Brief notes on my translation of John 3:15-17
15 “So that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, so that anyone believing in him should not perish but have everlasting life.
[Most translations translate “only begotten” as “one and only,” “only,” “uniquely-begotten,” or “unique.” The Greek word for “only” is μόνον mónon (G3440, G3441) which means alone, only, and merely. It is claimed that μονογενής monogenḗs (G3439) means “only” or “unique.” Unique means “only one of its type” and “having no equal or equivalent (Wordsymth).” There is, of course, only one who is God the Son. Nevertheless, μονογενής monogenḗs (G3439) means “only begotten.” It is a compound word of μόνος mónos (G3431) and γίνομαι gínomai (G1096) according to Strong’s. If it were translated “only” that would be wrong because Jesus Christ is the only begotten of God the Father, not the only son of God. “Son of God” with capitalized Son occurs 46 times in the KJV New Testament and always refers to Jesus Christ. Sons of God with lower case “s” is used 5 times in the Old Testament and refers to either humans or angels. In the New Testament, “sons of God” is used 6 times and always refers to believing men and women who have placed their faith and trust into Jesus Christ. This passage is a fulfillment of an important prophecy that Jesus is THE Messiah. See Psalm 2:7. This phrase was quoted by Paul in Acts 13:33-34 and refers to Messiah’s resurrection. “Only begotten” is an identifier that Jesus is THE Messiah. So also see Hebrews 5:5, Colossians 1:18, and Revelation 1:5. The Church Fathers and the early creeds of Christianity understood the importance of “begotten” and pronounced anathemas to those who would not confess to that belief. Consider two:
Nicene Creed (381):
We believe . . . in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages, light of light, true God of true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father
Council of Rome
If anyone does not say that the Son was begotten of the Father, that is, of the divine substance of him himself, he is a heretic (Tome of Damasus, canon 11 [A.D. 382]).].
17 “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.