Of God and of the Holy Trinity
Chapter 2, Paragraph 3.
“…the Father is of none neither begotten nor proceeding, the Son is Eternally begotten of the Father;. ..”
John 1:14, 18.
“Begotten” is a term you don’t hear much anymore. So when we read that the Son is eternally begotten of the Father, we’re confused. What does that even mean?
First off, “begotten” means to father. If you read the King James Version of the Bible, you will see that so-and-so “begat” someone. For example, Adam “begot” Seth; he fathered Seth. We can also say that Seth was begotten of Adam. So when it states in the Confession that the Son is begotten of the Father, it means that the Father is the father of the Son.
Does this mean that the Son was created by the Father? NO!
This is where grammar is useful. The Son is begotten of the Father, not the Son was begotten! This is a continuous relationship between the Father and the Son. It is an eternal begetting that has always existed, and always will continue to exist.
C.S. Lewis explains it this way:
…God is a Being which contains three Persons while remaining one Being, just as a cube contains six squares while remaining one body. But as soon as I begin trying to explain how these Persons are connected I have to use words which make it sound as if one of then was there before the others….We say that the First begets or produces the second; we call it begetting, not making, because what He produces is of the same kind as Himself. In that way the word Father is the only word to use. But unfortunately it suggests that He is there first – just as a human father exists before his son. But that is not so. There is no before and after about it.
Questions to Consider
- Can you explain to someone the relationship between the Father and the Son?