The Meaning of Only Begotten in John 1:18

And Brought Forth From the Bosom of

the Father

Jhn 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 1:18 translated literally from the Greek says this: “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, THE ONE EVER BEING (existing) IN THE BOSOM OF THE FATHER, He hath declared Him.”

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The evidence proffered in this manuscript will prove beyond all doubt that Ellen G. White was fully correct in the following conclusive statements and that all other interpretations are antichrist:

“The world was made by Him, “and without Him was not anything made that was made.” If Christ made all things, He existed before all things. The words spoken in regard to this are so decisive that no one need be left in doubt. Christ was God essentially, and in the highest sense. He was with God from all eternity, God over all, blessed forevermore....    {7ABC 438.1}

If Christ was sourced (derived) from the Father, He would not be God IN THE HIGHEST SENSE. He would not have been WITH GOD FROM ALL ETERNITY.

The following words by Ellen G. White, are often misrepresented as being concocted by others and inserted into Desire of Ages. But here they are from Review and Herald Articles, August 6, 1914, written by Ellen White while she was still alive.

“From Jesus is our life derived. In him is life that is original,—unborrowed, underived life. In him is the fountain of life. In us there is a streamlet from the fountain of life. Our life is something that we receive, something that the Giver takes back again to himself. If our life is hid with Christ in God, we shall, when Christ shall appear, also appear with him in glory. And while in this world, we shall give to God, in sanctified service, all the capabilities he has given us.... {RH August 6, 1914, par. 1}

Meaning of From the Bosom of the Father

Some completely misinterpret the words about Christ coming forth from the bosom of the Father, for He is still IN THE BOSOM OF THE FATHER! God is a Spirit, an eternal Spirit, and Christ is in the bosom of that Spirit, in the essence, substance of that ONE ETERNAL SPIRIT.

Jhn 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].”

Ellen White knew that Christ coming forth from the bosom of the Father meant coming forth from the presence of the Father. Otherwise, she would have fully contradicted herself in the above statements as compared with the following:

“Christ’s work was not done in such a way as to dazzle men with His superior abilities. He came forth from the bosom of the All-wise, and could have astonished the world with the great and glorious knowledge which He possessed; yet He was reticent and uncommunicative. It was not His mission to overwhelm them with the immensity of His talents, but to walk in meekness and lowliness, that He might instruct the ignorant in the ways of salvation. Too great devotion to study, even of true science, creates an abnormal appetite, which increases as it is fed. This creates a desire to secure more knowledge than is essential to do the work of the Lord. The pursuit of knowledge merely for its own sake diverts the mind from devotion to God, checks advance along the path of practical holiness, and hinders souls from traveling in the way which leads to a holier, happier life. The Lord Jesus imparted only such a measure of instruction as could be utilized. My brethren, your way of representing the necessity for years of study is not pleasing to God.”      {FE 338.2}

In the following E.G. White statement, she is obviously referring to the Incarnation:

“While many of the people believed on him, his own brethren, connected with him by ties of relationship, were unbelieving, and thought he was beside himself in thus claiming divine authority, and in placing himself before the Pharisees as a reprover of their sins. His brethren knew that they were seeking to find occasion against him, and they felt that in the words he had spoken, he had given occasion enough. They must make some determined effort to prevent him from uttering words that would not only involve him in difficulty, but bring down upon his family the denunciations of the Pharisees. While he was speaking these decided words against those who were unbelieving, his disciples brought in the message that his mother and his brethren were without, and desired to speak with him. He knew what was in their hearts. He knew that they did not understand his character or mission, or realize that he came forth from the bosom of the Father. They did not realize that he was born to bear witness unto the truth, and did not understand his words of calm authority, that came forth from his lips with an earnestness proportionate to their reality and importance.”       {ST October 1, 1896, par. 8}

The Meaning of Only Begotten


Jhn 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.

Jhn 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].

Jhn 3:16 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.

Jhn 3:18 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.

Hbr 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],

1Jo 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.


Here is what the SDA Bible Commentary says on the meaning of “only begotten”


The only begotten. Gr. monogenēs, from two words meaning “only” and “kind,” and thus properly translated “unique,” “only,” “only one of a kind.” As with the title Logos (see on v. 1), only John uses the word monogenēs of Christ (see John 1:18; 3:16, 18; 1 John 4:9). Absence of the definite article in the Greek either makes monogenēs indefinite, “an only one,” or makes it an expression of quality, in which case John would be saying, “glory as of an only one [who had come] from beside the Father.” This seems evidently the sense here. See on Luke 7:12; 8:42, where monogenēs is translated “only.”

In Heb. 11:17 monogenēs is used of Isaac, who was by no means Abraham’s “only begotten,” or even his first-born. But he was the son of the promise, and as such, the one destined to succeed his father as heir to the birthright (Gen. 25:1–6; Gal. 4:22, 23). “Similarly in respect to the five texts in John’s writings of Christ, the translation should be one of the following: ‘unique,’ ‘precious,’ ‘only,’ ‘sole,’ ‘the only one of his kind,’ but not ‘only begotten’” (Problems in Bible Translation, p. 198).

