The Son of God
By: Elder Ross Drysdale
Does The Bible Teach A “Begotten” Or An “Eternal Son”? What Is The A Manahan Creed Of The. Trinitarians? Is It In Conflict With The Bible? If The Son Of God Was The Second Person Of The Trinity, Why Did He Say He Could Do Nothing?
Son Of The Living God
“Whom do you say I am?” was the question Jesus asked long ago. “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God” was Peter’s divinely revealed answer (Matt 16:15-18). It was upon this revealed truth, that Christ was the Son of God, that the church was to be built (Matt. 16:18-19). Without a proper understanding of the doctrine of the Son of God it is impossible to lay a true foundation. And without a true foundation every other stone is out of place also. Oneness Light is a return to the true and biblical teaching concerning the Son of God.
The Neo-Trinitarian Son Of God
Neo-Trinitarians and Classic Trinitarians commit their first error in defining the Son of God. From this original heresy springs forth in rapid, order all the other distorted teaching of the Trinity. From the start every thing is radically out of focus, and they prefer it that way. The plumbline has been moved from Apostle Peter’s simple confession to endless futile debate about consubstantiality, eternal generation, Perichoresis, and Logos theology. They just can’t seem to accept clear and simple Bible truths at face value. Everything must be invested with an aura of confusion and mutual contradiction, over which they throw the blanket of “divine mystery. But this blanket is getting rather thread bare from centuries of “cover up” tactics. Let us first examine the “Son of God” doctrine that Trinitarians insist one must “hold” if he “wishes to be saved” (Athanasian Creed).
To Trinitarians, the Son of God is eternal. He never had a beginning. He always existed along side the Father and Holy Spirit as a distinct person. He is co-equal with the other two in every respect.
“The father is eternal, the Son is eternal, the Holy Spirit is eternal, and yet there are not three eternals, but one eternal.”
“The Father is Almighty, the Son is Almighty, and the Holy Spirit is Almighty. Yet there are not three who are Almighty, but there is one who is Almighty.”
“For the Father is one person, the Son is another, and the Holy Spirit is still another.”
“For just as we are compelled by Christian Truth to acknowledge each Person by himself to be God and Lord, so we are forbidden by the Christian religion to say there are three Gods or three Lords” (Athanasian Creed, as quoted in Theodore G. Tap pert, The Book of Concord, Mahlenberg Press, Philadelphia, Pa. 1959).
So the Son is one of three distinct eternal Persons, each of whom is fully God, yet at the same time there are not three Gods. So they tell us! The Son always existed as one of the three “Almighties,” yet of course there are not “three Almighties” (even though each of the three distinct Persons is an “Almighty)!
Yet the Bible speaks of the Son as having an origin, being “begotten.” So this must be “explained away.” The Creeds are equal to the task. They insist that the Son is “eternally begotten:” In other words the Father is always and perpetually “begetting” the Son.
“He is a derived representation of God the Father…a derived copy by eternal generation of God the Father.”
“He proceeds by eternal generation from the Father as the Son, and because eternal, that birth never took place, it always was.”
“Father and Son come into being at the same time, and since God never come into being, then Christ never did either.”
(As cited in “The God of Glory,” by Ronald F. Hogan, Loizeaux Brothers, Neptune, N.J. 1984, p. 60).
To all of the above Dr.Boyd as of necessity must subscribe, for he not only endorses Athanasius (for whom the Creed is named), but also endorses all those “earliest Christian fathers” who “cared about nothing more than preserving intact, without any alteration ‘the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints ‘ (Boyd, p. 60-61). And that, of course, includes the creeds which they composed. In fact, he warns us to be careful in our understanding of these Creeds lest we be guilty of “a misapplication of the creedal language” (Boyd, p. 173). Oneness believers are chided for having “traded in the mystery of the Trinity for the nonsensical notion of God as an undifferentiated unity” (Boyd, 176). Thus the Creeds, which set forth the “mystery,” are more important than the word, which sets forth God as an “undifferentiated unity” in numerous passages (Deut 6:4, Isa. 43: 10-11, Isa. 44:24, Isa. 46:9, Deut. 4:35, Deut. 4:37).
