Comments on John 1:18

“The first objection that I shall notice is that “we thereby make the Lord Jesus Christ to be a begotten God.” The irreverence of this expression is quite in keeping with the usual way in which the opponents of truth seek to throw discredit on the views of their adversaries. Not content with drawing their own false deductions from the views which they oppose, they dress up these conclusions in a garb of their own manufacture in order to make them ridiculous or contemptible. Had they common fairness they would not impute to us so degrading, so irreverent a doctrine as a begotten God. The expression implies that we are Tritheists; that is, hold that there are three distinct Gods (not three distinct Persons), and that of these three Gods one is the God who begets, the second the God who is begotten, and the third is the God who proceeds from the two other Gods. But this is not Trinitarianism, nor even Christianity under any form, but Hindooism. We are Trinitarians; that is, we believe there is but one God, who exists in a Trinity of Persons. If we held, as they impute to us, a begotten God, it would make us deny not only the Unity of the divine Essence, but the very self-existence of the only true God. We therefore repel the charge to the utmost of our power, and deny that our doctrine leads to any such conclusion. It is a mere natural deduction of their own. But. do they not know that in heavenly mysteries we cannot, and must not, draw natural conclusions, especially if they clash with or contradict revealed truths? Is not revealed truth altogether cut of the reach and beyond the grasp of the natural mind, and not amenable to logical argument? If reason be allowed to tread heavenly ground, and draw at its pleasure logical conclusions from Scripture truths, we must soon abandon the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Atonement, and the doctrines of grace, for strict logical conclusions would go far to overthrow them all. This is the very stronghold of German rationalism and English infidelity, and cannot be too much reprobated by a believer in revealed truth.” The Eternal Sonship of the Lord Jesus Christ, J.C. Philpot, Chapter IV

“The NASB’s literal translation (“the only begotten God”), however, could lead to people to think that Christ is a begotten God.” Early Manuscripts & Modern Translations of the New Testament, Philip Wesley Comfort, pg. 106

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