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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Eternal Son / only begotten Son

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Joined: 2008/6/19
Posts: 1262

 Eternal Son / only begotten Son

A few scriptures

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

Ac 13:33 God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.

Heb 1:5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?

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

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

Joh 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.

Joh 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.

Ro 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Col 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

It seems from scripture that there was a day that the Son was begotten from the Father. Son always comes from Father.

The bible says Jesus is the only begotten of the Father. We know there was a day when he was born on earth as a human. We also know that the Word (in the beginning was with God and is God) became a human and called the Son of God.

In the Dake's Study Bible, he says the son is not eternal. He also believes different about the trinity, sounds like his belief is 3 Gods that agree as one. This I don't agree!

We know the Word is eternal. Do you also believe the Son is eternal. Then He would have to be begotten from eternity. What scriptures have you found that prove the Son is eternal?


 2008/6/24 0:02Profile

Joined: 2007/1/30
Posts: 926

 Re: Eternal Son / only begotten Son

Very good questions, rbanks. You asked, so I'll answer as best I can.

To be frank, I'm extremely leery of Dake. Without doubt, he taught that the persons of the Trinity are unified only in cooperation and relationship, not in essence. Thus, he taught there are three Gods. Here's a quote from him to demonstrate his error,

"There is more than one Jehovah and more than one God as individuals, but they are one Jehovah and one God in unity, thus expressing the truth of 3 separate and distinct persons, beings, or individuals in the Divine Trinity." (The Dake Annotated Reference Bible, Compact Edition, p. 394 (235))

This is known as the Anthropomorphite heresy. Here is another quote by Dake, making it more clear,

"What we mean by Divine Trinity is that there are three separate and distinct persons in the Godhead, each one having His own personal spirit body, personal soul, and personal spirit in the same sense each human being, angel, or any other being has his own body, soul, and spirit. We mean by body, whether a spirit body or a flesh body, the house for the indwelling of the personal soul and spirit." (The Dake Annotated Reference Bible, Compact Edition, pp. 489 (280)).

And a more bizarre one,

* “He [God] has bodily presence and goes from place to place in a body like all other persons...He wears clothes; eats; rests; dwells in a mansion and in a city located on a material planet called Heaven; sits on a throne; walks; rides; engages in other activities.” (The Dake Annotated Reference Bible, Compact Edition, p. 169, note on John 4:24). * “What could Solomon mean by saying 'the heaven and heaven of heavens' cannot contain Him?...Surely the size of His body, soul, and spirit are not referred to, for He is of ordinary size as proved by the many personal appearances He has made to men.”
* (The Dake Annotated Reference Bible, Compact Edition, p. 751, note on 2 Chronicles 2:6).

Dake believed that God the Father has a literal body, God the Spirit has a literal body, and God the Son has a literal body. There is no "Triune God", as a single entity, but rather three perfectly coordinated individuals. This is not orthodox, and has been held by virtually none of the recognized saints of Church history. If biblical Christianity is a relatively narrow path, Dake is standing by himself on a thimble.

Here is a defense of the Eternal Generation (Sonship) of the Second Person of the Trinity, as a response to Dake's view. (I did not write this, I found it here: [url=]Finis Dake Errors[/url])


The doctrine of eternal Sonship "declares that the second person of the triune godhead has eternally existed as the Son." This is in opposition to the teaching of Dake, who denies the eternal Sonship of Jesus by saying that Jesus became the Son of God when He was placed into the womb of Mary. This is formally known as "Adoptionism," which was condemned by the Plenary Council of Frankfurt in 794 A. D. The eternal Sonship of Jesus will be proved by demonstrating the biblical meaning of the term "Son of . . ." and by showing clear scriptural evidence that Jesus was the Son before the Incarnation. Thus Dake's position will be verified as false.

The Meaning of "Son of. . . ." Dake comes to erroneous conclusions about the eternal Sonship of Christ by beginning with the wrong definition of the term "Son of God." As we have seen, he holds that sonship refers to the humanity of Jesus Christ and not the deity. This is simply untrue. The term "son of . . ." as used in the Old Testament often refers to the exhibition of certain characteristics in a person. Thus, the terms "son of valor" (1 Sam. 14:52) or "son of wise ones" (Isa. 19:11) mean that the person exhibits valor or wisdom. Furthermore, the term "son of . . ." is used to show that the person possessed the same nature as his father. For instance, Numbers 23:19 tells us, "God is not a man, that he should lie: neither the son of man, that he should repent. . . ." The term "son of man" in that verse is used to show that God does not possess the nature of a man. Consequently, when Jesus is referred to as the "Son of God" it is a direct assertion that he exhibits the characteristics and nature of God. He is as fully divine as the Father.

The Sonship of Jesus, in contradistinction to the allegation of Dake, is a declaration of His deity. Jesus is the Son of God in that He is God—He possesses the nature and attributes of God. Jesus certainly claimed this by referring to Himself as the "Son of God." The Jews certainly understood that Jesus was making Himself ontologically equal with God when He did this. In John 19:7, the Jews told Pilate concerning Jesus, "We have a law, and according to our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God." The reaction of the Jews was the desire to kill Jesus for making Himself "equal to God" (John 5:18; 10:28-36; 19:7) by claiming to be the Son of God. Therefore, the term "Son of God" when used of Jesus indicates His absolute deity. This was the finding of the Nicene Council, which, according to theologian Charles Hodge, declared that Jesus "is the Eternal Son of God, i.e., that He is from eternity the Son of God."