Dr.Boyd is in perfect agreement with the Trinitarian Creeds (though not with the Bible) when he sets forth his faith in the “eternal pre-existence of the Son.” He writes on page 114: “If Jesus was indeed the ‘word,.’ Image, form. ,”Son and ‘expression’ of God the Father in time, so he must in some sense always have been.” And he states further that he finds: “…the truth of Christ’s eternal pre-existence to be a firmly grounded teaching of
Scripture.” (Boyd p.114). And by this he means Christ’s eternal pre-existence as “God the Son, Second Person of the Trinity.”
TRINITARIANS BECOME SUSPICIOUS
The Trinitarians themselves are beginning to become suspicious of their own creeds as respects the definition of the Son of God. And is it any wonder with such insane concepts as eternal begetting, births that never took place, births that always were, derived copies, eternal generations, beings that come into being while never coming into being, etc. etc. Bedlam itself could not have pr6duced such rantings. We should be praised, not rebuked, for “trading in the mystery of the Trinity.”
Ronald F. Hogan
Listen to what Ronald F. Hogan, leading Trinitarian has to say about all this “creedal language” concerning the Son: “The sources of all the above remarks, and of numerous similar ones, emanating largely from traditional formulae hammered out at frequently unharmonious and commonly acrimonious church councils, quite likely would repudiate imputation to them of the doctrine that the Lord of glory was a created being. Notwithstanding, their adoption and their espousal of such theological praseology (e.g. ‘derived,’ ‘copy , ‘ ‘created,’ ‘proceeds,’ ‘birth that always was ‘creature,’ ‘barn before creation’) cast shadow, rather than light, upon the fundamentalist conviction that co-equality and co-eternity characterize nondispensational Godhead condition ” (Hogan, p. 60).
Dr. Hogan continues in his expose of this “creedal language” with specific focus on the term “eternal generation.” He writes: “In this regard, theologians have coined the expression ‘eternal generation’ in an attempt to reconcile the title ‘only begotten Son’ with the truth of the Lord’s uncreated essence as a divine Person. Such an expression as ‘eternal generation’ is unfortunate, not on the grounds that it does not occur in Scripture…but because it is composed of two diametrically opposite and mutually exclusive English words. To purport to meet a theological dilemma…with a mystical expression which is both self-canceling and also unilluminative is an unsatisfying solution, to say the least.”
Thus the Trinitarian doctrine of the “Eternal Son” begins as a “dilemma” (and a self imposed one I might add) and ends with “self cancelling” and “unilluminative” solutions, unsatisfying ones at that!
Adam Clarke, whose monumental 6 volume commentary, is available in every Christian library and recognized universally for its renown scholarship, had much to say in opposition to “eternal generation” and “eternal Sonship.” In commenting on Luke 1:35 he has this to say: “To say that he was begotten from all eternity, is, in my opinion, absurd; and the phrase ‘eternal Son’ is a positive self contradiction: Eternity is that which has had no beginning, nor stands in any reference to time. Son supposes time, generation, and father; and time also antecedent to such generation. Therefore, the conjunction of these two terms, son and eternity, is absolutely impossible, as they imply essentially different and opposite ideas.”
Walter Martin, prolific author and exposer of cults, had this to say regarding the same Trinitarian definition of the Eternal Son: “Many heresies have seized upon the
confusion created by the illogical ‘eternal Sonship’ or eternal generation’ theory of the
Roman Catholic theology, fortunately carried over to some aspects of Protestant theology. Finally, there cannot be any such thing as eternal Sonship, for there is a logical contradiction of to terminology due to the fact that the Word Son predicates time and the involvement of creativity’, (Walter Martin, Jehovah of the Watchtower, Bethany House, Minneapolis, MN., 1974, p. 161).
A Divided House
Seeing the Trinitarians cannot agree among themselves as to the correct definition of the Son, why should they attempt to teach anyone else? By their own admission it is a “dilemma, “illogical,” “absolutely impossible,” “self canceling,” and a “contradiction of terminology.” And yet this is the “eternal Son” doctrine Dr. Boyd would urge upon us instead of the Oneness explanation which he says creates “a multitude of insuperable difficulties” (Boyd, 170). When it comes to “insuperable difficulties,” his own backyard is in radical need of trash removal. For it is littered with contradictions, impossibilities, and dilemmas, as reported to us by his own Trinitarian neighbors!
