IS JESUS CREATED OR BEGOTTEN?
Are you not saying that Christ was created by the Father when you insist that He was begotten? Isn’t begotten the same thing as being created? Do you believe that Christ was created?
"Created" No, Christ is not a created being. We have never believed that nor ever taught that. It is a serious blasphemy to suggest that Christ is created. The misunderstanding in people’s mind is due to the false assumption that the words ‘begotten’ and ‘created’ mean the same thing. The fact is they do not mean the same thing at all.
The Bible gives us examples of both showing the difference between them. From the Bible we learn that God created the world out of nothing.
“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” (Hebrews 11:3)
Therefore, to create is to make something out of nothing. The first chapter of the Bible is a good illustration of things being created; things that were made out of nothing. God did not have to use pre-existing matter to make new things. This is how it is further described:
“In the formation of our world, God was not beholden to preexistent substance or matter. For the "things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." On the contrary, all things, material or spiritual, stood up before the Lord Jehovah at His voice, and were created for His own purpose. The heavens and all the host of them, the earth and all things that are therein, are not only the work of His hand, they came into existence by the BREATH OF HIS MOUTH.” – Ellen White, Selected Messages 3, p. 312.1 (Emphasis added at the end – note Spirit of God is the breath of God in this example)
Ellen White goes on to quote Hebrews 11:3 and Psalm 33:6. Thus we see a clear demonstration of the meaning of the word “create”, which is to make something out of nothing. It is when something comes into existence while there was no pre-existing matter for it to come from. Therefore it is created.
“Begotten”, on the other hand, is the exact opposite. It is when something comes out of another thing existing before it. Think of an original source or ultimate source here as a reference. Any begotten thing or creature has to have a source from which it stems. This source is not nothing (as in creation). Anyone who is begotten has come out of a begetter, therefore showing that there are two involved in the process. It is an obvious fact that the begetter is the source of the begotten thing, and therefore the source of the begetter is the same source as the begotten of it. In other words, the two can be traced back through the one line. Once again, the first book of the Bible furnishes us with an example of what we are talking about:
“Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” Genesis 3:16
In the above verse the words “bring forth” are from the Hebrew word ‘yalad’ (Strong’s #3205) which means: to bear, bring forth, beget.
It has been further translated in the KJV and other editions as begat, begot, begotten, begetting, bore, bare, born, brought forth, bearing, bear, became the father, giving birth, produced, deliver(ed), midwife, child, delivered, borne, birth, labour, travail and brought up. This has been noted hundreds and hundreds of occurrences. Both female and more so, male lineages are used in the wording and illustrations in the text. (See also Luke 3:23-38 [Genealogy of Jesus] where we see the line being traced back through each preceding father, up to the ultimate source.)
The word “bear” is used universally for many things, but in child bearing, a few examples are:
Genesis 16:11 – And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ismael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.
Genesis 17:19 – And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.
Leviticus 12:5 – But if she bear a maid child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her separation: and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying threescore and six days.
Judges 13:5 - For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.
Judges 13:7 - But he said unto me, Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing: for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb to the day of his death.
Ruth 1:12 - Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also to night, and should also bear sons;
Here are some examples of the Bible’s use of “bare” which is found 186 times in 178 verses (exclude the usage of “bare the ark” as in the ark of the covenant, as well as “bare his armour”, and other miscellaneous uses) with the majority of them in the Old Testament showing a woman bringing forth children. Most of the New Testament references are in the usage of “bare witness,” “bare false witness,” “bare record.”:
Genesis 4:1 - And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.
Genesis 16:1 - Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.
Genesis 16:15 - And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael.
Genesis 16:16 - And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.
Numbers 26:59 - And the name of Amram's wife was Jochebed, the daughter of Levi, whom her mother bare to Levi in Egypt: and she bare unto Amram Aaron and Moses, and Miriam their sister.
Judges 13:24 - And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the LORD blessed him.
Ruth 4:13 - So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bare a son.
1 Samuel 1:20 - Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the LORD.
1 Chronicles 2:4 - And Tamar his daughter in law bare him Pharez and Zerah. All the sons of Judah were five.
Hosea 1:8 - Now when she had weaned Loruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son.
And then we have usage of “travail” referencing the difficulty or pain of a woman bringing forth a child.
Genesis 38:27 - And it came to pass in the time of her travail, that, behold, twins were in her womb.