Scriptural Proof that Jesus was the Son before the Incarnation. By examining the Semitic meaning of the term "Son of . . .", it is clear that the Son of God is not something Jesus became, but something He is in His very nature or being. In opposition to Dake, the Scriptures teach that Jesus was the Son of God before His Incarnation. For example, Hebrews 1:2, Colossians 1:16, and John 1:3 tell us that "all things" were created by the Son. This implies that Jesus was the Son of God prior to Creation, which is long before His birth in Bethlehem. Furthermore, the New Testament shows Jesus was Son of God before Bethlehem by the language used when interacting with others. In the famous exchange between Martha and Jesus after the death of her brother Lazarus, Jesus asked, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" To this Martha declared, "Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world." This statement by Martha "reflects a sense of movement of the Son of God—from the realm of heaven and eternity to the realm of earth and time." Likewise, in John 3:16-17, it is stated that God gave His Son and God sent His Son into the world. Apologist Ron Rhodes argues:

Recall the discussion with Nicodemus in John 3, for instance, when he (Jesus) said: "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him" (John 3:16-17, italics added). That Christ, as the Son of God, was sent into the world implies that he was the Son of God before the Incarnation.

The orthodox Christian position on Jesus' Sonship is that He is the Son of God from all eternity. This is because the term "Son of God" is a reference to His deity, proving that Jesus is one in nature with the Father. It is also a clear teaching of the Scripture that Jesus was the Son before the Incarnation. Therefore, Dake's position that Jesus became the Son when He was incarnated should be rejected. Professor and theologian John F. Walvoord sums up the doctrine of eternal Sonship:

The consensus of the great theologians of the church and the great church councils is to the effect that Christ has been a Son from eternity; and the theory that He became a Son by Incarnation is inadequate to account for the usage of the term. . . . The Scriptures represent Christ as eternally the Son of God by eternal generation. While it must be admitted that the nature of the generation is unique, being eternal, sonship has been used in the Bible to represent the relationship between the first Person and the second Person. . . . The scriptural view of the sonship of Christ, as recognized in many of the great creeds of the church, is that Christ was always the Son of God.


Hope that helps...

If you are a decent reader, here is a very short but wordy explanation of Eternal Generation by Louis Berkhof -
[url=]Berkof - Eternal Sonship[/url]

 2008/6/24 1:18Profile

Joined: 2005/11/2
Posts: 3708

 Re: Eternal Son / only begotten Son

Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Family Bible Notes
Genesis 1:26
Us; such are the nature and manifestations of God, that He can properly speak of Himself as I or we, me or us; thus our Saviour said, We will come unto him, and make our abode with him, Joh 14:23.

Eternally One in Three Persons'.

John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Genesis 1:26

And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness,… These words are directed not to the earth, out of which man was made, as consulting with it, and to be assisting in the formation of man, as Moses Gerundensis, and other Jewish writers1, which is wretchedly stupid; nor to the angels, as the Targum of Jonathan, Jarchi, and others, who are not of God's privy council, nor were concerned in any part of the creation, and much less in the more noble part of it: nor are the words spoken after the manner of kings, as Saadiah, using the plural number as expressive of honour and majesty; since such a way of speaking did not obtain very early, not even till the close of the Old Testament: but they are spoken by God the Father to the Son and Holy Ghost, who were each of them concerned in the creation of all things, and particularly of man: hence we read of divine Creators and Makers in the plural number, Job 35:10 and Philo the Jew acknowledges that these words declare a plurality, and are expressive of others, being co-workers with God in creation.

Are not all of Gods creation of man eternal.
Christ in Him must be eternal also, and those that are not in Christ, eternal in hell.


Isaiah 60:15-16 Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations. Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings: and thou shalt know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.

Is this not Christ eternal?

Mark 10:17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?

Mark 10:21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

Follow Him where? To the eternal Cross of Christ.

John 10:28-30 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one.

There is only one in whom eternal life is in, that is in Christ in whom the Father has given to Him who is eternal.

Christ Eternal? I think so.

John 17:1-5 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

To give eternal life He must be eternal Life Himself.

In Christ: Phillip


 2008/6/24 1:53Profile

Joined: 2008/6/19
Posts: 1262

 Re: thanks for your response brothers,

Thanks theopenlife for all that information, I am very new to posting but you and others on here are very good at it. I know it took time to get the info together which is very good and I appreciate it!

I got a Dake's Bible several years ago and I agree with you. I know many preachers have used this bible but I have always been leary of his comments concerning the trinity (and some other things). I believe that God is triune but not the way Dake believes. It really bothered me that He could actually believe what He wrote. Anyway Thanks! -rbanks

 2008/6/24 8:58Profile

Joined: 2007/2/21
Posts: 220
Richmond, VA

 Re: Eternal Son / only begotten Son

I am happy that this came up. I shows us that we have many echos and not many voices in the church today. What I mean by that is many people are just taking what someone else has taught as Gods word and not really going about to study it out, therefore they just say. "Hey this was in brother so and so's study bible so I am going to teach it". People do this all the time without even saying "hey I have to check this out against what the scriptures teach". We must heed Pauls words to timothy.

2 Timothy 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

If we don't do this we will end up in a world of trouble.


 2008/6/24 9:18Profile

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