Let us leave the divided and squabbling house of the Trinitarians as they “eternally” fight over the definition of the Son of God. We shall examine what oneness and the Bible have to say on this subject.
The Begotten Son Of Oneness
Christ is called “the only begotten of the Father” (John 1:14), the only begotten Son” (John 1:18, I John 4:9),”His only begotten Son” (John 3:16), and “the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18). The Angel told Joseph that Christ was begotten (Matt. 1:20); the same angel told Mary that her Son was begotten of God (Luke 1:35), and God Himself told the son that he was begotten: “Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten thee” (Hebrews 1:5). What more is needed? The Son is not “eternal,” he was begotten!
The term begotten is an earthly term, not celestial or eternal. It is used to describe human beings who are brought into existence through reproduction and born of a mother. Webster’s Dictionary states under “begotten” the. Following beget, begotten: to bring into being as offspring; to produce or cause.” The term Son, likewise is humanly and earthly connected: Son “a male offspring, male child born of a woman.”
So we can see from this that the Son “came into being” hence He cannot, as the Son, be eternal. Neither could he have existed from all eternity in heaven, for He was a “male child, borne of ‘a woman.” And such conditions do not obtain in heaven!
“Unbegetting” The Begotten Son
Neo-Trinitarians in their desperation to sustain their untenable theory have begun toying with the text of Scripture. Frantic to get rid of the idea of a “begotten” Son (which they realize is fatal to the Trinity) they have “discovered” something that had been overlooked for nearly 2,000 years. And what is this marvelous discovery? “New light” on the Greek, they say, shows that the word “begotten” is a mistranslation! The Greek term “monogenes” should be rendered, “unique,” “one of a kind” or just “only.” No thought of generation is implied they maintain. Thus Dr. Boyd writes: “First as is widely recognized by contemporary biblical scholarship, the Johannine Semitic phrase ‘only begotten, (monogenes) is not a biological term. Rather, the term specifies uniqueness. ‘Mono’ means ‘one’ and ‘genos’ means ‘kind.’ Jesus is, therefore, not God’s only born Son (in contrast to all of his nonbegotten sons?); rather, he is, as the NIV rightly translates it, God’s ‘one and only’ Son” (Boyd, p. 113).
What Does Monogenes Mean?
It seems Neo-Trinitarians will stop at nothing, even altering the Word of God, in their frenzied efforts to keep their leaky theological raft afloat. Instead of bailing out however, they have just added a curse to their sin of heresy, for “if any man shall take away from the words of the book” we are informed, God shall take away his part out of the book of life” (Rev. 22:19). Dangerous work this Trinitarianism.
The “New Translation” for monogenes is a Trinitarian fiction and flies in the face of 2,000 years of scholarship. The ancient church fathers always translated it as “begotten.” They always understood it as “begotten”, and so wrote of it. These men lived 1700 years closer to the original manuscripts. They not only knew the ancient Greek, they spoke it as their mother tongue! The Council of Nicea was conducted in Greek! Surely they would know their own language. They did. And that is why they included the word “begotten” repeatedly in all the ancient creeds. They never once substituted “unique” or “one and only.” Seventeen hundred years later some “johnny-come-latelys’ would teach them their own language! We have seen previously how disastrous it turned out to be for Trinitarians when they attempted to teach the Jews the fundamentals of Hebrew regarding such terms as Elohim and “yachid.” Their attempt to teach the ancient Greek Fathers their own Greek tongue will prove equally embarrassing. The Trinitarian Fathers tried to circumvent the idea of a “begotten” Son by postulating an “eternal” begetting; they didn’t dare try to change the meaning of the word. Indeed, they couldn’t, for they would have been “laughed out of court.” Everyone knew what monogenes meant.
