John 1:18 - overview

Steven Avery

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Steven Avery

Scholars find a reading in their text, and they use it. Did they actually explain what a begotten God would mean in terms of their Christology? We know the Arians did, and were quite happy, as are the JW today.

Those who used only begotten Son, include:


Tertullian (0210)
Hippolytus (0220)
Third Synod of Antioch (c. 259 to Paul of Samostaa)
Archelaus (0270)
Alexander of Alexandria (0313)
Eustathius - (0320)
Eusebius - 6 times (0330) - possibly both see Letis
Hilary of Poitiers (Latin) (0350)
Ps-Athanaius - contra Sabellius
Emporer Julian (0362)
Victorinus of Afer (0360) (Latin)
Phoebadius of Agen (0370) (Latin)
Ambrose of Milan (0370) (Latin)
Faustinus (0378) (Latin)
Gregory Nazianzen (0380)
Jerome (0380)
Idacius Clarus (Contra Varimadum) (0385-Latin-3x)
Rufinus Cyrus (Latin)
Augustine of Hippo (0396) (3x)
Adimantus the Manichaean (0396-Latin)
Chrysostom (0398) (8x)
Nonnus of Panopolis (0400)
Theodore of Mopsuestia (0407)
Maximinus the Arian Bishop (0428-Latin-2x)
Theodoret, Bishop of Cyrrhus (4x) (0440)
Proclus of Constantinople (0440)
Andreas - Bishop of Crete
John of Damascus (0740)

And about eight more Greek

More Latin
Hort gives from the Latin Novatian Victorinus , Vigilius ,

both Son and God

Irenaeus (0180) - Burgon says 4 Son and 2 God - shows Valentinians
Clement of Alexandria (0210)
Origen (0240)
Athanasius (0350)
Basil of Caesarea (0370)
Gregory Nyssa (0380)
Cyril of Alexandria - (0430)


Valentinians & Gnostics (from Irenaeus, see Burgon)
Arius (0320)
Exerpta Theodoti (Doctrina Orientalis) -- followers of Valentinus
Basil of Caesarea (0370)
Auxentius of Milan (0370)
Apostolic Constitutions (0375)
Epiphanius (0385)
Didymus the Blind of Alexandria (0390)

Add to God or Both
Synesius according to Epiphanius

Diatessaron-a Valentinians according to Irenaeus Valentinians according to Clement Ptolemy Heracleon Origengr(2/4) Arius according to Epiphanius Apostolic Constitutions Didymus Ps-Ignatius Synesiusaccording to Epiphanius Cyril1/4

Theodotus according to Clement(1/2) Clement2/3 Origengr(2/4) Eusebius3/7 Serapion1/2 Basil1/2 Gregory-Nyssa Epiphanius Cyril3/4


Synod of Aneyra - Arian (0375)


Letis contras in the Ecclesiastical Text
(Irenaeus, Clement, Origen, Eusebius, Serapion, Basil, etc.)

Serapion was formerly thought to be Titus of Bostra.

Church Father Scripture Index

PFRS Commentary John 1:18
Tim Warner

John 1:18 - The Only Begotten Son
James Snapp

Jesse M. Boyd

John 1:18
Will Kinney

Word Magazine # 56: Text Note: John 1:18 "only begotten Son" or "only God"?
Jeff Riddle

Nick Sayers -

John 1:18
In defense of the KJV reading
Thomas Hubeart

God or Son? John 1:18 which is the correct reading? (2018)
LJ Thriepland

Andrew Perry

AFF - coksiw

NTTC JOHN 1:18: “only begotten God” OR “only begotten Son”
Edward D. Andrews
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Steven Avery

I find this really strange. Of course only Greek witnesses count, because translations cannot be trusted with such Graecisms as "monogenes theos".

From Tertullian, skilled in Latin and Greek.

Against Praxeas, 15

[6] Et vidimus gloriam eius tanquam unigeniti a patre, utique filii scilicet visibilis, glorificati a patre invisibili. et ideo, quoniam sermonem dei deum dixerat, ne adiuvaret 20 adversariorum praesumptionem quasi patrem ipsum vidisset, ad distinguendum inter invisibilem patrem et filium visibilem superdicit ex abundanti, Deum nemo vidit unquam. quem deum? sermonem? atquin, Vidimus et audivimus et contrecta- vimus de sermone vitae, praedictum est. sed quem deum? 25 scilicet patrem, apud quem deus erat sermo unigenitus filius, qui sinum patris ipse disseruit.

Chapter XV.—New Testament Passages Quoted. They Attest the Same Truth of the Son’s Visibility Contrasted with the Father’s Invisibility.

“And we have seen His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father;7945 that is, of course, 611(the glory) of the Son, even Him who was visible, and was glorified by the invisible Father. And therefore, inasmuch as he had said that the Word of God was God, in order that he might give no help to the presumption of the adversary, (which pretended) that he had seen the Father Himself and in order to draw a distinction between the invisible Father and the visible Son, he makes the additional assertion, ex abundanti as it were: “No man hath seen God at any time.”7946 What God does he mean? The Word? But he has already said: “Him we have seen and heard, and our hands have handled the Word of life.” Well, (I must again ask,) what God does he mean? It is of course the Father, with whom was the Word, the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, and has Himself declared Him. (John 1:18)

unigenitus filius == μονογενὴς υἱός

This is not complicated, and shows why Tertullian is one strong evidence for the Traditional text.


Hort covers it on p.43 of his:

Two Dissertations.(1876)

Hort adds Novatian, Victorinus , Vigilius , Hilary , Ambrose , and Augustine, to start.

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