Jesus the Only Son


#1

Why do you suppose Jesus is referred to as the only son? I mean, why isn’t the holy spirit referred to as the other son?


#2

Jesus Christ is the only- Begotten Son of God.

We as Christians are all begotten of God through the One begotten son Jesus Christ. Yet we were not born by the power of the Holy Spirit conceiving with Mary, only Jesus was. Therefore the Second Person of the most Holy Trinity, Jesus Christ became incarnate and took on another nature, that of man. He is fully God and fully man, 100% of each. The Mystery of the incarnation.

The Holy Spirit as the Third Person of the most Holy Trinity never was incarnated. we know this because Christ sent His Holy Spirit later on to guide the Church into all truth.


#3

Because Jesus is the only one actually begotten by the Father. The spirit simply proceeds from both Father and Son - different to being begotten by Him (or Them).


#4

Why do you suppose Jesus is referred to as the only son? I mean, why isn’t the holy spirit referred to as the other son?

Good question

Jesus Christ is the only- Begotten Son of God.

We as Christians are all begotten of God through the One begotten son Jesus Christ. Yet we were not born by the power of the Holy Spirit conceiving with Mary, only Jesus was. Therefore the Second Person of the most Holy Trinity, Jesus Christ became incarnate and took on another nature, that of man. He is fully God and fully man, 100% of each. The Mystery of the incarnation.

The Holy Spirit as the Third Person of the most Holy Trinity never was incarnated. we know this because Christ sent His Holy Spirit later on to guide the Church into all truth.

I don’t think this answers the question. The Son did not become “the Son” because of the Incarnation. He is eternally the Son of the Father.

Because Jesus is the only one actually begotten by the Father. The spirit simply proceeds from both Father and Son - different to being begotten by Him (or Them).

This makes more sense. However, why is it that we say the Son is “begotten”, while the Holy Spirit “proceeded”? Aren’t they just words stating their relationships by our limited means? I don’t think there is official doctrine as to how the Son came from the Father or how the Holy Spirit came from the Father and the Son, the words “begotten” and “proceeded” are just philosophical terms. But I could be wrong.


#5

Since God from all eternity has no gender, why is there “Father” and “Son”? Why doesnt the Church officially call the pre-Incarnate Jesus the “Beloved” as opposed to “Son”? Is it possible to say that from all eternity Jesus wasnt known as “Son”, but just as God? and that the titles, “Son” and “Father” were only adopted after the Incarnation?

Can someone explain in simple terms how one can be eternally begotten? Because I understand there is no start or finish to the Son being begotten. Do you know what I mean? I mean we don’t say that the Son was begotten do we? But on the other hand, there is no more generating to be done, so to speak, by the Father. Jesus is eternally generated by the Father, but that generation is complete at the same time so to speak. Can someone explain this? It has to be more than the Almighty existing outside of time, or IOW existing in eternity. I say this because how do we explain that the Son now for eternity exists as the Incarnate Jesus: There has to be a period were the Son was pure Spirit, but somehow in eternity, transformed so that He is now existing in both human and divine forms? How do we reconcile that God is unchangeable, yet the Son exists now in human form? So, when we hopefully reach Heaven we will see Jesus in bodily form won’t we? Or is He in bodily form only so that we can “see” Him so to speak?

These are just my thoughts, I could be wrong in some of my assumptions.

Sorry for all these questions! But I think they are sort of related to the OP.:o


#6

The greek word monogenesis also has the meaning of unique, one of a kind. The Son of God comes out of the Father, whereas the Holy Spirit comes out of both the Father and Son.


#7

It was God who originated the titles “Father” and “Son”, not the Church. (eg. Father - Mt. 6:9 and 7:21; Son - Mt. 3:17 and 17:5)
Prior to Our Lord’s incarnation, God had not revealed the Trinity to man. Hence the titles (for the three Persons) were not part of the Jewish faith.

