The Only Begotten Son of God


The Only Begotten Son of God


Many beliefs are common to Christianity, regardless of individual denominations. In fact, these beliefs are central elements and tenets of our faith in the Lord Jesus. To have assurance of an eternal life with God, these are the core doctrines or beliefs: the virgin birth of Jesus of Nazareth, His death on the cross for sin, and His shed blood to pay the penalty for sin. The resurrection of the Lord Jesus and His bodily second coming are also critical beliefs.

These doctrines are essential for eternal life. But there is one doctrine that all the others rest upon. It is the rock bottom, foundation of the Christian faith: Jesus of Nazareth is the only begotten* Son of God. Without this core belief, all the others are meaningless. Christianity stands upon the person of Jesus of Nazareth as the only begotten Son from eternity past and into the future forever. He is unique because He is the only begotten Son of God.

Any tampering with this doctrine touches the very foundation of our faith. There are five verses from the Holy Bible, Authorized King James Version (KJV), which show clearly that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God. These verses follow:


John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

1 John 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.


These verses reveal that the Lord Jesus was begotten of the Father. He was from the bosom of the Father. You must believe on the name of the ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD for eternal life. He was sent into this world from heaven as the only begotten Son of God. Your eternal life depends on the belief that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God. The importance of this doctrine cannot be overstated.

The Bible reveals God has other sons. For example, believers in Jesus are called the sons of God but through adoption. Adam was called the son of God. God gave the angels the title of the sons of God. Israel became God’s son, and Solomon sat on the throne of Israel as the son of God. However, the Lord Jesus remains distinguished from all these sons of God. He is singular and unique as the only begotten Son of God with the Father from eternity. He has a different relationship with the Father. Any tampering with the Lord as the only begotten Son of God would just make Him one of many sons of God in the Bible. A verse to show this follows:


Galatians 4:5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. (6) And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.


Today the very foundation of our faith is under direct attack. Most of the modern Bible translations** have altered this doctrine and shake the very foundation of Christianity. Unfortunately, this attempt to undermine our faith appears to be largely ignored. The modern translations have replaced “only begotten” with words that change the person of the Lord Jesus and thus the foundation of the faith.

The New International Version (NIV) is one of the most popular translations today. It has completely altered the “only begotten Son” to terms that are false or misleading. The NIV is typical of most of the modern translations. The terms now used in place of “only begotten” are “One and Only” and “only Son.” The verses from the NIV follow:


John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:18 No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:18 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 Son.

1 John 4:9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.


What does “One and Only” mean? One and only what? The Lord Jesus is not God’s only Son. This is false as God has many sons. He is God’s only begotten Son and is thus unique. It is obvious how the modern translations have tampered with the very foundation of Christianity. Using the NIV alone, you cannot even prove that the Lord Jesus is the only begotten Son of God! Therefore, the NIV fails to substantiate the very foundation of the faith.

In John 1:14,18 the words "begotten and Son" are left out, while John 3:16,18 and 1 John 4:9 are false as they remove "only begotten" and say "God’s only Son." These translations are illegitimate. The modern versions have to be rejected as they are deficient and lack the ability to even prove the very foundation of the faith. These translations lead believers away from the true person of the Lord Jesus.

The NIV makes a second outrageous error. The KJV accurately reports that Lucifer fell from heaven. The NIV removed the name Lucifer and replaced it with “morning star.” Morning star is one of the titles for the Lord Jesus. He is the bright and morning star! The new translations remove Lucifer and replace him with a title for the only begotten Son of God. Lucifer is out of the Bible while the Morning star fell from heaven. It does not get any worse than this!


Isaiah 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! (KJV)

Isaiah 14:12 How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! (NIV)

Rev 22:16 I, Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am ... the bright and morning star. (KJV)


There are numerous other errors in these translations, but these two errors alone are enough to reject them. These errors include eliminating paragraphs and entire sentences; removing words which change the meaning of verses; and notes which challenge the authority of the Bible. The notes usually say something to the effect, the oldest manuscripts do not contain this verse. Dozens of notes like this are found in the New King James. These notes weaken the authority of the Bible to the reader.