Besides, other things weigh in against the Neo-Trinitarian Case. What can they do with such texts as Matt. 1:20 where Joseph is informed “that which is begotten in her is of the Holy Ghost” (margin). Are we to translate this as “that which is ‘uniqued’ in her is of the Holy Ghost?” Or how about Hebrews 1:5 which reads, Thou are my Son, this day have I begotten thee.” Are we to now render it: “Thou art my Son, this day have I ‘one and only’ thee.” Dr. Boyd unbelievably explains it away by linking it to Solomon’s Coronation Ceremony! “The Old Testament passages the author is quoting speak of an ideal king’s relationship to the God of Israel and have nothing to do with the biological birth of the king. Rather they simply speak of God’s openly declaring (probably during the coronation ceremony) his special relationship to the King, and through the King to all of Israel” (Boyd, p. 112). So the whole passage of the Father begetting the Son is transformed by Trinitarian wizardry to God’s relationship to “all of Israel.” We are to suppose that when the angel referred to Mary having a child “begotten of the Holy Ghost” that Joseph’s thoughts immediately flew back to Solomon’s “Coronation Ceremony” for the correct understanding of this astonishing announcement! I sincerely doubt Solomon, or his coronation ceremony, was on his mind at this time! Dr.Boyd betrays his real motives in advancing such an esoteric interpretation when he writes: “Hence, whatever meaning verse 5 has, it cannot legitimately be used to date the beginning of the Son’s existence at Bethlehem” (Boyd, p. 112). In other words, any interpretation will do, except the one which scripturally relates the “begetting” to the child who was “begotten!” He starts with the premise that the verse cannot mean what it “says,” so anything is possible after that. Such “reasoning in chains” will never arrive at correct conclusions.
In Hebrew 1:5, as a matter of fact, the writer is bringing forth the argument that Christ is better than the angels because he has a better title, Son of God. And the reason he has this better title is grounded in the fact that he was “begotten.” For angels are also called “Sons of God” ‘(lob 2:1), but they are never said to be begotten sons.” They were “created” sons, but not “begotten Sons.” Only to Christ belongs the unique privilege of having been “begotten” directly by something that could never be said of angels. Therefore, to remove the “begetting of the Son” from this passage is tantamount to destroying the whole argument!
If the correct translation is God’s “one and only son” then that means there can be no other sons of God at all! Adam will be surprised to find out he was not a son of God (Luke 3:38). Angels will be surprised to find out they were not either (Job 2:1). But most suprised of all will be the multitude of Christians who had been told they too were Sons of God (I John 3:1-2). For if Jesus is the “one and only” Son of God, then there can be no room for others, whether they be created, or adopted. And of course this flies in the face of Scripture which does indeed call both angels and Christians “Sons of God.” One Neo-Trinitarian denial of Scriptures seems to have spawned others! In contrast however, if one accepts the correct translation that Jesus was God’s “only begotten Son” then there is plenty of room for angels, who (like Adam), were “created” Sons, and Christians who are “adopted” Sons (Rom. 8:15). Christ is still the only Son who was ever “begotten by God.” Dr.Boyd brushes aside the whole embarrassing issue of God’s other “sons” by stuffing the entire concept into a parenthesis and tacking a question mark on the end of it: “(in contrast to all of his nonbegotten sons?)” Boyd, p. 113. But it’s not dismissed that easy. God does have other sons, created and adopted, which would render it impossible for Jesus to be God’s “one and only” Son as Neo-Trinitarians like to call him. Unless Jesus is God’s “only begotten Son” then we Christians cannot be sons at all according to this Neo-Trinitarian linguistic Charade.
Scholarship And Monogenes
The Greek word for “only begotten” is, as we have seen, “monogenes.” It comes from “monos” meaning “only,’ and “ginomai,” a root word meaning “to generate,” “to become (come into being).” This is the definition defined for us by Dr. Strong in his Exhaustive Concordance. E.Robinson, in his Greek and English Lexicon of the New Testament, also defines it as: “only born, only begotten, i.e. an only child.” The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, edited by Gerhard Kittel, says: “Monogenes, means of sole descent, i.e. without brothers or sisters.”Kittel also goes on to state: “The relation of Jesus is not just compared to that of an only child to its father. It is the relation of the only begotten to the Father.” The same Greek word, monogenes, is used to describe Isaac as Abraham’s “only begotten son” in Hebrews 11:17. There can be no question that Isaac was generated by Abraham and born of a woman. He did not pre-exist with Abraham before his birth. George Ricker Berry, who was a professor of old Testament and Semitic languages at Colgate-Rochester Divinity School and who held a PhD from the University of Chicago, consistently rendered monogenes as “begotten” in his monumental work, Interlinear Greek-English New Testament. Even Dr. Vines, who loves to weave Trinitarian interpretations around everything he writes, was forced on Page 822 of his Expository Dictionary of the New Testament, to list under “only begotten the Greek word monogenes” and to give five references in John’s writing where it is used. If he could have honestly gotten out of it, he would have!
