So when you attempt to defend your position using scriptural support, such as John 3:18, which states in the KJV, "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.", you will be told, "notice it says only begotten, which means only begotten in the flesh" by your mormon apologist friend.
Obviously, beside the problem of arguing from silence, and the insertion of the mormons presuppositional argument for his doctrinal belief, there is in fact, another problem.
Does the term, "only begotten" indicate that this is only in the flesh? Why not look to the original Greek and see if we can solve this issue.
The term, "only begotten"
Original Word: μονογενής, ές
Part of Speech: Adjective
Phonetic Spelling: (mon-og-en-ace')
Short Definition: only, only-begotten, unique
Definition: only, only-begotten; unique.
3439 monogenḗs (from 3411 /misthōtós, "one-and-only" and 1085 /génos, "offspring, stock") – properly, one-and-only; "one of a kind" – literally, "one (monos) of a class, genos" (the only of its kind). (the above from biblos.com)
Notice it says clearly, "one and only; "one of a kind" the ONLY of it's kind".
Friends, the mormon can attempt to explain this away, however, the definitive meaning of the term "only begotten" is absolutely crystal clear to the reader. And only by inserting an argument from silence, can one argue it means anything else, and of course, that type of argument is easily refutable.
Here is a short list of verses that speak to Jesus being the only Son of God:
- John 3:18 - Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
- 1 John 4:9 - In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.
- John 3:16 - “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
- John 1:18 - No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.
- 1 John 5:20 - And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.