The translation “only begotten,” here and elsewhere, apparently originated with the early Fathers of the Catholic Church, and entered early English translations of the Bible under the influence of the Latin Vulgate, the official Bible of the Catholic Church. Accurately reflecting the Greek, various Old Latin manuscripts which antedate the Vulgate read “only” rather than “only begotten.” The idea that Christ “was born of the Father before all creation” appears first in the writings of Origen, about a.d. 230. Arius, nearly a century later, is the first to use gegennemenon, the correct Greek word for “begotten,” when speaking of Christ, and to affirm that He was “begotten of God before all ages” (see Additional Note at end of chapter). This Greek word is never used in the Bible concerning the preincarnate Christ. The idea that Christ was “begotten” by the Father at some time in eternity past is altogether foreign to the Scriptures. For a detailed discussion of this subject see Problems in Bible Translation, pp. 197–204.

Properly understood of Christ’s unique status as the Son of God, the word monogenēs distinguishes between Him and all others who, through faith in Him, are given “power to become the sons of God” (v. 12), and who are specifically declared to be “born … of God” (v. 13). Christ is, and always has been, very “God” (see on v. 1), and by virtue of this fact we “become the sons of God” when we receive Christ and believe on His name.

The statement of v. 14 obviously deals with the incarnation, and its purpose is to emphasize the fact that the incarnate Word retained the divine nature, as evidenced by the manifestation of the preincarnate divine glory (see ch. 17:5). Although the word monogenēs means strictly “unique,” or “only,” rather than “only begotten,” John nevertheless here applies it to Christ at His incarnation, to the time when “the Word was made flesh” in order to dwell among us. Paul confirms this application in Heb. 1:5, 6, where he links the words gegenneka, “have I begotten” (from gennaō, “to beget”), and prōtotoktos, “first-born” (from pro, “before,” and tiktō, “to beget”), to the time “when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world.” It seems therefore wholly unwarranted to understand monogenēs as referring to a mysterious begetting of “the Word” at some point of time in eternity past. For a discussion of Christ as the Son of God see on Luke 1:35; and as the Son of man, see on Matt. 1:1; Mark 2:10; see also EGW Supplementary Material on Phil. 2:6–8; Col. 2:9.

Of the Father. Gr. para theou, literally “with the Father,” or “beside the Father,” here probably with the force of “from beside the Father.” The Greek preposition para sometimes has the force of ek, “out of,” “from,” which here agrees best with the context. The incarnate Logos had come forth from the presence of the Father when He entered this world. See on ch. 6:46.

Full of. This clearly applies to the Word incarnate. Dwelling on earth as a man among men, the Word was “full of grace and truth.”[1]  SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. 5, pp. 902, 903.


Ellen White on Colossians 2:9:


“So with the followers of Christ. We can receive of heaven’s light only as we are willing to be emptied of self. We cannot discern the character of God, or accept Christ by faith, unless we consent to the bringing into captivity of every thought to the obedience of Christ. To all who do this the Holy Spirit is given without measure. In Christ “dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and in Him ye are made full.” Colossians 2:9, 10, R. V.  {DA 181.1}


John 16:28 teaches that Christ came forth from the Father, strongly implying that there was a Father/Son relationship before He came into this world.


·       John 17:5,24 also indicates that there was a Father/Son relationship in the Godhead even before the creation of the world.


The Meaning of Psalm 2:7:


Psa 2:7   I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou [art] my Son; this day have I begotten thee. 


The Meaning of John 16:28


American King James Version

“I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.”


Psalm 2:7 does not militate against the eternal Sonship of Jesus Christ. It does not refer to a time when Christ became the Son of God through a begetting act of God. Instead it refers to the day of Jesus’ resurrection when God brought Him forth from the womb of the earth and thereby publicly decreed that He is who He always was—the Son of God (see Acts 13:33 and Romans 1:3-4). The declaring of God's decree in Psalm 2:7 will take place at the close of the great tribulation and will be Jesus’ way of asserting that He is the legitimate ruler of the world who has the right and authority to take over the earth.

 Pro 8:22   The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. 

 Pro 8:23   I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. 

 Pro 8:24   When [there were] no depths, I was brought forth; when [there were] no fountains abounding with water. 

 Pro 8:25   Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: 

 Pro 8:26   While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. 

 Pro 8:27   When he prepared the heavens, I [was] there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: 

 Pro 8:28   When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: 

 Pro 8:29   When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:

 Pro 8:30   Then I was by him, [as] one brought up [with him]: and I was daily [his] delight, rejoicing always before him; 

 Pro 8:31   Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights [were] with the sons of men. 

 Pro 8:32   Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed [are they that] keep my ways. 

 Pro 8:33   Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. 

 Pro 8:34   Blessed [is] the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.

 Pro 8:35   For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD. 

 Pro 8:36   But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.


Christ Spoke of Himself as the Alpha and Omega | The Beginning and the End


Rev 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

Rev 1:11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send [it] unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

Rev 21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

Rev 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.


Any other teaching that Christ is not God in the highest sense, is seriously antichrist. Such error is anti the truth associated with Jesus Christ, and derives from men and women who are either novices in the word and/or without spiritual discernment to see the truth on this serious issue that is so basic to Christianity and everything that clusters around it.












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EGW Ellen G. White

[1]Nichol, Francis D.: The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Volume 5. Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1978; 2002, S. 902