Jeremiah 4:31 - For I have heard a voice as of a woman in travail, and the anguish as of her that bringeth forth her first child, the voice of the daughter of Zion, that bewaileth herself, that spreadeth her hands, saying, Woe is me now! for my soul is wearied because of murderers.
Jeremiah 50:43 - The king of Babylon hath heard the report of them, and his hands waxed feeble: anguish took hold of him, and pangs as of a woman in travail.
1 Thessalonians 5:3 - For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
Now here are some examples of the Bible’s use of “beget” which is found in 10 verses:
Genesis 17:20 - And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.
Deuteronomy 4:25 - When thou shalt beget children, and children's children, and ye shall have remained long in the land, and shall corrupt yourselves, and make a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, and shall do evil in the sight of the LORD thy God, to provoke him to anger:
Deuteronomy 28:41 - Thou shalt beget sons and daughters, but thou shalt not enjoy them; for they shall go into captivity.
Ecclesiastes 6:3 - If a man beget an hundred children, and live many years, so that the days of his years be many, and his soul be not filled with good, and also that he have no burial; I say, that an untimely birth is better than he.
Jeremiah 29:6 - Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished.
Ezekiel 18:14 - Now, lo, if he beget a son, that seeth all his father's sins which he hath done, and considereth, and doeth not such like,
Now for some examples of “begat”. This can be found in 139 verses in the Bible and it is always the same meaning when it is used. To show that someone brought forth children from their lineage. Now it is using male lineage exclusively.
Genesis 4:18 - And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech.
Genesis 5:3 - And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:
Genesis 5:13 - And Cainan lived after he begat Mahalaleel eight hundred and forty years, and begat sons and daughters:
Ruth 4:21 - And Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed,
1 Chronicles 9:39 - And Ner begat Kish; and Kish begat Saul; and Saul begat Jonathan, and Malchishua, and Abinadab, and Eshbaal.
Matthew 1:2 - Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren;
Acts 7:8 - And he gave him the covenant of circumcision: and so Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat the twelve patriarchs.
Acts 7:29 - Then fled Moses at this saying, and was a stranger in the land of Madian, where he begat two sons.
And now some examples of “bring forth.”
Matthew 1:21 - And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
Matthew 1:23 - Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
Luke 1:31 - And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
Here we have some verses as examples of the use “Begotten.” These first two out of three examples are used to show male lineage.
Genesis 5:4 - And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters:
Deuteronomy 23:8 - The children that are begotten of them shall enter into the congregation of the LORD in their third generation.
Judges 8:30 - And Gideon had threescore and ten sons of his body begotten: for he had many wives.
Hosea 5:7 - They have dealt treacherously against the LORD: for they have begotten strange children: now shall a month devour them with their portions.
Hebrews 11:17 - By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son.
Now we shall look at the usage when talking about the Son of God, Jesus Christ.
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, 18 - 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. v18 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.
Today, theologians of the church will try and tell us an explanation of the word Begotten, and how it doesn’t mean what the Bible tells us or illustrates. From the above Scriptures in this document, we can see all the parallels of ‘yalad’ from the Old Testament examples of Genesis 3:16. From the Scriptures of John chapters 1 and 3, we have the word begotten. Strong’s Concordance shows this as (#3439) monogenḗs and gives a definition of “only begotten, only, unique, one and only, one of a kind, literally one of a class, only of its kind.” The theologians will admit unique, monogenes, but deny that Christ is the literal Son of God, making him co-eternal and co-equal with no beginning. Then how is he a Son when he would then be a twin to God? Hello?
Yes, Christ is unique, one of a kind. Who else was brought forth from male to male without a female? Did you realize that Adam and Eve are a parallel example of this as well? Within human nature, since when does a male beget anything? Yet the first female, Eve was begotten of Adam. Adam was the original source of what would become Eve and the rest of humanity.
Now, think seriously about this. God would have to have a real live Son prior to Bethlehem in order to send Him into the world as part of the plan of redemption, the plan of salvation. However there are leading scholars or theologians today that present the Father and Son relationship is just a metaphor. It has even been proposed by a sick commenter that God would have to have a consort or female god in order to have a son up in heaven.
