This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. It began as an effort to blog through that book, posting each of the Questions and Answers in the book in the order in which they appeared. I began the project on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed it on July 11, 2015. Along the way, I began to also post snippets from Dr. Steele's other writings — and from some other holiness writers of his times. I still do that every once in a while.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Only Begotten God

QUESTION: In the Revision there is this marginal reading, to John 1:18: "Many very ancient authorities read 'God only begotten.'" (1) What are these authorities? (2) If this is the true reading, does it relate to the Incarnation?

ANSWER: (1) Three of the four oldest manuscripts, two of the oldest versions, three ancient commentators, and the following critical editions: Tregelles, Weiss, and Westcott and Hort sustain this marginal reading. Several ancient writers quote it as written by John, and others use the expression "the only begotten God," without referring it to the Scriptures, just as we use many scriptural phrases, without saying they are quotations. We predict that the next revision will put this marginal reading in the text, and the present text in the margin. (2) We do not believe that either of these readings relate to the virgin birth. Adam Clarke and Moses Stuart believed that the Logos did not become the Son of God till he became the son of Mary. Richard Watson felt called to refute this error. His extended and unanswerable argument in proof of the "eternal Sonship of Christ" is found in his Institutes.

Steele's Answers  pp. 56, 57.