Sat, 11 Jan 1997 21:37:44 -0500 (EST)

dear friends,

Even at the risk of creating dissension on-line, someone ought to argue
the case for the alternative translation, i.e., "the son begotten of the
One", for Jn. 3.16, "ton uion ton monogenhn". The place to begin, however,
is not here but Jn. 1.14, 18, the latter a particularly difficult verse wtih
its important variant readings.
The most difficult reading for 1.18 is "monogenhs qeos" "a
singly-begotten god", the text printed in UBS IV. Whatever one many think of
this aberrant reading, it should be clear from the context that here
"monogenhs" must mean (a god) "begotten of one", and not " a one and only
begotten" (god).
If you choose to read in 1.18 "ho monogenhs huios", the context also
points to one-parent generation: "No one has seen God at any time; the
monogenhs son who is in the womb of the Father - he has exegeted (him)".
Here the "monogenhs huios" is described as being within the womb of the
Father, which indicates the Father alone generated him.
Jn. 1.13-14 forms a unit where God is defined as the unique generator of
those born of faith, "not the will of blood, nor the will of the flesh, nor
the will of the male", but only God generates life. In 1.14, therefore, it
makes sense to translate "monogenous" (gen. m. s.) in this way: "a glory
like that of a singly-begotten one from (of) a father:" Does the begotten
one have a mother? Of course not! In the Gospel of John, this begotten one
is described as directly united to his father, and also portrayed as the
historical Jesus.
In Jn. 3.16, God gives the son, "the singly-begotten one" as a sacrifice
that all who believe in him should have eternal life. This is the sacrifice
of Jesus of Nazareth, not of a divine being, for the purpose of bringing
God's generative power to all who believe.
To exegete Jn. 3.16 to say that the divine son of God was given in
sacrifice is deicide, and false doctrine. This singly-begotten one in the
Gospel of John is a human being who has been deified in accordance with
monophysite prinicples.
Besides, to say that God only begat once is to contradict the Gospel
which says, " . . . as many as received him . . . ek qeou eggenhqhsan"

richard arthur, Merrimack, NH