And to all these authorities can be added the names of Dr. Boyd’s favorite historical figures, namely Augustine, Aquinas, the Cappodocian Fathers, Calvin, etc. For they all believed the correct translation of monogenes was “only begotten.” Their writings are full of it. They would never have countenanced this new and novel mistranslation. The Old Trojan had it right, “beware of the Greeks bearing gifts.” Especially if those linguistic “gifts” are attempts to supplant the Word of God in the interest of Platonic speculation!
Why anyone who is a Christian would even attempt to remove the begetting of the Son is beyond me. The battle is hopeless from the onset, for two whole chapters of the New Testament (Luke 1 and Matthew 1) are devoted to giving the entire story of this glorious event. How can they hope to remove this. What strange and senseless compulsions must drive them. Like the strange and mysterious leanings of Scandinavia they race blindly and’ irresistibly to their own death.
Abolishing The Son
Feeling satisfied with having “settled” the “begotten issue,” Neo-Trinitarians proceed to abolish the “Son issue” in the same manner. For they have discovered that the title “Son of God” is no big deal after all. Dr. Boyd writes: “The title ‘Son of God’ was primarily a moral and theological title throughout the ancient Semitic world, and throughout Scripture” (Boyd, p. 111). It sounds almost mundane. Christ seems to have somehow (for it wasn’t through the Virgin Birth they argue!) picked up this rather well circulated, and previously used, “moral and theological title.” And the Virgin Birth is described in equally ho-hum fashion, for “the angel was simply telling Mary that she was going to miraculously conceive a supremely holy child who will be called the Son of God. Nothing more can be read into this” (Boyd, 111). “A supremely holy child” who is invested with an apparently shop worn “moral and theological title” that had been making the rounds in “the ancient Semitic world.” In fact, Dr. Boyd finds “nothing to suggest that Luke was thinking in primarily biological terms when he records the angel as connecting Jesus divine conception with his title of Son of God” (Boyd, p. 111). Nothing “biological” in a woman giving birth to a male and that child being called a Son! Are we to suppose that Christ arrived here by means of a celestial Stork!
And as we have pointed out before, the final coup de grace arrives when Dr. Boyd informs us that Jesus is not really a literal son after all! “When we, following Scripture, call ‘the Father’ and Jesus “the Son,’ we are speaking analogically, not literally. We are saying that the loving relationship that exists between God and Jesus is like that of a father and a son but, of course, devoid of physical characteristics that are present in human father-son relationships” (Boyd, 63-64). The Son of God is not “literally” a son. It is all an “analogy.” He is “like” a son, but of course he isn’t, not “literally” that is, for that would be too “human” you see! He further states that the title “Son of God” is not to be taken to mean that we should view “Jesus” as the literal progeny of God the Father” (Boyd, p. 63). That would be “crass literalism” and would connect us with “pagan mythologies.”
What Are Trinitarians Left With?
Trinitarians started with a scriptural designation of Christ as the only begotten Son of God. It was in the Bible in five places for all to read. But they toyed with the Greek until their linguistic sleight of hand caused the word “begotten” to disappear. Next they worked on the word “Son. They made it “non-literal” and just an “analogy.” So it too, for all practical purposes, has also disappeared. It was not such a great loss however, for you must remember, it was only a “moral and theological title of the “ancient Semitic world.” So what are they left with? Absolutely nothing! They have joined the ranks of the other deniers of the Father and the Son which Apostle John cursed as Anti-Christs in I John 2:22. But they can fellowship with the homosexual Metropolitan Community Church, which insists on dropping use of the word Son and replacing it with “offspring” or “child.”
