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In Hebrews 11:17, both the NASB and NKJ use begotten son to describe Isaac. Other versions plus Kistermaker use one and only son. Why the use of begotten in the NASB and NKJ? What precisely, is the definition of begotten? I thought it had to do with not being created. Does that meaning only apply to Jesus Christ when using the term begotten?

In Genesis 22, the account of offering Isaac, is the angel of the Lord in verse 11 God Himself. The reason why asking is that in verses 1-2, God speaks directly to Abraham. Then, in verse 11 it says the angel of the Lord. I would think they are not the same, but why the angel is verse 11, and why God in verses 1-2?


John Chaney

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begotten

adj : (of offspring) generated by procreation; "naturally begotten child"

www.dictionary.com

This could apply to Isaac, easily. And, to Christ the only begotten Son of God, who, by the Spirit, was placed in Mary's womb. At least, that's the way i've heard it in the past. My <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/my2cents.gif" alt="" />
troy

Edited because I only answered one question! I remember sitting in on a class on the Old Testament at RTS in Jackson MS, when taking a tour with a friend of mine, who eventually ended up as a student there. The Prof., tragically I forgot who it was, was talking about Christophanies (early revelations of God in human form) where often the writer refers to the sight as an angel, but the angel speaks of Himself in words only used by God Himself. It would seem to me that this is the case here, though, one of the more educated people on this board will surely be able to say more...

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Last edited by GottseiEhre; Thu Sep 30, 2004 8:36 PM.

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John,

Perhaps this may help you on your question of the angel of the Lord.

In Judges we read about the prophesy of Samson's birth in chapter 13. An angel appears to Manoah's wife and give the prophesy of the unique "ministry" of Samson.

In recounting the prophesy to her husband, she acknowledges that it was the Angel of God. (verse6)

When the angel returns and speaks to both Manoah and his wife he distinguishes himself from the Lord by saying a burnt offering must not be offered to him, but to the Lord.
(verse16)

After the ascension of the angel, Manoah contemplates the visitation and confirms his beliefs that it was indeed the Angel of the Lord. (verse21)

But then he despairs, exclaiming to his wife: "We shall surely die, for we have seen God!" (verse 22)

Then his wise wife reasons that if the Lord had wanted to kill them, He wouldn't have accepted the offering or fortold such wonderful events in such dire times. (verse 23)

In these statements, Manoah demonstrates his understanding that the presence of the Angel is in fact the presence of the Lord, and his wife understands that the words of the Angel are, in fact, the official decree of the Lord.

I hope this helps.

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CS,

Thanks. I familiar with the story. I just wonder why the use in the Genesis 22 passage. In the beginning it is God directly, then it becomes the angel of the Lord.


John Chaney

"having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith . . ." Colossians 2:7
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John,

I believe that our English vocabulary falls short to adequately translate the underlying Greek word used for "only begotten son". The Greek word is something like: mono genes or mono genus. "mono" stands for one. For example where we use the word "monolith", we mean one continuous mass of rock. And genes (pronounced: "gen-ace" means offspring or gendered one, a son or daughter, one who comes forth from our own "seed". The LORD Himself says of Christ in the Psalms (Psalm 2:7) 'Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee...' Context tells us that "begotten" simply means that the individual has issued forth from a father and as a result of the father's will to "beget" a child. We know of course, that Jesus has eternally existed with God in "concert". He is not a created being. There is an extensive theological discussion as to WHEN He was declared to be God's Son and I will leave this to the more learned.

Anyway, my own translation for mono genes would be something like: unique, one-of-a-kind issue (son). Thus "only begotten son" or "one and only son" could be rendered: "one unique son".

John 1:12 tells us: 'But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:' In this passage, we learn that we can become sons (Greek: "tek-non") of God by faith. Our son ship, however is not the same as the unique relationship that Jesus shares with the Father. A weak analogy is that Jesus is sort of our "proxy" with the Father. We are seen by the Father through the merits and attributes of Jesus instead of our own righteousness.

I would like to hear an explanation from someone as to the difference of God saying of Jesus, 'I have begotten you...' compared to His declaration that we can become sons of God by faith.

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John,

As for God and then the angel, why the switch in roles or persons: The Lord as we know has spoken on several occasions to the Old Testament patriarchs as well as a number of occasions in the New Testament. At times the writer "inserts" us into an account where God is already speaking to someone and we are not given the details of the initiation, whether God is speaking through an angelic agent or face to face. In this passage, all we know is that God personally starts a conversation with Abraham and what he must do to test (prove) his faith. Will he be willing to sacrifice his only gendered (begotten) son?

I think we can generally accept the action of the angel to speak and thus stay Abraham's hand as if it were God Himself doing the talking and intervention. Angels as their name implies are, among their other duties, messengers of the Lord and we find them often received by the hearers as if they were the Lord Himself. At times, the Bible clarifies their identity for us and at other times we are to understand that for all intents and purposes, it is God personally.

Keep in mind that no man has ever seen God at any time (Moses was placed in the crevice of rock only to view the hind-parts of God as he passed in His glory. Perhaps the full brightness of His glory could have killed Moses.

This could be a reason why God uses angels to speak to the prophets, etc. because his personal appearance might be too overwhelming for humans to endure in the flesh.

There has been some discussion that the three visitors to Abraham might have been two angels and the pre-incarnate Christ (christophenes). They appeared to Abraham as three strangers journeying somewhere and he was able to welcome, feed and walk with them since they exhibited human-like appearance (for Abraham's sake). Notice that two of them split off (angels heading to rescue Lot and family?) and one (the Lord Himself) stays to converse with Abraham. (Genesis 18).

I generally feel it is not critical or crucial when it appears that God interchanges His conversation or dealings with man between an apparently personal appearance and the appearance of an angel. At least, context and internal evidence of scripture usually inform us as to whether God is speaking or an angel has been sent on His behalf and the interchange of the two as in the passage you first discussed are not critical. From our point of view (and Abraham's) God was dealing personally with Abraham in either instance (direct conversation and the intervention of an angel).

Angels seem willing to volunteer the information that they are messengers and not God Himself, as they reject direct worship.


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