. Recent linguistic studies have shown that the Greek root is not from gennao (to beget), but genes) (unique or one of a kind). Christ is the unique Son of God, not the "only-begotten" son, which does imply "createdness." The NIV, NET, ESV, and all other translations have changed recognizing this.

This is interesting since the creed of Nicea DID say that Christ was begotten in eternity, but did not attempt to explain what this meant. This was a reaction to the Arians and give unfortuate implications concerning the ontology of Christ. Christ is not in any way ontologically subordinate to the Father.

Michael
Are you implying that the bishops at Nicaea (many of whom spoke Greek as their first language, and many others who were scholars of Greek, which was then the intellectual language of the East) did not take into serious consideration each word of the Greek Scripture and how they would make the Creed compatible with it?

If so, sorry, but I find it hard to believe that hundreds of bishops, well-learned in the Scriptures, in the ancient languages and in the liberal arts did not look very deeply into the language of Scripture when wording the Creed.

There is a real danger in the West of believing that modern Westerners can better understand foreign cultures. This is called Orientalism, and it oftentimes can be a sign of a hidden hubris. It often presupposes that those individuals in the ancient cultures "didn't know any better"--and that our own systematic historical and linguistic conclusions should replace those made by the ancients, even if the ancients had spent years in study to reach their own conclusions.

One might say that those at Nicaea (and, later at Constantinople) created (and later, modified) the Creed as it now stands because of outside pressure, a compromise, or to fulfill an agenda. For argument's sake, let's say that all this is true. Can we honestly say that many modern Biblical scholars do not have their own agendas, are not pressured by academia to make novel discoveries, do not need to compromise some accuracy in publishing works that have no evident loose-ends? Just look those scholars of the Jesus Seminar, whose works flood the bookstore shelves.

I don't mean to personally offend you, but sometimes I wonder if we place too much emphasis on our own abilities to understand the past, while at the same time passing off as "superstitious," "misguided," or "simplistic" the thoughs and conclusions of the early Christians.

I'm sure there are many modern scholars who understand why the Fathers quoted the Creed as they did.

Maybe the new translations are more linguistically correct, but this does not necessarily have to challenge the formulation of the Creed.
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