For they will have none of this “sexist literalism” which calls Christ “Son,” and God “Father,” less it offend their lesbian feminists. They too feel such “Father/Son language” (as Dr. Boyd calls it on page 63) is too “anthropomorphical.” And they are also in agreement with Dr.Boyd that it “attributes to God the human characteristics of sexuality” (Boyd, p. 63). That’s their argument exactly! God should not be viewed in “sexist” terms, and “Father” and “Son” are definitely “sexist” terms. How long will it be till Neo Trinitarians also opt in favor of “sexually neutral” terms such as “Parent,” “child; offspring,” “heir;” instead of “Father” and “Son.” Some Trinitarian denominations, like the United Methodist Church, are already rewriting their hymnbooks (again!!) to eliminate references to God as “Father” and Jesus as “Son.” Although Dr. Boyd and fellow Neo-Trinitarians positively do not advocate (at least not yet) such gross rewriting of the divine revelation, never-the-less, their doctrinal premises are the same ones used by these “rewriters” of Scriptures and hymns. For if God is not literally a “Father,” they say, and if Jesus is not literally a “son,” and it’s all “anaology” why not “update” things and use “politically correct” neutral terms that are not sexually biased? Certainly the tradition that produced such terms as first, second, third, person, Trinity, and “Light of Light” and “God of God” will not consider it any great “quantum leap” to call the Godhead “Parent and offspring” or “Sovereign and Heir.” They might even follow Mary Baker Eddy and the Christian Scientists and call God “Father-Mother’.” That would please everyone! When you start down the road of “analogy” there’s no telling where you will wind up, except ultimately it will be in Hell!
The Son Of God And His Origin
The Scriptural record is quite clear concerning the Son of God and His Origin. There is no “mystery” that shrouds these facts. While Trinitarians try to explain Him in terms of “births that never were” and “eternal generations,” the Bible record offers no such nonsense. Let us now review what Scripture sets forth concerning our Lord and how he was begotten.
The Place where the Son of God was begotten was not “up in heaven” during “eternity past,” but rather right here on earth, in a city of ancient Israel called Nazareth. In Luke 1 the Bible records a marvellous event, namely the begetting of the Son of God:” And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph… And the angel said unto her, Fear not Mary: for thou hast found favor with God, and behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus” (Luke’ 1:26-31). It is right here in Nazareth that the conceiving or begetting occurred. Mary was not transported to heaven for this glorious act. You may search your Bible from cover to cover; you will find no other location or setting mentioned for the “begetting” of the Son. Neither will you find a prior “celestial” begetting that antedates the one described here. When Mary’s espoused husband Joseph found out that she was pregnant, he was of a mind to put her away. But the angel appeared to him in a dream and explained in unambiguous words, and not only to him but to every succeeding generation, just what had transpired there in Nazareth: “But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is begotten in her is of the Holy Ghost”‘ (Matt. 1:20).
The Bible says the begetting occurred on a particular day. “For unto which of the angels said he at anytime, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee?” (Hebrews 1:5). Seeing it occurred on “a day” and not in “eternity past,” we must search in the calendars of earth’s history to locate this specific time. This begetting, as we have seen, occurred at Nazareth to a virgin named Mary. This event, according to the marginal date of the Bible, took place in the year BC 4. If this dating system is reliable, and many scholars believe it is, then the begetting of the Son of God occurred in the year 4 BC. No other begetting is described for Him in the Bible, so we must conclude this is the time referred to in Heb. 1:5.
The mother of the Son of God, as we have seen, was a virgin named Mary, of the lineage of David. Mary is called the mother of Jesus Christ in Matt. 1:18, and it is universally conceded by all that she is indeed his mother. The Trinitarians in formulating their “Creed of Chalcedon” invested Mary with the title “Mother of God.” This she is never called in Scripture! This blasphemy is a direct result of Trinitarianism, the matrix from which it sprang, for in the trinity Jesus Christ is the Second Person, God the Son. Therefore Mary would indeed be the Mother of God.” In Oneness however we are not forced into such an anti-biblical position. For we recognize Mary as the Mother of the man Christ Jesus, the Son or flesh. She is not, nor even could be, the mother of his divine indwelling nature, the Father or Spirit. Now we approach the shore of controversy, who is the Father of the Son of God?