Can someone explain in simple terms how one can be eternally begotten? Because I understand there is no start or finish to the Son being begotten. Do you know what I mean? I mean we don’t say that the Son was begotten do we? But on the other hand, there is no more generating to be done, so to speak, by the Father. Jesus is eternally generated by the Father, but that generation is complete at the same time so to speak. Can someone explain this? It has to be more than the Almighty existing outside of time, or IOW existing in eternity. I say this because how do we explain that the Son now for eternity exists as the Incarnate Jesus: There has to be a period were the Son was pure Spirit, but somehow in eternity, transformed so that He is now existing in both human and divine forms? How do we reconcile that God is unchangeable, yet the Son exists now in human form? So, when we hopefully reach Heaven we will see Jesus in bodily form won’t we? Or is He in bodily form only so that we can “see” Him so to speak?

These are just my thoughts, I could be wrong in some of my assumptions.

Sorry for all these questions! But I think they are sort of related to the OP.:o

Wow; not the kind of questions that can be answered in a five easy sentences! But very interesting.
Will give some thought and see if I can find any resources —tomorrow!! It’s way too late (11:30 pm) to tackle tonight.

Nita


#8

Here is a quote from the Council of Trent Catechism, which I think is pretty understandable (underlining mine):
“Among the different comparisons employed to elucidate the mode and manner of this eternal generation that which is borrowed from the production of thought in our mind seems to come nearest to its illustration, and hence St. John calls the Son the Word. For as our mind, in some sort understanding itself, forms an image of itself, which theologians express by the term word, so God, as far as we may compare human things to divine, understanding Himself, begets the eternal Word. …”

For something far less “simple”, you might want to get started with St. Thomas Aquinas - Summa Theol. Part I, question 27; 2nd art. If you don’t have access to the printed volume, here’s a web link: newadvent.org/summa/1.htm

If I’m understanding the heart of you question, it has to do with the ongoingness of the Son’s being begotten/generated. Like being begotten/generated would have happened “initially” and then ceased. This understanding has to be rejected because it implies a beginning. Generation in that sense - from non existence into existence - is not what is meant. Rather, it has more to do with generation’s meaning of “like proceeding from like” (my expression inside the quote marks, so probably not too accurate!). St. Thomas gives as a definition for this type of “generation” - Quote:
*In another sense it is proper and belongs to living things; in which sense it signifies the origin of a living being from a conjoined living principle; and this is properly called birth. Not everything of that kind, however, is called begotten; but, strictly speaking, only what proceeds by way of similitude. Hence a hair has not the aspect of generation and of sonship, but only that has which proceeds by way of a similitude. …as a man proceeds from a man, and a horse from a horse. … *

I think if you ponder the thought/word analogy, you might get a sense of how the Son is “eternally” begotten/generated.

A material analogy to give a sense of how something might be eternally begotten would be to compare it with a burning flame (or sun). A flame continually generates light - as long as it exists. Since a flame is finite, the word “continually” has to substitute for “eternally”.

I say this because how do we explain that the Son now for eternity exists as the Incarnate Jesus: There has to be a period were the Son was pure Spirit, but somehow in eternity, transformed so that He is now existing in both human and divine forms? How do we reconcile that God is unchangeable, yet the Son exists now in human form? So, when we hopefully reach Heaven we will see Jesus in bodily form won’t we? Or is He in bodily form only so that we can “see” Him so to speak?

First, from all eternity God knew He would take on a human nature; so that reality was present in the mind of God eternally.
Second, unchangeable does not mean no activity. It means God - His Divine nature - is unchangeable. In the Incarnation the Second Person united Himself to our human nature. But in Him, the two natures (Divine and human) remained separate (no mixing). The Divine nature remained unchanged. It continues to remain unchanged in the resurrected Son. It is the human nature He assumed that has been changed - divinized. Praise God, alleluia. A change we all hope to experience when we are resurrected.

++++++++++++++
Your questions encompass two realities that I feel are impossible for humans to comprehend - eternity and pure spirit (specifically the Divine spiritual Being). So know right from the start that no matter how much you study and ponder, you will never fully comprehend; one would have to be God.

