Refutation of John 3:16
Mohamad Mostafa Nassar
MUST READ! Rebuttal for John 3:16
Christians claim that Jesus is the only begotten son of God.
They quote the following verse to prove he is unique because he is the only begotten son of God:
– [John 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.”
Often Muslims use the following two verses to respond to Christians in order to prove that Jesus isn’t the only begotten son of God in the Bible:
– [Psalm 2:7] – “I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee”.
– [Exodus 4:22] – “And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn”.
The first verse does not refer to David according to the NT but rather Jesus:
[Act 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”.
Therefore it is better not to use this as a rebuttal just in case the Christian catches you out. Similarly, the second verse does not refer to Jacob (as is often interpreted by Muslims) but rather it is a metaphor referring to the nation of Israel.
A better rebuttal is as follows. Point out the implications of the word begotten by explaining its dictionary definition:
Adj. 1. begotten – (of offspring) generated by procreation; “naturally begotten child”.
Therefore, the implication of the word begotten, I seek Allah forgiveness, is that God procreated with Mary in order to bring about Jesus. If they have any sense of shame, they will realise that the word begotten is wrong, and admit that Jesus was not begotten.
In which case Jesus is now just a non-begotten son of God, like many other sons of God in the Bible, meaning he is righteous before God which we as Muslims can agree with as all prophets are righteous before God.
If they stubbornly insist that the word begotten is correct, then you can dive into the original Greek word that begotten was translated from. This word is “monogenes”, which literally means “one kind”, mono (one) and genes (kind)…or more appropriately, “only kind” or “unique”.
Monogenes does not accurately mean “only begotten”, nor does it mean “born” or “only born”. If this were the case, then Abraham’s “monogenes” son Isaac in Hebrews 11:17 would mean that Abraham had only one-begotten son, Isaac:
[Hebrews 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]”.
Yet Isaac was not the only son of Abraham, he also had Ishmael, so if we take the meaning of monogenes as “begotten” then we have a contradiction. However, Isaac was Abraham’s “unique” son, the son of the promise.
So, the correct way to translate John 3:16 is as follows:
[John 3:16] – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his unique Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
This is the correct translation which we Muslims have no problem accepting, because Jesus as a prophet was most definitely unique in many senses, such as the fact that he had a mother but no father and that he’s the only prophet coming back to this world just before the Day of Judgement.
Allah knows Best.
Prepared by Mohamad Mostafa Nassar-
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Arrogance is not only a sign of insecurity, but also a sign of immaturity. Mature and fully realised persons can get their points across, even emphatically without demeaning or intimidating others.