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What did the Adventist Pioneers believe about the begotten Son of God

C.W. Stone

“The Word then is Christ…. He is the only begotten of the Father.  Just how he came into existence the Bible does not inform us any more definitely; but… we may believe that Christ came into existence in a manner different from that in which other beings first appeared; That he sprang from the Father’s being in a way not necessary for us to understand.”

— The Captain of our Salvation, p. 17, 1883


E.J. Waggoner

“The only name under heaven given among men whereby we can be saved.” Acts 4:12

For ‘no man can come unto the Father’ but by Him.” John 14;6

“So that when He is ‘lifted up’ all men will be drawn unto Him.” John 12:32

“The ‘Author and Finisher of our faith.’” Hebrews 2:2

“In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:3

“Since ‘all power in heaven and earth is given’ to him.” Matthew 28:18

“Thus Christ is ‘the power of God and the wisdom of God.’” 1 Corinthians 1:24


“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.” — Christ and His Righteousness, p. 22, 1890


“It is true that there are many sons of God, but Christ is the “only begotten Son of God,” and therefore the Son of God in a sense in which no other being ever was or ever can be.  The angels are sons of God, as was Adam (Job 38:7, Luke 3:38) by creation; Christians are the sons

of God by adoption (Rom. 8:14, 15), but Christ is the Son of God by birth. The writer to the Hebrews further shows that the position of the Son of God is not one to which Christ has been elevated but that it is one which He has by right.” — Christ and His Righteousness, pgs. 11-13


"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

Uriah Smith

“The Scriptures nowhere speak of Christ as a created being, but on the contrary plainly state that he was begotten of the Father. (See remarks on Rev. 3:14, where it is shown that Christ is not a created being.) But while as the Son he does not possess a co-eternity of past existence with the Father, the beginning of his existence, as the begotten of the Father, antedates the entire work of creation, in relation to which he stands as joint creator with God. John 1:3; Heb. 1:2” — Uriah Smith, 1882, Daniel and the Revelation, p. 430

Ellen White

“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

“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


“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

“The Lord Jesus Christ, the divine Son of God, existed from eternity, a distinct person, yet one with the Father….”The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, “ He declares, “before his works of old.  I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.  When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.  Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:…” (Prov. 8:22-27)  — Ellen White, Selected Messages, book 1, p. 247

“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....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.” — Ellen White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 34.1

J.M. Stephenson

“The idea of Father and Son supposes priority of the existence of the one, and the subsequent existence of the other. To say that the Son is as old as his Father, is a palpable contradiction of terms. It is a natural impossibility for the Father to be as young as the Son, or the Son to be as old as the Father.”  — Review & Herald, vol. 6, #14, pg. 105, November, 14, 1854

John Norton Loughborough

Examination of The Scripture Testimony concerning Man's Present Condition and his Future Reward or Punishment published by Advent Review Office, 1855 nine part series Sept. 4 - Dec. 27. (Quoting 1 Timothy 6:15-16):

     “God is the great source of life and immortality.  If any being has ever received or shall receive immortality, they must receive it from Him; and it is in His power to give or withhold it.”

     But, say you, Christ is immortal.  “He ever liveth to make intercession for us.”  If you claim that he was immortal prior to his mission on earth, he must have received that immortality from the Father, for he proceeded from the Father.” — Advent Review & Sabbath Herald, September 4, 1855, p. 34.

D.M. Canright

Describing the difference between created and begotten, he said:

“But Jesus Christ was begotten of the Father’s own substance.  He was not created out of material as the angels and other creatures were.  He is truly and emphatically the “Son of God.”

— Advent Review & Herald – Jesus Christ the Son of God, 1867

W. W. Prescott

“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.’’  — Review & Herald, April 14, 1896

W. H. Littlejohn

“You are mistaken in supposing that S. D. Adventists teach that Christ was ever created. They believe, on the contrary, that he was “begotten” of the Father, and that he can properly be called God and worshiped as such. They believe, also, that the worlds, and everything which is, was created by Christ in conjunction with the Father. They believe, however, that somewhere in the eternal ages of the past there was a point at which Christ came into existence.”

They think that it is necessary that God should have antedated Christ in his being, in order that Christ could have been begotten of him, and sustain to him the relation of son. They hold to the distinct personality of the Father and Son, rejecting as absurd that feature of Trinitarianism which insists that God, and Christ, and the Holy Spirit are three persons, and yet but one person.”

“S. D. Adventists hold that God and Christ are one in the sense that Christ prayed that his disciples might be one; i. e., one in spirit, purpose, and labor. See “Fundamental Principles of

S. D. Adventists,” published at this Office.” — Review & Herald, April 17, 1883

J. N. Andrews

‘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.’’ — Review & Herald, September 7, 1869

John Matteson

“Christ is the only literal son of God. “The only begotten of the Father.” John 1:14. He is God be- cause he is the Son of God; not by virtue of His resurrection. If Christ is the only begotten of the Father, then we cannot be begotten of the Father in a literal sense. It can only be in a secondary sense of the word.”  — Review & Herald, October 12, 1869, page 123

James Edson White

“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

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