It is time the true believers come back to God’s word in English, the KJV. We must stop using these dangerous translations. Pastors should reject them and not teach from them. Seminaries and colleges need to be challenged as to why they promote these false translations.

Spiritual power hemorrhages from believers as they read these translations. They can lack both inner spiritual power as well as the proper Scriptures needed to defend the faith. An example of this is found in Luke 4:18. Millions of people suffer from a broken heart. Something happened to them that wounded their spirit and broke their heart. Luke 4:18 is the verse for such a person. The modern translations removed broken hearted from the verse! This is the only verse in the New Testament which contains the words broken hearted. The following, for comparison, is Luke 4:18 in the King James Version and the New International Version:


Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised (KJV)

Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, (NIV)


The Bible warns that even in the apostle’s day there were people who would corrupt the word of God. The corruption continues to our day. We have to guard against those who may alter God’s word and stand against this. We cannot sit by and let the foundation of the faith be washed away. We need to stand against this subtle attack on God’s word: “For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God...” 2Corinthians 2:17.

I debated many Muslim apologists and had numerous encounters with those who intended to tear down the Christian faith. On several occasions, the NIV was used against me to attack the fact that the Lord Jesus is the only begotten Son of God! They used the NIV because it omits the Lord Jesus is the only begotten Son of God! The unbelievers use the corrupted “Christian Bibles” to attack the very foundation of the Christian faith! They cannot assault Jesus being the only begotten Son of God with the KJV, but they can with the modern translations.

Could you use your Bible to prove the foundation of the faith? Could you stand before a Muslim missionary with your Bible? If not, throw it away and use the real word of God. These false translations cannot stand up against the unbelieving apologists who know what is in them. I know for I have defended the faith against these apologists.

The translators of the KJV did not invent the term "only begotten Son of God" to identify the Lord Jesus. John Wycliffe in 1382 was the first to translate the Bible into English. He translated all these five verses as "only begotten." All the Bibles until modern times translated the verses as "only begotten" as well.

The KJV was the Authorized translation until recently. The removal of "only begotten" is recent. There is no history for this switch. The term "only begotten" has been used in the English Bibles for over 600 years. The following is John 3:16 as it actually appeared in the first English Bible:


For God louede so the world, that he yaf his `oon bigetun sone, that ech man that bileueth in him perische not, but haue euerlastynge lijf. (Wycliffe 1382)


If you are using one of these "modern" translations, now is the time to discard it. Ask God to cleanse your mind of the false doctrines that have spiritually weakened you. God has to cleanse your mind of many other false teachings in these translations.

In addition to these problems the modern translations pose, it is virtually impossible to memorize the NIV and the other modern translations. Immediately begin to read and study the Holy Bible (KJV), and you will see how easy it can be to memorize God’s word. “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Psalm 119:11.

If you have never trusted God’s only begotten Son for eternal salvation, now is the time. God requires that you repent of sin and confess the Lord Jesus as your Savior. This confession means you believe that He died on the cross and shed His blood for your sin. He bodily rose from the dead and will bodily return in great glory. You must believe He is the only begotten Son of God to have eternal life with God.


John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (18) He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.


* Begotten means to father

** Modern translations which alter the “only begotten Son” include: NIV, Living Bible, Revised Standard, The Message, New Living, Contemporary English Version, Worldwide English. The New King James and New American Standard do not alter “only begotten Son” but are not recommended for other reasons.



By John McTernan
Defend and Proclaim the Faith

Blog: John McTernan’s Insights at www.johnmcternan.name

Meet author John McTernan
During numerous appearances on television, radio and in seminars, he has publicly defended Israel in light of Biblical prophecy. His current best selling book is As America Has Done To Israel.
He is author of the acclaimed book God's Final Warning to America, and co-author of the bestseller Israel: The Blessing or the Curse. From his experience debating, John wrote the Only Jesus of Nazareth series. This series includes: Only Jesus of Nazareth Can Sit on the Throne of David and Only Jesus of Nazareth Can Be Israel's King Messiah. Additionally, he has written several tracts, including Muhammad or Jesus: The Prophet Like Unto Moses, and The Koran vs the Bible.

As America Has Done to Israel

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