My strongest recommendation is to accept on faith all that the Church teaches and then pray to God for understanding. Pray as you search; pray your questions (eg. just talk and ask Him all the questions you’ve posed here - and keep asking; keep searching). Don’t be surprised if it takes awhile before the answers come. Sometimes it’s a case of where walls have to be constructed first; then work can begin on the roof!!!

Why don’t you open a thread in the philosophy forum. Might get some more learned responses than mine.

God bless you in your search.

Nita


#9

I just thought of a book that would be very good to get and read if you haven’t already. It’s called “Theology and Sanity” by Frank Sheed. Very good. He explains things in a way the ordinary person can understand. There are chapters in the book on the Trinity, Infinity, etc.

Nita


#10

If we are to put stock and believe in the revelations of John the Apostle through his gospel then his revelation about the Christ being the eternal begotten Word of the Father makes the best case and example of how the Word is eternally begotten by the Father. Word is more than spoken or written. Word begins by thought. Thought is the result of a rational intellect. While human thought is result of a developing intellect, in God’s case He is eternal for and from beyond all time and therefore is His thought too eternal, begotten for and from beyond all time. His thought begotten from His intellect and simultaneous with His being which while begotten is eternal as the Father is eternal. To suggest that the Word had a beginning is to say that the Father had a beginning as well. It would also be to say that the Father did indeed grow and mature into a rational thinking being which is not the case but rather He is timeless and forever as is His Word.

If we then can agree that Christ is the eternally begotten Word/Son of the Father then the Spirit can then be addressed. If we consider the teachings of Jesus on the Spirit such as the Advocate in John or in His advice to the Apostles on knowing what to say when under accusation we then know that the Spirit is a teacher or a guide who is sent from both the Father and the Son. Thus, He proceeds (commissioned in a sense) from them. This does not address from where the Spirit comes from. Proceed, however, should not be confused with begotten nor in any sense consider the Spirit to have been created from either the Father or the Son or both. The Spirit is sent to teach and guide so it can be said the Spirit is among us to bring enlightenment. The gifts the Spirit brings is of Himself and is Himself. Those gifts all are from enlightenment or wisdom. It can then be said that the Spirit is the enlightenment of the Father sent to us through the Father and the Son.

Enlightenment and thought are two separate processes. For us as humans, while thought comes from a rational intellect, enlightment is something that is independent and given us from outside our thoughts and intellects. Thus we become enlightened but thought and intellect can exist and function without it. Once obtained, rational intellect, thought and enlightment work well together but intellect and thought can not produce enlightenment of themselves.

How then does this apply to the Father? If we say that the Father is eternal for and from above all time and the Word exists as the Father does, from all eternity and begotten by the Father, and if this Spirit of Wisdom (enlightenment) is too eternal yet independent of the intellect and thought (Father and Son) yet one in them as they are in Him then the Spirit is of the very nature of the Father. Enlightenment is part of who the Father is but is not made by Him but rather is Him.

I know some of these points need to be expounded further but it is too much information for a small post. Think of it as Father=intellect. Son= thought. Spirit=enlightenment. All part of one yet separate from each other. Intellect begets thought and enlightement is the very nature of the intellect and cojoins with the intellect and thus thought. The three are one and the one are three.

Take care
Dennis


#11

How do we reconcile that God is unchangeable, yet the Son exists now in human form? So, when we hopefully reach Heaven we will see Jesus in bodily form won’t we? Or is He in bodily form only so that we can “see” Him so to speak?


You confuse the human nature of Jesus with the Divine nature. They are two separate entities. Jesus was both fully human and fully Divine. The human nature was given birth. The Divine nature always was and is. Jesus came to Earth as the perfect trinity of body, soul and spirit. His natures were fully joined as we are called to do with ours. He took on human form in order to come among us to teach and do the Will of the Father. It is in this human nature of Jesus that Satan sought to destroy. The Evil One is intelligent enough to know he can not turn around the Divine but the human he can. It is this perfect union that Satan sought to divide by attacking Jesus’ humanity. It is in our own humanity that Satan seeks to divide us from the perfect union with God. In what makes us unique and great in creation is also our biggest weakness.

Take care
Dennis


#12

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.