We do not, nor are we to know the nature of how this took place or how it happened. We are not to use our own preconceived ideas or notions to make up such tings. After all, when Christ was born of Mary in Bethlehem, a male human was not involved which you could say is impossible. But when the Spirit from the Most High is involved (the Spirit OF God), nothing is impossible just like what took place in heaven in the time of eternity before the worlds existed when Christ was begotten.
Proverbs 30:4 - Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou canst tell?
Proverbs 8:22-30 - v22 The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. v23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. v24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. v25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: v26 While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. v27 When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: v28 When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: v29 When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: v30 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him.
The point is clear that whether it is “begotten” or “beget” or “begat,” it means to "bring forth," or to come out of. There is an original source. Something comes out of an original source. And when this does happen, the Bible refers to man (primarily) instead of woman in reference to these words. Begotten, beget or begat does not mean to make something out of nothing. A created being or object does not need an original source, it just appears. There is no material or substance connection.
From the testimony of Jesus, He “came forth.”
John 8:42 - Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
John 16:27, 28 - For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. v28 I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.
John 17:8 - For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.
We can illustrate the difference in the following: Lucifer was created (made out of nothing) as per Ezekiel 28:13, 15. Jesus Christ (Michael in heaven) was begotten of the Father (came out of Him) as per John 1:14; 3:16; 8:42. Therefore, the difference between “created” and “begotten” is the difference between Lucifer and Christ! That is as far apart as the creature is from the creator.
Lucifer can be traced back to his original source and it will be found that he was made out of nothing. To attempt to do the same with Michael we are faced with a different outcome. We can trace him back through the Father, but then we can never reach a beginning, for the Father is without beginning. Therefore Christ can never ever be traced back to nothing like Lucifer. Therefore, His source (the Father) is an eternal source with no beginning. That is why Jesus is referred to or known as the Son of God.
What did the Adventist Pioneers have to say?
“The Eternal Father, the unchangeable one, gave his only begotten Son, tore from his bosom. Him who was made in the express image of his person, and sent him down to earth to reveal how greatly he loved mankind.” - Ellen White, Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, July 9, 1895, par. 13
“But while God’s Word speaks of the humanity of Christ when upon this earth, it also speaks decidedly regarding his pre-existence. The Word existed as a divine being, even as the eternal Son of God, in union and oneness with His Father.” Ellen White, RH, April 5, 1906
“The Sovereign of the universe was not alone in His work of beneficence. He had an associate--a co-worker who could appreciate His purposes, and could share His joy in giving happiness to created beings. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God." John 1:1, 2. Christ, the Word, the only begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father--one in nature, in character, in purpose —the only being that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God. "His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6. His "goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting." Micah 5:2. And the Son of God declares concerning Himself: "The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I was set up from everlasting. . . . When He appointed the foundations of the earth: then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him: and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him." Proverbs 8:22-30. - Ellen White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 34.1
“A complete offering has been made; for "God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son,"-- not a son by creation, as were the angels, nor a son by adoption, as is the forgiven sinner, but a Son begotten in the express image of the Father's person, and in all the brightness of his majesty and glory, one equal with God in authority, dignity, and divine perfection.” - Ellen White, Signs of the Times, May 30, 1895 par. 3
"Before the entrance of evil there was peace and joy throughout the universe. All was in perfect harmony with the Creator’s will. Love for God was supreme, love for one another impartial. Christ the Word, THE ONLY BEGOTTEN OF GOD, was one with the eternal Father,—one in nature, in character, and in purpose,—THE ONLY BEING IN ALL THE UNIVERSE THAT COULD ENTER INTO ALL THE COUNSELS AND PURPOSES OF GOD. By Christ the Father wrought in the creation of all heavenly beings. “By Him were all things created, that are in heaven, ... whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers” (Colossians 1:16); and to Christ, equally with the Father, all heaven gave allegiance.” - Ellen White, Great Controversy, p. 493.1
“Lucifer was the most beautiful angel in the heavenly courts next to Jesus Christ, but Christ was one with God, assimilated to the image of God to do the will of God. Satan, knowing that Christ had the first place next to God, began to insinuate to the angels that he should be next to God. His great beauty and exalted position made him feel that he was not receiving due honor in being second to Christ. Therefore he would suggest this to the angels, and this suggestion [began] to be communicated to the heavenly angels, and finally [it was] brought before God that Lucifer was the one who should be next to God. Thus the seed was sown and the result was that angels sympathized with Lucifer; next, there was war in heaven. Lucifer’s beautiful appearance was constantly exalted and the Lord God of heaven [saw] that Lucifer and his party were very strong against Christ.” - Ellen White, Ms90‐1910.4
"As the disciples comprehended it, as their perception took hold of God’s divine compassion, they realized that there is a sense in which the sufferings of the Son were the sufferings of the Father. From eternity there was a complete unity between the Father and the Son. They were two, yet little short of being identical; two in individuality, yet one in spirit, and heart, and character." - Ellen White, Youth Instructor December 16, 1897, par. 5
"Who is this that was to come to our world and become incarnate? The only begotten Son of God. “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same, that through death he might destroy him that had the power of earth.” “The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old,” Christ says." – Ellen White, Manuscript 37, March 10, 1898, par. 13
“Before passing to some of the practical lessons that are to be learned from these truths, we must dwell for a few moments upon an opinion that is honestly held by many who would not for any consideration willingly dishonor Christ, but who, through that opinion, do actually deny His Divinity. It is the idea that Christ is a created being, who, through the good pleasure of God, was elevated to His present lofty position. No one who holds this view can possibly have any just conception of the exalted position which Christ really occupies.