The One who begat Jesus in the womb of Mary was the Holy Ghost: “…before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost ” (Matt. 1:18). “…for that which is begotten in her is of the Holy Ghost” (Matt. 1:20). “The angel answered and said unto her, the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee…therefore also that Holy thing which shall be-born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). Nothing could be clearer. Three times in Scripture the Holy Ghost is declared to be the Father of Jesus. The Holy Ghost is another title for the one infinite and undivided God. For God is Holy (John 17:11), and He is a Spirit (John 4:24), hence God is the Holy Spirit. By this act of begetting a Son, God became something he never had been before, namely the Father of a human child through procreation. The second half of Hebrews 1:5 is now fulfilled: “And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son (Heb. 1:5). The Father and Son relationship comes into existence at this point. On the day the Son was begotten, God became Father. God had been called Father before in the Bible, but never in relationship to a begotten Son. He was the Father of Creation, and a Father to the nation of Israel. But it is on this day in Nazareth’ 2,000 years ago that He became Father of the Son of God. This is why we do not read of “Father and Son” in the Old Testament (except in prophetic reference). At that time the “day” had not yet come. After the birth of Christ, the references to God as Father multiply dramatically.
Trinitarian Dilemma About Christ’s Father
Trinitarians have a real serious problem with all this. For in their theory God the Father (First Person of the Trinity) is a distinct person from God the Holy Ghost (Third Person of the Trinity). Therefore how did God the Father (1st person) ever get to be the Father of Christ, if the whole begetting was done by the Holy Ghost, or “Third Person.” In short: the Third Person is the one the Bible says “begot” the Second Person (Christ) instead of the First Person, who is supposed to be the real Father! Carl Brumback seeks to escape this dilemma by comparing the Virgin Birth to some sort of surrogate act or artificial insemination theory. But this is all desperation, and borders on blasphemy. ‘Dr. Boyd seeks to solve the problem by declaring there is none! Seeing Jesus is not “literally” the Son of God, but only in an “analogous” sense, it doesn’t matter who “begot” him! He
writes: “When we understand this, we see no problem whatsoever in affirming that the one who miraculously created the human seed that the Word of God became (John 1:14) was the Holy Spirit, even though the Father and the Holy Spirit are distinct ‘persons’ in the Godhead” (Boyd, p. 64). No problem who the Father was because there wasn’t any “literal” Father anyhow! That’s all relegated to “crass literalism” and “pagan mythology Even though God thundered from heaven, This is my beloved Son,” Trinitarians in the crowd would have whispered, not really, you know.”
Who Was Begotten?
The Son of God cane into existence as a direct result of the Virgin Birth. He did not exist as the Son of God before that time. Nothing is plainer in Scripture than this. Numerous scholars, including Trinitarians, attest to this fact. A reading of the passage makes this crystal clear: “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall overshadow thee: therefore also that Holy Thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). The word “therefore” in this text is very important. It is because of this begetting by the Holy Ghost that the child will be called the “Son of God’-” There is no other reason offered in Scripture for Christ being called the Son of God other than the fact that God was his Father in this birth! Naturally when Dr. Boyd cites Luke 1:35 on page 111, he uses a translation which omits the word “therefore.” It is very damaging to their theory of the angel simply telling Mary she was going to conceive a supremely holy child” who would also be known by a “moral and theological title” common in the “ancient Semitic world,” namely, Son of God! They ground none of it in the Virgin Birth! The Bible grounds all of it in that event. Dr. Boyd grudgingly concludes that “Son of God” might somehow be related to his Birth, but adds: “Still, even if one persists in this biologically oriented interpretation of the verse, this could only be shown to give us one of the New Testament reasons Jesus is called the Son of God. It cannot be used to prove the only reason Jesus is the Son of God” (yd, 112). However, Dr. Boyd neglects to give us any of the “other reasons” Jesus is called the Son of God. The explanation for this is simple. There are none!
