“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.” —John 3:16
Doesn’t John 3:16 imply that Jesus came out of the Father, being begotten, and was therefore created by God?
The Greek word translated as only begotten in John 3:16 is the word “monogenes” (mono, one in English + genos, kind in English), which means one of a kind. In other words, John 3:16 is simply teaching that Jesus is unique, NOT that Jesus was created or that he came out of the Father.
“Monogenes has two primary definitions, “pertaining to being the only one of its kind within a specific relationship” and “pertaining to being the only one of its kind or class, unique in kind”. Thus monogenēs (μονογενὴς) may be used both as an adjective monogenēs pais, meaning unique and special. Its Greek meaning is often applied to mean “one of a kind, one and only”. Monogenēs (μονογενὴς) may be used both as an adjective monogenēs pais, only child, or only legitimate child, special child, and also on its own as a noun; o monogenēs “the only one”, or “the only legitimate child”.” -Wikipedia.com
There is another Greek word that can be correctly translated as begotten son, that is the word “monogennetos” (mono, one in English + gennao, begotten in English). However, this word was not used to describe Jesus.
Why did the translators of the KJV translate “Monogenes” as “only begotten”?
According to International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, 1986, Vol. 3, p. 606,
“The Old latin MSS rendered monogenes by Lat. Unicus (only) rather than unigenitus (only begotten). In the Vulgate, Jerome changed unicus to unigenitus (only begotten) for theological reasons, ie., to ensure the doctrine that Jesus was “begotten, not made.” (In passages that lack this theological interest (Lk. 7:12;8:42;9:38) he kept unicus as the translation of Gk. Monogenes. The Vulgate exercised a formidable influence on the AV and subsequent English Translations.”
We must keep in mind that the Bible does not contradict itself.
The Bible says that Jesus is Eternal:
“IN THE BEGINNING was the Word, and THE WORD WAS WITH God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1 “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; WHOSE GOING FORTH HAVE BEEN FROM OF OLD, FROM EVERLASTING.” —Micah 5:2
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, THE EVERLASTING FATHER, The Prince of Peace.” —Isaiah 9:6
The Bible clarifies that nothing was made without Jesus:
“All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” —John 1:2
At a closer look, we can see without a doubt that Jesus is the eternal creator and therefore, He cannot be a created being himself.
I like how one author described Jesus,
“Jesus declared, ‘I am the resurrection, and the life.’ In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived. ‘He that hath the Son hath life.’ The divinity of Christ is the believer’s assurance of eternal life.” —The Desire of Ages, p. 530.