…The Scriptures declare that Christ is "the only begotten Son of God." He is begotten, not created. As to when He was begotten, it is not for us to inquire, nor could our minds grasp it if we were told. The prophet Micah tells us all that we can know about it in these words, "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from the days of eternity." Micah 5:2, margin. There was a time when Christ proceeded forth and came from God, from the bosom of the Father (John 8:42; 1:18), but that time was so far back in the days of eternity that to finite comprehension it is practically without beginning.
But the point is that Christ is a begotten Son and not a created subject. He has by inheritance a more excellent name than the angels; He is "a Son over His own house." Hebrews 1:4; 3:6. And since He is the only-begotten son of God, He is of the very substance and nature of God and possesses by birth all the attributes of God, for the Father was pleased that His Son should be the express image of His Person, the brightness of His glory, and filled with all the fullness of the Godhead….
Finally, we know the Divine unity of the Father and the Son from the fact that both have the same Spirit. Paul, after saying that they that are in the flesh cannot please God, continues: "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.
Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." Rom. 8:9. Here we find that the Holy Spirit is both the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ. Christ "is in the bosom of the Father" being by nature of the very substance of God and having life in Himself. He is properly called Jehovah, the self-existent One and is thus styled in Jeremiah 23:5, 6, where it is said that the righteous Branch, who shall execute judgment and justice in the earth, shall be known by the name of Jehovah-tsidekenu — THE LORD, OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Let no one, therefore, who honors Christ at all, give Him less honor than He gives the Father, for this would be to dishonor the Father by just so much, but let all, with the angels in heaven, worship the Son, having no fear that they are worshiping and serving the creature instead of the Creator.” - From E.J. Waggoner’s book, “Christ and His Righteousness”, pp. 19-24, 1890
“The Father was greater than the Son in that he was first.” — James White, Review and Herald, January 4, 1881, Review and Herald Articles, vol. 1, p. 244
“As Christ was twice born, - once in eternity, the only begotten of the Father, and again here in the flesh, thus uniting the divine with the human in that second birth, - so we, who have been born once already in the flesh, are to have the second birth, being born again of the Spirit, in order that our experience may be the same, - the human and the divine being joined in a life union.’’ - W. W. Prescott, Review & Herald, April 14, 1896
‘‘And as to the Son of God, he could be excluded also, for he had God for His Father, and did, at some point in the eternity of the past, have beginning of days. So that if we use Paul’s language in an absolute sense, it would be impossible to find but one being in the universe, and that is God the Father, who is without father, or mother, or descent, or beginning of days, or end of life. Yet probably no one for a moment contends that Melchizedek was God the
Father.’’ - J.N. Andrews, Review & Herald, September 7, 1869
"The angels, therefore, are created beings, necessarily of a lower order than their Creator.
Christ is the only being begotten of the Father." - James Edson White (son of Ellen White), Past Present and Future, p. 52
"In arguing the perfect equality of the Father and the Son, and the fact that Christ is in very nature God, we do not design to be understood as teaching that the Father was not before the Son...While both are of the same nature, the Father is first in point of time. He is also greater in that He had no beginning, while Christ's personality had a beginning." – E.J Waggoner, October 1,1889