Adam Clarke And The Eternal Son
Dr. Boyd and other Neo-Trinitarians pretend as if Oneness was the only group that taught the Birth related Sonship doctrine. The fact is many Trinitarians have seen the fallacy of the “Eternal Son” theory and abandoned it. Hear what Adam Clarke, a Trinitarian commentator had to say: “To say that he was begotten from all eternity, is, in my opinion, absurd and the phrase ‘eternal Son’ is a positive self contradiction.” He goes on, waxing ever hotter: “The very use of this phrase is both absurd and dangerous; therefore let all those who would value Jesus and their salvation abide by these Scriptures. This doctrine of the eternal Sonship’ as has been lately explained in many a pamphlet, and many a paper in magazines, I must and do consider as an awful heresy, and mere sheer Arianism; which, in many cases, has terminated in Socianism, and that in Deism. From such heterodoxies, and their abettors, may God save his Church! Amen!” (Adam Clarke, Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible, p. 360-361).
Nature Of The Son Of God
The Son of God is a reference to our Lord’s human nature exclusively. The Son of God is a man, howbeit a perfect and sinless man. The title Son of God is not a reference to our Lord’s divine nature (which He revealed as Father), but rather a reference to the fact that he was a complete man. Christ had a man’s body, as well as soul and spirit. He possessed a man’s mind or brain, and therefore had a human will. The Son of God was not just merely the “body” or the “flesh” that God dwelt ill. No, Christ was the Man in whom God was incarnate. He is called San of God, because on his Father’s side He is of course, God’s Son. God was his Father, hence He is the Son of God. He is also called on of Man; man being used in the sense of “humanity” or the “human family.” He is thus called because on his mother’s side his ancestroral line is in the human family. Mary was human, or “man,” of “mankind:’ Christ was her son, therefore he was the Son of mankind. Those two titles show both sides of his “family tree.” They are not given to indicate two natures, one divine (Son of God), and one human (Son of Man). When Jesus wished to identify his divine nature, He referred to it as the Father (John 14:10), not the Son.
Inferiority Of The Son
The proof that the title Son refers to Christ’s human, dependent nature comes through clearly and in many places in John’s gospel. We shall consider a few.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself…” (John 5:19). If the Son was the Second Divine Person of the Godhead why did he say he could do “nothing?” The answer is obvious: “Son” does not refer to a “divine” person, but to a human “person,” who in his own power can do nothing. Christ implies however that there is another “self” or “power” in him when he says, “Can do nothing of himself.” Then who or what is doing these works? The answer we already know is the Father, who is resident in him.
“I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge…” (John 5:30). Again, as Son, he can do “nothing.” His divine information comes from something he “hears.” The Son listens to the indwelling Father and thereby performs his mighty works. It is the Father in Christ who is actually “working.”
“For as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself” (John 5:26). The Son, being a man, did not have eternal immortal life dwelling in him inherently. It is not the property of men to have divine and original God-life in them. But the Son of God “was given” to have this divine life in Him through the incarnation. For this “life” is property of, and characteristic of, the Father. The Father now dwells in the human Son as His Temple, and has thereby “transferred” this “life” to the Son!
“My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me” (John 7:16). The Son claims he is not speaking from his own nature: “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself” (v.17). He speaks from the Father nature, and thereby brings forth the Father’s doctrine. He disclaims speaking from his in nature, that of the Son. “The words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works” (John 14:10).
“When ye have lifted up the Son of Man, then shall ye know that I an He, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things” (John 8:28). Nothing could be more direct. The Son is not the real source of the words or works, for the Son can of himself do nothing! It is the Father that is doing it all out of the human temple of His Son. And where does the Son indicate the Father is? Up in heaven at this time? Absolutely not. “He that hath sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone” (John 8:29). A short time afterwards the Son states it even more specifically: “… Believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in Him” (John 10:38).
From Scripture we see that the Son of God was a perfect sinless man, begotten by God Almighty in the womb of the Virgin Mary. He was born in Bethlehem of Judea around 4 BC, and named Jesus Christ. In his human body was also incarnated God the Father, the Great Divine Spirit. Thus the Son of God was also the Temple in which God dwelt. It is in this way, and this way only, that Jesus derives his deity as the God-Man. The Scriptures do not reveal an eternally existent Son dwelling alongside His Father up in heaven through ages past.
This article The Son of God written by Elder Ross Drysdale is excerpted from the book Enter the Neo-Trinitarians.