"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only [μονογενής] son [υἱός], that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his son [υἱός] into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only [μονογενής] son [υἱός]. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God." (John 3:16-21)

This statement by Jesus has been controversial because many Biblical versions from the Aramaic and Greek show Jesus’ statements stopped after verse 15 - the one right before this. This would make this section more likely a purport by ecclesiastical translators inserted after the Roman Nicene council of 325 AD.

Whether or not this is true, there is a remaining window into the Truth.

One of the critical points to consider here is the Greek word μονογενής, which translates directly as “unique or special.” This word is used nine times in the new testament: Luke 7:12; 8:42; 9:38; John 1:14, 18; 3:16, 18; Hebrews 11:17; and I John 4:9. In these texts, this word, μονογενής has been translated to either “one and only” or “only begotten.”

Again, the translation terminology from Greek was driven by the edicts of the Nicene council, as they attempted to portray Jesus as the only begotten son of God. This was consistent with the entire strategy of the Nicene council, a politically-motivated gathering of religious leaders from around Europe by the Emperor Constantine, in an attempt to control the Christian world by controlling its scripture and interpretations. This resulted in them choosing four of many living scriptures being read during those times that regarded Jesus, and literally burning the rest. The Dead Sea scrolls and the Nag Hammadi scriptures were just a few of those scriptures not acceptable to the Nicene council. A number of others have also been found, but many were burnt and lost forever.

The Nicene council also carefully selected "official" scribes who translated the Greek texts into the languages of Europe, following the edicts and creeds of the council. This supported the goals of Constantine to politically control the Christian world of that day. This political interest drove the council to translate (or create) the text to imply that Jesus was the exclusive son of God. This in effect would prevent any other teacher to gain a position of authority within the Christian societies throughout Europe.

The question that the "one and only" or "only begotten" interpretation/translation brings up is whether God is so impotent that He could only have one begotten son.

Accordingly, many theologians over the centuries have argued that the more appropriate translation for μονογενής ("monogenes") means "priceless and irreplaceable." This was certainly how the word was translated in Psalms 22:20 and 35:17.

Furthermore, the Septuagint word meaning “only” or “solitary” is μονοτροπος (see Psalm 68:6). This would differentiate from the word μονογενής used here.

In addition, we can see the use of μονογενής as translated as "unique" or "incomparable" from the Hebrew Wisdom of Solomon (7:22), written in Alexandria around 100 B.C.

We can also understand the meaning of μονογενής as we see other Greek works. In a Greek poem written by Parmenides in the fifth century B.C., μονογενής was used to describe a being who was "unique" (Frag. 8.3-4). This illustrates the use of the word in context.

The word μονογενής is also used in the Old Testament to refer to Isaac as supposedly Abraham’s "one and only" son (Heb 11:17). Yet we know that Abraham did not have only one son. Thus the more appropriate translation of the Greek μονογενής is “unique” or “special.”

We can also see that the word μονογενής cannot mean "only begotten son" as in "no one else" when we see that God also applied this honor to David:

I will proclaim the decree of the LORD :
He said to me, "You are my son;
today I have begotten you.”
(Psalm 2:7)

The same translation applies to this and John’s statement. Some have also translated Psalm 2:7’s last statement to “today I have become your Father.” Yet the context and Hebrew from which it is translated is the same.

We should note that there is another context of “begotten” that is revealed from Psalm 2:7. Since the word “today” is used, we know that there was a change, prompting God to bestow upon David the honor of being God's "begotten son."

What did David do to deserve this privilege? Certainly we can see, from the statement "I will proclaim the decree of the LORD," that this assignment is due to David's acting on God's behalf, as he proclaims God's message. This illustrates that David has submitted himself to God, and become God's servant. He has surrendered himself to God, and God has empowered him to be His representative. This process, of becoming God’s loving servant, results in a spiritual re-birth of sorts. This is a person who is deciding to do God's will instead of his own will. This “re-birth” is what is being translated to as “begotten” or “begetting” (meaning, “to give birth”).

Thus we can see that the application of this word is better describing Jesus as having a unique, priceless and irreplaceable relationship with God, one that is born from a decision to do God's will. This could also be described as an intimate and confidential relationship.

Thus we can more appropriately translate the two words together: “μονογενής υἱός” as an "special follower of God," or “intimate loving servant of God.”

This is confirmed by the fact that the Greek word translated to "son" (as in "son") in the New Testament is υἱός (huios), which according to the lexicon can mean "son" "in a restricted sense, the male offspring (one born by a father and of a mother)." But it also can mean according to the lexicon, "used to describe one who depends on another or is his follower."

This means the word is also used to describe a dedicated follower or loving servant.

This also more appropriately fits the situation and is also more practical. Anyway, why would God only beget one person? Is God somehow limited in His ability to beget children? Most men can theoretically beget tens if not hundreds of children in their lifetime. And we are saying that God would only beget one person? This is simply illogical.

This also contradicts scripture. We find many places in the Old and New Testaments of others also referred to as “sons of God.” Here are a few:
When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. (Genesis 6:2)
The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown. (Genesis 6:4)
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. (Job 1:6)
Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD. (Job 2:1)
When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38:7)
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." (Matt. 6:9)
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name (John 1:12)
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. (Romans 8:14)
For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. (Romans 8:19)
You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26)
Here we can see a consensus of the use of “son of God” within scripture. The "son of God" is not an offspring as we might conceive of in the physical sense. On a purely creation basis, we are all certainly children of God. But what creates that special title of being referred to as a son of God? This follows when a person becomes devoted to God. When a person becomes exclusive to God, and becomes His loving servant.

In the case of Jesus we must add an additional concept - the reality that Jesus was sent by the Supreme Being to teach us. He was thus representing God. When the servant of God is sent to teach about God, the term υἱός τοῦ θεοῦ would be better translated to "Representative of God." 

The exclusivity inferred by many ecclesiastical sectarians upon Jesus was not God’s exclusivity, as the political Nicaea council wanted us to think. It is us having an exclusive focus on God. As we can see by the quotes above, all of us have the ability to become confidential loving servants of God. We simply have to travel the road to get there. This means we have to dedicate our lives to God.

Gradually, with this dedication, comes our increasingly exclusive focus upon God. This is the exclusive or confidential nature of a unique and personal loving relationship with God. In other words, each of us has a unique, inborn relationship with God. Most of us inhabiting physical bodies within the temporary physical world have simply abandoned that relationship for the sake of self-satisfaction.

This is reflected by the statement above, "Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil." "Evil" is the state of selfishness that portends that we are the most important person. This develops into greed, which develops into lust, anger, violence, and the other symptoms of self-centered emptiness. "Light," on the other hand, is the worship and love of the real center, God. This is the opposite of "evil" or selfishness.

And the statement, "...what he has done has been done through God," indicates that Jesus is God's loving servant, and God utilized Jesus as His representative.


(The New International Version was used in the above Biblical quotes. Also consider the Gospels of Jesus for Jesus' statement above - from the original Greek texts without ecclesiastical sectarian influence.)